The Two Cent Chick

A bargain, thrift, beauty & lifestyle blog. Sharing my two cents to help you save yours!


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Workwear Wednesday: Black and White and Fall All Over!

As boring as it may sound, my go-to fall outfit formula is exactly what I’m wearing here: dress (bonus points for a flattering wrap dress), tights/leggings and boots! I can’t stand the thought of not wearing dresses simply because it’s cold out.

This is one of my favorite versions of this formula, and I wore it on my birthday (Tuesday)! I felt comfortable yet put together.

And speaking of comfortable, I haven’t stopped wearing these boots since they arrived last week. They’re Lane Bryant via Poshmark (Poshmark review + tips coming soon) and I love them. I’ve never been able to find a pair of wide calf boots that 1) I actually liked the look of and 2) didn’t bunch up around the ankles. But, I stumbled upon these and the rest is history!

 

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What I’m wearing:

Liz Claiborne Wrap Dress: JCPenney (similar) (LOVE Liz Claiborne wrap dresses! Does anyone know if there’s a plain black version out there?)
Black tank top: Kohl’s
Tights: Target
Lane Bryant Boots: Poshmark

Make sure you check out Nout’s look for #WorkwearWednesday on sandpaperkissesblog.com!


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Puffy Pumpkin Waffles

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I couldn’t let October (National Pumpkin Month) pass without posting at least one scrumptious pumpkin recipe!

Over the years, I’ve shared many must-try fall flavored recipes, including:

 

If you ask me, there’s something major missing from the above list. Breakfast. Glorious, sweet, pumpkin-y breakfast.

There’s many pumpkin recipes on Pinterest (an overwhelming amount, really) but luckily, I’ve got a solid recommendation for you: Puffy Pumpkin Waffles.

The recipe is straight from Creme de la Crumb. And it’s fantastic.

The thick, pleasantly orange batter transforms into a puffy pillow of pumpkin in the waffle iron, yet still retains some of the crunchy exterior that waffles are adored for.

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Probably my new favorite way to begin a Sunday morning:

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The recipe suggests whipped cream and syrup. I say stick with REAL maple syrup only. The perfect complement to any waffle!

If you don’t love pumpkin, try these. The pumpkin and cinnamon flavors don’t overpower, it’s really just a hint of pumpkin. If you love pumpkin, what in the world are you waiting for?

Have you tried any pumpkin recipes out this fall? Please share them; there’s nothing pumpkin-flavored that I don’t love.

 


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Chocolate Hummus (Yes, Chocolate)

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Chocolate hummus.

Yes, at first those two words sound like they don’t belong together. A sweet hummus?!

But when you read the ingredients, the chickpeas are the only outlier in this otherwise sweet treat.

Touted as a “slightly more textured Nutella,” the chickpeas indeed add texture without overpowering (they’re extremely mild to begin with) and the chocolate and coconut oil make for an almost Almond Joy-like taste.

Ingredients:

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained (I pop each chickpea out of its skin because it makes for a smoother hummus. I have been teased mercilessly for this but it really makes a difference!)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Recipe via Lunch Box Blues

Directions:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until smooth, stopping the processor to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use immediately or refrigerate. Tightly wrapped and refrigerated, the hummus will keep for up to a week. – See more at: http://www.lunchboxblues.com/?p=4339#sthash.BnX8cst4.dpuf

I could’ve just added the basic ingredients, but I couldn’t help but add peanut butter (about 2 heaping tablespoons). It balances the chocolate perfectly, as expected.

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Pair with bananas, pretzels, apples, a spoon…there’s so many possibilities!

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The coconut oil, which solidifies in the fridge, makes the texture more like fudge than hummus. But when brought back to room temperature, the typical hummus texture returns.

This hummus is good. Not amazing, blow-your-mind, “I’ll never have to buy Nutella again” crazy good, just good. I would make it again though, for sure!

Have you made any recipes that contain ingredients that traditionally don’t pair together?

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#WorkwearWednesday: Mad Men Inspired

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The sight of this beautifully patterned tie front blouse in Clothes Mentor nearly made me swoon with visions of the Mad Men-esque outfits I could create. Then I nearly lost it when I looked at the price tag and saw $3 staring back at me. SOLD.

Mad Men always entertains me, but it’s the style that really captivates me.

Especially Christina Hendricks, aka Joan, and her curve-hugging, boldly colored ensembles:

Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20609151_20581634_21137961,00.html#21137961

Source: http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20609151_20581634_21137961,00.html#21137961

So I decided to break out my new find yesterday. Full discolosure: this was the outfit I planned, but the pouring rain made me wimp out and wear pants :( I also wanted to take tons of fun pictures outside with the beautiful leaves, but again, the rain ruined it!

Check out the #WorkwearWednesday post from the lovely Nout at Sandpaper Kisses!

 

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Here’s everything in color! And yes, I know Mad Men is in color but the black & white just felt right!

 

The Two Cent Chick Tie Front Blouse Mad Men Style

 

Outfit details:

jcp Knit Blazer: JCPenney, around $30 on sale
Apostrophe Tie Front Blouse: Clothes Mentor, $3!
Worthington Pencil Skirt: Clothes Mentor, $6
Dexflex Audrina wedges: Payless (similar)


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Updated Simple Skincare Routine (Featuring Raw Honey & Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil)


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It’s become my mission in the last year to vastly improve the state of my skin. That’s meant research, testing new products, and giving up gadgets that weren’t helping.

I thought I had assembled a killer routine last winter. I shared my top bargain picks and continued to use these products until about a month ago.

Now, I have a new, simplified routine that I’m confident will let me accomplish my mission.

6 products, 5 steps. That’s it.

In this new video, I explain the benefits of each product and why I sold my Clarisonic Mia:

Here are mini reviews of each product:

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1. No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water - $8.49

(Has been repackaged and is now called “Beautiful Skin Cleansing Lotion.” Not sure if product is the same.)

The makeup remover that does exactly that: removes your makeup. The thin consistency means you need 3-4 pumps. Work into the skin alone and then add water for a more milky lather.

2. New York’s Own Raw Wildflower Honey – $7.99

Yes, honey! This pin intrigued me and I knew I had to try raw honey for myself. Raw honey has been shown to work wonders for the skin. It’s antibacterial and is great for:

  • Acne and enlarged pores
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sensitive, mature, and dull lifeless skin

according to Hi Beautiful. For skincare, raw honey is superior to the regular honey you’d find in the grocery store because it hasn’t been processed and therefore contains the maximum nuritent-rich content!

Also, talk about a frugal skincare product! I’ve been using this jar for over a month and I’ve barely made a dent.

I’m still experimenting with honey, but so far, I’m seeing results in the fading of my acne scars. As I mention in my video, I’ll be doing a video entirely on raw honey in a few months.

3. and 4. Witch hazel (as toner) – $2-3 + Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil – $24.99 (Amazing deal)

Ah, my favorite step. This makes my face feel genuinely clean. I combine these two wonderful products on a cotton round from The Body Shop.

Witch hazel is ideal as a toner because it’s already a natural astringent and it’s very mild. Oh, and cheap.

Tea tree oil is one of my most-loved products, by far. I used to buy the tiny .33 fl oz bottles from The Body Shop ($9.50) but when I saw the chance to try Apothecary Extracts through Brandbacker, I jumped at the chance.

Besides being a stupendous deal (they claim it’s the best value on Amazon), it just works. Plain and simple. Tea tree oil helps fight acne, but it can also be used as a household cleaner, toothpaste, moutwash, air freshener and so much more. Check out their ebook, 53 Uses for Tea Tree Oil.

5. Valentia Even Glow Serum – $35

The only con of this fantastic serum is the smell (sort of a strong citrus). But there are many benefits:

  • The serum sinks into the skin immediately!
  • My skin looks more glowy. This may be because I’m using this serum in combination with another recently-reviewed product (the SOBO Ultra HGF Youth Serum), but I think both products are helping add the glow.
  • The price! $35 for 1.18 fl oz is very reasonable.
  • Alcohol free and paraben free!

My full review is here. 

6. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream  – $30 (received as part of a 2013 Sephora set)

I use this hydrating and intensely brightening eye cream both day and night (I’m trying to use it up for Project Use Up 2014).


So this is my new skincare regime! It’s simple, quick and effective.

What are your favorite skincare products, inexpensive or otherwise? Have you tried an unconventional skincare item before, like raw honey?

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FTC: I received the Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil via Brandbacker

 


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Mini Sephora Birthday Haul

I buy from Sephora once a year, every October for two reasons:

1. October usually means a Friends & Family discount code! 10% off is the usual promo. (Go to Sephora.com now and click on “Make a Match”)

Sephora 10% off

2. October is my birthday month :) So I like to treat myself to one or two products (don’t worry, I’m counting these toward my 10-limit beauty products for Project Use Up).

I wanted to share a review of the two products I bought, so here’s my haul video:

 

I decided on the Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Color Collection and the Lancome La Vie Est Belle rollerball.

winter dreams and lancome rollerblall

Will you be using the 10% off code from Sephora this October? What are you planning on buying?!

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On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

Today is all about pink!

Not only are the #MonthlyMani girls and I celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with our #ThinkPink manis, I’m breaking out my favorite pink dress for #WorkwearWednesday with Nout!

My nail picks for our #MonthlyMani couldn’t have been easier, especially since about 25% of my polish collection is some shade of pink!

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L-R: Essie Grow Faster Base Coat, China Glaze Mediterranean Charm, Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Posh Pink, Sinful Colors Easy Going, Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat

Tools: Nail Striping Tape and my DIY Dotting Tool: A flathead pin stuck into a pencil eraser!

I really love how this turned out! I’ve used my DIY Dotting Tool before (also shown in my Buffalo Bills manicure), but I continue to be impressed by how beautiful the dots are! The nail striping tape, on the other hand, was just ok. It’s supposed to stick to your nails so you can create stripes, but it’s not very sticky. But I used that to my advantage to create my accent nail.

Also, I realized after finishing this manicure that I used the exact same colors for my #RomanceInBloom mani. But it looks totally different! Gotta love how versatile nail polish can be!

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How are you wearing pink this month? Check out the other #MonthlyMani posts:

Piniel from Pins-Place
Kristi from Alligator Toe
Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali
Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty
Tracy-Ann from Mint Statement

The pink theme continues with today’s #WorkwearWednesday outfit:
Me pink dress
pink dress
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Outfit details:

JCP Blazer: JCPenney
Wish Wish Wish Dress: Macy’s
Belt: Savers
Wedges: Payless

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