Friday, September 30, 2011

Our New Cat

Contributed by Milford Woods

My wife and I have been talking about getting a second cat ever since our first one, Shanks, went missing a few months back. We both think it was a coyote but who knows – we got a alarm and talked to the neighbors just in case there was a cat thief roaming around the neighborhood. We’ve started to get over the devastation of losing a pet but now we’re in the mood for a new one. We really miss the way Shanks would roll around on our bed with us and sleep in front of the fire so anyway, we’ve got a friend whose cat just had a litter so I’m thinking of getting two for my wife to surprise her. I know that two is going to be even more work than one but it’s just what we need to get us out of the funk of losing Shanks! And we always said he should have a brother anyway so this way we won’t have to worry about that with the new cat.

*This is a paid post.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweeping 101: My First Month

I began my adventures in sweepstaking and entering giveaways just about a month ago. I've spent hours hitting the submit button and entering comments for entries. It became almost like an addiction at first and I would end up spending most of my day (and nights) entering these giveaways online. What do I have to show for these hours spent? Nada. Well, I did win some protein bars on a blog giveaway my first week, but 3 weeks later and I haven't even received them yet. *sigh*

I've read stories from various sweepstakers. Stories of how they were born lucky and have been winning things since elementary school. I've won a few things throughout my life, but only a few things. I've heard from people who have won trips to beautiful places, and money, money, money! Who doesn't love money!?! I think the excitement is starting to wear off now though since I've had such little luck. Now it seems more like a time waster than anything else. Am I ready to give up completely yet, though? Nope.

A few things I've learned along my first month of sweeping. I've entered both blog giveaways, and sweepstakes from large companies. The large company giveaways are usually pretty easy. If you enable the autofill settings in our browser to help save some time by filling in your basic information for you.

Blog giveaways can be either easy or difficult depending on the blogger running the giveaway. First of all, I love Rafflecopter!! It makes entering giveaways soo much easier, especially when the blogger wants you to follow this and tweet that for entries. It's so much simpler to be able to go right down the line and get your entries instead of having to go back and forth between the list of ways to gain entries, and back to the bottom of the blog to leave another comment. It's really a pain if the blog has 200+ other comments that you have to keep scrolling through. I think every one who hosts giveaways should use rafflecopter! If you go to the website, it says you need an invitation to join, but they sent me a personal invitation like a day or two after I submitted my email. Along with saving entrant's time, it also saves the blogger time by randomly picking a winner.

Another tip for bloggers hosting giveaways, if you are going to ask people to follow you via GFC or some other connection, make sure that the sign up widget is easily visible!! I get really pissed when I can't find the widget anywhere!!

I guess I don't really have a lot of tips or advice. If the prize is something you really want, enter as many times as you can. The more entries, the better chance you have of winning. IF/when I do win anything, I will post it here for all to see, along with samples I receive in the mail.

I have made a separate Facebook page for entering giveaways. Most giveaways, especially blog giveaways ask you to like their page or share something on your FB page. I don't want to annoy my family and friends with these, so I have a separate page. If anyone would like to friend me for lots of giveaway information, feel free to add me.

Finding Sweepstakes and Giveaways.

First of all, a good way to start is to friend me on my facebook page so you will be notified about various giveaways and sweepstakes. Once you begin entering blog giveaways, you will mostly likely "like" the hosting blog for an entry, then you will get updates from them announcing new giveaways. Eventually, your list will grow bigger and bigger and you will have all kinds of giveaways to choose from!

Facebook Apps. There are two facebook apps that I really love. One is called Sweepstakes. Do a search for the word "Sweepstakes" on FB and you will find it. It has a huge list of new sweepstakes for you to pick and choose from. They literally have pages upon pages of sweepstakes and giveaways listed. Some of these sweepstakes offer extra entries by getting people to enter under your name. You can share the giveaway on your own FB page and whoever signs up from your link, gets you an extra entry!

Hooplasoft Giveaways is another awesome app on FB. You can make your own giveaway (if you are having one on  your blog..etc.,) and it will be promoted to everyone who uses this app. It has a "Giveaway Stumbler" which shows you 6 giveaways and you choose the one you want to enter. You enter via FB and it only takes a minute. When you are done entering a giveaway, hit the stumbler button and you will be given 6 more to choose from. It also shows you stats on what giveaways you entered, which ones you lost, and if you won any. I love this app.! I could stay on it all day, it's very addicting. Many of the giveaways also have "referral winners". This means, if you post the giveaway on your page or invite people from your page to enter, and they win, you also win the same prize!  This app. is also great for promoting your own giveaway.

That's all I have for now. I will post more updates/tips as I learn them. Feel free to leave a comment and add your own!

Join in the fun and tell me what you have won?

My question is: Are people really born lucky? I guess I'm lucky; bad luck is luck, right??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Winner of our My Memories Scrapbooking Software Is...

The winner of our My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software is #40 Beth McCall!! An email has been sent to her with the code so that she can download the software that she has won! Congratulations, Beth!!!

Thanks so much to Liz at My Memories for supplying us with this software for review and giveaway! Also, thank YOU for entering the giveaway. I hope to do lots more giveaways on this blog in the future.

Don't forget, if you didn't win the software, you can use this unique COUPON code for $20 worth of My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Savings! You will receive $10 off of the software price, PLUS another $10 coupon that you can use towards purchasing other downloads for use with your software! Just go to My Memories Software Suite and before downloading, enter the code into the promo code box: STMMMS19110 . 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elance for Freelancers

I believe I mentioned Elance awhile ago, but never had a chance to really look into them. Since Demand Studios has been extremely slow the last few months, I finally had the chance to work with elance a little bit.

Here's how it works: You sign up and make your profile. You have the choice of going with a free membership or purchasing a membership. The free membership comes with 10 free connects a month. Paid memberships come with more depending on which one you purchase. You can then search through literally hundreds of job offers for various freelancing jobs including ghost writing, blog post writing, article writing, web design, sales, admin support, and legal work. Each job is posted for a specific amount of time, sometimes two weeks, sometimes longer. You can "apply" to the job by submitting a proposal. A proposal includes information about yourself, the skills that you have pertaining to the job listing, and some samples of your work. You will also tell them what pay you are willing to take for the work. Each time you submit a proposal, you use one of your "connects", so if you go with the free membership, you can only apply for 10 jobs. I'm trying out the free membership to see if it would be worth purchasing more connects. The job poster then chooses from the applications who they think would be the best for the job.

Choose the jobs wisely. My advice is to only submit a proposal to a job listing that you truly have the experience and skills to do. You may also want to give them your lowest price possible on the project, because many of the job posters will only look to find the cheapest price for the work. I saw some postings only offering  .50 for a 300 word article. My time is more valuable than that, sorry.

I've already gotten one job offer. I haven't started yet, but I will update here with how it is going. To ensure your payment, you can submit a timesheet via elance so that you won't get ripped off for the services you have given. I could see this having some great potential as long as you find the right job matches for you!

Sign up with elance here.

Anyone else have experience working with elance? Good or bad?

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Memories Scrapbooking Software Review and Giveaway

How many of you love to scrapbook? How many of you like to scrapbook but don't have a lot of time to put into making your scrapbooks? I'm in the second category. I love to scrapbook, but it takes a lot of time to cut and paste everything together, decorate it, crop photos...etc. I've heard of digital scrapbooking but never tried it until now.

I've recently tried the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking software and love it so far! You can pick a pre-made background template for your page or you can design your own. Putting photos into the pages is as easy as double clicking, selecting the photo, and cropping it. You can add fancy text to your pages and even add embellishments. They have a nice choice of embellishments, everything from ribbons and flowers, to buttons and other graphics. You can also purchase additional pages and embellishments to use for a small charge. It's so simple to do, I did these two pages in just a few minutes.

Once you have your pages completed, you can either print them out to put into a scrapbook album or you can share them online.

YOU can have a chance to win the My Memories digital scrapbooking software for free (a $39.97 value)! 

This contest will begin September 2 and end September 16.

Mandatory Entry: Leave me a comment telling me how often you scrapbook!

If you don't want to take your chances with the giveway and are itching to try out digital scrapbooking, you can use my special code to get $10 off your purchase of the My Memories software. When you purchase the software, you will also receive a $10 coupon that can be used towards downloads, so that's a total of $20 savings! All you have to do is go to this link: My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software and enter this code: STMMMS19110 into the promo code box and you will get your discounts!