Monday, August 31, 2009

Music Moment: Carole King's "Tapestry"

Carole King's "Tapestry" is a quiet force in my record collection.
I picked it up at a flea market in Virginia last summer for $1.
Never thought anything of it until I randomly played it several months ago.
And after doing research on the record, I didn't know how important it was to popular music. (Forgive my innocence seasoned music listeners:))
The record, which was released in 1971, immediately pulls listeners in with the first track and very upbeat, "I Feel the Earth Move."
Side A continues to flow along with soft, heart-rubbing hits like "Far Away" and "Too Late." The sound is very earthy and I like the honesty that is King's voice.
Now I've got to admit, I slept hard on Side B for a while.
King, who either wrote or co-wrote the songs on the record, also delivers on this side.
I like her versions of "You've Got a Friend," which was nicely covered by Donny Hathaway and James Taylor, and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Aretha MADE that song, but King's lovely version shouldn't be ignored.
And neither should the entire record, which sold 11 million copies and garnered King four Grammy Awards.
After listening and hearing and feeling the songs on the record, I see why.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, August 28, 2009

Product Review: Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express Mascara

I recently tried Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express mascara in classic brown.
I purchased it about a month ago from Target for about $2 after using a manufacturer's coupon and getting it on clearance.
The mascara contains collagen for volume-plumping action. And the package says that it gives "9X the volume in one coat and doesn't clump."
Well, I'd agree with that assessment.
I liked how the mascara separated my lashes and didn't leave any clumpage.
Get it here for about $6.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Money Moment: Glamour Magazine's September Issue

I recently received my monthly Glamour
magazine and was immediately drawn to their section, "36 Things Every Woman Should Know About Money." It featured financial advice specifically for ladies from some of the top woman money gurus out now like Suze Orman and CNN's Maria Bartiromo. Among some of the things mentioned:

1. Budget and stay on budget. (I do this already and it helps me a lot.)

2. Start saving for your retirement now. (This has been my mantra ever since I received my first paycheck.)

3. Use cash instead or your debit card and keep your change. (This doesn't work for me because I like to have cash on hand for misc. things such as parking or spending money and not for bills. I do, however, keep my change. Every little penny really does count.)

4. Transfer balances onto lower-interest cards. (I recently did this and am seeing the difference in my balance.)

5. Invest right now. (I don't know about you, but I don't have any extra money to waste, especially in this recession. But investing is an area that I do need to do more research on so I can be really adept in it.)

Some of these tips are really no-brainers but the article was very informative and it was free financial advice. You can never go wrong with free advice:).

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vote for my best friend Marrietta!!!!!!!!

Vote for my best friend Marrietta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My BFF Marrietta is entering in a video contest for Cosmedicine.
She created this hilarious video.
Vote for her by logging onto your YouTube account and clicking on the rating stars. The winner gets $5,000 and a year's supplies of Cosmedicine products.
Ten finalists also get a year's supplies of Cosmedicine products.
Voting ends September 14.
Vote for my BFF!!!
Thank you so much!!

Music Moment: Decorate Your Own Record Stand



My record collection is getting so expansive that I barely have room in my tiny apartment to store all my precious babies. (Yes, they're like children:) )
Recently, I decided to decorate a record stand that I found for free at the local landfill.
The supplies included Modge Podge, a paint brush, scissors and magazine pages.
The Modge Podge was about $7 and I got it from Walmart. It can also be purchased at craft stores.
I had all the other supplies.
All I did was cut images and pages from an Ebony magazine that I had and glued them onto the table.
I did two coats of the Modge Podge and let it sit for about two weeks.
Then, viola! My table was done.
It was that simple and for only $7, a really inexpensive DIY project.
Now I have a more stylish option for my records.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Product Review and My 1st Giveaway!!!!

During one of my T.J. Maxx excursions, I came across this $2 bar of cleanlogic soap in peach berry. It's not your ordinary shower buddy.
It's soap. A sponge. An exfoliator. And it comes with a soap dish.
And for two bucks, how could I not buy it?
Anyways, I bought it because I thought it would be worth it. It was.
The soap was an interesting concept of sponge and suds that worked well on my body. The smell was nice and it had enough suds to make me feel clean.
I loved the exfoliating action too.
Also, I will use the soap dish when I travel.
Luckily for you, I also picked up a bar in lavender and will give it away to a lucky reader.
To enter, read any of my posts and send an e-mail to telling me which ones you liked.
Contest ends on Friday.
Good luck.

***UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to this Friday, September 4 at 5 p.m. The winner will be announced late next week. Good luck!***

Photo courtesy of

Monday, August 24, 2009

Music Moment: The Undisputed Truth

I used to love hearing the song "Smiling Faces" when I was a little girl. There was something so funky, raw and real about it.
I liked the message.
But I never knew anything about the group behind the hit-until now.
I own two of the Undisputed Truth's albums on vinyl, "Cosmic Truth" and "Higher Than High."
I'm currently looking for their four other albums.
The Undisputed Truth was a 1970s Motown group who mainly worked with producer Norman Whitfield.
Their music and style was comprised of psychedelic soul.
They performed in flashy make-up, shiny outfits and white Afros.
Chaka Khan's sister Taka Boom, was a member of the group at one point.
Though they never saw much mainstream success, "Smiling Faces" was their biggest hit.
Of the two albums I own, my fave so far is "Cosmic Truth."
Songs like, "UFO's" and "1990" are very thought provoking.
"Down By the River" is my fave tune on the album. It's an avant garde melody of forward-thinking dopeness.
Sounds like something that Erykah Badu would attempt to do.
I also really like the soulful grooves of (I Know) I'm Losing You."
For more information on the group, visit their Web site at

Photo courtesy or

Friday, August 21, 2009

Product Review: Befine Warming Clay Mask

I've been looking for a natural clay mask for some time and recently found one that I really like. I was walking through my fave store Marshall's during a recent dinner break and came across Befine's warming clay mask. It was only $5 in their clearance bin so I figured I'd try it out. The mask is free of allergens, parabens and uses vegetarian proteins, according to the package. It is also rich in natural enzymes and humectants. It uses pomegranate, cardamom and arnica antioxidants to soothe, heal and tone, the box says. The product was very, very thick. So much so that I had to exert a little extra energy to apply it to my face. No joke. But I could feel the heat immediately once the mask was on my skin. I left it on for five minutes, took it off and liked the way my skin felt afterwards. Very refreshed. You can purchase the mask herefor $12.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Freebie Finds: Snacks, Lotion and Acne Medicine

Hey there,

I found a slew of goodies on the Inter webs recently:

Came across a cool sample for Nature Valley's Trail Mix granola bars and Nut Clusters snacks. All you have to do is sign up for their Eat Better America newsletter. Allow 6-8 weeks for sample deliveries.

Here is an offer for a free 1 oz. Victoria's Secret Pink Lotion. The deal is good until September 7. Just print out the coupon and bring it to your nearest Victoria's Secret store. Much thanks to The Penny Pinching Diva for this alert.

And here's a sample for Burt's Bees' new acne line.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Walgreen's Haul: Beauty Deals Galore!

OK, it's common knowledge to my friends and family that I need to stay out of Marshall's but I also really, Really, REALLY need to not step foot in Walgreen's. They are ALWAYS up on beauty deals and steals and my latest foray into the store was no different. Here's what I got:

-Two Jordana lip liners on clearance at $.50 each

-Six washcloths on clearance $.25 each

-A Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear nail polish in Twisted Pink that was on sale for $1.19 (used $1 off coupon w00t! w00t!)

-One L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Silk for $1.29 (again, I used $1 off coupon w00t! w00t!)

-One Repelle skin hair color shield on clearance for $1

-Two packs of Softlips' Limited Edition lip protectants for $1 each

-Three mini samples of Nivea's body wash in Orange Blossom for free (yeah, for free:) )

-Maybelline Great Lash Big mascara for $3.49 (again, I used $1 off coupon) and got a Walgreen's coupon for a free tube [they think they're slick but I'm hipped to their game]

Total= about $13. Not bad, considering all the stuff I copped.

I'm really excited about the Maybelline mascara. It's supposed to be really, really good. And yes, I'm going to wash the washcloths before I use them (lol). I'm using the Softlips in passion fruit and am liking it. It makes my lips very soft and has an SPF of 20 so I'm happy. I will be giving away some of these products so be on the lookout for my very first giveaway soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Music Moment: My latest record haul:)

I wasn't supposed to do it.
Swore up and down that I wouldn't.
But my darling boyfriend just HAD to take me to Fells Point on Sunday and we just HAD to walk past one of my fave record stores, The Sound Garden.
And I just HAD to step foot in there.
Tried to walk past the place-I really, really did-but it was no use.
Couldn't help it.
There really is no 12-step program for my music addiction.
To my surprise, I came across this HARD TO FIND Betty Davis record!! Yeah!!!! It's her first release and one that I had been hoping to get on vinyl ever since I fell in love with her music a few months ago.
I got it on CD last month as a birthday present. But owning it on vinyl is a gift from the musical gods.
I almost had a seizure when I saw it.
It was $21 and I happily blew my weekend budget on this treasure. (Í will write about this dynamic woman soon.)
Fortunately and unfortunately, I wasn't done with records on Sunday.
Me and Aaron went to a couple of yard sales in Charles Village and what did we see lying in the front yard at the first one??
Yes. Records!!
I just can't escape them. They're everywhere.

Here's a list of what I got at the yard sale:

-The Doobie Brothers: "Best of the Doobies"
-Queen: "A Night at the Opera"
-Donna Summer: "Greatest Hits Volume Two"
-The Moody Blues: "Seventh Sojourn"
-Lionel Richie: "Can't Slow Down"
-USA for Africa: "We Are the World"

They were a buck each so I paid $6 all together. Score!
I'm so excited about these titles. I've already heard the Queen, the Doobie Brothers and Donna Summer ones and love them.
I'm discovering songs that I heard of before but never knew who sang them. For example (and excuse my ignorance here), I didn't know that the Doobie Brothers sang "Listen to the Music" and "Long Train Runnin'." I mean, I've heard those songs a million times but hearing them on vinyl and discovering that the Doobie Brothers sang them was refreshing. That's why I love crate-digging. There's always so much to hear.
And there's never too much to learn:)

Freebie Find: Free Origins Facial

Hey there,

Came across this goodie for a free skin-brightening mini facial at Origins from August 18-23. The facial includes a personalized skin consultation, skin-brightening exfoliation and a detoxifying mask. And if you purchase any skin-care product, you'll get a free six-week supply of Origin's No. 1 facial cleanser, Checks and Balances frothy face wash. Click here to find the closest Origins location near you.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Product Review: Japanese Cherry Blossom Radiant Powder Spray

One product caught my eye during Bath & Body Works' semi-annual sale last month. Of course, it was in the clearance bin, but it looked so pretty. It was a powder spray in the Japanese Cherry Blossom scent and was marked down to about $2. How could I not get it? Plus, I liked the way the bottle looked. It had a very old glamour about it. This is a very unique product. It "puffs" perfume that's in the form of powder. Yea, interesting, right? I puffed a few puffs on me and a shimmery mix of fragrance and glitter came out. Only thing is you have to gently rub the mix in your skin to blend it in. Other than that, it's a pretty cool product and an alternative to traditional perfume. Check it out here where it retails for about $12.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, August 14, 2009

$2 Tanks at Old Navy

Old Navy is bringing back its $2 tank deal this Saturday, August 15. Yay!! Only catch is there is a five-tank limit for each customer, the deal is on for one day only, and the sale goes on until supplies last. The tanks usually cost $6.50 to $8.50 each. And if you're smart, you'll get up super early for the bargains. I missed out on the last deal in June because I didn't get there early enough. Boo. We'll see how I fare this Saturday. Click for store locations.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Music Moment: My latest record haul

Hi there,

I swear I need another job to feed this record addiction. Like seriously, it's becoming bigger and bigger than me, especially when I keep finding great stuff like the jewels I found a couple of weeks ago at Guru Records in Baltimore. Here's what I copped:

-Two The Undisputed Truth records, "Cosmic Truth" and "Higher Than High
-Joni Mitchell "Clouds"
-Millie Jackson "Get It Out'cha System"
-B.T. Express "Do It Till Ya Satisfied"
-Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon"

Total: $65.
Completely blew my budget but oh wells. It was well worth it and I'm happy with my purchases.

All good stuff. I've listened to them and am enamored:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Freebie Finds: Toothpaste, Lotion and Cereal

Hi there,

I was perusing the Web and recently came across these samples and freebies:

-Aquafresh Extreme Clean whitening toothpaste.

-Foot and hand cream samples from Aveda. Just print the coupons out and bring them in to your nearest Aveda store.

-A Honey Nut Cheerios sample. You'll also get $1 off coupon with this offer. Allow 6-8 weeks for sample delivery.

-Nutland Foods sample. The company will either send you almonds, cashews, or berries & cherries. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Enjoy your samples!

Photo courtesty of

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Freebie Find: Walmart bodycology sample

I recently found this sample on the Internet and wanted to share it with you. I hopped on this offer because I've sampled their Coconut Lime lotion before and love it. But you can choose from the company's Cherry Blossom or Raspberries & Cream scents. I chose Cherry Blossom. Sounds delightful. Allow about four weeks for delivery. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of

Monday, August 10, 2009

Product Review: Korres Body Butter

I've been trying to incorporate more natural and organic products in my beauty regimen lately and lluckily, I scooped up a bottle of Korres Body Butter in Quince from Marshall's for $5 last week. The company, which is based in Athens, Greece, has a big reputation for making natural products of quality. I've seen their stuff in Sephora for a zillion bucks so I figured it would be a halfway decent deal if I bought it. Glad I did. I have desert-dry skin so I have to make sure that I get enough moisture when using products on my skin. I did with this body butter. The product is enriched with Shea butter to help soften, moisturize and restructure skin, according to the bottle. It also has a blend of sunflower, almond and avocado oils to restore the skin's elasticity. The quince extract is supposed to be a "soothing agent to heal and nourish stressed skin." The scent was a tad sweet, but very light and feathery. A travel-size bottle of the butter can be found here for about $10.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, August 7, 2009

Budget Beauty: The Local Library

When I wanted to learn about the cosmetic world, the first place I went to was my local library branch. It has a nice selection of beauty books and magazines to help me get started. And they were free and who can beat that? I got really good advice on what kinds of products to buy and use. Stop by your local library for free beauty advice and make-up tips.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Music Moment: RAMP

I'll just come out and say it, Roy Ayers is a musical god. Yes. The man has more talent in his pinky finger than most "singers/songwriters" out today have in their entire body. Homeboy really is that good. Ayers has inspired everyone from D'Angelo, to Erykah Badu to Sean P. "Diddy" Combs to Mary J. Blige. I first heard of him on Badu's 1998 "Live" album. She did a beautiful remake of Ayres' hit "Searching" and I was hooked. Since then, I've been listening to and discovering his music. I have most of his discography on vinyl. Good stuff, for real. But not surprising for a man who's been in the music industry for about 40 years. One of my faves by him is RAMP's "Come Into Knowledge" which was released in 1977 on ABC Records Inc. RAMP was a group from Ohio (a lot of the dopest groups came from there!) that recorded songs written, produced and arranged by Ayers, Edwin Birdsong and William Allen. The group only recorded one album that went relatively unappreciated until the rap group A Tribe Called Quest sampled their song, "Daylight". Many of the record's other songs have influenced generations of musicians. Does this sound familiar? What about this? "Come Into Knowledge"is a mix of uptempo tunes and light odes about life and love. Yes, this man is up there with James Brown in terms of influence and even sampling in my book. You can buy "Come Into Knowledge" here.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Product Review: Sally Hansen New H-D Collection

So I got my new Sally Hansen Hi-Definition nail polish in the mail last week and had a polish party to test out the new colors. I've been wanting to try the whole multi-colored nail trend for a while and figured this new polish would be the best way to do that, since I received all eight colors. (Nothing like killing two birds with one stone:).) The colors are Digital (pink), Three-D (orange), Cyber (purple), Hi Def (green), Blu (dark blue), Pixel (aqua blue), Hi Res(red) and Lite (yellow). The hues looked very gemstone-like in the bottles. But they were another story on my nails: very electrifying. Me likey. They made my nails pop and my hands really stand out. But one of the things I disliked about the polish was that it was very runny upon application. I use other Sally Hansen polishes and they aren't as runny as these particular polishes were. But other than that, the polishes were very pretty and vibrant. You can purchase them here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Freebie Find: Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal Sample

I recently came across this sample for Total's new Blueberry Pomegrante cereal. I signed up because I love cereal samples. They're free and make a nice, easy and portable snack. You should sign up for it too. Allow four to six weeks for delivery.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Coupon Clipping: InSyle magazine's August 2009 Issue

A friend gave me InStyle magazine's August issue last week and I noticed several really, really good coupons in it:

-A $2 off coupon for any Revlon cosmetic product on page 111. Coupon expires September 30.

-A $3 off coupon for any Nexxus salon hair care product on page 133. Coupon expires August 31 and can only be used at Target stores.

-A $1 off coupon for any ALMAY cosmetic product coupon on page 145. Coupon expires December 31 and can only be used at Target stores.

I probably won't use the Nexxus coupon but the others are all really good coupons that I will put to good use somehow and someway. I like to hold on to my coupons until I see a good or interesting product on either sale or clearance. We'll see what I'll find with these money-savers.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Music Moment: Finding Your Mom's Old Record Collection

Came across this interesting, heartwarming and bizarre story on Yahoo this morning: This Sacramento man goes to an antique shop and buys a dozen old vinyl 45s. He thinks nothing of them until he gets home and sees his mother's name and the address of his childhood home on the labels. How freaky is that!? Now his mother and stepfather were frequent dancers who would jitterbug at the local big-band era dance hall so they loved their music. His mom died in 1979. But he never knew what happened to his mother's record collection until he discovered his recent purchases at the antique store. Wow. Cool read. Nice video too. We need more stories like this. Just made my day:)