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Happy Friday all! I thought I would focus on some favorites of mine, and there seemed like no better time than Friday! 😉
one. When I blogged here about things I do to keep my family healthier and safer, I received a comment asking about aluminum in deodorant. It was a great question! I know there are a lot of news stories out there that state aluminum in deodorants can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and other health problems. However, cancer.gov states that the National Cancer Institute is not aware of any conclusive evidence of deodorant or antiperspirants causing breast cancer. Even still, there is a lot of chatter on this, and for this reason, I have been looking for an aluminum free deodorant for myself.
I had tried Tom’s of Maine in the past, and honestly, I didn’t think it worked that well.
That’s when a friend recommended Native Deodorant to me! I made the switch about a month ago and I really love it. I chose unscented because I am super sensitive to anything scented, so I can’t comment on their scents, but as far as effectiveness, I think it works really well! It actually does what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t contain a million horrible things – remarkable, no? 😉
So if you’re in the market to switch, try out Native! Bonus: it’s for men too!
two. I have a small major obsession with Décor Steals. Just check on my Instagram feed and you’ll see loads of proof! 😉 Have you checked it out? It’s a daily deals website that offering amazing deals on home décor! They really specialize in vintage, rustic, farmhouse, and shabby chic décor, but all I know is, it generally takes all my will power to not buy something daily.
They launch a new deal every morning at 10am Eastern (although, quick tip, I have noticed it’s usually live at 9:30am Eastern!). Then there are a few “extra” extended deals they have as well (something if the previous days deals didn’t sell out.
You have to act fast though, because most things do sell out! They do have some things that they get back eventually, but the keyword there is eventually. Sometimes it’s a few weeks, sometimes it’s months. If it’s actual vintage it’s usually not coming back once it’s sold out.
Another tip – sign up for their emails and get notified when their daily deal is live and for a daily secret flash deal. They don’t typically have an image of the flash steal item on their site, so you need the direct link from the emails (occasionally they post it in their Instagram feed too, I’ve noticed).
three. I am horrible at putting together photo books. I still haven’t made our own wedding album (oops! At least all the parents have one!). I used to be horrible even remembering to take pictures, and while I have gotten better, I know I will never sit down and actually create a photobook of the kids.
Enter Chatbooks. It’s like magic. It connects to your Instagram account and automatically makes the photobooks for you based on the pictures you share on Insta. Then, once you hit 60 pages, it automatically sends the little, soft cover book to you for $8 (and free shipping!). It used to be $5 when I first started, but they’ve slowly increased their prices.
A few things to keep in mind:
- You can’t change the order. You can remove photos you don’t want to include, and you can change the captions (I usually remove all the hashtags I use), but you can’t move photos around to a different order – it’s however they appear in your Instagram feed.
- The “ongoing series” books (what I do) have to be 60 pages. You’ll get a notification email when you hit 60 pages (to give you time to change things before it goes to print). If you remove photos, you have to wait until you hit 60 photos again before it goes to print.
- However, there are custom book options to have more pictures and other upgrades like hardcover books.
I’ll admit, they may have some other offerings and features now, but I haven’t investigated. I just get the basic 60 page “ongoing series” softcover books. We have 4 or 5 Chatbooks now and they’re fantastic!
four. Next, we just ordered our Amazon Echo Dot in the mail and I’m so excited! Just what is this “Dot” I speak of, you ask?
Well, the Amazon Echo is a speaker essentially, that you can talk to. You just use “her” name (Alexa) to wake her and you can ask her all sorts of things – weather information, sports scores, what’s on your calendar, how you commute is, to set a timer, play music etc.
We own the original Echo, which is a tall speaker so it has pretty amazing audio quality. We play music and the sound is so clear and crisp!
The Echo Dot (second generation just released) is a smaller version, that doesn’t have the same speaker as the original Echo – so I guess it’s not ideal for playing music.
We have our Echo in our kitchen that overlooks/is open to the Family Room. We’re able to use it for most of the first floor then from there. But we got the Dot for our bedroom so we can use it as an alarm and such.
I also really love using the “Shopping List” feature. There are ways to reorder items directly from Amazon, but we also just use it to add things to a list area of the corresponding Echo App. This way instead of writing stuff down on a list on the fridge and then forgetting to take it to the store, we can just call out what we need to add to the shopping list. I’m constantly remembering things to add to the shopping list when I’m upstairs so I’m excited to use the Dot for that purpose too!
Lastly, we use Alexa for home automation. The hubs is making our house like the Jetsons, I swear. We can turn on lights, open/ close the garage door, or adjust the thermostat just by saying a command to Alexa. It’s sort of amazing!
I’ll admit – I was totally skeptical of this thing when my husband first insisted we needed one. But it has really become part of our life now. Since apparently we’re living in the Jetsons age! 😉
five. Like many others, including many bloggers, I am a fan of Stitch Fix. I have received 3 fixes already and just signed up for my fourth. I have not always loved everything they sent me, but I’ve found I’ve always kept at least one thing (my second fix I actually kept every single item!).
I’ll break it down.
- Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service.
- You set up a profile, give some information on what sizes you typically wear, your personal style, what you want/need as far as clothes (they offer shoes, accessories, and jewelry as options too!) and you’re all set.
- You pick when you want your “fix” to arrive and you are sent 5 items.
- You can choose to keep all, some, or none – but if you pick none there is a $20 stylist fee. If you choose all 5 you get a 20% discount off everything!
Some of my favorite pieces now are from Stitch Fix (but I’ve definitely received some things that were way off). You can leave notes for your stylist – even tell them your Pinterest handle so they can see firsthand what types of items you like.
Besides one bad fix, though, I feel like my stylist really listened to what I wanted and gave me options that I liked and some that were outside of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I tried.
If you’re interested, use my referral link to check it out!
I’m set to get my next fix next Friday – just in time for our anniversary weekend where we will officially be kid-free for all of Saturday and Saturday night! Woo hoo!! I’ll be sure to do a post on the items I receive and what I do and don’t keep. 🙂
I hope you all have a wonderful week! We have a busy, fun weekend ahead – hope you enjoy yours too!
Until next time, folks!