Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Online Shopping: Alaska Edition

It's no secret that I love to shop! Historically, I was an in-store only kind of shopper. I enjoyed the experience of sifting through the racks and people watching with coffee in hand! During college I was forced to try my hand at online shopping simply because I was either in class or working during all normal business hours. That just wasn't going to work for me. ;)

As life got crazier, online shopping became a regular occurrence and quite frankly, I was starting to enjoy that too. Frequently, I could score better deals online than I ever would in-store. was my jam!

Then we moved to Alaska. You know the "all offers exclude Hawaii and Alaska" Alaska. Not good. Not good at all. Of course, transitioning back to in-store shopping wasn't an option because of the baby and the general lack of stores up here. Ha!

[Cutting to the chase.] Here are some of my favorite online shops that I frequent without getting killed on shipping and handling fees, plus some bonus tips/tricks on navigating the online shopping mall.
how to shop online

I frequent both Jane & Groopdealz. These are hands down my favorite daily deals sites! 9 times out of 10 the businesses featured on these two sites offer flat rate shipping and don't mark up to ship to Alaska. WIN! Side note : just came out with an app and they accept PayPal! 

Amazon has become ol' faithful since we moved to Alaska. Well, Amazon Prime has anyway. Like I said, I used to be obsessed with but their shipping rates to the tundra were insane! I get a lot of baby gear and electronic stuff from Amazon. 

Like Jane and Groopdealz, ETSY shops usually don't charge more to ship to Alaska. Some of my favorite shops lately are : jennyCmoon, All Things Pretty, and Home Make Over

Full honesty here, H&M takes a while to get their stuff to my doorstep. However, their pricing is excellent and shipping costs are reasonable. H&M was my go-to for maternity clothing!

Gap :: Not that there is anything particularly exceptional about online shopping with Gap, but I've never had any issues! Their shipping costs are reasonable, clothes get here quickly... What more could I ask for?

Nordstrom :: Free shipping and free returns. Always and forever. SOLD!

I always visit Retail Me Not before I checkout online. Usually I can knock a couple bucks off of my total by simply copy and pasting a coupon code or two. 

Alright, we do have a couple of Sephora stores up here, but those samples you get with your online order... ;) For real! No crazy mark ups and things arrive quickly.

I only recently hopped on the Target Red Card wagon, and it's pure gold! I get free shipping and my 5% off at plus I can stack my coupons! With bigger ticket items, online shopping with Target is the way to go. Check out this post for more ways to save at Target!

Last but not least, my subscription boxes. Can't survive without those babies. ;)

Now, the real purpose of this post is totally selfish. ;) I want to know your favorite online shops.

To get us started I asked Mary from Eat, Drink & Be Mary to hit us with her faves.
favorite online shops
So spill! Where do you find the best deals online?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The one where Kyle got neutered...

His words, not mine!

Saturday we went dip netting for the first time.  However, after an entire day at Fish Creek, we left empty handed! Kyle said, "I feel like I lost my man card to that damn river." We thought dip netting would be a sure thing for me to finally get my salmon... NOPE! 

Dip netting is pretty much what it sounds like. You stick a big ass net in the water and theoretically catch a bunch of fish. Don't take my word for it though, clearly we aren't very good. Using a dip net to catch salmon has the potential to be awesome for Alaska residents! Like fill your freezer (our family would be allowed 45 salmon) kind of awesome. 

Anyway. Our first mistake was getting there during low tide rather than high tide. Fishing fail! Alas, we set up shop. We stood in super shallow water holding a net, sat in the mud and crushed our puffs on a backpack.

After several hours, I got bored Mallory needed a change of scenery so we headed home to let the dogs out and grab some lunch. Kyle stayed at Fish Creek to battle his ego continue fishing. When Mallory and I returned, the parking lot was packed and the creek was filling quite quickly as the tide came up. Still no fish for us...

This was Kyle's post for the second half of the day. I kid you not some dude walked up behind him and literally caught a fish within 30 seconds of putting his net in the water! Then a kid standing in front of Kyle caught a fish! Ohhhh if looks could kill! hahaha

After about 45 minutes, nobody was catching anything, so we decided to pack up and head home. I think if it were acceptable, Kyle would have slept at Fish Creek before leaving empty handed. [He is going back tonight to redeem himself!]

On Sunday, rather than going fishing again (which believe me, Kyle tried to do) we headed to base for the Arctic Thunder Air Show! I guess it has been a really long time since my last air show, but I was really impressed by this event! 

To kick things off they had Miss Alaska sing our national anthem as the most beautiful American flag floated across the sky. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit teary eyed. 

In true Mallory fashion, she couldn't get enough of the loud noises and people watching. The girl was in hog heaven! I don't think she noticed a single plane in the sky, but enjoyed herself nonetheless.

The highlight of the actual air show for us was probably the joint forces demonstration. They showed guys jumping out of planes, helicopters bringing in equipment, fighter jets circling the area, guys shooting at stuff (super technical "army wife" description, ok. take notes.)...  Our military is pretty badass --  and loud. Badass and loud.

We spent the rest of our time at the air show wandering around and looking at the various military aircrafts and checking out all the food. I couldn't believe how many different food vendors were there! Again, very impressive! They even had bounce houses and other activities for kids!

Kyle showed us around one of the planes he jumps out of! 
Well, there you have it. Our weekend! Plenty of pictures, lots of noise and zero fish.

Have you ever been to an air show?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hopes & Plans {Link Up}

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams and aspirations or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

So, "fail" is a strong word, but the only word that comes to mind when I think of last week's hopes & plans...

|| Meal journal. Ok. Screw it. Clearly it's just not happening right now...

|| Go fishing hehehe! Wait 'til I tell you about this one...

|| Decide on Mallory's next car seatSo narrowing the search down to the brand counts, right? Stickin' with Britax!  

|| Clean/organize/decorate my desk. I did this in my head... be on the look out for a home office inspiration post. ;)

This Week's Hopes & Plans :

one || Clean out my phone.  Apparently 3,121 photos are too many for my iPhone to handle. During the air show this weekend my phone threw up a big middle finger! Message received. Message received. 

two || "catch up." Lately I've felt as though there 9,001 things that I'm behind on. Housework, errands, family, friends, the dogs, maintenance, this blog... Just feeling a little behind on life these days. 

And that's all she wrote. 
What do you have going on this week?

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