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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: Amazon Prime Now and Sprouts

The heavens have parted and the angels are singing on me.  Or at least that's what it felt like when I read that I could get Sprouts Groceries delivered by Amazon Prime Now!  You guys, it's literally 107 degrees outside and if you think I'm dragging three kids to the grocery on summer break in this weather then you have another thing coming!  This was the PERFECT time for some grocery delivery!

I'm no stranger to ordering groceries.  I've used Safeway delivery before and Raley's eCart but there minimums are a lot higher if you don't want to pay a fee and I really never feel like paying for a fee.  I will say that the one thing that these services have that the Amazon/Sprouts doesn't offer is a note section for preferences.  For example, we need green bananas because my hubby and daughter will eat only eat green bananas and I really like crunchy nectarines and plums.

I decided I wanted to try the service anyhow because I wanted to know what the produce would be like.  I've ordered twice so I could thoroughly review it for you.  You have to have the Amazon Prime membership to use Amazon Prime Now.  Honestly, I'd pay for Prime just so I could use Prime Now but we also use it when we order online.  You also have to be in an Amazon Prime delivery zone.

Order 1:

My first order was a lot better than I expected.  I ordered on the Amazon Prime Now app.  The ordering is a little confusing.  Some items are sold by the piece, some are sold by the pound, some are sold a fraction of a pound, and some are sold in bunches.  You just have to really pay attention to the wording.  It also helps if you are familiar with Sprouts products.  I ordered the little cucumbers and crossed my fingers that I was getting what I had seen in stores and it was the correct product.  This order was placed late at night and then scheduled for delivery for the time slot 10am-12pm.  It arrived around 11:40am.

There were a very products I was weary about.  I ordered the white nectarines at $.99/pound but there were other nectarines for $.75 each also I ordered 1 pound of jalapeños for $.25 and fully expected to get 1 jalapeño since that seemed a little low for a pound.  I was VERY PLEASANTLY surprised when my order came with 3 pounds of nectarines and 1 pound of jalapeños.  I did get a text message that they were out of the white onions I ordered and would be giving me a yellow onion instead.  I didn't get the text in time to say differently but I was fine with it.

Overall, there were a few small things I would have done differently if I hand picked these items like picked firmer looking strawberries, the mango was an odd shape but that's no big deal, some of the nectarines were a little bruised, and celery a little smaller than I'd pick but nothing MAJOR.  We will definitely still eat it all.


Order 2:


I decided to place a second order before I wrote a review because I like to be thorough.  Also, I wanted to know if you could combine Sprouts stuff into a regular order from Amazon Prime Now and have it delivered together.  The answer is NO.  You have to order $20 minimum in just Sprouts items to get the Sprouts items delivered through Amazon Prime Now.  This order was placed around 6pm and was scheduled for the 8pm-10pm window.  It arrived at 8:50pm.

For my second order, there were a few things I needed to re-oreder since we have a family of 5 and food goes pretty fast around here.  I re-ordered 3 pounds of white nectarines and strawberries.  I ordered a bunch of different items I didn't get the time before including milk.  I was not as happy this time with the products but there were some pluses too.  The strawberries were a lot fresher and the order came faster.

There were a lot of things I didn't like.  They were out of tomatillos and they didn't have a replacement so they didn't charge me for them.  However, I think since they were $.15/pound on the app they didn't give them to me because they were priced wrong.  That is just a guess.  I could be very wrong.  This time instead of giving me 3 pounds of nectarines which was the SAME price from the order before and had not been changed on the app, they gave me 3 small and bruised nectarines.  Instead of 1 pound of small navel oranges they gave me 1 large navel orange which might be 1 pound but I wanted the smaller oranges for the kids.  Instead of 1 pound of Roma tomatoes, they gave me 1 Roma tomato.   I sent a message to the app and the person who responded was very apologetic and gave me a refund.  I appreciated the quick customer service and even if it was a form email, it was very apologetic.

The next morning, I looked further at the produce as I was moving things around and I found more disappointments.  The corn was tiny and when I looked in the husk, they had large areas of bare cob.  We had to throw half the blueberries out since they were moldy.  I understand that these things happen and the person didn't look inside the blueberry container or in the corn husks and this was purely accidental and the nature of produce.


Wrap Up:

Realistically, I think that my orders are just indicative of produce.  Sometimes you go to the grocery store and certain things don't look as fresh as you'd like or everything is underripe or overripe.  It's not a boxed product so there's no guarantee that it's going to be the same every time.  Unlike when you go to the store, you are committing to buy things sight unseen.  However for the convenience and the price, it is certainly worth trying.  I have no doubts that I will try it again.  I just wish that they had a notes area where you could leave notes for the person picking your produce.

Have you tried Amazon Prime Now with Sprouts?  What did you think about it?  Let me know in the comments if this is a service you would use.



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Monday, June 19, 2017

$10 at Target: Me Time

Hi everyone!  I can't believe it's time for another $10 at Target post!  The summer is just flying by!  I hope you are staying cool.  We are in a HEAT wave here!  It is not fun at all but it could certainly be worse.  Also on a side note, I'm trying to hit 5000 followers on Instagram by July 1, if you have Instagram please check me out: https://www.instagram.com/ashleynewell.me/.

My self appointed theme for this month is ME TIME!  How many mommies need some me time right now with the kids on summer break?  June is a crazy month for us!  We have my husband's birthday, both of my sons have birthdays, then we end it with Father's Day which is still mid-month but I'm already spent for the rest of the month.  I need to re-charge my batteries before getting to the rest of the month and that's why I picked these items.


On the list:
1. Godiva dark chocolate truffles.  I'm a big fan of dark chocolate and they were on clearance for $2.78.  I usually eat 1 or 2 per sitting so this one bag will last me a while.
2. Tsum Tsum stationery kit $3.  Lately, I've loved writing in my planner since it helps me to try to stay organized.  I wanted to use the sticker in my planner and I also like making lists and writing goals in cute notebooks like this.  I was really excited to find this in the Dollar Spot!
3. Da Bomb Cake Bomb $4.99.  Nothing says me time to me like a nice long bath.  I love bath bombs when I'm treating myself!  It's almost like a spa treatment.  I decided to try this one since the company is owned by two young sisters in the US.  I love supporting kids and helping them reach their dreams!

If you need me, I'll be in my tub with all these awesome Target finds.  Sigh... I did go a little over budget this month again.  I do get 5% off with my Target card but it doesn't cover my overage.  Hopefully, next month I can do better.  What kinds of things do you like when you are doing some me time?  Let me know in the comments especially if they are cheap or free ideas.  I'm always looking for new ways to relax.

Be sure to check out what all the other ladies have for you and don't forget to link up what great things you found at Target!  Also, if you have any ideas on themes you'd like me to show please leave them in the comments and I will try to do them!


Stephanie | www.wifemommyme.com
Becky | www.bybmg.com
Stephanie | www.thegiftygirl.com




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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

10: A Story of Birth, Pizza, and Father's Day

Ten years.  That seems like such a long time but it went by in the blink of an eye.  June 18, 2017 is my son's 10th birthday.  It's been TEN years since I started this new chapter of my life.  Ten years that my heart has been walking around outside my body.

Today, I'm sharing with you a fun fact about my oldest son's birth and how life comes full circle.  Also a giveaway because what's a birthday with no presents.  (This will not be graphic but might be TMI/gross for some, namely people who aren't moms.)

I remember waking up on June 17, 2007 being so ginormously pregnant.  It was SO hot that summer in Sacramento and I was miserable and certain that this baby would never leave my body.  It was a Sunday and it actually happened to be Father's Day but I was in no mood to celebrate as there was a watermelon on my front side.  I was laying in bed watching Food Network shows (as I'm certain most pregnant with their first baby women do) when I felt like I was leaking something.  Not a lot but something was happening.
May 2007
Photo from Mystic Eye Photography

I called the hospital and they told me to go to Labor and Delivery to get checked out.  They told me on the phone that I could shower first and take my time since they were just being safe.  I get up, shower, and take all sorts of precautions about the leaking i.e. wearing pad, carrying a waterproof blanket to sit on in the car, etc...  We drive to the hospital and I waddle up to L&D.  After being scolded for showering (hello, I asked on the phone), I get settled into my hospital gown and they swab me and tell me I am not leaking anything.  In fact, I'm barely dilated and this baby isn't coming any time soon so just go home and relax.  Thanks nurses.

Of course as a first time mom, I feel sheepish.  I'm one of THOSE ladies who ran to the hospital for nothing and now I just have to go home.  Since it was Father's Day and we were already out and dressed, I told my hubby that we should go to a late lunch and treat ourselves to a little food as a pre-baby Father's Day celebration.  We went home to drop off all the hospital stuff since I had a laptop, a camera, and all sorts of stuff in there.

Father's Day Lunch

My husband LOVES pizza so we headed to Steve's Pizza which was right by our house at the time.  We had a delicious late lunch and I'm sure I had a bunch of soda or water so I had to go to the bathroom before we left.  After using the restroom, I went over to wash my hands and there's a young lady in there, teens or maybe early twenties.  A sensation came over me, I grabbed onto the sink and made some sort of face causing the girl to say "are you ok?"  I remember thinking "AM I OK?"  I told her that I think I might be going into labor but I just went to the hospital and they told me that the baby wasn't coming.

The bathroom where I went into labor

I leave the bathroom and go to find Dustin.  I see Dustin standing the middle of the restaurant with the receipts.  I think "Oh good, he paid!"  I'm walking across the restaurant and mid-stride that leaking I felt turned into more than just a drip.  I remember Dustin looking at me like what's going on.  I am horrified and I say "I think my water just broke."  He says "What do you want to do?"  And I say "I need to get outside so it doesn't get on the carpet" then I start running.  Pregnant lady running through the pizza place leaving my husband in my dust I just HAVE to make it to the door before I feel the fluid on my calves.  I made it!

This is a long way to pregnant waddle run

We hopped in the car, went home and grabbed the bag, and 27 hours of labor later I had the sweetest, most perfect baby boy.  (And yes, upon returning to the hospital they asked me if I was sure my water actually broke. :/ ) I ended up having a few complication after birth with retained placenta and when I wrote up my birth story, I totally forgot to include this part in it since I was so traumatized and tired from everything that happened.  But to this day, that story is one of my favorites.  We were these young kids and I just remembered thinking that it would be to horrific to have your water break in public the whole time I was pregnant.  I also remember my doctor telling me that it happened in less than 10% of labors.
June 18, 2007

Earlier this year, Steve's Pizza start following me on Instagram and one day I decided to leave them a comment and tell them my story.  Their social media manager Eric told me that I should tell the staff next time I went to Steve's.  I got a chance to talk to the owner when I went in a few months ago and he told me that he thought that the world would love to hear my story.  Now, ten years later with all this mothering under my belt, I took my son back to Steve's Pizza to tell him the story about the boy who wanted to be born at the pizza place.




Steve's Pizza was kind enough to give me 2 gift cards worth $25 each to give to my readers.  These are good at ANY Steve's Pizza locations.  I am giving one away on my Instagram and one of my Facebook, just look for the post with one of these pizza photos of us.  Here are the direct links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashleynewell.me/photos/a.1396042983748504.1073741829.1230784223607715/1540170339335767/?type=3&theater
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVVLGg_BdmT/


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Monday, June 5, 2017

Plus Size Looks with Gwynnie Bee

I've been doing Gwynnie Bee plus sized clothing rental for about four months now and I figured it was time to do an update.  Please note that while I am a Gwynnie Bee affiliate, I do pay for my own subscription.  If you use my referral link to sign up for a FREE 30 day trial, it helps support my blog and family.  You can read my first post HERE.


I'm still experimenting with different styles and trying to find new brands.  It's been really fun to try brands I've never tried before and things I don't have access to in person.  Stores for plus sized women are pretty limited with only a few in my town.  Gwynnie Bee has really opened up my possibilities!  Last time I showed all dresses so this time I wanted to show more variety so you can see how Gwynnie Bee can really fit into your daily life.

First up is Style and Co Plaid Patchwork Boyfriend Jean.  I thought it would be fun to change up the every day jeans with some fun print.  During the the day I wear a lot of casual clothes especially since I'm a mom and I need to be able to sit on the ground, get messy, climb a play structure, etc...  I'd never worn Style and Co before and they were true to size.  They were fun jeans and I'm glad I tried them!  I paired this with a shirt from Momma Bean Designs and flip flops.

The next piece is Alfani Textured Moto Jacket.  I wanted to try the Moto style and thought that a different fabric would be more my style since I've never worn leather.  I didn't really like the material.  I don't know what I thought it would be like but it wasn't my style.  I also don't think the cut worked for my body type either.  I paired this with a Lularoe Madison skirt and some wedges.

Next up is the City Chic Black Zip Detail Blazer.  This blazer is really cute!  I loved the sleeve detail and I felt like rolling up the sleeve to show it off made it more casual which I like.  The fit was nice and this is something I can see wearing with a lot of different outfits.  I paired this a Lularoe Nicole and flip flops.

I tried the Jones New York Sweater Vest in Ivory.  I keep trying vests because I like that they add coverage for your midsection and hide back rolls without having sleeves so I feel like they aren't as hot.  This vest was fine.  It could be dressed up or down.  I wore it with some jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops.

Lastly, I got the Julia Jordan Skater Dress in Textured Navy.  This dress felt more fancy because there was a bit of crinoline or something in this to give the skirt more shape.  HOWEVER in this photo, the wind did pick up and make this dress flair out more than normal.  I thought the picture with the movement was cuter so I included it.  It has a really pretty back too!  I wore it for a girl's night out with my friend Felicia and it was so cute but it felt a lot more dress than I usually like.

You can get a 30 day FREE trial of Gwynnie Bee.  The sizes are from 10-32 so you don't really have to be plus sized to try the clothes.  I don't consider a 10 plus sized but it is what it is.  Do you have suggestions on what I should try next?  Please leave me a comment and let me know!


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BE LOVE and Interview with Culture Crew

Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Culture Crew while they were on tour.  Culture Crew is a band consisting of members Sam Schultz and Aaron Watene who both have musical backgrounds.  (Former member Elijah Tucker has gone on to pursue a different avenue.)  Culture Crew formed at the end of last year as Sam and Aaron set forth to change the world, one person at a time.



Culture Crew recently released a video that really sums up their mission statement called Be Love.  Their message is that the world is currently lacking in love and they want to get out there and open people's hearts.  They've been doing community outreach projects such as hosting concerts for the homeless where they give out free meals and donated clothing.  They are visiting children's hospitals to spread joy and music.  They are also working on clean water projects around the world.  If you'd like to help them with their movement, you can donate HERE.  You can also connect with Culture Crew on social media; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I love the message of Culture Crew!  I'm a firm believer in getting out there and DOING something to help the world.  From my Bring Back Nice movement (if you're a long time reader, you might remember this) to teaching my kids about service, I am committed to helping others.  I feel like it's the rent I pay to live on this planet.  Right now, there is so much bad stuff happening in the world, we need love and kindness more than ever!  It's nice to see a band going out and spreading this message too!

I got the chance to interview Culture Crew about their mission, you can watch it here:

GIVEAWAY CHALLENGE!!!!
Culture Crew and I decided to issue you all a CHALLENGE and of course there will be prizes!  We are issuing you a challenge to go out and BE LOVE!  Also, get your kids out there to BE LOVE!  You can do whatever that looks like to you (donate food to the food bank, pick up litter at the park, leave nice notes all over town, etc...) and post about it.  You can post a picture or a story or whatever you are comfortable with and link it here or tag me on social media.  I leave all my social media links at the bottom of each post.  Do this by June 16 at 11:59pm and you will be entered to win!  I have 1 prize for an adult which is a Culture Crew hat and 1 prize for a kid which is a Culture Crew fidget spinner.  It's summer and I'd love to see some kids out there helping out the world!  The entries from all platforms will be looked at and two winners will be selected.  ***If you are under 13, you MUST have parent permission to enter!***

Here are the prizes (photos courtesy of the Culture Crew website):



Get out there, BE LOVE and win yourself some cool prizes!



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