Being Grateful: Thirty-Sixth Edition

Hello lovely readers! Another week down, one more week in July to go! It’s a little sad that my birthday month (and many of yours, apparently!) has gone by so quickly, but I am totally counting down the days until the end of summer.

R was talking to a coworker who commented that she thinks the hottest weather has yet to come. I sincerely hope she’s wrong!

I have a lot to be grateful for yet again this week, so let’s get to it!

being grateful

My Grandma

What’s a “being grateful” post without mention of my grandma? Well, for the past few months, she’s been absent since we moved. But she more than made up for that this past week.

Besides buying dinner twice when we were visiting with her, she basically purchased a week’s worth of groceries for us, and treated us to dinner.

being grateful

Pretty rainbow after the rain!

To be clear, this was not in our plans at all, but I have written before about how my grandma loves to spoil everyone. It’s in her blood. She gave us gas money on our drive back, and since R wanted to use his card instead, we pocketed the cash. My plan was to treat her to dinner, but I guess I should have known better.

So the good news is, my grandma is an awesome guest, but I wanted to give back. She purchased some extra stuff while she was here, and couldn’t fit it all into the travel bag she took with her, so I’m taking it upon myself to ship the leftovers back to her.

She told us not to worry and leave her things with us for the next time she visits, but she was also talking about getting a box and shipping it back to herself. I have a funny feeling she just doesn’t want us to pay for it.

I’m also very grateful her flight went smoothly. Sunday through Tuesday it rained here, and she was afraid her flight would be delayed. Wednesday was sunny though, and they actually landed early! I’m sure she’s relieved to be back home.

Our Budget

You may remember that I decided to switch our method of budgeting at the beginning of the month, and I am pleased to report it went rather well. July will likely be our best month, at least since we’ve moved here. (On that note, I cannot believe it’s been three months already!)

That’s also in part, again, thanks to the generosity of friends and family. I didn’t actually pay for much on my “vacation,” which I am seriously thankful for. So our food and restaurant budget looks pretty good right now. We do have one more week left, so we might have to take another grocery trip, but we were able to save a decent amount because of my grandma’s kindness.

Truthfully, it’s just nice to finally have a month where things went okay (*knocks on wood*). I have a feeling August is going to be very harsh, so the reprieve is welcome! So welcome, I’ve been entertaining thoughts of getting a haircut. I’m really overdue on one – I think I went once sometime last year?

My Car Window?

This one is pretty funny. My passenger window has never worked on my car – I purchased it with that knowledge. I know that seems silly to some, but I’m not a huge fan of rolling the windows down in the first place (my hair gets terribly knotted), and I get cold easily, so I don’t use the A/C much.

being grateful

My reaction

I haven’t tried the window in a while. Sometimes I pressed down on the switch just to see, but I can’t remember the last time I did.

Well, on Sunday, when we were leaving my parents’ house, a few annoying gnats found their way into my car. As we were furiously trying to fend them off, I decided to try to roll my window down.

Lo and behold, it worked! Crazy I tell you!

I was actually yelling, “What?!?” in disbelief, and it took a while for R to notice what I was talking about (he was in the middle of a dangerous fight with one particular feisty gnat). I still couldn’t believe it, and had to open the window once we got home to confirm it was for real.

I’m still afraid to open it and leave it open, though. Being that none of us knew why it was stuck in the first place, it could potentially get stuck again.

Kitties!

being gratefulLastly, I was just grateful to get home. After spending ten days away from R and the cats (and the apartment), I was beyond happy to be able to go to sleep in my own bed. Obviously, sleeping at my grandma’s house and my parents’ house was fine, considering I’m familiar with both houses (I don’t sleep well in hotels!), but nothing beats being home.

I missed the crazy antics of my cats while I was away, and I haven’t shared a picture of them in a while, so here’s your obligatory cat cuteness for the day!

Speaking of, I know there’s a few of you out there who are pet parents out there. We should totally get a PF pet lover group going somehow. I love seeing everyone’s pictures! (Plug – check out Frugalwoods for adorable greyhound pics..and other PF stuff, of course. It’s my favorite new blog.)

What are you being grateful for this week? Do you have any pets? Have you experienced your car fixing itself randomly?

My Frugal Makeup Routine

One can make the argument that makeup is not necessary, and I would agree. It’s not necessary and it’s not a need.

It’s certainly a want I have struggled with in the past, though. While I’ve never been a fan of clothes shopping, cosmetics were my weakness.

One day, I was looking at makeup tutorials as I was entering the workforce full-time (to look more professional), and the next, I was buying all these new items left and right because so many women swore by them.

After much testing and weeding out, I’ve finally arrived at a routine I’m happy with. (Sorry guys, this post probably isn’t applicable to you!)

frugal makeup routine

I don’t know that I’ll ever reach the point where I don’t bother with makeup. I’ve always been slightly insecure, ever since I ran into bullying in school. But I have been wearing less and less of it as the years pass. And hey, superficial or not, looking good makes most people happy, right?

So for those of you who are in a similar situation – wanting makeup, but on the cheap – read on to find out what products are involved in my frugal makeup routine!

Liquid Foundation

I have combination skin, which is a pain to deal with. I’ve found that Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation works the best for me. I’m normally one to try three different foundations at once, because it’s so important to get it right, but I’ve actually been sticking with this for about a year now.

It provides medium coverage, but you can easily build it up. It doesn’t feel cakey or heavy, and it also comes in a decent variety of shades.

My second choice? CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Liquid Foundation. It has great coverage, which is a good thing seeing as it is a 3-in-1 product!

Powder Foundation

I normally set my liquid foundation and concealer with powder foundation. I’ve been using two for the last few years: Rimmel Stay Matte powder and CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder for Sensitive Skin. They both do the job and are lightweight!

Concealer

The one I use everyday is super cheap and provides amazing coverage: Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer. The only store I know of that sells it is Walmart, sadly. And not every Walmart I’ve been to has it.

ELF has cheap brushes; Sedona Lace has better quality!

ELF has cheap brushes; Sedona Lace has better quality!

Let me tell you, nothing I’ve tried has been able to conceal this well, especially for a drugstore brand. I did come across this product after watching a review on it, and a few people have said it’s too heavy. A little goes a really long way with this, and a tube lasts me at least six months, if not more.

To touch up on the go, I have Loreal’s True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer. I’ve never been a fan of stick concealers before, but this one really is very blendable and soft. For a liquid, I use Maybelline’s Fit Me! Concealer.

Blush

It is so easy to find nice drugstore blushes. I’m a huge fan of the Nyx line, and have three colors from them. Their “Pinched” color is a dupe for Nars’ ever popular “Orgasm” color. I own it, and I like it! If you don’t like sparkly blushes, I also really like “Mocha.”

I also have “Luminoso” from Milani’s baked blush line that’s beautiful on lighter skin tones.

Lastly, Wet n Wild has some nice blush selections as well.

Mascara

I have to admit, I haven’t found a mascara that I’m absolutely in love with, so if you have any suggestions, I welcome them!

Out of all the Maybelline mascaras I’ve tried, I like their Great Lash the most, but I need to apply it twice to get a decent effect.

Lately I’ve been using Revlon Lash Potion. I purchased it (sadly) because it was on sale and I needed a new tube, and I hadn’t been happy with anything else I tried. The brush is a little weird, making it somewhat difficult to apply neatly.

To be honest, I’ve been using the little free sample of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara I received a while ago, but I can’t bring myself to spend $20+ on mascara.

Eyeshadow

And here is my frugal undoing. I own expensive eyeshadow palettes. Yep, that’s pural. I have the Naked, Naked 2, and also the Lorac Unzipped palette.

Spending ThresholdMy best advice is, if you really want to invest in some high-quality eyeshadows, either save up or ask for them as a gift. It’s been at least 2 years since I’ve purchased these, and I haven’t hit the bottom on any. I personally think they are well worth the money if you wear eyeshadow everyday and don’t want to worry if it’s flaked off or creased. I’ve never had any problems with these.

I would advise you to pick your favorite and only buy one. While they’re all beautiful in their own way, I find myself not needing three neutral palettes! (Duh.)

I hate to say it, but I don’t really have a frugal option to recommend, as all the ones I’ve tried have paled in comparison to these. While you can obviously argue this isn’t frugal, it’s a good one-time investment. Again, I’d rather have one go-to than several little eyeshadows laying around that I don’t use.

Please share if you’ve had success with drugstore brands!

Staying frugal

I have to say I’ve never been a fan of buying high-end makeup because of the price tag. I just can’t bring myself to splurge, aside from the eyeshadow. Part of me is torn, as I know that whatever you’re putting on your face should be good for you. But this post isn’t about debating the merits of either, as I wanted to provide you all with some cheap makeup solutions!

My favorite places to shop for cosmetics are Target, Walmart, and Ulta (which I don’t think is around here). Coupons for cosmetics are ridiculously easy to come by as well, so always search for some before buying!

What’s your favorite drugstore makeup brand or product? What does your makeup routine look like?

Being Grateful: Thirty-Fifth Edition

Hello everyone! Whew, this week was a fast one. Again, it seems like just yesterday that I had arrived at my grandma’s. Craziness. I’m not used to traveling like that, but it wasn’t a surprise that it went by so fast.

I have a lot of things to be grateful for this week!

being grateful

Catching up

First off, I got to see my cousins and their baby for my birthday! That was probably the best present I could have asked for. She has grown so much since I last saw her (before Christmas). She is absolutely adorable. My cousins admitted that they lucked out with her; she is such a happy baby. If we could be guaranteed to have a baby like that, I don’t think I’d be as hesitant about kids.

I also got to see two of my friends for my birthday, which was great. I had sort of told them on short notice, so I’m glad they were able to make time to see me. They actually treated me to lunch. It was nice being able to catch up, but I hate not knowing when I’ll see everyone again.

Our flight, round two

We left on Tuesday, and the weather was forecasted to be pretty bad. Well, it didn’t disappoint. Our flight was delayed four times! We were supposed to leave at 6:30pm, then 8, then 9:20, then 9:40, and finally, 9:54. I kept refreshing the page to see if it would change again!

being grateful

Delayed =(

My mom and my grandma were really frustrated by this, but I wasn’t bothered. It didn’t really matter when we left, but I’m also a night owl. I just didn’t see the point in complaining about something that was out of our control. And if you know me at all, you’d be very, very surprised by this! I have a bad habit of getting frustrated when things don’t quite pan out as I expected. I think seeing them overreact made me react in the opposite direction…that made sense, right?

In any case, when we finally made it to the airport, we breezed through security. Hardly anyone was there, which was so nice, because I hate being rushed there. We had to wait another two hours before we boarded, but we made it in an hour and a half, and arrived exactly at midnight.

So I was grateful that my increased efforts to be more relaxed paid off, and that our flight was pretty smooth!

Reunited…

Suffice to say, I really missed R after a week and a half of being away. We Skyped every day except Tuesday due to the flight mess-up, and while it was better than nothing, seeing him in person was certainly preferable!

As I was typing this up, R actually arrived at my parents house. My mom heard a car so I ran outside and jumped in my car before R even got out =). Then when we finally got to hug I started tearing up. I’m such a sap sometimes! Either way, in that moment, I was being grateful that he got here safely and that we have no plans to be apart for the rest of the year!

(As a side note, I have been in long distance relationships before, and I realize that a week and a half is really nothing to whine about, but I swore them off for a reason!)

Now, I can’t wait to see my cats!! We’ll be driving back on Sunday.

House hunting!

No, not for us, but for my grandma. Yes, we think we might have gotten her pretty warmed up to the idea of moving! We obviously don’t want to force her into anything, but she did come around and admit she’s actually been trying to talk her best friend into moving as well.

being grateful

For now, my grandma has decided to look at homes in the community here. She does like it, and she recognizes that it’s a great value. Or maybe she just misses us. Either way, I’m also excited simply because I really like house hunting. I have no clue why, but I find it really fun to look at other houses. It’s different when you don’t personally care about buying!

And as luck would have it, one of my mom’s childhood friends just became a licensed real estate agent here (she also moved a few years ago), so she’ll be able to show us all the homes.

I’m grateful that everything seems to be coming together with this. It would be awesome if my grandma ultimately decides to move here. It feels like no time has passed since we last saw her in April, but I know it will feel longer come next year.

Saying “no”

Lastly, I am grateful that being happy with less has truly taken hold. My mom and grandma went up to this flea market, all excited about the prospects of things to buy! I politely declined to go along with them because 1) flea markets just seem kind of “blah” to me, and 2) I had no desire to spend my money there.

Sure enough, they came back with quite a few things. I’m not trying to judge here, but the purchases didn’t seem very well thought out, and it pains me to see them spend money on such things. A flea market is one of those places you can easily get carried away in, and I think that’s what happened. They seemed happy with their purchases though, which is what counts.

But I’ve been noticing a pattern with my grandma, and to a lesser extent, my mom. I might make a separate post on this at some point, but they have a habit of buying things on sale just because they’re on sale. A sale, or a good deal, does you no good if you don’t really need whatever you’re buying!!

And as a result, we have 10 choices for dessert now, which I find slightly ridiculous, and everyone is relying on R to eat it all. Oye. I’m just grateful I know better and can restrain myself, especially when it comes to food, because this is one reason food goes to waste.

What are you grateful for this week? Have you seen any old friends or caught up with family recently? What’s the last thing you decided not to spend money on?