Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scrapbooking Update

Happy Halloween!!!!

If you've been reading along for awhile now, you know that I'm an avid scrapbooker.

I love the idea of having a whole built-in wall unit lined with scrapbooks depicting different times of my life. I love to look back on past memories and having a scrapbook with fun backgrounds and embellishments just makes it even prettier.

I started heavily scrapbooking back in 2009, and have completed scrapbooks for 2009, 2010, and 2011.
My current project is completing my 2012 scrapbook....

...and I'm almost done!

I'm currently scrapbooking October of 2012, which means I only have 3 months of events to scrap until this book is done!

I love making layouts and figuring out where everything should be- but I'm so excited to have this book behind me!

After I finish this 2012 scrapbook, what's next?

Well, next up is to start my 2013 scrapbook. I want to have an annual scrapbook for each year, so I will start up with the next year, hopefully catching up eventually!

In addition to having a 2013 scrapbook, I plan on also doing a Disney World scrapbook for the trip I took there in July, and I also plan on completing a scrapbook for the trip I took to France in September. That's three scrapbooks for the year of 2013. Eek!

I'm a little nervous that I will never catch up...but *when* I someday have a ton of time and manage to catch up- I'm hoping to move backwards and scrap everything including family pictures through my childhood. Well that's the plan!

Have you been scrapbooking lately? Do you feel like you're constantly behind?!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coupon Alert!

Hey everyone! Just popping in today to share a photo deal with you.

Shutterfly is offering 101 free prints! Just pay the shipping!

I just ordered my 101 prints, for just the price of shipping and am so excited since I am way behind on my picture printing- and am so excited to get this deal!

Just simply enter SPOOKY in the promo code area at in order to receive this deal!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Last week the most amazing book appeared on my Kindle....


I had previously pre-ordered Allegiant by Veronica Roth, but hadn't made a note on my calendar about when it was due out so I was pleasant surprised when I received an e-mail saying it was delivered to my kindle.

Allegiant is the final installment in the Divergent series and one that I was particularly excited about. If you haven't read the Divergent series, stop reading immediately and go out and purchase them. 

I'm serious- get out of here and go read them now.

So for those of you left, here's what you can expect in Allegiant. Finally, people are starting to wonder what is outside the walls of the city and some of the characters actually are able to venture outside. Also, a war is on in the city and a ton of back story is revealed as to why they were placed inside the city in the first place. 

Okay, now I'm going to get into some spoilers- so if you are planning on reading this book and don't want it ruined, this would be the time to skedaddle. 


Four, Tris, and a group of friends leave the city to find out what is in store for them beyond the city walls. They quickly find that their city (also known as Chicago) is the location of a science experiment. A group of scientists are working on creating a race of perfect genes and studying them in order to make society a better place. The citizens that are "divergent" are those who have perfect genes, while everyone else is missing important genetic makeup. 

As they live inside the science laboratories, they are able to watch on camera every single thing that happens inside the city. Four watches as his parents fight against each other for control of the city, not realizing that they are part of an experiment.

Tris and Four have their own set of problems as Four makes some choices throughout the novel that Tris doesn't agree with. However together they are able to come up with a plan to take down the scientists who threaten to ruin the city and people they love.

Unfortunately, Tris completes the hero's journey and dies for her cause. Four is devastated and the book ends with him trying to continue on with his life without the one he loves.

I have to say that I was completely floored that Veronica Roth chose to kill off Tris. I cried quite a bit, not necessarily for her death but for the pain that Four was feeling in the aftermath of her death. I had become so invested in the story that I had trouble coping with the fact that she had been killed off.

Looking back on it however, I think that Veronica Roth was very brave to kill off her main character. Not many authors have the guts to do that. I think a lot of people are looking for a "happy ending" at the end of a novel (I for sure know that I always do!) and it's hard to not provide readers with that happy ending. If you look at similar teen novels, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight...all the main characters end up happy and together at the end. Sure, some supporting characters have died but not the true main character. Killing off Tris took some major guts of Roth's part. Although I wish she hadn't, I do applaud her for have the guts to do so. 

Overall, I thought this was an amazing novel to end an incredible series of books. I am excited to hear that this will be made into a movie! I will definitely be seeing it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Birchbox Review

I'm back today with my October Birchbox review! This month I received some products that I was extremely excited to try. 

This aqua lacquer lip gloss is an absolutely gorgeous shade of bright red, however I was not thrilled with the way that it felt on my lips. It was sticky and slimy all at the same time. I didn't think that I would dislike it as much as I did but within seconds of having it on my lips, I had to wipe it off...

I wouldn't recommend it, but then again I'm very weird about lip products, and if you've been reading this blog for any length of time or know me personally, you know that I am obsessive about my Burts Bees. So this product is definitely a pass for me.

The folle de joie perfume is something that I would wear, and did wear for quite a few days however isn't something that I'm planning to run out and by. The scent is more mature then I normally wear. I typically like something that is a little sweeter, and this is definitely not sweet!

I won't be purchasing this perfume, but if you like more mature scents I would definitely check this out.

I was excited to try this Liz Earle product, and I really liked it as I was using it. The warm cloth was a fabulous idea because I could actually see it working. However,  I ended up getting a pimple the day after using it =(


This product, I absolutely love. Miss Jessie's Creme de la Creme conditioner, I used as a deep conditioner at the end of my shower and oh my God, it smelt incredible. I would repurchase this conditioner just for the smell alone, but it also made my hair feel incredible smooth.

I often use the Macademia Deep Repair masque but I will definitely be doing a price comparison and if this is cheaper by any means, I may start using this one!

Why do I bother trying Chapstick? Nothing compares to my Burts Bees. End of story.

Overall this was an okay box, I'm glad I liked one product inside, and can't wait for the November box to come!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cheap Literary Character Halloween Costumes!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you are reading this after having a fabulous weekend. It was definitely an exciting weekend around here complete with two Halloween parties and lots of sports-watching and cheering on my New England teams!

I didn't plan the theme of my Halloween costumes this year, I honestly decided what I was being as I went along through the weekend, but I ended up being two literary characters and didn't spend a single cent on either of my costumes! I thought I would share them on here since I try to do couponing posts and save you some money if I can- so now I will show you how you can create both of these costumes for basically no money out of your pocket!

On Friday night I had a Halloween party and my group of friends was going to be attending the party as Harry Potter characters. Since I have blonde hair, I decided to go as Luna Lovegood.

For this costume I collected a few items that I already had around my house...

-A black graduation robe
-A Harry Potter collectible wand
-A gray sweater
-Black pants
-A magazine

This costume would work for any character from Hogwarts/Harry Potter. In order to make it seem more like Luna- I took a recent issue of Cosmo and taped a "Quibbler" cover page that I found on google images. I made sure to tape it upside down because if you've read the books or seen the Harry Potter movies, you know that Luna is seen reading her fathers magazine upside down!

I also curled my hair for the party since Luna's hair is never completely straight. Plus why not curl your hair when you are given the occasion? =)

I had a great time at the party and definitely enjoyed being in a warm, comfortable costume! This costume was so easy to put together and was definitely recognizable. I highly recommend dressing like a Harry Potter character if you're looking for a quick, easy and cheap Halloween costume!

On Saturday night I decided to dress up as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.

My first step was to watch a youtube tutorial and learn how to do Katniss's well-known braid.

Although I had to try three times in order to get it to a place where it looked okay, it really wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I started off with a dutch (or reverse) braid off to the left side of my head and then began adding pieces of hair into each side of the braid. Once all the hair was part of the braid, I just continued it and pulled it to the right side of my head.

I am no hair expert, but I think it turned out pretty well! If you are interested in doing this hairstyle, I highly recommend this youtube tutorial!

For my outfit, I wore a black t-shirt, my black North Face jacket (to resemble Katniss's windbreaker), gray baggy pants, and black boots.

I'm also extremely lucky to have a handy and crafty father who helped me make a bow and quiver. We used a packing tube and taped off the bottom so I could put an arrow inside (my brother gave me an old arrow that no longer has a point). He used some rope and a leftover plank of wood to make my bow (which actually worked!).

I'm sure you have something around your house you could use to make these items!

There's no reason to spend a ton of money on Halloween costumes! You can easily make a costume from things around your house and save a ton of money in the process!

What were you for Halloween this year?!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

Long time no couponing Friday! This is a small couponing trip- but I thought I would share it anyways since I haven't shared any couponing in far too long!

I received a coupon in the mail for a free Dunkin Donuts medium beverage! I go and get coffee there on an almost-daily basis anyways- so it was great to get a free coffee!

If you haven't already, I would suggest joining the Dunkin Donuts rewards program. You will receive a free beverage on your birthday every year and a ton of other coupons as well!

I also did a small couponing haul at CVS for my co-worker and friend Kayla.

I purchased

2 huggies diapers @ $12.99 each
I used (2) $2 internet printable coupons
I used $1.50 in ECB's
I also used a 30% CVS coupon which took off $7.35.

My final price paid: $13.13
Total saved: $12.85 or 49%!

It is so nice to be able to help out a friend by doing some couponing.

I think the reason I stopped couponing for awhile was because I was so overwhelmed feeling like I had to coupon and make my hauls bigger and bigger each week. I'm going to re-enter the couponing world slowly and treat it as something fun to do again!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are planning on doing something fun! I am off to a couple of Halloween parties this weekend and can't wait to share my quick, easy costume ideas with you next week!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

These are a few...of my favorite fall things!

Well we've almost made it to the end of the week! I decided today would be the perfect time to talk about some of my favorite products and other "things" I love during the fall.

On Tuesday I shared some pictures of the Rhode Island foliage, and that is one of the best parts of living in New England during the fall, but there are certain things you can do/have anywhere even if it might not quite feel like fall where you live!
Leaves 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works
Leaves candle

The Leaves Candle by Bath and Body Works (Slatin and Co), is truly one of my favorite parts of fall. I'm already burning my way through my second one of the year! I think that the smell of this candle is purely spice and it fills up the entire room with an absolutely delicious scent. The B&BW website says that this candle is a blend of golden nectar, red apple and spiced berries...I don't particularly smell any of those things...but I do think it smells amazing and highly recommend it!
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body Works

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body Works
While were on the subject of Bath and Body Works, I should also mention that I'm absolutely loving the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap that is currently in my bathroom. I purchased a ton of fall soap last year and have been enjoying this one all season long!

Hocus Pocus
My favorite Halloween/Fall movie to watch is without a doubt, Hocus Pocus. Who doesn't have an insane amount of love for those crazy Sanderson sisters?! I am really excited to watch it this year since I now have my own copy thanks to a birthday present I got from one of my best friends, Brittni!

If I had to pick a second favorite, it would definitely be the Halloweentown movies! Does anyone remember those from the Disney Channel?!

Balancingonmytoes runs on Dunkin!

As for fall beverages, I am always a fan of having a hot cup of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Whenever the air gets a little chilly I am ready to curl up under a blanket with my mug and enjoy a hot beverage! (Particularly if it comes from Dunkin Donuts!)

I also have to say that clothing in the fall makes me giddy! I love pulling on my comfy UGGs and wrapping myself in a scarf before heading off for the day! Fall clothing is so cute and you can get away without wearing a coat over everything which is always nice. I am a huge fan!

Although I'm enjoying cheering on the Red Sox in the World Series, fall is all about the football! It's nice to have Sunday football games to look forward to- which means there is a great excuse to make my buffalo chicken dip! (I thought I had previously posted my recipe for buffalo chicken dip...but I can't find it...sooo that means I will be posting about that soon!)

Last but not least on my list today, dark nail polish! So often I wear a lighter color nail polish, but it's nice to have a change- and fall is that perfect time!

What are some of your favorite "things" about fall?!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Little Things...

This week I have been all about focusing on getting little day to day things done- so I thought I would share a couple with you!

One project that my mom and I wanted to work on was cleaning up the inside of the garage door. It was covered in dirt and needed to be cleaned up!

We started off with our trusty cleaner...

and filled a bucket with water as well...

Then it was time to get scrubbing!

It started look better so quickly! All it took was a little elbow grease...

Look at the left side versus the right! I can't believe how dirty it was!

All done (and so beautiful!)

Next up, was going through the fridge and getting rid of expired products and making sure everything was organized.

Here are the before....

and the after....

Not a ton of expired products (some were thrown away before the picture was taken) but there were quite a few sauces, salad dressings, and a few other items that needed to get tossed!

Two quick easy projects that make life a little more clean and organized! Did you complete any "little things" projects this week?