Tag Archives: ballin on a budget

Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

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Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

Hellooo!! The coronavirus pandemic can induce a plethora of feelings like exhaustion, stress, depression, and anxiety. I have definitely experienced all of these and if you’re taking the virus seriously, then I’m sure you have too. It is hard to get yourself back to baseline when you are feeling so down but there is nothing like a little treat to lift yourself up. How about brushing off the blues with some of the following?

Your favorite drink:

Nothing perks me up literally and metaphorically like my favorite coffee drinks from Starbucks. I live for the holiday season when I can get my Peppermint Mocha fix and the warm fuzzies I feel with a steaming, fragrant cup in my hands. For even more feel good power, pay it forward for the person behind you and see if you can get a chain started. Then, you can make someone else’s day too!

Pizza party:

This past weekend, Johnny and I ordered a pizza and watched Christmas movies together and it was a blast! Our food was delicious and it was so nice to just settle in for the afternoon without worrying about what to make for dinner. It was also a relief to have some entertainment that wasn’t stress inducing with violence or triggering story lines. I highly recommend a viewing of Elf, Jingle All The Way, or The Muppets Christmas Carol to get yourself in the holiday spirit as well as to put a smile on your face. 🙂

Smell goods:

There is nothing better than sinking into a nice, warm bath filled with lush bubbles in your favorite scent. Have a shopping trip online to your favorite bath and body care supplier and order some pampering treats for yourself. How about some bath bombs from Lush? Or some uber lathering body wash and a few candles from Bath & Body Works? My favorite scents of vanilla, orange, and apple always help to relax me – combine that with a long soak in the tub and it is heaven!

A new book:

Take a step away from the craziness of the real world and tuck into a good book. Grab something from the library or Barnes & Noble and settle in for the afternoon in a totally different world. I love to read and I always feel infinitely more relaxed after I knock back a couple of chapters in whatever book I am working on finishing. If you’re not the biggest fan of reading, try a subscription to Audible for some book tapes that you can play while driving or cooking. My Johnny loves having Audible and I definitely recommend it too.

New home decor:

This is not to say to remodel your living room entirely but you could always purchase some new wall art or a cute knick knack that you can’t live without. Seeing something daily that you find visually appealing is a sure fire way to make you smile. You could also always skip the purchasing process and DIY some decor with your bestie. Every time you see it, you will think of the sweet memory of a craft night – no matter how your art work turns out. 😀

Treating yoself doesn’t have to break your bank. Use the tips above and get the spring back in your step!

How do you like to treat yoself? What makes you smile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

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Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

Hi! Christmas is coming in hot and it is no secret that this year’s holiday celebrations will be much different than in 2019. COVID-19 has put a damper on literally everything and many are still out of work and struggling to make ends meet. It is understandable that the holiday season might be stressing out those in a pinch even more so I put together a list of totally sweet and cheap gift ideas that will make anyone’s day. It’s always, always the thought that counts and your giftees will love the following:

Picture this:

Do you have a ton of favorite selfies and pics with one of your giftees? Print a couple out and frame them or print out a bunch and tuck them away in a photo album. I love this gift idea and have used it often, myself. Photos bring you back to happier times like vacations, girls night out, and family get togethers. Everyone can certainly smile more during these times and a pic with you and your giftee will do the trick just fine.

DIY:

Another simple and fun gift idea is all things DIY. How about crafting some holiday ornaments for everyone on your list? Holiday themed decor always goes over well and your options are limitless. Perhaps painted winter scenes to hang up? Homemade bath and body care items or candles? Or you could assemble all of the ingredients to make holiday cookies into a cute Mason jar. DIY gifts are special because no one else in the world will have something like it!

Future fun:

Talk to your giftees about what they are most excited to do when it’s safe. Are they dying to see a movie in theaters? Browse the mall care free for the afternoon? What about dining at their favorite restaurant? Get the deets and present a plan for a day together with those on your list in 2021. This is insanely thoughtful and it shows that you’re listening when your loved ones talk to you. Also, who doesn’t like having something to look forward to?!

Family Day:

Instead of a gift, why not opt to plan a winter wonderland day for your family post or pre Christmas? Host a snowball fight or a trek through the woods. What about ice skating on a lake? Or driving around to look at Christmas lights? It will be such fun to have everyone all together again! Have hot chocolate ready for once you head inside and pop on a Christmas movie or comedy to keep the good vibes going. I would love to do this with my family. 🙂

Books & movies:

I don’t know anyone who isn’t constantly asking for recommendations of books or movies to help ease their pandemic boredom. Choose a new book or movie that you think your giftee would love. It could be one of your favorites, it could be something new from their fave author or actor – heck, it could be something totally random! Either way, you are providing some entertainment for everyone on your list and they will be most appreciative when they feel like there is “nothing” to do.

The holidays shouldn’t be a stressful time so try and enjoy yourself! Easier said than done, I know. But, as I said before, the thought you put into your gifts is the most important thing so use the ideas above to help get you started. ❤

How is your holiday shopping going? Do you have a gift you are really excited to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Amazon Skin Care Haul

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Amazon Skin Care Haul

Hello! Whenever I needed new skin care back in pre-COVID days, I would go to TJMaxx and browse the aisles for everything I needed/didn’t need. Now, when I am running low on my skin care, I order a three or so month’s supply from Amazon. Originally, I was having a lot of luck finding all of the brands that I liked from TJs on Amazon. The prices weren’t as good but I was still happy to use what was familiar to me.

This time around, it came as a HUGE shock to see that the SkinLab brand on Amazon that I love so very much had all of their prices jacked up to twenty dollars. I was normally paying seven to eight bucks at TJs and eleven or so on Amazon. Twenty dollars for moisturizer and eye cream is just ridiculous so I had to try out some new products at prices I was more comfortable with. Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for normal/combo skin
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for dry skin
  • Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating facial cleanser
  • Pacifica Kale Charcoal Foaming Facial Detox Bar
  • 3 Azure Lux Rose Gold serums
  • Garnier Micellar Water

After I discovered the high price of my SkinLab products, it took me a while to find a moisturizer at a price point I was okay with. Finally, I found a great deal on the Garnier pack of two moisturizers for SEVEN BUCKS! I thought that was a steal and I love Garnier products as well as gel cream moisturizers. Do I wish that I could have gotten my usual SkinLab Lift & Firm? Yes. But, I am excited to try something new.

Another product that I was sad to see wasn’t available on Amazon that used to be there was the Destiny Boutique charcoal face bars. I have been using their face bars for years and always like to have one or two handy at my apartment. Sadly, the brand was nowhere to be found on Amazon so I had to try my hand at the Pacifica bar, instead. I like that it is a foaming bar but I don’t like how small the bar is in comparison to the picture online. It was also packaged really poorly, which was kind of a turn off so we will see!

Along with my other usuals of Garnier micellar water and the Azure Lux serums, I bought a new Clean & Clear cleanser, as well. I am currently finishing up their Skin Brightening Morning Burst cleanser and have enjoyed it. However, it was really expensive on Amazon – over ten bucks, if I recall correctly. So, I went with the less pricey Hydrating cleanser. I am okay with this swap, though, because my skin needs all the hydrating it can get come winter.

I am looking forward to trying out all of my new products because it certainly has been a while since I went for something totally different. The almighty dollar talks every time and I don’t think I will be using my old faithfuls again until their prices go down.

Do you have a favorite product that got discontinued or really expensive? Does the substitute you picked out compare? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Huge Bath & Body Works Online Haul

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Huge Bath & Body Works Online Haul

Hello! One thing that I have always enjoyed doing is shopping the semi annual sales at Bath & Body Works. Never would I ever buy their products full price but when they are slashing them fifty to seventy-five percent off, why wouldn’t you stock up?! Not only did I snag some early birthday gifts for my bestie but I also was able to score some shower gels for me as well as a huge supply of foaming hand soap to get myself and Johnny through another few months of quarantine. Check it out:

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If you aren’t hip to the glory of the foaming hand soaps from B&BW, then I highly suggest you hit up their sales and buy a few for yourself. They are easily the best hand soaps I have ever used. First of all, they smell fabulous. Second, a tiny pump of it goes a really long way. And, finally, they leave my hands feeling completely clean, totally moisturized, and smelling awesome.

Before, I was always okay with just buying drugstore brands for my shower gel and hand soap needs and would tut at the original expensive B&BW prices. But, when I discovered their semi annual sale, my life changed for the better. Over dramatic, yes. Lol, but it’s true. I love having a huge supply of smell goods in my apartment and my stock pile is guilt free because I paid a fraction of what the original cost would be.

Although it is the most fun to shop the sale in stores, I was still excited to fire up my laptop and check it out online. There is a potential for me to not like some of the scents because I couldn’t give it a whiff test but those products can easily be passed on to someone else or saved for a rainy day when I realize my hoard is ready for a restock!

I was happy to still shop B&BW’s sale in an nontraditional way and, now, I will patiently wait for their post winter price cuts so I can do it all over again! 😀

What is your favorite semi annual sale to shop? How do you save money on brand name shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

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Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

One of the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on society is a rise in energy bills. After all, we are all spending a lot more time at home, so it is only natural that we will consume a lot more energy.

A study carried out in 2009 found that as a nation, the United States was wasting over $130 billion a year on energy. Energy and money that escapes through our roof, through the inefficient seals around our windows, through cracks and holes in the walls, and appliances and lights left switched on or in standby mode. More than ten years later and a massive increase in the technology that we use on a day to day basis and you can imagine how much that amount has probably jumped up by since then.

The one good thing, however, is that our energy consumption is something we have power over, so we can take measures to reduce it. Here, we will look at some ways you can cut back on your bills:

Tackle your temperature:

Depending on the season, the cooling down or heating up of your home does not only bring you comfort during the day but may be the only thing that gives you a pleasant and restful night of sleep.

In the colder months, endeavor to keep the temperature between 18-20 ° C. Any degree higher than this will add up to 10% to your bill. Test the auto timers on your heater, too. By raising your heating time by one hour a day, you can save up to ninety hours of heating costs over the winter.

Once the warmer months have come back, strive to keep your air conditioner above 24 ° C. Any degree lower will add 10% to your electricity bill. Make sure your house is sealed well so that they work efficiently and keep all of the heat or the cool air in.

Increase your insulation:

Think about why you wear a hat in the winter. It is because your head is where you lose most of your heat. The same goes for your home – your roof is the head of your home. By making sure your attic space has the very best insulation possible from somewhere like https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/, you can reduce the amount of heat lost from your house and save you plenty of cash, particularly over the winter months.

Audit your appliances:

Old, outdated appliances can be power-hungry and can really add to your energy bill. If you have older air conditioning units, a flue gas heating system, or hot water system, you might want to think about an upgrade. Sure, it costs an outlay of money initially but, in the long term, it will really end up saving you.

Cutting your energy bills does not need to involve anything dramatic or necessarily expensive. A few minor tweaks to your lifestyle here and there and making sure everything is working efficiently is enough to save you hundreds of dollars every year – global pandemic or not.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Home Renovation: 4 Tips For A Successful Project

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Home Renovation: 4 Tips For A Successful Project

Starting your home renovation project can be challenging, especially if it is your first time. When planning a house remodeling, you can be drawn to skip the exciting stages of renovation, like choosing fittings, fixtures, and new colors. However, for the house renovation to be successful, there are things that you will need to consider. Careful planning and making the right choices are the best ways to guarantee the success of your home renovation project:

Plan Ahead:

Come up with a plan that clearly defines the goal for your renovation. You should include your needs and wants in an outline of the work that needs to be finished. Proper planning will also help you stay on your budget. The vital point to consider is the use of the interior design rather than the aesthetics.

Before you start your renovation, you should research a wide variety of information, keeping in mind that renovation is entirely different from construction. With a renovation, you will need to focus on structural requirements and legal limitations. You can start by looking for designs in magazines and ask your architect or contractor if he can get the same outcomes. Make just one plan and stick to it; changing your mind in the middle of a renovation will cost you more money, and you will need an additional permit.

Budget:

When it comes to house renovations, the sky is the limit. The amount of money you will need for the improvement will depend on the size and the design, the amount of demolition and renovation that will be done, and the customization as well as the amenities you want to add. Therefore, before you plan to renovate a house, ask yourself how much will you be spending? Once you have planned for the precise budget, make sure that you add extra money for surprise renovations.

Store your Stuff:

Some renovation projects will need your furniture and your belongings to be moved out. You will be required to move everything out of the construction area because;

  • It safeguards your belongings
  • The renovation project will be easier
  • You will have peace of mind knowing that all of your belongings are not in the construction site

You can stuff your belongings in the garage or pick another room and store them. Additionally, you can rent portable containers. Pick any storage choice and give yourself peace of mind.

Find a Skilled, Trustworthy Contractor:

When planning for a renovation, the best thing to do is hire a contractor. Remodeling contractors can help make the whole process stress-free and straightforward. Avoid choosing a contractor in cost estimates alone. There are other things to consider when selecting a contractor for your renovation project, for instance:

  • Years of experience
  • References
  • Payment schedules
  • Contracting license
  • Certificate of insurance

Contractors will tell you what will work and what won’t work in your renovation project. They will offer professional insight into the design, style, and current technologies in home improvement. Contractors are also priceless when it comes to hiring subcontractors like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters who focus in various areas of your home.

There is a lot of planning involved when it comes to renovating your house. Regardless of whether you are doing a whole-house renovation or some simple updates, you need to leave the bigger jobs to the professionals. A successful home improvement project can increase the value of your house while making it a much more stylish place to be in!

Featured Image By: Adobe Stock, by Andy Dean

Low Budget Choices To Boost The Price Of Your Property

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Low Budget Choices To Boost The Price Of Your Property

If you’re looking for ways to boost the price of your property, but you’re currently working on a tight budget, then you might be finding the task particularly difficult. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and you can actually find some low budget choices that will help you boost the price quite nicely. If you want to know more about what these options are, keep reading down below:

A Fresh Coat Of Paint:

Imagine if you walk into a home and see that the paint is peeling all over the place or that there are marks across the walls that are easily visible. If you’re trying to increase the price of your property, then this just isn’t going to help, which means that a new coat of paint is in order. Head to your local home depot store, and you will find a whole range of colors for you to choose from. You can go with the same kind that you had last time or you can change it up seeing as now is your chance. But, if you’re going to make a change, then you’ve got to be conscious of the other furniture in the room so that you don’t end up clashing.

Fun With Flooring:

Or, how about altering the flooring of your property? Rather than upgrading the flooring completely, you can think about adding something to it. This is always going to depend on the type of flooring that you have because you’ll need to make choices like Modular Vs. Epoxy Flooring. Epoxy flooring is ideal for concrete floors and will provide a glass of water aesthetic sure to dazzle. If you DIY this job, you’ll spend no more than $100. Sounds like a steal!

Let There Be Light:

Alternatively, you might want to think about changing the lighting in your home. There are lots of possibilities here. For instance, you can think about adding some new light fixtures to your property. Light fixtures can be surprisingly cheap and will easily fit into a standard home renovation budget. You can also find a lot of different styles so you should be able to achieve a wide range of different possibilities with your home redesign.

Lighting also has practical benefits if you are selling the home. With the right lighting fixtures, you will be able to avoid shadow in the room. Shadows will always make the room look significantly smaller and this will make a buyer think twice about investing in your property. Or, you could go tech-heavy with this choice. Get color changing bulbs controlled by a smart system integrated into your property. The tech is more than affordable now and will definitely impress a potential buyer.

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Ballin on a budget

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the low budget choices to boost the price of your property. Have fun and try to work some of these changes into your spring cleaning!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Groovy Movies: Five Below Edition

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Groovy Movies: Five Below Edition

Hello! I am an avid movie lover and my favorite date nights with my boyfriend are when we go out to see something in theaters. But, I also love movie nights in where we throw on a DVD or a Netflix original. So, needless to say, discount DVD bins are my weakness! If I find a movie that I like for five bucks or under, I almost always buy it. I consider an evening of entertainment well worth the purchase, which justified snagging these two flicks during a trip to Five Below with a client:

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I was so tickled to find Elf and The Theory Of Everything at Five Below because Elf is my absolute favorite Christmas movies and The Theory Of Everything is one of my favorite movies in general. Every year for Christmas, my family ends up watching Elf one time at the very least and, now that I’m moved out, I no longer have my own copy. Son of a nutcracker! So, obviously, I needed this to bring me some holiday cheer for Christmas In July and many Christmases to come.

If you have seen The Theory Of Everything, then I am sure you can understand why I needed to purchase it. Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking was easily one of the best performances of the decade and I was completely mesmerized the first time I saw it. And I still am. And I never won’t be.

2014 was an excellent year for films because it gave me two of my favorite movies: The Theory Of Everything and The Imitation Game starring the incomparable Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician, Alan Turing. The Imitation Game is an amazing true story and definitely the next one on my “must buy” list!

What is your favorite movie? Who are your favorite movie stars? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hot Topic Hair Accessory Haul

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Hot Topic Hair Accessory Haul

Hi! It is no secret that I love hair accessories. From cute clips and scrunchies to barrettes and headbands, there is nothing better to add a healthy dose of adorable to your OOTDs. I, personally, am at a crossroads with my hair as I am torn between growing it out or just chopping it off, yet again. So, while I make this decision, I have been addicted to buying hair accessories to keep me in love with my hair even though I am not thrilled with it.

While shopping a sale at a Hot Topic near me that is closing, I couldn’t say no to some darling Disney inspired hair bling to spice up my do. And, hopefully, they will keep me feeling confident until I can *finally* make it to the hair salon on Friday. Check it out:

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I have loved the idea of hair chopsticks for forever but never saw any in a store until my shopping trip over the weekend. There is something so elegant but insanely trendy about hair sticks and, although I’ll be sporting bedazzled feathers, my mind always goes to a boss babe in the office throwing her hair into a bun and sticking pencils into it. Too. Cute. I have been wearing my hair up more often now that it’s getting longer and I can definitely see myself popping these babies in next time I’m too lazy to do my hair… Which is often. -___-

I have ALSO always loved the idea of hair cuffs like the Maleficent inspired raven one seen above. Once upon a time, I used to have two cuffs in blue and brown with a lovely, earthy pattern on them. Of course, I have no idea where they are now but, I have been on the hunt for something similar since delving into the hair accessory worm hole. I am so obsessed with the one I found because it is the edgy update that I’ve been waiting for since the cuffs I had in grade school. And, what’s wrong with wanting to channel your inner Angelina Jolie as Maleficent? Case in point.

The amethyst hair fork was kind of an impulse purchase. I can honestly say that I have no clue how to style my hair with it but the directions say to tuck a ponytail into it or something and that could be cute?! I’m sure I’ll figure it out but, if not, that’s what YouTube tutorials are for, amiright? 😀

There is nothing like some fun new hair accessories to shake the countdown to your hair cut blues and I think these pretty goodies from Hot Topic definitely did the trick!

Where do you like to shop for hair accessories? Does anyone know how to use a hair fork?! I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Umgee USA Poncho

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New Umgee USA Poncho

Hi! A very cool part of shopping at EmLeigh’s and Mama B’s in Marietta, Ohio was that it also had a few racks of consignment clothing along with their selection of brand new items. It was in the consignment rack that my eyes locked on a stunning denim blue and cream colored poncho by Umgee USA. Normally, something like that wouldn’t be my immediate choice to try on, but I was so enamored by the macrame style detailing that I just had to give it a shot. And, I’m glad I did because it obviously ended up coming home with me! Check it out:

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Everything about my new poncho is so unique and that’s why I am itching to wear it once the spring weather hits. From the paisley pattern and fringe at the bottom to the macrame detailing on the collar and sleeves, this poncho screams all things 1970s. And, as an avid fan of That 70’s Show and all of the amazing fashion in it, I was beyond excited to welcome it into my wardrobe.

I cannot wait to pair this poncho with sweet denim shorts as soon as the warm weather strikes. I also think that it would look absolutely charming with an A-line mini skirt and some platform heels. No matter how I style my Umgee USA poncho, I know that it will make a statement… A bold statement that only costed me FIVE BUCKS! You just can’t beat that!

Do you have a favorite consignment shop in your area? Which decade of fashion most inspires you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah