Monday, October 18, 2010

Entering Sweepstakes

I have entered sweepstakes on and off for almost 10 years.  At one point I was entering religiously, everyday for hours.  I would sit at the computer and that is pretty much all I did.  Then I just stopped.  I would enter a few, here and there, but was not as serious as I had been.  

I recently had gotten back into entering sweepstakes again.  Still, not as religious as I was, but I do spend more time doing it.  I have found that I do enjoy it.  It is really easy to do, and I usually do it when I'm watching TV.  There are two sites that I use: and I like these sites because they have the sweepstakes broken up into categories, and is my favorite.  It lets you check mark the ones that you have entered and then puts them in a favorites folder for you, so that it is easier to find them.  I use to use all the time, but now prefer  Both of these sites are awesome.  You can also Google, sweepstakes and can find a listing of other sites.  

So, have I won anything from entering these sweeps?  Yes I have.  Some really great things.  Aside from numerous small prizes, like books, toys, DVD's, CD's and gift cards. I have won clothing, jewelry, 2 theater systems, 2 trips to Vegas, money, a shotgun and various other prizes.  

If you would like to enter sweepstakes, just follow these simple rules.
  1. You should not have to pay any money to enter a sweepstakes. 
  2. Make sure that you read all of the rules and follow them.
  3.There are three main types of sweepstakes entries; online, snail mail and in person.  I usually only enter sweeps online.  I find this way is easier for me.  You can certainly enter however you chose. 
  4. Don't get greedy. Don't enter a sweepstakes for  something that you do      not want or will not use.  Let someone who wants or deserves the prize to win it.  It takes the fun out of it.
  5. Open up and use another email address just for your sweeps entries.  You WILL get a lot of spam and unwanted emails.  So save yourself the hassle and don't use your regular email.  If you have gmail, I know that you can have other email accounts forwarded to your gmail account, so that you only have to open one email box.  I do that with mine.  It saves me time.
  6. Have fun.  Don't take it too seriously. If you win, you win. And if you don't, there are hundreds of other sweeps that you can enter and win.

Those are my tips, there is also a wonderful Sweepstakes 101 tutorial on If you are interested in learning more, I suggest that you read it.  Until next time my friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Prepare for Parent/Teacher Confrences

Fall, Parent/Teacher conferences are approaching. Mine is this coming Monday.  These are important for us parents. They supply us with much needed information on what is going on in the class and more importantly, how our children are doing.  The conferences also give us the opportunity to have some one on one face time with the teacher and hopefully, form a greatly needed rapport with that teacher. Also, we can share what we expect our child to get out of the school year and let the teacher know what we are doing or what we are willing to do to help out.  

First of all, make a list of questions that you have for the teacher.  Making a list will ensure that you don't forget any important questions or information that you have.  A lot of times, these conferences are scheduled to only allow about 15-30 minutes between conferences, and it is easy to feel rushed.  

Make sure that you stick to what is important, your child and what is going on in the classroom.  This is not the time to ask about what time lunch is, and basic school policy questions.  You can talk to the office staff about that at any time.  These types of questions just waste valuable time.

Make sure you listen carefully to what is being said and try not to be defensive.  Believe me, this one is hard.  It is instinctual for us, as parents to want to defend our children, but make sure you keep an open mind.  If there is some kind of problem, the best thing to do is try to figure out a solution together.  This would be in the best benefit for your child.  Working together with the teacher is going to get better results.

Take a pen and paper with you so that you can take notes. This is important so that you don't forget anything when you leave.  Sometimes, these conferences can become overwhelming.  There is so much information given in a short amount of time and you don't want to forget anything that was said.

Go over the conference with your child when you get home.  Make sure that they understand what is going on, as well as what is expected of them from the teacher and yourself.  This makes sure that everyone is on the same page.  

Keep in touch with the teacher.  Keeping in constant contact with the teacher, even if it is a "How are things going?" when you pick up or drop your child off at school gives the teacher an opportunity to let you know if there is something, even something small.  

Most importantly, if you are not getting the help or information that you expect from your child's teacher, make sure you make an appointment with the principal.  I have never had a problem with any of my son's teachers in the past, but as much as the schools want the parents to help out, that is a two way street.  Here in California, a lot of the teachers are overwhelmed, have 30 or more kids in their class and I can see, that it is very easy for them to get frustrated and let things go.  Kids fall through the cracks. I have seen this happen and if you are offering your help and are involved in your child's schooling, and still don't feel that you are getting help from the teacher, make sure you bring this up to the principal.  Remember, this is your child, their education and their future.  You are giving your all, your child should have a teacher that is giving their all.

I hope that these tips help you out with your conferences and until next time my friends.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

OAMC~~Once A Month Cooking

I have entertained the idea of Once A Month Cooking a few times before. It completely intrigues me to be able to cook all my meals for the month at one time, freeze them and then take them out and reheat for dinner.  This idea is perfect for my family. 

First of all, I love to cook, but I tend to run out of ideas on what I want to make and then I don't ever have all the ingredients, or I just don't have the energy to make dinner one night.  We eat meals at different times.  There is always some excuse or reason that I have.  I know, pathetic.  So I wind up making meals that are super easy and convenient and we all don't eat the same thing, and then this becomes a problem. I start making the same things over and over and then I have to buy more food, so the money I spend on groceries goes up.

Anyway, OAMC, is something that I am really interested in trying.  I have the freezer space. I have a crap load of recipes that would work well and I really do have the time.  So why am I so hesitant?  I'm really not sure.  I don't have a reason.  So, I think that I have made my decision to try this OAMC thing.  I don't think I am going to cook for an entire month.  I think I might try a week, maybe two, at first and see how it works for me.  

If and when I decide to do this, I will post the recipes and maybe some pictures so I can share this journey with you.  What do you think of this idea?  Do you want to try OAMC or OAWC cooking with me?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yes, TV Is FREE!

This subject is something that my husband and I have been talking about for a few weeks now.  And I never thought to blog about it until today.  Did you know that you can get network TV for free?  Well you can.  Crazy, huh?  This is something that I think a lot of us forget about.  We have had cable and satellite dishes for so long, that it boggles the mind to think that you really don't have to pay for it.  

As some of you may know, about six months ago my family moved in with my sister.  Now, we do get payed channels in the living room, my husband and I do not get any channels in our bedroom.  At night when we snuggle into bed together, we would watch movies or TV on DVD.  This was always fine with me.  Over the past five or so years, I have stopped watching daytime TV and the shows that I did watch in the evening were only one or two a night.  I don't watch much TV.  

But, having TV was so important.  It was just something that I figured we needed.  How can I live without it?  Well, the past six months proved that we could live without it.  Now, other than Nick Jr, we usually don't watch TV in the living room.  There were a few shows that would get recorded and we would watch, but we spent the entire summer, not really watching anything at all.  

A few months ago, I found a couple of websites along with the network sites, that you can go and watch full episodes on the internet.  I was so excited.  I was able to catch up on some of the shows that I missed and this new fall season, was able to watch some new shows.  My husband enjoyed this also.  He always enjoyed being able to come home after work and sit and watch some TV and unwind.  

Well, even better.  My husband was going through some boxes that we had in the garage and found a pair or rabbit ears.  He brought them inside and hooked them up to our TV.  Holy crap! We have network TV, about 56 channels, and we don't have to pay for them. They are FREE, because network TV is FREE!!  And because it is a digital signal, the channels are clear as day.  It is insane.  As much as I didn't really miss having TV, I really do enjoy watching the shows that I like on the day that they are aired.  

On a funny note.  My husband was so proud of what he had done, that he went to work and was talking to a few coworkers about it.  Some of the younger guys he works with were amazed and surprised that you don't have to pay for TV.  We thought this was funny.  It is so normal to a lot of people to pay for cable that not a lot of people know that you really don't have to.

So, until next time my friends.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moving On!

So sorry for being away so long.  I was trying really hard to make sure I blogged regularly.  Last week was a really crap week for me.  Actually, I found out that it was a pretty crap week for a lot of people.  I had made some posts on Facebook and Twitter about not letting situations dictate my life and not dwelling on the past.  Those were not just me blowing smoke up people's ass. I really meant them.  

For so long, I dwelled on the past and when something goes wrong, I tend to hold on to it.  This weekend I realized that I am in charge of my life and my future.  Something goes wrong, Oh well, learn from it, forget about it and move on.  Sitting and being angry and dwelling on it is not going to change what happened and it definitely is not going to make things better.  I am the master of my fate.

This is hard for some of us.  I know it is for me.  It is so easy to just give up when things don't go your way.  I am tired of that.  I used to not be this way.  This past year has been a really trying year for me and I have thrown my arms up in the air more times than I can count.  No more.  I'm stepping into the ring swinging.  I'm taking control of things and feel sorry for anyone who gets in my way. 

New day, new attitude.  I have goals and aspirations that I am going to achieve no matter what.  I can't count on anyone to do these things for me.  I have to do them myself.  And I will.  I appreciate everyone who has supported (not monetarily) me and my family.  You guys are great. You keep my spirits lifted and make me smile and laugh.  That is the best feeling ever!  I also want to especially thank my sister, brother and sister in law.  You guys are amazing and you have helped us in more ways than you will ever realize.  I am so glad to have such amazing people in my family. I am truly a lucky girl.  

So, thanks for listening to my rambling and until next time my friends.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review~~Jack In The Box Pastrami Grilled Sandwich

I went to Jack in the Box a few days ago and saw that they had a Pastrami Grilled Sandwich.  I love pastrami, but usually wouldn't get a pastrami sandwich from a fast food restaurant. Pastrami is one of those meats that if you don't have the right cut and if it isn't aged or prepared right it isn't very good.  A lot of times it tends to be very fatty and/or tough.  I have had pastrami at good restaurants and they have been a huge disappointment.  

I wasn't in the mood to get my usual 2 tacos or a burger so I reluctantly ordered the Pastrami Grilled Sandwich.  When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised.  As I unwrapped the wrapper, I was expecting it to be completely greasy, it wasn't.  I took my first bite and was welcomed with a flavorful, ungreasy, very lean taste of pastrami.  The sandwich is on grilled bread (I believe it's sourdough, but not sure), there are pickle slices, cheese, pastrami (of course) and dijon mustard.  All of the flavors meld together to make a remarkably tasting sandwich.  

The sandwich had a good amount of pastrami on it. I thought it was the perfect amount. Not too much and not too little.  The only problem that I had was with the dijon mustard and that is only because I prefer yellow mustard on my pastrami.  I like dijon mustard, that is just a preference that I have.  I'm sure next time, I could ask for yellow instead.  

I really liked this sandwich.  I think that Jack in the Box stepped up and really showed a lot of fast food restaurants that it is possible to make a good tasting sandwich.  I just hope that this was not a one time thing and that all the Jack in the Boxes have the same quality meat and make the same quality sandwich.  I would hate to write this glowing review and then hear that someone tried the sandwich, because I said it was good and it sucked.  lol

So there you go. My first review, hope you liked it.  Until next time my friends. Oh, I almost forgot. If you go to  you can get a coupon for $1 off a Pastrami Grilled Sandwich.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Favorites...For Now

I like to watch Make Up tutorials on YouTube and a lot of the Guru's like to do favorites or must haves for the month. So, this gave me an idea of a favorites blog.  I'm just going to list some things that I really like and think that maybe you would want to check them out. So in no particular order, here you go. can get gift certificates for your area for cheap.  Sign up for the newsletter and you will be notified of deals and codes.  I have been able to buy $25 gift certificates for as low as $2.  Can anyone say Cheap Date? is a search engine that allows you to win points that you can redeem for product, gift certificates and even money in your Paypal account.  You just search like you normally do. Collect your points and redeem. Easy as pie. And if you want to sign up, be a sweetie and tell them I referred you: Evilgenius746.  

Del Taco~~Del Taco has a deal going on right now. The regular tacos are just $0.39.  Yes you read that correctly, $0.39.  You really can't go wrong with that. Oh, and if you sign up for the newsletter, you get info on promotions and coupons.

P!nk~~OK, I have tweeted and Facebooked about my obsession with P!nk.  I absolutely LOVE her.  My favorite song of the moment is "It's All Your Fault".  You can listen to it here:

Christian Kane~~Once again, I have tweeted and Facebooked about my "pretend boyfriend".  Don't worry, Josh knows.  lol  Christian Kane is an actor and singer, he is on the TNT show "Leverage" check it out. I have been lucky enough to see him perform live when I was living in Oregon.  They film the show in Portland and during filming he has monthly shows at Dante's.  Anyway, he has two songs that I love right now.  "Let Me Go" and "Making Circles"

Not Having TV~~OK, we have TV in the living room, but there is no TV in our bedroom. Now, this is different for me.  I don't watch much TV during the day, but I do enjoy laying in bed and watching TV at night.  I thought that this would drive me crazy and that I would need TV.  It surprised me that I didn't. As a matter of fact, I don't really miss it. I am able to still watch all the shows that I miss, the next day, usually online.  And I only really watch a few shows during the week, so I'm not really missing anything.  It is kind of nice not having the TV.

Signing up for newsletters~~This is something that I highly recommend everyone do.  Yeah, it clogs up your email box, but it is helpful.  You are notified of sales and deals and on many occasions you get specials and coupons sent because you get the newsletter.  This has been something I have enjoyed for years.

Angel Food Ministries and Treasure Box~~These two companies allow you to purchase boxes of food for a fraction of the cost in the store.  This is really helpful for those of us that are on a budget.  There is no income requirement and both offer different types of boxes.  You simply find your host site, order your box or boxes and pick them up on the date specified.

Blogging~~I have been enjoying this new hobby of mine.  It has allowed me to share my life and feeling on various subjects with whomever wants to read. It has given me an outlet other than Facebook or Twitter that has allowed my expression of thought to be longer than a few sentences.  It is a bit freeing also.

Well, those are all my favorites, for now.  My favorites tend to come and go with the wind, so be on the lookout for another one.  Until next time my friends.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soap Box or Bitch Fit Edition #1

Alright, so this is Edition #1 of I what I can image will be many of what I like to call my soap box, or bitch fits. Whatever pisses me off or just annoys me will go here. So here it goes.

Today, Cameron, my 9 yr old, for those that do not know, brought home his picture day order form.  That is great, but picture day is tomorrow. Oh and they need the order form and payment turned in tomorrow.  Now before you say, Cameron just didn't give me the form, I check his backpack and folders everyday.  So, this form was not given to him until today.  

This pisses me off. His school is so extremely disorganized, I'm really not sure how they manage.  It is the 2nd day of the month and there still is no school lunch menu that was sent home and if I check the school website, they still have the lunch menu for May up.  Last month, I didn't get the lunch menu until the 2nd week of school.  Not that this is a huge issue.  I make Cameron's lunch most of the time, but there are some days that he likes to buy lunch.  It is just the fact that this is something that should be sent home at least the day before the new month starts.  

Now for his pictures.  This irritates me because they expect us as parents to have our children ready for picture day in 1 day.  There was no notice other than the form sent home today.  Luckily, for me Cam's hair is cut and we were able to find a nice shirt for him to wear.  But, what about other families?  What about the parents that work late? What about families that don't have a lot of money and need some time to get the money together for the pictures.  Are they just assed out? Here is a bigger question, what happens to the parents that won't even know that picture day is tomorrow because their kids were absent, or their kids just don't give the form to the  parents?  Not all parents are like me and have the time to go through their kids backpacks.  

The school will be getting a phone call from me tomorrow asking why paperwork is not sent home earlier.  Maybe they need someone to go down there and be in charge of that.  I would be happy to volunteer weekly to make sure kids and parents are getting the information that they need in a timely manner.  

So, that is it.  My gripe for the day.  Thanks for listening and until next time my friends. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changing Perspective

After months of being lazy and flat out not caring, I decided to make a budget plan.  This is not my first time doing this.  I have had a budget for years and this past year it has just gone out the window.  Not a good year for me.  Mainly, because I got to a point where I just didn't care.  If I had the money, I had it, and if I didn't, well, I just didn't.  

Those days are over, Thank God.  I finally got to the point where I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck, not knowing where my money was going and not having any savings.   This happens to me, often.  I let things go until I get so fed up and tired that I give in and do it.  

Now, up until this budget, I was convinced that there was no way I was going to be able to save any money.  That is why I am so happy I am back on a budget.  It changes my perspective on what I have and what I can do.  Why did I wait so long?  I keep asking myself this question.  It seems silly that it has taken me this long.  

Now there are a lot more things that I need to do, to make this budget work better for me.  Now I need a meal plan and get a shopping list together, as well as get those coupons together.  

Not only has this budget changed my perspective on what I have, but it has changed my perspective on my future.  That is a huge change and has made me smile a little today.

If you don't have a budget plan, I suggest that you make one.  It will be an eye opener, I assure you.  And it just might change your perspective on how you view your spending and saving.  

Until next time. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Blog~~Car Show at Garcia Elementary

I had this blog for over a year and have never written anything on it.  I recently decided to do a vlog and figured it would be a good idea to use it in conjunction with this blog. So here it is. The world according to me.  lol

Last weekend the PTA put on it's first fundraiser at my son's school and it happened to be a car show.  I know, I laughed too, but after I thought about it, I realized it was actually a very smart idea.  In this area, that is what the people are into and it would probably bring in a lot of money.  So with that said, I had to go and check this out.  And besides, I HAD to support the school, right?

We got to the car show a few hours after it had started.  It was a blast.  Not a lot of people there, but there were lots of cars and bikes.  It was so much fun.  There were vendors, a DJ, a hip hop artist and a car hop.  I was impressed.  I hope that they do it again next year.  I even joined the PTA.  I figure, it is important to be involved in the school. I have always been involved in the past.  Why should this year be any different.  Until next time my friends.

Cars parked in the quad and grass area.

Twilight Bike

More cars

Another custom bike


Another custom car