LL Tip: 8 Tips to Save Money and Stay Fabulous in LIB

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For quite a while now I have been trying to be more mindful about my expenses. I try to cut costs any way I can. I even write down the purchase I make on each day to see where most of my money is going, and how I can decrease certain spending habits. I would never say I am cheap, but I am definitely economically conscious. I know that am still relatively young and need to make sure I am securing myself financially for the future. This post will focus on some ways to stay fabulous while making the best financial decisions. These are some tips that I use in my own life currently and some that I need to make sure I take advantage of.



1.       Wear Your Natural Hair for a While

Knowing that my birthday is right around the corner I have been using this tactic to save money in not paying someone to do my hair for a little while (my afro is currently out and I LOVE and missed it). Most Liberian women and girls, or let’s say women and girls in general feel like they HAVE to get their hair fixed, platted, weaved whatever, but let’s face it, paying someone to do your hair can be quite costly, not to mention having to buy the hair and or products. Embrace your tresses, whether natural or relaxed for a bit, it’s not only freeing, but it helps in saving a little extra change. 




2.     Opt for a Color Change Instead of a Full Mani or Pedi

Getting a manicure and pedicure in Monrovia is pretty reasonably priced. Depending on the roughness of my hands and feet on certain days I like to save a little “ma” (slang for money in LIB) by just getting a color change at Zutin Nails for less than half the price. An added plus is that it’s quick, easy and gets you out of the door faster.
  


     3.    Make Your Clothes Instead of Buying Them

For those of us that have lived here for a while we love ourselves some African print fashion. Instead of heading into a boutique for a new outfit for your hot date, purchase your own fabric and visit a local tailor to make you something sensational. What I love most about this option is the opportunity to design something from your own mind. Leave a comment below and get a response about the best and most economical tailor shops to go to.



       4.   Purchase in Liberian Dollars (LD) Rather Than USD

Typically $1 US Dollar equals LD$70, but depending on where you go a dollar could range from LD$50 to LD$75. When you are strictly purchasing in LD there are no loop holes you can give the vendor what they ask for without walking away wondering if you just got duped.




       5.   Make Sure Your Phone is Usually on “Ring”

I recently became an iPhone user, and for some reason my ringer stopped working. Being that when I had my Blackberry it would usually be on vibrate and I could always hear it without a problem, I thought I would just do the same for my iPhone. I later found out that vibrate on my new phone was super low and consequently I was missing a lot of calls.  Missing all these calls meant always having to use my minutes to call someone back. This heavily contributed in me having to spend more money on buying scratch cards. I figured I might as well just pay to get the ringer fixed to avoid this from happening in the future. Come to find out when I went to the store they were able to fix it for FREE. More savings for me!





 6.  Take Advantage of Lunch Specials

Being a working girl (with no microwave at my office) most times I have to purchase my lunch. There are so many tempting/expensive restaurants in the city, but many times I force myself to steer clear of them in order to save.  My girls and I make sure to stay true to our roots during lunch time by visiting Liberian owned restaurants and cook shops. Not only is the food at these places delicious, but the most you will spend for a meal is LD$350 ($5 bucks). There is also a new “Lunch Special Menu” at the new Flower Chinese Restaurant on Broad St. They offer minimized meals from $3-$7USD.




7.  Do Happy Hour

A lot of times my friends and I wait until the weekend to go out to have a good time. Most times this can get pretty pricy having to pay to get in, buy drinks, possibly get food after, etc. Ladies and gentleman, Happy Hour is a good -time-haver’s best friend. Instead of waiting for Saturday night to hit the town hit places like Lila Brown, Atlantis Guest House, or Embassy Suites for half priced drinks and food. This is a huge money saver.



8.  Don’t Feel Guilty About Staying In

I am the ultimate social butterfly, but in times when my bank account is not looking so good I have no problem just staying in when friends are going out. Yes, you are probably missing out on the night’s adventures, but at the same time you don’t have to feel guilty (once you’ve sobered up) about spending what you don’t have when you wake up the next morning. This is great time to read a book, watch a little TV movie, mediate, learn to cook, whatever. As long as it’s free right?

What to Wear: Ear Cuffs

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Us Monrovia Girls don't give ourselves enough credit when it comes to trends. Since moving back to Liberia in 2010 I have seen many women and girls wearing Ear Cuffs just like the one you will see Jordan Sparks wearing below. Since New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 this fierce little accessories has been all the rage in the West. They are so edgy and so chic its ridiculous, and what I love most is that there are so many variations that can be worn on almost any occasion. Dare I say we (Monrovia Girls) started the trend? I don't want to without being 100% certain, but its definitely something to think about. 

I would love to read some comments below.






James K. Holder II Photography

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Liberian Photographer James Kiazolu Holder II has been creating magic through picture taking since he inherited his father’s 35mm Pentax camera as a child. Holder continued to study and perfect his craft throughout high school and college where he also studied graphic software, architecture, and economics. Today he has developed a reputation of producing high quality photos with a huge emphasis on customer service. Holder’s work includes fashion, bridal, editorial, architecture and have been seen in publications like Rollin Out Magazine. If ever in the New York or Atlanta area make sure to try and get snapped by this creative genius. For more information about visit his website here.













Walk About: Mango Rags Boutique Launch

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The boutique carries a variety of items from clothing for women and men, handbags and clutches, and the very trendy Woodin cloth. Store hours are from 10am-6pm from Tuesday-Saturday with consultations from 6pm-8pm on each day. What I love most about this place is that you can bring your own cloth with you and have any design in the store made tailor made at a discounted price. With Archel serving as the designer and Tania as the Woodin distributor both of their hard work and determination brings forth beautiful, quality products that we all as Africans can be proud to call our own.

Mango Rags is located on Camp Johnson Rd. in the YES Transport Compound. Want to give them a call? Leave a comment below indicating so and I will make sure to get their numbers to you. Both ladies are also on Facebook, and styles can currently be seen at Its Archel.




The Owners giving a heartfelt speech.






I new I had to wear African to pay homage at this event. My top is made from African linen and was purchase at another popular Liberian owned boutique, Afropoltan on Benson St. I love this bag by Konfidence which I purchased during Ghana Fashion and Design Week. It's so hard to figure out what to wear it with sometimes. I hope I did a good job here. The shoes I purchase at Marazetti located on the corner of Carey and Center St.

Top - Afropolitan
Pants - Random Find
Bag - Konfidence
Shoes - BCBG








What To Wear: The Color of the Year

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What To Wear: The Color of the Year

What To Wear: The Color of the Year by charm08 featuring Emerald Green
Today's "What to Wear" post features the color of the year, Emerald Green. Pantone is the official color authority of the world (seriously) and they have determined that 2013 is the year of emerald. I'm sure those of you who got a chance to watch the 2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration saw Beyonce bluffing in her desperate emerald earrings and matching ring. The bling was redic!

I have put together a few fab pieces above to get your creative juices flowing if in the position of figuring out where to go with this color. The main thing to keep in mind is not to over do it. In my opinion it would be odd to be seen in and entire green ensemble. Break up the color with neutrals like black and white, or carry out a bight look by adding colors like pink or purple. Have fun with this, for before you know it 2014 will be here with a brand new color for us try.

Walk About: Vagina Monologues

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V-Day 1 Billion Rising: Liberia - Vagina Monologues Part 2
When:            Friday, February 15, 2013
Where:           Blue House Restaurant, Congotown, Liberia
Join the mission in striving to bring awareness to violence and exploitation against women and girls in Liberia.   Vagina Monologues Part 2.  The international cause created by Eve Ensler, #OneBillionRise against ending violence against Women and Girls. A number of Non-fictional and touching monologues have been created and will be read by volunteers.
 Special Performances by Liberian Artists:
F.A and Nykita "Nyna Touch" Garnett
Entrance Fee: $10 USD (all proceeds goes towards Association for the Advancement of Liberian Girls, AALG)
For more information, please call Stephanie at +231 880629580 or Marjean at +231 880915135 or email salamartu@gmail.com.
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Beginning this Monday Hetitage 1960 will be hosting the above event during Social Media Week Lagos. This virtual think tank will consists of four online panel discussions and will offer a diverse group of change agents from the continent and the diaspora.

One of the chosen speakers is Liberia native Chid Liberty, co-founder of the brand Liberty & Justice. As Africa First Fair Trade Certified apparel company they pride themselves in sustainable development and social justice, with inspiration stemming from The Liberian Women's Peace Movement.

With so many brands and individuals offering so many wonderful products and services why not have them all on the most convenient (well in most countries) place on Earth? The internet. This forum will offer an open platform of dialogue and innovative action for your benefit. If you are hoping to break into the fashion industry and are finding a hard time doing so, this think tank is what you have been looking for. If you are interested in this (and you know I am) all you have to do is go online via Google Hangouts on Heritage 1960's  Google + Page. For more information click here.

Zutin: Semoner Designs by Miatta Moore

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Model Search for Fashion Awards Liberia

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The producers of the Fashion Awards Liberia (FAL) are looking for you to be that face of this amazing event. Believe it or not the requirements are not as "I'll never be chosen" as you might think. The most exciting part is that you will be flown to Washington, DC if you win. For more information click here. Good Luck!

Zutin: Designerberg Collection by Liberian Designer Bernice Morgan

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Liberian Lone Starlette: Jenique K. Mincey

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Since fleeing Liberia in 1990 the above beauty Jenique Keyatta Mincey is known for strutting some of the best runways in the West. The model turned makeup artist and stylist is the face of the famous hair care line Bonner Brothers, but still decided to become an entrepreneur in 2005 in starting her own company "Jenique K". Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Mincey uses her talents in mentoring young girls in the business of modeling and goal achievement. Jenique K. Mincey and true Lone Starlette.

African Fashion and The World: Stella Jean S/S 2013

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Walk About: The Grand Royal Hotel Opening

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A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to the opening of the new Grand Royal Hotel. The 52 room property is completely outstanding and is definitely a true contender in Liberia's rising hospitality industry. The cushy roof top patio is a sight to be seen and is perfect for the Dry Season. Did I mention they have elevators? (This is huge for Liberia...LOL).

I'm excited to see what they have in store for us in the future. I will definitely be doing some "Walk About" posts when I get a chance to have dinner at the sushi bar, girls night out on the roof top, or possibly stay in one of the rooms. Stay tuned!