Hooking You Up: Awesome and Affordable Lingerie

I love lingerie. I really, really love lingerie. I love all types of lingerie from the classy to the trashy. I think lingerie is the single easiest thing a woman can change in her wardrobe and completely change her mood. And you ladies that are single and not even interested in finding someone special? You are not exempt from this! Lingerie isn’t about your significant other, it’s about you.

With Halloween, the holidays, and New Year’s Eve, there’s no better time to really revamp your lingerie wardrobe and even try something new. So a while back, when I was determined to own a steel boned corset, I found the most amazing lingerie site ever– Oh Cheri. Before I say another word, I want to say something– Oh Cheri didn’t reach out to me about writing for you guys. I love them and wanted to recommend them to you guys.

This store has three key features to an awesome online shopping experience– huge selection across a huge array of sizes, cheap prices (often the cheapest anywhere), and FREE shipping in the US with no minimum purchase.

Can we take a moment and “window” shop? Don’t be freaked out or anything, I’ll keep it tame. Oh and all of these items are under $20.

And ok this is definitely not under $20 but it’s one of my favorite things on their site and I covet it deeply. Come covet with me.

Yeah. Sooooooo pretty.

By the way, I reached out to Oh Cheri and let them know I was going to blog about them because of how much I love their site. And you know what? They offered a discount for you guys– my readers. So go online and do some sexy shopping for you, your friends, and hey even family. Or pass this along to someone who may be shopping for you! Just make sure when it’s time to checkout, you enter the code MUTANT and get 10% off your order.

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REALLY good Julep deal & Shopping Spree Total

For everyone curious to know how much I spent at my 12 item Express shopping spree…

$244.80

That means on average, I spent $20.40 per item. I don’t think that’s pretty shabby considering the kinds of clothes I got. And now I’ll just wear them until death does us part.

Speaking of deals, I’ve got a good one for you. Julep is offering the introductory box for their Maven Subscription program for one penny and that comes with free shipping. This month’s intro box comes with two polishes and a pedicure cream.

How do you get it? Easy peasy.

Step One: GO HERE

Step Two: Take the fun and frivolous Style Quiz, enter you email to find out your Style Personality, and see the box they’d send you. You can also go ahead and check out the boxes of the other styles and if you like one of those better, you can grab that one instead. In my case, it pegged me as an American Beauty but I was all about the Bombshell. So I added Bombshell to my cart and removed American Beauty.

Step Three: Sign up and check out.

When you’re done, you are now a part of the Julep Maven Subscription Program. And honestly? It’s a pretty good one. The way it works is like this.

On the 20th of every month they send you an email showing you your next box. By default they show you the style of the intro box you ended up with. If you love it, you do nothing. They charge your credit card on file $19.99 and send you your box.

If you don’t LOVE it,  you can log in and see the other styles. They even link you to a post on their blog that shows the colors for each box on nails. Next month includes a lip gloss and they took pictures of a girl wearing each color too. I really appreciate this because I feel like it’s full-disclosure and they’re not trying to pull a fast one.

So once you’ve checked out the other styles you can:

1. Choose a different style to send your way. This style will be your default next month.

2. Choose any of the styles and send it to a friend or family member as a gift. I love this for birthdays or other special occasions.

3. Skip the month. That’s right, you don’t have to buy the box every month. You don’t like it, you don’t have a friend who deserves it, or you’re just plain broke that month, you skip.

Of course you can always cancel the subscription and stay happy with your one cent intro box but if you like treating yourself now and then, I think it’s worth keeping it. Occasionally, they throw in a free polish. They also offer subscribers a chance to get mystery boxes– $60 or more worth of products for $19.99. I mentioned I had purchased one of these boxes and I received it the other day.

My Pretty Julep June Mystery Box Packaging

My Julep June Mystery Box Contents

My Mystery Box came with:

Julep Elixir Organic Oil, $24

Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub, $32

Glow on Age Defying Hand Brightener, $32

Megan, $14

Brooke, $14

And a free Julep.com nail file. Retail value of my $19.99 box? $116.

Not too bad huh?

Honestly, at first I was sort of blank about it. I really didn’t know what to make of the box because three of the six items were totally alien to me. But now that I’ve had it a few days and have been using the products, I’m really happy with it. One of the things I’ve been discovering through my De-Frumpiness Project is how luxurious some really small little things can feel.

Do I feel completely fancy washing my hands with a glycolic hand scrub and then rubbing in an age defying hand brightener? Why yes, yes I do. And by the way, the hand brightener feels and smells so nice. Is there something slightly decadent about dropping oil into my hands from a glass bottle with a glass dropper? Um, yeah. Definitely. For me at least.

You have to understand, I’m the girl that recently rediscovered how yummy it is to apply good facial moisturizer ok?

I don’t have a complicated beauty regimen. I’m not even really sure that I have an actual regimen. But yes I am definitely enjoying the couple of minutes every day where I indulge in myself. My nails are chipped? Time to change the manicure! It’s summer, so I absolutely can’t leave without my facial moisturizer with SPF. Floss! Scrub my hands. Nourish my cuticles! Go into fitting rooms!

Slowing down. I’m actually slowing down. These little things are little pauses. Little only for me and only about me pauses. And they’re nice.

 

 

27.5 reasons I coupon

10/366:  Sunday Coupons
“Sunday Coupons” by TeamJTX on Flickr

Yesterday, while my kids were at my parents’ house enjoying the pool, I took advantage and went to the grocery store. Of course, I took coupons.

I know coupons and those who use them are pretty trendy these days. And there’s a whole television show mostly dedicated to those who abuse these little papers in ways most of us just can’t understand (75 deodorants and you already have 125 at home?).

But I have to tell you, I love my coupons. And I’ve loved them a very long time. After a trip like yesterday, I really can’t understand why using coupons isn’t a universal practice. Coupons are money.

I think I use my coupons in a pretty normal way and yesterday’s trip is my type of awesome shopping trip– the variety is wide and the savings substantial. I bought:

10 Lunchables, 1 Bag of Celery, 2 Ben & Jerry Ice Creams, 1 Can of Baking Powder, 2.5 pounds of Grapes, 2 bags of New England Coffee, 1 Bunch of Organic Rosemary, 1 Pint of Grape Tomatoes, 1 Onion, 1 Bag of Red Potatoes, 1 Pack of Bacon, 2.25 Pounds of Bananas, 2 Cans of Tomato Sauce, 2 Boxes of Baking Soda, 1.35 Pounds of Plums, 3 Lemons, 2 Bottles of Ocean Spray Juice Blends, 1 Box of Honey Nut Cheerios, 1 Box of Lucky Charms, 1 Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 2 Boxes of Fiber One Chewy Bars, 2 Sure Deodorants, 1 Degree Deodorant (for Friend), 1 Dozen Organic Eggs, 2 4-packs of Mandarin Orange fruit cups packed in water, 2 Packs of Yoplait Granola Parfaits, 2 Almond Breeze Milks, 2 Packs of Yoplait Fiber One Yogurts, 1 Bottle of Fabuloso cleaner, and 2 Bottles of Palmolive.

I spent $88.27. I saved $77.13 or 47%. What you need to know is $27.50 of my savings were in clipped coupons. I don’t know about you, but $27.50 towards feeding my family and keeping my home clean(ish) is a good deal. None of the items I bought were things I bought solely because I had coupons. I needed and/or wanted everything here.

I know a bunch of you are probably cringing at some of the food I have listed here but you should know this isn’t because I coupon, it’s just the way I shop. I am not a health nut. I also absolutely hate being in the kitchen which reflects in my tendencies to shop for convenience foods. I hate shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. I do what I can where I can and don’t beat myself up for the rest.

The Lunchables, for instance, are the perfect example of this. I had no coupons for those. But my kids like them, the Deli had a huge line, and the ham they eat wasn’t on sale this week. I would’ve easily spent $10 on one pound of the ham alone. So, I said “Screw it” and bought the ten Lunchables at $1 each.

As for time and effort, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t count the amount of time I’m actually in the grocery store because I’m spending that time there whether I have coupons or not. I don’t always have the time to go to the grocery store once a week or more, although I wish I did because I’d save more money. I definitely don’t have the time to go to more than one supermarket a week. I also tend to be faster in a store when I coupon because I have an awesome list and ONLY stick to the list.

It’s hard for me to gauge the amount of time I actually spend a week clipping coupons because right now I’m in the process of transitioning into a binder. This is taking me forever because I have almost a year’s worth of coupon inserts saved and many are doubled thanks to my awesome Mom. In the past week or so, I’ve easily clipped over 400 coupons and I have more to go. I’ll probably time myself when I do yesterday’s bountiful bunch but I have a hunch it’s about one hour and I do it when it’s nice and quiet and the children are sleeping. That much time is for one of those weeks that has a ton of inserts like yesterday’s paper did. Not all weeks have so many coupons.

If you’d like to maybe try using coupons effectively, here are my suggestions.

  • Before you subscribe to a newspaper or go buy them, ask your neighbors/friends/co-workers/family you’re comfortable with and see often (once a week) if they get the Sunday paper and if they do, if they use the coupons. If they don’t, ask if they wouldn’t mind giving them to you. Free coupons are the best coupons. If  no one convenient has them, buy the paper or subscribe.
  • OK, save yourself the trouble and get a binder (they’re on sale right now with back to school clearances and stuff) and get some trading card holders. I didn’t use this system but now that I do I feel like a moron for not using it before. Don’t risk feeling like a moron. To give you a perspective on how many trading card holders you’ll need, I’m currently using about 45 pages one-sided. But, again, I’m using several months’ worth of inserts. You can probably do perfectly well with 10 to 20 pages. Sharon just set hers up and it took her only 45 minutes from start to finish (including clipping the actual coupons).
  • Every time you get a bunch of coupon inserts, take the time to go through them and clip the coupons for things you use regularly or would like to try. If you really don’t care about the brand, then make sure you clip all of the different coupons for the same type of thing so you have more opportunities to match coupons to a sale. If you’re brand loyal, the amount of time spent clipping will be cut but so will the amount of savings. It’s still worth doing! Clip them, sort them, and put them in their handy organizers.
  • Every time you have to go shopping, make a list of everything you need. Then, check the insert to see what, if any of it, is on sale, And finally, check your coupon binder to see what you have coupons for. You can do a happy dance if you have coupons for items that are also on sale because that’s where the magic happens.
  • When I head into the store, I have a very nice list organized by section and I have all of my coupons pulled and ready in a little coupon carrier I have. I actually only use two pockets in it– the one in front is for the coupons I’m turning over at the cashier and the other one is for the coupons I ended up not using for one reason or another. I have not yet taken my binder with me because I feel this would lead me to spend more time in the store and possibly to impulse buys.
  • At the register, I put all of the items that don’t have a coupon at the front, and the ones that do at the back. When it’s my turn, I explain to the cashier “All items behind such and such have coupons. Should I give them to you all at the end or would you like me to pair them up with the items?” Nine times out of ten their eyes light up with my suggestion and ask if I could please match them that would be awesome. So, I go and start matching. Now do you see why I put all of the non-coupon items up front? Buys me some time!

If you really want to get into the groove of coupons, you can use a website like SouthernSavers. It tracks all of the sales and matches coupons for you. It also highlights which items are REALLY cheap and so you might want to try and stock up on those a bit more than usual if it happens to be something you use often.

The reason you stock up when it’s on sale really low is because you don’t want to pay full-price for the item when you run out. Yes, you’ll be paying full-price for some items when you start using coupons but eventually, the number of items you pay full price for get smaller and smaller. On my list, only five items were full-price items. Everything else was either on sale, had at least one coupon, or was on sale and had at least one coupon.

I believe using coupons is like anything else. If you go into it with a bad attitude, you’re not going to get much out of it. But, if you’re willing to learn something and take the time to keep at it, I think you’ll be very pleased with the results.

Recently, GRS did an Ask the Readers post with the question: How much do you spend on food? The couple asking was spending $750 a month– for just two adults. JD’s answer wasn’t far off either. I was shocked.

On average, I spend $615 a month on food– and that includes dining out and other convenience eating I do. My average bill at a grocery store is only $255 a month and that includes all the cleaning products and things like that. Did I mention I have three kids?

So there you go; yesterday it was a savings of $27.50 but over a year, it’s much more. And it’s just too much for me to simply dismiss it as not for me without giving it a real solid try. If you’re pressed for money, I suggest you do too. It’s essentially extra income that’s not taxable!

Ten Challenges to Stimulate Your Savings

Frugality - Penny Pinching
“Frugality” by Living Studios

Whatever the reason, and there are so many, sometimes we need to come up with some extra cash or at the very least, scale back some expenses. To this end, people embark on Fiscal or Spending Challenges. They all work in generally the same way—reduce spending in a particular fashion for a set number of days. At the end, put whatever savings you get (no matter how small) into a savings account of your choice. Here are ten different challenges you can try.

1 ) Dining Out Challenge

Sit-down meals, take-out and delivery, or fast food all take a larger toll on our funds than eating from our home. For a mild challenge, aim to eliminate one category of convenience eating for one week—for example, no fast food. If you’re looking for extreme changes, eliminate at least two, if not all three, of these categories for one month.

2 ) Clothing Ban

You know you don’t need any new clothes when you have mountains of laundry and your family is still able to easily put together complete and tasteful outfits from your closets and drawers. Put the freeze on spending—no clothes, shoes, or accessories for one month. If you want to make this challenge a bit tougher, get rid of one article of clothing for every day of the challenge. If you’re able to sell at least some of the clothes you unload, you’re really amping up your savings.

3 ) Stick to the List Challenge

If your weakness is being lured away from your shopping list, this might be the challenge for you. Write up a list before you get to the market and don’t let anything else in your basket. When you go pump gas, leave the drink in the fridge. When the mission is to find the perfect shoes for the interview, forget the cute sandals and the perfectly priced dress. For a mild challenge, aim to ban all impulse buys for just one week. If you really want a shot at curing this practice, aim for at least 30 days.

4 ) Plastic Freeze

If swiping your debit card is making your funds too easy to get to, put the booger on ice. Go cash-only for a week or even a whole month. Online purchases count as credit card swipes. Paying your bills from your account don’t.

5 ) Say No to the Store

It seems everyone I talk to has a store that is their weak spot. Something about it wreaks havoc on your mental wiring and suddenly Wants and Needs are all in the same pile. For me, it’s Target. Maybe for you, it’s Amazon, the thrift store, e-Bay, CVS, or the convenience store. Whatever your Store, skip it for a month and see just how much of a drain it is on your wallet.

6 ) Limited Spending Challenge

This is one of the more common financial challenges. It’s highly customizable and is often an eye-opening experience on just how low you can go. If you’ve been tracking your spending, figure out what your average spending on non-bills is, either weekly or monthly, and challenge yourself to reduce that by a certain percentage. Go for a quick and easy 10% or get drastic with 50%.

If you’re not tracking your spending, this just might be the reason you start as it was for me. Figure out the amount you think you spend monthly on your bills. Subtract it from the amount you think you receive a month. And then commit to living on only a percentage of what’s leftover.

(Income – Bills) / Percentage of your choice = Spending Challenge Amount

7 ) Complete Fiscal Fast

Seven Days. Zero Dollars. It is that simply difficult. You can’t stock up before you start, except gas. Take your wallet from 60 mph to 0 and keep it idling for seven days. Half Dozen Daily is getting ready to embark on one. Think you can do it?

8 ) No-Spend Days 

Seven straight days is definitely challenging. For some people, it’s even impossible. For this challenge, pick a target number of no spend days for a month. Taking a cue from the Complete Fiscal Fast, seven is a good way to start. Can you take it higher?

9 ) Coupon Challenge

The only challenge that requires preparation a month ahead whether or not you’re new to couponing. For newbies, take advantage of the preceding challenge month to stock up on coupons by buying the Sunday paper every week, asking friends for their discards, printing coupons online, and collecting those little blinkies in the supermarket. Track your grocery and drugstore spending and what your average savings, if any, are without coupons. Finally, visit couponing websites to educate yourself on how couponing works.

If you use coupons now but think you can do better, save your receipts from your shopping the month leading up to the challenge. At the end, figure out what your average savings are currently and challenge yourself to increase them by a certain percentage next month. Generally, the higher you are, the harder it is to keep going so keep that in mind. It is truly a challenge to average savings above even 50% (it CAN be done).

When the month of your challenge starts, get your coupon on. Make sure, like the previous month, you’re tracking your average savings and see what the difference is at month-end.

10 ) Power Down Challenge

Can you say no to electricity for seven nights? In this challenge, your family unplugs every night, at the same time, for seven nights. Candles and battery-operated devices are acceptable but you can’t recharge until the power comes back on. This challenge has a two-fold benefit. One, it will surely help reduce your utility bill while quite possibly pointing out power leeching devices and habits in your home. Two, it’s a great way to test your family’s Disaster Readiness level. Having experienced hurricanes myself, including Category 5 Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I know how important Disaster Readiness is, and how easily it’s forgotten.

Have you embarked on a financial challenge? What was your experience?

The latest reason I love couponing

Went to Publix last night to take advantage of the last day of last week’s sale (here Publix sales run Thursday to Wednesday unlike everywhere else because that’s how we do it down here). I paid $46.17 for $85.84 worth of stuff. Here’s how it broke down across the three categories I made purchases in (pre-tax because otherwise I get befuddled):

Food (Almond milk, sour cream, feta cheese, chuck patties, pita bread)

Cost: $21.34 Coupons & Sales: $4.18 Savings of 20%

Personal Care– Kids (Diapers, Wipes, Diaper Cream, Body Wash)

Cost: $46.46 Coupons & Sales: $20.99 Savings of 45%

Personal Care– Mine (Toothpaste, toothbrushes, facial tissues)

Cost: $9.89 Coupons & Sales: $9.45 Savings of 96%

Overall on my bill (with tax), I saved 46%. My receipt further explains I took advantage of $17.99 in store coupons (21%), $11.15 in vendor coupons (13%), and $10.53 in special prices (12%). I want to emphasize, these savings are in Florida which does not double coupons. If they did, my savings would have been even higher. Regardless, this trip goes to strengthen my assertion that coupon savings’ strength lies outside of Food especially if you’re not into really junky food and is still very much worth the time and effort (which incidentally is not much). This is especially important for those who place high value on high-quality foods (which in all honesty is not me, I’d say I’m in the moderate camp) because it’s the perfect example of the savvy money mentality to save where you can to splurge where you want.

P.S. When you do your shopping, and your bags are loaded, and you’ve paid, take your cart to an out of the way place by the exit (don’t block any passages) and look through your receipt carefully. Two weeks ago at Publix, the eggs were on sale ($2) but rang up at regular price ($2.59). I probably wouldn’t have done anything except I’d bought three dozen eggs for the baking marathon I went on. I went back to have it adusted and the lady gave me back the full value of the three dozen eggs. Why? To my surprise, their policy is if they charge you wrong, they refund the full amount of the item. So what I thought would be a savings of $1.77 (the difference in price) turned into a savings of $7.77. This week, I ignored my own advice and have overpaid in two separate instances and didn’t catch it until days later when I was entering my data in my price book. I lost $4.09. Oh and I forgot to use a coupon because I was on the phone at checkout losing another $1.25. My total loss for negligence this week? $5.34. Lesson learned? It’s important to be vigilant with your money, even in the little things because they add up fast and no one is going to watch out for your money any better than you are. 

Holy Monday Haze

I’ve been sort of pondering whether or not I’d blog today not because I’m in a yucky mood but just because I’m so freaking out of it.

I had a fantastic weekend. So much so that when I came into work today I felt like I’d been away from the office for ages. The Divorce Dessert Party was a success. Seriously. There was so much junk food! And there was this ridiculous amount of alcohol that I am just not used to seeing. After I was done with the kitchen for the night, we had a lovely champagne cocktail toast to freedom. I had a couple little drinkies after that and had a big fat smile on my face. I don’t drink much at all so when I do it’s very nice. I don’t overdo it, but I just mellow out and forget anything yucky could even exist in this world.

I pretty much spent the next day sleeping. I was just overcome with exhaustion from the past couple of weeks and the sleep deprivation and all of that. I was just done. And of course, the alcohol helped keeping me sedated for many more hours than I’d usually sleep. Later that night, I got to cleaning and some friends came over. I played poker! It was two girls and two boys and the girls won! We didn’t even keep playing after that because we were tired and just happy we took out the boys. Silly boys!

Unfortunately because of the massive sleeping I did that day, I had a horrid time getting some real sleep last night and so despite the fact I was totally awake and refreshed this morning, I’ve completely crashed and turned into a drooling incoherent loon. It’s ok though because I just inhaled a bag of Peanut M&M’s.

Oh, for you people out there who like saving money, here’s my Friday night CVS adventure trip for you laid out as best as I can ok?

Right so Friday I got my quarterly ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) in the email, $8 worth. And they came with a coupon that takes $5 off a $25 purchase. Now, I’d been planning an awesome CVS trip with SouthernSavers but this arrival made it ridiculous. Ready?

I bought:

1 Dove Go Fresh Body Wash

2 Dove Deodorants

1 Dove Shampoo

2 bags of Halls

2 Colgate toothbrushes

I used my $5 off coupon, $3 in ECB from my last trip, my $8 quarterly ECB, and $6 in manufacturer’s coupons. One coupon actually stayed stuck in my organizer and I missed it. 😦 I paid $5.02 and collected a bunch more ExtraCare Bucks. Savings on this trip? $31.40 according to my receipt. So then, I went back to the store and bought:

1 Pledge Lemon Spray

1 Skintimate shaving cream

4 Clean & Clear Body Washes

2 Softsoap Body Washes

I used $12.28 in coupons (includes two Buy One Get One Free coupons on the Clean & Clear) and $11 in ECB. I paid 50 cents and I have leftover Extra Care Bucks. Savings on this trip? $43.76. So all of that stuff up there? Cost me $5.52 out of pocket for a grand total savings of $75.16 or 93%. I’m most excited about the Body Washes because it is actually not an easy item to get great prices on (women’s at least, the men’s is TOO easy) and I’m stocked for months.

It’s because of sales and rewards like this that I really adore CVS. They understand developing Customer Loyalty. The checkout process has only been painful for me twice and I’ve never returned to either CVS again. I just wish I could buy absolutely everything there. Publix is my other favorite but they’re just not as good with Rewards as CVS. If Publix develops a serious Loyalty program, it’d be heaven for me.

I finished The Help which was as good a book as everyone swore it was. I think I’ll switch gears and read Kiss & Tell next. I also need to just finish up that other panda  so I can give my kids their snugglies before they have fits.

Joyous News and Mindless Chatter

Divorce Cake
“Divorce Cake” by SamLevin on Flickr

Before I say absolutely anything else at all, let me announce I got the date for my final hearing for dissolution of marriage. I’ll be divorced on St. Patrick’s Day!

I am absolutely exuberant about this, I can’t even tell you. I just feel this unstoppable flood of relief that is impossible to describe. The best I can do is like there’s a bottle of MollyDooker Violinist wine flowing through my veins. Exuberance. Just pure, unadulterated exuberance. He had mentioned he’d have a good amount for me in child support but is now backpedaling. He will have absolutely nothing until the middle of the month…

It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over It’s almost over…

The letter states he doesn’t even have to show up at the hearing. I’m hoping it coincides with his first week at the new job so he really won’t feel motivated to go. But, enough of all of that stuff, let’s move on to something fun like budgets and crochet!

Yesterday was my trip to Publix to pick up some other groceries I was missing and to take advantage of some excellent, excellent savings and stocking opportunities. Canned tomatoes (4), soups (4), juice (4 bottles), shaving gel (2), bread (2), tortillas (1), tea (1), sugar (1), bagels (2), and I can’t find the receipt to tell you if that was it but either way, I paid $31.51 and saved $37.42. I absolutely LOVE saving more than I pay. By the way, I know that compared to those Extreme Couponing blogs and shows, this sounds meager but it is really difficult to do extremely extreme couponing in Florida and the main reason I can find is the stores here do not double coupons like they do in many other states. So, while in another state my 50 cent coupon is actually worth a dollar, here it’s just 50 cents. Florida stores are also pretty anti-coupon in general and you’ll find very few who accept competitor coupons for instance. Florida clerks generally cringe when they see big piles of coupons, almost always summon managers for printed coupons, etc. So, shaving 50% on my grocery bill or more is a huge win for me personally. And even though I say it again and again, if you want to really be even remotely successful with couponing, check out SouthernSavers. If you’re in a different region, do some searches because there are other websites like them. SouthernSavers is 100% free to use, easy, and is the major reason I am able to save so much money on groceries. They don’t endorse me or anything so there’s no bias in this wallet but they really do just provide a great service that I believe is extremely helpful.

There was another purchase yesterday and that was at Michael’s for a couple of crochet hooks at $4.26 total. This leaves me with $485.77 on the expanded budget but only $335.77 on the reduced one. These were for the project I’ve decided to make my goddaughter for her birthday and I was unsure which size would work better, so I went with two, used a 40% off coupon for one, and that was that. It is really hard to go into Michael’s and keep your eyes on the prize by the way. At least, for me. I don’t know what it is about that store but wow. It doesn’t help the yarn stuff is all the way at the back which forces you to walk past aisle after aisle of things. Anyways, I got home and began this cowl after Tami said so. I have never witnessed a person wearing a cowl that is not part of their shirt. At least, I haven’t noticed. This is Florida after all so things that are meant to warm you up aren’t exactly in abundance but I think the cowl is much more than a warming device—it’s an accessory! And I am loving it. It’s a bit stiffer than I’d envisioned and I mostly blame the yarn—two strands of Impeccable by Loops & Threads, a 100% acrylic yarn that has some great colors and solid texture. The rest of the blame falls on the hook. The pattern called for a 10.00mm (N) hook so imagine my bafflement when I got to the hooks at Michael’s and found the N hooks were 9.00mm and the P hooks were 10.00mm. That’s why I bought both and because I tend to crochet loosely (ha I’m a loose hooker omg I crack myself up) I went with the smaller hook. May have been a mistake going for the smaller hook for once.  I’d imagined something slightly drapier but this is really pleasing me either way. I’m pretty sure at the rate I’m going I’ll be ready for another FO Friday tomorrow.

By the way, mark your calendars for Knit & Crochet Blog Week March 28 – April 3. I will be participating so if you’re allergic to yarny goodness, you may want to steer clear. Although, I seriously doubt I will only be sticking to all things yarny because we all know, this Mutant has commitment issues. I’m disloyal (Fantastic Mr. Fox reference in my brain, what about yours?). And if you’re totally into all things yarn, strongly consider joining in the fun. I missed out last year but they racked up over 200 participants!   

Hmm I completely lost my train of thought…

Oh well, here’s a song that totally my vibe today to make up for the sudden and abrupt blank stare you’re getting.

Oh, I remember now! Remind me to tell you about the nice yarn lover that sat next to me on the train today and about Hoarders.