Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project 365: Week 30

Another week of Instagram pictures for Project 365! 

Day 206 I am in love with this little face. Roxy is such a sweetheart and I can't get enough of her! =)

Day 207 was a night out with Rachel and Katie getting ready to kick off Rachel's Bachelorette Weekend!

Day 208 started off Rachel's Bachelorette Party in Cape Cod! (Which you can read more about in Monday's post here)

Day 209 was my Papa's 80th birthday! We had a party at our house for him and it was so great to see the family!

Day 210, I managed to watch the sunset as I was driving home. I stopped at Wordens Pond in South Kingstown in order to capture this picture.

Day 211, I started my housesitting gig again and got to spend some time with my buddy Molly (who is laying next to me sleeping as I type this by the way). She is the most mellow dog ever and is so friendly!

Day 212 was another trivia night! We didn't win any place at trivia last night despite being in second place at halftime- however it was a ton of fun!

How was your week?!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Four: A Divergent Collection

I recently finished a few short stories written by Veronica Roth. Four: A Divergent Collection is written in the voice of Four, my favorite character in the Divergent series. I always love reading scenes from a different character then the one who initially told it. Before when Tris narrated, we were only able to see what her take on the interactions her and Four had but now with Four's versions we have a ton more information, which is amazing. 

The short stories included in this collection are; Free Four: Tobias Tells The Story, The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son and The Traitor. 

Free Four is the story of when Tobias threw knives at Tris during her initiate training. Since Tris was so angry during that particular instance it was nice to see the scent told from Four, who was only trying to keep her safe. 

The Transfer tells the story of a 16 year old Tobias who chooses Dauntless as his faction despite his fathers wishes. In this book he meets Eric for the first time and we see a ton of pieces of Tobias's young life that that were previously only alluded to.

The Intiate shows Four's first tattoo and his training as a lowly initiate in Dauntless. We are also able to see how he was the star of his initiate class and how Four discovers that his passion is for teaching the new initiates the Dauntless ways despite being chosen for a leadership career.

The Son traces Four's time as a full member of Dauntless. He suspects the Dauntless leaders of committing a few crimes and hunting the Divergent. He also learns that Eric knows about his past and tries to figure out exactly what is going on in the society he thought he understood.

The fifth and final story is The Traitor. The Traitor describes Four's interactions with Tris and also shows him discovering the plan for Dauntless to attack Abnegation and attempts to protect Abnegation by contacting his father and mother. 

All of these books were great but I have to say my favorite was The Traitor because I enjoyed the interactions between Four and Tris. I did enjoy being able to read about what happened before Tris came into the story as well however.

Have you read any of the Divergent series or Four's stories? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July Birchbox

My July Birchbox was on the later side this month, meaning I was really ready for it to arrive!

This month Birchbox partnered up with Women's Health to deliver a bunch of great products.

I received a year long subscription to Women's Health magazine, however I believe I might apply for the rebate because I honestly don't have a ton of time to read magazines. I don't think I read 90% of the magazines that end up coming to me- so I think I would prefer the cash!

I received two small packets of 100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel. I love 100% Pure products since they are made with all-natural ingredients and they always have the best scents! I will be using these soon!

This Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain is in the color Valentine. It looks like a bubble gum pink on my lips, but I will test it out!

Next up is Number 4 super comb prep and protect. This product is a sulfate-free leave in conditioner. I'm excited to try this out because I love leave in conditioners and any products that are used to tame my hair.

This lotion from Harvey Prince and is called the Hello body cream. It is a citrusy scent and if you've been following for awhile you know that I love my lotions and can't wait to try this one out!

The last product I received this month is Real Chemistry's luminous three minute peel. I am always a little nervous about trying face masks and peels and anything else that might break out my sensitive skin but I will definitely be testing this out!

That's what I received this month in my Birchbox and I will be trying out all of these products over the next few weeks and will be back to share what I think with you!

What samples did you receive this month?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rachel's Bachelorette Party!

It's Monday does it always sneak up on us so quickly?! 

This Monday however is extra fun because I get to share with you something really special I did this weekend- celebrated Rachel's Bachelorette!

I have been working on Rachel's Bachelorette forever and I wanted it to be really special, and also be something that everyone would enjoy! 

I started out the weekend with a scavenger hunt. I created all the clues after asking each bridesmaid for a special place that was significant for the two of them. On Saturday morning, Katie, Sara and I took a ride around to hide all of the clues around the places that were chosen.

Later on, I dropped them off so they could head to our secret location and get our hotel room ready while I took Rachel on the scavenger hunt. She did a great job with each clue knowing exactly where each place was without me having to tell her.

We picked up Brittni and headed towards Cape Cod, MA where we promptly got stuck in traffic. After a few hours in the car we had arrived!

It was then time for champagne and fun!

The other bridesmaids did a fabulous job decorating the hotel room. Fake silver and white petals on the floor, handmade poufs hanging from the ceiling and string lights all made for beautiful decor!

I made little gift bags for each bridesmaid (which I will be sharing in an upcoming blog post) which included fun tiaras. There was a special veil tiara for Rachel, our bride, which we insisted on her wearing late in the evening.

However, the first thing we did after toasting with champagne and catching up was to walk to the little beach located on the property.

We stayed at the Green Harbor Resort in West Yarmouth MA and it was a wonderful experience. I pictured it as more of a hotel but it was actually individual little cottages scattered around the property. It honestly looked as if the owners had slowly purchased each house and created a resort in a neighborhood. It was so cute!

There was a small beach located on the property which was a great feature and precisely what we were there for.

After hanging out on the beautiful (albeit windy) beach for awhile we headed back to the room to change and get ready for dinner. I had previously made reservations for Dockside Ribs and Lobster which is located right on the water. I had chosen it because of the wide range of food options and although there was initially a little confusion about the reservations we ended up getting seated outside and ordering drinks and dinner.

 I had some delicious drinks with dinner (and was the only one double fisting if I'm being honest) but I had to try the rum punch and couldn't resist when some of the girls ordered a pitcher of sangria!

For dinner our group had a wide variety of items ranging from seafood to classic meals. Personally, I ordered french onion soup which was great but definitely not anywhere close to the french onion soup I ate one time in France and I also had an order of fries. It wasn't the fanciest meal but enough to fill me up and satisfy my taste buds.

We also had some fun using Ally's new selfie taker which is a tripod she is able to set her phone up on. She has a remote that she can use to take the picture instead of us constantly asking strangers to take our pictures.

After dinner we headed back to the room to play a quick drinking game that I had set up. I asked Rachel's fiancé Ant fifteen questions that were completely random and Rachel had to answer them to the best of her ability. I made them very tricky and we ended up drinking a few times but more often then not Rachel ended up being the one drinking =)

We called a couple taxis to come and take us out to Main Street where we ended up finding a bar that had an outdoor patio and an indoor bar where dancing was going on. It was the perfect mix of activity and relaxed atmosphere.

After a fun night out we returned to our rooms and crashed until the next morning. Despite disappointing weather reports the weather was clear and we managed to get in a few hours at the beach before we had to leave the Cape!

It was a beautiful morning and a great send off after a fantastic weekend! Rachel seemed to have an amazing time with all of her best girlfriends and it was so much fun to celebrate with her!

Next time we will all be together will be for the rehearsal dinner and I am so excited to celebrate Rachel and Ant's wedding!

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup

I actually went coupon shopping this week...woohoo! However, no free samples came in the mail this week. That was definitely a bummer.

At CVS...

2 Dial Handsoaps @ $2 each
used $1/2 coupon
Paid $3, received $2 back in ECB

2 Dial Body Washes @ $3 each
used $2/2 coupon
Paid $4, received $2 back in ECB

2 CVS Cotton Rounds @ $3.50 each
1 Disinfectant Wipes @ $5.49
received 30% off because of the CVS bag deal.

1 Just The Basics Paper Towel @ 79 cents
used 79 cent off CVS coupon

CVS Reusable Bag @ 99 cents
used 99 cent off CVS coupon

1 Benadryl Itch Stick @ $3.69
1 Benadryl Anti Itch Gel @ $7.99
Received $5 back in ECB

I also used $19 in ECB, and for some reason the register took off $1.50 for Hallmark cards...I'm not sure why!

I paid $11.39 out of pocket and received $9 back in ECB! Awesome!

Then at Rite Aid...

4 Crayola Chalk 12 counts @ 47 cents each

2 Maybelline Mascaras @ $7.49 each
used two $2/1 coupons, making each one $5.49
received a $5 +Up Reward for buying both

1 Wet and Wild Eyeshadow @ 99 cents
used $1 coupon
one cent Money Maker!

I paid $14.10 out of pocket and received $5 +Up for next time, not bad!

How did your couponing go this week?

I hope you have a great weekend! I'm heading off to a secret location for Rachel's Bachelorette Party this weekend, which I will update you on when I get back! =)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Project 365: Week 29

Week 29 was another busy week around here! I have been enjoying summer to the fullest and that has resulted in busy days and nights. If you're not following me on Instagram you're missing out on a ton of extra pictures that I post every week- check out the side bar, over there----->

On day 199 I caught the most beautiful sunset as I was leaving work. I love that summer sunsets are so much later at night so I can actually see them as I'm leaving work!

Day 200 was the final day of princess camp and these girls were so excited to meet a real-life princess!

On day 201 I headed up to Connecticut to see my cousins perform in their play. They always do a two week summer camp and perform in a play at the end. They did a great job!

Day 202 ended with an awesome time at Bingo with three of my close friends! We went to Foxwoods Casino and it was a blast!

At work on day 203 we did sidewalk chalk outside at work and the kids traced me and then colored me in the way they thought best represented me. Looks just like me right?! =)

Day 204 started with the beach before work. It was a beautiful morning but then I had to go to work! =(

Yesterday, day 205 I did an awesome couponing haul. Check out my YouTube channel balancingonmytoes to find out all the details- or just wait until tomorrow's post!

I hope you had a great week as well! Let me know what you did in the comments =)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Organizing Photos

One of the biggest struggles for me is organizing my pictures. Seriously.

I operate solely on my macbook meaning that every picture I take, whether it's on my phone or camera, goes through my iPhoto program. I also have Photo Stream which means all the photos I take on my phone instantly get transferred into my iPhoto. Except they don't always...

Then all my photos get out of order in iPhoto because some stream and some don't and I have to manually organize them. Which is fine, but confusing. Sometimes I take pictures for the blog I won't need again (organization projects, couponing hauls..) so I can delete them once I'm done with them. Other pictures I save forever so I need to make sure those photos are all separate.

I print some pictures for scrapbooking and others for frames. Some pictures never get printed and live forever on my computer. I back them all up to a photo sharing site as well as on my external hard drive.  

The pictures that are printed and not in a scrapbook or a frame are left in a box in my closet- completely unorganized. Seriously, it's one of my biggest shameful moments looking into that box!

So. That's my photo un-organization story. Now, I just need to come up with a plan on how to organize it all. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to organize all of my printed photos in that box as well as come up with a way to organize all of the photos I have in iPhoto and I'm taking you along with me!

How do you organize your photos?

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Small Organizer Goes A Long Way

Happy Monday!

This weekend I did a little wandering through the Target Dollar Spot and found an awesome product for $3! I found a two pack of organizers that I just had to get. Here's what I did with one of them...

In the top drawer of my makeup organizer I was using old jewelry boxes to hold hair elastics, bobby pins, and other small hair accessories. The problem was the different items were always sliding around and ending up in the wrong sections and it was driving me nuts.

So, I fixed that! It looks so much nicer now, doesn't it?

The best part? There is a lid that snaps on which is great because I only come in here when I either break my current elastic or need something like bobby pins (which isn't every day) so I can keep the lid on and make everything stay in place. Just lovely!

I have one other bin that I am organizing another group of small items in and I will share either later this week or next week! Can you guess what it is?

What have you organized lately?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup

I had another slow couponing week, but did manage to make a quick stop into CVS...

I picked up 2 Physician Formula eyeshadows @ $8.99 each
used $4 CVS coupon (from the Magic Coupon Machine)
Paid $14.96 and received $10 ECB back!

That means that these two eyeshadow sets were only $4.96 total, that's $2.48 each which isn't bad at all!

For freebies this week I got:

A package from P&G containing Olay body wash and Herbal Essences body wash! (Plus a ton of coupons!)

From Purina a dog tag with Roxy's name, address and phone number on it!

A Junie B. Jones book that I am saving to use as a gift!

Then I received my PinchMe Box containing a Sinful Colors nail polish and a nutrition bar from Skinnygirl.

Gotta love freebies!

Did you get any great deals or freebies this week?!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Project 365: Week 28

Summer is flying by guys...seriously. Wasn't it just the beginning of June?!

Here's what happened this past week:

On day 191 I got to spend a lovely dinner with my friend Kristin! Kristin's birthday was actually two days ago, so I made sure to bring her gift to dinner =)

On day 192 the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert on Narragansett Beach which was great! The view was so pretty too with the moon being so big!

Day 193 was spent at National Dance Competition and the girls did an amazing job!

On day 194, I spent a lot of the day getting things done around the house. I did get a chance to snuggle this little girl though!

Day 195 was a loooong day at work, but playing some Bingo at Ocean Mist was a great way to end it!

On day 196 I had to stay at work and had a little I did some crazy fouette turns in the dance room and recorded it. I still got it! (Video can be seen on my instagram)

Yesterday, day 197, my trivia team won! We had a great game and kicked butt which is always nice!

How was your week?!