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So we’ve all heard of consignment shops, but ever tried to take a gander and step inside? You’d be surprised at what you’ll find. For me, I found a mess and a half. And this was no normal small little closet of a place. I’m talking about Filene’s Basement in downtown Chicago, IL. It was huge. Jeans, blouses, dresses, shoes, and accessories galore. Even such things as umbrellas, bath and body products, make up, and home furnishings. But I walked around that whole store twice and found nothing worth swiping my debit for. I didn’t want to force myself to make a purchase, and I didn’t have to.

So what’s the best way to shop designer cheap? Online I say! There are consignment type stores popping up all over the web, and they are becoming hot hot hot! How hot? Many times when I get on these sites, much of the cute stuff is sold the hell out — that’s how hot they are (so get on it ladies and gents). But no worries, plenty of delicious choices are always available. The trick with these websites is how to catch the best sales at the right time, because most of them are timed to only let you shop from a specific designer for a set amount of hours on a chosen day. Best part is, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your desk, or couch … or bed (for the uber lazy–i.e. myself).

Haute Look

Want accessories, watches, perfumes, clothes, etc, etc, etc? This site will have you stylin’ in some hot designer gear asap.

Positives to

  • Great variety in different types of fashion products
  • Huge sales on designer products. Up to 70% off on some items
  • Products for women, men, and children

Negatives to

  • Limited time sales. Fix: make sure you have alerts of designers emailed to you so you are catching your faves!
  • Only three sales going on at a time
  • Cannot peek at upcoming sales

Rue La La

Ool la la right? Right. Talk about some tippity top designers in everything from clothes to shoes to china to cutlery. Not to mention 500 other things. This super exclusive site caters to women, children, and men, dressing them in some pretty studly items. This online boutique host also has limited time sales until each designer store shuts down (usually a two day sale). However, since Rue La La is invite only, you can’t just sign up whenever. But let me know if you want an invite and I shall send you one!

Positives of RueLaLa

  • Amazing selection
  • Longer lasting sales
  • Great home products
  • More exclusive
  • Up to 70% and more off
  • More sales going on at a time (Right now seven sales are on!)
  • Can preview upcoming sales

Negatives to RueLaLa

  • Invite only


This week’s fashion faux pa will be dedicated to ladies looking all wrong in their work places. Now, understandably everyone’s jobs are different and demand different tasks, but unless you’re freelancing from home, pay attention to this list of what you should not be wearing. Actually you shouldn’t even be leaving the house dressed in one of these about-to-be-mentioned garments, but let’s take it step by step, shall we?

What NOT to wear to work:

1. Clothing that is inappropriate for your age. That means if you are 40+ learn to love it, but don’t worry, you can be styling at any age. There is no reason to fear getting older, everyone woman can rock a look that is unique to her. Same goes for the 20 somethings: don’t drab yourself in dull clothing and oversized gear. If you are young flaunt it — but in a classy way.

2. Sweats, pajamas, or workout clothing. This is the ultimate no no. Women who wear sweats to work are giving off the impression that either,
• They don’t care
• Or they don’t know how to dress.
• They are lacking confidence
These things are major negatives. Sweats make your peers and superiors look at you as an unprofessional and perhaps even a lazy being. And ladies, we know you are none of the above. So put on something smarter please! Let’s face it, everyone out there is judging you. So why let them believe that you are self-conscious or lacking in confidence? Show them your stylish colors.

3. Clothing that is too revealing. When it comes down to it, no one wants to see that (OK maybe your perverted boss does, but why should he get that pleasure?). Cover up, stay classy, and put the girls back where they belong. Cleavage (both from the bosom and behind) should remain private.
Some tips:
• Make sure your shirt/blouse is long enough
• Make sure you dress/skirt is long enough
• Don’t wear low-cut items
• Spaghetti strapped or strapless clothing is probably inappropriate as well. Although, you might get away with it depending on your work place and if fall into the younger category.

4. Torn, stained, or dirty clothing.

5.  Fishnets. Unless you work in some ultra-trendy zone that promotes the uber stylish — then by all means. Otherwise let’s save those for a night out on the town.

6. Ugly clothes. Just because you’re going to work and you’re following these rules, doesn’t mean you bust out the back of the closet gear. I know you walk around the mall and see mannequins dolled up in stylish little work outfits. Try White House | Black Market, The Limited, J.Crew, Banana Republic, GAP, select clothing at Express, Ann Taylor, or New York & Company to name a few. You really can’t go too wrong with those stores, and it might be easier to find outfits in these stores rather than rifling through racks and racks in a department store. Still having trouble? Ask an associate of the store to help you piece an outfit together.

7. Very old and faded clothing.

8. Tennis shoes — especially with cute professional outfits.

9. Flip flops.

10. Hair-a-mess.

more to come…


Since I mentioned in an earlier post that hair can be the number one accessory to an outfit, why not talk about an accessory to an accessory? Bangs baby bangs.

Bangs are a great way to add some spice to your do, but discretion is advised: they are not meant for everyone. And ladies, do not try this at home–always ask your stylist before you make the cut!

Four finger test: So here’s a little test that I like to recommend to friends considering embarking upon the bang boat. It’s called the 3-4 finger test. Take your four fingers and place them between your eyebrows and hair line. If they fit comfortably (or if there is room left over), then bangs it is. If not, try three fingers and depending on your face shape, you can bang it up too.

Here are some examples of celebs who did bangs all right–or all wrong. Let’s make sure you show up on the good list and not the bad!

Not to bang! Some may think Rachel is rocks her new bangs… but I disagree.

Bang baby bang. Jessica Alba look great with the sexy side bang.

Not bang-able                                    Bang-able

Totally bang-able. Reese Witherspoon = epitome of perfect bangs

Audrina Patridge looks much better without the bangs! She should not have even gone down that path… Although her middle part is a bit awkward. Maybe we’re just too used to seeing her with the messy hair look.

Love her. Fringe-a-licious.
(note, when I say “not to bang”, “bang”, or “bang-able”–I am speaking only of hairstyles)
*image from google images


I’ve been back from the wilderness for a couple of weeks now and I haven’t posted much. I’d like to share with you some of the concepts and ideas that I find memorable or useful in my everyday life.

One of the coolest things on the trip were “wild edibles” walks. We learned a lot of cool stuff regarding plants that we can find all around us. Here is a brief look into my relationship with stinging nettle.

While on our first “wild edibles” walks, we were introduced to nettle, a wild, edible plant that grows pretty much around the world. We picked off the small leaves, folded it and munched on what tasted like fresh string beans, picked right from Mom’s garden. On our second “wild edibles” walk we came across a different type of nettle plant–stinging nettle.

Stinging nettle is a beauty of  a green plant, but it packs a vicious bite. On the underside of each leaf are tiny hairs that when touched are transformed into tiny hypodermic style needles. These tiny tips inject equally tiny amounts of chemicals including histamine, serotonin and formic acid. Skeptical to this claim of stinging I had to test it out for myself. I grabbed on to a few leaves and waited for this so called sting.

Well, i didn’t have to wait long. Immediately I felt like I was being bitten by red ants. (Yes, I have been bitten by red ants. I unknowingly stepped on top of a fire ant hill at my sister’s graduation from the Air Force –they had quite a meal that afternoon.)

We had to pick a basketful of these leaves for the dinner we would be preparing. I did not volunteer for that. I volunteered for cutting up the leaves to sautee in a soapstone dish later that evening. I was expecting that once the leaves were plucked from its nutritional stem all stinging would cease. Wrong. In a matter of less then ten minutes, I had numbed three fingers on my right hand from nail to knuckle. The sensation stayed for more than a couple of days. It has the potential to remain in a human’s system for a week. The tiny stings are not life threatening, but give the feeling of unremovable splinters.

They saute up nice though, resembling spinach, but carry the taste of whatever you use to saute them in.

stinging nettle

-Sarah Haase

m&m men
The men of Mars want to give you some. For free. Photo Credit:

I give you three of the best words in the English language.

1. Free

2. Chocolate

3. Fridays

Since May 8, Mars has been giving away 250,000 coupons of free chocolate every Friday.  Think downloadable coupons for free 3 Musketeers, Dove, M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, and Milky Way, in exchange for filling out an online form (name, address, and email). So far, no Oprah Hooplas have been reported but the “overwhelming response” on its first week prompted the chocolate company to double its free coupons the next Friday.

Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act is the company’s way of offering chocolate-covered respite to the millions of Americans affected by the recession. Note that the coupons redeem full-size packages and not one measly chocolate bar. Isn’t that sweet?

Click here for Free Chocolate Fridays. The campaign runs until the end of September. Stock up!

Who says chocolate isn’t the answer to everything?

– Kris Alcantara

Today's Sugarhigh: Dark Chocolate Raisinets
Score: B+

Do not wear: 

1. Fanny packs

2. Red eyeshadow (unless you’re on the runway–stage make up doesn’t count)… do you really want to look like you have bloody eyes?

3. Too many colors or layers at once, there is a way to work these things to make it stylish–but too much is… too much. Don’t try it if you’re doubtful of how you may look. 

4. Fishnet stockings on daily basis. 

5. Tennis shoes with dressy shirts/outfits (ladies and gents)

6. MC hammer pants. I don’t know about those…just because they are on the clothing racks doesn’t mean they work for everyone. I would actually say they only look good on the runway, and let’s face it–most people don’t wear what’s on the runway. I don’t think they’ll be in for long, remember gauchos? It’s like those all over again (bad deja vu).

7. Leg warmers in the summer… or at all. 

(to be continued, again…)



Courtesy of Google images

Courtesy of Google images

After a tiring day at work, the last thing you want to do is workout. Usually, you just want to nap.

Today all my co-workers headed back to their apartments to nap, and I wanted to as well. But keeping on with my quest for mental clarity, I headed to yoga and since it was a restorative class, all we did was rest.

 Yoga Nap gives you the best of both the sleep and exercise worlds.

It stretches your muscles, releases your stress, and as a result relaxes you. What could be better? You get the benefits of being well-rested from sleep and the endorphins from exercise.

There are countless resources you can look up online to give you ideas for different poses you can do in your yoga nap. 

Many of the poses open your heart by stretching your arms out. 

The most basic pose is savasana, and is what you should end your practice with.

1. Lie on your back, close your eyes, extend your arms to the side — palms facing up, and let your feet relax.

2. Make sure your shoulders are rolled back and away from your ears. 

3. Focus on a place of peace and tranquility. Somewhere you go to relax, somewhere you’ve visited before, or somewhere you imagine. 

4. Don’t let other thoughts seep in, focus on that place, and think about nothing. Let your mind let go of your day, your stresses, and your thoughts. 

5. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose. 

Try not to fall asleep — beginning meditation you usually will — but once you find the ability to lie and just be without falling asleep, you’ll feel sheer bliss.

Yoga high: 2.5