Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Guide for the Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points Program

I promised my friend Laura on Instagram that I would do this post and I really think it is a great idea for all of my Canadian readers! I'm a member of plenty of points programs, but none of them reward me as well as the Shoppers Optimum one. I do think that there is a bit of a learning curve and finding what works best for you, but it's amazing once you get the hang of it.

I don't consider myself a pro at all, but I do manage to get $200+ of goods each year with my points. Granted, it could be more if I shopped there more frequently but this is what works with my existing budget. If you do a lot of your shopping there, maybe you aren't taking full advantage of the program. Or maybe you shop there very little and don't think you can utilize the points enough to make a difference. I'm telling you that you can!

You can earn and redeem Optimum Points at Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, and Pharmaprix. You earn a minimum of 10 points for every dollar spent and you aim to reach point tiers. The tiers are: 8,000 Points ($10), 22,000 ($30), 38,000 ($60), 50,000 ($85), and 95,000 ($170).  You can redeem those points toward most purchases. And you can earn points on most purchases in store, as well as online orders on their Beauty Boutique. Now here are a few of my personal tips and how I make the program work for me!

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1. Download the Shoppers Drug Mart app. It gives you personal offers each week to load to your card. For instance, milk is the same price there as all of my local grocery stores so I buy it at Shoppers and I get 10-20x the points most weeks. The sales flyer is also built into the app.

2. Look at the sales flyer and shop around the sales. I am on a budget and I try not to buy just to buy something. This is where I make the program work to my own needs. Look at what is on sale and what you need and sometimes there will be bonus offers to load for some of them. Like I bought a Revlon nail polish last time that was on sale for $3.99 and 1500 bonus points. Double win!

3. Wait to make bigger purchases during the sales events that offer 20x the points on a purchase of a certain amount. It's usually 20x your points total on a purchase of $50 or more. And if you're into instant gratification, they also have deals like that with gift cards and movie passes instead of bonus points. So you might see offers for two admit one movie passes with a purchase of $75 or more. They have different offers similar to those all of the time.

4. I try not to use the points too much while I'm on a lower points tier and let them collect to the higher levels. A few times a year, Shoppers brings around a "Spend Your Points" event. They vary by offering either letting you get more with your points or offering bonus points right back into your account. So doing the 95,000 level might get you $200 off instead of $170 or you get the $170 off and they give you back 22,000 bonus points ($30) to your account after a few days. They even each other out, so it's just personal preference. I just did this recently and spent 95,000 points and my 22,000 bonus points should be back in my account shortly. I recommend taking advantage of these events to really make your points go further.

5. Don't go in there and buy everything just to get points. I promise they'll add up just by you getting the things you really need/want or those that are on sale. Don't spend more on an item at Shoppers that you can get for less elsewhere just for points. That mind frame hurts more than it helps. This can take a little homework about becoming familiar with what you pay at other stores and comparing store flyers each week that you shop, which is something that I highly recommend doing. Sometimes they have sale items and limit how many you can buy. If you see a good deal that is better than elsewhere, stock up. Even better if that good deal falls within one of the points events.

If you use the app and load your offers and take advantage of the points events and offers, the points will add up quickly. If I didn't explain something well or didn't answer a specific question you have, let me know in the comments. I do hope this helps!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Birthday Wishlist This Year and a Michaels Planner Haul

My birthday is next month. Any fellow July babies reading? I'm not a big fan of summer (that's no secret), but I always enjoyed the fact that there was no school on my birthday. I have never been a big celebrator of my birthday, so I didn't usually have big shindigs and invite a lot of people. And as I age, I'm still very much the same. Some birthdays have been better than others and I don't mind making plans for a dinner with close friends and family or something simple. This year, that's probably the plan. A dinner out, a birthday date night with my husband, and just taking it easy. Are you a big celebration type of person on birthdays?

I do have a few things that I wouldn't mind receiving as gifts. If you're here for beauty items, not this time. I've gotten quite a few new things in that category recently and want to take the time to enjoy those and get ready to review them. But don't think for a second that the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette is not going on my generic wishlist, just not on my birthday version! It's so dang pretty!

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  • Beauty and the Beast - I didn't get to see it while it was in theatres! At first, I wasn't excited for it. I don't care much for the live action versions of animated films. But it just looks so good from every clip I've seen and I adore Emma Watson.
  • Le Pen - This list is mostly planner related things. Sorry if that bores you! I've been a planner person for the better part of my life. I just recently picked up two new planners at Michaels that I am really excited about (see below). I had a few Le Pens back in high school and enjoyed the fine tip. I never replaced them and I've since been seeing them pop up on my radar. So many colors, but I find black to be the most useful so I'll start there.
  • Create 365 Sticker Book - This one is the rainbow one. I have four of their books in my collection so far and I am hooked. They last ages and I haven't even made a dent. These stickers are so great and versatile! I have a agenda right now and I make them work in the horizontal layout.
  • Pigma Micron Pens - I haven't tried these, but I've heard they are brilliant. I thought they would be great for my bullet journal that I just started.
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens - Again, I want these for bullet journaling. 
  • Recollections Planner Accessories Kit - I love these little kits. They come with a band, sticky notes, a dashboard, bookmark, stencils, and sticker sheets. The dashboard, bookmark, and stencils are all cut to go on the coil. 
  • PopSocket - I already have one, but I don't want to keep moving it from case to case. I don't really use it while carrying my phone, but I love it for when I'm taking pictures or using it as a stand
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Recollections Recipe Planner - I recommend it to you if you love to cook and bake. I promise you do not have to be a planner type to enjoy this one. I've been putting some of the recipes from Pinterest in it so far. I have a few that I've tried and enjoyed and I'd really like them written elsewhere besides just saved on my account.

Recollections Life is Sweet Planner - This is more for next year, though I'm breaking it in a little before that because it has a vertical layout that I am not used to. I was never attracted to vertical until recently, so we'll see. For now, I'm going to use it as my blog planner and test page layouts to see what works for me before it possibly becomes my main planner in 2018. If I don't make it my main planner, it will stay my blog planner and I'll go back to horizontal.

I used coupons on both, which I highly recommend. You can get a great planner and accessories and save a lot of money!

Friday, June 16, 2017

My Latest Drugstore Haul

I've splurged a little recently. I don't think I've bought a makeup item in a few months (Christmas?), so I figured why not. Actually, I got a few of these things for "free". I say that, because I used my Shoppers Drug Mart points for some of the items. It's a (Canadian) program where you get points every time you make a purchase and then you can redeem them after reaching certain levels. I promised my friend Laura on Instagram that I would do a post on the program and share a few tips, so look for that post soon if it interests you!

This is a collective haul over the past month. So here are the items with little tidbits of my first impressions. The facial spray, mascara, and concealer will all be reviewed more in depth in their own posts!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Anti-Haul: What I Won't Be Buying (Sephora Edition)

I've been seeing these around on YouTube quite a bit lately and I love it! As a blogger, I am always so quick to share wishlists and hauls but never delve much into why I pass up certain items. I am showcasing six items in this post that won't be getting my money (at least not in the foreseeable future or if my opinions change) and they can all be found at Sephora. If you like this idea, I can do another post down the road. Maybe I can focus on MAC or drugstore brands...

This isn't a slight toward the brands (except one- see below), just the product. Some of these brands, I have tried and loved and reviewed items on here. In the comments, tell me something you aren't buying and why. Or tell me why you will be buying any of the items below or if you already own it and what you think. I'd love to hear!

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  • Z Palette - This is for both the product and the brand, honestly. My thoughts haven't changed much from when I reviewed them back in 2011. They are still pricey for what they are. But what really got me was how they responded to some criticism earlier this year. I just don't believe that is how any company should act. Seriously, Google it. I hope they learned from it, I really do.
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Shapeshifter - I would probably enjoy the powders, but I hate when cream products are packaged like that. I find them hard to work with and they always dry up quickly.
  • Invisibobble Hair Rings - Oh heck no, my thin hair won't be getting tangled up in those bad boys on my watch. I'll stick to the stretchy ribbon ties that I love! I hear these are great for thicker hair, though.
  • Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palettes - Strictly the price. They look gorgeous, but no way in Hades am I paying up to $305 CA for any palette. Gradually, yes, to fill up a palette like a MAC one. But all at one time? Whew, I don't think so. This would be a "if I ever win the lottery..." item.
  • Benefit Brow Zings Kit - Nothing against it, I just think the little ELF kit does the exact same thing at a fraction of the cost.
  • Becca Champagne Pop Highlighter - Again, nothing against it. It is gorgeous and pains me to not get it, but it just isn't for me. It's way too warm for my skintone and I know I would never reach for it. But I would absolutely add one of the lighter highlighter powders they offer to my wishlist down the road. Though right now, I'm on a ColourPop highlighter kick.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Body Fantasies Signature in Soft Peony

First off, it's a good day for me. Not only am I going to be talking about this Body Fantasies body spray, but I just signed on my Spotify to find that Taylor Swift is back on there. Heck yes. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue my dance party to her greatest hits while typing this post.

Now here are my thoughts on the Body Fantasies Signature scent in Soft Peony. I remember loving the Vanilla one during my school years and I love when a brand brings back feelings of nostalgia. That's always a plus!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blog of the Month: June 2017

In May, Nicole from Pretty Ruff Life was my featured blogger. You can read that post and see other past featured blogs under the "blog of the month" label! Being my blog of the month gets you a designated blog post, a sidebar button, and a mention on my Twitter account. The sidebar button stays up all month long. I don't believe in necessarily making bloggers pay for advertising and I'd much rather show you blogs that I really enjoy reading. And I hope you end up enjoying them too!

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This month's featured blogger is Stef from Beautiful Beakers! She is one of the more recent bloggers that I follow and I have enjoyed reading her blog and following her Instagram feed for the past few months. She bought an ad on my blog and I am so happy that not only she helped support a fellow blogger, but it also put her in my path. Stef is so sweet and supportive with every interaction. If you're mainly here for my beauty posts, you'll love her blog too. And can we talk about how I am still jealous that she saw the musical Hamilton?! If you check out her blog, feel free to let her know I sent you!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

InstaMonth for May 2017

I know I already said it in my favorites post before this, but May went by quickly. Well, sorta. I felt like the month went slowly until we took a bit of a staycation.Never fails. But now June is upon us and summer is just around the corner.

It's time for my monthly Instagram round-up, which is where I show a few shots from my Instagram. I'd love it if we were following each other, so just look for me as "wendybanner". I love these posts because they are short and sweet. And if you don't follow me or you are not on Instagram, this gives you a chance to see a few pics I don't always share on here in posts.

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1. Here are a few of my MAC MSFs. I need to use them more! // 2. I love navy and pink together.
5. I can't say no to a Michaels sale. // 6. Cherry blossoms are THE BEST.
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9. Panera's cinnamon rolls are a worthy splurge. // 10. This Body Fantasies spray will be on the blog next week. Smells amazing!
11. Read a few random facts about me. // 12. Pinks and purples never fail.

I'll be spending part of tomorrow getting caught up on blog comments! Since there is no Friday post scheduled, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We plan on seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I am so so sooooo excited. If you've seen it, let me know if you liked it or not. The first one was hilarious!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 2017 Faves

Ah, the end of May is near! And my favorite part of the transition of spring to summer has happened - my building switched from heat to air conditioning. My dearest friend on the hotter days! Haha!

May seemed to go by quickly, but I think that is because we took a bit of a vacation last week and vacations days ALWAYS seem to go by faster. So not fair. Anyway, as Harry Styles' Carolina plays in the background, I'm going to finish typing up this post on my May favorites. The first lyric in that song hits me: "She's got a family in Carolina. So far away, but she says I remind her of home. Feeling oh so far from home." I mean, that is totally me. And hey Harry, I get it. It's hard to walk away from Carolina girls! ;) 

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 What were some of your favorites from May?

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