Friday, June 25, 2010

Proof for the Cynics

I've spoken about Swagbucks before, but for all you cynics out there, here's my proof that it's free, it works, it's legit.

Look what came in the mail yesterday:

Yep, a brand new Wii console with Wii Sports included!  I paid not one penny for it.  I'm so excited, this will be the big Christmas present at our house this year.  There's no way I'm letting Santa take credit for this one, oh no.  It'll be wrapped up and under the tree just waiting.  The hubby is excited about it too and wanting to give it to them now, but I'm not letting him ruin the Christmas surprise.  I've been planning this one for way too long.

So, how does the whole "Swagbucks thing" work?

Here's what works for me:  The prize I shoot for on the site is the $5 Amazon gift cards (you can buy just about anything on Amazon.)  They are worth 450 swagbucks each (If you are in Canada, make sure you get the gift certificates.)  Twice a month they will give out the gift card codes that you ordered and you enter the card into your Amazon account.  Easy!  You can order 5 of these cards a month.  I'm getting $25 in Amazon gift cards a month.

1.  Search and win - use their search engine.  You can't just keep entering stuff in to win though, you have to search "naturally", basically using it like you would any search engine.   Just make sure you don't over search. You will be awarded Swagbucks randomly and it can range from 5 swagbucks at a time to sixty some odd swagbucks.

2.  Daily Freebies - If you install their toolbar, you get one point a day for this.  Then go to the Daily polls section on their site and take the simple poll (takes maybe 2 seconds), that gets you one more.  Next, the Special offers page - Click on the little box in the upper right hand corner that says view our no special obligation offers.  Scroll down and click skip.  Do this several times and you get another point.  Last is the trusted surveys section.  Just click on the page and you automatically get another one.  Doing these adds up!  You get 120 points total for the month just doing this.

3,  Swagcodes - The Swag Guy (TSG) hides or gives out random codes.  If you download the swidget and check it regularly, it will tell you when and where the codes can be found.  Alternately, and this is what I do, is to go to the Swagbucks Facebook page (accessed from the main swagbucks page) and if you see lots of Thanks TSG!'s on there, you know there is a code out.  Yes, there are some idiots that crop up from time to time on the facebook page, just disregard those and don't click on any links that you see come up on the page.  Be sure and to read the blog there a couple of times a day as well.  TSG posts a lot of clues there on where to find the Swagcodes.

4.  Trusted Surveys - You can take surveys to earn extra bucks as well.  Make sure that you go to your profile section on the trusted survey page and fill out each of the surveys there.  You'll make a gracious amount of bucks that way.  You better hurry though, they've already stated that they will be lowering the amount of bucks awarded for those real soon.

5.  Tasks - On the Special offers section, scroll down until you see Wall (or tab) one and click it.  Next click on the tasks tab.  You can do some of these tasks to earn extra bucks as well.

6.  Spread the word - If you get people to sign up under you, and you can do that here by the way,  you can earn up to 1,000 bucks per person.  As they win from doing searches, so do you!  (Thanks to my readers who have already done this!)

I do all of these in my free time and try not to get obsessed by how much fun this can be earning free money.  It's free because Swagbucks get paid from their advertisers.  They just pass along the goodies to you.

Are other people doing this?   Yes, check out the number of fans that the facebook page alone has.

I forgot to mention that I am in no way associated with Swagbucks.  I don't work for them, I just play on their site to earn my petty cash.  :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blog Back Ups

I've been looking for a while for a decent way to back up my blog, which is housed at Blogger.  I've finally found two that I'm completely happy with.  One of them backs up your blog online and the other creates a pdf of it. 

BlogBackupr - An online service that grabs your feeds and pulls your blog data for you.  Everything is handled online automatically and lets you restore it via RSS, Text or Html.

BlogBooker - I'm really impressed with this one.  This one backs up your blog to a pdf for you.  I tried several of these programs that supposedly do this, but they only backed up a few pages.  I've got over four years worth to be backed up!  I needed something that could really do the job and BlogBooker is it.  I'd like to eventually print out my blog into a book form and this cool little service is just the ticket to being able to do that.  It used my exported blog xml file from Blogger so it was able to grab all of my blog, not just the last few days.

Hopefully my research will help someone else looking to do the same thing.  BTW, both of these services also support Wordpress blogs.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Working Through Knitter's Guilt

Do you ever get to the point where the projects that you have sitting around suddenly do nothing for you?  Sorta like a relationship that's gone sour, the project no longer sings to you, no more loving coos are exchanged and you stare at the project and think "What the hell did I ever see in you anyway?" 

I think that's the state I"m in now.  The Noro stole is still okay, not exciting to the point where I have to work on it every minute of the day though.  I've lost total interest in the Mantilla blanket and may frog it soon.  The pink wool socks that I've had lying around? That's soon to be gone as well.  Several other wips are generating the same sentiments in me too.

So what's a knitter to do?  Go on and keep the relationship going even though it's a drain on the psyche?  Or frog them and find something else?  Why do we let ourselves get in these predicaments anyway? 

And another question, why the heck am I feeling guilty about letting them go?  Don't I have a right to be happy?  I've always been a strong proponent of the adage "If it's not fun, then quit doing it and find something else you love to do."  Yet when applied to knitting, which, when the day is done, is just playing with two sticks and a bit of string after all, I get sweaty hands and butterflies in the stomach at the thought of just "giving up".   It's not like the knitting police are going to show up at my doorstep and cart me off to jail because I set a project free to live a better life out in the wild. 

Maybe, I need to tell the knitter's guilt to take a hike and free myself from the feeling of imminent doom.  Am I going to paint myself a failure just because of giving up on a project?   I think not.  I've already proven myself as a successful knitter.  These projects in themselves may be not be what I envisioned at first, but that's okay.   There's plenty of other projects where those came from and I'll be more than successful at those.  Right? 

I"m still keeping the Noro stole though, darnit, even if it does feel like I'm just plodding along.   So, Knitter's Guilt - banished.  Knitter's Stubbornness - quite happy, thanks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Procrastinator Extraordinaire

I have decided that both of my offspring are freaks of nature.  I bought a wonderful seedless watermelon today for us all to eat.   One refused to try it, swearing the whole time, "I don't like that" and the other took a bite and then made faces like he was going to throw up.  Who doesn't like watermelon?  It's the perfect hot weather fruit!  I just don't get it.

I finally made it through all of the sewing that I began working on Friday.    Like these six fabric baskets:

The green ones are for my bff's birthday and the other three are for my Mom's bday which is tomorrow.  She got them this weekend since I won't be seeing her on her actual birthday.  I fell in love with all of these fabrics, but especially the fabric that looks like 50's paper dolls.  It's so cute!

I also made a swath through some shirts and shorts that my cousin had given me.  She purchased them at a Russell brand's sample sale.  The each had a small slit cut into them.  They are made in another country and each one that is brought over the border to be samples has to have the cut in them.  I'm not sure why, but that's okay.  I sewed up the slits and now have some great shirts and shorts to sleep in.  Yay!

Last, but not least in the sewing pile were some pillow covers that I had promised to make my Sister In Law.   Unfortunately, I promised to sew these for her about 2 or 3 YEARS ago.  Can we say "Procrastinator Extraordinaire?  Hmm? 

The one on the right was made from a quilted panel that I had made her about five years ago when I was hot and heavy into quilting.  The batik that you see is real batik fabric that she made in high school and has kept for the past twenty odd years.  I added the dark blue edging to the batik one since it wasn't quite large enough for the pillow.  I still feel guilty for waiting so long to do what amounted to about a one hour project. 

Here's a closer view of my quilting:

So, I'm so thankful to have all those sewing projects out of the way!  It freed up so much space where all those projects had piled up.  Let's hear it for decluttering (at least a small section of the house anyway)!