Sunday, January 24, 2010

ENDING TODAY...Banana Republic Sale

One of my favorite places for work clothes, the Banana, is having a great sale on work attire. 25% off work styles, online only. Be careful of ordering online from the Banana if you don't know what cut pants you wear. They have a few different cuts, which I definitely appreciate, but they fit wildly differently, even in the same sizes. One style of their wide-leg dress pants (not my favorite but maybe it's yours) starts at $49.99, HELLO!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Best Beauty Tips

I am finally getting around to going through the ridiculously large pile of magazines that I get in the mail and don't have time to read. I am determined to go through at least one each day until I get them out of my house, which isn't really hard because once I get started, I usually read three or four at a time. Could you have guessed that I love magazines??

An InStyle from this summer had a list of the 50 Best Beauty Tips and I thought I would pick out the best ones and share. Some of these I actually hadn't heard before and will be trying ASAP!
- Make your own dry shampoo - I have posted before about one of my favorite hair products, Pssssst! Dry Shampoo. I do love it but I go through it quickly since I only wash my hair two or three times a week (try it, don't be a hater!). I pay $7/can at CVS but I am going to make my own, per this InStyle recommendation, and save some money!! Just mix equal parts Baking Soda and Baby Powder. Sprinkle it through hair, leave in for maybe a minute, fluff hair, then brush out...gorgeous!! I can't wait to try this!

- Make your own volumizing spray - take two sugar packets and put them in a 20 oz. bottle of water. Spray in hair for instant volume. I haven't tried this one but it was recommended by Oscar Blandi so I am just going to assume it's a great tip.

- Wash your face with dandruff shampoo? - this sounds a little fishy to me but with all the trouble I've been having with my eyes I am definitely going to try it. According to InStyle, washing your face with dandruff shampoo decreases yeast levels which cause scaly skin. Who knew? Well, InStyle I guess.
- Last but not least...make your own cream blush - I am all over this one! Take old/cracked powder blushes and crush them up in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Mix the powder with regular old lip balm (I'm going to use Burt's Bees) and, poof, you have cream blush. I use cream blush under my powder blush since my oily skin sucks up powder color so I can't wait to mix a few of my old powder blushes together and make some new colors of cream blush...FUN!

Swagbucks Redux

It's been a week since I started messing with the Swagbucks and it's going alright so far. As you might notice, I did remove the widgets from the side of the blog, they were just too unsightly. I have been using the search engine that I downloaded and get a buck or two every day. I have 15 just from this week. That is enough swagbucks for a bunch of things, the only ones that I might be interested in are a few different CD's (not all of which are complete crap) and several different $5 gift cards. I am going to continue saving the swagbucks though and will probably wait until I have several hundred so I can get a gift card...YAY!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Portero Luxery Louis Vuitton Event

One of my favorite websites, www.porteroluxery, sells premium pre-owned luxury goods. Trust me, I'm not talking about "vintage" crap that is disintegrating, most of their items look fabulous and their website is so fun to browse through when you are trying to not be doing something else! They also rate their bags with ratings like "pristine" and "excellent" and provide a great description of what these terms mean when they are rating so you will never be surprised!

Right now they are having a Louis Vuitton even with bags up to 63% (that's a weird percentage, right?) off and some bags starting under $200...SCORE! The only thing I see right now that I love is the LV Damier Azur Canvas Saleya MM Tote Bag, excellent condition, retail = $1,050, portero price = $683, percent off = 35%. Check it out though, maybe you'll see something you love and can't live without.

Just a side-note, I certainly don't want to be false advertising that I'm going to go right now and drop $683 on a LV, I am not. In my fantasy world, though, I already bought it:)

SPANX Swimsuits = Best Idea Ever!

Good news ladies...SPANX is coming out with a swimsuit line...genius!!! Not only will the collection of one and two-pieces suck you in comfortably, some of them are strikingly cute! I will be purchasing one or more of these shortly:) For instance, a bikini bottom is designed to be dig-free plus has a hidden tummy control panel. My favorite is the gorgeous one-shoulder (style 714) that includes a shelf-bra (a must-have for me) and a slimming waist! The main suit is black with a white ruffle from the one shoulder diagonally across the bust. Gorgeous. Not cheap, between $150-$200, but, like all expensive clothes, should last forever. I think they are totally worth it! These aren't available yet, not sure when they will be coming out but they should be available soon at, Saks, and Bloomies!

Michael Kors for Estee Lauder

I am so sick of designers marketing low end, crappy clothes and makeup at Target. It's just gross. Sure the clothes might look alright but they are just like any other cheaply made clothes. They don't wash well, the seams will fall out, and you might get a few months wear out of them. I get it that some people can't afford designer labels and it lets them have a glimpse in to the fashion world, but I just can't get on board with this hot mess.

What I can support, however, is designers working with prestige cosmetics companies and creating limited edition lines for them. Love it! Michael Kors has teamed up with Estee Lauder and has two collections, Bel Aire Beige and Rodeo Drive. These are called "makeup wardrobes" and each color palette has your typical color necessities, blush, lip gloss, eyeshadow, liners, and lipstick. Really like this idea. We all know that I love expensive makeup because you can get the most expensive lip gloss around and still come out under $ that! It's a little indulgence without going crazy.

Check these out at any Estee Lauder counter:)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coupons, the Greatest Invention Ever??


Today was a great coupon day...I love use them, I love saving money of things I'm buying anyway, and I love feeling like I'm outsmarting the store (which I totally am:). Thanks to for the most amazing help in figuring this all out and making it so simple. I spent around 45 minutes last night getting my shopping list together, cutting coupons from last Sundays paper, and printing coupons from online. A little smart shopping goes a long way y'all!!!

CVS was my first stop of the "Tour of Awesome Savings" that I have officially dubbed today. I made two transaction, got $7 Extra Care Bucks from the first, then used that towards the purchase of 6(!) 12-can packs of Pepsi products. They were 3 for $11, buy one get one free, and then you got $10 Extra Care Bucks back when you bought $20 of the Pepsi stuff! SO, to sum up, I ended up paying $4.81 for 6 12-can packs. It was literally like crack, which is, in fact, not whack, but amazing! The coupons, not the crack. The "Tour of Awesome Savings" then proceeded to Publix where I, the Queen of shopping, saved $19.87!!

Is there some kind of prize for this? I guess saving money is it's own reward (I just threw up a little bit in my mouth for saying that).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bergdorf's Beauty Event

For those of you who an still enjoy my beloved cosmetics, an FYI that Bergdorf Goodman is having an amazing promotion. In store until January 30 and online until February 1, you get an amazing snake skin-y cosmetic bag filled with deluxe samples with any $200 beauty and/or fragrance purchase. Stock up ladies and try out some new stuff while you're at it!

Golden Globes Fashion...Hits and Misses

I admit, I didn't watch the Golden Globes, all I really care about are the clothes anyway and I knew I could get a hefty serving of that today online. I was right, of course:) I don't listen to those Fashion Police people because I often think they are wrong and I am right, again, of course. So here are my favorites and the not-so-muches.

HITS:Sandra Bullock - a lot of people didn't like this dress but I love it! It's very Glinda-y and I would wear it every day if I could. The only think that would have made this better is if it were in pink.

Emily Blount - Heidi Klum's dress done right. Soft, flowy (but not too much), kind of perfect.

Fergie - let me start this by saying that I hate, hate, hate her. However, if you take her ugly head off this dress, the dress is amazing. Great color, cut, and style. Love it!

Kate Winslet - enough said. Perfection every time!

Nicole Kidman - I love the similarity between the color of the dress and her skin tone. Very monochromatic and fabulous.

Jennifer Westfeldt - couture perfection!

Toni Collette - not much would look good on her body but this dress is to die for! Very flapper meets old Hollywood meets fabulous!

Thank you to those of you not wearing black, I appreciate it.

MISSES:Halle Berry - I don't know why people always think her dresses are fab, they are not. This hot mess looked like a lace/zipper factory threw up on her. Gross.

Drew Barrymore - why is she wearing a Swarovsky Crystal purse on her shoulder and hip? I do like the pink though. It's like that episode of SATC where Big gives Carries the duck purse.

Heidi Klum - another one that could put on a trash bag and everyone would think she looked amazing...except for me. She looks like she had an unfortunate confrontation with a cloud before arrival.

Mariah Cary - ATTENTION - it is not the 90's so stop dressing like it is. Also, you do not weigh 100 pounds, just in case you didn't realize it, which you clearly don't.

Anna Paquin - I hate to say this because she's my favorite but I think a girl wore this to my senior prom and it looked stupid then. Or maybe it was my grandma, I can't remember.

Rite Wilson - I think my grandma made this dress out of her curtains, and not in a fabulous way like Maria von Trapp.

Vanessa Manillo - this is not the Miss America Pageant!

What's with all the ruffles and hanging, shapeless sequins? Also, why did so many beautiful women just decide not to do their hair and leave it hanging limply in their faces? I don't understand, it confuses me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Round 2...Organic Makeup = SUCCESS!!

Clearly, I have lowered my standards when classifying a success but today I was able to wear a little of the Aubrey Organics skincare and makeup and a tad of the Lavera and...NO IRRITATION! Thank goodness!! I woke up with beautiful peeling eyes...all over...and had to suck it up because I went to see a matinee of a musical and, unfortunately, couldn't leave my eyes at home. Washed my face with baby shampoo, followed by Aubrey Organics Moisturizer, Lavera concealer, AO powder foundation, and even a dollop of AO bronzer! Wore my glasses and the effect wasn't that horrible. I put a tiny bit of Egyptian Magic around my eyes and made sure not to get anything near them and things turned out alright!!

A few thoughts...Aubrey Organics still stinks...bad. The rancid smell does go away quickly though thank goodness. I couldn't smell that on my face all day, no way, no how. Powder foundations just aren't for me. I will continue to use this one because it won't make my face freak out, but I come from a medium/heavy coverage background and this light "natural" business is just not for me. I am thinking of ordering the Lavera liquid foundation and topping it with the AO powder and seeing what happens. That will definitely be waiting until my eyes are healed up though. I suspect the horrors of Friday night were due to an eye cream I foolishly put on. I wasn't thinking that even if a product is organic and natural that this might not be the best time to be putting eye creams on. So, it's out of rotation for a good long while.

The big test of all this new stuff will be when I put on all of it. Using the skincare and eye makeup especially. Clearly this won't be happening for a while but I am hoping that if I get these sweet little green eyes of mine to heal and be happy that they will continue being happy with some shadow, liner, and mascara. I know I would if I were them:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Confederates in the Attic

I am reading a great book right now and thought I would share. It is Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz. Horwitz traveled throughout ten southern states to try and answer the question of why the Civil War is still so pervasive and present in southern memory. He jumps from huge issues surrounding the Confederate flag and race to seemingly silly side notes about a day in the life of a "hardcore" Civil War reenactor. Horwitz's prose is seamless, witty, and, at times, very upsetting. Being a good southerner myself, obviously, I was very upset with the recent story of a young white man being hailed as a "Confederate hero" after he was shot by an African American man in his pick up truck with a sprawling Confederate flag sticking up from the tool box. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, a lesson this book illustrates nicely, but this is my blog so it's my opinion:) This kid was no Confederate hero! From witness accounts it sounds like he was being an a-hole to a group of African American kids and things got out of hand. It's situations like this, the behavior of all parties involved, that makes us Southerners seem like morons! Anyway, that little bit hit home and really affected me. Any book that can rouse emotion in me like that, either positive or negative, is something to pay attention to.

This book has me questioning many of my notions about what it means to be a Southerner in general and a southern woman in particular. Yes, my ancestor fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. One of them was shot out of a tree by a Yankee...just ask my grandpa, he'll tell you all about it! I am fairly certain though that I can remember and honor my forbears without joining the Daughters of the Confederacy or dressing up like Scarlet O'hara an attending Civil War reenactments. Although, I think we all know I would dress up like Scarlet every day of the week if I could, but for other reasons:) Why did my grandparents all, without exception, find it necessary to "kid with" my husband from Boston before we got married with quips like "I guess we'll let a Yankee in our family." And why did my grandpa find it necessary to tell my husband the story of his grandpa getting shot out of a tree by Yankees every time he saw him? Just to make sure my Yankee wasn't here in Alabama as a spy? Warning me not to climb trees around my husband because we all know what Yankees do to Southerners in trees?

Lots to think about in this book. I give it two well-manicured thumbs up and think y'all should read it and let me know what you thought!

Let's Help Haiti Y'all!!

The recent earthquake in Haiti is just completely devastating. I encourage everyone to donate to a reputable charity to help but I wanted to also make everyone aware of several websites I like to frequent that are either offering links to reputable service organizations or making donations themselves. Since these are all reputable websites I would feel comfortable about contributing through their links. ($10 on every order donated to the Red Cross) (link to Red Cross) (link to Mercy Corps)

In my obsession with coupons and saving money (that is quickly growing out of control:) I ran across You are rewarded with digital dollars for using their search engine and shopping online through their site. There are also other ways to earn digital dollars like recycling old cell phones, gaming systems, and games. I love this one! Maybe I can convince my husband to get rid of a few of these things that are taking over the garage!

I downloaded their toolbar so I will use that instead of Google, although I am very devoted to the Google. You can cash in your digital dollars for rewards, the gift cards look promising. You can get a $5 gift card to several different places for 15-ish swagbucks or save them up (which my impulsive self is hoping to do) and get rewards like a $50 Sephora gift card for 975 swagbucks or even a $300 Apple gift card for 3700 swag bucks.

As you can see, I installed a very uncute widget on my page to earn extra swagbucks. I am having trouble tolerating the ugliness on my cutie cute blog but I'll try to be a big girl about the situation:)

I'll track my progress on here and we'll see how it goes!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 1 Organic Skincare/Makeup = FAIL

Happy Friday!!

I have just spent the last 30 minutes with a washcloth containing ice cubes plastered over my red, swollen eyes. We were at friends having a fun game night and about halfway through my eyes decided to swell, itch, and turn red...we're talking about a 7 out of 10 here. I was really in a lot of pain, we left early because I just had to wash my face! Actually, I'm still in a lot of pain. I took an antihistamine when I got home and put the ice on but no relief yet. It has to get better or, well, there is no "or," it just has to get better because I don't think I can stand it!

All of the organic skincare and makeup I ordered arrived today and I was so excited. Unfortunately, the skincare smells like a forest and is an amazingly snot-like shade of green. It is kind of like washing my face with moss, which I totally will do by the way if it returns my pretty eyes to me. I had a serious workout this afternoon and was all kinds of stanky so I took a shower and used my new products before we went over to our friends house. The new products I used were a facial scrub and face wash in the shower and toner and moisturizer after. I used an eye cream (clearly a bad idea) and concealer under my eyes and on the broken out laugh lines...oh, it's just all too disgusting. I used the new "powder foundation" (I think this is a misnomer because I have yet to use any powder product that had enough coverage to be considered an actual foundation) and a bronzer/blush. Not one thing on or near my face that was not limited ingredients and organic and no eye makeup except concealer. No fragrance anywhere either. I am completely out of ideas y'all!!!

Tomorrow I am going to buy unscented (sensitive skin) body soap, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and new pillows. I'm also going to buy enough pillow cases to sleep on a new one each night. I swear, I will try anything! This stuff can't hurt, right? I feel like I'm playing the world's smallest violin right now but I can't seem to keep anything else on my mind.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions???

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coupon Success!!!

I had my first exhilarating coupon experience tonight!

Let me start out by saying that this happened after I tried to go to a bible study and had such a funny I had to go buy something to make myself feel better!

Story #1: I got an email today about joining a women's circle at church. I was really excited to get involved in this! I got myself all cute and headed to church. To my surprise, it was completely closed and locked up. Every door, I tried them all. I was definitely bummed but thought they maybe were holding it somewhere else and I just didn't get the message. W.E.L.L...when I got home I checked my email and realized that the leader sent the email yesterday (Monday). So all the "we're meeting tonight" business was actually last night and I didn't get it, woops! It also didn't occur to me that she said they meet the 2nd Monday of every month and it's Tuesday. All in a days work for me, all in a days work.

Back to my coupon success and story #2. By using I learned about a great deal at Walgreen's on some disposable razors and printer paper. I really need the printer paper; not so much the razors right now but I will use them and the deal was just too good. I can keep them under the bathroom cabinet for a while. The BIC razors were on sale for 2/$10. I had a $3 off coupon from the January coupon booklet, and a buy one get one free coupon from the newspaper insert. The printer paper was $0.50 off so it was only $3.49. I spent a total of $5.49 and saved $10.48!!! With the coupons the razors turned out to be $2.00 for 2 packs of 4 Soleil razors!!! SCORE!!! Also, the razors are PINK...DOUBLE SCORE!!!!!

UPDATE: When I was putting away my super amazing purchases I realized that one of the packages of razors I got was a bonus pack with 2 extra razors in it!!!! So, razors that would have been $1.50/each ended up being $0.20/each!!!

Cosmetic Toxicity

My world has been rocked...

Cosmetics are bad for you, well, a lot of them anyway. How, in my liberal, earth-loving mind, did I not know this or put two and two together that products with dozens of lab created ingredients might not be good for my skin, not to mention my body! My last post a a bit flippant about the new makeup I ordered but, after researching some more, it seems very obvious that the things I have been putting on my skin for years would cause a reaction like I've been dealing with in certain people. ***BUMMED***

Michelle, the sweet one who turned me on to the list of inactive ingredients that can be harmful, sent me to a website that if, frankly, scary to me. Check out the website for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, In itself, this is a great site, giving lots of information, based on lab studies, about different chemicals in products, potential hazards of those chemicals, and also offering links and instructions for contacting companies and the government to demand safer products.

From the Safe Cosmetics Website, click on the SKIN DEEP link. This is really scary stuff. You can put in a product and see the potential harmful ingredients it contains. From the website, "Given the incomplete information made available by companies and the government, EWG provides additional information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature. The chart below indicates that research studies have found that exposure to one or more ingredients in this product -- not the product itself -- caused the indicated health effect(s) in the studies reviewed by Skin Deep researchers. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on the level of exposure to the ingredient and individual susceptibility -- information not available in Skin Deep." I appreciate their disclaimer there but, even more, I appreciate knowing that companies I thought I knew and trusted are using ingredients that have been known to cause problems, minor as well as major. The site gives each product a toxicity score 1-10 and will also show the range of toxicity scores for each brand.

The following Clinique (Hypo-allergenic, 100% Fragrance Free) products that I use every day have ingredients in them that have been scientifically proven to cause irritation of the eyes, skin, or lungs in them, not to mention lots of other scary stuff: Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser (EXT D&C VIOLET 2, PHENOXYETHANOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL), Touch Tint for Eyes (BHT, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (NON-NANO), TETRASODIUM EDTA, SORBIC ACID), Colour Surge Eye Shadow (TITANIUM DIOXIDE (NON-NANO), TETRASODIUM EDTA, OCTYLDODECANOL), Tarte Cheek Stain (PROPYLENE GLYCOL, LAURETH-23. Clearly, these are just a few of the many cosmetic products that touch my face each day. Before today, the only one of these ingredients I had ever even heard of as being potentially irritating was the Titanium Dioxide.

This is a lot of information for me to take in all at once and it will take me a while to process. I am going to make some changes in my cosmetics routine, some major changes, and, it might sound silly, but that's scary for me. I LOVE MAKEUP and SKINCARE but not more than the health of my skin and body.

Skin (eye) Irritants

In my never ending search for something to correct my disgusting eye problem I requisitioned my best friend who is a nurse to help. She has very sensitive skin too and was able to offer a short list of common skin irritants, often inactive ingredients in skincare and makeup, to avoid. Now, of course I have no idea what these things are but if they are making my eyes do this, they better stay away from me if they know what's good for them! Beware imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea, fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, mineral oil, MEA, TEA, toluene, and DMAE...I'm coming for you!

When I was doing a bit of research I discovered that most commercial makeup lines use some or all of these ingredients in their products to give them a longer shelf life or better staying power! I did confirm that Clinique uses at least a few of them:( I question the hypo-allergenic claim if I am allergic to your ingredients. I know that Clinique tests every product on 1,000 people and if any of them have a reaction they reformulate. The deal is, if I had totally normal skin to start with and was exposed just once, I might not have a reaction right then either. FLAW IN THE SYSTEM!

I found a cool website called that has a list of the top contributors to contact dermatitis and recommendations for what are the best alternative brands to reduce the irritation! I admit, the thought of not wearing a prestige brand of makeup and using prestige skincare makes me a little sick but I know that's silly and I would much rather have normal eyes again and wear non-prestige makeup than keep this hot mess going! From this websites information it looks like the brands with the least chance of making me want to scoop my eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon are Lavera, Burt's Bees, and Aubrey Organics. Other than Burt's Bees I have never heard of these but am definitely willing to give them a try!

So, I just went online shopping, how fun! I ordered from Lavera and Aubrey Organic. I will give a full report when I receive and have been using this stuff for a while. Hopefully, I will be able to report that my eyes are back to their normal sparkling selves!! I got EVERYTHING I might need. Actually, it would be such a relief if I could only use these products. Just think about it. I wouldn't have to make choices. I would use one eyeliner, one foundation, one see where I'm going with this. YAY! There is hope! From Lavera I ordered mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, concealer, and pressed powder. From Aubrey Organic I ordered 3-step skin care for normal skin, face mask & scrub, makeup remover, blush/bronzer, foundation brush, eye creme, and foundation.

If this new skincare/makeup does work out at least I'll have TONS of stuff to put on Makeup Alley. Then I can stock up on haircare and my favorite fragrances. FUN!

Keep your fingers crossed y'all!

Monday, January 11, 2010

AIDS of the Eyeball?

OK folks, my previous post about my eye grossness was EXTREMELY too optimistic. Over the holidays it never cleared up. Many days in a row without any makeup helped but the swelling, redness, itching, and scaliness never completely went away, not in any sense. I ended up caving and paying $30 for the ugly container of Egyptian Magic which worked really well at first (for a few days) but isn't so "magic" anymore. Boo. The hydrocortisone cream still clears up the nastiness the best but at this point my eyelids are so raw and sensitive that it burns too much to use.

Here is exactly what I used on my face and when today: in shower: Clinique 7-day scrub (gentle physical exfoliant) followed by baby shampoo all over my face; Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 (nowhere near my eyes), Clinique Superdefense Moisturizer (avoiding eye area), Clinique All About Eyes (only under eye area); MAC Studio Fix foundation; Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes, Clinique Eyeshadow, liner, brow pencil; Lancome Cils Booster and Defenicils. That's all folks. I use Clinique antibacterial brushes that I clean often and also clean my pencils with alcohol and sharpen them often as well.

To sum up, over most of the holidays my eyes were generally red, irritated, and scaly (top lid left eye)...give or take. The grossness is strictly confined to the lower inner lid of the right eye (very occasionally a line under the right eyebrow) and on the inner half of the entire left eye and the entire area underneath it. The area underneath my left eye is also pealing now...GROSS! An additional gross that has never happened to me before is that the area roughly where smile lines would be is also red, irritated, and flaky...coincidence or no?

Around two this afternoon I got a shock when I looked in the restroom mirror and my eyes looked like I had been through a fire, a small fire only large enough to burn my eyes! My eyes hadn't been itching too badly but within an hour I was rushing home to get my makeup off as fast as I could. I wanted to claw my eyes out! I took a few pictures just to reassure myself that I'm not insane. I went back and forth about sharing these pictures because, well, honestly, they are disgusting, but if it will allow someone to see what's going on and help then I'll risk all the embarrassment in the world for some relief! At least I can put my ugly eye pictures in a cute frame to help me feel better. Help, help, help!!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saving $ Can Be Fun! (I know, I know...)

Disclaimer: I love spending money...I assume if you've read my blog you have figured that out. However, like most of you, I do not have an unlimited amount of money to spend...unfortunately. So this year I have decided to save money on things I am going to buy anyway and do it with a positive attitude (gag).

YAY COUPONS! Coupons can actually be fun, who knew?! I have been really excited about this for a week now so maybe that's a sign that the enthusiasm will continue...let's hope. I am trying to think of saving money like a game and, actually, it is a fun (-ish) game. I will post links to all the fun websites I've been visiting for info and tips here in a little bit, but there are a few things about all this couponing that I didn't know that I thought I'd share.

Some people are CRAZY about this mess. I am sure they don't ever pay actual dollars for anything, which is awesome, but I don't have the time for all that. I do, though, have the time to print out a few coupons and search a few websites before I go to the store. Yes, that I can do. The crazy people's blogs and websites are really entertaining though! Apparently, there is an activity called CVSing. As I'm reading up on in I'm liking it more and more. I tried it last week and did get some really good deals...saved a lot. Or at least I thought I had until my husband came home with $8 worth of garbage bags; the same ones that I had gotten for free at CVS earlier in the day. We'll use them, whatever. So, CVS, they have an Extra Care Card and using it gets you Extra Care Bucks that you use like cash in the store. Now, I have been aware of these for a while. I get my prescriptions filled there and for every 2 prescriptions you get $1 in ECB (that's snazzy lingo for Extra Care Bucks:). Apparently you can work there system and never pay real money for anything ever again! (or so I hear;) I will, most likely, not be joining this club of extreme planners, but I did some smart shopping and got some free stuff, OK by me. CVS was giving away $5 ECB when you spent $10 on Nivea products. I bought 2 bottles of the shimmery body wash that I like to use (over $10), got my $5 ECB, then did another transaction using my ECB's and got the garbage bags I was going to buy anyway for free! How satisfying!

I am still learning about this crazy work of coupons and saving $ but, I must confess, it is a little bit fabulous. A few of the blogs below are super-cute and I think we can make saving money absolutely fabulous! Here are some websites to check out:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mod Retro Indie Clothing (& Vintage!!)

Hey everyone! It's snowing at my house so what am I doing? Shopping online! I have been browsing for several months now and loving what I've seen. I am looking for work dresses and, SCORE, I found so many at modcloth and, while I was looking, found some church dresses, going-out dresses, and weekend dresses too! The adorable names don't hurt the fun either. Some of my favorites are The Emerald City Dress (anything OZ is OK by me but this is particularly amazing), Like Rosewater for Chocolate Dress, Tae Kwon Dress, and the Pleats and Thank You Dress. Their inventory changes often, they stock indie designers who produce in limited quantities, so go there quickly, shop, and enjoy!!! They also have a respectable vintage section. Personally, I prefer the new designs that are interpretations of vintage looks but some of the vintage options are alright. Not the most inspirational part of the website but for those vintage girls I'm sure they will love it.

Modcloth also boasts fabulous shoes and even home accessories. Love the shoes, not so much the home accessories (some of them seem a bit childish to me, I prefer more classic designs in my home) but, again, if it's up your alley I know you will love it.

Be the Buyer! LOVE THIS! Once you sign up at the site you can choose designs that you love. If a design gets enough votes, a designer will interpret it and offer it for sale on the site. As a Be the Buyer member you get an email when it appears so you can be the first to buy. This is particularly awesome because, like I said, it's not worth it for the designers to produce designs in large quantities for sale. This way, the designers have assurance that people are interested in the designs so they are more confident in making the designs we like best!