Tag Archives: ballin on a budget

New Free People Pinstripe Pants

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New Free People Pinstripe Pants

Hello! I will tell you what, I have been on PANTS PATROL lately, because all of my black skinnies are fading into grey and I just won’t stand for it. Luckily, TJMaxx has got my back with all of the best fashions and I’ve been able to restock the bottoms department in my wardrobe so I won’t have to run around in my SKIVVIES! Although these new Free People pants seen below are navy instead of my beloved black, I still like them just the same. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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TJMaxx began carrying Free People shoes and clothing within the past year or so and my quality of life has increased tenfold since this happened. As you can see from the price above, their clothing is nowhere even close to my budget, so I just admire them from afar. But, a new pair of SLACKS for twenty bucks was a deal that I couldn’t pass up on so here we are now chatting about them!

I have been on the prowl for a paper bag style of pants like these for a while now. And, the nice thing about my Free People pair, is that they are made from a cloth material instead of that weird filmy kind that the paper bag style uses. That material does no favors for my body type and I wouldn’t want it close to my skin, anyways! I also like that the fit of my pinstripe pants isn’t high waisted like the paper bag style traditionally is. These are a normal rise pant with a baggy fit and a dipped crotch so they are obviously crazy comfortable but, they still manage to look chic, which is important.

I’m looking forward to pairing my new pantalones with a plain white T-shirt and my black Urban Outfitters boyfriend blazer for a cool and relaxed look. I then plan on dressing up the outfit with a long in length gold necklace and rings for a pop of bling. And, to finish it off, a nice pair of heels will do for a look that is perfect for a day at work or a night out for drinks with the girls.

What is a brand name that you admire from afar? How would you style these pants? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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New Eva Franco Maxi Skirt

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New Eva Franco Maxi Skirt

Helloooo! It’s funny how your fashion sense continues to develop year after year. For example, when I was 23, I wore skirts on very rare occasions. And, here we are now one year later, and I can’t stop buying skirts to save my own life. My New Eva Franco Maxi Skirt is one that I have had my eyes on for a while but, I couldn’t justify paying fifty dollars for it. So, imagine how happy I was when I snagged it on clearance for twenty bucks! Take a look and let’s discuss:

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Where do I even begin when it comes to expressing my adoration for this skirt? Should I start with the charming color palette of candy colored embroidery against navy blue? Or how about the whimsical layer of the gauzy fabric flowing against the actual skirt? This Eva Franco piece is total fairground fun and I love every minute of it.

The beauty of this skirt, aside from how darn pretty it is, is the styling opportunities that come with it. I consider navy to be a neutral, so you could pair this with almost any color on top and you would create a stellar outfit. I can’t wait to pair this with a hot pink crop top in the spring and summer for an adorably bright look. But, I can also see this skirt worn during the winter with a pair of thick tights underneath and a warm moto jacket to add some colorful delight to the bleak outdoor weather.

My new Eva Franco skirt makes me smile when I look at it and getting it for a bargain price makes the purchase just as sweet as the pastel polka dots adorning it. Love, love, love!

How would you style this skirt? How has your style developed over time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sephora Freebies

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Sephora Freebies

Hi! While getting some of my holiday shopping done on Sephora’s website, I received a major freebie haul! It. Was. Awesome. I cashed in my 500 point Beauty Insider gift for a Clinique goodie bag and I also received a free travel bag filled with good stuff for spending over fifty dollars. Plus, I got free shipping! I spent just one dollar over the fifty minimum and I got a ton of amazing travel sized products to show for it. Take a look and let’s discuss:

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The Haul:

  • Lancome: La Vie Est Belle perfume sample
  • Laneige: Water Sleeping Mask (Loved it!)
  • Lancome: Mascara
  • Rahua: Omega 9 Hair Mask
  • Urban Decay: All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
  • Fresh: Soy Face Cleanser
  • Briogeo: Heat Protecting Cream
  • Caudalie: Moisturizing Sorbet
  • Tarte: Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (LOVE! I was running low on my birthday gift color from last year!)
  • Clinique: Moisture Surge Face Spray
  • Clinique: Chubby Stick in Woppin’ Watermelon (See the swatch tomorrow!)
  • Clinique: Moisture Surge moisturizer sample
  • Clinique: Mascara
  • Clinique: Foundation + Concealer samples

^^^ So good, right?!

Sephora is such a wonderful company to shop with online, because the promotions that they offer are second to none. I have never not received a free product when shopping online, because they usually offer the promo when you spend over twenty-five dollars. And, let’s be honest, that’s not hard to do!

I used to shy away from Sephora, because when you shop in store there is never any type of promotion running to give you some bang for your buck. But, when I shop online, I always feel pleased with what I’m getting in free product for the amount that I’m spending. I will definitely still pop into the store to see what’s new and examine all the colors and products up close. But, I will go home and order whatever I liked online every time, and I recommend that all of you Sephora lovers do the same. Can you get that amazing haul seen above in store for absolutely free?? I think not!

Which stores offer the best online promotions? How do you shop smart when it comes to Sephora? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Early Holiday Shopping Tips & Tricks

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Early Holiday Shopping Tips & Tricks

Hiiii everyone! If you’re like me, then you like to get your holiday shopping done nice and early. I’ll tell you what, there is nothing better than clearing off your Christmas shopping list in November so that you can relax and be merry all December long. I recently began my shopping for my friends and family and even buying for just a few people has let me breathe a huge sigh of relief.

But, sometimes, holiday shopping can seem like a bit much – especially if you have a large family or group of friends to buy for. And, believe me, I get it. I have a pretty substantial list of people to shop for and that’s why I ball on a budget more than ever during the holiday season with the following tips:

Make A List/Budget:

The very first thing that I do when I prep for holiday shopping is the obvious starter of making a list. I go through everyone in my head that I need to buy for from family to significant others of the family to my boyfriend, BFFs, and colleagues and then write them down accordingly. Then, I include some basic ideas of what to get for each person by their names.

Once I have a good idea of who I need to shop for and what I would like to purchase for them, I set a budget. Normally, I have a pretty set in stone price range that I would like to stay in that applies for everyone. But, there could be certain people that you might want to shell out more or less from depending on the situation. Are you surprising your parents with a holiday gift basket? Awesome, ball out. Do you have a white elephant gift to buy for the office party? Spend a little less. That way your budget will still end up balancing out in the end.

Shopping lists and budgets provide a great guideline for completing your present purchasing in a (Somewhat!) stress-free manner. But, don’t let the price points that you set make you go too crazy! Going over budget is fine if the item is worth splurging on and you know that the giftee will love it. Like I said, there are always deals and hacks to utilize to bring yourself back within your spending limit. Like the following:

Steals, Deals, & Freebies:

My number one rule of shopping is to always get something extra out of your purchases. Whether that be points on a credit card, a free gift, or a BOGO style deal in store, always always shop smart. Do your research on the promotions that your favorite stores are running in store or online. Is a huge Black Friday sale happening? Maybe wait on that big screen TV, then. Is the deal that you can get online even better than what you could get in store? Then you better grab it before it goes out of stock.

Being aware of what promotions that the stores are running is just half of the trick. A good way to go about whether to wait for Black Friday deals or to purchase now is to think about what sales the store ran last year. I worked four Black Fridays in a row and the stores that I worked at ran the same promotions every year and they still do now. So, if those deals are worth waiting for, hold off until Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If not, and a good sale is running already, buying it now is just fine.

The next thing that you should be concerned with, are the deals that you can get with your credit or store rewards cards. Sometimes, it’s worth applying for a credit card just to do your holiday shopping on it. For example, if you apply for an Amazon credit card and get approved, you get a free fifty dollar gift card to spend on the site. Other credit cards will reward you with points or store credit when you use them. Can your cash do that?

And, finally, always compare in store and online prices before you purchase! Some stores will price match if it is cheaper online. And, other stores, like Sephora offer deals that you could never get in store. I spent fifty dollars on their website and got free shipping, two free samples, and two free really nice gifts for spending a certain amount of money. You should try to get the most bang for your buck whenever you’re shopping and free gifts for yourself never hurts!

Ready, Set, Gift Sets:

Gift sets are the bread and butter of my holiday shopping. They are a crowd and wallet pleaser and they are so fun to assemble. Some stores offer stellar pre-made sets that have a lot of product for not as big of a price tag, and those are great, too. If a family member or friend has a more eclectic taste, gift sets are an excellent way to go, because you can give them an assortment of odds and ends that will speak more to their uniqueness than a gift card. Or, if you’re shopping for nieces or nephews, hit up a Five Below and create a goody bag on a dime. And, always remember, that a nice basket or container is part of the gift so pick something nice that can be used again. 🙂

What are your tips and tricks for holiday shopping? Who has their holiday shopping finished already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Azure Lux Rose Gold Sparkling Oil Serum

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Azure Lux Rose Gold Sparkling Oil Serum

Hiiii everyone! For all of my skin care needs, I frequent the beauty aisles at TJMaxx, which shouldn’t be that surprising! I enjoy trying out new products and will always add a new serum, moisturizer, or face mask to my stock pile if it looks good and the price is right. I use a serum every day before applying my eye cream and moisturizer, and I really feel that no skin care routine is complete without it. So, when I’m scouring the beauty section at TJ’s, my eyes are always peeled for a new serum to try.

During one of my last shopping trips to Heaven On Earth, AKA TJMaxx, I ended up purchasing the serum seen below. How do you say no to rose gold?! Check it out:

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Delightfully reminiscent of the Too Faced Better Than Birthday Sex’s glitter pink packaging and advertising all of the right things for skin care, it was impossible to say no to this Azure Lux serum. Rose gold is perfectly on trend along with all of the necessities that this serum offers: toning, hydrating, and wrinkle reducing. Along with the oh so snazzy flecks of twenty-four karat gold and rose hip (Which is so hot in skin care right now!), six dollars for an entire bottle of serum felt like I was getting away with robbery.

Because I refuse to start a new product while I’m finishing up an old one, I haven’t tried this serum out yet. But, I was so curious about it, that I sampled the serum on my hands and it was AWESOME. It was fun to see the gold flecks on my skin, but it was even better to feel like my hands were one hundred and fifty percent hydrated. This serum absorbed quickly and my skin instantly got a burst of moisture that I feel like I couldn’t get from an actual hand lotion. So, just imagine using it on your face! I can’t wait! 😀

What kind of serum do you use? Which products are essential to your skin care routine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red Loves: Libraries

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Lil Red Loves: Libraries

Hi! Something that I’ve been fond of for as long as I can remember but, even more so this year, is the good ol’ local library. In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of different libraries to go to that have instilled in me a love for reading from story time as a youngin up until now as a twenty something. And, what I have learned this past year, is that libraries aren’t just for checking out books and movies.

Frequenting the libraries in the greater Akron area has become a staple in my day job, as they offer wonderful, educational, and fun programs that are all completely free. My clients and I love visiting different libraries and always end up reaping the benefits that the programs and events have to offer. From gaining knowledge and new hobbies to receiving totally free books like the ones below, the library is definitely the place to be.

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The libraries in my area offer everything from reading with therapy dogs to GED classes and murder mystery dinners. I have been to excellent music concerts with clients and showings of recently released movies in a huge auditorium. I’ve also attended yoga classes, escape rooms, and lessons in meditation all for the cost of absolutely FREE.

Just last week at North Hill Library’s meditation class, there were cardboard boxes full of free books for the taking. Mysteries, romances, fiction, and nonfiction alike were all there to be sorted through and there was no limit to what we could select. My client and I had a blast looking at all of the choices and I ended up picking out all of the above horror style murder mysteries (My favorite!) to take home with me. Will I like all of them? Maybe not, but that’s no harm done, because I can always donate it so that someone else can have what might be their new favorite page turner.

Lil Red will always support establishments that better the community and I am thankful that mine has so many excellent libraries to choose from, because they do just that. Libraries are inclusive to every single person in this world and there is much to be learned and a lot of fun to be had during your next visit to the neighborhood library!

Who else makes good use out of their local library? What type of programs does your library offer to the public? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dollar Tree Deals

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Dollar Tree Deals

Hi! We all know that Lil Red loves to shop but, the trick is, is that I am all about the discount stores to save copious amounts of cash while I partake in my favorite hobby. In today’s post, it’s all about the Washingtons, because I began my Christmas shopping early at the Dollar Tree and got six fairly decent sized candles for a dollar apiece. Check it out:

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The beauty of discount stores, aside from the immense amount of savings from shopping there, is that no one is the wiser when they receive their presents. I plan on attaching sets of three of the above candles with a festive bow as part of gifts for friends and family and, for all they know, I could have gotten them at Target. Not only is the size of the candles relatively big for a dollar deal but, they smell amazing, too! The Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my favorite and I know that it will be a hit for my giftees. 🙂

What is your favorite discount store? Who has started their holiday shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Gephardt Daily