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Check out my loot!

Sometimes it’s the small things in life that bring me joy and make everything else seem somehow worthwhile. Laugh at me all you want but free toothpaste is one of those things. As a coupon shopper, saving money on things you actually need is such a thrill. But with toothpaste I don’t just get it at a good price, I get it for FREE! Yes, that’s right my friends. I will never again pay anything for a tube of toothpaste as long as I am clipping coupons. You might be thinking, “What is she talking about? She must be crazy! What’s the catch?” And I will say back to you with a chuckle, “It’s true, I’m not crazy!” How do I accomplish such a feat? I will share with you my secret…

If you already coupon shop, you know how this goes. But for my less fortunate friends who have not yet experienced the joy that is “extreme couponing” let me share. One very common coupon that you can find in the Sunday paper circular is a toothpaste coupon.  A couple of weeks ago, I clipped out a coupon for 50¢ off Colgate toothpaste plus one for 40¢ off a Colgate toothbrush. Because I get 2 copies of the weekly circulars, I got 2 of each coupon. I filed them away in my coupon box (yes, there is a box involved). Then I waited for the sale I knew would come because it always does: Colgate toothpaste and toothbrushes 10 for $10. Woohoo! I know what you are thinking, “But you said the toothpaste was free!” Well, you haven’t let me finish! Because Ralphs and Vons/Pavilions double coupons up to $1.00, my coupons were worth $1.00 and 80¢ respectively. So, I received 2 tubes of toothpaste for FREE and 2 toothbrushes for 20¢ each. I know, it doesn’t sound real but it IS!

I have a whole stockpile of toothpaste that I didn’t have to pay for. Do I need 10 tubes of toothpaste at once? No, but it’s free. I’m not just going to walk away from that! Worst case scenario, I can share my toothpaste with my friends and none of us will ever have to pay for it EVER AGAIN!!!

You’re Welcome.


Beauty Box

When you have hairdressers in the family, you rarely find yourself in need of a good stylist.  I am lucky enough to have 2 fabulous cousins that have taken turns doing my hair for over 10 YEARS (shout-out to Cyndi and Steve at Salon Lujon)! The good thing about getting your hair done by the family is that you can usually score a killer discount, plus you know where they live so there is extra pressure not to mess-up your hair! I personally never had to worry about such things.

Naturally, when I moved from my native OC to my new home in H-wood, I was not ready to give up my trusted hair designers.  In fact, for the first 3 years I lived out here I continued to make the trek back to Fullerton, CA in order to get my hair done.  This usually meant a full day commitment. That may sound crazy to some of you, but any woman can testify to the importance of this relationship in our lives.

But then the day eventually came; the day I needed to think more practically and find a hair salon closer to home. Scary, I know. And not easy when you live in a town where women will pay $30 or more just to have their hair blown dry! I cannot afford to pay hundreds of dollars every 2-3 months to get my hair done, I just can’t! The thought of finding a new hair salon and stylist was enough to cause heart palpitations.

Enter the lovely Ashley Garcia and Beauty Box Salon. How we met and know each other is too complicated to explain here, so I will simply say that we met and she told me I should come to her salon.  I did and I love it there! Right in the heart of Echo Park (home to Dodger Stadium), it’s a totally hip, girly-chic style of salon and all the girls there are so sweet and welcoming. I get offered a beverage every time I go! (It’s the little things) When I leave the salon, I feel like a brand new woman! And I usually feel like going out dancing somewhere or maybe just grabbing a drink across the street at the Short Stop just to show off my new locks! Their pricing is also great, much more reasonable than any of the salons in Hollywood proper (although NO ONE can compare to a deep, dark family deal).

After my first visit to BB (photo credit: Nani Ruiz)

I cannot recommend these ladies enough.  I have told all of my friends about them (2 of which currently get their hair done there). Don’t believe me?! Check out their reviews on Yelp! , I am not alone.  Change is hard and I wish I could have stayed with my cousins FOREVER, but the Beauty Box has made this one aspect of change in my life completely manageable and even quite pleasant.

Just a portion of the very cool front desk

I love cooking for my friends! Having everyone over to my place to enjoy some drinks and a good meal is honestly one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. The more, the merrier! And there is never any shortage of food…I tend to “over-cook” (not in the burnt food kind of way).  The way I see it, I would rather have leftovers than run out of something because an extra person shows up. Trust me… there is almost always an extra person. Especially when your “planning” involves calling your friends at around 5pm that day and saying, “Wanna come over for dinner tonight?”

This past Friday night was one of these perfectly impromptu nights. I told everyone, “Come over, I’m going to cook something!” And they came, and we ate.

Nothing fancy!

I had some shredded chicken left over from the night before and decided to make Chicken Taquitos. So easy! Just roll the chicken in some tortillas and fry. Sometimes I like to mix in a green chili sauce or some cheese with the chicken before stuffing the tortilla. I made a little rice to go with it (authentic Mexican style with Mama Ruiz’s recipe) while Eddie handled the homemade salsa and guacamole. 

Now all we needed were the chips!

There is nothing better than homemade tortilla trips.  They take time and can be a little messy but it’s totally worth it! Heat just enough oil in a pan to cover the tortillas and cut up your “chips” while you wait for the oil.  It has to be hot! 

Fry them until they are perfectly golden brown and then cool them on a paper towel lined plate.

Salt to taste and you are done! Simply delicious!

The only bad news?

We didn’t have any leftovers!


jeans appearances

February 2012
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