My name is Ashley and I am the writer and owner of Closet of Free Samples
. I am a stay at home wife to a wonderful husband and the proud mother of two children. I was born & raised in New Orleans, LA, and as the saying goes Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
(or Let the good times roll)!
I’m a huge animal lover and particularly have a special place in my heart for cats. I used to volunteer with a local animal rescue in my spare time. Eventually, that volunteering led to me being owned by 14 cats. In total, we have 11 cats, 1 dog, and 1 turtle. Quite the variety, but all are special in their own way. While they are a handful and keep me busy, they are spoiled rotten and wouldn't change a thing... except that they would pick up their own mess. LOL!
As far as my website goes, I have always had a love for freebies, scoring awesome deals, giving my opinion about products, and the computer – which is how I got to this point of having a website. I was learning the computer since Kindergarten and kept on with it as I got older. What started out as a little hobby for me to keep track of freebies I personally signed up for (for whatever odd reason) became something I enjoyed doing regularly thus my adventure began sharing more than freebies, but awesome deal finds!
Because I enjoy what I do I am very dedicated to bringing you the best free samples, bargains and my honest opinions on products I try. I am very open to trying all sorts of new products so don’t be afraid to contact me and ask! I even started making a “products I would like to review” list on Amazon so if you have anything similar to these then I’m most definitely interested! You can see my list here: https://amzn.to/2lhIYxN
Of course, those are just a few of the things I discovered on Amazon and very open, as I said!
I love making connections and new friends so please don’t hesitate to stop by and say hi! Whenever a fan comments on how they found a great deal or how my site has helped them in whatever type of way - it really warms my heart and means a lot. So don't feel 'cheesy' doing it. Trust me. It makes my day!
I do not get paid for my site, but I do have to pay to maintain it – web hosting, domain name, etc. For this reason, I do participate in affiliate programs which you may come across often including some guest posting from paid advertisers. Please participate if you are able to with those to help me keep this site going. Many are free offers anyway that just involve an email sign up or printing a coupon. Either way, it’s an excellent way for you to help support us while still getting something out of it! Even commenting and spreading the word just to show your support is great!
How did I get started with this blog?
Back in high school, I was always fascinated with getting free stuff and didn’t think it was really possible to truly get
anything for free. Of course, I soon discovered companies online (back in the day of dial-up and slow internet connections – Windows 95) was offering free samples of their products. I was excited to get a free sticker at the very least!
This inspired me to begin my own blog to share the freebies I have found… kind of just something to do since I was bored. I wanted a way to keep up with the freebie offers I was signing up for simply as a hobby – so I made a blog posting each thing I signed up for hoping to keep track of what I received, how many freebies I had gotten, etc. I started to keep up regularly and found myself fixing up my blog (now a website) and going from there slowly gaining more readers – something I wasn’t even trying to do when I started.
I would spend hours trying to make it look “just right” and much more dedication than necessary if it was indeed a site just for me. Then I discovered other sites were doing product reviews. I began looking into that and began getting reviews & giveaways to add to the mix. I have been posting and sharing them ever since! Growing from only freebies to sharing deals and product reviews as well.
How do you manage to balance running a household, homeschool, and maintain Closet of Free Samples?
Part of me wants to say it’s easy, but the other part also knows I put in a lot of hours on the website. Originally, I was working full time and blogging. Heck, at one point I was working full time, going to school full time, and blogging. Now, I blog full time between regular household chores and homeschooling both my children. When I first started homeschooling I
tried the whole scheduling thing – turns out things don’t go as planned. So I sort of “messily” planned things and it took a lot of trial and error before finding a routine that worked for us.
For homeschooling, we sort of homeschool at our own pace with no time limits. I pick out the worksheets/workbook/activities/etc that will be completed for the next school day each night and we take it from there. Schoolwork completed during the day is checked that night and the next days' work is planned out.
For household chores (laundry, litter boxes, etc), I actually have a planner and make a note on the day it needs to get done. I spread these tasks out rather than doing them all at one time so it’s a lot less work. Having a list in front of me is what drives me to complete it because I hate to leave things unfinished. Worst case, weekends are when I do the heavy cleaning.
All the blogging is done in between homeschooling, chores, volunteering, appointments, and everyday life. If I feel too tired or just not in the mood – I’ve learned to just let it go and take some rest. I absolutely love what I do, but like all things, sometimes you just need to take a break and have a breather.
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- Helen, GA –September 2012