A Few of Favorite Things of Women Accessories

I hate to admit it, but I’m a creature of habit. Big time. I tend to wear the same clothes, listen to the same podcasts and gravitate toward the same publications. I like adventure — where we’re constantly thinking of new ways to present our content and impress our readers — I try to keep my own routine predictable. Here are a few of my go-to products during the workweek, so that I can stay on my toes when it comes to everything else.

  • This is what I mean about wearing a uniform: I own more than one of these simple, lightweight J. Crew tops. But before you say, “Ugh, boring,” hear me out — these shirts go with everything. Pair it with jeans, tuck it into a skirt, or layer it under a jacket. As for shoes? Try these.
  • The best part about this tote bag, in addition to its size and color, is pretty simple: it has a zipper. That’s right, I’m easily impressed (and prone to carrying too many things at once).
  • We don’t have an official book club at the office, but we’ve been talking about Emma Cline’s novel for weeks. It has been passed across the desks of four editors so far.
  • Not only does Rifle Paper Co.’s stationery look great as art on a bulletin board, but a card can also double as a last-minute letter in case a coworker has an impromptu celebration. Go above and beyond with this envelope.
  • I am a sucker for gummy bears, and I try to eat only a handful a week. The keyword there is try.
  • An editor who likes coffee? How original! But this delicious one comes in a carton that’s equal parts nostalgic and fun, so you’ll have to excuse the cliché.

A Blazer for Women

If there’s one item that should automatically be included in every woman’s wardrobe, it’s the blazer. Strong not just in the versatility department, a blazer also has that vaguely magical ability to make you feel confident when you need it most — like when meeting your boyfriend’s parents, going on a job interview or brunching after a big night out. Even though a blazer is pretty much a non-negotiable wardrobe essential, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right style for you. To find one that you’ll wear for the next decade, you’re going to have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and start searching. Luckily, I’ve made it easy for you. Read on for my tips for finding the perfect blazer.

Buy to Match Your Lifestyle

First things first, it’s important to narrow in on what you need your blazer for, as there are so many different styles you can choose from depending on where you’ll be wearing it. Consider the different occasions on which you’ll wear it — to work, school, out to lunch or on dates. Chances are, your average blazer will work for most of these occasions, but you’re looking for the cream of the crop. Your lifestyle will define the color, shape and details of the ideal blazer for you.

Fit the Shoulders

A well fitting blazer is one that perfectly molds to your shoulders, highlighting your frame without appearing too small or too oversized. Unless you’re going for a boyfriend look, make sure you carefully check the shoulder seam when trying on a blazer. The perfect fit should end right where your shoulders do and not be too short or too long.

Consider Sleeve Length

While getting the right fit on the shoulders is non-negotiable for me, I’m a little more relaxed about sleeve length. If the sleeves of your blazer are just a bit too long, you can always roll them up (even better if there’s contrasting lining). But avoid any blazers that are too short — you can get away with a slightly longer sleeve, but never too short. This, once again, comes down to where you plan on wearing your blazer. If it’s a polished work look you’re after, you might want to make sure the sleeves are the right length so you don’t have to fold them.

Pick the Right Button Location

The location of the buttons on your blazer determines its overall look and feel — high gives a more mature look, while lower will appear more relaxed. For me, the perfect location of the buttons is just below your lower bra line or just below your bust. This allows your blazer to be comfortably buttoned up without feeling too uptight.

Be Smart About Color

For a blazer that takes you from work to the farmers market and everywhere in between, you’re going to want to stick with a minimalist hue, such as black or navy. This will ensure that it goes with everything in your wardrobe, thus increasing its wearability. Once you’ve found the perfect staple blazer, you can then look at more trend driven pieces in various colors, such as a pastel colored blazer for spring. But make sure to get the basics right first.
Go for Timeless Details

When it comes to stitching, lapel and button details, you’ll want to pick a blazer that is simple and timeless. After all, you’ll want to wear this for the rest of your life, right? Stick to gold, black or matching buttons, and opt for simple stitching that isn’t too trend driven. A slim lapel and collar will also transcend seasons.

Go for Quality

When shopping for your new blazer, focus on finding a quality piece that will last, rather than a cheaper item that won’t stand the test of time. With that in mind, spend as much as you can afford (without going overboard, obviously) on a style that’s made from sturdy, natural materials that you’ll wear and wear. I suggest looking at J Crew, Madewell, Banana Republic or Club Monaco. These stores have classic pieces that will last. You can also look in designer thrift stores to get your hands on high-end pieces for a steal.

Shopping at Women's Boutique – Tips

plus size boutiqueStarting up or restocking a women’s online boutique can be both an exciting and frightening task, as the items you purchase can possibly make or break your business. Purchase the right merchandise mix and the items could fly off your store shelves. Buy the wrong things and your boutique could be stuck with inventory that won’t move. In addition to merchandise, a boutique will need fixtures, software and other supporting items to help make it successful.

  • Know Your Customers

When purchasing the clothing for your boutique, keep your typical or target customer in mind. If she is a woman in her mid-30s, don’t buy merchandise geared for teenagers, no matter how cute or tempting. Keep your target customer’s price range also in mind while selecting merchandise for your boutique. Follow the lead of the successful specialty stores and try to keep your boutique’s focus on a specific age group, income level and style, rather than trying to appease all fashion tastes and price levels.

  • Fixtures

Purchasing the proper display cases, mannequins and sales racks will show off your boutique’s items to their best advantage. Look for items that will enhance your store’s image. For example, old-fashioned full mannequins may give your store a dated look, while an abstract, headless mannequin would work well in a boutique that sells cutting-edge fashions. Look for display cases, shelves and sales racks that will also echo your store’s style. Cool stylish steel display cases, for instance, would work for a trendy store, while oak shelving works better in a country chic boutique. Consider purchasing some of these items used to save money.

  • Accessories

Many boutiques sell accessories such as jewelry, belts, scarves, stockings and even shoes in addition to clothing. When purchasing these types of items for your boutique, look for pieces that will complement the clothing being sold in your store. Do not be tempted by items, no matter how pretty or flashy, that will not be a good match for your clothing line either fashion-wise or price-wise. Such items will be more difficult to sell to your target audience and cost you money in the long run.

  • Miscellaneous

There are a number of other items, in addition to fashion and fixtures, that you will need to purchase for your boutique. These may include such things as blank sales tags, tagging guns, plastic fasteners, cash registers and hangers. Determine also if you will be having your staff members wear a uniform of sorts, even if it is just a t-shirt with your store’s name on it. In addition, you will need to acquire payroll and bookkeeping software to keep your business on track.

Talkin' fashion with a Pittsburgh girl: Kristen S.

Pittsburgh girls know and love fashion! They know what colors look good on them, what designer looks they covet, and where to shop. Pittsburgh girls are more than just Pens jerseys and Terrible Towels, they are fashionistas! Kristen, a 28 year-old speech language pathologist from Pittsburgh gabs about her personal style and fashion!

What is one store you could spend thousands of dollars on clothes in?

White House Black Market

What is your favorite Pittsburgh mall?

Ross Park

What color do you think you look best in?


What is one piece in your wardrobe you could never live without?

Black tank tops

What is your favorite cut of jeans?

Skinny or boot-cut

What is your ideal winter coat?

Sleek, kind of puffy, with fitted waist and fluffy faux fur hood.

What is your favorite kind of dress?

Little black dress! Either completely fitted or a fitted top with a flowy above the knee skirt.

What is your favorite type of footwear?

Flip flops

Money is no object, who is your favorite luxury fashion brand?


5 adjectives to describe your style and wardrobe?

Comfortable, sporty, classic, practical, cute

Necklace designs-ingenious tree of life pendant

It is a popular necklace designs on tree of life pendant. You can make the wire wrapped mothers day necklace pendant by following the detailed illustrations and elaborated word explanations.

Things needed in mothers day necklace: 1mm Aluminum Wire 0.5mm Brass Wire Gemstone beads strand Brass chain Side Cutting Plier Flat Nose Plier

Form the frame

Step 1

  • Take an aluminum wire segment and then form an oval (in this project) around an object in that shape
  • Twist the wire ends several turns
  • Work a loop with one end and wrap the tail around the neck
  • Take the other wire end and wrap it around the neck in same way

Step 2

  • Cut four 30cm long brass wire strips, fold them in half and separate into three groups as 1-2-1. Attach to the frame by wrapping and twisting
  • Take the left ends, wrap the rest 6 ends for tree trunk as picture show
  • Separate the 8 ends again;
  • Slide on the glass chips and secure by wrapping the excess tails around the frame
  • Then the second wire
  • Repeat the same processes until complete entire tree of life.

Step 3

Add on the chain Snip a certain long chain and then thread the pendant onto it. Connect the first link and last link by a small jumpring and then it’s a meaningful mothers day necklace at once. Though the pendant itself is shroud with mystery, the tree of life embodies totally love and gratitude for hardworking moms when worn as an adornment. While practical mothers day necklace pendant, all skills needed is simple wire wrapping technique. This may help you master the advanced techniques bit by bit, and create more fabulous necklace designs as well.

Denver Fashion Truck turns one!

Denver Fashion Truck will celebrating their first anniversary at The Infinite Monkey Theorem from 6 to 10 pm. The Denver Fashion Truck is a mobile fashion boutique that features local art and fashion. They have been popping up at events like the county fair to the ever so popular Denver Cruisers bike parties to outside coffee shops and restaurants.

“Denver Fashion Truck can be random when popping up and people seem to like that, especially near restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Year one has been a very busy year! ” Adrian G.B. co-founder

There will be live music from the Gin Doctors, live art by Jamie Molina and a fashion show! Grab a glass of local wine and help Denver Fashion Truck celebrate a successful first year!

Is snooping ruining your chances of a relationship?

“What’s your DJ name?”

I was chair dancing to the music for an hour and decided to walk on stage and ask this tall, dark be speckled musical creature (reminiscent of Malcolm X and had game like Miguel) what type of music he was playing. From our brief exchange, I learn that DJ guy didn’t have a pseudonym. He just went by his real name, which I happily recorded in my iPhone notes along with a link to his Mixcloud.

Shortly thereafter our conversation, my Tuesday night drinking turned into an exciting Google search session. And let me tell you, it didn’t take much to discover that not only was *DJ guy “award winning,” but seemingly works a full time job, has a Facebook and even does some marketing consulting as an online blog business. So I did what any smitten girl would do: I friend requested him and a day or so later he accepted!

I already know what you’re thinking: Isn’t this the normal thing one should do to block potential douche bags and guys with police records from your life? And, I’m going to tell you that it’s not normal behavior for me because I’ve dated several guys consecutively and they all had no presence on social media. Disregarded Facebook as irrelevant, weren’t the CEOs of companies for LinkedIn standards, and just didn’t get the point of sharing personal photos on Instagram. Though in retrospect, I always thought that if one of my previous beaus ever had a twitter, he’d definitely have thousands of followers. My ex-guys were so anti-social media because, perhaps, they thought it stunted their growth into men or just didn’t see the point of sharing intimate details of their glamorous or disastrous lives. Consequently, this lack of social presence in my past relationships opened up new territory in regard to this new person of interest’s online portfolio, created like a work of art.

So, when DJ guy and I had this two minute conversation, I couldn’t wait for the first date. From my own research, I found out all this information. Things about his career, what year he bought his first motorcycle and what ballet performance he was recently moved by via Instagram, easily digitally accessible. Guilt free, I knew I was committing a single girl sin. Was I giving up my chances of a relationship from pre-screening, fantasizing about what we could be, all from a rewarding Google search that conjured up premature feelings? Or perhaps, can social media be use for more of a catalyst to go for what I want?

I sent DJ guy a message after scanning his online resume to find some sort of connection, subject line: hi there.
My first message read: Hi, it’s the Melissa from the bar. Thanks for accepting my friend request. I see your interests include some of the interests, I’m interested in. Let’s connect.” I leave my name and number at the end.

DJ Guy responded within two hours.
“Yes, we should talk sometime & see what mutually beneficial opportunities we might uncover.” He also left his phone number, so I immediately texted him.
“Hi there, it’s Melissa…”
I don’t waste any time deciding to make the first moves.
“Hey, how are you? He texted.
“Good and you?”
“Just getting ready for my gig tonight. You should come out.”
“Oh yea, what’s on the playlist that will make me wanna come?”

Our text message conversations from there spiraled from music to business, to what type of food he likes cooking, referencing his Facebook and website like visual footnotes. Hash tag: food porn. I casually note that I saw this and that on his Facebook. I thought referring to his Google search number would be a dead giveaway that my hype personality may be all a jig, but he played along disregarding my blatant sarcasm- city guy!

On our second meet up, I happened to be randomly stopping by the bar after work for a drink as he was getting ready for his set. (Disclaimer: It’s not my fault he’s a dj at my neighborhood bar). I send him a quick text message while I was seductively looking over to watch him read it.

“I spy.”
After thirty minutes of unresponsiveness, I decided to walk over to the dj booth.

Enter: perky girl. He greeted me with a hug.

“Can you play a Beyoncé song?” I asked.

“You smell good.” He says.


“I want you.” he whispered as I watched him change the music to my song of choice.

Shockingly and a little aroused, there I was standing on the other side of the DJ booth feeling like I’ve been moved into this weird space of sexual observation and he had just the right view.

“Stand back.” he said. “Back more”, signaling with his hand stop as he mouthed “right there” with a thumbs up gesture.
“I wanted to see your tights.” He said. They were from Wolfords.

End Scene.

This was turning into a “How to Keep a Guy in 10 days via Facebook” type of game. Even though these meet-ups didn’t count as a first date (in my book), we were surely getting comfortable and I was very open about his social media presence from the start. Could it be that social media coup d’état is a turn off?

Finally after several days of random meet-ups and messaging, DJ Guy still hadn’t invited me to a cafe to discuss our “mutual beneficial opportunities.” While I can’t be for certain if it was because he was freaked out from all my knowledge of his social presence, I think it definitely had some association. In conclusion, I’ll stick to my usual bunch of guys (the social anti-ists), and staying away from social media and dating, for now. Moreover, for the record, DJ guy has been deleted on my Facebook. Though, what I learned is that social media is like a visual report card: its information to help you feel like you’re compatible with the person on the surface and yet you don’t have to go through the ringer to get it.

*Name as been changed.

Spring Markdowns Herve St. Leger Dress

Continuing with the Friends Family sale fever, Bloomingdale’s is holding their sale starting November 10th. The sale will run through the 14th. In past years, the Friends Family sale for Bloomingdale’s has been available online too, so subscribe to Women’s Fashion Examiner for updates and coupon codes for the sale.

The sale grants shoppers 20% off nearly everything, but as with all Friends Family sales, some exclusions apply. Right now we know it isn’t valid on any fragrance or cosmetics and won’t be available on items in leased areas such as Louis Vuitton. For previous sales, you have been able to take the 20% off already reduced merchandise. Bloomingdale’s has already started their markdowns for the season, so with the extra 20% off, you can save considerable dough when shopping for a holiday herve leger discount dresses or grabbing a gift for Christmas.

Update: The Bloomingdale’s Friends Family sale runs online starting November 8th14th. Use code GIFT at checkout to apply the discount to most items. The original dates noted above are for the instore Friends Family sale.

Offer excludes Women’s Apparel from bahs, Marc Jacobs, UGG Australia (excluded online only), The North Face (excluded online only) and Agent Provocateur. Offer excludes Men’s Apparel from Burberry Prorsum, Duchamp, Moncler, Polo Black Label, PS Paul Smith, The North Face, Turnbull Asser, UGG Australia and Vilebrequin. Offer excludes Kids’ Apparel from Moncler, UGG Australia and The North Face (excluded online only). Offer excludes Women’s Shoes from Burberry, bags, Dior, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Miu Miu, Prada, UGG Australia and The North Face (excluded online only). Offer excludes bags Fashion Accessories, Handbags and Soft Leather Goods, UGG Australia Fashion Accessories and Handbags (excluded online only) and The North Face Fashion Accessories (excluded online only). Offer excludes Handbags from Dior, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo Leased, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Prada. Offer excludes Ippolita (excluded online only), David Yurman, Cosmetics, Fragrances, Martine’s Chocolates, Shop at Home Services, Rug Cleaning Services, Interior Design Special Orders and Gift Cards. Small Electrics and Men’s Electronics receive 10% off. Delivery charges and applicable sales taxes are additional. Offer cannot be combined with any other certificate offer. Not transferable. Not valid on prior purchases or bill payments. Not valid in Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Stores. Offer valid instore. See a sales associate for details. All employees of Bloomingdale’s and its affiliates are excluded from all Friends and Family offers. Friends and Family online codes cannot be combined for double discount.

Art in the Windows on Fifth Avenue

Check out the stores on fifth avenue for creative windows that feature clothing with modern art. Uniglo had some fashions with artwork by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean Michel Basquiat. Dolce and Gabbana had interesting colorful porcelain sculptures and foot rests exhibiting their fine shoes and clothing.

Take a stoll down fifth avenue before they change their windows to the more demur.

Talkin' fashion with a Pittsburgh girl: Katie Z.

Pittsburgh girls know and love fashion! They know what colors look good on them, what designer looks they covet, and where to shop. Pittsburgh girls are more than just Pens jerseys and Terrible Towels, they are fashionistas! Katie, a 28 year-old formerly of South Park who is now a nurse in Virginia Beach, Virginia gabs about her personal style and fashion!

What is one store you could spend thousands of dollars on clothes in?

Black House White Market

What is your favorite Pittsburgh mall?

South Hills Village

What color do you think you look best in?


What is one piece in your wardrobe you could never live without?

My heart necklace from Tiffany’s because it was given to me from the love of my life.

What is your favorite cut of jeans?

Skinny jeans

What is your ideal winter coat?

Pea coat in ivory

What is your favorite kind of dress?

Sun dress

What is your favorite type of footwear?


Money is no object, who is your favorite luxury fashion brand?

Michael Kors

5 adjectives to describe your style and wardrobe?

Colorful, form-fitting, fun, sassy, and bling

David Jones shows large handbags at Melbourne Fashion Festival

David Jones presented designs on the runway from forty-three designers at the Melbourne Fashion Festival yesterday. The designs were from the current season in Australia and featured a collection of medium to large handbags which shows a possible trend away from the current mini-handbag trend of 2014.
More Photos
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The handbags on the David Jones runway yesterday at the Melbourne Fashion Festival were soft, large and shown in dark colors. There were several silhouettes featured including shoulder bags, north-south totes, duffle bags and clutches. The only handbag style shown on the David Jones in a small size were the clutches. The shoulder bags were medium and the totes, duffle bags and additional styles were shown in large sizes.

This is an interesting move as most designers during fashion month in New York, Milan, Paris and London showed small and mini sized handbags for the fall/winter 2014/2015 season. In fact, there has been a move towards small handbags over the past few years. The larger handbags shown on David Jones runway at the Melbourne Fashion Festival last night could signal a possible move towards medium and large handbags as we move into 2015.

The designers showcased on the David Jones runway at the Melbourne Fashion Festival included Akin by Ginger & Smart, Alice McCall, Banjo & Matilda, Bassike, Bec & Bridge, Bianca Spender, CM Camilla and Marc, Calibre, Cameo, Camilla, Camilla and Marc, Christopher Esber, Dion Lee, Easton Pearson, Ellery, Etre Cecile, Finders Keepers, Ginger & Smart, Industrie, Jac + Jack, Jack London, Josh, Goot, Keepsake the Label, L’America, Lover, Michael Lo Sordo, Mimco, Mink Pink, Nicolas, Nicola Finetti, Rachel Gilbert, Romance Was Born, Sabatini, Scanlan Theodore, Shakuhachi, Staple the Label, Talulah, Thurley, Tigerlily, Vanishing Elephant, Viktoria + Woods, Willow, Zanerobe, and Zimmerman.

To view photos from the David Jones runway at the Melbourne Fashion Festival last night, please click on the slideshow associated with this article.

The Spring Season at Jabong

Spring is in the air! As you wipe out that hair out of your face and let the breeze lightly run through your face, it is time to take a look at your wardrobe. Does it reflect the pleasantness of the season? Not quite, right! Make merry with the spring collection available online exclusively for the most choosy fashion aficionados!
Floral prints are what are making the news in every Spring Collection worldwide. Jabong Online Shopping lists some of the must haves that you need to store in your wardrobe starting today! You needn’t flip through a fashion magazine or frantically run a Google search to know the season’s hottest fashion trends.

  1. Pastels – Vibrant rainbow shades have ruled every possible spring runaway collection. It flatters every silhouette as well as skin tone. Make the transition from royal blue to mint-green in sexy dresses that hug your natural curves.
  2. Bomber Jackets – We are forever indebted to the person who created these lifesaving jackets. Instill a breath of fresh air in your wardrobe with funky and snazzy jackets. Miaxminx presents jackets in a plethora of prints and textures that would make jackets your go-to object when you want to show off your hotness quotient.
  3. Crisp Shirts – Add solid crisp casual shirts to your bucket list! They are sophisticated, fresh and a perfect contrast to your other clothes. They can be worn with trousers, pencil skirts as well as denims. Still need a reason to ignore them?
  4. Timeless Coats- Essentially a layering piece, coat up with your neutral combo of a shirt and shorts or a monochrome dress. This piece perfectly works with even leather pants or trousers. Get innovative with your long coat by conjuring a clash with dresses!
  5. Printed Trousers – Florals are not only at the top but it’s a safe bet while styling your overall look. Streamline your look with unexpected neon yellow with a black casual button-down top.
  6. Stripes- Stripes are a must-have! From striped trousers to handbags, anything that is striped will definitely take your style quotient a notch higher. Check out brands like Only and Vero Moda and add some stripes to your collection.
  7. Black and White – The monochrome look is the fad this summer. Check out cute prints like polka dots, heart-shaped and Aztec in black and white. Perfect for any occasion from formals to party wear, incorporate this print in your wardrobe and be the center of all the attention.
  8. Florals – With spring, florals are in full bloom. From cute dresses to shoes and accessories, you can never go wrong with this ladylike print. Floral printed trousers are making huge waves this season; get it in mint green or pinks and reds for some fun and girly look.
  9. Animal Prints – Bring out your fierce side by channeling some animal prints! Always in fashion, it will add instant glamour to your look and give you a fashionable look.
  10. Skirt it up – Skirts are girly, flirty and FUN! Add some spice to your look with knee length skirts paired with a soft blouse for a casual combination.

Ready to take on spring? What’s it going to be? Tee time or Jabong Dresses for women?

How to Find Accommodations in Italy for Under 100 Euro

Anyone who has been, or is planning to go to Italy knows very well that it can be an expensive country to visit. It is not uncommon for visitors to pay well over 100 euro per night for a room and it can easily run you over 200 euro if you are looking for plush accommodations or a resort.

In our three trips to Italy, which combined for a total of over forty nights of accommodations, we have yet to pay over 100 euro for a room for a single night. In fact, on our first trip to Italy in 2009 we averaged only 77 euro per night, our second trip in 2010 averaged out to 82 euro per night, and on our third trip in 2012 we averaged 80 euro per night.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in. | Source
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night.
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night. | Source

Before you tell yourself that these people must be willing to stay just about anywhere, I will tell you that we are in fact very picky about where we stay. The place must be above all else clean. If we have even the slightest indication that a place is not clean we will cross it off of our list. And because we have traveled to Italy in September when there is a chance for it to be quite warm we will usually, not always, wind up with a place that has air conditioning. Another criteria that we insist upon is that our room have private en-suite bathroom facilities, as we do not want to have to share a bathroom with other guests.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night | Source
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms. | Source

Agriturismo Review – Le Caggiole – Montepulciano, Sicily
Agriturismo Le Caggiole is located just outside of the medieval town of Montepulciano. The beautifully restored farmhouse is the perfect setting for a visit to the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany.

How did we do it?

Our method is simple but effective and we have yet to stay at a place where we have had a really bad experience. After deciding on the basics, namely where we are going and when, we start by making a visit to TripAdvisor, the on-line travel forum. This user-friendly travel website is a great tool for getting travelers honest feedback on accommodations, restaurants and things to do. The website allows you to use filters to hone your search and we usually use this tool to make a short list of four to five places that look like they fit our criteria and are under 100 Euro.

You want to make sure that in addition to price you are taking into consideration other important factors such as; location, feedback on cleanliness, amenities that you may require, check in/out times, photos of the place, etc. TripAdvisor also lets you filter by the type of accommodation that you are looking for; hotel, B&B, or apartment. We have found that B&B’s, Apartments, Convents and Agriturismo’s are generally more affordable than a Hotel or Resort so we usually direct our search to this type of accommodation.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night. | Source
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character.
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character. | Source

B&B Review – Villa Quartarella, Modica, Sicily
A review of the Masseria Quartarella in Modica, Sicily. For a first hand look at this unique bed and breakfast located in the hills just outside of Modica. For a true Sicilian experience pay a visit to this wonderful corner of Sicily.

Once you have four or five places on your list it’s time to dig deeper. I normally make a visit to the web site of the places to check out availability and to confirm that the prices that I saw on TripAdvisor are still accurate. TripAdvisor gives you an average price per night for the place so often times it will differ from the price you find on their web site. To find out if the establishment has rooms available sometimes requires sending them an e-mail. Some places have an on-line availability calendar but I have found on occasion that these are not accurate so it is best to always check with the place.
B&B Cappler in Tione di Trento. Wonderful host Franca. Large clean rooms and an amazing breakfast in a beautiful setting. Great find for 50 euro per night.
B&B Cappler in Tione di Trento. Wonderful host Franca. Large clean rooms and an amazing breakfast in a beautiful setting. Great find for 50 euro per night. | Source
B&B Cappler.
B&B Cappler. | Source

B&B Review – Bed and Breakfast You and Me, Venice, Italy
A complete first hand review of Bed and Breakfast You and Me. Conveniently located in the heart of Venice this charming Bed and Breakfast makes for the perfect retreat while visiting Venice.

Once you have confirmed the availability and price your list will usually shrink by one or two places that are either not available or are too expensive and you are left with maybe two or three places to choose from. From here you can go to some of the other travel forums such as Fodor’s or Frommer’s and do a search on the name of the place you are considering. This is just another source for feedback and it can help you in making a final decision.

As you get closer to making your selection you should also revisit TripAdvisor and make sure that you read all of the reviews to insure that you didn’t miss anything. I have on occasion contacted some of the folks who have posted reviews to ask further questions and this has proven to be very helpful.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia Convent in Rome. Immaculately clean. Located across the street from the Vatican Museum. Paid 60 euro per night.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia Convent in Rome. Immaculately clean. Located across the street from the Vatican Museum. Paid 60 euro per night. | Source
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia. Great room with a balcony, a huge bathroom, and air conditioning. Don’t know how you can do better than this for 60 euro in Rome.
Piccole Suore della Sacra Famiglia. Great room with a balcony, a huge bathroom, and air conditioning. Don’t know how you can do better than this for 60 euro in Rome. | Source
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Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night. Casetta Livia, spacious common room and kitchen.
Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night.
Casetta Livia in Montemagno. This is a renovated 400 year old house that we rented for 4 nights. Paid 55 euro per couple per night. | Source

By now it should be pretty clear where you want to stay and all that is left is to reserve the room for the nights you want. When doing this I always ask a few key questions such as: what do you require to hold the reservation (deposit or not), cancellation policy (just in case), and I request a confirmation reply via e-mail just so I have a document to bring with me in case of a problem when checking in. As I usually reserve places well in advance of my trip I will check in with the place periodically to make sure they still have our reservation and I will certainly reconfirm our reservation a few weeks before we depart for Italy.

All in all it’s a pretty simple process. There’s nothing magical or complex about it. It comes down to just following a process and knowing what your budget is and what your criteria are for your accommodations. Hopefully these tips help you on your next trip to Italy or wherever your travels take you, and you are as successful as we have been in finding great accommodations for less than 100 euro per night

Ciao for now.
B&B You and Me – Venice – 90 euro per night. Clean, spacious, a/c, great breakfast,
B&B You and Me – Venice – 90 euro per night. Clean, spacious, a/c, great breakfast, | Source
Other articles on Italy:

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