All I Want For Christmas Is Crazy Cash Back

*Post contains referral links, so if you join through my referral link, I get bonus cash back and so do you!*

I am not a savvy economist, don’t make a lot of money, and have two children in full-time childcare, so I have to ask you guys, “Why is every toy $50 or more this Christmas season?” Did everyone but me get a Christmas bonus? Was there some across-the-board cost-of-living increase that passed me by? I literally could not find any $10-$20 baby dolls for my kids this year for Christmas.

So, my shopping strategy this year is twofold:

One, they are getting less stuff. They already have infinity toys and our house isn’t getting any bigger, so… less stuff.

Two, I’m shopping exclusively through Ebates.com, so I can at least earn a portion of that money back. I know it’s the end of Cyber Week, but hopefully some of you guys can cash in on some of these great cash back offers:

  • JCPenney 15% Cash Back Sitewide – This goes for household items, clothing, toys. I found very few exceptions and lots of Disney-licensed characters. I’ve never seen anyone offer so much cash back. Definitely take advantage of this!
  • Groupon 9% Cash Back – Do you need a massage to get through the holiday season, want to get your nails done for New Year’s Eve? Shop through Ebates and you can earn enough cash back to buy one for your friend!
  • Kohl’s 8% Cash Back – I can’t even with these generous offers. I really like Kohl’s for things like towels, kids clothing, and other houseware items.
  • Walgreens 7% Cash Back – You can use this for stocking stuffers, candy – even your photo needs. Buy your Christmas cards through Walgreens and get 7% cash back.

If you don’t already have an Ebates account, make sure to click this link or the button below so we can both get a bonus bump in cash back!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Did you guys think that toy prices were way out of line this year? Let me know in the comments.

Advertisements

It’s another subscription box… and an amazing value for your family!!! #Bookroo

Subscription boxes are totally the latest trend going around so when I was contacted by Bookroo to work together I was kind of like, “Kids books are not that expensive, how convenient could this be?”

Um… Insert foot in mouth. For $19.99 (no shipping) a month, you get either two regular children’s books or three board books. I was super excited to see what we got but was still wondering what the cost savings would be like since Bookroo says their goal is to help families build their child’s library on a budget.

To our happy surprise, our box arrived on Gabby’s birthday, so… BONUS PRESENTS! The books arrived gift wrapped and bundled in a beautiful presentation. Look!


Gabby was so excited to open them up and the books we got were fantastic. We received “The Bear Who Shared” by Catherine Rayner and “Dream Away” by Julia Durango, Katie Belle Trupiano, and Robert Goldstrom.

Without giving away the stories, I felt that Bookroo really put thought into their choices. The books teach great lessons – sharing and imagination. The books were appropriate for both girls, even though they are 19 months apart. One of the books we received was $16.99 retail and I found the other on Walmart.com for $8.96, so we actually did save a few bucks PLUS whatever we would’ve had to pay in shipping.

I am so excited that Bookroo has also offered my readers a discount ($4 off)! Just click here and sign up. I promise you won’t regret it!

Why can’t everything be this easy?

When I was pregnant with Gabby, I of course knew that the proper thing to do was send out birth announcements when she was born. I labored over and designed those things for weeks. I researched which company had the best quality and most reasonable price. Shutterfly, Mint, TinyPrints… it was a lot of exhausting work, you guys! I had to scour the internet for coupon codes, monitor my email — all while taking care of a newborn! But good lord, those cards were gorgeous.

And then came Lillian. I was more tired, anxious as all get-out, just trying to keep my shit together. I didn’t want to give her second-child syndrome, but I just didn’t have it in me to spend all that time again. So, I had my friend Mark take a few pictures of Lilly and ordered birth announcements from Walgreens. Walgreens! I felt guilty for cheaping out but the pictures were gorgeous, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.

pic 1_1426273358059_800

If only 20Stamps had been on my radar at the time, making cards would have been a no-brainer. I’m actually kind of mad about this. 20Stamps is an app (currently only available on the iOS platform) that allows you to upload an image – from Snapseed, Instagram, Facebook, or your Camera Roll – and turn it into a card or postage stamp. The app is super easy to use.

There are a variety of card designs to choose from. At this time, I couldn’t find a way to change the text or make a custom design, but if you are looking for convenience, 20Stamps delivers. All you have to do is literally UPLOAD A PHOTO. 20Stamps also has some filters you can use to stylize your image, so you don’t even need any editing software on your phone.

IMG_9986

You then get the option to choose how much your postage is worth.

IMG_9985

Finally, make sure you like it. You get to save $5 if you buy matching cards and stamps, so if you want to be a superhero, go for it.

IMG_9987

To be honest, I didn’t have an event coming up that warranted a card and with my iPhone 6 plus, the cards wouldn’t display properly on my phone so I didn’t buy any. I found it slightly odd that I couldn’t edit the text on the cards, too. I do want to let you know that when I emailed the Support Team to let them know the cards were displaying wonky on my phone, they not only gave me several tips to troubleshoot the problem, but they also told me that they manually audit each design to make sure it is displaying properly before printing. So, customer service is a major plus with this company and I will bet that in the future, they will have more options for designs and customization (maybe even birth announcements if/when we finally have that third kid).

Overall: 20Stamps is easy to use and hassle-free. The cards are priced slightly higher than other high-quality companies but customer service is excellent and the stamps are very cute.

Here is the finished product. Super cute if you ask me!

Sponsored post: I was compensated and received free product as a member of BoostInsider to write this post, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Do you wanna build a robot? It doesn’t have to be a robot…

Kids are so lucky – they get to have high-achieving goals with no consideration to the barriers they face to getting there. When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to be an astronaut. I was a part of Young Astronauts, a club where we would learn about space and launch rocket ships after school. There I was: 12 years old, a girl, intelligent (but not that smart), middle class, daughter of a nurse and a postal worker. Now, I don’t know where I’d rank in terms of the probability of me becoming an astronaut. I can tell you that my realist parents would have scoffed at me if I proclaimed my ambitions out loud.

Boy, am I glad that times are changing!

Introducing the KidStarter Campaign. KidStarter is a STEM-based program consisting of apps, online tools, and community-oriented courses that not only teaches kids about science, technology, engineering, and math, but also gives them the opportunity to come up with their own ideas and bring them to fruition. They also plan to partner with fabrication companies to bring these ideas to life on a larger scale. So, it’s not just educational games. This is an opportunity for kids to learn, to build, and to solve problems. They can even do it in the comfort of their own home.

KidStarter logo

I’m so excited about this for my girls that it’s hard to put it into words. At age two, Gabrielle’s imagination is so above and beyond my comprehension. She has ideas all day long about how the world works. She comes up with her own explanations for the most insignificant occurrences in life. After Lillian’s first birthday, we had her cards displayed on a garland for a few weeks. On one card was a teddy bear holding a present. On the next card was Minnie Mouse holding a cupcake. One evening during dinner, she turned to me and said, “Mama, that bear is sad because Minnie Mouse took his cupcape.” I looked at the cards and saw exactly what she saw. That bear did indeed look like he wanted that cupcake. And I’ll be damned if Minnie didn’t have a smug look on her face. I can’t even imagine how amazing it would be to give a child the opportunity to problem-solve even life’s most minor inconveniences, and then give them the skills and support to see it through.

The video below gives some detail about the backbone and the research behind the campaign, as well as what they plan to do and how they plan to do it. I encourage you to use the link below to help KidStarter become widespread and available for all kids – regardless of their financial status, gender, age, location, or intellect. They will benefit from it and so will the world around them.

KidStarter Campaign Video from The Fold on Vimeo. Click here for more information and to donate to this awesome campaign.

Sponsored post: I was compensated as a member of BoostInsider to write this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.