I like these first days of the year and the crisp, fresh feeling of new beginnings that comes along with them. While some of you were overdosing on Christmas carols and cookies, I couldn’t wait for January 1st to write in my journal: “new year, new me.”
One of my new year resolutions in 2018 is to REALLY organize my closet. It was last year’s resolution too, and while my closet has seen worse days in terms of organization, it’s still far from doing what it’s supposed to be doing for me. It seems like I’ve been searching in vain forever for way to catalog my clothes. Did you know there are apps to help you organize your closet? I have tried them all. And I’ve failed each time. I typically find their methods to be labor intensive and the technology to be clumsy, so they inevitably ended up in my apps cemetery and I end up wearing the same two or three outfits over and over again.
When a new platform named Finery was launched, promising to organize styles and manage my existing wardrobe, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out. The difference between Finery and its many competitors is that it harvests data that already exists—a.k.a. my previous online purchases and organizes them into a visual catalog of items that can be used to create Polyvore-type looks. Purchases made in certain stores can be added after the fact with the easy click of a button.
Full disclosure: nobody’s paying me to give you the skinny on this app. So, here are my concerns with what seems to be an otherwise awesome way of fulfilling my new year’s resolution and sending me straight towards garment Nirvana.
- If you are a secret agent—or simply unnecessarily obsessed with email privacy—you might not like giving Finery full access to your email account. After all, this is the very crux of their operation; they have to go through your emails to find purchase receipts to locate the items that are potentially now in your closet.
- If you like second hand merchandise, or flash sites, you might not be able to find your purchases. As a bargain connoisseur and NYC sample sale whisperer, I do make a point of practicing what I preach and shop almost exclusively at NYC sample sales, Gilt, RueLala, and Yoox. I was rather disappointed to find none of my RueLaLa or Gilt purchases on Finery, which means I had to resort to inputting them manually… just like my other [now deceased] apps.
Ugh… Why is the world bent on making it so hard for me to organize my closet?! Despite these issues, I will give Finery a chance. I will also likely write a follow-up article to let you know how it went. I think resolutions are important, and while some of them (okay, most of them… okay, most of mine) fail, they provide what this article calls a “salient reference point” for setting a goal.
Take some time to reflect where you are in life, and identify the key obstacles holding you back from where you want to be. Be clear, set achievable goals and deadlines, and do your best reach them. Don’t punish yourself if you fail—even the incremental changes and smallest victories are worth celebrating. While the freezing temperatures and post-holiday-empty-wallet malaise might prevent you from going sample sale shopping this week, do come back.
We promise you a year of fabulous deals that might surprisingly assist you in sticking to your new year resolutions. That promise is our resolution.
Cheers to 2018!
Posted by Staff Writer at 12:51 AM
Our Views and Opinions |
It’s official! The holiday season is in full swing. Maybe you’re frantically running around town picking up those last minute gifts, or perhaps you’re baking and decorating away in anticipation of all those family and friendly gatherings. Whether you’re keeping it small this year or really amping up the festivities, here’s one thing you might not have considered: household waste.
I know, I know. It’s kind of a drag to think about things like conserving energy and reducing waste when there are holiday cookies to decorate and bubbly drinks to imbibe. But the fact of the matter is that household waste increases by over 25% during the holiday season. In one home that’s a major increase, but across the country, that adds up to a lot of trash. If you’re inspired to do something about it, check out these tips and tricks.
“Every year, Americans use at least 40 million tons of paper products for wrapping, packaging, and decorating gifts during Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays,” writes Hearts.com. That’s not even counting the shopping bags (another four million tons) and ribbon (38,000 miles worth).
We know what you’re thinking: Presents have to come wrapped! Agreed. That said, there are sustainable options when it comes to wrapping your gifts, and they don’t sacrifice holiday cheer, either. For example, you can use reusable items such as gift boxes, baskets and fabrics. You can also use paper products that would end up tossed anyway, such as newspapers, magazines and even maps.
Go with Real Over Faux
It may seem counterintuitive to get a real tree versus a synthetic one that can be used over and over again. However, according to EarthEasy.com, real trees are the more earth-friendly option. “Plastic trees are made of petroleum products (PVC), and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping,” they explain. “While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.”
If you’re feeling particularly eco-conscious, buy a small, living tree that’s potted. You can keep it for two to three years without having to re-pot. Once it becomes too big, you can plant it outdoors. If it doesn’t live, have it chipped and mulched for free.
Switch to E-Cards
We’re sad to break this to you, but holiday cards usually end up in the trash at the end of the holiday season. Womp womp. That said, an e-card takes up no space in the landfill, can be sent and received instantly (hello, procrastinators!), and are low (or no) cost.
Fast fact: “The amount of cards sold in the US during the holiday season would fill a football field 10 stories high, and requires the harvesting of nearly 300,000 trees,” writes EarthEasy.com.
Buy Environmentally Friendly Gifts
Going green with your gift wrap and holiday cards is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint. Take things one step further by actually gifting green presents.
For example, a thermos or water bottle or reusable coffee mug will conserve over a long period of time. Another idea is to purchase items that are solar powered versus battery or electricity powered. “Experience” gifts — such as tickets to an event, museum passes, and spa or health vouchers — won’t end up in the trash, either.
Other ways to buy with the environment in mind: buy local (cuts transport costs and energy), purchase gifts made from recycled materials, and re-gift items you don’t intend to use.
We know ol’ tannenbaum looks pretty all lit up, and the same’s true for your exterior decor, as well. However, if you’re not home — or if you’re sleeping — it’s best to turn lights and decor off.
Another way to conserve electricity is to utilize a fireplace over a heater, and to make sure that windows and doors are sealed tightly to keep heat inside. Finally, instead of holiday lights, opt for popcorn or cranberry garlands. If you don’t want to give up your lights, consider reducing the amount of lights you use. You can also try LED or solar powered lights, which use far less energy. In fact, according to ConsumerEnergyCenter.com, you can save up to 90 percent of your energy costs with LED holiday bulbs.
Another tip from ConsumerEnergyCenter.com: “To avoid accidentally leaving your lights on and running up your electric bill unnecessarily, use an automatic timer, both indoors and out. You’ll remove the burden of turning the lights on and off and avoid leaving them on all night or during the daylight hours. Just make sure that the timer you use is rated to handle the total wattage of your lights.”
Take it Easy on the Food Prep
“In the United States, we generate an extra 5 million tons of household waste each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, including three times as much food waste as at other times of the year,” writes WorldWatch.org. “When our total food waste adds up to 34 million tons each year, that equals a lot of food.”
Food waste is a serious issue throughout the year, but as you can see from those stats, it’s exacerbated during the holidays. This is because many people prefer to make more food than necessary over not having enough. Really think about the amount of people you’re baking for, and don’t buy any more than you need. Trust that there will be plenty of cookies and plenty of ham.
If you do have leftovers, make a concerted effort to use them. If you don’t think you’ll have a chance to eat your leftovers, donate to a local shelter.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 02:00 PM
Opinions , Shopping News , Shopping Trends , The City |
WHAT: Fill Your Home with Festive Scents: Candles & More Online Sample Sale @ Ruelala.com
WHY: Fill Your Home with Festive Scents: Candles & More up to 60% off!
WHEN: 11/7 11am – 11/9 11am
*To sign up & access the sales, please click here.
Posted by Bindra at 04:55 AM
Beauty , Online Sample Sales , Today's Sales |
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays, everyone! Did that greeting warmed up your heart, or brought up tears to your eyes? Depending where I was in life I felt joy or sadness myself at the arrival of the holiday season. What do you feel this year? While we usually talk about shopping, and this is definitely the happiest time of the year for retail, let’s pause for a moment and make sure we are doing it right. Are you ready? Have you planned ahead? Do you have a list and a budget? I have few words of advice worth lots more than all the money I’ve saved you with our sample sale listings. Money and mountains of gifts don’t buy love and happiness. Before you go gift shopping, figure out how much money you can really afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Try this instead: be ridiculously generous in a non-materialistic way and make sure you create amazing memories. You’ll thank me years from now.
Posted by Mirela Gluck at 02:37 PM
bargain news , Editor's Notes , Insights , Points of View , Shopping Trends |