Top 8 Foods to Not Buy Organic

choosing organic foodsOrganic food is the way to go these days, but there are some foods that you do not need to buy organic. Knowing what these are will help to save you money and will help you in choosing the healthiest option. Not all organic foods are better than their non-organic counterparts.


This fruit provides a big punch of nutrition, but getting them organic just does not make sense. Since the outer peel is so thick, any chemicals used in the growth process are not absorbed anyway. So, wash it well before cutting and you will be good to go. Your wallet will be happier too.


There are no current organic standards for seafood so there is no guarantee that an organic one will be any safer than a non-organic one. You just want to buy seafood that was obtained through sustainable practices and is low in mercury.


Almost all onions are free of pesticides whether they are organic or not, so there is no need to spend extra bucks on the organic label. Their flavor is too strong for most pests and they grow underground so there really is no need to spray them because pests will not bother with them anyway.


This is a really great, rice-like food that is packed with protein. It has become really popular recently because a lot more Americans are paying closer attention to their health. The thing is, the non-organic versions are very low in pesticides and many have none because growing this food just does not require it. Pests do not like the taste so they leave it alone, making it entirely possible to grow it pesticide-free. So, buy non-organic, give it a rinse before cooking and enjoy the savings.


You know that it is a pain to peel a pineapple. Well, be thankful for that hard, prickly shell because this means that agricultural chemicals are not absorbed either. Because of this, even if pineapples are sprayed with pesticides, they are not going to penetrate into the actual fruit. So, stick with non-organic.

Sweet Corn

This is a very low pesticide food and many tests have proven that corn pretty much always has no detectable chemicals. This goes for both frozen and fresh. Since corn can be a tad pricey, especially during the height of barbeque season, there is no need to spend even more by getting the organic version. Since you clean it anyway, the non-organic version is just as healthy.


This is another food that resists pests naturally so there are not many chemicals on it because it does not need them. Just peel off the out leaves, give it a rinse and enjoy. Most people discard the outer leaves anyway.


This refreshing summer fruit has a thick peel, so pesticides really cannot penetrate into the fruit. So, if you test the peel you will surely find a high dose of pesticides, but if you test the inner fruit, you will find little to none. So, when you buy this fruit, go non-organic and just peel before eating.

Five Tips to Save on Shopping

money saving tips when shoppingIn today’s economy there is no such thing as saving too much money. There are some ways to stretch your household budget without really sacrificing anything. These are more about critical thinking and less about doing without. Incorporating even just one of these will have a positive impact on your family budget.

You do not Always Need the Store

If it is something that you do not need right away then take the time to look for the item for free. For example, if you know you will need a new tree for the holidays, then look into getting one for free. You can often find one on those free community websites or you can find one at things like yard sales for a fraction of the price. The same goes for decorations. Other things you can often get really discounted or free are things like lawn furniture, home furniture, clothing and most home items. Since these items often carry a hefty price tag, finding them at a discount, or free, can save you a lot of money over the course of a year.

Consider Purchases in Advance

You can usually find coupons or other ways to save money by being a patient purchaser. You should also be on the lookout for sales when you are doing your regular shopping. For example, things like deodorant, shampoo and soap are things you will always need. Just because you have not run out yet does not mean that you should not buy these if you find a good deal. Whenever something you use regularly is on sale, you should pick it up. This is a great way to save quite a bit of cash over a year.

Make Substitutions

Just because you have been buying a particular brand does not mean that it is the only brand you will like. In fact, generic items really only cost less because the packaging and advertising are not there to jack up the costs like they are with name brand items. Most things like food items and toiletries can be bought in generic brands and they will be as good and work just as well as their name brand peers.

Make a List and Stick to It

Most people go to the store with items in mind that they need. However, they often leave with things that they really did not need. These unnecessary items can add up quickly and buying just one unnecessary item each time you head to the store can result in you spending at least hundreds per year that you did not mean to spend. Think about how far an extra $500 per year will go. Stop buying those unnecessary items and you will have several hundred bucks that you did not have before.

Shop at Multiple Places

Everyone has their favorite stores, but expanding your horizons could result in major savings. For example, use at least two grocery stores and compare their prices. Make your lists so that you get the items from the store that costs less. Saving just $20 a week is $80 per month that could pay a small bill or be put back for something fun at the end of the year.

Shopping Haul Videos – ‘Hot’ or ‘Not-so-haute’

“Why not show off if you’ve got something to show?”

haul video bloggersWell my wonderful shoppers, what do you think of this crazy trend that’s gaining huge popularity with the shopping masses in America- haul videos! For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s just a bunch of videos recorded and uploaded by a group of ‘generous’ shoppers who believe they have made the ultimate purchase and must share that valuable knowledge with the whole entire universe! Ranging from fashion accessories to home care products, the video basically consists of a single girl/guy describing what they bought and why!

“Vanity’s closet”

Now while this may seem like a nice way to review an appliance, I just don’t understand haul videos for clothes! Try watching one with a teenager who’s just returned from ‘Forever 21’ with a bag full of fashion industry’s worst mistakes. With no presenting skills whatsoever, she deliberately picks out each and every item she got and describes why it’s ‘just-so-awesome’ in the vainest way possible, that I literally want to shake her and yell, who cares! The ones with sensible women our age usually do a much better job of explaining their clothing choices.


Here’s what I have an issue with- this myriad collection of haul video bloggers, looking for 5 minutes of fame, sure aren’t any kind of experts right. So why would their conceptions and combinations appeal to me? More often than not, I find these videos a unique source of “what-not-to-wear”! And even if the clothes do accidentally end up being styled and paired well, how do I know it will fit me right when have a completely different complexion and characteristics. In all the time it takes to go through multiple hauls and find one that suits me best, I might as well go to the store and try the outfits on myself!

“Paltry plus points”

If these viral shopping videos have become such a huge thing, it must be doing something right. It’s probably the fact that hauls rarely have anything negative to say, with the assumption that people only buy things that they like. This opens an amazing alley for advertisements and the like. I also happen to like home décor’ hauls. It’s like having my very own interior decorator at no cost!

So what do you have to say about haul videos- productive or painful?

Brides Take Note . . . Registering for Gifts Requires a Certain Etiquette, Too

gift registers for weddingThe older I get the more weddings I am invited to. I suppose that is how it goes. Better than attending funerals which also happens the older you get. I much prefer weddings. Receiving the wedding invite in the mail is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. What am I going to wear; formal or evening? What gift should I buy; where are they registered? I am friends with both the bride and the groom; which side do I sit on? Wedding etiquette for guests can be overwhelming, but there are also etiquette tips that the happy couple-to-be should follow, too. Especially, when registering for gifts.

If you are a bride preparing to create your wish list keep these wedding registry etiquette rules in mind to make it a little easier on your guests.

1. Start Early

Register for your gifts wants and needs before sending out your invites. I am a procrastinator and will put off getting your gift before I arrive at the reception hall, but not every is like me. For those people whose social calendars are booked with weekend weddings for the next century, they would like to be able to buy your gift as soon as possible.

2. Price Matters

Okay, register for what you want. This is the only time in adulthood that we can ask for outrageous items. So, go ahead and register for the Tiffany vase. Ask for a pony. But remember to keep some of your items at a lower price point to accommodate those who may not be able to purchase a $300 blender. Otherwise, you may wind up with a lot of gift certificates to the Dollar General. Yikes!

3. Location and Accessibility

If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, consider registering at nationwide department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom or Target. This will allow your guests to be able to shop in-store if they prefer. Registering at one of your favorite local boutiques is absolutely fine for those who live close by. Everyone likes to present an unique wedding gift, but by putting common registry items on your list at more accessible locations you can be guaranteed that you get more of what you want.

4. Mix It Up

This goes along with location and accessibility. Recently, a friend registered for her wedding entirely at one store and, to make matters, worse it wasn’t a traditional stone and mortar location. You could only purchase online. She thought this would be convenient for everyone. Her guests wouldn’t have to wrap and carry a present to the reception while her maid of honor wouldn’t be stuck trying to lug everything back to her place. The problem? She neglected to account for the fact that over half of her wedding guests were old-school and a couple generations older. Not everyone is comfortable or able to shop online.

5. Do Not Be a Demanding Bridezilla

Never demand that your guests only bring or purchase gifts from certain vendors. Crazy, right? But it happens. I received an invite to a bridal shower a few years ago and on the invite were specific instructions to only purchase gift cards from “. . . the shops mentioned below, to reduce the stress and headache Bill and Mandy [names changed to protect me from their wrath]may incur from trying to return gifts or gift cards from other locations.”

Brides, never do this. If I have to explain why, then we have more issues than your poor bride etiquette.

Do you attend a lot of weddings or bridal showers? What advice do you have for brides who are registering for gifts?

An ‘All-Girl’ Shopping Extravaganza!!

“A friend is like a good bra- supportive, comfortable, lifts you up, makes you look good… and is always close to your heart!”

tips on weekend shoppingWhen life gets overwhelming and you want to hit the pause button- all you need is a ‘Girls night out!’. All friends are great assets, but there’s something truly special, serene and quite liberating about spending time with your gal-pals. It’s the best way to open your heart and let a positive bright breeze come in.

Don’t get me wrong, I love romantic date nights with hubby darling, but a weekend getaway with my girls leaves me feeling high-spirited, refreshed and 25 again! A lively evening with the lovely ladies must include fabulous food, daring drinks, loud laughter and loads of pampering! So why not include the next best thing in life- shopping. A weekend getaway with the girls that also includes a shopping expedition is a wonderful idea in itself!

Here are a few vital tips to help you plan it best-

  1. Pick the right pack- Go on a holiday with pals you can be completely yourself with.. membership by invitation only. The point is to promote the right positive thoughts!
  2. Plan your adventure well- Keep in mind that not all women in a group are going to want the same thing at the same time.  If you have a gang with varied shopping interests, divide up and make sure each gets to spend sufficient time to buy whatever they want.  Get everyone to write a list of stores they want to hit, then have a group discussion over coffee and come up with a priority based chart of your weekend activities!
  3. A detailed investigation will reveal the best sales, exchange offers and festivals going on in every city. These spectacular shopping havens are the perfect reason to ditch bored husbands and hungry babies while you happily shop till you drop! Also try to plan them around sale seasons like July-August, when you can cash in on the off-peak airfare.
  4. Carry enough dough (or cards) wherever you go, but set a budget for yourself. Flattered by the wonderful compliments your girls regularly hover on you, you will probably be prompted to buy every single thing that catches your eye!
  5. Organize everything with care- from transportation to tummy breaks! Time is money people, and you can save a whole lot if you’re well planned!
  6. Remember this trip is supposed to be about having fun. Leave mundane necessities like groceries and furniture out of your shopping list, and fill in fun ideas, like racy lingerie and matching tees, that will leave you guffawing like schoolgirls!
  7. Include a ride in the ‘relaxi-taxi’ with a good spa massage and manicure or a group pampering session. After all, you are on a break right!

Good luck! Wishing you a trip packed with goodies, giggles and great experiences!

Virtual Trial Rooms: Online Shopping’s Biggest High

“I love online shopping at work- It’s the only place I can spend my money while I make it!!”

Virtual Trial RoomsThe marriage of internet and shopping is one of the best things that ever happened to us women. What better way to relax, than with your feet up on the sofa, your finger on your credit card and your face covered in smiles with the comfort that online shopping brings us. The hard to resist special offers and marketing adverts make sure we have a whole package of ‘must-haves’ flying our way in no time.

In spite of the awesome advantages of shopping on the net, one huge downside is the absence of trial rooms. There is always that fear factor during the delivery of an order- we’re either thrilled with the latest addition to our collection, or disappointed that it doesn’t look right, the way we thought it would. This is where virtual trial rooms come in:


Many shopping sites have a ‘Put-it-together’ corner, kind of like my daughter’s ‘Dress-your-Barbie’ game. It lets you choose a mannequin whose color and proportions best match yours. You can even pick the hair and features (and I love creating a doll image of me). Trying clothes on this online mannequin will give you a basic idea of what pieces go with what accessories and what would be your best size.

Fitting room fantasy-

Another website I came across provides an online fitting experience by taking multiple measurements like a tailor would. It uses this to build a supposed form of your body proportions so you can ‘virtually’ try on your size. But the chief problem here is, I don’t trust myself to give my actual measurements (considering I flatter myself to be trimmer than I really am). I am also quite petrified at what the form will look like (a walrus maybe?).

Keeping an eye on you-

Here’s what I found perfect… A shopping site (like that actually uses your own webcam to project a multidimensional image of the outfit you choose on yourself. This way I get a pretty good idea as to how a particular dress will look on me. Besides the size, I can literally appraise the cut, pattern and color giving me a wonderful trial room experience in the comfort of my home. An additional plus point is the ability to take pictures on my webcam so I can instantly get a friend’s opinion. I can also experiment with a wide variety of accessories and shoes so I get a complete picture of my purchase.

This new fad in online shopping is sure to transform every lovely lady into a fierce fashionista! So what do you think girl?

Virtual Dressing Trial Rooms

Image courtesy of My Virtual Model

Sweet & Special Gifts For A Sensational Sister!

“A sister is a gift to the heart and a friend to the spirit.”

Tips on gift giving for your sisterNo relationship in this world compares to the comfort and comradeship shared between sisters. I have one, and I can say with confidence she is my true soul-mate! So when you are going shopping for your darling sister’s birthday, use your imagination and get her something as unique and wonderful as she is.

‘Team Sis’:

‘Sisters share the scent and feel of a common childhood’. From skirts to secrets to grandma’s shortcake, sisters have shared everything throughout their lives. It’s a sentimental and stunning idea to bring a bit of that magic to her special day with something sweet that you can both share, like a book of your mom’s best recipes, or even dressing alike (like you did as kids) in identical tees with a fun quote in front and a goofy pic of u both in the back!

‘Glam Girl’:

If your sis loves to accessorize, then that’s the way to go.  Be it an elegant string of pearls, enchanting emerald earrings, a delicate little bracelet or a dandy studded belt, gift her piece that truly enhances her shining personality leaving her feeling bling and beautiful!

‘Personalize to make it perfect’:

Shopping for women is a pretty easy task, especially when you are one yourself! My motto is ‘if you wanna make it true, you’ve got to add a bit of you!’ Personalized gifts like a picture pendant, an engraved watch or even a name printed handbag will always be a huge hit. Similarly, a handmade gift like a patchwork quilt or an amateur photo frame is a lovely way to show how much you care.

‘The best buddy factor’:

No one in the world knows your sis like you do. From her private passions to her driving dreams, you are part of it all. Involving her favorite hobby, a secret fetish or even a random thought she once had in her gift will show your thoughtfulness and genuine love for your dearest pal.

‘Memory lane’:

So let’s say you don’t feel like buying stuff, here’s what you can do- create a wonderful memory for her by reliving some of the crazy times and experiences you relished in your childhood days!

Gift giving thoughts for your sis

‘It always works’: At the end of the day, I recommend the perfect backup plan- find the best sale in town and splurge!!

Great Ways To Enjoy An Outstanding Online Shopping Experience!

“There’s nothing better than online shopping in your PJ’s with a glass of wine and the kids asleep!”

buying merchandise onlineThey say the quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her. So how do we enjoy the wonderful high of buying stuff without exposing our craziest side to the world? My meditation for rejuvenation is ‘Online Shopping’! With a sea of sales and stunning designs, fashion at a discount and fantastic bargains, shopping on the net has become the fastest growing and most useful trend in the recent years. You can purchase anything you want, whenever you want, and have it all delivered to your doorstep leaving you feeling like a queen! A great contributing factor to the online boom is the growing craze for smartphones, Ipads and the like. With shopping sites expanding at an astonishing rate you need a few smart tricks up your sleeve to make sure your experience is reliable, refreshing and rewarding.

Do the research:

First off, know what you are going to buy. A fabulous way to find out all you need to know about any product is online shopping forums. Not only will they give you vital reviews, they are also a great way to get clued in on the best available deals and offers. Email newsletters, magazines and blogs help you keep track of competitions and sales on sites, new designs and amazing offers. Oh and another thing, when you don’t want a particular newsletter anymore, just unsubscribe instead of reporting as spam- that’s just plain hurtful to the business owners.

Clear and careful choices:

You are responsible for what you put in your shopping cart. Investigate the intricate details carefully, like the color, pattern and number of items you order. Most of the sites have drop down lists with choices, and a lot of other stuff written in small print. If you are a 100% sure of what you have ordered you will definitely get exactly what you wanted!

Shipping shenanigans:

Remember there is absolutely nothing called free online shipping! The cost they pretend to cut is actually absorbed into the price of the item. It’s just a smart marketing move to attract innocent customers. But we’re smarter than that right- do the necessary research and find comparative prices for everything you buy. Beside the shipping cost also consider time for delivery, return policies etc. Delivery usually gets delayed around festival seasons like Christmas and Easter, so account for that in your plans…

Shopping is our secret passion and our safety blanket. Like Carrie (from Sex & the City) once said ‘I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet!”

Maternity Shopping For Yummy Mummies Over 40!

“Feeling fat for 9 months is nothing compared to the joy of becoming a mother”

maternity wardrobesYou recently turned 40, and you discover you’re pregnant! How wonderful could that be.. Definitely at this age, the thrill of a surprise pregnancy will be accompanied by anxiety, but don’t worry- 40 is perfectly safe and healthy for your baby, and you are never going to be as beautiful as you will be now. Quite frankly I find having a ‘bun in your oven’ is a total makeover for older women! Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes. So show off those new curves, and lovely glowing skin with an awesome maternity wardrobe.

Closet secrets-

At 40 and above, this may be your last pregnancy. So there’s no point splurging on a truckload of maternity outfits that you’re never going to wear again. You will be surprised at the pile of possibilities hiding among the junk in your closet.  Blousy shirts and empire cuts, drawstring pants, and cardigans (with an open button or two) are quite comfortable maternity wear that will keep your growing bump cute and cozy.

Must have’s-

My mantra for maternity wear is a belly band, an easy way to flaunt your favorite jeans, pants and skirts with the button off. Stretchable, reusable and amazingly comfortable, you can get them in a variety of colors and mix ‘n match with a range of tops! This wonderful creation actually provides sufficient support to your expanding waistline while letting you keep your style quotient without burning a hole in your pocket!

Jazz it up-

An awesome way to enhance your maternity outfit is with an assortment of attractive accessories. A typical tank top can be glossed up with a great stole or a short and sexy jacket. This is also the only time you are going to be able to pull off girly accessories like hairbands and butterfly earrings. Whatever you wear, don’t go over the top and take attention away from the natural loveliness of pregnancy! Image ID:

Pamper yourself-

Carrying around a bonny baby can be tiring, especially at your age. Once the little bundle comes out, you are going to have your hands full. So take the time to give yourself a spa treat. Go on a shopping spree picking stuff exclusively for you. Don’t forget to get a pair of comfortable flats and fuzzy slippers. Oh and do pick up a couple of t-shirts, a cap, apron or blanky that has a funky mommy quote on it (one of my favorite reasons for maternity wear)

Wonderful Wedding Shopping Ideas For A Bride Over 50

“Age is a question of mind over matter… If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Wedding choicesGina, a friend of mine, was at her daughter’s wedding a few months back. At the exact moment the adorable couple said their “I do’s”, Gina’s boyfriend of 2 years slipped a lovely platinum ring on her finger and proposed! Of course in a few hours everyone came to know and the newly betrothed couple was showered with adulation’s and advice alike. But it was only when Gina’s aunt covertly whispered in her ear “Better late than never”, that she realized she was going to be a bride at 55!

Meeting your prince charming is a wonderful sensation at any age! There’s nothing like a wedding that leaves one feeling 25 again. But while you may enjoy the thrill of being a princess, there is a particular delicate and regal beauty in being a queen. Keep in mind that you have the maturity and mindset most brides don’t, and thus you can have a more beautiful, yet elegant fairytale wedding with a lovely life thereafter! Let’s start with the basics:

Where shall we tie the knot-

wedding venues for older couplesThe venue you select for your wedding will set the theme of the whole extravaganza. This is your chance to be bold and fun; letting the world know that you guys are still energetic and youthful at heart. Since it is probably the second time, stray away from the traditional church wedding and try something different, like an old Victorian villa or even a ranch! Whatever the place, be it a ballroom or the beach, how you decorate and dress determines how sophisticated it will be.

How about the ‘wow’ factor- Spice it up-

Buy funky gifts for every guest, something that represents your personality and the special touch you bring together as a couple. Don’t make it all about the ceremony; rather have a celebration that involves all your kids, grand-kids, family and friends!

What should I wear- The ‘all-important’ dress-

over 50 wedding dress choicesWith that giggle in your smile and the glow on your face, I am sure you will make an absolutely gorgeous bride in any gown. But let’s face it, not everything is still pretty and perky! Choosing the right dress to suit your body will flaunt your assets in a lovely manner. Stay away from the Cinderella type ball gowns with oodles of lace, flowers and beaded veils.  Also run from strapless dresses that show the sagging shoulders. Consider wearing stunning and vibrant colors like ice blue, wine, silver, gold or a soft peach, with simple embellishments, instead of the typical white. Remember ‘less is more’ for an older bride. Also stick to sane shoes that are sensible yet sparkly and your feet will love you for it!

When you’re 50 and loving it, the doors are open wide for you to make the memory of a lifetime! Go crazy, get pampered and all-in-all have the perfect dream wedding!