Monday, April 30, 2012

Sample mail!

Big load today! My mail man must love me... I went from getting almost no mail to something almost every day since I've been sampling :)

Here's what I got: Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares. I got this sample from their Facebook page, and the promotion is still going on now. The cool part is, you can request a sample and send it to up to 10 friends. I'm excited about this sample, in part because it looks to be about a serving, so for me that's one free meal! Also, I've been buying Post Shredded Wheat Honey Nut cereal, which I have to say I love! It's not too sugary, and it's yummy. I can't wait to see how the Quaker Oats cereal compares.

I also got my first perfume sample today, finally! This one I got through but here's the direct link. I got a small sample of Hugo Boss Orange and this promotion is still happening.

I also got Garnier's Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer. Wrinkles aren't a major concern for me right now, so I'm not too excited about this one, but I do want to try out some different moisturizers. I believe I got this through Walmart's samples. I got 2 small samples, and a coupon for $2 off.

The other freebie I got today which I'm really excited about is Always Maxis. I got 3 pads through P&G brandSampler. This offer is no longer available, but they do have other freebies up, and I *think* because it's going to be a new month they might have different offers up soon... I'm not sure exactly when or how often they update. P&G brandSampler offers samples and coupons for a variety of Proctor and Gamble products, so you definitely want to check it out.

So, I've been doing the sampling thing for about a month now, and I'm very excited because if anything else, I've gotten enough samples of maxi pads that I don't have to buy any for at least a month, and when I do I have at least 1 coupon to use :) It's a small success!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today's manicure

I'm in the process of learning about makeup, nail polish, etc. I never really had anyone to show me or teach me about these things, and I was teenager when the Web was new so back then we didn't have eHow or YouTube to learn from. Tutorials just weren't around on the Web yet, and I have zero close female friends to learn from, so I've been pretty much on my own here. I spent the better part of the past 10 years or so not wearing any makeup and rarely doing my nails! I just recently got interested in it again, so it's been a learning experience for me, at the age of 32. Better late than never, I suppose. So, one of the things I want to do with this blog is demonstrate what I'm doing, and hopefully get some feedback. I plan to view more tutorials, and add links as well. I realize this doesn't really fall into the "samples" category, but it's all about getting stuff for free, and knowledge gained through the Web definitely falls into the free category; sampling different techniques also falls into that category! I know I said I wasn't going to post a bunch of different nail polish techniques and how-to, but I will post samples of what I'm doing... and besides, I have a ton of really old nail polish (15, 20 years old) which I thought some of you might enjoy seeing. Oldies but goodies!

That being said, here's my manicure of the day :)

The white is O.P.I.'s Don't Touch My Tutu! The middle color is Sally Hansen's Chrome Royal Purple and the dark purple is Wet n Wild's Precious Metals Zealous. 3 coats of the O.P.I. on top of a fortifier, 2 coats of the Wet n Wild, and 1 coat of the Sally Hansen. The O.P.I. color is brand new, the Sally Hansen color I'm not sure how old it is, but you can find it on Amazon for about $7. The Wet n Wild color is pretty old as far as I can remember. I did a quick search online for it, and didn't find anything.

I will point out that these pictures were taken with my phone so the quality isn't that great. Also, I'm awake at night so all photos are taken with a flash. The first photo of the Sally Hansen polish is pretty true to the color in the bottle.

I had a lot of trouble trying to photograph the Wet n Wild color, it simply did not want to photograph true to it's color. It's a really pretty shade of purple, though! I think it looks best in the O.P.I. photo. This is the best picture I could get of the bottle, unfortunately.

Edit: I finally broke down and took out my good camera to get some better pictures :) The last two photos are the new ones!

edit as of 4/3/13: I don't know what happened to my photos.. they're missing from my blog photos for some reason. I'll have to hunt them down sometime and see if I can re-upload them.

Friday, April 27, 2012

More samples arrived!

Last week it seemed I was bombarded by samples; every day I received something different. This week, pretty much nothing. I haven't been spending as much time on the computer, so I can't wait to get our new one so I can spend more time hunting down samples again.. anyway, I wanted to report that I haven't received a single perfume sample yet. I'm bummed about that; some of them were supposed to ship within 1 week and it's been about a month. I'm still waiting for my Target Beauty Bag, also. I've seen a lot of other people have received theirs, and I'm still waiting..

Anyway, here's my haul so far! This includes the makeup I got for free from Amazon.

Natural Vitality Energy28

My big haul for last week was Natural Vitality's new product, Energy28. For those not familiar with Natural Vitality, they make a number of dietary supplements, including my favorite, Natural Calm, which is a Magnesium supplement, and I cannot live without it! Anyway, I received Energy28 because on Easter, they held a promotion on Facebook. Anyone who posted on their post received free samples! I received 10 samples altogether, and as you can see from the picture, these aren't little samples. They're a full serving each. I was impressed, because the samples themselves arrived by UPS, I believe, so Natural Vitality paid some money just to get me these samples.

I wasn't too certain whether I would like Energy28. As the name implies, it's an energy supplement made out of 28 all natural ingredients, including roots, berries, and fruits. It contains a few things I don't like: pumpkin, acai, pomegranate, banana, but also many I do love: apple, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, raspberry, broccoli, carrot to name a few. Energy28 can be used in a number of ways: as is, right out of the package, or in water. I drank my first sample right out of the package, and I really didn't mind the flavor. Except I forgot to shake it up first, so it wasn't mixed up enough. Definitely shake this before using! As I was drinking it, it occurred to me that this would be excellent mixed up in some plain yogurt. I haven't tried that yet, but when I do I'll let you know.

As far as energy goes, I really didn't notice any differences in my energy level. I did, however, exercise more than usual so maybe I had more and just really didn't notice it. I still have 9 samples left, so I'll have to try it again, and try taking it a few days in a row to see if that makes a difference.

Walmart Samples

I got a few more of my samples from Walmart as well: Metamucil and Garnier Fructis' new product, Pure Clean Clear 2in1. Garnier's Clear 2in1 is of course a 2in1 shampoo conditioner which is 92% biodegradable, contains no silicone, paraben or dye. The Metamucil sample contains 2 samples, and a  coupon for 2 dollars off. I haven't tried either one of these yet, so we'll see.

Facebook freebies

You can get 2 samples of Miracle Whip, plus a 50 cent coupon by liking them on Facebook, and requesting a sample. Promotion is still going on right now.

I managed to grab a sample of Burt's Bees product, Gud, while it was still available. You can still grab a $1.00 coupon by liking them on Facebook and requesting the coupon. Gud is a natural product line of hair, hand and body products. The sample I received was for Vanilla Flame Body Lotion. I received the coupon and sample.

The last sample I received last week is Eucerin's Skin Calming Itch Relief Treatment.I got 1 sample, and a coupon for $1.00 off any Eucerin product.

I should still be receiving many more samples over the next few weeks, so I'll keep letting you know what I've received, how you can get them, and as I use them what I think :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Water marble nails

First and foremost, I want to state that this blog will not be one of those blogs including frequent nail polish designs, techniques, etc. I love nail polish, don't get me wrong; however, after almost 10 years of college in Computer Science studies, I've found I just can't stand to keep my nails long. So I will be the first to admit my nails aren't very pretty; also, I'm a busy homemaker so my nails often don't stay nice for long enough to photo!

I have to say a few things; the first is, one of the nice things about having an older female cousin is their makeup and nail polish collections! One of my memories of spending time with my cousin Missy (who is now a beautician) is looking through her shoebox of nail polishes. By the time I was an adult, I think I had out collected that small collection of hers.

Anyway, I've been trying some new things out as of late, one of which is water marble nails! You can find some great tutorials by googling, so I won't post one here. I just want to share my first results. Overall, not bad but definitely need some work! The one hint I found was to definitely tape up those fingers.

 You can see some of the paint got a little clumpy on some of my nails. I had layered a few coats underneath my marble layers before I decided to try this technique, so I think I'll have to try it again with only the marble polish.

I was really happy with this nail; it ended out looking like a yin yang symbol. I wish I could have gotten a better photo!

1 more view..

I did my left hand one day, my right the next. After doing my right hand, I decided they just were too plain (ha!) and so I added some sparkle with a CoverGirl top coat.

I will definitely be trying this technique again sometime, and I'll share the results once I do.

I have a lot planned for this blog, and I have to apologize because it looks like one of my first reviews will be in regards to a new computer. Hope to buy one soon, so I won't be posting as much as I planned in the meantime. However, I just wanted to give you a taste of what else I have planned :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Samples received: How to get samples and other stuff for free

There are a lot of Web sites out there, just waiting to take advantage of people, and especially so when it comes to getting "free stuff". So, I thought as I go about this process, I would share a few of the things I've found which have proven to be safe, and also share some of the promotions as I receive them. By blogging about them as I receive them, as opposed to as I apply for them, you'll know they're valid because they've worked for me. I already mentioned, but there are some great other alternatives as well. The first stop is to look at manufacturer Web sites, and of course, Walmart.


Walmart has a great page of free samples. I've read that it updates every week, however, I've found that if you check it once or twice each day you can sometimes find samples that don't normally come up just by checking a few times a week. Don't get too excited though; the past week or so I've only been seeing the same samples. So, you may not get a handful of samples every week. You can get your hands on some good coupons, as well though. I've even read about people getting makeup samples here. So go check it out today!


One of the recent samples I received came from I received a Stayfree Ultra Thin sample, plus a one dollar off coupon. I was a little bummed that I only received one pad, because I've received entire boxes in the past, but it's free so I'll take it. It doesn't seem like StartSampling updates very often, however. They do have a pretty wide range of product samples available, including shampoo, perfume, energy supplements, and even beef jerky. They're pretty much just another gateway Web site, so you may find some things here which may be on other sites, such as Walmarts. It's a pretty good start though.


Facebook is a great way to find free samples, giveaways, coupons and more. Just look for some of your favorite brands, and quite often they'll give you a discount just for liking them. T-tapp is one of these! If you don't know about T-tapp, it's my favorite workout program, and you can find out more in my blog. When you like T-tapp on Facebook, you get a coupon code for 20% off!

Emergen-C is another brand you can get free samples from. You can like them on Facebook, or go to their Web site and request samples. Several months ago, I received free samples from them... I think from their Web site. I requested samples from their Facebook page recently, so I'm waiting to see if you can get both or not.

You can also get a sample of Lipton's Tea & Honey by liking them on Facebook, and requesting a sample. You get a 50 cent coupon, also. The flavor is Mango Pineapple Iced Green Tea Mix, which I'm not too sure about. I don't really drink tea anymore, but I thought it would be something different to try. Also, the past few times I've purchased Lipton Black Tea, the boxes have included 50 cent off coupons. So, another way to save money if you buy tea often as I do.

All of these Facebook sample offers are still valid, so you may want to hurry and get them while you can! Some may be special offers, such as the Lipton sample.

Free nail polish alert!! That's right! One of the great experiences I've had recently was winning 2nd place in Totally Lacquer Obsessed's 300 Likes Giveaway. What did I win? Well, I'll be blogging about it some more, hopefully within the next week or so, but I won OPI's  New York City Ballet Collection Mini Set. So watch out, I'll be updating with a blog all about my experience with this giveaway soon, I hope.


My last entry for today is about pure and simple luck. About two weeks ago, I ordered some makeup from When I received my purchase, I was annoyed to discover they had shipped the wrong item by mistake. I paid for an item worth $16.99 and received one worth $9.99. I sent them an e-mail and not only did I end up getting a refund, but they offered to pay for one day shipping if I wanted to reorder the item (I didn't), and they then told me I could keep the item I received in error!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yes to Carrots

Sometime within the past year, I received a free sample of a chap stick by a company called Yes To Carrots. I'm not entirely sure why I received this sample, but it was free so what do I care? The item I received is called C Me Smile Lip Butter and it is Melon flavor. I was immediately turned off by the thought of a melon flavor lip balm, because I don't like melons. However, I've been using this product for months now and the flavor really doesn't bother me.

Overall, I can't really say I love or hate this product. I breathe through my mouth, which means I have chronic dry lips. Nothing I've tried has cured my lips, including this product. So, it might work great for those of you who don't have my permanently chapped lips. I do know it hasn't made the condition worse, so that's a big thumbs up!

I don't know if I would ever actually go out and buy this product. I haven't noticed it in stores, so I don't know if it's even available in my area or not. Judging by the Web site prices, however, it looks a little pricey for me.

Also, I noticed on their Web site that the packaging has changed since I received my sample. I don't know whether or not the product formula has changed or not, but that's something to consider.

Comments or questions? Let me know! Thanks :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Getting started

I'm new to the world of finding free samples on the Internet, but I thought it might be fun to blog about the good sites I'm finding, sharing some of my experiences of what does work and what doesn't. Also, I plan to do some product sample reviews.

  Freeflys: Free Samples, Free Stuff, Freebies and Coupons provides to links to samples offered all over the Internet. They update daily, and you can receive daily e-mails from them which include the newest samples. I was a bit unsure about this site at first because I expected a lot of spam, but other than the daily updates I haven't noticed much increase in spam. As I stated, I'm just getting started, so it's only been a few days, so I haven't yet received any samples. Hopefully in a few weeks I can get back and report in on how well this site seems to have worked. Just at a glance, I like the site. They provide samples by category, including food, beauty, health, etc. and I've found quite a few offers here.

 Straight to the businesses.

Another option is to go straight to the source: start visiting Web sites for the products you're interested in. When I first started, I was interested in mostly makeup samples. I signed up for a bunch of newsletters for makeup companies I've never heard of. Some of these companies do offer special promotions, and from what I've read, some offer samples on occasion, or special gifts for your birthday.

More to come... please leave your tips or comments, I'd love to read them.