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Five Friday Faves | Pocket Change | July 14, 2017

If you know me I am down with the free pocket change. It adds up. There are entire websites dedicated to how to earn pennies (LITERALLY The Penny Hoarder) but seriously who has time to go through and try all of their suggestions (Justen Martian often tries stuff he reads on there LOL)?

I’ve spent time looking at a lot of “earn money by doing this” apps/sites/etc, and I’ve compiled my five favorite ones that require very little effort and whose rewards I’ve benefitted from.

001. SWAGBUCKS {site + app}

Swagbucks is my first “earn free gift cards” love. I just added up how much I’ve earned from Swagbucks in the 7ish years I’ve been a member and… get ready for this… I’ve earned $425 in PayPal cash and/or gift cards. WHAT! That’s SO MUCH MONEY. Swagbucks is pretty easy: you search + earn points. You can take surveys, daily polls and even link your debit card to earn money at connected retailers. I haven’t been using it as much recently (so dumb of me) but it’s seriously my favorite way to make money doing something I’d be doing anyway (searching the internet)

002. EBATES {site + app}

I first started noticing Ebates on Mattie’s budget recaps. She had money she was earning for shopping online and I was kind of mind-blown. Swagbucks offers Swagbucks for shopping, but this was like real money with no real threshold and I was intrigued. I really started using it last fall and since then, I’ve made $170.40 just by installing the Ebates button on Safari and clicking it before I check out on any site. I LOVE that you earn 7% back when you shop on iTunes – before I buy anything on iTunes, I go to the Ebates app, click through and then enjoy getting some change back just for buying music I was going to buy anyway!

003. SHOPKICK {app}

Last week I was at the store and took the twins on a scavenger hunt to find things and scan them. They had fun and I earned points to redeem for a gift card. So far I’ve earned $65 in free gift cards simply by opening the app when I’m wandering around the mall (you get kicks just for walking in to certain stores!) and scanning things. Often when we’re at Target and I’m looking at stuff, Justen will take my phone and go get some kicks for me.

004. SEASHELLS {site}

Okay Seashells is pretty brilliant. You buy gift cards online and you receive cash back for them. Want to know the best part? Some of them stack! For example, when I need to buy new ink for my printer, I buy a $40 Staples gift card. Then I go to staples.com and activate Ebates. I choose to pick them up in the store, saving on shipping, and then I’ve received cash back for the gift card AND cash back for Ebates. They have Amazon, iTunes (stacking potential there!), Chipotle (omg praise hands), Red Robin, Regal Cinemas, Home Depot, Walmart and Uber… to name a few. If you join using my code (mw1llubX), you’ll get $5!

005. RECEIPTPAL {app}

Last Justen checked, ReceiptPal isn’t accepting new members. He uses something similar, ReceiptHog. I love ReceiptPal because all I have to do is scan receipts and I earn points to be redeemed for Gift Cards. I recently connected my e-mail address so I automatically get points for any receipts that come to my e-mail inbox – including my Poshmark sales! That is AMAZING, because I’m earning money for gift cards just by making money! I love it so much.

There are tons and tons of ways to earn some pocket change online (that’s what I love to call these apps/sites because do you KNOW the power of saving your change for a year and then cashing it out for $110 unexpected dollars? it’s so exciting!), but these are my 5 favorite that have consistently paid out.

Have you signed up for any of these or am I missing some other great way you’re collecting pocket change?! Let me know in the comments!

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Empties Volume 12 part 2

Okay y’all for the first time EVER I’m being SO INCREDIBLY DILIGENT about using up my beauty products. I mean, I seriously have been kind of amazed by how I’ve actually been able to try Birchbox samples and how I’ve decided that if I don’t like a product, I won’t force myself to use it I will just THROW IT THE HECK AWAY.

That said, I’m prepared to start my year of monthly Empties posts… BUT FIRST… lemme finish the last one, aight?! By waiting months and months and months, I end up with a long boring list of empty products and it drives me nuts. I end up doing empties posts out of necessity (i.e. I can’t shove any more into the little box I keep them in) when I really work best with the thought of “I need to have something to show for this month.” Seeing my little pile growing makes me excited to share them. But again. Let me go back to the lat one I was doing and wrap that up first.

The Body Shop Eye ShadowΒ 
So I went to The Body Shop to buy the banana shampoo/conditioner I wrote about in the last post, and was greeted with a Buy 2 get 1 free sale. I ended up randomly picking out this eye shadow, which I ended up LOVING. It was a shimmery gold color and was so good to me down to the very last part.

Dr. Jart+ BB CreamΒ 
This used to be the allstar of my beauty routine but has been out shadowed in the past year by Root Pretty, which I’ll write about. I discovered this through Birchbox (y’all, I suck at beauty/makeup and have LOVED learning through Birchbox) This BB Cream is smooth and not shiny and is a really great product.

NYC Cheek Glow in a color I’m not sure of anymore.
I desperately need help with blush. How do you use it? Like… so serious. I had this kind of rose colored blush for a long time, and then it ran out. This was so good to me for the price (it’s a drugstore brand, which is perfect for a person who has NO IDEA what they’re doing LOL)

Benefit The Porefessional
YEP. EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. I use this literally EVERY day. It’s a little tinted, which I love. It does a really great job of minimizing pores without being greasy or heavy and it’s great for under makeup or even on its own. I love this stuff and cannot imagine my life without it. I randomly grabbed the smaller travel size while I was in line at Ulta one day, and it literally changed my life.

ELF Lip Balm Tint
Who even knows what shade this is. I threw it away because I’m over it. I don’t like it. Hard pass.

Root Pretty Pretty Booster
Okay that’s the little bottle AND most of those little tubes on the side. One of the things I LOVE about Root Pretty is that they allow you to buy little samples of like ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS. When I was trying to find the right Pretty Balm, I tried a bunch of slightly different shades until I found the one that was juuust right. And I have never looked back. πŸ˜€ The little white tubs are of the powder. It’s taken me awhile to find the best shade for me in their powder… even after thinking I discovered it, I bought a full sized powder, then ordered one more sample color and realized the sample color was so much better than the full sized powder. Mixing them together for now. πŸ™‚ {REMEMBER you can get 10% of your first purchase of $25 or more if you use my link}

Benefit Posie Balm
I wish I could remember what color this was. I got this in a Birchbox and I LOVED it. I loved the teeniest tint, because I honestly CANNOT do bold lip colors at all. Some people can rock that but I am not one of those people. which is why that bold coral Cynthia Rowley lip gloss right next to it was a HARD PASS.

True Organics Clay Mask
I’ve said it once, twice, and I’ll say it forevermore: most masks are the same to me. This is the same. Except I have this one bucket list mud mask: the GlamGlow one. Β It’s like HECKA expensive but I’ve wanted to try it for like 5 years. Maybe one day I’ll splurge?

Also those 4 perfumes? The only opinion I can give you is this: I don’t care how ‘basic’ this makes me, but I FREAKING LOVE ALL THE JUICY COUTURE SCENTS, most especially the regular one. It was my signature smell like 10 years ago and I still smell it at the store and think “oh I love you, Juicy Couture.” Maybe that will be my gift to myself when I’ve finally rid myself of mountains of beauty products and smelly things.

WE DID IT.

We finished the 12th Installment of Empties. Holy Crap, this is probably the most consistent thing my blog has ever seen. I’ve been doing them off and on for over 3 years! On my 101 listΒ is a goal to do one a month for a year, and I think I am SO READY to start that this month.

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Five Friday Faves | July 7, 2017

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HAPPY FRIDAY, Y’ALL!

For whatever reason, I feel like I kind of got back into a blogging groove.

I’m planning on switching things up on the blog – I know, I know, I’m always planning on that – but this one is in preparation of ending the year not as Stephanie Orefice any more (cue the sobs and drop me a line to tell me how y’all handled changing your name after you got married!). Because of that, I’ve been deep into the shopping around for a new theme and designing some new looks and stuff. Which means I’ve been looking at my blog a LOT, and I’ve been kind of falling back in love with it.

So today I wanted to bring you FIVE of my FAVORITE things at the moment.

001. PRINTABLE HAPPIES // etsy ;; instagram ;; facebook

I connected with Allyson on Instagram late last year, and I have LOVED watching her product catalog grow and have been waiting to order some stuff from her online, and then we got coffee and she brought me an adorable mug + some goodies.

The adorable mug:

Printable Happies Coffee Mug // stephanieorefice.net

Also, adorable us. πŸ™‚ and YES, Allyson was wearing a Printable Happies shirt and I thought that was the CUTEST THING EVER.

She showed me a product she was about to launch and I literally lost my mind. I texted Justen IMMEDIATELY and told him I’d be buying one for us. She launched them early yesterday and I 100% purchased this door mat because IT IS PERFECT.

 

Um… right? You can buy it + peruse her other great stuff on her Etsy store here (and tell her I sent ya’!).

 

 

002. ALL THINGS HARRY POTTER

Yeah, so I just finished the Harry Potter series and I’ve been writing a blog post about that for next week, but I’m seriously all about Harry Potter. Let’s talk Harry, Hogwarts, Hallows, Hagrid, Hermoine, Horcruxes… help me out, what other H words? Horace Slughorn? Herbology? Hit me with all the H HP words!

Justen and I are going to go to Universal Studios on our honeymoon (WHICH MEANS THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER) and I’m EVEN MORE excited than I was before, if that’s possible. I canNOT wait to try some butterbeer!

 

 

003. MY NEW POLYMAILERS

Super lame, I know but I am OBSESSED with the polymailers I got for my Poshmark sales. I’ve been playing with fire and maintaining two inventories, one here in Nash and one in Vancouver, hoping that nobody will bundle any items from the two. Once people starting purchasing from my inventory here, I had to pick up some polymailers because the big post office boxes were NOT cutting it. I was torn between these and watermelon ones, but I’m SO GLAD I got these. How pretty are they?! Heart eyes emoji.

 

 

004. HOMEMADE MOCHA ISAGENIX SHAKES

Late May I signed up for Isagenix and have been using their shakes throughout my day. I started with the Vanilla Chai and HATED the chocolate ones, but I started substituting the water for cold coffee and OMG. It’s like having my own mocha shake! They recently released a mocha flavored shake, and I bought two canisters… wasn’t that impressed. My homemade mocha shake is where it’s at. Also… I’m not going to be salesy about Isagenix or anything but if you ever want to chat about it, I’d love to talk to you about it and I know someone who is a fountain of Isagenix wealth. Even if you want your own protein powder… forgo the water and mix with chocolate and you’re welcome.

 

 

005. WEDDING SHOES

Y’all I am OBSESSED with trying to find my wedding shoes. I found a pair of Topshop gold glitter shoes for sale on Poshmark and LOST MY MIND, but they weren’t in my size and I couldn’t find them in my size ugh. So then I decided to just start trying to find a good pair of wedding shoes. I found some and went back and they’d sold out… and weren’t available online! Help a sister out – hit me up with ALL the pink or gold glittery shoes. I don’t necessarily want flats, but they can be flat. I never knew something like this would be such a hassle! I’m LOVING getting to see all of the pretty options, though!

 

 

Alright. I’m out. What are a few of your favorite things at the moment? ANYTHING. Foods, outfits, smells, pictures… drop me a line and let me know!

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10 Things I’m looking forward to about being married

It’s crazy to me that in a few months I’ll be married. I’m not counting down the days until our wedding, I’m counting down the days until I wake up and I’m married because while the wedding sounds awesome (and I’m thinking/guessing/hoping/planning it will be), I’m mostly looking forward to a new chapter in life with Justen.

Here are 10 reasons why I’m so excited to be married to Justen, why I’m looking forward to the days (weeks, months and years) after the wedding way more than I’m looking forward to the wedding itself. Β πŸ™‚

ONE // FINANCIAL UNITY
Today Justen sent me money for the flight I booked him. and I appreciated that, since I had paid for it, but I really can’t wait to be financially one. No more “you pay for that, I’ll pay for this,” or having to PayPal each other money or remember whose turn it is to pay for something. Not only that, but we can be united in our financial goals. I’m so grateful that Justen buys into the whole financial freedom mindset, because I know that once we get married and our finances combine, we’re going to start tackling our debt and working our way to financial freedom. It’s going to be awesome.

TWO // OUR OWN SPACE
We both live with our parents (rent is expensive, man!) and while we both love our parents (and each other’s parents!) sometimes we just want our own space to coexist. The afternoon before we took our engagement photos, we were alone at his house. Justen was getting ready and I was reading a book and I had this quick glimpse at what a Sunday afternoon could be like just the two of us AND I LOVED IT.

THREE // COMBINED GROCERIES
If I had a dollar for every time we’ve had to make quick stops at the grocery store because we needed to pick out dinner or pick up something for dinner or pick up something (etc) I’d have a lot of money. Buying groceries for one meal at a time (because we never really knew where we’d be for dinner) gets real expensive. In the spirit of Reason #1, I will be so glad to be able to go grocery shopping for the two of us and know what we have and what we need and not have to make daily trips to the grocery store.

FOUR // FOLDING JUSTEN’S TSHIRTS
Yo, Justen straight up hangs up his t-shirts. Like just regular t-shirts. I can’t wait to teach him about folding t-shirts to leave me more closet space. πŸ™‚

FIVE // STAYING IN
Because we both live with our parents, even having a night in means that one of us has to be out. The night is finished with one of us driving back home, and it never really feels like we’re just staying in. I’m looking forward to both of us relaxing in our pajamas, drinking wine and watching The Bachelorette. Not even going to edit that last sentence one tiny bit. Justen’s aware of what he’s in for.

SIX // NO MORE WORRYING ABOUT LOGISTICS
We live like 30 minute away from each other. It’s not a huge deal, could be worse, but there’s a bit of logistics involved in spending a day together. Where are we going to end up, who is going to drive, what to do about food, etc… I’ll be glad to know that we will start and end our days at the same place, making carpooling and such so much easier.

SEVEN // THINGS OF OUR OWN
Again, since we live with our parents, we have limited ‘stuff’ of our own. While we were registering, I was like… omg this stuff will be ours. Our own plates and silverware and towels and coffee pot and dish towels… and I got so excited. From that day forward all of those things will be ours.

EIGHT // SAVING MONEY
It will cost us more money to live together, but we will save so much money in not having to figure out places to go/eat and things to do. When it’s raining we’re forced inside, and most often you have to pay to do things inside (unless it’s walking around the mall, which we often do and gets boring. Paying for housing is an expected and normal life expense, whereas going out to eat or dropping money on movies isn’t.

NINE // WE CAN HANG OUT WITH OTHER PEOPLE MORE OFTEN
This is a weird one, but I’ve often felt like I don’t spend time with people who aren’t Justen because we don’t end up in the same place everything but I want to see him every day. By the time we’re both off work and get/make dinner, it’s like 7 pm and I don’t want Justen to have spent so much time driving to my side of the town and then having to go home. I think knowing that I’m guaranteed to end my day with him will give me space to make plans with other people instead of my daily plan being that I see Justen. This is hypothetical. Maybe I’ll be a person who gets married and turns into a hermit IDK.

TEN // WE CAN ACTUALLY TAKE ACTION ON OUR GOALS
For the past year or so, we’ve talked hypothetically about when we’re married. How we’d handle our money, how we’d handle dirty dishes, what goals we’d have for our finances and our family. and we’re creeping up on the day when those things aren’t hypothetical. How we handle our money becomes a daily reality. Our dirty dishes plan will be put into action. We’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work on our financial goals.

109 days until our first day married. Not that I’m counting or anything.

Also. I’ve never been married. and I’m sure there are a bunch of other things to look forward to regarding being married, but this is just what I’m looking forward to being different in 4 months. Feel free to share your own experience (or hopes/dreams) in this area. πŸ™‚

These pictures were by Sophia Rose Photography, who I am so excited to have photograph our wedding!

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6 tips to stop biting your nails

If there’s bad one habit I’ve carried with me for my whole life, it’s nail biting. It’s driven people mad, it’s made me really ashamed of my hands (and I was a piano player so that made me even ultra insecure), and I’ve even bled all over the piano because my nails were so short and I was playing so hard.

And yet.. I always acquired lots of nail polish. I’d paint my toe nails, but I always felt incomplete because I was too insecure to pain my finger nails.

Then in my senior year of high school I read an article (probably in like seventeen magazine) which mentioned that manicures were good for people trying to bite their nails because they’d go to bite them and be reminded of the work that went into taking care of them. IDK, but I started thinking beyond nails dipped in hot sauce and nasty flavored polishes to help me curb my nail biting habit.

I still struggle with nail biting, but here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me slow down my nail biting habit.

ONE // MANICURES

I’m going to have to agree with 16-years-ago seventeen magazine. When I finally overcame the guilt of having chewed down nails and went to get a manicure, I was absolutely amazed. It wasn’t just about painting my nails, but it was about taking care of all areas of my nails (the beds, the skin around it, the hands) and even when my nails were short I was able to be excited about them being well… um… manicured.

Keep in mind that if your nails are so short that you’re bleeding or it’s painful to the touch, a manicure is not for you just yet.

TWO // FILE YOUR NAILS

Yo, keep a nail file with you AT ALL TIMES, especially if you’re starting to get some traction with avoiding the nail biting. All it takes is having your nail snag on something and feeling tempted to stick that nail in your mouth and rip it off. I cannot tell you how many times my efforts to grow my nails out have been thwarted by things like sweaters and pop cans.

Julep Polish in (top to bottom) Β 1. Queen Anne 2. Cassidy 3. Randi 4. Vivien 5. Jessica
(sign up for a subscription and get your first box free here)

THREE // NAIL POLISH

Keeping your nails painted is a great way to avoid nail biting, especially if you go with bold, bright colors. As you bring your fingers to your mouth, the color is almost a warning that what you’re about to do might have some consequences – you’ll suddenly be forced to connect the idea of chipped, broken, messed up nails with the desire to bite your nails. I’ve found that keeping my nails painted is a really great way to avoid biting them. In fact, sometimes if I notice my nails are getting exceptionally long I will literally go “I NEED TO PAINT MY NAILS RIGHT NOW” because the longer my nails are, the more tempted I am to tear them to shreds. Why that is, I’m not sure.

I’m like a nail polish hoarder, so on my 101 list I made the goal of getting rid of all but 5 nail polishes and using them until they’re empty. When I came to Nashville, I only brought a few of them and I’ve been considering keeping these 5. I used to have a Julep subscription, and then I realized that I would literally never go through all of the nail polish I got at the rate I was acquiring them (I kept forgetting to skip the month!) and so I cancelled my subscription. But the polishes dry really fast and they have a huge plethora of colors.

Lollia Handcreme (my FAVORITE – wish is my fave scent) / VS Pink Warm & Cozy Hand Sanitizer

FOUR // LOTION AND HAND SANITZER

IDK if you’ve licked a pile of lotion or hand sanitizer lately, but they are 1. foul and 2. really bad for you. It’s kind of like dipping your fingertips in hot sauce but it also has a benefit – keeping your hands moisturized helps prevent hangnails, keep your hands soft and often give you a fun little scent. Β I’ve also found that when my hands are moisturized, I have no real desire to bite my nails. Like fresh out of the shower? Nail biting isn’t as fun or rewarding.

The hand sanitizer, though. If I’m desperate to not bite my nails (think hangnail and I don’t have a nail file) I will put hand sanitizer on. It is the biggest nail biting aversion I have at my disposal.

tips to help you stop biting your nails // stephanieorefice.net

PBJ Smoothie lip gloss / Root Pretty Pretty Balm in Ballet {10% off your first $25+ purchase if you shop with my link}

FIVE // LIP GLOSS, LIPSTICK + MINTS

Wearing colored lipstick or lip gloss helps because it creates a mess when you bite your nails. Seriously, I dare you to try and bite your nails without touching your lips. and then I dare you to put lipstick on and try to bite your nails without getting lipstick on your hands. There’s something about additional consequences beyond fingers hurting and short ugly nails that makes you stop and think twice.

I always try to keep mints on hand so I can pop them in my mouth as a deterrent. Nail biting is considered an oral compulsive habit, so giving your mouth something else to do (like mints or gum) helps, too.

tips to help you stop biting your nails // stephanieorefice.net

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies on Amazon

SIX // VITAMINS

I converted to these gummy biotin vitamins after seeing Caitlin switch from Olly over to these Β (her arguments are solid – cheaper and more servings) and regardless of if it actually helps me grow my hair and nails longer and stronger, I feel like it does and sometimes it’s mind over matter. When I take vitamins to help my nails grow, I feel like I have to help my body out by biting them less. Probably all in my head, like most things are πŸ˜‰

My nails are definitely not long and beautiful, but if you’d seen where they were at when I was 15 and where they’re at now they look like they belong to a completely different person. I’m a big fan of taking whatever little tiny wins I can get, so these are all of the ways I have little victories over my nail biting habit.

Drop me a comment if you’ve got some tips and tricks I’ve never heard or if you have experience as a chronic nail biter!

ps painting my nails was totally on my list of goals for this month and that’s what sparked this blog post πŸ™‚

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