I’m going to a reunion in NYC

DISNEYWell sort of.  As you read this I am on my way to a four day trip to NYC.  Remember two months ago when I lost my bag on the bus on my way home from NYC.  Well this weekend I’m going back to have a vacation do over.

I can’t actually afford another extra long weekend right now so what better way to cut my costs than to bring two of my best friends.  Genius!  Both my friends are going through a tough time in their offices (crazy boss, lots of work etc. – you know) and they are both in desperate need of a vacation.  So when I proposed four days in NYC they were more than happy to book some time off work.

PS – That’s me in NYC at the Disney Store in 2008

Growing up from girls to ladies

Two weeks ago when we were planning what to do and where to stay in New York my friend Jane said “The last time I was in NYC was with you guys.”  WOW I had to pause for the flashback.  It’s true.  The last time all three of us went on vacation together was a two day weekend trip to New York in 2008.  My my a lot has changed since then.

As I booked the hotel for our trip I started reflecting on our last trip together and how much fun it was.  It also got me thinking about how much our lives have changed over the past six years.  The last time we went on vacation we were all broke students or recent graduates and NYC was actually our first vacation on our own, without our families.

Now we are all in our 30s (or close to it) and all three of us have full time jobs.  Actually two of us (Jane and I) have more than one job. Basically what I’m trying to say is our vacation in NYC will be a lot better this time around because now we have more money to spend on fun things.

How our travel budget has changed:

Where we stay. In 2008 we had to find the cheapest accommodations possible, even if it meant travelling for 30 minutes by subway to actually get to Manhattan.  Six years ago we stayed in the basement of a Howard Johnson Motel in Queens.  It was only $100 per night which meant each of us had to pay approximately $35 per night for the hotel room.

This time around we have a bigger budget for our hotel stay.  This weekend we are staying in a King Suite at The W Hotel in midtown.  We can walk to great locations such as Central Park, Bloomingdales (because we can actually afford to shop this time) and Grand Central Station.  I think we can all agree this is a definite upgrade.

What we do. Last time we all went to NYC we were just happy to be in New York and on vacation.  We spent the two days travelling to popular places we saw in movies such as Serendipity Cafe, The Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

We wanted to spend a night out on the town in New York but didn’t actually have any money to spend.  So we got all dressed up, went to Times Square and ate dinner at McDonalds.  This time around we are going to see the play Aladdin on Broadway.  I am definitely looking forward to it.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC?

Meze – Impressive Earphones

I’ll admit it, I’m pretty picky about my headphones. So when I was approached by Meze to do a review of their earphones I figured they’d have their work cut out for them. Meze was easy to fall in love with its pure and gorgeous sound.

When I was headed off on an overseas assignment several years ago I tested out multiple earphones to make sure I was getting the right pair. I tried a Sony pair against Bose earbuds and the Sony actually won out. I used those for a good six years before the wires started to show last year. I ended up replacing with a pair that was supposed to be great for running. I got those for last Christmas and one of the earbud covers fell over within a couple of months and the sound was pretty dismal, even if they were supposed to do well with sweat and such.


All this to say, that I have been hankering for some good sound. The Meze earphones have certainly outperformed my expectations of great headphones and then some. In a word, the sound is rich. It resonates and fills the ear with a sound that really can’t be beat. It also isn’t about volume level, in that they sound great both soft and loud, which isn’t often the case. I tested out the Meze 11 Deco line, which is one of their lower end models, so I can only imagine how great the over ear models are.


Some other great aspects about these earphones is that the cord and the upper cord (between both ears) are just the right length. This makes them great for using in a work environment and for on the go. Additionally, even with the sound cranked up you can’t hear residual sound outside the headphone. There is nothing link being “that person” whose music you can hear in the metro or in a crowded elevator.

I know I’m not alone in music being an elixir.  I grew up with music lovers for parents and still enjoy going to concerts as one of the highlights of my year.  I listen to earphones on my walking commute, to and from the office, and find it as a little oasis to start and end my day.  Meze makes it so much better!

If you are looking for a great pair of headphones for yourself or as a gift I would definitely recommend these Meze 11 DECO wooden earphones.

Lessons I learned at the Old Navy Sale


Good morning Loves.  With summer upon us and the 4th of July weekend just passed I’ve noticed that several major retailers are having sales.  Macy’s wants to sell us patio furniture or our backyard barbecues, TJ Maxx wants to sell us summer essentials at a discount and Old Navy wants to sell us flip flops for $1.  Trust me if you need something for summer you will most likely find it on sale.

Or so I thought.  I have been shopping for a white cardigan since May and I just can’t find one that is reasonably priced.  After seeing the Old Navy ad on TV I decided to go and have a look.  I don’t usually shop at Old Navy for all the reasons I’m about to tell you but I thought I’d give it a try.

Cheaper isn’t always better

To make a long story short I went to Old Navy, found a white cardigan and bought it.  When I got home I decided that the quality wasn’t worth the price (reason number 1) so I went back the next day to return it for a full refund.  Did you know that you can return items and get a refund up to 90 days after your purchase?  That seems like a long time to me, but that’s the policy.

As I stood in the extremely long line (reason number 2) waiting to return my cardigan and listening to the conversations around me I realized several things about people, money and shopping habits.

3 lessons I learned from Old Navy:

People love a good deal.   The woman standing in front of me had three pairs of jeans in her hand.  She explained to her boyfriend that they were the same model of jeans she was wearing and because they were on sale she was buying them in every color the store had in her size.  It’s kind of hot to wear jeans in the summer but I guess they will be handy come fall.  There were signs all throughout the store advertising cheap prices on summer must haves such as $1 flip flops, $5 tank tops and $10 summer dresses.  Big flashy signs in bright colors attract shoppers and Old Navy does this well.

The impatient become patient when it comes to money.  The lineup was huge and I mean 20 plus people.  I HAD to wait in line because I was getting money back from returning my cardigan.  I am not sure if I would wait in the same long line to spend money.  I love a great deal just as much as the next girl but I have a breaking point when it comes to waiting.  I was truly shocked at just how long people would wait just to get a good deal.

People will buy anything if it’s cheap.  If you are in the mood to shop you will buy anything and everything that’s on sale.  I know this to be true from my past life.  I am a reformed spend-a-holic and I would love spending money even if I didn’t need the item.  If it was on sale then I was buying it.  It’s an extremely bad habit that’ I’m glad I broke.

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: Happy July 4th


Happy July 4th loves.  I hope you are all getting outside to enjoy the sun, walk around without your shoes on and eat some good cookout food.  That’s the one thing I miss about living in a small town – the feeling of fresh cut grass on my feet and the feeling of sand between my toes.  I come from a town close to the five great lakes and the beaches were never in shortage.  Now I live in a big city and unfortunately fresh cut grass is hard to come by.

Have a great Independence Day and enjoy these posts from our personal finance friends:

Wise Bread – Healthy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes – Do You?

Get Rich Slowly – Are these good enough reasons to buy life insurance?

Broke Millennial – How to Tell a Bride “No”

Club Thrifty – My Worst Money Mistakes

Smart Money Chicks – How We Had A Dream Honeymoon Without Depleting Our Savings

Photo by Flickr