Shortcut to Chanel

My bag sold to me by chanelandmore.com ! Photo credit: chanelandmore.com

My bag sold to me by chanelandmore.com ! Photo credit: chanelandmore.com

True fashionistas know that A list designer bags rarely go on sale…especially the classics. Louis Vuitton does not have a bag clearance rack, nor does Hermes, or Chanel. When someone tells you they got a deal on a NEW bag from the coveted top tier of handbag designers they either A) are full of monogrammed shit or B)got swindled by someone passing off a fake as the real McCoy. The only way to get a steal on the Mercedes of bags is the way you get a steal on an actual Mercedes…CPO…certified pre-owned.

Second hand designer merchandise is all the rage, and more people are getting their designer duds this way than they would want you to believe. I, myself, have no shame in sharing that the Chanel bag I am often photographed with was acquired this way. Just the other week Tamra Barney complimented my Chanel Madison limited edition handbag and I shot back “Second hand.” Why am I so quick to quip back that my silver chain trimmed baby wasn’t picked straight from the shelves of the boutique? Perhaps it’s the shame in the cost of these things new (used is still embarrassingly expensive enough). In these days of economic strife, plunking down thousands of dollars on a handbag is almost sinful…yet we are compelled, many of us, to do such a thing.

Now, let’s not all get pissy in the comment section of this post. In no way am I suggesting that you put a mortgage payment down on a purse, I’m only saying that, if you really really want one there is a way to make it hurt a little less. Here are my guidelines for purchasing a REAL designer bag for less money.

1. Don’t expect to pay bargain basement prices for the upper echelon of bags. Even a pre-owned Chanel, Goyard, or Hermes will most likely run you above the thousand dollar mark. Less than buying new, absolutely, but cheap? Not by any means.

2. Be careful on Ebay. Tricky language can have sellers making you think a bag is real only for you to find out it isn’t. If you are going to use Ebay, check the seller’s feedback and don’t purchase without the ability to return.

3.Get the bag authenticated. There are several sites that will do this for a nominal fee. If certain pictures are provided an expert can tell you “Go for it!” or “Buyer beware”. Two very popular bag authentication sites are MyPoupette.com and CarolDiva.com . I used Carol to authenticate my Chanel. Her prices are very reasonable and she is very friendly. If your seller balks at the idea of you authenticating…RUN, don’t walk, away from that deal!

4. Go to a second hand store or internet shop that specializes in designer resale. Businesses like these stand by their products and often know their sellers. I recommend chanelandmore.com . Diane Duckett, owner of the website, sold me my bag a couple of years ago. Diane has a passion and eye for great designer resale and is a pleasure to work with.

5. Most important…if a deal seems too good to be true, most likely it is. Designer bags retain a lot of value, and unless you know someone who loves you and wants to practically gift you their previously loved duds at a JC Penney’s price, getting the REAL thing for cheap probably won’t happen.

Bottom line, if you don’t have the money or the desire to spend a ridiculous amount on a handbag, go to Coach. They are designer, but won’t break the bank. If you are ready to spring for your top level designer bag, second hand will help take some of the sting out of it! Happy shopping…

Which Housewife is not ashamed to admit she does second hand designer?

Project Reconnect-Lori & Jenn’s Tips to Rekindle Romance

imageLori Zaslow and Jenn Zucher, co-owners of NYC matchmaking service Project Soulmate, featured on Bravo TV’s Lovebroker, know how to create the perfect pair. What about when that pair has been together for the long haul? We asked them for advice to keep the romance going on Valentine’s Day and every day.  Here are 8 tips straight from the ladies to keep your relationship on the right track no matter what day it is!

1.Turn off technology. Disconnect to connect! Yes it sounds scary, but to truly emotionally connect it is important to look someone in the eyes. Nobody wants to think half of your attention is somewhere else! (i.e blackberry, iphone, etc).

2. Eat together. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or just an ice cream sundae, share.

3. Plan a regular date night (And sex night)- Start a tradition. A romantic outing is not only something you can both look forward to, it’s a way to transport yourselves back to when you first met. If you have kids get a sitter or wake up before them or after they go to bed! Better yet, set the alarm for 2am. Nothing is better than a midnight rendezvous.

4. Flirt. smile, wink, play footsies. It’s always important to keep the spark there and flirting helps ignite it.

5. Be spontaneous. Every once in a while, do something together on the spur of the moment. Breaking away from your routine adds excitement to your relationship. Whether it’s a surprise day trip or just an picnic in the backyard, it will bring the two of you closer together.

5. Make dinner together. If one of you is more Chef Boyardee than Julia Child, you can still keep your spouse company, and perhaps even get a good laugh out of your culinary mishaps.
6. Play a game. Bring out the inner child. Depending on your personalities, the options can range from chess to hide and seek. Whatever the rules, spending time together doing an activity purely for the sake of having fun is a great way to let go of the mundane stresses of daily life.

7. Do nothing. Sleep in, or “veg” on the couch. Order take-out and watch movies all day. The point is to let go of the outside world and just be together.

8. Go for a walk. This could be a hike or a stroll down a city street. The dynamic scenery may inspire a philosophical conversation about your plans for the future, or you may feel content to enjoy the view walking hand-in-hand. Either way, you’ll feel more connected.

Not coupled? Check out ProjectSoulmate.com to contact Lori and Jenn about finding your soulmate!

Move Over Turkey, Elvira Grau Tells Us: Thanksgiving is All about the Pumpkins!!

 TBB welcomes back everyone’s favorite New Jersey party planner Elvira Grau to give us festive Thanksgiving decorating ideas!

 
Elvira, owner of Space Odyssey USA says:
Thanksgiving is all about the pumpkins!!

Decorating & carving out pumpkins never gets old & is a an annual tradition. Whether you’re decoratingyour outdoor space or your table, pumpkins add the organic feel & authenticity of a Thanksgiving!!

Need a great activity? Get kids involved with a pumpkin craft using magic markers, safe carving tools, sticky eyes, stickers & some sparkle. Encourage everyone to jazz up their pumpkins and add some pizzaz!! I love to make my pumpkins look GLAM!!
 

Elvira’s Fall centerpiece!

For table top I use pumpkins as setting card holders or I’ll cut the tops off & put a votive in them to use as a candelabra. When preparing food, you can carve them out and make a soup bowl out of them & pour pumpkin soup in them if you hollow them out.

Photo from Bing Images.

 

*And for an extra TBB tip from me,have take out containers and Sharpies on hand. Everyone takes home food for easier clean up and less leftovers!