Valentines Day is not about the money

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Valentines Day is not about the money

Three ideas put together onto a photo (free) and then I put the photo into a picture frame that says “LOVE” across the top. (on sale for $6.99), A Card and a handwritten letter. It was probably the best gift I have ever given my husband and it was so simple, but it had meaning behind it.

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ebates is great for travelers!

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My husband and I bought concert tickets out of town for each other as a Christmas gift.  Last night I went to make the hotel reservation and guess what??  There are plenty of hotels on ebates, mine will provide me with 4% cash back!  I just checked and they also have airlines.  Cash back on just about anything someone would want or need to purchase.  I am in love with this site, check it out:

http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=%2FkCE8m%2B7NHAxEtWfWDA1sA%3D%3D

How do we find normal?

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In church a few weeks ago the pastor spoke on how we tend to normalize things in our life just because it seems normal. Examples included things like:

  • “My dad talked to my mom like that, so shouldn’t my husband talk to me like that?”
  • “All of the girls spend that much money when they go to the mall, it’s okay to spend that much.”
  • “I’ve been taking these pills all of my life.”
  • “Doesn’t everyone smoke pot when they come home from work?”

And so on…..

There is so much truth in the message he spoke today. What is normal and how do we find normal in our lives? Do we actually know what normal is? It is normal for the sun to come up every morning, it is normal for us to breathe, it is normal for us to eat, it is normal for us to ………… What else?  What else is normal? I always thought it was normal for a girl to grow up to be a woman and marry a man. That’s how it was at my house growing up. (My parents have been married over 40 years) I am in my second marriage and we are currently separated.  Maybe “my normal” is being alone?  What I do know is that only you can find your own “normal”. Do not settle for less than you deserve and do not go along with everyone else just because “everyone is doing it”. Be true to yourself and you should find your own normal. If you are blessed with the Holy Spirit let it guide you. God’s word speaks to us when we hear it and when we read it.

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I am referring all of my readers to ebates. I was skeptical at first, but then I changed my mind. We have a service at work that is similar to ebates it is called Blackstone Marketplace, where if you shop from their site you can get extra deals and “points” to use toward future purchases.  Now it takes a lot of time to rack up points.  In fact, I have been on there for 2 years and have about $50 that I could use toward a purchase. I am not the average girl I HATE TO SHOP. So, when Christmas time comes I do all of my ordering online if possible.

A few weeks ago I had started to think about buying a new washer and dryer. I did some comparison shopping and actually realized that I could afford to purchase one outright (by outright I mean put it on my Amex card that provides “points” toward travel, I always pay it off every month). Now, my Amex card is a whole other Blog post. (I am actually going on spring break nearly free in April from using that card). While I was comparison shopping online for my new washer and dryer I actually saw a commercial for ebates. I realized that I had signed up for ebates back in 2012 but never actually tried it. I looked through the site and realized that if I purchased my washer and dryer from Lowes which was actually the cheapest price and free delivery, I could get 2% back on my purchase. Now 2% isn’t much, but on a large purchase it adds up.

I also made a couple more purchases through ebates and now I have $31.22 in my “ebates bank” that will be sent back to me I believe the date said 02/15/2014.

The pros and cons of ebates:

PROS

  • Free money.
  • You do not have to leave your house.
  • Free money (I can’t stress that enough).
  • The website is a secure website. (you can check this by seeing if it says “https” vs “http”.

CONS

  • The percentage is small, I have seen a promotion for up to 18% back, but most are about 2-4%.
  • They will not send you a check until your “ebate bank” balance is at least $5.00.
  • You must remember to go through their site and be logged on.

Overall, if you do a lot of online shopping or even just a little, the deal is a great one. On your first purchase you will get a free $10 gift card (but don’t wait too long after signing up or that promotion expires. I waited 2 years, so I did not get the gift card). As long as you do not purchase things you were not going to purchase anyway, the deal is awesome!

Good luck and use my link, if you refer people you will get extra money in your “ebate bank”.

http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=%2FkCE8m%2B7NHAxEtWfWDA1sA%3D%3D

If anyone has any specific questions on how this works please let me know and I can try to answer the best I can.

Balancing work and life

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Balancing work and life can be difficult at times. When we work 8-5, we are bound to come across things that we need to do during that time frame, especially if you have children. I realized today that during my lunch I was taking care of personal business and making my “to do” list for when I got home this evening that many people do not have the luxury I do of sitting at a desk with a phone and a computer to accomplish things that need to be done while at work. Some people have to go to a break room where there is no computer or privacy to make personal phone calls. Cell phones have helped with this, but it is not enough. Now as I am even thinking more about this, some people do not even have enough time to eat and have a restroom break during their allotted lunch time. How do we help these people?

Companies need to work harder at helping employees balance their work and family life. Perhaps next to the supervisor’s office inside of a factory there should be another office with some cubicle set up with phones and computers so employees can handle personal business on their lunch hour. Perhaps companies should be more flexible with work hours. Large companies have the ability to offer better benefits such as more time off, or better working conditions in general. Small companies can help their employees with some small changes, they just need to think outside of the box. What is keeping the employees from fulfilling their daily work? The thought of what they need to get done in their personal life. How can you help your employees?

When I first started studying work and family life I really didn’t understand it. When you are at work, you work. When you are at home, you live. It’s no longer that simple with the demands of daily life spilling over into the work place and the demands of work spilling over into our personal lives.

If you are a small business owner or an employee that needs help with balancing these demands feel free to send me an email and I can discuss things with you and give practical suggestions that may be of assistance.

Questioning Simplicity?

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I have never been a materialistic person. I do not care about labels, or brand names on my clothes. I only care that I like it, it is made to last, and I get my money out of it. I have some clothes in my closet that I know I have had 20 years and they aren’t ones that have gone out of style either. What if we lived in a world where more people were like that? The media influences most of our choices, especially those of children. I tried to explain some of my ideas to my 15 year old daughter last night and she thinks I am crazy. However, she loves going to the thrift store. That’s not to say that she doesn’t love shopping at the mall buying her brand name stuff, but she has a nice mix. I think that one of my goals is to not buy any new clothing (with the exception of under garments) for the rest of the year. This may be hard since I am going to the gym and will hopefully be losing the weight I have put on in the past 2 years (about 20 pounds), but I can make it work. I still have my nice dress clothes for work that no longer fit me (I think). 

So, now that I have that goal I was thinking about another goal. My daughter and I are looking for new cell phones. Technology is really ruining this world in my opinion, but that is another post in itself. I have a smart phone which I have only had for about 18 months. Prior to that, I had the old style flip phone. I am debating back and forth over going back to just a plain old phone with talk and text and no data coverage. My drawback is that my daughter goes to school online and in the event our internet is down for some reason we would be able to use the mobile hot spot on the phone to get online (which I have had to do many times). Now I am thinking about my lovely app Pinterest. What am I going to do when I am picking my daughter up somewhere and won’t be able to look at Pinterest or play Candy Crush? Oh the thought of not having technology in my hand 24/7 is both scary and exhilarating at the same time. What about not being able to take pictures?  Oh wow!  Maybe I should think about how much I use the smartphone as opposed to whether or not I have one…

Thoughts anyone?

 

Swap Romp

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Organized Swap Sale

There is a church in my community that is having an organized swap this Saturday.  They are asking everyone to bring things they do not need as long as they are in working order and clean. You leave what you bring and you take what you need. What a great idea! I would love to organize one of these someday. If I had not just cleaned out my closets and gotten rid of everything I no longer fit or need, I would go and see how it works.  Actually I may go anyway. I think I can dig up some more stuff I don’t need! If I can’t find anything that I need, then at least the stuff I don’t need can go to someone who does need it. 

 

Kitchen One Hour Challenge: Say What?

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My washer and dryer is actually in the kitchen just to the right of where this picture ends. That is why the laundry basket is in there.

This picture and the following are some before pictures of my kitchen: prior to the one hour challenge: Yes, that’s right, this kitchen was NASTY!

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This is literally my only counter space except for the tiny space to the left of the sink where the dish dryer is.

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This is the top of my fridge, this actually doesn’t look as bad as it has in the past. We keep our pet supplies up there for easy access (leashes, treats, and my dog has his own peanut butter)

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This normally looks worse. No one in this house likes to do dishes and my kitchen is too small for a dishwasher.

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This is one of the worst areas! The overflowing drawers and dishes air drying, makes this place look hideous!

So, here are the after pictures:

Happy New Year 013

The recycling bin is still looking pretty yucky, but with the snow outside I did not want to empty it. I am actually looking for better containers for the trash and recycling (something pretty).

Happy New Year 014

See my washer and dryer set are in the picture. The cabinet next to it is where we keep our food due to limited cabinet space. And there is the trash can I need to find a better place for. Any ideas?

Happy New Year 015 Happy New Year 016 Happy New Year 017Ok, so I am still getting used to posting pictures, so I know this looks funny, but in the one hour I cleaned all of the kitchen plus I put away the clothes that were in the laundry basket and folded the towels that were in the dryer. After doing all of that I was sweating and still had 10 minutes left. The kitchen is very small with limited space and gets very crowded, but now at least it is clean! 

So, get motivated by one hour challenges!