Monday, August 29, 2011

Discard or Repurchase?

Okay, I'm keeping track of the beauty products I use up to justify all the new ones I buy. That makes sense, right? Although, right now, my purchase rate is exceeding my 'use up' rate by a factor of 'xxxx' (censored due to spending embarrasment). Anyway, I'd thought I could share what I thought of these products. Comment below and feel free to ask questions. I'll try and go through them from left to right.

1. Spackle: Under Make-Up Primer by Laura Geller
---This bottle is 2 oz and it took me forever to use it up. I think Kristen gave it to me for Christmas 3 years ago? It feels really good on your face as a primer. I think it's silicone based, so it feels creamy like it's filling in all your fine lines. I could not really tell a huge difference. For $25 at Ulta, I've moved on to try other products. Not a repurchase.

2. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
---LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This is my current favorite foundation. It's full coverage and can really get you that 'flawless' look. It dries pretty matte, too. May be an issue if you have dry skin. The color I had was Medium Ivory. I've already repurchased it but in Rose Ivory. The only downside is the cost of this product. $42 at Sephora. I alternate using this and another drug store foundation to make it last longer. This first tube lasted me 6 months. (1.18 oz)

3. Rimmel London Sexy Curves Full Volume & Curve Mascara.
---The curvy brush is supposed to curl your lashes. Actually, the brush made it difficult to apply. I got this mascara on sale but would not buy again. $7.50 at Ulta (also Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens)

4. Anastasia Brow Wiz eyebrow pencil
---Another product I have already repurchased. This is a very fine point eyebrow pencil with a retractable tip (don't need to sharpen over and over). Makes it easier to fill in eyebrows precisely. I've gotten the more compliments on my eyebrows since I've started defining and filling them with this pencil in Brunette. $20 at Ulta.

5. Peace Love & Juicy Couture perfume rollerball.
---I liked this scent. It was very easy to apply with the rollerball applicator. I like it better that the spray. It seems to last longer on my skin. This size was 0.25 oz. I might buy it again it I could get a deal. I will definately look for more perfumes with the rollerball options. Description: "meyer lemon tree blossom, wild hyacinth, sweet apple accord, black currant bud absolute, sambac jasmine absolute, star magnolia, malibu poppy, honeysuckle, linden blossom, orris extract, sheer patchouli flower, and enveloping musks"
$19 at Ulta

6. L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Clean Deginition mascara.
---I liked this a lot. It has a slimmer applicator brush that really lets you define your lashes and coat without clumping. I have bought this twice already and would again but now I want to try other L'Oreal mascaras. $8.99 at Ulta (also Walmart, Target, CVS, etc.) There are also plenty of coupons available for L'Oreal products.

7. Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
---This is a very good eye makeup remover. I use a cotton pad and it takes off everything. It did not dry out my eyes either. I'm trying the Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover right now ($9.99 at Target) but may purchase this again from my Mary Kay friend. ($15)

8. Aveda Hand Relief lotion
---My hands were very moisturized. It helped when they were very dried out in New Mexico. I didn't care for the scent, though, and will look for something else.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Clipping the Weekend's Coupons

I want to share how I organize my coupons. Maybe you can use these tips or suggest some in the comments below. They will be much appreciated. I started out trying to do categories but as I started following other couponing blogs, it was difficult to find coupons I had once I collected a significant amount. So I attempted to simplify. I used an expandable letter-size file folder and envelopes.

Basically, each weekend, I buy a paper for the coupon inserts. I'll clip the coupons I want (trying to be more selective) and put them in their own envelope. Then, I write down the names and brands of the coupons that I have in there on the outside along with the amount of coupons.

Writing this down definitely helps me remember which coupons I have. I then file them in my expandable folder with the most recent envelopes at the front. When I use a coupon, I cross it off the envelope. Since most of the time I'm focusing on cosmetics, I pull all of those into their own envelope. I use almost all of those.

The upside is that this does fit in my purse. Most of the time I just leave it in my car. However, sometimes it takes a minute to find the exact coupon you need when you think you have a good deal on the spot and you think you've got a coupon for it. Another thing I do is typically 'clean out' every weekend. I pull expired and about to expired coupons out of each envelope. This reminds me which coupons I have and let's me see if I really want to use a particular one before it expires. Anyway, do you have any tips? Please share!

YouTube anyone?

I was just catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and thought I'd share all the channels I am following. It's kind of like following a blog, but instead it's a vlog!


Wow, I did not realize how many I follow until I started listing them. Also, below are a couple blog pages I like to keep up with as well.

National Consumer Panel

I got my first reward for being a National Consumer Panelist. I read about this on the Hip2Save blog a while ago and signed up. Basically, all I have to do is scan and record all my purchases every week and transmit the data. They sent me a bar code scanner and everything. It's in the picture below. Every time you scan purchases and take online surveys you can build up points to earn certain rewards. So, this week in the mail I got a reusable shopping back. Small item but pretty neat.

But, I'll keep going because I'm saving up for one of these:

Anyway, check out if you're interested.

Faux Pandora

I read in the Wall Street Journal fashion supplement that emerald and sapphire are the new colors for the fall season. I discovered these "Pandora" beads at WM a couple of months ago, so when I went to pick some up today, I noticed that they had some that should go well with the emerald and sapphire shirts I plan to buy in the future.

There are six beads and three separators on a card. There are several color themes. I really liked the brown set too. The brand is called Mix and Mingle and I also picked up a some leather (genuine) chokers of the same brand. There were two in a package. They may have longer necklaces, but I didn't see any. I have a silver bracelet that Shelley bought me from Hobby Lobby. It's designed for these types of beads, so I can wear some of them that way as well.

Here's the best part...$5 for the beads and $5 for the chokers. You'll have to go check your WM and see them for yourself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a couple new things

no offense but you guys are kinda boring....

so i'll liven things up by sharing about my life.

yesterday and today were my first two days of my senior year. it's not that bad but it's not that interesting either. i have first block off on both days which is really nice because i don't have to rush in the morning, and i have plenty of time to get things together and to just relax for a little. a-days are definitely my harder classes. i have ap macro economics, followed by ap english 4, and i finish with ap calculus. the only shock i had that day was when i realized i had been reading the wrong book for summer reading. today i had my b-day courses which are significantly easier. i have astronomy with mr. barret who is like something straight out of movie. then i had journalism and academic decathlon. so all in all it wasn't a half bad way to start off the year.

in addition to it being the first week back to school, i also got invisalign today. although i appreciate it more than traditional braces, it still hurts and i hate it. i have a lisp right now which i find very amusing. but i figure i'll get used to it all soon enough.

other than that not a whole lot is new. since this is my last year of high school, i really want to make it count. so i've been thinking a lot on micah 6:8 which reads:
"He has told you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
so my mantra this year is basically: do justice. love mercy. walk humbly.
and that's 'bout it for me. holly

New Career

Now just imagine me behind the table with latex gloves and an apron and you'll get the idea. Would you like a sample? :)


Project Kitchen




After....Coming Soon!! And by soon I mean hopefully in a couple of weeks....

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I'm not near as good as Amy, but after looking through some of my coupoons, these are the things I used them for. I only saved about 30% but they were all stuff I needed (except the nail polish), so it's better than nothing. The shampoo cost $2.74 and the hair product was free. The yogurt was free too. The little deodorant was about fifty cents since I could buy the smallest one. The catsup was low-carb so I decided to get that with my coupon even though regular would have been cheaper.

I'm feeling a need for a better system for organizing my coupons. I'm thinking about using one of those small ones with the dividers. And I might limit my categories to things that I really buy. Not sure, but if you have any ideas and/or want to show off your system, please do.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Shopping Haul

Did quite a bit of shopping this today looking to use up my coupons that have been accumulating. When to Target, Wal-Mart and CVS mainly (though I did brave the tax-free shopping to visit J.C. Penny) and ran across some good clearance items to combine with coupons. I split the pictures up into different categories. If you keep scrolling down, I list everything I bought. Not everything was on sale or bought with a coupon but I kept everything together. This is pretty long. Comment below if you like this detail or would prefer a more summarized post.

Retail = $29.24
Out of Pocket = $13.82
Savings = 53%

Retail = $75.34
Out of Pocket = $27.59
Savings = 63%

Retail = $43.53
Out of Pocket = $31.58
Saving = 27%

  • Febreeze Air Effects - travel size = $2.69. Used $1 off coupon.
  • Wolkgang Puck Organic Soup - Chicken & Dumplings = $1.99. On clearance for $0.98
  • Dove Men Active Clean Shower Tool w/ bonus Body/Face wash sample = $3.89. On clearance for $1.94. Used $1 off coupon. (I thought Robin could use this. I'll take it to him when we go on the cruise)
  • 3 Degree deodorant-travel size = $0.97/ea. Used 3 $1 off coupons. Free!
  • e.l.f. Eye Lashes = $1.00
  • e.l.f. Angled Eyeliner Brush = $3.00
  • Sally Hansen HD nail polish - yellow = $5.00. On clearance for $1.25
  • Water bottle = $1.99
  • Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Iced Coffee (6 packets) = $7.29. On clearance for $3.64. Used $1.50 off coupon.
  • Good Earth Restaurant Favorites: Mediterranean Chicken and Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp = $3.54/ea. On clearance for $ 1.77/ea.
  • Archer Farms Coconut Quick Bread = $3.69. On clearance for $1.84
  • Diamond Chopped Macadamias = $3.49. On clearance for $1.74
  • Pond's Cleansing Clothes = $4.39. Used $1.50 off coupon.
  • Biore Steam Activated Cleanser = $5.99. Used $2.00 off coupon
  • L'oreal Colour Juice -Pink Grapefruit = $7.49. On clearance for $1.87. Used $1 off coupon
  • One A Day Woman's Vitamins w/ Healthy Skin Support = $14.47. Used $1 off coupon
  • 2 Hefty One-Zip Travel Bags = $0.99/ea. Used $1 off 2 coupon
  • Milo's Kitchen dog treats - Chicken Jerky = $2.50. Used $1 off coupon.
  • 4 Tums = $1.92/ea. Used 2 $1 off 2 coupons.
  • Loofah Brush = $4.00
  • Vaseline Moisturizing Bath Beads - Honey Vanilla = $2.17. Used $1.50 off coupon.
  • Revlon Emory Boards = $1.87. Used $1 off coupon
  • Revlon Nail Clip w/ Catcher = $2.24. Used $1 off coupon.
  • 2 Dramamine = $3.68/ea. Used $2 off 2 coupon. Getting ready for the boat.
  • Castor Oil = $2.76
    I read about washing you face with EVOO and wanted to try it. The recipe I saw online mixed the EVOO with Castor oil. We'll see.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil = $2.00
  • Ocean Spray Diet Sparkling Cranberry Juice = $2.98
  • 4 Great Value Cut Green Beans = $0.68/ea. Part of Maggie and Murray's new diet.
I saw this deal on so swung by CVS on my way home from work on Friday.
  • infiniti by ConAir i-series 3/4'' Ceramic Straightener = Originally 31.49. On clearance for 7.87. Used $5 ECBs. Spent $3.11 out of pocket.

Little Green Balls of Mushy Poison

I just added frozen peas to my chicken salad. Deliciously sweet and high in fiber. Try it!

Lashes anyone?

Okay, since I had plenty of time to do makeup this morning, I decided to give these a try. I bought them at Target. They are e.l.f. brand and only cost $1! Great way to practice, right? It actually was not as hard as I thought it would be. It doesn't feel too weird when they are one either. Kind of like a VERY thick cost of mascara. Anyway, not too bad. I'm not sure how natural they look and they might be a little overkill for grocery shopping. But, it was fun. Try them out and post your own pics.


Tony and Andrew were at a men's retreat last night. Holly spent the night at Matti's. I decided to clean out my closet and drawers. I should have taken a "before" picture of my closet, but the first shows the bags of clothes that got dropped off at the thrift store. The second picture shows we no longer have a shortage of hangers. And the third picture shows my "walk-in" closet that I can now actually walk in. I still have too much in there and if I don't wear what I have this coming year, it's going.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Before and......Not Quite After

Thanks to Mimi and Papa's incredible find at a garage sale, I became the owner of all this yarn. I never did even to count how many. Since there was hardly two of any color, I decided to pick out the prettiest colors and make a granny square throw. I'm not finished, but here's what I have so far. After they're all pieced together, I will probably try to put some kind of border around them.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training for Alaska

I'm trying to build up my endurance and hiking ability in the last few weeks before I go to Alaska. (Maybe a little late to start). I just finished a treadmill routine to get my legs used to 'h0king'. You might be able to adapt this to the recumbent bike, who know. I wrote down the incline in percentages a long time ago but I'm not sure if that is correct. My treadmill goes from 0.0 to 10.0 so I assumed that was %.

TIME------------------ INSTRUCTIONS--------------------------------ENDING ---------------------------------------------------------------------SPEED/INCLINE
5 min. _____________3.0 mph/1% incline___________________
5 min. ___________Increase incline 1 increment _____3.0 mph/ 5% incline
__________________ each min.
1 min.___________Increase incline to 10%________ 3.0 mph/ 10% incline
5 min.___________Starting at 10%, reduce incline ___3.0 mph/ 5% incline
__________________1 increment/min.
1.5 min.__________Increase incline every 15 sec_____3.0 mph/10% incline.
30 sec.___________Remain at the above status
1.5 min.__________Decrease incline every 15 sec._____3.5 mph/ 1% incline.
5 min.___________4.0 mph at 1% incline__________4 mph/ 1% incline.
5 min.___________2.5 mph at 0% incline

30 min. total workout.

My inspiration:

CVS Haul

I went to CVS with $8 in ECB. I also had coupons for Kotex, Sally Hansen, and Revlon. The G2 drinks were, "buy $5, get $5 ECBs." So even without a coupon, I had to buy them. By the time I used my previous ECBs and coupons, I only had to spend $16 of my own money AND I got $9 in ECBs in return. The Carmello was free.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cleaning up.

I guess since I've started getting into the makeup world and watching YouTube Beauty Gurus, I thought I was switching up my makeup routine and trying new things. I cleaned my makeup brushes tonight and made an interesting observation. This pic shows what came off my brushed. What do I need to change up? This all looks pretty much the same.

Welcome! Let's Begin.

This is the beginning of HACK Interesting. Designed to explore and share the insights, interests, and investigations of HOLLY, AMY, CINDY, and KRISTEN.