Just call me Fine & Frugal!

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When I was between the age of 18-23, everything had to be designer and name brand! I was so materialist because everything and everyone around me was too! Behind the scenes, I was struggling in an abusive relationship because I wanted to hold on to this expensive lifestyle. I turned a blind eye and allowed more than what I should have because he took me shopping. 

When things got to a breaking point and I did decide to leave him, there was nothing! I came back “home” with 2 suitcases filled with designer clothes, no car and an empty soul! I tried to keep up the lie for a while because I didn’t want anyway to think I fell off! It’s hard to maintain a lifestyle when you are taking the bus! Yes, It’s like you are trying to keep up with living a double life! It took a few humbling experiences for me to totally change my perspective on what was really important. One of those experiences was dating a man with a half-broken down car and no A/C! That man is now my husband. 

It’s amazing to me that throughout the years, I was only chasing after ballers. When I look back, I realized they were never chasing after me. When I met my husband, he just graduated from college with no money but we got along so well. I loved his personality and intelligence. He spoke about his goals and what steps he was taking to further his career. He offered me a lot of advise on building from the ground up, having good credit and saving your money. I started to look at life different because someone saw something in me that I did not see in myself.

At this point, I decided to sell all of my designer items. I put them on an auction website and listed some at a local consignment shop. When it was all said and done, I probably made 30% back of what I originally paid. This was called the depreciation value and current market price. It was definetly an eye opener! I couldn’t believe that I was working in retail and never noticed this. After that, I said that I will never pay full price for anything again! 

After figuring out how to use my employee discounts plus the sales to my advantage, I became hooked! As the founder of #wifemotherhustler @mrs_tahirah and #momtrepreneur I strongly encourage being “Fine & Frugal”. There are so many ways to look expensive without spending a ton of money! Personally, I look for Cyber deals and extra percentage off days in-store. Try to stick with places that offer incentives or rewards for your purchases. Never buy ANYTHING full price! I worked in high-end retail for 10 years and “seent” some things. Today, it might be full price BUT that item will be on sale this weekend.  I like to buy end of the season clearance items for the next year. I’ve found some basement prices on items that were hundreds of dollars just 30-60 days ago! 

When I saw myself not spending as much on clothes and shoes, I was able to focus on other things more solid. Now my attention is making investments on items that offer a guaranteed return. There is nothing like being fine with a clear piece of mind!

My First Visit to St. Augustine, Florida/Fort Mose Historical Park

"Fort Mose (Florida) Established in 1738, Fort Mose was the first free black settlement in what is now the United States. Located just north of St. Augustine, Flordida"-FortMose.org

Visiting the Historical Park was an eye opener. There were so many crucial facts in African-American history that was omitted in school and I was completly unaware of. 

Please click the link below to check out my amazing tour:

 

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, constructed in 1672. 

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The marsh land behind me was once a part of the community

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Of course, one of the best parts about St. Augustine is their beautiful beaches.

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Catch 27, located in Downtown St. Augustine(Historic Old City) has locally caught seafood that is prepared daily from scratch.

pictured: Caesar Salad w/Shrimp

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pictured:Deviled Egg BLT w/Southern Fried Oyster

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pictured: Fish Sandwich

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The Historic Downtown St. Augustine had a vintage feel with modern restaurants and local shops. The area reminded me of a more laid back version of New Orleans and The French Quarter. 

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What do you REALLY get your man for Fathers Day?

With Fathers Day quickly approaching, ladies sometimes get stuck trying to figure out what to get their men. Mothers Day is a pretty easy holiday because every where you turn, there are clear signs guiding you along the way. 

When the man is head of household, women sometimes feel that they cannot be financially full filling to his needs in comparison to hers. For a woman who is ready to drop some serious cash, their men say "I dunno know, you don't have to get me anything". Either way the two are stuck and the man ends up feeling left out because we can't get it right. 

Being that it is my husbands second Fathers Day, I reached out to a friend for a little help this year. 

Personal Stylist, Kris Shelby, graduated from the Art Institute with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. The New Orleans native sat down with me last week to give a few personal tips on what to look for when shopping for our guys. 

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Q: "What are some overall trends for men in this upcoming summer season"?

A: "I think guys are going for the European look these days. I've been seeing a lot of guys wearing tapered jeans, tapered chinos...loafers, no socks. They are having fun with colors and colorful shirts; guys are not afraid to put colors in prints. Paisley and stripes. Men are wearing a lot of accessories, scarves and bracelets as well.

Q: "What is a great gift that could last year round" 

A: "if he likes baseball caps, get him a fedora or golf hat. If he wears t-shirts all of the time, get him a dress shirt; a solid color that he can wear with everything and that's going to last. A great gift is a suit. The three main colors a man should have in his closet is grey blue and black. You can't go wrong with them and you can wear them anytime of the year".  

Q: "What are some great gift ideas that money can't buy, is it sex"?

A: "Yes, sex. A meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner. A nice outing outside, walking and exercise". 

Q: "What are your top gift ideas for Fathers Day".  

A: "Guys love shoes, cologne. A nice TV is always good for sports! More grooming pieces, clothing and food. Guys love food, clothes and anything dealing with a car. If he has a nice whip, get him something...how about floor mats with his name on it! 

Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes that women make or what is a huge "no, no" when buying a gift for a man".  

A: "Golf clubs, socks, Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts, Chino/Khakis shorts and ties"!

I want to thank Kris for his great advice because a lot of women can benefit from it, including myself! If you are needing future fashion advice for men and women, you can follow his social media @officialkrisshelby. Kris currently works for Attom, located inside The Shops at Buckhead in Atlanta Georgia! 

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