Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Sneak Peek....

Here is a sneak peek of the cutest little reindeer you ever did see....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

I know I posted a couponing wrap-up earlier this week but I did go back and get a few more deals this week that I wanted to share with you.

On Tuesday, I went back to CVS to get whatever freebie deals I could take part in!

2 Starbucks drinks @ $3, received $3 ECB back= FREE
Gum @ $1, received $1 ECB back= FREE
Somnapure @ $1.99, received $1.99 ECB back= FREE
CVS Anti Diarrea @ $4, received $4 ECB back= FREE
Gillette Venus Razor @ $7.39, used $1 coupon, received $5 ECB back= $1.39

I used $13.60 in ECB, and donated a dollar to St. Jude's Hospital during this transaction. I paid $4.73 out of my pocket and got $14.99 back in ECB's to use next time!

I also got this adorable pillow from the Target Dollar Section for only $3 on Wednesday! So cute and so cheap!

I've also been doing quite a bit of online shopping to get some presents done. Here are some online deals I've taken advantage of...

Cabelas FREE shipping on gift cards.
Diamond Candles FREE shipping on $50 or more
Avon FREE shipping on $30 or more
Amazon Coupon code: BOOKDEAL on books that I purchased
Bath and Body Works 20% off coupon, 6 for $20 soaps, Buy 3 get 3 free lotions/shower gels, and 2 for $22 candles

Happy couponing everyone!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. I am so thankful for each and every one of you!

Have a great day! =)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gift Guide 2013

Happy Holidays everyone!

Last year I posted a little gift guide with a few ideas of things you could pick up as presents for your loved ones. I decided to make it an annual post and once again do a blog about gift ideas. Some of the same things will make it onto my list this year I'm sure because there are certain items that I love and have loved for years!

Lets get started...


I love candles, I honestly can't get enough of them. Here are a few places that I like to buy candles for my own personal use, as well as for gifts.

Bath and Body Works
'Tis the Season 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works 
I love the 'Tis the season candle from bath and body works. They say that it smells like a mix of red apples, green pine and golden cider. Personally, I just find it incredibly spicy and love burning it all the time! I have received one of these candles last year for Christmas and held onto it so I could burn it this year and it's almost gone! I love the smell so much I'm considering ordering some others...

Candles by Victoria

I can't say much about particular smells from this brand because the one I purchased is a secret Christmas gift for somebody =) However, They have a TON of scents at the Candles by Victoria website, I would definitely check it out!

Yankee Candle

I don't buy Yankee Candles often because I find them to be pretty overpriced. However, I absolutely love one of their Christmas scents!

Their Christmas Cookie scent is absolutely delicious! This is a great candle to give as a Christmas gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. Who doesn't love a yummy smelling candle?!

Diamond Candles

I know I've talked about these babies before, but only because I can't get enough of them! Diamond Candles is a brand of candles where they put a ring inside the candle. The ring can be worth $10 or up to $5,000! I love having a little surprise inside my candle, although I've only ever received rings that are made in China =)

I have tried several of the scents and can honestly tell you that every single one has been fantastic. They are soy based candles so they really throw the scent into all corners of your home. My mom and I have been gifting these for a few years and everyone else seems to love them too!


I know not everybody enjoys receiving makeup as a gift, and there are a ton of people out there who don't even wear makeup...but if you do have somebody in your life who is a makeup fiend, here are some ideas for them!

Naked Palettes

Urban Decay's Naked palettes are awesome! I own Naked 1, Naked 2 and Naked Basics and can without a doubt tell you that every one of them would make fantastic gifts. 

Recently they just released the Naked 3, and although I haven't had the chance to play with it yet, I can tell you that many girls will be hoping for this to appear under their tree this year!

Hunger Games Makeup

If you have anyone in your life who loves the Hunger Games AND makeup, you are in luck!
Covergirl released a whole line of makeup based on the new movie Catching Fire. There are eye pencils, mascaras, and nail polishes that look like so much fun. 

Nail Polishes

One of my favorite little gifts to pick out for people is a nail polish. It is so easy to toss it in with someones gift or put it in a stocking. I think Essie has amazing nail polish that dries quickly and has great staying power so I would highly recommend picking an Essie color!


Alex and Ani's

I have gifted (and been gifted) so many Alex and Ani's in the past few years and think they are amazing gifts! You can buy just one or buy a few to get somebody started on their collection. They are great bracelets and aren't too pricey which is great!

Inhale Love Etsy Shop

A family friend Kate makes her own jewelry and has the cutest Etsy shop! I previously purchased Tree of Life earrings from her and love them! I have been considering ordering some of the stacking bracelets she has as on her site as well because they would make great Christmas presents for anyone who likes to wear bracelets. They would be easy to mix and match with other bracelets as well.

Tech Toys

Apple Products

I am an Apple girl in all sense of the word. I own a Macbook pro, an iPod Nano, and have been in a relationship with my iPhone for 7 years. I highly recommend all of these items. I have also had the opportunity to play with the iPad and iPad Mini and think they would make great gifts! Apple has amazing products and everything they make is truly top-notch. 

Fit Bit

This is the big item that is on my Christmas list this year. One of my students constantly ran around last year trying to up her steps on her Fit Bit and I have desperately wanted one ever since! Not only do these track the number of steps you take, they also keep track of the number of flights of stairs you go up as well as the number of times you wake up each night. I am so excited to try mine out, and hope that it will get me more motivated to exercise on a daily basis.


I love, love my Kindle! If you have a book-lover in your life the Kindle is the way to go. I was originally against the Kindle and I received it as a birthday present unsure if I would keep it or not. Books are a lot cheaper in Kindle version, and although I still love having a book to flip pages I do love my Kindle!


Divergent Series

Not only is this an excellent book trilogy, the first movie is coming out early 2014! It would be the perfect time to buy this book series for someone. Although it's technically a young adult series, it's similar to The Hunger Games and a great series for all ages!

Delirium Series

This is another book trilogy, which is young adult but would be great for all ages. This one is definitely more geared towards girls however.

The Selection Series

The Selection Series is amazing. Only two of the three books are actually out but they are both excellent!

Odds and Ends


A scarf is a great present to get anybody in your life. It is easy to find a pretty neutral color that is a safe bet, or chose a brighter color or pattern that fits someones personality perfectly.


I am a huge fan of giving ornaments as Christmas gifts. Everyone that celebrates Christmas has a tree and needs to decorate it. It is so fun to see if you can find the perfect ornament for someones personality. I love to pick out ornaments too, there are so many choices =)


In my house we are huge fans of Disney mugs, especially ones that are HUGE. It is constantly a battle over who gets the biggest mugs for tea in the morning. I think most people appreciate a nice coffee mug this time of year since hot chocolate, tea and coffee are popular in the colder months


You all know that I LOVE when my Birchbox arrives every month. I have gifted this to people before as well and find that everyone loves getting this little sample box every month. There are lots of beauty box options out there but I can confidently speak for this one!

Lush Items

Lush is an amazing store, and their Christmas collection is fantastic. I received the Snow Fairy shower gel for my birthday and love the smell. It would be a great stocking stuffer!

Those are just a few items that I can recommend for gifts this holiday season. I hope that this mini-gift guide will be able to help you in some way!

How are you doing on your holiday shopping? Have you completed it already or are you just starting?

I am almost done with my shopping, just a few more items left to buy. I am waiting for a few items to arrive in the mail and then I will have almost everything done. I have been wrapping as I go so hopefully I won't have a ton to do after Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Couponing Wrapup!

My couponing wrapup is coming to you guys a little early this week simply because these deals are only good through Wednesday! I want to make sure you can take advantage of them- because they are great deals!

Here's what happened at CVS:

I went in CVS to pick up one item and quickly realized it was my lucky day because there was an entire table of free items in the front of the store!

I bought:

Hershey Chocolate Bar @ $1.55
CVS Pantyliner 20 count @ 99 cents
Orbit Gum @ $1
2 Toothbrush sets @ $4 total
Colgate Toothpaste @ $3
Glade Oil Base Warmer @ $1.25
CVS wipes @ 99 cents
Total Home Laundry Detergent @ $1.79
Just the Basics Paper Towels @ $1
Stay Free Pads @ $4.19

Pre-coupon Total: $19.76 + tax

I used a $5 ECB
$2.50 off Colgate CVS coupon (making the toothpaste 50 cents)
25% off CVS coupon, taking 78 cents off (because it only works for full priced items)

This brought my price down to $11.65 (including tax)

Then I received my ECB...
79 cents for the Hershey chocolate bar
$1.25 for the Glade
$4 for the toothbrushes
$1.79 for the laundry detergent
99 cents for the pantyliners
99 cents for the wipes
$1 for the orbit gum
$1 for the paper towels

$11.81 in ECB

I paid $11.65 and got back $11.81 to spend next time...? Awesome!!!!

I will be heading back to CVS to pick up the rest of the items they have listed for free that I didn't pick up this time. Why not if it's free?

Get over to CVS and Have a great day everybody!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Holiday Gift Giving Printable!

Happy Monday everyone!

Today is an extremely happy Monday for me, I only have a two-day work week followed by five full days off! I am very excited and plan on finishing my Christmas shopping, spending time with my family, and hopefully getting a little reading in during the down time =)

Speaking of Christmas shopping, you might remember my confession in this post. If not, just know that I have a sickness and insist on Christmas shopping all year long. After Christmas you can find me at the after-holiday sales stocking up on wrapping supplies and ornament deals, stashing stuff away for the following year. I get it from my mother, who always hid gifts away throughout the year. If you needed a gift in a pinch, my mom would whip out an array of items that she had stashed in secret hiding spots. A completely brilliant concept, one I've taken upon myself to continue.

So, as I buy gifts it's easy for me to forget what I have, so this year I created a simple gift giving printable that I have been using to keep track of what I have bought and wrapped for my friends and family. It is very simple, but is a little fancier then just writing it down in a notebook. Plus it's a great way to stay on a budget!

Click HERE to download this FREE Holiday Gift Giving Printable!

I hope this helps you continue (or get started) on your holiday shopping!

Have a great day everybody!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fire is Catching....

I know, I know- what in the world am I doing here on the weekend?!

I usually try to get projects done on the weekend, and stay away from posting if I can but today I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the new Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Poster

Now before I start, two things.

1. If you have not read the book Catching Fire and plan to, stop reading. If you have not seen the movie Catching Fire and plan to, stop reading.

2. I am a little bit of a book snob. I always, always, always think that books are better then the movies. I always find a million things in movies based on books that don't line up and get angry because of them. So know that going into this post you will encounter opinions you may not entirely agree with, which is fine, but this is also my blog, so my opinion counts here! =)

I went to see Catching Fire at 10pm on Thursday night and thought it was absolutely amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In my opinion, this movie was better then the original Hunger Games movie. Often in a trilogy I find the second book (or movie) seems like a filler, and just serves to bridge readers (or viewers) from the first to third book (or movie). I didn't feel that way at all while reading Catching Fire or seeing the movie. 

I thought that the acting in this movie was amazing, the lines were delivered really well and I felt like laughing, crying and hiding my face in fear several times throughout the movie. Also, the set of the arena was gorgeous, way more beautiful then I imagined it. However, there were a few things I got hung up on during the movie.

1. Where was the line from Peeta, wishing that he and Katniss could stay in the moment they were having forever? I loved the scene with them in the book where they had an all-day picnic on the rooftop of the training center. I was disappointed that one of my favorite scenes had been cut.

2. Katniss is NOT supposed to see the painting Peeta does of Rue. In the novel, they cover his drawing with a mat and she hangs the Seneca Crane dummy without knowing that Peeta has defied them as well. She only learns of it afterwards, and they realize they both went in and felt the same way towards the Gamemakers.

3. Speaking of which, we never found out their scores! Lame.

4. Where was the bread? In the arena, they were consistently delivered bread, which Finnick was obsessed with counting. The bread signaled when they would be rescued, how did they know when it would be if the bread signals didn't come?!

Despite these little things...I am very thrilled with the movie and may just have to go see it again =)

Some things I loved...

1. How real their expressions were when the Quarter Quell rules are announced. Peeta's face was perfect.

2. Peeta, just in general.

3. Gale.

4. Haymitch delivering his line, "You and a syringe against the capitol. This is why we don't let you make the plans"

5. When all the victors joined hands after their interviews.

6. Snow's face when the power goes out.

7. Peeta.

8. Did I mention Peeta? =)

How did you like the movie? If you've read the book how do you think it compared? If you haven't, what did you think of the movie in general?

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Top 5 Most Important Places To Keep Organized!

Today, I'm sharing with you my top 5 places that I think are most important to keep organized!

If you've been reading for any length of time or you know me personally, you know that I am obsessed with being organized. I think it's important to keep all areas of the home organized but there are five areas I think are the most important to keeping my life in order.

1. My purse.

My friends regularly refer to my purse as a Mary Poppins bag because I love carrying a huge purse. Since it's super huge I tend to accumulate a lot of things inside it. I make a point to clean it out at least once a week so I keep things inside that I truly need.

Before my purse gets cleaned out it generally looks like the above picture. A total mess!

You can see from the above three pictures I dump everything out on my desk. I tend to keep a lot of things inside my purse on a daily basis but there are always extra things in there that need to be taken out!

Some things I keep in my purse regularly? My daily planner, my to-do list notebook, wallet, medicine, ipod, keys, hairbrush, keys, sunglasses, glasses, pens, and lotion.
Everything else needs to not go back in!

Once I get everything I need back in my purse, I take my change and toss it in a change jar, throw away any trash, and make sure extra things get put away in the right places.

Looks so much better already!

2. Make a To Do List (or have a to do list notebook) and Utilize a Planner.

I am that weirdo that has requested a planner as part of my Christmas gift this year =) I know, I know.

My favorite planner right now (that I have been using for the last three years) is made by Lily Pulitzer. I  love it because it's small enough to carry in my purse, but large enough to fit everything I need to write on each day. You can find it here.

I use a small notebook from the Martha Stewart line (at Staples) to keep track of my to-do list. I like to keep a running long list of everything on my to-do list. I put small items on there such as folding laundry and larger items such as completing scrapbooks. It makes me feel good to be able to cross off the smaller items, and I feel REALLY great when I'm able to cross off one of the bigger items!

3.  Organized Closet

I cannot even begin to stress how important it is to have an organized closet. Not only does it make it easier to find what are you going to wear each day, but it also makes it easier to put laundry away. Anything that makes a process like putting laundry away a little bit quicker makes me very happy!

I like to organize my clothes by category and then by color to make it super easy to find exactly what I'm looking for. I also make sure to leave my hangers on the rack so I put each clothing item back in the same spot after doing laundry.

I also have separate bins in my closet for different items. I have bins for t-shirts, flats and flip flops, scarves, small bags, hats, and bathing suits. Keeping thing separate and not all bundled together really helps in making your morning routine run faster.

4. Organized Fridge and Pantry.

I consistently go through the fridge and pantry to get rid of expired items which helps keep it very organized most of the time. However, I also like to go in and straighten items up because it is so easy for food to hide in these areas! So often I take home leftovers from restaurants and never eat them. Then they get pushed to the back of the fridge and if the fridge isn't gone through once a week who knows how long it would stay there?!

5. Have a "Catch All Basket" or a place to put things you aren't ready to deal with yet.

I use a basket in my room as my "Catch All Basket", this is where I put mail I'm not ready to open/deal with yet and other things I bring home with me. Sometimes I bring home something I know I want to use in my scrapbook eventually, but I'm not quite ready to file it yet, so into my Catch All Basket it goes. This is also where I put catalogues, magazines, letters, and anything else I know I eventually need to sort.

Once a week, I empty out this basket and put everything in its designated place or recycle/trash it. Sometimes even organized people don't feel like putting everything away immediately and that's okay, but it's so nice to have a place to put those items until you are ready to deal with them!

So those are my top 5 places I find to be the most helpful in my organized life. I personally like to have everything organized, but sometimes that's just not a possibility. If I have these five places organized, I feel at least a little in control of my life- and that's really what organizing is about, being in control.

To see all of my organized spaces, you can click on the "My Organized Spaces" tab at the top of the page, or click here.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bookshelf Before and After!

I'm popping on here quick today to show you before and afters of my bookshelf- which is officially done! So here we go!

I arranged the bookshelf in exactly the same way as before, but it's amazing what a little paint will do! I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and I love staring at that side of my bedroom!

Got to go finishing re-reading Catching Fire....since I'm going to see it at 10 tonight! =)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Touch of Ocean Blue...and My Dresser is DONE!

I am in LOVE.

Okay, well that's probably a tad bit over-dramatic but this might be my favorite crafting project ever! When I decided to re-do my dresser I knew that I not only wanted to paint it, I wanted to change the entire feeling of it. I knew that I wanted a little bit of an ocean look, which meant I needed to bring a little bit of teal into the mix. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but a little craft project was involved.

Now, just get ready for a photo-overloaded post!

Here's where we started. I used these two glass containers on my dresser to hold makeup brushes, beauty tools, and other items. The jars are from Bath and Body Works candles. Once I finished burning the candles, I use hot water to fill the jars and let all the wax rise to the top. Then I clean out the jars thoroughly.

After I emptied out the jars I got started!

All the supplies I needed for this project were Glossy Mod Podge and Food Coloring (I used neon to get the color that I wanted).

I mixed a little bit of food coloring in with some mod podge and just a tiny bit of water into the styrofoam cup. I used a styrofoam cup and a plastic spoon to do the mixing so I wouldn't have any clean up and wouldn't accidentally ruin anything =)

I mixed the mod podge in until I had a color that I wanted.

Then I swished the color around in the jar, moving it sideways and upside down until it completely covered the inside. I did try using the foam paint brush but it didn't work as well, so I would definitely recommend just moving the jar around to completely coat it.

After, both jars were completely covered in gorgeous blue paint, it was time to bake them in the oven! I baked them at 200*

I wish I could tell you how long I baked them for...but I honestly don't know. It was a LONG LONG time.

I waited..

and waited...

and waited...

Finally I was able to take them out. They were still a little splotchy on the bottom because I didn't pour out the excess liquid before baking them, not smart! That's okay though because I had a plan that would make that not matter at all...

I filled them with beads!

Look how pretty those makeup brushes look inside! Love love love.

I decided that while I was working with all these items I might as well toss some things I don't use.

So pretty!

The next jar was a little more difficult. I ended up finding new homes for a few things...

These are the things I got rid of...I had too many tweezers, I think two pairs will suffice just fine.

and these items found new homes!


They look so happy in their new home!!

And then I took some pictures of how beautiful everything looks...

How gorgeous does that look? What a huge difference!

and this is what I see from my bed...what a gorgeous view (which will be even better once my bookshelf is back in commission!)

Now lets have a before and after shall we?


So beautiful! What a huge transformation...and one that reflects my personality better and makes me feel calmer in my bedroom space!

Have you done any projects to your bedroom lately?