Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Internationally Speaking

Being the crazy insane person that I am, I recently decided to go to Macy's herald square. Yes the same one you see every thanksgiving, where us New Yorkers often need to be sedated to enter due to the skewed native to tourist ratio. Why I choose to go was due to the September issue of Marie Claire where every fur vest I was coveting happened to be from Macy's. This year I was determined to get one since the one I commissioned to be repurposed from a vintage stole last year never happened.  Bracing myself for what I thought was going to be hell on earth, I walked west to the "World's Largest Store."  I mozied around, not finding anything that blew me out of the water or that fit my short shopping list.  Then it happened, I was at the end of the store.  It was the INC International Concepts department of the store.  From my past experiences I always thought of this in house brand as very professional.  If I worked in a buttoned up office I am sure I would be wearing them from head to toe.  This is all in the past because there has been a revamp from the last time.  Off the bat I found 4 fur vest options.  I lugged around the one that was furry and leopard print, one that looked like a Mongolian beast and others that fit the more traditional mold.  Then there it was the shearling vest that was as close to the Burberry ones as I can possibly get to.  As I noticed everything I wanted was here and then some I started to browse.  Lets just say I did not need to go to the gym after lifting plenty of items to the fitting room.  The sale rack was great where everything was $30.  From there I took home a sequined t-shirt, and another casual number.  Then there was the black avaunt guarde bolero with loops of yarn covering the sweater.  I also found this great gold metallic button down that is the perfect replacement for a boring white oxford.    As for the purpose for entering Macy's, I decided on the black Mongolian fur vest that is frighteningly reminiscent of a rug from my grandparents home.  I purchased a lot, but the bill was not exorbitant and nothing was over $90.  Now that INC is on a role I will be referencing them for forth coming seasons as every trend was represented in the department at such a reasonable cost. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Betel, Trying A Bit Too Hard


 Recently I had the pleasure of going to the brunch preview at Betel in the West Village. Working in an environment off fabulocity I knew this was the new hot spot on the map. So I jumped, wait I mean lept at the chance to give the new brunch menu a chance.  With a girlfriend in tow we headed downtown for what was soon to be an interesting and long brunch. Stepping into the resto the decor is minimal and modern. A long communal table anchors the center of the establishment. Upon being seated our waiter was initially attentive. He explained the non traditional menu and suggested what we should eat and drink. With the idea of brunch in our heads I was expecting a mix of sweet and savory options remixed into Betels Asian palate but there was maybe one egg dish and not a french toast or a pancake in sight.  We started with a Dim Sum and then a main course; or this is what we expected.  We ordered Pork Buns and Duck Dumplings.  Well the pork buns were sitting in grease, and saturated; however the flavor was mild.  The dumplings never came so I cannot harp on what the waiter said was delicious and one of the best dishes offered.  Our main courses were the roasted pork sandwich and the banh mi burger.  The roast pork sandwich is not to be missed. Served on a soft, almost soggy baguette, the tender pork is the right mix between sweet and savory. Incredibly tender, the crisp vegetables balance the complex textures of the sandwich.  Before the burger arrives, the aroma reaches the table. Trading in the pork for beef, the flavors burst in ones mouth. Served on a soft bun, the patty is topped with cilantro and all the other necessities to make the perfect banh mi. Although much more expensive then the ones available in Chinatown, the flavors are stiff competition.  Served, with sweet potato fries that are actually crisp, the sweet balances the sharp flavors of the burger.  The food was great here for the exception of the buns, and maybe the dumplings are out of this world but I will probably never know.  Service was incredibly spotty, our waiter would disappear on ends and the time elapsed between courses was not consistent.  Prices are consistent with what other restaurants offer.  I am not so sure what this is called brunch, maybe to be on trend, but in reality this is just a restaurant that is open during brunch hours serving lunch.  Maybe once the kinks are ironed out Betel will be worth trying again.  As for right now there are a million options here in the city and the ones with bottomless mimosas are that more tempting.      

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shake It Like You Mean It

You love to dance, but you are not auditioning for Julliard.  You enjoy the exercise and the endless fun you have.  Missing it, you have researched dance classes around New York City, but it seems like everything is too serious or too expensive.  Now located downtown is Liberated Movement, a donation based dance studio.  For the beginner to the expert this a studio where dancers are welcomed with open arms.  There are various classes offered.  There is Ballet, Cardio Jazz and Hip Hop to name a few.  Classes are offered on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings; just check the schedule to make sure you can make the class you want to shake your booty at.  Classes are offered at Battery Dance Studios down in Tribeca.  Once you are hooked, have a girls night out on the town and show off all your moves on the dance floor.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flower Power

Let's face it, who does not like to receive flowers?  Its the small surprises that help us get through our days, like when someone sends you a bouquet.  Everyone in the office gets jealous, you are intoxicated by the fragrance, and that smiler plastered from ear to ear are just some of the benefits of that little gift.  You know the feeling I am talking about.  And this is why you are going to be sly and slip the boyfriend, husband, significant other this blog post.  Your man or woman can now save 10% on same day flower arrangements at 1st In Flowers.  Even before the 10% discount 1st In Flowers is a more economical option than the other dealers out there.  All one needs to do to save on fresh cut vines is enter the special code “Frugal" upon checking out.  And guess what, this code does not expire so come anniversary, birthday and that little lovely holiday in February remind your man about this site and promotion.  The options are endless and can fit any occasion you need them for.  Not everyone has a man doting on them, but you may have a new nugget in your life.  Get the brand new mom an arrangement that will wow the rest.  Now when you are surprised by this delivery, remember to run home and smack a big wet one on the person who loves you so dearly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lunch Delivered

We have the Wined & Dined post where the NYC food trucks are parked for the day.  Well Los Angeles needs some love too.  There is a new iPhone App to help plan out your mobile meals.  Its so hard keeping track where everyone will be stopped each day.  So this reconciles all the options from the Kogi truck to the Grilled Cheese Four Wheeler.  We all know traffic in this town is a nightmare, so you can see what will only cut into that tiny hour our bosses give us for lunch.  Download the Road Stoves application for your iPhone or touch to pin point exactly what mobile kitchen is in your neighborhood.  Sometimes parking can be tricky, and twitter has yet to update where exactly they are.  Using GPS this application will show you how far you are from that truck.  It is not delayed thanks to modern technology.  If you are hungry at 12:01, you can see what's to eat at 12:01.  No need to complain about being starvels the clown, just download this app and feast away.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simplicity In Time


You may think that third appendage, also known as your cell phone, Twitter tracker, Facebook updater, alarm clock is all you need to tell time.  This is probably true, but when was the last time you wore that phone on your hip.  I doubt you are a middle aged father ready to embarrass their children.  So chances are you can juggle two, time telling devices, one that just happens to be a fashion statement. Simplicity is the name of your game, which is why you were instantly drawn to Uniform Wares wrist watches.  Unisex, every day watches in a multitude of colors will keep your busy schedule on track.  The face is the same color as the strap.  The uniform color creates a modern monochromatic look.  Sleek and simple these do not stick out.  What also does not stick out is the price tag.  Coming in at $132, this is an incredibly reasonable price for a wrist watch.  The strap is durable rubber, and can be switched out if you want to break up the uniformity of color.  There are also leather options.  Hailing from the UK, they are available through their website, but a select few US stores carry options.  If you just cannot wait see what they have left of the limited quantity.  Tick Tock, time don't stop, but at least you can try and be on time now.        
Image via Uniform Wares

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Relay to the Driver's Seat

Going green? AKA you got rid of your car.  Need to feel the wind in your hair?  But that two wheeler will not cut it. Check out RelayRides where you can rent wheels for as low as 6 bucks an hour.  And I am not talking about jalopies here.  Some of the options will turn heads as your obnoxious muffler turns the corner.  Like the other car sharing programs, this one is cheap and free to join.  Also for a limited time offer, there is a $25 driving credit.  Unlike the other services, those doing the lending are the actual car owners.  Relay provides the service, insurance, and technology to make this happen.  This allows, those who pay that monthly act payment, to make a little dough off of that small investment sitting in the driveway.  Those who need to use that vehicle has the ability to demand the service when they need it.  There is no coordinating with the owner, Relay does the dirty work.  Rates start at $6 an hour.  Sometimes that is cheaper than your pick me up latte.  Gas and insurance are always included in the hourly rate.    Join online, reserve your car, then drive to your hearts content.  Your car will be exactly where Relay says it is, waiting for your adventure.  Currently, only operating in the Cambridge area, wait just a bit, but this concept will be spreading like wild fire.  People love making money off of things they already own.  Go get the keys, grab some friends; its apple picking season and the orchard is calling your name.     
Image via Guttorm Flatabø

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High on Fried



 
Summer maybe over but your once a month hankering for a funnel cake does not hibernate with the cooler weather.  Well does it ever actually get cooler in Miami?  Prob not and that's why Gorilla B's exists.  Not exactly a place to hit up every day, but once in a while a fried hot dog is just something you need.  However, you may not be at the state carnival or on the boardwalk so head over here.  Their menu reads like what your childhood memories were made of.  If it can be dipped in batter and then fried you can order it up.  They have the gluttonous classics like Oreos and Snicker bars and some new ones like Poptarts.  I know your sugar receptors are firing off right now and there is usually a time of month when these do taste the best.  In addition, to the fried baddies, Gorilla lets you get down in a thick slice of cheesecake.  There is the classics and the tropical.  We are in Miami, so get a guava or a key lime version, both which I am pretty sure the fruits were just picked from the vine.  And now that it is unfortunately fall, there is the delicious Pumpkin, that everyone looks forward to. Don't worry, you can get a Diet Coke to wash everything down, so your guilt and glutton won't consumer every bit of your conciseness. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On a recent trip to Six Flags my girls and I took a detour to the Jackson Outlets. Everyone said they were great, had huge selection of all the stores you want to save at. However, I was underwhelmed by this place. Yes they had your staples from J. Crew to Brooks Brothers but something was missing. But recently being the frugal momma that I am I took a drive up to Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets in Harriman, New York. Now this is the mecca of outlet shopping. Being my first outlet experience from my childhood, it has let my expectations down for future savings trips. Covering aces of land and having every off price store imaginable there is no reason to test out other outlet centers.  Ancorhed by one of four Ralph Lauren stores, the center spreads itself with impressive store fronts . There is something to satisfy anyone's shopping needs; unfortunately there is even an Ed Hardy store. Fashionistas strapped for cash head straight to apple court where there is a Prada, Off 5th, Last Call, and a Dolce & Gabbana just to name a few. Get this ladies I saw the coveted Balmain Zipper boots in multiple stores. The discounts here are legit and even come with more reduced at the register. If your in the city rent a Mint car. Visiting the city and bored for a reason, make your trip out here. The bags of designer goods you lug back into town will equal the bags of money you saved.
Image via Woodbury Commons

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tibesti Bet Online

Let's face it, Internet shopping is scary.  You never know exactly what you are going to get.  Is the picture right? Is the model really in children's clothing masked for women?  Is that post production of faux leather look like it is the highest Italian quality ever?  Chances are you have shopped on the Internet, and have been beyond disappointed by a box that UPS dropped off.  Then there is the whole return process which we will not even get started on.  Before you impulsively press pay now 1st head to Tibesti.  This site brings in product information, reviews, price comparison and cash back on all purchases.  There are more thank 5,00 reviews by a whole host of experts from hair stylists to journalists, to chefs.  Tibesti aggregates all third party reviews floating on the Internet for the products you are considering purchasing.  Scouring the web are Tibesti experts to find the best value for your hard earned dollars.  They want to highlight products you may have never heard of before that could revolutionize your life.  In addition, they search high and low for the best possible price.  There is incentive to use the site as well; if you purchase through them you can make cash back or have it donated to your favorite charity.  So the next time I stand on the mountain tops screaming for a size 10 All Saints Military Boot to magically appear I will first check Tibesti.  Disclaimer, I have given my lungs a rest as I now own these boots and take them off only to sleep and shower. 
Image via andycoan

Friday, September 3, 2010

Move to the Head of Mama's Table


Admit it you watch it you want to be apart of it. I am talking about one of Caroline Manzo's Italian family dinners. Chances are you don't want to make the gravy (aka sauce) or you don't have a stitch of italian blood coarsing through your veins. So next time your in the FiDi (that's financial district) head over to Harry's Italian Pizza Bar for the best next option.  It may not be as authentic but you will feel like you are sitting down for family dinner.  Harry's is a traditional italian restaurant and pizza bar that offers its menu options Family style.  The extensive menu has all your favorite classics from Chicken Parm to Fried Calamari.  I recently dined at Harry's for a friend's Birthday.  With 7 girls it was impressive how easy it was to order for a large group of opinioneted women.  We started with an appetizer and a salad, then moved onto two main courses.  We had a protein and a pasta dish.  And of course there was vino involved.  The food was the perfect amount.  We did not leave feeling stuffed, just satisfied.  More importantly a family style meal brings the guests together.  You have to pass around the food, and interact with your fellow diners.  That may sound weird but the converstation keeps up.  What also was great about this meal was the check.  We were shocked when we each got our bill.  Before tip each person had to pay only $25.  That never happens when you go out with a large group for a birthday.  Usually you have to take out a second mortgage.  With the great food and company I will be returning to Harry's anytime the MTA is working smoothly (that story is for another time). 

Love at First Shop: You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile and Som...

Here is my 1st shot at guest blogging. Hope y'all enjoy.

Love at First Shop: You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile and Som...: "Today's guest post is courtesy of the lovely Stephanie of Living the Life on a Budget! The icing on the cake to the perfect outfit is f..."
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