Mar 282017

kids-garden-2Instead of leaving everyone hanging, wondering why there are no new posts, I decided to purposefully take a blogging break for the next week or so.

I am currently under the weather and need to focus on getting better.  I thought I had been taking it easy, getting better, but it seems I need to be doing even less.

In the mean time, hope you are having fun with your Spring gardening adventure.


Mar 262017

concrete flower container with pic border

Here are some giveaways from around the web. A few things these giveaways have in common:

  1. A garden theme
  2. They are not on major commercial sites
  3. The majority do not have thousands of entries (so the chance of winning it higher for you)

I hope you find something that peaks your interest.

If you know of others, please leave a comment below. I will check it out and add it, if appropriate.


My Busy Green Garden – curteosy of Picture Book Builders. She also includes an interview with the author, which is an insight you do not normally find with books you read.

Tidying up with Gardener’s Hollow Leg & giveaway! – Raise Your Garden has a very practical and useful giveaway.  I can think if so many uses. It doesn’t hurt that I can relate to grass being an unintended victim of gardening activities. (It drives my husband crazy!) So, perhaps this can double as relationship counseling. Ends April 9, 2017

Mar 202017

The Spring Reading Team Challenge begins today at 8 am PT.  Have you joined yet?

During the last Team Challenge, not only did I learn a few time saving tips from my team mates, but also earned 683 SB (over $6) plus a Swag Up Rebate on my next gift card purchase.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to join a team and learn more about Swagbucks. As a bonus, if you are new to Swagbucks, you can earn up to a $5 bonus for signing up under me.

Feb 252017


The Prairie Home Companion listener statistics – interesting insight concerning the listeners of this long running, nation-wide radio program.

I have listened to this program for more than 10 years, well before I was anywhere near the median for age.  However, even at the beginning of my listening, I met some of the other numbers:

  • I have a college degree,
  • play a musical instrument,
  • have gone to a public meeting on town affairs,
  • and have a passport.

As time has gone on, some of the other numbers have come to represent me as well.

This begs the question, does listening to the program incline me towards these activities? Or is it that certain personalities, who tend toward these activities anyway, happen to also enjoy the program? Either way, I plan to keep listening.

Feb 182017

making breakfast exciting again collage

We may not be trapped at home with feet of snow, though part of me really wishes we were, yet it is still winter and the perfect time for warm breakfast foods.

With a lot of changes to our routines coming up, again, I am looking for some quick yet easy things to add to our breakfast rotation on weekdays.  While I could literally eat the same thing for breakfast every day, my kids finally revolted.

Mom, enough.  Can we please have something else?

My kids tend to be carb lovers, yet burn enough calories to need protein with their meals. Especially with breakfast. I have chosen to find new recipes that hopefully lean toward more protein than carbs.

My boys can eat more than me, if they decide they actually like their food.  Actually, they could almost out eat me when they were only 3 or 4, and I am not exactly a light eater.  They are not necessarily picky eaters, but more along the lines of “we finally have a enough to eat that we can have foods we prefer to eat.”  And that is why I am wanting to put dwarf fruit trees in my next garden/yard, along with vegetables and root vegetables.

Having these on hand allows me to plan for some of the more expensive or not-normally-on-our-shopping-list items.  I doubt these can be made for $0.50 a person, which is where I like to keep most weekday breakfasts.  However, I might find I am wrong, which would be lovely.

A few of these would also be good as a sandwich version, made ahead and frozen for reheating.  Also, a few call for croissants*, which are not cheap but can be found on sale if you look for them.  *I am not talking about crescent rolls, though those are also in a few recipes.  They are similar but not the same.

While my husband we love to have croissants for breakfast, if you do not eat them in time they are not as nice.  Or so my husband says.  His palate is more in tune to that sort of thing.  You can also find older ones on discount at the grocery store.  I am thinking those would be good for some of these recipes, especially for those who will be soaked in eggs and milk.

Here are 10 recipes I plan to try out in the upcoming days:

  1. Egg Croissant Casserole Recipe
  2. Sausage McMuffin Casserole
  3. Cheesy Tat Tot Breakfast Bake
  4. Easy Cheesy Breakfast Casserole
  5. Overnight Mexican Breakfast Casserole
  6. Breakfast Enchilada Bake
  7. Spinach, Feta, and Artichoke Breakfast Bake
  8. Italian Breakfast Casserole
  9. Farmer’s Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole
  10. Broccoli, Ham, Mozzarella Baked with Eggs
Feb 082017

This page contains affiliate links.

While I am not necessarily a Nike enthusiast, I know some who are.  With spring around the corner, you may be looking at your shoes and realize you need a new pair.  Now is the time to start looking for sales and deals on items you are needing.

I have owned several pairs of Nike shoes, either for running track in high school or when found for a  good price as every day shoes.  They have always lasted me several years and I appreciate the quality of their product. (disclaimer: my running shoes became my every day shoes, my every day shoes became my play/garden shoes, etc.  I would wear a pair till it began to fall apart. In this way, I did not need to purchase many different pairs of shoes each year.)

If you love Nike stuff, not only their shoes, or know someone who does, you can get 15% cash back on all Nike Gift Cards during Nike Bonus Days on MyGiftCardsPlus! MyGiftCardsPlus is a site where you get cash back for buying gift cards – the cash back is paid out in the form of points from Swagbucks, which is a great website where you redeem those points (called SB) for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal… and Nike!

So to recap, you can get 15% cash back (in the form of SB) on Nike gift cards from MyGiftCardsPlus, which you can then use on Swagbucks to get more Nike gift cards!

Click here to take advantage of this great deal!

If you are a new Swagbucks member, this would help you earn your $2 bonus this month.  Click here to learn more.

Feb 082017

This post contains affiliate links.

Have you realized over four weeks have passed in the new year?!  How are you keeping up with your resolutions?  I have not quite kept up with mine like I had hoped.

Currently, I am struggling with having motivation to keep going, to get up and work on them. “But I am tired.”  “Can’t it wait till next week?”  “Oh, no one is really going to know if I don’t do it.”

Yet, if I do not work on them now, even a little step here and there, soon 6 months will have passed and nothing will be accomplished.  So, I get up, even when I am tired, I do something instead of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix:

  • I get out the socket wrench and fix the washer.
  • I find the post I had started previously and finish it.
  • I take advantage of money saving methods here at home, via online shopping, to fulfill needs I was not able to address during shopping day.
  • I pass along the four grocery sacks of clothes and shoes to another mom of boys, knowing they will get more use (and be a blessing) than if they were sitting in my garage.
  • We join the church group for midweek gatherings, making new friends and building our support network.
  • I say “yes” to the home school gathering, even though I barely know even one mom there.
  • I do … something.

Those ‘somethings’ begin to add up and suddenly I am further ahead than I thought I would be, I realize that progress is about taking step after step after slow step in the right direction, towards the goal.

Among other things this week, I want to work on going to bed on time so I can wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.  I also plan to join at least one exercise class at the gym.

What is something you are going to do this week to advance towards goals you have set for yourself?


This is one reason I keep sharing about the promotions on Swagbucks, even though they are not directly gardening or home making related.  Not only am I reminded to keep working toward my goals (saving on upcoming gardening supplies, for one), but also to keep vigilant in other financial areas.

February is a month of love, and getting a $5 bonus from Swagbucks is their way of showing it!

Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 3/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you’ll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you’ll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)!

That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned $29.70 during the month of January.  The majority of these SB have come from watching videos.  While this activity does not earn the most per time spent, it is the easiest to do while washing the dishes, folding laundry, cooking supper, etc.

*You must receive your shopping SB before April 1st

Feb 062017

This post contains affiliate links.

The ways to earn with Swagbucks this week just keep coming. Here is a way to earn points, called SB, while doing something you might already be engaged in – searching online.

One of my favorite things about using Swagbucks is that I can get rewards for searching the web through their search engine. Last month I was able to earn 171 SB from searching. This activity also helped me earn 65 SB by completing my daily to-do list.

Every now and then they have “Collector’s Bills” worth bonus SB points that you can collect by simply searching the web. Collect them all, and you get an SB Bonus! Once you’ve collected enough SB, you can redeem them for gift cards to stores like Walmart, Target, and many more!

collage of items to purchase with gift cards

Here’s all the information for this week’s Valentine’s Day Collector’s Bills:

Search the web through the Swagbucks search starting Monday, February 6th through Friday, February 10th, and when you get a search win, you may get a special Collector’s Bill valued at either:

  • 5 SB
  • 7 SB
  • 9 SB
  • 14 SB
  • 21 SB

When you get a Collector’s Bill you’ll receive the value of the bill and the bill will be added to your “Collector’s Bills” ledger. Collect all 5 Collector’s Bills and you’ll instantly earn a 20 SB Bonus!

I earned a 5 SB bill while searching something for our yard.  You never know when searching (and gardening) will pay off!

Keep searching til you find them all!

Feb 062017

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not do your gift shopping online and earn cash back while you’re at it?

Here’s what you need to know to get your 200 SB ($2) Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):

  • Shop Swago will begin on Monday, February 6th at 9am PDT/12pm EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Thursday, February 9th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

There are months when my Swago board earns me 5 bonus SB. Other months I might earn the larger bonuses.  I have used these activities in various ways, fitting into life at that moment.  On the lower earning bonus months, I often find myself doing the activities I might otherwise be doing.  Or I am learning new ways of earning, which takes a bit more time in the beginning.  On the high earning months, either the squared line up in the right order for me to earn them, or else I happen to be needing things which the squared qualify for.  Some months have squared requiring you to purchase something, and some months have no such squared.  It really does vary month to month.

Either way, Swago is a great way to add a few extra SB to your total!  I would encourage you to not wait till the last minute to fill in your squares, as some items take several minutes (or hours) to credit.

Looking ahead to my week, I will most likely do the activities on Monday and Tuesday, using the other days as time allows to fill in extra squares.  This happens to be where I am right now.  The flexibility of Swagbucks, finding activities that fit my time limit, is one of the aspects I like about this site.

Feb 052017

This post contains affiliate links.

Here is yet another deal from Swagbucks, one of my favorite sites for earning points that I can turn into gift cards or cash.  As you may have noted from the lack of posts this week, I have been busy looking at homes, home schooling, fixing the washing machine, and doing other lovely home-ish types of things (like IEP meetings!).

I have also been reviewing some of my actions, seeing if they really are saving us money or not.  One things that has remained, earning gift cards, especially Amazon gift cards, from Swagbucks saves us money month after month.  This past week has been a bit slow in that area (reference the paragraph above), but participating in the Team Challenge and the SWAGO last month helped.  (Another SWAGO edition is coming up this week which may also result in a few extra bonus point.)

While checking my account, I came across a current promotion they are running, one that may be of interest to a few of you.  This promotion ends today, yet I wanted to share it in case someone was interested … or looking to earn points back on food purchased for consumption during the Super Bowl tonight. 😉

Items purchased with gift cards earned through Swagbucks.

Items purchased with gift cards earned through Swagbucks.

You’ve probably heard me talk about Swagbucks before. It’s the site where you get points (called SB) for doing things like shopping, discovering deals, watching videos, taking surveys, and searching the web. Then you turn those points in free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and PayPal cash.

Swagbucks is at its best when they’re paying you to do something you’d already do online, and now they’re taking that concept into thousands of restaurants around the country with the SB Local app for iOS and Android. Starting on 2/2 and running through Sunday, 2/5, they have a killer deal running – here’s how you can take advantage of it:

1. Click here to download the Swagbucks Local app. You can create your Swagbucks account if you’re new to it.
2. Sign in with your Swagbucks account information.
3. Link your first debit/credit cards to your Swagbucks Local app and get an instant 100 SB!
4. Use your linked card to pay at thousands of participating locations! If you spend $20 or more before Monday, February 6th, you’ll get a 300 SB bonus! That bonus will be paid out by 5pm PST on February 10th.

If you’re also signing up for Swagbucks for the first time and use my link, that means you’ll get another 300 SB bonus. We’re talking about $7 plus for going out to eat!

Some more info about SB Local:
Soon after paying with your linked card, you will see the transaction show up in your Swagbucks Local Activity ledger. Your SB earned will be calculated on the transaction amount before taxes and tip. Swagbucks Local is currently supported in the following metropolitan areas: San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Ventura County, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Phoenix, Houston, Denver, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. New cities added on a regular basis, and you’ll get the 100 SB bonus for linking your first card even if you don’t live in one of the cities listed above!