Thursday, March 11, 2010


I was introduced to the website swagbucks through a coupon blog I follow, and I decided to give it a try. Like many other earn points/gift card websites you can buy things through their site or complete offers (that require you to pay) to get points. These points are called swagbucks. I avoid anything that requires me to pay like the plague, however, this site offers a couple of free ways to earn points. The easiest way is by downloading and using their search engine. You can also refer friends and find codes for free bucks. Gift cards that I am interested in start at 450 swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card and 700 swagbucks for $5 cash deposited into my Paypal account. After three days I have 72 swagbucks.

Here is my preliminary review:


  • Unlike other sites I've seen in addition to gift cards you can also redeem your bucks for cash deposited directly into your Paypal account. There are plenty of gift cards from popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and Macys in addition to the retailers I've never heard of.
  • The site doesn't require you to spend any money.
  • If you refer friends you can earn up to 1,000 swag bucks per friend. You only earn points when they receive points using the search engine.


  • The easiest way to get swagbucks is to download and use their search bar. Compared to google their search function is much slower. The first few results you get are sponsored links so they're ads instead of what you wanted.
  • Unless you are willing to spend money or have lots of referrals you earn swagbucks slowly.


For the time being I'm going to keep using the search bar and see how many points I have by the end of the month.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun with Makeup - Day Looks

Style One

Below is one of my easiest day looks. It's what I wear when I don't feel like wearing make-up, but still want to hide any skin imperfections. It can be done in two minutes or less. And it only requires 2-3 products.

I start with a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Smooth over entire face and blend into neck. If needed apply concealer under eyes or on any blemishes. Apply a single coat of dark brown mascara (for blonds and red heads) or black mascara (for brunettes).

Style Two

For a slightly brighter look start with the steps outlined above and then add eye shadow along your lash line. Apply a pink shade of lip gloss. Finish off with a healthy dusting of pink blush along your cheekbones.

Style Three

Next is a low key look that emphasizes your eyes. After you apply, your tinted moisturizer, concealer, and mascara, carefully draw a cat eye line on your upper lash line using liquid liner. If you're hopeless with liquid liner you can take an eyeliner brush and use eye shadow instead, however, liquid liner can be conquered by anyone. Use your non dominant hand to hold your eyelid. Rest your other elbow on a hard surface and slowly draw short lines on your eyelid. Connect those lines. Thicken the line right above the middle of your eye. I often use the side of the brush instead of the tip. With my eye closed a little liner will often seep onto the bottom lash. This gives a very faint definition that I really like. If there are any mistakes dip a q-tip in makeup remover and clean up the line. Dust a little bit of a light colored blush on your cheekbones and finish with lip balm.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I have a photography store!  Check it out and tell me what you think.  

I also started a Picasa page.

I am slowly adding pictures as I have time.  If you have any requests let me know.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Countdown to Black Friday - 5 days to go

I found an amazing website to check out Black Friday sales in advance.  On the website you can browse by store and click items to add to a master list.  Your list is organized by store.  The sales advertisements are organized by subject.  Go to  and make up your own list!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Me!

Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style

October 30, 2008

This episode was particularly interesting in that it started with a woman who had enough clothing to “run a boutique” out of her closet. She had approximately 280 items including 54 pairs of pants. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Instead of tossing everything and sending her out shopping they first inventoried and edited her closet. At the InStyle studio they had her accessorize a dress she already owned. They still gave her a present, which is great for her, but can’t they just send me some jewelry too?

I usually really want to join them on the visit to the designer, but the outfits they had her try on weren’t my favorites, and with dresses retailing for thousands of dollars I would be afraid to sneeze. The one[1] the designer, Naeem Khan, gave her was by far my favorite out of the bunch. The dresses looked heavy

We end with Diane receiving a gift of diamond and white gold earings. Tim and Greta give the best presents.

Tim Gunn’s basic rule is “every woman needs 10 essential items in her wardrobe.”

1. Basic Black Dress

2. Trench Coat

3. Classic Dress Pants

4. White Shirt

5. Jeans

6. Cashmere Sweater

7. Skirt

8. Day Dress

9. Blazer

10. Sweat suit Alternative

Bonus: Indulgent Trendy Item

I really like his list. I think it’s practical and can be frugal (with the possible exception of the cashmere).

I really like this show. I don’t think I need Tim’s help, but would he think so? I decided to evaluate my own wardrobe using Tim’s rules (after the show was over of course).

[1] Photo courtesy of NY Magazine

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

Too early to start you say?  Not at all!  I start buying stuff in the after Christmas sale from the year before.  The reality is I, like most people, am on a budget for Christmas.  I want to be able to buy nice things.  If you spend $20 on junk you've wasted $20.  My favorite bargain purchase from last year was a necklace that  was originally $100 and in between Black Friday (more to come about that day later) and a coupon it cost $20.  That was a truly great bargain, however, if I'd let the woman talk me into buying one for myself it wouldn't have been the same bargain. :)  I had decided on a $2o limit per person so I was thrilled.  I'm not militant at keeping to the exact number per person - but I really strive to not go over the overall budget.  

This post I'll discuss steps one and two and some general money saving tips.

Step One: Set a budget


Total: $430
For gifts: $405
For decorations: $20 - I saved everything from previous years, but I'd like to buy some disposable plates, napkins, or other odds and ends.
For cards and wrapping needs: $5 - hopefully I have enough left over from last year to only have to make minimal purchases in this area
Food: $0 I plan on fitting this into my regular food budget

Starting two months in advance I have room to adjust as I go.  I can find a way to make some extra money - or figure out the best way to cut the budget further.  If I waited until the last minute I would be forced to work with what I had - unless I was willing to charge money I don't have (BIG NO-NO).

Step 2: Determine who is on your gift list

Ideas for saving money:

- No gift cards:  You can't find a bargain if you simply buy a gift card.  If you're family regularly exchanges gift cards see the next tip.

- Ask the adult members of the family if they'd like to just focus on the kids.  This year will be the second that I don't buy gifts for my 22 and 20 year old sisters and their significant others.  One sister wanted to buy me a gift card, and she wanted a gift card back.  I thought that was equivalent to exchanging cash except that you no longer get to choose where to spend it.

- Don't buy for yourself while Christmas shopping unless you know it's 1. a great deal 2. Fits in your clothing budget (not your Christmas budget) and 3. most importantly it something that already on your list of things you need.  Only if you have the budget and don't have something you need to buy first is it a good idea to buy a want.  I bought my favorite jacket on Black Friday last year, and I have definitely gotten my money's worth from it.

- Get creative.  Hopefully I'll spend far less on the adults in my family since I plan on making most of their gifts.  I've already made some great home made jams and preserves.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Columbus Day Purchases

I went Columbus Day shopping looking for a coat, but I also wanted to keep my eyes open for Christmas presents.  


The only coat I really liked was 55% off, but unfortunately, it was still $81.  I've decide

d to wait for after Thanksgiving specials.  I don't think I'll need it until December anyway.

The coat was similar to this one, but it had an inner vest layer that you could zip up and leave the outer zipper open.  It was warm and didn't make me feel like a plump penguin, but I’m not ready to spend that much until I check out other options.


What I did find was the most adorable little girl outfit for my soon to be arriving niece.  It’s so much fun to buy for little girls!  I already have some great outfits I picked up at an outlet store for 40% off, but this outfit was an even better deal.  I found it at Macy's.  It was reduced to $4.99 from $32.00.  That's a savings of just about 85%.  :)