7 Things I Stopped Buying

7 Things I Stopped Buying on Magnolia Moon

Hey, y’all! Long time, no see.

263 days to be exact.

That’s right, it’s been exactly 263 days since I last hit “publish” on a blog post. Insane! Honestly, I hadn’t realized it’d been that long until I made the decision to finally get back into the swing of things. I’ve missed you all! I’ve missed writing and I’ve missed connecting to my readers and other bloggers. So here we are, back at it again with the 7 things I no longer feel the need to buy. Is it all thanks to minimalism, environmentalism, conservatism, or a combination of all three? Decide for yourself.

1.) Cotton balls/rounds

Last summer, in Nashville, I spent $3 on a pack of cotton rounds just because I forgot to bring anything to take my makeup off with. First of all, why didn’t I just ask the hotel? They probably had something but I digress. I’ve traded in my cotton rounds for reusable cloths. Easy enough, right? I started out by just using baby washcloths but now they make specific makeup removing cloths like the MakeUp Eraser.

2.) Paper towels

This one seems pretty obvious, right? I just use dish towels and have even cut old (clean) t-shirts into little squares. Since they’re so thin they feel more like actual paper towels and everything is so easy to wash.

I suppose this would be a good place to specify that I love to do laundry (like the suburban soccer mom that I fancy myself to be, right?) and just bought a really nice washer at the charity shop i work at. So, all this added laundry isn’t as big of a deal to me as it may be to some people. It’s all about doing what you can.

3.) Paper plates

Now this one falls on the opposite end of the spectrum as the previous item. I hate doing dishes and don’t have a working dishwasher in my house but it saves a little cash and the environment at the same time so I suffer through it. Plus, eating microwaved pizza off an actual plate makes me feel like my life is less of a mess than it truly is.

4.) Dryer sheets

Back to laundry, instead of using dryer sheets I use wool dryer balls or opt to air dry most of my tops. So again, it keeps cost, energy, and harm to the environment down. Win-win!

5.) Parchment paper/aluminum foil

I just hated using a sheet of parchment paper once then tossing it in the trash. I pack my lunch for work and try to meal prep as best I can so that’s a lot of dollars going into the trash at the end of the day. My solution is a reusable baking mat. It’s easy to clean and actually helps food not stick without using oils or sprays. Another win-win!

6.) Bottled water

If you find yourself buying multiple cases of bottled water a month, like I did, get yourself a Brita water filter! Seriously, it’s the best purchase I made when I first moved out on my own. If the whole saving the environment from landfills loaded down with plastic bottles thing doesn’t get you on board then think of all the pretty reusable bottles you can stock up on instead. Whatever gets you there, girl.

7.) Magazines

Now, this is definitely the hardest item of all to comply with but honestly, it’s become a bit of a nuisance. You see, as with any red blooded fashion lovin’ girl, I have stacks and stacks of magazines lying around. They have my favorite It girls on the cover or better yet, they have inspiration beyond my wildest imagination pouring off the pages. Whatever the case may be, it’s extremely difficult for me to let them go so they continue to sit there, mocking me.

So I’ve banned myself until I can get a grip on the stacking situation at large. Tough love and what not.

Now, there is a great loophole to this whole debacle. You see, as a writer, I can’t just sit idly by while magazines become a dying art form. That just won’t do. Enter, digital editions! Ahhhh! *cue sparkly lights from above and angel voices*

Have you heard of the Texture app? This isn’t sponsored so believe me when I say that it is beyond amazing! 200+ magazines right at your fingertips on demand. Magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Southern Living, Nylon, Real Simple, Women’s Health, Cosmo…the list goes on and on and on and on! They are running a deal right now where you can sign up for Texture for just $6.99 a month, that’s over 200 magazines for the price of what, 2 magazines? Like I said, beyond amazing!

So, now that you know the 7 things I stopped buying I wanna know what are your’s or what could be your’s? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me. I promise not to take another 263 days to do this again.

xx

Merisa

 

Disclosure: I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Tuesday Ramblings + Life Update

Tuesday_Ramblings_Life_Update

Hello, Magnolias.

I’ve been a bit MIA lately and that’s because this has been a big week in my family…my little sister came in from Florida!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but she’s been down there since August as a part of the Disney College Program. She absolutely loves working at Disney World but she doesn’t get the opportunity to come home that often so her coming in for the weekend was huge!

Monday

Actually, it’s been a pretty big week for other reasons too. If you’re a college football fan then you probably watched the CFB National Championship game last Monday between Clemson & Alabama. That certainly set my week off to a good start seeing as the Tide rolled the Tigers! However, staying up well past midnight on a weekday is a young girl’s game and I was not up to it.

Tuesday

That meant Tuesday was a doozy to get started. I woke up late AND it was snowing! That’s just begging for me to stay in bed all day but I resisted. There was too much to do…like finish Making a Murderer for instance. Still not completely satisfied with how that all went down but that conversation is for another day. President Obama’s final State of the Union address was also on Tuesday night and I was just a big ball of emotions. I’m a political gal so it was an exciting night but it also made the fact that we’re flying head first into another election season all too real. Don’t get me wrong, election season is an exciting time for me but this time around is a little scary. Sometimes I feel like I understand the consequences of being elected to the Executive Office more than the majority of the candidates. Oh, let’s not forget, my Buddha Bowl Recipe went live on Tuesday as well.

Wednesday & Thursday

I went back to the grindstone on Wednesday and to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much else happening that day so let’s just move on to Thursday. The one thing that stood out to me about Thursday was my Skincare Routine Must Haves post. I don’t know what it was but I received the sweetest comments on that post & on Instagram that day. They just warmed my heart and completely reenergized me. The response was just wonderful and I hope I can continue to garner that sort of reaction in the future.

Friday

The BIG day! My mom and I headed out to pick up my sister from the airport on Friday. We were both so excited to see her and wanted to make sure we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare so of course her flight was delayed. We ended up exploring the area around the airport and found the most incredible little antiques district. For those of you that don’t know, my mom and I actually run an antiques shop in our little town so we were in heaven. We were just about to go into this adorable little vintage toy shop when we got the call that her plane had landed so we vowed to return when it was a bit warmer & we had more time to explore. We picked up Mady from the airport without a hitch then went right into the tradition of Target & Chick-fil-a. It was a great night and I got some awesome goodies from Target. (Like stuff for my blog planner…y’all wouldn’t be interested in hearing more about that in a separate post, would ya? If so let me know in the comments!)

Saturday & Sunday

This marked the first full day we had with Mady as well as our Jack Russell, Snoopie’s 10th birthday! If you follow me on Snapchat (angelmerisa23) then you probably saw Snoopie loving life & showing off his little heart-shaped spot. He’s precious. Mady & I also ended up volunteering for a bit at a local charity shop she used to work at before going shopping. I’m pretty sure we went to every store in the area, it was kinda ridiculous but I picked up tons of goodies. Sunday was a chill day, we just went out for Mexican with our mom then watched the NBC & YouTube Democratic Debate but that got old fast.

Monday 

Martin Luther King Day! Sidenote: Was there an official notice that the Jr. part was excused because I did not get the memo but that’s not really the point so, moving on. We tried to make MLK Day a day of service to our community but it decided to snow like crazy and felt like the frozen tundra outside so we decided to help our mom with her store and just spread some kindness around. I think Dr. King would like that too.

Tuesday

Mady left this morning…at 6 am! She’s driving back on her own for the first time and she should be hitting the Florida state line any minute now so prayers and good thoughts are welcome. I’m so proud of all the work she’s done and how brave she’s being through this whole experience. It was great to have her here for even the weekend but I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Oh, I almost forgot! My studio lights arrived today too so expect fun things popping up on the blog soon.

What have y’all been up to this week? Let me know in the comments or tweet me! Oh, follow me on Snapchat (angelmerisa23) too! I’m trying to get better at updating so tagalong for the ride.

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xx 

Merisa

 

 

 

My Latest Obessions

Hello, Magnolias.

This has been a really great week. Like really great!

I started the week off being super productive, something that has actually stayed consistent. I indulged in some serious Labor Day sales shopping (wanna see a haul? A video maybe? Let me know in the comments!) and as if that weren’t enough to make the week fantastic, I’ve found some incredible things that make me incredibly happy.

designed by moi

My first discovery this week was the Neybers app. If I could design an app that was both an entertaining time waster and creative source it would be Neybers. It’s like the app gods sent this little guy down just for me. Curious yet? Neybers is an app that let’s you play with interior design. You can take templates from living rooms, bedrooms, book shelves, even 2-story apartments and design everything from the wall color to the tchotchkes on the coffee table. One of the best things is that the elements provided for you to design and use in the app are from actual designers, meaning that your rooms aren’t that far from becoming reality if you choose.

Wanna know something I’ve been asking myself over and over again this week? “Why haven’t I watched Dexter before now?”

Seriously, it’s sooo good. I don’t even know why it’s so good. It’s not really my usual thing but it has definitely sunk it’s hook (knife?) in me. I do like that it’s got a quiet comedic edge to it though. Those flashback scenes when the actors play teenage Dex and Deb really get me. I started watching it Tuesday and I’ve already made it to the end of Season 3 on Saturday. My friends keep telling me to hurry up and make it through Season 4 (it’s like they want me to fast forward or something) so I live life on the edge of my seat because I know something is going to go down. Have you seen it? Do you know what I’m in for? Haha Let’s talk in the comments, no spoilers, that’s just not fun.

Attention all Dog Lovers, you need to get on board with my next obsession so pay attention. This week has brought some seriously erratic weather with it. Take yesterday for instance, sunny and bright with rainbows all around the morning after a big storm then another downpour accompanied by flash flooding in the evening. My dog was totally not on board with those storms, per usual. He was bouncing off the walls and driving me crazy, I needed to do something. That’s when I headed to Spotify. I used to put on Baby Einstein lullabies when kids I babysat were getting a little hard to handle so maybe they’d have something for dogs. I figured it was worth a shot, so I searched “calming dog” and hit the jackpot. Who would’ve thought? I clicked on “Calming Dog Music: Play during thunderstorms or fireworks.” Seemed promising enough, especially considering that all the music had dog puns as titles. I selected “Jurassic Bark” and hoped for the best. The picture below is Tucker after about two minutes. It worked like a freaking dream. I’ve pulled it out every time Tucker gets a little rowdy or anxious and he calms right now. They’ve also got an album for calming puppies and sleepy dogs so check it out.

Now, last but not least, let’s talk about Periscope.

Do you know about Periscope? I’m really curious if I’m like the last to know…oh, well that’s besides the point because Periscope is freaking awesome whether I’m on the last boat or not. So in case we’re on the same boat, here’s the gist. Periscope is a live video streaming social media platform in which you can, well, stream live video to your followers. I downloaded the app just in time to catch Zie Darling’s introduction into Personal Branding scope (which was amazing!). Later that night Zie invited those following her to catch Alyssa Birchfield’s scope on building your Pinterest profile for your business. On that scope, Alyssa invited those watching to join her Creative Biz Babes Facebook group, which I did. That led to me making some great connections with some fabulous creative people. All of that wonderful amazingness will keep my creative little carousel of productivity spinning well into this coming week.

I’m feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead, Magnolias. I hope you find something in this little update that makes you feel the same way.

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xx

Merisa

Photo Credit: 1 | 3 | 4

You’ve Gotta Know About…Ebates

You've Gotta Know About Ebates...Cash Back Shopping

Hello, Magnolias.

I’ve decided to start a Back-to-School series since we are rapidly approaching that dreaded time of year once again. So, to get things started here’s a look at something I thought you’ve just gotta know about before diving into your back to school shopping routine. At the end there should be some really great links for coupons and other amazing things so keep a look out!

There I was just scrolling through Instagram one day a couple of months ago when I see this from @southernwvgirl on Instagram
 
Ebates Instagram
In case you can’t see, boys and girls, that’s a lovely little check for almost $600! Definitely worthy of “amazing” and “omg!” in my opinion. 
After reading the description and finding out that she actually earned this check by shopping online through a website called Ebates I thought, “Oh well, I could never get as lucky to have something like that happen to me” and went on about my day. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when I was shopping around online that I thought about the site again and decided to check it out for myself.
I was shocked by how many stores (or sites really) participated in the partnership with Ebates
See, Ebates pairs up with these sites to sort of advertise for them and even offer coupons directly from their site in and in exchange for moving costumer’s toward the store’s site the store actually gives Ebates a percentage of the money from your purchase. Ebates, being the kind folk that they are, then just returns that percentage to you!
How cool is that?

If you’ve been around here a bit longer than a minute than you might be able to guess that some of my favorite sites to shop on involve beauty products and clothing…shocking, right?
Well, that can be a bit of a drain on the bank account but getting a bit of that money back makes things far less painful. 

So, you now know how Ebates gets the money now let’s talk about how the money gets to you. Once you got to Ebates, pick the store you want to shop on, activate Cash Back (all that involves is clicking the pop up that comes at the to of the screen), and make your purchase you will see that your little (or big) shopping trip has been recorded in your Ebates account.
After a couple of days you’ll see that that shopping trip has now turned into Cash Back! 

ebates get cash backMy first experience with Ebates was great. After signing up I added the Ebates extension to Google Chrome so that I would be alerted every time I was on a site that worked with Ebates. So there I was renewing my subscription to Microsoft Office when the little pop up alerted me that I could activate Cash Back prior to checking out, so I did. 
I only purchased a month’s worth of Office access which came out to around $7, a few days later I noticed that my Ebates account said that my purchase had qualified me for $10 back. That’s right. I made $3 just from shopping online. 
Not bad.
Since I had made my first purchase through the site Ebates went on to inform me that I was eligible for a $10 gift card to a store of my choosing (they gave me like 3 options I think) so I picked a Walmart gift card because those suckers are always handy.
After making another purchase worthy of $10 back the quarter was up and I was sent my Big Fat Check AND my gift card.
All in all, I made $30 extra bucks from 2 online shopping ventures that cost me less than $10 each. 
I’ll say it again…not bad.

Ebates breaks the year into quarters meaning that if you’re a frequent Ebates user you could see a Big Fat Check every 3 months. However, if you’re like me and trying to save up your cash like crazy you might see that you’re Cash Back rewards are pretty low. That’s okay, if your rewards amount to less than $5.01 then Ebates will just roll that money over to your next check. No worries. 

Another awesome thing about Ebates? You can choose 3 different forms of payment…the Big  Fat Check through the mail, PayPal, or if you’re an incredibly generous soul you can even have your check sent to a family member or a charity organization. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

If you’re not convinced enough then let me show you just how much cash you can get back from stores you know you love

Apple Store – 3% Cash Back
Forever 21 – 4% Cash Back
Sephora & ULTA – 4% Cash Back
American Eagle – 5.3% back on jeans, 4% everything else
Gap – 8% Cash Back
TOMS – 10% Cash Back + a really great coupon code
Proactiv+ – 30% Cash Back
This is just a small portion of the sites available to shop from Ebates but when you think about it that’s some serious Cash Back on all your Back-to-School needs.
If you’re finally on board and you just can’t wait to get your hands on one of those Big Fat Checks then I highly suggest you click the link below to sign up to Ebates immediately…it’s definitely worth it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the awesomeness that is Ebates.
Leave me a comment below letting me know what you think of the site and if you signed up.

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xx
Merisa