Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve cleaning

One of the habits I picked up after living in Japan is their custom of oosouji (sometimes written as osoji). It literally means "big (oo) cleaning (souji)" and is a New Years Eve custom. The theory is that you want to start the new year with a clean slate - both metaphorically and literally - so you scrub your house from top to bottom and get all unfinished business done so you welcome the new year fresh and clean.

It's the kind of cleaning you don't do on a weekly basis, like pulling the furniture away from the walls to get all the dust bunnies out. Most people do this on New Years Eve. I, however, have much more to do than I could do in one day, so this year I spread it out over my free time in December. I decided to take on a more uncluttering approach over deep cleaning. I organized my jewelry, cleaned out two junk drawers, purged clothing I don't wear anymore, went through old letters/greeting cards I had saved, cleared out financial documents I no longer needed. It sure feels good to unload all of that stuff!

Today I did some literal deep cleaning, by vacuuming and changing my sheets and all that. Although I wasn't on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, I think I did a pretty good job and I'm ready to welcome the new year with a clean house and a clean mind!

Happy new year all! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A look back on profits from extra-cash sites in 2010


As the year comes to an end, I decided to look back on what I've made from extra-cash sites. These online money-makers are always a hot topic. I have been doing surveys and points programs for years now, and sometimes I wonder if they're really worth it. A few survey sites have made their rewards programs so paltry that I've stopped using them – who really wants to spend the equivalent of 50 hours on surveys to get some $10 as-seen-on-TV gadget?

I've drastically cut down on my survey taking (I was big into it when I was unemployed a few years ago!) but still dabble in it, so my accumulation is pretty fair considering the little effort I put into it. Toluna hasn't been sending me survey emails since April due to some glitch, so my balance was only a few months' worth of surveys. The survey site with the best cash-out program in my opinion is SurveySpot. Although they send tons of emails which I mostly just ignore, you get paid instantly via PayPal. No waiting or anything.

What I use more is the points programs like MyPoints, Swagbucks, and less frequently, InboxDollars. I've been a member of MyPoints since 2002 and all I really do is click through their emails, so the rewards I make are definitely worth it! Same with InboxDollars, it's mostly just email clicks, but accumulates slower. Swagbucks can be really profitable if you have a lot of referrals, but I don't, so most of my bucks are made through searches. Not a lot of effort either.

The LEAST amount of effort, however, is Ebates! I love love love Ebates! All you have to do is remember to click through them when you do online shopping (which I do plenty of). It's the easiest way to get some cash for nothing. I have referred a few friends for $5 bonuses as well. So it's not surprising I've made a large amount from them.

One other thing worth noting is this “exclusive” community I joined at the end of last year, called “The Mic”. The parent company, Communispace, apparently has over 350 of these communities they make for brand awareness and consumer feedback. I was originally invited through another survey site, and it's a little forum-based thing with discussions and polls. If you participate in four activities a month, you get $15 deposited in PayPal the next month. Super awesome easy money, but it's a closed community so I can't refer people :(

The results:

Survey sites
Zoompanel – nothing, and I will be quitting once I make enough to get some useless gadget
SurveySpot - $11.50 in PayPal cash
Ipsos I-say - $15 Amex card
Toluna - $20 check
Global Opinion Panels - $20 check (+ $10 in balance)

Other sites
InboxDollars - $40 check
MyPoints - $50 Target gift card
Swagbucks - $65 in Amazon gift cards
Ebates - $70.49 in PayPal cash  (+ $15.65 pending)
"The Mic" - $185 in PayPal cash

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Old Navy clothing haul

The other day when I went to the mall to get my Body Shop gift, I made a stop at Old Navy "just to look". Haha, can I ever just look? I was shocked to find that the last few days before Christmas prices were better or even less than their Black Friday prices! Not only that, but they had just added a ton of things to clearance, things that were regularly priced just last week!

My haul:
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts with beaded shoulder detail (1 in each color)
  • 1 3/4-length shirt with rosette detail
  • 4 turtlenecks (dark gray, turquoise, white, and lavender)
  • 1 black sweater
  • 1 pink sequin-trimmed cardigan
  • 1 corduroy skirt
  • 1 pair of pink sweatpants
Total price:  $59.40! That's 11 items for less than $60... so about $5.45 per item!

The breakdown:
  • Beaded shoulder shirts - I had been looking at these for ages and they were never on sale! They were originally priced at $22.50, and then appeared in clearance at $7.49. I would have preferred the dark gray in XS, but they only had S, but they did have the XS in light gray. I tried them both on and they both looked good, I couldn't make up my mind so I got both!
  • Rosette shirt - I had never seen this in the store before, but it was originally priced $17.50. It's so cute! They also had a peach color but it looked bad with my skin tone. I wear dark colors a lot more anyway. $5.99
  • Turtlenecks - I had bought two around October when they were $8 a piece (normal price $16.50 but they were often on sale for $8-10). They're the softest shirts I've ever worn, nice and long, and super flattering on me. They were all on sale for $5.49, so I bought all the colors I'd feasibly wear.
  • Black sweater - I bought the same one in pink for $15 on Black Friday. I recently purged a lot of my old sweaters, and no longer had any black ones. They were on sale for $10.
  • Pink cardigan - These are still on the website not on clearance! This was originally $36.50. Really cute with tiny sequin detailing on the pockets. $10.99
  • Corduroy skirt - I love skirts, even if I never wear them in the winter. I'll try with this one, because it's so cute! $6.99
  • Sweats - I have these in purple and gray, and I put them on as soon as I get home. They're so comfy! The picture makes them look salmon-colored, but they're really just bright pink. I got my other ones for $12 and $10, but these were $8.49.
I didn't have any coupons, but I did use a $20 reward card I had from credit card usage (you get points with every purchase on your Old Navy card, and they send you a rewards card after you reach a certain level).

My favorite item:

Although I probably won't be able to wear it until spring because it's 3/4-sleeved and very lightweight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Body Shop joy bag weeks 5 and 6 gifts

Updates for the final two weeks of The Body Shop's joy bag promotion!

Week 5: Green apple bath & shower gel from their "originals" line.

Not something I'd usually buy, but it certainly smells good. Retail $8.99 but rarely is ever full price - usually costs $5, and right now is only $3.

Week 6: Your choice of home fragrance oil (I chose vanilla and lime blossom, a light, fresh scent)

Retails for $7.50. I don't have an oil burner but maybe now I'll get one!

I'm sad that this fun promo is over. I'll definitely miss getting free products every week! :(

"Mother of all sales" at the Body Shop - 60% off!

The Body Shop is having "the mother of all sales" starting today! Great deals include 60% off holiday scents, gift sets, and miscellaneous items, B1G1 free shampoo and conditioner, skin care kits for $12, 3 for $10 makeup and lip butters, and much more!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cheap Burt's Bees at Target's daily deal!

Target's deal of the day is on select Burt's Bees products! Get the above lip balm gift set for $5.99, down from $9.99. And these lip balms retail for $2.99 a piece! Oh yeah, Target's daily deals always have free shipping too! I picked up this set and another one for $4.99 - you can never have too many lip balms! :) They'd make for great presents too. Check it out now, before they sell out!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Panini Christmas Caturday!

The adventures of Panini in her first Christmas season!

Helping decorate the tree...

Annoyed that I'm about to remove her from her favorite new play spot....

Helping wrap presents...

All tired out...

Have a great weekend! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Free gift for Bath & Body Works fans this weekend!

Bath & Body Works is releasing a new tropical-themed line - coconut, mango and passionfruit... mmm! This weekend (17th through 19th), they're offering Facebook fans a free sample of one of the three new flavors of body lotion with this printable coupon (or use code FBF103604 when ordering online). You can download the coupon without being a fan, but to be fair you should check out the page and give them a "like".

B1G1 free Nature's Bounty vitamins at CVS


Nature's Bounty vitamins are going on sale - buy one get one free - at CVS starting December 19th. Stock up on your vitamins now to battle cold and flu season!

Carmex coupons and giveaway!


Carmex is showing appreciation to their fans with a little holiday cheer. Click here to see their holiday page, which includes printable coupons for 2 products and a giveaway (their entire collection!) on both Facebook and Twitter.

A friend introduced me to Carmex several years ago and I was amazed at how well it took care of my terminally-chapped lips. I've been trying to make the switch to all-natural petrolatum-free lip balms, but my lips are so bad this winter (and it's not even officially winter yet!) I have once again fallen back on trustworthy Carmex.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Body Shop Friends & Family: 30% off!


Take an additional 30% off until 12/16 with code FFJOY! There are no restrictions and everything on the site is applicable, which is nice to see after a lot of their sales not including gift sets, skin care and such. They're also doing a buy-2-get-1-free promotion on select items, mostly bath & body.  If you need some last minute Christmas gifts, now's the time! The deadline for ground shipping to arrive before Christmas is 12/20 by midnight.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Caturday!

It's Caturday! Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

20% off plus free shipping at organic Aromafloria

Aromafloria is an excellent eco-friendly company that produces gentle, natural, fair-trade and organic skin care products. They have firm guidelines to make sure everything that goes into their products is good for you and the environment - and no animal-derived ingredients either.

Through Sunday they're having a special 20% off sale with the coupon code GIFTS2010. Shipping is free through December 31st as a special holiday promotion too! They're also including a free travel size of Healing Waters body lotion with all orders - a triple whammy of deals!

If you're looking for natural skin care products - now's your chance to try them at a discounted price. I have one of their body butters and it's my favorite!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sweet deals at Kohl's!

I went to Kohl's the other day armed with coupons, $10 gift cards and Kohl's Cash! I mentioned before how my grandma (and all other residents of her senior center) gets these $10 cards in the mail, and she collected a bunch of them for us from ones people had thrown out. They seem to be sending these out more frequently now, like once a month! We also had $20 in Kohl's Cash from a previous purchase. With the 15% off coupon going around, and the "night owl" power hours I caught, I managed to get some awesome deals!

The $10 gift cards aren't stackable, meaning you can only use one per transaction, but you CAN stack them with percentage-off coupons, as well as Kohl's cash. The Kohl's employees don't seem to mind that customers had more than one card (they do come free in the mail, after all), although you still have to pay in separate transactions.



My first purchases: BOOTS!! There's no article of clothing I love more than boots. I wear boots as much as possible, which is about every day in the winter, starting in the early fall and going into late spring. I have tons of boots, and I can never resist buying more. And I got these for SO CHEAP! :D

Pair #1: Black motorcycle-style boots - SO brand "Blissful" - These are awesome because they look like tough boots, but they're faux fur-lined and made out of a suede-like material! They have a nice sturdy sneaker-like bottom so they're super comfy. I got the last pair in my size from the back room, so lucky!
Original price: $69.99
Power hours sale price: $18.99
Minus $10 card: $8.99
Minus 15%: $7.64!

Pair #2: Furry brown boots - SONOMA life + style "Katy" - These are sooo warm and toasty and no less than 10 people told me on the first day I wore them how how awesome they are! I love them! Like the others, they're quality made with a nice cushioned bottom, fur-lining, and a suede upper. I'm lucky to have found them at the power hours sale, because their regular sale price is more like $34.99.
Original price: $69.99
Power hours sale price: $23.99
Minus $10 card: $13.99
Minus 15%: $11.89!

I got this long "skinny" Candie's cardi on a whim: it's really super cute, but a little edgy with the studded pockets.

Original price: $44
Power hours sale price: $16.99
Minus $10 card: $6.99
Minus 15%: $5.94!

And while not nearly as exciting as boots or clothes, the reason I went to Kohl's was to look at their sheets. I have no decent sheets as I pretty much only use satin sheets, but they've been annoying me lately (by sliding the comforter off the bed 5 times a night) so I was looking for some nice quality 100% cotton ones, especially now it's so cold.

I found these 100% pima cotton luxury sheets, which are as soft as butter but carry a price tag of a whopping $119!!

But you know I certainly didn't pay that much! I had seen them on sale for $59.99 the previous week, but during the power hours sale they were reduced further to $50.99. I decided to use the $20 Kohl's cash in addition to a $10 card, which worked out like this:

Original price: $119
Power hours sale price: $50.99
Minus $20 Kohl's cash: $30.99
Minus $10 card: $20.99
Minus 15%: $17.84! (with tax, $18.91)

In total, I bought $302.98 worth of stuff for $44.38! It was nice to have a little shopping spree-like splurge without spending all that much!

Monday, December 6, 2010

e.l.f. daily deals


Another one jumping on the daily deal bandwagon: e.l.f.! Every day they will feature a new daily deal with prices slashed dramatically! Today's deal is the entire Mineral Brush Collection - which includes 12 brushes, a case, and brush cleaner - a $71 item for only $35. It's limited to 1000 and will only be available for purchase for 24 hours.

What's more is you can cast your vote for future deals. A selection is showcased at the bottom of the page, and the ones that get the most "likes" will  be featured. It's not mentioned whether their daily deals will be a limited-time thing, or something they will  be doing regularly now, but either way it looks like fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bath & Body Works stocking stuffer haul


Mom was looking for some small hand creams for stocking stuffers, so we popped into Bath & Body Works to see what we could find. We ended up with the above pile of goodies for only $20! Here's how it worked out.

The smaller sized items are usually $6 a piece. There were a few promotions running, including buy two get one free for Bliss Spa items (like the "Lay it on Thick" and "Shea it isn't so" in the above photo), but there was also a 3 for $10 promo running on some of the same items. Interesting, as 3 for $10 is obviously better than 3 for $12 (what the B1G1 would have been).

So all of the above items fell into the 3 for $10 promo. We only got 6 items, but then realized we had a $10 off $30 coupon. So why not get 3 more items to bump our total up for $30 and get them for free? We also had a coupon for a free item ($13 or less) with a $10 purchase.

After much debating, we settled on a Twisted Peppermint soap and lotion set for our free item - which was normally $16 but all gift sets were supposed to be 25% off. We were rudely told by the cashier that it was only gift sets in baskets (although the signs were posted everywhere, on sections were there were no baskets in sight), and that didn't count. So we quickly chose a replacement item - the mug filled with vanilla products, which was $12.50.

The total of the items if you paid full price (although I can't see how anyone would!) would have been $66.50, but we walked out with all of them for $20! I am disappointed I left the coupon for a free reindeer Pocketbac in the printer, which would have gotten me another free item, but oh well, maybe next time!

The Body Shop joy bag weeks 3 and 4 gifts

Here's an update of the free gifts from last week (week 3) and this week (week 4) of The Body Shop's joy bag promotion!

Last week was the Camomile Gentle Eyemakeup Remover (retail $14.50):


And this week was your choice of Cranberry Joy or Spiced Vanilla mini body butters (retail $8)!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Caturday!

It's Caturday! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, it's been a hectic week and I imagine this weekend isn't going to be much better!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Body Shop Cyber Monday sale!

Ohh, I spoke too soon in my last post! I forgot about Cyber Monday, and just what do I see in my inbox but The Body Shop's Cyber Monday sneak peek!

Their sale: 3 items for $30 - the same that was in stores Black Friday! AND they have free shipping with any order! So basically, the same deal without having to get up at the crack of dawn :) Hooray! It looks like the sale has already started, so you don't even have to wait until tomorrow!

Black Friday finds

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. A full week of work is ahead of me and I'm not looking forward to it, but at least I had a nice relaxing mini-vacation. Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, and it was good times all around with friends and family.

I wasn't going to do any Black Friday shopping, but we ended up venturing out in the afternoon to see what was going on. Traffic and crowds weren't too bad, so I guess that was the time to shop if you weren't looking for any doorbusters! Kohl's had already finished their sale at 1:00 so we missed it, but it was no big deal. We ended up going to Old Navy and Walmart.

At Old Navy I got two pairs of pajama pants for $5 each, and a sweater for $15. If only I hadn't just bought a bunch of pjs, I would have bought more - they have such cute designs and $5 is so cheap! I've had my eye on the long john-type bottoms, but they were $14.50 and hadn't been cheaper than $12, so I was quite excited to see them included in the deal!


Can you tell I like pink? Actually I really only have like 2 pink shirts to my name - it's really not a color I wear often...

At Walmart I didn't really get anything that was on sale! I picked up this awesome little portable external harddrive, not even knowing it SPARKLES!! (I have a thing for little sparkly lights)


I have been wanting one of these since my computer failed, because my old external HD is a behemoth of a thing that needs to be plugged into the wall to work, and I end up tripping over it or knocking it over (seriously, it's crashed to the floor so many times, I'm surprised it still works at this point - although it is built like a tank!). It always takes way more effort than it should, so I back up everything less than I should. This is barely bigger than an iPod and gets all the power it needs from the USB!

I could have waited for it to go on sale, but I'd been checking the prices online and they were all about the same, and there were no Black Friday deals that I could find for external HDs, so I just bit the bullet and bought it. 

The one sale we did pick up was a flat-screen TV for the second living room - the room with the fireplace. We've been having fires almost every day now it's cold, and I've been spending most of my time there, but there was no TV (actually there was, but it was a 1989 model and was so crappy we didn't even bother turning it on!). Believe it or not, around 4pm at Walmart there were PILES of TVs at the front of the store, and the sale price was still valid. We were pretty amazed, and since we'd wanted a TV in there for a while - we actually bought one last year but my dad appropriated it for his personal use - we decided it would be a good time to get it.

So it was a stress-free Black Friday, but I'm happy with the things I bought! If anything, I'd have liked to go to The Body Shop to hit up their 3 for $30 sale, but I've spent so much money there lately it seemed kinda silly! They're always having good sales so it's no big loss.

Did you get any good deals this weekend?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fluffy and Panini bird watching - Molly's out in the background!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I certainly have a lot to be thankful for. I took Panini to the vet yesterday because she'd been sick since the weekend. I had taken her for her shots on Friday, and to get a culture of this strange lump she has on her neck. She got sick the next day so I figured it was a reaction to her shots or something with the lump, since it had been punctured.

Well, the lump turned out to be a localized infection and not cancer or anything (thank goodness!) and seems to be going away. But she was still sick, and getting sicker. She hadn't eaten in 2 days and we were getting really worried. Yesterday she just seemed in pain, so I called up the vet and whisked her in. Well, it turns out she wasn't sick - she was injured. She had eaten one of my mom's sewing needles, and it lodged in the back of her mouth, several inches down into her neck! :( I'm still cringing at the thought - my poor kitty!!

Mom keeps her sewing supplies on a high shelf, out of the cats' reach, but she must have sneaked one away while Mom was sewing. It still had the thread attached. She needed emergency surgery to get it out, and after a little resting, we took her home. She immediately chowed down a whole can of food upon her return, and I hadn't seen her so active and animated since we first brought her home from the shelter!


I'm glad that trauma is over and she's feeling a lot better now. Now we need to work on beefing her up, as she's almost 5 months old and only 3.5 lbs - look how skinny she is! She's always been half the size of her sister (who got adopted the other day, by the way!), but her multiple illnesses have just set her back. She'll have a special serving of turkey set aside for her today :)

And on the subject of cats, today is Murphy's 7 year anniversary with us!

Thanksgiving 2003, he followed the neighbors home while they were walking after their meal. They called us up and asked if we were missing a cat - we weren't, but because they're not cat people, they dropped him off with us. We posted "found cat" signs, and several people came to see him, but no one claimed him. He's still with us after all these years!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DIY skincare: pumpkin mask


While you're opening cans of pumpkins for your Thanksgiving meal, sneak a little bit to try this mask! Pumpkin has naturally exfoliating enzymes, which will unclog your pores and slough off dead skin. Honey is a great moisturizer, while cider vinegar balances pH, tones and prevents acne.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 egg
Directions:
  1. Combines all ingredients
  2. Beat mixture with a fork until smooth
  3. Apply to clean dry skin and leave on for 20 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Body Shop joyous bag update + sale report!


Yesterday I went to The Body Shop to claim my second free gift from the Joyous tote bag and to see what the "Unwrap Your Joy" sale event was!

The free gift of the week (week 2: November 21st through November 27th) is their best-selling hemp hand protector - 1.0 oz size, retail price $10! I'm thrilled about this, as I received a sample of it, loved it, and planned on buying it next anyway!

The "Unwrap Your Joy" sale event was a peelie card - everyone received one at the door, and you opened it to see what your discount was. There might have been more, but the potential discounts I saw were buy 1 item get 1 free, $20 off $40, $10 off $15, or $100 free! Someone there in the store while I was shopping had picked a $100 coupon - lucky girl!!

I got $10 off $15, which is really like getting $15 worth of stuff for $5. I decided to try the Rainforest Moisture hair butter mask, which was $14, and got a little coconut shower cream ($3.50) to bump the total over $15. I probably could have found something cheaper, but I will use it as a stocking stuffer :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Caturday: Fuzziversary

It's Caturday! And a special Caturday it is, because it's Fluffybutt's 1-year adoption anniversary!

Fluff was just a little baby when I first met her at the shelter in the summer of 2009.

Although she's 4 months old in this picture, she looks so little!

I always giggled at her scruffy appearance, she wasn't quite short-haired but didn't look long-haired either. She just looked scraggly! Her name at the shelter was "Wuzzy", as in "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear". Her littermates were Fuzzy, Bear, and Beary! (Bear is shown up there, black and white)

Wuzzy always sat in my lap while I played with the kittens while volunteering, and her sweet personality grew on me. Months passed and she got bigger. Most of her littermates and roommates were adopted, but poor Wuzzy remained. Eventually, in November, I convinced my parents we needed another cat. She was almost 8 months old when we took her home, a "teenager" in the shelter's words. By then, she'd outgrown her awkward kitten phase and wasn't quite as scruffy looking, but she was still scrawny.

Several days after adoption, already taking over the house

We had a great debate over her name. I thought up some clever and adorable names, but my dad wanted to call her "Fluffy". Seriously, how cliche is that?! Even my grandma laughed and said "Gee, that's original", and my grandma is not usually one for sarcasm! But it stuck, although we appended the "butt". Dad insists her given name is "Fluffy" and her nickname is "Fluffybutt", but I consider it the other way around. She has a vast amount of nicknames, including "Fuzzbucket" and "The Fluff Master". The shelter people just roll their eyes at me when I mention her new name, and continue to call her Wuzzy ;)

Fluffy now, showing off her secret belly spots!

Now she's a year and a half old, so she's fully grown and has a full fluffy coat, complete with a lion's mane. She's quite a large cat, body-wise she rivals our male cats, and has a graceful, exotic air to her. She also has enough personality for two! I'm so glad I brought her home :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Body Shop free shipping + 2 free gifts!


The deals are rolling out for the weekend! The Body Shop is offering free shipping and two free gifts with any $25 purchase this weekend! The gifts are pictured above, they're sets of a mini body wash and lotion in five different scents, usually worth $5 each! The free shipping is a good deal too, the minimum is usually $50.

They're also having an in-store promotion this weekend, but details aren't disclosed online. The only clues are "Everybody Wins" and that you might even get your entire purchase free! My guess is it's a scratch-off type game where you can win a discount or free item. They always have such fun promos!

Bare Escentuals secret sale - 30% or more off!


Bare Escentuals is having a secret "Pick Me Up" sale online today from 9am to 9pm PST (so noon to midnight EST). A bunch of items are on sale for 30% off and up! There are lots of little sets and things that would make awesome holiday presents. The only way to access the sale is through this link, it's not advertised on the main page!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get a free gift card with your e.l.f. order!


E.l.f. is having a price-tiered gift card offer available now until November 21st!

Spend $50 and get a $25 gift card back with code CB25
Spend $25 and get a $10 gift card back with code CB10
Spend $15 and get a $5 gift card back with code CB5

Limit $25 in gift cards per person.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soap.com shopping splurge


A while ago I posted about a Groupon for Soap.com - $10 for $20 worth of products. I bought it, and a few days ago decided to put it towards good use!

I bought a bunch of stuff I didn't need, but at least it was a discounted splurge :) Since Soap.com has a lot of brands and products I've never seen in stores, I decided to use it on things I had never tried before. I got:
  • Upper Canada Soap Whipped Hand Repair Balm in Sweet Vanilla Fig $7.99
  • "Chicken Poop Lip Junk" an all-natural lip balm $2.70
  • c. Booth Derma Trial-size Kit (contains cleanser, scrub, toner, moisturizer and body lotion) $14
  • c. Booth Brazilian Nut Dry Oil Spray $6.99
For a total of $31.68, which I paid $11.68 of after the Groupon. So counting the $10 I paid for the original Groupon, it was $21.68, with free shipping - not bad!

The best part of my order was how quickly it arrived. I ordered it Friday morning, and it was on my doorstop Saturday afternoon! I could not believe it made it out of the warehouse and to my house that fast. I give them major props for their superhuman speed!

They offered me a referral code, so anyone who enters it into the site when they first sign up gets 15% off their entire order! Enter KN084036 to get your sign-up bonus.

Small Target trip + pajama bonanza

Continued from my previous post!

We went to Target with a few things in mind, one of which was the Glade gift card promotion. Specific Glade items were on sale for $2.50 each, and if you bought 5, you got a $5 gift card! Some of the stuff was $4 and up regularly, so it was a good deal.

We had just bought a bunch of candles elsewhere, so we decided to try something new - the oil candle burners with their yummy new holiday scents! These little candle disks melt into oil to disperse the scent.

As you can see, we opened and used some immediately, before I could take a picture. We ended up with 4 refill packs and 1 burner (which came with 1 oil candle) in Bayberry Spice, French Vanilla, Apple Cinnamon, and Baked Magic.

All together it was $12.50, but I had a $1 off Glade Target coupon, as well as a $1.50 off manufacturer's coupon, making it $10 even for all 5 products. I probably could have done better and found more coupons, but it was spur of the moment, and I still got a great deal! I also got the $5 gift card, and gave it to Mom (who checked out behind me) to use on some other stuff we got (eco-friendly LCD Christmas lights and good stuff like that :D).

My other grand purchase:

I've had a $2 off Maybelline Eyestudio coupon for a while now, I've been waiting for the opportune moment to use it. This eyeshadow quad runs about $7.50 to $8 in my local stores. I was shocked to see at this Target (not one we usually go to) it was only $6.42! So I figured now was the time - and I got it for $4.42 with the coupon!

I also had a little pajama splurge, although not all at Target. On Target's printable coupon site, they had a $10 off 3 pajamas coupon. While it would be ideal to grab a bunch of clearance PJs and get them all for free, I am in dire need of winter PJs and am drowning in summer ones (the only ones on clearance). So we decided to split it up - I got one PJ set (which comes with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants AND shorts) for $19.99, Mom got a pair of PJ pants for $10, and we got another 3-set for someone as a Christmas present. It wasn't much savings, but $10 off is better than nothing! And the designs are sooo cute!

I got the rest of the PJs from Kohl's. My grandma had received several $10 gift cards in the mail (her apartment complex is right down the street from a Kohl's, so they send them out as promos - lucky!!) and gave them to us (super lucky!). The blue PJ set was $40, on sale for $24.99, I used one $10 gift card, making it $14.99, and then a 30% off coupon we got in the mail, making the set only $10.50!

The two shirts were actually just ladies' long-sleeved shirts, but they're 100% cotton and were only $7.99. So $15.98 for the two of them, minus a $10 gift card and the 30%, they came out to be $4.19 total, or less than $2.10 each! Score!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day of unexpected freebies


I had a busy but fun weekend! Saturday night I went into NYC for my friend's birthday party and spent the night. We had dinner and drinks and attempted to go to karaoke, but all of the places with suites were full and we gave up after a while. The next morning we had massive slices of triple chocolate birthday cake, Jamba Juice smoothies, and walked around the city. Fun times :)

My friend had received a bottle of the new Kim Kardashian perfume from a coworker, and doesn't wear perfume, so she gave it to me! First unexpected freebie of the day. Sunday when we were browsing the market at Byant Park, one of the vendors of natural bath products (handmade soaps and good stuff like that) gave us free lip balms! Their website is at Soap Creek if you want to check them out. Lots of great-smelling products!

After I got back home, Mom was looking through the circulars from the paper and proposed a spontaneous trip to Target. We decided to go to the other Target in the area, which is in a mall, and the mall was closing in less than 2 hours so we had little time to run around and shop! First I went to Origins to give an empty moisturizer bottle to the recycling program. The Origins I usually go to gives me whatever sample they have available, but this one asked me to choose a products and gave me a little sample jar to take home! I chose the Ginger Souffle body cream.

Next, I went to The Body Shop to exchange my first coupon from the Joy Bag For Life promo. I was expecting the free gift to be a sample size of something, so I was quite shocked when they pulled out a full sized coconut body butter! They're worth $20! You can still buy the tote that comes with the coupons (it's only $5 and supports charitable causes) and you'll get a free gift like this every week until the end of December! I'm excited to see what the rest of the gifts will be :)

Target haul in another post - it's time to watch House!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Caturday!


It's Caturday! Above is a rare scene I snapped earlier this week - the boys, Murphy and Deuce, sleeping in close proximity to one another! They're in a constant Alpha-battle state, trying to intimidate one another, so it's not often you see them being buddy-buddy. I think it's all for show, since they never actually fight and are both sweeties.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Goodies from the Joyous LYB event 11/11


Yesterday, The Body Shop had an event for LYB members in stores. Just by showing your card, you got a goodie bag, refreshments, and 20% off everything in the store!

This was my first LYB event (considering I just joined last week) and was shocked to see the contents of the free goodie bag!


Three samples, a mini body butter, and a coupon for $5 off any purchase! The mini body butter retails for $8, what an awesome freebie! For refreshments they had cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate truffles - yum yum :)

Since I'd just bought a ton of stuff there, I didn't need anything else, but I did buy one of their eco-tote shopping bags. It's $5 (and $2 gets donated to charitable causes) and with it came a stack of coupons to be used once a week until the end of the year. The coupons are for free gifts - so one freebie a week for the rest of the year! Anything you bought yesterday would be 30% with the bag (in addition to the 20% off for LYB members) but the coupons should come with the bag until the end of the year. The first coupon can be used starting next week!

I also stopped at Bath & Body Works because my mom wanted to get some Wallflowers (scent diffusers) which were on sale for $6 for a 2-pack. They have such yummy scents, we got some of the Twisted Peppermint ones last time and they smell so amazing, we had to get some more! We had a coupon for $10 off $30 and needed a couple extra bucks, so I got some of these cute PocketBac hand sanitizers. I use the warm vanilla sugar kind now but I'd never seen the cupcake ones! Such cute designs!


And here's Panini being cute with the bag :D