Buying Beauty Products from T.J Maxx?

Those who know me best, know I’m a Maxxinista through and through.

Not just because I love TJ Maxx, but because I’ve become extremely knowledgeable about the products to hoard from there, but also the ones to steer clear of.

As an example, here are great things to BUY at TJ Maxx:

  1. Obviously clothes, shoes
  2. Towels, bath mats, etc.
  3. Candles!
  4. Greeting cards/wrapping paper (really good quality for CHEAP)
  5. Wall decor (just try not to buy too many of the quotes signs. I say 2-3 per home is acceptable)

However, there are few things to def NOT get at TJ Maxx:

  1. Hair products
  2. Headphones, electronics
  3. Sometimes candy
  4. Sometimes perfume

Also, historically I have been super wary of makeup/skincare from TJ Maxx. I always see brands like Elizabeth Arden, Shiseido and Bliss but more recently they’ve added Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Erno Lazlo etc. And when a Clinique eye serum is selling for $16.99 I always wonder…what’s the catch?

Is it expired? Discontinued? Is it from a bad batch? In my wildest fantasies, these products are all just overstock, fresh and just a SWEET DEAL. But then I wonder why errrone isn’t snapping these things up right and left.

Needless to say, I rarely buy anything from the bath & body section of T.J Maxx except the odd hand soap, Body Shop Body Butter or nail polish. I am scared to death of wasting my money on products that simply don’t work.

So the other day at lunch when I spotted two lowly GIANT bottles of St.Tropez Dark Tanning Mousse  for $14.99, just in time for our trip to Hawaii – I squealed inside my mouth a little. I inspected the bottle from top to bottom, looking for signs it had been in a fire, damaged or used, to no avail. I even googled all the random numbers on the bottom of the bottle to see if anything fishy turned up. Nothin.

So I bought ‘er and took ‘er home.

The next day, I took a pre- self tanner shower (exfoliated, scrubbed, etc) and excitedly jumped out in anticipation of applying my new tan! I shook it up generously and pumped it out into my tanning mitt.

It. Was. GREEN.

Just, completely Shrek green.

I know lots of self tanners have an olive undertone so I wasn’t that surprised and thought maybe this was just the color of the product, not the tan. So I rubbed a tiny bit into my forearm and it dried just straight-up green. Then I google imaged the product to see what color it is supposed to be…

Definitely NOT green!

I figure it must have just been expired. So. Yeah. I wiped the green right off my arm and plopped the bottle back in the T.J Maxx bag  to be returned. I guess the moral of this story is…

Do not buy tanning products from T.J Maxx 🙂

Honeymoon Haul + Wedding Bits

As some of you may or may not know, Bryan and I are going to Bali for our honeymoon. We leave on a red eye basically 24 hours after we say “I DO” and could not be more excited.

We figured since we’re putting ourselves through that crazy red-eye, Hep A shots (which were a little B, btw), typhoid vaccinations, and the possibility of Bali Belly, we deserved a few odds and ends to make our stay a little more comfortable and yes, stylish.

Bry hit the mother-load at the Rack, procuring himself swim trunks, a few tee shirts and maybe the odd tank top. My trousseau shall be filled with travel-friendly (read: comfortable) and fun (read: cheap) vacation-wear. In addition was the SAS at Victoria’s Secret and a pair of falsies spotted at Sephora that I just HAD to try.

Here are the goods!

From Target:

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I chose this bikini for two reasons. One, the top is push-up and two, the bottoms ARE NOT string-tie. Why doesn’t target have a 30 years + swim section?

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I am usually not a fan of maxi skirts (ON ME) because I always end up feeling like they are a bit too short and I don’t think it is appropriate to “sag” your maxi skirt. This one however, I am excited to wear with, wait for it…CROP TOPS. Yes, m’friends. I shall don a crop top and bare my upper tum-tum to the world!

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I decided to grab this little white pocket crop-top to pair not only with the tulip skirt but also with a pair of shorts to wear possibly over a swim suit. We shall see how I feel about it.

From T.J Maxx

There is the classiest T.J Maxx downtown Portland. You wouldn’t think it, but every time I go, I am treated to perfectly arranged clothing racks, sparkling dressing rooms and a well-stocked candle section. A + downtown T.J. A+.

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Boring navy tank. I SWEAR this brand from T.J Maxx makes the softest tees and tank tops. They are always under $7.99 and I mean, you just CANNOT beat that.

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Shorts like these were all over the store. And being the true Maxxinista that I am, I had to partake. Dare I say, they look a bit like pajamas but I feel like Bali will welcome this look. Plus, they have a stretchy waist band. YES please!

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They had a TON of makeup brushes this time around. Some off-brands that I had never heard of, but also ones by Borghese and Models Own. I decided to grab this little blending brush because it was $2.99 and it looked decent.

Sephora & Victoria’s Secret

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I spotted these at Sephora a few weeks ago and was all, “yeah right”, they cannot be real mink. Well, jury’s still out. I haven’t the slightest idea of what they are truly made of, but really, I don’t care. Just look at that crazy lash action. I think these might be a wedding-day contender, and at $10, they didn’t break the bank.

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I spent a mere $13 on ALL of these goodies (gotta love that SAS). A VS Heavenly (my FAVE VS scent) body wash, Lip Plumper in Baby Pink, purse-sized Heavenly Body Mist and a nail polish in String Bikini. Don’t mind if I do!

And that’s it for my haul – check back soon for a re-cap of our awesome weekend!

Mini Portland Trip

That’s right!

Last weekend, we paid a little visit to the city we will soon call home.

And yeah, I WISH it was where Bry and I were going to retire, as the song on Portlandia playfully suggests. But no.

In fact, we ventured down to the state of Oregon last weekend so that Bryan and I could get a sneak peak of this brand new-to-us city and he could see his new digs at work.

We arrived in Portland around 8 am on Good Friday and quickly grabbed a coffee before Bryan had an 8:30 am meeting. Without even thinking about it, we sought out a Starbucks. SO funny you guys. I love me some local coffee shops but if you’re like us, Starbucks kinda feels like home. Anytime Bry and I are in a strange city, we always end up at Starbucks. To pee. To send a quick email. Maybe a chonga bagel, I don’t know.

After Bry gulped down a misto, he headed into the office while I (barely awake at this point) ho-hummed around the city, waiting for things to open. I stumbled upon an urban T.J Maxx and was elated when I discovered they were open at 8:30 in the mornin! The inside was pristine and all the staffers said hi to me. Like when do the people at T.J Maxx EVER say hi to you?

When I got back to the car, I realized we were totally out of gas so I pulled into a 76 and leaned over to the passenger seat to grab my credit card. When I turned back around there was a middle aged man standing right in front of my window.

OH YEAH. They pump your gas for you in Oregon. I rolled down my window and tried to share an “oops-Washingtonian over here” moment with the guy – but realized I wasn’t gettin’ an inch. So he and his deadpan proceeded to fill ‘er up without an iota of humor.

Well SAAAAHHH-RREY.

After that, I checked into our hotel and changed for a quick work out. Yes, I am working out regularly. These thighs aren’t going to gap themselves.

After working out and a quick shower, it was time for lunch with Bryan and his boss. We went to a really cool restaurant called Grüner where I acted like a regular asshat and spilled an entire glass of wine on my lap.

After lunch, I had 2 blissful hours of shopping sans Bryan. Surprisingly, I didn’t get anything exciting. I think it was the tax-free pressure (does this happen to anyone else?). After Bryan got off work, we walked over to the townhouse we are thinking of renting (pictured on the water, below):

The operative word here, is WALK. And oh, how excited we are!

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Here’s a shot of the area

Our current his and hers commutes, upwards of 40 minutes each way, are gettin’ darn annoying. We are relishing the fact that it looks like we will be renting this townhouse and it is WALKING DISTANCE to the city.

You heard me right. I will be walking distance to Nordstrom Rack and the cool, urban T.J Maxx. Heart palpitations FO’ REAL.

After we saw the townhouse, we unknowingly started our own little “pub crawl”. We kicked it off at our hotel, The Heathman, sharing a cheese plate, wine and a cocktail. We then headed to Red Star Tavern and had bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. I literally felt them jiggle down my gullet and rest softly on my thighs, they were that fattening.

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After that, we decided to check out this restaurant and rooftop bar we heard about called Departure. It was kickin and I felt like I was redeeming myself from lunch because clearly, this is where the cool kids were hanging out.

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We had an awesome dinner at Portland City Grill – appetizers, crab cakes, molten lava cake THE WORKS. We then shuffled back to the hotel in the brisk cold and fell asleep with our food babies.

The next morning we decided that we should probably go ahead and eat another large meal. So, we walked over to Mother’s Bistro (which is like, so adorbs) and had a belgian waffle and crunchy french toast <- brioche coated in batter and dipped in crushed corn flakes. It was stupid good and filling. We waddled (haha, waddled) back to the car and 3 hours later, were back home!

And if that wasn’t enough gluttony for one trip, we definitely made pizza that night for dinner.

So much for my thigh gap.