Be still my soul, and steal my wallet

I have to confess, I’m having a love affair. It’s ok, my husband knows all about it (and has known since it started years ago). Granted, he doesn’t condone it, but he puts up with it as long as too much money isn’t spent feeding the obsession. If you don’t know me, by now you’re probably wondering what kind of person announces a love affair via blog. Well, it’s not that kind of affair (what were you thinking???).

I LOVE Amy Butler fabric. Love, love, love. I’ve collected favorite pieces here and there, I’ve used it in my home, in my office and even in my children’s clothing. One of my favorite gifts was a signed pattern book for baby/kids clothes and items I received at my baby shower. Despite living a mere 30 minutes from her studio, I’ve never been there or met her (my husband thinks that is just a little too stalker-ish until I can learn not to squeal with glee at the prospect of randomly running into her every time we are in Granville).

However, she has really done it now. This affair is being taken to an all new level. I opened my email today to find this…

Image

Oh yes, you are seeing that correctly. Amy has a new ribbon line coming out. Swoon. Click on the picture and go check it out. Swoon. Again. Please don’t tell my husband (I suspect he already knows…) or therapy might be required.

P.S. Looking for a contractor to build an addition to store craft supplies…

Advertisements

Amish in the Mystery, part 2

Amanda Flower’s next installment of the Appleseed Creek Mystery series, A Plain Scandal, is set to release on February 15th. As with the first book in the series, I had to force myself to stop reading so I wouldn’t read it in one sitting! I LOVED it. Amanda has thoroughly done her research into the Amish way of life and it is evident in her writing. Murder, mystery, romance, comedy and wit are woven throughout the story letting us participate Chloe’s, Becky’s and Timothy’s lives discovering that the simple life isn’t always so simple. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Hey Amanda, can you please, please, please let me in on what happens with Chloe and Timothy? I can’t wait for book three!

Image

A Nickle Here, A Penny There.

Most of you who know me personally, know that I’ve been working towards staying home and raising my children from before I even had my children. It has been a long process and unfortunately not finished just yet. One thing that has been getting me closer is trying out different things to earn money from home. With so many option out there (some bad, some good), I thought I would share what is working for me.

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars pays cash for reading emails, taking surveys, watching videos, playing games and more. 90% of my time invested on this site is reading emails, 5% taking surveys and the other 5% taking advantage of some of the free offers. I know I would make more if I took advantage of the other  ways to make money with this site, but my time is valuable as well. Sticking mainly just to the emails, I was able to cash out ($30 minimum) within a month.

Paid Viewpoint

Paid Viewpoint is a survey site, but not the typical boring yawn inducing survey site. Surveys are typically short, enjoyable, and easily accomplished during nap time. Cash out is just $15, but it took me a little while longer to get there. You can take a survey each day (a trait survey) and based on those surveys you are offered biz surveys that pay more. Your goal is to reach a TraitScore of at least 9000, earning even more for each answer. You can also earn up to $25 for each referral.

Traditional Survey Sites

I also belong to Mindfield, Springboard America, MySurvey, MindsPay and a few other traditional survey sites. These sites can have great potential, but I find they also have more of the how much longer and will this ever end kind of surveys. Don’t get me wrong, I have earned money with them, but they also aren’t the ones I visit daily (more on a weekly basis).

Direct Sales

Who hasn’t been to a home party or even hosted a home party for a friend selling a great product? Direct sales can be a great way to earn money for necessities as well as for those extra treats. Most programs offer a commission scale, as well as promotions based on recruits, sales and events. Many programs exist, but you will have greater success if you chose one that you believe in, love the product and actually use the product. Personally, I chose Scentsy. I would love to talk to you about the products and the program so feel free to contact me 🙂

There are many, many more opportunities out there to make money at home from freelancing to crafts to marketing and more. I hope to try some out and let you know how they go. Do you have any tips you want share?

My Newest Obsession

We’ve cloth diapered from the minute our first little bean was big enough to fit them (she was preemie size and I couldn’t bring myself to buy teeny tiny cloth diapers for at most a month). I LOVE them. They ARE addictive. To date we have saved approximately $6000 by opting to use cloth (yes, that includes the cost of washing…). The only downside is that eventually they wear out. However, considering we’ve used some for almost 4 years, I’m ok with buying a few new.

The first thing that has worn out on us has been the micro terry inserts. Even after stripping them, there really is just so much they can handle before giving up the ghost. Since I prefer covers and inserts/prefolds to pockets, I’ve decided to replace them with these little gems:

obt_flats_large

These are bamboo terry flats by Sustainablebabyish. These little wonders come in four sizes (we buy medium since it covers the range my kids stay in the longest) and have three fluffy glorious absorbent layers of bamboo terry. When I first tried one on my super pee-er 18 month old, I was absolutely shocked at how much it held and how dry his skin felt. LOVE AT FIRST PEE. We’re in the process of replacing our micro terry and bird’s eye with these (they are a bit pricey at $10 each) and I can’t wait until we can diaper solely with bamboo.

Give these gems a try, you WILL be impressed! I buy 99% of our cloth diapers and accessories from KellysCloset.com. I really can’t say enough good things about this store. Yes, this is an affliate link, use it or go straight to kellyscloset.com, I don’t care because you will fall in love with these at first pee too 🙂

affiliateBanner3

Endings and Beginnings

As another year draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the last 12 months. Marriage, raising toddlers, work and commitments have certainly kept us busy! B turned 3 and T turned 1, we celebrated our 9 year anniversary, I promoted to Lead Consultant with Scentsy (amazing company to work for by the way! Check out my website https://saraelizabeth.scentsy.us to see our amazing products or if you have questions about the opportunity) and I’m continually looking for ways to leave the traditional 9-5 in the past (I love my students, not so much the work anymore). As we look forward to the next year, we are ecstatic to welcome baby number 3 in the summer and to see where the Lord leads us. We are certainly blessed!
Image

It’s been a long time hasn’t it?

It has been a little bit of a long time hasn’t it? To catch up from my last post, three bags was great!! I sold over 80% of my items at this sale (more money to feed my cloth diaper addiction at http://www.kellyscloset.com/?AffId=687) and some decluttering took place in the process (yay!). I’ve been pinning like a mad woman, and actually trying some. Soccer season is nearly over and I hope to be back to blogging regularly 🙂

Need.Space.Can’t.Breathe…

We have been apartment dwellers our entire adult life, and while the itch to paint and remodel like our home-owning friends hits every now and then, it is honestly still the best option for us at this point in our lives. However, there is one little thing that is ruthlessly attacking me these days (I don’t think would be much different if these walls belonged to us) and forces me to creatively think of solutions. The walls have grown evil faces and gnashing teeth. That, or maybe they’re just seeming to close in on me.

My husband hates when I go through these phases (probably because during two of them I managed to talk him into actually moving) but I find renewed energy in them. This weekend I started preparing for one of my favorite upcoming decluttering events, Three Bags Full, and it has brought up some interesting questions. One, how much stuff do we actually need, and two, if I get rid of enough will there be space for a third munchkin without moving (my husband gets a little shaky whenever I start down that path…)? I guess I’ll stick to the first question for now. 

Turns out, we really don’t need that much, and we have wwwwaaaaaayyyyy too much right now (especially in the way of clothes). So while I go write an apology to our trash man with coupons for Tylenol and ice packs and go get the Goodwill tubs from the basement, here are links to some great posts I’ve been reading for inspiration in tackling this project. Who knows, maybe I’ll eek out enough space for that third crib… 🙂

http://notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com/2008/07/12/just-how-many-items-of-clothing-do-we-need/

http://www.livingonadime.com/how-many-clothes-do-i-need/

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/08/an-experiment-just-how-many-clothes-do-kids-need-anyways.html

http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/2011/09/announcing-31-days-to-organized-home.html