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The Best Inexpensive Products

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

If there is one thing in life that I love, it's finding a good deal on something. But honestly, if I could love something even more than that, it would be when I find a great product that has a price that is always a good value, no sale or coupon required! (And I am the kind of person who's like don't even come at me with the word "clearance" unless it's at LEAST 70% off, so you know I'm serious when I say I'll pay full price for these things!) I don't know about you guys, but I don't have endless amounts of money to spend, so today I've rounded up a list of products that I love that I feel are an excellent value for the price.



1. Raw Sugar The Moisture Smoothie Conditioner, $9.99 for 18 fl. oz., Target
I don't really have great hair. It's very oily, but the ends are also really dry. (Could some of this be because I haven't had a haircut since before Thanksgiving? I mean, maybe. Don't worry, I have one scheduled for this Friday!) I love this conditioner. I bought it on a whim at Target based on some good reviews I saw, and I'm so glad I did. I think it's what allowed me to have hair that didn't look TOO terrible for all these past months. It's hydrating, yet light. 

2. Coppertone Sport Clear Sunscreen, $7.97 for 5 fl. oz., Amazon.com
If there's one thing I know, it's sunscreens. I am obsessed with wearing sunscreen any time I am outside, and I reapply frequently. I've been known to use an entire can or bottle of sunscreen during one pool or beach day. This sunscreen goes on so smoothly, doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy or dirty, and is incredibly light. 

3. Day Designer Day Planner, $19.99 for 8.5" x 11.0" (also comes in a smaller size), Amazon.com
I am a die-hard devotee of the paper planner, and trust me when I tell you I've tried a ton of them. I've done the Kate Spade, the Erin Condren, and, most recently, the Plum Paper. These babies aren't cheap! This year I decided to try a less expensive planner, and I am very happy with my choice! This planner features both month at a glance (which is a requirement for me) as well as weekly options. It also comes with a pocket folder as well as some fun stickers. If, like me, you live by the academic year, you can buy a 2020-2021 planner now. There are also a lot of pretty cover options! Consider splurging on some great pens to go with it, like I did. It's an inexpensive way to feel good!

4. imPRESS Press-On Manicure, $5.99, Target
Guys, I almost didn't want to tell you about this one because I don't want there to be a run on my favorite colors. But I couldn't keep it from you! I always like having my nails done. No matter what I look like or what I'm wearing, having my nails done just really makes me feel put together. I had been getting my nails done every couple of weeks for a few years, and man, it's nice, but it can get so expensive. On top of that, it takes up a lot of time, and on top of THAT I have tried so many nail salons in the greater Atlanta area and just haven't found one that I really like. My nails grow fast, so I need the polish close to my cuticle, and I also just can't deal with chips or peeling polish. Someone I know mentioned these nails on Facebook several months ago, and I was like -- yeah this SOUNDS awesome, but press-on nails, really? Like is it 1992? But I decided I'd buy one box, thinking I'd give it a try, they'd pop off, and I'd just be mad and go back to doing whatever else the next day. I was so, so wrong. These nails are incredibly easy to apply (NO GLUE!), they are incredibly easy to remove (NO ACETONE!), and they last about seven days. I'm not kidding when I tell you I wash dishes in these, I work outside in the yard in these, I go to the pool in these. They stay on so well and look great! And the truth is, even if one of them does pop off, there are so many extras in the box that you can find a similar sized one to replace it with. I usually buy mine at Target or Walmart where they are $5.99 a box, but you can also get them at Walgreens or CVS where they are $7.99 a box. (Still a great deal!) The only place I wouldn't buy them, weirdly, is from the imPRESS website. Their customer service and communication aren't great, but I've never had an issue just buying them straight from the store! If you change these nails weekly for a month, you are spending around $24.00 for your entire monthly manicures when just one gel manicure plus tip is around $40. My advice for these is to apply them at night so that you give them some time to adhere before you get your hands wet. 

5. Auden brand bras, $9.99-$21.99, Target
I have been either pregnant or nursing a child for about a year and a half now. Bert is slowly being weaned from nursing, and I realized I needed some new bras. Bras are expensive. SO EXPENSIVE. And it's not like you can go without them. The thing is, I needed more than one, meaning I couldn't really spend $50 on a single bra. I don't know how I stumbled across this brand, but I saw these bras on the Target website for prices like $14.99 and $16.99. I couldn't believe it. I read the reviews, and they were generally really good. I ordered three (two different kinds), and I was so impressed when they arrived. They fit great, they are comfortable, and there aren't any weird gaps. I will be honest that I haven't had them long enough to speak to how they hold up to several washings, but right now I am really impressed. 

6. NYX Eyebrow Powder, $5.49, Amazon.com 
My good friend Story inspired me to start filling in my eyebrows several years ago, and shortly after I started I couldn't live without it. Filling in your brows just totally changes your face. I am serious when I tell you that if I could only keep a single makeup item in my life it would be this eyebrow powder. Honestly, ask me if I filled in my eyebrows when I was in labor with Bert, and I will not be embarrassed to say YEP! I didn't have any other makeup on, but I just had to use this powder! Even on days when I don't leave my house, I use this product. I love it! I use Black/Gray, but it also comes in Brunette, Taupe/Ash, Dark Brown/Brown, and maybe some others, too. 

Are there any inexpensive yet great products you can't live without? Let me know! 


Best of the Summer So Far

Monday, July 6, 2020


I hope you had a great Fourth of July holiday! Can you believe it's already July?! I feel like June flew by -- after a spring that seemed to last for years -- so I'm hoping and praying time will slow down a bit again so that summer will feel like it lasts forever. We are gearing up to take a trip next week, so this week will bring a lot of list making, laundry, and packing. And, of course, reading! I have five unread books from the library, plus one I need to read for my Litsy markup postal book club, plus another two to review for Netgalley. Oh, and I'm scheduled to do another library pick up tomorrow. Have I gone a little overboard with my to be read list lately? Mayyyyybe. Point is, I need to get reading! 

Today I wanted to share with you some of my best of the best summer reading so far. We're one month in, and I feel pretty lucky to have read so many good books so far this season. (Book links will take you to my shop on Bookshop.org or to Amazon.com via my affiliate link.

Best Book With a Sequel 
This one is a tie between two sets of really great books:

The Book: Beartown by Fredrik Backman (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A small, dying town is holding on to its junior hockey team as its last hope for success. One night, an incident occurs between two teens that rips the town apart. 

The Sequel: Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A dying rural town is about to lose its beloved hockey team. The ex-players are mostly transferring to a rival team. A new team is built around a few hardworking young men. Sadly, tensions between the two towns escalate to a point of no return. 

The Book: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
Five high school students students go to detention, but only four make it out alive. It's The Breakfast Club turned deadly in this novel.

The Sequel: One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
In the wake of the shocking events of the first novel, a new mystery student starts a Truth or Dare game at Bayview High that turns deadly. 

Best Book About Loving Books

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
Nina Hill is a book lover who works in a bookstore. She is anxious, organized, and a planner. She also values her solitude and quiet life. Out of the blue she meets the (large) family of the father she never knew. 

Best Book By a British Author

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A young woman returns home after suffering a tragedy. She has always had a strained relationship with her mother while harboring fond memories of her childhood nanny who abruptly left. The woman soon learns that what she thought was true might not be. 

Best Book by an Author With a New Book Coming Out Soon

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, new book One By One out in the US on September 8 (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A woman gets a job as a nanny in a remote house in Scotland. As soon as she arrives, strange things start happening, climaxing with the death of one of the children. 

Best Early Book by Someone Who Became Famous With a Later Book

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, her most famous novel Gone Girl was released in 2012 (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A reporter just out of a psych hospital is sent to her small hometown to report on the murders of two young girls. By the end of her stay, she unravels the mystery surrounding the death of her own sister as well. 

Best Young Adult Novel

Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A 17-year-old girl begins packing up the bedroom of her boyfriend who has just died. As she goes through his things, remembering parts of their relationship, she learns things are not what they seem.

Best Book to Read With Your Book Club

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser (Find at Bookshop.org or at Amazon.com)
A woman and her two young children disappear the morning after she spent an evening drinking wine around a fire with her neighbors. The novel examines the lives of several women as they struggle to find out what happened to their neighbor. 

Best Book by an Author You've Never Heard Of

The Longest Day of the Year by Kim Wright (Find at Amazon.com)
Four women sit on the beach and talk. They are different ages and have seemingly different backgrounds, but somehow they are all connected. As they talk about their lives, it becomes clear that the one thing they all love is their precious beach. 

I hope you have a beautiful week! 




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