Posts Tagged ‘hair


Homecoming on the Cheap

Back to school time sucks. The supplies, clothes, activities, blah, blah, blah. Usually, with a little planning, I make it through okay. This year has been rough. It has been mainly due to poor planning on my part, but some has been out of my control. Homecoming was one of those things.

Homecoming was almost a month earlier this year than it was last year and it came up on us fast. Despite my attempts to plan, I was really wondering what the heck we were going to do. We had little time to shop with our crazy schedules and then even less money on top of that. Despite all of the odds, I have to say that Homecoming 2014 turned out okay. Here is a quick rundown on how we made it happen.


The Dress
Needless to say, this is one of the most important things when one thinks of homecoming. It can also be one of the most expensive. This year, however, we got lucky and a friend of mine had a couple of bridesmaid dresses that she no longer wanted. One of the dresses fit rather well and with some alterations it looked great! Total cost for the dress: $25 for the alterations.

I am an accessory girl; I spent years working in retail management for an accessory store. I know the value of some great bling. We hit up the mall one Saturday morning with only about an hour to shop. During that time, we managed to score a pair of sparkly shoes for $17. We purchased a card of earrings (at least nine pairs) for around $7 from H&M and got a nice simple, but blingy, necklace from Claire’s for around $10. The shoes and jewelry are all reusable-even if she doesn’t want to, little sister is coming up fast behind her.

Really, I cannot take credit for the hair. My teen searched the internet and found a couple of great ideas. From there, my sister took over. We spent an evening playing with her hair preparing and determining the best style. Then, my sister came over the day of and took over. Gotta love free!

It really is all in who you know! In this case, it was my mom, who was previously a nail tech. While my sister was doing hair, my mom had control over the mani and pedi. Can we say my daughter is a diva?

My daughter did not have a date, so we had to pay for a ticket which was $15. Normally, we would have to pay for dinner, but she went with a group of friends which met and went together. The group met beforehand for pizza and refreshments. They took pictures together saving us from the “professional” pics offered through the school.

In all, Homecoming 2014 cost us less than $100. The kid looked like a million bucks and had a great time which is priceless. I doubt we could have done any better. I can only hope to do so well next time.


Reaching For the Stars

My teen has been set on stardom for a while now.  She is constantly talking about talent shows she can participate in, model searches that are coming to town, if it gets her in the limelight, she is all about it.  I try to be a supportive parent, but I also try to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground.

We have spent a lot of time talking about her search for stardom lately.  Last week, the school announced a talent show.  She started working on an act last year, but quit mid-way through practices as she was not truly prepared.  She was hoping to try out again; however, I fear we will be in the same boat.  I explained that I did not believe she was really ready again and suggested that we look into drama and/or voice classes.

This afternoon, she came in wanting to try out for a local television station’s talent show.  The winner gets to be in commercials for the news station.  She was all about it.  But, we ran into the same issue, she has nothing prepared and the contest is next week.

The contest got Britt searching the web for other contests.  Then she stumbled onto pageants.  Insert dangerous dun, dun, dun music here.

I have never wanted to be a pageant mom.  It has never crossed my mind to put either of my girls in such a position.  I want them to be appreciated for their brains, to understand that it takes hard work to achieve goals and that there is more to this world than superficial beauty.  I also find the amount of money people put into pageants outrageous.   That all being said, I also try to support my children in whatever endeavors they are led to try and because of this I started researching local pageants.

I was able to find a pageant that is not too far from our home.  It is put on by a Christian organization and entry fees are reasonably priced.  Luckily, Britt does not want to try a glitz pageant.  If she had been set on this, I probably would have declined her request.  But, this pageant encourages age appropriate dress, hair and makeup.  No midriffs can show, no tear away outfits, or talent routines with a dark undertone.

The other great thing about this pageant is it is months away.  I am not able to register yet because it is so far away.  This means she has time to prepare!  This also means, if she changes her mind in the next few weeks, she can do so without consequences.

I believe some good can come from letting Britt participate  The event gives Britt something to work for.  Now, she has to practice her instrument this summer and prepare for her talent competition.  She can help come up with the money for her outfits.  Maybe, this will actually help to teach her some responsibility along the way.

I am worried about how Britt will take it if she does not win, but, really, that is part of life.  She has tried out for sports and solos at school which she did not get selected for.  I am confident that she can handle whatever decisions the judges make.

I am really surprised by how excited I am over this, but Britt’s enthusiasm is contagious.  I am looking forward to the next few months and preparing her for the big day.  I guess I am going to be a “pageant mom.”  If she keeps reaching for the stars, heck, I might even be Miss America’s mom one day.


Savings Success

Some of you probably have followed me long enough to know that I am on a money saving kick this year.  I am not, by any means, trying to live like a pauper.  But, if I can maintain my quality of life and save, why not?  I had a few really good successes and thought I would share a few with you.


When I started working on my budget, Larry pointed out that I was paying a lot more for my coverage than his was.  Upon a little research, I found I could save by changing.  I called around, but was not impressed by the other agent’s customer service (not one place I called for a quote returned my calls).  Finally, I went to my agent to see what was up.  Apparently, I was grandfathered into a plan with more benefits-benefits I was paying for but not using.  I got them to give me a new quote on auto which saves me over $20 per month.  I also had them check on my homeowners plan; there, they were able to save me around $300 annually.  My total savings-over $500 a year.  Not too shabby!


I am not one to spend a lot of time or money on myself, normally, but on occasion, I do love a mani/pedi or to get my hair done.  My favorite nail salon offers deals periodically and I purchased one before Christmas for a gift only to find that I could not print it out the way I wanted.  I kept the package, a mani/pedi for $25 (usually $40-$50), and was able to treat myself this week.

Also, this week, I got my hair done.  This was done with a Groupon.  I was able to score a haircut, style, and highlights for $29.  The deal was actually for $39, but they were doing a promotion where they gave $10 for coming back to them.  Great deal for me, and they did a good job.  I will probably go back.


If you have never been to Khols, you are really missing out.  I had two great trips over the last few weeks.  First, I was able to score bras for my teen for less than $3 apiece.  They were on markdown with an additional 25% off.  Added bonus, I have an awful time buying bras for my teen because she is an odd size and she actually likes them!  I am going back to see if I can get her a few more.

My second Khols experience was a total fluke.  I did not plan to go or plan to be shopping at all, really.  My brother needed to run in and, while he was looking, I found household clearance.  I was able to get four plates (which I really needed), a bathmat (another necessity), and a new shower curtain.  As I wandered I also found some earrings for my grandmother and a cosmetic gift set that is going to be super cute in my teen’s Easter basket.  Everything was on sale with the additional 25% off coming to just over $30.

I mentioned above that I will be going back to for more.  You are probably wondering why.  Well, I got a coupon in the mail for 20% off and, then, my mom gave me two coupons for $5 off on any purchase.  I cannot resist!


This is one area that I usually do not get to use a lot-either full price or otherwise.  I generally am a homebody anymore which is kind of sad because I love to be out and about.  That is probably why I am so excite about these finds.

First, we have a great music festival coming to town this summer.  It was announced a while back and, I was able to score tickets before they went on sale.  Doing this, I was able to save $10 a ticket.  I would have gladly paid the full price which I thought was not bad either at $35 per ticket for a day of music.  But, because I was actually paying attention, I got them for $25 apiece and I cannot wait for the show!

The other deal that I got on entertainment will, hopefully, get used tonight.  Our newspaper has a deal of the day sort of like Groupon.  This week, they offered tickets to hear bands play at a local vineyard which just happens to be one of my favorite places.  Pairs of tickets are half price at $10 apiece and you could get two packages.  Weather permitting, we will be there tonight and still have a cheap date night (or girls night out) for later on.

You can live well and not spend a fortune.  It is totally worth your while to check out the deals around town and to do some research.  Hopefully, I will have more to share in the coming weeks and months on what I have saved!  If you have found a great way to save, please share; I am always looking for new opportunities to improve!


It’s A Chain Reaction

My daughter is obsessed with her hair.  I mean OBSESSED.  It gets pretty obnoxious, to be honest.  The girl can go over the edge at times.  Frankly, I don’t know where she gets it from…

I have to give the girl props, Britt has great hair.  It is long, thick, and straight.  She is always getting comments from people on how she could be a hair model and should be in shampoo commercials.  She has a knack for styling it, too.  She has spent hours looking at magazines, books and watching videos online*.  She practices on herself, her sister, their dolls, and I am not sure that she hasn’t accosted our dogs a time or two.

The other night, Britt was determined that she needed to have her hair in curls the next day.  She spent ages in front of the mirror and, eventually, I needed in. I asked her to move.  Then I asked her again, and again.

I guess I was getting on her nerves because she lost control of her hair, and her temper.  She got out of the bathroom, but not peacefully.  She shut herself in front of the mirror in her room and continued her mission.

Eventually, she calmed down and came out of her room.  She still was not pleased with how her hair was going and started to fuss at me for messing up her hair.  “Wait a minute, how did I mess up your hair when I didn’t touch you?”

“Ugh, you got me frustrated and I lost my grip and my hair got messed up.  It’s your fault, Mom.  It’s a chain reaction.”

As usual, she was over the top, and I probably shouldn’t have laughed but I did.  Then, I asked, “A chain reaction?”

She said, “Yeah, Mom.  It’s called a chain reaction.  We learned about it in science.”

At that point, she started laughing, too.

The next morning, her hair was fine and all was pretty much forgotten.  We did, however, get a great new catch phrase out of the deal.  Now, whenever anything goes wrong, one of us pipes in with, “chain reaction,” and the moment gets instantly lighter.

*I was looking for a great pic when I stumbled on this clip Hair Tutorial Gone Wrong On Ellen.  You may have seen the video, but I really loved the girl on Ellen; she could be my kid’s BFF with no problem.  I can totally see Britt doing the same thing!


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