Small Changes To Help Your Budget And Environment


If you’re like me, you are always looking for ways to cut your expenses. After quarantine started, I looked at my expenses and was able to cut an expense with my internet bill. Every few months, I am looking at my expenses to cut here and there. Recently, I decided to cut a huge expense and just focus on home repairs. My next project is getting my windows replaced! Are you looking to improve your budget? We share small changes to help your budget and environment. 

Small Changes To Help Your Budget And Environment
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If you’re looking to improve your budget and do your part for the environment, we found a few products that fit the bill! 

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Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite
Disclaimer: I am sharing my personal experience with the Coca Cola Give program. The Coca Cola Company is in no way endorsing, contributing to, or compensating Beauty Brite Blog for this content.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child’s School

If you’ve read some of my previous posts on Beauty Brite you might have heard me mention my affection for Diet Coke. It’s one of my favorite drinks. I often have an icy cold glass of it next to me while writing, playing around on the internet, cleaning, reading or crafting.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

They used to have a rewards program that I participated in. I entered codes from their products and traded those points for cool stuff. I think the coolest thing I received through that program was a silver tumbler with a lid and plastic straw. If I had enough points and there wasn’t anything else I was really interested in, I would trade points for a coupon for a free 12-pack of Coca Cola.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

Each code you entered earned a specific number of points. The only thing I didn’t like about that program was that you there was a limit on how many codes you could enter to earn points each week.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite
Image Source: US Coca Cola website

First of all, several family members knew I was using that rewards program and would save all of their codes for me. In addition to the codes I had from purchased products, I often had some I couldn’t use until later.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

Also, I was pretty sporadic about remembering to enter codes. This resulted in the accumulation of zip loc bags full of caps as well as codes torn from 12-packs of Coke building up in my mudroom.

Then, the company announced their intention to discontinue that rewards program, which bummed me out a bit. I was very happy to hear that they intended to launch a different rewards program. So, I held onto the cap codes until I could find out if they would be able to be used with the new rewards program.

This summer has been a bit hard so far with all the unrest in the country and the coronavirus stuff going on. So, I decided it was a good time to check out the new rewards program and do something fun to get my mind off of everything going on in the world for a short time.

I like their Coca Cola Give program because there isn’t a limit on how many codes I can enter (at least that I’ve found, so far).

You probably think I’m joking about having a bunch of codes built up. I assure you, I’m not. Check it out, here are all the codes I had sitting in bags in my mudroom to use when they launched this new program.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

Yeah. Not joking! I had been collecting caps in quart-size zip loc bags, using gallon size bags only when I was out of the smaller size and even brown paper lunch sacks when I had no zip loc bags in the house at all. In the end, before taking this picture, I had nearly 30 various bags of caps. It was nuts! It took me about a week of working every evening for a couple of hours to get all of these codes entered into the website.

In looking at their new rewards program, I decided I was interested in using my codes to make monetary donations. To try it out, I chose the American Red Cross and entered a few codes. It is so easy and quick to do!

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite
Image Source: US Coca Cola website

Then I realized that you can make donations to schools! So, I have subsequently been entering codes with my daughter’s school designated to receive the donations.

If there isn’t a school you’re interested in donating to, here are the other organizations you can choose:

National Park Foundation

Boys and Girls Clubs of America

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital

American Red Cross

Special Olympics

USO

And for all of you out there about to say I need to find a healthier snack — here ya go!

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

I thought an apple was a fitting snack while entering codes to benefit my daughter’s school, cuz teachers … apples … pretty neat little connection there. LOL

After entering all the codes you can see in the pictures above, here’s where my total donation history stood.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

Yes, that’s nearly $65 donated to my daughter’s school. But, some time has passed since this I took these pics. I have gathered more codes to enter.

Easy (And Free) Way To Support Your Child's School -- Coca Cola Give Program #beautybrite

As it stands right now, I have donated a total of:

$71.60!!!

It feels good to do a nice thing for my community. Our children’s schools have always been appreciative of the different ways that parents have supported their efforts to provide kids with fun activities and additional educational opportunities that would otherwise be beyond their budgets to provide.

I think this is definitely a much more fun and consistent activity to support our local educational institutions than constant fundraisers. Our local Kroger also has a program that shoppers can sign up for to support schools, so I do that, also. I like these two programs because it’s easier for parents to do things like this. Also, if there were more programs like this, it would mean less time for school personnel researching fundraising efforts and more time doing what they love most — helping our kids to grow into successful, well-rounded adults.

What is your favorite way to support your schools? Alternatively, which of the organizations listed above would you donate to through Coca Cola Give?

Pamper Yourself with Great Skincare Products

Pamper Yourself
Pamper Yourself
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Pamper Yourself with These Great Products

Everyone can use a little pampering. I found some fabulous products just for the occasion. Pamper yourself with these great skincare products.

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Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

You ever get down in the dumps? So blah that none of your regular pick-me-ups are effective at elevating your mood? I don’t get that way very often. I have several trusty hobbies that I enjoy very much, and though two of my three children are adults now I’m still pretty busy with my youngest child, doing stuff around the house, and all of our pets.

Even the Coronavirus currently circulating around the world and all the news about that and the changes to daily routines that have come from it haven’t really gotten me down too badly. I’m a homebody by nature, so staying home a little more than usual hasn’t been a hardship.

I hope that statement doesn’t come off glib, I don’t mean it to be because I know there are a lot of people for whom this situation has created great hardships and I’m not immune to those either despite my statement. My family has older, immune-compromised members for which we are taking on extra duties to allow them to try to avoid infection, and for those of us who work outside the home precautions are taken to reduce the likelihood of infection.

I am not immune to stress. None of us are. And this year has been a doozy. The coronavirus, the brutal election cycle, the protests across the country, and all the other crazy stuff going on has just taken a toll on all of us.

I sometimes like to pick up cute flowers from the grocery store while shopping to display in our home. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to liven up our living space. One such occasion that I used to do double duty in this area was for my youngest daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday celebration. I purchased some beautiful fragrant white hyacinths and lavender to create some pretty flower arrangements for her party. Then afterward I used them paired with a fun St. Patrick’s Day garland to decorate the living room mantle. So fun! And they smelled SO GOOD!

mantle floral/holiday arrangement
mantle floral/holiday arrangement
mantle floral/holiday arrangement

I will often take larger holiday bouquets and break them down after some plants in it start to wilt or die and continue to use the parts that are still healthy-looking to make different arrangements using a variety of different sized vases and other pretty containers I have around the house. It extends the fun for as long as possible and makes the expense worth it to me.

Well, one day recently I was just very blah. Nothing seemed interesting enough to spend time doing. I had been reading books like crazy and needed a break before starting a new one. I’d been working on a knitted afghan for my Mom (a Christmas gift later this year) and needed a break from that, as well. I didn’t feel like baking or making jam and had just finished binge watching all the Grey’s Anatomy available on Netflix.

Sometimes, inspiration can come so unexpectedly. I simply decided to step outside my house to wander to the end of the driveway to get the mail. As I neared the end of the driveway I noticed some flowering weeds along the tree lining and thought to myself that even those were clearly weeds that they were pretty anyway. Then I noticed some small yellow flowers (also likely weeds) that looked sort-of like daisies. And THEN, I noticed some branches that had bright red berries on them. Something stirred within me at the sweet simple beauty of them. I collected the mail and returned to the kitchen to sort through it.

But, my thoughts kept returning to those bright, sunshiny yellow blooms and the red berries. Even throughout other chores I was doing, I kept finding myself thinking about them and how pretty they were, even if they were weeds.

So, I grabbed a pair of scissors and headed back out there to snip a handful of them. And this pretty bouquet is what resulted from my efforts. I’m sure the blossoms are probably toxic weeds, so I placed the bouquet outdoors on the table of our deck.

Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

And you know what? Who cares if they are toxic weeds? This activity fed my soul, lifted my spirits, and for the several days that they lasted it was a beautiful sight every time I stepped out on the deck to see such vibrant colors there in one of my favorite spaces. I didn’t have to leave my property or spend even one red cent and it gave me such joy!

Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet
Flowering Weed And Berries Fall Bouquet

I call this my Flowering Weed & Berries Fall Bouquet. Pretty fantastic!

If you’re looking for some fun and easy ways to do a little Fall decorating, check out these other fun ways I’ve decorated our home for the cooler season.

What has brought you joy during this difficult year? Please share, we can all use a little good right now!

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.
Beauty Brite Disclosure

The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter —

One of the most enduring childhood memories that I have is of my grandparents’ cabin in the mountains of Montana. It is a small home they built up a winding mountain road in a clearing surrounded by many types of trees, including fir trees. They had neighbors, none close enough to be seen from their home but near enough to be friends with them.

I remember that I would walk into the trees surrounding their cabin and get lost, figuratively, completely enchanted with the sound of the crackling of dry fir tree needles on the forest floor crunching under my footsteps, sharp-eyed for downed trees to climb over or scramble under and for pinecones to collect, all the while invigorated by the fresh clean fir tree scent that just makes one feel more alive and connected to the earth.

I like forest-related scents any time of year, but I especially seek them out as fall and winter descend over the land because the smell invokes cozy cold evenings in front of a fire with a snuggly blanket and a warm drink and it starts to get me in the mood for the cold weather holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It makes otherwise icky cold weather much more lovely and endurable. Once the holidays are over, I like to curl up on my couch with a hot cup of cappuccino and await the new year with optimism and hope.

Candles, wax melts, scented air fresheners — they all have a place in my home. It’s a simple, affordable form of personal expression that not only makes my home smell good, it’s a great way to inspire me to write, or craft, or clean. It just makes life very enjoyable.

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.

First of all, I should mention that Chandler Candles are gorgeous. They come in simple glass jars which are shipped in sturdy cardboard sleeves with tin lids to protect them from breakage. The second you pop open that packaging the scent envelopes you right away, before you even light the candle. 

The candles are made with all-natural soy wax with quality fragrances, and are hand-poured in small batches to maintain the high quality with which a great candle deserves to be crafted.

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.

I am very much enjoying their Balsam Fir scented candle. It takes my right back to my Gramma and Grampa’s cabin in the mountains, every time! In addition to several sizes of candles they offer soaps and lotions as well as reed diffusers and hand sanitizer. And let me tell you about the hand sanitizer. I’m in love with this one … it’s Lavender & Lime scented. I know, lavender and lime aren’t scents that I might think of pairing. But, it works!

I have been using it and the lime scent is a bit low-key but definitely there. It’s the lavender that I notice the most and it lasts for a long time. I mean, I’ve caught a whiff of the lavender more than 30 minutes after applying it to my hands. I love that!

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.

I recently decided to do a little writing work outdoors at the picnic table near the coop where my chickens spend their days pecking the ground and being extra cute and funny. I took along my Chandler Balsam Fir candles (since I am surrounded by wooded areas, and some treats for my hens to enjoy. They just go crazy for their treats! LOL

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.
A treat for me, a treat for my chickens!

There are so many aromatic blends available that I think anyone might be hard pressed to NOT be able to find one that they would like. I personally would love to try the Asian Pear Blossom, Italian Bergamot, and Pumpkin Chai Tea candles next.

One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter -- Candler Candle Co.
Chandler Candle Co. Scent List — Source: Chandler Candle Co. website

My adult daughter just had a birthday and loves candles just as much as I do. I gave her one of the Balsam & Fir candles as part of her birthday celebration. It is easily one of her favorite gifts, I think. I love that something so simple makes us so happy!

These are definitely on my short list for holiday gifts for my daughter and my mom, too. It can be hard to choose a candle scent for other people, so if you aren’t sure which one to gift you can purchase a gift card from the company to gift to coworkers, friends, and family.  Use coupon code HOLIDAY20 to receive 20% off orders till Dec 31.

Which Chandler Candle scent are you dying to try? Let me know! 

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The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter The One Home Scent That Gets Me Ready For Fall And Winter

Weighted Blankets: Give Yourself A Hug During Stressful Times

Being a single mom and raising my son on my own is easy.

Add COVID, Quarantine, masks, distance learning, assessments over zoom, assessments at school and now I’m finally feeling the stress. Everything seems to be happening at once. I found that weighted blankets will help! Give yourself a hug during stressful times!

Weighted Blankets: Give Yourself A Hug During Stressful Times
Beauty Brite Disclosure

Last year, I received a few weighted blankets that I was very grateful for. I loved the idea of a removable cover, so I could wash them whenever I wanted. However, I quickly realized what a hassle it can be to remove the cover and then try to put the cover back on. And even when I got the cover back on, the insert would pull to one side or even end up at the foot of the bed. The blanket rarely stayed in place inside the cover!

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Body Care Pampering: 4 Steps For Beautiful, Healthy Looking Skin

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4 quick and easy steps to achieve beautiful healthy looking skin during your body care ritual!

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Fabulous Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life

When it comes to gift giving, food is a great way to go! Everyone loves to eat! We share a variety of fabulous gift ideas for the foodies in your life!

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Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life

I’m a huge food and beverage lover. I love to cook and make new drinks. Something about being in the kitchen is comforting. With the holiday season coming it is time to start thinking about gifts. Below is my list of fabulous gifts for the foodie in your life.

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Essential Oil Infused Wellness

Essential Oil Infused Wellness - MIG Living Ritual Oil and Cuticle Oil
Beauty Brite Disclosure

Essential Oil Infused Wellness-Also I should mention that MIG Living products are toxin-free, made with natural ingredients and without animal testing, and are made in the USA with ingredients sourced directly from farms versus commercial distributers. These are all important things I look for when shopping for products to use. 

Scent is something that I consider not only as a bonus but as an essential element in selecting products in my home. Items that smell great increase my personal feeling of well-being and make my home space feel more alive and productive.

I am especially appreciative of a product that provides a lingering scent. There’s nothing worse than buying something to use in your home and having the scent peter out after only a few minutes. Seems like such a waste of time and effort to me. 

Essential Oil Infused Wellness - MIG Living Ritual Oil and Cuticle Oil

MIG Living is a company that is focused on personal health through natural beauty and wellness products. Today I will be sharing two MIG Living products that I recently used and what I thought of them.

The first is MIG’s Ritual Oil for Activation – Bloom. This is a roll-on product that includes Apricot Kernel Oil, Passion Flower, and other ingredients that you can apply to pulse points and wrists. They recommend applying the product first thing in the morning and then placing your palms over your face, closing your eyes, and inhaling deeply.

Mornings can be hectic and it sometimes can seem like there is never enough time to do all the things that are necessary. But, how your morning goes oftentimes sets the tone and pace for the entire day. Taking even 10 seconds to do something for yourself can seem like a big ask. I get it. Been there, done that, hate it every rushed morning. But, it’s so worth it. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and it really does make a big difference in how my day progresses.

Essential Oil Infused Wellness - MIG Living Ritual Oil and Cuticle Oil

I would suggest keeping this product on your nightstand. When that dratted alarm goes off in the morning making you instantly hate the day to come for interrupting your blissful sleep, just grab it and roll on a little bit of the scent.

Inhale deeply as you drift between sleep and the full wakefulness that your snoozed alarm will bring when it goes off again. Let the beauty and luxury of that smell help you transition from the warm cocoon of your bed to the inevitability of having to get up and start your day. It makes the whole process so much more smooth and even, if I may be so bold as to say, enjoyable!

What I like best about it is that the scent lingers with you. I catch a whiff of it often throughout the morning and early afternoon and it always gives my spirits a lift. It’s also great that it comes in a conveniently sized bottle that will easily fit into a purse or computer bag, the pocket of your pants or jacket, or in the cup holder of your vehicle. Wherever you find yourself needing a little boost, stash a bottle there. You will not regret it!!!

Essential Oil Infused Wellness - MIG Living Ritual Oil and Cuticle Oil

The second MIG product I have been using is their Cuticle Serum. I wash my hands … a lot. And that has been true for many years, not only during the current public health crisis we are all facing. I do a lot in a day between feeding and caring for our animals, taking care of children, cleaning our home, and preparing and serving meals.

I’ve always been conscious of making sure to approach new tasks with clean hands to prevent spreading germs around. I will even stop to clean my hand during a task (especially meal prep) to prevent the risk of someone getting sick due to my carelessness. I’m not neurotic about it, it’s just something I do almost unconsciously.

So, that being said, my cuticles are often pretty trashed from all the hand washing and having dry skin. Cuticle oil is pretty essential for me. I like that MIG’s Cuticle Oil doesn’t have a scent and that it absorbs well while providing long-lasting moisturization. It helps keep my cuticles healthy and hydrated without competing with the scent of the Ritual Oil for Activation that I apply to my wrists each day.

Essential Oil Infused Wellness - MIG Living Ritual Oil and Cuticle Oil

Also important is value. The products that I purchase to use either for myself, for my family, or for my home not only have to work well they have to be affordable. Or at the very least, they must provide enough value to me to make the cost worth paying for the benefit received.

I will pay more for better quality, but I’m never one to spend more on something than the value I gain from it. These two products take very little use of them volume-wise to reap huge benefits. They will last for a very long time before I need to purchase replacement bottles. I really love that.

So, all around, MIG Living is a brand that I am very pleased to use and to share with you. They offer other products, as well, like a body detox, a dry brush, various lotions, facial products, soaps, balms, and even a line of products for men. I can’t wait to choose another product to try. How do I choose??? Agh!!!! 

Also I should mention that MIG Living products are toxin-free, made with natural ingredients and without animal testing, and are made in the USA with ingredients sourced directly from farms versus commercial distributers. These are all important things I look for when shopping for products to use. 

Do me a favor. Browse MIG Living’s product line and let me know which item you’d love to try and why? I’m insanely curious!!!

Find out more: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness Essential Oil Infused Wellness

Keeping Their Memory Alive

Keeping Their Memory Alive
Beauty Brite Disclosure

No one is ever ready for the time to say goodbye, it’s never a good time. So how to we keep that memory alive? Does the pain ever get better? Keep reading to learn how I’m keeping my grandfather’s memory alive.

My grandfather was my best friend. He was the best man I’ve ever known. He even walked me down the aisle when I got married. We also had a special relationship. He knew just what to say to give me that encouragement when I needed it, and wasn’t afraid to give me that push either.

A memory never forgotten.

Memories With Grandpa

I lost him ten years ago this September. When he passed it, I was worried it would be a gap that would never be filled. I wanted to make sure his memory was truly honored. The biggest way I could think of was to give my son his name. My son, Salvatore Robert ( Robert is my grandfather’s middle name ) but my little man goes by Sam. My little man has the same goofy, loving, and cunning attitude that my grandfather had.

I have also inherited his love of photography, you would always see him with some type of camera in his hand. After he passed my grandmother gave me two huge trunks of nothing but old photo albums that he had taken. One of my favorite times with him was at my high school graduation after I had walked the stage we were all standing outside taking pictures, and I have a picture of him taking a picture of me taking a picture of him with the biggest smile on his face. That the memory I cherish I hold on too so much.

Graduation

I wanted to find a way to keep that picture with me for everyone to share and that is when I came across 3D Innovations. 3D Innovations specializes in custom laser etched crystals. They help to keep those memories alive. They turn your 2D picture into a 3D masterpiece. My Medium Cube is perfect. They captured his personality so well just through this picture. I almost started crying when I first opened this box! Paired with the Small L.E.D. Light Base it’s the perfect way to keep his memory alive. To find your perfect 3D creation be sure to visit their Website, Facebook, or Instagram.

3d innovation
Med Cube

My grandpa is so missed, I wish everyday that he was still here and able to enjoy my kids. His love and his memory is forever cherished in my heart and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I hope he’s looking down and proud of the woman I’ve become.

What picture would you get turned into a 3D creation?