Category: shopping

Minted Holiday Cards & Gifts Review ~ Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide

minted collage holidayA few years ago, my sister told me about this shop where I just had to look for Christmas cards. As with most tips she gives me, she was totally right.  Minted is now my favorite place to shop for holiday cards every year. When they signed on to be a headline sponsor of my Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide, I was totally thrilled. I can’t wait to tell you all the reasons we love their cards, and what we thought about their holiday gifts as well. BONUS: Use the code CHEER25FS to get $25 off your order AND free shipping through 11/10/14.


Mum + Bub Bath Products for the Whole Family from Aden + Anais ~ Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide Review

mum and bub bath products from aden and anais review

I am so stinking excited about what the next few weeks have in store on this little old blog. I’ve teamed up with fabulous brands and amazing bloggers to create the Festive Family Holiday Hop and Gift Guide Giveaway. We’ll be giving away over $1800 in prizes plus bringing you creative ideas for the upcoming holiday season and reviews of our favorite gift ideas. Today I’m kicking off the review series with a product line from one of my favorite baby companies, Aden + Anais. We have long loved their burpy bibs and muslin blankets, but had yet to try their Mum + Bub line. We reviewed them as a family and fell in love.


Trying the Rodan + Fields REVERSE Regimen ~ Skin Care Review

rodan+fields reverse regimen review

I am the WORST when it comes to taking care of my skin. Years of sun bathing and a serious lack of face washing and skin care have taken a toll. I started using Rodan + Fields last year with the REDEFINE regimen, and fell in love with the anti-aging products. When I had the opportunity to try the REVERSE Regimen- geared toward repairing sun damage and anti-aging – I jumped at the chance. I’ve been using it for two weeks and will share how I feel about it so far with you today, a giveaway soon, as well as an update in one month. I have so much sun damage and really hope to see big results in the coming months as I bring you updates on this skin care review.


Ten Ways a Tablet Can Help You Organize and Simplify {with T-Mobile FREE Data for Life} #TabletTrio

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

#tablettrio #shop #cbias how to get free data for life

We are always looking for ways to organize and simplify life around here, and I love a good deal. When I heard that T-Mobile was offering free data for life on the connected Trio AXS 7.85″ 4G Tablet I knew I had to check it out. T-Mobile 4G has excellent service in our area, so the kids and I headed to Walmart to get the scoop. I’m sharing the details with as well as 10 ways a tablet can help you organize and simplify.


Evenflo Symphony DLX Platinum Convertible Car Seat Review ~ The Only Car Seat You’ll Ever Need #EvenfloPlatinum


Our little Pearl Girl just turned one and we have been on the look out for a new car seat. Her infant seat has been great, but she is getting to the point where she wants to sit up a little higher and see more of the world around her. We knew we wanted to upgrade to a convertible seat because we want to keep her rear facing as long as possible. When I had the opportunity to try Evenflo’s new Symphony DLX Platinum Convertible Car Seat, I thought it looked like the perfect fit for us. The seat is designed to fit children from 5-110 pounds, so it is seriously the only one you’ll ever need. We wear our kids rather than tote them around in infant seats, so a convertible car seat is just right for our family. Read on for our convertible car seat review to find out what we loved  and didn’t love about the seat and our recommendations.


FROZEN Play Time: Make Melted Olaf Dip and Build Elsa’s Ice Castles

CB Disclosure White Background 400 px wide (2)


Is your family singing “Let It Go” nonstop these days? You’re not the only ones. I created a FROZEN play date for my kids and their cousins recently and it was a huge hit. The big kids were singing as they built Elsa’s Ice Castles and everyone got a kick out of my Melted Olaf Dip perfect for Eggo Frozen Waffles and fresh fruit. I picked up a few choice Walmart toys to share among the kids and set up snacking and building stations and we had a blast. Best of all, my recipes are healthy and activities are super easy to recreate. We are so pumped for the release of the FROZEN DVD on March 18th, and the discount price drop from $16.96 to $14.96 at Walmart. Grab a $5 off offer on special marked packages of Eggo Waffles and get an even better deal on the FROZEN DVD. Now for the #FROZENFun …


Handmade Holiday Gift Guide Review: Personalized Fishing Lures by Stamped with Hope

Handmade gifts for men are notoriously hard to find, but Stamped with Hope has you covered with gifts for the fishermen and golfers in your life, as well as jewelry and other gifts perfect for anyone.  One of the main reasons I wanted to feature Stamped with Hope is that the shop owner, Jennifer, is a woman with a dream.  Proceeds from her sales are going to help establish Hope Ranch, a home for children with special emotional and developmental needs.  Shopping for a cause is my favorite kind of shopping.  Don’t forget to enter to win the HUGE Handmade Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway that ends on November 23rd.  Stamped with Hope is giving away a $20 shop credit that can be spent at any of her three shops.  

Jennifer sent me a beautiful hand stamped fishing lure for my dad, our #1 Poppy.  It is a real and functional lure with a special little heartfelt message attached, perfect for a stocking stuffer.  It comes ready to gift in it’s own bag, and would be the perfect item for any fishermen (or women) in your life.  She will customize the lure of your choice with the message of your choice, so the possibilities are endless.  

For more custom fishing tackle options, check out Custom Fishing Tackle, another shop by Jennifer.  
Shop owner Jennifer and her grandmother Lorene have partnered to create Lorene’s Locket, a specialty shop creating covers for medical alert necklaces.  I cried reading the story behind it because my own grandmother hated wearing her medic alert necklace and thought it was so ugly.  Jennifer and Lorene created a unique solution to a common problem.  If you have a person on your list who has to wear one of those life saving devices, check out Lorene’s Locket.  
Stamped with Hope also offers a variety of personalized golfer gifts, best friend gifts, hand stamped necklaces, teacher gifts, and so much more.  If you love to shop while giving back, Stamped with Hope is perfect for you.  Jennifer is super easy to work with and has a fast turn around.  Head over and pick out stocking stuffers for your loved ones today.  
Ready to shop?
   Use the coupon code HOPERANCH1 for a 10% discount at all three shops.  
Check it out: Shop  Facebook
Gifts for: everyone on your list
Price Range: $13-165

Prepping for Christmas with Disney Planes and Cars

As part of a sponsored opportunity with Collective Bias, I decided to get some early Christmas shopping done with Walmart’s selection of Disney Pixar Cars and Disney Planes.

Dusty, Bravo, and Skipper

I needed stocking stuffers and thought the  Disney Planes and Disney Pixar Cars toys would be perfect for my little man.  The Bear loves to play with vehicles of all kinds, and fell in love with Cars the Movie during our beach trip this summer.  We are taking him to see Planes the Movie for his first ever real movie in a theater.  I wanted to get a few Disney Pixar Cars toys before they are gone, and knew the Disney Planes toys would be a huge hit in his stocking.

Pull and Fly Bravo

You may think I’m totally crazy for Christmas shopping this early, but the truth is I’m actually finished shopping for our son. I still have to finish shopping for everyone else, but I love getting it done throughout the year, rather than waiting until the last minute.  You can read more about my frugal Christmas tips here.  Shopping early allows me to pick and choose my gifts carefully and stick to our budget.  All of the Disney Pixar Cars toys are on clearance right now at Walmart, so I got some fabulous deals. You can see more of my shopping trip here on Google+.

Checking out Mater.

The toys fit in perfectly with the Bear’s big gift, and will take up residence in his stocking on Christmas Eve.  I’m so glad to have the stocking stuffers checked off the list, because they are always the last thing I find.  I want to choose thoughtful gifts rather than whatever is available at the last minute.  If you are a fan of the Disney Pixar Films, now is the time to snap up the World of Cars toys before they go away.  

So in love.

The worst part for me about shopping early is waiting to give the gifts.  I couldn’t take it, so I gave the Bear his Mater truck as a reward for all of his work potty training these past few weeks.  My reward for hard potty training work was two hours of laying out at a friend’s pool with my girlfriends and no kids.  Everybody’s a winner at the Eby house.  The Bear absolutely loves Mater and carried him around all day.  He recognized him immediately and quickly introduced him to his other cars and trucks, saying “meet friends” over and over.  So cute, my heart melted in a puddle.  I can’t wait to see his little eyes light up when he recognizes his new planes on Christmas morning.  His big gift will give him lots more space to drive his cars and fly his planes, but for now he is completely entertained with the road we made out of a cardboard box and duct tape.  I love this kid.          

Mater meets the duct tape road.
Have you started holiday shopping yet?  

Frugal Friday: Shopping Big Consignment Sales

 Have you ever shopped a BIG consignment sale?  We are thrift store regulars, but have fallen in love with the world of big consignment sales.  This time around I’m consigning at the upcoming Rhea Lana sale in Frisco and hoping to make money.  I’m also planning to shop.  When you consign you get to shop early, and let me tell you that these sales get competitive.  I’m hoping to find a birthday present for Bear, as well as summer clothes for both kiddos.  To see details about the Rhea Lana Frisco sale or find a RL sale near you check out the website here.

 So, you might be thinking that the big sale atmosphere is a little intimidating.  The first time around is, but you get the hang of it.  Everything is marked down to at least 70% off retail, so the prices are fantastic. I also feel good about helping other families to clear out their stash and make money, all while saving money myself.  We all win.   These sales are especially great for pregnant mamas because you can find maternity clothes AND tons of newborn to 6 months clothes because they wear them for such a brief period of time.  I’ll give you a few tips to succeed at a big sale like Rhea Lana.
1) Arrive early.  Do your research and find out if you can get an early shopping pass.  Most sales have these available online for pregnant or expectant adopting mamas.  You can also volunteer or consign at the sale and get to shop REALLY early.  Whatever your time slot is, get there before it starts because there will be a line.
2) Bring a collapsible laundry hamper.  Trust me on this.  You want a lightweight carrier for all your finds.  That way you can toss everything you like into the basket and sort through it while you are in line.
3) Bring a list of everything you are looking for so you don’t get confused or forget something important.  I would break it down like this: big items to look for first (strollers, ride on toys, playhouses,etc); small toys; clothes by age/gender/season.  For instance, I’ll be looking for a tricycle, board books, summer shoes in size 6 & 7, 0-6 and 6-12 month soft leather girl shoes, and 3T summer clothes for Bear.  I will have a list of everything detailed and in my purse, so my pregnant brain doesn’t have to concentrate too hard.
4) Come back for the Half Price Sale.  Most big sales have several half price time slots at the end of the sale, so again check online and find the time slot for you.  Everything will drop from 30% of the retail price (70% off) down to 15% of the retail price.  Heck yes.

Have you ever shopped a BIG consignment sale like Rhea Lana?
What is your favorite big consignment sale?

Frugal Friday: Mad Money $$

When folks find out that we are on a strict budget, they often ask questions like, “How do you buy things that just YOU want?” or “Do y’all get frustrated with each other if the other spends too much money?”  Before we went on the budget I had so many questions like those.  We would try to be frugal and something would come along we just had to have, we’d buy it, and then feel guilty.  One of my favorite things about the budget we have now is the concept of mad money.  Every month we budget in a certain amount for both Jed and I to get mad money.  This money is ours individually and we can do with it whatever we want.  WHATEVER WE WANT.  If I want to buy a ridiculous pair of shoes, I can do it.  If Jed wants to buy an expensive flashlight (happens often), he can do it.  We are not allowed to get upset about the other one’s mad money purchases.  Our current mad money amount is not that much ($50 each), but it is plenty to get something we want or save up.  We also get $25 each per month for clothing, that we save up.
One difficult thing about mad money is that we are always trying to convince the other that our intended mad money purchase should really come out of the house fund or the car fund or some other fund.  Sometimes this is true, and we work that out.  Sometimes it isn’t. Our house does not need yet another flashlight.  Sorry darlin’.  The other downside of mad money is that if you make a mistake, your mad money has to pay for it.  For instance, Jed got a speeding ticket the other day, and his mad money fund took a big hit.  Bummer.
Mad money is one of the main reasons we are able to stick to our budget.  I love that I have the freedom to buy whatever I want as long as I have enough mad money.  For a born shopper like me, this is HUGE.  I’ve told y’all before that doing Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and sticking to a budget has been the best thing ever for our marriage.  With the budget and our mad money funds, we never fight over money.  Ever.  You can read more about our financial story here.

Do you have a mad money fund or something similar in your house?