Friday, January 30, 2015

One Whole Month + Candles I Can't Stop Smelling

Guys, It's been one whole month since I started this blog! 
I know it may not seem like a long time (and it is not) but it is such a victory to me.
I let the thought of starting a blog cloud my brain for YEARS before I ever took the plunge.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time to check out
 my little place on the net. 
I look forward to saying this again on the one year mark!

Now onto those candles.....
I just wanted to share that Target has a nice selection of candles on clearance.
I found these Bella brand soy candles marked at half off and I love them! 
I sometimes just walk by them in my home to pick them up and sniff them because they smell that good.

Reg. $12.99 // Clearance for $6.48
Bella- Coconut & Cedarwood
Bella- Beachwood & Bergamont

Have you ever bought these before? What scent do you like? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The World of Podcasts

How is your week going? Hanging in there?
I've got a rough 1 hour plus drive to and from work every day. I always just listened to the music on the radio, found a talk show to listen to or browsed SiriusXM whenever we had free access.

Then finally one day a few months ago I noticed a purple Podcast app on my phone. I'm sure it had been there for awhile but I just never noticed or paid attention to it. I decided to check it out changer! (Or commute changer?!)
Now, I had heard of podcasts but didn't really think much of them. Until I started adding some to my playlist on my phone and checking them out. There is a load of free podcasts under all types of categories. Just hit the subscribe buttons on the ones you want to check out and it will keep you up to date on when new episodes are loaded. You can listen to them on your phone, in your car through Bluetooth or on your computer.

Below are some of my favorites...check them out!

Serial- Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns.

Death, Sex and MoneyA podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you’ve heard of—and regular people you haven’t—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we're here.

Start Up- A series about what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.

This American LifeOfficial free, weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show "This American Life." First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising.

CriminalCriminal is a podcast about crime. Not so much the "if it bleeds, it leads," kind of crime. Something a little more complex. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, and/or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.

TED Radio Hour- The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme - such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections.

{NPR} Planet MoneyMoney makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. On NPR's Planet Money, you'll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks — all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.

Freakonomics Radio-  In their books "Freakonomics," "SuperFreakonomics," and "Think Like a Freak," Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore "the hidden side of everything," telling stories about cheating schoolteachers and eating champions while teaching us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.

And a few new ones I just subscribed to:

{NPR} Invisibilia-  Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior - ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.

RevealThe official free download of the award-winning radio program “Reveal,” produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Hidden stories, uncovered – that's what this show is about. It takes you deep inside stories that impact your world, revealing injustice and holding the powerful accountable.

Reply All- A show about the internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman.

Do you listen to any podcasts? Can you share some of your favorites?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Deals and Coupons I'm Loving: Week of 1.26

How was your weekend? I hope it was relaxing and enjoyable. 
We went to a gender reveal party on Saturday. It was a first for me and man, was seeing the face on the parents when they found out the gender of their babies (twins! two boys!) so precious!!

1. Save .5 cents per gallon of gas when you make ANY purchase in BJ's Warehouse before buying gas. Ends Feb 20th. Minimum purchase and promotion details may vary by store. 

2. Chipotle lovers! Order the organic tofu Sofritas on Monday January 26th (today!) at any Chipotle in the US or Canada, then bring your receipt back on your next visit- from  January 27th through February 28th, 2015- and get a FREE burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos of your choice. {I've had the Sofritas on tacos and it's really good!}

3. Looking for a new camera? 40%  off Target Cartwheel coupon for the Nikon Coolpix L330 20.2 MP Digital Camera with 26x Optical Zoom. Ends Jan 31st.

4. Free yogurt and toppings at Yogurtland for National Frozen Yogurt Day! February 2, 2015 4p-7p. At participating locations only.

5. Free FROYO at Menchies (up to 6 0z, one per guest) for National Frozen Yogurt Day! February 6, 2015 4p-8p. At participating stores in the U.S. and P.R.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Redbox: $2 Date Night

We've made it to Friday! 
A perfect night for a date night. But if you don't want to battle any crowds or leave the house, a Redbox Date Night is the best! My husband and I have these typically once or twice a week.

Redbox are like Starbucks, you can find one on every corner.
If you haven't tried out this method of renting and watching movies, give it a try.
Cost: $1.50 for DVD and $2 for Blu-Ray plus applicable tax.

Here are a few tips:
      • You can find and reserve movies ahead of time online. Just create a Redbox account online. Or you can just stop by your closest Redbox location and see what they have available to rent.
      • Sign up for the Redbox text alerts. You'll get codes for free rentals, buy one get one codes, .50 off a rental and more. Text SIGNUP to 727272.
      • Sign up for email newsletters to see what new releases are available each week. You'll also periodically get rental codes.
      • When you sign up online, make sure to choose to join the Redbox Play Pass.You'll get 10 for each movie you rent and once you hit 100 points you'll get a credit for a free movie rental.
      • Grab a few snacks to enjoy while you watch your movie. Our favorite right now is blue corn tortilla chips and guacamole. And a coffee on the side for me so I actually make it through the movie!

Seen any good movies lately? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From the Kitchen: Pancakes from Scratch

I love when I'm putting my son to bed and he tells me as I walk away..."see you in da mornin' and don't forget to make panpakes!!"
I was looking for a 'from scratch' recipe for pancakes and found this one on
It's a simple, basic recipe and I always have the ingredients needed on hand. From this recipe you can alter it however you like. I've noted below how I've tweaked this recipe for the blueberry pancakes I made over the weekend. I've also made banana, banana and walnut, I've added apples/applesauce, peanut butter etc. Although I'm guilty of still buying boxed waffles from time to time as I do not have a waffle maker, I never buy boxed mix or frozen pancakes anymore. This saves money, it tastes better and is a healthier option. It's perfect! 

Blueberry Pancakes 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use 1 cup unbleached, white flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons sugar (I substitute with brown sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus more for cooking. I prefer canola oil.)
cinnamon (I just add a few shakes to the batter. You can omit if you prefer.)
blueberries (frozen or fresh) (You can omit or replace if you prefer.)

In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk. Add the two eggs, vanilla and oil, whisking until mixed but still a bit lumpy. Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in a pan on medium. Once heated, use 1/4 cup scoop and add pancake mix to pan. Sprinkle blueberries on top. When pancakes start to bubble and are golden brown on the bottom, flip and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. The oil will create a nice, crisp ring on the edge of the pancake. You will want to make sure to add more oil in the pan as it gets cooked away with the pancakes.
Serve with butter, pure maple syrup, additional fruit on top, etc. 

Original Source:

See how easy it is to adjust according to your preference or what you have on hand?! What's your favorite way to make pancakes? Let me know if you give making pancakes from scratch a shot!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Shopping + Target Coupons

Good Morning! How was your weekend? 
I hit up the mall AGAIN this weekend. Kind of rare to go two weekends in a row...especially because I live no closer than 30 minutes from the nearest mall. 
Over the past two weekends I've found some really fun things at amazing prices so I thought I'd share what I scored on my shopping trips.

TJ Maxx $15
New pillow for our living room couch. It was originally $24.99 but I found it on clearance!

Finders Keepers Second Hand Store $15
This was a gift from my mother-in-law. Everything is 50% off on Sundays.

Target $5
These sports bras were originally $19.99. This past week they were on sale for $10 PLUS on Monday only there was a Target Cartwheel coupon for 50% off C9 sports bras.
I grabbed another one in purple.

 Macys $10 & $6
I have wanted to try the climber and ear jacket style earrings and was super excited when I found both at Macys. I had a $10 off $25 (to use before 2pm) coupon I wanted to use and was running around with minutes left trying to find something I wanted. Whew, I made it to the register with like 2 minutes to spare! These were originally $23 and $20 each before sale and coupon.

Guess $18
I've had remnants of a Guess giftcard in my purse for years! I was going to try to use it while at the mall but ran out of time. I decided to see if I could find anything online when I got home...and boy did I get lucky.
Found these leather silver sandals, regular $79, on sale for $20.
I signed up for the Guess email list and received an online code that gave me an extra 15% off plus free shipping! Paid $1.18 out of pocket after discounts and my giftcard.

Target Bath and Bedding Coupon
On the hunt for new bedding or bath ? Target has two great coupons out now that you can pair with sales and cartwheel deals.
$10 off bedding or bath purchase of $50 or more
$25 off bedding or bath purchase of $100 or more

Did you shop for anything over the weekend? Find any good deals?

Friday, January 16, 2015

From the Kitchen: Three-Bean Chili

Ohhh it's Friday! I always love to see Friday.  

I was flipping through my Rachael Ray magazine the other night and found a recipe for Three-Bean Chili.
I typically make a basic chili with kidney beans but this recipe called for black beans, chickpeas and pinto beans. Yum!  I was a little worried about the husband and kiddos liking this take on chili but they loved it!

I haven't made a recipe from a magazine in a while because sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by the ingredient list. But this one was simple with basic ingredients but a nice twist on a classic, hearty recipe.

Rachel Ray's Three Bean Chili

2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola oil)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small jalapeno, minced (I omitted this)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 15oz can pinto beans, rinsed
Sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese, green onions for topping
Optional: 1 1b ground beef, cooked

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add the bell pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium.(Add the ground beef here if you want to add meat to your chili.) Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens, 20 to 25 minutes; season. (I added Wondru/flour to help thicken the chili a bit.)

Original Source: Rachael Ray Mag

It's the perfect season for chili so let me know if you give this a try! I'd love to know what you think or if you made your own tweaks to the recipe.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

M·A·C Addict

Confession: I'm not really a M·A·C addict.
But I am really enjoying some of their products.

A few years ago my mother and mother-in-law got me a few M·A·C items for my birthday and Christmas. And continued to buy different products over the next few years for different occasions.
I've tried the eye shadows, mascara, blush, lipstick, etc.

I did quickly fall for the blush which I have repurchased multiple times.
{Powder Blush: Well Dressed and Dame are my current favorites.}
And over the past year as I have become more interested in lipsticks over glosses...I've really started loving their lipstick.

Did you know this? If you save up 6 empty containers of product you can trade them in for a new lipstick??? I have been saving my empty containers and finally hit up the mall to trade them in.

 {These are just the empty packages I have left...I traded in 6 for the lipstick below.}

I decided on a lipstick in a coral color: Vegas Volt.

So for you addicts and occasional shoppers out your empty containers!

Do you have containers to trade in? Any lipsticks picked out to trade them in for?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Deals + Coupons I'm Loving: Week of 1/12

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?
We took a trip to the mall on Saturday to exchange a few things and
strolled the Farmers Market on Sunday. It's a great time to shop the mall for deals...lots of awesome sales going on. Just a few of my favorites below.

1. Florida Residents: FREE Seaworld annual preschool passes for kids 5 and under! Register by June 30, 2015.

2. PLUS Buy One, Get One Free Seaworld annual passes. Available through Feb 28th, 2015.

3. Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale. Ends TODAY Jan 12th in-stores. {stores had extra 25% off  clearance items over the weekend.}

4. Finish Line - End of Season Sale. Ends January 20th, 2015. {Saw great deals in stores. Extra 30% off select sale shoes.}

5. Express - End of Season Sale. Additional 40% off clearance. Ends January 19th, 2015.

Friday, January 9, 2015

My {Current} Favorite Snacks

WARNING: I love to talk about food. Almost as much as saving money.

Did you eat as much delicious, calorie laden food as I did over the holidays?
Now that the holidays are over and the new year has begun,
I'm trying to get back into eating a bit better.

I'm a snacker but I have a serious sweet toothe so I'm always looking for ideas that are a bit healthier. 
Here is a list of my current favorite healthier snacks:

{Tomato and Marinated Mozzarella Balls}

 {Salted Caramel Pita Chips and Vanilla Greek Yogurt}

{Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Guacamole}

 {Wasabi Peas and Cashews}

 {And let's be honest....Ghiradelli Squares for my sweet tooth}

What snacks are you munching on?

Disclaimer: I am not being paid to post about any of these products. They are just food products I am currently loving and wanted to share with you all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Just Grab a Can of Paint

When we were getting ready to move into our house this past year, I began saving all kinds of potential items that I thought I could easily transform with a can of spray paint.
 Either things we had that weren't going to work with our new decor or stuff our family was going to get rid of.
Ohhhh can I just tell you how great a can of spray paint is?! 

I thought I'd share some of the things we made over with spray paint for a little inspiration.
(I held onto most of this stuff in our guest room and just dug around in there as we were decorating.)

 {previously all bronze}

{previously gold}

{previously gold with a black shade}

{previously gold}

{previously gold}

{previously red}
This one actually got rained on when it was drying, so to save it we started randomly sanding it.
It gave it a bit of a worn, antique look.

(Sorry there were no before pictures!!)

Are you addicted to spray paint? Got anything you're thinking of painting?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Deals + Coupons I'm Loving

Happy Monday!
Every week or so I'd like to post a list of current deals and coupons that I'm loving!
I'm always browsing and finding great deals and will highlight what I find.

1. $5 Mail-in-Rebate on paint at Lowes. {Grabbed two gallons to paint our living room!}- ends 1/5

2. $5 off $25 in perishable foods at Target. {Deli, produce, bakery.}

3. C-9 at Target leggings $15 {reg. $27.99} - ends 1/10

4.  $25 off $250 purchase at Ikea. {Just bought a TV unit!}

5. $6.99- 12ct K-Cups at Publix {Caribou, Newman's Own, Tully's Donut House}- ends 1/9 Coffee addict here!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My First Pair of Booties

I've been loving all of the outfit pictures highlighting booties on Pinterest and on blogs
but have had a hard time finding the right pair for me. I've been a little picky
about the style and heel height.

I found these through someone's Instagram post and LOVED them
but just couldn't pay the $150+ price.

I received these booties from Target for Christmas but I found the heel odd
and uncomfortable so back they went. 

Then I found these booties from Target and snatched them up!
They fit all of the requirements I was looking for and were such a good 
alternative to the Naturalizer bootie! They were $37.99 plus 20% off with a coupon from

Are you loving the booties? Do you own a pair or are you on the hunt?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!!


I literally have NO readers as of yet. I just finally hit PUBLISH on my very first post.
I've been tinkering with starting a blog for YEARS but haven't felt confident enough to just
go for it. It's weird...but I have always felt in my heart that it's what I should go for.
I have this passion for saving money and being creative and love to share it with
all of my friends and family.

I'm hoping 2015 will bring some new and exciting things and changes.
For me, I've been saying 2015 will be the year of re-do's...with relationships, career, finances...

And I hope YOU have a wonderful and fresh 2015!!

I've heard that eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day brings good luck. It's a tradition for
 a lot of people. So, we'll be having Black Eyed Peas and Ham for our New Years dinner. YUM!

{D.I.Y} Crayon Art

I've seen this crayon art all over Pinterest and 
really wanted to make a piece for my son's room.
I went totally generic but I loved how it came out.
My quick steps and tips below:
-Canvas (size of your choice- purchased at Michaels during a BOGO sale)
-Crayola Crayons (I used colors from 4 packs of crayons)
-Sheet and/or cardboard
-Hair dryer or heat gun

1. Pick the colors and order you want your crayons in. I chose the main ROYGBIV colors and kept the same colors together. I just kept filling in until the top of the canvas was full. Glue crayons down with super glue or strong craft clue.

2. I leaned my canvas up against my back door and tucked the canvas into a fitted sheet. I didn't have a cardboard box which would work well, too. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't send any crayon flying onto my door.

3. I saw most people used a heat gun for this step but since I didn't own one I went with my hairdryer and it worked great! I started on low heat, aimed the dryer slightly down at the top middle of the crayons and moved the dryer from left to right. It took a few minutes but you could slowly see the crayons start to melt. I just kept going until I got to the look that I wanted.

Super easy! This is what it looks like all hung up. 
(And yes- we currently use my son's art board to hold hats instead.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...