Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yes, The Hometown Queen Bee has been at it again! #bargainhunting!

So, not every weekend do I have huge yard sale success lol...this happened to be one of those weekends where I didn't find a lot of amazing items. Oh well, it happens! Maybe it's because the yard sale season here in Western New York is quickly coming to an end. I did however, find a few things between last weekend and this one, so I thought I'd share them with you...

 I love finding new items at yard sales, meaning tags still on, clean, like I just walked out of the store with it. Well, I found two brand new pairs of super cute sandals from Charlotte Russe, store tag said $10 each...I scored them for $1.00 each. That's 90% off, I love it! Since summer is almost over (pardon as I wipe a tear) I will put them in my closet and save them for next summer. When next summer comes around, I'll have two new pairs of sandals to wear! yay! From the same yard sale, I also got a really nice, brand new, infinity scarf, perfect for fall and winter! It might be a little hard to see in the picture, but it's cream in color, with a sparkly silver woven in. The MSRP tag on it says $32! It also has part of a Marshalls tag on it, so you know it was less at that particular store, but still! It will look so pretty on!

$52 dollars (MSRP) worth of merchandise, I paid $3.00 total :)
At another sale, I found a super cute dress that I plan to rock next summer! Again, still new with tags! Hello! I love it! This dress has a spaghetti strap on one side, and a thicker material strip on the other, with the little gold piece on the right shoulder. This item is from the Kardashian Collection from Sears. I'm not really a Kardashian fan, sorry not sorry, BUT this dress really is cute! Full price from Sears the tag says $59 bucks. The lady who bought it, got it 80% off on Clearance for $10.99. That right there is a good deal, but then she said she tried it on when she got home, didn't like it, couldn't find her receipt, so...I essentially scored a $59 dress for $2.00!
New with tags, full retail price from Sears was $59, I paid $2 :)
So, what else did I find? Let's see... few clothing items for my son, and a set of K'Nex (which he is totally into right now). I found a large blank canvas for 50 cents that I will most definitely use for some sort of painting project, and a super big Kenneth Cole tote bag/purse with rope handles for $1.00! Yes, I just added to my horrible purse addiction, I know I know, Shhhh!!! My son picked up a tambourine at one sale and before I could even turn around to look what he had, the lady told him he could just have it. How nice was that!?! And this wasn't like a little cheap toy tambourine, it was the real deal! My son is only 6 but very musically inclined and we already have pianos, keyboards, and even a full drum hey, why not a tambourine too!?! I also got a game, they said it's been opened but never used, called "Love it/Hate it", which looked sort of, hey my friends, game night? soon? :)
cute Kenneth Cole bag
a blank canvas to do something fabulous with!

I love finding fun games to play with friends! Is this one any good?...We'll find out, won't we!?!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Contouring can be CoNfUsInG!

If you pay attention to magazines or pinterest, you have probably seen it. Makeup Contouring. Makeup WHAT? Contouring! They show you pictures, most of which look pretty crazy, like mine here LOL...but have you actually tried this makeup trick yourself? Well, I did. It was a while ago. The first time, I came out looking ridiculous to say the least. Granted, I am not a makeup artist or anything, but I think I am fairly skilled in doing my own makeup on a daily basis. Well, I did NOT know what I was doing with this contouring fad.

I totally get the idea behind it. You highlight certain areas of your face, create shadows in others which can create a slimming effect or accentuate cheekbones and such. It makes total sense in theory, but trying it is a different thing! Well, I didn't give up. The first time, or second, maybe even third did not yield the results I wanted, or the results they say you should be getting. But, I realized it is more of a trial and error thing. The more you do it, the better at it you get. So, don't give up after just trying it once or twice. Wash your face and start over! Don't over apply, just do a little at a time. You can always add more, if needed. Really, this techinique is all about creating an optical elusion with your makeup!

The first key is to know what products to use! I read a few articles on makeup contouring and they never specified what exactly to use. I would go to the makeup aisle at the store and search for some magical contouring product, but never saw one. If you have, please let me know! So, I tried a few things I thought would work, or looked similar to what I had seen or read. But I ended up spending a lot of time and money on wrong products. I will try to save you that step!
So, after time and money spent, I finally found what I am currently using for Wal-Mart. I am pretty sure this is a new product, as I had not seen it until just recently. It is called Flower; Skincognito Stick Foundation. ( It actually is a cosmetic line from actress and model, Drew Barrymore. I picked up two colors, one much lighter than my natural skin tone (about two shades lighter), and one much darker (also about two shades darker). I specifically used "SF2" and "SF8".
Ok, so let's start applying! We really will only focus on a few areas of the face. Not every inch gets covered like when applying regular foundation makeup. Apply only to these specific areas and then the biggest key is to blend! Otherwise, this is where the horrible outcome can scare you off! So, remember..blend, blend, blend! It doesn't really matter which we start with, but let's just do the lighter area first. So, for this you will focus on the middle of your forehead, under each eye and a little on the upper portion of cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and the top of your chin. You can leave the makeup there, while moving onto the darker shade (no need to blend just yet).

Next, with the darker shade, apply by your hairline on right and left side only (not right in the middle), your jawline, and the hollows of your cheekbones. The best way to do the hollows of your cheekbones is to suck in your cheeks a bit. Where you see the indentation is right where you want to apply it. I am a fan of using my fingertips to apply makeup, so for this area especially, I put some on my fingers, suck in my cheeks and apply in an upward motion. Once all of these areas are covered, and yes, you will look funny...but this is where we blend! Blend all of these areas well. You do not want to see any definite lines of color. When you think you are done blending, blend once more! Haha, but I am serious, this is the key and the most important part! I then like to go over the lighter highlighted areas with a slightly shimmery powder. This just helps the skin pick up some extra light on those highlighted areas.

That is it! Now you are done and ready to go! Well, of course unless you also want to do eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, or lipstick...but hopefully you already know what you are doing there! If not, that can be a topic for the future! So, give it a try, play around with it and see how it turns out! I would love to hear from you on what worked, what didn't, etc. Best wishes and stay beautiful y'all!

Disclosure: I was not paid by, nor asked to review any of the products mentioned in this article. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are just from my own personal use. I am stating this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Enter to Win- Way Too Tan Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone™

Here is the fun part of my job! Giving back to my readers!
Enter Giveaway Here!
Way Too Tan Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone™


National Dog Day

Today has been designated as "National Dog Day", so I figured I would do a little blog post about my dog! Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I am a huge animal lover, especially dogs! I would have several if I could lol. But, I just have the one for now. He is a purebred Pomeranian, about three years old, that I named Mr.Foxy Bobo.

He is more than a pet to me. I know you will hear many pet owners say this, but it is so true! I got him shortly after my divorce and he is totally like my second child, the second child I never had. I think dog lovers share a special bond with their furbabies. You walk through the door, and that life-long friend is right there, so happy just to see you again! I don't know about you, but I can't recall any human being so happy just simply at my presents! I swear, I could be gone for a half hour, and upon my return, Mr.Foxy Bobo acts like he hasn't seen me in a month! All he wants is some love and attention from me, and the occasional treat lol. He is a true friend that will always be there for me as my companion. He is also a good friend to my son. A few months ago my son was really sick, laying on the couch most of the day. And who was laying right there by his side the entire day? You guessed it, that little dog stayed with him the whole time! He also likes to watch him get on the school bus every morning from a big window on our staircase. He waits until the bus drives away, before leaving that spot.

Mr.Foxy Bobo watching my son get on the school bus..
I also have a cat, Armani, even though I am way more of a dog person than a cat one lol. But the two of them play and wrestle together like I have only seen in funny videos that go viral and everyone talks about. Since my dog is so little, weighing only about 6 pounds, and my cat happens to be very large and fairly fat, Armani outweighs Mr.Bobo by far. I think Armani could probably really do some damage to my little dog if he really wanted to, but they only play fight. They will also sleep and cuddle together regularly, it is so cute!
Mr.Bobo and Armani holding "hands"...

cuddle time <3

play fighting; Armani is letting Bobo feel tough by letting him keep him pinned down!
As you may have noticed, I do have quite a wardrobe for Foxy Bobo. Yes, I am one of those crazy pet owners that dresses their dog up in sweaters, coats, and even booties! Like I said, he is like my little baby! If you makes you feel any better, I never have dressed up my cat lol. But my dog is just one of those cute frilly little things that are so cute to dress up! I swear, he loves it anyway! He gets so excited when I show him an outfit! He is just like me! LOL ;)
Thanks for taking a moment to take a look at my little furbabies! <3 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Product Review; Way Too Tan

Product Review of Way Too Tan
Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone
I have tried several different brands and types of Sunless Tanners and Tanning Accelerators over the years. I still remember my first experience with Sunless Tanning Lotion...I was a Freshman in High School. I don't recall the exact brand but I do know that the next day, I begged my mom to let me stay home from school because it turned me so orange and blotchy that I simply could not bring myself to show up at school like that! On my "day off" of school, I took about five showers, scrubbing my skin to try and return to a somewhat normal hue again! Haha, I'm sure many of you have had a similar experience!
Well, now that I am older, and of course much wiser (hey! stop smirking!), I am much better at knowing how to apply Sunless Tanners. Still though, I try many different kinds to find the best one because even with a lot of experience in applying them, some are better than others! Some are far less streaky or have a better "tan" color, so I'm always willing to try something new. That is why I was so excited to review this product! Way Too Tan - Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone!
When I received the product, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful bottle. It looked so classy and elegant, it immediately gave me a good feeling about the product. My first time using it, I took a shower, dried off and started to apply it to my skin. It had a very nice smell, better than most I would say, and it went on very easily. It didn't get sticky as I applied it, but remained silky and went on smooth. After I applied it evenly and got dressed, then it was just a waiting game for the color to develop. Within a few hours, I noticed a beautiful and natural looking tan appear. I was happy to see there were no streaks and it even went on well in areas that can be tricky, such as the feet, ankles, wrists, etc. My mother saw me with my nice new tan and asked if she could also try it! Now, my mother is up there in age and normally does not use any sort of self tanner, but she was so impressed with my results that she wanted to give it a try too. I gave her tips on applying it so she would have the best results, seeing as she wasn't familiar with the process. She was very pleased with how it turned out! She was impressed that a tan from a bottle could look so good, and so natural.

I am in love with this stuff!
This product can be used a few different ways too! This is something I have not encountered before! It can be used strictly as a self tanner, or it can be used while tanning outside in natural sunlight or in a tanning booth. This is why it is called a Silicone Hybrid. It has been designed to compliment any tanning process. So, for the second time I used this product, I decided to apply it right before using a UV tanning booth. This is where I was really pleasantly surprised by this product! It really helped enhance the color of my tan! I had a very deep tan, and felt as if I had just stepped off a Caribbean Cruise Ship! At this point, I was in love!
I love this deep tan!
Another thing that I found very impressive was reading about the product itself. It is a cosmeceutical tanning lotion, meaning it contains maximum strength anti-aging components, along with ultra-high-end ingredients. It contains organic antioxidants, such as Grape Seed extract, which provides 20x more than Vitamin E and 50x more than Vitamin C. This makes it a much better product than low grade tanning lotions. The Grape Seed extract also helps to keep the skin firm and youthful. It also contains Japanese Green Tea and White Tea extracts as well, which helps protect the skin from harmful free radicals and will tighten the skin. It also has DHA and Erythrulose Bronzers which produces that amazing, deep, natural color tan, while also providing moisturization and hydration to the skin, So, basically, this product is amazing for your skin! It is also Paraben Free, and not tested on animals, both of which are important factors to me.
In all the tanning products I have used over the years, this one by far, is my favorite! I love the results and I also love that it is good for my skin! I love looking good and feeling good, and this product definitely aids with both of those! I look forward to continuing use of Way Too Tan!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free or a drastically discounted rate, in return for an honest and unbiased review. The opinions written are my honest thoughts and feelings on this product. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to throw a wine tasting party & Review of the Traveling Vineyard

How to Throw a Wine Tasting Party  
 Review of The Traveling Vineyard!

This past weekend, I had thrown a wine tasting party at my home. Now, I have enjoyed wine with friends before, but never in quite this manner. A friend I went to high school with, Jen, recently started working for a company, The Traveling Vineyard. She works as an independent wine tour guide for that company. So, as the host of the party, I invited friends and made some snacks, while our wine tour guide brought five different bottles of wine for us to sample and learn about. All these wines are exclusive to the Traveling Vineyard, and feel free to visit their website if you are to order any! I gave my own person rating for each, on a scale of one (low) to five (high), just in case you want my personal opinion of them.

This was a really fun experience! Jen taught us how to sample the wines, using the four steps to properly taste them! She was very knowledgeable of the wine, how they are made, and how to properly do a tasting. First, you want to take notice of how the wine looks. After pouring a small amount into your glass, about a third full, hold it up to the light or a white background. Examine the depth of color. Tilt the glass slightly, and then hold upright again, to notice the "legs" of the wine. This means how long the coating of wine on inside the glass takes to slide down. This shows the body of the wine. We also learned that depending on what type of container the wine was aged, it can alter the color some. Next, you want to take notice of the bouquet of the wine, aka; how the wine smells. What aromas do you detect? Maybe a specific fruit? Gently swirl the wine in the glass and smell again. This is the third step. Swirling may bring out additional aromas in the wine! The last step, and probably every one's favorite...taste the wine! Ahh, yes! Take a small sip of wine at first and roll it around in your mouth, paying close attention to the flavors. Then, sip again and again!                   

In preparation for the party, Jen told me what wines she was going to bring, and what foods pair well with each. I took this information, and prepared a menu of what I would serve my guests. I just set up a table in my living room for food, bought a tablecloth, paper plates, napkins, etc. from the local dollar store. I already had a bunch of serving trays and such, so I just used what I had. I set up some extra seating in addition to my couch and we had a pretty nice wine tasting area!

The first wine was called Spruzzi. This wine pairs well with fish/seafood, light pasta dishes, sushi, Asian cuisine, spicy nuts, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, sweet potato friend with spicy sriracha mayo, salads, soft chesses, and clam chowder. So, for this wine, I decided to go with someone seafood. Look below for my Seafood Salad recipe, which I served on crackers. My plan was just to keep it at finger foods, easier to just grab and sit with a paper plate on your lap lol. I gave Spruzzi a 4 on my wine rating scale.

The next wine was called Boombox. This pairs well with meatballs, chocolate, aged Gouda, guacamole, salami and cream cheese rolls, mint chocolate cookies, roast beef rolls, burgers, steak, pizza. This one is said to adapt to anything, poultry, pork, and red meats. So, to go with this one I just offered some dark chocolate. Nothing special, just store bought chocolate. I happen to love wine with chocolate and figured all the other girls would too, because, hello! It's chocolate and we're woman! I gave Boombox a 2 on my wine rating scale.

Next we sampled Giovina. This also could be paired with meatballs, as well as Sausages. Lasagna, baked ziti, raviolis, chicken or eggplant parm, pizza, caprese skewers, antipasto, Italian meets, cheese and chocolate. I had a large cheese platter to pair with this wine. I offered three types of cheeses that I felt the ladies would like. Really, the type of cheese isn't going to matter much. Especially if you offer a few, most people like cheese so there will be at least one they like! I gave Giovina a 3 on my wine rating scale.

Next up was Calamity Sue. This wine pairs well with ethnic foods.. Mexican, Chinese, Thai. Also, Spicy sushi, spicy buffalo wing dip, blue cheese, cream cheese based foods like crab rangoon, red pepper jelly over cream cheese, crab cakes, smoked salmon with cream cheese and chives, BLT, shellfish, BBQ, and sausages. For this wine, I decided to make my spicy Buffalo Wing Dip. I actually posted a blog several weeks ago with the recipe, so feel free to check that out! I had tortilla chips and/or celery sticks to go along with the dip. I gave Calamity Sue a 4 on my wine rating scale. It was very good!

Last, but not least, was Fissata. This wine pairs well with pound cake, strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, chocolate covered strawberries, vanilla ice cream, quiche, or anything chocolate. For this, I made chocolate covered strawberries because I think they are amazing! I simply bought a container of chocolate to melt and dip the strawberries in. Most stores will sell a specific product like this, for dipping fruit, or whatever else you want. It can be a little tricky, but my little side tip that they do not tell you on the instructions is first the chocolate goes on well, however, pretty soon the texture and consistency of the chocolate makes it hard to continue dipping in. Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix well. It makes that chocolate perfect again to continue dipping. You may have to do this twice throughout the process, as I did. I gave Fissata a 5 on my wine rating scale, it was my favorite out of all five we tasted!

It was a lot of fun to have some friends over, have a few good laughs and some nice conversation! Oh yes, and of course, a bit of wine!! I can't forget that part! I enjoyed hosting the party, learning a few things about wine I didn't know prior to this party, and liked getting to sample some I probably would never have tried before. As the host, Jen also brought me a gift, which was very nice of her! I really liked the idea of having a wine tour guide from the Traveling Vineyard come to do a personal tasting. For the most part, I found the wine to be good tasting, but I will say that they are a little more expensive than I would normally pay per bottle. The one thing I really did not care for is the shipping cost. This honestly would make me hesitant to purchase wine from this company on a regular basis. If they could find a way to lower the shipping rate, it would be great, although maybe that isn't really possible. For me, considering the shipping cost, I think I rather go to a local establishment for my wine purchases. But I would encourage everyone to try some of their wine at least once, to see if you like it! If you find a wine you absolutely love, it might be worth the shipping cost to you. Plus, you can purchase a case (12 bottles) at a time, so if you really like a wine and buy it in a large quantity, then obviously the shipping cost is totally worth it. It was fun and if ever you have a friend hosting a wine tasting party, I encourage you to attend!

Seafood Salad Recipe
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 pound imitation crab meat
1/2 cup of small salad shrimp, precooked
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup of mayo
1/2 teaspoon of dill
2/3 cup of Italian Salad Dressing
a squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Thanks for the hosting gift, Jen!

In a medium-large bowl, combine the onion, celery, crab meat, and shrimp. Then mix in the sour cream, mayo, salad dressing, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well and then chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

For my party, I served this on crackers called Sociables by Nabisco. They are cute for parties because they come in various shapes, so it looks a bit festive! I used a small spoon and just put a small amount of the seafood salad on each cracker.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Home Decorating with the Hometown Queen Bee!

I love interior design. In fact, I nearly went to school specifically for that while I was living in Florida several years back. Although sadly, that never happened, I still have a passion for it! So, although I never had any technical training in the field, I still feel like I have good taste. Well, funny thing about that statement is I suppose everyone thinks they have "good taste", because it's YOUR taste, ok, but I digress.

I went around my house and picked out a few of my favorite items or areas that I particularly enjoy. If I had an amazing budget...oh the things I would do! I can spend hours on pinterest, looking at home decor! But, this is the best I can do on a small budget. Adding some interesting pieces when I can, a little at a time.

Let me take you on a miniature tour of my home...

This hangs in my dining room; it's pretty large and the colors in it really go well with the wall color. Believe it or not, this is actually from Walmart...Hey, sometimes you can find nice decorating items there!

This fireplace screen is from Pier One and the picture doesn't do it justice! It really dressed up our old fireplace, although sometime in the future I would like to paint the brick and redo the tile in front of it.

I got this picture from Target a few years back...It's a bit different, but I like it!

This is in my upstairs is actually a decorative plate holder, but I repurposed it to hold a couple photo frames.

This is a section on my home office. It's comfortable and allows me to relax and be creative!

a self-portrait my son did in school this last year
Don't forget the kid's room! These are taken from my son's bedroom. He is a six year old boy, so I try to keep it fun. I also make sure to include a lot of his own art work! For one reason, I think it's great (of course I do, I'm his mom!) and I also think it is important for him to feel I am proud of him and what he creates. It also is a personal touch for his personal space!

Just some fun décor, perfect for a six year old boy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Get Pretty Nails at Home? Yes, you can!

Even though I am very "girly", I almost never go for a professional manicure. It's just something I never got into and I can't see spending so much money, week after week on my nails. I guess since my natural nails grow very well and look pretty (I always get compliments on them), it has never been an area of concern for me. However, I will say, I do like the look of manicured nails. Especially the French manicure, I love that! I also will always have nail polish on my toes, but that, obviously is very easy to do yourself and it will last for quite a while without much fuss.

Well, I went to a gathering with a bunch of ladies last year. It was just some woman hanging out, drinking wine, and trying some products to pamper ourselves. Also, a couple of the ladies had some manicure kits and offered to do our nails. I was totally up for that, it sounded fun! I had never used any gel nail product before, so it was all totally new to me! Well, after it was done, I was in love! I loved they way the gel nails looked! It lasted a couple weeks and did not chip like regular nail polish does like ten minutes after applying it lol. I was hooked! I needed to get one of those get nail kits!

So, I started looking into different gel nails kits. I compared prices and looked into what was included. I decided on SensatioNail® Starter Kit. This kit includes everything needed for gel applications; the LED lamp, gel base/top coat, primer, polish, cleanser, wipes and a nail buffer. I also picked up a couple extra nail polish colors so I had some options each time I would do my nails.
SensatioNail® Gel Starter Kit
 I will tell you with all honesty that when you do it yourself, it takes a few tries to really get good at the application process. Don't give up if it doesn't look great the first time. It is a bit different than just applying regular nail polish. First of all, there are several steps involved. You first use the nail buffer to smooth out the nail beds. Then use a wipe with the cleanser on each nail. The primer is used next, just a little on each nail and for this step you can just let it air dry. You next apply the base/top coat, and use the LED lamp to cure it for 30 seconds. Then apply the get polish, being sure to "cap" the nail. This means that you should run the polish brush over the nail tip. Doing this helps to seal the nail polish better and prevent pealing. After the first coat of polish, you put your nails under the LED lamp for 30 seconds. Apply another thin layer of gel nail polish again, also applying to the cap of the nail, and then put nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds this time. Next, apply a layer of the base/top coat, also applying to the cap of the nail, and cure under the lamp for yet another 60 seconds. The final step is to use the gel cleanser with the wipes and running it over each nail, which removes the moisture and gives the nails that smooth look and feel.
SensatioNail® LED Lamp
Now, I can have amazing nails at home, anytime I want, and for only a fraction of the cost of having to run to a nail salon. And don't forget you can have fun with the colors! My favorite style to do is use a hot pink nail color on all nails, except for my ring fingers. For my ring fingers, I like to use a very sparkly and glittery silver nail polish, as an accent nail. I like having fun with it and doing something unique! So experiment, see what colors you like and don't be afraid to mix it up!

(Disclaimer; I was not paid for my review of the SensatioNail® Gel Starter Kit. I bought the product on my own and just wanted to share my results and thoughts on the product with my blog readers.)

Want to Earn FREE Gift Cards?

Want to earn free store gift cards? Who doesn't, right? Here is a pretty easy way to do it! All you need is a smart phone, which let's face it, nearly all of you have them...and the ability to walk into stores! And if you are anything like me, and love to shop, chances are you are entering stores all the time already! So, why not get rewarded for it?!?

So, let me introduce you to Shopkick. It is a free app you download onto your smart phone, and once you sign up, you will earn points for simply walking into certain stores! The amount of points you earn will vary. For example, last week walking into JCPenny may have earned you 35 shopkick points...but this week it might be 100 points. Stores will notify you what points they are offering at the present time, along with any special deals they are offering too. In addition to this method of earning points, there is another way! Each store will usually have a handful of specific items on a list. If you locate that item in the store, and simply scan the barcode (note; you do not have to buy the item), you will earn additional points! It's so easy!
There is really only one difficult part of this whole deal. That REMEMBER to open the app BEFORE you walk into the store. Especially in the beginning, before it becomes a regular thought to you. At first, so many times, I would go into the store, and it would not pop into my head until I had packed my items into my car and was driving away lol. However, now that I have been doing it for a couple months, I find that I am much more likely to remember! So, just keep in mind, the app has to be opened on your device first, before entering, to obtain the offered points.
Here are a few helpful tips for earning substantial points doing this whole Shopkick thing! The best place to earn a lot of points is when you make a trip to the mall. There, you have several stores that you are walking in and out of, and racking up your points quickly and easily! You can also link your credit card to Shopkick under the "Buy and Collect" feature. Using your credit card to make purchases at participating stores, can earn you extra points too. I personally have not signed up for this feature just because I don't use credit cards a lot to make purchases, and I'd rather not put my credit card information out there, but that is just me, lol. There is also an option to invite friends to use Shopkick, and you get some points via your friend's earnings. I also suggest that you keep an eye on your point earnings. I have never had an occasion where I was not given the proper points, but I do usually check to make sure they've been added. I also like to check my points so I know what level I am at and know when I'd like to cash in my points for my gift card!

Your next question might be "what kind of gift cards can I earn?" Well, this part is really great...YOU get to chose what kind of gift card you want! It shows you what is available and how many points it takes to get each gift card. There is a great selection; Walmart, Target, Starbucks, American Eagle, Redbox, Macy's, TJMaxx, Old Navy, JCPenny, Best Buy, Lowe's, Toys R'Us, Papa John's, Barnes & Noble, Sephora, The Cheesecake Factory, and more!!

So, if you think that sounds pretty cool, give Shopkick a try! I have actually had fun doing it, it's free, and you can get something out of it, so why not?!? If you start using it because of this post, or have already been using it, feel free to comment below about your own personal experiences or thoughts on Shopkick!

(Disclaimer; I was not paid nor given any compensation from Shopkick or any other company for my post. It is strictly my own desire to share this information with my blog readers.)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Great Yard Sale Finds

It is no secret, I love yard sales! Who's with me?? True, many you go to aren't good...those are the ones you either drive right past, or get out and look for all of two seconds and go on your way! Well, this weekend I spent a few hours yard saling and I found some great items! In fact, I found A LOT of great items. Basically, my car was full of my treasures lol. I won't share it all with you because frankly, we would be here all day. I found clothes for myself and my son, accessories, shoes, purses, household items and décor!

Ok, so I'll start off with clothing and shoes! Like I said, I will only show a select few, not my entire haul. I love when I find new items that still have the store tag on them. For instance, I found a sequence button up sweater from American Eagle, with the store tag and retail price of $69.99...which I paid only two bucks for!

I also found this adorable pair of shoes that have no sign of wear, with beautiful bows with bling, also for two dollars! Any Anyone who knows me, knows I have an obsession with shoes, and with purses! If I told you my last count of my inventory of shoes and purses, you might think I was crazy. (Maybe I am a little, haha!) I will say though, after buying items with weekend, I did go through my closets and got rid of a bunch of clothes, shoes, and yes, even a couple purses! So this weekend I bought just one purse, a Guess brand purse that I found to be rather unique. The picture doesn't do it justice. I really need to start using my camera, and not just my phone for blog pics because the quality will hopefully be better. But the way Guess is written is kind of cool and there is bling around the circular part. Just for the record, I love "bling", however I actually can't stand that term! But, for lack of a better word, there it is, lol! Anyhow, I scored this purse, in perfect condition for only $3.00!
I also got several nice items for home décor. I found some beautiful silverish-gray curtains that I think will look amazing in my bedroom. They are the long 84" and look very elegant. I got a set of four panels for $3.00. I have not washed or hung those yet, so no pictures and you'll just have to take my word for it, that it was a good yard sale find! I also found a set of two pictures, with silver frames, that I thought would look nice in the room along with the curtains. Each picture is of a flower, in black and white and matted.  I love taking pictures, even though in this digital world I am sometimes bad about printing them, but I found a beautiful, large photo album. This is brand new and was only two dollars. I also found a cute floral decorative piece for a dollar that can dress up any shelf! I also found a smaller sized lamp, perfect for a bed-side table or mantel, for only $2.00!

Now, I also got some clothes for my son, but they were nothing special, just shirts and pants, so I won't bore you with any of that. I limit the amount of toys I get him at this point because he already has so many he doesn't know what to do with! I am however, a sucker for anything educational! I came across something I had never seen before, and even as an adult, I thought it was pretty cool. It's a Human Body Model. It comes with a book, and a clear plastic body, with 30 internal body parts and organs, that you put into place, creating a whole model of the human body! I opened the box and counted the pieces and it was all there, along with the informative book. I thought this would be great for my son, who is very intelligent and loves to learn! The price on this cool educational toy??? Take a guess!...Only .50 cents! ...SOLD! We can have lots of fun learning and putting this together for less than a cup of coffee would cost! Things like that excite me! I love getting cool stuff for a great deal! Not to mention, I have never seen this item in any store I've ever been to.
Alright, well there you have it...just a few items that I found that I was most excited and happy about! I also had some conversations with interesting people, was out on a beautiful sunny summer day, and even got some exercise while going to a huge neighborhood sale. It for sure is one of my favorite hobbies! Anyone like to join me sometime??? ;) If you are out in my neck of the woods, you just might run into me! I'll be the one scooping up all the good finds! ;)

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