Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Soda for a Year - The First Month

**In case you didn't know, my husband and I have given up soda and sweet tea for one year. You can read about our reasoning here.

Well, we've made it one month without soda! I'm so excited to be able to sit here and type that! It actually hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be, but I did have a few moments of wondering why I decided to do this in the first place. I tend to jump in head first without thinking things through. My husband however, is way better at sticking to things than I am so he's kept us on course.

The first week or so I felt horrible. I had a slight headache and I was tired allll day long, but I pushed through and now I feel so much better. We've been drinking a lot of water and unsweet tea. Also, we've had a few bottles of sparking apple cider which is actually a wonderful substitute because you still get the sweetness and the fizz which makes me happy. :)

We've also decided to give up most fast food for the year because we were eating it 2-3 times per week for convenience sake. In the past, I would have a rough day or just feel lazy and we'd go grab a burger at Sonic or something, but now that isn't an option so I'm actually cooking every night! It's crazy! :) The only thing I really kinda sorta miss is Chick fil a, but I guess I will survive without it. I tried to "mimic" fast food the other night for dinner and we had baked crispy chicken, oven fries and sparkling cider. I must admit is was really good. 

I'm hoping that when this is all said and done I will drink a Dr. Pepper or eat a fast food meal and I won't even like them anymore. It's been so freeing to not even have those things as an option. 

Well, that's 1 month down and 11 to go!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gardening Journal - January

The winter has been mild so far with no snow to speak of, but I'm still hoping for a few hard freezes to kill off some of the bug population. 

We got an old tiller going (with a new motor!) and so we are expanding our garden. The last two years we've had two 4' X 12' raised beds. This year we will have a 24' X 28' plot. I'm a little nervous for the challenge of going from raised beds to the ground. Any tips? We will be amending our soil with manure, grass and agri lime.

I'm super excited to be expanding the garden because that means I can grow a bigger variety. I'm trying some new veggies, flowers and herbs this year.

I got my seed order from Baker Creek (I just love them!) and I will be starting some seeds indoors soon. Mike is also going to build me a seed starting rack so I don't have to use the kitchen table! Yay!

For those experienced seed starters, do you use a commercial seed starting mix? If so, what do you fertilize with?

Earn Money with Cash Crate

Get Paid To Do Free Offers!

I hate to sound so "spammy" lately, but I've been focusing a lot on ways to earn money from home and I wanted to share another opportunity that I've found with you. Cashcrate is a website similar to Inbox Dollars where you can earn money by taking surveys, filling out offers, playing games, etc. Once you earn $20 you can request a check. This website has been around for many years and has a pretty good reputation. 

They also have a great referral program where you can earn up to 30% of your referrals earnings! You probably won't get rich off of it (unless you refer A LOT of people), but if you can get into the habit of visiting everyday and earning what you can then it could start to add up, especially if your earning on several different websites at once. 

If you have any other work at home opportunities I'd love to hear about them!! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

How I'm Earning Extra Money from Home

Being a stay at home mom, my income earning options are limited. I still however, try to think of creative ways that I can earn money from home to help the family out. Over the past week I've been earning money through Inbox Dollars. It's basically a website where you earn money by reading e-mails, filling out surveys, completing offers, watching videos, etc. Once you earn $30 you can request a check and they will mail it to you.

Awesome, right?? Plus, you get $5 just for signing up!

I've been using it for a week now and have already earned close to $20. Now you might be thinking that that's not a lot, but every little bit helps and if you combine it with other income earning sites such as Swagbucks or Cashcrate then it all starts to add up! Plus many of these sites have referral programs where you can earn a % of everyone that you refer. 

Do you belong to any of these sites?
How do you earn extra money each month?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Money Saving Tip for College Students!

It's no surprise that college is expensive. I remember paying around $1200 per year just in textbooks, which is NuTs!! What if I told you you could rent your books and save a lot of money is a textbook rental company that allows you to rent your textbooks at a fraction of the new or used cost. Seriously, you can save 40-90% off bookstore prices. I wish this company would have been around when I was in school. I could have saved some serious cash. 

Here are some more perks:
Free Shipping both ways
Can highlight in the textbooks
Flexible renting periods
30 day risk free returns
Huge selection of books

Watch the video below to find out more:

Sounds pretty great, right? 

You can also go to and rent out your own textbooks that you might already have and make some money on them. How cool is that??

You know the biggest reason I like this company? They donate to Operation Smile (a children's charity for cleft lip and cleft palate surgery) with each textbook that is rented. I absolutely LOVE supporting a company that gives back. 

 I hope you will consider letting CampusBookRentals save you or someone you love some money this semester!

Sponsored by

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Walker's New Cardigan

I finished Walker's cardigan a few weeks ago, but I've been hesitant to let him wear it because he pulls at the buttons and I'm afraid he will pull one off and swallow it! 

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty good. It's a little bulky on him, but fits fairly well and it's really warm! I'm not sure if I will make another one for him yet or not. 

I used the pattern from Crochet in a Day for Baby which really has a lot of useful and cute patterns for babies. Y'all should check it out! :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Walker is 10 Months!!

Walker is 10 months old today. WOW. My baby is growing so fast.  This has been a very whinnnny month because he's so close to crawling and pulling up on everything, but frustrated because he's not that good at them yet. **UPDATE He finally started crawling a few hours after I wrote this! :) Yea baby!

He still wears a size 3 diaper and 12-18 month clothes. I think he weighs around 20+ pounds. He nurses 4 times per day and eats solids 3-4 times per day. He will eat anything in front of him! I gave him broccoli and kale this month and he loved them. I hope he's always such a good eater.

He got two more teeth this month making eight total. He's also started saying "dada" when prompted towards Mike. Also, he can cruise around furniture pretty well now. 

These monthly pictures are starting to get harder to take!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No Soda for One Year

**I'm not sure if this ad is fake or not, 
but it's shocking none the less. 

Guess what? My husband and I have decided to give up soda (and sweet tea) for one year. This will probably sound either boring or crazy to you depending on your own soda drinking habits, but I've been trying to quit for awhile now and I've always ended up giving in to temptation.

You see, I love Dr. Pepper. There's just something about the sweetness, the fizziness and the "23 flavors" that makes it so good! I probably drink 3-4 per week on average, which isn't too shocking, but my real issue with soda is one of the heart. I've had guilt for "needing" my Dr. Pepper for awhile and I know that it has become an idol in my life. The bible says, 

"Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgement on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."
-Romans 14:22-23

I'm not saying drinking soda is a sin, but what I am saying is drinking soda for me personally has become sin because I can't say with full faith that it's okay. The reason I feel guilt is because soda has become a bigger part of my life than God has intended. I depend on it too much, I think I deserve it after a hard day, and I look too it for comfort. This is not right. I should be depending on God and looking to HIM for my comfort, not soda. 

 It's been 10 days so far and I haven't struggled too much yet, but I know that it will get harder. I am praying that I have the strength to do this! 

*My husband doesn't feel the same way about this issue, but is joining me purely for support. He is wonderful.

What are your thoughts on soda drinking?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yarn Along

I've had a wonderful two weeks of fellowship and celebration with family and friends. Now I'm ready to get back into the daily routine. 

I started this cardigan for Walker last week and so far it's coming along nicely. I think it's going to be a little big, but hopefully it will fit before Winter is over. I'm using some acrylic yarn I had on hand to test the pattern. I think I'm going to get some cotton yarn and make another one for him. Maybe in Spring colors?
What do you think?
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