Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Low Fat Vegan Pizza

I am going to be posting more simple budget recipes on this blog because my husband's Mint.com statement screamed that we spend way too much money on eating out.  It is super easy in San Francisco to have a casual dinner out and drop $80. So for dinner last night I decided to make us homemade pizza. My husband can't have cheese so he never gets to enjoy pizza. So yesterday I was pleasantly surprised when I came across Almond Mozzarella cheese at Wholefoods. The best thing is the Almond Mozzarella actually  taste like real low fat mozzarella cheese. I also bought some wholewheat pizza dough for about $1.50 and some healthy toppings. I made one Vegan pizza and another non-vegetarian gourmet pizza for myself. Total time to assemble and bake was 25 minutes. It also helps if you have either a pizza stone or a pizza pan. I got my pizza pan at Ross for $6.


1.) Stretch out the wholewheat pizza dough on the pan. You may want to add flour on the pan to prevent it from sticking.
2.) Add your toppings. On this pizza I added organic pizza sauce, Almond Mozzarella cheese, artichokes, olives, and sliced Roma tomatoes,
3.) Bake at 430-450 degrees for 20 minutes -or until the crust is brown.

20 minutes later. ... 

I actually got the inspiration for this pizza from Piccino in San Francisco. I never knew how amazing baked lemon slices and prosciutto tasted together.
Toppings: organic pizza saucesliced shallots, lemon slices (I took off some of the rind), olives, artichokes, shavings of asiago cheese, and spinach.

You don't have to drown a pizza in cheese for it to taste good.  


Leftovers = lunch for the week = more $ saved.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Put Myself on an Allowance: Mint.com






You know that episode of Sex in the City where Carrie finds herself almost homeless after her building goes co-op and she looks at her savings and says to herself "I know I made some money but I don't know where it went". Well I found myself in that situation a few months ago. I technically know where it went and before you judge me know that sometime during my irresponsible "let's travel to six countries a year" faze in my twenties I did manage to open three investment accounts . BUT I should have saved more money and although I consider myself a bargain budget shopper all "budget" goes out the window when you shop frequently. So last January I started a Mint.com account in order to track where my money really goes. As a psychologist I know how important data monitoring and self-monitoring are to changing your behavior. I have to say that Mint.com has helped me see the trends of my spending. There is also a feature that helps you set budgets. For example, you can set $200 for restaurants, $200 for groceries, etc. and once you go over your allocated amount you'll be sent an e-mail notifying you. In addition, a weekly e-mail is sent to you detailing what you have spent your money on this week. Starting a Mint.com has definitely helped me with my shopping problem. The first month I set my budget at $250 a month for shopping, then $200, and then $150. The miraculous thing is this month I have spent ZERO dollars on shopping. In the past month I have purchased NO new clothing, accessories, or shoes. It's kinda of a mini miracle considering I receive 25 tempting shopping e-mails a day (e.g., Haute.com, Ideeli,com, Onekingslane.com, Myhabit.com, etc, etc, etc.). Mint.com isn't perfect and as expected there are glitches from time to time but it's a free service and easy to use. Maybe if Carrie had Mint.com back in the day she may have had enough money to buy her apartment instead of using Charlotte's engagement ring for a downpayment.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

WTF Fashion: Poopy Pants

Back when I traveled to Europe in 2008 Harlem pants were all the rage. My girlfriends and I seriously thought the Europeans girls had gone mad because they were walking around in poopy looking diaper pants. I hoped the trend wouldn't cross the Atlantic -but it did AND thankfully the trend quickly disappeared. BUT yesterday while I was browsing the Tobi.com sale I stumbled upon POOPY PANTS -WTF!!! I thought this trend was dead and so did everyone else because these pants were on clearance for $20. I hope the only time someone would consider purchasing these pants would be for halloween. Please designers conserve some cotton and NEVER bring the  exaggerated Harlem Pant (aka poopy pant) trend back. 
She is hiding a diaper in there?

Not attractive at all.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Look for Less: Prada Baroque Sunglasses ($290 vs. $12)

I am still on the fence about the Prada Baroque sunglasses. Are these stylish or silly? Do these sunglasses whisper modern mod revival or Where Is Waldo with dark shades? Ambivalence about a purchase translates to save your money. If you wanted to try out these possibility fashion forward sunglasses I suggest purchasing the next best thing = replicas for $12. Actually if you purchase the "Look for Less" version this week you can get them for $8.40 (um score). Tobi.com is having their customer appreciation week and ALL regularly priced merchandise is 30% off with the code: LOVEU30. 



$290 Prada Baroque @ Nordstroms.com

$290 Prada Baroque

$12 Joia Darla @ Tobi.com

$12 Joia Darla @ Tobi.com


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Chronicles of Juicing

My husband is obsessed with juice. There is always a cartoon of juice in our refrigerator but I try to stay away from it because there's so much added sugar. So after a few of my friends bought a juicer and raved about theirs I bought one too (word of mouth marketing does work). I purchased a Breville Ikon Juicer from William Sonoma for $200. I rationalized the pricey purchase by telling myself that over the long run it would financially pay off and fresh juice is way healthier and tastier than store-bought juice.  The best way to juice is to juice daily. I quickly learned that unless you are unemployed, have a full-time housekeeper or live with someone that has an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) about cleanliness, juicing daily is impossible. What I do is juice enough for about two days. Since fresh juice does not have any preservatives that's the absolute limit for fresh juice. 

The pros to juicing is it's delicious, you get a concentrated dose of nutrients and vitamins, and it's healthy . The con is it is TIME CONSUMING =shopping+ cleaning + washing +cutting + juicing +  more cleaning AND after an hour of juicing you may get about two full glasses (ahhhhh). 

In order to make sure that juicing remains healthy, you have to have more vegetable juice than fruit juice. I also add ice and water to my juice so it fills me up and is less concentrated. I will do another update after I do a three day juice cleanse this summer.  


Pineapple, orange, strawberry, and apple. 


Grapefruit, carrots, and cucumber

Grapefruit, cucumber, plums, ginger, and apple






My basic vegetable juice: cucumber, celery, tomatoes,  spinach and carrots




Thursday, May 17, 2012

Look for Less: Louis Vuitton Spring 2012


Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 collection

Louis Vuitton Spring Collection 2012

H&m top $39.95 & skirt $50

H&m dress $19.95


Zara dress $129


Zara collar $26


Unless you are one of the newly minted Facebook millionaires you will not be able to afford a Louis Vuitton dress anytime soon.  Most of their dresses equal if not exceed the monthly mortgage of an American home (ex. $3,000 and up). Thankfully H&M and Zara cater to the "common" and budget conscious masses and have included some "look for less" versions of Louis Vuitton's popular Spring/Summer 2012 line.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I Wore: Rainbow Zig Zag Dress

Here's a picture of Uma and I mixing it up with our $35 dresses. We could have honestly swapped jackets, shoes, and accessories in order to change the mood of our look. Pairing my dress with a long dress-like denim jacket, red sandals, and a Kate Spade purse makes my look more classic, while Uma put some edge into her outfit by accessorizing it with a cropped leather jacket, bright red clutch, and slouched ankle booties. Outfit details below.





Wore to: Happy Hour at Another Monkey in the Mission
My Outfit: $25 Denim Dress Jacket @ Loehmann's, $35 Rainbow Zig Zag Dress @ Tobi.com,  $100 Kate Spade bag, and Franco Sarto red wedges.
Uma's Outfit: $35 Dress from Crossroads in the Filmore, Michael Kors Red clutch, and Lamb by Gwent Stefani black booties @ DSW.com. Zara cropped jacket and House of Harlow necklace borrowed from me :-)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stylish Shoes Under $50

Work is insane this week! I unfortunately worked all weekend and would have made more progress if I didn't have this HUGE distraction called the internet at my house. Anyways, I wanted to do a quick post and share some trends this spring illustrated through shoes. Below are clogs 3.0 -inspired by Marni's collaboration with H&M, neo-neutrals, color blocking, the re-invented oxford, bold ikat prints, and of course the ever so eye blinding NEON. The best thing about this collage is all the shoes are under $50. Which of the shoes below are on your wish list?

Stylish Shoes Under $50


Seychelles shoes
$50 - tobi.com

ALDO platform heels
$49 - aldoshoes.com

Cheap Monday green flat shoes
$40 - karmaloop.com

Zara patent leather shoes
$50 - zara.com

Stacked heel
$45 - modcloth.com

Soludos blue flat shoes
$42 - jildorshoes.com

Colorblock heels
£30 - fashionunion.com

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Website Profiles: ChicWish.com


Just found a great new website that features affordable vintage and  indie-inspired clothing and accessories. Chicwish.com is based in fashionable Hong Kong and offers customers an online store as a "mecca for those with an eye for fun fashion".  Below are some of my favorites from the website. Their clothes are bit too "young" for me but some of their accessories look very fashion forward. Check them out for some stylish and budget friendly trends. 
$19.90 Diamond Peak Collar


                                                             $19.90 Diamond Peak Collar

$49.90 Leopard Pattern Slipper Shoes


$69.90 Felt Satchel 


$44.90 Camel Fringe Bag





Thursday, May 10, 2012

Semi-Budget Travel: Glamping

When most people hear the word "camping" they think of roughing it in the woods, cooking their meals over an open fire, and sleeping in a tent. Last weekend my husband and I went "glamping" at Treebones Resort in Big Sur, CA. What is glamping you ask --> it's glamorous camping. It is camping stepped up a notch and more depending how much you want to spend. For example, instead of setting up your own tent you can book a yurt, which are tent-like circular fabric structures that may be furnished with a queen sized bed, vanity table,  and has electricity. Generally, glamping should be cheaper than staying at a nice hotel but I've seen campsites go to up to $209 a night (yikes). Below are highlights our first glamping experience. It was so amazing that it kinda ruined me for "camping". 


We drove from San Francisco to Big Sur along Highway 1. We stopped so many times to admire the view.


Before we got to Treebones we went hiking at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  

More stopping along Highway 1 to enjoy the flowers. 

After we set up camp at Treebones we drove across the street to the beach.

We booked The Nest for the night, which was about $110.  There's a mattress in there so all you need are sleeping bags. We ended up not sleeping there and pitching our tent instead because my husband was afraid the wind was going to pickup during the night and we were going to freeze. The next day I did end up taking a nap in The Nest, which was so amazingly peaceful. 


The Nest has a gorgeous ocean view and it comes with a large campsite and even a gate. 

These yurts are sooo nice inside. The only thing they don't have are private bathrooms. Everyone has to use the communal bathrooms near the main entrance. Their bathrooms are the nicest camping bathrooms I have ever seen. They have blow dryers in the bathroom...blow dryers ->that's insane!


How amazing is this view? Treebones has two restaurants on site including a sushi restaurant. We ordered a salad from their main restaurant and also had sushi. Their produce comes from their own organic garden. Everything we had tasted fresh and delicious. My husband and I are extreme sushi snobs and we were really impressed with their selection. They also have a great selection of local wines.

Looking at our campsite from The Nest. 


Big Sur is gorgeous. I'll be back in the summer for some more glamping for sure. If you don't live in California but are interested in glamping check out these sites for a glamourous campsite near you:





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