We are a busy family on the go juggling two households, in two states, with four kids. We believe in shopping local whenever we can and we do. But sometimes we just need help! And we know we aren't alone.
So this year Dave and I committed to simplify. In just about as many ways as you can dream of we are doing it. If you haven't read our blog on getting ORGANIZED, check it out. It's a real glimpse into what I'm talking about, and how I personally kicked off the year...from Chaos to Calm! We all need it. Right?
Late last year we cancelled cable and are THRILLED with our Amazon Fire Sticks . Not only did it save us LITERALLY over $400 a month between our homes but collectively as a fam we watch way less TV, spend more time together and are more selective in our choices. In fact, we've even noticed we have eliminated having the TV on simply for background noise.
It was after we made the switch to our Fire Sticks that we realized we weren't really capitalizing on all the benefits of the many Amazon accounts we have. So we took a look and researched some savings and resources we were totally missing out on. It was so life changing we wanted to share just a few ways specifically via Amazon that we have saved countless hours and many a dollar.
It is no secret, we, well specifically me reads A LOT. Like A LOT, A LOT. I love real books, the smell the feel and all that jazz but I also love variety. Romance, Biographies, How to's, self help, true crime, best sellers--you name it. But I can't really haul several titles back and forth on trips without taking up space I'm not willing to compromise for my clothes. So we put Amazon to work and signed up for Kindle Unlimited.
To me it's like thrift store shopping for a surprise find. Seriously, there are over a million ebooks and audio books that we can add on any of our devices for FREE. Amazon is now offering this promotion you should totally check out. You get one month free!. And if that isn't enough it's giftable too! What a cool gift for your favorite bookworm!
We also travel and spend a lot of windshield time driving back and forth between our homes and we love Audible! We can listen anywhere whether it is down time between cheer competitions, soccer, basketball and softball tournaments. No matter where we are, in the car, on a plane, in a boat and even in a moat...:) We can share across devices so the kids and Dave can all access one audible account. If you want to try it. You get 2 free books when you sign up here. And if you have Kindle Unlimited many are audio books you can listen to on Audible. SCORE!
Amazon Prime Pantry is Dave's go to. And I'm talking for everything. From cat and dog food to toilet paper and trash bags. Need I say more. There is no convenient stop on his way home to Harmony Retreat. While he purchases all his groceries at the little grocery in town, the big items and brands they don't stock he shops for on Amazon. It saves time and is delivered right to our door. Now, the real reason Dave loves it...well when Koda is down to the last of his kibbles (and that dog likes to eat), Dave can order on the go and have it before all 100lbs of sweet chocolate lab love misses his next meal. #winning
Amazon Prime is something we have had for quite awhile and is really popular. Because of our businesses and demographics we need to be able to get things fast and to the right home or business so this is just the bees knees.
The biggest benefits is Free two day shipping, and there is also no minimum order. But if you didn't know you let me share. You can get movies, tv shows, and music on prime. And yet another bonus for the book worms you can borrow books through prime. Honestly, with my Amazon account I have not paid for an ebook in over 6 months. Hard copies...well that's another story.
And speaking of business. We are huge advocates of Amazon Business. And so are these sweet smiling faces at our City View office. Think of it as a way to make procurement easier. Anyone who makes purchases for work at any of our businesses can have an account. It offers convenient delivery options, multiple payment options, and a competitive marketplace with business-only pricing and quantity discounts. And the best thing is they don't have to wait for me to order....and I get a little time back.
Now here is one that hasn't actually saved our family money or time in a couple years but it is truly TOO COOl not to share.
Dave and I own an event venue in Iowa, Harmony Hall on Riverside. We see a lot of couples come through our doors and we love sharing this little tidbit. Amazon has an amazing Wedding Registry.
In fact, we used it when we got married in 2017 in Tortola. This, was also kick ass-- we received up to 20% off on most products, it was freaky fast, and again, FREE shipping. And the bomb.com is that it's universal. Which means using a universal "button" you can add items from other sites that you love to your Amazon registry simply by clicking a button. Now that is cool.
Having a baby? The same holds true when you use their baby registry Who knew?
While these are just some of our favorite Amazon resources the ones that have really SAVED our family in more ways than just a few bucks, there are many more out there for all lifestyles. Just go to AMAZON's SITE DIRECTORY and find what it is you are looking for. Happy shopping and happy savings! Here's to you and a 2019 without chaos and filled with CALM....OOOMMMMM!
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I don't know about you but I'm loving these colors for sooo many reasons. First, I've just about had it with below zero temps so I'm focusing my attention on visualization. Visualizing spring flowers, green grass, and warmer temps. If you are from the midwest you can feel my pain.
After creating this palette, I started perusing Pinterest for some cool pins using these colors. Wow! Look what I found. A little inspiration to brighten up our day and get ready for a spring restyle. BTW, if you don't follow Restoration Harmony on Pinterest, hop on over right HERE and follow our boards-- it's inspiration overload that we love. You can never have too much!
This is a great example of how to add black into the pastel mix. I love the soft walls and the way the photos just pop. The gallery wall and accessories add warmth and texture. (via brit+co)
Let's talk pink for a moment. Charming Pink is one of my fav Sherwin Williams colors. When the kids and I built our home I was insistent on pink in my master bedroom. Of course you can about guess what my friends and contractors at Dreamscape Homebuilders had to say. You can check it out here. But truly it is now stunning with the centerpiece chandelier, coved ceilings and a bed meant for a princess. Fast forward 4 years and now married, I was ready for Dave to baulk at the feminine romance...but as I've researched....and ladies you can use this as a selling point when picking your master decor... A man should feel like a guest in your bedroom. Just sayin! It ups the romance factor, I've been told. Whether true or not I'm a believer.
Here is another subtle pastel landscape for a master. A little glitz a little glam is always a winner. (via izzyevans.co) The light colored walls similar to the alabaster in the color palette are so warm and soft you just can't go wrong.
Throws and pillows are such an economical way to add pops of your fav spring palette. And we know we picked a winner Izzy and Zeni love to snuggle with this amazing find from Amazon as much as we do. A little gift from the hubs recently. You can get your very own right here and what a bargain!
Now we all know how important accessories are and I can't help but look at these two examples and not think of spring. I'm a huge advocate for mixing timeless pieces with a touch of vintage to complete a look. Imagine both of these vignette's tied together in a room. It just adds varied points of interest..EYE CANDY LOVE! (Via Vintage Home and Yvonne at Stone Gable
It's time to use your imagination. First I want you to picture the room in the palette painted instead Aqua-Sphere. Oh, never mind--just check out the pic below. Now add the combo of these adorable chairs (via HGTV), the gray-blue armoire (via Home Bunch), the pink blanket (via AMAZON), subtle accessories, a mix of black and white photos and frames and BOOM! You have just created your spring look for whatever room tickles your fancy.
In total self disclosure I was a crazy lady on a mission yesterday! Well that is probably true of many days, but yesterday I was particularly crazed. If you happened to read my previous blogs like this one on hosting guests, you have probably already surmised I'm a little over the top when it comes to organizing. I realized long ago that my consistently inconsistent tendencies were cause to compensate, thus adapting OCD behaviors.
It's true, all those personality assessments I've done over the years prove it. I've learned to accept and LOVE that I have gained a talent for and a love of the saying "A place for everything and everything in it's place."
It's why Dave and I have made it our goal to create the biggest, bad ass pantries and closets in every one of our home renovations so homeowners can organize til their little hearts desire.
There....I'm glad I got that out on the table! Now.....back to the story.
Do you have a room that is your albatross and you don’t know where to start to make it feel like home? One of the things stymieing homeowners is getting hung up on defining the style they want. Whether it is industrial, farmhouse, mid-century modern, bohemian, shabby chic, or traditional design styles that inspire you, it’s easy to achieve the look while still keeping core pieces that fit into many categories of design.
Photo via Build Force
Your style doesn’t need to be specific to one of the many out there. In fact, I’m giving you permission to break the rules. With one exception, when designing your room create a look that speaks to you. One that emulates a feeling you want to achieve when you walk in the door every night after work.
First, forget about following all the trends. For example, the farmhouse movement took the world by storm in 2018. This doesn’t mean that if you are drawn to one element that you need to run out and buy every piece of buffalo check, grab every galvanized container you can find or replace all your vases with vintage milk glass. Nor do you need to replace every core piece of furniture. (Pic via Hayneedle)
Instead as you begin to define or refine your design style take into consideration these questions we ask our clients when we renovate a home.
As always we love your comments and your insights. We love to learn from our readers. Cheers, Angela
There is nothing more meaningful than a show stopping wedding favor to have guests ooo'ing and ahhh'ing about your day. And we are especially fond of really cool gifts for groomsmen and your bridal party too. So, we've rallied some of our favorite recommendations together. If you are lacking in the idea department check out these cool finds.
Want something personalized? We are partial to these adorable OLIVE YOU favors by Emilia. But if that isn't your thing, check out her Etsy shop. She can do just about anything. And who doesn't like something personalized?
I found these awesome chalkboards online and decided I needed to create something fun for Christmas. I loved the idea of combining a wreath and some handwriting but dang pre-made wreaths are expensive. I had some garland lying around from another project and thought why not? As it turned out I got 3 wreaths out of one garland and a little extra left over for something else....I'm not sure what yet. Here is what you will need to create the entire project.
“You flip houses? I want to do that. How do I get started?” We are asked this many times over. The question is usually followed by a knowing smile between Dave and I. Our response begins with the word “flip". The definition of flip, meaning to turn over, upturn, or capsize is the most inaccurate definition of why we do what we do. People don’t buys sticks and bricks, they buy a feeling and we carefully choose houses that we can restore (not flip) into someone’s forever home. One they feel connected to. If you are considering investing in a real estate renovation, consider these 10 tips.
It's the time of year when I start combing through my “must read” list getting ready to curl up next to the fire with a great novel. As an avid reader and author I’m a bit addicted to books. I must credit my Grandma, Mo who bought me my first series of Little House on the Prairie books, and all the babysitting gigs allowing me to fund the purchase of the entire series of Sweet Valley High books. Mostly, the credit goes to my high school English teacher, Ms. Reidler for helping encourage my love for reading. She made me work hard to find the meaning behind the words. That was a priceless gift.
Its Back to School Time… Every year as summer comes to a close I hear rumblings from parents, myself included, uttering comments such as, “I think it is time for school to start” accompanied by the “you know what I’m talking about” look.
…And we are in full sweet corn mode. Sweet corn is an almost nightly summer treat at our house. We love trying sweet corn from around the state and decided WE WANT MORE and we want it all year long.
Canning wasn’t in the cards so we opted for a simpler approach at preserving those golden kernels and enlisted the pro I know, my mother in law, Donita. Freezing corn has been a long time family affair. An entire day with all hands on deck was spent “putting up” corn for their family of 8 each summer. Her simple recipe is a great way to reserve those yummy kernels to be used in any recipe you wish throughout the year. And as you can see, Dave is a pro. In full disclosure this day in the kitchen was all about my husband. I served as his sous chef and official gopher.
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.