Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pay Day!

Have you ever wondered if those cheesy pop-up ads asking if you like Subway or Quizno's better and promising $500 for your vote are scams? Believe it or not - they do pay out. Today I got a $500 check card!It is NOT easy money. I read a deal blog called Money Saving Methods. Carrie the author outlines a very detailed summary of all the companies who do the deals and exactly how to do them. She had tons of pictures of readers who posted their pictures along with their gift cards, so I thought I would give it a shot.

First I read and re-read all of Carrie's instructions. This took about an hour. During one of Charlotte's naps I signed up for all the offers and made a spreadsheet documenting all of it - phone numbers, account numbers, contact people, websites and every piece of info I could. This took two hours. I also set up a new email account to get all the junk - crucial.

After that I just checked up on it every day to make sure to cancel trial memberships when necessary and make sure I was getting credit for all the offers. Within two weeks I had credit for everything and then I just had to wait for the gift card.

Not a bad deal. I did invest $73 in the memberships, trials and shipping charges which included Dr. Suess club books, two months of emusic tunes, free mineral makeup, face cream and jewelry samples.

So, $500 - $73 = $427
1 hour researching
2 hours signing up and documenting
1 hour cumulative email checking
1 hour membership management
1 hour worrying

$427 for 6 hours = $71/hr
I can live with that, since I got some cool stuff and can probably cut some of the worrying out next time since I know now it will work if done correctly...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yellowstone Vacation

We got back from our vacation a week ago. It was fabulous to get out of the heat and hang out with family for a while.

Charlotte and I drove out with my parents to Island Park, ID, near Yellowstone in a three day journey. Charlotte was a perfect passenger, enjoying Elmo and Dora videos and countless puzzles and books that filled the entire second seat. Here are just a few highlights from our week there.

Family Photo. You can see a high-res version here. This is the first time my whole family has been together in a while and we were lucky to get a group shot despite the rain. Charlotte chose this time to become a world class nose-picker.
Old Faithful. The geyser behind us is a different one, but this is a better picture.
White water rafting!
Quality cousin time.
Cool wildlife.
Helaman coming. I was so glad Helaman was able to fly out for a few days to join us. His flight was severely delayed going home and after 13 hours of travel he arrived home just in time to go to work at 6 a.m. He is a trooper!

Thursday, July 09, 2009


We were away for almost two weeks for our family vacation in Yellowstone (full blog entry to come) and came back to find the above chillin' in the garden! Needless to say, the state fair-sized ones are past their prime, but I am busy canning the ones that are suitable for pickling.

Right before we left we also picked 18 ears of corn and stuck them in the fridge. Hopefully next year our timing will be a bit better for our harvest...