Lazy Ways to Earn Swagbacks Part Two

Last time I discussed the lazy ways to earn Swagbucks, but promised to go more in depth on the shopping element.  You see I've tried the other rebate websites like Mr. Rebates and Ebates.  While those are well and good (easy to use), and Mr. Rebates will give you referral $$ for people who you get to sign up (AND on their actual shopping), they still have limits.  You either have to wait to hit $10/$15 which can take a lifetime, or wait for a certain time of the month.  Sure, you still have to wait for the purchase to 'clear' on Swagbucks, but once it does, regardless of amount or date, it's yours to spend.  Plus, while you are waiting for it to clear, you can be earning extra points.  See the last post on how to do that.

The cash back percents are also usually the same if not better than the other sites.  Occasionally you can't find certain ones like Lulu's, for example, on Swagbucks (but you should be using my code anyway, just kidding! not really...haha).  But it is a rarity.  

My FAVORITE is to shop on Hautelook/Nordstrom Rack through Swagbucks... here are the tricks.  When you want to pull up either of those sites, ALWAYS search for Nordstrom Rack.  For some odd reason, when you shop Nordstrom Rack you get 2% back, and on Hautelook you only get 1%.  But the secret is the two sites are interchangeable once you are on them (same shopping cart).  So always go through the Nordstrom Rack link.  Even if I clock over to the Hautelook side, I always make it a point to checkout under Nordstrom Rack.  For all I know it doesn't make a difference, but just in case right?

The cool part is that you can still use your Nordstrom rewards number when you check out.  Even more points! : )

Even better?  These sites seem to be really bad at tracking returns... so they don't usually punish you... just saying... (enter smiling devil emoji)

One more of a side note, if you have the Swagbucks bar and search downloaded on your computer, it sometimes alerts you that cash back is available on a site you ended up on (like eBay, or Amazon, etc.).


The Lazy Way to Earn on Swagbucks

I thought I'd do another quick post about Swagbucks because I love it... and you will too!  This is going to be the lazy way to earn on Swagbucks, because guess what, I don't have time to sit there and sign up for a million offers, and to be honest (Swagbucks I hope you are reading this), I HATE HATE HATE those stupid Lifescript sign ups!  I'll get in to that later.  But here are my easy ways to earn...

1. Daily Poll - sure, it's only 1 point (aka $0.01), but it's easy, and fun to see how people answer.  It's on your homepage every day.

2. Install the Extension - Super easy, you can use it to search, but more importantly, it sends you notifications when there are 'Swag Codes' available.  Usually only 3 points, but hey they add up and take no time.  Just insert the code into the extension and good to go.  PS, you usually get a bonus for the first time you download this sucker.

3.  Install the Swagbucks App - There are on occasion 'Swag Codes' that can only be entered on your app, so it's good to have.  It will also send you the same alerts as above (should you not be sitting on a computer all day).  I believe there is also a bonus for your first download.

4.  Shopping! - Ok this is one of my favorites.  And where it can get interesting, so I will actually do a whole part on this for the next post.  But basically you can earn a % back for your normal shopping, much like those reward sites like Mr. Rebates and Ebates.

5. Swagbucks Search - Literally the easiest way to earn.  Just make Swagbucks your search default, sorry Google.  When you do your normal online searching, occasionally a 'Swagbuck' will appear!  Type in the code and there you go.  These range from 5-100 so it's pretty awesome.
Yes, that is a 99 you see that I got!

6. Signing Up For Offers - I enjoy when they have offers (generally in the 'Discover' or 'Popular Offers' sections) like this one when I signed up for Fragrant Jewels.  I signed up for a trial of Food Stirs, which I will also be posting on later.  But most recently, I signed up for the Shoe Dazzle offer.

For this, I signed up to take the 'quick questionnare' which gave me 40 points.  If you make your first purchase you received another 1000 points (that's $10), and on top of that, your first shoe purchase is $10!  So I signed up, made my purchase, and as soon as the shoes arrived, I canceled my VIP membership.  Basically I received a free pair of shoes! : )

There are tons of annoying offers too, so make sure you hover over the offer to read the details.  I honestly say avoid any of the Lifescript offers... I have yet to complete one because they are so long and confusing.  You just keep getting sent to additional pages, I mean WTH?!?!

7. Refer Your Friends - This goes for every rebate site, but yes, you can earn for the referrals... and once they earn 500 SB, you will receive a portion of their Swagbucks too!

My Not So Suggested Suggestions....

8.  Surveys - If I'm super bored, or need to push my Swagbucks points over to hit a number I'll hop in to the survey section.  If you don't qualify for the survey they (are supposed to) give you 1 point anyway.  The annoying part here is that quite often it will tell you it is a 5 minute survey, and then you will be given 10 minutes of qualifying questions only to be booted out because you don't qualify. : (

9. Watch Videos - Ok this is my least favorite, but one you can fudge.  You can get 2-3 points for watching videos... but they aren't exactly short, and they are usually in sets of 10-15.  BUT if you can start them on your computer on mute, and not actually watch it (shhhhh don't tell Swagbucks), then you can get a few more points.

Yes, there are MANY more ways to earn Swagbucks, but who has time for that crap?  Stay tuned for how I do my online shopping, like Hautelook, through Swagbucks.

Once you stock up on some bucks, you can redeem them for gift cards of your choosing, like Amazon.  Unlike most rebate websites, you don't have to hit a certain number or wait for the month to end.  You can literally cash out for a $3 Amazon gift card.

See part two of the Swaybacks posts!


Starting Yet ANOTHER Creative Project - Meet Drivin' Me Nuts

I generally can't help it... and I'm wondering if all of you creative folk out there have a brain like mine.  Ideas constantly flooding my thoughts where I just can't seem to turn it off.  I can't even count the number of 'companies' I have started in the past.

This time, the new company was created out of shear frustration... something we ALL experience on occasion.  It happened to me twice in a 30 minute period.  People parking next to me like an asshole (excuse the language... but don't act like you don't get parking rage).

For a second I considered writing the second jerk a note (the first was still in their car, so I did my best to huff and puff to make sure he new I was annoyed without confronting him, hello I'm a girl and he looked a bit shady)... until I remembered I had no paper or a pen.  So I thought to myself, I wish I just had some notes handy in my car.  The thought turned in to a two hour long mission to start a company, set up a website and all of our social media.

Meet Drivin' Me Nuts!  (hopefully you like the name!)

While still in it's beginning stages, Drivin' Me Nuts offers cute, funny, and sometimes mean little items to leave for your parking mates.  You know, the selfish, lazy, and stupid people who just can't seem to park between the lines... usually invading your car's personal space.

Here are just a few of the styles currently available.

While they are only on the Drivin' Me Nuts Zazzle shop for now, you will soon be able to purchase on a site and mix up different combinations for a pack.

They are great presents for new drivers, birthday presents, gag gifts (hey white elephant!), and for that surly road-rager in your life.

Remember if you want to earn some money on the side, Zazzle is a fun way to do it.  You may not make a TON, but I look at it as a way to get out some of my creativity while watching TV : )


Why I Absolutely Refuse to Read Stories From PopSugar Home

Ok not really, but I AM annoyed.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this one just pissed me off due to the writer's actual hands on experience with the company they are dissing.  As you are probably aware, many of the furnishings in my newly remodeled home are from IKEA.  And guess what, taking into mind this is an investment property (long term flip) I ran the idea of IKEA past multiple real estate agents.  All of which who confirmed it was a great investment for the level of this particular home.  As a townhome, there is only a certain 'level' it can reach price-wise... regardless of putting in custom cabinets.

So guess what, my kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances (made by Whirlpool for IKEA), bathroom vanities, laundry room storage, office desk, nightstands, organization, and so much more are from IKEA, and I could not be happier with their look and feel.  I mean the soft close system of the cabinets are made by the top company in the world!

You might be confused by this frustrated post, but today I read an article from  PopSugar Home titled 'Why I Absolutely Refuse to Buy Anything From IKEA'.  I just happened upon it from the Yahoo! Home Page, so it's probably the only one I've ever read.

Here are the main points from the writer:

1. The Fails Seem Unavoidable, Predictable Even - To which they admit they have never actually purchased a piece of furniture from IKEA, and have only hear stories!

2. I Am Accident-Prone and Don't Trust Myself - That seems to be a personal problem... and one that doesn't really prove ANYTHING.

3. The Store Is a Consumer's Prison.  Have you ever tried to just do a quick "walk-through" of an Ikea? - Actually I have, dozens of times.  I have literally been in and out of IKEA (on several occasions) in less than 15 minutes... purchasing and everything.  Have YOU ever walked through an IKEA?  Because from the rest of your post, it doesn't seem like it.

4. I Bought One Thing and Am Unhappy With It.  I have bought exactly one thing from Ikea in all of my adulthood, and that's a mattress. - A MATTRESS!?!?!? Seriously?  You are judging an entire company not only on one single item, but a mattress?  First of all, mattresses of all expense levels are entirely subjective, secondly, I just read an article that rated IKEA mattresses as one of the best values of mattresses for 2016... of course I can't find it when I need it.  IKEA offers thousands of products of various levels of expense and design, but sure, you should totally write them off.

And good luck with your 'Casper' mattress, according to this 2016 study, you are only likely to enjoy that mattress 5% more than the IKEA one.

5. Ikea Furniture Doesn't "Spark Joy"  I want to value the objects I own, and I find that's hard to do with Ikea furniture, maybe because it's intended to be temporary and something that's tossed within a few years' use. - Yeah, totally, I'll just go throw away my kitchen now... you know the one that everyone walks in to and tells me how beautiful it is, and ask how can they re-create it in their home?  The one that is so fully cohesive with the rest of my home, because IKEA offers a full line of home items for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.

But sure, you are correct, these rooms on Apartment Therapy are truly just awful.  And let's not forget the awesome ideas at Ikea Hackers.

I just can't.

PS, since you admit you are incapable of building anything, IKEA also offers a building service... just saying.


Fragrant Jewels Candles - Jewelry Candle Trend

I'm sure by now you have seen them, the companies out there that are selling hidden jewelry in a candle.  I suppose it is somewhat along the lines of a high end prize in the cereal box?  Anyway, as a member of Swagbucks (which you should totally join to earn gift cards) I often see special promotions for different kinds of items.  Essentially, it is like a Mr Rebates type of site, and you can shop traditionally, but they also have special offers, somewhat more like Groupon.  In this case, if you purchased from Fragrant Jewels, you received a certain amount of Swagbucks, which you can then use to 'purchase' gift cards.  For example, 1,000 Swagbucks could become a $10 Amazon gift card.  I had seen the offer for Fragrant Jewels a handful of times before, but my household candles were finally running low, so I decided to give it a shot!

(Side note: the Fragrant Jewels offer seems to come and go on this 'popular' page, so keep checking back.)

I ordered one candle, the Jasmine Gardenia candle, and signed up for their new Passport club to receive their candle of the month, themed for various places around the world.  I also found one of their 'scratcher' offers and won a free extra ring. : )

My shipment arrived about 4 days later (but note I'm on the same coast as their HQ, so East Coasters it could take a tad longer).  It was very well packaged with lots of paper padding, and each candle was shipped in their own box inside a large box.  There was even MORE padding inside their boxes.  So my little friends stayed intact!

My extra ring was an adorable pink ring that you can see in the photo below... although it kept photographing without the color : (

But on to the Passport club.  With my special Passport candle, came this super cute pink envelop complete with a wax stamp closure (nice touch!).  Inside was a pink 'passport' so I can place all of the stickers that I collect from my 'trips' around the world.  Every time a candle arrives, so will a sticker, boarding pass, and postcard... with a new scent of course.

Here is more detail on what's included:
Each scent is available exclusively to Passport holders and for one month only, and includes a ring and chance to win a $10,000 ring.
A personalized Fragrance
Passport for your own collection of unforgettable destinations.
A ticket to that month’s candle destination featuring a colorful seal and clues about next month’s destination.
A postcard featuring that month’s travel destination. Collect for yourself, or send to a friend to let her know where you’re traveling.

This month was the Lokelani Lei candle signifying Maui, Hawaii.
I have been alternating my two candle scents (one upstairs and one downstairs), and they are definitely strong, and easily fill the rooms with their fragrance.  I'm excited to try the grapefruit one next and would love if they added more citrus/light scents.  I'm not entirely in to the super sweet or 'fresh linens' type of scents.  Previously I was burning the Pink Sands by Yankee candle.

Inside all of their candles, bath bombs, and scent beads are a ring that is valued between $10-$10,000!  Once you get to the ring (which is wrapped up and about halfway down in the candle), you input the code into their 'vault' to find out what it's worth.  Obviously the super expensive ones are not actually IN the candle, and they will send to you later (from what I have read on their Facebook).  My extra ring was valued at $25.

Since I never win ANYTHING, ever, I anticipate my two candle rings will probably be worth right around the same amount.  It's just my luck.

Anyway, it is a fun idea, and if you think about it, you are getting a candle AND jewelry, so you can justify paying a bit more than say buying a candle at Marshalls.  BUT if you sign up for Swagbucks, I ended up getting I think 1,500 Swagbucks, which means I basically got a $15 credit back!  Great for Mother's Day gifts, b-days or yourself!

My only issue with the candles is they seem to get the weird mushroom heads on the wicks more than normal candles.  I just searched for the reason and found this explanation "A "fragrance mushroom" is a carbon build up on your wick. This is just a friendly reminder that your have purchased a highly scented, handmade candle! If you see a "fragrance mushroom" on your wick, extinguish the candle, trim the wick to 1/4", relight and enjoy."  So I guess it is a good thing?  Who knew.  I just wish it didn't cause some sparking! : (  I have to be better about cutting them off!

_ _ _ _ _

The cool thing about Swagbucks is if you download their Chrome extension, you can earn Swagbucks literally just by searching online (it gives you Google results)!  I will do a more extensive post on easy earning with them later. (Update: see our full post on the lazy ways to earn on Swaybacks)


New Zazzle Stores From Pretty New

I've been busy lately focusing on my Zazzle Stores because, well once it is up it is up!  It might sound crazy, but I think of it like a savings account... if you put in work/money now, then it will make interest/sales on it's own... but if it's not in there, it is not doing anything.  You see that is the beauty about Zazzle or the other print on demand types of websites, once you put in the initial work of creating your designs, they take care of the rest of the work.

I'm super excited about my two new stores which focus more on photos than the designs, illustrations, or sayings of my Pretty New, PostWODle, Bow Babes, and Basic Bitches stores, which I'm still working on as well.


Real Life Fun is truly that, real things that you see every day, but done (hopefully) in a fun manner.  So here you will see everything (in photo form) like candy and other sweets, like the vanilla wafers below, nature, toys, naturally occurring patterns, sports fields and more.


Nature is truly striking sometimes, and in the Elegance in Nature store, I am focusing solely on these types of images.  This whole store developed from the image of the white peony on the right (it is a coaster by the way).

If you are a photographer, or just a creative person in general, you should definitely consider selling on Zazzle.  Not super creative?  You can also become an affiliate and promote other people's items (like mine, please do, HAHA, just a joke, but seriously)

I have another store coming soon, Pet PAWrty, which has a fun Facebook page as well.

Speaking of, I have a few new Facebook Pages that I'd love you to follow! : )

Love Pretty New (yes this blog has one now!)
The Mug Daily (for you coffee mug fans!)
Found on Demand (tons of fun items from the print on demand world)


Resources for Creative Entrepreneurs

Sometimes we get a bit overwhelmed by everything to do as creative entrepreneurs.  The amount of time it takes to walk through all of the to-do lists with creating and the business side can get to be a little too much.  Here are some resources to stay up to date with learning, selling and more.


CreativeLive - Featuring workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, crafting, and software training, CreativeLive unlocks previously closed doors by making dynamic education accessible to everyone.Anyone can watch our live online workshops — for free — and interact with instructors in real time. The future of education is interactive, free, and live now.

Craftsy - Our hundreds of classes in quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, art, photography, cooking and many more categories, bring the world's best instructors to you. Learn at your pace with easy-to-follow HD video lessons you can access on your computer and mobile device anytime, anytime, anywhere, forever.

Lynda - is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts. The company also provides German, French and Spanish language content under the video2brain brand name.

TpT - If you are a teacher, this is an excellent marketplace for you! You can sell lesson plans, decorative goodies, awards, labels, motivational posters and so much more.  You also know the teacher world is quite loyal and helps to promote your items when they love them : )

Zazzle - Sell your artwork or photography on just about anything!  Zazzles products let you add your personal touch to any part of your life. Zazzle is passionate about giving you the ability to make your mark on the world through customization, and we believe there is no limit to self-expression. With an ever-expanding array of categories including everything from apparel and paper goods to fabric and food, we're committed to offering the highest quality custom products in the world. You can even get items to match your classroom.

Society6 - Artists! Learn more about selling your artwork as gallery quality art prints, iPhone cases, t-shirts and other fine products - without giving up control of your rights.

Etsy - Sell your handcrafted and digital items on this one of a kind marketplace. Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.The heart and soul of Etsy is our global community: the creative entrepreneurs who use Etsy to sell what they make or curate, the shoppers looking for things they can’t find anywhere else, the manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help them grow, and the Etsy employees who maintain and nurture our marketplace.

ArtFire - is a marketplace, craft and maker community where people from around the world come together to buy, sell and interact. Located in the heart of the Tucson Arts District, ArtFire partners with Maker House to offer a community creative destination that supports local makers and indie businesses.

Earn extra rewards and money through shopping and affiliates.

Earn rebates from Mr. Rebates.  On top of earning rebates from shopping, you also earn from your referrals shopping!

SWAGBUCKS!! Seriously one of my favorites, it's easy to use and you can earn $$ towards Amazon (or any) gift cards quickly. It's like Mr. Rebates, but there are also surveys, and other easy things to do to earn points.

ShareASale Affiliate Network

Rakuten Linkshare Affiliate Network

Amazon - Amazon is always a great resource for finding items.  In addition to actual supplies, you can find tons of organizational supplies here.

Craftsy - In addition to classes (see the learning section above), you can also find tons of supplies and tools at Craftsy.

Happy Crafters - We are about giving you the tools to Make Something!  We have the pieces to make every project personal. Let us give you a few examples just to toot our own horn.

Blitsy - Thousands of supply items.

Dreamtime Creations - Supplying performers, jewelry artists, and even pop music stars with the best prices, and fastest shipping on over 30,000 crystals, tools, beads, trims, and adhesives. - Our mission is to guide people through the memory preservation process.

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Affiliate links included in the post.  They do not cost any money to you, but help keep us alive!


Meet the Maker - hannahdoodle

Today we are talking with Hannah, creator at hannahdoodle.

Shop Name: hannahdoodle
Sun Cushion, Sunshine Pillow, Sky Decor Moon Pretty NewStrawberry Pink Donut Felt Charm, Keychain, Sweets Pretty New
Blue Jellyfish Brooch, Sea Creature, Felt Pin Pretty New
A little information to introduce you:  I make and sell mostly cute cushions, sleep masks and brooches.

What started you on your journey of being a creative/crafter/artist? I was always quite artistic as a child and used to spend a long time making elephants and animals out of play-dough. I also remember using felt a lot, which is a material I love and still use today.

A big turning point for me was in High School where my art teacher at the time seemed happy with my work, she asked if I'd like to go to a life drawing class with her which was a big deal to me. I think she was the person that inspired me to keep drawing and to develop my skills.

I continued to study Art at University, gaining a degree in Fine Art. During my time there I won a scholarship grant to visit South Korea, which massively inspired my craft. I spent too much time looking at the adorable stationery they had to offer, and I think that had a big impact on the cute aesthetic in my Etsy store today.

 What is your favorite part about having a creative business? My favourite part is having an idea and being able to take it from pencil and paper to a finished product, then getting feedback on the items. Whether it's by the amount of sales, a rating on Etsy or comments on instagram. I guess what I love most is the interaction those of us with creative businesses can utilize online. It's amazing to me that we don't need to have a brick-and-mortar store anymore, I'm sure there are people running Etsy shops from their phones or tablets and that's amazing too. Advances in technology mean that it's easier than ever to sell online which leads to a rich creative community at the touch of a button.

What is your least favorite part, or biggest struggle?  My least favourite part is probably time management. If I get a lot of orders at once it can be difficult to be pleased with a days work if I felt I haven't done enough. There's always a little worry at the back of my mind that perhaps some material might not arrive in the post on time or I might mess up a stitch on a project and have to start all over again. I prefer to be a couple of days ahead of schedule but that rarely works out!

What are some of your goals for your shop?  I'd like to create some items that are less time-consuming to produce. Although I love sewing my cushions and sleep masks they are time heavy, so I would like to expand my other ranges to include more greeting cards to print and perhaps some acrylic necklaces.

I'd also love to decorate my work space. At the moment I'm very lucky to have recently moved out with my partner who has generously let me use the second bedroom, although the walls still look a bit bare!
One of my other passions is actually watercolour painting, so sometime in the near future I'd like to open another Etsy store dedicated to that.

What are your favorite items from your shop? 

Brown Bear Felt Pin with Floral Crown Pretty NewWhite Cloud Cushion, Happy Face Pillow, Kawaii Pillow Pretty NewOrange Fox Sleep Mask, Fleece, Soft Pretty NewLilac Ice Cream Cushion, Pastel, Sprinkles Pretty New

Any suggestions for fellow sellers? Always think about improving your photography, you don't necessarily need a new camera to do that, sometimes a shift in background can help, and if you use Photoshop the Curves Tool is your best friend when editing!

Don't worry too much about sales figures or competitors prices, there will always be someone willing to sell a similar item cheaper or more expensive than you but it will never be *your* work. Everything you create is precious and deserves to be priced with whatever you feel comfortable charging.

If you're unsure about whether anyone will like an item you've made, put it up anyway! I think as artists and crafters we often never feel our work is good enough but to outside eyes it could be the best thing ever. Give it a try!

hannahdoodle felt designs Pretty New



Meet The Maker - Forever Sweethearts

Today we are talking with Stephanie, creator at Forever Sweethearts.

Shop Name: Forever Sweethearts
pretty new forever sweethearts teal pearl flower napkin ringpretty new forever sweethearts teal morrocan pattern table runnerpretty new forever sweethearts teal pink magenta flower napkin ring
A little information to introduce you:  I have a handmade wedding shop with ring bearer pillows and flower girl baskets for the ceremony, and table runners and napkin rings for the reception (or for home decor!) Everything is customizable to your colors.

What started you on your journey of being a creative/crafter/artist? I honestly don't remember what made me start to love working with my hands, but I got started on weddings when I made a ring pillow for a good friend's wedding, and then another for my sister's... and then I kept going from there. 

 What is your favorite part about having a creative business? I love being able to set my own hours, and spend them making pretty things!

What is your least favorite part, or biggest struggle?  The hardest thing for me is spending the time to take great photos and write up those listings :) I have begun to work with a product photographer on some of my items, and she has been a real blessing.

What are some of your goals for your shop?  My husband has begun making some things for my shop, and a goal of ours is to make it something we "do" together, full time, to help support our family. We are planning to add a studio/office to our home for our work.

What are your favorite items from your shop? 

pretty new forever sweethearts teal pearl flower ringpretty new forever sweethearts wooden heart tags favor tagspretty new forever sweethearts white pearl flowers 
Any suggestions for fellow sellers?  Listen to your buyers! My best selling items are not the things I opened my shop with; they're items I added after working with customers to create something I wasn't currently offering. If people are asking for something, then there's a market for it :)