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 love designing nursery’s. Maybe it’s because my kids are all ALMOST teens? Maybe I just love the warmth in creating a space that is home to many first memories for parents and those chubby cheeked babies.
Hands down this nursery was my FAVORITE! I wanted to share the low down on this room because it’s easy to go crazy designing a nursery. It’s an exciting time and you want everything perfect for your new bundle of joy. But honestly, you don’t have to spend a lot to make something special for you and your bambino.
The previous owners of our last renovation, excited to move to their new home with fresh new furnishings left many pieces behind. Of course, when asked if that was ok, I said “ABSOLUTELY”, having no plan on what to do with any of it but not passing up an opportunity to try.
I wanted a fresh new look but was struggling on committing to a theme. Until I started digging through a bunch of prints left behind in storage I stumbled across these gems. I have to admit, they were destined for Goodwill until I took a second look and realized the 3 lovelies in the prints were all babies! And my theme was set in motion.
Some spray paint and a little CERAMCOAT paint I had on hand is all it took to really bring out the beauty in these prints. The images just pop now!
The crib was also left behind and the best part, it’s light and easy to move—great for future staging projects!
I set out to find some fun accessories without breaking the bank. The crib skirt by LIZ & ROO was a little more than I wanted to spend but I resolved its neutrality and future use to justify the $99 tag.
The rug, OH how I wish you could touch it…this WAYFAIR find is sooo dreamy! After I discovered the end tables, trunk and lamp all FREE left in the house and perfect for the Out of Africa theme I knew I had to have the rug!
Y’all know I love me some HOBBY LOBBY and again they didn’t disappoint. I found the rest of the wall art on clearance with an additional 50% off. My total cost, $20…SCORE!
The biggest project but not an expensive one I had yet to tackle. I had this vision of mosquito netting…a necessity in the African Outback…and started getting creative.
My daughter Demi and I decided a hula hoop would make the perfect frame. I wrapped it in white duct tape I had at home, grabbed 4 sheers for next to nothing at WALMART, added some gray ribbon I had, clipped the hula hoop, threaded the panels, and duct taped it back together. I finished it off with some tulle attached to the hula hoop and a silver ring to hang it. The coolest part…it took me only an hour to complete! Total cost if you were to purchase all materials about $40.00.
To complete the room my mom painted the rocker left at the house. (Side note, my mom paints almost all our pieces with oil based paint, it lasts and doesn’t chip!) I found a burlap canvas I had in my art sanctuary and added the saying to it. The rhino I had from a previous room I did and that cute little smooshie stuffed elephant I scored on Amazon. If you like the paint color it’s Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk. I use it in a lot of nursery’s very neutral and warm.
I know…I got lucky with a lot of free finds but I’m telling you once you decide on a theme start searching you will stumble on deals and be so excited. Ask friends, if you want something specific. I’m a huge fan of using Facebook to find what you want either from friends or on marketplace.
Are you doing a “safari” room? We would love to see your photos! Please share them with us here or on our Facebook Page @restorationharmony14 Have fun and happy designing!
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.