Posted on 1 Comment

Get $30 to spend for Amazon PRIME DAY

This post may contain affiliate links to help me pay to keep this blog on the web. For more on that, check here

What is Amazon Prime Day, and why should you be FREAKING EXCITED about it?

Amazon Prime Day is the biggest online shopping event next to Black Friday.

This year (2019) it will happen on July 15-16, and you definitely don’t want to miss out.

The good news is, you can sign up NOW for a FREE trial of Amazon Prime – and cancel after the event if Prime isn’t right for you without penalty. Yep, that’s right! You get a 30-day free trial, but if you’re like me, you want to cancel things as soon as possible so you don’t forget about it and get surprised by a fee the next month.

So here’s what you do:

  1. Sign up for your one month free trial of Amazon Prime (or go HERE if you are a student for a SIX month free trial!)
  2. Open the clock/alarm on your phone
  3. Set a reminder for July 18th to cancel your membership (or December 18th if you’re a student)
  4. Get $10 to spend when you download the Amazon app for the first time.
  5. Get another $10 to spend after you make your first in-app purchase!
  6. Set up the Amazon Assistant on desktop to get $10 off your first $50 purchase.
  7. Shop with the benefits of Prime membership on July 15-16th

That gives you a whole week free – just long enough to stick around for the AMAZING deals of Amazon Prime Day. (And students, trust me – you want that Prime. Man, I could have saved so much money getting supplies and quality ramen online, shipped right to my student box.) And while you’re there, be sure to check out things like Prime Videos, Prime Music, and compare all the things you’re buying at the grocery store to what you can get at Prime Pantry. (You’d be surprised how much money you can save by subscribing!)

The kicker is that you cannot participate in Prime Day Deal unless you are already an Amazon Prime Member.

Why be an Amazon Prime Member???

There are a lot of reasons to love Prime, but to be honest, my favorite is the most basic – free shipping. This has saved me so much money, not just on shipping but also on things like gas money.

“How is this possible?” you may ask. Well, I’ll tell you. You know how when you’re going about your day, just doing your thing, and suddenly, you realize you need this thing for a project. Maybe it’s a notebook, a pen, or a special hair clip for this new hairstyle you saw on YouTube you want to try. But you just went to the store yesterday, and you already took your bra off. It would be way too much work to go out now.

So pop open your Amazon app (or browser) and see what your options are! If you can wait to days, you don’t even have to put on your going-into-public outfit to get it. (Bonus!)

Are you at the store and see a deal you just can’t refuse? (This has happened to me on multiple occasions, actually.) I saw a great deal on a TENS unit at TJMaxx. But just to be sure I was getting the best deal, I checked amazon. In this case, it was cheaper for me to get it at the store. But the next time I was there, I saw a hair straightener. I decided to double check. Even on clearance, Amazon won out the day! I just had to wait two days, and I kept the extra $20 in savings. Sweet!

Amazon Prime gets you a lot, including the following:

* Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes
* Borrow Kindle books
* Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

And, of course, access to Prime Day deals which is for members only. Got it? Good!

So if you’re continuing to read this, I’m assuming you’re already signed up for Amazon Prime.

The Good Stuff

Well, that depends on what you’re looking for (psst, it’s a great time to start your Christmas shopping!) but I’ve got some really great ideas below that I think you’ll like.

Psst! Google Chrome hasn't been playing nicely with amazon on desktop. If you don't see pictures of the products and deals below, try switching up your browser!

Tech and Gaming

For all the tech on sale, go here!

A Ring doorbell is definitely on my list. Especially because I can pair it with my Alexa show below and see who is at my door even when I’m upstairs battling it out on Apex Legends or Overwatch. (You even get a free Legendary Item for Overwatch, too.)

And speaking of gaming . . .

This is the gaming chair Cadillac for geeks. Marvel fans, rejoice. This SIDIZ design comes tricked out with Spiderman or Black Panther themes, and it looks great.

Beauty Finds

For the full list of beauty deals, go here!

And if you want to look great when you’re livestreaming, these next few goodies will be a perfect addition to your collection.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love Milani’s product formulas! This is a fantastic palette, perfect for the upcoming season and one that will carry over into the new year. Bonus: it has its own highlight and contour shades! I recommend this for light to medium skin tones.

Thankfully, at this most auspicious decade of my thirties, acne is rare. But because of hormone imbalance and the like, it is also pretty gnarly when I do get one (read: cystic, under-the-skin, painful little buggers). It’s also not great look when I’m trying to get the perfect selfie. The great thing about these patches is that they deliver targeted treatment. You don’t need astringent, medicated ointment all over your face when you only have two or three problem spots. These are also discreet, so if you have to go out in public, you won’t feel like you’ve got a bandaid on your face!

You know I love a good setting spray. While normally I buy matte sprays, I’ve found that in the fall and winter, a dewy spray is just what my skin needs. It also works great for balancing out a matte formula foundation, like Fenty, Milani, or e.l.f. brands tend to be.

Boss Babe Finds

The Rocketbook is definitely one of a kind and something every boss babe, college student, person who uses a notebook needs. Seriously. It saves so much money. You can reuse the same book multiple times! Just wipe clean. It even comes with a pen and microfiber cloth. Although, I suggest getting a bunch of Frixion pens. Not only are the pen needed to get the reuse-ability of the Rocketbook, but they are probably going to become your favorite gel pen – because they are ERASABLE. (You’re welcome.)

There are certainly a lot more deals that will become available (the surprise is half of the fun!) so be sure to log back in starting 12am PDT on July 15th. Deals quantities are limited, so be sure to use your Amazon Assistant to alert you when deals you want go live!

Have fun shopping Amazon Prime Day, and be sure to come back and comment with what your best score was!!!

"XOXO, Amber" in hand-styled script
Posted on 2 Comments

Train your brain to be POSITIVE!

Whether you are a boss babe, a mom, a college student . . . wherever you are at in life, you can start changing your outlook today.

Let’s talk about WORDS!

I have made a life-changing habit of creating positive expectations that has turned my health and business around. And it’s important enough that I want to share.

If someone bumps into you and you spill your coffee, it reveals what was already inside the cup. Coffee spilled out because it was full of coffee. If bumps and challenges jostle your cart, what spills out is a great tool for knowing yourself better.

Ask yourself: what spills out when you get jostled by life? Stress? Anger? Jealousy? Defeat? Worry?

If it is anything but good, healthful thoughts, you know where to start!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more on that, check here.

Does that mean you can’t express an opinion? Of course not! Disappointment is sad, and it is something everyone of us will experience in life and in business. But commiserating is not healthy for you or anyone else. 💕 If you need to vent or have a listening ear, any leader will tell you to complain UP and praise DOWN! Talk to your leadership/manager to see how they would like to help you work out your disappointments.

What spills out is a great tool for knowing yourself better.

But venting (in the break room, online forums, work emails, or the home) is not a good business practice. You are a boss babe, a killah queen, a warrior princess. We all are. And we are in this together. 💕

If you want to express your feelings critically, also follow up with a solution so that it is constructive versus destructive. Here are some examples:

“I feel like in meetings we go over the exact same things that was said in the email. There are huge benefits to gathering collaboratively, but if we don’t get a chance to voice our input and share our experiences, the email is sufficient.”

“I have asked in the past if you would help me by putting the laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor. When you don’t, I feel ignored. When you do, I feel like we’re a team. What can I do to help without nagging?”

I totally am not scolding you, even though it might seem like it. I’ve been a Negative Nancy and didn’t even know it. You really do reap what you sow! Ever hear of self-fulfilling prophecies? So I’m telling you as a converted Positive Polly that you will be AMAZED at the GOOD things that start coming your way as if by “luck” when you change what energy you send out into the universe.

Want some more info on what helped me change? I highly recommend the books, “The Energy Bus,” and the pair “Successful Women Think Differently” and “Successful Women Speak Differently” by Valorie Burton.

A good place to start is asking yourself, “This bothers me. What can I do to fix it?” And, “Is what I’m about to say leading me to a solution?” You might find yourself the million dollar answer!

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on THESE things.” -Phil. 4:8 (emphasis mine)

Until next time,

Posted on Leave a comment

FREE Instagram Training – Top 15 Tips: Part 2

Did you miss Part 1? Click the link to read the first six tips! 


In the first post of this series, I discussed the first 6 of 15 tips to grow your instagram. Let’s jump right into the next five! 

7. Engage your niche

Get to know your audience and other content creators in your niche. You probably already know you should do that, but how, exactly? Start by going into the hashtags of your posts and find other creators. Comment! Ask questions! It is best to spend five minutes a day getting to know other people. Are you a makeup blogger who admires someone artwork? Send them a message and ask if you can do a makeup look inspired by their creation! It is always flattering to see your content inspire someone else to create something more (But remember, ALWAYS ask permission and ALWAYS credit appropriately). By getting to know your community in the daily interactions, you will naturally thrive and grow organically. 


ALWAYS ask permission and ALWAYS credit appropriately.

8. Interact with your audience

When you post, try asking your audience an open-ended question. (For a quick refresher, an open-ended question cannot be answer by “yes” or “no.”) Simple posts asking “Which is your fave? A or B?” or “Using one word, describe your day!” are effective because they require very little feedback from your followers. One word or simple answers are best for the casual follower. Be sure to reply and like every answer you receive on any of your posts. Your followers and their interaction are golden, so treat them like royalty! 

9. Utilize Videos

Using video on instagram is a great way to increase engagement. It also allows your viewers to see a different side to you. I can’t give you advice on what to post in your videos, but I can tell you how to spiffy it up! First of all, youtube is a great resource for learning how to edit. My current favorite video app is InShot. For a few dollars, you can purchase the pro version and access many more features and eliminate their watermark from any saved files. If you have any specific questions about videos, ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. 

10. Add to your Story

Since the change a few updates ago, Instagram has jumped into the story-like format, mimicking the very popular Snapchat. Since this addition, almost all of the accounts I follow utilize this feature. It’s a great way to let people into things like “behind the scenes,” “a day in the life of,” and offer teasers for upcoming content. You can make announcements for your blog, go live for a demo . . . the sky is the limit! This is a great place to let loose and have fun. Unless your instagram is only about being comical or sarcastic, be consistent to a theme and keep your feed in accordance with your theme. In your Story, however, you can be whatever you want! 

11. Use the available Tools

There are a lot of apps out there that are helpful to someone who really wants to take their instagram to the next level. In my upcoming Instagram Training, I’ll be taking you through a deep-dive of my favorites with live demos and more. But here, I want to focus on just a few. (Keep in mind that I have an Android phone, but most apps available for Android are also for iphone as well.) 

For quick reference for hashtags, try a hashtag app! Hashme, All-Hashtag, and Display Purposes are all great places to start. Sometimes, you will get suggestions that are completely useless. That’s the downfall to automatic algorithms. But what they lack in perfection, they make up in ease. Simply weed out the ones you won’t use, copy, and (here’s the magic) paste it into your notepad app. That way, you don’t have to keep waiting and weeding out results. You can just copy and paste at the end of your post! Be sure to check the relevancy of your hashtags at least once a month and update your notepad “cheat sheet.” 

That’s it for this post! Subscribe for part 3, the conclusion. If you want to dig deeper with direct mentorship, post prompts, photography tips, and more, then be sure to join my Facebook group to take advantage of my FREE training course!

Ciao! 

Posted on 2 Comments

FREE Instagram Training – Top 15 Tips for Growth

Do you want to grow your instagram community? Have you struggled with gaining traction or knowing what to post or when? Then you are in the right place! In the post, I will share my top 15 tips for growing your influence on instagram. And if you want to dig deeper with direct mentorship, post prompts, photography tips, and more, then be sure to join my Facebook group to take advantage of my FREE training course! No email list sign up, no gimmicks or hidden fees, just me showing you what I do!

Top 15 Instagram Tips – Part 1

One: Be consistent
Whatever this means for you (once a week, once a day, morning, noon, and night), keep it consistent. Consistent content is going to improve your ability to be seen within Instagram’s algorithms.  While I won’t get into teaching the algorithms in this post (that will be in my upcoming free training ), I will recommend you post at least once a day!

Two: Utilize all your hashtag realty
If you were to pay for an ad in printed media, you would be granted so many words. A wise advertiser would work his thoughts into concise, action-oriented directions and use every single word available. So why not use all of your advertising space in hashtags? Not using all of your hashtags is like stopping at offering your name in an introduction.  You get THIRTY hashtags! You should use as much of those as you possibly can, and no less than twenty every post. Need ideas for helpful hashtags? Feel free to follow me (instagram.com/ambertheblog) and steal my hashtags, join my group for the free training, or study some of your favorite “grammers” for inspiration. You get free advertising. Be sure to use those hashtags!

Not using all of your hashtags is like stopping at offering your name in an introduction.

Three: Post your hashtags with your image
You’ve probably seen two types of grammers (that’s the term for people who use the gram, aka instagram). There are those who post their content and hashtags together, and those who post their hashtags in a comment. You can do it either way, but the most effective way to be at the top of the hashtag feed (which is how others will find your content) is to post your tags along with your image. The delay between adding the tags in the comments can be the difference between someone seeing your content or seeing what others have posted!

 

Four: Offer value
The number one mistake people can make is to use instagram as a marketing tool.  Instagram c an be and is a very powerful marketing platform, but it is not by actively marketing that you build a community. Consumers look for products. Communities look for service. A product is the same whether you get it on Amazon, in Wal-mart, or Target. Where do you buy it? What drives your loyalty? The service. The dictionary defines service as the following:

1. the action of helping or doing work for someone.
synonyms: favorkindness, good turn, helping hand;

Wow! That is definitely different than simply marketing a product. What do you offer your community? Position your service, not your products.

Consumers look for products. Communities look for service.

Five: Practice your photography
There’s no getting around it – instagram is a visual community! If you want to get attention, you need to up your photography game. As a retired wedding photographer, I can definitely write way too much on the subject! While I plan on getting more involved and doing a photography workshop during my instagram training, I will keep this portion here brief.

Remember the phrase “shoot in the shade.” Direct lighting is going to be the harshest to view and hardest to correct. Look for shade and indirect lighting or shoot on an overcast day. This is going to get you the softest shadows and the most flattering lighting for just about everything!

Utilize your camera’s brain. Unless you’ve done training on using a camera in manual mode, learning what auto settings are available are going to be your best tool. I specifically purchased my Samsung Note 8 because I liked the options it had as a camera. Get to know everything about your camera and you will inherently learn how to take better photos!

Use apps to improve your photos before uploading. I suggest Facetune, Pixlr Express, Handy Photo, and PicsArt. I’ll show you how to use them in detail in my training! Facetune is great for polishing up portraits, while I use Pixlr for cropping, adding text, and basic color correction. I use Handy Photo for the amazing magic crop feature, as well as making my backgrounds have that studio feel. Seriously, this app has so much power! It’s like Photoshop on my phone. Try them out!

Six: Eliminate ghost followers
While it might really stink to intentionally make your follower count go down, it is actually imperative to building an engaged, organic community. Plants need pruning to grow to their best potential. Your community is the same way. Spam account, ghost followers, or automated accounts that never engage with you are actually harmful to your engagement percentages, which ultimately tells instagram that your content isn’t that interesting to your followers. And then it decides that it won’t be that interesting to new people, too! Yikes! Culling disengaged followers is an imperative step to keeping your community to members who enjoy in what you have to offer.

That’s it for part one of my Fifteen Tips for Instragram Growth! Be sure to subscribe for part two and three, and join my facebook group for the free intensive training to make your instagram rock!

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Hit Your Goals

A fellow military spouse asked a question about goal setting in our facebook group, and I got so excited, my reply turned into nearly a novel! (Sorry, fellow milspo!) So instead of giving everyone a novella reply,  I kept it to the bullet points and decided to share the rest here! (P.S. If you want a supportive place of fun, positivity, and pretty things, come join us!)

1.) Know your goals!

 
If you have nothing as your goal, you’ll hit it every time! Good goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound.
 
  • Be specific. This works for fitness, work, house cleaning, ANYTHING! For example: If you want to hurt less and have more energy, be specific, ex: “I want to be able to play with my children without losing a breath. I want to be able to lay down to sleep without needing painkillers.” Are you in the blogging world? Trying to make a break into social media influence? What about, “I want to create an organic community/following of 1,000.”
 
  • Make them measurable! Something that you can track. Start easy. I’m always running gung-ho into things, and end up hurting more than helping myself. So take it easy!
 
  • Make it relevant. Use what matters to YOU, not to anyone else. If you want to lose a pant size or two, that’s great, but why? Why do you want 1000 followers? Make your goal matter.
 
  • Give yourself a time limit. “I want to be able to lay down to sleep without needing painkillers in two months,” or, “I want a community of 1000 organic followers by December 31st.”
 
2.) Try something new. If you’ve been avoiding working out because its, well, boring (guilty!) then ask about something new to switch it up. Don’t be afraid to ask. Everyone there wants you to succeed! Feel stuck in a writing rut? Try writing a genre you’ve never done before. Give yourself a wacky makeover. Try learning a new makeup technique from YouTube. 
 
3.) Get a battle buddy. Going to the gym is always more fun if you have a buddy, plus, you have built in accountability. This is one of the essential facets of being successful. In the blogging industry? Get yourself a blogging partner who can keep you accountable! When you can learn together and share ideas of what works and what doesn’t, you can build each other up – and helping people succeed is extremely energizing and inspiring for yourself! Give it a try! (If you need help finding someone that shares similar goals as you, you can search Facebook for interests groups! And feel free to join ours – you are welcome!) 
 
4.) Keep track of what you do. Write in a workout journal what you do each time you go to the gym, find something that works in your blog, facebook group, etc. For working out, I record my reps, weight, and sets. Since I started almost six months ago seriously, I’ve maxed out one of the machines! When it comes to blogging or social media, there are helpful apps and tools that can show you what you’ve done and what’s working. However you document your progress, be sure to check it regularly. It is so cool to see where I started, and it gives you motivation. When you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, it’s so cool to look and see that, yes, you CAN jog most of that ten minutes without blowing your heart rate through the roof, and YES, you consistently lift 10lbs more than when you started, and you actually DID make progress on your follower goal – GO YOU!

Psst! If something seems too daunting to start, break it down in smaller chunks. Don’t be afraid to give yourself “room to grow.” Give yourself permission to not be perfect and hit your goal all of the time. Calculate human error. Whatever you want to call it, leave room in your schedule for not doing anything. If you miss a goal, you have built in room to catch up! And if you don’t need to use the day, you can choose to use it to get ahead or take it easy and rest to reward your hard work. It’s up to you! 

 
5.) Most importantly, HAVE FUN! When it comes right down to it, we never do anything we don’t really want to. So work with your brain and your emotions and find something that seems fun. Do that dance workout. Share what really matters to you. Find what you want and pursue it.

What goals do you have your heart set on?