Amazon Prime Day!

Today at 6 pm (PST) is the start of  Amazon Prime Day! It’s a celebration of Amazon’s birthday and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get a ton of good deals and discounts. If you remember the JORD Watch I posted about a few months ago – there’s a 30% off discount for Prime Day!

JORD wooden watch

JORD wooden watch

Amazon Prime is $99/month and some of the perks are free 2 day shipping, and Amazon Prime video.

*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites

Fitbit Review

Around Black Friday last fall, Dave and I both got the Fitbit Alta. There’s tons of fitness trackers out there today and we got them I guess mainly because of their popularity and they seem to function well. I love that it’s lightweight. I wasn’t sure how well I would like wearing it all the time but I wear it basically all the time except in the shower or doing dishes. It has a sleep tracker that shows you how well you slept, how many times you woke during the night, periods of restlessness, etc. We also like this model because it sends texts alerts.

I feel like overall it does help you to move and walk more. I haven’t been running much since my achilles injury last summer but I’ll usually hit my step goal during our nightly walk.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Long lasting battery – the battery lasts 3-4 days before it needs to be charged
  • Alerts – text alerts and it can be programmed to send hourly alerts to remind you to get up and walk.
  • Easy to use – with the smartphone app, it’s very easy to set up, check your progress, and sync your Fitbit to your device.
  • Fair price
  • Durable – it’s only been a few months but we haven’t had any technically issues with our Fitbits. Their website says you can actually wear it in the shower and when it’s raining.
  • Interchangeable bands – you can buy other color bands or if yours gets gross from sweat, etc

Cons:

  • The Alta model doesn’t rack heart rate. They have a model that does and if I were to do it again I would get the Fitbit Charge which does track heart rate. It’s more expensive than the Alta which is originally why we didn’t get it.
  • Doesn’t track activity like cycling. I do a spin class twice a week and it’s technically logged and 0 steps and 0 ‘active minutes’. You can go in on the app and manually log in active minutes (ie. exercises like cycling, yoga, etc).

Bottom Line:

I would recommend the Fitbit! Even though I exercise 6 days a week it’s always nice to move around more and have goals. Like I said, they do have like 5 different types from the most basic step counter to a fully functional heart rate monitor. I would suggest finding the model that fits your needs and then looking for a good price. We got ours at a Black Friday price but I know they periodically have sales on Amazon. We’ve used Camel Camel Camel in the past which is an Amazon price tracker for whatever product you’re looking for and it’ll send you emails when a low price hits.

fitbit alta

fitbit alta

fitbit alta

How to update an older home on a small budget

Our first (town) home in Utah we bought  while it was being built so  we were able to pick the interior features – floors, carpet, colors, cabinets, counter tops, tile, etc. We loved that home, however we love to travel and see new places and wanted a home just a little bigger with a backyard for our kids and dog.

Our home here is Austin was built in the 90s and has a few updates like the floors, kitchen and master bathroom. Moving is fun but also usually more expensive than you anticipate. For example, the previous owners had cat door on the door between the garage and the interior of the home, which isn’t a big deal for us but the inspection said it’s actually a fire hazard so one more thing to update! Here are a few things we’ve found to update an older home on a very small budget:

  • paint – a fresh coat of paint can go a LONG way! We re-painted almost every room in the house and the garage (which was yellow and blue, looked like IKEA ha, ha). We used the Behr brand paint from Home Depot.
  • cabinet hardware – we added drawer pulls from Amazon that weren’t too expensive (other good options were from Home Depot and Anthropologie)
  • new window treatments – I love natural light so we just replaced the brown curtains with white ones (from Target)
  • update outlet and light switch plate covers – we like these white ones from Amazon to replace the previous brown and/or metal ones

Updates we want to do in the future:

  • replace older light fixtures
  • new exterior doors
  • matching doorknobs – why did the previous owner have so many mismatching doorknobs?! We’ll never know ha, ha…
  • epoxy the garage – we have this epoxy kit from Amazon but have to finish clearing out the garage before using it.

Other ideas for updating an older home:

  • new light fixtures
  • add a large mirror – the reflective light can often brighten a space or make it appear larger
  • update faucets
  • re-paint cabinets
  • replace floors or old carpet (I love wood, laminate and tile that looks like wood)
  • update counter tops (I love granite and marble)

Our home has been a labor of love, but we appreciate it and the new city we live in!

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Skin Savers

Like most people, I’m not blessed with naturally radiant and flawless skin – luckily, I’ve found a few golden skin products that I couldn’t live without! Growing up in San Diego I’m used to a bit of humidity which keeps my skin from drying out. When I moved to Utah for school (BYU), my skin went crazy dry, especially in the winter! I currently live in Utah so these are products for me are must-haves! What are your skin savers?

SKIN SAVERS

Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash (for oily skin) – helps prevent blemishes, easy on your skin.

Witch Hazel – at any drugstore also available on Amazon – tones skin, 100% natural!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (online or also at Ulta) – acne spot treatment, best acne product I’ve tried that doesn’t break the bank.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask – shrinks pore, feels super clean without being overly dry

Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin Cream also available on Amazon – after trying about a dozen lotions specifically made for dry skin, this one was the most effective and I had much softer skin within a few days.

Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover – the most efficient makeup remover I’ve tried that doesn’t require a ton of product to remove mascara, eyeliner, etc.

Top 10…realistic baby purchases

Top 10

Thought I’d share a few baby products I loved with my two kids. Like most new parents, we registered for a lot of items that we didn’t end up using much – oops!

  1. Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag – I went through a few diaper bags before finally spending the money to buy this bag! It has a full zip and an awesome amount of pockets (perfect for bottles, keys, changing pad, and I always like an exterior pocket for trash). They occasionally have outlet sales too! Another thing I loved is that it can be worn on the shoulder OR as a backpack – especially awesome when you have two little kids and need both hands!

petunia2. Boppy nursing pillow – perfect size, removable cover for easy washing

boppy3. car seat clip in stroller – allows you to easily put a sleeping baby in the stroller without unbuckling the straps. The particular one we got was super easy to fold the frame to put in the trunk.

frame

4. Halo swaddle – a lot of people like the Aden and Anais brand swaddle, which we also liked, but like that these swaddles could be a little more snug

5. Halo sleep sack – after ‘graduating’ from the swaddle, we used this sleep sack which is basically a wearable blanket.

6. BOB double jogging stroller – This stroller is really awesome – super durable, easy to use, easy to fold and store up. Both kids are really comfortable and secure in 3 point belts and the covers fold down half way to shield from rain or sun.

stroller

7. White noise machine – we have loved these to help our babies nap well during the day and sleep well, especially with outside noises, lawn mowers, our dog, etc.

8. pack and play with bassinet and changing table – this one was the perfect size to fit in our room with newborns.

pack

9. Dr. Brown’s bottles – these have a filter which are supposed to help babies eliminate extra air swallowed (which can cause gas).

10. Baby Bjorn – great for carrying a newborn facing you and then forward facing when they’re a little bigger

bjorn

Any must-have baby items you’d add?