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budget – Luv Saving Money

Budget Friendly Jewelry For Big Moments: Starlette Galleria

I get so many affiliate invites anymore. Most of the time I glance through them and decline them. Many have nothing to do with my blog or things I write about. Then I got the invite for Starlette Galleria.

Starlette Galleria offers beautiful alternatives to real diamond jewelry. For the frugal couple looking for beautiful yet affordable wedding rings. For the couple getting engaged that don’t want to throw a year’s worth of salary on a ring. For the traveler who wants to have a ring on their finger but worries about taking their real wedding or engagement ring on vacation. Need a placeholder ring until your real one is sized or fixed? Maybe you’re single but don’t want to be bothered when you’re out on girls night with your gal pals. Whatever the reason Starlette Galleria has some gorgeous options.

There are so many styles to choose from. There are eye-catching rings with more intricate styling. There are small dainty rings that can be used alone or as stacker rings. If you’re not looking for a ring they also have studs, hoops, necklaces, and even tennis bracelets.

Do you like their styles and wish they had them in real diamonds. Well guess what, they actually have a few real diamond rings options too and they’re stunning!

To add to the value, you get free shipping on orders over $100 and even more savings when you sign up for their newsletter.

Unlock up to $50 after joining Newsletter

If that’s not enough, they even have payment options. A great way to get the piece you really want on your budget.

I’m just saying, Mother’s day is coming up in early May. Use the newsletter discount, take advantage of the free shipping and you have a nice Mother’s day gift. (If any of my family is reading this I like the huggie hoops or the bezel tennis bracelet ::hint hint::)

Don’t forget to check out the sale section for even more money saving ideas!

The owner Olivia started this company in her own house with no connections and grew from there. Her saying is “If they can’t tell, why should you?” I love it and it’s so true. Plus so many younger couples are choosing not to put themselves in massive debt right off that bat. Forgoing traditional diamonds for more unique stones or budget friendly pieces. And I’m here for it. When my husband and I were getting engaged I told him “Don’t you dare spend more than $1000 on my ring. I told him I don’t want anything bigger than a 1/2 carat. And I meant it. I couldn’t see going into massive debt at the beginning of our lives together. Plus I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to jewelry designs.

This post does contain affiliate link. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links

I Got A Cricut Explore Air 2 For Christmas, Now What?

I had been wanting a Cricut cutting machine for years. It was always something I put off to the side a not a need but a want. I’m not super crafty but I loved the things some of my friends and family would make with theirs.

Honestly I was a little intimidated. Would I be able to use it? I didn’t want to pay for the machine then not be able to use it, get frustrated, and let it gather dust. Then there was the idea of space I knew I’d need a desk or table to work at. I have a desk for my laptop but could it be a work desk/craft desk? And it’s in the living room, I didn’t want it getting cluttered or messy all the time.

Cricut Explore Air 2

Well my dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I would have never asked him for a Cricut. I would have felt guilty asking him for something that cost so much money. So I found a hoodie I liked and a smaller make up set for ideas and told him either of those would be fine. Well Christmas Day at my dads house there was an unusually large gift that definitely did not look like a hoodie or small make up set. When I opened it, I couldn’t believe it. He must have saw my facebook conversations with friends enough times to know I wanted one. He got me a Cricut Explore Air 2 bundle so it had some basic tools, vinyls, cutting mats, and transfer tape with it.

The first chance I had I started looking at Youtube videos, tiktok, etc for beginner advice, tips and tricks, etc. I finally felt confident to start it up. The guide that came with it was helpful too. I did my first practice project with the cardstock sample paper they had in the box. I messed up the first time, but got it the 2nd time.

My middle son was shouting out ideas of things he’d like me to make him. While I was excited, I was also a little bit “whoa slow down there” I mean I’m brand new to Cricut. I had bought his girlfriend a custom boba glass as part of her gift (she loves boba). My son says “Maybe you can make me my own boba glass” So I got a glass to practice on from the dollar tree. I bought a few permanent vinyls on sale at Michaels. And found some SVG files on Etsy I wanted to use and purchased them. He’s a big Miami Dolphins fan so I was excited to find Miami Dolphins SVG files. Not only that but I was able to upload them to my design space with ease. After watching some helpful videos on youtube again for layering and transfering I went to work. I made mistakes but learned with each one. In the end I created my son’s custom boba glass and he loved it.

That project boosted my confidence a bit. While at Michaels I had bought some insert cards to try because I had seen them in some of the videos and though they looked great. But again I thought I messed up because the ones I bought said “Cricut Joy” on them. Again after watching several videos with several ideas of how to use them on a Cricut Explore Air 2, I went to work. Believe it or not this project was much harder for me as a newbie. I wasted several cards until I figure out how to do it. Why? because most of the insert card videos showed to use the Cricut 2×2 card mat or showed an alternative way with a piece of cardstock. All great ideas but I spent the money on the insert cards so I was determined to use them. I did not want to have to purchase yet another accessory (the card mat) to be able to do another project. After wasting those several cards I finally figured it out. I was excited to have figured out an alternative without a helpful video this time.

So my question for other, more seasoned, Cricut users….What are some beginner friendly Cricut Explore Air 2 projects you think I should try? I did get some iron on vinyls with my Cricut so I’m thinking maybe a t-shirt. Or maybe a decal for my car with removable vinyl. But I’m open to suggestions.

I’d also love to know what your first project was and did you have trouble like I did or were you a pro right out of the gate? In your opinion, what are your must have tools? Do you have any tips on where or when to find the best deals on Cricut accessories?

This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links

Oil Perfumery – Holiday Guide 2022

I am someone that love fragrance. So does my husband for that matter. My middle son (18) enjoys wearing fragrance too. But, we kind of have expensive taste when it comes to fragrance. We all like to have a variety on hand for different situations, looks, occasions, etc.

Have you ever walked up to a fragrance counter and tested the perfumes? You really like one or two but you see the price tag and say “maybe another time”. Fragrances can get expensive.

One day I’m on TikTok and I come across this TikTok from this guy helping people find dupes for their favorite name brand and expensive fragrances. Specifically he was trying to find a dupe for Tom Ford Bitter Peach. Spoiler alert, it was from a company called Oil Perfumery.

Oil Perfumery Bitter Peach rollerball dupe

I don’t know a whole lot about Tom Ford fragrances other than I know they’re expensive and I know they’re popular. I would never buy a bottle of Tom Ford perfume on a whim online because it’s too expensive. But when I read the notes of Bitter Peach it sounded like something I would love. So I ordered the Oil Perfumery Bitter Peach impression. Oh my goodness so good. Very different from anything I own. Best part, it was only $14.95 for the rollerball. When you compare that to $80 for a Tom Ford Bitter Peach 0.34 oz travel spray, um yea, huge difference.

It comes in a glass rollerball. I put it in my hand so you can see it’s kinds of your average size rollerball. Specifically this is 10 ml or 0.34 oz. Perfect to slip into a purse, backpack, or pocket.

What I will say is the fragrance fades after about 2 hours. Having never tried Tom Ford fragrances I have to imagine the actual Tom Ford fragrances would last longer.

Oil Perfumery has fragrance impressions for A LOT of fragrances. My husband is a big fan of Creed Aventus. Another crazy expensive cologne you can’t just buy anywhere. Only sold online or in boutiques. It’s made in France. But guess what…yep Oil Perfumery has impressions for many of the Creed fragrances. Also, I don’t know what it is about Creed Aventus but wow, it’s an amazing scent.

Someone in my family usually asks for some type of fragrance each year I think this would be great stocking stuffer gift for my hubby and son.

FYI Oil Perfumery is also doing early Black Friday sales right now! These fragrances would make a nice stocking stuffer or under $20 gift.

**This post does contain an affiliate link. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links**

BJ’s Inner Circle Membership $25 (reg $55)

Do you live near a BJ’s Wholesale? Thought about getting a membership but didn’t want to spend the $55, unsure if you’d use it enough? Well you’re in luck. You can now get a BJ’s Inner Circle Membership or only $25. This is for new members only.

BJ’s beats supermarket prices on national brands every day, saving families 25% off grocery store prices. BJ’s members can use a mix of manufacturers coupons, BJ’s coupons and personalized offers from BJ’s to get even more value during their shopping trip. Families can save up to $500 a year by shopping at BJ’s.

BJ’s offers convenient shopping options like same-day grocery delivery and digital Add-to-Card coupons in the app and on

Grab your BJ’s wholesale membership for $25 here

affiliate link: I will earn a small commission from actions taken through my posts

Greenlight the Debit Card for Kids

In a world that is increasingly becoming cashless it’s a good idea to teach kids how to budget and manage cashless account early. Greenlight is the debit card for kids, managed by parents.

Greenlight let’s parents monitor and add money to your child’s account without runs to the the ATM. You can set parental controls and get immediate notifications when your child spends money. Immediately reward your kids, give them their allowance as soon as you think about it, get your kids involved so they can learn to manage their own finances. There’s so many benefits to Greenlight.

Right now you can get a 30 day trial of Greenlight to test it out for you and your child. After the 30 day trial it’s $4.99 a month service fee. After your 30 day trial you can also get a custom Greenlight card for your child that even has a selfie on it if you like. You can fund the account with $5, $20, or $50

I’m gonna be honest. I currently have 3 kids I’m giving an allowance too. Trying to remember to take out the money at the ATM on my way home from work or having extra cash on hand for incentive chores is hard. This would be such a convenience for me.

I’m gonna have to try this out myself. I know several people that already use Greenlight and love it. Do you use Greenlight? Have you been thinking about it?

This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission from actions taken through my links