Windows Closed

So, I'm writing this post from my phone. I've been holding out on it because, well, there's no decent way to format a good post from my phone.

What had happened was... my computer has gone to crap. It just doesn't have the ability to keep up with me. It's working okay for simple browsing but not for blogging. Until just before the holidays, my phone had been crapped out too so I was kind of lost on how to continue blogging.

It's just not feasible to keep up with it on a phone so I'm really hoping I can start saving up for a laptop soon.

Til then, plenty of ideas and drafts brewing in this brain.

Easy Christmas Cash!

Make an easy $90 (or more!) to spend on Amazon for Christmas (if you start now).

(Yeah, I *know* it's currently the middle of August. Bear with me.)

This is easy. Seriously. It's hard to save money for Christmas. We've all seen those novel ideas about saving through the year but how many of us actually do it? Or commit to it every week? So then, especially if you're a single parent, you're on a fixed income or disabled, we come up to the holidays each year wondering how we're gonna get all the gifts on our list. This isn't a get rich scheme or anything by all means, but something you can do while watching tv in the evenings or relaxing to put back just a little. (You can cash out to PayPal as well but I do Amazon gift cards because you can buy everything from toilet paper to lawnmowers on that site.) Also, disclaimer, this will be a referral link but trust me, it's not gonna be making me rich either. I'll just get a few points as you earn each day which helps me get closer to my Christmas shopping goal. Totally recommend sharing with your friends after you join!

First, you're gonna click here or click the image below.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What's Online at

Next, you'll register (sHAiRah is me, the person referring you) and begin to earn Swagbucks which are points you can cash out for PayPal cash or gift cards.

To get the bare minimum (easy 90 bucks before Christmas), notice at the top it mentions your daily goal. It's generally going to be between 70-112 a day. Easy to hit most days. That's gonna equal about a buck a day, in three months, that has you cashing out for AT LEAST $90 before Christmas. You can earn soooo much more though!

Surveys are how I earn the most. You can complete these while watching tv and they don't take long at all. I cushion those earnings by downloading the Swagbucks app and watching videos on my phone while doing them. Also, there's an awesome facebook group called Swagbucks Swaggernauts where members discuss tips, tricks and best paying offers.

I've been doing Swagbucks for about six years. There are lots of "get paid to" sites out there but this has been the most reliable one and the most consistent earner for me.

Shut In, NOT Shut Out: How can I help a shut in person?

(If you haven't already read the first post in this series you can do so now by clicking here. It may help you identify someone in your life you may not have associated as a shut in person before.)

So, you know a shut in and you want to help. How? You want to be supportive and care for them but you just don't know what would be helpful versus hurtful or where to begin. I hope to provide some ideas and get you moving in the right direction towards being an amazing source of support and joy in this post.

1. Empathize, not sympathize. 

It’s easy for someone who doesn't understand or has never experienced a chronic illness or a hardship that would have you stuck at home to get frustrated with someone who won’t or cannot leave their home, so try looking at things from their perspective. I can guarantee you it's not the life they exactly planned. Think about how they feel looking out the window to see others walking down the street laughing, enjoying outings with their families, traveling and having a blast. Being isolated is like prison. Don't be dripping with sympathy, however. There's a difference between having the "oh, I'm so sorry" sentiment and actually taking the time to try to gain perspective and understanding. Grief, self-pity, depression, a cycle of negative thoughts is already a daily battle for many so combating that by trying to help us find the silver lining and being positive is incredibly helpful.

2. Small gestures of kindness.

While there are larger needs that must be met, we will get to that later. You don't have to stress about grandeur. The tiniest gestures can be a big difference maker. A card in the mail, a phone call just to check in, stopping by for a few moments to say hello, a small gift left at the door or an inexpensive gift. Does the shut in you know enjoy word puzzles? Snip out the puzzles from the newspapers and include them in a mailed card. If it's a child/teen, maybe drop a couple puzzles or a new video game at the door. A nice bouquet of flowers or a small houseplant would be a lovely idea for anyone.

3. Meet a need.

Imagine not being able to run to the grocery store at will, struggling to take your trash out, needing someone there with you at all times and you'll get s glimpse of the dependency a shut in person may be having to deal with. It's hard on them as well as their caregivers. Offering to grocery shop for them, do some lawn maintenance or chores or even just come sit with them while their caregiver gets out of the house for awhile would be an amazing gift. A shut in may be missing getting to go to church services and someone committing to coming and doing bible study with them would be incredibly beneficial. Bring copies of sermons, books, pray with them and if you can find a ministry they could help with from home (provided they are able) it could remind them how valuable they are! Social visits to play games, visit, have a meal together are wonderful but be sure to assure your loved one that they need not worry about having the house clean or how they look as trying to get the house "company clean" and themselves all dolled up may exhaust them too much to even be able to enjoy the visit. If they have a pet, offering to vet them or take them for a walk could be helpful. If they have a hobby, bringing them supplies to continue doing that would be incredibly kind (knitting, crocheting, painting... just a few common ones that are easy to find supplies for).

Think inside and outside of the "box". Spend a few moments thinking about the personality of the shut in person you know. If you really cannot figure out the best way to be helpful- ASK! Let them know you want to be supportive and do something nice for them. You may be met with hesitance because it's hard to depend on others and accept so much help but you may also uncover a need you hadn't thought of.