Quitting Birth Control – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. 


This is a total girl (I mean period) moment here! So men you have been warned. Anything, I say that may gross or offend, you had your warning.
So, my husband and I decided awhile ago before we even got married that we weren’t going to have kids to due to my health problems. In October, we made it official and he had a vasectomy. We waited the allotted months and he was tested sperm free! Yay! That meant I could finally get off that horrible birth control I have been on for almost ten years.
They always tell you what to expect when you’re on birth control. What the side effects are, etc. What they don’t tell you is what happens when you quit your birth control. (Even if you call your doctor to let her know what you are doing *evil glares*).

I quit my birth control right after my period. It was the perfect timing. My husband had just got the okay and it meant I didn’t have to go and get another refill on my prescription. The first week I had the flu (long story and had nothing to do with quitting birth control). So, while I was laying in bed sick. I was terribly horny. Even though I was slowly dying. It was as if my libido just kicked back into overdrive. Definitely, a plus, not very great on timing, though.

The second week I was losing weight, which, at the time I attributed to my flu. I also had got a yeast infection. All of these things combined were starting to just get on my nerves and at the time, I hadn’t attributed my symptoms to quitting my birth control.

By the third week, my breasts had started hurting. That’s what sent me over the edge. I was freaking out. I thought, is there some way that I’m pregnant? Did my husband’s vasectomy not take? Then I thought of the recent changes I had gone through with my medication and thought about what kind of symptoms can birth control give you if you quit it? I immediately looked it up. All of my symptoms fit. I breathed a wonderful sigh of relief. Even though my breasts still sore, at least I knew it would go away.

I wanted to share some of the information I gathered. Again, I’m not a doctor so if you have questions concerning your health please contact your doctor.

The good

– You can lose a little weight

– Your sex drive may improve

– You can get pregnant easily

The Bad

– Your breast may deflate a tiny bit

– Breast tenderness 

– More headaches 

The Ugly

You may have heavier periods and worse cramps

– Possibly worse PMS

– Your acne may come back

– You may feel or see yourself ovulating

– You may get a yeast infection 

How to Make Money Using Swagbucks – 11 easy tips to get you started 


One of the best ways I have been earning a bit of extra side money to help with things like gifts or groceries is using Swagbucks. I’ve been hearing a lot of mixed reviews between, I have tried it, and it took too long for me to get any points, so I gave up, or I would like to check it out. So, I wanted to break down the best ways to earn Swagbucks and get gift cards faster.

500 Swagbucks (SB) equal a $5 gift card. You can choose to cash out at $5 or wait and save up your Swagbucks and cash out when you reach higher amounts. Swagbucks has a huge assortment of gift cards available from PayPal to target and Amazon.


1) Download the Swagbucks app and SB TV – This  makes earning your points easy. You can do tasks on the go when you are standing in line waiting for Starbucks. Do your daily poll. Fill out a survey. Watch a couple videos all these tasks are at your fingertips.
2) Download the Swagbucks Toolbar – By downloading the toolbar it makes it easy to use the Swagbucks search engine. It also notifies you when there is a Swag Code available. You can also search and earn surprise Swagbucks.

3) Daily Poll – The daily polls are worth 1 SB. This can be done once a day, which equals to around 30 SB a month.

 

4) Daily Crave – Daily crave is on the Swagbucks main web page. You watch three videos and earn 1 Swagbuck. This can be done again daily, which can equal around 30 SB a month.


5) Daily Offers – Daily offers is another one that is on the Swagbucks webpage. They are special offers that you can either choose to sign up for or skip past. I personally always skip past them. At the end, you get 2 Swagbucks for going through the offers. This can be done daily, which can equal around 30 SB a month.

6) Watch the Featured videos on your phone in SB TV app – You can watch trailers on your phone. Each day you have a different earning limit. Sometimes, I leave my phone on the app on silent and let it play the trailers while I get ready or do chores. You do have to check on it occasionally because it will stop playing them if you haven’t used your phone in awhile.



7) Referrals – Swagbucks has a great referral program. If you refer someone you and your referral get 150 Swagbucks. You continue to get 10% from your referral as they continue to earn their Swagbucks. They also have promotions throughout the year for example throughout February you have a chance to win 300 Swagbucks from signing up through my referral.

http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/Ily17

 8) Shop – Shop online and get Swagbucks back, because who doesn’t love shopping online and getting money back. The amount varies from store to store. There are usually great deals around the holidays.

 

9) Daily Goal – Swagbucks sets daily goals. If you meet your daily goal for that day you get extra Swagbucks.

10) Swag Codes – Swagbucks has Swag codes that you can place in the code area either in the app or on your computer. There are sites you can go to that give you the codes instead of looking everywhere for the Swag code. You can also just get notifications sent to your phone my favorite is Swag Codes Spoiler.

 

11) Surveys – One thing I really don’t like about a lot of the points sites is that you have to fill out tons of surveys to really earn anything and most of the time you don’t ever even qualify for them. Swagbucks gives you 1 SBs for 4 surveys a day that you start and don’t qualify for.

I hope this helps everyone! Swagbucks is a great tool that doesn’t take up a ton of time. Most tasks take a minute or less and can be done on your phone. Give it a try or a second chance.

Our Anniversary at Wilson Creek Winery

 

Our Anniversary at Wilson Creek Winery

Valentine’s Day was my husband Daniel and I’s one year anniversary. We got married at Wilson’s Creek in Temecula, California, on a beautiful Valentine’s Day night with a guest list of a hundred people. For our anniversary, we wanted to go back to Wilson Creek because we truly love the atmosphere there and the owners, as well as the people they’re just so nice.

Picinic Area at the Wilson Creek Winery

Picnic area at the Wilson Creek Winery

On Saturday, my parents had complimentary wine tasting tickets that the owners had given to them from our wedding. So, they shared their wine tasting tickets and we had a picnic. What makes Wilson Creek Winery so unique is they have a huge picnic area where you are able to bring outside food and drink and enjoy your very own picnic. They only request that you don’t bring coolers which a lot of people don’t seem to follow but I feel it is an easy request to respect. We brought Subway, chips, and water to the beautiful green picnic area. The weather was a beautiful 80 degrees and was wonderful in the shade. After our little picnic, we got a couple of tastings and enjoyed sitting and talking photos. My husband got me this wonderful anniversary gift of Instax FujiFilm mini 8, it takes the cutest instant photos. We had a blast taking photos with it at the winery.


Genuine Fujifilm Instax Mini – white (Instant Film)

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Daniel and I

Daniel and I at the Gazebo where we got married

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We continued to walk around for a bit and enjoyed the great weather. We continued to enjoy our wine tasting tickets. We had Almond Champagne at our wedding and it is always our favorite. So we decided to taste something different. We enjoyed their Peach Bellini and their Orange Mimosa. I really loved the Peach Bellini, it was one of my new favorites. My parent’s then treated us to see the movie Deadpool, because we are that kind of family. It was everything we could hope for, plus I think it disturbed my parents a bit but my Mum surprisingly liked the movie.

Sunday – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's day

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, my husband and I another wonderful day with at the Winery just the two of us. We brought our own bottle of Wilson Creek Almond Champagne and enjoyed it in the picnic area. My husband made reservations for the brunch at the restaurant. We enjoyed a delicious buffet with sushi, ham, and roast. They also, had  breakfast items like waffles,  omelets make on the spot, and delicious bacon and sausage. We then enjoyed all sorts of delectable desserts from cake pops, cookies, to mini little cakes (which were my favorite), and a chocolate fountain which you could dip fruit, and rice crispy treats into, (that was my husband’s favorite.)

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We still had more wine tasting tickets so we tried some more of the Sparkling wines like the Orange Mimosa and the Sangria.

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You can walk through the grounds of the winery and into the vines. We had a fun time taking photos (I mean I had a fun time taking photos my husband tolerated it, lol.)

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The Wilson Creek Winery is such a beautiful place to spend time. If you just want to bring your Wilson’s champagne from Costco and enjoy a picnic at no cost or spend a bit and enjoy wine tasting and lunch, the Winery is truly spectacular.

Wilson Creek Vineyards

 

*Disclaimer – This post has affiliate links. I do make a commission if you purchase if you’d prefer not to shop through my links feel free to visit the links directly. All opinions are my own and I only promote advertising from companies that I feel I can personally recommend. 

The Hoarders and the Collectors – Has your collection has made you a hoarder

 

 Most of us tend to have a collection of something. My weakness is, I like to collect a lot of different things that catch my attention. I have a taxidermy collection (I know I’m an odd one), a vintage camera collection, and a watch part collection. So, how do you know that your collections have turned you into a hoarder?  When your collection has become a burden and is neither going to make you happy or generate revenue.

How many of you in the 90’s collected beanie babies, (come on all you Millennials raise your hands) and if they are still sitting in your storage or in your house collecting dust and using up your space, they are becoming a burden.

It depends on your collections and that difference between what makes you happy, and what will make you some income. Take a look around your house. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you have a collection of items until it has started to take over space. Do you have too many newspapers or magazines that you are collecting? If you haven’t used them by now get rid of them. They aren’t worth enough for you to keep. When I was in high school, I had shelves and bins full of magazines. I loved cutting them up and making my walls a canvas for their art. But, as I got older I let the stack grow and grow but I would tell myself I would go through them and make an art project out of them someday. However, it got to the point where my collection was gathering dust and wasn’t profiting anyone. So I buckled down a couple years ago and got rid of all of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love magazines and I still keep a few at a time and still cut them up for art projects, but my collection of them was borderline hoarding. They weren’t being used, so they needed to go.

De-clutter your space if you are being overrun by your collections. When going through your collections make sure to use eBay and other internet sources as a reference guide. Choose what makes you happy, what will be an investment, and get rid of whatever else is sitting collecting dust.

As smart collectors, we want the objects that fill up our space to be worth something. After all, why can’t our belonging be our investments as well? Spend money wisely and do research before you start a collection. Make sure the money you spend will grow in time as your collection gets older, and not lose its value.

What kind of items do you collect? What do you hoard?

5 Best Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards

 

Tried, Tested and here are my favorites. There are many ways to earn Amazon gift cards here are the 5 best ways to earn Amazon gift cards.

1) Swagbucks– Swagbucks are points that you earn. For every 500 Swagbucks is a $5 Amazon gift card. You earn these points by doing simple tasks like filling out surveys, searching the internet, or watching trailers. Sign up through my referral link and get 150 Swagbucks to start.   Referral. If you sign up this February through my referral link you can get 300 Swagbucks bonus! That means you only need 200 more to get your first $5 gift card.

2) Amazon Trade-in Program – Trade in your used books, electronics and all sorts of items in exchange for amazon gift cards.

3) Ibotta – Ibotta is a great app that helps you get rebates on groceries and turn them into gift cards.

4) Coinstar – Trade in your coins for Amazon gift cards instead of cashing out and paying the 9% Coinstar fee.

5) Bing Rewards – Earn credits for surfing the web, watching videos and answering trivia questions then redeem these credits for Amazon gift cards.

What are your favorite ways to earn Amazon gift cards?

 

*Disclaimer – This post has affiliate links. I do make a commission if you purchase if you’d prefer not to shop through my links feel free to visit the links directly. All opinions are my own and I only promote advertising from companies that I feel I can personally recommend. 

First Year of Marriage

Daniel and I

In a couple of days, my husband And I will be married a for a year. As I look back on the year that we had, my husband and I had been together almost six years before we tied the knot. We truly have been through all sorts of ups and downs. Job losses, a house fire, and hospital stays, we have endured.

This past year has probably been the happiest time of my life. They say the first year of marriage is always the hardest, but for some reason, God seemed to bless us with a beautiful year. This year seemed to go by so fast. My husband and I moved in together and made our little space, home. My amazing step-son stays with us a couple times a month and fills our home with love and laughter. My husband Daniel continues to be there for me through my ups and downs and is the best supporter of all my endeavors.

Our new year is full of many exciting opportunities. We are still working on eliminating our debt and my husband is working on becoming a deputy Sheriff. I continue to work on finding a new job and expanding my side hustles.

I can only hope that our years will continue to be filled with love and happiness.

 

What to Bring to a Craft Fair – 16 Essentials Every Seller Should Bring. 

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Craft Fairs and Sellers Markets can be a great way to make a bit of extra side cash as well as get your business out there. Whether, you are selling at a craft fair because you want to bring some extra income from your hobby or you are a business. Check out these 16 essentials every seller should bring to their next craft fair.

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1) Bring All Inventory

There might be that one customer who comes along asking about an item and you have that item but you left it at home or you didn’t bring enough stock with you and ran out. Bring all your inventory so you have no regrets if someone asks you for something.

2) Displays

Table cloths, drapes, products stands. Make your display area different and stand out among the rest. Make your area apart of the craft.

3) Signage

Banners, signs for social media, info about your products, price tags, testimonials. Make sure your company name is in a place where people can see it. Promote yourself and remind people of places that they can follow you on social media sites.

4) Business Cards

Bring plenty of business cards with you because you will need them. Sometimes people will not have the money or the time to really purchase from you so giving them your business card is a great alternative.

5) Mailing List Sign Up Sheet

You will be meeting new customers and what a better way to keep in touch with them then to have them sign up for your newsletter!

6) Cash and Change

Bring change with you. Both cash and change just in case.

7) Credit Payment System

Not everyone will carry cash with them. Make sure you have some form of credit payment system. If you sell on Etsy they have a card reader that they give to sellers and you can easily connect it to your account.

8) Receipt Sales Book

Give customers receipts for cash payments and keep track of what was sold.

9) Fanny Pack or Apron

Having a fanny pack or apron is great. This makes your money easily accessible when you are engaging your customers. Half aprons tend to be my favorite because they can still look really cute with your outfit.

10) Bags or Wrapping Paper for Sales. 

This seems to be one of the main things that merchants forget. Make sure you have something that is just as pretty and presentable for your customers to take their items home in. One of the last craft fairs I went to I actually sold some of the bags I had brought to a merchant because she forgot to bring any.

11) Power Strips and Extension Cords

It’s great to have extra lighting, maybe even having an area to charge your phone. Bring these essential items with with you just in case.

12) Display Emergency Kit.

Murphy’s law, whatever can go bad will. Or whatever can fall apart at the most inconvenient time will. Bring emergency supplies just in case.

13) Pens.                                                              

Bring pens! And bring more than one because you know how they love to randomly disappear!

14) Craft Supplies

Give yourself something to do. Bring supplies to keep yourself busy when traffic is down. This can also open up the option for you to possibly make custom pieces for customers as well.

15) Water and Snacks

Keep yourself hydrated especially if you are outside on a summer day. Bring snacks to keep that upbeat energy going.

16) Extra Clothes

Sometimes you can’t predict the weather. If you are going to be outside, bring extra clothes. That way you can put on extra clothes if it’s too cold or you can change if you dressed too warm on a hot day. One of the last craft fairs I did was at night and one of the coldest nights of the year. Luckily I brought enough clothes to keep warm and even had a couple of blankets in my car which I loaned out to some fellow sellers.

What do you always bring to craft fairs or shows?

Road Trip to Arizona

Our Road Trip to Arizona

So here is our recap of our wonderful road trip to Arizona

We had to fill my Prius before we left for Arizona. I filled up at the least inexpensive place around at 2.55 which filled my tank and only cost me $20. Which I used during my day of work as well. We left at around 5:30pm and got food on the way. We had McDonald’s which cost us a whopping $12. However, this meal lasted us the rest of the night. We decided to stop in Quartzite to get gas due to the great gas price of $1.89 and filled my tank with $10.

We didn’t get into Mesa until 12am. We spent our first night at my husband’s friends house. We stayed up late and enjoyed catching up with friends.

The next day we got up early and headed over to Tempe. Once we got there my husband and I checked out Mill Street. This little area has great bars and restaurants. We didn’t get a chance to taste any of the amazing smelling food but we enjoyed walking up and down the strip and looking in the stores. One of my favorites was this little old bookstore called,  Old Town Books. This place had so many unique old books.

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While walking around we found this little art museum. The museum was small and admission was free. Most of the art was ceramics and sculptures. Some of the pottery was very unique. I especially loved the steampunk teapot.

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Another fun shop we went into on Mill Avenue was the Hippie Gypsy. This place had unique clothes and amazing rings.

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After Mill Avenue, we headed over to Old Town Scottsdale. We walked around and looked at some of the stores. I have to say it felt over-produced. Most of the stores were jewelry stores who seemed to all have the same designs, or tourist shops. I tend to enjoy looking at the unique little shops and boutiques.

I did, however, find this Henna Shoppe and got this beautiful temporary Henna for only $15. I had such a lovely time. The woman who did the Henna was so sweet and she did a wonderful job.

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As we were heading out of Old Town Scottsdale we happened upon this little Museum. There is nothing more perfect than a free museum.

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Afterward, we joined up with my Husbands Aunt and Uncle. They were so wonderful and treated us to Pizza! We enjoyed the night staying up, talking and catching up. We spent the night at their place in Phoenix. The next morning we enjoyed Aunt Kara’s French Toast and eggs.

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Sunday, we drove to Phoenix and checked out some antique stores. We found this huge antique mall called the Brass Armadillo. The prices were really affordable and there were so many cool things from each vendor.

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We enjoyed the last couple of hours before we headed home at the Scottsdale Fashion Mall. We loved window shopping and checking out all the shops that we don’t usually see in our area. We ended up eating at the mall were I could use my coupons. We stopped to fill up in Scottsdale before we headed home, $1.68 a gallon! On the way home we enjoyed some wonderful rainstorms and great conversation. Our whole trip cost us $50 in gas, $27 in food, and $25 in entertainment (Henna tattoo and a little taxidermy specimen from the Brass Armadillo.) Our total came out to be $102! What a fantastic road trip for around $100 dollars.

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7 Things to Look for at Yard Sales

Things to Look for at Yard Sales


1) Sofas and Recliners

Sofas are a dime a dozen when going to Garage sales and Craigslist. It is very easy to find exactly what color, shape, and size you are looking for if you are just patient. Since everyone is trying to sell their sofa it is easy to find one for a great price.

2) DVDs and CDs

When shopping for new DVDs and CDs it seems like a steal when you walk into Walmart and you see a huge bin of popular DVDs for $5 to $7 a piece. However, coming from a person who has a DVD collection of nearly a 1000 DVDs, I do not pay more than $2 for DVDs including Blu-rays. The bulk of my collection has come from yard sales, used DVD stores, and I stocked up when all the Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos closed. Sometimes, I swear all I have to do is talk about a movie and say I don’t have it and the next day I’ll find it at a yard sale. My husband and I were just talking about how we don’t have Galaxy Quest and how we wanted to get it. Next day, we found it at a yard sale for a dollar. I will occasionally buy new DVDs Seasons on sale during Black Friday sales and Holiday sales. Again, only if they are under $10 because seasons are ridiculously expensive.

As for CD’s I don’t buy them unless they are .50 cents to $1. People tend to get rid of a lot of CD’s because they put them on their computer and then they sell them. I don’t trust my computer since it has crashed before and I happen to like my music.

3) Furniture
Bookcases, dressers, side tables, dining tables, furniture for your bedroom, living room, you can furnish your whole house for a lot less than buying your furniture brand new at Pottery Barn. Plus you can sometimes find some really cool antique gems that might end up being more than what you bought them for.

*Extra tip – Don’t be afraid to fix a piece up. Most times a bit of furniture polish or a fresh coat of paint can really make a piece of furniture beautiful again.

4)Kids Toys

I was raised on garage sales. My parents used to joke that they would take me to garage sales let me play with the toys while they looked around then if I really liked something and it was under a $1 then they would get it. Granted this was back in the 90’s and yes my parents are weird, but they had a method to their madness. Children have short attention spans and it isn’t always worth spending full price on a toy that your child is going to get bored of within a couple of weeks. I have a Step-son that I buy all sorts of odd and ends for him at yard sales. Action figures and nerf guns are very popular you just might have to buy a pack of darts. As for girls I’ve seen my fair share of doll houses, Monster High dolls in great condition and great dress up ideas.

5) Antiques

This might seem like a general one, however, if you know what you are looking for or if you just have a good eye for antiques you can really find some unique things at yard sales. Not only can you furnish your house with these finds but you can sometimes turn them around into profit. My father has made a living from buying things from estate sales and garage sales that he thought just looked old or just like the way they looked. I’ve acquired many antique cameras, an old typewriter, and vintage costume jewelry this way as well.

6) Books

Reference books tend to be very expensive when you buy them new at the bookstore. For example buying your teenager a SAT prep reference book is about $10-$25. At a yard sale you can get these books for $1 and under. I just recently bought a whole bunch of resume and cover letter books at a garage sale. Five books for $4. I’ve also found many best seller books. From Dan Brown books to Twilight series galore.

7) Clothes

I find clothes all the time at yard sales. I don’t like to pay more than $1 for clothes and most of the time I’m pretty picky. I always make sure to check for any stains, holes, and excessive fading. I find jeans in all sizes quite often. When the jeans I have become worn out I sell them at my yard sale and look for more at yard sales.

**Tip – Don’t be afraid to negotiate. I can’t count how many times I’ve negotiated prices at garage sales. It is expected. Just don’t negotiate too many times back and forth not only will it frustrate you, but it will also frustrate the seller. Take in the situation if the person seems like they won’t negotiate or most of their items are priced at a higher price point than you are comfortable paying then skip the sale.