The 90s are Back

We hate to break it to you, but…the 90s are back, especially this summer. We know,  we know. You were glad to see 90s fashion go; we were too. But, alas, like all of the decades that came before it, the 90s have crept back onto the runways. Here’s a quick peak and what items you can dust off. We don’t suggest you “invest” in many of these items, as we may soon remember why the 90s weren’t our best years.

Full Coverage Chunky Sandals

$150 by Madewell

Ok, so might be LESS chunky than we once knew them, but the covered sandal adds weight to your feet. Thin calves and ankles make these work. If you’re very athletic and plus sized, these shoes can give more weight to your bottom half. Worn with a cropped skinny pant, the contrast between the skinny and the chunky can balance each other. We don’t so much recommend with a full length skinny pant, though. Too much coverage.

Tortoise Sunglasses

Express, $30

It’s the blue lenses that take us back to 1997. Where bigger used to be better, smaller is in. Heart-shaped or triangular faces were a smaller frame better. These are inexpensive, from Express. Next year, you might be inclined to toss ‘em and return to your incognito shades.

Big Floral Patterns

Image 4 of True Decadence Botancial Floral Bralet

Asos, $115 for the whole look

Maybe florals never really go out of style, but this pattern felt pretty 1994. Oh, and cropped tops are back, too. Today, we’re seeing them with high waists, which makes a cropped top a bit more wearable. What updates this perfect-for-a-shower outfit is the swingy knee-length skirt and dainty shoes. We’re not so sure this will be a closet staple forever, but it does have “now” written all over it.

The Biker Jacket…with a dress

Leather biker jackets with florals and boots (Doc Martens, if you dare)?! This fun 90s trend is definitely back. The 90s was a time of gender and sexual exploration and maybe this trend is a nod to how far we’ve come. Tough and feminine don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The sharp contrast makes the look dynamic and interesting.

The Denim Jacket

Gap, $70

We admit it, maybe denim jackets don’t every REALLY go out of style. In fact, I have one from the Gap from ten years ago that is still a wardrobe staple. The 90s saw denim jackets with pinks and florals, flannel and docs, and if you’re talking late 90s…more denim. Today, it’s your go-with everything, don’t-be-shy, take-me-to work/dinner/shopping-jacket. This one from the Gap is $70, and know that it’s well spent. This will be a closet staple for years to come.

Save on All Things MLB

save on all things mlb

Baseball season has started, and we’re ready to take you out to the ball game, for less.  Celebrating America’s past time is epically fun, but you’re going to need some serious savings to be able to do it without going broke.

The Gear

If your team made it to the playoffs last year, but you weren’t rooting for the Giants, there’s a lot of surplus merchandise out there branded for your team.  Where there’s a surplus, there’s a price reduction.  And this one is dramatic.  For example, Rally House has a ton of leftover Royals gear, most of it at 50% off.  While some of it looks a little too hopeful in retrospect, there’s plenty you can pick up that you’ll be able to wear to the game in 2015 and beyond.

The Tickets

Depending on the city you’re in, buying tickets to see a game in person can get insanely expensive very quickly.  Luckily, there are tons of ways to cut those costs.  Try a couple of these and you’ll be able to cheer on your team for less.

  • Put out the word at work.  Workplaces offer a ton of ways to score discounts on tickets.  The first step is to put out the word that you’re looking.  Once you ask, your coworkers will probably let you in on the fact that there’s an office email blast season-ticket-holder Joe sends out every week with tickets for games he can’t go to.  These tickets may be free and first come first serve, or they may be seriously discounted going to the highest bidder.  Some companies also hold box seats that they extend to their employees at certain points in the season as a perk of employment.  Also ask about company days at your home field, where there’s a block of seats you can all purchase at a reduced, group price.
  • Join the MLB Kids’ Club.  Some teams host a kids’ club, where young fans can get free and/or BOGO tickets at a dirt cheap price.  These clubs suddenly make taking the whole family to a game much more affordable.  Some of them even offer extra perks, like gear for attending a certain number of games, or opportunities to meet the players or take to the field before or after the professional game is played.
  • Get the most out of your AAA membership.  AAA membership comes with some perks, and they’re not all about your car breaking down on the side of the road.  If you’re a member, you can get discounted tickets to specific MLB games.  In the past, these deals have even gotten as high as 50% off for a Yankees game.

Forget the Peanuts and Crackerjacks

Now that you’ve got your tickets, you want to be careful not to spend the rest of your paycheck at the game.  Eating at any stadium is expensive, so there’s one basic rule of thumb to follow: don’t do it.  Instead, eat before you go.  For the amount that’s charged for a simple hot dog or hamburger combo, you’re probably going to be able to treat yourself out to a nicer restaurant before the game, and still have more money leftover than if you had chosen to buy nachos for everyone in your clan at the game.


Add These to Your Booklist!

We checked with our friends at the NY Times and Goodreads to determine our top five can’t-wait-must-have summer reads. Check out coupons from Barnes & Noble  before you buy!

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Psychological Thriller 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Dooer (GoodReads Choice Winner!)

Historical Fiction

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

3. The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Suspense Thriller

Harlan Coben’s seven consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers feature unrivaled depths of emotion combined with cutting-edge suspense plots that keep millions of readers turning pages deep into the night. In The Stranger, married parents Adam and Hannah confront the shocking secret on which their marriage is built—leaving Adam wondering whether he ever truly knew Hannah at all.

4. Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one—because it was all she really wanted to see…

Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden–one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…

5. Hot Pursuit by Steward Woods

Stone Barrington travels to Wichita to take possession of his long-awaited Citation M2, and is pleasantly surprised to find that the delivery pilot is a gorgeous woman who’s soon moving to New York and is available for a closer acquaintance. . . .

Meanwhile, Stone is extended an invitation to a secret and private club, open to only the most exclusive membership. Number 33 in a series.

How to Make Pet Care Fit Into Your Budget

pet budget

Pets make our hearts swoon.  They provide comfort on off-days, irrevocable golden memories, and make our children laugh and play while learning responsibility.

They can also wreak havoc on our budgets.  Between spaying and neutering, vaccinations, food, litter, toys, and everything else that goes into being a pet owner, paying for your best friend can become a massive burden.

If you’re finding yourself fretting over your bottom line, stress less.  There are ways to cut costs without getting rid of Fido.  Because who could ever say goodbye to their trusted companion over something like money?


Spaying and Neutering Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

If you live in an area that is trying to control its animal population, you may be able to find a free program to spay and neuter your pets, regardless of income levels.  A great example is the City of Pittsburgh.  Depending on your region, urban areas may not be the only place that offer these programs.  Rural areas have problems with overpopulation in some sectors of the country, too.

If you don’t live in an area that has a free program, there are still low-cost options available.  Check out the Humane Society, Animal Rescue League, or your local shelter to see what programs they have in place to help pet owners get their fuzzy friends spayed or neutered, along with programs for lower-cost vaccinations.


Never Walk Into a Pet Store Again

Shopping online is the way to go.  Places like PetSmart always have at least a few great deals or sales running online.  To top it off, orders over a certain dollar amount (right now, $49) ship for free, meaning that you’re not only able to save money, but you’re also able to save time over running to the store.  Getting your supplies shipped directly to your door makes you feel like you’re sitting in the lap of luxury without spending an extra cent.

If you don’t have an order that meets the set dollar amount, you can still save time by shipping to store.  Rather than walking in and browsing the aisles until you find what you need, you can order online using promo codes, and then pick your ready-to-go order up when you walk in the front door, all without paying a cent for shipping.  To top it all off, PetSmart has the PetPerks card that allows you not only to get sale price, but also grants you access to additional coupons.


Buy In Bulk

There are certain things you are going to need over and over again.  Dog food.  Kitty litter.  Rawhide bones.  For these predictable expenses, it makes more sense to buy in bulk at a place like Sam’s Club or Costco.  While these wholesale stores do require an upfront membership fee, you’ll more than make your money back in savings if you purchase all of your recurring needs in bulk.

Some pet stores even allow you to purchase pet food out of a bin by the pound.  Shopping in bulk this way typically adds up to far more savings than if you purchased brand name out of a bag over and over again.