Sunday, March 16, 2014

Custom Furniture At Target!! What?!!

Image via
Have I been living under a retail rock? I am generally on Target's website pretty much every day, and if I am not, I am in our neighborhood store. I was checking an order I placed just days ago and saw a sidebar that Target has custom furniture. After a few clicks, I found a whole assortment of furniture choices included accent chairs, benches, headboards, ottomans, love seats, settees, and arm chairs.

I always enjoyed that Target had brought in decorative furniture pieces in the last few years. Some of their former pieces were usually a little too modern for my tastes and the scale wasn't always right. Now they seem to have pieces for all tastes and decor and feature gorgeous patterns and fabrics to choose from. Sure, it's probably not "high-end" custom but they do seem to have quite a lot of fabrics to choose from.

The prices seem reasonable to other furniture companies. And the delivery times aren't very long at all. One day, I would love to furnish an entire house or apartment using Target and items only. I remember an Oprah episode where Nate Berkus did just that with pieces from Walmart. Now that would be quite a challenge!

Image via
After years of high end furniture, I vow never to spend that kind of money again. While it's very beautiful, no one knows or cares that your tush is on a Baker couch or a piece from Barbara Barry. At least I don't anymore! Tell me what you think of Target's new "custom" furniture options.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

How Not To Ruin Date Night - Night Trip To LA

Whether your single and dating, married, playing the field or whatever, a great date night out is needed every now and then. (More now than then!) A few weeks ago Mr. Challenge and I ventured out of our comfort zone, zip code and county. Our date nights basically consist of dinner somewhere, a movie or even a day date to the next major city south of us. We are basically creatures of habit until one Saturday I pitched an idea to go beyond our normal routine and try something different.

Our first stop was somewhere we haven't been since Big and Little Challenge came along; The Getty Museum. I initially wanted to go up to Los Angeles during the day but noticed that the museum was open until 9pm on a Saturday. To go up to LA and not to San Diego turns into more of a day trip with LOTS of patience. I wanted to also visit one of our favorite sandwich shops/delis, Bayside Deli in Santa Monica and get the Godmother. It's truly a gourmand's delight. With the idea planted in Mr. Challenge's head, we began prepping for the night. Generally, after a week of running the grind, the last thing we want to do is primp and prep, and sweatpants are oh so comfy. But I made an effort. I showered, put on my best trendy outfit AND make-up. In the meantime, Mr. Challenge was plotting our next stops. And really cool ones at that.
Inage via
After museum we headed to Phillipe's the Original French Dip. This is an LA institution dishing up beef, lamb and turkey dip sandwiches for decades along with delicious salads and desserts. After enjoying our beef dip sandwiches, .80 lemonades and a side of slaw, we ventured to our next stop, the One-Eyed Gypsy. Now before you get your tarot cards all up in a bunch, this cool hipster place was so far out of our element but worth the try. While they no longer have the infamous skee-ball, they do have some interesting drinks and live music. Nothing says classy like a cold, tall Pabst Blue Ribbon. Oh, and don't forget your hairy beard. It's the hipster thing to do.
Image via Pie Hole Facebook
Onward and downtown-ward. Our last and final stop was for dessert. No, not that kind of dessert. Yummy, delicious flaky goodness known as pie. I am talking about The Pie Hole. Yea, I said it. And genius name, I know. This non-descript pie palace located across from another new place Wurstkuche (we will try soon) in LA's Arts District. There was a small line at the door but not out the door. We waited patiently and noticed the menu board and bakery case were rather sparse. Many of the popular flavors were already gone. And this was at 9pm on a Saturday. We chose their signature item, the maple cream pie, grabbed some forks and headed outside to the few patio tables. The pie  was amazing, as was the night, and the company. It was a perfect way to finish the evening.

As we got back into our challenging sedan and drove back to the 'burbs where we came from, I realized date night was over. No one got mad. We did everything we wanted to see. It could have gone on for a few hours more, but it was time to go home. I challenge you to try a new type of date whether it's during the night or day, near or far. Venture out of your neighborhood and into a whole new experience!

Drugstore On The Cheap - The Best Concealer. Ever!

I'm not one who usually wears make up let alone an entire full face of make-up which includes layers of primer, concealer, foundation, powder, etc. I am lucky to get on some mascara, lips and maybe a dust of powder. Because of this, I am lax in trying expensive products that I will only use once or even a few times. It will just end up sitting in my vanity drawer forever.
Image via Walmart

Recently I stumbled across a blog that showed short and easy make up application steps that were right up my alley. One of the products recommended was Hard Candy's Glam Concealer or Glamoflage. The writer mentioned it was at Walmart which is where I picked up my tube. Priced at $6, this was something I was willing to try even if it was the wrong color. It even came with a small sample concealer pencil. There were various of shades available. Again, I am completely stupid when it comes to extra products like concealer and even less knowledgeable about all this "contouring" business I keep reading about. As I get older and the challenges keep coming, I figured my face could use a little help.

A little help, indeed! This might be the greatest drugstore cheapy I have found recently. And all you need is a little. Literally. Like a pin drop for your eyes, blemishes, uneven skin tone, etc. Again, not being familiar with tools of the trade, I wasn't sure how to really apply it. Do I use my finger? A sponge? A brush? I found a smaller brush and dabbed a tiny bit on. It went on smooth and blended well even for this beginner. My eyes looked brighter and less tired and it really did cover up any imperfections. I think I would incorporate this into my everyday routine or even just a quick routine to cover up flaws, add some mascara, blush and lips and hit the road. Give it a try! It won't erase all your problems in life, but those on your face will be less visible!

I am not a paid blogger for this product. The opinions are my own and strictly for informational purposes only.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fabulously Frugal Drugstore Finds

Maybe you've made a resolution to spend less this year, or any year for that matter. Great! Then you've come to the right place to save a few bucks on beauty products.

                                                    NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara
Image via Google

I LOVE this mascara. I was using another less expensive drugstore brand after years of using MAC and Lancome products. NYC has a great, easy to use wand that layers on length and glossy black color(my fav). And, it only costs $1.97. (Price varies from store to store, coast to coast.) I purchase mine from Target. Seriously! Frugally fabulous mascara under $2.

                                                  e.l.f. or Eyes. Lips. Face. All Over Stick
Image via elf
 Another fabulous drugstore find is elf beauty products. Almost all of their products are $1. That's right. One dollar! I love this All Over Make-Up Stick in Pink Lemonade. It makes a great tint for your cheeks with a subtle shimmer and glow. You can also use it for a lip tint and eye color. Did I mention it's a dollar. For those using NARS Orgasm or Laguna, try this product. If nothing else, you spent a $1. That's less than the skinny latte you just picked up on your way to the store. I also suggest trying their brush sets, nail polish and eye shadow kits.

                                                          Boots No.7 Foaming Cleanser
Image via Target
Nothing feels as good at the end of the day than a clean, freshly washed face. While in Target, Boots No7 has an associate who will assist you with their products and allow you to test them as well. I tested this little beauty and was blown away. I do not like cream cleansers. I always feel they are a bit heavy and like washing your face with lotion. Maybe the foaming bubbles are a psychological thing but I have always preferred a foaming face cleanser. This one does the trick in removing all-day make-up including mascara. It makes my skin feel soft and not dry. Plus, at $8.49 a bottle, a small amount goes a long way. This is sure to last a while.

                                                         Dove Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Image via Dove
On another trip to Target for some random groceries and household items, I saw this lady pushing her cart with at least 10 cans of these Dove dry shampoo cans. It piqued my interest, so I wandered over to the shampoo aisles. Low and behold there were no cans left. Now I was curious. What was this lady on to? I didn't have the guts to ask. I returned the next day and they had restocked the inventory so I grabbed myself a can. For $3.49, let me just say, "Wow!" Far less expensive then even some of the other drugstore brands and even less than the higher end brands. (Yea, I'm talking to you Oscar Blandi). I did have a little trouble with the spray but gently worked my way through it. Plus, the smell is so divine. It had a very clean smell. It did not gum or weigh down my hair. The direction are easy to use. And seriously, it's that inexpensive. I bet you can even find a coupon.

What exciting finds will you discover on your next drugstore journey?

*I do not receive compensation for any of these descriptions. These are my opinions only. I am not sponsored by these companies.

Clinique Chubbie Lipstick Balm vs. Revlon Colorbust Lacquer Lip Balm

I have come across a few blogs I follow where the bloggers have worn Clinique's Chubby Lipstick balm in Pudgy Peony specifically. I recently went to Nordstrom to test and evaluate this product since it's something I don't normally wear. I am more of a traditional lipstick or tube lip gloss wearer, and this product intrigued me. The color both blogger's wore was not suitable for my olive skin tone so I tested others. At $17 a piece, I wasn't really or willing to buy something I wasn't totally in love with. Plus, if you've read my blog before, you know I am quite the cheapskate when it comes to buying things.
Image via Nordstrom
Then I remembered either a print or television ad with Emma Stone, and it caught my eye. That Revlon lipstick lacquer balm looks almost identical to Clinique's version. Off to Target I went to see and test the product. I was able to test a few on my hand and decided to purchase Revlon's Flirtatious, 125. The color is similar but not a true match to the Clinique color. Woppin' Watermelon might be a better match to Revlon's Flirtatious 125.
Image via Target
Both colors glided on smooth. They felt the same in the hand, and even the packaging was similar. The colors on both did not bleed or feather. I actually like the richer color of Revlon a bit more. There was no scent with the Clinique one but a light minty scent with Revlon. I didn't mind it, however. Both had shea and mango butters. Revlon also seemed a little more richer and shiner.

The winner? I think I am the happiest with both the quality and value of Revlon's version. You just can't beat the price with almost something that is so similar. My Target version online is $6.49 and I think I actually paid a little more in the store, possibly $8.59. Still, it's a better value than Clinique's pricier version of $17.

I do not make any money nor am I a paid blogger for either product. I just like them.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Eat Down - January Challenge of the Pantry and Freezer

Most people make some type of resolution at the beginning of a new year whether it's to lose weight, exercise more, spend less money, make more money, spend time with family, on and on. One in two people make them but less even keep them. Most have given up by day 21 and even more never make it until the end of the year. Those that do, will probably have some type of life changing experience. While this year I did not make any resolutions (because nothing can beat "Funnier in 2000), there is one Challenge that I do want to try and that is The Pantry-Freezer Eat Down!
Take a look at those photos. That is ALOT of food. It was all bought with a purpose. Some of it was such great prices it made sense to buy it. Yes, there's alot of junk food there, too. Big and Little Challenge regularly blow through boxes of cereal, crackers, microwave popcorn and mac n' cheese. Then there are the pantry staples of pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, baking supplies, coffee/tea, and so on. It's all recently bought and fresh although there could be a stray box or can of something that is quite suspect. Usually it's rather organized by item type/container. It's out of hand.

The freezer is no less full. It's stock full of frozen fruits for smoothies, veggies, chicken, hamburger, frozen breakfasts, desserts, and bakery items. Again, there is probably a stray item in there way past its prime, an undiscovered frozen treasure of sorts.
It's basically a normal pantry and freezer. Nothing special in the types of foods. We are just a normal family. So, with that, I think I will challenge my family to an EAT DOWN! No, not a beat down, an eat down. There's almost two weeks left of the month, and I would like to see how much of it we can eat on a normal basis for normal meals without having to buy any additional products. We may have to get creative once we run out of a related component of a meal such as butter on noodles instead of pasta sauce once that's gone. Get it?

I challenge you to stop buying goods for the next two weeks and EAT DOWN your pantry, cabinets, fridge, etc. Maybe once it's at a lower level, we can replace it with less junk, sweets and all around processed foods. That could be the next challenge. Slow, baby steps. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nautical Nonsense

Image via Old Navy
While the rest of the country is in a "polar vortex", (I just love that word), the west coast has been having some unbelievably warm and dry weather. So much so that I hear religious figures are asking their followers to pray for rain. In any case, always one looking for cute and inexpensive attire, I recently came across this adorable crepe blouse with an anchor motif

"It's January," I said! I am always in the mood for a vacation and warm weather. This top screams vacation! Warm, breezy nights dressed in this top and a pair of casual white pants! It's very preppy to say the least. The fabric is light and the pattern is rather nice. The white blouse seemed a bit more see-through when I tried it on in stores. The fabric drapes rather nice but seemed a bit roomier overall.

I even had a conversation with the sales associate saying that I was surprised something so "springy" would be out yet. They have this whole new nautical line with striped sweaters, anchor t-shirts, chambray, fringe scarves, knit blazers, etc. There is one sailboat sweater that I saw in stores that isn't online yet. That will be a big seller. Get it now because these items, I bet, won't last, and certainly not until spring or thaw! Ahoy!

The opinions here are my own and I do not work for ON or receive compensation from this post.