Complimentary Make-Up Services at Sephora inside JC Penney!

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.17.10 PM.pngSephora Insiders- Check your email for this sweet offer, a free sample sized Too Faced Lip Injection lip plumper. Offers of freebie change frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for different deals!

Most Sephora inside JC Penney locations have special events with free sample offers, or if you can’t make one of the events, stop by any time for a free 5-minute or 15-minute minis where you can learn new beauty tips and application tricks!

5-minute minis include:

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15-minute minis include:

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Another thing I love about Sephora in JCP is select locations offer Color iQ– You can get your skin scanned to reveal the most scientifically precise foundations, concealer, and lip matches FOR FREE!

If you are looking strictly for skincare, take advantage of the free Moisture Meter! This tool gives a free, instant hydration reading- plus skincare picks just for you!

Fine Print: †Receive a trial size, free with any merchandise purchase of $25 or more at Sephora inside JCPenney stores only. Must be a registered Beauty Insider to redeem.

I love checking out Sephora inside JCP. It’s a great way to stay on trend with cosmetics and skincare and check out colors in person. It’s how I learned all about my favorite Primer- Tatcha The Silk Canvas (perfect for us with dry skin).

Practical Ways to Help New Parents…

Having had two kids, I can tell you that nothing is more helpful than having food to eat in the first few weeks after giving birth. Having a baby is stressful, especially if it’s your first. You can take all the classes in the world, do as much prep, but when it comes down to it, you spend the first few weeks tired, stressed, and weary.

Having a few extra hands and a hot meal you can eat one handed (especially something you can eat while breastfeeding) is worth it’s weight in gold!

Recently a friend and his wife welcomed their little girl. Hubs made up a batch of his new baby calzones. He makes them for everyone of our friends that is having a baby. They freeze well, re-heat quickly (and well), and you can eat them one handed.

Thanks to Kasandrinos Olive Oil and UsFamily Guide for the opportunity to sample this olive oil for free! I’m not usually a big Olive Oil fan, Kasandrinos Olive oil has a light flavor that works really well in Calzones! I also like that it has an easy to pour spout inside the bottle!

We use the Pizza Crust Recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Anything. You can find the recipe here.  One Pizza Crust makes 4-6 small calzones.IMG_2064.jpg

As the dough rises, we prep the rest of the ingredients. Sauce, cheese, meats, veggies.

I use canned tomato sauce and add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, a pinch of parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. No added sugar.

Some of the most popular ingredients around here: pepperoni, sausage, onions, bell peppers, ground cooked beef, sliced chicken breast, goat cheese, mozzarella, bbq sauce (instead of tomato sauce), cheddar cheese, ham, green chilis, meatballs (I usually make them little or slice them up), pretty much anything in the fridge!

Once the dough is ready, it is portioned out, rolled and then the magic happens!

For small/hand held sized calzones, use 1/2 cup cheese/toppings and 2-3 T. of sauce. Fold over and crimp the edges shut, and place on a cookie sheet that is either sprayed with Pan or use a silicon baking mat. I have these and I love them!

Larger Calzones need almost double the amounts above.

Bake at 450 for 10-20 minutes, depending on size.

Before and after baking!

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Here is the result of a few hours work. They were delivered the next day, ready to be frozen and enjoyed at the new mom and dad’s leisure!

If cooking isn’t your “thing” here are a few other ways to help the new parents in your life:

  • Bring them their favorite coffee drink, and something to eat.
  • Offer to hold/watch the baby while they take a shower/take a nap/have 5 minutes alone.
  • Fold/put away their laundry.
  • Wash their dishes.
  • Take out the trash, or if trash day is the next day, take their cans down to the street (then the next day, stealthily put them back).
  • Be there. Honestly, it can be lonely if you are a new parent. It’s not like you are taking your new baby all over town. You are just trying to get the hang of having a new family member. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to come hang out with!

Kasandrinos and Us Family guide provided us with a free bottle of olive oil in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated.

Saving Money When Coupons Aren’t Plentiful…

wallet-money.jpgI’m not sure if ya’ll have been noticing, but the coupon in the Sunday paper and online have kinda sucked lately.

Now that the shininess of New Years Resolutions has worn off, there are no more healthy food coupons, and the Big Game is over, so the snack-y food coupons have petered out too.

Values are lower and lower each week, and coupon redemption has reached an all time low (I read this on Coupons in the News a few weeks ago). So what’s a saver to do when there isn’t much to clip or print?

Don’t fret! There are still lots of ways to save money!

Check out other printable coupon websites. I have my list of old dependables here, but I also like Common Kindness. Common Kindness donates a portion of each coupon amount redeemed to the charity of your choice! At no cost to you! They have mostly Organic/All Natural food coupons. They also have a lot of printables that match up with rebates on Mobisave and Checkout 51.

That brings me to rebate apps! My full list is here. Don’t forget to check those out each week when it’s time to hit the store.

Don’t forget your Price Book, if you’ve neglected it, it might be time to update!

An updated Price Book can help you determine if items are a good deal, and it can also help you with Price Per Unit (This is super helpful if you shop at warehouse stores, like Costco).

Look for deals other places! I love to check out Living Social for discounted deals on fun stuff for family date night, or the occasional meal out with Hubs.

If you need to do some shopping online, try using an online shopping site/cashback site. I like both Mypoints and Topcashback. You can learn more about how we save while shopping online here. And don’t forget to look for coupon codes while doing online shopping.

Lastly, if you find yourself in need of food, and the ends just aren’t meeting like they used to, please do not be too proud to check out local sources for food. An updated list of local San Diego area food resources can be found here.

 

Legoland on a budget: It can be done!

DSC06398.JPGWe love Legoland, but it can get to be pricey. Here are a few tips that we personally use that can keep our trips more affordable!

Tickets:

  • Look for coupons savings. A quick search of Google is a good place to start. Frequently fast food or quick service restaurants will have Buy and adult pass, get a kids ticket free. Recently Denny’s had coupons up front near the register.
  • Sometimes schools and libraries also have these coupons. Our school had some in the front office last year, all you had to do was ask!
  • A few times a year, Legoland will have buy one day, get a second day free for the same price as a 1 day pass. That’s the perfect chance to enjoy two days to play and explore!
  • Don’t forget to check Costco or Sam’s Club! They frequently have discount 1 day, multi-day, or annual passes.

Snacks:

  • Take water bottles or travel cups with straws. Most restaurants with fountain drinks will fill your bottles or cups with filtered water for free. There are also tons of drinking fountains in the park.
  • There are lots of picnic areas, and places to sit and eat. We always bring our snack backpack (it’s this one) stuffed with applesauce cups, granola bars, dried fruit, popchips, 100% juice pouches, and other yummy snacks.
  • 180s.jpgSplurge on one snack or treat. Our favorite treat in the park are Granny’s Apple Fries! They are soooo good. It’s a batter dipped apple slice that’s flash fried and served with vanilla whipped cream. They are heavenly.
  • There are so many places to eat in the park too! Check eat location for specials like Kids Eat Free (last time we were there, the pizza and pasta buffet was having a promo after 3pm).

 

Souvenirs:

  • Our tradition is to buy a new min-figure keychain on every trip. I let Lil’ Man chose. He also gets to spend $20 on whatever he wants in the main gift shop. He earns money helping around the house and also when we do secret shops (he loves it, he thinks he’s being a secret agent).
  • Unlike Disney and other companies with theme parks, you can’t really get deals on Legos or buy them at discount shops and give the kids the goodies once in the park (that’s what we do with Disneyland). You can however bring in your own glow sticks and glow necklaces if you’ll be there after dark to save some money.

Etc:

  • There are tons of play areas in the park. If you are tired from waiting in line for rides, stop by a play and build area. There is a great Duplo themed one in Heartlake, and large play area in Castle Hill, complete with slides and tunnels! Take time to play and let your kids build and use their imagination!
  • Bring towels if you’ll be in the park when it’s hot. There are multiple water fixtures and splash pads for the kids to cool down. No need to pay to get into the water park (which is only open seasonally).
  • Bring a mini-figure or two to trade! Most Park employees have min-figs on their name tags and they will trade.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for saving at Legoland!

Wanna Save Money in 2017?

8f235f4422591a09bd341f17958e172c.jpgOne of the most common New Years Resolutions is to to save money. And it’s a good one!

Last year I wrote a series with the top ten resolutions:

 

If you feel like you are too busy to “deal with” coupons:

I hope these tips and articles help!

5 Tips for Moisturized Skin this Winter!

dsc07774It’s finally starting to chill out here in Southern California at night. I love taking a hot shower when it’s cold, but combine that with the dry winds and low humidity and that means dry, itchy skin. Here are five tips to help keep your skin smooth and supple this winter!

  1. Don’t take a hot shower. I know, the temptation is there, but take a warm shower. The hot water strips the moisture from your skin. If you love a steamy bathroom, put a bucket in the shower, and turn the water on very hot, allowing the water to be caught in the bucket. Save the water to water your plants or grass with (after it’s cooled). Then when it’s time to hop into the shower, turn the temp down, pull out the bucket and enjoy the steam and a warm shower!
  2. Dry brush! Dry brushing is a great way to sweep away dead skin, and increase blood flow. It also helps move lymph through your body, which some people say is one of the keys to a good detox. I use this dry brush set– I love it. Here is a great video about dry brushing.
  3. screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-07-54-pmExfoliate! Using a moisturizing exfoliant will sweep away the dead skin cells, which is what gives your skin that ashy dry appearance. I like the 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Body Scrub from New York Biology. It’s moisturizes with Organic Arabica Seed Oil, Cacao Extract, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Olive Oil, and Organic Grape Seed Oil. It uses Coffee and salt to scrub away the dead skin cells. Oh, and it smells GREAT!
  4. Moisturize! Lock in the moisture from the shower with a high quality body lotion or body butter. Avoid products that contain Mineral Oil, Petroleum, and Petrolatum. These ingredients are not absorbed by your body, but leave an occlusive film on your skin. Some people like using straight Coconut oil. I prefer using the lotion bars from Little Red Howse.
  5. Drink Water! I know, you’ve heard that you need 8 glasses a day, but really, it’s important to keep your body hydrated from the inside by making sure you get plenty of liquid! Water is best, but juice, milk, and yes, even coffee count too. Just make sure that you are drinking more non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, as excessive amounts of both can lead to dehydration or other ill effects. I use these powdered stick beverages in at least 2 of my 20 ounce water glass (which is really just a shaker bottle) each day. You can also infuse water with fruit. I have this pitcher in the fridge with lemons and cucumbers in it right now!

I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your skin moisturized this winter!