Friday, February 26, 2010


I've been reading about DailyWorth all over the place and decided to give it a chance. DailyWorth is a "free daily personal finance email for women that delivers practical tips, empowering ideas and the occassional kick in the pants".

A few of the interesting facts from the site:
- Women retire with, on average, 1/3 less in savings than men - yet live, on average, 10 years longer.
- Married women between 25 and 34 are most likely to manage a couple's finances.
- More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, creating more women-led households.

Despite your situation or age, it's never too soon or too late to start being smart about money.

And you can begin by receiving a little smidgen of daily financial insight!

When you sign up for the daily emails, you're asked to fill out a survey and answer the following multiple choice questions:

1. How good are you with money? Choose the one that best describes you.
- I am in trouble. I suffer from serious debt and can't control my spending.
(you can sign up for Seeing Red, DailyWorth's newsletter for women in debt.)
- I am a novice. acronyms like "APY" and "ETF" scare me, but I want to learn.
- I am managing. I pay my bills on time and read the business section of the newspaper.
- I am on my way. I save 20% a month, max out my retirement accounts, and am on a path to wealth. I'd like to become an expert investor.
(you can sign up for Net Worth, investment news from DailyWorth.)
- I am a pro. I should be writing for DailyWorth.
(also have the option to sign up for Net Worth)

2. What is your role in day-to-day money management (bill paying, investment decisions, taxes)?
- I am single and in charge of day-to-day money management.
- I am married/in a committed relationship and I handle all of our finances.
- I am married/in a committed relationship and share financial responsibility with my partner/spouse.
- I am married/in a committed relationship and my partner/spouse handles all of our finances.

3. Please tell us a little more:
- I am self-employed. (or will be soon)
(can sign up for Worth Entreprenuer)
- I am a mom. (or will be soon)
(can sign up for The Thrifty Mama, money saving tips for moms)

After selecting the most suitable categories for age/household income and indicating where you're from, you are set to go!

Here are some sample emails on their website; if you scroll down on their main page you can also see what they've been sending within the past month.

Instead of just receiving a bajillion tempting shopping emails like moi, sign up for DailyWorth and learn tips about better ways to spend --- or better yet, save.

until next time,


Sunday, February 21, 2010


Pardon my French, but storage in New York City is a b*tch.

If you live in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment (and you're not filthy rich), you can forget coat and utility closets. You can also forget pantries. Oh and you're going to have to decide between the second dresser for clothing and room to walk. 

I highly recommend storing your winter coats during the summer; my dry cleaners ship them off to New Jersey and they come back nice and clean for very little storage cost. Although this provides a temporary feeling of more room in your closet, it's good to remember that, just like winter, the coats will return.

I've known people that loft their beds in order to make either an office or a living space underneath. (Yes, the size of a bed does constitute as a room in this crazy city) A. that won't really work for my four poster antique bed, the one nice piece of furniture I own, and B. the thought reminds me of sleeping on top bunk in my sorority house and deliriously wondering how bad it would hurt if I accidentally rolled over and fell off. 

Every type of storage is also mini-sized. Yes, my toilet room (if you're not familiar with this phenomenon, please refer to post #1) has a garbage can. But what is this actual garbage can to most individuals? Oh right, it's a basket small enough in which to perfectly wedge CD cases. I line it with a grocery store baggie and am forced to empty it after I put one cardboard toilet-paper roll inside. Why? Because that is all it fits. 

Although I'm somewhat strategic about where I store things, nothing makes sense. My bathing suits are stored in the same under-bed bin as my cowboy boots. Why? Because neither of those things has a better place to go. Hmph.

This all explains why I was so happy to find what I did this afternoon. I took the trash out and walked by the skinny 7-foot shelf that has been sitting downstairs for the past couple of weeks. Even though I've seen it plenty of times, it never really registered that I could give it a home...I could adopt it. Saddened and abandoned, the shelf just sat there and stared at me. I gazed at the five open shelves and thought of all the many things I could store. I then entered some type of beastly hypnosis where I grew muscles (think Jacob in Eclipse) and I managed to carry the thing up the stairs. After what seemed like 27 attempts to wedge the too-tall/too-long shelf inside my front door, I got it in! I rearranged to better utilize space (I will forever hear my mom saying: "use your vertical space!" in the back of my head) and am very happy to now have extra storage. Ta-da!

until next time,


Friday, February 19, 2010

Goods That Do Good

What's better than jewelry? Jewelry for a cause!

Check these two out:

Made With Love
Made with Love in Africa Recycled Rubber Bracelets
These bracelets are made from recycled rubber by women in Mali. An organization called A.S.A.O. (Association du Senegal et de l'Afrique de l'Ouest) pays the women three times the normal rate for bracelets, giving them enough means for support. A.S.A.O. then sells the bracelets in order to raise money for L'Empire des Enfants, a program established to provide shelter, meals, education and training to homeless children in Dakar.

Help Made with Love, a non-profit that supports A.S.A.O. and L'Empire des Enfants, by purchasing their bracelets. In turn, you're providing aid to both women and children in West Africa.

pictures from

You get 18 bracelets for $28 (including shipping within the US). My mom and I each have a multicolor set. I love them. If you're interested in the bracelets or any of the other Made With Love products they offer, please take a look here.

According to their website, Brazilets, or some form of "Brazilian Wish Ribbons", have actually been worn since around 1792. In the 19th century, people wore them as necklaces; they were known as "the measure of Bonfim" because they are 47 centimeters long - the length of the arm of a Christ statue located at Bahia's most famous church, The Church of Senhor do Bonfim.

Nowadays people wear them as a symbol of faith and good luck. Some tie the ribbon around their wrist with 3 knots, making a wish for each. Once it falls off, your wishes are believed to come true!
For whatever reason you choose to wear them, Brazilets provides support to the Plant A Billion Trees project. So far, the organization has planted 5, 751, 733 trees in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, one of the world's most endangered tropical forests. Let's help them plant more!

I got these images from another online retailer that gives you the chance to see all the colors up close and personal. So hard to choose!
Plus, they're just $5! Makes a great gift. Celebs are wearing them, too - everyone from Anne Hathaway to Lauren Conrad to Condoleezza Rice to Kristin Cavallari to Susan Sarandon (who I've personally told she's great. wink.)
Whether you're sporting rubber bracelets or wishing brazilets, know that your goods are doin' good.
until next time,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Birthday Advice

Today is my dad's 60th birthday. He (and others) probably beg to differ how old he "really" is, but today is technically his big 6-0.

Since he was born on the 18th, he's always related everything to the number 18. On my 21st birthday, he gave me 4 small sheets of decorated paper on which he had written 18 points of advice.  I've kept these papers in a keepsake box, but I thought I'd share what he wrote.

1. There are 4 things to do in life: 
    Get a college degree.
    Get a job.
    Get married.
    Get a car.
                  In that order.

2. There are only 2 reasons to work:
    To have fun.
    To make money.

                        Decide which is more important.

3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

4. Respect anyone who does something well, disrespect the opposite.

5. Half ass twice costs more than whole ass once.

6. Sum up everything you have learned into one idea;
    If you have an idea and cannot defend it, get rid of it. 

7. The world does not owe you a living.

8. Make the world a better place because you lived.

9. There are only 3 kinds of relationships a man and a woman can have and 2 are bad:
    One of you is up & one down.
    You lean on him & he on you.
    You are both up.
                  (You can only have a healthy relationship with 2 complete people.)

10. Your glass is half full.

11. Some people are afraid to fail, but more are afraid to succeed.

12. It is more blessed to give than receive.

13. Find something you like, train yourself to do it better than anyone else, offer it to others.

14. There are 3 kinds of people:
      - They make things happen.
      - Watch things happen.
      - Wonder what happened.

15. Occam's Razor:
     The simplest solution is always the best.

16. If a cow won't eat it, I don't want to play on it.

17. You are made up of 3 ingredients:
      - your heredity
      - your environment
      - your free will

18. I loved you from the moment I knew you existed & will continue to love you as long as I do.

Right back atcha', Dad. 

Happy Birthday!

until next time,


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Will You Be My Valentine?

Sorry. Already have one. He's just 2,445 miles away right now.

I'm off to cook a delicious brunch with a friend and eat lots of chocolate. Do you need a pick-me-up, too?


until next time,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nifty Gifts

Etsy is one of my favorite websites to peruse. It showcases tons of wonderfully unique and homemade baubles at very reasonable prices. From time to time, I will try and highlight a few on my blog that catch my eye. If you're looking for a special gift or simply needing to treat yourself, take a look.

until next time,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love Knows No Limits

My boyfriend just emailed me this video and it totally made my night.

Thought I'd share.

until next time,


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

First Asssignment: Interpreting Quotes

As I mentioned recently, I am hoping to once again work on my dream of writing & illustrating children's books. I signed up for a course at the School of Visual Art here in Manhattan and have my second class tonight. The class is called Illustration Portfolio, a course focused on creating portfolio samples that reflect our personal style while still providing a broad scope of imagery with hopes of catching a client's/agent's/publisher's eye. We will not only work on concept and composition in our work, but also learn about the business side of illustration. Although children's books are only one of many available markets for illustration that we plan on discussing, the instructor has illustrated over 20 books for kids - including Billy Crystal's NY Times picture book bestseller, "I Already Know I Love You".

Last week, the instructor gave us a list of quotes and actions; our first assignment was to create a rough sketch based on one of each, interpreting them however we wanted. During our critiques tonight, we will receive feedback on how to alter & better our images before illustrating the final picture in color.

I picked this quote:

"A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." -Walter Bagehot

I combined action words in my image such as "stretching" and "cutting". The sketch is very faint (and also very small) once scanned and copied in since I drew it in light pencil -- so if you can't tell, the little girl is about to cut off her bangs. She's holding lipstick in her right hand, which is all over her face. Oh and she has dressed up her kitty as a princess.

For a little girl, THIS is the great pleasure of doing what people say you cannot do.

until next time,

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