Being Unique Is A Blessing

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We are what we choose to be!! Walking around in a cloud of self doubt & negativity not only is depressing but brings misery to your doorstep. This uninvited guest takes more than they give, draining you from the inside out.
Accepting and embracing who & where we are right now, is the 1st step. Stop looking to the past for help in the present. Leave the past mistakes, hardships, sadness, & insecurities where it belongs…in the past.
Everyday make it a point to truly see yourself & embrace it.  We are all unique, which is what makes us all beautiful!

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“God put us here on this carnival ride, we close our eyes never knowing where it will take us next.” ~ Carrie Underwood

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Isn’t that the truth!?!?

Thinking back just 10 years, it’s amazing how much things have changed, how much I have grown, and where my journey has taken me.  10 years ago, I was a 24 years old, a single mom of 3 with a fiancee, living in a small shack in the middle of nowhere, one crappy car, had no TV or internet or telephone, and  didn’t have any money-actually owed more than I earned by far.  At that one moment, I thought life was hopeless.  I didn’t think that my journey would get any better than it was.  It was a harder time in my life.  Now, looking back, I really wished I had more faith, faith in myself, god, and my soon to be husband.

My life now isn’t what I pictured it would be, it’s better.  After years of hard work from both my husband and I, we are now reaping in the rewards.  We now own our own home, I am super happy being home with my children, we have a yard that is all our own, hubby doesn’t have any more creditors, both of our credit scores went way up, we own 2 cars so I don’t have to share with him anymore, we have extra fun things like a camper and kayaks, and my hubby has a better job, one in which he won an award for and got a promotion.  Because of this, we are so much happier, happier than I ever thought possible.

I have grown so much, I have found my passion for photography & writing, and I have done a few things I never ever seen myself doing like canning, farmer’s markets (as a vendor), making & trying different recipes, diy things and other homesteading ideas, started my family and artist blog, I was asked to create my own workshop & teach it, I was asked to do a 5 week group to share my frugal ideas and to show others that anyone can get healthy on any budget, and discovered my passion for writing.  And As of the last few months, I have embraced minimalism, and starting my journey with that.  I am a completely different person than I was, with different goals and ideas.  Now I couldn’t imagine anything else.  Each of our journeys are so amazing, since each are filled with joyful and sad memories, ups and downs, twists and turns.  If you look back at yourself 10 years ago, I am sure you will see how much you have grown.  So, all those moments, where you wonder how important your daily tasks really are, how you are making a contribution.  Don’t count those moments but take a step back and look at how far you have come.

Is your life now, the way you pictured it would be 10 years ago?  Or have things completely changed for you?

Sharing with:
Create With Joy, Sincerely Paula,

Expectation Shift

Lowing my expectations towards others has been uplifting & freeing.  It took me 35 years to do this, but once I did, it added a new chapter in my happiness book.  I no longer expect people to live up to my expectations because they don’t share the same expectations I have.  How can I hold them accountable based on what I want them to do?
We can either accept the people in our lives for who they are or find yourself being disappointed time & time again.  I have a friend that I absolutely love, that I see every few months.  She’s amazing, funny, & I love being around her.   I would be completely sad if she wasn’t in my life.  But she’s flaky & unreliable.  And I’m completely fine with that, since that is who she is.  Once I accepted her for who she is, my feelings of disappointment faded.  Everyone has strengths & weaknesses, learn the strengths of the people in your life and build on that.  Building a foundation on someone’s weaknesses leaves cracks & eventually your foundation will crumble.
Next time someone disappoints, angers, or makes you sad, check within to see if it’s because of the expectations you have of them.  Try lowering them & see how that changes your relationship & feelings towards that person.  I noticed that doing this has helped me cut out drama, stress, negativity, & resentment.
After reading numerous blogs, there are a lot of people who don’t believe this.  So this question is for all of you, does lowering your expectation towards other and increasing your positive expectation for yourself bring you more happiness? Why or why not?

Sharing with:
Create With Joy, A Life In Balance, Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth, Cornerstone Confessions, The Enchanted Rose,


36 Lessons Learned

In celebration of turning another year older, here are 36 lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Take the warnings your parents give you growing up, 80% of them will happen if your not careful
  2. Once you start your family, always put it 1st
  3. What you put into life is what you get out of it
  4. No one is going to give you hand outs, you’ve gotta work hard towards what you really want or stop complaining when things don’t go your way
  5. Your happiness depends upon yourself not others
  6. If you look for validation from others, you’ll never be satisfied
  7. Be who you want your kids to become
  8. Don’t take everything seriously, learn to laugh more
  9. Be adaptable & flexible with life changes
  10. Know who you are & love yourself for it
  11. Find hobbies that your passionate about
  12. Alone time is as important as family time
  13. Stop depending on others, learn to do things alone
  14. True beauty comes from within……..let it shine
  15. Eliminate negativity & things that drain you
  16. Walking your way to a better mood does work, but sometimes you need to walk a little further
  17. eliminating the unnecessary is therapeutic
  18. Let your kids figure problems out for themselves
  19. It’s OK to push yourself but don’t become your worst critic
  20. You can reinvent yourself as many times as you need to
  21. Stay as active as you can, your future self will thank you
  22. Judging others will leave you empty & alone
  23. Be open to new possibilities
  24. Embrace adventures that come your way
  25. Traveling is the best medicine
  26. Everyone makes mistakes, learn from yours & move forward
  27. If something is important to you, never give up.  Keep trying & you will accomplish your goals
  28. Being a mom & a wife has been the most rewarding job I could ever have 
  29. True friends are hard to come by, keep them close, & cherish them
  30. The past is the past, stop worrying about things that already happened
  31. Being positive will change you life 
  32. Believe in yourself….if you don’t who will?
  33. No dream is ever too big 
  34. Material possession won’t fulfill you like experiences would
  35. Living with less is experiencing more
  36. Life is full of ups & downs…….enjoy the ride

What lessons have you learned over the years?

9 Successful Unique Ways To Save & Make Money

Now that the holidays are over, and it’s a new year, it’s time to get back to reality and figure out ways to make some extra cash and/or ideas on how to save money.  Whether the holidays left you broke or not, we all could use some help when it comes to money.  I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a great tip that actually works.  Key being the word “actually“.


With the new year upon us, one of my areas of concentration is exploring new ways to successful bring in extra money through unique avenues as well as making our money stretch till it can’t stretch no more.  Sure, I’m pretty good now, but with a little more practice I’ll be even better.  Being frugal & thrifty is an ongoing journey, one that I continually learn new things from, some successful and some that aren’t.
Today I’m sharing 9 Successful Unique Ways To Make & Save Money.  Now you won’t turn rich overnight, but you’ll be able to make some extra money for those pesky surprises that always pop up.

  • Schoola referrals-
    through this site every time you get a successful referral you get credited $20.  The best part is the person you reffereed to their site gets a free $20 too.  Free clothing for both with free shipping.  It’s a win win for us both.  To use my referral link to get yourself a free $20 to shop with use this link:  Not only are you getting clothing for free, you are giving free clothing to others, & supporting the schools who donated their clothing.  Check it out today!!
  • Open a supply store through Esty
    Did you know you can sell empty toliet roll & paper towel rolls on Esty?  Crafters need supplies so why not open your own store selling items you would normally throw away.  Have your friends and family help you out by saving certain items, adding them to your store.  Sure, you won’t become rich but you’ll make some extra money instead of throwing it away.
  • Resell free things
    One person’s junk is another man’s treasure.  See something for free you could sell?  Don’t pass up something free, if you know you could possibly sell it.  Check out the free section of Craigslist, free pile in yard sales, or free things on the side of the road.  If something needs a little work but you see the potential, refurbish it and then sell it.  You’ll be amazed at what will actual sell.
  • Sign up for free samples throughout the year especially from Pinchme & All You  
    Pinchme & All You have the best free samples around.  Some of the time, they give away full size products.  I save the free samples all year long and then at holidays or birthdays I make a nice basket with them for my daughter, mother, sister etc.  You would be amazed at some of the awesome things I have gotten a sample of….from housewares, to beauty, to home care to pet care.  There is a wide range of sample products waiting for someone to take.  Sign up today.
  • Buy gift cards when there’s a bonus gift card deal
    A few times a year Shaw’s offers an extra $10-$25 (depending on the time of the year) if you buy $100 worth of gift cards.  Well, since i have to go shopping anyways there, I buy my week’s of grocery worth in gift cards and then save the bonus cards for Christmas or birthdays.  If you do this a few times a year, you can make some good side cash.  I’ve made an extra $100 some years, which of course is completely free money.  A lot of stores do this, be on the lookout.  But be careful, only do this with stores you would normally buy from otherwise, you will be wasting your money.
  • Join a gleaning/food recovery group.  
    There are groups all around the world where people harvest unwanted or unneeded plants for their own personal use or to give to others.  Here’s a link for the UK to get some of you started………Gleaning Network.  I haven’t found one for the US yet.
  • Sell broken electronics on Ebay
    A few years back, I wanted to see what would actually sell on ebay.  To my surprise, broken electronics sold for pretty good money.  So when my computer fell apart, we sold the components and made more money than it was worth.  Right now, I have a broken tablet & camera i’m looking to sell.  These I know won’t go for much but anything is better than letting it sit on a shelf collecting dust or throwing it away.  Because you are throwing away money.  So, next time your at a yard sale, look for broken electronics that are usually free and sell them for a little extra cash.
  • Join 
    At my recipe you are able to submit your recipes to share with it’s viewers.  If you recipe becomes popular, then they will pay for the views.  For you foodies out there, it’s def worth the look.  With limited time invested, once you upload your recipe & images, then the work is done.  You just wait to see if it’ll make you some money.  Here’s a fantastic article about this breaking down how much you can make as well as how to start sharing your recipes.  Get Paid To Share Your Recipes At My Recipe Magic.
  • Become a designer
    Here’s some information about it on their blog.  You can submit your designs and if they accept it, they’ll pay you for it.  Also, the site offers you to set up a store, selling items directly on it.  Def worth checking out especially for those DIYers out there.

What some other unique ways that you save or make money?

Sharing with:
Create With Joy, Oh My Heartsie Girl, My Turn For Us

Changing It Up: 12 Affirmations & Word for 2016

The last few years instead of resolutions I’ve done word of the year. This is where I pick a word that I want to work towards, sort of a theme for the upcoming year. It worked great and I seemed to achieved most of my goals, without realizing it. This year however, I decided to change it up a bit. Instead of doing just a word or resolutions, i’m doing affirmations.  Then I’ll pick my word of the year based on my affirmations.
A year or so ago, I talked about my motivational journal and how it helped me when I needed it. I loved creating it & adding to it whenever I was down or needed a pick me up.  Over this past year, I’ve pushed it aside and it’s time to revisit it & making a new one.  I think it’s so important to do one each year, since our lives change so much within that short period of time.
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This year more than any other, I’m in need of encouragement & support from within, which isn’t always there. I’m way too harsh on myself; i’m my biggest critic instead of being my best friend. I don’t give myself credit when I do something great or things work out as I wanted.  Nor do I give myself grace for when I make mistakes, learning new lessons.  I want to concentrate on encouraging & supporting myself more through positive ways, changing my self talk and how I truly see myself.   And I’ll begin this journey with my 12 affirmations for 2016.

  1. Being unique is a blessing, one that I embrace with open arms
  2. Life is what you put into it; make it fun & rewarding it becomes so
  3. I will inspire others through my creativity & unique spirit
  4. I choose to be the source of strength & encouragement for those I love
  5. I’m limited only by a vision of what is possible
  6. I fully embrace who I am today
  7. I choose to focus on solutions rather than the problem
  8. Find beauty from within to find it in others
  9. Positivity is my guiding light through the darkest times
  10. Every night I choose to let go of the day’s mistakes or regrets
  11. I will slow down each day & embrace the little moments, not
  12. On dark days, I will have to create my own sunshine

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Do you see a theme with my affirmations?  If I had to choose a word based on the above 12 my word for 2016 would be ENCOURAGEMENT.

Are you making resolutions?  Or picking a word?  Or affirmations? Or do you do something different?  What are your goals or where do you see yourself going in the upcoming year?

Sharing with:
Create With Joy, Oh My Heartsie Girl, My Turn For Us, Sincerely Paula

Help: Linky Party Ideas

I’m asking anyone out there, who reads this post, for a little bit of help.  I’m looking to start up a link up party but don’t know what theme it should be.  I don’t want to do something other sites are doing, I wanted to be a little more creative, yet nothing comes to mind.  I just want to create a place that everyone can mingle with and have their blog get more exposure.
So, I am asking you to take a moment or two and help me come up with a new link up party that we all can participate in that isn’t overly done, like random diy or recipe parties.  Lets put on our thinking caps and come up with a fantastic fun party.
Anything come to mind????

Would You Buy Used Items For Christmas Gifts?

Question of the day:  
“Would You Buy Used Items For Christmas Gifts?”  Why or Why not.

Tomorrow, I get to spend two hours alone shopping in my favorite city.  Since I don’t get out there much, I’m super excited. I get to hit all the stores I that I love….Christmas Tree Shop, Goodwill, & Savers. As I’m writing my Christmas list out, I began wondering, am I a weirdo because I would gift used items?
Each year, I have certain people in mind that I shop for year around and if something strikes my eye, I will buy it, used or not. I see nothing wrong with buying people used items because
it saves me money
recycles, keeping one less item of our landfills
it’s new to them.
Don’t get me wrong, the items I buy aren’t junk, they are well thought out gifts, that I truly feel that recipient would enjoy. Just because something is used doesn’t mean it’s trashy junk. I know there are lots of others out there, who think I’m weird. But hey that’s ok.  I would find it an honor to be known as the weird frugal lady 😉
What do you think?  Do you do it or are you against it?

Sharing with:
Create With Joy,  A Fresh Start On A Budget, Ducks N a Row

Nurturing Special Connections

Have you ever had a child that loved a certain stuffed animal or blanket?  Having a special connection with it, always carrying it around, & they feel lost without it?
My little Alyssa has that connection, that special bond with her piggy.  This year they both celebrated their 8th birthday together.
She loves her piggy as much as she loves anyone, which is evident by his appearance.  As a baby she would rub the tag to soothe herself, which I thought was totally cute.  She rubbed it so much over the years, she literally rubbed it off.
Now some parents may not agree with letting their child forge a connection, a bond with an inanimate object, but I couldn’t disagree with them more.  I myself, had a special yellow blanket that started out queen sized but ended washcloth size, which makes me laugh because I over loved that blanket.  Over the years, it gave me comfort and made me feel safe, whenever I needed it.  I could throw my blanket over myself, which let me escape the harsh realities of my world.
Nurturing my little ones bond with her piggy is something I’ve always done.  It was bought out of love from my husband to his special little princess, on the day she was born.  Over the years, piggy has become part of her, which is turn makes him part of our family.  What’s wrong with that?

Does you child have a special toy, stuffed animal, or blanket?  Did you have one growing up?

Sharing with: Create With Joy, A Fresh Start On A Budget,