December 31, 2010

New Year, New Look

I decided that my blog looked too plain and boring for a while.  I wanted to spruce it up a bit to ring in the new year.  Hello 2011!

My background (obviously) is now pretty flowers and antiquey colors.  My fonts are purples and blacks to match the flowers.  I am very happy with my background, and I hope you readers like the change too!

Enter Busy Woman's Guide for a Happy Holiday Treats Prize Pack

I think Pam from Guide to Surviving Motherhood has some awesome giveaways going on right now.  Click the link above to try and win a Happy Holiday Treats Prize Pack from Betty Crocker, Gladware, and Safeway.
The Prize Pack includes a package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, a GladWare sample pack and a $25 Safeway gift card (also valid at Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s).
I don't know about you, but I could use $25 to Randalls myself! And I LOVE sugar cookies!  

December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

  1. Lose the 5 pounds I gained over the holiday
  2. Pay off most of my debts (except my student loan which I know will take longer than a year)
  3. Consume lots of Vitamin C so I don't ever get sick
  4. Wash my face at night more often
  5. Start running so I can explore Ireland when we go in July without getting exhausted
  6. Only buy things I NEED, and eat out less often
  7. Update my blog more often
  8. Create a bigger following for my blog

Arte y Chocolate

This is a product review for Arte y Chocolate.  I was not paid or given anything to write this review.

For Christmas, of the 3 things A (my amazing boyfriend) decided to give me, one of them was a delicious box of chocolate (the other two were New Moon and a wine saver...he knows me too well).  I believe he got it from the Armadillo Bazaar in Austin, Texas.  The chocolates can be found on  At first glance, the box is very simple.  A light Tiffany blue, with a sticker on the box saying "Arte Y Chocolate" with their ingredients and website.

Inside, you find a beautiful assortment of dark chocolate truffles.  The box includes a PB & Honey, Raspberry, Amaretto Walnut, Candied Orange Peel & Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and a Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker.  They are all so beautiful, with designs or toppings.  They are all unique shapes like a teardrop or swirly.  So far, I have tried the PB & Honey, Raspberry, Orange Peel, and the Graham Cracker.  The raspberry was my favorite so far, with a delicious melty raspberry center.

I'm very excited to dip into the rest, but I'd feel a little guilty about eating the whole box.

All in all, I would say that I give Arte Y Chocolate an A+.  Try them out if you ever are in Austin, TX and have a craving for chocolate!

Enter Ashleys $75 Giveaway

I am ADDICTED to entering giveaways now.  I have already won two things so far from blog giveaways: a Smartfish ErgoMotion mouse, and $35 to  Right now, my best friend Ashley is hosting an amazing giveaway on her blog for $75 to  They must really be doing a lot of giveaways lately, since I see them everywhere!  And rightfully so, they are a pretty cool website.

Check out to enter to win $75 to  The link is and it ends on January 27th.  If I won, I would probably get a small chair for my living room.  I just won $35 to and got myself a food processor.  It's currently been shipped and is on its way to my house.  CSN Stores has so many great products for your home and office.  I hope I win!

December 28, 2010

Update on Scam

Thanks to a commenter, I found out more info on the scam. 

The link is here:

Here is an exerpt from the post:
FRAUD ALERT: 365WEBELECTRO 209-676-5931 aka 365WEBELECTRO.COM is a fake front company. They are part of a very large group of fraudulent websites processing hijacked card data into cash. The card data fraud laundering operation is ran by a multi year eastern European Organized Crime Syndicate.

The fake sites are set up exclusively to process stolen card data and launder the charges into cash. The stolen funds are then wired in bulk from US banks to various foreign banks in Bulgaria, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, and Cyprus, to fraudulently established beneficiary accounts of assorted offshore shell companies. Some of the stolen funds have ended up in the Ukraine. Funds to support the US component of this massive multi year fraud operation, (e.g. to pay the AUTHORIZE.NET and BANK set up fees) have been detected coming into the US in $1,000 increments via Western Union, originating from various cities in the Ukraine.

For more info, go to

December 23, 2010

I Won $35 to CSN Stores

Now what do I buy?

Thanks to LaToya from One Page at a Time, I won $35 to  Now the hard part is figuring out what I want to buy with it.  Pillows?  Food processor?  Rice cooker?  It seems like everything is more expensive than $35, so I will probably have to spend a little extra.

Wanting to Try B2B

I just joined Business2Blogger, which is a company that connects bloggers to other companies who give away free products or pay you to review them.

I don't know where to begin, and I don't know if I have a strong enough following for this.  If anyone has advice on how to get started, or how to get chosen by the businesses, let me know!

I know I need a high amount of traffic to justify a giveaway/review.  I know a lot about advertising and I want to make the businesses feel like this would be worthwhile.

Anyone have any blogger to blogger advice?

December 21, 2010

I'm financially screwed

I don't want to go into too many details, but let's just say I spent my one year anniversary with my boyfriend in the hospital.  I was having severe stomach pains and fainted.  Turns out it was really some stomach virus or something I ate.

Today, I found out I may have to pay $1528.  The actual cost was over $8600, so thank God for health insurance.  However, $1528 is a ridiculous amount for only being there a few hours and running a couple tests.  Especially since there wasn't even anything really wrong with me.

Am I wrong in feeling taken advantage of?  $1528 could have REALLY helped me with my student loan. Or could have been a trip to somewhere really nice.  Instead, it's paying for about 8 hours in a hospital, most of which I was asleep.


December 17, 2010

Beware of Chase Service Fees!

So I got the Chase checking/savings accounts a couple months back.  I've been finding out that they have some hidden fees that they don't warn you about before signing up!  

First, I got charged a $4.00 service fee to my savings account for not having either a $300 minimum balance or not having a $25/month auto transfer.  I called up, and got the fee waived (about a month ago). 

Today, I got charged a $6.00 YES SIX DOLLAR service fee to my checking account for not having a direct deposit OR having 5+ transactions in my account per month.  I called up, and they waived the fee, and from now on I'll be using the card a little more.

I'm just annoyed that they didn't warn me ahead of time of these fees.  They just CHARGE you and hope you don't notice!  It's like, if you get the $100 bonus, they're just gonna take it back through the hidden fees.  After the 6 months of me using these accounts (you have to keep it that long in order to keep your $100) I'll probably close it down.  I've never had any of these problems with Wachovia/Wells Fargo.

I wanted to take this time to thank for alerting me that they charged me.  Please, I urge all of you to use  It is amazing!  

December 16, 2010

I Just Bought Myself on

So I just bought on GoDaddy.  I haven't set it up yet, nor do I know how to host a website.  I'm hoping I'll be able to transfer this blog over to it, and have it look less...blogspot-y.  I want it to be a blog, but I want it to be very personalized.  Any suggestions?

Scammed by

The other day I was going through my debit card purchases and ran across a purchase of $9.95 to "365WEBELECTRO.COM".  Immediately, it seemed fishy.  I thought maybe it was a website I could have bought from, so I went to it.  I have never been to this website before in my life.

I called up Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) to see what this was.  Apparently, this company is a scam that finds your debit card through online purchases (BE CAREFUL OF IDENTITY THEFT PEOPLE!).  Somehow, they managed to charge me 9.95 for absolutely nothing.  Luckily, Wachovia is awesome and they refunded it to me since I disputed the purchase.

I hope these scam artists get turned in to the BBB!  I am sick of these kinds of things happening.

Now, I have to get an all new debit card and change my settings on all of my auto debits for bills.  What a hassle.

December 05, 2010

Got a request for the pumpkin cupcake recipe!

Thanks Ashley for requesting the recipe for the delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting I made around Halloween.

Here is a link to it:

Here it is copied and pasted into my blog with a picture of the cupcakes I made from the recipe:

Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from David Leite (as seen on The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line your cupcake pans with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt into a medium bowl.

One at a time, add the eggs to the mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the pumpkin and beat until smooth.

Divide the batter equally between the cups. (They’ll be about 3/4 full.)  Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles.  Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Transfer the pans to wire racks and after 5 minutes, remove the cupcakes to the racks to cool completely before frosting.

Makes 18 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting
from Martha Stewart 

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time (scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally), and then vanilla; mix until smooth.

The frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Refrigerate until needed, then bring to room temp and beat until smooth before using.

Makes about 4 cups

Wow I've gone over a month without updating...

Sorry if anyone is reading this--I completely have been slacking off and not updating this blog.  I do have an update though on the Chase deal I got.

Sooo a few weeks ago I got an alert from (thank you Mint I love you!) telling me that I got charged a fee.  Turns out, Chase charges you a fee for having a savings account...$4.00 a month to be exact!  That is ridiculous!  Don't try and lure me in with your free money and then try to take it away from me!  The catch is, you have to either have a balance of $300 in your savings, or an automatic transfer of $25/month into your savings account.  This is so that the bank can use your money when you're not.  Otherwise, they charge you fees...just for HAVING your money there.  So ridiculous.  I don't want $300 in that savings account, so right now I'm just transferring $25 a month into it from the checking.  I'll also take random checks that I get and put it in there, just so I don't touch it.  Wells Fargo/Wachovia is my primary account, and it will remain that way.  Sorry Chase.

Although, Chase does have an awesome feature where you can just slip your check into the ATM machine like a vending machine takes your dollars and automatically deposit them.  SO cool.

Moral of the story is, I am now using Chase as a "No touching allowed" bank, but depositing checks in there for a rainy day.

October 28, 2010

Halloween is Successful So Far

First day of my Halloween celebration (my favorite holiday) 2010 went well!

Today, my office had a costume contest.  A LOT of employees dressed up, some in very AWESOME costumes.

Check out these AWESOME Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes.  They went all out!  I bet they win the costume contest.  They took photos of everyone in their costumes, and are putting it up online tomorrow.  Everyone will get to vote on the best costumes, and the winner gets $200!

After work, I decided to make some delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  I must say they turned out VERY well.  The recipe came to 24 cupcakes, and I'm taking 3 to work tomorrow for 3 lucky recipients.  The rest will go to my friends at the Halloween party on Saturday.

I will keep the world updated as my Halloween weekend progresses.  Woohoo!  My favorite holiday has begun!

October 25, 2010

I Got a Free 8x10 Collage Photo Print

Walgreens had a really cool deal going on, where you can order an 8x10 collage photo print for FREE.  You could either pay 99c for shipping, or pick it up at a Walgreens.  I went to pick it up on Friday and it was awesome!  It was just pictures of me and my boyfriend, and since I already got a bunch of pictures and framed them, I decided to give it to him.

If you keep your eye out, you can find all kinds of freebies!

October 21, 2010

I love Groupon

I love Groupon!  Here is a list of Groupons I have gotten so far:
  • $5 for $10 to Lick it, Bite it, or Both (I haven’t used this yet; it’s a cupcake shop, YUM!)
  • $10 for $20 to Austin Java (haven’t used this yet either, very excited!)
  • $99 for about $350 to Bellezza Spa & Salon (haircut, hair color, blowdry, massage, $50 worth of merchandise, and spray tan)
  • $10 for $20 to How Do You Roll
  • $7 for $15 to Texadelphia
  • $25 for $75 for;  I love this one! I got 4 NICE bottles of wine shipped to my house
  • $14 for $28 to Mr. Clean Car Wash
So all in all, I have spent $170 total, and have saved $347.  Pretty nice!  Anyone else a Groupon fan?
If you don’t know about Groupon, let me be the one to refer you!  Click here: Groupon

I Got $100 for FREE!

 I just wanted to update and say that I DID get my $100 from Chase!  It wasn’t a scam (not that I thought it was, Chase would be in big trouble)!  I figured that there was a lot of small-print or something I didn’t qualify for.  But it was SO easy.  I just opened a Chase checking account with $100 and a savings with $25.  Today they deposited another $100 in my CA, so my balance is $200.  How awesome is that?  I’m still going to be loyal to Wachovia, I love their Way2Save program.

I Got 100 Free Glossy Photos

Okay so they weren’t 100% free.  I had to pay for shipping, and I got two 5″x7″s which were $.79 each.  It totalled to about $8 which is NOT bad for 100 film-quality photos.  How did I get this?  They were from Snapfish!  I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but I basically had 100 free photo credits.  I picked some from my digital camera, some from facebook, other people’s facebook photos, and now I have a TON of pictures for albums, frames, etc.  I even bought some frames since I wanted to put them up on the wall or display on my countertop.

$100 Chase Bonus

A few days ago, I received a pretty awesome deal in the mail.  It was what looked like a gift card for $100, from Chase Bank.  I am a Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) banker.  However, Chase has this deal where if you open a checking account with a coupon code, put $100 in it initally, and keep it for 6 months, they will give you $100.  Sounds pretty good to me!  Its basically free money for opening up a checking account.  There are no annual fees, nothing.  I normally wouldn’t open a new checking account, but if you’re going to pay me $100 to do it, why not?

I just did this today, and they are supposed to deposit the $100 10 days after I make the minimum deposit of $100.  When the time comes, I will update again about it.  See if it’s actually LEGIT.

If you get this “gift card” in the mail, don’t make the mistake of throwing it away!  Open up that checking account, and take advantage of the offer!  I will probably always be loyal to Wachovia, but why would I refuse a free $100?

My Secret Weapon

What is the first step to being frugal?  Making and keeping a budget.  You need to know how much money you are taking in, how much you are spending, and hopefully the first is greater than the second.  Otherwise, you are living above your means, and have a negative cashflow.  Now, I know that sounds like I’m talking to a child, but there are more people in this world who don’t seem to comprehend the concept.  Or, they simply refuse to.
How do I live within a budget?  I need help.  My favorite little “secret weapon” is  It tells me how much income I am making, how much I am spending in each category, and lets me create budgets for myself.  When I first started using it, I got a little depressed by how much money I was spending on frivolous things like eating out, clothes, etc.  I didn’t think about what I spending, I just spent it, as long as I had money.  Now, I know where my money is allocated and how much I am saving.  The best way to save money is to see where it’s all going.  Same idea as counting calories.  Once you actually realize how much you are spending/eating, you start to cut down.
This is one suggestion I would give to anyone and everyone for being frugal.  I even set up an account for my mom.  If she can use it, you can too!

Frugal, But NOT Cheap!

Here it goes: my first blog post.  I wanted to title this blog “Life After College,” but it was taken.  I also wanted to title it “Jesus Saves, I Use Coupons,” but I thought that might be a little offensive.  So, the best way to describe myself right now is the current name of my blog: Frugal, but NOT Cheap!
Here is the gratuitous introduction: I am a recent graduate from the University of Texas (class of May 2010), and currently employed at  I work in SEO marketing, and I love it.  BAS has been ranked as one of the best places to work in Austin several years in a row.  It’s no surprise, as the people there are awesome, it’s growing every day (in September we hired 15+ people, including little ol’ me!), and other goodies like breakfast tacos and free Thursday lunches.
But enough about my job.   On to the important shtuff.  Like what my blog is about.
I’ve been browsing “frugal” blogs, “cheap” blogs, “coupon” blogs, and all kinds of money-saving sites.  I feel like it’s hard to find any that relate to a recently post-grad, single, full-time employed young woman.  Most of the bloggers out there are SAHMs (stay-at-home-moms, for those not in “the know”), or…well that’s about it.  It’s about time a 22-year old without kiddos talked about frugality.  Because yes, it is hard to raise an entire family frugally, but it’s also hard to support oneself when all your friends want you to go out and get drinks, get dinner, go to shows, celebrate birthdays, and look cute while doing it–on top of all the other expenses that life throws at you.
I know it sounds selfish, SAHMs, but that’s what your early 20′s are about!
So, what is my main financial goal right now?  To be FRUGAL, but NOT CHEAP!  This means that I am trying to enjoy life while being smart about it.  I am trying to save as much as I can for a rainy day and pay off my debt (mostly just my student loan). However, I won’t turn down every opportunity to be social just because money is involved.  Yes, I will buy a bottle a wine and some cheese now and then.  Yes, I will see shows and concerts with my friends.  Yes, I will buy that cute dress if it is calling my name (and is a good price)!
I am going to blog about my experiences, ways that I’ve been saving money (and spending it intelligently), random product reviews like wine, movies, cheap food, and other enjoyables.  I also may follow suit and post random coupons & freebies to make readers want to read my blog!