My Favorite Amazon Finds Under $10*

Sometimes my love of Amazon makes me feel a bit dirty. We’ve been Prime members for over a decade and it seems impossible to imagine our lives without Subscribe & Save, Prime Video, and two-day shipping. I consider ourselves fairly green but it is impossible to ignore the environmental impact of Amazon. I’m sure I’m not the only one wrestling with such thoughts as I type amazon.com into the address bar and give preference to items with the beautiful blue prime in sans serif font. Sigh. So today I am sharing my favorite Amazon finds under $10 (* a couple of the items fluctuate under/over $10 by about $.40 or so) that I use on a regular basis.

Dotted Grid Notebook/Journal – I am always jotting down notes and as a left-hander, I’ve endured a life-long struggle with spiral bound notebooks. If we weren’t planning on paying for our children’ college education, I’d exclusively use Moleskin notebooks but that is not my reality. These notebooks are a good alternative that are much easier on the wallet. My goal is to someday fill a notebook cover-to-cover but my addiction to new journals has prevented me from doing so – maybe 2019 will be THE year!

dimok Running Belt Waist Pack – You know what is cooler than a person wearing a fanny pack running belt? Two people wearing them! Both Clay and I are proud owners of this running belt. It can hold keys, a massive iPhone, and more! The reflective bits really up the fashionable allure of the belt and the adjustable waistband really lets your individuality shine when wearing it… up high or down low? It’s your choice! In all seriousness, it’s a good running belt at a great price. Clay wears his when running fast. I wear mine when challenging the definition of running (who am I kidding – my pace can only be describe as a jog).

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser – I’ve gotten a lot more serious about my skincare as of late. And honestly, anything is an improvement over my 20s. Back then, my skincare routine consisted of regularly sleeping in my make-up and washing my face in the morning with St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Over the past year, I’ve started double-cleansing, using serums and masks, and really paying attention to the products I use. That being said, I refuse to spend a fortune on my newfound interest in skincare products because if it comes down to me being able to afford to travel or having less-radiant skin, my passport will win every time. I’m a huge fun of Neutragena’s Hydro Boost line with hyaluronic acid – I’ve noticed a big difference in my skin since introducing it my routine. I only use it at night because I find that my skin can’t handle a hyaluronic acid cleaners in both the morning and night.

Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay – Every one and their mother are aware of this amazing product but it really is a fantastic mask for a price that is almost criminal. I use it a few times a month and mix it with apple cider vinegar. It lasts a ridiculous amount of time too – according to my Amazon order history, the last time I ordered it was December 2016.

Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater – I love spraying rosewater on my face and hair whenever I need a little refreshing. Rose water has been used in various cultures for centuries; the anti-inflammatory properties are said to reduce skin redness and puffiness. Does it really do that for me? Meh – who knows? But it sure does smell good and it really does put a little pep in my step so I continue to buy it. It’s great to use when traveling after sitting on an airplane for many hours and again – it smells amazing!

What inexpensive items on Amazon do you swear by?

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Sister Wives Audition Skirt {Another Stitch Fix Review}

I thoroughly enjoyed writing my last Stitch Fix review, despite not keeping one item. The general consensus on my Facebook page was that I made a mistake by not keeping the maxi-dress but I stand by my decision – I did not like how the top and bottom came together. And I’m tired of purchasing clothes that evoke a eh, it’ll do response from me only to sit in my closet unworn for years. I rather have a small closet home to clothes I love than a huge walk-in closet filled to the brim with outfits that make me feel like a sad panda on the inside.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Stitch Fix offering to wave the $20 styling fee on my next box because I didn’t like anything enough to keep in my previous fix. I took them up on the offer and scheduled my next box to arrive after we returned from our Spring Break trip to Florida. Guys – this fix was so much better. I requested all tops and dresses and I’m happy to report that there was not a sad boob pocket to be found. I did not keep all five items but with the exception of a drab maxi-skirt, I liked everything I tried on. And two pieces I loved enough to keep.

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Skies are Blue Dakoda 2fer Dress $54

I love this dress. Love. Love. Love. I really like to wear dresses in the summer (the threat of thigh sweat in shorts is real) and I’m finding it more and more difficult to locate casual dresses that fall into that magical realm of not too short and not too long. This dress hits the mark. Not only are the colors gorgeous but the top is form fitting without being too tight or too stretchy and is made of a really nice knit material (see close up below).

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The skirt swings when I walk and the cotton material is super breathable but not too thin. I love how I can wear it as-is for a more casual look or pair it with a blazer or a cardigan if I need something a little more dressy.

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Collective Concepts Katelynn Dress $78
This dress is my favorite piece from the box. The minute I saw it, I crossed all my fingers and toes hoping that it would look as good on me as it did folded up in the box. It is the most perfect silky material and has a flirty hemline that is a bit longer in the front and the back than the sides. The top is conservative so it’d be perfect for a wedding or various military events such as a change of command or a promotion ceremony.  Again, I love the colors – I’m such a sucker for a bright orange-red and blue-purple combination. That’s probably how I ended up at Clemson University.

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Dee Elly Novi Tie Front Top $40
I was unsure how I would like this top because mid-30s and tie-front top usually aren’t synonymous. Verdict? It looked okay but it was too short for my taste. When I raised my arms, it ventured into crop-top territory. And because I wasn’t invited to Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, I really have nowhere to wear a crop-top. This shirt was also missing a button. Because I had not received a damaged item from Stitch Fix before, I emailed for clarification on how to handle the situation. This is the prompt response I received –
“Had you been interested in the top, I would have checked our inventory for a replacement. If there was one available and you wanted the exchange, I would have reserved it and sent it your way. If there wasn’t an exchange available, I would have left a note for your Stylist so they could send a non-damaged piece in a future Fix. We generally take the damaged piece back so our quality team can take a look at the damage. We never want you to pay to send a damaged piece back, so we’re always happy to issue a prepaid return label if it’s necessary.
It typically takes 2-4 days for an exchange to ship out. If the replacement piece arrives and it’s not a hit, you’re definitely not stuck with it. Simply write in to hello@stitchfix.com and let us know so we can issue a prepaid return label. We’ll happily refund you in full when the item is received at the warehouse.”
I’ve been impressed with Stitch Fix’s customer service so I have no doubt that if I wanted to keep this top, they would have issued a replacement asap without a headache on my part.

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Airika Woven Lace Front Knit Top $48
I really liked this shirt but I just didn’t feel like it was worth $48. If it were $30, I would have kept it. I totally get that I am paying a premium for the opportunity to shop in the comfort of my own home and having a stylist pick out items that I wouldn’t necessarily pick out myself. But I just can’t justify paying that much for a simple cotton sleeveless shirt that I can find at LOFT.

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Faith + Zoe Romina Maxi Skirt $54

Is it possible for me to wear a maxi skirt without looking like I’m attending an open casting call to become the next wife in a polygamist family? Nope. I have since added NO MAXI-ANYTHING! to my style profile. Because no. Just no. Where did my waist go? Is it backpacking through Europe trying to find itself?

Overall, I’d call this a successful Stitch Fix. I love the two dresses that I ended up keeping and I will wear them quite a bit this summer. If you’re so inclined, check out Stitch Fix – I recommend everyone try it at least once (if you end up signing up via that link, I’ll get credit for a referral – so if that bothers you, just type Stitch Fix in Google). The $20 styling fee is waived so receiving your first fix is absolutely at no cost to you! It’s worth a shot – who knows, you may just find a piece that you love.

Five Freitag Favorites

Thank you for the thoughtful words in response to my stream of consciousness post yesterday. Like I said over on my Facebook page – perhaps I am glossing over the not-so-fun aspects of PCSing so much and as a result, I’m leaving pieces of confidence behind with each move. But it’s Friday and I’m at the beach so I can’t really complain. This post has actually been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks because I’ve been going back and forth on whether to post it. But in the spirit of releasing my self-doubt into the wild, I’m hitting the publish button on this post about products I’m currently digging.

Disclosure – this post does contain affiliate links via Amazon but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them that way because I have a weird pit in my stomach about it. Also in full disclosure – I’m not really sure why. Probably because while there are a handful of bloggers out there whose opinions I trust when it comes to recommending products, there are a lot more whose recommendations I side-eye. I’m interested to discover what camp you guys place me. So without further ado – I’m currently digging the following five items…

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C9 Champion Women’s Freedom High Waisted Leggings

There is an old saying that drunk people, children, and leggings always tell the truth. Well these leggings sing Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac and I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth) by Meat Loaf on karaoke night because they lift and tighten all while being extremely comfortable. And best of all? They’re less than $30 at Target. Take that Lululemon!

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Floral Sweatshirt

When I visited my sister up in Philadelphia last month, I swooned over a sweatshirt she was wearing when she returned from an Orange Theory workout. So she got it for me for my birthday. And I’ve been pretty much living in it ever since. It’s super soft, lightweight, and can roll up small enough to be thrown into my everyday bag (see below).

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Fjallraven Totepack No. 1

I love this bag. It had been sitting in my Amazon wishlist for quite some time and Clay ended up surprising me with it for my birthday. I’m a sucker for multipurpose bags and the older I get, the more I really dislike traditional handbags. This bag is perfect for travel due to it’s durability, multiple pockets, and versatility. You can carry it by the handles, by the straps, or wear as a backpack. It can fit my 13-inch MacBook, a notebook, water bottle, and all of the traditional purse accoutrements. It is available in a variety of colors but I am partial to the red. I can’t wait to see where I take this bag!

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The sweatshirt and convertible tote in the wild here in Florida.

This picture is also proof that I actually use and love these products.

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xtava Twist Hair Curling Wand 1 -1.5 Inch

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I’m sure there are better (and more expensive) hair curling wands out there but I’ve been tickled pink by this one. It gives me the beach waves my hair craves and is pretty easy to use. There was a bit of a learning curve when I transitioned from a traditional curling iron to a curling wand but it was nothing that a few YouTube video tutorials couldn’t resolve.

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Spigen Tough Armor iPhone 7 Plus Case

I am tough on my phones and I’ve had a bunch of phone cases over the years. The Spigen Tough Armor case has been my favorite. I’ve dropped my phone on a variety of surfaces and this case has provided me with some of the biggest waves of relief I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never done drugs but I imagine doing feels similar to the high experienced when you realize that your phone screen isn’t cracked. Also the kickstand is perfect for when I watch Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime while preparing dinner.

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Someday I will fulfill my destiny of being able to help solve a mystery. Okay – so there you have it – my inaugural post about some some things I’m currently loving on this particularly breezy Friday. I’m picking up Clay at the airport tomorrow morning (hip hip hooray) so he’ll be able to spend Easter weekend with us before we head back home to northern Virginia and back to the real world. Hopefully a little bit more tan.