Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 is coming soon!

Another year is almost over. Which means it's time to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. One of mine is to get my house cleaner and keep it clean! I can get the house clean when I know that company is coming over, but then after they are gone, it just becomes a mess again. I need to figure out strategies that will work for me in order to keep my house in order. Just recently I was reading the issue of Good Housekeeping with Lauren Graham on the cover. In the article about her, she mentioned a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I looked for it at my library and was able to get the ebook version of it. So far I am loving it! On the first page it says, "Have you ever tidied madly, only to find that all too soon your home or workspace is cluttered again?" *Raises hand* Yes!! That is totally me!! It pretty much explains tidying as consisting of two things: deciding whether or not to dispose of something and deciding where to put it. My problem when I clean up and organize my house is that I just worry about where I'm going to put everything. I need to start really looking at things and saying "Do I really need this?" I probably have so many items in my house that I don't need and those items are just taking up space!

So while I'm going to definitely take into consideration what this book has to say about tidying, I'm not exactly going to follow it to a T. It says that you should tidy by category and then go in a certain order. The author says the best sequence is: clothes, books, papers, miscellany items, and momentos. She also says it's a big mistake to tidy by room, but I'm going to ignore that anyway and tidy in my own way. I figure as long as I'm throwing stuff away and putting things that I'm keeping in their proper places, that could work for me.

Throughout the next few weeks I'm going to kick this plan into gear and start getting my house in order! I will be sure to post my progress with before and after pictures!

Monday, December 19, 2016

One more week of Elf adventures!

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here?? It's crazy!! 6 days away!! We had our first Christmas celebration yesterday with my dad, step-mom, and her dad and sister's family. We had a great time! Big E got the Fisher Price Code-a-pillar (which I'm going to enjoy playing with) and Little E got the Fisher Price Dance and Move BeatBowWow. Big E got BeatBo last year for Christmas and Little E has been loving that so my step-mom figured he would love the puppy version of it, and he does!

Well, here are some pictures of Elf from this past week. Have a great Monday everyone!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The first year

Some people may argue with me on this statement, but I'm gonna write it anyway: The first year of a child's life is the hardest! Now my oldest is only 2 so I've got plenty of years ahead of me including the teenage years, but so far, the first year of both my kids' lives have been difficult. One reason it is difficult is the lack of sleep! Little E, my youngest, is now 6 months and he's had plenty of nights where he went to bed at 7:15 and didn't wake up till the next morning at 5 am. He started doing this pretty early on, but it was not consistent at all. Big E, my oldest who is 2 and a half, probably didn't start sleeping for that long until about this time or maybe even closer to a year. More recently, Little E has been waking up at 2 and then sometime between 6-7 am.

Now I know, I only have to wake up twice a night compared to some people out there who wake up 3, 4, even 5 times or more a night! So I could have it worse than what I do. But as we all know, sleep is important and I believe it's about quality, not quantity. I feel a lot better and more refreshed in the morning when I've only gotten up once, compared to 2 times or more. So I definitely can't wait till Little E truly sleeps through the night, every single night!

The first year is also rough because of me breastfeeding him. Now I'm not saying that I don't like it, because I do, I love it! I still find it incredible that the human body is capable of feeding another human being! It just blows my mind. I'm feeding my child and it's 100% free? But that also means that he's kind of attached to me. The only time I can really go out somewhere and not have to worry about leaving him bottles or taking my pump with me, is at night. This past weekend I actually did leave him during the day for a few hours both on Saturday and Sunday. It was probably only the 3rd or 4th time that he ever had a bottle and I was a bit worried on how he would do because the first few times didn't go so well. But surprisingly, he did very well! So now that eases my mind a little bit knowing that he will take a bottle so hopefully in the next 6 months, I can have a few more days like I did this past weekend where I get out of the house kid-free! As a mom, I deserve it! I'm with my kids 24/7 and I love them to death, but every now and then I need a break!

I also have to watch what I put into my body because of breastfeeding. Now I'm not saying that if I weren't nursing that I wouldn't care about what goes in my body, I'm saying that I wouldn't be as restricted. When I get sick, there isn't much I can take without it affecting my supply or having to pump and dump.

I'm not trying to rush the next 6 months, but I will be kind of happy when they are over. Our babies are only little for so long, so I'm definitely cherishing every single moment while they are little!! But I think after the first year, things get a little easier because they are a little more independent and not as needy. But stay tuned, I'm sure in about 11 years I'm going to be saying that the teenage years are the hardest!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oily Wednesday

This week's Oily Wednesday post is going to be a little different. Instead of talking about an oil that I love and how I use it, I'm going to write more on why I love Young Living. As I mentioned in this post, I bought my Young Living Starter Kit right before my little one was born this past May. So I've been using the oils for a little over 6 months now.

People who don't know that much about essential oils may say "I can get those oils at 'insert store name here' for so much cheaper!" That is true, but are you getting the same quality oils from that store as you get from Young Living? The answer to that is no. The FDA has really loose labeling on essential oils so it is misleading for those who know nothing about it. Other companies can label their oil as 100% pure when in reality it is probably just a drop of pure essential oil and the rest is dangerous solvents and fillers. In some stores, you will find their oils in the aisle with potpourri. That should be a big red flag there.

Young Living owns all of their farms and have really strict standards when it comes to the quality of their oils. They hand-pick their weeds, don't use any pesticides, and don't allow any motor vehicles onto their farms. They also invite anyone to their farms and allow them to partake in the harvesting and distillation process. I would love to be able to visit one of their farms in the US some day!

Looking at oils at a health food store or even a grocery store, you will see that they say they aren't safe for ingestion or use on the skin. But yet they say they are 100% pure. Really? If they were truly 100% pure, they would never say those 2 things. You will definitely pay more for Young Living oils than you will for any other brand but that's how you know you are getting the best quality products.

So before you buy that $17 bottle of Frankincense (for those who don't know, Frankincense is an expensive oil so if it is under $70, it's not pure), be sure to do your research. Ultimately it comes down to 2 choices: price or quality. I'm one of those people that is willing to spend a little extra for the better quality. I want what is safe for me and my family and I hope others do, too! Contact me if you would like more information about Young Living essential oils and the starter kit. I'm hoping to jump into the business side of things and share my love of oils with others!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Money Making Monday

This may be my last post for Money Making Monday because I'm running out of ways that I make money from home. But this week I'm going to talk about Shopkick. This one is especially great for people who love to shop! This is an app that you can download on the App Store and Google Play.

Once you download the app, there are 4 ways to earn kicks, or points.
1. Walk into a store
2. Scan products
3. Purchase items
4. Submit receipts

How simple are those 4 things? If you go to Walmart, Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Kohl's, etc, check the app to see if there are any walk-in kicks available or items to scan. You don't have to buy the items, just scan the barcode, it's that easy! 

Once you are at a store, see what that store has under the "Scans" tab. Find those items in the store, scan the barcode, and earn kicks.

To get kicks by purchases, just link your credit or debit card to Shopkick and then at stores that have the credit card icon beside it, use your card as credit and you'll get kicks for that purchase. I think I've only done this once because I forget to use my card as credit instead of debit. I'm just so used to using it as debit that I completely forget!

While looking at the list of items to scan at a store, if you see a pink receipt icon listed with the item, that means you get extra kicks when you purchase that item. After you make your purchase, just snap a picture using the app making sure to include the store name, date, and total.

Shopkick can be a great way to earn gift cards for a bunch of different places like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Old Navy, and more. You can even earn items such as headphones, purses, and even a kitchen aid mixer! (That one takes 125,000 kicks though, that would take you a while!) But the key to earning lots of kicks and earning them fast, is to make sure every time you go shopping, open up the app! If you don't have the time to scan any items in the store, at least see if you can earn kicks just by walking in. Most of them require you to be right at the entrance to get the kicks. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to Walmart or Target and missed out on kicks because I didn't open the app. So starting now, I'm going to try and remember to open up Shopkick whenever I go shopping! And maybe I will start doing more of the scans so I can earn more kicks!! Go and download Shopkick today!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Elf Adventures

Well, we're another week closer to Christmas and here is what Elf has been up to...

Our local library did a storytelling of The Polar Express so Elf gave us our tickets!

Elf thought we needed something to help us countdown to Christmas!!

Elf thought that it was time to start potty training again!!

She was really serious about starting potty training! (We did try it for a day but it was too stressful for me and my daughter was just not getting it, so we are taking another break from it, but that's for another post, another day)

Elf had some fun coloring!

Elf couldn't believe her eyes, it was snowing!!

What will our Elf be up to this week? You'll have to come back next Sunday to see! Have a great rest of what's left of your weekend!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Naptime is the best!

It really is! It's the one time all day, besides bedtime, where I can just sit down, relax, and do nothing! Ha, who am I kidding! Naptime is the only time during the day when I can actually get housework or blog work done. See, once both kids are in bed at 8:00, my cleaning duties are done! I don't feel like cleaning that late at night. So I have to either do it while the kids are awake (which can be a pain) or while they are napping. Now that both kids are napping at the same time (for the most part, sometimes my little guy gets up before my oldest), I have more time to myself.

I start out by changing the litter boxes right after I get them both down for their naps. I used to change the litter boxes every other day (or sometimes every 3rd day), but have found that when they get changed every single day, it makes it a lot easier and quicker! So having a set time of day to change them makes me more likely to do it every single day.

Let me back up a little here and show you what I use to keep track of what I'm going to clean around the house and when. I mentioned in a previous post that I started using Young Living Essential Oils right before my little guy was born. Well, while listening to The Essential Oil Revolution Podcast, I was introduced to another blog called The Confident Mom. Every year she posts a Weekly Household Planner that you can download for free! I just went on her page the other day and she has the 2017 one on her site and ready to download!

She also has a supplemental pack for $7 that you can purchase which includes a master family planner, special occasion calendar/gift planner, holiday gift planner worksheet, babysitter information, quick contacts, and much, much more! You can click here to download the planner and/or supplement kit. I have been using this for a few weeks now and I'm definitely going to keep using it!!

What I love about it is that it is completely customizable! You can either start with a blank template and fill it all in on your own or start with the filled in template and add or delete items where needed. I'm telling you, this has really helped! I've tried other check lists to help me keep track of the housework, but this one actually works for me! I like having a visual of what needs to be done and feel so accomplished when I get to check each item off the list! And it isn't like there is that much to do each day. For example, Tuesday I clean all the toilets and then Thursday I clean the bathroom sinks and mirrors. So it's not like I'm cleaning the whole bathroom in the same day. So check it out for yourself!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Oily Wednesday

I'm back with another Oily Wednesday. In my first 2 Oily Wednesday posts I talked about Thieves Household Cleaner and Lavender. This week I decided to talk about Thieves. As I mentioned in the Thieves Household Cleaner post, this is a blend consisting of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary.

I use Thieves every single day, on both me and my daughter. This is a "hot" oil which means it may feel hot to your skin, so you definitely want to dilute this oil by mixing it with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil, just to name a few. So far I have only used fractionated coconut oil but I plan on trying another carrier oil when I run out of my current supply of the coconut oil. You can find these oils at health stores or Amazon, which is where I got mine. Thieves is best known for helping to support a healthy immune system so every night before bed, I take my daughter's roller bottle (filled with 2 drops of Thieves and the rest carrier oil) and rub it on her feet. Then in the morning I put it on my feet (although my roller bottle has more drops of Thieves in it) and on my daughter's feet. I put it on more often during the day when needed. The feet is a great place to apply oils topically because they are less sensitive than other areas of the body and the pores on your feet allow the oils to be absorbed more quickly. Another place I like to apply Thieves to on my daughter is her spine. Side note: there is a lot of controversy on the use of oils and kids, use your own judgement when it comes to this. I have read that Thieves is not recommended for use on children under 18 months. But again, it is up to you on whether or not you want to use essential oils on your children. Just make sure you are using a good quality oil such as the oils that Young Living sells.

This is also a great oil to diffuse in a diffuser to support the immune system. Today I had it in my diffuser with some drops of Christmas Spirit and it smelled wonderful! If you want your house to smell like it has been freshly cleaned (but it really hasn't been), then Thieves is the oil to use!!

Young Living also has a line of oils called Vitality. Young Living oils that have this label on it means they are safe for proper internal use. I haven't tried the Thieves Vitality yet, but it is suggested to put a drop of it in your morning juice, tea, or coffee for a flavor boost. You can also add a drop to your oatmeal, granola, or other cereal. Even just adding it to a cup of warm water or milk will help your immune system.

Thieves is definitely an oil I never want to be without, especially during the cold months!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Diapers, diapers, and more diapers!

My oldest turned 2 back in June and she still wants nothing to do with the potty! The week after she turned 2, with the help of my wonderful aunt, we tried to work with some potty training. We got her some of these:
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and put her on the potty every 20-30 minutes. Well, she wasn't able to tell us she was wet because we noticed little puddles around the house. And most of the time, it was my cousin that found them, poor thing! We only had 3 of the training pants at the time so I had to wash them quite a bit that day! The other day I was at a local kids consignment store and found a pack of waterproof pants to put over the training pants. I'm going to go to Walmart soon to get her more training pants and then using them and the waterproof pants over top, we are going to give this potty training another go! I'm really hoping she will start to realize when she wets herself and not like the feeling so then she will want to go on the potty. So once I get to Walmart and get her the training pants, she is going to be wearing them all day when we are home so hopefully we can say bye-bye to diapers!!!

Leave me a comment and let me know if there's an awesome potty training tip that worked for you! I'm hoping to get her out of diapers soon so then I only one in diapers! I started saving money on diapers by buying them in bulk from, but it is still expensive and will be so nice once she is potty trained!! Have a great day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Money Making Monday

I forgot to write my Money Making Monday post last week but I'm back again this week with another way that I make money while staying at home. In case you missed my first 3 posts about how I make money, here is the one about Quick Thoughtsibotta, and Receipt Hog.

This week is similar to my previous post about Receipt Hog. It's called Yaarlo. There are 3 ways to earn money through this app, available on both the App Store and Google Play. I have only explored one way so far, scanning receipts. Like Receipt Hog, you can scan your receipts and earn money. I joined on August 24th of this year and so far am only up to $4.62. So this one, like Receipt Hog takes a while to earn money with it, but it eventually adds up. I already scan my receipts once a week to Receipt Hog so I just upload them to this app. This app is a little easier to upload because all you have to do is take a picture of the receipt and hit upload. Receipt Hog asks you who was with on the shopping trip and then asks you to rate your trip.

There is also a "Gift 'n Earn" section on the app. You can buy gift cards for you or as a gift and earn cash back. Again, it isn't that much, but it eventually adds up. It varies by store on how much cashback you earn per gift card, but from what I saw when looking at it, you can earn from 1-5% cashback from buying gift cards.

The final option is "Shop 'n Earn". This is like Ebates, where you earn cashback on your online purchases. So before you buy something online, open the app and see if the store you are buying from is on the list. If it is, then make sure you click on the store through there so you can earn cashback. You can also go to their website on your computer and click on the link through there. I will be buying our holiday cards from Shutterfly soon and when I do, I'll be earning 4% cashback from Yaarlo!!

So go check out this app for yourself and use my referral code NICOLENE390. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas is near!!!

Happy December!! Only 21 days till Christmas!! It will be here before we know it. Christmas is always a busy time of year for us and this year is no different. Today my husbands work is having a Christmas party for the employee's kids and next week is the party for employees and spouses. The week after that we go to celebrate Christmas with my dad, step-mom, and step-mom's sister's family. Then comes Christmas Day which we will spend with my husband's family. Then in January we have 2 more Christmas get togethers, more of my husband's family and more of mine.

Since we have so many extended family members, I'm so glad that we don't have to try to see them all in one day. I remember one year that my husband and I were dating, we went 3 different places in one day for Christmas. And we ate a little bit at each one! Now that we have kids, we are definitely not going to go more than one place on Christmas Day.

Have you heard of Elf on a Shelf? If not, check it out here. Our elf, whom my daughter named Elf (so creative, I know!), came to us about a week ago. My daughter still doesn't know what to think of it, but I'm sure she'll be more into it  next year! Here is what our elf has been up to so far! I will try to remember to do one post a week to update you on the fun Elf has had!

Be sure to stay tuned to see what Elf does next! Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope you are enjoying your day with the ones you love, I know I will be!! I decided to do a post today all about the things I am thankful for! So here they are!!!

I am thankful for my amazing husband!! We have been together for 7 and a half years and married for 3 and a half years. I can't imagine going through this crazy thing called life without him!!

I am thankful for my daughter and son! They drive me crazy at times but I wouldn't have it any other way!! I can't even remember what life was like before my kids!

I am thankful for my husband's job because it allows me to be a stay-at-home mom. Some days feel like they are never going to end while others don't seem long enough. But it is all worth it! I love being able to spend so much time with my kids! They're only little for a short amount of time!

I am thankful for my mom. Without her,  I wouldn't be here so of course I am thankful for her!

I am thankful for my dad and step-mom. They helped me out through high school and college and helped shape me into the person I am today. My step-mom and I had some head butts, especially in high school, but I'm glad she pushed me as hard as she did!

I am thankful for the rest of my family. There are so many to list them all individually but I am truly thankful for each and every one of them! My aunts and uncles, cousins, sister-in-law, grandparents...I have had a ton of memories with all of them that I will never forget!!

So what are some things you are thankful for? Leave me a comment and let me know!! Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oily Wednesday

Hello there. It's Wednesday again! This week I'm going to talk to you about lavender.

Image result for lavender young living

Lavender is one of my favorite oils not just because of the smell, but because of how versatile this oil is. It is known as "the swiss army knife of oils". Who was the first person that called it that? I have no idea, but whoever called it that first, is absolutely right!! Lavender is known by most for it's relaxing aroma but it is more than just that. I've heard that for some it may even be an energizing oil instead of the opposite, so that is interesting.

Here are some ways I like to use it:

I found a recipe for a roller ball called "Goodnight, Sleep-Tight" that I put on my temples, wrists, neck, and behind my ears right before bed. It is 4-8 drops of Lavender, 6-12 drops of Stress Away (which is a blend that also has lavender in it, more on this blend some other week) and then you fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil.

I use lavender in roller bottle blend that is soothing to the skin! It is 3 drops each of Lavender, Purification, and Frankincense.

It's great to add to a bath! Just add 10 drops to 1 cup of epsom salts, store in a mason jar, and use 2 tablespoons in your bath!

I have a roller bottle with Stress Away and Lavender that I put on my temples, wrists, neck, and behind my ears when my nervous system needs support during times of stress. (Which lets be honest, as a mom, this is needed a few times a day some days!)

Lavender is one of the oils that I make sure I never run out of because I use it for so many things!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Money Making Monday

It's Monday yet again but it's only a 3 day work week for my hubby, yay!!! Then we get a 4 day weekend with him!!

Today I'm going to share with you the app called Receipt Hog. This is an app available from both the App Store and Google Play and it is simple! I save all my receipts (and my hubby's when he remembers to save them) and put them in a folder until Friday.

I have a reminder set up on my phone for every Friday to enter my receipts into Receipt Hog. Depending on where your receipt is from and the amount of it, you will get tokens and sweepstakes entries. Not all receipts are accepted such as service invoices, hand-written receipts, or movie tickets and they have to be entered within 2 weeks of the date on the receipt. This is why I like to do it every Friday because then I know my receipts won't be older than 1 week and I don't have to upload each receipt as I get it. You also earn spins occasionally and then you use them in the "Hog Slots" to win some extra tokens. 

I entered my first receipt on July 2nd of this year and I'm up to 1,895 tokens which I could cash out for a $10 gift card for Amazon or transfer $10 to my Paypal. But I'm not going to cash out quite yet because instead of needing 5,400 tokens to get $30, you only need 4,500. It may take me a while to get there, but I'm not really doing anything but saving my receipts and taking a few min out of my day each Friday to upload them to the app. So download this app and remember to save every receipt you get so you can upload it and earn some tokens!! Have a great Monday everyone! Please follow my blog by clicking the follow button on the right!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oily Wednesday

As I mentioned in a previous post, I joined Young Living back in May. And I have been loving my oils ever since! I went to an oil class that one of my friends hosted and I thought "This stuff is interesting, I need this in my life!" And that is a decision that I don't regret and never will. So starting today, I'm going to share with you each Wednesday one way that I love to use my oils! As I also mentioned before, I am not a doctor and therefore cannot make any claims that Young Living's oils will diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.

So the first product that I am going to talk about is something I use daily. It is the Thieves Household Cleaner. It comes in either a 14.4 ounce or 64 ounce bottle and contains the essential oil blend called Thieves which consists of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It kind of has a Christmasy smell to it!
                                                       Thieves Household Cleaner
I use this to make an all-purpose cleaner. Just a capful of the Thieves Household cleaner mixed with 2-3 cups of water in a glass spray bottle and there you go! I use it to wipe down my kitchen table, counters, and even my toilets. I love that there are no harsh chemicals in this and it is a lot cheaper than the leading brand all-purpose cleaners that you buy at the grocery store. I bought a 14.4 ounce bottle of this back in May when I joined and I still have about half the bottle left, maybe even a little more than half!! And that bottle only cost me $22!! So far I have probably refilled my 16 ounce spray bottle about 4 times, maybe 5. That's definitely cheaper than buying Clorox or Lysol. And it's a lot safer as well! Being the mom of 2 kids, I'm definitely concerned about the chemicals my kids are exposed to so this product is great!

Leave me a comment or send me a message through my contact form on the right if you have any questions or may be interested in starting your own oily journey! Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Baby food, yum!

For my oldest, I decided to make her baby food myself by cooking, pureeing, and freezing fruits and veggies. So for my second, I am doing the same thing. Like with my oldest, I decided to start with sweet potatoes. So I washed the sweet potatoes, peeled them, diced them, boiled them, then pureed them and added water to get the right thickness. Years ago we bought a Ninja blender and we love it! It is perfect for making smoothies and just recently we started making smoothies a lot. Along with the blending base used for making smoothies, it comes with a food processor attachment which is perfect for pureeing fruits and vegetables.

Here is the silicone freezer tray that I used. It is really nice! For now I just filled them up halfway because I'm taking one cube out per day and giving him half for breakfast and half for dinner. Once he starts eating more I will start filing the tray to the top.

Once the food freezes I take the cubes out of the tray and into a freezer safe container. Then I label the container with what's inside and when I made it and I'm done!

Here's some pictures of my little guy enjoying sweet potatoes for the first time

I think he likes it! There were a couple days recently where he seemed to not want anything to do with the sweet potatoes or even his oatmeal cereal. But then last night for dinner, he was chowing down on them! The same day I made the sweet potatoes I also made some carrots so sometime this week he will be trying those. Then I will be making and pureeing peaches before doing another vegetable. With my first, I alternated back and forth between fruits and veggies when introducing a new food. This time I think I'm going to do more vegetables than fruits at first. And I hope this little guy isn't as picky as my 2 year old currently is. Although I'm sure my 2 year old is quite normal for being a picky eater at her age. Some days she'll eat and others she won't (that's another post I'll write soon).

So there you have it. I love making my own baby food because then I know exactly what is in the food that goes into my baby's mouth. And it also saves a lot of money!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Money Making Monday

It's Monday again, the day that just about everyone dreads. Even as a stay-at-home mom I dread Mondays a little bit because that means my hubby goes back to work and then it's just me and the kiddos (and Aunt Katie, of course). Don't get me wrong, I love that I'm able to stay home with my kids but the weekends are so nice because then I don't have to do it all on my own like I do Monday-Friday.

So anyway, I'm here to share another way with you on how I'm making money from being at home. This one is an app called ibotta. Now if you go grocery shopping (and who doesn't?) then you definitely need to check out ibotta!

This app gives you cash back for things you buy at the grocery store. It features stores such as: Walmart, Target, Foodlion, Giant, Weis, Sams Club, Dollar General...the list goes on and on. I'm pretty sure that if there's a store you shop at, it's on the list! Some stores have you link your loyalty card to your ibotta account but for other stores you just have to scan the product and take a picture of  your receipt. But before doing that you have to "unlock" items that you are going to buy by watching a video, answering a question, or just by simply clicking on the unlock button. There are mostly brand name items on the list and sometimes it is stuff that I wouldn't normally buy, but it's a great way to try new things and earn some cash back at the same time. They also have items that will say "Any Brand". You typically only get 25 cents for this, but hey, every little bit adds up, right? I joined back in September of 2014, but that year I only earned 50 cents. Then in 2015 I earned $2. I really got into ibotta this past July bringing my lifetime earnings to $47. Next September we are taking a family trip to Georgia and I plan on waiting until then to cash out my earnings and spend it on our trip! So check out ibotta today and when you do, use this referral code: sdqdq. Not only does it help me get $5, but when you sign up and redeem your first rebate, you get $10!! (Note, to get the $10 the rebate has to be for a brand name item, not an "Any Brand" item)

So download the app today, available on both the App Store and Google Play! Referral code: sdqdq

Also, don't forget to hit the "Follow" button on the right side of my blog! Have a great rest of your Monday!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sleep is so overrated!

Some nights I get a decent amount of sleep, other nights I don't. My youngest has been teasing me with sleep. When he was first born he would wake up 3-4 times a night. Then there were some nights that he would sleep from 7:30 pm until at least 4 am the next morning, sometimes 5 or 6! Sometimes he would go a week or two sleeping like this. More recently, he has been getting up at 1 or 2 am, 5:30 am, and then 8. I know that eventually he will start sleeping through the night like my 2 year old, but it drives me crazy knowing that he can make it through the night without eating but for some reason keeps getting up multiple times. I just started him on oatmeal baby cereal a little over a week ago and then a few nights ago I started him on sweet potatoes, so maybe that will help keep him fuller? I don't know.

One thing I do know is that when you become a mother, there's something no one ever tells you: you have officially signed over your rights of getting a full night of sleep for at least the first year of your child's life! Unless you get lucky and your child sleeps through the night from the start. I got a little luckier with my second because my first born never slept this long at night at such a young age. And as I said before, I know that eventually he will start sleeping more at night and I will get more sleep.

Today my little guy only had one nap that was about 2 hours long. I kept him awake the rest of the day because I'm kind of thinking that maybe he sleeps too much during the day so maybe that is why he is up so often at night. Because of it being election night (I hope everyone voted!) I was in line to vote for 2 hours and 20 minutes, so I didn't get home until 8:45 pm! That is about an hour and a half after I normally put him down to bed. So I don't know what time he'll be up tonight, but hopefully I get to go to sleep for a little bit before he decides to wake up. I'm browsing Pinterest for a little bit, taking a shower, and then I'm off to bed!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Money Making Monday

Hi there! So as you may or may not know, I am a stay-at-home mom. I love being able to stay home with my kids and spend so much time with them. But a small part of me wishes that I could be contributing financially to our family. I know that I will be able to go back to work eventually, but that may not be until both kids are in school or at least till my oldest is in school. That's anywhere from 3-5 years from now. So for now, I've been finding easy ways that I can either make money from home or save money on things we buy and do. Starting today, each Monday I will post about one of those ways that I make or save money!

Today I am going to start with an app called "Quick Thoughts". My mom introduced me to this app and I'm so glad she did! This actually works and you can earn a ton from it, depending on the amount of time you spend using it.

This app can be found on both the App store and Google Play. I have it downloaded on both my iPhone and my Android tablet. This is a survey app and for most surveys you get $1 once you qualify and complete a survey. For mostly all surveys you don't qualify for, you get 10 cents. Then once you reach $10, you can redeem it for a $10 iTunes gift card on Apple devices or $10 Amazon gift card on Android devices. I take surveys on both devices but then cash out my $10 on my Android tablet because I would prefer to get Amazon gift cards. 

I redeemed my first $10 Amazon gift card on April 14, 2016 and since then have gotten a total of $170 in Amazon gift cards! I don't normally buy a lot from Amazon, but since I downloaded this app and started earning money from it, I have been able to buy things for myself, the kids, and the house. I bought some roll-on bottles, spray bottles, and coconut oil for my essential oils, a waterproof baby sling to use in the pool and in the summer, a bib for my oldest that covers her whole torso, Coca-Cola salt and pepper shakers, storage bins for my refrigerator, and my latest item, a card game called Kinder Perfect. It's like Cards Against Humanity, but for parents! 

I definitely recommend downloading Quick Thoughts today so you can start earning Amazon and/or iTunes gift cards! All it takes is doing a few surveys a day and you'll be at your $10 in no time!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dance it off!

Last night I went to the YMCA and took a Zumba class for the first time in about a month. We had a family emergency come up so I wasn't able to go every Thursday like I used to, but things are settled down now so now I'm back to going to Zumba every Thursday night. We got a family membership to the Y back in January when I was still pregnant with my youngest. We wanted to be able to take our oldest swimming, put her in a gymnastics class, and I wanted to take an aquatics class while pregnant. The first aquatics class I took turned out to be for older people and only had you moving your legs or arms, one at a time. That one wasn't for me. Then I found another class called Water in Motion and that was exactly what I was looking for. It's pretty much like Aqua Zumba, which is Zumba in the water. I really enjoyed that class and even went a few times after my little guy was born. But that class is at 9 am, way too early to have to get the kids up, feed them, and get them in the car to go to the Y. So I'll just stick with my Zumba.

What I love about Zumba is that I have so much fun dancing and listening to the music, that I don't even realize I'm working out! Years ago I played the Zumba game for Xbox 360 Kinect, but going to an actual class is so much better! I was a little worried at first because I figured it would probably be a bit more intense in an actual class, but it actually isn't that bad. And I'm not too worried about other people watching me and wondering what they think of my dancing, because I know that the only person I'm worried about watching is the instructor, so that must be who everyone else is watching, right?

So if you've ever considered taking a Zumba class but you haven't because you think you have no dancing skills, don't worry about it. I'll admit that occasionally I glance around the room and look at other people dancing, you can't completely ignore everyone else in the room. And I notice that everyone puts their own twist on the moves. So while I might not be on the list as one of Beyonce's dancers, I think I do just fine at Zumba. And I've tried doing Zumba at home by just watching Youtube videos, totally not the same. I find that I don't try as hard to get the moves if I'm home alone in my living room. So being at an actual class with other people, kinda motivates me to do the moves as good as I can because I don't wanna look like a complete fool or just stand there doing nothing.

One last thing about Zumba, I've found that it really is helping me lose weight. I don't get on the scale very often, but I've had 2 of my friends within the past few weeks tell me that I look like I lost weight. After the first one said it, I looked down at my stomach as was like "Woah, I do look thinner". So I definitely recommend Zumba if you are trying to lose weight or even just to stay in shape. It is definitely a great workout. And like I said, no dancing skill is required!!

I'll leave you with this awesome quote I just found and it couldn't be more right! I love having this hour where I don't have to think about anything except the dance moves!!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Do you hear that??

If you were in my house right now, you would hear silence! And let me tell you, that is a pretty rare thing to happen at 2:00 in the afternoon! My oldest normally naps from noon-2 but we met a friend for lunch so we got home a little later than normal so she is still napping now. And my youngest has been awake from about 8:30 this morning until about 1 pm, so he is napping as well!

I'm hoping that eventually both kids will always nap at the same time so I can get some free time to myself during the day. This is probably only the 3rd or 4th time that this has happened to me so I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this time. Do I take a nap? Do I clean? Do I catch up on my TV shows? Do I crochet or sew? There's just so many things to do and so little time!! What are some things you enjoy doing when your kids are down for a nap?

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm now a mommy of 2!

Hi there! It feels like forever since I last wrote a post. It was more than 4 months ago because my new little one is here and just turned 4 months old 2 weeks ago! Let me tell you, being a mommy to 2 kids is definitely different than being a mommy of just 1! Things can be tough at times but I wouldn't have it any other way! And I love having my 2 kids so close in age, my oldest turned 2 in June! I'm so excited to see them grow up together and (hopefully) love and play with each other!!

Right around the time my second little one was born, I got into essential oils and bought my starter kit from Young Living. I went to an oil party that one of my friends had and I instantly fell in love with the oils! I'm all about using things that are better for me, my family, and our budget so I'm greatful to have found out about Young Living. Because I'm still new to the oils and have to watch what kinds of things I write and say, I'm a little nervous to blog about it but I'm going to do my research and make sure I stay compliant while sharing the goodness of oils with you, my readers! I'm not a doctor or medical professional so I can't say that any oils will cure or heal you from any illnesses. So here and there you will read a post about oils I love and how I use them in my daily life. One thing I suggest is that if you are interested in learning more about Young Living and essential oils, cheek out this episode of The Essential Oil Revolution podcast. "Seed to Seal" is not just a slogan, it's Young Living's process and it's what sets them apart from other essential oil companies.

Starting now I hope I can share a new post with my readers a few times a week. I'm even hoping I can start doing reviews and giveaways like I did on my old blog. So until next time, have a great day and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, May 12, 2016


    Welcome to my brand new blog!! I've blogged in the past and decided to create a new blog and come back to the blogging world!! It may take me a little bit to get into a regular blogging schedule because I'm currently due with my husband and I'm second child!! I have a c-section scheduled for May 31st and it can't get here soon enough!!
    Even though this is my second pregnancy,  I've never been this pregnant. My first was born at 32 weeks due to me having Vasa previa, which is when the placenta is low and there are blood vessels in the way of the cervix. I was put on hospitalized bed rest at 32 weeks and then 2 days later my daughter decided it was time to be born. Her heart rate was decelerating so they decided to get her out of there. She did very well with only 16 days in the NICU and in about a month she will turn 2!! You can't even tell she was a premie!!!
    I am more uncomfortable this time around than I was with my daughter so I'm ready to go!! But I know it's best for my little guy (yes, it's a boy!!) to stay in there as long as possible. So we've got 19 days and counting! !!
    Now, what can you expect from this blog? Lots of things: life of a stay at home mom with 2 kids, recipes I love, TV shows I watch, books I read, and just about anything else I find interesting!! So stay tuned and I hope you enjoy my blog!!