Monday, September 12, 2011

Back from the dead + B&BW freebies

Hello all! I'm back from an unintended hiatus. My area was hit by Irene and resulted in 8 days without electricity. I'm thankful that no other damage was done. Since then I've had various personal things to attend to, and my blogging has fallen by the wayside. But now I intend to pick up where I left off.

Let me start with a quick little update on some freebies I got at Bath & Body Works this weekend.

This weekend they offered free travel-sized bottles of the new scent "charmed life" to Facebook fans. There was also a coupon for a free Halloween PocketBac with any purchase (no minimum required). Certain items in the store were 50% off, which included a handful of PocketBacs. I got one in Sugar Lemon for $0.75, and got the yummy-smelling "chocolate chew" Halloween one for free! I love PocketBacs!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Caturday!

Last week I took an impromptu trip to Chicago to visit my friend and have since been busy running around doing other stuff. Hurricane Irene is set to hit us pretty hard, and the town is in full emergency mode. I've never seen so much prep before a storm. The trains are shutting down, highways are closing, parts of town are evacuating, and they're even issuing a ban on traffic after nightfall. The elementary school (where I work) has been converted into an emergency shelter and my mom, who volunteers with the town emergency response team, has to stay there and is insisting I stay with her tonight.

Around July last summer we had a very short storm that no one was prepared for, but it did extensive damage. I was out at the time and my car was about 2 feet away from being hit by a fallen tree, and I couldn't get home because the roads were all blocked by fallen trees and power lines. We were out of power for 4 days. I'm glad this time we're prepared at least. The school has a generator but I'll probably be out of internet for a few days, regardless of how hard the storm hits. It's usually the first thing to go!

I hope everyone else in the path of the hurricane is safe and sound!

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Birchbox!

I got my August Birchbox at the beginning of the month...

This month's theme was innovation and technology. Here's what it looked like wrapped up:

And unwrapped....

Product details....

These were all new to me! Although they weren't incredibly exciting, this is probably the best box so far in terms of things I'd be interested in and would actually use.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

$35 worth of stuff for $12.49 - hooray for Target!

I got some great deals at Target last week after scouring the clearance and stacking coupons and sales!

Jif To Go: $2.39, free with coupon received in the mail
NYC eyeshadow set: Was $4.59, on clearance for $1.19
NYC foundation: Was $2.79, on clearance for $0.68
Maybelline Lash Stilleto mascara: Was $7.09, on clearance for $4.96. Used $1 off Maybelline coupon for total $3.96
Schick razors: $6.74 each on sale, buy 2 get a $5 Target gift card. Used B1G1 free coupon from Sunday paper, paid $6.74 for both ($3.37 each) and received a $5 gift card!
Revlon nail polish: Was $3.84, clearance for $1.92. Stacked $1 off Revlon target coupon with $1 off manufacturer's coupons for an overage of $0.08! (Yes, they paid me 8 cents to buy this nail polish!)

The original value for all the above items was almost $35, but I paid only $12.49, and I got a $5 gift card to use later!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New products and sets spotted!

I've seen a wave of new products cropping up in different stores lately!

Spotted at CVS:

This is a hard plastic train case filled with Wet n wild goodies! Contains 2 minis of their coloricon eyeshadow trios, 2 coloricon blushes, 1 megalength and 1 megaplump mascara, 2 megalast nail colors, and 2 megalast lip colors. Quite a nice little kit for $9.99! They also have a travel cosmetics case for $4.99 that includes similar minis.

Spotted at Walmart:

There are several discount Covergirl sets out. For $8.49 you can get a Clean foundation and powder set, or for $9.99 you can get a Lash Blast mascara and Shadow Blast eyeshadow or and eyeliner. They have multiple sets with different combinations of colors and types. 

They also have three different "smoky eye kits" that contain a Last Blast, Shadow Blast, and eyeliner.

This "Not Your Mother's" brand is new (to our Walmart at least).  The product line contains both curly and straight hair cream, heat protectant spray, and beachy hair texture spray, all for under $5.

Spotted at Harmon:

The very sought-after Dream Weavers wet n wild collection has been available at Harmon for a few weeks now. I actually took this photo a while ago and they've since sold out!

But the Fantasy Makers Halloween products are out! The nail polishes are tombstone shaped and retail for $1.79. It includes the traditional black, glow-in-the-dark, and black with orange glitter. Other products include loose holographic glitter, black and red lipsticks, glitter eyeliner, glitter body gel, glitter cream eyeshadow pallets of 9, temporary tattoos, and sets with glue-on eyelashes, nail polish, and eyeshadow duos.

They also have the wet n wild "On the Prowl" new nail polish collection. For more info and swatches, check out Nouveau Cheap's post about it.

This line of L'Oreal products is called "The Color of Hope" and supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Every purchase will donate $1. The line is apparently an annual line that comes out in time for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which is September. The products include Wear Infinite eyeshadow quads ($5.99), Color Riche lipstick, Pro Manicure nail polish ($3.99), and Infallible lip color ($7.49).

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Birchbox: Cynthia Rowley collaboration

A little late, but here's a recap of my July Birchbox! This month was their first designer collaboration. The box was designed by Cynthia Rowley, and the products inside are all her picks.

Inside packaging

1) Joya perfume sample
2) Nuxe dry oil sample
3) philosophy purity made simple face wash
4) Redken shine flash hair glistening mist
5) ybf beauty eyebrow pencil (full size!)
Extra: Kind granola bar

Click for larger view of product details

Definitely a wide assortment of products, stuff I wouldn't think to try. But I do enjoy them! I have been using the eyebrow pencil, which is a universal shade of taupe with an eyebrow comb on the other end, and it's pretty nice. I have yet to try the dry oil, which is a multipurpose oil that you're supposed to be able to use anywhere on your body (the product details on the card are wrong!).

See my recap of June's Birchbox here. If you want to join Birchbox, use this link! :)

Sephora Beauty Insider's birthday freebie!

I love Sephora's Beauty Insider program! Even if you rarely make purchases (like me), you still get the occasional free sample, and a special gift on your birthday! I picked mine up early since they emailed me about it. It's a 6 fl oz bottle of philosophy's bath & shower gel in "vanilla birthday cake" flavor. It smells fantastic!

Last year, I signed up for a bunch of programs for birthday freebies, and have gotten a few in the past few days. Starbucks sent me a postcard for a free drink and Baskin Robbins sent me a coupon for a free scoop! There are several others who give gifts with purchase (like buy-one-get-one-free ice cream at Coldstone) also. It's fun to be spoiled! :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Belated Caturday and Harry Potter

Panini and her foster babies

I've been a bad blogger and not only missed the past few weeks of Caturday, haven't been blogging nearly as much as I want to. There are two main reasons for this:

1) The kitties themselves! They've been a handful. We've fostered lots of cats before, but never five orphans. They needed constant attention bottle-feeding, cleaning and caring for them, and although now they can eat by themselves, they still want attention all the time! And one little guy was sick for a while a needed a few vet trips and daily medicine. Panini has adopted the kittens as her own and is the sweetest little foster mommy, and she helps us grooming and playing with them! They're six weeks old now, so we'll have them for another 2 weeks.

The Weasley brothers!

2) Harry Potter! Haha.. I have never been interested in Harry Potter, ever. When the books first came out, I guess I thought I was too cool for it (I had too many other nerdy things to obsess about) and just never got into the series. Well, my best friends convinced me to watch the movies in succession so we could see the last one in the theater. So we rented them all and had somewhat of a marathon, except it took 2 weeks instead of 1 weekend like we expected, watching parts of the movies every day. And now I'm a big Harry Potter nerd. I have a huge crush on Snape!

I saw the final movie in the theater on Friday, and have been spending whatever little time I have on the computer looking up goofy YouTube videos and hilarious HP memes.

My birthday is in a few days (August 3rd) so I'll hopefully be doing some fun things this week and the upcoming weekend, but I'll try to get back into the blogging habit. I just have to make myself stay off the Cheezburger Network...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How I got $50 worth of stuff for free at The Body Shop

Last year when they proposed I join the Love Your Body Club at The Body Shop, I was a little hesitant. It costs $10 a year, and I don't usually pay for rewards cards. But at the time, I was buying a large quantity of stuff, and the 10% discount nearly covered the membership costs. Since then, I've saved a TON of money on my Body Shop shopping sprees and gotten some exclusive deals and freebies too. This was one of those times.

One of the perks is their point system - for every purchase over $20, you get 1 point. For every purchase over $50, you get 2 points. When you make 4 points (which means spending $80~100), you get $15 worth of store credit. When you make 8 points, you get $25 worth of store credit and free membership renewal. I made it to 8 points about 8 months into my membership, and had my $25 sitting there, ready to be spent.

Except I didn't really need anything, so I was holding on to it until the right moment. Well, that right moment came. I received a $5 (off $25) coupon in the mail, so now I had $30 in store credit. Not only that, but this weekend they had a secret LYB members only sale that got you 25% off any purchase of $20 or more - that's in addition to your 10% regular discount! So now I had to go!

I shopped online before I went, because I always seem to get there and blank on what I need. I've tried a couple Tea Tree products and liked them, so I decided I'd get the Tea Tree travel kit ($25) to sample some of the other products, the Tea Tree face mask ($15) and maybe pick up a body butter if I needed something extra.

When I got there, the salesgirl mentioned that for the price of the travel kit, I could get the three full-sized products for the same price! There was a promotion going on (that wasn't advertised very prominently) which discounted the full-sized items!

The breakdown:

Face wash $11
Toner $11
Face lotion $13
Scrub $13
Mask $15
Tea tree oil $9

Original total: $72

Promotion for set of 3 skincare: minus $10
8 point gift: minus $25
$5 off coupon: minus $5
25% off $20 sale: minus $8
10% off LYB discount: minus $2.40

Grand total: $21.60

I could have spent a lot less, but faced with all these cool tea tree items and a discount, I ended up getting more than I planned. But when it came time to check out, I actually stunned the salesgirl into speechlessness. That's right - my couponing skills are so amazing, I even surprise the employees, haha! She said she's never seen anything like that before, although I personally don't think it was that amazing!

Now I have everything I could possibly want from The Body Shop, I think it's time to lay off the shopping for a bit!

Friday, July 22, 2011

LA Splash Crackle'd nail polish

My local Harmon just got a huge stock of new products in, rearranging the entire front wall of the store to display all this fun stuff! One of the many things they've started stocking is crackle nail polish in every brand that makes them, including OPI's Shatter, Sally Hansen's Crackle, and this new LA Splash Cosmetics (LASplash?) stuff.

I've been dying to try crackled nail polish for a while, and the LA Splash polish was only $4.79, so I decided to give it a try. They had this amazing looking silver glitter crackle called "Ice'd", which I chose over a black since I thought it would look less goth. I put it on over my existing chipping purple manicure (which I was going to take off tomorrow anyway) and came up with... what??

The thin silver glitter immediately turned thick, white, and opaque... it looks like moldy bread! I'm really befuddled because it changed so drastically and looks downright gross (which is exactly what my mom said when she saw my nails... "Ew, gross!"). I tried to apply a thin coat, but perhaps I put too much on? I will try it again tomorrow with fresh polish, but if it still looks like this, I'm going to take advantage of Harmon's fantastic return policy and try a black, or just forget about it entirely.

Even weirder is I haven't found a single mention of this polish on the internet no matter how many variations of "Crackle'd" I search for. No blogs, no reviews, no online stores selling it. It's not even on LA Splash's official site! What's with this mysterious product?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

EcoTools "Choose To Live Beautifully" coupons

I got my coupons from the EcoTools "Choose To Live Beautifully" campaign! They arrived less than 2 weeks after I mailed my items in. If you haven't sent products in yet, there's still time! Check out for details.

The coupons are worth up to $7.99, which can get you individual brushes, lotions, shower accessories, or a set like their 6 piece eye brush set or 5 piece travel kit!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Color Club "Wicked Sweet" scented nail polish collection

I found this scented nail polish collection at TJMaxx for $7.99. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't familiar with the Color Club brand (they don't sell it around here) and I thought it was a cheap drugstore brand. Little did I know! This awesome neon collection is called "Wicked Sweet" and retails for around $20-30!

The colors include, from left to right (click above image for larger view):
Get Your Lem-on - bright yellow shimmer
The Lime Starts Here - bright green shimmer
I Always Get My Man-darin - tangerine-orange shimmer
Yum Gum - sweet pink creme
Raspberry Rush - magenta creme
Gimme A Grape Big Kiss - bright purple creme
Wicked Sweet - neon blue shimmer

They are scented when dry, they all have various sweet fruity flavors. The lemon, to me, smells like lemon scented toilet cleaner. They're all little silly, but the scent isn't as strong after the first day, so it's not bothersome.

I'm fully into the neon trend, and went crazy with the colors. Why wear just one?!

I used all colors but the grape. I've gotten so many complements on my brightly colored toes - they really make me smile! :)

My favorites are probably the green, blue, and yellow because they're the most unique. Without the rest of the collection surrounding them, the pink, raspberry, and grape cremes look like boring, generic nail colors because they're not particularly neon (seriously, my grandma always has her nails painted a similar raspberry color!). I think they would have looked better as shimmers too.

I think I will continue the fun multi-colored toes look this summer, but I can also see myself using most of the colors by themselves. It was definitely worth the 8 bucks!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Caturday!

I'm back from vacation and less than 24 hours later, there's a call for kitten fosters. A man was going to work and found a litter of kittens in his garage, with no mother to be seen! The kittens are about 3 weeks old and were so flea-infested they would have died in a matter of days :( So they bathed them and now we're taking care of them!

There are 5 of them, the three you see in the photo are the boys, and there's a tabby and tortie girl. They're still little enough that they need to be fed with a bottle, but they're learning how to eat and use the litter box. They're really friendly and sweet!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th & belated Caturday!

My dad and baby Panini

Happy Independence Day to my American readers! Caturday is late because I'm on vacation, but I figured today was as good as any day to post, because it's also Panini's 1st birthday!

I don't know exactly when she was born because her birth is oddly cloaked in mystery - like where she came from, what happened to her mother, etc. We took her and Truffles at the last minute, when their current foster family was going away, and no one at the shelter seemed to know where they came from. We got them in the first week of August around my birthday (best birthday present ever!), and they were about 4 weeks old. So that makes her born some time this week, and I chose the 4th as her birthday to make it easy to remember.

She's a year old now, and she's just as sweet as ever. Her only problem is she still thinks she's teeny, and wants to sit on shoulders like she always has, except everyone's shoulders have gotten smaller!

My brother and the now fully-grown Panini

Have a safe and happy long weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Body Shop Princess Bag free gift week 4!

I don't know how this post escaped me - oops! Oh well, better late than never. The fourth and final week of The Body Shop's Princess Bag free gifts was your choice of their hand wash. At least, that's what their Facebook page said. My local shop said there was no choice and they were only giving out the Sweet Lemon scent. Which is fine, but I'd have probably chose the coconut if it were up to me! I didn't even know they had hand wash - it's fun to try new things!

Claire's 10 for $10 goodies!

A while ago Claire's was having my favorite sale of theirs - 10 for $10! It's hit or miss, sometimes I find tons of things I want, and other times I leave empty handed. This wasn't one of those times! You don't have to buy 10 things (they all ring up $1 regardless of how much you buy) but I had no problem finding 10 things I wanted.

I'm currently on a bracelet kick, especially the braided ones, so I was happy to find lots of cute bracelets! I also picked up these goofy but adorable cases:

Because I can't resist things with kitties on them!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Caturday!

Wow, it's been a busy week! I have backlogs of ideas for posts but I haven't gotten around to writing them! So here's a late Caturday. We got this Rebecca Bonbon dog sling at the mall for Panini - it's the Panini Pocket! She always wants to be held, and sometimes it's annoying when you need your hands for something. So the Panini Pocket makes carrying Panini hands-free! She still prefers being perched on your shoulder, but she loves hanging out in the bag too, silly kitty. How many cats do you know who would do this??

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Revlon "Just Tinted" jelly nail polish!

I discovered this new nail polish when I was scrounging around Harmons in a last-minute attempt to buy something with the $2 off Revlon coupon that was about to expire. It's called "Just Tinted", to go with their lip stain "Just Bitten" (which I really do not like, but that's for another day)... and it's a jelly! I've heard all about jelly polish but I've never tried it, so I gleefully got it in the shade "Victorian" for $2 off the $4-something price tag.

It's super cute!! The above photo shows it with 2 coats and no top coat. As you can see, it has somewhat of a matte finish, which I left like that because it was an interesting look. I will probably put a top coat on it the next time to see what it looks like all shiny. It held up pretty well even without a top coat - I took the photo on the 3rd day after doing my nails, so they're a little chippy at the tips but still looked good.

I hope they create them in more shades - currently there are only 4, all pinks. It's definitely a cute and fun look, now I'm sold on jellies!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Caturday!

And it's the last weekend of spring! It felt like summer today already. The kitties are all enjoying the warm weather and catnip plants out on the deck!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bath & Body Works Hello Yellow sale haul!

Okay, I couldn't resist - as much as I didn't need ANYTHING from Bath & Body Works, I had to go check out their Hello Yellow sale.

The only thing I really wanted to get was the Black Amethyst eau de toilette, but the Signature Collection stuff was B3G2 - not that great a deal, as I'd still have to pay the retail $29.50, plus extra things I didn't necessarily want. So I think it was a personal gift from the shopping gods when I found a lonely box in the way back on the 75% off table! It was the old (and pretty ugly) bottle design, before the revamp of the Signature Collection, but the scent is the same! Best thing - it was only $7.37!

Select scents of the Pocket Bac hand sanitizers were 8 for $5. I'm addicted to these things, so I snapped up a bunch, as well as a holder for only $0.25! I also picked up three bottles of hand soap in some yummy flavors, as they were only $1.25 a bottle (down from $5).

Finally, I had a coupon for a free travel sized item with purchase, so I got a cute Dark Kiss body spray (regularly $5) for free.

My grand total was only $16.37 for almost $80 worth of stuff!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wet n Wild Mermaid's Cove nail polish

Wet n wild came out with a summer line of nail polish entitled Mermaid's Cove. They came out about a month ago at Harmon and quickly sold out at $1.79 a piece. I haven't seen them anywhere since! I was lucky enough to be at the store right after they had been stocked, and picked myself up two colors - Atlantis (shown above) and Magic Trident (shown below).

Once again, wet n wild has impressed me with their new products! This new line of Fast Dry nail color (which I've mentioned before) really does dry quickly and lasts a long time. I love these bold and fun new colors!

I've yet to try the Magic Trident on my nails - honestly, I only got it because it made me nostalgic for an orange nail polish I had in Japan, which I wore because a member of a favorite band of mine wore - oh, silly college days! But the color is pretty cool nonetheless. I think it'll be a great beachy shade for a pedicure.

Atlantis is a mix of pink and silver glitter and is super fun, it's like a party on your nails!

The collection has 8 colors total, including some cool green, blue, teal, and purple shades. I'm definitely becoming addicted to these nail polishes!

My First Birchbox!

I heard about Birchbox through Sophie's Dish and I was intrigued. It's a monthly box of brand-name beauty samples sent to your door, meant to promote the items, which you can buy on their site. Each box includes 4 to 5 product samples. Not all boxes are the same - they tailor your box based on your preferences, which you specify on the site.

I always love to try new products out, and for $10 I figured it was worth a shot - I could always cancel if I found it wasn't worth it.

My first Birchbox arrived last Friday. I love getting mail, and this was even more fun because I didn't know what I was getting, and it was wrapped up all pretty!


Products included:
1) Kate Spade Twirl perfume sample
2) Laura Geller Baked Blush n' Brighten (full size! Retail $29.50!)
3) Oscar Blandi Olio di Jasmine Hair Serum
4) Panga Organics Toner
Extras: Deborah Lippmann Stripper To Go nail polish remover wipes

What fun! Everything is definitely something I'd use, maybe not buy, but that's one of the best parts - getting to try stuff I'd not normally shell the money out for without experiencing it first.

Although my first thought was that $10 for a bunch of samples is a lot (IMO, samples are something that should be free!), after seeing the size of the samples, I think it's definitely worth it. And I was shocked to find the full-sized product in there! That alone is nearly $30, and the toner is about $5 worth of product. If the samples included were all the size of the hair serum, I would cancel immediately, but they were very generous. I'm excited to try everything out!

Find out more info about Birchbox here!

PS: I paid for the Birchbox with my own money and I'm not getting anything out of posting about it here ;)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's Caturday!

It's been an insanely busy week - hence the lack of posting. All I want to do is curl up like my tabby duo here and sleep all day! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bath & Body Works' "Hello Yellow" Semi-annual sale starts tomorrow!

Bath & Body Works' semi-annual sale starts tomorrow June 10th! Items are up to 75% off. While some of the deals aren't that fantastic (Signature Collection items were a better deal at B3G3 last week - they're only B3G2 this week) there are still plenty worth checking out, including:

- 3 wick candles are $9.75 (usually $19.50)
- Wallflower 2-packs are $5 (usually $12.50 - normal sale $6)
- Anti-bac hand soaps are 4 for $15 or 6 for $20

If you're shopping in store, be sure to print out this coupon for a free travel-sized item with purchase. If you're shopping online, click through Ebates for 3% cash back, and check for coupon codes - there are several $10 off $40 ones out there!