Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat on a Budget

Getting your candy fix is pretty damn easy for any Brooklyn Bitch who doesn’t exactly have two dimes to rub together. Every year, come October 31st, the city opens it’s doors wide and offers up treats and sweets for free- no questions asked.

Yep, that’s right, Bitches- Halloween isn’t just for six year olds and their classmates anymore. Personally, I was raised in a household where all the candy that you could ever want is doled out and not regulated, twice a year (Halloween and Easter). The hope that her children would somehow learn to enjoy things in moderation and get sick before lunchtime early on in their candy-consuming careers has severely backfired on my mother, leaving her with three ladies who will never stop eating as many M&M’s, Reeses, Snickers, Airheads, and Starbursts as they can cram in at one time. Here’s looking at you, 6p bellyache!

However, growing up in the city over the past four years, I’ve found that my budget can no longer support my personal habit. Luckily, New York will never let you down come All Hallows Eve. For the broke (and the not so broke) Bitches looking to get in on the holiday action this year, here are some tried-and-true venues and locations where YOU can trick-or-treat your way to a free stomach ache in no time at all.

1.    If you happen to be of the five-feet-and-under-set (or just have an outrageously childish voice, like myself), you can probably con entire apartment buildings out of their selection of Dots and Almond Joys. Head to the more residential areas of Manhattan- think Upper East Side- where there are plenty of doorbells to ring and knockers to knock.
(Note: this Bitch has gotten a tip off to a huge party on 69th St and Central Park West, as well as 90th St btwn Columbus and Amsterdam Aves for truly sweet spots for trick-or-treating)
2.   Hit up the bodega where you always buy your milk and cigarettes. The friendlier delis and bodegas often have bowls of candy (albeit individually wrapped Swedish fish and blow pops) up for grabs.
3.   If you happen to be in the Chelsea area around 6p, families gather in Clement Clarke Moore Park on 10th Ave and 22nd St to hit the brownstones near the General Theological Seminary.
4.   Duane Reade at Greenwich and Hudson has never let me down. Most Tribeca stores, as a whole, are pretty friendly for even the older trick-or-treaters.
5.   Don’t discredit the more unexpected of neighborhood shops- for instance, there is a really rough and rumble training gym for boxers around the block from me, and the staff of extremely attractive men wearing muscle t’s are always willing to sneak me a full-size Kit Kat. No joke.
6.   Park Slope, that Brooklyn neighborhood overflowing with children and their obnoxious parents, really pulls out all the stops today. Get yourself to Seventh Ave and 14th St by 6:30p for the three hour parade that results in parade attendees getting absolutely showered with candy.

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Wish List

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and I’m blogging in lieu of attending a long-awaited Halloween party hosted by one of my oldest friends. A 30-minute drive on sheer black ice in screaming winds and howling rains are really not encouraging signs- for me or for my Annie Hall get-up.

Le sigh.

Here are five things that I am really pining for this weekend.

1. My favorite scary movies on DVD. I’m not a self-professed horror movie junkie, but it is getting to be the time of year when I thoroughly enjoy a good scare-your-pants-off session. My DVD collection is surprisingly bare of my favorites: Rosemary’s Baby, The Haunting, and Rebecca (the early Hitchcock thriller).
2. A home library with a rolling library. Erring on the side of ridiculous- where in God’s name will I ever find a townhouse in Manhattan that can accommodate such an outlandish request, but this is the weekend wish list after all. The upstairs library in the home of Jeff Halmos and Sam Shipley is causing an absurd amount of interior design lust this weekend.
3. These wine glasses from The Willows Home and Garden. Short wine glasses just remind me of my past Parisian adventures, and make me long for lazy evenings making dinner for my Boy on a Budget and talking about our days over a bottle of Cote d’Rhone. The $10 price tag/glass make them even more appealing- but bring a little bit of anxiety to my accident-prone behavior.
4. Kate Spade’s Kati Jeweled cardigan in blue teal. After a Real Simple spread in the most recent November issue that combined my favorite color with a variety of other shades and hues, I’ve made it a top priority to get my hands on as much turquoise for my wardrobe. As a self-professed cardigan-a-holic, I have a hard time saying no to anything with rhinestones and sparkly jewels. This sweater from Kate Spade is both completely out of my price range and also the cardie of my dreams.
5. A set of Max Brenner Hug Mugs exclusively for hot-chocolate-sipping. While I would love to drink pretty much any liquid out of these weirdly-shaped little cups, the ritual of preparing a very specific hot chocolate recipe and enjoying in a Hug Mug on a gloomy, blustery evening is something that I wish I could repeat more often.

What are you wishing for this weekend, Bitches? With a  belly full of fancy hot chocolate and a scary movie queued up in my Netflix library, I’m ready to snuggle down and enjoy an unexpected night at home on the beach.

Hope your weekend is equally as lovely- if slightly more exciting.


Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Frugal Friday Feast #5 
Bitches Beyond: Get Your Scare On

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Friday Frames, Part Sixteen

Thank Goodness it’s Friday! While I wish that this evening held all the promise of being young and vegging out on the couch with sweatpants, pizza, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (90’s-style), I’m afraid I’m going to be running on all systems go until late next week. It’s the price to pay for having your dream job and trying to make celluloid magic happen, I guess, but a few extra hours of sleep and a hot meal certainly wouldn’t hurt me at this point.

However, I’m trying to have as much fun as I can- it makes the days much lovelier, after all. With the crisp fall air, unexpected road trips to glimpse some of the foliage on our way to set, and slight scent of burning leaves to wake up to every morning, I certainly can’t complain about my favorite season finally being here to stay.

The cabinet of a genius.

Upstate barn adventures.

Perfectly carved jack-o-lantern.

Milkshake menu at my new favorite Park Slope joint.

Best salon window display.
What do you have planned for the weekend, lovelies? I’ll be headed to the beach for my baby sister’s Sweet Sixteen (don’t even get me started, I am not emotionally equipped to handle such a milestone), followed by a series of debaucherous Halloween parties, shopping for the new boots of my dreams, and hopefully consuming an impressive amount of fun-size Kit Kats.

Whatever you decide to do, make it magical. Things in my life lately have been more parts stress than sparkle, and I’m hoping that the coming November could be the month to turn it all around.

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Trick-or-Treating: The Grown Up Way
Bitches Beyond: Costumes on a Budget

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thrifty Halloween Plans for the Bitch on a Budget

Halloween is expensive enough- between purchasing the pieces to construct the best Halloween costume since your fourth grade fairy princess get-up and the cost of the endless fun-sized candy bars that you’ve been craving since last year, mid-November, who has the extra $20-40 to dance at some factory rave, get drunk at a downtown cocktail bar, or wait on line all night at a nightclub only to get turned away at the door once the clock strikes midnight?

Spending extraneous money is something that already scares the pants off this Bitch on a Budget.

Here are some ideas for how you can still enjoy Halloween for practically no dollars:

1. Free screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Habana Outpost on Monday at dusk. Film is outdoors, so bring your own flask and candy supply.
2. It may cost $10, but the Creepshow at the Freakshow on Coney Island sounds like something too good to miss. After a 45-minute tour through the Sideshow set-up, get terrified beyond belief by costumed ride inspectors and roller coaster crash victims.
3. The Village Halloween parade. This is a classic, for New Yorkers and newcomer Bitches alike. I’m a fan because it doesn’t cost any money, and a few smiles can usually result in a little extra candy getting thrown your way by an overzealous parade participant. Fun-size Airheads and New Yorkers decked out in their finest festive attire, only a 1 train ride away? What’s not to like? Further details on the event website- but be advised that the parade starts at 6:30p and extends Sixth Ave from Spring St to 16th St.
4. This house in Clinton Hill is turning into the creepy haunted house of your dreams. 313 Clinton Ave, between Lafayette and Dekalb Ave- and it’s totally free.
5. Zombies! Zombies! Zombies, a collection of fiction from world-famous authors including Stephen King and Richard Matheson, is presented thanks to Otto Penzler at 7p on Halloween. Free with RSVP.
6. Purchase a pumpkin at the corner bodega and celebrate Halloween the old-school way. Comprehensive pumpkin carving tips and tricks can be found here.
7. BAM hosts BAMboo, their 10th annual Halloween party. Puppet shows, candy giveaways, and costume contests for the broke-ass family on a budget (or for the big sister stuck watching the kids). 4p-7p, free fun for all who attend. 
8. Laugh your ass off- which is a pretty scary concept, come to think of it- at Thunder Gulch Presents: Monster Night Live! The best and brightest of UCB gather at the 307 W 26th St theater for a spooky yet silly take on the standard variety show. 9:30p, $5 at the door.
9. Get scared for real at Spine Tingling and True: Ghost Stories of the Merchant’s House Museum. Head to 29 E 4th St at Bowery to hear selections from 19th-century horror stories, as well as true life creepy tales from workers at the museum. $15 if you’re a member of the museum ($25 otherwise).
10. The $28 ticket price has me a little creeped, but I’d still consider shelling out to see the Misfits perform at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown at 8p. Yeah, yeah, there’s only one real Misfit in the band… but who knows who’ll show up to join Jerry onstage to ring in Halloween?

Do you know of a fantastic free (or cheap) event that we’ve neglected to mention? Drop us a comment below, send an email to bbonabudget (at) gmail (dot) com, or Tweet us @bbonabudget!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is the Wednesday Weekly Challenge?

Dear Bitches,

It’s time for another weekly challenge, and I’m looking to you for suggestions! Nothing is too silly or too hard- just hit me with your best shot. Whether you know of something that I should personally be doing a better job with, or a new process/way of thinking that you have had a positive experience with by adapting, I’m open to whatever you want to throw my way.

What Wednesday Weekly Challenge do you think this Bitch should attempt next?

Leave a comment below, send an email to bbonabudget (at) gmail (dot) com, or Tweet me right nor @bbonabudget!


Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Secret Brown ButterSauce
Bitches Beyond: Fort Greene on a Budget

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Fat Ginger Cookies

I wasn’t a girl who grew up with a lot of gingerbread in her life- and thus, am making up for it rapidly now that I’m kind of a grown-ass lady. Thankfully, I’ve found a really bomb recipe for a standby cookie that is my go-to once the chilly season hits- and I have the Big Fat Cookie recipe book (and Eleanor Klivans) to give all the credit to.

Now, please be aware- this isn’t a recipe where you’ll be clambering to eat the raw cookie dough- or, at least in my case, I found that it wasn’t really what I was hoping for. However, as soon as they come out of the oven, it’ll be nearly impossible to not double-stack and cram into your mouth as fast as humanly possible.

Photo from Valeria Hart
All you need:
2 ¼ c flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp clove
¾ c unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 c light brown sugar
1 egg
¼ c molasses
¼ sugar

1.    Preheat the oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
2.   Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves into a bowl. Set aside.
3.   In another bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended. The recipe recommends using an electric mixer, but my relic kitchen appliance circa 1965 wasn’t really up for the job.
4.   Add egg and molasses and mix until blended and light brown in color.
5.   Add flour mixture and combine until just incorporated.
6.   Spread sugar on a large piece of wax paper.
7.   Roll a small ball of dough between your palms (approx ¼ c, if you’re a girl who likes to play by the rules). Roll the ball in the sugar and place on baking sheet.
8.   Once tray is finished, bake until tops feel firm but are still soft in the center and there are still large cracks on top- approx 14 minutes.
9.   Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Use spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.
10.                  Enjoy with a gigantic glass of hot apple cider for a complete fall overdose.

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Make-It-Yourself: Halloween Costumes
Bitches Beyond: Weekend Wish List

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Friday Frames, Part Fifteen

What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been- as you can tell from the state of this blog, my daily day to day has been a boomerang of moviemaking and getting things done. Don’t get me wrong- I wouldn’t have it any other way- but it has certainly resulted in a lot of long, sleepless nights, and utilizing my time management skills to ensure I’ve drank enough coffee or remembered to put two socks on. As you will see from the select frames below, I’ve managed to have quite a bit of fun in spite of it all.

Chocolate-dipped s'mores for the win.

Rock stars and new best friends.

Lunch love on the LES.

A reassuring sign at our weekend shooting location.

Spin me right round, baby, right round.

What are you doing this weekend, lovelies? I’m headed upstate today directly from my office, where I’ll be shooting scenes with cannibals, natives, and insane asylum patients until late Sunday night. Please think of me as you watch reruns of the Real Housewives of New Jersey or blow-dry your hair- I’ll be stomping around the forest and sleeping in a barn.


Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Bitches do the Farmers Market
Bitches Beyond: Bitches like Tacos

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Simplify the Stress

If you’re anything like me (and I sincerely hope this is not the case, because that means you are broke and in a constant state of starving), you have at least one drawer in your desk that has been relegated to Junk Drawer status. For me, this is the one place in my house where I’ve felt compelled to cram every last cord, charger, and hardrive that would usually be taking up valuable desk space. For those who know me very well, you might be surprised. I have the sort of Type-A, everything-in-its-place personality that would otherwise excuse such sloppy behavior.

However, while the occasional clutter doesn’t really drive me crazy, I must admit that it’s the time it takes to untangle and locate whatever specific cord I happen to be searching for. Always in a rush, never able to find what I need, I have since voiced my frustrations to Mama Bitch, who instructed me to pretty much drop everything and get myself to a Staples. Picking up a package of labels, she promised, would solve my whole what-cord-goes-to-what-device debacle.

Armed with a thin-tip Sharpie and a pack of white labels (about the size of a return address stickie), I took to my junk drawer and turned my source of clutter into something… less cluttered. The change was immediate, and my overall attitude was remarkable. Suddenly, I could find everything I needed… when I wanted to. Amazing how something so tiny made me much more efficient- and, to be honest, happier.

Do yourself a favor, Bitches. Find one tiny thing that drives you crazy each and every single day- whether it’s the five minutes it takes to locate the charger for your ipod, or the drippy shower faucet that never quite shuts off all the way. Make a plan- be it an hour, an evening, or a weekend- and eradicate the source of frustration. There are so many better ways to be spending your energy then constantly being annoyed with one tiny setback.

So bite the bullet. Buy the labels. Change the lightbulb. Say goodbye to stress and feel accomplished all at the same time. I promise this is one thing that you can find the time for- and this is coming from one of the busiest Bitches in Brooklyn.

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: English Muffin Pizza

Bitches Beyond: Bushwick on a Budget

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make it Yours: Real Life

Today’s Make It Yourself Monday comes on the heels of an incredibly inspiring, happy, fulfilling, and overwhelmingly positive two days of insanity.

Make it happen, Bitches.

Think about what you want, more than anything. More than sleeping late or leopard print wedges from Urban or a pumpkin spice latte every afternoon. And then make the sacrifices you need to make until it’s real.

Speaking from the heart, it feels really fucking good when you make it happen.

You can do it, Bitches. I believe in you.


Bitches Beyond: Weekend Wish List

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

For a Brooklyn Bitch on a Budget constantly on the verge of coming down with a mean case of scurvy (seriously, I think pirates ate more vegetables than I’ve been consuming lately), I am constantly fascinated by the cooking properties of zucchini.

It always seems to be the cheapest vegetable in the produce section at Key Foods, and I’m never one to turn down a bargain. However, my biggest qualm with this hardy green vegetable is its rather inconvenient to eat. There’s no way a stuffed zucchini is going to survive a work-lunch-microwave session, zucchini bread just straight up isn’t my thing, and chocolate zucchini cake sounds disgusting. So how’s a Bitch supposed to make something cheap taste delicious without having to buy a ton of other ingredients?

Enter the zucchini pancake. Smitten Kitchen’s recipe hit the internet a few weeks ago, and immediately inspired my East Village Bitch, E, and I to throw a spontaneous dinner party just to try ‘em out. While we weren’t exactly disappointed (they were damn delicious), they were much too small for our taste.

The next time you’ve got some extra zucchini (and not so much money) on hand, try making these zucchini pancakes.

All you need (for one pancake):
1 ½ c grated zucchini
½ c flour
½ c water
½ tsp salt
vegetable oil

1.    Combine zucchini, flour, water and salt in a bowl.
2.   Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium high heat.
3.   Spread zucchini mixture evenly onto the pan.
4.   After a few minutes, the bottom side of the zucchini should be browning. Use a spatula to flip the pancake over and cook on the other side. Add a bit more oil if you need the pancake to come out crispier.
5.   Transfer to a plate when both sides are brown and crispy.
6.   Sprinkle salt on top and serve.

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Make-It-Yourself Monday: Dreams Coming True 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Broke-Ass Book Tour: COMING SOON

Let me just start by saying I’m fully aware that I’ve pretty much been the worst blogger ever in the history of broke bloggers. Sorry for disappearing on you guys- these past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind, with a lot of nights eating raisins for dinner and getting a bulk of my sleeping done on the subways in the morning.

However, I’ve decided to break my temporary blogging hiatus to announce an event this week that will make your Monday more awesome just reading about it.

A guy who’s pretty near and dear to my heart- as a blogger, as a broke-ass, and as an awesome guy who likes free stuff almost as much as I do- is currently traveling around the East Coast as part of his “Broke As Hell” East Coast Book Tour.

For those of you unfamiliar with the genius behind “Broke-Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website” (We are Young, Broke, and Beautiful being the tagline), Broke Ass Stuart is
responsible for compiling master lists of awesome cheap things to do (in both NYC and San Francisco, talk about an overachiever), instructing cheap ladies and gentlemen how to live even cheaper, and also hosting IFC’s Young, Broke & Beautiful. Besides pulling overtime to keep us broke-asses in the know, the guy’s pretty awesome and has built his whole schtick on really supporting, promoting, and helping people who are poor and unwilling to stay home on a Friday night.

The Book Tour itself is a half book reading and signing, half dance party and is entirely DIY (why would it be anything but?!), and so if you’re into drinking, dancing, and doing awesome things, I firmly believe that you should be at Fat Baby this Wednesday (10/12). Buy a book, bring a friend, give that guy a kiss, and tell him the Brooklyn Bitches on a Budget sent you.

NOTE: If you’re a Bitch on a Budget in the not-Brooklyn area, be sure to check out the whole tour here and figure out when you can shower this broke guy with dollars and hugs.


Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Weekend Wish List

Bitches Beyond: Weekend Wish List

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brunch Cocktail Challenge

I’ve long extolled the virtues of my favorite meal ever (otherwise known as BRUNCH), but what to do when you’re a broke Bitch on a budget who can’t afford the $10+ breakfast cocktails that really enhance your meal?

The simple solution, as always, is making something at home. Saving up over the course of the week to afford the few essential Bloody Mary ingredients will afford you a pitcher full of mix that you can stick in the freezer until you’re ready.

All you need:
1 46-oz can of tomato juice (the cheaper the better, quality isn’t what we’re going for here, guys)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce (what Bloody Mary would be complete without it?)
1 ½ oz lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp A1 steak sauce
2 tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp hot sauce
1 tsp horseradish

1.    Put garlic and tomato juice in your food processor/blender and pulse until blender.
2.   Add remaining ingredients. Stir until combined.
3.   Transfer to a clean plastic Tupperware or take-out container.
4.   Freeze until the weekend, and add vodka and ice when ready.

The perfect way to enjoy microwaved waffles and soggy breakfast cereal while still feeling like a fancy lady. Dining in your pajamas is an absolute must, and we encourage a long stretch of day drinking before tackling the more stressful parts of your weekend- writing checks to pay the bills, doing heaps of laundry, or office work that you just can’t seem to get off of your mind.

Follow this recipe (from the incredibly talented Jeffrey Morganthaler) for a cheap and indulgent way to enjoy the weekend, no matter how tiny your budget is.

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Peanut Butter Cups, Bboab-Style
Bitches Beyond: Chinatown on a Budget