Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blue Diamond Almonds

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


What really makes one selfish? You can look around and see tons of selfish people.

Everyone wants the killer deal at the store. If its the last one? People will run to snag it before the next person can get it.

Driving down the road. Everyone wants to get to where they are going as fast as possible. It doesnt matter if they have to cut you off to get there - they care only about themselves.

But when it comes to having kids, you cant be concerned about only yourself. There is someone else to worry about. Someone who needs you all of the time. Diapers to be changed. Food to eat. Just overall love and comfort. But it doesnt stop once they are potty trained and know all of your 'secret' hiding places for snacks.

How do you find that balance? Jim and I have said one of the reasons we dont want kids yet is that we are too selfish.

I dont want to give up my weekends away from home where I have nothing to worry about. I dont want to give up the last minute invitations to go out. I dont want to be on someone else's time schedule. Heck, most days I dont even want to get out of bed at all!

But sometime, that all has to end. I have been told that the love for your baby helps you get past all of that. I know that a child can brighten your day. But can I really give up all of my time for someone else?

Is it really possible to put yourself second all of the time? I see friends who are having crazy issues with their children. Three year olds who like to hit. Fifteen year olds who thrive on drama - and its impossible to know if they are telling you the truth or not. But somehow you have to do for them what they cant. You have to teach the 3 year old not to hit. You have to ignore the drama no matter how much you want to scream obscenities!

Where do you draw the line? How do you balance it all out? Right now I dont have to take care of anyone but me, and even that is often too much!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When a wrench gets thrown in the works.

My main objective about wanting to stay home with children was to be able to be finacially stable enough to enjoy my time with them. Of course, getting the money from somewhere is important. Financial stability takes money. But the part that I am finding myself struggling with more and more is the stress of what our financial situation will be... even before we have children!

After not getting an unemployment check for 2 straight filings, I was panicking. We have a lot of bills to pay; especially right now since we are just finishing the work on the kitchen. Jim and I have been quite comfortable in our lives. To go from comfortable to having to decide what bills to pay was a very, very scary thought.

Of course, we have planned for times when money is lean. We do have savings. Although, we had to heavily tap those to pay for the extra, unexpected, expenses for the kitchen.

The part of it all that makes the least sense to me is that we have income the whole time. Jim's paychecks have been better than usual lately because of all of the overtime he has been working. (The money is nice but the stress that comes with him having to be at work so much sucks.) I still have my security paychecks. I still have my (meager) CVS paychecks. But they arent enough to cover all of the bills. (And the security paycheck showed up a week late that had me panicking even more.)

I know that there are still several years before I will be the only making money for our family. But that thought scares me. What if something happens? What if the paychecks somehow get delayed? Can we really make it without getting paid for 2 pay periods?

Thankfully it is all working itself out. But the stress of it all really hit home to me. What can I do to make it less the next time this happens?

I have been trying to work on a budget that we actually stick to. At first it was going really well... until I couldnt cook because the kitchen was torn apart or completely covered in dust from sanding the spackle. I need to reset those numbers and work on that again.

Jim is very laid back about our finances. He lets me handle the paying of bills even though he knows what is going on. How does he do it? Especially when there are people depending on you (like it will be when we have children)?

How do families take care of the things they have to and still get total fulfillment out of life even when money is tight?

I guess I still have a lot more to learn than a I thought...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life Goes On and Things Change

Go ahead, name who sings the song that is from!

Its amazing how in a short time things can change so drastically. What I was working towards no longer seems as important.

Jim and I have begun to take a different route. Even though we want one of us to be able to stay home with our children when we have them, it doesnt really matter which of us it is. Whatever is best for us is what will happen. That will most likely mean my working full time while Jim mostly stays home.

I am currently taking 2 classes so that I can apply to pharmacy school. It will be a good job with a good salary that will allow us to live the life we want. But also to give our children the lives we want them to have.

However, it seems another opportunity may be arising for me. Rather than going back to school for pharmacy, I may be able to get a job in a lab. I would be doing things like I was doing before - only I would be paid much better and I wouldnt have such a horrible boss!

I am still doing a few of the things I was doing before. It really is the little things that add up the most. Mypoints is going well. I have gotten 2 gift certificates from there and am well on my way to my third.

I use swagbucks all of the time. I have gotten several gift certificates and used them towards things I wanted. I can actually get $10 worth now, if I wanted to. But I will wait until there is something from Amazon I want/need. Then I will do it - or maybe I will like something else better!

I am still doing Pinecone research. The surveys dont take long at all. They are definitely legitimate. I have received probably around $20 from them. Its not a lot of money - but like I said it is the little things that add up!

I have also been focusing on Upromise. I dont buy things I dont need. But I make sure to activate the coupons each month - sometimes I use them, sometimes I dont. If I want to buy something, I will check the website first to see if there is a way that I can earn cash back. So far I am only up to about $30 for the last 2 years. But, that is all on stuff I would have been buying anyway. So I might as well get the extra money!

Jim and I are working hard to build our future. We are building equity in our house. We are saving money. But we are also remembering to enjoy ourselves. That matters just as much as money.

So even though I dont update this often, I encourage anyone who found their way here to leave any questions they have or leave any advice. I am always willing to try something new - especially when there are benefits to it! I dont want to work forever, so although my goal may no longer be to be the stay at home mom I have always dreamed of, there are still reasons to work hard no matter what you are doing!

(Answer to the singer: Tim McGraw)

Friday, December 18, 2009

A New Road to Take

It has been quite a while since I updated this. Several things have happened.

*I no longer do 'paid to click' sites. They simply are not worth my time. Too many of them are not legitimate. So you wont even get anything for it in the end!

*I am still doing InboxDollars and SendEarnings. I havent gotten anything from either of them recently. But I am getting closer. I trust those two, so when I have finally clicked on enough emails, I will be getting checks in the mail.

* I am still doing Mypoints as well. Im not sure that I talked about this one at all. You earn points for reading emails, taking surveys, shopping, things like that. Then you can redeem the points for various gift cards. I am almost to getting my first gift card. It has been easy - and I cant wait!

* I just joined Pinecone research. I havent done anything with them. But I know that they are legit because a good friend is involved. I will be looking forward to getting checks from there as well - even if it is only $6 or so a month. It is still something!

*I know that I meant to talk about my trivets, but Idont think I ever got around to it. My sister and I have tried doing two different craft shows now. Neither one went very well. We havent given up all hope on selling the things that we have, but we have realized that people want things that are cheap - they dont want to pay for quality. So making much money off of a craft fair is unrealistic.

* Jim and I talk constantly about the future. What our plans are, what our goals are. We want to have kids. But we have always agreed that we want to raise our own children and still have a comfortable life. I plan on going to pharmacy school starting next fall. It is a 4 year program. So our original time line of things like kids will change, but it will be worth it when I make enough money that Jim doesnt have to work.

* In short, my dreams and goals havent changed much. But my approach to them has changed. It is hard work and takes a lot of time for very little pay to do anything on the internet. I like having steady income, knowing that my bills are paid. I will continue a few things - because I enjoy them and they dont take much of my time. I will also continue with Google Adsense because it is passive. I am only doing the things I would be doing anyway.

I am not at all disappointed with the things that I tried. I now know what I need to do. For me. We are still a work in progress. But the progress is in the right direction and that is enough for me.

Dont be surprised if there arent any further updates to this blog. I will, however, keep it up just in case anyone is curious about any of the things I have listed.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me - either with ideas or feedback - it has been very helpful to me in coming to where I am now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Always As It Appears

On Saturday, I got an email from MyLot. It asked me to fill out a W-9 before my earning from last month would be released.

Everything in the email appeared to be legitimate to me. I was still hesitant, though. They would have my full name - which they obviously already knew because they used it in the email! - along with my address and social security number. MyLot has proven to be a trustworthy site. As long as they were the ones receiving the information, I didnt mind supplying it. I just wanted to make sure.

I sent a message to a friend on myLot. She lives in Italy, so I wasnt sure if she would know anything about it or not. She didn't and had never seen any discussions about it. So she asked another friend of hers who is an American. They had never heard of it either!

So then a discussion was started. It was labeled as a possible scam for phishing. There were tons and tons of responses. There were a few people who said that they had filled out W-9's for myLot previously. Most of the people said they were 100% certain it was a scam.

They were wrong. I contacted myLot through its site. I quickly got a response indicating that it was indeed legitimate. They were requesting the form because of my earnings. In order to send out a 1099 if my earnings are over $600, they need the information! Because my earnings were just over $115, it will be easy for me to reach the $600 mark this year.

I wasn't too worried at first. However, as soon as I started reading some of the other responses to the discussion and started getting worried. Did someone have access to my information? Did they know my passwords? What exactly was going on!

Im glad that I didnt jump to conclusions. I dont regret asking for advice and finding out that it was legitimate - I still dont want my information in the wrong hands! However, I do feel bad for all of the rumors that have started because of a legitimate request! Hopefully I can avoid that in the future

I am relieved that everything is well. And I should be getting my $115 soon!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Since I wrote about my job situation last month, I have had a lot of time to think. I am thrilled with the way things are turning out.

I have a week left at this job. I do not have another job lined up yet. I am not at all worried about it! I will be filing for unemployment. I also learned that I will probably be able to continue to work some hours doing security - which I have been doing regularly for the last year. With these 2 things combined, my income will not change! We wont be cash strapped and we wont be dipping hardcore into our savings.

That said, we will probably be able to save more! I will no longer be driving 35 miles each way to work. That will save tons of money on gas. My car insurance will drop significantly because I wont be driving nearly as much. In fact, I expect I will get a refund for the current premium and the next one will be less! Those 2 things alone will make a huge difference.

I am expecting another payment from myLot in the next few days. It isnt nearly as much as I had hoped at one time, but I stopped doing as many tasks a little over halfway through the month. I havent earned a lot this month, but I know that the earnings will only continue to increase. Without a job, I can spend more time working on tasks to make a decent amount of money there.

I have also been working on a project to make money by selling goods. I will post more on that later - hopefully soon!

So, there is the potential to have more money coming in than I do working full time! That is exciting to me, I never would have expected that!

The other thing that I will be concentrating on is the money going out. With more time at home, I will have more time to prepare meals. I plan to keep track of how much I am spending on different things. I want to reduce the money we spend on food. Not because we have to, but because it is always nice to have that extra money. I was just recently introduced to 2 websites that I think will be a huge help. $5 Dinners and A Year of Slow Cooking. I have found some great recipes and tips on both websites. I am excited to try them out!

I also think that it will help me with my weight and health goals. They have really been pushed to the wayside lately. I want to change that. Having time to focus on me will be a huge help!

Of course, I also have plans to get a lot of things done around the house. We have started to accumulate junk. That needs to go. There is some yard work that desperately needs done. There are some things that I need to get done around Mom's house as well. This will give me a chance to do those things.

Although I was some what nervous and very frustrated at first, Im not anymore. What originally seemed like a failure, a roadblock, is now a great opportunity. I know that things will turn out fantastically because opportunities allow us to make changes. I am going to make the changes that make my life turn out the best way possible.