Overstock contest

Overstock is having a contest called All I want for Christmas Giveaway. It started today (Monday) and will go through the 8th of December.

After you register you can browse through their whole website and choose any item up to $1000 as the item you would like to win. You then indicate to them what the item is. You are entered into the giveaway and will get the item you choose if you win. After you choose your item you are given a chance to sign up 5 of your friends.

Each day you can choose a new item. Today I choose a Tom Tom GPS receiver. I just did that to have something to pick for the day. I will spend a bit more time choosing something I really want for the rest of the week. You have a chance to win every day.

At the end of the week they will have a grand prize drawing. If you win you get all 5 items that you chose during the week.

I have one caveat about the contest. They aren’t giving away something for nothing. They are collecting email addresses. If you are already an Overstock customer, they already have your info. But they are asking you to give up the email addresses to 5 of your friends each day. You could potentially sell out 25 friends this way. While I personally trust Overstock to not sell my email address, I would not appreciate my friends giving out my email address to a company without my knowledge. Just choose wisely if you decide to give away someone’s email address. Not everyone will appreciate it.

LED Christmas lights. Why bother?

I remember when the fiber optic Christmas trees became popular about 10 years ago. While they were neat, it was obviously a fad. Traditional looking Christmas lights are what people are used to seeing and want to see. However, traditional lights are really not that energy efficient. The beauty of LED mini lights is that you get a traditional look with the multiple benefits of LED.

Some of the benefits include:

  • More energy efficient
  • Last longer
  • Lower fire hazard
  • More durable
  • Less likely to fail

While the initial cost of the LED lights are more expensive, they cost an estimated 1/3 the price of incandescent lighting over the lifetime of the LEDs. This is because the need to replace the incandescent lights more often will out cost the LEDs in the long term. On top of the overall savings that you will see down the road, you will immediately see a savings in your electric bill. It only takes 10% as much electricity to run a string of LED lights as it does a string of traditional ones.

LEDs are also much more durable. The likelihood that you would damage an LED light just by dropping them is non existent, unlike traditional bulbs. LED lights are encased in an epoxy that is durable to the point of being able to withstand the weight of a tractor trailer rig driving over them!

One of the greatest benefits of LED Christmas lights is the fact that there is much less of a fire hazard with them. Because the lights put off almost no heat, there is little risk of burning yourself by touching the lights or having a dry tree ignited by the LEDs.

Look into LED mini lights this holiday season and see if they would be right for you and your family.

[This is a sponsored post]

Looking for a new cell phone plan?

I am. I was excited to find the Wirefly website. I started to look around at cell phone plans last week. We will be returning to the US in about a year and will need to get cell service when we do. I have been hopping from one provider’s website to another so that I could check out plans and features. I realize that many of the plans and features will have changed by then, but I wanted to know what is available now.

The Wirefly site has a tool to help you get the best cell phone plan available for your needs. It lets you compare your current plan to what is available.

One of the problems I am having in choosing a plan is that I don’t remember how many minutes per month we used before. It was our primary phone since we traveled constantly. I am thinking it was something like 1000 anytime minutes a month. Sometimes we went over, which was a killer. The Wirefly comparison tool says that the average person uses 477 minutes. That seems low to me.

One thing I don’t completely understand about Wirefly is what their business is. Apparently you can buy phones through them and even purchase your service through them. They are like a broker with the phone providers. I have dealt with a broker before. It was a nightmare. They would certainly have to bring a lot to the table to get me to consider using them instead of working with the provider directly.

I would be curious to know if any of my readers have dealt with them and what the compelling reason is to use them instead of the service provider.

However, I do have to say that they have a great information at their site. They even have owners manuals for many phones. Their site is a treasure trove of information for helping you make an informed decision when purchasing a cell phone plan.

[This is a sponsored post.]

V o IP?

No, those aren’t Roman numerals. Those are the initials that stand for Voice over Internet Protocol or, Internet Telephones.

I have been using different kinds of VoIP service for a few years now. It just gets better and better. Packet8 is a VoIP provider that is offering video phone capabilities. While you can do many of these same things through “soft” phones on your computer, it is nice to have a piece of hardware that you can touch and handle while talking on the phone.

Packet8 has two Video Phone that give you a nice hardware package. This is far easier than getting your web cam set up, finding your headset/microphone combo and getting them plugged in, plus the need to tie up your computer to make a phone call. While I sit at my computer most of the time when I am on the phone, I like to be able to get up and roam around. You can plug a cordless phone into their system and it becomes just like talking on your standard home phone system.Packet8 Video Phone

Of their two video phones that they offer, I have trouble deciding which one of the two I would like to have. I have entered into a contest to win 1 of 9 that they are giving away. They have one that is just a video/audio interface. It is a screen with an icon based user interface. You can plug any standard phone into it and use your current phone. Or, they have one that is a desk phone setup with a pop up video screen.

I think of the two, I would choose the desk phone. I would not be transferring the device around the house to different locations. It would be nice to just have it sit on my desk ready to use whenever I needed to make a call.

Their service plans start at $25 a month and include “unlimited local and long distance calling in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, France, Italy, Ireland, Spain and United Kingdom”!

Are you a 2%-er?

I took a quiz this morning that is supposed to evaluate me and tell me what my strengths and weaknesses are in five categories: Discipline, Passion, Risk, Optimism and Interpersonal Skills. This is a test done by Nightingale-Conant. If you are not familiar with them, then it is probably because you have not listened to very many motivational and self-improvement audio programs that are touted by highly disciplined and motivated public speakers.

I found the results to be pretty accurate based on how I view myself. Of course you can get the results you want by answering a certain way. What would be more interesting is if they had a test that your friends could take and evaluate you. That, coupled with how you view yourself, would be much more revealing. Some of the questions were like “How would your friends answer this about you?” I feel like I do a good job at pulling the wool over the eyes of those around me. Very few would believe that I am somewhat insecure and second guess just about every decision I make.

Here are some of the comments the results made about me:

You may like to refer to yourself as “free-spirited,” but in actuality, your schedule tends to be more of a disaster. With a tendency to [sic] toward procrastination and lack of planning, you could use a good lesson in time management.


Judging by your responses, “risk” is your middle name. You were born for a challenge, regardless of the cost. And while your willingness to tackle a good adventure may get the adrenaline pumping, at times it is your greatest weakness.


You’ve got a pretty good attitude about life, and while others view you as positive and approachable, you require time away from people. You prefer to surround yourself with quality rather than quantity.

Absolutely! I am a very gregarious person, but I like my personal time. Just leave me alone!

Interpersonal Skills:
Like a Swiss army knife, you have the ability to function in just about any situation. You’ve mastered the art of relationship building and have learned how to use it to your advantage. You’re charismatic, and nobody can deny that you know how to work a crowd.

I like that evaluation.

Take the test. Read further about what it means to “Live in the Two.” There is more to life than making a lot of money, but, the things it takes to make a lot of money are what it takes to have a successful life whatever your passion.