The Importance of Being Reese: July 2013

5 Freebie Sites You Probably Didn't Know About

Top freebie sitesMy momma always used to say, nothing comes for free. Well, I hate to break it to her, but she was wrong--sorta. In the past few years I've discovered a few hidden gems on the web; freebie sites.These sites are filled with hundreds of freebies ranging from free admissions to theme parks, zoo's and movies, to free full sized samples of some of the hottest products out there.

I've complied a list of my favorites for this post. These sites contain everything from free ebooks to free birthday treats for the whole family. Be sure to sign up way in advance for these sites as it can take 4-6 weeks to receive your freebies by snail mail.

1. FreeSamples.org: This freebie site is updated every 24hrs. It's just brimming over with tons of free goodies.

2. FreeBirthdayTreats.com: Got a birthday coming up? Then be sure to check out this awesome site that's dedicated to providing tons of freebies for the birthday person. Free ice cream, a $10 power card at Dave and Busters, the list goes on. Be sure to pre-register for all of these sites so that you'll have plenty of time to rack up the birthday goodies.

3. JustFreeStuff.com: This site is one of the best around. Everything is broken down into organized categories, which makes it extremely easy to find whatever it is that you're looking for. While you're perusing the site looking for sweet deals, be sure to enter into a few contests.

4. Walmart: Walmart is actually what kick started my love for freebies. I happened to be on the site and stumbled on their freebie page--and I've been hooked ever since.

5. Obooko: Voted Best Free Ebook Site in 2009 by the Readers Choice, Obooko has an extensive collection of free ebooks. From Romance and Drama to Business and Crafting, this site has something for EVERYONE. In fact I found a great one on Social Bookmarking that I'm planning on reading this summer.

What creative ways to you use to save big bucks? Do you know of any other great freebie sites? Feel free to leave a link in the comment section below and I'll pass the word on.




Charlotte Electric Run 2013



Last year when I did The Color Run, I left feeling as though no run would ever top the electrifying energy I felt with every step of that amazing 3.1 mile journey. For 30 minutes I surrounded by beautiful strangers all coated in every color imaginable. For 30 minutes it wasn't about race, gender, or sexual orientation. For 30 minutes we put aside all of our differences and just ran.

Friday night more than 20,000 people once again converged on the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Electric Run. I was one of them.  As an added bonus: James and Jasmine came along for the ride. We stood amongst the crowd getting lost in the pulsating energy.


As I looked around at all the happy faces and creative costumes, I was able to tune out the rest of the world and just be. For a few hours I didn't think about the terrible state our country is in. I didn't think about racial tension or rising student debt, instead I reflected upon how beautiful it was that we had all come out to celebrate. It was pretty spectacular.


The energy was amazing. Even as we stood in line for over an hour, all around us people danced, laughing and taking"selfies" to capture the memories. Luckily, I met up with some awesome ladies from the studio I "allegedly" work out at. We managed to get a couple group shots before we were separated by the crowd. Side note: hats off to our photographer, James, who managed to catch a perfect shot of Jazz and I in all of our photobombing glory. That one is definitely for the books ;)


This was certainly one of the most "unique" 5ks I've ever done. I mean, it's not everyday you look up mid-run and see a guy wearing a horses head and running gear. True story.

There were about six stations throughout the course set up with colorful lights, music and decorations. I only wish we would have taken more photos along our journey so that we could have shared them with you. But really with something like this, photo's definitely won't do it justice. This is something you have to actually see to believe.

And poor Jasmine, she wanted so badly to get out of the stroller and run next to us, but there were just too many people. I could hardly imagine trying to keep up with a toddler in that crowd. That is literally the stuff my nightmares are made of. Once we hit some of the "Electric" stations, she was too busy looking at all the flashing lights to pay attention to the fact she was in the stroller though. Yes, my daughter the bass fish. I won't complain, it works out very well for us.

Crazy crowd aside, I can pretty much say with 99.9% certainty that I'll be signing up to run again next year. I only hope to see you there as well. I promise, you won't regret it. This one here was definitely one for the books.



Goodbye Passionfruit Ads, Hello Adproval

So soon after the demise of Google Reader, the blogosphere is once again getting ready to be thrown into turmoil. Yesterday, Passionfruit Ads announced they will be moving to a new subscription based model for access to the site. What does this mean? Starting September 1st, you will now have to pay a $9 monthly fee to sell, swap and maintain your ads via Passionfruit. Not cool Passionfruit. Not cool.

Now for the larger blogs that sell hundreds/thousands of dollars a month in advertising, this isn't big deal. However, to the smaller blogs who simply use Passionfruit to swap ads for no profit until they've built a customer base willing to pay, this presents a huge problem.

I'm sure you bigger bloggers can remember what it was like to be a baby blogger trying to navigate the big bad blogosphere. If not, please allow me to refresh your memory. Swapping ads is the most effective way to build up your readership and lay the foundation for actually selling ads for profit. Without swaps, we lose our ability to connect/network with other bloggers. The likelihood of making money exponentially decreases. After all, who wants to purchase an ad without a test drive first?

So what are some of your options?

1. You can bite the bullet and pay $50 bucks for the yearly unlimited service that they are offering their pre-existing customers.
2. You can return to self-hosting your own ads. Which can get quite tedious, but will be much more cost-effective for the smaller blogs who don't make big bucks in advertising.
3. Adproval.

As you can see I'm a big fan of option number three. Once I recovered from the news of Passionfruit I set out on a mission to find some alternatives. And then one of my blogging buddies mentioned she'd heard of a site called Adproval. So off I went. As I checked out the site I began to feel hopeful that perhaps I could continue swapping/selling ads.


Basically, this service is the hotter cousin of Passionfruit. You just enter in your blog information, set up your ad spots, install your code so that it displays your ad options, enter in your payment information and viola, instant success.

There are quite a few added bonuses with Adproval though. For one, you can customize your ad store to match your layout. If you want pink text with a blue background, no problemo. Secondly, you get paid instantly. Score! (Note: you will have to sign up with Amazon Business, but it's super easy. It took me 3.5 minutes.)



Now, I'm not saying I hate Passionfruit, but at the same time, I just can't afford to continue to work with them. Like I said, if I were making the big bucks in advertising, I could understand the cost, but there's no point in using this service if I'm using all my profit in paying for this service. So Goodbye Passionfruit, it was a pleasure doing business with you, and Hello Adproval, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;)

Questions, comments, concerns? Be sure to leave a comment below.

Note: to all my current sponsors/swaps. I will be making the switch to Adproval once your sponsorship with me expires in August. 


The City In Which I Live


Home by Phil Phillips on Grooveshark

It sometimes seems so alive. The sound of cars honking, children laughing and mothers sighing in content. It bustles with movement. Like a well old machine that grunts and squeaks in rotation; it is never still nor silent. I've grown so accustomed to the sounds of the city, that they've become my nightly lullaby. Gently rocking me to sleep and singing a sweet tune that is so familiar. This is my city.

The morning sunrise bounces off the windows of the skyscrapers above, sparkling and bathing the streets below in a silver light. The people on the sidewalks scamper about on their daily commute-- lost in their own thoughts.

There are so many faces. Beautiful strangers; some of whom I know. There's the old man who sits on the corner of E. Trade and Tryon, belting out old Motown classics. His deep baritone voice beckoning you closer and asking you to stay a little while longer.

Then two blocks away sits a lonely man, telling anyone who will listen about his glory days in the military. He'll tell you about his friends that he lost along the way. He'll tell you about the love of his life. He'll tell you such magnificent tales.

On the corner of S. Tryon  the smell of fresh croissants wafts from Amelies. There the college kids gather to study and discuss their future plans over their oversized mugs of coffee. Every semester, there's a whole new crop of faces. Some unsure of where they belong. Months later, they will have found their place, and will look on as the new kids step through the doors, searching for their place to belong.

I am them and they are me. This is the city in which I live.


Friday's Letter

Dear readers: Thank you guys for sticking with me. Last Saturday the blogosphere exploded into an ugliness I have't seen since Obama won reelection. Despite my effort in writing what I thought was a beautiful and thought provoking post, some of that ugliness even seeped into my own blog.

The truth is, I'm a little bit different than most of you. At least on the outside. I have a different perspective on things, and I have experienced this country differently than most of you have.

But I am also your friend. I am your neighbor. I am the lady that goes out of my way to hold the door open for the elderly couple, and brings food to her neighbors when they are too sick to get out of bed. And at times, I feel compelled to speak out when something needs to be said. This is not done to be spiteful or make you feel bad, this is done to remind you that certain things do happen. I have a voice and was blessed with the ability to make good use of it.

At the end of the day, we may look differently. We may live on different sides of the neighborhood. But this is my home too. And when it's my time to go and I'm reflecting on my time spent on this beautiful planet, I want images like the one above to be the ones I remember.


Linking up with :

Free Redbox Rental Codes 2013

Free, Redbox, Movies, Rentals, Promotions, Freebies, DVD
Summer is the perfect time to spend curled up with your family indulging in a few free rentals from Redbox. With Blockbuster releases such as: Oz The Great and Powerful, The Host, Safe Haven and The Call, you can  be sure there is something for the whole family.

Before heading out to pick out your movies, check out this list of free rental codes. Be careful though, you can only use these once per credit card, so be sure to mark off the list as you go to keep track of which codes you've already used. Also, please note, all DVD's have to be returned by 9pm the following day so as not to incur any additional charges.

Now, go enjoy your free rentals!




Newest Codes
PROWL
DVDNIGHT

Older Codes
BREAKROOM
REDBOX
RENTONME
DVDONME

Specific Location Codes
WALGREENS (can only be used at Walgreens)
DVDATWAG (can only be used at Walgreens)
DVDKROG (can only be used at Kroger)
DVDATKROGER (can only be used at Kroger)

Unkown Expiration Dates
DVDONUS
MOVIETIME
DWTFREE4


Note: If you find a code that no longer works, leave a comment below so I can remove it from the list.



The Shape of A Mother

love your body
Birth is hard on a woman's body. I remember before I gave birth to Jasmine, I was under the impression that two weeks later I would be down to my pre-pregnancy size. I thought I would go right back to wearing the same outfits I wore the year prior. It wasn't until months--nearly a year after giving birth, that my body "returned to normal." And that was only because I spent hours upon hours in front of the TV sweating it out and yelling obscenities at my workout frenemy Jillian Michael's.

Even still, I have to take it day by day. I realize that I can no longer veg out on the couch all day eating Krispy Kreme without suffering the consequences. And that's fine. I'm no longer that person. I want to set a good example for my daughter.

While I was in my darkest moments, depressed about my body, I happened to stumble upon a site that became my greatest motivator--The Shape of A Mother. This site is filled with stories from everyday women going through the same thing most mothers deal with shortly after birth; coming to term with their new bodies. The most amazing thing about this site is that it showcases the beauty of motherhood. There, the women bare their souls and their bodies.



I began immersing myself in their stories. Women who had multiple births. Women who had c-sections. Women who were struggling to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies. They were just like me. It was such a comfort during that period in my life. Even today, I still go back and read some of those amazing stories. I encourage women, the same way I was encouraged. That's the thing about motherhood, we may choose to raise our children differently, we may even choose to give birth differently, but we are all bound by one common trait; our ability to give life. And that makes us pretty spectacular.

I hope that if you're having a hard time with your body, you'll take the time to check out The Shape of a Mother. It is a great resource. I hope that it will comfort you in your time of need. It has certainly helped my reclaim the love for body that I thought I had lost for good.

How did you deal with finding the beauty with your post-pregnancy bodies? Do you have any tips for women who my be suffering from negative body image? As always, sound off in the comment section below.



Photo cred) The Daily Oracle 


My Thoughts on the Zimmerman Verdict

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On the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin left his house not knowing that in a few short hours he would die gasping for air as precious blood spilled from his body and soaked into the soil beneath him. He left his house not knowing that it would be the last time he would jokingly roll his eyes at his father or embrace his mother in a hug. He left his house not knowing that simply walking through his neighborhood would be suspicious enough to warrant a confrontation that would ultimately end in his death.

When news surrounding the death of Travyon first began circulating, the public outcry was deafening. Thousands of people wearing black hoodies flooded the streets. Facebook became an online battle ground. For every "Justice for Trayvon" post that appeared, several others quickly followed expressing their satisfaction that another black gang banger had gotten what he deserved. Public figures came forward pleading for people to keep calm and wait as justice was served. And so we did.

For over a year I've avoided discussing the death of Trayvon Martin on social media. I've watched as the media chipped away at Trayvons character. I've watched as his image transformed from one of an innocent young boy who was racially profiled, to a black thug who was a known troublemaker.

To many, the events of February 26th were quickly forgotten. They continued on with their lives, completely unaware of the trembling effects felt throughout the entire African American community. We were shaken to our core--again. We once again had to sit our young sons down and remind them that the same rules did not apply to them. We had to remind them to be vigilant and to not draw unnecessary attention to themselves. We had to remind them how to act when approached by the cops--keep their hands in the open, remain calm, and above all else, do not resist.

But now we were faced with a different problem. How could we explain to our sons that walking through the streets of their own neighborhood was now considered punishable by death?

The only two people on this earth who know the events that unfolded on the night of February 26, 2012 are George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Today, only one of those voices can be heard. The other voice is muffled by 6 feet of dirt and a tombstone that reads "Rest my son. Job well done."

In my eyes, justice will never be served. No amount of weeping and protesting will bring back Trayvon Martin. He was someone's baby.

He could have been mine.

He could have been your's.



When Nature Attacks

Today started off like any other day. However, as the saying goes "a lot can change in an instant." You may be scratching your head as you look at the photo below. Don't worry, I promise, this will all make sense by the time you get to the end of this story.

This morning I woke up excited at the prospect of my daily run. The weather here in North Carolina has been terrible lately. Three straight weeks of rain. Typically right before, or during my runs. A conspiracy I tell you.

Although it was cloudy and I had this nagging feeling that this was the type of day to just  spend in bed, I was determined to be productive and enjoy a little bit of mother nature. Little did I know, she had other plans for me...The first attack happened as I ran across my favorite little bridge. I was halfway across when I heard what I thought to be a hissing noise. I slowed down a bit and looked to the side. Imagine my horror when I saw not one, but TWO rattlesnakes.  Needless to say the trek back to the car was potentially one of the fastest two mile runs I've ever done.

The second attack happened as I was in the car leaving said run and going to the store to pick up something for James. I was at a busy intersection the first time I heard it. A faint buzzing sound. I brushed it off thinking it was coming from outside the car. A few miles up the road, I realized I was heading the wrong way, so I turned into a neighborhood to pull a u-turn. As I glanced over my shoulder, my heart dropped. There sitting on the window of my car, was the largest bug I've ever seen in my life. Seriously guys, it looked like it had walked straight out of a Stephen King novel.

I'm almost certain that the people three streets over heard my terrified shrieks. I jerked the car to the side of the street, narrowly missing the hideous lawn gnome sitting next to the mailbox. Yes, even in my panicked state it was hard to miss that ugly thing.

I think I dove out of the car before it even came to a complete stop. In my mind I was Angelina Jolie, performing a graceful tuck and roll maneuver from the vehicle--not a hair out of place. In reality I'm sure I looked a bit like a sweaty drunken crazy lady in too much pink.

Luckily, I managed to snag my umbrella as I tumbled out of the vehicle. Gripping it so tight it left little indents on my hand. I can only imagine how insane I must have looked to the people driving by in cars. A sweaty girl brandishing an umbrella over her head yelling obscenities at seemingly nothing. Ironically enough, just two days earlier, I had fervently told James that I was not a "girlie girl." So far, today had proved otherwise.

After another few minutes of Battle Royal with the Mutant Bug, I finally got the upper hand and managed to flick him into the air (either that or he finally grew tired of my supersonic shrieks and flew off, but for the purpose of maintaining a tiny shred of my dignity, I'm going with the first one).

Shakily, I climbed back into the car and drove home with the window up. By the time I arrived home, I had decided that maybe nature wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Because apparently mother nature was determined to ensure that the trifecta was complete, as I walked up to the house, I noticed two yellow eyes glaring at me from the walkway leading to my door. (I'm feel I should caveat this by saying, I love cats. My cat Maxie was the most spoiled animal on the face of the earth--until Jasmine came along --sorry Max). There sitting in front of my door, was the creepiest black cat I've ever seen.

Don't get me wrong, I love the neighborhood cats--from a distance. I'm almost certain one, if not all of those buggers have rabies. And this guy, he didn't want to budge. In my most soothing voice I tried to shoo him away. Instead he laid down on the ground and began licking his paws. Brat.

After a few more minutes of failed attempts to get him away from my door, I decided enough was enough. I stomped off to the car and returned with my "special" umbrella. I'm not sure if it was the murderous glint in my eyes, or the umbrella I was menacingly holding in my hand, but the cat decided the wisest course of action included him removing himself from the equation before it got ugly. Smart guy. He darted under the bushes. I don't speech cat, but I'm almost certain that hiss he let out as he disappeared into the thick foliage was not nice.

So here I sit, from the safety of my bed typing this post.  I suppose if there is a moral to this story, it's if you wake up feeling as if it's one of those days that you should just stay in bed--do it. Mother Nature is a mean mother... well you know the rest ;)





Friday Funnies

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to sit down and scour the internet in search of some funnies to share with you all. Today, I've decided to forgo my Jillian Michael's workout just to do this post for you all. I know, I know, it was a tough decision, but ultimately I decided you guys are more important ;) You're welcome.

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Hope you enjoyed the giggles.

Linking up with...
Friday Funnies



4th of July Weekend Recap

July 4th came and went with a bang. Quite literally. The three of us decided to head down to my parents place to celebrate the festivities with my family, who are always excited when presented with an opportunity to spoil their already spoiled angelic little granddaughter. As an added bonus this time my grandmother and great-grandmother joined us. It was a beautiful thing to sit back and watch as my daughter played with her great-great-grandmother. What a blessing it is to still have her in our lives.

We kicked off the weekend the only way we know how--gorging ourselves on hamburgers, hotdogs and my mother's amazing tuna salad. Those 3 lbs I spent the past week sweating off have unfortunately returned...with a few more friends. Not cool. But still, very much worth it.

On Saturday afternoon, we packed up a few vehicles and headed to the lake with the boat in tow. This was Jasmine's first time being on the open water so you can imagine how overly protective I was. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the moment I stepped aboard scenes from Jaws, Titanic and Lake Placid began replaying in my head.
I've now decided that Jasmine is going to learn to swim this summer. Maybe then I'll be able to loosen the reigns a bit. Possibly. Hopefully. I wouldn't hold my breath.

By the way, these gorgeous people in the photos are my parents and older sister. Yes dad, I just called you gorgeous. I'll be sending this post to all your coworkers too, just fyi. You're welcome *grins evilly*


Sunday morning James spoiled us with his famous scratch-made biscuits. Seriously, he knows how to make the most delicious biscuits you will ever hope to have. (Did you hear that Hardee's)? I'm thinking of giving away a batch for my next giveaway...kidding. I don't mind giving away gift certificates and cold hard cash, but I refuse to share my biscuits. Sorry guys, but those biscuits are amazing.

So how was your 4th weekend? Please feel free to link up your 4th recaps in the comment section below. I'd love to see what you guys did to celebrate Independence Day.




10 Fabulous Family Vacation Destinations--Guest Post

Next up we have the fabulous Erica, from A Girl Travels, who is actually a good friend of mine. Once upon a time, both of our parents were in the Army, and were stationed in this tiny little town in Germany called Giessen. This tiny little town contained a tiny little school called Giessen American High School, where we both graduated from. I may or may not have photographic evidence of our more "youthful days." However, I prefer not to show you guys how fashion challenged I was (Erica, however had/has awesome fashion sense). Instead I'm going to let Erica give the the scoop on some of the most family friendly vacation destinations. 

I should also probably mention that Erica is a amazing travel blogger, and has been blogging far longer than I so she is a great resource for travel tips and tricks. If you've got any questions, head on over to her blog or give her a tweet at @agirltravels.

Please give her a warm welcome. And don't forget, today is the last day to enter into the $50 Shabby Apple Giveaway. The raffelcopter widget will be pasted at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!


Hey! It’s me :) AGT! Also known as Erica. I’m a service member in the U.S Coast Guard , a travel blogger, foodie, and fashionista currently living and loving life in NYC.! I love exploring new cities, taking road-trips, traveling, and meeting new people.

Today, I'll be posting about 10 amazing family travel destinations. I hope to inspire you to try something new, to go on an adventure, and to rediscover your own community. I hope you'll join me!


1.Atlanta, Georgia - The Georgia Aquarium is hands down one of THE BEST aquariums in the US and nearby you can also visit the CNN Center, The Coca-Cola Factory to sample Coca-Cola products from around the world, Millennium Park, and The Atlanta Zoo.

   

2. Atlantis Resort and Casino - water-slides, water-parks, elaborate kiddie pools, beaches, aquariums, and river raft system - no wonder its located on Paradise Island!



3. Takilma, Oregon - Out ‘n’ About Treesort - One thing kids love to do is climb and a treehouse is on every kids wish-list at some point in time, and now you can make their dream come true! The is a genuine 4-star Treesort that caters to both timid and adventurous locals and travelers. They are family oriented and have everything from zip-lines, Tarzan Swings, and places to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

 4. Orlando, Florida - Disney is the always a great ‘go to’ family vacation. Let’s face it, Disney gets it right every time and they make sure that the whole family enjoys their experience. But if you’ve already scratched Disney World off of your list then it’s time to explore SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove!




 5. Yellow Stone National Park - It's America's very first national park and has the highest concentration of geysers in the world! Pack of the family and head out for a camping and site-seeing adventure!

 6. Hershey, PA - The town of Hershey has restaurants, outlet shopping, and of course Hershey Park. Looking into a weekend getaway? This is a great place to visit and if you feel like splurging a bit stay at the amazing Hersey Hotel. For military families every year the day before the park opens to the public in April you can visit the park for free with your family, and friends.


7. Disney Cruise - One of my favorite ways to travel is via cruise line because it truly is the ultimate vacation. By the time you set sail the trip is paid for and all you have to do is show up and have a great time. Now that Disney has joined the cruise industry I’ve heard nothing but good things from friends that tried out their cruise line.

 8. Oahu, Hawaii - experience the newly opened Aulani Resort! Its the only Disney resort not affiliated with a theme park and the grounds are gorgeous! Enjoy water play areas, pools, a spas for tweens, a spa for adults, a kids club, 2 signature restaurants, and Disney characters.

 9. New York City - Harbor Tours, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the giant Toys R Us in location in Time Square, dance on the piano and get lost in FAO Schwarz, ride the carousel in Brooklyn, explore the Transit Museum in Brooklyn and get in the antique train cars, visit the Sony Tech Museum, check out the space station on the USS Intrepid, and the list goes on and on and on.

10. Nairobi Keynya- Got a passport? Feeling adventurous? Add this trip to your list - Visit Nairobi, Kenya to explore Africa, go on a family safari, and stay at the only hotel where you can eat breakfast with a Giraffe!

Comments? Questions? Comment below or hit me up at @agirltravels. 
Until next time XO AGT!


Is It Possible to be A Mommy and Get A Degree?

These days, getting a degree is even more convenient than ever. With the rise of popular online Universities and better technology that practically delivers the classroom right to your living room,  going to college with a child is much easier to do today then it was 20-30 years ago. 

When I first found out Jasmine was on her way, shocked and petrified doesn't quite describe my reaction to the news. All future hopes of my education were dashed. It was if suddenly someone put my degree on a string, tied it to a car, and took off with me chasing after it. And no matter how close I got, they would just speed up faster; until my dreams were a tiny dot in the horizon.

No matter how positive I appeared, I honestly never thought I would make it this far. For every class I got an A in, for every obstacle James and I overcame, three more issues would suddenly sprout up. We had to meticulously plan our schedules so that our classes didn't overlap and someone would always be with Jasmine, because we sure couldn't afford daycare. Heck, most of the time we could barely afford our books.

Still it's getting done. And for James, it is done. I'm so proud to say that last month, Jasmine and I (along with 10,000 other people) watched as he walked across that stage and got his degree. To many, he was just another student being handed a piece of paper, but for us, that piece of paper has a mighty long story attached to it.

So when it comes to having a small child and going to school, is it possible? Yes, yes and a resounding yes! Make no mistake, it will be difficult. You will get stressed. You will cry and want to stop, but you CAN do it. Believe in yourself. I already believe in you.

I do however, have a bit of advice:

While I will never turn my nose up at online colleges (in fact one of my best friends got her degree online) I fully encourage those who can actually physically attend college to do so. Why? I've done both. The majority of my Associates Degree was done online, whereas the all of my classes for my Bachelor's Degree were taken in class. The difference between the amount of information I learned and retained is incredible.

Going to school online takes away most of the stress of exams. It's a bit easier and more relaxed and even though professors have methods of ensuring that you actually prepare for your exam (i.e. imposing time limits) there's no sure way to make sure the students aren't leisurely flipping though their textbook and looking up the answers while taking the exam. Whearas physically being in college forces you to study, study, study, because once you walk into that class and that professor passes out the exam, you can't google your way into an A. You have to rely solely on your ability to study the information in a way that you can easily recall.

So while getting your degree online may seem like the simple solution, going to school for 4+ years won't do you a bit of good if you can't remember a darn thing you studied. Going to school online does afford a bit more convenience than physically attending, but like I said, if you have the opportunity to go, do it!

Interested in going to college, here's a few resources for the Mamma's (and Daddie's) who are thinking about going back to school:

1. How to Talk to Your Spouse About Finishing Your Degree
2. How to Handle Childcare When Going Back to College
3. How to Pay for College as an Adult
4. Online Colleges vs. Traditional Colleges

Good luck to you in your journey. If you have any questions, advice or experiences that you'd like to share, feel free to comment in the comment section below.

Until next time,