Now is the Time to Save on Your Ne Car!

Winter is the time of year to make a big purchase on either a car or a home. The housing market pretty much dies in winter and you’re more likely to talk a seller down.  If you’re lucky, the weather is warmer where you are, and you having visions of driving down the highway with the top down, you can still make that happen until winter really sets in…and for a MUCH lower price. Before you venture out on your car buying journey, heed this important advice (modified from USAA).

When to Shop?

Of course, the easiest time to shop is on weekends for most people–but that’s just it. It’s the best time for MOST PEOPLE! Dealerships are swamped on the weekends and this has some consequences for you. First, you don’t get the attention you deserve and the last thing you want to feel when making a big purchase is rushed. On a slower day, when there’s not a customer waiting in the wings, you are more likely to get a better deal, especially if hours of attention are spent on you–the salesperson does not want to spend time for naught. If you’re able, take a day off from work in the beginning of the week and take advantage of a slow day.

Always shop at the end of a month or quarter (March, June, October, December). Dealers and salespeople have monthly and/or quarterly goals they have to meet in order to qualify for bonuses. Of course, there is always the case that the salesperson has already met their goals. Sometimes, mid-month is the best time to buy for this reason. Feel them out and bide your time.

Shopping on holidays during “sales” is not worth it, so when you see a “Columbus Day Sale,” skip it. Most dealerships will tell you that they offer the same prices throughout the year, or at least you can get that price. Advertised sales is nothing more than clever and flashy marketing.

When to Make an Offer?

Visit your first choice dealership in the morning and leave. You want to browse early in the day, while salespeople are fresh. Explain that you have more dealerships to visit. Come back late in the day and make your offer then. Salespeople are not going to want to spend hours in negotiations. Helping the bottom line for the day is always good and you might be more apt to get a better deal from an anxious manager.

Get the Best Deal

Manufacturers roll out new models in August and September which means they will need to make room for new inventory. The selection of your older models will be fewer, but if you should be able to score a better deal. If the car is essentially unchanged from last year, even better. You can get a late 2015 model now for thousands off the sticker. Conversely, the worst time to buy a brand new car since the models have just been rolled out.

Fall is the best time to buy utility vehicle, wagon or coupes, when summer vacations have gone by. Convertibles are a best buy in the winter, for obvious reasons. Consumers really want to show off their shiny new drop tops in the summer, and they’re a pain for dealers to have on the lot in the winter.


Modest Women’s Halloween Costumes Featuring Empowered Women

modest womens halloween costumesWhen it comes to Halloween costume options for women, it overwhelmingly feels like you’re expected to show off a lot of skin. For those who are okay doing so, more power to them. But if you dress fairly modestly on a day-to-day basis, the fact that it’s a holiday may not be enough to justify baring it all.

This can be especially true if you’re a mother. Even if you are comfortable being a little more revealing when you’re out with friends, if you want to dress up with your kids for any school, church, or trick-or-treating events, many costumes you see on the shelf will be flagged as inappropriate.

We’ve taken a good look, and found some great, attractive, and modest Halloween costume options from Party City’s holiday section known as Halloween City. Extra bonus: these costumes aren’t only modest, they feature empowered women.


Elsa from Frozen

Elsa is an empowered woman in every sense of the word. At her story’s start, the destructive nature of her powers paralyzes her into fear. She’s afraid of ever coming into contact with anyone in fear that she may hurt them. As the story progresses, she first learns to embrace her powers in isolation, and then learns to harness them to help bring joy and beauty to those around her. She learns to embrace what she can do rather than be ashamed of it.

This costume does have sheer, off-the shoulder sleeves. If that isn’t quite modest enough for you, you can always throw on a white, long-sleeved shirt underneath. You’ll be covered up, but still get Elsa’s sparkle.


Marge Simpson

Marge Simpson proves that you don’t have to work outside the home to be empowered. While she does have some lines that demonstrate the duplicity of the PC mindset, largely she is the one in control. Her husband is ridiculous, her town often submits to egregious behavior, and she’s often under a lot of pressure from her family to choose the lifestyle they want for her. She prevails every time by being the voice of reason, setting the insanity straight, and doing what’s best for her rather than what other people want her to do.

This outfit hits the knee, and comes with yellow sleeves and a high neckline, mimicking the cartoon’s skin.


Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross was an impressive woman. She was educated, mastered a trade, opened a business with her husband in that trade, and then won a competitive bid to create the first American flag. After she used her skills in upholstery to create the emblem we now revere as the symbol of our nation, she went on to become a leader of the Free Quakers, a group of Quakers that abandoned the one hundred percent peaceful, neutral status of the religion of their youth, and supported the revolutionaries in the war against Britain.

While labelled “Adult Colonial Woman Costume,” the accompanying flag will give away that you are, indeed, Betsy Ross. Dressing up as this empowered woman is comfortable in all settings with a high neckline and long skirt. True to colonial times, the outfit shows womanly features without showing too much skin.


Modest Women’s Halloween Costumes

Halloween has turned into a holiday for everyone. While it can be discouraging to largely see outfits you wouldn’t be comfortable wearing, with a little looking you can dress modestly, walk into your kids’ school, and have a fun Halloween without feeling uncomfortable.  Remember when you’re shopping to keep an eye out for sales and promo codes to maximize your savings.


Create Your Haunted House in One Stop–the Hardware Store.

Go to the hardware store. The hardware store is your friend. There, you can buy, Duck tape, chains, caution tape, Beware sign, and more. Use the chains as only decorative–hang them from your ceiling or drape them across your door (Command hooks are handy here). Or, tie your scarecrow to the lamppost. Use your decorative duck tape for anything. Use it to cover your mouth when you open the door (super weird and scary), or use black duck tape to cover pumpkins and anything else that can be covered in black. Caution tape is a no brainer–construct a murder scene using a little fake blood, a chalk cut out, and your caution tape.

At the hardware store, buy foam board. You can create anything with foam board. This Pinterest user created a castle entrance. Another cool (and less time consuming) idea is to create customized tombstones with the names of your neighbors. And of course, cover everything in spider webs. Use chalk on black paint to give it a weathered look. Foam Art - Castle turned to Halloween Haunt:

Creating a coffin out of cardboard is surprisingly easy (although if you are really handy, a wooden coffin is much cooler). You can find a template online. Just be sure to paint and “distress” to give it an authentic look. Or, cover in duck tape and decorate like this You Tube user did. Check out this tutorial for your DIY coffin. It’s fun to stand it up by the doorway, or on the front lawn. Even cooler? If you happen to have a skeleton in the house, position him crawling out of it.

Finally, using a few pieces of broken wood is a great way to make signs. This Pinterest user just popped a Jack-O-Lantern onto a stick and draped it with burlap. This is rather advanced, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the more rudimentary the sign, the more authentic it will look.

entrance to haunted house (or hayrides in my case):

3 Haunted Places in New York

Haunted Places in New York

This time of year, we have an itch to get in touch with all things that scare us. Probably nothing scares us human beings as much as our own mortality, so when we hear stories of ghosts and hauntings we get a thrill that both makes us jump at something we don’t understand, and find peace as we may have a chance at this afterlife thing, afterall.

If your city doesn’t have many opportunities for ghost sightings, you may want to make a trip to NYC. Not only is it a big city, but it’s an old city as far as American standards are concerned. When a city is older, it means there were more opportunities for people to live, and die, there. More than a few of those spirits have hung around.


While not an exhaustive list, here are our favorite three haunted places in New York:

1. One if by Land, Two if by Sea

One if by Land, Two if by Sea is one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC. With candlelit tables, a private garden, and a baby grand, it hosts innumerable weddings and engagements each year. The restaurant is inside a historic landmark: a carriage house from the 1760s owned by Vice President Aaron Burr. Even though centuries have passed since the building’s erection, some believe Burr is still there.

In fact, the restaurant is reported to be haunted by more than 20 ghosts, some of whom have even been spotted by eye. Largely the ghosts are known to be friendly pranksters, bumping into people, and letting the occasional plate fly. If you want to eat elegantly among spirits who harbor no ill will, there’s few better options than this historic restaurant.


2. Merchant’s House Museum

Seabury Treadwell, hardware tycoon, moved his family to what is now the Merchant’s House Museum in 1835. While the last occupant descendant passed away there in 1933, many believe that the family never left.  Over the course of the Treadwell’s time in the house, eight funerals were held in the parlor in traditional 19th century fashion.  Today, the exact same furnishings remain in the home, and budget-conscious ghost hunters can take a tour to try to find the ghosts among them.

Finding one isn’t difficult, and the museum helps in this season of spooks by providing numerous spirit-welcoming tours. You can go to a mock funeral, reenacting the days after one of the Treadwell’s deaths. You can take a candlelight tour of the parlor/funeral home sans electricity, or go listen to professionally-told ghost stories in an already haunted setting.


3. The Ear Inn

A popular watering hole since it opened in the 1830s, The Ear Inn was particularly well-traveled by sailors docking ship. In the 1960’s one of those sailors was tragically hit by a car outside of the establishment, ending his life. His ghost, known as Mickey, frequents the establishment, reportedly lighting the fire in the fireplace to remind patrons he’s still around.


Sleep Well

When you’re on a ghost tour trip, it can be tempting to stay in a haunted hotel. If you’re okay getting no shut eye, there are, indeed, a few of those in the city that never sleeps. However, we’d recommend seeking out spirits where they live, and trying to get some shut eye yourself at a haunt-free hotel like Hotel Riu Plaza in Times Square.