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Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

Holiday gift giving guide by frugie

 

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. I have cleaned up more pee behind the toilet than I can imagine, I have scooped plenty of cat poop, dog poop, cat puke and dog puke. Not to mention the dog puke I have caught in my actual bare hands. I have not smothered McSweetie with a pillow when he uses the last square of toilet paper leaving me high, and well, not dry.

So in the spirit of giving, I would like world peace, an end to world hunger, all the orphans to be adopted, a self folding dryer, and all the Kate Spade hand bags you can fit in your sleigh.

That’s really not too much to ask. Okay fine. That’s a lot to ask.

How about instead, I can get something from just these brands I list? See? Easy peasy.

Thanks Santa! Love, Frugie

Welcome to Holiday Gift Giving by Frugie

I wanted to give you guys my favorite things, kind of like Oprah, but instead of free refrigerators and iPads, I can only offer some discount codes! Also, because these are small, family owned businesses, you’ll be helping them have a great holiday too by shopping from their sites.

Don’t laugh, but I seem to be jewelry heavy in my list- from handmade, to global treasures, I know you will find something to put on your wish list.

 

JJ Caprices

Want a necklace from Paris? How about earrings from Israel? Something so unique and gorgeous, you will feel like royalty. Jen from JJ Caprices travels everywhere to buy jewelry to sell on her site. I totally want to be her. She goes to gorgeous destinations and brings back equally gorgeous baubles. I met her at MamaCon and fell in love with her gorgeous pieces. AND for my readers she has a 10% discount code- FRUGALISTA.  You will love the unique pieces and there’s something in every price range.

holiday gift guide jj caprices

Frugie blog holiday gift guide jj caprices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Jules

Like handmade jewelry with a quirky side? Are you a Doctor Who or Harry Potter fan? Penny Jules incorporates charms and whimsy in each piece that has a distinct characteristic from your favorite iconic movies, pop culture favorites and Disney movies. You will gush over the cuteness. Remember my Doctor Who tardis necklace in my favorites video? Check her out-

frugie blog holiday gift guide penny jules

 

 

Last jewelry site, I promise.

Starfish Project

How would you like to buy jewelry and help a woman over come poverty and exploitation in Asia? Starfish Project employs women in Asia to make jewelry, earn a living, get vocational training, health care and counseling that otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunities.

This Black Friday they have a Buy One Get One deal. Check it out.

frugie blog holiday gift guide starfish project

holiday gift guide starfish project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now how do you plan on wrapping all that?

Artistry Gift Wrap

Check out Artistry Gift Wrap for a truly unique gift wrap and giving experience. I love these papers. You can get greeting cards, ribbons, and bows and so many cute bibs and bobs. What are bits and bobs? I don’t know. BUT having seasonal gift wrap sent to you with a subscription service is a gift in itself. Maybe you have that crafty aunt, or awesome neighbor that has a ‘gift room’. They will be wowed by Artistry Gift Wrap. Check out their November specials BLACKFRI40 and soon to be December specials.

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

frugie blog holiday gift guide artistry gift wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Ryan Skincare

Looking for fabulous skin care that’s not a lot of money, but completely natural and without unnecessary ingredients? Kate Ryan Skincare is a company run by 3 women who want what’s best for women and their faces and their budgets! Amazing products and you need to try their Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to keep the winter months from dulling your skin. Every Kate Ryan Skincare package comes like a little present- I love it. I have a YouTube video using their products.

holiday gift guide kate ryan skincare

 

Women for Women International

And now for something a little different. Want to get a gift for someone but that will benefit someone else? How about buying some baby chicks for a mom in Nigeria? Or a goat for a woman in Afghanistan? Women for Women International is an organization that matches you with a ‘sister’ that lives in parts of the world such as the middle east or other war torn nations that without these programs, would be without education, job training or even safety. I love hearing who my sister is every 6 months. I’ve gotten Christmas cards, Easter cards and other tokens of gratitude from a woman around the globe, that I’ve never met, but thanking me and telling me I’m in her prayers because of the difference my money has done for her. Over 8 countries, more than 420,000 women have been saved from crisis and poverty through this program. Please check them out and see what you can give.

frugie blog holiday gift guide

 

 

I hope these gift ideas give you inspiration and help make your holiday season a little brighter. I completely endorse and stand behind each one of these brands and was in no way compensated for this post. I just want to spread good cheer! Let them know I sent you.

 

I Know Everything, a teen driving safety campaign #JustDrive

 

 

I Know Everything JustDrive Campaign for Teen Driver Safety Week

Young adults, teens especially, can feel invincible. Even immortal. Life is peachy. It’s a combination of freedom but without too much responsibility.

You don’t need someone to watch you cross the street, or buckle you in a car seat. You can buy your own Starbucks with your friends, go to a movie kinda late and not miss bedtime.

And when you get your license to drive- oh boy! The world is your oyster.

But let’s just remember what driving actually means.

It’s not a status symbol. It’s not your ticket to being cool. It isn’t a chick magnet. It is you moving a 2 ton vehicle along at speeds not humanly possible.

It is a means to get from point A to point B. That’s it.

And grownups- listen up- I’m talking to you too. I don’t care about your raised up chassis or your fancy rims. I just want you to pay attention when you’re behind the wheel!

I’m proud to be part of the IKnowEverything.com campaign from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

The number one cause of teen deaths in the U.S. is traffic accidents.

Let me repeat that.

The number one cause of teen deaths in the U.S. is traffic accidents.

Well that just makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I always tell my kids that I have to be paying attention while I’m driving to make up for the folks on the road that aren’t.

Please take a couple minutes to watch the following PSA. Even better, watch it with your teens.

And remember #JustDrive. Don’t do anything else behind the wheel.

 

 

Don’t leave home without it!

We all have the days where drop-off can start in the morning, you run errands, hit appointments, tow little kids, pick up more kids, head to soccer, ballet, PTA…. You get the idea.

I’ve had those days where I have eaten random Andies Mints from my purse for lunch because I didn’t even have time to go to a drive-thru. But those days are even more crazy when your phone battery is running on red.

“Connect charger” are not the words you want to see across the screen when you’re trying to catch up on emails sitting in the orthodontist waiting room. Or trying to get a hold of your pediatrician while you step outside from volunteering at your kid’s school book fair.

Oh we’ve all been there!

myCharge Giveaway

 

Even the most organized Mom will tell you things can change at the last minute, and Moms of all people can’t afford to run out of power…we mean for your phone or tablet, of course! myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day – and all school year – long, so they’re giving the gift of portable power so you’re never left in the red!

To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

myCharge HUB6000

 

Additionally, 40 winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).

 

myCharge Energy Shot

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers such as Target and Kohl’s.

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 – October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post from myCharge.

When your 5th grader goes to camp

Sending your 5th grader to camp by Frugalista Blog

When your 11 year old goes to 5th grade camp and you miss him, he might not miss you as much as you thought he would. Which is probably a good thing. Fly little birdie fly. (sniff, sniff)

Owen just finished 48 hours away from home at 5th grade camp. This was his first camp-out without his dad. He’s done Cub Scouts before but always with his dad. And dad always had a cell phone. So I would text and check updates, looking for Facebook pictures or statuses.

But this time, no dad. No cell phones. It felt weird.

I completely trusted him in the care of his teacher and the other adults there. But I wondered if he was missing me. Did he let tears fall on his pillow at night when the cabin was dark and he heard every little creak and hum? When he could hear other campers snoring and he felt far from home and alone did he muffle his cries in his pillow? Okay, so that was me when I was 11 at camp. Not that I’m trying to impress my experiences on him, but I did have a certain empathy for what he might be going through.

Camp is an exhilarating and exhausting rite of passage for kids this age. A bonding experience with classmates that if you’re lucky, you’ll have camp memories 30 years later with those friends and you form Facebook groups.

I even remember my camp songs, the Smokey The Bear award, the film canister survival kit I made, the weird ‘hamburger surprise’ dinner that was served that first night.

I remember crying while saying good bye to the friends I made from other schools. We wrote letters to each other for probably the following 6 months and then lost touch.

Owen said there were no tears shed. He said the food was awful but they still cleared their plates.

They measured their ‘ort’ or leftovers, for their table. Only take what you’re going to eat. I love camp. Sharing the value of limiting waste! He said by the last meal his table had zero ort.

He shared the songs his cabin sang when they had to line up for meal times. A different one each time, they would line up, sing their song or chant, and the cabin with the best, got to go in the dining hall first. A sample of one of them to the tune of Selena Gomez’s, “If You’re Ready Come and Get It”- “Lunch is ready, come and get it, nanana na na na.” He said they won pretty much every time.

They performed a skit and won the trophy for best skit. Or something like that.

He told me about a tumble he took off of some tight rope. That didn’t sit too well with me. But hey, he’s fine. It’s camp, not Navy Seals. Or Meatballs.

I was disappointed to hear there was no Square Dancing. How do you not have Square Dancing? We had Square Dancing. What is camp without the humiliation and exhilaration of having to touch a boy’s hand? Hoping he won’t know that yours are sweaty.

O Johnny O Johnny O was my favorite. I can do it for you if you’d like. Maybe a YouTube video?

I have to at least teach Owen. Do si do-ing and going to your ‘corner girl’, THAT is what camp is!

So Owen got off the bus looking exhausted but happy. He smelled of camp fire and hair gel. He asked for Starbucks. Then he went home, changed his clothes, grabbed his iPhone and was out the door to a friend’s house!

Wait just a minute.

Where was my chit chat over tea and scones? I needed to hear every detail!

Hmm. It wasn’t going to happen at that moment. I needed to let him go and let him run off his antsy feeling of connecting with the friends that didn’t go to camp.

Eventually, he shared a whole bunch over a game of 2 square in the driveway with me. Trust me, I will keep drawing camp details out of him as the days go on. I’m guessing there will be several rounds of Foosball, 2 square, and hoops to get him to talk.

I’m okay with that.

 

CoverGirl’s newest INSTAGLAM collection- Hit or Miss?

Cover Girl InstaGlam Review by Frugalista Blog

I was recently watching one of my favorite YouTube beauty guru’s review of the latest CoverGirl products.

I had to try them myself. So off I went to Walgreen’s and stocked up.

This recent collection is a big campaign with CoverGirl cover girl, Katy Perry. I definitely think it is geared for a young audience since it claims to keep you looking fabulous and photo ready.

Think “selfie”.  If you’re going to Instagram yourself, might as well look Instaglam. Get it?

Okay.

I tried 3 products. Well, two were the same. I wasn’t sure of the foundation color, whether it was going to be too orangey or too light. So I bought 120 and 205.

The 120 is too light. And don’t be fooled. It looks dark in the tube. The 205 is perfect for my light/medium complexion.

I swatched a little on my cheek in the car, and was not pleased.

But then, I applied it at home over a primer, and I couldn’t believe how well it covered and blended. It didn’t settle in my pores or lines. It seemed to have a smooth velvety finish.

The powder was the other product I tried. It claims to be a foundation powder. I didn’t use it alone as foundation, but instead used it to set the liquid foundation. I tried the light/medium #205 in this product and it seemed perfect.

The compact seems a little chintsy plastic. But hey- it’s less than $10. I liked the way it set the makeup and even the touch-ups during the day did not seem cakey or chalky.

Other items in the collection I didn’t try are the concealer and the lip gloss.

The products I did try, I give a thumbs up. All claim to be oil free and suitable for sensitive skin.

I had a hard time finding these online. But they were at my local Walgreens. Not sure if they’ve hit Target or Ulta stores yet.

Let me know if you want me to review any other products out there!

Have fun!

 

Let’s go shopping!

Shopping can bring a visceral reaction to most. For some it’s therapy. For others it’s torture. Like when I shop with my daughter at Forever 21. That is torture. Okay, I admit, I got a really cute sweater there with the Union Jack on it. I have an Anglo obsession. It is perfect for me to wear on whatever day Great Britain celebrates their 4th of July that isn’t the 4th of July.

When I was a little girl, my mom introduced me to the hunt of the bargain. She would take me to a department store’s bargain basement and we would comb the racks and shoe aisles for hours. We got there early. We arrived with our bellies full and our bladders empty. If nature called in the middle of a tag sale, you might miss out on those black and white polka-dot Zodiac oxfords that are 50% off. Yes- I did buy those in the 10th grade.

But she also taught me the value of the piece. In those days she still sewed clothes for us from time to time. She even knit and crocheted sweaters for us. But there came a day when she found a good deal on a Karen Kane pleated skirt marked down so much, that it beat the price of any yardage at a fabric store.

These skills carried with me throughout my adult years. On my college burrito budget days I would spend a free afternoon shopping sale racks with my hard-earned paycheck from working retail part time. I knew what to look for- a silk blouse, an Italian sweater, double ply cashmere, a white cotton shirt.

When I moved out to my own address the excitement of receiving catalogs in the mail was a new experience. This opened up a whole new world of purchasing! This was before the internet. I didn’t shop online then. I called in my order to the 1-800 number provided on the customer page! This was the early 90s. I didn’t even own a computer. One of the first catalogs I remember receiving was the Spiegel catalog. It was over-sized and had a nice heft.

I had left the retail world and was working in an office setting. I worked a 9 to 5 job and was an executive assistant. I tried to look the part. The Spiegel catalog was perfect. Within budget and classic pieces that would wear well.  I remember a trench coat I ordered that I loved! I probably wore it until my post partum days when I put on a few pounds and it no longer fit.

Nowadays, I think a majority of my shopping is online. I still love the hunt, but so many websites offer such great shipping and handling deals as well as  the convenience of trying things on in my house, which beats an ill-lit dressing room.

And one of my latest online websites I’ve discovered is called Ultimate Outlet. It’s like the clearance racks of both Spiegel, Newport News and Shape FX combined! The deals are incredible. Pants for $8, pencil skirts for $7, even a cute tote bag for $11.

How had I not heard of this site before? If you’re not familiar with Shape FX, it’s clothing that has the shape wear built in. From jeans to swim wear! Once I ordered a really great pair of white wide-legged jeans and they were so cute for the summer.

Things to keep in mind; Ultimate Outlet sales are final. These are bargain prices but not all sizing and selection is available. The merchandise changes, just like the way markdown or clearance racks change in stores.

Thanks to the people at Ultimate Outlet for introducing me to their stuff and sponsoring this post. All the words and stories belong to me, of course, because who else would write them?

Happy hunting!

Ultimate Outlet online discount shopping website

 

What’s on that mannequin? Yes, you did just see that.

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She was a very precocious, inquisitive little girl. Okay- this girl is Emma. Let me just put it out there now. She is/was and will always be wicked smart, clever and with a wit that smacks you up side the head.

For example- Many years ago, she and I were shopping at the mall. I stopped in to Victoria Secret to purchase some of their bras on sale. We were standing in line. She was 5 years old. There was a mannequin placed near us where we were standing dressed in the usual VS lingerie. She takes the waistband of the underwear on the mannequin pulls it out and peeks down inside the panties. Snapping them back, she looks at me and says, “Why don’t mannequins have hair down there like you mommy?”

***pause for comedic effect***

 

Are you still laughing? I’ll give you a minute…..

Fast forward to today. American Apparel has placed in their New York store window display, get this- mannequins with pubic hair!

The 5 year old Emma would be so thrilled!

American Apparel is a very uhm, shall we say, fashion forward, clothing company. First there was their period tee. I’ll let you just click on that and it can sink in.

Then there is the window display like this:

American Apparel pubic hair mannequins

photo credit news.com.au

To be honest with you, I don’t have a problem with this.

Here’s why.

I’m used to seeing a garden area on a lady. My own! Never waxed, never will.

What’s the big deal about a toupee shoved inside lady’s underwear? Come on, this is what it looks like, admit it!

Hey, Donald Trump called, he’s looking for his comb-over.

It’s liberating to know that between these mannequins and Cameron Diaz’s declaration for not removing pubic hair, we can know that the movement of ‘au natural’ is approaching.

Somewhere there’s a mannequin wherehouse in India figuring out how to add extensions to the crotchal region of their mannequins.

Small forest creatures can stay warm inside display windows in Manhattan.

We can now have more awkward conversations with our kids waiting in line at department stores if this catches on.

How has this not already happened in Europe?

Who is in charge of keeping those bushes tidy and tangle free on those mannequins?

I’m guessing that in 20 years those mannequins are going to resemble the Midge Barbie that still sits in my doll case from childhood with what looks like a lump of fuzzy plastic pubic hair on her head.

Well sorry. Not sorry.

We can’t be ashamed of some pubic hair. Come on people. This is how nature intended it. Embrace your hairiness. Or schedule an appointment for a Brazilian. You decide.

My question- what is next then with male mannequins? Oh Lord…. I see a blog post in the future…..

Mannequins with pubic hair- it's true

I have Downton Abbey fever. And my blogging friends have it too!

It’s not just me. A whole bunch of us bloggers are in a tizzy over this Masterpiece Classic. But before you get yourself overly concerned like Mrs. Crawley, keep calm like Mr. Carson and be a good and loyal servant, like Mr. Barrow. Oh wait, scratch that. His loyalty is somewhat vexing isn’t it?

Well, whatever. The only fix for this fever is more episodes. So get a cuppa (that’s British for cup of tea) and read all these fabulous posts from my friends while we wait for Sunday’s latest episode. From Twitter to the blogosphere, our Downton friends always amuse us-

And don’t forget last Sunday’s post of mine and all my Dowager Countess zingers.

 

It’s like a Downton Abbey party- and you’re invited!

 

http://www.themomoftheyear.net/2014/01/the-downton-tweet-storm.html

http://underachievingdomesticgoddess.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-return-of-downtonhallelujah.html?m=1

http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2013/01/which-downton-character-are-you.html

http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com/10-things-that-bothered-me-about-downton-abbey/

http://www.sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms.com/2014/01/if-you-give-a-girl-some-downton-shes-gonna-want-a-party-to-go-with-it/

http://www.momsnewstage.com/2014/01/what-if-downton-abbey-characters-blogged.html

Downton Abbey returns. Bloody hell it’s about time.

And thank goodness tonight’s premiere is 2 hours long.

I am in withdrawals over all the goings on with the Granthams, the Crawleys and O’Brien and Daisy and the rest of the folks downstairs.

How will Mary be after Matthew’s death?

Will we see sweet little baby Sybill?

Will Edith be in love with that married man?

And of course, what will the Dowager Countess say?

I will be tuning in with tea and biscuit in hand.

Shh… mom’s watching Downton Abbey.

lady violet quotes Downton Abbey

 

 

Frugie blog downton abbey quotes

 

lady violet downton abbey quotes

2013- The Year of the Book

Author! Author! Read all about it. It’s hard to believe that this was the year I became a published author. What. The. Hell? No, really, I’m cool with it.

But not only did I want to remind you if you haven’t already picked up your copy of I Just Want To Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, but to point out some other hilarious authors that made 2013 the year of THEIR book.

To begin-

Moms Who Drink And Swear by Nikki Knepper. I met Nikki this spring at MamaCon and then again in Chicago at BlogHer. Nikki is love and sweetness and sass and wicked smarts wrapped up in a 5’3″ package of F-bombs and tequila shots. Her book is entertaining, hilarious and poignant. Without sounding contrite, it will make you laugh and it will make you cry. Nikki grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go. She believes in the power of friendships and venting. I love her. I think you will too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next-from Paige Kellerman, writer/humorist comes- At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles. Paige finds out she’s pregnant with twins and her journey of incontinence, gestational diabetes and well, cankles, will have you having your own bouts of incontinence by laughter. I know Paige and follow her blog and her Facebook page. Every freaking time I read something of hers I guffaw loudly. It might annoy those around me, but I don’t care.  And I love any woman who owns her relationship with her cankles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then-

Remember my review of I Heart My Little A-holes by Karen Alpert of Baby Sideburns fame? This woman is on fire. I first reviewed this self-published tome of hilarity back in the fall and whattdya know, she’s already got a publishing deal with Harper Collins and a re-release of the book this spring, and she made the NY Times best seller list. Obviously this book is freaking funny about all things ugly, funny and wonderful about being a mom. No sugar coating here. Give this book to any expecting parents and parenting delusions will go out the window.

 

 

 

I’m recommending these books because 1) I read them and laughed my ass off. 2) I know the authors and their blogs and 3) know you will be tremendously entertained like I was. This post is not sponsored by them in any way. I wrote it because they are awesome and that is all. Happy New Year! And here’s to more funny stuff in 2014.

2013 The Year of the Book- books you should read