Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Deals

Now that we have all recovered from Black Friday, it's time for Cyber Monday!  I almost prefer Cyber Monday to Black Friday, because I don't have to deal with the hustle and bustle, elbows and feet that I do in a store.  The only downside (in my opinion) is the chance that an item may run out between the time I put it in my cart, continue shopping and then checkout.  The only way I have been able to alleviate this is to process each purchase separately - and ONLY if FREE shipping is offered on all purchases.  That way, I am guaranteed to receive my item. 

So what are the hottest deals this Cyber Monday?  Check some out below.  As always, this is not a complete list - but there are some great deals to be had!  Feel free to add more deals in the Comments Section.  Amazon has too many amazing deals to detail, but here are just a few.  Don't forget to browse the site for everyone on your list!
  • We Ski Videogame for the Nintendo Wii - $9.99
  • Call of Duty:  World at War for Nintendo DS - $9.99
  • HP Photosmart Plus Wireless All In One Printer - $69.99
Walmart:  Much like Amazon, Walmart has a ton of great deals, so here are just a few.  More can be found at
  • Viore 24" Class LED-LCD 1080p HDTV - $199.00 + FREE Shipping
  • Playstation 2 Entertainment Value Bundle - $388.00
  • NEXT 20" Bikes - $39.00
  • Cricut Expression Electronic Cutter (in aqua, plum, green or canary) - $199.00

Tommy Hilfiger:  30% off everything (discount will be applied at checkout - so make sure to look for it) + use code BLKFRIDAY20 for an additional 20% off.  Orders over $125 ship for FREE!

Victoria's Secret:  FREE SHIPPING off orders of $50 or more (FREE50), $25 off order of $150 or more (25OFF150), FREE Secret Reward Card with any order of $10 ore more, FREE scarf with sweater purchase (V10SCARF) and FREE slippers with sleepwear purchase (VS10SLEEP)!

Bath and Body Works:  25% off entire order with code CYBER25!

Barnes and Noble:  40% off Children's Picture Books, $5 off Toys/Games with $10 Purchase

Vera Bradley:  Large Tote Bag only $45!

You can't beat these deals - so shop away and don't forget to use E-bates to earn cash back!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not-So-New-Years Resolutions

It has been a while since my last post on the wonderful deliciousness of Dove Peppermint Bark.  In the past 11 days I have been uber-busy with 30 Days of Service at church and preparing and (successfully) defending my thesis.  During some of this time, I let my mind wander and as I let go of the anxiety, fear, overwhelming stress and overall exhaustion, I realized that despite the hectic chaos that is my life - I like being busy.  I don't like it when I have a lot of free time on my hands.  I am slowly finding out that I get more done if time is tight and the need to get things accomplished is high.  If I have an infinite amount of time on my hands, I will dilly-dally by watching TV, reading a magazine, cuddling with my dog or finding some game on Pogo to occupy my time.

It was during all of this thought that I realized I have let go of some of the things that are the most important to me.  Spending quality time with my family and friends.  This does not include gluing ourselves to the couch and watching hours of television and not saying a word to each other.  Sure - going to a movie or watching a favorite show together is great - but where is the conversation, where are the memories in that?  Who wants to start a story to their grandchildren, "One day your aunt and I were watching Grey's Anatomy..."  No!  We want to say, "well, we sure did give your grandma and grandpa a run for their money" or things of that nature.  So, my not-so-new-years resolution is to make the effort to really spend some time with my husband, each of my sisters and my parents.  And quality time at that.  

I also realized I have neglected some of my favorite reading.  The Bible is full of intellect, stories, great men and women, but most of all - it's full of the life lessons I need and the Ultimate Truth.  I can remember days that I couldn't wait to get home to read about another miracle, another saving grace, another sinner who found his way.  Now, I let it lay there, opening it occasionally, but tossing it aside for a romance novel or tabloid.  S, by second not-so-new-years resolution is to pick up my Bible first.  Read what really matters and not some fictitious character's conquest.

My final not-so-new-years resolution (for now) is to be a better Christian.  It is my belief that by bettering my relationship with Christ, I'll become the better daughter, better wife, better friend, better sister, better employee, and overall better person that I yearn to be.  It starts and ends with Him, so let's do this thing right.

Reflecting can be painful, and let me tell you, these past few years have tried me.  Graduate school takes a lot of time and effort, and to be honest, I dealt with a lot of folks whose beliefs differ from mine on all ends of the spectrum.  The love shown to me by my husband, family, friends and church family is what got me through and now it is time to hand it all over to Him and let Him run my life.  After all, I'm just along for the ride.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dove Peppermint Bark

Okay - I love to share about my great deals and just plain awesome finds.  This is one thing I would pay full price for - hear that - FULL PRICE?! Gasp.  But seriously, this is good:

See that?!  Dove Chocolate has introduced a Peppermint Bark chocolate.  This is heaven.  Heaven melting in my mouth.  No lie.  I found it randomly walking through a holiday aisle at Kroger the other day, and our office is already on bag #4!  We love candy, but this is seriously some of the best candy ever!

This is the perfect amount of chocolate, topped with a layer of peppermint.  It's the perfect balance of cool creaminess and a nice little crunch of peppermint without being overwhelming.

So next time you are in a grocery store - pick up a bag and try one.  Then let me know what you think.  MMMM!  Happy Eating!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Black Friday Shopping Tips

This year, it seems more and more stores are offering rock bottom prices way before Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  To help with your shopping, below are sometips for shopping Black Friday deals.  You can see a more complete list for this area (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky) at

Tip #1:  Check the ad carefully to see when the sale starts.  Two years ago, the Michaels ad came out and they had a special 3 hour sale on Thanksgiving Night.  Cricut cartridges were as low as $15 a piece when you bought five.

Tip #2:  Layaway.  Get the leaked ads - place the item on layaway, with a price match guarantee.  Get a signed and dated copy of the price match guarantee from a store employee.  I do this regularly.  I go in two weeks ahead (when I normally see the Black Friday pricing), put my 10% down, and get a signed price match guarantee.  Friday afternoon, I go into the store (with the remaining payment) and pay the Black Friday price.

Tip #3:  Spread Out.  If you insist on getting up for door buster sales, get a group together and split up.  Hit multiple stores to see who can get the door buster price.  You have a better chance of getting the deal when you hit stores that are outside of city limits.

Tip #4:  Shop online on Thursday.  Most stores turn on a special Thursday price when you order online.  So, around 9pm, start looking!

Tip #5:  Don't be brand picky.  If you come across a great deal and the brand you want is out of stock, ask for a manager and then ask if you can get a comparable deal on a comparable product.  Example:  the TV you want is 30% off regular price and they are out.  Find a similar TV (as close as possible in specs/size/etc) and ask for 30% off regular price on that TV.  Most stores will adjust, as long as you ask!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cold as Ice

I spent the weekend on my couch.  No, seriously, I was practically glued on the couch, willing myself to beat yet another bout of sinusitis.  It's no fun and I really can't afford to be sick right now.  I covered up, cuddled up with Buddy, watched movies and caught up on some fun reading.  I woke up and felt much better, ready to tackle the Mondays.  I even was EARLY for work because there was no cut-in-the-hill traffic.  What a great day!  To make things even better, my HR Director held the slowest elevator in the universe for me, so I wouldn't have to wait in the cold.  Super start to a Monday, right?!

I should have known it was too good to be true.

We walk into our office, which is located in an entertainment venue on the Ohio River.  We are lucky enough to have our own heat/air unit, bathrooms, kitchen, etc. and we don't have to share (I really hate public restrooms).  This lets us control the temperature, which is normally set to cool (thank goodness for space heaters).  Today, it was set to FRIGID!  No lie.  It was barely 60 degrees when we walked in the office.  Not good for someone who did everything right this weekend to avoid catching a cold. 

So I fight this insane chill as I wait for the sun to come up (it normally shines right on me until about 10:30 - but not today!), and the heat to kick in.  I turn on my space heater.  I pull on a sweater.  Then, I do the most brave thing I have done in a while.  Are you ready?  You sure you can handle this?!  I go down to my car and grab a Snuggie.  That's right - I travel with a Snuggie.  Good thing too.  Most days I think I would be the joke of the office.  Instead, today, I'm pretty sure I am the envy. 

I'd post a pic, but I think then I would definitely get made fun of.  Anyhow, be jealous.  Enjoy... and watch for a Snuggie giveaway soon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Around The House

Earlier I wrote about alternative uses for junk mail.  In doing some 'fall cleaning', I found some alternative uses for other household items.

Lunchmeat Tubs.  If you ever have to buy lunchmeat in the tubs, they are great for so many things.  I use mine for individual size lunches, holding hair bands, and storing dice.

Wine Rack.  Our wine rack holds six bottles of wine and has a small bar across the top, which doubles as a candy cane holder during the holidays.  It's a great decorative piece!

Bread Ties.  I love reusing these to keep my cords from getting tangled together in my junk drawer.

Frozen Cookie Dough Tubs.  Just like lunchmeat tubs, these tubs have a variety of uses.  I used mine to store holiday wreaths and ornaments!  They also work for holiday lights - no tangles here!

What household items do you find alternative uses for?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Mishaps

Do you have a love/hate relationship with specific holidays?  My biggest one is Halloween.  While I love the candy and seeing the fun costumes that my friends and their kids come up with, I dread dressing up (then usually love the outcome) and what I really, really, really hate is the scares.  I am a scaredy-cat and a very easy target, so this is a very stressful time of year for me.  Horror movies give me nightmares, blood sorta creeps me out, and I can't stand spiders.  I also almost always tend to get injured at some point on Halloween.

Case in point - more than a dozen bruised toes/ankles from tripping over my own feet or my costume from about 1990 to 2010 and a handful of small burn scars on my arm from baking Halloween goodies.  That is minor compared to the Halloween Mishap of 2010.

Halloween Mishap of 2010
It all started out on a cool, fall morning.  I woke up, got ready for church, and headed off to prepare for a kick-off celebration following our morning worship service.  All was going well, then I was asked to cut desserts.  Can you guess that happened - yep - new scar forming on my left hand, just under my thumb.  Stupid frozen red velvet cake.

After containing the 1/2 inch cut on my left-hand, it was a very pleasant afternoon.  I made the mistake of saying outloud, "if that was it, I can deal with it!".  Oops. 

The clock strikes 6pm and here come the masses.  Okay, the 20 kids who showed up at our doorstep (still, compared to the 5 last year, it was busy).  The first hour of trick or treating goes by without a hitch.  We have a great bonfire going, and I haven't caught a thing on fire.  This is my night, I can feel it.  (Do not tempt fate - seriously folks).

7pm rolls around and I go in for a few minutes to switch the laundry.  Out come the towels and our whites.  In goes the first load of darks.  The laundry basket is overflowing with warm, fluffy towels that need to be folded.  So I pick it up and make my way to the door.  Seeing as the towels block my entire line of sight, I guess at where the middle of the door is - I am right!  Phew.  I am just about through when WHAM!, I am stopped by the metal door hinge, my finger, and a sharp plastic laundry basket.  Well, guess what is jammed (I'll give you a hint - not the basket or the door hinge).  The pain is intense, and the only way to get out of the laundry room is to unjam by finger by continuing to walk through the door.  Holy heck was that painful.  I get out of the laundry room and into our bedroom and drop the basket on the bed, collapse against a wall and cry.  Like a little girl.  (Oh, I did manage to grab a paper towel to contain the bleeding).  My dog looks at me as if I am nuts.  Finally, many choice phrases and tears later, I pull myself together, give up yelling for my husband and go into the bathroom to assess the damage. 

A small hole later (yes a hole in my right-hand index finger knuckle) and an inch and a half long scratch later, I am washed up, bandaged up, and ready to get back outside.  My husband gets a good laugh at my misfortune and we continue to pass out candy.

8pm - the trick-or-treaters are done and there were no tricks.  Thank goodness.  My finger is throbbing, but not swollen and the bandaids are doing their job. 

10pm - the night is drawing to a close and I cannot wait to get to bed.  There is still another load of laundry that needs to be done.  I'm done with laundry, but unfortunately, my husband needs his clothes for class.  So into the laundry goes our final load.  That's when the earthquake happens. Okay - not a real earthquake, but when your washer goes off the wall (not literally) and starts jumping and shaking (yes literally), it feels like an earthquake (I imagine) and sounds like one too.  We rush downstairs and adjust the laundry (it was too heavy on one side of the washer), and breathe a sigh of relief.  That's three things!  Bad things happen in three!  HA!

11pm - the laundry is being folded.  We are beat.  I grab the laundry basket off of our bed to take back to the laundry room and the darn thing got me again.  Again on my index finger, about an inch under the last attack.  Not as bad as last time, but not fun, nonetheless.  Still bandaid worthy and still bleeding.  The bad things come in fours on good ole Halloween.

I give up on the day and go to bed.  Nightmares. Great, huh?!  And I didn't even watch a scary movie.  So that is why I don't like Halloween.  The only good part- my costume did a little scaring.