Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Favorite Things (#1): Costco Prints, Cleaning Products, and Makeup

The best tips/tricks/products are always recommendations from a friend or a blog (from people who have actually used the product, not some beauty magazine editor who maybe tried it once), so I thought I'd compile a list of some of my favorites as of lately.


#1 Costco Prints - Hey Costco members, did y'all know you can order prints online and have as few or as many 4"x6" prints shipped to your home (or grandma's home..or whomever) and the shipping is free? So sweet! No need to pick them up. Suddenly, getting prints is so hassle free. Uploading is fast, prints are cheap, and as long as you don't need the prints immediately (it takes 6-9 business days to ship), you're set.

#2 Jamba Juice - I've been spreading this news far and wide because people need to know! Hate sharing your Pomegranite Pick-Me-Up with your wee one because they commandeer it immediately? Jamba will split any size smoothie into a little 8 oz. cup for easy sharing. It's free and makes life that much easier.

#3 Non-Cash Charity Donations - If you itemize your deductions and you don't write down the items you donate to D.I., Goodwill, or whatever, you are basically throwing money away. We are low/average goodwill donaters and we saved about $24 on last year's return by actual taking the deduction you get for making non-cash donations to charities. Not enough to retire on, I know, but hey--that paid for the pair of jeans and scarf I just bought. The easiest way to do it is to print out a donation value guide, like this one, put all your stuff in a pile, and as you put it in a bag for donation, make a tally mark next to the type of item you're donating (e.g. Women's T-shirt). Then total everything up (I always take the minimum estimated value--I'm pretty conservative), staple it to the receipt you get from the charity itself (the receipt is a deduction requirement), add it to your tax file, then make sure you include it when you file your tax return.

#4 Family Airport Line - Maybe you've seen these family airport lines at some TSA security checkpoints. The line is usually short/nonexistent. But did you know that some airports have them, they're just not labeled as such? At the San Jose Airport, at least, the last time I was waiting around in line, a TSA officer directed me to the 1st Class Passenger line and told me it doubled as the family line, it just wasn't labeled. Sweet! Check into your local/destination airport before your next trip. It saves us at least 20 minutes each way.


#5 Tilex Mold and Mildew - I heard about this product from this blog and am a total fan. Like Natalie warns, this stuff is pretty caustic, but works SO well. I went from wanting to re-grout my bathroom to loving life.

#6 Norwex washcloths - My family started buying these body washcloths (they also sell cleaning cloths) last summer and gave me one. I started using it on my face and holy cow! I'm going to sound like an infomercial, but I can't tell you what a difference it made for my face. I've been going to a dermatologist forever, but this has made a bigger difference than every prescription acne medication I've tried. It wasn't miraculous at first, then I realized I wasn't being aggressive enough. There was a lot of peeling while my skin renewed itself, but what emerged felt like a brand new face. My skin isn't flawless, I still get blemishes occasionally, and I still have scars (although I feel like even those have gotten better), but the texture of my face is smooth for the first time since...6th grade? They're around $25 for a 3-pack, but SOOOO worth it. I usually think washcloths in general are grody, but these are antibacterial. Bonus!
UPDATE: People have been asking me where you can find these. It sells through consultants. I've been getting mine through my friend Melanie. Her website is here and it can mail straight to your door: http://melaniewendler.norwex.biz/?p=n&sectid=4&cid=1&pid=309042

#7 Bare Minerals Solid Mineral Foundation - I have always been a Bare Minerals fan, but felt like I lost a lot of product to the wind with powder flying everywhere. This new compact is so much faster to use and works so much better. Love it.  Super pricey ($29), but a little goes a long way so this will last me a while and it saves me so much time in the morning. I like to apply using a kabuki brush.
 bareminerals ready foundation spf20 review

#8 Undereye Concealer - I got tired of people constantly telling me how tired I looked. It's genetics, people! And don't you remember that scene from Stepmom? Women do not like being told they look tired. I finally invested in a good concealer palate (Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge - $30 from Sephora - several shades available) and used this method from Kandee Johnson, who is my favorite makeup artist. It's probably better suited for who are at least medium coverage make-up users (aka not for people who don't also wear some kind of liquid or powder foundation), but I haven't had a "tired" comment since.
Laura Mercier - Secret Camouflage

#9 The Happiness Project - I know I've mentioned this a couple times already, but that's because it's made such a big difference in my life lately. It's what has me blogging again, getting out and doing things, keeping my house much tidier, and generally just loving life. It's not poetry, scripture, or fine literature, but I guarantee it will motivate you to make some positive changes in your life that will, in fact, make you happier. Nothing preachy or too self-helpish, it just makes you realize that all those things you've been meaning and wanting to do? Yes, you should do them. And once you start reading this book, you will.

10 - You Tell Me

Airport Tips - Any tricky tips that make your life easier when you're jet-setting?

Product Review - Any Makeup products you're loving lately?

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