designer clothes

How I Get To Wear Different Designer Clothes Every Work Day

I am a fashion consultant and stylist for a living, and so it is critical that I be seen dressed sharp myself all the time. I have many regular clients, and one thing that a lot of them have told me about why they believe in me and refer me to others for more work is because they have never seen me wear anything but designer clothes, but they also have never seen me wear the same thing twice.

Both facts are true, but what they do not know is that I do not actually own all that many clothes. Granted, I have about a month’s worth of outfits sitting in my apartment, and they are all designer clothes, but I sure did not spend full price on them. Some of them I did not even pay for. I do get them in a variety of ways though.

Some designer clothing makers send me outfits to try out or wear because they want me to like them and recommend them to my clients, but this does not account for as much of my wardrobe as you might think, nor does it really work. I always give my clients my honest opinion.

What I do on top of the freebies is sell my clothes online after I have worn them once. While an outfit does have a slight market markdown after being worn once, it is not that much, given the demand for such clothes, so I do get most of my money back from anything I bought fresh off the rack.

Even then, I do not pay full retail most of the time, as I buy used quite often myself online. Unlike a lot of others, I do not waste time looking for something exactly my size, as I know a good tailor and make very fastidious use of him much of the time.

I also hit vintage boutiques, donation stores, and yard and garage sales every weekend. You would be shocked to discover just what kind of designer clothes you can find in boxes at such a sale, just because people do not know what they have. Sometimes the wrong family member goes through a closet, or they forgot and just want to get rid of a bad memory as soon as possible.

All in all, I have various ways of finding a steady supply of great clothes.

michael kors store

Why I Fell In Love With Michael Kors

I am one of those women who don’t carry a purse all of the time. This can be very inconvenient when I am headed somewhere and I have a few things I have to take with me. For this reason, I fell in love with the idea of using a wristlet. This would give me the opportunity to have everything I need with me without feeling like I am weighed down by a large sized bag.

When I talked to my sister about buying a wristlet, she said that she had one I could have. She said it was a Michael Kors wristlet and it was nice, but she likes larger bags. When I first saw it, I was a little apprehensive because it was white, but it became my favorite thing to carry. I had it for a year or two, then I decided I wanted to buy more. Since this one held up for me without getting wrinkled, torn or anything of the sort, I decided to stick with the Michael Kors brand.

After going to several different websites to find Michael Kors bags, I realized that one thing was universal. The bags were all great looking and they did not cost co much that the average person could not afford them. This is a definite plus, especially considering the fact that I am not made of money. They were so well-priced that I decided to buy a few in different styles and colors.

A year ago I decided to buy a nice wristlet I saw that was made by another designer. While it was okey, I can say that it is not as well made as the ones that I already had. I also felt like the bag was a bit on the flashy side. As most people know, Michale Kors bags are great looking without making you feel like you are being gaudy. That is important to me since all my outfits are quite simple and I would prefer not to stand out from the crowd when I am out and about.

If you would have asked me about Michael Kors about five years ago, I would have no idea who in the world you were talking about. Now that I have had experience with the quality of the products he offers, there is no way that I will ever be as satisfied with anything else.

fashion week

Helpful Tips For Attending NYC Fashion Week

NYC Fashion Week is one of the premier fashion events in the world. If you are lucky enough to be able to attend this illustrious event, it is important to be as prepared as possible so that you have a great time and don’t miss out on any of the highlights. Check out some of these tips for attending New York Fashion Week to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

1. Arrive early for shows. A lot of times, fashion shows don’t start on time. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should scoot in at the last minute. Instead, you should arrive early so that you can get seated before the show begins. In some cases, designers will even lock the doors after a certain time. If you arrive too late, you may be prevented from getting into the show at all.

2. Consider staying at a hotel directly across from Lincoln Center. That way, you won’t have to travel all the way across the city to get to and from your hotel. Chances are, you won’t be spending a lot of time at your hotel anyway. All you need is a room for the night. By choosing one that is close to the action, you can stay later and arrive earlier, making sure that you don’t miss anything important throughout the event.

3. Dress for functionality as well as fashion. One common mistake that people make when attending Fashion Week is dressing purely for fashion and forgetting about comfort. Ideally, you should try to find a balance between an outfit that is both fashionable and comfortable. Be sure to carry a bag that is large enough to hold all of your essentials. Additionally, if you are planning on wearing heels, consider packing along a pair of flats in your bag. That way, you can always change into your flats if your feet start to hurt throughout the day.

These tips for attending NYC Fashion Week should help you have a fabulous time at this incredible event. By carefully planning out your trip, choosing your accommodations wisely, arriving on time for any shows that you have been invited to, and dressing in a way that is both comfortable and fashionable, you should be able to thoroughly enjoy yourself at the event. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to make it through the week without any major mishaps.

How to Start Doing Stand-up Comedy

Were you the “class clown” throughout most of your school years? Can you make people laugh? Have you ever wondered how those stand-up comics are able to make money doing something they love? While big-name comics are rare, almost anyone can start doing stand-up comedy!

First, watch the masters.

Check out Netflix and YouTube for some great stand-up comedy routines. Don’t neglect the old-timers; some comedy techniques that we use today were pioneered by comedians of yesteryear, and the older videos can show you comedy methods that you may not see in modern comedians.

Some comedians (especially in older times) used a gimmick, like a puppet or props. Some comedians tell jokes. Many comedians (especially these days) use stories to entertain. Comedy is all about communicating with your audience, and the surest sign that a comic will fail is that the comic is not authentic. Watching the masters is a good way to hone your craft, but if your routine is not authentic and funny to you, your audience won’t like it either.

Second, take a break.

Before working on your comedy routine, take a break from stand-up comedy. Joke theft is considered to be one of the most egregious sins a comic can commit, and this can happen inadvertently if you’ve just finished watching a stand-up special when you sit down to write.

Always have a notebook.

The best comedy comes from the authentic lives of the comic, so most comics will carry around a small notepad and pen wherever they go. When a friend says something hilarious, write it down. When a random thought makes you laugh in the line at the coffeeshop, make a note of it. All of this source material is essential for a comic.

Write a routine.

To start out your stand-up comedy career, write your first routine. Take the funny things you listed in your notebook and develop your routine around that. Pick one or two topics, and try to limit your routine to 10 minutes. Make sure that you have transitions between topics if you’re using more than one.

Find an amateur night or open mic.

If you have a comedy club in your area, chances are it has an amateur night. One night every week or every month is usually devoted to amateurs. If you don’t have a comedy club nearby, try an open mic. These settings can be less useful, because they’re often poetry or music and comedy is a harder sell, but if that’s the only option you have for performing in public, give it a try.

One important note about amateur nights and open mics: the venue hosting the event makes the rules. Check the website, call the club, or attend an event as a spectator before taking the stage. Comedy clubs tend to be exceptionally strict on time limits.

As you perform your routine, you’ll continually be honing and improving it based on the feedback you get from your audience. In time, you’ll develop multiple routines that – with practice – can become a regular part of a larger show. With a little practice and an awful lot of luck, you may one day get your very own HBO comedy special!

Tips for Making Your Own Letterpress

Whether it’s a wedding in your future or a cottage business making customized invitations and cards on Etsy, having your own letterpress can allow you to make beautiful custom designs easily and quickly. Perhaps the most difficult part of letterpressing is making your own letterpress! Even this obstacle can be overcome with a few simple tips.

Make one or buy one?

Buying a letterpress can be extremely difficult, as no companies currently manufacture them for home use. For this reason, finding a machine to purchase can be a challenge, and the small supply of presses is generally too expensive for a hobbyist. The good news is that you can make a letterpress at home using materials found from your local hardware store.

Homemade letter presses generally have a bed and a frame to rest atop the bed (usually made of wood). The frame holds the block in place, and the block is what contains the letters or drawing that will be pressed onto the paper. Above the paper is a piece called a platen, and most homemade models make this section of wood as well. Finally, most homemade presses use some way of pressing the platen down onto the block, perhaps with a press screw or a car jack. This is often the most costly part of building your own letterpress.

Choose an existing design

There are several free designs found on the Internet that provide complete instructions for building a letterpress. Additionally, groups and organizations that promote letterpressing may offer free designs for their own members. Once you select a pattern for your letterpress, it’s best to stick to the instructions.

Analyze your needs

A larger letterpress allows you to design larger documents and stationery, but it also takes up more storage space and can make it difficult to correctly place smaller documents like business cards or RSVP cards. For most home hobbyists, having multiple letterpresses isn’t feasible, so it’s wise to choose the largest size you plan to make. The larger the letterpress, the more inconsistent the ink coverage will be, especially for beginners.

Get started!

Once you’ve chosen the design and planned your construction, visit your local hardware store with your list and get started on building your own letterpress! You may find it helpful to print the list from your instructions and seek assistance at the hardware store, especially if you’re not familiar with some of the tools or supplies listed.

Time to print!

When it’s time to use your new letterpress, it’s a good idea to keep baby wipes and old T-shirts on hand for the inevitable cleanup. It’s also a good idea to cover your work area with a tarp or old sheet, and to wear a smock or old clothing. Even veteran printers often get extremely messy, and printing ink is sticky.

For a first printing project, make sure to have plenty of extra paper or cardstock. Letterpressing is an art form that requires a high level of craftsmanship in order to get it just right, so make sure to have plenty of extra materials on hand for your first few projects.

Letterpressing can be messy, challenging, and incredibly rewarding! When your perfect event is designed to your exacting specifications, it only makes sense to design the invitations and stationery to fit the wedding or party.

Best Video Games for Couples to Play Together

Sometimes the best way to beat boredom is with some video games. But being married to a “gamer” can be a challenge! Video games are so much fun and so addictive that sometimes a non-gamer spouse can feel left out when a gamer plays. But instead of feeling left out and alone, why not join your spouse or partner? Some video games are perfect for couples to play together!

Pick a Platform

The hardware can sometimes be the biggest obstacle to gaming with a group. Computer gaming can be amazingly fun, but playing multi-player with a partner can require some technical skill and hardware that not everyone has. If you’re in a long-distance relationship or are separated by business travel, multi-player gaming can be a great way to spend time together despite the distance. If you’re in the same home, you may want to set up a game that can be played privately with only two of you; this used to require setting up a private LAN, but if the home has a good wireless connection, it can be done pretty easily with modern games over Wi-Fi.
Console games are usually the best games to play multi-player, as you can sit on the couch next to one another while playing. Nintendo Wii has many games specifically designed for multi-player, and as their games are easy for non-gamers to play, it tends to level the playing field when playing with a hardcore gamer! PlayStation usually has a pretty good selection of multi-player games, and Xbox doesn’t always have a great selection of multi-player games, especially for a casual gamer.
Pick a Game Type

Ideally, you can both agree on a game style. Non-gamers will usually want to stay away from a first-person shooter (FPS), as those games can be more difficult to master. Role-playing games (RPGs) are a good option for most new gamers, and platformers can be a fun choice for the casual gamer but may bore some more advanced gamers.
Best Games

Fable 3 (Lionhead Games) is a great RPG for gamers who enjoy lots of options, a light-hearted feel, and a good storyline. Multiplayer games require the same set of characters for the entire game.
Diablo 3 (Blizzard Entertainment) is an RPG with a dark storyline, lots of loot, and a robust multiplayer experience. It’s available on computer, PS3, and Xbox, and the multiplayer experience is beautiful, allowing you to move characters in and out of the multiplayer mode while retaining their experience and skills.
For a fun distraction rather than a regular campaign, try Mario (Nintendo)! MarioKart is a great casual racing game, and Super Mario World and Super Mario Galaxy are both great games to play as a couple or as a family.
If you’re looking for a first-person shooter with lots of multiplayer options, try Gears of War 3 (Epic Games). This game is a hit with men and women, and there are many different multiplayer options, from co-op play to versus games or horde mode, to accommodate a quick game as well as a long chapter. Borderlands 2 (Gearbox) is another great multiplayer experience with a quirky, light-hearted storyline and a good mixture of RPG and FPS elements. Be forewarned that in Borderlands 2, the difficulty level will adjust to the level of the highest-ranked player, so it’s best not to play an advanced character with a new one.

Metal Scrapping for Beginners

Washers, dryers, computers, TVs, printers, VCRs, DVD players, air conditioners, refrigerators, and power tools all harbor a secret. Buried within them is metal. Even if it’s no longer working, you can find valuable treasure within and sell that treasure for cold, hard cash. This is the practice of metal scrapping, a fun and exciting hobby that allows grown-ups to go on a real live treasure hunt!

Safety first!

Because metal pieces can sometimes be sharp, it’s best to have a pair of cut-resistant gloves. You may find a dust mask, steel-toed boots, or a back brace to be useful. For beginners, it’s best to avoid refrigeration or air conditioning units, as they contain freon, a dangerous chemical requiring specialized disposal.

The scrapping workshop

It’s best to keep your work area clean and free of clutter. Small pieces of metal and plastic can easily become mixed in a cluttered workspace. Your workspace should have good ventilation, good lighting, and comfortable seating.

Plastic paint buckets provide excellent storage for scrap material, although e-scrap (scrap from computers) is usually smaller and may need smaller bins. You’ll usually want one bin for copper, one for aluminum, one for ferrous materials, and one bin for motherboards or other computer equipment. If you’re specializing in e-scrap, get a complete list from your local scrap yard or recycling service to determine how best to sort it.

Identifying metals

The most common metals encountered in scrapping include copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and iron. Aluminum and stainless steel look similar in appearance – usually silver or chrome in color – but stainless steel can be picked up with a magnet. Copper is generally a dark gold color, although some aluminum may be painted with a copper color. New iron may look like stainless steel, but older iron tends to be dark brown of black, and it’s also picked up with a magnet. Scrappers may also encounter brass and even gold in their scrapping adventures!

Breaking down appliances and electronics

Because there are so many different types of appliances and electronics, it’s impossible to concisely explain how to break down everything. Video tutorials can be found on YouTube and other websites that help to identify the most efficient way to break down most appliances and electronics.

To the scrapyard!

Once you have your scrap metal, you can plan your first trip to the local scrapyard. Make a phone call to a few scrapyards, ask a few questions, and choose the yard that seems to be the friendliest. When you get to the scrapyard, the employees will help you load your scrap onto the scale for weighing. They’ll give you a weight ticket and send you to the payment window, where the yard will pay you according to their policies. Always bring a small toolkit and your safety gear to the yard with you! Sometimes the employees will point out a simple thing that could earn you more money, and you may need to remove a piece on the spot to get the maximum value.

Metal scrappers serve a valuable purpose in modern society. By removing precious metals from what other people see as garbage, they’re helping to keep heavy metals out of landfills. When these metals are stored in landfills, they leach into the water supply and can build to toxic levels, so metal scrappers help to protect the environment and aquatic ecosystems. Metal scrapping can be a fun way to bring in some extra cash, turning one man’s trash into your very own treasure!

How to Learn Glassblowing

Artistic expression can take many forms. In addition to painting and sculpting, art may be in the form of clothing, blankets, or decorative household items. One of the most beautiful and practical uses of art is in the form of glassblowing, which can be mastered by almost anyone with the right instruction. And after seeing an art exhibit of Dale Chihuly stuff, I knew that this is one cool hobby that I wanted to learn. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far…

Finding a School

Glassblowing requires the use of specialized tools. In addition to the glass, furnaces that can reach more than 2400 degrees Fahrenheit are required. A bench with a marver is needed, along with a blowpipe and punty. For more elaborate designs, paddles, shears, blocks, and many other tools are necessary. Since few people outside of the professional art world have access to these tools, the best way to learn glassblowing is to find a school or class nearby that offers a class.

People in some areas, like Tacoma, Washington, have an advantage. They can often find freestanding glassblowing centers that offer regular classes, and the market for glassblowing prices is competitive enough to keep prices low. In most parts of the country, classes in glassblowing may be available at a local art museum, art college, or community college.

Preparing for your Class

In most cases, you’ll want to wear closed-toe shoes and have long hair pulled back and out of the way. Most schools require that students provide their own eye protection, and some require that students provide or purchase their own aprons and gloves, although that may be included in the price of the course. You’ll probably want to bring a notebook or sketchbook to draw designs, and to avoid clothing with long, flowing sleeves or flammable synthetic materials.

If you’re not sure whether glassblowing is really for you, ask your school if they have any one-day workshops on the topic. Some schools have shorter sessions where you can work with a glassblowing expert to build a single piece; this allows you to experience glassblowing before making a major investment of time and money.

A Short Primer

While your instructor will probably go over glassblowing, knowing a bit before beginning will help you to feel more comfortable in the glass studio. Modern glassblowing involves three furnaces: the crucible or furnace, filled with melted glass; the glory hole, used to reheat pieces while working on them; and the annealer, used to slowly cool the glass to prevent cracking. The tip of the blowpipe is preheated and then used to pick up a blob of molten glass, which is rolled on a marver to cool the outer skin of the glass. Then you blow air into the pipe to create a bubble. Over time, the piece can be expanded, and larger pieces require far more time and energy. Once the piece is finished, the molten glass is transferred to a punty to create the opening.

Glassblowing is an ancient art that has created some of the most beautiful and lasting pieces of art in the world. With modern tools and techniques, glassblowing is a fun way for even a hobbyist to create beautiful, unique sculptures and pieces.

Good Ways to Learn a Foreign Language in Your Spare Time

There are few things in this world that define a culture more completely than a language. A language is shared by and shaped by the people who speak it, and by understanding the language, you develop a more complex and nuanced understanding of world cultures.

But these days, we’re all busy, and learning a foreign language is something that few of us can find the time for. The good news is that you can learn a foreign language in your spare time, even if your free time is limited!

First, choose a language.

Choosing a foreign language can be difficult. For native English speakers, the easiest to learn are European languages. In most parts of the United States, Spanish is extremely useful as a second language. In many parts of Canada, French is the ideal second language.

Choosing an ancient language or a language not widely used will limit the availability of resources available to learn the language. For example, Swedish and Norwegian are not widely used outside of Sweden and Norway, so resources to help you learn those languages will be more difficult to obtain. Latin and Attic Greek can be useful in Biblical scholarship, but the resources available to learn those languages are generally geared toward college-level students and can be difficult for an autodidact to use.

Second, choose a primary resource.

One of the best free resources for learning popular modern languages is an app for the iOS and Android. Duolingo is also available as a web-based game. Not all languages are included with Duolingo, but its portability on various devices makes it a fun way to learn languages while sitting in a waiting room or picking the kids up from school.

If the language you want isn’t available on Duolingo, Rosetta Stone is another option that’s exceptionally easy to use. Rosetta Stone is a computer program and website that’s rather pricey, but is highly effective in helping to learn foreign languages. With adjustable settings, the program can be adjusted to allow children as young as seven to begin learning a foreign language.

If you need a classroom setting to learn most effectively, or if you can’t find your language on Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, consider taking a class at your local community college. For Vulgar Latin, Attic Greek, or Arabic, you may be able to find classes at local churches or mosques.

Find a friend!

The best way to cement learning a new language is to speak it often! Rosetta Stone offers students the ability to chat online with people all over the world, allowing students to hone their language skills while conversing with real people who speak that language.

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a friend who speaks the language you want to learn. You may want to ask around on social media or within your network to seek out a linguistic buddy. Meeting periodically for face-to-face interactions will help you learn to truly understand your new language.

Learning a second language can be incredibly rewarding, and it’s not as difficult as you might first assume. In most parts of the world, people are expected to know more than one language. A native English-speaker has an advantage when he or she is bilingual, as it’s a skill that few native English-speakers develop. But the true value of learning another language is not in its benefit as a resume-booster; learning another language teaches you about people, customs, and societies in other parts of the world.

Starting Your Own Podcast

Have you ever had someone tell you that you have a face for radio? Maybe becoming a radio personality was never your destiny, but almost anyone can build a podcast! With a few simple steps, you can start your own podcast, gain a loyal following, and broadcast your information to people all over the world. Or maybe you’re just like me and enjoy listening to podcasts and thought, ‘hey, I can do that!’ and you can! I’ve had that thought more than once and when I was browsing around a site, I realized that this could be a fun hobby that is super cheap once you get the equipment together. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Step One: Planning

The first step in building a podcast is planning. What is your topic? Pick a title, write a brief (under 400 words) description, and plan out your first few episodes. Plan the regular format for your podcast. Usually, it’s easier if you can do interviews on a podcast – the time goes much faster and it’s easier to fill the time. When you’re just starting out, you may not have a guest, so practice and rehearse your speech for time.

Podcasts are normally fairly conversational in tone, so you want to avoid being too formal with your speech. Decide how frequently you plan to podcast, and make sure to stick to that schedule.

Step Two: Recording

Recording a podcast can be easy or complicated, but there are a few tools you’ll need to get started with:

  • A good microphone
  • Audacity (a free program)
  • Call Recorder for Skype (if you’re doing interviews)

With these simple tools, you can begin recording your first podcast! Audacity is an audio editing program that allows you to edit and reformat your podcast, so you’ll want to save your podcast in mp3 format.

Step Three: Tag Your File

On the Properties section of your new podcast file, you need to add some information so that the podcast services know what it’s about. As a minimum, you’ll need to write the podcast title, your name, the episode number, and the artwork. This ensures that when your podcast is properly uploaded, the podcasting services like iTunes and Stitcher can provide those additional details when someone looks at or downloads your podcast.

Step Four: Upload Your Podcast

Podcast experts recommend that you host your podcast on a server outside of your own website’s server. The reason is that podcasts can take up a lot of bandwidth and space, and they can sometimes cause your primary website to run slowly. Libsyn is a fantastic media hosting service that offers a flat fee for media hosting with plans starting as low as $5.

Step Five: Syndication

Once your podcast is on the server, it’s accessible by anyone who’s looking for it. But syndicating it to a podcast feed like iTunes or Stitcher allows people with those services to play it quickly, conveniently, and easily. If you’re using Libsyn, the site has tutorials in their knowledge base to help you easily syndicate your podcast feed to iTunes. Additional step-by-step instructions can be found through iTunes or Stitcher. The server and podcast app can change the exact steps, so check the tutorials for the latest info.

Podcasting can be a great way to build an audience and to build credibility. While expert podcasters may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to build their podcast, you can start podcasting today with a very low initial investment and then upgrade later, when your audience is large enough to support your expenses.