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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, y’all.  But as always, compensated or not, my opinions are my own.

I don’t buy many things for me or for my home.  Losing everything when my house burned down forced me into a minimalism that I’ve found hard to shake.  But as we move closer to buying the house we’ve been renting for almost six years now, I find myself wanting to add a few touches that reflect my own taste and personality.

I hate going shopping and buy almost everything online–and so I’m excited to have learned about Uncommon Goods, a company that can supply all my decorating needs.  I am slightly crazy about candles, for example.  My first purchase is going to be one of their Literary Candles.  I also love the Homesick Candles (although there isn’t one for Tennessee yet!).  And I think the various tea light troughs would look great on my mantel.  Actually, I love almost everything in this section and if you like decorating with candles you will too.

 

Now let’s talk about their collection of decorations for the garden.  It’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I love gardening!  My eventual plan for this yard is to go full on cottage garden with no grass in sight.  So I will be needing more garden art in the future and now I know where I can find some unusual conversation pieces.  I’m especially captivated by the sea serpent and the octopus, and the gnome be gone tickled my fancy as well.

 

 

 

Finally let me say a little about decorative accents for the home, of which Uncommon Goods has pages and pages (and of which my actual home has very few).  Here I found myself captivated by the various bookends and fanciful switchplates.  The choices really are uncommon, and you can tell just by looking that they are well made.

 

 

Which brings me to an interesting point–who makes the products we choose to spend our money on?  Uncommon Goods products don’t come from big factories or giant corporations but rather from artisans and small business owners.  In many case you can click to read more about the actual person who crafted the item you are bringing into your home.  Uncommon Goods really is an uncommon company with values that are incorporated into its business model.   The company strives to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible.  They offer health insurance to all full-time (and most part-time) team members and provide a fair wage.  They  feature products that contain recycled components and sell only products that do no harm to people or animals. They give back by allowing customers to select a non-profit organization to receive a $1 donation at checkout.  You can read more about the company and its mission here.

I feel really good about recommending Uncommon Goods to you, and I am excited about purchasing some of their products in the future.

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OK, y’all, so I only JUST got back from a short vacation (about which more later!), and I’m already wishing I had known what I am about to share with you before I planned it!

I don’t know about you but when it comes to traveling, I am always looking for hotel deals.  Ever since I first discovered Hotwire several years ago, I have made it my business to find the best hotel deals I can.  That’s especially important when our whole family travels together, because the days are long gone when we could cram all the kids in one room.  We need three rooms these days and you can imagine how quickly that adds up.

So I have various sites I frequent, but one thing I had never thought of was Groupon.

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I’m assuming you’ve heard of Groupon (who hasn’t?).  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never used it even though I’m usually pretty savvy about all things online and saving money.  I had some kinds of vague idea about two-for-one deals, but I had no idea that Grouon also had a large coupon code site.  Anyway, if you aren’t familiar, Groupon offers savings at over 9,000 retailers! There are over 70,000 coupons, promo codes and deals to choose from.

Here’s how it works.  Say you want to plan a trip and you generally reserve your lodgings through Orbitz.com (which is my usual favorite).

orbitz.com with Orbitz Promo Code Discounts & Coupon Codes

Don’t go straight to Orbitz–instead, click here.  That will take you directly to the Groupon page for Orbitz where you will find many coupon codes (including one for 15% off most hotels which would have saved me some money last weekend!).

I’ve already mentioned I’m a Hotwire fan.  Take a look here at the available deals.  Travelocity and Expedia are just a couple more of the many travel sites offering deals through Groupon.

I’m focusing on travel sites in this post because that’s where my mind is at the moment and because that’s what historically I’ve been most likely to search for coupons for, but Groupon offers deals for places like Walgreens and Target that it would never have even occurred to me to search for (until now).

Groupon is easy and free (and because I am a US Family Guide blogger, they are compensating ME for telling YOU how to save money–so we are all winning here!).  Check them out and if you have any other great ways to save money shopping online, please tell me in the comments.

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Oh, y’all, I feel so bad about this.  I received this product in exchange for my honest review, and somehow I did not get around to writing the review in a timely manner.  Now it appears that the company may have suspended operations.

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And I hate that, because not only did I like the product, but it’s a Knoxville company (something I didn’t learn until after the fact).

This much of the website is still up and you should take a look.  If you are from Knoxville you will probably see some places you recognize in the promotional video.  If you find the product interesting you might want to follow the company on Facebook in case they make a comeback.

I received two carriers to try, and I gave one to my son who is always doing things like hiking and caving.  He was especially impressed with how strong it was.

I keep mine in my car for hiking.  I’ve used it to carry my phone and my water bottle.  The website suggests tons of other uses.  It is very versatile and yes, quite strong and secure.  I didn’t have any fears that my phone would drop along the trail.

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The company was still operational as late as November so I am still hopeful they will reopen.  Keep your eyes open for Kangeaux products in the future.

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So, y’all, I am WAY behind in my reviews for US Family Guide (I am always behind).  I received this product in December in exchange for my honest review.

Here is the company’s description of their unique nightlights:  3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will love having these in their rooms and they’re also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man’s cave or office!

So, I was pretty excited about this because I requested the Darth Vader light, and John has kind of a thing about Darth Vader.  He already has a 2.5 foot high model that talks standing on his desk.  So this seemed like it would be a great addition.

But then it arrived and we were just kind of underwhelmed.  To be honest, I don’t think I really understood this product completely before I saw it in person.  You are supposed to attach it to the wall and it comes with a transparent sticker to look like it’s bursting through and the wall is cracking.  Which might be cool in a kid’s room but we really didn’t want to do that.  And the mask is asymmetrical because it is supposed to look like it’s only partway through the wall I guess, but since we are not using the sticker it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  It does have light up red eyes but it doesn’t talk to you in Darth Vader’s voice or anything if you are into that sort of thing.

So I guess what I am saying is that there is nothing at all WRONG with this product.  It’s just that we did not like it as much as we were expecting to.  And keep in mind that there are many other options and they may be more appealing to you.  You can check them out right here.

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Here’s another product I will be getting free in exchange for reviewing it on behalf of U.S. Family Guide.  I was SO excited when I saw this product but I’m not going to tell you which one I ordered until it arrives. 🙂

As always, the company wants me to share some information about this product with you:

3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will love having these in their rooms and they’re also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man’s cave or office!

You can purchase these lights at Target and Target.com at the following link: http://bit.ly/TargetUSFamily

Now look at see how cool these are!

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I’m here today to give my honest review of the AdoramaPix photobook I told you about several weeks ago.  I worry that you won’t trust a review that is as glowing as the one I am about to write.  But I assure you that even though I received this product ($50 value!) for free, I am giving you my honest opinion, as always.

So the way this works is, you head over to the AdoramaPix Website and select the type of book you want.  There a variety of designs and templates depending on what kind of book you want to make.  Are you commemorating a special occasion? Collecting vacation photos? Making a gift book for someone special? The design I chose was specifically for highlighting iPhone pictures.

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Yes, y’all, I made my very own coffee table book and I could not love this thing more.  And it was so easy.  The hardest part was figuring out which pictures to use.  The second hardest part was laying them out.  There are tutorials on the site to explain how the process works–for that matter, you can let the program lay them out at random.  You can even import a layout from your own program if that sort of thing makes sense to you.  It’s not something I have any experience with so I let the program do it for me and then moved them around until I got them where I wanted them.

My book is incredible.  Does that sound vain? You would never believe I took the pictures with an iPhone.

I waited too long to post this review so the coupon code I had to offer has expired.  HOWEVER, AdoramaPix is always running specials, and they have sales going on for the rest of the month.  And I don’t know if y’all remember, but I also ordered some metal prints from them that were incredible.  So don’t limit yourself to the photobook.

Here are more pictures but they don’t do it justice.  The colors are beautiful.

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Do yourself a favor and take a look at the AdoramaPix website and be sure to let me know if you buy anything!

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Just jumping off of politics for a minute to offer you a fun deal for Christmas.  Obviously, this is a sponsored post and I will be receiving a free product in exchange for my participation which I will review honestly after I receive it.

If you would like to take advantage of this FREE 12×8 Canvas Print, all you need to do is to click the website link, upload your favorite picture, choose 12×8″ canvas, and enter the voucher code from the website in the basket.   Give it as a Christmas gift, or keep it for yourself (that’s what I am going to do!).

Be aware that you will have to pay shipping on your otherwise free purchase.  Please share the offer with your friends and let me know what you think of The AMAZING FREE CANVAS FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN.

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