It’s National Cocoa Day! I know, I know — there’s some kind of national something-or-other-day for all 365 days of the year…but it’s cold AF in Chicago right now and only getting colder, so it seemed like a good time. Also, I’m taking the lead of Kaleigh over at klghdaily and following along with her 12 days of Blogmas posts. Day 1’s topic is drinks, so this seems preeeeetty relevant.
I got a lil hot chocolate from Starbucks today. Lookin’ festive here with my USB Christmas tree.
I actually went to Starbucks today in celebration. There are two things I like at Starbucks: Hot chocolate and iced black tea/lemonade. Coffee is too bitter for me, and caffeine puts me to sleep. Seriously. I’m that weirdo. (It’s genetic, too, apparently — I did one of those genetic test things after getting my DNA test from Ancestry.com and it legit recommends right in the analysis that I should drink caffeine to combat anxiety.)
Anyhoo, seeing as it’s cold out and today is NCD (already giving this day abbreviations), I picked me up one of these little guys. I also got the opportunity to hear someone order a “grand-ay” sized drink and watch a dude eye his “green tea latte” suspiciously upon delivery for a full minute like it didn’t belong to him. Your name’s on it, dawg. All good. (I then crossed paths with him a second time near the elevators in the building, holding the cup up and looking at it in the same way. He ultimately decided to head back in the direction of Starbucks.)
As delicious as this hot chocky is, though, I wish I could get a little afternoon pick me up. I’m about ready to get one of these ostrich nap pillows right now (#giftguide?):
Ostrich pillow. (I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you buy this, I might get a little cash money. Dolla dolla bills, anyone?)
Honestly, could anyone get away with this at work? Or is this some kind of home office? Actually that doesn’t make sense. If you were working from home you could just turn the damn lights out and nap in your bed. So set the scene — just flat out, face down, head and arms in a pillow on your desk. Post-it on the back of your head that says “I’M ON LUNCH”. Can someone get one of these and let me know how it goes over at the office, please? Thank you.
Back to National Cocoa Day. Let’s talk. Hot chocolate drinker? Mallows, or no? Coffee? What kind of insane Starbucks drink have you concocted for yourself with a non-fat flat steamed chocolate white latte cream foam? Also, have any of you tried those new flavored Starbucks hot chocolates? I saw they had a snickerdoodle one but chickened out when I got to the counter. Are they any good? Hit me up in the comments/on social media.
Sticking with my subscription box theme, I’ll present to you my next recommendation for a gift — a Julep Maven Subscription.
As a quick note, this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. But I wouldn’t recommend something if I didn’t think it was awesome and totally worth it!
Straight up, this one’s mostly for the ladies. Julep is a beauty subscription box, and they offer skincare, makeup, and nail care/polish products. I joined way back when in the days when they were nail care only, but have enjoyed all the products of theirs that I’ve tried (including eyeliner, eyeshadow, cuticle oil, nail files, polish remover, and even dry shampoo). Their nail polish is also cruelty free, 100% vegan, and less toxic than other brands, which I’m all about.
This is actually my longest running subscription box. I’ve been with Julep for a few years now and love love love it. I like having my nails done, and used to get regular manicures. I wasn’t particularly great at doing my own nails (just ask Damon, he has had to clean off just one nail many, many times), and am still not perfect. But they have tools that will help a lot, like the Julep Plié Wand.
Here’s a video so you can see how it works:
They also do this fantastic Freedom Polymer Top Coat that dries in 2 minutes under direct light, or 5 minutes in normal circumstances. I mean…what more can you ask for? The boxes come with a small extra inside — sometimes candy, sometimes nail stickers, and always a cute little card with an inspirational quote. I may or may not have some of them hung up around my desk (hint: I definitely do).
Once you subscribe, you’ll answer a series of questions that helps them determine your style type. This will give them an idea of what products you might like each month. Then they set up a monthly box for you, and on the 20th of every month you can easily pop in and swap products out to get exactly what items and colors you prefer. You can also skip your box if you have too much polish, which I have definitely done!
Right now, they’re doing their 12 days of YAY promotion. Each day for 12 days they’ve got a special promo going on over on their website, so go check it out! (Today is a free Coveted set with a $30 purchase. 12 adorable holiday mini polishes! Oh yeah, did I mention that you can buy any of their items from their site at any time? Helpful when you run out of top coat mid-way through the month.)
Questions about quality? Posits about polish? Inquiries about eyeliner? Hit me up on social media.
I’ve already started Christmas shopping this year — and in fact, am nearly finished — so I’m pretty happy to have gotten the jump on gifts this time around. But, if you’re like me every other year and are still trying to decide what to get the people you love (or like, or…well, let’s hope you’re not getting gifts for someone you don’t even like; that sounds awful), I’m going to be sharing some gift guides over the next couple of weeks.
As a quick note, this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. But I wouldn’t recommend something if I didn’t think it was awesome and totally worth it!
I subscribed to this for the first time 3 months ago, and am in love. I adore subscription services, but really only have a select few that I’ve stuck with. This is one of the boxes I’ve really connected with. Though I write fiction, I tend to read mostly non-fiction via either Kindle e-book or Audiobook. And the truth is, I’ve missed reading great books, and I’ve missed that awesome book-feel you get when you turn paper pages.
I think part of what can feel daunting about finding new fiction books is that I’m not sure what books will be good. Most of the stuff I’ve read in the last five years was either an author I’m familiar with (a la JK Rowling) or a recommendation from a friend. And that’s exactly what Book of the Month is like — a recommendation from a friend.
This is my first-ever BOTM box. Cute tote, a box of mints, The Wonder, note from the curator, and a bookmark.
Book of the Month has curators who find the best books suited to a few genres, and then they decide based on your preferences what you might like. (They also do guest curators — last month I chose a book recommended by Anthony Bourdain, and this month Abbi Jacobson selected an option!) Then every month, you get to check out the 5 recommended options — and if you want to choose something different, you can. You know you’re going to end up getting a book that’s interesting to you (or, if you’re not feeling any of the selections, you can skip — but I haven’t done that once…in fact, this month, I ADDED two books to my box). If more than one of the books look great, you can add them on for a small fee.
For the quality of curated hardcover books you’ll be getting, these prices are pretty solid. I highly recommend this as a gift for the readers in your life. Or even for yourself, if you’re considering a fantastic New Year’s Resolution like reading one new book a month😉. If you get a gift subscription for someone else, you can get a one-month free trial for yourself! Because let’s be honest, you know some of the shopping you do in December is for yourself. I totally picked up a few gifts for myself. It happens.
Hit me up on social media if you have any questions about my experience with it or if you just want to talk about the books you’ve received. Always happy to talk about a good book (and take book recommendations!)!
Let’s be honest — the majority of us do a ton of shopping online these days. You can buy pretty much anything you want online without ever having to leave the comfort of your best sweatpants. And to top it off, the mail carrier brings you a package you get to open, like a present to you from you. It’s kind of the best.
Being the coupon-obsessed person that I am, I’m constantly looking for ways to save money. And after years of perusing the web for the best money-saving techniques, I’ve put together a short list of the best and easiest to use. With just a few clicks of a button — you’ll be saving cash in no time!
Ebates is probably my favorite of all the sites listed here. I’ve used it the longest and made the most money from it. They give you cash back on purchases — all you have to do is click through Ebates’ link to get to the store you’d like to shop at. Clicking through their link opens up a “Shopping Trip” to that site. Once your purchase is complete, Ebates records it. Then, once a quarter, you’ll get a PayPal payment for the cash back that you earn. (You can also have a physical check mailed to your address if you prefer.)
As you can see in the photo above, they regularly have special deals of double cash back, so it’s always a good idea to check here first! They also often have a list of available coupon codes for the shopping site.
In addition, I highly recommend installing the browser extensions they offer. I use Google Chrome, but they also offer them for Firefox and Safari.
If you’re searching Google for a store, the browser extension will show if Ebates currently has a cash back offer available.
Or, if you head straight to a store’s site without going to Ebates first, you’ll get a little drop-down in the top right-hand corner of your window.
Oh, hai cash back!
All you have to do from here is hit the big red button. The little “E” icon for the extension will get a green box around it showing the Shopping Trip is opened, and you’re good to go!
Note: If you’re a tab shopper like me (i.e., you tab out items that you want to look at), you’ll want to be certain when you do check out that the tab you’re on is active for cash back (this is another place where the extension comes in handy). Also — if for some reason your Shopping Trip doesn’t show up in your account on the site within a few days, you can send a request to Ebates. Just go to the site and click the big green “Help” button in the bottom right. Then choose the “Where’s my cash back?” link. From there, find your open shopping session, and they’ll have you paste the contents of your purchase confirmation email. Then Ebates will add your cash in right away, no questions asked.
Honey is a bit newer onto the scene. As you can see, Honey is dominated by coupon codes. If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a ton of time Googling “(insert store name here) coupon codes” when shopping just to make sure you’re not missing anything. Honey will do that for you.
To use Honey, you can either search their site, or install their browser extension (do this). Check out this video — it explains the concept far more simply than I could!
With just one click of a button, Honey runs on its own once you get ready to check out. You don’t have to do anything other than click the button, and it scans all available coupon codes for a site. A lot of these are user entered, so if you have one, share it with the community!
This takes so little effort and really does work. And of course, you can use this in combination with Ebates. Set up your cash back through Ebates first, then once you’re at the checkout page, hit your Honey extension and let it get to work.
Paribus works a bit differently than the other two sites — it relies on your credit cards’ price protection agreements. You have to register for Paribus through your email address, and then Paribus scans your email for purchase receipts. It doesn’t work for every single retailer, but does work for a lot of major ones — and they’re continuing to expand. (These are mine — shoes for my Eleven costume, a book I’m checking out, a new dog bed for Honey and a good ol’ probiotic. Gut health FTW, y’all.)
In order for Paribus to make sure that your cards offer price protection, you have to log your cards in through the site. It’s secure, though. All good. Then, as you can see on the right hand side — Paribus tracks prices for 30 days (the length of most price protection programs) to see if the price goes up or down. (Check out those Chucks on Amazon!) If the price goes down, Paribus (no work needed by you) will reach out to your credit card company to get a reimbursement for you. Then, the money goes straight back to your card.
Basically, once you’ve signed up, there’s nothing further to do here. All you need to do is make sure you keep your credit cards and email address updated. Then, just sit back and wait for the dough to roll in.
These are my three favorite ways to save money when shopping online. They all require very little action on your part — if you install the browser extensions for Ebates and Honey, they’ll prompt you when savings are available. And Paribus just works in the background. So you can shop like normal, but save tons of money.
So…since I helped you find these — when you get your Scrooge McDuck-style vault of gold coins set up, can I go for a swim?
Picture this: We’re only 12 days away from Halloween, and you haven’t got a costume yet. You’ve got a huge party to attend and everyone is going to be there. What’s a girl to do? Well, I’ll tell you — grab the sexiest costume you can find and you get your ass to that party!
There are plenty of sites out there showing you all the sexy costumes available, but I’d like to submit a few alternate suggestions for the feminists out there.
As a quick note, this post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy some of the items I’ve linked here, I might get a small commission from your purchase. Thanks in advance for supporting my lifelong dream of someday wearing a pair of sweatpants until they physically disintegrate.
What’s sexier than a powerful woman who has worked incredibly hard to advance her career?
There’s a few parts to this costume: first up, a nice pantsuit from Nordstrom’s. Mostly covered, with a fun hint of ankle peeking out from the bottom of your trousers to show everyone you have a playful side. Next, a comfortable pair of Dr. Scholl’s loafers. You can walk up and down the halls of your office as much as you need, and still go to a PTA meeting (that is, if you chose to have a family, which you can absolutely do…or not). An iPhone, so you can answer emails at any time of the day or night. And one both free and invisible costume item: Impostor Syndrome. You’re qualified for this job…right?
What’s sexier than an intelligent woman who spends her days with da real MVP, science?
This costume is relatively simple. Either grab some of these sweet scrubs from Amazon or wear something comfy. Next up, cover those clothes up with a lab coat. Then, fill your pockets with some test tubes and get ready to correct anyone who thinks you’re a doctor by making sure they know you’re a scientist, but you’ve also got a PhD. You’ll also want to add a touch of Impostor Syndrome — and for some couples fun, ask your partner to check your math because you just don’t trust yourself with these calculations on your own!
What’s sexier than a woman who can control a hulking metal machine at 550 mph?
For this costume, you’ll need a white button down top and some blue trousers. Then, just pick up something like this Pilot Costume Accessory Set from Amazon (yeah, there’s only a picture of a man wearing it) to put a few finishing touches onto the costume. You can also scrounge up a pilot’s hat to make it fully clear that you are a pilot and not a flight attendant simply because you are a woman. And as always, good ol’ Impostor Syndrome. Sure, Sully saved all those people by gliding to safety on the Hudson. But could you?
Sexy President of the United States of America
What’s sexier than being the leader of the free world?
Start this one off with a nice black blazer, but toss a bit of design in there. Throw it over a nice dress that comes down to at least your knees. No free shows here, Putin. You’ll also want some fancy gold pens you can use to sign bills in to law. Optional costume piece: a Blackberry. You’re the President now, so you can use whatever cell phone you want. For a fun couples idea, have your significant other dress up like a Secret Service member and follow you around whispering into their sleeve all night. And last but not least, Impostor Syndrome. Maybe it would have been better if your husband were President. Have you made a huge mistake?
Hope these costumes help you come up with an idea! What sexy feminist costumes have you created? Is it just you, in your every day clothes? 10 points to Gryffindor.
We’re smack dab in the middle of the month — just 16 days away from the SPOOPIEST day of the year, Halloween! TBH, Halloween is actually my least favorite holiday of the year. Mostly because I don’t like being scared. I have plenty of memories of getting the bejeezus scared out of me when I was just a wee little geek gal in my batman costume (read: pajamas with cape), strolling down the street with my cousin who was wearing witch hat and a glued-on witch chin. Ah, the 90’s.
For some reason, this year I’m actually excited for the holiday. It’s probably because I have the best costume of my life in the works (I’m going as Eleven from Stranger Things — I linked to it here on Netflix, because if you haven’t watched it yet, literally drop everything and spend the next 8 hours doing so).
MFW I win the costume contest at work
I’ve gotten everything in so far except the dress, which I chose to have custom made from FrenchieYork on Etsy. She says it’ll make it here in time, so here’s hoping it shows up next week!
The rest of the costume I put together from Etsy and Amazon — the jacket, the wig (which is fantastic, by the way), the shoes, and the socks I had left over from a costume Damon and I wore a few years ago when I was a cheerleader and he wore a wrestling singlet. (We scrounged up the outfits at Belmont Army.)
Couple o’ knuckleheads
That was still one of my favorite couples costumes ever. As it turned out, it was a good thing I had the ol’ American Apparel socks laying around, because they’re sold out EVERYWHERE. I’ll be sharing pics of the completed costume on social media, so check back on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in a couple weeks!
I’m so excited for Halloween this year that I actually decorated. My Halloween decor consists of themed Beanie Babies & Beanie Buddies I’ve had for ages. Look at these cuties! It’s a Pumkin Beanie Buddy and the matching Pumkin Beanie Baby.
Yeah, these are from my ~*personal collection*~. Sorry fellas, I’m taken.
I also have the matching set of Batty and Spinner Beanie Baby & Buddy. I’ve had these things for years, since back when I was an insane Beanie collector back in the late junior high. Of course, I’ve sold off most of them now but I kept the decorative ones and a couple of my favorites. (Would have been a great college fund if I hadn’t sold them off in the late 2000s, when no one cared about them any more…and I’d already graduated college. Ha.)
This afternoon I’m shopping for more Halloween goodies from Modcloth while I watch Cutthroat Kitchen’s and Guy’s Grocery Games’ Halloween Specials. Just look at these lovelies:
Ugh. I’M OBSESSED. They’re about to wrap up a sale over there too, for 25% off $100. And I’m gonna be honest, it’s taking everything I have right now not to get at least that jacket. Alas, we have a wedding to pay for, so…maybe just the jumper and socks.
Anyhoo…I’m off to pin all my ModCloth loves on Pinterest (Come hang!) and eat my skull & bone Halloween SweeTarts under the orange and dark purple Hue lights (we LOVE these things — I’ll discuss them more later in another post) in my spoopified apartment. BOO!
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been swept up into the Pokemon Go craze. And let’s be honest, so have you. Really, though — stop acting like this is the worst thing of all time. The real tragedy here isn’t that everyone is walking around with their heads down, looking at their iPhones — it’s how many Rattatas and Pidgeys are around my office buildling and my apartment.
I am someone who is averse to all major life changes — that is, unless it consists of catching adorable monsters and categorizing them. I’ve already been assimilated. This is my life now. I even got Damon to sign up, and we’ve been sitting on the couch next to each other catching Drowzees since a couple weekends ago. I’m on Team Mystic, and I gave my trainer purple hair.
Maybe you’re feeling it, maybe you aren’t. Either way, it can’t hurt to get a little something for your favorite Ash Ketchum (or yourself). Or me. Consider this an early Christmas list.
Here’s a compilation of the best Pokemon-themed goodies I found on the internet. Stop by these e-PokeStops and fill your backpack with items!
I’m not sure how I’ve managed to catch any Pokemon at this point without this hat. Straight outta the Pokemon TV show, this is the hat Ash Ketchum wears to do work, son. Catch ’em all and keep the sun outta your eyes.
I love everything about this. I will concede that I am obsessed with onesies — perhaps moreso than the average human being. But this thing is less than $20! I’ll put the Ash Ketchum hat on top of Pikachu’s head, on top of my head, I don’t care.
Hot damn. Blackhawks colors, too! This jersey is fully customizable. You can choose the number and the name on the back. And the quality on these things is straight-up awesome. I have one of their jerseys in a GOT Night’s Watch theme and can’t say enough about the patches, stitching and breathability.
Just LOOK at this Charizard hat! It has ears!! Charmander has been my go-to since the days of Pokemon Red on Game Boy. Damon chose Bulbasaur as his starter on Pokemon Go. I learned a lot about him when I saw this, and I’d like to note I still accepted his marriage proposal afterward.
And, speaking of Damon…do you think I can get him to wear this? The backs say “I CHOOSE YOU”. Maybe if I go ahead and buy it and start wearing mine front and center I can guilt him in to it. I got no shame in my Poke-game.
There’s really nothing worse than gaining tons of e-points and e-medals and having nothing to show for it in real life. Here’s physical versions of your achievements. Now if only they could do this for Mario coins.
Perfect for your desk, so if you work for a company that has banned Pokemon Go like Damon’s, you can still at least think about it during the day. Especially if you haven’t managed to snag one of these suckers yet (thanks, 3-step glitch) — if you can’t have it in-game, have it in real life!
Love the thoughtfulness of a hand-made gift? Here’s how to make one yourself from Darby Smart. (They also offer the supplies!)
This one goes out to the ladies — for those late nights when you’re perusing the streets for Pokemon after dark. Sometimes you gotta work late and push back your hunting time, I get it. I’m gonna be honest, Pikachu looks like he’s enjoying his use little too much. Can the eyes just look at me, instead of rolled back like that? But it’s like a set of Pokemon brass knuckles, so I dig it.
Now here’s something you probably couldn’t do the first time you ever played Pokemon — drink. Damon’s getting Bulbasaur, of course. And here’s a fun drinking game to start — every time you get annoyed that the Pokemon Go servers won’t load, you take a shot. (Kidding. Please don’t. You might die.)
I mean…you gotta. This thing is too cool. I hear there’s a 3D printer pattern available out there, but if you haven’t got one, this looks like the place to go. Here’s some instructions for adding a battery charger so you can stay out hunting even longer.
So far, this is what I’ve got. Hopefully as the game becomes more popular the internet will birth even more fun goodies. Or evolve the existing ones. Anyhoo, I’m off to walk over to the kitchen to see if the GPS signal is good enough to access my office building’s centralized gym. Send me snapchats (kelleygreene) in your Pikachu onesies!
Well, it’s that time of year again! Amazon is doing some spring cleaning and is pulling out ALL THE STOPS to get us to buy shit from their cruddy garage sale. That’s right, it’s PRIME DAY!
Amazon has literally gone into the depths of their warehouse to dig out items covered in cobwebs and generations of dust bunny families and sell them to you (yes, you) at a tremendous (-ish) discount. Here are 5 items I’m certain you definitely have a use for but didn’t even know you needed. So get to it!
Who doesn’t need a set of microscope slides? I see in the title here it reads “for Basic Biological Science Education”, but what’s more educational than checking out the moldy science experiment you’re growing on the bag of shredded cheese that somehow got pushed to the back of your fridge? Don’t forget your microscope, either!
Yes, that’s the exact listing title for this wonder of technology. There’s little you need more in life than to block unwanted callers on your trusty analog home phone line. With a gorgeously designed UI and a giant red “BLOCK NOW” button, I hope you’ll not forget about us plebes left behind in the 21st century.
What better way to cement your status as a member of the bourgeoise than with your 24 karat gold k-cup brewer? The one thing this has against you is that it’s reusable, but at a price like this, they might as well be disposable. Buy 365 and toss them until next year’s PRIME DAY!
This is for those of you considering having Pop-Pop in the attic (the mere fact that I’m calling it that tells you I’m not ready). Also, this seems like the perfect item to have delivered to your office so they can hold it in the mail room until you’re ready to bear hug it on to mass transit during rush hour.
You know that person on the train who’s listening to music but “forgot” his headphones? Or for you more suburban types, when you’re in the grocery store and someone’s got their significant other on speakerphone because they forgot their list, and somehow end up following you row after row after row? Well, now you can be that person. And, stay hydrated in the process. Take this to the gym. People will love it.
Mom’s no-shoes-in-the-house rule is finally in full swing. And, if you can’t remember to take your shoes off, you can either a) wear these all day long and remove them when you get home (yes, that means you have to wear them to school) or b) put these on before you walk through the door. And yes, that means your friends, too.
You’re not a true American unless you purchase a plastic idol to worship. And what better than a cylinder that actually speaks to you, can answer questions about the weather, and adjust the temperature and music in your house? (I’ve made my choice. I actually bought one of these and will report back on whether or not I become (more of) a self-righteous douchecanoe.)