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Thursday, May 4, 2017

True Happiness: Part 1

How cheesy is that? How many articles have you read searching for the secret to true happiness? As if it could be found in a 30 second read online. The secret to true happiness is extremely simple, and devastatingly difficult.

I'm sure that you are sick and tired of living a life that is desperately reaching for 'blah' at best. That is why you are here; searching for the secret to true happiness. The truth is there are many facets of happiness. It is a term relative to your situation.

Here's the real kicker; the point where I will lose most of you: happiness is a choice. The world will tell you that there is a state of happiness to be reached, I will tell you if you search for happiness, your journey will never end. There is nothing to yearn for, everything you need to be happy is surrounding you at this very moment.

Take a second, ponder this thought...

The beginning and the end of your journey for happiness starts and ends with but one verse; John 3:16- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

However, I realize that one verse will leave you thirsty for more. It's a good thing that God has provided that which can quench the thirst.

Let's see what God says, shall we?

God knows the struggles we face; He watches us daily. He is there for us to draw near to on a moment-by-moment basis. When we need Him, He is there! That means when you are sad, feeling burdened, you do not have to face your struggles alone. Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He continues on saying "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden  is light" (Matthew 11:29-30). God knows that life is hard. In fact,  He knows exactly what you are going through at this exact moment. He doesn't want you to go through it alone, He wants you to bring it to Him and leave it at the cross. He will lift your burden, if you would only lift your eyes to Him.

If you are seeking true  happiness then I implore you, cry out to Jesus. He is waiting for you. If you would like to know more contact me. I would love to tell you more about the love Jesus has for you.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10k Under my Belt

So yesterday my family and I celebrated my husband's birthday, he's reached the big 3-0. I made him a Brownie Cheesecake covered in cookie dough:


He says I could have sold it for at least $20. I found the recipe on The Chunky Chef blog via pinterest, thank you Amanda! It was delicious, though I did run 6.3 miles beforehand to account for the calories. 

That brings me to my next milestone, I ran a 10k yesterday! It was on my treadmill, but I ran at a 10'53" pace, which I think is pretty awesome considering I haven't ran much for awhile now and my leg is still healing from banging it on a chair while trying to put up my brand new Halloween decoration.

Which reminds me, I created my very own, life-size Jack Skellington for Halloween:
Please excuse the grill in the background :) 

I had so much fun creating him that I thought about making a life-size Sally to go with, but my husband says there is no more room for another life-size character. He's pretty freakin awesome though! I got the idea from a life-size plywood version of Jack that I saw on my route, then I started looking on pinterest to figure out how to make my own and found There Goes the Neighborhood's youtube channel. I used her ideas, changed them a little, and made my own Jack. Her's was a little bigger than mine. 

Anyway... I hope you all are enjoying life, and remembering to keep it simple!!

<3>
Alaina

Thursday, July 2, 2015

IBotta! A New Way to Earn Living Simply!!

Lately I have been thinking that there has to be more ways for me to save money. Life is so expensive, and every single penny counts. I go to work, work my bum off, and then at the end of the week get my paycheck which is nearly spent in a matter of two hours buying groceries. This thought process led me to consider couponing, but I don't have time to sit and clip coupons for 2-3 hours so I went searching for a coupon app that I could install on my phone.

   My hope was that I would find an app that would allow me to collect all of my coupons in one place and then have the cashier at the store simply scan my phone. I did not find an app like this (and if you are talented and could create an app like this it would be a life saver!) However I did find Ibotta.

   Before downloading any app I always read the reviews. Sure the description of an app will be great because the creators want you to download their app, but does the app really work? That is why I see what others are saying first. The reviews were almost all good, and users were claiming to have actually received rebates for the every day items they purchased so I decided to give it a go.

   Grocery day was yesterday as well, and I was able to take the app for a spin. After buying my usual groceries I unloaded everything and then opened Ibotta to see what rebates they were offering. I happened to have needed milk and milk was one of the rebate items. It was a rebate for any brand bought at Walmart (or one of the MANY other stores listed on the app) so I scanned the barcode of the milk I purchased and snapped a picture of my receipt. That's it.... I received a $1.00 rebate for buying my milk which I would have purchased anyway, this $1.00 is just an added bonus and, in all reality brings the cost of my milk down to $2.48 instead of $3.48.

   Because I am a new member and I received my first rebate I also received a $1.50 bonus rebate simply for joining and getting a rebate...so my total so far (day 2) is $2.50 and it took me 2 minutes to complete the scanning process.

    What I like about Ibotta is that I can receive rebates on the items I would normally purchase anyway. I don't have to buy special items or special brands, they give rebates for any brands. Another bonus is that they even give rebates for fresh produce like tomatoes, onions, asparagus, cherries, bananas and other items. Therefore I am simply buying my weekly groceries and am able to use Ibotta to save or rather earn some of the money that I spent back. It's helping me keep more in my pocket!! Ibotta even gives rebates for buying beer and wine, I've never seen a rebate program do that!

   Because this is Living Simplistically and it is my goal to help you save and earn money I felt that Ibotta was worthy of being included on this blog. I do have to say I haven't "cashed out" yet, but I am confident that Ibotta is going to be my new favorite app for saving money.

So if you are hesitant and wondering if it's worth your time, IT IS!! Check it out! Save as much of your hard earned money that you can. You'll thank yourself later!

Join my Ibotta team and we can earn together: Ibotta

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

To The Food Stamp Receivers:

   Did you know that the annual cost to support the food stamps program is $69,800,000,000? That's $69.8 Billion dollars each year! Therefore, $69.8 Billion dollars worth of tax payer money is used to support those on food stamps.

   There are 41,170,732 Americans currently benefiting from the food stamp program. Over 41 million people are receiving some sort of help in paying for their food each year. This number only represents 14% of the population in the US. Therefore it takes 69.8 billion dollars to support this 14% of the population.

   In 2014 the average monthly benefit per household was $133.85. However the average merely represents what $69.8 billion spread somewhat evenly between 41+ million people would be. In reality this number looks a great deal different.

   There are clearly people who are unable to work who need help providing for themselves, this is undoubtedly true. However there are also many people who could work but have figured out that either they don't have to or that they "make" more money living off of the government than they would if they were to get a job. [This is a sad fact indeed.]

   Many others have found a way to work "under the table" and receive benefits. While this is considered fraud, the fact remains that many do not care, will never be caught, and are cheating the system. In cheating the system they are cheating not only those that actually NEED assistance but they are also cheating the hard working tax payers.

  A society that is unable to support itself will eventually and undoubtedly crash and burn. Those that are living on government assistance when it is not actually needed are slowly killing the system. Not only is it fraud but it is also thievery. The money the government doles out freely is not there for any person, it is there for the needy.

   It is not meant to be a way of life, it is meant to help one get back on their feet and support themselves. 

   If you are a person receiving assistance ask yourself:

 Do I truly need it or could I possibly be self sustaining?

Am I contributing to society to pay back the assistance I am receiving? 

Am I using my food stamps wisely? 

   When people who are not on government assistance go to the grocery store they are forced to budget and buy what is needed. Many people who receive food stamps use them not for nutritional food, but rather to buy candy, soda, and junk food. This is not a wise way to spend the free money you are given. There are also many who spend their food stamps on this junk and then in the same transaction use their cash to buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and alcohol. If you have the money to buy these things why are you on government assistance? If you are one of these people truly ask yourself if you NEED to be on government assistance or if possibly you could be self sustaining if only you were to give up your bad habits.

   Good Examples of People In Need:

Single mothers or fathers trying to provide for their children.

Elderly retired individuals who do not make quite enough on their retirement.

Veterans

Disabled individuals*

*When referring to disabled individuals this means individuals who are ACTUALLY unable to work due to physical limitations or severe mental illness.

   In conclusion, the food stamp program is being taken serious advantage of by too many Americans. The money that is used to sustain this program could be put to better use. There could be more rigorous requirements in order to qualify for food stamps, including but not limited to an actual audit of the individual receiving benefits. It could be required that a social worker visit the recipients home and dig a little into their life to find out if they are honestly in need or if they are potentially screwing the system.

    Another requirement could be that limitations are put on what can be bought with food stamps. More nutritious limitations than is currently in place. Food stamps are meant to help provide families with nutritious and healthy life sustaining meals, not to provide candy and soda. Therefore it could be set up more like the WIC program where only certain items can be purchased.

   In the end there is much more than could be done to weed out the frauds and to provide the needy with better help than what is given today. There is much that could be done to save tax payers money as well.

  Please share, get the truth out there!

 Statistics provided by: http://www.statisticbrain.com/food-stamp-statistics/


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