Heyyyyyyy FBF fam!
Yup, it’s a new blog. Never mind why I haven’t written anything in about 5 months. I was inspired (in a humorous way) to write now.
If you have followed the blog you know I am very much an advocate for not ruining the right outfit with the wrong under garments. However, that is not to say, that I have not become the victim of such a fashion mishap. That IS to say, that it happened last week!
The 2013 Golden Globes Awards aired this past Sunday and if you are like me, you care a lot more about who is wearing what, than who won for which category. This year, as with every other, there were some hits and misses on the Red Carpet. Here is my Recap:
My fave Red Carpet look from the Golden Globes was Jessica Alba in Oscar de la Renta. I thought she looked simply stunning! The color was perfect on her, I loved the cut and style of the gown, and the jewels were just enough. I also loved the clutch and the cascading curls. She looked true Hollywood movie star glam!
Here are my other faves from the Red Carpet, in no particular order:
Nancy O’Dell looked radiant in blue. I do not have the designer but the gown was simplistic but it fit her like a glove and it most definitely accentuated her curves.
Katharine McPhee in Theyskens Theory. Sexy! This number is a little daring but I think she pulled it off and the shoe choice was perfect.
Halle Berry in Atelier Versace. Love it! It’s not the typical red carpet gown and we know Halle likes to surprise us! Sexy, flow-y, daring and 100% Ms. Berry. She rocked it!
Amy Poehler in Stella McCartney & Chopard. As Tamar Braxton would say, “She did that!” She so pulled this look off. It’s a simple cropped pantsuit, and not your typical red carpet look, but she owned it. The jewels, the shoes, and the red nails topped off the look and I love the hair sept up in a side bun. She was one of my top 5 for the evening!
Taylor Swift in Donna Karan. Because she is so fair-skinned she has to be careful with her color choices. Certain colors can make her look washed out. I think the color choice was beautiful and the gown looked amazing on her and she kept the jewelry simple with a pair of matching jeweled drop earrings. . The style and color remind me of the gown I wore to my first ball back in my twenties. Ahh, memories.
Helen Mirren in Badgely Mischka. This woman is just so flyy! She pretty much always gets to right to me and this look was no exception. The gown is very figure-flattering (and she definitely still has a figure) and I love the basic black with the gold and silver brocade. The drop earrings and her silver wispy hair just complete her sexy look!
Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad. We know J-Lo is one of the queens of the sexy dress and oops, she did it again at the Golden Globes. The nude is not easy to pull off, as we have seen in the past, but I think Jennifer did it quite nicely. Her killer figure fills out the gown in all the right places and again, we have the side swept, cascading curls. Super sexy yet tasteful and classy!
Eva Langoria in Pucci. This look is very daring and the high split can be difficult to pull off when you are petite like Eva, but she does a beautiful job. Unfortunately this shot does not give a full frontal view of the gown but she looked fabulous in it. I have not been so fond of her red carpet looks lately but I really like this one.
The looks above were my top pics. These two looks below, hmmm… I am really on the fence with them.
Kerry Washington in Miu Miu and Chopard. Hmmm… I always love Kerry, she is one of my style icons but this look is not such a hit with me. I love her hair and I like the look she’s going for, but the dress looks unfinished to m
I am also on the fence with Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen. She has such a cute figure and I love the look and fit of the gown on her, but the collar is just a bit much. It is distracting and then with her hair down there just seems to be too much going on in that area. Maybe I would like it more if her hair were pulled up.
The following were my least favorite looks.
Marion Cotillard in Dior and Chopard. Did she miss the Golden Globes memo and think this was a different event? I am not liking this look at all. It looks like she pulled something off the bed and put it on with a belt. She is such a beautiful woman and this look does nothing for her, especially with the choice of shoe… just off.
Mayim Bialik. I am not sure who the designer is but this look is too old for her. She looks very matronly. Sleeveless would have been a better choice.
Brooke Anderson. This dress is not flattering at all. It has no shape to it and just eliminates whatever figure she has. She is very thin and should have gone for a more tailored look.
Giuliana Rancic in Celia Kritharioti. One word… no. The gown, very Morticia Adams-ish. The hair, just no.
Rosario Dawson in Antonio Berardi. I do not think that this dress is flattering on her, at all. The color, yes but the style of the dress is wrong for her body type. She is top-heavy and smaller on the bottom. This dress makes her look straight. With her figure an A line or something that flaired all the way out at the waist. as opposed to the peplum waist, would have been more flattering.
Alyssa Milano. I do not have the designer for this one but I do not think that we need it. This look is so wrong for her. The dress, the earrings, the cluth, all of it. Her stylist, if she has one, should be fired for this one. The gown makes her look frumpy. I checked online to see if she was pregnant before I did the post. I thought maybe she went for the loose look because of a baby bump but that is not the case. Again, cute figure, covered up with blah. Very unflattering.
Louise Roe. I do not have the designer for this gown but again, We do not need it. This is so inappropriate for the Golden Globes. In fact, I’m not sure which occasion it would be appropriate for. If it had been a full gown with a lace overlay, I could maybe see it but this just does not make sense to me, especially the high split. Next.
Jessica Chastain in Calvin Klein. I usually LOVE Calvin Klein because of the impeccable tailoring but this… no. I do not understand the top of the dress. It looks ill-fitted and not flattering at all. The color, the hairstyle, none of it works.
Here are examples of what can happen when you wear a color that is too close to your skin tone… you can get washed out. I LUV both of these gowns and I think had they been different colors, Amy Adams (in Marchesa) and Kaley Cuoco (Zuhair Murad) would have pulled these looks off a little more nicely.
So there you have my Golden Globes Awards Red Carpet Recap. Catch you at the next awards show FBF fam!
All photos courtesy of Getty Images.
Heyyyyyyyyy FBF fam!!
It has been over four months since I posted my last blog!? Wow!! I was not motivated at all to blog this summer. I guess with life changes and crazy schedule changes, other things took priority. BUT… I was most definitely inspired by Fashion’s Night Out and New York Fashion Week last month and I needed to get this blog to you because it is a great one for fall!
BUDGET – always a top word in my vocabulary because I am always on one! Another word that is very strong in my vocabulary now is TIGHT. I do not mean tight as in money, but tight as in most of my fall/winter clothes are TOO tight! Ugh… this is so not good. I slimmed down a little this summer and magically, by fall, the extra pounds I shed are back.
So how exactly do you fit a size 10/12 body into size 6/8 pants?? You do not. Nope, that just will not work, without me looking like I am about to bust out of my clothes! With me recently going back to a single person income and still not being employed full-time, I certainly do not have the funds to go out and purchase a new, larger-sized wardrobe. Not only am I not able to do it, but I refuse to. I am not going to spend a ton of money on new, bigger clothes because I am going to fit back into the ones I have. I will, I will! I just do not know how soon. In the meantime, I need some pieces that can work for my size now and that I can still wear once I get to where I would like to be.
What is of my favorite places on earth (besides San Francisco)? C’mon, you Frugal But Flyy readers/shoppers know the answer to this. YES… the thrift store! And what happens in the thrift store? MAGIC!! The Goodwill store in Willingboro, NJ is where I was able to purchase 2 cropped blazers, 3 jackets, 2 blouses, 1 shirt dress, 4 skirts and a clutch purchased all for under $50. I did it in two trips but please believe me when I tell you, when I left that store both times, I was all smiles.
My pictures are not as clear as I would like them to be because the lighting in the house is not the greatest but let us start with the Cropped Blazers:
This was $3.99 and the predominant colors are purple and gray. I think this will look great with a maxi skirt, a blouse or fitted sweater, riding boots and a scarf.
This was $3.99 and has specs of turquoise and blue. I really love the colors in this one and it will look great with jeans and a tank or blouse, stiletto boots or pumps and a statement necklace.
Shirt Dress and Blouses:
This lemon yellow cotton shirt dress was $3.99. I think this is a piece that transitions greatly from spring/summer to fall. I looked like a ray of sunshine when I wore it! Wait, I take that back. I looked like a bumble bee because I wore it with a black tank, black cropped pants and black pumps. It was very much an ‘I overslept and I need something I can throw on quickly’ outfit. It is a dress but it will not work as a dress on me so I just wear it as an over-sized shirt. Next time I think I will pair it with some patterned leggings and a pair of booties.
This blouse was $3.99. Luckily for me, it fits like a glove… perfectly tailored without being tailored. This is great for a suit and could be perfectly paired with a pencil skirt. I have a red wool one that I cannot wait to wear this with (as soon as I can fit back into it). The blouse has red, fuchsia, purple and burgundy stripes and I just love the look and feel of it.
This blouse was $3.99 and is black with multicolored polka dots. It fits a little larger than I would like so I am going to have it tailored. This will cost more what I paid for the shirt but it will be worth it. I see this paired with wide-legged trousers, a wide belt and a long necklace or two.
Three were $3.99 (one of them 50% off) and one was $4.99; one over the knee (navy), one below the knee (black) and two full length (black and blue). I am in LOVE with this blue one. I must definitely find a Chartreuse or purple bow tie blouse to wear with it.
The remaining skirts can be mixed and matched with blouses, sweaters, blazers, boots and pumps or stilettos. They are all classic styles which means versatility!
I love the color of this jacket! It was $7.99 with 50% off and it is a cross between a blazer and a short trench, which is a bit different, but I like it. This is an older style jacket and much more flattering on but I can work with it. Fashion just recycles itself. I am thinking I will change the buttons and since this is a longer jacket, I can rock it with some tan or brown leggings or riding pants, a sweater, boots, a multicolored Pashmina scarf and maybe a belt around the waist.
These two jackets, both $3.99, are great for jeans or trousers and sweaters; casual but sporty. I think I would even go with a turtleneck sweater for either of these. These are also much more flattering on.
Lastly, I picked up this little red clutch which was $1.99 (new) with 50% off. It is so 80′s and for nostalgia’s sake and for the price, I could not leave it behind. Accessories like this are great to have when you need just a pop of color!
I just found a Goodwill Store in Bensalem, PA so my next thrifting trip will be to that one. These last two trips I focused on shirts, skirts and jackets so the next one I will focus on sweaters, pants (and more blouses) and I will share my purchases from that trip with you, as well.
The thrift store can be your best friend, especially when you are trying to build your wardrobe. Quite often, you can find unique items. Yes, you DO have to take your time and go through the items section by section, row by row, piece by piece. Yes, you DO have to check the items thoroughly for stains, rips, missing buttons/zippers, etc. Yes, you DO want to find out which stores are offering which discounts ahead of time. Yes, you DO need to try the items on before you purchase because many times they have been altered and are not true to size. Yes, you DO need to re-wash or dry clean your items after purchase. No one will know where you are purchasing your items from but you. I share because it is what I do but the thrift store can be your best kept secret! National Thrift Store Directory – http://www.thethriftshopper.com/
Until next time, enjoy this beautiful fall weather, fall fashion and Happy Shopping!!
One morning, a few months ago, one of my good friends emailed me a link for the World Natural Hair Show http://www.naturalhairshow.org/ in Atlanta. It is an annual event that was going to be taking place the last weekend in April.
I had recently started a natural hair pageand my birthday was earlier that month so she thought it would be the perfect weekend birthday getaway. I was hesitant at first… my response was basically, girl I cannot do Atlanta right now! I still have NO job, NO money to play and a ton of things going on in April… I CANNOT do Atlanta right now. But my girl was not playing! No sooner than I sent her my reply she was replying back with ticket prices and an offer to purchase the tickets up front and our other friend and myself could just reimburse her later. And the best part was, the tickets were under $118 round trip, taxes and fees included! $118 round trip??!!! The only catch was that we would have to fly out of Baltimore at around 6 a.m. Ok, that was doable, especially for the price. But what about hotel?? A hotel for four nights would run us $400 – $500 apiece. Nope… I CANNOT do Atlanta right now. But wait, I have a cousin who lives about 1/2 hour from Atlanta (my sistacuz as we affectionately call each other) who has the space to put us up. We actually had our cousin’s weekend in Atlanta the previous two years around the same time and stayed with her so the timing would be perfect and staying with her would definitely save us a few stacks! Additionally, we all had more family and friends we wanted to see down there and we ALL desperately needed a vacation. We could just stay overnight in Baltimore the night before our flight out, share a room and it would cost next to nothing. Hmmm… this was sounding more and more like something I just might be able to pull off. We went back and forth for a bit, going over things, and by that afternoon I received my confirmation email… I was going to Atlanta!! Whoo-hoo!!! excited.com
So airfare and a place to stay were taken care of but I still had to worry about eating, covering the fees/expenses to attend the events for the weekend, car rental, gas, tolls, spending money, etc. I needed to write out an Atlanta budget. Now I must tell you, I am The Budget Lady! Up until a few months after I stopped working I wrote out a budget for all of our household and my personal expenses… down to the gas money and I did it on average three months at a time and three months in advance. If you are not someone who budgets, please believe me when I tell you that it can help you tremendously! You know where every dime of your money is going and you make sure the priority bills are taken care of first. So I looked up the cost of the events that we would want to attend that weekend, including the cost to cover my cousin (which the three of us would split), I considered the other expenses that I would incur and this was my Atlanta budget:
- $118 – Flight
- $111 – Event tickets (for the weekend + 1/3 of cost to cover cousin)
- $ 45 – Hotel (Balt)
- $ 35 – Car rental (Atl)
- $ 30 – gas/tolls (Balt)
- $ 35 – dinner/breakfast (Balt)
- $ 50 – gas (Atl – fill up at least 2x)
- $ 25 – possible luggage fee on flight
- $250 – food/misc (Atl – 4 days)
Every year around this time, The Met Costume Institute Gala takes place and the stars come out to shine. The Met Gala is considered the Oscars of fashion and this year’s event was held last night and it was all about sparkle, shimmer, bold color, sheer, texture and bare backs on the red carpet! Some of our fave celebrities donned their designer gowns and tuxes for the event and gave us some gorgeous red carpet pics.
I love dressing up… I mean REALLY dressing up but I have only had a couple of excuses to rock a full length gown… for senior prom and for an event at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) some years ago. Both times you would have thought I was a princess the way I felt in those gowns. There is just something about a woman in a floor length gown with bare shoulders or bare back, elegant jewelry and an updo that wows like nothing else!! And a man in a well-fitted tuxedo… well… sexy. Those lucky celebrities get to attend these types of events all of the time in one-of-a-kind designer duds but the average person may attend one a year, even one every few years or more.
I decided before my birthday this year, that my birthday event next year, will be a black-tie affair… gowns and tuxedos will be REQUIRED and even though it is almost a year away from when the event will be taking place, I cannot wait to see all of my friends all dolled up like they are going to the Crystal Ball! I am talking live band, hors d’oeuvres, champagne… a very classy, elegant and memorable affair. I need to start putting money up NOW though!!
But enough about that… let us take a look at our celebs:
Paula Patton looked pretty as a picture in this pink Vera Wang gown. This color is beautiful on her and I love the drop earrings.
Rashida Jones rocked a simple floral gown by Tory Burch. Rashida has a very bohemian style and I think this look works well for her and stays true to her style. I am loving this clutch!
Queen Bey showed up in a sheer Givenchy number. She whipped that body right back into shape after giving birth to adorable Blue Ivy but I am not loving this gown. This was one of my least favorite looks of the night.
Bruno Mars looks very handsome in his tuxedo but wait… is that a curly fro?
Ri-Ri always brings the heat! Between her height and her figure, she just always looks amazing at these functions. For this event she rocked a Tom Ford gown and she looks stunning! I’m loving the updo on her also.
Ms. hourglass herself, Sofia Vergara looks unbelievable in this Marchesa gown. She always looks super sexy!
Elizabeth Banks was of my favorites of the night! I LOVE this dress!! It’s different, it has a classic feel with a contemporary twist to it and the red just makes it pop! I also love the mixing of the patterns and this looks great on her. She looks very Tippy Hedren in this number.
Eva Mendez went with a coral Prada gown with black and white jewels and a matching black and white clutch. I love the colors but I am not so fond of the dress. Something about the bottom half disturbs me. It looks a little old for her.
Kanye looked pretty dapper in his tux but I would have loved to see the shirt cuffs instead of the gold bracelet.
Jessica Alba looked stunning in this shimmering Michael Kors gown and I am liking the hair to one side with this. I love her style!!
Solange looks absolutely gorgeous, as always, in this yellow Rachel Roy strapless gown. The clutch and the bracelet work all the way with this. The hair looks super cute too but I always love to see HER hair.
Katharine McPhee in Elie Saab was also one of my faves of the night. The color looks wonderful on her and the style of the dress works perfectly for her figure.
These are just a few of the many celebrities who came out for the event and I just wanted to give you a feel for some of the different looks. Most of them I think worked very well but a few did not. One of the main attractions of the celebrity looks at this event is the jewels. The jewelry alone can run up into the millions (most pieces borrowed, of course). One tip I will offer when dressing for a black tie event – do not overdo it with the accessories. You want to keep your look elegant so maybe earrings and a bracelet or necklace, depending on the style of the dress. You also have to take into consideration, any encrusted jewels or elaborate detailing in the dress itself or in the shoes. Often times with this, a pair of earrings is all you need. If your gown or dress has a high neckline or detailing in the neckline, you may want to go more for an updo so that you do not hide the detailing with your hair. If you have bare shoulders of a bare back, wearing the hair down may work better and you can be creative like pinning some of it up or wearing it to one side.
Lastly, you do not have to spend a fortune to create looks similar to these. Outlet stores, vintage, consignment and thrift stores and older relatives are great sources for gowns and formal dresses. You may have to do some altering but it would be well worth it considering what you will save from not having to buy new. Also, costume jewelry or faux jewels work just as well as the real jewels. Just make sure the style of jewelry is appropriate for the style of gown or dress.
As always, Happy Shopping!
All photos courtesy of http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/met-gala-fashions-glamorous-night-321029
Hello again FBF fam !
I recently spent a few days in Atlanta and as with anywhere I visit, I look for great spots to shop. I had previously visited a few malls and some retail chains in Atlanta but that was really the extent of my shopping. So this past Friday, the first day of our mini-vacation, we stopped off at a strip mall on Peachtree Rd. to get gourmet cupcakes and lo and behold, guess what we happened upon? A wonderful little consignment shop called Alexis Suitcase!
When I walked in and looked around, I was very impressed. I loved the boutique style of the shop and way the displays are set up – not only by type and size but also by color.
Each round rack of shirts and blouses and shirts has an outfit on display atop it, with several pairs of shoes, bags and other accessories to offer alternative looks.
On one side of the store there is almost an entire wall of jeans and slacks and on the opposite side, a row of dresses and skirts. The quality of the clothing items range from good to very high end and the pricing lines up with that. I did not purchase anything but my girlfriend did.
As I walked to the back of the store, I noticed a purse rack, an accessory counter, several racks of shoes and a locked cabinet with purses and bags. And I could see the Chanel emblems all the way from where I was standing! I apologize for the blurriness of the picture below. I introduced myself to one of the sales associates (who was very personable) and we had a brief conversation about my love for consignment shops, the store, the FBF website, their website, additional store locations and also about some of the special bargains and promotions that they were offering. Also situated in the entranceway of the store, is a display that lists the store’s current discounts and sales promotions.
I truly wish I had more time to really look through everything but we were pressed and the clock was working against us. The next time I am in Atlanta, I will make a trip back here. If you are in or are going to be visiting the Atlanta area, here is a link to their Facebook page
for store locations and contact information. They also offer some online ordering and details on this can be found on the website.
They also had on hand, a listing of local consignment shops specializing in clothing, and specialty and bridal dresses so here are a few of the websites for you to check out.:
Back by Popular Demand Consignment – http://bbpdconsignment.com/
Finders Keepers Consignments – http://www.fkconsign.com/
Shelly’s Clothesline – http://www.shellysclothesline.com/
Le Dress Boutique – http://www.ledressboutique.com/
Designer Consigner – http://www.designer-consigner.net/
B chic Designer Consignment – http://www.bchicatlanta.com/
Panache Consignment Boutique – http://www.panacheconsign.com/
There is also one more store, Working Girl Boutique at 1175 Hwy 23 NW, Suwanee, GA 30024. Their website is workinggirlconsignment.com but the site was not accessible when I tried it.
As always, Happy Shopping!
Hello FBF fam!
About two weeks ago my city, Trenton, NJ, held its first natural hair event – the 2012 Natural Hair and Fashion Showcase. My girlfriend and I attended and it was a wonderful event! This event was about much more than natural hair. It showcased natural beauty and natural skill and talent. There were artists and entrepreneurs vending with lots of hand-crafted items and natural, chemical free and holistic products for sale. There were also healthy foods and informational materials for purchase, as well as an abundance of information about an array of health and wellness services that are available locally, and across the country.
Today, more and more black women are making the decision to stop relaxing, chemically treating and doing other things that have been causing short-term and long-term damage to our hair. We are learning to take care of OUR hair, and appreciate our natural tresses. A few months ago, in my blog entitled http://frugalbutflyy.com/2012/01/31/i-am-not-my-hair-but-i-am/ , I briefly took you through my personal hair journey and I also spotlighted a few of my friends and shared their personal hair choices. And for many of them, making the decision to go back to natural was just the first step in living a more healthy lifestyle overall.
For me personally, making the decision to go back to natural and remain natural was an inevitable one, as I have been natural on and off throughout most of my life. But making that decision was about much more than hair. It was about becoming more conscious of who I am as a woman, as black woman and as a spiritual being. It is about appreciating my natural beauty and also making an effort to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. And the journey is not an easy one, but for me, it is one that is so necessary.
Many women I know have also made the decision to go back to natural over the last few years. I spotlight them and celebrate their beauty here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Napturally-Beautiful/272491066163980 every day. We offer each other support, encouragement and inspiration throughout this journey.
Because this was my first event, I was not really able to cover it the way I would have liked, but I did get quite a few photos of many of the great products that were there. Unfortunately, my girl and I missed the hair and fashion show, but we did get the chance to get some great information, make some purchases and talk with some friends. We also got information on upcoming events throughout the country, some of which a few these same vendors will be vending at.
Attending this event for me was in part about appreciating my natural hair, in part an opportunity to get information and find out about natural and holistic products that promote my overall health and well-being, and in part to support black business and buy products that I do not normally get an opportunity to purchase or even see, especially not in the mainstream.
When we first walked in there was so much to see, we were not sure where to start. So we started here, at the vending table closest to the door and we encountered products and information from Queen Afua. Here is a link to her website to find out more about her Wellness Institute - http://www.queenafua.com/ .
We then ran into friend Montsho from http://www.akomahouseinitiative.com/ . Akoma House “promotes social unity through healing and mastering relationships” and they “provide educational relationship paradigms, programs, and culturally relevant events which satisfy the needs of diverse populations”. They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/monwasha . Check out their links!
Here is some lovely handmade jewel that we spotted as we first entered and I wanted these curly chick earrings so badly… but I was on a strict budget. Many of the earrings are made from wood and cherry wood. I am so disappointed that I misplaced the owner’s card but I am hoping that I run into her again at the next event.
Then Ivy and I ran into friend and owner of BJ’s Sweets ~n~ Eats, Bonnye J. Randolph http://frugalbutflyy.com/fbf-feature/ so I snapped a pic of the two of them.
Aren’t they gorgeous!! Go #teamnatural!
We then passed a few more vending tables, one of which was selling a variety of materials. Nice variety and multi-purpose!
Then… we spotted these awesome t-shirts, totes and other items from UNITEES (The Fusion of fashion and Culture). I need this tote in my life!!
Here is the link to their website if you would like to check out more of their products and services http://unitees.com/index.html. Their totes and messenger bags are the business!
We made our way over to check out some products from Simply Neftah Wholistic Boutique.
Although we missed the hair and fashion event, I found this beautiful pic of Neftah and some of her creations from the show on Facebook. BEAUTIFUL!! Neftah is wearing the brown wrap.
Neftah does an annual Swap~n~Shop https://www.facebook.com/events/263333853740746/ and it actually occurred today but I had two other engagements and unfortunately, was not able to attend. Here is a link to her website http://www.simplynetfah.com/fr_home.cfm .
Then we moved over to BORNATTY and checked out some of their products and the beautiful Martone Evans (founder) gave us lovely complimentary t-shirts. I am loving mine!
I did not find a website for them but Martone is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/people/Martone-Evans/1176793191 if you are interested in a tee or in finding out about information about some of their other products.
And this young lady was my favorite vendor of the day! This is up and coming entrepreneur Camara Seals (daughter of Baturi Essentials owner Kerri Seals). Kerri was also previously featured in our FBF Spotlight. Camara makes jewelry and accessories from duct tape and I am so loving her, the ring I purchased from her and her t-shirt. All beautiful!!
Check out Kerri’s site at http://www.kerriseals.massagetherapy.com/ to learn more about her full line of products and services.
Kenneth Lewis from http://www.theculturegarden.com/ was also on site. Click the link to find out more about their wonderful work!
The next vendor setup (unfortunately I did not get their company name) was a mixture of jewelry, natural soaps and body products, accessories and more. LOVE the earrings and the bags!
These beautiful collages reminded me of collages my dad used to do back in the day. I can still see them clearly in my mind, only it was images of Billy Dee Williams, Diana Ross, Isaac Hayes and the other black stars of the day.
I also had the pleasure of encountering lovely Trenton native and author, educator, coach, healer, motivational speaker and owner of Mama Yoga Wellness Services Ms. Sa’ Mut A. Scott, as she was promoting her book, Master of a Joyful Life: The Power is in Your Hands. You can visit Sa’ Mut’s website at http://www.magicalmother.com/ to learn more about her services.
I then circled back to pick up a few wooden bracelets from this table, and the owner gave me a complimentary pair of earrings. This was also one of those tables where I wished I had brought more money with me!
We passed a few more vendor tables promoting essential oils and natural fragrances,
and handmade caps for natural and loc’d hair.
We were almost at the end and then we came upon Gypsy Foot Jewelry http://gypsyfootjewelry.com/ featuring exclusive foot jewelry handcrafted by Tracie “Echo” Rose.
I couldn’t understand why all of these women were crowded around her but when I got in close, I understood why. Her feet looked amazing! The picture really does not do her products justice… you must visit the site!
Here are a couple of pics of Ivy and I with our goodies as we were wrapping up!
On April 27th through the 29th, a couple of my girlfriends and I will be in Atlanta attending a series of events for the World Natural Hair Show. I cannot wait for that one!! I will be blogging about it and there will be LOTS of pics!
The greatest things I walked away with from this event was a reminder of the importance self-reliance, and a sense of community. That is something I believe in and I try to do my part to help uplift and better my community because I feel that it is my duty. Unfortunately, it not always a sentiment that is shared. We in the black community have to get back that sense of unity. We must uplift, help, support and nurture each other in positive ways, and that is how we grow and thrive as a whole. There was so much creativity, talent and beauty in that one space and I was just glad to be able to be in attendance.
I truly hope to see some of these individuals again in Atlanta next week and please take a few moments to check out some the links that I listed!
Until next blog, be well and Happy Shopping.
There is a saying that goes something like… those who give advice are not so quick to take it. Or maybe there is not but anyway… that is how I was feeling yesterday, about MYSELF.
Back in September, I posted a blog – Proper Undergarments: The Start To A Great Outfit, Pt. 1 – The Bra… all of the do’s and don’ts of the bra and yesterday, I fell victim to the wrong bra. I was wearing a lightweight, brightly colored tee so I needed a bra with smooth and preferably full coverage. Hmmm… well practically none of my bras are full coverage anymore. As we age, the body changes and for many of us, we spend the autumn of our lives trying to defy gravity. For women, the “girls” lose their perkiness and not only that, but they start to spread outward. What is that about??! And for me, because I have put on “a few” pounds in the last year, I am pretty sure I have gone up a cup size. I did not want that to be my reality because one thing I do not want, is bigger boobs. I was pretty happy with mine as they were. But, the reality set in yesterday.
So I have my little outfit on and I am feeling really wrong about this bra. But, with the particular tee I was wearing, I needed to have a nude colored bra so I figured I would just have to deal. For the most part, I would be in the car (I was driving an hour to visit my sis and nephew) and I would not really see anyone else so I headed out. But en route, as I look at myself I am seeing four boobies and I know there are only supposed to be two! Not only that, but the bra was just feeling uncomfortable and I was tugging and pulling so I told my daughter that it was NOT working. I did not have time to stop anywhere other than Walmart, as we were headed there on the way to pick up baby mits. Not only that, I am such a Victoria’s Secret girl and I really could not spare $25-$45 for a bra, especially since I had left my discount cards at home. My alternative is Target and I was nowhere near there. Ugh! Ladies I know you can relate to this moment where you are so uncomfortable in that bra that you cannot focus on anything else?? Yep, that was me… looking just like Brit in this pic. Poor thing… her undergarments are just always wrong.
So we go into Walmart and I get the mits and some caps for my new nephew, get an Angry Birds tee for my other nephew, two v-neck tees for myself and then I see these bras that read EXTRA COVERAGE. Hmmm… I do not normally trust Walmart like that when it comes to most clothing items because I just do not find the quality to be so great and I go for quality first. So I am looking at the bras (the three basic colors), reading, examining and feeling. Less than $13? I think I can work with that. Do I or don’t I? And I say what the heck, I will get it. If it does not work, I will only be out $13. At least it is not $40, right?
I pay for my items and daughter goes to the car while I go in the ladies room to do a quick change. All the while I am thinking, please let be right. I pull the tags off and do a switch and INSTANTLY, I felt better. The bra was very lightweight and comfortable and it covered all that needed to be covered. Not only that but when I looked at myself in the mirror, it looked great. No more 4 boobies… YAY!!! It has wider, softer straps so I felt good in it not only all day but ladies you know for many of us, when we walk through that house door at the end of a long day the FIRST thing we want to do is get that bra off! I know I do!! But I was actually able to leave this one on not think about it. Oh and best of all, I did not go up a cup size, I just needed better coverage. I am definitely pushing it though with the whole next cup size thing! Although this pic below is from an advertisement for the Wonderbra, it is basically my before and after. What a difference!!
The bra I picked up yesterday is by Sweet Nothings, which is a more affordable division of Maidenform and I would recommend it if you are no larger than a DD. It is not a superb quality bra and it is not the sexiest one to look at, but it will get the job done and you will be comfortable, covered and supported. This is it below. I think I will go and pick up a couple more!
And you can find more Bra Fitting tips here - http://www.ehow.com/bra-fitting/ . The most important lesson learned here for me… I definitely must come down a few pounds because I am NOT buying all new bras!! Lol! Until next blog, Happy Shopping!
Put that new pair of shoes down! Put that new purse down, put the new dress down, put it down, put it down!!! Not only do you NOT need it, but you do not have any space in your closet for it. But they are so hot and they are on sale! But are you EVER going to wear them?? Before you make that purchase, ask yourself realistically… am I EVER going to wear this or is it just going to sit in my already packed to capacity closet and collect dust?
Many of us love to shop. I know I do! But maybe from years of only being able to buy necessities and sometimes not even those, I have trained myself not to buy excessively. For me, shopping is very much more about need than want. Now of course, I love to treat myself here and there (I deserve it) and I love a great deal but truthfully, there are ALWAYS great deals. Yes, that pair of shoes may be marked down from $99 to $19.99 but if they are something that I just do not need or know I will never wear, I cannot justify buying them simply because of the great deal.
In these days of walk in closets and shoe organizers, I am one of those few who still has a little old closet. Our house is an older house with none of the modern amenities so just for practical purposes, I cannot keep clothes, shoes and accessories that I am not using and truthfully, I would not want to. I think many of us still subscribe to the belief that more or excess is better, and that is simply not true. Ok, so you have seventy-five pairs of shoes. Of those seventy-five, you may wear fifty–five because thirteen you can no longer fit and seven of them you could not fit to begin with. You may have even just bought them because you want to be able to say that you have seventy-five pairs of shoes! It is quite okay… you do not have to admit it but I know MANY who think this way. But do you know what it is when you buy items are that you have no use for? A waste of money and a waste of space. Get rid of that twenty pair you are not ever going to wear! You could be using that space for something else and you could definitely be putting that money to better use… like building your savings. Hmmm… so you buy four pairs of shoes per month, one of which you know is just going to sit in your closet. Or, you could plan to buy four, but instead buy three and take that extra $50 or $100 and put it into a savings plan. At the end of a year, you have $600 – $1200 saved as opposed to twelve pairs of shoes that are of no use to you. So which would you prefer… a vacation or twelve pairs of shoes that you cannot wear?
Is your closet looking like this??
Yes? Okay then the first step to you getting your wardrobe organized is to STOP buying items that you do not need, cannot fit and will not ever wear… even if you can afford it!
Step 2 – Get rid of items that are serving you no purpose. Every season, I not only transition my clothes for the new season, I get rid of items I can no longer use. I do not know why some people are apprehensive about doing this but if you just take a day or two to do this each season, or at least in the spring and fall, you will be doing a lot keep yourself from having an out of control wardrobe. I suggest that when you begin your process, you divide your wardrobe into four categories – Wear, Sell/Donate, Storage and Trash.
Wear – In this first category will be all of your transitional pieces from the last season(s) and all of the items that are wearable now. These are the items that are going to stay readily available in your closet/dresser/wardrobe.
Sell/Donate – In this second category are the items you are going to either sell or donate. Ways to do this are consignment, yard or garage sale or flea market, clothing swap, thrift store or organizational donation or clothing bins. If you choose to consign, most consignment stores have criteria that you will have to meet and terms as far as selling the items. If you choose to do your own sale, you can charge prices that will allow you to get rid of the items easily, but also make some of the money back that you spent. With thrift or organizational donations, you will not make a profit but you can get a receipt and claim the donations on your upcoming tax return. For a clothing swap, you can choose a few select friends and have them each choose two or three pieces that they want to swap. You can make a girls night in of it, serve some refreshments and trade items you can no longer use for a few you can. Another option is packing those bags of items up and taking them to some of these clothing bins we see out here in some of our neighborhoods. We are not always aware where these items are going, but my thinking is that it is regardless of where that is, they are going to someone who needs them.
Storage – The items you are keeping but not wearing for the next season or two, can be packed in storage containers until they are ready to be worn again… clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Because my closet is so small, each spring and fall I keep a few transitional pieces, and swap out the rest of my wardrobe. What I am using goes in the closet and what I am not using goes in containers and up to the attic. If you do not have the additional storage space, then you can split your closet into seasons (spring/summer on one side and fall-winter on the other) and then organize from there.
Trash – Anything that does not fall into the first three categories can probably be considered unusable and can be discarded. Even with this, when you put the items out, if they are still in good condition you can put them out so that they are visible to passers-by who may need them can take them. Or you can try to get them to a textile recycler if there is one in your area. This is a last-ditch effort to get items to someone who needs them or get them recycled and if not, then the trusty trash collector will take them off your hands.
The 3rd step in this process, is to actually follow through with process. Let it go! You cannot get that bag of jeans ready for donation and then change your mind. The jeans in that bag are size 8 and you are now a size 16. Honey, let them go! That FUBU jacket that you are still holding on to from 1995? Let it go! It is not coming back in style, but someone out there is in need of it and would love to have it. Do not second guess yourself and your decision to purge. Make up your mind and just think of the extra space you need and are about to free up. Look forward to the fact that you will actually be able to find items in your closet that you thought had been sucked into the black hole. That missing black pump that you thought disappeared… yup, it was in there!
Not only will this be an organizational and cleansing process, but it will be a stress reliever. Being unorganized and having our things in disarray causes stress. Trust me I know because being the girl that I am, I go through three or four outfits and five pairs of shoes before I find the right one for the event and at the end of the night sometimes, my closet looks like something like a tornado hit it. Then it is unorganized and ahotmess.com and I cannot find what I need and that causes me stress. Avoid yourself some stress and get your closet in order. Also, make sure that any items you donating or selling are clean and in good condition. I believe that you should not give something to someone else, in a condition you would not wish to receive it in
Now that you have organized your closet and your drawers and you can actually SEE what you have. You have made room and now you can move things around. But this is not the go-ahead to just fill the space up with new purchases! Step 4 of this process is to not purchase anything new without getting rid of something. I try to do this also. As seasons change styles change and what was in last spring, may not be in this spring. You want to keep your wardrobe fresh and updated but you do not want to be back at square one. So if you purchase a new purse, get rid of one you have. If you purchase a new blazer or pair of boots get rid of two comparable items you already have. This way it is an even exchange and your wardrobe stays current, but it is not overflowing with unnecessary items.
And now you have a closet that looks like this.
You can spread these tips over to other areas, not just your wardrobe. Get it together and just let the excess go! Trust me, it will give you peace of mind.
I must admit that I have not been the best when it comes to going green. I mean, I do my part… I recycle all of the bottles, cans and cardboard at home and I recycle all of our clothing and shoes that are recyclable, but I could do better. Giving up plastic grocery bags has been really hard for me. Except for the going to the farmer’s market, I am one of those every 2-3 week grocery shoppers so when I go the cart is overflowing and it has just so much easier to have the items bagged. And I do help bag, but I guess it was more a matter of convenience. Additionally, I am absent-minded and I would get all the way inside, start shopping and realize I left the bags in the trunk! But I knew that moving over to reusable shopping bags was something I REALLY needed to do!
So yesterday, I went to one of those discount grocery stores where they do not bag your groceries. You can bag or box. I bought a few bags but I finally used my reusable totes that I have in my trunk. I did not realize I had five of them and then I found two more when I got home. I must say, those bags are waaay better! They are usually more roomy and they are definitely more sturdy so no double bagging is required. I am also the type who likes my groceries to be bagged a certain way… cans with cans, meats touching nothing else, all boxes together, etc… I am very OCD about it so this way, my items are bagged exactly how I want them. Does anyone else get EXTREMELY irritated when the cashiers/baggers just throw everything in the same bag? Ugh… it makes me just want to stop everything, round them all up and conduct an emergency demonstration on the proper way to bag groceries!
Going to the car and bagging all of this stuff only took a bit more time and energy and next time I will actually remember to take the bags in with me. But it was cool. I will keep a couple of plastic bags in the trunk for items that may leak, and just wash and reuse them if necessary. The only problem I encountered was that the cart kept wanting to slide away so I had to try anchor it with my foot while bagging… that was not so easy… food in one hand, bag in the other, foot on the cart and its trying to get away from me. I am so glad no one I knew was there with a camera phone! Here are a couple of the better quality bags I have.
The first bag was given to me by my sister and I love it… I wish I had a few more of this one. It is the perfect farmer’s market tote!
The purple NJEA tote is great… VERY spacious. I can fit two bags worth of groceries in this and I did yesterday! Companies and organizations love to give these away at workshops, expos, job fairs. etc. I got mine at a community event.
Now the white and red Uniqlo tote, this one is pretty stylish so it will be a fashion accessory, maybe for the beach. It is just the right size for an oversized towel, lunch, a book and toiletries. And it is washable! The funny thing is, I carry reusable totes all the time in the spring and summer, I was just hesitant to put them to use for bagging groceries and other items. I think I am going to start collecting these babies until I have about twenty of them that I can use for shopping. I just cannot wait to get our Frugal But Flyy totes done so I can REALLY shop with my own bags! That will be SUPER special!! I do not think I will use those for grocery shopping though… they will be too cute for that .
I think I have officially made the switch, at least for grocery shopping because I do recycle department store bags, gift bags and boxes. If you have not yet switched over to the reusable shopping bags, possibly for the same reason that I was hesitating, give it a try. You just might be won over! Here are a couple of articles I found on the different types of reusable bags, and the advantages/disadvantages of using them:
And here are some everyday tips to help you go green and save money:
As always, Happy Shopping!