Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Operation Smile

In college, I knew several people that participated in this organization and I couldn't help but admire everything they did to make it possible for children to smile again. It absolutely breaks my heart that these children are often ridiculed for their appearance or worse, suffer because they can't physically survive, yet have no financial means to help give the surgery they need.


Operation Smile is an international children's medical charity that heals children's smiles, forever changing their lives. They're more than just a charity--they are a fantastic force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Every 3 minutes, a children is born with a cleft. One in 10 of these children will die before their first person. Their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize, or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. Can you imagine a child feeling that kind of pain? And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.

Every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care. Every child deserves a future filled with hope. That's where Operation Smile comes in. They are the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities.

This organization is very near and dear to my heart. Help give a child the chance to smile. Check out more info at OperationSmile.org and find your own way to help.

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CampusBookRentals.com is now offering a new program, RentBackRentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own, to other students. This is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options!

CampusBookRentals.com has teamed up with Operation Smile and donate to the organization with each textbook rented!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Geez, another GIVEAWAY!?

I know. Yall must think you hit the jackpot with all these giveaways here lately. Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants To Work is hosting this fun one. Check it out. And of course, I'm giving away a Target gift card for all you lucky ladies. Enjoy!








Saturday, July 27, 2013

GIVEAWAY!

Welp, we're at it again!

Teaming up with Allie over at Tales of a Twenty Something to bring your pretty faces a fabulous giveaway of ONE HUNDRO DOLLAS. That's right. $100. All yours.

Check it outtttt


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guest Post: Vacationing on a budget

As yall may know, I love to travel (see 1 and 2). However, traveling does not love my wallet. Which is an unfortunate circumstance, to say the least. So I usually do whatever I can to save money, like stalk airline websites for days on end for deals, dig up as many coupons as possible, and using whatever points I can for hotels. Ballin on a budget, yaaaaallll. Holla. Just kidding. 

But sometimes ya just have to plan for the unexpected. Like losing all of your fun money playing blackjack or your biking trip across the Golden Gate bridge costing $4 billion dollars. Luckily, we've got Aimee below to teach even the savviest travelistas a thing or two about saving money on a vacation. 

Can someone just give me a free vacation to Turks and Caicos, please & thank you?


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Five tips to book a last-minute summer vacation on a budget   

By Aimee Heckel, ShopAtHome.com

We’re going on a vacation from our vacation.
   
No, we’re not that spoiled, and we’re certainly not that rich. It’s just, well, our last vacation was so violently bad that we need a vacation to recover from it.

It’s a total Griswold Vacation horror story, the kind that might be funny in 10 years. More like 20. Maybe 50. Anyway, we decided to take a road trip to explore the glory and history of our home state of Colorado, because when you live somewhere, you never visit the touristy spots, right? (Read: We wanted to save money.)

This four-day trip to Mesa Verde National Park (entrance fee: $15) ended up costing us $8,000 on our car that we totaled; hundreds more in rental cars (yes, plural); and hundreds more on two extra nights of unexpected hotels when we literally got trapped in Southern Colorado due to spreading wildfires. Two wildfires. That seriously burst up before our eyes.

I know you don’t believe me.

I don’t want to either.

It’s not over.

When I returned home, I crashed the rental car that we had to rent because we had wrecked our other car. I’ll pause for a moment to let the National Lampoon of this sink in.  

That night, with the looming knowledge that this cheap “staycation” was probably going to send my family into bankruptcy, instead of doing the normal thing that any mom in my position would do (drink two bottles of wine and cry myself to sleep in the dining room chair), I booked another vacation.

Sadist? Maybe. Hopeful and desperate optimist? Definitely.

This next vacay is going to save my soul from rotting on the side of the road where my license plate flew off and vanished into the trees (second accident).

Obviously, money is a factor in this travel therapy appointment to Seal Beach, Calif. Here’s how I saved serious cash and was able to book a weeklong beach vacation for my family of three for about $1,000:


1. First, I did what any self-respecting budgetista (I totally just made that word up and am kind of embarrassed about it but I’m running with it) would do: I visited ShopAtHome.com. This is a no-brainer for any online shopping, because it gives you links to all the best coupon codes out there. I went directly to the travel coupons page and scanned the top coupons (usually the best ones) for the top deal, combined with the most Cash Back. I settled on Travelocity, which was offering 20 percent or more off airfares, plus 10 percent Cash Back.

2. Then, I clicked on the link. It redirected me to the Travelocity page, and I entered my info with flexible dates (key to saving money). The cheapest days to fly out are usually mid-week, and this proved true for my flight from Denver to LAX. The flights leaving Wednesday and returning the following Tuesday were significantly cheaper (only $155 per person, about $100 less than weekends) on Spirit Airlines. The tickets were less than $500, and I got about $50 back from ShopAtHome.com for zero extra work. Bingo.

3. Before I booked my tickets, I checked my airline’s baggage fees (because you know nothing is included anymore), to make sure it was something I could live with. Seatguru by TripAdvisor is a great place to get info like this. Since I only plan on traveling with my swimming suit and no actual clothes or shoes, I was cool. Booked.

4. Then I went to my favorite lodging go-to, AirBNB.com, where you can rent out other people’s homes or vacation houses for super cheap. Way cheaper than any hotel I could find, directly on the beach and private. I used AirBNB’s interactive map and price limit to find a beautiful condo for $88 per night and 88 steps to the sand. I booked a week and got a discount.

Tip: Always make sure you stay somewhere that has a long history of happy visitors and high rates. Read what other visitors say about the place to make sure there isn’t a hidden problem with cockroaches.

5. I picked lodging close enough to the airport and within walking distance of restaurants and shops, so I wouldn’t have to rent a car. Not only does this save me money, but, well, I’m not too keen on the whole driving thing right now. And I don’t think the rental car companies are too keen on me, either. It’s a mutual breakup, really.

Aimee Heckel writes about travel and family for ShopAtHome.com.

Photo: Aimee, JD and Bettie at Mesa Verde before their road trip went cray-cray. Photo courtesy Aimee Heckel



**This post was sponsored by ShopAtHome.com**

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shit Bloggers Say

As an avid blog reader (seriously, I go through my reading list on GFC daily), I've been noticing a few patterns, if you will. I get that some days it's really hard to blog - why you don't see daily posts on here - but comeeeee on, you don't have to repeat everything every other blogger is saying!

I know yall are all like whatever Megan, you do this crap all the time.


I'm not trying to call the kettle black because some days I am tee-totally guilty of building a post off of another blogger's post. Bear with me here. This post is all fun and games :)

So just for shitz and gig's, I've created a list of "shit bloggers say":


1. "I loooooove maxi skirts because it is totally an excuse not to shave my legs, amirite ladies?!"

2. "I know it's still summer, but I am so ready for fall. I can just TASTE the pumpkin spice lattes."

3. "This weekend I stopped by Goodwill and picked up this old crappy chair and remodeled it into this gorgeous pottery barn inspired chair in under 20 minutes! Here's how!" (please...)

4. "Anyone else on the struggle bus this Monday? Hollllllllly hangover." Also insert "I totally have the Monday blues." (everyone in blogland seems to have such shitty Mondays!)

5. "Now, while I adore fashion blogs, I am in nooo way a fashion blogger."

6. "These ladies are hosting a giveaway for over $370,000 worth of TARGET GIFT CARDS!" (bitches bloggers love Target)

7. "You know what's cute? Puppies."

8. "I'm a twenty-thirty-forty(?) something, just trying to figure life out" (OK, fine.. I'm guilty of this, but only because I don't feel like changing my about me every year!)

9. "Am I the only one who hates stupid hashtags?"

and lastly, my most favorite and most relatable...

10. "Is 10am too early for wine?"


Anywho, like I said.. not trying to call anyone out or hurt anyone's feelings here.. maybe us bloggers all just think the same stuff? Very possible. 

Adios.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I just have one thing to blog about today

and it's this


Full House was one of my favorite shows ever growing up and I just about died when I saw this on Jimmy Fallon the other night. What I would give to listen to Jesse and The Rippers at the Smash Club.



Sorry that's all I got for ya today, blogland. I'm in the midst of moving and lots of other craziness in my life. I promise something better will come this week (I mean, not that anything could actually top this, but whatevs).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Friday Friday

And we all know what that means. Instafriday! I forget to post pretty much every single Friday.. I just get so excited for the weekend and everything blog-related goes out the window on the weekend. Le duh.

Anywho...

Stupid Apple Maps told me to park my car in some neighborhood and walk to Target. Okay. Sounds reasonable that Target wouldn't have a parking lot for me to park in...

Inspired by Brittany Furlan on Vine and Juliette over at The Other Juliette my roommate and I decided to pester her boyfriend at work by sending him this creepy picture. Hilarity ensued.

Can't wait to move out of this stupid complex. They installed a light right outside of my window that makes my room look like daytime at midnight. Luckily I move next weekend.

I've been taking boxing classes and I'm learning how to kick some serious ass. I punched Graham yesterday at Chipotle and he whined like a baby for hours. Well maybe not hours, but you get it. I'm tough.

Babe and I in Vegas.

Pineapple and other junk expensive martini. Twas delish.

I've never had to make a more difficult decision in my life.

Go away rain, I'm sick of you.

My girl and a bomb pop.

Figured it was time I made a summery chalkboard.

Talk to the paw.

Seems trustworthy.

The best kind of mail.

And last but not least......
Holla at cha girl.


Well there ya have it. Happy Friday folks. 

Oh and can't forget I gotta do #BackThatAzzUp Friday. Cause the weekend requires good jams.





Linking up with Jenn at Life Rearranged and Whitney at I Wore Yoga Pants
life rearranged

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vegas Vacation

I need to preface this post with this video. Because this is pretty much what my trip was like.


Graham had a conference in Vegas starting Sunday night, so we flew up Friday night to enjoy a few days of debauchery fun before he had to work. Naturally we had to pregame our flight with our favorite bubbly from a vineyard we visited on our San Francisco trip.


And since we got to the airport extra early, we had to have airport drinks. There really wasn't another option. Except Graham left me at the bar because he got to board early as shit and I was in the very last group. When left alone after a few cocktails, you get selfies like these.

Pre-flight obnoxiousness.


We stayed at Caeser's and as soon as we walked in our room, this is the first thing I saw. A bidet. I felt all French and stuff. 

"Bidet, that's a French ass name!" (I had to)

 Anywho, we hung out in our room for 20 bajillion hours waiting for them to bring our luggage up. I got sweeeeepy and took a cat nap. But then they came and all was well with the world. We decided to hit up the casino and lose a bunch of money. The end. While watching Graham play blackjack, a guy from Houston sat down next to us and proceeded to tell us how he lost $20,000 the night before. Can you even imagine having that kind of money to spend at a casino?!? Ridic.

Saturday, we slept in super late because girlfriend stayed up till 4am and I can't hang like that. Ever. We went to Nobu for lunch and it was out. of. this. world. But we had to sit at the bar so G could watch the US Men's Soccer game......


$16 cocktail. Delicious, but I almost keeled over with a drink that expensive. Only in Vegas.


And since the bar didn't have the channel the game was on, G watched it on his phone. What a romantic lunch!


Tator Tots Fried rice squares with minced tuna. I want it every day for the rest of my life. 


Our bento box. Nomssss.

After lunch, we walked around outside, sweated for a bit, and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon indoors.

Indoors at the Cosmopolitan. Beyond gorgeous. I want to live there. Look at all the sparkles! It was like a pink Titanic aka my dream place. 



After being mesmerized by all the sparkles and pretty colors, we headed back to the hotel to shop. I took G into the Christian Louboutin store and he almost shit himself. First of all, he didn't understand why there were spikes all over everything, and secondly, he thought women had to be on crack to pay $700 for a pair of shoes. But I think he's crazy for trying on a $1200 sport coat, so who's the one really on crack?

Later that night, we headed to MGM to grab dinner at Fiamma and see David Copperfield's magic show. Dinner was average, but the show was absolutely amazing. I love illusions.

Waiting in the mile long taxi line. G is happy. 



After the show, our intentions were to go to a club and act our age. But we were too tired from the day drinking, so we gambled a bit and went to sleep at like midnight haha.

Sunday, we had to check out of our room pretty early, so we got up and headed to the hotel where G's conference was at, The Aria. Superrrrr nice. We decided to be touristy and hit up the buffet there. Holy balls. So delicious. I don't think I've ever ate that much food. Gourmet food too! Needless to say, I felt like dying afterwards.

Graham had to leave me early for the conference, so I went ahead and went to the airport 3 hours early.... Getting there that early leads to selfies and catnapping on the floor. 



I got back home at 1am last night and while it was a greaaaaat weekend with my love, I was happy to be home. We had a blast. I'm so happy we are able to go on vacations like these together. I love being on vacay with Graham because it feels like we are the only two people in the world and no one else really matters. I like it. 

Also, can I just say Vegas is the hub for the most ridiculous people on earth? I saw more men with purses, chain smokers, Jersey Shore douchebags, girls with their butt cheeks hanging out, and ridiculously rich people than I could ever see in a lifetime, packed into 48 hours. It was nuts.



Sami's Shenanigans

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wuuuuuuttt

I'm not sure how evident I've made it, but I'm a new blogger. I'd like to pretend I have like 10,000 GFC followers and everyone is obsessed with me on Bloglovin and people are dying to sponsor me. But that ain't the case.

So I decided to participate in my first giveaway on Tales of a Twenty Something. And yesterday when Allie's giveaway went live, I got a shit ton of new followers. So here's to you new followers--welcome to the ole bliggity blog. Hope you enjoy your stay.

I'm actually really excited about this. Who doesn't like feeling a little popular?

In other news, life is boring around these parts. Here's what's been going on:

-I'm going to sign a lease on a new apartment today, so that's fun.
-G is in California for a conference and I miss him alotttta a lot.
-I need to sell some old furniture on Craigslist to make money room for new furniture in the new apartment.
-I also need to go to Target for no reason in particular other than I haven't been in a while.
-I've been watching New Girl and that show is freakin' hilarious. Where has it been my whole life?
-My roommate made these cookies last night and that are the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. Go make them now.
-I'm going to Vegas this weekend and we have nothing but our hotel planned. Suggestions on places to go!?
-I can't stop going to Amy's

Guess that's about it. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a more interesting post.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!

XO

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