A woman's romance with motherhood, green living, finance, and this heady thing called life.
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HELP: BECAUSE YOU CAN
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Blog Marketing Teaches Entrepreneurship
After a positive review from my BFF Shen
, I decided to try out blog marketing
site PayPerPost (PPP) where we're paid for our honest opinions on various products and services. To date I have made $224.53 which is a great tiny sum for doing what I love to do anyway. It helps pay my electricity and Internet bills.
For copywriters, the critical part is usually getting paid, so for me, I am happy to take up any writing jobs that are guaranteed to pay. After all, for writers, time is money. And now with Jack in my life, my time is even more precious to me, so I gladly sacrifice sleep time for writing time that I know will pay.
I'd never thought of blogging for money before encountering PPP. Previously all my blogs had been personal or about my cats (they have their own blog
). But since I began writing for PPP, I began thinking seriously about what direction I wanted my blog to go, and the opportunities I selected reflected that.
I've always felt strongly about keeping myself educated on the important things in my life: managing personal and family finances, health issues that might affect my loved ones, and (okay, not important, but they light my fire) my passion for apps and gadgets and widgets, which I've begun writing about more recently so much so I decided to resurrect an old tech blog
I had started a while ago and place my tech posts there. Those are the only ones that feel a little out of place here.
In addition, I've taken a greater interest in learning how to drive traffic to my blog, improve my page ratings, and optimising my hit rate through search engines. I have also been networking more with other bloggers and learning even more. It's an excellent way to learn online entrepreneurship.
So to the people running PPP, thanks for giving us regular folk a great way to earn money and helping us, in the process, learn about blog marketing
and improving our blogs overall. Cheers!PayPerPost
, blog marketing
Friday, February 23, 2007
I've always had a yen for making my own music videos
since I was a google-eyed kid watching MTV. With some clunky video software, I came close but my computer crashed while attempting to render it. This was back in 2000.
Perfect for weddings, gifts, or simply a cool way to store your fave photos, here's a neat new way
of mixing music with images. I had an idea to mix some of my cartoons with some music to make my very own music video, a la Aha's Take On Me, which still awes me till today.Fliptrack
has a zillion music tracks for you to choose from. They're legal and have a wide range enough for everyone. I will be picking the '80s, '90s, and pop rock for sure. :) Dang did I just reveal my age?
, music videos
Finally, a Tag System on Strange Machines
I am a secret admirer of Seigey
, having lurked on his blog site for quite a while now. He recently posted an update on adding tags to Blogdrive, which although I find to be one of the best blog providers around, does not have a tagging system!
A good compromise is ZoomClouds
, a neat tagging system that anyone can use on their site. It's pretty, very very easy to use, friendly, and very customisable. I installed it within 10 minutes with some tweaking.
Like Seigey, I was going to make my own if I couldn't find one but this one (see left of page) seems to work well for now. Ideally I'd like it to tag the whole blog and link directly within my site (which Blogger does) but it is cool for now.
According to their FAQ
, it starts by reading the recent RSS feeds and then compiles the content added as time goes by. Definitely worth a test run. Get yours today
BREAKING NEWS! A colossal squid has been caught in the Ross Sea by New Zealand fishmen. It weighed in at about 450kg and was 10m long. The giant squid is longer, but the colossal squid is heavier. They are not related.
It was hauled to the surface while munching on one of its favourite foods, a Patagonian toothfish which the fishermen had hooked on a longline.
"The decision was taken that the chances of survival were not good, and in the interests of science it should be taken on board," Geoff Dolan, an observer with New Zealand's Ministry of Fisheries said.
(Source: Colossal squid hooked with rings the size of tractor tyres
Colossal squid, known by the scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, are estimated to grow up to 46 feet long and have long been one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.
"I can assure you that this is going to draw phenomenal interest. It is truly amazing," said Dr. Steve O'Shea, a squid expert at the Auckland University of Technology. If calamari rings were made from the squid they would be the size of tractor tires, he added.
Colossal squid can descend to 6,500 feet and are extremely active, aggressive hunters, he said.
(Source: Colossal Squid Caught Off Antarctica
(Blog Source: xenogere
Tags: science news
, colossal squid
Make Your Own Joomla Templates
Having worked as a webmaster for a large corporate intranet three years ago and running my own sites since 1996, it's refreshing to encounter a free open source (this is key!) content management system (CMS) available now for content publishing on the net as well as the intranet.
Joomla! allows webmasters to utilise popular features like RSS feeds, blogs, polls, search, printable pages, page caching, and language internationalisation to create neat templates for our websites.
I have to confess with blogging software so easy to use now, I've been lazy and also busy with work and baby to learn how to use the new hip stuff (yeah the AJAX DVD is still sitting here next to me since I got it while I was pregnant).
It would be great to pick up a book again to learn how to make my own Joomla Templates
. The ClubTVK Joomla Template Kit's a cool e-book (download to PDA to read while breastfeeding Jack at night) that shows noobs - yes that's me in this case - how to create a template in 5 easy steps.
The pack includes 2 PDF e-books, 6 templates with full instructions (essential as a starting off point), 44 extra templates, 1 button set, and 1 Tag Cloud Module.
It's always important to keep up with technology. I better learn this quickly before my skills get obsolete.While this is a sponsored post, the author acknowledges that the time to upgrade her technical skills is much overdue.
Tags: Joomla templates
Thursday, February 22, 2007
There are two types of debt: good debt and bad debt. Most families, mine included, have a combination of good and bad debt. Our home, car, and sometimes useless stuff we buy everyday contributes to this.
Good debt is debt that helps you secure an asset. A prime example is property which you live in (capital appreciation) or rent out (capital appreciation plus rental income). Most of us won't be able to purchase such things in cash and hence, we will need to borrow this money.
Bad debt is debt that does not secure you anything (intrinsic joy unfortunately doesn't count). Examples are credit card debt, purchasing a car (yes, cars are not assets), and almost every retail purchase.
How do we reduce debt then? The principle is to reduce the effective interest rate you are paying. Look for opportunities from Debt Consolidation Services
, which give you a better interest rate overall as well as advice on how to pay off your loans quickly.
Act now. Every day your interest is compounding.This post is sponsored by CreditLoan.com.
Technorati: good debt
, bad debt
, loan consolidation
Toys for baby don't have to cost anything. In fact I find Jack gets so bored with the educational toys that were given to him. Here are some toys he's enjoyed that are from our home itself.1. Plastic bottles of different shapes, labels, sizes
a. Fill bottles with several different water levels. Let baby see how water swishes inside.
b. Buy 2 different sized (500ml and 1l) bottles with the same label. Let baby compare them.
c. Drink some water from a bottle. Let baby drink water from a bottle.
d. Let baby chew lid if he likes to.How Jack played with this:
Jack spent a lot of time chewing the lid (soothing for teething babies), patting the bottle and examining it, and comparing it to another when I offered him two. When I let him, he happily drank water from the bottle.2. Cotton towels
a. Use them to cover your face and play peekaboo.
b. Use them to cover a toy while baby is watching and ask baby, "where's the toy?"How Jack played with this:
Jack has enjoyed playing a. since he was a month old and b. since he was 6 months.3. Boxes of all shapes and sizes
a. Ensure boxes have no sharp edges and colour that can be removed when sucked on.
b. Put a variety of objects in the box and change them regularly. Small toys can include plastic balls, a cardboard phone, plastic rings, and small cloth dolls.How Jack played with this:
Jack was delighted with his Treasure Box and looked forward to opening it and examining the different toys inside.
Technorati: cheap toys, baby toys, motherhood, parenting
Warning: Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Linked to Deadly Blood Clots
Birth control. The thing that has empowered women since its invention. The condom, the Pill, IUDs, the patch. No longer will we be stuck home producing child after child, career dreams dashed to the ground. We can now work, travel, and plan our life the way we want it.
Some of these methods can go horribly wrong. Since hearing about the stroke risk linked to the Ortho Evra Patch
, I did a quick Google search and found numerous lawsuits against its manufacturer.
Former Johnson & Johnson Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Joel Lippman was even quoted to say, “The clinical research had revealed that the estrogen dose released by the Evra patch as a means of birth control may increase the risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms.”
There have been over 1,000 claimants to date. Some women in their 20s using the product have died of blood clots. The US Food and Drug Administration
has stated that "women who use Ortho Evra are exposed to about 60 percent more total estrogen in their blood than if they were taking a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen" and is continuing to monitor safety reports on the Ortho Evra.
If you've been injured by Ortho Evra, contact Ortho Evra Attorneys & Lawyers
who is currently representing individuals around the United States in Ortho Evra lawsuits.This is a sponsored post. The author recommends that if you are planning to use any birth control products or any medical or health products, please read up on the risks. A simple Google search will usually give a brief answer to your query.
Tags: Ortho Evra
, birth control
It's been 2 years since the kids joined Catster
. I confess they haven't been very active there save for the occasional feline friend request which is always delightful to receive.
For those with feline companions on Catster, here are my critters' pages: Boy
, and my baby Kaku
The kids have grown so fast. I can hardly believe Boy is 15 years old already. It seems like just yesterday he was a month old, a tiny thing mewling so loudly in the drain, so spirited and hungry to be alive. Hungry too actually. Even my Mom couldn't resist him. I wonder how his own Mom could leave him (or perhaps he was taken away from his mother who might have been a pedigree and mated with a stray cat - sheer speculation of course).
The other four had their Moms longer. Buffy and Tux were rescued when they were 3 months, scrounging food as babies from a school canteen. Their Mom was still around but the authorities were catching cats to be put down so they were rescued. Then wily Mom who eluded the authorities then had another litter and Sam and Kaku were born, along with Mystique (now Brownie), Wolvy, and Maggie. Sadly their Mom got caught by the authorities this time and is most likely dead now. :(
Nonetheless they are my family now and looking back, they've all brought and received unmeasurable joy to our home. I hope we have many more years together.
Tags: five cats
It's around that time of year again. Time to check my housing loan contract to see if it is time to refinance my loan. Over here, everything is done manually. You have to check with each bank to see what deals they have and what they can offer you.
There's also the issue of banks giving preferential rates to new customers and giving those who wish to refinance their loans in the same bank, a raw deal. That said, I have to give kudos to my current bank for giving us a good deal when I called them.
Mortgage rates are going up and in my experience, choosing the fixed rate over the floating is always a better choice. First of all, you know exactly how much you are paying that year. It's easier for you to budget for the next 2-3 years depending on your contract (aim for fixed rates over 3 years), and you're not subject to what the board rate is (which can vary depending on who you are - yes, it's been that issue in the newspapers).
Also look for prepayment penalties and when you can most likely refinance your loan again. Ideally it should be no more than 2-3 years.
What would be great is an independent mortgage broker who can suss out the best deals for you. Sure, they have that here too, people who get kickbacks from banks they represent, but I've yet to find one online which I can review before talking to them.
That's why a company like SecureLoanConsolidation.com
is great. They instantly connect you with Credit Card Debt, Mortgage Refinance
, and Home Equity Loan lenders, and give you good concise advice on their site. If you live in the United States and have some Home Mortgage
loans to refinance, do stop by and have a look.This post is sponsored by SecureLoanConsolidation.com. The author recommends you review the fine print of your home loan contract annually, as well as scout around for current home loans rates to see if you can get a better deal over the next few years.
, home loan