Wednesday, March 7

Giveaway Winner!

Hey Guys, hate to hit and run but I didn't want to keep the winner of the Giveaway waiting too long!

Jan! Congratulations, you've won the medium size shaper from Bag Beautiful. I will e-mail you today.

Thank you to everyone that entered.

Monday, February 27

Setting Priorities


 I've been feeling overwhelmingly stressed these days. My contact with people outside of work and SSF has been non-existent. I haven't made any plans for my wedding in weeks and don't even get me started on  my noticeable absence from both blogging and the gym. My consensus has been that my stress was related to having too much to do. It wasn't until Saturday night when I stumbled upon that quote from Maggie Fox that I realized my real problem was lack of priority.

Looking back on the last two weeks I've had  no priorities. Well, to be exact I've had about 50 priorities that all seemed equally important. Ergo, no priorities. And despite leaving work at 8 pm some days I feel like I've accomplished little to nothing over the last two weeks.

But this post isn't just about venting. It's about a solution. To follow in Maggie's lead, I've decided to start setting 3 goals for myself each and every day.  Having 3 goals will help me to narrow my focus on what's important that day and finally feel like I've accomplished something.

My goals today:
1. Finish my presentation for Wednesday
2. Go to the Gym
3. Call my friend Andrea.

How do you set priorities?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Bag Beautiful Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 22

Meet Erin, and a Giveaway!

I'm back again this week (2 days in a row!) and I come bearing gifts. But first you have to meet Erin. 

Who is Erin? 

Erin is the brains behind LA based company Bag Beautiful. Bag Beautiful is a line of shapers and covers designed to keep your bags in perfect condition while not in use. I have to tell you, as a lover of handbags,  I think this is brilliant. Dust covers are nice and all, but they don't exactly prevent leather from creasing. The best part though, is how reasonably priced they are (only $16 for the largest one!).  

Erin was a good sport and agreed to answer some questions. 

1. Tell us about yourself-- where are you from? What did you do before starting Bag Beautiful?
I have been in Los Angeles in for 16 years and before that I have lived all over the US and Europe. Before Bag Beautiful, I worked in the fashion industry as an apparel and accessories designer.

2. What inspired you to create Bag Beautiful?
I collect handbags, and my favorite bags were always getting squished and damaged in my closet. I figured out that there has to be an easy solution to remedy this, and after some experimenting, Bag Beautiful was born!

3. How does it work?
It's so easy! Just take your favorite bag that needs a little love, then insert the shaper, and put the cover bag over your handbag. Your bag is now protected and ready to be stored in your closet until its used next.

4. You are a "self-proclaimed handbag addict", if you had to pick a favorite, which would choose.....? Why?
So hard since there are so many! I would have to say the Hermes Kelly Bag, it's so classic and you can use it for a star studded event, or simply going to the market. Either way, you're going to look good.

5. Name 5 things in your bag right now that you can't leave the house without.
I always have so many things in my bag, but the top 5 are my iPhone, earphones (need my music at all times!), cosmetic case (for touch-ups on the go), a bottle of water (got to keep hydrated!), and a protein bar.... lots of meetings means lunches get replaced with conference calls.

6. What is you best/favorite money-saving tip. 
Two words. Sample. sale. Subscribe to your favorite brand's email newsletters to find out when your favorite designers will be selling their collections at steep discounts. 

7. Go ahead and brag, what's the best deal you've ever gotten on a bag?
A few years ago, I ran into a major after holiday sale at Jimmy Choo.... this gorgeous black leather satchel was %50 off! It's been a staple of my closet ever since. 

And now, the Giveaway. 

Erin is giving away one medium Bag Beautiful shaper & cover to a lucky Money Smart Fashion reader. (US Resident Only). 

It's super easy to enter, just enter your name and e-mail below (or login with facebook). You have two options available for entries. Giveaway closes Thursday March 1st. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 21

Smart Fashion: Birthday Dinner





Oh hey, I've missed you guys.  I've wanted to post since like forever  but work has been so busy lately. Speaking of work, I was promoted! (eee!) I'm super excited for the opportunity but even more excited for the added financial stability. I was thinking about it the other day and its amazing how far SSF and I have come. This time last year we were scrambling to get our tax returns filed because we needed our refunds to make other payments. This year, we are doing it at our pace. It feels good amazing to not be reliant on a tax refund to get us through the month.

As for my outfit, my sisters birthday (Happy Birthday Amber) on Saturday so we all went out for a family dinner.  Nothing too fancy, just a casual dinner out. I of course wore my glitter shoes.

How was your weekend?

Outfit Details
Shirt: Old Navy $7
Jeans: Gap $25
Shoes:  J.Crew $60
Jacket: Express $30
Total: $122

Wednesday, February 8

Smart Wedding: The Little Things

I'll be the first to admit that when I started thinking about the cost of my wedding all I considered was the big stuff: dress, photographer, venue, caterer. But now as the date gets closer and closer (8 months, 5 days and counting) I'm becoming overly aware of all the sneaky little costs that don't necessarily come to mind.

For example:  postage

I'm embarrassed to tell you how long I mulled over whether or not I should order custom postage. It was at least a week. Before I tell you if I did or not let me give you some facts.

1. Custom postage is amazing, and adorable.
2. Custom postage costs almost twice as much as a plain old regular stamp.

Check it:

$309 on stamps! Luckily, I'm only sending out about 40 of each, which still would have cost me $120 just for postage. That's more than the price of my Save-the-Dates and almost 30% of my total budget for invitations.

So after much debate I decided on a compromise. I ordered pretty fancy postage for my postcard Save-the-Dates (around $35) and will opt for regular old postage on my invitations (+$60) for a total of about $90.

The lesson here? It's not the big things that blow your budget.  They are the costs you are most aware of and prepare for.  Its all the little things that you don't account for that add up.

(i'm having way too much fun with graphics lately, can you tell?)
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