Monthly Archives: May 2010

Know Your Money: Six Basic Tips


Image courtesy of becomingfinanciallysavvy.com/

While we’re certainly not experts like Mellody Hobson or Michelle Singletary, we have picked up a few tips along the way from financially savvy friends of ours that we thought we’d share with you.

1) Between The Sheets…Spreadsheets, that is: If you don’t want to spend $100 on Quickbooks software, try using Microsoft Excel (for Mac or a PC) to create spreadsheets that capture your expenses, income and savings. Microsoft has all sorts of free templates that you can download online. The great thing about them is that they come preloaded with formulas so all you have to do is input your information.

2) To Invest or Not To Invest…That Is The Question: If the extent of your investment knowledge is “buy low sell high” then chances are you’ll appreciate the recommendation to read this book titled “The Little Book That Beats The Market” by Joel Greenblatt. A mentor recommended this book and it’s fabulous. It’s a short, easy read that breaks down investing into the basics. Think of it as finance for non-financials. Flag and highlight the pages so you can easily refer back to the information when you need it.

3) Finance and Cheese: Too often we get together with our girlfriends to share the latest dish on men, work, family drama etc. But when was the last time you got together specifically to learn from one another? If you ask around, chances are you have at least one good girlfriend who majored in finance. So for your next gathering of the girls, make it a “Finance & Cheese” night. Ask your financially savvy girlfriend to be the guest of honor, solicit questions from your guests in advance and provide them to your financially savvy girlfriend so that she can prepare in advance for the gathering. Pop a bottle of good wine, lay out some wonderful cheeses and voila! Instant lunch and learn…or dinner and learn.

4) Direct Your Direct Deposit: In most cases you can have your direct deposit go to multiple accounts. Try setting yours up so that a specified sum of money goes into an interest bearing savings account every two weeks before you even get to see it. It will force you to be disciplined enough to live off less.

5) Set Goals:  Experts used to say you should have 3-6 months worth of salary saved up. Now that the economy is rough, most experts say you should have at least a year of living expenses saved up. This of course requires getting diligent about paying yourself first. While you’re doing this, consider making some head way on other financial goals too like paying off all of your credit cards or consolidating your student loans.

6) One and Done: ATMs are simultaneously a blessing and a curse. The good thing about them is that they make it convenient to get money when you need it. The bad thing about them…is that they make it convenient to get money when you don’t need it. Easiest way to curb your ATM habit is to decide in advance how much “mad money” you need for two week. Get that money from the ATM in one lump sum and don’t visit the ATM again until your two week time period is up. If you have money left over by the time you reach your two week mark then that’s an indication that you took out too much. Adjust your withdrawal for the next time around.

Do you have some money tips to share? Feel free to do so by posting a comment below.

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The Vyne Movie Review: Just Wright


It seems like ever since the late nineties, we’ve all been craving for that next great romantic love story to knock us off our feet the way Love Jones and Love & Basketball did. About a week ago I went to see “Just Wright” with Vyne contributor Gigi of the Yummy Librarian. While neither of us said it, we were both secretly hoping to be swept away by loving, sappy one-liners weaved throughout a hopelessly romantic plot. So we grabbed our popcorn and vitamin waters and settled in.

I’ll spare you the suspense and say that I “liked” the film. I didn’t “love” it. I didn’t “hate” it. I “liked” it. I thought Common, with his chiseled basketball player bod, did a good job playing the unexpected good guy/leading man. Likewise, the always stunning Paula Patton succeeded in plucking my last nerve as the shallow, self-absorbed cousin to Queen Latifah’s leading lady character, Leslie Wright.

While I think Queen Latifah is an extraordinarily talented musician/songstress and a well above average actress, something about the chemistry between her and Common’s character just didn’t work for me. And I wanted it to…I really wanted it to. The romantic scenes had potential but the lack of chemistry between her and Common left me and Gigi unsatisfied and at times, dare I say, wishing they would have chosen someone else for the leading lady role.

Now, will I still be buying this movie when it comes out on DVD to add to my collection, yes of course. But as for a rating, “Just Wright” gets 2 out of 4 berries from The Vyne.

Did you check out this movie? If so, let us know what you think.

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RIP: Gary Coleman Dies at 42


We’re saddened to hear that Gary Coleman, the actor behind the character Arnold, who we all know and love from the 70s-80s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, has passed away at the age of 42. Throughout his life, Gary had suffered from several medical issues including a kidney disease which caused him to have two kidney transplants when he was younger. Most recently, Gary had reportedly been suffering from seizures, including one he had on the set of The Insider in February. Gary died today from an intercranial hemorrhage after falling in his Utah home on Wednesday.

What tragic stories all of the kids from Diff’rent Strokes have had. Dana Plato who played Kimberly on the show committed suicide in 1999 by overdosing on prescription drugs. Gary’s on camera brother, Todd Bridges has recently shared some of his own set of issues including being molested, selling drugs, battling cocaine, and criminal charges. And beyond medical conditions, Gary’s adult life included other issues including domestic, financial and employment issues.

Though he grew to despise the phrase, we will always be fond of those famous words: “whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?” We hope now he can really Rest in Peace.

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Alicia Keys Getting Married and Expecting Baby


Photo Courtesy of Zimbio.com

We have all heard the rumors and speculation, and now it is confirmed. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats have confirmed that Alicia is indeed pregnant and they are planning a private wedding. Check out the article on Essence here.

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Sex and the City 2 Pop-up Boutique


By Kailei Richardson

Did you ever wonder what happens with all of the designer clothes that celebrities wear? Think about it: they are in the public eye all of the time and are expected to wear the latest and greatest from the world’s top designers. We don’t really see them being caught by the paparazzi with a piece from two seasons ago, do we? So who gets those clothing? Christos Garkinos and Cameron Silver’s  store, DecadesTwo is one of those places. They get clothing from not only celebrities, but also fashionistas and PR agencies in not only their Los Angeles boutique, but they also create pop-up stores all over the world. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending their pop-up store in New York, where they made over a Chelsea condo in the theme of Sex and the City 2 and filled each closet with designer clothing in the theme of one of the characters of the movie. The entire chic condo had more designer clothing as Fashion Week (I’m talking Chanel, Lanvin, Yves St. Laurent, and the likes). And ladies, let me tell you about the shoe room. Imagine an entire bedroom with nothing else but rows of Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Fendi, Gucci, and Prada shoes.

Since this was a pop-up consignment boutique, some of the items had been gently worn, but many of the pieces still had original tags. How deep were the discounts? To give you an idea, vintage Coco Chanel suits that are worth over $5000 were $1500, $3000 Fendi boots seen on the runway were $800, and there were even some Manolos and Louboutins for $200-220 (retailing between $800-1250). On top of all that, the entire boutique was an extra 20% off and they gave out a $100 gift card for HauteLook with every purchase. I splurged on a Lanvin ruffle blouse that was about 65% off, but with the $100 gift card it was like it was 80% off. So let’s just say I was in heaven.

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Spotlight On: Daisy Lewellyn


By JaSaun Buckner

Lauren “Daisy” Lewellyn is the queen of effortless chic, and author of the new book, Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart Spend Less Look Your Best Ever. Daisy has the astute ability to turn looks from the runway into reality for the everyday woman.  Early style inspiration hit Daisy from her grandmothers on both sides of her family-tree while growing up in sunny southern California.  Her love of fashion continued to flourish while attended college on the east coast and traveled abroad as a young fashionista with a burgeoning career in New York City. Daisy is not shy about giving credit to the excellent grooming and experience she attained at Howard University and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology along with key mentors while working at Glamour, In Style, and Essence Magazines.  Daisy says, “I learned so much during my days at Glamour & In Style working with tons of designers and real women with busy lives.” Daisy’s dazzling persona has also helped to expand her career onto a variety of platforms. Daisy spreads tips and tricks about fashion, beauty and style over the radio airwaves, online, and television (of course)!
Daisy admits that translating her passion and personality into print for the book was a slight obstacle early on, “I had to really make sure that my personality and voice were not lost when placed on paper in black ink.  I wanted my book to be very colorful, upbeat, and funny…like me.” In just three months time, Daisy poured herself into the process of completing the book. Passion motivated her drive to stay disciplined, which sometimes meant politely turning down social invitations from friends and family. The dedication and hard work really paid off; Never Pay Retail Again, published by Simon & Schuster was released on May 4 and featured on Good Morning America.   Daisy’s goal for Never Pay Retail Again is for women to, “feel like they learned something new that can boost the 3 S’s: their self esteem, style, and savings.”

Ladies always want to know where to find good deals on designer labels and, also to get invited to sample sales.  Never Pay Retail Again is right on time because, being in debt has never looked good on anyone.  Daisy provides readers of Never Pay Retail Again with a healthy compromise between both worlds of shopping and saving.  Daisy educates women on how to take their personal style and their budget and create looks that allow them to feel their best by suggesting that women wear clothing that do the following:
1. Flatter Your Body type
2. Work For Your Lifestyle
3. Suit Your Personal Style
4. Are Inspiring to You.

Currently Daisy is promoting her new book and keeping her website and blog updated daily with latest in fashion, beauty, & lifestyle as well as career advice.

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Spotlight On: Viola Davis


Viola Davis

Name: Viola Davis

Born: On her Grandmothers farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina but raised by her parents in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Education: B.A. in Fine Arts and an Honorary Doctorate both from Rhode Island College; Graduate of the Julliard School

Family Affair: Is one of three daughters to Dan and Marry Davis; Married to fellow actor Julius Tennon; They have two children from Julius’ previous relationship.

On the Big Screen: While she has appeared in several acclaimed films she is most known for her work on stage. A few of her films include, “Traffic”, “Antwone Fisher”, “Syriana”, “Nights in Rodanthe”, “Law Abiding Citizen”, and last years blockbuster, “Doubt”. This year she will be staring in the screen adaptation of “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts.

On the Small Screen: Viola has held several reoccurring roles on shows like Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Criminal Intent and most recently, The United States of Tara.

On the Stage: She is currently starring alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of “Fences” for which she was recently nominated for a Tony Award

Fun Fact: Viola and her husband met on the set of the short-lived medical drama, “City of Angels.” He was a single father from Texas who decided to try acting later than usual and the rest is history.

Accolades: Tony Award Winner for her work in the play “King Hedley II”; Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe Nominee for her work in the film “Doubt”; Winner Africa American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Quotable: Viola is a 15 year veteran in the acting world. She had this to say about casting directors who still think in narrow racial stereotypes,

“When I graduated from Julliard, I remember thinking that there was no difference between me and any other student in the school; I wanted to do what they were doing. I want to do what Meryl Streep is doing….[W]hen you see black movies, they’re always urban and funny, with pretty much the same actors, which is not a bad thing. The travesty is when you’re not that: I don’t speak ebonics. I’m too old to be a homegirl. I’m not funny like that—sitcom, WB-UPN funny. So if I’m not that, then sometimes to the acting community you can be considered nothing, as opposed to being a wide range of things.

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