Healthy Finds at Big Lots

Unfortunately over the last three years I’ve developed a bunch of food allergies due to a bunch of antibiotics I had to take. I didn’t take probiotics afterwards and it threw my stomach for a whirlwind. TAKE PROBIOTICS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD so you don’t have to give up all the best foods in the world. Anyways, I had to jump on the lactose free- gluten free train reluctantly and was upset when I realized how pricy all the organic and gluten free products were.

Luckily, Big Lots came through with the clutch and is now offering a variety of gluten free options for a great price.

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I can’t eat rice anymore, so my next best bet is quinoa. It’s super healthy and it usually runs from 5-8 dollars at regular stores so you can’t beat $3.50. I make a mean quinoa shrimp fried rice.

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This oatmeal runs for around $5 at most grocery stores and at Big Lots it’s half that. It’s a great breakfast for a cold winter morning with some fresh blueberries and strawberries on top.

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I had never seen this before, but they are a delicious snack especially when dipped in hummus. My personal favorite is roasted red pepper.

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I paired these with some goat cheese & apple slices.

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These aren’t gluten free but I wanted to include it anyway cause they always have the enchilada kit and they are both really yummy and about 4 bucks cheaper.

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This couscous is great paired with some roasted chicken or fish. You can also make a salad of sorts with it. Couscous usually runs for about $4 in regular stores.

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Ethics of Designer Knock-offs

I was thinking the other day about the ethics of purchasing designer knock-offs and I’ve always been split on the topic. On one hand, I can’t afford real designer clothes or purses, but does that mean I’m not allowed to wear a version of it? A version that could be potentially made by the same people who make the real thing? How much of the profit of these $500 dollar handbags are the people who are making it getting? I would assume only a fraction of the profit that they make off those products. Is it more unethical to support a designer who outsources their labor overseas in order to get cheap labor? I’m technically not taking any money away from the designer because I would never have enough money to purchase the real thing.

I’ve definitely bought a few designer knock-offs in my day and I always felt kind of bougie for it but the knockoffs I found were so so so believable. My personal favorite was my spiked Christian Louboutin knock-offs because that red sole is just too amazing. I remember every time a friend would take a trip to New York is was knock-off Coach bags and wallets for everyone.

I feel like this is one of those blurred lines where it’s looked down upon and kind of seen as trashy to buy knock-offs, but most people don’t care as long as they can’t visually tell right off the back. A bad knock-off can look almost offensive to the designer, but a good one is still technically giving them some free advertising if people can’t tell the difference.

I will probably continue to try and avoid knock-offs unless I find something designer that I can’t live without. I’m interested to hear what other people think about this topic and learn more about the deeper effects.

Ballin’ On A Budget- Online Edition

Online shopping can sometimes be overwhelming. There are so many factors that go into finding the best deals, making sure you’re ordering the right size, and judging the quality based on a thumbnail. It can be a real hassle, and a real buzz kill when you order something and you’re so excited, but when it arrives it looks nothing like what you saw in the picture. It’s also extremely difficult for us ladies because unlike men’s clothing there is no standardization in terms of women’s clothing sizes. This has made all of us at one time or another freak out when we try on a piece of clothing that we think is our size, and suddenly it feels like we’ve gained 50 lbs as we franticly try to suck in further to clasp the button.

So that’s why today I’m going to go through some of my favorite, affordable online stores and give you all some tips on how to figure out if it’s worth ordering.

First, buy yourself a measuring tape. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to find out roughly if something will fit. Every site has the measurements listed in the details section of the page

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http://www.tobi.com

Tobi has its marketing plan figured out, that’s for sure. Not only is it 50% off your first order, but it’s free shipping and free returns. In addition to that, if you share links with your friends on social media you can get more discounts. They also just have random days fairly often where it’s 50% site wide.

Romwe.com

Boohoo.com

Lulus.com

10 Household Items You’re Paying Too Much For

Before I went off to college, I was thrifty but not to the extent that I am now. You never realize how many random items you need until you move out of your parents house and have your first house to yourself. It amazed me how incredibly unreasonably priced just random household items are. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Dollar Tree is essentially the mothership for all of these items.

1. Toilet Paper- Why pay more than a dollar for something you’re going to flush down the toilet anyways. The best part is that dollar tree brand toilet paper is pretty good quality, much better than that paper thin stuff they have in most public restrooms.

2. Paper Towels-  Dollar Tree has Downy brand paper towels, and sometimes they have them in packs of three.

3. A broom/ dust pan- I even got a cute zebra print dust pan to spice up my life a little bit….

4. Windex/Toilet Cleaner/Etc- typically starts at around $5 bucks a pop but you can get all you’re essential cleaners for $5 total

5. Hand Soap- Dollar Tree has name brand hand soap, my favorite is the coconut lavender scent

6. Hair Ties- Ladies and gentlemen with man buns, you should never pay more than a buck for little tiny pieces of fabric coated elastic

7. Spatulas/Knives/Silverware/Etc- All of these and more are available at Dollar Tree, I haven’t had any issues with any of them breaking besides the can opener I bought which rusted really quickly

8. Glassware- Fancy glassware doesn’t have to be pricy, I’ve collected coca-cola glasses, martini, champagne, margarita, scotch, as well as coffee mugs.

9. Clothing Hangers- Dollar Tree even has some black velvet hangers, very swanky

10. Plates/Bowls/Tupperware- Dollar Tree gets new varieties pretty often and they are all for the most part part microwavable and dishwasher safe

Thrift Store From Head to Toe

I feel like thrift store’s and people who shop at thrift stores are kind of given a bad rep. Whenever I tell people certain clothes are from thrift stores they’ll give me this kind of “ew” glare as if I don’t wash the clothes immediately after I buy them. People also seem to think that the only style of clothes you can get from thrift stores is “grungy” and “vintage” which is not always the case. I’ve found one of my favorite J. Crew velvet blazers for $2.99 at a thrift store in Oklahoma. Another great gem I’ve found in Columbia is the Goodwill of Nifong gets a bunch of brand new shoes from Target with the tag still on.

I’ve put together two outfits that I’ve recently purchased from thrift stores. I also consider Platos Closet a thrift store as well since everything is secondhand.

The first outfit consists of:

red velvet crop top- $5 at Bad Granny’s Bazaar

lace kimono- $2.99 at Nearly New Shoppe

jeans- only item not from thrift store, still cheap from H&M for $9.99

black heels- $12.99 at Platos Closet

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The second outfit consists of:

White overalls- Goodwill $4.99

Grey crop top- Goodwill $2.99

black heels- Platos Closet $12.99

coin purse- Chicago thrift $2.99

I decided to have fun with one and did some jumping pictures. Cheesy? Maybe….

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on my way to steal yo girl....

on my way to steal yo girl….

Quick Gourmet Meal Under $6

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One thing I always look out for is sale’s in the meat/seafood department of Lucky’s Market. They have salmon, really yummy sundried tomato and basil chicken sausages, cranberry stuffed pork, a black & bleu stuffed burger, and much more. I definitely feel like Lucky’s has the best prices as far as meat and produce go. The other items can be pretty pricey sometimes.

A lot of the time, especially this semester I have felt like I don’t have time to eat healthy. In reality I just wasn’t thinking ahead and finding really good, healthy meals that don’t take much time to make. With this dish I usually add some type of risotto or quinoa as a side but I didn’t have time to make it this time.

I got half a pound of atlantic salmon from Lucky’s Market for $4.17, a zucchini for 99 cents, and the glaze I got from a previously purchased 6oz jar of the mango chutney glaze that goes for $3.99 at Lucky’s. I got the turquoise plate set that came with 5 plates, 3 mugs, and 5 bowls for $9.99 at big lots. It makes the dish presentation look so much better and makes eating colorful meals even more fun.

Affordable Makeup for Everyday Life

In order of appearence:

Elf BB Cream- $6 at Walmart

BellaPierre Contour Kit- $11 at Big Lots, came with 2 brushes, bronzer, and highlighter.

Cargo Blush- Birthdays Rule

Revlon Brown Fantasy Brow Pencil- $6 in any drugstore

Elf Angled Eyeliner- $3 at Walmart

Elf Cream Black Eyeliner- $3 at Walmart

Covergirl Exact Eyelight Mascara- $7 any drugstore

Blistex- $3 at Walmart