Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is the big one!

1-20-2009, 10:56 CST, 44.
To some those numbers may not mean anything, but to me it means a lot. This tells me that anything is possible if you believe and work hard. Today, I am extremely proud to call myself an American. It is my prayer that America does not disappoint me and the many others who have faith in this country and the great things to come.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Keeping it chic (and affordable) in 2009

This past Wednesday, I was at the hair salon and there was a lady who was complaining about her hairstyle. According to my hairstylist, when the lady came in her hair was gelled down and she had a banana clip in the top of her hair (horizontally). This lady also had some breakage. My stylist had to add some hair to her natural hair to make it look decent. After my stylist was finished, this woman kept complaining about how she didn't like her hair. My stylist and this lady's friend told her that her hair looked better than when she first walked into the shop. One of the other clients asked her how old was she and she replied 46. As I was sitting there listening to this exchange, I began to wonder: How did this woman get to be 46 and not care about her hair or how she looked? I'm sure it didn't happen overnight.

I want to encourage all of my sister girlfriends to keep it chic in 2009. I know there are a lot of people who think they can't afford to get their hair styled on a regular basis, but that's not true. Many(if not all) cosmetology schools/barber colleges
' offer services at a discount price. If you need a wash and trim, this may be the option for you. All the services are supervised by a licensed instructor and you may just find someone who is really good. Some of these schools offer nails, facials, and massages too. So, if you want a spa get-away, seek out a cosmetology school.

As it relates to clothing, buy classic, quality pieces that will last for quite some time. Now is also a good time to find upscale resale shops or thrift stores to buy clothes. If you go to affluent areas (where many people are not feeling the pinch), you may be able to snag some nice stuff at a fraction of the cost. I am not a big fan of Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and other stores like that (they're usually too cluttered and junky)but some people can find some great deals/steals at these stores.

Also, invest in some good shoes that will last. My daughter and one of her friends always sing "Payless shoes ain't got no grip, you gone fall and bust yo' lip." Now, if Payless is your store, then more power to you. Nevertheless, if you get a few pair of good shoes, you can have them repaired instead of throwing them away to buy new ones. Sure, they may cost more upfront, but in the end, it will help. If you purchase shoes and clothes on the off season, you can find better deals. (The down side to this is if you gain/lose weight, the clothes may not fit when it's time to wear them.)

Also, take care of your physical health. If you are laid off and without health insurance, most states have a local Board of Health where the services are free or low cost. You may also be able to go to dental schools to get your teeth cleaned. Some people may be able to get braces if that service is offered. I am not sure if you can get your teeth whitened, but I'd say look into it. You never know what options are available until you look into it.

As it relates to exercise, check your local park district or YMCA. Some of these places may offer classes for a nominal fee. I know in Chicago, some of the park districts have the same equipment as a lot of the big name health clubs and the fees are not as steep. I was looking into working out at one facility and I think it was $30 for 3 or 4 months. I know some of these health clubs charge that much on a monthly basis.

When it comes down to eating right, make it work for you. Try to brown bag it to work/school. I know it may seem like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised how much money you will save. If you place of employment provides free or reduced lunch, take advantage of it when possible. Even if you eat in the cafeteria at work and have to pay, it may save you at least $3 a day. Another lunch saving tip is to buy a reusable water bottle and freeze it at night. If you want purified water, buy a filter to attach to your faucet. I think you can find these for $30. That will prove to cheaper than buying bottled water.

I know some of these things may seem a bit redundant, but in order to keep it chic in 2009, these tips are essential. Make sure you are taking care of the outer shell as well as the inside. Also, make sure you nuture relationships that are nuturing to you. Go where you are celebrated and not tolerated! Happy New Year!