Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dollar Tree Haul & Favorites!

A few years ago, we made a huge life change. We quit our jobs in a big city to move to a small town (where I grew up) and went from working five jobs between the two of us, to working one job to support our family of (now) four.

As you can imagine, we weren't making as much as we were used to! With this new lifestyle, I had to get creative with my shopping habits. I discovered that there was a huge following of the DOLLAR TREE. Now, I remember shopping at the Dollar Tree as a child and teenager, and I had popped in randomly throughout the years to grab little odds and ends. Little did I realize, people were going CRAZY over some of the things they had been finding at the Dollar Tree. I started watching videos on YouTube, and quickly jumped on the bandwagon. And yes, in case it wasn't obvious, everything at the Dollar Tree is one dollar. So if you tend to go overboard, like I did today, it doesn't break the bank....too bad! 

Shopping at the Dollar Tree can be like a treasure hunt. They are constantly changing their inventory, and do not carry the same items for very long. If you see something you like, GRAB IT. If it's something you really like, grab several. Chances are that you will not see that item again. I learned this from watching Dollar Tree videos on YouTube. Some of my favorite videos are hauls and "come with me" Dollar Tree videos. I typically watch videos by DoITOnADime, Clara Slate, Veri Keri, RyMingTahn, and mommylovesgigi.

Anyways, you can find some great things at the Dollar Tree. Here's a haul from today!

I found:
  • Name brand boxes of cereal
  • Wet n Wild makeup remover wipes (they also sell makeup brushes which I HIGHLY recommend)
  • Starkist Tuna in Sweet & Spicy (I just bought these yesterday at the grocery store for $1.43!)
  • Valentines Day Cards (they also had Frozen, Ninja Turtles, Trolls, etc.)
  • Socks (I love the seasonal socks they come out with - great quality)
  • Hand towels
  • Name brand toys (these Paw Patrol toys and My Little Pony blind bags are in high demand, so grab them if you see them)
  • Magnetic to-do lists (I buy these often)
  • Pens
......and much more!

There are some other items I have picked up (or grab when I see them) that are just too good of a deal to pass up. Here are some favorites that I have purchased from the Dollar Tree:

  • Washi Tape! Dollar Tree has its own washi tape! If you do a lot of planning or crafting, you know that buying lots of washi can really start to add up after a while. Dollar Tree washi can sometimes be hard to find, but when you do see some, grab it!

  • Duct Tape is another one that I like to pick up from time to time. They have all kinds of fancy designs that you sometimes may never see again, so if I see a design I like, I grab it. 
  • Brand name bath/soap products are something else I am always on the lookout for. Right now they have all of these Dial hand soaps that normally go for 2 or 3 times more than what I paid for them. These also smell great!

    • Books. Sometimes you can find really nice books at the Dollar Tree. I found this large Southern Living book that normally retails for $25 (the original price was on the back) and I keep it on my coffee table. I sometimes also find really nice hardback cookbooks with prices on the back that range from $20-$30. Always grab those if you see them! 
    • Lately I've been finding these seasonal wooden signs at the Dollar Tree. It's a nice inexpensive way to decorate your home for holidays when you don't have much of a budget to work with!

    Dollar Tree also sells awesome storage bins, baskets and containers for organizing. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are TONS Dollar Tree organization videos on YouTube. It is a great and inexpensive way to get organized for the new year!

    Oh, I want to add though, as excited as you may get to buy anything and everything at the Dollar Tree, do NOT buy the toilet plungers. 
    They are a fail. 
    You're welcome.

    What kind of things have you been finding at your Dollar Tree?

    Monday, March 14, 2016

    Birchbox vs. Ipsy: March 2016

    As you may know, I have been a long time subscriber to Birchbox. However, back in the day, when I was working a full time job and could afford to buy things, I had a subscription to both Birchbox and Ipsy. There were pros and cons to each subscription service, and they both cost $10 per month.

    It had been a while since I received anything from Ipsy, so I felt like giving it another shot.
    Let's see how it compared to my Birchbox this month!

    Here is what I received in my Ipsy bag this month. I'm pretty happy with it!

    • Aphrodite Olive Oil Eye Cream
    • Nyx Liquid Suede Lipstick in Pink Lust 
    • Pixi Blush Duo in Rose Gold
    • Vera Mona Lotus Eyeshadow in Clover
    • Beau Gâchis Paris' Eyeshadow Brush

    I really like all of the products...not so sure about a couple of the shades (like the lipstick) but I will definitely be trying them out.

    Here's what I received in my Birchbox:

    I am also pretty happy about what I received in my Birchbox this month!
    • Parlor by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray
    • Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads
    • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter
    • Milk Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M.
    • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

    I love the colors of the cosmetics in this box. I am also really excited about the face cream and eye pads.

    All in all, my opinion of both subscription services stays about the same:

    In Ipsy you tend to receive more full size products, but the brands are typically brands you can find in drugstores, etc. Sometimes they throw in samples of higher end brands as well, but most of the products are pretty affordable. 

    In Birchbox you get more high end brands, even though sometimes the samples may be a smaller size. I feel like you receive a wider variety of brands and products with Birchbox.

    I really like both of these subscription services. For $10 a month, I feel like you really get a bang for your buck with these. It is definitely worth the money, no matter which one you choose!

    Do you subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy? Which one do you prefer?

    Subscribe to Birchbox HERE and to Ipsy HERE

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016

    Review: Treat Beauty

    Treat Beauty has been on my radar for a long time. This brand is known for their delicious and all-natural jumbo lip balms, as well as other items such as lip scrubs, body creams, and many other skincare and hair products. As a long time follower of Kandee Johnson (who is a die-hard fan of this brand), I have been DYING to try out some of these products for myself! The founder of Treat Beauty was kind enough to send me a few goodies to test out for this review. So let's get started!

    First, let me start off with the jumbo lip balms.
    When I say jumbo, I mean JUMBO. These babies are GIANT!

    I tried out the lip balms in Peaches & Cream and Sugar Cookie. (YUM)

    One thing I love about these balms are the ingredients:
    Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Flavor, Vitamin E and Stevia Extract.
    All products are Certified Organic and made in the USA.

    These jumbo lip balms are hydrating, soothing and delicious. The Peaches & Cream flavor is a little more prominent than the Sugar Cookie. If you love peaches like I do, you will LOVE this. The Sugar Cookie balm has a light, sweet vanilla scent that is not overpowering in any way. I find myself reaching for this throughout the day for a little bit of a sweet, hydrating "treat" for my lips. They leave your lips feeling plump and hydrated, and I have found that with daily use my lips appear younger and fuller. I have also been applying these balms daily before I apply my makeup, and it makes all the difference. It adds that much needed moisture and shine that you need before applying your lip products.

    Ok, now on to the next product: A lip scrub...in a tube...that smells and tastes like MARSHMALLOW CREAM. You heard me right.

    I have never used a lip scrub in a tube before, so this was interesting to try out. I typically use the lip scrubs from Lush, which come in a little container. I was actually a bit disappointed in the last scrub I purchased from them because it dried out only after a couple of uses. Needless to say, I was in the market for a new lip scrub. This one does not disappoint.

    First of all, the convenience. Since it comes in a tube, you don't have to worry about dipping your finger into a container over and over to get the product out, and it is really easy to take on the go.  It is also SUPER hydrating. Much to my surprise, I found that after removing the scrub from my lips, it almost felt like I had put a balm on. I didn't even feel the need to apply a balm after exfoliating, which never happens!

    The ingredients are also pretty impressive:
    Fair Trade Organic Sugar, Shea Butter, Vanilla Flavor, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Marshmallow Flavor, Castor Seed Oil, Vitamin E.

    Alright, now time for the last product! Treat Beauty recently launched a new hair texturizing spray that is supposed to give you that "beachy" look. Check it out:

    This is a texturizing sugar spray made with organic sugar, aloe, and other natural oils. It really does what it says it does, it makes your hair look like you came straight from the beach. It's easy to use and gets the job done. It has the "soft candy" scent, which some of the other products from this line have as well. To me, this spray doesn't smell as sweet as the other products I have tried, but it does a great job on the hair.

    All in all, I am a huge fan of Treat Beauty! The products are organic and delicious, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and there are so many products to choose from! Check out their site and see for yourself: www.treatbeauty.com.

    Thursday, January 7, 2016

    Too Faced Love Flush Blush Palette Review

    So, Christmas has come and gone, and so has my birthday, which is when I purchased this palette! I decided from the moment I laid eyes on this thing that it would be MINE. I am a huge fan of Too Faced, and I have been wanting to try their new blushes for a while now. This was the perfect opportunity! I will go ahead and say that I love this palette, and I highly recommend picking it up before it sells out!

    There is a wide range of colors from warm to cool, and I think these would all look great on any skin tone. They have a 16-hour wear formula, which I will say that I believe...they are very long lasting! 
    The pans are quite small, but considering all the colors you get in the palette, I do not think it will be a problem. The packaging, as always, is perfection. Too Faced never disappoints!

    I picked mine up at Sephora (in store - looks like they are currently sold out online) for $36.
    You can also purchase this palette at Ulta or at TooFaced.com.
    (Hint: This would make the perfect Valentine's Day gift - but hurry before they sell out!)

    Friday, September 4, 2015

    My First (Official) NatureBox!

    I have been interested in NatureBox for a long time now. I recently tried a sampler box and was blown away by the snacks I received! I posted a review on that box, which you can read here. After testing the waters, I decided to take the plunge and order a full size box. Let me just say that I was NOT disappointed.

    If you don't know what NatureBox is, it is a monthly subscription service that sends you five full size bags of healthy snacks...and you can choose what you get! They have over 100 snacks to choose from, and so far I have liked just about all of them.

    Here's what I got in my box:

    One great thing I love about these snacks is that they come in resealable bags, which prolongs the shelf life and makes it easy to take these on the go.

    • Watermelon Mini Stars - These are SO GOOD. They taste like delicious fruit leather...minus the sticky mess. I found myself searching for the watermelon flavor a little bit; I feel like I could taste a few other fruit flavors as well. That being said, these are extremely delicious. This bag was gone pretty fast. 
    • Salted Caramel Pretzel Pops - This is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. They have really great flavor. The only thing I don't like is that they are pretty hard/too crunchy...almost felt like I was going to break a tooth eating them. I have a friend who loves these though so that might not be an issue for everyone.
    • Garlic Plantains - If you are not a fan of plantains, you will still LOVE THESE. These do not taste like plantains. They taste like CHIPS. They also have a strong garlic flavor, so if you don't like garlic, steer clear of these. These are sure to satisfy your cravings for potato chips, and I find that they are more satisfying as well. You don't need to eat many to feel full!
    • Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps - These might be my favorite. As you can see in the picture, these are made with real cheese. They taste exactly like the baked on cheese that is left on the pan after you make something cheesy. You know, that delicious burnt cheese. These were also gone pretty fast. When I say fast, I mean within a week. The great thing about all of these snacks is that it doesn't take much to feel satisfied.
    • Honey Crunch Crisps - If you like honey chicken (you know, the kind you get at a Chinese restaurant) you will LOVE these. That is exactly what these taste like to me. You also get the flavor of the sesame, which is nice. They have a nice crunch to them, and you can see the honey glaze on the outside. These are so yummy.

    All in all, NatureBox has been a definite win for me. I decided to cut back on almost all of our store bought snacks and have these delivered instead, which makes up for the cost. The cost is $19.95 a month, and right now they have a deal where you can get your first box for FREE. It is great to have healthy substitutes for my typically unhealthy snack cravings. I give NatureBox an A+!

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

    NatureBox Review

    I feel like it's been a while! The past month has been absolutely insane. However, I am ready to get back to blogging...I have SO many things lined up for you all! Stay tuned!

    First of all...NatureBox. NatureBox is a monthly subscription service that delivers 5 full size snacks to your front door. The great thing about NatureBox is that all of their snacks contain wholesome ingredients (no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors) and are nutritionist approved. They have over 100 snacks to choose from, and you can pick your snacks each month or choose to be surprised.

    NatureBox has a free trial where you pay $2.00 for shipping, and they send you a pretty hefty sampler box to try out. That is what I will be reviewing here. Check it out!

    In the trial box, you do not get to choose what you receive. It is a surprise...which I liked! It came with one full size bag and four snack sized portions.

    Here's what I got:

    • Sea Salt Pop Pops - These are half-popped popcorn kernels seasoned with sea salt. At first I thought these would be extremely crunchy and hard on my teeth. However, they were surprisingly light and crispy! I really loved these, and so did my husband. The bag was filled COMPLETELY to the top, which I really appreciated. 
    • Jalapeño Cashews - These were delicious. They were not too over the top spicy, so I ate the whole bag in one sitting (whoops). They were not "dusted" with jalapeño powder, it was almost a baked-in type of thing. You could see the jalapeño coating, but it did not leave dust on your fingers.
    • Masa Crisps - These are basically corn chips with flax seeds. I call these the healthy version of Fritos. They tasted like your typical corn chip. They were pretty yummy, and the added benefit of having some flax in there was a major plus.
    • Cranberry Medley - These are pomegranate and acai flavored dried cranberries with blueberries. These are SO GOOD. I downed this entire bag in record breaking time. These tasted like fruit snacks...not "dried fruit"....FRUIT SNACKS. This will be a permanent snack in my monthly rotation.
    • Sweet Blueberry Almonds - These were alright. The blueberry flavor was not as prominent as I would have liked, but they were still good. There is a light dusting of blueberry flavor on the almonds, but I think the almonds were more prominent than the blueberry flavor. 

    (Pictured above: Sea Salt Pop Pops)

    All in all, I think this is a great subscription service. It is a fun and easy way to try out and enjoy healthier snack options each month. One thing that I love is that these snacks cannot be found anywhere else...they have so many unique options! I plan on getting this box each month and spending less on my typical less-than-healthy snack choices I get at the grocery store.

    The cost is $19.95 per month, but it looks like instead of getting a sampler box right now to test out first, they are currently offering a full size box for free! Check it out and let me know what you think!

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    How to Cover Redness

    In the past few years I have struggled with facial redness and blotchiness. I'm not sure what triggered it, but it is very annoying to deal with! I envy the people who can leave the house with no makeup on, or "minimal" or "natural" makeup and look great. I have tried that a couple of times, but I will get asked if I have a sunburn or if I am not feeling well....not something I like to hear.

    I spent a lot of time trying to find a "quick fix" to cover the redness in the mornings because I was tired of applying layer after layer of makeup. It took up so much time and I would end up looking "cakey" and too made up.

    In the past year I have discovered a few products that have literally changed my life! One in particular is so quick and easy that it literally takes seconds.

    It Cosmetics has a product called "Celebration Foundation Illumination". It is a FULL COVERAGE powder foundation that illuminates and hydrates all day long. This powder is SO pigmented, that I don't need to use ANYTHING ELSE with it. No green tinted primer, concealer...anything. It hides dark under eye circles along with any discoloration on your face. It leaves a flawless, luminous finish and it literally takes seconds to apply and get a full coverage look.

    This has saved me so much time in the mornings! I am not kidding when I say that this is all I need to use. I use my favorite face buffing brush to apply this and it literally takes no time or effort to make it look like you have perfect skin. This foundation also works well with other face products. If you feel like you want a more matte finish, you can apply a powder on top and it will not get cakey at all. This powder works GREAT for dry skin. This is one of the only products I have found where I do not get dry patches throughout the day. It is super hydrating. I would suggest using a setting spray on top to achieve a long lasting finish.

    There are other products I like to use on days when I am not in a huge rush to get out the door:

    • Amazing Cosmetics: Amazing Concealer - This concealer is great because you literally only need a tiny drop for your entire face. The tube will last forever because of the high pigment. It does not cake up throughout the day and leaves a flawless, airbrushed finish. This is my favorite concealer at the moment!
    • It Cosmetics: Bye Bye Redness - This is a really unique product to use for facial redness. It is a red neutralizing and color correcting cream that completely cancels out any redness on your face. Like the concealer, you only need a tiny bit. For me, it acts as a foundation and I like to finish it off with my Amazing Concealer for added coverage and highlighting with a powder on top. 
    • Kat Von D: Lock-It Powder Foundation - I like to use this powder foundation, or MAC Studio Fix powder foundation to set my face for complete coverage. This can be used alone or on top of other products for maximum coverage. I personally use this on top of the Bye Bye Redness and Amazing Concealer for a flawless, full coverage, matte look.

    I just want to add that I have never had any issues with any of these products caking up or clinging to dry spots, which is something I normally always have issues with, no matter what products I use! 
    After years of trial and error with makeup primers, green moisturizers, full coverage foundations, powders, concealers, these products have worked the best for me at covering redness. 

    I really hope that these recommendations help you if you are struggling with facial redness. Let me know if you end up trying any of these items and how they work for you!