Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review - "Leave Your Mark" by Aliza Licht (#34 - 2015)

I've heard great things about this book, so I decided to pick it up.  First of all, let me say that I wished I had had a book like this when I was first starting my career, it would have been so helpful.  Now that I'm in my 40's, most of this stuff I had to learn the (sometimes) hard way.  So if you are in college or just starting out in your career, then pick this up ASAP!  She does a great job of helping to navigate some of the situations and people you will likely encounter in your 9-to-5.  I did want her to dig a little deeper into networking and resumes, but I think that's just me.  She did a great job of covering how you need to think and really be selective about what you share on social media (and how you share it), always remembering that the Internet is forever and anyone can see it.  Overall she did a great job of touching on subjects that will certainly help anyone out as they get their footing in the working world.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Review - "Diary of a Mad Diva" by Joan Rivers (#33 - 2015)

Diary of a Mad Diva by Joan Rivers

Joan. Joan. Joan. I swear I miss you every single day.  I miss your biting wit, I miss your honesty, I miss that you never apologized for your comedy.  That being said, this was my least favorite of her books, but still had lots of lol's.  As the title indicates, it's written in diary form with entries for almost every day of the year.  And if you take any of what she writes seriously then you need to lighten up, it's all for laughs.  And Joan always delivers the laughs.  As for her other books, I highly recommend Enter Talking and Still Talking, not for the laughs, but for her very honest, very thoughtful memoirs illustrating just how strong and yes, brave she was.  I love her and I hate she left us so suddenly.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review - "The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World" by Mary Blume (#32 - 2015)

Cristobal Balenciaga was very mysterious, very private, and not many people knew him well.  In fact most customers (even the famous ones) never even met him.  But his impact on fashion is far reaching and profound.  He was arguably the best Couturier to ever live, his precision and attention to detail second to none.  The title of the book "The Master of Us All" was how Christian Dior referred to Balenciaga.  Ms. Blume did her research and spoke with people who knew and worked with him.  One woman, in particular shed a lot of light on the man and his work, his top vendeuse, and the first person he hired when he opened his Paris house, Florette Chelot.  She worked for him for over thirty years until he abruptly closed the house in 1968.

Balenciaga passed away in 1972 thinking his name would go with him.  However his heirs continued using the name and selling it, eventually being bought by Kering (formerly PPR).  Alexander Wang is the current head designer, and by diving into the archives and doing his research, has stuck very close to the aesthetic of Cristobal Balenciaga's heyday (in my opinion).  Which I love. So if you want to know more about Balenciaga or are just interested in fashion history, then pick this book up.  It's 100% worth it!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review - "The Death of Captain America" by Ed Brubaker (#31 - 2015)

The Death of Captain America by Ed Brubaker, etc.

This is a huge book (sequel to this and this), lots of stuff happening with the death of Steve Rogers and the aftermath, including who eventually takes on the roll of Captain America (I'm not going to give any spoilers away).  I loved this so much, lots of action, lots of side stories.  If you are a Cap fan then you must pick this up. Look, comic books aren't for everyone, but this series (as well as Planet Hulk which was outstanding) are worth a read. Give them a try!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kids Consignment Sale Tips

Only part of my first purge for consignment almost 2 years ago.

If you have kids then I'm sure you've probably heard of these really big consignment sales that happen a couple of times a year for kids clothes, toys, gear and maternity items? Most areas have them, usually in the early Spring and Fall (check online or in the paper for locations). The sales are usually held by local churches or even independent organizations. If you’ve never been to one and want to know more or even if you have been to one but found it so overwhelming (that's what happened to me my first time) that you just didn’t know what to do, never fear. I’m here to give you some tips and insight into what I’ve learned by going to and consigning in these sales. I’ll start first with how to shop them:

Part of this past Fall's purge to go to consignment.

First of all you will need to have a game plan. For me this means taking stock of what my girl has and what she needs for the coming season. I usually pull all the clothes out of her closet/drawers for the coming season and start to make a list of what we have that will work. Then that leads to a list of what we will need. Be really aware of what the needs are and will be. For example, I know my girl hates wearing jeans and other woven pants, I mean HATES. As much as I would love her to wear them, it’s worthless for me to even buy them because she flat out refuses to put and keep them on. So I know that I need to find knit leggings and other knit bottoms that can be paired with comfy knit tunics and tops.

Okay, you have your list and are ready to head inside to start shopping. I usually hit the clothes first, then the shoes, then the toys and lastly the décor/gear. I find that I can get the most bang for my buck with the clothes and shoes than the toys or décor/gear. Go to the racks and start going through the clothes (these are usually grouped by size and gender). What I found the most helpful is to act like a fashion editor and just start pulling any clothes from the racks that you like and catch your eye – don’t dwell too much, just start pulling. This will usually mean you have a large stack of clothes in your hands by the time you finish in your size range, but that’s a good thing. Take your stack off to the side (these places usually have some sort of place where you can sit down on the floor, etc) and then the real editing can begin. Go through what you’ve pulled, be objective and ruthless. Make sure there are no stains, pulls or rips. A big issue I’ve had is buying an outfit (as a set), getting home and the top and bottom are two different sizes – so check all items in a set for correct sizing! Start assembling outfits from separates so you know you’ve got outfits and not just a bunch of random pieces. Once you have your outfits you can then fill in with any tops or bottoms that can work with the other tops and bottoms you already have at home or have found at the sale.

Now if you want to consign (which means making some moola to help cover your purchases), most of these sales have their rules and guidelines for what you can and can’t consign so make sure you read those really carefully! It’s generally a good idea to consign and/or volunteer to help set up/tear down the sale because you can usually go to some sort of pre-sale before the sale is open to the public (some do and some don't offer that option so again, read all the fine print). If that is an option, I highly recommend doing that if you have the time, because you have access to all the great stuff before the general public does. You also may have the opportunity to meet and chat with the mom of one of the guys in Lady Antebellum (which happened to me last Spring – she could not have been nicer) or other interesting people you may not usually meet. I try to consign stuff with every sale because I can declutter and make a little extra cash at the same time. Usually I either make more than I spend at the sale or break even, so that’s a good thing! Each sale has a different percentage you can earn with consigning so make sure you read that information too. I personally like to consign with my local church’s sale because I like that their percentage goes to their mission/outreach programs and I just really like the way they handle the sale.

So that's my quick kids consigning guidelines.  So have any of you consigned/shopped these sort of sales?  If so feel free to share any additional tips.  And please let me know if you have any further questions.  Happy hunting!

What I Bought - June 2015

I'm a little late with this post, but we were at the beach last week (lovely), now back to reality!

1. Kate Spade Cobble Hill Devin - $278 (I have this smaller version in orange that I adore, so I wanted to get a larger, neutral version. Currently the most functional bag I own!)
2. Kate Spade Daycation cosmetic bag - $59 (I have a 10+ year old version of this that is on it's last leg, it's so functional)
3. It's a 10 leave-in product - $11.95 - my never ending quest to find frizz fighting products that work, it's decent, but pricey.
4. Skechers Two Step slip-on sneaker - $25 (on clearance at Marshalls) These are for work and only to be worn in the manufacturing facility, they might be a little ugly, but they are super comfortable!
5. Chaus khaki pants (not shown) - $30 at Marshalls - again, for work only as part of my "uniform".  Exact but in green here

Total = $403.95
- $332.05 Kate Spade gift card
Total Out of Pocket = $71.90

Side note - this bag is on mega sale and it's taken all my strength to not buy.  But good grief I've got a lot of bags, but it's so pretty, but I don't need anymore bags, but I love it.  My internal battle continues ;)

Go forth and shop responsibly!
I'm linking up with Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

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