Pencil Skirt

Call me old fashioned, but I like the basic staples (see my little black dress post). In the September issue of In Style they featured a leather pencil skirt that I have to get my hands on ASAP. It's not available online, so I'm heading to my nearest Ann Taylor Loft to check it out.

Leather Pencil Skirt, Ann Taylor Loft - $149

Fabric Pencil Skirt, Ann Taylor Loft - $69.00

Newport News has some great pencil skirts in a beautiful array of colors - $39.00

Note from Natalie: A well-cut-flatters-your-butt pencil skirt can be hard to find, so if you need one and you find one, pick it up! Last summer I was on a quest for a black pencil skirt and searched for weeks at all of our haunts. I finally found a great one at the Theory outlet in Austin, Texas. It was only $115 (this is a great price for Theory). Then a couple of weeks later I found a brand new black pencil skirt from The Gap at Plato's Closet for $8! I don't know what point of this story is really. Just wanted to share...

So Delightful!

My hubby and I saw Ghost Town over the weekend with some friends and LOVED it! It was hilarious and had heart, the perfect combination.

J. Crew for Less


...Speaking of J. Crew, a new J. Crew outlet store will be going into the Tanger Outlet mall in Kimball Junction at the end of this month. That's good, since I think most of their stuff is overpriced anyway.

Blowout with Less Damage

I have meant to do a post about my hair dryer for quite some time. It was the winner of In Style best beauty buys 2008 and is featured in many beauty magazines consistently. It's an Infiniti Tourmaline Ionic Styler available online or at your local Walmart for less.

What makes this hair dryer so great? Well, for one, it dries your hair fast. Two, it dries it with less frizz. Back in the day when I traveled "heavy" with two large suitcases (oh those were the days my friends) I could get my hair dry and smooth in a jiffy, even in climates with lots of humidity.

Alas, now we live in the day of strict luggage rules and I sometimes have to leave it home in order to make room for more important items, namely shoes to match any mood that might strike me while on vacation. When I do this and don't bring my super fantastic dryer, I have to suffer with the under performance of hotel dryers. Why, oh why are they so wimpy? Are there no women designers of hotel bathrooms? Which leads one to muse on why so many bathrooms in America do not have enough plugs and public restrooms do not have enough stalls (think arenas for sports events, concerts and live theater). Do you ever see a line forming at the men's restroom? Rarely. Women unite! Let's encourage our daughters to become architects! Oh I digress.

So, if you are in the market for a new hair dryer, this one is inexpensive and still offers many of the same qualities found in higher-priced versions. It's darn well worth lots more!

Bathroom Blues

How fabulous is this bathroom posted on Design Sponge? It's not often you see a bathroom tiled floor to ceiling with blue tiles. I find it very calming but also fun at the same time.

Detailed Flats

I guess you could say I really really really like shoes with fancy details like jewels, bows, or other ornamentation. Hey, I'm even willing to create my own fancy shoes by sewing pearl clusters from H&M onto Target flats in order to save money, just like a good Cheaping Girl should. In fact, I did that very thing last week. I think they turned out quite cute.

But when I'm not making my own, I really like these ones that are already out on the market:

I saw these lovelies at Wal Mart for a mere $9.00 and snapped them up!

I could spring for these from J Crew - $278

Or these from Jimmy Choo - $385

Ask The Cheaping Girls - Part 5, The Final Installment!

Photo courtesy of Veer. A really groovy place to get stock photos, fonts, desktop wallpaper, etc.
Dear Cheaping Girls,

What does one do when shopping causes anxiety? Every time I go into a store, I feel like there is too much to buy, too little time, not enough money and how come I can't find the good deals like you can? Any simple suggestions to ease my anxious mind and still make me feel as fabulous as you do?

Please advise whenever!-- Christina 'Shopaphobic' S.

The good news to come out of the fashion world lately is that you can make your personal style all your own -- following trends is optional. The bad news is that means that the amount of choices out there can be totally overwhelming. These tips are designed to help you narrow down all of those choices and most importantly, to make shopping fun!

Part 5 - Cheaping

So, you asked about how we find the good deals. This is really how we coined the term 'Cheaping'. We don't really ever go 'shopping', we go 'cheaping'. The whole fun of it for us is finding something we want, or as close to what we want as we can afford, and finding it on sale or for a good deal. This is really the whole thrill of shopping. Cheaping produces a little bit of a high, it makes you feel like you're spending your money a wee bit more wisely than you actually are, and it give you a nice story to tell later. A couple of months ago Janaan got us into an exclusive warehouse sale and the cheaping was EPIC (read: everything brand new - $15 leather jackets, $20 Frye boots, $5 sets of dishes). When we left, my car STUFFED to the roof, we were laughing and giddy and a little bit shaky and well, we're STILL talking about it. Ooh. I'm getting giddy right now just typing this...but I digress...

Here are our recommendations for 'cheaping':

  • Invest in foundation pieces that need to last more than one season or will make a statement with any outfit. We generally don't cheap out on jeans, coats, handbags (mostly Natalie on that one), boots, dress shoes, and jewelry (mostly Pam on that one). We are also willing to invest in skincare (at least a bi-annual dermatologist visit) and hair care (regular cut/color and great products). You need to feel great underneath the clothes if you want to pull off a $5 sweater from Wal-Mart. And nothing says 'cheap' like pimples and a bad dye-job. Yes, I know, beauty is on the inside too.
  • Decide what you personally will or won't cheap out on, but always have a hi/hi or hi/low mix going. Never a low/low mix. We think it's OK to mix up casual and fancier pieces at the same time. Think Carrie in Sex and the City with a simple white T-shirt, jeans and a HUGE diamond necklace. Or Mom on the zodiac boat in Hawaii in a baseball cap, bathing suit, flip flops and MASSIVE diamond earrings. Or Mom on a hike in $10 camo print shorts from Steve and Barry's, a tank top, and David Yurman jewelry.
  • Spend less on trendy items and more on classics.
  • Shop off season as much as possible.
  • When you enter any store, always head for the sale rack first.
  • Know your sales. For example, my friend Piero only shops at Nordstrom during the anniversary sale.
  • Take inventory of your closet often. You'll be surprised at what you find that you haven't worn. Or maybe we just have a serious problem...

Find and visit frequently your regular "haunts" (both for trendy cheap stuff and for finding expensive designer stuff on sale). Here are our favorite haunts:

  • Anthropologie Sale Rack (great for designer jeans)
  • Dollar Stores
  • Forever 21
  • H&M
  • JC Penny’s (I know! But really, sometimes you find great stuff there)
  • Marshall’s
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Old Navy (great for basics like T-shirts)
  • (jewelry)
  • Payless
  • Ross
  • Target
  • TJ Maxx
  • Wal-Mart
If we are in big city, we will hit these up too:
  • Market Places (the best by far is the Orange County Marketplace)
  • Outlet Malls (the ones that are branded 'Mills' are great and we also love the ones with higher-end goods, the best being the Primm Outlets outside of Las Vegas)
  • Street Fairs
  • Street Vendors
And hey, why not make some of your money back? When we are done with our clothes, we take them to Plato's closet or other consignment stores or sell stuff on eBay. It's just one small way we help justify our habit.



Currently Craving...

A lacey, ladylike cape, like the one Blair Waldorf was rocking in this week's episode of Gossip Girl.

Button Button Who's Got the Button?

This month In Style magazine featured a quote from Mary Kate McGrath, design market editor: "CHANGE THE BUTTONS on your coats and cardigans. Replace them with beautiful buttons you find at antiques stores or trimming shops."

I have always been a fan of changing buttons on shirts, jackets, and cardigans. I used to do it in the 80's and 90's but have forgotten how they really can make older pieces new and exciting again. For a while I collected buttons when shopping, but have only recently started up again.
My inspiration is, of course, Anthropologie. I love that all of their items have pretty little details. You can create your own Anthropologie-eque tops by taking your basic pieces and adding fancy buttons, ribbon and other embellishments and it looks like you paid a ton of money for it at Anthropologie.

In Style featured a company called M&J Trimming that is known for its top quality trimmings. They carry ribbons from France, laces from Switzerland, Austrian Swarovski crystals, buttons from Italy and more. If you're looking to embellish or modify your wardrobe, you simply must visit!

We Heart Tom Jones

Big News! After 15 years, Welsh crooner Tom Jones is going to release a new record called '24 Hours'. The album will be available in the U.S. on November 25th.

Several years ago the Cheaping Girls, along with our Grandma Judy, saw the sexy Mr. Jones at The Fillmore in San Francisco. Yeah, that's right, we'll admit it, he was right sexy AND he put on a fabulous show. We arrived early and made it right up to the stage for the concert. OF COURSE SILLIES, we all brought a pair of panties with us. The highlight was when Grandma Judy snapped hers onstage and they landed on his foot.

About this new album, Mr. Jones says: "I'm just opening up shop again. Let's see who comes in through the door. " You can bet we will be!!

'Ugg'-ish Boots

Walmart is featuring an "Ugg" style boot (I use the term loosely) this fall.

When I saw them I remembered reading a blurb in a magazine about how Pamela Anderson did not realize her Ugg boots were sheepskin (she is famous for being an animal rights advocate). Well, Pam here you go! These are definitely not real sheepskin or real anything else! But they are very cute and will be great this winter to wear around the house and to take out the garbage and recycling.

They come in many colors (I picked up the bronze) and are are an unbelievable $12 a pair! These boots are not on the Walmart website yet, (side note: I really wish Walmart had a better website) but they seem to be located at all of the Walmart's I've been to. Don't ask me how many Walmart's I've been to in the last couple of weeks. Seriously, don't.

Ask The Cheaping Girls - Part 4

Photo courtesy of Veer. A really groovy place to get stock photos, fonts, desktop wallpaper, etc.

Dear Cheaping Girls,

What does one do when shopping causes anxiety? Every time I go into a store, I feel like there is too much to buy, too little time, not enough money and how come I can't find the good deals like you can? Any simple suggestions to ease my anxious mind and still make me feel as fabulous as you do?

Please advise whenever!

-- Christina 'Shopaphobic' S.

The good news to come out of the fashion world lately is that you can make your personal style all your own -- following trends is optional. The bad news is that means that the amount of choices out there can be totally overwhelming. These tips are designed to help you narrow down all of those choices and most importantly, to make shopping fun!

Part 4 - Our Approach to Shopping

For this post, I thought I'd try to document our approach to shopping. This was more difficult than I thought, because, well, shopping is pretty much what we DO. It is our hobby and our sport and our entertainment and our therapy. Which is why we need to find good deals, or we would be in serious financial trouble...oh wait, we already are...but I digress...

1. Bring a friend with you.
It's really not that much fun to shop alone, but finding a shopping buddy can be tricky. The three of us get on really well, but then again, we do share the same DNA.

First, look for a buddy that is HONEST. And I mean dead honest. One time we were at Forever 21 and I tried on what I thought was a super-cute little black dress, and when I came out of the dressing room Janaan said "Hmmm. I don't know. Are you TRYING to look like a school teacher??" (No offense to school teachers, but you know what I mean...). If this person isn't going to tell you that your butt looks bad in those jeans, they aren't a good shopping buddy.

Your shopping buddy should have the same kind of energy and stamina as you. Don't go shopping with someone who hates to shop or who has a completely different style than you do. Otherwise you'll spend the whole excursion worried about if your friend is having fun or is bored or tired or whatever.
Whenever we are feeling blue about work, my friend Amy and I LOVE to take a lunch time run to Forever 21. We tear through the store, picking up as many things as we have time to try on, we tear through the fitting rooms like the Tasmanian Devil, make our purchases and pick up salads at Boudin Bakery to eat at our desks. And we do all of this in roughly an hour. It's great because we have this drill totally down and neither of us are wishing that we were out drowning our sorrows in a three martini lunch - the whole point is to get some good old retail therapy.

The other great thing about having a shopping buddy, and preferably one that you shop with all of the time, is that they can be your spotter. Many pairs of eyes are better than one, especially when you are at discount stores, where racks can be ca-razy.

2. Have a goal...or don't...
Sometimes it helps to have a specific goal for your shopping. A purpose, if you will. You might need a white button down shirt, for example. And the whole point of going shopping is just to find that white shirt. That gives you some focus and can narrow down the locations that you need to visit. Personally, I find this type of shopping VERY frustrating. Because if you don't find that perfect white button down shirt, well, it just makes you sad. My friend Lindsay did a fabulous case study on shopping specifically for designer jeans.

Most of the time when we shop, we don't really have a goal. We know IN GENERAL the types of things that we need. For example, right now I am looking for tight skinny jeans, tall boots, preppy sweaters, red lipstick and a pair of super high heels in a chocolate brown. That means I'm constantly on the look-out wherever I go. So I have a certain amount of focus, but still have the satisfaction of being able to find SOMETHING from my list when I am out and about.

3. A.B.S. Always. Be. Shopping.
I'm pretty much always shopping. I look around everywhere I go. Every gas station, museum store, airport kiosk, street vendor, etc. You never know what you're going to find and where. For example, Mom's favorite lipstick can be found at a tiny general store in Kamas, UT. Who knew?

We also love a pop-in. If you see a new store and you have a few minutes, why not pop-in? You might walk in the door, take a look around, and walk right back out, as we did a couple of weeks ago at a new furniture store here in Salt Lake. Don't be afraid to walk in and walk right back out. But we've made some great discoveries after just shrugging our shoulders and saying to ourselves 'hey - why not just pop in for a moment?'
Always having your eye open and popping-in to lots of places creates a catalog in your mind. It helps you get to know what is out there and where to find it. Then when you DO need to find that white button down shirt you know that Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, The Gap, J-Crew, and Banana Republic are great places to start. See, it's like a big shopping circle of life.
4. Be Good To Yourself
This might sound obvious, but be good to yourself when you shop. Make sure you stay well fed and well hydrated. Wear shoes that you can stand to walk around in all day. Don't bother going into stores that you know you hate. For example, I hate Victoria's Secret. Not only do they not really carry many styles of bra in my size (read: tiny), you can't ever seem to find anyone to help you and it's generally too hot and a total madhouse. Every time I go in there I just get frustrated. So I've just decided to stop going in there at all. There. Now I feel better.
This might sound obvious too, but know where your nearest bathroom is. One of my very favorite places to shop is The Haight neighborhood in San Francisco. Between all of the smoke shops and Grateful Dead memorabilia are some of the best boutiques and vintage clothing stores in the city. The biggest issue is - no bathrooms anywhere. This is a problem when you arrive at 10:00 AM and expect a full day. So, when we go to Haight Ashbury we make sure to stop for lunch at the fabulous Magnolia Pub and Brewery....and then we stop in later in the afternoon for a beer. Two birds with one stone, as I see it (see below for more on this).

Stop shopping when you're tired. I think this is sort of like a Pavlov's dogs thing. If you leave your shopping excursion on a high, you'll have a great reaction to the thought of going shopping again.
Finally, STOP and have a cocktail at around 6:00. One of my favorite memories is having a Bellini with my friend Estelle on the outdoor patio at Ducca in San Francisco. We had been shopping since about 10:00 that morning and it was such a great feeling to sit down, feel the sunshine on our backs, put our feet up, have a happy bubbly drink, and, most importantly to look through all of the bags that surrounded us and relive all of the great finds of the day.
Aaahhhhh yes, shopping bliss.

New Lovelies At Payless

These are so sweet.

Look Like Gwyneth, or Madonna

Did anyone see The Oprah yesterday? Gwyneth Paltrow was her guest and she talked about how she got the great body she’s been showing off lately.

She works out 2 hours a day, six days a week with Tracy Anderson (who is also Madonna’s trainer, and come on, Madonna looks fabulous!)

In addition to her routines, Tracy helps her clients lose inches by cranking up the heat to 80 degrees. "She likes it hot in the room so you sweat, because she says if the room is hot, you're also burning calories to maintain homeostasis," Gwyneth says. "She's always coming up with new ways to kick up the calorie burning."

And on the subject of arm exercises, Tracy likes to use little to no resistance. "Only 3-pound weights," she says. "No woman should lift more than 3 pounds. It’ll get you to your tiniest, tightest point without overdeveloping muscles.”

The whole show really got me pumped to try out her method, but obviously I cannot afford her services. Luckily, she has three workout DVD’s available to the masses. If you want to get started now sans a DVD, below are some tips Tracy gave to US Weekly magazine.

Anderson swears by high reps and low weight in order to tone muscle without bulk. Keep in mind that “toning” is just a fancy word for “body fat loss.”

WEEK 1: Make a 20-minute iPod playlist and do a different cardio activity (treadmill sprints, jumping rope, running on a trampoline) for each song. Switching activities will keep any one group of muscles from bulking up. “You should be dripping sweat and taking very few breaks,” she advises.

Get crunching! Do these three moves on a mat:

1. Lie flat on back, legs straight, then bend legs and pull to chest, feeling exertion in abs (50 reps).
2. With legs at 90-degree angle, do 50 crunches.
3. Lie with legs straight, feet apart. As you slightly lift one foot, crunch straight up and down; return foot to floor and lift the other while crunching. Do 60 times, each side.

Tone. Do 100 reps each, or 200 for moves that alternate sides:

1. With feet shoulder-width apart, hold arms out in a T and rotate palms from -facing floor to ceiling.
2. In same stance, bend one wrist and pull across body, arm straight, in a smacking motion across your body. Alternate arms.
3. Then, with arms straight behind you, palms together, snap your wrists from side to side.
4. Hold a 3-pound weight above your head with elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Then lift weight straight over head. Do all reps on one side, then switch arms.
5. With weight in hand, hold one arm out in a T, bend at elbow to cover eyes, then straighten, keeping arm lifted. Do all reps on one arm; switch.
6. Do grand pliés: Stand with feet -shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out. With hands on hips and back straight, slowly bend knees until thighs are parallel to floor.

WEEKS 2–6:Increase cardio 10 minutes each week, so by week six, you’re up to 60 minutes daily, plus toning exercises

Words to Live By - For Pam

This edition of Words to Live By is specifically for Pam, who always gets teased for having diamonds on while hiking and wearing David Yurman jewelry at the beach. You are not alone.

"It's never NOT appropriate to have on jewelry. I wear diamonds while I work out. I gave birth with my belly ring on." - Kimora Lee Simmons

Ask The Cheaping Girls - SPECIAL GUEST!!

Hi Everyone!!

I am so so excited that my friend 'The Girl with the Curly Hair' has agreed to do a post on the fabulousness of her curls and how she makes them happen! 'The Girl with the Curly Hair' has actually done my hair before, and I must say, she made the most of my waves and I have been using her recommended products and process ever since.



I am The Girl with Curly Hair. Here’s a pic to prove it:

My mother and father had curls and so I was destined to have a mane of waves. For years and years, I fought my curls. I didn’t know what to do with my hair, how to appreciate the curl and so instead I turned against my own head. And the results were bad. Very very bad. I have pictures from 5th grade to senior year which can show just how bad it was. (I would show you, but I’ve burned all evidence of those days.)

As I got into college, started reading more beauty magazines, stopped going to Cost Cutters and started to go to a real salon and I started to learn how to better appreciate and work with the hair I had. Over the years, I have learned how my hair likes to be styled, and I am now at a point in my life where I can confidently say that I love my hair and truly enjoy my curls.

I was asked by the Cheaping Girls to share my process for getting perfectly curled hair, so I’m going to share a few tips/tricks with you.

1) The first thing I would say is there is no such thing as perfectly curly hair- your goal should be to enhance the curl you have. It doesn’t matter if you have a tiny bit of wave or extremely curly hair- rock what you have and enhance the curl within.

2) You need to understand the texture of your curly hair- is it fine or course? This makes a big difference in the type and amount of product you need. Also, do you have a lot of hair or just a normal amount? The key to picking the best product is knowing first what kind of a foundation you are starting with. Figure out your hair type here:

3) A good hair cut is important. Can you make your curly hair look excellent without? Yes, but it will only look that much better if you do get a good cut. A big thing with having curly/wavy hair is balance- you need to have the right layering. Nobody looks good with triangle hair (you know what I’m talking about- we’ve all ended up with it at one point in our life). It is worth it to pay money to go to a nice salon to get a good cut by a professional. As long as you seek out an experienced hair stylist who has been trained well and you’ve read positive reviews, the more you pay, most often the better your cut will be. I have paid $120 for just a hair cut before. And you know what, it really was the best hair cut I’ve ever had.

*NOTE: Do not rate a good hair cut by the way they style your hair when you leave the salon. I have walked out of many a salon looking like a train wreck because they are unfamiliar with styling my particular hair type, but after I style it, it looks great.

4) Never brush your hair! Brushing leads to frizz. Nobody likes frizz, nobody looks good with frizz. If you brush when you get out of the shower, you are merely relaxing the wave/curl out of your hair. If you are worried about tangles, use your fingers. Much more gentle and you always have 10 with you. One less thing to pack in the cosmetic bag.

5) Necessary tool #1- Diffuser. I recommend a European style diffuser. You can pick one up at your local beauty supply store for under $15.

If you are going to blow dry your hair (which I always do) you must must must use a diffuser. A diffuser breaks up the hot area and disperses it so that a larger area is being softly heated instead of a small area getting totally blasted. Diffuser help keep you from over drying your hair. Over dried = frizz.

6) Necessary tool #2- A good moisturizing conditioner. Curly/wavy hair is inherently dry. If you give it enough moisture through care and product it will be happy and style the way you want. If not, it tries to leave your head to find moisture- that is what frizz is. I really like Bumble & Bumble Super Rich Conditioner:

It is important to play around and find the right balance of moisture for your hair texture. I really recommend salon shampoos and conditioners. They last longer, smell better and if you don’t like them, you can exchange them for something else. Go to a salon/beauty supply store, ask for a moisturizing conditioner, take it home and try it out. If you don’t like it after a week, take it back and try a new one.

7) Necessary tool #3- The right balance of product. No one curly head is like another so you have to find a balance of product that works with the hair you have to give you the look you want. I like using a curl crème layered with a light mousse for my hair (I have a tight curl but a fine texture to my hair). I would actually recommend the combo of a crème layered with a mousse to anyone just starting out and trying to figure out what works for them.

Layering products can help you achieve the perfect look with your hair so long as you use the proper amount of product and that you understand the purpose of each product. Curl crème/lotions/etc are about helping define and create/enhance the curl. Mousses and gels are about hold. When you layer them together, you get nicely formed curls that are held together all day long.

There are so many good products out there, and a product’s performance is so dependent on the type of hair you have that you kind of have to do try and error to figure out what works for your hair. But as a starting point, here’s what I like:

Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Crème

Clairol Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse
8) Once you have the tools and the right foundation, it’s all just a matter of putting it together in the right order. Here’s what I do:

a. Shampoo & condition in the shower (I only wash my hair a few days a week so it doesn’t get too dried out). When you get out of the shower, you want to gently dry your hair with a towel. DO NOT rub it with a towel- you want to pat/scrunch it with a towel. The idea is you don’t want to mess with the shape that your curls made after getting wet. The purpose of toweling is more to remove the excessive moisture not all moisture.

b. Apply curl crème through your hair. I typically put a blob of it in my hands and pull it through my hair like I’m pulling a ponytail together. I then work some additional crème into the middle parts.

c. After the crème, then I apply the mousse. I use claw clips to put my hair into sections (think of what they do when they cut or color your hair at a salon). I then use my hands to run small amounts of mousse throughout each section. I start with the back section, then the side sections, then the top (and I do that part from back to front). The equal distribution of the mousse is what really makes your hair end up looking more polished. The idea is to have it equal throughout your hair which takes away the opportunity to have the half crunchy/half dried out look.

d. Once the product is applied, then you blow dry. I know many people are against blow drying thinking it will damage the hair. If you only do it a few times a week and you are using a diffuser, that should not happen. Once you get out of the shower, the name of the game is wet to dry as fast as possible. The quicker you get from wet to dry, the less frizz there will be. I usually flip my head upside down and then move the blow dryer from side to side and back to front. The goal is to get all the hair drying at the same time, rather than completely dry one section at a time. As you are drying, if you notice some pieces of hair (typically the ends of the top pieces) starting to over dry, just dab a little bit of crème or mousse on them.

e. Once the hair is dry, I flip my head over and give my roots a quick little massage with my finger tips just to get the volume going and so it doesn’t look so set- so it looks natural. And voila! Ready to walk out the door.

If you’ve never had much of a process with your curly hair, it may take a bit of time to start styling it this way. But once you’ve done it a few times, it should only take 20 or so minutes. Contrary to popular belief, curly hair is not wash and wear. Beauty takes time - but it is SO worth it.

Good luck all you curly girls out there. And love the hair you have.

Yours Truly -
The Girl with the Curly Hair

The Very Definition of "Cheaping"

On Saturday we decided to do a pop-in at our local Deseret Industries, or D.I., a local nonprofit thrift store. Stopping by can be either fortuitous or fruitless. In the past we have been able to find a variety of great vintage items, including fur coats, skirts, and dresses that are much cheaper than our local vintage clothing store. Other times we have walked out with nothing. This time we hit a bonanza of vintage children’s books and dishes. We each picked up a dozen of these great glass serving trays.

We plan to use these at showers and parties in lieu of plastic or paper dishes. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are also more elegant than the disposable kinds. And the best part? As a nonprofit organization, there is no sales tax at D.I. Yippee!

A Boost To Your Self-Esteem

Oh How Beautiful (You Are) is a mirror covered with compliments. While it might not be very functional, it would be a perfect for that first look at yourself in the morning.

Oh how beautiful you are! You're charming. You look gorgeous! It's fantastic. You are infinitely attractive! I think that you are fabulous, just fabulous! You are absolutely delectable. Your hair is really stunning, it sparkles with life! I love the way that you do your hair, that silken head of curls and waves is glorious......

Finn's Café

I love breakfast. It's probably one of my favorite meals of the day. Our new Saturday morning ritual (for winter, since it's going to get dreary and we'll want to just eat and eat) is to go out for a yummy breakfast at a different place each time. A great resource to find new places to go in Salt Lake City, can be found here: Salt Lake Magazine's Ultimate Breakfast Guide. We hope to try all of them.

Last Saturday, the Girls and I headed to Finn's Café where they are famous for their Scandinavian hash. Finn's has been around since 1950, but we have never been there. The food was simple, delicious and the portions were perfect. We didn't leave feeling overstuffed.

Starts with a "C", Ends with an "O" and has "HICAG" in the Middle

It's official!! The Cheaping Girls are going to Chicago next month!! We are so excited because none of us have ever been to Chicago. Well, that's not totally true, I've been there a bunch of times for work, but have spent most of my time there locked up in endless meetings in hotel ballrooms or wandering the streets late at night in a drunken oblivion...aaahhh, good times...

THE POINT IS - we would love to hear your suggestions on can't miss spots in the Windy City and we will of course provide a full detailed report on our exploits on the Magnificent Mile!!

For the Love of Fresh Flowers

I love fresh flowers. I love to have them in my home as often as possible. However, I am not the best at making fabulous arrangements, so I was really excited when I was listening to Nate Berkus on XM radio and on his guest was Jeff Leatham, a floral designer and artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. Which is the most fabulous hotel in Paris, or so I’ve heard, Katie and Tom stay there…

Jeff is crazy talented and even better, he is from Ogden, Utah. Can you believe it, a Utah boy?! On the show he gave some of his tips on floral design so that we can create beautiful arrangements at home.

  • Make sure you have a nice collection of vases. Before you go out and spend your money on flowers, you should buy vases to enhance the flowers you put in them.
  • Avoid confusion in working with flowers—stay monochromatic, or at least in the same family of hues; it is the density of the color that creates impact. If you must mix colors, avoid white because it attracts the eye and everything else disappears.
  • The straightforward vertical placement of flowers creates astonishing lines for achieving strong, confident arrangements.
  • Just when you think there are enough flowers, add one more.
  • Lean or tilt flowers against the rim of containers to showcase their hearts.
  • Place flowers in translucent containers so you can see the whole, and use a diverse variety of containers to stimulate the senses.
  • Never select a container that is larger than the flowers—the container must be smaller than the floral composition.
  • Minimize or do away completely with leaves to get closer to the essence of the flower, thereby keeping the focus on the flower’s silhouette.
  • Try not to push stems down to the very bottom of containers, but if the stems do reach the bottom, only fill the container with about one inch of water, as too much water makes stems rot faster.
  • Add a splash of sparkling water to containers—the bubbles cling to the stems.
  • At night, consider surrounding flowers with flickering candles.
  • Bring personality into your flowers and have favorites. It's fun to change the flowers in your home as the seasons change too, Jeff says. He changes the floral design of the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris every three weeks to keep things new and inspiring—you can do the same at home
  • Take loving care of your flowers—change the water and re-cut stems daily, and consider using a fine mist in the morning and again in the evening to prolong the life of your arrangements.


Happy Birthday Janaan!!
You are our maven and our muse. If not for you, we wouldn't have this blog, we'd still be sitting around talking about it. You are smart and witty and absolutely lovely. You appreciate beauty and art and artisans and you know how to find charm and humor in everything from a greeting card to a paint color. You are our hawk-eye, finding the perfect items in overstuffed racks at Ross, seeing the vision for decorating a space, and discovering gorgeous little gems on the big bad Internet. Thank you for being my workout partner, my stylist, my decorator and my best friend. Thank you for letting me be your third wheel all summer. Most of all, thank you for being SO MUCH FUN. You can make me laugh harder than anyone,
which is a medicine that I have really needed this year.
I hope you have a day as lovely as you are. I am so happy that I get to share it with you!!

Rum Tum Tugger was a Curious Cat!

I have the happiest memories of listening to the soundtrack to Cats when I was little. My Dad used to play the music really loud to wake us up in the morning for school. He probably did it because he thought the songs were so annoying that we'd get out of bed just to shut it off. But not me. I actually really enjoyed the songs and used to listen to "The Rum Tum Tugger " over and over and over again.

Well, now is my chance. Cats is coming to Capitol Theatre from Sept. 16 - Sept. 21 and I really really really want to see it. Now if only I could find someone who would actually want to see it with me...


“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew." - President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001

World's Greatest Human

This book is HI-larious, because, really, Chuck Norris IS amazing, right? We picked it up in Urban Outfitters and had the line not been so crazy long, we probably would have purchased it then and there. Now I plan to pick it up on my next Amazon order.

A cobra once bit Chuck Norris’s leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.

Font Love

Elegant and a bit offbeat. I hope to purchase you soon.

Found via OrangeBeautiful

An Open Letter

Dear Miss T,
I’m not sure if I should love you or hate you for introducing me to Halal on 53rd and 6th. After eating the delectable lamb gyro with white and a little bit of red sauce twice on our trip, I now desire it constantly.

And the Greek Souvlaki place around the corner just won’t satiate my cravings. Looks like another trip to NYC is in order.

Hungry in SLC,

P.S. I looked up the term Halal and in reference to food it means, "Adherents to this philosophy maintain that in order for food to be considered halal, it must not be a forbidden substance and any meat must have been slaughtered according to traditional guidelines set forth by the Sunnah, known as dhabiĥa. This is the strictest definition of Halal."

Words to Live By

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking Forward to Winter

Several years ago, Daily Candy featured a story about traditional Russian boots called Valenki. These boots are made of felt and were national footwear in Russia, worn by peasants, military and even members of the tsar family. Valenki resist the temperature down to 40 degrees C below zero. Immediately I thought they were cool and different from the typical winter boots you find at REI.

I kept procrastinating my purchase as they were a titch expensive and I never REALLY needed boots that could withstand that kind of cold. When I got a job working in Park City, I regretted not buying them. Let’s face it, winters in Park City last nine months and parking lots are NEVER EVER plowed. I knew this was my moment. I NEEDED those boots for practical purposes! They were so practical that I might even be able to justify them coming out of our joint household checking account! But, when I went to buy them, the website was down and the company had gone out of business. Sob! 

Well, I have never forgotten about those boots and even though I no longer work in Park City, while perusing the Interwebs last week, I decided to once again take up the search for Valenki felt boots. And I found them! has them and, bonus, they are a little bit less expensive than the original retailer I looked at. Which is good, since I probably will have to pay for them myself.

You can get the plain grey or get a pair with cute flowers. I personally am going with the original style. Hard to believe I will actually be looking forward to snow now.

Prepare to be Ooged-Out

BODY WORLDS 3 is coming to Salt Lake City. This is a first-of-its-kind exhibit where visitors learn about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing REAL human bodies (preserved through plastination.)

BODY WORLDS 3 & the Story of the Heart features more than 200 authentic human specimens including whole body plastinates, organs, translucent body slices, and a special presentation on the heart.

We are getting tickets today. Some things are just too creepy to pass up.

Sabon NYC

This morning I smell deliciously like coconut and vanilla and my skin is oh so soft. This is all due to the exceptional bath and body products that I picked up in NYC from Sabon NYC. All of the products are made using time-honored remedies based on the finest natural ingredients. The company was started in Israel and the body scrubs are made with Dead Sea salt crystals and drenched in macadamia, almond and soy bean oils.

I wasn't originally planning on purchasing anything, we popped in because A) we were killing time before meeting friends for dinner and 2) it was air conditioned and we needed to cool off. But the minute we walked in, their adept sales girl offered us to opportunity to sample their products. In the center of the store was a large and very cool copper sink. She had us wash our hands; scrub them with the salts and then lotion up. Afterwards, my hands felt so silky smooth that I was sold. The icing on the cake? Everything was an extra 25% off. Sold! I picked up body scrub and butter cream.