For years, I have been saying that I should enter sweepstakes for a living.
This month I decided to go for it!
I mean, everyone needs a hobby, right.
It is not that I have entered sweeps before and won big.
It is more like entering online sweepstakes is way cheaper than buying lottery tickets or playing bingo.
In fact, the only investment to enter the promotional giveaways is time.
Yet, although as of day, I have averaged entering at least one contest per day, I have one nada…zilch…a big fat zero….
To be fair, though, many of the giveaways that I entered haven’t even closed yet so fingers crossed!
I have developed somewhat of a strategy of only entering giveaways of things that I could use for the house, things that I can give to family and friends, things that I can flip and make a profit, Amazon gift certificates, and, of course, cold hard cash.
I am not much into winning trips so I very rarely enter any of those unless they say that I can have the cash value instead.
I also skip on any sweepstakes that require work (hey, I’m laaazy) such a jingle contest or photo challenge.
Another very important strategy that I employed, and I highly recommend that you do this as well, was to open a separate email address to enter internet sweepstakes.
After all, you will be getting a lot of emails from the sweepstakes companies and you don’t want it clogging up your personal inbox.
Many companies allow you to register to win with your Facebook account but don’t worry, most of them allow you to change your email address even if you do utilize this method.
In fact, many sweepstakes use widget based giveaway programs such as Rafflecopter to make sweepstakes today even easier to enter.
Plus, having your browser set up to auto-fill the information is a huge time saver if you are trying to enter as many new sweepstakes as quickly as possible.
Now, if you do decide to enter give away contests, you must be aware of the possibility of scams. (Scams on the internet! Shocking, right?!?!).
Be leery of foreign giveaways (which, even if legit, you may be ineligible for anyway) or from “government” or “national” organizations (google it), unsolicited emails that you have won but don’t even know your name, multiple typos in the notifications (especially from a big corporation or organization), request for personal information such as your bank details (large wins may need your social security number but, again, google is your friend), and they won’t even give you a few hours to do research to make sure that they are legit (24 – 48 hours should be the bare minimum).
So, how do I find all of these give away contests?
Well, I started off by just googling “giveaway” or, if I want to be more specific, I used “paypal giveaway” or “cash giveaway”.
I still occasionally do that, but I mostly just have the free giveaways delivered to my inbox by subscribing to Sweepstakes Advantage. (By the way, bloggers, you can enter your giveaway contests on this website absolutely free. When I did, my entries exploded!)
That being said, any of my fellow bloggers with branded giveaways that they feel might interest me (or my readers), feel free to post them in the following linkup and I guarantee that I will enter to win your cash and prizes.
P.S. I forgot to include an absolutely adorable movie (true story) named The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio, which is about 1950s housewife and mother of 10, Evelyn Ryan, who keeps her family afloat by entering sweepstakes starring Julianne Moore, and Woody Harrelson.
After months and months of inputting my receipt into the Walmart Savings Catcher app, I find myself having to start all over from the beginning.
For those of you not aware, Walmart Savings Catcher is a price matching app of your local grocery store prices that rolled out in August of 2014.
Walmart does not double coupons so this is an additional savings tool to take some change off of their notably low prices.
Savings Catcher is different from a grocery store savings card in the fact that you do not get money off at the register.
Instead, you must input your Walmart receipt into either the Walmart Savings Catcher webpage, use the Walmart Savings Catcher App, or enter the phone number on the keypad associated with your account on the keypad prior to paying.
To login into the Walmart Savings Catcher website or app you use the same Walmart email address associated with your Walmart shopping account.
Manually enter the receipt number and date or use the grocery savings app’s built in QR Code reader to scan the box on the receipt.
If the Walmart savings app finds a lower price at one of your local stores, Walmart will refund you the difference.
And I was well on my way to having $20 in price matches when tragedy of losing it all occurred.
It all started with an order confirmation…an order that I did not place.
Even though the order was for cash, the address looked wonky and that, combined with an email saying that my contact information has been changed, encouraged me to contact Walmart Customer Service.
Walmart, responded promptly, and closed my account…
At best the following statement sounds insensitive.
I know that.
I accept that.
But, that fact does not stop it from being the truth.
So, here goes…
My mom’s stroke is stressing me out.
I said it.
It doesn’t make me feel any better.
And, conversely, it doesn’t make me feel any worse.
For those of you that aren’t in the know, my mom had a stroke last month.
She called me when it happened.
But being the busy daughter that I am, I put calling her back on the bottom of my list.
Yep, the guilt…it is real…
So, she called my friend, who bundled up the baby in the stroller (it was still relatively cold in March of this year), and strolled over to tell me to call my mom.
“Trina, I can’t feel my legs”.
Call an ambulance, Mom.
“But I am afraid of ambulances.”
So, my friend, the baby, and I hop in the trusty Volvo and head on over to her house.
Twelve hours of sitting in the Sentara Norfolk General emergency room (yes, 12 hours!!!) before she even sees a doctor, we find out that she has had a stroke and she is admitted.
Now, I will admit, once she was taken upstairs, the service was impeccable.
As is her service (as of today, she is still there but she is suppose to be released tomorrow) at the Sentara Therapy Center in Portsmouth.
But the stress, it is coming from my Mom’s living situation.
In a she said/she said battle, the Landlady is saying that my Mom owes her rent from December til date.
My Mom says that she only owed her $20 for her March rent which means that she is only behind April and now May plus that $20.
And can you guess who is caught in the middle of this grown folk’s business.
Yep, lil’ ol’ me.
Because every time landlady calls or texts, my mother’s pressure goes back up.
And the landlady actually tracked my mom down to the therapy center and “visited” her there with, apparently, a basket of fruit.
This was a day or two before my mom was supposed to be released.
And guess what, her pressure went up and her legs went numb again and they ended up sending her back to Norfolk General for xrays.
Yesterday, I get a panicked call from my mom that she received a message that her stuff is out on the curve or will be out on the curve, she wasn’t real clear.
But, being that the trusty Volvo is down for repairs, I called said friend who, once again, bundled up the baby, and we headed off to my Mom’s apartment to make sure that her possessions were not out waiting for the trash pickup.
When I get to her apartment, the door is unlocked and slightly opened but to my eyes, none of her possessions are gone.
Instead, the landlady has begun the work of removing the mold from the wall on which my mom’s bed use to reside.
Work, I believe, if there are any lawyers or landlords reading this, she is not suppose to do without the express permission of the tenant to enter her apartment.
Oh, I had forgot to mention the mold, did I?
Well, I told you that this is a stressful situation.
This mold problem has been ongoing since the first rain in the Fall of last year.
Because, despite my nagging, my mom refused to call the Norfolk Code Enforcement.
Anywho, I took pictures but these are effectively the After.
My Mom has pictures on her phone of the Before.
With the sheetrock down, you can really see the mold infestation.
And my mom has been sleeping with this behind her head for months!
And I don’t think she ever got permits to rent out her garage or any of her bedrooms.
I’m pretty sure the law says that she needs permits??
Not something that I can prove unless my mom actually calls code enforcement.
As you can imagine, my mom’s pressure went back up and the put her back on bedrest.
But the Landlady was calling and then texting when my mom did not respond.
She went so far as to have a mutual acquaintance call on her behalf.
Yes, she is, for intents and purposes, stalking someone in the hospital.
Who she visited in the hospital.
So, mom calls me again and gives me the landlady’s phone number.
Now, let me preface this by saying, that my philosophy on confrontations is that if you get loud…if you curse….if you call them anything other than their name…
You are dismissed as “those peoples”.
You are seen as the irrational one.
The one with the temper.
The one who “took it there”.
My friends and other family members, who shall remain nameless, don’t necessarily believe the same, but this is me.
So, I called the Landlady (this is a paraphrase. I wish I had recorded it.)
Ms. Gladys, this is Katrina, Mary’s daughter. Your tenant in the garage.
“Oh. Yes. Ok.”
Well, I am just calling to tell you that from now on, please call this number if you need to contact my mother. You see, she was suppose to be out last week, but after your visit, her pressure went back up. And she was suppose to be out this Wednesday but someone left her a message that her stuff was out on the curb and her pressure, as you can imagine, went back up again.
“I didn’t call her and tell her that. I would never do that. I am trying to work with your mother.”
Well, ok, good. I just went over there this morning to confirm that her stuff was not out on the curb so that she wouldn’t be stressing out about it anymore.
“I’m a social worker. I would never do that.”
“Listen. Just listen. You don’t even come over and see about your mom’s stuff.”
My car is down. I believe that she told you that–
Listen. Just listen. I want you to come over and get your mother’s stuff right now. Just go get some boxes and come get her stuff.
Well, I will call my mother and if that is what she wants me to do, then I will do that.
“No, you come and get your mother’s stuff now. If you need a ride, I will come get you…”
At which point, she just went on a rant and hung up on me.
Now, having been evicted from my fair share of apartments, I know that she can not just put my mother, or her stuff, out of the curve without getting a court order to take possession of the property.
And, personally, I don’t think that my request for me to talk to my mother about her apartment and her property was unreasonable.
After all, my mom is grown and having physical problems not mental faculty ones.
Next thing I know, she is continuing her rant in my text inbox.
(You can click on all of the images if you need to make them bigger.)
Landlady text continued
The housing worker she is referring to is my mom’s housing authority worker.
She is pretty close to getting subsidized housing and she needs to be in good standing with her landlord.
Ie, not owe any money.
Plus, because of her stroke, unless a doctor states otherwise, she will need a disabled unit and those are even harder to come by than the regular housing units.
The part that gets my goat was that she said that I called with an attitude.
Yeah, my friends constantly say that they have hardly ever seen me mad and if they ever do, they darn sure not the situation is Code RED: Get the bail money ready!!!
Response to landlady
This is my response to her.
Did I keep it classy?
Did I cross a line?
Feel free to tell me if I came across as having an “attitude”.
Do you like how I used the phrase “writ of possession”?
Yeah, me too.
Despite my lack of formal education, I can pull a few things out of my butt if I need too.
Landlady Text Response
Again, feel free to tell me if you saw anywhere in my previous text where I had an attitude?
Please point out where I was trying to piss her off.
Didn’t that last line come across as vaguely threatening?
Response to landlady not sent
Not sent to landlady continued
This would have been my response to her message but I think that it was too long because it would not go through.
My S3 use to automatically break the messages up if they were too long but I guess they took that feature out with the latest upgrade.
Meanwhile, my mom is still scheduled to be released tomorrow.
Which is another source of stress because she is coming here and this is the wrong time.
If she could have come earlier, there would be an empty bed but my boys are coming home from college next week and we were already a bed short being that I trashed their old mattresses as soon as their butts hit the campuses in August.
It will all work out.
Pray for me, y’all.
Or better yet, send positive vibes that her housing comes through on we can put this whole mess behind us.
I have been inspired by a Pinch of Yum to see if my rambling, random blog can actually make money.
You see, they decided to see if a food blog can bring in the money.
But I am wondering if my, to borrow from Seinfeld, “blog about nothing” can accomplish the same results.
Or probably not on the same level of results to be honest.
But, hey, all I am shooting for here is $500 – $1000 month.
Let’s be real.
That amount of money would make a decent impact on most people’s lives in this economy.
So, in the efforts of research (and money), I have decided to set myself up as a case study.
Which is very difficult for me, the Queen of Procrastination.
Now, this blog is not exactly starting from scratch.
I already have:
5 Google Plus
As well as accounts on StumbleUpon, Triberr, and probably a whole host of other minor social networking sites.
But, as you can see, the numbers aren’t staggering and they certainly do not reflect in high traffic or high conversion into clicks.
In fact, lifetime income on this blog has been rather dismal.
In fact, I have been delisted from Project Wonderful and Commission Junction because of my low traffic numbers.
I also have accounts on most of the popular pay per post sites but I rarely do them because I only like to recommend products that I really use or really want and Google tends to frown on the use of them.
So what is my goal for the month of May.
I just want to add 100 to each of those totals.
In other words, I want 100 new subscribers, 100 new Twitter followers, 100 new Facebook subscribers, etc., etc., etc.
I have decided, for the time being, to focus my income goals on Adsense and Amazon.
Their minimum payout is $100 so they fit right into my goal of 100 increase.
Yeah, I am deliberately keeping my goals modest so I can shine when I meet or exceed them.
Yay, Me! in advance.
So, see you all on June 1st.
And if you haven’t already done so be sure to support me in my goals by following me on my social networks.
I recently purchased a Dell Latitude E6410 Notebook
off Ebay and after my squeal of joy when my new baby arrived, I found myself uber frustrated because it would not connect to my home wifi.
Heck, it wouldn’t even acknowledge that my home network even existed.
And since I purchased this for work, not being wifi ready was unacceptable.
But I am pleased to tell you after 2 days of research (and multiple confusing attempts to download the drivers directly from dell.com), I finally found a solution to my problem.
And it so simple…
I am sure that there are other ways to do this but I just lucked on my way via trial and error and many a lost follicle of hair…
First, I went to Start.
Then I typed in the words Device Manager.
Now, the instructions that I was reading on the Dell forums told me to go to Network (mine says Network Adapter) and then right click on DW1520 Wireless-N WLAN Half-Mini Card but I didn’t have that anywhere to be found on my list.
However, there where three devices under Other Devices that had a with an exclamation point (at least, that is what it looks like to me) so, with my laptop plugged directly into my router with an ethernet card, I proceeded to update each of the drivers.
Two of them were complete duds but lo-and-behold, with that last one, all of the wifi connections that were available around suddenly appeared on my screen.
And I am writing this fully connected to my home wifi network and chilling in my bed while watching Parenthood on on Netflix.
I hope this helps the next person searching the web for a solution to this problem.
Please don’t ask me any questions because I do not know what I am doing and the only computer that I am willing to blow up in frustration is my own.
Good Luck and I will continue this notebook review of my Dell Latitude as I find more things to love (or hate).
After 12 months of on time payments, you are eligible for exclusive discount prices on every phone.
The plan is open to both Tmobile postpaid and Tmobile prepaid customers (with the exceptions of Pay As You Go and Pay By The Day).
(I love the fact that Tmobile doesn’t treat its prepaid customers with callous disregard.)
It is even available if you bring your own device.
In addition, the discount is guaranteed to be equal to or greater than the $60/year cost (12 months x $5/month).
Anyway, I am mostly writing this post for my family and friends who are either already with Tmobile and may be considering upgrading their phone or who may be considering jumping on board my absolute favorite cell phone company.
Hopefully, I got all of this right. I highly recommend contacting Tmobile support if you have any questions.
None of the links take you directly to where you add Score! and other services but I clicked around and found it.
I am off to login into mytmobile to add this to my account.
Click on the phone number that you would like to add Score!.
Click Change Services.
Add or delete the services that you are interested in and click Next.
Review. Confirm. Done.
Yeah, its a bummer but you have to do this for each individual line.
Last week, I purchased a used Roku 2 XS off ebay for about $50 for myself my daughter and I couldn’t get it to connect to my wireless network.
Lo and behold, I found the answer rather quickly on Let’s Talk Tech (http://letstalk-tech.com/roku-error-014-connect-roku-3-wi-fi-network/). Apologies but my hyperlink decided to be a turd today and I can’t remember how to hyperlink off the top of my head right now.
Press the Home Button rapidly 5 times.
Then the forward key.
The Play button.
The rewind key.
The Play button again.
And the forward key again.
If you do this correctly, it takes you to a super secret Roku screen.
Scroll down and click Disable network ping.
After I did that, I was good to go with no issues.
If you still have issues, there is a second option involving updating your software but I had already used my cell as a hotspot to do that.
If you still have questions, I recommend leaving them on Let’s Talk Tech ’cause this chick here can’t help ya…