Blog Posts by Fabulous & Frugal

  • Biggest Money Mistakes of 2011

    by Stephanie Berenbaum - December 29, 2011

    Learn from Our Mistakes…

    In order to start the New Year off right, we figured it might be best to come clean about some of the biggest, messiest and most embarrassing money mistakes we - and our Fab & Fru friends and family - have made this past year! As much as we are Fab & Fru, we are also human, and we have to admit we've collectively done somestuff this past year that was just pretty freakin' stupid. So, have a laugh and learn from our mistakes. It's certainly our New Year's resolution never to do any of the following in 2012…

    1. Accidentally leaving the car in DRIVE - exiting the car and locking the doors - then watching the car slowly163580-car-slams-into-house roll into the front of your guest house. Or should we say, through your guest house… Thankfully, after the initial shock wore off, and it was confirmed no one was hurt, the $3,000 price tag to fix the big giant hole in the facade was just the beginning. Then there was the serious cash to

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  • New Year’s Eve Bargain Priced Bubbly

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    Champagne Alternatives that Won't Disappoint

    Looking for the 'pop' of Champagne without the price tag? Jill Bernheimer of L.A. based DomaineLA and Brooklyn's Smith & Vine have fantastic insider tips for frugal fizz that won't sacrifice quality, taste or the experience of the classic expensive bubbly. Shop online at both stores, or check your local wine shop and Whole Foods for these Fab & Fru suggestions!

    Methode Champenoise

    Whether Cava or Cremant, there are lots of wines from all over Europe that use the same rigorous method of production as Champagne, but can't call themselves by the name since they fall outside the Champagne region. Cava is from Spain, and uses local Spanish grape varieties; Cremants come from France, and may or may not use the same grapes as in Champagne. You're saving money just by virtue of the fact that "Champagne" is not allowed to be printed on the labels of these bottles.

    Here are Smith & Vine's Methode Champenoise Special Picks for

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  • What Do You Have to Give?

    by Brandi Savitt - December 22, 2011

    The Benefits of Giving Before December 31st

    Were you planning to make a donation to a worthy cause this year but never got around to it? Well, before 2011 comes to an official close, now is your chance!

    The reality of the ongoing economic crisis means that charities around the globe are suffering too. Many organizations who help the needy have found their donations significantly cut due to the recession. So, remember - just because you can't give what you used to, doesn't mean you shouldn't give at all. No donation of your time or money is too small - so please help keep the efforts of charitable organizations alive and thriving. Besides getting a write off on your 2011 taxes, a charitable donation in someone's name is a totally fabulous last minute gift idea that you can actually feel good about giving!

    End of the Year 'Right' Offs

    When you donate to qualified charities you can reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill, all

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  • Adopt a Pet This Holiday Season

    by Alexandra Pauline - December 21, 2011

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    The Truth About Cats & Dogs

    This may be the season of holiday cheer and good will toward men, but what about our furry friends out there looking for a warm and loving home?

    More than ever, shelters all over the country are packed with strays and abandoned cats and dogs in need of a good home. And we've heard that YOU just might be considering bringing a furry addition into your family? Well, you're in luck: adopting a shelter animal is the Fab & Fru way to find a cuddly critter - while saving the life of a deserving pet!

    Why Adopt?

    Choosing to adopt a pet is an affordable and humane alternative to purchasing one from a pet store or breeder. Not only is it far less expensive (usually just the cost of shots and neutering), adoption helps to mitigate pet overpopulation. John Everette, who represents Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals Foundation, an L.A.-based animal welfare group says; "More

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  • Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes!

    by Brandi Savitt - December 19, 2011

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    Bake Like You Mean It

    Have you been planning on getting your bake on this holiday season but can't seem to find the time? Well, it's not too late! We have three easy but deliciously sinful recipes so you can whip up a variety of homemade treats that Santa, the kids AND foodies from far and wide will equally enjoy. Serve them to guests, or make up a box for the neighbors - no cookie cutters needed. While they're special enough to serve for the holidays, you're going to want to make them all year long!

    -The tradition of Christmas cookies may date back to Medieval Europe, but our favorite holiday cookie recipes are definitely for more modern taste buds. Happy Baking!

    Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

    Put a little BING - cherry that is - into this oatmeal cookie classic. The sweet and tangy twist from the cherry makes this special cookie - unforgettable! Click here for the recipe.

    Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

    Looking for a

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  • Celebrity Hair Tips Revealed

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    Do Up Your Hair for the Holidays

    Ok, I admit it. I love to splurge from time to time as much as the next girl. And I have to tell you, my new favorite splurge is going to see celebrity stylist Ryan Crupi at the Andy LeCompte Salon here in West Hollywood, CA. But since I am Fabulous AND Frugal, there is no way I can go to see Ryan to prep for all of my holiday festivities - so I asked him for D.I.Y. tips on how to do holiday hair at home. It turns out, that you can recreate the salon experience - with you as your own on call stylist!

    Celebrity Style

    Ryan is known for doing the hair of celebrities like Kate Walsh, Rachel Bilson and Emanuelle Chriqui. Having long hair myself, I wanted to know how to re-create their natural, sexy beach-y look at home. Here are Ryan's easy steps. In just 15 minutes you too can get the look I WISH I had when I roll out of bed!

    Ryan's 15 Minutes To Fabulous Hair

    Follow these easy steps and you too can rock tousled waves without

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  • Organize Your Online Purchases

    Organize Your Online Purchases

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    Get A Slice Of Our New Favorite App

    I don't know about you, but holiday shopping has already started to get the best of what little sanity I had left. I know online shopping is supposed to make my life easier, but I have to admit I have trouble keeping track of all my online purchases. Which is why I was thrilled to learn about SLICE - a new, FREE online service and app that can help even the most disorganized among us (yours truly) keep online purchases organized! Now if it could just get dinner ready and convince my three year old to brush his teeth…

    What is Slice?

    Slice is a free web based service and downloadable app that works by finding the receipts for online purchases in your email and organizing all your purchase info so it's right at your fingertips. It's pulls all the info you need - shipping notifications, tracking numbers, return policies and customer service info - and organizes it all in one easy place.

    ehh-630-woman-using-ipad-istock-630wSome Very Fab

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  • Brunch is on Me?

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    Last week Jen's college friends Melanie and Ella came to visit her in Brooklyn for a long weekend. Saturday morning, the three friends went out for brunch, and Melanie and Ella insisted on treating Jen to show their appreciation for her being such a gracious host. Jen put up a fuss about her friends taking her out, but when the bill came, the two ladies grabbed the check and put down their cards to split the bill. Their intentions were good, but when the waiter came around, he informed them that the restaurant was cash only… Luckily, Jen had enough cash to cover everyone, so she paid and the trio headed out to do a little shopping.

    When they passed the nearest ATM Mel and Ella stopped to get cash, but Jen felt awkward taking her friends money. Brunch had been cheap, and she told them it was no big deal. Mel wasn't having it and shoved a $20 in Jen's purse before could put up more of a fight. Ella, on the other hand, took Jen up on her offer - and pocketed her cash.

    Was Ella

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  • Tips on Holiday Tipping

    by Stephanie Berenbaum - December 12, 2011

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    A City Girls Guide to Saying Thanks!

    Giving holiday tips to service providers may be synonymous with Santa, but knowing what and how much to give remains a source of confusion for most of us - especially during times of economic hardship. Not to worry - we have some pretty strong Fab & Fru opinions on the topic!

    When You Can't Afford To Tip!

    Let me start off by saying of course if you cannot afford to give the customary holiday bonus due to financial hardship, it is best to be honest with the service provider or employee and let them know how much you appreciate all of their hard work. Always give a thoughtful card and a homemade token of appreciation rather than avoiding the topic all together. And be sure to let them know that you hope next year will be more prosperous for everyone!

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    Ready, Set, Tip!

    For those of you lucky enough to be in stable financial condition, these tips are meant for you! We canvassed

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  • Are You an Emotional Shopper?

    by Brandi Savitt - December 08, 2011

    The Lure of Luxury

    We've all done it… Maybe it was the day you found out that you didn't get the job you were hoping for, or you just lost a big account at the office? Or even worse, maybe the guy you've been seeing broke up with you- just as you were really starting to like him? We've all gone shopping after a particularly bad day and indulged in a little retail therapy to make ourselves feel better. And you know what? It works -that is, until the credit card bill comes at the end of the month…

    Social Status & Spending

    I recently read an article by Daisy Grewal in Scientific American entitled - When You Try to Buy Status, It Can Backfire, and it was fascinating. The piece highlighted a couple of university studies that showed when people feel inferior and that their social status is lower (even if it's just temporary), they are willing to spend more money on luxury purchases than someone who is feeling more confident and secure!

    Paying-for-Dinner

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