May 192016

This post contains affiliate links.

Grove collaborative online shopping

As part of getting back to shopping online more, I recently made several purchases from Grove Collaborative.  This was a new company for me, though I had heard of them before under their old name, ePantry.  Before recommending them to you, I wanted to see how the whole process when and if it was worth doing again.

Grove Collaborative’s mission is to help everyone create a healthy, beautiful environment in your home. We grew out of a simple belief: The best natural, healthy and effective products for your home & family should be the easiest to get.

The selection at Grove Collaborative is different than what I may normally buy, though the brands were familiar and came recommended by others.  I was able to select items I needed and received them about a week later.

Right now it is Friends and Family Week at Grove Collaborative.  You are able to receive a free $10 credit, plus a gift, by clicking through here.  This would be a great way to save on money and time for items you already need.

They do have a feature on their site where you can have previously ordered items automatically added to your next months shipment.  If you do not need them, a simple click on “I won’t need it” removes the items.  However, if you know you use up these items and have to purchase them each month, this can make your life easier and save you some mental space at the same time.

Finding the good stuff should be easy, trusting it works should be a given, and it should bring a natural clean, and natural beauty, to your home. So everything you’ll find here meets the Grove Standard:
Uncompromisingly healthy.


Beautifully effective.

Sustainably minded.

Amazingly affordable.
And because life is too busy for last minute errands, we deliver to your doorstep, on your schedule, with a smile.

Do not wait too long.  I am not sure how long the Friends and Family Weeks $10 free credit will last.  Make your life easier and save money at the same time.

May 192016

This post contains affiliate links.  When you click through and buy something I will receive a little bit back, at no extra cost to you.  Not only will you be saving money, but you will also be helping to buy continuously needed shoe lace replacements for George.

This past year has been a roller coaster ride.  Among other things, we have been trying to figure out how to help one of our kids tolerate certain activities that are common in life.  Shopping is one of those things.

I never categorized myself as a shopper, it was not an activity I did on the weekend with a group of girl friends.  I do not have an extensive wardrobe nor own 10’s of pairs of shoes.  My shoe pairs do not even number 10, that is counting my house shoes.  However, I have come to realize that I am a shopper in a different sense.  Saving my family money is something I love to do.  Sometimes that means going to more than one store to pick up items on sale or at discounts.  However, this activity, which I thought of a quick and painless, as become an almost dreaded activity for me and is reflected in our grocery budget’s increase.,

Due to sensory issues and activity levels, going into a store at almost any point of the day, but especially any time past about 10 a.m. on a weekday, usually resulted in a tantrum of some sort.  Eating and wearing clothes was something we have to do, therefore shopping still had to happen even if there was a tantrum or yelling or running away happening.  In case you think I let this all wait until this past year to work one, rest assured, that was not the case.  Since food has always been an issue with our kids, learning to behave properly while shopping has been a years long process.

grocery aisle

I tried all sorts of tactics to make it more manageable – headphones, games, letting the child mark off items on a list, having the child sit in/push/walk beside the cart, large shopping trip in big town once a month, quicker shopping trips more often, etc.  After a very traumatizing (for me) trip it got to the point of me shopping in Small Town with one kid only.  Then on Sundays my husband runs into a store after church for something of his preference for supper that night.

Is it working?  Well, that depends on how you view it.  Our grocery budget would say a big resounding “NO!”  My blood pressure says, “Yes.”  Except for the fact that I know this method is costing us money.  My husband will spend on one meal what I could have used for 4.  While Small Town prices are not out of this world, they are higher in cost and their selection is limited and of worse quality in the produce aisle.  $1 here, $2 there and $0.50 extra over there adds up to $100 quickly.  Something had to change again.

With the remodel work, oral surgery for one of the kids, getting braces at an orthodontist over an hour away along with monthly visits, 6 weeks of having another foster kid, homeschooling, my husband finishing up his degree at night and life in general, I realized I had gotten away from shopping online.  Why?  I am not sure.  Maybe it had to do with going down to one computer at some point, maybe it was due to being tired.  Whatever the reason, I had stopped doing it.

Shopping online was something I used to be scared of doing.  What if I do not like the product?  What if it does not fit?  Does shipping not make it so much more expensive?

Then I did it and found that not only did I save money, but I saved times as well.  Shipping might be more than the tax I pay in a store, but I do not have to use gas to drive there, nor the drive time, nor the actual time in the store.  My kids save being dis-regulated and I am happier about the whole thing.  I have yet to actually get something I have not liked and most of the clothes so far have been for the kids, so no fitting issues.

So when I heard that Swagbucks is giving you more for every dollar you spend at Walmart, I had to share! That’s right, Swagbucks is making earning Cash Back easier and giving away $1,000 in prizes when you Shop & Earn at Walmart.

Starting today through May 31st you’ll earn up to 7% Cash Back on your summer shopping needs at Walmart. Enjoy savings in your favorite summer categories including:

  • Home

  • Clothing

  • Toys

  • Baby & Toddler

  • Electronics

  • Patio & Garden

  • Sports & Outdoors

  • Autos & Tires

  • Cell Phones

  • Food


Plus, be entered into their Walmart Summer Sweeps! For every $25 you spend at Walmart from May 16th through May 31st you’ll be entered to into their $1,000 Giveaway!

  • 1 Grand Prize: $500

  • 20 Runner Up Prizes: $25.*

The more you spend, the better your odds!


*All prizes to be paid out in SB.

**Only valid purchases of eligible products will earn SB. The following are not eligible for SB: Purchases from Sam’s Club and, pharmacy, travel, financial services, tires, optical, Wal-Mart Connect internet service, gift cards, online gift cards and items purchased with Walmart’s One-Hour Guarantee. For all purchases except for tires, please allow up to 32 days from your date of purchase for your SB to be awarded. See Walmart’s Store Page for coupon & eligibility details. Returns and/or invalid purchases will not be eligible for SB or sweeps entries.

***Walmart Award Details: Tires: 7 SB per dollar****, Baby, Home & Clothing: 5 SB per dollar, Home Improvement, Sports & Outdoors, Pets, Household Essentials, Beauty, Party & Occasions, Patio & Garden, Food, Health, Jewelry, UNNAV, Gifts & Registry, Toys, Cells, Auto & Tires, Other, Office, Seasonal, Electronics: 3 SB per dollar, Photo Center, Video Games, Books, Movies & TV and Music: 1 SB per dollar. You earn 2 SB just for visiting Walmart from Swagbucks.

****7 SB per dollar for tire purchases is only available for a limited time. Tire purchases are usually not eligible for SB. Confirmation for tire purchases will be reported separately from other Walmart purchases and may not show up in your ledger for up to 45 days from purchase. 

May 132016

green strawberries plants

If you agree with the saying, “A watched pot never boils”, you should try staring at strawberries.  So many green ones that I am bursting with anticipation.  I can not wait till they start turning red.  Hopefully I can get to them before the other bugs do.

Spring of last year revealed that several of my strawberry plants had died. I filled in the open spaces with radishes in hope of helping keep out weeds. The strawberry plants came back fine this year, along with some self-sown radishes from plants I had left in the garden over winter.  Any runners produced this year will be used to fill in a section, thereby creating a section for Year 1 plants, a section for Year 2 plants, a section for Year 3 plants, and a section for Year 4 plants.  Any of the existing plants in the Year 2,3, and 4 spaces will be left.  After Year 4, the plants in Year 1 will be removed and the process begun all over again.  This will help keep the strawberry patch stocked with young plants, as older ones do not produce as many berries.

The thought of picking a bowl full of berries to eat with pancakes sounds so delicious right now.  So much so, I am pretty sure there will be none left from my patch to make jam.

May 052016
Is your garden shabby or does your perspective need improvement?

A productive past couple of days has left me feeling accomplished and very tired.  It has also left me feeling very behind and lacking. I have been finishing up the inside of the house, in preparation for new carpet being installed on Friday.  I have finally finished removing wall paper, priming, and painting two coats on walls, […]

May 032016
Double Cash Back at Swagbuck's Mother's Day Sale

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting the blog. Please remember to either hug your mom or leave flowers responsibly. Do not tackle her, and roses without thorns please. “God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.” – Rudyard Kipling “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to […]

May 032016
The Road to Wedded Bliss

This was first posted back in December 2015. When I came across this infographic I almost passed by without reading it.  Once I started, though, I could not stop.  It brought back so many memories that I had not thought about in a long time.  My husband and I have been married for 10+ years […]

May 012016
Mother May I?

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting this blog.  Please have fun responsibly; NO running in the house! With two boys, outside games are something we love.  For some reason, here is a game I have not played with them –  Mother May I.  No worries, that will soon be rectified. It is fun, it […]

Apr 302016
35% Cash Back at Swagbuck's Mother's Day Sale

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for helping support this blog. Mother’s Day is around the corner (Sunday, May 8th) and if you haven’t started already, now’s the time to remember all the little things the moms around us do every day and get them a token of your appreciation. Moms are creative, capable, […]