Thursday, May 28, 2015

Smooth Sailing... NOT

I may have already mentioned this... but I'll say it again... I'm sailing off to Alaska! No but really I am... only it's after a road trip up from Sacramento, CA, through Portland, OR, a quick stop in Seattle, WA, then across the USA/Canadian boarder to Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Ummmm WOAH. Can I just say I'm not sure I'm quite ready for this trip.  And I've been contemplating outfits for all of a... well actually probably since I booked the trip almost a year ago! So if you can imagine.  And the hardest part of it, who travels to a cold place in the summer, (well this fam does), and what do you even pack for this kind of weather (I have no clue what kind of climate/weather to expect... I just think SNOW and Glaciers, and then I think of Sitka from the movie the Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, and of course Betty White!). Well supposedly it's more like Lake Tahoe weather, "Oh awesome" I think, "that place is near me... I know the weather... wait no I don't, I haven't been there in like YEARS!"  So needless to say, I have been lost.  But the good thing is, Sacramento weather lately is on a frits, and I have a feeling we have been somewhat prepared for the Alaska weather in this oddly cold Mid-May weather I've experienced.

7-Night Alaskan Cruise Itinerary- A
http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cruises-destinations/alaska/itineraries
Why am I sailing off you ask.  Well I will be on a Disney Cruise sailing off to Alaska, and stopping at a few of it's ports.  So no this is not permanent.  All in all, I expect a great trip, new experiences, and definitely traveling through uncharted territories, well at least for me.  I've never been that far north on the west coast! Yay!

So I made a list. And I've shopped plenty (because cold weather clothes is on scary discount at this point.. YAY!). And I've packed.

Let me tell you... Packing is such a process for a girl like me that its more stressful than anything. And I swear in my mind I'm avoiding over packing... but some may argue that I don't really make much of a difference at all.  I just need some kind of organized mess, or I'm a mess.  I started by typing up a whole list of things I could possibly bring. Then I would write down outfits as I go.  I figured about 14 outfits total for the 7 day cruise because we need to dress up a couple nights and because I don't feel like being the kind to wear her jeans and t-shirt from all day to dinner... come on, lobster and steak and who knows what else... I need to look decent and deserving of that second round of food! But alas, I packed, it all fit in my decent sized luggage, and I'm ready to go!

The planning of activities has been a bit troublesome too. Like seriously, who can choose when there are about 20 excursions to do! Like seriously helicopter rides to glaciers, dog sledding, zip lining, tours on tours on tours, whale watching, I could probably go ice fishing if I looked for it, some lumber jack shows (insert whistle here), etc.  But we finally nailed it down to a couple of sight seeing tours and some zip lining!  WOO HOO! check that off my bucket list!

And by some miracle, although it may rain while we are there, it looks like my zip lining day will not be needing a rain check! SCORE!  I'm sure I'll have a wonderful story about that day seeing that I'm terrified of heights! Let's see how well this goes for me.

Can't wait to share my pictures and my adventures with you.  This journey of planning and packing has been quite an adventure in of it's self. Stay tuned!

-Andrea

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Little to No Cost

I find myself attempting to budget a lot lately, but yet I have this thing, its called an addiction.  I can admit, I'm a.... SHOPAHOLIC!  Now I'm not ashamed of it, not one bit, but I am a bit worried about the fact that... well I'm never going to be able to save for that beautiful Mansion I want to build myself! haha But in reality I just want to be more responsible and start to save... for idk... a trip, a pair of nice shoes, maybe to move out, or maybe to pay off my car some day soon.

Either way, if you are at all in the same situation I'm in now, where you finally decide "Enough is Enough, lets start Saving!" then maybe I can lead you down the right path!  I have a few things I'm finding and am currently giving them a try. So here is a review on what I've experienced so far!

Influenster is a sight I was recommended to sign up for.  The basis is that you will receive complimentary items in exchange for your time and your opinion.  You will be asked questions so they get a sense of your likes and interests and so on.  These answers will earn you badges.  The reviews you do earn you points. The more you answer the better idea of what they can send you they will have.  I'm still a bit new to this sight, but so far I've received a Bella VoxBox from them and let me tell you, I'm pretty happy about the items I received!  The packaging is this cardboard little pink box, which duh! I was immediately like "CUTE!!!", and the goodies are inside.  I received in my box a the following, just to give you an idea of what you could receive, here is what I thought about the products*!

Eco Tools Complexion Collection Mattifying Finish Brush: Totally awesome! I loved this brush. I use it with my powdered foundation and let me tell you, the soft bristles on this brush make me want to keep applying more... but I don't need to! it applies the right amount and really does what it's supposed to. All in all, I'm definitely impressed and will be purchasing more of their brushes for sure!
DOVE Chocolates with Real Fruit (Blueberries): Soooo this bag barely lasted me all of like 15 minutes! These were delicious! They were slightly melted when I opened the packet. But I put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes and ate them all... no I did not share, these were mine. Sweet chocolate on fruit... berries at that. What girl could resist!
Rimmel London Scandaleyes mascara by Kate Moss: The brush on this mascara is so cool! its like a squiggly wand/brush and the coverage is phenomenal.  I have super straight eyelashes, long but straight and I feel they are sparse. But this mascara helped give them a little oomph! they stand out now! yay!
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate: Beautiful! Now I'm the kind of person that's like "OMG MAC LIPSTICK" but let me tell you, "OMG RIMMEL LONDON BY KATE LIPSTICK" this was actually smoother than I expected. Lasted all night and came in a super cute coral color.  Summer go-to for sure.
Not your Mother's Deja VU DO Style Extender: The first time I used this product it was perfect. I did my hair in curls after applying it and it lasted me a good 3 days after before it became too greasy to try to restyle.  The second time I may have applied too much product, or it could be because I put it on with my hair still damp and too much near the roots.  I suggest maybe having your hair at least almost dry before applying just a dime sized amount of product and try to evenly distribute it.  It works... just don't put on too much because the product does build up.
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs: This is a cream based, self tanner kind of product, except its more like makeup for your legs.  I received a color maybe a shade too dark for my sun deprived skin. so I have not quite gotten a chance to really try it. But I did test it on an area on my arm, I think I'll like this product because my skin looked super smooth and naturally tanned (just not matching the rest of me)... I just need a base tan first! haha
Club W: I received a voucher for a free wine bottle with the purchase of 2. however, I would have to sign up for Club W which is an amazing concept of a wine club membership, but it's for multiple kinds of wines, not just one winery.  I love the concept, just not the time for me be applying to a wine club. However, if you buy wine a lot, and want to save... here is the perfect thing for you! Club W... check it out!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


For all you MAKEUP freaks like me, ipsy is for you!  If you love makeup and always looking for something new to try, for about $10 a month you will receive a makeup bag (very very cute one) with a few samples or full sized products (I've noticed it's usually 5).  You sign up, you take a short quiz on your beauty interests, you may be on a waitlist, and then hopefully the next month you will receive your pretty little metallic pink (bubble wrap on the inside) package that has your makeup bag and goodies inside.  A few of my friends have also signed up and its fun to compare what each of us has received and what we think about our products.  And like I said... very cute makeup bags which have come very handy when I travel so I can separate everything in an organized fashion!

Sights like Groupon and Livingsocial are a great way to find things to do in your area and to save a few bucks.  And you can adjust it for anywhere you go!  Say you are going away for a weekend to someplace and need to save a few bucks. Look up deals in that area and have your prepaid coupons on hand!  They also have just about anything on these sights. I've seen from 14 night European trips to something as simple as a phone charger.  If you can think of it, and there is a business for it, chances are you may find a deal on these sights.  It doesn't hurt to look.

Sephora gives free samples. If you aren't in a rush to have it, and know exactly what it is you are ordering.  Try shopping online.  Sephora is always giving free samples form their online shopping site.  It allows you to try more things and to not have to buy the full product before finding out how you feel about it.  If you are in a rush to get it, and you want to try out a few samples, just ask. Employees are always going to be there to help and you can always ask for a sample of it if you aren't quite ready to buy a full size.

Starbucks lovers of the world! Do you have a Starbucks account? No, well you should. Because you earn free stuff with all your purchases. Plus... you can get a few cents shaven off here and there from your drinks when you use your rewards cards.  Also, people, you pay for fancy names. Learn a simpler way of ordering your drink! Think instead of a Macchiato an iced coffee with caramel drizzle and a couple pumps of caramel syrup, add your own creamer from their complimentary bar and save a buck! (Bonus: it may help cut back on calories too!)

Many sights and apps can help you with coupons as well.  Target for example uses an app called Cartwheel.  They will have different things on sale and they can be combined with other coupons as well.  I have also recently found this sight, Lozo.com, which if you type in a shopping list of things you need, they will find coupons for you to use on those items! How awesome is that?  Either way, there are always different ways of getting coupons, from signing up to receive emails from stores, or to their rewards programs, or to even just clipping them from the Sunday newspaper.  Just combine it all and watch the cents slough off!

I really hope I've convinced you all of some of my ways...(my new saving experiment really). Enjoy the savings, enjoy the packages.  And remember, for a little bit of your time, you can receive a few rewards.  Enjoy your saving journey... I know I am.

-Andrea


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