Friday, September 30, 2011

Frugal Friends Friday, vol. 2.1

This post is dedicated to my lovely, funny, always matching sister, Ambika.  Her style is frugal because my mom and I shop her primarily.  I inherited the frugal gene from my mom and she taught me most of what I know about being cheap.  Love you mom!

This weekend my friends and I are walk/running The Bridge to Bridge race in San Francisco.  The benefits are going to Special Olympics Northern California, an organization my sister participates in year round.  She's the athletic one in the family and competes in bowling, tennis, track and field, softball and basketball to name a few!

My sister just loves to pose for the camera! This is what she normally does, no prompting needed.  My sister is super petite and pear shaped.  She's roughly 4'10" with shoes on.

Shirt:Target-Merona V-neck T-shirt-$3 (Gift from me!)
Skirt-Old Navy-Floral print-Gift from our Cousin-FREE!
Headband:Target-Oh i love the dollar bins-$1 (Gift from me!)
Shoes: Likely expensive because she has a special lift to correct for a short leg
Approximate Total cost (ignoring shoes) ~$4
Me, my mommy and sister out to dinner at a fabulous El Salvadorian Restaurant for my mom's bday.

Frugal Friend Friday! Vol. 2

This weeks frugal friend is my best friend, Tiny.  I've know her since middle school and back then we had a very similar fashion sense.  It basically boiled down to flared jeans, a fitted t-shirt and a denim jacket.  As we grew up our own personal styles emerged and diverged.  I'd say we differ on our shopping philosophy; she believes in investing in quality shoes, jackets, and coats which made my Frugal Friend Friday picture request a challenge for her.

Top- H&M-Blue Tank Top-$10
Skirt-H&M-Blue and white striped-$20
Shoes: Teva Olowaho Sandals- $40
The Teva Olowaho Sandals are something both Tiny and I both love.  They are the most comfortable flip flops I've ever owned.  In fact, I think I've had at least 3-4 pairs that last me several years each.  They come in a variety of colors, but blacks always a good choice as it can go with anything.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thrifty White Pants

Yes, I know. I'm wearing white pants after labor day BUT yesterday it was over 90 degrees which makes it perfectly okay to wear white pants if you ask me.  That and they are new and cheap and I love them.  I've never had a pair of white pants before...we'll see how long they stay white.

This post is linked up to Thursday are for Thrifts, a blog I found just last night! Great to see other cheap, thrifty, frugal bloggers.  Its also linked up to Color Brigade so if you like my outfit, you can vote for me there! If anyone would like to send in photos for my Frugal Friends Friday post, just remember your outfit needs to be under $100 or currency equivalent and include where you got each item and for how much.  You can email me at  or upload photos to my Facebook page.  

Shirt: Anthropologie-Yellow Tunic Top-$20 (similar long-sleeved one here)
Belt: Thrift Town-Multicolored Guatemalan Belt-$2
Pants:Thrift Town-White Wide Leg Linen pants-$6 (similar here)
Shoes:Ross-White Strapy Cork Wedge Sandals-$16
Ring: Pier 1-Bead Flower Ring-$4
Approximate Total Cost~$48

 I absolutely love this multicolored belt! I think it was such a great find at $2.
My flower ring and a pretty pale yellow rose in my garden.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can't keep anything new

Bothered to put on make up today!
5 Random Facts about Me:
  1. I can't keep anything new.  I must wear an new item of clothing as soon as I can, such as the LOFT skirt i bought Monday and wore today.  My mom complains about this all the time saying "Beti, can't you save your nice clothes for special occasions".   No mom, I really can't.  I think its a sign that I really like whatever I bought.  If it stays in the bag I probably don't know how to incorporate it into my wardrobe and it will stay unworn for a long.
  2. I have a fear of birds.  They fly, drop excrement while they fly, and have sharp beaks for poking your eyes out.  No, I have never watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie and I don't know where this fear comes from but its a full blown phobia. 
  3. I have never dry cleaned an item of clothing.  If it says dry clean only I'll walk away from it in the store before I buy it.  If i don't notice or love it too much to pass up I will probably never wash it or try and wash it by hand.
  4. I love Gordon Ramsey.  At first I thought he was a really jerk when I saw him on Hell's Kitchen, but my opinion quickly changed after watching last years season with my husband.  I've probably seen every episode of Kitchen Nightmare's.
  5. My best friend organized my dresser and I've kept it organized for 3 weeks now!  This is a real feat.  Normally my dresser looks like a tornado landed.

smelling my roses

Seemed like a good idea at the time but the dried shrub left me with several spinters in my foot! Ouchie!
Shirt: Ross-Purple Sleeveless top with ribbon flowers-$8
Skirt:LOFT-Pintuck Hem Cotton Viola Skirt-$3
Scarf worn as belt- orange with beaded hem- Gift from a relative in India-FREE!
Earings-Silver and orange-Gift from a relative-FREE!
Shoes-Cork and silver flip flops-gift from a relative-FREE!

Approximate Total Cost-$11

Monday, September 26, 2011

Extra % of clearance items!

I think alot of stores are trying to clear out the last of their summer inventory right now.  While strolling and mostly window shopping today I found Banana Republic had additional 35% off clearance items, GAP and LOFT had additional 30% off, and Express had an additional 20% off.  So if your in the mood to do some bargain hunting this week seems like a great time.  I found a cute black skirt at LOFT for only $3 after discounts!  The sale tag said $15 but it rang up as $5!  I paid more for my breakfast this morning!

My frugal find today:
LOFT at ShopStyle
LOFT-Pintuck Hem Cotton Viola Skirt

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Under $30 Finds

Midi Length Skirts
I'm really liking this trend of midi length skirts, though with my petite frame I'm not sure what length will look good on me.  I've tried on a few and they fall midi-calf length or lower which is not the look I'm going for.  Maybe if I find a color or print at the right price I'll try and convince my mom to alter it for me.  She's been my taylor for years now.  Really, you can't beat free alterations!

ASOC Midi Skirt-$25.61       
Forever 21- Stitched Grid Denim

Colored Pants
I've always liked having a pair of colored pants in my wardrobe and now that its a fashion trend you would think it be easier to find them in stores, but my experience is quite the contrary.  I've tried numerous stores trying to find cobalt blue pants in my size with no luck.  The closest I came was at JCPenny where they had cobalt blue skinny jeans in the juniors section but only in a size 3.  Before this year I'd be in luck but after my  "marriage 30" that size looks mighty tiny.
YOOX-Fornarnia Denim Pants-$30
Forever 21-Colored Denim

Trench Coats
It was tough to find Trench coats under $30 online, but I'm sure in several weeks many will be on sale.
Target-Mossimo Supply co.
Featherweight Raincoat-$29.99
Target-Merona Full length Trench

Rich Colors: Cobalt, Mustard
Two of my favorite colors right now for fall are mustard yellow and cobalt blue.  Lime green was fun and all for the past year, but maybe its time for me to move on to something new.

The Limited-Twist Detail Drapeneck Top-$24.99

Forever 21-Lace & Pleats Dress-$22.80

One of my new favorite wardrobe items are tights and leggings.  I get cold all the time and tights can easily change the look of an outfit.  The tights with little bows are just darling!

ModCloth-Bow-dacious tights-$14.99

HUE Super Opaque Tights-$13.50

What fall items are you searching sale and clearance racks for?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Frugal Friends Friday! vol. 1

I've decided to start posting photos of my frugal friends and am hoping this will inspire some online readers to send in their frugal outfits as well.  My only criteria is that the outfit should cost less than $100 total. Until I figure out a more convenient way, you can email me,, or you can upload a picture or two of your outfit or a link to your blogpost with information on where you purchased each item and for how much to my facebook page.  

My first frugal friend outfit, is from none other than my best friend.  I may or may not have pestered her in the process of creating this post.  This outfit she's now worn to two later summer outdoor weddings.  One was a destination wedding in Croatia and the other a wedding in sunny Socal, somewhere outside of Palm Springs I believe.  She looked stunning in this dress at both events!
Dress: Norstrom Rack-Maggy London Chiffon and Charmeuse Dress-$24
Shoes: Cole Reaction Know Mistake-$24
Earings:A gift
Approximate Total Cost: $48

My next frugal friend is my friend who's makeup expertise and style I've envied for a long time. She's the one on the right.  Her frugal outfit is also from a wedding she attended this summer.  The wedding was causal so a flowly maxi dress fit the bill.  And I love how she used a wide belt to accentuate her waist and show off her curves.
Dress:Macys-American Rag-$45
Belt-Marshalls-Micheal Kors-$20 (similar here or here)

Shoes: Aldo-sparkly black wedged flip flops-$14.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Butter Chutney

In my backyard are huge apple and pear trees.  We currently have more fruit than we know what to do with so I'm searching for some new recipes to try out.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

So far I've made a pear cobbler, pear cupcakes, applesauce and today a recipe of my own creation, Apple Butter Chutney.  I decided to use the slow cooker method of preparing apple butter and add some whole spices to give it a little Indian Chutney flavor.  It turned out really good and would probably go great on pork chops or roasted pork loin.  My husband plans on using some as a rub for ribs this weekend! I can't wait to try those.  I think next time i might add some chili powder for additional heat.

Makes about 16 oz of chutney.  You will need a slow cooker, preferably a small one.

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small piece of cinnamon bark or stick
1 green cardamon pod
1 black cardamon pod (if you can't find this you can probably substitute another regular cardamon pod)
1 small dried red pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper (you can use black if you want...i found this in the cupboard first)
2 whole cloves
1/3 cup of sugar (I used TJ organic cane suger...its just what i prefer)
1 heaping tbsp of light brown sugar
1 tsp or so of canola or vegetable oil.

1. Place enough oil to cover the bottom of the crockpot
2. Plug in crockpot and wait one minute for the oil to heat.  Then add in the whole spices (everything except the sugar, ground cinnamon and apples) and let them cook for a minute or two till it smells fragrant.
3.  Add in the rest of the ingredients.
4.  Cook for 4-5 hours.  Check on it every so often and stir it making sure its not burning or cooking unevenly. It will be done when all the apples are no longer solid and the sugars have caramelized.  Look for a medium to dark brown color.
5. Enjoy or can to save for later.

I decided to try canning for the first time.  Picked up the materials at the hardware store of all places, including a book on canning methods.  I tried various -marts first but they didn't carry canning jars.

I only have one, not so flattering picture of my outfit today.  My camera batteries are both drained and I can't find the charger anywhere...there maybe a short break from blog posts till i find it.  My hair is doing some crazy 70's flip today. It has a mind of its own.
Dress: Ross-Heather Grey Jersey dress-$15 (similar here or here)
Belt:Thrift Town-Rainbow colored belt-$2
Scarf-A gift from my friend when she visited Turkey-FREE!
Shoes:Old Navy-Faux leather Grecian sandals-$20

Monday, September 19, 2011


This weekend my husband and I went down to Socal to visit Legoland and see some family and friends for his birthday.  My best friend went with us and it was the first time visiting Legoland for us all.  We all thought the lego creations were amazing!  And definitely worth the discount ticket price we payed.  Most of the rides are geared towards little kids but that didn't really matter to us as we could care less for roller-coasters and such.  It was all about the Legos!
Note we visited the gift shop and purchased a lego christmas scene for my husband to set up every year

Me and a lego Bison.
 Ever since I visited Yellowstone National Park when i was 12 or so I've been semi-obsessed with the creatures.  The face and body were built of lego bricks while the hair was chia pet like vegetation.  My new oxford style shoes from Nordstrom rack were perfect for a day of walking around.
My friend in front of Lego Washington D.C.

New Orleans

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco!

Golden gate bridge and NY skyline in the background
My lego racecar.
 They have an place where you can build your own racecar and race it against your friends.  My not-so creative design never made it to the finish line. It had issues going straight and would get stuck on the edge.  There was even a timer for the races.   My husband, the physicist, of course had an aerodynamic car with deflectors to keep it from getting stuck on the edge or pushed of course by other cars. Surprise, surprise he won!
Lego unt for Tiny and Egyptian Tomb for Ashley
Lego Taj Mahal! So many legos were used that it weighs approximately 900lbs!
Lego Mt. Rushmore...note the Q-tip in George Washington's ear...there were little lego people moving it in and out!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Help Movie Inspired Fashion

 I watched the movie The Help yesterday and am currently reading the book as well. I loved the 50s and 60s fashion in the film.  The pencil skirts, floral prints, shirt dresses and ruffles were a few things that stood out in my mind after watching the film.  I think my absolute favorite fashion accessory is a thick red wavy belt.  So if anyone see's anything similar let me know! My outfit today is inspired by the look Celia Foote wears when showing Minny around her home for the first time.  My look is not quite as va-va-voom as Celia's but it works for me!

Skirt: Antropologie-Tomato Picking Skirt-$70
Shirt: JcPenny-Floral Print Button Down-$5 (similar here)
Belt: Ross-Navy Blue Belt-$3 (similar here)
Shoes:Payless Shoe Soure-Zoe&Zac Blue Peep-toe heels-$12 (similar here)
Approximate total cost~$90

 Another look I enjoyed was this grey pencil skirt worn by Emma Stone's character, Skeeter.  I found a similar skirt at for under $20!
Emma Stone's costume from The Help
Kmart-Counterparts Women's Side Tab Slimming Skirt-$18
I also sought inspiration from the maid uniforms and found these two adorable dresses.  One with a white collar and details like the uniforms and the other in blue with added frills.
Abileen's Maid uniform
Mod Cloth-Fair and Lemon Dress-$75

Old Navy- Women's Chambray Shirt Dress-$35
The villianess in the movie, Hilly Hollbrook, wears a lot of loud colorful floral prints.  Here are some looks similar to her's.
Mod Cloth-Day after Day Dress in Garden-$100

Mod Cloth-Tony's Flower's Dress-$60

Lastly, I wish I had purchased a romper this summer.  By the time I realized I liked them they were already hard to find in stores.  If I could find Celia's yellow romper, I'd be a happy gal.  The closest I found was this dress at ModCloth.

ModCloth-Lemonade on the Lawn Dress-$40