When It Comes to Wireless, Are There Truly Unlimited Plans?

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #FamilyMobileSaves #shop #cbias

There are some things we just don’t discuss in my household. One of those things is our HUGE wireless bill. B just gets so frustrated and swears there’s cheap wireless out there. But you see, I rely heavily on my cell phone for work. It has to be reliable. I don’t have the lowest price rate plan by any means. I’ve been with the same company since 1991 and I’ve changed rate plans, added new phones, and watched as my bill steadily increased over the years. But I’m not a fan of change and my actual service is very reliable.

Is that really money growing out of that box? Not technically, but I’ll explain in a bit. 

With each month, I find myself agreeing with B more and more. The cell service is great. The customer service is not. So am I doing myself any favors by sticking with this carrier? Surely I can find something better and I can even port my number. Everything else is on the rise but there are so many wireless providers out there, I was sure I could do better. I hope you’re sitting down, because I’m about to show you WHY this ticks B off so much and why it was time to look for a cheap wireless plan that offers unlimited service.

That’s my May bill from Verizon Wireless. Basically a car payment. You might think this is atypical and surely we went WAY over on everything right?

It’s actually pretty much the norm. And it’s always a surprise. I don’t like surprises. I have set rate plans. We have “almost” unlimited everything. Why does it fluctuate so much? Your guess is as good as mine and when I call about it, they always tell me the charges are justified and that I’m welcome to shop for a new provider when my contracts are up. You know, because they value me as a loyal customer and all. So as a gift to B for Father’s Day, I’m doing my research and I will save us some money. 

After a little online hunting, I came across Walmart Family Mobile. They claim to offer truly unlimited talk, text, and wireless at only $40 per month for the first line, and $35 per line thereafter. Things I love: No contracts, no credit checks, no deposits, and absolutely no overages or hidden costs…EVER! I immediately contacted the folks at Walmart Family Mobile, powered by T-Mobile, and they agreed to send me a Concord so that I could try out their service. If this works out, I would be saving about $140 a month on average for my 5 lines. 
The Concord is a little bigger than my Droid and not quite as powerful, but this phone is being put to the test for service reasons. I need to make sure the service is great, unlimited, and exactly what we want. It’s a great little phone but if I do go with this plan permanently, I’ll bring my phone with me. You can do that too! 
To sign up, all you have to do is head to Walmart, pick up a phone (or bring your own), purchase a Starter Kit for only $25, and have the phone activated. While in store, there is a lot to choose from, which you can see from my shopping trip, but don’t bother yourself with that. I’ve already done my homework. Walmart Family Mobile has the lowest priced rate plan with truly unlimited service. 

You might be asking one question right now. If your bill is already that high and you have 5 phones already, why would you want another one? Well, there are multiple reasons. First, we need to save money because this is a ridiculous monthly expense as it stands. Second, I don’t want to make the swap until I actually test the service level. Third, we don’t have a home phone or computer other than my work computer which no one else touches. So this will serve as our home phone, as internet service for online searches and purchases, and best of all…it will serve as a connection between long-distance siblings! Because I’m so afraid of surprise charges and overages, I limit Bug’s conversations with her sisters in Georgia. It makes her very sad, which makes me very sad. And I don’t let my little reader play online learning games often because I’m afraid we’ll go over those allowances. That makes me a “mean Mommy” and that has got to change!
My little Bug has worked hard this year. She’s made huge behavioral and learning strides. She’s about to graduate from Kindergarten and she deserves a prize. So when she got home from school the other day, I gave her the surprise of her life. Unlimited talk and text time with her big sisters. She was speechless (for once) but that didn’t last long!
She ate her dinner, took her bath, and immediately called sister #1. I love to hear them talk to each other. There may be a 17 year age gap but the love is there and I love to see the sparkle in my baby girl’s eyes when she talks to her.
And then, although her spelling isn’t perfect…yet…she started texting with sister #2. I loved listening to her giggle and helping her read some of the words. Who knew texting would be a motivator for a 6 year old to read better? This momma should have known with as much as the older girls love to text. 
She’s pretty excited that she has a phone to talk as often as she wants, I’m thrilled to be trying out a new wireless provider, and B’s hopeful that I’ll be switching soon and ending his misery as he takes a peek at our current wireless bill each month. 

We’re trying out the service this month, without a contract, and I’ll be back at the end of next month to let you know how it goes. So far so good! Stay tuned.

Who is your wireless carrier? Do you think you have a cheap wireless plan? Is your plan truly unlimited? Are you paying too much? I encourage you to check out Walmart Family Mobile because from what I’ve seen so far, this might truly be the best wireless plan on the market. 

Dress Up for the Holidays? You Bet We Do!

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®. All ideas, opinions, and photos are entirely my own! #cbias #SocialFabric

We Gossetts are not your typical family. You say dress up for holidays and you probably mean suits and ties, dresses and sandals. We, on the other hand, mean Super Heroes and Hello Kitty!

This Easter, we played “dress up”. I love that the babies love to dress up and I love that they don’t like to do it in the traditional manner. My babies play dress up all year long. There’s no reason to wait for Halloween. My Bug is usually a beautiful princess or something equally girly, and my Bubby will always be my Superman (or any other super hero if given the opportunity). Imagination in children is a beautiful thing that should be fostered by whatever means possible. Each of the babies actually have a costume drawer in their dresser that we add to regularly.

This Easter, they wanted to “dress up” and I was sure to make it happen.  They needed something new for the occasion though. Online shopping was my friend since I’ve been pretty busy these days. I actually did an online comparison shop with the babies’ help. We typically shop at Party City in-store but it seemed that Costume Express had a lot to offer online so why not give that a shot too, right? For the record, Party City offers better online prices on their costumes, but Costume Express offers better shipping options and in-stock items galore.

The Costume Express site it really easy to navigate, the shipping prices are right, the availability is endless, and check out is super easy.
The Party City site is crazy busy, harder to navigate, the costume prices are low, but they have almost nothing in stock and the shipping is really high if you’re in a hurry!
But let’s get back to my babies and their Easter dress up outfits, shall we? Bug decided on a sparkly Hello Kitty outfit and Bubby just so happened to choose Flash…ah-ah! Bazinga! How awesome is that?
The babies were thrilled when their Easter outfits arrived.
Easter Egg Hunts have never been more fun!
They had confetti egg fights and I laughed until I cried!
Flash costume for Easter = $65.00. Confetti eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide = $2.50. Watching Bubby find an egg that matched his costume = PRICELESS!

My babies have a good life. Costumes for every day occasions or holidays, warm weather, confetti egg fights, and living on an island. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Celebrate every day. We’re only here for a limited time. Make every day, and every holiday, count. And don’t be afraid to “dress up” in your every day life! I might *or might not* wear my tiara on my shopping trips often just because I can. I guess these nuts don’t fall far from the tree after all. Celebrate life! It’s too short to waste!

Be sure to check out Chasing Fireflies and Buy Costumes for more ideas for your everyday dress up celebrations. Seriously, you’ll thank me later. You’ve missed way too much “dress up” at this point in your life!

I’m Still His Cover Girl After All These Years

Rare Date Night with B: I just HAD to get my face on first!
Let me explain something about myself. I’m vain. I’m not your run-of-the-mill vain person…I’m pretty much obsessed with youth, beauty, and makeup. 

I’m kind of like one of those incredibly famous divas in the fact that if you don’t live in my house or aren’t a member of my family, you’ve probably never seen me without makeup on my face…and you likely never will. 

Yes, that vain!

I haven’t had any invasive procedures done but I promise you, if B wasn’t so opposed to it, the deed would already be done. And my wheels are still turning. I’ll convince him it’s the right thing to do soon (I hope). But in the meantime, what’s a vain girl to do?

I need my own personal beauty consultant but that’s not something that’s really in the budget. Or is it? I heard that an expert beauty consultant would be at a local Walmart and I couldn’t pass up the chance to see what advice she had to offer me and my aging skin. B, Bug, and I loaded up the truck and headed to Walmart on my quest to find youth and beauty.
Imagine my excitement when I rounded the corner to the cosmetic aisle and not only found my expert beauty consultant, Lena, but a long-time blogging friend that I’d never met in real life, Heather Brummett of Living On Love and Cents. *SQUEEE* What an exciting day! We talked a bit about Heather’s experience and then it was my turn to get my full personal #BeautyScoop. 

Lena was AWESOME and she took so much time listening to my needs, wants, and constant whining about my sagging face. And so it began, a life altering hour. No, I’m not being overly dramatic here. I told you I was vain. 

We went product by product, issue by issue, until we’d covered every aspect of my beauty needs. 

I took up a lot of her time but I was polite and “shared” her with other customers as they came up with their questions.

With Lena’s expert beauty advice, these are all of the products that I came home with for my new younger, fresher look. Here’s what my new beauty routine consists of:
  • Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Pore Scrub to combat the ever-growing pores that come with aging.
  • Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream to help promote firmer skin and provide intense hydration.
  • Olay Total Effects 7 CC Creme for color correction, moisturizing, and sun block. If you’re younger than 30, you might want to check out BB Creme instead. Same principle but it hides blemishes and you probably don’t have the uneven complexion yet (don’t laugh…it’ll happen).
  • CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation for all over coverage to help mask larger pores and these pesky wrinkles.
  • Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo to help smooth and lift lids and nourish your lashes.
  • CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Espresso (oh my…I’ve always used black liner but Lena knows best).
  • CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara in Black/Brown (there’s that brown creeping in again)
  • CoverGirl Lip Perfection Balm in coral which is something totally different for me. You probably already know this, but I like pink.

I couldn’t wait to try out all of my new beauty products, using Lena’s beauty tips of course. Here are the tips that stand out the most in my head from our hour-long consult:
  • Use a specifically designed brush to cleanse your face because it actually gets in to your pores and cleans them which will help reduce pore size. She recommended Va-Va Vivid.
  • Do NOT use pressed powder if you have larger pores. The pressed powder is seeping down in to your pores and actually causing them to clog, giving them an even larger appearance. Oops! Guilty as charged!
  • This was the hardest one to listen to: Do not use dark eyeliner or mascara if you are trying to hide fine lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles appear darker than your skin anyway, so adding those dark colors actually draws attention to your flaws. Oops #2: Totally guilty of this one!
  • Condition your eyelashes like you do your hair. This helps avoid breakage and fall out plus gives them a fuller look. You can use an eyelash serum on your eyebrows too.
  • When applying mascara, especially if you have long lashes and deep-set eyes like I do, hold a Qtip on your lid just above the lashes. You’ll avoid getting mascara on your lid PLUS the lashes curl around the Qtip so you don’t have to use that death-defying eye lash curler anymore…SCORE!
  • Don’t be afraid of color or sparkles at any age. Make sure the color palette matches your skin tone, eye color, and hair color. Lena recommended golds for my shadow. UGH…that’s the only thing I ever used brown for. I fail!

And after finding out I’ve been doing almost everything wrong with my makeup for YEARS now, I bought everything she recommended, in all of the colors she recommended. Time to get my face on! I went through all of the steps and there’s actually a pretty dramatic difference.
So what if I don’t look years younger…yet? Let the Olay do its magic and I’ll check back in with you in a few weeks to let you know how that goes (if it doesn’t work, I swear I’m calling about invasive procedures). Even though I fought some of the changes, I have to admit, it’s a totally brighter and fresher look for me and my face doesn’t look nearly as washed out and heavy.

I was so excited about my fresh new look that I put on a dress, picked out some clothes for B, and we headed out the door for a much needed, much overdue date night…ALONE!
It was a beautiful evening bay side on Pier 21 with live music while we waited for our table. 
Mmmmm…Nonno Tony’s is one of our favorite restaurants on the island. If you’ve been following along here at all, you know that Saturday, which was our date night, marked the day I came off of my 10-day Green Juice Detox so I’m certain it will come as no surprise to any of you that the moment we sat down, B ordered cheese for me!
Glorious cheese, battered, fried, and covered with more glorious cheese!

It was a beautiful night spent with the love of my life…just the two of us. Fresh look, fabulous food, and amazing company. And the best part of all? B always tells me I’m beautiful no matter what, probably a minimum of 5 times per day. But on this particular night, he kept staring at me, smiling, and telling me I was stunning. Was it the mood? Was it the ambiance? Or was it the fresh new look I was able to achieve with the help of my expert beauty consultant? Eh…who cares! I just appreciate that he still thinks I’m beautiful even after all of these years!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®, CoverGirl and Olay. As always, all ideas, opinions, and photos are entirely my own. #BeautyScoop #cbias #SocialFabric