Online Side Hustles, Surveys and Other Money Making Ideas!

A long, long time ago when I very first started this little blog, I wrote an article on how to make money online.  Well, my life and experiences have changed drastically since then and I have a lot more to say on the subject!

Have you ever wondered if there are legitimate ways to earn money online?  I know that there are countless “make money now” scams online, but did you know that there are legit and honest ways to earn extra cash online.  Some of us even make a full time living doing it!  I know from personal experience because for the last 4 years I have made a full time living while working online.

My first experience earning any money online was with survey companies.  Yes, there really are ways to get paid for surveys!  Here are just a few of the legitimate companies that I have done work for:

Surveys are a great way to earn a couple of dollars here or there and even get free products!

While staying busy with surveys I decided I wanted to help my family out even more so I began looking for ways to earn real income and I stumbled onto Textbroker.  Textbroker is a great place to get a start on an online copywriting career.  They pay anywhere from $0.01 to $0.05 per word depending on your writing skill.  You will not get rich from this, but the more you work and the better you perform, the more you can earn.

There are other freelancing sites similar to Textbroker that offer great, higher paid work, but it will involve higher quality, so be prepared to work for real!

  • Freelancer.com
  • Odesk.com
  • Fiverr (You may think that Fiverr is a no-go because it only pays $5 per job, but the truth is, you can easily raise the price of these jobs by adding in extras.  I have met several people who have made $30k+ per year selling on fiverr, plus you can do almost anything on that website.  Awesome for creative minds.)

 

Swagbucks is a great place to go to earn “swagbucks” which can then be converted to gift cards.  I have used Swagbucks to pay for all of Christmas before.  So, no, you won’t make a full time living here, but you can easily make $10-$50 per month that can be used on household necessities, Christmas and Birthday funds, etc.

If you have lots of stuff to get rid of, or if you are an expert at snagging a good deal, you can sell your goods on Amazon or eBay.  Selling isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I have made several hundred dollars selling my old clothes on Ebay before.

Here are some books that will help if you want to be an online seller:

The Big Book of eBay: How Start an eBay Business, and Make Money Selling Online

eBay For Dummies

If you are handy or creative, Etsy is the place to go to sell those types of items.  Here are some books that will help you get started:

Okay, here are the big ones though.  For the last several years I have earned a full-time income online by being a blogger and Virtual Assistant.  I personally do most of my VA work, creating content for other, bigger bloggers.  I got started in an unconventional way as I started a small coupon blog and got noticed from some bigger bloggers who then offered me work helping them.  It has grown from there so now I create content (articles, printables, roundups) and I offer social media management to companies and bloggers alike.  In order to grow my business though, I read several books and have taken several trainings.

Here are a couple books that I highly recommend:

The Bootstrap VA (Seriously the BEST book I read regarding becoming a VA)

Becoming a VA: The Key to Unlocking the Virtual Assistance Industry

Virtual Assistant: Take a Leap of Faith And Start a Virtual Assistant Business (Your Guide to Establishing a Successful Business As a Virtual Assistant)

Here are a couple of courses that I have taken:

Rocking VA Course (Sadie and David are experts at this….I know Sadie has acknowledged making six figures last year and she knows what she is talking about)  I highly recommend this course.  It does cost just shy of $300, but once you have the extra money, it is worth it.

Rock Your Pinterest Course.  This one is free and offered by the same people that offer the Rocking VA Course.  It helps you become a Pinterest Pro which gives you the ability to offer it as a service.

I haven’t taken this one yet, but I have heard good things and I just signed up myself.  It’s free!

Work at Home School

 

Also, there is always money in starting your own blog.  That being said, too many people though start a blog thinking it’s easy money, it is not.  You can make a lot of money, but it requires a lot of work and time.  But boy can it pay off!

First, you need to get yourself a domain name and hosting.  Here are a couple of companies that you can go through…

Domains:

GoDaddy

Hosting:

GoDaddy

BlueHost

 

 

 

 

Daily Burn Update…

(nope, that’s not me either 😉 )

Okay, time to fess up.  I tried.  I really did.  I genuinely wanted to like Daily Burn, but the fact of the matter is, I simply do not like working out in my living room trying to follow along with a personal trainer online.  The older I get, the less coordinated I get it seems which may affect how much I enjoyed this workout plan.  I always felt like I was off time with the fitness folks on the screen.

One thing that did happen though is that doing Daily Burn for a week (wow, a whole week?!), did get me into workout mode and I have been doing 20+ minute elliptical workouts every day with the exception of Sunday which I took off for a basketball tournament for our daughter.

So, if you like dancing around and you enjoy working out in your home, Daily Burn may be just the thing for you!! (Especially since you can get 90 days free from Groupon right now)

Daily Burn, Day 2 Review

Did you check out my day 1 review of Daily Burn?  I’m making it a goal to blog about this every single day and make this fitness program work.  I’m only on day 2, but so far it is working.  I am able to work out with my toddler in the same room and I have felt great 2 days in a row now.

If you are wondering what the workouts are like.  Here’s my review of my second day of workouts:

Daily Burn Day Two:

So, I didn’t spend enough time looking around at all of the fitness programs they have available.  I just clicked on the “other workouts you may like” section.  Since I am only 2 days in and obviously still out of shape I am going for the shorter workouts to start with.  I chose DB15 MMA without realizing that it had a workout level of Hard.  Boy was it!  I actually sat out for about 2 of the 15 minutes because I was hurting (my feet aren’t used to so much work!).   That all being said, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it again when I am in better shape.

Because I forgot to do it yesterday, I will be taking measurements and weight today to see if and when I start seeing some progress.  I will keep you all posted.

Daily Burn, Day 1 Review

Okay, Y’all.  It’s time to get real!  I am also 2 years postpartum and I need to lose this baby weight.  I have been carrying it around with me for far too long, plus hubby said he is going to take me on a cruise this Fall!! It’s time to get swimsuit ready!

Do you see that girl in the photo above? That’s me.  Okay, it’s not me at all, it’s just a stock photo, but her expression while looking at the scale is the same expression I get when looking at my scale.  Anyway…I’m ready to start getting a smile on my face when stepping on the scale again!

Here’s the thing though.  I have a toddler at home which makes working out hard.  Plus, I live in the good old Pacific Northwest which means lots of rain.  I can’t just stick him in the stroller and go for a walk.  Additionally, I live in a rural community which means the closest gym is 20 minutes away, which is fine, but it doesn’t have a daycare.   So,   decided to sign up for a free Daily Burn Membership (I took advantage of this free 60 day membership via Groupon) to see if working out at home would be an option for me.  I have decided to share with you, my readers, my experience with Daily Burn as it happens so that if it is working for me, maybe it can work for you!

Let’s get started:

Daily Burn Day One:

I’m out of shape, I admit it.  No shame here (okay, there’s a little shame, but I am trying to own it).  For the first little while, I am choosing just Easy Workouts so that I don’t get discouraged.  For day one, I chose DB15 Let’s MOVE.  It was a shorter workout (15 minutes) and honestly, it was fun!  I got sweaty, my muscles hurt in a couple parts, but it was a fun little dancing workout that I wouldn’t mind doing again!  Lot’s of fun musical themed workouts (she even added a Kid n Play workout in the mix).

I’m only one day in, but I love it.

Please follow along (or join in) on my Daily Burn journey!  I would love the company.

 

My Struggle with Post Partum Depression

You may recall about 2 years ago, I announced that I was going to be having a baby.  Well, I had a beautiful baby boy about 18 months ago and my life has never been the same.  Truth be told, he is my third child.  I knew how much I was going to love him, I knew how much work he was going to be and I knew that we had a new family dynamic that was about to take place.  What I didn’t know though, is how sad I was going to be.  Like not-get-out-of-bed-for-2-days-straight sad and crying all the time sad.

We Kinda Guessed

At around month 3 my husband and I had a long conversation about it and came to the assumption that I had Postpartum Depression.  At this point, I did nothing about it, other than try to relax.  I let my hubby and kids take over most of the household duties that I typically handle, but even with less stress I honestly wasn’t getting any better.  I had a fear of talking to the doctor about it because I was scared.  I had never really dealt with mental illness as it pertains to me before and I just didn’t want to acknowledge that I did, in fact, have depression.

I had other symptoms besides sadness too:

  • forgetfulness
  • lack of drive
  • lack of focus
  • no desire to work or be productive at all

The Doc Confirmed It

Well, at about 5 months in, I still cried all the time.  I got out of bed more often, but rarely felt motivated to shower or do any activities and my husband and I decided that it was time to see the doctor.  Once I went to my regular family doctor she confirmed that I did, in fact, have Postpartum Depression.  She gave me some pamphlets and prescribed me some medication then sent me on my way.  Truth be told the medication wasn’t my favorite, but it did help with one thing.  I cried much less often.  I wasn’t happy per se, but I had fewer tears so I was thankful for that.  I really was tired of my poor children and husband seeing me cry all the time.

I am thankful for the medication that I had during those few months because I genuinely feel like they helped me to some degree.  They didn’t cure me, but they helped me get through for a bit.

What Next?

I stayed on the medicine for a couple of months and then for various reasons, I decided to stop taking it.  Before you ask, yes, I did it under my doctor’s watch.  Antidepressants are scary, I followed all of their rules to the T.  Once I stopped taking the medicine I found myself laughing a couple of times.  Like real laughing, that I hadn’t done in a year or more.  It was wonderful.  I was also ready to get out more.  My husband took me on a couple of hikes (my favorite thing) and even surprised me with several beach trips now that he knew I wouldn’t nix the idea.  It was glorious.  All of that said, I did still have depressive episodes that brought me down more often than I would have liked, but I have powered through and I am getting better each and every day.

The tools that I have found that have helped me the most are:

  • Exercise
  • Sunshine
  • Vitamins
  • Family time
  • Healthy Diet (even when I wanted to eat chocolate cake morning, noon and night)
  • Lots of water

Speak Out

Even with all of the talk about mental health and the public’s desire to see it brought to light more often, there seems to be a major stigma surrounding Postpartum Depression.  Once I came to terms with what was wrong with me, I started speaking about it a lot.  In fact, I made it social media public (this photo and partial quote is from my Instagram account) and you know what?  I felt immediately better.  There is no shame in having Postpartum Depression.  Just like there is no shame in having regular depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or any of the other many mental health disorders.  Feeling free enough to talk about it and to get help will make all of the difference in the world when it comes to your treatment.

I think that there are great medical tools available to us for improvement in mental health (of course, more improvements can be made), but first and foremost, this stigma that is out there about mental health disorders needs to go away.  I was afraid to mention my postpartum because I had seen so many scary things in the news that I figured people would think that I wanted to hurt my baby or myself.  It wasn’t like that at all, I was just very very sad.  But because of these fears, I was hesitant to talk about my situation with anyone.  Had this stigma not been out there, I am sure I would have gotten help sooner.

Mystery Tackle Box! The Perfect Gift for a Fisherman!

Oh my goodness you guys!! I saw this info this morning and I am about to freak out.  See, my brother in law is a huge fan of fishing and I am always at a loss as to what to get him when it comes to birthday and Christmas gifts, but I love this Mystery Tackle Box Idea and I think I might have found his next gift!

Mystery Tackle Box is the #1 fishing tackle subscription service offering anglers and fishing enthusiasts a fun and affordable way to discover new fishing lures, learn new techniques and catch more fish! If you, or someone you love, enjoys fishing, get them a Mystery Tackle Box Subscription today. You’ll enjoy a monthly box full of new and innovative fishing lures and products, content on how to use everything, plus stickers and special offers. Visit MTBFISH.COM to learn more!
My Readers Get $10.00 Off Your First Mystery Tackle Box – New Subscribers can enjoy $10.00 off their first box of Mystery Tackle Box fishing tackle subscription by using the promo code USFAM10. Get a box full of new fishing products delivered straight to your door. Subscriptions start at $15 per month. Coupon valid through December 31st, 2017.

Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale Review

A while back I received an Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale.  See, I’m not sure if you remember or not, but I had a baby recently (okay, a year and a half ago) and I really need to make some changes to get my weight back on track.  After a miserable fight with Post Partum Depression, my weight has unfortunately not changed one bit since the baby was born.

Anyway…I thought that one way that I can work toward weight loss is by making sure that I am eating the right amount of foods and weighing the foods are a great way to do that!  I try to weigh out the meats and dairy products I eat to ensure that I am eating the right portions.  Plus, while I don’t feel the need to weigh them out for my dieting purposes, the kids and I also have fun weighing out our fruits and vegetables.

This Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale is super easy to use, you basically just have to hit the power button.  If you want your foods measured in a different unit, you just need to touch the unit button to get to the desired choice.  I have had no issues whatsoever.  The easy touch buttons are flush with the scale, which makes it really easy to keep clean!  Simply stated, I really like this scale and plan to use it for years to come and I highly recommend it for those wanting to start weighing their foods.

 

Disclaimer: Okay, here’s the deal:  I was provided with this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions, thoughts and reviews located herein are mine and mine alone and were not influenced at all by the company or its affiliates.

 

The Harlem Globetrotters are Coming to Town!! Save 25% On Tickets!

Do you have basketball fans in your family? Well, they are going to love this!! The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town!

SAVE 25% for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM. Go here to place your order.

With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Lister, Ace Jackson and Hoops Green – the Harlem Globetrotters’ show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. Their 2018 World Tour will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.

 

Nitro Circus is Coming to Town!

Do you have a motorcycle fan in your house? If you would love to go to Nitro Circus, they are coming to Central Oregon on 9/15!  I am so excited to surprise my son with these tickets!!

Details:

Nitro Circus Live – Bend, Oregon

Friday, September 15th at the Vince Genna Stadium! Gates open at 6 pm and show starts at 7 pm.

Nitro Circus Live is the greatest action sports tour on the planet!

Featuring 30 of the World’s best athletes in Freestyle Motocross, BMX and skate! Plus insane contraptions launched from the 40-foot high Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp!

Nitro Circus Live is a 2 hour, fully choreographed, theatrical spectacular that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

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How to Pick the Perfect Produce

Did you know that June is fresh fruit and veggie month?  I have seen countless photos on my social media timeless of my friends out picking fresh berries and fruits.  Sometimes picking fruit is pretty obvious.  I mean, no one wants a smushed (according to spell check, smushed is not a word.  I’m still going with it 😉 ) strawberry or a bruised apple, but sometimes, it’s hard to know if the produce will taste great when you get home or not.  So how do you know if a particular fruit or vegetable is going to be good? Well, there are some tips that will help us decide if something is ready or not.

Here is a list that you can follow to help you pick the perfect produce:

  • Watermelon –
    • The watermelon should always feel heavy for its size
    • There should be a hollow thud when you thump the melon with your fingers
    • The yellow spot (where they have laid on the ground) should be creamy yellow
  • Cantaloupe
    • Like the watermelon, a cantaloupe should feel heavy for its size.
    • It should smell sweet, yet slightly musky
    • The rind should look raised netting
  • Honeydew
    • A honeydew should be a pale yellow color, avoid green honeydew melons as those are not yet ripe
    • It should also have a dull appearance.  A shiny appearance indicates that it is not yet ripe
  • Pineapple
    • A pineapple should be firm to the touch
    • The leaves on the crown should be green
  • Coconut
    • A Coconut is another fruit that should be heavy for its size
    • Any sign of wetness or mold on the outside are a bad sign
  • Spaghetti Squash
    • Spaghetti squash should again, be heavy for its size
    • Look for a rind that is dry and has no cracks or soft spots
  • Acorn Squash
    • Acorn squash should have a good combination of green and orange color in the rind
    • Should be heavy for its size
    • Rind should be dull without any cracks or soft spots
  • Butternut Squash
    • Butternut squash should be beige in color
    • Avoid butternut squash that has any brown spots or deep cuts
  • Avocado
    • The perfect avocado is dark green
    • Yields to slight pressure
  • Broccoli
    • Broccoli should have bright green heads
    • Stems and stalks should be very firm.  If you hold the broccoli up, the stalks should not droop
    • Look for tight clusters of the florets, if they are more open that means they are past their prime
  • Cauliflower
    • Cauliflower should be a creamy white color
    • Look for tight clusters of the florets
    • No brown spots or wetness
    • Make sure to smell for any musky or moldy odors