Not Just For Scrapping!

One thing I love about knowing my way around Photoshop Elements is that I can use it for all sorts of things, not just scrapping and editing!

Inspired by Young House Love and their fun Photoshop skills used for decorating, I decided to give it go as we started to plan out our camper renovation.

But let me back up. Back in June, our family purchased a 1972 vintage hard-sided pop up. Isn’t she cute? And no, we didn’t paint the gas cylinders like that, they came that way 😉

We LOVE our camper. She is in great condition, both in and out, but we aren’t too thrilled with how she looks on the outside. I want something much cuter as I roll into campgrounds!

However, we’ve never fixed up a camper and we don’t really know what we are doing. We know that first and foremost, we want to paint the exterior. That brown is beyond ugly. But it’s not like we can just slap some paint on and call it done. We don’t even know for sure what color we want.

So, I decided to bring my photo into PSE and play around. Better to paint when you have Ctrl Z at your disposal!

In order to play around with the color, I used my magnetic lasso tool and quickly worked around the edges of the brown. I then went and cleaned up the selection a bit with my quick selection tool. I wasn’t aiming for perfection, just good enough to help me get a decent outline.

I then used my hue/saturation slider to try different colors.

This final blue was something of what I was looking for. I like the look of it and think that with some other pops of color, this could be perfect!

Next, adding color!

I knew that I wanted a good indoor/outdoor carpet for the outside and spent some time looking for the perfect one. I found it!

In order to see what it looked like with the camper, I dragged it onto my photo.

With the carpet layer selected, I used the transform tools to make it look a little more natural on the photo. To do this, press Ctrl/Cmd while you click and drag the corners of the layer. This allows you to skew the perspective.

Next, I wanted something fun and girly. I found some cute flower pots and extracted them to add to my camper. Now, I don’t know if my husband would ever really put these up on a camper, but it was fun to play around with! Aren’t they cute?

Next, I wanted to add a pretty curtain to the window. I fell in love with this one (unfortunately, we actually bought this fabric for bedding and the colors weren’t as shown…they were much less bold and bright and instead, very muted and creamy).

I took this fabric and put in place so I could see what it looked like behind the window. Again, I wasn’t looking for perfection, just a rough idea.

Finally, I got rid of those stickers and sat back and admired my cute little would-be camper!

I don’t know what our final makeover will look like, but it sure is fun to play!


What about you? Do you use your photo editing program to plan home (or camper!) decorating?

QR Codes

If you have listened to this month’s Daily Digi Digest podcast, you’ll remember that Steph asked Peppermint about where she stores her videos that she put on her layouts via QR Codes. I had planned on sharing a bit more about QR Codes and thought that this would be a great time.

It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing QR Codes, but for those who might not be familiar, here’s the simple definition.

“A machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.”


On your phone or tablet, you can download a QR Code reader (there are free ones). Then, you just hold your phone up to the code and it will take you right to the URL that is embedded in the code.

When I first read about using QR codes on layouts (from a blog post by Traci Reed), I was instantly overwhelmed with the way that this could change and enhance scrapbooking.

Here are a few great ways to use QR Codes on layouts:

LINKING TO VIDEOS

YouTube clips

Personal videos

Tutorials

Fun commercials

LINKING TO WEBSITES

Recipes (such as my Ranch Turkey Burgers layout)

Blog posts (including comments)

Online manuals

Photo galleries (for example, if you had a family photo shoot and only put a few photos on your layouts, you could link to the whole session)

A few things to consider:

In the DDD podcast, Peppermint mentioned some of the issues with deciding where to store the videos. She recommends YouTube because it is the most likely place to keep the links forever. However, you could choose to direct the QR code to a place on your personal computer. Listen to the podcast for more thoughts on where to store the video/URL.

Technology is changing so fast that there is no guarantee that your codes will work forever. Remember this when you put them on your layouts. They are fun now and a great way to enhance your layouts but your grandkids may one day be very confused!


Here are a few great places to read more about using QR codes:

Capturing Magic: Easily Adding Videos to a Photo Book using QR Codes

Traci Reed Designs: Add Video to Your Project Life

Fabulously Artsy: More Fun With QR Codes

Happie Scrappie: Adding QR Code to Your Pages

Britt-Ish Designs: Using QR Codes in Your Digital Layouts

And here are some great examples of pages with QR Codes (all linked to source)

Let’s Talk Tech: What Type of Internet Connection Do You Have?

What Type of Internet Connection Do You Have?

I made the change from a DSL internet connection to fibre this week.

I’m not very techie, so I had to look up what these terms meant. According to Wikipedia, DSL stands for Digitial Subscriber Line, and it is:

a family of technologies that provide internet access by transmitting digital data using a local telephone network which uses the Public switched telephone network. … DSL service is delivered simultaneously with wired telephone service on the same telephone line. This is possible because DSL uses higher frequency bands for data. On the customer premises, a DSL filter on each non-DSL outlet blocks any high frequency interference, to enable simultaneous use of the voice and DSL services.

I had my DSL Internet connection for about 10 years and it was a definite improvement over our dial-up connection from the 1990s.

With DSL, I had a download speed of about 6 mega-bytes-per-second (mbps) and an upload speed of about 0.6 mbps. We could stream Netflix (but only one user at a time, reliably) and I used a cloud-based back-up system, but it was slow to upload so I ran it overnight. For a long time, DSL was the best option available in our area, so we were satisfied with what we had in terms of speed.

Last year, fibre optic internet was installed in my neighbourhood. We finally took the plunge and subscribed this week. Again, Wiki says that fibre communication, “is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of light through an optical fibre.” Sounds impressive — my new Internet plan is supposed to have up to 15 mbps to download and 10 mbps to upload. We subscribe to an unlimited data plan because we stream TV and Netflix and use cloud-based back-up.

It’s too soon to say how fibre will change our Internet habits, but I anticipate more Netflix streaming, backing-up more, and streaming more music.

Now I’m curious:

What type of Internet connection do you have at home? Do you have monthly data caps? Does your speed or data limit impact your digital scrapbooking?

PS – If you don’t know your actual data speed, you can go to your Internet Service Provider web site where they’ll usually have a speed test, or use an independent speed test site like SpeedTest.net.

Downloading YouTube Videos

While we were living in Indonesia, our internet came from the school where my husband worked. There was a tower at the school and a tower on the roof of our house, and the signal was beamed from tower to tower (technology still amazes me!) It was a great setup because it meant free internet for us, but it did come with some setbacks.

The two biggest problems were that it was slow and that we had to live with the school firewall settings. The settings blocked many sites during school hours, and this included YouTube. It was frustrating at times.

And then I found a solution. Maybe this is common knowledge but it was new to me: you can download YouTube videos! And although I am back in the States with great internet, it is actually a very useful bit of knowhow. I can let the kids watch things without them having access to the internet. I can put videos on my tablet to watch in the car. I can save videos for later. It’s really handy!

First, find the video you want to download. For our example, I am using my video Making a Template Work for You.

Go up to the web address and type “ss” after the www. and before youtube.com


Then click return.


It will bring you to a screen that looks like this:

On the right you will see the download links. There is a button that says MORE. If you click that, you can see all the options you have for downloading. Choose the one you want, tell the site where to save it, and done! Now you’ll be able to watch all of your favorite youtube videos anytime you want, without an internet connection.

Automating Your Mac: Sorting With Hazel

SUPPLIES: Next Step and Helpful by HeatherT.


Today we’re talking about Hazel, an automation program for Macs! Hazel is pretty amazing in what it can do. It takes a little brain power to wrap your head around the commands, but once you do, it can really do a lot of automation work for you! Let’s take a look at how to use Hazel to move files from your download folder to your supplies folder, unzip them, and combine them by kit into one master folder. (NOTE: This workflow will not work on every download, but since most designers name their files by designername_kitname, we can harness that to our advantage.) Let’s get started!

  1. Install the trial or full version of Hazel.
  2. Once installed, Hazel will add a broom icon to your menu bar.

  3. Click the Hazel icon and choose STOP HAZEL so that nothing is running in the background while we are still working. Then click it again and choose OPEN HAZEL. This will bring up Hazel in the System Preferences panel. You can also get there by clicking System Preferences and then Hazel.
  4. Hazel works by first identifying a folder to watch, and then adding individual rules to that folder. Because I download directly to my desktop, my first rule had to be created for my Desktop folder. So, click the PLUS icon and select the folder where your downloads are saved to.

  5. Now, look in the rules section to the right and click the PLUS button to add a new rule. Let’s name the rule Unzip. Then, change the settings so it reads:

If ANY of the following conditions are met

EXTENSION IS zip

Do the following to the matched file or folder:


UNARCHIVE
MOVE to folder: SUPPLIES (This folder is where you store your digifiles)

Click OK.

Now we need to run an new rule on our Supplies folder.

  1. Under folders, click PLUS and choose the Supplies folder.
  2. Add a new Rule and name it CombineKitFolders. Change the settings so it reads:


If ALL of the following conditions are met:
KIND IS FOLDER (Click + to add another rule)

DATE ADDED IS AFTER DATE LAST MATCHED (Click + to add another rule)

NAME MATCHES

Here it gets a little complex. It brings up a window where you need to create a custom variable. So, click the
CUSTOM • button. Name the Custom pattern designername_kitname. In the next box, click to add Word abc, then Symbols %?@, then Word abc. Click DONE.

You get popped back to the Custom dialog where • designername_kitname now appears. We then need to add Anything … to the formula.

What we’ve done is told Hazel to look for folders that have the same text like the designer name (abc) followed by the same symbol like _ or – (%?@) followed by the kit name (abc), followed by any other text that doesn’t have to match. Brilliant, right? Click DONE again.

Now, let’s finish the rule. We need to tell Hazel what to do once it finds the matching filenames. Change the last section so it says:

SORT INTO SUBFOLDER with pattern • designername_kitname (when you click the last box, choose the custom pattern we created earlier)

This tells Hazel to create a new folder named abc symbol abc (hopefully designername_kitname) and put all the other matching folders inside it.

Click OK.

Now it’s time to turn the Hazel rules on.

  1. Make sure that CombineKitFolders is checked to be turned on.
  2. Go to the Desktop folder and turn on Unzip.
  3. Then go to the Hazel icon and choose START HAZEL.


To test, download several zip files from the same designer to your downloads folder and watch as Hazel unzips it, deletes the original zip, moves the folders to the supplies folder, and combines them into one folder like magic.

If you have a kit that is in only one download, you may get an extra folder which you can remove later. But the vast majority of my purchases come with more than one download.

I’m now addicted to Hazel! Here are some other ways we can use Hazel.

  • Resize images for the web by associating them with an action in Photoshop and automatically upload them to an FTP. You’ll need to learn how to save an action as a droplet to do that. (Go to FILE>AUTOMATE>CREATE DROPLET and choose your action to save an “app” version of the action to your computer. You can then point Hazel to run that “app.”)
  • Monitor the downloads folder for music files, import them into iTunes and move them over to a backup folder.
  • Archive layouts over 30 days old by moving them to the EHD.
  • Color-code or tag files that have not been opened in a specified period of time and either move, backup or delete them.
  • Monitor digi supplies folder and move any kits that have not been opened in the past year to EHD.


Do you have Hazel? How do you use it? Share your recipes in the comments!

Time for a Password Manager

Title graphic made using the WordSwag app

Being a digital scrapbooker inherently means working on a computer and the vast majority of us purchase digital supplies on-line. We have scrapbooking store accounts to purchase supplies, gallery/forum accounts to share with our community, banking accounts to make purchases, and an email account is necessary to create all of the other accounts. Many of us also participate in our hobby through social accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We save our favourite pages on accounts at pages like Pinterest and SpringPad and ScrapStacks. All of this makes up the on-line world where we participate in the digital scrapbooking community.

Need a Password Manager

So, given how much of what I do that is online, I followed the news about the Heartbleed vulnerability with interest, but a bit of confusion. I heard we all needed to change our passwords to virtually every web site we use – but that we needed to make sure that each individual web site we use was secure first, because otherwise the password would have to be reset again. I have a lot (a lot!) of log-ins and passwords and this news made my head spin. Just think about all of the sites that you use on a regular basis:

  • Web-based email
  • Social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.)
  • Banking and PayPal
  • Merchant accounts (any store you’ve ever created an account for – including all of your favourite digi scrapbooking sites)
  • Utility accounts (including your mobile plan provider)
  • Library account
  • Clubs and membership accounts
  • Paid subscription accounts

I probably have over 50+ accounts and passwords to manage.

Realizing that I had to update all of my accounts was the push I needed to find an automated solution. A password manager is a software tool that maintains all your passwords and allows you to log in with one single Master Password. Given that, it makes sense that the Master Password had better be a good one — very strong and impossible to guess.

I knew I wanted a password manager that could support a few important features:

  • Two level authentication support via Google Authentication – This simply means that to log in, you need something you know (the Master Password) and something you have (a secondary number randomly generated via the Google Authentication application on your phone).
  • Support for both my desktop computer and mobile phone.

I researched password managers at a few of my favourite sites:

LastPass

For me, it seemed like LastPass Premium ($12/year) would be the best option because it had all of the features I needed and could be used to manage passwords across my devices.

I downloaded the free version from their web site and installed it using the executable file provided. It took just a couple of minutes to install on my computer and add an extension onto my web browser. I then updated to the Premium account via the LastPass web site and downloaded the LastPass Premium app for my iPhone from the Apple Store.

I already had the Google Authenticator on my iPhone, but it is available for free download from the Apple Store. It was straight-forward to connect my LastPass account with the Google Authenticator.

The LastPass software automatically imported all of my passwords and usernames from my browser into the LastPass Vault. I took a few minutes to organize my passwords in the vault into folders (e.g. Scrapbooking Sites, Social Media Accounts, Physical Stores, etc.) because the list was very long. I also moved a few passwords into a Shared Family Folder. This allows other LastPass accounts that I approve to be connected to access those passwords and is useful for family accounts to Netflix and billing accounts (like a home Cable account or Hydro account, for example).

LastPass offers a security check where it reviews all of your existing accounts and passwords and scores them according to whether or not they are unique and how strong they are. For any with flagged weaknesses, I was able to quickly go in and use the LastPass random password generator to create really strong passwords.

Time Will Tell

It’s only been a short while that I’ve had a password manager installed, but I’m already feeling more organized and secure. I’m hopeful this will put me in a good place to minimize any losses of my personal information when the next big bug is found, or when the next store is hacked.

How do you manage all of your passwords right now? Do you feel secure?

1Password

Like Heddy, when the Heartbleed announcement came out, I knew it was time to head over to 1Password to make sure that my passwords were updated. I started using 1Password a year or two ago to manage my passwords, but I
was lax in making sure that every password was unique and as secure as
it could be.

1Password is available for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS. They also have a Mac/Windows bundle if you need to sync to different systems. And, they offer a family pack. They are really good at offering upgrades and they recently added a new feature to check your logins against sites affected by Heartbleed so you know to update them.

Why I like 1Password:

1) They have multiple “vaults” allowing you to share the passwords you choose with other family members or coworkers.

2) They have browser extensions that will auto-fill websites for you.

3) The iOS version has a built-in web browser for easily opening and logging into sites with a tap.

4) You can sync in multiple ways, including wi-fi and dropbox.

5) Your password database files are encrypted and cannot be unencrypted without your master password.

6) It comes with a password generator for easily creating a variety of types of passwords, in any length.

7) The browser extensions allow you to log into a site and automatically save the login to your vault.

8) I can organize my passwords by folders, as well as flag favorites that I need to access often.

9) It has a security audit built in to show you passwords that have not been changed recently, those that are used on more than one account, and those that are considered weak.

10) 1Password supports many types of accounts including logins, credit cards, email and ftp accounts and even notepad notes.

1Password has been a huge help in updating all my passwords. It took a few hours to sort them all out, but now I know if any one password is compromised, I can quickly and easily change that one.

Automating Your Mac: UnZipping

CREDITS: Damaged Goods by Kim Jensen; Stringbats7 (Arrows) by KimJensen; Travelbug (papers) by Digilicious; Font: Veteran Typewriter.

After a recent Digi Show (Episode 122: It’s The Mac Daddy) discussion on unzipping files automatically, I went in search of an automated solution for my mac. Until now, I’ve always downloaded my zip files to my desktop, then manually moved them to my Supplies folder where I would unzip them. I’d sort by file type, then select all the zip files at once and double-click. When using Mac’s built-in unzip option (Archive Utility), this often leaves the zip files behind, requiring they be deleted manually when the unzip is complete.

Eventually, I upgraded to Stuff-It expander to unzip my files. It has a preference that has the program delete the zip files when it’s done unzipping. It also has some other great features, like unzipping all zips within
subfolders, and creating a folder to hold the unzipped files if they
were not zipped within a folder to begin with.

In exploring the zip preferences, I also found an option for setting a watched folder.

Stuff-it will automatically unzip anything added to the watched folder. If you use Stuff-it expander, you can also set Stuffit as the default application for a variety of different file types like zip, rar, sit, etc. While Stuff-It for creating archives is a paid program, Stuff-It Expander is free!


But, what if you don’t want to install Stuff-it, and you still want to auto-unzip? You’re not out of luck. Mac ships with Automator already installed. Automator allows you to create workflows or actions that you can run on files and folders on your mac when certain conditions are met. You can very easily set up Automator to watch your desktop or supplies folder, unzip your files with Apple’s Archive Utility. It’s easy if you know what goes where in the program. Let’s follow step by step to create a new Automator Workflow.

1) Launch Automator from Applications.

2) Choose FILE>NEW and select FOLDER ACTION from the pop up window.

3) On the top right, click the drop down menu next to “Folder Action
receives files and folders added to” and change it to the folder where
your zip files download. For most, it’s probably your Downloads folder.
For me, it’s my Supplies folder.

4) Next we’re going to start building our action workflow. In the search bar on the top left, type Filter Finder Items and when that option comes up, drag it from the second column into the workflow area to the right.

5) Change the drop down menus so it reads “Find files where ALL of the following are true: File Extension contains zip.”

6) Type Open Finder Items in the search bar and drag that step to the workflow so it is beneath the first step.

7) Set the options to Open with: Default Applications.

8) Search for Get Folder Contents and drag it to the bottom of the workflow. If you want to ensure it runs on all subfolders, you can check Repeat for each subfolder.

9) Search for Filter Finder Items and add it to the bottom of the workflow.

10) Set the drop down menus to read, “Find files where: ALL of the following are true: Name contains zip.

11) Search for Move Finder Items to Trash and add it to the end of the workflow.

12. Now it’s time to save the Folder Action. Go to File>SaveAs and name it. I called mine UnzipFromSupplies so I know what it does. Once it’s saved, it should work automatically.

Now, add a zip file to your watched folder. It should be unzipped, leaving a folder behind, and the zip file should be in the trash. Be patient. It can take a couple minutes to recognize that you added a file.

This brought me to a new thought. What if I could get my computer to not only unzip the file, but also move it from my desktop to my supplies folder and then recognize when more than one zip file has the same designer/kit name and consolidate them into one folder? I’ll be back to next month to share my solution!

NOTE: If you want to backup or delete your Automator Folder actions, you can do so by going into your user library folder (hold in the option key while in the finder and click GO>LIBRARY). Then choose ~/Library/Workflows/Applications/

Moving to a New Computer

My computer was five years old and starting to give me signs that it was on its way out. Rather than wait for it to fail entirely, I decided to go ahead and get a new computer. After some browsing, I picked up a new PC — 2 TB hard drive 128 GB solid state drive, and 12 GB RAM (expandable to 32 GB), and with 10 USB ports. I brought it home and couldn’t wait to set it up!

But first, I had to get all of the stuff off of my old computer and onto my new one. It was a daunting task! With a little planning, it all worked out and I’m typing this on my new machine.

Here are a few tips I learned for making a relatively painless move to a new computer:

One Last Virus Scan

My first step was to run a full virus scan on the old computer before moving its contents to the new computer. Better safe than sorry!

Take Notes

For my computer move, I created a file in Google Drive to track everything on my old machine. I listed the:

  • Name of every program
  • License numbers for all the programs
  • Any user account names and passwords for programs (like Adobe)

I colour-coded all the software that I could just download again (e.g. Photoshop CC, Norton Anti-Virus, etc.) because I have a user account and the company offers extended downloads. For all others, I made a point of copying all of the files associated with it so that I could move it to my new computer.

Then I created a list of important files that I absolutely didn’t want to forget to copy. Here was my Do Not Forget list:

  • Fonts
  • Photoshop Actions, Styles, Brushes, Scripts, etc.
  • Lightroom Presets
  • iTunes library of music and media
  • Purchased eBooks
  • My Documents
  • Scrapbooking layered files

Of course, I also did not want to forget my photos and digital scrapbooking supplies, but I’ll discuss those below because I manage them in a different way than other files.

Check the Back-ups

I back up remotely to BackBlaze, as well as to an external hard drive (EHD). I spot checked that my back-ups were in good order before I started moving any files. I didn’t want to risk losing anything! Once I was sure that the back-ups were okay, I turned off my back-up software so that it would all remain safe when I started the process of copying and moving my documents to my new machine.

EHDs are your friend

My photo library is just over 600 GB in size and my digital scrapbooking supplies folder is almost 300 GB so I store these an external hard drive that is mirrored to another external hard drive. That means that I didn’t have to move all that data to my new computer — I just plugged the EHDs into my new machine and they were ready to use.

For all of my other files (listed above), I copied them in their original folders to one of my EHDs.

Shut Down the Old Computer and Set Up the New Computer

The fun part! This is a great opportunity to tidy up cords and get them neatly organized.

My new computer had a set-up wizard that walked me through setting up my user account, wireless internet, and warranty registration.

Start With the Programs

The first thing I did was set up every program that I wanted on my machine.

As I did each one, I also moved over all of the associated files. So, as soon as I installed Photoshop, I also migrated all of PS actions, brushes, extensions, etc. and verified that it worked. I found doing it one-at-a-time like this kept me organized and let me make sure that one program was fully functional before moving on to the next.

I also chose to remove all of the programs and apps that I didn’t need at the same time, but that’s a matter of preference.

Once I had all of my programs installed or installed, I restarted my computer to let all changes take effect.

Move the Other Files

Next I went to my back-ups that I had moved to my EHD and I started moving the folders off of the EHD and onto my new computer. It’s a relatively straight-forward process.

Re-establish Back-up Service

Finally, I installed Backblaze on my new machine and followed the instructions on the site to transfer the back-up state to my computer. Basically, this transfers the license to my new computer and associates all of the backed up files from my old machine to my new one. It was easy to do.

Lessons

There were a few pleasant surprises in this computer changeover. I learned that my Google Chrome settings effortlessly migrated to my new computer as soon as I logged in. The same goes for Google Drive and Dropbox. That’s a big selling point for cloud storage for me. I won’t put everything on the cloud, but I know I’ll use the cloud for a lot more than I have in the past. (In fact, I drafted this post in Google Drive.)

I was also happy with how my digital supply tagging software, ACDSee, imported all of its embedded metadata. I didn’t lose any tagging which is good because I worked really hard to get a system that works for me – I’d hate to lose it!

Next Steps

Because my old computer was failing and is more than 5 years old, my next step will be taking it to a local company that does data destruction to wipe my old hard drive permanently before I get rid of it. Just deleting files does not mean that they are not recoverable by those with malicious intents. There is also software that you can purchase to wipe a hard drive, but the local company is competitively priced and my family has used their services before with good results.

Do you have any tips for anybody who will be changing computers soon?

I Love Amazon Prime

I know not everyone agrees, but I love Amazon Prime. Love it.

  • I was ten weeks pregnant with baby number six and was really, really sick. My husband and kids were away for the week and I was at home, without a car, craving butterscotch candy. Amazon Prime to the rescue.
  • We were moving back to the US after four years overseas and there were a lot of things I knew we would need right away. A printer, a camera, phones, kitchen gadgets, and more. I ordered before we flew back to American and my purchases were waiting for me when we got there.
  • We were traveling from North Carolina to Wisconsin for Christmas with my family. Our seven-seater mini-van was completely full with passengers and luggage. So, I had Amazon ship all of my gifts to my sister’s house.
  • We had some last minute room in our suitcases before flying to Cambodia and I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a Silhouette. We also needed shoes and a few last minute birthday gifts. Oh Amazon Prime, how I love thee.
  • I needed to send my family members Christmas gifts while we are living overseas. Amazon Prime made sure they arrived in time!

And on an on I could go….

Free 2-day shipping rocks my world.

And the free streaming of TV and movies doesn’t hurt either.



Here’s the gist of it:

  • For $79 a year, you get free 2-day shipping on most items. One day shipping is reduced to $3.99.
  • Unlimited streaming of over 40,000 television shows and movies
  • A free Kindle book to borrow each month
  • You can share your free 2-day shipping with members in the same household

Since Amazon sells almost everything, I can buy almost anything and have it waiting on my doorstep in two days. I’ve bought everything from candy to computer paper to knives to clothes. And I don’t have to leave my house. For me, the $79 is more than worth it. I am sure I save that much alone in shipping, but even more, I know that I save in other ways:

  • I save gas by not running to town to get things
  • I save time by shopping on Amazon rather than going around to multiple stores
  • I save money by being able to shop for just what I need and not being lured in by other things at the store
  • I save money by being able to read reviews instead of getting the first item I see and then not liking it
  • I save on not having to mail gifts (you can have items shipped anywhere and you can even pay to have them gift-wrapped)

There is also Amazon Student (6 months free and then 50% off!) and Amazon Mom (20% off diapers and wipes as well as other family products).

And no, I am not an affiliate…just a happy customer.


What about you? Have your tried Amazon Prime? Do you like it?