Showing posts with label thrifty. Show all posts

National Thrift Shop Day

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Have you heard? Today is National Thrift Shop Day! This is so exciting because most of my clothes have come from thrift shops or consignment shops. Cats out the bag!

Today I want to share some of my favorite thrift finds in hopes it will encourage you to not only support your local thrift shop, but also keep clothing out of the landfills.

Halloween: Crafts with Wine!

It's the week before Halloween and maybe you decided to throw a last minute party. No? Okay maybe you have a great setup with your Halloween decor but are missing that something you can't seem to put your finger on. Don't worry, I got you..

All you need for this project is a bottle of wine (or 5 if you want to get your girlfriends involved) and some glow sticks. Do I have your attention?

cheap halloween decorations

Now let me explain. Last year I decided at the last minute that I wanted to throw a Halloween get together. I wanted to decorate and make cute little snacks. Only one problem. I was a little broke. I did what I always do when I need to get something done with no money: I used what I already had.

I had a few empty wine bottles sitting around on my kitchen counter (Don't judge me, I live in wine country) and the idea popped into my head. Wouldn't they look super cool if I added some glow sticks into them? They would look super eerie in a dark room.

The best part about this is all of the empties I was hoarding hanging onto had some pretty creepy looking labels on them. One was from a local winery and the wine was called "Apparition" so there was a ghost like image on it. Another was from my visit to Gettysburg and had cannons and smoke on it, and the last had a creepy looking face on it. I may have to rethink the wine I'm drinking guys. Wine should be happy right?
Anyway,  for a quick and cheap decoration, run on down to the dollar store and pick up some glow sticks and then over to the liquor store if you are out of wine. Pick wines that have labels that will fit your theme. You could also take off the labels and make your own. The options are endless.

I used my wine bottles in a window with some black netting and flameless candles. When I turned off the lights the window looked pretty creepy. I unfortunately did not get a really great photo of that, but I did get a photos of the bottles I used and how I set them up. See the photo above this paragraph. Other ideas for these would be:

Table center pieces
Walkway lights
Mood lighting
Focal point in a scene

So there you have it. A super easy Halloween decoration adults can get behind! So what are you waiting for? Call over a few girlfriends and get to work! I want to leave you with a pretty crappy photo of what these look like when they are glowing. Stop back tomorrow for more quick and easy Halloween tips!

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So much thrifting happened over the weekend. It made my little heart happy.  I mentioned on Friday that we have a pretty amazing book sale here in Ithaca. It takes place the first 3 weekends of May and again for 3 weekends in October. The prices are amazing and you can stock up on some pretty great reads.

Last weekend I took my mom for mother's day because she is a bookworm to the max. She was looking for a specific series of books in which she had the first 3 books and there were a lot more out there. When we looked last weekend they had a few of the books but they were so scattered so she decided not to buy them. I had promised her I would go back this past weekend to buy them for her at the cheaper price.

Little to my surprise when I got in on Saturday, they had the WHOLE series! I was able to buy book 4-12 of this series for only $4.50. She was so excited! This is why I love local events. This is such a special event where people come form all over to search for books. I am already looking forward to October!

My next stop was the Thrifty Shopper. It's kind of like a higher end Salvation Army. They were having a store wide 50% off sale. I walked out of there with 6 items for under $20. My best find by far was a pair of NYDJ (Not Your Daughters Jeans) jeans that were in excellent condition for $4.99. These jeans retail brand new for $120!

Sorry for the crappy photo!
I also scored a brand new with tags Gap denim skirt, JCP brand lime green shorts (SO IN LOVE), Nike leggings, Lee Slimming jeans, and an Old Navy t-shirt with faux leather accents. I think I did pretty darn good. Getting myself all ready for summer!

What did you all do this weekend? Are you into thrifting? If so what are you favorite finds?!

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Bookworm Local Loving

Well folks this is a little late today, but better late than never right? As I was thinking about what I wanted to focus on for today's post, I really thought about my local area again. It has so much to offer and so much to do. A little something for everyone so to speak.

Today I wanted to tell you about a little something called the annual book sale. This is like Christmas for the bookworm. It is literally an enormous warehouse full of books. Full of books that are categorized and sorted by author. It's easy peasy to go in and find what it is you're looking for.. if they have it.

The book sale is brought to us by a group called Friends of the Library. It runs for 3 weekends every May. Prices start at $4.50 and decline in price everyday. This weekend is the final weekend and you can expect to find prices starting at $0.50 on Saturday and $0.10 on Monday. As you probably guessed, the selection gets a little slim as the weekends go on, but if you're lucky or just one of those people who can read anything, you will still walk out of there with something.

I took my mom last weekend for Mother's Day, as she is from out of state and never experienced this before. She is also a big bookworm. The vision of my dad running around behind my mom with a toppling pile of books was enough for me. She left the proud new owner of 8 books and only spent $16.00. She found books she was genuinely looking for which was even better!

I walked out of the book sale with 2 books. One being the ever so popular Husband's Secret in hardcover. It looked brand new. Score! For only $2.00 I couldn't resist. You all know how anything thrifty makes my little heart swell with joy.

So if you love books, love a good deal and will be in the Ithaca area this weekend, stop by and see what gems are left! They all must go, and who better then you? I hope you all have an amazing weekend with lots of joy and laughter!

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H54F: Freebie Edition

It's no secret that I enjoy the freebie things in life. Although I am on a freebie freeze at the moment due to some address changes coming up, and lord knows I don't want to miss out on anything because it was sent to my old address. People often ask me how I do it. What are my "secrets"? Well today I wanted to share with you my top 5 favorite places to scope out freebies to review.

Remember not everything that you get for free is "free". There is often a little work involved when you get some of the better freebies. These things include writing reviews, promoting on social media, hosting parties, and just all around letting people know about this product. If you are cool with that then you are already one step in the right direction. These are not in any particular order. They are all great sites!

Crowdtap - Crowdtap is a Social Influence Marketing platform. What that means is brands ask you questions both about their products and your every day lives to gain research for marketing their products. You have 2 actions: Quickhits and Missions/Challenges. The Quickhits are short questions you can click your answer to where the Missions/Challenges are asking you to do something. All free samples and parties come out of these. I have gotten some great products to sample and review through this site. Bonus to this site is getting entered into drawings every month for gift certificates. I paid for Christmas last year on Amazon gift cards alone last year from this site.

Influenster - You all know how much I love Influenster. This is a site where you can go and review, ask, and answer questions about products. You connect all of your social media accounts to give you an influence "reach". The higher your reach the more chances you get at receiving VoxBoxes. These are boxes full of full size products. You have all kinds of badges you can unlock by doing tasks. Again the more involved you are the better chance you have at getting into another campaign. Check out my VoxBox reviews herehere and here.

BzzAgent - This is such a fun site. It is survey based so you need to keep them up to date to keep your "bzzscore" high. The higher your score the better chances you have of being invited into a campaign. I have gotten lots of food items as well as beauty items from this site. I am currently in a campaign for Cashew Milk and a new Electric Razor. Lots of great stuff to be had here! Stay on top of those surveys and you will be "bzzing" in no time!

House Party -  If you like to host parties and you want to try out new products, this is the site for you. I have been on the site since January of 2013 and just wrapped up my 5th party with them. There is no real science to how you get picked for a party but I feel like if you do everything you are asked to do you have a better chance. When you are chosen to be a host you receive a party pack filled with goodies for you and your guests. Things I have received in these packs to help you plan your party are: decorations, recipes, games, T-shirts, and samples.

Social media - Believe it or not, social media is one of the easiest ways to get free samples. Most of the time when you request a sample this way there is no obligation to do anything once you receive it. I have a separate Facebook page dedicated to just freebies. I have "liked" hundreds of brand pages because this is where the samples come from.  Here they will announce when they are giving away stuff and how you get get it.

So there you have it guys! Get yourself set up with these sites and you will be on your way to freebie heaven! Have a great Friday!

Influenster XO VoxBox + Giveaway!

Man do I love a good box full of goodies (For free!). I got another VoxBox from Influenster in February and it always excited me to see what's inside! I did a quick unboxing of it here. This particular box was called the XO VoxBox. Let's get straight to the goodies:

Colgate Optic White Toothpaste and Toothbrush with Built in Whitening Pen: I have tried these products out in the past with Influenster. I liked the toothpaste and the whitening pen that came with the toothbrush. The toothbrush itself was very harsh on my gums. It felt very abrasive and I didn't feel like it was making any difference other then sore gums. I give the toothpaste and pen a B and the toothbrush a D.

 Tide + Febreze Laundry Pods: I gotta say I was really excited for these. I really love the pods for laundry. They are convenient and make laundry time easy. All you have to do is pop in the pod and you are all set. I liked the smell of these and how soft my clothes felt after washing. I give these an A!

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream: This stuff was okay. It didn't strike me as any different then any other hand cream. There was no scent and it made my hands feel less dry, but again nothing special about this particular formula that I noticed. It is in sample size so it's convenient to throw in the purse for on the go use. I give this a B.

 Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Shampoo, Conditioner, and Primer: I really loved this product, but since I started using it, I  have broken out on my neck. I am not 100% sure if it is a coincidence or if something in the formula caused it. I have never broken out before on my neck/hairline before where my hair hits so I am hoping it is just a freak thing cause I really liked how this made my hair feel. Because of the breakout possibilities I am going to give this a B.

Along with the products this box also included a free month of Adore Me, a sleepwear/lingerie company. I was able to pick something out for Valentine's Day which was pretty sweet. I picked out a cute romper and it even arrived on Valentine's Day! I really love it. It's good quality and fits well.
I will be doing a review on that soon so stay tuned!

 If you have any interest in this service, you can sign up using my --->  referral link and your first purchase is only $25. I also just noticed they carry swimwear just in time for the warm weather! Check it out cause you can't beat $39 for a new bathing suit ladies (or $25 using my link)!

 I have to say overall I was not as impressed with this box as I was with the last 2 I received. 2 of the items in the box were items I have received previously from a brand challenge. Maybe it's just me being cranky but I give the overall box a C. I do this because again 2 of the items are from a previous box and 1 of them possibly broke me out.

As always if you are interested in Influenster, you should sign up! It's one of my favorite sites!

What do you guys think? Good box or could it of been better?


I am so excited to be participating in such a fun giveaway this month! Thanks to Emily over at the Freckled Fox for hosting such an awesome giveaway! Get yourselves all signed up and entered cause who wouldn't want to win a new CAMERA?!
It's an amazing feeling to send off such an amazing camera to one of you guys, knowing what a massive difference it will make for your blog or shop, or just every-day photography in general:) Even better than that though, is introducing so many of you to this group of such lovely shops, and such hard-working and inspiring woman! I can't tell you how relationships online have influenced my life for the better, so make sure to take a minute and go say hi!
Dressing Dallas      |     Emma Cristy      |     Hello Rigby     |     Dottie Box
I'm so privileged to have the support of such an awesome group! There are so many involved because we wanted to amp up the prize package, so settle in with a favorite beverage or snack and don't miss out on any of the many entries! You never know which one could be the winning pick!! Here we go:

A couple specs about the giveaway:
- the giveaway will run for ten days after which the winner will be selected at random, contacted, and announced via this post, the post of the day, and all social media outlets! Please check all those places before asking weeks later who won? :)
- Again this is open internationally! hooray!
The winner will receive the Canon Rebel T5i in a kit with an 18-135mm lens, a battery and a battery charger, camera case, tripod, SD card, lens cleaner, and lens hood:) 
- Winner's entry will be verified before the public announcement.

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Unboxing of Influenster XO VoxBox

Happy Friday internet! Since it is Friday and all we can think about is the weekend, I figured I wouldn't make you think to much. I'm unboxing my Influenster XO VoxBox today. All you have to do is watch!

I will be doing a review on all of the products next week so stay tune! Thanks for watching and Happy Friday!

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A Saturday (Budget) Valentine

Valentines Day is on a Saturday this year. I've got a list of things to do to fill your day with things to do while saving you money. Pick a few things on my list and make your Saturday fun and filled with love.

Plan a heart themed breakfast: Use cookie cutters to make heart shaped pancakes, french toast, breakfast sandwiches, fruit, donuts, ect. You get the idea! Have fun with this! Eating at the table is optional!
Buy a bottle of cheap champagne or coffee liquors and serve above breakfast with mimosas or spiked coffee. Yum!
Explore your cities events. Check community calendars and see whats going on. There may even be special Valentines events happening for free or a small fee. Some of my favorite places to check is museums, libraries, non profit organizations, spas, and small businesses.
Eat lunch at that new restaurant you've been meaning to try. Because most people make dinner reservations on Valentines Day, you should have no problem getting in for lunch. 
Attend a matinee movie screening. Movies are expensive so get one in before the prices go up at night. 
Plan a Netflix binge day. Pick up some snacks from the dollar store, pop some popcorn, and call it a day. 
Got snow? Get nostalgic and go outside and build a snowman together or have a snowball fight. When it gets to cold come inside and cuddle over hot chocolate. 
Have a game day. Pull out all those games for two and have fun! Studies say the couples who have game nights together have longer lasting relationships. Can't help to try right?
Get out all of your crafting materials and make each other valentines. 
Have a camp out in your living room. Who said blanket forts were just for kids?
Have takeout for dinner and have it delivered. Enjoy it with some wine and snuggles on the couch.
Have a big tub? Light some candles, pour a glass of wine and take a nice bubble bath together. Need I say more?
Put on "your song" and slow dance in your living room. It's such a personal experience it will make you feel closer to the one you love and bring back memories to why that song is "your song".
So there you have it. Many ideas for Valentines weekend that won't break the bank. What are your plans? Add your ideas or posts in the comments so we can all get even more fun ideas!

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How to: Herbal Bath Teas

Is it cold outside and you need a way to get warm? Was your day stressful and all you want to do is relax? Are your kids driving you up the wall and you wish you could escape? I may have a way to solve all of these problems. Bath Teas. Now you are probably sitting there scratching your head thinking, "What the heck is a bath tea?"

Well my friend you have come to the right place. Bath teas happen to be my new obsession (I also love tea the beverage). I have lived in my apartment for almost 2 full years and NEVER took a bath. That all changed over the holidays when a friend made me a lovely bath tea mixture. I have been missing out all these years. And the good news is, it's REALLY easy to make yourself! You can turn your own bathroom into a spa experience at a fraction of the cost.

Now I don't know about you but I look for herbs that are soothing and relaxing. I want my bath to make me feel relaxed and ready for dreamland. So with that in mind I went ahead and did the research for you (You can thank me later..) as to which herbs you want to incorporate into your luxurious at home spa experience.

Soothing and Calming
Lemon Balm
Green Tea

The mix I have been using lately is full of lavender and rosemary mixed in with epson salts. Epson salts are a must in my bath because they are very helpful for sore muscles. If you need to relax, getting your muscles to relax is half the battle.

You don't have to stick to the herbs I recommended. There are all kinds of herbs you can use. My biggest reminder is to always check with the person you are purchasing the herbs from to make sure they are authentic and pure. Also keep in mind if you have any allergies to make sure something in an herb is not something that will irritate you.
Now that you have decided which herbs are right for you, you need to buy them. I have a little shop in my city that sells them, but if you are having trouble with that there are many places online to purchase. Just make sure you ask questions if you feel like something is off. Genuine sellers will always answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Once you have made the purchase you are one step closer to that luxurious spa experience. Now that you have your herbs, you need to mix them all together. A mason jar is always a good place to store your herbs. Mix in the "tea" with as much epson salt as you like. Once all mixed draw a bath.

You will need to steep the herbs just as you would in a cup of tea. For this purpose you can either steep the herbs ahead of time and infuse your bath water with it, or the method I use; a tea ball for loose tea. Another method you can try is cutting the end off of an old pair of panty hose and pour the herbs + epson salts in there. Make sure to tie it off at the end to ensure easy clean up at the end. Throw the tea ball (or panty hose)  into the tub and watch it brew before you eyes. Get yourself in that tub and enjoy the benefits of your home made tea! I soak for about 20 minutes and I'm ready for dreamland.

*Keep in mind I am not a doctor. None of the statements I made are from a medical stand point. Always use caution when using things new to your body. If you have concerns consult with your doctor.

How will you be taking your tea later?

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Find Books You Love Cheap!

Where are all my bookworms at? Today I wanted to talk a little about where I find all my books and fun (and sometimes free) ways to get the good stuff (books that is). Because let's face it. Books are not cheap to buy. This is not saying I am not trying to support writers, because I certainly do buy books. However sometimes I am looking for a quick read, or want to get into a new author but not sure I will like the style of the writing. So here are a few tips to get yourself back on the reading train finding books you love!

Sign up for a library card: This is probably the cheapest (free) way to check out all kinds of subjects and authors without having to purchase the book. Library cards are free and offer all kinds of options. A typical time frame you get to keep these books is between 2 and 3 weeks. I normally take out only 2 books at a time in order to give myself enough time to read both. Most of the time you can renew your borrowed book if the book is not in high demand.

Book Sales: I really enjoy when libraries and book stores have sales. You can get some pretty great books for a fraction of their original costs. Most of these sales benefit your local library which is pretty sweet. In my town there is an annual book sale and it is HUGE! Books get cheaper as the days go on. You can walk out with loads of books under $10 if you choose.

Buy an E-Reader: Owning a reader like a Kindle or Nook can be fun because you have the library literally at the palm of your hand. Most libraries have electronic book borrowing these days. Same process as checking out a book, but downloaded on your device. When it's time to return the book it magically disappears from your archive. Pretty sweet right?

Along with borrowing electronic books from the library Amazon offers all kinds of books to purchase for less then the hard copy as well as daily free books. There are quite a few sites out there that sift through all of the free books and offer them to you in categories that are easy to follow. Some of my favorites are:

Pixel of Ink
Free Booksey
Hundred Zeros

I have found hundreds of books to read from these sites. It is absolutely insane how much is out there to read! If you are unsure of what to read or want to keep track of what you are reading, Goodreads is the place to go. You can friend people you know and see what they are reading, along with get recommendations from the site based on your likes. There are categories and reviews on almost any kind of subject you can think of.

Library and Kindle books are my fave!
You have so many options out there to get yourself back into reading and finding stuff you love. In the next couple of weeks, once I finish the Winter Reading Challenge I am currently reading, I will be posting a new reading challenge. It will be simple, kinda. If you are like me and have WAY to many books on your kindle/nook this challenge is going to have you pick books by theme from the books you already have stored on your e-reader but never read. Sounds fun right? (I suppose if you also hard copy books laying around you could also do it that way if you don't own an e-reader)

Stay tuned for that. more details to come!

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