Cleaning/Organizing

Whistle while you work with these cool new products from your fav stores.

Clean Clean Clean…Until Spring!

Spring is here and in full-affect. TIme to Clean!!! Hopefully, this post will motivate you!

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Office Organization- Make it simple- Realsimple!

Tonight I realized with the help of a friend that I am a total “Elle Woods” when it comes to office organization and supplies. I think there is something very classy and beautiful about great notebooks, pens, stationary, and creating a beautiful, interesting, and functional work space. Here are some of my favorite finds at some amazing prices!!!

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New and Amazing Products You May Not Know About

Abby Fender shows products that stylists and celebs have come to love and have kept quiet about for way too long. Check out the A-listers’ can’t live without beauty and cleaning products keeping them looking flawless at all times!

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Favorite Products, Places, and Links

Ready for some New “Haute” People, Places, and Things?? I know I am! So, here goes nothin’!

My Favorite Links:

ART:

Canvas Pop

HEALTH:

Anju Apothecary

GIFTS:

Pic Pads

FOOD:

The Cravory

BOOKS:

Shelfari

FASHION:

Mod Cloth

BARGAIN FASHION:

Wholesale Dress

Wholesale Dress (a different company)

FREE SHIPPING AND OTHER BARGAINS:

Free Online Shipping

Free Coupons

SELF-HELP:

Zen Habits

My Favorite Restaurants:

MALIBU:

Sage Room

Nobu Restaurant

Geoffrey’s Restaurant

The Chart House

Dukes

Malibu  Yogurt

My Favorite Things:

My Fav things link will direct you to much

Shark Steam/Vacuum and it's great for hardwood floors too@!
Molskin 2011 Planner in Red (available in other colors) $21.95
The Cravory is Savory at $24.00 per dozen
No-Frizz Hair Care Line- AMAZING!
USB Illuminating Roll-Up Keyboard $27.00
Comodyne Make-up Remover for Normal skin $6.25 for 1-20 pack
EO Hand Sanitizing Spray USDA Organic Lavender with Echinacea $4.99
EO Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer $4.99

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Movin’ Movin’ Movin’…

Time To Get Moving

Is it really that time again? Time to “Hit The Road,” Pack Em’ Up and Move Em’ Out? Well, for most I hope not, but for those few who face the daunting task of moving-never fear. Your bargain buddy is here!

Here are my favorite moving products and companies here in Los Angeles as well as online for those planning on an out-of-state move.

Box Talk

FREE is the best option, but if you just can’t stand the idea of “used” boxes- I have some alternate ideas to share.

SOURCES FOR FREE BOXES:

Photo compliments of “outofflorida”
  • Liquor Stores (try them right after a busy weekend in the morning) Not only are these colorful, but they are great for books, and the perfect size to keep you from overpacking.
  • Tobacco Stores  (They always have hundreds of cartons packed in big boxes. These shops are low on storage space and will be more than happy to get rid of them)
  • Right outside your house in the alley – To most, this idea sounds repulsive, but recently I snagged 3 wardrobe boxes and dozens of larger hardly used boxes from my new neighbor who was unpacking and ditching the boxes in the alley.

ALMOST FREE:

Click on photo to visit site
This company has figured it out.  A few innovative thinkers out there got clever and decided to set up a network for local businesses and individuals selling and buying used boxes for less than wholesale. Just visit the site, type in your zip code and you will immediately be linked to the nearest box seller or buyer, depending on what you need.  All sizes and shapes of boxes are available.
This company is a little more pricey, but you order them in advance and they arrive at your doorstep within a week.  I have used this company and I am here to tell you, they seem like brand new boxes.  I actually questioned their “recycled” label. Just log on to the site and pick out your boxes, then call it a day.

IT’S IN THE BAG:

These are amazing!! As a matter of fact, I prefer to use these bags over a bulky box any day.  Not only can you put anything in them, re-use them, label them, and store clothing in them, but you can pack liquids as well such as cleaning products.  They are great for packing loose items and then consolidating several bags in a large box. If you are a last minute packer and the movers are coming at 8:00 am, but you are still scrambling to pack up those last few items- just throw them in a bag and have the movers box them up to transport them- no biggie.

They come in several sizes and varieties depending on your specific needs:

DON’T PACK THE VACUUM YET!

Original Spacebag® Storage ProductsThese are truly amazing. All you need is a normal vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, a lot of bulky stuff- clothing, pillows, blankets, heck, I even sealed dog toys and beds, and a Space Bag.  These will save you such much space and are easy to use.  I went to Target and bought them out of their hanging Space Bags. The cheapest place to purchase is actually online at Ebay.

MOVERS: WHO TO HIRE AND WHO TO FIRE

There are several options, well, more than several and that is why it is important to go straight to the most reliable source when making the decision to hire a moving company, the Better Business Bureau online website.  Companies are rated on their performance and for whatever reason they have negative ratings, you will be able to see exactly why they earned the “bottom rung” position.

California Moving, Moving Company California, California MoverIf you are a Los Angeles local, be sure to check out North Star Moving Company.  We recently used them and they were excellent.  At $99.00 per hour with a three hour minimum, I was shocked there were no extra “drive time” fees and they finished in 2 1/2 hours.  They were professional and worth every penny.

Also, if you are considering a move on the West side near Malibu or Santa Monica, I must tell you about The Malibu Labor Exchange.  The Malibu Community Labor Exchange believes that no community, city or country can ignore the existence of poverty. Moved by the reality of poverty even in the midst of affluence, the MCLE has established a day labor hiring site to provide a humane and organized center where the poorest workers in the community have an opportunity to acquire day work that could lead to regular employment and a better future.

Pods are pretty expensive, however, when moving across the country, they are worth their weight in gold.  I have used ABF Freight in the past, and was very pleased with the service and reliability of the company.  If you do not end up using one of the containers you ordered, they will not charge you for it and will pick it up when they pick up the loaded container. I like to be safe rather than sorry, so I reserve at least two 8 X 10 containers and they bring them to me a few days prior to my move.  You pack them up, call the company to come and pick them up, and that is it. All done. Just be sure to have your own combination locks to close them up and I recommend the kind with keys rather than having to keep up with five different lock combinations.

BE A MOVER AND A SHAKER

While you may not even have time to think about sorting through items in the midst of moving, if you plan ahead, you can actually lighten your load and help out a great cause in the process. The VVA is a non-profit organization who offers a 24-hour prior reservation to have anything you are willing to donate picked up at your doorstep.  It costs you nothing and allows you to give back to those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy everyday.  You don’t even have to be home and they come rain or shine!

LET’S TALK TAPE

Photo compliments of   James Oliver Gallery

Get The Gun- Tape Gun That Is

The tape gun will get you going and keep you rolling- no pun intended.  It is great if you don’t want to spend all day cutting pieces of tape and biting it when you misplace your scissors or knife.  Spend the $6.00 extra bucks- it is really worth it.

Seal The Deal

This makes taping up all those boxes a little more fun and a lot easier once you are in your new place and the movers didn’t want to read your poor penmanship.Do not be angry that your pots and pans are sitting in your guest bedroom because your little tiny hand-written label was ignored by sweaty movers who care more about their lunch break than where your pots and pans were supposed to go- make it easy on yourself and others.

Here are a few things to help you move smoothly and easily to your new humble abode. Good luck and let me know if you have any other products or resources I need to know about for my future move.

MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE

There are so many different apps out there and free online sources to offer you a much needed hand when compiling a list of to-do’s and home inventory as you count down the days before the big move. Check these out:

SHOW AND TELL

How cute are these little C.O.A. cards?! I am just having a fit over them. Check out all kinds of tiny little prints online at Tiny Prints.

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Rebounding The Recession and Springing Forward

You’re A Working Girl Again!

Lately, I have three friends who have actually gotten jobs- good ones! And while they are so excited to have a new “lease on life,” they have one very major concern: What To Wear To The Office?  With the opportunity to jump back on the fast track to climbing the corporate ladder, there is a very real pressure to “look the part,” but without the money…yet,- how does one accomplish a professional and polished look?

Here’s How:

Outfit Trick #1:      CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET FIRST

Throw out the old and keep the basics! Even if you do not think you will wear the boring basics- you will, so do yourself a favor and keep them! We will discuss “Basics” in just a minute.

Outfit Trick #2:    ORGANIZE CLOTHING IN 1 OF 3 WAYS

    By pieces and color:

    For example, separate your blouses, skirts, slacks, dresses, T’s, blazers, overcoats, etc. Then color code them all so that you are searching for that ivory silk blouse mixed in with the black polkadotted, short-sleeved button down.

    ♥Be sure to take the out-of-season items OUT of the closet. The less mess you have the better dressed you will be!

    By Pre-Planned and Categorized Outfits:

    For example, once you have de-cluttered the closet, collect the remnants and start putting together potential “working girl get-ups!” Be really creative and try to think outside of the box. Do away with any preconceived notions about the way you have always worn a piece and rather, gather inspiration from magazines, celebs, trends, your mood, etc.

    I like to take digital pics of outfits and then load them into my computer and organize them                   into categories according to “Occasion Appropriateness” i.e.

“Sales Meeting Daytime”

“Casual Office Fridays”

“Evening Business Dinners”

“Comfy, but not Frumpy”

“Weekend Wear”

This makes it very easy to create an online wardrobe catalogue just for you, and will cut-down the time you will have to spend every morning picking out outfit after outfit.

    By Arranging Sections of Simplified Categories Including:

  • “Casual/Daytime,” “Office/Professional,” & “Weekend/Date-Night,” but this is not the best way if you are into time-savers.

Outfit Trick #3: Once You’ve Seen What You Have to Work With, Get to Work and Figure Out What You Really Need

“Style 1o1 Guide” to Keep You From Wasting Your Money

Everyone needs great “BASICS”

  • Button-Down Cotton Dress Shirt (White/Blue & White Striped/Pink) Ironed and Starched
  • T-Shirts (long sleeved/Tanks/boat neck/V-neck) in White, Black, Brown, etc.
  • Cardigans (long-sleeve/cotton/knit/short-sleeve) Any color, but I suggest Cream or Black
  • Basic Pencil Skirt in Black/ Colored Denim/Cotton (just make sure it fits!)
  • Great pair of heels in Black and Brown
  • Great pair of flats in Black/Muted Silver or Gold/ and Brown (stick with a classic style)
  • Pair of Black Pants or Black/Dark Denim jeans (Everyone needs at least two styles of jeans)
  • Pair of Dress Slacks that can go with a lot of colors and styles (I always have a great pair of Black Ankle length skinny pants and a wide-legged comfy linen or classic looking Slack to spice up my wardrobe)

“STATEMENT PIECES” are a Must!

  • Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Big Cocktail Rings, and layered Beads with vibrant colors and eccentric details tend to be considered “statement pieces”
  • Belts are the easiest way to turn a plain outfit into a colorful, interesting, and flattering ensemble. You can go bohemian or classic Audrey just by choosing a certain belt.
  • Think Color! Color is the easiest way to punch-up a drab basic black suit. Pair that same suit with red heels and a turquoise belt and you have a real look going.
  • I love to establish looks based on time eras. For example, Bohemian Chic is straight out of the 70’s Woodstock era.
  • Sometimes inspiration will come from one adored statement piece such as an interesting necklace, and then I plan my entire outfit around that central piece or theme.
  • Bags are a simple way to complete a look and add color or style to your ensemble.

Bottom Line: Whether it is a striped boat-neck t-shirt I am in love with, a red patent leather belt, or a great pair of Riding boots, I establish looks based on my “statement pieces,” and I suggest you try it out and have fun with this technique.

A Polished Look from Head To Toe is The Desired End Result!

With this being said, think of your hair, nails, toes, and undergarments as basic staples to achieving this “Polished Look.”

  • Inspiration can come from almost any noun– A great exotic place, A style icon from just about any era, or a film/magazine.
  • Be Polished-Literally! Schedule appointments for mani/pedi’s every two weeks- this is a must!
  • Get a great Hair cut and color– whether it is classically beautiful or trendy and chic! Just do not think you are going to get anywhere with frizzed-out hair, dead ends, and a color job with exposed roots!
  • Never Leave the house without Make-Up and Perfume! You are a girl- it’s okay to look and smell like one! Trust me!
  • Undergarments are just as important as over garments! Go and get your Spanx, Hosiery, Lingerie, and strapless bras in advance. You will not have time to shop after Monday!
  • Get Your Clothes Dry-Cleaned in Advance! The minute you need that navy blazer you want it to be as fresh pressed as you are- get er’ done!

Here are some really useful links to help you get that looks you can’t quite afford just yet, but you know what they say, “Fake it til’ You Make It!”

Click Here

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Rollin’ With Abby At The Flea Market

Hey Y’all!
Just wanted to let you know that I went, I saw, and I purchased! You will too, once you see the amazing deals I found at Ellen Lee’s, Dazzle Boutique. She not too far from the Rose Bowl entrance- just take a right and get the goods!
Have fun saving money and your back!!
Abby Fender- Your Bargain Buddy and Personal Shopping Material Girl!

Rollin’ With Abby’s Hautespots! from Abby Fender on Vimeo.

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