Author: styleandsavings

As a Weekday Accountant and Weekend Blogger, I'm always proud to announce when I find a good deal and to share ways to live stylishly without spending more than necessary.

Style and Savings Reads: This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

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This may not be the typical type of book you think of for a book discussion, as it’s been marketed as a humorous celebrity memoir, but keep in mind – there’s something to learn from everyone’s story!

The following is not a book review or synopsis, just a list of book discussion questions inspired by what I read:

1. Growing up, Gabby used to be teased, but look how successful and accomplished she is now! What is something that you’ve achieved that would surprise your teenage self?

2. Should Alice (Gabby’s mom) have known that her green card marriage would fail?

3. Tola (Gabby’s dad’s new wife) is a psychic, do you believe in psychics and their ability to know things about others and predict their future?

4. Gabby went to therapy sessions when she was suffering from depression. How do you handle life’s obstacles?

5. Gabby describes her love/hate relationship with Twitter: she often checks it in the morning and posts funny updates on her account but says “it’s vain to think people want to know everything you’re thinking all the time, Twitter is for saying dumb stuff as soon as it pops in your head”. What do you love or hate about social media?

6.  Gabourey Sidibe is a Senegalese name, many have struggled to say correctly. “Americans are lazy, kind and condescending….they only want to say names they can pronounce.”  If you could change your name would you? If so, what would your name be?

7. Gabby was prescribed an appetite suppressant, but it didn’t work because she ate in response to her feelings, not only when she was hungry.  What’s your favorite comfort food or celebratory dinner & drink?

8. For a celebrity, Gabby seems surprisingly introverted. She doesn’t like talking to strangers and she says she’d prefer not to be famous, just rich. Which would you choose – either, both, or neither & why?

9.  On the day of her audition for Precious, Gabby was literally at a crossroads as she walked out of her front door – she could cross the street one direction to school or cross the street the other way towards the audition. A film crew had blocked off some of the sidewalk outside of her building and directed her where to cross the street, which happened to be in the direction of the audition. Do you believe this was coincidence or fate?

10. Gabby had the opportunity to visit the White House and was recognized and greeted warmly by the Obamas. What public figure or celebrity do you dream of meeting?

I enjoyed reading this memoir. It was funny, but also had sad and serious moments — such is life! I’m glad Gabourey was brave enough to share her ups and downs. In a world where many women feel pressure to appear perfect, it’s refreshing to see someone share darker times in her past and how she currently faces her challenges.

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Glossies Made Me Do It – October 2017

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It’s time for another edition of “Glossies Made Me Do It”.  Link up with Happy Pretty Sweet or Shooting Stars Mag to join the fun.


Redbook

An article called The Girlfriend Getaway Guide in this month’s Redbook made me enter  a sweepstakes. The sweepstakes winner receives a  round-trip airfare and a 4 night stay for 4 people at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii that is featured in the article.

Hawaii is such a beautiful, tropical place to visit and I would love to go back one day. If you are planning your own vacation and are new to air travel, the post Tips for New Travelers will help you prepare.

I’m a big fan of organizational tips, which made me pin page 28 to my Organization & Cleaning board on Pinterest.  Using tension rods looks like an easy DIY to stylishly keep your space neat.

 Essence

On one of the first few pages of this month’s Essence magazine was an advertisement for Empire’s return to Wednesday nights on FOX.

Previously Empire was on FOX from 9  -10pm which conflicted with ABC’s Blackish, which started at 9: 30pm. Blackish has now moved to Tuesday nights, which made me happy to know that these two shows no longer air in competing time slots. I’m so ready for Fall TV and new seasons of these shows and also of the TGIT lineup.

This photo on page 39 made me reminisce about my friends and I being big Lady Gaga fans in college and seeing girls with Diet Coke cans in their hair on the way to the concert – channeling her “Telephone” video.

An interview with Ledisi on page 70  made me remember those weird stretchy shirts that were in style when I was in 7th grade – does anyone remember that from the early 2000’s?

That’s all until next month – join the link up or comment below to share what “glossies made you do”!

Previous months of glossy posts can be found here

Be True to Your School: 5 Ways to Give Back to Your Alma Mater

This weekend is Homecoming at Purdue University.
Homecoming is a time when alumni return to campus to reunite with friends and reminisce about their college days.

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

Oh….and go to the football game

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Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

 

You may be picturing alumni clubs and alumni donors as rich retirees, but recent grads – the truth is….It’s not too early to give back to your school. 

You can volunteer your time and make use of your connections to impact current students in the following ways:

  1. Job Shadow

  2. Mock Interviewer

  3. Resume Reviewer

  4. Guest Speaker or Mentor

  5. Monetary Donation

Job Shadow

Career exploration is important as some students are still figuring which industry would be the best choice for them. If your company will allow it, a job shadowing opportunity can help a student to experience a typical day in your role.

Resume Reviewer

The first step on the path to an internship or full-time career opportunity is creating a resume. As a resume reviewer, you can assist students in making sure their resumes are polished and professional.

Mock Interviewer

Resumes and interviews go hand in hand. You can help students prepare to make a good first impression by participating in a mock interviewing program. Using a list of standard behavioral interview questions, you can simulate a typical job interview so that students can practice communication skills.

Guest Speaker or Mentor

Student organizations are often looking for professionals to speak at various club meetings and conferences. If you are willing to talk about your company or share your success story, this is another great way to share your knowledge and experience.

 If you are willing to meet students one-on-one or in small groups for coffee or be contacted by phone or Skype, students who are looking for some direction and advice would be grateful to benefit from your mentorship.

Monetary Donation

Whether you can contribute a little or a lot, every dollar adds up. If you make  donation, most contributions are tax deductible and often you are given the option to designate whether you want your contribution to go to a specific student organization, program, or school within the university. To increase the impact of  your contribution, find out if your company offers a matching program.

Also, don’t forget to leverage your connections inside and outside of your workplace. Many corporations are involved in philanthropy and are willing to sponsor student organizations and university events. You can act as a liaison in helping to coordinate a company sponsorship.

For more information on how you can give back, contact your school’s alumni office or career center.

Ever Grateful, Ever True

Have a Happy Homecoming Week

Style and Savings Reads: The Frugalista Files

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Photo credit: Goodreads

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life by Natalie McNeal

This book was on my Summer Reading List , which I am proud to have completed in mid-August.

In general, I enjoyed this book, but to adjust the expectations of future readers, I want to give it a new title:

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Transitioned from News Reporter to Freelance Blogger

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Braved the Great Recession by Becoming a Blogger

The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Left a Desk Job and Built Her Brand

The original title is misleading –  if you had expectations of learning money saving tips and details about Ms. McNeal’s adoption of a drastically cost-cutting lifestyle, you would be disappointed. For those tips, you should visit her blog. My feelings reading this were similar to those I had reading Shonda Rimes’ Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. I was expecting more of a self-help or advice book and felt that I was reading an autobiography or memoir.

This book is a collection of journal entries broken into a chapter for each month. Ms. McNeal did a great job of capturing the highs and lows of 2008 – the doom and gloom of the Great Recession’s massive layoffs and the excitement and hope surrounding the 2008 Presidential election. Each chapter starts with a summary of Ms. McNeal’s current debts. * Spoiler alert*: she does not have her debts paid to zero at the end of the year (which she addresses in the epilogue). She does recognize her debt is a problem and that her spending habits need to change. She makes an effort, but none of her lifestyle changes are something Style and Savings readers wouldn’t have thought of already! For example:

  • Cooking at home instead of getting take-out

  • Not heading to the mall every Saturday

  • Cutting back on hair and nail salon appointments

  • Attending free, local activities 

Once I realized that this book is about a transitional period in her career and her journey from an unfulfilling job covering local news at The Miami Herald to finding her passion in blogging, I appreciated this book for what it is.

 

 

Glossies Made Me Do It – The Bold Type

I look forward to receiving the latest issues of Redbook, Essence & Oprah each month. Glossy magazines are what I would call an affordable luxury. Picking up a magazine from the newsstand is an easy way to brighten your day, but if you find yourself buying the same magazine each month – becoming a subscriber offers huge savings compared to the cover price (Read more on this topic here ).

This month’s post is inspired by the fictional Scarlet magazine of The Bold Type, a new show on Freeform network.

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This scripted series follows best friends  Kat, Jane & Sutton who work at Scarlet magazine (a Cosmo type of publication) in New York City.

Just based on this, I was drawn in – how many of us bloggers  dreamed of a glamorous job at a magazine when we were younger? I’m sure some of this was fueled by rom-coms like 13 Going on 30 and  How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

In The Bold Type’s pilot episode, Jaqueline the editor in chief is introduced not face to face, but by an intimidating close up of her heels as she walks down the hall. I was expecting a Miranda Priestly character (I’m finally reading Revenge Wears Prada – The Devil Returns , sequel to The Devil Wears Prada). I was happily surprised to see that Jaqueline is not that way at all. From what I’ve seen in the first few episodes, she is authoritative but never mean, condescending or disrespectful. She is tough, but only in a way that pushes Jane to be a better (and bolder) writer.

In just the first 3 episodes, these young women face heavy issues, which is a reflection of how real-life glossy magazines like Cosmo and Teen Vogue are becoming more political and socially aware.

Women are multi-faceted and want to keep up with current fashion trends and current events.

A recent episode of the podcast on Stuff Mom Never Told You titled “How Teen Vogue Got Woke” credits the rise of Elaine Welteroth to the editor position as the main influence on Teen Vogue’s new content.

 

11:30 A.M.: "There's only about 45 minutes between events, so I have to make every second at my desk count. I shoot off a few priority emails, make edits to a story layout for an upcoming issue, and have a quick working lunch at my desk with my team to go over the day's to-do's."

Photo credit: TeenVogue.com

 

Although Freeform (formerly ABC Family) is known for teen programming, this show is edgy and doesn’t feel too young for viewers over 20. If you liked Lipstick Jungle or Sex And The City, you will like this show too.

The Bold Type has become my favorite show of the summer and I’m excited to keep watching as the three friends navigate their careers and romances while learning who they are & who they want to become.

 

Tips for New Travelers

As the title says, this post is intended for new travelers – if you’re a frequent flyer please add your tips in the comments!

  • Create an itinerary that includes your flight and hotel information to share with family and friends. If you have planned activities add them to your itinerary, so you can stay on schedule.

  • Print your flight booking confirmation and tickets for any activities you purchased in advance

  • Download and check the airline app to be aware of any gate changes or delays

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Style and Savings Reads: The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

I first read about this book in Essence magazine book reviews and added it to my Want to Read list on Goodreads.

When I got the email about the Goodreads giveaway, I entered the giveaway and won!! Now I always enter Goodreads giveaways – who knows, I could win again : )

#Goodreads drawing winner! Happy to have an autographed book for my collection! This should be a fun summer read 😎☀️📖

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Between wedding planning

Wedding day nails after a relaxing salon trip with @wandiitastic & wandiitastic'smommy #becomingmrsu👰🏽 #bridetobe #weddingday

A post shared by Style and Savings blog (@styleandsavings) on

and international travel

When in France, eat French Fries #france🇫🇷 #pommefrites #goldenarches

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I was having a busy summer and didn’t get around to reading this book.

This summer, my plans were pretty open and I wanted to make sure I made the most of the summer by creating a Style and Savings Summer Fun List and a Style and Savings Summer Reading List.

Of course this book was on the list –

The Perfect Find was the perfect summer read

It was fun and romantic, and better than the usual rom-com because its plot is not predictable.

The main character Jenna, is in a similar situation as Liza of TV Land’s Younger, being a 40-something woman working in a youth – obsessed industry (although Jenna is honest about her age and experience), trying to keep up with millennial culture and falling in love with a younger man, Eric.

I liked that the story began with Jenna’s current situation but later covers the backstory of her college days, rising up in her career, and her previous long-term relationship with her college sweetheart Brian.

Unlike Younger

The Perfect Find has diverse characters!

If the book is made into a movie or TV show (I wish!) it would have a Shonda Rimes-esque cast. I can see Vanessa Williams as Jenna’s “queen of mean’ boss. The handsome leading men  chosen to play Brian and Eric must have looks, charm and personality worthy of attracting a beautiful, unique, and accomplished yet down-to-earth woman like Jenna (and worthy of being my new celebrity crush!)

The New York backdrop and fashion culture are both integral to the book and would translate well to the silver screen or flat screen.

Without giving away any spoilers, I was satisfied with the book’s ending. It ends with a five year jump into the future. It was a nice stopping point, but still leaves room to for follow up stories in the form of a sequel or series.

Thank you Tia Williams for writing such great book and allowing us to peek into your glamorous life!