Shopping – Frugal Novice
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Tieks Review


Like any other girl, I love a good pair of shoes. More specifically, though, I love a great pair of flats that will not kill my feet as I go to work, as I grocery shop, as I go out on a date with my husband, or as I chase after my three kids.

Tieks first drew my interest last year after I saw ads on Facebook (they clearly targeted their ads to the correct demographic, because I think I clicked over to their site after seeing the very first ad). I loved the signature blue accents – the soles of the shoes, and a stripe down the back of each one – and was really curious about how a shoe with a split sole would work for me.

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When I went to shop at their store, which they cleverly named “The Boutiek,” I spent a good bit of time just scrolling through all the options – there are a ton. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do something really bold, like a red, or if I wanted to get something more neutral that I could wear with a wider variety of outfits.

In the end, practicality won out and I went with chestnut – but I still get to have some fun with the pops of blue.

As you can see above, the box that holds the shoes is pretty small. Like, so small you might think there’s no way shoes could be inside. But they’re there, folded up and waiting neatly for you.


Part of the appeal of Tieks is that they’re compact; they come with a bag to house them in, so you could easily carry these along with you in your purse and put them on if you need to switch to more comfortable shoes, for instance (they also come with a larger bag for you to put your other pair of shoes into once you switch to your Tieks).


Once you unfold the shoe there’s a bit of a bend to it, but these are pliable and fit right to my foot once I put them on. And, sigh… I really do love that blue stripe on the back. So cute.





So, you’ve seen how they look, but style is only half of the equation. How did they feel, you ask?

In a word, comfy.

I have had many shoes that leave blisters on my feet the first time or two I wear them, but my Tieks were comfortable from the very start. You can slightly see the impression of my big toes, but the shoes didn’t feel tight at all and I know that over time the leather will stretch out a bit.


I was really impressed with the quality of these shoes. Tieks aren’t cheap – for my budget, they’re somewhat of an investment shoe. I read some other reviews talking about how well these hold up, though, and I feel like these are flats I’ll wear again and again for years to come. The Italian leather is supple and soft, the color is really rich, and they’re comfortable to walk around in all day long.

I had wondered how the split sole would fare comfort-wise, and I really didn’t notice it at all. I also wondered if the blue soles would get dirty quickly, but here’s what they looked like after two days of wear:


I really love my Tieks, and I’m glad I added these to my collection. Part of what I’m learning as I get older is that purchasing fewer high-quality pieces is a wiser choice than purchasing a bunch of cheap things that don’t last long at all. Quality over quantity, friends!

Free Shopular App Puts Deals At Your Fingertips!

Note: This is a compensated post. All opinions are honest and are entirely my own, unaffected by compensation.



Being a bargain lover, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money while shopping. We regularly check store circulars, and I love a good coupon! Of course, half the time I forget to bring coupons with me, which is just one of the reasons I’m kind of in love with the Shopular app.

  • Shopular is a FREE top rated shopping app and has over 25,000 5-star reviews
  • Over 4 Million shoppers already use Shopular to save!
  • Shopular has over 40,000 of the top retail locations in the US in the app like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Macy’s
  • Shopular allows you to select your favorite stores so you never see unwanted deals
  • When you are close to one of your favorite stores or just arriving at the mall, Shopular shows you all of the deals happening that are relevant to you
  • Consider Shopular your personalized deal concierge, never letting you miss a deal!?

I always have my phone with me, so consolidating deals and circulars in one clean, consumer-friendly, easy-to-navigate app is incredibly appealing.

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When I open the app on my phone, I’m able to quickly scroll through deals for stores that I’ve pre-selected as ones I shop at. I don’t have to filter through tons of listings to find what I like; the app does that for me. AND I selected to receive push notifications from the app, which means if I’m near Kohl’s, for example, I’ll get a message from Shopular letting me know about any sales or deals going on at Kohl’s. LOVE.

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As I mentioned, though, I can also browse through weekly circulars. This is SO useful, because it’s much easier than navigating to each store’s site and trying to find the circular there; many stores don’t have mobile-friendly circulars and it can be a pain, but the Shopular app makes it easy.

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I also like the social aspect of the app – commenting is pretty active within the Shopular community, and it means I might find out about other bargains that shoppers have seen (i.e. a certain item on clearance at Target).

You can download the (FREE) app from the Apple store, and be sure and keep up with Shopular on their social media channels, too:

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr
And don’t miss out on this fun contest for Halloween! I love DIY costumes and can’t wait to see the entries!

Say YES to Even More Savings with Kohl’s! {$250 Kohl’s Gift Card Giveaway}


Note: I received a Kohl’s gift card to try out the Yes2You program and to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and are my own. 


Our family loves Kohl’s. It has something for everyone – clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen gadgets, electronics and more. And of course, being the bargain-lover that I am, I always have fun shopping Kohl’s sales. Since we’re already such loyal Kohl’s customers, I was pretty excited to learn about their new loyalty program, Yes2You Rewards™.

The Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards™ program offers customers the opportunity to add even more value to their shopping experience with Kohl’s by earning points on every purchase – both in store and online at With Yes2You Rewards, members will receive eight offers per year, a birthday gift, and opportunities to earn bonus points and surprises along the way. Additionally, there is no limit on points earned and no cost to join.

Yes2You Rewards is simple:

  • Save: Members receive one reward point for every one dollar spent – regardless of how they pay –and a $5 reward for every 100 points earned. In addition, members will be notified of opportunities to earn bonus points on their purchase for even more savings.
  • Share: For members who are in the giving spirit, Yes2You Rewards points can be shared with friends and family members who are also enrolled in the program. Alternatively, points can be donated to Kohl’s Cares to support children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.
  • Surprise: We would tell you more, but that would ruin the surprise!

Customers can enroll in Yes2You Rewards at any Kohl’s store nationwide, online at or by downloading the Kohl’s app on any smart phone. Once signed into their Kohl’s account, Yes2You members will be able to easily track, redeem or share points.

When I first signed up for the Yes2You program, I got an email from Kohl’s sharing my first reward – 15% off my total purchase! So of course I couldn’t wait to get shopping – want to see all my finds?


Zak Recycled Melamine Mixing Bowl Set – Loooooove these!


Our five-year-old saw this ornament and fell in love with it, so we had to get it. Can’t wait to fill it with a photo of our two sweet pups!


Little E loves Minnie Mouse, and she literally squealed in excitement when I showed her these PJ’s. Love the ruffles and the polka dots!


And on the Minnie mouse kick, we found these cute sippy cups – practical and fun!


I got two sets of these Mario PJ’s (one for each of the boys) – and each set comes with two pairs of pajamas!


Shhh! Don’t tell E but we got part of her Christmas present right behind her back! This Leap Frog laptop was on sale, and I know she’ll love it!


We also found these sweet plush Elsa & Anna dolls we’ll save for her stocking.


I found her this cute Ariel gown, too – love the teal color and the sweet ruffles around the wrists!


Minecraft shirt for C – he could not wait to wear this, even though the weather doesn’t really warrant long sleeves yet. Total hit!


J picked out a Pokemon shirt and was thrilled to have found it! I have a feeling this will be worn a lot this fall and winter.


I’ve got to admit, although it’s cute, this haunted house isn’t my style. But the kids? They fell. in. love. I couldn’t resist getting it, and now it occupies a place of honor on our dining table. Seeing how excited they get every time we turn the window lights on made me fall a little in love with this house, too!

All in all I spent right around $250, and so on top of the $50 Kohl’s cash I earned, I also got $10 through the Yes2You program! I’m a huge fan. And now you can even load your Kohl’s cash right into the Kohl’s app for your iPhone, so you’ve always got it with you whenever you get the urge to shop.

I’m pretty excited to give one of you the chance to go on a great Kohl’s shopping spree by giving away a $250 Kohl’s gift card (and we all know that with Kohl’s sales and offers that $250 will go really far)! Be sure and sign up for the Yes2You Rewards program first, so you can get started earning rewards next time you shop.

How will you say YES to Kohl’s? Tell me below and get entered for your chance to win the $250 Kohl’s gift card!

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Summer Savings with Healthy Essentials!

Note: This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.



We’re going to be heading to the beach soon, and I’ve already started thinking about what all we need to pack. Sunscreen tops the list, especially for my pale-skinned family, but with three active kids I’ll definitely want to have a first aid kit along just in case.

Thankfully I can find all my summer must-haves at a discount, which is especially great considering all the other expenses that go along with summer travel!  Now we’re all set for our trip.

Check out the great savings you can find – these are just a few of the great coupons you can score on this summer for more than $45 in savings:

  • Save $1.00 on any (1) NEUTROGENA® Sun product (excludes trial size)
  • Save $2.00 on any (3) NEOSPORIN®, NEOSPORIN® ESSENTIALS, BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive bandages, BENADRYL® Topical or JOHNSON and JOHNSON RED CROSS® Brand products (excludes all trial and travel sizes, First Aid Kits, 10 ct Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, and On-the-Go First Aid Kits). Must buy (2) different brand products to qualify for this offer along with a third product
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Product
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) LISTERINE® SMART RINSE Anti-cavity Mouthwash, 500 ml
  • Save $1.00 on any LUBRIDERM® product
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) CLEAN & CLEAR® product (excludes trial and travel sizes)
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) REACH® Total Care Floss, or REACH® Gentle Gum Care Floss, or REACH® Dentotape® or REACH® Access® Flosser
  • Save $3.00 on any (1) REMBRANDT® Whitening Kit or Strip or any (2) REMBRANDT® Whitening Paste or Rinse
  • Save $1.00 on any (1) VISINE® product, 5 oz. or larger

Vacation plans are set, but are you ready for summer? Make sure you’re prepared with all the essentials you’ll need, so you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors and a great vacation. Be proactive about protecting your skin! Take advantage of the savings at and stock up today!

Dressing Smart for Family Days Out


On an everyday basis, you probably dress your kids in clothes from discount retailers, second-hand shops, and wardrobe pieces that their older brothers, sisters, and cousins have already outgrown. There is definitely no harm in wanting to find ways to save on the cost of kids’ clothing; after all, they grow too quickly to make a serious investment in their daily wardrobe!AlexAndAlexaDress

But every now and again, it’s okay to splurge on smart clothing for your kids. Whether you’re headed to a friend’s wedding this summer or a holiday party later this year, dressing your kids in designer clothing can actually make them look and feel more mature and stylish. The reason? They’ll notice a difference between the type of clothes they usually wear—trainers, jeans, and jumpers—and the type of clothes they’re wearing for your day out with the family—dress shirts, vests, trousers, dresses, leggings, jackets, smart shoes, etc. Plus, they’ll enjoy the attention they get from adult admirers who see them in stunning Mayoral clothes on your days out with the family. This praise from adults will go a long way in helping them distinguish special occasion clothes from everyday clothes as well.

Another reason to get on-board with the “couture for kids” trend is that designer clothing is made from higher quality fabrics than your average children’s garments. These higher grade fabrics tend to be both more durable and more comfortable for your kids. That means that while you will spend more money for these pieces up-front, you won’t have to replace them as often as you would replace clothing and accessories from discount retailers. You can rest easy in the knowledge that the new designer jackets you bought your children will keep them warm through the fall and winter months and that those designer boots will keep their feet dry (and clean!) when they’re splashing through puddles on their walk to the bus stop or their afternoon recess on the playground.

Even for kids, clothing can make a very important statement about their personalities. Teaching your kids early about fashion can help them form a stronger sense of identity throughout their childhood years—and train them to have a more aesthetic eye, to boot! Of course, it is important to teach your kids that designer clothing requires special care. Remind your kids that they need to be especially aware of dirt and messes when they’re clad in smart clothing so that those brand name vests and dresses aren’t instantly ruined by the spills and stains of childhood. When designer clothes are treated as special wardrobe pieces, they can go a long way in making your kids feel stylish while teaching them a little responsibility in the process.

Back-To-School Style is Easy with Kohl’s!


Note: I received a Kohl’s gift card to facilitate our review. All opinions are honest and are my own. 

With the latest must-have looks and home essentials available at an incredible value, Kohl’s makes it easy and affordable to update back-to-school wardrobes, organize dorm rooms and outfit first apartments. Of course, in our house we’re prepping for our first true “back-to-school” experience, with our oldest son starting kindergarten. Kohl’s was the perfect spot for us to pick up new clothes to start off the school year in style! At his age, the graphic tees are the biggest hit – and we found a ton that he really liked:







Every single shirt was on sale, which allowed us to get a lot for our money. I also got him a pair of grey shorts and two pairs of jeans (BOGO free!) so we walked out with a huge selection of clothes that he’ll be glad to have for school (he IS going to wear his Ninja Turtles shirt a little earlier for his birthday party, though!). We did get one other thing, the perfect accessory for kindergarten:


A Batman watch! He is looking forward to wearing it and we’re saving it for the big day.

Of course, you can shop for all ages at Kohl’s – beyond clothing for kids, teens, and young adults you can also find dorm necessities and accessories! I love when you can shop for the whole family in just one store. It makes things SO much more efficient! Of course, at Kohl’s you save money, too.  Kohl’s offers shoppers a variety of ways to get values on the brands they love. Kohl’s Cash (we earned $20 in Kohl’s cash on our trip), coupons and Kohl’s Charge card discounts can be used in conjunction with sales events to maximize savings. Keep up with Kohl’s on Facebook, too, for all sorts of style tips and latest store happenings.


Something About Silver Review & {Giveaway}!


As a proud mom to my three kids, I love having jewelry to represent them and their importance to me.  Something About Silver provides beautiful custom jewelry stamped by hand in their studios near the sunny beaches of Clearwater, Florida. I got the opportunity to review their sterling silver stacked rings – aren’t they pretty? I chose to have all three kids’ names stamped on one ring, but you could easily do one name on each ring and stack those together – I think that would look really nice too.

They have a lot of other options as well, from bracelets to necklaces to charms, to things for guys like dog tags, guitar picks or key chains. And if you use the coupon code FN10 you’ll get 10% off (coupon good until Friday, December 14). Be sure and sign up for their newsletter while you’re there – you’ll get great content including news on their products and specials! When you visit their site you’ll see the newsletter signup in the left sidebar toward the bottom.

Excited about the coupon code? Well, how about something else great? You might just win a $40 gift certificate to spend on the Something About Silver site!

One winner will receive a $40 Something About Silver gift certificate.

This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Tuesday, December 11. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received rings from Something About Silver to facilitate my review, and they are providing the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Zutano Baby Clothes Will Brighten Up Your Holidays {Giveaway!}


Since having E in September, I’ve gotten back in to the whole world of shopping for baby clothes. And I have to admit I love it. Tiny clothing is just plain cute. In our city, I’m pretty limited to a few select stores, so online shopping is what really provides me with opportunities for unique clothes for her. Zutano is one of those stores that I could go broke at if I weren’t careful!

We got sent two outfits, both of which I absolutely adore. The first is a Penny Lane peasant top and baby skinny leggings to go with it. The colors on this outfit just pop, and we got a ton of compliments on it when we were out.

The second outfit we received just screams coziness. It’s the fuschia cozie elf onesie (although I think of it more as a sleeper), and it is just stinkin’ cute, there’s no doubt about it. We got the baby booties that go along with it, too.

I had E wear this outfit on a rare cold Texas day, and it was just perfect. It kept her warm from head to toe, and it makes for some pretty great photo opps, too.

There are truly an abundance of items on Zutano’s site that I would love to snatch up for E – and they have great little boys’ clothes, too! If you’re as in love with their clothes as I am, you’re going to be thrilled to find out I get to give away a $75 Zutano e-gift card to one lucky recipient!

One winner will receive a $75 Zutano e-gift card.

This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, December 10. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received clothing from Zutano to facilitate my review, and they are providing the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Ladies: How to Look Better in Your Clothes – Find the Right Bra!

With the range of bras available today that are designed to flatter all shapes and sizes choosing a new bra need not be a practical decision; leave boring bras behind and add something nice to your lingerie drawer.

No matter what your shape or size, there are bras to enhance, shape and flatter to give you comfort and confidence and have you looking fabulous.

Although many may not like to hear it this first step is non-negotiable; bite the bullet and visit the underwear department for a professional bra fitting. Many women find that they have been wearing the wrong size for years and you will be surprised at the difference a proper bra fitting can make. Often the assistant will be able to advise on the best style for your size and might even grab you a few to try on if you are lucky.

From Balconetts to Plunge bras to Strapless to T-shirt bras it is crucial to have the perfect size. But next is the fun part; there is a great range of designs and styles to suit any occasion or outfit, and you can enjoy experimenting with the different looks achieved through different styles of bra.

The most difficult sizes to find are the fuller cup sizes such as DD+. Some designs of bras designed for smaller busts tend to be designed to create a cleavage and usually incorporate padding and shaping. If you are large on top then avoid these types of bras.

However, a great type of bra to wear if you are curvier is the full bra or the somewhat sexier balconett bra. Similar to a ‘half-cup’ or ‘demi-bra’, the balconett offers effective support, lifting the boobs upwards rather than together. The open neckline is flattering and enhances the subtle shape created by this simple lift. The designs are usually a little more glamorous than your average t-shirt bra and are often made with lace and detailing. Also, basques are a good alternative if you are looking for something different for that special occasion. To find Panache Bras and other great value lingerie, check out

Get One Step Ahead on your Holiday Gift Shopping!

Ever since having our first son a little over five years ago, One Step Ahead has been on my radar as a high-quality site for parents. Their company was founded by two parents, Karen and Ian Scott, who wanted the best products for their own kids—and a smarter, easier way to find them.

When I first learned about the site I thought of it as a place to find necessities, but they’ve also got a wide variety of great toys, too. We got to experience some of their selection recently when we reviewed the Bosch Junior Toy Workbench, Toolbox & Tool Set.

The workbench allows kids to hammer the nails into the pounding bench, use the screwdriver to turn the gears, or tighten and loosen the vice. Kids can even screw nuts and bolts into plastic 2 x 4s. The 17-piece construction set includes toy tools, fasteners, and even a kids’ hardhat, which the boys both love wearing.

The bench was really easy to put together – no tools needed, ironically. :) It’s a great size for little ones, but our five-year-old kneeled to play at it and really had fun with it too. They especially enjoyed putting the gears in different holes and making them work together.

The toolbox comes with six toy tools that look like grown ups’. It includes toy hammer, saw, screwdriver, wrench…even a whirring toy power drill!


It isn’t in my photo, but the toolbox has a yellow tray in it, which made it perfect for two little boys who both wanted to cart tools around. One would carry the tray while the other had the box, making it a good solution for sharing. Everything held up really well to the typical rough play of two little boys, so we were impressed with how durable it is, too.

So, when you’re thinking about holiday gifts for the little ones in your life, be sure and check out One Step Ahead and have quality options at your fingertips!

Note: We received the workbench and tool box to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Make a Big Impact this Holiday Season with Custom Gifts from CafePress!

Do you have those people on your Holiday shopping list that are just plain difficult to shop for? They either already have everything they need, or they like things that are so unique they’re hard to find.

Well, CafePress is the perfect solution for those hard-to-shop-for friends and family members – you can create custom items – they have clothing, home goods, accessories and more that can all be custom designed for the recipient.

If you’re not wanting to make something custom, there are a lot of unique, pre-designed items available as well. I just got an iPhone 5, so I was particularly interested in cases. CafePress is a great place to shop for cute and funny designs for iPhone 5 cases, which is great because many of the cases out right now are pretty plain. But, I could always go the route of  custom iPhone cases and upload a photo of my kids.

Another great gift idea is a blanket. It’s perfect as a stand-alone gift or as part of a gift basket. You could include it with a DVD, popcorn and some boxed candy for a great “night in” set. Custom stadium blankets are great for home use or for out at football games, so they’re a good option for several different people on your list!

I’m going to be ordering some custom items so be sure and check back for an upcoming post showing what I designed, and in the meantime be sure and check out all CafePress has to offer.

Note: I am receiving CafePress items to facilitate a review. All opinions are honest and are my own.


Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway


It’s getting to be that time of year again where we’re all on the hunt for gifts our kids will love. Well, Melissa & Doug is taking away some of the guesswork for you by providing a “Terrific Twenty” list of great gift ideas! 

There are toys for boys and girls and for a variety of ages. I think my boys would love this big rig building truck – isn’t it cool?

Starting today, Melissa & Doug is holding a giveaway on their Facebook page.  Every day they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans! So, be sure to Like them on Facebook and get in on the chance to win!

Note: I am being provided a toy from the list to facilitate an upcoming review, and will be provide a toy for giveaway as well. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.