A fellow mom blogger needs our help

One of our fellow bloggers needs our help. Coupon Mommy of 3’s daughter was very recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

Just Married with coupons  has a fundraiser to help raise money for the cause. She’s also holding a giveaway for people that helps spread the word.

Stop on over and do what you can. Purchase from the Thirty-one fundraiser link on Just Married with coupons’ blog post, spread the word, or say a prayer on your own. Anything you can do is appreciated.

Also, Arizona Mama has more info about the situation as well as a Chip-in widget on her page for the family.  They are also looking for gifts for Emily and prayers.  She also has a link to Coupon Mommy of 3’s caringbridge site.

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Dead Beat Sponsors List

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Occasionally, as bloggers, we run into a “Dead Beat Sponsor”. It’s unfortunate that a business would allow this to happen.

What is a “Dead Beat Sponsor”? My definition would be: A sponsor that has promised to send a prize(s) but, after a fair amount of time and several attempts at contact, your winners have not received their prizes from that particular sponsor.

I find it very frustrating.  In my opinion, a review and giveaway is a business deal.  You do the work of completing a review in a timely manner, promote the product and the giveaway, send traffic to the sponsors specified sites, do the work of contacting the winners and obtaining info. Communicating between your readers and your sponsors.  I enjoy doing this but, it makes it difficult when a sponsor does not fulfill their end of the business deal.

Often we, as bloggers, don’t have much we can do.  I feel it gives those particular readers who won, a negative experience on the blog.  Even though the blogger themselves may have done everything within their power to obtain what should have been delivered by the sponsor.

So what do we do?  Well, here is my new solution, “The Dead Beat Sponsor List”.

Why the “Dead Beat Sponsor List?”  As bloggers, there’s not a whole lot in our power we can do if a sponsor flakes on a giveaway.  This is a way for other bloggers to be warned that they may want to think twice before agreeing to a review and giveaway with the particular company.  Also, for consumers to know that they may not get what they actually paid for. 



I sincerely hope I will not need to update this much or at all even.  Sponsors will not be added to this list at a whim.  There is a process that will be followed before they end up on this list.  It will be as followed.

1.  After a fair amount a time has passed and a winner has not received their prize the sponsor will be contacted.  

What is a “fair” amount of time?  This could vary slightly.  If a sponsor states to allow say 4-6 weeks for a winner to receive their prize and the winner has still not received it after 6 weeks the sponsor will be contacted.  If no time line for shipment was established then 30 days will be the deadline.  The first communication will be tactful and in good faith hoping that the email sent went to spam and they did not receive it or orders are backed up and they will be shipping next week etc.

2.  2nd email if needed (hopefully not)

If the sponsor replies and states a fair excuse a ship date will be required  so as not to end up on the “Dead Beat Sponsor List”  If no reply to the email, I will attempt to contact the company through another means such as twitter DM, facebook, or phone if available.  There will be a warning attached that if they do not reply they will go on the Dead Beat Sponsor list to warn other bloggers/customers of their business practices. 

3.  If first 2 steps have been attempted without success, Sponsor will be added to the “Dead Beat Sponsor List” and tweeted to my followers.  

Feel free to RT these tweets if you feel so inclined.  




4.  The only way to get off the Dead Beat Sponsor List

 –I understand life happens. I’m not a person to hold grudges.  If the sponsor contacts me, apologizes, and has a truly valid excuse and winners confirm they have now received their prizes they will be removed from the list.  

–The sponsor does not contact me but ALL winners confirm they have now received their prizes (and maybe a even a little something extra for the wait) they will be removed from the list.  

If you have a certifed Dead Beat sponsor.  You can fill out the form here to have it listed:
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That being said, Sadly I do have one to add to the list:   

 DEAD BEAT SPONSORS



1. Kellee Maize cd giveaway  —  had 10 winners.  All recipients, including myself have yet to receive their autographed cd.   Has been contacted through email 2 X and sent a twitter DM.  No reply to 2nd email or DM.  Giveaway closed 11/01/10

***UPDATE*** it seems most if not all of my winners did finally get cd’s and bracelet after being listed on the Dead Beat Sponsor list HOWEVER they were supposed to be autographed cd’s sent out and they were not…soo…the sponsor stays on the list.

2.  The Vinyl Zone.com and Wallabaloos.com — I completed a review and giveaway for The Vinyl Zone back in the beginning of August.  http://angiewith2.blogspot.com/2011/08/vinyl-zone-review-and-giveaway.html  Never shipped the prize to my winner.  Even after numerous attempts to contact by email with the person I had been corresponding with eventually got bounce back emails.  Attempted to use the contact form on the site, still no response. I never did complete the review for the Wallabaloos because they were owned by the same people and the vinyl decal didn’t work.  It wouldn’t transfer to the wall and ended up being a balled up mess.  They did replace it but it still didn’t work.  They said it might have been due to old vinyl.  After the fiasco with the vinyl zone review/giveaway I attempted to contact them to tell them I would need to write a negative review for the wallabaloos and never heard from them again.  Even tried through twitter.

3.  Garden Botanika — Garden Botanika was initally friendly . They got the review products to me right away.  I sent them a link to my review/giveaway post once it was live. I didn’t get a response but wasn’t too concerned about it initially.  Drew my winner and sent the winners info to them.  Again no response.  About a month and half later had my winner contact me to say they never received their prize package.  Attempted to contact them through the email I corresponded with them and twitter.  No response.  I had received an email from them asking when I was going to do the review.  I again sent an emailing saying it was done a while ago, had sent several emails and again replied with the link to the review and the giveaway winner’s info.  Again no reply.  I then attempted to contact them through another email address I have, again with no reply . Winner has still not received their prize and the giveaway was over in September: http://angiewith2.blogspot.com/2012/09/garden-botanika-skincare-review-and.html

4.  Firmoo — This one came from a submission as a warning to bloggers. This is a copy and paste of the warning:

“Firmoo is looking for bloggers to host giveaways. Should you decide to work with Firmoo, please demand your glasses upfront and note in your disclosure that you are not responsible for prize fulfillment!!! I have not received my glasses and neither has my winner. I have been given the runaround (ex. trying to charge shipping, etc.). I just don’t want anybody else to be disappointed or taken advantage of. I worked with them last year and they were wonderful, so I figured I could trust them. Please be careful!”

Please feel free to leave your comments on this post.  Are you one of the unlucky winners who did not receive your prize?  Vent  it here.  Are you a sponsor on the list who wants to make it up to my readers? Tell me about it.  

If you are a blogger who feels you have an authentic Dead Beat Sponsor you can contact me through email.  Please make sure that several attempts have been made to contact the sponsor.  Feel free to tell them about the Dead Beat Sponsor list.  I will not take these requests lightly.  I don’t want to put up a sponsor because of a personal matter.  It must be related to a blog giveaway and several professional sounding emails/contact methods must have been used.  You also must update me on if they should be removed for one of the reasons listed above.

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Kidswitch Review and #giveaway 1/17 US–CLOSED


Sponsored by Tomoson.com

RANDOM.ORG DREW NUMBER 37, KIM.  WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED AND HAS 48 HRS TO RESPOND.

I had the opportunity to review Kidswitch. In short, Kidswitch is a light switch extender to help your little one to be able to turn light off an on. Especially on those harder to reach light switches.

KidSwitch was easy to install and came with the pieces you needed.  I put one at the bottom of my stairs in the kitchen.  My 18 month old already loves to help turn off the lights when we leave a room.  I hold him up and he’ll flick he switch.  I give him positive reinforcement.  He is so proud that he did that.  He likes to go upstairs and explore with his big brothers but sometimes he’ll try to go up the steps in the dark.  I’m trying to show him how to use the kids switch. He’s starting to grasp the idea.

It’s really very easy to use.  Your child can just pull/slide it up and down and it works the light switch.  As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I see value in this product for those in wheelchairs that have difficulty reaching the light switches in their house as well.

The KidSwitch glows in the dark too.  Great for your child’s bedroom or in the bathroom for those bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

Some benefits of the KidSwitch include:

1. Encouraging energy saving tasks for your child/grandchild

2. Giving your child/grandchild a sense of independence and accomplishment

3.  Easy to install

4.  Glows in the dark to locate the light switch at night

5.  Safer for your child since kids have a tendency to grab whatever is near to stand on to complete a task that’s too high.

KidSwitch works with toggle switches or there is also Kidswitch Decora that works with the Decora switches.

KidSwitch has received the seal of excellence from Creative Child Magazine for 2010 

You can purchase KidSwitch directly from their website: www.kidswitchshop.com 
Or from Amazon.com below

OR you can try to win one here!

GIVEAWAY
One Free Stuff, Fun Sites, Contests, and More reader will win their own KidSwitch light switch extender.  Open to US only.
Mandatory Entry:    Tell me why you would want to try KidSwitch.
Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. 
Bonus Entries:  Please leave a seperate comment for each entry. 
1.  Follow FFCM with google friend connect, Networked Blogs, RSS feed, OR email subscription (+1 for each one completed.  Please leave a seperate comment for each one completed) All located in Right column.
2.  Follow me on twitter as @angiewith3 and leave a comment with your twitter ID. 
3.  Tweet this giveaway using the RT button in the upper Left corner or you can use this phrase:
Enter to win a KidSwitch light switch extender on http://bit.ly/idCxSZ  1/17 US @angiewith3 ” 
Can tweet 2 X per day at least 2 hrs apart. Leave a link to your tweet in a comment
4.  Like FFCM on facebook and leave a comment telling me you did.
5.  Enter any of my other current giveaways.  (+1 for each one entered.  Leave a comment telling me which ones you entered.  Seperate comment for each one).

***Giveaway ends 1/17/11 at 10 PM EST.  One winner will be chosen using random.org.  Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  Prize will be shipped by KidSwitch and is the responsibility of the company to send to winner. ***

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com and the Tomoson weekly featured sponsor Favorite Wigs – Shop Name Brand Wigs at Low Prices! Large Wig Selection of Forever Young Wigs, and other Quality Wigs. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

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Homeopathic Value Pack review and #giveaway 1/15 US—CLOSED


 Random.org drew number 65 monica. winner has been emailed and has 48 hrs to respond to winning email or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to everyone who entered.

I had a cold for the whole month of December. Yes, really. It actually started just after Thanksgiving.  It started with a little bit of stuffy nose and sneezing.  Then a cough joined the symptoms.  My congestion got so bad I couldn’t smell or taste anything for about 3 weeks.  Can be good or bad depending on which way you look at it over the holidays.  My ears got a little blocked too from the congestion.  No fever though, never a fever.

When I had the opportunity to review the Homeopathic Value Pack from the Boiron company I thought, “wow, how ironic that I was offered to review this product at this time”.

I received the pack which included Coldcalm, Chestal Honey, and Oscillococcinum for Flu-like symptoms.

As soon as I got it I tried the Coldcalm. I was so tired of being sick.  I wanted to try anything to get rid of this annoying cold.  The coldcalm tabs melt in your mouth. There are 60 tabs in the box.  You’re supposed to take 2 every 15 min for two hours then 2 every hour until symptoms have been relieved.  For ages 3yr to adult.  All of these homeopathic medicines tell you you should take it at the first signs of cold or flu symptoms.  I did not.  I had already had mine for about 3 weeks when I received my review pack.

I followed the directions but after taking them as directed doing several every hour doses after the every 15 min doses, I only noticed minimal improvement.  BUT I have to tell you that after going on 5 wks of this persistent cold and cough I finally went to the doctors (I know us mother’s take care of our kids but not ourselves sometimes).  Turns out I had bronchitis.  It appears that I had let me cold go too long before even receiving this product and had developed the bronchitis.  The package tells you that if symptoms persist after 7 days or sore throat for more than 2 days you should see a doctor.  Hmmm, should have done that.

I also tried the Chestal Honey.  It had a nice honey flavor.  It did seem to quiet my cough temporarily.  You are supposed to take this cough syrup every 2 hrs.  A little inconvenient for someone who works outside the home or a child in school.

For someone looking for a safe alternative to traditional cough medicines, this is a good one to choose.  I think the flavor would be a little more appealing to children.  You can give it to anyone 2 yrs of age and older.  Not recommended for children under 2.

Last but not least was the Oscillococcinum for Flu-symptoms.  I had actually got a sample of this a while back too.  It comes in small protable tubes.  It has little crystals that you put in your mouth and allow to melt on your tongue.  This has a very pleasant taste.  It put me in mind of a pixie stick whose sugar crystals were a little bigger.  It did seem to aleviate some of my flu-like symptoms when I took it.  Again this is for ages 2yrs and up. (including adults).

There are lot of pros to these products:

1. No drug interactions since they are homeopathic

2.  Non-drowsy

3.  Safe for ages 2yrs to adults (3yrs for Coldcalm tabs)

4.  All of the products have a pleasant taste.

5. Does not cost anymore than other cold remedies.  

Cons:

1.  Need to take more frequently than other medications that aren’t homeopathic

2.  In my opinion, not as potent as using a non-homeopathic medication

So, as you can see there are more pros than cons with the Homeopathic Value pack from Boiron Company.

Many places are now selling these Boiron Products.  My friend said she just bought the Chestal at Rite-aid.

Want to try it for yourself and make your own decision?

 GIVEAWAY
Boiron will be sending one Free Stuff, Fun Sites, Contests, and More (FFCM) reader  their own Homeopathic Value pack with all of the above reviewed medicines.  Open to US only. 
Mandatory Entry:   Leave a comment telling me why you want to try one or all of these products.
Don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you win.  
Bonus Entries:  Please leave a seperate comment for each entry.   
1.  Follow  FFCM with Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, Blog Frog Community, RSS feed, Or email subscription (+1 for each one completed.  Please leave a seperate comment for each one)
2.  Follow me on twitter as @angiewith3 and leave your twitter id.   
3.  Tweet this giveaway using the RT button in upper left corner or you can copy and paste this phrase:
 ” Enter to win a Homeopathic Value Pack on http://bit.ly/gc6nlI to help with cold and flu season 1/15 US @angiewith3
Can tweet 2 X per day at least 2 hours apart.  Leave a link to your tweet in a comment.  
4.  Like FFCM on Facebook (+1)  
5.  Enter any of my other current giveaways.  (+1 for each one entered.  Just leave a comment with which one) 

NEW 6.  Enter the Homeopathic Value Pack giveaway on Precisely Mine blog and leave a comment telling me you did. 

 

 **Giveaway ends 1/15/11 at 10 PM EST.  1 winner will be chosen using random.org.  Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply to winning email.  Prize will be mailed directly from Boiron company.  Open to US. ***

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com and the Tomoson weekly featured sponsor Favorite Wigs – Shop Name Brand Wigs at Low Prices! Large Wig Selection of Forever Young Wigs, and other Quality Wigs. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Sponsored by Tomoson.com

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Blogging goals for 2011, What’s yours?

Last year I set some obtainable goals for myself as far as my blog goes. By obtainable I mean I didn’t say “I’m going to get 5,000 followers this year”.

I actually set a couple goals.  My goal was to get 500 blog followers and 1,000 twitter followers.  My super goal was to get 1,000 blog followers and 2,000 twitter followers. Well I hit my super goal on twitter and surpassed my regular goal so I’m happy.  I appreciate all of my followers so much.  Thanks for following and sticking by me this last year.

Here are my goals for 2011. 

1.  All weekly posts will written ahead of time and scheduled to post appropriately. (For all those that read and participate in What We Won Wednesday, you know why this is a goal for me)

2.  I had a few sponsors flake on me this year.  It really bothers me. As a blogger, it’s difficult when the sponsor is supposed to send out a prize and never does.  I was thinking of implementing a “Dead beat sponsor list”  It would be a list on my blog of sponsors that didn’t follow through on their giveaway promises.  I’m hoping that i won’t have to update it much. The rules would be:

After so many weeks if sponsor did not send out prize.  Re-contact sponsor.  (in good faith that they’re either just running behind or email I sent went to spam.)  If they reply then they’re ok.  If no reply or they reply and still don’t send the prize then they get another more stern email from me with a CC to the winner(s) so both winners know they were contacted and sponsor sees that the winners know I sent the email.  Then if still no response/prize received they will be sent an email saying they will be added to the Dead beat sponsors list on my blog. I’m hoping this will encourage those sponsors (thought few and far between) to know that I’m serious and I’ll tell people if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain.  After all, we do our work and give them low cost advertising.  We deserve a follow through. 

What do you think of this idea?  Would you like me to open it up to anyone so others who have “Dead Beat sponsors can add to the list?

Also FYI I do have copyright on my blog and each post is protected by that.

3.  I’d like my Google PR to move up to 2.  LOL I’m stuck at 1.  Good news is I haven’t gone down though.

4.  I’d like to get 1,000 blog followers this year.  My super goal would be 1,2000.  I’d like to hit 3,000 twitter followers.  My super goal would be 3,500.   I’d like to hit 500 FB fans of my blog and my super goal would be 700 FB fans.

So what are your blogging goals this year?  What do you think of the Dead Beat Sponsor list idea?  



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