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Posts Tagged ‘tips and tricks’

I actually can’t believe it’s taken more than 10 posts before I’ve talked about my hair (sorry, is that shallow?) because it’s pretty much one of my favorite topics to discuss. But here goes.

I’ve had curly red(ish) hair all my life, and have hated it for just as long. Most people’s reaction is “Really? I’d love to trade my hair for that!” When in reality, if they experienced what I do every time I get out of the shower, they’d take that right back. Because naturally, my hair is sometimes straight, sometimes curly, always frizzy, and never smooth. About four years ago I started getting the Japanese straightening done and things have been happier ever since (that’s a story for another time…). But it definitely does a number on my ends.

The good stuff.

The good stuff.

Enter, Dove Intense Therapy shampoo and conditioner! I’ve been seeing the commercials on TV for a while now with the girls saying they punish their hair by doing things like twirling and straightening (check and check!), so I thought I’d try this stuff. And it actually works! Which is nuts because I haven’t spent less than $25 on a bottle of shampoo in the last four years and here comes this $7 bottle that’s just as good if not much better than the fancy stuff. And you know I love deals like that.

So if you’re like me and you pull and twist and twirl and fry and dry and otherwise take out your anger and frustration on your poor, poor locks, definitely check this stuff out.

For some reason, in my head, this post sounded a lot less like an ad for Dove. But anyway, just sharing my unsolicited advice cuz I’m feeling nice and it’s FRIDAY, and it’s supposed to be 80 DEGREES in BOSTON this weekend.

80 DEGREES. In BOSTON. Might I remind you that it’s APRIL.

In other news, we leave for Vegas a week from tomorrow and I need vacation books! And shoes! And teeny tiny make-up and shampoo containers! And! And! And!

See what a week of work does to me? Brain: officially fried.

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If you live in a big city like Boston or New York and pay out the butt for housing, food, activities and entertainment, it’s awesome when you can find a way to save some money on a weekly basis. I’ve been budgeting my money and keeping track of every penny spent since January (it was my New Years Resolution). I keep a calendar of what I spend every day and a spreadsheet to see how I am doing on my budget. Turns out I spend a lot more on food than I ever thought!

The boy and I like to eat well and usually shop with recipes in mind. We end up with ingredients for 6-8 recipes each time. Which means lots of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs–often the most expensive part of our list. With that in mind, I always mean to make two separate lists and go to Haymarket for the fresh stuff. If you’ve never heard of it or been, Haymarket is a market in Bostons which runs on Fridays and Saturdays with various vendors selling grocery store seconds. It’s like the “B Team” of fruits and veggies. Stop and Shop will buy up strawberries and sell them for $2.50 or $3 in season (if you’re lucky). Then the vendors pack up the leftovers and head down to haymarket, where they’ll sell you a box for $.75 or $1. Avocados? Same price. Leeks? $4 for 3 at the grocery store, $1 for 3 at Haymarket. See the trend? It’s easy to get all the items on our list for $15 at Haymarket, where as getting them at SnS could run us $30-$35.

Aside from the savings, Haymarket is usually hustlin’ and bustlin’ early on Saturday morning and it’s a great way to start the day. They have everything from herbs and fruits and veggies to fish-seconds from the pier, pizza in one of the permanent shops, a cheese shop, and a Halal shop selling everything from spices to goat heads!

Anyway, Haymarket runs year round, but this weekend was my first trip since the winter. Everything was in full swing for spring, and I’ve renewed my dedication to a second shopping trip there whenever possible.

Check out the goods:

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Apples, Oranges, Lemons, Brie Cheese, Fresh Bread, Cilantro, Leeks, Scallions, Strawberries and Grape Tomatoes - $15.

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Pile O' Leeks. I'll show you what I plan on doing with these in a future post...

Our fruit pile. Jealous? ;)

Our fruit pile. Jealous? 😉

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More on this adventure tomorrow...

To come:
I think I have an addiction…

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After seeing all of Bakerella‘s gorgeous cake pops, K1 and I decided we had to try for ourselves–with fabulous results if I do say so myself!

Over the last few days we gathered all of the supplies we needed–cake, frosting, chocolate to melt, all kinds of candy and sprinkles–$60 worth of supplies!!! (I’m seeing more decorating projects in our near future…) We laid everything out:
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We had a little bit of everything it seemed. After rolling up the little balls of cake and sticking the lollipop sticks in them, it was time to dunk in the melted chocolate and decorate.
p1010049We used vanilla cake/frosting, and chocolate cake/frosting. Then we made some marbled when we got bored…
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All in all, these turned out 100 times better than any of us expected. The bunnies, sheep, and chicks look almost just like (or better then!) Bakerella’s. We can’t wait to try some more of her creations. We have PLENTY of leftover sprinkles. Here are some more choice examples:

My menagerie!

My menagerie!

Ridiculously cute chicks.

Ridiculously cute chicks.

The boyfriend's Easter basket.

The boyfriend's Easter basket.

K's creation that's possibly the cutest thing I've seen.

K2's creation that's possibly the cutest thing I've seen.

Cocoa digging into a 'mess-up'.

K1 digging into a 'mess-up'.

This is what I needed after staring at sprinkles for 4 hours.

This is what I needed after staring at sprinkles for 4 hours.

Happy Easter, everyone! Hope yours is as fun and creative as ours 🙂

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I love getting emails! I’m sure you do too. Which is why I sign up for a great daily when I see one. Right now I get three(ish) and a couple weeklies – and they’re worth every KB of inbox space! Consider yourself enlightened:

Daily Candydailycandy
I’ve been a reader of Daily Candy since I lived in New York. They have several editions (Boston, New York, Chicago, Everywhere, etc) and I’ve switched editions as I’ve switched cities. Each day the girls at Daily Candy recommend a local restaurant/museum/activity, or a cool new designer/band/CD, or write-up a new business in town, etc. It’s like having a girlfriend who’s super in-the-know (or being that girl when you relay the info to your friends!). And once a week they put out a “weekend guide” that has some great ideas about how to spend your weekend. Go sign up!

hungrygirlHungry Girl
If you haven’t heard of Hungry Girl yet, you might be interested in doing some googling! Hungry Girls is a company run by Lisa Lillien, who has now published two cookbooks of super low-calorie recipes. Each day the email has new products, tips, and tricks for how to cut calories in cooking. Once a week (Tuesdays?) there is a new recipe using low-cal ingredients or a cool new product to recreate a meal/dish that is traditionally high in calories and fat. HG has really cheesy names for these “recipe swaps” but if you can get past the cheesiness of the emails you can pick up some good tips!

Groupongroupon
I JUST signed up to get a daily email from Groupon like last week, and so far, so good! It’s also a city-based thing, but they have Boston, Chicago, and New York editions. The process is based on offering a really good deal to a local business, and you only get the coupon if enough people sign up that day. For example, today’s deal is a coupon for a Haircut, Blowdry, Mani/Pedi, and Eyebrow wax (normally $160) for $49!!! Everyone who pays the $49 gets the coupon, if 20 people buy in. (Currently there are over 170 people who bought in, so we all get the coupon!). In the past there have been restaurant deals, car wash deals, and yesterday was a dentist deal! It’s based on group buying power. Good stuff

Anyway, if you’re like me and enjoy some inbox love, these are great. If you have any daily stuff you’d like to suggest, leave it in the comments!

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