Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Becoming a Nun....With Nothing But a Sheet!

This is the time of year which I love in some ways, and dread in others. Halloween is quickly approaching, and of course if you want to score big in the candy better have a costume! If that isn't enough stress...starting last kids also have to have a "Saint" costume for All Saints Day at school. The dilemma of the Halloween costume can generally be solved by a quick trip to my local thrift store, but a "Saint" costume is very hard to come by....I guess they are not in hot demand. Last year one of my daughters chose to dress as the nun with the "flying hat". I looked EVERYWHERE for a hat, but all that were for sale were ridiculously expensive. There was no way that I would spend $29.99 on a hat which would only grace her head once. In quiet desperation....I decided out to make my own nun's hat. Armed with a hot glue gun, a Tupperware container, and some foam board.....I set out to conquer what no other Mom that I know has achieved! It only took but an hour...and my daughter was thrilled with the results (please see picture for reference). Alas...that was last year, and of course my other daughter does not want to wear the same hat which was so proudly paraded around the school once before. She has decided to be a Saint who is attired in all white, flowing robes! Easy, right???!!!! That is what I I am looking at a white sheet and trying to decide how to make it into a rocking Saints costume by Friday! Is my daughter going to look like a Saint, or like her Mother threw a white sheet onto her and called it a costume??? Pics will surely follow.....

What is not cheap....pets!!! My dear cat Mr. Mao came down with a bladder infection last week. How could I diagnose this, you might wonder??? Well....he peed pretty much everywhere he could squat....including on my foot!!! I could feel his pain, as my bladder and I have been in the same position before. I made a call to our vet and was able to rush him in right away. A few hours and $300 later, I was informed that our cat had a bladder infection. Hmmmm.....I knew he had a bladder infection when I still had not spent a dime! He was prescribed amoxicillin and sent home with instructions that he may need further testing, blah, blah, blah next week!!! Of course I am glad he was taken care of and he is worth far more than the cost of that vets appointment, but cost $300 to have him pee on some litter and test is for infection???? I am thinking that I I had been so inclined....a vet would have been a good calling. You don't have to mess with insurance, bitchy patients, and the people paying the bill will generally spare any expense for their beloved pets!

And tonight after a quick trip to the dog park (my kids love this), I will be stopping at Boston Market for their $1 meal. Actually... I won't!!! I just went to attach the link, and realized that my coupon expired yesterday! What a bummer!!!! I was looking forward to their cornbread! Oh well....I guess I will have to enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by Moi!!!!
And....last but not least! To address the above photos. I still have not figured out how to blog correctly. I am going to get the hang of photo placement one of these days!!! But I will tell a little tale about each of the above! The first photo is of a drop-dead gorgeous pair of Sergio Rossi shoes. Original price in the $550 range. Somehow, there was a secret sale going on at NM Last Call when I was there, and with all the discounts applied...they cost $74. I think this is the most that I have paid for shoes in a long time....but they are well worth it!! The color is amazing!!! Next in the photo lineup is a pair of Hermes sandals which I was lucky enough to get at Salvation Army for $12.99. I spotted these from across the room...and didn't know what brand they were, but could tell the quality was good. I was so excited when I picked them up and they were my size!!! On to the fur coat....this one is a true shocker!! It is a vintage sheared mink. And drumroll....I paid $2.99. I was at one of my thrift stores that has all of their clothes marked at $2.99, when I spied a piece of clothing on the floor under a rack. I picked it up in order to hang it up when I realized what I was holding onto. I wold not buy new fur....but this one sure does deserve to be loved....and for $2.99, who wouldn't love it!!! When I got it home, I proudly showed it off to my husband who in a typical male fashion said, "What do you need that for?" EXCUSE ME....this is a mink coat in impeccable condition for less than a Happy could I say no??? And last but not least.....the "flying nun's" hat!!! That is some serious crafting talent sitting atop my daughter's head!! Please try not to be jealous!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Very Puzzling Pumpkin Problem....

My outfit for today: Hache shirt $7, LaRok vest FREE, J&Company jeans $10, Boots...old!

Harem pants....much dwelled upon...finally mine! $32.50

Leater Jacket- FREE (I traded at Buffalo Exchange)

I have to be honest....three weeks ago when Starbucks started touting their Fall pumpkin flavor....I was so happy to be uninterested. As we all know...Starbucks is not the way to go if trying to be thrifty. I do have to mention though, that I can buy their tall cup of regular coffee in a grande cup (room for the milk), and it is the same price as 7-eleven. So....this is what I was doing on the fateful day that they had samples of their pumpkin frappuccino on the counter to be tasted. I looked at it disdainfully....but am always open to anything decided to give it a shot. I am now having to question this decision, as I am sure they have added crack to their pumpkin goods to get people hooked. I have now made my way through their pumpkin selection, and have enjoyed every second of it! Pumpkin latte, frappuccino, muffin, scone, name it, Starbucks sells it, I have tried it! I am hoping now that I have over-indulged and gotten this insatiable need for pumpkin out of my system. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend the muffin and latte....actually worth the $$$ to try. On to another Starbucks matter....their instant coffee! I don't know about you, but if I am paying $1.00 for a cup of coffee...I would rather spring for a little bit more, and get the cup, as well. If I am drinking coffee at home it is Folgers "Colombian" for me EVERY TIME!!! The best coffee I have ever tasted....and only $3.00 for a that IS A DEAL!

I recently was the recipient of FREE tickets to see "Blink 182" in concert. Despite popular opinion....Travis Barker (the drummer) is attractive in a mildly repulsive kind of way! But that is not why I wanted to attend. As it turns out...."Blink 182" is my sons 2nd favorite band! I surprised him after school last week with the free tickets. He was unbelievably excited!! Better yet....the concert was only a mile away from our easy to get there and back. This was my sons first real concert. We arrived a bit early, and I realized they were charging $10 for parking. Most people would pay the $$$ and feel happy still, as the tickets were free....but not me!! $10 for parking!!! I did not even have to pay for the tickets! We ended up scoring FREE parking across the street (although there was a distinct possibility of my car being stolen).....Once inside, it was a bit overwhelming for Ryan. Tons of much to see....and of course he gravitated straight towards the t-shirt sales booth!!! I think it could be left unsaid that there was going to be no t-shirt purchased at the concert, although I did promise to keep my eye out at the thrift stores that I frequent! We did end up buying a large sticker sheet for $2, which I thought was an amazing deal!! Unfortunately, we only stayed for a bit of the concert. I was shocked and dismayed when he said he was ready to go because of all the cursing. HUH!!!???? Is this my child????!!!! I was proud of the moral stand he had taken, and glad to be out of there before darkness fell.....and felt quite lucky to find my car unmolested! Price of "Blink 182" concert- $2, Getting to spend a cool evening with my kid- PRICELESS!!!! ( I always think it is a bit cheesy when people do that...but in this instance it was quite fitting)!!!!

And last but not least.....the story of my harem pants!! It was a few weeks ago, and I was at Buffalo Exchange, trading clothes with the hopes of selling enough to purchase my DREAM motorcycle jacket! I reached my goal, and was ready to leave when I spied out of the corner of my eye....a gorgeous pair of pants. They were peeping out nonchalantly at me from in between a mass of jeans. As I pulled them out, I admired the gorgeous color and details. I then looked at the price....$32.50!! Well....I had come in to sell things...not spend new $$$, so I kindly handed them to a girl shopping nearby, and told her that the pants were gorgeous and she should try them on! HUGE MISTAKE!!!! When I arrived home, I could not get these pants out of my mind. I started imagining all of the outfits that I couldn't wear now that I didn't have them. Finally, in a fit of regret...I turned to the Internet to see if I could track them down. Well....track them down I did. Retail price=$558. HOLY SHITE!!!!! Now I really had to have the pants. I was kicking myself for my generosity, and hoping beyond hope that the pants did not fit the Amazon woman (in my mind) that I had given them too!!! First thing the next morning, I was on the phone with Buffalo Exchange, and was thrilled to find out that the pants would be mine! Thank you Kristin (my oldest friend) for the bday $$$ that made their purchase possible!!

And not to be ignored...I met the owner of Dickey's whilst out the other night enjoying a few cocktails. Turns out at the Frisco Dickey's location, they have FREE BEER every night from 5-8. could have been 6-8. I am not driving that far....even for free beer, but it is a superb opportunity for those living in North Dallas.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dumpster Diving....Does It Equal Free Tea????

The offending shot of me inside!

And me today: black top $.90 thrifted Anna Paul silk skirt $4.00 Clothes Circuit

Yesterday was a normal most of my others. I started my day off by driving through McDonald's to get my everyday sweet iced tea (.99). I have become a bit obsessed with sweet tea since I stopped smoking. I would say that quitting smoking is a great way to save money, but as I have replaced it with a sweet iced tea everyday from McDonald's....I am just breaking even!!! Anyway....I exchanged my morning pleasantries with Ms. Joyce, who is perpetually friendly and whose attitude makes it almost a pleasure to drink iced tea that I know is going to give me a gut! Little did I know that later that day I would be seeing her in completely different circumstances!!

As I was making my way into work, I did a quick detour to our dumpster to toss in a handful of the junk that accumulates in your car when you have kids! As my life would go...I also threw in my phone. I did stare at it for a minute or so, but as it became apparent that it would not rise to meet my by some type of mystical powers....I made a backup plan to hop in the dumpster. I have to mention that this prospect was not enticing AT ALL!!! I hopped in with the ease of a person at least half my age, and bent down to retrieve my phone. When I popped back up....who was there??? None other than Ms. Joyce from the drive-thru!!! She was on her way to the bus stop when she happened upon me in the dumpster. She asked, "Hey...what are you doing in there??" To which I replied, "Oh...I live here!". After realizing my mistake, I quickly corrected myself and explained that I actually lived there, and continued with the tale that ended with me in the dumpster. In retrospect...maybe I should have allowed her to believe that I was actually dumpster diving, as there might have been FREE sweet tea in my future!!!

If you have been considering plumping up your pout with costly injections....consider no further! Click on the link below, and if you are one of the first 10,000 to sign will be sent a free sample of Lipfusion. I have tried it, and have to say that my lips did not resemble Angelina Jolie's, but there is nothing bad to be said about free lipgloss, so I signed up, and would recommend that you do too!

And if you are more interested in $$$ than about a FREE subscription to Business Week? If you don't like it, I bet you know someone that would! I am currently receiving SO MANY free magazines that it is shocking....there are no strings attached, so enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 something nice for your kids!

Chanel Motorcycle Boots $65 Secondhand

I have to say that my kids are a HUGE bummer! I cannot even mention the name of a thrift store without my oldest daughter behaving as if I am trying to make her do a few hours worth of chores!!!! Actually...I think she may prefer chores! It isn't as if I go EVERYDAY, and they need to start being more appreciative, because I can assure you that they wouldn't have 1/2 of the things they deem necessary if it wasn't for Salvation Army!!! My son insisted that he needed Under Armour. I thought it was a type of deodorant, but much to my is a type of athletic shirt! Champion wouldn't do....nor would any other kind of off-brand turns out that wearing Under Armour is akin to wearing neon Reebok hightops back in the 80's!! Under Armour is EXPENSIVE.....but not when bought secondhand! My son has since asked that I stop purchasing it as he has every color in every style, I think. And all together, I don't think I have paid more than $10. Case in point....that the kids should be appreciative for my bargain hunting prowess!

Sometimes though....I do something all for the kids! On every Thursday evening of every month, the Dallas Museum of Art is FREE to enter. read it right....not a dime is charged! They also have FREE art projects on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, and it is a wonderful way to spend great time with your family....without spending any $$$ at all. I took the kids last Thursday for my birthday, and it turned out that the make-n-take art project was actually a make-n-leave! They all thought they got the shaft as they had constructed these supercool concrete art pieces and were dying to take them home (I have to admit that I wanted them too!)but instead they were made to donate them to an artist who is working on a piece of installation art which will be on display at the DMA in the spring. Sounds like a good way to get free labor on your next art project, but who am I to say (I may be a little bitter)???!!! is a great time for parents and kids alike, as their is also live music and wine for the purchasing. If you park in a metered spot, and it is after 5 o'clock, the parking is also FREE! is running a promotion for the next few days. All of their restaurant gift certificates are 90% off. This is a GREAT deal. You can get a $25 gift certificate for $1 by using the code "ninety". It is essentially 1/2 off by the time the tip and tax is added in at the restaurant, but makes it so much easier to enjoy going out to eat, when it so much more affordable. Unfortunately, I think I bought all of the certificates to my favorite Thai if you live in Dallas and want to buy from Bangkok City....sorry about that!!!!
And for a bit of fashion talk....Fall is in the air, and anything motorcycle oriented is HOT!!!! I was lucky enough to purchase these gorgeous Chanel motorcycle boots a few years ago(whilst living in Hong Kong) for $65. I am completely in love with them, but for the life of me cannot figure out how to wear them without feeling age (un)appropriate. Ideas are welcome please......I certainly do not want to be an embarrassment to my children!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Buy if I Want Too!!!

Back of "Rich Hippie" jacket

I added the brooch...a bit of bling always makes me happy!

Catherine Courtney mesh coat

"Lucky" handbag

Chanel shoes......

Well....another year has passed! I am closer to 40 now than 30, and I guess that qualifies me to be called ma'am by the Cowboys cheerleaders! I am not sure where the time has gone....I swear I was 25 just the other day! My 20's dragged on and on, but my 30's are on warp speed!!! Hmmmm....I did finally stop smoking this year! I was supposed to stop at 25....then 30....then 35.....and this year it finally took! Good thing too, as the last thing I need is wrinkly smokers lips to match my sagging chest! I will show my birthday purchases! I am raking it in!!! I love when I get $$$ for a present because I am able to get exactly what I want and lots of it from my favorite secondhand shops! I managed to accumulate $150 to squander, and am having a fine time doing it! I did sell some things at Buffalo Exchange, so was able to have a bit of store credit, which I used to help with my purchases. I love them thank you Randy, kids, and parents for enabling me to buy more stuff I didn't need, but really and truly adore!!!!

And my shopping tip for today....don't take your kids with you whilst trying to spend money on yourself! Somehow all $$$ in your wallet becomes free game for useless stuff they also don't need!!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

For Lack of Something Better To Say......

My outfit for today:
Rebecca Taylor top- $12.99 consignment
Dylan George jeans- $FREE (gift)

Johnny Was top- $2.99 Salvation Army
Wrangler jeans- $17.00 Buffalo Exchange
Vintage Frye boots- $5.99 St. Vincent De Paul thrift

Gucci top- $5.99 Union Gospel Mission thrift
Skirt- $8.00 (I beleive) 2000 Roses
Chloe shoes- $250 Milan Station )Hong Kong)

DO you ever have those moments when you just don't have a lot to talk about??? Apparently, this is where I am right now!! Getting back into the swing of things with school has been difficult, although I have to say that not having to hear, "MOM....I'm bored" continuously sure is fabulous!!!

I hit my local CVS yesterday to check out their 90% of sale. I can't remember if I have mentioned this before, but every Sunday there is an endcap at CVS which had been discounted to 90% off. I can't tell you the wonderful unnecessary crap that I have picked up for next to nothing. It all depends on what they put out that day, but I have gotten makeup for $.50, face creams for $1.00-$2.00, medicine for under $1.00....and on and on and on.......Yesterday they also had all of their summer merchandise marked to 75% off. There were some amazing deals to be found. Fake crocs for $2.00, toys for $dirt cheap.00, and all sorts of stuff that you never knew you needed until it was 75% off! Apparently I am vying for the good deals at my local CVS with a lady named Nancy. My favorite cashier told me that she also comes in every Sunday morning to try to score great cheap stuff. It has me wondering if I should be there when they unlock the doors?? This is every CVS in Dallas (as far as I know)......and it is possible that it is nationwide, as well.

I am going to post photos of some good deals I have found as of recent....or just anything interesting that I have saved in my computer!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You know you are old when.....

You meet the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and get called ma'am!!! How utterly depressing!!! Yesterday after taking my kids for a swim....we went to the locker room, and to my surprise.....the whole Cowboys cheerleader squad was there! Of course...they were all beautiful and had been made up for a photo shoot that was taking place, and I had been sitting outside by the pool fully dressed and had sweat stains on my shirt....and generally looked like spilt shit....but the icing on the cake was when I asked one of them a question, and she (ever so sweetly) said, "yes, ma'am"!!!! UUUHHHhhhhgggggg......are you kidding me?????!!!! I know she was being polite....but I was very sad about the whole thing!!! My girls on the other hand were thrilled to get autographs and were awestruck by seeing the whole group of them together in close proximity!

Oh....and if you head to Macy's for tax-free shopping....they have a mass of shoes for 75% off....and very cute ones! I didn't get anything (although I was sorely tempted), not did I see what was offered in any of the other departments....but there were plenty of darling shoes for under $20!
If anyone has any nice comments to boost my morale...bring 'em on!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane And a Stop In The Local Goodwill

Last weekend the family was loaded up for a short but sweet roadtrip to Shreveport, Louisiana for a family wedding. The packing process took a week, as this was a BIG Southern wedding, with all of the trimmings! Two days, three parties, and one wedding + 3 kids and one husband (although he was responsible for himself), left me with a LONG list of clothes to pack and the joy at being able to wear some of my more beautiful things! Nothing makes me happier than a good packing list. I can spend weeks honing it to perfection, until I have the perfect outfit for any occasion and nothing extra! I never over pack, and neither would you if you spent three weeks on your packing list!!! My kids looked wonderful, and I am so thankful for my husbands Father, who used to adore buying my girls beautiful dresses that I would never even have considered spending the big bucks on!! A few of their things were purchased second-hand, and my son looked gorgeous in his recently thrifted formalwear!

On Saturday after our perfectly lovely wedding day brunch, my husband was anxious to try his hand at the blackjack tables. I used to love to I can't stand losing $$$. Even $5 lost is $5 that could have been something fabulous! I decided to drive my kids to Ruston (about an hour away), which is the town where I grew up. I haven't been there in 20 years, and it was like I never left! Everything was where it was supposed to be. I am not sure why I was expecting a HUGE change, but nonetheless...I was not disappointed with what I found. My kids did a stellar job of acting interested as I pointed out the playground at the school where I went to elementary, the donut shop where my Mom used to take me, the house I grew up in, etc.... and I truly love them for that!

Unfortunately, my daughters feet started to really bother her (which gave me the answer as to why someone would donate such a beautiful pair of unworn children's shoes to the Salvation Army). I just happened to be passing the Ruston hub of shopping excitement, which included a Goodwill store. I have to be honest, I was not thrilled at the prospect of the treasures within! Small town, no big stores....probably going to be a bunch of junk. Unfortunately, my daughter needed a pair of shoes and quickly!! I swear I feel like I have a honing device on my head which enables me to sniff out the best stuff....and separate it from the crap instantly. I was in that Goodwill for only a few moments and found a vintage Gucci purse for $.99. It may happen to smell a bit mildewy, but nothing that a little bit of febreeze can't fix!! I have cleaned it and plan on making it my new makeup bag! I felt really bad about "location profiling", and from this day forward plan on being an equal opportunity shopper!! Ruston had some good stuff....I recommend stopping into a small town thrift shop near you....there are treasures waiting within that the locals cannot appreciate!

And speaking of appreciate....I will share my clothes from the wedding. Hope you enjoy....

Harkham maxi dress- $4.99

Brown satin top- $6.00 Maria's Closet, Cavalli skirt $50 bought in Hong Kong

Elie Tahari dress- $60 Clothes Circuit ($10 for me after using my coupons!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting Crafty With it!!!

There is a quote, "necessity is the mother of invention" that rarely applies to me.....but sometimes I have had to get crafty to get what I want!!

For example....a few years ago I wanted a blingy, bling cell phone something awful! I refused to even think about paying the $100-$200 that a service would charge me to make my phone look like something that 'Lil Kim would carry, so one day armed with some tweezers, and a few bags of Swarovski crystals in varying sizes, I put on a movie and spent three hours making my phone so fancy that it was promptly stolen!! I did certainly enjoy it while it lasted though, and had many comments on its beauty!

I was recently at Buffalo Exchange (I am sure you are all sick of hearing about BE), where I had purchased my husband a pair of jeans as a gift! I still had some store credit left, and was feeling really proud of myself that I was able to leave the store with the credit intact. As I passed by the bag stand next to the door, I saw a gorgeous, but filthy bag just calling out to me! When I reached out to touch it, the leather was like butter. I glimpsed at the tag inside, and to my was a Bottega Veneta...and for $25!!! Oh, but the problem of the dirty and dingy leather....what to do??? I debated for about 3 seconds before deciding that I would break out my Tarrago #18 leather dye, and give this baby a new life! It took me not long at all to take this bag from funky to fabulous, and I was feeling very proud of my accomplishment until m daughter told me, "oooohhhh, can I have this bag when I grow up? It looks like the Buxton Organizer". I will provide a link for the Buxton organizer so you can see why I might feel a little bummed out!! plan is to add some chains or studs or something to give it a little rock n' roll appeal and separate it from its buxton counterpart!!

Moral of my story is...don't be afraid to play with what you have. There are endless possibilities to change things and make them your own.

If any of you have any creations of your own....I would love to hear about them!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I was at Salvation Army on Inwood/Harry Hines last night purchasing some books, when I was completely sidetracked by the case at the register. I had to blink and rub my eyes, because behind the glass was a slew of NEW shoes. Christian Louboutin, Prada, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and more....Priced between $59.99 and $189.99, they are not the best deal to be had, but not so shabby either!!! Definitely worth checking out if you have feet!!!

What I am wearing today had me wondering if I am either a super hottie, or if the homeless men in my neck of the woods just aren't used to seeing a gal in a miniskirt!!! While i was at .99 Only (this should be the big clue right here), I was approached by a man who told me he had been maced the night before. I believed him because his eyes were streaming tears and he looked absolutely miserable!! I offered to buy him some water, but he said he would rather have beer!!! I would probably rather have beer too if I were him. I was walking off, he said to me, "Thanks anyway, and you look really nice today!" I have to tell you that the compliment really meant something. If a person in great pain and blind from chemicals can appreciate your outfit, then it must really be something!!

Susana Monaco shirt- @$10 second-hand store

Elie Tahari skirt- $35 bought in Hong Kong

Cerre shoes- $25 DSW

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My tussle wth a RABID varmint!!!

Just yesterday I was walking my darling dog, when my son noticed that our bushes were rustling. At first, I assumed he was imagining things, as every time that he would ask me to look, there was nothing to see! He continued to prod the bushes in hopes of eliciting movement from the unknown species within. At one point, I said, "dude....I am going to laugh my a$$ off if something jumps out at you"!! That is the type of Mother that I am....perfectly able to find amusement in my children getting attacked by wild animals!!! I should have known that Murphy's Law would apply in this situation, as it does in every other aspect of my life. I bent down to inspect the bushes, thinking that perhaps it was a stray kitten or baby bird....and my son poked a stick in the other side of the bush at the same moment. Out jumped a squirrel....right at me!!! My kids found much joy in my scream of horror as this beady eyed little monster rushed straight at me! At the last second, it veered off course and headed up the nearest tree....but not before I had to eat my words, and my son and his friend enjoyed a good laugh at my expense.

Now that I have mentioned my sons friend..I would like to further investigate that relationship! This little boy,Jose, is the son of Eddie. Eddie is the Godsend who is fixing the gaping hole in our ceiling. I was diligently working in the bag store a few days ago, when my kids called to tell me that there was a new leak in our TV room. Our building suffers from many leaks, so I was instructing them to place another bucket under the dripping water when I heard cracking noises and a heck of a lot of screaming! I ran out the door, as quickly as my 4 inch heels would allow (pretty fast under the circumstances), as I thought the ceiling had collapsed on my precious children. When I arrived upstairs, the ceiling HAD collapsed, but luckily no offspring were pinned beneath the rubble! Hence...the arrival of Eddie! Eddie is the equivalent of $8.00 Manolo Blahnik unbelievable bargain! He is fixing our roof, and the hole in the ceiling, start to finish for under $400. So if you live in the DFW area, and need an amazing handyman, that works well under pressure and the vigilant attention of 5 children...Eddie is your man!

Now on to the I am wearing a shirt from my favorite designer and my favorite store. Pucci has been around for decades, and never seems to go out of style. My Mother was a fan of Pucci in the 60's, and although she could not afford to buy any of the designers clothes, she did purchase a Pucci paperdress. When I asked for elaboration on this, I was told that Pucci made a line of dresses from paper, that were printed with his designs, but were much more affordable! What I wouldn't give for that dress today! I have been obsessed with Pucci for about 10 years. I never thought that I would actually own any, so it is to my delight that I have built quite a collection while shopping second-hand. The shirt I am wearing today was purchased at Buffalo Exchange. God....I love that store!! I don't even think that you could find Pucci at Salvation Army for $12, but that is what I paid for this cutie t-shirt. I have also bought a Pucci skirt at Buffalo Exchange, and a few scarves. I know it is a complete blessing if I happen upon the odd Pucci item at Buffalo Exchange, but I will take my blessings and count them. I am going to include some pictures of my other Pucci items (at lease the ones that are stored on my computer). I hope you enjoy......

My outfit for today:

Pucci t-shirt $12 Buffalo Exchange

Levi's- belong to my son

Prada shoes-$50 Ebay

Friday, July 31, 2009

What if the Hokey Pokey IS What it is all About????

Last night we went "old school" at our house, and hit the local roller rink!! Remember the days.....your Mom would drop you off at the roller rink, and you would be excited and nervous to see if your "crush" would be there also? "Chicago" would be playing while you and your friends skated to the flashes of the strobe lights ( I really feel old!)!!! Turns out that not much has changed! There is still the creepy older guy that has all of the skate moves, the masses of kids, the pre-teens flirting, etc....But what HAS changed is the music and my ability to skate. Back in the day, I was "hell on wheels". I am not sure if it was because I was dragging my youngest daughter, or maybe I have lost my skating talent, but I am Sloooooowwwww..... Last night was $2 skate night at Red Bird Skateland, and I recommend you check out your local skating rink for their discount days/nights. Turns out that what was fun when I was a kid...still is. It is not easy to entertain my whole family for under $10, so this is going to become a regular occurrence on our family calendar.

After a few days of looking like spilt shit, I decided to actually get dressed this morning in something picture worthy.

White t-shirt- $4 thrift store

Black Theory shorts- $10 estate sale

Manolo Blahnik shoes- $8 Thrift store

Pucci scarf- FULL PRICE Neiman Marcus

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Live a Happy Life!!!!

Sounds ideal, but sure is difficult!! If you just start with the daily stresses such as work, family, and $$$, and then on top of that you add on the wonderful extras that life throws at you such as....starting the water for your shower, pulling the curtain back....and realizing that your cat (in a fit of peeve) has shat in the shower (photo of bad cat for reference)!! in an older building, with tons of character...which leaks like a sieve during every downpour, but never in the same spot. But....despite all of the crap (literally and figuratively) that we face each day....just being here is reason enough to "live a happy life"!! Whilst shopping for a client, I came across a t-shirt which I couldn't put back! Just looking at the fat little Buddha put a smile on my face...and sometimes it's not about the brand names or the fact that it makes you look fabulous...just that it makes you happy!!! I was at Genesis Women's Shelter here in Dallas,( ) when I happened upon this little piece of zen wisdom!! It has been discarded at the register by someone who obviously did not want to "live a happy life", and I felt like it had been left there just for me (and $4 is but a small price to pay for this tidbit of inspiration)!! There were so many amazing things at the Genesis Women's Shelter thrift store. I haven't seriously shopped there in a while, because of a constant lack of time....but was amazed at some of the bargains to be had: $8 Manolos, $12 cocktail dress, $7 Michael Kors silk shirt...and the list goes on. They also have some amazing things for kids....AND great housewares. I would devote some time to this shopping mission, as there is a ton to see at this thrift store, but it will be time well spent, because I cannot imagine anyone leaving empty-handed!

ON a tastier note, I was absolutely starving last night, and wanted a good dinner. That meant that I wouldn't be cooking I turned to the Internet for some dining out ideas! I went to , as it is one of my favorite ways to be able to eat out, without spending a ton of $$$. Turns out they were running an 80% off special (use the code "napkin" at checkout). This means that you can buy a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant for $2. The catch have to spend $35. SO basically, you spend $12 + tip on $35 worth of food! I asked my older daughter to be my dining companion, as my smallest was on a date with Daddy, and my oldest was at his grandma's! I love to eat with my daughter...because she truly enjoys food! We arrived at the Thai restaurant of choice (Bangkok City on Greenville Ave.), both of us completely famished, and ready to gorge...which is exactly what we did. We ordered....Basil Flat Noodles, Shrimp Fried Rice, Red Curry Chicken, and shrimp dumplings, and my bill was $10 + tip. The restaurant adds in the tip based on the original amount (which I can truly appreciate, after years of waiting tables), so the tip was roughly $7. bill all total was $17.13. Now what I did find funny was that I was $.06 short. I called the waitress over and explained that the bill was all there, other than .06. I asked her if she needed me to run out to my car to get the $$$. This apparently stressed her out horribly, as I think she thought I was trying to walk the tab. She kept coming over to make sure I wasn't leaving without paying the $.06. I guess my "happy life" shirt didn't stop me from looking shifty!! It looks like it will be Thai leftovers for dinner, I am just glad it will be shared by 5, as last night while lying in bed, I looked at least 6 months pregnant!!

Things that make my life happy:

1. My amazing family

2. Fabulous friends

3. A GREAT deal

4. A good book

5. Any dinner that I don't have to cook!

What are yours?????

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to be so cheap, it's embarassing!

Before the economy took its turn for the worse, you wouldn't have caught my husband even thinking about using a coupon. Oh, the horror and embarrassment from actually trying to SAVE money! All of that has changed over the last few years, and although I am still the one to do the "dirty deed", he is quite happy to go along with it! This has led to me scouring the internet for good deals on eating out. It is worthwhile noone really want to eat the food I cook, including myself!

Last night, he was busy at another venue, so I decided to have a dinner date with my smallest child. It only took me a minute on the Internet to discover that T.G.I. Friday's is running their BOGO entree special again. Basically, you go to Friday's, buy an entree...the next one is free! What I am about to say next is where the embarrassing part comes in (or some may consider it). If you go on their website and sign up for their rewards card, you will receive in your e-mail within 24 hours, a coupon for a free appetizer, as well. Now...these are not supposed to be used in conjunction with one another, but I recommend that you call and inquire sweetly of the manager (before arrival), if you will be able to use both...which is exactly what I did! So basically, two people can enjoy an appetizer, and two entrees for under $10. With tip, it came to $12 for me. I did feel like a mean and nasty Mother, as my daughter wanted a kids spaghetti plate, and I wouldn't allow it! Try to explain to a 7 year old that is craving noodles with red sauce that it is a waste to use up your free entree on a kids meal. I can tell you right doesn't fly!! A distraction was in order, so I spent the next 10 minutes diligently solving crossword puzzles and word searches meant for a 5-9 year old!!

SO if tonight is date night, or you are just craving a good burger, click on the provided link (I am going to have to try to figure out how to provide a link!!), and print out the coupon!! It is the last one...fifth down. And I recommend never eating out without first checking for a deal!

And outfit for today:

Single silk shirt- $6 Maria's Closet

Freedom of Choice jeans- $15 Buffalo Exchange...although I traded stuff to get these, so they were free!

YSL shoes- bought in Hong Kong for @ $50

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Preaching the Gospel.....One Book at a Time!

Well....maybe not actually preaching the gospel....but today I AM going to talk about the Union Gospel Mission thrift store and also Barnes & Noble....a pairing up of retail stores that I never thought I would speak of together!!

Union Gospel Mission thrift stores are located in the DFW metroplex (as well as other cities in the US and Canada). I came upon this thrifting mecca entirely by chance! I had taken the wrong exit while picking up my kids from school, and spotted a gentleman on the side of the road wearing a double sided sign that said, "New Thrift Store Now Open"!! Never one to leave a stone unturned, I decided to make a quick run through...never expecting to find one of the cheapest thrift stores that I have ever visited. First....the prices are still not tainted by the recent recession, which has sent many people who only donated to charity before, actually shopping it, and causing the prices to rise! AND....they have a constant markdown of tags. Depending on what color stripe your tag has it will either be 30%, 50%, or 70% off. may get nothing, but not to is super cheap anyway! They have really great stuff for adults and kids, and I have found some jaw-dropping bargains there! Prada pants $6.99, Gucci shirt $5.99, J Crew cashmere sweater $.50...the list goes on and on.... SO next time you are in need of a shopping fix...don't waste your time at the Mall, carve out an hour or two for your local thrift shop. You are helping yourself....and others too!

Now on to the book youngest daughter has been DYING for a copy of the "Hannah Montana Backstage Pass" book for at least 2 months now! She was made to wait until she had some $$$ of her own saved up, as those books don't come cheap ($19.99). Yesterday, with a bit of cash in her pocket we headed off to 1/2 Price Books to try and locate a second-hand copy (the only way to buy books). Apparently Hannah is in hot demand, as there was not even 1 "Backstage Pass" book to be found in the whole store. As a last ditch effort, I stopped at their buy counter to make sure one had not recently been brought in to sell. Lo and behold, we were rewarded with an "almost new" copy of the book for $7.98. I was ecstatic that $12 was to be saved UNTIL my daughter noticed that the all important purple plastic guitar pick had been thoughtlessly taken from the book!!! Apparently the purchase of this book hinged on the presence of the guitar pick. She said she would rather pay full-price than miss out on this piece of purple fabulousness! Off to Barnes & Noble we go!! It has been quite a while since I have been to a full-price book store. All of my books are bought at the Salvation Army for $.50, but this was my daughters $$$ being spent, and she didn't want any crappy book that was missing her prized purple pick!!!! Turns out, B&N had the books marked to $7.98 BRAND NEW. I was just starting to get excited, when it was brought to my attention that they were ALL missing the guitar pick. What now, you might wonder???? I enlisted the help of a trusty B&N employee who found a new (untouched by thieving hands) copy of the book. He presented my daughter with the holy-grail of little girl guitar picks and we went on our merry way! The whole point of this story was to get me to where I am now!! Apparently B&N is running a summer reading program for kids entering 1st through sixth grade. If you fill out their form (which they will happily provide), and your child reads 8 books....they get to pick a book from the provided list for FREE!! That's books! Your kid gets something for free, and you get to be a good and responsible parent at the same time....everybody is a winner!! This program runs through Sept. 7th at ALL Barnes & Noble stores. So get your kids to's what they should be doing anyway!!

And one last thing....I was informed by my best friend Kristin of a couple of good deals being run today. One I knew I didn't!

-In Houston....James Coney Island hot dogs are $.86 ALL DAY! James Coney Islands are apparently only located in the Houston Metroplex, which is a big fat bummer as a hot dog sounded delicious!!

-Estee Lauder is offering a small bottle of their Advance Night Repair serum tonight from 5-9 at their makeup counters for FREE.

My dress for today was purchased at Union Gospel Mission (check out how the rings on the sides match my shoes!! :) )

Nanette Lepore dress $5.99

Manolos....full price!

Also pictured:

Gucci shirt purchased at UGM for $5.99

Ripped jeans- $9.99 Ross

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh, the Shame!! And on a separate note....Dickey's!

Yesterday I talked about my friend shopping "wingman". Today, I have a funny story to relate...about our apparent shopping disease, and how we are both afflicted by the exact same "strain"!! I was at Buffalo Exchange yesterday, killing a bit of time with one of my daughters. I first happened upon a gorgeous pair of Pucci flats ($44.00), that were a tad too tight for me, therefore were destined for Jenny. I then glimpsed a really beautiful python evening bag ($33.50), from a designer I have never heard of ( I didn't think this was possible) named 'Malini Murjani'! I put the shoes on hold for Jenny, and called her to let her know of her newest purchase and the need to pick up the shoes the next day. I also put the evening bag on hold, as I thought it would be prudent to do some research on the brand, and make sure that I was getting a good deal. Also, I needed to find some things to sell to BE, in order to have a credit to purchase something new. Once back at work, it only took me a minute to find out that the python bag in question has comparable brothers and sisters retailing for over $1000. My heart beat a little faster at the thought that some sort of heinous mistake might be made at the Buffalo Exchange, and that my gorgeous bag might actually be put back on the sales floor. I furiously scrounged through my closet for treasures worthy of selling, and once a worthy pile had accumulated, I hightailed it back to BE before my bag might be lost to some other bargain hunter!! My worst fears were realized when I arrived and my "hold" bag could not be located. I have to admit that I did momentarily feel like screaming out loud, as everyone wondered just where it could be! To my relief, it was eventually found underneath the cash register. As I was admiring the beauty of this bag which was soon to be mine...I did a small turn, and much to my surprise....who do I see???? That is was Jenny!! She also couldn't bear the thought that those shoes may not end up being hers, so she hightailed it over to BE to seal the deal!! We were both a bit embarrassed at being busted by one another, but that only lasted but a second!! I wish I had a picture of Jenny's shoes....

Also, tonight is Tuesday, which makes it "kids eat free" at Dickey's Bar-b-q. This is a superb dining out deal if you have kids. They get a kids plate, drink and ice cream for free. Our family of 5 can eat for $15.00, and have enough food left over for lunch the next day. A few tips:

-Ask for an extra hamburger bun. They put so much meat on your sandwich that there is plenty to make a second sandwich to take home.

-During the summer, the large ice tea is only $.69. Comes in a great reusable plastic cup!

-Kids eat free is every Tuesday and Sunday

-The Dickey's at the Dallas Knox/Henderson location also has a very nice man who makes fabulous balloon animals for free!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Free!!

If it's not bad enough that I shop for myself....I actually also have a shopping "wingman". A shopping wingman is not necessarily somebody who accompanies you on your various shopping expeditions, but also someone who is keeping an eye out for fabulous bargains whilst you are not even there. In essence, this means that you can actually be shopping two places at the same time!! My "wingman" is my friend Jenny. She and I are constantly on the lookout not only for wonderful things for ourselves, but also each other. The only glitch in this otherwise perfect plan, is that we have identical taste, and are ALMOST the same size. That "almost" is very important, as she is a tad smaller than me, and there are just some things that cannot be altered successfully.

On one of Jenny's recent shopping excursions, she picked up a beautiful red Gypsy '05 maxi dress for $9. She purchased this at one of our favorite "hole in the wall" shops in Oak Cliff, "Maria's Closet". On Friday's, Maria would give an extra $3 off (she has recently ceased this practice) her ridiculously cheap prices on clothing. And her stuff is cheap! Her designer jeans run from $6-$9, and dresses, tops, etc....from $5-$15. There has been Diane Von Furstenberg, Cynthia Steffe, True Religion, and tons of other cute stuff spotted at Maria's. Anyway....back to the maxi dress....Jenny came over to show me her latest find. When I saw the gorgeous dress, I immediately went into a state of lust! I was so glad she got such a great bargain, and also happy for her....but I wanted the dress for myself!! As it turns out, Jenny came to realize the Gypsy dress was too big for her, and so kindly gave it to me (as if there was any other choice!!)!!

Just this past Friday, I get another call from Jenny who was at Maria's Closet again, and was in a quandary whether she should purchase a pair of True Religion jeans. They were not her size...but DID happen to be mine! I asked her to please pick them up for me, and I would repay her kindly by bringing her something from my closet! When I went to execute the was my favorite style or TR jeans...and the were a perfect fit (Jenny paid $8.50). She in turn received a pair of TR jeans that were too short for me, and a cute sweater....which she seemed to love!

So to wrap it up...a "wingman" is not essential, but it sure is lovely to have two sets of eyes instead of one. It is also amazing to be able to trade items back and forth, when you tire of them. No $$$ is spent, but your closet is constantly getting a small dose of "freshening up".

And on a side never know where your next freebie may be found. I was cleaning out my Father-in-Law's house this past weekend, and found a gorgeous pair of Chanel pumps in the closet in the laundry room. They were missing a button over one of the toes, but I stopped at the Chanel store on my way home for a replacement. I have to say that I was impressed with the service, as I went in looking like shite! Seriously, I was wearing cutoffs, and a tie-dye t-shirt, and flip/flops. I has been cleaning house for 7 hours, so there was no hair or makeup to speak of! The first lady whom I encountered tried to be snooty for a minute, but I won her over with my charm (or maybe it was just that I knew who to ask for because I had called ahead)!!! Alexandra, the seamstress greeted me with a huge box of Chanel buttons, and let me rifle through them for replacements. So after a quick visit to the shoe repair, my "new to me" Chanel pumps will be ready for action!

Gypsy '05 maxi dress- FREE

Skull shoes- $50 bought in Hong Kong

White t-shirt- $4 Genesis Women's Shelter thrift store

Wooden charm necklace- $15 Buffalo Exchange

TR Joey jeans- FREE

Chanel shoes- FREE

Friday, July 17, 2009

SALE ALERT- Gregory's at the Galleria

I am too poor to avail myself of this sale at this time, but for those of you whose pocketbooks are fatter than mine....Gregory's at the Galleria is having their 3 for the price of 1 shoe sale. You can expect that the one pair will be insanely expensive, but then you get two more for free!! Also their clothes are 75% off. They have some very cute things, and I am sure there are some good deals to be had! Post pictures if you are lucky enough to buy some gorgeous shoes at Gregory's!

A mathematical theory, as it relates to shopping!

It is a well known fact in my family that I am no mathematical genius. Those honors were bestowed upon my older brother, who has even been honored at the smart math people's annual convention, for some math theory he invented...which I don't understand! In High School, it took me three tries to pass Algebra 1, with my summer school math teacher eventually taking pity on me, and passing me with a D!! BUT.....put me in a sale situation, and ask me how much 33% off a certain price is, and you would think I have a calculator built into my brain!!

There is a saying that, "man cannot live on bread alone", I think the female counterpart to that is, "women cannot exist on deals alone"! Although I would love to be able to say that everything in my closet has been an absolute steal, it would be untrue....and impossible, I think! There are classic items, which were bought full-price, or the perfect pair of jeans....which is worth any price tag at all! It is at these times that I have to employ the cost per wear theory. This is not a theory made up by me, just to validate purchases.....I am sure this must be a bonafide mathematical theory created by a female genius along the lines of Bill Gates or Stephen Hawkings! It goes a little something like this: You are at Forever21, and buy a darling shirt for $20 (a deal, right??). You wear that shirt twice before it goes out of style, or starts to fall apart. Therefore your cost per wear= $10. buy a pair of gorgeous jeans at $250. You wear those jeans (to date) about 40 times, and they still have a lot of life left in them. At this point your cost per wear= $6.25. But let's say you wear them another 25 times before they are ready for retirement. Your cost per wear= $3.85. Therefore.....when you spend more, sometimes you save!! I am not sure if my husband will be subscribing to this theory any time soon, but I find it works for me when I need to justify a big purchase!

My outfit today for the most part was bought with the cost per wear theory in mind:

Barneys silk shirt- $23 Clothes Circuit

TR Joey jeans- $250 Lane Crawford in Hong Kong

Gucci Clogs- $500 Gucci store (These shoes are super comfy)!

**I have had both the jeans and the shoes for oh, so many years! They have been worn repeatedly....and I plan on wearing them many times more!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You don's have to be pregnant to wear maternity clothes!!

That is right!! Apparently, maternity clothes are not what they used to be when I was pregnant with any of my 3 kids! Matter of fact, when pregnant with my first child, the most stylish maternity apparel all looked like large tents! By the time my 3rd child surprised us, workout clothes that were worn as everyday apparel was the trend, so I spent 9 months looking like I had just hit the gym, although my expanding ass was proof to the contrary! Well....I have discovered a love for Liz Lange maternity wear! Her XS sizes always end up on the 75% off rack at Target, because let's be real here.....when you are 9 months pregnant....I don't think anyone is an XS!!! So my tip of the day is not to scoff at the maternity rack...treasures can be found where you least expect them! The dress I am wearing today is much loved because of its fabulous sleeves.

Liz Lange for Target maternity dress- $7.98

Anne Michelle shoes- $12.99 Ross

Faux Python Bag- $49.50 MYBAG outlet (this is our family handbag in our shop costs over $49.50!)

$.75 Margaritas- Part Deux

I have to say that when having dinner at a predominantly homosexual restaurant, you instantly become roughly 3 x more fabulous than let's say, when you eat at Outback Steakhouse, or somewhere else similar!! This was certainly the case last night. I was almost like Superman.....boring, wife and mother of 3, (sometimes) wonderful kids during the day......fabulous, sequin clad vixen at night!! My husband and I dined last night with our dear friends at Monica's Acca Y Alla. Monica's is teaming with customers on Wednesday nights for their $.75 margaritas (with purchase of an entree). The majority of these customers are gay men, who always seem to be having the time of their lives! It is nice to be able to enjoy the eye candy and actually admit it to my husband!! Our dinner was fabulous, and we were enjoying the company WHEN......a scandalous sighting was made!! Last year a friend of mine divorced her husband, and claimed he was gay (although he vehemently denied this fact). She said that one of the clues was that every Saturday night, he would take her to Neimans, and have her wait in the dressing room, while he dressed her like a Barbie. Then, he would buy her all of the clothes (doesn't sound too bad to me!). Well...I think it is safe to say, that it is now a confirmed fact, as he was sighted dining with about 15 other gay men for a birthday party! I did try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was told, "Honey, please", by one of my dear friends!! Not that it makes any difference to me either way, and I probably should have mentioned that if he needed a new model for his NM excursions, I am open on Saturdays! I wore something sparkly...because sometimes you just need to have a little shine. My outfit for dinner was:

White t-shirt (same as yesterday) $.99 thrift store

Donna Karen sequin skirt $5.00 garage sale (the very garage sale where I bought my 2 Hermes scarves for $1 each!)

Hot pink Manolos, which I paid full-price for. This was my last designer shoe purchase before our finances went down the crapper. I adore these shoes!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

$.75 deals are not only for apparel!!!

So, I have never been one to limit myself, and don't want to only talk about deals on fashion (although those are certainly the best). I would like to also mention a great place to eat, but more importantly drink on the cheap in Dallas on Wednesday's. Monica's Acca Y Alla has been around for quite some actually used to be called Eduardo's, but that was before Eduardo became Monica....hence the name change. To get to the point.....On Wednesday's, Monicas offers .75 margaritas. That is right.... .75!!! You have to buy an entree, but they are very reasonably priced, and hey, food is a necessity as well!! Good food, cheap drinks....a bargain, I think!

Speaking of bargains, I am also going to post my outfit for today. I quickly dropped into Clothes Circuit yesterday (located on Sherry Ln. in Dallas), and although it has been a long time since my last visit, it did not dissapoint! I have been shopping at Clothes Circuit for almost 18 years...that is a LONG TIME!!! In my opinion, one of the best resale shops, PERIOD! I could go on and on about the bargains I have found there over the years ($12 Prada skirt, $4 Nanette Lepore dress), but will stick with what was purchased yesterday. I am wearing gorgeous Alice & Olivia pants which were purchased for a mere $20. I paired them with a plain white t-shirt, which was thrifted for .99, and a well loved pair of Gucci shoes. While I was there, I saw a beautiful pair of CL Pigalles for $169, so many Missoni pieces it looked like the Missoni family itself may be consigning at Clothes Circuit. DOn't let me get started on the bags....gorgoeus and so well priced! I love that place!!

There will be more from Clothes Circuit later.......