Friday, 17 February 2017

Cooking hack: The Singing Swede

So called because it 'whistles' while it cooks, this is such an easy way to cook swede - no peeling, chopping or boiling! Simply pop in the microwave for 20 minutes or so and scoop out all that loveliness straight into a bowl!

Add some butter, a little pepper and serve and eat!

(If anyone knows who Kerry is so I can credit her properly for the pic, please let me know)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

How do I make money from Mintvine?

I'm a massive fan of Mintvine. It's kind of a rival to Swagbucks, but a lot easier to navigate and there seem to be more surveys available at any one time.

I'm going to presume that you're completely capable of signing up and following the instructions for the initial 'getting to know you' questions (plus I'm being lazy), and that you now have an account and are not sure what to do.

I'll share with you the things that I do if I'm focused enough, each day.

Daily Survey

The easiest way to earn 5 points every day is to do the Daily Survey. Scroll down and you will be given the option to take part (I've done mine already which is why it's already filled in)

There's a new one each day and that's 5 points per day. Time taken: 5 seconds.

Survey Street

The first thing you see, top right of your screen or via the menu, is Survey Street.

The steps are easy:

1) Click on 'Go Take My First Survey' - you'll see something like this:

Scroll down and you'll see you have to agree to a few things before you can take a survey:

You have to tick those 3 boxes before you can proceed

2) Take the survey:

You won't necessarily see the exact screen I have above, but you'll be on your way to your first survey.

Things to know:

  • You may not qualify for every survey 
  • You may have to answer a few questions before you find out you don't qualify
  • Different surveys have different times and different values
You'll be offered other surveys once you've finished one - it's up to you if you do another one or move on to:

Points Place

Underneath Survey Street  you should see Points Place:

Basically it's just another version of surveys, but each one of these is worth 70 points each. You don't have to agree to anything like before, you just do the surveys.

You'll see this screen once you click on 'Go to Points Place':

Click on 'Continue' and you'll get to a screen like this with a few qualifying questions:

Answer the questions and you'll be offered a survey:

As before, you could be disqualified after answering a few questions. Unfortunately that's just the way it is.

These are the main ways to get points on Mintvine. I'll cover some other ways in future blog posts.

Things to note:

  • Points 'pend' for 2 weeks, so while they will show as part of your total, you won't be able to withdraw them until they're approved.
  • Mininum cashout for Mintvine is 1000 points.
  • 1000 points equals $10
  • Once you have 1000 points, you can cashout any amount beyond that, so for example 1264 points will get you $12.64
  • Mintvine takes around 5 days from requesting a cashout to receiving it
If you're not on Mintvine already I'd highly recommend it - unlike Swagbucks and other survey sites there seem to be a LOT more surveys available and if you can qualify for them then the points add up pretty quickly.

If you have any Mintvine questions, post them in the comments below and I'll answer them in future blog posts, or pop over to our Facebook group and join.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Making money from Swagbucks - video apps

If you're a Swagbucks addict like me, you've learned a few tips and tricks along the way (although I'm still learning all the time) to maximise your chances of earning Swagbucks.

One of the easiest that guarantees 60 sb per day is the video apps. I run a group on Facebook where members help each other out on various survey sites and receipt / cashback apps, and one of the questions we're asked the most is how we make 60 sb a day JUST on videos, so here's a quick and dirty how to.

Install the video apps 

First of all you need to have ALL of the video apps installed - in the UK these are shown below, and you can find the links to them at

Run the video apps IN FULL daily!

Sounds easy, but so many people miss this bit out. For each app you have to run between 10 and 14 videos to earn 2sb. What people don't seem to see is that once you've done that 2sb, you can then run the app again another 4 times (and sometimes once more for bonus sp) to earn a total of 10 sb from each app, making 60sb a day.

So, this is what I do:

1) Start the app

I'm going to use EntertaiNow as my example, as it's always the first one I use. Open the app:

2) Choose the quickest videos

Using the menu top left (the 3 straight lines), open up the menu and choose 'short clips' (second option under 'channels'

3) Run the videos

This will give you screen similar to this:

Click on the first video and it will start running - clips in this section are generally under 30 seconds long (but see the power user tip at the end of this post!)

Your video will start running:

Once your video has run you'll see this screen:

(it may say fewer videos depending on how many are in the run)

Once all the videos in the cycle have run, you'll get an alert that you've got your 2 swagbucks:

This is where a lot of people stop, thinking they have done their bit on that app - BUT WAIT!

4) Do it all again (4 times!)

At the top right of that last screen is a 'next video' link - click on that and start the whole cycle again! You can run each app 5 times, giving 10sb in total - in some cases you will get a 6th chance so keep an eye out!

Don't forget - do this on all 6 apps, not just this one! That's 60sb for nothing.

Swagbucks video app power user tip!

If you don't want to hover over your phone while these apps are running, then you can just leave it on the side (i'd recommend plugged in as it does eat battery!) and let it run it's course.

HOWEVER, if you're watching TV or want to get it over and done with quickly, then this is how to do it:

4 second rule

Run the app as above, and run the first video. Let it run for 4 seconds and then click the 'done' link top right:

Move on quickly

You'll then get the usual screen, on this one, click 'next video' (top right) to move on to the next one without waiting:

Rinse and repeat!

At an average of 4 seconds per video, 2 seconds to move on, 14 videos per round and 5 rounds to run, you can have 10 sb in around 7 minutes. 

I hope this mini how to guide has helped someone out there, please consider commenting below if it has, and over on our Swagbucks, Mintvine, Shopprize and more Facebook Page. And of course, if you're not a Swagbucks member yet, come and join me

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Incy Wincy Spider

Thanks to the fab Sally Walker for this great piece of digital art, which I won in a competition - very goth :)

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

"Let's move to France" I said...

It all seemed so easy; "Let's move to France" I said...

See, I run my business from home, with a team of people from all over the world, all working in their homes. So as long as I have an internet connection and a computer, I can 'do my thang'.

And as the female head of a 'blended' (as they call them these days) family, things were getting a little hectic.

My partner's ex wife and their children lived in Belgium; we lived in England with my daughter from a previous marriage. Our whole lives seemed to be about travelling between the countries at great expense while trying not to let any of the kids miss out on quality time.

Then the landlord of our rented house told us he was selling it - in 3 months!


"Let's move to France" I said. "It's halfway between Belgium and England, I did a bit of French at school, my daughter is homeschooled - we can live anywhere we want"

My partner, the gloomy Eeyore to my bouncy Tigger wasn't so convinced. But he had known me for some time, and knew that if I put my mind to it, it would happen.

And happen it did - 3 months later we were on a ferry with everything we owned in a rented lorry, ready to start a new life in France.

And that's where my positivity and optimism started to wain a little.

Don't get me wrong - I love living in France. I love the culture, the people, the food, the lifestyle - pretty much everything except the beurocracy in fact!

But I couldn't be ME. In the UK I dealt with everything that needed doing - from plumbers to bills, to deliveries to getting extra phone lines in.

In France I had to let my partner do it, as he was the fluent French speaker, not me.

We made friends very quickly, but even now, 3 years later, those friends don't know the REAL Nikki - they know the French version of Nikki, which is like the abridged study notes, not the original hardback ;)

At first I found everything difficult - shopping, hiring help, sorting out business things, putting my daughter into school - not at all as I expected, and I very nearly gave up a number of times.

But slowly and surely I got to know more people, the language came a little easier, and our house started to feel like a home.

Business wise I was a little worried (although stubbornly wouldn't admit it!) that people would not want to use my services once they found out I was in France - but in fact the opposite has happened, as I've never been busier!

Of course, I'm very lucky that what I do can be fitted into any country, anywhere and any time.

I wouldn't advise everyone to make such an impulse move as we did, but it worked for us and I'm glad we did it.


Nikki Pilkington is owner of, an Internet Marketing Agency based in the UK and France, specialising in website promotion through SEO and Social Media. She can be found on Facebook ( and twitter (@nikkipilkington) as well as on her own blog at