Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Ah, marketing professionals are so clever. Here's my "favorite" latest ad:

"At XXX, I can pull together outfits that tug at my heartstrings, not my purse strings."

Advertised is an outfit comprised of blouse, jeans, and purse for a total of $97.97. For nearly a $100, you don't even get the earrings, necklace, or shoes included. Now that's a real steal right there. No sarcasm. Really. I believe that.

Shop responsibly
! This means being thoughtful about what you buy, how much you buy (or how much is wasted), who you buy it from, and how much time and money you spend buying it.

InStyle "Deals and Steals"

The premise of this section of InStyle is to present "Irresistible ATM-friendly buys!" That means everything on the page is under $20. Not bad for a beauty magazine, right? Well, let's check and see how realistic some of the stuff is for a normal person.

The first thing that jumped out at me is the $14 lip balms. Lip balm. I thought I was spending a lot when I bought a Burt's Bees lip balm at $1.99. Geez. I'm sure your lips end up coated in diamond powder or something using that stuff, but I don't know anybody in my financial status who is willing to buy $14 lip balm. If they are, they really should not be!

Secondly is the $15 deodorant. There are tons of things at the drugstore, grocery store, and health food/natural store that do the job, even for hyper-sensitive skin and with organic products, for less than that! Sheesh.

Finally is the $11 eye liner. I think I'd understand if the liner was in liquid form or had some special blending ability, but it didn't. It was a pencil. A pencil. In teal and purple. How long do those colors stay trendy? A season? You can buy the $0.99 version in the bottom bin at Target and still look fabulous without wasting so much money.

Why do we let people who don't ever follow the conventions of fashion anyway dictate what we buy? And when we do, why do buy the expensive versions of stuff that's probably going to be useless in a season or doesn't deliver as promised? Craziness!

Let's think before we buy. Evaluate. Wait a week before buying something fashionable and see if you still want it. If you buy it, save the receipt and don't wear it or use it for a week. That way, if you have the slightest regret, you can get your money back! Let's be smart about buying such superficial things.

-Domestic Goddess out.

The "Oxymoronic" World of Fashion

I got the 15 year anniversary edition of InStyle yesterday. First let me say that I only purchased the magazine to support one of my friend's kid's school fund raiser. I'm not really an InStyle type of girl, namely because I refuse to spend more than $10 on a white shirt. Anyhow, I like browsing and looking at things I can't afford and making fun of things that are just way too ugly to wear.

On page 187, there's a "designer profile" on Louis Vuitton in which Marc Jacobs was interviewed about the line. He had some very insightful things to say:
Q (paraphrased): Can you ignore the economic downturn?
MJ: That's impossible. But my biggest responsibility is to make sure that what you buy lasts. Louis Vuitton is a luxury brand and must remain exactly that. We shouldn't alter the materials or the execution.
Q: So if it lasts, why would you need more...
MJ: It's a bit oxymoronic, isn't it? To make something that will last, but then still create more so there's always something special to dream about. That really is the nature of fashion. If everything we bought satisfied us for our whole lives, we would just stop buying at some point. But, surprise! There is always going to be a new bag.

Okay, let's look at this. In response to the price of Louis Vuitton "stuff", Marc Jacobs freely admits that he expects people to pay top dollar for their products. Never mind that people can't afford it. It's Louis Vuitton, and you're going to pay what the company feels you owe them. They're luxury, for crying out loud! We don't care about you, we just care about people who can afford us. Which is very few people, mind you. Why, as an average American, spend $2,250 on the "Eclipse Speedy" bag when the company is just laughing at you for being foolish enough to buy something so ridiculously expensive?

Secondly, look at what Jacobs says about oxymorons. He basically calls everyone who's "into" fashion an idiot because they keep wanting more of the same. Truly, does a purse really make that much of a difference to a person's life? Sure, I understand the importance of and difference between having a business purse and a fun purse. But do you have to do it to the tune of $1,000 each? Even if the bag is well-made, is a bunch of leather, lining, stitching, and metal worth that much? Why not buy a just as classy and classic non-name brand bag that will serve just as well for just as long for less than $40? I refuse to buy bags above $25 and have managed quite well.

One last quote from Marc Jacobs: "I'm a real believer in wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. No one dictates fashion to the women I know!" Okay, if this is true, then why does that man hawk horrendously ugly clothes at Fashion Week and try to tell us that those clothes deformities are "it" this season, and you just can't live without it? If I can wear whatever I want whenever I want and be endorsed by the great Marc Jacobs, then what's the point of fashion magazines? Why have fashion shows? He's just full of oxymorons, Marc Jacobs is. Nice to know such a confused individual is leading scores of women into very "fancy" stores to buy very expensive and sometimes very ugly clothing.

-Domestic Goddess out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Giving God His Due

Today, our pastor talked about a convention he attended and some things he learned from Rick Warren, the guest speaker. Before writing The Purpose Driven Life, Rick and his wife had committed to tithing to God in a very uncommon way. Every year, they would take another percent of their income and add it to their tithe. Instead of giving 10%, they raised their tithes to 11, 12, 15%. I don't know how high they actually got before The Purpose Driven Life was published, but I imagine it must have been pretty high because it took a long while to get to the point in his life where God had prepared him to write the book.

Once The Purpose Driven Life was published, money came rolling in. That book is actually the #2 bestseller in the entire WORLD. It's second behind the Bible. :) Our pastor said Rick got to a point where he was excited about the prospects that money could bring him...until God reminded him otherwise. Rick become impressed with the fact that the money was God's and that he should remain in his "old" home and continue to use his "old" truck. He didn't need more than he already had, and if he did, God would provide. What a way to be kept humble!

What's more, the success of The Purpose Driven Life has allowed the Warrens to give 90% of their income to God's kingdom. How amazing! They live on the 10% normally allotted to God and give God the 90% allotted to them. Would that I could do the same! Thankfully, our family is debt-free, so we can give without worrying about where the money is going to come from.

But I have to wonder about people who are in debt. How hard it must be for them to give even the "minimum" 10% to God! It's hard to trust anyone with money, even God. The laws of mathematics say that 0-x=-x. But when we give to God, He breaks those laws (He can because He created them). 0-x=enough. He ALWAYS provides for those who are faithful and trust Him. I encourage you to give your tithe, even if you don't think you can afford it. Trust me, God math is incredible.

Before we were debt-free, we struggled to make the right money decisions. However, we never ever considered stopping our tithe. In fact, it was one of the things we agreed we'd always do despite our circumstances. Whatever we have, be it little or much, is from God. We owe him much, so why begrudge Him the 10% He asks us for? Such were our thoughts six years ago during marriage counseling, and five years into our marriage, we see the fruits of giving to God.

I urge you to examine your finances carefully. Decide to pay God before you pay yourself and definitely before you pay your bills. If you're in debt, make plans to get out of it. Christ calls us to give freely, but we can't do that until we get rid of our allegiances to our credit companies. God says the borrower is a slave to the master. Stop working to further someone's agenda and put your money to work for God's kingdom!

Finally, analyze whether you can give a little more generously to those on mission for God. You can give your money to your church, to missionaries, or to Christian non-profit organizations. Do a little research and give where your heart is. Stop being selfish with your money and give it to people who actually need it. Everything we do will be returned to us, not necessarily in the form of money, but in the form of blessings.

Domestic Goddess out.