Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ways to Earn Cash & Rewards

With Rob having health issues, and me being a stay at home mom, I'm looking for ways to add a little bit of extra income here and there.

All these sites and apps are free to sign up for.

Save up
This isn't so much a money making site but I've won twice from this website.  I have won a ipad3  and a $100 gift card to Lowe's I love how easy it is to use and even if you don't win anything it has great features.
Sign up here (Referral link, I get 10 free plays)

Swag bucks
This is probably my favorite.  I don't spend a lot of time on it, although I've been spending more lately.  I do the daily poll and the NOSO, and then occasionally some of the quick videos that you can watch to earn swagbucks.  I also use it as a search engine to try to get some points that way.  The points can then be redeemed for gift cards, discounts or other prizes.  I spend 5-10 minutes a day and could earn a $5 amazon gift card probably every other month. I've been saving them for paypal cash though since I've have earned a good amazon balance.
Sign up here (This is a referral link, I get a percentage of what you earn)

Inbox dollars
I've been using this since before Eleanor was born.  I've made around $35 but haven't cashed out yet. You can take surveys and use it as a search engine, but I haven't done that yet.  I get emails (I think at least 10 times a week) and just by opening it and clicking on the confirm button you make .2 cents.  It's a small amount, but takes less than ten seconds to do.
Sign up here (Using this link you get $5, and I get $2)

I've been using ebates for three years and in that time I've gotten over $200 back.  Before shopping online I always check to see if the store or shop is listed on ebates.  One of my favorite to use is groupon.  When I ordered our wedding invitations through vista print I went through ebates and got cash back.  I ordered some magazines on black Friday and got 50% of my purchase back.  Awesome!
Sign up here (I think I get $5 when you make your first purchase) 

This one isn't technically online..  Nexercise is an app (I think it's available on apple and android) and you track exercise and earn points that can be redeemed for other gift cards etc... I have earned a few dollars in amazon gift cards, but since I started using the app there  been a few changes and I don't like it as much. Since all activity is through the app if you want to be my friend let me know and I can email you my friend link (I think we both earn more points through this). You can still benefit from it even if you don't have friends on there.It does take a while to earn enough points for something, but I still will keep using it because I like tracking my exercise.

Pampers rewards
I've been using this for a while, and have yet to spend any money on it.  I follow some other blogs and they post when there is a free point code.  This usually happens on a monthly basis.
Sign Up Here

Kellogg's family rewards
Just by signing up and entering codes from eligible products I've earned a free children's book, and have enough points for free prints from shutterfly.  I'm saving them for something bigger, although I'm not sure what yet. They also offer free points codes (follow them on facebook) at least once or twice a month. Click the link below to sign up.

This connects you with brands and when you answer questions or participate in missions you earn points which equal entries for gift card drawings.  I did win a $50 gift card to restaurant.com, a walmart gift card, and then $5 to amazon (many times).  I've also been able to sample several different products (body wash, cleaners, throat drops etc.)
Sign up here

Feature Points
Another app that I just started using.  I haven't earned enough to redeem but it seems fairly easy.
Referal Link is XDKBBZ

The following are cash back on groceries etc... type apps.

I signed up when it first was launched and I didn't have a smartphone so I forgot about it. But I've been trying to remember to use it again.
Sign up here

An app you use to earn cashback on groceries.  You buy your groceries and then upload your receipt to earn cash back

Same as checkout 51.  This one does have the option to earn bonuses based on your team (friends who sign up) as well.  If you are wanting to check it out and sign up my referral code is nvggg

Another cash back savings site.  This one I'm pretty new to so I haven't earned much yet from it.  My referal code is IDMISN

Savings Star
Every friday they offer a freebie bonus and as a result I've gotten free snacks and even earned cash back into paypal account (which I actually already have had deposited).

Snap by Groupon
Yet another cash back site. I do have a referral link and if you want it let me know.  I can't seem to post it here. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

~Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway~

Welcome to the Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway!

Featuring: 14 prizes for one lucky winner!

bundle of gifts

Hosted by: Just Another Mom

Co-Hosted by:

The Cafe Coupon, Deliciously Savvy, Heartbeat Soulstains, Michigan Savings and More,

Joan's Five Star Reviews, Totally Temberton, Cupcakes and Flipflops

The Mama Games & Disabled Diva Reviews

With a BIG thank you to all of the bloggers who are helping to promote!

As we draw closer and closer to Christmas, Just Another Mom is pleased to present the Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway! Featuring 14 gifts from The Holiday Gift Guide at Just Another Mom, one lucky winner will win over $300 in prizes with a little bit of something for everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Silly baby pick me up

The weather is crummy, I haven't left the house since Saturday and am in need of a pick me up.  Assuming you do too, I'm sharing a few cute things my girl has done lately.

1) If I'm nursing her and playing on my phone (so not looking at her) she will grab my face and turn it so I look at her.

2) If I have my phone out to take her picture she was say "eese" (cheese).  Maybe I take to many pictures?  Not that that's really possible. 

3) Rob has been in the hospital a lot lately.  When he got home from stay number 2 he walked in the door, Eleanor walked to him and just clung to his leg.  So sweet.

4) I had a little slide I picked up at a garage sale over the summer that I've pulled out.  She will sit and the bottom and go 'eee' (wheee)

5) I was using the bathroom the other day and she walked in, started pulling the toilet paper out.  I stopped that but let her have what she had already pulled.  She proceeded to rip it into tiny pieces and set it on my slippers

6)  See video below.  I did this once and now she will pick this (drum lid) up and hold it up to her face.

What cute things have your babies/kids done lately?

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Eleanor Update: 13 months

4 teeth still, but she's been working on a few for weeks and it's been getting kind of rough.

Sleep has taken a major nosedive lately.  Like hours up in the middle of the night and waking up by 6 am (I blame this partly on the time change).  This means we are back to two naps.

She gives kisses now and it's adorable.  

She is walking more than crawling now.  It's still kind of crazy to see her walking around.

She can sign milk now (I'd been working on it for a while and one night while nursing she looked up at me and signed it.  I melted).  She can also sign more (although not totally correct, but close enough), and we are working on please, all done and I just started working on help.

Her favorite words are 'hi' and 'thank you.'  She says 'mama', 'dada,' 'uh-oh' although I think she was saying all these last month.

I don't think we've tried any new foods this month.

She's developing a little temper and hits when she doesn't get what she wants.  Generally she can be redirected, but not always.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holiday Bundle of Gifts Blogger Opp

Holiday Bundle of Gifts Blogger Opp

Fellow bloggers, come join me in promoting the Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway, hosted by Just Another Mom!

Sign Ups will close on 11/16 and the Giveaway will go live on 11/18

The Giveaway will run from: 11/18 to 12/4

Prizes include:
* One month subscription to Sock Panda ($12 ARV)
* One necktie from Necktie Emporium (Up to $19.99 ARV)
* Two cloth Diapers from GloBug Diapers
* One Lambie & Me Lambie Lovie Snuggle Blanket ($29.95 ARV)
* One set of Chinese-English Blocks featuring the Chinese Zodiac Signs ($18.00 ARV)
* One Gift Certificate for Curtain and Bath Outlet ($25 ARV)
* One set of Magformers (tentative)
* One Deluxe Building Set from Roy Toy ($45 ARV)
* One EzRoller ($99 ARV)
* E-cloth set (tentative)

Over $200 in prizes!

More prizes may be added, but as you can see this is a pretty nice list of gifts! If more than 20 bloggers are on board, I'll also add in a $15 Gift Card to the Prize Pack.

Free, Paid, and Co-Host Options are available.

And in the referral box, tell them I sent you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Edition

2013 vs 2014

With Rob sick and in the hospital it was just me and Eleanor. We stopped by my parents, then went to church for trunk or treat but only lasted for a whole 5 minutes (it was reaaallllllyyy cold).

After that we passed out some candy at home, which Eleanor was very possessive of and cried when I took the bowl away from her. 

It was pretty low key and thankfully she is young enough that I could get away with it. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Starting to Struggle

I'll be honest.  I'm struggling a little.  No one wants to admit they can't handle what life throws at them, but I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.
This is a problem for so many of us these days. WE want control, WE want to take charge of our own lives. I even struggle with this sometimes! But as Christians, we need to have faith that The Lord will provide for our every need. That He will sustain us. And all we have to do is surrender our cares to Him. His power is so mighty...He will never let you down. He will sustain you. ❤️

Oh and I'm not good at organizing my thoughts so they may jump around

If you missed my post earlier this week here's the recap.  Rob's been sick for about a month, and has been in the hospital several times.  He's missed close to two weeks of work in that time frame, and when he does work he either goes in late or comes home early.  He get's home exhausted and in pain and spends the rest of the night unable to do anything.  This means I am caring for Eleanor on my own. 

On Tuesday morning I took him back to the hospital and he's still there. 

Last night I started to feel super overwhelmed on the way back from my daily hospital visit.  I want to stay with Rob but I have a baby to get back to.  I'm feeling torn and I started to cry on the way home.  I'm sad for my husband that he has to deal with so much pain and scared that he's not getting better (and really he's getting worse).

I'm afraid. Of the future and the uncertainty that I face. But now I seem to have a bit of a plan.

I'm exhausted mentally because the only free time I get is late at night or the occasional nap time.  I guess technically I've had free time, but I spend it driving to the hospital, visiting Rob and driving home.  And it's never enough like I said.  I hate leaving my husband there alone, but I can't take advantage of my parents help since they have been over everyday this week.  They are tired and have their own stuff going on too.  And really, I need to be here for Eleanor too

I have been thankful for technology this week because Eleanor has been able to see Rob via facetime. She babbles and chats when she sees him so I know that makes him happy.

And this morning as I'm trying to find a babysitter Rob texts me asking if I can bring her down.  He hadn't seen her in several days and missed her.  So I brought her down.   She was really well behaved (that container of snacks probably helped), and was really happy.  She kept looking up at Rob like she thought he was going to leave her.  It made me sad, but the joy from both of them was worth it. I was happy I could do that, and it made me feel a teeny bit better.

I suppose in the scheme of things I'm doing okay.  I haven't been annoyed at him since that post or frustrated.  I don't know if it sounds bad, but I'm thankful he's been in the hospital because I know he needs to be there.  I miss him at home, but at least there I don't have to worry as much (although I still do).

I don't tell Rob any of this because he doesn't need the stress of it.  Financially we are going to struggle these next few months, but God has already been providing and I am daily reminded of that.  We have family who have been gracious and offered their help (not just financially, but however we need).  I don't love the idea of asking for help, but I know they want to or they wouldn't have offered.  Keep sending us prayers and good vibes. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Changing My Tune: Supporting A Sick Husband

A month and a half or so ago Rob decided to eat healthier and instead of fast food for lunch got salads and fruit.  A week later Rob started to feel have stomach pain, and asked about it at his yearly physical, and was told it was most likely do to the diet change.

But the pain didn't get better, and instead got much worse.  He couldn't work and when he did work he would come home early and be done for.  He'd be in bed or on the couch until the next morning.  He skipped birthday parties and hanging out with friends.

Then we went to the ER (on the 12th) and found out there was some colon problems.  This from a cat scan, and blood work.  Two days later he was able to get in for a colonoscopy (a miracle that he got in so soon!).  The diagnosis:  Pan Colitis (ulcerative colitis).  At this point he has about 4 different medications (pain and anti-inflammatory).  

Ulcerative Colitis Diet  5 Effective Natural Ways To Heal Ulcerative Colitis

And still he doesn't get better.  Cue more labs and prescriptions and days off work or leaving early.

Oh and cue me being beyond stressed because he's unable to provide  care for Eleanor.  On a good day I can take a quick shower while she plays on the floor and Rob's on the couch without her banging on the door or Rob needing the bathroom.

And it's taking a toll on our marriage as well.  I'm stressed and annoyed at him for getting to sit down.  It's irrational I know.  I know he's in pain, but every moan he makes causes me to roll my eyes.  Oh sure I'm acting the loving wife and getting what he needs & dealing with Eleanor.

Then this weekend I started to feel guilty.  It's not his fault and I can't add more stress to his plate.  So I'm changing my tune and showing him more support and not rolling my eyes and complaining.

He might not have done what I needed for me those times I was sick or in pain in the past, but I'm not doing this as something to throw in his face.

I couldn't fall asleep last night, and when I finally did Rob woke me up in pain and back to the ER we went this morning at 4 am.  (So thankful for my dad for staying with Eleanor-  he just retired from being  a third shifter and so he doesn't sleep well at night and was awake when I called him)

It's taken a physical toll on him (he's lost 20 lbs in a month), a mental toll on me and it's been a struggle financially.  This is a time of year where we have higher bills due to energy and heating costs, car insurance and the holidays.

So prayers for all of us will be much appreciated and if you have advice or tips on dealing with this please leave me a comment.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Comfort Food: Vegetable Soup

With fall time in Michigan comes cooler temperatures.  Much cooler.  So that means that warm filling foods are a must.

One of my favorite things to make is a vegetable soup. It's filling and it's cheap (and that is the best part) I make it little thicker than a soup although you can tweak it easily to make it more of a soupier consistency.

  • A bag of frozen mixed vegetables                                                                       $1
  • A jar of spaghetti sauce                                                                                       $1
  • A box of noodles (usually I use radiatore, but I used cavatappi this time)         $1
  • Can of diced tomatoes                                                                                         $. 75
And that's it.

I cook the noodles until they are done, then mix everything into a crockpot and let it cook on high for a few hours.  

I use spaghetti sauce since it's the same thing as tomato soup (although I do occasionally add a can of that as well), and I only use half of the box of noodles.

I also will add other veggies if I have them on hand (such as onion or pepper).  Basically you can use up what you have in the house. 

I make this meal every few weeks, and if there are leftovers freeze them in individual portions for me to have for lunch.

Toddler Approved!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Braun No Touch Forehead Thermometer

I was sent this for review from Influenster.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

When I got that email saying I was chosen for the Braun vox box I was really excited.  It's definitely a 'you know your a mom moment' when you get excited over a thermometer.  But I was.  A thermometer that reads in just a few seconds and you don't even have to touch it to the forehead. Yes please!

We take her temperature the old fashioned way (If you know what I mean?).  It's the most accurate way for a baby, but as she get's older she's a lot less cooperative - and really can you blame her?  That's no fun.

This is her watching me take my temperature.
With cold and flu season coming up I am really happy to have this.   This will easy become my go to thermometer.  I'd still take her temperature the other way if it was borderline, but this would function every other time.

And it is so easy to use.  Seriously takes the temperature in seconds.  I had to pin her down to take a video because otherwise she would grab for it.  I turned it on, took her temp, read it and had it back off in ten seconds.  With a squirmy wormy girl this is a must.

And another amazing thing about this is that you don't even have to touch it to the forehead.  You can just hold it an inch or so away.  You can touch the forehead, but if you have a sleeping sick baby you don't even to disturb them.   There is a slight variation in temperatures (like 98.7 to 98.9) from touching the forehead to not, but I expected that.

It's got a huge screen and a back lite to make it easy to read the temp which is nice.

I love this thing and would absolutely recommend it.