February 25, 2017

SB Local Birthday Promotion!


You've probably heard me talk about Swagbucks before. It's the site where you get points (called SB) for doing things like shopping, discovering deals, watching videos, taking surveys, and searching the web. Then you turn those points in free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and PayPal cash.

Swagbucks is at its best when they're paying you to do something you'd already do online, and now they're taking that concept into thousands of restaurants around the country with the SB Local app for iOS and Android. Starting on 2/24 and running through Monday, 2/27, they have a killer deal running - here's how you can take advantage of it: 

1. Click here to download the Swagbucks Local app. You can create your Swagbucks account if you're new to it.
2. Sign in with your Swagbucks account information.
3. Link your first debit/credit cards to your Swagbucks Local app and get an instant 100 SB!
4. Use your linked card to pay at thousands of participating locations! If you spend $20 or more before Tuesday, February 28th, you'll get a 300 SB bonus! That bonus will be paid out by 5pm PST on February 28th.

As an EXTRA treat for their 9th Birthday, in addition to the 300 SB, you'll be entered in to a drawing for one of eleven prizes worth up to 9000 SB!

Finally, if you're also signing up for Swagbucks for the first time and use my link, that means you'll get another 300 SB bonus. We're talking about $7 plus for going out to eat, with a shot at up to $90 more!     

Some more info about SB Local:
Soon after paying with your linked card, you will see the transaction show up in your Swagbucks Local Activity ledger. Your SB earned will be calculated on the transaction amount before taxes and tip. Swagbucks Local is currently supported in the following metropolitan areas: San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Ventura County, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Phoenix, Houston, Denver, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. New cities added on a regular basis, and you'll get the 100 SB bonus for linking your first card even if you don't live in one of the cities listed above!

February 24, 2017

Birthday Swago


Swagbucks is celebrating their birthday all day on February 27th, but they want to give YOU presents. You can play Swago (their version of bingo) all day long, filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online.

For each square you fill in, you get a spin on their big birthday prize wheel, where you can earn up to 2500 points with each spin!

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash!

Fill up your board and then submit your patterns to get even more spins and more chances to win big points!

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before March 1st, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

February 23, 2017

The Awkward Silence

While returning from the mall one day with a carload of kids, I overheard a conversation between one of my kids and his friends. The kid said he “doesn’t talk to THAT woman” while joking with the other kids about his family. I’d known for years the kid’s mom was absent and never asked about her. Not that I wasn’t curious – I mean I’ve always wondered - but more like it wasn’t a conversation I’d want to have with a child.

I pretended not to listen as the kids kept talking and the conversation became serious all of a sudden.

“Do you ever wonder about her” asked one of the kids.

“Nah”, the kid shrugged “my sisters talk to her but she’s a stranger to me” he said.

“Where does she live” asked another kid.

“I’on know”, the kid replied “I’ll never speak to that woman.”

Then silence.

A carload of kids came to a deafening, awkward silence. Yet, thoughts in my head were screaming as I flashbacked to my life as the child of divorce. Thinking of all the questions I had for my father and how I hardened my heart thinking he didn’t care about me anyway.

        He wasn’t there.


                          He never called.

                                   He left us.

                                            He left me.

It wasn't until years later when I became an adult I had the opportunity to sit down with my father and get the answers to my questions. We cannot turn back the hands of time but some of us can forge forward TOGETHER like my dad and I. I visit him whenever I am nearby and give him updates on the grandkids.  I called him on his birthday a few months back.  The first time I'd done that in over 30 years. Our awkward silence is no more and I am grateful.


“I hope one day when you’re older you and your mom will be able to sit down like my dad and I get answers to all your questions”, I said breaking the silence.


“Me too, Mrs. C. me too.”

I knew he understood as I saw him grin a bit as I glanced in my rear view mirror.

The mood lightened and the laughter of kids filled the car again.

February 22, 2017

My Nutrisystem Journey Week 4: I Survived Our 1st Backyard BBQ of 2017

Disclosure: I am a Proud #NSNation Blogger and I received Nutrisystem in
exchange for this review.  The opinions expressed above are 100% mine
Last weekend temps rose to the mid 70s.  70+ degrees in February.?!  Crazy huh?  Perfect day to grill.  Who am I kidding in our house, any day is a perfect day to grill.

Our backyard BBQs are legendary.  We - and by "we" I mean "my husband" - grill a ton of food, prepare lots of sides and make sure everyone leaves full. 

As usual, Hubby outdid himself prepping a feast of ribs and links and the aroma of the pecan and hickory woods filled the air. As family and friends piled their plates high full of meats and temptation swirling all around me, I did remarkably well.


Hubby grilled some corn, zucchini and squash which paired well with my Nutrisystem Sweet BBQ sauce with Pulled-Style Pork.  Yes, BBQ pulled pork.  OMG!  It was so delicious and what a way to stay on track while enjoying the backyard barbecue.
pic courtesy of Nutrisystem
Hubby is a wonderful partner in my Nutrisystem journey.  He knows I am committed to losing weight and he keep me motivated.  It certainly helps to have the support of family and friends when you are trying to lose weight.

We've made a lot of changes in our household food prep.  We're trying different cooking techniques and discovering a wider variety of fresh fruits and veggies.

Veggies are becoming my favorite go to food and I'm learning new ways to prepare them. 
Grilled veggies are a great way to power up with healthy calories and keep them crisp and tasty is eas. 

Check out these tips for tasty grilled veggies.
  1. Oil 'em.  A little EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) goes a long way in protecting your veggies from drying out while cooking
  2. Soak Your Skewers.  Be sure to soak wooden skewers in water and then apply EVOO before placing on the grill to prevent burned skewers and easier removal when done.  Better yet, use metal skewers.  Dishwasher safe and grilled veggies slide right off.
  3. Season Your Veggies.  Remember to check The Leaf for tips on free foods to add a little flavor to your grilled veggies.  Peanut butter and soy make for a tasty pairing.
  4. Experiment.  Try grilling a variety of veggies.  I tried jicama, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and everyone loved it.
I hit a plateau this week and only lost 1 pound. 
No worries though.  The weather is unseasonably warm so I'll just lace up my tennis shoes and enjoy this great weather.
My Nutrisystem Journey Week 4:  The Backyard BBQ Buffet




Week 4
Lbs. lost this week: 1
Total lbs. Lost: 21

www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog

Get $25 to try Hulu

If you've been thinking about trying Hulu, this is the time to do it. Thanks to an offer through Swagbucks, you get $25 (paid in the form of points called SB) for trying Hulu for a month. That will cost you $7.99, so you're making $17 on the deal!

Hulu has tons of current and classic programming, movies, brilliant original series, and more. Here's how you do it:

1. Click this link.
2. Create your Swagbucks account (takes 30 seconds)
3. Click "Continue" and sign up for Hulu
4. Enjoy Hulu! You should have your points within 30 minutes.

Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? They're a site where you earn points (called SB) for doing things like online shopping, watching videos,
taking surveys, and discovering deals and services you might like to try (like Hulu!). You then take those points and turn them into free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

This is a great time to join because when you sign up through the link above and get your 2000 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of March. So that's $25 (2500 SB) for trying Hulu plus your $3 (300 SB) bouns, which gets you 2800 SB, which means you make $20 total just for watching TV!
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