16 Mar

Financial Challenge Update

Last month, I participated in a financial challenge.   A few months ago, I did an audit of our grocery expenses and I realized we are very reckless spenders when it comes to food, so the Gail Vaz-Oxlade financial challenge was exceptional timing.

The beginning of the month started out incredible.  I had a blue piece of construction paper and every night I was excited to update my “spreadsheet”.    In the first two weeks of February, we spend $200 each week, I was thrilled.  This challenge was a slice.  Then something unexpected happened… my blue paper went mysteriously missing.  For 14 days, that blue piece of paper was in the same place on the counter, and every night it was updated, then it was G-O-N-E.  I quizzed the family members in my home but no one owned up to it.  I guess just like unexplained “smells” I’ll blame the dog…

I tried to start a new page, but it just wasn’t the same.   I continued watching my spending, I brought my lunch to work and stretched left overs as far as they go.  Hubby and I even went out for Valentine’s Dinner, but rather than spending our own money, we used a gift card we had received over a year ago.  But truth be told, I lost track of what we were spending, I had to wait until the credit card arrived to get the grand total… hence the lateness of this post.

Food Purchases

In the month of February, we spent $1042 on food (from what I could calculate).  Gail says that it’s best to use cash, and I do have to agree she’s right.  Once the cash is gone, it’s gone; with my credit card, I can spend and spend and spend and it’s easy to lose track (especially when you stop writing it down on that blue construction paper).  Within the first two weeks we were on track to spend $800 on food for the month of February, so I’m still going to say $1042 is a win for us.  A few months earlier, the bill was closer to $1500.

So, what would Gail say? Well, if I was on the show till Dept do us Part, I don’t think we would get the full $5000.  Most likely we would get closer to 1/2 the payout (I blame the dog).  But it was a great challenge and experience.  I am going to continue stretching our grocery budget and really take care spending.  I will also bring out the blue construction paper once again.  Writing things down most definitely helped with accountability.

** DISCLOSURE: I AM A P&GMOM/MAMANP&G. AS PART OF MY AFFILIATION WITH THIS GROUP I RECEIVE PRODUCTS AND SPECIAL ACCESS TO P&G EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES. THE OPINIONS ON THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN.

PS. If you’re looking for ways to cut on your monthly expenses, make sure to use up gift card balances and use coupons – but only on items you would purchase anyway.  For example, this month alone there will be over $70 in savings on the brand saver website, so take a peek and print off the coupons on items you need to buy anyway.

09 Mar

Skintimate Signature Scents Mandarin Burst

skintimate logo

In just a few days, it’s going to be my 34th birthday.  While I’m not overly excited about being a full year older, I am thankful for nearly 34 years of life experiences.  With the relentless winter we had this year, I would think that spring would never come if it weren’t for nearly 33 years of experience that tells me spring will eventually arrive.  Some days it feels like winter has been so long we skipped right over spring, summer, fall and hopped right back to winter again.  According to history, this did happen one year, but thankfully that’s never been my experience and history and experience are two different things.

Since winter has been absolutely dreadful, my family and I are going south to replenish our vitamin D tank.  I’m packing all the essentials, sun screen, bathing suits and flip flops, I can’t wait to get out of this snow.

To get me excited for my trip and the spring season that is right around the corner (Right mother nature….), I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Skintimate Mandarin Burst shaving gel.  Just the name of the gel had my mind wondering off to far away places, especially since I visited an orange farm while in Florida last year that grew mandarins.  I quickly reminisced about the amazing smell at the farm, then I remembered the ant bites, then I thought of flip flops, then I thought of boots and snow and the never ending winter… This weather is even taking over my imagination.  I really need to get out of here.

skintimate

The shaving cream is more of a gel, but lathers up very thick, soft and foamy making for an easy and smooth glide with the razor.  I was hoping for a stronger mandarin scent, it’s very mild; while I’m not too big on over powering scents I think I could have handled more mandarin burst as the name implies.  As for moisture, I have a terrible case of alligator scale legs and still 2 days after using the gel they feel and look less cracked than usual.

While shaving my legs isn’t a task I overly enjoy, there are a few things that I do love about it.  It means summer is here (or a really nice spring day), and it also means sundresses, shorts and bathing suits which are much better than snow pants and scarfs.  So, while I don’t really enjoy the deed, I’m very glad for the nice weather that requires shaving for.  I’d do it every day if it means warm weather and the ocean.

Giveaway: 

  • 10 lucky Canadian readers are going to have the opportunity to test out the new Skintimate Signature Scents Mandarin Burst shave gel.  Also, 1 of the 10 will receive a $100 Gift Card for sharing their review with me.

To Enter:

  • Complete the Rafflecopter form below
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**DISCLAIMER: THE PRODUCT/S MENTIONED ABOVE HAVE BEEN GIVEN FREE OF CHARGE FROM THE COMPANY OR PR FIRM IN EXCHANGE FOR BEING FEATURED ON MY WEE VIEW. THE PRODUCT FEATURES EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE THOSE OF MY WEE VIEW AND HAVE NOT BEEN INFLUENCED IN ANY OTHER WAY. PLEASE SEE THE FULL TERMS OF USE.

03 Mar

Next Issue 30 days Free

I’ve read my fair share of magazines in my day.  I actually remember some of my very first magazines

  • Sticker Magazines
  • Chickadee
  • Owl

And then of course when I got a little bit older there was:

  • Bop
  • TeenBeat

(Looking through the Google search from some of my old favoute magazines, I’m pretty sure I’ve owned a few with New Kids On The Block, Joey was so cute, he may or may not have been plastered all over my walls)…

Needless to say, I’ve spent some time sifting through the pages of magazines.  I’m not really picky as to what I’ll read, house related, recipes, stars, business.  As long as there are some good stories and something to learn (I’m not into those gossip magazines), I’ll read it when I’m at the doctors office, traveling or sitting around just waiting.

I’ve noticed in the last few years, I haven’t been reading magazines as much.  I suppose it’s because I spend most of my “free” time surfing the net, on social media and just wasting precious time.   Not really doing anything much productive.  When I was asked if I would like to review Next Issue, I thought it sounded interesting.  It was “sold” to me like NetFlix for magazines.  I know how much I enjoy NetFlix so I thought I would give it a try, it was free for 30 days after all.

Next Issue really is an app that allows you to download many of the top magazines and read them at your leisure on your smart phone or iPad, cover to cover, current and past issues.  I was ready to try it.

While it is free to try for the first 30 days, you do have to enter your credit card to even start the subscription.  I was a little disappointed, but at anytime I can cancel before 30 days and my credit card will not be charged.  The monthly fee is $9.99, but can be also as high at $14.99.  Weekly magazines like Oh Canada are part of the more expensive package. Once I had signed up, provided my credit card, and downloaded the app, I quickly started scrolling through all the magazine titles.  I was surprised to see, Oprah, Dr. Oz, Cosmo, House and Home, Food Network, Real Simple and US Weekly, all magazines I’ve been known to read while on a plane or waiting to get my teeth cleaned.  But I also found some other titles that looked equally interesting and I just started going nuts downloading them all.  To my surprise, once you select your list of magazines you then can view the current issue as well as back issues.  Most of the magazine titles issues date back to October 2013.

next issue1

I actually spent a significant amount of time surfing through the pages of many of the magazines (I most likely should have been doing my write up on the app).  I came across a few welcomed surprises, specifically Leonardo DiCaprio in US Weekly.  Years ago when he was Luke on the Growing Pains, I think I may have torn his picture out of Seventeen magazine and taped him to my ceiling.  Having Leo on my phone app is kind of the grown up version.

leo

I’m excited about spending my free time on Next Issue, like when waiting by the pool for swim class to finish.  I do waste an awful lot of time internet surfing, with no value added to my life. While I wound’t call myself a reader of books, I am a reader of magazines.  Short stories, often educational and informative, recipes, and home decorating seem like a much better way to spend my time.

next issue

I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention that the app did ask if I was above age.  I was nervous to see if my eyes were going start bleeding seeing women scantily dressed, but Thankfully there was none of that and I hope it stays that way.

 

**DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A SPONSORED POST, but I truly have enjoyed using app.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading magazines and now I have one (or 20) ready to go at all times when there’s a few minutes of free time.