December 28, 2013

**nErDy 30**


I turned the big 3-0 last month. I must say that my 29th year of life was quite an interesting one especially at the start of 2013. I was thinking wow I’d be turning 30 this year on New Year’s Day and that’s when I was like ‘Sh#t, I’d be turning 30 this year’ and started freaking out.

It started a whole journey of thinking about my life and where I was at age 30. I did a lot of self-inspection and examined a lot of relationships in my life. I called it my ‘turning 30 crisis’ and it was for me. I went through a lot emotionally in 2013. I ended some relationships, focused on the ones I thought were worth it, backed off some and started some new ones. The biggest loss was losing my grandmother in August. That was the biggest blow as she was sooooooo important to me and I loved her dearly. I also started to do better health wise also by eating better and working out. I surprised myself by reducing my meat consumption, upped my veggies/whole foods even eating veggie chunks- which if you know me that’s like cutting off my own arm with a rusty, dull knife. LOL.

I feel great though. I’m not 100% of where I want to be but I’m making progress and happy for the progress I’ve made. I’m trying to be more positive and invite more positive energy into my life (Tinybuddha.com has been a big help with this).

I basically celebrated for a month and started in Jamaica, then NYC, then Dubai then back to NYC and back home. It was either I go to Dubai or buy myself a Michele watch I had my eye on for 3 years now. I decided to go to Dubai as my gift to myself and visit a dear friend. I have another expensive watch and barely wear it due to it being so expensive (to me it’s very expensive). The Michele watch was 3-4 times more expensive than that one so I knew I’d hardly wear it.

Anyhoo, here are some pictures from my birthday celebrations. ^_^

Mommy got me balloons (NYC)


Just getting to Dubai - 12 hours on Emirates. Oy!. Really nice airline.
Dubai Marina
Alicia Keys Concert (Dubai)
Desert Safari

View from Burj Khalifa- Tallest building in the world

Birthday Dinner at Tribe South African Restaurant, Mall of Emirates, Dubai



View from the Burj Khalifa
Took a boat ride at Old Dubai

Doing shisha at Club Indulge, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
Indulge Dubai

Back in NYC, celebrating Christmas early with my mom & sister. Mommy knows I’m a Hello Kitty fanatic ^_^

My first Broadway show- Chicago

Time Square on my birthday went for dinner at Blue Marina Grill at Union Square

Really yummy food at Blue Marina Grill.
Hair was taking too long to grow back and lots of damage from colouring etc so you know what.....

Eekkkk!!!!
Finished product- Big Chop o_0
Love my short hair. I think shorter hair is less stress than longer hair. ^_^
Dinner at OPA Greek Restaurant (Jamaica)
Dinner at OPA Greek Restaurant (Jamaica)

Dinner at OPA Greek Restaurant (Jamaica)



Xoxo
Ronz

December 26, 2013

Pearls & Navy

There's nothing like throwing on some pearls to class up an outfit. Lace is also such a lady-like detail.

For this outfit I paired my navy jacket with a lace skirt and added some pearls to feel more dressed up for work.

Jacket- Seamstress (old)
Inner Blouse- Rainbow (US$5)
Skirt- Got this at Burlington Coat Factory, sale (US$19.99)
Shoes- Nine West, sale TJ Maxx (US$27 )
Xoxo
Ronz

December 23, 2013

Finances- start now & every little counts

I am not wealthy by monetary terms but I meet my obligations somehow. I think I’m good with money but we can always be better. I have made do with what I have. I have not always earned much as I would like to but I’ve made it work. I’m not in debt and I am looking at how I’m going to really plan for retirement & start some serious savings now that I’m 30.
I’ve always had the entrepreneurial bug. In high school I started selling little potpourri & scented candle packages, then in college beaded jewellery to make a little pocket money. Being raised by a single parent, I never ever did like to pressure my father for money. I tried to hustle and saved as much of my lunch money as I could. My father used to call me the “Black Jew”. ^_^.
My love for money and to learn how to make money make money helped me choose my major in college to do Finance. I originally signed up for Accounting but changed to Finance. It just fascinates me. I’ve been working in the financial industry from high school as most of my summer jobs were at a financial institution. Now I am the Treasury Manager at an investment company.

I thought I’d share a bit with you all:
·         Start now!
Don’t worry that you’re too old or you should have started sooner, the point is to START. Start small if you think you can’t do the recommended 10% -20%monthly of your salary. What you could do is to increase the pension contribution at your company, that way it comes out before it’s taxed and you can’t touch it unless you leave before the vested period.
 If you have a means of making extra money, try and use that to save.
One important note is that if you do have debt, focus on reducing the debt as the return on your savings/investment may be less than the interest rate charged.
Start by even saving just your lose change and get a piggy bank. It will add up.

·         Track your expenses

This is a very important step. Most of us know how much we earn, but do we really know how much we spend especially on little things and certain categories of expenses such as utilities and groceries. If we have nothing left in our account by the end of the month, then yes we do know we spent everything. It’s amazing sometimes when I add up everything for some things how much I really spend.

You can write it down or use a spreadsheet; or use the memo pad or an app on your phone. Track every single thing- if you tipped someone, if you gave the beggar on the road some money, MAKE NOTE OF IT!!!!!.

It’s in examining our spending habits that we can see where we can make cuts and save more especially if you can’t earn more. I also have a spreadsheet to have a visual of my major and recurring expenses so that it isn’t a surprise and you can make adjustments. For instance, I have my car insurance yearly in March; I have parties I want to go to in June-July & December, lots of birthday dinners & gifts to get in October, my own birthday in November, Christmas gifts in December & my mother’s birthday in July. I can see that some months are heavier than others and some lighter. In the lighter months I try to save up for the months that are heavier.

I cannot stress how important this is. To really see trends, I’d recommend doing tracking strictly for 3 months. I’ve been doing this for years and find it’s quite


·         Budgeting

After you track your expenses for a while you will see how much on average you spend on groceries, for instance, and budget that amount monthly. Then categorize your expenses and budget accordingly. You can examine ways to cut back or reduce your bills. For instance, to reduce your electric bill you can plug things out when they are not in use or use energy saving bulbs. To reduce your grocery bill, you could buy in bulk with a friend or use coupons. Try googling ways to save money and also how make money online for instance.



I will stop here and post another time about investing and other money matters. I don’t want to overwhelm you as I could go on and on. ^_^.


Xoxo
Ronz

Here are a few articles I’d like to share for further reading:

December 13, 2013

Leggings: friend or foe?

I am ‘bottom heavy’ to say the least, so when the leggings trend hit the fashion world I wasn’t too keen on them. Not to mention the printed ones. Leggings really though is just long tights- as with many things in fashion, it's just a twist on a previous trend. I am pretty wide and didn’t think I leggings were for me as I don’t like clothes that are that fitted and accentuate all my curves and I mean all of them.
I did buy the plain ones and felt comfortable wearing them with long tops that cover my butt at least. Like Kourtney Kardashian, I have to “CTC” (Cover the Camel). I don’t want to look like the Prancerise Lady with a huge camel toe.
It took me a while to be brave enough to wear leggings not to mention wearing printed ones. I loved the tribal prints and kept seeing girls wearing them and after a while I bought one. I went to AGACI in Sawgrass Mills and the store clerk had on a pair. My mother suggested that I get one too as she looked good in it & they were sold in the store (there is something to store employees wearing clothes sold at the store- living mannequins). First off I was like, I’m bigger than her, it might not look so cute on me but she insisted and even bought a pair for herself. To my surprise they actually stretched enough to fit -thank God for stretch material, as they also help to keep everything in check ;).
The moral of the story is don’t wear something because it’s the thing to wear now but wear what you are comfortable in. On the other hand, sometimes we have to go a little outside of our comfort zone.
Well I kind of was still in my comfort zone as I wore a long top ^_^.

Conclusion: Leggings are a friend if you are comfortable in them.
Wore this to a Retro party YUSH 2012. Thought I looked the part, kind of a 80s Dancehall look.

Boots- Nine West
Leggigs- AGACI
Top-Old Navy
Clutch- ASOS
Accessories- Charlotte Russe (necklace) & Manhattan Jewelry Wholesales


  Xoxo
Ronz

November 1, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness

Happy November everyone!!! It's my favourite month of the year.....my birthday is this month!!!! ^_^.

October just ended and it was the Breast Cancer Awareness month. The aim is to raise awareness to reduce the stigma of the disease through education as well as to raise funds in an effort to find a cure and treatments. We can raise awareness not just in October however. So here's my bit.


The recommended age for even starting to do mammograms, etc was 40 but these days there are an increasing amount of women being diagnosed with cancer below age 40.

It's very important to do breast self-exams. Early detection is so important as it increases your chances of successfully beating cancer. You can find many videos online on how to do a self-exam. It's important to just do it so that you are familiar with your breasts so that you can tell when something is different. Here's one link you can try: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6wpOnf2ORg .


Do your mammograms and breast self-exams if you have a history of the diseases in your family.

Did you know that drinking a lot of alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer? Compared with non-drinkers, women who drink alcoholic beverages are at increased risk. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Risk for those who consume 2 to 5 drinks daily is increased by about 1½ times normal.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women.
Exposure to certain environmental substances and conditions may also increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Currently there is conflicting evidence regarding the risk of environmental exposure to organochlorines (some exert a weak estrogenic effect), tobacco smoke, as well as night shift work. Research is ongoing in these and other areas of our current environment with potential for effecting breast cancer risk.


This is no joke and as women need to take this seriously. Look at Angelina Jolie- her mother died of the disease and she made the brave decision to remove both her breasts. We all aren't big movie stars with lots of money nor have to go to such extremes but there are things that we can do such as breast exams, mammograms, drink less alcohol, etc. For more information please visit:
http://qap.sdsu.edu/screening/breastcancer/facts.html

Xoxo
Ronz

October 29, 2013

German connection

I love this mustard skirt. I started the outfit selection with the skirt, then chose the red jacket, then needed an inner blouse and chose this black one. I kept thinking what is red, yellow and black... It wasn't until doing this post and googling the colours did I realize that they were the colours in the German flag. Go figure! My mother went to Germany couple years ago and said the countryside was so beautiful.


I wanted to not wear black shoes with the outfit so upon looking at my collection I decided to wear my leopard flats. My feet wear hurting also from working out the day before so I didn't want to wear heels. 

Skirt- Seamstress (US$10)
Jacket- Agaci (US$10, sale)
Inner blouse- Rainbow (US$5)
Shoes- Merona at Target (US$25)
Xoxo 
Ronz

October 27, 2013

The Wrap Dress

As women we come in all size and shapes. What works for or looks good on one woman doesn't necessarily work or look good on another. Trends come and go, because something is trendy doesn't mean that it will work for your shape and size. For instance, the skinny jean. If you have wide hips and are top heavy, these jeans will make you appear bigger as there isn't much of a balance. The peplum trend also is one to be cautious of if you are top & hip heavy like myself. Not all peplums are created equally and some hit too high up and make me look sooo top heavy. 

I digress, so on to my point. The wrap dress is a type of dress, that no matter what size or shape you are it will flatter & accentuate the right areas. It's a must have in every woman's wardrobe.

wrap dress is a dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other, and knotting the attached ties that wrap around the back at the waist or fastening buttons. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs a woman's curves. A faux wrap dress resembles this design, except that it comes already fastened together with no opening in front, but instead is slipped on over the head. (Source:  Wikipedia)


 

This dress is especially flattering for plus size ladies. Curves for days ^_^
 
Kate Middleton wore a wrap dress for her engagement announcement. She's been pictures wearing this type of dress several times.

If it's "fit" for a princess......


The wrap dress was popularised in 1972 by Diane von F├╝rstenberg, whose designs became famous in their own right. The von F├╝rstenberg wrap dresses were knee-length with long-sleeves, made of jersey, and inspired by her divorce. Wrap dresses achieved their peak of popularity in the mid to late 1970s, and the design has been credited with becoming a symbol of women's liberation in the 1970s. (Source:  Wikipedia)

I love Diane von Furstenberg. What an inspiration her story is. As a woman in a male dominated industry, she has held her own. She's also the current president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

dvf