Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Snippets

Transform a computer keyboard.


Candace Cameron Bure's birthday was this past week. I'm slightly obsessed with her, so I thought this was fun. Also, her quote a couple weeks ago on Dancing With The Stars was the best. When asked about being sexual/sexy, she replied "Of course I'm sexual. I've been married for 18 years." Yeah, girl! Keep it Biblical. We shouldn't know sexy apart from marriage.

A crazy new gadget from Amazon...

Still on my washi tape kick...

On the very dairy-like attributes of breast pumps...

A list of healthy sunscreen choices for babies. Two types, Badger and Seventh Generation, are affordable and available on Amazon...

Take this quiz to see how many countries of the world you know off the top of your head. My score was embarrassing, in part because I don't know how to spell many country names, even though I can say them...

I liked this post on how your house is a space to learn and play and explore your personal style...

A new Pew Research study shows more moms are staying home to raise their kids and in this article 10 moms share why they made that choice...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Most Beautiful Relationship

One of my talents is shopping. I know it's not a spiritual gift or anything, and maybe it doesn't have a lot of eternal significance, but that doesn't change that I am really good at shopping. I know how to get the best deal. Give me five minutes and I'll find you the best price in town or on the Web. I can analyze user reviews and ratings accurately. I know how to find coupons and discount codes without letting the process of acquiring them take over my life. I know products. I know prices. I know deals.

And let's be honest. Even if you hate shopping or think material items are irrelevant in comparison to eternal matters, you still have to shop. You need clothes, you need food, and you need some kind of device to suck your baby's boogers out

So I'm thankful for my talent. It comes in handy almost every day.

Yellow sweatshirt. See below...

For over three years now I've been living in the trifecta of happiness when it comes to buying great clothes for a bargain. During my very first year blogging, I stumbled upon a new little web service called Salemarked. It was so brand new that when I blogged about it the first time, the owner personally commented to say thank you. I like to think we're friends. This company does what other companies, including Pinterest, have started doing as well. They let you know when an item you like has gone on sale. But Salemarked was the first company I know of to offer this service, and they do it well, so I'm loyal to them. 

Here's how it works in real life. You see an item you like, in stores or online, but it's not something you're willing to pay full price for {or, if you're like me, you simply never pay full price for anything, ever}. You look the item up on the store's website. You see that the dress you love is selling for $70, so you ask Salemarked to notify you when said dress goes on sale for $39.99 or less. If and when this happens, you receive an email to tell you your dress is now on sale and you can easily click to buy it online.

Salemarked is easy to use on your computer. You can see the full directions here, but basically you install a bookmarklet, just like the "pin it" button you've probably already added to your browser. As you browse online, you can click your Salemarked button and save the item. You get to choose the price you want to buy it for, and Salemarked will only notify you if it drops below the number you set. Just don't be ridiculous and ask to buy a $100 jacket for $5. Although I have gotten clothing for 50-60% off many times, I usually choose a price between 30-40% off the full price and wait to see what happens. Sometimes the item will sell out before it ever drops to the price you want, so don't wait on Salemarked if it's an item you really need or want to have soon. Sometimes the price will drop within a few weeks, sometimes it's months, and sometimes it never happens at all. It's a perfect service to fill in gaps in your wardrobe or home decor if you are willing to wait it out and aren't dead set on acquiring a very specific item.

Also, Salemarked doesn't work on every website. But it does work with quite a few great stores. Some of my favorites are: Anthropologie, Crate and Barrel,  J.Crew, Etsy, Banana/GAP/Piperlime, Urban Outfitters, and NORDSTROM. {See all the supported stores here.}

Notice above that I said I've been living in a trifecta of happiness since discovering this website. A trifecta is, of course, made up of three parties. Myself, Salemarked, and Nordstrom. Together we have a beautiful relationship. Here's why Nordstrom works so well with Salemarked...

Nordstrom products are fabulous and they don't look like what everyone else has {which is one reason why I'm always hesitant to shop at places like Old Navy and Target}. Nordstrom products do go on sale. Usually they get marked down twice {to approximately 33% and 40% off} before they get sent to Nordstrom Rack, where they are then discounted to 50% off or more {and you can now buy Rack items online as well}. You can always, always return anything to Nordstrom. Their shipping is always FREE, no matter how big or small your order. And if you notice the price on an item you bought drops again after making your purchase, all you have to do is call Nordstrom customer service and they will instantly refund the difference to you. Nordstrom is the best. Every time they do something great for me, I tweet them to say thanks and they always tweet me back, so we're basically best friends. See how my relationship with Salemarked and Nordstrom is so sweet?

So let me give you an example of how this works. I'm strolling through Nordstrom on my way into the mall, and I see a cute yellow, floral sweatshirt on a manikin. I have a thing for "fancy" sweatshirts, but I don't get to wear them often enough in hot Arizona, so it's definitely not worth the full price of $42.00. Later that day, I look up the product online. I tell Salemarked I would like to be notified when this item drops to $34.99 or less.  A few weeks later I get an email telling me this cute sweatshirt is now $25.20, and I quickly order it for 40% off the regular price. It ships to my door within a few days for FREE, and I wear it on a trip to San Diego the following weekend. Thank you Nordstrom. Thank you Salemarked. Thank you manikin in the mall for showing me a cute sweatshirt that I didn't even bother to try on because I have the most legit shopping trifecta happening in my very own home. P.S. This account is based on a true story.

Micah's shirt... thanks to Salemarked and Nordstrom!

Salemarked has been helping me fill my closet with bargains for three years now. And it's been helping fill Micah's closet as well. Even though Micah hates to shop, he does like being well dressed. Usually I can convince him to peruse the Nordstrom men's department with me for thirty minutes a few times a year. He will try on a few items for size, buy anything he absolutely loves or that is already on sale for a decent price, and then I "salemark" everything else he liked and wait for it to go on sale. Over the next few months, a few new clothes for him will trickle in as prices drop, without having to overwhelm him with an expensive, time consuming shopping spree.

So Salemarked and Nordstrom... thank you! I love you both and hope we can continue our beautiful relationship for many years to come.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finish This...

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.

 

On a Saturday morning, I usually... chug my coffee before baby swim lessons. As much as I dislike waking up and heading to a crowded indoor pool full of mostly preschool age children, I must say that doing infant swim lessons with Zianne has been more fun than I expected. I am actually a little sad her lessons will be ending in a few weeks {all babies in Arizona can take swim lessons for free until they turn seven months old}.

I feel beautiful when... I dress up to teach on Thursdays {keeping my response superficial on this one}. It's the only day of the week that I go to campus and I always try to look my best. I usually feel professional, polished, and pretty as I head off to work.

I wake up every morning... wishing I had gone to bed earlier the night before. I can usually get myself out of bed by 7:00 or 7:15, but I always feel exhausted in the mornings because I'm such a night owl by nature.

A happy home... is a clean home. I know I should say something about having a home filled with people I love or something along those lines, and I do enjoy hosting friends and family at our house, but, seriously, I get really irritated if my house isn't clean.

When I have down time, I... blog. I'm in a season of life where free time is hard to come by. I try to schedule one or two social events weekly; I only allow myself to watch TV if I'm folding laundry, I read for fun for a few minutes before bed, and that's about it. However, Micah and I are very dedicated to carving out true Sabbath rest every Sunday, so I usually come home from church, plop myself on the couch, and begin downloading pictures from my phone and camera writing blog posts for the week ahead.

Prompts for next week:
My favorite vacation spot is...
If I won a million dollars I would…
If I found a genie in a bottle, my three wishes would be...
My favorite clothing item is...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tiny

Way back in September {what seems like a decade ago and also just a few days ago at the same time}, our darling friend Emma came over to snap pictures of our family when Zianne was a mere eight days old. I didn't share the photos right away, because I wanted our Christmas cards to go out before I posted the pictures online. Call me old-fashioned, but I put a lot of time and thought into our Christmas card each year, and I feel like it's lame to post the pictures you plan to send to your closest friends and family online beforehand.

The flip-side to my rigidness about Christmas cards is that I'm finally posting my child's newborn shoot on the blog when she is six months old. You win some; you lose some. So here are some pictures of our giant child when she was still just a wee little thing.

Also, newborn shoots are no joke. There were multiple outfit changes, diaper changes, and feedings, and it was the only time I felt like I pushed my postpartum body too hard. I was sweating through the whole shoot and had to take ibuprofen afterward, but at least we captured these shots to treasure forever, right? Baby #2 might get a one month old shoot or something like that.




  




 












 




Jen's looks:
Teal dress // TJ Maxx {Similar cute options - most on sale - #1 #2 #3 #4 }
Lace tank // Nordstrom Rack {similar}
Skirt // J.Crew Factory
Flower necklace // Curated by Kelly {similar or similar}
Boots // Aldo {similar or similar}

Zianne's looks:
Yellow dress // {similar or similar}
Flower side-snap onesie // Target {also love these ones}
Ruffle leggings // Target
Flower romper // Similar
Headbands {cute and super stretchy set} // Carter's


|Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Because Shanna Said So|

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lately...

Working mama...

Bows and bed skirts...

The night I practiced what life would be like with two kids...

Got to throw a whimsical garden party shower for one of my favorite ladies...

Z's first time in a shopping cart. She lasted for about ten minutes before she plopped over.

Hanging around the house with mom...

Out to brunch with sweet Seattle friends. Micah has surrendered himself to a life of pink and flowers...

Look who can sit up now...

Daddy's girl...

Working mom by day; nursing mom by night. Look at that sweet little hand perched on my shoulder...

Flower power...

||To see more of our life lately follow @jenrussum on Instagram||
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