Category Archives: Shopping

Favorite Summer Shoes! FitFlops!

This post is going to be short & sweet, but I just wanted to quickly share these shoes that I LOVE.

Over the last year or so I’ve realized that I have plantar fasciitis and it’s so annoying! Shoes that I’ve loved in the past are totally not working any more. The strange thing about PF pain, is that even shoes that feel comfy when I’m wearing them, wind up causing pain later on. Even stranger, oftentimes my feet start hurting more when I am sitting or laying down then they did when I walked around all day. If you have pain in your heel, or pain that is worse when you are off your feet like I just described, you might have PF. Something easy you can do to alleviate the pain is to freeze a bottle of water and roll it under your foot. It works!

I have tried so many shoes lately and most of them have failed the test, but these FitFlops have quickly become my feet’s BFFs. I love how they feel when I walk, sit, stand and even later when I lay down to go to bed, my feet don’t hurt! It’s amazing!

Click here for the FitFlop Flare Slides!

There are so many styles to choose from and I can’t wait to replace more of my shoes with FitFlops! Click here for their entire collection on Amazon.

In case you didn’t realize, Fitflops makes more than just flip flops! There are some really cute flats and clogs also that I would love to get for Fall. Have you found shoes that help your Plantar Fasciitis? Please let me know what works for you!

This post contains affiliate links. 

SnoSpice Review!

As a blogger, I get a lot of comments and solicitation to my email address, but sometimes I get really cool start-up companies offering to send free stuff. And when those products involve ice cream, you know it’s going to be good. Thank you Brett from SnoSpice for sending us these yummy flavors for free and giving us a chance to review them!

SnoSpice Ice Cream Infusions were created to add fresh flavors to vanilla ice cream. All natural, no sugars, and vegan and lactose free; these are perfect for so many diets and best of all, Made in the USA (yes!!!)!

Directions: Sprinkle on ice cream, Stir and Enjoy! Ya’ll know recently I’ve been working on minimalism and one of the concepts I have really tried to adopt is carefully choosing products that are high quality and also serve multiple purposes. That means limiting spices and condiments as well for the sake of simplicity and space. So at first I thought perhaps these specialty ice cream spices wouldn’t quite fit into my cupboard. However, after testing them out I have found great uses for recipes far beyond ice cream. Yep, these flavor mix-ins are keepers for sure. Here are just a few of my ideas for spicing up your diet with SnoSpice!

*Homemade Banana Cream: This is a recipe my kids adore and it is amazing how deliciously smooth and creamy it is with only two ingredients: frozen bananas and milk! I can’t wait to try SnoSpice as an extra little kick to give us some different flavor options!

*Smoothies: We make smoothies ALL the time in our Vitamix and absolutely love trying different flavors. SnoSpices will be perfect for adding a little extra “something” to these healthy combos, especially since we try to keep added sugar very low.

*Gourmet Oatmeal: I’ve talked before about how much we love our oatmeal (check out one of my favorite recipes of all time here). I buy a HUGE carton at Costco and keep our pantry stocked at all times. The secret is adding a nice scoop of butter and whole milk; I promise you will never feel the same about oatmeal again. At this very moment, my Instant Pot is full of raisin oatmeal that my son flavored using Cinnamon for Optimists. We will definitely be using the other SnoSpice flavors in the future for our breakfasts!

Dairy-free Desserts: When I was breast-feeding my son, I had to cut out dairy, soy, grains and eggs. For awhile it felt like fruit and veggies were all I was eating and boy did I miss ice cream. I did finally find delicious coconut ice cream but the flavors were super limited. SnoSpice would have been perfect to “spice up” the vanilla and add some variety to an already pared down diet!

Fried Apples: I happened to be making this delicious copy cat recipe of Cracker Barrel’s fried apples (totally recommend, by the way). Instead of plain cinnamon, I added Cinnamon for Optimists as well as a few shakes of Lemon+Basil. These apples were a huge hit for the whole family and my husband told me to ditch my apple pie recipe and just use this dessert as filling in my homemade crust!

*Coffee stir-ins: Confession: I am addicted to coffee and am trying to break my equally strong addiction to coffee creamers. In effort to simplify my diet and cut out extra chemicals, I have been sticking with sugar and half & half. It turns out I absolutely love the Pumpkin Carriage SnoSpice for coffee! I am not usually a huge pumpkin fan but this is delicious without having that artificial taste and it helps me cut back on calories by adding less sugar.

*Soups: last week I made Meatball Tortellini Soup from Great Food Fast in our Instant Pot. I used homemade bone broth from a good ole’ Costco rotisserie chicken and seasoned it with Lemon+Basil SnoSpice. Let me just say, this was the best version of this recipe we’ve made and it just might be because of the SnoSpice.

*Ice Cream: My entire family (four year old, ten year olds, hubby and me) really enjoyed stirring these flavors into vanilla ice cream. The children all loved Pumpkin Carriage the best, but surprisingly enough Lemon+Basil was my favorite! It’s the best of citrus plus sweet plus a little something else (obviously, the basil!). It’s nothing I ever would have thought to try but I can’t wait to taste it again. My husband preferred the Cinnamon for Optimists. Honestly, Turmeric’d was the only we tried that wasn’t a big hit for us, however, I am still very interested in using it in different recipes to take advantage of the health value I keep hearing about!

SnoSpice sent me their products to try out for free,  but this review is 100% honest and written by me. Thanks, SnoSpice!

Stuff we love: Get it in time for Christmas!

Today is the last day to order Prime items for Christmas delivery! I wanted to share some of our very favorite items in a quick list (in no particular order). Many of these I have mentioned before, so I won’t elaborate on WHY I love them in this post. Remember, I am an Amazon affiliate so if you choose to purchase I receive a very small commission.

Please, be sure to check each item in your cart to ensure it is still available in time for Christmas. As we all know, Amazon changes by the hour!

Thanks for reading & Merry Christmas!

 

  1. Essential Oil Diffuser
  2. Favorite EO blends: Germ Fighter, Relax Synergy Roll on (not Prime), Let it Go Synergy. I am a big fan of Plant Therapy! I especially love that they have a Kid-Safe line of oils.
  3. Instant Pot
  4. Vitamix Blender
  5. Boogie Board
  6. Marpac Sound Machine
  7. Himalayan Sea Salt Lamp (I love my lamp but I do not know the brand, so I am linking to one that has high reviews)
  8. Blokus Family Game (won’t arrive before Christmas)
  9. Kids’ Sonicare Toothbrush (great price at $29.99 after clipping coupon)
  10. Adult Sonicare Toothbrush (great price at $29.99 after clipping coupon)
  11. Monopoly Deal
  12. Chi Hair Straightener
  13. Chi Hair Dryer (can’t seem to find my particular dryer, so linking to the options)
  14. PlayMags Magnetic Blocks
  15. Crocs Olivia Leopard Print Flats
  16. Ugg Classic Boots
  17. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel (great price but won’t arrive before Christmas)
  18. Boon Grass
  19. Contigo Mugs
  20. Yeti Mug
  21. Klean Kanteens
  22. 5 Minute Marvel Stories
  23. Trixie Belden Mystery Series (Twin Tween Seal of Approval)
  24. Fridge Menu Board
  25. Le Creuset Dutch Oven
  26. Mini Kick Scooter
  27. Ipod Shuffle (Twin Tween Seal of Approval)
  28. The More of Less (I know, ironic in my long list of “stuff”)
  29. Imaginext Super Heroes (picky preschooler seal of approval)
  30. Kindle and Kindle Fire

Simple, natural curls! A review of SoCal Curls hairtie

I am thrilled to share this review because I have been wanting to try this product for so long! SoCal Curls graciously agreed to send me their amazing headband for free in exchange for my honest review and I am happy to report that I am in LOVE with my SoCal Curls!

review.socal.curls
Ok, so this is NOT me. This model is about 10 years younger, 30 lbs lighter, probably taller, her hair is longer and she is actually wearing makeup. But other than that, we could totally be twins. I mean, I have jeans kind of like that.

As I have been posting about, I have been striving for a more simple daily routine. If a product saves time and simplifies our busy schedule, then sign me up! At the same time, I am working very hard to minimalize our possessions, so I am being very very picky about what I purchase and keep. Check out the intro to my Simplicity Challenge here.

SoCal Curls HairTie is something I wish I had found years ago, and something I know I will use on a daily basis.

My hair is medium thickness, tends to frizz (I live in the humid south after all), and once upon a time was quite curly. Now it’s more of a group of random waves that are hard to control and I simply do not spend the time to make it look nice. (I would rather sleep, drink coffee, clean, write, read a book, cook, play with my kids….you get the point).  So, almost everyday, it ends up in a ponytail. I have always loved waves and curls but my hair is very stubborn and doesn’t hold curls.  Last summer I got a truly atrocious way-too short haircut so let me tell you, my hair has been in a very dark place ever since.

When I was willing to put in the effort, I could get some pretty nice curls with my Chi flat Iron. It took too long though, they didn’t stay well, and it was fairly disconcerting to smell the actual burning of my hair during the process. SoCal Curls Hair Tie is safe and gentle for your hair!

The other successful method I have used is headband curls. I loved the curls I got, but I didn’t love sleeping in a tight headband all night. It was kind of a pain to extricate my hair from the twist as well. I blogged about my experience here. SoCal Curls Hair Tie is the perfect upgrade from headband curls. It’s lightweight, can be heated in the microwave, and looks so much cuter as a style!

socal.curls.review.short.hair.tie.collage

How it works: I used this after my hair had air dried for a couple hours, but otherwise was completely unstyled (ie a frizzy mess). I simply microwaved the band for 30 seconds, wrapped my hair around the tie using these instructions, gave it a light spritz of hair spray and left it in for 30 minutes. As you can see, it worked!

socal.curls.review.short.hair.tie12
SoCal Curls Hairties retail for $18.99 each, come in lots of cute patterns, and guess what? They created a free shipping code for my readers, so don’t miss out!
FREE SHIPPING CODE: chasingsantee

Because I loved headband curls, I was pretty sure SoCal Curls and I were going to be a match made in heaven, and I was not disappointed. Honestly, my hair is just barely long enough to use the SoCal tie, but after a couple tries I figured it out and was thrilled with the results. I’m growing my hair back out, so I know this is going to be my go-to everyday look!

socal.curls.review.short.hair.tie13

 

My tip for short hair: SoCal Curls works with shoulder length hair or longer, but I was pushing my luck with some pretty short layers. To get it to work, I used small pieces of hair, wrapped very tightly and at the very back secured the middle hair with a tiny claw clip.

I received a free product from SoCal Curls in exchange for my honest review. These are all my own thoughts just as if I were talking to a friend about the product. 

Dear Target (Part 2),

About that Boycott (2 months later) or Dear Target Part 2

It’s been a couple months since I wrote about my concerns over Target’s announcement that their bathrooms were essentially gender free. With a lot of thought, and significant sadness, I decided to stop shopping at one of my favorite stores. Since then, I have read many responses to this issue and I want to be very clear about where I stood and where I stand now. I would like to say a few things about my stance:

I am not a bigot. Please take my post as it is written, in honesty and believe that I am NOT covering up bigotry with fabricated safety concerns. That is categorically untrue. I would like to re-iterate emphatically that my choice not to shop at Target was not because I have a problem with transgender individuals using the bathroom. IMG_2075Instead it is because I am firmly convinced that this public announcement from Target opens the door to predators having easier access to my daughters and America’s daughters. I do not think that this is a theoretical risk. I am confident that this is a definitive and undeniably dangerous situation that Target is placing the public in. There is evidence of this already being an issue:
*Man uses Women’s Locker Room 

*University of Toronto reverses policy due to abuse

*Man undresses in front of children at Walmart

*Jason Pomares records hours of customers in store bathroom

*Man claims to be transgender to gain access to women at shelters

*Man dressed in wig and bra arrested in women’s room quoted as saying he took “a shower in the girls’ locker room for sexual gratification”.

I am not a half-hearted blogger. I saw a few posts that were making fun of the boycott and saying that if there was another launch of a popular brand (Lily Pulitzer, for example), boycotters would drop their “values” and race with their Redcard to the nearest Target. I can’t speak for any one else, but I did not take my decision lightly. This issue is of paramount importance to me and no discount, event or holiday would change my mind. I have not walked into a Target since my post from April. I have not shopped at Target.com. I have not spent the giftcard in my wallet. It’s fine if you disagree with me, but please don’t attack my character by suggesting I am not sincere. Believe me, if nothing else, I am incredibly stubborn.

Many Rape & Abuse Survivors feel re-victimized by this societal turn. A large segment of society is being ignored. For the most part, Target (and businesses that are following in their footsteps) are ignoring the needs of a LARGE demographic: Rape & Abuse survivors. (Statistics are hard to find for this group, but the consensus is that the numbers are high and vastly under-reported.)  These individuals have been ignored, silenced and often punished for reporting. Kaeley Triller says this much better than I ever could, please read her perspective.

I won’t be quoting the Bible in regard to this. I’m a firm and committed Christian, but I don’t expect Target (or any corporation) to follow Scripture. Target is not Christian and we can’t expect unbelievers to respond the way believers should. However, I would hope they would respond to their customer’s safety concerns as people of all beliefs should seek to protect the most vulnerable of society.

I understand that Bathroom policies are NOT the biggest issues at stake in our rapidly changing world. I have seen lots of people criticizing bloggers like me because there are bigger problems in the world, and that is absolutely true. I am not saying that this topic is more important than terrorism, starvation, child abuse, abortion, or other scores of social issues. I am speaking up about this issue, frankly, because I am a mother of young children, a shopaholic, and I have always been a loyal Target shopper. Also, coincidentally, my Target does NOT have a family bathroom. So everyone saying “just use the family bathroom” needs to realize that isn’t available in all stores.

Target’s response to their customers’ concerns has been inadequate. From the beginning, I never anticipated Target to reverse the policy. I had hoped that they would clarify it, speaking out against pedophilia and voyeurism. I had hoped they would respond with some clear safety steps to prevent what we fear. I had hoped they would express regret that they were alienating a large portion of their customers. I had hoped for sensitivity. Target’s corporate response can be found here.

At the end of the statement, the CEO compares this scenario to Target’s early use of black models in advertising in the 60’s, which was met with public backlash. I can’t even respond to this, because it’s clear that Target is completely ignoring what millions of customers are saying: “This is not about Transgenders. This is about the very real danger of predators, and a Corporation putting our children at risk.”

Target reiterates: “And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.” Clearly not, in this case. Target’s sales continue to go down but they seem to be blaming it on abnormal seasonal shopping trends, rather than acknowledging that many of us are boycotting.

So for me, I still won’t be shopping there. It will be interesting approaching back-to-school season and the upcoming holiday shopping season, when I typical hit multiple Targets dozens of times. (For those of you who are skipping Target in the future, be sure to follow my blog for all the non-Target deals I round up. ) My wallet will be in better shape from this lifestyle change. With all my spare time not shopping at Target, I’ve managed to do more cooking, a couple of DIY projects, and I even went to the gym and worked out for the first time in four years.

Dear Target, now that I’ve gotten some distance from our relationship, I realize it was never a very healthy one. You were just in it for my money, and you never really cared about me at all. I’ll miss you, but we’re apparently better off apart.

 

The perfect summer necklace: click it or DIY-it!

I know you have seen tassel necklaces all over pinterest just like I have. There is something about a long tassel necklace that is so flattering and can go with almost anything. I feel like they  simultaneously make me look taller and more sophisticated at the same time (maybe that’s just in my head though). I think these are the perfect summer accessory, so I wanted to share some affiliate links from Amazon. Of course, the one I always drool over is the Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace. But I really love some of these budget-friendly alternatives as well:

This is a really easy DIY project that includes two of my favorites: crafting and thrifting come together to make a gorgeous on-trend tassel necklace! My girls loved making these last summer.

5 Minute Fall Necklace

tassel necklace

Just for Women: Part 2

I mentioned in Part 1 that I have become a loyal convert to reusable feminine care solutions. I am so much happier dealing with “that time of the month” since I switched from disposable products. My first menstrual cup was the Diva Cup and it was revolutionary for me. However, recently I have been searching for something that would work a little better for me, and I am excited to share about it now!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Here’s why I was really excited to try the Femmy Cycle. It has the largest capacity of any cup I could find. Also, it comes in three different sizes which includes a low cervix version. Finally, it has a unique leak proof design that no other cup offers. A few other things that make it different from the others: it’s softer, cleaning instructions do not suggest boiling, and it’s suggested lifespan is only two years.

Down to the details:

Is it comfortable? YES. I found it more comfortable by far than others I have used.

Is it easy to use? After practice, sure. Like most products in this category, it does have a learning curve.

Is it effective? For me, VERY. Performance was better for me than anything else I have used. Keep in mind that every woman is different, so results may vary.

Does the spill-proof feature work? To my amazement, YES.

I really like the FemmyCycle and will continue using it. I do think that the design makes it a little trickier to learn for a first-timer, but I think it’s a great option for those who have trouble with other cups or just need better protection. I’m not sure why it would need to be replaced every two years, when other cups’ suggested life span are closer to a decade. It’s slightly pricey compared to other versions on the market, but most of us can overlook the cost which is minimal over the life of the product. Women should be aware of all their options, and FemmyCycle is a great one!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Dear Target,

Dear Target,

Yep, it’s me, your old friend Leah. I remember shopping at your store when I was a little girl, before you got your makeover and became the trendy discount alternative that you are today. When I got married, I registered at Target. When I had babies, I registered at Target. My Target card is the only store credit card I own. The cartwheel App is on my IPhone and I share Target deals on Facebook frequently. When I was a bleary-eyed mama to baby twins and could barely put one foot in front of the other, I clicked their Graco carseats (from Target) into their stroller (from Target) and I went to Target. My fussy babies seemed distracted by the bright colors and friendly voices. Somehow I felt like my life would go back to normal, as I did something normal with all the other normal folks pushing their red carts from aisle to aisle.

Target

It became a joke on the weekends that my husband just knew he would end up having to go with me there for one thing or the other. I have reviewed and raved about your store brands (your baby wipes are the only ones I will use), I have blogged about my love for your company and I’ve snapped selfies of myself as I enjoy a blissful child-free trip to your store. Your store associates know me, my house is full of white and red handled bags, and my children can navigate your toy department better than some of the employees. And all that was before you added a Starbucks.

I am not alone. Target has become the retail home away from home for many enthusiastic shoppers, and a particular favorite for moms. I constantly run into friends at Target. I have always felt catered to, appreciated, and included at your store. I love you, Target!

When I saw your announcement about the bathroom policy this week, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Slapped in the face by a friend, no less. A place I had felt welcomed, a place beloved and familiar had just made a change that would alienate thousands of their loyal customers. This has nothing to do with politics or even religion. It is just about common decency, common sense, and public safety. I have no problem sharing a bathroom with a transgender woman. I’ll pass her the paper towels just like I will for any other woman. But opening the bathroom door to male or female regardless of biological sex based on their claim of identity is dangerous.

I had just started letting my nine year old girls go together into some bathrooms, but I am still nervous. Strangers are strangers after all, male or female. With the protected opportunity of entering a female public restroom you are giving a gift to the community; the predator community, which is sadly much larger than the transgender community. Now every customer is vulnerable. Any crime that is committed in a Target dressing room or bathroom will be clouded with confusion because the space is now virtually unisex. There is no way of gauging a person’s motives or thoughts and now it will be harder to prove the guilt of any man because he has been invited to a space where women and children are most vulnerable.  The countless women who have been sexually assaulted and abused by men will now feel like they are being victimized all over again during a simple shopping trip. In effort to show compassion and inclusion to a few, you have alienated a huge group of parents and women. I hope it’s worth it.

I have never participated in a boycott and I didn’t expect to, but this issue is too big, too dangerous to ignore. I will be going to Target today. I will be returning the merchandise that I have at home brand new and unused. I will be deleting my cartwheel app. I will be cutting up my RedCard. I will have to explain to my children why we may be shopping at Walmart, which none of us will enjoy.

Dear Target, I love you. I will even forgive you. But I can’t be around you when you are making such dangerous life choices. Please write if you change your mind.

Sincerely,

Leah Prescott

Just for Women: Part 1

TMI ahead: If you are a guy, or squeamish, or not open to, well, open-ness, you might want to stop here. WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT CHOCOLATE. (The truth is, I crave chocolate all month long, not just at that “particular time”, but there is a traditional association with chocolate and a women’s menstrual cycle so I went with it.) You have been duly warned.

I have always had a miserable time with my period. The medical consensus is that I probably have endometriosis or a similar condition that causes severe and extended symptoms. It’s not a fun time (and it lasts a long time). I decided years ago that I was going to find the absolute best menstrual solutions. I stubbornly believe women (or any consumer really) shouldn’t be satisfied with sub-par products simply because they are mainstream. So if there was something better out there, in the name of Aunt Flo, I wanted to know about it!

I’m here to tell you, over the last decade I have tried it all: multiple brands and types of disposable pads and tampons, disposable menstrual cups, several different reusable menstrual cups, and multiple brands of reusable pads. Now, every woman is different and we all have different needs. But my experience has been that reusable options are DRAMATICALLY better than their disposable counterparts.

Years ago, I switched to a reusable menstrual cup and I would never, ever go back. It’s more comfortable, convenient and reliable. It offers substantial financial savings and less risk of TSS. It’s easier to store and travel with (one small item rather than a big box of supplies). It’s a wonderful choice from an environmental perspective. There have been many concerns about traditional disposable products and I have decided I am much more comfortable with medical grade silicone than bleached cotton blends that could cause irritation or even encourage bleeding. There are truly more benefits than I have time to list. The only negatives that I can think of are 1) there is a learning curve and it may require some practice and 2) you sometimes have to shop around to find the right product, which can be pricey. You will still be saving a ton, though! Check out this post at Bargain Babe that talks about the possible financial savings of reusable feminine care products!

I want all of my friends to know about ALL of the options and I am happy to answer any questions you may have; just email me at leahprescott@gmail.com. I am happy to point you toward resources that will give more info about the different products available. In Part 2, I will share a review of a product I am so excited to share with you. I have been given a FemmyCycle Cup for testing and review and I can’t wait to tell you about my experience. It has all the benefits I love plus some innovative features and options that are brilliant!

Intro to Amazon Warehouse Deals

Happy Friday!

In case you haven’t noticed, my hobby is finding deals and shopping. My parents just pointed out to me that this started when I was a young teen and I would call a list of stores regularly in search of hard to find Ty Beanie Babies. Then my mom, tybless her heart, would drive me around to buy them! This memory really cracks me up, but I would like to point out that my children still love Beanie Babies so that garbage bag in the attic wasn’t an entirely useless investment. (Also, hello? I loved shopping way before that age.)

Because I spend a disproportionate amount of time searching for deals (even those I have no real intention of buying), I wanted to share one of my favorite bargain spots, the Amazon Warehouse. You will want to bookmark this page because it is, for some reason, hard to navigate to at times. Amazon Warehouse Deals contains returned, discounted, used and possibly damaged items. There is usually an accurate description of the condition of the item and it is still covered by Amazon’s Return Policy.

My favorite way to navigate Amazon Warehouse is simply to search for my favorite brands or to browse an entire category like shoes. Within that category, you can search by brand or percentage of discount using the links on the left bar. For instance, I sometimes search by Women’s Shoes, 70% off or more. Shoes are frequently returned and can’t be sold as brand new even if they appear to have never been worn or tried on. Most of my shoes are from Amazon Warehouse Deals, this has been my favorite Amazon shopping tip so far.

Some other examples of deals I have gotten at the Warehouse:

Sold by: Warehouse Deals, Inc
$12.27(regularly $92)
vb tote
$65.33 (list price $219, regular Amazon price $89.99)
$19.79 (regularly $160)
Just as a reminder, deals found in the warehouse DO fluctuate in price, sometimes dramatically. So I usually keep $500 or so of interesting products in my cart just seeing what they will do. It becomes a bit of a gamble because sometimes I watch prices steadily go down (even lowering multiple times a day) only to shoot right up (or sell out) while I am waiting, mesmerized.
So that’s an introduction to the Amazon Warehouse Deals, I hope you find it helpful!