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!

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