Earn Cash for Internet Searches and Online Purchases?

Have you ever heard of Swagbucks before (http://www.swagbucks.com/)? In a nutshell, you get paid for searching the internet and making online purchases. If you’re already doing those things, seriously… why not get paid for it?!

swag

There are so many other ways to earn with Swagbucks though!
Check out this Beginners Guide to Using Swagbucks (http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/how-to-use-swagbucks/) for a quick and informative how-to.

Here’s another article that explains how to maximize the benefits from Swagbucks Rewards: http://www.edwardantrobus.com/…/how-to-maximize-the-benefit…

swag-bucks-currency

I’ve been using Swagbucks for web searching/online purchasing for a couple years now and we’ve earned free meals, gift certificates to our favorite stores, Amazon gift cards, etc.

If you sign up for Swagbucks, would you be so kind as to use my referral code?: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/GFwifeandmom. Then, when you’re all signed up, share the referral code Swagbucks gives you with your friends and family and boost your chance to earn more swag. Share the Swag love .

If you’re already using Swagbucks, I’d love to hear what you personally think of it. How do you use it? Has it worked for you? What all have you earned from it?

I honestly have nothing negative to say about it as it has been very useful and profitable for us. Love me some Swag. Hope you will give it a try and earn some cash for stuff you’re doing online already!

Being An Introvert

Just recently, I had one of those epiphany “a-ha” moments… one in which I wish it hadn’t taken so many years to discover. It would have saved me a LOT of trouble, heartache, and frankly… anger.

I am an introvert… through and through.

Now, please don’t confuse introvert with “shy” because the two are completely different entirely.

A shy person has a hard time making eye contact, is somewhat socially awkward…
Here’s a dictionary definition of “shy“:

“being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people “I was pretty shy at school” synonyms: bashful, diffident, farouche, timid, sheepish, reserved, reticent, retiring, self-effacing, withdrawn, timorous, mousy, nervous, insecure, un-confident, inhibited, repressed, inhibited, repressed, self-conscious, embarrassed.

Shy people (surprisingly) can be both introverted AND extroverted actually.

It all comes down to what ENERGIZES a person?

Extroversion: Does being in a group of people make one happy? Is it with people that someone gets clarity, ideas, peace, joy, energy, etc? Does one seek out having company?

Or…

Introversion: Is someone energized by being alone, being quiet with one’s thoughts and feelings? Is it in solitude that one finds peace and clarity and equilibrium? Does being with people for too long make one feel drained and depleted?– this is so me!

[**Here’s another great definition of Introversion.]
[**A great article. And another one for good measure.]

Why it took me so long to discover this, I’ll never know.

I like people. Shoot, I *love* people.

But in all honestly, I can only handle people in small doses… Ahhh… that’s so hard to say cuz it sounds so harsh. But I’m slowly recognizing it’s just a personality thing and not a bash on people.

I didn’t realize just how much I NEED to schedule time away, just to breathe and regroup… until I starting getting some alone time. Ahhhhh

And it’s perfectly alright! It’s OK! In fact, it’s a necessity!
Having alone time actually makes me a *better* mom, wife, friend, etc.

So my hubby and I came up with Wednesday nights, specifically, as “Mom’s PM Alone”.
WOO HOO.

Here I sit… my Mom’s PM Alone… blogging… Facebooking… updating social media stuff… emailing… And I am totally digging it. And to think, I get to do this EVERY week!!! And if not computer stuff… perhaps working out… running errands… working on a hobby… or SLEEPING!

And now that I’m starting to do a little work on the side as a Social Media Manager (SO excited!), these Wednesday nights have been a fabulous time for me to work on material toward this endeavor.

It’s helped me SO much to finally understand my personality and what makes me tick. To start implementing periods of alone time. And recognizing that needing “me time” does NOT mean I don’t love people or I’m shirking my responsibilities…

Are any of you Introverted?
If so, how do you schedule your time and energies to make sure you get sufficient alone time?
How do you balance parenthood with Introversion?

sometimes_you_just_need_to_be_alone

 

**A point of clarification… Wednesday nights are not the ONLY time I get alone and get away in any given week. I now try daily to schedule times where I get quiet, especially to read my Bible and exercise. Or when I’m really stressed, the kids now know mommy needs some “quiet time” and they’re pretty awesome about seeing to it that I get it.

Processing My Weekend

My family and I had a WONDERFUL and fun New Year weekend. I sure hope you did, too.

In no particular order:

-we ended up ringing in the New Year quietly as a family (well, as quiet as 6 kids can possibly be past their bedtime, LOL). We were gonna hang with friends but everyone already seemed to have plans. And to be honest, it looks like a Christmas hurricane went through our house so I wasn’t super thrilled with the idea of hosting. But it was cool just hanging out as a fam. Bought the kids some sparkling grape juice– they thought drinking “bubbly” was fun. The two littlest ones made it all the way to 10p. The rest stayed up till 1a. We watched ABC’s Rockin’ Eve party and we got to see Pentatonix perform. That was squeal-worthy for our kids. Collectively as a fam, we’re all on a big Pentatonix kick right now. :-p

PTX

Photo Cred: atrl.net/

-I totally gutted, cleaned, and minimalized our master bedroom this weekend. It looks so lovely. It kinda had became a catch-all room, unfortunately. But I wanted to make our bedroom a quiet, peaceful place, or a “Love Nest” as we jokingly coined it. So I did it! And I love it! I so want to keep it clean and tidy from here on out. Another one of my goals for this new year. Actually, what I’m ultimately wanting to do is to develop a cleaning/organizing/decluttering schedule that will touch on every room of our house. I want to then schedule it in my Google calendar what cleaning area(s) are up for the week so that my house can just be maintained all throughout the year. Toughest areas are those darn catch-all areas, aka my bedroom and the basement. One has been tackled. Yea. Next up: the Basement Beast. We just need to get metal storage shelves to put in the basement. We have camping gear, kid stuff galore, holiday decor, etc that we need and want but there’s no real “home” for them. So they sit in boxes on the floor taking up space needlessly. We need to get them UP. Gonna check out ads for Rural King, Big R, Lowes, Menards, etc to keep an eye on sales. That would help SO much having some of those.

-In cleaning my bedroom, I created a little “office area” for myself in the corner. Nothing special at this point in time but a table, chair, and lamp… but I am wanting to use that area for Bible Study time and writing… a little nook away from it all where I can focus. Eventually, I’d like to expand it and maybe have a place to put all my paperwork… and even get a small coffee pot up there. Even my hubby said it’d be great to wake up to the smell of coffee upstairs. I LOVE mornings. That is when I am wide awake and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the world. I do my best thinking in the morning. And no one needs me. It’s a glorious time. 😀

-We had our last Christmas hoorah Saturday with my husband’s extended family. We have (2) smaller Christmases left , one with some super close friends and one with my sister and her family. But those will be pretty low-key. Hubby and I worked hard Saturday morning making our infamous dips: Cheesy Bean and Spinach Artichoke (there was hardly any leftovers). I also whipped up a batch of yummy gluten free rolls. (Four out of the eight of us have gluten issues.) It was just a lot a fun– it’s always a blast hanging out with family, opening gifts, and eating. 😀 Later that night, as the kids were watching movies and things quieted down, I got to thinking about how absolutely blessed we are with family. On BOTH my side of the family and my hubby’s, there are just some fan-tabulous folks. There is so much love and support and encouragement… it blows my mind. God has SO richly blessed us!!!

-Thinking about teaching my 12 and 11 year old kids how to do their own laundry. They know how to use a tablet and a Wii U… I think they can figure out a washing machine. Thinking about putting a laundry basket in their bathroom… just for them. Everyone else has been trained to bring their dirties downstairs before breakfast. Laundry is THE THING in our house that everyone seems to absolutely despise. I’m not kidding– they’d rather clean toilets. Trying to figure out ways to simplify. If Ducklings #1 & #2 are responsible for ONLY their laundry… maybe that would help matters a bit.

-Gotta call the midwife tomorrow to make my first appointment. Inching my way to 15 weeks. Gotta get in to see her. Things are progressing well (and normal)– PTL. Meant to call her earlier, but got distracted with my illness and the holidays. Hope to be seeing her soon. Can’t wait to hear the heartbeat. That’s always such a cool thing. Still haven’t felt the little guy/gal move around yet– so hearing that first heartbeat makes it all seem more real. Still wearing my normal clothes. Just have a tiny bump. Kinda thinking this time around about NOT purchasing “maternity” clothes per say and just buying “bigger” clothes. I’ve heard of other ladies doing that and it seemed to work for them. Definitely cheaper going that route– maternity clothes can be expensive. Already purchased (2) larger sized things for this pregnancy– Colt’s shirts. LOL. Preggo in style! And I got a (blessing) text from one of my girlfriend’s and she offered to let me borrow her maternity clothes. She just had her precious baby boy a couple of weeks ago. (What a cutie he is!) SO THANKFUL! I had gotten rid of so much of my maternity clothing with my last baby– we honestly thought we were done. Surprise! Guess not! But I suppose much of what I had was out of style by now anyway.

-Gonna take down the Christmas stuff tomorrow. *sniff* Never ready for that. Christmas lights are so cozy and warm and uplifting. BUT, I plan on leaving the greenery and lights on the banister. That can stay for the winter months. Thinking of ways to make the dreary months of January, February, and March fun and decorative. Guess that means I need to make a big deal out of Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter and decorate the house accordingly. Focusing NOT on the cold and darkness, but instead on the coming of Spring, which honestly isn’t THAT far away. It’s only 76 days away!!! My brain is already thinking about gardening plans! I’ve toyed with gardens in the past, but I’d really like to take a real swing at it this year. My kids LOVE picking veggies and berries and eating stuff out of the yard. And we’ve been blessed with a decent sized city lot, larger than most. We can most certainly grow a considerable amount in our lawn. Hmmm… time to dream and plan!

-My parents blessed us with Culver’s gift cards for Christmas. We went shopping this afternoon and we decided to treat the kids to dinner out. It was SO yummy! THEY HAVE GLUTEN FREE BUNS!!! They were super thick and fluffy buns– and I enjoyed every last carby bite of awesomeness. I cannot even remember the last time I had a BUN with my burger. It was so incredibly yummy. THANK YOU MOM & DAD!

-With that burger in mind… tomorrow, I start my next fitness challenge. Just prior to Christmas, I took on a Challenge to work out 30min/daily for the two weeks leading up to Christmas, only 2 rest days. Conquered it– even with a cold (flu?). My next Challenge is from Jan 4- Jan 31. I am to work out at least 30min/daily, 6 days a week AND I need to stick to an eating goal (which for me is to watch portions!). Gotta weigh and measure tomorrow AM. Now I’m obviously not seeking to lose weight, but I’m all about making healthier lifestyle choices. It’s online in a FB group. Gotta check in daily with what exercise(s) I did and what I ate (I’ll just take a pic of what I ate off of the YouFood app I already use). Gonna crush it. Even if I don’t win any prizes, it’s always a great thing for me personally to have a goal in which to aim for. Helps me make good choices and I always feel so accomplished when I finish.

-Tried my hand at Eggs Benedict this morning and EVERYONE loved it, even our picky 2 year old. We didn’t have English muffins or breakfast meat– but we used GF rolls from Saturday, and those that could have gluten just ate regular wheat bread toast. Poached some eggs with the poaching pan I got for an Xmas present this year. Topped it off with homemade Hollandaise sauce. So so yummy. Honestly didn’t know how the Hollandaise would go over with the kids, but they adored it. I’ll need to make a double batch next time. Everyone wanted seconds.

-In our shopping ventures this afternoon, I got a diffuser from Bed, Bath, and Beyond with the money we’d gotten back from a gift return. Didn’t even think to put that on my wish list, but I have wanted one for a loooong time. To experiment, we put some lavender essential oil in it when we got home and the kids thought that was super cool. Smelled wonderful. The toddler’s especially liked sticking their hands in the mist. It’ll be nice to put calming essential oils in it during homeschool hours. And it will also be cool to use healing essential oils like eucalyptus when someone gets sick. Gotta do some research now and see what kinds of essential oils we can use with it. All I have is lavender, Taming the Wild Child (LOL- it’s a calming blend), eucalyptus, lemon, thieves & citronella (although, I don’t know if thieves or citronella can go in a diffuser… gotta look into that). But it’d be fun to have different scents to work with. I know a lot of herbs and alternative healing methods… but I’m slowly baby stepping into EO’s. Heard so many people rave about their effectiveness. It’s intriguing.

-Introduced our kids to the movie Apollo 13 this weekend. Boy, I’d forgotten how on-the-edge-of-your-seat that movie was. Nail biter. And I even knew how it ended. Didn’t matter. Kids had mixed responses. The boys were all like, “SO cool… space… danger… there should have been more explosions, though…”. The girls were all like, “I NEVER EVER want to go to space… eek!” Me? I freakin’ loved seeing the clothes, home decor, and hairstyles the characters had. Not sure I’d like the ’69-’70 time frame– which is when Apollo 13 took place. But I’d LOVE to be able to go back in time to see the 50’s and 60’s. Life just looked so much simpler then. Harder in one sense because they didn’t have the conveniences we have today. But life just seemed so much slooooower. Ahh. That would be right up my alley! And to be honest, I like the fashion. 😀

-Re-picked up the book “Choosing Gratitude” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, now Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth!!! I’d gotten in back in 2013 and attempted to read it but didn’t get much past the first chapter. Not sure why. But man alive it sure is speaking to me now. It’s perfect! Not sure who all’s reading this… my close friends and family already know this, but perhaps you don’t. I’ll just get this out there: I struggle with anxiety and depression. Been that way now on and off for much of the past 2 years. Early symptoms showing up a couple of years prior even. Thankfully it hasn’t been debilitating. Nor do I have any desire to take medications for it. (Meds are for some people but I don’t feel it’s right for me.) Trying to heal this naturally. The more I seek for answers, the more I’m realizing that part of the problem is my lack of thankfulness to God for the many many blessings that He has given me. My focus is off of Him and instead is on the things that are going on around me circumstantially. I neglect to see God and His goodness all around me. That lends itself to a darker walk of life. I don’t want that! I want to walk with JOY. But it’s got to be a purposeful and intentional endeavor. JOY doesn’t just happen. It must be cultivated. So I am trying very hard to incorporate THANKFULNESS in my daily (moment-to-moment) walk. His blessings are literally everywhere, if we would just open our eyes and try to see it. Even in the darkest situations, there’s got to be a glimmer of something in which to be thankful for. Look for it. Well, that’s my goal. I want to be a more joy-filled person. I want to see the positive and the good… no longer focusing on the negative and the bad. And as a believer, I can have SO much joy just in thinking about being saved from my sins (thank You, Jesus!) and spending an eternity in Heaven with God Himself. I just have to focus on it. So I must take captive my every thought.

—————————————–

So anyway… yeah… had a lot on my mind from this weekend. Wanted to share it with y’all. Looking forward to a new week. Gonna focus on the blessings!!! Hope you, too, have an incredible week.

Any comments or questions, feedback on EO’s or seeking joy or about anything else I posted, I’d love to hear it.

Later everyone.

~Momma Duck

My Newest Venture: Social Media Manager

For the last several years, I have toyed around with social media and it’s many flavors and facets. It’s been a tinkering of mine, one such that my husband, although he does not fully understand, has finally accepted.

Can’t quite explain it. Perhaps it’s because deep down I am an introvert and I prefer socializing more behind the scenes, whereas my husband is a face-to-face dude. He’s the extrovert and he THRIVES on people: going to parties and gatherings and holidays or whatever.

Now don’t read me wrong… I like people and I like those social interactions as well… but in a much smaller dose. My hubby could do it all the time. Me? I prefer to have that sort of stuff scheduled so I can mentally prepare for it. Large crowds and constant interaction tend to drain me. I refuel by being alone.

So for me, social media has been a fabulous tool in which to stay connected with people!

Here’s a great article about Extroverts and Introverts: click here!
**Contrary to popular thought, introversion does not necessarily equal shyness.
**A great article on Signs of Introversion.

Another thing that got me going in this direction is when a dear friend of mine started a sewing and alterations business and was wanting help getting a social presence for her biz started. If she really wanted to, she could have sat down and figured it out the hard way. But honestly, she wanted to do her business not study up on SEO and web design and making a Facebook business page, etc. So I cheerfully stepped in to help her get her web presence off the ground and running.

It has been SO fun!

Instead of just “playing around” or “wasting time on the internet” so to speak, I am actually using my skills to boost her business!

#1- I’m realizing how little I really knew about social media. :-O
But…
#2- I’m seriously having a blast figuring things out! 😀

My friend is my “guinea pig” and she’s ok with that. LOL. She’s getting her business out on the web and I am actually getting to use my hobby for a good cause. It’s been a benefit to both of us.

Not sure where this will go. Perhaps as time goes on I can slowly enter the world of starting my own business. We shall see!

In the meantime, my husband and I have scheduled out Wednesday evenings to be MOM time. I can leave or stay. I can do whatever I want (within reason, LOL)… But it’s MY time alone. So Wednesdays are now my time to blog and research and develop my friends’ website, etc.

For so long I kept waiting until I “had the time” to get on my blogs and “play on the internet”. Um yeah… like that’s ever going to happen! Who ever really “has the time”? Certainly not me! I’ve got 6 kids under the age of 12 and we homeschool.

When I started helping my girlfriend with her business though, it dawned on me you have to “schedule” time… you gotta MAKE time!

Now I have the time to update and check and blog and edit pics and research and whatever else my little social media manager’s heart delights in. I look SO forward to it! If I catch myself falling behind during the week, I KNOW I have Wednesday evenings, undistracted time, to get caught up.

Why didn’t I think to do that earlier?!

So yeah… that’s where I am right now. Baby stepping my way into the world of social media.

I’d love to hear from those of you that are in the field or know a thing or two about it. What websites or training do you recommend, tips of the trade, etc?

I’ve really been quite taken by Crystal Paine and all the information she shares on her website: Money Saving Mom. Christy Wright is also a great resource. Also been looking at Social Media Examiner and Amy Porterfield and Sandi Krakowski.

Who else is good to follow? I’m all ears!