How I’m Thrive-Ing

Bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap

Bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally succumbed to the millions of ads on social media and decided to try Thrive Market. Thrive is a healthy marketplace for all sort of organic, gluten-free, paleo, reuseable, blah blah stuff.

I’ve recently introduced coconut oil into my diet and Thrive was giving away a jar of coconut oil with every order (I think every order over $49). I found several things on the site that I already used (stevia sweetened chocolate chips), and a couple I thought might be fun (Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and deodorant) and made an order.

NOTE: You will receive 15% off your first order. About 30 days after your order you will be charged an annual membership fee of $59.95. Some people complain about that charge like they didn’t know it was coming. The site is very clear on this, but in case it isn’t I’m telling you: the charge is coming unless you cancel it.

I’m not a membership fee person, I hate paying those things. However, this has been worth it, in my opinion.

Thrive has an incredible inventory of products, with more added all the time.  Things I’ve purchased:

  • Dr. Bronner’s soaps and lip balms
  • Piggy Paint nail polish
  • Raw organic almonds
  • Xylitol
  • Compostable coffee filters
  • Coconut aminos
  • Figs
  • Organic and/or heirloom seeds: onions. tomatoes, carrots, etc

I’ve ordered lots of other things, too. Many products that are sold in major health  food store chains are cheaper on Thrive. I know, because I’ve checked.

I’ve got an order coming today that is mostly Thrive Market branded products, including sunflower seeds, organic spices, maca powder and chia seeds. I’m excited!

What you can expect from Thrive market:

  • Occasional coupons off your next order.
  • Free products throughout the year with minimum purchase.
  • Free shipping on all orders over $25.
  • A terrific selection of products from food to snacks to housewares to health & beauty.

Click this link to get 15% off your first order.

Savings Unsaved

I recently wrote about how much I love Digit, the savings device you don’t have to think about. I wanted to follow up and tell you about my experience withdrawing from the account.

I recently broke a tooth and needed to pay a bit of money to see the dentist. There was money in the checking account, but I wanted to move some from the Digit account to see how easy it was to do that.

Here are the steps I took:

1. On my phone I went to the Digit message thread and typed in HELP and sent.

2. Digit responded by asking what kind of help I needed and suggested that I respond with COMMANDS, so I did.

3. Digit responded with a handful of commands, one of which was WITHDRAW. I sent back WITHDRAW.

4.Digit gave me my available balance and asked how much I would like to withdraw. I responded with an amount.

5. Digit asked to confirm the amount and I said yes.

6. Digit confirmed it was moving the amount to my checking account and I could expect it on May 25th (the next day).

7. Digit asked why I wanted to transfer the money. This step is optional, but I chose to give a brief explanation (dental bill) and Digit promised to notate the account.

I think it’s handy to notate why a withdrawal was made. Again, it’s optional to provide that information.

It is the morning of May 25th as I type this. I just logged in to my checking account and what do you know, the deposit was made!  Go Digit!


Update – Hollar!

I wrote recently about my experience ordering from Hollar. I received a couple of nonworking and/or broken items, so I contacted customer service. Here is how that worked out:

Nonworking Item:

[The Pillow Pets mini light up puppy dog came new in the package and did not light up. I changed out the batteries (it requires 3 SR41 or LR41 watch batteries) and it still doesn’t work.]  I emailed about this second, and got a message on 5/18/16 that they had shipped me a new one. Received it on 5/24/16 and it works! My daughter loves it!

Broken Item:

[The jar with the red lid was broken when it arrived. A strip of the jar was not covered in bubble wrap and that looks like where the break originated.] I emailed about this one first but didn’t receive any sort of response. After I received the pillow pet above, I forwarded the original email back to them asking if they had addressed that problem. I received a response from them that the item was out of stock and they were crediting my Paypal account. I received the refund email about 10 minutes later. I’m not sure if they would have done anything about it unless I sent another message.

I just went back over to Hollar and I see some new items that look like they might be handy. I will purchase from them again, keeping in mind that if there is a problem.

I think I will keep an eye on Hollar for party favors and decorations for my daughter’s birthday party this summer.

$2 site? Hollar!

The update to this post is here.

I started seeing ads for Hollar on Facebook several months ago, and it sounded too good to be true. It was like an online dollar store!

I finally decided to place an order last week after checking to see if they had any Peppa Pig items (my daughter’s obsession)  and finding some cute stuff.  My order was placed on 05/05/2016, and I received my items on 05/14/2016.

Here is what I ordered:

hollar order 1


hollar order 2


After 9 days (hey, shipping is free, so I’m not complaining) I received a large orange box containing all of my items. Quite a few items were glass, but everything was wrapped in adhesive bubble wrap.

The two large beehive looking glass jars have metal lids, and both have small dings in them. Not worth complaining about, but something I would avoid purchasing if I saw them in the dollar store.

The jar with the red lid was broken when it arrived. A strip of the jar was not covered in bubble wrap and that looks like where the break originated.

The Pillow Pets mini light up puppy dog came new in the package and did not light up. I changed out the batteries (it requires 3 SR41 or LR41 watch batteries) and it still doesn’t work.

The divided plates are not as impressive in person as they look on the site but I’m ok with them. I like the two smaller jars with green lids, and the Peppa Pig hat is perfect.

I’ve emailed customer service about the broken jar and the nonfunctional Pillow Pet mini, I’ll let you know when I get a response. The customer service hours are Monday – Friday and it’s Saturday so hopefully they will get back to me on Monday.

As of now I’ll probably order from them again, but I’m not sure what I’d but. Probably more stuff for the kiddo. Check them out: Hollar.


Musical Girl

One of my daughter’s first exposures to music was her daddy playing bass guitar for her. She was fascinated by the instrument and couldn’t stop watching.  She was about 6 months old then.

She’s 3 now and has her own keyboard, her own bongos and her own xylophone. Her daddy just started giving her guitar lessons on his childhood guitar. She loves it.

I know he would love to give her a floyd rose guitar when she is old enough to appreciate it. I think they would make a cute little father-daughter band.

My First Ipsy Glam Bag

This was the longest wait EVAR.  I signed up for Ipsy in early July and found out I wouldn’t receive my first bag until August. They charged me on August 1 and then didn’t even ship my bag out until the 13th and I received it on the 18th. By then I was DYING to get it.

So here’s what I got:


Briogeo Blossom & Bloom ginseng + biotin volumizing blow dry spray (1 oz trial size).  I love the smell. I’m not much of a hair blow dryer but I’m about to get my hair cut shorter and it can always use some volume.  You can get a 5.1 oz bottle of this on Amazon for $18 so for the size the value is $3.50.

Lather Ultra Mild Face Wash (1 oz trial size). I have very sensitive skin, especially on my acne and eczema prone face, so this is perfect. I’ll try it tonight!  A 6 oz bottle on Amazon is $19 so for the size the value is $3.17.

Aila Nail Lacquer in Mister Pookies [looks to be a grey/purple] (full size). I love nail polish even though I rarely wear it. This looks like a great color for fall so I’ll be looking at it again in October. According to the website this color is “steel grey with purple undertones” and that the polish is “5 Free*, Gluten Free, Cruelty Free” – all good to know!  $17.

* I had to look up 5 Free, which is an Aila term meaning that their products don’t contain Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Dibutyl phthalate (DBT), or Camphor

Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eyeliner Pen (full size).   I’m going to guess the color is black, though there is no color indicator on the package other than it is black. I am not an eyeliner person but this might be fun to play with. $19.

Hikari Lip Gloss in Merlot (full size).  Love love love lip gloss.  This is avery nice color that I expected to not be as dark when I put it on. This is, however, high pigment so the color stays true from the tube to your lips. I had to blot a bit, but I like the color and will definitely wear it. $13.

That bag! The Ipsy black and white houndstooth bag with hot pink accents. Great quality bag, much better than I was expecting. I will definitely use this. I don’t know how much they cost but on ebay they are going for around $4.99 and up.

The Ipsy Glam Bag is $10 a month. All the samples and full size products come in a reuseable makeup bag, a different one every month.  If you sign up right now your wait won’t be as long as mine.


Things I Love: Bluetooth Keyboard

When I got my first Android phone I had to purchase a Swype style keyboard. I loved that thing, and even moved it to my second phone. Most phones and tablets come with a Swype style keyboard now so it’s not a big thing anymore.

As much as I love it, it gets tiresome in the middle of long conversations or when I’m just feeling lazy.  All of my devices have Bluetooth and I have a Bluetooth keyboard for the Kindle but it’s tiny and doesn’t lend itself to typing a lot.

I finally decided to get a full size Bluetooth keyboard and they can get expensive.  I found this one and I LOVE it!  This is the myKeyO Full Size Bluetooth 6-In-1 Keyboard, Stand and Organizer. I found it on eBay but it was $10 cheaper on Amazon with free shipping. The seller even sent me pairing instructions in English prior to the arrival of the item. A+

20150804_233144I got the white version, but it also comes in black and pink (for a higher price).

20150804_233154It has storage underneath (headphones not included, those are mine) and places for pens and business cards on top.  The holder on top holds both my phone and table with their cases on!

It paired easily to my Kindle, my cell phone and even my laptop (the one I recently spilled soda in, OMG). I think black or pink might have been prettier but the white works fine for my purposes.

PS. My laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth but I got this adapter several months ago. It works fantastically and is super cheap.

The other night I had a sudden inspiration for a blog post for a freelance client. My Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was paired with the keyboard (I had just gotten the keyboard and was fooling around with it) so I opened Google Keep and quickly typed nearly an entire blog post on my phone!

I plan to keep it in the kitchen area, which is where I spend most of the day. It’s a great stand to look at recipes and I can send messages and type things up when inspiration strikes.  I was worried I wouldn’t use it much but it has proved to be invaluable I highly recommend it.

Some notes:

  • Apparently the number keys on the side don’t work with iPads, so take that into consideration.
  • This is not rechargeable and requires to AAA batteries.


Things I Love: Google Keep

I’m one of those people that has notes everywhere. I write on the backs of envelopes, scraps of paper, sometimes even notepads.  Then when I need them? I can’t find them.

I recently discovered Google Keep when I upgraded to a new phone (my beloved Samsung Galaxy Note 4).   It is a great place to make and keep lists, notes, etc.  It works on phones, tablets and computers and whatever you put on one device shows up on all of the others when you use the same account for all.

t list(a sample of my Trader Joe’s list)

I use it for EVERYTHING. When I am on a phone call I open Google Keep on my laptop and take notes.  Here are the things that make Google Keep great:

  1. Tags (Labels). I can make a title on a note and then add tags (labels) to make things easier to find later.
  2. Reminders.  Fantastic, wonderful reminders. If I take notes on a conversation that requires follow up I can set a reminder and I will get a notification on my phone when I need to follow up. This is SO HELPFUL.
  3. Pictures. You can add pictures to grocery lists or notes or anything. I love to take screenshots of items I see on Trader Joe’s blogs and put them in list so I can remember to get them when I make my monthly trek to TJ’s. You can either look at a list that says Edamame Hummus or you can see a picture of a package of edamame hummus. I like knowing what I’m looking for.
  4. Sharing. If I’m sick or home with the kiddo I can share a note or list with my hubby at the store so he knows what he needs to pick up.

Google Keep is a fantastic resource and I can’t get enough of it.

I Tried It: Vertical Folding

I’ve seen on several blogs posts recently that a lot of people are reading and recommending The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I actually haven’t read the book yet but I have it on reserve at the library. Maybe I should buy a copy instead?

One of the things the book espouses is vertical folding, which allows one to see everything in the drawer at a glance.  I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately, too, so I decided to try it.

I started with my top drawer of tanks tops, and looked up some Youtube videos so I could figure out the process. I only planned on doing the one drawer but I ended up doing all 9 drawers of my dresser and even discarding several items of clothing in the process.

Here are the videos I used:

How to fold tank tops:

How to fold t-shirts:

How to fold shorts:

So how did it work out for me?  Well, I LOVE the way it looks:

vertical fold

And even more I love how easy it is to get dressed in the morning now. I can open the drawer and see everything and pick what I want without digging.  During the refolding process I even found 4-5 shirts I hadn’t seen in a while because they got shoved to the bottom of the drawer.  It was like shopping in my own dresser!

Folding does take a few minutes longer per load, but I cannot get over how great it is to open the drawer and see everything nice and neat and ready for me to make my selection.

I loved it so much I even did my husband’s drawers.  No word yet on what he thinks of it, but he hasn’t complained so I’ll call that a win.