Feb 12, 2018

Shopping for Free...

Who doesn't love a great deal on anything with Trolls?

Just ask my daughters, they are Trolls crazy at the moment!

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All items purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own. This post contains safe links.

I'm addicted to the Sears app. I hadn't used it before and really wasn't paying attention to my reward deets such as free cash points, coupons, and surprise points. I knew I had the rewards account but was just using paper coupons in the store up to this point. Every now and then I even shopped there sans my account info, so plenty of times I probably had points or free cash that I was missing out on.

So you can imagine my curiosity after receiving an email that said something like 'Use your free cash before it expires'....

Free cash?

I'm in! 

Shopping for items to use free cash or points is pretty fun. For example if the reward says '$10 free cash to use on $10 in store or online' I try to only use $10, sometimes more. If it is for something that can't be passed up and say the item cost $15 I'll use it for that. The 'free cash' can be any amounts, mine have varied - $5, $3, $10, $15, $16. Not that the free cash is limited to these amounts, these are just the amounts that I have been rewarded with. 

The really fun rewards are the ones that be used if the dollar amount off is the same as the threshold amount - like $10 on $10 or $14 on $14, etc. So you end up shopping for things for free and just end up paying some tax or a small amount if the item is over the free cash amount. You can't use it if the free cash reward is $10 and the item cost $9.99, for example, so the cost of the item must be $10 or more. Just like most coupons free cash rewards have expiration dates and have exclusions - not everything can be bought using rewards. You can only use 1 reward in each order so you can't combine any 2. You also can't use free cash or points AND a promo code in 1 order altogether, it won't work. To avoid paying a shipping cost (for anything under $25) I try to shop from the Sears in store stock and just drop by and pick up at my nearest Sears, which is like 1 mile away 😉.

Read about it or sign up here.

Here are some of the items that I bought from the Sears App that cost me almost nothing. I have 2 more orders in the works - a pair of shoes and a shirt for my son!

Tea Tree special formula shampoo has my heart...

Our city has been experiencing some strange weather patterns. 

Snow. Cold. Heat. and rain probably all within a 2 month span....Sometimes not even that. Last year we had all of that in a week span!

I love the cold. I wish it could be cold all year round. What I don't like is the rain AND cold. When the sun comes through and gives us warmth but still at 40 degree weather....Perfection.

While I sit today and hope for no more rain 😑 and scaring my family with my loud sneezing 😄 I wanted to share a few thoughts about this shampoo that was given to me by Maple Holistics. Such a delightful shampoo because the scent is amazing....

Tea Tree Special formula shampoo

Cost: $8.95

Amount in bottle: 8 Ounces

Made with: Aqua, jojoba oil, botanical keratin, argan oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil (and other ingredients, see ingredients list in this post).

What is Tea Tree oil? Melaleuca oil from the leaves of a tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia.

How I feel about this shampoo:

It's pretty good. According to their website, it is suppose to be beneficial in eliminating dry flakes, among other things but this benefit was one that I was hoping for when trying it out. Dry scalp flakes have been the norm for me nearly all my life, no shampoo has really worked for me. I think only once dry scalp stayed away for a good month, but it always comes back. I don't think it's the type or brand of shampoo, I just believe I have really dry scalp up there!

The first time I used MH tea tree I noticed the scent and the feel of my hair. Aside from the scent, my hair felt clean, manageable, semi soft, and was free from a majority of my scalp flakes. I didn't use it continuously because it only came with 8 ounces and I wanted to see a pattern of benefits as I tried it. I used other shampoos between my use of MH. Every time I went back to MH it was like my hair appreciated the pampering. My hair would feel better and stay that way between shampoos. 

Just recently I started experimenting with no shampoo'd hair. It had nothing to do with the MP shampoo I just wanted to see how my hair would act, just wanted to not have to wash it every day. Well I didn't like it much. After the 1st day (or after 15 hrs sometimes) my hair was very oily, dry flakes would stick around longer (even after brushing or combing), it was unmanageable, and oil would make it's way to my face and ears (oily face and ears, yuck). After this revelation no shampooing for a couple of days was out of question because either way, shampoo or not, I will have flakes. I'll just live with that. 

The point is....If I could just have 2 days (maybe 3) where I'd have a very small amount of dry scalp, yes yes and yes! Even if the oil showed up less dramatic by the 2nd or 3rd day - yes again! 

I can do that with this shampoo.

The only thing that keeps me from using MH tea tree every time I shampoo is that it contains only 8 ounces of product. I have long hair, down to my waist nearly...the whole bottle would probably last one month maybe a half longer......So if MH could make a larger bottle for us long haired gals that would be great! 

Maple Holistics free sample - here

Similar products that I've used include Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo but haven't used this in years, so not sure if the formula has changed since then - 

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo ($14)
Amount:10.14 ounces
Made with Tea tree oil, Peppermint and lavender

Disclaimer: Products provided by Maple Holistics at no cost. My opinions are my own. This post contains safe links.

Feb 1, 2018

Premier Designs Review, 2017

I'm sorry for this unusually late post....no excuses!

The laptop I was using for years started to act up, giving me mouse problems and was so difficult to work with.....we bought 2 more laptops during the summer, we moved, and life just kept happening....all that together led to my absence from blogging!

Let's stop the small talk and talk about fun girly things 😊.....

I have a past due review of a few pieces of jewelry from Premier Designs (2017), which is a independent consultant, direct sales type of company that grows from the same tree like Mary Kay, Avon, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, etc etc. Sells are made typically during a jewelry party and hosts earn jewelry credit to get free pieces of jewelry from their catalogs, which is exactly how I ended up with these pieces. In my opinion Premier Designs offers one of the best host benefit, offering at least 50% of the party sales as well as offering monthly specials to earn even more free jewelry. Find out more here.

One of my favorites!!👇👇

Premier Designs, Stately ($46) Antique matte silver with crystal

The ring is gorgeous. The finish is described by PD as an antique matte silver but in my opinion looks more like a very matte white silver. There is almost no shine to it at all. The finish is so pretty, I wished I had more pieces with this type of finish. I like wearing this ring on my middle finger since it is large and takes up space on my finger so the reason probably has a lot to do with my fingers being so short, turns to naturally wearing my larger rings on my middle finger. The front crystal details shine bright. I'm realizing pictures here don't match the reality because the crystals are breath taking in person. Not only are the circular dots all along the ring a great touch for the design they are almost perfect in size and spacing. Every aspect of the ring is perfect in my opinion. The ring looks like it was designed and made with much care and the details are pristine. 

The only piece that was really looking forward to wasn't as nice as I thought it would be....actually turned out to be a big disappointment.

Premier Designs, Gray Mist ($46) Antique matte silver and Mother of pearl

The stone looked great, it was the silver that gave me issues. 

Worn, tattered, distressed is not how I wanted my jewelry to look. For me, the only way this type of finish is okay is if it's worn or distressed from everyday use, etc. While I think the worn and distressed look does look pretty when done correctly, I don't dismiss the look and style of it, I just think it has to be done correctly. In my opinion there is an art to it, just like other ways of creating jewelry. I own certain pieces of jewelry finished with this type of distressed/worn style, I like the way it looks....but I'm just not feeling this PD ring.

The first ring they sent me looked worn and used. The consultant assured me that was the finish/style on the ring they were going for. Wasn't happy with that so I asked for a second ring to compare. The second ring they sent wasn't any better....Worn, distressed, and had a small scratch on the stone and scratch on the silver part where the ring widens. Returned them both. It's disappointing because this ring could be gorgeous if not for the distressed look. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

A few more items that caught my eye include a inspirational bracelet, silver earrings, and a set of silver bangles. I had more items on my mind but found them to be over-priced.

Premier Designs Sea Spray ($29) Rhodium plated

Stunning, fun, and lightweight.

Using stoppers on the hook is a must when wearing these earrings, they are very light weight!
The design is nothing like I've ever seen. Perfect for adding more flair to your outfit. I usually wear these earrings with a floral top or a top with one simple color. 

Premier Designs, Sentiments ($39) Antique matte silver, brass, 
copper plated with crystal and cotton

For some reason the Sentiments bracelet is least worn of all my PD jewelry. I think I've worn it only once.

I'm not sure why but I feel uncomfortable wearing the black cotton cord. It's not the silver aspects that disconnect me, but I'm thinking it's the black cotton cord on this otherwise beautiful bracelet. Even so if the silver aspects were strung on a different type of cord, maybe silver, bronze, or even white cord I think it would look better and would lead me to wear it more. Now having said that I see a DIY project in my future.

Premier Designs, Stacktastic ($49) Antique Matte silver and crystals

Pretty and chic. I don't usually wear all 5 of these bracelets together since they make a ton of noise. I love wearing only 1, 2, or 3 if I'm in a good mood....I'm sometimes a minimalist 😀 The look of silver adds a nice touch to my outfits. I rarely wear the one with repeated crystals (left side). 

Aside from all the beauty I did however run into a bit of a conspiracy involving these earrings, which I may or may not have lost it's other half 😏....

These (above) are Premier Designs earrings called Lilac ($28) 
Matte silver plated with purple epoxy. 

The design is paisley swirl, peacock inspired. Very light-weight so I use stoppers on the ear hook to stop them from falling out.

I went to Wal-Mart one day.....I wasn't looking for anything particular, just window shopping....

Those look familiar. My first thought.
They are literally the same earring.

The Wal-Mart version is obviously silver with blue epoxy and obviously more affordable.

I thought my mind was playing tricks so I went home to look at my PD versions. Then went back to purchase the Wal-Mart earrings (they were very cheap, like under $3), then went back home to compare and couldn't believe the resemblance. Same print, same hook (irrelevant), same type of metal except the PD earrings are silver plated and based with common oxidizer.

Were the PD earrings bought at the same distributor as Wal-Mart? Then did PD go and dip them in matte silver?

I don't have a problem with the idea of companies using pre-cut designs for earrings but I thought PD designed their own jewelry? I thought they had a design team to figure out all of this? I didn't think using a cheap 'Made in China' piece of metal was even an option they had. I'm kind of disappointed about it. Countless times I've been told the company takes pride in their work and is geared to honesty. But can you be both proud and honest using material for pennies to then sell for a profit? And how many more companies do this? It's like finding out Wal-Mart and Neiman Marcus sell the same pair of shoes. To be fair I must think about all the other pieces of PD jewelry that are probably no different than these earrings. It could have all just started off as a cheap metal that they carefully plated in silver, I don't know. All I know is that I'm shocked the same design somehow ended up on two totally opposite platforms.

By coincidence I wear the Wal-Mart version a lot more than the PD version! Like honestly the PD versions are very pretty with the oxidization to give it that antique silver look that I love, but the blue and silver on the WM version are somehow more practical and go with jeans since they are blue.

Disclaimer: All items were earned by my jewelry party sales as a host perk. All opinions are my own. This post contains safe links.