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Hey, curly girls

My fellow curly-haired ladies know that finding the right hair product can be a lifelong quest. (I thought I found it; then they discontinued it. Of course.) My search continues, and lucky me, now that I have a teenage daughter with a different type of curl, products that aren’t quite right for me usually work just fine for her (and vice versa). Hooray!

Normally I wouldn’t buy a 3-pack of an untested product (what if I hate it?), but right now Amazon has this Pantene Pro-V Anti-Frizz Curl Creme 3-Pack available on Subscribe & Save with a clippable $6 coupon, and it’s marked down to $10.59. I’m up to 15% off this month, so that meant I got 3 bottles for… $3. Even if I don’t love it, no biggie. But it’s averaging 4.5 stars, so I’ll try it. If I don’t like it, I’ll give it to my kid or donate it.

It’s hard to beat a buck a bottle. It’ll probably cost them more than that just to ship it to me.

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If you’re in the market for a flat iron…

… be sure to check out the pre-Valentine’s deals at Folica today. If you look at the rotating carousel of deals on the main page, the next-to-last offer (the fifth dot from the left, or the next-to-last one from the right) is a colored 1-1/4″ Solia flat iron for just $60 when you use coupon code LOVELY.

You may recall that a few years back I tested a Solia iron and gave one away, and my conclusion was that it was a really nice iron (as good as my trusty GHD, which cost a lot more). Folica’s normal price is $90 for the black one or $80 for either the pink or purple. With the coupon you’ll be saving another 25%, and of course shipping is free on your $50+ order.

For comparison/review purposes: Here it is on Amazon, at the same $80/$90 price-point, with a 4.5 star review over 160 reviews. $60 is a steal for this unit.

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Get some nice knives

In the market for new steak knives? Amazon is currently running a Lightning Deal on this Culina Steak Knife Boxed set, which I bought myself shortly after Christmas (the last time it was on sale). I like ‘em. They’re not super-high-end like a set that’ll run you hundreds of dollars, but for $40 they’re a steal—the box is nice, the knives themselves will go with any flatware set, and they’re nice and sharp.

I haven’t used them to do anything extraordinary (like… butcher a side of beef or kill someone), but we’ve used them several times for steak and chicken and they’re well worth the price.

This may be the most words I’ve ever written about knives.

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The Want Not Review: Tolerant Organic Lentil Pasta

Tolerant-RotiniSo let me be absolutely clear with you about pasta: Most of the time, I don’t miss pasta. What I miss since giving up gluten is bread (delicious, squishy bread!), but pasta, meh. I’m happy to make zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles for sauce. And gluten-free rice pasta is fine, if somewhat nutritionally empty. The only time I miss pasta is when I make macaroni and cheese for the rest of the family. (If you don’t have a homemade recipe, may I suggest Alton Brown’s version? It is perfection.) I can make it with Trader Joe’s rice pasta and GF flour so I can eat it, but then I feel guilty, because it’s not exactly health food.

This weekend at Costco we stumbled across this gluten-free red lentil rotini from Tolerant. Each serving has—I hope you’re sitting down—21 grams of protein, as well as the equivalent vitamins/minerals to a serving of veggies. In a pasta. “I bet this stuff tastes like cardboard,” I said to my husband. “Just try it,” he said. “Maybe it’s good.”

Well, my husband is smart. Not only is this pasta delicious (good body without being dense or sticky), it passed muster with the gluten-eaters in my house, it’s organic and non-GMO, and I don’t have to feel guilty about pasta anymore because this stuff is a lean, guilt-free protein source. We have to drive over an hour to Costco (and typically only go a few times a year) and we are going back this weekend to buy more. Whether you’re gluten-free or not, it’s worth checking out.

Purchasing: This stuff is a lot more expensive than cheapie supermarket pasta, but remember you’re getting a nutritionally dense product to ease the sting. Costco carries a 1.65 pound box for $8.79 (looks like only Costcos in FL, TN, GA, SC and NC so far). Some states carry it at Target. Amazon carries it if you’re desperate, but be prepared for extreme sticker shock. Their best deal looks to be this 6-pack of 12 ounce boxes for $41.94, plus you’ll get $5 off with coupon code PK8DP3ZJ.

Bottom line: Crazy delicious and good for you, too. Expensive for pasta, cheap for protein. Yummy whether you eat gluten or not.

[Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Tolerant Foods. I purchased my own product---with skepticism!---and just feel moved to share because it turned out to be so amazing.]

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The Queen of stand mixers

It’s been a while since I last waxed poetic about my deep and abiding love of the KitchenAid stand mixer, but rest assured that our love affair continues. I used to own my mother’s KitchenAid, which I’m pretty sure was once her mother’s KitchenAid, and I loved it and crooned sweet nothings to it until it died one day. Fair enough; it was probably older than I am. Then I got a shiny, new KitchenAid and I use it all the time and I love it more than is reasonable. There is no greater workhorse in my kitchen than that stand mixer.

Of course, greatness comes at a price. A rather steep price, to be specific. So when I see a great deal on a KitchenAid mixer I’m always pretty jazzed about it. Been hoping for a shiny red mixer? Today’s your day—the Bonus Deal of the Day at Bon-Ton is the 4.5 quart KitchenAid Pro mixer for $189.97. Ship it for free with coupon code FREESHIP75, too. For comparison: Amazon has this model for $300ish, and I can tell you that the lowest they’ve ever had it at before is around $200 (rarely!), so $190 is indeed the lowest I’ve seen.

My mixer isn’t red, but I’m thinking that next Christmas I should definitely put this on my list so as to further glam up my favorite appliance….

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If you do colorful hair dyes…

… then you know that the biggest trick to great color is getting the hair really well stripped of color before you dye. I myself am merely rocking my gray at this point, but my daughter has joined many of her peers in rotating through a rainbow of bright colors for the ends of her hair, and I’m happy to assist for now. (Someday she may not want neon pink hair at, say, a job interview. But for now, who cares?)

Anyway! I bought this 3-pack of Clairol Balsam Ultra Light Natural Blonde from Amazon the last time they had a coupon, and we’ve been very happy with it. For one thing, the same color will cost you $7-$12 for a single box at the drug store, and this is currently $3.57 for 3 boxes with an available $2 coupon, plus you can order via Subscribe & Save for free shipping and even greater savings. For another, it does a decent job of stripping color without completely frying my kiddo’s hair, though we are very careful when doing this stuff. (Try saturating hair in coconut oil before bleaching/coloring to counteract the chemicals some.)

This probably isn’t the right stuff to buy if you want to be blonde as an end product, but it’s perfectly serviceable for us darker-haired types who want to lighten and then dye another color.

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Another chance to Ninja!

If you missed it back in October (or the timing simply wasn’t right), don’t worry, it’s back—you can get a $90 refurbished Ninja Cooking System again today at Home.Woot.

The Ninja remains my favorite cooking apparatus, bar none. And that’s even taking into consideration the $100 waffle iron I got for $5 at a yard sale. This is serious. You will not regret spending the money, I promise. If Santa brought some cash, now may be the time to treat yourself to this marvel of slow cooker/electric skillet/convection cooking wonderment.

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Light your Kindle Fire today

Here’s another great example of how patience and not needing the very latest/greatest can pay off: Today Amazon has prior-generation Kindle Fires in the Gold Box for half-off. Is it the fanciest and the latest model? Nope. Is it a heckuva deal? Yep!

These deals are at least $100 off the lowest price they’ve ever been, and it’s good today only. Don’t miss it if one of these is on your list.

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If you need a passable little camera

I got a reader email with a camera question last night, and I love it when people write to me about cameras and ask me to ask my husband. (Seriously!) I like to tell him that’s why I married him; I needed a photographer to field questions for me.

Anyway, I’ll spare you the specifics of that exchange, but part of what my husband suggested I relay is that the Canon ELPH cameras tend to be good sort of bang-for-the-buck entry-level choices, though of course there’s a zillion different ELPH models out there.

If you’re shopping for a child or someone else who doesn’t need the latest-and-greatest, and don’t want to spend a lot, allow me to direct your attention to this Canon PowerShot ELPH135 Digital Camera bundle currently available at Amazon. Choose red, silver, or black, and $79 gets you the camera plus a $10 Amazon gift card. Perfect for a casual user, and also for you, because we all know you’ll find something to spend that gift card on in no time.

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If you love Otterbox…

… it turns out that they extended their Cyber Monday savings, which means you can still get some deals through midnight, tonight. Just go to Otterbox and shop; most products are an extra 25% off, automatically, plus you can apply coupon code OTTER10 for an additional 10% off. Shipping is free.

Note that the savings do not apply to iPhone 6 products (boo), but it’s a great deal if you have older-model devices in need of protection. (Otterbox guarantees all of their products, and if you have a problem, word is their customer service is excellent.)

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