Eat Your Heart Out

You and your boo can indulge this weekend at LA’s Street Food Fest! I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention but LA has exploded with Gourmet Food Trucks. They’re not of the roach coach variety but for real delicious offerings made readily available by truck. This Saturday the best of the best will converge downtown at LA CENTER STUDIOS (Enter on 500 S. Beaudry Ave) for their annual street food festival from 11am -5pm. Again, it’s not just a Mexican hot dog wrapped in bacon situation but a for real foodapalooza. Expect to see the usual suspects like the Kobi Korean Taco Truck, The Buttermilk Truck, Grilled Cheese Truck, Sweets Truck, Fresser’s, Frysmith, Slice Truck, Flying Pig, Fishlips, and Komodo but leave room for the surprise celebrity chef pop-up, and many more from authentic LA street food vendors from the Boyle Heights Street Food Fair and the O/G street delicacies including pambazos from Antojitos de Abuelita, acaraje from Sabor de Bahia, Mama Koh’s Korean chicken wings and much more! General admission is 5 bucks at the door, first come, first serve. Unfortunately VIP spots are sold out but General Admission still gets you beer, wine, use of the photobooth, and live entertainment. Soooo, eat your heart out for the Valentine’s Day weekend!

xoxo!

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Membership Has Its Privileges

What I'm currently fawning over: LeSportsac totes by artist Tomokazu Matsyama

I may be out of a job but I can’t say I’ve stopped shopping. I’m a serial shopper so I’ll always find somewhere to spend money; 99cent store, Ross, Target, Goodwill, the beauty supply… You name it and I’m there with my pennies in hand. A while back I was sent an invite to Gilt Groupe, a member’s only discount shopping site. To be honest, I never really looked at the daily emails that inundated by inbox because I don’t like piss myself off first thing in the morning. I’d scan the subject, see the luxury brands offered then I’d get upset, then I’d hit delete. Same thing every day and sometimes multiple times a day. Finally, I got brave or curious and opened the email, and to my surprise, I found deals. Real deals on hot stuff. It was bananas! I actually could afford new stuff from the brands I like and others that I want to get to know! Imagine that? Gilt Group is fabulous but you have to act fast because the best items tend to sell out quickly. Check it out here at Gilt.com. Refer a friend scratch that, a friend who actually makes a purchase, and get twenty-five smackaroos in your account!

Reinvent Yourself


Yowza! Has it been that long?
Yes, I suppose it has and I’ll admit to being a bit trife. You probably thought I’d gone the way of the employed, but no. I’ve gone the way of student. I’ m reinventing myself through a fabulous Adobe Certified Expert program. Yep, I’m going digital. The way I see it, the digital divide that was talked about back in the early millenium is actually happening now and many people who think they’ll return to their old industry are sadly mistaken. Jobs have gone digital and if you don’t know how to create styles in a Microsoft Word document or know HTML from xHTML, you may as well get in line at the soup kitchen because they won’t be calling you back. And maybe they will call you back but you’d better watch your back because some Adobe application may render your industry obsolete. I, being a veteran of the Experiential Marketing industry, saw the writing on the wall long ago. There’s only so much face time to give when consumers would rather Facebook than talk to you. However, I was so trapped in the cycle of workin’ for the man and getting a check that I couldn’t get my hand out my own pocket long enough to take a class. But alas, unemployment has offered another silver lining: time and the title of Dislocated Worker. Doesn’t it sound all technical, maybe even a little dignified? Perhaps, but the title allows me and others just like me, the ability to qualify for career training funds (up to 8K in my area) via the Workforce Improvement Act. Ahhh yes, President Obama threw us another bone when he signed the Workforce Improvement Act; allocating major funds to local EDD Worksource offices. The WIA allows Dislocated Workers and others to improve their earning potential and career options by increasing skill levels, educational levels, or obtaining industry-relevant certification or licensure.

I know, you scoff at the thought of attending truck driving school or welding but, no, this program funds really relevant educational programs like my Adobe Certification program (We may as well get on board with the new media skills; those 97 MS Office skills can only get you so far my friend). For example, Project Management is one the fastest growing fields and WIA can pay for PM certification. And with whatever Healthcare option gets passed (whenever it gets passed), we’ll be dispensing more drugs to make up for any lost money, and with training in Pharmacology, you can become the next pusher! Green Housing is the next big thing, perhaps certification in Architectual Design or Green industry education will be your ticket in. And for those teachers that got the boot or are soon to be booted before securing that teaching credential, well, there’s funding for that too, boo. Maybe you fancy yourself the next dog whisperer or Poker Dealer, there’s Dog Obedience and good ol’ American Poker and Asian Table Gaming training too. It’s pretty bananas. And the cou de gras: you may even be able to extend your unemployment benefits until the end of your training program then catch up on the back end of whatever UE extension you’re on while you complete your coccoon phase.

To participate in this program, you’ll have to visit your local EDD or One Stop office and speak to a specialist or visit your state EDD website for more information. Seriously kids, it’s time to reinvent yourself and stop wallowing. I can’t recall more education ever hurting anyone. Now, get out there before the money runs out!
Cheers!

Free Healthcare For Los Angelenos

healthcare
It’s been forever people but I’m back. I won’t even say that I’ll be consisitent but I’ll try. My struggle is to keep you informed and offer hope for your employment future, and if nothing else, possibly deliver a laugh. I see in my absence, another unemployed and fabulous has reared it’s head. Honestly it looks like a great site for free events and other musings but it’s not me. On another note, it’s been over a year and I am still unemployed and fab! I was feeling more unemployed than fabulous for a while but I switched gears. I’m no longer waiting for an opportunity but making them. I encourage you to do the same. But like most fledgling entrepreneurs, I’m still without health insurance (Come on Obama, work that universal healthcare plan out now!). Don’t sleep, the nurse at my Community College is on point, but they don’t offer health screenings. Which is why I’ll be heading out to this week’s awesome offering at the Inglewood Forum.

Hundreds have already lined up to receive free medical, dental, and optometry services. Thanks to volunteer doctors, dentists, and nurses, the uninsured and underinsured can receive access to a remote health clinic located inside the Laker’s old house. Individuals will not be required to show proof of income or insurance or documentation of any kind for treatment, according to organizers. Only 1,200 people a day will be scheduled for the 45 medical exam rooms, 100 dental stations and 25 eye exam sites set up at The Forum. Full exams, including Mammography, chest X-rays, PAP smears, blood pressure screening and diabetes screening will be offered. Prescription eye glasses will be fitted and prepared on site according to the organizers.
I’ll be camped at 4am tomorrow, gunning for that number one spot!

Cheers.

The Forum is located at 3900 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90305-2200
Clinic hours 5:30am – 6pm
now until 8/18

Walgreens To The Rescue

Walgreens_Picture_ashx
Who would have ever thought unemployment would soar higher than Red and Meth put together? It’s currently 11% in California alone, which leaves most of us scrounging for healthcare resources. Earlier, I put you on to the college healthcare hustle, where you can get your learn on and basic medical attention for about 100 bucks. Now, Walgreens has stepped up in a major way, offering free medical care via its in-store Take Care clinics, for those that received the boot from the workplace after March 31, 2009.

For the rest of the year, Walgreens is offering free clinic visits to the newly unemployed and fabulous at 341 of its Take Care clinics in 35 markets around the country. Even spouses and children are eligible if they don’t have insurance of their own! Prescriptions will still have to be paid for, but tests and routine treatments for minor ailments can be handled at these walk-in clinics. Respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions are among the conditions the clinics are equipped to handle. No, you can’t get your annual physical or your kid’s vaccinations here but you can get the equivalent of urgent care or even ER service for those with minor conditions, according to the AP. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What’s the catch you say?

None. Potential recipients show proof of unemployment by way of a federal or state unemployment determination letter or unemployment check stub and sign a declaration of job loss. Easy.

Now stop trying to combat swine flu with Tussin and head to the Walgreens website to see if there’s a participating clinic near you.

Cheers!

The DJ Saved My Life

scrach
The unemployed and fabulous is feeling herself today! I managed to make my way back to my turntables to make a lil music for myself (NERD she wants to move blends quite well with MJ’s startin somethin). Considering I’ve yet to get my hands on Serato and I’ve got but 2 handsful of vinyl in varying beats per minute, I’m not ready to rock a party just yet, but I’m working on it. I know I’m not the only one that dreams of shocking the world with their show of awesome turntablism. So for those of us that dare to dream, there’s Scratch DJ Academy, my alma mater. At Scratch you can give the 1’s and 2’s a whirl without fear of getting your lights punched out just for going toward the tables and without sacrificing an arm or leg to purchase your own because their turntables are open and free to the public during the day (like you have a job to go to during the day). It’s like a community center but for DJs. Scratch allows you to get in touch with your inner dj with the use of their turntables, headphones, and vinyl. If you show real promise, you may be able to coerce a generous dj into instruction, otherwise paid classes are available and they have payment plans. Scratch DJ Academy has locations in LA, NYC, and Miami. Check locations for hours of operation at

Feel Like the Big Cheese Again

bcheese

Feel like the big cheese again, as you feed and critique others. Thanks to Thrillist, I found out about the Grilled Cheese Invitational happening in LA on April 25th at a secret downtown location; the actual location will be revealed April 20th on their site. For $5 you can reign again, as one of 1700 tasters/judges for this annual cheese-oozing competition, deciding who wins in each of three categories: The Missionary Position (bread, butter, and cheese only), The Kama Sutra (basics, plus savory ingredients), or The Honey Pot (dessert-style). For the first time, this year’s setting will also include a beer & wine garden, with alcoholic proceeds going to a TBA charity — perhaps, the Foundation for the Unemployed and Fabulous. Look for your city on their site and order up tickets at GrilledCheeseInvitational.com

Free Eats…Sorta

Never eat at Denny’s and party like Lil Penny -Who You Wit? Jay-Z

Those were the good ‘ol days, back in the Clinton era, when even in college you could afford to be a food snob. Boy have times changed! I’ve been out of college and in the work place and back again since then and now on this second run, I can’t afford to thumb my nose at Denny’s, especially when it’s free. Denny’s is giving away its relatively new Grand Slamwich with the purchase of a Grand Slam. So, it’s not totally free like the great Grand Slam giveaway of February but this likely won’t create the county lines either. This time you can cattle prod a friend into actually going to Denny’s to purchase a Grand Slam and perhaps you’ll get to actually experience the glory of the free Grand Slamwich instead of the banal conversation of the people in front of you in line.

Another piece of nostalgia for you:

SHOP AND MINGLE

cashonlypic

Put your extra $50 bucks from the unemployment increase to work here! Los Angelenos can shop and mingle this weekend to a soundtrack. And you can afford to do so with shirts for ten buck and hoodies for 20. Don’t get too drunk at the bar and go into debt though, remember, the summation of small things…

Cheers!

Get Up, Get Out, Do Something

blogLA may not feel like spring but it’s definitely in the air. Daylight Savings Time just kicked in (my favorite time) and spring is officially here in nine days. There’s no better way to celebrate the change in weather like getting out of the house. We’ve been captive to the crib all winter thanks to the cold weather and some of us were held captive by our wallets. It sucks when you can’t afford to go out; no snaps for the petro, a drink, a plane ticket, let alone indulgences like live shows. Luckily some concert promoters have taken pity on our pockets, allowing us to cop music festival tickets on layaway. Hey, If it works for retail, why not concerts? Slow dough is better than no dough!

Huge outdoor festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Country Thunder are now offering layaway payment options for their spring/summer concerts. You music festival goers can now make a down payment and pay monthly to secure your spot at festivals, where tickets can run up to $350. And with most of your entertainment and marketing hook ups being unemployed, for the first time you may have to come out the pocket for entertainment other than strippers. Perhaps Live Nation and Ticketmaster will follow suit? Let’s cross our fingers.

Cheers!

http://www.coachella.com
http://www.bonnaroo.com
http://www.countrythunder.com

Fat Tuesday. FREE Tuesday.

fat-tuesdayWord on street is in celebration of Fat Tuesday quite a few restaurants are giving away free eats. I checked it out, and now I’m
sitting at IHOP awaiting my free short stack, which is in effect until 10pm. They may act like you’re there for a regular meal but just tell them you want the Pancake Day special and they’ll hook it up. It’s by no means a Denny’s county line but Pancake Day is a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, so be sure you donate a little something. Jack In the Box is giving away free tacos, says the lady next to me. Go to hangintherejack and click to get a coupon; good for today only. Quiznos appears to be giving away one million free sandwiches. If you register at millionsubs, a coupon will be sent via email. At last glance they were at 300 and something thousand, so get on it. Lastly, I received an email from my girl about free eats at TGIF. She sent me a BOGO dinner coupon, good until March 1st. So take an employed friend while you eat for free! Click here to print the coupon. FYI, Friday’s site is crazy slow, but I’m thinking free food is worth the wait.

Cheers!

Unemployed and Healthy

healthcare-crisis-730847So I’ve been on the run these few weeks. Had a bit of writer’s block. I struggle with trying to provide informative prose and reporting the ongoings in my life. Today I have a bit of both. I’ve decided to return to school, seeing as I now have more than enough time and with my low income, I can qualify for Financial Aid (again, thank you Mr. Bush for wrecking the economy). I digress. At any rate, I returned to school but I’m taking baby steps. I enrolled in my local community college to take an Economy class in preparation for an MBA program. (Great time to take such a class in this economic climate; almost information overload). Again, I digress. Since COBRA was ridiculously expensive, I’ve been consulting WebMD, Google for home remedies, and my BFF- a nurse for my healthcare concerns. By the grace of God, I’ve incurred no serious health issues but school has provided another ray of hope: Student Health benefits. Jackpot baby! Although there’s no acute care, I at least have access to a physician or PA and can now get prescription filled on the cheap. Alas, now I can GET a prescription!

Now, as I was writing this, the new Stimulus package passed (Yes, it took me that long) which includes money for Cobra subsidies! Apparently, people that were laid off as of December have access to discount Cobra. The Government will shoulder 65% of Cobra cost, which is truly a blessing with Cobra being so expensive. Sadly, healthcare was one of the first things I abandoned when I was laid off. So buck up little champs, there’s still hope for living healthy & fabulous while unemployed! As for us that were put out of the workplace prior to December, there’s always school.

Cheers.

Change Is Here!

I’m feeling like Oprah these days, how did I get here, again? During the Turkey Day and New Year 5 week Foodapalooza, I packed on a good 15 pounds!  Hopefully it’ll take only that amount of time to get it off.

Speaking of Oprah, I took granny’s advice and watched the episode she harrassed me for two days over. I’d tivo’d it and watched it much later, and as usual, Granny was on point.  The episode was an ‘I Hate My Job Intervention.’ I initially thought it a tad too late since I’ve been laid off since June, but, I found it to be an eye opener; even for the unemployed. The short version: Op’ and various  women participated in a workshop to identify why they hated their jobs, which led them to realize what they really wanted. For some it was to focus on areas of the job they loved or excelled and for others it  was recalling their passion and switching careers totally. The exciting thing was the tools they used to identify the likes, the loathes; failures, and where they excelled. I believe before going back to the workplace, us enemployed and fabulous need to take a look at this show and utilize some of the tools provided on Oprah.com to figure out what we really want in a career. What’s the point of going back to the same career if you were miserable before the layoff? Perhaps you mentally quit the job before you were fired? Do you really want to feel trapped at that cubicle again? Or is it possible to use this time off to identify your needs, desires, and be fearless in going after what you really want? Times are rough but lets choose hope over fear (thanks Mr. President) .

Below are links to the resources provided by Oprah.com

Session overview:

Workbook:

Be Fearless

For weeks now I’ve been trying to figure out what to write. Looking for the best self help or job/employment related topic and you know what, I came up with nothing. But in the wee hours of the night I kept hearing ‘be fearless.’ Folks, it’s a new year and shit’s not gonna change unless we take some risks, janky economy or not. So you know what, it’s gut check time; balls out this year. Whatever it is you want to do with your life to change its course for the better, do that shit. NOW. Fear is so 2008. The economy had us scared. Losing our jobs had us scared. Politics had us shook. It’s 200mine (<- borrowed that one) and if you have any faith in God, you better know that success has already been awarded, so walk in it. Speak it. It’s week two into the new year and many of us have already forgot about the resolutions we made on a half drunken New Year’s eve. Many of us have cuddled up with that old friend, fear. If you’re going to lose weight, switch up jobs, travel, get rid of that mate, start a business, quit doing whatever or start doing whatever; stop being fearful and do that shit! As Katt Williams said, you gotta be in tune with your star player, which is you. Now, I’m taking my fat ass to my first spin class cause fat is not fabulous.

Cheers.

Have You No Pride?

I love my blackberry. Seriously, I’m laid up sipping root beer, fighting off the notion to toss my cookies as I write this. No, the Unemployed and Fabulous is not knocked up, just a smidge under the weather. My grandmother isn’t making it any better by calling to instruct me to watch Oprah because something noteworthy will be featured; but not today, tomorrow, but watch it now because they may mention it; “something about how to keep a job and something you can do for free to improve myself. ” Sheesh.

018_82560pimpin-postersI have found something free I can do to improve myself. I’ve been on the job hunt for a minute now, and  early into this process I took notice of the number of companies out there pimpin’, technically put, employing interns. I was thinking, no wonder I’m not getting hired; they’re gettin’ it for free. That’s some shullbit! I can’t work for free, I’m passed that stage.  Six months later, the tide has turned and I’m now thinking, an internship might be the way to go? I talked to a few other unemployed and fabulous people, and they too have realized the glory of an internship. To hell with pride!

The internship offers many benefits. Not only is it a way to get into a company and develop new skill sets (without adding to your debt by returning to school) but it allows you the ability to remain relevant in your field, transition into a new field and do so with relevant work experience; develop business contacts and network with others in the field; learn the culture of an industry and a company–that dream job may be a nightmare; secure a job reference in a new field, etc. Think of an internship as an investment; when the market opens up, you’ll be able to cash in.  At the end of the day businesses rely on interns to fill vacancies. If you’re on point, you’re already in position. Think about it.

You can locate an internship on job boards just like you would a 9 to 5, only this time, instead of snubbing the internships, perhaps you’ll investigate them a bit further. As usual, I suggest Craigslist for finding an internship for non students.

Cheers!

Eat. Drink. See. Be Merry.

Nothing like the holidays and now, confirmed recession, to remind you of your joblessness. No company holiday party and no excess funds to blow this year. Bah Humbug you say.  Well buck up little champ, hopefully these three events can render a little holiday cheer for those of us in the LA area.

Let’s party with a purpose. The great people of pinkslipmixers have crafted an ingenious networking/job hunting soiree, Pinks Slipped Mixers 2.0. Its a happy hour mixer full of fellow pink slippers, soon to be pink slipped, recruiters, and others with the word on the street for employment.  Not only do you get to do sell yourself over discount drinks and whore dourves but you can get others to instantly pimp your skill sets too, using twitter and linkedIn accounts from their cell phones.  Its like speed dating but for employment.
Register at http://pinkslip.collectivex.com/main/summary to get full rundown and the invite to the next event.

coles1Let’s keep the party going.  Be the first to check out downtown LA’s  newly rennovated Cole’s. The historic eatery known as the originator of the French Dip sandwich, will host two events that agree with  both your stomach and your wallet this weekend.  75 cent Dewars drinks til 11pm on Friday and Saturday you can afford a few drinks with sandwiches, sides, and desserts for a buck. Can’t beat that during the recession.
Contact Cole’s directly for more info. 118 E. 6th St, Downtown Los Angeles; 213. 622. 4090

Keep it going until Thursday, December 11th, from 7 to 9pm, come see the  BCBG and DKNY fashion show inside the Impulse Department at Macy’s. There you can be merry as you witness the exclusive show and indulge in food and drink along with giveaways and other freebies. We love free. Stay away from their shoe department– back I say, back! Rsvp by December 9th and receive free Valet Parking. Again, we loooove free.

la-times-macys-ad

 RSVP to info@daisylewellyn.com

Macy’s @ Westfield Fashion Square 14006 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks

Cheers!

Don’t Call It A Comeback

 

 

 

 

layaway1I know I’ve been MIA but have a heart, my long distance love has moved to this side of the hemisphere, so I was kind of boo’d up for a minute. Additionally, the drug trial study meds I’ve been taking to help combat my ADD, seem not to be working so well, I think I’m on the placebo at this point. But now that I’m on furlough from my love lockdown, I’m focused and I’ve got some interesting finds to share with my fellow unemployed and fabulous. And after hearing the good news about the extension of your unemployment benefits, you can live a little and cease the nail biting a while as you wait to land your next gig. But before you go wasting your little bit of dough and charging up your credit card on Black Friday, consider this: you’re broke. Most American’s are, so you’re in good company but instead of increasing the balance on your credit card, think about putting your purchases on layaway. Yes, people, layaway is back! Layaway has been resurrected because we’re broke and our credit ratings have dwindled while our credit balances have continued to creep up. Retailers know it, so take advantage. Feeling embarrassed about layaway? Well there are online layaway outlets too! There you can select your product and choose your own payment terms.  

Can’t wait to pay off the layaway and need instant gratification? Well at least get a discount on your purchases. Another discovery I made, while Googling for a Wing Stop coupon, was the wonderful world of coupon codes. God smiled on me that night and led me to a coupon code for five free wings! Perhaps it’s just me but I love getting stuff for free or on the cheap, so I explored this world of couponing a bit further and found it’s not a Sunday paper thing anymore. There are sites for coupons and coupon codes for almost any purchase; electronics, clothes, travel, home improvement, dental work, yada, yada, yada.

 

Enjoy some savings from the sites I’ve located and while you’re out, ask your favorite retailer if they now offer layaway. I know, there’s nothing sexy about leaving the layaway line but good credit is.  Take notes, toots!

 

 

Online layaway outlets & popular retailers offering layaway:

 

https://lay-away.com/

http://www.elayaway.com/way.com

Burlington Coat Factory

Marshall’s & TJ Maxx

Sears

Kmart

KB Toy Store

 

Coupon Code websites:

 

http://www.bargainist.com/ coupons, deals, freebies, etc.

http://www.retailmenot.com/

http://www.currentcodes.com/

http://www.couponcodes4u.com/

http://www.coupondropper.com/: message board for new coupon codes

http://www.couponcabin.com/

 

Holidays Are Here And You Don’t Have A Job

Yes, the holiday’s are upon us and you don’t have a job, no biggie. I’ve discovered another way to generate some revenue to get gifts for the important ones in your life. VenJuvo, a company that specializes in trade in services for electronics, and Sears (yes, I said Sears) have teamed up for a trade for credit program. You can trade in electronics for a Sears gift card worth the value of your product.  This could mean hundreds of dollars if you have good stuff. Word on the street is they really appreciate iPods, first generation iPhones, and digital cameras but they’ll take other items as well. Simply follow these instructions:

Step 1: Log onto http://www.sears.trade4credit.com and select your item

Step 2: Enter the specific details of your electronic item (memory, condition, accessory details) to calculate the item’s estimated trade-in value

Step 3: Print out the prepaid mailing label, package the electronic item and mail it to VenJuvo

Step 4: VenJuvo validates the electronic item and its value upon receipt

Step 5: If validated, you will collect your Sears gift card. A gift card will be issued within three business days from receipt of the item.

For more information about the VenJuvo and Sears Trade4Credit program, visit http://www.sears.trade4credit.com .

If you’re a techinista like myself, you have plenty of gadgets that you no longer use or never quite figured out how to use, or you’re simply over. Perhaps this is just me, but I can stand to part with some of the hi-tech stuff I own, like one of the three iPods I rarely use. Yes, I’m a hoarder! For those that scoff at Sears, did we learn nothing from the great Ross shoe come up? Don’t knock it. And if you don’t care to purchase gifts for yourself or others from Sears you can always put that card toward  tires, brakes, or other car services at the Sears Automotive Center.

It’s OK to Shop

Ladies, my apologies for the untimely blog.  I had far too much fun drinking during the day with my slightly employed girlfriend, which rendered me too exhausted to post last week’s treat, but here it is. Enjoy!

Life without a 9 to 5  has caused me to become much more frugal with my spending but it hasn’t cured me of the shopping bug. I may be job challenged but I continue to do my part to stimulate the economy. I’ve learned that a true shopper will make it happen anywhere.  I happen to fall fabulously into that category. It was a learned behavior though. Long ago, one of my bestfriends tought me that labels don’t give way to style. It’s gotta be in you. Just like name brand food items don’t necessarily make the food good; you still have to work your magic. And ladies, I make magic in the kitchen and the closet!

I’ll share with you three places that continue to make my life fabulous: Ross, Buffalo Exchange, and the 99cent Only Store. Get familiar.

Ross: I copped 4 pairs of heels for under 80 bucks! Ok, 2 pairs were birthday gifts, but I still had to make it work on a $50 budget (Thanks Ms. Bates!). I made it out with two pairs of heels for under $50. The deals were so bananas, I spent 17 bucks on another shoe gift to myself and returned two days later and found another pair for 22 bucks!  I can’t explain it any further. I had to capture it in pictures.

Chinese Laundry $17

Chinese Laundry $17

Carlos Santana $24

Carlos Santana $24

BCBG $16

BCBG $16

Marc Fisher $22

Marc Fisher $22

Buffalo Exchange: Here’s the deal, if you’re a stylish girl, someone should want your stuff and Buffalo Exchange is just the place to hawk it. So prune your closet and peddle your wares, sister. Unload your undesirables at Buffalo Exchange or any other trade spot (Crossroads, Wasteland, or a consignment shop). Get cash or store credit, which allows you more shopping or gas money. Either one is a come up. Whatever they don’t take, try Ebay or Craigslist. I suggest merchandizing the product if you’re gonna sell it online. Be philanthropic; whatever doesn’t sale, donate it and be sure to get a receipt. It may be helpful during tax time.

99 Cent Only: I’m a confessed foodie so I’ll be damned if I eat cup-a-noodles, even during these lean times. I don’t care what my pockets are like, I’m not eating like jailhouse- bread and water. A girl’s gotta eat and I do so well. While buying my cheap tissue, I discovered the 99cent store has food. And good food like fresh fruit and veggies, REAL BUTTER, frozen seafood, exotic seasonings and sauces (mango chutney!); my favorite 5 minute Gumbo starter kit by Zatarans, turkey bacon, Pellegrino mineral water, salads in a bag and not just iceburg lettuce, olives- good for a mid-day martini (a cocktail in the daytime is acceptable when you don’t have a job, as long as it doesn’t become a coping skill). They even have soy milk, regular milk, fresh pasta, sour dough bread; I could go on forever. Bottomline, you can now afford to eat well, even if you have to make it yourself.  The key to 99 Cent store grocery shopping is to buy only what you’ll eat in the near future. Items like fruit and veggies may not make it past five days. The money you’ll save will afford you an occasional restaurant outting.

Hope you all find this info helpful. I’m sure some of you employed people  will find  today’s tips practical for your pocketbook too. Now excuse me, I’m gonna go and make lunch for myself: grilled shark, sauted baby spinach, with a sliced tomato and red onion salad; all compliments of the 99cent store.  Now go, shop!

Cheers.

Craigslist. Get Hip

After almost cussing out my bestfriend for sending me one of those bored at work emails, again, I felt inspired to give you occupationally unattached folks a little something today. Say what you will but I think being unemployed can be fabulous if done right.

The great Impressionist era artist Claude Monet said during his loafing years:
“Subsistence is one thing, comfort is something else.”

I agree, there’s no reason to be uncomfortable while unemployed if you know how to be creative with your resources and you get decent unemployment benefits. At this point I’d rather be fabulously unemployed than held hostage in a cubicle trying to eek out a subsistence in this dodgy economy. 

My uncle told me, as I was preparing for my Rockband Birthday soiree last Friday, I make unemployment look good. As Sarah Palin would say, youre darn right!

So this week’s tip is: Craigslist. It’s your friend. 

Of course you can forage for employment there but you can also earn quick cash.

You likely overlook it, but the ETC and GIGs sections are where it’s at.

  • ETC: Hosts a hodge podge of jobs but the best things going are focus groups and market research studies. Jackpot baby! You get cold hard cash and sometimes a check to give your opinion on things you’re qualified to discuss. Videogame fanatic? Beauty product hoarder? Have  a double door Kenmore refrigerator? Get paid!  There are loads of market research companies that want to pay you for your experience with these things and many more. Feeling a little more dicey? Participate in a medical study for issues like Depression, back pain, ADD, etc. You likely have no insurance, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Free medical help and cash-fabulous. Or help a couple out. Donate some eggs or sperm; it pays top dollar.

 

  • GIGS: This section offers creative short term and last minute gigs like bartending a wedding reception for $200 bucks, pose for a live art display, or stand in for your local band’s drummer for cash. Bottomline, it’s fun and it pays. The opportunities are endless if you’re looking to lend your services for a short period. 

Stay tuned for the next installment. In the meantime, it’s all about Craigslist. Get hip! Email me at unemployedandfabulous@gmail.com or follow me on twitter, djgolightly

Unemployed and Fabulous!

Being pink slipped this past June, caused immediate panic over the loss of perks that having a job afforded me other than the ability to pay bills and contribute to my savings account. I slid into a lightweight depression over the little things that I think make my life fabulous: great food, a supported shopping habit, travel, and, simply put, fun.  For real, I was sent into a tizzy over the thought of, how I would afford fun? How would I continue my fabulous lifestyle of free drinking at the hot parties; taking short trips here and there; having drinks poolside wherever? How would I afford to maintain my style: that’s upkeep on hair, nails, accessories, clothes, shoes, bags, and gadgets? Did I mention shoes? I’m a confessed foodie, so how would I afford to eat? I love lunching at restaurants and preparing new dishes at home. How would I continue to do this?  What would happen when the iPhone killer comes out and my broke ass can’t get it? These are some of the things that make me, well, ME. I couldn’t go back to conventional food, weekend partying, a flip phone, and God forbid, last year’s shoes. That’s not Nitra!

 

After about a month of sulking and weeks of serious job searching; I mean serious job hunting. Seriously, I had a “work” schedule from 10-5 with an hour lunch for two weeks, which garnered zilch. I dedicated myself to the job hunt. I wouldn’t talk on the phone during “work” hours. I allowed myself a couple breaks and snuck in some blackberry messaging but I was focused. After three weeks I noticed I was in a fabulous deficit. I felt totally unfabulous. I’d lost all my fabulocity while droning away on the computer all day as if I worked in an office—a place I’ve learned to despise. Luckily I have friends who are no strangers to periods of forced and willing unemployment. When I’d hit my low, which resulted in anger because all of my unemployment was going towards bills, and self pity because no one was responding to my constantly tweaked resume; my friends stepped in and put me on to a few things, which I’ll share with you.  

 

My girls were amazing! Let me share some of their wisdom.

 

  • I learned that you could put your car note on hold for a few months if you were current on your payments.

Two months of not paying a car note eased the depression and left me with a little cash to save and indulge in much needed fun.

 

  • I learned not to pay the entire utility bill. 

One friend asked me why I was paying my entire utility bill when I could simply “put something on it.” How brazen!

 

  • I learned to apply for discounted utility service.  

Utility companies have discounted programs for low income residents, which I now qualify for thanks to a significantly reduced income. *Request an extension; every month until the discount program kicks in if you’re really balsy. 

 

  • Payment Protection is your friend.

I remembered the extra four bucks I’d been paying on my credit cards for Payment Protection, in which the company pays a little more than your minimum payment for six months to a year while you’re unemployed. *The credit card is now for emergencies not shoes.

 

  • Request a student loan deferment due to unemployment.

I deferred my student loans but agreed to pay the interest during the deferment period. I didn’t want the balance to increase because of interest. With extra credit card money to spread around, why not be fiscally responsible?

 

With the janky economy and pink slips being handed out everywhere, it seems like no one is safe. Fortunately with all this downtime, I’ve crafted quite a few ways to make money and maintain life in the fab lane without being employed, which I’ll share with you. Feel free to send me your creative (legal) money making or spend thrift ideas to unemployedandfabulous@gmail.com.