Stop! Father’s day is just around the corner and you won’t believe some of these frugal tips!

Father’s day is fast approaching, in fact, it’s literally just around the corner. If you’re a last minute shopper like me, you’re probably still scrambling to find some way to make the day special for dad, and if you’re REALLY like me, you’re attempting to do it on a budget. Don’t panic, because I’ve discovered and collected lots of great ways to honor dad, without breaking the bank. Here are some frugal tips for surviving Fathers Day. You can do it

1: DIY baby!

We all know the old school “give dad a tie for father’s day and he’ll be more than happy”. But, in recent years and in light of new technology, dads are more inclined to want you to shell out the big bucks for some pricey new phone, computer or gadget.

I found one here on Shop72.com, super cheap and can't be beat!
I found one here on Shop72.com, super cheap and can’t be beat!

But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the personalization? If you’ve got little ones and a dad who’s in need of a personalized new tie, I have the perfect solution. Find a cheap tie online and grab the masking tape and markers. Your kids about to go to work.

Step One: Lay the tie out flat on some newspaper and a hard surface.

Step Two: Take your masking tape and tape off the tie in a fancy or even simplistic design.

Step Three: Hand out your non-toxic markers and let the kids get busy. They’ll scribble, draw, and go absolutely crazy.

Step Four: Remove the tape to reveal their beautiful, homemade design that Dad can wear for a lifetime.

Have a T-shirt you can spare to their creative destruction? Even better! Let the kids go wild and design something truly unique and one of a kind. Dad wT-shirt covered in masking tape. Credit goes to Smallfriendly.comill love it and you’ll enjoy the creative “mom time” you’ll have while they’re having fun.

2: Printables!

If you have a printer laying around the house, your life and Father’s Day just got a whole lot simpler. Take the time to download a few printables and print them out so you, dad and the kids can have a ball filling them out and showing them off. Take for example thisFathers-Day-Printable-shirt-tie Shop72.com “I love my dad because” print out I found over on BeautyandBedlam.com. Print these out and let the kids fill them out, then hand them into dad and make him feel extra special. After all, isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about? Making dad feel like the superhero he is? After he’s done reading them and shedding tears of joy and appreciation, hang them up on the fridge or even frame them so the little ones can one day look back on them and remember all the love they had for dad. Especially when they’re teenagers and can’t fathers-day-word-searchstand to be told no. Fun little activities like this one are one of the best ways to show your appreciation for dad without running the risk of breaking the bank. Expensive gifts are fun every now and again, but nothing beats something that’s homemade and from the heart.

Another cool printable idea is a dad word search. This fun little activity is something the entire family can take part in and you can even set up prizes for those who find the most words! Give dad a Mr. Goodbar for guessing words like BBQ, kisses and respect. Soon your household will be filled with giggles and frustrated grunts because they “swear thoughtful just isn’t on the board!” Have some fun with dad on Father’s Day to truly make it a day he won’t forget.

3: Just hang out!

Seriously, just hanging out with dad will be infinitely more valuable to him than some expensive pocket watch. The time you spend with dad now is time you’ll never get back. While the little ones are still well…little, and everything is peachy keen. And for all you supermoms out there doing this on your own, these tips are for you too. Gather up the kids, print out some fun crossword puzzles, turn on the TV and just enjoy your time together. Being a parent will be the highlight of your life. And there will come a day when your babies look back on this special day you spend with them, and want to do it all again with their own children. Start a tradition this year with Father’s Day. dad-kids-on-couch

 Our First Warehouse Sale is a Success! You won’t believe what happened!

Dane Wilkerson Shop72.com Warehouse Sale
That’s Dane from eCommerce

Our warehouse sale has been a long discussed affair that we originally thought wouldn’t even happen. But, with a little luck, a little ingenuity, and a bunch of extraordinary people, we  got it done! From memorial day onwards, shop72.com has catered to the area, offering discounts, free gifts and more, all to better serve our loyal customers and make connections with the people in our community. And it’s not over yet, our sale is still going on, so come on down to our warehouse if you’re in the Belleville area for blowout sales and killer smiles.

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Our warehouse is looking spiffy!

The much anticipated sale kicked off officially on the first of June after months of painstaking planning and setting up our humble warehouse to look its best. It’s a handsome gentleman that we had to transform in order to appeal to the masses and, after worrying about it til we were all stressed out and above the legal blood/coffee limit, we whipped it into shape. Dane, our resident eCommerce manager and Linda, our Customer Service rep, took care to arrange everything, stocking racks and shelves with products and making sure everything was price tagged and ready to go. It was a hassle for them, working all day in the hot warehouse, but never once did they complain.

The first of June rolled around a lot sooner than we anticipated though, but we were

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Things are still selling quickly.

finally able to open our doors to the masses. We posted on Facebook and Twitter, handed out flyers and discount codes in expectation for our customers arrival but, to our complete and utter surprise, people started showing up early! We couldn’t stand to turn them away, so our sale actually started a few days ahead of schedule. Customer after customer came pouring in until we really didn’t know how to accommodate them. We were so surprised—and still are! People love our housewares, chocolate fountains and shammy’s, but more than anything they’ve been all over our clothing items like our dresses, camisoles, leggings, shoes, cardigans and more. Except, instead of ordering online and waiting for it to be delivered, they took it home straight away. One woman even decided to wear a pair of our heels home, straight out of the box. This has been more than a success, we’re so excited to have our loyal customers–and friends!–showing up to hangout with us.This sale has been an extraordinary success and we can’t wait to promote bigger and better events for our customers in the future.

Summer Fashion Trends You Won’t Wanna Miss Out On!

Summer is no longer a far off, distant dream, it’s actually right around the corner for most of us here in the US. And, as the fashionista’s we know we are, if we’re not prepared we’ll find ourselves up a very specific creek without a paddle to get us home again. Summer fashion items are already trending on the the runway and even right here in our own neck of the woods. Let’s take a look at some of the most desirable, sought after trends for the upcoming season, from flirty, far-out bikini covers to rich cummerbunds for your beau; I’ll tip you off to some of the latest trends and how you can get them on the cheap. Your Summer holiday on the beach is about to get a whole lot more stylish.

Remember 2012, when the galaxy theme exploded onto the scene? Mostly thanks to tumblr, galaxy themed clothing items were all the rage and are recently coming back into circulation with the surplus of Pinterest DIY techniques. Anything with swirls and smatterings of color, bold, bright prints and neon are what the kids are asking for. And by kids, I mean the twenty somethings that can’t really afford to pay attention but somehow find the time to fill your inbox with requests for galaxy themed blog design. This season, bikini covers are especially on the rise expense wise. Even if you can afford the designer price tag, there are plenty of low cost, online options that mimic the pricer items even without meaning to. Let’s have a little comparison.

Shop72 Galaxy Bikini Cover
Lord and Taylor are killing me with their radio ads right now. Who can honestly afford their crap? I’d rather look cute and not go broke.

The bikini cover on the left is from Lord and Taylor and is a basic, boring black. It costs a whopping $54 dollars. While the cover on the right is a new item from shop72.com. It falls in line with current trends and is only $22 dollars. Half the price, double the fashion. Some people just prefer to pay for expensive, over-priced brand names, but when it comes to a flimsy piece of cloth you’re probably only going to use two or three times each  year, I say skip the name brand, no one’s going to notice if you don’t tell them. And I, for that matter, most certainly won’t. If you really want to get your bang for your buck this season, think deeply about how often you’re going to actually use an item and whether or not it’ll still be of use next year. Certain fabrics, cuts and styles don’t stand the test of time, so be extra certain that cute, $200 dollar chevron print swimsuit you’ve been eyeing is going to look just as good on you next Summer as it will in the next two months.

For men, cummerbunds and bow ties are back in season, and not only because thousands of females are shoveling them to the alter whether they like it or not. Prom season recently passed and men of all generations are still in the spirit of the roaring twenties when class was

David Oyelowo Shop72
HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Actor David Oyelowo attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Moda Di Raza Burgundy Cummerbund and Bow Tie Set
Cummerbunds from Shop72.com at a steal for $9.99

still something to be coveted. Deep, rich colors like burgundy, red, wine and royal blue are being favored  over the normal black, while monochromatic and tame colors are shunned. David Oyelowo tore up the Oscar’s red carpet in a Dolce & Gabbana one button suit with matching bow tie and cummerbund. The color really stood out on him and, despite wearing red on the red carpet being a fashion faux pas, he looked dashing among the  other actors and boozed up starlets.  While Dolce & Gabbana may be out of everyone’s price range, you or that special someone in your life can luckily rock the cummerbund and bow tie look for under twenty dollars. I found this gorgeous set online and on SALE for $9.99. A freaking steal for superb style.

In shoe world, it’s still all about the platform heel. Popularized in the last couple years by Christian Louboutin, especially his Daffodile pump that has every woman foaming at the mouth, the platform heel is back this year with a vengeance. And, I can’t even kid myself, if I could swing  a grand for a heel from Louboutin, there’s no substitute in the world I would

Shop72 Blue Suede Pump
There’s somewhat of a difference but you can’t beat it for the price. $1070 VS $29.99.

settle for. But if you’re like me and tuition is more of a problem than footwear, you may be searching for alternatives. I found a beautiful blue suede heel that’s pretty darn close to Louboutin’s “Victoria”. And for a fraction of the original cost, how can you go wrong?

The chunky heel is another trend for this season that simply wont die. I’m not personally a fan of this one, but there are plenty of trendier fashionista’s who just can’t get enough of a fat heel. Fashion week was full of thick heels with fanciful patterns and mixtures of fabrics but suede came out on top like always. I found this lovely pair online for super cheap.  They would go great with a knee length skirt and blouse or even a pants-suit.

Chunky Heel Shop72
Not for this type of heel but it’s still business chic!

This heel is the fashionable business-woman’s wildest dream. The dark purple color is near black, making it super easy to wear with just about anything. Heels will always be ultra feminine, despite where they got their start. In a nutshell, fashion’s latest trends are all over the place this year. If you can swing the pricier items, totally go for them! But for those of us who can’t, we’ll just have to fake it until we make it. But, as they always say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And imitate we shall, while keeping our hard earned cash where it belongs; firmly in out pockets.

Diecast Model Ferrari F430 – As Easy to Assemble as it is on the Eyes

Diecast Model Fever!

In other words, never give me power tools.

Power tools! No, that’s not what this post is about, but this week I got to be totally unnecessary and over the top in my tool-age for putting together a model car. Did I need a high powered Ryobi drill to put my Ferrari together? No. Did I use one anyway? YEP, you betcha!

Honestly, if I wasn’t such a flibbertigibbet, I would have this thing together in a few minutes, instead of the near hour it took me. But, I’m clumsy and easily distracted, which resulted in most of my model-time being dominated by Youtube videos and a few too many left over Easter chocolates. If any of you are smarter than a fifth grader (reference intended), you’ll have your model put together super fast and’ll be left with a stunning, candy apple red Ferrari to put on your desk or a shelf. Lets get started!

1: The Legendary Ferrari F430

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.23 PM

The Ferrari F430 is a sports car that was produced by the Italian car manufacturer Ferrari from 2004 to 2009. A successor to the Ferrari 360, it debuted and was first seen at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. Its replacement, the Ferrari 458, was unveiled on the 28th of July,2009. Designed by Pininfarina under the  guidance of Frank Stephenson, the body styling of the F430 was revised from its predecessor, the Ferrari 360, to improve its aerodynamic efficiency. Although the drag coefficient remained the same, downforce was greatly enhanced.

Despite sharing the same basic Alcoa Aluminum chassis, roof line, doors and glass, the car Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.32 PMlooked significantly different from the 360. A great deal of Ferrari heritage was included in the exterior design. At the rear, the Enzo’s tail lights and interior vents were added. The car’s name was etched into the Testarossa-styled driver’s side mirror. The large oval openings in the front bumper are reminiscent of Ferrari racing models from the 60s, specifically the 156 “sharknose” Formula One car and 250 TR61 Le Mans cars of Phil Hill.

You don’t get much more awesome than the Ferrari Spider which is the convertible version of this enigmatic coupe. With awesome performance and a beautiful design, it was only a matter of time before they put it into model form. With an MSRP of $186,925 to $217,318 in the United States, £119,500 in the United Kingdom, approximately €175,000 in the European Union, and $379,000 for the base model to $450,000 for the Spider F1 in Australia and New Zealand, this isn’t likely a car that’ll make it into everyone’s driveway. But now you can have one at a fraction of the cost and er…a fraction of the size.

2: The BOX! 

The only thing better than a pretty new toy is a pretty box! In line with the extraordinary design of the car itself, Maisto took extra care to design a box that was just as aesthetically Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.41 PMappealing. You can always tell the amount of workmanship a company puts into their products by its packaging. If they don’t care enough to create packaging worthy of their product, then it’s obviously not worth your money. I was absolutely delighted with the packaging of my Ferrari and, as much as I’m against clutter, I practically  wanted to keep the box!

The front is detailed in a window style that Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.51 PMdisplays the body of the car and two sets of rims, and has a lovely picture of the finished car. The back shows all thirty six parts and gives a bit of information about the assembly process and the car itself. Nothing too overly complicated which I like, had it been in anyway intimidating, I may have left it on the store shelf!

3: Parts

When I first opened the box I’d expected it to explode with teeny tiny pieces that I would find myself losing in a matter of seconds. After all, thirty six parts does sound like quite a lot, but  they were the perfect size to hold and snap into place with little to no effort at all. No glue, no tweezers, no fuss, hassle or mess. This thing was like a dream. The headlights were a little Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.57 PMtricky but that was due to my own ignorance. I put them in pretty close to the beginning and every time I turned the car upside down to add another piece, they fell out. I can say that, even though no glue was necessary, if I could redo it, I’d add a dab of Elmer’s or maybe something stronger just to keep them in place permanently.

4. Construction Time 

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.25.04 PM

I got my drill, my Ferrari model, a hand full of chocolate Easter eggs and got to work. Now, putting the chocolate down to start my project wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but I muscled through it and got busy. Out of the box, the car itself was beautiful, even before it was put Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.25.12 PMtogether. The diecast metal body was painted a bright, shiny, candy apple red that I wish I could  have covered in glitter because honestly, that was the only thing that could have made it any better. I thought the diecast metal, being, well, metal, would be super heavy and hard to keep a grip on, but it was the perfect weight. I mean, I wouldn’t throw it at anyone, but it didn’t feel like a burden to hold. Once everything was screwed (drilled) and popped into place, the finished product was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I couldn’t be happier with my little project. Shop72 has done it again!

Like this car? Buy it here!

2015 Spring Fashion Guide!

Fashion Favorites for the Spring Season!

Spring is the season of endless wildflowers, terrifying monsoons, balmy nights and colorful fashion! No one really needs an excuse to add some color to their wardrobe, but if you were waiting for a sign, this is it. Today, I’ll cover some of the best ways to sneak color into your outfits, play with different fabrics and prints that’ll be sure to take your wardrobe to the next level.

We all know that style and confidence go hand in hand. You can throw any outfit together and rock it like your on a catwalk if you have the confidence to pull it off.

First Point: Wear something you’re comfortable in. 

If you’re not the type of girl who digs short skirts and high heels, that’s perfectly fine, and if  you are, that’s fine too! Looking your best starts with feeling your best, especially in the 86b6d8c90b93596df40b393fc8247797Spring season when mother nature’s throwing epic tantrums and having mood swings all over the place. Combat the weather’s unpredictability by wearing clothes that are versatile and you won’t mind getting drenched in because, lets face it, accidents happen and we all forget an umbrella from time to time! Denim is one of those fabrics thats always in style. Pairing a pair of white jeans, a brightly colored, loose fitting top and a denim jacket will help fight off the slight chill in the air and keep you looking chic. strappy heels or wedges also fit into the casual to business casual range, and can be easily paired with just about anything. Try out a pair of cork wedges in a bright yellow or red with simple jeans or jeggings for a more laid back look that’s perfect for occasions as simple as running to the grocery store or hanging out with your friends on a Saturday night.

Second Point: Don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns!

The myth about mixing prints and patterns is officially dead. Never be afraid to pair a cute printed top with patterned pants or leggings. Mismatched styles are defiantly in this season. Animal prints, chevron, floral; just about everyone’s wearing them! Fabrics and cuts that were left in the past are making a strong comeback in recent years too. Such as the infamous ju-yp-1299-bluchevron-1xpalazzo pants. A throwback fit from the seventies, palazzo pants come in solid colors,   wild patterns and prints, making them a versatile pant that can be worn to the office, on a promising first date or even at the gym if you’re so inclined. bdc729711915836e4ffc9f89ad14ae34They’re comfortable, easy to wear and definitely easy to pair with your other seasonal favorites. Remember your wedges? The palazzo pant is ideal for wear with high heels, wedges or even flats depending on the look you’re trying to pull off. Dress them up or down for a wide range of stylized looks that are great for just about any occasion. Can’t find a skirt you want to wear? Sick of wearing pants? Well that’s the great thing about the palazzo, they take the style and cut of both and roll them up into one big ball of fashion.

Third Point: Fabrics, fabrics, fabrics!

Thin, breezy fabrics such as chiffon and cotton are an excellent way to keep cool as Spring transitions into the Summer month’s. For a classically stylish look, try pairing a chiffon d1fe24a2d5538c8f94b983b3c5823c37blouse  with a pair of khaki’s or light denim. Dressing a chiffon blouse up for work or special occasions is as simple as pairing it with a pencil skirt and your favorite heels. Tuck the blouse into the waistband and give it a little pull to loosen it and toss on a blazer to adopt an office look I’m sure your boss will adore.

Don’t forget your undergarments either! An extra layer of fabric, when done right, never hurt anybody! Toss on a light, cotton camisole with a little  added lace to flair up a boring top or keep more finicky fabrics from clinging to your skin. 52aa75d68c01d35fbacfd474121a9b61Cami’s are also great to wear on their own. Pair them under a cardigan or an oversized dolman tee for a casual look that works just as well for lazy afternoons on the couch as it does for quick runs to the grocery store. They’re usually super soft and super stretchy too so, go on, have that extra scoop of ice cream, these things have lots of give! Even better, they come in a million styles, colors, materials and cuts and they’re usually really cheap. Finding them on internet sites like Amazon and eBay is simple and can be bought in bulk if you’re so inclined. Don’t be afraid to experiment with wearing them beneath  blouses and other shirts or even by themselves. Seriously, I don’t know a woman yet who hasn’t experienced the magic of camisoles, but if you don’t know, now you know!

Fourth Point: Swatches? We don’t need no stinkin’ swatches.

Okay, so we may need swatches. But it’d be better if we didn’t need them. 26ccaf2f68f86f9f1b92ab1935cf2023I personally find color restriction by season to be asinine and find them as archaic as the “no white after labor day” rule, but most fashionista’s swear by them. They make it easy to color coordinate outfits and ensure everything you has matches in an orderly fashion. But forget order this season, mix and match your colors and find what personally works best for you. If you want to wear those green tea leggings and that dark rust tank top in the middle of spring–go right ahead. This season is the season of experimentation. Feel free to try out whatever you like and kick whatever you don’t to the curb.

Fifth Point: Be the best you!

What’s probably the most important point of all is to remember to be you. Don’t let anyone tumblr_n63s67CvWe1qj6wguo1_500tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear and take all my suggestions here as just that; suggestions. Fashion and style start with feeling comfortable in your own skin. It merely accentuates who you are and what you represent. So, put your best foot forward and watch everything–and everyone–else fall in line. Every woman is beautiful, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Model Aircrafts and the Kids who Love them

It’s no secret that model airplanes have been a staple of creative kids toys for as long as one can remember, but, in recent studies, they’ve proven to be even more useful in childhood development than you could ever imagine. You may think model kits are a thing of the past, but in fact there are more exciting, diverse and challenging kits available now more so than ever. And they’re only a click away.

Once a beloved pastime of your parents and grandparents in the fifties and sixties, model aircrafts date back as far as ancient Egypt. In fact, what’s considered by modern archaeologists as the oldest model aircraft in existence was found in the tomb of Saqquara during an excavation in 1898. The plane, aerodynamic in design with wings that would be considered by today’s standards as fuselage, is thought to date back to around 200 BCE. It’s amazing to think that an ancient civilization would be thinking about something as advanced as flight, and even more amazing to think that this was a child’s toy.

According to professor Emeritus Seymour Papert of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, “Constructionism means learning by making something. LEGO is an example, writing computer programs is an example, painting is an example. And what you learn in the process of doing that sinks much deeper; its roots go deeper into the subsoil of the mind than anything anybody can tell you.” By building model airplanes, children are learning hand eye coordination, problem solving by trial and error and even social skills when they share their creations with their siblings and friends. Starting your child off early with a love for mathematics and engineering is definitely a step in the right direction.

Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird

The Lockheed SR-71 Nightbird 

The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Renowned American aerospace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.[2] The SR-71 was designed to have basic stealth characteristics and served as a precursor to future stealth aircraft.

The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12 (via: wikipedia).

DSCF3456

Now, I have to admit, I bought this thing for myself, but I couldn’t help but wonder how it would benefit the little ones in my family. While, it looks like a bit of a daunting task to undertake but I assure you, if I can put it together, anyone can. Probably blindfolded and hogtied. When you open the package it comes with everything you need to put it together and display it. With lots of little pieces, screws and a tiny screwdriver I have to warn you, while this is a kids toys, it’s not recommended for anyone under the age of eight.

DSCF3452 copy DSCF3455 copy

The plane itself comes in a window box that you could actually just stick on a shelf to displayDSCF3450 if you felt like it, with an easy to read instructional diagram on the back. Even without the instructions I found it simple to put together. By the  time I was finished I was almost disappointed because I didn’t have another one to work on. But, at thirteen bucks a piece, I’m pretty sure I’ll get my hands on another one pretty soon.

Honestly, I was impressed by how detailed this thing was, even as someone who isn’t really all that of a model builder or collector. The lines and etchings on the body of the plane look laser cut even if they’re not and the matte black finish gives it a realistic look that doesn’t immediately scream “plastic” when I look at it. It’s not very often that you find something that’s cheap AND well made. Quality has gone down in recent years, but I have absolutely no complaints here.

After sticking this thing together, I placed it on the included stand, stepped back and fell in love with model building forever. I know that when I have children, whenever that’ll be, I can DSCF3458 copysay with confidence that they will be building model planes with me whether they like it or not. Hey, a little mommy time never hurt anybody! At the end of the day, model planes or models of any kind for that matter, are beneficial in a multitude of ways. Jumpstart your kids learning process and get them ready for a technological future that’s as exciting as it is terrifying. If you want to get your hands on this plane or a million of the others they have, it can be found at shop72.com.