Amazon Makes Me Smile

amazon smile picIf you follow my blog, you already know that I’m obsessed with Amazon. Believe it or not, my obsession has grown just a little bit more. One of the things I quietly appreciate about Amazon is that they don’t use their profits to support any organization that I would not want to support. They have been criticized for their lack of philanthropic efforts, but, while I would certainly encourage a little philanthropy, it’s so refreshing to know that I don’t have to worry about what my money is inadvertently supporting when I shop with them. Now, they have taken that refreshment a step further by allowing me to determine what charitable contributions result from my purchases. I simply love this idea!

A member of my homeschooling group at church and an amazon.com employ sent out the following email to our group this week:

Hello all,

I just wanted to pass along this opportunity for you to support charities through your use of Amazon.com. Amazon recently announced a program whereby Amazon will make donations to your selected charity based on your purchases (MANY Catholic charities are listed). Instead of shopping through amazon.com, use smile.amazon.com. Once you have logged in you can search and select a charity to support. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.

(FYI – Local Catholic Radio, GRN 910AM, is part of La Promesa Foundation in Midland, TX so selecting La Promesa would directly support Catholic Radio in North Texas. )

Let me know if you have any questions.

—–

p.s. In the
interest of full disclosure, I do work for Amazon.com.

How cool is that?? Whatever your pet project may be, you can support it with your regular purchases. I think this is brilliant. And, while it certainly is possible that this initiative may fund projects or organizations I don’t agree with, at least I know those projects and organizations aren’t technically getting any of my money. Perhaps it’s splitting hairs, but it makes me happy nonetheless. Happy shopping!

A Little Tribute to Amazon Prime

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This is what was delivered from Amazon today. I’ve been wearing out our sweet delivery guy since I started Christmas shopping last month.

Can I just take a moment to say: I LOVE AMAZON PRIME!!!

Seriously. I’m completely head over heels, infatuated, obsessed, and in love. I’ve had a membership since June and, every time I log in to Amazon, I fall more in love with Prime.

I know some people complain about the streaming video selection, but I originally got it for the free two day shipping, so the free instant video is just an added bonus for me. And what a fabulous bonus that is since it allowed me to discover Downton, the television love of my life!

So, why exactly do I love Amazon Prime?

  1. In general, Amazon is organized, reliable, and available to me 24/7.
  2. Two day shipping…and sometimes even faster! The Christmas presents I ordered LAST NIGHT at like 9:00 PM arrived on my doorstep TODAY around lunchtime.
  3. DOWNTON ABBEY!!!
  4. Free shipping. I seriously detest paying for shipping. That may be illogical or irrational or unfair, but it is what it is. If I can’t get free shipping, I’m probably going to go find the same product somewhere else. If you charge me shipping, you better have an absolutely unbeatable, rock-bottom price or offer me some amazing gift with purchase. Otherwise, I’m going somewhere else where my spoiled shipping desires will be accommodated.
  5. No games. I don’t have to mess with all of that price slashing, free gift stuff. Amazon is simple and straight-forward.
  6. Streaming videos through the Wii.
  7. Lots of free kiddie shows that keep my kiddos occupied when I desperately need to clean something, cook something, or take a shower.
  8. I don’t have to freak out when I forget to order my text books until the week before class starts. They’ll be here in 2 days!
  9. Earlier this year, I planned a lesson for our coop and decided to use a Dr. Seuss book that we didn’t already have. I could have loaded all the kids in the van, driven to Barnes and Noble, and wrestled with them in the store while they repeatedly said, “Mommy, look at this! Mommy, look at this! Mommy, can we get this??” But, instead, I jumped on Amazon, previewed the book to make sure it was actually going to meet my needs, ordered it, and it arrived in plenty of time before I was scheduled to teach.
  10. With the above coop lesson, I actually planned to use a different book, but, because I could see a preview, I realized I didn’t want that book, and chose the Dr. Seuss book, which couldn’t have been more perfect for the lesson.
  11. Amazon has everything. And usually for a really good price. I buy almost everything from Amazon these days: gifts, household items, school stuff, you name it. (The only thing I don’t regularly get from Amazon is clothes. Their clothes are rarely the best deal I can find.)
  12. The convenience of online shopping. Sure, this isn’t exclusive to Amazon, but I love shopping online. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if they weren’t an online retailer.
  13. Fun IMAX movies and other documentaries in their instant library. Andy’s been learning about the composition of the Earth. Today, after he finished his formal science lesson, he got to watch Ring of Fire, an IMAX documentary about volcanoes. He loved it, and it required no cost or effort on my part.
  14. I am completely finished with my Christmas shopping! I never had to set foot in a store, wait in line, and I feel extremely confident that I got great deals on everything I purchased. Now, I can sit back, enjoy Thanksgiving, and, then, have a joyous Advent, preparing my heart and home for the birth of the Savior. I credit Amazon (at least in part) for my ability to have a proper Advent, rather than rushing around getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of  material Christmas preparation.
  15. Amazon has never, ever let me down. My packages are never poorly packaged. They are always on time. They always under-promise and over-deliver.

Ok, so a lot of the reasons aren’t specific to Prime, they’re available to all Amazon customers. But, Amazon definitely knew what they were doing by offering Prime memberships. Since I got my membership, I use Amazon waaay more than I ever did in the past. I pay them for an annual membership that has led me to shop with them more. And I couldn’t be happier about it! Each time I shop with them, they impress me, which only solidifies my appreciation for and devotion to them. Way to go, Amazon. You’re brilliant and I love you!

Just A Little Note

This is floating around facebook and I just LOVE it! It reminds me of one of my very first blog posts. I don’t know Fr. Martin. In fact, I’ve never even heard of him. But his lovely post made me realize I was on to something way back when. I only briefly followed through, but I think it’s time to revisit that little idea. My originally proposed 10 notes is a little ambitious for my current state in life. However, considering the fact that all of my thank you notes from Leila’s birth remain unwritten, a small start will still be a tremendous improvement over my current approach. I think I’ll start with just one note a week. It’s manageable, obtainable, and, hopefully, the start of a really good habit.

“If Pope Francis can take time out of his unbelievable schedule to write a handwritten note to someone he’s never met, then I can surely find time to express my gratitude more fully to others. Getting a note today from the Pope did something strange to me: It made me want to be more generous. Friends had told me that the Pope rises early (someone said before 5 a.m.) and I imagine him sitting at his desk in his little room, writing many notes to a variety of people. And I thought of how stingy I can be with my own time. Maybe you feel something of the same when you see this note. (By the way, you’ll see that the Pope even took the time to neatly address the envelope.)

Bottom line: If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.”

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A handwritten letter from Pope Francis to Fr. James Martin, SJ, a priest he does not know.

A handwritten letter from Pope Francis to Fr. James Martin, SJ, a priest he does not know.

Notice the Pope’s signature! :) (By the way, in the comments of the original picture, Fr. Martin gave permission for these photos to be shared. He wasn’t concerned that his mailing address was visible.)

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32Based on the amount of times this video has appeared in my newsfeed – and the “Bahahaha!! THIS IS SO FUNNY…because it’s TRUE!” comments that accompany it – it seems like this little parody has really struck a chord with women in their early thirties. I really have no idea why. Other than her love of cheese and her dental procrastination (neither of which is new to my thirties) I can’t relate to it at all. Does this mean I’m out of touch with the average woman my age? Maybe so. And if that is what it means, I have never been so grateful to be out of touch. Are most women out there really this bored and boring? So frustrated, yet so satisfied with their monotony? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud. I understand that is supposed to be funny. I just don’t think it is. In fact, I thought it was pretty darn depressing.

Despite tedious moments, my life is exciting and wonderful. A new adventure every day. Like the the lady in the video, I may not want more than one drink when I go out, but that’s because I have too much to live for the next day to be confined to the couch with a headache. I, too, love my sweatpants, but that’s because I’ve reached a point of personal liberation in which I don’t care if I’m stylish or not. I, too, am somewhat of a recluse, but that’s becasue nothing outside of my home can hope to compare to the value of what I have within. So I guess I’m just trying to say: I don’t get it. And I’m glad I don’t.

Technology Never Ceases to Amaze Me

Simply amazing. It gives me an even deeper appreciation for set designers and, yes, even a little more respect for actors too. :)