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.