Why I Love… Denny’s

purple crocus

I’m serious. Stop laughing! I love Denny’s. Here is why: When you have a kid on the spectrum, a lot of stuff is about textures, sounds… the “feels”, if you will. And almost every Denny’s looks the same. The menu is the same, the food tastes the same.  So, no matter where we go, he can have something to eat he likes in a place that is familiar.

And honestly, as far as diner food goes, it’s pretty good. They have heathy choices, they have junk food, and I can get a plate of scrambled eggs and chocolate shake at 2am if I need it.

Other reasons that Denny’s is the bee’s knees:

  • They have coupons. Sign up for their rewards club here, and they’ll email you coupons frequently. They also publish coupons in the Sunday paper, and sometimes in the junk mail too- just keep your eyes peeled.
  • When you are a rewards member, you’ll get a free build your own Grand Slam on your Birthday. SWEEET! That is Henry’s favorite birthday freebie- He knows that I’ll share it with him.
  • They participate in Dosh. We get 5% back when we eat there, can I can combine that with the coupons mentioned above.
  • The four of us can have a meal there for less than $25.00 (before coupon and Dosh cash back). Frequently there are leftovers too. Can’t beat that.
  • The do have Kid’s Eat Free twice a week, but my kiddos are pretty big eaters, and I find it easier (and cheaper) to order them something from the “grown up menu”. Right now, they are obsessed with sharing the Everyday Value Slam. Henry eats the pancakes (with butter), and Bitty eats the eggs and sausage. breakfast for 2 kids for just $4…. uh, ok. And I don’t have to wash the dishes!
  • We frequent the same 3 or 4 locations and the waitresses know the kids. They are always so sweet.

This week, I am professing my love for Denny’s. What do you love this week?

Advertisements

Make Money while Blogging

file0001174273310.jpgI get asked a lot how do you make money blogging. I was talking to a couple influencers at Influential Summit last weekend, and I decided that it was time to sit down and make a list to share.

There are several ways that it can be done. Here are just a few ways that I make money blogging.

I don’t make a ton of money blogging, but it’s enough to pay for any promotions or contests I run, buy crafts supplies for the Craft Mondays I host, and occasionally a trip to Starbucks for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I don’t blog to make tons of money, I blog to share my journey through parenthood and my frugal skills with others. That being said, it is nice to make a little extra money sometimes.

Most of these links are referral links, so I will either receive a bounty/commission if you sign up through my links.

Affiliate Networks:

Escalate Network– My least favorite affiliate network, they have campaigns (usually pay per click/sign up) that change frequently and printable coupons. Minimum pay out $25.

ShopHer– Formerly MySavings. They have campaigns (pay per click, sign up) that change frequently, in addition to printable coupons and free sample offers.  Sometimes they have sponsored posts available too. Minimum pay out $50.

Shareasale– They partner with hundreds (maybe thousands) of companies and brands. Search for a company, apply, and once approved, start posting their deals and you’ll earn a percentage of what you sell.  I post deals from Mabel’s Labels, Craftsy, and Cents of Style. Minimum pay out $50.

Massive Sway- A completely different type of network. Massive Sway works with brands and PR companies to bring you campaigns to share on your blog and across social media platforms. Each campaign has it’s own set of posting rules and pay out amount. You apply for campaigns that interest you. I am unsure of any minimum payout.

Many companies have their own Affiliate or Tell-a-Friend Programs. If there is a website that you want to recommend, check out their site and see if there is a “Refer a Friend” page. Schoola has one that I like. When friends click on my link and sign up, they get a free $10 to spend, and once they place an order, I get $5 or $10 to spend too. It’s a win-win deal! All kinds of website have referral pages. I love that Zaycon Fresh (a company that sells farm fresh meat in bulk) offers $5 for new referrals and you earn $1 every time your friend orders!!)

There are tons of Affiliate programs and Refer-aFriend programs. Just check your favorite websites and shopping portals.

Other:

Amazon– When you are writing about products that you use or like, you can link to the items on Amazon and when people click the link and buy the item, you receive a commission. Sometimes there are also bonus programs where you will receive a flat “bounty” (aka commission) if someone signs up for Prime- It’s usually $5.00

Social Platforms- If you area blogger or influencer, make sure that your social media platform profiles reflect that. Here is a screenshot of my Instagram Profile:

Screen Shot 2018-02-17 at 10.37.24 AM

Remember that these social media platforms are a representation of who you are, so if you’ve embarrassing or unflattering photos, you might want to hide them! Brands will research you.

If you aren’t a blogger or influencer, there are still ways to make a little extra money. I wrote about my side hustles here and here.

 

Getting Ready for Influential Summit!

pexels-photo-851037.jpeg
I’m hoping this is the view I’ll see tomorrow from the hotel the conference is being held at!

If you follow me on Instagram, I just posted a picture with the two makeup looks I am contemplating for tomorrow.  Tomorrow a bunch of bloggers, social media influencers, and brands are getting together in Carlsbad, CA (home of Legoland) to meet, learn, and chill at Influential Summit.

I’m looking forward to a day of learning and ADULT CONVERSATION!!  For those of you who don’t work from home, being a work at home or stay at home parent can be very quiet. Well, you’re frequently not quiet (“Put down the cat”, “No, we aren’t watching Octonauts for 6 hours today!”, “Do you have to go potty?”, etc.), but what’s lacking is adult conversation.

I won’t be posting much tomorrow blog-wise, but check me out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for pictures and posts about everything I’m up to! And I’ll be hanging with Brooke from Crying Out Loud.  By the way, if you haven’t checked out her latest post on ways to score free and cheap grub at Chick-Fil-A, you need to get over there and start reading tout suite.

Why I love….

purple crocusThis year, I wanted to add  a few new weekly posts in. I already have Meal Plan Monday, and I try and post freebies on Fridays.  This year, I’ll be adding in Why I Love… on Tuesdays. Each post will have a Talk Back question. I’d love to hear from you to help make my blog more about what you want to learn about and be a part of.

I’ll be sharing products, services, books, whatever I am into at the time. Starting off, I’ll be sharing my love of… The YMCA.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 11.41.46 AM.pngWe joined our local YMCA two years ago when Bitty Bird was about 6 months old. What drew me to our local Y was all of the incredible options it held:

  • Child care for 2 hours a day while I exercised, took classes, swam, or just went and took a shower.  There is child watch for kids 5 and under, and kids club for bigger kids. Each area has toys, games, and books, as well as a staff that interacts and plays games with the kids. When the weather is nice, the bigger kids go outside to play field games. When it’s cold or wet outside (or crazy hot- come on, this is a desert), the kids get to go into the gymnasium and play games, do obstacle courses. Both kids love to go. I try to go at least 5 times a week.
  • Great fitness classes included in our membership fee.
  • A great pool with an area just for kids.
  • Our membership includes access to all of the YMCA locations in San Diego, and access to YMCA locations across the country if we go on vacation.
  • Guest passes to bring friends.
  • Free classes and events for kids and the family (Our local Y does a free movie night once a month or so).
  • Free local community days- Usually on holidays, our local Y offers the community free access. It’s a great way to bring friends and neighbors to see what the Y is all about.
  • Free guest passes- I can bring friends whenever I want!
  • Low cost personal training and speciality classes. They offer personal training, TRX, and other specialty classes for a low rate. It’s a great way to get a “boost” to my fitness goals and stay on budget. There are also classes for kids: Gymnastics, karate, tumbling, art-pretty much anything they could want!
  • Scholarships and discounts. If you have an EBT card, receive WIC, SSI, or other social services, or you are active duty or retired military, you can qualify for a scholarship (a discount on your monthly dues), or a military discount.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 11.42.45 AM.pngRight now, most YMCA locations are offering deals for the new year.

Join the Y anytime in January and get up to $50 towards any program of your choice! From personal training & swim lessons to summer camps, at the YMCA, there is something for everyone!

For more information and details, contact your local YMCA.

And if you join a San Diego area YMCA, please give my name as a referral: Abby Hewes. I can earn discounts or a free month for referring new members (and once you are a member, you can too!).

I can’t wait to share more about what’s going on in our lives and what we are into.

Talk Back: If you are a member of the YMCA, what is your favorite part?

 

Camping with Kiddos!

file4131336478643.jpg

As we prep for our annual family camping trip, I thought I’d share some of the fun things we do with the kids when we camp.

In addition to all of the usual camping stuff: Tent, blankets, pillows, air mattress, clothes, toiletries, Sunscreen, food, camp kitchen stuff…. You need stuff to do!

A friend and I made a huge batch of play dough last week, and we’re taking half of the batch, along with some cookie cutters, small rolling pins and other fun play dough stuff I got on my local Buy Nothing Group.

Games: High Ho Cherry-O, card games (like Uno, and a few regular decks of cards), lawn bowling.

We also have a craft box. It’s a large tote, like this one. I’ve filled it with all sorts of craft odds and ends. Mostly stuff leftover from other projects, as well as stuff I’ve gotten from Craigslist Curb alerts, and my local Buy Nothing group.  There is paper, scissors, glue, beads, pipe cleaners, paint, and so much more! The kids rifle through it and come up with some of the most interesting projects. I really believe that kids need to have free reign over creative play, so as long as I am there to make sure they are safe, they are free to create and play how they wish.

Bubbles. I make about a gallon of bubble solution, and we have all kinds of wands and stuff (Dollar tree and Target’s Dollar spot are great places to find bubble toys). We also make some out of pipe cleaners.

We also cook a lot when we are camping. We use dutch ovens to make all kinds of baked goods, including our favorite: Beer Bread. My dad has a cool clay Pizza oven (it’s this one), and we make pizzas in the late afternoons to snack on. Our favorite pizza recipe is here.

Here are a few pictures of our adventure last year:

We also of course, play at the campground play ground, go on nature hikes (and do some fun nature scavenger hunts- check out Pinterest for a bunch). We spend time with family and friends, and of course, check out all of the events and fun at the big camping event in which we are participating.

Camping is a great family activity, and here in San Diego there are so many places to camp! From the beach, to the mountains, to the desert, there are campgrounds, both private and public for low prices!

If you are a camper, where is your favorite place to camp?

Be Series Shirts from Cents of Style!

(**Disclosure, I received my shirt free to facilitate my review and story, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. I may receive a commission if you click on the links below and make a purchase.**)

You know when you were a kid and adults told you that it didn’t matter what other people thought, that you should be who you are, and who cares about what others say or think?

Well, I tell my kids that all the time, especially the bigger one. Because really, Shakespeare was right. “To Thine own self be true”.  Be you. If others don’t understand, it is their loss.

That brings me to my point- When I was a kid (like Junior High Age), I wasn’t popular. I didn’t like the same things that other kids did. I read a lot (my grandmother was a librarian!), I did crafts, I liked school. I was weird, but  I tried so hard to fit in. It was hard, and it sucked.

As I got older, I realized that there was so much more to life than just the little bubble of “popular kids”. In High school I met friends who loved me and were like me. And those friends were the ones I had in mind when I donned my “Be Weird” shirt the other day. I wore it with a pair of leggings (these to be exact).

IMG_3245.jpg
Me and the littlest weirdo snuggling. (photo taken by the big kid)

I want my two little weirdos to know that it’s ok to be who you are, enjoy your hobbies, read, play, be a good person! It doesn’t matter if you like the same stuff as everyone else, you will find friends and they will love you for who you are!

If you aren’t “weird”, it’s ok! Cents of Style has a great line of “Be” Shirts! This weekend the  Be Series Graphic Tees are only $15.95 + FREE SHIPPING w/code BESTORY


My shirt is so comfy, I even wore it to the Y to work out a few days later!

 

I got lot of compliments on it, both times I wore it! You can celebrate your “Be”! Still, Brave, Just, Uncommon, True, You, Strong, etc.! This weeks installment of Fashion Friday from Cents of Style are these awesome BE shirts! You can check out the deal here. These shirts would make a great gift!

It’s Spring!

file0001431208415.jpg

It’s Spring and we’ve been busy!

Spring break starts on Monday for us, and that’s two weeks of fun! To keep us busy I’v planned a trip to the San Diego Zoo and a Scavenger Hunt at a local park. Those event are open to anyone who wants to come, so if you’re in San Diego and you’d like to join us, check out the event pages on Facebook!

In addition, we’re doing a tie dye day (using clothing I picked up at two recent local clothing swaps), beach day, trip to the local splash pad, and daily trips to the YMCA for child watch (and so I can exercise!).

Besides spring break planning, Lil’ Man and I have been planning out our spring garden. We love growing strawberries, and thankfully one of our plants survived last year.  Using a Lowe’s gift card I earned from our American Express Rewards card, I picked up some planters and soil.

We’re going to plant carrots, radishes and peas from seeds. I’ve gotten some free seeds in the mail (poppies-our state flower) that we’ll be planting too. Lil’ Man loves Cacti, we’re planning on getting some different types of “spiky plants”.

I’m also doing some spring cleaning and sharing some treasures with my local Buy Nothing Group. I love that I’m able to share with my neighbors and keep the stuff that’s still in good repair out of landfills!

So What are you up to this spring?