Check out the Keto in Canada series of blog posts to catch up on what happened during the Keto Reset then watch my first vlog (ever, eek!) detailing the final results of two weeks completely keto while traveling on business.
Would you like to see monthly updates on my weight loss, and specifically keto, journey? Let me know!
Until next time!
Free & Cheap Ways To Read BooksRead Now
I don't know about you but I love reading. I don't have as much time for it as I would like these days unfortunately but there was a time that I had a very large library. Think 'wall of books' in an apartment living room and we'd be in the ballpark. I no longer have all of those books as most were donated to libraries along the way as I moved from place to place over the years (moving is expensive and they charge by weight, yikes!). Buying books can get expensive though so now when I find time to read I typically will look for a cheaper option than purchasing at the bookstore. Often this means electronic reading but if you're a die hard physical books person there are options for you as well.
The most obvious first choice is your local library. Most libraries have online catalogs so you can see- and reserve- your book choices before even heading there but I love looking around at all there is to offer so will often take a gander at the new books area and themed areas when I arrive to pick up my books. With my commute there are also some audio books going into my bag 9 times out of 10 if we're being real. An audio book can be anywhere from 6 hours to 20 or more depending on the book which is longer than when I read them in my comfy clothes on a rainy Saturday like today... but for someone who commutes 3-4 hours minimum per work day that's not long at all and can provide a much needed change of pace to my morning routine. Getting a library card is easy... just bring in a bill in your name showing you are living in the city and most will accept that as enough. Some do have specific requests on type and number of 'proofs' though so check the website before you head over.
Once you're signed up at your library and are checking out with a nice stack of books, audiobooks, CDs (and maybe the latest Marvel or DC DVD) ask them if they partner with online libraries, inter-loan libraries or other services that can expand your reading potential. The library in my current city is tiny but they have an online library access so I'm able to download books to read or listen directly to my phone or other device for the checkout period. The last library system I was in had multiple locations as well as subscriptions to magazines, journals, e-libraries and more. You never know what they have until you ask. Take advantage of your library system!
Another service I have used over the years are book newsletters. Services like Pixel of Ink, eReaderIQ and Buck Books have regularly published lists of free and cheap books on Amazon. Pixel of Ink in particular sends you an email daily with a new list... you won't be interested in all of them but finding one a week would be pretty simple to do perusing these lists.
If you enjoy reading the classics (or need to read one for a class) check out Project Gutenberg. According to their website, they have over 57,000 free eBooks including epub books and kindle books. They have just about every classic I can think of for free on their website. You won't find the newest thriller here though as they focus on older works that have expired copywrites. Other options that is similiar is ReadPrint.
More an audio book fan... have you checked iTunes? Not just the paid book downloads (they have those too) you can buy through Apple- or Google, Amazon, and etc. but there are tons of free books out there that have been published as podcasts. The same goes for YouTube! Sometimes an author will post an older audio book on their website and through YouTube in preparation for their newest book release around the corner. I can't even tell you how many hours of content I have gotten through podcasted and streamed audio books... at least 100 in the last couple years alone. If you prefer your books in audio but don't really want to mess with YouTube and podcasting head over to LibraVox for other options.
Need children's books? Done! The International Children's Library and Read have you covered. I used to love listening to books with my Kinders. If that's a love of yours as well (teacher or family) I highly suggest checking out Storyline Online. You'll find quality videos of awesome children's books read by some of your favorite actors there.
There are literally hundreds of places to find free print and audio books on today's internet from the ones I discussed above to individual publisher's and author websites, browsing the web, trading with friends, and of course... thrift and discount stores. Even your library will occasionally have a book sale with books for under a buck. The one that I was taking a language lesson at a few weeks back has a perpetual sale of items that are being cycled out of the library as well as donated items from patrons. That sale was 25-50 for paperbacks and $1-2 for hardcovers... hard to beat those prices!
Until next time,
I'm sorry this is so late. It's been a little bit crazy since I got back home. I'll keep this update short and sweet and make up for it with a vlog next week about the final results after the full two weeks which included the second half of the week once I returned home.
Simply put, this Keto Reset was a success. I had the energy to do as much as I needed most of the days I was traveling- without dips in energy or crankiness. And I am not a morning person, ask anyone. Haha, a little caffeine first thing in the morning to wake up and I was good to go all day. That alone would have been enough of a reason to do this reset but I also lost a nice chunk of weight!
To recap, I started this reset at 233.2 lbs. Here's what the scale said the morning after I came home...
That's 7.6 pounds in 12 days, including traveling which is notorious for causing a bit of gain. Two days later it looked like this... a total of 9 pounds in two weeks. I did my official "two week keto reset weigh in" the next day and fluxuated down a tiny bit more.
As a side note... my scale's biometric numbers (fat, bone, muscle, etc.) are not accurate. It's a known issue with these scales. The weights are right but I ignore the other stats as they can vary minute to minute pretty drastically if I re-weigh.
I left my tape measure at home accidentally (I'll get this blogging on the road thing down for next time guys) so I don't have exact measurements but I did go down essentially a whole pants size. I took two kinds of jeans with me and the first didn't return. They were ruined by pigment but even if they hadn't been they were falling off by my last day there! The other type of jeans I took with me were able to go on and off without unbuttoning but didn't actually fall off my hips so they were my mainstay those last few days and the ones I have in my closet now.
I'll be talking about the pro's and con's of traveling keto in the vlog so check it out next week!
Until next time,
I'm always looking for new money making apps to review for the blog. Typically I will work for about a month before deciding if I want to keep them on the list of things I will personally use going forward and I never post a review until I've come to that conclusion. I don't want to jump the gun and give you guys bad advice. If you read my monthly financial updates you will have seen that a new logo showed up for August- Poshmark. I tried out Poshmark for the blog and actually sold a couple of items! Woot!
Poshmark is a clothing resale business with two parts- "Closet" sales and "Boutique" sales. I want to start by saying that I did not start a boutique so cannot give a thorough review of how much you could make by doing so but I think that you can get an idea of the work that would go into running a boutique on the platform to see if you may be interested from my review. I didn't start a boutique for a couple of reasons:
When I stumbled across Poshmark it was around 10:00 PM and I should have been sleeping (oh, insomnia... how are you old friend?) but of course I was scrolling through Facebook. I jumped up and decided right then that my closet needed some thinning. I've been losing weight so have plenty of items in my closet that are too big, on the edge of being the wrong size or were pulled out from the last time I was this size and aren't my current style. I found ten items that looked like they could go up on the site based on the items I had seen advertised. Posting was very easy: simply take photos of your items, fill in the descriptor boxes and you're done. I didn't have awesome lighting, mannequins, or an awesome camera but I thought that would make a great test for if the average- non store owner- could make any money reselling items on Poshmark.
I sold a couple of within the first week... and nothing after that. To be fair, I did have to put my closet on vacation hold for a couple of weeks while I was traveling for work so that may have lowered the number of people who looked at my item, Since I wasn't selling as much as I wanted to get rid of I did a lot of research while I was gone both on Poshmark and the internet in general. Here's what I learned during the six weeks, from personal experience and research:
This dress sold for $28. I earned $22.40 from the sale from Poshmark.
Now into the process of getting a sale. Here is what the app looks like. Once you post an item for sale you will begin "sharing" it to your followers and in "Parties" for people to find and contact you about. Followers aren't just people you know. There are requirements for boutique and ambassadors to meet for number of shares, follows and etc. so you will get an initial influx of followers right away and many will share your items. Sharing someone else's items may inspire them to return the favor as well. Putting a discount on your closet for multiple item discounts may also garner views and increase purchases. The main way of getting attention to your items though is simply sharing them yourself. I was in the app several times a day sharing my items as well as joining parties to share my items too. Long term this isn't something I want to be doing so, while it will stay on my phone and I will continue with a once daily share, I won't be making Poshmark into a large side hustle for myself.
Once you make a sale you simply print off the prepaid label (the buyer has purchased shipping of your item through Poshmark), wrap the item in pretty paper for a better review, possibly add a quick note to the the buyer and send it off through priority mail. The most money you will spend here is in the wrapping and note as everything else is paid for. Make sure that you use a priority mail box so that it doesn't get sent back or you have to pay for a box. Priority shipping boxes are available for free at the US Post Office.
TheYou have three days to ship your items but I suggest you do it as soon as possible so that you get a higher review. Nobody wants to wait longer than they have to for something they bought- myself included!
You do not receive your part of the purchase price until it has been received and accepted by the buyer. They have three days from receipt to do this or Poshmark will automatically accept it for them. This gives the buyer a change to inspect your item(s) for damage and ensure it matches the description. When they accept it they will give you a 5 star review that will let other buyers know that you are a good seller to buy from and funds will be available within about 24 hours for you to either purchase clothing from the app or request a direct deposit to your bank. Sneaky sneaky Poshmark, you know that we like clothes so you let us use our earnings in app... nope, not me! I had them send me the money so that it could be used towards my financial goals. The whole process from purchase to money in my bank took a little over a week due to shipping and waiting for the buyer to accept the items.
I wouldn't use this method if you need money tomorrow but if you have clothes that you need to get rid of and don't mind giving it a little time and effort its certainly worth a try!
If you want to try out Poshmark please use my referral code "songbirdheather". You and I will both get $5 to spend in the app when you do. It's not cash in our pockets but it is free money towards already discounted quality items. Yes please! They have cute stuff on there (after all, its people like you and me on there selling) and I keep finding stuff I want, I know you will too. Until next time, ciao!
The number one question when looking to start a side hustle... how much can I make at it? Is it worth my time? I can't answer the second question for you (though I will suggest that it is worth the time it is a personal decision) I can give you the information to make the decision by answering the first.
So, here's the quick breakdown of how pay works for VIPKid Teachers:
Here's the first couple of items that are in the exchange store currently. The biggest one that I currently see available is a $50.00 e-gift card to Amazon.
And a couple rows from the Hutong to show you some of the tasks and announcements (you will sometimes get tokens just for reading). You also get tokens for teaching classes which is nice.
OK, so excluding tokens, referrals, new sign ups and extra bonus incentives here's a potential month, working 15 hours per week. All of that is extra gravy on the pay check and I don't budget with it personally.
Base Pay: $8.00 * 120 classes (30 classes/week * 4 weeks) = $960.00
Participation: $1.00 * 120 classes = $120.00
Finished Classes: $1.00 * 120 classes = $120.00
That's a nice paycheck for 15 hours per week! Once you put some of it aside for taxes you've got over $1,000. I see this as a great side hustle opportunity personally, what do you think?
My referral code is: HEATH0116
September has officially arrived so it's time for a financial journey update. In this series you join me in tracking my side hustle income, debt payoff, notable savings moments (or downfalls) and more. August was a really good month on this journey as I was able to pay off over $1,000 in debt!
First up... side hustle income. For tracking purposes, only income that hits my accounts during the month is counted here rather than income earned that I will receive at a later time.
Total Side Hustle Income Banked In August: