Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting to know the Bargain Blonde, Part 1

Hello class. Today we are covering my favorite subject: me.

I keed, I keed.  But I am in the "hot seat" as they call it on The View and as promised, I'm answering all of your burning questions.  

For easier reading, I've broken them up into the following categories: beauty, money, diet & fitness, blogging, personal and last but not least, random.  I want to answer ALL of your questions, which would have made this post entirely too long, so I'm breaking this up into 2 posts.   Today I'm covering beauty and money, so here we go ...

Katie H asked, "Since I'm a fellow white girl (aka 2 minutes of sunlight and I am burnt), do you use tanner on your face or just on your bod?"

Both! As Katie mentioned, I am white and have been pale my entire life.  And not just white, but ghastly white. I'm a naturally very fair-skinned person with naturally blonde hair.  Most real blondes cannot tan, which would be the case with me.  I use self-tanner all over and even more so on my face since it gets washed more frequently than the rest of me.

I have a Mystic Tanning membership, so I am able to get unlimited spray tans monthly.  I also have an arsenal of self-tanning products, but the truth is I'm normally too lazy to put them on.  Typically, I head to the salon, get sprayed and I'm done with it.  Since my face fades quicker, I use the Mystic or Versa sunless spray and spray my face in between trips to the salon. 
These are a little pricey, but contain the same solution as what you get at the salons, so they are worth it IMHO.  My salon runs specials so I only buy them when I can get them discounted. I usually end up paying around $15 for each can.
My other sunless tanning products I like for my face are: Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance, Banana Boat Summer Color and Lancome Flash Bronzer.

When all else fails, slather that bronzer on.  I could go on for days about sunless tanning, but I'll save that for its own post. I've got a lot more questions to get through.

Sarmin asks, "Would you ever go brunette?"

Hell to the no.  I wish I could, but I look dis-gust with brown hair. And I know this because I had a brown wig for my 26th Jersey Shore birthday party.   As my mother said when she saw the pic, "Ew, tell me that's not real."  I'll never have brown hair, I can promise you that.  It was fun getting my JWoww on for a night, but I must say blondes really do have more fun! Muahahaha

Jess (Pretty Physicist) asked, "What is one thing you won't skimp on cost-wise and one thing you will always skimp on?"

The one area I will not skimp on is my hair cut. Until I found my fab-o hair guy 5 years ago, I cried almost every single time I got my hair cut.  Hair cuts were traumatizing for me and I'm not exaggerating.  There was a time in college I burst into tears in the chair, went home and locked myself in my room for hours and wouldn't answer my phone.   Sounds dramatic, but my hair is very important to me as I'm sure it is to you, which is why I don't skimp when it comes to who is cutting it regardless of price.

I won't tell you exactly how much my cut (no color) cost me, but I'll tell you with tip it's more than double digits.  Since finding my guy, I trust him completely and have never left the salon unhappy.  He's seriously worth every penny to me, so this is my one splurge.  Every girl needs one.

Ironically, the one thing I'll always skimp on is shampoo and conditioner, which ties into the next question so I'll explain more below. 

Jess (The Kentucky Priss) asked, "Name something expensive you've splurged on that ultimately wish you had not."

This was a good one!  I don't make big purchases with out some serious thought and major research, so I was having a hard time thinking of one.  Then it dawned on me. One time I got conned into buying this bottle of Keratase shampoo for $40 because the lady at the salon SWORE to me it would work wonders on my oily hair.  One thing to say to her: "You LIIIAAAR!"
You see, I have to wash my hair every day or else it'll look like an oil slick and my head gets itchy.  Yummy.  I was skeptical because I swear by drug store shampoo and conditioners, but against my better judgment, I got it.  The Keratase made absolutely no difference and every time I spot that stupid bottle in my shower, I get angry. 

My $5 Dove Intensive Repair and TRESemme Color Protection work perfectly, and the one thing I get complimented most on is my hair.  No weave here girls, but you judge for yourself what you think of my "cheap" shampoo and conditioner results:

Your thoughts?

This concludes Part 1 of getting to know me and yes, I started off a little tame.  The juicier questions are Monday, so stay tuned and have a fantastic Halloweenie weekend.  I can't wait to see every one's costumes next week!  TGIF times 10 and boo!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another successful Big Lots trip in the bag

Sunday I made an impromptu trip to Big Lots and ended up scoring a cart full of goodies.  Big Lots is legit, so don't side-eye it till you try it.  My Mom swears by Big Lots and so I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Here are a few of the things I scooped up for cheap:

Three faux silk throw pillows (look better in person) to match our our window treatments perfectly.  $8, $8 and $9 respectively:
 I envision myself sitting in our nook sipping coffee and watching the snow fall this winter.  Too bad the high in Texas was 86 yesterday and it rarely snows here.  Sigh, a girl can dream. 

This $25 portable iPod dock to serenade me during my new obsession: bubble baths. This little lady works like a charm and soaking up some suds while listening to my Faith Hill or Mariah Carey playlist is just what the doctor ordered after a grueling night at boot camp. 

Bubble baths were never my thing until jacuzzi jets became a part of the equation.  (#heavenly)   I needed to invest in some "big girl" bubbles since I'd been bumming off my nephew's Batman bubble gum bubbles for the past few weeks, so I picked up these Bodycology bubbles in Fresh Waters, Mountain Garden and Cucumber Melon for $1.80 each.  They smell as heavenly as the jacuzzi jets feel. 
My first bodycology purchase and I'm impressed.

Clearly I was in the mood for stocking up the bathroom.  I also got these two beige Tommy Hilfiger bath towels for only $6 each. 

And last but not least, Snyder's Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel bites for $2.  Can we say addicted? Only in moderation, of course.
Not sure if $2 was a bargain or not, but they're tasty enough that I don't care.

Any of you bargainistas love Big Lots as much as my momma bear and I?  I swear you can find anything there.  Check one out if you've never been ... I promise you that you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Listen to me whine then ask whatevs

Boot camp don't play y'all.  It's 10:30 p.m. and I finally opened up my lap top.  I literally stared at it sitting on the edge of the bed and almost didn't even bother turning it on because it sounded like quite the chore. 

My feet are achy, my entire body is sore beyond belief and my jacked up NOLA ankle is swollen.  In fact, I currently have it wrapped with ice as I lay here and type. 

There is no yelling drill sergeant as you may imagine.  In fact, our instructor is extremely encouraging and nice.  But it is an hour of non stop running, push-ups, shoulder presses, etc.  Basically Hell for the girl that until Monday was on a 6 month work-out hiatus. 

Anywho ... I survived the first two days and I'm just hoping it gets easier and I end up with my high school abs again:
Flannel pants, green glitter bloomers, white high top Reebok's (yep), sponge rollers and some serious bang situation. Normal.

Speaking of abs, how amazing, beyond belief adorable is this picture of my brother and Reese in their Incredibles Halloween costumes. I mean, seriously. I die! 

All righty, have you recovered from that cuteness?  OK, good.

So I'm totally stealing this idea from my girl Jess at The Kentucky Priss and I'm going to do a "Getting to Know the Bargain Blonde" post for all my new (& veteran) followers. Where did you fools come from??  Hola and welcome!! 

You get to ask me anything you want in the comment of this post and I will post the answers on Friday.  I'm just not telling you my weight.  Let's be real.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: The one where I cross zero off my to-do list

On Friday I had grandiose dreams of spending my weekend picking out paint colors for my bedroom using Caroline's amazing painting guide, unpacking my garage (currently the dump site for all things random), selling clothes and purses to Plato's Closet, taking a trip to the grocery store and giving the house it's first round of thorough cleaning.  Welp, mission definitely not accomplished.  Literally zero of it.

I did manage to rent Limitless from Red Box Friday night.  Not the type of movie I'd generally choose, but there were slim pickings and BCoop was the star, so enough said.  I'd actually recommend it if you like thrillers:

Made a run to Starbucks after waking mid-morning/afternoon. I'm not head over heels with the Pumpkin Spiced Latte as you all swore I would be. I like it fine, I just prefer my vanilla latte.  There, I said it.  Please don't send hate mail.

Indulged in some spa mani/pedis. I choose an OPI red color to match my Alma Mater, Texas Tech. 

Speaking of Texas Tech, I watched my Texas Tech Red Raiders upset the #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.  Sorry, but I'm not sorry (Lauren).  Winner winner, chicken dinner.
 And my favorite thing of all, I got to go see Megan's baby boy, who was welcomed to the world late last week.  Remember her from the "B is for Baby" baby shower I threw?  Meet Benjamin Allan, who is pumped for his first Texas Tech football game.

Well, there is always next weekend girls.  Toinght I start 4-day-a-week bootcamp and as of 8 a.m. this morning, I finally got serious about tracking Weight Watcher points online again. Momma's gotta shed some pounds by January and time is a ticking.  Wish me luck, I need it.

p.s. Anyone want to take a quick trip with me to New Jersey to punch Teresa Guidice in the baby maker?  I won't tell if you won't tell.   
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Friday, October 21, 2011

You need: e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara & HD Powder

TGIF. We survived another week ... high fives all-around.

Today I'm introducing you to two make-up products that I, as a self-proclaimed "e.l.f. connoisseur", think you need in your life: e.l.f. mineral infused mascara ($3) and e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder ($6).  Revolutionary.

In this picture I'm wearing the e.l.f. natural false lashes ($1) that I've blogged about before, the mineral mascara and the HD powder mentioned above. I have not touched up this photo and it was taken with no flash.

Anytime anyone asks me what to buy from e.l.f., the first thing I suggest to them is the mineral infused mascara

Hands down, the best mascara I've tried in years. The wand NEVER gets clumpy and I, IMHO,  think it looks identical to Clinique mascara and L'Oreal Voluminous, which is what I swore by prior to discovering this magic mascara wand.

Dare I say it?  I will.  I like it better than the Dior that Raven sent me.  I'm telling y'all, just because a make-up company slaps a hefty price tag on something, it does not mean it's better.  You can get quality products for a fraction of the price. 

Now, let's chit-chat about the $6 e.l.f. Studio HD Powder. Looks like so:

Have any of you tried the $30 Make-Up Forever HD Powder?  This is it's budget friendly twin. HD powder is a translucent loose powder that sets your foundation while creating a "soft focus" effect to the skin and masks fine lines and imperfections. 
Personally, I've never tried the Make-Up Forever version because let's be real, I'm not spending 30 bones on powder.  However, I've heard/read they are identical products.  Just for y'all, I did a quick Google search and found a comparison review of both here and here

I can tell you that I'm a huge fan of the e.l.f. HD powder, but instead of using the application poof it comes with, I prefer to apply with the e.l.f. Professional Total Face Brush ($1).  Reviewed by moi here.

Both powders are made with almost the exact same ingredients except one is going to set you back $30 and the other only $6.  I think we all know what the right decision is here. Don't let me down.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The BB's Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

If there is one cuisine I know a thing or two about courtesy of my Texas roots, it's Mexican food.  And if we're being specific, I specialize in Tex-Mex.  Eating it of course.  But, sometimes cooking it too. 

I've even created my very own green chili chicken enchilada recipe that has received quite a few compliments in my day (OK, like one). Here she is:

Like what you see?  Then this is what you need to toss in your cart at the store to whip 'er up:

And for a side, the absolute best boxed Spanish rice I've had to date is Rice-A-Roni's whole grain Spanish variety:
I was prompted to make my enchiladas last week after Heather posted about "The Best Enchiladas Ever!"  I had every intent of trying her version out, but when I got to the store I realized I forgot to bring the list of ingredients.  I is smart. So plan B was to make mine because I already knew what I needed. 

1. One precooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store shredded
1 lb chicken breasts shredded
2. 28 oz can green chili enchilada sauce
3. Two 4 oz cans chopped green chilies
4. 1/2 to 1 tsp minced garlic
5. 8oz Sour Cream
6. About 10 corn tortillas
7. 16 oz shredded Mexican cheese, reduced fat
8. Ground Cumin to taste
9. Chili Powder to taste
10. Salt & Pepper

1. Shred your chicken and season with salt, pepper, chili powder and ground cumin to your liking.
2. In large sauce pan combine enchilada sauce, chopped green chilies and minced garlic.  Bring to a simmer and reduce to low heat.
3. Whisk sour cream into sauce.

Now your ready to roll your enchiladas!

4. Spray a 9X12 glass casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray
5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Heat each tortilla about 15 seconds on each side
or heat in microwave wrapped in paper towels
6. Dip tortilla in sauce pan to coat both sides with sauce and place on a plate. 
7. Fill center of tortilla with chicken, top chicken with a spoonful of sauce and sprinkle a light amount of shredded cheese.
8. Roll tortilla around chicken and place "seam side" down in casserole dish.  Repeat until all chicken has been used.
9. Top your rolled enchiladas with remaining sauce and then top with remaining cheese.
10. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly on sides. 

Now that I type the instructions out, it actually sounds more complicated than it really is.  The most time consuming task is rolling your enchiladas, and once you get the hang of it, you'll be done before an episode of E! News ends (God Bless Guiliana. Love her).  If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask.   Maybe I'll answer.

p.s. If you use reduced fat cheese and sour cream, these are low cal. 

p.p.s. Who wants to come over to my new house to help me paint and unpack?  I'm majorly slacking and you're going to have to continue to listen to me whine about it until I'm done.  I promise to make these enchiladas, we'll watch trash TV and guzzle wine. 
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leggings, boots and sweaters ... oh my!

Goodie Gumdrops! 

I can FINALLLLLYYYYY post about Fall because guess what?  The high in Dallas is 67 today! Sweet music to my ears. Last night was the first night I could actually open my windows and let the cool breeze blow in.  Make no mistake, it was magical.

In honor of Fall finally paying a visit to Texas, I'm bringing you my go-to and absolute favorite Fall fashion ensemble.  I present to you the "legging, boot and sweater/cardi" look.  Perfect for running errands, meeting your girly friends for brunch or whatever tickles your fancy.  You can't go wrong with this look in my book: it's cute and casual.









I had to throw the bebe leggings in the mix. They were too cute to pass up.

Where do I find my oversized sweaters, long cardis and the like?  I turn to Target, Old Navy and TJ Maxx.  If you have one near you, Gap Outlet is a great place for sweaters as well.

Old Navy - $49.94

I got a pair of leather riding boots from Santa last year and word on the street is he scooped them up from Target.  I love them and they are still selling them if you likey:

$49.99 - BUY
You can find leggings almost anywhere.  Personally I've bought mine at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and American Eagle (rando, I know).  I would recommend checking out Target, H&M or Forever 21.  As long as the material is thick enough, you should be good to go.

Oh and I almost forgot one of my most favorite things about Fall: Infinity Scarves.  The best way to top off this look IMHO. 
Old Navy - $19.94

Hopefully Fall decides to play in Texas a little longer because I cannot wait to bust out all of the above from my wardrobe.  What are you busting out of your closet for Fall?
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's been too long since my last Confess Sesh

I'm taking a cue from Raven who took a cue from me and I'm confessing today.  Forgive me blog world for I have sinned ...

I confess that last week my car got in a fight with my garage.  Seriously, I could cry.  Does insurance cover "driving dumb" types of situations? 

I confess I want to punch this guy in the face who sits a few desks over.  ALL HE DOES IS TALK ABOUT FANTASY FOOTBALL.  Dude, it's not real. Get over it.  I don't care to hear you rattling off statistics all day long.

I confess that since I quit Weight Watchers back in July, I've gained 15 pounds. That is disgusting.  I've got 3 months to get in shape for Courtney's wedding in January then Kristina's wedding in February.  I tweeted about this last week, but how many of you are Weight Watchers' girls?  Some of my fave Pinterest fitness inspiration. It's time to get serious.


 And just for giggles:
I confess that I've still been living in squalor, but while watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last night I decided to get to work (this season is boring me).  The squalor transformation:
(By the way: the wall behind my bed is getting painted chocolate brown and all my furniture will be painted white.  Thanks for all the advice last week! I am not hanging anything on the walls yet because I have to carefully plan this room revamp out.)

I confess that I have almost 400 e-mails in my "Bargain Blonde" inbox and every day I keep promising myself I'm going to tackle them. Shocker, but every day I don't.  My goal is to get through them by the end of the week.  I love interacting with y'all and I feel so guilty.  Luckily, this weekend I have nothing to do and I couldn't be more excited about it. Time to start checking things off my mental to-do list.

Your turn: What do you confess? Bring it on biatches.
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