My Top Ten Shopping Destinations in Pittsburgh

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Happy Friday, Everyone! For those of you in the Pittsburgh area (or anywhere really) here is a list of the top ten stores I enjoy shopping at. These stores always have savings, and if you sign up for email alerts, you will get coupons and special offers on a constant basis to help you save even more. If you’re not from the Pittsburgh area, I’ve included the links to each website within my map which will allow you to find a store near you, so you can enjoy the savings, too!

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This interactive map has pinpoint locations of each store.

Wedding Attire on a Budget

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My best friend is getting married next summer, and she has asked me to be the maid of honor. I’m blessed and honored, to say the least. So, much like me, my best friend Justine is a savvy shopper. The bridesmaids are all already tall and it’s a summer wedding, so we decided on sandals – we wanted them to have a little sparkle though, too. We worked together to find these awesome sandals, from Payless, that has beautiful gems on them and are silver, so they worked with her teal and orange color scheme. The best part? They were originally $24.99, on sale for $19.99, and I found a 20% coupon code on RetailMeNot, making the grand total – drum roll please$15.99. I shared the coupon code with the other bridesmaids, and Payless has the option to ship your package to your local store for free, so we all got our shoes for a steal. I was pretty excited for this find, just wanted to share them with anyone else who may need a nice, formal pair of sandals for a wedding or other event!

Decorating on a College Budget – Personal Experience

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This slideshow shows the different areas of my apartment. My apartment is cozy, it doesn’t have a lot of extra space or extra storage. I tried to give it my personal touch – I shopped a lot at Ross, Walmart, and the Dollar General for these items. Also, it’s always good to ask your relatives and friends if they’re getting rid of any furniture or items for the home. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to share!

Check it out, here.

Top Ten Beauty Products Under $10

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Beauty Products

I have my daily routine for getting ready, just like everybody else. Unlike everybody else though, my routine consists of beauty products that you can get for under $10. This is my list, my personal preferences, of affordable beauty products that I swear by on a daily basis to keep my hair and skin looking their best. All of the products on my list can be found at www.drugstore.com or in any Walmart (which is where I do most of my shopping). Sometimes, www.drugstore.com is running coupons or special deals, so I like to check there first when I need to buy any of my products – it’s always great to save where you can. If you go to Walmart.com though, they have a whole list of coupons for their store, too. It’s all about taking a couple of extra minutes to find the savings. Now, let’s get down to business let’s talk beauty.

10: Suave Naturals Moisturizing Body Wash in Cocoa Butter

 

Cocoa Butter, Bodywash

Not only is the smell of this body wash relaxing and not overwhelming, but it makes my skin really silky and smooth. You can usually pick up a bottle of this moisturizing body wash for around $3. It comes in other great scents, too, if cocoa butter isn’t your thing. A small pea-sized drop goes a long way, so this bottle should last you a good while. More bang for your buck.

9: Aussie Catch the Wave Sprunch Hair Spray

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I was blessed with that great wavy/curly combination hair. You know, the kind of hair that if you don’t load it up with product, it’s a royal mess. This sprunch spray controls my curls and leaves my hair airy and light, instead of weighing it down. Not to mention, it smells amazing. It’s a win win. If I don’t have a coupon, which I usually do, it costs me around $3.99 a bottle.

8: Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse

Herbal Essence, Curly Hair, Mousse

Like I mentioned before, my hair requires a lot of product to control. Before I use my sprunch spray, I put a dollop of this hair mousse in my damp hair. Like a lot of the products I use, it smells fruity and pleasant. It runs about $4.00 a can. It took me a couple of tries to find a good combination of products for my hair type – Herbal Essence and Aussie never disappoint me.

7: CoverGirl Queen Collection Eyeshadow

CoverGirl, Eyeshadow, Neutrals

Before Christmas, the new Urban Decay palette came out – sadly, there was no way I was going to spend that much money on eyeshadow, even though the shades were fabulous. I have always used CoverGirl products, since the first time I started wearing makeup. I’ve always been pleased with them. This particular palette is perfect to keep your makeup neutral with a little bit of drama and sparkle. You can pick it up at the store for around $5.

6: Maybelline Volum’ Express ‘The Rocket’ Waterproof Mascara

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Oh, the struggles of finding the right mascara. I have tried dozens of mascaras at this point – I was rather excited the other week when I found ‘The Rocket’ mascara by Maybelline – even though I am a CoverGirl girl. I like the plastic wand – compared to the old material wands; it allows for a smoother application. Also, this is one of the first mascaras that doesn’t run and smudge when I start to sweat from running around like a crazy woman at work. I paid about $7 for this mascara.

5: CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Self Sharpening Eye Pencil

Eye liner, CoverGirl, Perfect Point

Eye liner was another product I struggled with – a lot of the eye liners I tried smudged easily or wore off quickly. I found myself re-applying it five times a day. With this eye liner, from CoverGirl, I apply it once in the morning before school or work, and it lasts all day. It comes in various colors, so you can get whatever matches your eye color best. I picked this product up for around $6.

4: CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Liquid Makeup

Liquid Makeup, CoverGirl, Foundation, Oil Control

Along with my crazy hair, I have oily skin – my cover up used to make it worse. That was before I found CoverGirl’s oil control liquid makeup.¬† Also, I am very fair skinned and used to have issues finding makeup that didn’t make me look orange, but this liquid makeup was the answer to all my prayers. This makeup leaves my skin looking natural without being heavy or orange. It costs $7, without a coupon.

3: Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curls & Waves Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essence, Curly Hair, Shampoo, Conditioner

Controlling my hair starts in the shower, before I even put any styling product in it. I tried a lot of shampoos and conditioners, cheap and expensive, for my hair. Then, I tried the Totally Twisted products and the rest is history. It smells amazing and it leaves my hair manageable and keeps my frizz under control. I usually buy the large bottles, 23.7 fl oz, and pay about $7.50 for each bottle. You can get the smaller bottles for around $4 if you prefer.

2: CoverGirl Professional Loose Powder

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With my oily skin, a little loose powder always helps to finish off my look. This is one of my favorite, favorite products, that’s why it’s so high on my list. It leaves my skin with a little bit of sparkle and makes it look air-brushed and flawless without¬† making me look fake, orange, or making my makeup look heavy.¬†You can get this CoverGirl loose powder for around $5, and it lasts a long time, because a little goes a long way.

1: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Facial Cleanser in Pink Grapefruit

Neutrogena, Oil Control, Cleanser

This Neutrogena cleanser tops my list, because when it comes down to it, before I even put any makeup on my face, I have to take care of my skin as a whole. This cleanser keeps my skin clear, reduces the oil, and smells fresh – not like most facial washes that smell harsh. It is a little more expensive than some of the other brands, but you can still pick it up for around $7.

I use a handful of other products, including Burt’s Bees, Bath and Body Works, and Avon, but the products above are by far my favorites. If you’d like to purchase any of the products from my list, simply click on the pictures and it will redirect you to drugstore.com. Remember, always look for coupons before purchase, to make these products even more affordable. Happy Shopping!

$20 Food Showdown

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As I was doing my assignment for the week for my multimedia class, I came across this great post from The Spark People Blog about what you’re money can actually buy you when you shop smart at the grocery store. It shows, in pictures, a breakdown of what different amounts of money can buy you at the grocery store vs. at a fast food joint. Check it out, here. Healthy Vs. Fast Food

Affordable Valentine’s Day Treats

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In case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away! This doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg on a dozen red roses or imported chocolates from Belgium – let’s be honest, a lot of our wallets are still recovering from Christmas and buying books at the start of the semester. So, what can you give that’s affordable and sweet? I’m thinking sugar.

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I came across a great list of Valentine’s Day treats, thanks to Love From The Oven, to make for you and your valentine – and anyone else you want to share the love with.

1: Valentine’s Day Pretzels – dip pretzels into chocolate and then top them off with pink and red heart sprinkles to make them more festive.

2: Red Velvet Sweetheart Cupcakes – what’s better than red velvet on Valentine’s Day? Top it off with cream cheese icing for the perfect combination.

3: Valentine Heart Chocolate Cookies – better than chocolate in a heart shaped box: heart shaped chocolate cookies. Mix in some Valentine’s Day M&Ms for some color.

4: Valentine Oreo Pop – oreos dipped in chocolate and then coated in sprinkles, all conveniently on a stick for your eating pleasure.

5: Valentine Crispy Treats – a classic sweet treat revamped with some chocolate and sprinkles to top it off.

These are just a few of my favorites from the list – for a full list of treats from Love From The Oven, click here.