All posts by Mrs. Crunchy

Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Budget: Part 2 – Earn gift cards with Dealspotr

get-the-most-out-of-your-holiday-budget

Part two of our frugal holiday series brings me to my latest exciting discovery – Dealspotr!

I am a big fan of Swagbucks, a search engine where you can earn points towards gift cards. Those gift cards were a lifesaver in our early marriage, and we used most of them to pay for groceries.

There are many deals I want to share with you readers. I struggle with sharing deals because I never wanted this blog to become a “deals blog,” partly because that’s not my passion and partly because that’s an awful lot to keep up with. Occasionally I will post deals related to natural living, but that’s about it.

Enter Dealspotr! With Dealspotr, I earn gift cards by posting thrifty deals I find. I also have my own profile “feed” where I share deals I believe my followers will be most interested in. I’m especially excited about this feature, since I can share my favorite deals with you all without changing the focus of my blog.

I’ve been able to play around with how everything works, and I’ve already earned a $20 gift card! This will definitely come in handy this holiday shopping season, as I have some things on my list that can only be ordered online.

Pros: 

  • Using Dealspotr makes it possible to earn gift cards fast! I like Swagbucks, but it takes awhile to earn gift cards without spending money on the shopping or deal features.
  • I can post my favorite deals on a feed for my followers, which is great for deals that I want to pass on but aren’t necessarily in line with the “voice” I want for this blog.

Cons:

  • It took me awhile to navigate the website for the first time and post my first few deals. Once I learned how, it was much easier. It could just be me and my inability to learn new websites quickly.
  • No affiliate links for the deal sharing. As a blogger who relies on mostly affiliate links for blogging income, I feel an opportunity for bloggers is missed here. However, since I don’t typically share links to the deals I’m sharing on Dealspotr, I don’t miss out on any affiliate income.

Conclusion:

Dealspotr isn’t just for bloggers, everyone can sign up with a profile and earn gift cards! There is huge opportunity to earn lots of free or discounted products using gift cards and shopping through rebate websites!

 

{This post is sponsored by Dealspotr and contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation in the form of products or money, but all opinions are completely my own. Please read my full disclosure for details.} 

Get the Most out of your Holiday Budget Part 1: Groupon Goods

get-the-most-out-of-your-holiday-budget

{Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own.}

Can you believe Christmas is only 5 weeks away?? Have you been wracking your brain to find ways to stretch your budget and still give awesome presents? Look no further than Groupon Goods!

I first heard about Groupon when I was in college, when the mother of children I babysat told me about how she purchased discounted gift cards for a fancy dinner date. I had never heard of this before, but I was immediately hooked. You mean, I can get discounts on everything from restaurants to movie theater tickets to sporting events? And then when Groupon Goods started, the deals and quality really impressed me too!

If you’re familiar with Groupon, you know the deals are good. Groupon Goods is no different, but it’s better. A 2-minute search around the Women’s Clothing revealed deals on adorable boots, cozy blanket scarves, and even Gilmore Girls-themed sweatshirts that I may or may not need that say “I drink coffee like a Gilmore.” Yes and yes please. I also saw amazing deals on jewelry, just in case you wanted a new sparkly something for the holiday parties. My favorite part of course is that they look much more expensive than the actual cost. As the Crunchy Hippie Life mama, I have to say the best deals I spotted tonight are amazing deals on essential oil diffusers, salad to-go cup containers, and organic jerky sticks! I also saw a doorbuster deal for a box of contacts for $10.99 that is too good a deal to pass up if you’re a contacts user like I am!

I have personally purchased multiple items using Groupon Goods and can speak to the quality. In fact, I’m going to have to rework my personal Christmas list a bit to accommodate some of these awesome deals!

There are so many great gift ideas with Groupon Goods, it’s like a one-stop shop for all your needs, and even cheaper than my beloved Amazon!

Where are you doing most of your Christmas shopping this year?

With a little help from my friends…

5 ways to support your favorite bloggers

Oh my goodness, ya’ll, logging in today was like a big hug from an old friend. I missed blogging like I can’t even tell you!

You see, this blog is now officially 3 years old. And when I started it 3 years ago, I paid for a 3 year hosting package. Hosting is basically online rental for the website. And then I forgot about it.

Fast forward to now, and the prices have gone up for renting online space, and I can’t afford the “best deal” of a 3 year rent again, at least not right now. But I received an email from an awesome new company offering me basically 3 months online rent in exchange for a review (coming soon, it’s awesome!!!).

And so, here I am for 3 more months. I have some plans for how to earn my rent, but I also wanted to reach out and let you know ways that you can support me in this expensive little hobby of mine (at no extra cost to you!).

  1. Make purchases through my Amazon link. Do you have a cookbook or a toy you are wanting to purchase? Clicking my Amazon link first allows me to make a tiny percentage (it varies monthly) of “commission” off your purchase.
  2. Share my book. Have you read the ebook I published this summer? If you enjoyed it, share it! Make a free affiliate account on Gumroad and email me at crunchyhippielife at gmail dot com so I can send you an affiliate link. You make 50% of all sales you bring in!
  3. Participate in challenges with me. Remember the Makeover Your Mornings and Makeover Your Evenings challenges I did? Those links are affiliate links. If you purchase through my link, I get a percentage of the sales.
  4. Do you just enjoy my writing? Share blog posts that you like, inspire you, make you laugh, or challenge you. It costs you no money at all but it helps me reach more readers!
  5. Sign up for my email list. Seriously, it helps.

Ya’ll are my tribe and I absolutely love getting to share life with you. I would love to continue to do that for much longer than 3 months!

Tomorrow, let’s get back to finishing up that Makeover Your Evenings challenge. And then I have more posts to share (coming soon: how to earn gift cards fast, 4 things to put in your coffee that might surprise you, and more!).

Eat the Rainbow: Recommit to a Healthy Lifestyle Now!

eat the rainbow recommit to a healthy lifestyle nowLet’s get one thing straight: “taste the rainbow” is for Skittles. “Eat the Rainbow” is my daily challenge. Stress, ever-changing work demands, and (being real here) laziness get in the way of me achieving an overall healthy lifestyle.

Researchers suggest the average person eat 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. One serving usually equals about 1/2 – 1 full cup. Unfortunately, due to pesticides, genetically modified organisms, and depletion of soil quality, sometimes even 13 servings of fruits and vegetables aren’t enough to supply you with the nutrients your body requires to function properly. This is especially true if you are an athlete or a pregnant mama, as your body requires many more nutrients to fuel your higher-than-usual level of activity!

Beginning October 3, I am jumpstarting my recommitment to my health  with a “reboot.” For 10 days, I will eliminate everything processed, dairy, COFFEE, and gluten-containing grains, and focus instead on plants, plenty of water, and some yoga/meditation.

It’s going to be a whole thing.

In addition, I’m going to be joined by my little helpers, powdered produce in capsule and protein form. Every day (beginning on October 3 and continuing through infinity), I will take two capsules containing powdered vegetables, two of fruits, and two of berries, all grown in nonGMO, pesticide-free environments. Each piece was harvested at the peak of freshness and kept raw, so all those helpful mini-enzymes still hold their magic. For 10 days, I will have 2 shakes. Between my shakes and my capsules, that puts me at over 50 plants ingested per day.

And I get chocolate for breakfast. I’m not even upset about the no-coffee thing.

I have a few coworkers joining me, which I’m really excited about! There is nothing I love more than sharing resources and helping the people I care about make healthy changes!

You don’t have to join a challenge to make a change. I love love love the phrase, “one simple change,” because I get overwhelmed easily, but I can make one simple change at a time. I can drink more water. I can take 0.5 seconds and take some produce in capsules. I can change my drink options to be more plant-based instead of just coffee (newest obsession: La Croix water!). Do you see what I mean? Simple changes. Simple choices. Who knows how they will impact your life?

I’m off to drink some lemon La Croix!

The Care and Keeping of Mommy

The Care and Keeping of Mommy - Practical ways to get the most out of life without losing your mind

“Are you living each day just trying to survive until you can go to bed?” Ouch, Crystal, that’s …kind of exactly what I do.

A brief reflection of my day-to-day life shows me that I am not actually accomplishing anything. Most days I am merely doing what I can to survive the day and return to bed. I’m not exhausted, I’m just not taking proper care of myself. The last time I took the time just for me to do something I like was when I went to the hair salon to redeem my coupon for a free haircut from the welcome wagon. That was 3 weeks ago.

I recently started to listen to audio books through my library’s online app. This one little act of remembering that I like to read and actually opening a book again has been so incredible for my spirit! It’s invigorating to read again. I might have gotten a little overzealous when requesting books through the app in my excitement.

Crystal is a big believer in her vitamins and supplements. Starting the first week of October, I’m going to be doing a 10 Day Shred challenge through Juice Plus with some coworkers (more on this later). I’m not doing it to lose weight, I’m just doing it to flood my body with 50+ plants each day for 10 days. I can feel that my body needs a reset.

Part of the 10 Day Shred challenge is drinking enough water. I tend to forget this, especially at work. I make it a point every night to drink at least 3 mason jars worth of water, which pretty much equals out to my daily recommended intake. Since I only drink water or coffee (with unsweetened, unflavored cashew milk, no sugar), no juice or soda or milk, I’m doing fairly well on the drink options, but I could definitely use extra hydration. Those crows feet gathering around my eyes aren’t going to hydrate themselves!

The last thing is the bane of my existence. As much as I dream about how awesome it would be to make a living sharing awesome nutrition and exercise…I HATE EXERCISE. There I said it. I do enjoy yoga, but I don’t make the time for it. But 3 times a day for 10 minutes? It’s not much, but it’s a start.

So there you have it. The ways I’m going to take care of myself. And easy, practical ways you can take care of yourself, too. Because I want to be a lively, vivacious mom that sets an example for my son. I want him to greet life head on and that starts with me.

It starts with me.

This is Day 10/14 of Money Saving Mom’s Makeover Your Evenings course. If you haven’t purchased your course yet, click here to get started!

{To support my blogging efforts, I use affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Breakfast made simple

Breakfasts Made Easy

Breakfast used to be a production. When I was single and on my strict paleo, mostly organic diet, I would wake up at 4:30am on days that I worked at the hospital to ensure that I was able to make a 3-egg omelet or scramble with lots of sautéed veggies and topped with salsa and avocado, a large sausage patty, and a fruit/coconut milk smoothie.

Now? Yeah right, I’m not waking up at 4:30 in the morning to provide my family with a 3-course breakfast. These days, breakfast has to be 3 things: healthy, easy, and FAST. I also prefer the ability to make the breakfasts in bulk, because I do not like to wake up in the morning and start my day cleaning a skillet. Ain’t nobody got time for dat (especially since I like to wake up 30 minutes before I get to work).

Breakfasts in the Kintz home are generally muffins, granola and yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, or hard boiled eggs. And coffee. Always coffee.

These are all things that I can prepare the night before and grab just as I leave. Peter and Tristan eat breakfast together after they drop me off at work, so their mornings are a bit more relaxed than mine, but they like the ease of a pre-made breakfast as well.

Once I settled into a routine of making breakfasts in bulk (and seriously, hard boiled eggs are the BEST breakfast to make – they are almost too easy), mornings got so. much. calmer. Seriously. It’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to our mornings.

Except coffee.

 

This is Day 9/14 of Money Saving Mom’s Makeover Your Evenings course. If you haven’t purchased your course yet, click here to get started!

{To support my blogging efforts, I use affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Dress for your Day

Ya’ll, I’m sorry. I’m really bad at this whole posting-every-day-for-the-challenge thing. Especially when big projects at work happen and I come home exhausted and barely able to get through my (almost habit!) evening routine.

The good news is that I’ve been doing the dishes consistently before going to bed! I do love waking up to a clean kitchen. I’ve also been able to read to Tristan consistently and it’s such a special time for me each day!

Day 8 was funny for me. I opened the book and the subject was “dress for your day.” The thought that one good action breeds another must be true because as my evening routine became more routine, I was already mentally planning my outfits for the next morning. Yay me! I don’t lay out my clothes because there’s no real place to put them, but having a mental idea makes the morning so much easier!

I have this one work outfit where I wear grey dress pants, a black sleeveless cowl-neck sweater, and a sparkly black bracelet. The bracelet addition really makes me feel like I have my life together.

Grey and black…yep, I’m officially boring.

When not wearing dress clothes, I prefer a relaxed vibe. I have a toddler and we enjoy long walks to the park (and swinging, and playing soccer, etc). Dressing for my day often means capris and a cute shirt. I loathe and despise tennis shoes, usually opting instead for Toms or ballet flats.

This week I had a ton of fun designing a small collection to start my online store. When I’m not at work, this is pretty much what I wear. And I love it.

Do you lay out your clothes? Do you like t-shirts? Can you tell I have a strong relationship with coffee?

This is Day 8 in a 14-day challenge, Makeover Your Evenings. If you haven’t purchased your course yet, you can do so by clicking here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, this post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

How to be Happy in a Negative World

How to be happy in a world that values negativity

Woohoo!  We made it to Day 7 – we are officially halfway through Makeover Your Evenings!

Today’s topic is replacing negativity with positivity.

“Every day you have a choice: a choice to focus on the negative or the positive.” Crystal Paine

Total transparency here: This week has been tough. Yes, I realize it’s Monday. I’m talking about this whole last week, starting with last Monday. I’ve been so tightly wound that I am having trouble relaxing, so I’m getting back into the habit of using my wonderful essential oil blends to help me unwind. This morning, Peter told me I looked stressed. He got out of bed before I did and made me some super strong coffee. It was exactly what I needed, and I had a great day.

My top love language is Words of Affirmation. However, because I take my all my various responsibilities seriously, I never really feel like my efforts are good enough. There is a very fine line between positive self talk and not pushing yourself to be better, and I don’t think I’ve quite mastered the balance. But I’ve been so stressed recently that I’m developing wrinkles, and this is a problem. 27-year-olds should not get wrinkles. I need more water.

Getting rid of negative self talk will be an ongoing process. I would personally really appreciate if I could snap my fingers and suddenly change everything that needs to be improved upon in my life, but where’s the fun in that? If the beauty is in the struggle then it’s my job to recognize that in the midst of aforementioned struggle. I will embrace the goal of validating without excusing, and pushing myself without downplaying. I will celebrate my victories without resting on them, but I will give myself grace to take a nap here or there when I need it.

I can already feel myself start to unwind.

Are you working through Makeover Your Evenings with us? Drop me a comment! If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, you can do so here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, I will sometimes use affiliate links. You can read  my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

“Early to bed, early to rise…”

how to get better sleep - 4 tips for getting a more restful sleep

“…is a great idea unless you’re a toddler’s mom.”

Current status: everyone in my house is sleeping now, except for me. I was able to snag a short nap but was interrupted when my toddler realized that he was awake and I was asleep. I’m not terribly disappointed though, since I do have a bunch of writing to do this afternoon for various outlets.

It’s time for Makeover Your Evenings: Day 6! Today’s topic is sleep. Oh, blissful sleep. How I do adore you.

Before I was a mom, I was convinced I couldn’t function without the full 8-10 hours. I never get 8-10 hours anymore, but I have noticed a few things that impact the quality of sleep I do get.

CALM-DOWN TIME

This is required about 20 minutes before I go to sleep. This is the time where I’m not actively “doing” something. This time is for reading a book, finishing up a movie, or talking to Peter. This is not the time for cleaning up, getting into a conversation on Facebook, or writing an article. My brain needs to wind down and get into “stop-doing” mode instead of thinking of what comes next.

A CLEAN KITCHEN

Earlier this week I was finishing up the dishes at 10pm. Peter asked why I didn’t leave them in the sink and do them in the morning, and I told him that I have noticed a direct correlation between the cleanliness of the kitchen and the amount of restful sleep I get. Having a clean kitchen means I can sleep more soundly, knowing that I don’t have to worry about waking up in time to clean it before I leave for work.

A TO-DO LIST

Writing down the key things to do the next day is a key piece to my sleep. Again, I can relieve my brain of its duty to remember important things the next day when I just write them down. My brain can relax.

DON’T DRINK COFFEE PAST 4PM

If I do, I can’t fall asleep. I will be physically tired but mentally alert. At best, this leads to fitful sleep.

These four disciplines have made a world of difference. I know that life will not always be this crazy. At some point in the future, I will be able to sleep again. Right now, in this season of work, toddler, and writing, my focus is on maximizing the quality of sleep that I do get.

And Sunday afternoon naps are the bomb.

 

Are you following along with this challenge? If you haven’t gotten your copy of Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Evenings 14-day course, you can purchase it here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, sometimes I use affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Makeover Your Evenings: Day 5

how to find peace when life is too busy

Can I tell you all something?

I’m exhausted.

The Director of Nursing position is hard. If someone needs something, I’m it. At any time in the day or night. I love my job and my life, so this is in no way a complaint, it’s just a statement of fact. It’s like my job is an overgrown toddler with a lot of rules that need to be followed just so, and then I come home at night to an actual toddler. Add in all the emotions of the last week (and the fact that after being at meetings super early in the morning on Tuesday I had to cover the overnight shift at the last minute Tuesday night), and I’m just beat.

But my spirit craves routine and self-improvement, so here I am. Refusing to quit (again). Reminding myself of my “why” (which is still on the chalkboard, inspiring me daily). Knowing that working through the challenges in this course will ultimately benefit my family, especially when things get a little crazy at work.

Day 5 is something that is truly saving my sanity, and I’m not being the least bit melodramatic. The habit of a prioritized to-do list for the next day helps me both in my professional life and my home life. I utilize the “notes” app on my phone for reminders about all sorts of things that need to be accomplished at work the next day before I go to sleep (aka, the time to REMEMBER ALL THE THINGS for about 0.5 seconds).

Writing a list is beneficial at home since I can handle issues as they arise. Something as simple as “tomorrow I will pay the phone bill” will help make sure the bill is paid on time. Currently it’s “on Monday I will call the internet company and remind them that they were to take that charge off my bill.”

I hate playing catch-up. Once I intentionally plan for things, I am one step ahead. This brings peace and order to our days, which is a great relief for me.

Crystal uses Google Calendar for her planning, but I do best with a pen and paper. I’ve started keeping a little notebook of my to-do lists for most days in my purse. My work list stays on my phone so I can email it to myself. Find what works the best for you, and train yourself to develop the habit.

The first thing on the list for tomorrow? Makeover Your Evenings: Day 6. The topic is sleep and I’m allllll over that! If you haven’t yet, you can purchase the course here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, I sometimes use affiliate links within my posts. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}