Friday, September 6, 2013

PAX Prime Game Round-up!

So, I went to PAX, y'all.  I was feeling really anxious about it, because that's what you do if you're me and you're going into some new and scary experience, but it was actually really freaking awesome!  I played video games for four days solid, pretty much, and it was just as amazing as it sounds.  Some of my personal highlights:

  • Competing in a Just Dance 4 tournament (although I was so, so ROBBED!  The guy next to me kept blocking my controller :( )
  • Playing a ton of amazing indie games
  • Playing a ton of non-indie games that I probably never would have played had I not gone to PAX
  • Getting free Disney Fantasia stuff!
  • Being around nerds and geeks for 4 days
  • Seeing some amazing panels focused on diversity in games
I wanted to highlight some of my favorite games from the weekend.

My #1 favorite game I played was Monster Loves You.

This game is so freaking adorable, I can't even stand it!  I thought my heart would explode right in the middle of the convention, it was so cute!  You play a monster, starting from hatching out of your egg and joining the little protozoa monsters, all the way through monster adulthood.  I had to put the iPad down during adolescence because I couldn't take it another second.  My heart!  

As you go through your monster life, situations come up that require you to make a decision.  How you act forms your monster's personality through a handful of different metrics.  My monster was brave and kind and not very ferocious (except when he chose to fight off a snake to save his friends!)  

You can purchase this game on Steam at for $9.99.  It's totally worth every penny!  

Neverending Nightmares had too long of a line for me to play the demo, but I downloaded it once I got home and it was just as amazing as I had hoped it would be!  

This is the complete opposite of Monster Loves You - it's an extremely creepy psychological horror game that is actually based off of the nightmares of the creator.  Although the demo is rough and not too long, it still had me jumping in my seat a couple of times, and I had trouble shaking the creepiness for quite awhile afterwards.  It's currently doing a Kickstarter to get the funds to finish creating it - please contribute!

One game that didn't even have a demo, but looks so zany it can't be anything but awesome is Hello Hero.  It's a Facebook and mobile game that's already quite popular in Korea, but is slated to be released soon in the US.  This caught my eye because they had a giant dancing cactus that you could get your picture taken with at their booth, as well as many other cute characters that you can play.  It's just a turn-based RPG, but it looks so adorable, that I honestly don't care that much that the gameplay might be boring.  Check out this trailer video:

Those are just a few of the amazing games that I played last weekend.  Be prepared for more game reviews to come!  Woot!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Alex Algebra is going to PAX Prime!

Hey Algebrites!

I'm pretty stoked because tomorrow, I am heading up to Seattle for PAX Prime!  I will be honest with you - I am feeling super intimidated because I'm really not as big of a nerd as most of the folks that will be there, at least in the same ways.  Obviously, y'all see my blog, I'm into cute things and free stuff, not hardcore, shoot-em-up, crazy video games.  I'm also into off-the-wall tabletop games, mostly indie stuff, like Monsterhearts and Jeepform games, not so much the dungeon-crawling typically associated with this sort of thing.

However, there are several panels on different types of diversity in games (including several LGBTQ panels, yay!), and a giant indie games area, so I think that will all be pretty exciting.  Also, I have secret goals of seeking out all the kawaii sort of things that I can find, as well as dressing as cute as possible each day :D  I need to get my outfits together!!

Do any of you all have PAX survival tips for me?  This is my first PAX!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hello Kitty Kawaii Town!

Long time, no talk, I know!  As you saw from one of my last posts, my organization successfully fundraised enough money to go on our tour, so I was gone for the majority of the summer.  Yay!

On the road, things get boring when you're driving from city to city, and one thing that helped me pass the time was this amazing Android game called Hello Kitty Kawaii Town.  Obviously, something with the word "kawaii" in the name is going to be right up my alley, right?  But this is, like, beyond your average kawaii.  All of the buildings look like what they sell inside (for example, the sweets shop looks like a piece of adorably kawaii cake), and all of the Sanrio characters wander around the town, talking to you.  There are also these ridiculously cute interactions between Hello Kitty and Charmy Kitty that drive the storyline piece of the game.

It is so cute, I literally want to throw up.  Literally.

Essentially, Hello Kitty and Charmy Kitty have these girl talks where they commiserate over what the town needs, and those items become the main quests of the game.  At any given time, however, there is a list of 10 or so quests to work on.  They all have to do with growing things in your garden, gaining coins from a certain activity (like gardens or shops), or building things in your town.  The rewards are generally either one kawaii ticket (kawaii tickets are premium currency in the game and can help you grow things faster or get special items), coins (the common currency for most items), or XP.  The more XP you get, the more you level up and can access better shops and plants that give more XP and coins.  The shops all regenerate coins after a certain amount of time, which varies depending on the shop.  The shops can also be leveled up, but it's generally not as good of a "deal" as just purchasing another shop of the same kind.

It's not the most exciting game I've ever played, but it's so cute that I can just sit and stare at it and happily revel in the kawaii for several minutes.  You can download the game for Android or iOS at their website,

P.S.  If you do get the game, my friend code is ekvkltfv - if you enter it in when you start, we both get ten kawaii tickets!  Woot!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

FREE Month of Conscious Box and Equalize Prize Pack!!

 Hey all!

Radio silence, I know :(  BUT...the reason is...well, first of all, I've been working three jobs, but the good news is, one of them is running this amazing organization called Equalize!  We educate young music fans about issues that affect the sexual and gender minority communities and give them tools to create positive change.
The Equalizer Pledge
 I started the organization in 2009, after going to my favorite show of the year, Warped Tour (a summer-long traveling punk music festival that attracts 15-20k fans each day!) and finding that despite there being representation from about twenty different causes and organizations, none of them talked about LGBTQ folks like me!  It was obvious that I wasn't the only queer-identified person at the show; it seemed like everywhere I looked, there were same-sex couples holding hands and people wearing rainbow pyramid belts and bracelets.  After the show, I was complaining to my friend about this, and how ridiculous it was that nobody seemed to care about LGBTQ folks in my scene.  He said three words to me that changed my life: "How about you?"

I told him he was crazy, but he convinced me to start the organization anyway.  Five years later, here we are!  Equalize is not only the first organization to ever outreach specifically through the music scene about LGBTQ issues, but we are the only trans-run organization on Warped Tour!!

Get your heart on for equality!

Last summer, we went on our first major tour: one week on Warped!  It was everything we ever dreamed and more!  In the past, we had done just the Portland date of Warped, and we'd always made a small splash, but nothing like what we accomplished last year!

In just one week, we reached 1500 new Equalizers, gave hundreds of LGBTQ youth a way to connect with other people like them and to see that they are not alone, and even inspired one young person to start their own organization in their city!

A couple of our new friends!
This year, we are going on two weeks of tour!  Think about what all we will be able to accomplish with double the time on the road!  We will have the opportunity to reach literally over 100,000 fans with all of the dates we'll be going to!

However, we can't do this without strong community support and your help!  We have to raise $3500 before May 15 or we literally cannot go on tour!!  I am personally asking everyone I know to donate at least $35, if they are able, because then we only need 100 contributors and we will reach our goal in no time!

Everyone who contributes $35 gets one of our famous NO HOMO(PHOBIA) t-shirts!

Look at those shirts!  Who wouldn't want one?

For more information and to contribute, please go to

In other, related news.  We have a giveaway!!  Everyone who donates at least $10 to our campaign gets extra entries into the giveaway :)

We have been graciously donated one month of Conscious Box to give away to one lucky Equalizer!  That same lucky person will also get an Equalize Prize Pack!!

Conscious Box is an amazing service and I'm so glad they contacted me!  Equalize is an organization with high standards for whom we work with.  We believe not only in equality for people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, but people as a whole, non-human animals, and for the environment.  Conscious Box takes care of all of those worries by only sending out products that are good for you and good for the planet!

Look at all that goodness!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

FREE Tea at Teavana!

If there's one thing I love, it's tea.  Specifically, I love tea from Teavana, but it's kind of expensive so I don't get to have it too often. So sad... :('s a darn good thing they have a free cup of tea special going through the end of the month, huh?!

I love pretty things and tea!
Head on over to the Teavana website to claim yours today!

Life is CRAZY!

Hello friends!

Life has been throwing me some lemons and some glitter this past month and I have been busy trying to juggle it all!  I have a ton of things planned for this blog, so don't worry y'all, I will be back ASAP!

Things to look forward to are:
* Disneyland!
* Kawaii LA
* A change in direction...more kawaii, less everything else

See you soon!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Natural Ingredient Products Skin Care Giveaway!

Oh my goodness, y'all!  It's my very first giveaway post!  I'm proud to present the Natural Ingredient Products Skin Care Giveaway!!  Please enter and show support to all the amazing bloggers taking part in this.  Thanks, friends! <3

Its an all natural Skin Care Giveaway Hosted by Oh! My Heartsie   Co-Host Brooke Blogs One Winner Will Win 1 Tube of Monkey Balm and 1 Bottle of Toe Juice Direct Shipped To Winner Event Dates: 2-6 to 2-13

Synopsis of Monkey Balm: I was asked to try Monkey Balm and so the first thing I used this product on were my heels, it is always a problem in the winter here is the desert being so dry. Monkey Balm comes in a stick like a roll up deodorant and makes it really easy to use. 

My son is using it on his hands after he laughed at the name, he does construction work and in the cold his hands and knuckles crack, so this has been a great testimonial of how well the product is working. It does work best at room temperature, because it is in a stick. Read Complete Review Here 
Three Generation Story of Eczema
Synopsis of Toe Juice: I contacted Toe Juice to try their product as my husband has diabetes and along with this disease comes bad circulation and problems with a diabetics feet. The issue we are experiencing is is fungus under toe nails. So we started using the Toe Juice and to my amazement we have seen some improvement in just a few short weeks, so we will be monitoring the product for further results.

On another note, I as a child I had eczema and we tired everything on the bottom of my feet to relieve the itching, soaks, ultra violet lights, ointments you name it. The eczema kept me awake at night and eventually I got an infection and was unable to get out of bed for 3 weeks. I wish there had been something like toe juice for me to use. 

Now, my granddaughter has eczema on her feet and I will be sending her a bottle for her to use on her to help alleviate the eczema itching on her feet. I am so glad that I found this product. Read Complete Review Here 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this giveaway post. All opinions are 100% my own. This blog complies with FTC advertising guidelines. The Secret World of Alex Algebra is not responsible for prize delivery. Delivery is made direct from the companies when confirmation of winner has been received.

Update: Why the Radio Silence?!

Hello, friends!

You've probably been wondering why things suddenly went quiet over here in the Secret World...

Well, I got some bad news last week.  The travel agency I was working for could no longer afford to keep on all of their agents, and I was sadly laid off.

I spent most of Thursday and Friday crying, no lie.
I will be posting still, but if there are periods of quiet, it's because I'm busy trying to find work and/or working temp jobs.  If anyone has any suggestions of well-paying, part-time, work-from-home jobs, please let me know!  (Or if you happen to own a relaxed, friendly travel agency in the Portland, OR area and want a charming, pink-haired agent to join your team ;) )

Love all of you, and I promise I have some big things in store.  Stay tuned!

- Alexander D. E. Algebra the First

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Secret World Manifesto

Hello, all!

After having this page up for a few days, I've had some time to do some reflecting and thinking about what exactly I want this page to be.  However, since you all are my loyal readers, feel free to tell me you want more of one thing or less of another, and I will take your suggestions into consideration :)

The Secret World of Alex Algebra does not exist to post every freebie and deal on the web.  It does not exist to post every cute Etsy full of kawaii that exists, or to talk about every sweepstakes going on.  I'm one guy, specifically one guy with a part time job, a non-profit organization, and a chronic illness that causes a lot of fatigue and brain/body non-cooperation situations, so I can't be the be-all, end-all  of any of those things.  There are plenty of folks out there already doing just that.

What I can promise you, however, is an open invitation to my Secret World - all the things I love, compiled into one place, for you all to enjoy or take advantage of.  These are the things I wish I could talk to my friends about, but feel like a nerd, and the things that I do when I'm home alone vegging out; I indulge in my freebie habit, watch stuff on Netflix, and look at pictures of Japanese-inspired jewelry I wish I owned (and occasionally buy some ;) ).  I do art projects when I have the energy, I travel when I can afford it, and do my best to do all of these things with the planet and my fellow inhabitants in mind by taking the path with the smallest footprint within my means.

I can also promise you that the things I post will be personal and worth your time to read.  I don't want to post things just because I'm going to make 7 cents off of it, without any story or reasoning or commentary to justify its place in my blog.  I don't want to pitch products to you that I wouldn't purchase or use myself, and I don't want to be a whore for companies that I don't like.  I will talk about products, and sometimes I might make that 7 cents off of you clicking a link and signing up for something, but it's because I truly believe in the product.  I also will only post deals and freebies that I have already done or will be doing myself, to stay true to this promise.

I want readers, of course, but I only want happy ones that are excited to see what I have to post next!

What are you most excited to see from The Secret World?  What has been your favorite post or posts so far?

Another Blogger Opportunity! Kindle Fire Giveaway :)

My Four Littles is excited to bring you a Kindle Fire Giveaway!
Event Dates: March 1-31, 2013
One FREE link with announcement.
You can write your own announcement or use the text HERE.
Co-host (host page and up to four links): $15
Host Pages: $10
Additional Links: $2
Daily Votes: $4
Referral Prize: Free Co-host.
Limited to the first 100 bloggers.
Click here to sign up.

Be sure to say Alex Algebra sent you! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Win FREE Seattle's Best Coffee!

This makes me a little sad, because I can't drink coffee right now due my chronic illness, but my boyfriend still loves it, so I entered this one for him.

There will 10,000 winners of free coffee for the Seattle's Best Coffee Groundhog Day Contest, which makes it so worth entering!  Head on over to their Facebook today to enter!

Some coffee-inspired awesomeness to check out while you wait for Phil to show his face:

Do you think the groundhog is going to show his shadow?

Why I Love Redbox

As I mentioned in my review of Ted, I LOVE REDBOX!  I love it so much, I might consider marrying it, were it legal, although Netflix might get jealous.

But that's neither here nor there...

Why do I love Redbox so much?  Because I never pay for it!

With this ringtone, I thee wed.
Would you love to get free Redbox movies too?  There are two easy steps to follow and I guarantee you will get 1-3 free movies a month.
  1. Sign up today and get on their mailing list!  They send out emails once every month or so with a free movie code, and more often with 50 cents off of a rental (making the movie 70 cents - not too bad, but also not free.)
  2. Text LOVE to 727272 to join the Redbox Text Club!  This is basically the best thing ever.  I get several free movies a month, and they never seem to get mad that I never give money.  Amazing.
Seriously, do yourselves all a favor and go sign up now

What's the best movie you've seen recently?  Did you get it from Redbox?

Alex Watches Movies: Ted

Can I just tell you how much I love Redbox?  I love Redbox a lot.  Why?  Because I never pay for it.  (Read more here to find out how you, too, can watch new movies for free!)

Tonight's free show was the movie Ted, starring Marky Mark, the hot girl from The '70s Show, and Peter Griffin.  In case the title doesn't ring a bell, it's the movie where the titular character is teddy bear who comes to life and is a drunken, weed-smoking best friend to Johnny, played by Mark Wahlberg.  Johnny is 35 and trying to get his act together to keep his long-time girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), to stay with him.  Hilarity ensues, with some touching moments.  Supposedly, anyway.

Looks awesome, right?
This could have been a great movie, you know, for people that are into stupid stoner comedies (such as myself).  Unfortunately, it feel pretty flat in a barrage of "jokes" that were every -ist in the book.  If you're not a straight white cisgender male, well, Seth MacFarlane (the director) made sure to make fun of you at some point.  There were racist stereotypes, "no homo" comments, and they managed to fit in some body-shaming and ableism in there as well, just for kicks.

The boyfriend and I had a chat about it after the show.  He's more inclined to let things slide in the name of a good film than I am, so we didn't quite agree on this one.  He's bothered by the -isms "humor" like me, but he's not as sensitive to it.  I spend a whole lot of my free time working towards equality for anyone and everyone, so I'm definitely more apt to pick up on these things and find them unfunny.

Here's the thing, y'all: Why do we need to make jokes at anyone's expense when there are fart jokes in the world?!  Seriously!  If you want some good ol' lowbrow humor, throw in some dick jokes, some fart jokes, and some silly physical comedy and you're all set.  How about some good puns?  The Brits love those, so should we!  I'm not trying to be any sort of puritanical here (trust me, I have the mouth and mind of a sailor sometimes), just compassionate and kind.  I'm gay, so when I see jokes that target gay people in movies or on television, I feel bad about myself.  It's not that I'm going to go hide in my bed for days, but I feel bad because I know that I'm a part of a demographic because of how my brain works that puts me at a disadvantage in society, and that people will continue to discriminate against because they see gay jokes in movies and on television and think it's okay.

Equalize it, y'all!

It's not okay.

It's also not okay for people to joke about these things ironically.  If you make an ironic racist joke, you're still making a racist joke!  It's still not funny!  This post on Jezebel talks about "hipster racism" (AKA racism) quite well.

In conclusion, Seth MacFarlane, please get with the times.  Gay jokes, racism, calling someone a retard, and body-shaming fat people aren't funny anymore.  Find some new material.  Two paws down.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Healthy Freebie: Vplenish Vitamin Boost

I always say, "If it's free, it's for me," but the truth is, it's not always.  I have to skip out on a lot of really yummy looking freebies because of my strict diet and health conditions, and it's really a bummer!  Today's my lucky day, though - FREE VITAMINS!  

Check this out: Vplenish is a vitamin powder that you put into anything that gives you vitamins and supposedly has no taste!  We'll see about that once I get the sample (spoiler: there will be a review), but hey, it's the future, anything can happen.

Boost me, bro!

To get your own sample in the mail, head on over to and order one up.  Let me know what you think once you get it!

Do you take vitamins?  Why or why not?  What do you think of Vplenish?

FREE Breathe Right Strips Sample and Coupon

You know how they call snoring, "sawing logs?"

Well, my boyfriend, bless him, is a bit of a snore machine.  One morning, I woke up before him and heard someone actually sawing logs outside of our house.  Between him and the chainsaw, it was hard to say which was worse!  I definitely understood why someone came up with that phrase.  :p

Luckily, Breathe Right is offering up a free sample and coupon for their product!  For those of you who don't know, Breathe Right Strips are these really dorky looking tabs that adhere to your nose like a stiff Band-Aid.  You put one on before you go to bed, and it opens up your nostrils so you can breathe in more oxygen as you sleep.  They actually really help, if you don't mind the look and some glue on your nose in the morning.  It's a small price to pay for a decent night's sleep for you and anyone that might be within hearing range of you.

Too sexy, too sexy!
To order yours today, head on over to the Breathe Right website and sign up!  Offer available while supplies last.

Do you snore?  What do you do to ease the pain for those around you?  Have you tried Breathe Right strips?

Hallmark Card MONEY MAKER at Safeway!

I just did this deal today, so I can vouch that it works!  :)

So, Safeway is running a promotion where you get a $5 Catalina (a coupon for your next shopping trip, used on any item) when you buy 3 Hallmark cards.  The only stipulation is that they cannot be the $0.99 cards.

Makin' dough, makin' dough!
Lucky for us savvy shoppers, Hallmark has a printable coupon available on their Facebook for $2 off any 3 cards!  If you happen to have cut out the double-coupon coupon from this week's Safeway ad, you can save an additional $0.50.

The math:

3 cards x $1.99 (cheapest cards available for this deal) = $5.97
-$2.50 from the printable coupon and the Doubl'r = You pay $3.47 out of pocket
+ $5.00 Catalina = you MAKE $1.53 and go spend it on overpriced organic veggies!  Or...whatever.  That's what I'm going to do ;)

So now, not only do I have an extra $1.53 for veggies to make me healthy, I have a belated Christmas gift thank you card, a birthday card for my buddy, and a Valentine's Day card for my Nana (cue: awwwww...).  Today rocks!

I love my Nana <3

Thanks to Frugal Living NW for this tip! 

Did you do this deal?  How did it go for you?  Who did you get cards for?

Bloggers - Free Eco-Friendly Giveaway Signup!

I am a huge animal rights activist and an eco-warrior, so I LOVE to see new all-natural body care products come my way.  Really stoked for this one :)  Click the link to sign up today!

Its an all natural Skin Care Giveaway
Hosted by Oh! My Heartsie
Free Blogger Opportunity
Prize is 1 Tube of Monkey and 1 Bottle of Toe Juice
Event Dates: 2-6 to 2-13

Make Money on Pinterest with Viraliti

Hey all! There's a new site starting up called Viraliti that is going to be a way to monetize your Pinterest account.  How cool is that?  They are just doing beta signups right now, but you can sign up here.

"I like money."

Here is some more information from the website:
Make money with Pinterest Pins
  • Do you have a Pinterest account and actively pin on Pinterest?
  • Do you want to be a brand ambassador?
  • Would you like to promote great content generated by experts on Pinterest?
  • Wouldn't you want to earn some easy bucks while pinning interesting stuff on Pinterest?
  • Not interested in making money but want to influence your followers about latest products and brands?
If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then Viraliti is the answer for you. Viraliti is the adwords for Social Media. Viraliti works cost per click model so you can earn money for every click that your sponsored pins receive.
Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Have you signed up yet?  What do you think of Viraliti so far?

It's Raining MONEY! Giveaway and FREE Blogger Event - Coming Soon!

Raining Money

It's Raining Money Event

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: $1,000 Cash {paypal or visa}
Event dates: 4/1 - 5/1

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

FREE Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner at Dollar Tree!

SCORE!  Free Garnier Fructis Shampoo or Conditioner at Dollar Tree!

Print this puppy up!
Everything at Dollar Tree is $1, and this coupon is for $1 off, which makes it free for you and me!  Head on over to to print it up right now!

I was also scoping out the Garnier Fructis website, and I am pleased to announce that they have recently taken several steps towards being more green and eco-friendly!  YAY!  <3  Now I'm even more excited about this deal.

It's not easy being green.

Did you cash in on this freebie?  How do you like the product?

Friday, January 25, 2013


Oh my gosh, you guys, I am so excited right now.  Like, unnaturally excited because Whole Foods is doing a sale tomorrow morning for 20% off all supplements!!  Do you understand the amazingness of that?  It is amazing.

It's an early bird sale, which means it's only going on between 8AM and noon, tomorrow, January 26, only.  Check to make sure your local Whole Foods is having the same sale by looking on their website.

This is early bird is going to get hella healthy worms.
Let me break this down for you a little bit, and maybe you'll understand why I'm so, so stoked for this deal.  I have this stupid health condition that is basically uncurable by conventional medicine, but can be slowly cured through the use of many supplements and a very strict diet.  I take about 25 pills a day, and have to pay for them all out of pocket because they are things like vitamins and herbs that you can't get through insurance pharmacies.

Most bottles cost somewhere between $15-30 a piece, and I have to get them 1-2x a month.  With 20% off, I will be saving $3-6 each, times 10 bottles equals a savings of $30-60, probably more on the $60 end!  I don't know about you, but with my budget, $60 is nothing to sneeze at!

Setting my alarm now, y'all...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Alex Algebra's Adventures in Thrifting: Kawaii and The Biebz

If there's one thing I love, it's thrifting!  I am a hoarder waiting to happen, so I have to be very careful not to go out to thrift stores often, and not to spend much money if I do.  I am notorious for carrying twenty things around the store with me, "just to think about it," then putting back the majority of them.  Once I realize I don't really need yet another craft project that will never see completion, it's a little easier to set things down.

This last trip, there were some amazing finds that I somehow managed to pass up.

First of all, this sweater:
Kawaii, ne?
Somehow, this sweater called out to me from across the store, but alas, we were not meant to be.  I'm a pretty small guy, too small to fit into men's smalls half the time, but this women's sweater was TINY!  My wrists are practically sticks, yet I still managed to get my arms stuck in this thing while trying it on in the middle of the store.  (Pro tip: Don't do that.)  It was quite an adventure acting casual while trying to get out of the Chinese-Finger-Death-Trap-like arms of this beautiful thing.  I almost cried when I realized there was no way I could comfortably wear it.  Le sigh.

Next up:
Remember these?
A Fisher Price record player!  I totally had one of these as a kid.  I would listen to these little 45s that had matching storybooks all day long.  My favorites were one featuring Betty Boop, and of course, all of the Disney ones.  "Turn the page, when you hear the chimes ring, like this!"

Then, there was this gem:

Somebody took a lot of time to draw this.
 I...there are no words.  I stared at this for a good minute before I could even get it together to take a photo and post it up on Instagram.  I so, so, so wanted to buy it, but I didn't!

So what did I end up with?  Three items, the game Scene It?, because I've always wanted it, and the following two items:

I love my life.
Yes, I am now the proud owner of a shiny, glittery blue belt (and I only bought the blue, not the pink or green that matched, go me!), and a kawaii adorable teddy bear plate!  Because my diet is boring and crappy thanks to chronic illness, sometimes I just have to put my food on a really cute plate to convince myself it's worth eating.  Don't judge me.

So...$7.49 later, I have some fun new presents for myself, and I also remembered why I never let myself go into Goodwill.

Have you scored any good thrift store finds lately?  I want pictures!  Tell me about them!

Review: How to Coupon class from Frugal Living NW

As far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated by coupons.  Even as a kid, I would help my mom clip them from the paper, grab them from the flashing displays at the store, and peel them off of boxes of food that we liked to buy.  I was such a nerd, I even created a spreadsheet to track all of the coupons in the newspaper for a month because I wanted to practice making spreadsheets for my computer class in fifth grade.  (Yes, I was that kid...)

Flash forward to my adulthood.  I use coupons sometimes, probably more than most folks, but I don't have any strategy to it and only get a good deal once in a blue moon.

I have wanted to start really couponing for awhile, but whenever I watch that Extreme Couponing show or look at couponing websites, it seems like it's all for junk and crap I can't eat or would never buy.  I'm on a severely restricted diet that consists of about 80% organic veggies and the other 20% organic eggs and a couple of organic, diet-approved grains, so basically, they don't make coupons for my kind of food.

Nevertheless, I recently took an online couponing class from Pretty Frugal Diva.  It was pretty rad and I learned a lot, but ultimately still felt like couponing wasn't for people like me.  It was for "normal" folks without a million issues, folks with giant families and houses, and folks that really like pasta and soda.  

I was watching Extreme Couponing the other day on Netflix, however, and still got inspired.  It looked like so much fun to get all of that stuff for free, and I thought maybe I could donate it all to a shelter or something!  I googled "couponing portland" to see what I could find in my area, and I found this amazing website: Frugal Living NW!

Frugal Living NW not only lists all of the deals at the stores in Portland in a very easy to understand fashion, they do classes!  Free ones!  And there just happened to be one coming up this week, in my neighborhood.  If that's not fate, I don't know what is.

So tonight, I trooped on over to TaborSpace, expecting a room full of old ladies, and I was blown away.  There were people of all ages, all types, and I was not the only younger guy in the room!

Although I had heard about half of the information before online and on TV, it was a completely different experience watching a living, breathing person stand in front of me and say it out loud.  Angela Davis, the founder of Frugal Living NW, is a couponing goddess.  I could see that yes, this woman coupons successfully, and it is possible - it's not just something crazy people do on TV.  Normal people do it, too, and everyone can coupon in a way that works for them and their lifestyle, buying products that they use.

Frugal Living NW
See, totally normal!
Angela gave us all a handout with these five tenets of couponing:
  1. Know when to use coupons: Only use coupons when there is a store sale and you have a manufacturer's coupon, so that you will actually get a great deal.  The goal is to pay less for a name brand than a generic kind at WinCo or other discount stores.
  2. Stock up when the price is right: Most products go on sale every 10-16 weeks, so the goal is to stock up enough of something to last you until the next time it goes on sale.  For example, if you eat a box of pasta a week, buy ten boxes during a deal, and you'll be set until the next one comes around.
  3. Get enough coupons to build a pantry: The idea is to "shop" from your own pantry each day, instead of having to go to the store and pay full price when you want something.  Therefore, it's best to get several copies of each coupon insert so you can take full advantage of a deal.
  4. Use the right resources: There are many websites, such as Frugal Living NW, that list the deals for each store in an area each week.  If you are not from the Northwest, check around, I am sure there's a site for your area!
  5. Organize your coupons to save time and money: She does "no-clip" couponing, which is amazing and I didn't think it was possible!  She just has a small filing crate where she put the inserts in for each week - one file per week.  Then, when she finds a deal online, they are usually listed by date (for example: "Use $1.50/2 coupon from 11/11 RP insert"), so she can just go right to that weeks file, find the coupon, then clip it only if she is going to actually use it.  She has a small coupon organizer she takes with her to the store with just the coupons she needs.  SO EASY!!  Who knew??

    Some ideas to help you get started: 

I think the thing that stuck with me the most, was that I can coupon for things like toilet paper, paper towels, and toothbrushes - things that don't have to be organic and overpriced like everything else I have to use :p  I can save money by using coupons and stocking up on those, and use that money towards my organic veggies!  How cool is that?

As soon as I got home, I looked through this weeks ads and coupons and set up an organizational system for myself.  I'm very excited to get started!

For more information on how to coupon, check out Frugal Living NW's Ultimate Guide to Couponing in the NW.  It's an 11-part online class that is chock full of tips to help you get saving!

Do you coupon?  Tell me some newbie tips or about your latest, greatest deal!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hello World!

Hello world!
Here I am, Alex Algebra, off on another brave adventure into the cyberworld!

Although I have a couple of small journals and blogs around the interwebs, I decided, after being inspired by so many amazing blogs that are out there, that I too have a voice, and that voice is important, even if it's just talking about reality TV and jewelry featuring desserts.  Therefore, I should make a blog to blab about it!

I'm nervous and I don't really know how well this is going to go, but we'll see! I am hoping to post about anything and everything, but most notably:

  • FREE STUFF (if it's free, it's for me!) 
  • Contests and giveaways 
  • Kawaii and Japanese fashion 
  • Travel 
  • Movies/TV/Books 
  • Green/Eco-living 
  • Health 

Those are a few of my favorite things... :D

Please comment and let me know what you think of my new home! :)