I don’t know about you, but I always love monthly favorites posts. I love discovering new and interesting products to try! So, with January wrapping up, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you for this month. Please note that I am not sponsored by any of the brands I recommend, I just love their products!
After the holidays, for me, there’s always what I call the “financial recovery period” during January. With Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, holiday travel, New Year’s parties, the expenses add up quickly during the holiday season, plus it’s easy to get into the mindset of “spend, spend, spend.” After the festivities are done and all the pine needles are swept up, not only can the house look empty without all the decorations, but it can also feel like your wallet is empty, funds are extra tight, and the freedom to spend for fun things can be limited. So this month, I’ve been focusing on ways to save money and even earn extra cash for either saving or having “fun spending” money on hand. In addition to my regular budgeting and couponing, I’ve really gotten into rebate apps! With rebate apps, you can earn cash for buying items that you already plan on buying. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes after your shopping trip. You simply verify your purchases from the available rebates and upload your receipt, then watch your savings grow! When you reach the cash out minimum, you can either put your earnings into a PayPal account that you can transfer to your bank account, or you can earn gift cards for you favorite stores. Plus, the best part is that you can stack the savings of using your rebate apps with store sales, coupons, and other rewards programs! I mentioned ibotta and SavingStar, my top two favorite rebate apps, in my “What’s On My Phone?” post. A few of the other apps I use are Checkout 51, Snap, Shrink, Jingit, and Shopkick.
Another way that I’ve found to save money this month is by using SundayCouponPreview.com. I usually like to get a Sunday paper for coupon inserts from RedPlum, SmartSource, or P&G. While I know there are multiple sources for printable coupons, I personally still like being able to look through the inserts and clip the coupons I need without worrying if my printer will print them clearly. I’ve also found it makes the checkout process faster for the cashier and minimizes the chance of a coupon not being accepted. Before discovering SundayCouponPreview.com, I would buy a paper and sometimes get a load of coupons or none at all. With this website, you can sign up for a weekly email that lists which inserts will be included in the Sunday paper and all the coupons that each insert will include. This way, I can look ahead to see if I need to buy a paper or not. It’s become one of my go-to tools for saving money through couponing!
I love when I find beauty products that just work! You know that feeling when you’re trying a new product and instantly fall in love because it’s like you’ve finally found exactly what you’ve been needing in your daily beauty routine? I’m no beauty guru, but the following products quickly became products I couldn’t live without this month, to the point that I’ve been raving about them to my family and friends. First, Curel lotion saved my skin this winter! Between the cold weather and harsh Oklahoma wind, my skin gets so dried out during the winter time. The lotions I’ve used in the past might feel nice when they’re applied, but don’t fully absorb into my skin to stay. Curel soaked deep to heal my dry skin without feeling greasy and kept my skin soft and comfortable through the winter weather.
Next, I have been loving the Style Sexy Hair 450° Blow Out Spray! I received a full size bottle in my Ipsy bag this month and have used it every time I blow dry my hair. You can add it to your regular styling product or heat protectant before you blow dry your hair (even though it does offer heat defense). You spray it on your damp hair and use your favorite brush to basically create a blow out for your hair at home that lasts longer than your typical home blow dry. Usually when I blow dry my hair, I have some frizz despite trying (key word “trying”) to carefully angle my dryer, but with this blow out spray, the frizz is gone. Plus, my hair has less static, stays light and feels clean longer between washes. It’s a tiny bottle and a little pricey, but it’s powerful stuff and worth the price!
I know a lot of people rave about Philosophy’s Purity Facial Cleanser, but I had to include it. I’ve been using this cleanser for a little over a year and I wish I had discovered it years ago. It’s the only cleanser that removes all my makeup, including eye makeup, without leaving my skin feeling dried out or oily. I’ve purchased this product multiple times despite it being a little more expensive than your typical drugstore cleansers, but you don’t need very much and every bottle I’ve had has lasted a l-o-n-g time…
My wonderful husband spoiled me this Christmas with a makeup gift bag of goodies from Sephora. Inside were several high end products that included both full size and sample size items. One of the samples was the Tarte Light, Camera, Lashes Mascara. Now, normally I don’t buy high end mascara since mascara doesn’t last as long as say, a powder or eye shadow before you need to buy a new one, but this mascara has won me over. While my lashes aren’t terribly short, they’re the kind that have a mind of their own and don’t really hold a curl, so they tend to look short as the day goes on. This mascara holds the curl all day and adds length to my lashes. The formula doesn’t get clumpy and coats the lashes evenly. I’ll be using my sample until it runs out, but once it does I plan on treating myself to a full size tube. 😉
This may be old news to most people, but this month I discovered the amazingness that is Gain Fireworks Scent Boosters! I have become addicted to using these lovely pellets of aroma in my laundry. I love that I can wash a load of laundry and it still smells fresh and clean over a week later. Fellow LEOW ladies, this product is also great for your husband’s uniforms. Sometimes, depending on how my hubby’s police shift went, (like a hot and humid day wearing his vest all day, having to be around gross and stinky substances, or even wearing a uniform two days in a row during the winter time with of multiple layers underneath) after a wash his uniforms don’t always smell as fresh as his off duty clothes that don’t go through as much rigor. With the Gain Fireworks Scent Boosters, the fresh scent both eliminates any funky smells he might have come home with and keeps his clothes smelling nice for several days.
Since we moved into our house over a year ago, I have yet to get my files all wrangled into a place where I can find them easily. It’s been driving me crazy! So this month I’ve finally carved out time to work on my office and have been working to make it more functional. One of the nifty tools I’ve been using to both motivate me and help me find files more easily has been my Dymo LetraTag Label Maker. It’s so fun and simple to use, plus it sure beats my hurried handwriting on file folders. There are several options for formatting and styles. The labels are bright and easy to apply, plus they stay in place on whatever you’re labeling.
Entertainment & Technology
I admit, the TV is on quite a bit in our house, but I honestly use it more like a radio. I usually get hooked on a TV series on Netflix or Hulu and play episodes in the background while I’m doing things around the house or working on the computer… When my husband comes home for his dinner break or is off duty, we usually will enjoy watching TV shows together… This month, Friends was finally released on Netflix and my husband and I are hooked! Neither of us grew up watching it, even though we had both seen reruns here or there. We started watching it from the first season and it’s quickly become one of our favorite shows! Friends has joined both The Office and Arrested Development as a show that we both enjoy and can watch anytime together.
I’ve mentioned how I enjoy podcasts in my “What’s On My Phone?” post. I recently discovered another captivating podcast called, Invisibilia. I got hooked on the first episode and look forward to each new one. Every episode takes you on a unique intellectual journey through various “invisible” topics. They dig into discovering and exploring the invisible things that affect humanity and society. So far, they’ve discussed things like how thoughts, fear, and expectations impact us.
This last item has probably impacted my January the most! I’ve been trying to stick to daily goals I set and get more of a consistent routine down. As I mentioned in my “How I Use My Planner” post, I’ve always been overly ambitious with my goals or plan for the day and usually would end up getting discouraged when everything wouldn’t get done. In addition to my planner, I’ve been using the Timeful app to help me gain a more realistic idea of how much time I actually have in the day to get things done. You can add appointments, tasks, or reminders for various things that you want to accomplish. You can either assign a specific time to the task or have Timeful add it where there may be an open slot. It allows you to rearrange items if need be and let’s you check off tasks as you complete them (That’s my favorite part! Nerd, I know…). From using this app, I’ve been learning how long it actually takes for me to complete a task and how much I can actually accomplish in a day. It’s helped make my days more productive and I notice that I feel more like I’ve put in a full day’s work instead of just roaming around from one thing to another without a sense of true accomplishment. I can’t recommend this app enough! Plus, it’s free! 🙂
What are a few of your favorites this month?