Saving Money Make Easy

No matter how young or old, saving money is a good idea. Encourage your children to save. Ask grandparents to contribute to an education savings account instead of buying a toy. Wa-Mu makes it easy to save with a full selection of accounts. I have outlined their savings and CD accounts below.

Comparison of Wa-Mu Savings Accounts

Wa-Mu has three different Savings Accounts that you may open.
  • Statement Savings may be opened by telephone or at a local branch. You may access your account via ATM or branch office. The minimum deposit is $4. You will receive the same interest rate no matter the amount of your balance.
  • Online Savings account takes less than ten minutes, an Internet connection and $1 to open, and you can access your money through an ATM.
  • Savings for Success pays you 5 percent for one year on your account. You may set up automatic transfers from any WaMu checking account. After one year, you must choose another savings account.
Another Way to Save with WaMu: CDs

If you wish to earn more interest, then you may want to look at Certificates of Deposit (CD). CDs are similar to savings accounts, except that you must commit to leave the money on deposit for a set amount of time. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate earned. You incur penalties when you withdraw

  • Open a Traditional CD with $1,000 or more by phone or at any WaMu Financial Center. WaMu has a Bump Rate®, which--if the standard rate of interest increases during the initial term--allows you to request that your interest rate be adjusted upwards.

  • Open a Liquid CD with $5,000 or more by phone or at any WaMu Financial Center. This CD allows deposits and withdrawals as long as you have not made a withdrawal in the past week and your balance does not drop below $5,000.

  • Open an Online CD over the Internet in less than 10 minutes with $1,000.

Deposits are accepted by Washington Mutual Bank (WMB) and Washington Mutual Bank, FSB and are insured by FDIC.

Two Reminders for June

Global Prayer Project
Prayer, Meditation & Discussion
with James & Salle Redfield
Tuesday, June 3
8-9 pm Eastern/US

Blog Blast for Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem is Latin for Grant Us Peace.
May it be so.
Wednesday, June 4

I know that bloggers make a difference every day in this world. If we focus our incredible energy toward healing and peace on Earth, we might just change the world.

The Problem With Blog Contests

When using Entrecard, I have noticed that many bloggers are using contests to promote their blogs. This is an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog, especially when you give extra contest entries for other bloggers to promote it. However, there are some problem areas that you should avoid.

If you want to have bloggers write a post about your contest and/or your blog, you CANNOT ask them to use specific terms in the link back. This is considered Black Hat SEO and will cause you to lose page rank. This happened to David Airey last year. If you wish to know more, please read How I reversed my Google ranking penalty.

One other problem area is the mega-contest with prizes from a gazillion different people. It may be difficult for bloggers to claim their prizes if the contest blog says something like, "claim your prize directly," which basically leaves the winners out in the cold. Personally, I have won three different prizes I never received. I would suggest that if you are going to offer prizes from other people, that you somehow control the process so that your readers receive their prizes.

Keep your blogging friendly and stay out of trouble with the search engines.

Success with Social Spark

Click graphic for more detail

SocialSpark is a new blogging community that will help you to earn money from--and increase traffic to--your blog. SocialSpark has been through both alpha and beta testing periods, so the problems and glitches are gone.

Social Spark is open for business and they want YOU (bloggers) and YOU (advertisers)!

Like most social communities, you will complete a profile page and list and describe your blogs. You may search for people you know and add them as friends; or, if you really like them, they can go in your Fav 9. There are props (thumbs up or thumbs down) that you may give freely. You may also leave a comment or feedback on their blogger profile.

From any page in SocialSpark, you may view the details of an opportunity by clicking the title or image for the opportunity. You are taken to the opportunity page, where you simply click the Take This Opportunity link if the opportunity is available.

Click graphic for larger view

You will then be on the submission page where you read the instructions, receive the links for, and complete all details on the opportunity once you have written it.

1. Instructions from advertiser.
2. All the links you will need to complete the post. Note the "nofollow" attribute in the links and disclosure badge.
3. This is where you complete the blog name, post name and post URL.
4. If you post the HTML version of your post here, verification is performed automatically.
5. Basic CAPTCHA.
6. You agree to the terms and submit your post.

Note: If the opportunity is currently full, you will see Wait for a slot. Clicking this will reserve a spot when it opens up. You will receive an email telling you which opportunity opened up.

SocialSpark has a code of ethics that is very similar to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) code of ethics. The SocialSpark code of ethics provides for in-post disclosure for full transparency and honesty in blogging. Bloggers tell the truth about a product or a service because no one is forced them to take any opportunities, there are specific categories the blogger chooses to blog about, and there are enough opportunities that bloggers do not take any they do not want.

So, Begin Your Success with SocialSpark Today.

Sponsored by SocialSpark

The Contest Not Junk

TopSpot Contest is holding a contest. In total, there are 2,000 EntreCard credits to be won. All you have to do is write a blog post about, and comment on site.

1st prize:A top spot (125×125) advertising banner for a month.
1,000 EntreCard credits.

2nd prize:

A blogroll link for a month.
500 EntreCard credits.

3rd prize:
300 EntreCard credits.

Contest will be closed on 31 May 2008.

The Meaning of Memorial Day

aerial view of Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington Cemetery

Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle.


Ways You Might Celebrate Memorial Day:
  • visit cemeteries and war memorials and place flags or flowers
  • attend Memorial Day parades or your local VFW hall
  • fly the US flag at half-staff until noon
  • add the POW/MIA flag to your flagpole
  • submit a eulogy
  • participate in National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM (local time)
  • view the National Memorial Day Concert
  • talk to your children about a family member who died so that we may live in freedom

As I approach the gates of heaven;
St. Peter I will tell;
One more soldier reporting sir;
I've served my time in hell.

Mark Anthony Gresswell

Blog Your Blessing Sunday : Spirit of Adventure

Flight of Fancy or Spirit of Adventure?

Joseph Montolfier, a French papermaker, wondered why smoke wafted upward in his chimney. His brother, Etienne and he also wondered how the clouds were suspended in the sky. The brothers designed a 38-foot diameter silk bag lined with paper and open at the bottom. In June 1783, they placed it above a charcoal fire. The balloon went up 6000 feet and traveled laterally 1-1/2 kilometers before the air cooled and the bag came down.

Three months later a sheep, rooster and duck were airborne, in a flight witnessed by both the King of France and Benjamin Franklin. One month later, two other men, Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes, funded by the King of France, flew the first manned flight, above the heads of 400,000 of their amazed fellow citizens.

In time, balloonists flew the English Channel, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and covered all the continents. However, it was 1996 before circumnavigating the globe was tried by five teams for a prize of $1M. One team made it. What a story they had to tell, eh?*

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Visit the blog, grab the blogroll code, add it to your blog, and leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience. Next Sunday, post your blessing. We are of all faiths, creeds and races, so everyone is welcome. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.

* If you would like to know this story, and many others, read Why the Wind Blows : A History of Weather and Global Warming by Matthys Levy (2007).

A Place for Thoughts

I am always on the lookout for blog communities. Last year, I set up a blog on when it opened. I use the blog to link back to articles on my blogs that I feel are important so that more people are drawn into the discussion.

The blogging format at is fully featured. You may change the color scheme of your blog, upload photographs, podcasts and videos, write blog entries and add links. This would be a great place for a personal blog, but I do not think bloggers could add advertisements.

Lately, I have noticed that the forum at has grown larger and more active. The Thoughts forum has standard forum fare such as Important Announcements, General Discussion, Current News and Entertainment. Then, there are some forums that are unusual, like Life Requests, which includes the forums for goodwill and wishes, and prayer and healing requests. I love communities that include a place to share and ask for spiritual help.

Lifestyle covers the topics of beauty, fitness, heath & nutrition. Politics ranges from the 2008 Presidential Election and USA Politics, to UK Politics and World Politics. Religion & Beliefs all the big players are there: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Spirituality. Writing includes Creative Writing, Fun with Words and Humor. This particular forum is a great place for writers to play games and stump each other with words.

So if you are looking for a place to blog and interact with others, take a look at

Blog Your Blessing : Spaceship Earth

May there only be peaceful and cheerful Earth Days
to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth
as it continues to spin and circle in
frigid space with its warm and
fragile cargo of animate life.

United Nations Secretary-General U Thant spoke of Spaceship Earth on Earth Day March 21, 1971 at the ceremony of the ringing of the Japanese Peace Bell.

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Visit the blog, grab the blogroll code, add it to your blog, and leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience. Next Sunday, post your blessing. We are of all faiths, creeds and races, so everyone is welcome. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.


Bloggers Unite for Human Rights : Journalists

Bloggers Unite

In many countries, journalists, bloggers and photographers are thrown imprisoned or killed for doing their job of keeping us informed. For instance, in Burma:
. . . Gen. Than Shwe, had no hesitation in giving the order to fire on the crowd in September 2007. Japanese reporter Kenji Nagai was killed, some 15 Burmese reporters were arrested for carrying out interviews about the crushing of the protests and the Internet was cut for two weeks.
Reporters Without Borders
  • defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries.
  • fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom.
  • gives financial aid each year to 100 or so journalists or media outlets in difficulty (to pay for lawyers, medical care and equipment) as well to the families of imprisoned journalists.
  • works to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.
The Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents gives clear explanations about blogging for all those whose online freedom of expression is subject to restrictions, and it shows how to sidestep the censorship measures imposed by certain governments.

Take Anything But My Chocolate

Compass Partners and BlogHer conducted a social media benchmark study of more than 6,000 women.

Woman Bloggers

More than 36 million women write, read or comment on blogs. Of these, over 15 million are publishers and over 2 million are reader and commenters.

  • 68 percent are between the ages of 25-41
  • 2/3 are college graduates, and
  • 46 percent earn $75K+ per year.

Research Brief » Blog Archive » Women Would Sacrifice Almost Anything But Chocolate For Blogging

Women are so passionate about blogging, says the report, that large percentages said they would give something up to keep the blogs they read and/or write:

  • 55% would give up alcohol

  • 50% would give up their PDAs

  • 42% would give up their i-Pod

  • 43% would give up reading the newspaper or magazines

  • only 20% would give up chocolate

A-List of Mom Bloggers

~ Welcome to the A-List of all your favorite Mom Bloggers ~

List Compiled by Dance of Motherhood

The list of favorite mom bloggers is here! Some of you may remember when I wrote this post about my favorite mom bloggers. Well, Dance of Motherhood put all the entries together for the A-List of Mom Bloggers.

I won 1000 ECs AND all my nominees are on the list. I do not know about which I am more excited! Happy Mother's Day!

50+ Whatever
Nominated by Sherry at Sherry’s Ramblings

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
Nominated by Teresa at Hot Momma

Cool Mom Picks
Nominated by DanandMarsh at Giveaway City

Dance of Motherhood
Nominated by Mommie at Mommies Home & DanandMarsh at Giveaway City

Geek Mom Mashup
Nominated by Mommie at Mommies Home & Chelle at It Might Be Love

Jamee Forever
Nominated by Dawn at Coming to a Nursery Near You

Life in the Urban Zoo
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

Making Mommy Hot
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

Nominated by Melanie at Livin’ with Me

Max’s Mom
Nominated by Melanie at Livin’ with Me

Mom Reviews
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

Moms Cash Blog
Nominated by Mommie at Mommies Home & EC Contests

Mommies Home
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

Mums Gotta Dot Com
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

Peapod Squad Stuff
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

Playgroups Are No Place for Children
Nominated by Dawn at Coming to a Nursery Near You

Random Thoughts
Nominated by Melanie at Livin’ with Me

Scribbit: A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

Table for Five
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

That Crazy Mom
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

The Building Brows
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

The Mom With Brownies
Nominated by Chelle at It Might Be Love

Nominated by Mommie at Mommies Home

Writing in Faith
Nominated by Cybercelt at Advertising for Success

Blog Your Blessing: Mother's Day Prayer

Lord, I pray you'll be my eyes,
And watch him where he goes,
And help him to be wise, and
Help me to let go.

Lord, I pray he finds your light,
And holds it in his heart.
As darkness falls each night,
Remind him where Thou art.

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Visit the blog, grab the blogroll code, add it to your blog, and leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience. Next Sunday, post your blessing. We are of all faiths, creeds and races, so everyone is welcome. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.

Wired Moms

In spring of 2007, Experian Consumer Research conducted a survey that found 86 percent of moms with at least one child at home were online. This rate increased to 94 percent when the women were expecting their first or second child within a year.

In October 2007, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the US Department of Commerce found that 86.5 percent of "married with children under 18" households had Internet access at home or other location. For family households without children the figure was 73 percent.

How Many Moms Are Online? - eMarketer reports:
Mothers are part of an adult female Internet user population that will grow from 80.9 million in 2008 to 91.3 million in 2012. Adult females outnumber adult males in both the general population and the Internet user population.

So, remember mom this Mother's Day -or- she might just go out to your MySpace page and embarrass you. LOL

Could Your Three Year Old Do This?

Tri-Scents Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme semifinalistClick the graphic above to
Vote for Your Favorite Semifinalist in
Renuzit® TriScents™ freshener
"Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme" Promotion
Through June 7

I know you have seen posts about the Renuzit® TriScents™ freshener "Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme" Promotion. Renuzit is offering a $20,000 home makeover to the winner of this contest.

From January 28-March 30, 2008, bloggers registered, then created blog posts about three ways they used Renuzit® TriScents™ products to transform their home. Some bloggers uploaded videos or submitted photos and essays. There were hundreds if not thousands of entries.

Entries from 10 semi-finalists are loaded on the semi-finalist gallery. Please view the stories and vote for your favorite daily through June 7. When you view the videos and read the essays, your heart will break for some of the semi-finalists.

The criteria for the contest:
  • Integration of Product,
  • Creativity and
  • Overall Presentation.
The rules also stated that the essay or video should cover three ways the entrant used Renuzit® TriScents™ products to transform their home.

I voted for the video of Three-Year-Old Ashley Appeals for a Multiple Makeover. It was not an easy choice for me; but, in my opinion, Ashley Appeals is the winner. The video was smooth, the product was integrated in three scenarios, and the creativity was incredible. View the video and you will see.

Someone will win the $20,000 home makeover. Please visit the semi-finalist gallery and vote for your favorite.

Social Media and Shaving Occam

Here is a good rant about social media and the way Spinn is going the way of Digg, which went the way of StumbleUpon, which went the way of Technorati. Why is it that as soon as something new in social media is released, the rush is on to ruin it?

Shaving Occam: Tony Wright's Blog: Social Media's Dirty Little Secret
The dirt secret of social media is the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands of individuals successfully gaming these systems. . . . Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't use 1,423 profiles on 200 IP classes with e-mails all over the place to get there.
I have used Digg, StumbleUpon and Technorati, but lost interest before Spinn and all the other social media ranking sites were released.

Which social media sites do you use? Do you believe that people are gaming the system? How could the system be changed so this could not happen? What success have you had with social media sites? Share your experiences without spamming the comments. The most useful comment will win 1000 Entrecard credits.

Clickbooth Publisher Network

I joined Clickbooth Publisher Network, the Exclusive CPA Network. CPA stands for cost per action or cost per acquisition, which means that I will be paid if someone clicks a banner or text link from my site to an advertiser in the CB Network and makes a purchase or signs up for services.

Sign Up Process

The sign up process was simple. I completed a short form with my name, address, city/state/zip and country. The next form is where I input my phone number. I clicked a "call now" button and the system called me to give me a PIN. I typed the PIN into the field and was on to the next and final screen. Here I entered my website information.

Leading Technology

It appears that ClickBooth is ahead of other affiliate marketing networks in their use of technology. CB resides on the same data center as the Department of Defense, FEMA and CBS Sports, which provides full redundancy disaster recovery.

What ClickBooth Offers Publishers

Clickbooth gives publishers full access to custom built rotators, flash creatives and custom banners for any offer. CB handles many diverse companies, so that even niche marketers will find offers that "fit."

What ClickBooth Offers Advertisers

Advertisers will like the exclusive publishers, full-service campaign management, guaranteed conversions, and CB's commitment to excellence.

Virtual Events in the Real World

It has always tickled me that virtual world conferences take place in the real. I am not an aficionado of virtuality, but I do not understand why everyone has to catch a plane, rent a car, stay in a hotel and eat conference food to learn how to be successful in the virtual world.

However, if virtual world media is your niche, you may want to visit the links below.

Virtual World Expo - September 3-4, 2008 - Los Angeles, CA
Virtual Worlds London - October 20-21, 2008 - London, England
Virtual Worlds 2009 - Conference - Spring 2009 - New York City

Virtual Worlds Management, a division of Show Initiative, LLC, is the leading virtual worlds trade media company.

Stylish Design Blog

I stumbled over Stylish design : The blog where web design and style have met while searching for new tools to put on my website.

What Worked Well
  • The web design blog is easy to navigate using the tag cloud or the category listing.

  • The black, white and gray magazine design of this blog is clean and professional.

  • The graphic (armadillo, tortoise or tank) at the top of the blog is definitely eye-catching.

  • The advertisements flow well in the blog design.

  • The plugins for Most Commented and Top 10 Users are effective.
What Did Not Work So Well
  • The information about the bloggers, Robert and Andrei, should be moved to the About page or the About page should be deleted.

  • The blog needs a Privacy Policy to post Google Adwords.

  • I was mystified by the Our Angels and Your Demons listings at the bottom of the page.

  • There are some problems with syntax and English usage, such as How they succeeded?, and etc. used in posts too often.
What I Really Think

There is useful information on web design, SEO, tools and technical issues on Stylish Design. It is a relatively new blog, started in February, so I will return in a few months to see how it evolves. It is definitely worth a read.

Blog Your Blessing : Voices

Photography by Eileen Trainor, all rights reserved.

Voices That Beautify The Earth

Voice above,

Voice of Thunder,

Speak from the dark of clouds;

Voice below,


Speak from the green of plants;

So may the earth be beautiful.

Note: I do not have a source for this blessing. It is native American, and is the voice we should use when speaking of the Earth.

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Visit the blog, grab the blogroll code, add it to your blog, and leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience. Next Sunday, post your blessing. We are of all faiths, creeds and races, so everyone is welcome. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.

The Sports Dollar 7500+ EC Giveaway

The Sports Dollar is giving up after one month and will be giving away their Entrecard credits. In this case, 7500+ Entrecard credits. They do not like the new ad pricing system, no one is reciprocating, and someone insulted their Entrecard (not) . . .

A winner will be decided on May 16, using The Sports Dollar's Super Fancy Lottery System. Okie dokie, everyone has to have a system, I guess. Now, how do you win? Get your lottery tickets in several different ways. Do one or do them all.
  • 150 Tickets: Write a post of a minimum of 100 words, make sure you mention the 7500+ credits, and give a link back to the contest post. Done: this is it!
  • 100 Tickets: Post 125x125 banner below on your blog, making sure it links back to The Sports Dollart. Done: its posted right here.
  • 50 Tickets: Subscribe to The Sports Dollar RSS feed. Done: blogger at cooladz dot com.
  • 10 Tickets: Stumble it! Done:
Total of 310 lottery tickets.

Let Me Ask My Mechanic About Nursing Pads

Expectant Moms Spread the Word Online - eMarketer
In a 2007 study, mom-focused research company BSM Media found 64% of moms asked other mothers for advice before they purchased a new product. Moreover, 63% of mothers surveyed by BSM considered other moms the most credible experts when they had questions.
Well, duh, who else do you ask? Your husband, childless best friend, the neighbor with 18 dogs and cats or the gay guy at the office?

There is an entire network of moms and expectant moms are just one niche. We have moms of many, single moms, moms of multiples, older moms, teenage moms, moms raising grandkids, moms that used to be dads, moms of special children, step-moms, foster moms . . .

I was reading blogs yesterday and I saw two different products for relieving colic in a child. Do you how badly I needed to talk to someone who knew about colic when my son was young? He cried for about six week straight and nearly cost me my mind. Now, I see there is a gentle warming band and some type of supplement that you may give the infant.

Where were the mom blogs when I needed them? No, I had to drive all over town to attend La Leche meetings. Do know how hard it is to talk in a room full of nursing mothers? They always seemed to have 2-3 other children running around. When I saw a six-year old boy walk up to his mom and lift her shirt so that he could nurse, I decided I would read magazines about raising children. LOL

So bookmark that blogging mom who has what you need and connect into the mommy network. It is a magical place where help is given freely and the advice is gold. Moms "get it." They rock!

Professional Answering Service Helps Business

When a home-based business is just starting out, you probably will be around most of the time to answer telephone inquiries, schedule appointments and provide support. However, as your business grows, you may want to consider a professional answering service.

Answering service is a fully deductible business expense. Not only that, but it is a business expense that will play for itself in customer goodwill if not in increased sales. The answering services of today offer many features you may not even associate with answering a telephone and taking messages.

No matter the industry, trained call center personnel can walk a customer through a software download, take a detailed sales order, schedule appointments, assist customers on your website or give quotes for traditional services. It is like having an assistant, but you do not have to provide workspace, benefits, parking spot or training.

The customized services you require are just a call away. If you are not sure exactly what is offered, call and talk to the call center manager. You may want to have a 1-800 number or to have the service screen your calls, so that you only answer the ones having to do with your business. This is a real blessing in an election year! You may go off the service for an hour or two while you meet in person with a client for a consultation.

Do you want to be alerted to new messages? You may receive a simple text message on your pager or cell phone, an email or fax, or nothing. It is your business and your decision.