Monday, February 1, 2016

January Favorites | 2016

Happy February 1! Can you believe that we're starting the second month of the year already? January was such a fun month - New Year's Eve, going to see the Arkansas Razorbacks play at the Liberty Bowl, spending a long weekend in New Orleans ... it was a great month. 

There were also new products/things I found in January that I want to share in a monthly favorites blog. This month the favorites are a little all over the place - but randomness runs keep within me. 

1. SlimFast 100 Calorie Snacks - Drizzled Crisps 



To be honest, I was a little skeptical about these SlimFast snacks. Usually anything 100 calories isn't that great, but OMGosh these are so good. The little bites of cinnamon bun swirls are really sweet but not too sweet. It's a great snack to have when you need something sweet while working, or late at night. And you can't over indulge because it's only 100 calories and they are individually packaged. So delicious. 

2. Ebates


I am loving using Ebates for my online shopping. Now that Christmas is over, I'm getting a rebate for all of my online shopping that I did. Getting paid to give to others - that's sweet online shopping good karma. 


Maegan Clark, www.SouthernBlondie.com

I was having a hard time with breakouts during the holidays. The stress of the holidays, plus it's a stressful time at work, plus traveling, plus family stuff really took it's toll on my skin. I started using the Philosophy Purity Mask on a regular basis and it really helped clear things up. 

4. Chelsea Does on Netflix 

When it comes to binge watching I believe I deserve the gold medal. The amount of time I can sit in one spot without moving is inspiring and terrifying. When I wasn't feeling so good las weekend from a headache, I laid on the couch and watched ALL four Chelsea Does episodes on Netflix. They were self-indulgent, but fun to see her take on things. 



Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I spend way too much time reading cookbooks and magazines and watching cooking shows. What I've been into lately is watching the Tasty Videos on YouTube/Facebook. They make everything they cook so simple and easy. 



Of all the social media platforms out there, SnapChat is one of the most fun. If you're on SnapChat you'll know what I mean, if you're not, you should join. today. right now. this minute. go. join. 

7. Chipotle Salads 


Yes, yes, yes. Chipotle is making people sick in SOME stores, but the Chipotle in Little Rock has never made me sick. I love their salads so much. 

My salad: 
Lettuce (+extra) 
Peppers
Steak
Mild Salsa 
A line of Hot Salsa on Top 
Cheese 

The perfect Chipotle salad. 


These are my top favorite things for January! Hope you have a great start to the beginning of your February! 


(I received the SlimFast products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. Reviews and opinions are my own.)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Taking it Easy: New Orleans Day 4

Ah! Our last day in New Orleans was Monday, but I wanted to space it out on the blog a little bit. My friend Patrick saw my snapchats of New Orleans and messaged me that I should go to the Ole Coffee Pot. 

Because he knows his stuff, we went! 


This was my omelet. It was delicious.

After brunch, my travel companion had some work to do for a few hours so I took the afternoon to tour a little bit. 


I headed over to the French Market - which is a bit touristy. They have a food court area that looked like it had some great stuff. The shopping was a bit repetitive but it was fun to look around. 


Since there were a few hours to kill, I took a tour of the French Quarter the the Saint Louis Cemetery. 


It's the cemetery where Marie Laveau is! I had seen it when I was a kid, but it's fun to go back to re-hear the stories.


I'm also amazed at how they bury people in New Orleans. Just think those tombs have multiple people in them.


Ah! One of the MOST FUN THINGS we did was go to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. A couple was so nice to let us know when they were leaving so we could grab their seats. Getting a seat on the carousel can be really hard. It's fun to watch people just walk around and sort of stalk their prey to get a seat. 


A lady recommended the Pimm's Cup - a drink I had never had before - and it was delicious!

Also, it's so pretty! 


In case you're curious exactly what is in it - it's really nice. 


I wish we had a better picture, but it really was a fun afternoon. 


For dinner we went to Cochon. It's a new(ish) restaurant in New Orleans I believe and it did not disappoint. This was probably my favorite dinner place that we visited. 


This was their beet salad. I LOVE beets, so anytime I see a salad with them I always order it. 

I know this looks a little like brains (or that's what the BF called it) it was really good. 


For dinner I had the appetizer of the spicy ribs. And they aren't kidding, they were spicy! 

But they were addicting. It's eating something so good that's so hot and you can't stop but you need to at the exact same time. 


Tuesday morning we woke up really early and took FlyGLO back to Little Rock. It's the nonstop flight from Little Rock to New Orleans that just started last fall. 

Now it's back to work, only to think of the memories of how much fun the New Orleans weekend had been. 

Catch up: 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Taking it Easy: New Orleans Day 3

After a busy day 1 and day 2 in New Orleans, a rested day 3 was needed. After sleeping in, we got up, got around and decided to go to Palace Cafe for a jazz brunch. It's such a lovely place! 


I was looking for something filling to soak up day 2 and Palace Cafe had just the answer. 

After I devoured the inside of the loaf of bread with homemade butter (I only like the inside of bread, not interested in the crust)... 


It was time for a big burger and fries! I know it's not the typical brunch food but it's what my body and soul needed. The jazz band went from table to table to play songs, luckily we got skipped. 

Jazz brunches are so much fun, but I have a hard time knowing where to look when someone is playing music when I'm trying to stuff in French fries! 


A view of the festive bar area


Next on the day agenda was to head to the horse track! 


I love going to the horse track and betting $2 on a horse, so it was fun to do this for a few hours. Though I lost! Luckily my boyfriend won over $100 and I lost around $20. I'm not big into betting so losing more than $20 hurts my feelings. 


I also enjoyed how they showed the horses. 



After the horse track we went back to Bourbon to a bar called, Erin Rose. It's one that a Twitter friend of mine had recommended. If you're looking for a fun, hole-in-the-wall bar, go there. 




Neither of us had been to a John Besh restaurant, and New Orleans has like NINE of them. We decided to go to Besh Steak at HARRAH's casino. 

This is probably the biggest disappointment to me of the trip. For the price of them meal it really wasn't worth it. I think that's why I'm so disappointed, for a $50 meal per person, I just expect more. The service was just OK, the food wasn't anything to be impressed by, and the lady who sat us was really rude. 

I'd like a refund on that experience. I'll also probably never go to a restaurant in a casino hotel again. 

But that's traveling - you can have great moments and times, and then ones you learn from, right? Day 4 coming soon!

Catch up: 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Taking it Easy: New Orleans Day 2

After a successful day one, it was time to make day two even better. After sleeping in, we finally got up and around and decided to get some lunch. 

So we made our way down to Felix's for some oysters.


The line was long, but we had it covered. Grabbed a couple of drinks to cheers to the day. 



Cheers! I'm really loving this city!



Everything on the menu looked delicious. It was hard not to want to pick one of each.



We started with a dozen oysters on the had shell, then decided to get a half dozen that were char grilled. 

The oyster, the bread, the butter... It was all delicious. I'd go on some more but I would just make you hungry. 



Because the first 18 oysters didn't satisfy me, I ordered six more with a salad and side of jambalaya. 



After lunch we strolled around where we found the Pardi Gras mini-concert. It was actually really fun.


Then. This happened.

The hand grenade. 

One is all you need. 

 Hand grenades in hand, we strolled around Jackson Square until we found a Davie Bowie parade.

Yesterday was full of surprises. 



It was about to storm, so we went back to the hotel early. 

On to day 3!

Catch up here: 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Taking it Easy: New Orleans Day 1

Instead of Christmas presents, the boyfriend and I decided to use whatever we would have spent on each other and go on a trip. Since he's been to New Orleans a lot, and I've never been as an adult, we thought this could be an easy, fun time. 

So we planned to come to New Orleans in January for a long weekend. Thanks to FlyGLO, there is a new direct flight from Little Rock to New Orleans now that's $99 one way and takes around an hour and a half. Booked. 

How can you beat that price with the time it saves you?


Thanks, FlyGLO! The plane was small but mighty.


They even passes out some king cake and snacks! Should have grabbed some of those Zapps chips! 

After a smooth and safe landing, we grabbed a cab and headed to our hotel. Next on the agenda was to drop off our luggage and go find lunch.



The boyfriend had heard about Willie Mae's Scotch house that is suppose to have some of the best fried chicken in the US. 

Since we are a fried chicken loving couple, we decided we had to be the judge. 



Here's a little bit of information about the restaurant - the menu is simple, Cajun and mouth-watering.


We both went for the fried chicken. He got mashed potatoes, I got Mac and cheese. 

The macaroni and cheese was so different and delicious because of it's Cajun spices and crunch. The chicken was crazy good. The skin was flavored and crispy, while the inside was so juicy.

After lunch, we took a stroll around Bourbon Street and Jackson Square then sit at the park area by the Mississippi while sipping on hurricanes. 

We decided since it was such a long morning, and we had three more days left that today should be easy. So we headed back to the hotel for showers and rest before dinner. 

Once rested and ready, we had a pre-dinner cocktail. 

Champagne, please! 



For dinner we headed to Dick and Jenny's that on the west side of New Orleans. I loved the interior and decor of this place.



Quick preview of the menu! 



All the reviews I had read said to get the fried green tomatoes with crab. It was so good! 



For my dinner, I got the short ribs. I absolutely LOVE short ribs. The meat was cooked to perfection, and the polenta cake under neath was the best I've ever had of polenta cakes. The greens were not for me. 



After dinner we headed to a local grocery store to grab some wine and head back to the hotel. It's been a long, but easy and relaxing day. 

I am drinking wine out of a solo cup while watching movies in bed at the hotel. These are the things you enjoy when you get older! 

Let's see where day 2 takes us! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

FREE Apps to Help You Save Money in 2016

401kcalculator.org
There's nothing I love more than shopping - except a really good deal or saving money. It might seem a little counterintuitive, but I love saving as much as I love spending. And if I'm going to be shopping, I want the best deal possible. 

That's why I use these four apps to earn free money and save on things I will buy anyway. 

1. Ebates 


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back


For my online shopping (which is the majority of my shopping) I use Ebates. I've found this the easiest way to actually make money while shopping online. How does it work? Just sign-up for an account and check for deals. If you download the Ebates extension for your browser, deals will automatically pop-up when you're on rebate sites! Signup for a free account here

2. Ibotta 




Ibotta is similar to Ebates in that you make money when you shop. I really like this app for grocery shopping because you can earn money for things you will buy anyway like tomatoes, carrots, peppers. 


Here's how the app works: 

1. Download the App
Download the Ibotta app, available on iOS and Android. The app is required to submit a receipt.
2. Unlock Rebates
Before you go shopping, unlock cash rewards on great products by completing simple tasks.

3. Go Shopping
Buy the products you’ve unlocked at any supported store.

4. Verify Your Purchases
Scan your product barcodes, then submit a photo of your receipt.

5. Get Cash
You’ll have the cash deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.


You can even set up loyalty cards with Ibotta! 




RetailMeNot is GREAT for online coupons. Instead of printing them, or searching for them online while you're in the store try this app. If you're going to be shopping anyway, why not save 20%?




GasBuddy is an app I've been using for a couple of years now. Since I'm a little obsessive at times about saving money where I can, this one can really add up. It's a free app that shows you the cheapest gas near you. This one is great for traveling because if you can see where you should stop for the best possible gas price! 



These are my four FAVORITE free apps that I have found to be the most useful in saving money or earning free money.  Which ones do you use?