Oh D'Mai

For my birthday each year for the past 3 years I take the day off and go spa-ing. I wish I could do it more often but time and money sometimes is a barrier.

However, my favorite spa that I revisit each year is having a special which I hope you can enjoy. D'Mai Urban Spa, located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, is offering 20% off it services if booked between Monday -Thursday, starting now to December 31st.

Their prices are already reasonable and the place is fabulous. The reasons why I love it:

  1. The quiet neighborhood - What is the point of going to a nice spa and entering/leaving in a busy area (i.e. Manhattan)

  2. Good touch, Good eats - Not only are their snacks healthy and yummy as you wait in between services or just in general. When you are done a stroll 2-3 blocks down places you among some nice eats.

  3. The service - The people there are just so nice and friendly. I feel like a queen each time.

Book your service or get a discounted gift certificate for a friend (for a massage or facial only); hop on the 2/3 train to Bergen street and walk 4 blocks to relaxation.


Colorful Strides

It's amazing how when you cut back on shopping it forces you to really re-look your wardrobe and make it happen.

Accessorizing has been the cure to stay fashionable and economical. What a necklace; bracelet; pin and even stockings can do is life saving for any shop-o-holic.

Try this: Revisit your skirts and dresses and say goodbye to the black and flesh tone tights/stockings and get some color in your life. Don't even put a lot of thought into it.

Most retailers like Gap and Ann Taylor are selling some fun colorful and/or interesting design tights to bring life to an ordinary outfit.
But you don't even need to go there. Try your major department store where the prices are cheaper and the selection is larger. My favorite is Macy's Herald Square. Go to the 1.5 floor and right there it is like stepping into tights wonderland. There is one line called Hue and they have every color and design under the sun. Use your Macy's coupon if you can. Just grab 2-3 of your favorite color tights and it will all come together. If you are scared take small steps with these colors 1) Blueish/gray; 2) brown with textured design and 3) dark purple/magenta

On a not so bad winter day I have worn opague colored tights with stack heel platform sandals from the summer. It works!

Go step it up a bit!


To Eat or To Wear Your Fruits and Veggies

I have a pretty sensitive nose and can pick up a stench a mile away, so I greatly appreciate the smell of clean. It makes me wonder with all the types of scents out there, from sweet to savory what about the idea of just smelling fresh and clean?
I feel very strongly and highly recommend that with body washes and lotions you keep a a natural fresh scent. My recommendation for a great clean start each day is:
  1. Step 1: Start with a moisturizing and gentle maybe warm scented body wash (i.e. Oil of Olay Ultra Moisture with Shea Butter body wash or SoftSoap Ultra Rich Shea Butter body wash.
  2. Step 2: Make sure your lotion isn't too strong in a fragrance leaving room for your perfume to do her job. I really love and recommend Nivea Origianl Moisture and Jergens Original Scent - Cherry Almond

Remember people are around you all day and you want to smell according to how you want others to interact with you; do you want them energized (maybe something with Ginseng or Eucalyptus) or feel really comfortable in your presence (linen, fresh cotton scent).

Enjoy and remember to be mindful on how you layer on your scents from body wash to lotion to perfume.

- KC


Online Beauty Appts Finally - YES!!

Most of you are probably familiar with OpenTable.com. The site that allows you to make restaurant reservations online, even for the top notch hard-to get-a-table venues.

Well if you do and you are like me, online bookings are a blessing. You don' have to worry about talking to someone that will mess up your requests AND you get a confirmation number to say yes I do have an appt/reservation.

The fabulous news is not only can you pay bills ; book trips and score a table for dinner on line, BUT now you can make all your beauty needs appts too at Lifebooker New York City Whoo Hoo.

For any of you that are busy during the day and no time to chat for nosey colleagues to be in your business. With a few click voila you can book an appt at Acqua Beauty Bar and others in minutes.


Beauty Tip - For Happy Feet

With summer fun comes summer beauty maintenance.

Now, we all may have something we want to change about our feet. One of the main changes many will like to make is the removal of that little friend on top of the toe that is obvious because it's like 3 shades lighter than you. (I will assume you know what I mean..hmmm)

A very quick and easy fix to that is your handy dandy concealer. Yes, I said it, dab concealer on that bad boy and Voila! it practically disappears and you and the people across the train car are all happy!

The purchase process:
  • Try a creamy stick foundation. Black Opal works pretty well regardless of your complexion.
  • This should be a cheap purchase at your local Duane Reade or CVS.
  • Get one about a share or two darker than you. Remember if you select one as you select for your face it's not going to cover. Unlike your face you want to go darker or exact shade to your feet.
  • This is a great way to use that old concealer that was just not working for you months ago
  • Get a small size so you can carry around
  • Last, be mindful of the adjustment you made and don't put your feet up in some one's white couch.
Happy walking!


Stack'Em Up

Summer stated like a month ago, but for you ladies in NYC with 20+ days of rain it didn't quite feel so.

But if you hesitated to get a jump start on your summer foot wear don't take too long. A huge hit right now are the stack heel shoes. These somewhat platform like 3" heels are a super plus for our concrete jungle.
  • The fat heels don't fall victim to the sidewalk cracks, and
  • They are super comfortable to take you from subway to work and then play

One designer who got it right and super super comfortable is Kenneth Cole Reaction. His stack sandals feel like sneakers (I admittedly have 2 pairs).

You can find at Shoegasm or Macys (where you can apply extra coupons).


Alert - A True Fabulous Find

While checking out Forever 21 with friends this past weekend ( I haven't been to this store in a while - I can take it small doses), I stumbled across one of their "Fabulous Finds" and it was quite fab! Me and my friends all scored a pair of skinny jeans for $12.50. We all vary in sizes and heights and it was a nice fit for everyone because of the stretch. These will be my tunic wear or sexy club going jeans.

Check it out on line here too!
Make sure to not shy away from their accessories. While you are cutting back on buying clothes because of economic conditions you can do affordable accessories to spice up what you already own...there are a ton of pearl like designs (necklaces and bracelets) that give that sexy lady feel.

Enjoy! (I made my purchase at the Union Sqaure location - oh and there is a new fitting room on the 2nd floor to the far right that is less crowded in the new Heritage section)


Fool-Proof DIY Networking

When the word networking comes up, sometimes the first reaction is the same as being told can you give a presentation to 100 people on XYZ - people get nervous and think of it as a chore they know they have to do but don't always want to do.

Worry no more because there is a great way to network within the comfort of friends and soon-to-be friends, here is our recipe to success:

  • Whether it is you alone or with a friend, think of no more than 10 people you would like to bring together. They may have professional and personal interests in common and then again they may not.
  • If you host a get together with a friend, each of you should be responsible for half of the invites.
  • It is extremely beneficial if the invitees don't know each other or may be familiar but not that well . This is not girlfriend outing time and no one person should feel like the new kid on the block, everyone should feel new to each other.
  • Balance your invites with your outgoing and your introvert/shy associates. For the friend you have been trying to get out to events or who expresses displeasure of networking this will be a great and safe environment to get them started.
  • Pick a tea house or brunch venue to have the event. There are many inexpensive brunch venues on the weekends and tea houses just have a natural good environment for conversations.
  • Oh and yes have it on the weekend vs. after work so everyone can be clear minded and rested.
  • Work with the venue to establish a pre-fix menu if they don't have . Many restaurants that have a brunch menu have a set price and tea houses usually have a scone, finger sandwich and cookies/dessert platter. The last thing you want to think about after a good chat is diving the bill. Provide the group with the cost that will factor in tax and tip prior to the event. Example: At Alice Teacup we did the Mad Hatters and it worked out to about $22 including tax and tip and all invitees were made aware that was the food setting being order, but of course can choose their types of sandwiches, scones, etc.
  • Be a superb host. Have everyone introduce themselves, but don't be shy about gluing them together. Tell them why they were invited and what you knew they had in common with others - be the connector!
  • Secret to success: Is that its a small manageable group where real conversations can be had. It is personal and there is nothing like receiving a personal invite
With the weather clearing up, go out there and plan a networking brunch/tea house event. Below are some suggestions based on experience:
  • Alice's Tea Cup: There are several locations now. I found success at the 64th street & Lexington one because its bigger
  • Franchia: This is a vegetarian Korean tea house. Great for your a group that is particularly health conscious and includes vegans/vegetarians. Not for meat lovers.
  • Coco Rocco: Two locations in Brooklyn, a darn good cheap and tasty brunch $9.95. You will love it.
  • Libations: I just had brunch here today for such an event. Never knew they served food...lol. Delicious brunch means for $19. (I can speak for the steak and eggs - yummy)
  • Tea Map: This is a GREAT resource to find local area tea houses. I used it many times.
  • Google these venues and sites. There were errors in linking the sites to the page. Thank you


Prime Time

I always wonder how can I make my make up last for a full day or at least a full work day. I was told a while back that a primer can make a big difference, but I was reluctant because of my oily skin.

I finally gave in and tried Smashbox's primer which was good, but not for the oily skin types (maybe in the winter or when the air is really dry). But the primer that has worked best for me since mid last year and I can finally attest to is Laura Geller's Spackle.

It is very light weight and has a slight iridescent to it that makes you glow just a tad bit once makeup is applied.

My routine is to apply to my skin about 10-15 minutes after I applied my moisturizer. I think wait about another 5 minutes before applying my makeup.

For my oily skin, it has worked wonders. My face has an even tone, provided by the makeup that lasts all day. In the cases I do get a bit oily; it is as if the primer allows for equal distribution of the oil so I don't look gross.

A said benefit of primers are that is creates a barrier between your skin and the makeup to keep it healthy and smooth. I believer that, but also keep in mind the primer itself is a product that can have some affect.

Enjoy your primer - whichever you choose.


Your Finances - In Mint Condition

I so wish I new about this site a year or two ago. You all have to not just visit but sign up on Mint.com. As they describe themselves it is a free personal finance software.

It aggregates all your accounts into one site and helps you to analyze your spend and savings however you want to slice it and dice it - no more saving receipts and organizing into excel.

Now you maybe thinking how can this site know all of your business. Think of it as the organizer to all the log-ins of your online accounts. From credit cards to student loans to even car payments and Roth IRAs, you sign in all your log-ins so that when you log in to mint.com account it pulls all those other log ins. Your net worth is calculated in seconds.

As a user for the past month, I am blown away by this site. It definitely made it clear how much I shopped at Target *sigh*

Give it a try and let us know what you think. There is no reason to not continue in your healthy finances 2009 resolution.

Happy Savings!


ALERT: Alexander McQueen AFM, 2 Day's Only!!!!

The super-creative and at times controversial, Alexander McQueen has finally joined the Affordable Fashion Mania (AFM) bandwagon with the McQ Collection for Target. A former courtier for Givenchy and head designer of his own collection, Alexander has been dazzling the runway with his over the top and overly expensive collections for over 2 decades. Several lucky New Yorkers will get a chance to shop his Target collection today and tomorrow at an exclusive location. While the collection will be available online March 4th 2009, I guarantee not all of the good stuff will make it. (Trust me, the same happened to the Proenza Schouler collection I raided). So get up get out and get some McQueen!!

Alexander McQueen Runway

Exclusive Alexander McQueen: Target McQ Market
February 14th and 15th ONLY!
330 West Street
New York, NY 10014


1-on-1 With your favorite designers!

The French Institute Alliance Française presents Fashion Talks with Pamela Golbin . An intimate speaker series with 3 fabulous female designers. Fashion Talks
French haute couture meets New York style during FIAF's Fashion Talks, hosted by Pamela Golbin, Curator in Chief of Twentieth-century and Contemporary Fashion at the Musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris.

Donna Karen 2/9/09
Catherine Malandrino 3/20/09
Diane Von Furstenburg 3/23/09

Did I forget to mention the tickets start at $20!!! You couldn't even get into their Fashion Week Collections with that price. Hurry and get your tickets! You know I have my tickets ready to go. Ooh La La!


Investment Time - A Market Advantage

If you have a Roth IRA; IRA; 401K or any mutual fund investment you may have noticed in your most recent statement a 30%+ drop....yes I know it hurts soo bad:(

Looking at my statement I had to place a call to my Roth IRA provider - the lovely Fidelity - and with their 24/7 service I was able to get some guidance; in addition to research and recent conversations I had with trusted financial sources.

One thing I realized is that if you have the money this is the time to buy more shares of your investments funds. We must not look at it as dollars but as shares. Some funds are running low in the $5 - $7/share range. This made me recall the time I bought Bear Sterns at $5 a share when they were going through their stuff and when they were bought the stock rose to $10 and I made a few dollars.

If you are saving in these investment funds for retirement or major life purchases like a home, you have time so go ahead and purchase. Fellow blogger WellHeeled made a good point of this in her Shares, Not Dollars article.


The Initial Sip

During my holiday shopping I popped into the lovely Anthropologie (going straight to the sales section of course) and came across some very cute monogram mugs. At the time they were on sale for $3.95 but they are now backed to the regular price of $6.00. Still not bad.

My friends loved my mug so much I bought them each one - with their initials of course, so when they came over it was an initial tea party - get it?

So definitely go get your self a mug - it is the perfect comfy size for tea, coffee and even some morning oatmeal.

I always shop in the Anthropologie on 5th avenue and 16th street.


Free Suze Orman Book

Suze did it again, she is offering one of her books for free but of course it is in the form of a PDF.

The below image has the info go to Oprah.com for the free download. This is a great way to start planning your finances for the new year.


A $plendid Call To Make

It's the New Year and as creatures of habit we are setting plans for our '09 resolutions and goals.

Well after the ball dropped in Times Square and a day of rest I decided to open up my wallet and call all my credit cards to see if they will entertain a lower interest rate...

guess what????


So as fashionistas and lifestyle trendsetters (and sometimes followers) add this to your savvy: Call you credit card companies and see what they will do for you - it can't make things worst but only better.

Good Luck!