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.......