Workouts of the Week

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I am a firm believer in the idea that health should be free. This is not to say we shouldn't invest in it, nor that the gym-going, shake-drinking, Whole-Food-eating guru's of the world are wrong. Your health should be whatever you need and want it to be. Find what works for you!

After a whirlwind decade (and more) of crash diets, gym memberships and endless self-loathing, I've found a few things that work for me in the land of "Body Temple-tude." 

Confession: I adore workout videos. And by "adore," I mean, "prefer to treadmill monotony."

Truth be told, I will almost always rather be seated under a plush throw on a rainy day than perform burpees and planks. But, when I miss a good workout during the day, I do get really cranky with myself. I have traversed the vast scope of Youtube for quality free workouts and am constantly finding new ones. I thought, "Why hog this greatness?" So, let the Workout Wednesdays commence! Each week, I will share with you a roundup of my workouts for the week. Watch them. Do them. Share your sweat. Share your favorites with me! 

1. 30 Minute Fusion Workout: This was my first Kit Rich workout and she did not disappoint. Just when I think I've done every workout move there is, then she comes and adds a towel to the mix! Amazing.

2. 30 Minute Fat Burning Pilates: Popsugar Fitness is pretty darn magical. Another great one. Equipment Needed: 1-3lb Weights.

3. Total Body Cardio Dance Mix: Cardio to the max with Shelly Dose. I don't know anyone who is as excited about exercising as this lady. I look about as enthused as Eeyore compared to her.

4. Fit Versus Fat- 30 Min Cardio: I don't know Spanish but this Latin-inspired routine will take you back to the Jane Fonda days of cardio and make your thighs say, "WHY?!"

5. Grounding Into Gratitude Yoga: Cool off and align yourself with my absolute favorite Yoga gal, Adriene. And be prepared for some magical dog cameo's. :)

Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


New thing I'm into? Finding recipes on actual product websites. It's like the virtual "I got the recipe from the back of the box" way of doing things! Who'da thought?

And Betty Crocker has been my gal for the past week. From tonight's Au Gratin Chicken Bake to tomorrow's Mexican Manicotti, already prepped and in the fridge, I am all about some basic comfort food during this holiday season.

Cake mix cookies are no exception.

For the somewhat lazy/ fairly instinct-less cook like yours truly, this is the answer to your (seeming) culinary shortcomings. These were even taste-tested and loved by a close friend and chef! So, make this your next party trick. Happy Baking!

PEANUT BUTTER CAKE MIX COOKIES

Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water 
1 cup creamy peanut butter 
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs 
Granulated sugar

Directions
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, water, peanut butter, oil and eggs (if using an electric mixer, blend on medium speed until mix is smooth).
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and, on ungreased cookie sheet, place 2 inches apart. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork dipped in sugar. (Tip: Cool dough in the fridge for 15-30 minutes for simpler ball-rolling).
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Allow cookies to cool.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!



Dollar Store Christmas Tree Revamp

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Well, it's official. I have an addiction to Dollar Tree. It's palpable. It's outrageous. It's a wonder of wonders.

Can you believe I've been putting up my own Christmas Tree for about seven years and never invested in a tree skirt? Who am I? This is uncivilized behavior.

2016 may be the worst year known to man but I will not let it go down without a TREE SKIRT!

After my cheap self refused the double digits of Cyber-Monday-tree-skirt-browsing, I succumbed to the Almighty Tree of Dollar for a felt skirt that was.... fine. At best. Still better than the oddly wrapped plush throws of yesteryear.

One stop to the Dollar Spot at Target and voila! A sensible tree skirt makeover was born!


I encourage you to go through whatever little crafty trinkets you have. I found some rhinestones, pearl appliques, puffy paint, glitter string, jingle bells. Target had pom-poms and trim, each for a buck. And the hot glue gun is your friend. Go to town. Let the creativity take over. 

And BAM. Your Christmas tree looks a little fancier and you feel a little jollier.




Share your frugal Christmas revamps with me right here! I'm always excited to embrace the simple and give it a little extra shine. :)

Linking Up With:


Weekend Doodles: A Simple Christmas

Friday, December 2, 2016



A little drawing of all Christmas ever really needs to be: simple, charmingly full of heart and twinkling brightly with God's love.

Shopkicking My Face Off

Thursday, December 1, 2016


As the people around me can attest, I am an avid lover of apps that pay me. I will be documenting my favorites over the next few weeks with my experiences and reviews as there are many that can waste your time. More importantly, there is a delightful handful that can give you more than pocket change (cough- Ibotta, Receiptpal, Checkout51, Checkpoints, Savingstar, and more!).

One of the most gratifying of those apps? Shopkick.

I tried this puppy about two years ago and gave up before the magic could be made. Now, I've made almost 100 buckaroos in the past couple of months, mostly by merely walking into stores and walking right out. Plus, the little musical celebration and confetti graphics that ignite when I've scored kicks make me smile. Call it psychological coaxing. I don't care. I'm kicking to the high heavens and making money doing it.

There are a lot of very detailed reviews out there, but I'm here to give you the general sum and substance. The basic-est of basics.

How To Earn Kicks:
(The Three Main Ways)
1. Walk-insShopkick gives you a list of participating stores based on your location and lets you know which ones give you walk-in kicks. You walk into the store and can call it a day from there.

2. Scans: Scan the barcodes of items on Shopkick's scan list once you've entered the store and earn more kicks.

3. Kickbates: Like Ibotta and the other rebate apps, you can also get kicks on certain items for scanning in receipts.

Other Ways:
- Linked Cards: Some stores qualify for kicks if you link your card. Be sure to remember that if you use a debit card to run it as credit to get your kicks.
- Check the header image at the top of the Shopkick homepage on the app each day. Sometime there are special kicks for visiting their Facebook, watching videos and more.

My Sneaky Tips: 
These tips are case by case. You will start to understand the behavior of Shopkick in your area the more you use it.
- "Drive-by" Kicks: More often than not, you do have to physically walk into the store for your kicks to register. However, if you develop a morning Shopkick routine (like me), you can often find stores in shopping centers and malls that you can merely walk past. Just make sure you have the app open and ready.

Same Item Scans: Typically, there will be several different flavors/ varieties of the same item you can scan. Sometimes, you can simply scan one item multiple times and it will work for each variety. For instance, this month at Walgreens, Shopkick said I could scan any Hallmark ornament. I couldn't find any ornaments but scanned a Hallmark greeting card instead and still got my kicks. This also works for the Checkpoints app (another scanning app that takes much longer to earn points with).



- Weekends and Holidays Are Magical! I have found that my largest kick days are on weekends and holidays. This year for Black Friday, Shopkick featured "200 Kick Walk-ins" at a multitude of stars and I scored big!

- Set A Goal For Yourself and Be Patient: I knew from the beginning that I wanted to at least hit the $50 Gift Card mark. Generally, if you can just get about 100-200 kicks a day, you can easily score 1,000 a week. That's not too bad for climbing your way to certain tiers of kicks. Once I hit $50, I got greedy and decided on $100 instead. I'm almost there!

Now, you try! Sign up for Shopkick today! Happy Kicking! :)

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Shopkick nor have I been asked or paid to share this review. Share your Shopkicking questions, suggestions and experiences with me right here! :)

Be sure to check out my other favorite money-saving and money-earning apps!
Checkpoints- Get free points with my bonus code: cannedace
Ibotta- Earn up to $10 with my referral code: yscwmq

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