Social calling cards 2.0

PersonalCorrespondence.CallingCardsJust like calling cards of days past, the new brand of social calling cards are smart, distinctive and a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd. As a mommy blogger (but you’ll never catch me calling myself that.. oh, wait..), social calling cards are a great way to share my site with family and friends who can’t seem to make a household name. I don’t understand why..

Great uses for Calling Cards and how to order a set free:

  • Social networking: Instead of handing over your business card, a personal calling card is a less stuffy way of sharing your vital information and pass along your personal email and phone number. Jobs change but your personal email stays with you and personal calling cards are the perfect solution for that. Continue reading “Social calling cards 2.0”

Another place to find coupons: Magazines

It always seems FatHeadDog finds a great coupon at the most inoppertune time. A blinky machine at the grocery store while FatHeadPup is having a meltdown. A lonely coupon skipping in the wind across a grocery store parking lot. Or a clip-worthy coupon in my cache of magazines, inevitably found late at night and without scissors in sight. I’ve gotten quite a few grumpy glances from my husband as I try tearing a coupon by hand. Rip it slow and quietly, or fast and loudly, either way is intrusive to his beloved sleep.

While perusing your monthly magazines, grab a pair of scissors and keep an eye out for valuable coupons within ad pages. One particular mag that’s worth your while… at least for the coupons, is the Wal-Mart exclusive All You Magazine. This month,  there’s a special health & fitness edition of ALL YOU magazine that will be available on newsstands at Walmart beginning Friday 1/8. According to DealSeekingMom, here’s a glimpse at the coupons inside:

Coupons in the ALL YOU Health & Fitness special edition:

  • $1/1 ALL YOU Eat Well, Save Big Cookbook, exp. 4-5-10
  • $0.50/1 ALL YOU Magazine, exp. 4-23-09
  • $1/1 Arm & Hammer Premium Vacuum Bags or Filter, exp. 8-19-10
  • $1/1 Frito-Lay Baked! Snacks (8.75-oz.+), exp. 2-8-10
  • $0.50/1 Log Cabin Syrup (24 or 64-oz.), exp. 4-1-10
  • $2/1 Metamucil Product, exp. 6-30-10
  • $1/1 Nature Made Vitamins, exp. 2-28-10
  • $1/2 Ortega Products, exp. 3-31-09
  • $1/1 Polaner Fruit Spread, exp. 3-27-10
  • $1/1 Poise Product, exp. 3-31-10
  • $1.25/1 Slim-Fast Product (excludes singles), exp. 2-19-10
  • $1/2 Starkist Sandwich-Ready Tuna Salad Pouches, exp. 4-9-10
  • $1/1 Tazo Filterbag Tea or Tea Latte Concentrate, exp. 3-21-10
  • $2/1 Wellesse Joint Movement Glucosamine Liquid (16-oz.), exp. 4-30-10
  • FREE Dessert wyb 5 Weight Watchers Smart Ones Frozen Products, exp. 3-31-09

Review: Insight Exchange Team

Insight ExchangeLately I’ve been exploring paid and reward market research survey sites, and came across Insight Exchange Team by recommendation. I don’t post negative reviews that often, but Insight Exchange certainly disappointed.

Receive 1 to10 points for every completed survey.
You can redeem 10 points to Plant a Tree or 65 points for a $25 gift certificate.

My first red flag was the lack of compelling prizes. Planting a tree is a unique prize, but I was disappointed to see the only other prize was a $25 gift certificate. Looks good on paper, but you’ll learn that is more like a coupon than a gift card. You have to purchase a minimum amount to use the certificate–for example, you can take $25 off a $50 meal. If you’re a frequent diner, that’s a great 50% off, but its not a good fit for my family.

My second and final red flag: I went to redeem my Plant a Tree certificate today and (insert Price is Right lose theme) it had already been redeemed by another user. That’s it; I’m out!

If you’ve had a similar experience, or if you’ve had a GREAT experience with Insight, I’d love to hear about it!

For us amateur photographers…

Page through a typical family photo album and you’ll notice the kids in a few repeating themes—special-occasion shots, vacation photos, and staged portraits. All cherished moments, no doubt. But why not add a little creativity into your picture taking? Here are some memories that could be just as photo-worthy.

Big mess1. A big mess. Your little van Gogh has painted your white walls with chocolate pudding. Before you clean it, take a picture. And you can break out the photo when your child becomes a parent—to remind your child that no child (or parent) is perfect.

2. The first time they dress themselves. Pajama pants, one fuzzy slipper, no shirt, and earmuffs. You might not let them leave the house like that, but you have to appreciate their unique ability to accessorize. If you take a snapshot now, the “fashions” of their teens won’t look so bad.

3. Your favorite feature. The head-to-toe shot can wait for prom or graduation. Instead, zoom in and capture the one or two details you love most about your kid. Snap that swirl of hair atop your newborn, your toddler’s chunky feet, or your 7-year-old’s two missing front teeth—they won’t stay that way forever.

4. How they see the world. Go ahead, hand your child the camera for a while (under appropriate supervision, of course). You’ll be amazed at what they’ll shoot without consideration for traditional rules. Fortunately, with the beauty of digital, you can instantly delete all the bad shots and save the good ones.

5. Photos with you. If you’re always the one with the camera, you won’t be in many of the photos. Put your spouse or a friend on point-and-shoot duty and tell them to start clicking. Tell them to catch you and the kids when no one is looking at the camera or during moments that capture you as a Mom—cleaning up from dinner, reading a bedtime story, or helping with homework.

Source:, a great opinions and product review site hosted by Proctor & Gamble.

Do You Take Vasa or Moostercard?

monopoly_geld_paper_moneyYesterday, FatHeadDog’s chief financial officer (husband) opened the mail to find correspondence from American Express that they’re raising our credit card interest rates, with an explanation that sums to “that’s the cost of doing business.” My off the bat response–“Let’s call and ask them to lower it. If not, see ya later American Express.”

If you didn’t already know, you can call your credit card companies to ask for a lower rate. In fact, more than 75% of people who call to ask for a lower rate are successful on the first call, according to financial author David Bach in his new book “Fight for Your Money: How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune.”

Here’s how: Take any of your credit cards that are carrying a balance, flip them over, and call the number on the back. Tell them that you want an interest rate reduction or you’ll take your business elsewhere. Before you call, know the rate you’re currently paying and the kind of rates that other banks are offering. ( is a great source for comprehensive lists of interest rates from credit card companies across the country.)

If the first person you talk to won’t do it, ask to talk to a supervisor. Be aware that there are often many levels of supervisors, so if the first supervisor doesn’t give you what you request, ask to speak to that supervisor’s manager.

Even if the credit card lords are only able to shave off a few points from a high interest rate, it will make a difference. If you have a $5,000 balance, even a 3% rate reduction saves you $150 a year.

What happens if they won’t negotiate? Ask to have the account closed. This will trigger a transfer to the customer retension department–the final stop of customer service whose job is to talk customers out of canceling their accounts. It’ll likely work, and once you get one card down, I bet you’ll find it such a rush that you’ll press onward for all your cards. No? Just me?

Great gift idea

From the experts at Kodak Gallery, who offer periodic photography tips, here’s one great idea for a precious time-capsule gift for mom, dad or grandparents:

A day in the life of…

Kodak photo
Photograph your baby when they first wake up in the morning, and continue to document them at meals, bath time, naptime, playtime, and every other major moment in their day. Try and keep everything very typical to their schedule. Have a proof sheet made from the film and you’ll see a full day-in-the-life story of your baby made by you.
® Amy Postle
Source: Kodak Gallery Exposure| July 2009 newsletter

Have thousands of unprinted digital photos?

When it comes to printing your digital photos, you have plenty of choices–you can take your memory card to your local drugstore for in-store printing, printing at home on a photo printer, or uploading them online for snail mail delivery. Here’s a great starter’s guide from Cnet to printing your digital photos:

Print at home

Printing at home is cheap and long-lasting if you use the right printer, ink, and paper. A 4×6 print will typically cost between 25 and 50 cents, depending on the printer and the ink. Of course that doesn’t include the cost of the printer or user error. Be sure to read Cnet printer reviews to get an idea of how often you’ll need to replace the ink cartridge.

Highlight: convenience

Lowlight: inferior quality

Print at a store kiosk

Store kiosks are convenient, and they let you do a lot of basic editing right on the spot (cropping, adjusting brightness, removing red-eye, etc). If you shop around, you can find stores that let you create 4×6 prints for well under 50 cents each. These do-it-yourself machines are a good alternative if you’re not in the mood for the care and feeding of your own photo printer.

Highlight: great option for those less adept at photo editing

Lowlight: time consuming unless you organize which photos you want to print first at home

Online printing services

Online print services such as Shutterfly, SnapFish, Kodak EasyShare Gallery, and many others are often the least expensive and can give great-looking prints. However, like the good old days, you’ll have to wait to see the results. But that’s fine when you’re printing a large number of images—for instance, all your vacation photos.

Highlights: plentiful coupon codes can be found at and this site

Lowlights: can be daunting for less-skilled users