Yaffa, Color Disruptor, Reinventing Beauty

Last fall I had the good fortune of meeting Rica at an event. I instantly liked her—she had style, was not afraid of color (as evidenced by her vibrant crimson hair) and had a personality larger than life. She exudes creativity.  Recently she set up her salon, Yaffa Beauty, in the Salons by JC at 515 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT.  I had the good fortune to win a makeover in March and I enjoyed a cut, blow dry and makeup and left feeling completely glamorous! 

The word "Yaffa," יפה, means "Beautiful," or "Beauty" in Hebrew. So, "Yaffa Beauty" is, literally, "Beauty Beauty." You also get double the beauty experience here - on the inside and on the outside. And, if you are a Duran Duran fan, the wordplay is a fun homage to Rica’s favorite band of all time.

Rica, as a member of The Unicorn Tribe, has been recognized nationally as a color disruptor, an artist, and a VISIONARY. You're not only in good hands, you're in EXCEPTIONAL hands, with a colorist who is REINVENTING THE INDUSTRY.

A Paul Mitchell education, and years of experience as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, has given Rica the edge when it comes to innovation, and the ability to craft an entire image. Consultations are gestalt - every aspect of your appearance, and who you are as an individual are taken into consideration resulting in a tailored, highly personalized result. 

What I found most intriguing, and incredibly frugal, is her subscription service.  Maintenance of cuts and color can be costly. We all want to look and feel our best and Rica’s subscription service lets you do that at a savings.  Imagine being able to come in every time you wanted a trim or a style?  Rica offers an unlimited 6-month subscription starting at $175. That’s right you could come every week if you wanted to. Or perhaps you’re looking for root touch ups? For 6-months you can lock it in for as little as $400.  Love manicures… there’s a subscription for that as well.

Here's a complete listing of subscriptions that are available:

UNLIMITED Root Touch Ups or Specialty Re-Glazing for 6 months, pay only $400!
UNLIMITED Root Touch Ups or Specialty Re-Glazing for 12 months, pay only $675!
UNLIMITED Adult Shampoo, Haircuts & Rough Dries for 6 months, pay only $175
UNLIMITED Adult Shampoo, Haircuts & Rough Dries for 12 months, pay only $320
UNLIMITED Kid's Shampoo, Haircuts & Rough Dries for 6 months, pay only $135
UNLIMITED Kid's Shampoo, Haircuts & Rough Dries for 12 months, pay only $250
1 Year of Keratin Smoothing Treatments for $750 (a $250 saving!)
12 CND Shellac Manicures for 6 months, $375
24 CND Shellac Manicures for 12 months, $630

So-- if you want to pamper yourself, look your best all the time and save money to boot then Rica’s subscription service is a great way to do all three.  Check it out at yaffabeautybyrica.com Call/text to (914) 384-3648 to book.

U Break They Fix

I hate it when things break.  Some may call it planned obsolescence.  I, however, am a big believer in keeping things out of landfills. If it can be fixed why throw it out?  Or if not reuse it for parts or make it into art perhaps?  I know technology is always advancing but I find our culture and obsession with the latest gadgets somewhat troubling on several levels. In other parts of the world I have observed little shops, the size of a closet sometimes, that fix things that here we would simply throw out. 

So, I was overjoyed when I read about a new store in town that would not only diagnose what was wrong (for free) but also fix it!  UBREAKIFIX, is a franchise.  They will literally tackle any device that powers on!  In my area, there are a few locations and last summer I visited the one on Westport Avenue in Norwalk.  Geek Squad had told me my old PC that seemed to turn on but had no display was not fixable.  With little to lose I brought it to UBREAKIFIX, and in a day or so they not only diagnosed it, but also fixed it for a reasonable price. 

UBREAKIFIX is not only staffed by skilled technicians, they also exceed expectations for customer service. Recently a friend gave me her older iPhone as my Samsung was literally falling apart.  It was great but the phone was popping out of the case backing. Saturday I stopped into UBREAKIFIX and decided to find out how much it would cost to fix it.  Steve Gardner, Director of Operations, offered to take it apart for me and try to reassemble it so that it would fit properly. He warned me that it could be the battery, or it the screen might break in the process. To allay my anxiety, he offered to attempt the repair in front of me.  He also offered to do it for FREE!   To my delight, he succeeded in fixing it.  Patiently he figured out to set up my case so that the phone was protected, explained that the tempered glass screen was not compatible with the Otterbox (it didn’t fit).  Steve was not only skilled, professional but also gave generously of his time.


UBREAKITFIX can be found at 501 Westport Avenue in Norwalk, CT (203-523-0990) as well as at 115 Old Kings Highway North in Darien.  www.ubreakifix.com    It’s a great find for me and for you should you be in need!  (And tell them Inga sent you !) 

Steve Gardner, Director of Operations, UBREAKIFIX, Norwalk, CT

Steve Gardner, Director of Operations, UBREAKIFIX, Norwalk, CT

Best Frugal Finds

As seen in the Daily Voice 11/3/16 --article by Jeanne Muchnick 

What started as fun and interesting tidbits offered to friends and family -- many with a frugal flair -- has turned into a full-time blog for South Norwalk resident Micki Tiffen, a self-described "information junkie."

Frugal Fairfield , which she started January 2015, is all about living well but not spending a lot.

An anthropologist by training, she says she's always been very curious about the world and about what other people are doing and, as the child of Depression-era babies, has always been smart about spending wisely. By day she's works in market research, so uncovering "gems in the rough" comes as second nature.

"I've basically been doing this informally for years," she said. "People would always ask me about what was going on around town." Then, when she started sharing tips, they told her she should start a website so, as a challenge to herself, she did, figuring there might be a business there.

While it's not a moneymaker -- yet -- Tiffen, a mom of two sons (ages 25 and 23), said she's having fun, especially as more Fairfield County residents discover her.

Because she has a great appreciation for the cultural arts and music, she said she would be doing this anyway, so why not share what she knows?

Among some of her hidden gems: library events as they are great sources for enrichment and entertainment. The New Canaan Library, in particular, offers a series of lectures on art, business and journalism each year. They also have free Tai Chi classes on Mondays.

Tiffen also likes the Wilton Library which, because Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck lived there, often offers a jazz series, frequently with top-notch performers. The Norwalk Library is another favorite for its author talks.

As for music, Tiffen says the B.R.Y.A.C. (Black Rock Yacht and Athletic Club) in Bridgeport, offers live music four nights a week where you can see up and coming performers as well as better known musicians. Commander Cody played there, in fact, on Oct. 23. It's also, she said, very family-friendly and has an affordable and delicious menu.

The Acoustic, also in Black Rock, is another worthwhile -- and inexpensive -- music venue and sometimes famous musicians show up there. On Oct. 30 Phil Lesh joined the band, Midnight North, which featured his son Grahame Lesh.

Rowayton runs a summer music festival each year where, again, up and coming or well-known bands have played. This past year it was The Record Company. In the past, Tiffen has seen The English Beat, Shakey Graves, Lake Street Dive and Amy Helm.

As the daughter of artists, Tiffen is also big into gallery openings and is a fan of Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan and the Westport Arts Center, which she says put on great shows.

She also likes 22 Haviland Street Gallery in Norwalk, a space that is also the home of Art Aficionado Dennis Bradbury. And, she likes Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, as well as the Flinn Gallery, on the second floor of the Greenwich Library.

Grace Farms in New Canaan also boasts a plethora of book discussions, art installations and movies at low-cost. The SANAA architecture and setting are spectacular, says Tiffen. And, for those who like home decor, C ottages & Gardens Magazine showcases a variety of designer homes and interior design centers and often provides delicious hors d'oeuvres (check their calendar for listings).

Tiffen also blogs on occasion about new food finds. Her favorite space for a hot almond milk matcha latte is Cafe Dolce in Norwalk where, she said, the Hungarian owner makes the most amazing pastries --- and coffee --- she's ever had.


Saturdays in SoNo

Where can you go and learn how to cook delicious food, buy a beautiful handmade bracelet and organic, local produce AND listen to jazz all at the same time? The answer: SoNo Farmer’s Market Saturdays at 50 Washington Street.   

I stumbled upon the SoNo Farmer’s Market back in July as I was walking through town after class at Work It Dance and Fitness.  The produce is fresh, organic and local and it’s well priced. Some farmer’s markets jack up prices so high you’d think you were shopping in a gourmet store on the Upper East Side, but SoNo has great produce at great prices and they accept WIC and Food Stamps.

In August, the renowned chef, Joe Bruno, started doing cooking demos.  Joe owned and ran the Washington Street mainstay, Pasta Nostra for over 30 years, and opened a new restaurant in 2015, bruculino (which means “from Brooklyn”).  This is not your standard demo.  Joe selects beautiful produce from the market and adds his amazing fresh pasta to it, sometimes complementing it with his homemade sausage or fresh seafood.  But that’s not what makes this special.  If you listen closely you will learn.  Joe tells you about his life, about Italy, about how to creatively combine what you have to create a healthy and satisfying dish and you can feel his passion. Whether it be sautéing wilted lettuce or what to make on a ski trip --because as Joe says “sometimes a chef is born out of necessity.”  And the food—well there’s enough for everyone and it’s delicious—what else would it be?

Need to buy a gift? Patty Robinson is there most Saturdays with her lovely Blue Lotus Bracelets. She crafts these lovely bracelets of various beads and charms so that not only will you look dazzling but you will feel great as well. And check out her cool lanyard for eyeglasses – a clever way that answers the question of what to do with your glasses when you’re not wearing them for reading or vision.

All the while you are shopping and noshing on gourmet food you will be entertained by a great jazz group.  If you haven’t checked out the SoNo Farmer’s Market on Saturday (11-3) , you should put it on your list--it's definitely on Inga's List. 


Great Food Finds: Holiday Gift Guide


Great shopping from deals at Wusthof (knives from Solingen, Germany--20% off sale on 12/5) to Popup markets, to fun places to "drink & dribble paint".  http://www.ctbites.com/


A Simple Salon With Great Service

 Veronica's Hair Salon, Norwalk, CT

Desperately in need of a haircut--it had been over a year, and faced with starting a new gig in the corporate world--I bought a Groupon a few weeks ago for Veronica's Hair Salon.  I was a little familiar with the salon as  I had stopped in a few months while doing a blitz for the Capitol Theatre when they were targeting brides to be.  Veronica, who hails from El Salvador, graciously took my flyer that day and the salon struck me as a friendly, neighborhood place.  

I was able to schedule my appointment for today (2/14/15).  The plan was for a wash, cut, partial highlights and styling.  My stylist, Erika, met me at the front desk.  I think she was a little shocked by the state of my mane. She said it was dry and thought my home hair coloring work, well was sub-optimal to put it nicely.  Nonetheless she knew exactly what to do to "fix it" and said she wasn't going to charge me extra either for the extra work. She applied 2 different color highlights--I am sure she did full highlights even though the Groupon had been for partial. After cooking under the heat lamp she applied a glaze (also no charge) and washed the hair.  Back at her chair she removed the dead hair and did a really nice up do.  Here is the final result.  I will definitely be back. Prices are very reasonable with lower prices on Tuesdays (men) and Thursdays (women). http://www.veronicassalonspa.com/index.htm