Friday, May 31, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

Man, CVS was SLOOOOOW for couponing this week. I had three deals that I wanted to do when I headed to the store on Wednesday and NONE of them worked out the way I wanted them to. I honestly didn't even take a picture of my Wednesday haul because it was small and I was just irritated.

Here's what I got:

2 Jergens 3oz Lotions @ $2.67 each
1 Hershey Bar @ $1.19

I used a $4 ECB and a 25% off coupon that took off $1.64.
My total OOP was $1.23 and I received $1 back in ECB for the Jergens.

According to 2littledollzdeals, the Jergens 3oz was supposed to be tracking for the buy 2 get $5 ECB back, which would have made this a GREAT deal, however it was not working and it instead tracked for the travel size promo and I only got $1 ECB, not great.

I also got confused and bought a Hershey bar thinking it was part of the buy a candy bar for 75 cents, get 75 cent ECB back, but it was not. That was my own fault. Oh well, I ate it anyways.

The last deal was another deal I heard about from 2littledollzdeals, for the Neutrogena 10z sunscreen. It would have been a moneymaker, if I had been able to find it, but this CVS didn't have it.

Bad couponing trip =(

Thursday was a little bit better...


1 M&M @ 75 cents
Received 75 cent ECB back

2 Coppertone Sunscreens @ $11.99
Buy one get one 50%
$1 peelie coupon
$1 peelie coupon
$15.98 total

1 Reinventing Beauty Magazine @ 99 cents

1 Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion @ $9.29
$2 peelie coupon
$7.29 total 

I used $25 in ECB, making my total OOP $1.69. I used all my ECBs, and received 75 cents in ECBs back.

Not bad, because I definitely needed sunscreen!

Then I headed over to Staples:

1 Martha Stewart Notebook @ $6.99
used $6.99 in Staples Rewards- making this FREE!

Not an amazing week by any means, but I hope that next week will be a little bit better in the couponing department!

How did you do this week?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Birchbox Review

Hey guys! Today, I'm here to review my May Birchbox. I mentioned all of the items I received in this post and what my first thoughts on them were, but now I've had the chance to try them out and want to share my opinions on them with you!

 The first up, is this Runa tea- honestly I did not use this, and have no intention of trying it. I will be passing this on to a friend who will use it!

I really liked this Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive skin. I only had the chance to use it once and definitely want to try it again. I probably won't buy a full size of this because it's not something I see as a necessity but I loved trying it!

The Fabulous perfume was definitely not my favorite- I will not be purchasing a full size of this perfume. It was too strong of a scent to me- I'm not even sure how to describe it. It just wasn't my thing.

This Cargo blush was a nice pink color so I thought it would look really pretty on but the payoff is not great. I had to put a ton on my brush in order to see it show up.

I love love love this Coola sunscreen. I only have been using it on my face because I don't want to waste it on the rest of my body, but I would love to purchase a full size of this, it's just so expensive!

Overall, I felt okay about this Birchbox, definitely not my favorite- but hopefully next month will be better!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beach Babe DVD Review

I think I mentioned last week that I bought the Beach Babe DVD and I was super excited to try it out. I love the Tone It Up girls and couldn't wait to check out the DVD.

Here are my thoughts about each workout:

Surfer Girl: I love love love this workout. It is so much fun, and at 24 minutes it's a relatively quick workout. I definitely feel sweaty once this workout is over and my abs are in pain which is a good thing! The workout is full of great cardio exercises that also tone. I like to move around when I workout so the combination of squats, jumping, push-ups, etc, keeps it interesting and fun!

HIIT: This high intensity interval training workout is my favorite on the DVD for sure. It is a fast moving cardio workout that makes you exhausted but works so well! This workout flies by since it's only 20 minutes long. It doesn't disappoint with its short time though- you will definitely feel worked out at the end of it!

Bikini Sculpt: This wasn't my favorite workout at all. It was more toning then cardio, and at 40 minutes long I got bored quickly. I prefer to be consistently moving and this workout was just slower and more focused on small areas at a time.

Long and Lean: This is supposed to be an ultimate stretching experience but I was not a huge fan of it. I stretch everyday with the students I teach and my stretching routine works much better for me than this one. I am just not into yoga either so all the yoga positions were weird to me and didn't stretch my body the way I wanted it to. This is a quick 10 minute stretch.

Bikini Abs: At 15 minutes, this workout was HARD. I mean I can't balance on one hand. I just can't. I struggled with this workout, I'm sure that there are different ways to tone your abs, and this is not my favorite at all!

Bikini Booty: I really like this 10 minute workout, it was quick, fun and not too difficult. I don't feel too much pressure on my glutes though!

Summer Arms: I am not a huge arm-workout girl. I use baby weights but I actually really like this workout. Since it's only 12 minutes, it goes by really quickly!

Have you tried the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD? If not you should check them out on their website, twitter, instagram, Facebook, youtube- they are all over the place and have some awesome workouts! =)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Great Gatsby and The Bachelorette

Hi everyone! You're seeing me a little late this week, I took yesterday off from the old blog to spend my day relaxing and turning into a lobster. Yes, I am so sunburnt- all over my arms and legs. Lovely. Overall it was a fantastic, relaxing weekend. I did some errands, saw a movie, did a few workouts, took a long walk, and read two entire books. Yes, I'm aware I'm nuts. Anyways, I wanted to jump on here and talk about the movie I saw this weekend The Great Gatsby.

I read The Great Gatsby back in high school, in either tenth or eleventh grade (I'm having a major brain fart about my teachers during those years and who taught this book to my class!). I remembered the basic story but a lot of the details were fuzzy. However as soon as I started watching the movie little details began to come back to me. I remembered having to write essay questions on the 'eyes of God' and the symbolism of Gatsby knocking over the clock when seeing Daisy again. More and more of the book started to come back to me. 

I have to say that the movie seemed very long-I got bored at points because it felt as if nothing was happening. I don't feel like the story was that slow moving when I read it. The make of the film was strange as well- if you know what I mean. I expected it to be more true to the 20s, not rap music and over the top amusement at parties. I think it could have been a little subdued.

I definitely won't be going out and purchasing this movie for my collection- but I am glad that I did go out and see it- the costuming was amazing and Leonardo DiCaprio is always a great actor and so good looking! =)

Did any of you out there watch the Bachelorette premiere last night? What a bunch of weirdos huh?! I am not a huge fan of Desiree anyways, she wasn't one of my favorites from Sean's season and then the whole thing with her brother happened and I kind of wrote her off. When she was announced as the next bachelorette I wasn't thrilled anyways, but now with all the weirdos that are on the show with her? Geez- I don't know how that will go. There were a few that seemed like normal, upstanding guys...but I  am not a huge fan so far!

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and are enjoying the start of the short-work-week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

My couponing week started on Monday, with a tiny trip to CVS. I went in to this trip forgetting a VERY crucial point- the 98% rule. When a CVS ECB deal says that you must spend a certain amount to get ECB back, you only have to spend 98% of that amount in order to get the ECBs. I couldn't remember what the percentage was- so I bought items in the $9 range- bad move! I didn't get my ECBs and ended up having to spend more money on those products then I could have originally.

So here's how Monday went:

1 Physicians Formula Concealer @ $9.49
used 1 $3/1 CVS coupon off any Physicians Formula Product
final price: $6.49

1 Almay Concealer @ $9.49
used $3/1 CVS coupon off any Almay Cosmetic Item
used $2/1 Manufacturer's Coupon off any Almay Cosmetic Item
final price: $4.49

My total for this trip including tax was $12.31

Yesterday (Thursday) I ended up doing a slightly larger trip to CVS.

look at that huge receipt!

Here's what I got...

1 Neosporian Ointment @ $6.49
used $2/1 Neosporin Manufacturer's Coupon
final price: $4.49

2 Bandaid @ $3.49 each or $6.98 total
used 75 cents/2 Bandaid Manufacturer's Coupon
final price: $6.23 total or $3.11 each

1 Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks @ $6.29
used $1/1 Manufacturer's Coupon 
final price: $5.29 

1 Physicians Formula Concealer Stick @ $6.79
no coupons
final price $6.79

2 Revlon Photo Ready Concealers @ $10.49 each or $20.98 total
used $2/1 Revlon CVS coupon
$2/1 Revlon CVS coupon
$2/1 Revlon Manufacturer's Coupon
$2/1 Revlon Manufacturer's Coupon
final Price: $10.98 total or $5.49 each

1 Coca Cola @ 99 cents
used 25cents/1 CVS coupon
final price: 74 cents

I Pepsi Next @ $1.99
used Free Pepsi Next coupon (sent to me in the mail)
final price: $0

In addition to the coupons above, I also used:
$5 off $30 CVS coupon
$2 off $8 First Aid coupon
$10 CVS gift card

I ended up paying $21.71 out of pocket, and received back a total of $23 back in ECBs! It was definitely an excellent trip!

I forgot to mention that I also received a free sample of Aveeno lotion which was located in the beauty section of CVS. I also picked up quite a few coupons that were laying around CVS screaming my name!

I thought I would receive a First Aid case with my Neosporin and BandAid purchase, but I didn't. I'm a little confused if I was supposed to pick that up and do a rebate or what! Does anyone out there know? Oh well!

I hope your week of couponing was fabulous!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Donating the Clutter!

Do you donate used items to a particular charity? In my family we have always donated to the Salvation Army.

I love knowing that my used items are going to a place where people who really need them will get a chance to use them. For years I have been donating a variety of items; household items, clothing, jewelry, etc...  Only in the past year, I began attempting to sell some items on e-bay before donating them. Mostly clothes and a few other pricer items that I was happy to get a little bit of money back for.
If an item has not sold on e-bay I set it aside to donate.

Here is what I do with my donations...

In the picture above, among the other boxes and water cases you can see a paper bag from Bakers and a plastic bag from CVS (which has been replaced more recently with a few Walmart bags).

The paper bag holds all items that could potentially be sold on e-bay or donated to the Salvation Army. Any clothes, jewelry, household items go inside this bag. All food, personal, and items that could be donated to a shelter or friends and family go in this bag.

Food a personal items

Clothing and household items

Dog food to donate!

Earlier this year, I showed you how I planned on knowing which clothing items to donate- I placed a little tag on each item of clothing and after I wear the item, the tag comes off. Even though the year hasn't ended yet, I have been able to go through the majority of my winter clothes and ween them down. You know how you can just tell what you won't be wearing? Yeah, there were quite a few things in there that I knew I would never wear again, or that I have never worn and needed to get out! Valuable closet space was at risk!

When I am searching for donations I make a mess. I toss everything on the floor and just make piles everywhere. Yup, it is often a disaster.

After making a disaster, I sort my donation items from the items I'm keeping. Then I sort my donations by what I plan to sell and what I plan to send right to the Salvation Army. I take pictures of the items I want to sell and as soon as I have free time, I list them all on e-bay. It's always nice to make a little extra money!

Where do I store my donations? Right in my closet. I keep them inside the bags until I have a fairly full bag, then I bring it down into our basement where we keep our donations for the Salvation Army. When we have a big enough haul in the basement, we make a drop off.
As for my other donation items (personal items and food...) I'm unsure what my plan is yet. I definitely want to find an animal shelter for all the dog food I have to donate. I need to find a place to bring the food and personal items. Anyone in the RI area have any suggestions? I'm going to wait until I have a big enough haul because right now it's a little small, but I will hopefully be able to donate those items soon!

It honestly makes me feel great when I have a huge bag of clothing to give away to someone who will actually wear it. Often times we are so consumed with wanting endless items that we don't realize we are actually just holding onto items that we never use! I am all about getting rid of the excess and just keeping what I actually need.

My advice for sorting through your items?

  • Be honest with yourself, do you really need it? No? Well toss it! Get it out of there!
  • Think about the last time you wore or used the item, if it's been over a year, that baby should be long gone!
  • Figure out an ideal number of that item you would like to have and attempt to stick to it. Do you really need 9 winter coats? Probably not, especially if you live in Florida. Keep things realistic.
  • What good are household items in storage? If it's not out on display ask why. Is it an item that is a family heirloom? That's okay, but if it's a vase from Pier 1 that no longer matches your decor, send it to someone who will actually use it!
I personally love sorting and organizing my items, so if you are planning a sort through your clothes or whatever- enjoy it! Go get that clutter! =)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

End of the Year Gift Ideas!

Well, it's the end of the school year again- the time for giving gifts to people you appreciate! There's also tons of other events this type of year too which adds up to a big jumbled up mess of gift to hand out! 

Some events I've had to get gifts for lately are: mother's day, father's day, multiple birthdays, baby shower, engagement, graduation, and recital. I know many of you out there might have children and need to give gifts to your kids teachers, coaches, and care givers. 

I'm going to share a few ideas that I have done recently, and also share some ideas that I haven't done but I think would be great for gifts!

On Sunday I went to a baby shower and gave my friend Kayla this gift...

Here are closer looks at each side of the basket...

Here's how I put this gift together...

First I took a laundry basket that I purchased at Walmart for about $5 and then I filled the bottom layer of it with four packs of diapers (which I got couponing!). I bought a few items at Target- stuffed animals, a blanket, rattles, etc...and piled those on top. I stuck her card right in the center. I thought it looked pretty nice and I felt good about bringing it into the shower but I was FLOORED when everyone started oohing and ahhing about how cute it was! I was so happy that my plan had worked and I managed to make such a cute gift for cheaper then it looked!

I also had a birthday to celebrate this past weekend, and I put a little gift together for Rachel.

I gave Rachel one of my FAVORITE gifts to give, a diamond candle! If you haven't already checked them out, definitely go to and see what they're all about. I picked out the cupcake candle for her in order to celebrate her birthday. (I recently gave my mom an apple slice candle for mother's day- which she loved!)
I also gave her three little lotions from Bath and Body Works, all that were named after cities in Italy which she can bring with her when she travels to Italy at the end of the month!
I also threw in a Glamour magazine. I received an extra one in the mail this month and thought she might be able to read it on her plane ride to Italy!

For an engagement...

Champagne seemed in order! I huge bottle at that! =)

I also have a bunch of people to get gifts for at the annual recital...

I know from these pictures you cannot see what is inside, but I found these little pails at Target in the dollar bin and thought they were adorable. Then at Walmart I found a bunch of beauty items in the dollar bins. I have five lovely girls who assist me at my dance studio and I wanted to get them each a little something. Inside each pail is a foot soak, lotion, and a decorative soap. Total cost for each gift? $4. Amazing.

For the seniors who are graduating the dance studio, I wanted to do a little something for them as well, but again something cheap because I am definitely not made of money. I dug through my extra gift bin and found three body wash, lotion, and loofa sets which I will be giving them. Those sets were purchased at Kohls when they were on sale for less than $3 each! Nice =)

I have a few more gifts to purchase and figure out- but here are some ideas for those people in your life you greatly appreciate and want to honor during the end of this school year...

  1. Get a bin (either a laundry basket or another kind of huge bin) and fill it with something that you know the person loves!
  2. Buy a beach bag and fill it with sunscreen, towels, and other items that they can bring to the beach!
  3. Plants are always a great gift since everyone loves to see flowers bloom and grow!
  4. I would generally stay away from homemade baked goods- most teachers honestly throw them away because they don't know whether your kitchen is clean or not! Stick with something wrapped- it makes them feel more comfortable!
  5. Gift cards- coffee shops, spas, restaurants, store- it doesn't matter where it's to- your teacher will appreciate it! I love to get $5 or $10 gift cards and pair them with something else, such as a $10 spa card and some beauty supplies!
  6. Fill a canister with mints or candy!
To see more gift ideas- I would definitely check out Pinterest there are always a ton of great gift ideas floating around the cyber-universe!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Latest Healthy Choices Update...

Lately I have been trying to make many healthy choices- I've been trying to exercise more frequently, trying to eat healthy and keep track of what I'm eating and putting into my body.

One of the biggest things that has been helping me so far is the Iphone app called MyFitnessPal. I have been keeping track of my food, water intake and exercise. I have a friend from work that is also using MyFitnessPal on her computer and we linked our accounts so we can cheer each other on! Having a friend who is checking up on my progress honestly motivates me to keep track of my food and exercise every day. I really like keeping track of my water intake as well so I know if I have had enough water each day.

Another app I have been using recently is called MapMyRun. I love that it keeps track of my runs and I can see exactly how far I've gone and how fast I've been able to do so.

I've also been loving workout DVDs lately. I've done Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred a handful of times...

I also recently purchased the Beach Babes DVD by Tone It Up, which I haven't tried yet but I will be watching/doing and doing a review on once I try it!

I've also been eating a ton of salads...

...and if I really am having a hard time getting motivated to exercise, I set up a new episode of whatever show I feel like watching and get walking on the treadmill!

Meanwhile, my friend Roxy isn't too interested in exercise...she prefers to sleep! =)

Last week I did my own "water cleanse" and didn't drink anything except water all week. No coffee, tea, soda etc... I was very hydrated. On one day I drank 12 cups of water! I ended the water cleanse on Saturday night while at dinner with friends, but only had one daiquiri at dinner, and then on Sunday I had a glass of white wine. I don't think it's bad to drink things other than water, but in moderation for sure. Speaking as a former soda addict- I feel so much healthier now that I don't drink soda all the time. Getting rid of the caffeine and sugar I ingested daily has changed my life for the better!

What healthy choices have you been making lately?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebratory Weekend!

Happy Monday everyone!

This past weekend was absolutely fabulous- an amazing weekend all-around. It started off with finishing a crazy stressful week at work. Then I did some computer-work with my co-worker Doreen on Saturday night. We are getting ready for our dance group to travel to Disney World in July and still have a ton to do before the actual performance!

After we finished our work, we went out for chinese food with her husband Mike which was fun. We had a ton of great food and had a great time chatting away.

 "Do what you love and the necessary resources will follow", what a great fortune! I thought it meant we would win the powerball- but no such luck! =(

On Sunday I had a very busy day!

First, I got all dolled up...

and then I headed off to my co-worker and friend, Kayla's baby shower!

I had a great time at her baby shower, she opened a ton of gifts from family and friends and we played some fun games! I even won the baby word unscramble game! I'm a little competitive...

This little cutie had a great time helping unwrap gifts! Kids are so funny!

We played, guess how big mommys belly is, I was a little over in my calculations- but Kayla's boyfriend Mike under guessed by a ton! All the ladies couldn't stop giggling about that one =)

It was an amazing shower, very well planned out and it was super nice to spend the time with such great people.

After the baby shower, I headed to my friend Rachel's parents house for her younger sisters graduation party (got that?!).

In addition to celebrating her sisters graduation, we also celebrated Rachel's engagement and her birthday which was Saturday.

I still can't believe my best friend is engaged! It will be so much fun to be a part of their journey to the alter. Above, it my friend Brittni, Rachel, and I.  Brittni wants to perform Rachel's ceremony (any Friends fans out there?) and we keep making jokes about the hat she will wear (I'll wear it like this for the ceremony--and like this for party time!) and singing "who will perform the ceremony?" (Phoebe, anyone?). I'm thinking she'll be a bridesmaid however =)

Anyways- I am super excited about the amazing events happening all around me and I can't wait to meet the brand new little baby boy, Brayden Michael and to help plan an amazing wedding for Rachel and Ant.

I hope your weekends were just as spectacular!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup

On Sunday I had a huge couponing trip- my retail value for all my items was over $100.

I purchased...

2 Hershey 6 packs @ $4 each
3 Charmin 9 packs @ $5.94 each
1 Schick Hydro Silk 4 count @ $11.99
1 Gillette Venus Razor @ $7.39
2 Nicole by OPI Nail polishes @ $7.99 each
2 Crest 2.7 oz toothpastes @$2.99 each
2 Lysol Sprays @ $6.39 each
2 Lysol Wipes @ $4.79 each
1 Waxvac

I used...

(2) $10 off $50
$4 off Schick
$3 off Venus
(2) Buy Lysol Spray get Lysol Wipes free (auto-deducted $3 each)
(2) $1 off Nicole by OPI
(3) 20 cents off Charmin
$2 off any 2 Hershey 6 packs
a 20% off (taking off $7.68)
$20 in ECBs
$25 Visa Gift Card (that I won in a contest over on BeSimplyOrganized)

I ended up paying $13.91 out of pocket and received $13 back in ECBs!

Not bad at all for over $100 in items!

On Wednesday I went into CVS for a quick transaction:

I needed to finish up my friends baby shower gift and wanted to get two packages of diapers.

I bought 2 Huggies @ $12.99

I had two $2.50 coupons, $13 in ECBs, and a 20% coupon, bringing my total down to $2.78! Sweet for two packages of diapers!

A pretty good week for couponing! I even got a $10 off $50 coupon back on my receipt!

I will be starting off next week with NO ECBs so I will have to figure out what my plan is! =)

How'd your couponing week go?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Best Friend Is Engaged!!!

Last night my best friend Rachel got engaged!!!!!

I am so excited to share this news here on the blog. Rachel has been my best friend since sixth grade when we used to pretend to march down the aisle and be each others maid-of-honors! This is suddenly becoming a reality! I can't believe that she is engaged and turning into a real grownup!

Congrats to my best friend and her fiance, Ant.

<3 Love you both!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Birchbox Opening!

I was super excited on Monday when I found my Birchbox inside my mailbox! My friend, Rachel and I have been getting the same items in our birchboxes for the last few months so when she received hers last week she asked me what I had gotten and I was so bummed that I hadn't gotten it yet! I've been waiting! =)

The items I received in this box are as follows:

The Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive.

I'm guessing that this is a peel for sensitive skin. I am excited to try this! I have never used a peel before, so I can't wait to see what happens when I try it.

Coola Classic Sunscreen

This sunscreen is meant for the face which I definitely can't wait to try. I love to be out in the sun but have horribly sunburn-prone skin. It is definitely nice to have a lighter formula for your face, so I plan on trying this soon.

Cargo blush.

This blush, which I forgot to take a picture of the actual blush, is a light pink, really pretty and fresh. I am excited to try it.

Fabulous by Isaac Mizrahi perfume.

I honestly didn't even sniff this perfume yet- so I will try it, but I am so particular with perfume, I will be interested to see if I like it...

Runa tea bag sample box

This is a HUGE sample!  I do love tea, but so far haven't been open-minded about trying different kinds of tea. I will have to give this a try.

This isn't my favorite Birchbox ever, but I'm definitely excited about the peel, sunscreen, and the blush!  I will be reporting back in a week or two to let you know what I think of everything I received! =)

**In case you are wondering the nail polish I'm wearing in these pictures is In The Cabana by Essie**