How I Saved Hundreds on My Holiday Shopping (And Finished Before Halloween)

Imagine sitting on your sofa, in your sweats, sipping your coffee (or wine… I don’t judge) and knocking out all/most of your Christmas shopping. You don’t have to go out into the craziness or heck, even put on pants.. All while saving a ton of money, with every available coupon AND earning cashback on each of your purchases.

This is real; you read that right.

That’s exactly what I’m doing and is why, for the first time EVER, I’m (all but) finished Christmas shopping in October. I’m working on holiday gift guides that I’ll share in the next few weeks, but until then… Let’s talk about how I saved a ton of money and knocked out my gift shopping not only prior to Thanksgiving, but even before Halloween. I’m the queen of Christmas Eve shopping, so this is a huge deal in our house.

A couple years ago, I found this app called Shopular. It organized coupons for hundreds of stores, all in one place. I was able to set up my account and select all of the stores that I regularly shop at. Then, Shopular organized my personalized “feed” and filled it with all of the current ads and promotions from my selected stores. How cool, right? If I wanted to shop online, I would just pull up this app and it would show me all of the current promotions and coupons for that specific store. I could click the link and Shopular would send me directly to that store’s website, where I would be able to shop with my coupon! SCORE.

Fast forward to more exciting news. Shopular now works with Ebates! What does that mean?

WE SAVE MONEY AND EARN CASH BACK. No lie. Told ya this was huge.

Ebates works with A TON of stores, offering cash back on your online (and even some in store) purchases. Occasionally, they offer “double cash back” on random stores, which scores you even more cash back! The huge thing about Shopular working in conjunction with Ebates is that you can shop through Shopular’s app, see all of the current flyers and sales, use any of the available coupons and earn whatever cash back percentage is currently available. That adds up so quickly!!!

I love using Shopular for purchases that I “need” to make. For example, Greysley is about to grow out of all of her pants. I just pulled up the Shopular app, clicked on Old Navy and saw that they are running a 30% off coupon. I just ordered her 6 pairs of pants, applied the 30% promo and only spent $42.70. Then, on top of that, I got 2% cash back (doesn’t seem like much right now, but this adds up quickly).

*BIG NEWS FOR YOU* On your first purchase, through Shopular/Ebates, you get $10 cash back on a $25 purchase! This, combined with your other savings, makes your first purchase a major steal!! Cash back is paid every 3 months, in what is called their “Big Fat Check.” If that doesn’t entice you, what will?

My last favorite way to earn cash back through Shopular is just by sharing your newest obsession with your friends!! Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it scores you $10 cash back, just for making that first $25 purchase. I promise that if you start making it a habit to pull up the Shopular app for your online purchases, your rebates are going to add up! Plus, this gives the easiest access to thousands of coupons!! Whether your shopping in store or browsing online, make sure to search for the most current flyers and coupons via Shopular. Use your coupons, earn your cashback and let’s make this holiday the thriftiest yet! <3

To sign up and get all prepped for the holidays.. Go ahead, put on your coziest sweats, pour that coffee (cough, cough, *wine*) and sign up through my personalized link!

 Rachel Rowles for Shopular

Happy Savings!!!

 

Continue Reading

A Mommy (And Daddy) Must-Have // Our Corkcicle Obsession.

You know how sometimes, you find a product that you just can’t stop talking about?

For me, it’s my new Corkcicle Bottle.

I had heard AMAZING things about this brand. So, when I stumbled upon one on our family vacation, I was super eager to try it out! The selling point, for me, was that the 25 oz. version can hold an entire bottle of wine and keep it cold for 25 hours. (but let’s be real, whose bottle of wine actually last for 25 hours…). #noshameinmywinegame

I tested my Corkcicle out as soon as I bought it and sure enough, it kept my drinks ice cold.. on a hot day, on the beach, IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT. I intentionally didn’t finish my drink that day, because I wanted to see if it would actually stay cold for the promised 25 hours. After over 25 hours, my drink was still its original temperature!! I was shocked.

We’ve dropped way too much money on Yeti products that look nice and do their jobs, but haven’t impressed us near as much as our Corkcicle. My Corkcicle keeps my drinks cold much longer than my Yeti, looks way more stylish and has a ton of color options! There are colors for both men and women!!

For over $30, is it worth it? In my opinion, YES!! If you’re going to splurge on a Yeti or another ridiculously priced cool-cup, I 100% vote Corkcicle. Plus, there’s an actual bottle-lid to prevent spills!

 

*I know that I mentioned using my Corkcicle for my “mommy juice”… but on the complete opposite side of things, Corkcicle would be amazing at keeping water or milk warm for your baby, while travelling! It keeps drinks hot for 12 hours!! Just don’t mix up your beverages!!!

 

I love sharing products that I love and use every day!! If you have any questions, as usual, please feel free to ask!

xo, Rachel Rowles

 

 

I will always share and promote products that I, myself and my family, use and love. I will never promote anything that has not been tested by myself, unless otherwise noted.

Continue Reading

Fawn Design Diaper Bag Look-A-Like by Miss Fong

Fawn Design is the diaper bag name that everyone knows.. and wants. It’s a dreamy backpack/shoulder bag combo that comes in 3 neutral shades and then has specialty colors that become available throughout the year. I could go on and on about how great these diaper bags are, but there is a major downfall.. Spending $160 on a diaper bag is pretty steep and for some, just ridiculous.

I found an amazing dupe for the Fawn Design that needs to be shared!! This bag by Miss Fong, from Amazon.com, is so similar to the Fawn Design!! In my “professional-mom” opinion, the differences between the two bags are actually what makes me love the Miss Fong bag even more than the original. For a full review and explanation of my love for these bags, check out the video below and let me know if you have any questions!! (the best thing about Miss Fong is that it’s less than 1/3 of the Fawn Design price, with Amazon Prime)

Click here to watch a full review VIDEO and see the bags: Miss Fong Diaper Backpack

Click here to shop Miss Fong Diaper Backpacks

 

 

*Update: For everyone who has asked about size, here is a side by side comparison of a grey  Fawn Design, next to a “grey” Miss Fong. They are very similar in size (if not exactly the same.) I hope that helps!!

 

Continue Reading

When Pink or Blue Aren’t For You // Neutral Baby Gear For The Modern Mama

 

When I discovered baby items that weren’t just “pink or blue,” I was pumped.  I wanted the safest products for my family, but was also determined to find pieces that didn’t scream “there’s a baby girl/boy in this house.” Our home is super monochromatic and I wanted items that matched my neutral style.

By now, you all know that I’m pretty thrifty, but when it comes to baby gear.. I feel that splurging can definitely be worth it. My goal was to find the safest items, that would last for any future babes, all while fitting into our lifestyle. Even if we spent a little more now, these items should hold up through multiple children, saving us money in the end.

 

Here are some of my favorite baby items (so far). We love each of these items and are incredibly thankful to have them. Every baby and family is different, so products that my family loves, may not be as great of a fit for the next family. I’ll try to share as much as I can. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

  1. Dockatot– This is the holy grail of baby products. It’s the number one thing that I recommend to new parents.. I wish they made this in an adult-size. The Dockatot mimics the womb, by cushioning your baby into a secure sleep position. It’s completely breathable, so I’ve never had to worry about Greysley rolling over. We have used this since our first day home and have loved it ever since. I can move it from one room, to the next and Greysley is able to comfortably sleep wherever we are. We use our Dockatot not only for naps and sleep at night, but also for playtime and tummy time. The rounded edges are perfect to help your baby strengthen their neck and back muscles, when used correctly. The Dockatot’s cover is removeable, which makes it extremely easy to wash and keep up with. We have the “pristine white,” but I also wrap ours with Aden and Anais Swaddles (also completely breathable.)
  2. Mamaroo– Another God-sent item. Whoever invented the Mamaroo, I LOVE YOU. We bought ours used and saved a ton of money, but it just completely broke down on us about a month ago.. and we obviously don’t have a warranty. I couldn’t justify paying full price on the Mamaroo until I knew that Greysley would like it, though, so I can’t be too upset. She slept in this for the entire first two months. (Please don’t judge. She loved it, so I loved it and we all loved our sleep.) Even now that it doesn’t move, we still use it as a seat in our living room. It blends in with our home so well that until Grey grows out of it, I have no desire to pack it up.I do think that you should borrow a Mamaroo and try it with your baby before you buy your own. At least I know that I will for any future babes. I don’t hear many stories of babies not liking the Mamaroo, but it’s an expensive investment and I would hate to blow that kind of money on something that my babe hates.*Side note- I don’t think our Mamaroo broke down because there was anything wrong with the product itself. Greysley had a ton of projectile spit ups in her first months and I’m pretty sure that they got down in the machine and eventually destroyed it. My bad for not taking it apart to check and clean the base out after every time. I just didn’t even think about it.
  3.  Ikea Crib/Mattress- We’ll just keep going with the sleep theme. Before we even knew the gender of our babe, I went kind of nursery crazy. I couldn’t wait to decorate and knew that no matter the gender of our first baby, I wanted furniture that we could re-use for our future kid/s. I started searching pretty hard for a crib that I liked. I found a ton of them on Wayfair and AllModern, but they were way out of our price-range. Then, I found the Ikea crib. I had seen it all over Pinterest, but could not figure out where this crib was from. Finally, it showed up on a list of most popular baby items and I knew it was the one. It’s so simple, so cute and so affordable. We bought the mattress and crib sheets to go with it and I have no regrets. Greysley sleeps in her Dockatot, inside of her crib, for almost all of her naps and all through the night. And it converts into a toddler bed. Major win.
  4. Ikea high chair– While I browsed Ikea’s site for a good crib, I also started checking out their other baby items. I found this high chair and I knew that it had to be ours. It matched our home perfectly and had really great reviews. I was all over it and placed the order without hesitation. We just started using our chair and I still love it as much as the day we bought it. My only regret is that I wish I would have also bought this high chair, too. It can be easily taken apart and packed away for travel. We spend a lot of time outside and this would have been perfect to take to picnics or even just to set up on our deck for dinners outside. I think that I’m going to pick it up the next time that we hit up an ikea, but for just one chair, I don’t really want to pay for the shipping. This one is SUPER cheap, looks so modern and my favorite part is that there’s an Etsy shop that offers tray inserts to dress it up. Search Etsy for, “Yeah Baby Goods.”.
  5.  Bumbo– I feel like everyone recommends the Bumbo. It makes sitting your baby up so easy. Greysley really wants to sit up on her own and she doesn’t want my help. This seat helps her to do that. Plus, my hands are free and I can actually get a few things done! Bumbo just came out with a line of neutral colors. In the past, they only offered bright colors.. blue, pink, purple, green.. But now you can get gray!
  6. Jolly Jumper– In the last month, Greysley has wanted to be on the move ALL OF THE TIME. I knew that we needed to invest in some sort of bouncer or jumper for this independent little chic. I began researching different options and had heard great things about the Jolly Jumper, so that’s what we chose. You can choose between the doorway hanger or an independent jumper stand. Because we don’t have many good doorway options, we decided to go with the jumper stand. I love it!! When the stand is put together, it does take up a lot of room… But when it’s folded up, it can be easily hidden. The seat is soft and fits Greysely perfectly. There are straps, buttons and Velcro that hold her in place, so she’s secure and safe. The first few times that I strapped her in and hooked her up to the jumper, I thought the process was a little bit complicated. After about the third time, it was so easy and simple.
  7.  Joovy Spoon Walker– Another fun product, that we just introduced, is the Joovy Spoon Walker. Greysley is still a bit too petite to fully enjoy this walker, but we have been using it for a short period each day. I read a ton of reviews on this.. Both positive and negative. I decided that this walker was best for us because it’s safe, has a huge tray (that can be removed for cleaning) and the whole walker can be collapsed, to be put away. I will share more information on this walker as we use it.
  8. Eames Style Rocker– Our house is pretty small, so I knew that we would need a smaller-scale rocker. I found this one that actually matches our dining chairs and I LOVE it. It is very petite, but that’s what makes it great for our space. I kept this in our living room for months, but recently put it in Grey’s bedroom and I love it in there! It’s big enough that she and I can snuggle and read stories, but small enough that I can carry it from room to room with no issues.
  9.  Tommee Tippee (everything)- Tommee Tippee is hands down my favorite bottle brand. Greysley has been exclusively breastfed (so far), but we introduced bottles pretty early. We wanted to be sure that she would eat, if I ever had to leave her with a sitter. She took on to this bottle pretty quickly and we haven’t had to experiment with other brands. I chose Tommee Tippee because I had heard so many positive stories and experiences with this company, over other well-known bottles. I also love the accessories that this brand offers, too. We have the sterilizer and the bottle warmer. They are both great and I love that I can leave them sit on my counter and they don’t scream “baby items.”
  10. Wooden Brush Set– Greysley was born with a pretty full head of hair and we have loved this soft brush. The bristles are so smooth, which makes her completely relax while I comb. I love the look of these brushes and Grey is all for the head massage.

 

*All of the products listed above have their own guidelines on when and how to use each product. I am only sharing my love for each of these items. Please read and follow all of the safety information, provided in each link.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Got That Summertime, Summertime Broke-ness

When it comes to fashion, I’ve never been a huge fan of expensive brands. I love the look, but not the price tag.

Basically, I’m just super cheap (but we’ll call it thrifty).

And to be honest, that’s the only reason that my closet it as full as it is. I can’t justify spending $150 on a pair of shoes when I can buy a knock-off version for $30. I mean, who wants to buy one pair when you could get five for the same price?

Not this girl.

That being said, I’m not going to settle for poor quality. I do a lot of ordering online (hello new mommy life) and I read reviews like it’s my job. Even if I’m making an in-store purchase, I do a quick search online and see what others have to say about each piece. I’m cheap, but I’m not paying for junk.

Sometimes bad reviews don’t mean that the piece itself is a bad buy. That’s where you actually have to take the time to read the reviews. It’s a bit of a hassle, but I promise it does pay off. Recently, there was a gorgeous Free People knock off at Target.com. The reviews weren’t great, but guys,

IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

The reviewers said that the dress was too boxy and oversized. Obviously that didn’t mean that there was something wrong with the dress, just that I’d have to go down a size. No problem. Done deal. I bought it. And guess what, I’m in love. It fits like a dream and gets five stars in my book.

Here’s a quick round up of my favorite summer finds. Some of these pieces are already hanging in my closet. Others are just part of my want-list. Not everything is currently on sale, but all of these are available online, currently in-stock and have great reviews.. Just click on the photos below and happy shopping!

xo, Rachel

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading