Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thrift Treasures

I recently went thrifting at two Goodwills near my home. The first one was fairly disappointing but I found two gems at the second one. My goal was to find summery items for our upcoming trip to Maui. Although I failed at meeting my goal I did walk away ecstatic with my purchases. The first one is a black and white herringbone blazer from Neiman Marcus. On average I think NM sells their blazers for about $200-300. This one looked brand new and had a lot of cute detail. 

Neiman Marcus black and white herringbone blazer $9.99:
Leather elbow pathes:

Cinched waist:

Soft high-low hemline: 

Flattering fit:

My second purchase was a lightweight white coat from Tulle. I found a similar jacket online that was priced $80 (used) and said the original price was $130. This coat also has several cute details. 

Tulle white coat ($5.99):

Cute lining:

Precious now detail: 

So sweet:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Refurb in the burbs

Last summer I bought a new home and have been staying busy with remodeling, fixing, maintaining, and decorating it. Of the list above I prefer the decorating part. Since we are on a tight budget I've been surfing the web for good deals. I often check Craigslist but recently I've been hooked on the local garage sale groups on Facebook. I was able to snatch up a large coffee table for $10. The table legs were fairly questionable, the height was too tall, and the the color of the stain was not what I wanted. After purchasing new legs and a few cans of spray paint at Home Depot I now have a new coffee table. In total I think I spent around $50 with the table and supplies. Overall I'm pleased with the result.

This is the before: 


In my new home:
Keeping the details but revamping the legs and height:

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ebates... it really does work!

Its been awhile... I know, but I'm back with a really good deal.  Over the past Christmas holiday I did a lot of online shopping.  Halfway through I learned about a company called Ebates.  Basically you sign up with them to use sites that they have affiliations with.  Depending upon what the deal they have going on with that website you get money back for your purchase.

For example, right now Nordstroms has 5% cash back on their purchases.  So if you spend $100 on their website you'll get a check in the mail for $5.00.  Not too bad considering you don't have to do anything special other than accessing Nordstroms website via Ebates.  Each store has a different type of promotion.  Some websites have up to 10% cash back on your purchase price.  The nice thing about this is that you can use your coupon codes without any issues.  They also have a large list of affiliations including Macys, Sephora, Target, etc.

Now I'm sure the catch is that they are monitoring your purchases and such, but lets be honest... I'm sure your web browser is already doing that.  At least you get paid this way.  I've already received an $8 check and I'm waiting for another $5 check.

Shameless promotion:
If you use this link below I get $25 for the first friend that I recruit that uses this service.  So do me a favor (and yourself!) and click my link!!!

Sorry I didn't post this earlier but I wanted to make sure this website was legit before I advertised :-)

Happy shopping!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why I never buy things full price

I love a good bargin.  Most people may not realize that there is not reason to ever purchase anything for the full price.  Sometimes all you need is a keen eye and some patiences.

1) Large Ling Bracelet from Fossil ($36 on, $8 at Nordstroms rack)

2) Willow and Clay Sleeveless Sweater Vest with Detail (Retail $98, Purchased at Nordstroms rack $25)

3) Smashbox Masquerade Eyeshadow Palate (Normally $35, Purchased at Nordostroms Rack $16)

Monday, January 9, 2012

I haven't been this upset in awhile!

Let me just preface this blog entry by saying that I've worked at a job that requires customer service skills since high school.  I've worked an numerous retail stores, at a restaurant, and in healthcare.  All of those jobs require a plethora of patients and customer service skills.  I know working these jobs are very tough as the clientele that is serviced can be demanding at times.  That being said I often try to give people some slack when things go wrong beyond their control (registers acting crazy, busy seasons, lines, etc) but when most conditions are ideal I expect decent service.  I don't expect the red carpet but I expect respect... at the very least.

The back story of this blog goes back a few weeks or maybe a few months.  This past summer I bought a ProX facial cleaner from Olay.  Loved it!  I used this thing several times a week and had great results.  Unfortunately a few weeks ago my ProX died. I tried new batteries, waiting a few days before using it, but nothing worked.  I went online to Olay's website and found out that my ProX was out of the warranty period plus I had long ago thrown away my receipt.  I decided to email the Olay company to see if there was something that I could do to fix my ProX.  Surprisingly, they emailed me back promptly and told me that they would send me a coupon in the mail for a new ProX.  WHAT?  That's great!

So I waited and waited and today I got my coupon in the mail!  I was planning on going to Bed Bath & Beyond today since it was close to a few stores I wanted to go to.  Living in the city I have very few department stores I can go to quickly (Target is about 20 minutes away and Walmart is even farther).  My local BBB also sells misc bathroom and makeup items that I like to look at.

So I went to BBB, looked around, found my ProX and proceeded to the checkout.  Things went wrong from the beginning when I handed the cashier my coupon.  She called a manager and he accused me of using a "copy" of a coupon and basically made me feel like a crook.  The second manager was a lot nicer and I finally got my ProX but not without feeling like dirt.  How could the manager accuse me of using a copy of a coupon when there were holographic stickers on there and my name was printed on the coupon.  This was printed on nice shiny paper too... I don't have a printing press at home.  Anyways, I went home and sent an email to BBB.  Who knows if it will be addressed but all I wanted was for that jerk, Chris, to acknowledge that HE was wrong and that I was right and that the coupon was LEGIT!

Here's my email I sent out:

I went to a BedBath&Beyond today to shop for miscellaneous items as well as to redeem a coupon I had for an Olay product.  I received a coupon from P&G Distributing Company for a free Olay Professional ProX.  This was due to my original ProX being defective.

Upon check out I handed my coupon and a new ProX to the cashier.  She looked at the coupon and asked me if it was for a "free" ProX.  I said yes.  She looked at it for awhile and then called a manager.  At this point I am not surprised.  This is a rather unusual coupon so I assumed that a manager would have to sign off of it.  The manager, Chris, came by and asked the cashier, what was wrong.  She said nothing but just handed him the coupon.  As he read it he asked me if it was for a "entirely free" ProX.  I said yes.  Chris told me the coupon was a copy.  This was entirely incorrect.  I told him it was NOT a copy and he corrected me and said it was. I'm not sure what detective work he used to come to this conclusion but I JUST received that coupon in the mail and brought it to the store.  I would NEVER make a copy and try to fraudulently use it. There were holographic stickers and my name was printed on the coupon to prevent copies being made.  Chris left saying that he would get another manager. While I was waiting there I explained to the cashier why I got that coupon.  She told me that she has nothing to do with it and its up to the manager.  The next manager showed up and she was polite.  She clearly saw that although the coupon was unusual it was not something I could simply make up nor was it a copy.  I told her how upset I was at the fact that Chris, a manager, had incorrectly accused me of using a fraudulent coupon, calling it "a copy".  She agreed to talk to him about it.

I am writing to let you know how embarrassed and upset I am about how one of your managers dealt with this situation.  Anyone who works in customer service, especially retail, should know that you never accuse anyone of wrong doing unless you know 100% that there is truth to your allegations.  Never once did Chris ask me where I got the coupon so I could explain to him why it was so unusual for me to have it.  Never once did I see him call the company to verify that the coupon was legit.  He decided on a whim that it was a fake and was going to try to call me out on it.  I did not receive an apology from him either.  At one point I told the cashier that I could run to my car and get the letter that came along with the coupon.  She said it wasn't necessary.

I would hope that maybe this can be used as a learning tool for all your employees.  Do not place blame on a customer because you are unfamiliar with something.  I think from now on I will take my business elsewhere and will recommend the same to my friends and family.

Update 1/11
I got a phone call from a customer service rep for BBB.  She was very apologetic and took the time to ask me what went wrong and what I felt about the situation. She assured me that they would pursue this situation and that they would do a better job at training their employees.  I have mixed emotions on this.  I don't want anyone to "get in trouble" but I do think its important that employees, especially managers, are aware of the impact of what they say and do. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

What's new?

Well, like most bloggers out there, I'm not very good.  The simple task of updating random readers about my daily, weekly, or monthly endeavors is more difficult that it seems.  I digress... so what's new?

Jimmy and I moved into "the city" and now reside in the SOMA neighborhood.  Its actually very convient!  I enjoy being able to walk to the downtown shopping areas and have found some wondering shopping areas.

I'm still not in love with my job.  I like that I still get to work with kids, but having to deal with parking, meetings, increases in caseloads without any relief, and being sick has worn me down.  I like consistency in my life and I also like to know 100% what is expected from me... I don't have either right now.

I made some pumpkin cupcakes today and I think they're quite delicious! You can look up some recipes on or at LauraVitaleKitchen on youtube.

Also, I tried out a new trick to clean my makeup brushes.  Pour a little rubbing alcohol into a small cup.  Swirl your brushes into the alcohol and then gently wipe clean with a clean dry towel.  The alcohol helps strip away the makeup and bacteria but also dries a million times faster than soap and water.  I usually NEVER clean my brushes because I'm lazy and impatient.  This is simple and fast.  It works.  For a video demo look up gossmakeupartist on

Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well.  I'm looking forward to the holidays so I can visit my wonderful family and friends!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Favorites

Since its almost the end of July I though I would post some items that I've been using this month that I think are great.  Here they are in no particular order:

1) Revlon Peach Smoothie Scented Nail Enamel $5
I just bought this nail polish and tried it this afternoon.  I was skeptical at the store whether or not the polish would smell good but the color was so pretty I thought it was worth a try.  The color is a very light pastel coral with tiny gold flecks.  Amazingly the scent was very pleasing as well!  The color payout is okay.  I needed at least 3 layers to make it fully opaque without any streaks showing.

2) Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge

The pink egg on the left is the Beauty Blender and the blue misshaped egg is the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge.  The Beauty Blender is about $20 while the Sonia Kashuk is about $10.  Quite a price difference for very similar results.  Before diving in and paying full price for the Beauty Blender I wanted to see if I would like the "airbrush" results that are promised from these sponge.  I opted for the more economical sponge and I'm obsessed with the results!  These sponges are best used when dampened. By blotting the sponge in your foundation you can stipple your makeup on with a seamless effect.  The first day I tried the Sonia Kashuk sponge I wore drugstore Maybelline makeup and one of the first things anyone said to me that day was that my skin was flawless.  My skin is NOT flawless.  I have adult acne, scars, and skin discoloration.  To have someone tell me that they love how my skin loves and assume its not b/c of makeup feels wonderful!  Although I love the Sonia Kashuk sponge I do want to try the Beauty Blender.  Its been reviewed many times and most reviewers say that the texture and consistency of the Beauty Blender can not be replicated by any other imitation sponge. 

3) Olay ProX Spin Brush $30

This little spin brush is awesome.  Its a very economical alternative to the Clarisonic Mia or DDF spin brush.  Its more closely related to the DDF due to the fact that both devises spin, but the price difference is drastically different.  The DDF can cost upwards of $90 while the Olay ProX is only $30.  Refills for the replaceable brush heads are also much more affordable via Olay.  After just one use of the Olay ProX my skin was noticeably softer and I feel that it has helped keep my skin clearer as well.  I was very interested in buying the Clarisonic and or DDF but I'm completely satisfied with this product I now have no desire to spend excessive money on the more expensive versions.  On a side note I did see a knock off Clarisonic face brush at TJMaxx - it was a similar shape and look with the sonic cleaning feature.  I thought about buying it but then realized that finding a replacement head for it would be near to impossible.  Keep that in mind when you make a decision for high price items.  If replacement parts are super expensive you may want to try a cheaper route, but if the cheaper route does not offer any replacement parts you may be better off with something more expensive. 

4) L'Oreal Deep Cream Facial Cleanser $5-8

I've tried two out of the four facial cleanser shown above.  The first facial cleanser I tried was the pink one.  I actually hated it when I first tried it due to the intense smell but after giving it a second chance I love it.  The whole reason why I bought the cleanser in the first place was due to the pink scrubby thing... which is really nice.  The cream cleanser works really well at taking off makeup and there's a nice tingly feeling afterwards.  The green cleanser however SUCKS!!! I pretty much made this decision when I realized there was makeup junked up my my ProX cleanser after washing my face with the green cleanser.  I then tried washing off the makeup with more green cleanser ... over and over and over again. The makeup would NOT come off.  I tried my pink cleanser with the ProX in the shower the next day and discovered that the pink face cleanser was actually striping the makeup off the ProX.  So if the green "face wash" can't clean makeup from the ProX then how much makeup is being left on my skin?  Gross!

5) TOMS Red Bimini Youth Classics $38

So I actually bought these in the youth size.  Its a lot more affordable and you still get the One for One deal.  Little side note.  I have a pair of 7.5 women's pair that fit a little big and I bought these in a size Youth 6 that is a lot big.  I probably should have ordered a size 5 or 5.5 youth.