How to Make (not just save!) Money with Ebates

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How to create an income with Ebates, make money online, make money with Ebates

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a huge fan of saving money using rebates sites. Since I have not only been using Ebates myself more frequently and exploring all its deals, I can give you my completely honest opinion – this is my favorite.

You may have noticed in my income report that most of my Black Friday income was from Ebates. Today I’m following that up that post to show exactly how anyone can actually make money using Ebates. It’s so easy!

The Basics

First, create your free Ebates account. Sign up for one here!

Second, take a minute and browse around at all the stores that you probably already shop at online. Everything from Kohls, Target, AMAZON (I mean, c’mon, this is almost too easy!). Even Groupon got in on the Ebates action. Save 40-90% on your purchase AND get money back?

selection of ebates stores

Third – Given that it’s the gift-giving season, I’m sure you have online shopping that needs to be done. Pick your store and click on it through the Ebates link.

Now it’s time to do your shopping. The computer can’t tell what’s already in your cart, so be sure to add your items to your cart after signing in through Ebates. Make sure your total is above $25.

There. You have just completed your first transaction through Ebates! And bonus – you just earned yourself a $10 bonus rebate, in the form of either a Walmart gift card or it can be added to your next Big Fat Check.

Which brings me to…

The Big Fat Check

The BFC is sent out quarterly, so check the calendar to see when you can expect to get your rebates in the mail. Depending on how often you shop online, this could end up being a nice chunk of change! We are currently in the last quarter. so checks will be sent out by February 15th, according to the table.

Making Money with Ebates

Now that we have gone over just how easy it is to save money with Ebates, you want your friends to know too, right? Friends don’t let friends leave money on the table. And in the world of online shopping, there is a lot of money being left on the table!

Making money with Ebates is so easy it’s almost stupid. As a thank you for sharing money-saving tips with your friends, Ebates will give you $25 for each of your first 3 referrals when they sign up through your referral link and earn their $10 bonus. Refer 3 people, get $75 added to your Big Fat Check. After that, Ebates follows a referral table where you earn $5 per referral and have progressively larger bonuses available. Refer 10 people (who earn their $10 bonus), and get $100 added. Refer 50, get $600. Refer 100, get $1500.

ebates referral table, how to create income with beats

How Do You Get Referrals?

First off, share your link (Captain Obvious, at your service)! But – and this is the most important part – you have to provide value. I would not have gotten 110 people (and growing!) to sign up with my link if I just flung it everywhere the way my toddler throws leaves.  No one would have cared, it would have just seemed like an extra step in the way of buying their Instant Pot. My Black Friday post showed why people would benefit from signing up for their own account and making a purchase – it created an absolutely crazy deal for the must-have appliance of the year!

Other Reasons to Love Ebates

Their rebates are in the form of actual money, no matter how much you earn. None of the other rebate websites offer cash back, they offer points that you can trade for gift cards after you reach a certain points balance. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

You can install an Ebates button on your browser that you click whenever you visit a website to shop. This eliminates the need to go to the Ebates website first.

They have way more ways to earn cash back than online shopping, including an app, instructions on how to connect your account with a credit card of your choice, or you could even open up an Ebates Visa Card if you’re into that sort of thing. We don’t have credit cards, but you can bet I will be activating cash back deals when we shop with our debit cards at regular stores!


So to recap, making money with Ebates is a great way to make money while helping your friends save money. The more people you help to save an epic amount of money, the more money you make. It’s absolutely the best!

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How I Made $674.88 on Black Friday: November 2017 Blog Income Report

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Everything I do to make money affiliate marketing, how to maximize affiliate marketing,how to make money blogging

Have you read blog income reports before? The super amazing inspirational ones where top bloggers lay out exactly how they make over $100,000 per month? Yeah, I love those. I try to read 1-2 a week. They are so inspiring!

Why I like affiliate marketing

I’ve done several direct sales in my day. We still love and use and share essential oils and my beloved salad bar capsules, but I find my sharing is more authentic (for me) when I’m not trying to reach a new rank.

Affiliate marketing is different. With affiliate marketing, I post links to things I love, and when purchases are made through those links, the companies pay me a small percentage. The way I see it, you’re going to buy diapers and cold medicine anyway, I just share links to them and make it easier for you. I don’t have to tell you they work. You won’t ask to see studies. It’s less pressure on all of us – and it doesn’t cost you anything! Win-win, amIright?

I’m still a small blog, but since I’m now working on increasing my Pinterest presence and am determined to get a firm handle on this crazy opportunity they call “affiliate marketing,” I thought I would share my results from my first month truly applying everything I’ve been learning.

The Blogging Aspect

First off, while you can make money from Pinterest alone with affiliate marketing, to make money blogging, one needs to first start with a blog. I have my favorite resources listed for starting a blog and where to go to host on my resource page.

About Black Friday

It is absolutely no secret how much I love my Instant Pot. I firmly believe everyone needs to own at least one (I’m still trying to talk Peter into getting me an 8qt as well so I can make big cheesecakes, but kitchen space is limited so he wins. For now).

In the week leading up to Black Friday, I wrote my post about why I love my Instant Pot. I shared it on Pinterest and it got a few repins. For me, any engagement over 5 is a big deal, and this one is at 146 at the time of this writing.

Since all the deals go live on Thanksgiving now instead of Black Friday, I wrote a round-up of my favorite Black Friday deals and how to use Ebates to save an extra $10+ off your purchase. When I got word that the 6qt DUO (the model I have) dropped in price, I re-worked the numbers, edited my post, and shared my strategy with the Instant Pot community.

I had over 100 people sign up, and of those, 39 made their purchase through my Ebates link, which gave them each a $10 bonus rebate.

I shared my link on several threads, on posts where people were asking for help finding the best deal. I saw a huge spike in traffic every time I posted “here’s how to get one for less than $40!” This seemed to work well, and it wasn’t just spamming people with affiliate links.

As the stores started selling out, I shared my Facebook page link and letting people know I would be watching all  weekend and posting every link for Instant Pots and accessories still in stock. I got over 130 new followers, and a few new blog subscribers!

Throughout my blog posts and on my Facebook page, I used Amazon affiliate links.

Here’s the breakdown of my Black Friday earnings:


Ebates has an incredibly generous referral program (more on that later this week). $470




This is an affiliate program that has several of my favorite stores on it, including Kohls and Groupon. $4.01

Google Adsense

This is set up through Google, and they currently run most of the ads on my site. $23.56


This program is amazing because it makes sharing links so incredibly easy! Plus, it pays per click as well as per sale. $5.85

Grand total: $674.88!

I definitely lucked out with my first month seriously making money from my blog was also during Black Friday. However, I am very excited to continue learning and growing this into a steady income! I’ll be posting income reports each month as a way to keep myself accountable, as well as hopefully answer the questions I’ve been getting recently on how to actually make money blogging. This will not become a blog about blogging, but these income reports will point to the best resources I find along my journey!

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My Favorite Cyber Monday Sales!

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2017 the best cyber Monday deals and sales

I remember when I was in single digits, coming home from Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’ house and driving past all the people camped out in their tents outside the local Best Buy, waiting for the doors to open at 3am for Black Friday sales. I remember thinking friends were crazy for going out that early to shop.

Then came “Cyber Monday” when stores like Amazon put out great deals to make the Black Friday deals in brick and mortar stores look expensive.

And then, stores started opening earlier and earlier, starting at midnight and gradually working their way back to opening times of 5pm on Thanksgiving Day.

Now that basically everyone has a website, having specific sale differences between Black Friday and Cyber Monday seems silly to me, but they do have different deals and they are worth mentioning, plus it’s totally socially acceptable to shop in your pajamas (which I’ve been doing all weekend).

plaid holiday pajamas, mother and baby, shop in pajamas

Below are a few of my favorite deals either because the sales themselves are “OMG AWESOME” or because I use it and love it and want you to love it too.

Remember to earn an extra $10 bonus when you use this link to sign up for a new Ebates account!


8% cash back when you shop through Ebates!

20% off through 11/19 with code BUYNOW20

Free shipping on orders above $25. Kohl Cash is available to use now!

phillips air fryer, instant pot accessories, homemade egg rolls, homemade french fries, low-fat fryer


Phillips Air Fryer – $159.99 (regular price 229.99)



home coffee bar, coffee system, homemade lattes, homemade coffee drinks


Ninja Coffee Bar with foamer arm and glass carafe – $199.99 (regular price $249.99) – I’m getting this as our big Christmas present!


blender system, blender set, blender bottles, blender processor, vitamix


Ninja Mega Kitchen System – $189.99 (regular price $199.99). I have this set and I use it for everything from homemade sausage to my daily SuperMom coffee.


stainless steel pots and pans, non-toxic cookware


Revere Copper Confidence Core 7-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set – $159.99 (regular price $249.99)



  simple dishes, colored dishesFiesta 4-piece place setting – $29.99 (regularly $56)


personal blender, homemade shake maker, personal smoothie machine


Magic Bullet 11-piece blender set – $39.99 (regular price $59.99)



Several items (too many to link to!) are $10 and under with my favorite deals being 50% 0ff Christmas jammies for the family and 20% off Melissa and Doug toys. 


Sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial

Up to 6% back when you shop through Ebates.

***RESTOCK ALERT*** Instant Pot 6qt DUO for $84.96!  This will go FAST, so grab it before it disappears!

Instant Pot 6qt DUO PLUS is the deal of the day – on sale for only $74.95! (regular price $119.99)

1-year subscription to Food Network Magazine just $5 – regularly $45!

Air Fryer accessories set – $21.51 – regularly $49.99! These accessories fit the main 3 brands of Air Fryers

Bellemain 4oz porcelain ramekins, set of 6 – $12.50 (regularly $29.95)

Instant Pot silicone springform pan (fits 5qt pots and up) – $9.71  (regularly $12.95)

Echo Dot – $29.99 – regularly $49.99


*not available for Ebates*

30% off everything in store (no exclusions!)

Free shipping.

Neiman Marcus 

14% back when you shop through Ebates.

Earn up to $750 gift card (based on total purchase amount before taxes and shipping)

Sale items up to 40% off.


12% back when you shop through Ebates.

20% off with code CYBER

Free shipping over $25.


8% back when you shop through Ebates. 

50% off EVERYTHING (!) with code CYBER.

Free shipping with no minimum purchase amount.


Are you looking for anything in particular this Cyber Monday? And most importantly – did you score an Instant Pot on Black Friday?

Follow Crunchy Hippie Life on Facebook for real-time deal updates as I find them today! Be sure to turn on the notifications and “follow” me, otherwise Facebook might not show you my updates.

If you need me, I’ll be chugging coffee and shopping in my pajamas!

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My Favorite Black Friday Deals – Instant Pots and More!

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I sent this out to my subscribers earlier this week, but since I’ve had so many new subscribers (welcome to the Crunchy Hippie Life community!), I wanted to share this here!

Instant Pot Deals

I posted on the blog earlier this week about why I love my Instant Pot and how to score one for under $40 on Black Friday. The short version is this:

Open a new Ebates account (get $10 automatically when you sign up through my link!). Use Ebates to shop on The 6qt DUO Instant Pot is on sale for $79.99!  At checkout, use code SAVEBIG15 to get an extra 15% ($12) off. After Kohls Cash and Ebates rebates, the 6qt 7-in-1 Instant Pot is just $38.91 (plus tax). What an amazing deal – and it’s available NOW!

I am certain Amazon will be offering them at a deep discount as well (at time of posting they are currently $67.99!), they just haven’t announced it yet. Be sure to follow my Facebook page, as I will be posting all the details the minute it goes up! Sign up here for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime!


Sign up for a new Ebates account and get a $10 bonus. Go to Amazon via the Ebates website and complete your purchase, which will earn you another 6% off. This is a Prime eligible purchase. Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime if you don’t have Prime yet.


My favorite blogger, Crystal Paine of, is hosting her own Black Friday deal with her courses, many of which I have blogged my way through (this post is especially popular).

Makeover Your Mornings, Makeover Your Evenings, Makeover Your Year, and 15 Days to a Healthier You will all be on sale for just $10 each – regularly $17-29!

If you’re looking to start a blog in 2018 but aren’t sure where to begin, Blog Start-Up 101 and WordPress 101 will be on sale for $20 each (regularly $37 each). Her sales will be running from Thursday night at midnight through Monday night at midnight.

Fruits and Veggies

I will be offering a free shaker cup with the purchase of a Shred10 reset kit. Valid from Thursday-Monday. Reply to this email for details!


Finally, be sure to save your receipts! For anyone who purchases an Instant Pot through any of the links I shared, send me the receipt and I will send you an exclusive upgrade to my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, with a revised cooking plan especially for the Instant Pot! If you don’t already have a copy of Dirt Cheap Nutrition, grab your free copy here!

If you purchase the Makeover Your Mornings course from Crystal Paine using my links, I will add you to a secret Facebook group and we will go through it together! I have done this course multiple times and find it so helpful every single time. My mornings begin prepared, calm, and I maintain the positive momentum throughout my day. I will be starting the course on December 4 as a way to prepare myself for the holiday season craziness.

For either deal, send a screenshot of your receipt to by Tuesday, November 28th.

Be sure to follow my Facebook page for more deals!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!


{This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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How to Make Supermom Coffee at Home

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Have you ever wished there was a magical coffee drink that burned fat, was low in sugar, and made the caffeine last throughout the day instead of requiring multiple cups of coffee to stay awake? What about a cup of coffee that put you in calm control of your emotions instead of making you jittery, anxious, or stressed-out?

My friends, today is the day I bring you that magical cup.

I introduce you to (pause for dramatic effect) The Supermom Coffee drink.

Bulletproof coffee has been around for a couple years, and is especially popular with the paleo community. Featuring the addition of butter and coconut oil (or MCT oil) to your coffee, blending these ingredients with hot coffee creates a latte-esque foam at the top, similar to what you would experience from a latte at any coffee shop.

The butter and coconut oil contain high fats, which bind the caffeine molecules. This slows down the absorption of the caffeine into the bloodstream, which means the effects are extended throughout the day instead of a peak and crash.

As for hormone support? Hormones are actually specially-built fats. So a diet with quality fats like grass-fed butter and coconut oil are beneficial for building quality hormones. Quality hormones = a better control on emotions. This is generally a plus if you’re going to be a Supermom (or Super-person, whichever you prefer).

Finally, bulletproof coffee is generally popular among the paleo crowd because the good fats stimulate the metabolism to burn off fat. Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true!

So it’s a metabolism-boosting, hormone-regulating, energy-prolonging drink. If that’s not worthy of the Supermom designation, I don’t know what is.

BUT WAIT, it gets better! I add some extra goodness to this drink to make it truly a Supermom drink:

  • A teaspoon of raw honey helps add natural sweetness, while also providing immune support and allergy relief.
  • A scoop of powdered collagen adds protein, as well as joint-lubricant and connective tissue-strengthening benefits.
  • A 1/4 tsp cinnamon provides a warm, comforting layer of delicious, as well as aiding in blood sugar stabilization.

I told you, it’s Supermom coffee. Was I right or was I right?

Here’s how to make it:

Put all non-coffee ingredients in blender cup (I use my single-serve Ninja blender cup), and pour in coffee to the fill line. Blend 10-20 seconds. Enjoy!

I love making specialty coffee at home. Thankfully, this recipe is easily made in the blender, however, we currently lack the ability to make other specialty drinks. I’m very much looking forward to getting this incredible coffee bar system for Christmas. Visiting coffee houses is fun, but I can’t wait to be able to enjoy all these features!

Are you ready to be a Supermom? Share this post with a tired mom!

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How to Save Big on Black Friday

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It is no secret how much I love my Instant Pot and firmly believe everyone needs to own one. With Black Friday being this week, I did some shopping to take the guesswork out of finding the very best deals for this magical appliance. Here are the results:


7-in-1 6qt Instant Pot

Save 15% ($12) with code SAVEBIG15. Get $15 back in Kohls cash. Save an extra 6% shopping through Ebates.

Original price: $129.99

Sale price: $79.99

Pay = $67.99 (+ tax)

– $15 Kohls cash = $52.99

– Ebates rebate = 49.87

New to Ebates? Sign up through this link and get an extra $10 bonus just for signing up!

Final total for new Ebates shoppers = $39.87


7-in-1 6qt

Sale price: $79.95  (regularly $99.95)

Shop through Swagbucks to earn 2% back: 158 swagbucks

Earn extra 400 swabucks ($4 gift card) if approved for new Target REDcard through Swagbucks link.

Extra $3 bonus if new to both Swagbucks and REDcard.

Final total for new REDcard holder/Swagbucks member: $71.95


7-in-1 6qt

Black Friday deal unknown at this time. However, past years have shown prices as low as $49.99! They currently have a post for the 3qt mini pot for $59, which I would take as a hint that they will have the larger sizes as a surprise sometime on Black Friday. Be sure to follow me on Facebook as I will be posting the minute I see it go up on Black Friday!

Don’t have Amazon Prime? No problem! Sign up for a free 30-day trial  (just be sure to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue).


LUX50 6-in-1 5qt $49 (does not have yogurt function, note that it is also smaller)

Shop through Ebates to get 2% back, plus get $10 with a new Ebates account when you sign up through this link. 

Final total if new to Ebates: $39

So who wins? As it stands currently, the best deal for the 7-in-1 6qt is Kohls. I can’t wait to see the deals Amazon decides to offer!

BONUS: Purchase your IP through my links and email me a screenshot of your reciept. I will send you an exclusive Instant Pot-updated cooking guide to my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition: How to Feed Two Adults for $25 a Week (Grab your free copy now with the link!) Having an Instant Pot will make the cooking SO MUCH FASTER!

What’s on your Black Friday watch list? Do you prefer shopping in store or online?


{This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

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Completely Honest Review: PinkBlush Maternity

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PinkBlush maternity clothing, stylish maternity clothes, trendy clothes for moms

I am a new mom, and I am tired.

Exhausted, if I’m honest.

You see, while my newborn has slept through the night in 6-8 hour stretches since he was 2 days old, he doesn’t actually go to sleep until at least 1am. Which is about the time our toddler gets lonely and comes into our room, crying and wiping his sob-snot on me while he climbs into our bed for cuddles.

And then there’s the whole “I had a baby 2 months ago and then when he was 4  days old we bought an RV, moved into it, left Nevada and moved to Minnesota, left Minnesota, and moved back to Missouri for awhile and are now adjusting to me working from home” 3 weeks of hell. Dean is 2 months old and has lived in 3 states. It’s been a whirlwind, I learned many painful (and avoidable, and expensive) lessons. In many ways, I am totally worn out, haggard, and bedraggled. And it shows.

So as the crazy was starting to wind down, PinkBlush Maternity contacted me wondering if I would like to be spoiled a bit with something new. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of my rut of stained t-shirts and leggings! I drooled all over their trendy maternity clothing all through this pregnancy, but between moving so much and not needing anything, I couldn’t justify the expense. But I love the brand, so I was thrilled they wanted to send me something fun!

The best thing about PinkBlush clothing is that the clothes are designed to go from pre-pregnancy to maternity to postpartum. They have tunics, sweaters, maxi dresses, pants, and accessories. I decided to pick something totally outside my normal style (aka, solid colors) and went with a floral pattern. I’ll be honest, when I saw the pattern on the model, I thought it looked totally matronly (read: old lady-ish), but I thought I would be able to modern it up a bit.


Ya’ll, it’s my favorite.shirt.ever. I seriously have to limit how many times I wear it in a week before it becomes my uniform. As it is, this outfit is officially my “cool mom” outfit. Yes, I name my outfits. Is that weird? Yeah? Oh well…

Anyways, I usually only wear cotton shirts and was nervous about the rayon in the material since synthetic fabrics make me sweat more. This shirt is so soft, and so breathable! It feels like brushed cotton, and I don’t feel self-conscious about sweating at all.

Oh, AND the sleeves are long enough for my Gumby arms and the torso is long enough to cover the mommy tummy I haven’t bothered to start to get rid of yet.

So basically, it’s my favorite shirt, it’s totally on-trend, and I feel like I’m actually only 28 again instead of 40-gazillion. And it goes so great with my TOMS shoes. Wins all around.

Outfit deets:

Shirt: PinkBlush Maternity

Jeggings: H&M 

Shoes: TOMS classic canvas in Blue Spruce

Earrings: similar

Thanks to PinkBlush Maternity for providing me the shirt for my honest review, and for giving me the boost I needed to start dressing better again!


{Some links are affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Top 6 Reasons You Need An Instant Pot

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Oh, Instant Pot, how did I ever manage in my kitchen without you? You make my life so much easier!

  1. Never before have I been able to do a full week’s worth of meal prep in the span of a few hours, with so few dishes.
  2. 2. Never before have I been able to dump spaghetti sauce, gluten-free noodles, and (browned) ground beef into a pot, pressed a button, and walked away, only to come back to a fully cooked one-pot lunch in less than 10 minutes.
  3.  Never before have I made perfect, gelatinous bone broth, in any less time than 4 days – except now I can make it in 8 hours!
  4. Never before have I been able to make “dump and walk away” yogurt, even in a crock pot. Until my Instant Pot.
  5.  Never before have hardboiled eggs been so magically easy to peel, making deviled eggs a regular thing instead of a tedious treat.
  6. You can make beef stew in less than 1 hour that tastes like it’s been simmering away all day.

Ya’ll, seriously – if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need one. It has completely revolutionized how I cook, how I clean up, and the amount of time I can spend with my family.

In Nevada I worked an average 9 hours a day at my job, and by the time I got home I was pretty exhausted. Meal prepping has always been my saving grace (check out my book, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, for details on meal prepping on a tight budget!), but especially in the late days of pregnancy, it was a lifesaver.

The NPR (natural pressure release) feature is probably my favorite feature when making main dishes. Maybe it’s just a mental thing, but I find it very relaxing to know that my food isn’t going to overcook if I don’t jump right up and run into the kitchen the moment the timer goes off. I can actually relax, put my feet up, and not worry about hovering over pots, pans, and the oven.

There are so many options for size and style of Instant Pots. Personally, I have the 7-in-1 DUO60 6qt. I specifically chose the 7-in-1 because it has the yogurt button feature and I knew I would use it frequently. For our small-but-growing family, I find it to be the perfect size, with plenty of room for leftovers. For larger families or families with multiple teenagers, you might consider the 8qt. I know of several couples who find that a 3qt is the perfect size for their RV or to bring camping with them.

I waited months to purchase my Instant Pot, watching for the perfect price. Knowing how I love a good frugal challenge, Peter suggested I wait to purchase one until I could buy it for $50 from our regular weekly budget. I am very pleased to report that after the Kohls cash, Ebates rebates, and a bit of money from a freelancer article I wrote, I spent a total of $25 from our weekly budget.

Need to know where to find an Instant Pot? I have seen great deals at Target, Kohls, and Amazon. I hear rumors that Amazon had deep discounts on their IPs on Black Friday and probably will again (they sold hundreds of thousands of them on Prime Day!), so be watching for that.

Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you love it as much as I do? Be sure to follow my IP boards on Pinterest for loads of healthy recipes your family will love!


{This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are entirely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!} 

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Welcome, Baby Dean!: The Story of Our Second Unassisted Birth

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Unassisted Birth Story #2:

Ready for a birth story? If yes, you’re in for a treat. If no, well, carry on my wayward reader.

After two episodes of false labor in the weeks prior (that left me just a joy to be around), I woke up at 5:30 on September 14th in order to be at work by 7am. Because State was in our building for our annual inspection. On my last official week at my assignment. #awesome

About 10 minutes into being awake, I started noticing that the uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies eating bad Indian food was actually going away at fairly frequent intervals. As Peter left for the gym, I mentioned that we might not have had to wake up so early after all, as I was beginning to think that these contractions, feeling different than my last two practice sessions, were actually going to lead to something. I texted my boss (and my replacement DON) to let them know I wouldn’t be in at 7. They were so excited and told me to keep them updated.

I tracked my contractions for about an hour, noticing they were fairly consistent. They were increasingly uncomfortable, but I was still able to walk through them. I rubbed some black pepper essential oil on my back to help with the back labor.

Contractions became irregular around 9am, but still uncomfortable. I decided that a hot bath sounded delightful. MY GOODNESS, I had no idea how comfortable it would be! I could feel the contractions but was still able to relax through them.

The hours marched on and contractions were still uncomfortable but irregular. I wasn’t concerned since every labor is different. I focused on relaxing. Peter made a labor playlist for me with nature sounds, Native American flute music, and several Xavier Rudd songs. We diffused Balance essential oil and I just focused on relaxing, with Peter checking in on me frequently, topping off my coconut water as necessary. I was also texting many of my coworkers and keeping updated on how the state inspection was going.

Around 3:45pm I was getting irritated at how long this was taking with seemingly little progress. I hopped in the shower because showers make everything better and after about 5 minutes I started getting little tremors and increased pressure. Recognizing this was most likely transition, I got out of the shower and headed to the bed, where I had created a nest of waterproof pads.

I was right. Transition hit hard and furious. Fetal Ejection Reflex was strong, and just after 4pm my water broke. I think most of my 50 pound weight gain had been in the waters, because it didn’t just break, it exploded everywhere (sorry to those of you who are more visual). I called for Peter and told him that my water broke, “and also we might want to get new pillows.” He asked what the water breaking indicated, and I told him that Baby K was coming fast and it would be soon.

Right again. The pressure was so intense I didn’t think I could bear it. It was pressure to the point of pain. I buried my head in my pillow so my moans wouldn’t scare Tristan, who was in the living room watching DinoTrux at the time. That didn’t work well. I yelled/screamed for Peter again, who ran in, leaving Tristan in the living room yelling for me.

When Peter came in, I told him I could feel the baby crowning, and he jumped into the role of birth coach, excitedly updating me on progress. “I see it! There are the eyes! The nose is out – it’s a cute little button nose! There’s the mouth! The whole head!” I breathed out the shoulders and caught the baby as the rest of the body slid out gently (a VERY different birth than Tristan, who shot out head and body all at once like a squid). Peter asked “What is it?” I looked down “it’s another boy!”

We were both shocked, we had been expecting a girl the entire time. Every single old wives’ tale “test” indicated girl, except the Chinese Gender Predictor chart.

Peter let Tristan in immediately and we introduced him to Baby Dean. His face lit up when he saw the baby and we told him he had a brother. He had told us months ago that it was “a brudder” because he wanted to ride bikes with him and “guys ride bikes, mom.”

I took a picture of Dean and texted it over to my boss and my coworker who had been following progress via text all day. She texted back saying that my boss announced Dean’s birth over the intercom system. There was a contest going on at the facility, and $50 went to the staff or resident who had the closest guess for birth date, gender, weight, and length. One of the CNAs won!

our second unassisted birth story
first moments earthside

Peter took Tristan to the local coffee shop to get us some coffee while I relaxed with baby Dean. I did my full nursing assessment, and was surprised to see a true knot in his umbilical cord. Gotta love that natural Wharton’s Jelly, keeping the knot slippery and open during labor!

By the time Peter and Tristan returned, the cord had stopped pumping so it was time to clamp and cut. I wiped off Dean (who had a huge healthy meconium poop all over me, just like his brother), diapered him, wrapped him, and handed him to Peter while I delivered the placenta. I felt great, so I got up and took a shower (my third of the day) and enjoyed the fact that I could fit back in my t-shirts without my belly hanging out underneath.

I drank a bottle of beet juice and snuggled on the couch with my TWO sons while Peter cleaned up the bedroom. Within two hours of birth, we were all sitting on the couch watching The Cleveland Show and texting our friends our happy news. It was so relaxing, and we marveled at how lovely it is to birth at home.

approximately 2 hours after birth

I used my Clary Calm roll on quite liberally the first few hours – those afterbirth pains are no joke! Thankfully, that took the discomfort away and I was able to snuggle with my boys without constantly squirming from the pain.

I recovered much faster from this birth than Tristan’s. I’m not sure whether to attribute that to better nutrition, drinking copious amounts of coconut water during labor, knowing better what to expect this time, or most likely a combination of all 3, but I’m thankful.

We named him Dean Alexander Sirius. He weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces (only 3 ounces heavier than Tristan! I was expecting a much larger baby), and was 19 1/2 inches long. He has super long fingers like Tristan and I did and smaller feet than Tristan, so he can fit in all those adorable footie pajamas that Tristan could never wear. He sleeps for long interludes (including overnight) and is just starting to show some lady-killer dimples.

Sometime in the near future I’ll share about our second night as parents of two. But for now, I have baby snuggles to return to.

Oh yeah, and we bought an RV.

Talk to you soon! 🙂


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How to Purchase a Vehicle

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*This post is sponsored by*

Come December, we will have been married for 4 years. During that 4 years, we have sold 2 vehicles and paid cash for another 3. Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot about cars in the past 4 years.

The first vehicle we purchased together was purchased entirely because it ran and we could afford it. It had a bullet hole through the trunk and was older than the Lord of the Rings movie series. But it ran (the heat didn’t work), so for us, it worked.

Our second car was purchased privately with our tax refund. It was much newer, it ran well, and the heat worked. It went with us on the move from Missouri to Iowa, and we didn’t have any major issues with it. It was only when we realized that 2 car seats wouldn’t fit in the back seat that we decided to save up for our third car and upgrade.

The process of purchasing a new-to-us vehicle was multi-faceted. First, we did a lot of research on the types of cars that would work for us. Since our main criteria was “must fit 2 car seats,” this didn’t really narrow it down between car, SUV, or minivan. We decided that we are both much too young to drive a mini van, so that option was nixed based on preference.

The second criteria was looking at all available options of vehicle. I have always been an SUV person, and we ultimately decided that an SUV would be best for making long road trips. We used to read reviews and ratings for several makes and models, eventually narrowing down our favorite options between the Honda Pilot, Chevy Equinox, or Ford Escape.

Finally, we crunched numbers to set a goal for how much we could realistically save and how quickly. We worked hard and saved much faster than we planned, and I watched for local cars within our price range and specifications.

Not even a week after we started seriously looking, we were driving our new-to-us 2007 Ford Escape, thanks to a posting on After we had inquired about a few other vehicles, this car was posted late on a Friday night. We drove to the dealership early Saturday morning and by noon we were driving home our SUV. We were able to trade in our previous car, pay cash for the remainder, and the dealership even handled the registration. No long DMV lines for us!

I appreciate how much the internet has changed the process of shopping for cars. Before I purchased my first SUV, I spent hours at the *gasp* local library, reading through several editions of Consumer Reports to compare makes, models, and the differences between the various years of certain makes and models.

Yes, I am that old.

And I’m also very grateful that allowed me to peruse and research in the comfort of 2am in my pajamas. With ice cream.

If you have ever purchased a car using or have any other tips for when we inevitably purchase another vehicle, drop me a comment and let me know!


{This post was sponsored by All opinions are completely my own. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

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