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Jul 14

Christmas in July. It’s Real!

Did you know that Christmas in July is a real thing? People are already saving up for the holidays, and the online rewards site Swagbucks surveyed its members to learn more. Check out these fun facts and start YOUR holiday saving today! In case you haven’t heard me talking about them already, Swagbucks is the fun rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. You can conveniently earn points (called SB) when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, search the web, answer surveys and find great deals. Redeem your points for free gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon or Walmart, to name a few, or get cash back from PayPal! One of the best parts is that it costs you nothing to join and be a member! You decide how to earn, and you can do it at home or on the go (using their mobile apps)! Join today and start earning for December – it’ll be around the corner before you know it…

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Jul 08

Working Fulltime 6 Month Update AND a Pantry Challenge for YOU!!!

When I was asked by my employer if I was interested in extending my responsibilities to from part time 4-H coordinator to full time with a new component of being a Health and Fitness Program Instructor the other half of my time, I did not hesitate. I was so excited about being employed full-time for the first time in 17 years, I said yes without thinking about it! Now, it is six months later and let me tell you ….that I just LOVE what I do. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to help the youth develop life skills and pass along health and nutrition information to people that want to learn. I have learned more than I ever thought I could in the last six months, it has been a fun, crazy, busier than ever six months. I love what I am paid to do!!

My family is doing absolutely wonderful! My boys are getting TALL! Joel is 17 and going into his junior year of high school. He is on the honor roll, his passions are percussion in band and his shooting team. He and his dad are traveling to Camp Perry, OH on Sunday for the National Matches. Noah is 13 and going into seventh grade, and was five foot seven last month, my baby boy is going to be taller than I am by the time school starts, I am sure! He is also a honor roll student. He plays the trombone in the school band. He has loads of energy that I make sure to put to a good use. My DH is doing great as well, he is very supportive of my new adventures and does a good job at helping to keep everyone alive and happy.

Now let’s talk about the adjustment of me working full time for the first time in 17 years, I have not been handling it very well. Yes, the laundry is done and the family is fed but that is it!! I need to get my house de-cluttered and organized, and my budget in gear making adjustments for our new income and our new life costs.

With getting my life back into shape on my mind, and my oldest son and DH going out of town next week guess what I am going to do………….A PANTRY CHALLENGE!! But done my way, and I encourage you to make your own rules, No one lives are the same, there therefor what will work for me may not work for you! My rules are going to be…..gas not limited……..food cost for the week limited to $20 and one meal out. And to declutter my house one room at a time per day. Now the reason for the gas not limited is: Noah is a very active 13 year that is not left alone for more than a few hours at a time, and I am working full time only taking a few hours off. My mom lives 50 miles away and we have a dog and 8 chickens at home that need to be taken care of. This is a challenge with 2 family members and drivers gone. Are you up to the challenge? What are your rules?

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Jul 08

Back To School With Swagbucks

While the kids have been out of school, it’s like I’ve been MC Mommy: Entertainment Guru for the past month. As fun as it is, I’m ready for class to resume.  And although the only part of summer ending that my kids like is Back-To-School shopping, that hefty receipt hangs over my head from the start of July until the middle of September. Didn’t I buy them enough pens and binders last year?! Well, I think it’s about time for Mommy to be rewarded.  From now until September 1st, Swagbucks is offering double cash back in the form of points (called SB) when you shop for all your back to school essentials.  Walmart – Up to 7 SB per $1Target – Up to 2 SB per $1eBay – Up to 2 SB per $1Amazon – Up to 7 SB per $1Macy’s – Up to 6 SB per $1Gap – Up to 2 SB per $1Old Navy – Up to 4 SB per $1Priceline – Up to 10 SB per $1Expedia – Up to 8 SB per $1And so many more Points can be redeemed for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target or Paypal cash so I can treat myself.  Who said back to school shopping is all about the kids? Swagbucks also gives you 4% Cash Back at Starbucks, so order your Java Chip Frappuccino tumbler online and treat yo’self when you pick up your kids’ back to school goodies!

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Jun 30

Celebrate July 4th with MyGiftCardsPlus


In America, we do everything big. Big hair. Big portions. Big parties. Celebrate the 4th of July with MyGiftCardsPlus (Powered by Swagbucks) – where you have the freedom to spend big AND save big!

While you are serving up some burgs and dogs from the grill, Swagbucks will be serving MyGiftCardsPlus shoppers SB bonuses sure to make you feel fireworks! 

Starting July 1st, you can earn Cash Back* plus a 100 SB Bonus on ANY Gift Card of $50 or more!** Now’s the time to stock up on all your favorite Gift Cards at MyGiftCardsPlus. Use them to purchase food, drinks, decorations, and even a patriotic outfit for this weekend’s festivities!

Don’t have an account yet? Sign up today to be a citizen of Swagbucks: land of the free gift cards, home of the savings! 


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*Cash Back is paid in the form of SB points good for popular gift cards or PayPal cash.

**100 SB Bonus can be earned only once per store. 

This offer expires at 11:59pm PST on July 4th. Your SB will credit when your electronic gift card is delivered. Must purchase a Gift Card with a value of $50 or more to qualify for a SB bonus. Only one SB Bonus is available per retailer (ex. If you buy two $50 Gift Cards to one retailer you will ONLY receive one (1) 100 SB Bonus). You will not get a SB bonus if you stack smaller denomination Gift Cards (ex. 2 Gift Cards of $25) to equal $50, $75, $100, or more.
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May 19

Walmart Summer Sale


When I hear from loyal Swagbucks members about their favorite Swagbucks Shop & Earn destination, the answer invariably comes back Walmart. Every extra penny saved matters and it’s basically impossible to beat any cash back on top of Walmart’s low prices. So when I heard that Swagbucks is giving you more for every dollar you spend at Walmart, I had to share! That’s right, Swagbucks is making earning Cash Back easier and giving away $1,000 in prizes when you Shop & Earn at Walmart. Starting today through May 31st you’ll earn up to 7% Cash Back on your summer shopping needs at Walmart. Enjoy savings in your favorite summer categories including: HomeClothingToysBaby & ToddlerElectronicsPatio & GardenSports & OutdoorsAutos & TiresCell PhonesFood Plus, be entered into their Walmart Summer Sweeps! For every $25 you spend at Walmart from May 16th through May 31st you’ll be entered to into their $1,000 Giveaway! 1 Grand Prize: $50020 Runner Up Prizes: $25.* The more you spend, the better your odds! *All prizes to be paid out in SB.

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Apr 29

Swagbucks!: Mother’s Day By The Numbers


Mother’s Day is around the corner (Sunday, May 8th) and if you haven’t started already, now’s the time to remember all the little things the moms around us do every day and get them a token of your appreciation. Moms are creative, capable, and resourceful. Moms work hard! That’s why moms deserve the best and Swagbucks wants to make sure your Mom gets the best.  Right now you can earn up to 35% Cash Back on gifts for Mom at her favorite retailers when you shop through the Swagbucks Mother’s Day Sale, saving you lots of pennies and allowing you to splurge a little extra on mom! Need more help shopping for mom? It’s no surprise that the Swagbucks community is packed with moms. So they surveyed their member base at the end of March to find out how moms view Mother’s Day. Swagbucks received more than 10,000 email responses and found the following:  

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Apr 06

Things I am Thankful for last week!

There are many, many blogs that I read on a regular basis that have inspired me. One current fad that is popular right now is blog posts on what people are loving or doing this week or that week. So I have been inspired to start posting on things that I am thankful for last week. Every time I promise to blog on a regular basis, life gets in the way and I do not follow through. So this time I am only going to be this will not be the last of this type of post, it may be next week or next month.

So things I am thankful for last week.

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  1. Before Christmas time the diamond fell out of my engagement right into my pants pocket! Last week I found a jeweler that I was comfortable bringing it to and I got it back! After nearly 20 years I still am still amazed with my husband’s choice of ring! I love it! :)
  2. Antibiotics! I have been sick for about 4 weeks. Around week two I was runny a low grade fever, so I called into work sick to rest and drink water. I thought I was feeling a bit better until my family and I went out to eat and I nearly cried out in pain from my ear infection that has moved into my throat. Now that I am on day 6 of my antibiotics I am finally starting to feel better.
  3. I am loving my job! I get to help youth with their development, and people to learn about food safety and cooking skills. I really love passing along these life skills to youth and adults. My coworkers are completely amazing! I have called many of them with off the wall questions and they stop everything and try to help me or direct me to someone with the answers.

Those are the things I am loving this week. What are you loving this week!?

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Apr 02

First Three Months of 2016

It has been 3 months of complete craziness! I have started to work ONE full time job, for the first time since I was pregnant with my 16 year old. I have been a jack of many, many trades over the years, I have been working some times more then 40 hours a week for over 7 years after being home full-time with my babies. I always had jobs that I could mostly schedule around my commitments and family’s needs. But now, starting on January 4th of this year I started ONE full time job! I have access to benefits and retirement investments for the first time ever! I am not taking the benefits due to my DH’s benefits. But the retirement I am ALL over, I am really making up time and really socking it to it. My employer matches an awesome amount also, so like I said time I am making up for lost time.

I am employed full time! ONE job can you even imagine!? I am thrilled and by the way I LOVE this job. I get to work with children in 4-H and the new part of the job is helping people with health and nutrition skills. I am still learning and so excited. But besides that part of life, my family…..

My family and I are really having a challenging  time with me being employed full-time and a ton of travel commitments. Maybe it is me that is having a hard time, at being so committed and having to delegate so many of the household chores. But I am really trying, I am making up chore lists for everyone, if they don’t know it needs to be done, it won’t get done.

That is pretty much it for the last three months, what has your last couple of months been like!?

And the winner of the coupon giveaway that ended on Easter is Michelle! Congratulations, Michelle!

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Mar 18

INFOGRAPHIC: Spring Break – By The Numbers


Are you going anywhere for spring break? Maybe you’re taking the kids to DisneyWorld or visiting mom and dad or treating yourself to a fun getaway. Check out this cool infographic from Swagbucks on what 19,000 Americans are planning for their Spring travel. Let us know what you’re up to this spring in the comments. and sign up for Swagbucks to get paid for making your voice heard in surveys like these and getting Cash Back while you shop online for all your travel essentials!

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Mar 18

renuzit Sensitive Scents GIVEAWAY!!!

Do you live with someone with a sensitive nose? I DO! I love the clean, fresh scents of spring, but someone in my house gets a bit overwhelmed by some of the strong scented products on the market! I have had the chance to try the new renuzit Sensitive Scents collection and I have to say they are wonderful! Light and airy but not overwhelming even to my sensitive nose in the house.

The scents I got to try-

Pure Water Blossom & Cucumber– Is so fresh and makes me feel like I am hiking along the river.

Pure Ocean Breeze-I love this one also, it is clean and fresh smelling.

Pure White Pear & Lavender-Who doesn’t love Lavender? I could not pick just one, I really did love them all.

Now the fun part one of my lucky readers of Picking UP the Pennies gets to try it! GIVEAWAY!! One lucky winner will receive a coupon for any Renuzit Brand Sensitive Scent product! Enter by stating what scent you would like to try for your chance! Open to U.S.A residents only 18 years or older. Contest will end Sunday Mar 27th at 8:23pm.

*The Renuzit Brand provided me with samples of Renuzit Sensitive Scents in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.


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