Sunday, November 15, 2015

In Spirit of Thanksgiving

I have been thinking for a while now about what I might want to post about next, as this little blog is just getting off it's feet. I've spent the last few days just racking my brain about what in the world would be interesting enough that would be worth sharing...

And it got a little bit depressing! 

I scoured the internet looking for prompts, ideas...spent quite a bit of time being a space cadet (spacing out? yeah...). I literally could not think of ANYTHING.

And then I came across this little image on Pinterest (gotta love Pinterest). This tiny little image of arranged pixels that really got me thinking. It said, "Live a life worth telling people about." My first thought was, M'kay, cool, whatevs. Swipe to the next pin! But then I found myself swiping back to it about two more pins later. And I had another little depressing thought.

Is my life really that boring, that I seriously can't think of anything to write about?!


I tell ya what ow! That little pixelated thingy made me sad! And I can tell you something right now, I'm definitely not the master of positive thinking when it comes to myself all the time. Though I definitely am working on it! I got seriously bummed. I thought about the past few days, thinking maybe I could pull something out that stood out to me. But honestly, it's been that kind of week, where the whole thing blobs itself together and you don't even know what day it is anymore. It's all been sleep, do surveys, find work online, fill out job applications, look at apartments, lather, rinse, repeat...

And one day (today) I was just mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed, like we humans tend to do when our brains to mush, and I came across a touching little video that my dear dear friend made. (She's amazing, love her to death, you should definitely check out her blog here.) It was super simple, just her and her fiance and some of their everyday moments together set to a song. Simple right? I watched it, and it almost brought tears to my eyes, for a few reasons.

First of all, because I love my dear friend and of course, I am overjoyed that she is sharing her joy with me via Facebook. I love seeing her so happy! Watching her tender moments between her and the man she loved touches my heart.

But the other thing that it got me thinking about, was my own life. I thought about that little quote that made me bummed out. And I thought, y'know what? I have absolutely no reason to be that way! I have many precious little moments in my life that make it special and unique. My very own. And no one else can say that they have the same life as me. I have my own precious and tender moments that now one else can say they've been through in my shoes.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have a wonderful and loving husband who's drop dead sexy! (I will brag him up any day) I have delightful members of my family, and in-laws that everyone should seriously be jealous of, they're that awesome. I have darling nieces and nephews. I have friends that are near and dear to my heart, who even though we don't talk much anymore now that we're all growing up and figuring out life, but I know that they care about me too. There are a lot of acquaintances in my life who actually make an impact on my life as well, and though I try to make my best effort to tell them so, I would bet that most of them don't really know how much they actually help me without intending to.

I love these people so dearly, and seriously them alone? MORE than enough than I could ever. EVER. be thankful enough for. But I tell you what. I thought some more about my week, from a different perspective this time.

And I have so much to be grateful for!

There were so many moments that touched my heart!

I was able to visit my husband's side of the family. I watched crime shows and Dr. Phil with my mother in law. I had my darling niece draw me pictures and write me sweet notes about how much she loves me. I got to go to a beautiful wedding ceremony for my sister in law and her new bride. I went out to dinner at a new place I'd never been to before. I played Mario Party with my husband and his friend. I got spoiled when my husband surprised me with that red dress I've been eyeing for months now. I got to try some Japanese mango candy that was freakin' delicious. I played Apples to Apples with my sister and her boyfriend.

I could seriously go on and on. 

But I'm not going to.

Know why?

Because I want YOU to think about it!

Think about YOU. YOUR life. What makes YOU happy. 

Who are those people in your life who you love? What moments made you laugh or smile? What moments were hard, how did you overcome them? 

Do you got little moments like that in your week? in your day even? Seriously take some time to think about you! Think about how awesome you are, the little wonderful blessings in your life. There is literally so much to be thankful for. Even if you have to bring out the mega magnifying glass. There is so much joy to be found in the tender mercies around us. 

The things that I listed for me, maybe you think that they're silly. You think to yourself, "How in the world are you thankful for watching Dr. Phil?" Well, because in every single one of those moments I listed? I smiled about something, I was talking to someone I love, I had a thought that made a molded piece in my heart. I made a memory. 

And that's what life is! A string of memories (Inside Out anyone? Love that show...). Memories that piece together our stories. Our personal, unique, one of a kind stories. And there are so many joyful moments to be had! If you can't find any, seriously, get out there and make some! Feel like you have no friends? I will be your friend. Message me, I'm not even kidding. There is so much that this life has to offer!

So I challenge you, my readers. In the Spirit of Thanksgiving! Think about the joys and the things that you're thankful for! 

Sometimes, all it takes is a little change of perspective. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How I spent $0 on Christmas!

What? That's right. You heard me. ZERO dollars. The big double 0. Nada. Zip. Zero! (And no, I didn't get nothing for Christmas! Hopefully I can keep that total at zero, after all it's not Christmas yet!)

Well let me just tell you the story. 

Money has been craaazy tight for me and my husband. We've moved around a lot in the past year, getting married, going to school, etc. And because of that, it makes it really difficult to get a job.  That's basically how the story has been for me at least. So I've come to the conclusion that I must take it upon myself to generate income!

As for how this applies to Christmas, I obviously can't afford much. I struggled with that thought for a while. Because I love Christmas. And I'm one of those people. You know? The ones who put up the tree immediately after Halloween and talk about Christmas in July of all times? 

Yeah, that's me. 

And let me just tell you. I adore giving gifts! It is one of my favorite parts about Christmas. I used to set up "Santa's workshop" in my bedroom as a kid. I would pull out all my crafting supplies, bits and pieces of fabric I'd saved from my mom's projects, odds and ends, googly eyes and pipe cleaners, you name it. I'd put a sign up on the door so that my siblings and parents wouldn't barge in and ruin their surprises. My siblings would have to schedule a time with me if they wanted to come in and work in Santa's Workshop. Together, we'd create little creations for whatever siblings weren't in the room, and for mom and dad. Then we'd wrap them up and stick them under the tree! They were simple, very creative, and made with all the love our little hearts could muster. In fact if you asked, I could dig  out a little piece of fabric, not much bigger than a dollar, that has two beads and a button glued to it, and some shaky childish handwriting written in Sharpie, out from a memory box. I think my youngest sister made it for me when she was maybe 3 or 4 years old. I know, it seems like something I probably should just throw out, but I really can't bring myself to. It was made with love for me. And it was all she had at the time.

So I've been determined that no matter what, I will still going to provide as best a Christmas as I could for my family. With all I had. My me-and-my-husband family, my immediate family, and my new extended family were/are all on my gifting list.

And my search for sources of money online began. I've only dabbled in a little here and there in online transcription, and I'm just barely starting to get my feet into this whole blogging dealio. But one thing I've become a ninja master at, is online surveys. I do online surveys every chance I get, five minutes here, ten minutes there. It really adds up after a while! For the month of October I made about $350 worth in gift cards, spending only about an hour or two online a day. I'm sure I probably missed a few days too, so if I had been more diligent, that could've been a lot more! The exciting part is that November has only just begun! Which means I can make that much this month as well and still have the month of December to make some more! And I want to share with you where I was able to do these things. Because c'mon, who couldn't use an extra $350 a month? Especially when it comes to the holidays!

You interested yet?

Here's list of some of my favorite survey sites! I think they're great. I can vouch for receiving prizes/payment for each of these sites. I know there's a lot of negative association with online surveys, and a lot of scams out there. But if you just do your research you'll be okay! Here we go!

1. Opinion Outpost

This is by far my favorite site. If you're lucky with getting qualified often, you can make about 10 dollars a day! For every survey you don't qualify for, they put an entry into their quarterly prize drawing for $10,000. Which is cool! I haven't won yet, but I wish! I made $120 from this site alone last month. You can cash out through PayPal or Amazon cards (my favorite two options), and a number of other options. You can follow my referral link below to take you there!

2. Points2Shop

This is my next go to when I finish all the surveys on Opinion Outpost. There are always opportunities to earn here! When you first sign up, you can request whether you'd prefer to earn cash or points. Points are all exchangeable for ANYTHING that's sold on Amazon! As well as a variety of gift cards, like Gamestop or Amazon cards. If you choose cash, there's not as many earning opportunities, but you can cash out via PayPal. My only disclaimer with this site: make sure you really read the rules very carefully! They are pretty strict and it's easy to get banned. But if you're good, they treat you very well! For the month of October here, I earned $101.81, which I requested $100 in Amazon gift cards! I definitely recommend this site. Follow my referral link below to try it out! :)

3. Pinecone Research

This one is a little tricky to get into, and they don't have referral links. But it pays really well! The way I found it was doing a little Google search and explored a few different websites before finding a link for an invitation to join. Their surveys are invite only, so you have to keep an eye on your inbox for opportunities to earn. You can then use their rewards program to shop for items with your points. There's some really nice things there (Tiffany's? yes).

4. Swagbucks

You've probably heard of this one before. It is totally user friendly, and really easy to use! There's always ways to earn here as well. Plus, if you're doing shopping on another site, sometimes you can get points for every dollar you spend. You can earn points watching videos, doing surveys, checking out other websites, even watching their swag tv (which I can just turn on my iPod and mute, and let it play away. Yay, passive earning!). I haven't spent as much time on this one as I have the other ones, but I did receive some Visas and Amazon gift cards from here! The other weekend I splurged and spent one of my $20 visas and ordered a Philly Cheesesteak pizza for my husband and I...if you wouldn't do surveys for money would you do them for pizza?...I would....ahem. Anyways. Follow the link below if you want to check it out!

5. Inbox Dollars

This one you've probably heard of before as well. It is also pretty user friendly, though I find myself overwhelmed by the Barney-esque green and purple sometimes. I don't find as many survey opportunities here, and the cash out minimum is a little high ($30 minimum), but it's worth it. They send you a check through snail mail, or you can request an Inbox Dollars card. After you cash out once though, you become a gold member and get more opportunities, which makes it a little easier. Here's my referral link to you :)

6. SliceThePie

This one is actually kind of fun, if you don't mind writing reviews. The idea is to listen to 90 seconds of an artist's song, and write a meaningful and helpful review. The better the review, the more you earn! On average I make about 10 cents for every review. Review 10 snippets, get a dollar! Also a great way to discover some up and coming artists.

Some other ways to earn...

  • Be an extra in a movie or TV show! I did this last week, and got paid $100 to walk down the sidewalk ONCE. I was on location maybe 6 hours tops, and they fed you free food. Not bad!
  • Sell some old junk on eBay or Amazon. Books, DVDs, anything really. My husband and I made out with $65 selling random stuff last month.
  • If you're good at making things, try making an account on Etsy. Artwork? Woodwork? I've seen crocheted baby blankets go for $150 on there...if you've got the skills might be worth a shot!
Some other ways to give...

  • Make your Christmas gifts! These are my favorite kinds of gifts. Because I know that that person was thinking of me during all the time they were putting into their thoughtful gift. They give the gift of their time, which is the most valuable gift of all. It doesn't take a lot to make someone smile when your heart is in it!

Hopefully that's enough to get you going! They've been so beneficial to my family and in helping me reach my goals. I think they're perfect for college students trying to earn a little bit while going to school, or maybe even a stay at home mom. Anyone honestly! May you have mucho successo in your own earning goals! I believe in you! Good luck, and may the force be with you. :)