When you think of Black Friday, what crosses your mind? Crowds, frustration, riots over flat screen TVs? Black Friday has kind of a bad rap, when you think about it. However, opportunity is ripe for retailers to make Thanksgiving weekend shopping more fun and engaging.

Macy's Black Friday PromotionOne retailer that’s trying to drive more customer engagement is Macy’s. The department store is planning to launch an interactive consumer experience for Black Friday 2014, which will allow people shopping in-store to scan different QR codes for a chance to win cash. Using the Macy’s mobile app, customers scanning the QR codes will be automatically entered the giveaway during doorbuster hours, beginning at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day through 1 pm on November 28, and on Saturday, November 29, from 7 am to 1 pm.

Martine Reardon, Macy’s CMO, explains the program, saying: “As customers navigate their shopping route throughout the store, they will be able to score digital gift codes offering instant wins via Macy’s mobile app. This element of surprise along with a playful new commercial featuring our official holiday ambassador, SpongeBob SquarePants, is certain to add a new element of fun to our customers’ shopping experience on Black Friday this year.”

Throughout the weekend, Macy’s will give away $1 million in cash! Make sure you have the Macy’s app installed on your phone though – that’s the only way you can enter to win!

What do you think of this promotion? Will you be scanning QR codes with your Macy’s app this Black Friday?

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When it comes to my hair, I’ve found one thing to be true – it’s a problem. It’s a bit greasy at the roots and gets very dry on the ends, and there’s a lot of frizz in between. It’s pretty frustrating, and I’ve been searching for that “secret sauce” that will help it look moderately decent when it air dries, since I don’t always have a lot of time to mess with it in the morning.

I’ve tried mousses and gels, but the best solution seems to be a nice thick, creamy leave-in conditioner. I have tried a bunch of them, and most do a pretty decent job. However, when I was recently contacted by Beauty Without Cruelty and asked if I’d like to try their leave-in treatment, I was excited. I’m a big fan of the brand for their stance on safe ingredients with no animal testing, and I have had good experience with their shampoo in the past. After a few uses, I think it’s definitely something that can help fight frizz when I opt to let my hair air dry. It weighs down the frizz without losing the volume. The trick is being able to apply it to the ends and not too close to the scalp (avoiding that greasy look).

Usually my hair is not photo-ready after air drying. (My Snapchat friends know this!) Today, I was feeling good enough about it to snap a hair selfie at work!

BWC Leave In - Air Dried

BWC Leave In – Air Dried

This is the section of my hair that always, always, always frizzes. As you can tell, it’s holding together pretty well in loose rings. That is very rare for me, so I’m pretty pleased overall.

For under $10 (at Drugstore.com – don’t forget to use BigCrumbs if you make a purchase!), I think this leave-in conditioner is a good option for those of us with problem hair. I’ve spent considerably more on high-end products with mixed results, so I’m excited that this worked out as well as it did.

Have you tried BWC’s Leave-In Conditioner? What are your thoughts?

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided with the Beauty Without Cruelty Leave-In Conditioner free of charge. I wrote this review based on my own experience with the product and I was not compensated in any way besides the free product. All opinions are my own!

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photo via Builders Design

We’re in the process of furnishing a new home, so let me assure you, Labor Day could not come at a better time! I’ve been scouring newspapers and the internet to find the best deals on everything from flooring to furniture to curtains – everything a new home could need.

Here’s a list of some great deals for Labor Day:

  • Grills and Patio Furniture – since summer is coming to a close, many retailers will be offloading outdoor cooking accessories and furniture. Just yesterday I saw a beautiful chair at Home Depot marked down to $300 from $799! Lowe’s is offering up to 75% off some furniture as well!
  • Mattresses - Sears is currently running a sale of 60% off all mattresses, Sleepy’s is offering up to half off, and many other retailers will follow suit. As luck would have it, we’re in the market for a brand new set, but if you’ve been looking to upgrade, now is a great time to do so.
  • Cars - I’m not personally in the market for a new car (still absolutely adore my Kia Optima!) but if you are, now is a great time to check out your local dealership. I recently saw a commercial that Chevrolet is offering 0% financing for 6 years for qualified buyers. Pretty amazing.
  • Furniture - I don’t know if it’s just locally here in Maryland, but I’ve seen a TON of ads for furniture clearances. We’re planning to check out Marlo, Gavigan’s, IKEA, Overstock.com, and a bunch more.
  • Summer Clothing - I’m currently on a spending hiatus, but now is a great time to stock up on summer clothing. I’ve seen sales from all the big retailers, so be sure to check around online for coupon codes before you shop. My favorite place for codes is RetailMeNot.

Don’t forget if you shop online, use Cash Back sites to get the best bang for your buck. My personal favorite is BigCrumbs – sign up and refer your friends to get the best benefit! Here’s a great resource for why you should join BigCrumbs today!

What other sales have jumped out at you? Where are you planning to shop this Labor Day weekend? Please share in the comments!

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