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Birthday Goodies

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Today’s my birthday and I’m going to enjoy a FREE meal, dessert and a movie. I can do it all at little cost because of reward programs. Over the years I’ve signed up for many reward programs. The great perks can usually be seen around my birthday. I decided this year to list all the great things I received at no or little cost around my birthday.

  1. Starbucks: FREE drink or food item
  2. Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one, get one creation
  3. Logans: FREE Nutterbutter with purchase of entrée
  4. Houlihans: FREE entrée (up to $15)
  5. Honey Baked Ham & Cafe: FREE sandwich
  6. Phillip’s Food & Grocery: $1 off any item
  7. Arby’s: FREE 12 oz. milkshake
  8. Red Robin: FREE burger (meal)
  9. Panera: FREE pastry or sweet
  10. Fazoli’s: FREE dessert
  11. Wendy’s : $1 0ff combo
  12. Applebees: Buy one, get one entrée FREE
  13. Victoria’s Secret: $10 off
  14. Redbox: FREE rental
  15. Swagbucks: 50 points
  16. Disney Movie Rewards: 100 points
  17. John Freida: $1.50 off any full size product
  18. CVS: $3 off anything in store
  19. Bone Fish Grill: FREE coconut pie or Bang Bang shrimp
  20. Woman Within: 40% off any item
  21. Philosophy: FREE birthday set with purchase of $25
  22. Hoosier Lottery: FREE $1 scratch off ticket

Great Saving Information

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I opened up my email today and found a graphic sent by All You that begs to be shared. I’m going to print it out cause I always forget. Without further ado I give you all you need to know about saving/storing food.

Wish I Hadn’t Joined this Survey Site

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I really wish I hadn’t wasted eight months of my life trying to earn $50 from Panda Research. I thought it’d be so simple to get paid for reading emails and filling out an occassional survey. Boy was I wrong. First of all, it became annoying fast. The surveys are the kind you get when you go to a site advertising a free product. You know the ones that say fill out your information and press submit. Then while it’s processing you are told to pick an offer in order to receive your freebie. Anyway, each “survey” is awarded a dollar amount. For filling it out you get $0.50, $12 or some other amount of money. Some of the surveys require you to purchase a product.

Well, I was fine with clicking on emails. I figured after I received my first $50 I’d know how long it took for a pay out and if it was worth the effort I was expending. Just as I was getting close the company posted new rules. You can only earn $25 by clicking on emails. This means surveys must make up the other $25. The problem with this is that I’ve accrued almost $43, most of which was earned by clicking on emails. They’ve placed a hold on $11 and the other $25 will only be released if I participate in the scam-like surveys. Basically, I’m out of $43. I’m canceling my membership.

There are good survey sites; my favorite is Pine Cone Research. They mail a $3 check every time you fill out a survey. Panda Research was too good to be true. The emails often paid 5 to 15 cents per click. And as the information below shows, there are times you will fill out a survey and not be paid. Whether it was my fault for not following instructions or the survey site for not acknowledging my work, the result was the same: no money for me.

Surveys Date Survey Status Earnings
PandaResearch Registration Bonus 2011-07-25 ApprovedApproved $3.00
Panda Mails 2012-02-22
Panda Treasure Chest 2012-02-22 Ready for future payments $11.11
Supermarket Survey 2011-07-27 PendingWaiting for approval $1.00
Laptop Survey 2011-07-27 PendingWaiting for approval $1.25
Laptop Study 2011-08-01 RejectedDenied $1.00
Sandwich Study 2011-07-27 PendingWaiting for approval $0.50
Angry Birds Study 2011-08-05 PendingWaiting for approval $1.00
Texting Study 2011-07-25 ApprovedApproved $0.50

Approved Balance Remaining in Your Account: $28.5

Would you dump this survey site? What do you suggest I do?

Thinking About Blackness

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So for those of you who don’t know, I’m biracial. For the most part I consider myself black. I have a black daughter and an African-American daughter. Why the difference? Well my oldest child’s father was African and I’m American, so that makes her African-American. My youngest child’s father is biracial (black and white like me) and when added to my racial identity you get a black child. I’m not from Africa, nor is my mother nor was my mother’s mother. There are many shades of black in America and my family is a prime example of that fact.

I don’t press race on my children, but they are aware of their self identity in a way I never was. My parents never spoke to me about race. I learned early that I would never be white enough for the white people or black enough for the black people. As I aged I realized the need to choose to be either white or black. There was no option to be “mixed” or “biracial”. I tried to just be me. I’m not really sure how well that worked, but today I raise my kids in a very different way.

I don’t use derogatory slang that I may have used as a teenager. (Although I never really said much back then either.) I don’t just watch movies with black actors and actresses or listen to rap and R&B to avoid being made fun of by my peers. Today I like many things. I’ve raised my kids to like many things. Sure we eat a lot of fried chicken, but macaroni and cheese is not a staple in our home and my kids dislike watermelon. We listen to just about all types of music. I hate jazz, but my oldest enjoys it. My kids’ favorite band is Maroon 5.

While my children are aware of race, it has not impacted their lives in the way it did mine. I grew up knowing about racism, slavery and discrimination. It was on television in shows like In the Heat of the Night and Walker Texas Ranger. Today my kids have Jessie and Ant Farm, shows which are diverse. Today’s topics are often silly vs. the let’s improve society shows of the 90s. My girls don’t think of blackness as their identity the way I did at their age. I don’t think they’d consider it at all if I didn’t bring it up. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

So now I bet you’re wondering why I bring it up if it’s really not a big deal. I bring it up so they aren’t shocked when they enter the real world. I want them to know that while it doesn’t change the person they are, it may affect others they meet. Cause let’s face it, there are still jack-asses out there who will look at my kids and say they aren’t black enough or white enough. As much as we like to pretend color doesn’t matter, it does to some people. I see color everywhere and I want my kids to as well. Color is beautiful, all shades from the palest white to the darkest black. February is a month to appreciate blackness. So here’s my nod to…

The Many Shades of Black!

My babies are 9 and 12.

A much younger me with blonde hair and blue eyes.

I Have a Secret Fear

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"I am no one."--CSI Las Vegas

I was writing a review for Scooper Speaks when I realized I’m afraid of something that for many people is a sexual fetish. I’m afraid of people wearing those rubber outfits that cover them from head to toe.

I think it’s more the hoods than the actual catsuit. The lack of facial expression combined with fear of the unknown. Like who is under that mask? Who would wear that mask? What is that person capable of? Is he like Ian Moore on CSI?

I’m creeped out in so many ways…I think I’d have a heart attack if someone came in my house covered in one.

What are you afraid of?

It's the hood that I find intimidating.