Friday, December 21, 2012

Mystery Shopping

So I've started mystery shopping as a way to supplement our household budget and have an excuse to eat out every few weeks.

Mystery shoppers are independent contractors who will purchase goods or use services and then report back on their experiences to mystery shopping companies, who in turn have contracts with the stores and restaurants themselves. They are frequently reimbursed for their expenses and paid a fee as well for performing the job.

Some of my favorite jobs so far have been having food delivered to my house, checking gift card displays, and going to fast casual restaurants on somebody else's dime. It's been a way to earn some extra money and have fun.

Many mystery shopping companies also look for auditors, and I have done several audits for different firms. They might include checking a store's inventory or taking pictures of an office space and asking questions of the person who works there.

If this sounds interesting, a few caveats:
Never answer an e-mail from a company that you haven't contacted first.
Never accept any job that sounds like a scam from a Nigerian prince (you'd be surprised).
Before you sign up with a company, check with the BBB.
Another place to find out about worthwhile (and poor) companies is the forum over at
Find out whether the website is secure and encrypted before sending any sensitive information.
To avoid giving out your SSN, you can sign up to get an Employee Identification Number from the IRS.
Pay attention to your actual wage per hour. It can be quite low, especially if you read or type slowly.

It can be difficult to make a lot of money mystery shopping, but you can certainly have some fun and get a little extra cash if you want. As with everything in your life, make sure that the time you spend is reaping a worthwhile investment.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why the Lord Ordained Prayer

Josh and I have been studying what it means to pray with real intent of heart, and I came across this AWESOME conference talk from none other than Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

By the way, I've discovered that praying with real intent of heart means at least two things: first, having the intent to do our best, second, having faith that the Lord will follow through. Interesting, no? I never thought about the second part as being as important as being willing to do our part to achieve what we desire, like not being a jerk while praying to forgive someone who hurt us.

Anyway, here's the link for anybody who could use a boost this morning.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Priesthood Session

I haven't done well with the last few sessions of General Conference. I always have the idea that somehow I'll get around to reading all of the conference talks. Josh reads one every day when he sits down at his desk to work, but I don't have a desk. So I need to be more creative. Instead, while Guy is eating breakfast every morning, my plan is to read a conference talk while he reads his scriptures. Brethren, We Have Work To Do was given by Elder Christofferson, and the first few paragraphs shook me up a bit. Go take a look and read them, and then come back. I am the primary caregiver for my children; while I want them to learn as much as they can from their father and the other men in their lives, they have primarily female teachers and leaders. I need to support my boys becoming men. And that means teaching them the value of work. I am more than happy to do all the work for my kids, because it means no whining, no unacceptable executions, and my kids get to play--which they love. I'm becoming more convinced that I'm a clown for thinking that's anything other than a lousy idea. So please tell me how you teach your children the value of work. Because I'm thinking that emptying the silverware from the dishwasher just isn't enough real work for a 6-year-old.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A message of hope

Every person is different and has a different contribution to make. No one is destined to fail.

No one is destined to fail

 “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth:
but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

“Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye
have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are
forgiven you.”


I am a daughter of God. He loves me. He wants me to succeed. I am capable of changing. I am strong. I am building strong and healthy relationships.