Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Midnight Special Roast

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Midnight Special Roast: This post contains affiliate links. I get a small commission for products purchased through these links. 

Check out this simple recipe for a great-tasting roast!

If you enjoy the recipe, please consider leaving me a cryptocurrency tip at no cost to yourself. Sign up for a free Publish0x account, and get tips for your posts too!



Thursday, May 28, 2020

Earn easy money from Zap Surveys

Image copyright Steve Buissinne

Spend a little time, get a little money!

Zap Surveys is an app that can help you easily earn money by checking in daily.  You won't get rich with Zap Surveys,  but every little bit helps.  I have earned $25 so far.

If you join Zap Surveys through my link,  they will give you 75 cents to get you on your way. 

https://bdr3.app.link/TRIh9TFEP6

Get one to three cents just for checking in every day, then take surveys for more. The surveys are quick and easy to qualify for. Tap Surveys are my favorite. You get a partial payment even if you don't complete the survey.

Zap Surveys is one of my favorite survey apps. Give it a try by clicking the link above.

Cheers,
Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie

Monday, May 11, 2020

About Me Monday + Money Monday: Saving on Groceries

Image copyright Steve Buissine

The following is my reply to a post by Jessi Fearon, a SAHM who has a blog dedicated to debt-free living.


My only kid is 30 years old. We live out in the middle of nowhere, and I'm disabled (trying to get disability) and doing freelance work on the computer. 

I hadn't cooked in years, so I started ordering meal kits. They've helped a lot, but as my son says, I think we're growing beyond them. There is a good local butcher about 50 miles from where we live (it's about 50 miles to any city where we live!) and we are going to start getting our meat there. 

My son agreed to get in on the meal planning. He is high-functioning autistic, so a lot of food textures bother him which wouldn't come into play for someone who isn't autistic. His input is vital if I'm going to make this work! 

I have ADD, so I tend to get excited in the planning stage and then bored before I am able to implement my plans. His job is to keep me focused and on track.

Further Thoughts:

Meal kits are a great place to start (and maybe stay, if that's what works best for you) when you haven't cooked in a long time (or ever.) We have saved oodles of money by ordering meal kits from Everyplate and Hello Fresh. We used to get takeout all the time. It was costly and often not very satisfying.

I was sad when my son suggested that we should move away from the meal kits and towards planning our own meals every week. I like choosing the meals to be delivered and I like it when the box of goodies shows up at our door. However, my son is correct that we can save a lot of money by getting many of our staples at Costco and by going to the local butcher for our meat. 

I became excited again when I realized that I would be able to plan meals every week and also have a make ahead and freeze day either every Sunday or once a month. I'll have to see what works better for me with that. I've been researching recipes that lend themselves to being frozen, and also reusable, freezer-safe containers. 

Which reminds me, I'm starving. Take care and stay safe!

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~

$100 worth of Watkins products would be a grand addition to your pantry. Click the link to try your luck!

Sharing with these blog parties:

About Me Monday @ Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp
(This is my mental health blog. This is your warning that it tends to be sweary and ranty.)

Busy Monday

Grammy's Grid

Hearth and Soul

Inspire Me Monday

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party

Party in your PJs

Senior Salon

Share the Kindness

Snickerdoodle Create-Bake-Make Link Party

What's for Dinner?

You're the Star

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)



Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Watergate Cake + Poke Cake Hybrid

Free use image by Pexels

It's been an age since I did a Sunday Dinner post. I've been concentrating on my literary projects, and I am horrible at taking breaks. I did take a couple breaks to research making my own cake, cookie, and pudding mixes, but that's a post for another time!

My son's 30th birthday was May 8th. Physically, I was feeling much better this year than the year he was born. I wasn't conscious when he was born, and I certainly didn't make a cake.

My son doesn't like people making a fuss over his birthday, so I didn't put candles on the cake, and I didn't traumatize him by singing. My singing causes birds to drop dead and airplanes to fall from the sky, so there was none of that.

This year, I did make a cake. The cake was a modification of the following recipe for Watergate Cake.

1 box white cake mix
1 small pistachio instant pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
4 eggs

Beat ingredients together and pour into 9x13 baking pan, greased. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Topping--combine:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
Poke holes in cake and pour topping over. Put back in oven for 5 minutes.

I am unsure why it's called Watergate Cake. Maybe President Nixon enjoyed a slice while listening to the infamous tapes. 

I didn't have pistachio pudding mix, so I opted to make a poke cake with Jello instead. I used a box of vanilla pudding mix instead of pistachio, I used 3/4 cups of melted butter instead of oil, and I added four tablespoons of dry milk to the water. The result was a very smooth, rich, tasty batter.

I let the cake cool for a couple of hours and then poked holes in it with a fork at approximately 1/2 inch intervals. I didn't measure, so who knows? Then I mixed a small box of pomegranate blueberry Jello into 1 cup of boiling water, stirred until the Jello was dissolved, added a cup of cold water, stirred a little more, and poured it over the cake. We had to let this sit for another couple of hours.

I didn't frost the cake. My son isn't big on frosting. I'm the sort of person who likes a little cake with my frosting. In any case, the Jello makes the cake very sweet, so the frosting would probably be a step too far. I would use whipped cream or whipped topping rather than regular frosting.

I am going to try the Watergate cake at some point. It sounds really tasty! However, the recipe is very adaptable. Use what you have on hand and make it your own!

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~


Win free vanilla + $100 worth of good stuff from Watkins

The Inevitable Legalese and Other Blah-Blah

Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Sharing with these blog hops:

Busy Monday

Come as you Are Party (my mental health blog. Tends to be sweary and ranty.)

Grammy's Grid

Hearth and Soul

Inspire Me Monday

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party

Senior Salon

Share the Kindness

What's for Dinner?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Money Monday: Multi-Level Marketing is Not a Pyramid Scheme

Image copyright Robinraj Premchand on Pixabay

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.


Over the past few days, I've seen several instances of people being accused of attempting to scam others when promoting products. I have not had anyone aggressively accuse me of attempting to scam my readers, but I have seen several bloggers accused of it. On my recent post promoting the Cryptotab Browser, the commenter wasn't aggressive towards me, but they erroneously referred to Cryptotab's multi-level affiliate marketing platform as a "Ponzi scheme," also known as a pyramid scheme.

Legitimate multi-level marketing is not a pyramid scheme. 

There is an excellent post at Differen.com about the differences between a legitimate MLM platform and a pyramid scheme. I am going to share the main points from this post, but I recommend that readers take a look at the entire article.


Here are the key points from the post.

Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a legitimate marketing strategy where an actual product is provided. This says nothing about the quality of the product. This is open to debate. The point is, there is a product provided. With a pyramid scheme, there is no real product sold.

Multi-level marketing is legal. Again, a customer may debate the quality of the product being offered, but there is a real product and it is legal to market products in this manner.

With multi-level marketing, prospects pay money upfront in order to enroll in a program. Participants in MLM can make money from enrollment fees AND by selling products. The time, money, and energy invested in the program may not be worthwhile to the prospect in the long run, but multi-level marketing is a legal strategy.

With a pyramid scheme, prospects pay money upfront in order to enroll in a program. Participants make money primarily from enrollment fees of prospects who sign up under them rather than by selling products.

A participant in legitimate multi-level marketing may opt to focus on recruitment rather than the sale of the product offered.  This is perfectly legal as long as there is an actual product offered.

In a previous post, I praised Cryptotab's in-browser cryptocurrency miner. You set the thing and forget it, letting it do its thing while you do yours. I am admissibly new to cryptocurrency, and the commenter may be correct that users don't get that much payout from the miner's efforts and most of their payout will come from promoting the Cryptotab browser. I've only had the browser for about two weeks and I just started promoting it, so I really can't say if this is the case. However, the commenter is incorrect about Cryptotab's affiliate program being a "Ponzi scheme." It is a legitimate multi-level marketing program.

There is an actual product being offered (the Cryptotab browser) and in this case, anyone choosing to become an affiliate puts no money into the program. You download the Cryptotab browser free of charge. You can simply use it as a browser without ever utilizing the miner, but I don't know what sense that makes when utilizing the miner costs you nothing. You don't have to be an affiliate to use the browser or the miner. The worst thing a user is risking by trying the Cryptotab browser is discovering that they don't like it, in which case they can remove it from their computer.

The other program that I promote is Watkins, which is a legitimate multi-level marketing program that requires a small investment to join: usually $29.95 per year, but the fee is reduced to $14.95 through April. This fee gives consultants access to the back-office area, which includes printable promotional materials and links to web pages that the consultant can share in order to recruit new prospects AND sell products. I use these products myself and initially signed up as a consultant simply so I could get discounts on them but decided that this was a product that I could see myself promoting.

Again, one can debate the quality of the products being sold, could say that participation in the program is more trouble than it's worth and that the investment is too costly. Whatever arguments might be made regarding those points, Watkins is not a scam or a Ponzi scheme. It is a legitimate multi-level marketing program which, in my opinion, is more transparent than many legitimate MLMs. The cost to join the program appears on the first page of the website. Further, there are no quotas to remain part of the program.

Avon, which is another legitimate MLM program that I have been a consultant for in the past and might consider being a consultant for again, requires consultants to put in an order once every six campaigns in order to maintain their consultant status. I don't like this particular requirement, but it doesn't mean that Avon is a scam or a pyramid scheme. They provide a legitimate product and it is possible for consultants to make money selling that product.

Another thing that impressed me about Watkins is the fact that no-one is going to hound me or give me a schpiel about why I should be a consultant. No-one will ever call me unless I request that they do so. I'm not even obligated to receive the monthly consultant email. I could use my annual membership fee the same way I use my annual Costco membership fee and accrue points to buy my own products at increasingly deep discounts and keep my pantry, cleaning closet, and medicine chest stocked. Just because I am part of a multi-level marketing plan where I will receive monetary compensation if a new consultant signs up through my link does not mean that Watkins is a pyramid scheme. It clearly is not.

In the future, I will direct anyone stating that the programs I am promoting are pyramid schemes or scams to this page. The promotion of products and services is permissible on most blogging platforms as long as the poster clearly states their intent. I am fine with legitimate concerns and politely worded constructive criticism. Shouting SCAM on every post containing affiliate links is unproductive and tiresome. I for one don't have time for that muckity-muck and will not entertain it.

I lost thousands of dollars to scams and unscrupulous schemes in the 1990s and early 2000s and pride myself on being transparent about my affiliate marketing efforts and only promoting products and programs which are free or reasonably priced. Ripping people off is not a win. Helping others prosper and lead fulfilling lives is.

Cheers,
Your ornery old Aunt Cie

This post is copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

Cross-posted to:


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Naughty Netherworld PSA: Social Distancing Acrostic


is for sliding and side-stepping away
O is for only staying within your own circle
is for care of yourself and others
is for isolating
is for always taking precautions
is for spreading love, not contagion

D is for dancing at least six feet apart
is for insisting on doing what's right
is for soap and frequent hand-washing
is for taking time to be safe
is for asking others to maintain a safe distance
is for nicely considering needs
is for compassion and consideration
is for indoors in your own home
is for nature in a place that's uncrowded
is for growing and changing to find new ways to do things

~cie~

I am aware that this reads like a motivational poster.

Content coyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

Please do not repost

Reblogging is acceptable on platforms that allow it.

Sharing a link to the poem is acceptable.

Quoting portions of the poem for educational or review purposes is acceptable if proper credit is given.

NaPoWriMo: Write a poem about the letters of the alphabet or perhaps a poem where the letters form a short word. I kind of took liberties with that idea.

April PAD Challenge: Write a poem about social distancing. There you have it!

If you enjoyed that poem, there's more in my first published poetry volume, Another Autumn. Available for 99 cents on Kindle.

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