Monday, June 15, 2015

4 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money from Home

This post contains referral links.

Hey all!

Most of you probably know that I believe God's calling on my life it to be a stay at home mom.  That meant really getting creative on my end.  I was hoping my blog might become a source of income but it turns out that monetizing a blog is tough work!  And it requires a lot more time than I am able to commit to at this point.  Thankfully, God has provided me with part-time employment outside of the house.  It's just 10 hours a week (a day and a half away from baby girl), sometimes I am able to work from home, my mom and my grandma are the best babysitters around, and I am doing ministry!  It is a huge blessing.  

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But before I accepted this position last week, we were surviving on savings and I searched high and low for different ways to make a few extra bucks.  This list includes a few of my favorites:


Not only is one of my favorite places to shop for Miss Aelah (and now myself) but it is such an easy way to make some extra cash.  I have sent a couple of boxes of things from around the house and made a decent amount.  But recently, I've started buying  baby clothes at yard sales for the specific purpose of sending them to Swap.  All I have to do is put the items in a box!  They photograph and put the items online for you to price.  I only have to worry about shipping once and I never have to photograph a thing (forget Ebay!).  The site says that on average users make about $50 a box!  Click here to get started or to go shopping! 

2. Grocery / Shopping Apps

There are so many different grocery apps out there, it is hard to know which ones are worth it.  Well, I've tried quite a few and these are the few that I use on a regular basis and have stood the test of time  (in order of how much I like and use them):
  • Shopkick
    • This is, by far, the easiest way to make some extra money.  Just open the app when you walk into select stores and you get points!  The only catch is that you can only redeem points for gift cards.  While not actually cash, you can get Walmart or Target gift cards for groceries or even gift cards to major Gas Stations like Exxon or Shell.  This helps the budget which means extra cash! Click here to sign up.
  • Walmart Savings Catcher
    • Just scan your receipt and they price match for you!  Since we usually buy off brand, I don't get a huge return on this but if you buy name brand, the savings add up quickly.  And no matter what, every little bit helps!
  • Receipt Hog
    • Snap pictures of your receipts for points.  This isn't just for specific stores either!  It takes awhile for points to add up but it is super simple so I don't mind the extra few seconds it takes to snap a picture of my receipt.  If you use my referral code, SPOG8394, you will get 5 free spins on the "Hog Slots"...which might mean extra points!
  • Ibotta
    • This app has you scan barcodes and receipts to earn points for specific items that you buy.  Some things are name brand, other things are general like '1 dozen eggs' or '1 gallon of milk.'  And it only works at specific stores.  The only place local for us is Walmart.  I don't make a ton extra this way but every little bit helps.  The plus side is that the bigger your team is the more money you are capable of earning.  Your team grows in a couple of ways - direct referrals or any Facebook friends that join (you don't have to invite them, you just have to have your account linked).  You can join my team and we can make money together if you use my referral code: tyjrokq 

3. "Points Per Activity" Sites (Surveys, Videos, etc.)

This is popular way to make a few extra bucks.  But again, there are a ton of different sites out there. I have tried a few and only three have stood the test of time for me.  
  • Swagbucks
    • They give you a "daily goal" every day which I try to reach so I get the bonus points.  But if nothing else, I do the daily to-do list on the left hand side and I "watch" my allotment of videos on the Swagbucks TV app.  I made Swagbucks my default search engine so I can get points if I need to look anything up online.  I occasionally do other things like surveys or tasks to reach my daily goal.  And, if I'm shopping online, I make sure to do so through Swagbucks so I can earn points that way as well.  Click here to see all the awesome ways you can earn swagbucks.
    • I use Perk in two ways.  I have the Perk TV app on my old iphone that I can "watch" videos on all day.  I have the Perk Scratch app that is basically a lottery ticket game that I play when I'm wasting time (while nursing or watching TV).  The points take longer to add up...but it doesn't require a lot of my time.  Go here to start earning Perk points.
  • Superpoints
    • Again, another one that takes a bit longer to add up but requires very little effort on my part.  I push the super lucky button as many times as I'm allowed each day, do the "daily click surprise" and open my daily email (receiving the email is a requirement...opening it means you might win points).  SUPER easy.  Click here to try your luck at the super lucky button.

4. Reward Credit Card

We have one credit card, Chase Freedom, in our house that we pay off every month, well, technically multiple times a month, but the point is, we never have a balance on it.  We get 1% cash back on every single purchase and then 5% back on different items each quarter (gas, restaurants, etc.).  With no fees and no balance, they are paying us $15-$30 a month just to use their card!  If you sign up by the 1st of November and spend $500 in the first three months, they will give you $100 cash back!!  Just follow this link and you are on your way!

Bonus... Start an Etsy Shop

I included this as a bonus because it isn't exactly *easy.*  If you can sew or have any kind of creative gene, having an Etsy shop is a fun and creative way to make money from home.  Since I made all of our own natural, chemical-free cleaners and bath & body products, Hubby suggested I start selling them.  We try to attend at least one craft show a month and started an Etsy shop.  Not only is it a fun way to make some extra cash, but we get to spend some extra time together....which is always nice.  

Thinking of starting your own shop?  Use this link and we'll both earn free listings!

You can check out all of the natural products we sell here.  Use code MYBLOG10 at checkout for 10% off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Truth: Our Days are Numbered

Let me ask you a question.  And I want you to really think hard about the answer.

Do you know when you are going to die? you?  Or don't you?

The answer is easy.  You don't have a clue....just like I don't have a clue.

But we live like we know we won't die until we're old and grey.  

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We have no way of knowing if we will be old and grey or if we will even see tomorrow.

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

If you take a look at what the Bible has to say about our hearts, you will see that our hearts are the key to spending eternity with our Savior (for more on that, check out any of the posts I've written here).  We must be pursing the Lord with all that we are, and we can't do that if our hearts are not in the right place or if our affections are divided.  

It seems, however, that most of the general church population wants to put off cleaning up their hearts and giving them completely to the Lord until....well, until tomorrow. After all, we always have tomorrow.

But what if we don't?  What if we don't have tomorrow?

If you were to take a look at your life right now, would you be okay with everything if you died today?  Or are there things you need to take care of?  People you need to talk to?  Relationships that need fixing?  Family or friends that need forgiving?

Most importantly - is your heart in the right place with the Lord?  Could you present your heart to Him and tell Him that you gave it your all?  Would you be presenting Him with a heart of wisdom or a lukewarm heart that never left the fence?

I want to rephrase that verse for you a few different ways so that you really get the point.

John Wesley puts it this way: 

"Teach consider the shortness of life and the certainty and speediness of death...That we may heartily devote ourselves to true wisdom."

Because, yes, death is certain and, often, quite speedy!  Therefore, we must devote ourselves to true wisdom which is seeking the Lord.

From Matthew Henry:

"We must live under a constant apprehension of the shortness and uncertainty of life and the near approach of death & eternity."

Everything we do should be with eternity in mind because this life is, most definitely, temporary and uncertain.

And lastly, Adam Clarke rephrases it perfectly:

"Let us deeply consider our own frailty, and the shortness and uncertainty of life, that we may live for eternity, acquaint ourselves with thee, and be at peace; that we may die in thy favor and live and reign with thee eternally."

 Eternity depends on our lives now.  Do you get that?  Do you really get that?  Everything we do, every choice we make affects that. 

Today, I challenge you to live like you were dying.

Make amends.  Apologize.  Forgive and let go.  Love like you have never loved before.  Give.  Enjoy life.  Be thankful.

And, most importantly, get your heart right with the Lord.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chidren's Book Review: Drinking Animals

Story time is one of our favorite times of the day.  I especially love it because it is a quiet moment where I get to watch my husband be a wonderful Daddy.  Even when she is grabby and can't sit still, I think he still treasures that time with her.

Children's Book, E-Book, Animals, Educational, Fun, Picture, Dan Jackson, Review
An E-Book

I was given the opportunity to review the e-book: "Drinking Animals" by Dan Jackson.  It is a fun and educational book!  While my little lady is quite young for anything deemed "educational," I still appreciate when things are meant for more than just fun.  I have worked with children for long enough to realize the importance of combing the two.

"Drinking Animals" does a fine job of that!  Each page pairs a picture with a fun caption and an educational fact.

Children's Book, E-Book, Animals, Educational, Fun, Picture, Dan Jackson, Review
Who knew dogs needed so much water?  I learned a thing or ten from this book!
Unfortunately I only have a Kindle Paperwhite, so it doesn't display the color.  But from the images I have seen online, the images are really quite vivid - definitely something children would appreciate.

I think it will be a fun book that Aelah will definitely enjoy when she is older.  It even has a giraffe...which is our favorite:

Children's Book, E-Book, Animals, Educational, Fun, Picture, Dan Jackson, Review
Giraffes look so awkward when they drink....

For now, she enjoys books she can get her hands on (which means board books are our friends...)

Children's Book, E-Book, Animals, Educational, Fun, Picture, Dan Jackson, Review, Story Time
She so does love reading.
The description of the book on Amazon does say for children 4 - 8 and notes that it can be read aloud or that it would work great for beginning readers.  I'm not convinced that it is suited for beginning readers as the "facts" contain rather large words like: 'efficient,' 'retention,' or 'quantities' to name a few.

However, I can envision the child reading the quirky captions for the pictures and an adult chiming in with the facts.

All in all, it is a very cute book that is full of great pictures, education, and fun!

What is your favorite children's book?  I'm looking to grow our collection...