Sunday, November 23, 2014

Shopping for Clothes on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

     This week officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.   Now Black Friday is known for its massive deals on items like toys and electronics, but it has also become a great day to score great deals on clothing as well.

    It's the same thing with Cyber Monday.  Most clothing websites will have some kind of Cyber Monday deal with either a percentage off, free shipping or possibly both!

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when shopping for clothing this Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Black Friday

*Know the layout of the store*

Prior to Black Friday go scout out the stores that you plan on purchasing some clothing at.  If you are looking for a particular item, say a spectacular New Years Eve dress, go check out where those items are located in the store.

*Try on before hand*

If you are shopping for yourself or for an immediate family member, have them try specific items on prior to Black Friday.  This way you will have an idea of what size to purchase when that chaotic shopping time hits.

*Know that now is not the time to browse*

Now is not the time to say, " I want to get my husband clothes for Christmas."  Black Friday is a day where to get the most bang for your buck, you should really know ahead of time what you want to purchase.  The crowds will just be too much to deal with to browse and your time spent browsing may lead you to miss out on deals elsewhere.

*Have a list, and check it twice*

Most Black Friday ads can already be seen online.  Check here.   Make a plan of attack based on the deal that has the best saving for you to the deal that has the least.  If you see a deal that can't be beat at a place like Target, than thats the place you have to start at.  

*If you're going for a huge deal, get there EARLY*

If you're going to Best Buy for a $700 tv that's priced at $200, you better be in line very early.  People take Black Friday very seriously, and they forgo Thanksgiving celebrations to wait in line.  You may have to sacrifice some time with your family if you are serious about scoring a massive deal.

*If you miss out on a deal, don't fret, chances are you can score a similar one*

Retailers are still struggling and haven't bounced back completely from an iffy economy.  While Black Friday may still have the best deals, the deals leading up to Christmas are probably going to be pretty darn close, usually within a $10-$20 difference.  

*Be safe and be comfortable*

We have all seen those horrific videos of crazy mobs on Black Fridays.  If you are waiting in line or going in to a store and you sense that people are too frantic, turn around and go back to your car.  Your safety is not worth saving $50 for.  
Also, dress super comfortably and if you can leave your jacket in the car as it just add bulk.  Make sure you are only carrying the bare minimum with you.

Cyber Monday

*Do your research*

Figure out which stores you plan on ordering from and sign up for their emails now if you haven't already.  Some retailers also release deals on their Facebook page, Instagram or Snapchat like Sephora. 

*Make your list and check it twice*

Write down the specific items or category of items you want to purchase and their sizes.  You don't want to forget something as things tend to sell out quickly online.

*Don't forget to use Ebates*

You're doing online shopping, might as well get some money back!  If you don't already use ebates, seriously? What are you waiting for? Click HERE to sign up.  

*Get prepared early*

Most Cyber Monday deals tend to begin on Black Friday now as well, so get yourself near your computer at say 11:30 and log in to ebates and click the sites that you plan on shopping at so they are all open come midnight.  Just like you would visit the actual stores in order of the deals, that's how you should have your windows open on your browser.  Make sure you have your payment information right next to you.

*Create a store account now*

If it's a store you haven't shopped at online before, visit the site now and create an account.  This makes it much easier to checkout.

*Have your coupon codes written down*

Prior to making any purchase you should always google coupon codes to use.  So while you are putting together your list of sites to visit, google coupon codes and write down any codes that you may be able to use.

So those are my basic tips and tricks for shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

I avoid the stores like the plague on Black Friday, what about you?  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How I Stay Organized: Kate Spade Wellsley Planner

     Now that I'm full time teaching, I have had a lot more appointments and a lot more workshops to attend.  I've always been a planner girl, but it's even more important that I stay organized now.  I have been through a few ringed planners this year, but my Kate Spade has quickly become my favorite.  Here is how I use my KS Wellsley Planner to stay on top of things.

These planners used to be difficult to find, but now they are more regularly available at your local Kate Spade Outlet.  I've been told that you can call an outlet, pay over the phone, and have them shipped to you!

Here is a color key I use to track my different kinds of appointments/dates.  I know people who have kids or multiple jobs use a lot more colors than I do.  I also don't have blogging listed because I use page flags to plan out my blog posts.

I don't usually carry around these pens with me, but will use a pencil to write the information on a post it and then put it into my calendar with one of these colored pens.

 Every week I also make a weekly to-do list using these symbols.  I like a weekly to do list, because other than at work I don't usually have day specific tasks.

 This is a list I just put into my planner.  I am trying to get into the routine of completing these specific items every day.  Cleaning my purse and workbag and taking my vitamins seems to be the most difficult so far.

Here is my weekly spread.  As you see I don't decorate nearly as much as other people do, mainly because I don't have the skill!  Last week was an easy week appointment wise, so my pages are pretty empty.  I use these project life cards to create my weekly to do lists. If I don't complete a task, I just include it on my to-do list the next week.

 At the back of my planner I have kept the A-Z tabs used for addresses to use as a "filing cabinet".  Each section I keep lists for various topics.  They range from birthdays, books I want to read, makeup wish lists, weight tracker, etc.  I am a big list maker so this section is my absolute favorite!

Here's an example of one of my lists in my "filing cabinet".  I use masking tape at the top to make the title.

While I ADORE my Kate Spade, I have been eyeing the Erin Condren Life Planner for quite a while, and now that I am starting to teach after school and will be signing up for classes so organization will be more important.  So you may be seeing an updated planner organization post soon. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sweater Weather Tag

  The temperatures have been back and forth here in New York-ranging from 40's to even 70's.  However, this week the cold temps have finally set in and it feels as though they are here to stay.  Now that the weather actually matches fall/early winter, I thought it was time to do the Sweater Weather Tag!

1. Favorite candle scent?
I have been trying to cut down on my candle buying lately, as I have so many to go through.  So the one I have been burning since summer ended is Yankee Candle Triple Chocolate Cake.  If you love dessert/decadent scents than this one is totally for you.

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Actually all 3.  There's nothing better than starting my morning with a hot cup of coffee. (Looking for sweet K-cup recommendations!) On weekends when I'm just hanging out at home watching movies, I love having a cup of hot chocolate.  I have these dark hot chocolate k-cups that are so delicious!  And finally, when it's really chilly in the evening I love ending my night with a cup of Trader Joe's Sleepy Tea.

3. What's the best fall memory you have?
My grandparents always used to take my apple and pumpkin picking when I was little and those were always the best.  I don't know what I ever did with all of those apples, as I didn't become a big apple eater until I was a teenager.

My other favorite fall memories come from attending Penn State games.  When I was little my dad and I would book a hotel room like an hour from Penn State and drive to the stadium with a sign in the window saying we needed tickets.  Every time we did that we would have tickets before we even got to the stadium because people would honk and stop us on the highway.  When I got to attend games as a student it just all came full circle.

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? 

I am LOVING the dark lips trend.  I have been trying to rock this trend, but my lips have been so dry and gross lately that it's been hard.  The color that I have been trying to pull off is Bite Beauty's Pomegranate. 

5. Best fragrance for fall?

I wish I had a fall fragrance.  I have been trying to cut down on my fragrance purchases so the only perfume I have been using lately is Victoria Secret's Kiss.

6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?

Funny story, I haven't had turkey for Thanksgiving for the past 5 years.  I spent Thanksgiving with my mom, aunt, grandma and my mom's side of the family in Queens.  All of our places are too small to cater to a full Thanksgiving meal so we go out to eat.  The place we have been going for the last few years happens to have the BEST penne a la vodka ever invented so that's been my favorite Thanksgiving food.

7. What is autumn weather like where you live?

In New York we have a true Autumn.  Not a wear a sweater on top and bare legs on the bottom- that just doesn't work here!  Autumn here can range from the 20's (like last night) to the low 70's.  Usually 40s-50s.  Oh and we have the most beautiful foliage ever.

8. Most worn sweater?

I unfortunately do not have any cute/ fallsy sweaters.  I have plenty of sweaters, but they are all boring work sweaters.  Can I say that I want this one to be my most worn sweater?

9. Must-have nail polish this fall?

have been all about jewel tones lately, especially emerald.  I really want to get my hands on this Zoya polish called Giovanna.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Oh come on!  Football games all day long!  Even though I have zero athletic ability, I love throwing a football around and attempting to catch it.

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?

Can I just say both?  I live for both skinny jeans and thicker leggings.  My favorite winter weight leggings are from Zara.

12. Combat boots or Uggs?

I have not been able to jump on the combat boot wagon, so I'm still all about the Uggs.  I always feel like I look like a college kid when I go out in my leggings and Uggs.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

Ok, I HATE pumpkin spice.  I always joke that I must not be an official white girl because I can't stand the taste of pumpkin spice.  However, I do love the scent of it.

14. Favorite fall TV show?

I really love all of the Real Housewives Shows, but my favorite new fall show has been How To Get Away With Murder.  It's a show I have to watch on demand because that show requires my FULL attention.

15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?

This is going to sound so random, but the song that has really gotten me into the fall spirit this year is Centuries by Fall Out Boy, because it plays during most college football games.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter 2014 Fortune Cookie Soap Box- LOVE!

     There's a reason why the only subscription box I've stayed subscribed to is the Fortune Cookie Soap Box.  Everything is so darn cute, smells so good and is great for my skin!

   I love warm and yummy scents and this "Old Fashioned Family Christmas" themed box did not disappoint!  Check out below to see all of the yummy scented goodies I received!

*Christmas Bonus Deep Conditioner*
This is a bonus item and actually does not come with a scent description.  If I can guess the scent correctly I could win a $50 FCS gift card!  You better believe I will be asking everyone I know to help me figure out this scent.

*Tis the Season to be Mary Fortune Cookie Soap*
A hint of sweet almond with warm swirls of tobacco.

I didn't think anything with the term tobacco in it would smell good, but this smells so delicious.  It's a very warm, slightly manly set.  I will definitely be using this for the cold winter months.

*Fried Pussycat Whipped Soap*
Juicy plum and whipped caramel wrapped in artisan bourbon vanilla and jasmine blossoms.

I have to admit, I can't stand the name of this product but it smells delicious.  All of these scents are so unique that I can't even compare them to things.

*Moose Mug Cuticle Butter*
Rich cream, egg, and a touch of nutmeg.

This smells SO amazing.  It smells like eggnog and their cuticle butter is second to none.  If you have a problem with splitting cuticles I would definitely try this.  Also, if your hands get SUPER dry during the winter, I bet you could even use this as a hand cream.

*Sparky Hydrate Me*
Scrumptious vanilla pumpkin waffles topped with brown sugar, pecans and sheets of fresh whipped cream.

I couldn't find a product description of what this actually is, but I'm pretty sure it's a lotion bar.  I have tried lotion bars from Lush and other companies before and I really adore them.  I can't wait to try this one.

*I Pledge Allegiance, Amen Shower Steamer*
A brisk and outdoorsy blend of blue spruce and balsam fir, fresh mint and garden herbs.

This scent definitely reminds me of a Christmas tree farm.  I love the shower steamers and this seems like a good one to save on a day I'm not feeling too hot or perhaps even a bit hungover.

*Jello Surprise Whipped Cream*
Festive plum with a zesty curl of citrus, all wrapped up pretty-like with winter orchid and soft sandalwood.

The FCS's whipped creams are frequently featured in my monthly favorites and for good reason.  Not only do they ALL smell yummy, but they are super hydrating and luxurious feeling.  If you choose one product to try from FCS, I would make it one of their whipped creams.

*Mele Kelekimaka OCD Hand Sanitizer*
Tropical spiced rum, Tahitian vanilla, sprinkled with jasmine petals and twisted woods.

If you are looking for a more natural or cruelty free alternative to all of the Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers this is the answer.  It's a great size and this scent is very warm and manly.  Would make a great stocking stuffer for a special and OCD like fella in your life.

Do you plan on subscribing to the Fortune Cookie Soap Box or buying anything from them for gifts?  I would TOTALLY recommend this for any cutesy gifts you need in your life.

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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