Friday, July 19, 2019

Five on Friday - Fave Amazon Purchase, Deodorant, and Some Feelings About Amazon Prime Day

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

What a week, y’all!  For the first time all summer we only had one obligation (a doc appointment for me) all week so we were able to chill at home for two days straight without ever leaving the house.  I totally didn’t put on makeup or do my hair for two days straight and it was awesome.  This also gave me plenty of time to shop the Amazon Prime Day sales and I got some gooood deals.  B did, too!

Here are some of my favorites from this week…

O N E – Prime Day… How We Approach It and Pay Off Purchases Easily… and Some Other Thoughts

This year there seemed to be more people than usual hating on the Amazon Influencers for “promoting too many things” during the sale, and the main thing that struck me as outrageous was that many of those people went so far to say that Amazon influencers were “peer pressuring” people to buy beyond their means.  I, personally, was not directly approached or targeted, but I still wanted to speak my piece about that statement.


As an Amazon influencer AND A RESPONSIBLE ADULT I only recommend the things that I either truly love or will/are buy(ing) for myself and I never ever purchase things that we can’t afford.  I read plenty of blogs and have made plenty of purchases through said blogs, but I have never once felt “peer pressured” to buy something, nor have I bought anything that didn’t fit in with our budget.  My job as an Amazon influencer is simply to let you know those products and deals are there... not to make you feel forced to purchase them.  Especially if you don’t have the money.  It’s called self control, people!  And if you don’t have any self control, then might I add that it may not be wise for you to be following influencers in the first place…

I freaking love a good deal and all I want to do is share my enthusiasm for said deals with my audience in case you love a good deal like I do.  My intent is NEVER to send any of you in to debt just to get a good deal.  The target audience for my blog is adults (WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF THEIR OWN ACTIONS/FEELINGS/SELF CONTROL), and I think it goes without saying that if you can’t afford something, you shouldn’t buy it.  Period.  (Hence the reason you won’t see me walking out of Nordstrom with 85 bags of clothes during the NSale.  Or ever for that matter.)

That said, I thought I’d share with y’all how B and I use Prime Day to purchase so many of the things we know we’ll need/want while they’re deeply discounted and how we save up to pay off our purchases immediately.

For starters, we never ever spend beyond our means.  Period.  If we can’t afford to pay something off without incurring interest, we don’t buy it (with the exception of our house, of course… I mean what can you really do about that?!). 

We opened an Amazon Visa credit card (it has no annual fee) several years ago because it gives us 5% cash back on all of our Amazon purchases (and Whole Foods if we had one), 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.  Lord knows we buy most of our stuff on Amazon so we might as well be rewarded for it in the process!  We use this credit card to make all of our Amazon purchases throughout the year as well as some other random purchases throughout the year, and we pay the credit card off each month so we don’t incur interest.  Since we know we’ll be paying our credit card off each month and never rolling over a balance, WE ONLY SPEND WITHIN OUR MONTHLY BUDGET.  This ensures we don’t spend beyond our means. 

We let all of our Amazon points accumulate throughout the year, and by the time Amazon Prime Day rolls around, we usually have several hundred dollars' worth of points saved.  This allows us to go ahead and buy the back-to-school items we need, fall clothing purchases, any big ticket items that may be hugely on sale, and even get a jump start on our Christmas shopping all during Amazon Prime Day while everything is majorly on sale.

Overall, we save tons of money from getting all of the great deals, but we’re also able to pay the entire balance off immediately with our accumulated Amazon points + whatever we have in the budget for Amazon for that month.  It’s a win win, y’all!

Another thing to note is that during Prime Day, Amazon gave us an additional 1% back on all of our purchases meaning that we got 6% cash back on everything we purchased!  Those points will begin our new yearly accumulation and by the time Prime Day rolls around next July we’ll be sitting on another pile of points for our shopping for next year. 

For those of you who are avid Amazon shoppers, I highly recommend that you get an Amazon Visa.  If you do shop at Amazon and you don’t have one, you’re leaving money on the table. 

You can sign up here if you’d like… but also, please know I’m not “peer pressuring” you.  You know your financial situation better than I do… I’m just letting you know that the service is available in case you didn’t already know.  ;o)

Also, fun fact... D. Barrett, the name that you see on the sample credit card below?  She is a real person and Brian knows of her through work.  They use her name for all of the Chase credit card promo pictures. #TheMoreYouKnow  

T W O – Favorite Prime Day Fashion Finds

And speaking of Amazon purchases, I was able to snag a couple of cuuuute pieces that were discounted and I thought I’d share them with you. 

This top is by far my favorite!  The stripes, the fit, the ruffle sleeve.  It’s all perfection.  And I was truly surprised at how great the quality is.  The top is thick and sturdy and not at all see-through, which is important since it’s white.  I’ll start wearing it in early fall with jeans and booties, and as fall and winter progress I’ll be pairing it with a utility vest or a puffer vest and tall boots.  It’s a great transitional piece for fall!  It comes in 11 different patterns and colors (including a couple of pretty florals) and it’s only $18.99.  I was able to get mine for $16.14 on Prime Day, so it wasn’t hugely discounted, but at least I saved a couple of bucks!

My other favorite purchase was this twist-front top.  I’ve had one of the long-sleeve tops for a year or so AND I LOVE IT, so I added the short sleeve version to my wish list a while back.  It ended up going on sale during Prime Day so I snagged two of them for just $13.59 each.  They are regularly only $16.99 each so they are still a great deal even when they aren’t on sale.

They come in 14 different colors and styles and they are also made very well.  The fabric is sturdy, but not too thick, and they are also long enough to cover your hiney in the back which means you can wear them with leggings.  Yes!

T H R E E – Nsale Leopard Tank

I’m not a Nordstrom cardholder as I don’t ever shop there unless the NSale is going on, but my friend Emily was kind enough to grab the leopard cami for me before it sold out, and I love it so much!  It’s soft and breathable, but not see-through, and the quality is great.  My only complaint is that I wish it was slightly longer.  Fortunately it’s long enough to wear tucked in so I decided to keep it!  I’ll be wearing this one now with shorts while it’s hot, and then when the weather turns cooler it’ll be nice to wear it with jeans and a long cardigan. 

It sold out almost immediately when the sale opened to cardholders, so if you weren’t able to get your hands on one, check back as they are supposed to be restocking most pieces today.

F O U R – Natural Deodorant Update

Well, I’ve officially tried three different natural deodorants over the last few months and as of Wednesday, I’ve officially gone back to my trusty-rusty, aluminum-filled antiperspirant/deodorant. Sigh. 

Over the last four-ish months I’ve tried Native deodorant (from Target), LaVanilla (from Amazon), and Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant (purchased at CVS with a coupon).  Here are my thoughts on each of them…

Native – this one was by far the best natural deodorant I tried with regard to keeping me feeling fresh and smelling like a rose all day.  It didn’t feel too wet (although it wasn’t perfectly dry either), and it wasn’t sticky at all, but it went on white so you could see it in my armpits all day and that meant that it also rubbed off on ALL of my clothes.  I would have loved this one if it wasn’t for the white marks. 

LaVanilla – my next try was LaVanilla since it had gotten so many great reviews, and I first reported that I liked it really well after a few days' use.  Well, y’all, I WAS WRONG.  LaVanilla turned out to be the worst one of all.  I liked it because it felt pretty dry and it went on clear and it didn’t rub off on my clothes, but after just a few hours out and about, it did NOT keep me smelling fresh in the least.  I’m not even a sweaty person… I sweat a lot less than your average person, but I just could not get this deodorant to work for me.  I had to apply it, like, 3-4 times per day to keep from smelling and at that rate I would have been flying through so many sticks of deodorant we would have gone into debt.  And I don’t want to spend beyond my means.  ;o)

Dove 0% Aluminum – I loved the scent of the Dove deodorant and I loved how it went on clear, and it did keep me smelling fresher longer than the LaVanilla, but that’s where my praise for it stops, y’all.  The Dove felt really wet for a long time after I put it on and then throughout the day if I would get hot and sweat a little it felt very sticky.  It claims to have 24 hour odor protection but I was lucky to get 6-8 hours from it. 

Basically, the entire time I wore the natural deodorants, I felt VERY aware of my armpits at all times.  If I wasn’t feeling wet then I was feeling sticky.  If I wasn’t wet or sticky then I had white marks all over my clothes.  If I didn’t have white marks all over my clothes then I wasn’t smelling as fresh as one would like.  So yeah, I’m now three days back in to my beloved Degree UltraClear Invisible Solid AND I HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT MY ARM PITS ONCE (except to write this post – ha!). 

When I wear this stuff I stay dry as a bone, there’s not a single mark on my clothing, nothing feels sticky, and it gives me 24 hour odor protection.  Plus it's only $6.99 for a two-pack!  So yeah, this is an instance where I’ll just pick and choose my chemicals… there are plenty of chemical-filled items that I’m willing to part with, but this ain’t one of them!

F I V E – NSale Reminder

I’ll be doing my shopping for the NSale today when the sale opens to the public.  I need a pair of my trusty rusty Zellas, some of my favorite undies, and I might order this BP cardigan.  Don’t need to buy anything else because… I wouldn’t want to go over budget!  ;o) 

Ok, I’ll stop now.

The sale opens to the public today at 12:30 PM EST.  I’m told that Nordstrom should be restocking items that sold out during the cardholder sale, so if there’s something you missed out on, be sure to check back! 

And now for the funnies of the week…

But not really... because I have self-control.  ;o)

Now THIS... this is true.

Olivia, every day.


And in case you missed it, here’s what happened on the blog this week…

This weekend we have the first of Jacob’s birthday celebrations on deck and we’ll also be attending a birthday party for one of Jacob’s friends… it’s going to be a good one! 

Happy Friday, y’all!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Polka-Dotty Place for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

This is Eight… Jacob’s Birthday Interview

Jacob’s birthday is right around the corner so it’s time for all of the birthday posts to commence!  I ask both of the kids the same 30 questions each year right before each of their birthdays and I record them so they’ll be able to look back on their answers one day.  It’s amazing to see how their answers vary each year, but what’s even crazier is how some things never change. 

Here’s the interview from July 15, 2019.

P.S. I totally dropped the ball on taking pictures so I literally snapped these as he was getting ready for bed last night... those are his PJs.  Haha.

1.      What is your favorite toy?  “My favorite toy is, ummmm, my Transformers.”
2.      What is your favorite stuffed animal?  “Star.”  (His triceratops that my brother gave him when he was tiny.  I don’t think he’s ever said this before.  He’s never really been attached to any particular stuffed animal, but Star is one of the ones who’s always in the bed with him each night.)
3.      What is your favorite game?  “Um, like video game or board game or outside game?”  Me: “Anything.”  Jacob: “Zelda.”  (He and B and Olivia have been playing that on Sunday afternoons for several months now and he is obsessed.)
4.      What is your favorite sport?  “Baseball.”  (Definitely a new development from this past year!  He’s always played and loved soccer, but this year he suddenly started loving baseball and we’re rolling with it.  He’ll be starting little league in the fall.)
5.      What is your favorite book?  “Ummmm, myyyy 5000 Awesome Facts!”  (Same answer as last year!  He does love that book.)
6.      What is your favorite TV show?  “Um, Rescue Bots.”  (He’s rekindled his love for this show just in recent weeks.  He loved it when he was little but hadn’t watched it in a couple of years until just a few weeks ago.)
7.      What is your favorite movie?  “Um… hmmmm… Lego Movie.”
8.      What is your favorite song?  “Horses in the Back!”  (Hahahaha.  Not surprised by this at all.)
9.      What is your favorite band or singer?  “Um, who sings Horses in the Back?” Me: “Lil’ Nas X.”  Jacob: “Lil’ Nas X.”  (Hahahaha.  Even though that’s literally the only song we know by him.)
10. What is your favorite holiday?  “Mmm, Christmas!”
11. What is your favorite season?  “Mmmm… hmmmm.  Spring.  Or no, FALL!”  (My kind of guy!)
12. What is your favorite color?  “Um, yellow.”  Me: “What?”  Jacob: “Mmmm hmmm, yellow.  Red is my third favorite color now.”  Me: “Then what’s your second favorite color?”  Jacob: “Green… why do you have to do this profile thing?”  Me: “I’m just doing this little interview so you can look back on it one day.”  Jacob in a sarcastic voice: “Did you type: This is Seven… Jacob’s Birthday Interview?”  Me: “I typed This is Eight since you’re about to be eight!”
13. What is your favorite animal?  “Mmmmm, snake!”  (Whyyyy.)
14. What is your favorite shirt?  “My Voltron one.”  (That he never wears.  Little does he know, though, he’s getting a new one for his birthday.)
15. What is your favorite fruit?  “Mmmmm… hmmmm… grapes.”  (Pretty true… it’s about the only fruit he’ll eat these days besides blackberries and kiwi.)
16. What is your favorite vegetable?  “Um, carrots.  The cooked ones like a circle that you make.”  (He does love my honey glazed carrots!)
17. What is your favorite snack?  “Um, oatmeal bar.”  Me: “Huh??  What is that?”  Jacob: “Remember that thing that has oatmeal in it… you know those oatmeal patties… what are they called?  Grazens?”  Me: Lol and totally lost… “Oatmeal Cream Pies??”  Jacob: “YES!”  Me: “You’ve probably only eaten one of those in your entire life and it was years ago!”  Jacob: “No, actually Honey Buns!”  Me: “Since when do we eat Honey Buns as a snack??”  Jacob: “I used to eat them in extended day.”  Me: Still stumped but whatever.
18. What is your favorite treat?  “Treat like candy?”  Me: “Anything – candy or cake or ice cream...”  Jacob: “That’s hard!  I guess, can I do Blizzard?”  Me: “Of course!”  Jacob: “Then, Sour Patch Blizzard!”
19. What is your favorite drink?  “Ummmm, lemonade.  No, Powerade.”
20. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner?  “Mmmm… hmmmm… I don’t know.”  Me: “Well is like something Mommy cooks or somewhere we go out to eat?”  Jacob: “Somewhere we go out to eat… mac and cheese!”  (Again, what??)
21. What is your favorite restaurant?  “Ummmm… uhhhh… El Carrizzo.”  (Truth.  Our favorite Mexican restaurant.)
22. Who is your best friend?  “Um, Jack.” 
23. What makes you feel happy?  “Ummmm… when it’s my birthday.”  (Well you’re in luck!)
24. What makes you feel sad?  “Um, peeing.”  (Well, I knew the conversation would take a turn south at some point… it just took longer than I thought it would.  Lol.)  Me: “Jacoooob.”  Jacob: “Okay, not peeing.  When Olivia kicks me.”  (Yep, second year running.  She’s always beating up on him.  Sigh.)
25. What are you afraid of?  “Um… hmmmm… I don’t know.”  Me: “So you’re not afraid of anything?”  Jacob: “I don’t think so.  Except for when I see a cheetah.  Like when I’m out in the wild and I see a real live cheetah.  Or a lion or a tiger.  If I see anything dangerous in real life then, yeah, I’m scared.  A snake I could just step on, though.  So I don’t have to be afraid of it.”  (Lolololol.  Because we see so many cheetahs in the wild.  #ObviouslyNever)
26. What are you thankful for?  Olivia then comes in my office after her shower and jumps in the convo: “Ummmm YOU?”  Jacob: “My family.”  Me: “Anything else, buddy?”  Jacob: “Um, my house.  And Maui.”
27. What are you really good at?  “Mmmm, running.”   
28. What is your best memory?  “When I threw up.”  Me: -_-  Jacob: “Ummmm, I don’t know.”  Me: “We sure have done lots of fun things...”  Jacob: “DISNEY WORLD!  And my favorite ride at Disney World was that haunted house one.”  (Disney World was his answer last year, too.)
29. What do you want to be when you grow up?  “Mmmm… maybe a Disney World employee?”  (Second year running as well!  He wants to design the rides.)
30. If you could have one wish, what would it be?  “Hmmmm… that I could make a wish.”  Me: “You would be making a wish, goober.”  Jacob: “I wish that I could make a wish.  Hahahaha.”  Me: Sigh.  “So you don’t want to wish for anything?”  Jacob: “Yeah… I wish I could be Voltron!”  (Keep dreaming, buddy!)

Happy almost birthday, Boo Boo!  Five days to go!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer 2019 (Week 7) - CFA Cow Day, Girls Night Out, and Fishing

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!  So how many of you shopped on Amazon Prime Day yesterday?!  B and I loaded up on quite a few things we needed/have wanted while they were suuuuper on sale (probably more than we should have, eeks!), and I’m excited for Christmas in July later this week when all of my packages start arriving.  Lol.  I feel like this was the best Amazon Prime Day by far... I even bought a few things for Christmas gifts!  :o)

Alright, time to recap last week.  Here we go!

Monday, July 8

Monday the kids and I ran some errands – Target and Publix – and then we spent the afternoon working on summer homework.  Sigh.  We’re on the homestretch with Jacob’s online math work and then we’ll have to move on to his writing assignments. 

We took a brief break from summer homework to meet my uncle at the bank and then we headed straight back home for the kids’ afternoon movie and I did some blog catch-up while it stormed outside.

When B got home I headed straight for the gym and then we had a late dinner followed by some playtime and then bedtime.  Pretty boring Monday!

Tuesday, July 9

Tuesday was Chick-Fil-A Cow Appreciation Day so the kids and I dressed up in our same cow costumes from last year and headed out.  I had to get my allergy shot and make a stop at UPS first (we definitely got some weird looks at the allergist!), and then we headed to CFA to meet B for lunch.  As always, it was a madhouse, but we got our free food and the kids enjoyed playing on the playground for an extended period of time. 

Jacob’s soccer coach and her two daughters (whom Jacob and Olivia are friends with) stopped by as well, and they were so excited to get to hang out with them on the playground for a bit.

The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent cooling off with bomb pops, watching a little bit of TV, randomly laying down in weird places (Olivia), and playing.

Wednesday, July 10

Wednesday morning was spent doing lots and lots of laundry.  Ugh.  It had piled up pretty good this time, so there was a lot to be done! 

After lunch, I had to take some pictures for a sponsored Instagram post, so I set up my tripod in the back yard.  Olivia saw me taking the pictures and then she wanted to do some, too.  Lol.  Look at her little pose… it’s just like mine!  She even brought her purse out so she could have one like I did.  They are always watching, y’all!

Afterward, the kids and I went to see my hair stylist to get fresh hair cuts for the kids.  Jacob’s was getting a little bit shaggy and Olivia’s was ridiculously long, so it was overdue.  They both look so fresh and so clean now with their cuts, and I was the worst blogger ever last week because I didn’t even take pictures.

After dinner we all piled on the couch as a family to catch up on the previous night’s episode of America’s Got Talent.  The kids adore it and I love that we all have something that we can enjoy together.

Thursday, July 11

Thursday morning, bright and early, Jacob and Olivia were roughhousing like always, and Jacob came into my room crying because Olivia had kicked him in the mouth.  Well, a tooth that wasn’t already very loose had become verrrry loose, but it wasn’t quite ready to pull and Jacob seemed to recover quickly.

During breakfast, he kept complaining that his mouth was hurting and that it was hard to chew, so he got up and went into the bathroom and the next thing I knew he was excitedly yelling, “Mommy, I pulled my tooth!”  Hahahaha.  That kid pulled yet another of his own teeth.  I never once pulled one of mine so he’s definitely doing better than I was at that age. 

I had another checkup on my bite guard/TMJ situation after breakfast, so we headed over there next.  The view there is always so amusing with all of those ducks and geese crowded all around the window. 

After the dentist, we headed to one of our favorite playgrounds in the shade and the kids played for a bit before we headed back home.  We practiced more multiplication tables, played a few games of the Pete and His Groovy Buttons game (Olivia’s choice), and then had lunch. 

After lunch it was summer homework time followed by our afternoon movie, and then dinner.

After dinner, I left B with the kids for a ladies night out with my Momma, my grandmother, two of my aunts, and my cousin.  We went to see Yesterday and I really enjoyed it!  Love all of these ladies so much!

Friday, July 12

Friday we had nowhere to be and the weather was finally nice enough to get in the pool, so we went outside bright and early.  Olivia had been begging to get in the pool for a couple of weeks, but we’ve had so much rain and so much going on we haven’t been able to make it happen.

Well, Friday was finally her chance and… she wasn’t interested after being out there for five minutes.  Sigh.  That girl always only wants what she can’t have!  Since the kids weren’t interested in the pool (I mean, it’s just not the same as a real pool, so I guess I can’t blame them), they lay down on their towels and read books and played with their outdoor toys while I read. 

We finally went in around lunchtime and then got ready after lunch.  The ice cream man stopped by late in the afternoon, so we let the kids grab ice creams to save for dessert after dinner, and then when B got off of work we headed downtown to meet my parents and my brother at one of our favorite new restaurants in town.  I had my beloved hot dog with aioli, goat cheese, and cilantro and it didn’t disappoint.

The rest of the evening was spent on the couch watching Stranger Things.

Saturday, July 13

Saturday morning we grabbed some donuts from Krispy Kreme (and they completely messed up our order on top of the fact that their donut machine was broken) and then we went to my mother-in-law’s and step father-in-law’s house to fish.  They have a large lake right behind their house and B grew up fishing in it, so it was the perfect spot.  Olivia has been begging us to take her fishing for weeks, so she was ecstatic that the day had finally come.  Unfortunately we caught nothing, but the kids had fun learning how to use their new fishing poles!

Since we had caught nothing there, we decided to swing by my parents’ neighborhood to try to catch something in the lake that I grew up fishing in.  We did finally have one catch, but the fish fell off of the hook just as B was pulling it up to take it off.  The kids were at least able to see it out of the water first, though!  Not a good day for fishing, though!

B and I spent the rest of the day working on his office some more.  The cleaning out is coming along and we have also started hanging a lot of his wall hangings.  He wants the walls to be museum style with lots and lots of stuff on each of the walls, and it’s looking pretty awesome so far. 

We headed to mass at 5:30 and then met up with my brother, SIL, niece, and nephew who were in town for the weekend.  All of us, along with my parents, uncle, and grandmother had Mex at our favorite place, and I got all the baby snuggles.  Again, worst blogger ever as I didn’t take a single picture. 

Sunday, July 14

Sunday morning I started on B’s main collage wall in his office while he went off to Lowe’s in search of some materials to hang his massive TV in his office.  Beer cap map?  Check!  Poker chip collection?  Check!  Old license plates, beer signs, concert memorabilia, and an old copper plate made by B's grandfather?  Check, check, check, and check!

We headed to my MIL and step-FIL’s for Sunday lunch, but before, Olivia wanted to do a mini photo shoot in her new rainbow dress.  She ADORES it, y’all!  It is just precious and so twirly!  And only $13.99!

After lunch the kids all played baseball and then Olivia helped Poppie refill the bird feeder. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent working in B’s office (he got the TV hung!), gearing up for Amazon Prime Day on the blog, eating breakfast for dinner at Cracker Barrel since my Momma and Daddy were out of town, and then hanging out at home as it majorly stormed all evening... even though we never actually got a drop of rain at our house… only a lot of wind and thunder and lightning.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

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