2013

resolutions

2013 is upon us and I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want next year to bring.  I’m not usually one who makes new years resolutions because let’s face it, about 99% of us give up on those by March, if not before then.  Instead, I try to realign my life in such a way that allows me to accomplish the things that I want.  What does this mean?  It means setting parameters or making a schedule way in advance.  In this case, there are two things that I’m focusing on for 2013:  my budget and my ‘me’ time.  I’d love to say that it’s my goal to get in shape, but that’s not the case.  I mean, that is a goal of mine, but it’s not my primary focus for the moment.  I’ll get into more detail about that later in another post. 

BUDGET

My husband and I have had a budget for several years now and we know where every penny is going to go.  We plan in advance for things like vet bills, vehicle maintenance, vacation and just about every other thing we could think of.  In fact, we have a specific amount of money set aside for all of these categories:

Gas for my car
Gas for husband’s car
Spending money for me (aka ‘allowance’)
Spending money for the husband (aka ‘allowance’)
AAA
Vehicle maintenance
Car insurance
Cell phone
Maid / cleaning lady
Emergency fund
EZ tag (for the toll road)
Groceries
Life insurance
Medical care (regular check-ups / emergency trips / prescriptions / contacts / etc)
Health insurance (I’m a contractor so I pay for this on my own not through my employer)
My ‘primping’ such as hair cuts / perm / pedicure / etc
Husbands ‘primping’ such as hair cuts / manicure / etc
Dog expenditures (food / vet bills / heartworm preventative / flea & tick preventative / etc)
Rent
Savings
Husbands work clothes (he is rough on them so we have to replace them often)
Husbands work tools (he frequently needs new blades for the saw or a tool breaks or whatever)
Yearly tax payment (for our accountant)
Credit card payment (the only debt we currently have except the husbands truck)
Truck payment
Monthly date night
Birthday / Christmas gifts
Netflix
Vacations

Whew – long list!  But, we wanted to make sure that we accounted for everything we could think of.  Can you think of something we missed? 

The thing I want to get better at this year is sticking to this budget.  For example, sometimes the grocery bill will come to $222 instead of the $200 we have budgeted at the time.  Well, that extra $22 has to come from SOMEWHERE.  I want to get to the point where I’m living on exactly what I have to spend, and nothing more.  No more borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. 

ME TIME

Remember when I mentioned way back over here all of the crafty things I wanted to take the time to make?  Well, that was in May 2012 and so far, I’ve only managed to make one of them and that was in July of 2012.  Needless to say, I haven’t managed to balance my time better. 

So, this year, my goal is to manage my time and to prepare in advance so that I can get some of these crafty things done.  I’d love to shoot for one a week, but let’s be real here.  For starters, that wouldn’t fit into my budget goal above since the money for these things is going to come from my spending money.  Second, I’m smart enough to know that one a week would totally overwhelm me in no time.  So, my goal is going to be one a month.  I think that’s totally realistic.  Do you?  I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m excited to get started.  Also, since we combined my office and my craft room into one tiny room I could definitely use the space that I’ll get back once I use up some of the materials I bought for projects that I haven’t made yet.  It’s gonna be fun. 

What are your goals (we’re not going to call them resolutions) for 2013?

One reason I love snail mail (part 4)…

So I just got my August BirchBox in the mail the other day. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

DDF Brightening Cleanser:  $38
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur (smallest bottle at 2.5oz):  $70
Miss Jessie’s Original Pillow Soft Curls:  $22
Whish Three Wishes Body Butter:  $24
Schick Hydro Silk Razor:  $11.50 (approximately  –  it really depends on where you buy it)

TOTAL:  $165.50

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $155.50 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

DDF Brightening Cleanser

Here’s what the website says:  A blend of six natural skin brighteners in a foaming glycolic and salicylic gel to help noticeably minimize uneven skin tone and target age spots. Excellent for face and body as part of an overall hyperpigmentation program. Also effective in helping minimize post blemish discoloration. Licorice scent.

This is likely going to go to the Hubs since I have to use special stuff on my face for a weird condition I have with my eyelids. 

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur

 

Here’s what the website says:  Uplifting. Playful. Dreamy. Inspired by the blushing aura of being in love, Viva la Juicy La Fleur is a breathtaking new fragrance that captures the dreamy, ethereal feeling of love’s first embrace.

I thought that this was a little on the too-sweet and too-young side.  It kind of smelled like it was something you’d buy for a 6-year old playing dress up.  It won’t be my go-to perfume that’s for sure.  Unless I’m running errands…

Miss Jessie’s Original Pillow Soft Curls

Here’s what the website says: The name says it all.  Miss Jessie’s PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is the new styling lotion that borrows fabric care technology and marries it to hair care. It is perfect for achieving static-free, big, soft, curly hair that we all dream about. If you don’t want ramen noodle definition and instead want a larger, expanded, fluffy curl then PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is for you! It’s the first “fabric softener” type styling lotion that will leave your curls clothesline fresh and fluffy soft.  You will see that  PILLOW SOFT CURLS™ is so easy to apply. It spreads so smoothly and feels as light as a feather on your curls.

I’m honestly thrilled that this came in my package and I’m really excited to try it out.  My hair is curly and I’m always struggling to find the right balance between hold & crunch.  I want good hold, but as Miss Jessie’s says, I don’t want my hair to look like ramen noodles either! 

Whish Three Wishes Body Butter (in Pomegranate)

Here’s what the website says:  For amazingly moisturized skin, we’ve created a truly indulgent body cream with a unique triple antioxidant based formula. This fully loaded lotion both softens and soothes the skin while also helping to replenish and firm. Such sweet softness. All Three Whishes products contain Organic Aloe, Organic Raspberry Butter, and Organic Shea Butter, enhancing life’s little desires three at a time. Enjoy Three Whishes Body Butter for its repairing and rejuvenating antioxidants. Available in almond, coconut, lavender, lemongrass and pomegranate flavors. Body Butter is made in the USA with Earth friendly packaging and ingredients. Tested on us, not animals.

In my opinion you can never have too much lotion.  The trial size that I received is in a perfect size container to go in my purse!  I’m definitely looking forward to trying this out!

Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Here’s what the website says:  Schick Hydro Silk™ hydrates skin like no other razor can. This uniquely designed razor goes beyond an incredibly close shave to actually care for your skin. With Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum & 5 Curve-Sensing blades with skin guards to help protect skin from irritation, the Hydro Silk™ razor leaves skin feeling silky smooth! And it’s preferred over the leading 5 blade razor.

Truthfully I use another brand of razor however this baby is going to go in my travel kit!

All in all, I’d have to say that the loot I got this go-round is the most useful out of all of the BirchBox boxes I’ve received so far.   Want to know about the other boxes?  You can go here, here, and here.

One reason I love snail mail (part 3)…

Just got my July BirchBox in the mail. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Earbuds:  $10 (approximately)
Color Protection:  $24
Tinted Moisturizer:  $38
Perfume:  $98
Lipstick:  $22
Fruit & Nut Bar:  $25.35 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.69/bar)

TOTAL:  $217.35

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $207.35 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Alterna Bamboo Fade-Proof Fluide

Here’s what the website says:  Weightlessly shields hair with a UVA/UVB barrier to fade-proof color while enhancing vibrancy & multi-dimensional shine.  With rinse resistant Color Hold® UV+ Technology for the highest level of color protection.  Clinically Proven to retain color and brightness for 60 washes.

 Problem:  I don’t color my hair.  In fact, the only person I know who does color their hair is my mom and she gets hers highlighted.  Can highlighted hair color fade?  I mean, it’s bleached.  I don’t think it can.  So, I’ve got to find someone who doesn’t bleach their hair and have them try this out. 

 Jourer Luminizing Moisture Tint

Here’s what the website says:  This lightweight moisturizing tint evens out imperfections and fades the appearance of fine lines with its light-diffusing multi-mineral formula. SPF 20 protects from UVA and UVB rays while Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract deliver antioxidants to skin, promoting a healthy complexion.  Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Fragrance Free. Water Resistant. Perfect for all skin types.

 Problem:  The color that they sent is ‘bronze’ which is their 5th darkest shade… and I’m part albino (not really, I’m just seriously pale).  So, when I tested this color out on my hand (definitely the most tanned part of my body) it’s reaaaally dark and noticeable.  I’d look ridiculous if I tried this out.  Sooo… my mom has mentioned that she wants to try a new foundation and she has darker and more olive-toned skin so I have a distinct feeling she’s going to get to try this baby out. 

Oscar de la Renta live in love Perfume

Here’s what the website says:  Introducing Live in Love – the new fragrance for women created by a man who adores them. Inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s passion for life, the scent is a reflection of the woman who lives each day the same, filled with joy and beauty.

It doesn’t do anything for me personally but I can see how someone would like it.  I think it’s something my mom might like so she might be getting this one as well.  It doesn’t smell bad or anything, it’s just not ‘me’.

Stila Lip Glaze in action (that’s the name of the color)

Here’s what the website says: Want lips that get all the attention they deserve? Turn on the shine and you’ll be turning heads with Stila’s most popular lip gloss.  Choose from an array of delectable shades that add a splash of color and fabulously matching flavors and scents in one easy click of this famous pen.

 Problem:  I can’t find this shade for sale (or even listed) on their website.  (note:  this is probably due to the fact that it’s from the limited edition It’s Go Time Lip Glaze Trio… but I can’t find that either).  Which sucks because I love this color.  It’s a pinky gold.  Sooo pretty.  I haven’t actually tried it on yet but it’s totally a color I would buy in the store.  I’m curious to see how it wears since it’s not long wearing.  In addition, the applicator is a little strange.  You actually turn the dial at the bottom and it pushes the gloss up in between the bristles.  I’m hoping it’s a good design but I have a feeling it’s going to be messy.  We’ll see.

LARABAR Roasted Nut Roll

Here’s what the website says:  It’s true, we’re nuts about nuts over here at LÄRABAR, and Roasted Nut Roll is a sure sign that we are still as passionate about them as ever. A sweet and salty standout, the shining stars of this bar are the almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts that bring the crunch and the flavor we go nuts for.

 Problem:  I don’t really like nuts.  So… I gave this to my friend G at work and let her try it.  Here’s what she had to say… ‘I ate the little nutty bar a little bit ago…it was very good…130 calories w/80 of those fat for 2 bites…kinda high and not sure I would want to spend the calories on it unless I didn’t have anything else…but the taste was really good.’  We all know that nuts are high in calories and in fat but supposedly it’s mostly good fat.  So, one of these little bars is probably your daily allowance for nuts.  It does have 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. 

 I’d definitely have to say the bar I got last time was waaaaay better.

Birchbox Earbuds

Here’s what the website says:  Whether we’re jogging through the park or powering through a laptop session, earbuds are one of our constant accessories. So we started thinking: why stick with the same boring white pair we’ve been using for years? We designed these custom pink and green or pink and blue neon earbuds so we can rock out to our favorite tunes in style. They’re extra-durable and extra-comfy—now that’s music to our ears.

Problem:  If you love these neon earbuds you’re out of luck… they’re not for sale.  Also, I have a pair already that I love and that fit my teeny tiny ears just perfect. 

All in all you’d think that I’d be bummed about this month’s box since I’m not going to end up keeping much besides the lipstick but you’d be wrong.  I’m actually really excited about the lipstick.  AND I get to give the unwanted goodies to some friends/family members and I love giving people stuff so that works out well.  I love getting goodies in the mail, don’t you?

Window Shopping Wednesday – Jessica London

Do you guys ever just get the urge to go shopping?  I do.  Not all the time or anything but it definitely does happen.  I’m not a good window shopper though.  I can’t just stroll past a store with tons of cute things and not buy something.  I don’t have the willpower.  However, for some reason I don’t have that problem with online shopping nearly as much.  I’m able to see something that I think is adorable and then really weigh the pros and cons and the price.  Most of the time, unless it’s a serious steal or I just ‘have’ to have it I manage to walk away without purchasing anything.

Recently I’ve been wrestling with the desire to do some clothes shopping.  I thought perhaps I should do some window shopping first via the World Wide Web to see if there’s anything out there worth my time and hard earned cash.  This method works great for someone such as myself who is on a very limited budget.

This idea has spawned a new weekly feature I’m going to try out called Window Shopping Wednesday.  Each Wednesday I’m going to check out a different online shop (clothing, crafts, home goods, just about anything!) and pick out a few favorites to showcase.  I hope you’ll enjoy this!  Please leave comments to let me know!

This weeks featured shop:  Jessica London

I’m loving this Ruffle Hem Dress by La Redoute.  I think what I love most is actually the way that they’ve put this entire outfit together – the cardi w/ the fabulous necklace and the low slug rope belt.  I just wish I could wear my hair that short and look that gorgeous.

This Leather Jacket With Zip Cuffs comes in multiple colors including this Sunflower yellow (shown below), Apple Red, Avocado Green, Grey and Black.  Again, I love the pairing of the bright jacket with jeans and a simple white tee with a great scarf and sunglasses to top it off.

Isn’t this Tiered Skirt fun?  I love how you could easily pair this with a tank or cardi and some heeled sandals for a day at the office or you could pair it with a slinky sparkly top and some strappy heels for a night out on the town.

Don’t you just love this soft, sexy, feminine Macramé Neck Tee?  You could pair this with slacks and a blazer for the office or with jeans and sandals for a weekend excursion.  I loooove the idea of pairing this top (in white) with white slacks.  Summer chic at it’s best!

I realize it’s probably hard to think about coats right about now but considering that I just got back from vacation somewhere where it’s still in the 30’s at night AND the fact that that now is the time to get amazing deals on winter clothing I just couldn’t pass this beauty up.

I’m totally not a nightgown girl.  Give me capris and tanks any day.  If you are though, wouldn’t you (ok, maybe not you but definitely your significant other) rather wear this Lace Top Chemise by Amourese instead of a ‘granny gown’?  This top still provides plenty of coverage and it looks super comfy but it doesn’t look like a potato sack either.  Your husband will thank me.

Thanks for window shopping with me!

One reason I love snail mail (part 2)…

Do you remember about a month ago I posted about this nifty box of goodies that I got from BirchBox?  I still haven’t tried out any of the products but that’s because they’re all going with me on vacation later this month.  I promise I’ll post reviews of them when I have ‘em!

I just received my June BirchBox in the mail and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t as excited with the goodies as I was last time.  That’s just sort of how it goes with these things.  Some days you’ll get stuff you love, some days you won’t.  I’m totally ok with that.

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Bath Salts:  $35 (sale price $25)
Eye Stick:  $15
Lip Stain:  $17
Skin Cream:  $16
Chocolate Bar:  $19 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.25/bar)

TOTAL:  $84.25

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $74 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Borghese Bagno Di Vita Soak (on sale right now at Amazon)

  • Mineral infused crystals transform your bath into an oasis of calm, blue waters while the uplifting scent of botanical oils soothes tense, tired muscles.

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Petrol Blue

  • Let’s talk: Eyeko Fat Eye Sticks for easy-to-apply creamy colour in an instant.  Featuring a rich pigmented formula, the sticks can be used to shade and smoke the eye lid. 
  • Tell me more:  This chubby twist-up eye stick with retractable nib delivers soft, creamy eye shadow for easy application directly onto lids.  Create a smudgy, glossy finish for an effortless effect. 
  • Need to know info:  Make-up artists applaud the intense pigments and blendable colours and we love how user-friendly Eyeko Fat Eye Stick is for smoky eyes in a second. 
  • Tips and tricks:  Creamy formulas guarantee a modern finish. Have fun with this limited edition eye stick dab metallic shades on inner corners; ring round darker hues for smoky eyes or blend to a sheer finish for subtle shading. Wear alone or to add depth to powder eye shadow. For longer wear use primer and set with powder.

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

  • The perfect pop of color for your cheeks and lips, Stainiac hint of tint is perfect for all skintones. Simply dab a touch onto your cheeks for a sheer wash of color or layer for added intensity. And the best part? Stainiac is formulated to give you more time before the stain sets, so it won’t streak.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

  • Use Yu-Be anywhere on the body – even the face and lips.
  • Helps heal split cuticles and smooth rough, cracked and dry skin on hands, elbows, knees and feet.
  • Absorbs instantly and works for hours. Good for all day or all night.
  • Non-greasy formula contains NO artificial colors, fragrances, petrolatum or SPF.
  • CAMPHOR soothes irritation and stimulates blood circulation to improve overall health of your skin.
  • Mild camphor scent fades within minutes.
  • Concentrated GLYCERIN moisturizer helps hydrate, soothe and smooth severe dry skin on the whole family – ALL YEAR LONG. (kids too!)
  • Makes a great massage cream!

LUNA Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick

How can something so good for us be so delicious? It’s simple. Start with the best ingredients possible (nothing artificial, 70% organic) and nutrition that matters most to women. Mix with flavors that make mouths water and the rest is sweet (and healthy!) history.

  • High in calcium and folic acid
  • Rich in antioxidants A, C, E
  • 8g protein, 5g fiber

May Date Night

Did you have a good holiday weekend? 

Friday night we went to Ikea to pick up a few things and then had dinner at The Macaroni Grill with my uncle.  It was good to get a chance to see him and catch up.  Considering that we live about twenty minutes away from each other and enjoy each other’s company a lot we see surprisingly little of each other.  Saturday we just putzed around the house until about 5pm or so and then we headed out for our monthly date night.

As you know, most of the time I don’t tell the Hubs what we’re doing for date night.  I basically just tell him what to wear and drag him off to do whatever random thing we’re doing.  He actually seems to like this a lot.  He calls them ‘our adventures’ and he tells me that I always keep him on his toes (in a good way).  That being said he was very concerned when I told him to wear his pajamas for this date night.  I swear he asked me ten times ‘are you sure it’s ok?’ 

Last month when we had our date night I mentioned that we were actually supposed to do something else but had decided to change our plans.  Well, we rescheduled it to May and that’s what we did. 

We went to see another movie just like we did in April but it’s the way we watched the movie that made it special.  We went to a drive-in movie theatre!  Have you ever been?  I never had (and neither had the Hubs) and I’ve gotta say, we’ll definitely go back.  If you live in Houston and want to check this place out all the information you need to know is here

source

So Showboat (that’s the ‘theatre’) always plays double features.  Considering tickets are $6 for an adult and $4 for a kid I think that’s a steal.  Even if we go to the $6 matinee at our local AMC we’re technically getting to see a second movie free.  However, since most people go to the non-matinee showings and pay $10 per ticket you’re saving $28 just on two adult tickets.  Crazy huh?  The double feature does make for a crazy-late night but it was still fun and totally worth it.  AND you don’t have to stay for the second movie if you don’t want to.  I’d say about a third of the people there left after the first movie.  We stayed for both and left at about 1:30am.  It was a laaaaate night. 

Gates open at 6:30 and when we got there around 6:10 there were already quite a few people in line.  If you are going to go, I suggest that you get there no later than 6:10 if you want GREAT seats.  If you’re ok with so-so seats then it’s safe to get there later.  I did talk to one person who said that they’d showed up at 6:30 once and the ‘theatre’ was already full and they were turned away.  So, it’s a risk I suppose.  The movies don’t start until dusk though so that means that right now with it being summer and daylight savings time and all the movies don’t start until about 8:30pm.  This means you’re just chilling in your car for about 2.5 hours.  The Hubs and I are avid readers so this didn’t bother us one bit.  We rolled the windows down, put the seats back and read.  It was actually really nice to have some quiet time just to read (and not feel guilty for reading instead of doing laundry/cleaning the kitchen/etc).  Also, there’s a playground that was super popular with the kids who were there. 

There is a concession stand that has all the nibbles you’d normally find… popcorn, candy, sodas, nachos, corn dogs, hamburgers, etc.  The food was seriously reasonable.  The Hubs and I each got a corn dog and nachos and split a soda and I think it cost us around $11 or something.  Do you have any idea what that would cost at a normal AMC theatre?  About $25.  Remember that $28 you saved earlier on tickets?  You’ve now saved $42.  Not bad huh? 

I will say I was a little concerned about how good the viewing / hearing quality would be but I have to say, it surpassed my expectations.  The picture quality was just fine and we were able to hear fine through our car radio. 

Here’s the only part I didn’t like… no AC + windows down.  It was comfortable temperature-wise with the windows down however it’s outside in Texas which means there are BUGS (and we all know I hate bugs).  Surprisingly we didn’t have any mosquito problems but we did have random other bugs flying in the windows and crawling on us.  That made me jumpy and itchy and I spent the first movie slapping myself a lot.  During intermission we rolled the windows up and turned the AC on full blast.  When the second movie came on we just turned the car off (battery still on) but didn’t roll the windows down.  It was cool enough that we didn’t mind and I was much happier being bug free. 

The bathrooms were packed but clean.  I definitely suggest that if you need to go you don’t wait until the last minute because the lines (especially during intermission) can be 15 minutes long. 

Overall I definitely had a blast (Hubs loved it too) and we’ll definitely go back.  We will, however, either go in the winter (when we don’t have to roll the windows down) or we’ll get a fan with an adapter for the cigarette lighter so that, yet again, we don’t have to roll the windows down.  Boo bugs!

One reason I love snail mail…

Have you heard of BirchBox?  I hadn’t, at least not until a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about it.  It made me curious so I started researching.  Here’s the deal… for $10/month they’ll send you a box full of beauty goodies.  You don’t really know what’s in the box (although they do ask you questions about your skin / eye / hair coloring, etc).  More than a few times I’ve purchased a new beauty product only to try it once or twice and absolutely hate it.  Yes, at most places you can return the product but geez what a hassle.  The concept of BirchBox is great.  They send you mostly sample sizes of new products but some full size ones as well.  The eyeliner and the nail polish I got were both ‘full size’ (although to be fair, those don’t exactly come in ‘trial sizes’ usually).  I like surprises and I definitely like fun beauty stuff so I figured, what the hell.  I can cancel whenever I want so what’s the risk?  Well, I got my first box in this weekend.  I did some research on the items and I want to give you a rundown of what I would have spent if I had gone out and purchased all of these items (at full size) and at full price….

Eyeliner:  $22
Nail Polish:  $3
Foundation:  $34
Shampoo:  $36
Conditioner:  $39
Shine Serum:  $42

TOTAL:  $176

So, basically I spent $10 to try out $176 worth of beauty products.  AND if I hate them, I don’t have to hassle with returning them.  I think I’m in love. 

What to know what was in my box?  Here’s a rundown…

Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Curacao

So this morning right before I took my shower I did a test line of this eyeliner on my hand.  It’s waterproof for sure!  It took some scrubbing to get it to come off.  I can’t wait to use this stuff when we go on vacation this summer! 

(the one I got is the dark blue one second from the right)

source

Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Disco Nap

I haven’t tried this yet but when I go for my pedicure in a few weeks I think I’m going to give it a go!

source

Dr. Jart + Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Makeup SPF 25

So I’m pretty curious about this stuff.  It’s formulated for crazy hyper-sensitive skin like mine.  I don’t generally wear anything on my face (just eye makeup and lipstick) however I’m definitely going to give this stuff a shot at some point.  Here’s what Sephora has to say about the product: 

What it is:
A one-step skin perfecting balm that minimizes the need for foundation or concealer.

What it is formulated to do:
A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum, this all-in-one product also hides imperfections. Made with 50 percent water, Dr. Jart’s Advanced Water Bead Technology helps hydrate and maintain healthy moisture for a dewy, fresh look. Like a drink for your skin, once applied, tiny droplets of water appear before being quickly absorbed, generating an instant soothing and cooling effect.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

Kerastase Paris Cristalliste Lait Cristal & Bain Cristal with Lumiere Liquide

I received a trial size sampling of this product and at first, I wasn’t all that thrilled.  Most of that had to do with the fact that all the writing on the product is in a foreign language (I think French).  I just kept wondering ‘what the heck did they send me?’  After looking it up though, I’m excited to see what this product has to offer.  Here’s what their website has to say:

Introducing the best kept secret for long hair, Cristalliste. A product line designed specifically for young women with long hair, prone to weighed down roots and dry ends.

Kérastase’s Liquid Light Complex creates the ultimate in luminosity and shimmer. Pure and lightweight from the roots, smooth and free-flowing to the ends.

Featuring advanced technology from La Recherche Avancée L’Oréal, this daily haircare regimen maintains healthy hair while combating the causes of thinning to leave hair feeling and looking stronger, thicker and refreshed.

source

I haven’t actually tried any of the products yet but my plan is to take them all with us on vacation (except for the nail polish which I’ll have put on professionally) and try them out there.  We’re going someplace where the sun is closer and the air is dryer so I’ll definitely be needing makeup with SPF and extra conditioning for my hair.  We’re also going to be in the water a lot so I’ll definitely be testing out the eyeliners claim to long-wear waterproof.  I’ll let you know how it all turns out!

Never call an accountant a credit to his profession; a good accountant is a debit to his profession. ~ Charles J.C. Lyall

Do you have AAA?  The hubs and I have it and have for years.  A few weeks ago when the hubs’ truck broke down and we went to pay the bill at the mechanics (groan), Hubs asked (totally jokingly) ‘got any discounts?’  The guy behind the counter said ‘got AAA?’  We do, so he gave us $50 off.  In the grand scheme of things considering what we spent on fixing the car that only saved us 1.5% of the cost of the bill.  Still, it’s $50 and that’s our date night budget so I’ll take it. 

This got me thinking though… had we not asked, we wouldn’t have gotten the discount.  How many other discounts are we passing up?  I know that Payless offers a AAA discount but I only know that because I used to work there.  I also know that a lot of hotels and attractions offer AAA discounts as well.  So, I checked the AAA Texas discount website and here are just a few highlights of places that offer AAA discounts.  I highly recommend going to the website to view which places offer discounts so that you can save some moo-lah!  If you’re a frequent traveler/online shopper you might even save more than the yearly membership costs! 

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Banana Republic
  • Best Western
  • Cinemark Theatres
  • FTD.com
  • Gap Outlet
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Hertz Car Rental
  • Houston Zoo
  • LensCrafters
  • Mariott Hotels & Resorts
  • New York & Company
  • Office Max
  • Park ‘N Fly
  • Payless ShoeSource
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Saltgrass Steak House
  • Schlitterbahn Water Park
  • Sears
  • SeaWorld
  • Sylvan Learning Centers
  • Target
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • The Parking Spot
  • T-Mobile

AAA also has a new thing I’d never heard of before called WOWPoints.  They’re basically points that you earn by shopping online at places like Target, Walmart and Best Buy.  Then, you can use the points to get free stuff, or you can pay for purchases with them, or you can even get cash back.  Sweet deal huh?

* Note:  This post is by no means sponsored by AAA, I just have been really happy with their service (towing my car when it dies and what not) and I love that I also get discounts just for having their Roadside Service.  And let’s face it, I just love to save money in any way possible.