Monday, March 31, 2014

March Birchbox Review

I'm back with my March Birchbox Review!

The products in this months box were ones that I was really excited to try, however I do have to say that I was a little underwhelmed after trying the products I received...

The Keims hair care smelt nice enough, it was definitely minty and refreshing, however it made my hair stringy and dry. I needed to deep conditioned my hair after using this shampoo, so I'm not excited to continue using this. I will finish up this sample but I would not purchase a full size of this.

Ugh I hated this Michael Todd tropical fruit exfoliant scrub. It didn't smell anything like tropical fruit to me, it just smelt absolutely disgusting. I finished up the sample but would never recommend or purchase this in full size!

This Jergens BB Body cream was so silky and creamy that I would definitely purchase a full size. This is not something that I would have tried if it weren't for Birchbox, but I am so glad that I was able to. This beats out a lot of lotions that I have tried recently and I am savoring this small little bottle, using it in small amounts!

The Balm, How 'Bout Them Apples in Pie is a great cream blush. The color is a little brighter then I would normally purchase but when used in small doses I really do like it. It is not something I will repurchase but I will definitely use up the entire sample.

I love Coola product and this mineral sunscreen is something I will use more of in the summer or at least when it is sunny outside! I tried a tiny bit of it and like it because it sheers out on my skin, however I wouldn't purchase the full size just because of the insane price point that Coola products have!

So that is how I feel about my March Birchbox, if you receive a Birchbox how did you like yours?!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

So many amazing deals this week!

I started off on Sunday at Walmart….

4 Windex touch up cleaners @ $3.47 each
used two Buy one get one free coupons, making them $1.73 each, $6.94 total.

 2 Ocean Potion sunscreens @ $3.97 each (I couldn't find the smaller ones)
used two $2 coupons, making them $1.97 each, $3.94 total.

2 Almay Makeup Removing Pads @ $1.14 each
used $5/2 coupon, making them a $2.72 Money Maker!

Rimmel Nailpolish @ $1.50
used a $1 off 1 coupon, making it 50 cents!

Schar Wafer Cookies @ $1.64
used a $3 off 1 coupon, making this a $1.36 Money Maker!

Clear Shampoo and Conditioner @ $4.98 each
used 2 $1 off 1 coupons, making these $3.98 each, $7.96 total.

2 Herbal Essence body washes @ $2.47 each
used 2 $1/1 coupons, making them $1.47 each, $2.94 total!

I spent $21.03 including tax for all these 14 products, making them approximately $1.50 each, not bad!

Then at Stop and Shop

1 Cheez It Snack Cup @ $1.29
on sale for $1
will be getting total back from SavingStar! FREE!

Neuro Sleep in MellowMango @ $2.69
on sale for $2
used a FREE coupon, cashier deducted entire $2.69, making this a 69 cent Money Maker!

2 Purex2 Laundry Detergent @ $3.85 each or $7.70 total
used two 75 cents off 1 coupons, making each one $3.10, $6.20 total
I also am still finishing up the SavingStar deal, so I should be getting $5 back from this!

I spent $5.58 including tax for these 4 items, making each one approximately $1.39 each.

On Wednesday I had some grocery shopping to do.

At Stop and Shop….

Bananas $1
Store Savings 43 cents
SavingStar 20% credit, 11 cents
Final Price 46 cents

Land O' Lakes American Cheese $8
Store Savings $1.50
Final Price $6.75

Honey ham $11.20

Oreos $5.39
Store Savings $1.40
Final Price $3.99

Mutigrain English Muffins $2.49
Store Savings 50 cents
Final Price $1.99

Kraft Mac and Cheese 5 Pack $5.79
Store Savings 60 cents
Coupon Used $1/1
Final Price $3.99

Covergirl Mascara (clearance) $4.24
Coupon used $1/1
Final Price $3.24

Poland Springs Water $4.79
Store Savings $1.30
Final Price $3.49

Natures Promise Milk $6.79
Ibotta Credit for 50 cents
Final Price $6.29

Bounce Dryer Sheets $6.79
Coupon used 20 cents off one
Coupon doubled
Final Price $6.39

2 Reddi Wip $5.39 each

Natures Promise Mozzarella Cheese $4.19

Total Paid $64.13 after tax. Not a great trip, but I didn't plan it at all so it wasn't as bad as it could've been.

Then I quickly ran in  CVS...

1 Just The Basics Paper Towels 79 cents
used 79 cent coupon
Final Price FREE

Zarbees Seasonal Relief $7

Used $4.99 in ECB, paid $2.50 out of pocket (49 cents was tax).

Received $7 back in ECBs! (Everything was basically free minus tax)

Yesterday I headed into Connecticut to get a few deals at a nearby mall.

I went into Harbor Freight because I recently discovered that there are a ton of free items to be found there.

1 Paint Brush 89 cents
1 Tape Measure, regularly priced at $6.99
used a coupon to get this FREE!

I paid 95 cents including tax, which I thought was great! I will be stopping by Harbor Freight more often since free tools will be great to have on hand for future gifts!

I ran into the mall quickly to get an amazing deal at Bath and Body Works

Foaming Hand Soap $6.50
used a coupon for a free hand soap (from a Facebook offer)

At Target I purchased some items for super cheap!

Qtip 30 count 97 cents
used 75 cent off Target coupon
Final Price 22 cents!

Letter opener $1.89
on clearance for 56 cents

Document Holder $1

File Case $1

Total Paid $2.96

For the items I purchased on Thursday, the total cost of all these items was $20.34, but I paid only $3.91!

How was your couponing this week?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project 365: Week 12

How was everyone's week 12?

Here's how mine went… (To see more, follow me over on Instagram!)

The first day of spring, day 79. It's finally here!

On Day 80 I went to the movies to see Divergent with Brittni and Stephen. It was an amazing movie and I was so pleased with the movie adaptation of the book. I loved this book, so I was thrilled when I heard they were making a movie, and I really think they did a great job with it.

Day 81 was a long morning at work, where a family gave me a plant which they said was from their home to mine. I am always so touched when families think about me enough to give a gift or say something nice! It's always so sweet!

I shared a bit of day 82 here

Monday, Day 83 was game day at work! I love doing game day with the kids, and one of their favorite games to play is jeopardy when I write on the mirror. My assistant teacher drew this little picture on the mirror which was super cute.

On day 84 this little girl didn't want to get out bed! She was so sleepy and I thought she was just so cute cuddling in bed, it made me not want to get up either.

Day 85 I had a busy day off complete with some cleaning, grocery shopping, dressing up in business clothes, and trivia! 

How was your week?!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How To Save Money Series

Happy hump day everyone!

Wednesday has to be my favorite day of the week since it's one of my two days off from work. I like Sundays too, but there's something about having a day off in the middle of the week when most people are still at work that is so nice! I get a lot done on Wednesdays which is always a good thing.

For the foreseeable future, Wednesdays will be the day for my How To Save Money Series here on the blog. I wanted to start by telling you the topics I will cover in this series and then you will know what is coming up. I'm not necessarily going to follow this order, but you will see all these topics be discussed on my blog soon!

  • A look at my coupon binder
  • Coupon inserts and Printable Coupons
  • Swagbucks
  • Ebates
  • Ibotta
  • SavingStar
  • ShopKick
  • Checkout 51
  • Target Cartwheel
  • Shopmium
  • Retail Me Not
  • Receiving Samples
  • How I organize my transactions
If I think of any other topics I will be adding them along the way. Please let me know in the comments if there is a particular topic I have NOT listed that you wish I would discuss.

Have a great day everybody!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Cleaning and Organizing: Organizing CDs

This one's for you dad! 

Every day I walk past this piece of furniture in my house. 

It is located at the bottom of the stairs so it is constantly in my line of sight and it wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't know for sure what I would find inside it...

CDs. All unorganized.

At one point I went through this cabinet and alphabetized everything, but of course my parents aren't quite as OCD as I am, and have no problem putting a CD back where it doesn't belong. =)

I decided that since I'm in spring cleaning mode anyways, I might as well take some time to get these CDs organized and back in alphabetical order.

I took every single CD out of every last drawer. I laid them all into piles based on the first letter of the last name of the artist, or by the band name. There are many ways you could organize a pile of CDs like this, however I personally think alphabetical order is the easiest for most people to understand, and what I prefer to use the majority of the time.

I placed them all back in nicely and noticed that my parents own quite a few duplicate CDs…Oh well, it's their collection!

I also wanted to mention that while they have a massive CD collection, I actually don't have any CDs at all! About five years ago I took every CD I owned and transferred all of the songs onto my computer. Now, I still have all the music that I want in one place without the actual physical space being taken up. I much prefer to have the tracks in my iTunes, rather then on a rack somewhere!

How do you organize your music? Have you held onto your physical CDs or is everything on your computer now?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Zumba Fitness Party for American Diabetes Association

I had a blast yesterday afternoon at a local Zumba Fitness Party!

 This fitness party was actually located at the middle school that I attended as a student which meant it was nice and close. I don't get to attend Zumba often since I work weird hours but I'm always thrilled when I do. I enjoyed a nice afternoon of booty popping and gained over 12,000 steps just while at class!

It was also a treat to see the CHS Dance Team. I know a bunch of the girls since I previously had them as students. They are all so grown up now! They did a terrific job during the intermission of keeping us entertained. It was also nice to chat with them throughout the break.

After the afternoon was over, I left with sore muscles, and 6 m&m cookies. I only bought a package of two, but someone I know was selling them and continually handed them to me. I did donate the money back to her, despite her protests. They are delicious cookies!

Now, I've got some sore muscles and a few of the songs stuck in my head =)

Did you workout over the weekend? What did you do?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

Hey everybody! Wow, what a great week for couponing!

On Saturday night, I was waiting for a friend to get home in Warwick so I ran into AC Moore thinking I would just look around. I managed to find some great deals!

Yarn for a future baby blanket @ $6
On sale from $9.99

9 Scrapbooking sticker pages @ $1 each
On sale from various prices such as $2.33, $1.66, $1.99 etc..

16x20 picture frame @ $12

Not bad, for some things I will definitely be using!

I started out on Sunday with CVS where I purchased…

2 Crest Be Vanilla Mint toothpastes @ $4.99 each
I used 2 $1 off 1 coupons to make each one $3.99, or $7.98 total.
I received $4 ECB for each one, $8 ECB total. 
Which made this a 2 cent money maker!

6 Purex laundry detergents @ $6 each, or $36 total
They were on sale Buy 1 Get 2 Free, making them $12
I used a $2 off 2 coupon, and a $1.50 off 2 coupon, making them $8.50 total, or $1.41 each.
I also applied this towards my Savingstar deal (Buy $20, get $5 back)
Meaning, I spent $8.50 and I'm getting $5 back…which makes these $3.50 total OR 58 cents a piece. AMAZING!

I purchased two local newspapers but was not charged for them which I feel so guilty about, but didn't notice until I got home!

2 Eucerin lotions @ $1.27 each
I thought that these would be part of the Eucerin sale but they didn't work which was really disappointing.

I also used a $4 off $20 purchase coupon.

I paid $16.46 out of pocket, got $8 back in ECBs, and will be getting back $5 through Savingstar!

Then I went to Walmart where I was disappointed by the lack of selection...

2 Welch's Guava Pineapple juice @ $2 each

1 Aquarium Gravel @ $1.98

1 Rimmel Nailpolish @ $1.50
I used a $1 off coupon, making this 50 cents!

I paid $7 out of pocket for those items which is pretty good!

Then at Rite Aid…

1 Sure Deodorant @ $1.50
I used $1 off one coupon, making it 50 cents.
I received 50 cents in UpRewards, making it FREE!

1 Mucinex Allergy 5 count @ $7.50
I used a $5 off one coupon, making it $2.50
I also used a $2 Rite Aid coupon, making it 50 cents.
I am submitting for a $2.50 rebate, making it a $2 MoneyMaker!

2 Stride Gum @ $1 each, $2 total.
I used a 25 cent Rite Aid Coupon, making it $1.75.
I received a $1 UpReward, making it 75 cents!

1 Renuzit Cone @ $1.19
With Savingstar this week, I'm saving 100% on this item.
Making it FREE!

I also rounded up to the nearest dollar to donate to children's charities (21 cents)

I paid $5, but will be getting money back through Savingstar and the Mucinex Rebate, which is an excellent deal!

I also went to Stop and Shop and did two transactions…

Bananas @ $1.39 (39 cents a pound!)

Honey Ham @ $7.68

Finish Dishwasher Tablets @ $4.69
I will be applying for a rebate, getting this all back- making it FREE!

4 Apple Cinnamon Cheerios @ $3.99 each, $15.96 total
I used two $1 coupons, making this $13.96 total. 
(Not the best deal but I REALLY needed cereal!)

Lysol power and free wipes @ $3.50
I will be applying for a rebate, for $3, making this 50 cents!

How did you do this week?!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Project 365: Week 11

It's Thursday, which means it's time for me to share a little bit of my past week with you…here we go!

On Thursday, day 72 I shared the poster of costumes that has been posted on the wall at work. So many costumes, so many routines and recital is coming up quick!

Day 73, I did a CVS deal that I didn't want to miss out on!

Day 74, after I got out of a looooong morning at work I took Roxy for a nice Saturday afternoon walk. It was such a beautiful day (unfortunately the temperature wasn't long lasting…) Although unpictured, I spent the night hanging out with two of my friends (and co-workers) and was greeted home by a dog that missed me terribly!

Day 75 was a huge deal day for me and you will be reading all about it tomorrow! 

On Monday, Day 76 I was having a depressed kind of day around here when I received a card (and an unpictured surprise) in the mail from Rachel! I was so excited and it cheered me up so much!

Day 77, it was time to make my March Maddness bracket! Who did you pick to win?

Yesterday, day 78 I donated 8 inches of my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths! My grandma lost her hair to cancer (and eventually her fight) when I was in high school. I always knew that I wanted to donate my hair to someone who needed it more then me, and I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to do it. Honestly, after doing it once, I really think I might do it time and time again. It is such an easy thing to do that helps someone so much. 

How was your week?!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

100% Pure Coconut Lotion

A month or so ago I noticed that my points on the birchbox website had accrued enough so I was able to order a product $20 or under. I had been looking at 100% Pure products for quite some time since learning that they are all-natural and vegan. I like the idea of using natural products on my skin rather then lotions with a ton of chemicals, but know that isn't entirely a possibility most of the time. However, since I had enough points to order a bottle of 100% Pure lotion, I went for it!

The scent of this lotion wasn't exactly what I expected it to be. I think that is only because usually when  I think about coconut, I think about the chemically-made fragrance. Since this is a natural body cream, the scent is what I assume to be the natural smell of coconut. I do like the smell, however it is definitely a lighter scent then I imagined, so if you are looking for a body cream that is especially fragrant, this wouldn't be for you.

The lotion itself is extremely lightweight and easily soaks right into the skin. I used this all over my arms legs, and feet and it worked equally well in all places. I liked how there was no greasy feeling after I was done applying and it seemed to make my dry skin a little softer overall.

The only downside I have found so far with this body cream is that one bottle doesn't last all that long. I have only used it a few times and I'm almost out already, so I will be using it sparingly from now on.

Have you tried 100% Pure products before? How do you feel about using all-natural products on your skin?

Have a great day everybody!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pet Food and Treat Organization

Good morning everyone, I thought today I would share with you a small organization project for a special friend in my life.

Remember this little girl?! Yes, this is sweet Roxy in case you're new and haven't been previously introduced. This girl has a lot of stuff. Our home is overflowing with toys and treats for this little lady. There are a couple of drawers in our kitchen dedicated to her food and treats which were getting a little out of control so I thought I would take a couple of minutes to get things organized.

This is what our cupboard for Roxy looks like. You open the doors and there are two drawers inside.

As you can see, things were completely out of control. There was food everywhere, treats no longer in bags, and everything else was just tossed in carelessly. I took everything out of the drawers and laid it on top of the counter. I sorted all the items into food, treats, bowls, clothes, and leashes.

I ended up finding a few bags of treats that only had one or two treats inside which meant those bags could be thrown away and Roxy got a few extra treats while I worked.

Now, here is the final product.

Looks so much better right?! I love when I can do a small organization project but it changes so much so quickly. It truly makes me feel just a little bit better when I can control something, even if it's as simple as cleaning out a small area.

What have you organized this week?