Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home Gym-Part 1

I'm starting a new series on how to make yourself a home gym on the cheap. This won't require an expensive treadmill or elpitical machine.

There are so many gyms around me with memberships topping $40 a month! That's almost $500 a year on a gym membership alone! Add that on top of sneakers, bottled water and the correct sports bra and it costs a lot to stay in shape!

However, you don't need a gym to stay fit or in shape. One of my fave ways to excercise, outside of the gym is by doing a fitness DVD. They have gotten a lot better since the days of "Sweatin' to the Oldies."

The first, in a series of reviews, is Slim and Sleek Fast from Self Magazine.

The DVD description:
SELF, the premier magazine devoted to women’s health and well-being, delivers a workout designed to make you look and feel strong, confident and sexy. With these fun, easy-to-follow moves, you will trim and tone all over, and achieve the body you’ve always wanted in as little as four weeks, regardless of your current fitness level. This expertly designed routine will motivate you to reach all your fitness goals – fast! Best of all, SELF magazine’s Slim and Sleek Fast! workout will help you burn more calories with a combination of cardio and resistance training workout. Get ready to achieve your most slim and sleek body!

The only thing needed for this work out (besides the dvd, dvd player and a tv) is your fave excercise outfit and a pair of light dumbells (3-8 pounsd). This is more of a cardio work out, with a brief toning portion where the dumbells come into play.

The DVD is split into different segments. The first segment is a simple warm up, just to get your body ready for the work out. The next segment is a ballet inspired segment which I really like. This segment consisted of movements such as plies (sp?) and rear leg extensions. My heart rate began rising during this segment, as well as my lower body getting a decent work out as well.

The next two segments are more cardio inspired and feature high impact moves including jumps. One of the girls in the back does the low impact movement, but if you can help it, try to stay with the high impact movements. The high impact moves not only help in burning more calories, but in firming your leg muscles.

The next segment is the toning segment and consists of basic weight moves such as bicep curls and squats. As I hate toning, I didn't like this part of the dvd, but it helped round out the work out.

There is also a bonus segment called "Total Body Turnaround". This segment consists of a series of moves to help with toning. These movements would be a great addition to the end of any cardio work out.

Overall, I would give this DVD an A-. It's a great cardio work out for beginners, those who might not want to do high impact aerobics, and for those chilly winter months when it's too cold to go outside!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sally's Haul

Sally Beauty Supply is one of my fave stores. It's so fun to browse around and they always have amazing sales. The sales are also better if you have a Sally's Beauty Club Card. The club card is $5 for a year, plus you get a $5 Sally gift card, so it's free! With the club card you get special membership pricing on all non-sale items. Most of the times it's only a few bucks, but if it's something you're going to buy anyway, and the card is basically free, it's a no-brainer!

On my last trip to Sally's I picked up a teasing comb for 49 cents, a package of hair clips for $2 and this eyebrow kit by Femme Couture. The kit comes with an eyebrow brush, two stencils and an eyebrow powder.

First of all, this is the first eyebrow kit I have purchased, so of course the review will be a bit biased.

The powder is a medium brown color. I have dark brown hair, but this color actually worked really well with my eyebrows as they are a bit lighter than my hair color. This is currently the only shade available, I don't know if there are plans to create more colors. The powder is more subtle than an eye brow pencil which I like. I wasn't really using the powder to help shape my brows, just to fill in some "bald" areas.

The brush it came with was TERRIBLE. The brush looked like a small blush brush that comes with Covergirl blushes. Unless you have huge eyebrows, it wasn't really helpful. I used this concealer brush from ELF. It worked great as the bristles were harder and compact. Rush on over there, because all of their brushes are 50% off, meaning 50 cents!!

I really liked the stencils it came with. It came with a natural arch (which I used) and a high arch. Sometimes stencils are hard to work with, especially when starting from scratch. I recommend getting a professional eyebrow shaping and then working with stencils to maintain the shape.

Overall, this is a pretty good product, and decently priced compared to other eye brow kits. I don't know if I would purchase again, I might want to try out the NYC Eyebrow compact that I see a lot of people using on blogs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

..SnaCk TiMe

For some reason I am just BEYOND exhausted today. I have a meeting tonight, and then a seminar for my teaching certification. So it's a busy day! I wanted to make a very quick blog post though.

Tonight after my seminar I am having a quick bite to eat with my bff Anthony. Ant and I are both on a bit of budget and so we frequently visit our local Uno's. Sunday-Friday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Uno's has "snack hour" in their bar section. All of their apps are from $1.99-$2.99. We go, grab a table and have our entire meal for under $20 (we obviously eat A LOT). It's not necessarily fine dining, but it meets that craving for delish apps and delish best friends.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emmy Style on the Cheap

I don't know if any of you gals have ever read The Budget Babe, but she takes celeb looks and breaks them down itno affordable items. I decided to cop her style for the Emmys.

All in all I found the Emmy ceremony itself beyond boring. Sadly, some of the dresses were boring as well, but there were a certain few that I really liked. A.B.S. Schwartz always comes out with Emmy "inspired" designs, but I decided to find my own.

Warning: It's hard to find affordable exact dupes of these dresses, so they are just inspired styles!

Vanessa Williams appears to be completely ageless. In fact, I think she gets hotter with age. All though she caught some flack for this dress, I really liked it. The pattern was beautiful and the black and white kept it really simple.

This dress is from Gojane and costs $99.99 with optional spaghetti straps and a shawl. The pattern is obviously not the same, and this can actually be quite similar to Jennifer Love Hewitt's dress as well, but I didn't like hers as much as Vanessa's!

Emitations jewelry (a great resource for amazing cz jewelry) all ready put out replicas of the hottest Emmy jewels. Vanessa happened to be one of the celebs duped. I NEED this bracelet and earing set. The earings are $75 and the bracelet is $75, which may be a bit steep compared to your local Claires (which can also work for this look), but these have more staying power quality wise.

Another look that I liked, but maybe not for the Emmys, was Lauren Conrads dress. She designed it herself, and I do think it's really pretty, but let's be serious, we've seen it before. Any who, she looked beautiful, but I wish she glammed it up a bit more!

This LC inspired dress is a really pretty alternative. It's more of a satin finish than LC's jersey knit, so it makes a bit more proper for a formal event. The jeweled bust even replaces the need for a broch.

Emitations also loved LC's jewels and duped them exactly. How pretty!

I am SUCH a Law & Order:SVU freak. I watch it on USA like every night and TiVo the marathons. I've always thought Mariska Hargitay was beyond gorgeous. She looked especially radiant at the Emmy's in a beautiful canary number.

This yellow dress from Gojane ( only $76!!) alsoreminds me of the dress that Kate Hudson wore in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", but the main gorgeous factor of Mariska's dress was the pop of yellow. If you're interested in the draping, I reccomend a shawl or even a scarf.

Mariska's jewels from the pics I saw were of golden with darker stones. This bangle from Lulus is only $11 and poses a nice contrast to the dress. These earings from Overstockjeweler are Juicy inspired and a gorgeous dupe of Mariska's gold dreap earrings.

I've never watched Heroes, but I think Hayden Panettiere is ADORABLE. She looked so classicaly chic at the Emmys. It's so nice to see a hot, young girl not dress like a hot, young hooker!

This dress from Edress me is an EXACT replica of Hayden's dress, except it's a dark purple color. Hey, jewel tones are really in this season! At $190 it's a bit pricer than the others, but it's a gorgeous dress, that will be in for many seasons to come.

I decided to forgo the jewelry on this look, since I found this purse on Overstockjewelr. I know at $500 this is SUPER expensive,but OMG I want it! Also, compared to the thousands that a real Judith Lieber dress costs, it's a bargain!

...Until the next award show.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Beauty Buy of the Week

As I have just recently began my quest into being a make up junkie, I am still doing my best to build up my make up collection. As I know MAC is the make up of choice for most makeup-philes, it's not mine because I just can't afford it! After reading around a lot I discovered that NYX and L'Oreal HIP lines are two great and affordable replacements for Mac.

This week CVS has all of their L'Oreal HIP products at "Buy one, get one free". Who doesn't love a BOGO event?!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just say Spaaaaa

I hate to admit that I've never had a professional massage. The one professional spa treatment I had was a facial. I had an acne facial when I was younger that made me red for weeks, and a facial just last Christmas that all though quite relaxing, made no different what so ever.

I read spa websites and descriptions of treatments all the time and always tell myself I should splurge on one, and than never do. Until now.

The creation of Spa Week makes spa treatments affordable for everyone. Day spas across the country are offering $50 treatments. For the West Coasters out there Spa Week is happening now until Sunday (hurry up!), but for us East Coal and Mid-Western gals there is still time as our Spa Week is October 13th-19th. Register with the free site to search the spas offering treatments around you, but call asap as spots fill up pretty quickly! Enjoy, everyone deserves a little bit of pampering.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Wishes

All though it's not officially Fall yet, there is all ready that chill in the air and Halloween candy EVERYWHERE. In response to Yummy411's Fall Wish List..Here is mine..and I must admit, they are pretty random.

1. As I live for my sports, my first fall wish is to see my struggling New York Mets make the play-offs (puhleeeeze) and to see my alma matter-the Penn State Nittany Lions beat Michigan and Ohio State! Most of you probably have no idea what I'm referring to, but it's honestly my number one wish.

2. Sweaters! I looove sweaters! My favorite way to wear them is to layer. I usually wear a light t-shirt or long sleeved tee and then a fabulously fluffy wrap around sweater. A wrap around sweater, when tied in the correct place (around your waist, not hips) can create a perfect hour glass shape, which is useful when wearing bulky clothing.

3. Scarves. I've always been a fan of scarves, and now that they are everywhere, they are seriously easy to get. My favorite scarves can be found at Forever 21 and actually Clairs and the Icing. I got a black and grey scarve at The Icing last weekend for $5! It will definitely be a wardrobe staple of mine.

4. Boots. As soon as Uggs came out, I hated them. I loathed them. I thought they looked terrible, especially worn with friggin mini skirts! Then my best friend Ally got a pair of Emus (like Uggs, not nearly as expensive). I tried them on and instantly fell in love. I now own them in black and tan and plan on adding brown to my collection. Get them here for the best prices by far!

5. Finally, and this is corny, the weather. I love fall weather, the crispness in the air and the leaves falling. To me, personally, it's the best wardrobe season. You can be comfy and chic with out having your nose and ears turn red from the cold, or sweating your make up off!

What's everyone elses fab five for the fall (decent use of aliteration, huh?)? Leave it in the comments, or leave a link to your blog response!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Style Mags

I wanted to talk about magazines for a second. I get so many magazines each month it's ridicolous. I do subscribe though (because it saves HOW much on the cover price?). I love looking through my glossies each month, but one thing usually bums me out a bit. The prices of some of the clothes in the fashion spreads. Magazines have gotten a lot better with mixing high priced/low priced items, but some items are still out of my price range (ok when it comes to Glamour and Marie Claire A LOT of items are out of my price range). This is where my secret pleasure comes in-Don't laugh! I read Seventeen Magazine each month for their fashion and beauty tips (I don't necessarily need tips on flirting with my first boyfriend haha). They feature affordable brands such as H&M, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and clothing from Target and Macy's. All though a lot of their styles are considered "junior" style, a lot of the looks can be tweaked to be more age appropriate. If you're in need of some affordable fashion advice, may I reccomend some teen mags. Just please-no denim miniskirts and aero hoodies!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bargain Shopping Rules-#1

The number one rule in bargain shopping is-If you don't need it, it's not a bargain!
I looove bargain shopping. I get a thrill walking into a Loehmans or a Filene's Basement. It might be a lot more work looking through all those racks, but most of the time it's worth it. I especially love looking through clearance racks. As I'm perusing my clearance racks I notice a lot of people buy stuff they wouldn't normally buy. Just because it's a great bargain, doesn't mean it's a great bargain FOR YOU.

If you buy something and then never wear it, never fit into it, etc. it's not really a bargain. Chances are, if you weren't willing to pay full price for it, than you don't really need it or even want it.

However, I do have an exception to this rule. There are certain stores where I will never pay full price for most of their items. It's not because I don't like the items or don't want them, it's because I know eventually they will go on sale. I tell my boyfriend this and he just doesn't believe me. When it comes to the Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Old Navy, and Aero, pretty much every item they have will eventually go on sale. These stores run on a cyclical retail schedule. Meaning, they have new items coming in quite frequently. Well, they have to make way for those new items, and that means getting rid of the old items. If you need it right then, than by all means buy it-but hold on to the receipt! If an item goes down in price with in two weeks you can bring in your receipt for a price adjustment. If you can wait, good, chances are you will get that item a lot cheaper either in the store, or on the website.

Love Tag!

Love you schlong time rules:
1. Write down 5-10 ways your relationship ticks and works for you!
2. Include a brief history of how you and your significant other met or a timeline, whichever you prefer
Best part? NO WORD LIMIT!

He Makes Me Laugh

Jason is just so dumb sometimes that it makes me laugh. He says things that no one else I’ve ever met can say. When I’m down, the first thing he does is try to make me laugh. He’s not a good joke teller (by any means), but just his stories and mannerisms (he’s from PA, need I say more ) keep me laughing all the time.

We Can Play

It’s important to remember that we’re 23, not 43. We play with each other all the time. As we are both big sports teams (him Pittsburgh, me NY) we get into quite a bit, but it’s fun to take playful jabs at each other. He reminds me constantly not to take myself too seriously.

He Likes My Friends

Instead of my best friend Anthony running to give me a hug, he runs right passes me and gives Jason a hug. The best part? Jason hugs him right back. Even though Jason is my boyfriend, and we weren’t really friends before we started going, I consider him my best friend also. He fits right in with my friends. As my friends have been there through thick and thin, it was really important to me that he respect them and vice versa.

He Lets Me, Be Me

I consider myself a bit of a contradiction. I live for over priced hand bags (Coach is my obsession!), but can rattle of baseball facts with the best of them. I know the rules from Emily Post, but I curse like a sailor. I getting dressed up, but rarely find an occassion to do it. Jason lets me do all of this. He might not understand it all, but he doesn’t judge me for it and I love that.

He Supports Me

After I graduated (with a very expensive degree I might add), I realized that my degree wasn’t going to make me happy. I took an administrative assistant job and began getting my masters in Education. Instead of thinking that was dumb, or asking me why, he just supported me. He was happy for me when I got a job, teases me that I have exams still, but helps me study!

My Family=His Family

Literally, Jason is currently living with my dad to save some cash. My dad loves him like a son, and Jason loves my dad too. As my dad is going through a bit of a rough patch right now, Jason is there to save him (and at the same time me). Oh, he also walks my dog and feeds my cat!


Mid October 2004- I actually liked his roomie, Jon. After getting to know Jon, I realized I only liked his looks and not much else. While getting to know Jon, I kinda fell for Jason.

Halloween 2004-Me dressed up as a lady bug, and him dressed as God knows what, we met up at Halloween party. It was an embarassing night for me. I look back at it and laugh, because if not I’d be so embarassed!

November 13,2004-After a couple weeks of flirting that took me nowhere, I was ready to give up on Jason. My roomies left me alone for the weekend so Jason spent the night. We spent the entire night in each others arms

November 14, 2004-First kiss at last! We consider that our anniversary, since we haven’t looked back since.

December 2004-The first time we exchange “I love yous”. They came fast, but we meant it.

September 2005-The begining of our first year at Penn State’s main campus. We spent every weekend together.

May 2007-We graduate college. Jason was moving to Atlanta for a job shortly after graduation, I was moving back to New York. Jason ended up staying in Atlanta for a year. It was s0o0o hard, and we fought constantly. We weren’t the best at long distance relationships.

August 2008-Jason moves up to NY and moves in with my dad. It’s like we’re “newlyweds” again haha. I love having him here, so far our weekends have been spent being bums and watching baseball/football games.

November 14, 2008- We’ll be celebrating our 4-year anniversary (KNOCK ON WOOD!) in Boston. Boston is my second fave (behind New York of course) city in the world. Jason has never been and I’m crossing my fingers that he falls in love with it , as much as I did.

Bring the spark back to your bod

Dieting, exercising, living a healthy lifestyle. It’s all something that at one point or another we’ve all tried to incorporate in to our lives. Those three have been my top New Years’ resolutions for about 10 years now. Luckily, there are many on-line resources to help you achieve these goals. My favorite is Sparkpeople.

Sparkpeople is an on line community and on line diet tool. This isn’t a diet in the sense of starving or depriving yourself, but simply cutting portion sizes on the bad stuff, and incorporating a lot more of the good stuff in to your daily lives. Sparkpeople provides you with an customized “diet” plan, a food log, and an exercise log. This is on top of the articles and videos that provide you with a huge outlet of nutritional information and exercise tips.

Sparkpeople is also an on line community. You can join groups based on your weight loss goals, location, age, hobby, pretty much anything. It’s a very supportive environment and is great when you need a little extra boost.

If you’ve had trouble getting rid of some of the bad habits, while incorporating more of the good (like me!) than Sparkpeople is a great resource.

What to Splurge on-Wardrobe Edition

I’m currently on the quest to find my “signature” store. I feel like I’ve been completely losing my sense of style lately, and need to figure it out. There are tons of places that I buy my more “trendy” pieces from, but every woman’s wardrobe should have some basics. These are the areas of our wardrobe that we can splurge on. They are the building blocks of our wardrobe.

Where to splurge:

1. A bra-A properly fitting bra can make a $2 t-shirt look fabulous. It doesn’t matter how expensive of a garment you’re wearing if the girls are pointing the south! Go to your local Victoria’s Secret and get properly measured. Try on many different styles of bras and if you find one that fits well, buy it in a few different colors. If you’re going to splurge on a bra, it pays to take good care of it. Hand wish any bras with woolite and hang to dry.

2. Seamless Undies-I hate the word panties, so I will use the term undies. This is another under garment that’s necessary to make any garment look good. Those white pants from Forever 21 won’t look so hot with (ughh i have to say it) panty lines.

3. Jeans- Jeans is something that I normally go a bit cheap on, but I think every woman should splurge on one pair that makes them feel like a bombshell for a hot night out on the town.

4. Shoes- I don’t know about you, but if my feet hurt that rest of my body hurts, so shoes isn’t something you should go cheap on. Don’t get me wrong, I own about 10 pairs of Old Navy flip flops, but the correct fit and material is very important for shoes. If you’re going for work shoes, it’s important to buy real leather, as a synthetic material doesn’t let the foot breathe. No one wants sweaty, smelly feet. It’s also important to buy the right sneakers. If you’re going running and don’t have a proper running sneaker, it can really wreak havoc on your feet.

5. A winter coat (not a ski one!)-A classic winter coat can serve two purposes: Keep you warm and keep you stylish in an otherwise unglamourous season. A lot of people choose either a classic pea coat, which rarely provides enough warmth, or some kind of ski parka, which rarely provides enough style. It’s important to combine elements of both. I recommend something a little longer, as no one wants a cold butt!

6. One pair of black pants-A well cut, nice fitting pair of black pants can take you from work to a night out on the town. The one splurge pair should be hemmed to fit well with your favorite/most comfy pair of heels. Why only one pair? Most of us don’t wear the same shoes every day, so we will need different hems on our pants. Also, black pants can be seen anywhere from Forever 21 prices to high end designer. This one pair should be your go to pair for an important meeting or an important date.

7. One crisp white oxford (button down)-A white oxford is one of those classic pieces that just seems to transcend time and trends. This can also be used for that go-to business outfit. Avoid trendy ruffles or buttons on this one splurge, you can save on the more trendier versions of this classic piece.

8. One totally unnecessary but oh so luxurious splurge-A cashmere anything! I purchased my first 100% cashmere sweater last winter, and I can’t wait to add more cashmere items to my closet. When I put it on I instantly feel more glamorous. If you’re going to splurge on a cashmere item, again get something classic, my piece is a grey cardi. There’s no use in spending all that money, if the shape or details are only “in” for one season.

These are just some basic items that every wardrobe should have. They are again, the building blocks, of a classic Jackie-O inspired wardrobe. Many may feel that there are other areas that deserve splurges. My other area is purses. I don’t even want to dive in to how many Coach bags I own. Get items like this, and make them your own by adding inexpensive trendy pieces and accessories.

One warning though, if you’re going to spend the money on these pieces, make sure to take care of them properly and get them tailored if needed.

Store Credit Cards-Is the discount really worth it??

“Would you like to open a store credit card and save 15% on your purchase today?” I hear that after almost every purchase I make from almost every store. The discount always sounds tempting, especially with those more expensive purchases, but is it really worth it?

I’m happy to say that I don’t have any store credit cards. Now before you think me nobel, let me explain. The main reason I don’t have a store credit card, is because I don’t shop that much at one single store to benefit from the discount. However, there are more important reasons that you should think before agreeing to that store card.

1. Just by applying for a store credit card your credit score drops 20 points. If you have a credit score that is considered border-line good/bad, this may drop you down to bad and hurt your chances at receiving a loan, or a decent interest rate on a loan.

2. The interest rates on store credit cards are obscenely high. Most are around 20%, which chances are, is more than that initial discount that you received.

3. If the store credit card you are applying for offers reward points, it usually takes a lot of purchases to receive that $10 store credit. You may find yourself purchasing more just to get the points.

Chances are sometime soon I will be opening a store credit. Probably to buy furniture for my apartment. If you do chose to open a store credit card, make sure you can pay off the total each month, or to close the card after paying off the total.

The Coveted "It" Bag

don’t know about you, but I was counting down the days (ok, the minutes!) for the May release of the Sex and the City movie. After seeing it, I knew that bagborroworsteal.com was going to become a huge hit. The site has been out for quite a few years now, but only recently gained notoriety thanks to Louise.

My freshman year in college I had a membership with the site. Back then, you had to pick a monthly membership and pay that fee (I was a princess, so I could have access to all the Coach bags) and then pay for the bag on top of it. It became a bit pricey, especially on a work study budget, so I promptly quit. I hadn’t even thought about it, until after the movie.

When I re-visited the site, I was glad to see they had done away with the memberships. The site does still offer memberships, but you can rent a bag, jewelry, or sunglases with out a membership. You can also choose how long you would like to rent a piece.

All though the rental fees still may be a bit pricey for us on a budget, it would be nice to have a new Chanel necklace to match your Louis bag for a big night out.

Thanks Ash <3

Review Junkie

I’ll admit it, before I make any kind of purchase (maybe not for a pack of gum), but for a lot of purchases I read reviews first. I think it’s smart to do that, I mean you don’t want to purchase something and than not like it.

There are a plethora of on-line resources to read product reviews. One of the most popular is of course amazon. I read reviews on amazon for every electronic, book, dvd, etc. Most of the time, I do end up actually purchasing the item from amazon, but if I see a sale in a different store, I usually just visit amazon for the reviews.

For beauty related products, I trust Makeup Alley and Total Beauty. Their review boards are quite extensive and cover products from drugstore brands to the highest end. The reviews cover everything from hair appliances, to make up to skin care.

There are many other popular review sites:



I'll Swap Ya

Swaps seem to be making a big come back! There are now a slew of websites where you can swap online and if you check out local.com, you can possibly find a swap meet in your area.

The most popular items being swapped online are books, dvds, cds and video games. My personal favorite site is Titletrader. You list any items that you have available for swap. Someone then requests the item and the website gives you a shipping label to print out. You dohave to pay for shipping, however when you request an item it’s like getting that money back. Once you ship the item, you confirm it on the website. When the person receives the item, and leaves feedback, you are then given “swap points”. You can then use these points to shop around the site. Most books are 1 point, dvds 2-4, cds 1-2 and I haven’t looked at video games yet.

Another popular swap idea is “Girlfriend” swaps. How many times have you cleaned out your closet and thought “Ughh, this doesn’t fit anymore! or “Why the hell did I buy this?”. Don’t just throw it away or give it to good-will, have your girlfriends go through their stuff and make a pile of the things they would like to get rid of. Now invite all of your girlfriends over, pop open a bottle of wine and enhance your wardrobe. Chances are you will come away with a few good items, and if there’s any left overs just donate them.

Culture on the Cheap

What happened to do the days when browsing a museum or visiting your local zoo were affordable? Rates continue to go up to these normally affordable cultural ventures. Now, thanks to Bank of America some of you gals can visit local zoos and museums for free (there’s that beautiful word again). If you have a Bank of America credit card or bank account (with debit card) you’re eligible to visit certain museums and zoos for free during the first weekend of every month. Check this site to see if the museum you want is on the list.


Staycation or a Regional Getaway
All though gas prices are starting to fall (a teensy bit) traveling is still really expensive! We just have to face it, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. As summer winds down and we scrounge to make last minute vacation plans, we all realize that we just can’t afford much. That’s where the staycation or regional vacations come into play. Chances are, with in a couple hour drive of wherever you live there are some pretty awesome places to visit. Do you have a lake close to you, a casino even a day spa? Or how about a great city to check out? There are probably tons of things for you to do in your area, that don’t require a flight or five tanks of gas.

I live in the North East and I know there are tons of things to do with in my area. If you don’t want to travel at all or lay down the big bucks for a hotel, than a staycation is right for you. How many times have you passed a local attraction and never went in? Or how many times did you say “I’m going to do that” and never actually did it? Well, a staycation provides just the opportunity to do that. As a girl born and raised in New York I was embarrassed to say that I had never visited the top of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and many other “tourist” attractions. I guess I just take them for granted as I see them all the time. Well I am now proud to say that I have seen the city from the top of the Empire State Building and looked up in awe at the Statue of Liberty. What? I needed a staycation.

Everyday Minerals

So to us babes on a budget, there is no sweeter sounding word than the word: FREE! It’s a word we don’t get to use that often, and that’s a shame, because it’s a lovely word. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Every Day Minerals offers a FREE sample set. All you have to do is pay for shipping ($3.98). The free sample set includes: 3 foundations, one blush and one concealer. You will find that a lot of online mineral companies offer samples, but this is the only free set I have found. As mineral make up becomes more and more popular, more and more shades are becoming available. This is a great way to check out a sampling of shades before ordering the real size thing. Finding a suitable foundation and conceal color is difficult, this is just a way of making it a lot easier.

Just a warning, the sample sizes are teensy-tiny, but they are soo cute! Don’t let the size fool you, because you get a big bang for your buck with these mineral products. To get to the sample set visit the website and click makeup and then custom kits.

Yummy...for less!

I LIVE for food. To me a night out at a restaurant, is so much better than a night out in a loud, jam-packed bar. However, restaurants (especially nicer ones) can get pretty pricey. That’s where restaurant.comcomes into play! Restaurant.com is this amazing website that offers $25 gift certificates to select restaurants for only $10! Be advised, there are usually some restrictions, sometimes you have to spend at least $35, some don’t include alcoholic bevs and some are only good for Monday-Friday, but it’s still an amazing deal!

What’s even better about restaurant.com? They always, i mean always, have out coupon codes. Several months ago they had out a coupon code for 80% off! That means I got a $25 gift certificate for only $2!! The 80% off coup is currently no where to be found, but I did find this 40% off coup which is good until the end of the year.

The site is so easy to use. You can search by state or by zip code and chances are, one of your fave restaurants or a place you’ve been dying to try is on there. Once you select your restaurants all you have to do is print out the gift certificate from home. This post is making me hungry…..

Travel Zoo

When was the last time you visited the zoo? I’m sure it’s been a while. Now there is a totally new kind of zoo, Travel Zoo. Travel Zoo is a weekly email with the top 20 travel deals on the web. This weeks deals included an all-inclusive vacation in Cancun for $449 or a 1-bedroom suite in Waikiki for $105. Whether you are looking for cruises, an all-inclusive vacation, flights or just tickets to a show, Travel Zoo is an amazing resource for us on a budget.

Wen Haircare

So, I really am a sucker for infomercials. Most of them real me in and have me reaching for my credit card, until I realize that I have to stop myself. However, one infomercial really sparked my interest and that was for Wen Haircare. I haven’t ordered the trial set yet, but I was wondering if any of you ladies have tried it out at all.

I know $30 isn’t the cheapest of haircare, but if it works it’s worth it and you do get a lot for that $30. There is also a 60 day money back guarantee. Also, it says 30-day supply, but if any of you have tried the Pro-Activ “30 day supply” you know it lasts a lot longer than that.

Beauty Cruncchhh

Ok, so I am all about thriftiness, and “drugstore” beauty brands, but Beauty Crunch caught my eye (http://www.beautycrunch.com/). This is an amazing site for us gals who want to have some brand name make up with out the brand name price. The reason why this site caught my eye is because all of the palettes they have. They have palettes from Stila and Too Faced that are from previous collections or are discountinued. Most of the products (especially the palettes) are over 50% off the original retail price! Most of the palettes are in the $11 range and that’s pretty awesome! When I get my next paycheck I will definitely be placing an order, so expect a review quite soon

Training Nights

I do not consider myself cheap, only thrifty. I do not buy poor quality products, nor do I choose quantity over quality, I am simply a sale shopper, drug store maven, trial and error kind of girl. There is one area however, I think we should all spend an extra couple of bucks on, and that is our haircuts. A haircut can make or break your look. It doesn’t matter how flawless your make up is, if you have a bad mop sitting on top of your head. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are plenty of girls who have spent a fortune only to come out with a terrible haircut, but there is usually a reason why hairstylists charge so much.

But us thrifty gals are in luck. We don’t have to be banned to a life of Super Cuts, nor do we have to spend a paycheck on a haircut. This is where salon “Training Nights” come into play. A training night is where junior stylists, usually trying to get a job or to build a clientele base, provide cheap haircuts (sometimes color and different treatments) under the keen supervision of their master stylist. While this is really popular in big cities (check out http://www.allure.com/directory/atlanta/training/training for an awesome list of training nights in the “big cities”), it is also available in salons across the country. Just give any salon a call and ask them if they have such a thing. It’s a great way to look fabulous and not break the bank!

Hey everyone (probably only Ashley right now)! I've been spending so much time reading blogs lately, that I thought I would jump on the writing bandwagon.

How many of us want to live the fablous,glamorous life but can't really afford to? I know I definitely can't! This is where some simple tips and tricks come in. This blog will be all about living fabulously thrifty. No one has to spend an arm and a leg to look good, live good and feel good.

I'm a girl on a budget, and a tight budget at that. I will be paying off school loans FOREVER, and trying to make ends meet. I can't afford to spend $20 on a single eye shadow, $100 on a single meal, $1000 on a fabulous trip, or blow my payycheck on some home furnishings.

Now, on to a little bit about myself. My name is Melissa and I'm 23 years old. After spending way too much money on a public relations degree, I decided it wasn't for me and realized my passion was teaching. Now I'm working as an administrative assistant at a college where they help pay for my tuition (yaya!). I still live at home (boo!), but am being quite thrifty and am currently saving a lot of money. It sucks, but there's no shame about it.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to questions, comments, pictures, thoughts, whatever you want!

FTC Disclosure

All products are purchased by me unless noted otherwise. If a product is supplied for review, this does not affect my opinion. My opinions can not be bought.
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