Saturday, March 30, 2013

Running Update and an idea!

Oh my goodness- yesterday was gorgeous here! Almost 60 degrees here in lil' rhody! I took advantage of that and went out for a run outside =)

I have been so bad at exercising lately- mostly because things have been so busy but I really need to get back on track. This year has not been great for me exercise-wise and I need to fix it!

I only ran about a mile, down to the end of my road and back- but it's definitely a start and I am making a commitment to write down everything that I eat and every time I exercise in a food and exercise journal. It might seem a little intense but I honestly think it will hold me accountable and allow me to see how much I'm eating versus how much I'm exercising.

I'm planning on keeping track of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I will also write down all of the exercise that I do such as running, workout dvds, exercise classes, etc.

Have you ever kept a food and exercise journal?

I hope you have an amazing Easter weekend and have a great time with family and friends!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

Not a huge haul this week- but I saved plenty of money!

At CVS...

I bought two Pledge Multi-surfaces because they were BOGO, and the coupon auto-deducted $4.90 even though my store had them for only $3.50- sweet!

Coke had a MCM coupon for 25 cents off, making this bottle 75 cents!

Oral B toothbrush heads were on sale for $21.99
and luckily I had a coupon that was sent to me from P&G for $3 off
Making this $18.99
I also got back an ECB for $3

PAAS was $1.99 and I received back a $1.99 ECB making it FREE!

Maybelline was buy $10 get $3 ECB, I ended up purchasing an eyeshadow and a mascara which totaled $12.08
I also had coupons for $1.50 off each one
making them $9.08 total
I got my $3 ECB for this purchase too!

I used $3.99 ECB on this purchase.

My total was $31.99, and I received back $12.99 in ECB (including a $5 Beauty Buck)

Which makes this a $19 purchase! (I also received a $5 Beauty Buck yesterday when I went in to pick up a prescription which is clearly not a beauty item)

If you take that $5 beauty buck off as well, the total would be $14! Amazing since the Oral B toothbrush heads are usually $30 themselves!

At Stop and Shop...

I put my savingstar deals to good work!

$50 worth of Smart Ones meals.
I used (2) $3 off 10 meals coupons, making my total $44.
I also got $10 back through savingstar which makes it $34 for $50 worth of Smart Ones meals!

3 Poland Springs bottled water because they were on sale 3 for $11

2 Apple Cinnamon Cheerios for $3.79 each
I had a coupon for $1 off 2
making them $3.29 each
I also got $1 back through savings star which made them $5.58 total!

2 Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie doughs at $3 each
I had a coupon for $1 off 2
making them $2.50 each, or $5 total
I also got $1 back through savings star making them $4 total!

3 Pillsbury crescent rolls at $2.50 each
I had a coupon for $1 off 3
making them $2.16 each
I also got 50 cents back through savings star making them $6 total!

My total was $73.08 after coupons.
I received $12.50 back from savingstar.
Making this $60.58 which is incredible considering the amount of items I purchased!

I have a few plans for couponing this weekend before the sale cycle ends at CVS. I want to finish up the Dove deal I'm working on, as well as the Charmin deal. I might do the Maybelline deal again as well!

Happy Couponing

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Got Swag?!

Since I've been using swagbucks for a couple of weeks now, I thought I'd pop in here with some tips on how to get the most out of your time using this awesome website!

First, head over to to sign up- you'll receive swag bucks simply for signing up!

Once you've signed up there are several easy ways I've found to earn swag bucks:

  1. Answer the daily poll- you'll receive 1 swagbuck just for answering one question! 
  2. Complete the path of no obligation special offers (NOSO). Just keep clicking on "next offer" or "no thanks" and then enter in a captcha code at the end of the path to receive 2 swag bucks!
  3. Surveys. I have found that taking surveys on swagbucks is definitely more worth it then on other survey sites. Often I would find myself taking almost an entire survey on other sites before being rejected. On swagbucks if I am rejected it will happen in a few questions and I will still receive 1 swagbuck for attempting the survey. Often completed surveys give me 50-100 or more swagbucks. So worth it!
  4. Watching videos. When I watch videos on swagbucks I rarely pay attention to them, but they play so quickly and the points add up fast!
I'm sure there are many other ways to earn swag bucks but I haven't gotten around to discovering them all yet. I know you can make quite a bit off referrals but I haven't tried that yet!

Right now, after only a couple weeks I have earned over 700 swagbucks, and at 450 you are able to redeem them for a $5 Amazon gift card, 500 gets you other $5 gift cards! I plan on keeping them until my total is up high enough to get a BIG gift card as a reward. 

I think that this could be an amazing way to get your Christmas presents together if you buy a lot of gift cards. You could also use it to purchase gift cards that help with your week to week shopping. You could even purchase amazon gift cards and use those to buy gifts right online! There are tons of ways to use swagbucks to your advantage and I highly recommend you get your butt over there now! 

Happy swagging!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Linens and Loos- Monthly challenge wrapup

Here's what I wanted to accomplish when this monthly challenge was given:
  • I am going to sort through all my sheet sets, blankets, and towels. I will be getting rid of ones that I don't use and get down to just a bare minimum. 
  • I want to organize all my spare linens in baskets at the top of my closet. Right now they are just piled and driving me crazy!
  • I would like a spare set of white sheets for my bed- so I may be finding and ordering one.
  • I will be reorganizing the bathroom drawers and cleaning them out.
  • I will be going through all my beauty products and makeup (despite them not living in either my linen area or bathroom) "

  • Check. Check. Ehh. Check. andddd Check. I accomplished *almost* everything I set out to at the beginning of the month. I am still on the lookout for a spare set of white sheets- but other than that everything else I wanted to do I did!

    Here's how the month went:

    Overall, I feel like it was a pretty successful organization month. I can't wait to see what the April challenge is on iheartorganizing! 

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Linens and Loo Pinterest-Inspiration!

    Since we are still working on our linens and loo organization- I figured I would dedicate todays post to some pretty inspiration courtesy of my pinterest page. These are pictures I found on pinterest that have things organized in a pretty and functional way.

    medicine cabinet

    What a great way to organize medicine! If I had to organize more medicine I would definitely implement this system for myself. This system would make it easy to know if you were running low on a certain type of medicine and makes it really easy to go through medicine and toss the expired products.
    Spice rack as a nail polish rack!

    Nail polish in spice racks is a great idea! Makes it easy to see what you have and organize by color!

    Vanity tool drawer -- on it!

    This reminds me of the way hair tools are kept at the beauty salon.  What a creative way to organize hair tools!

    under cabinet organizing - I like the basket for toilet paper!

    What a beautiful under sink organization system! I love the baskets for toilet paper and towels, the lazy susan for products and all the containers holding qtips and cotton balls. 

    Great idea for the guest bathroom!

    Pretty towel storage =)

    Makeup dresser

    Love this vanity! Seems to have the perfect amount of room for makeup storage!

    organizing linens: Perfectly Organized Linen Closet

    This is such a perfectly labeled and organized linen closet. Man oh man. I'm in heaven.

    This just goes to show there are so many ways to organize items in the bathroom and in the linen closet. There's so many brilliant ways that you can easily make it your own!

    Some of my favorite organization things in the bathroom and linen closet:

    • Baskets- I love the look of them and they keep things tidy while allowing you to toss things inside if you are in a hurry.
    • Labels- Labels are so helpful so other people using your space know where things belong and can put things back efficiently.
    • Over toilet storage- since bathrooms tend to be tiny, over toilet storage is key. There are so many ways to do it from putting up shelves, using a piece of furniture meant to go over the toilet or hanging baskets on the wall.
    Happy organizing!

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Weekend Update

    I'm just finishing up the weekend over here, since I work Saturday morning and Monday night my weekend really only stretches from Saturday afternoon-Monday afternoon... but it's been a great/relaxing/busy weekend!

    I ended up going to lunch and a movie with my friend Rachel yesterday and finally got to see Safe Haven! 

    Safe Haven (2013) Poster

    I had read this Nicholas Sparks book when it first came out- so I remembered some of the story but not a ton of it. I remembered who Jo was, and remembered the main characters and their general stories but nothing too specific. When I got home last night after seeing the movie I decided to have a relaxing evening and start re-reading the book so I could see what was truly different. Of course I didn't get too far since Once Upon A Time and Revenge were both on last night (!!!) but I noticed several differences right away.

    • Alex's hair is gray in the book- clearly Josh Duhamel wasn't rocking that look, but that's okay I like him better without the gray locks.
    • Alex never mentions his time in the army.
    • Katie tells Alex about her past- he doesn't find a poster of her saying shes wanted for murder in the book.
    • Lexi in the movie is Kristen in the book, why the name change?
    • Katie sees Josh falling into the water on a video monitor, not out the window.
    Maybe I shouldn't have started re-reading the book because these differences will drive me crazy.

    Anyways, Once Upon A Time last night was awesome! I loved seeing Pinocchio again, but can't believe that the new girl got away with what she did. She's in cahoots with that other guy who came into town?! What?! It's crazy that people are so connected in so many ways in this show- it's totally lost-esque. 

    Revenge was good too- I'm glad Emily and Eli got revenge on their foster mother, but I can't believe Padma got taken! Poor Nolan. =(

    Anyways, it was a crazy night and Roxy and I went to bed pretty early- and didn't want to get out of bed this morning!

    But we had to because Roxy got her stitches out today! She is so happy to not have to wear clothes anymore =)

    We also had a few other errands to run- grocery store, post office, know =)

    Well back to work tonight, so I'm off to get some things done around the house- have a great day everybody!

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    March Birchbox Review

    Wow- I'm already back to review the items in my March Birchbox!

    I stick to my belief that this was the best Birchbox ever. Ever ever ever. Amazing. Well done Birchbox, well done.

    As I mentioned when I received this box, I had already previously used this deep repair masque and already loved it. You better believe this came to my next shower for a hair conditioning party. I can't get enough of this product. I need to go buy more!

    This Healing Oil treatment is something I will buy after trying it. I am currently about halfway through this bottle and think it is completely amazing. I have been running a bit through my hair after showering and then running it through again after I finish styling and it makes my hair feel AMAZING! love love love this.

    This sunscreen is alright- a little oily maybe but is something I would consider wearing on my body to the beach. However I looked at the price of the full sized bottles and I would NEVER consider paying such a high price for something that I can find another product that will work the same way.

    This shave cream smelt amazing. I really enjoyed shaving with it- I would consider purchasing it if I didn't have a stockpile of shave gel already stored away in my closet. It smells better then any other shave gel I've ever used and it works great also, very soothing.

    I thought this benetint was a great idea and I enjoyed trying it. It encouraged me to try other cheek stains and purchase the tart cheek stain, however I definitely like the tarte cheek stain better then the benetint. Benetint is just too liquidy and hard to apply onto my cheeks.

    And a pretty emery I really need to review this? =)

    Overall, it was an amazing Birchbox and I'm so excited to get my box next month! =)

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Weekly Couponing Wrapup

    This week was very slow in the couponing department. Partly because it was a busy week overall with work and other responsibilities but also because I am still waiting for my new CVS card to come in. I don't want to lose out on any new ECB's due to not having my card so hopefully it will be in soon or I will figure out a way to use it without actually having it. 

    I did manage to get a couple great deals this week though. The first was through Birchbox. Since it was my 6 month anniversary with Birchbox they sent me a code for 20% off my order. I decided to order a Boscia skin care item and ended up getting it for only $15. I used my 20% off coupon and also used the $10 I had earned on Birchbox for reviewing items from my boxes. Easy money!

    I also found a great deal on Amazon for the limited edition Twilight book set. 

    Look how pretty! Amazon has them for a limited time and they aren't too bad, especially if you can find a coupon code on (a great website!) or go through ebates first so you can get cash back (which I totally forgot to do!)

    I also wanted to quickly talk about a website that is awesome. I started using swagbucks and it is so easy to use and you can quickly earn points. When your points have reached a certain amount you are able to cash out and get a gift card for your hard work! I am still working on figuring out the whole site but once I do I'll post a couple tips on it!

    Happy Couponing!

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Planning for a European vacation...

    My grandpa invited my mom and I to join him and his girlfriend on a trip to France in September and on Monday we met up with them to begin the planning process.

    Vivian (my papa's girlfriend) was the one who chose France because she is very interested in her heritage and has never been to France. My papa and Vivian have traveled extensively throughout Europe (and other places as well) and my papa traveled with my grandma all over the place before she passed away as well.

    My mom has never been to Europe and is so excited about this trip and I am just thrilled to have this amazing opportunity.

    We drove up to meet papa and Vivian in Dayville, CT on Monday and found out about the travel group we are going to be a part of.

    Vivian and my papa chose Collette travel group and the trip we will be taking is called France Magnifique. The trip looks amazing, we are traveling from Paris, to Normandy, to Omaha Beach, to Blois, to Nice with other stops along the way all within a 12 day period. I am so excited!

    I have never been on a trip that involved group travel but I am very excited to try it out. The only other time I have been to Europe was during college when I visited my friend in Spain and we also took a weekend trip to England while I was there. Staying in hostels is a bit different then staying in hotels =)

    Have you ever been on a group travel trip? Have you ever been to France?

    Please let me know if there is any place in particular you would recommend to go in France? I know most of my time there will be dictated by the group travel but I am looking for ideas for the down time we will have!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Mall Haul/Iphone Problemas

    Recently my iPhone has been acting up like crazy- the wifi stopped working and was completely grayed out and my battery was dying constantly. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Providence Place Mall and headed up there last weekend.

    I figured while I was at the mall I might as well pop into a few stores =) 

    oops =)

    In Lush I needed to replenish my Celestial facial moisturizer and I knew one of the items I wanted to get while in there was Mask of Magniminty which is a minty smelling face mask. The girl I talked to when I was in there suggested Aquamirablis as a face wash for dry sensitive skin. I bought a small amount of it to try- she suggested about $7 or $8 of it to start off. I will let you guys know what I think about it once I try it out a little bit. It smells AWFUL though. I didn't really get to smell it when I was in the store- so when I got home I took a big whiff and man- it is gross. Oh well, I'll try it out and see what happens.

    Getting 3 face products was great but of course I can't go into LUSH and leave without a bath bomb (or two) so I ended up getting Pink Bath Bomb (in the top left corner of the picture) and Rose Queen (on the right side of the picture). I'm excited to get in the bath and try those out.

    In Sephora, I planned to go in and get the Naked Basics Palette. I have the Naked 1 Palette and absolutely love it, but I knew I wanted the basics palette for sure. While in there I decided to look at the Sephora brushes and ended up picking out a brush set. I really don't own many brushes so I wanted to buy the full set. In addition to those items, I ended up buying a Tarte cheek stain in the color blissful. I'm really excited with all these product purchases and can't wait to use them!

    I ended up in Bath and Body Works because I had a coupon for a free travel size signature item and candles are currently on sale. I decided to get the wunderland shower gel because I have wayyyyy too much lotion and thought shower gel would be a better use of a free product. I ended up getting Poolside and Palm Beach cooler as my two candles and they smell DELICIOUS. I can't wait to burn them! I also had a coupon for 20% off my purchase which made this trip worth it!

    Finally, I went in the Apple store and they decided my phone was hopeless and instantly gave me a replacement. I'm telling you, the Genius Bar is amazing and I wish more places were as customer friendly as this place!!!

    Have you been on a shopping spree lately? What did you get?

    I was definitely in a product-buying mood. I did go into wet seal and francesca's but I was not in a clothes buying mood at all! Oh well, maybe next time =)

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    TJ Maxx Haul and Update to Linens

    When I showed you how I organize my linens, my comforter and other linens piled in the back behind the baskets was driving me nuts. I wanted to make sure that I found a solution for this pile. I ended up heading into TJ Maxx last week and just wandered around the housewares section for awhile. I ended up finding a great solution to my pile problem and a couple other things that I couldn't live without.

    Here's my mini-haul:

    I found the Chi Iron Guard that I love to use as my heat styling protectant. It was on sale for $11.99 which is a GREAT deal for this product!

    I also got this fabric bin which I think is so pretty.

    And the lamp I bought fits perfectly on my nightstand. The lamp that used to sit here was too oversized, and this one is much better!

    My new bin holding blankets and my spare comforter quite nicely. I don't mind that it looks overflowing because it holds what I need it to and looks beautiful at the same time!

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    How many towels do you need?!

    Well, my towel shelf wasn't over-packed but I definitely was finding that I had more towels than I needed. I also wasn't using certain towels because they weren't soft and I preferred to use others that were soft and cozy.

    I decided to sort through them and get rid of my old set of pink towels, and keep only the towels that were in my newer set and were still soft. 

    Here's what I started with: 

    I had a total of 6 bath towels, 5 beach towels.

    5 face cloths (2 were in the wash)

    I also had 5 hand towels. (2 in the wash)

    After cleaning out my towel stash- I have ended up with: 5 beach towels (I kept all of these because they are great to have around and I honestly use all of them, especially during the summer), 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 2 wash cloths. There is no reason for me to need more than that since I am the only one using these towels and wash them weekly.

    I decided the best thing I could do with these towels is donate them to our local animal hospital. The above picture is one of two bags that got sent off.  A great thing to do with items I no longer need!

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Product Empties

    Since this month is all about the bathroom and linens- I thought I would branch out a bit and talk about the beauty products that I use. I know throughout the months I have reviewed many products that I received in my Birchboxes- but it's not often that I talk about other products that I actually purchase. This type of post might pop up more often because I really enjoy watching youtube videos that talk about empty products and what the person did and didn't like about each product. 

    For the last couple months I have been collecting products as I finish them in a Bath and Body Works bag and marking down in a notebook things I liked and didn't like about each one. Some of these may be repeats from Birchbox reviews- but most well definitely be new things I have tried or items I constantly repurchase because they are my all-time favorite go-to products!


    One of the first products I finished up this month was the hand soap in our bathroom. It was warm apple cider scented and from Bath and Body Works. I love the foaming bath soap from Bath and Body Works and this scent is AMAZING. I bought a ton of soap in the fall and have tons stockpiled still. This was a great scent that didn't necessarily remind me of fall- the apple smell worked just fine through the winter! 

    Next is Loreal Smooth Intense Shampoo, Conditioner, and Keratin treatment. I received this as a free sample in the mail. It was okay- definitely not my favorite hair treatment. It dried me out a bit- and the keratin treatment didn't work as great as I wanted it to work. I won't be purchasing a larger size of this.

     This Nailene top coat worked as well as any other top coat until I ruined it =( It now has a reddish-pink tint to it, but that's okay, just as I ruined it I happened to get another one as a gift so it's time to say goodbye to this one!

    I received this lashem lash serum as a sample in my Birchbox and I liked it okay. I didn't see any big results and after having it for awhile it's time to let it go. I am weird about eye makeup and won't wear it after any length of time. I don't want germs in my precious eyes! I won't be buying a larger version of this- it's just not necessary to me!

    This Gold Bond Ultimate Hand Sanitizer was expired so it's time for it to go! I didn't like this sanitizer because it felt almost sticky on my hands and didn't make them feel clean at all. I will not be repurchasing this either!

    This LUSH None of your beeswax was just not my favorite product. It dried up before I used much of it at all. I just love another product too much to give this little guy any sort of chance! Not buying this again either.

    Covergirl Invisible Concealer hung around here for awhile. I've had it so long that I don't feel comfortable using it anymore. I did like this, and would repurchase it but lately I have needed a concealer *knocks on wood* I am pretty comfortable with trying different concealers so I will most likely buy what I find on sale- I definitely am not tied to this concealer although I did definitely enjoy it!

    This Hope In A Jar I had heard amazing things about but I honestly HATE it. It does not work for my skin. It didn't break me out but I also didn't like it. It was almost too light for my skin. I need a heavier cream. I don't feel like it was worth the money but luckily I got this as a sample from a 100 point perk from Sephora so I only wasted my precious points on it. Oh well, live and learn.

    Another product I'm ditching before finishing. John Frieda Drizz-Ease Protectant Spray. This didn't work for my hair at all. It felt gross even when I was straightening it, definitely not my favorite. I prefer my Chi protectant spray so much more!

    LUSH Candy Mountain bath bomb smelled delicious! I loved taking a bath with this bath bomb. I got this as part of the buy 1 get 1 free promotion after Christmas. I have another to use up too which is great. If they have this product again next year for the holiday season I would highly recommend it!

    Oh my love. I love Burts Bees chapstick. This little baby is used EVERY SINGLE DAY. Multiple times. I love love love it. I can't live without it. I might be addicted. Moving on now...

    I was a little harsh on the Oscar Blandi shampoo and conditioner when I reviewed it before. I don't like the volumizing aspect of the products- but I do have to say that it smells incredible. There is a great citrusy scent to it and if you don't have hair that is already big this would be a great product to use.

    I still hate this Vasanti BrightenUp product. It completely broke me out and I don't break out easily or often at all. My skin reacted instantly to this product! Maybe it's just my skin, it obviously must work for other people, but I will NOT be buying a full size of it!

    I didn't actually finish either of these. The Dry Idea deodorant is AWFUL. Man. I am ragging on products today, ha. I honestly didn't think this was a great deodorant at all. It didn't hold up and I felt like I sweat right through it. I was trying to get through one so I wouldn't waste it and then my mom told me that she wanted me to switch to an all-natural deodorant due to our family history with breast cancer. I think it is definitely a great idea to use natural products because the main ingredient in Dry Idea (and a bunch of other deodorants) is aluminum! I had no idea, I honestly never looked at the back label. So I am ditching all my other deodorants, even the unopened ones I will be donating. I am heading in the natural deodorant direction and I like the one I'm trying right now so I will update you guys on that at a later time.

    This product is *almost* finished so I figured I would throw it in here too. Celestial by LUSH is an amazing product. It works so well on my face and I am going back to repurchase it this week. I only have a few more uses out of it and I know I can't survive without it, so I will be heading to the mall to get a new one asap!

    I didn't finish up this Organic Wear Mascara. It was just okay- not my favorite mascara. I used it for a couple of months and then felt like I should change to a new one. You know, I don't want germs in my eyes!

    So that's it for now- all the products I have finished up recently. I will save up products for a little bit and then come back with another product empties post soon!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend everybody!