Being a mom...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I love those little "10 Things Never To Say..." articles in Redbook magazine. They always make me laugh, LOL. I'm going to share a couple more with you - and these are about something that can be a pretty touchy subject - working moms vs. stay-at-home moms.

I've been both and I've heard most of these at one time or another. We all do what we have to do in order to take care of our families & ourselves - whether it's out of choice or necessity. I've learned to just let comments like these roll right off my back - and I consider the source. :-)

Remember - these articles are meant to be humorous - they do not reflect my opinion on the subject.

10 Things Never To Say To A Working Mom
  1. It must be very hard missing all those special moments every day.
  2. I suppose it's smart that you're working. You know, in case your husband leaves you some day.
  3. I'm surprised you went back to work. Your husband seems so successful.
  4. It's cute when they call your nanny "Mama".
  5. I just love my kids too much to leave them during the day.
  6. Did you see "Dateline"? The one with the hidden camera in the daycare?
  7. I could never let someone else raise my children. But that's just me!
  8. I hated my mom because she was never home after school like everyone else's mom.
  9. You must feel so guilty.
  10. I wish I were as laid-back as you and could just let the housework go.
(Liz Gumbinner of, with help from her blog readers)

10 Things Never To Say To A Stay-At-Home Mom
  1. When the kids are older, do you think you'll get a real job?
  2. How June Cleaver of you!
  3. Oh, so you don't work?
  4. Since you have extra time on your hands, could you whip up a few dozen brownies for the bake sale tomorrow?
  5. All day with your kids? I can't even imagine.
  6. I'm jealous. I wish my husband were rich so I wouldn't have to work either.
  7. What do you do all day, anyway?
  8. I'm sure you're not the only one who's ever wasted money on a college degree.
  9. That explains why your son is so clingy!
  10. Weird. I assumed your house would be super clean.
(Candy Kirby of, with help from Twitter followers and friends)

Monday's Meal - The Marlboro Man Sandwich

Monday, September 26, 2011

I was watching The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network a couple of weeks ago, and Gus happened to walk through the room as she was making her Marlboro Man Sandwich. Of course, he immediately started drooling & insisted that I make it for him. What is it with guys, butter, and a ton of meat sandwich?

I made it, he loved it. I tasted it - it was yummy - but because of all the butter, I didn't eat more than a bite. I took pictures, which I'll post, but they are nowhere near the quality of the pictures that Ree has posted on her website. So be sure to check out her pictures.

The Marlboro Man Sandwich
(see original recipe here)
  • 1 whole large (or 2 Small) onions
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 pounds (to 3 pounds) cube steak
  • Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 cup (approximately) Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 4 whole French/deli rolls
  • Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.
  • Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
  • Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.
  • Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.
  • To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!


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AYU Celerity Sunless Tan...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I mentioned a few weeks ago in my review of the Vino Bronzing Mist that AYU had a couple of new products. Today, I'll be reviewing the other new product, Celerity Sunless Tan.

What's special about this product? Well, it contains rapid DHA, which develops more quickly (as you might have guessed from the name), so you only leave the product on for 2-4 hours, depending upon the depth of color you want.

This could be a great thing for someone like me who has with issues with sunless tanners containing dark colorguides (CG). In my case, the dark CG stains my skin & contributes to uneven fading. One way I have dealt with that issue is to shower the product off 4-6 hours after applying. Unfortunately, one of the "side effects" of doing that is sometimes, my tan will be lighter than I would like. So it stands to reason if the DHA is more rapidly absorbed, I should be able to obtain a darker final color while still showering early enough to prevent staining from the CG.

From the AYU website: "Our rapid tan will not dry out skin as it contains moisturizers and vitamins. Celerity Tan is a synergy of ingredients blended together which helps DHA to develop faster, also Rapid DHA that is a blend of DHA +Troxerutin helps a quick boost of color."

From the label: "Celerity Sunless Tan is formulated with rapid DHA which works faster and provides a smooth and even skin tone. Also provides anti-inflammatory and anti-aging  properties, along with eco-certifed DHA and a proprietary blend of ingredients that help to achieve a gorgeous tan in half the time. Instant bronzer helps with a beautiful application and black walnut leaf extract insures the dark tone to the tan color, so if you only have two, three, or four hours of waiting time and need to shower before you head out the door this is your product. By leaving it on for a 2, 3, or 4 hour time period it will develop the equivalent strength of a 6%, 8%, or 10% concentration of DHA accordingly."

Key ingredients:
Rapid DHA (DHA + Troxerutin)
Eco-certified DHA
Black walnut leaf extract
Green tea extract
Palmitoyl tripeptide-5
Algae extract
Panthenol (B5)
Hyaluronic acid

Consistency & appearance: 
This has a thinner consistency than the Vino Bronzing Mist. It's very easy to spray out of a fine-mist spray bottle. The color is a very dark neutral brown.

About my skin type & tanning: I am a Type I/II (I almost always burn, but I can get a very slight tan with a lot of patience.) I'm Casper-the-Friendly-Ghost white, with dark blonde hair and blue/green/gray eyes. My skin is pretty sensitive, so I have to be careful with certain ingredients - especially fragrance. When sunless tanning, my skin is atypical of a Type I/II in that I need at least 7.5-8% DHA to get decent color. Anything less than that usually gives me translucent color that tends to look orangish. I don't do well with drugstore products, and I prefer airbrush tanning solutions (ABS) to any other type of sunless tanner. Products with a dark CG can cause fading issues for me, so I usually counteract that by showering after 4-6 hours. This allows me to absorb the DHA without any staining from the CG.

Skin prep: I showered using Ulta's 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie (in Cocolada) and lightweight nylon exfoliating gloves (there are different types - these are very lightweight & minimally abrasive). After showering, I used Ulta's Shower Smoothie Hand & Body Cream (in Cocolada - and this is more like a thick lotion than a cream - it absorbs completely without any greasiness) to prep the areas that I know tend to "grab" the color - elbows, knees, ankles.

Application:  After the lotion was absorbed, I began applying the AYU solution to one area at a time. I dampened the microfiber pad with a bit of water, then sprayed the solution onto the pad. I started with my left lower leg - skimming the pad over the surface of the skin - being careful not to apply too much pressure. I covered all areas evenly, but did not rub or blend too much. I continued with my left upper leg, then my right leg, arms, stomach, & chest. Gus helped me with my back. The consistency of this product allowed me to apply rather heavily, so I didn't need a second coat. Standing in front of a fan, I was completely dry within 2-3 minutes. For my feet, I put a pea-sized dollop of the Ulta lotion in my palm, added 3-4 sprays of the tanning solution - rubbed my hands together carefully to mix - applied to my left foot & repeated for the right foot. I carefully scrubbed my palms with soap & water to remove any traces of the tanner.

Next, I wiped my elbows, knees, & ankles with a damp washcloth to remove some of the tanning solution (since I know these areas tend to develop darker than the rest of my body). For my hands, I put a pea-sized dollop of the Ulta lotion in my palm, added 3-4 sprays of the tanning solution, and rubbed my hands together carefully to mix - then applied as if I was putting lotion all over my hands. When finished, I wiped my palms, nails & cuticles with a damp washcloth.

After 4 hours, I showered off all of the tanning solution, then applied Ulta lotion all over.

Results from first application: My final color (after 24 hours) was nice (and definitely darker than usual), but I was able to see some staining from the dark CG. After a couple of days, I had lizard skin. This wasn't the usual issue I have with dark CGs & my mature skin - this was real lizard skin from too much DHA & too dark of a CG. (I don't know why I didn't think to take a picture of the lizards so you could see!) I'll try again & leave on for less time.

Results from second application: I prepped & applied the usual way, but this time I only left the solution on for 3 hours before showering. The color was a bit lighter, but there seemed to be less staining from the CG. After a few days, I looked like I had lizard skin again, but it wasn't as bad. I'll try again using less solution.

Results from third application: This time, I let the color fade for almost a week so that i would be able to remove most of the uneven areas. Then I prepped & applied as usual, but this time, I used less solution (probably about an ounce total), and I only left it on for about 3 hours. Eureka!! I think this is the winning combo!! Nice color & no lizards with fading!

  • I love that this product is fragrance-free & fast-drying! And I think I like it better than the Vino Bronzing Mist!
  • I love that I only need to use an ounce & leave on for 3 hours to get the same level of color that normally requires 2 oz. and 6 hours. So yes, it's more expensive, but I use less!
  • My color did continue to develop for 18-24 hours.
  • I received this complimentary product from AYU, but I was not asked to do a review in exchange for it.
  • I received no compensation for reviewing this product.
  • I also intend to try this product using the MaxiMist HVLP to apply. When I do, I will add an update & pictures.
Product info:
4 oz. - $10.50

8 oz. - $29.25

Other sizes also available: 32 oz., 1/2 gallon, 1 gallon

Repurchase? Yes!

Where's Patrick?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Silly kitty. Just so you understand exactly how silly he is...

He's sleeping in Lulu's dresser. It's about 4.5 feet tall. He's in the second drawer from the top, which is about 3.5 feet off the ground - with no other furniture nearby. It's one of his hidey-holes. I think he's hiding from Xander (AKA Grumpyass). See how he's laying on the pink underwear? Patrick loves all things pink.

Monday's Meal - Mississippi Mug Pie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today I'm sharing another Hungry Girl recipe - and if you're a chocolate lover, this one's for you! It's full of ooey, gooey chocolatey goodness, and only 223 calories, 5g fat, 588mg sodium, 45.5g carbs, 2.75g fiber, 19g sugars, 6.5g protein (PointsPlus® value 7)!

Mississippi Mug Pie

(view original recipe here)

3 level tbsp. moist-style devil's food cake mix (not packed)
1 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute
One 25-calorie packet hot cocoa mix
1 tsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
One 60-calorie sugar-free chocolate pudding snack, divided
Optional: Fat Free Reddi-wip 

Spray a large microwave-safe mug with nonstick spray. Add cake mix, egg substitute, cocoa mix, and 2 tbsp. water. Mix well.

Add chocolate chips and about one-third of the pudding to the mug, and stir gently to combine. Microwave for 1 minute.

Fluff with a fork, and then gently mix in the remaining pudding.

Microwave for 1 more minute.

Let cool slightly. Top with Reddi-wip, if you like, and dig in!


Doesn't that look tasty?? I really liked it - and it's a HUGE serving. Next time I make it, I'll either share with someone or refrigerate half, because it was just too much (and too rich!) for me to eat the whole thing!

(Note: I used a very, very large mug and that's why it  looks like there's very little dessert! Next time, I'll use a smaller mug!)

Great magazine deals!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I received this email from Publication Station & wanted to share. There are some really great deals, whether you're buying for  yourself or as  gift for someone else. You have to hurry though, because the deals are for this weekend only - and you must click through the link at the bottom of the post in order to receive these prices.

Only $1.50 per year (New or Renewal)

Family Fun 10 issues/yr

Motorcyclist 12 issues/yr

Latina 10 issues/yr

Inc Magazine 10 issues/yr

Fast Company 10 issues/yr

Ebony 11 issues/yr

Four Wheel & Off Road 12 issues/yr

Motor Trend 12 issues/yr

Taste of Home 7 issues/yr

Four Wheeler 12 issues/yr

Automobile 12 issues/yr

Garden and Gun 6 issues/yr

Shape 12 issues/yr

Jet 12 issues/yr

Playboy 12 issues/yr

Only $2.00 per year (New or Renewal)

Readers Digest 11 issues/yr

Parent and Child 9 issues/yr

FreeSkier 6 issues/yr

Snowboard 6 issues/yr

Muscle and Fitness 12 issues/yr

The Atlantic 10 issues/yr

Orange Coast Magazine 12 issues/yr

Budget Travel 10 issues/yr

Only $2.50 per year (New or Renewal)

Arthritis Today 6 issues/yr

Vibe 6 issues/yr

Parents 12 issues/yr

Ladies Home Journal 11 issues/yr

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Working Mother 8 issues/yr

Snowboarder 7 issues/yr

Weight Watchers 6 issues/yr

Country 7 issues/yr

Entrepreneur 12 issues/yr

Surfer 12 issues/yr

Sport Rider 10 issues/yr

Dirt Rider 12 issues/yr

Slam 10 issues/yr

Los Angeles Magazine 12 issues/yr

Sound and Vision 8 issues/yr

Surfing 12 issues/yr

Super Chevy 12 issues/yr

Bridal Guide 6 issues/yr

Hot Bike 12 issues/yr

Boys Life 12 issues/yr

Only $3.50 per year (New or Renewal)

Cabelas Outfitter Journal 6 issues/yr

Field and Stream 12 issues/yr

Cruising World 12 issues/yr

Family Circle 15 issues/yr

Saveur 9 issues/yr

Tennis 10 issues/yr

American Photo 6 issues/yr

Popular Photography 12 issues/yr

Woman’s Day 15 issues/yr

Women’s Health 10 issues/yr

Ski 7 issues/yr

Texas Monthly 12 issues/yr

Transworld surf 12 issues/yr

Fitness 10 issues/yr

Only $4.00 per year (New or Renewal)

Elle 12 issues/yr

Discover 10 issues/yr

Midwest Living 6 issues/yr

Men’s Fitness 10 issues/yr

Nylon 10 issues/yr

Digital Photo 7 issues/yr

Martha Stewart Whole Living 10 issues/yr

Car and Driver 12 issues/yr

Cycle World 12 issues/yr

For these prices, you must use the following link:

Taking care of you...

Friday, September 9, 2011

If you're guilty of not exercising because you only have 15 minutes and you figure "what's the point, it's not enough to do any good" - think again. Last week, I found an article on entitled, "15 minutes of fitness a day can add 3 years to your life".

The article talks about a study in Taiwan where they tracked 416,000 people for 13 years, looking at their health records & reported physical activity. They took into account differences in age, weight, sex, & certain health issues, and discovered that 15 minutes of moderate exercise per day increased life expectancy by three years compared to the people who were inactive.

So while 30 minutes may be optimal, it seems that 15 minutes does have some benefits. I like this affirmation that even on the days when I can only fit in a 15-20 minute walk, I'm still doing something positive for my health.

We should give ourselves credit for even the little things. I know that the more things I do to be healthier, the better I feel. And the better I feel, the more I want to keep doing the healthy things. Do it for yourself - and do it so that you'll be around for your family.

I have what is referred to as familial combined hyperlipidemia. What that means is that I inherited the tendency to have both high triglycerides & high cholesterol. This greatly increases my risk of early heart disease. My grandmother had her first quadruple coronary bypass surgery when she was 57 - I will be 50 in November. My mom had a major heart attack when she was 60. My grandmother died of heart disease at age 74, and my uncle just passed away from heart disease at age 71. This is all really scary for me.

I started seeing a lipid specialist in February, when it was discovered that I cannot tolerate statin drugs (the drugs of choice to treat high cholesterol). She has changed my life. I have met with a dietitian also, and together, the three of us (well, four if you include Gus - and I have to include him because he cheers me on when I do well & gets me back on track when I slip a little) have managed to make great changes in my life - and my health. Since February, I've lost 10 lbs, and my labwork has improved significantly. My triglycerides were 481, now they're 241. That's still a bit high (they like them to be under 150), but it's a major drop that has a significant effect on my risk level. My cholesterol was 276, now it's 223. Again, a bit high still (they like it to be under 200), but a good drop. One thing my doctor tells me - don't look at the total cholesterol, pay attention to the HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) - those are more indicative of heart disease risk. My HDL was 34, now it's 37 (they like it to be over 50). But the big change - and the most important one - has been in my LDL. My LDL was 195, and now it's 138. They like your LDL to be under 130 - and my doctor says that clinically, my result is normal!!

How did I do this? Mostly a change in diet. I was already eating pretty healthy, but the dietitian helped me see that some of the choices that I thought were healthy, really weren't. And portions. Ignore the portions on the boxes/cans!! LOL! They're all much larger than they should be! For my particular health concerns, I am allowed to have per day: 3-5 oz. of lean meat (preferably closer to 3), 2 servings of fat-free dairy, 3-5 servings of "good" fat, 3 servings of fruit, 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 6 servings of starches (preferably "good" starches), & 2 servings of miscellaneous items (like sugar-free candy, etc). That comes out to about 1000-1100 cal/day - and I know that's less than what is recommended, but remember - I'm under a doctor's care. So please don't attempt to follow a diet like this without consulting a doctor.

Exercise is important for me, too. Not just to improve my cardiovascular health, but it seems to be the catalyst that kickstarts my weight loss & keeps it going. Unfortunately, with my back problems, I haven't been able to exercise as much as I'd like. Actually, some weeks, I haven't been able to exercise at all - not even walking. That part is frustrating, in addition to dealing with the pain. But thanks to a great physical therapist, I seem to be getting better, and I've been able to walk a  bit. Walking a mile takes me about 20 minutes - but that's the speed & distance that doesn't irritate my back & legs. So I try to do that once or twice a day.

The only medication I take for my cholesterol is WelChol. It's basically a drug that you take with lunch & dinner (I take 3 huge horse pills with both meals), and it sits like a sponge in your gut and soaks up the cholesterol/fat that you eat. You don't absorb it systemically, so there are no bad side effects. Sounds great, huh? Well, it's okay. It really can only lower your cholesterol 15-18%, so while it helps, it's really the diet & exercise that are doing most of the work.

So take a walk, pop in a yoga DVD, or fire up Just Dance on the Wii - even if it's just for 15 minutes. It's a step in the right direction on the road to feeling better and quite possibly living a little longer.

Stay healthy & have a great weekend!!

7 Things Never To Say To A Woman During a Fight...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I recently read another funny little blurb in Redbook magazine, and thought I'd share. A couple of months ago, I posted one called "11 Things Never To Say To A Man You Love" - well, this one is called "7 Things Never To Say To A Woman During a Fight", LOL!

7 Things Never To Say To A Woman During A Fight
  1. Wait - I got distracted. What did you just say?
  2. Why can't you be more like [insert friend's name]'s wife?
  3. Hold on. I need a beer.
  4. Are you about to start your period?
  5. Can we do this after the game?
  6. Oh, you're really mad? I thought you were joking.
  7. Does this mean we can't have sex tonight?
(compiled Emily McKhann and the readers of and Jill Smokler of

Gus & I really don't fight much (anymore, LOL), but I'm sure he has thought most of those. The one that really fits him is #1. And he doesn't actually say it. If I tell him something (again, not fighting - just talking) and he replies "yeah", or "uh-huh" and then nothing else, that's my clue that he has no idea what I've just said. So I'll say, "Did you hear me?" - and of course, his standard reply is "Yes, I heard you". But for some reason, he can never seem to tell me what I just said. One of these days, he's going to miss something really important.  ;-)

Today's wisdom...

It feels damned good to no longer need constricting undergarments to prevent muffin top with your skinny jeans. Not to mention that it's much easier to breathe. :-)

What DMRH&S Eats When Eating Out...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Recently, I came across an interesting article entitled "What Nutritionists Eat When Eating Out". I was really curious to see if I was doing at least some of the right things when I choose my meals - and happy to find out that I've been doing a good job!

You can read the article here. And I thought I would do a version called "What DMRH&S Eats When Eating Out", LOL!

Burger Joints
I'm not a huge fan of burgers, but occasionally I like one from Red Robin, Cheddar's, or Max & Erma's. Of course, some of those burgers can be in excess of 1000 calories - and we won't even discuss the fat grams. I order the smallest burger on the menu - with cheese, pickle, & tomato. (I know it would be less fat without the cheese, but I just can't eat a burger without cheese!) Instead of fries, I order a (side) salad with vinaigrette dressing on the side. When the burger arrives, I immediately cut it in half - I eat half and take the other half home.

Ice Cream
I don't eat ice cream, but I am a fool for Bruster's orange sherbet. It's an ice sherbet & it has the best orange flavor ever. I get it in a cup rather than a cone - and since it's such a large serving (3.5 oz.), I only eat half. Luckily, we live close to a Bruster's so melting isn't an issue, LOL. I also reserve this treat for once a week since it's not sugar-free.

I love, love, love Chinese food. I could seriously eat it everyday. We have a wonderful local restaurant (where they know us by name & show up at our table with our favorite drinks - who doesn't love that?) that in my opinion far surpasses any chain. My favorite dish is steamed shrimp & vegetables. It comes in a light garlic sauce & is simply delicious. It comes with a cup of rice, but I don't eat more than half. Maybe one in five visits, I'll splurge and get a small chicken spring roll as an appetizer. In the fall, they have fresh, locally-grown edamame - and we love that as an appetizer. They also have the best sweet tea around (a major accomplishment here in the south), so I must have that while I'm here. This is the only place I don't order water with lemon as my drink, so I try to make sure I don't have too much sugar the rest of the day.

I don't eat Mexican food very often, but when I do, it's usually from Chipotle, and I bring it home. I get the Carnitas Bowl with light rice & beans. Yep, just meat, a little rice, & a little beans. Then when I get it home, I divide it in half and add tomatoes, a TBSP. of fat-free sour cream, and a sprinkle of fat-free cheese. The other half goes in the fridge for lunch the next day.

I don't eat a lot of pizza either, but my favorite is Papa Murphy's. I like the thin crust with light sauce, mushrooms, black olives, Canadian bacon (less fat than most other meat choices), light cheese, & sometimes onions. I limit myself to 2 slices of the medium pizza. I recently read an article that talked about Papa Murphy's Gourmet Vegetarian deLITE Thin Crust Pizza, so I want to try that. It has a cracker-thin crust and comes with creamy garlic sauce topping, herb-laced cheese, and six different vegetables—zucchini, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, onions, and marinated artichoke hearts. I think I would like the regular Veggie deLITE Thin Crust Pizza, too - maybe even more than the gourmet version.

Cracker Barrel even has a decent offering with their Wholesome Mornin' Sampler - low-fat vanilla yogurt and seasonal fruit topped with a honey granola mix of almonds and dried fruit, along with two eggs cooked to order; served with a Wild Maine Blueberry Muffin or an Apple Bran Muffin and your choice of smoked sausage patties, turkey sausage patties or thick-sliced bacon. I ask for egg substitute, give Gus one of the turkey sausage patties, and save the blueberry muffin for later (or just eat half). The yogurt & fruit (strawberries & blueberries) is delicious - and the blueberries are the largest I've ever seen. I also love First Watch. The Tri-Athlete Omelette is really tasty - egg white omelette with sliced mushrooms, onions, tomato and green chilies. (I skip the onions & green chilies.) It's served with salsa, a dry English muffin and fresh fruit.

How do you combine eating healthy with eating out?

More Deals!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A few more deals to share!

Victoria's Secret has their cotton panties priced at 7/$25!! Since most of their panties are $8.50-10.50 each, this is a steal! You don't need a coupon, and the offer is good both online & in-store.

Bath & Body Works has several great deals. Some of the bath & body products are buy 3, get 3 free. The wonderful Slatkin & Co. 3-wick candles (my favorite!!) are 2/$20. I received a coupon in the mail for a free product (up to $13) when you spend $10 - so I used mine to get another candle. They have some great new scents - I bought Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Homemade Cookies, & Cinnamon & Clove Buds (not new, but it's my favorite scent). They also have several items that are 50% off - and the Halloween stuff is in stock!

Yankee Candle has their votives & tarts for $1 each through Sept 11. They also have a coupon (for in-store) and coupon code (HAL15 - for online) that takes $15 off a $45 purchase. I bought 45 votives & paid $37.10 (which included shipping & tax).

Happy Shopping!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

There are so many great deals out there right now!!

At the JCrew outlet, I was able to get two of their long-sleeved layering t-shirts for $20 (reg. $20 each) - awesome deal!! I was also able to get a tailored long-sleeved blouse for $35 (reg. $58). Be sure to check them out if you have an outlet near you.

Ann Taylor Loft has some tremendous deals right now - both in the regular store & the outlet. At the outlet, I picked up two pairs of earrings for $15. At the regular store, I bought a blouse for $20 (reg. $39.50) and a dressy tank for $15 (reg. price $22), then went back the following week and snagged another blouse for $15 (reg. $45), and two dressy tees for $6 each (reg. 2 for $25). All of the sale/clearance items are an additional 40% off the marked price!

The Bass outlet has a good number of their shoes for "buy one, get two free" - and a lot of summer styles for up to 80% off. The "buy one, get two free" deal does include women's boots, so you could conceivably get 3 pairs of nice leather boots for $125-150. If you have a Bass Rewards card & sign up for emails, you get an extra 20% off your purchase. With the card (it's free), you also earn rewards points - the day we were there was a double points day, so we ended up earning $30 in rewards certificates. Plus, Gus got two pairs of shoes & I got one pair - all for $100!

The Eddie Bauer outlet has some great deals, too - men's polo shirts for $10, etc. Gus found a nice fall/spring coat for $60. It's really difficult to find coats for tall men, so he was happy to find this one.

I've received emails with coupons for the Coach outlet (extra 30% off thru 9/5), Gap outlet (20% off $75+ purchase thru 9/5), Ann Taylor Factory (everything is 40% off, coupon for extra 15% off thru 9/5),  Loft Factory Store (entire store 30% off thru 9/6), Banana Republic outlet (extra 20% off $100+ purchase thru 9/5), Reebok/Rockport outlet (30% off lowest ticketed price thru 10/10.

And everyone has clearance sales right now - JCPenney up to 80% off, Old Navy up to 50% off, Dillard's extra 40% off clearance prices, etc.

Who's ready to go shopping??!!