A Style & Savings Guide to Birthday Freebies

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Whether you’re celebrating your 21st birthday, or looking fondly looking back on those days, birthdays are always a reason to celebrate!

Birthdays are a time to reflect, to be grateful for another year , and to time spent with people who make you happy.

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Indulging on your special day doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of stores and restaurants that offer free gifts for your birthday.

All of these treats require minimal effort to create an account by signing up with an email address. If you don’t already, I would suggest setting up a separate email account for store coupons and rewards cards.

Some of the treats don’t have to be collected on your actual birthday – so you can extend your celebration all month long!


Panera – Sign up for MyPanera and get a Free Pastry reward added to your account. The offer is good until 1 week after your birthday.

Starbucks – Sign up for Starbucks Rewards to receive a Free Drink, of your choice in any size. Must redeem on your actual birthday, offer is only good for 1 day.


Firehouse Subs – Sign up for the Firehouse Subs rewards program to receive a Free Medium Sub. The offer is loaded to your account immediately and is good for up to 6 days after your birthday.

Shopping Trip

Sephora – Once you sign up for Sephora’s Beauty Insider Rewards, you will receive an offer for a Free Birthday Gift, which is a small sample size of a popular brand-name beauty product.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Must sign up before your birthday month begins to receive a Free Classic Pretzel for your birthday. This perk is automatically loaded to your account on the first day of your birthday month and you have until the end of the month to use it

Dinner & Dessert

Applebee’s – Sign up for Applebee’s email club to receive a Buy One, Get One Free Entrée reward, good for up to 30 days after your birthday. Bring a friend!

Chili’s – My Chili’s Rewards members receive a Free Dessert birthday reward

Olive Garden – Olive Garden eClub members receive a Free Dessert on birthdays

Cold Stone Creamery – Join Cold Stone Club Rewards to get a Buy One, Get One Free Ice Cream offer added to your rewards account. Bring your bestie : ) The reward is available 1 week before your birthday and can be used up to 1 week after

*Note: There are other restaurants not mentioned above that will give free dessert on your birthday if you ask!

What are your favorite Birthday Freebies?

Where do you like to celebrate?




Style and Savings Summer Fun

It’s the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend and summer has unofficially started! I want to make the most of it, so I made a list of fun things to do.

Tell me about your summer plans in the comments!

____ Make popsicles

____ Eat an ice cream sandwich

___ Walk in the park

___ Celebrate July 4th

___ Attend downtown festivals

___ Relax at the pool

___ Visit the Farmer’s Market

___ Make s’mores

___ Read books from my summer reading list


When in NOLA



To celebrate Mardi Gras, today’s post is a recap of our Spring 2015 trip to New Orleans. We’re bringing you 5 recommendations of fun things to do and see.

  1. Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel bar

  2. Café du Monde and Jackson Square

  3. Mardi Gras World

  4.  The French Quarter & Hurricane’s at Pat O’Brien’s

  5. The French Market

Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar

After seeing Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar on a travel channel show, I knew I wanted to go there during our trip.

The carousel bar is a real functioning  revolving carousel that moves at a pace more comparable to the Earth than a carnival ride as not to displace the bottles & drinking glasses. The carousel completes one rotation every 15 minutes.

Being a popular location it was very crowded and at first it was hard to find a seat. We ordered our drinks at another bar area that was farther back from the carousel. Luckily, an older couple was kind enough to wave us over to their table as they were leaving. We sat at a small, round table for two and crunched on Gardetto’s snack mix that was served with the drinks.

The Sazarac – the official cocktail of New Orleans: whiskey, sugar, bitters and absinthe

Café Du Monde

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Café du Monde. It’s an open air café with lots of tables close together under a green and white striped awning. The lines for to-go orders and for seating seemed equally long and we wanted to have the experience of eating at the famous café. The menus are printed on the napkin holders and it’s best to be ready to order when the waiters come by. Napkins are essential – as you can see in the photo, these airy doughnuts are covered in piles of sweet powdered sugar. Yum!


Jackson Square

Café du Monde is found near Jackson Square, which is a park located in the French Quarter. The St. Louis Cathedral, a well-known New Orleans landmark is surrounded by beautiful greenery and gardens.

Mardi Gras World

At Kern Studios’ Mardi Gras world – it’s Mardi Gras all year long. For a family friendly activity, you can tour the factory where floats are made. As soon as the current year’s Mardi Gras parade is over, float builders are back to work creating for the next year. It’s amazing to see how large-scale the floats are along with the talent and intricate attention to detail it takes to decorate them.

Before the tour begins, there is a short presentation about the history of the holiday and traditions of the parade. King Cake is a coffee-cake like iced pastry served only during Mardi Gras season (but of course Kern Studios has it specially made for every tour group). Following tradition,  each King Cake has a small plastic baby baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is the host of the next year’s Mardi Gras party.

The French Quarter

The French Quarter is the fun, touristy area known for nightlife on Bourbon Street. The truth is that New Orleans is a party even during the daytime. One afternoon we sat on the patio enjoying the sunshine at Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard. While the Sazarac takes the title of official New Orlean’s cocktail – I would argue that the hurricane is a more well-known drink outside of NOLA. The hurricane was created at Pat O’Brien’s Bar  in the 1940’s and many would say they still make it better than anywhere else.  Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes are sweet and strong. Ours were served in plastic cups instead of the namesake glass – which is fine because unlike the Midwest, New Orleans allows alcoholic drinks to-go and it’s not unusual to stroll down the street with a drink in hand.


The French Market

The French Market is lined on both sides with vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, novelties, food & drinks. We enjoyed a piña colada and a frozen daiquiri from Organic Banana – they offer a variety of daiquiri flavors along with non- alcoholic fruit smoothies.

You can find a  variety of items ranging from the expected tote bags, shot glasses, and keychains (many of which were covered in the fleur de lis) to alligator head bottle openers. Most vendors offer low prices, making The French Market the perfect place for souvenir shopping before you return home.

Have you visited New Orleans or celebrated Mardi Gras?

Tell me in the comments!

Friday Faves 1.20.17

I enjoyed reading several bloggers’ year in review posts at the end of 2016, and I wish I had written one too because I had so many fun and exciting adventures during the year. Also, I liked that the recaps focused on the happy events.

As a way to generate positivity, sometimes Style and Savings will have a Friday Faves post to look back on good things (big or small) that happened during the week.

MLK Holiday

Monday was an extension of the weekend – we were fortunate enough to have the day off in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dress Barn Clearance

Belted Colorblock Fit-and-Flare Dress

Photo Credit: Dress Barn


After the closing of The Limited 😦  I found myself in Dress Barn looking for a professional style dress. I found this Calvin Klein A-line dress for 50% off at Dress Barn. The Dress Barn original price was $59.50 and other retailers sell it for as much as $89.98. The price variation on the exact same dress is crazy! Read about it here

Sheet Pan Fajitas


I found a Pinterest Win! I have already made this recipe twice: once with shrimp and once with chicken. This was a easy clean up way to make fajitas. The seasoning & lime juice & cooking time were perfect.

Archer Farms Guacamole & Salsa Combo

Tortilla chips dipped in Target’s Archer Farms Spicy Pico & Guacamole were a good side to the fajitas.I was hesitant to buy it since I didn’t know if I liked them together in the same container.  I’m glad I tried it – It’s so good!

Hope you had a good week – Happy Friday!


Style and Savings Shops Small

I really admire entrepreneurs and I want to show my support of those who have taken the leap, followed their dreams and built their own businesses.

Here are 4 woman- owned businesses that I have shopped this holiday season:




Possibiliteas sells gourmet loose-leaf tea. With names like Creativitea, Positivitea, and Productivitea and ingredients to inspire your mood – this would be a great way to wish prosperous new year to friends and family.

I also found these teas to be affordably priced at 4oz for $12 or $14


12 Months Soaps


Twelve Months Soaps sells soaps and bath bombs that combine history and self-care. Each month a new scent is released based on a moment in Black history. This one is called “Dreamgirl” in honor of the glamorous stage play.






One of my friends has a headband & scarf set on her wish list. I found KathysYarnCreations while searching Etsy and I ordered a cute crochet headband – that I received in the mail in less than a week. When I asked her to custom-make a matching scarf she was willing to create a listing just for me. I would definitely recommend this shop and appreciate the great customer service.


My talented Mommy made this headband for me…stay tuned to see more of her creations on Wedding Wednesdays



Mae B

maeblogoMae B started selling stationary featuring diverse illustrations, and has branched out to mugs and calendars. I think it’s very sweet that the name Mae B was inspired by the founder’s grandmother. In addition to being a shop, Mae B also has monthly blog posts covering topics ranging from goal setting, entrepreneurship to holiday gift guides.

If you are an entrepreneur or know of a small business you would like to feature – let me know in the comments!

Gilmore Girls and Guys

During high school, my after-school activities included taking a break before homework to watch Gilmore Girls with my mom (and sometimes my sister would stay around past the opening theme song) on Fox Family – this was before the days of ABC Family and Freeform.

I’ve been so excited for the show to come back on Netflix ….it’s been almost 10 years since it’s been off the air!

It’s been fun to see other fans’ getting excited as the premier got closer. About a month ago my Instagram feed had multiple pictures of Gilmore girls fans with their cups of “Luke’s Coffee”
After watching a funny video of the Gilmore Guys on another blog I knew this would be a fun way to reminisce without watching the episodes all over again.

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I’m enjoying the podcast – since I have seen almost every episode multiple times (listening to Gilmore Guys would be extremely confusing for someone who had never watched the show). It’s entertaining to hear the guys’ points of view on the characters and story lines and sometimes they point out technical aspects of the show’s filming – sets, casting and camera angles. Their on-going joke about Alexis Bledel being a guest in the podcast’s first season also makes me laugh.

Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time to premiere Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. After the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show, I had two days to relax at my parents house for a Gilmore Girls marathon.

We built the excitement by watching 1-2 episodes from each season before watching the new episodes. At this point we have only watched the first episode “Winter” so I am trying to avoid reading any spoilers!

Did you watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Did you binge watch or will you slowly enjoy it throughout the year?

How was your long weekend?

Super Gift Ideas from Super Target

The evening before Thanksgiving while picking up ingredients for Mac & Cheese at Super Target, I couldn’t help but stop to look at the Christmas section.

For friends and family who seem to have everything, these treats would make nice gifts or stocking stuffers.


Mug cake mix

These do require some ingredients besides water, but would still be a quick and easy dessert


Candy Filled Milk Bottles

I was drawn to these candies for the cute milk bottles with gold tops- they remind me of Starbucks frappuccino bottles


Champagne Dreams Gummy Bears

Candy + Champagne! Enough said


Cookie Tins

These festive tins can be filled with homemade cookies. Maybe I’ll test out some of these recipes I’ve been collecting….


Christmas Cookies

What’s your favorite stocking stuffer? Do you have a go-to favorite cookie recipe?