Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Wish List

Morning, Bitches!


No matter how happy, busy, and fulfilled life is making us at the moment, it is the weekend and of course we're craving all sorts of unnecessary luxuries. Luckily, these next two days will be spent making some serious Benjamins, and we might even be able to make a splurge- for a slice at least!


1. A new MacBook Pro. We're going through a serious case of withdrawl, which is not very cute.
2. Recent Mad Men marathon viewings has lead to an increase in lusting over unnecessary kitchen gadgets. When Sally Drapper gets a frosting machine, it is quickly used to add a little dash of sparkle magic to every dessert that comes out of the kitchen. If I had my own frosting machine, I'd be piping chocolate buttercream onto my toast, my pasta, and my bowls of cereal. Why don't they make things like this anymore?
3. Has anybody heard of this ridiculous new invention, called "Pillow Pets"? If you haven't, don't despair. It's less of an invention and more of a pillow with a face sewn onto it. Pillow Pets come in a wide variety of animals, from  bunnies to alligators to penguins, which allows the buyer to choose the animal they want up close and personal on their head each night. This commercial was running on a loop in the laundromat earlier in the week, and I just couldn't help myself. Way too good to be true. And if you didn't believe me Pillow Pets™ plush folding stuffed animals add true function to that warm and wonderful feeling by combining the security of a stuffed animal with the functionality of a pillow (via www.mypillowpets.com). 
4. Fabulous white 1950's cat's eye sunglasses. These would just end a limitless amount of chic to my daily routine, plus make me feel like a fabulous housewife whether I'm walking down Bedford Ave or schlepping my trash out to the curb. They've been spotted on everyone from Hilary Duff to DIta von Teese to the original 1950s bathing suit Barbie, and I would really appreciate it if they somehow made their way into my sunglass stash.
5. An entire pie of Ortolana pizza from Fornino in Brooklyn. This pizza is piled high with tomato, mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, roasted peppers, and broccoli rabe, and I've been stuffing my face with it faster than you can blink an eye. I have only recently been able to ween myself off the magical pies at Roberta's, just in time to pick up a delicious new addiction.


What are you dreaming of this weekend, lovelies? We hope you have a wonderful couple of days, whether you're at Northside, the first-ever NYC food truck drive-in movie, or living it up at Pride. We'll see you around!


xo,
B

Friday, June 25, 2010

Obsession of the Week: Tea Bags

While the Brooklyn Bitches are far more likely to reach for that second cup of coffee, shooting daggers at anyone who suggests we should cut bag and drink more tea instead, this week, we have been overwhelmed with the amount of uses for tea bags as beauty product. However, we've been more broke than usual this week, with the combination 1-2 punch of some unexpected (and still delightful) house guests, as well as fueling our soft serve/waffle cone addiction in whatever way possible. 


We took to the streets- er, our Williamsburg bathroom- to give these suggestions a try.


Reasons we're obsessed:


1. Whether you partied into the wee hours at Ella last night or were bowling strikes at The Gutter all night long, your eyes are droopy and dark-circled. We're certainly not here to judge the cause of the all-nighter, but we would recommend grabbing a few tea bags and cruising your way to clear eye city. Soak two tea bags in warm water and put under your eyes for about 20 minutes. The tannin in the tea will reduce puffiness and soreness.
2. The soothing elements found in tea will ease your sunburn or your razor burn. If you fell asleep while lounging in McCarren Park (which this Bitch has done after a few too many mimosas at a girl's brunch), or just cut your legs up in the shower, cooled tea bags will bring immediate relief. Reach for the black tea if it's available- it contains the strongest amount of tannins per bag out of any tea variety.
3. If you're paying your way through summer by standing on your feet while other Bitches are fast asleep (like us), your pink kicks are nothing to brag about at the end of the day. In fact, you may even be tempted to leave them outside your front door to de-stinkify themselves after a long, hot day. While we've lost many a pair of red flats (RIP) via this method, it's time to save your tootsies and your sneaks. Soaking your feet in strongly brewed tea for 20-25 minutes is a known way to reduce foot odor, and it's a lot more appealing than cutting off your feet at the end of each day. 
4. Skip your everyday shampoo and opt for a cup of cooled herbal tea instead. The herbs found in the tea will make your hair smooth and silky after rinsing two or three times post-shampoo. While we have yet to test this one for ourselves, we would suggest picking a peppermint or an Earl Grey type of tea as opposed to the crazier chai and Tiger spice varieties. Just beware- chamomile tea on light hair will darken it, and this blonde isn't seeing the sun nearly enough to take that risk.
5. Out of that expensive drugstore toner? You'll regret spending the money in the first place after you apply a few swipes of peppermint tea on a cotton ball. Wait for the tea to cool, pull your hair off of your face, and try a few wipes of your T-zone. Your skin will feel tingly fresh in no time.


For all of these reasons and more, we're pretty obsessed with tea this week. With the way this summer is shaping up, we're finding that we'd much prefer to spend the dollars we slave for on cold Pilsners from Barcade, gold lame fanny packs for all of our daily essentials, and, of course, chasing Mr. Softee. Which makes tea bags our beauty buy of the week: a bargain at nearly any supermarket, drugstore, or bodega in town). You can even buy them in bulk at Office Max for just $6!


Got any other suggestions for getting more mileage out of everyday tea bags? Leave us a comment below, drop us an email at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget.


xo,
B

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bitches Beat the Heat

Greetings from the land of the Broke!


A big hello to all our fellow Bitches. Oh, how we have missed your loving comments and undivided attention to all things cheap in the city.


We're back and better than ever, with a new computer on the way! We've missed you this week (although we may be missing our old laptop slightly more), but we'll be around, keeping you posted on the best free summer activities, happy hours, and awesome events from Brooklyn to Queens. 


We hope you've been finding ways to stay cool, cute, and fly- which is much easier said than done with this 90 degree weather that's absolutely stifling us beyond belief. With the arrival of this stifling heat wave, we've been trying to hold out as long as possible before buying a steady supply of oscillating box fans. While one of our closest Brooklyn Bitches swears she's only eating soft serve for the month of June to beat the heat, we have neither the dollars nor the endless appetite for wafer cones to make that happen. Although, if it's covered in rainbow sprinkles, we just might have to reconsider...


1. Get in touch with your pulse points. A cold washcloth to your wrists, the back of your neck, and the back of your knees may sound silly, but we promise you'll stop giggling as soon as you feel a wave of cool  wash over you. We swear by this trick- it costs no dollars at all and feels as good as crashing a friend's pool.
2. Scope out nearby businesses and places that have air conditioning. The best locations to flock to are those that do not require a purchase or particular service (i.e. coffee shops and restaurants). We're big fans of the library (settling in for an afternoon of reading back issues of Vogue for FREE is one of our favorite summer activities), IKEA (especially if you take the Staten Island ferry and save your dollars for lunch instead of unnecessary kitchen utensils), community bookstores that encourage browsing, and the indoor areas of the Zoo (although they may smell like penguin). If none of these suggestions sound possible, your best bet may be to leave all your electronics at home, don your shortiest of short shorts, and find an open fire hydrant. Bedford Ave is a great street to cruise as you walk towards the Williamsburg Bridge, as a hydrant is almost always spewing cold goodness.
3. Be smart and dress for the weather- pit stains, sweaty butt stains, and dripping foreheads are just not cute, no matter how you slice it. Dresses, skirts, and tunic tops are your new best friends. Anything loose and lightweight will make you sweat a lot less and keep all the air moving down there. Caution: you will be extremely susceptible to exceptionally strong winds, subway breezes, and small children who want to play peek-a-boo. Plan accordingly, and avoid subway grates and playgrounds- especially if your undies are in no condition to be put on display.
4. Fill a pitcher with cold water and a few lemon slices (2 for $1 at pretty much any fruit man in Manhattan, making this quite a Brooklyn-Bitch-friendly cocktail indeed) and keep in the fridge. Every time you pour a glass of this refreshing 
5. Keep your blinds/curtains drawn. Strong light from the sun = a living room that will soon evolve into an oven. Let's save the baking for chocolate chip cookies and not internal organs and sofas, please. If you've got white shades, you're in luck- the color will actually reflect light away from your windows and your apartment, keeping you at least three to four degrees cooler.
6. Sleep naked. Enough said. 


Got any more suggestions? With no end to the seasonal summer weather in sight, we're looking for any tips or tricks to beat the heat. Lord knows we'll be resigning ourselves to a summer of blue box mac-n-cheese and ramen if we're forced to purchase a window air conditioning unit. Drop us a comment below, send us an email at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or tweet us @bbonabudget with all of your suggestions- especially if you'd like to meet up for some soft serve!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sad Mac (aka Technically Difficulties)

Happy Thursday Lovelies!

As you may have noticed, the blog hasn't been updated for a few days and we sincerely apologize to our readers for this.

Apparently, you can't write as well when the only functioning keys on your keyboard are "L" "/" and "P."

We'll have you back stompin' in your boots next week.

In the meantime, tell us what you're up to by commenting below, email us at bbonabudget@gmail.com or tweet us @bbonabudget.

xo,
The Bitches

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bay Ridge on a Budget

It's true. 


Bay Ridge has an extremely large elderly population. But whoever said that old people aren't cool? We happen to think that the Golden Girls, Mr. Rogers, and Santa Claus are some of the most happen' cats around. As well as being an overwhelming style inspiration (grandpa cardigans and oversized floral dresses circa 1990's grunge? Yes, please!), we have all experienced a magical moment of sorts with someone who is still young at heart.


In addition to boasting an increased number of older folk, we were first drawn to the neighborhood for its old-school Brooklyn charm. Originally known as Yellow Hook (due to the nature of the soil when the land was first discovered many moons ago in the 1800's), Bay Ridge has transformed itself into a quiet little neighborhood with families and children abound. It's a place where the breeze blows softly over the river as elder Italian men play bocce with their wives and grandchildren to watch. Steer clear of the high-rises and condominiums (there are plenty to see on Metropolitan Ave in Williamsburg, anyway), and you won't be distracted from the laid-back, old-school charm. 


Suck it up, take the R-train to the third-to-last stop, and be prepared to experience Brooklyn as you've never seen it before. 


EAT/DRINK
1. Who needs fancy food? You didn't come to Bay Ridge to eat like a Manhattan yuppy anyway, which makes Lola Bell's Cafe & Books (7428 Fifth Ave) a necessary stop on your budget adventure. This old spot is actually extremely charming, making it a favorite of both old and young, and boasting delicious sandwiches for $7 and under. Lola's also offers a book exchange, where you can bring in old, unwanted books and buy others at a deep discount. Live jazz is played Sundays at 9p, with no cover charge or drink minimum nonsense. We suggest a root beer float and a slice of homemade cheesecake, enjoyed outdoors on the patio. Open Tuesday-Friday, 11a-12a, Saturdays 11a-1a, and Sundays 11a-11p.
2. With a name like Skinflints (7902 Fifth Ave), it's gotta be our kind of place. Drinks run an average of $4 and thick, charred cheeseburgers are served on english muffins. It's the perfect dive bar joint to kick back with a few pints and shoot the breeze with your best Brooklyn buddies, plus the pressed tin-ceilings and beautifully tiled floors are a throwback to the old-school ice cream parlor that used to be located in the bar more than 100 years ago. Open Mondays-Thusdays and Sundays, 12p-1a, and till 3a on Friday and Saturday.
3. Hinsch's Confectionary Restaurant (8518 Fifth Ave) is a soda-fountain/luncheonette that still makes all of it's own ice creams and chocolates. The average treat will only set you back $4-8, and trust us, it's worth it. The perfect place to bring your boy on a first date, or your grandpa when he comes to town from California. While breakfast stops around 11a, the waffle irons never quits, so pile your favorite toppings onto your makeshift waffle sundae and dig in. Sometimes, old-school feels just like home... or what home would feel like 100 years ago. Open Monday-Saturday, 8a-7:30p, and Sundays from 10a-5p. 


SEE
1. Catch one of the prettiest views of the Verrazano you'll find in all of Brooklyn, by stopping by 101 Street as the sun begins to descend. John Paul John park is located across the street in front of the bridge, making the perfect spot to end your evening.
2. Make your way down 68th and 69th streets to the scene of where the 2007 tornado struck. Wear your ruby red slippers for extra protection- if somebody drops a house on you, there's no telling how long it will take to make your way back to the 'Burg. Didn't know there were tornados this side of Kansas? You've been warned. Houses and trees were the only casualties (some were ripped up from their roots and smashed into cars several blocks away), but winds topped over 125 MPH, making this a freak urban disaster for the books. 
3. Keep the party going all night at the 2001 Odyssey Disco (8th Ave and 64th St). Although it's now abandoned, this is the spot where John Travolta shook his groove thing in Saturday Night Fever. White disco jumpsuits encouraged.


DO
1. Visit the 69th Street Pier, one of the neighborhood's most well-known attractions. Fishermen and crabbers alike flock to this area to catch the evening's supper- just beware of stepping in front of their poles! Trust us, it's a disaster waiting to happen that will sure to result in lots of screaming and some truly knotted hair.
2. Scout for hotties on wheels at Owl's Head Park (6700 Shore Road), where Brooklyn's first concrete skatepark is one of the area's go-to places for skaters of all ages. Skating not your thing? Take yourself on an exploration adventure and hike through the trees to spot remnants of the old Bliss family estate, which is also hidden on the property. The estate was demo-ed in the '70;s, but concrete remnants still remain.
3. Channel your inner Peggy Olson (from our favorite favorite series, Mad Men), and tell a stranger that "you're from bay Ridge. They have manners."


Been to Bay Ridge and have more budget-friendly suggestions? Drop us a comment below with your favorite cheap eats, dive bars, attractions, and places to explore. We're always down for an adventure!


xo,
B

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obsession of the Week

It's clear that something has become an "obsession" when you stalk a product on its homepage, read every message board before purchasing, tear pictures out of magazines for display on your bulletin boards, and recommend highly to all of your friends.

Featured prominently on the pages of Vogue, Elle, Lucky, and on screen in films from the Devil Wears Prada to The Princess Diaries, the Shu Uemura is simply the best. We used to think that curling one's eye lashes was an extraordinary waste of time, reserved only for the types of people who always wear sunscreen, eat four to five servings of vegetables, and drink eight glasses of water. The Brooklyn Bitches could hardly be considered those types of ladies, and still we decided to give it a try. With every cosmetic, beauty, and fashion magazine from all over the world touting the benefits of curling your lashes, how could we not? This old-school beauty tool lifts lashes and opens up your eyes, completing that I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-how-perfect-am-i look with minimal effort.

And we did. Believe it or not, some make-up artists recommend a bare face with just your eyelashes curled and a little bit of Chapstick for a daily go-to look. While this wouldn't exactly fly with the combination harsh fluorescent  lighting/long office hours that most Bitches must endure as part of their dreary 9-to-5, we like the idea. One simple gadget could essentially replace 95% of the contents of our make-up bag. 

Reasons why we're obsessed:
1. Once you clamp this baby down on your lashes, you know it's something special. The fluid movement with lashes will look positively cover-worthy if you try the patented 3-clamp method: curl the base, the center, and the tip of the lash for supermodel windows to the soul. We've heard many a horror story of girls who have had their lash lines stripped bare from a faulty product, which has never happened with a Shu (unless you used while under the influence of too much Trader Joes Two Buck Chuck). 
2. It comes in a mini travel size, so you can stash at your boyfriend's place, that secret brick hiding place at your favorite bar bathroom (for looking cute on the run), or even in your purse. Pick one up at the cash register at your local Sephora.
3. It never gets stuck, jams, or gives uneven pressure. Ever. This perfect method of clamping and releasing gives you a perfect lash every single time. Precision engineering allows you to curl even the tiniest, hard-to-reach, corner-of-your-eye lashes. 
4. The natural curl looks less 1950s Barbie Doll and more glamorpuss extraordinaire. With a swipe of red lipstick for a night on the town, strangers may mistake you for a soap opera actress. Win. 
5. Long lasting mechanics allow you to keep this product for up to two years, Although the directions maintain you should replace every three months, we're just gonna pretend that was a kind suggestion for "those types of girls" (see above), and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. We've had our Shu for two years and counting.


This is a mandatory beauty item for all the ladies, although the $19 price tag might initially be a little off-putting. We promise it's worth it, especially when it can revolutionize your daily morning routine, and leave your friends and co-workers asking if you got legit eyelash extensions, a la J.Lo and her fox fur.


Already own the Shu Uemura? Tell us what you think! Drop a comment below, email us at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget.


xo,
B

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park


As a lover and strong proponent of all things free and fabulous- I am a Bitch on a Budget, after all- I look forward to summer in the city all year long. Where else could you find some of the most amazing films, summer concerts, food festivals, and street fairs, all for free, almost any day of the week?

Prospect Park’s Celebrate Brooklyn series gathers together artists of all sorts, from musicians to filmmakers to dancers, and presents summer showcases that are free and open to the public. The program honors the best and brightest of the performing arts, allowing you to pick your creative poison, from dancers to DJs to rock stars to classic films. 

Get to the park around 6:30p (shows start around 7:30p), grab a slice from Two Boots Brooklyn. Not allowed? Cans, bottles, coolers (plan accordingly and tote along your own thermos with the alcoholic beverage of your choice), video cameras, and puppies. All performances are rain or shine!

This season’s schedule includes:
June 12th- Allen Toussaint/Daniel Crawford
June 17th- Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends
June 18th- JG Thirlwell
June 19th- Bitches Brew Revisited
June 24th- Buena Vista Social Club
June 25th- Kid Koala
June 26th- Texas Tornados/Red Clay Ramblers
July 1st- Zvi Dance
July 2nd- The Fab 5
July 8th- Armitage Gone! Dance
July 9th- Ozomatli/ Fidel Nadal/ Toy Selectah
July 11th- The Roots
July 17th- African Festival
July 22nd- Carl Davis
July 23rd- Bomba Estereo
July 24th- Andres Levin/ The Bruce High Quality Foundation
July 29th- DJ Tigerstyle
July 30th- The Swell Season/ The Low Anthem
July 31st- Sonic Youth/ Grass Widow/ Talk Normal
August 5th- Metric
August 6th- House of Usher
August 7th- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
August 8th- Brady Rymer/ Elizabeth Mitchell

Which shows are you most excited to see? We’re dying to know- perhaps we could share a picnic blanket in the park? Comment below, send us an email at bbonabudget@gmail.com, and Tweet us @bbonabudget. We can’t wait to rock our shortie shorts and cowboy boots, a la last summer’s Jelly Pool Parties, and hear some of our favorite bands, live- for free!

It’s time to get psyched for summer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Perfect Summer Picnic


Summer is just around the corner, and we’re just about ready to swap our boots and leather jackets for sundresses and pretty sandals. Is there anything quite as wonderful as the first night of staying out all night without needing to bring a sweater?

New York City is buzzing with Summer 2010. Schedules for summer concerts, movies in the park, and free festivals of every variety planned from now until September. One of our personal favorite ways to spend an evening is curled up on a sheet with a group of friends, whether we’re enjoying a classic movie, toe-tappin’ jazz, or simply each other’s company. Somehow we always find ourselves the designated picnic-packers, which is enough pressure to make even the most confident Brooklyn Bitch panic. Luckily, we’ve experienced quite enough trial and error (pasta salad = always a good crowd-pleaser, sushi = always an unrefridgerated disaster).

Here are some of our Bitch-approved picnic treats, perfect for enjoying on a grassy lawn or beach pretty much anywhere:

1. Crusty Italian bread, baguettes or herbed foccacia (don’t have the dollars? Scour your freezer for a loaf of leftover bread. Defrost and cut into rounds, rub with olive oil and garlic, and toast).
2. Antipasto. Think in terms of cheese (rolls of Swiss, Cheddar, or Muenster  are always easy to transport, while Brie, marinated bocconcini, and goat cheese will make you feel like a grown up), sliced Italian meats (sopressata, salami, proscuitto), olives, artichoke hearts, and cold roasted peppers.
3. Snacks like guacamole and tortilla chips, pita bread or carrots and hummus, or flatbread with antipasto (see above) are the perfect no-mess accompaniments to any picnic occasion.
4. Pasta salad. Combine cold noodles with cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, marinated eggplant, mozzarella balls, chickpeas, frozen peas, or olives. Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and put into Tupperware to transport.
5. Watermelon. Pick some up at the grocery store or the green market and slice it yourself for a sweet after-dinner treat. If the watermelon at the supermarket seems a little too expensive for a budget picnic, opt for fruit like peaches, apricots, or nectarines instead.
6. Chocolate chip cookies make the best picnic dinner dessert. Pick something soft enough to be transported and sit in the bag until dinner is over.
7. An insulated thermos filled with plenty of your beverage of choice; whether it’s lemonade, ice tea, wine, or gin and tonics. 

When in doubt, you can always pick up a sandwich at a bodega or bring along a PB&J. However, if you’re in the mood to go big, see our list above.

Don’t forget the plastic forks, knives, and spoons, as well as plenty of paper plates and napkins! Other items to stash in the basket? A bottle opener, frozen ice packs for chilled foods, trash bags, desired condiments and a small cutting board/knife (if you’re bringing a fancy cheese that you’d prefer to cut yourself).

Happy picnicking!

Xo,
B

P.S. We’re currently on the hunt for the perfect wicker picnic basket. Nothing too fancy, but we’d love something old-school enough to carry our picnic blanket, utensils, thermos of mixed drinks, and delicious little feast. Keep the Bitches in mind if you’ve got anything on hand!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Southstreet Seaport on a Budget


What’s overcrowded with financial district traders, a captive tourist audience, and school trips- plus it has it’s own mall, historical vessels, and some of the best live summer concerts you’ll find in the city?

It sounds like a bad knock-knock joke, but really it’s the South Street Seaport. Currently home to some of the yummiest food vendors, places to picnic by the water, and one of the best places in the entire city to catch a strong breeze off the bay, it also happens to be one of those places we’ve determined to make budget-friendly. As well as being extremely historic, the gateway to the harbor has shown the Brooklyn Bitches many a good time, and we encourage do a little exploration of your own.

While we wouldn’t opt to spend our dollars on overpriced tank tops from Abercrombie and Fitch, nor would we prefer to knock back a few with the boys at any of the establishments in the ‘mall”. However, we think this tiny little section of the Financial District deserves a second glance- there are things here that you just can’t find anywhere else.

EAT/DRINK:
1. Jeremy’s Ale House (228 Front St) is our favorite dive bar of all time. The beer comes in gigantic, 32-oz frat-friendly Styrofoam cup/buckets for $2 a pop, plus you can get a mountain of mussels to share with your crew for $8.95. It’s the place where everybody knows your name, but forgets it because they’re wasted and are seeing quadruple. The walls are decorated with donated bras from the obnoxiously buxom and (probably used) undies, and the sign outside proudly announces that “At Jeremy’s Ale House, you always get a little head”. But hey, it doesn’t take too much effort to get somebody to buy you a shot, whether you’re a lady on a Budget or just a friendly guy that says “excuse me” on your way to the bathroom. The hardest part is stumbling home to the subway amidst the historic cobblestone streets.
2. Pick up a bacon dog ($3) or a soy dog ($3) and make your way over the the fixings bar at Water taxi beach (North Side of Pier 17) for all the mustard, relish, sliced tomatoes, and ketchup you can heap on a bun. Chase with a slice of ice-cold watermelon ($2).
3. If there’s anything we love in the summer, it’s some finger-licking-good barbeque. If there’s anything we love more than finger-licking-good barbeque, it’s CHEAP finger-looking-good barbeque. Luckily, at L & L Hawaiian Barbecue (64 Fulton St), all of our needs are met. Part New-York-Does-Hawaiian, part straight-up BBQ fast food, you can’t go wrong if you stop by this place in the summer. A chicken cutlet plate lunch comes with a delicious piece of golden crispy chicken smothered in special brown gravy and served with rice, macaroni salad, and garden salad for just $6.99. If that doesn’t tickle your barbeque fancy, go for the fried shrimp plate lunch (also $6.99) or a BBQ cheeseburger for just $3.50. We have no idea what those Wall Street guys eat for lunch, but this is probably the best choice you can make. Get it to go and eat by the water near the Mall, dipping your feet in at your own risk.

SEE:
1. The Southstreet Seaport Music Festival is returning for it’s summer music series, featuring Yellow Fever, Woven Bones, Bear in Heaven, Thee Oh Sees, Free Energy, Cad VanGaalen, YACHT, Golden Traingle, So Cow, Loose Limbs, Zola Jesus, . Shows begin on Pier 17 Stage at Fulton St and South Street, and start 7/2, stretching through the last few months of summer.
2. The Peking, the Wavertree, the Pioneer, the Lettie G. Howard, the Ambrose, the Helen McAllister, the W.O. Decker, and the Marion M are all 18th and 19th century ships, vessels, and tugboats that grace the waterways downtown. During nice weather, these ships will usually take tourists and the like out into NYC’s waterways. They have been designated national Historic Landmarks and have been preserved over the years, but most of all, they’re some of the most impressive boats we’ve ever seen outside of a museum.
3. Broadway2Battery movie nights on the elevated acre feature classic New York features paired with indie shorts. This summer’s line-up features Broadway Danny Rose, Auntie Mame, The Country Girl, and the Muppets Take Manhattan. Tickets are required and will be available, two per person, a the street-level Water St entrance to the Elevated Acre on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6p the day of the screening. For more information, check out the event’s webpage at www.rivertoriver.nyc.com/events.

DO:
1. Try to find the spots in South Street Mall where Kurt Cobain once stood with the rest of Nirvana in their In Bloom video.
2. If you’ve got relatives in from out of town, the TKTS booth in the historic cobble stone district usually has tickets you wouldn’t be lucky enough to get uptown. Show up early and bring plenty of patience to wait on line with the masses and you may be lucky enough to score good cheap tickets to the show of your choice.

SPLURGE:
1. Give in and take a water taxi from Water Taxi beach. It’s cheesy and touristy, but hey… it sort of looks fun. If you’ve got the dollars to blow, leave your snobby New Yorker sensibilities at the dock and take one of these boats for a ride. Catch the tail end of East River commuter service from Manhattan and Brooklyn, or take a Hop-on/Hop-off taxi to the Hunter’s Point Ferry stop. We promise not to tell.

SPEND: (not including $2.25 metrocard) $8-10


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weekend Wish List


It’s the first week of June and it’s already so hot we can hardly breathe. We’re not too sure about you guys, but we’ve only made it through the past week by instituting a mandatory no-pants rule in the apartment, laying with our faces on cold tile floor, and eating take-out Tasti-Delite standing up in front of the freezer, thus getting the maximum exposure to the cold. If you’re lucky enough to have central AC of any type (this includes large window fans, unusually chilly bedrooms, or plain old cold blood), we kinda hate you. And by kinda hate you we really mean we’d like to become best friends with you and come over to check out your pad.

For all of that wishing we did for months for summer to actually be here, we’ve been free to spend the weekend dreaming about other things. In no particular order, this weekend’s wish list includes…

1. An orange juice from Gray's Papaya. This bitter yet sweet pulpy delight is strangely addicting. Just imagine the best orange juice you’ve ever had in your life, times it by a zillion, and buy one for less than $2. That’s the only way you’ll be able to understand what we’re talking about.
2. Black garbage bags. Because we’re out and our go-to bodega next-door has permanently shut it’s doors. Plus we hear it’s just not cute to throw your empty iced coffee cups and empty shampoo bottles on the floor unless you’re trying to get your fifteen minutes of fame via Hoarders.
3. Tickets to see Sex and the City 2. Because we have vaginas and we’ve seen the trailer with Aiden like seven hundred times and it just needs to happen. Movie theaters also have glacial air conditioning blasting even in the dead of winter, plus they give us an excuse to eat a disgusting amount of peanut butter M&M’s.
4. A frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3. For those of you who have never experienced this famous summer staple from one of our favorite uptown establishments, you are seriously missing out. We hear there's a recipe floating around in cyberspace that mixes chocolate, hot chocolate mix, ice, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings to create your own, but nothing's as good as the one you can get at east 60th and 2nd Ave. 
5. Season two of Mad Men on DVD. It’s taken a good four years to bite the bullet and start from episode one, but we’ve been spending all of our downtime in bed watching season one… and we’re legitimately hooked. From the music to the wardrobe to the art direction, each episode makes us hate the fact that we live in 2010 Brooklyn instead of 1960s New York City. Special thanks to Don, Peggy, Roger, Pete, Betty, and Joan for adding a little sparkle to our days off.

Is there anything you’re dreaming about or wishing for this weekend? Share ‘em with the Bitches by commenting below, emailing us at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or tweeting us @bbonabudget!

There’s still a little bit of weekend left to make all your wishes come true!

Xo,
B

Friday, June 4, 2010

Obsession of the Week


One of my 2010 New Years resolutions was to start wearing more lipstick. It seemed like the most beautiful, put-together women, from the streets of Paris to the screen icons of the 50’s, were able to swipe and pout with ease. We drooled over Betty Draper’s ruby lips and fell hard for Dita Von Teese’s in rockin’ red- but never attempting ourselves. As a lipstick-phobe, as well as being straight-up inept at putting on our make-up in the mornings, I were intimidated when it came to take the plunge into bold, bright lips. Armed with a stack of beauty mags, a crowded make-up aisle at Target, and a whole lot of inspiration from Christina Aguilera to Naomi Davis at The Rockstar Diaries, we decided it was time. 

Whether we’re attempting to channel Gwen Stefani, forking over our hard-earned dollars at Sephora to best imitate Scarlett Johansson, or just getting in touch with our inner Marilyn, the first thing we reach for is our red lipstick. Dramatic, bold, and retro glam: does it get any better than that? Plus, the perfect red lipstick can often lead to dangerously sexy results. We’ve heard the rumors from every women’s magazine on the shelf: YES! YOU CAN WEAR RED LIPSTICK, TOO! But how realistic is that? Call us skeptics, but we’re just not buying it.

Until now.

As any Bitch can attest, we often find that the true problem is finding that universally flattering shade. How many times have you read a review and picked up a new shade at Duane Reade only to discover it makes your pout look like you colored it in with your brightest Crayolas?

Fear not, fierce ladies. We’ve tested every shade from ruby to ladybug, and we finally have a contender worthy for any occasion. As Brooklyn Bitches on a Budget, we’re not encouraging you to spend a fortune to look fly, which is one of the reasons why this vibrant hue can be found at any of your favorite drugstores. The dynamite product is Maybelline’s Royal Red…and we’re obsessed.

Reasons why we’re obsessed:
1. The color is perfect: a simple cherry red with a slight pink. No matter what your coloring or complexion, we promise this is the shade for you. Bitch tested, budget approved.
2. It’s multi-functional. Because of the creamy formula of the cosmetic, it can easily be blended into cheeks for makeshift blush.
3. The price makes it perfect. At less than $5 a tube (no matter where you pick it up), this is a product you’ll be able to purchase and still have enough dollars to buy a pack of paper towels.
4. It’s part of the Moisture Extreme line. Besides basically loving any product labeled as “extreme”, this lipstick leaves a smooth, moisturizing feeling that leaves your lips feeling soft and not sticky.
5. No lipstick taste. It’s inevitable (especially if you’re an unnamed Brooklyn Bitch who counts clumsy as one of her strengths): some of the lipstick is going to end up in your mouth. Is there anything worse than that waxy, plastic taste from most drugstore cosmetics?

Pick yours up at Wal-Mart ($4.97) , Duane Reade ($4.87) , Target ($4.99),  or CVS ($4.99). Send us pictures of your best pout at bbonabudget,com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Free Movies: Brooklyn


Nothing quite says summer like a movie under the stars. We've got the HBO/Bryant Park line-up marked on the calendar, and now it's time to show Brooklyn some love. Proving it's possible to still see movies on the cheap (read: free), the L Magazine's super-successful Summerscreen series returns for it's fifth year this summer, starting July 7th. Where to go? The McCarren Park Battlefields, at Bedford Ave and North 12th, from 6p-10p every Wednesday. Gates open at 6p, and the films start rolling by dusk. 
The program line-up is as follows:
July 7th- Say Anything
July 14th- Labyrinth
July 21st- Romeo + Juliet
July 28th- Dead Man
August 4th- Starship Troopers
August 11th- Point Break
Stay tuned for the best food for picnics the cheapest places to find makeshift blankets, and the ins and outs of sneaking your homemade cocktails to the movies.
Got any other free movie suggestions? We'd love to hear 'em! Drop us a line by commenting below, sending us an email at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or Tweeting us @bbonabudget.
xo,
B

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, RECYLE!


(does anybody recall that song from that episode of Rocko's Modern Life?)

I blame my father, an artist by trade, for the slightly obsessive collecting I’ve adopted into my everyday thrifting ways. The man who taught me that nearly everything can be re-used, re-purposed, saved or otherwise put on display has instilled me with the tools necessary to live fabulously on a budget. For this, I am forever grateful- although I spent many of my teenage years throwing tantrums about the “junk” he thought was cool. From antique clocks to old framed photos of families from the ‘20s to glass door knobs to bathroom hand mirrors, my parent’s collections have laid the framework for quite an artistic upbringing.

As a result, this has translated into the careful saving of  every empty glass jar that could otherwise be considered trash. Our Resident Bitch on Assignment drinks only from mason jars when she can help it, and often enlists my help to scour local rummage sales in search of the elusive (and expensive) green varieties. My new roommate and terrarium enthusiast has been stealing my best jars to make my bookshelves into an ecosystem of sparkle and sustainable cactus communities. Between three mason jar collectors, we have amassed an impressive amount of glasses in all shapes and sizes, most of which have found homes in other rooms of my house. Mason jars have become a household necessity and a total friend to the Bitches on a Budget.

Loads of love and thanks to my Dad, for teaching me that trash can indeed be treasure… or, at the very least, cheaper than housewares from IKEA.

  1. Whether you steal a handful of flowers from an uptown Manhattan planter, buy a few daisies at the bodega, or receive a bouquet from a handsome stranger, your flowers will last longer in water. If you’re too broke for a vase, rinse out a mason jar, trim down the blooms, and voila: makeshift vase.
  2. Anything tastes better when sipped from a mason jar, plus it gives a kitschy feel to your kitchen cabinet. Reach for a very clean mason jar the next time you’re pouring a drink of iced coffee, pink lemonade, or mojito.
  3. Storing your baking products. Sugar, salt, flour, and sprinkles never looked so pretty. Not a baker? Fill with pasta, yogurt, breadcrumbs, cookies, granola, oatmeal or candy!
  4. A recent (and rare) night on the town led us to a semi-fancy restaurant where paper tablecloths and plastic utensils were nowhere to be found. Okay, we were kind of on a date and kind of not in a budget-friendly establishment, but we did catch ourselves admiring a beautiful display of flicking candles- inside of mason jars. The soft glow of the candles combined with the slight sparkle of the clear glass was enough to inspire us to create our own display as soon as we got home. Try it for yourself- everything looks better in candlelight.
  5. Attempting a Bitch-at-Home-inspired workout that requires weights? Fill a mason jar with sand, tighten securely, and lift your way to sculpted, Michelle-Obama worthy arms.
  6. Take an afternoon of “arts and crafts” to the next level (for us, it usually includes rounding up a bunch of lady friends, a lot of box wine, and a few magazines to make collages) and make a couple glass jar frames, no bottle cutter required. First, measure how tall your jar is. Trim the height of your photo accordingly to fit the jar. Roll the photo slightly and slide it into the jar so it will be right-side-up when the jar is upside-down. Poke into place with the eraser end of a pencil. Turn the jar upside down and display your simple thrifty work of art!
  7. Capture the taste of summer in a jar by brewing a batch of tea in the warm sun. Just fill a clean jar with cold water, add four bags or four tsp of tea to the water and close lid. Set the jar in the sun for an hour. Pour over ice when one and invite your girls over for an impromptu tea party!
  8. Make a snow globe. Use a clean jar to create the best snow globe you’ve never seen in a souvenir shop. Attach any figurine or toy to the inside of the jar lid. Be sure whatever you use is waterproof and won’t dissolve. Fill jar with water to ½ inch of top. Use cold water to avoid a cloudy snow globe. Add glitter to the water. Using a hot glue gun, line the inside of the lid with glue. Screw on lid tightly. Apply a layer of hot glue to seal the rim of the lid. Let dry overnight. In the morning, feel free to paint the lid or add any additional spangles and sparkles. Display in a place of prominence!
  9. Make a centerpiece. If you’re having a dinner party (or just a night at home with a special somebody), fill with something decorative like cranberries, clear marbles, or tiny rocks and place on the center of the table. Fill with Legos, spare change, beads, seashells. Anything that might be considered “clutter” looks a lot more appealing inside a jar. Ornamental and functional, yet another reason why we love these glass guys. Insta-fancy.
  10. Bring a mason jar to the park after dark and catch as many fireflies as you can. Get in touch with your inner six-year-old and create your own temporary nightlight at the same time.

Do you have any weird collections or suggestions for repurposing household items instead of trashing them? We’d love to hear from you! Comment below, drop us a line at bbonabudget@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @bbonabudget!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Perfect Summer Meal: Pasta Primavera


Pasta primavera sounds fancy, but it’s really not. A notoriously terrible chef in my early high school days, this was one of the first Grown Up recipes I attempted to conquer, after being inspired by the Barefoot Contessa during a Food Network marathon. It turns out I’m pretty capable of boiling water for pasta (a useful skill I have parlayed into many boxes of Mac-n-Cheese, Ramen noodles, and Rice-a-roni over the years), and this recipe is a perfectly sophisticated meal for any friend or boyfriend in need of a yummy hot meal.

All you need:
1 box ziti noodles
½ bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 jar fresh salsa
1 tsp sugar
4 oz soft goat cheese
½ bag of frozen cooked shrimp, thawed

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the box.
  2. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the boiling water.
  3. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the salsa in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until tomatoes release their juices, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in goat cheese and sugar and heat until smooth.
  6. Add the shrimp and fold in gently until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss.
  8. Enjoy!

Xo,
B