Nothing Compares 2 U Saved by the 90’s at the Canal Room NYC

Bets on how many 90’s references I can make in one blog post?

"All I Wanna Do" is rock out with the Bayside Tigers every Friday

"All I Wanna Do" is rock out with the Bayside Tigers every Friday at the Canal Room

I have a few great loves in my life: my family and friends, NYC, Seth Rogen, and the 90’s. As a child of the 90’s I got to experience what past generations could only dream about: tamagotchis, AIM, slap bracelets, Prince William in his single years, beanie babies, and of course, the musical stylings of Sugar Ray, N*SYNC, Britney Spears (pre-head shave), Alannis Morrisette, and the Counting Crows (pre-Shrek 2).

As my entrance into the real world is approaching at a velocity rivaling that of the speed of light, I find myself reminiscing on the simpler days. When the biggest scandal in Washington was a sordid encounter with a navy blue dress-wearing intern in the Oval Office, and my daily schedule included obligations such as watching the Power Rangers and snack-time (If anyone disagrees that Dunkaroos were not the best snack-time snack of all time you can leave now).

If you also suffer from 90s withdrawal, symptoms include daily Clarissa Explains it All references and an unhealthy obsession with Freddie Prinze Jr, I have the cure-all. Saved by the 90’s with the Bayside Tigers at the Canal Room.

VIDEO: Bayside Tigers NYC

For $15, channel your inner-tween and have a freaking blast with The Bayside Tigers. They are seriously the best 90’s cover band I have ever encountered. You better be ready for a party. The Canal Room on West Broadway and, you guessed it, Canal St, is a very intimate concert venue, and with the Bayside Tigers playing, I would have it no other way.

Two Fridays ago, a few of my friends and I went to see them. Coming out around 11:30 (in neon windbreakers and all), the band opened with the Saved by the Bell theme song, and proceeded to bring down the house for the next THREE hours playing 90’s hit after 90’s hit like No Doubt’s “Just a Girl”, an amazing rendition of Alannis Morissette’s “Ironic”, Smash Mouth’s “All Star”, and yes, even BSB’s “I Want it That Way”. Everyone in the band is extraordinarily talented, and you can tell they absolutely love what they do. *NOTE TO SELF* new career path: learn guitar, get singing lessons, join 90’s cover band, be awesome. After they show they came out for a meet and greet with the audience.

You can order tickets online or you can wait in line at the door and get some tickets before the show. Starting in April they’ll be playing every Friday at the Canal Room! My only suggestion is if you want some liquid courage before you break out your Macarena skills (don’t even try to deny you forgot that dance), do it at the bars around the area. One Red Bull Vodka at the Canal Room is the same price as the actual ticket.

Bottom Line: The Bayside Tigers show was one of my favorite nights out in NYC so far. And for as much as about 1.5 drinks at a bar, the price won’t “Sabotage” your bank account.

My apologies for the lack of pictures, I was far too busy channeling my inner-Gwen Stefani to snap a few shots.

2012: The Year of the Economic Academic

It’s five days into the New Year and I’m sure most of us are still recovering from our New Year’s festivities. And most of us, like me, have already reneged on our New Year’s resolutions (damn you Merlot). But that’s okay. That is what the New Year is all about right, fresh starts? Last time I checked, there is no law on the books that dictates fresh starts can only be made on the first of January while you are in an alcohol and food-induced stupor (at least not in the state of Pennsylvania anyway). No, fresh starts can be made anytime, anywhere. This year I’m still making it a priority to continue living frugally (but fabulously), but I also want to become an expert in personal finance. As my graduation date creeps closer and closer, it is important that I know as much as possible before I get into the real world. So, here are the Economic Academic’s 2012 Resolutions

Resolutions:

-Do my own taxes

-Land a job :]

-Start saving for an apartment

-Find creative ways to make money

-Get organized in all aspects of my life

-Only eat out once a week

-Find new ways to save

-Save at least half of my paycheck each month

I know these are pretty dull resolutions, but let’s be honest, there a lot more realistic than my last few (you don’t even want to ask). What are some of your financial resolutions for 2012?

 

 

Frugal Food: Potluck Dinners

Potluck dinners are a great alternative to dining out

One of my favorite things to do in college is making dinner with friends. Frugal and fun cooking with friends is the perfect way to spend a weeknight in or to ring in the newest episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (yeah, I’ll admit it). But dinner parties can go downhill if people don’t pony up the cash to pay back the cook, or don’t help cleaning up. That is why I’m a huge fan of the potluck dinner. With potlucks, everyone is responsible for bringing a dish, preventing anyone from feeling like they’ve made more effort than others, and it’s a great way to show off your culinary skills. With that said, there are some guidelines you need to set to ensure a positively perfect potluck.

Potluck Rule #1: Unless cat haz cheezburger, leave him off the diner list

1. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET: Before anything, establish a per-dish budget for the potluck, and make sure everyone is comfortable with it. Usually I find $8-10/dish is a good price point for the college student.

2. Assign courses: Remember in elementary school at Christmas parties when somehow everyone brought 400 plates of cupcakes or 5,000 bags of chips and salsa? Well, at potlucks it completely defeats the purpose of a potluck if everyone brings the same item. To avoid this, assign different courses to friends, and stick to it.

3. Create a theme: How about Mexican Mondays, Southern Saturdays or Thai Tuesdays? Themes are a great way to experiment in the kitchen and ensure that all the dishes work perfectly together.

4. Make sure it is a team effort: This applies mostly for after the meal. Make sure everyone pitches in a cleans up. Not only will it cut down on cleanup time, but it prevents any one friend from being stuck with a pile of dishes at the end of the night.

5. Keep it small: More people complicates everything. So just keep it simple, and small (about 4-5 people)

Work It: A College Girl’s Guide to the Work Wardrobe

I know I mentioned  this a few posts back, but it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to have a work wardrobe in college. Interviews, career fairs, networking lunches and internships opportunities have an uncanny way of appearing seemingly out of the blue so it is best to be prepared for any situation. So what exactly is a work wardrobe?

Let's hope Samantha is bidding on a new work outfit...

Well, this is where is gets tough. Over the past few years, I’ve had internships that have required me to wear everything from workout gear and sneakers, to trendy-casual, to semi-formal business attire and everything in between. However, during my experiences, I’ve learned that there are a few essential items that every working gal needs in her closet. I’m not going to lie, good-quality business attire can be astoundingly expensive, and that is bad news bears for someone on a budget. Luckily, here are a few, affordable staples that will make you look like a million bucks without actually spending that much.

1. The Suit

AGB Jacket Two Button $39.98 and skirt $29.98

I actually own this blazer in black. Macy’s AGB line is perfect for a college budget. Affordable, well-made, and figure-flattering (sizes range from 4-16 US) AGB’s suits should be in every gal’s closet. Each separate is an exact color match, and they also make work pants as well. Also, from my experience, the jacket is seemingly wrinkle-proof!

2. Black or Nude Heels

Target's Mossimo Black Pump $29.99

It also comes in nude

When shopping for a work heel, make sure you feel absolutely comfortable in them in the store. I know heels and comfort go together as well as Kim Kardashian and marriages (sorry I had to), but there is nothing worse than spending eight hours in uncomfortable footwear. Can’t wear heels? Don’t worry! There are a ton of affordable, fashionable flats out there that look just as professional. Also, make sure your new kicks aren’t too high, 3 in at most.

3. Work blouse

A shell like this one from Banana Republic is a great top to layer under a blazer

Button-ups and I do not get along. In fact, we hate each other. The puckering, the ill-fitting waist, the collars that simply won’t stay creased, I’m officially over the button-up. Which is fine because there are so many cute blouse options available. Ann Taylor LOFT and Banana Republic are two great stores that have super-cute shells and blouses to go under blazers and cardigans. Although BR and AT are a bit pricier than what your budget allows, they often have great sale items and last year after Christmas Ann Taylor LOFT offered a 50% your entire purchase no exclusions! Just make sure when shopping for a shell, that it is not see-through and is appropriate for the office. Another tip: sign up for email lists to receive exclusive offers and sale notifications, just be warned they send a TON of emails.

4. The Cardigan

Who says cardigans are just for librarians?

Offices are freezing year round. So you better stock up on a few cute cardigans to keep you warm. Add a little personality to your outfit by going with an embellished or embroidered cardi or pair it with a bold colored shell or statement necklace. This cardigan from Target is not only cute but super affordable at $24.99.

5. Structured Bag

My dream bag from Etsy. Okay so its $199.00...how many days until Christmas?

I currently work at a radio station which requires me to go out and collect sound with a recorder and mic. I also need a notepad to jot notes and often receive a ton of press releases during the day, so I need a purse that is not only cute, but functional with pockets galore and enough space to hold everything I need.  Etsy is a great resource for unique, affordable, well-made bags. And another plus? You are supporting small business entrepreneurs in the process!

Have any other wardrobe staple suggestions? Share them below!

Guest Post: Friday Night Dilemma? SOLVED!

Friday nights and I have a very tumultuous relationship. On one hand, I desperately want to go out, paint the town and celebrate the end of the work week. On the other hand, my bank account desperately wants me to stay in, watch basic cable (yay Fordham Cablevision), and keep the spending to a minimum. Friday nights in the city are a blast, but are much more expensive than going out almost every other night of the week (except Saturday). Luckily, my classmate (and fellow blogger) Shaina has found a wonderfully entertaining and economical solution to the Friday Night Dilemma. Here is what she had to say about it!

Every student needs a night off to just relax and have a great time. But, sometimes the difference between having a fabulous night and just having another night on campus is money. I found a solution to that problem: burgers and karaoke! Don’t worry, this night will only cost you about $25.

The Burgers: Mark

What: A place where the burgers are heaven and the ambiance is perfection.

Where: 33 Saint Marks Place btw 2nd and 3rd Aves

Price: $21.75 total!

Marks Burgers: Where the caloric content is the only number you need to worry about

I first stumbled upon this place when my boyfriend and I were down in the village just hanging out and walking around. We were looking for something fun to do but we didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. So we went in and out of different restaurants on Saint Marks Place and most of them were over what we wanted to spend. We finally got to Mark and the place was pretty small but it looked expensive too. But, when we looked at the price of the burgers, we were pleased. We each had two burgers and French fries and our bill came up to $21.75.

Karaoke is a great and affordable entertainment solution for the college student

Karaoke: U2 Karaoke

What: A place where the music is loud and the fun is abundant.

Where: 6 Saint Marks Place btw 2nd and 3rd Aves

Price: $8/hour per person

There must be a law that requires all Karaoke bars to have LED lighting...now if we could only get a mandatory smoke machine law on the books

Experience: Since my boyfriend and I had extra money left over for dinner, we decided that we should do something else. I always loved karaoke and when we were walking around to find a restaurant, we passed a place called U2. I had never been there before. We decided to go and it turns out, that it was only $8 per person. That was another great bargain for the night. We had so much fun. They have private rooms and performance lighting. It was the finish to a great AND affordable night!

**A BIG thanks to Shaina for the great post and recommendations!

Thrifty Thursdays Fridays

I’ve got a riddle for you: What do the following objects in the pictures have in common?

Any guesses?

Still stumped?

What if I told you that not only did I get everything here at thrift stores, but every item was less than $15? Would you believe me? Well you should. As a college student, thrift stores are great for finding unique, well-made clothing and accessories for super cheap if you know where and how to look. Luckily, I’m here to help. I’ve been thrifting for about eight years, and any thrifter can tell you there is not better thrill than nabbing a great item for a few bucks (or in some cases a few cents). I’m going to be honest here, thrifting does take time and patience. It is not the most fun to sift through the land of misfit clothing. However, the rewards do pay off. Here a few of my favorite finds.

Dooney & Bourke Purse from Goodwill: $10

Vintage scarf from random PA thrift store: $8

That blue blazer in picture one? Thirty dollars cents. I would give you a close up shot, but it has a date with the dry cleaners later today.

If you have never been thrifting before, or, like many, gave up after setting eyes on the umpteenth 5K t-shirt, I’ve come up with a few rules/suggestions that will make you a pro thrifter in no time.

Thrifting Commandments:

1. Thou shalt not buy if thou does not absolutely love it. Just because the price is right, doesn’t mean the look is.

2. Thou shalt not be label-conscious. A big mistake for first timers. That $30 Burberry shirt? No one’s going to care if you got a huge deal on it. They’ll be too busy trying not to laugh at your hideous shirt.

3. Thou shalt not buy stained/hole-y/pill-y clothing. This should go without saying. I usually avoid buying sweaters as many are not in the best shape. But, if you’re looking for the perfect pair of worn jeans or a soft leather jacket? I’d say a thrift store should be your first stop.

4. Thou shalt try and try again. Like I said, thrifting takes time. You may not find what you are looking for the first, second or third time, but believe me you’ll strike gold soon enough.

5. Thou salt seek out unexpected areas/stores. Want to know a secret? Some my best finds came from small-town thrift stores. Many times stores in the city know how much they should charge, but a lot of the mom-and-pop joints sometimes pass over a diamond in the rough. My $0.30 blazer? I got in a $3 fill-you-bag sale in upstate New York.

6. Thou shalt haggle. I don’t know why more people don’t do this. Yes, it may seem annoying, but you can score some major deals this way. Because thrift stores set their own prices, they are more willing to make a deal. Buying a few items? Offer the lot for $20. Also, look for non-profit thrift stores. I’ve found they have offered me deals on purchases without me even asking!

7. Thou shalt do your research. This rule is mostly when purchasing a designer bag. Youtube, Ebay and Spotfakehandbags.com have great articles on how to spot a fraud.

Here are a few of my favorite thrift stores:

-The Goodwill: I have found that they offer a greater selection on designer bags and accessories. Also, their auction-based website has some great discount designer duds.

-The Salvation Army: Great for furniture and household goods. Also, my neighborhood salvation army always has half-off sales and a great selection of coats and leather belts.

-Non-Profit Thrift Stores: If you are looking for a well-tailored suit or brand-names, non-profits are usually the way to go.

Do you thrift? What was your favorite find? Let me know!