1. Be Better at…Shopping.

    I’m from Texas, and once a year, the state offers a weekend of tax-free purchases on clothing, school supplies etc. I have seen parking-related brawls, have witnessed a near eye-gouging over a pair of BCBG white jeans, and have since vowed to never step foot into a retail establishment when this time rolls around. Think…NYC on any culturally significant parade day (I love you Puerto Ricans, but your parade makes me want to move to the suburbs).

    Well once again, New York has trumped Texas and therefore validated me making the trek across this fair country to the land of impossibly high rent and hot dogs with toppings like kimchi, coleslaw, and organic placenta (OK, maybe not placenta). 

    NY state goes back and forth regarding sales tax on clothing items, and finally, once again, they’ve removed sales tax on clothing and shoes costing less than $110 bucks. This is good news people. 

    The state officially says, “Sales of eligible clothing and footwear costing less than $110 per item or pair are exempt from the state’s 4% sales tax and local tax in those localities that enacted the exemption.” This also includes the 4.5% city, 4% state and .0375% Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District tax (whatever that is).

    Sunday is the first day of the exemption people, so go forth and shop. And if you need some help finding the right places to buy some new duds for under $110 bucks, I’ve included a short list of some Park Slope gems below:

    Mommies: BUMP; 464 Bergen St.
    Dudes: PRIVATE STOCK; 458 Bergen St. 
    Gal’s Shoes: SOULA, 184 5th Ave.
     Kiddos: LULU’S THEN AND NOW; 75A 5th Ave.
    Rich People: BIRD316 5th Ave 
     Thrift: PONY; 69 5th Ave.
    Happy Shopping Lovies,

  2. Be A Better…Gift Giver.

    Another F*cking Gift Guide Edition:

    Yeah, I know. 

    Another gift guide…sigh. Listen, let’s change this from a gift guide to a “stuff I think is decent and wouldn’t mind getting from someone that feels obligated to buy me something” guide. 

    I already have these but kinda want another pair. You give me shorts that I can wear in the winter, and I’m on board. These HeatTech thermal pantaloons from Uniqlo are somewhere between snowbunny and sexy grandma, and that seems like a good place to be if you ask me. Heat Tech Knit Shorts from Uniqlo, $12. 

    The holidays mean family. Family means being driven to drink. Let’s make those drinks extra fancy this holiday season with these sickly packaged bitters. With flavors like mole, habenero, and celery shrub you’re going to expand your cocktailing repertoire and melt that family-related holiday stress away! Bittermans Bitters, $17.95.

    Speaking of drinking, you’re gonna need to open some bottles this coming year, so why not look fancy-as-hell doing it? Here’s your answer to give the girl who drinks beer while wearing copious amounts of fur. Crescent Brass Bottle Opener, $60 at the Future Perfect Brooklyn. 

    Anything that is scary, creepy, or remotely haunting…is right up my alley. These decorative plates (for wall hanging, not eating) are the perfect answer to creeping those holiday guests out just enough for them not to overstay their welcome. Beat Up Creations on Etsy has a variety of these delightful gems that range from scary to funny, to absolutely nerdy (think R2D2). Zombie Love Wedding Plate, $32 from Beat Up Creations. 

    If you are looking to spend in the thousands for my Christmas gift, look no further. This Lindsay Adelman chandelier will do the trick. The Knotty Bubbles piece is one of my faves and anyone that thinks this light sucks, should take a real look at the way they are running their lives. Lindsay Adelman Knotty Bubbles Chandelier, $15k at the Future Perfect. 

    If you are a total cheapskate and mostly just want to say…”You are only worth .99 cents”, I can’t think of a better way to say it with panache. These Polaroids of expensive sh*t at Partners and Spade are pretty brills. (WARNING, DO NOT ACTUALLY GET ME THIS OR I WILL FIGHT YOU) It’s The Thought That Counts Polaroids, .99 cents at Partners and Spade.

    OK, now we are talking. This is the perfect gift to get from that special someone…Very cool, not cheesy looking, and wearable daily. Giles and Brother include free engraving on their Pied-de-Biche Cuffs…sentimental BUT not vomit-inducing. WONDERFUL. Pied-de-Biche Cuff, $125 at Giles and Brother.

    A good graphic print is always a good prezzie. I am longing for these two from J Hill Design. Texas and New York…two places that I love so much, that can create a wonderful little design diptych. New York and Texas prints, $30-50 each from J Hill Design. 

    Counting down the days until the next time you see your long-distance lover? This wall calendar from Sam Flax is a simple, classic design that doubles as time-keeper and art piece. And so cheap! Wall Calendar, $29.95 from Sam Flax. 

    And last but not least…for the geeky gal (me), pick up some rad new headphones to beat that commute into submission. Micro Gem Headphones, $35 from the Future Perfect. 

    Happy shopping bitches. Also, if you want to buy and or all of these things for me, I will gladly provide my mailing address. 

    xo Chinae