Newer Young Adult Series to Read

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here are some recommendation's on some young adult series (I only listed the first book in the series) to read:

1. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Action, adventure and a few aliens.

2. Chosen by Ally Condie
Reminiscent of 1984 and a girl's struggle to overcome a domineering society.

3. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Teenage girl that can change into a dragon and her struggle with who she is.

4.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A futuristic society that domineers over its people

5. Lying Games by Sara Shepard
A twin in foster care is forced to live the life of her sister who's dead.

Most of these are geared toward the female audience with the exception of I am Number Four.

It Pays To Eat Pasta?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Now, you're probably wondering what I mean when I say it pays to eat pasta, but it can! Ronzoni is having a sweepstakes where you can win free groceries for a year and there's no cost to enter. Now who wouldn't want to win free groceries? You can enter the contest here.

Books/Stories to Read for Halloween

Friday, September 23, 2011

Here's a list of some great books or short stories to read during the fall/halloween season:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Mary Shelley wrote this book as a challenge to write a compelling ghost story along with her husband and Lord Byron.

Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Turn of the Screw by Henry James: An enjoying read if you like to hear about Ghosts!

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe


The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gillman

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

The Legend of Sleepy Hallow by Washington Iriving

 The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

There's many more, but this is a good starting list.

Halloween Decorations

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've been thinking about putting my Halloween decorations out, but is it too early? It's not even October yet. I enjoy seeing the decorations in the stores with the scary witches, spider webs and jack o'lanterns! Fall is a fun time of year. "Woman's Day" also has some great craft ideas available on their website and magazine. Check it out here.

Free Value Item at Arby's

Monday, September 19, 2011

If you text AHOY to 27297 you'll get a text back valid for a FREE Value Menu item. Good today, 9/19, only! * Please note that standard text messaging rates do apply.

It's Fall

Saturday, September 17, 2011

from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
The fall season ends summer with coolish weather and fall leaves of orange, red and yellow hues. Just because it's not summer doesn't mean you can't have fun! Here's some great fall type activities to do:

1. Pick your own apples at a farm: Picking your own apples can be fun. It sometimes can be cheaper than the grocery store and can taste even better!
2. Hay rides: Hay rides can be lots of fun with your family or group of friends.
3. Pick your own pumpkin: Go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a fall pumpkin. Pumpkins are great for decorations, jack lanterns, pies, cheesecake, muffins, and more.
4. Corn mazes: Corn mazes can be a fun and enjoyable!
5. Jumping into a pile of leaves: Rake 'em up and jump away.
6. Make your own candied or caramel apples: Cheaper than buying them at the store and fun to make.
7. Tour a haunted house or museum.
8. Fall festivals: Attend community fall festivals and enjoy some different foods and activities.
9. Leaf crafts: Find a colorful leaf and press it for a picture, or brush paint on it and use it like a stamp.
10. Fall cleaning: Who says you only can do major cleaning in the spring? Prep up your home, by going through items that can be donated to goodwill, sold on craig's list, recycled or thrown away.

Free Icee

Friday, September 16, 2011

If you go to AMC Theater's Facebook Page and like them, you can get a coupon for a Free Icee on 9.16.2011, 9.23.2011 or 10.7.2011. A free treat for a movie date!

Finally Got My Sequel

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies)As soon as the Power of Six hit the bookstores, I requested it at the library. It was well worth the wait. The author carries sets the stage well for his story. There are hidden surprises and things mentioned in I am Number Four that comes to light in the Power of Six. It has a lot of action, and is a quick fast read.

Free Yogurt

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Activia is offering a free yogurt to try their greek or french yogurt. Simply, go to their facebook page and like their page and select Activia Selects on the left hand side. The coupon is sent to you via email.

You can also get a free yogurt coupon from Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt by clicking here. Dannon claims it's the best in the world. You'll have to try both yogurts and discover for yourself who is the best. Remember to use the coupon before the expiration date!

Sample the New Swiffer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are you a vocal point member? Vocal point offers free samples (and high value coupons) to leading brands products in exchange for your review on the product. Now for vocal point members, you can sample a new swiffer duster product for free. Click here for more details.

How to Save on Books and Movies

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Most Beautiful Libraries in the WorldSo, I've stopped purchasing books and renting new movies. If there's something that I want to read or watch, I go online to my county's library website and I order it. I can choose where I want to pick it up and request as many books or movies as I want. The library then emails me when the book or movie is available. This saves me time and money (as long as I return the books or movies on time).

Bunnies - Again

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rabbits For DummiesI don't know what it is about my garden, but the wild bunnies were seen trying to dig under the fencing. Some ideas I've found online to prevent them from attacking my poor vegetables include:

  • Predator's Urine (how do you get this?)
  • Mothballs
  • Garlic
  • Flakes of Soap
  • Items of clothing (This would look bizarre in my backyard)
  • Rubber snake (easy to get in the lawn mower if you forget about it)
  • Mix sugar free grape cool-aid in a spritzer bottle with a few drops of soap. (This sounds a little bizarre)
  • Put carrots out in your yard so they're not hungry and trying to get into your garden (Just training them to keep coming back)
  • Stop Growing Vegetables (Not viable solution is it?)
  • Motion Sensor - when it detects movement it barks like a dog (that could be annoying)
  • Ammonia Mixture
  • Blood Meal
  • Pepper
I think I am going to try mothballs. Some of people's ideas make me laugh. They might work, but I am not going to try them.


The Joy of Crockpots

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crock-Pot SCR300SS 3-Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker, Stainless SteelCrockpots make dinnertime so easy! You just throw in the ingredients in the morning, put in on low and by the time dinner rolls around dinner is done. I did twice this week (even though it's the summer) and each time I came home a meal was ready and waiting. My favorite thing to make in the Crockpot is Adobo Chicken (Chipotle's Chicken) here's the recipe.

1 can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 t. black pepper
2 t. cumin powder
2 T oregano
1/2 red onion
1 whole boneless chicken breast or 4-5 pieces of boneless skinless chicken

After it's done cooking, shred the chicken and you can make or grab the other components for a burrito pretty easily including: black beans, cilantro rice, salsa, lettuce, sour cream and cheese.

It tastes great and it's healthier than eating out.






Planners

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are you one of those that carry a planner around with you wherever you go, I usually keep mine in my purse and then I can whip it out and schedule my life. I have recently misplaced my planner, and without it I can't remember doctor's appointments or when I scheduled my dentist appointment. Planners are an amazing thing. They're just a calendar, but they help us to keep track of everyday life.

Some friends of mine even use it to plan out their meals for the month. This helps to limit their shopping trips to be fewer saving them time and money (less gas running to and from the store). I also use my planner to plan out my running distance and exercise schedules. Planners can help you keep your goals and to remember them. How do you use your planner?

Exercise Ideas

Monday, August 1, 2011

When you think of exercise, you think of losing weight and most of the time when people work on losing weight they just change their eating habits rather than their activity level. Exercising has many more benefits than losing weight. It helps to build your self esteem, improve your mood (it increases your serotonin level), boosts energy, combats diseases and conditions, helps you to sleep at night (for more ideas of how it can help see my previous blog post). Oftentimes for most people it can be hard to exercise because they don't set a regular pattern or want to change their lifestyle. To start exercising, you need to motivate yourself and set a goal. Even finding a friend to exercise with can help motivate you enough to form a habit. I find if I don't have a goal, I am not motivated enough to exercise long enough I will just want to run one mile instead of three or four. There's also many ways to exercise. It's best to find something fun and that you will enjoy to help you to keep doing it and stay motivated. Here are some different options:
  • Zumba
  • Yoga
  • Join a team: soccer, baseball, basketball (they have adult and teen teams just google it)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Water Aerobics
  • Swimming laps (my favorite)
  • Running (also my favorite)
  • Lifting weights
  • Biking
  • Speed Walking
  • Dancing (Take a partner and learn some steps at a class)
  • Aerobics
  • Hiking
  • Tae-Bo
  • Boxing
The important thing is stay active. It doesn't matter what activity that you do, just as long as you keep at it!

Free Appetizer at TGI Fridays

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If you go to TGI Fridays today, you can receive a free Crispy Green Bean Fries Appetizer by printing out the coupon here.

(Thanks Hip2Save!)

Fun Games to Play

Monday, July 25, 2011

When it's a rainy day it's always nice to have some fun indoor games to play. Some of the ones I like to play with family and friends include:
  1. Blokus: A tetris like board game that involves strategy and defensive skills. 2-4 players
  2. Monopoly: This real estate game can be fun or not so fun depending on how competitive you are feeling.
  3. Uno: Uno can be a short game or a couple of hours long depending on if you include different variations. This game is great for a big group.
  4. Ticket to Ride: Build trains and try to complete strategy cards before your components. This is a fun strategy game.
  5. Scrabble: Scrabble involves building words in a crossword type fashion. It helps to develop those critical thinking skills.
  6. Rummikiub: It's like Rummy with tiles. I used to play this game with my grandmother on late summer evenings.
  7. Classic Card Games: There's also classic card games that are always fun to play like Go Fish, Scum, Kanasta, Rummy.
Board/card games can enhance thinking skills or keep them sharp, help improve your memory, help with social development. Learn more here.

Waiting for a Sequel

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I dislike waiting for sequels of books. I feel like it's a massive publishing company scheme. I have a couple of series that I've started, but I am waiting for the next book to come out in the fall. When of the series is the sequel to "I am Number Four." The book was quite good. It's about a young adult that's an alien try to pretend to be human to avoid being killed by an enemy race. The movie was disturbingly a little different than the book (and the book was even better). I can't wait for the next one to come out. My friend recommended the book to me. What books would you recommend to read over the summer?

How to Catch a Catfish

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One day, my fiance and I went fishing with a canoe and we weren't catching much, which was a little disappointing after we had caught fish after fish a couple of days before. So we decided that we were done and started heading back. As we were headed back, we noticed some fins poking out of the water like a shark. We decided to investigate and found an enormous catfish swimming on the surface even though catfish normally swim on the bottom. We threw our lines in expecting the catfish to take our bait. The catfish didn't like shrimp or worms. Then we tried to reach in and grab it, but it slid out of our hands and swam away. We then started chasing after it in the canoe. We finally got close to it, stuck a bucket in the water and the catfish swam right in to the bucket. We pulled it out of the water and were so proud of ourselves. We took it home to clean it but after cleaning it we decided were never going to catch catfish again. They are really hard to clean. You have to nail their head to the board and remove their skin with pliers. You also have to avoid getting stung by their antennas. So that's one way to catch a catfish.

Free Lettuce Wraps

Monday, July 18, 2011

For a friend's birthday once, we went to P.F. Chang's and my friend ordered their lettuce wraps. At first, I thought lettuce wraps might be kind of weird, but when I tried them they were absolutely delicious. Now, if you "like" P.F. Chang's on Facebook, you can get a coupon for free lettuce wraps and try them yourselves. Click here to like them on Facebook and to sign up to get free lettuce wraps.

(Thanks Hip2Save!)

How I Saved $25.00

Thursday, July 14, 2011

www.freedigitalphotos.net
In the beginning of July, a neighbor came to my door and said that my next door neighbor said I needed the wood pile moved next to my garage. He offered to do it for $25.00. I thought for $25.00 I could do it myself so I shook my head and told him, "No, thank you." My next available day, I put on some gardening gloves and started hauling long pieces of wood out to the curb. It was hard work and it took about an hour, but I was quite proud of myself and I didn't need to pay someone else for something I could do myself. Sometimes we need help, but sometimes it's better to do things ourselves. It gives us experience, might help tone our muscles, and gives us a sense of accomplishment.

Grillin' Experience

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
For my birthday, my parents got me a grill. I was so excited that the next day, my fiance, Jim and I decided to grill chicken and potatoes. The only problem was that we didn't have any lighter fluid. For the first attempt, we found paper and layered the paper in-between bits of charcoal. After using several matches, I ran and got lint from the dryer and we stuck lint in-between the paper and charcoal. That didn't work either. Then Jim decided that we should get bits of wood to build a mini-fire in the grill and use that to start the charcoals. It worked like a charm. The next time we grilled we got lighter fluid, but the mini-fire worked the best.

The grilled chicken turned out great. I started putting bread crumbs on the chicken, but then I ran out of bread crumbs and used crumbled Cheez-Its, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning to season the chicken. The potatoes also turned out really yummy. We sliced up potatoes, dipped them in oil and sprinkled salt on them. We also heated up some frozen green beans in the microwave. Since then we've grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Grills are so much fun!

Avengers Casting Call

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If you ever wanted to be in the movies and especially a marvel move - the Avengers is having a casting call on July 15th - 16th in Independence, Ohio. Learn more here.

Free Queso Dip

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Wednesday June 20th, all participating Moe's Southwest Grill Locations will be offering FREE queso dip to their customers from 11 am - 9 pm. Check it out here.

Strengthening Those Muscles

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Exercise takes time. Not, only does it take, but it takes patience and sometimes it takes a while to see the results. Most of us when our lives get busy start placing exercising on the back burner. It's hard to feel motivated to do it. Yesterday, at my voice lessons, I was struggling with a song. I wasn't struggling because of going off-key, I was struggling to control my stomach muscles. I've been practicing a breathing exercise all week to help, but it's not something that won't instantly happen, it's something that may take months and even years to develop those stronger muscles that will help with my breathing while I am singing. Exercise is the same way. The first few times may be painful and you might expect to see results right away, but it may take months. So, stick in there and keep strengthening those muscles. Here are some of the benefits of exercising:
  • Helps improve health: It might not reduce all your medical ailments since those depend on other factors, but it will help manage chronic diseases and help reduce your chances of health risks.
  • Strengthens and tones: Your body will gradually start losing the fat and improve your muscle strengthen and tone.
  • Enhances flexibility: Flexibility helps prevent injuries and strains on your muscles.
  • It makes us feel mentally better: Exercise helps boost your mood and reduce stress.
  • Sleep better at night: It help energize you during the day and help you to relax better at night.
  • Helps your bones to become stronger.
  • More Energy
  • Brain Power: Able to remember things more effectively
Just to warn you, exercise my increase your desire to eat more. So unless you want to maintain your weight, try and distract yourself by staying active by developing your talents or reading a book so that you won't damage your efforts with constant snacks if you are trying to lose weight.

Also if you're wondering how often you should exercise, start off with 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week then gradually start cross training with different types of exercise and increasing it to an hour a day.

 Sources:
Exercise 7 Benefits of regular physical activity
Why Exercise? How Exercise Benefits Your Health & How to Begin 
Why Exercise Makes Us Feel Good
Ever Wonder Why Exercise is Good For You?
Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin


National Cheesecake Day

Monday, July 11, 2011

National Cheesecake Day is July 30th! Be sure to mark it on your calendars. Make your loved ones a cheesecake (as long as their fond of cheesecake) or head over to the Cheesecake Factory and get a cheesecake slice for half-off. To make a cheesecake, reference recipes at: All Recipes.

Free Slurpee

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are you a slurpee fan? I used to love them as a kid and today you can get one for free! So click here for more information and then go to your local 7-11!

Thanks hip2save!

FREE Chicken - Are you game enough?

Friday, July 8, 2011

What can I say? I am admitted Panda Express Fan. Not to mention, sometimes I enjoy a good coupon. If you print out a coupon here and go to Panda Express. You can receive FREE Garlic Chicken with ANY purchase. Not only that but if you wear black pants, cut out white spots and paste them all over you, add some horns, and maybe a bell; you can go to Chick-fil-a and get a free combo meal. That's right if you stomp out your dignity and dress like a cow, you can get a FREE meal! (I am also a Chick-Fil-a Fan.) Check it out by going here.

Picking Wedding Colors

Friday, July 8, 2011

Most girls dream about their wedding to the exact detail of how their hair will be arranged, where they will get married and what colors they will have. Right after I got engaged (the very week), people were asking me about details and even what my colors would be. I didn't know and wasn't sure if it was even necessary, but it is if you want to coordinate outfits and all. I went from wedding site to wedding site until my mom sent me a link for The Dessy Group, there I was able to take a look at pantone colors and  pick out a few swatches that I liked. Out of all the sites, that was the site that helped the most. I was able to pick a shade and compare it with other colors, side by site. Even though I've picked three, I still want to make sure I can get flowers to match!

Trying New Foods and Changing Taste Buds

Thursday, July 7, 2011

From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
When I was growing up my parents encouraged us to try new foods because otherwise you never know if you're going to like it or not. Just because it might sound gross (like sushi) doesn't mean that it is. They also encouraged me to eat what I was given and they wouldn't make three different meals for each of their kids. Since they stood strong on that statement neither of my brothers and I are picky eaters. Sure there were times when we would sit at the table complaining about having to eat what was given to us, but my mom always said as you get older your taste buds change. I found that to be true since the brussell sprouts that I hated as a kid, I now enjoy. I also enjoy new and different foods that may seem weird like calamari and sushi rolls. Go ahead and try something new!

Classic Romantic Reads

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are you looking for something to read this summer? Here are some romantic classics to check out at your local bookstore or library:
  • Emma by Jane Austin
  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  • Cecila by Francis Burney
  • Evaline by Francis Burney
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wutherings Height by Emily Bronte
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Family Movies to Help You Celebrate the Fourth

Monday, July 4, 2011

Here are some family-type movie suggestions for celebrating the Fourth:
  1. National Treasure
  2. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  3. 1776
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  5. Johnny Tremain
  6. April Morning
  7. Operation Petticoat
  8. The Music Man
  9. The Fighting Sullivans
  10. Pearl Harbor
  11. The Great Escape
  12. A League of Their Own
  13. Tall Tale
  14. John Adams
What other movies can you think of to help celebrate the Fourth?

Fourth of July

Monday, July 4, 2011

From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July:
  1. Picnic with Family
  2. Go to a Parade
  3. Watch Fireworks
  4. Do something relaxing 
  5. Hike a national park in your area
  6. Tour local historical sites on American History
  7. Tour veteran's memorials in your area
  8. Watch a war-time movie or movie on American History
  9. Thank a vet
What are some ways that you can think of to celebrate?

Why Should I Make My Bed in the Morning?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

From http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Mom always said you should make your bed in the morning, but the question is why? Now, when I was younger and questioned my mother you could bet I would get in trouble, but now that I am older, I can question the benefits to me by making a pro and con list. Yes, that's right a pro and con list to making your bed in the morning.

Con:
  1. It's actually healthier to not make your bed in the morning. An unmade bed is less appealing to bed bugs and dust mites. Check out this reference.
  2. Why waste your time when you're just going to get back into it?
  3. Extra effort in the morning when you have to get ready for the day.
Pro:
  1. A made bed makes the room looker neater and more organized.
  2. It helps you start the day feeling accomplished.
  3. It prevents you from rolling back into bed in the morning.
What do you think?

The Middle

Friday, July 1, 2011

I am not usually a fan of buying DVD's of television shows. I've never even found a television show that I've liked to watch more than once until I found The Middle. The Middle features a disfunctional/functional family. The show is extremely clean and is even funnier than the Office (imagine that). I can watch the episodes over and over again and still end of laughing hysterically at the crazy antics. Even though Season Two doesn't come out till September/October, I have it pre-ordered through Amazon that's how good it is. Am I crazy or what to like a series that much to actually own the episodes on DVD?

Books to Read with your Kids

Friday, July 1, 2011

If you're like me the kids section of library can be daunting. I don't have kids, but I do have a lot of nannying experience and took the kids to the library a lot and I read books to a girl with MRDD at Hattie Larlhams. Here are some suggestions I have for fun books to read with your kids over the summer. Remember reading with them helps them want to read, increases their desire to learn and helps them in school.
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBrantney
  • You're all My Favorites by Sam McBrantney
  • Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin
  • Dooby, Dooby, Moo by Doreen Cronin
  • The Very Hungry Catapillar by Eric Carle
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Williams
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you See? by Eric Carle
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister Herbert
  • If you give series.... by Laura Numeroff
  • Pigsty by Mark Teague
  • Lost and Found by Mark Teague
  • The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  • How do Dinosaurs say I love you? by Jane Yolan
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
Here are some reason why you should read to your kids:

Coupon Extremes

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some might say I am a coupon extremist, but others would say I am not. I do clip coupons (that I get from online), but I only use them if it's something I would normally get or a really good deal. I would not qualify for the coupon extreme reality t.v. show series, but I don't mind getting things for free. If Kohls wants to send me a five dollar coupon good for any purchase then I am going to purchase earrings on clearance and get them for around five dollars. My mom, friends and fiance always wonders why I get some of these coupons and deals. I sign-up for mailing list and email lists of stores that I like. Sure, I might get a lot of junk mail, but I am also saving a ton. I also follow a blog called, Hip 2 Save, which points awesome deals online, free samples and coupons. It also tells you how to shop in case you want to start becoming a coupon extraordinaire.

Here's some other sites you can reference:

Finding Races

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I like to plan out when I am doing races and triathlons on my free weekends. This helps to focus my training and organize my calendar. I have two sites that I go to find races:
  • Running in the USA: This site has a listing of races in every state. You can pretty much pick what weekend you want to race.
  • Trifind: Running in the USA doesn't have a complete listing of triathons so I utilize Trifind to find a triathlon.
What resources do you use?

Mr. McGregor's Garden

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yesterday, I felt like Mr. McGregor in the famous Beatrix Potter Books. A rabbit had crawled under my mesh fencing and was about to attack my vegetables. I chased him out and then did a search around my house to find something to stake the bottom part of the fencing down. The only thing I could find was a can of nails that I had removed from my basement walls. I found a hammer and nailed the bottom of the fence down. My fiance happened to arrive when I was about half way through and thought it was interesting that I was hammering nails into the ground, but at least the rabbits can't get to my vegetables! Maybe next year I will build a Peregrine Falcon house at the top of my garage....

How much did I Run?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am a runner and when I train I like to know how much mileage I am going. There are several ways to map your run without actually having mile markers on your path:
  • Google Maps: You can also map your mileage by figuring it out through google maps and you can even move the markers to track the exact path that you've gone.
 You can also use the old fashioned way - estimation. If you know how long it takes you to run one mile approximately, you can guess how many miles you've run by your time.

Purging

Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday morning, I did my ritual cleaning and scrubbing. I also started purging old floppy disks that didn't have anything important on them, making piles of books that I won't pick up again to go to a classroom or resale, going through my clothes, and checking papers to see what can be thrown out or recycled. A good purge is hard to do, but important to do. A lot of people are pack rats and keep things that they won't use or need. I've known people who've kept packets upon packets of sauces from restaurants (it's fine if you use them on a regular basis but if you don't it's just taking up space), books that they won't be picked up again or clothes that they won't wear. Purging helps prevent clutter and provides more space in your home. Once you have "stuff" to get rid of you can either give it away, donate it to goodwill and get a receipt to put on your taxes (also sometimes they give you a 20% off coupon), resell it through a resale store, have a yard sale, recycle it, or throw it away. If you are a pack rat, sometimes it helps to have a friend to help you purge!



Other resources:

Decluttering: Purging House and Mind

Purging the Unnecessary

The Quickest Way to Purge & Clean a House & Get Rid of Clutter

When to Do a Group Deal

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Right now there are a lot of group deal sites, Groupon, Living Social, Mamasource and more! You can even purchase group deals on Facebook. With so many groups and so many deals it gets tough to decide which ones to join and what you should buy. I usually only buy a group deal when it's a company within a reasonable driving distance, I can order online and something I know I am going to use. It's easy to get caught up in the mentality, "Oh, this is such a great deal. I need to get it." However, if you purchase too "many" good deals, you might end up spending more than you would have going to places that you don't normally go to and blowing your budget out of the water. It's better to not do anything to an extreme and keep a proper balance. I do follow Groupon and Living Social so occasionally I purchase something from them, but it's certainly not on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Free Orange Chicken

Friday, June 24, 2011

Do you have a Panda Express near you? Well you can get free orange chicken tonight! Go here to get the coupon!

Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My garden is starting to spring up! Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still try and with time (and help from a book or two or advice from a regular pro) you will be a regular gardener! Gardens are great help to save money over the summer by producing fresh vegetables that you can use as soon as their ready to pick or freeze and can for the winter months. My first garden was an apartment garden and it only produced a few cherry tomatoes, but now with a backyard I am producing raspberries, tomatoes, green beans, spinach and (hopefully cucumbers, peppers and squash). The cost of initial start-up can be pricey, but the results can save you money and taste delicious!

Extra Moola?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Everyone needs some extra money. Even with the job market the way it is there's ways to earn extra money including:
  • Reselling clothing at a resale shop. I resell my clothes at Platos. They also take books, movies, and jewelry.
  • Hold a Garage Sale. Garage sells are a lot of work and to help make yours work, try and get your neighbors to have one too (this will help entice customers). 
  • Online Surveys. There are companies that offer money and gift cards for your opinions and experiences. Some of the ones I utilize include: Harris Polls, Erewards, and Survey Savvy.
  • Sell your crafty skills. Sell your crafts on Etsy or Ebay.
  • Rent a room. Rent a room in your home to someone you feel comfortable with. Make sure you do your research into laws, getting a contract for your rentee and setting up ground rules.
  •  Pet Sitting. Offer to take care of someone's pets while their on vacation. 
    What are some of your ideas?

    Christmas Shopping, Now?

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    I did the December Christmas Shopping once and I hated the crowds. I usually know what my family likes so I shop the clearance racks and hold on to it for Christmas, Birthdays, and other events. The results: saving money and not being overwhelmed during the holidays! For instance I got one $140 item marked down to $30 and additional 15% off. The only downside is that you have to make sure it's something that they want because most stores have a 30-60 day return policy.

    Enews Sign-ups

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    I get a lot of my coupons from email sign-ups. If there's a particular brand, type of food, or store that you like make sure that you sign up to get their enewsletter. You might not like getting frequent emails, but I am sure you will appreciate the savings especially on something that you really needed to get.

    How to....

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    I found out that I really enjoy ehow. The other day I wanted to see if I could cut my own hair then I could save time and money. Sure enough I did a google search found out it on ehow and was able to cut my hair straight and save $15-$20.

    How I Cut My Own Hair:

    1. Get your hair wet
    2. Flip it over your head and comb it out.
    3. Cut it off as it's flipped over.

    I heard you can also put it in a ponytail and trim off the ends.

    Day Trips

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    With the economy like it is, many people can't afford week long vacations like they used to. My family's never really did those as I was growing up. We did day trips or adventure trips around the areas we were living. It's fun to do as a couple or with kids (or even with a group of friends). Here are some of the ideas:
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Tour local museums or exhibits (our favorite was Air Force museums)
    • Go to the local Zoo
    • Water Park/Amusement Park
    • Drive around exploring and stopping at anything interesting
    • See local sites
    • Swimming at local lakes or the ocean
    • Feed the geese at a park
    • Have a picnic
    • Canoeing/Boating
    • River Tubing
    • Camping
    • Go to a local fair 
    What are some things that you've done that is inexpensive and fun? Also check out at Amazon or your local library 1,000 Places to do or see before you Die. The book lists interesting tour sites by state that are free or inexpensive to experience. I went to a couple of places listed in the book with a friend and we ended up seeing this cute little town that looked like it belonged straight out of a history book! Go out and explore!

    Finding a Job

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Okay, so you're out of work. We've all been there. I've noticed among the people I know that there are a couple of fundamentals that are missing that I've learned from my parents. No matter if you're just going to pick up or drop off a resume (and especially an interview) wear business wear. Yes, business wear. I mean a shirt and tie for gentlemen and suit or nice dress top and pants for ladies. My brother walked into ask for a job application at a gas station all dressed up and right away he got the job. I've done it for restaurants and retail stores too. First impression is a key step. It shows that you are serious about the job and will be professional. Another huge step that people forget is to write a thank you card after the interview. A hand written thank you card goes a long way.

    Motts anyone?

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    If you're a vocalpoint member, use this link to register to get a free sample from Motts for Tots product line. I've been a vocal point member for a few years now and they offer great samples and coupons. 

    www.vocalpoint.com/mottsfortots

    Ebates

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    I love Ebates! I don't shop online every often, but when I do I love a good deal. Ebates offers money back on the purchases that you make online. If you haven't signed up for it, I would do it today. http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=3vxylO%2FYQmWL61VRj8YPMg%3D%3D
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