Amazon Prime Day Prep

How to be Prepared for Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is coming this Monday, July 16th!  Here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared for all the amazing deals and get your best savings!

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

#1 You Must Be A Prime Member

You need to be an Amazon Prime member.  This includes their free trial.  Go ahead and sign up to experience Prime day through the trial and if you love it, keep the membership. Check my last post to learn about all of the amazing features you get with Prime.

 

#2 Ebates

Ebates is an amazing service that helps you earn cash back on websites you shop on.  I’ve been using it for a couple years and it’s definitely worth it!  Head on over to Ebates.com to sign up for a free account.  On Prime day sign into your account and follow the link over to Amazon.  This will track your purchases so you earn your rewards!  Right now Amazon purchases can get up to 5% back.

#3 Download The App

I’ve found that the Amazon App is the best way to shop Prime deals.  There’s also an option to receive a notification once the deal goes live.  That way you’ll be able to quickly add the item into your cart and check out right away.  Remember Prime gives you free 2-day shipping, so if you are making multiple purchases you won’t have to pay multiple shipping fees.  PS– Prime deals are already available on the app for sneak peak, go check them out and mark your favorites!

#4 Install Amazon Assistant

Prefer to use your desktop to shop rather than your phone?  No problem!  Amazon has you covered here, too.  Amazon Assistant is available on select browsers to help you shop smarter and save more.  What this feature does is it compares items you’re viewing on other websites, to items on Amazon’s sites.  It also allows you to be notified when specific items you’re watching on Amazon go on sale.  Signing up saves you $5 off a $25 purchase.

#5 Research & Make Holiday Lists

Christmas in July?!  Prime day is a really great opportunity to get your holiday shopping out of the way.  Do your research, make lists for your loved ones, and set up your notifications!  You will probably be glad you did once December rolls around.. 🙂

What are your favorite ways to save money on Amazon?!  Leave a comment, I’d love to know 🙂

 

How To Save Time Using Amazon Prime

Helpful Amazon Prime Tips

I absolutely LOVE Amazon Prime!  It all started a few years ago when my oldest dog Zuzu came down with an ear sensitivity.  I started searching the web for a solution that would help get rid of her itchy ear problem.  On the front page was an ad for a product through Amazon Prime.  I signed up for an account and opted into their 30 day FREE trial.  With Amazon Prime you are given free 2-day shipping within the contiguous United States.  I received my doggy’s ear solution via UPS two days later.  It saved me time going store to store to find the right product that I just didn’t have time for with my new work schedule.  Within those 30 days I found myself logging back into the website ordering things like cleaning supplies, batteries, and even cosmetics.  Now fast forward a couple of years I am still using Prime and with a family its more helpful than ever.

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

 

Here are my 10 favorite ways to save time (and money) using Amazon prime

#1 Free 2-Day Shipping

As mentioned above, I am a huge fan of Amazon prime’s free 2-day shipping benefit.  It makes life easy.  I find myself online looking up product reviews for items I want to try, and then I go and look it up on Amazon and complete my order.  This benefit has been especially helpful when I realize I’m almost out of dog food or diapers.  Place an order and its on your door step two days later!

 

#2 Prime Now

Prime Now is a benefit of Amazon Prime that offers a free 2 hour grocery delivery service (with orders $35 or more).  Score!  Who wants to work a full shift and then go to the grocery store?  Or have you ever been so completely swamped that you just do not want to deal with other people?  I know I have.  As of this moment, Prime Now is available in select cities.  There is even an option for one hour grocery delivery for a fee of $7.99.  Prime Now also includes some restaurants.

#3 Amazon Instant Video

Okay I absolutely love #3.  My family constantly uses this feature and it is amazing!  Instead of leaving your home to find a RedBox you can browse Amazon Instant Video for TV shows and movies.  A lot of the content is free, however there are some movies (especially newly released) for .99-$5.99.  My toddler was upset when Netflix took down Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.. luckily we found all of the seasons and more on Prime video!

 

 

#4 Subscribe & Save

With Subscribe & save Amazon gives you a discount on certain eligible purchases you make.  If these purchases are monthly recurring you can potentially save a TON of money!  Personally, I’ve done this with dog food and baby formula.  But if you’re buying things like diapers, cleaning supplies or other household items monthly, get on the subscribe and save ASAP!  You will save a certain percentage off these items each month that you’re currently buying at a regular grocery store.  Plus, it comes with prime’s free standard shipping.  Doesn’t get any better.

 

 

 

#5 Kindle

Amazon started out as a bookstore so we cannot forget Kindle!  You don’t even need an actual Kindle to access e-books anymore.  Go into your App store and download Kindle to your device and you are set!  Prime members can borrow one free Kindle book from the library per month.  Titles available in the library can vary month to month.  You can also purchase e-books and transfer them to different devices you have that are registered to the same Prime account.

 

 

 

#6 Amazon Family

Amazon Family is a feature I recently discovered and is amazing because it offers coupons and discounts that are family oriented.  This feature is included in your Prime account and can give you up to 20% off on things like baby food, diapers, even vitamins.

 

#7 Instant Price Alerts

This is especially helpful for when Prime Day comes a long (July 16th!).  Download the Amazon App.  In the top left menu tap “today’s deals” and then on the “upcoming” tab.  Browse their deals and when you find one you love tap “watch this deal” and you will be notified when it goes live.

 

#8 Coupons

Amazon will allow you to clip coupons for specific items so you can save even more.  These coupons can vary and may change day to day.  I’ve personally seen items such as whey protein, to toilet paper, to electronics.  So definitely keep an eye on this page.

#9 Wish Lists

Amazon gives you an option to either add an item to your cart, or add it to a list.  You can create lists for your kids or even yourself!  Sometimes I’ll add cute work out gear or books to mine, and when I’m having a rough day I’ll go treat myself 🙂 It’s also great for keeping a list for your kids christmas gifts.  Throughout the holidays I’ll add things, remove some that I changed my mind on, and then a few days later proceed to check out and get my free 2 day shipping.

#10 Amazon Warehouse Items

Sometimes you’ll order an item, say for example, a tablet.  When it arrives you decide you want a different version so you return it to Amazon.  Amazon then takes this item and places it in their warehouse and puts it back up for sale on their website.  Other people are then able to buy this item at an amazing discount.  They only list returned items that are in great condition when returned.  So you never have to worry about getting any broken or defective items.  Plus, that discount is awesome!

 

 

 

I hope this post was helpful for any busy moms out there!  The sticker price of Prime can seem intimidating but it is absolutely worth it and you’ll be happy you’re a prime member.

 

 

 

 


How To Survive Your First Deployment

Things I Wish I Did During My Spouse’s Deployment

I remember this day like it was last week.  I got home from work one night to find my husband in the living room and by the look on his face I knew something was up.  He told me he would be deploying on June 2, 2015.  I was shocked.  I shouldn’t have been, since there were looming rumors, but I was completely speechless.  I had just gone back to work only a few months earlier after 12 weeks of maternity leave.  How would I take care of an infant by myself for a year, among other things?  All of my close family lived a few states away.  I went into survival mode in order to survive while he was on deployment.

The morning of June 2 arrived quickly and I packed my infant into the car and drove my husband to the airport.  We didn’t realize we could get gate passes to walk him in, so at the time I dropped him off at departures.  He gave me a kiss, gave our baby daughter a kiss, and he was off.  I sobbed the entire car ride home.  Probably not the safest way to drive, but I had to let it out.  I felt so empty and didn’t know how I was going to take care of things by myself for an entire year.  I didn’t expect I would be so emotional.  Here are the top 5 things I wish I knew, and wish I could go back and do..

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

 

 

#1 Move Back Home

If I could go back in time I would tell myself it would benefit myself and my daughter if we moved back home.  I came across many instances where I just needed love and family around me.  If my daughter got sick, or if I was just extremely exhausted from night time baby duties and then working a full time job.. having family nearby to help would have been amazing.  I could have always found a job back home, or even found a way to take a year off.

#2 This Is Only Temporary

Knowing my situation was only temporary helped me through my hardest days.  I would see my husband again.  I wouldn’t be a single mom forever.  I would have help again when it came to doing yard work, taking care of the baby and the pets.  When I felt overwhelming stress and defeat, I would remind myself my situation was only temporary.

#3 Accept Help

Take any help people offer you.  I have a hard time accepting help from others.  If I could go back I would take up my neighbor on babysitting, and let a church member do my yard work.  At the time I felt I needed to prove I was okay and that I could do everything by myself.  It helps the time pass.  If people want to help, let them help 🙂 it will be good for your sanity.  Try not to isolate yourself from friends and family.  If you get invited to lunch, show up!  Don’t convince yourself you aren’t up to it.

#4 Self care

Self care is extremely important!  Find a hobby, read a book, start a work out routine.  Find a way to schedule some time for yourself.  I rarely did this.. and if I could go back in time I would tell myself its vital that you get some time.  I worked full time and was very stressed.  I felt bad about having to drop my daughter off at daycare when she was so young.  So when I wasn’t working I would spend every last minute with her, trying to make up for missed time while I was at work.  My life became all work, and all baby work 🙂 if you know what I mean.  I wish I would have at least set some time aside at bed time to read a book or listen to some music.

Check out my guide to staying healthy & fit.  Staying healthy and active really matters during this time.

#5 Don’t Freak Out

Try not to freak out if something goes wrong.  Something will always happen!  A week after my husband left, our AC started having issues.  A few months in, a huge tree in the yard fell over.  My daughter would get sick, I would get sick.  Don’t let these things get your down.  Keep your head up and stay positive.

 

These are my top 5 tips for any first timers out there 🙂 if you’ve been through a deployment and have any tips, please share!  We need all the help we can get 🙂

 

 

 

 

 



SPANX

Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age Day!

Valid Only On July 12, 2018!

 

****UPDATE**** Due to long lines and safety reasons, some stores have closed their lines.  If you signed up as a bonus customer you can log in to your account and print off a voucher to use another day 🙂  Build-A-Bear did not expect such large crowds but are doing their best to accommodate customers!

 

Check out Build-A-Bear on July 12th!  This is the very first time they’ve done a “pay your age day” which is an AMAZING savings!  Build-A-Bear is NOT cheap.. your typical basic bear can cost between $15-$20.  So on July 12th, run to your nearest store.  I plan to bring my 3 year old daughter so we can buy a bear for $3 🙂 Keep in mind this doesn’t include any accessories, just the plush itself.  Such a great deal!  We are going after Rainbow Dash first thing Thursday morning.  Let me know what plush your child picks!

To Participate:

  • Sign up as a bonus club member (This doesn’t cost you anything, only earns rewards for future purchases!  Children do not need to register- only the adult accompanying them to the store)
  • Head to your nearest store on July 12th, 2018

*One purchase per peson

*On July 12th- no one is older than 29 years old 🙂 which means if you’re 52 years old you can purchase a bear for $29, plus tax.  (some bears cost as much as $35)

Questions?  More details here

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

How to Hike With A Toddler

Tips for Hiking with a Toddler

My husband and I were complete beginners when it came to hiking, let alone with a toddler!  What things will we need?  Will she enjoy herself?  On a whim Friday night we set our alarms for 5:30 am for the next day and went to bed.  Saturday morning came to a quick, rough start.  Toddler didn’t understand why we were waking her up so darn early!  The rest of the morning was actually quite fun, but here are a few pointers I wish I would have known beforehand.  Keep reading for tips on how to hike with your toddler!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

 

Proper Equipment

My toddler is very independent and so I assumed she would love wandering along the trail with us looking at flowers, watching for birds.  Nope.  She wanted nothing to do with the hike (at first).  My husband and I ended up taking turns carrying her on our shoulders.  I felt like I had an amazing work out, although as soon as we got home I started researching hiking carriers for toddlers.  I came across Kelty Kids.  This brand has several different models and we settled on a blue one.  The straps are adjustable, there is a sunshade, and there’s even room on the side to pack away things like first aid kits, snacks, water, etc.  This isn’t a flimsy child carrier, it is amazing quality and durable.  I highly recommend investing in one of these backpacks as the price is worth it!

Change of Clothes

Toddlers are prone to accidents and getting dirty.  We were still potty training my toddler on our first trip, and she had an accident.  We brought back up pull ups and diapers but she had to go without pants!  (not recommended)  Luckily, it was towards the end of our hike.  On our third hike we took it up a notch and hiked to Cecret Lake in Alta, Utah.  You end up at a lake at the end of the trail.  Toddler was so excited.  She got a little close to the water and ended up walking through a bunch of mud.  Her shoe got caught.  She then proceeded to sit down in the mud to get her shoe.  (Face palm).  An extra pair of pants, shirt, socks, underwear, and shoes are essential.  Don’t forget the diapers and wipes if your child isn’t potty trained.  Bring a long a plastic bag to store dirty clothes 🙂

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!

Water, gatorade, and “toddler trail mix” have been a hit!  I try to make the toddler trail mix interesting by switching it up week to week.  A favorite is a combo of goldfish crackers, dried fruit, and m&m’s.  You can totally customize this to your toddlers likes or even dislikes!  Mine used to hate dried fruit and now she loves it.

Safety

Safety MUST’s: First aid kit, sunscreen, antibacterial wipes (our favorite is by Babyganics), and bug spray.  It’s always good to talk to your child before the trip and explain why we need to bring these things with us.  And let them help you pack.

Entertainment

Let’s be real… children get bored!  They will enjoy the hike but sometimes need a break to switch things up.  Take breaks for snack time and have everyone share their favorite part of the hike so far.  You can also search Pinterest for some fun nature scavenger hunt ideas.  Mine is below.

 

 

I hope this was helpful for someone!  If you have any great hiking tips for kids please leave me a comment!  Also, please enjoy this free printable below 😉 

 

 

 



Loaded Nachos Everyone Will Love

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link*

Let’s Go To Nacho Heaven

A quick, easy dinner or snack the entire family will love.  Who doesn’t love nachos?!  Wednesday night I was so exhausted from work and knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of time getting dinner ready.  I was able to throw these super nachos together within 20 minutes using pretty basic ingredients that are most likely in your fridge, too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cubed avocado
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • salsa
  • sour cream

Directions:

Drop 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pan and start browning your ground turkey.  Add in the taco seasoning and cook a few more minutes to your preference.  Toss in the onion and garlic and enjoy those aromas!  Throw in your chopped green bell pepper.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and begin to assemble the tortilla chips.  This is the fun part!  It’s time to layer.  My toddler loved helping assemble the toppings.  Sprinkle your taco meat mixture over the chips, followed by some black beans, tomato, and cheese.  Continue for as many layers as you’d like.  At the very end we sprinkled an extra layer of cheese and popped into the oven at 350 for about 5-10 minutes.  Just enough time for the cheese to be nice and melty.  Remove your pan from the oven and top with cubes of avocado, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.  Voila!  You’ve got some nifty nachos.

This recipe can easily be adjusted depending on what your family likes.  If you make this recipe or have any suggestions, leave me a comment.  I’m always looking for new things to try 🙂

My Amazon Picks

 

 

 

 

 

 


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