The BEST Money Making Apps

There’s only one thing I love more than money saving….and that’s money MAKING!!! The last THREE vacations we’ve been on were either partially financed or ALL of our spending money came from these EXACT apps. So I’ve complied my favorite list of money making apps that I use to supplement my income, and you can too!Carnival free money vacation excursion cruiseMexico free money vacation excursion cruise

1. Ibotta-This is SUPER easy to use, and I’ve made hundreds! Its basically like couponing only WAY easier! All you do it check out what’s available in store and online, and redeem the rebates by taking picture of your receipt via the app (and occasionally the bar codes of items).  There are tons of retailers like WalMart, Publix, WinnDixie, Amazon, Target, etc.  Rebates range from produce to Wine/Beer/Liquor (Mom win!), Often you will find new products that become completely FREE after rebate.  You can cash out to PayPal/Venmo, or various gift cards after $20, and if you click HERE to get started your earn and INSTANT $10 when you complete your first rebate! Ibotta proof make money vacations free

2. Shopkick-This works via a point system, and you can earn points simply by walking into stores! Points are redeemable for various gift cards including Disney, Starbucks, and Amazon, to name a few! You also earn via purchases, and scanning barcodes with your phone. Protip-Hand off your phone to your older kids to search for items in the store. Its like a fun scavenger hunt for them and you get to shop hassle free! Win-win! Sign up HERE  and earn an extra 250 kicks with your first walk-n or scan!

3.Myecon-While not technically an app, you can save the site as an “app” to your phone home screen so I’ve included in on this list. It lands solidly at number 3, while I was tempted to actually make it  number one because of its INSANE ability to generate large amounts of income!  Myecon is a personal financial services company and is A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau.There is a $47.90 membership fee,  but this INCLUDES a plethora of financial services, including their Smart Credit System credit repair (cheapest I’ve seen BY FAR!) Cash Flow Manager (budgeting software) a Debt Elimination Calculator, AND shopping and travel discounts.  So in my opinion, the cost is offset by the benefits and the HUGE earning potential. They pay referrals out up to $35 each, so as you can imagine, it adds up quickly. Sign up HERE, then Contact me on Facebook to get started, as I will provide you with a FREE step by step training to boost your referrals! (and not have to harass your friends and family!)

4.Dosh– Any easy to use app that operates by collecting shopping data. You DO have to link a credit card to this in order to earn cash, but they don’t charge it. You earn money by shopping at various retailers, and there is a $5 referral bonus for everyone you refer who also links their card. They run promotions and I’ve seen referral bonuses as high as $15! Cashes our to PayPal, or they offer the option to donate all or a portion of your earning to charity. Download here Dosh free make money apps vacation

5.AirBnB- If you’re not yet familiar with AirBnB, you’re either living under a rock or off the grid, and either way you’re TRULY missing out. AirBnB is a site/app where people list their homes for you to stay in. Some are shared rooms (similar to hostels) which are a great option for solo travelers, or you can rent a room or an entire home. Home can range from Tepees to Treehouse, or regular style homes, condos or apartments. They even have remodeled Airstream trailers! The true benefit of this is getting affordable accommodations without sacrificing style or comfort.  We stayed in a Tuscan villa style Mansion in Miami for cheaper than you can stay in a motel! Sign up HERE to get $40 off of your first trip of $75 or more.

Secret garden villa Airbnb free moneySecret garden villa Airbnb free money

Best money making apps free

Best money making apps

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Craft, Crave, Love

Summer Storytime Series

My Storytime Series is designed to incite the love of reading in my kids (and yours too!)I love to do these special story times for the holidays as well, but summertime its extra important!

Have you heard of the Summer Slide? And no, it’s not a fun outdoor activity. It refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge children experience as a result of being out of school foe the summer. So this is my tactic to try and prevent that!

I also use a reading log to keep track of those books. My kids have to submit reading logs/read for homework so I always keep a running log, especially since the first few weeks of school can be so hectic so I figure why not get ahead? Click below to check out a FREE printable reading log, as well as printable book marks and book ideas by category courtesy of Carrie Ellie!

Free Pretty Printable Bookmarks

Free Printable Reading Log

I try to do a few stories that are related- I love a theme! And then a craft or snack that relates. My kids beg for this, and all of them will sit (mostly) quietly and listen if even for just a few minutes!

Three Little Pigs

Coming soon:

Spaghetti night!

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The BEST family friendly Resort in Orlando

Cocokey Orlando Resort and Water Park

If you’ll be in the Orlando area with your family anytime in the near future, you MUST stay at the CocoKey Orlando Resort. We stayed with our family of five this June for our annual family trip and have only good things to report.

Check-in and out was a breeze. They give you a property map and an activity listing at that time as well. Daily activities were arts and crafts and make and take (or eat activities), dive in movies, as well as appearances from Coco, the feathered mascot of the resort.

The room we booked was a double queen, but it was the most spacious once we’ve stayed in. It had a separate table with two chairs, an armchair with an ottoman and a pull over table as well as a bench and a vanity with a stool and a mirror! It came with the standard coffee machine, iron and ironing board, and blow dryer. Although not listed, so I’m not sure if they all have them, our room also included a mini refrigerator and microwave. It was clean and bright and had hot water and cold air conditioning!

Cocokey water park and hotel family friendly travel

The water park situated at one end of the property is a venue in its own right. In fact, you can purchase day passes to the park in case you happen to be staying somewhere else, or if you wanted to invite someone to come and play for the day. We stayed there from 11 am to 7 pm. The juxtaposition of the restaurant and Tiki Bar makes it so that you don’t have to leave. Towels are provided and plentiful, and the water is heated and clean. With 14 water slides, including two that are tube rides (single or double tubes) there is something fun for everyone! There is even a shallow pool under cover and mini slides a splash features perfect for smaller ones or anyone wishing to escape the sun. Any place that can keep all the of our kids, aged 2,6, and 11 busy all day gets an A+ in my book!

There are two restaurants, the Tradewinds which features a breakfast buffet and the Callaloo Grill. The breakfast buffet was well worth the price, and had eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, toast, biscuits, gravy, grits, make your own waffles (who doesn’t love that?!) and cold selections such as cereal, muffins, and fresh fruit. For beverages they had whole and chocolate milk, coffee and tea stations, and various juice blends.Coco key water park and hotel family friendly travel

The Callaloo Grill offers selections such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, popcorn shrimp, quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, wings, and personal pizzas which the kids loved! You order at a counter and they give you a buzzer, and when it goes off you pick it up at a window. They have indoor and outdoor seating, as well as many tables around the pools.

For pool side selections, there is the Wet Rooster Tiki Bar, which offers daily drink specials and also has an appetizer menu. I had a hurricane, even though the weather was lovely!

The hotel also boasts a fitness center and a business center with computers with internet access, and wifi is free in your room or to connect your devices for the length of your stay. There are also laundry facilities located near the pool area.

The kids also had a blast in the arcade which offers some games that earn tickets that can be redeemed for prizes or candy.

There is even a convenience store on the property that offers food and drinks, easily forgotten essentials, (swim diapers and sunscreen!) that double as a gift shop.

The hotel is located less than 10 miles from all major theme parks, and even offers a shuttle service to and from the parks. There are many restaurants nearby, but with all of the amenities, why leave? We were so glad that we carved out a day during our trip just stay and play. While we were there, they were hosting several large groups, such as a family reunion and church group which to me seemed like an awesome idea! They offer group rates for booking 10 or more rooms,and even welcome weddings and corporate events. We will definitely be planning a trip in the near future, and you should too!!Cocokey water park and hotel family friendly travel

Coco Key Hotel and WaterPark

7400 International Drive

Orlando, Florida 32819

Phone: 877-875-4681 | Local: 407-351-2626

Disclaimer: a small portions of the fees for our stay was paid for by the hotel

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Top 10 Travel tips for Families

Top 10 Travel Tips for Families

Top 10 Travel essentials for Families

As has been our pattern the past 3 years, we are preparing for our up-coming Family vacation. We did Rapids Water Park (I was pregnant that year and so we couldn’t travel too far), and then Disney, which was actually two smaller trips. This year we are headed to SeaWorld! We have learned quite a few tips and tricks along the way, so I thought I’d share a few of our favorite essentials here.

1.Pop-up Hamper

I know this sounds lame, but this actually turned out to be a life saver, especially when traveling with our family of 5. It folded flat for traveling, and was nice to stash in the corner of the hotel room that way everyone knew where the dirty stuff went. IF you plan to do laundry on your trip it would be easy to lug to the washer, but to me it just helped avoid that game when you get home (What’s dirty? What’s clean? Now I have to wash everything!)You can even get them at the Dollar Tree!

2. Individual Rolling Suitcases
We invested in these this year, whereas previously we had used duffel bags. In years past we have packed two large bags (‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’) but that only works so long. Our kids our getting a bit older so it’s better for them each to have their own bags when they travel. Also each kid is MORE than happy to help roll their suitcase around.

3. Wipes

I can’t stress this one enough! Even if you have kids out of diapers, wipes are essential when traveling. For times when you are eating in the car, or the park, they can be used to wipe hands and faces, and you can use to wipe down surfaces in the hotel (Remotes, toilet seats).

4. First aid kit

Because you never know when can happen while traveling…..I plan on doing a more in-depth post of what I put in mine, but at the very least I say you can’t go wrong with band-aids and some triple antibiotic ointment, Tylenol/Motrin, tums, and soft ice packs. Soft ice packs are good for cooling off after a hot day, for headaches, and in case of sunburn.

5. Car activities
These can be super helpful for in car boredom, but can also keep kids busy in the hotels. There were times when traveling that I was getting a little one or myself ready, that it really helped having something simple on hand to occupy them. There is also an app of the ever famous license plate game.Its aptly named ‘Find the lisence Plate’ We resume our game every time we travel and we hope to one day get them all! Look out in Target’s dollar spot for cut little magnet game boxes that work perfectly for traveling. Also Dollar Tree always has coloring and activity books or notebooks and crayons and pens.

6. Food Caddies

I found these at the Dollar tree and I use them for lots of things! But they also happen to perfectly hold a drink and food all in one spot easily for little hands. Plus, the kids find them fun!

7. Themed toys

This is a budget friendly trick I have learned along the way. I sometimes prefer to purchase small themed toys or shirts prior to our trip to avoid the added cost. You can find lots of things on Amazon, or at Target or even the Dollar Tree! Our kids especially loved the mini character flashlights we bought, and they helped for nighttime bathroom trips in the unfamiliar environment of the hotel room.

8. Shout spray/ wipes
I keep this on hand at home and spray down stained shirts before I toss them in the laundry, but it’s especially essential while traveling-since it may be a while before you do laundry.

9. Gallon size Zip top bags.

I actually prefer these, with the slider top because I feel like they close more easily and effectively. These come in SO handy on a trip….for wet suits/clothes, and a dry change of clothes in the parks, for holding leftover food, for toiletry kits, for first aid items, to hold snacks, to make an ice pack, the list goes on and on! Some people even like to pre-pack with daily outfits (I wish I were that organized!) for each kid.

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Hefty Slide top bags

10. Cooler

This one came in handy in the car, and the hotel room. We were able to keep cold drinks and snacks on hand (our kids love yogurts and cheese sticks) in the car and hotel room. Some hotel rooms will come with a fridge, but even those that do are often tiny. Most hotels, do however offer free ice via machines. We filled up our cooler and it came in handy for food/drink storage as well as to have ice on hand to make an ice pack, etc.

What are your essentials for family travels? New tips and tricks welcome!

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