Why I Am Still a Big Fan of Amazon Prime

by Jamie Sanford on July 10, 2018

Amazon Prime Day is quickly approaching, and since it celebrates the launch of Amazon Prime as a service, it is a good time to review your account and see what it is doing for you.

There are a lot of perks to Amazon Prime, the biggest one being access to 2-day shipping on over 100 million items without incurring any additional costs (over the fee you’ve already paid). You also receive access to thousands of video titles in Amazon Instant Video – including Amazon’s own original content like Transparent or Mozart in the Jungle. (We started Mozart in the Jungle and fell off for some reason, but it was excellent and I need to begin again.) You can also use your prime account to store your personal photos, an interesting tie-in to Amazon Web Services, which a bit of research will show is a massive portion of Amazon’s overall business.

These are all great. We got a prime account for our household at the beginning because we were already shopping on Amazon quite a bit. However, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate Amazon the most for one big reason.

I don’t have to go to Target so much anymore.

Do not mistake this for a dislike of Target, because I love Target. I love Target so much that I am happy to need a reason to go there and buy stuff, and as the old (ish) adage goes, you cannot go into a Target and not come out with a cart full of stuff that cost you at least $100. The struggle is real.

Out of Swiffer dusters? Let’s go to Target. Out of hand wash? Let’s go to Target. You see where I’m going with this.

The realization that I could buy a number of the items I had mentally decided were only available at Target was a game-changer in terms of trips out to buy stuff that I do not need. I am as aware as anyone that we are living our lives online and that it is good to get out into the world, but it’s also good to not end up with a bunch of random nonsense that I probably didn’t need. I know that it is incredibly easy to shop online, but the tactile experience of shopping in a store is still very intoxicating and influential, at least in my own experience.

For that major reason, in addition to the gratification of quick shipping, I will happily be renewing my Amazon prime account this year. Here are a few of my recent additions to my own Amazon wish list.

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Pantene Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip | Product Pick #16

by Jamie Sanford on May 25, 2017

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

During a random span of time a few years ago, I won a few different contests online. One of them was a Twitter giveaway of Pantene products, and today I want to talk about what has become one of my favorite hair products of all time.

Pantene Silky Moisture Whip

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have perhaps noticed that I change my hair color pretty regularly. My stylist highlights my hair and sorts out my roots on occasion, but the rest of the time, my hair is refreshed in whatever color I’m going for that day with Arctic Fox haircolor. The Arctic Fox is really moisturizing and conditioning, but obviously, the hair that has been highlighted is a bit damaged.

I had forgotten about the Silky Moisture Whip until I cleaned out my bathroom cabinet with all of the hair products. I immediately moved it to the front and started using it, and noted an immediate difference.

After towel-drying my hair, I squeeze the mousse-like product into my hair and brush through for full coverage. I then air-dry or blow-dry, and follow-up with heat spray before using the Tyme Iron to straighten and/or curl my hair. The difference was much greater than I would have expected, and especially for a drug store product that has an incredibly reasonable price.

The official product description is as follows:

Pantene’s Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip contains a Moisture Protection complex that acts like hair’s natural lipid layer to help: leave hair feeling moisturized for up to 48 hours, protect hair from heat styling damage in just one use and regulate hair’s natural moisture and gives silky hair that shines.

The Pantene Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip is available on Amazon. If you feel like your hair is lacking in moisture and shine, I highly recommend trying it out.



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Las Vegas Vow Renewal Details | 11-11-16

by Jamie Sanford on December 26, 2016

I’m finally posting photos of our 10th anniversary vow renewal! It’s been a month already! This post is dedicated to the details.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

These photos were made by me, taken with the Sony Alpha a550.

I am brewing a blog post about my forays into making, and earlier projects from the year made me believe that I could make this bouquet. While I was at it, I made the boutonniere for William.

Some of the flowers had dice in the center, some had rhinestones.

The bottom looked unfinished, so I was able to utilize some beautiful poker chips to dress it up.

These beautiful ears are the Liberace ears by Rock ‘n Roll Bride for Crown and Glory.

This champagne was great for photos but did NOT taste good at all. My sunglasses are from Amazon!

Our new rings are from Apples of Gold. We bought our original weddings bands from Apples of Gold 10 years ago!

I’ve had the belt for years and do not remember where it was purchased. The dress is an anomaly – after searching for months to find a dress that was what I wanted, I bought random dresses from Amazon and this was the perfect one.

One more post coming up – this one will be about our experience at the Little Church of the West.




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5 Tips for Black Friday Shopping

by Jamie Sanford on November 22, 2015

It’s that time of year again, when everyone gets together to celebrate gluttony and the joining of Native Americans and the Pilgrims, and then use all of that carb energy for shopping at ridiculous hours.


I have only done the Black Friday thing once, getting up at 4am to go buy a television. It was a hot deal at the time and we still have the TV, so 7 or so years ago, it was worth it to freeze in the parking lot of that 6th Ave Electronics. However, since then, I have not had anything that I needed so badly that I wanted to get up that early, or stay up that late.

Online shopping is another story, I had some GREAT buys last year online, and I think it will only get better this year. I know that people will be doing both in-person and online shopping, so here are my Top 5 Tips for Black Friday Shopping.

1. Evaluate your needs, right now.

What do you really need? When we bought a TV on Black Friday, we were replacing a ye olde television that had seen better days. If you’ve been thinking about replacing something for a while, Black Friday is definitely a good opportunity to purchase that item at a reduced price.

2. Evaluate your gift list.

As mentioned in my post on starting your holiday shopping early, there’s no shame in the sale game. If you can get a great gift for someone and can save a little money in the process, then have at it. Review the list of gifts you still have to buy for the holidays, and see if you can match up your list with a Black Friday opportunity.

3. Do your research.

Black Friday is full of tricks and vague language. In addition, the sale items can at times be inferior. If you want a 1080p flat screen TV, the one on sale is probably 720. Look around online for the item you’re interested in, figure out the specs that are important to you, and note the prices of items that meet your requirements. This will give you a clear look at how good the sale prices really are.

4. Sign up for emails and connect on social channels with your favorite retailers.

If you aren’t already receiving emails from sites you shop at often, or if you don’t get emails from brands you are already a fan of, now is the time to sign up for emails. You can always unsubscribe from these emails later, and it’s worth it to get the alerts to all of the holiday special offers. I recommend Amazon, Ulta, and The Body Shop in particular, they are some of my favorites. Ulta has exclusive LORAC palettes for Black Friday, and The Body Shop always has some hot deals as well.

Also, connect on Facebook or Instagram with your favorite brick-and-mortar retailers. Exclusive offers are often available through one channel only, and while it might bog down your newsfeed for a few weeks, you can always un-like after the holidays, and get a few hot deals for your trouble.

5. Have fun!

This was also the last tip in my early holiday shopping tips list, but it really is the most important. Stressing out like mad to save $50 on a Blu-Ray player is not worth it. If you know that going out at 4am to shop will make you cranky, stay home and wait for Cyber Monday specials to flow into your inbox or Twitter feed on Monday morning. If you love the rush of standing outside big box stores for a hot deal on a Crock Pot, then you should definitely do that. Enjoy the process!

Let me know your tips for Black Friday shopping in the comments!

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Product Pick #9: Batiste Dry Shampoo

by Jamie Sanford on June 4, 2015

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I just edited the post I wrote about this product in 2013, where I complained about the brunette version of this product leaving brown residue in my bathtub.

In 2013, I tried a number of different dry shampoos. I think it was Tresemme first, then Dove, then Batiste? The Dove was better than the Tresemme, and I was irritated because the Batiste ended up leaving brown residue all over my bathtub. I did receive word from someone who reads my blog that they didn’t experience the same issue with the brunette version of this product, and at some point later, I bought another can, this time without any color. I might have just gone for the original version.

I am now a total convert and love my Batiste Dry Shampoo. I have no intention of trying the colored ones again since I am not having too many issues with the white tinge on my roots. I now use this product by picking up my hair and spraying the roots underneath, then letting it sort of soak in for a few minutes before using the pads on my palms under my fingers to sort of massage it in, and then a few minutes later I brush out.

I have also started using this product as a treatment on newly-washed, super-clean hair to add in a bit of texture before styling. For New Year’s Eve, I used a generous spray of this after straightening all of my hair, and before curling it, and I still had curls the next day. It’s definitely something to think about if you are forced to wash your hair right before styling, and you have problems with curls falling out.

I have linked to Amazon in this post, but I have also found that Marshall’s tends to have bottles in the hair care section for around $6, which is the best deal I have seen. I have used Original, Fresh, Blush, and Cherry, and they are all lovely. The scent doesn’t really stick around too long after use, so I would not agonize over your choice.

I do not necessarily take back what I said the first time about the brunette version, but the other versions are a win.

Are you using dry shampoo for refreshing or styling your hair? What is your favorite brand?

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