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living on less

My Favorite New Summer Beauty Products From Walmart

by Tara Kuczykowski on July 8, 2016 · 2 comments

We've had some wild and crazy weather here in Central Ohio lately... The Fourth of July weekend brought crazy cool temperatures in the 60's, only to be followed up by blazing hot high temps and humidity that makes your makeup melt and hair wilt as soon as you step outside the door...

This kind of unpredictability calls for changes in my usual beauty regime, which means I've been trying out some new products lately. I thought it would be fun to share the best of the best with you all, especially since these four faves can all be picked up at Walmart -- meaning they're very budget friendly!

Eucerin In-Shower Moisturizer Body Lotion, $9.39

If you try just one new product this summer, make it this Eucerin In-Shower Moisturizer Body Lotion! I've tried other in-shower moisturizers in the past with underwhelming success. Either the scent was overpowering or they left my skin feeling slightly sticky and tacky for too long after showering.

So when I recently received a sample of this Eucerin product, I almost tossed it my box of samples to give away... In fact, I did drop it in there. But then a few days ago, after getting frustrated with trying to pull on summer shorts over my legs after just applying moisturizer, I decided to dig it back out and try it. Just one use and I was hooked!

P.S. Looks for bottles with a $2 peelie coupon on them in Walmart stores.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15, $16.17

This Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15 was kind of a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Normally I use the regular Hydro Boost Water Gel, but the one complaint I have about it I don't like having to scoop it out of a jar. I always feel like I'm contaminating the entire container -- and it's just messy.

So when I saw this new product with SPF 15 that comes in a tube with a pump, I figured I'd give it a try. Normally I can't wear sunscreen on my face because my skin is on the sensitive side, but I was hoping I could tolerate this since the regular product is pretty mild. I'm happy to report that I can actually use this without breaking out! It does have a bit of a sunscreen scent to it when you first apply it, but it quickly disappears. I'm very happy that I gave this a shot!

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, $5.37

I mentioned this Simple Micellar Cleansing Water a few months ago when I saw a good sale on it, but I feel like it's worth of another mention. I'm lazy about washing my face at night, but this stuff makes it super simple to remove dirt, grime and makeup with just a swipe -- while still being gentle enough to remove my eye makeup, mascara and all!

I caught my girls using it, so I bought them each a bottle of their own. It's never too early to start teaching good skincare habits!

Batiste Clean & Classic Original Dry Shampoo, $5.94

To be perfectly honest, my FAVORITE favorite dry shampoo is Living Proof -- but who can afford to use it as often as I need to during the summer? I'm pretty sure that Batiste Clean & Classic Original Dry Shampoo has been around in the UK for awhile, but it's new to me and I adore it, so I'm including it.

Previously I shared that Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Dry Shampoo was the best drugstore dry shampoo I've tried, but my store never has it in stock anymore. So I've been forced to branch out once again... I recently tried the Dove Dry Shampoo and was not impressed. I have to admit, I was a little put off by the retro look of the Batiste brand, but I grabbed a bottle on a whim -- and I LOVE it! The fresh, clean scent is great, and I prefer the rice starch used in it to the usual talc that so many brands use. Definitely a keeper!

Now it's YOUR turn... What new beauty products have you tried lately that you LOVE?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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Disclosure: Sponsored by Mirum Shopper, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

If your little one is a big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you're going to LOVE this quick and easy idea for TMNT drinks! They're perfect for parties, after sports snacks, or just for no special reason at all, because they're really simple to make.

(BTW, if you're going the party route, check out these adorable and FREE custom Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles invitations from Evite.)

I've seen these cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bottles done before with felt for the masks, but I want to super simplify it, so I cut colored strips of orange, red, blue and purple sheets of construction paper instead. Measurements for each strip should be 8" long by 3/4" wide.

Simply remove the labels from any soda beverage that comes in a green plastic bottle. Tape the colored strips around each bottle, and then using either hot glue or craft glue, add two google eyes on top of each of the "masks". Easy-peasy and SO cute!!!

You know what pairs perfectly with these drinks? Teenage Mutant Ninja Popsicles! Of course, my kids love pretty much any kind of popsicles... But these come in their favorite fruity flavors, AND they're on sale at Target right now at 2 for $7.

Add a box or two of these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Popsicles to your cart at Target, along with the supplies for these party drinks and you'll be the coolest mom around! Together, they're a party all on their own -- I surprised my kids with them when they came home hot and sweaty from soccer camp yesterday, and their eyes went wide with excitement.

Even my oldest daughter was thrilled to find this refreshing treat waiting. Although, I had to laugh when she asked if there was a pink turtle... Go figure, this girl is ALL about pink! But she was more than happy to settle for the Blue Raspberry Blast Popsicle and a blue Leonardo drink instead.

Win a TMNT Prize Pack!

How would you like to win a TMNT Prize Pack that includes a $35 Fandango gift card and a $25 Target gift card?!? Just head over to the Deal Seeking Mom Facebook page through Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET to enter -- one lucky reader will win!

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Though we own several really nice pieces of clothing from Walmart, it's not typically the first store I think of when I need to pick up a specific item. More often, it's a happy accident encountered on my way to grab some fresh greens for the evening's dinner or the like.

And so it was the case last week. I needed to pick up a few items for Father's Day dinner, and on my way back from tracking down the prepared horseradish, I spied this adorable little black dress. Recalling that my oldest daughter had recently mentioned needing a new dress for our upcoming beach vacation, I pulled my cart off to the side for a closer look.

Imagine my delight when I realized that, not only did they have one size small left in stock, it was marked down to just $11! It's like it was meant to be... So I tossed it in the cart, hoping that it would meet with her approval -- because you know a preteen's taste in clothing changes with the breeze.

Luckily, she loved it as much as I did! It's fun and flirty, feminine without being too revealing, and loose enough that she can still wear some shorts or leggings underneath. 'Cause if there's one thing I know for sure, there's never a soccer ball far from this girl's feet!

And did I mention it was only $11??? You know my budget looooovvves THAT.

We did a little trial run to show it off, even curling her hair with this awesome curling wand for the occasion. I also let her borrow my much coveted Miss Zoe by Calinana necklace and bracelet. I'm telling you -- I have definitely gotten my money's worth and then some from this gorgeous jewelry. And there are still SO many pieces I want to order from the collection!

If you've been hunting for the perfect dress, Walmart has cute summer dresses for all ages right now. Check them out to find your own personal style steal!

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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Over the past year-and-a-half, I've noticed a definite change my kids' TV-viewing habits. Namely, they really don't watch cable TV anymore. Most of their media is consumed on their devices via YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. And the same goes for me and my husband. Outside of Game of Thrones and the occasional live sports event, the TV is mainly a source of background noise.

I've been seriously tossing around the idea of cutting our cable package for the last few months, but the first few times I brought the subject up to my husband, let's just say he was less than enthusiastic. However, after mentioning during one conversation that we've been paying $50 a month just for cable boxes, he started listening a little more intently.

Here's an interesting fact... Did you know that the average cable subscriber gets around 178 channels, but only watches 17? You are probably paying for more channels than you really need. I know for sure this is true for my family. To get certain "premium" channels, we had to subscribe to a much larger package than we really needed, and we only watch a fraction of the channels.

Perhaps one day the cable industry will wise up and allow us to pick and choose, but until then, after much research and planning, we're taking the leap and cancelling our cable TV service.

How to Cut Your Cable

If you've been considering ditching your cable, as well, there are a few things that you need to consider. You may already own everything you need, or you may need to pick up a few additional items to make the switch, but in the long run, you should more than come out ahead of your current cable situation.

1. Check to see if your current ISP will support streaming media.
While we've been mostly pleased with our current Internet Service Provider, they recently updated their data caps. Unlimited data is only available if you subscribe to the largest cable package or pay an arm and a leg each month. Sneaky, sneaky, huh?

After investigating other local providers, I found another ISP that offers unlimited data at speeds 2.5 times faster than our current service for only $10 more a month. Sold!

To save a little more, we opted to purchase our own modem. Our new ISP gave us the option to rent one for $10 per month, but we'll save $50 over the course of a year by purchasing our own up front.

I should note that we already use an Apple AirPort Time Capsule as our Wi-Fi router (as well as for backups). If you don't have a router, you'll want to purchase a combination modem/router. Your ISP can provide you with a list of recommended modems and/or modem/routers, as well as assist you in determining which you will need to purchase.

2. Determine if you have a smart TV or need a streaming device.
If your TV has Wi-Fi access and a library of streaming apps, you're already set. But if you have an older TV, you might need to purchase a streaming device. I say "might" because, if you already own a newer gaming console, they have a library of streaming apps available for download. Our three boys will be using their Xbox One consoles to stream to their TVs.

Our other TVs will use a combination of Apple TVs and Fire Sticks, but there are a number of other options on the market. From Roku to Chromecast to Slingbox, you can check out the various options here.

3. Choose a digital antenna and/or streaming services.
If you live in an area that is capable of receiving over-the-air (OTA) broadcast signals and your local broadcast stations (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, etc) transmit a digital signal, you can actually watch HD digital television programming for FREE! You'll just need to pick up an HD antenna, and there are a ton of budget-friendly options available.

Plus you can choose from a wide variety of streaming services, such as Netflix, VUDU, Hulu, HBO NOW and more, to view cable TV shows, movies, and other exclusive programming. We've subscribed for Netflix for years, in addition to our cable TV service, and subscribed to Hulu a few months ago to watch their exclusive 11.22.63 series (so good!!!), so these are not new charges for us. The nice thing about all of these services is that they bill on a monthly basis with no contracts or obligations, so you can subscribe and unsubscribe at will.

Cutting the cable not such a radical idea these days. With the wide variety of options available on the market, there's a viable solution for just about any type of programming. But I have to admit, for this girl who's had cable access for as long as I can remember, it's still just a tad scary. I imagine there will be a few challenges to work through over the first few weeks, but we'll work through them as a family.

Walmart has everything you need to cut the cable, including some Cut the Cable money-saving bundles to get your started!

Have you ditched your cable bill, yet? What are ways that you save on your cable bill?

Disclosure: Sponsored by Walmart, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

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5 Flat Iron Tips + Deal on Hair Care Dream Team

by Tara Kuczykowski on June 10, 2016 · 0 comments

Things are starting to heat up here in Central Ohio, and along with rising temperatures, we typically see an increase in humidity. Great for the skin -- but NOT so great for hair, especially for us wavy/curly girls. Am I right?

Whether I'm trying to work with my natural texture or want a sleeker look for a night out, frizz is the number one enemy. And I combat it with two tools... a good flat iron and argan oil!

Now, you might be a bit perplexed, but flat irons aren't just for straightening. My hair dresser showed me how to use it to curl my hair, as well. You just hold the flat iron vertically and pull straight out with the hair wrapped around it about one-and-a-half turns, maintaining tension as you pull. I know it sounds complicated, but it with a little practice it's very easy. And now I only need one tool to create smoother curls or to straighten my hair!

Whether you use your flat iron to curl or straighten your hair, these 5 tips will help you get the most out of it:

1. Start with a good quality argan oil product. I like to apply argan oil to my hair while it's still damp to hydrate and protect it against the heat. A few drops applied to dry hair when you're finished doubles as a shine serum. I love double-duty products!

2. Don't crank up the heat. Higher heat does not equal straighter hair. A good flat iron will have an adjustable heat setting on it. Keep it within the 300-degree range to preserve your strong, healthy hair. P.S. Lower is not better either. You risk having to go over a section multiple times to get it straight, which can be just as damaging.

3. Don't flat iron damp hair. Damp hair is more difficult to straighten, meaning you'll have to go over a section several times, and as we just discussed, this is a BAD idea. If you see steam or hear your hair sizzle while straightening it, stop and turn your blow dryer on for a few minutes before continuing.

4. Stick to small sections. The smaller the section, the easier it is to straighten on the first pass. Remember, we don't want to repeatedly go over a section. If you find you need to, then you probably need a smaller section.

5. Clean your flat iron frequently. Product and oils build up on the flat iron plates over time, which can lead to extra drag on your hair. Turn the iron off, let it cool down, and then wipe down the plates well with a damp cloth. Cotton swabs are effective at getting into any small crevices and along the edges of the plates, helping to get your flat iron squeaky clean.

If you're in the market for a new flat iron, it just so happens that I have an AMAZING deal for you this weekend! Get a NuMe Silhouette Flat Iron (ARV $139) for just $29 + shipping!!! Remember how I told you that you want to use a GOOD straightening iron with an adjustable heat setting? Well, this has it -- along with ceramic plates that are a dream for smoothing even the frizziest hair.

But that's not all... You'll also get a full size bottle of argan oil valued at $49 completely FREE! These two products together are my dream team of hair care, a $188 value for just $29 plus shipping.

Here's how to snag this deal:

  1. Click here and add the Silhouette Flat Iron to your cart (choose pink, turquoise, or black).
  2. The argan oil will automatically be added to your cart for FREE.
  3. Go to checkout and use coupon code DSM29 to knock the price down to just $29.
  4. Shipping will be $12, so your total should be $41 at checkout.

Of course a deal this HOT can't last forever. You only have through Sunday evening to place your order, so don't put it off!

Get your NuMe Flat Iron Deal here.
This deal is valid through June 12, 2016.

Disclosure: Sponsored by NuMe products, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

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