From the category archives:

living on less

You're probably wondering what this rather strange-looking mask is all about... The illuMask is an innovative skincare device that was developed to gently improve your skin's appearance via light therapy.

Yeah, it sounds a little too good to be true, but the truth is, light therapy has been widely used by dermatologists to reduce acne and improve the signs of aging for years. In fact, when I was going through a particularly rough patch of breakouts during high school, I went to the dermatologist weekly for light therapy -- at a much higher price tag than the illuMask, which can be purchased at Walmart for just $29.97.

There are actually two versions of the illuMask -- one that targets anti-aging and another that targets acne. You can actually use them concurrently if you're struggling with both issues. Each mask is good for a total of 30 treatments, meaning you can get results for less than $1 per day.

The illuMask is designed to be used once per day, and each treatment session lasts for 15 minutes. I find myself actually looking forward to my nightly treatment, using it as an excuse for a little me time. I plug my headphones in and listen to music and just veg out -- something I probably wouldn't do otherwise.

I first started using the illuMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask when we returned from a weeklong beach vacation. My skin was parched, peeling slightly, and definitely in need of some TLC. I saw results within the first few days -- my skin was brighter and smoother. And I've continued to see improvements in the texture and tone of my skin.

A couple of important notes:

Once you initiate an illuMask treatment, you cannot pause it during the 15-minute session. The lights degrade over time, so after 30 treatments, you will no longer be able to activate the device. Because of this, make sure you can complete an entire 15-minute treatment before starting a session, and I'd also recommend keeping the mask away from little fingers that may accidentally trigger a session.

Also, the illuMask has not been tested for use while pregnant of breastfeeding, so if this applies to you, use it at your own discretion.

As I mentioned, the illuMask is now available for purchase in-store at Walmart or online on

I'm about 15 days into my treatment sessions at this point, and I'm very excited to see what the results will be like once I complete the 30 days. I'm definitely considering making illuMask a regular part of my skin care regimen indefinitely!

Walmart Moms Disclosure


Updating My Skincare Routine for Summer

by Tara Kuczykowski on August 11, 2014 · 0 comments

Perhaps you recall my post sharing my simplified skincare routine using POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser and POND'S Towelettes a few months ago. At that time, I was using the cold cream for cleansing at night and the towelettes to refresh in the morning and after workouts.

As I'm sure you're aware, skin care is not one size fits all, and even when you find a routine that's working, it still may need some tweaking from season to season. So I wanted to share a quick update on how I've modified my routine for the hot summer months!

I'm still using both the POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser and Towelettes in my routine; however, I've found that the cold cream can be a bit heavy for my skin in the summer month, because it's naturally more oily this time of the year. I do think it's more effective at removing my stubborn eye makeup, so I use it for that, PLUS it provides the extra hydration that I do need in my eye area.

I cleanse the rest of my face with the towelettes, which do a fantastic job of getting my skin deep clean, PLUS they instantly provide just enough hydration to keep my skin glowing in the summer months.

I alternate between all three varieties -- Original Fresh, Exfoliating Renewal, and Evening Soothe -- depending on my skin's needs on any given day. Original Fresh is a great all-purpose formulation, while the Exfoliating Renewal is perfect for using a few times a week to gently polish away dull, dry skin. Evening Soothe is my go-to product on those evenings when I realize that I may have gotten a little too much sun earlier in the day. On these days, I also use a little extra POND'S Dry Skin Cream to soothe away any redness.

As the weather turns colder, I'm sure I'll be adapting my simplified skincare routine yet again, but the beauty of using the combination of POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser and POND'S Towelettes is that both products pair to keep my skin beautiful year round!

Try POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser or POND'S Towelettes for yourself with this $1/1 POND'S Product printable coupon!

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!


Seriously, where have these pens been all my life? If you haven't tried Pilot FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Pens yet, you really need to pick up a pack....

The FriXion Ball Clicker is the world’s first retractable, erasable gel ink pen. These pens write smoothly and erase cleanly -- and they come in eight gorgeous, vibrant colors, including Turquoise, Purple, Green, Pink, Black, Blue, Red, and Navy.

If you've tried erasable ink pens in the past and been disappointed (I know I have been), you're in for a real treat. I was curious about how the FriXion Ball Clickers can possibly erase so cleanly, so I did a little research on their site. It turns out that Pilot has developed a special thermo-sensitive gel ink formula that disappears with erasing friction -- which means that you can erase and rewrite repeatedly without damaging documents!

I've got so many ideas for how to put these amazing pens to use! I mean, the possibilities are endless, especially for students...

  • Easily write color coded to-do lists, while still being able to erase and move items around as needed.
  • Color code your class notes with the ability to erase as necessary.
  • Mark up your child's schoolwork and erase your notes after they've corrected their mistakes.

How am I going to use these pens? Being a bit of a perfectionist, it drives me crazy when I write due dates and events in my planner and then they get rescheduled. Now I can write my notes and events freely and without worry, because I can easily erase and move things around -- and my planner looks perfectly organized!

Give these amazing pens a try for yourself at a special FriXion Clicker event taking place at over 850 Walmart locations tomorrow. You can even pick up a coupon toward the purchase of a package of these pens.

Exclusive Walmart FriXion Clicker In-Store Shopper Event:
- Saturday, August 9th
- 11am - 4pm
- At the testing station receive a coupon for $1 off a 2-pack or larger of Pilot FriXion Clicker pens

You can also purchase Pilot FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Pens online on!

Do you have any other ideas for ways to use these colorful, erasable pens?

Walmart Moms Disclosure


New Walmart Mobile Pharmacy App

by Tara Kuczykowski on August 8, 2014 · 1 comment

I know many of you already use the Walmart Pharmacy because of the incredible value they provide with their $4 30-day prescriptions and $10 90-day prescriptions. If you don't, you may want to check it out, because Walmart has just made it even easier to refill your prescriptions with the new Walmart Mobile Pharmacy!

Like the new Savings Catcher savings tool (live today!), the Walmart Mobile Pharmacy actually resides within the Walmart app, giving you all of the tools you need to help your family "save money and live better" in one simple interface.

What can I do with the Walmart Mobile Pharmacy?

The Walmart Mobile Pharmacy gives you a number of useful services right at your finger tips, including:

  • Guest Refills -- Refill any Walmart Prescription without an account. All you need is the label!
  • Manage Prescriptions -- Refill an active prescription with just a few taps.
  • Transfer Prescriptions -- Move your prescriptions from another pharmacy to Walmart.

How do I use the Walmart Mobile Pharmacy?

Using the Walmart Mobile Pharmacy makes managing your family's prescription easy! Simply download the Walmart app at or via the Google Play or App store.

Once you launch the app, you can easily navigate to the Pharmacy section from the opening screen, and from there, you can select whether you want to refill a prescription from the label, refill from an account, transfer a prescription or find a pharmacy. All of your personal information is secure and will be handled in accordance with the Walmart Pharmacy Privacy Notice!

What do you think? Will the new Walmart Mobile Pharmacy help you save time and money in managing your family's prescription medicines?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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Our school district has been steadily integrating online assignments into the curriculum, and just this past year they implemented wifi access in all of our schools, along with adding policies to allow students to bring laptops and other technology devices to school for classroom use. I'm all for this initiative, but I have to admit I do worry about keeping my kids' devices in good working condition given the extra wear and tear and daily abuse they'll be subjected to.

Recently Staples introduced me to their new EasyTech Total Support program. After looking over the features, this program appears to be exactly the kind of protection our family needs -- the plan offers total peace of mind for parents that are concerned about protecting their kids' laptops.

Just take a look at these features, and I'm sure you'll agree...

1-Year EasyTech Total Support Features (For New PCs):

  • EasyTech Total Support -- includes virus removal, in-store diagnostics, in-store installs, and choice of internet security.
  • Internet Security -- choose from Sophos, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton or Total Defense.
  • SquareTrade Accident Protection Plan -- covers drops, spills and malfunctions with a 2-day service guarantee, offers a 1-time battery replacement.

You can add one year of this service to any new laptop for just $160, a value of $269 -- and potentially much more. Did you catch that the plan covers drops, spills and malfunctions? Yeah, so that laptop that my kids spilled a bowl of cereal and milk on that's now basically a worthless $900 brick would have been repaired, no questions asked, under this plan! That right there makes it worth it in my opinion, friends...

If you'd like to purchase a support plan for an existing PC, Staples EasyTech has a plan for you, as well.

1-Year EasyTech Total Support Features (For Existing PCs):

  • EasyTech Total Support -- includes virus removal, in-store diagnostics, in-store installs, and choice of internet security.
  • Internet Security -- choose from Sophos, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton or Total Defense.
  • SquareTrade Accident Protection Plan -- covers 100% of parts and labor with a 2-day service guarantee, up to $500 in coverage.

So while existing PCs aren't fully covered for drops, spills and malfunctions, you still get great coverage worth up to $500 to insure your PC against accidents! If your PC is free from viruses, you can purchase the plan for $150, a $190 value. There's an additional $100 charge if virus removal is needed upfront.

If you're interested in longer term coverage for your PC, both the new PC and existing PC Total Support plans can be extended for an additional year for just $100, definitely worth considering, especially for new PCs.

The EasyTech Total Support seems like a smart investment for parents who want to protect their laptops. I can't wait to take our new laptop in to give EasyTech a try firsthand. I'll be sure to share my experience soon!

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.