Feel Good, Look Nice, and Shop Smart

Blogging from my new home! The internet connection is finally on. Sorry for disappearing for so long, my friends.

Filing magazine articles. Real Simple and Instyle are my favorite.

I counted, I have moved 10 times since I moved to Boston in 2000.

Every time I moved, I had to pack everything I own and bring it with me. Every time I move, I re-examine my belongings and donate, sell, give away as much as I can. And then I tell myself to not buy things I do not absolutely need, love, or want to carry with me for a long time. (and then forget about it soon after I am settled again)

A few weeks ago, I spent a few hours going through all the magazines I've collected since I moved to my previous place 2 years ago. Before the old magazines went into the recycling bin, I clipped and filed all the articles that I would read or find useful in the future.

View from my previous home's living room.

For girly magazines, I file them into the following categories:
Beauty/skin care -- good tips for now or later
Fashion -- all the classic do's and don'ts
Home decoration/design -- to get ready for my real home
Gift ideas --I love love love these gifting ideas!
Others, etc -- everything else

* As disorganized as I normally am, once in a while when I need to move, I become organized!

No 5 Law of CHIConomics -- the more you wear it, the more it is worth

In November 2008's Instyle, there was an article called "The Laws of CHIConomics -- tough times equal smarter shopping." I remember reading it and thinking -- recession is definitely here to stay.

Some interesting reminders to share with you during this holiday shopping season:

(1) Learn to spot quality: you can't go wrong with spending money on classic styles in basic colors and great quality.

(2) If you don’t absolutely love it, keep shopping: when it comes to big purchases and any major commitments in life, you really need to love it with all your heart.

(3) The right mix of pieces is the key to a rich wardrobe: black and white always look more expensive than colorful clothes. Good shoes and bags and maybe a nice pair of earrings can change the entire outfits.

(4) The more you’ll wear it, the more it’s worth: Super important to keep in mind! This is such a fun "value calculator" for nerds like myself.

Use these 10 questions to calculate whether if something is worth to you or not. Starting with a value of 100, add or subtract as you go:

1. Does it go with more than three things you own? YES (+5); NO (-10)
2. How many seasons can you wear it in? ONE (-5); TWO (+0); THREE (+5); ALL FOUR (+10)
3. Would your boyfriend, boss and glammiest girlfriend all approve? YES (+5); NO (-5)
4. How often will you wear it? OFTEN (+10); SOMETIMES (-10); ONCE (-15) --unless many important people will see you in it, such as your wedding dress, then +20
5. Does it need dry cleaning? YES (-5); NO (+5)
6. Does it need tailoring? NO (+5); JUST A HEM (-5); A LITTLE (-10); A LOT (-20)
7. Will it transition from day to night? YES (+5); NO (-5)
8. When was it last in style? WHEN WASN’T IT? (+10); FALL 1981 (-10)
9. Do you need to lose weight for it to fit? YES (-50); NO (+5) -- this one is the killer rule for me.
10. Will it still fit you if you gain 5 pounds? YES (+10); NO (-10) -- especially important when you plan to eat some big meals with this outfit.

50 and below – Purchase at your own peril.
50 to 95 – Proceed with caution.
100 to 120 – You love it. Buy only if you can really afford it.
121 and above – Bravo: you've just found your new uniform!

Click on the picture to read these shocking stats

Last but not least, here is a shocking page that shows you what else you can get for the cost of a super fancy CHANEL rare alligator bag.

1 month's vacation in Bora Bora or an alligator bag?
9 months education at Harvard University or an alligator bag?
25 years of monthly flower deliveries to your home or an alligator bag?
31 kids in a third world country going to school for 4 years or an alligator bag?

No offense to people with alligator bags, but instead of this bag I will ask for 1 week's vacation in Bora Bora, plus 3 month's education at a great university, plus 5 years of monthly flower deliveries for my friends and families, and sending 8 kids to middle school for 4 year in a third world country. That ought to make me feel so good that I don't mind just using paper bags to carry my things around.

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