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Get Cash Back While Shopping This Year

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I do almost all of my Christmas shopping online these days. With most places offering free or at least very inexpensive shipping, especially on Black Friday, I can get most of my list taken care of in an hour or less and gifts are delivered to my door within days.

I actually enjoy being out in the bustling crowds at Christmastime, so I still go shopping twice during the season. Once, with my girls so they can do their shopping, and once with my husband for our annual shopping and dinner date, where I buy stocking stuffers and candy canes. We used to do all of our shopping for our kids on this day, and dinner was a one dollar cheeseburger eaten in the car. Now, we have time to go out to a decent dinner and sometimes even a movie!

Now that I do the bulk of my shopping online, shopping is far less stressful and more fun! No more going from store to store, starving and tired. Now, we go at a nice slow pace and have time to stop and smell the peppermint mochas.

Last year, right after I did all of my shopping, I discovered eBates. I was so bummed that I hadn’t found it before I did my shopping, that I actually went back and calculated how much I could have gotten back if I would have used eBates for my online shopping. With special promotions going on at that time, I would have made about $60 back!

Some of my most visited stores: Kohls, Target, and Amazon are on eBates. You can even get cash back from sending someone flowers, or shopping on eBay and Living Social.

This year, I set a reminder on my phone to remind me to log in through eBates when I sit down to do my shopping. eBates is simply a website that you log into before shopping and click on the store you’ll be using and you earn a percentage back. It only takes a few seconds to register!

It doesn’t change your price on anything you buy, and once you click through, you shop through the same website you’ve always shopped through. All you do is log into eBates first and go from there. They also have any coupons and sales listed, so you can get the very best deals. With some stores you get 1-2% back, and I’ve seen some as high as 35%, but I would say the average is from 3-6%.

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Here’s how easy it is. Today, I opened eBates in my browser, then clicked on JcPenney. This screen instantly appeared, and went directly to the usual JcPenney site. Now, anything I buy in that shopping session will earn me 3% cash back. It’s like free money.

Around the holidays, many stores will have double the percentage specials. You can bet Black Friday will be one of those days.

I have my lists all ready and I’ll be doing all of my Christmas shopping this year on Black Friday, from the comfort of my home, eating leftover pie and listening to Bing, while also earning cash back. You really can’t beat that!

I’m sharing my link to eBates, and if you use this link to sign up, I’ll also get a bonus for referring you. You, in turn, can refer friends and make that same bonus. Win-win! eBates did not pay me to write this post, in case you were wondering :)

Do you shop on Black Friday or stay home and eat leftover pie?

honey 35 high

I’m not Waiting to Start My Life

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My husband and I have a few friends and family that have either waited until they were older to have kids, are still waiting, or still deciding if they want kids at all.

We, on the other hand, had our kids quite early in life. It’s very common at family gatherings for it to be all adults and then my two girls. Over the course of the years, we’ve gotten dragged into many conversations about when the right time to have kids is.

No matter who we talking with, they inevitably end up saying something like this: “Well, we’d rather live our life first, and then have kids, rather than waiting until we’re in our forties to start traveling and living life.”

I usually nod and smile and say something like, “Well, we aren’t exactly waiting for our lives to start.” But I don’t go much farther than that because I’m afraid that no matter what I say, I’ll end up sounding as if I‘m judging them for choosing to wait until they’re older to have kids. And I am honestly not.

I don’t care when you have kids, or if you have them at all. I mean, sure, if I had it my way, all of my cousins and siblings would have huge families and our parties would be bursting with little ones running around. But that’s only because I love kids and want more babies to squeeze. But when it comes down to it, have kids, don’t have kids, I don’t care.

However.

There is something that is starting to bug me more and more and it’s this perspective that parents don’t have fun until the kids leave the nest. Or that you need to get in all the fun you can possibly imagine before having kids, because otherwise you are going to miss out.

I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say, I actually enjoy being a parent. And it’s not just the Kodak snuggling sessions with your toddler saying I love you so much with a little lisp type of moments that I enjoy. Though those are huge perks of this life.

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Besides all the parenting stuff that goes on around here, we also just do life together. We laugh, we joke. We love all the same movies. We’d rather spend time with them than just about anyone else.

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Sure, we haven’t traveled much. But it’s not because we’re waiting for our kids to grow up before we do the real stuff of life. So it’s not that we’re waiting for our kids to leave before our big Europe trip. No, what we’re waiting for is more like a big bag of cash to fall on our front step.

So yeah, we’re broke. But guess what? We’d probably be just as broke without kids. Earning a ritzy living has never been high on our priority list.

And, sure, sometimes my kids drive me crazy. But guess what? So does my husband. And I drive them all crazy sometimes, too.

And yes, sometimes I need a break from those two beautiful faces that call me mom and I need to just stick my nose in a book and escape life for a bit. But guess what? I’ve been doing that my whole life, long before kids.

So I understand that not everyone wants to have kids, and I respect that decision. Not everyone should be parents.

But those of you that say you want to live your life before you have kids? I’ve finally figured out why it bothers me when you say that. It’s kind of insulting. Believe me when I say, I’m not missing out on anything.

I’m not waiting for anything to start.

Yes, my life is all tangled up with three other individuals.

It’s messy.

It’s beautiful.

It’s exhausting.

But this life of mine? It’s happening right now.

And I love it.

honey 35 high