Amazon Prime Now- my experience

August 28
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Friday was my first full day in the new home. I kept busy with numerous projects and tasks but quickly found that there were a few items I desperately needed and I didn’t want to run out to the store to buy them as I was waiting for a service worker to arrive.  My solution? Try out Amazon Prime Now.

Prime Now is a new service only available to Amazon Prime members within specific cities.  As we have just moved to Orlando we are now in one of their markets.  Curious if your city is covered by prime now? Check here.

Amazon Prime NOW-My Experience

I’ll be honest with you, it didn’t take much to convince me to try it out, especially with the promo code 10primenow which offers $10 off your first order of $20 or more.

To place an order from my phone I downloaded the Prime Now app which logged me in with my Amazon account. I was able to find popular home, grocery, health, and beauty items on the app. The prices were fair but not cheap which is totally understandable.  I added $20 worth of items to my cart to reach the free delivery threshold as deliveries under $20 have a $7.99 delivery fee and orders over $20 ship free.  I then selected the time period in which I wanted the items delivered. I placed my order around 9:15 am and selected the 10:00 am – 12:00 am delivery window.  At this point the app prompted me to add a tip to the order. This came to me as a slight surprise, but it makes sense as the orders are being delivered by individual courier like pizza delivery not UPS or USPS. Amazon suggests the recommended tip as $5.00 but you can tip as you wish and the tip can be changed up to 48 hours after you order.  I’d suggest changing the tip based on how far from the fulfillment center, how the delivery person will get to you, and if the items are heavy or bulky. (Imagine having to deliver 50 pounds of dog food via the subway. That person deserves a nice tip.)

My order was delivered around 11:00 am. I was in the backyard at the time and the item was left at my front door. I received a text message that the items  had been delivered.

This is what I ordered, along with a home weather station. The important things, right?

This is what I ordered, along with a home weather station. The important things, right?

 

Overall the process was super simple and is a valuable tool to have at my fingertips.  Will I use it often? Most likely not. I live right next to two grocery stores and a drugstore so just about anything I need can be picked up there.  Of course, if I was without a vehicle, entertaining, sick, or otherwise incapacitated I would totally order items via Prime Now.  I can totally see myself ordering cold medicine, a frozen pizza and ice cream if were sick and not wanting to go to the store.

Interested in Amazon Prime? Check it our and get a free month here.

Have Amazon Prime? Read my post about how to get the  most out of your Amazon Prime account.

 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link on this page I will receive a small commission from the store.  This does not change the cost to you, in fact, I search for the best prices to share with you.  Any income earned via these links is used to support upkeep on this page.

5 tips for keeping sane during busy life events 

August 19
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Sorry if I’ve been AWOL lately; we are almost to the closing date on our house and we’ve been out of town for a few days. Anyways, I wanted to share with you a few tips for dealing with an extremely stressful week.

 

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1. Write it all down

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We all have different ways of doing things, however, I think we can all agree that it is hard to keep juggling multiple to dos and errands in our heads  for days.  Once I have two or more things to remember I go ahead and write them down.  When I am dealing with a particularly busy time I keep a running  list of to dos.  These are things as simple as “take a shower” and and as complex as “pack the house for the move.” (More on complex list items later.)

Once all the items are on the list you can free yourself from the worry of remembering it all. For me this is extremely therapeutic and actually puts me mentally into a place where I can start to focus on the things on the list.

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Note- If you have an especially large item on our list go ahead and pull it into another column on your paper and make another list where you can write down all the tasks associated with completing that list item.

I use my Happy Planner weekly pages to keep track of regular weeks. When I am dealing with super busy days I add in plain planner paper and use these sheets for to do lists and other info.

2. Find what clears your head

Once you have everything down on paper you will helpfully already be feeling much better. If not, consider doing something that helps you clear your head and puts you into a productive mood.

For me this is cleaning my office. When my office is clean I can really put the pedal to the metal and get work down. Cleaning also triggers a productivity area of my brain and once I get going I can get a lot done.

Maybe sitting down and reading, exercise,  or taking a shower gets you ready to get into the zone.  Experiment and see what works best for you and can be completed in a short amount of time. (30 minutes or less is ideal.)

3. Prioritize

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Once you have your list and you’ve cleared your head you are ready to get to work. But where to start? This is where prioritization steps in.  Grab a pen and look at your lists (and sublists) and find the 3-5 more time sensitive tasks. These are the items you need done first and foremost. I suggest not picking more than what you can do that day, but other than that how many you choose is up to you. Mark these items with the letter A to the left of the item. This is our first group.

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Next mark items that need to get done, but can wait for the A’s to finish. Mark items that need to happen but are not on a big time crunch or as important with a C.   You now have your three priority groups.

Within your A’s you may want to star the first one or two tasks to denote that these are the most important and must be done first. Generally with the B’s and C’s you will not need to order the tasks.  Also be aware that you are welcome to have four groups (A-D if you feel it works best for you.)  The rule of thumb for these groups is that all the A’s must be completed before you can move on to the B’s and so on. Sometimes I add a fun task to the C’s to help motivate myself to push through my tasks and get there.

4. Allow for “me time”

Remember that when you are going 110 miles per hour that you need to take a break and rest.  Set aside time each day to relax a little. Everyone needs a break and when life speeds up just taking an hour to sit down and relax can sometimes make it all ok.  Consider asking yourself to call it quits an hour before bedtime so that you can sit and read a book or spend quality time with a family member.  Have a glass or wine or enjoy a treat.  We may have a lot going on right now, but giving the body a break and allowing for a little enjoyment will really go far in promoting a positive mental state.

My husband and I have been busy preparing for the move this week. We’ve set a rule that we quit our tasks by 9:30pm so that we can sit down and watch a show and enjoy each others company before we go to bed.  Even though we will not spend a lot of time together, this little bit of quality time really helps center me for the next day.

5. Do what you can

This is something that I cannot stress enough. I feel that I am always reminding stressed out colleagues, family and friends that we can only do what we can do.  We are not super-humans nor should we be. We are just regular people who can only meet human expectations.  You know you best therefore you know when you have too much on your plate. Know that you can say no when others ask you to take on additional tasks. Explain that you have too many other tasks and that you would not be able to do the task to the level that it needs to be done. I know this is very hard to do, but others will appreciate your honesty.

If you cannot decline additional tasks be aware that you can cut some from your list. If baking that homemade cake for a friend’s birthday means you only will get three hours of sleep, then skip it and pick one up at the grocery store. Those who really care about you would rather you be present and rested than up all night with a beautiful cake.

In college I had a roommate who would say yes to everything. She was always willing to help pick up shifts at work, drive friends to the airport, bake treats for parties, and partake in social gatherings with friends.  Often times when we had planned to hang out she was just so exhausted that she was miserable and barely staying awake. I would basically back out myself so that she would just stay home and rest. She was trying to do it all which led to doing everything poorly. Whenever I see someone trying to do it all I remind them of my roommate who just needed to take a nap.
What I want to get across to you with this last point is that you don’t need the weight of the world on your shoulders and if it is, find ways to lessen it. Ask another parent to help with the classroom project, step down from a volunteer position.

Anyways, I hope that these tips can help you when you are struggling with too many tasks and are stressed out about your workload.  If you even only use one of these tips I would consider it a success.

 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link on this page I will receive a small commission from the store.  This does not change the cost to you, in fact, I search for the best prices to share with you.  Any income earned via these links is used to support upkeep on this page.

What I read- July 2016

August 8
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What I read July 2016With the preparations for the sale of our home, July as been quite a busy month.  However I was able to enjoy a couple of audiobooks both at home and during my commute.  I listened to all of these titles on audiobook except for Razor Girl as I read an eGalley.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love audiobooks?  Well, I do.

 

 

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

My first Jasper Fforde book was Shades of Grey and I LOVED it.  As soon as I started gushing about how great that book was a dear friend of mine told me I had to read the Thursday Next series.  Well it may have taken me a year, but I finally started it and I love it.  The series mixes sci-fi, literature, and police work in a way I would have never imagined.  If you love classic literature you will thoroughly enjoy this series.  I can’t wait to read the next one, there are five total in the series. Already hooked? You can buy them all as one ebook here.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I read a man called Ove on a whim when I saw it on the best sellers list.  I didn’t do a lot of research into the book before reading it, but I knew it was about an older man who had lost his wife as well as the will to carry on.  The book turned out to be an adorable tale of  stubborn Swedish man who find friendship and community and regains a reason, and people, to live for.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

I am going to be honest with you, I do not consider myself a Stephen King reader.  I don’t do scary and creepy, so the only book by him that I had read prior to Mr. Mercedes was 11/22/63 (which I LOVED).  I had seen End of Watch on the new book shelf at the library and I thought it looked interesting and not scary.  I picked it up but saw that it was the third in a trilogy so naturally I had to start with the first. Mr. Mercedes is a suspense  novel centered around a retired cop and the case that he never solved.  This is not a whodunnit mystery, instead it is a race against the clock to prevent any other horrible events from happening.  This was a great listen and keep my interest to the point where my phone battery died because I listen for so long.

Razor Girl by Carl

I am a big Carl Hiassen fan.  I love that his books are funny, Florida-centric, wacky, and edgy.  They are my favorites for beach vacations and long weekends when I want an escape and nothing too deep.  I was fortunate to receive an early release copy of this title from NetGalley to review here on my blog.   This title follows Andrew Yancy who we last met in Bad Money. Yancy is a bit of a loose cannon but he is nothing compared the characters we meet in this book. Grab a copy for your next road trip or weekend staycation.


The Girls by Emma Cline

My last read (listen?) for July was The Girls. I had heard a lot of pre-pub buzz for this title in the library world so when I saw it available as an audiobook I figured I’d jump in and give it a listen so I’d know what all hoopla was about.

The book alternates between present day and the summer of 1967.  The story surrounds a 14 year old girl who is bored with her well off California life and befriends a group of girls who live life on the edge with a Charles Manson-like character.  Although the story is an interesting look into life at that time, and life in a cult-esque group, Sadly, I found the book to be lacking in many areas.  The story followed the Charles Mason cult very closely, yet was a totally different story and the characters lacked any dimension.  The main character Evie,  seems to be trying to find herself, but never comes to any conclusions about herself or the world around in and instead we are left with many opens ends and no real answers.  Of course this all is just my opinion and i know a lot of readers really did enjoy this story.

 

 

So these were my reads for July. Although I enjoyed most of these titles I think I want to try and read some non-fiction next month. Have a suggestion?  Share below!

Happy Planner two planner hack

August 5
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If you’ve been following my recent posts then you know I purchased the new rose gold happy planner(review here)  at Hobby Lobby.  I purchased this item with the intention of making it into a blog planner to help me keep myself on track with posts, social media, and misc tasks related to the care and upkeep of this blog.  Anyways, what I was really excited about with this planner was the opportunity to combine it with my regular Happy Planner and then only have one to keep track of.  Anyways, this is how I did it.

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After looking at the planners I figured out how I would go about this task .

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I would place the entire month from one planner in front of the entire month from another planner.  I chose to keep with my Sugar and Spice Happy Planner and insert months from the rose gold planner into it.  For starters I just inserted August, September and October. I do not have expander rings in this planner so I do not want it to get too chubby.  If it does get too big I will remove the end of the year from it as it is a 18 month planner which is quite long.

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All I did was grab the entire month from the tab until the “currently” page for the next month from the 2nd planner and then I inserted it right before the same month in the new planner.  Super easy and just too minutes!

 

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Here is August from the rose gold planner about to be inserted into my home planner.

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Here you can see first page that I inserted.  For August I inserted the sheets one by one, but after that I just pulled them out by month.

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I really think I am going to enjoy the doubled planner.  I have been trying to focus on having all the information that I need on me at all times and with this I only have one planner to grab to work on my home and blog duties both at home and away.  I plan to bring this planner with me to work so that on my lunch break I can make calls or work on blog tasks without having to rack my brain to remember what I am supposed to do.

 

Of course, as soon as I finished this project I realized that I wanted to have both planners in the rose gold planner instead, but hey, I can work on that another day.

 

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

July Favorites

August 3
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Well everyone, its official.  JULY is OVER. Crazy, I know.  Anyways, here are a few of my favorite things from July.  I hope that you enjoy some of them.

March Favorites (4)

 

Infused water
If you follow me in Instagram you may have noticed that I have been drinking and posting TONS of infused waters. My husband actually got me started on them and I love how much water I’ve been drinking lately. It is really working.  (Check out next week for my post with infused water tips and tricks.

 

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Happy Endings
This is a super cute TV show that we stumbled upon earlier this month. Our favorite character? Coach from New Girl as Brad Williams. This is one of those perfect cute little sitcoms to watch when you need to get your brain off of the crazy stuff on Stranger Times.

 

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Librivox
As you know, I am a HUGE audiobook fan and of course, also cheap.  I get most of my audiobooks for free from my library with Overdrive, but of course not everything is available.  Recently I was introduced to Librivox which is a website and app that provides free public domain audiobooks.  These books are narrated by volunteers all over the internet and although all are not awesome, many are.  Anyways, download the app, download  a few books, give it a try, or at least keep it on your phone for a rainy day.

 

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Five Tribes

Now to get a little nerdy.  We love playing board games around here and this is our newest favorite. Its fun, but has a large learning curve.  If you love intense strategy board games than I suggest you check this one out, just watch some youtube videos to get a hang of the rules first.

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Pinterest
With the closing of our next home next month I have been spending way too much time on Pinterest exploring new ideas and DIY projects.  Need some inspiration? Follow me there. (While you are here, check out my post on my recent Pinterest faves for the new house.)

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Ideas for the new house

August 1
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Fun Diy Projects for the patio and garage

So as you may fave gathered, we are moving soon and we are finally to the place where I can start to get excited.  Although I don’t see any issues coming up before closing, you never know. Although I am holding off making big purchases for the home, I am starting to allow myself to daydream about new DIY projects for this house.  I figured I would share some of my favorite idea from Pinterest here.

The house has a lovely patio and pool and I want to focus most of my attention there in the beginning.  We have a plastic patio set that I spray painted but I want to get something new (or repurposed) for the new house.  I was about to purchase one when I realized we have a perfectly good extra table and chairs that we don’t need.  I am thinking that we should paint it white and it would look great in the patio, at least for a few years.

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I heart nap time- Painted table

Or maybe I could spray paint the set?

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In my own style- spray painted wood chairs

My husband recently got a nice saw and so I am thinking a few wood projects might be fun.  This little bottle opener seems perfect and useful!

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Shanty 2 chic- DIY bottle opener

 

And how cute is the grill tools holder?

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Lilluna- Grill tools set

This bench looks like an awesome project but we’d better get some easier stuff under our belts first.

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Ana White- storage bench

And lastly, how awesome is this upcycled file cabinet? I have an extra in my office and this would be perfect for our gardening tools. (I  would have never believed I’d be the person with so many gardening tools that I needed a special holder for them all.)

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Tttreasure blog- File cabinet into garage storage

Which project is your favorite? Have you done any of them?  If so share below! I will be sure to update with what I have done and how it went once we are settled!

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