Just a little rant for the week....

So, I am sure most of you have been wondering where I am. I know I have been tweeting and posting about random Cash Crate things. But I haven't been really talking about myself or my family lately.

Well, we have been hitting a lot of rough patches that I have been wanting to overlook and in turn burying myself in my "work" to avoid thinking about it all. I am still up in the air about how I feel about it all, but I think I should really get it off my chest before it eats me alive. So, here for my online community of friends, I need to just vent a little.

A few weeks ago, my step daughter really became worse with my son. She has always not really played well with him, simply because she is used to playing with her older cousins and they play rough. Well, my son is only 1 years old, and so we have always told her she needs to play nicer and gentler with him. But that wasn't really the issue lately.

Thankfully our living room is connected right next to their bedroom that they share. They were in their playing when I heard my son whimpering. It was a very strange sound to hear coming from my happy-go-lucky little boy, so I peeked my head around the corner. What I saw would have made any mother's skin crawl.

My SD had her large pink fleece blanket tossed over my son completely, and is holding it and him down. She is also leaned close to him whispering 'Shh it's ok.' Completely and utterly shocked, I stood up and walked into the room. I could barely react and the only thing I could say was 'What are you doing?' Normally I would have predicted that I would have flipped out and screamed at her, but I couldn't even bring myself to comprehend what I had seen.

She tried telling me she was trying to make the blanket look like his hair, but we all know that that was not the case. She also tried saying that she was whispering to him that it was ok if he wanted to take the blanket off, which again we all know is not true. I was scared out of my mind for my son. I took every blanket in the room away. I just was beside myself about how to handle this situation.

The next morning, there was another mishap where my son fell and was in a stuck position, and instead of helping him or coming to get one of us, she laughed at him until we came running into the room. Hubby and I were dumbfounded as to where this new behavior was coming from. It was obvious it was for some kind of attention. That afternoon we got her in to see a psychiatrist, and she started rambling off all kinds of things about voices in her head telling her to do these things.

Now, hubby and I know that her grandma often has friends over with mental illnesses and they openly discuss these types of issues around her. So, we questioned where she heard things like this, and she told us who told her about 'voices.' We then explained this to her counselor. Now we have a whole new issue of attention, lying, and acting-out behaviors.

Needless to say, this is all something an 8 month pregnant mother of almost 2 does not need to be dealing with her step daughter about. I feel unsafe to leave my son alone with her, and at the same time I hate feeling like I have to watch over her every move. It's not fair to any of us to have these types of feelings toward family members.

I'm not exactly sure where we stand now. As a family, we still have the same rules in our house just with one added (no blankets for play time). Also, my SD has begun calling me 'mommy' on a regular basis now and rarely refers to me by my first name anymore. Does this mean we are on the right track and soon will be one 'happy family'? Only time will tell... but I know one thing is for sure... I personally will never forget that moment. It has scarred me in quite a deep place. And although I hold no anonymosity towards my SD because of it, the action and the intent behind it burned me badly.

Wouldn't you feel the same way if this happened to one of your children regardless if it was another one of your own kids doing it?


What is Me2Everyone?

Have you heard of Me2Everyone lately? I hadn't either... I came across it randomly while surfing the web (my passion nowadays), and was intrigued at the concept. A virtual world, similar to Second Life, where members get real world shares for FREE....!! Huh?

Yeah, well skeptical, but none the less still interested I did a quick Google search for "Me2Everyone scam" and what did I come up with? Nothing! Well, nothing bad anyways. The only bad talk about it was things like 'Sounds like a scam' and 'They want your email to spam you.'

Oh boy, spam mail really kills you right? LOL. I already have a billion spam emails set up for my Cash Crate "work" anyways. So, what does it bother me any...

Alright, so why not? As long as I guard my information, don't give them any unnecessary and important info like my SS# or credit card # then I will be all set.

So, let's register... Name, Email, Choose a Password, Recommender ID (person that referred you), and verification word (to show I am a real person). Then I read through the paragraph at the bottom (not really fine print because it was normal sized)...

Thank you! We only need this basic information for now. When you complete registration and sign-in you will be able to read what's happening during pre-launch and also start to recommend your friends. Everyone who becomes a member of me2everyone.com will also become a shareholder. You will be entitled to dividends and also to sell your shares to anyone who wants to buy them. You give us your permission to email you and we confirm all your details will remain private. We hate spam as much as you. Please also remember that if you spam, place illegal advertisements, register anyone without their express permission, register under an alternate name or register yourself more than once in an attempt to gain multiple bonus shares we reserve the right to cancel your membership and your shares. me2everyone launches soon and you are about to become part of something that by December 2012 will have more than 100,000,000 members.
Pretty straight forward, and yes they mention... No spam. Click.

Here I was waiting for a page to enter bank information or another such page that you have been roped into a scam. But nope there was none. You had to click through many pages to confirm that your referrer was correct, which I was kind of annoyed by that. But I guess they just want to be sure you are a real person and that you are sure you want to give this person credit for you becoming part of the Me2Everyone community.

And that's it... the main site has not launched yet, so right now everyone is still getting in on the ground floor. Are they over reaching and hyping up the site's potential? Possibly, but it's FREE, so what do I care. I am in and I will be waiting to see what the site is like once it launches. I also ask that you join me by clicking here. This way when it does launch we can check it out together.... I heard that we can have board meetings, sell shares, buy shares, all sorts of real world things, and some that are not 100% business/finance related!

And there is much, much talk right now about how this site will be a big potential online money earner. So, why not get in now and earn as many shares as you can before the site even launches? Then if you don't want to stick with it, then you can simply sell your shares for real world $$. Sounds great to me.


Something incredible has arrived!

I just became a shareholder in me2everyone and I never had to pay a single penny for the shares! It can only be described as the gold-rush for 2009. This company is going to be huge and shares will soar in value over the coming months! You can register for free and it never has to cost you a single penny!

me2everyone is going to be a cool new virtual world where you can meet friends, chat, shop, play, watch videos, create an art gallery, open a virtual newspaper, play the free inworld lottery and make money from your own online store! You and everyone you know make the decisions, shape the world, create real incomes and share in the profits. It’s a new place where you meet new people or invite your friends. Learn new skills or expand your business. Find the love of your life or help the planet.

Membership is free and every member automatically becomes a shareholder in me2everyone Limited. Personally I have 250 shares just for joining in the venture and I am going to increase my shares very soon. This is an excellent chance for all of us to make some real progress in 2009 and beyond! Please do not miss it.

If you are looking for something really good in 2009: something that changes your view on the world, then you really have to spend just one minute and look at this website.

What are your feelings on this site?


Quick Update

Sorry everyone that I haven't been updating. As most of you may know, I have been ultra busy with my newest blog, I Want To Be Debt Free, and earning free money online. Check out my new blog for ways to earn free money online, and to see how much I am making right now.

But as for Mama Knows Best, I have been compiling a very long list of ways to advertise your home business offline (instead of online). My deadline has been to get this up last week, however that doesn't seem to have happened. So, my new deadline is by Monday night (2/23). So, if you are really interested in this list, then keep me focused and on track. *Wink* (Tweets, comments, or even emails)

I will be around today, but not sure how much tomorrow because it is my hubby's birthday (Yay for 27! Even though he's not too thrilled about the age. Hehe). We have lots of people coming over, and lots of food to cook. The menu will include: Chili, Cornbread, and Homemade Pizza. Then the night will probably commence with Poker, because that's how my hubby's family is.

So wish us luck in the gambling, and wish me luck in the typing.


Home Business Ideas

I have been thinking lately of more and more home business ideas. I am still on a roll with Cash Crate, and I have even made a new blog dedicated to becoming debt free using it. So, check me out there, and once I get my check in March (which I am already guaranteed to get) I will post a pic for you all to see the proof.

In the meantime, besides pouring myself into my kids and Cash Crate, I still need more. Don't we all need more money in this income? So, until my Cash Crate really begins to add up (mostly waiting on getting more referrals, come on all and join me *wink*), I need another form of passive or aggresive income to sustain us.

My newest idea is to teach kids (or adults) how to crochet. My mother taught me, and even though I have never finished a blanket, I know how to crochet and I have always been told that I am a great teacher. The only reason I have not finished a blanket is because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. However I think that teaching someone for 30 min to an hour a night (or day) a couple of times a week wouldn't kill my arms.

If that idea is not a break out one, I have some others. Such as:
  • Tutor
  • Selling on Ebay
  • Pet sitting
  • Baby sitting
  • Selling baked goods
  • Selling crafty 'recipes in a jar'
Hmm... that's all I think I got for now. Do you have any other ideas or methods you use as supplemental income?


School Work Contract

Ever since we moved, SD has been bringing home work assignments that are not her best work. Even her coloring is worse than it was when she was 4! She really is seeming to be digressing in her efforts, and this is worrying us.

Her paternal Grandma has been planning a trip this summer for about a week and a half to Florida, and we were going to let her go with. However with her lack of effort at school, we decided that if she brought home 100 work assignments by the end of the school year that were not her best & proudest work then she was not going to go.

So, I made the following 'contract' to keep track of her progress (or whatever you would call it).

BTW, the random 1's below the chart were not there before.

She has already brought home 3 bad assignments, and I marked them off starting at 100 instead of 1. The reason behind this is so that she can easily see that she only has to bring home 97 more to lose the privilege. This teaches subtraction in a simple form.

You, too, can make one of these for your own child. Some things to consider when creating your own contract like this:
  • What behavior are you trying to discourage? Some ideas are: poor school work, stealing money or items, and not completing chores. Make sure it is substantial and over a long period of time, because 100 things is a lot, but can add up quickly. You want your child to be able to see this. Do not make it something that can happen 100 times in one day, like not listening to you, backtalking, or hitting. These behaviors are better to be ignored rather than added up. Instead use things like an Accomplishment Chart to add up good things your child does.
  • What will be the consequence of reaching 100? Make sure this is something meaningful to your child. Also, make sure it is reasonable and equal to the 100 things. I.E. no camping over the summer, no after-school activities, etc). It also has to be something that you have control over taking away, and that would not burden you terribly. Some that may not work in your favor are: no recess at school, no snacks at school, no play time with friends, or no TV time. Anything where you are not present to control or there are a few variables that would make the punishment be a burden on yourself is not a good idea. Also, if it is too simple or an everyday punishment, then the child is not learning, they will just adapt and become familiar with the punishment. So, you can see why a 'once in a lifetime' event for a child is the perfect tool to guide your child into good behavior.
  • How long will the contract be for? If you are trying to discourage something like bad school work like me, then the deadline is pretty simple, the end of the school year. However for something like stealing or not completing chores, you have a more flexible deadline. Sometimes the event that they will not be allowed to participate in can be the deadline (camping trip, vacation, etc). Try to give your child ample opportunity to correct their mistake by making the deadline last for at least a couple of months. But always have a firm deadline date, so they don't consider it an option. This will undermine your efforts and allow room for the child to negotiate the contract.
Good luck, and if you try this method or have your own, please let us know in the comments below.


10 Tips to Help You Get Started Earning Money Online Fast with Cash Crate

Yes, it's true. I finally cracked last night and began using Cash Crate to make some money online. I was reading an article on Work At Home Mom Revolution which directed me to Frugal Dad's post for Side Hustles To Keep Your Family Finances Afloat. He has some really great ideas, but some that would not work for me right now. However I grew more curious about other information he gave out on his blog and ended up stumbling across this post about Cash Crate being legit and how much he actually earned himself! He even included a photo of his last check for $203.22!

[For my loyal readers and friends, please click on one of my banners or visit Cash Crate.com if you are interested in joining Cash Crate for yourself. That would help me out greatly. Much appreciated :) ]

I know I had tried doing Cash Crate years ago, however I ended up not making it to the minimum (which was $10) and just became bored of the whole task. Now the minimum payout is up to $20, but I am still going to test it out.
Get Paid To Do Free Offers!
Mostly because Frugal Dad included some helpful tips on how to get started with Cash Crate to earn money in your first month, and then I also did some research and found many other helpful hints, tips, and tricks to help you earn money the fastest using Cash Crate and with only an hour of commitment a day!

Here is a summary of the tips I have discovered, and am using myself:
  1. Create a "spam" email account. Instead of using any email account that you actually look at, I suggest creating a free one that you supply to the offers. Supposedly you can use a different email address than the one you specify to Cash Crate, I'm still not sure on that. So, I created one that everything Cash Crate is directed to. I used Gmail to do so, and I applied a filter to all Cash Crate incoming emails to be forwarded to an email I do check since those are the only emails I will care to read.
  2. Create a "spam" voice mail number. Yes, I was stoked to find this tip. Go to simplevoicebox.com or grandcentral.com (I used Simple Voice Box), and you can set up a free number that you can direct the offers to instead of one of your personal real phone numbers. The number is simply a voice mailbox that you customize, and can check (if you want). Voila. No spam phone calls!
  3. Sign up for the Do Not Call list. I had already done a few offers before I found the tip about a free number, so I placed the number I was using onto the Do Not Call list in hopes that these offers will be deterred.
  4. Do NOT use a fake address when completing offers. You are required by Cash Crate to provide each offer with valid information, therefore if you give a fake address you may get deleted by Cash Crate or not credited your money. Also, all the information you provide to Cash Crate directly when registering should be accurate, because they send you real checks. Giving them a false name or address will make it impossible to receive and cash these checks.
  5. Complete the 100% free offers. After registering, go to the “Complete Offers” menu, select “100% Free” from the “Show:” drop down menu filter. These surveys don’t pay as much, but they are typically shorter and do not require a credit card to participate. These are the only offers I am going to complete. Also, sort them by 'Rating' instead of by 'Payout', because you will receive credit for the money earned from those with higher ratings faster.
  6. Download and use Robo Form. This quick, easy, and free program installs a toolbar in your web browser, and it allows you to save profile information for things like surveys. Then with the click of a button, Robo Form will fill in required information as you have specified. Check out this video I found that shows you how to get started with Cash Crate, and has a little tid bit about Robo Form.
  7. Clear your cookies before and after each offer. This will allow you to do the multiple offers, and will make it easier for Cash Crate to confirm your offers quicker. Thus changing your pending money into earned money faster! In FireFox or Flock, you can do this by going to "Tools", "Clear Private Data...", and then unselect all the boxes and only check the one for "Cookies." Then click "Clear Private Data Now."
  8. Hit "No" to any and all of the special offers. You do have to submit your information to the first form as indicated by Cash Crate. However after that there will be literally dozens of "special offers" that pop up on many screens after (I don't mean pop ups). This is the most time consuming part of the whole process, and this is where Robo Form comes in handy a great deal. Even if it pops up saying you must say 'yes' to at least one offer, say 'yes' and then on the next page look for a "Skip" or "No thanks" and select that. Do NOT submit your information to any other offers except the first one required by Cash Crate. For help understanding what I am talking about, check out the video I mentioned earlier and around minute 4:00 he actually walks you through completing an offer.
  9. You can hit Alt-= to fill in all NO's. When you have a page where there is a list of offers and you have to select 'yes' or 'no' to all of them (always choose no, and yes for only one if required), simply hold down Alt and hit the = key and this will fill in all the No's for you. ;) Pretty cool, huh?
  10. On the final page, click on at least 2 offers, let the pages load, and then you're done. At the end of nearly every survey will be a page saying something like "Final Steps: Please complete at least 2 of the offers below." Simply click on two of the offers (usually pictures linking to the site), and let the pages load completely to make them think you visited there. Then close out of all the windows/tabs until you are back at the Cash Crate offers menu. Find the offer you just completed, and hit submit. Once it shows a banner saying it was submitted, clear your cookies like I said in #7. Voila, one offer done and pending. (Also, once you delete your cookies, you will be logged out of Cash Crate, kind of a pain, but simply reload the page and log back in. If you have Robo Form installed, it will save your log in info for you.)
Currently I have $6.30 earned in my Cash Crate account and $24.15 pending, and that was only from signing up late last night. Also, this is the first of the month, so I have 27 more days to earn at least $13.70! I have high hopes that I will be receiving a check around March 15th. LOL. 

Get Paid To Do Free Offers!
Do you use Cash Crate? Did you have a good experience or a bad experience? If you have any other tips or tricks, please share below. Did you find one of my tips helpful? If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to post a comment below or email me at mel [dot] bail [dot] mama [at] gmail [dot] com.