Monday, January 8, 2018

Money Making Apps: Shopkick

*Disclaimer: Links provided include my referral code. All opinions expressed are my own. 

One frugal tip I have for anyone with a smart phone is to find apps that help pay YOU to use them. The good thing about such apps, is that there are many that help you earn some money by scanning receipts, getting your steps in, or get rebates back on items you'd normally purchase.

An app I use often is called Shopkick. Using Shopkick while out and about is a great way to earn "kicks." These kicks are like points that can be redeemed for giftcards. I've fueled a few coffee runs using the kicks to get Starbucks gift cards. 

The best part about Shopkick is that you don't even have to buy anything to collect kicks. You can go to a store and get kicks for walking in, as well as scan items while shopping and earn more. You can see the kicks available under "walk-ins," "scans," and "receipts." There are times when you can submit any receipt and still get kicks as well!

If you happen to buy the items you scan you can earn even more kicks- but I don't buy things I don't want or need just to get them. You can also open the app when shopping online and earn kicks as well! 

If you want to start off with some points just for signing up, use code EARN466233 or just click this link to sign up.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New year- Same me

I love the start of a new year. It seems so fresh and without mistakes, but I feel like I need to apply that perspective to each new day! It's one of my goals for this year, to be more mindful about my life. Wherever I am, that's where I am.

1. My home is usually a mess. I know that part of it is that we live busy lives and sometimes have "drop and go" days. I also know that part of that is an excuse because I put off the little things until they are big things, and then feel overwhelmed by it all. I'm not happy when my home is a mess and since it bothers me, I want to fix it. It won't be perfect, but it'll be better.

2. This one is a usual goal, but I know how I can reach it. I work out often and intensely, but you can out eat any workout plan, and that's what I've been doing. I will control my portions, and practice the 80/20 approach to eating. I'm human and won't pass up a treat, but I know that overindulging isn't worth it.

3. Mindfulness can feel like a buzz word, but for someone with anxiety I feel like it's something I need to practice more. So often I have my lists going on and am planning the next thing I need to do while I'm spending time with my family, friends, or even having a moment of peace. This needs to stop.

4. This is a fun goal. My goal for 2017 was to squat 125 and I blew that away by squatting 155. I just think it would be fun to see that number grow. I love the feeling of getting stronger each day!

5. My marriage is important to me, but usually it gets the backburner due to kids, my job, and everything else that I feel responsible for. Usually I feel like my husband would just understand, but I don't feel like that's fair to him, or to us, at all. I want to spend more time with him and make our relationship a priority.

6. We racked up some debt this year and have some big expenses coming up. Some fun (like vacations) and some not-so-fun (plumbing repairs- ugh), but important to us and things we can afford if we spend responsibly. I would feel so much better without this debt hanging over my head.

SO those are my goals for this year! What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Money-Saving Apps: Ibotta

*Disclaimer: Links provided include my referral code. All opinions expressed are my own. 

One frugal tip I have for anyone with a smart phone is to find apps that help pay YOU to use them. The good thing about such apps, is that there are many that help you earn some money by scanning receipts, getting your steps in, or get rebates back on items you'd normally purchase.

An app I use often is called Ibotta.

To use Ibotta, you open the app and select the store you're going to shop at. You can also use it for online purchase by using the app to go to the store's website.

Check through the list of things you can get a rebate on, many times there are "any brand" items that include produce, meat, or dairy products! Every so often there's an "any item" rebate for 25 cents, that adds up if you use it for each shopping trip!

Sometimes after I'm done shopping I check the app to see if anything I bought would be matched fro a rebate, but I suggest checking beforehand while you make your list if you're not brand-loyal. You can make a note to check and see if the brand available for the rebate is the better price or not. Then you scan your apps, select the rebates you've qualified for, and wait on getting that money back.

You'll be able to transfer that money back to gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and more.

My only complaint is that in my area I can't use Ibotta for Aldi. I do most of my shopping at Aldi because of their amazing products and prices, so my Ibotta rewards come from trips to Walmart, Kroger, or other stores to pick up the few things Aldi doesn't carry. If you shop at those stores normally, you would probably get even more money back from Ibotta.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

5 Self-Care Tips: Beating the After-Holiday Blahs

So it's over! You made it through the family get-togethers! Meals were made and eaten, presents were wrapped at the last minute, and now you finally get a full night's sleep.

What now?

Well if you're anything like me, the days after Christmas can be difficult to navigate through. The lack of structure, the chaos of the event, and the financial worry from going a bit overboard can seep in and grab ahold of my anxiety. It also doesn't help that I miss my Cali family so much this time of year.

These feelings can turn the hopes of a productive break into one that leaves me unsettled and feeling like I "wasted" it when I get back. There's nothing wrong with taking time off, watching some Netflix, and letting the to-do list wait. There is something wrong with feeling so overwhelmed that you do nothing, and continue to do nothing in the hopes of avoiding everything.

To combat this, I practice something called self-care. The good thing about self-care is that it doesn't have to cost a thing, because it's more of a mental shift. Rather than fall into the void, you make the effort to do one thing. That one thing can vary from person to person, but tends to lead to doing one more thing, then another. My 5 self-care tips that help me get focused and let go of anxiety are:

1. Take a shower. 

Yes, I understand that it seems simple. Again it's a mental shift, for me taking a shower usually means I'm getting ready for the day. It forces me to do my hair afterward, and while I'm there I tend to do my makeup too. I put on real clothes. It's a small, intentional step that helps me get back to a better mental headspace.

2. Drink water.

Again simple, but I feel so much better when I intentionally drink water. When I start to feel anxious, adding coffee to it can make that jittery feeling more intense. I can also feel panicky because I still don't have the drive to do something, but I have an increased heart rate that makes me feel like I need to be doing something. It's not a fun feeling, and doesn't help me get moving.

3. Get dressed.

Real clothes. Do your hair. Put make-up on if you feel like it. Again, it's simple, but it goes back to the intent behind it. When I feel like I'm getting lost into the abyss, getting dressed helps me recenter. I love a good pajama day, and days when I don't have to put in a ton of effort. These days are not the same. It's less about relaxing and more about giving up. On those days, I need to put on real clothes.

4. Go outside.

Take the dogs out. Walk with a family member around the block. Sometimes it's enough to just get out of the door and away from the walls that both protect and smother you. If it's cold, rainy, miserable- you don't have to be out for long. Just long enough to have left the walls for a bit.

5. Pick one thing.

This is intentionally vague, because the abyss can vary from person to person. Pick something that you feel needs to be done. One, small thing on that list in your head. Maybe it's taking the tree down, getting the dishwasher unloaded, folding a basket of laundry. Something, but not everything. Your one thing isn't "do the laundry," that's too broad. As we know, laundry is never really "done," so rather than help your anxiety, this will leave you feeling like you still have that mountain to climb. Specific, attainable things such as "fold the basket of laundry by the steps," "unload or load the dishwasher," and "take out the overflowing trash" can be completed. It can be scratched off the list. You can go back to the couch sit once it's done.

Then drink some water and, if you can, pick one more thing.

Hopefully by doing the 5 steps, you start to feel less anxious, and at the same time start taking steps to get rid of the things causing anxiety. You may be able to get many "one things" done in a day and start to feel like you're back in control. You may just get the "one thing" done. That's okay too. You can try again tomorrow.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Is this thing still on?

So I disappeared.


Sometimes when you get everything you've spent years working for you discover that it is even more work. You may also feel like you're missing something that you thought you'd have.

When I started this blog, it was an attempt at a few things. The first was generating some sort of income. I wasn't frugal because it was trendy, I was in survival mode. I also felt like others may be in the same boat and could use some of my ideas. I blogged while school and applying to become a teacher and wanted a place to share some ideas. Balance that all with being a mom, and I felt like I had something to offer.


Now I feel like my budget is completely out of control, I have no idea what I plan eat on any given day, and the adorable toddlers who had play dates are growing up so fast that I can't keep up.

So I'm going back to my roots. Blogging helped me then and I'm hoping that it will help again.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Keep Momming.

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Raising a child at any age is challenging, and when it comes to mothers and daughters, the dynamic can be even more complex. What some may dismiss as “typical tween girl behavior” can sometimes be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

That’s why I’m pleased to be joining Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub,, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. Thekeep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

Check out Holly’s message about how she keeps momming, and don’t forget to visit

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The New Year

2014 is almost here, and there are some amazing things to come in my future. I'm so happy to say that I was hired full time as a teacher in my county. I can't wait to get to work and do what I've worked so hard to do. Unfortunately, with this good comes the bad news that I am not going to be blogging anymore. I know that with 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 husband, and a (more than) full time job I will not be able to do it all. Thank you for the years of comments, encouragement, and for following me on this journey. All the best to you and yours. <3 nbsp="" p="">
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