Southern Blondie

August Shopping Deals

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I love a good deal, in fact, my boyfriend always makes fun of me because I can get anyone to lower a price and only shop using E-bates, Honey and any discount code I can find online. It's not that I can't afford nice things, but if you can get a nice thing at a deal then you can afford to get another nice thing! Does that make sense? 

Since I've been super stressed out about buying a house the past few days, I've been making GREAT life decisions of online shopping. Nothing like knowing you have to scrape around money for a downpayment to make you want to spend money on things online. Somehow I don't feel bad about my online shopping problem because I feel like I am 'saving' so much money... Let that twisted philosophy sink in.

But, since I am going to do it anyway, I might as well share some good deals I have found over my sleepless nights... 

PAIGE 'Transcend - Bell Canyon' High Rise Flare Jeans 



I LOVE Paige Jeans,but to be honest, I can only afford them when they are on sale. Nordstrom is currently offering these jeans for $89.90 and they retail for about $180. HELLO. BUY!

NuMe Curling Wands


NuMe is offering 70% off any curling wand until the end of August! Just use this link and the code ITSONLY70 for a 70% discount AND free shipping. DOUBLE WIN.

J.Crew Factory


J.Crew Factory has been having a lot of sales online the past few days. I used the code GOODJEANS last night and got 20% off my total of $100. Saved some cash!

Tobi





Tobi has been offering 50% off their entire site, though I think it has already ended. However, if you've never shopped there than you can signup with your email and your first purchase if 50% off! Worth it because they have some good trendy pieces that are made of good quality. One of my favorite jackets is from Tobi.

Beauty Box 5 



I blogged about this last week, but you can still get a free eyeshadow with your September Beauty Box subscription. It's $13 and the products are actually good. No bullshit. Click here for my review, or use this link for the free eyeshadow with a subscription

ALSO - You have to signup for Ebates if you haven't. It's FREE money back. So many of my friends use it and if you don't then you should too. Signup with my link here

SO - what are your good deals and coupons for the month? I am working towards buying a house so I need some good deals to keep my online shopping habit alive and well, yet budget friendly! 

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When You Become a Grownup ... You Buy a House

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So here's the thing - no one tells you when you become a grownup. There's no magical age associated with it, there's no certificate and no ceremony. Somewhere along the way it just kind of happens... Let me be really honest, becoming a grownup was a very, very slow process for me. I haven't really been in a hurry for a grown-up life when it comes to marriage, kids, buying a house or anything else really. 

But there will be a moment that you think to yourself, "Oh sh*t, I am an ADULT." and then you are one and all of these adult decisions start to happen. Like... one of my recent decisions is ... well... I am going to buy a house. 

... Taking a deep breath because now it's REAL. 

After six years of living in the same apartment, I came to the realization that I'm ready for more. Living in this apartment complex has been great, and easy, and convenient, and safe. I'm really going to miss it actually, but I'm ready for more. I'm ready to be able to paint, and decorate, and have more space, and have a yard, and all of those things that people get to do in a house. I'm ready to pay money to own something. 

It's terrifying, it's exhilarating, I have no idea what I am dong, but this process has taught me SO much! I had no idea how all of the steps it takes to buy a house. 

AND, the most exciting part is that I get to decorate it just like I want it! For instance, the current owners 'baby room' is going to be my office. So if you have your own 'office makeover' post, or you have seen cute ideas, send them my way! 


I'm thinking about painting this baby room ... 


A deep turquoise color! Thoughts? Any budget friendly tips you can share?

Also, have you bought a house? What was your experience and what should I keep in mind as we go through inspection, etc? 

Let me know in the comments!

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Beauty Box 5 Subscription Review

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I love a subscription box... clearly, if you read this then you know I love StitchFix, Trunk Club, last year I blogged about trying the beauty box Ipsy and now... I'm going to share the Beauty Box 5. This beauty box was new to me, but since I love to try new things I thought why not.

**If you want to try the Beauty Box 5 use this link and get a free eyeshadow! It's only $12 a month (includes shipping)!




















Here's the box! I LOVE presents so I think that's why I love subscription boxes because I'm getting a lot of surprise presents at once. 


Rose gold tweezers? Yes, please. These tweezers are so pretty and they are actually really nice and sturdy. 
Retail: $12. 


The only tanning I believe in is self-tanning. For so long I've meant to pick up one of these little mini mitts for my face but now I don't have to! I was really excited to receive this to try it with my self-tanner. 
Retail: $4.95 


This is a new brand for me that I have never heard of, Hikari. This champagne colored eye shadow is really, really pretty. It's buildable, so it's great for a highlight below your eyebrow, or you can build it on your lid for a great glow.
Retail: $13


My makeup brush collection is the saddest thing in the world. This round blending brush is great for eyeshadow or a highlight. It's so soft and it feels like it's really well made. 
Retails: $10 


Another brand that I hadn't heard of, Chella. This is a taupe eyebrow color pencil, and is fantastic! My eyebrows are pretty neglected at times so I'm so excited to try something to define the brows for once! 
Retails: $18 

Everything included in my Beauty Box 5 was a full-size product. The total of the products equals $60! This beauty box only cost $12 a month. The tweezers alone were $12. I really liked this box and all of its products because I will actually use them and not toss them aside in a sample pile. 

If you want to try this, use this link and you will get a free eyeshadow added to your box!

OK - what subscription boxes do you love that I need to try? And what coupon codes do you have for me to try them?? 

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How to Feel Smarter Every Day

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Every weekend I tell myself I'm going to get my life together, and every Monday morning I wake up asking myself why didn't I do more to prepare for the week. I'm never going to be the person who puts together their outfits before the week, spending all Sunday working on meal prep is not my thing, and, let's be real, I'm not going to get up early on Monday to go for a run. 

What works for me? Well, having clean clothes, making sure I have my Special K Red Berry cereal for breakfast and knowing that everything I need to know will come to me in my email. 

My mornings start out something like this... 

The alarm goes off, I press snooze once or twice, then I find the remote and turn on Good Morning America (GMA). I stagger out of bed, turn GMA on louder so I can shower and get ready. While I am blow drying my hair, or putting on makeup, I do a few things that help me feel smarter before the work day. Grab a bowl of cereal, grab my iPhone and start reading ...


The Skimm




I read the Skimm every. single. day.  The Skimm is a daily email newsletter that makes it SO easy to feel smarter when it comes to global & U.S. topics. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NY Times article, but this sums up that article so if you're short on time you're not short on knowledge. 


Here's a sample of part of the daily email newsletter. It's free to signup - and you can be part of a great community. Signup to the Skimm for free here. 


Morning Brew 



My second email that I read every morning is the Morning Brew. This daily e-newsletter is really focused on business and is focused for millennials (which is just a buzz word because it's great for everyone).  The Morning Brew breaks down the market, what's happening with the U.S. economy, and gives good overviews of things that are good to know. 


Here's a little screenshot about what's including in the Morning Brew e-newsletter. You really can't go wrong for signing up for the Skimm and the Morning Brew. Signup for free here.


Digit

So Digit is a little different than the other two because Digit saves money without you having to think about it. How does it make you feel smarter? Digit sends you a daily text message with how much money is in your checking account and saves you money without you realizing it. AND THIS IS FREE.

Here's out it works. You signup for a Digit account here. Then you enter in your banking information. This is safe, I promise, I did a lot of researching about it before I trusted anyone with that kind of information. Next, they send you a daily text every morning with your updated checking balance. 


Now, here's where the savings part comes in... Let's say you spend $40 on eating out on Friday night... Digit might take out $12 the next day and save it in an account. If you get paid on the first of every month, Digit will start to take out a little money before you get paid and save it. It learns your spending habits and starts to save from there. If it's not saving enough for you then you can choose to be a little more aggressive. If it's saving too much, then you can tell it to slow down a little. It's up to you and your spending habits. One friend of mine has saved up enough for a fancy new pair of shoes. I use my Digit savings for travel. Seriously. Try it. 

Signup for Digit today. 

Also, this weekend I saw Dolly Parton in concer with my mom. It was AMAZING, and I LOVE Dolly. I even bought a $40 t-shirt because I couldn't imagine leaving there without that piece of memorabilla. So, if I don't have time to meal prep for the week, that's OK, because I have a memory that's so much more than a fridge full of cut up veggies. 
A photo posted by Maegan Clark (@maeganclark) on




The Skimm, Morning Brew and Digit are three things I do every morning to feel prepared for the day. What do you do to feel smarter and feel ready for the day/week? 


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How To Be Happy

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There's a quote in the world that says something along the lines of, "If you want to be happy, then be happy." As easy as that sounds, some days feeling 'happy' is a little harder than others. In 2010 I started this blog to find myself after a horrendous breakup, sudden move to Arkansas, and total loss of knowing who I was anymore. It's as dramatic as it sounds. 

One afternoon I sat outside on my parent's patio and talked with my mom about what I would name a blog. The only two words to describe my life at the time were Southern and Blonde, hence the name. Writing has always been an outlet for me so I thought why not find myself again in a way that was creative, and self-motivating. Never in a million years did I think I would still be blogging six years later (even if I did take a year break). 

Long story to say that this blog has made me happy throughout the years. However, lately, I haven't been 'feeling' happy.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing in life to be sad about. I also know that this is not a depression situation (though if it was I would also be sharing that journey). The only word I can find to describe my mood lately is with the word, sluggish.  The things that once brought happiness and joy are starting to feel like burdens. 

Cooking use to be one of my favorite hobbies and in the past few months, I've cooked maybe a handful of times. For a while playing tennis was a challenge and fun, but after I couldn't find anyone to practice with I just let it go. Education has always been an important part of my life because I love hands-on learning but once I finished my master's degree I didn't think about what would be next. Same with working out. Those people that love to workout and feel better after, yeah I was one of those annoying people for a few years. 


My point to all of this is that somewhere along the way I've stopped enjoying things that use to make me happy, and instead, I've let them feel like burdens. So what is one to do? I picked up the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. This book isn't new, it came out back in 2013 and it's a little self-indulgent. Neither I, nor the author, have anything in our lives to complain about, but we have both lost the ability to have fun, enjoy what we have, and focus on the good. 

So far from the book I'm working on a Happy Action Plan - a personal timeline to keep me accountable in working towards feeling happy again, and letting go of the sluggish feelings. 

  1. Find one new thing to try to cook for the month of August (I actually think I want to learn how to make homemade bread.) 
  2. I started weekly Spanish lessons in May but it's time I take more time to practice throughout the week. 
  3. Blogging is fun for me - and even if it's on my mom and my cousin who read it, it is still something that I enjoy. 
  4. Find a new workout that makes me want to go to the gym/find a tennis partner to play with. 

I'm going to start in August on focusing on those four things - they aren't difficult goals, they are activities that I know I enjoy I just need to re-focus on why these things provide happiness. 

Does anyone else feel sluggish, or bored from time to time? I'm halfway through the book and I think it's starting to give me ideas on how to find my personal happiness again. Only you can make yourself happy, and I have let myself become a little lazy. 

So as I work on my own happiness project on how to make myself happy again - I want to know, does anyone else ever feel, 'unhappy' at times for no apparent reason? What makes you happy? 
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