Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100


I think the pea coat is such a bargain for $98 and the shift dress at $20 which is rare these day.  The wrap blouse is right on-trend and I can see myself wearing this top with a pencil skirt or a slim fitting black denim.  These chic affordable clothes are all under $100 and will not put a dent in your wallet.  Happy shopping…

Food Inspiration: Feta – Brined Roast Chicken

I stumbled upon this recipe and was pleasantly surprised to learn about adding feta to a chicken brine recipe.   This sparked an interest and provided an inspiration for my next roast chicken meal.

Scroll below for the recipe thanks to Melissa clark!

Save Now Shop Later: How I Cut Back on Spending to Find Extra Shopping Money

Thanks to Sarah Stringer for providing this post. Sarah gives us her tips on how she cuts back on spending to find extra shopping money!

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What woman doesn’t deserve to purchase herself a cute pair of shoes, a new purse, or a high fashion outfit to look and feel her best? After all, we’re expected to put on a lot of hats in our lives…I think it’s only fair that we’re able to reward ourselves from time to time. The only problem is – well aside from finding the time to shop for yourself, is finding the money to buy the latest fashions with. I mean, even the thriftiest of shoppers can have a hard time squeezing a few extra pennies out of their budget to splurge a little bit.

The good news is, I’ve found a few cool ways in which I could cut back on my spending in other areas of my life, which then allowed me to use the savings to purchase myself a new winter wardrobe (at a bargain of course). Anyway, here’s a breakdown of how I got started:

Make a List

First, I assessed my budget to determine how much money I was actually spending each month. I found that my biggest culprits were food, entertainment, and insurance coverage.

1.  Food

- Traded in my daily Dunkin Donuts coffee for homemade coffee. I purchased an inexpensive coffee maker and began brewing my own at home. This saved me almost $3 per day.
– Instead of eating out every day, I decided that I would bring my lunch to work. When I was eating out, I was spending anywhere from $5 to $10 per day for a total of around $100 – $200 per month. By bringing my lunch to work, I was able to save between $50 and $100 per month.
– As for my large grocery bill I decided to start couponing. I won’t say that I was an extreme couponer, however, by simply clipping coupons from my weekend paper, I was able to save anywhere from 5% – 20% on my grocery bill each month. In addition to couponing, I also made sure I didn’t shop on an empty stomach and that I had a list and stuck to it. This kept me from purchasing impulsively.

2.  Insurance
·  While I thought I had the best car insurance rate possible, I decided to shop around and get a few quotes. Boy was I surprised to find that another insurance company was able to provide me with the same coverage at a fraction of the cost. I was able to save about $200 per year on insurance alone.
·  For those uninterested in changing their car insurance providers, there are other options that can warrant a huge savings on your monthly payments. According to Acceptance Insurance, consumers can save money by simply raising their deductible costs.
·  Bundling is another option for those looking to lower their insurance costs. I was able to also include my homeowner’s insurance with my auto policy which saved me an additional $30 per month.

3.  Entertainment
·  I began researching local and community events that are either free or very affordable. You’d be surprised to find out how much entertainment there is right in your own community. Fairs, Museums, sporting events, and even movies in the park can all be fun things to do without breaking your budget.
·  I downgraded my cable subscription service by removing the premium channels and instead signed up for an online movie streaming service which saved me an upwards of $50 to $100 per month.
·  I planned my trips out better, looked for all inclusive packages so this way I didn’t have to pay for the cost of food. Even places like NYC can be traveled to for a fraction of the costs.

By doing all the above in these three areas of my life, I was able to save hundreds of dollars each month. While I did put some of the savings up for a rainy day, I used a portion of it to treat myself each month to something nice. Whether it was a new outfit, a pair of shoes, or even an infinity scarf, being able to reward myself makes cutting back worthwhile. Hopefully these savings tips can be helpful to you as well.

Favorite Season Staple

Happy Monday everyone!

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If there is one pair of shoes that I can wear forever it would definitely be a pair of Stuart Weitzman 5050 OTK boots.  I’ve worn these boots a number of times over the past couple months from running errands to my recent trip.  I’m a busy mom and I walk a lot with my twins and hubby so a comfy pair of shoes is a must.  These OTK boots from Stuart Weitzman fit the bill not to mention they are stylish and versatile.

When they first came out last year I wanted to get them but the price was steep.  I waited for them to go on sale but that either never happened or I missed the boat!  BUT months later I saw them on sale for 60% off either at Gilt or Ruelala.  They were sold out within minutes if not seconds.  I let it go and decided to save up for a pair.  When Piperlime decided to push their sales for winter wear a few months ago I snatched them up immediately  and I couldn’t be more happy.

I have a few other boots but none can compare.  I think I can donate the rest and keep only these because they go with everything.  They are definitely one of my favorite winter season staples!

If you are in the market shopping for those Stuart Weitzman 5050 then you can go here, here or here.  Otherwise, here are a few more inspired over the knee boots at affordable prices!

Over The Knee Boots

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Simple Indulgence: No. 3

A Musical Getaway

One of the benefits of having married into a musical family is the constant introduction to different types of music. I’ve learned to appreciate the moving power of a simple song.  When I first met G he introduced me to Kizmet based on the music by Alexander Borodin, which happens to be his first stage production he did as a young teen.  I was mesmerized by the music because it moved me, pulled at my heart strings and took me to a familiar place that I’ve never been before.  When I have my “me time” while sipping a glass of wine or reading a book/magazine, I play the Stranger In Paradise music by Andrew Rieu on Youtube.  This is my simple indulgence, my musical getaway where I don’t have to pay $120 for a mediocre seat to enjoy the music.

So live luxuriously and indulge on a free Youtube Musical this weekend.  Until next week, I will see you on the blog!

Amazingly Chic & Affordable: All Under $100

I found some really chic and affordable items this week that I think you will love.  They are all less than $100! Happy shopping…

 

Decor Inspiration: Dining Room

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In less than a week, our home renovation project starts.  It will be no doubt chaotic and noisy but definitely will be exciting.  To keep us sane during the 3 weeks (as planned but who knows) renovation period we started setting up a temporary kitchenette area near our living room.  This kitchenette is compact and will have only the essentials we need during the duration of the project.  We bought paper cups and plates so that should eliminate dish washing at night.  In addition to renovating our 2 bathrooms and kitchen we will also renovate our dining room.  This room requires the least work since it will only be a new lighting and a new floor.  Just like other rooms I have compiled a list of images that are inspirational to me.  Hopefully our dining room will look as comfortable, chic and warm as these images.

Enjoying the World’s Great Market

Happy Monday everyone!
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It’s been a couple days since we’ve been home from Toronto.  We had a blast visiting G’s family & friends.  I think the highlight of the trip was seeing how happy our twins were with their cousins.   This trip was definitely memorable.  Although we didn’t get to do a lot of sight seeing given the weather but we did manage to ride the subway a few times and visited one of my favorite landmarks, St. Lawrence Market.

This place, which is one of world’s great markets, was just as amazing as I last visited a few years back.  There was still so much to see, taste and discover.  The St. Lawrence Market Complex is comprised of three main buildings; The South Market, the North Market and St. Lawrence Hall.  I wanted us to visit all three but given the weather and time constraints we visited The South Market instead.

Since St. Lawrence Market is in downtown the best and most efficient way to get there is by subway (TTC).  I had the most amazing grilled mahi mahi for lunch and the mini pecan pie was to die for.  The prosciutto was salivating and you can buy any cheese you want.  Oh, the fruits and vegetables looked fresh and succulent.  A must visit place if you are into food!

Our visit was very successful and pleasant this time.  The twins were amazing travelers and we couldn’t be more proud.  We can’t wait to go back again very soon!!!

What I Wore

Simple Indulgence: No. 2

Have a Memorable Meal…

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Image credit: Pinterest

Living a healthy luxuriously lifestyle should not require deep pockets because the pleasure in living such a lifestyle can simply be an unexpected recipe, gesture or an experience that brings pleasure into our every day lives, “simple indulgence”.  One of the simple indulgences in life is having a memorable meal.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can simply be a meal between a couple, friends or family socializing under the trees and dining al fresco at cafe tables overlooking the ocean, mountains or downtown landscape.  Why not dine at a place that has a million dollar view without the billion dollar maintenance fees!

So live luxuriously and indulge this weekend.  Until next week, I will see you on the blog!

Amazingly Chic & Affordable (His & Hers): All Under $100

I thought it would be fun to start adding His affordable items to the Amazingly Chic & Affordable series.  It’s not always about us ladies right?  Our Significant Other loves to shop or shopping for as well :)  Here are some items for you and him that are chic and affordable for less than $100! Happy shopping…