Friday, January 30, 2015

My Winter Skin Essentials + a Giveaway

Ugh, my life lately has been nothing but snow and dry skin. Winter is for the birds, unless you live in New England with me and then Winter is for the people who love to shovel. There is nothing I can count on more in this life than for my skin to be uber dry come January. This year, I feel like my skin, especially on my hands, is rebelling against the weather and giving me a lot of guff! I've been trying a lot of different lotions/creams for my hands, face and body and these are my Winter Skin Essentials. Psssst. Bliss is one of my go-to's!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kickin' My Butt with New Activewear

This past weekend I was super fortunate to get the opportunity to get my butt kicked at a spin class courtesy of Flywheel Boston and Marshalls. I say fortunate with a little bit of hesitance since while I was peddling away on my spin stationary bike, I was cursing my life... but at the end of the day, I got a killer workout, with some killer folks in a killer outfit. Let me start at the very beginning... The #propahbaby and I headed out to my local Marshalls (also a HomeGoods, BONUS) to get some new workout clothes. This is a new year, and as cliche as it sounds, I want to get fit and lose that baby weight. As hard as it is to get to the gym or to yoga, it's that much harder when I feel like a frumpy dumpster. The other day, I legit wore my maternity yoga pants because I didn't have anything else clean. While those pants are comfy, for sure, they don't really make me feel like I am ready to conquer the world. The lil' dude and I took to the activewear, dividing and conquering. What I came home with was a whole lot of new gear that I can wear to yoga, to spin, to drop the babe at daycare and everything in between.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Keeping Extra Coin in that Change Purse

Updated December 2015: I like to save as much money as I can in my every day, not because I am super strapped for cash but I do have a child now and that sort of costs some money plus, I just like getting a good deal/saving money/getting rewarded for shopping. Since it only takes a short period of time to create a new and positive habit, I have instituted a couple of new (but mostly easy) ways that I can keep moola in my pocket without completely changing the way that I do things. I haven't really kept track of exactly how much that I am saving by creating new habits but in my heart of hearts, I feel like I am contributing to my financial greater good.

Coupon Clipping, Money Saving Apps (like Ibotta)- Coupon clipping, I know what you're thinking... hey ol' lady with your coupons... I am no extreme couponer. I am not a searcher of coupons for things I MAY purchase. I am a keeper of coupons that I know I WILL purchase. Example: My lovely baby is now eating baby food. They come in squeezy packets that I often purchase at Target. Every time I buy them, a coupon prints out at checkout. Next time I am there, I use that coupon and another coupon prints out with that purchase. It's a nice little cycle I have there, you see? This happens with a lot of things I buy at a lot of different stores, flavored coffee creamer, dish liquid, Uncle Ben's rice, you get the idea. I grabbed a coupon carrier for $1 at Target and labeled slots for all manner of my coupon-y goodness. Next time I am at Joann Fabrics, I won't kick myself for forgetting my coupon again since I have it with me. No more losing CVS Extra Care bucks. I save them all now and keep them in my massive purse. Similarly, Apps on the ol' smartphone are making a nice impact in my life. Ibotta was introduced to me by my MIL. We are on a "team" and get rebates on purchased from tons of different stores. Of course, there is the opportunity to spend money on things I never intended on purchasing but I use it on the things I know I will purchase, milk, bread, laundry detergent etc. This adds up when you get in the habit of keeping track. Can you dig? I've already banked almost $100 on things I buy regularly.

Do a lot of shopping online? Don't you dare think about making a purchase until you check to see if you get cash back through Ebates. Seriously, almost every store that I shop online through has a percentage of your purchase coming back to you through ebates. It's free to sign up and it's like an added coupon simply for clicking through their site. Also, a new thing Groupon is doing is consolidating all of the deals that the stores you love are offering. Called Groupon Coupons, you can search for your favorite store while on Groupon and they will tell you all the coupons and codes they are currently offering. Another tool at your fingertips!

Looking for discounts from my company (fitness, cell phone, car insurance etc)- I am guilty of not researching these types of things within my company. I work remotely, separate from my corporate office so I don't get to see postings on the bathroom door or get a reminder to go to the cell carrier fair in the conference room. Even if I did work in the office, it would be ultimately up to me to search out the discounts and programs that my company has to offer. I recently did this and was super excited to get my 17% off my monthly phone bill, which was effective so immediately. I also looked into a fitness reimbursement. My company offers a $25 deposit to my paycheck monthly, if I can provide proof that I worked out 8 times that month. I checked and this covers yoga too. I look at that as two free classes my friends and added motivation to get to said classes. It's a win-win.

Selling my gently used items through Ebay, Poshmark or to gifting to the little sister- I love to shop but I don't have the most extensive closet space. Plus, see aforementioned comment about the child that costs money to keep alive. It's very selfish to spend money frivolously but man, do I love shoes and clothes and the occasional handbag. A great way that I can justify spending money on new things is to sell the things I don't ever use any more. I have found that Twice is my new favorite since they literally pay to ship your things, then they pay you for  your things and it's easy peasy. I also use Ebay on occasion though am kinda sick of the fees but still hold them as a great option to offload my gently used and totally still great stuff. Once the old stuff leaves, I am free to be on the lookout for the new additions to my sweet life. Note: Twice sold to Ebay and is no longer accepting clothing.

Shopping Will Power- This is going a long way and is really a change that I am making recently. Do I need this? Is this going to be money well spent? Am I buying this because it's a good deal or because I want instant gratification? Today, I had the hankering to go to LOFT, even though I totally destroyed their after Christmas sale, and you know what? I talked myself out of it. What did I need to go there for? Nothing. Now if I could channel this new found will power into Weight Watchers then my life would be in total control. A girl can dream....

What are some tips from your personal stash to save money?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ladies I Love: Jordan Reid, Ramshackle Glam + a Giveaway

When the book Ramshackle Glam: The New Mom's Haphazard Guide to (Almost) Having It All was released in the Spring of 2014, I was knee deep in What to Expect When You're Expecting type books filled with all things pregnancy related. Being that this is my first baby, I was like, totally not prepared for everything that no one tells you once that little bundle of joy (and poop and love) arrives. I think that a lot of what comes with being a new mother is kept on the DL because if we talk about our worries and what we fear are failures, we might be viewed as a bad mother by those judgey types. Or so I would assume... I haven't shied away from expressing anything and everything that is on my mind so when I (belatedly) picked up Jordan Reid's book on being a new mother, "having it all" and lots of the in between, her blunt honesty was/is refreshing and greatly appreciated. Her willingness to share some intimate details and stories of hormonal outbursts were not only humorous but also made me feel like I am not alone in this world where I am now responsible for a human life and keeping my sanity intact at the same time. 

I excitedly reached out to Jordan and tried not to gush too much about how much I liked the book, how I could relate and how pretty I think she is, but you know, I am only human. She was such a doll and agreed to answer some of my most burning questions. Check out what she had to say and after that, you should totally stick around to see how you can score a copy of her sassy book.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Golden Globes in Emojis

I usually do a recap of the fashion of the Golden Globes since it is pretty much the first red carpet event of the movie year but this year I thought I would do something different. Not that I didn't think the fashion was "all that" ( I mean, Kate Hudson and Amy Adams hello) but there were some pretty fun, sweet and emotional moments in the awards show that I thought I would highlight... but how to highlight these moments, without doing the same post everyone else is doing... emojify it! OK, I am sure if you were live tweeting the awards show, you must have seen the following tweet, which by the by, made me legitimately laugh out loud. A lover and avid user of emojis, Katherine Zeta Jones' bent back arm? Everything. Here are some of the night's best moments, as depicted in emojis.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Think Sexy (Say What?), Be Sexy

You may be aware of the 10 ways that I am investing in myself this year. I gave birth to a child not terribly long ago. If you follow any of my various channels, you likely are already aware of this fact. If you have given birth to a child or care for children, you may know all too well that the amount of time you feel sexy when you are with a baby... is next to nothing. You're feeding them, your doing dishes, you may or may not shower before you take them to daycare or if you stay at home, same story on the whole showering bit... I pose this question to you, my friends "How do new mother's get their sexy back? Once you get said sexy back, how do mother's keep their sexy current?" I am here to say that I am taking matters in my own hands and starting at the foundation, you know what I'm talkin' about... bras and panties. I was at the mall with the baby the other day. I went into Victoria's Secret for the semi-annual sale siren song was singing. Once I got in there, #1 I realized how long it had been since I stepped foot in a Victoria's Secret and #2 I realized that I am so not their primary customer anymore; Same with Aerie. I want to feel sexy but I don't want to feel like I am trying too hard in undergarments that aren't my current style since it's about me, not what other people think. Plus, I am a nursing mother and with the state of things currently, I need some full, sexy coverage. I think that I have found a great line that will my go to for seriously fantastic, full coverage yet sexy undergarments... ThirdLove.