Thursday, December 22, 2011

Does Your Cube Need Some Pimpin'?

This post brought to you by Contest Factory. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you work in a dingy uninteresting cubicle every day? Is it dark and messy with old furniture and outdated technology?  Do you dread going to work every day and facing it?  Do you think your cubicle is the most pathetic cubicle ever? Prove it!

Enter the Pimp My Cube Contest and you could win one of these three prize packages:

  • New high end computer system
  • New Desk, Chair and Decorations
  • New Entertainment Package with high end stereo, espresso machine etc.

All you have to do is register and upload a video, something like this one, explaining what's so horrible about your cubicle or office and why the Contest Factory people should come Pimp your Cube:

Be creative - the funnier the video or the better the story, the better your chances are to win.  You'll also want to get all your friends and family (and random strangers on the street) to vote for your video and get involved, because you get points for registering, voting, commenting and inviting others to register for the contest.  The grand prize winner will be selected by Contest Factory judges based on various criteria including number of votes received, best (worst?) video and most compelling story.

This contest runs through 1/31/12 at 12pm, so if your cube needs some pimpin' be sure to visit the Pimp My Cube site and enter this contest - and send all your friends to vote.  Good Luck!!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Create Your Own Snowflakes

Need a Snow Day? 

This is so much fun!  Remember folding and cutting paper snowflakes when you were a kid?  Well, this is sort of like that - except you do it on your computer.  I found this site years ago and had lots of fun with it - and then forgot all about it until today when they were talking about it being the middle of December, and we don't have any snow.  Why the one thing led to the other, I don't know - but it did.

Anyway, if you'd like to create some of your own 'paper' snowflakes to share on the page and share with your friends, visit the Popular Front Snowday page

Don't blame me if you get addicted...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

30% Off Priceless Protection with Norton

This post brought to you by Norton Small Business by Symantec. All opinions are 100% mine.


One of the hazards of spending time online is malware (malicious software on your computer), or getting a virus on your computer.  Nothing makes your heart sink like suddenly having big problems with your computer, and there's nothing you can do to fix it - except wipe the hard drive and start all over.  I've had to do that a couple times, and I hated it.  I still haven't figured out why these people do it.  I mean, if they'd just spend a fraction of the energy and talent they have on something constructive instead of creating viruses and trouble, think what they could accomplish!

Regardless of what I think, internet viruses are going to continue to be a problem, and we are all going to have to protect ourselves.  One of my favorite anti-virus products is Norton.  I've tried other ones - because I got a good deal - but those other ones are the ones that let the stupid viruses through!  There are several different Norton products to choose from.  Two that just launched this September are the Norton 360 and the Norton Internet Security 2012.  You can check out the Norton website to find out which product will best suit your needs.  Products are available with licenses for 1 PC to 10 PCs.  We usually get the ones for 3 PCs, but we have enough computers in the house that I'm thinking we could use some of the Norton Small Business by Symantec products that cover at least 5 PCs.

Speaking of small business, while anti-virus Internet protection is important for individuals, think of how much more important it is for businesses.  Yes, I know our photos and other personal files are important to all of us, but for businesses it's all the little details that make the business run - personnel records, customer invoices, product orders, etc.  A malicious attack on a business's computers can really cost!  Better to be protected in the first place than have to scramble to fix the problems after the fact.

That protection doesn't have to cost a lot because you can get 30% off Norton Small Business Products now, making it the perfect time to get protected - before it's too late.  Be sure to check out the Norton website to see which product(s) would be most beneficial to you and your needs and let me know what you think.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We watched the CMT Artists of the Year show tonight, and this was my favorite part.  Joe Walsh and Brad Paisley - Life's Been Good to Me/Camouflage:

So good!  I'm loving that guitar playing!  It has me wondering - has there been or is there going to be a Brad Paisley/Joe Walsh Crossroads?  Time to search, I guess!

What is there about Brad Paisley?  Besides his obvious talent, of course!  He can do fun songs like this one.  He can do serious, meaningful songs, and he can play that guitar!

The other artists honored were Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, and Taylor Swift.  I'm really not impressed with Taylor, but I do like the other ones.  I just can't decide if I like Kenny or Brad best, but for tonight I'm going to have to go with Brad.

How about you?  Who do you like?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Facebook Tags - Now More Fun

A friend of mine posted this on facebook today, so I just had to try it.  I love being able to tag my facebook friends in status updates and comments.  It's a great way to call their attention to something.  I also love that we no longer have to use their full names when we tag them - because that's just not natural sometimes - most of the time, actually.

And now, thanks to a bit of extra code, we can tag our friends using any words at all!  It won't be something you'll do every day, but once in a while, just for fun - why not?

Here are the basic steps:
  • Copy and past this code into your status update or comment - @@[0:[NUMBER-ID:0:TEXT]]
  • Find the Numerical ID for the person you want to tag.  For some friends it will be at the end of the url on their profile page -  Copy that number.
  • If your friend has a custom url, like me, with a username at the end instead of a number - - all you have to do is replace the 'www' with 'graph' - - When you load that page, the id number will be at the top.  Copy that number.
  • Paste the User ID into the code - replace the part that says 'NUMBER-ID' - @@[0:[100000496127817:0:TEXT]]
  • Decide how you want to tag your friend.  Replace the word 'TEXT' with the words you want to use.  For instance, this is for my husband - @@[0:[100000496127817:0:my favorite husband ever]]

  • Compose your message around the code - Sitting here watching TV with @@[0:[100000496127817:0:my favorite husband ever]]. Aren't we exciting?
  • Post your status update!

Have fun with it!

For better directions with pictures, check out this post.   It says it's a post for tagging photos, but they really mean status updates and comments.  I'm not sure if it's possible to do this with photos or not.  I know you can tag anyone/anything in photos using whatever words you want, but I don't know if it's possible to make them links.   Anybody know?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Watch Magazine - FREE Digital Subscription

For a limited time you can subscribe to the digital version of the CBS magazine Watch! - for FREE.  Get it and read it wherever you are, at home or on the go - on your iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac or Android.

Free subscriptions are limited to the first 50,000 subscribers, and subscriptions are valid for three years.  So, if you like entertainment, be sure to sign up now before this offer is gone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Win 500,000 Delta SkyMiles

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TravelPro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Win 500,000 Delta SkyMiles® with Travelpro®

What if you had the ability to go almost anywhere in the world?  Europe, Asia, South America, all around the U.S. - where would you go?  It's fun to think about, isn't it?  I'm not sure where I'd go, but there are a lot of places I haven't visited, so I could have some fun planning!  And I'm definitely entering this contest, because if I win, I'll actually be able to make those dreams a reality.  I'm sure you'll want to enter, too.

The winner of the TravelPro sweepstakes will win 500,000 miles from the Delta SkyMiles program and two Travelpro® Rollaboard® bags!  Travelpro is known for its durability and great styling, and it's the luggage choice of flight crews and frequent travelers.  It's built tough to go the distance - even those 500,000 miles!  Won't it be fun to test that claim?

Win 500,000 Delta SkyMiles® with Travelpro®

All you have to do is go to and enter!  You must be 21 years old and a legal resident of the United States to enter.  You can enter once per day per email address through 11:59 p.m. E.S.T. on Dec 2, 2011.  Good luck!  If I don't win, I hope it's one of you!!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Free Word Counter

My usual word count tool didn't want to load for me tonight, so I went searching for another one.  I found this super-simple word counter.  Just paste your text into the box, and it automatically counts words and characters.  It's really handy when you're writing a blog post and need to know how many words you've used.  And, it's free.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pinterest - So Addictive!

I signed up for Pinterest a while back, but I hadn't really spent too much time there -until last night.  Oh my!  This site is so addictive!!

What is Pinterest?  It's a site that makes it easy for you to collect, save, and share all your interests from across the web.  You organize all your beautiful finds from across the internet on 'pinboards' - kinda like virtual bulletin boards that you pin photos and recipes and ideas to.  You can have as many pinboards as you want and pin as many things to them as you want.  People use Pinterest to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, organize their favorite recipes, collect craft ideas, and so much more.  You can save gift lists, wish lists, inspirational words, fashion ideas, menu ideas, whatever you want.

The addictive part is when you start looking at other people's pins.  Browse pins and pinboards created by other people, discover new things, get inspiration, re-pin the ones you like, and it goes on and on and on.  It's really hard to stop!  You can follow your friends to see what they pin as well as finding new friends who share your interests.

I'm loving it.  I'm collecting recipes I want to try, handy household tips, craft ideas that I might actually try one of these days or at least have one of my friends make for me, household decoration ideas, and all kinds of other things. Check out my boards.  It's one of the easiest ways ever to save everything that catches my eye and all the stuff I want to try or look at more closely later.  I added the button to my toolbar so I can quickly pin from anywhere.  What's great about it is that it's very visual - you end up with a whole board/page of pictures - NOT just a list of words and links - and it's easy to see what caught your eye in the first place.

Pinterest is free to join, but you will have to request an invite first.  Trust me, you want to!
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Please Support The Edwin Booth Company Presents...

My son is in a play, and they are trying to raise funds to hopefully take the play to the American College Theatre Festival in January or to support any students from their department at that festival. Please consider donating. Even the smallest donation will help to extend the educational and artistic horizons of UW-Whitewater students.  If you can't donate, please spread the word to all your theatre and arts-loving friends.  Thanks!

More information:

“The Edwin Booth Company Presents…” provides a unique opportunity for the students in University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Theatre/Dance Department like nothing that this department has done before during the academic season. It is an original script and the students will be presenting the world premiere performance opening on November 29, 2011. The next step in this educational experience is to take our show on the road and share this accomplishment with the theatre community. This is where you can help!

All donations go to the UW-Whitewater Theatre/Dance Department to start a fund that will help students to extend their education to a national level. This fund will allow students to take their art and their talent on the road to share with the theatre community outside of Whitewater.

This is your opportunity to support a lot of talented young people.  Anyone who donates at least $20 can receive an autographed program from the world premier of this play.  This could be a real collector's item because someday this play will be really big, and these kids will be famous!  You can thank me later.

Or, just donate a dollar or two or five - every little bit helps, and it all adds up.  If we could get enough people to just donate a dollar, they could reach their goal and more.  Think about it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Music Honoring our Veterans

Amazon is offering a free MP3 album now through Veterans Day.  It includes 12 tracks performed by musical ensembles from all branches of our military. 

  1. To The Colors - US Navy Band     
  2. Star Spangled Banner (The National Anthem) - US Coast Guard Band     
  3. Man Behind the Gun - US Marine Band 
  4. American Pageant (America, Yankee Doodle, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Dixie, America the Beautiful, Columbia the Gem of the Ocean) - US Air Force Band of Flight
  5. Garry Owen - US Army Strings 
  6. When Johnny Comes Marching Home - US Air Force Airmen Of Note     
  7. Here's to America - US Army Band
  8. Eternal Father, Strong to Save (The U.S. Navy Hymn) - US Navy and Sea Chanters Chorus
  9. Lord, Guard and Guide (The U.S. Air Force Hymn) - US Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants
  10. Holding the Flag for America - US Air Force Band, Steve Ward     
  11. Retreat - US Marine Band
  12. Taps (with Orchestration) - US Marine Band
Get Veterans Day Honor at Amazon now. It's free at least through Veterans Day, which is Friday November 11.

Monday, October 31, 2011

FX Sneak Peek: Untitled Jersey City Project

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Untitled Jersey City Project for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. (1 page)

I've been watching some of the Untitled Jersey City Project videos on YouTube.  There are eight short episodes, and they're all fragments of a larger story.  What I find is that I have no real idea about what is going on, but I still want to watch.  Is that crazy?  I want to figure out what's going on!   The site says this much is clear from the first eight episodes:

The story is set amidst the fast-developing Jersey City waterfront, just across the river from Manhattan. A shining new city is being built on the edge of this gritty town. But while the glass office towers and condos are sleek and new, the rules of the game haven't changed one bit.
Everyone here has something to gain – money, fame, power. Or they can lose big. Or they could end up dead.

I'm not sure I got all that, but that's probably because I haven't watched all of the episodes, and the ones I did watch were out of order.  The whole thing is an experiment in the development of an entertainment concept,  a work-in-progress television drama - so I guess that's the whole point.  They want to see what people think, see if they watch and if they want more, before going ahead with a full-fledged show.  Or maybe they've already decided there will be a show, and this is a good way to drum up interest and make any changes or tweaks that might be needed.  I can't really tell, but if and when the show goes on television, it will be on FX.  Viewers can even submit a title for the show and then vote to choose the best one (later when they've chosen the top 5).

There's a lot more information about the characters and the basic storyline on the Untitled Jersey City Project site.  Check out the Sneak Peek video and see what you think.  Does this look like a show you'd watch?  What would you call it?

I'm going to go watch the episodes in order and see if I can get up to speed...

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun with Google Gravity

Just found this on Crazy Working Mom.

Try this - it'll be fun!
  1. Go to Google, and type 'Google Gravity'
  2. Click on the 1st result that appears (i.e. Google Gravity)
  3. Wait 2 seconds.  Something cool will happen!
  4. Play with it for a while
  5. Then type any word in the Google search bar and press Enter
  6. Wait and see.  Something even cooler will happen. Awesome!

    If you liked it, copy and share with all your friends. (by
I thought it was fun - go give it a try!

Love this Version!

Image representing YouVersion as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseAbout a year ago, one of my friends mentioned on Facebook that she had started an online Bible reading plan together with a couple other friends.  Being nosy, or always looking for a good site for Bible reading, I asked her what site they were using.  That's how I found YouVersion, and I really love it.  They have many, many, many different Bible versions for reading, and it's so handy when I'm online and want to look up a scripture.  You can even use the Parallel option to compare two versions at once.

There are lots of reading plans to choose from - over 150.  Choose a plan, and YouVersion sets it up for you and gives you the daily readings - and keeps track of your progress.  I just started a Chronological plan to read through the entire Bible in chronological order, and my plan is 1.4% complete!  I hope I won't need to do it too often, but YouVersion also has an option to 'Catch Me Up!' so if you get behind (or read ahead) it will reset the calendar to make you current.  This is good for me because I tend to get discouraged when I get behind a few days and despair of ever catching up - so this way I can just catch up and continue with the plan.  I think it sets people up for success.

YouVersion is also available as a Mobile App for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows phone, and practically everything else - meaning you can take your Bible reading with you everywhere you go!  I love it.  I've got it on my tablet, and it makes the daily Bible reading so nice, and it keeps track of my progress as I go.  I also love that the app makes it super easy to share verses to Facebook!  and take notes, and highlight meaningful verses.  All the Bible versions that are available on the web are available in the app if you're connected to the Internet or your service provider, and many of them are available for download, meaning you can read the ones you download literally anytime, anyplace, even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet.  This Sunday and Monday, two versions that aren't usually available for download will be - the NIV and NLT.  They will only be available from 12am Central time on Sunday October 30 through 11:59pm on Monday October 31.  The NLT is one of my favorite versions, so I'm planning to download that one.  Usually I'm using my tablet here or somewhere that I'm connected to WiFi, but you never know, and I like knowing I will always have it available.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying everything YouVersion has to offer, and I'm sure there are even more features that I haven't discovered yet.  And did I mention that it's all FREE!
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Monday, October 24, 2011

My Predictions - Dancing with the Stars

They probably won't go home in this order because, let's face it, Chaz Bono should have gone home ages ago - maybe not first because the guy with the strange name (something about world peace) was just as bad if not worse. Watching Chaz try to dance all these weeks, it's hard to believe anyone could by worse, but...

Just for the fun of it, here's my list - DWTS couples in the order they should go home:
Next to go home - Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer

Chaz cannot dance and has absolutely NO potential. Go home already!

and then - Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

I love Hope, but she just doesn't have what it takes to be a dancer,
or if she does, she's kept it inside too long.

David Arquette & Kym Johnson

David tries really hard, but he's just kinda awkward,
and funny will only get you so far on a show like this.
Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus

Nancy has done a lot better than I expected, but I just don't think she has
what it takes to make it to the end, especially with the remaining competition.
The final three should be:
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke 
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff
My husband loves Cheryl, and she has a special talent for bringing out the best in her partners.  Rob has come a long way, but he's still kind of awkward - what did they say?  On the edge of becoming a man, but still kind of a boy.  It will come down to Ricki and J.R. - and I'm voting for J.R.  Ricki has been doing really well, and she works so hard.  Derek is another one who has a real talent for pulling the best out of his partners, and he's an amazing choreographer, too.  So it's going to be close, but I think J.R. just has that special something that will nab him the Mirror Ball Trophy.  He has a natural grace and elegance, and you can just tell he's having a good time when he's out there dancing.  There's a joy that comes shining through.

Am I right?  If you watch Dancing with the Stars, who do you think will go home next?  Do you think J.R. will win?  Be sure to check back later to see how close I got to how it really happens.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cutest Little Mouse I've Seen

This mouse is so cute!  One of my friends has one, and he was so excited to show it to me.  It's the ultimate laptop mouse.  He really hates using the touchpad.  I use mine all the time, and the way I sit on the couch with the laptop, I couldn't use a regular mouse because there's nothing next to my computer but air and a drop to the floor.  This mouse would work though because it's so small you can use it right on top of your laptop - right next to the touchpad. 

The USB receiver stores inside the mouse, keeping it all together when you're not using it, and the really cool part?  When the USB is plugged into the computer, the mouse connects to it magnetically and charges the battery!  No more constantly replacing those mouse batteries - this one re-charges in under an hour.

It comes with a convenient travel pouch, and even though I don't need a mouse, I'm tempted to get one - just because it's so little and cute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Announces the $79 Kindle

If you've been thinking about getting a Kindle but just haven't done it, it looks like procrastination is a good thing in this case.  Amazon has just announced a whole new family of Kindle readers - new, improved, and cheaper too.  You can now get the Kindle with Special Offers for only $79. ($109 without the special offers)

Also available, the Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers for $99. Never having used a Kindle, I didn't realize they didn't already have touch screens - but now they do, and they're cheaper than before.

For about $200, you can get the new Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi that takes you beyond reading to movies, apps, games, web browsing, email and more - all with a gorgeous full-color touchscreen.

The new Kindles will be available in November, but you can pre-order yours now to reserve your place in line - orders are prioritized on a first come, first serve basis.  Which one will you order?  I added that Kindle Fire to my wishlist, just in case you're thinking of getting me something....

*affiliate links

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No Contracts and No Surprises with Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you're looking for a cell phone, you might want to check out Straight Talk.  Cell phone providers are famous for requiring customers to sign contracts every time they get new phones or change their plans.  Straight Talk doesn't do that.  There are NO contracts.  There are NO credit checks, NO activation fees, and no surprises.

Straight Talk provides nationwide coverage at an affordable price.  You could even cut your cell phone bill in half by switching.  Amazing, huh?  I don't know how much you're paying for your plan, but it's probably more than $45/month.  I know mine is.  For $45/month with Straight Talk, you can get Unlimited calls, text, picture messaging, and web.  That's what I mean by no surprises - no matter how many times you Call a friend, send a text or picture message, or surf the web, you are only going to pay $45.  Even 411 is included - at no extra cost.  If you (or your husband) has ever called 411 to get a phone number, you know how fast those charges can add up!  I'd rather use that money to go see a movie or something fun.  If you don't need unlimited, they also have some options that are going to save you even more.

Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung, so you don't have to worry about getting a sub-standard phone just because you're saving money on the plan.  Sure, you can get reconditioned phones for about $10 - great for people who are hard on their phones or as a first phone for your kids - but you can also get smart phones with  Android on Straight Talk with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth®.  And, since there's no contract, if you fall  Hook, line and sinker in love with a new phone, you can go ahead and upgrade without that new 2-year commitment the other providers would require.

Straight Talk customers sound like a satisfied group of people.  They're probably wondering why the rest of us actually have cell phone contracts.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rolling in the Deep - The Piano Guys

Have you heard of these guys?  I hadn't until a friend posted this on facebook (for another friend who plays the cello) - and WOW!  Seriously.  So. Good.

Watch this video and then go check out their others on YouTube.

Absolutely amazing.  Be sure to watch this one.  Really - don't miss it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Google Analytics - Don't Forget the Code

I've had Google Analytics installed on my blogs for quite a while now.  It's fun and interesting to see how many visitors I have, where they come from, what keywords they searched to find me, etc.  But, when I changed the design on this blog - way back in April - I forgot to re-install the code.  I had Google Analytics set up to email me if my traffic started dropping, but then I just ignored those emails.  I had posted something about Charlie Sheen which seemed fairly popular, and I just figured it had run its course.  Yeah, it doesn't do any good to have good tools if you don't use them!

I stopped getting the emails, and I forgot about it - until I changed the design on my other blog and started getting those emails about that blog.  For some reason, even though I had copied the code from my old template to the new one, it wasn't working - so I logged into Google Analytics and started looking for the code I needed.  That's when I realized that it hadn't been recording anything for this blog since April!

It took a bit for me to find the code, so I thought I'd share where to find your code on Google Analytics.  First of all, log into your Analytics account.  If you don't have one, you can sign up for free and start adding your own sites.  If you've already got an account and added sites, you'll see them all listed.  Next to the site you want the tracking code for, click edit - you'll find it on the far right side.  (click the image to get a better view)

On the next page- top, right side - you'll see a link that says Check Status.  Click that.  There you will find the code you need to add to your site.  You will need to edit the html of your site (under template in Blogger) and paste the code in right before the </head> tag.  Save the template, and the code should start tracking your visitors and receiving data.  As you can see (if you actually clicked that image above(, now that I've re-installed my Google Analytics tracking code, my traffic has increased 90,800%!  Well, anyway, it went from ZERO (that Google Analytics knew of) to several visitors a day - and once again I can see where they came from, how they got here, and how long they stayed.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too Much Good Stuff Giveaway

This post brought to you by ampm. All opinions are 100% mine.

I won!  I played the Instant Win game on the ampm facbook page, and I won a corn dog.Photobucket  I've never had a corn dog from ampm, but from everything I'm reading they're pretty good.  I just need to find out whether or not I'll actually be able to eat it or if I'll have to give it away to someone.  I checked their website and can't find out whether they're all beef or not.  And then there's the fact that I'd have to take a road trip to redeem my winnings, since there's no ampm close to me. (insert sad face here) because they look like really nice convenience stores with all kinds of snacks, beverages and hot food prepared on-site.  It actually looks like the perfect stop on a road trip.

But anyway, here's the deal - right now you can enter the ampm Too Much Good Stuff giveaway for your chance to win instant prizes.  They're giving away 15,000 bottles of Pepsi Max and 10,000 corn dogs.  Entering is easy - simply 'like' their facebook page, click on the Too Much Good Stuff Giveaway link on the left side, and enter your email address to get started.  Then you get to spin the virtual slot machine to see if you win.   If all three reels match - you win! Whether you win an instant prize or not, you're still entered into the sweepstakes for some cool prizes like Apple iPod Nanos, Apple iPod Touches, Apple iPads or an Apple MacBook Air and the grand prize trip to Las Vegas.  I wouldn't mind going back to Vegas - especially if someone else is paying for it.  How about you?  And I'd take an iPod Touch... *crossing my fingers*

Must be 18 or older to play and 21 or older to win the trip to Vegas, and you can play once per day.  So what are you waiting for?  This giveaway ends 8/31/11, and they've got some Good Stuff to give away.  Go see if you can claim your share.Advertisement

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tools for Better Blogging

Google AnalyticsImage by Colin ZHU via FlickrI really need to check out this list of 15 Must-Have Tools for Better Blogging. It's a list of tools, sites, and plug-ins that 'most bloggers have never heard of' and are supposed to help increase the engagement of your blog readers.

Quickly glancing through it, I recognize and use a few of these, Zemanta and Google Analytics to name a couple.  There are several that I've not heard of, and I really want to check them out.

How many of them have you heard of or do you use?
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Manage Your Phone Calls with Google Voice

I was talking to a friend this weekend, and she mentioned that she had purchased a cheap cell phone and some prepaid minutes because she's trying to sell something and didn't want to give out her 'real' phone number.  Not a bad idea really, and I think those cheap no contract phones can be a good thing, as you can tell from the previous couple posts.  But now she doesn't need the phone any more, but she bought minutes that need to be used or they'll expire - therefore not really being a good deal at all.

I mentioned that she should have (could have?) just signed up for Google Voice and given that number out instead.  The calls could have come into her regular phone, because Google Voice lets you forward calls to any or all of your regular phones.  Just link them with your Google Voice number and decide which phones should ring when a call comes in to your Google Voice number.  And, of course, these settings can be changed at any time.

Of course, Google Voice has all kinds other features like voicemail, text messaging, call screening, call blocking, caller ID, the ability to record custom greetings for different callers or groups of callers, and even the ability to embed a widget in a web page so all callers have to do is click to call you.  For free.  And that's just the beginning, really.  Google Voice offers so much more than I've even begun to mention.

So maybe I was wrong.  She shouldn't have gotten a Google Voice number to give out instead of her 'real' number.  She should get a Google Voice number and start using it for everything.  And me?  I've had a Google Voice number for a couple years - and I really, really need to start using it!

Any big Google Voice users out there?  What do you think?  How do you use it?

Straight Talk about Cell Phone Plans

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Here's another option for saving money on cell phones.  Straight Talk offers no contract plans that can help cut your cell phone costs way down.  They have an  “All You Need Plan” that meets even the needs of heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data.  Or you can get their  Unlimited Monthly service for only $45 which includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web.  Imagine getting everything you need for only $45 per month - with no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks.  Even 411 is included free - no extra fees.  I'm really liking the sound of that.  You can even call a friend in another country with their flexible prepaid calling service that gives you low international rates.

I would really love to try this, but it almost sounds like it's too good to be true.  Great prices but no reception, right? No - they promise great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity.  Even the Fantasy Fishing guys are hook, line and sinker in love with Straight Talk, and you know they need their phones to get a signal out in the middle of nowhere - or at least in the middle of a huge body of water.  Here are what some other Straight Talk customers have to say about the reliability of Straight Talk:

Straight Talk also offers phones all the way from reconditioned phones with camera, mp3 player, mobile web access, and blue-tooth capability for about $10 - perfect for kids or people who are really hard on their phones, because it's really not that expensive to replace the phone.  They also have amazing smart phones; touch screen phones, and app capable phones with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth, so you can have whatever you want - just no big bills and no contracts.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get a Great Deal with Net10 Unlimited

This post brought to you by Net10. All opinions are 100% mine.

We've been talking about upgrading our cell phone plan.  Currently we have 1200 anytime minutes and unlimited texting and messaging, but we don't have a data plan.  To upgrade our three lines - to 1500 anytime minutes, unlimited messaging and 5GB data per line - we'd have to pay $180/month.  And that doesn't include all the extra fees that always show up on the cell phone bill.  It's really hard to justify that.

That's why I'm thinking this NET10 Unlimited Plan would be great.  The plan includes nationwide coverage and unlimited talk, text, and data, for $50 a month.  Unlimited.  I didn't realize until I watched this video where they help a man see the Light about how much money he could be saving every year that the $50/month is all you ever have to pay.  There are no extra fees or charges, and 411 is included!  I always get frustrated when my husband calls 411 and those extra charges show up on our bill.  And those government fees and taxes?  Frustrating.  I love the idea of knowing exactly how much the cell phone bill is going to be every month. 

There are no contracts to sign, and you can switch between plans anytime with no penalties or fees, and you can get phones from trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung, anywhere from simple phones for under $15 to smart phones for less than $60.  This sounds like a smart way to upgrade the plan.

Here are 10 Good Reasons to switch to NET10:

I have a hard time arguing with the price - unlimited talk, text and web for $50 a month with no contracts or hidden fees.  Unlimited everything for all three of our phones - $150.  Period.  You know how I like to save money!  It almost sounds too good to be true, but there are real NET10 customers who say it's not.  They're happy with the service.  They're happy with the price.  You really can get unlimited cell phone service for a reasonable price.  Check out to see how it works.

NET10 can also be found on facebook and twitter.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Show Sidebar Content on the Home Page Only

I recently had an advertiser that wanted to place an ad on one of my other blogs.   I gave some him some options and prices, but what he really wanted was something I didn't think was possible.  He wanted a link in my sidebar, but he just wanted that link on the home page of the blog and not on all the other pages.  I'm not sure exactly why he wanted that, maybe thought it would cost a bit less?

Whatever the reason, I had to tell him that I didn't know of any way to do that.  Whatever is in the sidebar is on every page and post of the blog.  That's just how it is.  So no ad.  Then I read this article the other day that explains how to have some of your sidebar content on the home page only.  I don't know how she figured out that it was even possible or how to do it, but I'm definitely saving these instructions so I can do it if anyone asks again. 

Besides ads, what other reasons would you have for showing some sidebar content on just the home page and not the rest of  your blog?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Live Audio Broadcasting with Mixlr

I'd heard of the sites that allow live video broadcasting, but hadn't really found any that specialized in audio.  That's why when a friend on facebook shared a link to this the other day, I had to check it out.  We've been doing live audio cybercasting of our church services and Bible studies for years, using Real Audio's Producer and Server software.  That can get expensive and complicated, and you need access to your own server or someone with a server running the software.  And then all your listeners have to have RealPlayer - not that RealPlayer is bad and everyone shouldn't have it, but...

Anyway, this site is called Mixlr, and it offers high quality audio broadcasting, FREE for anyone. Sign up, download their free broadcasting app, and you're ready to go.  I just tried a test broadcast, and it was super simple.  I didn't even plug a microphone into the computer - just used the built-in microphone.  For better quality, you'd want to plug in a microphone or even a complete sound system.  While you're broadcasting, you can share with your twitter followers or facebook friends, to invite them to listen in.

Live broadcasts can be hosted on the mixlr site, where there's a chatroom for listeners to interact and comment, or you can embed the mixlr player on your website or blog, and people can listen there.  Broadcasts can be started immediately or scheduled ahead of time.  At the end of the live broadcast, mixlr saves it to your 'showreel' for later listening.  If you upgrade to a premium account, you can download your broadcast files, but with a free account, you have to listen to them on mixlr.

Mixlr looks like a very useful site/service.  Check it out if you've been looking for a simple way to broadcast live high quality audio.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spotify Now Available in US

Spotify is now in America.  Sign up for an invite here.  No, skip that!  Hop down to the part after the video to find out how you can get a free account now, without the wait. 

Spotify looks like a great site for music lovers, promising any music, anywhere, anytime, for free.  I just signed up, and I'm looking forward to trying it.  Check out this video to learn more:

Don’t want to wait for an invitation? Jump the queue by signing up for Spotify Premium or Unlimited, starting at just $4.99/month.

Or join Klout and get an invitation for a free account right away.  Thanks to for that tip!  Now I'm off to download my Spotify  client and get started enjoying my favourite music!!

Update: I'm loving Spotify so far!!  LOVE!!  Also, if you (at least 5 of my friends) use my join Klout link, they'll upgrade my account to Spotify Premium and they'll upgrade yours, too!!!!
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Patriotic Flash Mob

Loved this!
5pm on July 1st, 2011 in Orleans, Cape Cod, MA, shoppers stocking up for the 4th of July got a surprise shot of patriotism to start their weekend! This flash mob was organized by the Spirit of America band to wish everyone a happy 4th of July!

Does it make you wish you could play an instrument, or is that just me?

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Keep "Buying" Free Kindle Books

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...image via AmazonNow that I've got my Android tablet with the free Kindle for Android app, I've been loading it up with free Kindle books.  There are plenty of  them available.

I found a couple sites that are really helpful for finding lots of them:
Every day they list several free and bargain Kindle books, and I find myself grabbing a lot of them.  It's kind of addicting!  Now, if I can just find time to read them all...
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Stop Forwarding that Crap

A friend of mine posted this on facebook, and it is so good.  I just had to share.

Music video by "Weird Al" Yankovic performing Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me:

If you have any more questions, please see How to Forward E-mail Appropriately.  Your friends will thank you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Amazon Appstore for Android

I downloaded the Amazon Appstore to my Android tablet, because they give away a free app every day - apps that otherwise you'd have to pay for.  There are quite a few apps that are incompatible with my tablet or just don't work properly on it, but I've downloaded some I like quite a bit, too.  I downloaded a Sudoku game that I'm really enjoying.  I never played it before, but it's nice on the tablet.  There are different levels and instructions on how to play, which I needed.  I'm still on the really easy ones, but I'm enjoying it.

Yesterday, I visited the Amazon Appstore for Android on my computer, instead of with the tablet, and discovered that I can get the apps right from my browser.  So I can grab them while they're free, even if I don't have the tablet with me, and then download and install them later.  I'm also thinking that maybe I'll be able to get apps that look promising, even if they're not compatible with my tablet, and then maybe be able to use them later, maybe when I upgrade my phone.

Then again, maybe not.  By then, they'll probably be obsolete.

If you're not already using the Amazon Appstore, be sure to check it out.  The free app of the day may be just the one you've been waiting for.  And if not, there's always tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unlimited Storage on Photobucket

Image representing Photobucket (Old) as depict...Image via CrunchBaseI used to use Photobucket for a lot of my blogging images.  It really was a great place to store all my images and be able to use them.  Then one day I logged in and found that I had exceeded my storage space.  Photobucket had never actually let me know how much storage I had in the first place or how much of that I was using, so it was a surprise - a very unpleasant surprise.  I tried deleting some images I didn't need any more, but that didn't seem to free up any space.  It still said I had exceeded my limit.

So, I just stopped using it and hadn't logged in for a while.  Until today, when I got a very pleasant surprise - Photobucket now offers unlimited storage.  For free.  Now I can upload, store, use, share, edit, and who knows what else with all my photos and images.  This makes me happy.  I can start using it again for all my image needs.
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