Cold Weather Capsule Wardrobe and a little Style-Math!

This morning, I decided to do a bit of #stylemath. I counted up the pieces in this capsule wardrobe to get an idea of how many items were thrifted, deeply discounted or purchased at retail price, just for fun.

I am so happy with my outfits and the money I spent this season!

Total: 26 items, including shoes and jewelry.

Breakdown as follows: 3 statement necklaces, 4 pairs of shoes (silver flats, leopard flats, brown booties, Uggs), 3 dresses, 2 jackets (olive, pink), 1 cardigan (grey and black striped), 5 shirts, 1 sweater, 5 pairs of pants (leggings, black jeans, embroidered jeans, olive pants, black joggers), 2 tees (black & white).

Thrifted items: 17

New, but deeply discounted (clearance): 5

Gifted: 1

New at retail price (definitely on sale though): 3

It’s great to finally feel like my closet is #workingforme! I was sick of constantly shopping but still feeling I had nothing to wear. I have finally learned how to build a cohesive, flexible wardrobe with all the tips and prompts from a professional stylist via Alison Lumbatis and the GYPO Style Challenges. There is still time to sign up for the Winter Style Challenge where you will learn to shop your closet and build a wardrobe that you love!

Click here to learn more!

What will you get with the Winter Style Challenge? 

When you sign up, you’ll receive a shopping list of on trend winter essentials with links to shop recommended items online or in store. You’ll also get access to your first 7 days of outfit ideas immediately! This capsule wardrobe builder creates 27 days of mix and match casual chic outfit ideas with dress it up and dress it down options.

As a special bonus, you’ll also receive access to the Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe*, doubling your outfit ideas!

*after refund period

What did I learn in previous Style Challenges?

How to utilize what I already have in my closet. Start in your closet, don’t start at the store.

How to wear statement pieces. I have a little bit more confidence about trying trends.

How to shop with a plan. Shopping efficiently can multiply your outfit options without actually spending more $$$.

How to make better choices in the store. If it’s not a HECK YES, it’s a NO! Don’t settle, just wait.

Your wardrobe should be something you enjoy wearing, not something you enjoy purchasing. There is a big difference!

If you have any questions about the Style Challenge, please let me know! 

It’s great to finally feel like my closet is #workingforme! I was sick of constantly shopping but still feeling I had nothing to wear. I have finally learned how to build a cohesive, flexible wardrobe with all the tips and prompts from a professional stylist via Alison Lumbatis and the GYPO Style Challenges. There is still time to sign up for the Winter Style Challenge where you will learn to shop your closet and build a wardrobe that you love! Plus save money by #shoppingwithapurpose

Don’t forget, you’ll receive the 2017 Style Challenge as an amazing FREE BONUS! This way you can double your options easily!


Click here to join the GYPO Winter Style Challenge!

 

 

GYPO Style Challenge Drive ‘n Chat

The time has come to sign up for the Winter 2018 Style Challenge by Alison Lumbatis at Get Your Pretty On! I have never participated in the Winter Challenge, but I have had so much fun with the Fall Challenge this year that I can highly recommend the experience, especially if you feel a little overwhelmed at shopping and putting together outfits. This is a fantastic way to tailor your own capsule wardrobe for the winter on your own time, budget, and at the size and styles that make the most sense for YOUR body.

Click here for the Winter Challenge!

When you purchase the Winter Challenge for $39, you’ll get the following:

  • a shopping list of on trend winter essentials with links to shop recommended items online or in store. Don’t forget, you can find these items anywhere so don’t limit yourself. Check your closet first, then shop thrift stores, ebay, poshmark etc. to build your capsule at the price you can afford.
  • 27 days of mix and match casual chic outfit ideas with dress it up and dress it down options. You’ll get the first 10 outfits right away, then the others will be available after the refund period.
  • Membership to the seasonal Facebook group with lots of exclusive content, giveaways, extra support plus a ton of peer advice and encouragement. The community is truly amazing!
  • the 2017 Winter Style Challenge as a BONUS. That doubles your ideas for outfits and gives you a ton of flexibility while your shopping. 

    Get the 2017 Winter Challenge completely FREE when you purchase this year’s challenge!

If you are interested but just not totally sure, guess what? This is a risk-free membership and can be fully refunded through December 22. That gives you a chance to check out the lists and if you just don’t like the content, feel free to request a refund…it’s super simple!

Check out this video where I share my experience with the 2018 Fall Style Challenge. 

I think you will really love the Style Challenge for Winter 2018! Let me know what you think!

 

Relax: Quick DIY Essential Oil Roller Bottle Tutorial

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I just noticed I have run out of my favorite essential oil blend ever: Relax by Plant Therapy! This is a blend that I absolutely cannot be without.  I just love it and use it basically everyday. This is one I keep in my kit, keep in my purse and keep a couple other spots around the house as well as giving it away to others who need help relaxing! (Basically everyone, am I right?)

Click here to get the 10 ml bottle of Relax for only $9.95!

Relax is also KIDSAFE for children over 2 which is fantastic (my kids have their own bottles also). Plant Therapy’s Kidsafe line has been approved by Robert Tisserand, one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. I feel so much better about using oils that are approved as Kidsafe! A 10 ml bottle of Relax is only $10 (or get a 30 ml bottle for only $15.95….now that’s a savings!) on Amazon and you can DIY your own roller bottles like I do to make them SO cheap. Here’s very simple directions on how to make the roller bottles at home, along with links to what you’ll need.

DIY Relax Roller Bottles

This is barely a tutorial, since the steps are so simple but I know that before I made them I was intimidated about filling up roller bottles, so hopefully this helps!

  1. First, open the roller bottle using the tool included in the set (it will just pop right off).
  2. Then add the amount of oil drops from the Relax bottle based on a dilution chart. I use this one: Plant Therapy Dilution Chart. I add 15 drops of Relax to each roller bottle.
  3. Then, I fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. With the pump, you can just pump it right into the roller without needed a funnel or anything. SO easy!
  4. Put the roller top on the bottle, using the included tool. These bottles can be re-used also, so they are really a great value.
  5. Add a label or create your own label. I have tried doing this a few different ways and have had trouble with some of my labels sticking. For my last batch, I cut out a piece of scrapbook paper, added a written label or printed label from my label maker, and then secured it really well with packing tape onto the bottle. These labels have stayed on better than any others have!

That’s it! Apply this whenever you are feeling anxious or stressed. I use mine all throughout the day. Last night I used it when I woke up in the middle of the night and it helped me fall right back asleep. Relax Synergy by Plant Therapy is a mixture of: Lavender, Marjoram, Patchouli, Mandarin, Geranium and Chamomile. I’m just telling you, it smells AMAZING and calms me right down.

Want to get your hands on a roller bottle right away? You can buy it ready made for only $8.95! Don’t stress, just relax!

What’s your favorite essential oil blend? Maybe I’ll add it to my Christmas list!

 

 

Win a FREE Force of Nature Starter Kit!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I will receive a commission from items purchased. Thank you for supporting my little blog and allowing me more time to write!

It’s time for another amazing giveaway! I’m really excited about this one because this is a product that will definitely make your life easier and less stressful, particularly at this time of year. Are you excited?!?

I have been using Force of Nature for a few months and I am SO happy with the product. Like many of you, I know that most cleaning products have a lot of dangerous ingredients, so for years I have been trying to improve my cleaning routine and make it safer for my family. Unfortunately, in the past my efforts meant ditching conventional products like Clorox or Windex for “green” brands like Mrs. Meyer’s or Method. A few years ago I started learning that even those brands had dangerous fragrances and additives! It’s frustratingly difficult to protect yourself from dangerous substances.

If you want to read more about dangerous ingredients in “Natural Cleaners”, click here. 

In my family we have tons of allergies, asthma and a history of auto-immune disorders. So it is SERIOUSLY important for me to minimize every possible risk to protect our already compromised health. 

After being disillusioned with Mrs. Meyer’s and Method cleaners, my next step was to try Young Living’s Thieves Cleaner. I know so many people who love this product but I still wasn’t super happy with it. It was definitely an improvement on other products, but I still had concerns. I have read medical research that suggests these oils are not safe for young children or asthmatic and immune-compromised individuals.

Here’s a helpful article that talks about the risks with thieves blends used around children. 

Please note that I love and use essential oils, including Young Living brand and I still have a bottle of Thieves cleaner that I’m finishing up. I just didn’t think that was where I would land as a permanent cleaning solution! I finally found a cleaner that I have no worries or concerns about and that is Force of Nature Cleaner.


So what is Force of Nature, exactly?

electricity + salt, water, vinegar = electrolyzed water

Electrolyzed water is an industrial technology that’s commonly used for its efficacy yet lack of harmful chemicals, fumes & residues. The active ingredient, hypochlorous acid, is even used as the active ingredient in wound, eye & veterinary care products. Force of Nature creates electrolyzed water by using electricity to change the chemical composition of salt, water & vinegar.

Don’t miss the AMAZING coupon code at the bottom of the post and save 50% on the starter kit! 

Well, is it safe? 

 

Absolutely! Click here to read more about the safety and efficacy of the product.

Now, to the giveaway! 

Force of Nature has generously offered a free Force of Nature Starter Kit to one of my readers. Sign up for the Giveaway Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What exactly will you get if you win?

You’ll be getting this package: Force of Nature Starter Kit

Force of Nature can save you up to 80% on every ounce vs typical natural cleaners. At just $.07 per ounce, it can save you money within the first year, even after buying the Starter Kit. The Starter Kit comes with:

  • 5 Activator Capsules, enough to make 5 bottles
  • Activator Base
  • Power Cord
  • 12 oz Spray Bottle
  • Quick Start Guide
  • User Manual

Each Force of Nature Capsule makes one 12 ounce bottle of multi-purpose cleaner, disinfectant & deodorizer that lasts 2 weeks. Light, clean scent and no added fragrances. We promise you’ll love it – 100% Happiness Guaranteed.

This giveaway will only be open for four more days so please don’t miss this opportunity! Thanks for entering and good luck!

Feeling UNLUCKY? Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you can still score an awesome deal on the Force of Nature starter kit. Just click here and use code FALLSAVE to get it for 50% off. You’ll need to hurray, because this coupon code is good only through the end of October so there are only a few more days to take advantage of this deal!

 

Why I’m trying an Online Stylist…and why you should too!

I am told that Fall is coming. It makes sense because we started school over a month ago and the pools are starting to close (tears).  Despite the Halloween costumes in stores and the pumpkins at the supermarket, it’s still ridiculously hot. In fact, it’s 90 right now and we’re definitely going swimming tomorrow (there’s at least one local pool that fortunately follows temperature rather than a calendar).

But I have hope that Fall is actually on its way and I have a plan! This year, I’m excited to be using an online Stylist, Alison Lumbatis with her fantastic GYPO Fall 2018 Style Challenge to build my wardrobe. You see, my Fall closet usually consists of whatever individual items I like that I can find for a bargain. I have never truly purchased clothing with any organized intentionality and I really wanted to do better for myself.

I’m going to share some of my reasons for trying a capsule wardrobe and why I’m using the GYPO Style Challenge to do it. I would love to have you try this challenge right along with me! Click here to discover more info and sign up using my referral link: The 2018 GYPO Fall Style Challenge. We can be style buddies! It will be so fun!

Why a capsule wardrobe?

You guys know that I have a heart for minimalism but a habit of shopping. I am a sucker for a good bargain and I enjoy the “thrill of the hunt”. Still, simplifying my life has made me less stressed and more productive. There’s just no getting around it. The same goes for my wardrobe. I enjoy buying clothes and like a variety but the more I get the more I seem to feel like I have “nothing to wear”. I often think about how much I enjoy spending a casual week at my parents’ house. Besides the fun of their company, I also enjoy the relaxation of leaving most of our possessions behind and taking just the bare essentials. Inevitably, the outfits I pack for a week long trip are my favorites. I started thinking, what if all my clothes were my favorites and I didn’t have the extra taking up space and muddying the waters of my closet?

Why a digital stylist?

I can’t afford a personal stylist and I can’t even afford Stitch Fix more than a time or two. But the idea of a professionally created capsule wardrobe is so appealing. The pieces will coordinate and can be mixed easily. The GYPO Style Challenge is so much cheaper than many programs of its kind and because it has been planned ahead, the pieces are guaranteed to work together! That’s completely different from the random way I typically shop. I love the idea of shopping with a purpose, but having the flexibility of choosing the specific brand and price point. There is SO much flexibility in the Fall Challenge!

Won’t it be expensive?

The Style Challenge itself is only $39. The amount you spend beyond that is up to you and really depends on how you approach it. The first thing to realize is that you probably already own a lot of the items. Just as examples from the cover photo: black pants, olive pants, floral print top, black cardigan, chambray shirt. The Challenge includes links to items at lots of price points, to make an outfit however you like. Don’t forget about buying second hand which is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to complete your challenge. I have found lots of the items at my local thrift stores. The great thing about the program plus the Facebook group is that you’ll find simple and inexpensive ways to get MORE wear out of the clothing you already have. Last year’s challenge included a print scarf and I found one for about $3 that totally pulled together several items that were otherwise gathering dust in my closet.

When should I sign up?

Ummm, now! Because I’m behind on blogging, I have failed to share this info with you until now and I totally apologize. The GYPO 2018 Fall Challenge is only open until September 21, so that’s just two more days! Did you know the membership is RISK-FREE? Sign up now and explore all of the lists, bonuses and even check out the unlocked outfits. If you decide it isn’t working for you, you can request a refund until 9/29 (no questions asked). I am sure that once you get a feel for how great this challenge is, you will not be willing to let it go!

What exactly do I get?

After you have registered, you can access the shopping lists, the outfit combos, the AMAZING Facebook group, and bonuses like the 2017 Fall Challenge (yes a whole other challenge doubling your outfit options), Color Palates and Dressing for Your Body Type. These resources are not only getting your wardrobe into shape for this season, but helping you have a great foundation for building your own outfits from now on! These aren’t just digital lists, they are tools to teach you how to shop and dress yourself better. Don’t forget that this Capsule will work JUST as well next year as it does this year.

I am so excited about this year’s Challenge because I love the colors and patterns. Black and white gingham, teal, and leopard print, plus some of my current closet basics like a simple white tee, olive pants and floral prints. What’s not to love?!

Click here to get started on the 2018 GYPO Fall Challenge.
If you decide to join, please message me and let me know. I’ll see you in the GYPO Facebook group!

Does your work wardrobe need serious help? Click here to check out the 2018 Fall Workwear Challenge, only $29!  GYPO can make getting dressed the easiest thing you do all day!

 

 

 

 

Urban Chic Jewelry by Oana Design: Invisible Clip-on Earrings!

Does it seem like all I write about lately are products I love?  I do have other upcoming topics in the works but recently I’ve been lucky enough to test some amazing products and sharing awesome stuff is truly one of my favorite things: so keep reading for more product raves!

Why invisible clip-ons? 

I waited patiently until I was  almost 18 years old to get my ears pierced. I loved how a pair of earrings elevated an outfit and gave it a little extra “something”. Despite following all of the care instructions to a “T”, my ears turned out to be sensitive from the start. I was never able to wear cheap earrings and often couldn’t tolerate wearing them for long periods of time.

Years later, after I had my first pregnancy, it was harder and harder for me to find earrings that wouldn’t irritate my skin. Finally, I stopped wearing them altogether because even gold or titanium would cause redness and irritation and it just become more trouble than it was worth. At one point, I even tried wooden earrings with wooden posts but nothing helped!

So I sadly stopped wearing earrings altogether. Ever since that time, I have been searching for an improved clip-on earring that is comfortable and offers some of the same cute trendy styles you find in pierced earrings. Recently, I found some wonderful earrings that are perfect for my daughters! Click here to read about invisible Clip-ons from Smart Co Jewelry! My girls love them and the dainty, candy-colored choices are perfect for them at age 11. I was hoping to find something similar in more sophisticated styles for me!

Enter Urban Chic Jewelry by Oana Designs! I was browsing Etsy and found this store with the most amazing chic designs in the same easy-to-wear invisible clip-on styles. I was thrilled and I contacted Oana about reviewing her jewelry for the blog. She generously offered three beautiful sets of earrings for me to try.

Click here for the Honey Comb Earrings!
These are beautiful geometric gold colored dangle earrings! I received several compliments the first time I wore them. They reflect the light as you move and you get that wonderful “swing” just like pierced earrings. These are very light-weight and the soft plastic clasp is MUCH more comfortable than the traditional tight clip-ons. You can gently open the plastic clasp to allow a better fit. Each time I wore them, they seemed to fit better. This design is sophisticated and understated. I seriously love the look!

As you can see, the plastic clasp truly is nearly invisible. I actually positioned it a little bit to the side so it would show better for this photo. 

 

 

Click here for the Gold Dipped Feather Earrings! 
Feather earrings are totally “in” right now and I was specifically wanting to try something a little more dramatic than my usual under-stated jewelry. These lovely graceful, gold-dipped feathers are exactly what I had hoped. They are elegant and boho at the same time with a very pale pink/peach feather that’s gentle dipped in subtle gold. They are as lightweight as you would imagine and the resin clip is super comfy. You’ve got to try these!

 

 

Click here for similar 80’s acrylic earrings!
I think these may be my very favorite! These are chunky 80’s style cut-out acrylic earrings and the color on the linked pair is a little different than the ones I have, but the design is the same. These earrings are perfect for this time of year, as summer slips into fall. The fun floral design is reminiscent of palm trees and beach wear but the browns are perfect for autumn time.

I would love to hear what you think about Japanese inspired invisible clip-on earrings. Be sure to click over to Oana Designs to check out the styles and let me know what your favorite is. Maybe I’ll review those next!

I received free products for the purpose of my review, but I was not compensated for writing it and every word is my personal and original honest opinion. Thanks for reading!

My Ultimate Favorite Things Round-up!

I talk about favorite products a lot around here, but recently a few folks have been asking for more info on some of my favorites. So I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some of my favorite items and why they are so amazing!

This post is in progress, so please pardon the lack of neatness! 

I’ll be using affiliate links throughout this post to take you right to my favorite products on Amazon. If you decide to buy something, it won’t cost you any extra but I’ll receive a small commission. It helps me keep my blog going and afford my next must-have items! Some of the posts might contain a coupon code so be sure to check!

*Instant Pot
Life-changing. I now have two. I can’t remember how I fed my family before I got them! Probably my top favorite invention and whoever is responsible has my undying, eternal gratitude. Yesterday returned from grocery store about 4:30 and had sweet potatoes and corned beef made in time for dinner with about 5 minutes of set up. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again and again.

Click here to check out the Instant Pot. 

*Marpac Sound Machines
We are super vigilant with guarding sleep in our family and this is a must-have. We own three and will not travel without them. In the past we’ve used box fans and other sounds machines but because the Marpac is an electronic fan, there is NO variation or “seam” in the sound making it far superior as a white noise generator. Plus it’s way smaller than a box fan and perfectly portable.

Click here for the Marpac Sound Machine.

*Sash Bag Purse

I never knew how much I hated a purse until I switched to a Sash Bag! I never felt this way about a purse before. Beautiful, light-weight. ergonomic, doesn’t hurt my neck, eliminates need for wallet, completely organized, impossible to lose, best customer service I have ever encountered. I’m such a huge fan I’ve become a brand ambassador and as of this date I believe I’m the top referrer for the brand. It’s because switching to a beautiful, comfortable, perfectly designed crossbody bag that hugs your body is a total no-brainer!

Click here to explore the Sash Bag. (You’ll even save 10% when you buy through my link). Don’t miss the new reversible leather and cloth options, they are to die for!

*Coaster Tray-now we don’t waste cups and glasses and the kids don’t leave them everywhere.

*Vitamix-Totally worth the investment. We use our Vitamix almost every day. It’s a powerhouse appliance that lasts for years!

*NYDJ– Not Your Daughter’s Jeans are the best ever. I love them and have mostly culled my non-NYDJ jeans. They fit great and really do make you look two sizes smaller. I have found must of mine at Nordstrom Rack or thrift stores but you can also get them on Amazon. 

*Zip-it Bedding

I’m so glad we found Zip-It bedding and I have to say they’ve held up so much better than I expected. My son has a loft bed (shown in pic) and my girls have a bunk bed and it is just plain a HUGE pain to make them up and change the sheets. With our allergies, we need to wash comforters+sheets at least every two weeks, which is a tall order. With our old bedding, even when a neat-freak of an adult made them, they never looked neat because bedding isn’t designed for bunks. Now I can wash and re-make all three beds within a few hours and they look amazing. I consider Zip-it Bedding a Mom-hack for sure!

*Simplified cleaning/bath body-I’m still working out my cleaning routine but I know for sure that a simplified cleaning and bath routine works GREAT for us. We use e-cloth for cleaning (basically a budget version of Norwex) and Force of Nature cleaner!

*Color-coded towels

I love having one color per kid. It has vastly simplified our laundry and next time I need to replace towels I will probably get a separate color for myself and my husband too! It makes a huge difference in laundry and you never have to ask “Who left this towel on the floor?”

*Ikea furniture
We specifically love the Kura junior loft bed and the Mydal bunk beds. We have recently gotten the Svalnas built-in desks and love them also!

*Tangle Teezer Brushes
These are something that literally saved my time and sanity when the girls were little. I tried SO many products and SO many brushes but these were ultimately the winners! They made combing out those crazy tangled curls do-able!

*Sashka Co Bracelets
I love sashka co bracelets as a unique little gift for friends or teachers. Click here and use code CHASINGSANTEE25 to save 25% on all purchases! SASHKA CO. GLASS BEADED BRACELETS ARE HANDMADE BY SKILLED ARTISANS IN THE KATHMANDU VALLEY OF NEPAL. PROCEEDS FROM YOUR PURCHASE EMPOWER WOMEN IN NEED TO RISE ABOVE POVERTY THROUGH FAIR TRADE. ROLL A BRACELET ON AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. 

*Plant Therapy Essential Oils
The more I learn about them, the more I love essential oils. I use a few Young Living products and some Doterra and I love them, but in general they are very expensive and the cost is padded to cover the direct sales platform. Plant therapy essential oils is crazy affordable and exceptional quality. I have been so happy with their safety guidelines, customer support and products. My very favorite product is Relax!


*AlexaPure Water Filter
I had been wanting a Berkey Water filter for a loooong time, but I couldn’t justify the price. We need the filter to remove fluoride, chlorine, and toxins and the AlexaPure does it all for way less! I’m super happy with it!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Awesome Find: The Cutest Clip-ons!

I’m SUPER excited for ya’ll to hear about this new product! It’s the perfect solution for a problem I’ve become far too accustomed to. I’ve always had super sensitive skin and haven’t been able to wear earrings for probably 8 years. Against my better judgement, I let my sweet girls get their ears pierced for their tenth birthday and despite meticulous care, they both got terribly infected and had to give up earrings also.

It’s seriously such a drag. I’m a low-maintenance, light makeup kind of girl but I always loved wearing a pair of earrings. I felt like it elevated my look and helped me appear a bit more put together! So losing the chance to wear earrings was really disappointing. I also felt terrible whenever the girls couldn’t wear their own birthday presents. Of course, we all tried clip-ons but they are just plain uncomfortable. And when they annoy you, you take them off and they get lost anyway!

Every few months I google “Clip on” earrings to see if something new and awesome has developed. Finally, something did!

I discovered an Etsy shop that makes the most adorable invisible clip on earrings! They are comfortable, lightweight, and my girls love them! Smart Jewelry Co was generous enough to send us a couple pairs of earrings to try and I have to say, we love them! Here’s the quick review from my tweens:


They are CUTE. Clip on earrings just aren’t usually cute the way popular studs are, but these are adorable and trendy, perfect for kids and tweens! There are animals, stars, flowers, and, my favorite, druzy styles.

They are COMFORTABLE. According to my girls, you can’t feel these at all! In fact, my daughter kept asking if they were still on because she can’t tell.

They are LIGHTWEIGHT. The plastic clasp makes these super light, which is why they are so very comfortable. Also, of course, plastic is great for so many of us who have metal sensitivity, which brings me to the next point.

They are HYPOALLERGENIC. Tons of folks have metal sensitivity and some just can’t do metal at all. (That’s me). Plastic is safer by far!

They are INEXPENSIVE. These are a great price at less than $10 per pair. Plus, the money goes to a small business owner which is so much nicer than purchasing cheap jewelry at the mall.

Click here to check out Smart Jewelry Co….I hope you enjoy their products. I know we will be ordering some more earrings soon!

I received free products for the purpose of my review, but I was not compensated for writing it and every word is my personal and original honest opinion. Thanks for reading!

 

Deal Alert! Instant Pot Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 $99.96

This post contains referral links:

Do any of my readers still not have an Instant Pot? If you haven’t pulled the trigger on this one, I have failed as a blogger! It’s not too late to right this wrong, though. At this moment, the latest greatest Instant Pot is at it’s lowest price ever! The 6 quart 10-in-1 model is only $99.96; that’s $50 off!

We now have two Instant Pots and use them multiple times a week. I often use one for meat and the other for rice or a main course in one, potatoes in the other. Or I will have both multi-tasking to make bone broth and hard boiled eggs to get ready for the week. I’ve even doubled up on soup for a hosted dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all so much quicker and easier. We just couldn’t cook without them!

Check out a few of the ways I use the Instant Pot:

Hard-boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Delicious Ribs in the Instant Pot

Real Mac ‘n Cheese in the Instant Pot

Loaded (with Veggies) Potato Soup in the Instant Pot

If you are looking for a great cookbook, I recommend Great Food Fast by Bob Warden. 

Let me know what you make in your Instant Pot, I’m always looking for new recipes!

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Finn Review

I’m excited to share this review from a company I’ve followed for many years, Inspired by Finn! Keep reading to find a generous coupon code just for us.

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my honest and completely original review. All thoughts expressed are uniquely mine. 

First, a flash back to my early days as a mom:

When I first saw an amber necklace on a sweet chubby toddler I was instantly curious. It seemed a little odd for a baby to be wearing a necklace and I wondered if it were truly safe. I then began reading up on Amber Necklaces and discovered they were much more than a baby “fashion statement” but could help ease the discomfort associated with teething. At that point, I began shopping around for a necklace to try and found many references to a small online store called Inspired by Finn.

After I ordered three necklaces, one for each of my toddler girls and one for myself, I had a chance to check out the quality personally. After seeing them in person, I felt comfortable about the safety. In fact, after years of use we did have one necklace break and it did so when pressure was applied, without a single bead coming loose, just as it should. In other words, there was no risk of strangulation because it broke easily and there was no risk of choking because not a single bead came free from the necklace. I was really impressed!

A note about safety: I’m still not a fan of jewelry on sleeping babies because, let’s face it, I’m super paranoid. I like the idea of double wrapping the necklace around an ankle and covering it with footie pjs if you want the therapeutic benefits during sleeping time. 

Being sensitive to metal jewelry, I found the amber necklace wonderfully comfortable, light-weight and pretty. I enjoyed the soft natural glow but I didn’t really expect further benefits. But one day I realized that my neck was beginning to hurt and it occurred to me that I had forgotten to wear my necklace. It turned out that the succinic acid WAS taking the edge off my constant aching neck. Once I got it back on, the pain was dulled again. (Yes, I really need to see a chiropractor).

Here’s what the website has to say about the amber necklaces:

“This amazing substance is an all-natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory used for centuries as a remedy for many ailments.  Baltic amber (also known as succinite) has some of the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature, which is what makes Baltic amber so special and gives it its healing potential. “

Look how super cute my twins were with their necklaces! They wore them everywhere. Oh I can hardly believe how big they are now!

Recently, I was interested in trying a couple of other pieces from Inspired by Finn so I contacted them and they were super generous to send me this necklace. Thank you Inspired by Finn!

My 11 year old daughter has been dealing with stomach issues for nearly 6 months now. It started with what seemed like a stomach bug and evolved into daily discomfort. Her symptoms are bloating, pain, nausea and she also has a great deal of anxiety. She has been diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and is being treated by our holistic doctor with herbal treatments and diet change.  Although we have seen improvement, she still suffers from discomfort each day so I was so excited to give this a try. Click here to check out the features of this necklace that is designed to help with digestive issues. She put it right on and first of all, I have to say it is SO pretty. I love the natural, beachy look and  the necklace is light and comfortable.

She has worn it every day for a little over a week. It’s really hard to know for sure if it is working but I feel strongly that gut issues need to be treated with all the artillery you can find. For us, it made sense to combine herbal medicine, essential oils, diet change, chiropractic care, emotional support and lifestyle adjustments. We are hoping that this necklace will be another tool in our toolkit for treating her many symptoms. I know that she likes wearing the necklace, it’s cute and it certainly isn’t hurting her! I am thankful we gave it a try.

Finally, I’m happy to say I have a coupon code to share with my readers! Use code “CHASING” at Inspired by Finn for 25% off your entire purchase. I know I am going to be buying some other necklaces soon.

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my honest and completely original review. All thoughts expressed are uniquely mine. 

The Sash Bag!

I’m so glad to be writing this much over-due blog post, because I have a new product recommendation that I can’t wait to share!  Spoiler Alert: The Sash Bag was something I had been wanting to try for a few months and now that I have used it daily for over a month I am completely in LOVE with it. Yes, this is going to go in my top all time favorite products ever; I would rate it right up there with my Instant Pot and Marpac sound machines. These are things I can’t live without now that I’ve experienced them. If I am marooned on a desert island, you’ll find me with my sound machine, my Instant Pot and my Sash bag. True story.

First, let me share why handbags have given me so much trouble in the past. I carry a lot of tension in my neck and back, in fact X-rays show my right shoulder is always tensed up which is exacerbated by carrying handbags, backpacks and, for a couple years, the most well-stocked twin-prepped diaper bag in the South Eastern United States. (Carrying those twins simultaneously no doubt also contributed to the abuse of my neck and back. How I wish I knew about baby-wearing at that time).  I lived with neck pain for so long that it became normal and I didn’t even think that the bags I was carrying were contributing to the problem.

 

Then one day while I was wasting time on Facebook, I came across an ad for the Sash Bag and I was intrigued. To make a long story short, I now have THREE Sash Bags and I can’t imagine ever carrying another bag. (Now, I know what you are thinking, why do I need three? The answer is that I do not need three. I only need one but one was a prize from a contest, one was my big Christmas gift, and the third was a spontaneous and sweet gift from my husband. Can’t complain about that!). I know my review is getting long (what can I say, I love talking/writing) but keep reading, at the end I am going to share a coupon code so that you can save on the Sash Bag!

So let’s get into the actual review of the Sash bag. Each sash bag has an adjustable strap, RFID protection and a total of six roomy sections (the main pockets have pockets within them). There are also six card-slots (I double my cards up) so that you can completely eliminate the need for a wallet all together. At first I was apprehensive of this idea, but I absolutely love not having a wallet. Everything I need is right there and it definitely takes a load off my shoulders! The Sash comes in cloth and leather versions (and even a cool leather/cloth reversible version). Each one is made in India and the lambskin leather is directly sourced from the meat-industry there. The leather feels amazingly-soft and buttery. The three I own are the reversible black and brown leather, the Onyx leather and the turquoise/grey reversible cloth bag. Oh my stars, I love them all but I am so glad I splurged for the leather for my first bag. It’s slightly lighter than the cloth, has a little more give and truly feels like a second skin. I am not exaggerating to say that I forget I am wearing it sometimes. I walk in my house and start cooking only to realize I still have my bag on. You guys think I am joking….I am NOT joking! The design of the bag fits your body perfectly, stacks the weight ergonomically  and you just forget that you are wearing it at all. That’s a far cry from the bags I used to carry….I would drop those things like hot potatoes as soon as I walked through my front door!

Are you already convinced? Click here to check out the Sash Bag and save 10%!

As a mom, there have been times I had to leave my purse in a potentially risky public situation in order to chase after a toddler or deal with a parenting crisis. I bet you have done that too! Or you turn away from your cart and keep darting glances back to make sure no one is trying to swipe your purse, because who wants to carry a clunky handbag while dealing with grocery shopping? These are situations that don’t happen with the Sash bag. I already have to keep my eyes on three children and I don’t need my bag to be another distraction and burden in my life! Thank you Nichole MacDonald (creator of the Sash bag) for making something so life-changing for women!

Other bad habits I no longer do: put my purse on the back of a restaurant chair, put my purse on the floor in a bathroom, put my purse on the passenger seat of the car (I just keep it on while driving), put my purse in the seat of a grocery cart, put my purse on the counter while I am teaching. Suddenly, my life away from home just feels much more simple! Also the Sash Bag makes traveling unbelievably easy! (I’m not a traveler, but there is also room for your passport!).

Bottom-line of this long-winded post: I love my Sash Bags! I am also excited to be a part of the Sash Ambassador program which means I can share a coupon code with my readers. Click here to check out the amazing selection of Sash Bags and save 10% on your entire purchase! (This will help me earn “sash cash” as well, so thank you in advance!) If you have any questions about the Sash Bag, let me know!

This post contains affiliate links. 

 

 

 

My favorite DIY beauty product EVER!

If you know me, you know that my “beauty routine” is super minimalist and I really use only a handful of products. Today I’m going to show you how to make one of my very favorites, and it will take you like five minutes! This is the PERFECT product for holiday gift-giving and is one of the best multi-use items in my stash!

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Today I’m introducing you to Plant Therapy, my favorite Essential Oils Company with great quality standards, careful safety guidelines, unbeatable prices and free, fast shipping each and every time!

Click here for Plant Therapy Essential Oils! 

This sugar scrub is smooth and smells AHHHMAZING. I’ve made this recipe for years but recently discovered a couple tips that make this product even better. You can use any essential oils that you want, but I’ve used Peppermint Oil in the past because of it’s fantastic, invigorating scent. Click here to buy Peppermint Oil, Lavender & Lemon Oil from Plant Therapy. Today I’m using Immune Aid to give my family a little extra immune support during this particular season! Click here to buy this fantastic organic blend for only $9.95 with free shipping!

DIY Essential Oils Sugar Scrub

1 Cup Sugar

1-2 Cups Coconut Oil*

5-10 drops of your favorite Essential Oils

Equipment: Hand or stand mixer, Stainless Steel bowl and spoon, Silicone Squeeze Bottles. (These bottles are what have taken this DIY recipe from a nice handmade product to my very favorite travel-friendly, shower-friendly, convenient product that I can carry anywhere. You can squeeze the sugar scrub right out easily and it works just perfectly. Great for shower, purse, etc. Right now they are only $10 for a 3 pack….awesome deal!)

Step One: Pour your Coconut Oil into a bowl and beat with your mixer for about 5 minutes until it’s smooth and fluffy. (This is what keeps your finished product from separating and gives you the lovely, store-bought beauty product feel!)

Step Two: Next stir in your sugar until combined.

Step Three: Finally, add your essential oils and blend on low until combined (about 15 seconds should do the trick).

Step Four: You’re done! Add your sugar scrub to a shallow, wide glass jar like this or the silicone travel tubes.
Hint, it’s not super easy to add the scrub to the tubes. One sort of easy way is to use a ziplock bag to squeeze it in (cutting off the corner like an icing bag). Just take your time and you will LOVE how easy it is to squeeze the scrub out once you’re done!*

Note: This recipe filled up all three tubes and left at least 3 oz left over

This sugar scrub is awesome for hands, feet and face! I love to keep some by the kitchen sink, in the shower and of course for travel. It’s also the first thing I grab after chopping onions or garlic and I even like to use it on my legs before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs and get a smooth shave. My hubby actually loves this product too! Enjoy!

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I have made this recipes tons of times, I have only used the silicone tubes twice. The first time, it worked perfectly but I have just realized that I’m having trouble squeezing out the scrub this time. My suggestion is to increase the amount of coconut oil to get a thinner consistency, particularly at a colder time of year. A squirt of fractionated coconut oil or even olive oil might help make your scrub more squeezable also!

Welcome to Chasing Santee, a blog about the sweet and simple things in life. Santee is my childhood happy place and I want this blog to be my happy place on the internet. I will be sharing homeschool insights, family favorites, household hints, simple recipes and an abundance of bargains. If you like to laugh, shop, eat, read, write or teach you will love it here!