Wednesday, March 28, 2012

how to get free stuff using

So early last year I heard about, which is an online search engine that rewards you for searching, watching videos, and taking surveys.  I have to say, I thought it was a scam.  I mean, seriously?  Who gives you something for basically nothing?  But I started seeing friends posting on facebook the prizes they'd gotten, and I figured, what did I have to lose?

So I signed up and decided to give it a try.  It took me a little while to figure out what would get me the most points the quickest, but after about 5 months, I'd gotten about $100 in gift cards.  At this point, I've gotten about $140 in gift cards.  I have used that money to buy lots of baby stuff that we needed.  I actually bought a good chunk of Eisley's diaper stash with those gift cards, which means I've gotten a ton of her diapers for free!  And since I know that everyone likes free stuff, I'm going to tell you the basics of how to use  You may just end up getting a bunch of free stuff too!

The first thing you'll need to do is sign up for  That's the easiest part, but the rest is pretty simple too!  Now that you've gotten set up, it's time to start earning.  One of the easiest ways to start earning swagbucks is by searching.  You won't get points every time you search, but keep searching!  It pays off!  You'll usually get anywhere from 7 to 25 swagbucks for searching.  So search, search, search.

The second easy way to earn swagbucks is by watching "swag tv."  You have to watch a lot to get points, but there's a trick... you usually don't have to watch the whole video.  Keep an eye on the toolbar that tells you what percentage you're at.. Each video gives you 10%.  Once you've gotten to 100%, you get 3 points.  Not a lot, I know, but if you mute your computer and just keep clicking while you watch a movie or something, you can rack up some decent points.

The BEST way to earn big points fast is to take surveys.  Start by doing the profiles, it will make it easier to do some surveys that you may actually qualify for, because you won't qualify 100% of the time.  When you do qualify, you can earn anywhere from 50 to 150 swagbucks.  They usually take about 15 minutes to complete.  That's how I make most of my swagbucks.

The other ways to make some bucks are daily polls, daily deals, and special offers.  Most special offers and all the Daily deals will require you to purchase something, but they will usually pay upwards of 300 or 400 swagbucks.  If you are able to buy something through a swagbucks link that you need anyway, it's a great way to make some bucks.  You can also check the swagbucks blog and twitter accounts for swag codes which you can enter in the toolbar on the top right side of your home screen for easy free bucks.

So those are the main ways to earn... then once you've earned a bunch of points, you can head to the swag store and snag some gift cards or other gear.  They've got everything from Home Depot to Starbucks gift cards.  So go!  Go set up your account and snag free stuff!  It's pretty awesome!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Things I've Learned- One Month Edition

I'm telling you, the rate at which you will experience new phenomenon when you have a new baby is ridiculous.  The learning curve is a steep one, but luckily you can't help but pick things up quickly.

1.  When your baby sleeps four hours at a time you will wake up and think "wow!  I got so much sleep in one chunk of time!"  You will then think to yourself "wow!  I can't believe how quickly I've adjusted to thinking that sleeping four hours in a stretch is a long chunk of sleep vs eight or 9 hours."  You will then think nostalgically about the days when you got to sleep when you wanted, for as long as you wanted.  This will not help.

2.  Tiny babies can poop a lot.  A LOT.

3.  As a mom, you WILL feel bad that you need to pass your kid off on your husband at the end of the day.  But you shouldn't.  It's hard work having a tiny person depend on you for everything.  There's nothing wrong with admitting you need a little time to yourself.  It will help you be a good mom because you won't be completely frazzled by the end of the day (and for those subsequent night-time feedings). 

4.  Those two weeks or so when friends and family brought you hot meals straight to your door-  lifesavers.  You will really REALLY appreciate the awesome people that helped you out during such a huge time of transition and adjustment.  

5.  On the topic of eating, you will realize around 3 or 4 in the afternoon that all you've had to eat was that piece of bread you managed to cram in your mouth in between bouts of crying and breast feeding.  You will then shove whatever is closest and easiest into your mouth, because JUST as you are about to make yourself something healthy and spend a couple minutes eating it, the baby will wake up from her nap.  Every time.  It's like they have built in radar.

6.  Built in "mommy's-about-to-eat-so-I-better-start-crying-immediately" radar is not limited to lunch time.  It is every time you try to eat anything.  Ever.  

7.  Breast feeding is hard.  It makes it difficult to go out with friends, or even go out for coffee because you need to be available to your baby pretty much at all times.  But it's completely worth it.  When that gorgeous little one stares into your eyes and strokes you with their tiny hands, you'd give up your time without a second thought.

8.  You will still look very slightly pregnant and be very flabby a month after you give birth.  You just have to throw up your hands and say "who gives a crap!" because really, who gives a crap?  You just carried a baby for 9 months and then had to push it out through an opening that should, by all reasoning, just not be able to accommodate a 7 or 8 lb baby.  You've earned that flab, so learn to love it while it's there.  

9.  Time goes by way too quickly.  A month feels like no time at all.  You will think that it'll drag on when all you do is sit at home with the baby, surfing facebook or pinterest, but it won't.  It will speed by more quickly than you thought possible.  

10.  Netflix and Hulu will probably become your new best friend because you will be spending hours with a baby sleeping on you, and you will be afraid to move because you don't want to wake them up.  You will watch a lot of movies, and a lot of tv.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

Today is mainly going to be a picture post.  Mostly to show off my beautiful little girl, but also to show you some of those fabric flower headbands my mother in law and I made!   Also, these were taken yesterday, when Eisley turned 3 weeks old!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest Project Round Up

Eisley- 15 days old

Having a cute little girl has thrown my crafting-hormones into high gear, and Pinterest has fed my addiction and given me TONS of inspiration.  I mean, look at that little face!  She's got to have as much cute home-made goodness as possible!  Now, my list of projects is so long that I will probably never even get to half of them, but these are the projects I'm really loving right now.  The ones I've been working on, and the ones that are next on my list.  I'll be posting fun pinterest-inspired projects every week.

The project I've been working on so far this week is flowered-headbands.  They are super easy to make, and what little girl doesn't look ridiculously cute in them?  Besides,  when they are this young, girly little headbands let people know that your daughter is, in fact, a girl... because at this age, it can be hard to tell!  

Here are a couple of links for great flower tutorials, and a link where you can buy brightly colored elastic for your headbands.

t-shirt flowers

singed fabric flowers

elastic for headbands- only $1.00 a yard and TONS of colors to choose from

The next project I'll be making is a Moby-inspired baby wrap.  I am all for baby-wearing.  I have a feeling it will be the only way I can get anything done for the next few months, but I think the price tag for some of these wraps is ridiculous. $40 or $50 for a long strip of knit  fabric seems a little out of control.  Especially when you can get more than one wrap out of the fabric you would buy yourself.  Add to that the fact that if you sign up for Joann Fabric's email list, they send you at least one 40 or 50% off coupon every week, and this project could cost you less than half of what a store-bought wrap would run.  I'm going to give you two links... one for a plain knit wrap, and one that will teach you how to put a decorative panel of fabric on the front of your wrap.

plain knit moby-style wrap

decorative fabric-front panel moby-style wrap

The next project I am dying to try is dying and embellishing some plain white onesies.  You can find so many tutorials and ideas for embellished onesies online and on Pinterest.  These are just a few that I loved.  First I'm going to give you a link for a fabric-dying tutorial, because that way you aren't limited to the onesies you can find at the store.  I can't wait to go to Joann's this weekend and give this a try.

how to dye fabric

inspiration from a cute Etsy shop

Cateye glasses onesie

appliqued onesies

glam necklace onesie

Once I've got some more headbands made I will post some photos of how they turned out, and I'll post photos of the other projects when Eisley lets me have some time to make them!  She's the boss of my time now, after all.  She's also my muse though, so I can't complain.  I just love that little girl, and I love making her cute stuff!  I hope you enjoy these tutorials, and always feel free to share any awesome projects you have come across!  Also, feel free to follow my Eisley-inspired project board on Pinterest HERE.  Happy crafting!

Friday, March 2, 2012

when there's nothing you can do about it...

Eisley is a sicky this week.  This poor kid has not had an easy first two weeks of life (oh yeah, happy two weeks baby girl!).  First, it was jaundice.  Which normally wouldn't be that big of a deal, but our blood types are incompatible so she spent the better part of a day and a night under the billirubin lights in the NICU.  That was fun, let me tell you.  It was heartbreaking to leave our tiny day old little girl in the NICU for even an hour at a time.  My heart just went out to the parents who had babies in there with serious issues.  The preemies, the babies with serious illnesses.  I couldn't even imagine how gut-wrenching it would be to have to leave your baby there while you had to go home.  At least our little girl was just in there with some jaundice, and was able to go home with us.

I just kind of thought that would be it for a while, you know?  That we'd get to enjoy our sweet little newborn and all her silly faces and happy spirit.  Then she got super congested.  So being paranoid first-time-parents, we took Eisley to our local Children's Hospital's urgent care to get her checked out.  They tested her for RSV (which is like bronchitis, but can be pretty serious in really young babies like Eisley if it gets out of control) and it came back negative.  The next day she started to have a cough, so I called to make an appointment at the pediatrician's office.  Two days later, her test came back positive for RSV.

So that sucked.  Seriously, how can she test negative one day, and positive the next?  My poor sick baby.  The worst part is that it's a virus, so there's nothing that you can do to help them feel better.  So she's congested and coughing and crabby and only wants to be held by me.  I can barely put the child down to pee without her screaming her head off and sending herself into a coughing fit.  It's horrible knowing that she feels so crappy and I can't do anything to help her except hold her.

Seeing your baby sick is one of the worst things I've ever experienced.  It gives me a whole new level of empathy for friends that go through way worse stuff than this.  I can't even imagine watching my baby be really and truly ill.  And while I may wonder "why us?  why Eisley?"  I still have to count my blessings that she is only temporarily sick.  Even though nothing has gone according to plan, and her birth was not what I was hoping for, I'll morn my dashed dreams but thank God that He has and will continue to take care of us.