From the category archives:

living on less

What’s In My Bag? #PONDSPLUS

by Tara Kuczykowski on June 9, 2014 · 0 comments


I love those features in magazines where you get an inside peek at the content's of a celebrity's purse. It's always so much fun to see the mix of items that they consider "must haves" -- isn't it?

So when POND'S invited me to do a "What's In My Bag" post, I was all for it! Of course, I definitely am not celebrity statues, but I thought you might be a little curious to see what products I keep with me at all times. So here are the contents of my purse right now, along with a little background on why they're my faves...

Items pictured:

  • Pond's Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes -- Great for more than just removing makeup, these towelettes get skin deep clean PLUS instantly hydrate. I use them for cleaning up sticky hands, dirty and dusty faces after baseball, touching up wayward mascara, and soothing slight sunburns!
  • Travel Size Tweezers -- I always seem to spot an unruly brow or facial hair after I've left the house, so I tuck a pair of travel size tweezers into my bag. Also great for splinters!
  • Waterless Hand Purifier -- Gentler on your hands than an alcohol-based sanitizer, we go through a lot of this waterless variety year round.
  • Nail Emery Board -- Because nail snags almost never happen at home, right?
  • Hair Ties -- I have fairly long hair, as do both of my girls, and we often need to pull it back out of the way at sports or when we have the top down on our JEEP. I also use them to tie back too long tees!
  • Peppermint Gum -- Perfect for freshening breath, curbing hunger pangs, and as a bribe for good behavior in a pinch!
  • Stainless Steel Sharpie Marker -- I use these non-toxic markers to write my cell phone number on the inside of my younger kids' arms when we're in a crowded space, much cheaper than those temporary tattoos I used to purchase!
  • Cell Phone -- I think this goes without saying, my phone is my lifeline to my family and my work. Plus it's great entertainment when waiting in line!

Items not pictured:

  • Lanolin Balm for Lips -- Lanolin is the best, inexpensive moisturizer I've found for my lips!
  • Bright Pink Lip Tint -- Even if I don't have time to put on any other makeup, a bright pink lip tint brightens up my face and makes me look a little more polished!
  • Essential Oil Stress Relieving Roll-On -- Not only great for relieving stress, it serves as a pretty, feminine fragrance, and I've used it to soothe a bug bite in a pinch!
  • Sunglasses -- I rarely leave the house without my favorite sunglasses!
  • Simple, Healthy Snacks -- I always carry some kind of healthy snack in my bag, plus extras for sharing!

What are your must have items on the go? I'd love to hear about them!

Pull out your Sunday inserts from the weekend of 5/18 to find a $1 off POND'S products coupon. Use it through 6/15/14 to give POND'S Towelettes a try for yourself!



I'm thrilled to announce that I'm partnering with POND'S for the year as part of the POND'S Beauty Brigade to share how I've been able to PLUS UP my beauty routine with their timeless products!

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My Simplified Skincare Routine

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2014 · 0 comments

My skincare routine has been all over the map -- from high-end products to drugstore finds, simple to complex multi-step regimens. I've finally come to the conclusion that basic is best, and my skin is thanking me for it. It's never looked better!

One product in the evening and one product in the morning is all I need for healthy, glowing skin... Oh, and they're both available at drugstores nationwide at a price that won't break your budget. Are you ready for this?

Yes, it's POND'S products! Did you know that POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser has been loved by generations of women for over 100 years? I've been using it every evening, and I've been amazed at how it gently and effortlessly removes all of my makeup, including my mascara. PLUS it leaves my skin feeling moisturized without an additional step!

In the mornings and after working out, I like to freshen up with POND'S Towelettes. I use the Original Fresh variety most often, but every few days I'll swap them out for the Exfoliating Renewal Towelettes for a little extra exfoliation. Like the Cold Cream Cleanser, the towelettes contain ingredients that gently remove dirt and oil, PLUS leaving your skin hydrated without the need for additional moisturizer.

And I'm in great company -- Nashville star and spokesperson for POND'S, Connie Britton, uses POND'S products in her daily routine, as well! I've loved her since her days on Friday Night Lights, and I've always admired her simple and timeless day and evening looks.

Be sure to check your Sunday inserts from this past weekend (5/18) for a $1 off POND'S products coupon! There's also a $1 off POND'S Towelettes printable coupon available currently. Use either one to give POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser or Towelettes a try for yourself -- I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!



I'm thrilled to announce that I'm partnering with POND'S for the year as part of the POND'S Beauty Brigade to share how I've been able to PLUS UP my beauty routine with their timeless products!

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Mexican Sweet Corn Cake {Chi-Chi’s Copycat}

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 5, 2014 · 1 comment

Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you're looking for an amazing side to round out your Cinco de Mayo feast today, you've got to try this Mexican Sweet Corn Cake!!!

It's a copycat recipe of the delectable sweet corn cake that was served with every dish at Chi-Chi's before they folded -- a personal favorite of mine. I could have easily eaten the entire dish myself, but I did force myself to share with my family. Enjoy!

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Johnson & Johnson Twitter Party Recap

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 24, 2014 · 0 comments

This post brought to you by Triad Retail Media. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope that many of you were able to attend the Johnson & Johnson's Healthy Essentials Twitter Party last week! We had such a great time, and I especially loved seeing all of the pics of your funny and gorgeous JOHNSON’S® families.

 photo twPartyImageJNJCVS_zpse97e9c09.jpg

Congrats to the following winners of the 12 gift bags valued at $50 each. Hope you enjoy your Healthy Essentials products and $10 CVS gift card!

  • Ashley Shippy
  • Justin Tan
  • Sherry Bracy
  • Melissa Johnson
  • Angie DePue
  • Lorene DesJardins
  • Suzanne Canfield
  • Erin Fesperman
  • Sandy Vanbuskirk
  • Jennifer Kriegel
  • Tina J
  • Kymi Adams
  • Charline Williams

And a BIG congrats to Melissa Johnson (what a great coincidence!), who won the grand prize package containing a selection of Healthy Essentials products and an $80 CVS gift card. I bet you can stretch that for miles with these CVS deals!

Though the $10 ExtraBucks offer has ended, you can still take advantage of the #JNJ@CVS FREE JOHNSON’S® First Aid Case offer! Just look for the instant rebate coupon on specially marked packages.

Again, thank you all so much for participating, and I hope to do it again soon!

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Personalized Vitamin Recommendations with VitaSelect

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 4, 2014 · 0 comments

Yesterday I got up, made sure the kids were dressed, groomed, fed and out the door on time, and then I immediately started on working on some various projects I have going. I did manage to squeeze in a workout before my kindergartener walked in the door at noon, but you know what I realized around 2:00 in the afternoon? I still hadn't eaten anything...

I think, as women, we naturally have a tendency to get so wrapped up in caring for those around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves as well. Keeping our minds and bodies happy and healthy is so important too -- because otherwise, we can't really focus on taking care of our loved ones, right?

So one of the changes I've implemented lately is focusing on taking a multivitamin every day. It's no substitute for eating healthy, but I like to think it gives me a little extra boost on those days when my eating habits just aren't so great.

But choosing a vitamin regimen can be a little overwhelming, right? I mean, there are just such a huge array of not only multivitamins but also individual vitamins and supplements. Thankfully Walmart just added a new tool to their website that can help you make smart choices about the vitamins and supplements that your body needs the most.

The VitaSelect tool leads you through a short series of questions about your health, lifestyle, risk factors, and stress levels. After you complete the survey, it will recommend a personalized list of vitamin recommendations, prioritizing what your body needs most and also offering a few additional optional recommendations for optimal health.

Once you receive your recommendations you can choose to print the list, email the list to yourself or add them to your cart and checkout online. Walmart doesn't store your personalized information, so you'll definitely want to do this!

Based on the survey, I received two priority recommendations and four additional optional choices. A multivitamin and probiotic were my main priorities, and my optional recommendations were a B-complex, vitamin B-12, fish oil soft gels, and a magnesium supplement. I've been taking the multivitamin, probiotic, and B-complex daily for about a week now, and while it's a little too soon to see the overall health effects, I do feel like I have more energy -- definitely a plus for this busy mom!

Use the VitaSelect tool to get your personalized vitamin recommendations now! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the results. Were you surprised by any of the recommendations?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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