Scrubs Website

Sep 10, 2011

Is it just me or have you noticed that the scrubs your doctor, or nurse, or hygenist wears are all much more stylish these days? I never used to see them them in anything but a pale blue (or, of course, the teddy bear version some of the nurses wear at the pedicatrician's office!), but now I notice that everyone looks so much nice in them when I have an appointment at the doctor or dentist.
I may have figured out where they are getting them from. I found a website called Blue Sky Scrubs that sells attractive looking nursing uniforms. They carry designer styles for both men and women. I had a fun time looking through all the designs. I don't wear scrubs, but if I did, I would certainly feel much better in these versions of the uniform!

So, if you are looking for somewhere to labs coats, check out their website. I bet you'll feel a lot better about yourself and how you look at work! BTW: They even have some ADORABLE fun scrubs for kids!

***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

Save 11 Cents a Gallon on Gas at HEB

Sep 8, 2011

If you live near an HEB gas station, you'll want to get in on this deal.

From now, until October 31, 2011, if you buy an HEB gift card and then, use it to purchase gas at an HEB station, you'll save 11 cents a gallon.

And, in my experience, HEB is usually one of the cheapest places to get gas to begin with.

I know that I need to fill my tank about once a week, so my plan is to put on a gift card as much as I usually spend on gas and then, use that to purchase my gas for the next 6 or 7 weeks.

Just make sure to swipe your card BEFORE you fill your tank!

Click here for more details.

Signs for Your Business

You know, there's a lot that goes into the making of a great office or business - the paint colors, the furniture, the accessories.  Those are the easy ones to name.  But, what about the signs?

Every business and office has unique signage, but, until recently, I never really gave much thought to who creates this eye-catching letters and words.  It turns out, one company that does is called Impact Signs.

They make all kinds of signs - from metal logos, to those made of brass, bronze or even etched into glass.  You can get whole signs or simply individual letters to hang on your lobby or office wall.   They will even install them for you.

If you're creating a new business, or have an old one that needs some perking up, I'd check them out!
***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

Buy a Quality Backpack and Save!

Aug 12, 2011

I just got some great advice from my friend, Lynda, and I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.  I just followed it.  (Got my daughter a backpack at LL Bean for $18.99 with free shipping.)  Her backpack (from Staples) last year didn't even last through Valentine's Day!

Here's Lynda's words of wisdom:

Land'sEnd ( is having a sale on backpacks and lunchbags = 20% off
Also, LLBean ( is having a sale on backpacks as well (Not all of their backpacks, but a good selection. Anywhere from 11-22% off). And they are offering free shipping on all orders.
I bet you are wondering why "always looking for a good deal" lady is emailing you about these 2 sales. Well, b/c sometimes paying a little more saves you money in the long run.
I understand that you can go to Target or Walmart and pay $10 (or maybe less) for a backpack.  I did that every year.
Last year, I decided to spend the $30 and buy my son (who was going into 4th grade) a backpack from Land's End. My hope was for it to last 4 years. (I know, I know... I dream big!) He used that backpack every day for school -- carrying this big ol' binder + books almost every day.
Well, I pulled it out today. It had a hole in the lining -- I could put my hand through the lining into the mesh bag on the outside of the backpack. I called Land's End. Both Land's End and LLBean guarantee their products basically for life. After a very pleasant conversation with the Land's End rep, they are mailing a new backpack to me. In the package, there will be a pre-paid shipping label so that I can return the old backpack to them.
I know I couldn't have done that at Walmart or Target.
It's something to think about when you are shopping for backpacks/bookbags.

Pier One $10 off $10 Purchase Coupon

Jul 25, 2011

Click here to print a $10 of a $10 purchase coupon for Pier One.

Good from today until Wed (7/27).

One per customer!

Magazines and Manipulation

Jul 8, 2011

I was on my way to work this past Wednesday, when I stopped at our mailbox to grab the mail.  As soon as I got back in the car, my boys started asking to look at any magazines that had arrived.  I handed the Lillian Vernon catalogue to my three year old, Maclain.  A quick glance at my mail stack, though, showed me there wasn’t anything else of interest to hand to his older brother, Bennett.

“I want a magazine, too!” he whined.
What to do? What to do?  There wasn’t even a grocery flier in the pile.

And then I noticed an engineering course catalogue which had arrived for my husband.  I knew it wouldn’t be of much interest to Bennett, but it was all I had.  Perhaps just handing him something would buy me a few minutes in the whine-free zone.
“Here,” I said, as I passed back the book.
I counted to five, waiting for the complaining to begin when he saw the catalogue contained nothing but text.
“I can’t believe that satisfied him,” I thought.
And then, suddenly, I heard Bennett exclaim, excitedly, “Look at all these toys!”
I glanced back at him.  Did I actually hand him a magazine with photos of toys?

Nope.  Just the plain, black engineering book with course descriptions.
“Look at this ball!” he said. “Wow! A transformer!”

I glanced back again. Had he lost his mind?
And then I realized his plan.
His devious, manipulative (yet incredibly creative and ingenious) plan.
“I want that magazine!” his brother cried out.

“Okay,” Bennett said, coyly.  “But if I give you my magazine, you have to give me yours.”
“Here,” Maclain said, as he handed over his book.

And, as my mouth hung open in sheer shock at the deceitfulness of my four year old, the boys swapped magazines.

It only took a moment, of course, for Maclain to realize he’d been duped.
“I no WIKE this magazine,” he cried out.

Poor Maclain.
And poor me.  If my four year old can come up with such an impressive con at his young age, I am  doomed.

I no WIKE that idea!

Dress Like a Cow Day

Jul 7, 2011

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE the day we get to dress like a cow at Chick-fil-a to get a free meal!

The kids and I always go (and, since it always occurs in July in Texas, we are always sweating as we do it!).

Lucky me, we get to dress up (and sweat!) again tomorrow - Friday, July 8.
Click here for details.  But, basically, wear any piece of cow paraphanalia and get a free entree.  Dress up in full cow costume (and Chick-fil-a has cut-outs for you to use on their website) and you get a free MEAL (drink and fries included).

You KNOW the kids and I (and maybe some other kids I drag along with us) will be there.  Hope to see you there!

FREE Iced Tea at La Madeleine Today

Jun 21, 2011

Celebrate the first day of summer by stopping by La Madeleine and getting some FREE Mango Iced Tea!


Free Personalized Father's Day Card

Jun 4, 2011

Here's a great way to make a super cute Father's Day card for your dad (or your husband - from your kids) and it's FREE!

Go to the Tiny Prints website by clicking here and, once you create the card, use the coupon code 4FDAY.  Ship it to yourself for FREE or pay the cost of the stamp to mail it to someone else.


FREE Donuts!

Jun 3, 2011

Today is the first day of this summer that I have all three kids home all . . . day . . . long.

It's going to be a LONG day.

So, I was THRILLED to realize it was actually National Donut Day.

You know what that means?

Krispy Kreme gives out FREE donuts!

So does Dunkin' Donuts (which I actually prefer) but you have to purchase a drink from them to get your donut (and there isn't one near me).

I can promise you the kids and I will be heading over to Krispy Kreme this morning.  Will I see you there??

Credit Scores

My husband and I, a few months back, taught a financial class.  One of the things we realized in the midst of the course is that people do not understand the concept of their credit score.

As financial expert Dave Ramsey puts it, "your credit score is not an indicator of winning financially. All it tells you is whether you are good at borrowing money and paying it back."

In case you are not aware, this is how your FICO score is determined:

  • 35% of your score is based on your debt history.

  • 30% is based on your debt level.

  • 15% is based on the length of time you’ve been in debt.

  • 10% is based on new debt.

  • 10% is based on type of debt.

  • You know what this means?  The only way to have a great credit score is to get into debt, stay in debt, yet pay it off perfectly. 

    If you pay off all your debts, and don't take on any more, your FICO score will become indeterminable.  You won't even have one! 

    Another thing to keep in mind.  You should never pay a company to get your credit report.  You are entitled to one free credit score a year.  Don't pay for what you can get for free!

    Gold Coin Website

    Jun 2, 2011

    My husband has always had an interest in collecting gold coins - or gold bullion, as those in the 'know' call them. He doesn't have a huge collection, but he's very pleased with the ones he does have.  Unfortunately, he's not very good at putting those coins in a safe spot and, on more than one occasion, I've found out kids playing 'grocery store' and using his coins as the currency!

    For those out there who are really interested in buying gold bullion, check out the website Gold Coins Gain.  On there, not only can you buy bullion, but you can also invest in gold IRAs.  (Did you even know there was a such a thing?)   

    And, if you're unfamiliar with ther term, bullion, it just refers to a refined and stamped weight of precious metal.  This can be a coin or one of those larger blocks like you see in the movies!

    *** This blog post brought to you by your friend at

    Notepad Website

    May 31, 2011

    When I was a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing to have a pencil with my name on it.  I don't know where my mom (or grandparents) used to order them for me - probably from some catalogue - but I thought it was fabulous.

    Now that I'm an adult, though, I tend to not have pencils - or anything else, for that matter - with my name on them.  But, why not?  Why can't I have a pencil or cute sticky note or even a keychain with my name on it? 

    Or, better yet, how about a personalized notepad with my blog's information? 

    That's why I was glad to come across the website Go Promos.  They sell a ton of promotional items for your personal use or that of your business.  They have bags and totes or even calendars.

    So, if you're looking for some neat items with your info on them, check out their site.

    Regal Movie Zap Pack

    May 25, 2011

    If you plan on going to the movies this weekend - and like to snack while there - here's a good deal.

    With this coupon, you can get, for $2, you can get a 16 oz drink, a tray of popcorn and a Welch's fun-size fruit snack.

    That's very economical if you bring the kids!  Valid May 27-29.


    Goodwill Outlet Stores

    My husband came home last week and told me he did a little shopping at lunch.

    If you knew my husband, you'd know how shocking that was.

    He hates to shop.  And, he really hates to spend money.

    But, he came home with three pairs of gym shorts and was all excited about his purchase.  Why, you ask?  Because, apparently, he bought them at Goodwill.

    But, not just any Goodwill.  Around the corner from his office, they just opened a Goodwill Outlet Store.

    I know. I didn't know they exist either.  But, apparently they do.

    He said to me, "You should go check it out.  It's right up your alley."

    Now, I wasn't so sure about that.  I tend to dislike Goodwill for a myriad of reasons, but . . . I did know someone for whom it would be "right up her alley."  So, I gave her a call and last night, once the dads were home to watch the kids, we set off to explore the new store.

    I don't even know how to put it into words.

    Let's just say, if you like thrift stores and garage sales, then you will just LOVE this.

    Let's start with the prices.

    Everything - and I mean everything - is $1.39 a POUND!

    Yes, that's right.  They WEIGH your items on a big, truckstop-like scale.

    When you walk in, there are shallow bins lined up in neat rows.  NOTHING is organized - not by gender, or size or even adult/child.  You really have to go digging.  We saw a guy wearing gloves to reach into the bins - that might not have been such a bad idea.

    They also have houseware items, toys, books, CDs, etc.

    All is just $1.39/lb.  Except, I learned, the books.  Because books can be heavy, they are either $1.39/lb or just $1.39 each - if they weigh more than a pound.

    So, what did I get?  A bunch of stuff.

    Four books, clothing items for my sons, including a jacket, and an Ann Taylor skirt for me. 

    The total?  $9.74

    My girlfriend got some great deals, too.  She left with a cart full of stuff and paid about $13 for hers. 

    The best item found?  A pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans in perfect condition - which, of course, were too short on me - as if most everything-  but fit my friend perfectly!  At most, they cost $2, I'd say, by weight.

    So, if you live in Austin, I'll tell you this store is off Burleson and Montopolis. 

    And, if you don't live in Austin, you can click here to find the nearest Goodwill outlet store to you (you can search for outlet or distribution centers).

    Happy shopping!

    FREE NYC Cab Rides

    May 24, 2011

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am in mourning - or perhaps, it's just denial - that Oprah is leaving the air this week.

    I can't quite wrap my head around it.  She and her show have a been a part of my every day life since I can really remember.

    But, for those of you who live or work in NYC, there is GOOD news that is coming out of this for you!

    Apparently, in some markets, Dr Oz will be moving into Oprah's timeslot, beginning this Thursday, May 26.

    To celebrate, there will be 400 NYC cabs decorated with Dr Oz's photo.  AND, if you manage to "hail" one of these cabs - your ride is FREE!!!

    There aren't many 'free' things in NYC, so you really should take advantage of this one!

    Make sure to pass it on to all your NYC friends! Click here for details.

    Supplemental Insurance

    When my dad reached the age of 65, as does everyone, he needed to sign up for Medicaire. No problem, right? 

    Well, what he was not made aware of by anyone at that time was that there were also Medicaire Supplemental Insurance policies available that could save him a whole lot of money.  These plans cost a lot less than what he and my mom were paying for him for insurance through my mom's former employer.  And, they cover close to 100% of what Medicaire doesn't cover.

    In fact, it wasn't until my mom went on Medicaire that we realized our mistake and had to 'backtrack.'  We got my dad a plan, but wasted a lot of money for quite a few years.

    If you or your parents are reaching the Medicaire age, you/they might want to look into Aptus Insurance.  They'll give you a free online quote for various insurance, including life insurance policies.

    Do your research!  Don't waste money unnecessarily!

    Chick-Fil-A Ice Cream for Kids' Meal Toy

    May 11, 2011

    I almost feel silly writing this blog post because I tend to think that most people (at least, most MOMS) already know this little tidbit.

    But, I am writing it nonetheless for those of you out there who have never heard this fact (i.e. my husband who just discovered it this weekend.)

    When your child (or you) gets a kids' meal at Chick-fil-A - if you/they do NOT want the toy/book/CD that comes with the meal, you can take the item back to the counter and trade it in for a dish or cone of ice cream.

    I LOVE this option because I do NOT need any more little annoying toys around my house.  And, my kids love getting a dessert as a special treat with their meal.

    Thus, if this news to you, I hope you take advantage of it!

    Steam Team Website Review

    Just a few weeks ago, while cleaning out my car, I realized that SOMEONE (i.e. one of my children) must have spilled milk on the carpet of my vehicle.  We live in HOT Texas and, as a result of the heat and humidity . . . well, SOMETHING began to grow on the carpet.  It was DISGUSTING! And I wasn't sure what to do about it.

    I attempted to remove the mess myself, but had no luck.  It just continued to get worse. Thus, I am so glad I came across a non-toxic carpet cleaner in austin.

    They specialize in everything from fire damage repairs in Austin to damage restoration due to problems such as floods.
    So, if you are looking for some serious cleaning, try out the Steam Team. They can help you with a variety of things, including document restoration and dryer air duct cleaning work in Austin.

    ***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

    Tea Collection Website

    May 10, 2011

    When I first heard of the website, Tea Collection, I thought . . . well, I thought they sold tea! :-)

    Boy, was I surprised when I toured their site!  They sell the most adorable children's clothing!  (In addition to some pretty fabulous women's items, too!)

    I love the way they divide up the girl clothes by category - artista, girly girl or skater girl!  Because, as we all know, not all girls (or kids) are alike!

    I also found the baby items to be so fantastically cute, I almost wanted another baby . . . almost. :-)

    So, if you're looking for some really unique outfits, for yourself, your own kids or to give as gifts, check them out.

    Starbucks Happy Hour

    May 6, 2011

    Happy Hour is returning to Starbucks!

    From May 6 (today) until May 15, between 3 and 5 PM, Frappuccinos are HALF PRICE!

    I rarely treat myself to anything at Starbucks, but at half price, I guarentee I'll be there at least once!


    Dinner Swap Group

    May 5, 2011

    A few months ago I got an email from a friend that would revolutionize the dinner-making process in my house.

    She told me that she was a part of a "dinner swap" group and had to drop out because she was moving a little bit too far away.  Would I be interested in taking her place?

    I have always wanted to particpate in dinner swapping, but never knew where to begin a group - or find one already established.  Thus, this was a total blessing!

    So, for those of you who are asking, "What IS a dinner swap group?" - Let me tell you.

    It's a group of women (8 in our case) that agree to make 8 family-size meals each month.  The same meal.  Eight times.  Then, on the first Tuesday of every month, we get together to "swap" our meals with the other seven ladies.

    Each woman gets one of our premade, frozen meals - and we keep one of our own meals for ourselves.

    So, when we leave there, we have seven different meals, plus our own.

    Our group has a blog called "South Austin Frozen Entree Swapers." You can get to the site by clicking here.

    There is a very detailed explanation of how it all works - in case you are interested in starting your own swap group.

    I LOVE it. Love it. Love it.

    It saves me so much time!  True, the day or weekend that I spent making my eight meals can be a bit "hairy."  My kitchen is a mess and it takes some time and planning.  However, the rest of the month is made so much easier by the process!  Not only do I do less cooking, I do less grocery shopping, too!  I have even started making our family a few extra meals (besides the one I'm supposed to keep for us) so that I am building quite a freezer of stored meals.

    I was so happy with the group, today, that it inspired me to write this post! I worked at a local high school and, as I was about to run out the door, I remembered I didn't have dinner planned. So, I ran to the freezer, pulled out a meal and let it defrost on the counter.  I knew I'd just have to heat it up when I got home - which I did - and it was a big hit with all my kids!  Since I used paper plates, clean up was a BREEZE and I was able to spend time snuggling with my kids on the bed after dinner instead of cooking late at night, feeding the kids quickly and rushing them into their beds.

    I hope you check out the site and consider joining or starting a group of your own.

    I bet you won't be sorry!

    Photo Session DEAL!

    Apr 20, 2011

    If you are my Facebook friend, you know that I was DEVASTATED last week when I walked by our local Picture People and saw their door was padlocked with a note from the mall saying they had not paid their rent.  After some investigating, I found out that this is a common 'trend' with many Picture People studios across America and there are no longer any in Austin.

    I am a Picture People 'regular.'  Seriously. I've gone there whenever I had a newborn. I take photos there in May, July and October for my kids' b'days.  I take each kid there separately at Halloween to get photos in their costumes (I can't handle taking them all together!)  I go at Easter time for photos in their Sunday clothes.  The whole family goes in December for our Christmas card photo.  I have even been known to go for Valentine's Day.

    I had plans to go there this Good Friday for Easter photos.

    And then they CLOSED!!!

    I began to have heart palpitations.  What was I going to do???

    A friend of mine came to my rescue.  She's a photographer (who had taken a few great photos of Jordan at her last piano recital) and she offered to give me a great price to do a family shoot this past weekend.

    So, I gave her a "shot."

    Boy, am I happy I did!

    And, boy, if you live in the Austin area, you're going to be happy I did, too.

    Because, not only did she take FABULOUS photos of me and the kids, she's offering an INCREDIBLE deal for my readers!

    Are you ready for this?

    She's offering a 'mini-session' for $30!!

    What does that include?  A 30-minute photo shoot.  (That's how long ours was and it was MORE than enough time with my three precocious children!)

    In addition, that includes a CD of 10 images with full-print release (so you can print them on your own).

    OR, if you'd prefer professional prints, she will give you a 20% discount on the price of them.  And there will be no pressure tactics!

    I PROMISE that you will NOT get a better deal on such fantastic professional photos than this!

    Make sure to pass it on!

    But, you have to mention SAVVY MOXIE when you contact her!

    And, you don't have to schedule your shoot by June 30, 2011, but you have to contact her by then!

    Click here for her blog.

    And contact her at

    Enjoy!  You won't be disappointed!

    Cheap Seat Website

    Apr 18, 2011

    NO ONE likes a better deal than me!  I am always in search of the best deals (and freebies) for my readers.

    So, when I came across this great website, I had to pass it on.  It's called A Cheap Seat.  They are a professional ticket broker who sells tickets to thousands events nationwide.  They negotiate deals on things such as Rolling Stone tickets or Katy Perry tickets, and pass the savings along to the consumer.

    Unfortunately for me, they don't seem to service Austin, TX.  That's a real bummer, because I'm in search of Taylor Swift tickets for my daughter's birthday in October!

    But, if you live in cities such as Dallas or Memphis or even NYC, and are searching for Britney Spears tickets or Jerry Seinfeld tickets, you'll want to check them out. 

    How about a ventriloquist?  Search for Jeff Dunham tickets (he, by the way, went to high school with one of my best friends.)

    Hope you find some great deals!

    ***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

    Ben and Jerry's FREE Cone Day

    Apr 5, 2011

    April 12 is FREE cone day at Ben and Jerry's. 

    For more information, click here.


    Office Max Ink Cartridge Recycling

    Mar 22, 2011

    About a year ago, or maybe a bit longer, I wrote a blog post about how you should take your old ink cartridges to Staples to recycle them.

    Well, I take it all BACK!!!

    Don't take them there.

    Take them to Office Max, instead.

    Staples has reduced the amount of store credit they give you per cartridge from $3 to only $2. 
    That adds up over time.

    Office Depot also just changed to only $2.  Boo HOO!

    I've been taking them to Office Depot for about 6 months now.  I just got my first 'credit check' in the mail.  It was for close to $28!!!

    And, with that money, I was able to buy two new ink cartridges!

    But, with this new policy, I have moved to OFFICE MAX!!  They are giving 3 bucks per cartridge.  Click here to read about it.

    Save your ink cartridges and take them to OFFICE MAX!

    You won't be sorry!

    Identity Theft Protection Website

    Most of us don't give too much time to the thought that our identity could be stolen.  After all, it'll never happen to us, right?

    But, what if it did?  How horrible would that be?  My husband and I taught a financial class last semester and while teaching, we learned that if your identity is stolen, though you are not responsible for any of the charges, it will take you, on average, 800 hours of legwork to straighten out the mess.

    Eight HUNDRED hours!

    Who has that kind of time?

    Recently, I was made aware of a website called IdentityHawk.  This site offers a comprehensive identiy theft solution, which includes such features as getting a current risk score to determine how vulnerable you are and receiving emails to let you know when something suspicious is noticed on your accounts.

    If you're looking for identity theft protection, check out their site.  It was designed to help people safeguard their assets, investments and, most importanly, their good name!

    ***This blog post was brought to you by

    Feeding the Homeless on the Way Home from School

    Mar 12, 2011

    When I was growing up in New Jersey, I didn’t see many homeless people. If there were any in my town, they certainly weren’t hanging out on our street corners. I did, however, see the homeless on a semi-regular basis because I grew up just outside New York City.
    I will never forget a story my dad told me of how one day when he was on his way home from work in the city. He was approached by a homeless woman, asking for cash. They happened to be standing in front of a Wendy’s at the time and so, instead of handing her money, he asked her if she’d like to go inside with him and he’d buy her a meal. He told her she could pick anything she wanted off the menu and he’d pay for it. I think he told me she wanted chili.

    I think of that story often, when my kids and I, on a daily basis, drive by the homeless in Austin. Whether it’s for a good reason or not, I have a difficult time just handing them cash. Especially the guy who holds the sign that reads, “My liver is a terrorist. Help me kill it. Need money for beer.” Though, I guess I should give him credit for honesty.

    Still, I want to help. Not just for them, but because my kids are usually in the car with me and I want my babies to grow up to be compassionate and kind individuals. I want them to know the importance of caring for others.

    So, on occasion, I’ll pull into a Burger King, or buy an extra boxed dinner at the grocery store, and on my way home, hand it out the car window to the first homeless person I see. A few months ago, our church had the children put together “goody bags” for the homeless – filled with toiletries and water and snacks. Though I’ve been told by friends that many of the homeless don’t want those things – in fact, will often throw the bag away the moment you drive off – I have to believe that some of them truly are thankful and glad to get the items.

    Plus, I found when giving out those bags that my kids had a blast! They spent the car ride searching for the “next” homeless person, beaming as each individual thanked the kids personally and giggled as they saw the men and women open their bags and search through them.

    And, that got me thinking. Why couldn’t I fix up something small to give the homeless on my way home from picking the kids up from school each day? After all, the drive home is so long (my preschoolers go to school in North Austin and we fight rush hour traffic at 5 pm) that I always fix the kids little bags of snacks to munch on as we drive. Couldn’t I just make extra bags to hand out?

    So, a few weeks ago I began packing extra baggies – filled with crackers or pretzels and a fruit, like a cut-up apple or grapes. I even bring extra juice boxes. The response from the homeless on our route has been really great. Not only are they extremely appreciative when we hand them the snacks, we always have the pleasure of seeing them begin munching on the items – usually the fruit first – as we drive away.

    As for my kids? They love this new part of our afterschool routine. The first thing my two year old says as he gets in the car is, “Feed homeless people today?” And, after we hand out our goody bags and drive away, I find it’s a perfect opportunity to talk to the kids about the importance of giving and sharing and the many blessings we have.

    Am I even making a dent in feeding the thousands of homeless we have in Austin. No. But, I do believe I’m giving the people we encounter something to smile about for a moment and I’m teaching my kids valuable lessons they won’t learn from a textbook.

    I can only hope that what they learn now, in our minivan on the way home from school, will lead to a lifetime of giving.

    How to Save Money on Car Repairs

    Mar 2, 2011

    A few weeks ago, our car started making a terrible noise.  Awful.  And, when the weather got colder, the noise got louder!

    My dad drove with me one day and insisted I take the car in to get checked.  (Up until then, I had really been procrastinating because who has time for car problems?)

    I took the car to our local repair shop - the one around the corner from our house.  I had to pay them $50 just to tell me what was WRONG with the car.  And, when they gave me the estimate, I literally almost passed out.

    $3000 worth of repairs is what they told me!  THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!

    We just got this car three years ago.

    I thought I was going to be ill.

    When I looked the bill over more closely, I realized that a thousand of it was maintenance stuff they were recommending.  Well, I certainly wasn't going to get any of that done.

    But, that still left me with $2000 worth of repairs.


    I didn't know what to do or how to make this cost any less.  So, I decided to walk into my local Advance Auto Parts store and talk to the guys there.  As soon as I told them where I had gone for the estimate, they told me, hands down, they are the most expensive place in town.  (Who knew?)  They then gave me a business card of a "guy" they like - you know, the kind of guy that does repairs on his own.  Sometimes  called a "shade tree mechanics." 

    They told me that he is good at what he does and 100% reliable (which, according to them, is HIGHLY unusual in this business).

    They also looked up one of the parts I needed (a rack and pinion).  They told me that, brand new, it costs $225 and that I shouldn't let anyone tell me it's more. (I went back to my estimate from the shop and they were charging me $700 for the part!)

    I called this guy and he worked up an estimate for me.  For what the other place was going to charge me $2000, he was going to charge $1000.

    Now, THAT is more like it!

    $1000 is still painful, but in comparison . . .  I'll take it.

    Not only did he charge me the accurate price for the parts, but his labor was about 1/3 of the cost of the shop.

    AND, the best part?  He came to pick up my car at my house and BROUGHT IT HOME for me!

    You can't beat that!!

    Because my repairs were so extensive, he took my car to a shop where he works.  But, for smaller repairs, he told me commonly comes and works in your driveway.

    AND, you know what's even better?  Not only did he tell us that the new parts came with a warranty, but he told us that he'll warranty his LABOR for a YEAR!

    As my husband said, "Who does that???"

    We took our car for an alignment the next day and the shop told us that the guy had done a good job with everything - so we know he doesn't do shoddy work.

    So, if you live in the Austin area, email me and I'll give you his name and number to hang onto.

    And, if you live elsewhere - my word of advice?  When you need car repairs, go to your local auto parts store and ask them for a recommendation for local mechanics.  You might just save  THOUSANDS!

    Total Restoration Cleaning Website

    If you live in Southwest Florida, and have been thinking about getting your carpets cleaned - or other areas of your house, such as tile and upholstry, then I may have found a company for you.  It's called TST Restoration and they specialize in carpet cleaning in Naples (and other areas) and and tile cleaning in Bonita Springs (and the towns nearby).

    TST Restoration also deals with water extraction and smoke and fire damage.  Those are problems you just can't possibly take care of on your own.  So, if you have water damage in Ft Meyers (or somewhere nearby), give them a call.

    There's nothing worse than having your home damaged in someway and not knowing how to handle it.  This company will get you moving in the right direction.

    ***This blog post brough to you by your friends at

    Burial Insurance

    Have you ever planned a funeral before?  If not, consider yourselves VERY fortunate!  Not only is is emotionally draining because you have just lost someone you love, but it is FINANCIALLY draining.  You have NO idea how expensive it is to die!  Trust me!

    For example, did you know that a coffin (not even a really fancy one) usually costs around $10,000.  (That's why I suggest you get yours at Costco - but that's a whole other post I have on my blog.)  And, once you hand over a whole chunk of money for the burial plot, do you know that you then need to pay them a fortune to DIG THE HOLE?

    Never thought of that, did you?

    If you don't have a ton of money, or a life insurance policy to cover it, your family is going to be in big trouble.

    You can also purchase Final Expense Insurance which will cover the cost of the burial and funeral (unless you die after you turn 100). 

    When you get life insurance, you need to take a medical exam to qualify.  Burial insurance is like life insurance with no medical exam.  A perfect option for those who aren't healthy and wouldn't qualify for life insurance!

    You might want to check out AARP also for a lot more valuable information regarding planning for your future (and inevitable death).

    ***This blog post was brought to you by

    Duet - Me and My Daughter

    Feb 17, 2011

    I've never done this before on my blog, but I decided to post the video of me and my daughter singing our duet last night.  Maybe we'll take our act on the road!

    Looking Pretty

    Last night was our church’s annual Valentine’s banquet talent show. For the first time, my daughter and I sang a duet together.
    Before we left, I went into the bathroom to get ready. I didn’t go “all out,” but did decide, for once, to not just wear my hair in a ponytail.

    As I did my hair and put on makeup, my four-year-old son sat on the bed, watching me.

    “What are you doing?” he asked.

    “Straightening my hair,” I told him.


    “So I look pretty.”

    “Why do you want to look pretty?”

    “Because Jordan and I are singing tonight and getting up in front of everyone.”

    “So you want to look pretty tonight?”

    “Yes,” I told him. “Sometimes I just want to look pretty.”

    He paused for a moment, as if taking this in.

    Finally, he said, “And the rest of the time, you don’t want to look pretty?”


    Apparently not.

    Internet Filter Website

    Feb 16, 2011

    As my children, especially my 8-year daughter, get older, I'm beginning to think about their access to what's on the internet.  Obviously, some fabulous resources can be found on there - for any age.  But, on the other hand, there is some dangerous material available at just the click of a mouse.  How do I give my child access to what I find acceptable and yet keep her away from the less-than-desirable sites?

    Thus, I was so relived when I recently learned about a service which allows parents to have control over their child's internet access and monitor what is viewed on the home computer - by using an internet parental filter.  The site is called Filter Guide and they provide internet software from various companies, such as SafeEyes Review.  These software packages allow you to block things like porn, chat messages, nudity and personal information.

    Another company that offers a similar system is NetNanny Internet Filter Software. You can get it for Macs or PCs.  Not only can you filter what your children have access to, but you can also put limits on how much time they can spend online!  I like that idea.

    I know that as my children grow, and spend more time online, I will be investing in some sort of internet filter!

    Free Body Wax

    Feb 15, 2011

    If you have a European Wax Center near you (and click here to find out if one of the 174 national locations is nearby), you can get a FREE body wax on your first visit.

    WOMEN:  Bikini Line, Eye Brow, or Under Arm Wax

    MEN: Eye Brow, Ear, or Nose

    Click here for more info.


    FREE Taco from Taco Bell

    For those of you on Facebook, if you "like" Taco Bell, they will allow you to print out a coupon for a FREE crunch taco.

    Click here to get to the Facebook page.


    Feb 7, 2011

    Dreams are a funny thing, aren't they?  I find that, over the last few years, I don't remember most of my dreams . . . maybe because I am constantly being woken mid-sleep by three little munchkins - and one big ogre who, for some reason, needed to know at 2 AM what ever happened to our daughter's science fair last week. (It had been cancelled due to inclement weather - aka. snow in Austin, TX)

    But, I have remembered an unusual number of my dreams over the past week.  Two days ago, I had to email a friend to tell her that if she and her family were planning on taking a family hiking trip in the near future, they should cancel it.  (I'd had a nightmare about that one!)  And, last night, I was apparently snorkling with Dr. Oz.  (Don't ask.)

    As adults, we understand that our dreams are just dreams . . . except of course, for the hiking one. (I wasn't taking any chances on that one coming true.)  And, I have generally given very little thought to how children (particularly, my kids) perceive their own dreams.

    Until the other night, that is...

    My four-year-old son, Bennett, woke up screaming in the middle of the night.  I went into his room and, through his sobs, he kept saying to me, "You said I lied!  But, I didn't lie!" 

    I told him, "I didn't say you lied."

    "Yes, you did!"

    "No, honey.  You must have just had a bad dream.  I never said you lied."

    He continued to cry, though, so I told him he could come into our bed.

    The next morning, when he and I and Daddy woke up, I said to him, "Why were you crying last night?"

    "Because you said I lied and I didn't!"

    Once again, I explained to him, "I didn't say you lied."

    "Yes, you did!"

    "No, you just had a bad dream.  I didn't say you lied.  I wasn't even here last night when you went to bed."  (My inlaws had babysat for us.)

    "You said I lied!  I know you did!  I saw you!  You said I lied!"

    At this point, Daddy couldn't contain his laughter. 

    "Yeah, Mommy.  It's logical.  He saw you say he lied, so you must have said it!"

    There was really no point in continuing on at that point.  There is just no way to explain to a four-year-old (who is mad at you for what you did in his dreams) that just because he saw something in his sleep, it doesn't mean it really happened.

    It was best to just apologize.

    "Okay, I'm sorry I said you lied."

    "Don't do it again, Mommy."

    "Okay, I won't."

    "Good.  Then I forgive you."

    How gracious of him.

    $10 for $20 at Barnes and Noble

    Feb 5, 2011

    GREAT deal today.  Groupon is once again offering their $10 for $20 of credit at Barnes and Noble (in store and online). 

    The other day when they offered it, their site got overloaded and shut down.

    So, if you still want the deal, click here to get it!

    FREE $10 with Morgan's Deals

    If you live in the Austin area, here's a great deal.  (Morgan's deals is also for St. Louis and Kansas City - not sure if this deal works in those cities, too, but it's worth a try.)

    Create an account with Morgan's Deals (it's similar to Groupon).

    And then, use the code MDVALPAK before February 18, 2011 to get a FREE $10 on a $10 minimum purchase.


    Steam Team Website

    Feb 4, 2011

    We recently sold some of our old furniture on Craigslist - a sofa, chair and ottoman.  They were in good condition, with no rips or tears, but having three kids, well...need I say more?  They had some marks and stains on them that I found the cleaner I bought at the grocery store just could not get out.  I wasn't sure what to do about it. 

    Ultimately, we sold the furniture, but not for as much money as I would have liked.  I wish I had heard of a company that did fabric furniture cleaning in Austin earlier than today.  I have just come across a company that does all sorts of cleaning services in Austin, from fire damage to damage restoration due to problems such as floods.

    So, if you are looking for some serious cleaning, try out the Steam Team.  They can help you with a variety of things, including document restoration and dryer air duct cleaning work in Austin.

    ***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

    Facebook Status of the Day

    Jan 26, 2011

    My four year old just opened up the backdoor and screamed, "Holy guacamole! It snowed!!"

    I don't know if I should laugh because he said, "Holy guacamole" or be disturbed because he clearly does not understand what snow looks like!

    Activity Tree Website

    As you all know, I have 3 young children and I am constantly worried about what they eat.  Is it healthy enough?  Am I promoting good eating habits?  Will they gain weight as they grow older because I haven't taught them how to eat nutritously?  You get the idea.

    So, I was happy to come across a website called Activity Tree which is committed to fighting childhood obesity.  They also concentrate on promoting a active lifestyle for kids - using  both their bodies and minds. 

    The neat thing about this site is that parents can go on there and type in their zip code to find kid's lessons, classes and camps in their area.  You'll find contact information for these groups, links to their websites, maps and detailed descriptions of their activities.

    They also promote a Get Kids Active! Facebook Campaign which helps parents get their kids to become more active using the medium of social networkings.  Kids can pass along planned activity ideas, take fun polls and find and share new activity ideas.

    Finally, I realize that many kids and families can't afford extra-curricular activities, so this site also offers scholarships.  There are two ways to apply for the scholarships.  One is to apply for kids' scholarships on the Activity Tree page and the other is through their facebook page, using the link: scholarships tab.

    Make sure to check out this site if you are interested, like me, in keeping your kids fit!  They only have one life - let's make it a healthy one!

    ***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

    Facebook Status of the Day

    Jan 24, 2011

    Sometimes I like to post a recent Facebook status I put up -  just because I think it'll make you smile.

    Here's one from two days ago:

    I said to my four year old son tonight, "What do I love being?"

    The correct answer: "My mommy."

    He replied instead with "a good hooker."

    At least, that's what I THOUGHT he said.

    After I picked my jaw up off the ground, though, I realized he'd said, "A good COOKER!" :-O

    Engraved Pen Website

    Having my own blog, with my own logo, I am always looking for new products that "carry" the name Savvy Moxie.  I recently came across another great idea that I'd like to share with you.  It's a website that makes custom promotional pens.

    The site is called Amesterdam Printing and they sell laser-engraved pens.  If you're looking for a way to promote your business, this might be a great idea for you.  People always use pens - and if you're  like me, you are always looking for one that works!  What a fun way to have your company's name catch the eye of a potentially new customer. 

    If you're looking for something a little less expensive, they also make and sell personalized pencils.  I know when I was a kid, I used to LOVE having pencils with my name on it.  Maybe your child would get a kick out of that, too.

    ***This post brought to you by your friends at

    Mommy vs. A Dog

    Jan 22, 2011

    The kids and I were driving in the car last night when the subject of having a dog came up.

    "Mommy, when are we getting a dog?" my four-year-old son asked me.

    "Never," I told him.

    "But why?" he whined.

    "Because Mommy is allergic to dogs," I reminded him.  "They make me sneeze and they make my eyes itch.  Thus, we are never, ever getting a dog."

    "But I want a dog!" he continued on.

    "Listen," I said to him.  "You have a choice.  You can either have Mommy or you can have a dog, but you can't have both."

    "What do you mean?" he asked.

    "What I mean is that, if you get a dog, Mommy can't live with you.  So, if  you want a dog, Mommy will have to live somewhere else.  Or, we can just not get a dog and Mommy can keep living in the house with all of you."

    There was a silence in the car for a few moments and then I heard him crying.

    "What are you crying about?" I asked him, getting frustrated with this whole conversation. 

    "But Mommy," he sobbed, "I'm just going to miss you so much!"

    Great DEAL Websites

    Jan 17, 2011

    Every morning, when I wake up, I have a whole bunch of emails waiting for me from the best "deal" websites out there.  I'm sure you are all familiar with Groupon by now, but did you know that there are many others and they, too, offer you FABULOUS daily deals?

    I want to compile a list for you with the sign-up links to that you, too, can be taking advantage of these great offers.

    Groupon - Click here to sign up for their mailing list.  I've gotten some great deals from them, such as half price deals at restaurants I love, inexpensive movie tickets from Fandango, $35 hour-long massages, $9 oil changes, etc.

    2.  Adealio - Click here to sign up for their mailing list.  From them I've gotten $2.50 Regal movie tickets, $30 for one-hour massage deals and a great deal on a haircut.

    3.  Living Social - Click here to sign up for their mailing list.  They have some fabulous deals and a few I've purchased.  I've seen great ones for restaurants we enjoy, laser hair removal and spas and even boat rentals.

    4. Mamapedia - Click here to sign up for their mailing list.  This is a new one I just signed up for and I did so because they were offering an AMC movie ticket for $4! 

    5. Buy With Me - Click here to sign up for their mailing ist.  They've had some great dental deals, golf packages and a facial deal I purchased for a friend.

    6.  Crowd Savings - Click here to sign up for their mailing list.  I signed up with them to purchase a $1 large pizza deal they had going a few months ago.  They also ran a great deal to the local bouncie house that I purchased. 

    I hope you sign up with each and enjoy getting so many great deals sent to your inbox every day!

    Diet Pill Website

    My high school reunion is coming up in June and, I don't  know about you when you attend your reunions, but there's a little extra "baby weight" I'd like to lose before I show up there!  Thus, I have been exploring my options for doing this.

    I came across a website that specializes in diets and diet pills.  They not only provide information on the best diet pills, (the ones that are the healthiest and most succesful), but more importantly (to me, that is) they supply you with information on best and most popular diet foods, such as blueberries and cauliflower.

    They also review a ton of diet plans that are out there, such as the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers and South Beach.  I've always been curious on how they compare.  Now I can find that information in one central location.

    So, if you're looking for the best weight loss diet pills or the most efficient diet plan for your body, check out their site.

    ***The blog post brought to you by

    Austin Roofing Company

    We've been in our house for over 10 years now and we are already beginning to think about the inevitability that we will need a new roof. It's a daunting thought.  The cost . . . the effort of finding a trustworthy company . . . it's exhausting to think about.

    So, I was happy to come across the website for NTBS, Inc.  The are an Austin roofing company which does both residential and commercial roofing. They service Austin and the surrounding areas, such as Bee Caves, Lakeway and Dripping Springs.

    They have been in business for as long as we have been in this house and they seem to specialize in customer service.  In addition, if you're just looking for an Austin roofing repair company, and don't need a whole new roof, they do that, too.

    So, if you're looking for a roofing contractor in Austin, you might want to check them out.

    ***The blog post brought to you by your friends at

    FREE Blockbuster Express Movie

    Jan 11, 2011

    Use the code ESU11B to get a FREE movie at Blockbuster Express!

    Coupon code good until Tuesday, January 18!!!


    Hanson Wholesale Website

    One of the best features, we though, when we bought our house was the gas fireplace! For the first few years, we used "real" logs to build our fires and, let me tell you, that is "really" a lot of work!  Thus, it wasn't too long before we moved onto using gas logs and we've been much happier every since!

    If you are in the market to get some vented gas logs (or unvented ones, for that matter), I came across a website called Hansen Wholesale.  They guarantee they have the lowest prices on the internet.  They only sell R.H. Peterson Real Fyre gas logs and were the first dealer to display gas logs online back in 1994.

    And, you all know me, I'm always looking for a good deal.  Currently, Hansen Wholesale has a special offer going: They are offering a $75 additional discount plus no sales tax and FREE shipping. (No sales tax applies to all gas logs and the free shipping applies to complete gas log sets under 36" in the continental USA.)

    Thus, if you are interested in getting some logs, even outdoor gas logs, I'd check out this site.  You will likely find a great deal!

    ***This blog post brought to you by your friends at

    $25 off $25 Purchase at Garden's Alive

    Jan 5, 2011

    If you sign up to request a Garden's Alive catalogue - but clicking here - it should come with a $25 off a $25 purchase coupon. 

    Happy Gardening!

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