Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers; whether it's your best friend, mom, or sister, we suggest you use this sweet holiday to show them just how much you actually appreciate them. Translation: forget the chocolates — and gift the loved ones in your life with something truly special this year, straight from our very thoughtful gift list. From stylish headphones for the ultimate musicphile in your life to cute heart-printed sweatshirts, our gift guide is sure to please every person on your list. Oh, and the best part? Everything is under $100 — more reason to spread the love, right?
Believe it or not, New York Fashion Week is about a week away! That said, we're in a mad scramble to look our best — without blowing our budget. Whether you plan on attending the shows or are just looking to add a pop of interest to your cold-weather getup, we've culled 13 stunning pieces sure to elicit some enviable stares (and maybe even get you snapped!). It's all about punchy colors, patterns, and cool silhouettes, like Dr. Martens' cheery yellow oxfords and J.W. Anderson's quilted printed pencil skirt — and who can resist a stunning statement clutch? Peep the slideshow to shop all these irresistible pieces — plus more — for $99 or less!
I'm going to be blunt: if you're a tea lover and the bulk of your tea purchases are tea bags, then you're doing it wrong. With the exception of some varieties that are only available by the bag, or transporting tea when traveling (tea bags are more convenient and less messy than their loose counterparts), loose-leaf is the way to go. Not only is the quality of tea leaves generally higher — most companies reserve their finest, intact leaves for loose-leaf versus crumbly dregs that can be concealed in a tea bag — but also, ounce for ounce, loose-leaf tea is often more economical. Consider the Republic of Tea's ginger peach black tea: for an extra 50 cents, you can have 60 cups' worth of loose leaf tea versus 50 tea bags, and it's likely higher-quality tea to boot. If you stick with loose-leaf, then you'll have tastier tea — and be able to afford more diverse offerings.
Even after you've set your budget for the New Year, chances are you might overlook certain expenses: you know, the busted transmissions and extra fees that creep up, and before you realize it, you're out hundreds of dollars. While some experts say you should have nine months to a year of income saved for emergencies, we know that's not always possible.
But you can still prepare by putting aside money each month for these incidents. Soon you'll end up with a flexible spending plan that will withstand even these unexpected expenses.
- Gifts: If you're someone with a large extended family or big group of friends, it can feel like it's someone's birthday every other week. Curb costs by suggesting that everyone pitch in for one nice present.
- Electronic repairs: A hard drive crashing or a phone screen cracking is never fun. But the way we rely on our electronics, we don't hesitate to shell out whatever it takes to get the problem fixed. Consider checking out smaller mom-and-pop shops before major retailers for repairs and seeing if they're worth the savings.
- Health-related bills: There are major medical costs, like emergency room visits, and other ones, like filling prescriptions. Either way, they're not cheap, but sticking to routine checkups and detecting problems early on will save you money in the long run.
- Home and car repairs: New brakes and tires, roof patch work: it all adds up. If you own an older model or live in a fixer-upper, think about creating a budget just for this category.
- Last-minute trips: If a family member in another state falls sick and you must visit, prepare as much as you can in the little time you have by investing in sites and apps that will help you save on last-minute trips.
- Fees: Hidden fees, like those for ATM usage or free trial memberships, are always a pain. Learn how to avoid them so you're never surprised by a bill statement again.
- Out-of-town visitors: Even if you choose not to take a trip, someone might come to visit, and that means showing them a good time. Before they arrive, look up free things to do wherever you live so you don't drain your wallet.
- Weddings and baby showers: When you think of all the prewedding and prebaby festivities (let alone the gifts and traveling on the day your friend gets hitched or delivers), these special occasions can break the bank more than you'd like. Know that it's OK to pass on the third baby shower or engagement party being thrown by your friend's second cousin.
- Parking and traffic tickets: One of life's biggest bummers has got to be getting to your car to find a pricey ticket or getting pulled over. The good thing is this one can easily be avoided by driving (and parking) responsibly.
- Lost items: If you've ever misplaced a special necklace, chances are you wanted to replace it right away. Avoid buying the same thing twice by having a designated spot for these prized items or insuring your jewelry.
- Job loss: We're sure no one wants to unexpectedly be out of work. But in this economy (no matter how much better it's getting), it's best to have an emergency fund for this very purpose to help you get back on the job hunt.
- Expensive group dinners: There's nothing worse than going out with a bunch of friends for a special occasion and having to split the check evenly when all you ordered was a salad. Make sure everyone agrees before the bill comes to pay for what you each order so you have control over how much you spend.
Trench coats are synonymous with Fall, and the latest styles available will have you considering investing in one (or another) for the chilly weather ahead. This season, look for leather details, rich colors, patent finishes, and quilted textures for an updated twist on the classic silhouette. Quick styling tip: trench coats come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you find the right fit for your body. Above-the-knee or midthigh styles work best on petite sizes, and always make sure to try on a trench coat with an appropriate layering element, like a medium-size sweater, to ensure the right fit. Here are the top 14 picks — all under $350 — for you to see and shop now.
With Memorial Day weekend ahead, and your BBQ and rooftop cocktail hour plans set in motion, there's not a ton of time to think about what you'll be wearing. That's where we come in: we've culled four shoppable looks that will put you at the top of your off-duty styling game and take minimal effort to re-create. From a more laid-back version of evening glamour — breezy pleated skirts paired with slick sweatshirt toppers and floral wedges — to one beachy white maxi dress, perfect for your sunniest holiday adventures, just keep clicking to get inspired and shop our editors' Memorial Day styling tricks.
Figuring out how to inject modern style into a home from the Victorian, Edwardian, or Arts and Crafts era sometimes poses a challenge for motivated, modern-style-loving homeowners. When interior designer Jennifer Hannotte purchased her Edwardian home in Toronto, she knew she wanted to renovate the home to reflect her style.
Jennifer opened up the home and used both high and low materials and items to create a modern feel inside the home, all while sticking to a strict budget. Want to hear how she did it? Get all of the details on Houzz.
Fast and easy dinners are really helpful when it comes to enjoying home-cooked meals after full workdays, but for some of us, having inexpensive meal ideas (or one that uses up pantry ingredients or leftovers) is even better. Here are five meals that will give you the best of both worlds: they come together quickly and easily, and the ingredients are either very affordable or pantry staples.
After a month's worth of entertaining and gift giving, I'm feeling more cash-strapped than I should. That's why I've vowed to start the New Year right by cooking meals for a fraction of the price that I pay when I dine out — and shopping smarter, too. I know I'm not the only one trying to eat in more often, so here, I'm sharing 10 mantras to live by that will have your bank account thanking you down the road.