Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Do You Turn When You Need Financial Help, Quick?

I have experienced being broke, living paycheck to paycheck, (I am currently still;) But there are times when you receive a shut off notice for a utility, a late payment warning for a car loan, a mortgage, credit card payments, and you still have to figure out where the money for food, school lunch accounts, gas, money will be coming from. There are plenty of ways throughout my past, and present, that my family has to figure and re figure, and try to plan and pick what will get paid before what, etc. We do need a new roof, and a few other major or semi major repairs, but we are hanging on, for now! However, if something were to happen, and the roof needed fixed immediately, what do I do? My husband and I run a small trucking company, and the bills that we accumulate from just this alone, are rough! It eats up our savings every couple months, and it is very hard to budget and have a structured routine, because of how we get paid, when, sometimes not at all, and if we get repairs, they cost 10 times what a normal vehicle repair would cost! It just never seems to fail, every time we get back up to being comfortable and we replace our savings, and our bills are caught up, something breaks, leaks, falls apart, blows up, lol I'm sure most of you have had this happen to you! It just always seems to happen to our family. We don't have the type of careers, income, needed to apply and be approved for a loan from some magical bank who will charge us next to nothing for interest. I am a pt bartender, and we have a self employed income from our tractor trailer business. So, the banks sure aren't jumping at us with consolidation loans, credit, and no interest, no fee loans! We have been on our own, completely, for several years, and after our past credit card bills are paid off, I never plan to apply for credit again! (Yes, credit cards take several years to pay off, even when you pay on time every month!!) What have we done in the past to grab quick emergency cash when our savings and emergency cash were depleted? Lots of things! I would take on more then 2 jobs sometimes, but that wasn't much help if it was an immediate need. Besides, with 4 kids, 3 who are at home, and small, and my medical condition, this isn't an option any longer. We have re structured our bills and paid some and not others, and called to make payment arrangements, defer payments, make interest payments, and skip payments, all to make at least the biggest headache go away. Before the bank crisis, and even years before that, we would once in a while, take a "vacation" or "personal" loan from our bank or local loan stores, remember the stores that would give you a $3000 loan for a fairly decent interest rate, still higher then a bank loan, but easier to get? Then came the "payday loans", well, I have to say, they can be very helpful, especially when they offer lower interest if you pay early or on time. I remember when these payday loan offices started popping up all over our town. One was right by the grocery store, a Blockbuster, and every time you would drive by, it would be packed! Of course, a few months later, a major repair really hit us, and we were on the verge of disaster, again, so I wrote down all our options, what resources do we have? We had only so much saved up, I took extra shifts at my job, (although this was an immediate need, it still gave us extra in the near future to work with), and I had already taken the much anticipated interest payment on my car loan, and the utilities were already on payment plans. Our change jars helped a small amount, but there was a little over $1000 we desperately were in need of, and fast! So, I took a drive to the "payday loans" store, and went inside. (I did call first to see what was needed, pay stubs, id, checking account info, etc), it was fairly quick and I was a little worried about getting caught in this routine where we had to pay them back and possibly re borrow, (there was a couple that were having just that issue while I was there). It was painless, expensive? YES. But my stress was gone, for now, and I had enough to take care of our immediate needs! The extra shifts I took, could help pay this bill back. It may not be our first option, but it is there, and we have since used a similar service, which wasn't as expensive, but still much more then banks! They are online now, they are fairly reasonable, when you think about all of the benefits, and you normally have the option to pay back early and not have penalties, and fees and you could even get a cheaper pay back rate! It's just nice to know that this option is there, and I would be totally aware of the rules, the payments, the fact that they have your info, your bank account info, and that they can and will, take their payments out when you agreed to pay them! I would also check into whichever company you use them for, but make it a last resort! Most importantly to me, is when you have 2 days to pay your electric bill, get a weeks worth of groceries, diapers, and you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, and your car doesn't start and they just called you to say it is the transmission, there could be a last resort, and when you are down in that hole, that may be the hope you need! **Please read our disclosure statement!**

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Busymommylist Sneakpeeq Giveaway!!!!

When it comes to the Busymommylist/Sneakpeeq giveaway, everybody wins! Sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering, plus a chance at the Grand Prize: one winner will receive a $25 gift card to use on your favorite food, style and home products. One runner-up prize winners will receive a $10 gift card—that goes a long way in Sneakpeeq’s amazingly low-priced boutiques!

Come see all the things you love but haven’t discovered. Sneakpeeq only has New Products that you have never seen before!

Enter the giveaway by clicking the link: and joining Sneakpeeq! All winners will be announced on my blog on 03/01/2012!!!

Chick-E Giveaway! 10 of You Can Win a Free Download of Holy Cannoli! Chick-E Gets a Job!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Be Fun. Be Fabulous. Be You. (Holy Cannoli! Chick-E Gets A Job)

If you like funny, silly, hilarious, very descriptive stories, this is definitely one you must check out!
I did read this story with my kids, even though the word "bra" is included! ( I would suggest, that if you are the type of parent who does not want this word in your children's stories, replace it when you read to them!) Don't just throw this off to the side, and disregard! Because this book teaches a very valuable lesson, and you will be pleasantly pleased at the end of this story!
I have to explain who Chick-E is, Chick-E, is a very cool, and sweet character, I am assuming she may be a teenager, or very early adult. But she is an, energetic, lively, cool and very positive chic, with some super cute hair, and a great personality! She loves to help others with problems, and has the kinds of answers a parent would be content and very pleased  with, when Chick-E is asked by their pre teens and teens.
She even has her own blog!  
Chick-E also has a Facebook page !
You can also find her answers to some of life's, kid's. and young adult's roughest questions, on her Youtube channel!
I was very happy to have been given the chance to do this book review, and I read the story with my children, and I visited her blog, and social network, to see what she was about. It has been a long time since I have picked up an issue of YM or Seventeen magazine, do you remember Sassy magazine? That was the cooler magazine for the cooler chics;p and that is where I bet Chick-E would have her own "Ask Chick-E" section each month!
I have to say, we all loved the story, I especially loved the lesson in the book, and my kids love to laugh and this was a very silly book! I am a big fan of teaching our future adults, to love and respect others and themselves, and to always get right back up and never give up! I especially love when these values and lessons are hidden in such a good way, (to our children), behind a cool girl that will end up being a good friend, and a book that has some of the funniest scenes, (food flying all over the place, ALWAYS gets them!!)
This book has it all! Holy Cannoli! Chick-E Gets A Job by Mona Schmitt, is definitely a book for parents, grandparents, school teachers, and children of course!
Chick-E gets herself a job at Mama Romano's restaraunt, and she has quite the eventful, first day! Did you ever have one of those days when everything just seems to be going wrong? (I know I sometimes have those a couple times a week!) Well, that is how poor Chick-E's first day was. After some flying meatballs, a couple crazy twins and M&M's, Mama Romano, and noodles in her hair, Chick-E gets sent home early.
What happens next is my favorite part, not to mention, a recipe that doesn't sound bad at all! You have to read this story to see how quickly, smoothly and confidentially, Chick-E changes the course of her waitressing job at the Italian restaraunt.
This is Volume 1 in the Chick-E Gets A Job series, so I am very anxious to read the next volume, and Genevive, my 5 year old, already loves Chick-E. (I think it's the hair that got her!!) Genevive has been asking about this Chick-E book, ever since she heard it, and in 8 years or so, I am hoping Chick-E is still around answering questions for Genevive!
Chick-E also has some t-shirts and pendants you can check out here! 
This is my new favorite saying, and my favorite item from the Chick-E shop!
Be fun. Be fabulous. Be You.
It is pretty catchy and short and to the point!
We are giving this story 5 STARS!!
Genevive and I loved it the most, Deegan is 20 months old, so he had a fun time watching the rest of us giggle and Aaron actually picked up on the lesson  and shared his insight. Which led to our discussion on. how to make the best out of everything from school days to fighting with siblings, to possible future dilemmas. This story was written very well, lots of adjectives, which described everything so well, you don't need pictures!
Another cool activity from this story we are planning? Why, make Neatballs, of course!
There is much more coming from this author, you have to check out Chick-E's blog, and Facebook, and  we will be hosting a giveaway, where some of you will win a free download of Holy Cannoli! Chick-E Gets A Job! Stay tuned in for that!! (Coming within the next few days!!)                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Worldwide Dessert Contest Multimedia Edition

I was very excited about this book review, and so were my kids!
They love stories, and the younger ones especially love stories that have any music, songs, and things that make them giggle.
This story reminds me of other favorites of ours, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and  James and the Giant Peach. I was delighted with the tongue twisting, crazy names, rhymes, creative adjectives, we read this several times!
Dan Elish and Alina Adams, have made this a truly brilliant, amusing, entertaining, and very fascinating tale, that I will be reading to our kids, and they will be reading this to their children as well.
The Worldwide Dessert Contest,  follows John Applefeller, through his adventures of failed desserts that turn into something different at the last minute, a pancake trampoline, apple souffle hot air balloons and french toast knee pads!
John Applefeller, has a very hard time with the Worldwide Dessert Contest, and the judges, and a very sneaky, jealous, and arrogant man, Sylvester S.  Sweet.
John has come in last place, every year, for 10 years in a row! Even though he has the most scrumptious desserts, the judges are always upset with John's desserts changing at the last minute, and causing all kinds of catastrophes!
John has a younger friend, Stanley, who goes with him to the contests and supports him through the wacky and outrageous events that take place!
They also run into a very witty janitor, who tells John all about the world famous, Captain B Rollie Ragoon, and they end up taking John's apple souffle hot air balloon on an enchanting journey to find Captain B Rollie Ragoon, on the island of Iambia.
Captain B Rollie Ragoon, ends up helping John Applefeller, and everybody who lives on the island of Iambia, speaks in rhymes, (a fun part of the book for the little ones!) **Warning: you may be asked to repeat some rhymes, over, and over, and over;p**
Together, John Applefeller and Captain B Rollie Ragoon, make a spectacular dessert, roller skating apple pies! But, something terrible happens, and they end up having to make something even more incredible for the contest! The ending is simply delightful and so many amazing things happen, you have to read this to see what happens next! 
This book was a very easy read, I loved the witty, and hilarious adjectives, people, reading about this silly place that was very vivid in my imagination, I could see all of what was happening! (That is when I know it is a fabulous story, you don't need pictures to "see" the characters and events!) Although, there are a few drawings, and the music is a super fun addition, and it kept the story even more alive!
My children, Aaron (8), Genevive (5), and Deegan (1), were kept busy with laughter, and rolling on the floor in non stop giggle mode!
All of us give this book a 5 Star Rating!
It was a fun read, kept us on the edge of our seats, and taught one of the most valuable lessons we teach our children! If you fail, try and try again! (In John Applefeller's case, try and try 11 times! )
This is a good story to read to your children, over and over, in parts before bedtime, or the whole story, all at once! We chose to grab some popcorn, and spend an after school afternoon reading and listening to the songs, and had a silly time!
After the story, you can discuss the lesson that was learned, and maybe get some paper and crayons out and draw a dessert you would like to bake and what you would like it to turn into! So many fun things to create and imagine from the story, I promise your kids will have a blast!
** I was given a free download of this story in return for my honest review, and my children's honest review. All ideas, thoughts, statements, words, are my own and my children's**

You Never Lose Risk Free Penny Auctions (Review and Free Offer!)

When I first received an email about this penny auction site, I figured it would end up being as expensive in the long run, as all the other penny auction sites. Well, surprisingly enough, I was very wrong!
I have been checking with this site for a few weeks, and figured I should research them a bit, before I tell any friends, readers, family, etc, to sign up with them, and I have been more then pleased with this website!
I have tried plenty of other "penny auctions", and luckily, I wasn't the type who continued to purchase pennies to use to place bids, otherwise, I would have spent hundreds for something definitely not worth anywhere close to it. (You will usually find these websites affiliated or sent in an email offer by the websites that pay you to sign up for things, shop online, etc)
What makes this website so unique, is that you will get points ONLY, when you purchase gift cards! If you buy a $50 gift card, you will get 50 points, and so on. Those points in turn end up being your "pennies" that you can use to place bids on other gift cards!
I was given 25 pennies or points, to try them out, and alas, I did not win. However, had I made a gift card purchase, and racked up my points, I believe I would have been able to outbid a few other bidders and win at least once.
They offer gift cards to purchase from all the regular brands and retailers. Gap, Sears, Bath and Body works, are just a few of the gift cards you can buy in order to get points, (or pennies). They also offer FREE shipping on all of your gift card purchases! You can't really lose here, hence the name, You Never Lose. (lol)
The auctions seem to go on 24 hours per day, and you can check in and see how much time is left, place your bids, whenever you have time.
Of course there will be a lot of people on, bidding and trying to outbid, but I believe this would be an excellent site to actually buy gift cards from, year round. Then I would keep racking my points up, and wait until I had several, then I would start getting serious and try and outbid everybody I could, to grab a gift card or 2.
If you would spend $500 throughout theyear on gift cards, and buy them all through,, and maybe choose a month or a week, or 2 throughout the year, and log on to bid like crazy, you could more then likely grab a gift card for FREE! (You aren't spending a cent on your points, since you literally make a purchase for the same amount you spent)
I am going to do this, and I will keep everybody up to date with what I might win in the future from this site. It is a newer site, and I believe it will indeed, turn out to be one of the better gift card, and penny auction sites around.
Visit their site and see what they have to offer! They are offering a code for all my readers, with your first purchase! Use code: LAUNCH10, and when you buy your first gift card, you will get an additional 10 points in your account!!
Keep in mind, most penny auctions have this rule at the end of an auction!
When somebody bids in the last few seconds of an auction, it will add 20 seconds to the bidding time that is left! So, you might want to grab some coffee, and make sure you have a bit of time.Don't bid, and leave! Otherwise, you won't be winning a thing. You have to sit and sometimes these auctions can get a little crazy, but if it's free, well, it is worth a shot!!
Visit their Facebook page, and you can find them on Twitter!
Sign up today and remember to use the coupon code, LAUNCH10 for your free 10 points!! (With your first gift card purchase!) A very sweet offer, just for checking out their site!
Please comment below and let me know if you developed a good strategy or if you won, I love to hear feedback on the sites and brands that my family loves!
Plus, the rest of us could sure use some pointers!