Category Archives: Deal Alert

My Favorites for February: Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I am happy to say goodbye to January and get going with the rest of 2021. This month has been a doozy for our family (Click here for our COVID experience)  and I’m pretty much ready for Spring. Heck, I’m already ready for summer for that matter (yesterday I was looking at summer pool memberships).  Anyone else?

I thought I would create this post with a bit of a life-update and also share my current favorites, becuase it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Friday Favorites” post. These are some of my favorite posts to write (although they take forever) because, minimalist or not, I still really love sharing favorite products with my followers!

Thank you for shopping through my links! Some of them are affiliate links, so I might get a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Family Addition
My first favorite may be a surprise (it certainly surprises me) but we have had such an incredible experience with our Bernedoodle, Elphie! I didn’t know much about the breed but she has exceeded our expectations. She is really calm and mellow for a doodle and she sheds less than me….really! She is just really sweet and the perfect addition to our family. We brought her home last March and it has made our year so much more joyful. The kids adore her! I’m so glad we got to surprise them with a puppy. Here are some of my recs for puppy essentials!


Kitchen Stuff
This year we haven’t added much to our kitchen which totally makes me happy! However, we have had our Air Fryer/Toaster Oven combo for a year now and really love it. The best part about it was that it replaced our microwave and does SO much more than a microwave ever could. I honestly haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can do, but I love the convenience and speed. You also aren’t heating up the whole kitchen!

Another nice upgrade from this year, is switching to Duralex Picardie for all of our glassware. I love these glasses! None of them have chipped or cracked and we are pretty rough on them. They feel great in your hand, can handle hot beverages, are dishwasher and microwave safe and best of all are LEAD FREE! Here’s my video review for more specifics. Did I mention they are stackable?

Early this year my coffeemaker died and we replaced it with this Cuisinart 14 Cup Brew Central , I’ve been really happy with it. We got ours from Costco, but there are similar models on Amazon. One of the features I was looking for (and couldn’t seem to find) was the ability to set the coffeemaker ahead of time but TURN OFF the beep function because it kept waking up my son! This is the only coffeemaker I have found where you can turn off the sound. It also makes good coffee and has all the features I wanted (programmable, large capacity, auto shut off) and looks great on our cart.

The last kitchen item we added was this Trinity Kitchen Cart that we made into a beverage station, also from Costco (have I mentioned how much we love Costco). Our exact cart seems to be OOS, but here is a similar model from Amazon.  We have still loved our Alexapure water filter and recently replaced the filters with Berkey brand replacements. I’m happy to share that they work perfectly, so this was a more affordable way for us to get Berkey-quality water at a discounted price! (When I bought my Alexapure, it was about $100 on Amazon. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it discounted recently).


I can’t wrap up the kitchen topic without mentioning some of the things I *still* love even after owning them for years! My Instant Pots still get used nearly daily! If you haven’t quite gotten into using yours, just push through the intimidation and I really think you will love it!

I guess the next category is one that gets used in our kitchen a ton also, so it’s time to talk about…

Cleaning

It’s been awesome to have a cleaning product I can trust without worrying about toxins, respiratory risk, or low stock. I still use Force of Nature all over my home and I absolutely love it. I also use it in my preschool classroom. Right now, you can save BIG on Force of Nature’s Extra Value Bundle, just click here and use coupon code BUNDLEUP30.

Along with Force of Nature, I absolutely love ecloth for all of my cleaning ALL over my home. Here’s my video review where I talk about some of my favorite ecloth products. This is probably a whole post on its own, but some of my favorite items are the Home Cleaning Set, the Mini Mop,  the Cleaning Pad, the Kitchen Dynamo, and the Window Genie. 

Finally, I have upgraded my spray bottles to these Flairosol bottles and I LOVE them. They spray a nice even light mist and they look so much nicer than any I have owned in the past. The mist is so fine that I really don’t have to wipe up the droplets which is nice for disinfecting with Force of Nature.

 

It’s nice to NEVER have to pick up cleaning items at the store, because the above items cover all of our cleaning needs!

Closet

This year has been my first year to try Stitch Fix. I’ve really had fun with it and found some pieces I really love! I signed up for the Style Pass, so I don’t have to pay for my boxes for the rest of the year and I have racked up tons of referral credit which means FREE CLOTHES. If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix for the first time, my friend has a $75 credit that should work for another day or so. If you want to check out some of the clothes I’ve gotten from Stitch Fix, I have a playlist on my channel with some of my unboxings + try ons. Of course, thrifting is still my main jam, so if you are interested in some of my Thrifted Finds, click here!Oh yes, and if you haven’t checked out my post on the Magical Barefoot Dreams Knock-off sweaters, I wear them ALL the time. SOOO COMFY and comfy is my holy grail when it comes to clothing.

Shoes
Not much to share here, but I still wear Fitflops 90% of the time, unless I am home when I wear Oofos clogs (too ugly for the real world). This combo seems to be the best for my picky feet. When I am cold or going out in the cold, I still wear my Uggs. No one can stop me. I don’t care.

Purse
I never thought I would stick with one brand and style of Purse, but here I am years later, still wearing my Sash bags every day, every where. I haven’t looked at any other purse since I first tried them, I could not possibly love them more. This is one of my favorite products of all time, so if you haven’t checked out the Sash Bag, you are missing out, for real. Want more details? Check out this video review or this one!

Makeup & Hair

When I started watching my own YouTube channel, I realized it was time to get some new Makeup. I’ve kept my collection pretty minimal, but I have found a few new products that I have LOVED.

I found a whole line of minimal makeup called Subtl Beauty. It’s really amazing and I absolutely love the design of it, so easy to travel or grab and go. The quality is excellent and it blends beautifully!

The rest of the time, I still wear Bare Minerals because it’s just so dang easy for someone who isn’t necessarily gifted at applying makeup (I’m just not interested in spending more than a couple minutes on my face).

This year’s favorite lip gloss is this natural shade by Pacifica.

I‘m really excited to have found a mascara that doesn’t irritate my EXTREMELY sensitive eyes, and that is Physicians Formula Organic Wear Natural Origin Mascara. The coverage is just ok, but my eyes can tolerate it, so that’s a win!

For hair, I’ve become completely obsessed with the Revlon One Step Dryer & Volumizer. I only wash my hair about once a week, then let it mostly air dry, then dry it with the Revlon Dryer. I love it so much I got rid of my regular hair dryer! The rest of the week, I just style it with a little bit of Batiste Dry Shampoo (this is basically my only toxic indulgence at this point…if you have a natural alternative please let me know. Not cocoa powder with cornstarch. Nuh uh.). Also, my friend introduced me to Large Hairpins (weird that these make me happy but they are SO much easier and more comfortable), so that’s what I use for styling my hair up.

Looks like this is going to be followed up with Part 2, because I’m not done sharing my favorites!

 

Barefoot Dreams Knock-off Circle Cardigan Dupe Photos + Outfit Formulas!


This post was created using Amazon Affiliate links. I appreciate every click as it helps to make my work-from-home dream a reality (at no extra cost to you). So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

Last year’s post about the Barefoot Dreams Knock Off Cardigan from Costco (and the Update Post here) has been one of my most popular posts to date! Today I’m excited to update that post with this year’s version of the cardigan (it’s AMAZING!) along with TONS of photos plus some great OUTFIT formulas that will be perfect whether you have the Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan, the Max & Mia Dupe, or any similar cozy cardigan of your choice. These outfits would be perfect options for comfortable travel, working from home, or cozy holiday mornings with your family!

First, let’s get started with this year’s version of the Costco Max & Mia Cardigan! Unfortunately, this cardigan is sold out online (and Costco pulls their items when they are OOS so I can’t grab a link) but you should definitely check your local Costco for the sweaters. They might even be available on sale! (I picked up these two colors for $19.99 last weekend). Black was also available, but I still have black from before. .Here is a link to the green on Amazon.

Is this year’s version as comfy, plush, and flattering as last year’s version? YES! For size reference, I purchased size small in both the olive green and rust colors. I’m almost 5’6″ and about 145 lbs. The green fit a bit smaller on me, while the red was a smidge longer and looser. The differences were NOT dramatic and both are a good fit (I would call them generous sizing). I love that they are curved in the front, but cut longer in the back to cover your tush, making them a great cozy topper for leggings. Here’s a side view so you can see how they fit!


Just to re-iterate what I’ve said in the previous posts, this cardigan is soft like BUTTER! It’s so comfortable and comfort has always been a top priority to me. But in 2020 (and looking forward to 2021) with so many people working from home, I think this cardigan would really help round out your wardrobe and give you something absolutely lucious to cuddle up in! I totally recommend it.

What can you wear these cardigans with? Pretty much anything! But here are a few of my favorite ideas, pulled right from my closet this morning. I’ll share links when I can but I think a lot of these are probably already hiding in your closet!

Outfit Formula #1: Plaid shirt + Skinny jeans + Cardigan

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*This plaid shirt was thrifted (of course! it’s Gibson + Latimer brand for reference) but here’s one from Amazon that I think would be super cute!

*My Jeans are NYDJ Ami Skinny Ankle jeans and I love them! You definitely need to size down with this brand, but they don’t sag like so many other jeans I’ve owned. Another great spot for NYDJ deals is Nordstrom Rack.

Outfit Formula #2: Striped Shirt + Skinny Jeans + Cardigan

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*This striped shirt was also thrifted (it’s Madewell brand) but here’s one from Amazon that looks similar. If you don’t have a striped tee in your closet, I think you’ll wear it a lot!

*I’m wearing the same Skinny jeans in these as the first formula but here is the same style in black; I love them!

Outfit Formula #3: Dressy Tank + Black Leggings + Cardigan

 

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*This dressy black tank is Fortune + Ivy brand from Stitch Fix but here’s a similar top from Amazon!

*My leggings are HUE for Costco from a few years ago, but here are some awesome HUE leggings on Amazon. 

Outfit Formula #4: T-shirt + Black Leggings + Cardigan + Black Vest

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For this look, I tried something totally different and tried to think like a Insta-Influencer (haha!). Layers, layers, layers!

*For your first layer, throw on any T-shirt that will be comfy (or the black tank from the previous formula). For extra warmth, you might try a thermal base, but I just wore a comfy graphic tee. My shirt is from Crazy Comfy Tees but here’s a similar style available on Amazon currently with the same phrase. 

*Same Leggings as before, HUE brand from Costco.

*Next layer is the quilted black vest. Mine was thrifted (from Old Navy) but here are several similar vests on Amazon!

Outfit Formula #5: T-shirt + Black Leggings + Cardigan + Black Vest + Circle Scarf

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*This outfit is the same as the previous one, I just threw on a couple of infinity scarves from the 2 for $5 Walmart section a few years ago! I actually really like how this turned out, especially with some chunky boots to complete the look. Here are some similar infinity scarves on Amazon. 

Outfit Formula #6: Print Blouse + Black Leggings + Cardigan

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This is my style for sure! I love feminine and floral prints and loose drapey cardigans. This is a great way to “dress up” the cardigan and you could also pair it with some dressy pants to make it more work-appropriate.

*The gingham print blouse is LOFT (but it was, you guessed it, thrifted) but here is a similar one that looks beautiful!

*The animal print blouse is Lush Warren Split Neck Blouse from Stitch Fix but here is a similar look for less!

*The floral print blouse is Papermoon Mixed Material Top from Stitch Fix, but here’s an option that might also work. 

*Same Leggings as before, HUE brand from Costco.

Outfit Formula #7: Dress + Cardigan OR Jumpsuit + Cardigan

This is the easiest look of the bunch. Toss your cardigan over a dress and pair it with your favorite boots for a casual fall look everyone will love! Here are a couple examples and I’ve linked similar dresses for you to check out on Amazon!

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*Floral wrap dress is Kaileigh Arnett Faux Wrap Knit Dress from Stitch Fix but here is a similar style at a great price!

*My embroidered dress was handed down to me but is by Altr’d State. Here’s one with the same boho vibe!

*One last style that is comfier than any PJs ever! Throw your cardigan over a comfy jumpsuit like this one from Old Navy. Mine is a little more fitted, but this one still looks really comfy: here’s Amazon’s closest option to give you that comfy casual look! 

Have you spotted the Max & Mia Cardigan this year? Let us know what you think about it in the comments!

One of our favorites: Deal Alert Today on Marpac Sound Machine!

Thank you for supporting my small business by shopping through my affiliate links!

These are 100% a daily necessity in our home. We leave them on pretty much all the time to mask the noises of life in a small house with loud people plus we are all addicted to sleeping with the white noise they produce. If you have tried sound machines in the past, many of them are recordings that play on a loop. This mean there is variation of sound and an audible “seam” in the audio which is MUCH less restful. With the Marpac, you are getting an actual mechanical fan within the device so the sound is more like a box fan than a recording and it can be adjusted to allow more or less volume. This is the best price I’ve seen at only $31.47 today so don’t miss out!

Thank you for shopping through my affiliate links.

Shoe Deal Round-up: Uggs, Birks, and Hunter Boot crazy markdowns!

I admit I have a weakness for shoe shopping! Part of the reason is that my feet tend to be quite picky, and part of the reason is that I love a good pair of cute shoes! I’m super tempted by some of these awesome bargains so I had to share them here before I push “buy”!

As I’ve mentioned before, Amazon Warehouse Deals is really one of my favorite sources for finding deals on shoes. You can’t BELIEVE the prices I have snagged on some amazing brands. Remember, Amazon Warehouse deals includes products that might have been overstocks, or returns, or even damaged in shipping. So be sure to read the fine print. Amazon’s generous return policy still applies, so in my opinion you’ve got nothing to lose when it comes to deal shopping in Amazon Warehouse Deals!

The links you’ll find in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for helping me make my blogging hobby a little bit more productive for our family!

Birkenstocks as low as $35 in Amazon Warehouse

Birkenstocks are definitely some of my recent favorite shoes. It took me a few tries to get the right size, so make sure you check out this link for details on sizing. 

Remember, warehouse deals mean returns or overstocks so be sure to read the fine print. Return policy still applies though!

Affiliate links:

Birkenstock Women’s GIzeh Thong Sandal,Graceful Pearl White 37 /6-6.5 B(M) US $65.29

Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandal,Mocha,40 EU/9-9.5 M US $73.52

Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandal,Metallic Cuts Magenta, 6-6.5 Women $47

Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandal, Golden Brown, 6-6.5 Narrow $60.53

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Sandals starting at $35.29

Birkenstock Women’s Yao Cherry Paten Birko-Flor 38 N $51.49

Click here for even more styles and deals!

Hunter boots as low as $25 in Amazon Warehouse Deals!

Hunter Boot Deals in Amazon Warehouse. Remember, warehouse deals mean returns or overstocks so be sure to read the fine print; the return policy still applies to these orders however. I just ordered my first pair of Hunters and I ended up returning them because the size was not quite right for me. But the footbed was comfy, I loved the look and could not believe the price.

Affiliate links:
Black Gloss size 9 $28.66! 

Original Tall Green size 6 $27.86! 

Original Dark Olive size 7 $28!

Original Tall black size 9 $25.06! 

Original Black Snow size 7 $30.58!

Original Tall Black size 8 $27.28!

Ugg Boots starting at under $40 in Amazon Warehouse Deals!

I have been a huge fan of Uggs since I found my first pair at the thrift store years ago (that was a great day!). Now I just can’t resist these cozy boots on a cold or wet day and I love that be machine washed if they get really dirty.

Affiliate links:

 

 

The World’s Greatest Jean Jacket: Costco Find!

Jean Jackets have always held a special place in my heart. I actually vividly remember my very first jean jacket when I was probably 10 or 11 because it was the first clothing item I clearly remember choosing myself! Jean Jackets have been a fashion must-have for decades now and it’s hard to imagine a better choice for wardrobe staple than this American classic! But why is a good jean jacket SO hard to find? And why did I own SO many jean jackets that never really got worn? After years of searching, I’ve found a jean jacket that I truly love and it’s time to share with the world.

In my adult life I have probably owned 6 or 8 different jean jackets and tried on countless others. I have always liked the look and thought it would make a great addition to my closet but never loved the fit and always found myself reaching for a cardigan or sweatshirt instead. Why? Jean jackets are often stiff, too loose, and fail to allow for the range of movement I need in my life!

Because my Barefoot Dreams Cardigan post has been one of the most popular posts on my blog, I wanted to make a similar post sharing this awesome denim jacket find!

The Jean Jacket of my dreams comes from Costco of all places. (This is not the first time I’ve found closet staples at Costco!) I bought my first one last year and have worn it so much I’m thinking of grabbing another. Because it’s a soft, stretchy knit rather than a heavy denim, it is comfortable and gives me all the room I need to move, reach, grab and slouch to my heart’s content. This year, the Costco Jean Jacket is back and my store recently marked them down to $9.97. Can you believe it? I totally recommend grabbing these if you can find them because you can’t beat the price. Unfortunately they aren’t on the website right now, but I will update if they pop back up again this summer.

If you can’t find these at Costco, never fear! They also now available on Amazon. Click here for Buffalo Knit Denim Jacket. I believe this is last year’s version although the wash seems a little different. But the magic is definitely in the knit! Here’s another Buffalo Knit Jean Jacket, in dark wash and in a very pale pink which is a great spring/summer neutral. You’ll be paying a little more on Amazon than Costco but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the comfort you’re getting for the cost!

Here are a few pics of me in the Costco Denim Jacket. Both jackets are size small, but as you can see they fit me a little bit differently. The one downsize to Costco clothing is that I’ve found their sizes can be somewhat inconsistent. I’ll try to update this post soon with some better pics of my jacket.

Do you have the Buffalo Knit Denim Jacket? Let me know if you love it like I do!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Amazing Deal: $7.50 for e-cloth cleaning set…..clean with just water!

I’ve been using e-cloth for cleaning for a couple years now and just had to share this deal with you! Right now, get this 3 piece household cleaning set for only $7.50……plus you should be able to save $10 using this referral link:

Click here to save $10 on ecloth!

Then click on the overstock clearance tab at the top to find the 3 piece deal and several other amazing bargains. I’m sorry I missed out on a couple other steals, but I did buy FOUR sets of these because I know I will use them daily.

E-cloth is an affordable alternative to Norwex cloths and they work GREAT. You can clean with just water or use them with mild cleaners (I use mine with Force of Nature). I especially love the polishing cloths for glass and at this price it’s a NO-BRAINER.

I’m not sure if the $10 off will work with clearance, but it’s worth a try!

 

 

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!

 

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

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 Sash Bag! 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!