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?