The Cheap Chic Couple

(Or How To Enjoy The Finer Things In Life Without Breaking The Bank)

Chiropractic Care That Won’t Break Your Back Or Bank Account January 6, 2011

Filed under: chiropractor — cheapchiccouple @ 3:57 am

Dr. John E. Min, D.C.

If you live in West Los Angeles and need a chiropractor who can make you feel like a million bucks without breaking your bank account,  take your aches and pains over to Dr. John Min at the Marina Family Chiropractic & Massage in Mar Vista.

I’m typically not the kind of person who would go to see a chiropractor unless I’m in sheer agony so I didn’t see the need for a chiropractic visit. However, my friend Sabrina finally convinced me to go to Dr. Min after I kept complaining about neck and back pains.

So I finally made an appointment to see Dr. Min just before the holidays and now I wonder why I waited so long. All I had to tell him was that I had an 18-month old and he knew exactly what to do. Snap, crack, pop. Fifteen minutes later, I could turn my neck, the areas on my back that I call my “chicken wings”  no longer hurt and I had better range of motion after Dr. Min adjusted my right hip.  Walking out of his office after that brief adjustment session, I had this feeling of elation that I typically only get after a nice, long massage.

To feel like a million bucks, it only cost me $25 for that session.

Dr. Min also offers therapeutic massage services for those who need (and want) it so I got my husband a gift certificate for an hour-long therapeutic massage as a Christmas gift. It only cost $39. Woo-hoo!

I can’t believe the difference in the way I feel just from that one brief session so you can bet that I’m now all for going to a chiropractor to get adjusted at least twice a year or so.


Consider A Honeymoon Registry For Your Wedding July 27, 2008

Filed under: budget wedding,wedding,weddings — cheapchiccouple @ 4:55 am
Tags: , ,

Like a lot of couples, we lived together long before we got engaged. Between Corey’s stuff and my stuff, to say that we have enough dinnerware, flatware, linens and household appliances to furnish two homes is an understatement.

Given that one of the things that we love to do is travel, we opted for a honeymoon registry instead, so that our family and friends could give us wonderful memories to look back on for the rest of our lives in lieu of the usual Waterford-and-Lismore stuff.

We checked out several websites, and chose over the rest, simply because unlike the other honeymoon registry sites which charged as much as 9% of the total cost in fees, it was free. Do keep in mind that the fact that it’s free means you do your own honeymoon planning so it’s not for you if you prefer to have a travel agent do all the planning and coordinating for you. Personally, we prefer to be in control of every single detail so works perfectly for us.

Other honeymoon registries that we also checked out are the following:

For more tips on having a little green, low-budget wedding, please go to .


The Japanese Garden: A Beautiful Yet Inexpensive Wedding Ceremony Venue July 26, 2008

Filed under: budget wedding,cheapchic,wedding,weddings — cheapchiccouple @ 1:55 am
Tags: , , ,

view of the lake and the teahouse

view of the lake and the teahouse

Imagine saying your vows in a place like this!

Imagine saying your vows in a place like this!

We know our $5,000 wedding budget is absurdly low, considering that the average wedding in Los Angeles is $30,000, but we’re unwilling to go the let’s-just-go-to-the-courthouse or let’s-get-hitched-in-Vegas route either.

Fortunately, after months of research, we found the perfect ceremony venue that that tied in to our love of Asian design and sustainability at The Japanese Garden in Van Nuys.

What’s unique about The Japanese Garden is that not only does it offer absolute tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, it is an example of how beauty can about through recycling and sustainability. It is the water from the recycling plant next door that nurtures a Japanese garden of exquisite beauty.

We recommend snagging a Saturday, because on other days, it’s open to the public. After all, you don’t want some stranger in flip-flops and shorts or a bunch of rowdy kids spoiling the solemnity of your ceremony, or worse, walking in the background while you’re having your pictures or video taken.
Just because it’s such a beautiful setting, even though our ceremony starts at 4:30 in the afternoon, we’re encouraging guests to come earlier so they can meander through the gardens while a violinist plays beneath the willow tree.
In case you’re interested in having your ceremony at The Japanese Garden, here’s what you need to know:
  • wedding ceremonies only (no food or drinks allowed)
  • 84-guest maximum
  • 3 hours maximum
  • $750 for 3 hours ($150 for each additional hour)

Visit us at The Cheap Chic Couple for more info on how we live well on a budget.


How To Make A Kimono Binder July 23, 2008

Filed under: arts and crafts,DIY,kimono — cheapchiccouple @ 11:29 pm

I love wearing kimonos when I’m at home. They’re as comfy as they are pretty, and I don’t feel like a bum wearing a kimono at 3pm the way that I would if I were in a raggedy bathrobe or worn-out pj’s or sweats.

I bought my favorite kimono about five years ago in Little Tokyo for $55 and I wore it until it was so torn and hole-y that I looked like I’d narrowly escaped a bear mauling.

I didn’t have the heart to throw it away because it was still very pretty, so I figured I could turn into something else that I could still use. The result? A kimono binder to keep me organized while planning my Japanese themed wedding.

Here’s how I did it:

1) I sprayed starch on the kimono, and ironed out all the creases.
2) I cut just enough kimono fabric to cover a regular 3-ring binder, making sure to leave an extra two inches on the edge so I could fold the fabric into the inside of the binder. I also cut out the excess fabric where the spine of the binder would be.
3) I spray-glue’d the fabric, waited a few minutes and then laid the binder on it, making sure that there were no creases.
4) After a few hours, I used a paintbrush to put varnish on the binder cover.
5) Over the next few days, I layered more acrylic in order to protect the kimono from dirt, smudges and protect it from moisture.

Voila! A kimono wedding binder that I can keep and pass on to one of my kids long after I’ve stopped wearing the actual kimono!


Ten Ways To Save Money At The Pump March 6, 2008

Filed under: gas,money,pump,save — cheapchiccouple @ 1:27 am

Worried about the high cost of gas? You’ve got good reason. Gas prices look like they’re set to reach record levels.

The best way to avoid spending more on gas than you need to? Keep all of these tips, courtesy of the Sierra Club, in mind:

1. Drive Smart!
When you drive aggressively, you waste gas and put others at risk. Observe the speed limit, avoid rapid acceleration and braking, and maintain a constant speed on the road.

2. Keep Your Car in Shape.
A well-tuned car burns less gasoline. So make sure that you get your oil and air filters changed regularly, and that your tires are always properly inflated.

3. Change Your Commute.
Sitting in rush hour traffic burns gas and gets you nowhere. If possible, adjust your work schedule so that you avoid rush hour traffic. Even better, and if your employer allows it, think about telecommuting. If you can’t telecommute full-time, try for one or two days a week.

4. Use Public Transportation.
Look into the public-transportation options in your area, and use them as much as possible.

5. Try to Combine Errands.
According to the Department of Energy, several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

6. Go for a Ride or Walk.
Rather than drive your car to the corner store or a friend’s house, walk or ride your bike there. Studies show that this approach has the added advantage of reducing your risk of heart disease.

7. Carpool.
Carpool or use ride-share programs if you can. This might also enable you to shorten the time of your commute by using High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.

8. Pack Light.
According to the Department of Energy, a loaded roof rack on your car can decrease fuel economy by approximately five percent. Also, every 100 pounds you carry in a car reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by one to two percent. So, when you go on vacation or a long car trip, put everything you can inside your vehicle, and pack light

9. Think Hybrid.
The most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road today are hybrid-electric cars. A hybrid combines an electric motor with a conventional, but cleaner, gasoline-powered engine. Over its lifetime, a 50-mile per gallon hybrid Toyota Prius will use half as much gas, and release half as much global-warming pollution, as a 23-mpg Pontiac Grand Prix.

10. Consider Sharing.
Rather than buy a new car, sign up for membership with a car-sharing program such as Flexcar or Zipcar. These programs allow you to reserve and drive cars by the hour — and they cover the cost of the vehicle, insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance.

Bonus: Write Your Leaders.
Urge them to raise fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon. Modern technology can make our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of gas. Taking this step would save nearly 4 million barrels of oil a day — more oil than we currently import from the Persian Gulf. And by saving on gas, you would save nearly $2,000 at the pump over the life of your car.


A Cheaper, Smarter, More Earth Friendly Alternative To Bottled Water February 4, 2008

Filed under: bottled water — cheapchiccouple @ 2:04 am

Here’s a cheap chic idea: Instead of buying bottled water, consider buying a water filter system such as Brita or Pur, or buying one of those ceramic crocks that come with refillable 5-gallon jugs that you can fill up with reverse osmosis water, and fill up your own easy-to-carry container (glass or stainless steel is best) before you head out the door.

Bottled water does a lot of harm to the environment. The process of bottling water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste every year. That plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce, and since only 20% end up being recycled, tons of slow-decaying plastic trash are continually building up in landfills and in the world’s oceans, representing a great risk to marine life.

That’s not all though. It hurts your wallet as well. Unless you’re out in the middle of nowhere and the only convenience store for miles around has nothing else but bottled water, buying bottled water is stuuuuuuuupid.

We think paying $1.30 for a mid-size bottle of water is pretty exorbitant. Even if it comes from Fiji or some fjord in some pristine far-flung area of Europe, it’s still water. It can’t taste that different from regular water.

Although we’re sure there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with tap water, over the years, we’ve taken the extra precaution of using a Brita water filter pitcher, just in case. It’s worked pretty well for us, except for the fact that we get lazy every now and then about filling it back up again. There’s that whole issue of opening and closing the fridge quite a lot as well.

So we decided to buy a ceramic water crock for $30, and a 5-gallon jug of reverse osmosis-purified water for 25 cents per gallon. The lady that sold us the jug n’ crock set let us have our first 5 gallons for free, and gave us a stamp-as-you-go card so that we could get our 10th refill gratis as well.

Not having to continuously open and close the fridge door is great, but the best part of it all is the savings. Consider this: $1.25 for a 20-oz. bottle of water versus $1.25 for 5 gallons of filtered water. ‘Nuff said!


What’s In A Name ? January 18, 2008

Filed under: baby names,cool names,Desiree,Dezzi Rae,names — cheapchiccouple @ 11:44 pm

I’ve always loved my name because it’s so unique, and it fits me to a ‘T’. Derived from the original French ‘Desiree’, which means ‘the one longed for’, I’ve taken to putting it a naughtier way as I’ve gotten older by saying my name means ‘the object of desire’. (Look at the picture below. Do I or don’t I look like a Dezzi Rae/Desiree ?)

My parents liked the name ‘Desiree’, which they picked up when they saw the Marlon Brando movie ‘Napoleon and Desiree’ but knew very few Filipinos would be able to pronounce it correctly so they decided to alter it a wee bit. ‘Dezzi’ was because I was born in December, and ‘Rae’ was in honor of my dad, Ray, on whose 27th birthday I chose to make my grand entrance into the world (talk about being a scene stealer!).

Just this week, I stumbled on a story online about a high school basketball star named Dezzirae Cafferata. I forwarded the story to my parents. My dad thought it was quite a coincidence, but pointed out that mine is spelled out as two words – ‘Dezzi’ and ‘Rae’. My mom said, “Aw, c’mon! Maybe they saw your name in the papers when you first came to the States as a Soroptomist International Youth Forum representative’.

I finally decided to google ‘Dezzirae’ and ‘Dezzi Rae’ and wouldn’t you know it, there were a few other Dezzirae’s out there.

I did a little bit more research and found out that ‘Dezzirae‘ is in fact an old English name that means ‘dawn’ or ‘sunrise’. From ‘object of desire’ to ‘sunrise’. Who would’ve thought?

If you’re looking for cool baby names (like ‘Dezzi Rae’- Ha!), one book that we bought a year ago and still enjoy going through and making notes on which names we’d like for our wee ones when the time comes is Cool Names For Babies. Taking inspiration from the book, we decided on Katana Lily if we have a girl, Mace Atreides (yes, as in The House of Atreides from the sci-fi novel ‘Dune’), if we have a boy.

So, I may not be the only one in the world who spells her name as ‘d-e-z-z-i-r-a-e’ but hey, at least I’m the only one who spells it as ‘d-e-z-z-i’ and separate word ‘r-a-e’. Or at least that’s what I believe until another Dezzi Rae emails me and refutes my statement!