Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to use up the last few dollars on American Express, MasterCard or Visa Gift Cards on

Amazon-LogoI don’t know about you but sometimes the AmEx, MC or Visa gift cards can be tricky to use. You have to make sure that your total is at or below the gift card limit to use it otherwise it will reject the charge (you can’t just add additional payment after). In the past I will give them $10 or something to pay for the additional but then I’m left with $1.33 or $3.72 on a card and then it sits in my wallet forever!

I finally thought of a way to use them today! I had a $25 gift card and a few other little cards that I needed to finish off and my total was just above $25 so the one gift card wasn’t big enough :( . My first thought was, “I need to write to Amazon to tell them to let you use multiple payment methods” and then I thought, “duh, it will let you do that with a gift card!” So here it is (in case you were like me and holding on to various cards that you didn’t want to throw away but hadn’t used).

1) Look at the back of your gift card(s) and follow the directions to find out the balance (either a website or a phone call will tell you).

2) Go to (you might be able to do this on other retailers if they let you pick your own amount).

3) Enter in the amount (I did one for $1.33 and it was just fine) and send it to yourself (I know, I’m so nice!). Repeat for as many cards as you’d like.

4) Refresh your email and it should have two emails, one saying that you ordered a gift card and one with the delivery of your e-gift card! Click where it says Redeem Now and continue to to do so.


5) Click Apply to Your Account (even if you’re not ready to use it the same day; it will just keep it safe for you there!) Repeat with additional gift cards to add to the balance (I bought three gift cards so I did this three times!)


6) When you’re ready to use it you can select it from your payment methods – if you put it in before you’ll have to “change payment type” and then on the next screen it is at the bottom of the payment methods under gift card or promotional balance. If your gift card balance doesn’t cover the total then select an additional bank card or payment method to cover the rest. As long as your over $25 and bought from (it will say eligible for Prime) you’ll get free shipping too! :)

Thanks for saving my wallet from all of these gift cards with almost nothing left! :) And thank you UPS and FedEx for delivering my packages! :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reunited: A long, lost cousin :)

Life passes quickly and growing up we always lived “far away” from our cousins all of which lived in another state. We usually got to see them once or twice a year but it was not anything like what my boys have with cousins close by. We still enjoyed our time with them but as we all grew up and went to college and got married we weren’t able to stay in touch as easily until…FACEBOOK! :) My cousin Crista reached out to my Dad on Facebook and the rest of us found her too! It was fun to see her family and get to know her kids via Facebook but we got to reconnect when she visited this past week!

We had lots of fun hanging out and spent all day Saturday playing at Grandma’s house with her. They went to church with us on Sunday and then my siblings came over to eat Sunday dinner at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and the kids played, and played, and played. All of the cousins had a great time!

We got to extend our fun with them since we still have our Disneyland passes for a few more months! We met them on Tuesday with the Repetti’s and had a blast! And we were crazy and went again on Thursday! We got to go on some of our favorite rides and also see/do a lot of things that were new for us! What a busy and fun week! The boys really enjoyed playing with their kiddos Hannah (8), Emily(6), Nathan (4) and Natalie (9 months). We’ll definitely keep this friendship going!

Thanks Crista and James for taking a chance with the Driggs Family! We loved having you and loved playing with you! :)

Here are a few (ha) pictures (I had fun taking them!) :)

Nathanael James (5) and Nathan James (4)IMG_0643

Natalie (10) and Natalie (9 months)


My nieces/cousins with their spoils (sharing Auntie Allie’s old costume jewelry)  :)


Nathan and Danny reminded me so much of each other! I kept getting them mixed up from behind! They liked the same toys and were the same height.


Two fun sisters Hannah and Emily!


Meeting Donald at California Adventure


More cousins! :)


Thanks to Natalie’s early growth spurt these two look like twins even though they’re 22 months apart! Cameron (12) and Natalie (10)


Cameron, James and baby Natalie


Ashley (6) and Carrie


Toy Story Mania; part of our party of 13? :)


Anyone want to ride a tractor with these beauties?


We even got to see World of Color; it was beautiful although a bit long!


Danny was rarely found not holding onto Hannah’s hand!


The 5-7 range kids!


Cousins! :) Yes, even moms have cousins!


Nathan and his Daddy James


We even got on Soarin’ over California just before closing time! :)


At the end of the day (fourth for them, second for us!) The kids were exhausted! I did giggle as I thought about the age spread in this picture we had one of each 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. :) No wonder they had so much fun!


I’ll have to upload more to smugmug (link coming soon!) :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

LA Zoo with four escapees, I mean kids!

IMG_0435We got lots of nice presents for Christmas but I think that one of the most creative ones was Aunt Becky’s gift: tickets to go to the zoo with her and a special backstage pass to see the gorillas, chimps and orangutans.

We woke up and packed the boys up one brisk morning on our last Friday of Christmas vacation. They were so excited to go! We got there a little early (oops) but it gave us a IMG_0447great parking spot and we were first in line to get tickets! Woo hoo! We got in at 10am and went to the California Condor Discovery Zone; we could have stayed there a long time! There were condor wings to put on, giant eggs and carcasses to climb in, and the boys favorite part, a lab. There they could read and learn about them, perform surgery with all of the tools, feed babies and look at x-rays. You wouldn’t have been able to tell by their faces that they were pretending—it was real to them!

IMG_0575Then we visited the LAIR which they loved which were all of the reptiles, amphibians, insects and lizards! They love all of those types of animals! Ben’s favorites were the fish. Sam loves the snakes and the other boys agreed! We also saw a giraffes, flamingos, alligators and meerkats before heading to our special behind-the-scenes time with Aunt Becky and Leann! We got to see (but not get too close, they are strong with long arms) the chimps, the orangutans and gorillas. They were fun to see up close!

IMG_0584Later we got to see koalas, condors (real ones this time), wallabies, black bears, elephants and much much more. We were exhausted by the time we left and so were the animals…it was almost 5 pm and the sun was going down and they were all heading in as it got cooler and cooler outside.

It was a fun day! Thanks Aunt Becky! And thanks Uncle Eric and Aunt Addie for going the same day! We all loved it! :)



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