Affiliate Links

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What are affiliate links?

I love sharing the amazing products and services I discover with other caregivers. I love finding out about new things I never knew about and then I want to shout them from the rooftops. Most of the time, I receive no compensation from this. I just love to share what I love so I can potentially make some other caregivers life easier!

Some of the time, however, companies offer an affiliate program. This allows those who share about the product to receive compensation for purchases made through the referral.

Why affiliate links?

Personally, I spend the majority of my “Red Barn Basics Time” helping families without charging. I answer questions in texts, PMs and groups throughout the day every day.  Sometimes they are a simple question I answer regularly. Sometimes they are very specific individual questions that take a bit of research. I love to help caregivers and want to do what I can to make them feel safer, more comfortable, and empowered. Though I charge for my personalized services in your home, the majority of my time is helping families for free. Affiliate links do a bit to help offset that cost.

I never recommend a product simply because I receive compensation. Affiliate links are just an added bonus for me for a product I would recommend anyway! If you appreciate my services, I appreciate you supporting my affiliate links!

Some affiliate links for Red Barn Basics:

Baby Buddy Dental Care


*This doesn’t work in the app. But if you start by clicking here, any purchases in a browser will be credited to me.

Grocery Delivery
*See my post on this here

Shipt get $50 off your yearly membership
Instacart get $10 off your first order


Imperfect Produce

Get $10 off your first order.

Legs In, Legs Out, Froggy Legs, Oh My!

Head over to the Contours Community Blog to check out my post on newborn leg position in a baby carrier. I’d love to hear what you think!

Here are some examples of legs in and legs out in a variety of carrier types: 

buckleBuckle Carrier/SSC (Soft Structured Carrier)
*Every buckle carrier has different rules that must be followed. 

meh dai
Meh Dai
*Thanks to a friend and my mom for the use of these photos!

ring sling
Ring Sling

Woven wrap
Woven Wrap

XOXO Buckle Wrap

Comparing Grocery Delivery Services

RBB grocery delivery comparison

I had tried grocery delivery and pick up a few times but towards the end of my last pregnancy, it became our regular grocery shopping experience. We regularly used PeaPod because at the time, it was pretty much the only available option in the area. Over time, a lot more options have popped up and I have wanted to explore them to decide the best option for my family. I tried the Amazon 30 day trial at the end of 2017 and enjoyed the service, but ultimately canceled because our PodPass (PeaPod) is good through the end of March. We flew to visit my grandparents in California right after Christmas. At that time I used Instacart for the first time to have groceries delivered to their house the day before we arrived to make things a little smoother while traveling across the country with little ones. I have not yet tried the Jewel App, Shipt, or Marianos.

I decided to compare PeaPod, Instacart (at Jewel), Jewel itself, Marianos, Shipt (Meijer) and AmazonFresh because those are the ones currently available in my area. Instacart can deliver from Binny’s, Mariano’s, Jewel, Tony’s, Costco, CVS, and PetCo in my area. I chose to do Jewel so I could do a side by side comparison with the Jewel app itself.

I chose to compare 14 items that I have purchased before from PeaPod and AmazonFresh. I typically purchase organic options (which tend to be a bit pricier) and store brand whenever possible. When the same item was not available, I indicated if it was a different size or not organic so you could take the price difference reason into consideration. Interestingly, Instacart Jewel had different items available than the Jewel App.

*Marianos is not currently available in my area but it appears their services are spreading. The Mariano’s prices are for pick up at a store about 30 minutes away. 

PeaPod Instacart Jewel Jewel App Marianos Meijer Shipt Amazon Fresh
Organic Avocados Bag (3-4) $6.99 $9.27 (*not organic)
$6.87 (4 count) $5.79 $7.50
Organic Bananas (4-7) $2.99 $1.80 $1.40 $1.50 $3.29 (min 5) $2.99
Organic Spinach 5 oz $3.99 $3.69 $3.49 $2.99 $3.89 (50/50 mix) $3.65
Organic Pears Anjou $1.39 $1.48 (Bartlett Pears)
$0.86 $1.39 $1.39
Tyson Breaded chicken nuggets (25 oz) $8.99 $7.39 (20 oz) $6.99 (20 oz) $12.58 $9.09 $10.99
Organic Chicken $13.46
*sale price
$18.59 (*not organic)
$16.45 $21.45 $13.08
Organic Greek Yogurt 32 oz $3.99 $8.59 $3.50 $7.99 $4.69 $6.75
Organic Almond Milk $3.49 $4.38 (*not organic)
$4.99 (*not oraganic)
Organic Yogurt Squeeze $4.99 $3.69 (*not organic)
$4.29 $4.09 $3.99
Breyers Ice Cream $4.99 $6.09 $3.50 $4.00 $4.69 $4.49
Annie’s Mac andCheese Cups $2.99 none $3.99 $3.29 $3.19 $2.44
Pancake Sausages $8.99 $10.69 $8.99 $7.99 $8.69 $7.99
Kerrygold Butter $4.99 $4.29 $2.50 $3.99 $4.39 $3.29
Free Range Organic Eggs $4.39 $6.09 $4.99 $4.49 $6.29 $4.69
$76.63 $86.04* $58.52** $82.28 $84.22*** $75.83
*Instacart prices are NOT in store prices
**prices are in store prices
***Shipt says you will pay about $5 total more for your groceries than in store

Based on this comparison of 14 items, the price ranking from lowest to highest is:

Jewel app (though far fewer organic options were available)
Shipt (Meijer)
Instacart (Jewel)

After considering pricing of individual items, we need to consider the fees associated with each option. Those fees and fine print details are listed here:

(click to see the chart at a size your eyes can see if you are older than 10 years old)Capture3

So what do those boil down to?

If you bought groceries every other week for 26 total weeks and the total was over $100 each time the yearly service fee cost would be:

PeaPod: $119 membership plus tips
Instacart: $149 memberships plus tip and service fee if you don’t waive it
Jewel: $206 (plus no tip)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: $99 membership plus tip
Amazon: $299 membership plus tip

If you tip 15% on each $100 order ($15) at 26 orders for these 14 items* that is $390 in tips for the year.

*These 14 items don’t total $100, but for the sake of the math, let’s pretend they do. 

So what is the final price for each per order?

Yearly: If we divide the yearly fee* into 26 orders, have $100 per order, and tip 15% per order, the total every other week would be:

PeaPod: $96.21
Instacart: $106.77
Jewel: $66.47 (does not accept tips)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: $103.03
AmazonFresh: $102.33

*If you sign up for the yearly plan for each one that offers it

Occasionally: If we do occasional orders (once a month), have $100 per order, and tip 15% per order, and do NOT do the yearly subscription the totals would be:

PeaPod: $98.58
Instacart: $107.03
Jewel: $66.47 (does not accept tips)
Marianos: TBD
Shipt: requires yearly membership
AmazonFresh: requires yearly membership

Jewel is the clear winner here for least expensive when you include delivery fees and tips, ordering occasionally or doing the yearly subscription. PeaPod is the runner up. For my family, I prefer to buy organic options for much of our groceries and especially produce and meat whenever possible; therefore, I may continue to do a good chunk of our shopping at PeaPod. I may, however, look into splitting up orders between Jewel and PeaPod or Jewel and Instacart at another store for the organic items alone. If you join Instacart and pay the yearly fee, you also have access to other stores; however, you will be paying considerably more than in store pricing for all of those stores.

**Added 2/13
I have since learned that with InstaCart, not all stories have increased prices. When you open the app, you can click on the store to see more information. Some say increased prices and some are the same as store prices. Make sure to check this out when decided which store to order from!

If you decide to try InstaCart, I would love if you considered starting with my referral link! We will both receive $10.

Was this helpful? Do you have any other pieces of these delivery services you would like to compare? Let me know what you decide!


Essential Oil Safety

RBB essential oils

“Treat essential oils with the same care that you treat medicines. You don’t need to be afraid or avoid essential oils but care needs to be taken. They can be an amazing blessing within a holistic lifestyle. Do remember, however, that when working with essential oils, less is more.”

I originally posted this as a “note” on Facebook in February 2015 as a resource for friends who wanted to know more about using essentials oils safely. 

As many of you know, I have become really interested in using Essential Oils. I had been reading a lot of blogs and a lot of information for several months. There is a lot of information out there about a lot of different uses. However, recently I have read more research and information directly from aromatherapists, instead of the companies who sell them (such as Young Living and DoTerra). Those companies promote a lot of unsafe practices. The main thing I learned is that you should get your information from a certified aromatherapist, not a sales rep. If you are reading research, do not read research from the company (DT has a “science” blog, but it is a DT blog still), find a third party. When you are reading ideas in blogs, double check the oils suggested, and the use suggested to be sure it is safe. Not every blogger is aware of safe practices!

I think oils can do amazing things! But they are medicinal and need to be treated as such! Just because they are “natural” doesn’t mean they can be used without careful research and consideration. Poison Ivy is natural. You won’t find me rubbing it on me!


Two of my favorite resources are:

Blog and Facebook group run by a super sweet lady who is a certified aromatherapist and also makes her own kid safe blends. She also sells Aromatics International oils.

Scentsable Health FB Group
Scentsable Health Blog

Large Facebook group and blog dedicated to the safe use of oils. They can be a little intense. But there is really good info.

Using Essential Oils Safely FB group
Using Essential Oils Safely Blog


Essential Oils should never be ingested. Ever. Unless under the supervision of an aromatherapist. NO brand is “safe” for ingesting. 1 drop of peppermint equals 28 cups of peppermint tea. That’s a lot of tea. No one would ever think that was OK to drink at one time. Please don’t do it in any form.

Check ingredients on other items such as natural toothpaste. As an adult I can use it because I won’t swallow the toothpaste. But I will not use it with Eli until he is much older.

The Barefoot Dragonfly blog post reviewing the concerns has some great information.


“Therapeutic grade” oil is not really a thing. Anyone can use that claim. There are oils that are better than others. But there are MANY brands of high quality oils. This is a 3 series blog post about choosing a company. I have many DT oils and I am happy with them. However, I am very unhappy with DT and YL’s business practices as they promote unsafe practices. I am switching to buying my oils from a different company in the future. It is important to choose your brand based on what is important to you. In addition to wanting high quality oils and good prices, it is importnant to me to support a company that promotes safe and honest business practices.

This blog series gives great information for choosing a brand:

Start here

Another blog by the Hippie Homemaker about choosing a brand

Resource explaining how “Therpautic Grade: isn’t a standard term.

Oils and Kids

12657176_10153851331889223_5812409409910965926_oThere are oils that are not recommended to be used on kids of specific ages. This post shares some of the information. Remember, oils are medicinal. If they are so powerful, we need to treat them with respect just like medicines

This is a easy to read graphic from Scentsable Health listing safe oils for children.

Age restriction list. If you use blends such as Thieves, Breathe, OnGuard, check the oils included in the blend. The Using Essential Oils Safely FB group has a great file that lists the ingredients and concerns of blends from the popular companies. Whether you are using the oils topically or diffusing, this list applies.

I really like the Scentsable Health kid safe blends. That is what I am choosing to do with blends that I am not making on my own. She uses hydrosols and EOs to make blends that are kid safe.
This blog post also contains good solutions for making your own child safe congestion and anti-germ (Thieves type) blends:
Pregnant and nursing woman have restricted lists too. The elderly should follow the guidelines of children in regards to dilution.





Essential Oils should always be diluted when applied topically. This is a super handy chart for following dilution guidelines. I like to use roller balls to mix my oils and carrier oil (coconut oil) so I know they are the right dilution. They should NEVER be used right from the bottle.



This includes the bath. Think about it….you drop oils in the bath. What does oil do with water? It will just sit on top and when you stick your body in, the oil will not be diluted when it touches your skin. You can read about diluting here. 


Sensitization/How Long/How Much

Diffusing should be limited to 20-30 min on, 60 minutes off. Any oil that is used daily should be used for up to 2 weeks, with at least a week off. There’s many oils that serve the same purpose, so you can switch it out and use a different oil during your off weeks.
Why? Because of sensitization. Basically, it is a reaction that can happen with your skin or mucous membranes. It can happen the first time you are exposed to an oil or the 20th. Think about the “bucket effect”: each time you expose your body to it, it adds to the bucket. One time can tip the bucket. Because EOs are potent, we need to treat them with respect.

If you have a reaction, STOP using the oil. You can have an allergic reaction to oils just like anything else. Read more about sensitization here.

Is this really such a big deal?

Yes, it is. It is never easy to find out you should be doing something differently. But there’s the whole “Know More, Do Better” phrase. I did use oils in unsafe ways before I started to do my own research rather than listening to the recommendations of various reps. They are well meaning, but they are not certified aromatherapists. They are basing their recommendations off their uplines, in companies that are known for promoting unsafe practices. As soon as I started to delve deeper, I changed my habits. I am constantly learning and trying to do better and be safer. This is a good article about a mama with a similar story. 


Oils should be kept in the refrigerator for longest shelf-life. Every oil is different and has a different shelf-life. 


If you accidentally spill oil on yourself or a child, you need to wash with a carrier oil (or olive oil even!). Use oil to wash away oil. Wash with the oil over 

and over. If you pour water on, it can make it soak in faster.


Other safety info
Risks and uses of EOs
Another safety cheat sheet

Do not put essential oils in humidifiers: they will ruin your humidifier and leech plastic into the air

No essential oils in mascara

Personal Use:

If you want to use a non-kids safe oil, you can make a steam bowl or use a personal inhaler. One type and another type.

You can find graphic cards here!

Supplies to buy

You can view some of the worst cases in the essential oil injury report of 2014 here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I am not an aromatherapist. Just a mom who is on quest to use a natural alternative with her family while also being safe and respecting how powerful they are!