Bright on a Budget: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

High Five for Friday 02.27.15

TGIF, H54F-ers!!! Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the link-up and the weekend.  We made it!!!



This week's featured bloggers are M and B from The Sequin Notebook!  I've been following these girls' blog for quite awhile now, as I discovered them on the linkup when Lauren Elizabeth was hosting.  They tag-team the posts, and their blog is a hodge-podge of all kinds of cuteness.  On last week's H54F post, B shared her beach vacation (I'm seriously jealous). Be sure to check out their current giveaway!



Now, let's recap the week:

1. I won an awesome giveaway on Instagram!  I can't wait to share all of the goodies with you guys. I received my 1st item in the mail--a pair of Preppy Park Ears from Sail Bows.  I love Disney, and I love Lilly Pulitzer, so these are perfect!  Be sure to check out the rest of the goodies in the shop.  Ooo, and I also received my Mommy Hook in the mail that I won from my friend Rachel over at Garay Treasures:)


2. We purchased an over-the-range microwave from Best Buy for our kitchen.  I can't believe this house didn't already have one.  Then again, maybe the previous owners actually cooked instead of just reheating leftovers?haha.  If you're in the market for any electronics or appliances and are looking for a great deal, be sure to check out the open box items at your local Best Buy.  You can find these online by searching for your local store, selecting a store, and then clicking on the "Open Box & Clearance Items" tab on the left side of the page.  We scored a $259 for a little over $100 off!!!  Also, my current Macbook Air was an open box item.

3. The snow is melting!  I can't wait for it to clear up outside so I can shoot some spring outfit photos:)

4. One of my oldest best friends (oldest as in we go way-back) is having a birthday today!  I treated Aimes to a good meal at Milano Cucina yesterday, and she treated me to some good conversation. Happy birthday!!!

5. Kane, my mom, and I were able to go visit my aunt in the hospital.  Her name is Mary, but I call her Sis (and she's Kane's Gran Sis).  She's fighting cancer and has had a rough week.   I'm so glad that my work schedule this week allowed me to be in eastern Kentucky so we could swing by to see her. If you don't mind, please send prayers and good thoughts her way.



If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

For Sale By Owner : Cheap + Easy Home Updates

For Sale By Owner: Cheap + Easy Home Updates


We recently sold our home FSBO (For Sale by Owner).  We knew our home needed some updates before going on the market, but we didn't have a real estate professional directing us. So when decided what to update in our home, I looked for items that were cheap and easy to replace, but that I would notice if I were looking for a home.  Two areas we focused on were lighting and doors.  By updating these areas, our home looked refreshed and more modern.  Even if you're not selling your home at the moment, but are looking to give it a makeover, these suggestions will make a difference in the overall look of your home.

Lighting
We had a very plain florescent light in the kitchen--it was huge, a plain light over the kitchen table, and ugly gold fixture lights in the bathrooms.  We swapped the florescent light out for the track lighting, the plain light over the kitchen table for the pretty swirly one, and the gold vanity lights out for chrome ones.  Yes, we used the cheap builder grade chrome ones, but they were an amazing improvement over the gold ones!  

Doors
I always notice the doorway when I enter a home.  At our townhouse, the doorbell didn't light up and it was a stained, white plastic mess.  We swapped it out for the one shown above.  We also swapped all of the doorknobs, inside and out, from gold to satin nickel.  Not only did our outside doorways look updated and just plain nice, but even my husband agreed that getting rid of the gold doorknobs in the interior of the home made a difference.

Additional Updates
Two other quick updates you can do are lava rock/mulch and blinds.  If you have lava rock/mulch outside your home, make sure to give it a fresh layer.  If you have dirty and/or mangled blinds, you can pick up these cheap vinyl blinds for less than $5 (for most windows)!  Make sure to get white ones instead of the beige to make your windows pop.  

What home updates do you notice when you walk in a home?

Friday, February 20, 2015

High Five for Friday 02.20.15

TGIF and welcome to High Five for Friday!  Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the link-up--thanks for stopping by



This week's featured blogger is Jayme from Simply, Always, Forever.  Jayme is a lifestyle blogger who is also a teacher, amongst other things:).  She loves coffee, books, and Netflix (like most of us do!).  She posted this awesome idea for a Valentine's Day gift for her hubby, and I'm definitely going to have to remember it.  Chauncey would absolutely love it!




Now let's recap my favorite things about the week:

1. WE CLOSED ON BOTH HOUSES!  We were so blessed to have been able to sell our townhouse and purchase our next house at exactly the same time.  It has been a very stressful process, though, so I'm glad to have the i's dotted and the t's crossed on all the documents. We were able to get moved in right before Snowmageddon hit.  We beat it by about 12 hours:)  It was really sad handing over the keys to our townhouse, but I'm ready for the next adventure.

Somewhere around 15" of snow.
2. Speaking of Snowmageddon, I took Kane outside to play in it for all of about 3 minutes--it was so cold and the snow came up almost to his waist!  He was unsure at first but then was laughing about it.



3. I really like some of the Nate Berkus collection for Target, especially the light yellow bathroom pieces.  I was in Target stopping up on some staples (like 50% off Valentine's Day candy) and looking for a snow shovel (yea, out of stock) when a little end-rack clearance section caught my eye. I was able to get 3 of the bath mats/rugs for around $15, which is less than I would have paid for just 1 of them at full price!

4. In the middle of all the moving, Chauncey and I blocked off some time on Saturday night to go out for Valentine's Day!  We went to the movies to watch 50 Shades of Gray and then headed out to dinner at Ted's Montana Grill.  It was so nice to be able to relax and actually talk-talk.  We lingered over dessert before heading home to pick up Kane.


Dr. Love enjoyed his dancing hippo!  It sings, "I like big hugs and I cannot lie."
5. I've been using some new foundation and mascara, and I'm in love.  The best part about it is that they're both drugstore brands, and you can pick them both up for $20 or less with coupons!!!  You can check out my review here.


If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation + Voluminous Miss Manga Black Angel Mascara Review

I know we've talked about this before, but I used to be a huge makeup snob.  It is wasn't from a beauty counter, it didn't touch my face. Once I started reading blogs, however, I found many wonderful reviews for drugstore makeup products that I started to try some of them.  It makes it easy that places like Ulta and Rite-Aid allow you to return the product if they don't work out.

Now, while I've been a fan of L'Oreal mascara for a while, I've never tried any of their foundation (or any other drugstore foundation for that matter).  I'm been very caution about drugstore foundation because I have terrible skin.  It tends to be oily and acne-prone, but I use Differin, which makes it really dry.  Ulta was having a BOGO 50% sale on L'Oreal, so I took advantage of the opportunity to pick up their new mascara and new foundation.


L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation ($14.99 at Ulta--use coupon for extra $3.50 off/$11.99 at Target)
This foundation is amazing! The packaging describes the formula as a demi-matte with medium coverage.  I thought the coverage was buildable, and the finish was very smooth and flawless. It covers my imperfections and evens-out my skin tone.  Better yet, it gives my face a little additional moisture without making it look oily. I was so pleasantly surprised by this product!  I think it is a great alternative to higher-priced foundations.  I picked up the lighest shade, which was Classic Ivory 101.  The only issue I see with this foundation is that it comes in a limited number of shades.
(Whitney from Come Home for Comfort recently picked this up as well.  Karly over at Miss in the Midwest picked up another L'Oreal foundation that also seems like it would be good to try!)

The L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara is what first sparked my interest in drugstore mascaras and made me realize that they gave the beauty counter brands a run for their money.  So I've been wanting to try the Miss Manga version since I first saw it out.  This mascara makes my lashes look thick and defined.  I'm torn over whether I like the False Fiber Lashes or the Miss Manga version better, but you can't go wrong with either.


Do you have a favorite drugstore foundation or mascara?  Let me know in the comments below!

I'm linking up with the girls at Tuesday Talk and Rachel at Garay Treasurers for Bloggers Who Inspire Me.

Also, you may notice that I am now using Disqus to moderate comments on the blog.  I'm really excited for this as you will automatically receive a notice when I respond to your comments, and it truly allows me to connect on a more personal level with each of you:) 


Friday, February 13, 2015

High Five for Friday 02.13.14

TGIF and welcome to High Five for Friday!  Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the link-up--thanks for stopping by



This week's featured blogger is Paige from Reasons to Come Home.  Paige has a degree in Financial Management and is a numbers sorta girl.  Her and her hubby are parents to two adorable furbabies, Einstein and Hampton, and she's very strong in her faith:).  She blogs about everyday life and making her house into a home.  She just had an adorable post about a Vintage Baby Girl Shower that turned out amazing!  On last week's H54F post, she shared 5 items she needed to buy so that she could work on getting fit.




Now let's recap my favorite things about the week:

1, My mom and mother-in-law came down last weekend to help us pack!  They're the best:)  Packing is definitely not fun, but it was nice to spend some time with them too.  On a side note, my house looks like Miley Cyrus was here with a wrecking ball. . .twice.  Moving commences today, and will be done by Sunday.  Blogging will hopefully return to a normal schedule next week.

Of course Kane had his mouth full.haha
2, Since the moms were here, Chauncey and I had a date night on Saturday night!  We went out to Malone's, which is one of our favorite local restaurants.  We also were seated at the complimentary dessert table!!!  In case you aren't familiar with this custom, some restaurants designate certain tables as free dessert tables when they're seated in high traffic areas (usually close to the kitchen).  Dear Malone's, you can seat me at that table anytime!  We had a giant cookie topped with ice cream and two flavors of syrup.  And we made a quick trip to Target afterwards.  I love that man:)


3. We finally got all of the details worked out on the closing of both houses, and those happen TODAY!  I can't believe the day has finally come.  We're so blessed to have the opportunity to purchase the house we are, and God has really put everything into place for us.  Seriously.  It was a huge leap of faith when we signed the contract to sell our home, because we had a quick turnaround and no place to go.  The house we are purchasing went on the market the very day we signed the other contract, and we had it under contract shortly thereafter.  Ever obstacle that has been in the way has worked itself out.  I'm so thankful to God for working everything out.  Be sure to follow along on Instagram today to take a peek at the new house!

4. Speaking of the new house, we went over to clean it on Wednesday.  As I was wiping down the cabinets in the bathrooms, I came to the realization that I could not handle the gold fixtures any longer.  So as soon as we got back home that evening, I got on Amazon to fixture shop.  I found some Allied Brass 24-in. towel bars on sale for around 92% off (org. $108, on sale for $9.96)!!!  I scored the last 2 sold directly by Amazon.  Thanks, Amazon!

5. If you're looking for some Valentine's Day outfit inspiration, check out this week's Wardrobe Re-Wear post.  I'm featuring an adorable shirtdress from Old Navy as both a dress and a shirt.  I hope everyone has a fabulous Valentine's Day!



If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wardrobe Re-Wear : Valentine's Day Edition


I love Valentine's Day. I also love good deals.  So when I saw this shirt dress on clearance for $13.98 at Old Navy, there was no question that it was coming home with me.  The tiny heart print that covers the dress is festive without being over the top, which makes it wearable year-round.


OUTFIT #1: Shirt as a Dress

Just pop a red cardi over the dress and it's Valentine's Day ready!  I accessorized with some new clearance jewelry from Target and Walmart (under $18 for both necklaces and the watch!).  I don't have any pretty black high heels that are closed-toe, so I like to pair peep-toe pumps with opaque tights in the colder months.











Please ignore the glare on these pictures.  We were having some technical difficulties.

OUTFIT #2: Dress as a Shirt

To switch up the look of this outfit, I just popped this bright-colored pencil skirt over the shirtdress to transform the look.  I've had my eye on this J. Crew Factory skirt since September, but the price wasn't working for me until January;)






Dress: Old Navy, no longer available (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: NY&C, old (similarsimilar)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory, was approx. $21 (now $34.99-->price increase)
Purse: Kate Spade Outlet (thanks, Mom!)
Black Necklace: Walmart, $3 in store (similar)
Crystal Necklace: Target, approx. $5.50 (no longer available)
Watch: Target, approx. $6 in store
Shoes: DSW, no longer available (similar)


If you're loving these outfit ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@brightonabudget).  I frequently post #ootd/#wiw, and pass along good deals as soon as I see them!  I hope these posts give you some ideas about how to shop your own closet and match-up clothes you never thought of pairing together!

I'm linking up with the girls at Tuesday Talk and Rachel at Garay Treasurers for Bloggers Who Inspire Me.

Friday, February 6, 2015

High Five for Friday 02.06.15


TGIF and welcome to High Five for Friday!  Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the link-up--thanks for stopping by



This week's featured blogger is Heather from My Little Happily Ever After.  Heather and I like many of the same things, such as beaches, reading, and subscription boxes (you all know my weakness for subscription boxes). She blogs about a little bit of everything, and her posts are always interesting and fun, like this post about London and Ireland.   Her H54F post from last week include Harry Potter World, which I love!!!




Now let's recap my favorite things about the week:

1(a). I found the Red Velvet Oreos!!!  These bad boys have been teased on FB for months.  Some claimed they were a myth, but I believed. . . and here they are!  They are absolutely delicious. I hear that they're hard to find in some places, so get them while you can.




1(b). I also found the mint skinny jeans I've been looking for since 2013!  Mint skinnies were big when I was pregnant in 2013, but I didn't want to shell out for a maternity pair.  So I waited to look until after I was pregnant and couldn't find them anywhere.  Then I looked last spring/summer and couldn't find them either:(  I had given up hope until I walked into Old Navy with some Super Cash on Saturday and there they were, in all their pastel glory, right inside the door.

2. Saturday was a me day.  Chauncey watched Kane while I relaxed.  In addition to the Old Navy stop, I got an 1.5 hour massage at Massage Envy (thanks to some giftcards from my sweet hubby) and had my hair trimmed.  I love Kane with all my heart, but it's hard to take a toddler anywhere. . . so it was nice to be able to do all of these things without having to worry about what he was getting into.  




3. I had lunch with some of my law school friends on Wednesday. Having lunch with my law school friends is probably the the only thing I miss about law school.  It was nice to catch up with everyone.  

4. We are closing on both house transactions next week (so thankful and blessed), so we're trying to pack everything up. Since I hate to cook, I started in the room I used the least--the kitchen.  Some of you all have asked that I share my packing tips, so I did a post yesterday about how to pack dinnerware in a very inexpensive way!  No one can pack up a house like someone who used to live in a dorm.



5. Kane loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  This week, he started bringing the remote to us and saying "Icky"when he wanted to watch it.  It's too cute!

If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 


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Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to Pack Dinnerware

Well, the packing has commenced.  Whenever you have a longer period of time to pack (say 1 week as opposed to 3 days), I recommend that you start your packing with whatever area of the home you use the least.  In my case, that would be the kitchen (I don't cook).  Now, while I'm a packing expert from my dorm days, my mom taught me a trick the last time we moved that saves a lot of money when it comes to packing dinnerware.  Instead of spending tons of money on expensive packing items, just use paper towels!  Seriously.  Why didn't I think of that?!  You can also use plastic grocery bags if you have some saved up--they provide great cushioning when wadded up.

I picked up some free boxes from my local Kroger's produce department, and then picked up the cheapest paper towels on the shelf.  This is super easy to do, and saves money.  Please note, when I've used this method, it's been for across-town moves or moves where we could pack our vehicles ourselves. Use this method with caution if you are using movers or packing delicate/valuable/heirloom dinnerware.

You can pin this image by hovering over the picture and clicking the Pinterest logo:)

To wrap glassware:

1. Shove 1-2 paper towels down in the glassware.
2. Take 2-3 paper towels connected together and wrap the paper towels around the mug diagonally. This will give you some extra paper at both the top of the glassware and the bottom of the glassware. Tuck the extra paper towel at the top down into the glass, and wrap the extra paper towel at the bottom around the glass (it just provides extra cushioning).
3. Place the glassware bottoms-up in the box.
4. Once you have a complete layer of glassware, shove extra paper towels down in all of the nooks and crannies between the glasses!!!
5. Repeat for your next layer.

Now, the steps I am showing are for packing glassware, but you can also use this for other dinnerware as well.  The process for bowels is very similar to that for glassware above.  The process for dinner and dessert plates, however, is different.  Start by placing 2-3 paper towels on the bottom of the box, place in a plate, and then layer 2-3 paper towels in between each plate as you stack them. Finish up but shoving extra paper towels in the nooks and crannies!

I am still trying to decide what to do with glassware that has stems, but I'll try to update this post once we get those packed!

Do you have any packing tips for dinnerware? Or maybe some "I've learned the hard way" examples of what not to do? Let me know in the comments below!!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

January Ipsy Glam Bag

Every month, I look forward to getting my Ipsy Glam Bag.  Now, while some months aren't as great as others (like this month's), those months are few and far between!  I'm still really happy that I broke up with Birchbox and made the switch!!!



This month's bag was a good-sized pouch.  It's actually a different color on each side.  Here's what was in my January Glam Bag:



1. LA FRESH ECO-BEAUTY Be Good.  Good Day. Day Moisturizer
My skin stays in some weird state where it's combo skin by nature, but really dry because of my topical acne meds.  This product worked fairly well and I really liked the packaging of this sample.

2. HIKARI COSMETICS Mechanical Eye Liner
I hated this product. I'm not a huge fan of non-gel eyeliners anyways, but this one just wasn't for me. It was a gray color, which barely showed up on my lid.  Furthermore, the formula did not glide on easily.  This was a miss.

3. (MALIN + GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm
This is the perfect lip balm for winter!  It tastes great and keeps the chapped lips at bay.  Why I've really been into lip color lately, I think this is perfect for using around the house when you don't want to risk getting lip color on your pillow or something, as well as for using over your favorite lip color.

4. MANNA KADAR COSMETICS Sheer Glo
This was another miss for me.  I love a good highlighter but hate this type of product.   The color itself is pretty--I'm just not a fan of the formula. I will store it away to maybe use to highlight my collarbone for an event.

5. PACIFICA Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow
This was a really good-sized product, and probably my favorite product this month.  It's a powder formula that goes on smooth.  The color is a great neutral that you can wear a lot.  Ipsy notes, however, that this product is only available as part of a palette set.

If you subscribe to Ipsy, what did you think about your January Glam Bag?  If don't but are interested in trying Ipsy, you can sign up through my referral link here