I am a sucker for samples. I love them If I can try something before I buy it then generally I am all in whether it is a tiny spoon of ice cream before I commit to a cone or a face cream I have never tried before, trying it before I commit makes me a happy camper. I find this especially true with skin care, especially if I am just getting to know about the company.
Annmarie Organic Skin Care sells a starter sample pack for about $10. With this sample pack you get a sample of their cleanser, a facial oil and they send you three samples of their bestselling signature serums. And if you are thinking, why would I pay for samples, don’t. The sample kit comes with a $10 coupon that you can use towards a future purchase should you decide you like the products.
How could I not be interested?
Especially when I started looking into their website and products. Not only are they natural and organic but they are heavily into sustainability. All of which made me more interested to try them.. After all how can you not love something called ‘Wild crafted’?
There are several different kind of kits available and they are labeled via skin concern: Balance for normal to combination skin, Purity for oily skin, Restore for dry or Mature Skin and Soothe for sensitive skin.
The company very kindly sent over the Soothe Sample kit for me to review. They also sent over samples of additional products so while this is a review of their sample kit and a first impressions of the products, I will be able to do my full two week review after using the products for two weeks.
Actually what is nice is they sent samples of their cleanser, serum, facial oil, face scrub and two types of masks so that for the duration of the trial I can use only their products which I really appreciate.
So to The Soothe Sample kit. It includes a sample of their Aloe Herb Cleanser and the Herbal Facial oil for sensitive skin. The three serums that came with the kit are the Citrus Stem Cell Serum, the Probiotic serum and the anti-aging serum.
Right off the bat I have to say that I love that the packaging is paper, easily collapsible and recyclable. I also like that they provide a website link for further instructions.
By following the link and going to the Sooth kit I find that…
This herb-infused, mildly formulated sample duo includes our Aloe Herb Cleanser which gently lifts away impurities, while our Herbal Facial Oil for Sensitive Skin delivers essential oil free, lightweight moisture to keep skin calm and at ease.
The directions suggest using the cleanser and following up with the oil. Nothing strange about that, but it doesn’t mention the serums. I believe that the serum is supposed to come between the two. Because they left out the serums I decided to try the duo without the serum in between first and then get to the serums later.
These are very much sample packets and I had two concerns when opening them. Concern one was that there would be very little in the packet. Concern to would be that there would be a lot in the packet. If you’ve ever used little sample packs often having them for more than one use gets messy. You open them, use them once and then set them aside to use the remainder later and they leak all over the sink and make a mess.
While these packets did have more than one use in them. The paper packet is designed in such a way that the top, if you tear it right, only exposes a little hole for the product to come out of and the paper is also designed to stand upright. The way it is folded on the bottom means that it won’t slump over and spill everywhere.
I know it is kind of a silly thing to be excited about, but I really was excited about this. (it’s the little things in life right? Plus it shows they really thought about things, which I appreciate).
But packaging means nothing if you don’t try the products.
My first run was with the cleanser and facial oil. The cleanser smells like lemon verbena which is one of my all-time favorite herbs in the garden. It is in face what summer smells like in my mind because my Mom used to use it in her homemade bug spray. Whatever mix she concocted (I do not have the recipe) had loads of lemon verbena in it and we were hosed down with it to keep us bite free. It worked pretty well actually.
While I adored the scent of the cleanser, I also really enjoyed using it. It took very little to wash my face and the small packet managed to stretch to four face washes, so I got two days’ worth of use out of it. It took off my makeup, although it needed a little extra help with the mascara (but that is one of the reasons I keep a Makeup Eraser around). Quite frankly the scent makes me perfectly content to let the mascara slide. Most cleansers have issues with it and not all of them smell as good or leave my skin actually feeling conditioned. Seriously, it felt good enough that I really didn’t want to put anything else on my skin.
But I did.
The Herb Facial oil came next. It smelled like oil with some indefinable herbs infused into it. It was thicker and more viscus than I expected and only a drop or two was actually needed. Going on the skin it felt kind of sticky, but after applying, I gave it a moment to do its thing and it absorbed well. I finished with a light moisturizer and was very happy with the results.
Later I tried the serums and they too contained enough product for multiple tests. The Citrus Stem Cell serum smelled slightly citrusy but mostly herb and the other two just smelled very herby. My nose couldn’t pick out any distinct herbs but the probiotic serum did smell slightly sharper than then the Anti-Aging serum.
While there was enough product in this sample kit to get a good feel for the products, there was not enough to see any type of results. Luckily the folks at Annmarie were kind enough to send other larger samples that I can try for the duration of a full trial. I will have to report back after using them, but I have to say given my initial exposure, I have a very good feeling about them. My initial impressions are all pretty good. Thus far the only slight negative was the slight stickiness to the Herb Facial Oil. And even that goes away pretty quickly leaving the skin soothed and nourished.
While I eagerly jump into the trial of the skin care regime, this post was more about the sample packets and whether or not it is worth the initial $10. I have to say I think it is. There are two days’ worth of products in the packet and three separate serums to try so you can see what works well with your skin. It is enough to see your initial reactions to the products and to learn if they are right for you. Personally, I really like sample kits of skin care products and I think the fact that it comes with a $10 off coupon is just the cherry on top. I’ll be back in a few weeks to let you know how the products work over time.
I have a good feeling about this one.
Welcome to the Friday face mask and oooh boy is the tingling intense today! My mask d’jour is the Grace and Stella Blackhead Peel-off mask. Despite looking like tar in the hand, it smells of peppermint. And once on the face it starts to tingle.
Feel the cooling sensation of mint.
It gives me goosebumps.
Speaking of goosebumps my baby doll has secured a number of horror movies for this weekend’s perusal. I’m not sure what they are yet though. He called them “The selection that means you don’t have to go out in the cold and wet.”
I’m pretty sure that isn’t how Hollywood classifies them, but I do appreciate the thought. It is not going to be a pretty weekend out of doors here this weekend. Cuddling up on the couch with my baby for a horror fest sounds like a much more delightful option than anything out of doors. And he always picks up a good selection when he goes a-rummaging for movies. Admittedly these days the rummage is mostly electronic.
But he likes poking around on-line.
And he likes monsters in rubber masks.
Admittedly last weekend’s viewing of The Mole People on Svengooli was a bit much even for him. Those masks were all sorts of wrong.
But back to my sort of masks, like all peel of masks, I wear this one until it is fully dry at which time, the tingling has pretty much stopped. Don’t try to take it off early. You will just make a mess. Oh and if you have one of those rubberized mask brushes, I’d suggest using it with this one. I did not and ended up with a bit of an intense hand wash after applying the mask. I’d also suggest making sure the sink is clean as well. It’s just easier to clean up sooner rather than later.
In case you are wondering what this mask is supposed to do, according to the website…
– Helps remove dirt, dead skin, and blackheads easily
– Gives you visibly smoother skin by removing built up gunk
– Cleans pores as well as pulling out blackheads, making the possibility of new blackheads forming much lower
I recently tried a cream that disagreed with my face and now have quite a few clogged pores to remove which is why I chose this mask for today. I have to say, I really like the way it performed. My skin felt smooth and many of my clogged pores are now unclogged. Not all of them are gone, but a good many of them. So over all I am happy with the performance.
My only caution is that it tends to crackle into little bits around the edges where the mask is thinner. Then you have little black flakes to deal with. I’m willing to concede that might be user error though and next time, I’ll try to keep the edge even, or brush off the over dried edges over the trash can before removing the mask.
Either way, I love the cooling peppermint and give this mask a definite thumbs up. Now that my pores are clean, and my editing complete, it is time to contemplate murder. At least in fictional form. I’ve decided that my main character, aka the murderer, is going to befriend a pharmacist to secure her poison. Now I just need to figure out what a pharmacist might have behind the counter without ending up on some sort of watch list for wayward writers. Wish me luck.
Only a 0.6 lbs loss this week, but I am okay with that. First of all a loss is a loss and I am fine with that any day of the week. The second reason is that it has been really cold this week. Rain and rain mixed with snow followed by just plain snow.
that’s not just cold it is ugly cold.
It is car wreck weather.
Luckily that was avoided. In my case though, weather like this means I want to seek out comfort food. Luckily I made a big pot of soup this past sunday and with the use of my trusty measuring cups, I portioned it out well so I had something warm and filling in the afternoons that could be quickly assembled and wasn’t too highly caloric. I think that was my saving grace.
It was a mostly quiet week. I think because of the weather I mostly hunkered down and worked more than anything. I used the gym as mental breaks but other than that, it was smooth sailing.
Kinda nice actually.
Today looks to be kind of quiet as well. Today it is all about editing. But before I break out the red pen and post it note pad,the stats.
Starting weight: 246.0 lbs
Last week’s weight: 204.6 lbs
This week’s weight: 204.0 lbs
Weight lost this week: 0.6 lbs
Weight lost thus far: 42 lbs
Weight left to lose (apx.): 81 lbs
I am off to insert commas, circle words spell check got wrong and comment about plot defects. Later to day I plan to figure out how a my man character gets her hands on some poison. It was a lont more available when people weren’t using green cleaning products and environmentally friendly garden treatments. No one is going to actually die from the soapy water I keep to spray down the aphids. Does anyone even keep rat poison in the house these days? It’s very inconvenient when you decide your main character is going to be poisoning people. Although good for reality. Maybe she can befriend a pharmacist with shaky ethics and enough debt to take a bribe.
I’ll work something out.
In between the commas and the murder I’ll return for the Friday Face Mask. Now I’m refilling my coffee mug and readying my red pen. Hope everyone has a great morning.
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For some reason that title makes my inner voice sound like Jacques Cousteau.
…Join us as we explore the undersea world, a world inhabited by fascinating creatures, a world under the sea.
Admittedly for the first few days of my water trial it felt like I swallowed most of the ocean, sans saline and undersea creatures of course.
For those just tuning in, after discovering that drinking between eight and ten glasses of water was recommended for not only healthy living but for weight loss assistance, I decided to try a thirty day challenge where I attempted to drink the recommended amount each day and see what happened. This is the end of my first week.
The first two days were a bit of a struggle. I felt simply gorged with water and I began to doubt the wisdom of this entire venture. I think I might have eaten less because I was already so full, but it wasn’t noticeably less.
I spent a lot of time visiting the ladies room as well. I learned a very valuable lesson with that actually. The lesson is, drink the most water in the morning so that you are tapering off later in the day. Otherwise you will wake up repeatedly in the night.
I know common sense logic lessons everyone already knows, that’s my strong suit.
Seriously though, drink the bulk of your water early.
The third day was a little harder for me to actually get all of my water in. I started this on a Thursday and the third day was Saturday. Since so many people always state that they will start new things on Monday, I wanted to switch it up so that by Monday it would hopefully already be a habit.
I found it a lot easier to drink all of my water when I had my water bottles lined up on my desk than I did when I was running around on the weekend. I managed, but it was definitely something I had to think about more on the weekend then during the week. I also found that having the three water bottles helped. I could fill them in the morning and then just rotate through them without losing track of refilling them. when one was empty, I set it aside and moved to the next until all three were empty.
I definitely would have lost track over the weekend. So lets here it for collecting multiple water bottles!
In addition, I also noticed something interesting towards the end of the weekend. The scent of my sweat changed a little. Now, I’m not going to claim I smell like a rose, especially after a heavy workout, because we all know that would be a lie. It was like the water was evicting the toxins that were squatting deep in my inner recesses. I was being purged from the inside out. Its not like I was sniffing and thinking ‘oh, I’ve now managed to sweat out my friday night martini’ or ‘there goes whatever was lurking in my red sauce and cabernet from last week’, but it sort of felt like a spring cleaning for my innards.
The odd scent only lasted a day or two and then I just smelled like regular old me again. which was a relief. I have to say I was also glad to have those Busy Beauty Showerless Body Wipes around as well. I also might have been a little extra aggressive when wiping away the sweat. It was a little disconcerting to have my own scent change.
I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that the odd scent change didn’t last. I’m taking it as me having fewer toxins to purge then I would have if the sour scent lasted all week. Right?
while I am keeping track of changes, weight measurements and that sort of thing. I am going to wait and post them in the roundup at the end of the thirty days because I think there will be more of a change, if indeed a change happens. Until then I am just going to post a weekly segment noting the none measurement things I see and learn.
Thus far my lessons can be summed up in three parts.
Oh sweet olive dotted gin and vermouth concoction can you ever forgive me?
So those were the lessons I picked up after my first week of the thirty day water challenge. My belly no longer feels over stretched with the load of water I am forcing into it and I feel like the toxins have been washed from my system as I no longer stink.
I can’t wait to see what happens in week two. whatever it is, I’ll keep you posted.
I have a confession to make. The shower at my gym creeps me out. I know what you’re thinking. Overweight woman, public-ish showers, fear of public nudity. Completely understandable. But that’s not it. Okay sure, I don’t want to be naked in public, but the real creep factor?
Don’t get me wrong. They are clean. Squeaky clean. The force of industrial disinfectant is strong with those tiles. It is just the color of them that creeps me out. They (and even worse the commodes in the ladies restroom section of the locker rooms) are black. Jet black. And shiny.
Somehow the shiny makes it worse.
Not that I think matte black would make it better.
I have no rational explanation for why this creeps me out. I suspect several sessions with a therapist might be able to tease out an answer. But because of it, I tend to rationalize avoiding all but the changing area of the locker rooms.
While I live across town from my gym, it is only about a twenty minute drive (on a good day). And while this has on occasion (because the black commode is waaaay worse than the shower tiles) caused me to race directly towards my bathroom upon arrival, I can stand to be stinky in my car alone for twenty minutes. Especially knowing I can shower when I arrive.
In fact, I frequently ‘forget’ my gym toiletries bag so that I have to race home to shower before continuing my day.
The only real downfall is the grocery store.
It is located next to the gym. They are separated by a thin strip of asphalt. And often I need to stop by and pick something up that was forgotten on grocery day. We make a list, and yet, things get left off. Or run out unexpectedly mid-week.
Either way, I need to stop at the store and not only can I not inflict my post workout stink upon an unsuspecting public, but I almost always end up running into someone I know, occasionally it is a neighbor but more often it is a professional connection. Stinky isn’t really an impression I like leaving.
They were kind enough to send over three different types for me to try. They gifted me with the peppermint pomelo, the dandelion dragon and the kiwano star fruit body wipes to try and let me tell you, I will be forever grateful.
At first the term gigantic made me a little hesitant. I envisioned a tarp like creation emerging from the packet to either swaddle me or enable me to erect a tent of sanitation in the middle of the locker-room. And the individual packs felt almost thick enough in the pouch to do that.
Incidentally, the large bags each contain eight of those (above) individually wrapped packets.
It felt less massive when I saw the individual ones, but still substantial. When I opened the peppermint pomelo I was braced, but the sheets are about the size of an oversized washcloth and quite manageable. In fact they are very cloth like, which accounted for the puffiness of the pack. The cloth is thicker than a make-up wipe or pre-moistened towel-ette and thinner than an actual washcloth. It’s textured a bit like a washcloth thought, which gave me high hopes.
According to the website…
Customers told us they wanted a biodegradable body wipe that could be used for their whole body – without ripping or drying out. So we made a body wipe that’s biodegradable AND 3 times bigger and 2 times thicker than the average baby wipe. Now you can survive your sweaty commute, go to brunch after a workout, sleep in, and travel the world… all you need is a Gigantic Body Wipe!
I love the fact that they are biodegradable. The first body wipe I tried was the peppermint pomelo. I have a weakness for peppermint. Oddly enough, I can’t stand spearmint, but I adore peppermint. The scent is nice, but not overpowering.
When I opened it, I was worried about exactly how moistened the cloth would be. I know I have opened a couple of sheet masks before and found massive amounts of extra serum. This was moist, and when I squeezed it in my hand I could feel the liquid, but nothing dripped. It was at that perfectly saturated, but not overly saturated stage.
So standing with an opened cloth in the ladies locker room, I quickly wiped down.
The wipe was cooling and clean. I did not feel like I had any residue left on my skin, nor did I feel that my skin was stripped as it would have been had I used an oversized towel-ette packet. My skin was damp from the cloth, but quickly dried. By the time I finished wiping down the rest of me, the parts I started with felt clean and dry. The scent is light and it fades as it dries so that it is no more of a scent on your skin than a good body wash would leave after you exit the shower. It is content to fade into the background.
On my next few visits I tried the other scents, dandelion dragon and kiwano star fruit. They were both slightly cooling as well, but not quite as cooling as the peppermint pomelo. I think they all have some peppermint in them, but clearly the peppermint pomelo has more and all mint produces a cooling sensation on the skin.
Of the three I tried the kiwano star fruit is the sweetest smelling. It is not a sticky sweet that makes you feel a little unclean after applying it to the skin, but a lightly sweet scent almost like a floral soap, but not quite as intense. The dandelion Dragon smelled a little green and mostly like dragon fruit, which is a subtle scent to begin with.
Given that it is winter, the dandelion dragon is my favorite of the three scents. The peppermint pomelo was just a little too cooling for the outside temps and a little shocking after an intense workout. It was a nice shock, but not something I’d want each time.
I suspect as temperatures climb and I start sweating it out on the walking trail under the burning sun (and several layers of sunscreen) I will go straight for the peppermint pomelo as a post walk rub down. Even after a short time of use, I knew this was going to be a gym bag staple for me. Actually after the first use I knew I would keep using them.
With one of these wipes and a can of dry shampoo, I can cool down and tidy up enough that I can avoid the gym shower to get groceries without stinking up the produce aisle. And while I know that sounds a little silly to some, I generally break my workouts into sections, sometimes two and other times three. I simply can’t take a shower after each section without doing horrible things to my skin, and water bill.
Even without my dislike of black tile, this is a really good product for me. I also suspect that they will be in my carry-on next time I jump the Atlantic to visit family. I think with one of these in tow a quick visit to the airport bathroom will leave me feeling less nasty after a long flight.
I also have to add as a personal vindication, I now feel less upset by my dislike of the black tiles. The third time I pulled one of these out of my bag a couple of the ladies I see every gym visit, but don’t really talk to beyond pleasantries asked me about them. I explained what they were and handed them some extras I had with me. One of the ladies showed an intense look of relief.
Apparently, I am not the only one who is not a fan of those black tiled showers. She claimed they wouldn’t be as bad if the grout weren’t black as well. Its something I have to think about. Luckily, I can now think about it when I am clean and dressed and not contemplating using the showers.
Even if you don’t have my fear of showers, I highly recommend looking into this product. Whether for gym visits, surviving long flights or camping (oh lord, I just remembered I volunteered to serve as an extra adult during a spring camping trip this year if the girl scout leader couldn’t get enough parents. Sorry, mental aside, just ignore that.) this biodegradable option is something to keep on hand when a regular shower isn’t a viable option. I’ve posted a link below if you want to check out their site. You can also save 10% with the code SAVE10
As a quick disclaimer, I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Despite the affiliate links, the opinions are all mine and honest reviews.
Time for another installment of Foundation Quest 2020. This is the third foundation in this run of tests. I plan to test five in this segment and then once I’ve tested each for a week’s worth of wear, I will be lining all five up on my dressing table and see which one or ones I end up reaching for and why.
Thus far in this section I have posted my test for and ELF Foundation and one from Too Faced and they have both performed fairly well, or at least well enough to remain in the ‘which will I reach for test’. This test of the Wander Beauty Nude Illusions Liquid Foundation is the third in this run and it will be followed with Becca and an Ulta Brand Foundation.
I am separating the segments, partially to give each formula a fair shot and partially because I feel opening too many products at a time would be wasteful. With five there is also enough product that I can really see which one (s) I am drawn to more.
So to the Wander Beauty.
The first thing I have to mention though is a secondary product by Wander Beauty. It is the unsung hero, the back up dancer who has actually been with me through each of my foundation tests. To keep these week long trials as uniform as possible, I am trying to use as many of the same back up players as possible to cut down on variation. I’ve mentioned most of the repeat cast by now. The ELF finishing powder. The Benefit Gold Rush Blush. The Trestique Bronzing stick. While lipstick and eye shadow change, those remain the same. Incidentally today’s pictures also feature Makeup Geek eyeshadow, Dr. Facilier lipstick from Colourpop and what is rapidly becoming my new favorite mascara the Scandalous WOW Wings from Rimmel.
But there is one product I haven’t mentioned and that is the Wander Beauty Glow Ahead Illuminating Face oil. While I sometimes wear primer and sometimes don’t with these tests, I have always added this to my skin before continuing with my makeup application.
For those of you looking for matte skin and are looking at the word illuminating and thinking, ‘I don’t think so’, I would say think again. This doesn’t make the foundation dewy or high gloss. It does however help keep your skin from drying out under the foundation. I’ve noticed that a lot of matte foundations can make my skin feel dryer than normal. The dryer it gets the more cracks appear in the foundation. By applying this first, I help prevent that issue from occurring.
The Glow Ahead face oil is part of Wander Beauty’s Skin award winning on-the-go beauty essentials and skin care line and therefore more in the skin care category, but since I wear it under all my foundations and this is a Wander Beauty Foundation Test, I figured I would mention it here. Although if I continue to wear it for all my tests I am going to need to pick up a replacement bottle soon. As you can see this one is starting to run out.
So on to the Foundation. The Nude Illusion Foundation comes in a tube and has a doe foot applicator. I don’t have a problem with the doe foot, but I did notice that if I pulled the applicator out too quickly then there were a few droplets of foundation that sprayed out on the dressing table. They were little dots so it didn’t waste much product, it is just something to keep in mind when using it. While it is easily wiped off the table, little dots can affect a white shirt. So just be aware of it. I think the reason I’m not mad about it is that it means there is a tight seal so less air gets to the product.
Foundation, like any other beauty product has its claims and this is no different. According to the Wander Beauty Product page…
This lightweight, skincare-enriched, liquid foundation provides full coverage with a natural, radiant finish. Nude Illusion gives skin a filtered finish with all-day coverage, without ever feeling heavy. It resists heat, humidity, and sweat. As little as one layer magically makes blemishes, redness, and discoloration disappear, with an undetectable, skin-like finish.
The formula is enriched with niacinamide to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and even skin tone. It also contains lotus extract to help balance sebum production and support natural skin elasticity.
Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation has been expertly designed in a tube with a doe-foot applicator to make it easy to apply as foundation with even coverage. It can also be used as a targeted concealer, or to spot cover imperfections.
Okay so to the product.
The doe foot made it easy to apply and I did spot correct while applying. I like that I could apply the foundation to my skin, recap the foundation and then get my brush out to blend without the foundation going dry and hard to work on me. It made it really convenient to work with, especially in the mornings.
It blended out really easily and is as full coverage as it claims. It also feels weightless on the skin. While it felt like nothing was there after applying it, the product did not get heavier throughout the day and remained weightless. I actually felt my lipstick more than I felt the foundation. I cannot complain about that. It also did even my skin tone and was less mask like then I usually associate with full coverage foundations.
While I don’t think it is a miracle wrinkle eraser, it did cover my fine lines well and more importantly, it didn’t settle into them as the day progressed. Around mid-day, I saw a little shine in the t-zone and did a quick powder dust to deal with it then went on my way.
To be honest as the week wore on I had very few complains about this product. Most of the days I wore this between six to eight hours. I had one really long day where I wore it twelve and after twelve it did look a little on the oily side and was starting to settle into my lines and peel up a little around my mouth.
I do not typically wear makeup for a full twelve hours though so that wasn’t really a major concern for me. Also this doesn’t make claims about 12 to 24 hour coverage so I’m not that bothered by it. I think this is a great foundation to wear during the day. It is very easy to simply forget that you have it on.
My one caution would be that it does tend to oxidize a bit, so when you pick a shade, err on the lighter side. I got one shade lighter than I thought I was going to be and it worked out really well for me. In the photos you can see it did wear away a little on my nose but my reading glasses do that with every foundation.
Over all I am very pleased with the way this foundation performed in my initial trial and look forward to using it again. I also need to remember to reorder my Glow Ahead Face oil. It is fluffed out a little in the picture and really needs to be replaced.
Tune it for my Next foundation test which will be from the Ulta Brand line.
Wader Beauty Sale (below link)Starts February 21st and runs through February 23rd.
Growing up I was taught to make a budget pretty early on. Initially my attempts to make a budget were less in the fiscal responsibility category and more in the detective vein. You see, I noticed that my piggy bank always seemed to have less in it than I thought it should have. My parents thought that this was a good intro into teaching me to keep track of my spending and sat me down with three column account book and showed me how to mark down what I put in and what I took out and how to keep a running tally of what I had left in the last column.
Pretty simple stuff really. They were proud I was showing responsibility at such a young age (as well as an interest in maths) and I settled in to figure out if money really was disappearing when I wasn’t looking.
For the record it was and apparently it is frowned upon to set booby traps to catch a thief in your room. The carpet was singed (as it was a sea green shag affair hold over from the 70s that tended to smell like wet dog I can’t feel too poorly about it), I was grounded, but the thief was caught.
I was also reimbursed for my missing funds, or at least what I could prove was missing with my account books.
A victory for fiscal responsibility to be sure, but I know you are thinking, Mimsy, what does this have to do with weight loss?
The point is coming, I promise.
So from an early age I was taught the value of keeping an account and working out a budget. Once I started keeping track of money I was taught how to save up for things I wanted. Again fairly standard stuff and to this day I keep a budget.
I tend to alternate between using an excel spreadsheet and using a paper ledger book , generally picked up at the Dollar Store. The reason is simple, sometimes I go into the Dollar Store and they have the ledger books, sometimes they don’t. If they do I buy one, use it until the pages are full and then try and pick up another one. If they don’t I keep my monthly account on an excel spread sheet.
There are of course many wonderful budgeting apps and systems that can be used. I personally like these two methods because they don’t connect to my bank account and are very unofficial. It lets me budget things that really don’t need to be a part of the official record.
For example, my personal slush fund. Each month I budget a category to cover things beyond bills. I work out how much I need to spend on things like bills and mortgage payments, I work out how much I want to try and put into savings and I budget a slush fund to cover things I just happen to want that month. This money I can spend freely on anything I want without affecting the other categories and running short for bills. Some months it is larger than others, some months the category doesn’t really exist except in theory.
I’m sure we have all had those months.
My problem is that occasionally I use the slush fund to purchase things like french fries. And sometimes it isn’t just fries, although they are my weakness. Sometimes I feel silly going through the drive through for just french fries so I get a whole meal. Budget wise, it fits with no issues. Calorie wise it can blow my entire diet to shreds. So I started adding a secondary line under my slush fund line.
The name of this line changes. Sometimes it is lipstick, sometimes a spa treatment sometimes it is even a ticket to an upcoming museum exhibit. What it is changes, it is just something I want that I didn’t budget for that month (or an upcoming one). The cost of whatever it is I put in parentheses next to the name.
Spa treatment ($120)
Then everytime I look at my slush fund and think ‘Oh I could afford french fries today, or maybe an entire meal, since a fountain drink sounds really good right now’ I have to make a decision.
If I cave and use the fast food place around the corner to bust my calorie count, then the column where I have budgeted for lipstick remains blank. If I successfully yell ‘Get thee behind me satan…er… deliciously tempting french fries!’ Then I take the cost of what I was going to spend on the fast food and put it in my savings for the extra item like the lipstick or spa treatment and I subtract it from the general slush fund.
With tax the meal I like to get at the local chain restaurant so inconveniently located between my house and the gym generally comes to $8.63. Successful resistance adds up surprisingly fast.
It also helps my inner accountant to see that the money has been taken away from the available money in the Slush Fund because then I can sort of trick myself into thinking it isn’t there when in reality it is still in my bank account.
This is why I do this separately from any program that wants to make my budget and bank match. And I do keep a seperate checking and savings register so I know actual monies, I just use this to budget myself.
I know it is a little bit of trickery (and math) but I find it helpful. I also find it a good way to save up for an expensive lipstick or a relaxing spa visit. It may take a few months, but in the end I get something extra for my resistance to go along with my slowly reducing waistline.
And I never have a problem with that sort of math.
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