Monthly Archives: September 2016

Sephora and Kat Von D Replace The 750 Coffin Perk With a Vegan Bag and Full Size Eyeliners!

There were 380 recipients of the Kat Von D To-Die-For Duo from Sephora in the Rewards Bazaar. I was one of the lucky recipients, or unlucky depending on how you viewed the perk, who ordered it for 750 points. Kat Von D is an extremely talented artist, who happens to make quality makeup products. Higher valued items in the Rewards Bazaar sell out quickly, so no one gets a chance to wait to see what others receive before redeeming them. Read more about the program and what to expect. When this coffin with two mini eyeliners hit the Rewards Bazaar, Kat Von D fans rejoiced. It was listed as a travel case and was in the shape of a coffin. The artistry on the coffin photographed beautifully.

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Monthly Manicure Reviews Featuring Nail Polishes: Deborah Lippmann Prelude to a Kiss, Julep Virgo, Ulta Pro Green and Wear It, AND a Call to #Putthenailinit

One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. This story of Fernando is a reminder that men are victims, too. Someone I love very much is in an abusive relationship she is not ready to leave yet. I am sure there are other loved ones in past or present abusive relationships. My heart breaks for all victims, whether I know them or not. This is an epidemic that Safe Horizon wants to call attention to. Visit safehorizon.org to learn more about Moving Victims of Violence from Crisis to Confidence. To join the movement and call attention to the cause, write #putthenailinit on social media, and paint your ring finger purple. You can also donate to or share this cause from putthenailinit.com.

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Ulta Double GWP Bag Available Now with a $75 Purchase and 5X Points on It Brushes for Ulta

See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.

See 2018 5x Points Offers.

Ulta is my favorite place for deal stacking, because when it rains it pours. I already had some It Brushes for Ulta items in my cart, because I received a 5x points offer that expires on 10/01/16. Everyone receives different multipliers, but check the My Rewards section of your online account to see which ones you’ve received. My account also has 5x points for Too Faced. An affiliate exclusive bag released on the 27th, but it did not start working until today. That is probably for the best, because another exclusive bag released today as well.

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Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Julep

Julep canceled its subscription program on February 15, 2019, which was a fantastic way to save money. There are still some tips for getting the best deal at Julep I can offer. Anyone who had a Maven subscription when the program ended was grandfathered into the Maven deals listed below other than the box itself and the Jules, which were eliminated. I removed the information regarding the subscription box and Jules once they were canceled.

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Nerd Block Jr September 2016 Subscription Box Review

This Nerd Block Jr For Boys subscription for my 5-year-old son, Connor. It costs $13.99 plus shipping ($6) per month and is for boys aged 6-11. All plans auto-renew. You get a discount paying up front for a set number of boxes. Save 10% at 3 months ($12.59 each plus shipping), save 15% at 6 months ($11.89 each plus shipping), and save 20% at 12 months ($11.19 each plus shipping). Each box has at least $40 in value and gives 4-6 toys. We are on the six-month subscription. You pay for all boxes and shipping on all boxes up front. Nerd Block has a variety of subscription offers including: Classic, Arcade, Horror, SciFi, Comic, Jr For BoysJr For Girls, and the newest offering Shirt. For details on all boxes, visit my Nerd Block Page.

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SK-II Renew & Reflect Duo Available Now in the Sephora Rewards Bazaar

The SK-II Renew & Reflect Duo is available in the Rewards Bazaar at Sephora now. Read more about the Rewards Bazaar and what to expect from the program. There are only 300 available in the US and 80 available in Canada, so act quickly if this is something you want. I picked one up. Odds are it will be out of stock long before I receive it though. My plan was to get the Hourglass reward that released on Thursday, but I had to take my son to school at the time the reward released. This was not my first choice and probably has a lower value than the Hourglass reward, but it gives me another shot at trying the SK-II essence for my comparison series.

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Tips For Getting the Best Deal When Shopping Birchbox (With the Updated Rewards Program)

The most effective tip for getting the best deal at Birchbox is subscribing. You get five deluxe beauty samples for $10. If you tailor your beauty profile as much as possible, you might even enjoy many of the products you sample. There are some subscriber exclusive offers that can help members save even more. Start-up offers are always available, so no one should ever subscribe without getting something in return for the subscription. Even those who never join the subscription box program can get some great deals at Birchbox.

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Beauty.com and Drugstore.com Officially Close 09/30/16- Shop Last Minute Deals and Spend your Final Rewards Dollars

Beauty.com and Drugstore.com officially close on 09/30/16. While it is certainly possible the last-minute deals will be better, there are some great offers combining and plenty of items already in clearance. As I’ve laid out in How to get the Best Deal at Beauty.com and Drugstore.com, it is possible to combine offers. When combining certain offers, they sometimes fall off in checkout. Most offers that combine are sticking through checkout, probably because the site wants to clear as much inventory as possible before officially closing. I’ve checked the site everyday, because I still needed to spend the rewards dollars I ordered in the third quarter. Rewards dollars earned through 08/13/16 are only valid through 09/30/16 when the site closes. Purchases made after 08/13/16 did not earn any rewards.

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Influenster Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive VoxBox Review

Influenster gives free trial products of everything from beauty products to household items. To qualify for programs, you fill out quick product surveys. Once you’ve qualified, they mail the products. Try them and tell people what you think in person and on social media. Complete a short exit survey and review the product(s) on Influenster. The more active you are the more programs you qualify for. Everything received from Influenster is free. Some virtual Voxboxes or multi product packages include coupons to redeem for the product. At times, the coupon will not cover the full amount, but you can opt out of any program that only offers discounts or does not interest you. If you are unfamiliar with Influenster, you can read my overview.

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Crowdtap Review Curél® Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer Mission

Crowdtap allows tappers to sample free products and earn rewards in the process. It is a place where consumers and brands collaborate to: share opinions, ideas, and market through social sharing. This company has a two-part reward system. Those who earn a specified number of points get a reward. There are opportunities to team up with brands to test products in exchange for reviews. Successful completion of brand missions get points, which in turn helps tappers get more rewards.

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A Gorgeous Way to Give Supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation -Enter to Win a $599 Beauty Bag at Ulta

See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.

Ulta is starting Breast Cancer Awareness Month a little early with A Gorgeous Way to Give. This is an annual giveaway where Ulta raises money for Breast Cancer Awareness while rewarding UltaMate Members (4 online and 1 per store) with a beauty bag valued at $599. There are 715 stores, so Ulta is generously putting together 719 beauty bags! The event starts before The Gorgeous Hair Event and wraps after that ends.

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How To Refer a Friend to Ulta

This article on How To Refer a Friend to Ulta is from 2016 when the Refer a Friend option for the UltaMate Rewards Program was still in place. The link (I discuss below) was re-written in 2017 to refer friends for services at the Ulta salon: hair, skin, or nails (at select stores). Anyone using your link would get $15 off their first service of $30 or more. After they redeemed the service, you would get a coupon for $15 off your next service. I had never visited an Ulta salon in 2017 or 2018 while the link was in place, so I did not personally get any coupons. In 2018, the link quietly stopped working.

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The 2019 Refer a Friend to Ulta Option

After my first visit to the salon in 2019, I received an email. It says I can email it to a friend. The friend must bring my email to his/her first appointment to get $15 off a $30 purchase. The email lists my UltaMate Rewards ID number on it, my Ulta salon, and an expiration date, which was 30 days after my visit. This makes it look like anyone redeeming my referral would need to go to my Ulta within 30 days of my appointment and present my member ID# for the referral, so we both get credit. I am not comfortable providing people with my member ID# or my local Ulta, so I just took a screenshot of the offer minus those details. If you can get the $15 off your first visit with the picture below, I do not even care about getting a $15 coupon for myself. Before you refer a friend or someone else, make sure you are okay with them knowing your member ID#. My fear is someone can drain the points on your account or worse if they know your member ID#, so I do NOT like the new referral system.

Fine print on 2019 Referral Coupon

*Valid for new, first-time guests. Must present promotional offer at time of service. Applicable for all designers and skin experts. Value of services vary by professional and location. Excludes Benefit Brow Bar services, 10 Minute FaceFit/Express Facial, hair extensions, lash extensions and the purchase of series skin treatments. Single-use coupon. Cannot be combined with any other Beauty service offer. Cannot be redeemed for cash. Void if copied or transferred and where prohibited by law. Each email expires 30 days after each service the referrer redeems.

The Original 2016 article is still intact below this point


Ulta makes referrals valuable to both the person being referred and the person doing the referring. Each get $10 off a $30 purchase with few limitations on how to spend that discount. The fine print has the same limitations as the 20% off prestige coupon. I’ve used a referral coupon for a beauty steal and can confirm the 20% off coupons do not work on beauty steals. This coupon is actually closer to the Platinum Birthday Coupons in its limitations. The 20% off prestige coupons do not even work on beauty steals, so this coupon is more valuable than those on a $50 purchase. On a $30 purchase, the discount is 33.3%, and it works on prestige items. There is a limitation to how many coupons you can receive (10), but there is no limit to how many you can send. I received all 10 of mine for 2016, but people using my referral link can still get their $10. Learn more about this coupon and all Ulta coupons.

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Ulta Gorgeous Hair Event Fall 2016 October 2nd Through 22nd

Ulta announced the Gorgeous Hair Event for Fall 2016 will run from October 2nd through October 22nd, 2016. The event link has officially updated with online and in-store deals. This event dedicated to hair products includes every type of product imaginable from shampoo to styling and more. Twice a year, usually starting in May and October, Ulta has a 21-day sale where select brands or items are deeply discounted for one day only. This event also has specials that run throughout the event. The steals are highlighted in the upcoming catalog (which I have not received that yet) and the special event page.

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Sephora Favorites Chic It Easy Review

No one puts Favorites Kits together the way Sephora does. The Sephora Favorites Chic It Easy set has great items for the bargain price of $49. I have a hard time passing on any of these sets. This is one I almost successfully passed on, not because I wasn’t interested in the set, but because I already owned so many items in the set. It finally hit me that most of the items I have duplicates of are items I will eventually run out of. Getting them in this set will actually save me a bit in the long run. Sephora actually released five new Favorites Kits a few days ago, and I once again find myself trying to resist them. Odds are I will not resist all of them.

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Sephora Play Subscription Box Review September 2016

See recent Sephora Play articles.

Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers six beauty samples for $10 a month plus tax, shipping included. The charge posts from the 1st through the 4th, and the boxes start shipping around the middle of the month. Spots are limited, but you can place your name on the waiting list if they’re unavailable when you check. This gives one more sample than the standard $10 box offers, because it considers the monthly fragrance as a bonus item. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box, so it only includes well-known mid to high range items. There is not a traditional rewards program with this box, so you cannot get points for referring friends or writing reviews. It does award 10 Beauty Insider points and applies $10 toward your purchase minimum to maintain your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status.

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Walmart Beauty Box Fall 2016 Trendsetter Subscription Box Review

Walmart Beauty Box is a subscription box delivered once per quarter. The items are given to you free of charge, and you pay $5 for the shipping. Your first $5 charges when you subscribe, and a box from the current season will ship to you within a few weeks. Future boxes will incur the $5 charge as the box ships. My fall box arrived yesterday. There is usually some variety in boxes based on the age of the recipient and past samples. To send fresh samples for each member, some people will receive samples you’ve received in past boxes. Occasionally, you may even get samples you received in a past box, but that is less common now. If you’re unhappy with your box, you can try adjusting your age up or down before canceling. Some people think age is the main factor, but I’ve never adjusted my age. I used to get the classic box, but I was switched to the trendsetter box.

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty It Brushes for Ulta Love Beauty Fully Buffing Mineral Powder Brush #206 and a Beauty Chat With Julep Founder Jane Park

Twenty-one days is a long time, because the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta are still running through this Saturday. Read tips for the sale. There are two events happening today that I am partaking in. The first is a steal in today’s event. I’ve tried two of the three It Cosmetics For Ulta Brushes I purchased during the recent 10x points event. I loved both, so I really want to try the $15 brush that usually retails for $30. Jane Park, the Julep Founder, will have a Live Chat from 10am-11am PST this morning. Julep polishes represent well over half of my 400 polishes, and I have a healthy stash of other beauty products from the brand. They’re my favorite, and I find Jane charming and endearing. She was incredibly kind and wonderful at her recent Maven Meet-Up, and I really appreciate that she took the time to “take me to the airport.”

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PINCHme Volume Ten

PINCHme is a free sampling service. Complete your profile where you answer questions about your household and shopping habits. On select Tuesdays at 9am PST when new samples release, you can order any available that match your profile. The better samples tend to run out quickly, so log in as early as possible. Once you’ve tried the samples, you complete a short survey. As long as you complete your surveys in a timely manner, you are eligible to receive future samples.

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Birchbox September 2016 Subscription Box Review- The One That Could Have Been the Best

See recent Birchbox articles.

This is my 48th Birchbox. Although I have not been subscribed for 4 years as one might infer from that statement, I had three Birchbox subscriptions for half of 2015 and two for over half. In 2014 and 2016, I’ve never had more than one subscription at a time. Thanks to sample selection, I’ve never received a box that was a perfect replica of another box, even though I did receive some duplicate products. Birchbox has never sent me a duplicate item in a single subscription, outside of repeating items from curated boxes that are not counted in your profile like regular samples are. There are some I would not mind receiving a second time and others I definitely would not like a second time. Receiving the same samples takes some of the fun out of sampling new things, so I always appreciate the switch up.

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Urban Decay Afterglow 8 Hour Powder Blush, Free 24 Piece Beauty Bag Platinum Perk, Another Best of Becca Set, and More With a 2000 Point Redemption

See Platinum GWP Bag Offers for 2018.

View detailed instructions on Earning and Redeeming Points at Ulta.

The Fall 21 Days of Beauty is in full swing. Read my overview for tips on the sale. Ulta offered a 24 piece Beauty Bag as a Platinum Perk with a $125 purchase. This is not a common offer during a major promotion, like the Days of Beauty. These monster bags are more common when Ulta actually needs to push us into an order. There is no expiration date listed on this offer, so it is available while supplies last. I had a few (dreaded full price) items I’ve been waiting to purchase. Since I wanted to get this bag, I decided to get them with some steals I was going to get anyway. It also helps that I redeemed 2000 points for a $125 credit, so I did not pay full price on anything.

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Julep Maven September 2016 Subscription Box Review: Cheers To Five Years

September 2016 marks Julep’s fifth anniversary. To celebrate its fifth birthday, Julep created some special packages called Cheers To Five Years. When it comes to nail polish, I am a huge fan of Julep’s five free formula. These polishes chip less than most, and the polishes themselves are a good deal when you have a Maven membership. They are quality polishes, so I would probably purchase them at $14 each if I did not have my Maven membership. Luckily, I do not have to pay that much. The color selections and polish finishes are more vast than almost any other nail polish line. Every month, they release seven to nine new colors (and at times re-release 1-2 from the vault). I have not skipped a box since I first subscribed in May 2014, because I find something I want every month. More often than not, the nail polishes are what draw me in, but I like to try Julep’s beauty products as well.

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Get Free Samples Volume Thirteen

Nothing beats completely free offers. Sometimes, there really is no catch to obtaining free items. You just have to know where to look and how to find them. Welcome to the thirteenth installment of items I’ve received for free. Past articles feature different freebies. The offers at times come in emails. Sometimes, you will see them on a blog or the direct brand’s website. Other times, you can find free offers on social media or even through snail mail. My Free Samples Page provides more information on sample opportunities. Offers can at times come by phone, but I never answer numbers I do not recognize. I will miss out on any that come that way.

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Birchbox Turns Six in 2016 and Celebrates With Customer Appreciation Day on September 15th

See recent Birchbox articles.

Happy Birthday, Birchbox. Birchbox turns six this month. It started customer appreciation day in 2014 to celebrate its fourth anniversary. The celebration for the fifth anniversary in 2015 was even bigger. On September 15th, customer appreciation returned. Now that I’ve seen what they offered in 2016, I feel it was a downgrade from 2015.

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A Day at Disneyland and an Evening at Club 33: Trip Report

As a huge Disney fan, my goal is to visit all Disney properties, including: parks, restaurants, hotels, ships, etc. After visiting 1901 Lounge in October of 2013 when a friend invited me in, there was only one place left I had to explore at the Disneyland Resort, Club 33. This is a private member’s only club that has relatively few members (given the total population). Only members and their guests can enjoy the club. Most of us do not know any members, so getting in is that much harder. Although I put my name on the waitlist just before June of 2012 before 1901 Lounge opened, I am still waiting to see if I ever get the call that my spot is ready. If the call comes, we will have to decide if the $25,000 start-up fee and $11,000 in annual dues (assuming the prices do not go up) for a Platinum membership is worth it anyway, so I kind of hope the call does not come! The waitlist closed, so no one can add their names until it opens again. Continue reading

CrowdTap Rewards Another Free Amazon Gift Card

I discovered CrowdTap about a month ago, and I’ve already redeemed my second reward. My first reward was also an Amazon gift card, so I am unsure if there is any retailer variation or if all rewards come from Amazon. As an Amazon Prime member, I enjoy receiving Amazon gift cards. Crowdtap allows tappers to sample free products and earn rewards in the process. It is a place where consumers and brands collaborate to: share opinions, ideas, and market through social sharing. This company has a two-part reward system. Those who earn a specified number of points get a reward. There are opportunities to team up with brands to test products in exchange for reviews. Successful completion of brand missions get points, which in turn helps tappers get more rewards.

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Birchbox Beauty in Bloom Limited Edition Box

See recent Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes.

On the 15th anniversary of the worst day on US soil, I want to break the fourth wall for a second to say, “We remember.” Yes, it is September, and I am just receiving and thus reviewing the Beauty in Bloom Limited Edition Birchbox. With all the awesome things in this box, I am grateful it lasted this long. It’s a box I really wanted to buy after I received my final review points for reviewing my August 2016 Birchbox. Before I placed my order, I saw a video where Lorelei teased the new Cheers To You! box without specifying what was inside. Instead of buying this box then, I decided to wait to see what was in that box. It is their sixth anniversary box, so I assumed it would be amazing. Although spoilers from Cheers to You! did not go over well with most people, I actually think it looks like a good box. I actually would have enjoyed a lot of things in the box, because I: want to explore more Erno Laszlo, loved the Pixi eyeshadow I sampled, enjoy the Cynthia Rowley lip stains, love trying any and all candles, and I think the tray in that set is adorable. The problem is I still think the Beauty in Bloom Limited Edition Box is better.

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Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Week and the VIB Appreciation Sample Bag

See 2018 Point Multipliers.

See 2018 Beauty Insider Promotions.

See 2018 Sample Bag Offers.

See 2018 VIB Promotions.

Beauty Insider Appreciation Week runs from September 10th through September 17th. During the event, Beauty Insiders get 2x points, VIB members get 3x points, and Rouge members get 4x points. This event usually takes place in August, but Sephora pushed it back this year to iron out the details of the Rewards Bazaar. Hopefully, nice items enter the Rewards Bazaar, so the point multipliers for this event get put to great use. It officially kicked off this morning with a private VIB Rouge Event, which I wrote about separately. Sephora always offers a VIB Appreciation Bag for VIB and Rouge clients during the event. There are two options this year, but they share a one time use code. Members can choose the one they prefer (if they arrive before one runs out of stock). These are the same bags handed out at the VIB Rouge event this morning, so it is possible Rouge members who attended the event can get both bags.

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Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Week Starts Today With A Private VIB Rouge Event For Holiday First Access

See 2018 Sample Bag Offers.

See 2018 Beauty Insider Promotions.

Today is the first day of Beauty Insider Appreciation Week, which runs from September 10th through September 17th. During the event, Beauty Insiders get 2x points, VIB members get 3x points, and Rouge members get 4x points. This event usually takes place in August, but Sephora pushed it back this year to iron out the details of the Rewards Bazaar. Hopefully, nice items enter the Rewards Bazaar, so the point multipliers for this event get put to great use. It officially kicked off this morning with a private VIB Rouge event where Rouge members got first access to select holiday items and a VIB Appreciation Bag if they spent $35 at the event. Sephora may keep this event in September in the future, because the August events in years past never had advanced access to holiday items. That was an extra touch to the event this year that would disappear if the event returned to August in the future. This was the first private VIB Rouge event since August of 2015 that was actually tied to a major promotion. Although the June 2016 event brought advanced access to fall items, there was no other incentive to shop. There were not even any samples in that free bag.

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HSN New Customer Offer $20 off a $40 Purchase and a beautyblender® Benefit Apply & Perfect 4-piece Kit

I remember when I was younger, I used to watch HSN and feel the need to purchase everything. It always seemed to have so much stuff I never knew I needed. Over the years, they’ve expanded their items to many things I know I need and many more I want. They are wonderful about putting together adorable sets and some of these sets are a little too irresistible. The one they are discounting today is one I could not pass up.

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Core Collection August 2016 Deal Discoveries

There are so many products I fall in love with but will take a while to finish. Instead of waiting until I can mention them in a FabuFinds article or waiting to see if they make the Top 10 of the Year, I want to go over items from my Core Collection. These are items I consider great deals (even at full-price, although I will still try to get them with a deal). If I ever finish them, I will probably replace ones that do not already have back-ups. Sometimes, they are items I’ve had for a while and just tried or items I tried in the past but love more upon rediscovery. Occasionally, I purchase items I love that do not fit into an article other than this one. When I try something from a recent acquisition where I wrote an article, I will always edit a mini review into the original article (love, hate, or anything in between) or mention it in an Empties article (if I finish it quickly). A single product review in the original article will not always depict how much I love it compared with other items I tried that month. This lists my Deal Discoveries from August 2016 that I am not even close to finishing.

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