Category Archives: Splurges

Bath & Body Works Red Perfume

Hey folks! The lovely Zhenya from Being Zhenya, helped me review one of the products from my Vox Box. Unfortunately I’m allergic to perfumes, so she reviewed the Bath & Body Works Red perfume. Without further ado, here’s Zhenya’s review!

Mary from Budget Grad Student has recently asked me to review one of the products she received in her Influenster Cosmo Vox Box. Which I agreed to do! Unfortunately with all the holidays and somewhat hectic work schedule, I am only able to do it now. I actually think it’s better this way, because I’ve been using this fragrance for almost 2 weeks now.

Of course every girl loves perfume, but not all perfume is good. And even though “Bath & Body Works travels the world to find the latest trends and most beautiful scents. They never rest in their commitment to bring the world’s newest freshest fragrances for body, hand and home” I was a tad bit disappointed in the scent.

The sample came in a cute little 0.25 oz/7 ml bottle, which made it super portable and easy to carry around, which I did! Took it to work almost every day!

To me the scent was very sweet and floral, turns out my nose wasn’t all that wrong! Here is the Overview you can find on the website:

Our most luxurious longest lasting fragrance blends opulent notes of fiery red pomegranate and delicate peche de vigne, a rare and fleeting French peach. Soft petals of red osmanthus give way to notes of addictive velvety marshmallow and a surprising finale of rich vanilla rum that leaves an unforgettable impression.

  • Top Notes: Fiery Pomegranate, Rare French Peach, Luminous Apple
  • Mid Notes: Red Peony, Night Marigold, Red Osmanthus
  • Dry Notes: Rich Vanilla Rum, Velvety Marshmallow, Oak Wood

Marshmallow! That explains it! Mary, you would’ve totally had a headache!

Now long lasting factor was something that I was looking forward to! Not a lot of fragrances last on me, but after trying this one, I have to say one thing:

I had fragrances from CVS pharmacy, that lasted longer!

And even though the scent decided to stay on me for only two hours or so, it did make it way into my head, and gave me a headache as well!

Then I discovered that the perfume itself cost $44.50 (of course it comes in a 2.5 oz bottle!), add a few more dollars and you can afford a really nice Lancome or Estee Lauder fragrance.

All in all it wasn’t very long lasting and too much Vistoria Secretish to me, I’d definitely think twice, even thrice before purchasing this scent! There is so much more one can do with 45 bucks!

Thanks Zhenya!



Filed under Splurges, Style

A Very Classy Christmas Party

So I am the Social Chair of grad student club for my department. One of my “duties” is to organize our holiday party. The last two years, I arranged a nice get together with appetizers, cookies, wine, etc and both years the same three people were the only ones to come.

This year I decided not to stress about this party: I’ve got several deadlines to wrestle with and no money in the student account. I do, however, have a Groupon that’s about to expire for an old school sports bar & grill right by campus. So, this year I invited everybody to meet me there and I’ll buy a round of nachos and cheese fries as well as a pitcher of PBR.

Y’all, I have had so many people reply yes. Apparently dive bars are the key to my classmates’ hearts. Who knew?

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Cosmo Vox Box

So, thanks to Being Zhenya, I recently got hooked on Influenster, which lets me review different products, which we all know I love. They recently sent me a Cosmo Vox Box filled with products to try out. Yes, I received these things for free, but my opinions are all my own. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be reviewing

  • FriXion by Pilot Pen
  • Ghiradelli Gourmet Milk Sea Salt Escape
  • Gillette Venus Embrace AND Venus & Olay Razor

In addition, Zhenya will be helping me out by reviewing Forever Red Eau de Parfume by Bath & Body Works. While I love free products, I do not love migraines so she’ll be letting y’all know how fabulous she smells.

Cosmo Vox Box

And if you’re interested in trying out Influenster for yourself, let me know and I can invite you!

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Filed under Health and Beauty, School, Splurges, Style

Weekly Update December 10

I hope that everybody had a great weekend. After my crazy weekend my house is decorated, the family fruitcake is soaking in brandy and my dog is happily prancing around the house in his beloved jingle bell collar. I picked it up for $1 a few years ago, thinking it would amuse me for a few minutes before taking it off. However, the little bugger freaking loves it and when I take it off him, he stands under the shelf and whimpers until I put it back on him or distract him with a walk or toy. Anyways, enough mocking my poor pup and on with my weekly update!


Spending: Ugh. I went to Costco and stocked up on baking supplies, then got sucked into a fundraiser for my chorus group and bought nuts and See’s chocolates. I solemnly swear that I won’t buy any chocolate, cheese, butter or nuts until I use up everything I currently have in my pantry, including all 7 (!) pounds of chocolate.

Saving: I’m counting the following as savings. When I went to my dinner party this weekend, I brought a homemade baguette and some cheese from my stash instead of picking up some prefab appetizers. When I invited a friend over to help me decorate, I made a giant crockpot of soup so it would be ready when we got back, rather than picking up takeout. While shopping this weekend, I opted against spending a giftcard I already had since I didn’t really need anything from that store.


This week I took a few breaks from writing to prepare giving a seminar this week. I’m really excited about the content of what we’ve accomplished so far, but nervous about getting it right in front of a group of people who probably understand what I’m talking about better than I do.

Health and Fitness

I walked, walked, walked, ate lots of vegetables, drank a lot of water, said no to seconds and tried not to inhale the entire dessert table on my own. That’s got to count for something, right? My thighs certainly hope so.

Meal Planning

Lunch: rice with aloo gobi & dal, pizza with whole wheat crust and a salad

Suppers: pumpkin stew with dumplings (recipe tomorrow!) stewed lima beans with sweet potatoes & greens

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Filed under Checking-In, Goals, Income, Menu Plan, School, Splurges

October 8 Weekly Update

Happy Columbus Day! I’m kind of jealous of whoever gets the day off. Even though my weekend won’t be a three day one, it was still pretty great. A good friend got married on Friday, which translated to a night of dancing with friends, then I spent Saturday on the farm putting in fall transplants (mmm, greens) and picking tomatoes.


Spending: I splurged on brunch out with a girlfriend on Sunday before spending the day cooking, cleaning and laundry. We split vegetarian eggs benedict and strawberry white chocolate pancakes. Carbs and grease are the perfect motivator.

Earnings: None, but I got sent home from the farm with an extra 30 pounds of tomatoes. I guess I’m making a lot of marinara.


I’m really enjoying my lone class, which is helping write me write what will hopefully be my first major publication. I also received the proofs for my first paper in a very minor journal, which was thrilling none the less. After a long talk with my boss, I’m not submitting my name for that competition, which leaves me with a far more reasonable work load this fall.

Health and Fitness

I lost another 2 pounds, through eating a lot of veggies and walking almost 5 miles a day. I’m hoping to add some weightlifting sessions into my week.


Lunches: pinto beans and fajita veggies over brown rice, roasted mushrooms and goat cheese with whole wheat pasta

Suppers: tomato soup (recipe tomorrow!), vegetable soup

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Filed under Checking-In, Goals, Income, Menu Plan, School, Splurges

A Little Bonus

Sometimes the financing for grad school can get a little odd. This year’s tuition and fees are being paid for by research, being a teaching assistant, a little bit of work study and a small federal grant. All this patched together actually exceeds my needs each quarter by $175, which means I’ll be getting a bonus check at the beginning of each quarter, on top of my regular stipend.

My first thought was, “Bonus credit card payment!” Then “build up emergency fund!” and “save up for a fabulous meal in Paris!” But then, I realized that the reason I was heading to a meeting in a tunic and leggings is because I ripped a hole in one of my 2 pairs of decent jeans, the other of which is too heavy to wear year round and are wide legged. Also, this morning I was bemoaning the fact that I’m down to 2 bras, a week’s worth of underpants, and a handful of basic tees that don’t have holes or stains.

So, a shopping trip it is! A pair of skinnies, a bra or two, some cute panties and a few t-shirts. I should be able to do that for $175, right? My plan of attack is to swing by my favorite thrift store, then the consignment shop across the street for the jeans and tees, and hit Marshall’s on the way back home for the undies and whatever’s left on my list.

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Filed under Income, Splurges

My Little Luxuries

I’ve seen a few bloggers posting lists of the things they splurge on, so I thought I’d join in and share my necessary luxuries.

1) Tea. I prefer to drink high quality, loose-leaf tea, since I’m one of those snobs who swear they can taste the paper on the tea bags. Fortunately, I often get this as gifts or I can buy it in bulk at the Co-Op for not too much. $5 or $6 worth can last me 2 months. My boss makes fun of me for having a tea drawer in my desk: a variety of black and green teas, sugar, local honey, a tea infuser, and a tiny saucer to leave the infuser on. I just tell him he’s lucky I’m not hooked on coffee or espresso or I’d be driving him up the walls.

2) Good Cheese/Dark Chocolate/Red Wine. Once a month, I buy a hunk or two of good cheese, such as goat, blue, aged parmesan, feta or manchego, the list goes on. I like to use it sparingly to really enjoy the flavors and make it last. Similarly, I always have a bar of dark chocolate in my refrigerator and have a square every couple of days. Finally, I grown beyond two buck chuck, and when I can find something decent in my price range, I don’t mind paying for it.

3) Sunscreen. If you’ve ever seen my I Complete You Challenge list, I clearly am not loyal to any one skin-care item. The only exception is my Shiseido sunscreen. Y’all, the queen of cheap shells out $35 a bottle for this stuff and have yet to regret it. It doesn’t make my skin oily, doesn’t cause break-outs, doesn’t have a scent, doesn’t wear off in water. As a pasty white redhead, I have to wear sunscreen everyday and this is the only formula that makes me actually willing to do that.

4) Living Alone. I own a two-bedroom townhouse and spend half my limited student budget on my mortgage and HOA fees. Yes, I have space for another person and it would cut my housing and utility costs in half. Why don’t I do it? Because, I’m the crazy roommate. I hate picking up after myself, and when I finally do, I decide the entire place needs to be spotless. I’m very picky about my possessions (touch my kitchen knives and die) and love decorating my home just so. Finally, I’m an introvert. The ability to come home, take my pants off, and not have to talk to anybody is completely priceless.

What little splurges do you find absolutely essential?


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