Thursday, February 18, 2016

EBates (sign up right now!)

Over the holidays I kept seeing that very annoying commercial about shopping online and getting cash back for shopping you were already doing and blah blah blah commercial stuff.  But then it stuck in my head that since Amazon and I are in a very committed relationship and I am already shopping...maybe I should check out this EBates deal.




So, I did. I signed up and it really is awesome!  And it's easy, you don't do much different than shop the way you're already shopping.  And I've been waiting to do this post until I actually received money back and guess what? I did!

Here's the deets and what to do (right now, so you don't miss out on the chance to get some money back!).

1. Go to EBates and sign up.

2. Next time you want to shop online, go to the EBates site, log in so you are on your dashboard, and search for the store you're shopping.  So if you're needing something on Amazon (aren't we always?), search Amazon.  They don't always have offers going with every store, but I found so far Amazon is usually on there.  Click the website you're shopping from EBates and it will direct you to your site.

3. Shop as you normally would! EBates will direct you the site you're shopping and let you know how much cash back has been activated.  That's all you do.  You click the website from EBates and shop as normal, and you get money back for doing it. 

4. Every few months you'll get the money pack via PayPal or check.  I did PayPal because its faster.  And I can say, and no, this is not sponsored at all, I did get a payment!  It went right into my PayPal.

5. Tell all your friends! Once you sign up, if you tell your friends and they sign up, you get bonus cash back.  I strongly suggest you do this!  Who doesn't want extra cash back? I know I do. 

You can also get a sign up bonus of $10 (I got this one!).  Sign up and once you spend $25 or more (doesn't have to be in the same transaction, I learned), you get that bonus. 

So far I shopped from Amazon, Mighty Leaf Tea and ThredUp.  ThredUp was like an extra special one to find on there because I love ThredUP so much and it makes it an even better deal to shop there!

Not familiar with ThredUP? Do yourself a favor and check it out, with $10 to spend for FREE! Go go go! (but sign into EBates first so you get the cash back, if they're still offering it).

I want to mention, you don't get huge percentages back. You might ask yourself, if it's only 2% or 3%, is it worth it to start from the EBates dashboard?  My answer: yes, absolutely yes! Even if you only make $3 back in one of the payments, that's a free coffee!  You really don't have to do much extra, besides starting in EBates and if you typically shop from your phone, they have an app too.  Through shopping items I was already ordering, and the sign on bonus, I already made $16 and I have another $22 pending cash out from referrals. 

Here's some that are offering cash back right now (as of 2/18/16):

The Honest Co.-2.5% cash back. If you get a monthly bundle, this is a great place to get cash back.

Amazon-up to 7% cash back right now.

ThredUp-offering 40% off coupon when you sign up, $10 off your first order and also 2.5% cash back. (If you're new to ThredUP, sign up, get your coupon code, and then go to EBates to activate the cash back.)

Whatever you're shopping for, always check EBates for cash back offers first. Groupon is having a $15 bonus cash back offer right now for new customers, and there's just so many opportunities to save a couple bucks.  For me, this is a no brainer. 

Once you sign up, I would love to hear how much you save! Give a shout and tell us about your experience.

*this post is my opinion, and not sponsored.

Monday, February 8, 2016

All Hoods on Sale at Crooked By Design!




Hooded cowls are a huge seller in the shop, and because they are somewhat labor intensive, they don't go on sale often. If you've had your eye on one, now is the time to get it, because they're all on sale!

Now through Friday, February 12, use code FIVEOFFHOOD to get $5 off any hood in the shop!







Each hood is handmade by me in a soft wool blend yarn.  All materials are machine washable, but with all handmade items, I suggest you hand wash, re-shape and dry flat. 

For the knit version (pictured in black), with or without ears, check out this one! And for the child and baby sizes, go here.

For the crochet hood, check out this one!  And for this hood in sizes todder-child, you can find them here.

If you're a yarn-er, and interested in making one yourself, definitely check out The Velvet Acorn on Etsy! Her patterns are amazing and easy to follow.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy (and cheap) Orange All-Purpose Cleaner




Recently I over-bought oranges because they were a great price, and a bunch were leftover and needed to be used up asap before they became a waste.  The first thing I thought to make was orange all purpose cleaner.  This is so easy and works really well!



The first thing to do is peel those oranges.  Or, if you're someone who eats a lot of citrus, save those peels! Take the peels and put them in a jar. 

To use up some more, I put orange slices in the fridge to toss in my daily smoothie, and also down the garbage disposal to clean in there. 

Next, I added plain old white vinegar to the jar of peels, stuck it on the windowsill and let it soak for two weeks.  I know this seems like a long wait time, but the longer they go, the more oils go into the vinegar and the better it is going to work.


Once the vinegar solution is ready, grab an empty spray bottle and a funnel and fill the bottle about half way. Then fill the rest with water.  If you have leftover vinegar in the orange jar, stick it back on the windowsill until you're ready to make more!



Ok, so maybe you're wondering if it actually works.  I let my counters get good and dirty and used only this spray on it.  It works so well!  If there's a stuck on stain, let it soak for a minute or two and then wipe it off.




I showed a friend of mine who is a major germ-a-phobe (Holly, I'm talking to you!) this solution and her first question was, "but does it disinfect?"  Good question!

I've been using vinegar to clean my house for sometime now, and that orange works as a great degreaser, but it also does have germ fighting ninjas too, according to Greenopedia.com:

White vinegar is a highly effective alternative that kills nearly all household germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew without the harmful fumes or residue of chlorine bleach. Vinegar is just as economical and it is completely safe to use around children and pets.
Vinegar is also biodegradable, so you can wash your sinks, drain and toilets without worrying about chemicals being flushed into your local water system.
If you prefer premixed cleaning solutions to vinegar, look for natural alternatives that use hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil or thyme oil to effectively disinfect your home.

I should specify that I am not a vinegar or germ expert, so if you're skeptical, do a little research (I simply Google'd it) on vinegar and citric acid and you be the judge.  I'm willing to bet bleach and other chemical cleaners are more effective at killing a bigger variety of germs, but for my house with a child, toddler and dogs, I prefer things that are food grade and non toxic so this is what works for our family.
If you're a budgeter, you'll enjoy how inexpensive this is to make.  If you want to get fancy, add some essential oils to it, or some other citrus peels.  

For the bottle, I'm using one I've had kicking around from a spray I ran out of but you can also get prettier ones too.  Amazon has these lovely ones that I have on my wish-list for a future purchase. With all the money you save making your own cleaner, you can totally justify buying the pretty bottles!

Have you made your own sprays? Please share your tips for making them even better!

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