Couponing

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Hey everyone. Do any of you coupon? I never have really. I tried once a few years ago and then I got annoyed and thought it was stupid to try and save a buck here and there. Then one day a couple weeks ago I was perusing Pinterest and I scrolled past a pin about how to make couponing easy. So, I clicked on it and read a bit and then kinda brushed it off and went to bed. Then a few days ago I got my weekly Harris Teeter savings email and it said they were accepting double coupons for a few days. This basically means any coupon with a value up to $2 would be doubled. So, a potential savings of $4. Not too shabby. So, I woke up early the other morning because I couldn’t sleep and thought I would take a crack at it. I first Googled “Harris Teeter coupon matchups” which populated a number of websites including this one. In about 15 minutes I was able to identify some really awesome deals (ie: items less than a $1 after coupons). Since I have never couponed before I had to rely on finding coupons online (coupons.com). So, I went there next and printed off a bunch that I knew would get me some really discounted items that I either need or will need very soon.

Here’s what I never really caught onto previously that really made a HUGE difference, you can use multiple coupons on the same item. For example, I printed out a coupon for $1 off 1 airwick plugin. Then I printed off another coupon for a $1 off an airwick candle. Then, I printed off a third coupon for $2 off any 2 airwick items. So, I bought the airwick plugin and an airwick candle and got $8 off since Harris Teeter was doubling coupons (($1+$1+$2) x 2). See what I mean? img_1174

Anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is that this whole process took me about an hour. I did about 30 minutes of research on coupon matchups for the week and then printed out the coupons from coupons.com. In the end, I paid $101.81 out of pocket and saved $132.82 by using coupons. Obviously shopping during a double coupon promo helped. But, I think that’s pretty good considering I saved more than I spent. And I am a serious rookie. I know a lot of women do this and end up walking away from the store with more money than when they walked in. That is genius but takes a lot of planning. For us super duper busy, working moms I am just happy to know that I saved a bit during a regular grocery trip.

Do you coupon? I would love to hear tricks of the trade.

Keep it lush y’all!

victoria

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On this week’s menu!

Hi and Happy Tuesday!  I’ve recently been trying to be better about planning our menu for the week ahead of time.   We have a tendency to fly by the seat of our pants each night for dinner which means the inevitable back and fourth about what we’re in the mood for, last minute trips to the grocery store and eating out way more than we should.   So I thought this week it would be fun to share what I have on the menu because I am trying some new and different recipes.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday: (Leftover) Turkey Chili.  I made this recipe this weekend to have with some friends on Saturday night before we all went to my 10 year High School reunion!  It’s a recipe my sister found and I recently tried and fell in love with.  Its a little different than your standard turkey chili and is amazing!  I followed the recipe to a T and only added a can of Kidney beans.

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Tuesday: Easy Beef and Broccoli from Damn Delicious because a week doesn’t pass without making some sort of Asian inspired dish.  Served over Cauli Rice from TJs.  Trying to step out of my usual Skinny Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Peanut Chicken.

Damn Delicious Beef and Broccoli

Wednesday: Out, we’re going to a concert with some friends so we are planning to go out to dinner all together before

Thursday: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats from Pinch of Yum. Planning on leaving out the Turkey and having a vegetarian meal.

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Friday: Grilled Chicken Breasts and Brussels Sprout Gratin + Big Salad.  I told my mom I’d bring this Gratin for Thanksgiving so I want to make sure to try it before serving it to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Brussels Sprout Gratin!

Saturday: Out!

 

We usually eat leftovers for lunch since we both work from home 🙂

Question: What recipes are on your normal weekly meal rotations?? I’m trying to get out of my rut of cooking the same 10 things so I’d love some ideas!  You can see our other recipes/meal ideas here.

Have a great day!!!

Annie

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My 5 Product, 5 Minute Makeup Routine

On most days, I don’t like to make a fuss about my makeup. I sometimes feel the more time you spend, the worse it looks. So, I keep it as simple as possible and try to achieve an elevated version of my natural look. Here are my products an steps:

5 minute, 5 product makeup routine
Almay Concealer | Laura Mercier Lip and Cheek Sheer | Maybelline Eyeliner | Better Than Sex Mascara | e.l.f. Palette

FIRST | If I (by some miracle) have a good nights sleep I can leave this step out, but lately that’s  not the case. So, I start with a swipe of Almay Blemish Concealer underneath my eyes. I use a color that is one shade lighter than my skin. I take my fingers and dab it in to blend. This is my tactic for getting rid of tired eyes and dark circles.

SECOND | I apply my Laura Mercier Colour Dot to my lips and cheeks. I love the Sangria color in particular. I make sure to apply it to the places that my cheeks are a little pinker naturally. This is the best product I’ve found for cheeks, especially for us girls with freckles. It gives you a nice glowing tint, but still lets your freckles shine through.

THIRD | I apply a thin layer of eyeliner on the top of my lids. Then, I use an eye shadow brush to rub on top and smear the eyeliner upwards. This gives a great, easy, smoky eye look. I just buy a cheap eyeliner like Maybelline, since you are just smearing it anyway.

FOURTH | I use an e.l.f. eye shadow palette in tans and browns to darken my brows. I have tried a few eyebrow pencils, but have not been able to find a color/texture that I think looks totally natural. This is what works for me! I use my eye shadow brush and the darkest brown shadow in the palette. The most important step is once you load the brush with the shadow, poke it on your hand first. This gets the excess off before going to your brow. Then, I just swipe in the natural direction my brows go.

FIFTH | I use my Better Than Sex mascara on my upper and lower lashes. My technique is to start at the base of the lashes and jiggle the brush back and forth before pulling out to the ends.

And there you have it!

Maggie

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Friday Five

Holy Lord. Thank God it’s Friday. The last week has been a whirlwind and it’s going to stay crazy in my household until next weekend. For those of you that have absolutely nothing going on right now, I envy you. Enjoy your quiet time. Enjoy your lazy morning and drinking beer on the couch while watching football. That sounds amazing. Anyways, today I bring you five things I am loving lately.

1| Sleep – Seriously though…can this be one of my favorites right now? I have had a really hard time sleeping the last couple weeks. I go through bouts of sleeplessness every so often and I am in one right now. I have no problem falling asleep but then I wake up between 3-5am and can’t fall back asleep. This has happened to me before…quite a few times to be honest. It’s usually stress induced. My brain just won’t shut off. So, to help with this I do a couple things:

a) Acupuncture – This really helps reduce stress and calm the mind

b) Time-Release Melatonin – Just discovered that they make a time release version of Melatonin. Definitely trying this one.

c) This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – I just got this in my most recent Birchbox. I used it last night and I did sleep better. Heck if your desperate like I am, why not try it?

d) Exercise – If nothing else, this tires me out to the point that I have no other choice than to sleep.

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2| Narcos – We are close to the end of Season 2 of this show on Netflix and it is such an intense and great show. If you haven’t watched it yet be prepared for a show that requires you to put down the phone and actually pay attention. The majority of it is subtitled.

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3| Shopbop Sale – This is one of their biggest sales of the year. 25% off ordered under $500 and 20% off orders over $500. I have quite a few things in my cart like these wedge booties and these jeans and these jeans in my cart.

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4| Sephora Holiday Collections – There are soooo many new holiday value sets out at sephora. I am doing my best till I get my VIB Rouge 20% off discount in November. But, patiently awaiting my purchase are this lipgloss set, this highlighting palette and this brush set.

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5| Two Cumberland – This is a local boutique that just opened a bigger store in Mt. Pleasant in the Nordstrom Rack shopping center. They have an awesome selection of jewelry and women’s clothing as well as some local flair like the popular CHS hats everyone has been wearing as of late. I bought myself one if grey and my hubs bought me a beautiful, gold lariat necklace with three burnt orange stone and a black druzy stone ring that is awesome. They also have a great selection of hostess gifts. I will definitely be shopping here for Christmas gifts! For those of you that don’t live close by you can shop online here.

That’s it for today y’all! I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Keep it lush y’all!
victoria

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On My Mind…

Hey there! Today’s post is a brain dump of all the things that are on my mind lately.

First, we are still dealing with this post hurricane Matthew mess. Our crawl space filled up with water so we have to have it cleaned, duct work removed and new put back in, and have our AC unit replaced. We won’t have AC for another week. It really isn’t too bad though. The house is staying pretty cool. Paying our flood deductible on the other hand, makes me want to throw up. Definitley not the way I wanted to end my last couple of weeks on maternity leave.

Speaking of that, I go back to work in a week and a half. It’s bitter sweet. I am excited to get into a normal routine and have some independent time. On the other hand, I will be sad to leave this little guy. I can already tell he is a mammas boy and I hope he isn’t sad all day when he is in daycare. Also, I feel a little guilty about going back to work. For me, it is easier to go to work then to stay at home with the kids. So I wonder, is that why I am a working mom? I tell myself it’s the financial aspect, but maybe it’s more for selfish reasons? Mom guilt is a powerful thing!

Tucker has been so fussy the past few days. In particular between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 pm. I had him on a great schedule, but since the hurricane evacuation, he is totally unpredictable. Sometimes he will only eat 2 ounces, sometimes he wants 7, sometimes he will sleep for 15 minutes and sometimes for 3 hours. I feel like I just don’t know what he wants. I even took him to the doctor thinking he was sick, but he isn’t. I feel bad for Matt too because Tucker has basically been crying every second Matt is at home in the evenings.

Kids are hard on a relationship for sure! I don’t just love Matt, I am really really IN LOVE with Matt. I think he is the absolute best, but man, kids will try to turn you against each other. When you are frustrated at the kids, you can’t take it out on them, so you take it out on your spouse. I have also decided that kids bring out the absolute worst in you sometimes. They take the small flaws you had before and magnify them. With all that, I feel so lucky to have a spouse that understands me and really loves me to the core…no matter how tough life can get.

Totally random, but growing up I was obsessed with the X-Files. OBSESSED. In my bedroom I had an antenna on my TV so only got a few channels. At night the X-Files would come on one of them and I got hooked. This was about the time my parents were going through their divorce, so I was probably a little more suseptible to anything that kept my mind busy. Well, as some of you may know, they just had a 10th season, years after the 9th aired and I recorded it to save for maternity leave. I just finished watching all the episodes and am SOOOOOO bummed it’s over. It was so good and brought back so many nostalgic feels for me. Amazing something so creepy can make me feel so secure/at-home. As soon as that intro music comes on, I think my blood pressure lowers a few points. If you watched it, what the heck was that ending??? I NEED TO KNOW!

That’s all I will make you read today. My mind seems to be occupied all the time laltely, so it’s nice to write some of it down and get it out of there.

Maggie

Lush Break Blog

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Hosting a Fiesta Dinner Party! + J.Crew Workout Gear?!

Good morning!  I hope everyone is safe after Hurricane Matthew swept across the east coast last week.  We are all safe and have experienced very minimal damage from the storm.  We know we are lucky and not everyone was so fortunate so our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the storm!

Today I wanted to share a dinner party Steve and I threw a few weeks ago.  We are making slow progress on getting furniture and really settling into our house but we still wanted to have some friends over for a fun get together.  Since we didn’t have a dining room table yet and are still in the process of getting our every day china, we thought it would be fun to do something casual and easy.  Being someone who could eat Mexican food every night, obviously a Mexican Fiesta was the first thing that came to mind.

We ended up having about 12 people coming over and served guacamole, chicken enchilada dip (omg so good), salsa for apps.  2 types of tacos, beans and Mexican quinoa for dinner and funfetti cake for dessert.   Whenever I’m planning a dinner party, casual or fancy, I think through what I’m going to make, find recipes and build a grocery list.  I got most of the ingredients at Publix or Costco.  I love Costco for fresh ingredients.  You can’t beat the price and quality and for a dinner party of 12, the quantity works perfectly.

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Recipes:

  • Crockpot Shredded Chicken: 6 chicken breasts, 1 jar of salsa of your choice and enough chicken broth to cover the chicken.  Low for 6-8 hours.  I used 5 for the tacos and the largest chicken breast for the enchilada dip. So easy and so delish!
  • Chicken Enchilada Dip  <– this is a crowd pleaser recipe.  We served with chips but the recipe says to serve with crackers.  Either way is delish!
  • Mexican Quinoa
  • Homemade taco seasoning

 

Annie’s Guac Recipe: 

2-3 Ripe Avocados, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

Cilantro, 3-4 sprigs minced

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together with a fork mashing the avocado as you mix.  Garnish with a sprig of Cilantro and another squeeze of lime.  The lime keeps the avocado from going brown.  Enjoy!

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Also, J.Crew launched their new line of workout gear today with New Balance and I am loving what I’m seeing!

Seamless Tank

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Seamless Capri Leggings

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620 Sneakers

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Have a great Tuesday everyone!  xoxo,

Annie

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Hurricane Evacuation

Hey folks, the girls of Lush Break are currently trying to keep things as lush as possible while evacuating due to hurricane Matthew. We will be back next week with some great content to share. In the meantime, follow us on Instagram for updates @lushbreak.

Everyone stay safe!

 

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Tips for shopping on eBay

My Ebay Shopping tips!Happy Tuesday friends!  I hope everyone has had a great start to their weeks!  Steve and I are working from the office in Charleston this week and staying through the weekend for an engagement party.  We’re really hoping hurricane Matthew doesn’t come this way… fingers crossed!

Today I wanted to share some tips for shopping on eBay like a boss.  eBay can be very overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for so I thought I’d share some of my go to tricks for getting a great deal!

Shopping

  • Search for exactly what you’re looking for.  There is SO much on ebay that it is really hard to just casually browse for a Black dress or something generic.  Ebay is really best for something specific of a specific brand.  For example search “Tory Burch Amanda Cross body” not “Tory Burch Purse”. This will help you narrow down the millions of listings into a few hundred that fit what you’re looking for
  • Use the filters on the left.   Just like on Amazon or other sites, these filters help you really narrow down what you’re looking for.search1
  • Look into the seller.  There are lots of fakes on ebay, you have to be careful who you buy from.  What to look for:
    • Feedback- both the number of feedback (aka reviews) they have and the % positive.  In the example below you can see she only has 39 reviews (meaning she’s probably bought or sold 39 items) but her positive % is 100%.  This to me is a good sign because she isn’t a “career” ebayer.  More likely someone like me to sells items I no longer use.  ebay4
    • Click on the sellers name to get more information about the feedback they’ve received.
    • Item location.  I typically only buy from the US and am especially wary of items from Asia as they tend to have a higher likelihood of being a fake (from my experience at least).
    • Photos.  Look closely and feel free to ask for more.
  • Pay attention to the description of the item. If they sellers says there are defects, make sure you look closely at the pictures. Usually they include the defects but don’t hesitate to ask the seller questions or for additional information.  You want to be as informed as possible when making a purchase on ebay because often times you cannot returnTips for shopping on ebay!.

 

  • Add to your watch list.  This enables you to keep track of an item without bidding on it.  ebay will notify you when the auction is about to end so you can bid if you still want the item.
  • Pay attention to buying options.  In this example there is an auction and a buy it now option.  Buy it now is similar to purchasing something on any other retail site.  An Auction is a little different and can be tricky.
  • Auction Tips:
    • Determine your top number and stick to your guns.  It is so easy to get caught up in the moment during an auction. your competitive nature kicks in an you just want to win but try your best to stick to your top number, if you don’t win this auction I bet (no pun intended) there will be another purse/pair of sunglasses/dress on ebay.
    • With ebay’s automatic bidding, you can put in your top bid and ebay will actually raise your bid up to that point during the auction.  So for example lets say the starting bid is $95 and you tell ebay your top bid is $120, ebay will make you the high bidder at $96.  Then if someone else bids $110 it will automatically put you as the top bidder at $111 until it gets to your top bid of $120.
    • If the Buy it now price is within your range of what you’d like to pay and you really want the item, going with the Buy It Now option will ensure you get the item.

There is so much to cover but I think those are the most important points!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Shopping! XOXO

Annie

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What I’ve Learned in Five Years of Marriage

Tips for a happy marriage

This past weekend Donald and I celebrated five years of marriage. In all honesty, the first five years of our marriage have flown by. We have traveled, bought a home, sold a home, bought another home, got a dog, had a baby and worked at the same company for 9 years. In five years of marriage we have learned a lot about one another and, if I must say so myself, done a really great job of figuring out how to join together to create a really happy and fulfilling life together. Below are a few things that I have found to be key in a happy marriage (at least thus far)…

1| Compromise – Compromise is everything in a relationship. I am a very independent person; so, this was not easy at first for me. But, after all, a relationship is about being a part of [and in] someone else’s life. Conjoining two personalities and making joint decisions daily only works if both parties are willing to compromise. I learned that Donald was good at this early on. This is one of the reasons why I scooped him up.

2| Silliness – Maybe I am partial to this one because I am, at heart, like 10 years old. But, being silly with your spouse is one of those things that makes a relationship happy. Being silly with each other creates inside jokes and “isms” that only you and your partner will understand. This, of course, strengthens your bond. I can’t tell you how many times I break out in a ridiculous dance or make fart noises on my arm to get Donald, and Charlie for that matter, to laugh.

3| Goals – Everyone has goals for themselves — lose 10 lbs, read more, etc. But, when it comes to a relationship it is key to have joint goals. When Donald and I first got married we made a list one evening of roughly 10 goals we had that we wanted to accomplish in our first five years of marriage. When we were writing them down I remember thinking that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish so much in such a small amount of time. But, every couple months or so our goals would get brought up in a conversation over dinner and we would realize that we were making good strides to make those goals realities. It was exciting and surprising and justifying. The best part of our goals is that I realized I was on a two person team with the best teammate I could ask for in order to attain these goals. I suggest shooting high with your goals as a couple. It’s fun to work on them together.

4| Keep it Simple – I am a renowned over thinker. All I have to say on this topic is that if you trust your spouse then know that they will tell you what they want or need. Don’t overthink it. Don’t question. Just listen and learn.

5| Experience New Things Together – I feel like this can be done in a number of ways. For Donald and me we love to travel. We both love seeing and experiencing new places together. We constantly talk about that one time in Maui or that one time in France. Building stories and experiences to reflect on in your relationship is a wonderful way to solidify your bond.

These are just a few of the things I have learned over the last few years in marriage. I am sure there are many, many more lessons I will learn in the next five years and beyond. But, so far, I would say we have done a good job of following the ones I listed above and it has created a healthy and happy relationship on my home front. I would love to know what advice you have to share! Let me know!

victoria

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Friday Five

Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of m favorite things….on Friday. Snaps for The Sound of Music reference. I mean, any excuse to reference that classic..am I right?

ONE | These two Chicwish tops that I just ordered. I have never ordered from this site, but just couldn’t resist these two adorable, affordable tops. I love a top with a unique cut! I’ll let you know about the quality once I get them.

chicwish top

Off shoulder top 

chicwish top

Color block top

TWO | This classic lunch at Idle Hour in Park Circle. It is a little diner owned by the mayors wife. Tucker and I have been going and getting a burger all the way, fries and a coke for lunch. It’s seriously amazing!

Lunch Lush Break Blog

THREE | This Is Us. Who is watching this???? I am obsessed! There has only been two episodes, but I am already so emotionally invested and the twists…OMG. Watch it!

Lush Break Blog

FOUR | Target’s casual tees. I got a few of these at Target this week and they are so comfortable! I have been wearing them to work out and to sleep in. I am a sucker for a good tee.

usa tee from Target

USA Tee

Target Tee

Yasss Queen Tee

FIVE | Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter. I also got these little guys at Target this week and can not get enough. They are so delicious and such a great healthy snack. Another bonus is that Lucy loves them so they are toddler approved.

Great healthy snack

Enjoy a stress free weekend!

Maggie

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