I’m a BzzAgent!

Has anyone heard of BzzAgent before? My friend Cinthia recently told me what it was and I thought to myself, “Here we go, another person trying to sell me something.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to be a Rodan&Fields, ItWorks or Younique distributor in the past year. Not that I have anything against them, at all, I just simply don’t have interest in the product, therefore, I wouldn’t make a good seller/distributor. But BzzAgent does not have to do with selling at all. It’s a very cool concept actually. Perfect for a frugal person like me, who loves coupons and a good bargain.

So let me explain what exactly BzzAgent is for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about. BzzAgent is a community of communicators! A BzzAgent, like myself, is one who tries a product, and then shares his/her honest opinion about the product. When I told my husband about this he was like, “Oh great so you are going to be trying samples of things and come home with hives and a swollen face?” No, it’s not like that at all. You take surveys that helps Bzz find out what types of products and services you are into, and then they invite you into campaigns (which is basically an e-mail saying, Would you like to try this product?) You can either accept or deny. All of the products they send to you are brands that you have heard of before, that you can find at your local retailer. If you accept, they send the product to your house for free. All you have to do is try it, and write about it on any social media website. I have Facebook, Instagram and this Blog. So if you follow me on any of these websites, chances are you will see me reviewing products. How easy is that?

OH, and I forgot…. For each survey or activity you complete (all on their website), you get MyPoints. Once you accumulate so many MyPoints, you can trade them in for cash or gift cards. So essentially, you can make money by doing this too!

So yesterday, I received #MyFirstBzz in the mail, after waiting like what seemed forever (not even a week, lol). I was so ecstatic. I can’t wait to start being a serious Bzz’er! If you like free things, or discounted products, you NEED to check this out. I don’t get credit for telling you this, I just think it’s the coolest thing and I encourage everybody to give it a try!

Happy Bzz’ing!

Trichotillomania

I was going to write this long post…. I mean…. I wrote this long post but read it over and I just didn’t really like the way my words were coming out.

Also, this is the first time I’m really coming out about this. I don’t want to get into extreme detail about the whole thing, as I am still a little hesitant on sharing my story. But I promise, there is a good ending.

So…. trichotillomania. Wtf is that? Chances are, if you don’t suffer from it or don’t know anyone who suffers from it, you probably don’t know what it is. I mean, my own doctor doesn’t even know what it is. Many physicians simply don’t know, because a lot of people who do suffer from it either keep quiet, or don’t even know that this is a condition that other people actually suffer from. Trichotillomania is such an ugly word, and the definition is just as ugly too. It is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes you to pull out your hair, repeatedly. Why? I don’t know… something about the chemicals in your brain being off balance. And because once you get started, you can’t stop…. aaaand because it kind of feels good?

When I was 17 and a senior in high school, I began to feel extremely anxious about the future. I was always an anxious child, I believe I suffered from mild anxiety attacks as a child… though my parents just thought I was being a worrisome and clingy child (now that I am older it’s more clear to them what I was going through). But at 17, I experienced my first real blown full panic attack. This led to more panic attacks and overall generalized anxiety. So I was put on an antidepressant, Lexapro, which helped! However, along came the nasty side effect. Trich.

I can’t exactly pinpoint when it started, it literally just came out of nowhere after I began taking the Lexapro. I would look at my hair and see a strand that looked thicker, curly, or just out of place and I would pull it out (my hair is VERY thick, there is a LOT of it, and it is very wavy). I would pull a few hairs here and there. By about a year, I started getting just a small little bald spot. This made me nervous because I knew I started doing damage. The damage was not just me pulling my hair out, it was me developing a full blown obsessive addition to hair pulling. If my hair got thin in one area, I’d start pulling in another area. My favorite spots were the crown of my head, the two colics on each side, and the front of my hair. There were times it would get better, and then times that it got worse. Each time it got worst, I would think to myself… Wow, it has never been this bad.

Luckily, my hair is thick. And luckily, I think I hid it well… thanks to odd popular styles these days, such as the messy bun and top knots. So unless I was to tell someone I pull my hair, or they caught me in action, or I was to show someone my thinning areas/bald spots, no one really knew I suffered from trichotillomania.

Noticed how I said “suffered?!” Okay so here is the good part of the story. After pulling my hair for 9 years and making promises to myself that I would stop, (like the one time I promised my self I would stop pulling my hair before my wedding… yea that didn’t last), I made a little bet with my husband. While making that bet, I was very negative and didn’t think that I would last. He said that if I went 1 month without pulling my hair, he would buy me a new purse. It wasn’t even so much the purse that I had my eye on. It was a full head of hair. The feeling of being able to go to the hair salon and get my hair done without explaining what the hell happened, and feeling embarrassed. The feeling of letting my hair down and natural. So we started the bet on January 13th. I think I had accidentally pulled 1 or 2 hairs the first few days without even realizing. I still played with my hair all the time but never actually pulled. I made it one full month… I was/am so proud of myself! It actually wasn’t too difficult either. I got my purse, a Vince Camutto purse (still obsessed). Well now we are creeping up on two months of no pulling… my hair is growing in, it feels very thick and I can wear it down without anyone noticing any thinning or bald spots. I love it! It is the best feeling ever.

My next goal is to make it 3 months, then 6 months, then a 12 months pull free. It’s  very nerve wracking, because from what I’ve read, people who suffer trichotillomania often relapse. I am afraid that I am going to have a stressful or anxiety filled day and it will come back with a vengeance. But I have to remain positive that I’ve made it this far, and I can continue on!

My favorite Apps

What are some of the apps on your phone you can’t live without?

Here are a list of mine:

  • Pandora – music is on 24/7… Just don’t ask to see my playlist😳
  • Mint by Intuit – I couldn’t say enough great things about this app. It’s like having your checkbook right in front of you. I literally never look at my bank account anymore.
  • Ibotta – immediately after I go shopping, I check Ibotta to see if any items I purchased are on the app. If so, you scan the barcode and take a picture of the receipt and boom, you earn money that easily. I’ve had it for a few months and have made $34… It’s not much but it’s $34 I didn’t have in my wallet without the app!
  • Receipt Pal – It couldn’t be any easier to make money… You simply take pictures of your recipets and once you’ve earned so many points, you can cash in the points for gift cards!
  • SurveyMini – this app has been kind of a disappointment lately. When I first got it I would get 5+ surveys a day, each one gives you 100, 250 or 500 points. Again, a certain amount of points gets you gift cards. Recently, I haven’t been getting any surveys at all.
  • RetailMeNot – because who doesn’t love coupons, especially ones you can have right at your fingertips, and don’t have to worry about forgetting them at home!
  • Kroger – I love being able to view the weekly deals, downloading digital coupons, and making my grocery lists all in one place!
  • Cartwheel by Target – need I say more?
  • Merged – this is the only game I have on my phone, and it is SO addicting. It’s defiantly a mind game. My only suggestion is to download it for yourself, but beware… You may not be able to set your phone down.
  • ABCPhonics (for my daughter) – a great all in one learning app for my 15 month old. Teaches them the alphabet, words, tracing letters, and has a few games. For a while we only had letters A-D because the expansion pack is very expensive (but this week it was 70% off… So I HAD to purchase it, or else my daughter would go to kindergarten only being able to recite letters A-D!)
  • and WordPress, of course! – So I can write anywhere and even on the go!

I was told I couldn’t concieve naturally….

Imagine your doctor telling you that. Thinking back, if that happened to me, today, I would totally get a second opinion. But I wanted to like my OB/GYN, I’ve been his patient since I was 15 and he has taken such good care of me thus far, for my anxiety and depression. So here’s how it all went down, and how I almost destroyed my marriage to my high school sweetheart:

I never really gave much thought into being a mom when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I started dating Joe (my husband) in 2004, when I was just 14 years old ( and he was 17). We always dreamt of having a family, however, the thought of getting pregnant in high school literally scared me so bad. You would think that being that scared we would have been abstinent, but yeah that didn’t happen. So instead, we took our chances each month (and we were very, very safe).

Fast forward about 9 years to when we got married in 2013. We knew we wanted kids, but didn’t know when we would feel ready. After a month, I realized I don’t think you ever really “feel” ready… so we agreed to begin trying. And let me tell you, after all those years of preventing, I thought we would be pregnant after just one time of trying. Boy  was I wrong. Months passed, I was becoming obsessed with the thought of being pregnant. I would take ovulation tests everyday throughout the month to gauge when I was ovulating. We would try everyday during that time period. Then I would take pregnancy tests a week before I was even due to start my period (horrible, expensive idea). I would take one or two each day. Then I’d start my period and I’d become depressed and feel like it was never going to be our turn, that I’ve never know what it felt like to be a mom (extreme, I know). I decided to make a visit to the OB/GYN. He did blood work, and that came out normal. He then did ultrasounds and he found very large cysts on my ovaries, which was causing me to ovulate irregularly, or not even at all. So he put me on a infertility medication called, Clomid, and a trigger injection, Ovidrel. He stated that most of his patients get pregnant within one to three months of being on that medication. Well, I wasn’t. So then he recommended me to get a hysterosalpinogram (HSG). Which is where they inject dye into your fallopian tubes and take fancy x-rays to see if your fallopian tubes are clogged, because that can happen after being on birth control for an extended period of time. That came back normal as well.  Meanwhile, my poor husband was given a plastic cup, a nudey magazine, and instructed to go into a public bathroom to…. well you know where I am going with that. So, after all these tests, I went back to my OB/GYN and he didn’t seem concerned, but he flat out told me, “You probably won’t conceive naturally. Let’s try one more round of these medications and we will set you up for an IUI (intrauterine insemination).” And that’s when I kind of lost it. And I took it out on my husband, my family,  my friends. I became miserable. I resented my cousins and friends for getting pregnant so easily. I was so angry at people who got pregnant  and didn’t want their babies. There were many nights I cried myself to sleep, or didn’t sleep at all. There were shouting matches between my  husband and I (and we never have yelled at each other before). I pretty much gave up on myself. I wanted to get pregnant, NATURALLY, ON MY OWN. Not with the help of science, or any more crazy hormone inducing medications.

So I agreed to let God and time take over (and he sure did, quite fast!). Within that same month (Valentines Day, 2014 to be exact), we conceived our beautiful Emmie. We took the advice of all our friends to “get away” for the weekend to just relax. Nine months, including a few extremely emotional/difficult/and nauseous months later (maybe I’ll blog about ther pregnancy and delivery m another time, but I promised this blog wouldn’t be all about babies!), Emmalina Grace was born. We tried to picture what she would be like, what she would look like, and we thought we were the luckiest parents in the world… Though we never exactly pictured how perfect she would be, we never knew we could love her as much, and we never knew how blessed we could feel, until she was placed in our arms for the first time.

This post is dedicated to all the beautiful and strong women who are suffering from infertility, or difficultly conceiving. I pray that your time will come soon, please never give up hope.

This post is also dedicated to you, Choobie-Doo. I love you more than all the stars!⭐️

Hello, it’s me…

Sorry! I had to… Anyways, Hi! I have decided to venture back into the blogger world… 10 years later. Does anyone remember Caleida? It was basically similar to Live Journal. I was xbeanie_89x. I was a journaling QUEEN. Back when AIM was cool and you would post your journal link in your away messages, or bios. #Tbt2006.

Well, a lot has changed since then. Somewhere within that time I became what they call, an adult? (Though I don’t feel like one). I graduated high school, went to college, worked at a bank, went back to college, worked as a medical assistant, went back to college again, and got my final degree in health care management (don’t even get me started on student loans!) Meanwhile, I also got married to my high school sweetheart, purchased our very own home, and ‘tried’ to start a family. Who knew after all of those years of preventing, it would be so difficult?! (I’ll get into that another time).

So as you may have read in my bio, I am now finally a mommy (Best. Feeling. Ever.). I went back to work, part-time, thus prompting me to become who I am today…. a frugal, budgeting, couponing shop-a-holic! I really am not a shop-a-holic, I just love going to the store and buying things, even if it is only $1. My husband thinks I am crazy though, because by time I get to the cash register, my once full cart is now empty.

If you have made it this far you might be thinking, “Great, another twenty-something blogging about mom life…” well, you are somewhat right. But I promise you that this blog is not intended to brag about my child, and what new things she has learned. I really just decided to blog because I like to write my thoughts down, I like to see my plans on paper, I like to be organized. But mainly because I enjoy writing. Like I said, I used to do it all the time. I have a lot to say, sometimes. And for those sometimes, I will come here… because I’m not sure how much more pointless words my husband can listen to. But he is a good sport, and smiles and nods, and sometimes even gives feedback! I also enjoy reading others blogs. I learn a lot through what others have to say, whether its about daily life, parenting, home improvements, recipes, product reviews, etc. And I hope that I could be helpful to someone else, even if it is just one person. But if not, that’s okay too.

 

Until next time 🙂

~ Kristina