Tag Archives: Home Alone movie

Discount Clothing Stores Decoded

1 Aug

TJ Maxx promises that they're "never the same place twice."

TJ Maxx

Get designer clothes for less at TJ Maxx. This discount clothing store is the one that I credit for teaching me to be the ravenous deal hunter that I am. I worked at a TJ Maxx throughout high school and college, and learned that full price should never be paid for anything. I crown this discount clothing store as the all-around best. The clothing is so cute, and it’s always in pristine condition. There’s so many famous designer labels and name brand store products in every TJ Maxx all the time. The store also has a fabulous selection of shoes, jewelery (real jewelery counter, not hung on a rack), handbags, small furniture, household items, and much more.


The differences between Marshalls and TJ Maxx are minute. They’re owned by the same company (MarMaxx), often carry the same merchandise, and are frequently found in the same shopping centers. I’m actually not sure why they don’t just merge into one big discount clothing store wonderland. The only two major differences are that Marshalls has a more extensive shoe selection that TJ Maxx, and that Marshalls stores are not as updated as most TJ Maxx stores. Besides that you tell me the difference, because I have no clue.

My neighborhood has recently been blessed with a Ross.


Ross is a fabulous discount clothing store that has just begun to infiltrate into my area, but is HUGE in other parts of the country. Ross seems to sell designer clothes for less than Marshalls and TJ Maxx, but the selection isn’t as good, except for the dresses. Ross’s dress selection is nothing short of amazing. They’re designer, they’re cheap, and they are so so cute! Ross even has the rare talent of having a great clearance dress selection, whereas the clearance sections at Marshalls and TJ Maxx are just downright hideous, for the most part. Ross also has amazing prices on small furniture items, such as ottomans.

Gabriel Brothers (Gabe’s)

Gabe’s is an experience, and you must have the right kind of personality to enjoy this experience. Thankfully for me, I have this kind of personality. Gabe’s is more of a fashion obstacle course than a discount clothing store. The stores themselves are huge, they usually have a strange odor, and you really have to look to find the fashion gems. Then, when you do strike gold and find something you like, you need to give it a thorough examination to ensure that it is not ripped, stained, doesn’t have a broken zipper, or isn’t dismembered in any way. All of this hard work is totally worth it though, when you find a great pair of name brand jeans for $7! Gabe’s definitely has the best prices of any of the other discount stores. The store definitely has some strange items, but for every pair of orange overalls you find, you’ll also find a ton of mint condition apparel from stores such as Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, The Limited, and J Crew.

Survival Tips for College Freshmen

29 Jul

If you’re about to start your first year as a college freshmen, you’re probably a bit nervous and really excited. You’re about to live away from home for the first time, in a building filled with other kids your age! What could be more exciting? Follow these survival tips for college freshmen and you’re sure to be a raging success:

  • Sharing a Room: I don’t care what anyone says, no one is too pampered to share a college dorm room. I’m an only child, and before my
    freshman year everyone wondered how I would survive having to share a teeny, tiny pie-shaped dorm room with another person. A person I had never met. I shocked them all when I loved it! I mean really, who needs personal space when you’re in college?
  • My half of our freshman dorm room.

  • Community Bathrooms: These can get kind of gross, but thankfully as a college freshman you won’t really care. We had a floor      Halloween decorating contest when I was a freshman, during which we used ketchup to make fake “blood” in the shower. The cleaning guy wasn’t willing to clean this mess up, so we just showered with it until the end of the semester. No big deal. Whatever you do though, never, ever go in the bathroom without proper foot protection.
  • Parties: Of course you’re going to go to parties, you’re in college now! Be (somewhat) responsible with it though. Arrive with your friends, and leave with your friends. Say no to participating in jello wrestling contests (eww, on many levels). Don’t drink yourself into oblivion – you’ll feel awful for two days, and make a damn fool of yourself while you’re at it. And of course, don’t accept drinks from boys unless you’ve seen it pumped from a keg, or you’ve watched him open it.
  • Food: Don’t be one of those freshmen that gets fat. Between walking all over campus to your classes, and trudging through who knows
    where to get to off-campus parties, you’ll get plenty of exercise. Don’t fall into the “I’m a poor college student” trap of Ramen and Easy Mac. I made it through four years of college without eating that garbage, and so can you. Follow my lead and make Special K with strawberries your late night, post-drinking snack. When in the dining halls, you know what you shouldn’t be eating each day. Pizza, fried food, ice cream, and everything else in that category is fine in moderation, but if you eat it frequently (or even semi-frequently) you will inflate.
  • Making Friends: Keep your door open when you’re home, so your floormates can stop in and visit. Everyone on a freshman dorm floor is eager to make new friends. Since your floor is your home while at school, your floormates become somewhat of a family away from home. When I was a freshman, I spent most of my free time with my roommate, and the other girls that lived on our floor. We would go to dinner together every night, make sure we were all in attendance before leaving a party, and gather together to watch tv every night. And even though we moved around each year, most of our same little group was still in tact through our senior year.
  • Decorating: If your freshman dorm room is anything like mine was, you will be greeted with white-washed concrete walls and fluorescent lights. No one can survive in this atmosphere for more than 48 hours without becoming morbidly depressed. Thankfully, you can easily (and cheaply) transform this into a palace of freshman freedom. Get a couple of cheapo area rugs, a few lamps, and some wall art (find a cheap frame for it if possible). You’re also going to need tons of picture frames, and pictures of your family and high school friends to display. Trust me, everyone does it.

This is my freshman year of college dorm room building. It resembled a beer can. Coincidence?

  • Cleaning:  You may be a college freshman, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a slob. With the amount of time you spend in your dorm room, you need it to be clean. Keep a small vacuum stashed in the corner of your room, don’t let smelly laundry pile up, and make your bed! My roommate and I followed these rules, and as a result everyone always wanted to hang out in our room, because it was the nicest place to be on the block (okay, well the floor, but you get my point).
  • Hygiene:  Just because your mom can’t force you to shower doesn’t mean you can get away with being dirty. No one likes to be around someone who smells, especially your roommate, so keep up with that daily (or twice daily) shower schedule. This may seem obvious, but judging from the smell of the boys’ floors in my college dorm, it is not. C’mon boys, freshman girls might be naive, but they do have noses.
  • Going to Class:  You’re first real “adult” challenge is showing that you have the common sense to both stay alive and attend your classes. Typically, most college freshmen can handle this, but there’s always that handful who cannot. If you stop going to class after the first week of school, you will not pass your finals. It really is that simple.

Home Alone House For Sale

22 Jul

The Home Alone House.

You’ve all seen the movie Home Alone and oohed and awed over the gorgeous residence of the McAlister family. Diehard fans looking to make this dream home theirs now have a chance, because the Home Alone house is for sale! Located in the small-town Chicago suburb of Winnetka, this famous home can be yours for a mere $2.4 million dollars. As an added bonus, when your children misbehave you can make them sleep in the third floor bedroom dreaded by Kevin McAlister, you already know not to trust any ‘neighborhood cops’ stopping in to provide extra neighborhood protection in the area, and every Christmas day you can gather the family around the television and watch a young Macaulay Culkin defend the honor of your home.

If you don’t want to live in the actual Home Alone house, but rather a similar, more modern version in your own hometown, this is now possible. Check out this link on the Apartment Therapy site, about a design firm who is offering to build clients their own version of the famous Home Alone house.