shoes

Fashion Friday: Splurging on Luxury Items

Have you ever lusted after a fashion item you knew you couldn’t afford? I’m currently struggling with the decision to purchase a pair (or two) of Christian Louboutin’s “So Kate” patent leather pumps. They’re just so beautiful and the more I look at them, the more I realize I need them.

So what’s the issue? Do I have the money to buy these shoes? Yes. But can I afford them? No. Instead of paying $675 for a pair of pumps, I could make an extra two payments on my car or put the money toward student loan payments. Seeing as though I have other bills and obligations, I don’t think I should have the right to splurge at this point in my life. But is this a healthy way of thinking? You know what they say…

“You only live once.”

“Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself.” 

So Kate So Kate (Black)

 

I currently have one pair of Louboutin’s I received as a birthday gift a few years ago and I’ve worn them less than five times. I don’t always feel comfortable wearing them because I don’t have a Christian Louboutin lifestyle, in my opinion. As a school teacher, I’m not going to wear them around a bunch of 11-year-old children. I suppose I could wear them on dinner dates, but my significant other and I tend to be rather casual when we go out.

This leads me to a discussion question. Would you or do you splurge on luxury items? Why or why not?

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Fashion Friday: Money-saving shopping tips

This summer I’ve been addicted to online shopping. I’ve purchased swimsuits, dresses and plenty of shoes. To be honest, I’ve purchased more than I need, but luckily I can say that I have not overspent. Why? Because I am a coupon using, sale-seeking shopaholic, one who doesn’t believe in paying full price for anything. I’ve seriously purchased pumps that were originally over $100 for less than $30 and instances like this make me a self-proclaimed budget shopping expert. As an expert, I have a few tips to help you save money while shopping online and in stores:

Set a budget and stick to it. I’d love to be a person with an infinite amount of money for shopping, but since that’s not the case, I’ve mastered the art of setting a budget before shopping. A good way to make sure you stay on budget is by bringing cash to spend as opposed to relying on using credit or debit cards.

Create a wish list. It’s easy to get caught up in trends and want to buy what’s “hot” so I’d suggest planning ahead and making a list of your must-have items. This way you’re more likely not to go over budget by freestyle shopping and buying random items.

When online shopping, don’t start by viewing items that are new in stock. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t believe in buying full price items. When I do, I almost always have buyer’s remorse. The trick is to look up sale items and sort them by their price (low to high). This helps you spot all the lower priced items first and hopefully you’ll fall in love with some of those.  

Find coupons and/or shop during sales and promotions. I am a fan of coupons and many stores offer pretty great deals. Macy’s, for example, offers a $10 off coupon seemingly every week. Other department stores provide similar deals, you simply have to look for them. Try signing up for emails from your favorite stores and you’ll be the first to hear about promotions they offer. Don’t sign up for too many because your inbox can fill up rather quickly. 

Are there any tips that you have for saving money while shopping? If so, feel free to share them below…

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Music Monday: “Rude”

Happy Monday!

You know when I committed to doing two posts per week, I had forgotten that I was going on vacation. Well, I visited the Dominican Republic for a well-deserved break and now it’s back to reality. Luckily I still have another few weeks before real, full-time work begins but I still have so much to do in preparation for it.

For today’s Music Monday, I have a quick anecdote to share. In early July as I was driving from Louisiana to Houston, I kept switching radio stations since it seemed like each one I chose began to have static after 20 minutes or so. In the five hour drive I heard this really catchy song at least eight times and I fell in love with it.

When I made it home, I found myself wanting to hear more of the song, but I technically didn’t know what it was called. I googled “I’m gonna marry her anyway song” and it popped up. I wasn’t surprised to see that it had garnered over 50 million YouTube views.

It turns out the mystery song is called “Rude” by MAGIC!, a reggae fusion band from Canada. Check  it out below:

What do you think of my current addiction? Isn’t it amazing? I’ve found plenty of interesting covers of the song all over the internet including this one by Vonzell Solomon, the former American Idol contestant who put a comedic twist on the already fun song. 

That’s all for this week’s Music Monday. If you’re currently obsessed with a song, be sure to let me know which one it is in the comments section.

Have Internet Challenges Gone Too Far?

For me, the internet is a magical place. One where I can learn to cook just about anything, prepare for job interviews, study, connect with people from all over the world, and so much more. The world wide web is also a place where sensational videos are posted and can spread like wildfire. We’ve all seen the infamous Sweet Brown news report which was followed by a successful autotune remix video. Millions of people found that intriguing and the bronchitis-having woman found time to make national news all while making us laugh.

Simply put, we live in a time where viral videos can catapult people to fame. Somewhere along the way someone decided to make a video doing something abnormal and challenged others to do it as well. The first video of this nature I recall seeing is the cinnamon challenge and over the past few years, these internet challenges and dares have become even more intense and extremely popular amongst internet users looking for laughs. Check out the video below of a YouTube user completing several challenges, many of which he acknowledges are unsafe and suggests viewers not try at home. 

As you can see, this man not only puts salt and ice on tongue to create a burn, but he sets his hand on fire with hand sanitizer (others have set other parts of their bodies on fire), sticks a noodle up his nose, and even mentions a “condom challenge” he has performed before. With this video gaining over 200,000 views, it’s no surprise that others would decide to make similar videos.

It seems like people these days are motivated by likes and views so they’ll post the most ridiculous content. This morning I saw a really disturbing video on Facebook documenting a “hot water challenge” and that’s what prompted this post. The young girl likely heard of this challenge online and decided to put her own spin on things when she boiled a pot of water and flung it on her brother as a joke. Check out the video below:

Not only is it sad that this young lady didn’t realize hot water and boiling water drastically differ in temperature, but her brother will have that burn on his back for a very long time. This vicious attack was intended to be a fun prank and that’s why I ask if internet challenges have gone too far? The general public will like, share and laugh at these videos inspiring more and more people to take part in them. Whether it’s the snow challenge where nearly naked people go lay in snow while having a friend record it or the banana and sprite challenge that does God knows what to your stomach, I say enough is enough. It’s up to us as a general public to decide what content goes viral by being more selective in what we share and find funny. 

I have a new challenge. I challenge you to be mindful of what you post, share, and find funny on the internet. If you see someone doing something unsafe or unwise, try letting them know as opposed to increasing their popularity by sharing it with your network. 

What are your thoughts about internet challenges? Have they gone too far?

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Music Monday: Algebra Blessett’s “Nobody But You”

Let’s get one thing straight, I love good music. I have a thing for vocalists with raw talent, great melodies and meaningful lyrics. Algebra Blessett is an artist that hits each of those nails on the head. I first found out about her randomly as I browed a music blog and her first video played automatically.  I then did my research and ended up downloading Purpose, her first album that was filled with nothing but amazingness. 

Today I’m sharing Algebra’s first single off her second album which was released earlier this year. “Nobody But You” is such a sweet song that makes you want to be in love if you aren’t already. It makes you think of that one person… So press play above and let me know what you think.

If you love it like I hope you will, be sure to check out Algebra Blessett’s Facebook page to find out more.

Thanks for reading!

Alexandria B.

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Fashion Friday: J.Crew Sale Alert

Knowing that I should update my blog more frequently, I struggled to come up with topics or in other words, I’ve lacked inspiration… But then I had an epiphany. Those who choose to read “What Alex Writes” aren’t waiting for some carefully planned post, they simply want to hear from me. And frankly, I need the outlet. Thus I will write at least twice a week about topics that I love. Music and Fashion. I hereby introduce Music Mondays and Fashion Fridays here on WhatAlexWrites.com. I may not post every single week, but I’ll definitely write fairly often. These two new columns will hopefully introduce you to new music, fashion trends, sales, and much more. So without further ado, please continue reading for my first Fashion Friday post:

When you think of J.Crew, what words come to mind? Preppy? Chic? Expensive? Those are my top three. In the past I’ve visited J.Crew stores and developed mental wish lists for I just couldn’t see myself paying $300 for a blazer or over $100 for a pair of work pants. Call me cheap (or poor), but it just wasn’t happening. As a frugal fashionista, I found a way to stop wishing for a J.Crew wardrobe and start buying it!

A few fabulous J.Crew looks…

I still don’t believe in paying super high prices for items but I do believe that quality pieces are necessary in order to dress for success. I’ve personally purchased items from Forever 21 and been disappointed in the quality after two washes. And as a professional, it’s important to have staples in your wardrobe that last, fit well and are timeless. Luckily, J.Crew pieces are just that and they have an amazing sale going on from now until July 13th. All sale items are an additional 40-50% off with the code “SHOPMORE.” As if that wasn’t enough good news, J.Crew also has a website for their factory outlet and there’s an extra 50% off on clearance items there if you use the code “SALETIME.” This sale also ends on Sunday so act fast.

One thing I do want to point out about this sale is that all items are final sale so if you’ve never shopped at J.Crew, be sure to visit an actual store to make sure you know your size. I’ve found that J.Crew items run a bit larger than other brands (for example I’m usually a size 0 or 1 in pants, but at J.Crew I’m a Petite 00).

Well, that’s all for our very first Fashion Friday. If you decide to order anything from J.Crew, please let me know in the comments section. Let’s talk fashion!

How To: Reuse old candle jars as plant pots

I don’t know about you, but plants make me happy. You know what else makes me happy? Buying candles. It seems like every time Bath & Body Works has a 2 for $22 candle sale, I feel obligated to make a purchase. In addition, the last two times I’ve gone to the mall for clothing, I’ve found nothing but candles. Since I burn candles so often, I found myself throwing away those glass containers they come in more often than I liked. And then something hit me…

Instead of wasting perfectly good glass jars, I decided to start reusing them.

How to reuse candle jars as plant pots...

How to reuse candle jars as plant pots…

Directions for this simple DIY project are as follows:

Clean the wax out of the glass container. You can pour all of it out right after your candle has its final burn or if it gets hard before you get to it, you can put the container in the freezer for an hour or so and use a flat screwdriver or a butter knife to scoop out large chunks of the wax. Once most of the wax is gone, fill the container with hot water and use a paper towel to dry it (this step will remove any additional wax).

Remove the stickers from the container. Candle labels and bar codes are pretty easy to remove by simply peeling them off. If any adhesive is left over use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to wipe it clean.

At this point you have perfectly clean glass containers. Now it’s time to use your green thumb.

Place soil in the container. I use an organic harvest potting soil, you can use any soil of your choice. The amount of soil you’ll use depends on what you’re planting.

Plant away. You can plant seeds or a living plant in your glass container. If you’re planting seeds, you should have filled the container a little more than half way. However, if you’re planting an existing plant it comes with soil so you’ll need to make sure your container has enough room for that. Top your newly planted seeds (or plant) with about 1/4 inch of your soil. Be sure to read the instructions on the package of the plant seeds to make sure they align with what I’m sharing. If they don’t, be sure to do what the package tells you to do.

That’s it. 

Please keep in mind that your options are endless when it comes to these containers so even if you don’t wanna plant anything, you can still recycle, reduce and reuse. I’ve seen others reuse candle jars to hold makeup brushes, office supplies, and other small objects.

If you choose to do this project, let me know by hitting me up on Instagram @WhatAlexSees or on Twitter @WhatAlexWrites.

Note: In the containers shown in my picture above, I planted succulent in the smaller candle jar and some annual flowers from my local hardware store in the larger one.