For those of you who don't know me, my name is Michelle and I'm a shopaholic. At any given time I have a handful of obsessions that I research to death and hunt down for pennies. There are very few items I pay close to retail - these are among my current favorites and worth every cent :)
Huggable Hangers by Joy Mangano
I'm a sucker for the home shopping channels and infomercials - which is how I've been introduced to some of my favorite things. I first noticed these hangers on HSN so when I decided to organize my closet I picked up some similar flocked hangers at Marshalls. What I learned was not to be fooled by imitations because half of the knockoff hangers broke in the bag before I even opened the package. I promptly returned them and ordered a bunch of Huggable Hangers on HSN. Every so often there are coupons for HSN and they have a today's special from time to time on the hangers sets - that's the best time to buy them.
|Best deal right now is $8.95 for a set of 12|
I learned the hard way that you need to buy a basic color (like black) as they rotate colors and your favorite color can go out of stock just when you need more. I'm waiting for bright purple to return so I can match my set. I refuse to buy a second color to mix with mine. Luckily I purchased black for my husband, my son and the rest of the house (other than my girls, who have the kids version in cream). Also note that some colors are carried at Target and from time to time they go on sale there as well.
Also, they are not meant for heavy coats. Mine have held up nicely but my husband keeps breaking his with his winter coats LOL. Other than that, I love the pretty colors and how thin they are. Bonus - I can pack a ton of them in my closet. They have clips you can attach to hang skirts and the "velvet" finish keeps your strappy, silky clothing from falling off :)
Next up, Halftees
I found these when I had a sleeveless dress that I wanted to wear to a modest affair. I'd never purchased a layering shell before and an old high school Facebook friend clued me in to this brand.
|3/4 sleeve Halftee $23.99|
Sometimes you need a little more coverage. Every girl should have the Halftee 3/4 sleeve top in black in her wardrobe. It's basically a crop top that you layer with your sleeveless or low cut clothing. Genius, right? Yes, there are others shirts like this on the market but Halftees has a nice thick and comfortable material and a wide band that keeps it from riding up. My favorite feature is the reversible neckline - one side is higher and the other cuts lower. I'm not a huge layering fan but I've worn mine and people didn't know I was wearing a layering shell - they simply thought my dress had sleeves. It's that good. Plus they come in XS thru XXXL. They sell more than just black - but it's the only color I wear LOL. They have a several colors and different sleeve lengths. From time to time they offer free shipping and/or a percentage off. Watch for a code and stock up.
|Murad Complex Kit $60|
Murad Acne System changed my life around 15 years ago. I got hit with adult acne after having perfect skin as a teen and it was debilitating to say the least. I don't know if it was stress from moving to the City or my first job - maybe it was pollution (my skin was great in the burbs), I don't know. You name it I tried it. I passed out on the subway from Accutane. I missed out on opportunities with cute guys because I was so uncomfortable in my own pimply skin. After suffering for almost two years, trying literally everything on the market (prescription and OTC) and learning to spackle on a face so I could go out in public, I saw an infomercial and said why not?
All I know is that it works. You would never know I had a problem. I seriously want to give a kit to every teenager and adult I see suffering from acne. Murad.com had codes from time to time as do other online retailers like Beauty.com and Sephora. I love my skin so much I'm afraid to stop using it. Murad produces several lines so from time to time I'll get a sample at Sephora and try another product and build it into my regimen. My favorite Murad products include the Clarifying Mask (dot it on a blemish before you go to bed - in a day or two it will vanish), Hydrating Toner (must have in the winter) and their Post Acne Spot Lightening Gel (fades marks fast).
A couple other face-savers include my Clarisonic Plus (got mine a few years back with a Sephora friends and family code) and Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Cream - also purchased at Sephora's friends and family event :) These babies keep my skin looking flawless. I don't bother with foundation or concealer anymore. I do have to say that you have to try several brands of BB cream to find your perfect match - this one is the perfect fair with a yellow undertone.
|Clarisonic Plus $225. I use mine 1-2x a week|
|Dr. Jart+ BB cream $36. I apply it with my fingers after I moisturize.|
And finally, there's T25
I was 30 when I had my first kid. I only gained 21 lbs with that pregnancy and a week after he was born I was able to zip up my size 4 skirt. Two years later with my daughter I put on a little more but bounced back to a size 6 in no time. It was my third pregnancy (two years later) that destroyed my body. When I look at pregnant women who glow and talk about their easy and happy pregnancies, I seriously want to punch them in the face. I never liked being pregnant and delivery for me (sans drugs - not my choice) is a nightmare. Needless to say, three pregnancies in 6 years took a toll on my body.
I've had issues with my knees since my 20s. I was the step aerobics queen. I was so good and I loved it...until one day in college when I was taking a step class my knees gave out and I couldn't get up - I crawled out of that class and have not gone near a step since. I had to give up running and anything high impact. It seems I'm not so blessed genetically and due to the alignment of my knees, I've scraped away the cartilage so there isn't much cushion to absorb impact. For years I took toning classes and used the bike and elliptical at the gym because that was all I could do. For a while I even had an elliptical in my tiny NYC studio but I sold it on Craigslist because it was getting more use as valet for my husband's clothing.
Night after night I watched infomercials like P90X and I swore to myself when I had the time or when I had more space I would get my body back. I joined a cheap gym uptown and went a few times but ended up spending more time at the Marshalls next door LOL. Then I moved to a house in suburbia and I decided it was time. I went to several doctors because I was convinced that there was something wrong with my thyroid and went for test after test to find out there was nothing wrong with me. I was just fat. After months of trying to diet and be active I realized I needed something more. The next day I went to Target and purchased a new DVD player, a workout mat, resistance bands and Jillian Michael's 90 Day Body Revolution. I'd say I lost 10+ lbs but I just couldn't get my diet under control and I dreaded my 6 day a week workouts. And my knees hurt - even on the modified program.
I saw Shaun T on an infomercial for Hip Hop Abs and I love to dance and it was on sale for $20...and I loved it. Most of all I loved Shaun T. He's hilarious and I looked forward to working out with him. I decided it was time for something more so when I saw Shaun T's new program Focus T25 I was determined. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do his other program, Insanity, but T25 seemed perfect. Who can't do 25 minutes a day?
I love T25. It's amazing. People stop me and ask what I'm doing because it's totally reshaped my body. I'm not there yet but I'm well on my way. I'm so flexible and strong - I'm currently on my second cycle. All of Shaun T's videos feature Tania (former Britney Spears backup dancer) who modifies his workouts. What I really love about T25 is that when they shot the video I believe she was on her second cycle and she had a post baby body that I can identify with. I follow her on Facebook and I see what's she's done since then. Tania just turned 40 and she looks amazing. I always swore that at 40 I would have a better body than I did in my 20s. I've got the workout down pat but I have less than six months left to get my diet under control LOL.
So that's what makes me tick...and what I spend my money on. Feel free to ask me any questions - I love to talk about my favorite things :)