Oh, hello there!

I have a blog? Look, I have a blog! I’m so glad to see it is still around after a two-week vacation. I’ve had nothing going on, other than getting our second car totaled, photographing a wedding in Texas, and opening week at the college I work at. Nothing much, really. I’m excited to get back to blogging!

I got several e.l.f. products when they had a good sale going on a few weeks back. The product I’ve been using the most out of that order is their e.l.f. Studio Translucent Matifying Powder. It’s a whopping $3 full price, and they run 50% sales fairly often. They’re currently running a $1.98 shipping special as well.

elf

I just discovered e.l.f. a few months back, and I am very excited that there is a line of very affordable makeup and brushes for when I can’t (or shouldn’t) afford some of the pricier brands. Obviously, at this price level, some of the makeup is probably not very “clean,” but I was excited to see that they also have a mineral line that I am looking forward to exploring. Their ingredient lists are encouragingly short!

This compact, however, is from their studio line. Both the mineral and studio lines are slightly more expensive than their essential line, but still, as I said, this studio powder was only $3.

It does not have an overwhelming amount of product in it, but it is a very light, sheer powder that is one-shade-fits-all, and I like it to wear over my foundation. Eventually I want to get a few more to have one at work and one in my purse.

I’d encourage you to try this line out! I believe some Targets and even dollar stores sell their products, but you won’t get as full of a selection as you do online.

Happy Monday!

An elementary couponing trip.

Through someone’s Facebook status, I heard about Southern Savers and have been slightly obsessed ever since. I hate feeling guilty going to the grocery store and always knowing in the back of my mind that I could be saving money if I knew how. Well, I’m learning how!

First lesson I learned: Don’t try to spend nothing. It’s impractical, and you’re not going to get what you really need that way. My goal is to average about 50% savings between sales and coupons.

publix

This is what I got. I spent $45.64 and saved $47.38 ($38.68 in store sales, $8.70 in coupons) BUT, I forgot a $5 coupon at home, and because Publix is awesome, they are going to let me get that $5 back if I show them my receipt and the coupon the next time I go in. So that will mean I’ve spent $40.64 and saved $52.38. I passed my goal of 50%!

Southern Savers is incredible because she does all the hard work for you. When you get the coupon inserts in the paper, stick them in a folder and don’t even look at them. Every week, she will post the sales/coupon matchups and show you the best deals that week. Then you can just go find those specific coupons in the paper and leave the rest alone. No needless cutting of coupons you don’t need or won’t use. And you can print out shopping lists with specific coupon matchups to take with you so you can get in and out of the store in half on hour and already have your coupons ready to go. I feel much less crazy-cat-lady that way. 

list

I forgot my list (of course), but since Publix has free Wifi, I accessed it from my iPad in the store.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a Publix fangirl. 

As you can see, I got 2 Freschetta pizzas (our favorite that we can rarely afford), produce, 2 HUGE jars of natural peanut butter, Ritz chips, Vanilla wafers, applesauce, granola bars, produce, chicken broth, crescent rolls, pasta sauce, french bread, salad dressing, 2 bottles of good olive oil, and 2 cans of vegetables, and I paid $40 (after I get the coupon money back).

I feel pretty good about it and we have a ton of snacks for our road trip to Texas this weekend.

Check out Southern Savers! There is an introductory video on the right side of her page. Watch that first — it will make it all less scary. J is totally on board with me too — and I feel excited when I get home from the grocery store, not ashamed or worried! That is a good feeling.

In the past I’ve spent about $50/week on groceries, which is a little high for just two of us, and I’m still sticking about to that, but I’m getting so much MORE for that money. My pantry/freezer/fridge are STOCKED. As I build up stock, I will be able to spend less and less each week.

Here’s to saving! I promise, it’s fun, rewarding … and slightly addictive. Give it a try!

– L

My go-to “milk”

BD Almond Milk

A friend of mine asked me last night what my favorite dairy-free products are, so that sparked this post. For many years now I have been figuring that I am lactose intolerant and experimenting with different products to get around that. This girl loves her milk, her cheese, her ice cream … oh, Dippin’ Dots … it’s a problem. I originally tried Lactaid, and used that for a while, but it is still dairy and I still had stomach problems, that I just dealt with for a while.

But, then I married my husband. He’s dairy allergic (his throat swells up when he eats it), so I knew I would have to buckle down on my dairy-free knowledge. The main rule I have learned is:

Don’t try to replace every regular, dairy-full recipe with dairy-free alternatives. You’ll spend a fortune. Find good recipes that are naturally dairy-free. 

Easier said than done, right? It’s a work in progress, but I’ve actually found that I enjoy not paying for all that dairy. It’s not the cheapest stuff!

However, our one consistent dairy-free purchase is Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. It’s soy and dairy free, which I love. The main flavors are Original (Sweetened or Unsweetened) and Vanilla (Sweetened and Unsweetened). They also have Chocolate, which I’ve never tried. J likes Sweetened Vanilla, and I like Sweetened Original. It tastes the most like milk to me.

I still don’t drink it straight like I did milk, but we use it on cereal, in smoothies, and the Original works beautifully in every recipe I need milk for (Vanilla does not. Trust us, we’ve tried. Sweet Vanilla Almond Chicken and Rice Soup was not a hit).

I’ve also tried So Delicious Coconut Milk, which was much too strong for me, and rice milk, which I didn’t enjoy at all. I still miss my real milk, but Almond Milk is a fantastic second choice. Another fun feature is that because it isn’t dairy, it has a much longer shelf life. We never hit the expiration date on these, and when it’s on sale I can stock up.

Speaking of which, it’s on sale 2/$5 at Publix this next week, and some stores have an extra $0.55 coupon! Go try it. It’s normally $3.25 at our Publix, or $2.88 at our Walmart (which doesn’t always have all the flavors in stock).

Have a lovely, dairy-free Thursday!

Lauren

What will it BB?

BB

I’m jumping onto the BB cream bandwagon a little late. I love the idea of being able to wear a moisturizer with light coverage on days when I don’t want to put on a full face of makeup. The first one I’ve tried is the Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream. It offers these benefits:

1. Natural Looking Radiance

2. Sheer Color

3. All Day Hydration

4. Improves Skin Elasticity

5. Broad Spectrum SPF 15

6. Blends Effortlessly

7. Lightweight

8. Helps Skin Feel Smooth

9. Covers to Help Instantly Improve Skin’s Appearance

10. Won’t Clog Pores

(11. Affordable! $6.50 at Publix)

A 10-in-1 perfecting cream sounds almost too good to be true, and for me, it was. I like the cream, and I won’t say that it doesn’t do what it says, but personally I need more coverage than a BB cream can provide. If you do not have heavy breakouts or much redness, however, this would be a great option for light days.

I found that the 810 “light to medium” shade works for me and blends well. I use it mainly as my moisturizer/primer before my foundation, and I will definitely use this before going to the pool or an at-home day when I just want a good moisturizer.

After I finish with this, I may experiment with a CC cream. Kate at the Small Things Blog gives a nice summary of the differences in BB, CC, DD etc. The CC offers more coverage and correction (hence the CC), and I’ll review one when I try it. I was able to double coupon (Publix + manufacturer) to get this one for around $4, which I don’t regret at all. It’s a good basic tinted moisturizer with a few added benefits thrown in. If that’s what floats your boat, go for this one!

Happy Monday!

Petite Peach

Moleskine Monday

At some point I might actually establish a schedule of what I post on what days, but until then — I’m feeling some Moleskine love today.

moleskine

My weekly planner has lived in my purse since my freshman year of college. I somehow survived one semester without one (and missed a few assignments due to said lack), and have used one daily ever since. I originally started with the small version, but I upgraded to the large a few years ago and have loved it.

As seen from the above picture, the left side of each opening is a week’s schedule, and the right side is a ruled sheet that I use for notes/lists.

I am a scheduler & list-maker and always will be, so I realize I am probably more excited about these than the general public, but I highly recommend these planners to anyone and everyone. Mine keeps me sane, organized, and it’s a wonderful place to keep my lists and even coupons in the handy little pocket in the back. There’s a handy bookmark to easily find the current week, and there’s an elastic strap that keeps it tightly closed so it doesn’t get wrinkled up in your purse.

Also, there’s fun little stickers to remind you of bills, vacations, anniversaries, etc.

Get one! They’re cheap, and they even have 18-month versions that start in July, so get one today! This is the exact one I have.

How do I love thee, Amazon? Let me count the ways.

mascara

I have loved Amazon for many a day. It has rescued me from many forgotten birthdays, soothed me when I wanted to shop, reassured me with its Prime 2-day shipping, entertained me with its streaming videos, and even paid me when my textbooks were no longer of use to me. And today, again, Amazon has shown its true value.

My mascara tube is dried up.

Horror of horrors, I know.

Now, I am the type that will drag out things as long as possible. I add water to the soap dispenser, use my makeup remover wipes twice (they’re too big!), and wear my 2-week contact lenses for … well … you get the point. I stretch it out. But, the fact that I can’t remember when I bought this tube of mascara was beginning to concern me.

But, seriously, mascara is expensive. $7 -$8 for a tube of black stuff just hurts. That’s 3 pounds of chicken. That’s 1 1/2 meals at Chick-fil-A. That’s a movie ticket.

(This is also something I do — anytime I spend money on something I don’t want to spend money on, I run through the endless list in my mind of what else I could be spending that money on. For example, J-Wick’s wisdom teeth extraction … I don’t want to talk about it.)

But, hark! On a whim, I clicked over to Amazon and there it was. My Covergirl Natureluxe mascara. For $2.48.

$2.48

Two dollars and forty-eight cents (in case you missed it).

With free shipping.

I bought 3.

And J-Wick’s text response when I told him was : “Well done good and faithful wife. Your prudence shall be rewarded in the latter days.” I like him.

I like this mascara because it’s a nice cross between regular and waterproof. It stays on really well, but comes off easily with my makeup remover wipes. It’s a nice texture and I get reasonable fullness from it. I first bought it because it was “natural,” although I’m not sure how much is really natural about it besides the fact that the bottle is green. But hey, if they took out one chemical, it helps. Most of my makeup and skincare routine is natural, so if I make a concession here or there for things that are hard to replace, I don’t feel too bad about it. (How’s that for rationalization? I’ll go eat a cookie since I had salad today. Oh wait, I didn’t have salad. Shame.)

Alas, I can’t share this $2.48 happiness with you all, because on discovering this wondrous item I posted it on my FB and within a few hours they were sold out. (There were only a dozen or so left when I found them — I’m not that popular).

But, I would encourage you to think about Amazon when making home/health/beauty purchases. If you already know what you want and don’t need to physically shop around, it saves time, gas, stress, and almost always money, especially if you have the Prime membership. Even if you don’t, if you get up to $25, you can still get free shipping.

For example, here are 300 salon-quality bobby pins for $2.39. Or here is a professional curling iron for $25. Check Amazon before you go shopping — not only because it may be cheaper, but it keeps you focused on what you’re actually shopping for.

If you’re a student, you can sign up for your very own Prime membership here free for six months, and then get it for 50% off after that. If you’re not a student, go here for a free 30-day trial. Why wait? Try it! Tell ’em I sent ya.

Love,

Petite Peach

P.S. – This is not a sponsored post. I just really love Amazon. And so should you.

P.P.S. – Amazon just announced that they are opening a warehouse in Tampa! Exciting!