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Well tonight I got to spend some time with E (the person not the drug o_O) shopping for some activewear for free courtesy of Crowdtap and Old Navy.  After my amazing trip for the winter Active sample share (you can read about that here), I was expecting a lot.  To be honest, when I first walked in, I was a bit underwhelmed.  Then as I started browsing, it got a little worse because somethings from the somewhat small selection were already clearance.  From my selection photos, it looks like there is a lot of selection but most of the tops were sports bras and a good portion of the tops and bottom from the photos were clearance and just mixed in.  All of the things that are crossed out in red were not available at all in my store (I was really looking forward to that top, faux layered tank).  As you can see, it's a lot of red.  Then the orange was because the padded cami was not available in those colors.  In fact, it was only available in gray.  
I actually really liked the padded cami (if I had chosen this, I would have had to go up a size though because my girls could not breathe) and strongly considered it.  In the end I chose to get another compression jacket even though I know that I won't be able to wear it for a few months because of the heat.  You already know how much I love them.  The padded cami looked great and was both practical and versatile.  Since I was going to get it free, I chose the $35 jacket to put away for the fall.  I figure that Old Navy will more than likely have a 40-50% off and since the cami is regularly priced at $20, I am taking the chance that I can grab it for a reasonable price.  The bubble top was ok but probably not something that I would wear to workout.  Many of it's colors were clearance already.  The mesh tee was ok but not my favorite.  
My biggest disappointment was the selection of bottoms.  It has already been hot in this area and almost all of the bottoms were long pants.  There were some shorts (not my thing) and only one type of capris (in 3 I think? colors) that were not clearance.  They did not have the skort that I really wanted to try to see if it was long enough on me.  I honestly was shocked the proportion of pants that they had.  Most stores have already been taken over by shorts and capris by now and just have a few pants for those that use them year round.  I got the black with pink detail capris shown above.  I love them.  I loved the way they felt and fit.  I wasn't sure which ones I was going to get between those and the same pair with blue but I went with the pink since I have a hot pink athletic tee.  I love the two pieces that I got so overall the trip was success.  I think that E got the outfit from the bottom right photo.  
 
 
I forgot to post this preview earlier but better late than never right?  I love love love the top faux layered tank.  It has coverage and comes in great colors.  The padded cami is cute and look versatile (able to be worn with non workout clothing).  Since the pants are too long, there are several capris that I want to try.  My favorite item though?  The skort.  It has compression shorts (love compression gear but don't like the lack of modesty of tight, thin material on my bum) but is covered up with a skirt.  If it fits longer on me than it does on the model in the photo (which Old Navy clothing usually does), it will be the perfect bottom for hot summer workouts.
 
 
This past weekend, K and I went to Old Navy to pick up our free Old Navy "Best Tees."  To check out my previous post on this sample share, click here. Right away I noticed that all of the long sleeve tees (and even some of the short sleeve vintage tees) were on clearance already... darn!  But there were soooo many colors available of the vintage v-neck, perfect crew neck, and perfect henley.  Look at the rainbow of colors below.  It reminds me of their flipflop wall that they do in the summer that is just a humongous rainbow.
The vintage tees were longer, thinner material, and not as fitted.  The perfect tees are fitted, a regular length, and had shorter sleeves as well.  I like the perfect fit more so most of what I tried on was from the henley selection.  I do wish they came in a v-neck since I am not a huge fan of crew neck (I do have a few of their crew necks that I mostly wear with scarves though).  I think it is great that they have the two different fits though.  It means that you will most likely be able to rock one or the other.  If you are thinner (or bigger but smoother if that makes any sense), you will be able to rock both. 
Henleys- 
They did the buttons and neckline differently this year than they did last year which I was actually a little bummed about.  Last year, all buttons were functional so if you buttoned it all the way up, it was a scoop neck.  The button section went down lower so if you wanted to layer with a contrasting color tank/cami, it could show more.  This year, all of the buttons are just for show.  It is a pretty deep v and you can not change how much it is opened at all.  I prefer last years version better.  They were still cute though so I got two.
The above left is the only vintage tee that I tried on.  I liked the kind of faded/heathered blue color.  I also liked that the sleeves are a bit longer because I am not a fan of my arms right now (need to start working out again).  This is where it ended.  I look fine in the cropped photo right?  Well there was a reason I cropped it lol.  Because of the longer length on my shorter body and not so flat midsection, it draped awfully right on my belly bulge.  This cut looked great on K who is "smoother" around the midsection.  She actually liked a pink striped version and considered it as her second (that bright blue was a definite for her first).  Her reasoning for choosing something else was actually that the material was somewhat see through so she'd have to watch what color bra she was wearing.  
These are the tees we picked.  We both picked that bright blue henley (it was such a pretty color).  For my other tee, I got the greenish/brownish earthy tone that is the top right one on my preview photo.  It is a little bit lighter than it looks in my photo but as you can see, it looks nice with tan so it will be very versatile.  For K's second, she went with the blue perfect crew that she is holding in her hand.  I thought the color was ok on the shelf but on her it really popped and looked very pretty.  There was a pretty pink that looked nice on both of us that I considered but went for blue in the end. 
Overall opinions of this share:

Selection- Many colors to choose from at my store in both styles.

Cut- I do wish that the sleeves were a bit longer on the perfect fit as I don't like my upper arms.  Also a v-neck in perfect would be amazing.

Material- both were soft but the material on the vintage was so thin that it was see through in several colors.

Fit- I like that there are two very different fits to try to fit more body styles.  Perfect works better for me but I like that there are options

Staff- They were nice as usual.  The cashier asked me "is this a coupon?" when I handed it to her which I found kind of funny.  The coupon didn't scan this time for some reason? But it did go through when the cashiers manually typed in our coupons so we did not have any problems.  The fitting room attendant was very nice and gave us rooms near the big mirror when I requested it and didn't seem annoyed at all that we were taking so long.

Store- While they were not right next to each other, the perfect and vintage tees were in the same general section so easy to find.  We were there soon after opening on a Sunday morning so it was not at all crowded.  The tees were pretty well organized as well. 
 
 
Aren't these tractor rain boots so cute?!  I got them for $1.05 including tax from Piper Lime (Old Navy's more expensive cousin) when there was an awesome referral deal that gave you $25 credit.  My boys already have rain boots so I got these two sizes bigger than what my oldest wears now so that they will most likely fit next spring.  He is going to love them!  And I loved the price ;) 
 
 
As I mentioned earlier, my newest Crowdtap Sample Share for Old Navy is for their Best Tees.  Half of my tops that I have are Old Navy tees both long sleeve, short sleeve, and in between.  They come in two basic fits... the Perfect fit and the Vintage fit.  The Perfect fit tee is more fitted which is what I prefer so I have a lot of these.  The vintage is a little more loose and also comes in some heathered colors to match the vintage name though they do have some regular colors as well. I do have some of these as well.  After looking online at the selection, there are three types of shirt that I am looking at (though I will still look at others if they have additional colors in store or if they have v neck short sleeve tees).  I like the Perfect Henley shirt (I already have this in charcoal gray), the Perfect v-neck long sleeve tee (I already have a couple of these as well and would consider it in short sleeve too if they have it), and the Vintage V-neck long sleeve tee (you guessed it... I have a couple of these).  From looking at the photo, you can see that I don't have a particular color in mind this time.  I am open to several colors (or maybe even more if there are other colors available) though there are a few colors I don't look good in so I wouldn't consider (yellow, orange, most light pastels, and I don't wear white).  And I do not need any more gray shirts so I won't be getting those.  I have 4 (I think?) Old Navy tees already... a short sleeve charcoal gray perfect henley, a long sleeve light gray perfect crew neck tee, a heathered gray vintage tee, a long sleeve charcoal gray (I think vintage fit)... oh and a medium gray 3/4 length sleeve Old Navy tee that is not from their "Best Tees" line.  I am open to pinks, purples, blues (can you believe I don't have any navy blue long sleeve tees?!), that light red above, aqua/teal, and natural colors like the top right.
 
 
        The other day, there was an AMAZING deal on Jockey.com.  You had to go sign up for a free account on another site and they would give you a $20 gift card code.  The catch?  In order to get the lowest possible price for your order (shipping was pretty expensive), you had to buy a $4 (yes $4!) briefs (yes UNDERWEAR briefs) key chain that qualified your order for $.99 shipping.  The $5 total for the key chain, which I got in gray, was less than shipping would have been so sure why not.  In the end, I got two awesome bras (plus the key chain) for less than $2 shipped that would have been $66 total originally just for the bras.  Now from the photo above, it definitely does not look as large as it is in real life (it looks maybe Barbie sized), not like I would have actually used it on my key ring anyway.  I don't like waste so what to do with it?  Well, they ended up being the perfect fit for my son's boy doll Tommy.  He is a potty training doll (yes he has boy parts) that has a bottle that you feed him water with then sit him on the potty he came with.  He has clothes ... a shirt, a visor, and pant/short things but no diaper or underwear.  Now he does ;) 
 
 
Today I got into not one but two product samplings!   My favorite ... a Crowdtap/Old Navy sample share!  This time it is for two of their tees.  It is the smallest (value wise) that I have done but I just love their tees.  I actually have a ton already partially because I picked up several during that amazing January clearance that I mentioned earlier.  The "perfect fit" ones are my favorite and this will give me the opportunity to get some additional colors.  I also got into the Campbell's To Go soup campaign from Smile.ly.  I won't actually eat it because it has meat in it but my husband will love it and it will be one less thing I need to buy when grocery shopping so that makes me happy.  He loves testing new things just like me so he really should have his own account... 

How about you?  Have you gotten into any programs lately?
 
 
This past Monday, I had a very unique opportunity.  I got to be part of a focus group for... a thrift store!  Unheard of right?  Last week an email was sent out to B-Thrifty's BIP members asking for 15 people to participate.  We would get a $20 giftcard to spend in store then we would be asked to participate in a focus group.  Not only that but it was on Presidents Day which is one of their 50% off days.  I was told that normally they do not allow you to use giftcards on these discount days which I don't understand (I understand not letting you purchase giftcards at 50% off but don't see the harm in using them that day).  However, for this event it was going to work.  So I went in with the mission to spend $40 on whatever I was able to find.  If you have never been there, this is a HUGE thrift store.  It easily ranks in my top 3 thrift stores because of sheer size.  The prices are average for thrift stores (which in the past years have gone up in general) which can mean that they are a bit high for considering I am an avid clearance shopper.  But it's great to check them out on the 50% off days that they have throughout the year.  Earlier in the winter season, I purchased snow boots for both of my boys as well as rain boots for the youngest.  They were name brand and in pretty good shape.

The Monday trip started off a little rocky.  We hit AWFUL traffic on 95 then switched to Jefferson Davis and had just as much traffic.  I was 15 minutes late (20 by the time I got to the right lady) and was panicking the whole time that I was going to get all the way up there only to be turned away for being late.  Luckily, the lady was really nice and gave me my giftcard telling me that I had about 40 minutes before the focus group.  My family and I started browsing.  We didn't have anything in particular that we were looking for.  My husband always looks at the dress shirts and jeans but whenever he has found something in his size that he liked, we have always found something wrong with it upon further inspection (small stain, tear, run, etc).  No luck that day either.  Earlier that day, I decided that my favorite pair of jeans should no longer be in commission so I looked through the ladies jean selection.  They did have some nice jeans in good condition but my biggest problem was that I did not have a lot of time (my fault) and they don't have them arranged by size (I suggested better organization during the group).  There were 0, 4, 14, etc all mixed together.  Finding a specific size was not a quick venture. 

The one area of the store that is lacking is the childrens department.  My boys are always wearing through jeans so we like to check them out every time we go.  This time, they had less than one full side of a rack full of jeans for boys.  Most of them were larger sizes and the few that we did find in the 5,6,7,8 range were very worn out.  If they expanded the children's section it could be really great.  An area that they excel in is furniture and kitchen/home items.  These sections (especially furniture) are quite a bit larger than most other thrift stores.  If you are into DIY projects, this could be your dream place.  I see many things that could be repainted or recovered and would be really cute.  I don't go through here often as my house could not fit anymore furniture in it but some items just pop into sight.  You never know what you will find so if you are in the Woodbridge, VA area, I suggest stopping by and giving it a shot.  If you want to try it out but can't wait until one of the 50% off days, they have discount days every week.  Thursdays are 30% off for BIP members (it is free to sign up), Wednesdays are 35% off for military, police, and firefighters, and Tuesdays are 30% off for seniors.

The best part of B-Thrifty?  They give back.  Once a month they partner with the Salvation Army and a food bank to give out free produce no question asked.  And every Tuesday, they give out up to 2,000 pieces of children's clothing (6 pieces per child) to those who need it.  This makes me more apt to shop here over other thrift stores that might tie them otherwise.
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These are a couple of my finds from Monday (not the Darth Vader mask, my boy is just strange). My husband had to buy the Nike Phillies jacket. And my youngest needed another winter coat since any time something happens to one, we end up having to pile on thin jackets. This one is a Children's Place 3-in-1 coat. It has the fleece jacket, windbreaker layer, then both together.
 
 
This has been one of my very favorite sample shares.  The selection was great.  There was a whole large section dedicated to the activewear then another rack of the fleece jackets (that counted) over in the middle of the store.  Don't let the photos of what I tried on fool you, I just had very specific items that I wanted this time.  There was fleece, yoga wear, running wear, compression tops/bottoms, bike shorts, velour, sports bras, etc etc.  See how happy my photo is above?  No crazy scribbling this time because it was a 100% successful trip!  Thanks Old Navy and Crowdtap!
Everything I tried on fit with the exception of some of the pants were too long for my short self.  Some times Old Navy things fit weird (not just me, my sister and friends who have different shapes then me all have trouble with their fit on some items around the shoulders or height of the waist).  This time I had no problem with things being tight in the shoulders or the waist being in the wrong spot.  The quality of the materials felt nice.  This is another hit or miss at Old Navy. Some of the items are nice quality but some feel very cheap like they will fall apart.  This is not the case with the activewear.  Everything that I tried on or felt, felt like great quality.  The only piece of activewear that I already had was a sports bra and it is still holding up fantastically (and it's cute).
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K tried on a variety of things and they all looked great on her.  She ended up going with the gray and white top (she bought that) then used the coupon for the pants with the matching waistband and gray compression jacket.  She was thinking about the the purple running top (bottom left) which also looked really cute with her base outfit that she had decided on but ended up going with the gray jacket when we were getting ready to leave.  I really liked the the teal-ish color ruched tank that she is wearing in the bottom right as well.  It was such a pretty color and design.

We didn't really interact with any of the employees except for the cashier at checkout and she was nice.  I was pretty surprised to get 2 $20 Old Navy Super Cash coupons from my $4 purchase (a clearance sports bra).  Apparently they go off of the pre- coupon price.  I am thinking that pairing these with clearance rack clothing will make for a sweet deal.  They are $10 off a $25 purchase or $20 off of a $50 purchase.  One is staying with me and the other is being sent to my mom who supposedly likes their cardigans with pockets and is waiting for them to go on sale.

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These are just some more of the combinations that I had put together.  I took pictures of everything but after seeing it, was not considering a matching outfit.  The gray with gray or purple with purple was way too matchy matchy for my taste.  I did like the purple top with gray bottoms but I really wanted pants so that I can wear them now instead of indoors only or waiting until spring.  As you can see, I wasn't adventurous with the tops.  I tried on the same compression jacket in three different colors and that is it (well I was wearing a black active tank as well).  This was not because I didn't like anything else or that there was a limited selection.  I just REALLY liked the jacket.  Form fitting, long sleeve, cute thumb-holes, full zipper (easy on/off), and nice colors made it the perfect active top in my eyes.  It also came in a hot pink but not in my store :(  The hardest part for me was figuring out what color I wanted to get it in because they were all cute.  In the end I got the purple but if they had the deep purple of the running top (on K above), I would have chosen it immediately as it is a beautiful color. 

I have already worn my outfit twice and it is ridiculously comfortable.  The sleeves tuck in easily if you don't want to wear the thumb holes  The next step is to wear it to work out in (to get rid of those 20 lbs I gained the last 6 months! plus the 15 I had wanted to get rid of then) not just hang out I suppose.  You know those New Years resolutions and all?....

 
 
Well it's officially Christmas.  I am sitting here late at night typing this post when I should be... sleeping?  I have never been good at sleeping on Christmas Eve.  Call me a little kid if you must.  Well I decided to at least make it a productive sleepless time.  So here is my newest Old Navy/ Crowdtap Sample Share.  I have never actually tried on Old Navy's activewear before except for a sports bra that I got on clearance a couple years ago when they did the monsterously good Old Navy Night coupons ($50 or $75 off a $100 purchase which I filled with already drastically reduced clearance clothing).  Anyway, this sports bra is one of my favorites for working out. It has not lost it's elasticity, is moisture wicking, and ... a pretty color (because that is important :P ).  I have heard rave reviews on the line though so I was excited.  What made me even more excited?  Looking online.  The selection looked fantastic and they had a lot of purple.  You'd think that there was a very limited selection of colors based on my image below but, no.  I just LOVE purple.  To say that it is my favorite color (especially to wear) is an understatement.  So I was bound and determined to get something purple this time.  I did add a few non-purple items just in case the purple items didn't work like on the dress share :( but I really want it to work out this time.  There are a lot of things there but there are actually a LOT more that I wouldn't mind getting, these are just my favorites.  Again, great selection.  This is also after many things have already sold out online.  One item that really stood out to me was the compression jacket (top middle) in all three of the colors shown.  I love the extra long sleeves with thumb holes so that they don't ride up while working out.  Colorwise, I love the blended colors though I do wish they had this jacket in the color purple of this running top here.  If they did, I would not even try on anything else, I would just pick that right away!  As far as bottoms, there were a lot of shapes, lengths, and colors to choose from.  On the discussion board for the share, the compression line (pants, capris, and tops) have gotten amazing reviews. I'm not sure if pants will work since I am short and I have heard a lot about the Old Navy pants being long but I hope they do.  I already have a couple pairs of capris so I would like a pair of pants in case I actually feel like working out outside (more likely just wearing them *not* working out).  I don't wear shorts in public.  My thighs are allergic to the public.  However, if for some reason, nothing else works, it wouldn't kill me to have another pair of shorts for around the house (though I certainly don't need any more).  Well, off to sneak down and stuff the santa hats.  Yes, I said hats.  We have been so busy that we haven't had time to dig out the stockings so we laid out santa hats that happened to be sitting in a bag in our livingroom.  We're flexible like that ;)  Merry Christmas to all