Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Practicing Common Cell Phone Courtesy

This is a sponsored post from U.S. Cellular.  All opinions 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. 

Back in 2002 Jacqueline Whitmore declared for July to be Cell Phone Courtesy month.  Can you believe that's been 14 years ago we have been dealing with "mobile manners"!  There are many ways that you can be courteous to others with your cell phone.  Answering texts and phone calls in a reasonable amount of time is one of the best ways to be polite to others.  Another is not sending group texts.  I have somehow gotten in group texts of people I don't even know and having to receive so many texts where someone is ranting about their ex-husband, it's not fun!

I am a firm believer in people should interact with others and not a screen.  My husband and I want to foster / adopt and we have starting making some house rules, as it's easier to enforce rules with children if they are already in place.  One of our rules is that people are more important than electronics.

Monday, July 11, 2016

5 of My Favorite Things Birthday Edition

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's my birthday month, and I'm starting to have freebies come in from all over the Internet.  To celebrate, I wanted to give one of my readers a gift of one of my favorite things -- an Amazon gift card!  There's so many wonderful things on Amazon.  A few of my favorite things lately are:

Kindle Unlimited.  I call this "The Netflix for Books".  Seriously, what can be more fun than to download a new book every time you finish one for one monthly price?  Only certain ones are available on this service, but I'm finding no lack of stuff to read!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to win a Blog Giveaway

If you have been reading blogs for any amount of time, I'm sure you have come upon what is called a blog giveaway.  These are individuals hosting a giveaway and because it's on a smaller platform than a national sweepstakes, often your chances are better of winning.  How do you increase your chances even more?

First, as with any giveaway or sweepstakes, read the rules.  Make sure you are eligible.  Sometimes these are open worldwide, sometimes only to a certain country (usually the USA, Canada, or Australia.)  I even have seen one where the marketing agency the blogger is working with was
willing to accept winners from Canada, but the service they were giving the code away for was not able to be used in Canada.  That would be disappointing if you spent time entering that only to find out you couldn't use it.  Otherwise bookmark their blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

8 Tips for Listing Your Items on eBay

FTC disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.

I've been an eBay member since 1998 and have been selling most of that time.  That's a long time, and I'd like to share a few basic tips for anyone who would like to sell a few things.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: The Life We Never Expected - Parenting Children with Special Needs

FTC disclaimer:  This post does contain affiliate links.

In The Life We Never Expected, Andrew and Rachel Wilson write the book they wish they could have read at the beginning of their journey of raising two children with special needs.  Their son and daughter both have severe autism, and this book is both hope to the special needs parent as well as the story of how they have learned to cope, find joy, and keep their faith through this unexpected part of their life.

I don't have children, but am related to both an adult and child with autism so this was an interesting book for me to read.  I really enjoyed the layout of the book.  There were five sections, which they called "cycles".  Within each cycle, there were five sections relating to thing that special needs parents can relate to -- weeping, waiting, worshiping, witnessing, "and breathe".

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Get Free Money With the Qricket App!

I signed up for Qricket a while back but wanted to wait until I cashed out to write a review about it.

What is Qricket?  It's an app found both in the app store and Google Play that allows you to earn spins by watching ads.  With those spins you can try spin the wheel and see if you win free money.  I do this when I have extra time -- such as when I'm cooking, waiting on my husband, or even in the bathroom!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Review: Un-Ashamed by Heather Davis Nelson

When I was asked to review Un-Ashamed Healing our Brokenness and Finding Freedom From Shame by Heather Davis Nelson, I was at first reluctant.  Shame is an area I have studied, and I didn't think I would find much more on the topic than I already had encountered.  I am happy to say, though, that I was mistaken.

This book was a fast read for me.  I wanted to devour the information.  Usually when I read a book that quickly, I tend to then re-read it so I can absorb it completely.  This book begins with an overview of shame, how it differs from guilt, and then talks about what it is like to live without shame clouding your world view.  (Can I hear nearly everyone say, "Wow.  Wouldn't that be great?")  Then this book transitions into shame in more specific relationships.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why I Donate Through eBay For Charity

FTC disclaimer:  The post contains affiliate links.
eBay for Charity was created after 9/11.  Originally, eBay only had things set up to donate to the Red Cross and the program was called "Auction For America".  After that time, it began to develop into what it is today.  For a while it was called Giving Works, and now it's "eBay for Charity".  I have been using it with my eBay listings since about 2008.  For the 2016-2017 year I am giving 10% of all my eBay sales to charity.  Here are a few reasons why.
 Let me explain with an example from November 2013. . .

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On Being Bullied: A Letter to 13 Year Old Me

Dear 13 year old me,

I know it's hard right now.  I remember and I hurt for you.  So much of my advice would sound trite, but please know you have two choices.  You can believe them and wither away or you can remain strong and find a solution.  I know you.  I know which path you choose, and you are going to do amazing things, things you could never begin to imagine.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Keeping Your Family Safe on the Internet

I am a member of the U.S. Cellular blogger Brigade, but all opinions 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. 

I think back and wonder what it would have been like to have today's technology when I was growing up.  In some ways, I am glad we didn't.  I was bullied in school, and I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if cyberbullying had existed.  Yet, I can't help but think of all the photos I missed out on by not having a phone with me, fishing around for coins so I could call my mother and let her know Drama Club practice had let out, and friendships that faded away because of time and disconnect.

One thing I am certain, though, is if I had a cell phone when I was 13, which is the average age kids receive one, my parents would have made sure I truly understood how to be safe with it.  My husband and I plan on foster / adopting, and before we even think of allowing a child a cell phone, we will sit down with them and go over U.S. Cellular's FREE parent child agreement.  I will also go over this with my child's school and teachers.