Friday, September 28, 2012

Bingo Turned 3 and first Drive Through Experience

Unlike most of my guinea pigs, I know the birthdate of Bingo, the guinea pig I adopted from a rescue this summer.

He turned three on Monday, and so we had a small party for him.  He doesn't eat cake, so after this photo was taken, I gave him a paper cupcake liner filled with veggies.

Unfortunately, Bingo had to go to the vet today.  He's got an upper respiratory infection, and he's on antibiotics.   Thankfully I caught it quickly and I'm hoping for a full recovery, but it always worries me when one of my guinea pigs is sick.  In fact, as soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to go hand feed him to make sure he has been eating!  It always makes me feel so helpless when one of my little guys isn't feeling well.

I do think, though, that I made the drive through worker's day when I ordered at McDonalds and she looked in the car and saw that little guy in a cage in the passenger's seat.  She got the biggest grin on her face.  So even if he isn't feeling well, he can brighten someone's day just by looking cute! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review: The Moneysmart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free book for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

In The MoneySmart Family System, Steve and Annette Economides set forth a plan on how to no only curb the "wants" of children but teach them about finances, budgeting, and saving from an early age. They discuss through this book how the system works. Everyone is expected to do chores, and points can be earned for various activities in the day. The number of points earned each day translates into allowance that will be given and then the children are expected to give some, save some, and are allowed to spend some.

One of the biggest problems I have with this book is starting at age nine children are expected to be buying their own clothing. Based on the numbers set forth in the points system, it feels to me the points need to be valued at a bit more. Unlike some people who have read this book I don't find the problem in making the children buy their own clothes, but I do think they should be given a bit more funds to do so.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

U.S. Cellular: Hello Better

FTC Disclosure:  I participated in this sponsored post campaign through One2One network.  All opinions and experiences I shared are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

When I first got my cell phone in 2007, I didn't have much of a choice of carriers.  I live in a rural area, and if I wanted service, I needed to go with the carrier who had a tower in my town, so I chose U.S. Cellular.   Two phone upgrades and five years later I am still with them.  I've traveled from Los Angeles to Miami and points in between and I've had coverage everywhere I've been except for some of the hollers in West Virginia who get almost no coverage.  (I even got an e-mail this week that said "If you get lost, you can call us if you have U.S. Cellular.  Otherwise, you won't be able to reach us.") 

One of the things I like about U.S. Cellular is their free battery exchange.  If you are out and your battery is almost to die, you can go into a U.S. Cellular store and they will swap your dead battery for one fully charged.  Not only does this come in handy but one time I thought my phone had died, but turned out that my battery wouldn't charge, so a battery swap saved me from getting a new phone, which I fully expected to have to do!

No one in perfect, and I had an issue with billing at one point, but I called customer service, and it was straightened out quickly.  I also love how I get a discount by having my bill set up to pay automatically!  Because it's paperless it saves trees, and saves money!

U.S. Cellular is now introducing their Hello Better Campaign.

What exactly is the Hello Better Campaign?  It's saying Goodbye to your current carrier and saying Hello to U.S. Cellular.  Thus, Hello, Better!

Did you know that many people are frustrated with their wireless carrier, but don't want to switch?  U.S. Cellular thinks you deserve better!

As I mentioned above I get a discount for having automatic payments set up.  I also have overage protection, all incoming calls AND texts are free, no contract once the first contract has expired, free battery swap.  U.S. Cellular boasts the only points program of any wireless carrier.  Each month I earn points (and I even received bonus points on my birthday!) and I'm able to exchange them for a discount on an upgraded phone, ringtones, and more.

I am very happy with U.S. Cellular.  Can you say the same for your wireless provider?  If you aren't happy, what is preventing you from switching?  The most likely reasons are it's too expensive to get out of a contract, it's too much trouble, people don't want to get a new contract, the belief that all carriers are the same, or the new carrier doesn't have the phone they want.

In a recent U.S. Cellular Survey, 56% of people said they were unhappy with their current provider, but only 35 percent have switched carriers.

U.S. Cellular thinks you deserve better!  They believe you are a person and not a number!  They believe in treating the customer with respect, and every time I've ever called customer service or stopped in at a retail store I have been treated with respect. 

In addition, the survey that U.S. Cellular did showed that the majority of customers are in the "Seven year Itch" stage with their current carrier.  What they mean by this is that people are comfortable with their carrier but think they might be missing out on something better! 

Thus, comes Hello, Better from U.S. Cellular.

I'm very happy with U.S. Cellular.

There are a number of different U.S. Cellular phone plans -- there's one to meet your needs.  What I need is different than what my mother needs, but we both have a plan that is just right for us.  If you aren't sure what plan best suits your needs even after looking at the website, just stop in to a U.S. Cellular location, and they will be happy to tell you what your options are.

On my plan, I get the Belief Points.  You can read about the U.S. Cellular Rewards Program for full details.  You can earn a phone upgrade in as little as fifteen months!   My plan takes the longest of any to earn an upgrade because I got one based on my needs, yet I only have to wait nineteen months for a new phone!  (This program has been discontinued.)

So are you happy with your phone company?  If not, you might want to say Hello Better!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Why You're Not Married Yet

Why You're Not Married . . . Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You DeserveWhy You're Not Married . . . Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve by Tracy McMillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit I've read more books on relationships than I want to count. So I'm not sure why I picked up Why You're Not Married Yet by Tracy McMillian. I suppose I was hoping for something new in the age old question of why it seems the women who want relationships can't get them and those wanting to be left alone are fighting off dates. When I told a friend I was reading this book, we had a few laughs about it, and she was checking in to ask if I had found the reason there is no ring on my finger.

This book was different than the many other volumes I have found. It is broken up into ten chapters and each one talk about a different "personality trait" or as I think of them -- character flaws -- which could be sabotaging your relationships. Unlike other books I have read in this genre this is NOT about manipulating a man. It is NOT about how to go forth with a set of rules and accomplish your goal. This book is NOT about a timeline, nor is it how to find a man.

What this book DOES do is teaches you how to improve in areas you may have missed. For instance, one area she points out is that if you have a "power job" you may be more masculine than many men are looking for in their life partner, so the author talks about how to allow your feminine side to shine. Another chapter is the fact that some women still don't have it together. Whatever "it" is, "it" can very from finances in a mess to living in a place that looks like a college boy's dorm room.

Each chapter gives suggestions and even includes a section about what others know but aren't telling you. This is also a very fun read. While it didn't make me laugh, it was quite enjoyable. It reminded me of talks us girls had in college, only we didn't know half this stuff back then.

Overall I very much enjoyed this book. I don't know if it will help or not, but it was a fun read, and for that I give it four stars!

You can purchase this book from Amazon:  
Why You're Not Married . . . Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve

You can take the quiz from the front of the book here:

WHY YOU'RE NOT MARRIED ... YET - Take the Quiz!

FTC disclosure:  I received a copy of this book free from the publisher.  I was not required to review it, nor was I required to provide a positive review.