“Share It”: Buy a Bracelet, Share the Love

Good Afternoon and welcome back to the second post in the “A Wristful of Words,” series partnering with Little Words Project (LWP). To whomever might be reading, thanks so much for following along on this journey as I profile LWP, a unique, philanthropic jewelry company changing lives one bracelet (and word!) at a time.

LWP logo

In today’s post, I’ll be focusing on just that – philanthropy and specifically how it relates to Little Words Project. Upon first receiving my LWP Confidence bracelet in the mail as a gift from entering the IT Cosmetics contest, I immediately began researching LWP and became enthralled and intrigued with all I discovered. Since my freshman year in high school, I’ve identified myself as an avid volunteer, taking part in many walks, tutoring young students, serving meals and babysitting young children in shelters, as well as host of other activities. To me, serving others and advocating wherever and whenever I can is of the utmost importance to me. To know I may have made a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small, is the ultimate gift and symbol of care.

It Cosmetics

Therefore, one aspect of LWP as a company, which immediately stood out to me is their “Bracelets That Give Back,” where altruism is at the heart of this collection. As detailed on the LWP website (littlewordsproject.com), every other month, LWP highlights a new organization geared towards helping women in various capacities. The chosen organization creates their own exclusive Little Word (such as “Be Strong”, “Confidence“, “Wish“, etc) which is then sold on the LWP website and select retailers (check littlewordsproject.com for a retailer nearest you!). At the end of the partnership year, 25% of total profits are donated to the organizations! Each year, up to 6 organizations are featured, with every bracelet purchase making an impact, no matter the size.

LWP Instructions

Current Organizations (Bracelets That Give Back collection):

LWP Give back

Purple Elephant (“Be Strong”): A non-profit organization changing the way young people think about Alzheimer’s Disease by helping to provide in-home caregiving relief to families whose lives have been impacted while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

LWP Purple Elephant

Look Good Feel Better (“Confidence”): “a free program dedicated to helping cancer patients regain their sense of control, self-esteem and confidence.”

LWP Confidence 2

Power Play (“Girl Power”): “a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the lives of girls in NYC by helping them grow physically, emotionally, and academically stronger.”

LWP power play

She Should Run (“Trailblazer”): “a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the talent pool of future elected female leaders by inspiring women and girls to aspire towards public leadership.”

LWP She Should Run

She’s The First (“Unstoppable”): “a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to educating girls in low-income countries.”

LWP she's the first

Project Glimmer (“Wish”): a nonprofit organization that provides a little piece of hope in the form of a gift to at-risk girls and women.

Project Glimmer

My Personal Account:

In reading the several Little Words chosen by the organizations, you may have noticed I mentioned Confidence, as being one of them, which also happens to be my first LWP bracelet, sent to me by chance. Upon learning about my Confidence bracelet belonging to the Bracelets That Give Back collection, I took it as a sign, realizing that the organization it benefits is of personal meaning to me. The Confidence bracelet benefits Look Good Feel Better, “a free program dedicated to helping cancer patients regain their sense of control, self-esteem and confidence.” It was late October 1996, in the days leading to Halloween. Instead of fixating on the Halloween costume I would wear and candy I would receive and indulge in, my family huddled together as we struggled to take in the reality of my grandmother’s diagnosis. In those days, I remember first hearing the word, Leukemia, as an 8-year-old. To me, it sounded like something foreign, something unwelcome and something I definitely did not want my grandmother to have. Ever since the very early years of my life, I strove to resemble my maternal grandmother, a perfectly coiffed woman with her hair frosted, crimson lips and always in a dress and heels. No matter the situation, she was always dressed in a pristine fashion, ready to take on the day. Seeing her in a vulnerable state, laying in a hospital bed, with the chemotherapy dripping into her arm, the light and smile evaporated from her face. Then one day, my sister, Hope and I decided we would become her “impromptu makeup artists”, helping her embrace her new image, the one who was on the road to recovery. With her new, styled wig (frosted, just as she liked it!), painted nails, and light lipstick, she smiled as we gathered around her, delighting in her new look. Though my grandmother (whose birthday, coincidentally was yesterday, August 20!) passed away a few weeks following my 9th birthday, I’ll never forget the moments she, my sister and I shared, during those days by her bedside in the hospital. Therefore, knowing the very bracelet (Confidence) I received is apart of the Bracelets That Give Back collection and specifically, profiting the Look Good Feel Better organization is a gift in itself and deeply resonates with me.

The Next Blog Post: “Wear It

LWP Offerings

The final post in this three-part series (“Wear It“) will be an insider look at the numerous LWP bracelet collections, plus a few special extras! Check back to discover what my second LWP bracelet is, in addition to learning about all the vast LWP offerings!

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If the Shoe Fits…

Good morning! I hope your week is off to a pleasant one, thus far. This week (today, in particular!) is slated to be one with significantly warmer temperatures and sun than in recent days. That being said, I’m definitely looking forward to the warmth and sunshine, but for a multitude of reasons. One of them being, the ability to wear open-toed shoes or sandals with ease and comfort! In my mind, there is nothing better than the ability to quickly toss on a pair of shoes, slipping into them with little effort and going on my way. I’m a big fan of shoes with a heel or wedge and in the Spring and Summer months, the possibilities are endless!

Shopping for shoes is always a fun experience for me, but mostly because there is a shoe store merely minutes from my home filled to the brim with an array of all types of shoes, sandals, sneakers, PLUS accessories (everything from jewelry, handbags, socks, wallets, etc). If you’re curious as to what store this is, there is a good possibility you may have a location close to your own home! The store I speak is none other than DSW (short for Designer Shoe Warehouse!). I remember the first time I heard it advertised on the radio. Having always been a self-professed “shoe-lover” (a term coined actually by DSW), hearing about all the different types of shoes and brands left me intrigued and eager to find a store location. Within months, there were several DSW locations located close to my home, plus one that is merely minutes away! Since then, shopping at DSW for not only shoes, but also accessories has been a consistent occurrence.

DSW

Curious about what DSW actually is and what their all about? Here is an excerpt from their official website (via DSW.com):

“At the core of DSW Inc. is DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, the destination for fabulous brands at a great value every single day. With thousands of shoes for women and men in over 400 stores nationwide, DSW is all about the thrill of finding the perfect shoe at the perfect price. A huge assortment of handbags and accessories also adds to the breathtaking assortment DSW is known for. For an even bigger selection, Shoe Lovers can shop anytime at dsw.com (where kids’ shoes are ready and waiting!), making it crazy-convenient to explore all the fashion that DSW has to offer. To top it all off, DSW Rewards means shopping comes with perks-members earn points toward $10 Rewards certificates every time they shop.”

Besides shopping in-store at DSW, I love to consistently check their website, occasionally their blog, and also follow along with them on their social media sites (i.e. Twitter and Facebook). They are an interactive company, constantly engaging with their fans and customers in a friendly, welcoming fashion. Anytime I’ve ever reached out them in-store or online, they have always responded with a pleasant demeanor in an accommodating manner. Plus, being a DSW Rewards member, it is easy to be consistently provided with certificates, making most purchases extremely affordable! Not only that, but on your birthday, a surprise gift arrives in your mailbox!

In fact, on Sunday, I completed what I initially believed would be a complicated shoe exchange, but was actually quite simple and done with ease. Here are the shoes I happily purchased:

Chinese Laundry shoes             Franco Sarto

INSIDER TIPS for SHOPPING DSW:

  • Follow DSW on social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Polyvore, their blog – DSW Unlaced).
  • Each Tuesday and Friday, DSW has FREE SHOES DAY! Curious about what this means? On Tuesday and Friday, on either Twitter or Facebook (they alternate, so be sure to check both on these days at 12pm EST when the question of the hour is posted.. remember, free shoes day is only between 12-1pm EST, so you’ll have to submit your answer BY THEN!) Several winners are chosen thereafter and within a couple days, a $50 DSW gift certificate arrives in your inbox if you are chosen as a winner! The question that is posted is done “Scavenger Hunt” style, where they will post a photo of a shoe, accessory, etc, or ask a question about their blog, store, website, and you’ll have to go hunt around to find the answer! Submit the answer on the form they provide and you’re done!
  • Join DSW Rewards! It’s easy, FREE and really does REWARD you! Enroll either in-person or online and with each purchase, you can easily earn points and when you accumulate a certain number, you are rewarded with a $10 certificate with the ability to use it on anything! Plus, throughout the year, coupons will appear in your account at random times! Plus, you’re entitled to free standard shipping on DSW.com, for orders over $35 and on your birthday, you’ll receive a rewards certificate!
  • DSW Rewards VISA: If you’re in the market to open a new credit card and are a big shoe shopper or DSW fan, consider opening a DSW Rewards Visa. You’ll earn double points on all your DSW purchases (i.e. 20 points vs. 10 for being a DSW Rewards member only). Plus, you’ll earn points on outside purchases, so it makes earning reward certificates even easier!
  • Download the new DSW App: A couple months ago, DSW unveiled their new app, which I immediately downloaded! When I downloaded the app, I was also rewarded with points, as an added bonus. On the app, you can log-into your DSW Rewards account, instantly see your points, use your certificates in store, access an online chat, and add shoes to your wish list! It makes shopping even more convenient and simple.
  • A variety of payment methods: At some stores, the payment method is limited, but at DSW, the possibilities are significant. Everything from credit cards (their own and other such as VISA, Mastercard American Express, Discover, etc), cash, gift cards, and now Paypal!

Well, there you have it! It literally PAYS to shop at DSW! Great styles, great brands, great variety, and of course, great service! Prepare to be pampered when shopping at DSW!

Shoe Quote 2       Shoe Quote

If the Shoe Fits…

Welcome to a new week! I hope the weather is holding up where you are. Right now, winds are starting to pick up and it has been raining on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon. From what I hear, it is expected to get worse during the evening rush, but hopefully it will taper off and end up not being as bad as anticipated. Anyhow, this weekend was a bit different than the usual. More often than not, I spent the weekends relaxing at home and catching up on favorite TV shows and reading, however, this weekend was spent venturing out for a yummy dinner at P.F. Chang’s, as well as an event hosted by one of my favorite local radio stations since I’ve been young – 94.5 PST, based in Princeton, NJ!

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While perusing PST’s website a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon their contests section and noticed an invitation-only event entitled, “Choose Your Shoes.” In order to attend the event, you had to “win your way in.” Therefore, being the self-professed “shoe fiend” I am, I jumped at the opportunity to enter! Much to my surprise, I ended up winning an entry, therefore guaranteeing me a pair of designer shoes! I was also told I could bring guests, so my mom came along! Everyone who attended had the chance to win a pair of shoes, but all names were placed in a jar and randomly selected, whereas those who won their way in, each checked in upon entering the catering facility where the event was held and were given a number. I was in shock when I noticed the number I was given – 3! Since I’ve been a child, the number 3 has been my favorite number as I am often assigned it AND my birthday just so happens to be on May 3rd! It’s funny how it happens to turn out that way. Anyhow, I took that as good luck and hoped that the shoes I wanted would still be available by the time my number was called.

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The shoes available for picking included a vast array of brands and styles, from classic UGG boots and moccasins, to Sperry’s, Tory Burch and Burberry flats, Michael Kors boots, Coach sneakers, Jessica Simpson heels, Ivanka Trump pumps, plus the heels I chose…

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Enzo Angiolini Fayson Suede Pumps in Crimson Red!

Ahh, how I love them! These shoes, in my opinion, are truly high-quality showstoppers! Unfortunately, they aren’t my size (they are an 8, I am 6), therefore I need to do a quick exchange, which should be pretty simple, since PST provided all winners with a gift receipt! I’m VERY excited to sport these with a black dress, leggings, or even skinny jeans! They are apt to instantly take a simple outfit to the next level!

I’m so glad I was able to attend this very special event in that it not only commemorated my favorite accessory – Shoes, but also supported a cause I am particularly passionate about – Breast Cancer Awareness. EVERYTHING purchased that night (from the signature Pink cocktails, to the candy bags, raffle tickets, t-shirts, and game chances) all went to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research! Plus, a local hair salon and spa provided attendees with a signature “pink nail,” nail polish, as well as an opportunity to have a massage done!

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                                                                       My mom and I at the event!

QUESTION: I noticed I haven’t posted a question in quite awhile, so here’s a query to spark your thoughts: Have you ever attended an event such as this? What type of shoes would you choose?

Finding that Hidden GEM: The Best Stores for Jewelry!

Happy Rainy Monday! I hope your Monday morning was a pleasant one. Mine was off to a rather rocky start, as I awakened with a scratchy, raspy voice and a raw feeling in my throat. Nothing a little coffee and a tasty breakfast couldn’t cure! Well, it kind of helped, anyway, but that’s besides the point. So for my musing today, it’s one I am quite excited to share with you! Two of my favorite things to purchase, are shoes and jewelry! Today, I’ll be chatting with you about the latter – jewelry! I truly believe jewelry can dress up any outfit, taking it from basic, to high fashion and style! However, contrary to popular belief, you truly do not have to spend major dollars to score a beautiful piece, whether it is a necklace, bracelet, or a pair of earrings. By following my easy tips, you’ll be sporting gems like a Princess (or prince, for my male readers!) in no time! Before delving into my tips and tools, let’s chat about breakfast:

Breakfast (Monday, July 22, 2013):

1 container Giant-store brand Raspberry Greek Yogurt (FYI – the photo of this yogurt below is not actually me holding it, but one I found thanks to my good friend, Google Images! Anyhow, I’m not always the biggest ran of raspberry, but I decided to give this variety a try, since Giant generally has high-quality store brand products. To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed by this yogurt. The raspberry flavor was OK, but I found the consistency of the overall yogurt itself to be way too thick and not easily incorporated with my cereal, as I generally prefer for it to be. I realize Greek yogurt, overall, is typically thick, but this was to the point of paste and I was left with cereal that was bare… leaving me saddened. Okay, yes, this is a little dramatic, but to sum it up, I was disappointed).

1 cup Giant-Brand Puffed Rice Cereal (Much of the puffed rice cereal this morning did not touch the yogurt, as the yogurt stuck to the top of my cereal bowl, which contained my friend, Special K Red Berries.)

1 cup Special K Red Berries (As I mentioned above, the red berries received much of the yogurt, which was okay, I suppose. Still a good cereal, though.)

1 Banana (I know, you’re probably thinking, okay, what is it now? However, I have a surprise for you – this banana was IDEAL! That’s right, no complaints this morning with my beloved banana. It was perfectly ripe and sweet, just the way I like it!)

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Alright, now that breakfast is shared and discussed, back to our scheduled musing – jewelry! When I’m looking to shop for jewelry, whether I’m buying at the time I’m looking, or simply just browsing, there are several stores I frequent, because I feel I can always score the best deal, or at least, get the most for my money. Money can be hard to come by and even if money isn’t a problem, I think it’s always a good idea to save when you can! Plus, finding an extra dollar in your wallet on a rainy day can bring a little sunshine!

STORES WITH THE BEST JEWELRY DEALS:

  • Craft Stores – Wait, a second. You might be thinking, did I read that right? Craft stores for jewelry? Or, you might be thinking, “Oh, right, like I have time to createmy own jewelry! Well, if you’re thinking either of those two thoughts, I have a secret I’m going to share with you! Craft stores, such as A.C. Moore and Michaels typically have large bins FILLED with bracelets, for a minimal cost. These stores – A.C. Moore (acmoore.com), & Michaels (michaels.com) and other craft stores, as well, are ideal spots to check for fashionable, attractive bracelets. One might not think to look there, but last year, while browsing the store for items my sister needed for her wedding, I just so happened to spot a large bin of sparkly bracelets, priced only at about $3.33, if I remember correctly. While walking past the bin, I made a quick mental note to check back once I had a coupon with me. Sure enough, I returned to AC Moore several days later and after a quick comb through the bin, happily exited with my purchase –a sparkly, purple beaded bracelet, matching my plum bridesmaid dress to a perfect-T (pictured below). After coupons, my purchase was just over $2! In fact, recently, I had a woman in shock, after she complimented me on this very bracelet, asking me if it was Swarovski. I had to chuckle upon her question, feeling proud as I declared it was not in fact Swarovski, but actually AC Moore, and only slightly over $2. She couldn’t believe it and had to ask for clarification and gladly, I explained to her the ease of purchasing a bracelet appearing similar to mine. It always brings me joy to be able to provide someone with information they otherwise might not have discovered! Plus, both AC Moore and Michaels generally will always have coupons available through their website, in-store ad – can also be found in the weekend edition of the newspaper, or via e-mail, through signing up for their e-mails on their website). * Be sure to keep in mind, both AC Moore and Michaels accept each others’ coupons! So if you happen to clip an AC Moore coupon and you’re heading into Michaels, or vice versa, no worries, you can STILL use them! Happy Shopping!

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(example of store coupon)

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Me, wearing the AC Moore bracelet (Left wrist)

  • JCPenney –  (www.jcpenney.com) One of the best stores for jewelry, in my opinion. They have an abundant selection of high quality merchandise. From chunky beads to long pendants and glittery bracelets, they have a wide variety, plus, I’m proud to report, they are now offering coupons again! For awhile, they discontinued their use of coupons, however, they recently reintegrated coupons in their stores again and frequently in the weekly store ads found in the newspaper or in-store, or via e-mail (sign up on their website to receive) they have 15%, etc, which typically can be used on jewelry and other merchandise. Some of my favorite brands they offer in jewelry are: Mixit, Nicole by Nicole Miller, as well as Monet. In the past, I’ve gotten quite a few compliments when sporting jewelry from JCPenney, as it gives off the appeal of a higher-end jewelry store item.

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  • Kohl’s – (www. Kohls.com) Another one of my favorite stores for jewelry is Kohl’s (plus, it is literally 5 minutes or less away from my doorstep – which can be a good thing, but not always for my wallet’s sake!). Not only do they have a unique, vast selection, but coupons are ALWAYS available. Whether it is on the lower end of 15% or the highest amount they offer – 30%, coupons can be found via their website (Kohls.com), in your physical mailbox, e-mail inbox, or in-store. Plus, on occasion, if you spend $50 or more in-store before coupons, you will be awarded with $10 Kohl’s cash per $50 you spend, which is equivalent of free money to spend! Yes, that’s right, free $10 to Kohl’s in your hand! Anyhow, the jewelry brands offered at Kohl’s have gotten considerably better and of higher quality through the years. Brands of jewelry vary from Candies, Vera by Vera Wang, Dana Buchman, Apt. 9, Chaps, Croft & Barrow, Sonoma, LC Lauren Conrad, Daisy Fuentes, 1928, Jennifer Lopez, and the list continues! Some of my favorite jewelry pieces I currently own are from Kohl’s (i.e. a chunky, beaded cuff bracelet, large pendant necklaces, beaded necklaces, etc). Be sure to check their sale/clearance rack in the jewelry department, because you never know what you might find! The best/most appealing pieces can often be found lurking on the sale rack, missed by those who might overlook the discounted rack, believing it to be “junk,” or of poor quality. It simply isn’t true – when scouring stores for jewelry, in my opinion, it’s best to consider EVERYTHING! For instance, I was able to locate a cuff bracelet for my sister’s rehearsal dinner last year on the CLEARANCE RACK at Kohl’s, for a mere $2, after coupons. It’s a bracelet I frequently wear today which matches with many of my outfits. It’s easy to wear and was a great find!

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Two of my bracelets from Kohl’s!

  • Sears – (www.sears.com) I’m proud to report Sears’ boats a jewelry department closely similar to JCPenney, with chunky necklaces, beaded bracelets, and earrings, upon others. Plus, they offer coupons on a routine basis which can be found via their website, in-store ads (also found in weekend newspapers), or are sent through regular postal mail or email. They also have a generous Rewards (Shop Your Way Rewards) program, where if you sign up in-store or via website, you are given reward points for each item you purchase, which can accumulate quickly and upon reaching certain levels, will deduct instant money off of your purchase, which can be a very pleasant surprise!

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  • Avon & Meet Mark – (www.avon.com; http://www.meetmark.com) Upon hearing both of these companies, you might be wondering, why would I consult Avon or Meet Mark to purchase jewelry? However, allow me to inform you, their jewelry is top-notch and not too badly priced! In fact, one necklace I own, in particular, is a beaded pendant (pictured below) which I frequently wear and have received numerous compliments on, is from Avon or Meet Mark, purchased when I was 16-years-old! My friend at the time was selling Avon and asked me one day if I’d like to browse the catalog, I obliged of course, and the necklace I speak of, caught my eye. Without having to put much thought into it, I quickly placed my order and have been thrilled with it, ever since. As I mentioned, I was 16-years-old when I bought it and I am now 25. Keep in mind, this is not a high-end jewelry item, but it has held up through over nine years and is STILL going strong! Take a look below for an actual photo! If you’re unfamiliar with Meet Mark, it is a more “youthful” division of Avon, created several years ago to appeal to a younger crowd, though in my opinion, both Avon and Meet Mark can work for a vast variety of age groups – teens through adults. Check it out and see what you think! I think you’re going to like it!

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TIP: Check out http://www.printable-coupons.blogspot.com for a HUGE selection of printable store coupons for a wide variety of stores (updated on a regular basis!)

QUESTION: Where do you shop for jewelry? What are some of your favorite pieces you own (or wish you owned?)

Happy Shopping, my friends!

Closet Switch Up: How to Turn Yesterday’s Fashion into Dollars!

Welcome to the mid-week on this blistering day in July! I had an early start this morning and already it felt as though it was nearing 90! Anyhow, I hope your morning was a pleasant one. I’m not sure about you, but the Summer months always seem to inspire me to do a good, thorough cleaning in my home, but not only of the typical spots (i.e. kitchen, bathroom), but more specifically, my closet! Over the years, it seems I’ve accumulated tank top after tank top, a large amount of slip on heels, and other items I promise myself, “I’ll wear when the day is right.” However, if you’re like me, more often than not, that day never comes and it sits in my closet, or in a pile in the back of my closet, accumulating dust and becoming a ghost of fashion’s past! Typically, I will call up the American Center for Cancer Research and schedule a donation pick-up, however, at times, I will attempt to sell my clothing and accessories at a store by the name of, Plato’s Closet”. Before I share more, I will pause and brief you with my morning eats!

Breakfast (Wednesday, July 17, 2013):

1 container Yoplait Light Strawberry Shortcake (As I mentioned earlier this week, I tried a different flavor of Yoplait Light and wanted to continue the theme today… well, in a way, it’s also expiring in a couple days, so it ended up working out. Again, I was a little disappointed in the taste of this yogurt. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it was more or less a plain strawberry yogurt, I didn’t really catch any sort of taste reminiscent of shortcake. Still a decent yogurt choice, however.)

1 cup Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins (Ahh, I just cannot seem to get enough of this cereal. I love the crunchy texture and satisfying flavor it takes on when mixed with other cereals and yogurt).

1 cup Special K Red Berries (After a brief break, the red berries are back in action! I’m quite fond of this cereal as I’ve mentioned in the past, though as I’ve said before, as well, the berries in this particular box are minimal).

1 Banana (Alright, so this banana was still apart of that bunch I recently purchased from Target, but I rescued it from the back of the refrigerator before it had a chance to become completely frozen through and through. The top half was slightly frozen, but was able to be salvaged, I’m proud to report!)

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Back to today’s musing: Consigning and trading clothing to earn some cash! Nearly two years ago, I was frustrated and overwhelmed by the clothing in my closet (I know, overwhelmed by clothes?!) I was though, because there were lots of pieces and shoes in closet I wasn’t wearing, didn’t fit right, or simply weren’t comfortable for me to wear any longer or maybe, even, they never were to begin with. Realizing I could donate some, I decided to bargain with myself. After sorting through the abundance of clothing, shoes, and handbags, I sectioned off half to donate and the other half I would use to try my hand at a relatively new store in town which had caught my eye – Plato’s Closet. Perhaps you’re already acquainted with Plato’s Closet, but if you’re not, I’d like to take a couple moments of your time to introduce you:

PLATO’S CLOSET:

  • What is it? – Plato’s Closet is NOT a typical consignment shop, where you might bring in clothing and receive payment (if any) at a later time. No, at Plato’s Closet, you gather your gently-used clothing, shoes and handbags bring them to the store location, fill out a paper with general information (name, address, where you heard of Plato’s Closet, how many bags your selling, e-mail address), then simply hand over your bags and either browse the store, or return in a short amount of time (usually they provide you with the amount of time it will take to sort through your belongings) and learn if they will be buying any of your items.
  • What do they buy? – As you might expect, it can be a little tough to strike a sale at Plato’s Closet. The items must be current (their website states within the past 12-18 months), current label (they like brands such as Arden B, Bebe, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Target, Kohls, Express, just to name a few), must appeal to their demographic (from teen through 20’s, 30’s – i.e. Juniors clothing), sizes 0/1-15/16 for females… however, I can’t forget about any males who might be reading, or for those females with males in their lives! SEE BELOW…
  • Is it only for Females? – One might think so at first, but absolutely NOT! Plato’s Closet also has a generous selection of clothing and accessories for males. For males, they accept 28-40 waist, as stated on their website.
  • What can I bring to sell? – LOTS! The list includes: clothing (outwear, casual-wear, dressy attire), footwear, handbags (of all kinds, however, if you are bringing designer items, a dust bag or some proof of purchase generally must be included in order for them to accept it), jewelry, mittens/gloves, hats, scarves, belts, jewelry, sunglasses! I’d say, if you have a question whether or not you can sell it, bring it along anyway! It never hurts to ask and in the long run, it may be money in your wallet! When in doubt, bring it!
  • Where can I learn more? – Definitely check out http://www.platoscloset.com to discover locations near you (they appear to be surfacing nearly everywhere, or at least near where I am located. Just in my area alone, there are several and even more on the horizon (I just learned by checking their website today that a brand new Princeton, NJ location will be opening soon!).

Tips/Things to Keep in Mind Prior to Selling:

  • Make sure the items you’re bringing in to sell are clean, gently-worn (free of stains, rips, visible wear and tear), current (within past 12-18 months), the brands they are searching for (consult their website for a comprehensive list, or call to check prior to heading in.)
  • Remember you do not have to accept what is offered to you. Bringing your items to Plato’s Closet most likely isn’t going to afford you with excessive amounts of money, but it can give you some cash to keep in your wallet, or help in some way, however, it is important to remember if you think what they are going to give you is too low, you’re not obligated to sell. If you’re unhappy with what they will give you, you are free to take your items home. There is no contract, no obligations, simply a “consultation.”
  • Keep your head up. It’s easy to feel bad, let down, or sad if Plato’s Closet will not accept your items. This has happened to me several times (though on many other occasions, I have sold), and it can be easy to feel frustrated, however, it’s important to keep in mind that the store employees, owners and managers are experienced and typically know what sells and what doesn’t. If they won’t accept it, maybe it means taking a second look to see if you will wear it, or know someone who could benefit from it (whether it is through a donation, or having a “closet exchange” party with friends/family.) Or, a general consignment shop is a possibility, as well and can usually be located through a simple Google search.

Plato's Closet outsidePlato's Closet insideClothing

GENERAL/TRADITIONAL CONSIGNMENT SHOPS:

If Plato’s Closet isn’t really what you’re searching for, there are always general/traditional consignment shops. To provide you with a brief overview:

  • Typically, a “consignor” brings in their items (clothing, accessories, etc) and they are reviewed by an employee of the consignment shop. After they are reviewed, it is determined if they can or will be accepted or not. For those items that are accepted, they are then priced at a fraction of their typical retail price, placed on shelves and if purchased, the original consignor is provided with a percentage of it’s selling price (this occurs so that both the store owners and the consignors can earn money.)
  • It’s important to keep in mind, that it can take weeks or months to earn any kind of profit and no profit is guaranteed. Also, depending on the consignment shop (I recently visited one who had this policy – $5 to consign), they could initially charge you to consign your items.
  • If you’re looking to earn a profit relatively quickly, a traditional consignment shop may not be the route for you and it may be more beneficial to try a store similar to Plato’s Closet, initially.

HandbagsShoes

Selling your clothing and accessories can be an arduous process or a simple one, but in my opinion, can be worth a try! You never know what that shirt from last year could provide you with… a new pair of earrings, perhaps?

QUESTION: Have you ever sold to a store like Plato’s Closet or a consignment shop? If not, would you?

 

Fashion Forward: Top Fashion Trends I’m Loving!

Happy Monday! I hope your morning was a welcome start to a *HOT* July summer day! Right now, here in Pennsylvania (and perhaps wherever you’re located, as well) we are experiencing another heat wave, though to be honest, I don’t really mind all that much. I’d much prefer to be subjected to excessive heat, rather than excessive cold. As long as the humidity is at a minimum, heat isn’t all that bothersome to me. Anyhow, before I jump into today’s musing (FASHION!), I’ll fill you in with my tasty eats this AM:

Breakfast (Monday, July 15, 2013):

1 container Yoplait Light Raspberry Cheesecake (Yes, a newbie on the blog, thus far. I like to change it up a bit with some variety – Greek yogurt vs. traditional. I like that Yoplait Light has such a wide sampling of flavors. This was my first time trying this particular flavor and I have to say, I liked it for the most part. There was a strong raspberry flavor, however, I didn’t quite taste anything reminiscent of cheesecake, which was a disappointment. Still, I’d probably buy it again in the future).

1 cup Special K Red Berries (Yay, red berries! However, this box doesn’t have as many red berries, as usual. Still good though.)

1 cup Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins (Crunchy pillows which combine well with mostly anything!)

1 Banana (Okay.. so, I really must have gotten a bad bunch of bananas, because I experienced the SAME issue today as I did yesterday with the peel. It was a challenge to peel the banana, although once I did peel it, it ended up being palatable, so I suppose that’s all that really matters in the end.)

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Back to today’s musing: Fashion. I’ve been into fashion since I’ve been young, spending time at the mall and various stores outside the mall, websites, etc, seeking the latest fashion. I’ve perused magazines, examining the pieces carefully selected by respected editors, celebrities, and fashion stylists. Though I’m not able to shop as much as I’d like to, I’m still particularly taken by some of these unique fashion trends I’ve spotted in some of my favorite stores (i.e. Target, Kohl’s, H&M), websites (Pinterest, fellow bloggers), and elsewhere.

FAVORITE CURRENT FASHION TRENDS:

  • Peplum:

Ever since first seeing this look about a year or so ago, I’ve been hooked! Unfortunately, I haven’t actually gotten around to owning any pieces of Peplum, but sure hope to in the imminent future. In fact, I spotted a very sophisticated peplum top at Express just the other day! While perusing Target, I also spotted some adorable Peplum tops (which, if you’re so inclined, can venture on over to http://www.target.com/coupons and print yourself some coupons to use, making for a great buy!) I also happened to spot, also on the Target clearance rack, a black Peplum skirt!

* Peplum Fun Fact: The word Peplum actually means “tunic” in Greek and can be described as an “overskirt.”

Here’s some photos of Peplum for those who may be unfamiliar, or simply would like a clear depiction of one of my favorite trends:

Peplum SkirtPeplum Top 4Peplum Top 3Peplum Top 2Peplum Skirt 2

  • Summer Scarves:

I’ve always found scarves of any kind to be classy, with the instant ability to “dress up,” nearly any look! Unfortunately for me, I’ve never been all that inclined on typing them! However, lately, I’ve been seeing light, pastel-colored scarves which compliment an otherwise casual look. These scarves can be purchased nearly anywhere (Target, Walmart, Kohls, for the more frugal fashionista, and also at higher end stores such as Banana Republic, J.Crew, Nordstrom, etc). From wherever you might purchase, in my opinion, these summer scarves are truly one of a kind!

ScarfSummer ScarvesSummer Scarf

  • Button-Down Sleeveless Blouses:

While shopping in two of my favorite stores, Kohl’s and Target, I spotted several button-down sleeveless blouses! For me, personally, I’ve always loved this look and purchased several in the past from H&M, another one of my favorite and thrifty stores. Sleeveless blouses have always had the ability to make me feel more feminine, sophisticated and put together, no matter if they are $5 or $50. They are available in countless unique patterns, colors, materials and fabrics, able to be dressed up or dressed down and are ideal for the office on a hot summer day, or even a night out on the town, when paired with a skirt, jeans, leggings, or even dressy shorts.

  • Strappy Wedges:

As a petite female (5’1″ sans heels), I frequently can be found sporting an array of heels, wedges, and platforms. Wearing heels and shoes with height is something I’ve enjoyed for years and love purchasing them in unique and bright colors and patterns. My all-time favorite shoe store, DSW provides many options and varieties, creating a unique experience each time I stop in to explore. What I like most about wedges, is they are easily walkable, since their bottom surface is flat. In the summer, this makes for easy walking on grassy surfaces (especially handy when taking walks, catching fireworks) and also on the boardwalk!

Strappy wedgesStrappy wedges 2

  • Dressy Shorts:

To be honest, I haven’t worn shorts in years. It’s not that I don’t like them, in fact, it’s the opposite! I’ve been seeing them in magazines, on people out and about, in stores, and elsewhere, and I’ve grown quite fond of them! No longer are they only for casual wear, but they are also ideal for nights out on the town and on some occasions, even in the workplace, depending on your type of work and the style of the shorts. Some of my favorite looks are a sleek pair of fitted shorts, a sleeveless blouse and heels or wedges. It’s an effortless, stylish Summer look!

Dressy short outfitDressy shortsDressy shorts 2

  • Long Beaded Necklaces:

For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a fan of jewelry of all kinds. Like shoes, scarves handbags, jewelry has the ability to truly transform an otherwise plain outfit to a sophisticated, fun, stylish look. Plus, it can be customized to match the colors you’re already wearing. With long, beaded necklaces, they can be easily tossed on (many don’t even require a clasp hook), so it’s toss over your neck and wear! Easily, simple and fun fashion – the way a Summer look should be, in my opinion!

Bead NecklaceBead Necklace 2Bead Necklace 3

  • Sundresses:

In summer fashion, sundresses have always been a staple in my closet. More often than in the Winter months, I find myself reaching for dresses, as they are typically easy to thrown on and can appear put together in minutes. There are many styles, colors and fabrics and at stores like Target, are typically on sale during the Summer months and are affordable. For instance, last year, I required slightly more dresses than usual. Since my sister, Hope, got married in August, I needed a couple of dresses to wear for her bridal shower in the Spring, her bachelorette party in the Summer, and also her rehearsal dinner the night before her wedding. If you’re wondering where I purchased dresses for several of these occasions, that’s right, I visited my favorite stores: Target and Kohl’s, however, I did visit one other store for the dress I wore to the bachelorette party… Plato’s Closet! If you’re unfamiliar with Plato’s Closet, it is a resale store, where customers bring their gently used clothing in exchange for cash on the spot! Some of the clothing sold there is high-quality, barely worn (if at all, some actually have new tags on there), from stores such as Bebe, Arden B, H&M, plus a host of others. They can be a little strict with the clothing they accept, but its understandable, since they aspire to sell good conditioned merchandise, which is still highly wearable. The dress I purchased was affordable, colorful and ideal for a night out in Atlantic City, NJ! Stay tuned for an upcoming future post about Plato’s Closet!

DressSundressSummer dress

  • Yoga Pants:

Last, but certainly NOT least are yoga pants! Each night, is my uniform, complemented by a comfortable t-shirt. To me, there is nothing better than being able to relax in a pair of yoga pants. They are comfortable, easy to move in, and pretty much adjust according to your body, with wear. My go-to store for yoga pants is Kohl’s and I know I’ve mentioned them numerous times in this post alone, but I’ll tell you why: they are incredibly generous with coupons (in fact, there is usually always one available for printing), plus if you have a Kohl’s charge, they send you additional high-valued coupons, (some even worth 30%) which you can always use on ALL merchandise, regardless of price (regular, sale, clearance), which can TRULY make for an exceptional deal! Not only are traditional yoga pants available at Kohl’s, but also yoga capris, shorts, plus different colors and waist designs, etc. They have a wide variety for an affordable price!

Yoga Pants

There you go, my fashion forward friends and visitors! These of course are just a small samplings of my current favorites in the fashion world.

QUESTION: What are some of your favorite fashion trends? Or, what are some fashion trends you aren’t too fond of?