Halloween Party, the Pumpkin Patch and Fall Days

We hosted our annual Halloween Costume Party a couple of Saturdays ago. I love that this has become a tradition for us! As usual, Piglet picked out the theme of our costumes. This year we were an ocean family. Match’s costume is my favorite! Also I love that Piglet announces proudly that he’s not just a killer whale, but an ORCA! 🙂 That boy loves his sea animals! Oh, and in case you can’t tell, I’m Mommy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo doo!

We had some new faces this year, and the families from the neighborhood. I’m so grateful for our “hood” and having this little tribe to help raise our boy.


The kids went a little feral!

We took Piglet to a different Pumpkin Patch this year. I loved getting lost in the corn maze, drinking apple cider, and just being together as a family.

It has been unseasonably warm here, and we’re soaking up the sun for now. Call me crazy, but I am looking forward to colder days. Still, the sun is beautiful, and since it’s been dry, Piglet has been enjoying making “leaf angels”.

Match has been working out of town on a long distance job. He’s been gone 4 days a week, leaving early Monday and coming home late evening Thursdays. It’s been hard having him gone, and it makes these sweet family weekends even more special. I’m grateful for video chat and the ability to stay connected even when he’s away from home. I can’t wait for this job to be done so we can have him back home with us every night!

How’s your October, readers? Are you soaking up this time of year? It’s my absolute favorite.

How to Earn by Answering Surveys – My GrabPoints Review

Being a working mama is no walk in the park (although my family and I do take our park time very seriously!). It’s a combination juggling and tightrope act. Us working moms have to balance our responsibilities as a wife and mother with our work-related duties. And I love this life – but I do need to keep a constant eye out for new earning ideas.


And that’s what brought me to GrabPoints. On GrabPoints, you can earn cash and gift cards by doing a bunch of simple online tasks like answering surveys and viewing videos. GrabPoints fits perfectly with my lifestyle. I can answer surveys while waiting for my son to finish school or in between errands. Also, being an opinionated gal, answering surveys sounded pretty fun!


The site caught my interest for two reasons: 1. GrabPoints claims to give members the highest earnings and rewards, and 2. They’ve got a huge selection of gift cards, which you can claim as your reward. The latter appealed to me because I could get a Walmart gift card as my reward. My family loves to shop at Walmart, and having a gift card always comes in handy.

Still skeptical?


I wouldn’t blame you if you’re pretty skeptical about survey and rewards sites. A quick internet search will show you a bunch of shady sites mixed with the good ones. Based on my experience, GrabPoints is definitely one of the good ones – actually, no. They’re not just good, they’re great. I’ll be giving you reasons why I love GrabPoints later in this post. But for now, let me reassure you that they’re legit.


They’re legit because they only work with legit advertisers. These companies commission GrabPoints to conduct surveys or show videos to its members. The info we provide through our survey answers helps the companies create new products or services. Since these advertisers pay GrabPoints, the site’s members also get paid. In the four years GrabPoints has been around, the site has paid over $5 million to its 4 million members!


Now that I’ve covered the basics about GrabPoints, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of the site. Read on!

Earning on GrabPoints


Answering surveys is probably the most popular earning method on GrabPoints, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, really. There’s so much to do on this site. Whenever you complete a task, points are credited to your account. You can then trade these points for cash or gift cards later on.


I’ll be talking about how to get your earnings in a bit. For now, let’s check out the different earning methods.

  1. Answer Surveys


Individual surveys are usually assigned to members based on demographics. For example, I love DIY and blogging. If a survey that covers those topics becomes available, it would most likely be made available to me and other members with similar interests.

  1. Watch Videos


This is one of the easier earning methods on GrabPoints. They’ve got different video channels that cover a wide range of interests. (You can always switch between channels). Whenever a video is done playing, you get points.  After which, you move on to the next video.

  1. Take Offers


This task comes in different flavors, but generally, you get points for signing up for a free trial subscription or membership. Take note, sometimes these offers require you to make an initial purchase or provide your credit card info. You can always deactivate your account before the free period is over – or who knows, you might actually want to keep your subscription.

  1. Download and Test Apps


If you love using your mobile phone or tablet (and who doesn’t?), you’re going to love this. GrabPoints will reward you with points whenever you download and use any of their promoted apps for a set period of time.


How to get your rewards


Now this is the part you’ve probably been waiting for. There’s a minimum withdrawal amount of $3, meaning you need to accumulate $3 or more before you can redeem your earnings. But don’t worry, $3 is a pretty low amount, and you should be able to reach that amount without much trouble.


You can redeem your earnings either as cash or gift cards. Cash is sent via PayPal, while gift cards are sent via email. Payout requests are processed within 48 hours. That’s some speedy service right there – I wish my cable repair guy worked that fast!  


What makes GrabPoints special?


So I’ve been using GrabPoints for quite a bit, and I’ve gotten a pretty good idea what makes the site better than the competition. Let me break it down for ya:  


  1. It fits the working mom lifestyle


The earning methods on GrabPoints are doable on mobile devices, making it them easy to do in between chores and errands. I can even use GrabPoints during breaktime at work.  


  1. They really are the highest-paying survey site


The hype is real, folks. GrabPoints is the highest-paying survey site in the world. The site even shows earnings on GrabPoints vs earnings on other rewards sites. That type of transparency is pretty unique in the survey scene. I can also confirm that my personal earnings for these tasks matched up with the advertised amounts.   


  1. Quick payment processing


Once I reached the $3 minimum, I got my earnings (whether as cash or gift cards) within two days. That is fast! While I only use my earnings to supplement my main income, the quick processing means I can rely on GrabPoints if I need to do a quick grocery run or pay for gas the coming weekend.

  1. Lots of rewards options


I just love all the gift card options GrabPoints has. I already mentioned that I’m partial to that Walmart gift card, but there are so many different cards available, most of which are useful to us moms.


I’m glad Piglet isn’t super into video games yet, because GrabPoints also offers Steam Wallet and PlayStation rewards. Uh-oh!




Thanks for reading my GrabPoints review. The site is definitely legit, and presents a great earning opportunity for us working moms.


The reasons why I like GrabPoints are my own – I’m sure you’ll find your own reasons to love GrabPoints when you’ve given it a try!


8 Year Anniversary and a Kindergartner

Monday, Match and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary! Some days it feels like the wedding happened yesterday. Wasn’t I just planning the wedding on this blog? Wild! We celebrated 8 years in a pretty low key way. Saturday night we went out for drinks with friends, and enjoyed a rousing game of scrabble.

Sunday we went to the zoo and watched the animals play.

Monday, our actual anniversary, we decided to make ourselves a gift-a homemade cornhole game. I still need to paint the boards, but I love how they turned out.

We love playing games, so it’s fun to get back to our roots a little bit. It reminds me of when we were dating and poor, and we used to play penny can. It’s amazing how time flies, and how life changes, and how some things stay the same. Match is still my best friend, and we still love playing simple games and just being together. I love our little life.

Speaking of time flying, today was Piglet’s first day of Kindergarten! I still can’t believe he’s in elementary school. He was so excited to start school. I love that sweet little boy so much. He is growing up so fast, and I just want to press pause. Wasn’t I just blogging about my pregnancy with him? Wasn’t he just a tiny little baby in my arms? I blinked.

I love how his backpack is as big as he is, my petite little man.  I love that he told me he wished I could come to school with him every day. I know one day he won’t feel that way. I also love that the minute I left, he started talking to friends, and had this huge grin on his face. That grin was even bigger when I picked him up. I knew he would love school as much as I did. For his night night song tonight, we sang “We’re Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes. I have sung it to him before, but today the lyrics were perfect for the first day of school. He fell asleep giggling, and that smile of his lit up his room. In case you’re not familiar with the song, here are the lyrics:

Fall is here, hear the yell
Back to school, ring the bell
Brand new shoes, walking blues
Climb the fence, books and pens
I can tell that we are going to be friends
I can tell that we are going to be friends

Walk with me, Suzy Lee
Through the park and by the tree
We will rest upon the ground
And look at all the bugs we found
Safely walk to school without a sound
Safely walk to school without a sound

Well here we are, no one else
We walked to school all by ourselves
There’s dirt on our uniforms
From chasing all the ants and worms
We clean up and now its time to learn
We clean up and now its time to learn

Numbers, letters, learn to spell
Nouns, and books, and show and tell
At playtime we will throw the ball
Back to class, through the hall
Teacher marks our height against the wall
Teacher marks our height against the wall

And we don’t notice any time pass
We don’t notice anything
We sit side by side in every class
Teacher thinks that I sound funny
But she likes the way you sing

Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed
When silly thoughts go through my head
About the bugs and alphabet
And when I wake tomorrow, I’ll bet
That you and I will walk together again
I can tell that we are going to be friends
Yes, I can tell that we are going to be friends

What Does it Take to be a Mental Health Counselor?

If you’re considering a career as a mental health counsellor, you probably have a lot of questions. It’s like that with most occupations but perhaps even more so when you’re in the field of mental health as it can be emotionally challenging, and even a bit overwhelming to some.

Image via: Pexels


Here is a simple guide to help you make up your mind, and feel confident that you’ve made the right decision. It’s not all about your personality traits, though, as you’ll need to go through the education before you’re ready to get started.


First: The degree


Many people who pursue a career as a mental health counselor will have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. If you’d like to work as a clinical counselor, you’re going to need a lot more schooling than just a bachelor’s, though, but you can luckily get through it by taking a clinical mental health counseling masters online.


This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any easier than attending regular classes as you’ll need to be both motivated and self-driven to manage this – but at least you’ll be able to get your degree even if you have kids at home. It just makes life a bit easier.


Are you interested in people?


Even though you love the thought of working with people, and helping them through their problems, you need to ask yourself seriously if you’re interested in them. This goes beyond being a good listener; while your education will teach you all the theory you need to know, the work itself involves real people and their actual struggles.


They’re looking for help and advice rather than a good listener, and you need to be prepared to give them your educated answers for the rest of your career life. If you think people have a bit too many problems, in general, this might not be the job for you.


Are you emotionally strong?


A lot of occupations come with an inevitable emotional burnout; doctors, nurses, and psychologists all experience the same heaviness as they work with people. This is a fine balancing act, though, and with time and experience, you’ll be able to stay professionally connected without allowing it to take over your life completely.


On the other side, you might experience the numbness that comes with trying to only stay professionally connected without letting your emotions get in the way. Neither of this is healthy, in the long run, and you need to come up with ways of taking care of your own mental health while also caring for others.


Needless to say, a career as a mental health counselor is not for everyone. If working clinically seems a bit too tough, you can always consider going into a different field where you can use your communication and emotional skills without burning out.

What to DIY and What Not To DIY for Your Wedding

A DIY wedding can save you a lot of money, but it can also cause you a lot of stress. Even if you don’t do everything yourself, many couples decide to do some things themselves. It allows them to save a bit of cash and add a personal touch to their special day. The question is, what should you DIY and what’s better off left to the professionals?


Professional: Scheduling the Day


You probably think that it’s pretty easy for you to schedule everything, and decide what will be happening and when. It’s not as easy as you might hope it would be, but it’s also not the most complicated thing in the world. You probably will be involved in deciding how the day will progress, no matter what you do. However, the one thing you don’t want to do is to be in charge of scheduling on your wedding day. You have enough to worry about, without running around and trying to make sure everything is happening at the right time. Hire a coordinator instead.


DIY: Stationery


One of the first things that you’re likely to do for your wedding is send out save the date cards or invitations. The good thing about these is that even when you choose a professional route, you can still do a bit of DIY. You can either make your stationery from scratch (try to keep it simple), or you can use a website that will allow you to customize everything. This is an easy way to put your personal touch on your stationery while also saving money and receiving a professional finish.


Professional: Flowers


Flowers are everywhere at a wedding, from the venue to the bridal party bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. It could be easy to convince yourself when looking at flower arrangements, that you could easily do it yourself. However, flower arranging is more difficult than you think. Not only that but if you do it yourself, you need to deal with collecting and arranging your flowers at the last minute. You don’t need that just before you get married. Use a professional florist if you want to have all of your flowers ready on time.

DIY: Decorations


If you want to help with decorating, making some decorations could be a lot easier for you to handle. They’re not going to perish before the big day, so you can make them in advance. Even paper decorations can look charming if you choose the right design. In particular, creating decorations for the ceremony is a good way to save some money. The ceremony won’t last long, so spending a lot of money on decorating might not be a priority for you. It’s easy to create some baskets of flowers or buy some candles (or LED lights) and decorate to your liking.



Professional: Cake


Even if you’re a seasoned baker, who has taken on similar challenges, who wants to spend the days before their wedding making their cake? Baking and decorating a cake that’s big enough to feed all your guests can take a long time, and then you have to get it to the venue. If you’re determined to bake your own cake, you’ll have to be prepared for a lot of stress. Using a professional is much easier, and you can still customize it to your liking.


DIY: Party Favors


If you want to provide a sweet treat for your guests, doing it with your party favors is a much easier DIY option. It’s not difficult to put together a few little gifts, whether you choose candy or something else. You can turn inexpensive items into something a bit more special just by adding a couple of your own details. For example, a candle can be a lot more presentable just by putting it in a glass holder and tying a ribbon around it. You can get your favors ready long before the wedding, so it won’t stress you out.

Professional: Outfits


Obviously, you want everyone to look their best on your wedding day. Some people do decide to make their own wedding outfits, which you could do over an extended period before your wedding. If you feel confident about it, it might be something you choose to do. However, unless you’re an experienced sewer, it’s not a great idea. If you want custom outfits, you can have a dress made or shop Chookhare.com for custom suits. There are some experienced professionals who can give you want you want so you can look perfect for your wedding.


DIY: Accessories


One thing you might find a bit easier to DIY is your accessories. It’s not as difficult to sew some pocket squares or even make a necklace as it is to make an entire dress or suit. If you want to make your own wedding jewelry, one of the easiest ways to do it is to learn to thread beads and choose some that you like. Another great option is to take a workshop. You can even make your own wedding rings under the guidance of an expert.

Professional and DIY: Photography


A lot of people will warn you not to DIY your photography. While it’s true that you probably want to avoid only having DIY photography, it doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a bit. If you’re trying to save some money, consider having a professional photographer for the ceremony and perhaps a few photos afterward. For the rest of the day, you might consider something else. Maybe you have a friend who’s learning photography or does it for a hobby who you can trust (check their work first). Or you might just want to rely on your guests to take some photos. You’d be surprised how many accidentally excellent photos your guests can take. And, let’s face it, do you really need hundreds of professional photos of everyone dancing and getting drunk?


You can make your wedding special by choosing to DIY some of the elements. Just be careful about what you DIY and what you entrust to a professional.