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how I saved $4000 on a new car with a simple email

Did you buy your car for the lowest price possible, or did you just settle for what you thought was a great price? What if I told you that we paid below invoice for a factory ordered car exact to our specifications and all it took was about 30 minutes on the Internet to get it? Well… we did… and I thought I’d show you how!

A friend emailed me last week and asked if I could share all of the tools that we used to buy our Subaru XV Crosstrek back in 2015. Instead of just sending her an email, I thought I’d share all of the instructions with my readers as well… because I know you love a great deal as much as I do!

Mr. M was in the market for a new car and had settled on a XV Crosstrek and had a list of features he wanted. And at the top of his list… he wanted the car in Orange!


So after test driving the car and getting a quote of $29,000 for his dream car straight from the factory, I decided to send an email to see if I could get a better price. And guess what? I did! Here’s how I did it…

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what I want from Target this week: Cat and Jack Spring clothes

What I Want from Target this Week

Cat & Jack for Miss L

I can’t be the only one who is completely enamored with Cat & Jack from Target. I mean… soft fabric, great messages, super stylish, and the perfect price point… and all 5 minutes away from my house! Yeah… I love it!

Here are some of my favorite items that I eyed for Miss L this month:

Silver Foil Windbreaker ($19.99); Solar System T-Shirt ($6.00)

Rainbow Tights ($3.99); Flamingo Tights ($4.99), Bunny Knee Tights ($4.99)

Dream It Believe It Achieve It T-Shirt ($9.99); The Earth Without Art is Just ‘Eh’ T-Shirt ($9.99)


Adding more to our Toys”R”Us Wish List!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toys“R“Us for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s no secret that we are big fans of Toys”R”Us, as we use everything from the Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of AWESOME to shopping in the store to fulfill every toy wish in our household!

We recently took Miss L on a trip to Toys “R” Us to help fill out her “Wish List” for this year’s holiday season. But in addition to the trip, we let her pour through the pages of the “Big Book” to pick out additional items. [p.s. you can create your Wish List right here!]

Once she had flipped through the entire thing, we took out my iPhone and downloaded the Toys”R”Us app to add to Miss L’s Holiday Wish List. Then we went page by page and she pointed out the toys and games she was interested in this year and I added them to her Wish List by simply snapping a photo of the item.

So what additional toys made it on Miss L’s Wish List?

A First Act Discover Love Rock Acoustic Guitar: because all little girls dream of becoming a rock star.

Just Like Home Pro Play Workshop and Utility Bench: because she misses her old wooden work bench and wants to play pretend wood shop and fix things around the house.

The Secret Life of Pets Interactive Stuffed Figure – Cute and Crazy Snowball: because if she can’t have a real rabbit, she wants to have a super cute and adorable talking rabbit.

Melissa & Doug Grocery Shopping Cart Toy: to turn our house into a giant play grocery store! Only available online!

Easy Nails Nail Spa Kit: because mom doesn’t want to play “manicure spa” every night that Miss L wants to switch up her nail polish. Only available in-store!

Kurio Ultimate Kids Smart Watch: because Miss L loves watches, and this one looks really cool. Available online with limited selection in stores!

And with that… her “Wish List” creation was over! Now you just need to keep an eye out for my next post with Toys”R”Us where I showcase what we ended up purchasing and wrapping!

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit Toys”R”Us to Get Inspired for your holiday gifting season!

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a book report: doodle adventures by mike lowery

Last week, Miss L received the second book in an amazing new series: Doodle Adventures by Mike Lowery. When she opened up the package, a little bit of guilt sunk into her eyes.

“Mom… I haven’t doodled in the first book yet.”

She had received the first book back in June, and she had read it right away. But she couldn’t find the strength to doodle in the book. In fact, one night, the request even brought her to tears. “YOU CAN’T WRITE IN BOOKS! YOU CAN’T DRAW IN BOOKS EITHER.”

And try as I might, she wouldn’t believe me (or the book jacket) that it was PRECISELY what you were supposed to do. But the existence of a second book… with the same instructions, suddenly removed the fear and she found herself jumping to draw in both!

In less than two days, we had a giggling 6-year-old who laughed along with the books and had drawn the best doodles throughout the two books. And she was begging to know when the next one was coming out!

Her first “Book Report” video is linked above, and you can click on the books below to order them!



starting off the crazy back to school days the right way

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

I may still be in denial about the whole thing, but we are officially “back to school” and dealing with everything that comes with it. In our case that means Monday through Friday involves an intricate dance between routine and randomness for every single family member.

On Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, I’m up at 5:40am to workout. When I return home at 7:00am, the rest of the house is awake and moving.

Mr. M is getting ready for work, and Miss L sets her timer for 10 minutes to get ready and head downstairs dressed for school, and I run to take a shower.  

Breakfast for everyone is a bowl of cereal, either eaten in hurry if we’re late or with a book if we’ve got a spare minute to relax. Miss L, however, gets a bonus to her breakfast: Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamin GummiesOnce breakfast is done, it’s time to pack up lunch for the day and head out the door to school dropoff at 8am and we head off to work.

So why add Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamin Gummies to her morning routine? Well, Miss L stays at school until 2:30, then heads to her active afterschool program until 5:30pm. That means she’s got little time to relax and rest until we make it home. And on certain days, that might not be until after 8pm. On Tuesdays, I scoop her up, make a mad dash home to change and shove dinner in our mouths, then head back downtown for 2 hours of dance. She’s also got midweek tennis lessons at 6pm on other days. And… with the NBA season approaching, we’ll be out of the house for those games as well!

While her day may just be beginning, it’s about to be 1000x more active than either of her parents. And we’re happy to do anything that we can do to support her and keep her happy and healthy back at school.

They’re crazy convenient for us to pick up at our local Target store, and Miss L really enjoys the flavors. In fact, she’s the one that’s now reminding us to keep them stocked in the cabinet and to eat with breakfast!

If your schedule is as crazy as ours, I’d encourage you to pick up some Nature Made® KIDS FIRST® Multivitamin Gummies on your next visit to Target too and see how well they work for your family!

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.