Category Archives: shopping

Craig’s List Is An Art

Here’s a post from my newest blog, Queenocracy, on the art of shopping on Craig’s List. Enjoy!

http://queenocracy.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/the-art-of-craigs-list/

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2008 – The Halfway Point

Today marks the halfway point for 2008. And while I’m always grateful, days like this put me in an especially good mood.

 

I know how I’m celebrating, but if you don’t have ideas (and even if you do) here are some suggestions:

  • Look at your list of New Year’s Resolutions. Now either a) congratulate yourself with a piece of chocolate or b) laugh hysterically and then get a piece of chocolate.
  • Do something daring. How about signing up for a belly-dancing or boxing class?
  • Have Christmas in July. Treat yourself to something nice (I see new shoes in my future…)
  • Watch the evening news and be happy you’re not on it.
  • Call your parents, a close friend, etc. just to see how they’re doing.
  • Let your children play until dark and then have cookies and ice cream for dinner.

Enjoy your day!

 

Towanda Long aka Mscafe

Unusual Valentine’s Day Gifts, Really

Here are a few Valentine’s Day gift ideas, sans the chocolate, dinner and jewelry.  

Hug Me Pillow. Very few holidays highlight singlehood like Valentine’s Day. If you have a single girlfriend, you can further call attention to her status with this gift. Here’s the link: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Hug-Me-Pillow/1676854/product.html 

While I find the hand kind of creepy (yes, you really need to see this!), the manufacturers say it’s unique shape provides firm sleeping support. 

I Love You Video. With all of the Superbowl ad talk, why not be inspired and make your own commercial. At the minimum you’ll need a camcorder and a little imagination. And the great thing about this gift is it can include children, pets, favorite things, and/or whatever you’d like.

You can make it a private message, funny, for the entire family, or whatever you’d like. Here’s some advice on making a great home video: Home Video Advice. 

And if you’re open to others seeing it you can always post it on YouTube. You never know, you might become a celebrity… 

Personalized Gifts. From wine bottles to roses and M&M’s (www.mymms.com), almost any Valentine’s Day gift can be custom-made. One of my favorite gift sites, Red Envelope, offers a large selection of personalized items. Red Envelope Valentine’s Day   

Also at Red Envelope you’ll find cute ideas, such as the chocolate body tattoos and a variety of games.

Let me end by saying this. If you were contemplating jewelry, go with it. While everything I’ve listed above makes a great gift, you can’t go wrong with sparkle… 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals: No. 1 – Upgrade Your Image

Many professionals are going into the new year with a “New Me” attitude. So it’s no surprise that high on the list of resolutions is weight loss, getting organized and finding a work/life balance.  And while these are all great new year goals, why not take this time to also make changes that can immediately upgrade your image?

Here are a few tips to freshen up your wardrobe. After all, sales are great right now and this is an excellent way to use those gift cards. Plus, if you are successful with weight loss, you can always use a tailor… 

Go through your closet and make sure your clothes are in good condition, fit properly and do not date you. Shirts should look crisp, have vibrant color, and fall properly at your hands if long-sleeved. Look for stains, especially on the collar. Pants and skirts should not pull across the hips, should also be crisp, and fall properly over your shoes (please, no dragging the floor or floating too high!).  

Also, make sure your clothes are from this century. Pay careful attention to prints, trendy items and fabrics, making sure they are relevant and appropriate for business.  This is especially critical for those that don’t like shopping.  

Consider updating your bag. Think about it. When you make an entrance, clients and colleagues see your coat, bag and shoes. Your bag should be of good quality (think leather or a durable fabric), with no hanging threads or stains (Yes, I’ve seen it…).

You can also take this opportunity to show a bit of your personality, especially if you must wear conservative suits and colors. If you like online shopping www.careerbags.com and the outlet section of www.bagborroworsteal.com are a couple of my favorites. 

Go through your shoes. Make sure your heels are not worn, your shoes are polished and that they are not “turned over.”  

There are many books out there on dressing for success. Next week I’ll talk about my favorites. And in the coming weeks I’ll talk about other things you can do to upgrade your image. Happy New Year! 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

National Boss Day Tips and Gift Ideas

National Boss Day is October 16th, and many professionals are not sure what’s considered an appropriate gift.  

Here are some general guidelines to consider when buying a gift for your boss: 

Do not try to wow your boss with an expensive gift. This is one instance where bigger is not better. After all, you’re buying a gift for someone that makes more money than you.

In addition to that, you do not want to be seen as kissing up or brown-nosing your superior. This is NOT the day to upset your colleagues. 

Gifts should be nice, small and most importantly, professional. Stay away from personal items (I remember one boss getting spa products from someone of the opposite sex. Needless to say that was a bit uncomfortable!). 

Choose a gift that fits your boss’s lifestyle. For instance, don’t buy candy for someone that’s counting calories or golf paraphernalia for a football fanatic. 

Here are some suggestions for appropriate gifts: 

Greeting Cards (e-card or individual paper card). Hallmark has a great selection of cards, but you can also find nice cards at your local Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

If you prefer an e-card check out www.hallmark.com or www.123greetings.com. 

Consumable products. These are a favorite because it solves the problem of storage and almost everyone enjoys a good snack in the office.

Harry and David (www.harryanddavid.com) has a great selection of snack baskets. Also, it is very hard to go wrong with Godiva chocolate (www.godiva.com) for the chocoholic, or gourmet popcorn from The Popcorn Factory www.thepopcornfactory.com 

Other good choices are executive books (this link is to a Top 10 List you may find useful: http://www.amazon.com/Business-Books-List-strategy+business-magazine/lm/R1GK06HREX6MVI), and sports paraphernalia such as mugs and caps.

If your boss is a golfer, check out the engraved golf markers at gifts.com http://www.gifts.com/search/product/Engraved-Golf-Markers?ideaID=8709&prodID=120487 . 

Remember, National Boss Day is to show your boss that you appreciate his/her hard work, encouragement, support and guidance. Really, that’s it. 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

    

Unusual Products (and that’s an understatement!)

Today I’m highlighting products that you’d never believe existed unless you saw them. Check these out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!   

Dog Wigs

Really, I can’t make this stuff up. There are wigs for dogs. All I can say is, WOW! I won’t elaborate much, but PLEASE, check out these links. One warning, this may cause you to laugh out loud…

 http://www.bestweekever.tv/2007/08/15/unemployment-check-crazy-old-lady-shows-off-dog-wigs-on-today-show/ 

If you’re interested, here’s the link to purchasing the wigs: www.wigglesdogwigs.com .

p.s. There are more pictures on the site…

The Babykeeper Basic.

Parents, what do you do when you are out with the baby and nature calls? How do you use the restroom without sitting your child on the floor?

Well, this product lets you hang your infant on the wall. Uh huh, the wall. 

According to the site, the babykeeper is a “patent pending infant carrier style seat, that hangs from the stall wall in most public restrooms, and can also be used in many public fitting rooms”.  Okay, really, who does this? 

I would go into further detail, but some things are best seen. Here’s the site: http://www.mommysentials.com/babykeeperbasic.htm 

Urinal Sculptures

Yes, that’s right, a sculpture perfect for bathroom breaks! And these are not what you are thinking. These are BEAUTIFUL flowers!

Designed by Clark Sorensen, each is a unique, porcelain fixture that can be used in any bathroom. Prices average $7500, and designs range from tulips and lilies to daffodils and more. 

You must check out this site and see them for yourself:  http://www.clarkmade.com/urinals.html 

And let me know what you think, especially about the red hibiscus. Yes it’s beautiful, but it kinda scared me. However, I’m a woman, what do I know? …  

In closing, I hope this post did two things. 1) Proved that you can never have everything and 2) You might be on to something with those “clever, midnight ideas.” 

Towanda Long aka The Café Lady

Unusual Baby Shower Gifts

  

With October being the most popular month for births, September starts “Baby Shower” season. Here are a few unusual baby shower gift ideas that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

1. While others come bearing gifts for the new addition, why not remember mommy?

Carol’s Daughter has awesome mommy-to-be products, including a “sexy belly” cream and a leg gel! The products are luxurious, and best of all, contains only natural ingredients. So you don’t have to worry about the products hurting baby. For more information on Carol’s Daughter, her products, and where to purchase, go to www.carolsdaughter.com  

2. Make a “Mommy, Use This for Sleep” basket.

Start the basket with a few “sleep” coupons. While many parents are hesitant to use a babysitter to leave their newborn, having your permission to call for a “sleep break” is a godsend. Also include a sleep mask, comfortable yet cute pajamas, and a relaxing candle (chamomile and/or lavender scents work well). For baby add a sleep sack, an adorable onesie and a bottle of Johnson’s bedtime massage gel. 

3. Think Keepsake.

Buy baby an engraved sterling silver rattle (try www.tiffany.com or www.thingsremembered.com), but don’t stop there. Include a teddy bear (not too big!), and a few rattle toys that baby can play with everyday. If you want to jazz it up even more add a few other crib toys (make sure they are safe by ensuring they are age appropriate).

 Towanda Long aka The Café Lady