{Every Woman Should Know} How to Pack Light



For starters, this is what I call a “duh post”. I do recognize I’m probably writing a post about stuff we all should already know… things that should be common “cents”, but sometimes we, or maybe just I, need a reminder or two. As I was preparing for my week and a half long trip to Germany and the Czech Republic to celebrate the Mr.’s 30th birthday, my father warned the Mr. of my normal packing habits. Yes, I’m that girl who tends to over pack, although I like to think of it as being prepared. With airlines now charging extra fees, I knew I had to get break this habit…and fast. So, I tapped into my old Container Store Days (my first job) and combined my organization skills to get a week and a half worth of stuff into ONE checked bag + a carry on.


Pack Basics, Pack In a Color Theme, and Bring Accessories: For this trip, I over packed significantly. At the end of the day, I used jeans as my main basic and stayed in the color theme of burgundy. That way, my accessories complimented the outfits that I created.

Travel Fashion.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo Credit: Tiger Mist

Roll Don’t Fold: I don’t know why I ever folded clothes to begin with. Not only does rolling clothes create more space, but it also reduces wrinkles in your clothing; thus, you spend your time exploring a new city/country rather than ironing.

If You Can’t Get More than One Wear Out of It, Leave it At Home: I used to think that I had to wear something different every day. Let me be the first to admit I was stupid. I mean seriously, it’s vacation. No one will say, “hey, did you see {insert your name here} in the same pair of jeans”?  

Wear your Heaviest Shoes: I got this tip from my Dad. It makes your bag lighter and creates more space.

Pack the Heaviest Stuff in Your Carry On

  • Pack-It Systems and Travel Space Bags: I didn’t use a Pack-It system on this trip, but I did use the travel space bags for our dirty clothes and travel blanket. I found it to be very helpful in unpacking, because the clean clothes never mixed with the dirty clothes AND…. the dirty clothes went directly from the space bag to the hamperJ.
  • Pack At Least 3 days in Advanced. Pack at least 3 days in advanced and reexamine your choices the day before you leave. At this point, you should be removing unnecessary items instead of adding last minute oversights. Looking back, I could have removed an extra ten pounds worth of stuff that I never used or wore. Plus, you want to leave additional room for cool stuff you pick up during your travels.

On the day of our departure, my bag weighed 43lbs, right under the 50lb limit so no extra fees for me!!! In fact, my Mr.’s bag weighed more than mine did. Coming back was a different story, but doing good things for others allows good things to come your way. Right as my bag was being placed on the luggage scale at the airport, I noticed a woman having trouble lifting her bags. The Mr. did not notice her difficulty lifting, but he helped her because he is a gentleman. We stopped what we were doing to help her. Come to find out, it wasn’t that the bag was heavy, but the woman did not have full use of her arm. No one else in the airport helped her until the Mr. and I saw her. The woman at the check in counter thought what we did was so nice and told us about how people don’t help others too often. Needless to say, she did not charge me for my slightly heavier bag. Being nice to others is free and sometimes it can get you free things!!

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{Women & Business} Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Check out this interesting infograph about women in business and the stats about breaking the “glass ceiling”.

Business Infographic

 designed by Jonathan Patterson

{Every Woman Should Know} How to Write a Killer Thank You Note

how-to-write-a-thank-you-noteYou can call me old-fashioned, but I am still one of those people who buys fun stationary and sits down to write a thank you note. Sometimes, though, I find that when the time comes to actually sit down and write one, be it for a gift, job interview follow-up, or thanking someone for a kind deed, the words aren’t there. In this instance, check out this lovely “cheat sheet” for a thank you note that the recipient will be happy to receive.

1. Clearly address the recipient of the thank you: For example, “Dear readers of She Makes Cents..”

2. Next state what you are thankful for: This is where you explicitly state the gift, invitation, kind deed, or whatever.  For example, “thank you so much for not only following She Makes Cents, but engaging in thoughtful conversation about finances, lifestyle, and your personal goals”.

3. Now explain how you plan of using the gift & how it made you feel to receive it.  For example, “it makes me feel good to know that it is okay to engage in conversations about money so that I can become better educated and I can help to educate others on financial matters.

4. Send out your thanks again and seal the deal with your autograph: For example, “my sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support this website.  All my love, Danielle.

Dear readers of She Makes Cents, Thank you so much for not only following She Makes Cents, but engaging in thoughtful conversation about finances, lifestyle, and your personal goals. It makes me feel good to know that it is okay to engage in conversations about money so that I can become better educated and I can help to educate others on financial matters. My sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support this website.
All my love, Danielle

It’s easy…it’s free… and it’s something every woman should know how to do.

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{From Glamour Mag} 30 Things Every Woman Should Have or Know by 30

In 1997, Glamour Magazine released an article entitled 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 by Pamela Redmond Satran. Being that in 97, I was… well, not really thinking about myself at the age of 30, I didn’t even remember it the first go round. Apparently, it was an email phenomena that people of my generation missed. What I find interesting is that the list is still relevant 15 years later (as 30 is not too far from my site line). Based off Satran’s list, I have crossed off 20 out of 30, which ain’t bad!

According to Satran, by 30, you should have:

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know:

1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. How to take control of your own birthday.
9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30.

Even more amazing is that Santran has expanded it into a book, that from what I hear is a page turner.  

Read More : Original Source

How Many Things Can You Cross Off?

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{Every Woman Should Know…} How To Give a Self Breast Exam!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. For women of all ages, the breast self-exam is a useful tool that is easy to do. It is used to look for unusual lumps, skin changes, or discharge. For most women, once-a-month exams are easy to remember, with the best time being about one week after the start of a period.  Click here to start receiving a FREE reminder email reminders for your self-exam.

Check out this Cheat Sheet:

Photo Credit: BrightPink.org


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{Business Cents} 25 Killer Tips from 25 Powerful Women Business Owners

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, at no cost to you.  

Career hacks come from many different sources if you are open to it.  Some of the best advice I got before I even got my first post-grad job was that “nothing is off the record”.  As I got into my career, I figured out some things on my own and some of my best tips would be to treat your time like money.  I’ve been quoted many times telling whoever that will listen that “once you start thinking of your time as currency, you will no longer waste it nor will you allow others to do so”. That being said, I would advise people at every stage of their careers to streamline their process.   For example, it used to take me forever to send out the sign up information and the FREE Money Challenge download to the #SMCmoneytribe.  Now I use an emailing service called GMass to send out mass emails. I then use that time saved to focus on revenue generating tasks.  People always say there is an app or program for everything.  Take a moment and figure out what you can do to streamline your process, your career will thank you for it!

From O Magazine Interviews Over The Past Decade

Be Open to Anything “A friend asked if I wanted to do a food trade show with her. I brought a few products with me, not expecting to sell or anything—and suddenly we got all these orders! I had no idea how we were going to package or prepare so much so quickly, but I never say no unless I completely understand why it can’t be done. I think how you approach obstacles is a big part of being successful—you can’t give up.” —Alisa Barry, Chef and Owner, Bella Cucina Artful Food

Make an Announcement “I sent out an email to everybody I knew, announcing what we were doing. For me, the act of saying ‘I’m starting a literary magazine’ was as brave as actually doing it. When I said it with confidence, people believed me—andI believed me.” —Maribeth Batcha, Publisher, One Story,a literary magazine

Build Your Own Board “I had to learn so much. I took classes at the local center for nonprofit management and read everything I could get my hands on. I realized the smartest thing I could do would be to surround myself with an advisory board of people who knew more than I did.” —Meredith Blake, Founder Break the Cycle, a domestic violence prevention program
Take Ownership “There’s no store without the concept, so from the very beginning, we trademarked every single thing involved in the look of the store.” —Ninel Pompushko, Founder, T-Shirt Deli, a custom t-shirt store in Chicago. Read her story

Hone Your Business Skills “There’s a perception out there that you can’t be an artist and a businessperson at the same time. Artists are told ‘Don’t bother with math.’ But you have to balance passion and analytical skills. Knowing the business side of my job gives me the ability to take risks in every aspect—from dealing with banks to new designs—and I love that.” —Annie Morhauser, Owner and Creative Director, AnnieGlass, which produces luxury, handmade glass table art
Do It Yourself “When we opened, we used our savings and did all the renovation work ourselves—stripping the floors, sanding them, plastering and painting.” —Miko Branch, Co-Founder, Miss Jessie’s Salon Read her story

Be Prepared for the Unexpected “A good thing to remember is that once you open your door to the public, you never know who’s going to walk through. I’ve had people bring in shopping bags of every shape and size imaginable, overflowing with pictures. At first I panicked, but now those are my favorite projects. They let me puzzle the pieces of someone’s life together.” —Anne Goldenthal, Owner, Album Arts

Don’t Quit Your Day Job “It was pretty obvious that I would have to find a way to support my music habit. So I went to work as an assistant at a Wall Street investment bank and wound up as a VP and business manager of corporate research. I would do the radio show on Saturdays and tuck whatever gigs I had as a musician into whatever time was left.” —Laura Cantrell, Musician Read her story

Ask Around “I put ads in the paper, went online, and went to decorators, but I had no luck. One day I went to a fabric store and asked the owner if she knew anyone. She did, and now that person is our lead seamstress.” —Nan Barbera, Founder, Prince & Company, a luxury bassinet maker

Educate Yourself “To get the full picture of how to run a retail business, I applied to the Gap’s retail management training program. Essentially, the company paid me to learn design, marketing (which is how to get publicity for your products), planning (meaning, have enough money on hand to pay the bills), and production (how to buy zippers from one factory and buttons from another and ship them to a third where they make the garment).” —Jordan Veatch-Goffi, Founder, Doce Vida Fitness
Take Charge When the 735-room, filthy, decrepit Times Square Hotel (a.k.a. Homeless Hell) went bankrupt in the late 1980s, I wanted someone to turn it into quality supportive housing—with employment services, a clinic, and caseworkers right in the building. Not a shelter but permanent, dignified housing. Because I’d been development coordinator for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn, I knew what questions financiers, tenants, and the city would need answered, and I wrote up a plan. Everyone I talked to was too overcommitted to take it on. They all agreed, though, that someone really ought to do it. Finally, I thought, ‘Oh, someone is me.'” —Rosanne Haggerty, Founder, Common Ground, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness Read her story

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different “I didn’t have a showroom. I was totally freaked out about that: I live above a restaurant, and buyers had to walk through a side door near the dining room to get to my tiny apartment. But people loved coming over. I’d serve cookies and have a fire going. They said it was a relief from the other showings they’d been to. Sometimes when you’re forced into doing things in an unexpected way, you make a big impression. And with so many people out there, being yourself is the only way to stand out.” —Lana Bilzerian, Knitwear Designer

Ask for Help “I couldn’t make all the cookies in my own kitchen, and I didn’t want to pay for an expensive industrial mixer, so I called a local restaurant that served only lunch and dinner and asked if I could use their mixer in the mornings. They said, ‘yes.'” —Debbie Godowsky, Owner, Cookies Direct, which sells care packages to send to kids in college Read her story

Split Your Time “I couldn’t quit my job, but I did take a lower-paying position that had more flexible hours. Then I signed up for night courses in flower arranging at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and at Parsons School of Design. I started taking orders out of my house.” —Katrina Parris, Founder, Katrina Parris Flowers Read her story

Take Rejection in Stride “I knew how to make up a business plan. Much more daunting was the idea of getting a bank to lend me $1.5 million. I was turned down 32 times by male bankers. My 33rd presentation was to a female banker in New York. She didn’t even let me finish my pitch before agreeing to give me the money.” —Catherine Hughes, Founder and Chairperson,Radio One
Get Feedback “We wanted to see if our cakes would sell, so for months we held tasting parties for friends and family. We asked guests to write comments anonymously on cards. Mostly, people said nice things, but they also said ‘too moist,’ ‘too sweet,’ and ‘needs to be more pineapple-y’—which sort of got my mom’s back up. My mom worked on the recipes until people thought the cakes had just the right amount of moistness, sweetness, and flavor.” —Norrinda Brown, Co-Owner, Brown Betty Dessert Boutique Read her story

Build a Network “I’ve participated in a number of stationery shows, and along the way I’ve struck up informal relationships with other entrepreneurs. We compare notes across the aisle; it’s good to talk to others who are going through the same thing, and together you can brainstorm ways to partner on future projects.” —Kim See, Founder, Kemse & Company, which specializes in multicultural stationery design

Follow Your Customers My taste wasn’t completely resonating with my suburban customers. My sales weren’t as good as they could be, and the people who were buying had come up from the city. Obviously, I needed to move downtown, but rents aren’t cheap. Still, in 2005, I did it. My sales went right up.” —Chandra Greer, Owner, Greer, a Chicago stationery store Read her story

Mentor Others “I didn’t have a lot of money to pay assistants, so I called the youth employment service at my son’s high school and advertised for art students. They sent me two great girls.” —Pam Older, Founder of the jewelry firm Pam Older Designs”

Toot Your Own Horn “Women, especially Southern women, are taught to be demure. When I first opened, I didn’t want to be a show-off and name my company after myself. Instead I called it WSG (Wilson Services Group) Consulting. Huge mistake. No one could remember it. Plus, my expertise and talent are what clients are buying. We rebranded this year as Robin Wilson Home. Business is booming.” —Robin Wilson, Renovation and Design Manager, Robin Wilson Home Read her story
Negotiate with Your Employer “I left [my] job and started doing freelance production work—party decorating, floral and production design, trying to figure out where I wanted to be in the business. Then I got a job with Formica Corporation. I made a deal that they would pay for me to go back to school for interior design.” —Courtney Sloane, Founder, Alternative Design Read her story

Stay Calm “You can’t allow yourself the luxury of being overwhelmed, because then you can’t do anything.” —Kathe Padilla, Founder of Zambian Children’s Fund, which supports an orphanage and a school in Africa Read her story

Be Creative “Putting together the financial structure [was the hardest thing]. It was the part I knew and cared the least about; no bank would help me. One day I woke up and said, ‘I have to make this a creative project, too.’ I developed my own alternative bank, borrowing small amounts from people who believed in me. I was able to pay them back in four years, and by that time I was bankable.” —Stephanie Odegard, President, Odegard Inc., a rug design and import company Read her story

Enjoy the Rewards “Now a business trip is to wine country or a food festival. I love it all. You can’t serve ad copy at a dinner party, but a beautiful cheese tray is always a big hit.” —Sara Vivenzio, Founder, Cheese School of San Francisco Read her story

Have Faith in Yourself “First, take it easy. Because it’s your passion, you can get carried away and burn out. Second, take small steps. I’ve seen a lot of people with great vision who don’t go anywhere because they want the end result immediately. Third, don’t try to figure out what sells. You are the one thing other businesses can’t duplicate.” —Teresa Chang, Founder, Teresa Chang Ceramics Read her story.

{Every Woman Should Know…} How to Be a Good Host

You’ve decided to host an event, be it for your girlfriend who is getting married or an impromptu gathering of friends for an intimate dinner.  Now what?  It’s time to put your womanly skills to work.  I remember seeing the 2009 movie “The Joneses” and thought that Demi Moore’s character was an excellent host.  In preparing for tomorrow’s Cinco de Derby events (yes, I did combine Kentucky Derby with Cinco de Mayo), it got me thinking about my own skills.  I mean really, I am in the events industry so I know a thing or two about planning events, but I wanted to cross check my hosting etiquette with Emily Post.  No matter the kind of party you’re throwing, there are some things a host should remember, even before the party starts.

Six Ways to Be a Good Host:

1) Invite clearly. Label the invite specific to who you want to attend. Include necessary information for your guests in the invitation.  Is the party a casual get-together or more formal? What about the attire?  Maybe a guest would benefit by knowing ahead of time who else will be there, which you might mention when they RSVP.

2) Plan well.  Preparing your guest list carefully is key to a successful party.  Then do as much as you can ahead of time.  (Lower the stress level by serving food and refreshments you know will work.)  Get everything ready well before your guests arrive, so you’ll feel relaxed from the very beginning.

3) Remain calm.  Giving a party can be enjoyable, especially if you approach it with simplicity.  Get help if necessary, and don’t let your guests think you’re huffing and puffing.  They’ll feel far more comfortable if they don’t have to wonder whether they’re causing you any trouble.

4) Keep your guests feeling welcome.  Make sure guests are warmly greeted, then made to feel welcome throughout the party.  Look after each guest as much as you can.  If you notice that a guest has an empty glass or if there’s one person standing alone, remedy the situation as quickly and cheerfully as possible.

5) Be flexible and gracious.  Your soufflé falls.  Or one friend arrives with an unexpected guest.  The ruined dessert?  Have a fallback. The uninvited guest?  As discourteous as it is for someone to spring a surprise on you, be gracious.  No polite host would ever send an uninvited guest packing.

6) Be appreciative.  Thank people for coming as you bid them good-bye.  And don’t forget to thank anyone who brought you a gift.

Info: Emily Post

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{Every Woman Should Know…} How to Tie a Tie

A man in a suit and tie is to women, what women in lingerie is to men”

How to Tie a Tie copy

I would have to say that I totally agree.   My Mr. prides himself on knowing several knots…half and full Windsor, a Pratt knot, and so on (bragging moment).   While most men know how to tie at least one knot, others may not know how to tie their ties at all. This is when, as a woman you can step in.  After all,  being able to tie a man’s tie can be a very intimate experience a woman should not miss out on! 

Check out this Cheat Sheet:How to Tie a TiePhoto Credit: Ties.com

Who Taught You How to Tie a Tie?


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{Every Woman Should Know…} How to Set a Table

The number of twenty-somethings that did not know how to set a table properly surprised me.
I believe that every woman should know how to set a table…point blank and period. That is not to say that men need not learn this skill, it is just to speak to an ability that I believe everyone woman should have in her knowledge base. Whether or not you use this, is up to you, but at least you will know. This knowledge is free…. you should take itJ A friend of my called this a “wifey” skill but I just think this is something every woman should know…

Check out this Table-Setting Cheat Sheet:

Photo Credit: Style Baggage 


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Give It To Your Woman, It’s Her Job

Just recently, I did a post about how every woman should know how to set a table. Should I have written one about how every woman should know how to wash her man’s jeans?  LOL…I think NOT!  Bad press is better than no press, right? Well, I’m not too sure about that. I was reading my morning edition on my iPad when this popped up. It was a picture taken by Emily Barnett, a staff writer for The Daily Telegraph, of the inside of her boyfriend’s jeans.  Like most laundry tags, this one gives launder instructions and then gives the option to just “give it to your woman”. On one hand, I was not familiar with Madhouse Jeans before this morning. On the other hand, I doubt very seriously that they will get my business. Not that I’m getting all self-righteous or anything, I just don’t think it’s cute. These are jeans for MEN, so I don’t think this is an issue of someone being influenced by a sexist message, but rather me claiming my worth as a woman. Sorry honey, it’s not my JOB to wash your jeans. What I’m sure is supposed to be funny just comes off as offensive. I will save money because they won’t get mine. Just my two cents…

I can’t wait to hear what you think about this:

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