Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ipsy – Myglam November Bag

This was my first Ipsy (Myglam) bag.  Although I have been subscribed to Birchbox for six months and I am pretty happy, there are limited cosmetics included.  I had heard great thing via the internet regarding how Myglam had changed since changing their name to Ipsy and I just couldn’t resist for $10! 
Ipsy usually processes credit card charges on the 1st of the month and ships in the middle of the month.  Apparently I lucked out because I received my bag on the 10th!  I won’t expect this for the following months, but it was awesome since this was my first month.  There are little variations between the bags from my understanding with the exception of shades of products and for this month subscribers received either brow gel or mascara they’re real by benefit.
Here is what I received:

Pretty impressive for $10!  The nail polish or eyeliner pencil is worth over that alone.  The bag is a chocolate brown with gold hardware.

I've never tried Nailtini before.  The color is called millionaire and it is a great fall glitter polish made up of taupe, bronzes, and gold with larger greenish iridescent tints.  I used two coats with a clear base in the pic shown above.



Need I say more?  A matte shadow by the Balm cosmetics.  Can't wait to try!

 A brand new line, according to Ipsy.  Have not tried or swatched yet, but honestly what could go wrong with a liner?

 Love this!!  Will probably purchase the full size later.  This is a typical shade I would wear (called Dare Devil), so it is within my comfort zone and (I think) looks great with my complexion..and its not "sticky"..a plus for me!

 I don't own a brow gel so this is a welcomed addition.  It's clear, but I have not tried it yet or swatched just in case I want to trade or gift it.

In all very pleased with my first Ispy bag.  If they keep this up I will be gifting subscriptions for next Christmas!  How are you loving yours?  Comment below!!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

First Look - Influenster - Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012

Influenster - Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012
I heard about a fabulous program that allows you to receive boxes full of products called a Voxbox based on your profile, social influence, and willingness to do product reviews on the products that are sent to you.  Did I mention that this program is free??  How savvy is that???  I signed up for the program in July and honestly forgot about it.  In the past few weeks I was reintroduced to it and apparently they revamped the site since the summer to be more manevable.  I completed the surveys and reviews on misc. products on the new improved site and to my surpirse was sent an invitation later to receive a VoxBox (not everyone that is sent an invitation is accepted unfortunately).  These boxes are sent out periodically as well as other products and although you may be chosen, it does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the next selection or others; it depends on your activity and if you complete required tasks. 
Here is the box I received:



I was fortunate enough to not only receive a box, but also the bonus box that came with the Vitabath fragrance mist in beach Blossom.  Upon first looking at the box, i am most excited to try the Goody Spin Pins, Kiss eyelashes, and candle.  Honestly this box by far exceeds my subscription service I pay $10 for and is more along the lines of a $25 box that includes products in the $40 value range.  Detailed and honest reviews of each product I received will follow later in the week to come.

Interested and intrigued?  Check it out for yourself!  http://www.influenster.com/.  From my research this is one of the most popular and reputable sites to receive and review products.  Tell me what you think of the program!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 2012 Birchbox (Goop Edition)

For the month of October, Birchbox sent out an email to their subscribers to choose between a regular October Birchbox that had the theme of Transformations or Goop, a company ran by Gwyneth Paltrow.  After considering both options carefully for two days, I opted for the Goop box, even though the site gave little indication of what to expect besides suggesting higher end products.  Here are pictures for my Goop box, Box #17 (weight .4380).





Beauty Blender – Have not used this yet, but this was the star of my box.  I have been wanting one and looking for a good dup of this, so very excited to have received on in my box.
Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Eye – I have wanted to try a Kiehl’s product all summer so was very pleased to try this as I was looking for an eye cream to purchase.   After a few uses, I find it to be moisturizing and would try again in the future.
Jouer Lip enhancer – Personally I have no use for this, as I have full (enough) lips, so I will not try this product.
DDF wrinkle resist plus pore minimizer – Received Benefits Pore-fessional in my last box and compared to it, I prefer this one based off of first impressions.  I feel the Pore-fessional is best used as a primer as this is lighter and translucent.
Kusmi Tea (2 single packets, Detox and Euphora) – I love trying different teas, no complaints about this one.
Luna Fiber Bar (chocolate and raspberry) - Absolutely disliked this, IMO it had a bad after taste and chalky residue.  Many people on blogs complained about receiving this bars constantly but this was my first time in 5 months. 

There were a lot of complaints over both boxes for various reasons but there were also some, like myself that were perfectly happy with their box.  In all, this box was a success for me and I am looking forward to November and December’s box!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mommy Subscription Services: An Honest First Impression

I’m currently subscribed to Birchbox and thought that a mommy-baby subscription would be a great addition.  Especially since I usually grab anything cute that I see in the store anyway.  So being the thrifty person I am, I first tried out Bluum.  It is just $12 a month with free shipping and offers new products in deluxe sizes to try out.  I was put on the invite list a few months ago and was invited to join with no time limit.  I was dragging my feet but thankfully I got an awesome offer for the July Box with Joel Harper, (Dr. Oz's celebrity personal trainer) for just $1, so I jumped on this great deal!  The box included the following:


Pure Organic Wild Blueberry Bar- Not my cup of tea at all.  Definitely for the health conscious lol.  I even let my $7 off coupon go to waste.
Green Spouts teething ring- First time being introduced to this brand.  I actually did not use it for some time because we already had a lot of different teething rings.  Big mistake!  This is one of Nicholas’s favorites.  Retails for $4.99
Udderly Smooth- Have not used. In fact they are in my sample box I hope to trade or give away.  It’s not a bad product, I’ve used this in the past and if memory serves it is very slippery and also sold at the dollar store.  This was the mommy extra. 
Dr. Sears baby wash and shampoo- We loved this.  So much that I looked on line for it and found it on Amazon.com for 4.77 plus shipping and Target.com for 6.99 plus shipping.  The sample was enough for 1 bath but I was thrilled to find it at my local Ollies store for $1.99!
Triple Paste Diaper rash ointment- Have not used, only because we do not have a problem with diaper rash.  Received full size, retails for 9.99
Overall, I was very pleased with Bluum’s box, definitely worth the $12/month price and an even better steal for $1.  Sadly I unsubscribed after one month due to what I felt was a lack of customer service.  There was an oversight on my account where I pay for subscription services and such with a prepaid card.  Thinking that payment was due on the 10th, I loaded money to that account on the 8th.  Never received notice that there was a problem with my card and I went to the site on the 12th to see when my box was going to ship out.  I was surprised to see that my account was suspended! I wrote customer service to see if there was a way to still get August's box since it was not set to ship for a few days still, but received an answer back today saying I missed the deadline (by 2 days) and would receive a box in September.  I realize that it was my error with the card, I am just disappointed that more was not attempted. 
So I decided to spend a little more money for better customer service after reading reviews from Citrus Lane.  This service sends full size products including toys, food, and the best reviewed products to their subscribers.  I felt that this service was more of a match for my family as we are continuously trying to find new products to entertain our little one. Our first box was in September and we received the following:


Baby Bug “magazine”-  Looks like a soft cover thin book, but is considered a magazine.  Would subscribe if they had an awesome promotion.  1 year of 9 issues is $28.95 (that includes the $5 discount inside the book).

Rich Frog Tub Sponge- Received a walrus.  Very cute, serves the function it’s intended for. Retails for 5.99, currently $3 at the Citrus Lane Shop.

Green Spouts bib- Good quality, wipes clean. Aged from 12-24 months, so we can use it for a while, which I appreciate.

Nutur Me All Natural Baby food- Received two packets, different flavors.  Have not tried yet, but like that I can mix these into regular food for extra nutrients or mix with formula for a meal itself.  Perfect for emergency food or travel.

BeginAgain worm- Love this!  This was my favorite thing in the box, probably because it’s a wooden toy.  My baby loves trying to stuff the worm’s head in his mouth.  Retails for 12.99 

In summary, these are both great services depending on what you are looking for.  It seems that Bluum focuses on products for baby and is more affordable, while Citrus lane has more lifestyle and interactive things for baby.  If you are interested in trying out Citrus Lane and would like to use my referral link, you can do so by clicking the following: https://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/nikkia.dowling
Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any services for moms and babies you use or what your experiences have been with these two companies!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Update!

My apologies for being absent for a bit!  I’ve been attempting to manage my new schedule with work while maintain full time status as a graduate student, mother and wife.  Sometimes a break is needed and since I cannot take a break from family, school or work, my other activities had to go on the back burner for a while until I could re-organize my priorities.  I have lots of upcoming posts regarding my recent subscription services, baby food, and best of products.  I sincerely hope that you will find something useful!
Summer has ended and as autumn begins, my is time to start thinking about and preparing for the holidays!!  This is my favorite time of year (not including summer) because I love how each month is a holiday, a family member’s birthday or something exciting is going on.  My husband and I are especially looking forward to this year having a real reason to decorate and take pictures like crazy...to remember our precious first holiday moments with our son. 
How this year will be different:
v  We’re going to send out cheesy holiday cards with our pictures on them.
v  D├ęcor..we always do more than necessary, but this year I’m sure we are going to do more along the lines of baby friendly decorations.
v  Attend family events to show off the baby while maintaining boundaries in order to spend our first holiday together as a family.
v  Creating/continuing our own traditions.
v  Enjoying our time and watching our baby’s milestones.
I think this year will be the most excitement that I've had for the holiday season since I was a child :).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Container gardening- A budget friendly and space saving alternative

When my husband and I lived in an apartment with a small balcony, we dreamed of having our own home in order to garden.  Little did we realize that we could have had a variety of plants growing already in our limited outdoor space.  Instead of having to cut up an existing part of your lawn or to take advantage of on small space or deck, planting vegetables and herbs in pots is a great alternative. 


Plants that do well in pots:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Strawberries
Blueberry bushes
Potatoes
Squash
Cucumbers
Zucchini
Herbs

For herbs, you can use smaller pots or larger pots if you want to combine different plants.  There are many herbs that grow well together and make for a more attractive arrangement.  If you want an even more cost-saving approach and are not concerned with a decorative look, try 5 gallon or larger buckets, such as the ones you can find at your local home improvement store for under $6.  Just drill holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage and if necessary, add small rocks to the bottom before adding the dirt.

Benefits to container gardening:
It’s not necessary to have a yard or large space
No commitment to permanent space (great if renting!)         
Mobility if you need to move
Easy transfer of plants

Remember:  Being creative is the key to utilizing small spaces.  Don't allow this to hinder your potential progress :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Perks of Gardening

There is something about the spring and summer that makes me excited about gardening.  Growing up in the South, you would think I would have more experience or knowledge with gardening and canning from my grandparents.  This was definitely not the case.  I can’t remember my family growing anything other than tomatoes each year, maybe cucumbers a few times.  My generation was one of convenience (microwaves, canned/frozen goods), although I will say we always ate home cooked food.  Going to McDonalds was a treat saved for good behavior and restaurants were reserved for special occasions.   This is something that has stuck with me into adulthood.  I prefer cooking my food and knowing what is in my food rather than going to fast food restaurants.    Prior to the last few years this was due to taste, health, and saving money, however now that I’ve seen several documentaries than discuss hormones being injected into meats and seeds that farmers use, as well as pink slime, my family has been even more committed to change.
While we live in a rural area, we do live in an “up and coming” area in a development.  That means no farms and we can’t have a chicken coop to have farm fresh eggs, however, we can garden to our hearts content. We decided on raised beds, which my husband built with minimal cost.  If you aren’t handy there are composite raised beds you can purchase from the hardware store that you can put together for around $70 dollars for a 4x4 raised bed.  Honestly, I believe that is the cost we spent for 2-6x6 beds.  A cheaper option would be to plant directly in the ground.  This depends on the quality of your dirt and preference.  We did not want animals (namely our dogs or wild rabbits) to have access to the garden and we have red clay in our location, making it impossible to grow anything. 
 Our old garden:
Improved Garden: We have done more work since the picture, I will post when new area is completed!


We have had a lot of luck with herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, and blueberries.  We grew these in our first year of gardening and have a huge yield.  So huge, we had to learn how to can so we did not waste any food.  We have canned salsa, jams, pasta sauce, peppers, and whole tomatoes.  Nothing too impressive, but enough produced to last us through the winter. 

This year I am very excited to garden and am even more motivated because our son is 4 months old and is being introduced to solids.  How awesome is it to go out to our yard and make his baby food!  I am even more motivated due to the cost I saw for “organic” baby food at the grocery store.  I don’t see personally paying $1-$2 for one serving (maybe 2) of baby food when I have an abundance of fresh vegetables in my yard. 

The cost is an amazing savings.  We did not have much luck with seeds and buy small plants from the gardening section of home improvement stores or nurseries.  Seeds have an even better savings, but the plants are usually around $1.99 to $2.99.  An example of the cost savings is one cucumber at the grocery store is 99 cents and a zucchini is on sale for $1.29 each.  The plant was already paid for its self with the first 2 it produces, with a much larger size and better tasting with less chemicals (none in my case).  Honestly, I would say once matured, each plant produces at least 3 per week.
Tips
Research saves time and money!  Why guess at what to do when you can look it up?!  While everyone has someone in their family who is a self-proclaimed expert, I recommend asking them what works, but still research things for yourself.  YouTube has almost everything you have a question on and there are plenty of blogs and forums that provide information as well.  There are so many people who have tried and failed before you-learn from their mistakes and save yourself the frustration! 
Become your own expert!  Research things you don’t know and continue to research to find better ways to improve what you are already doing.  This is our 4th year gardening and while we went in blindly, we researched to find the cheapest and most effective ways to produce and make the most of our investment. 
Don’t be disappointed at failed attempts.  If it repeatedly does not work, try to find new sources for information (each demographic is different), or stick with something else.  We have failed miserably at trying to grow garlic, so we turned that box into an additional potato box. 
If you lack space or rent don’t be discouraged!  Pots offer the same advantage of raised beds and are more mobile!  Smaller items such as tomatoes, herbs, strawberry plants, and peppers do very well in pots and will still look decorative on a balcony or patio.
Have fun!  It is exciting to see a small plant grow to its full size, more exciting when you see the first fruit, and even better tasting the difference in home grown food and what you just ate last week.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

(My first!) June Birchbox 2012 Review

After months of debating whether or not I wanted to commit to a monthly beauty subscription service, I finally broke and decided to purchase one.  I figured this way, I would force myself to have a treat every once in a while if I found something I really loved since I hate spending money unnecessarily.   Since I’m such a savvy shopper, I decided not to do a jewelry, fashion, or shoe subscription because I am very picky on quality rather than quantity and would rather wait for sales rather than spending money monthly to receive items monthly.  I decided on Birchbox, mainly due to a lot of the other companies being less than one year old and although there’s always some people who tire of services, no matter which company it is with, it seemed to me that Birchbox had the most consistent reviews.

For those who are unfamiliar with Birchbox, it is a monthly service that ships samples of beauty products for $10 per month.  Being a subscription service, as a consumer you can pay for the entire year for a discount at $110 or charged monthly via credit card.  Birchbox recently launched a men’s program for $20 per month.  Birchbox sends out 4-6 samples in the box, some sample sizes are one time use, some are deluxe sized, and if you are lucky sometimes you may receive full sized merchandise.  You can purchase products directly from their website and earn points for each purchase.

I have only received one box, so I cannot share my experience as a long term customer, but I can share my overall first impressions. The theme for the June 2012 box was Jet Set, which involved items great for travel.  My box looked like this:








Reviewed Items:

Borghese Bontanico Eye Compresses:  Haven’t used yet (saving for a stressful day)

Jouer Luminizing Moistere Tint:  Matched skin tone well.  While great for summer and going out, I would not use every day due to sheen on skin.  I will stick with my Smashbox Tinted  Moisturizer for daily use.

Scalisi Skincare Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30:  Although this has a high price tag for a little bottle,  $110 for 1.7 ounces, a little goes a long way.  I love the feel of this product on my skin.  I received a deluxe size sample of .2 ounces and it has lasted so far 2 weeks once per day because you only need 1 pump.  Something I would buy in the future, but not now.

The Balm Stainiac in Beauty Queen: This was advertised as being a lip or cheek stain that gives builable color the more you apply.  I prefer to wear it as a cheek stain as the lip stain was very faint and did not wear well.  Would I purchase?  I can honestly say no with a certainty.  Not a bad product, I personally just did not see the purpose.

Lifestyle Extras

Band-Aid-Cynthia Rowley: I have not used, but I have no complaints.  There are Band-Aids meant to function as dressier options than the standard tan or kid Band-Aids.  Birchbox is selling for $15, which I would never recommend.  They can be found in stores or online for less than one third of that price.

Birchbox Man Extra- John Varvatos cologne:  Obviously cologne is a very personal preference, so take this with a grain of salt.  My husband loved the scent as I did, but more importantly I liked the idea of including this extra during Father’s Day month.  I thought it was a nice touch.

Possible Pet Peeves

Long waitlist.  I will admit I was initially annoyed when I tried to sign up at first.  I spent several weeks researching and decided on a service just to be told there was no space for me!  I hate waiting to spend my money, but this probably is a great marketing strategy as well because when I finally got the email letting me know I could join, I didn’t want to pass it up!  I requested to be on the waiting list for Birchbox for both versions.  Birchbox Man came back about 2 weeks later while my Birchbox took about 6 weeks.  I decided to try my Birchbox before getting one for my husband.  Oh, and after they send you the invite, you only have about 72 hours to respond before they go to the next person on the list.

From my research, there aren’t just a few different boxes that are sent out.  There is over 20 different boxes.  Personally I don’t care, that adds variety to the possibilities I could receive, but from reading different blogs and beauty forums this irritated quite a few persons. 

All boxes are not worth the same amount.  The various boxes part of the reason people are irritated.  They all want high dollar items. . For example, there was a $36 Stila bronzer in some boxes, full sized eye shadow pencils in some, and Band-Aids in others.  I got the Band-Aids.  This did not particular bother me.  Sure just to say I got the added value of the box was nice, but in fairness, I am more likely to use the Band-Aids. 

Repetitive merchandise.  As far as I know, part of the reason for the various boxes is so you will never get a repeat item.  You will receive “left-overs” from other months as some put it.  Again, I don’t see a problem with that because if I really wanted a nail polish that was going around last month and I didn’t receive it, I’d be more than happy to receive it later on.  You will receive repetitive things like perfume samples often (but in different scents) or different items from the same line (like a toner one month and a moisturizer the next month from the same company).

There are Lifestyle Extras included in the boxes that are not beauty related.  I received two, but from my understanding it is usually just one per month.  If you don’t want to receive energy bars, Band-Aids, or other products, this may bother you.


Tips/Perks

The greatest perk is trying high dollar items that you usually would not be able to try and having products sent directly to you instead of spending hours at a makeup counter or online trying to find products.   The moisturizer I was sent costs $110 for a little over 1 ounce.  It’s a deluxe sample and while I love it so far, I know there is a cheaper version out there.  I now know what to look for. 

Fill out your profile.  Apparently they are supposed to take this into consideration with the items they send out.  I think they do; they sent me a tinted moisturizer that was available in 4 different shades.  It matched my skin perfectly, which I was concerned about.  I was also hoping that they didn’t send me a self-tanner, as I definitely had no need/use for that!

Birchbox has a point system in which you can earn points to receive discounts on what is on their website.  You earn 10 points for each Birchbox you purchase, 1 point for every $1 spent on the website, 10 points for each item reviewed (only what you recived in your box), and 50 points for each referral. When you reach 100 points you get $10 to spend in the store.  That’s a great way to save up points and buy the products you really love or want to try!

Free Shipping is included with the price.  I don't know about you, but I love free shipping.  In my opinion, it adds value to the box and while some persons complain about barely getting $10 of products some months, shipping is included so I feel that the money will always be worth it.

You can cancel at any time by phone or website.  I hate calling to cancel because I feel I’ll be roped into staying or have to have a good reason.  I love the website option to have whenever I feel the need to cancel.

Stay away from You Tube and beauty forums if you get worked up easily.  While it is great to listen to rant/raves of others, make sure you are informed from your own opinions.  Don’t get worked up over other people’s issues that aren’t your own.

If interested in subscribing to Birchbox you can go to the website www.birchbox.com or use my referral link:
I am not sure if the referral link will speed up the waiting list process, but as a disclaimer I will let you know that I would receive 50 points for each person that signs up under my name. 
In a nutshell:  do your own research and decide first if subscription services are something you want to try.  It’s a great fad-there is a service for EVERYTHING lol.  I will try Bluum next, which is a service for expectant mothers and items for moms with babies.  Warning: wait list for this as well.  Also just keep an open mind and remember why you signed up for it in the first place.  Have fun!

How to get the most out of yard sales!

I love shopping and love being thrifty.  It’s something about yard sales that takes me back to my childhood.  I loved going with my mother when I was younger to yard sales and finding things I couldn’t get in the store.  People sell their old belongings, but it’s also a great place to find gently used and sometimes new baby items, crafts, jewelry, vintage pieces, records, furniture, and antiques.  It’s much cheaper to find items at yard sales than going to Antique shops, consignment stores, and even Ebay at times. 
It’s summer time and that means that it is the time for yard sales and there are plenty of people that are willing to make deals.  It’s always great to save/make money whether you are having a yard sale yourself or going to one.  People  always want a deal almost as much as people want to make money, so try to remember not to insult the person selling by throwing a ridiculously low ball offer (such as offering $10 for a $100 item, unless they are desperate to part with the item and say they will take anything!)
Personally, I usually have 2 yard sales a year. One held in the spring/early summer and one held in September.  I have found that newspaper advertising and signs work best in my rural area.  Older adults tend not to utilize Craigslist while that is where I found the younger adults find their information.  I have also observed that Sundays are not necessary, as the crowds tend to seek out deals early Saturday mornings.  I usually set my sale from 8-2, giving plenty of time for the early bird shoppers as well as the late sleepers a chance to sleep in.
My best find of the year so far (and of my life!) has been a necklace that I found at a yard sale just last month.  I was initially uninterested because the seller had mainly Christmas items, but I browsed the sale anyway.  I spotted some jewelry in a box lid and I saw some chunky gold necklaces.  I had my hand on one, but immediately was drawn to another.  It was a matt gold heavy chain necklace.  The toggle had me sold.  The seller came up behind me and said, “that necklace would look great on you!  $2!! “Okay, I can do $2,” was my reply.  I saw a name on the toggle that I did not recognize, but I knew it was quality costume jewelry, probably from Macy’s, I assumed. 
Well, upon going home, I looked up the designer (something I don’t always do, but had a gut feeling about this one), and saw high price tags on his items.  I found this particular item on a site listed for $218!  Upon further research, the designer was none other than Karl Lagerfeld, head designer for Chanel, Fendi, and of his own line!  I felt so foolish for not knowing the label, but so excited for such an awesome piece of jewelry that I would have never been able to afford (or be willing to spend on costume jewelry). Lesson: stop at every sale and look through the items-you never know what you may find J



Tips and Tricks
Choose your time of day.  If there is something that you are searching for in particular, then the best time of day to shop is early in the morning so that you have first choice over the items instead of picked over merchandise.  This way, you beat the early birds and the dealers from getting something you may have been searching for.  Later in the day is best to receive the best bargains because people want to make as much money as they can before ending and don’t want to put up all of the unsold merchandise.
Check out neighborhood yard sales.  You will save on gas and hunting for different sales because they will all be in one place!  Also, a lot of people who may not usually have a yard sale will participate because of the free advertising and crowds, so you may just find a special deal where it would not have been prior.
Be pleasant.  Sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people don’t say hello when walking up, even when spoken to, search through a person’s items, then walk up frowning and want a deal.  You don’t have to start a conversation, but friendliness works wonders!    
Don’t buy something just because it’s a good deal unless you know that you will use it and have an idea in mind of what to do with it.  A great deal means nothing if you can’t display or use your item properly and it turns into a dust collector.
Always ask if the prices are firm.  They may say reduce the price or they may ask you what you are willing to pay.
Buy more to save more!  If there is an item that you are eyeing but the person seems unwilling to reduce the price, try negotiating a package deal by buying something else.  Example:  You want a crystal vase that is $8 and see another item priced at $5 (just make sure it is an item that you actually want).  See if they will take $10 for both items.  The worst they can say is no but they are more likely to either accept your offer or meet you in the middle and take $12 for both items-still saving you money!
Don’t buy anything unless you are willing to pay the price on the tag.  Although people love making deals, don’t get caught up in the excitement and assume you will get a good deal and then feel pressured to purchase if the seller remains firm on the price.  You’ll only end up feeling cheated in the end.

~Hopefully some of these tips can help you!  What are your greatest finds??~

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Money Saving May

This month I have found some great deals through both stores and yard sales.  I am not a huge couponer but I do use them often.  I will just list my "better" bargains monthly and this month its from Target and still has some of the items still on sale through June 12.

  • Spectracide Weed and Grass killer Reg. $3.99, on a price cut for $3.49 (printed Target store coupon for -$3.00 off any Spectracide), paid $ .49 each - Brought 3.

I found a few great deals on some beauty items:



  • Target brand Up & Up Petroleum Jelly found in the baby aisle reg. $1.27, paid $ .27 each after Target coupon for -$1 off Baby skin or Hair care item.
  • Target brand Up & Up 30 count cotton rounds reg. $ .85 each, paid just $ .10 each after Target coupon for  -$ .75 of Up & Up Beauty Product.
  • Target brand Up & Up sharpener, reg. 1.49, paid $ .74 after Target coupon for  -$ .75 of Up & Up Beauty Product.
  • Sonia Kushuk Spoolie, reg. $1.99,  FREE!! after Target coupon for -$2 off any Sonia Kushuk brush.
  • Sonia Kushuk Eyebrow brush, reg. $2.99, $ .99 after Target coupon for -$2 off any Sonia Kushuk brush.
  • I also brought 2 travel sized Vaseline lotion for $ .30 each on clearance (no coupons).
***These were purchased in 3 different transactions at 2 different stores, due to their coupon policy of only being able to use 1 like Target coupon per transaction.***

Most of these deals are still good as the coupon (if still available on website don't expire until June 12-16, 2012).  I was able to use 3-4 like coupons because the website lets you print up to 2 per computer, so if you have more than 1 computer at your home or access to another one, then you can really take advantage of the better deals.

 Beauty for Less

Other great deals came from the Dollar Tree:

The Dollar Tree has really improved there merchandise within  the last five years, in my opinion.  The now carry brand name items, and things that you would least expect.  If you aren't that particular on a specific color and the newest line for makeup, then check out the beauty aisle!



This month I found Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color at the Dollar Tree!  This product usually retails around $3.95 so I happily got 4 for the price of 1 :)  They did have 3 other colors I did not purchase; I wanted more "Spring" colors, but I may return to pick up more!  Also, they carry Elf products, Loreal, Maybelline, LA Colors, NYC nail polishes, and other brands.  I tend to stick with the "higher end" drug store brands such as the Maybelline or Loreal but there is definitely variety there.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

More About Me

Welcome to my BLOG!! I hope that you can find some useful information in this..please bear with me, as I am just getting started :)

A little background information:  I am a not-so-new first time mother to a wonderful one year old "toddler" boy who for the sake of sparing him from future embarrssment I will refer to as "N."  I am also a full time student, I work full time, and  I'm a wife to my best friend of almost 6 years who  retired from the United States Air Force. 
 


A lot has been going on within the last year (obviously!) and even two years.  I have had to learn how to re-budget our money after being on an unpaid maternity leave for 3 months (long story), starting a new job, and learning how to be a parent.  I am learning how to spread my time, and keep my sanity and retain some of my identity while I feel my way through the newness of it all.

I am going to share information my small joys that include my family, shopping, and my trials and errors...Hopefully you can learn from what I wished people told me while pregnant instead of just telling me, "oh you just wait!  You'll see!"  I also plan to talk about favorite products, do reviews on baby, family, and self-care items, share our gardening tips, ways to save or stretch the hard earned dollar, and quick recipe ideas.    

I am so excited that you decided to stop by and hope that you enjoy!