Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble

Post Pink

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I think I have recovered from the Race for the Cure!   The 5k of a parade of pink, survivor smiles, and friendly neighbors is well worth the 90 degree temps.  Many thanks to Team Pink Floyd for each member’s participation and motivation – 32 registered walkers and runners and 92 t-shirt orders is something to brag about!  And thanks to Andrea who has become my annual sidekick.  3.1 miles go by quickly with great conversations and lots of laughs.

Speaking of 90 degree temps, I have been busy doing all kinds of fun, summery things. From dining al fresco with the Hoovers in their backyard and Andy on the patio at Armadillo Grill to tending to my tomato babies on the deck to doing laps in the neighborhood pool to redeeming BOGO 1/2 off coupons at Goodberry’s to playing horseshoes with William and the gang.

At Chavon and Ken’s honeymoon shower, I won an Island Margarita Bath & Body Works hand soap (my favorite brand!) for decoding a word jumble.  But the best part of the shower was meeting Chavon’s nephew, Jeremiah.  I could just eat him up!  I finally used up all my beloved Bumble & Bumble hair cream that costs an arm and a leg and have tried Suave Professionals Captivating Curls from Target.  Nothing like spending $2.74 and getting similar results like that of a product that was $25!  I highly recommend this mousse cream for anyone with curly hair.  Love the cream factor and the yummy smell.  Andy’s decision to become a barista on a part-time basis at Starbucks has been lovely!  He gets free drinks while on the clock, 30% off products when off the clock (hello Chai Tea Latte!), and gets a free tin of Tazo green tea each week for yours truly.  Talk about earning extra money AND saving money.  The Tazo tea is awesome with hints of lemon and spearmint.  Recently, I was at K-Mart attempting to use a $4.99 coupon, but was told by the associate that I’d have to become a Rewards Member before using the coupon.  She said the process would only take 2 seconds… and she was right.  I provided my name, phone number, and zip code and was set.  Once registered, a customer earns 10 points for ever $1 spent.  This applies to Sears and Land’s End purchases, as well.  Andrew and I purchased $5 footlongs from Subway (this time, I actually saved my second half for lunch then next day) and redeemed a $4 coupon at Olive Garden.  Andrew used my Stein Mart coupon for 20% off of a pair of khaki shorts.  Remember Relish Cafe from my last post?  Well, they now offer a brunch menu, which began this weekend.  I cannot wait to sample some of the breakfast items.   I’ve done a few TIT classes at Ornamentea with Bluefish – a bird nest charm and a daisy drop wristlet ($2.00 each).  We also stopped by during First Friday and made a pair of hammered spiral earring… for FREE!   Every project offered on First Friday is always FREE.  You might have to browse for a few minutes until a seat at the craft table is available, but it is well worth the wait.  I know I’ve told you about how fabulous Watkin’s Shoe Repair on Peace St is, but honestly…  I took my pair of wedge sandals in on my lunch break to have the strap on one shoe repaired.  It was obvious that they were swamped, but the lady helping me stopped what she was doing and fixed my shoe while I waited.  I was there all of 10 minutes and she charged me only $3.  Now, that’s customer service.  With Alex’s birthday coming up in just a few weeks, I found a nice, thick Thomas the Train book for him for only $5.99 from Costco!  If you are in need of groceries and a child’s birthday gift, stop by.  Grace Ann told me about FREE yoga classes offered at the North Regional Library and at the Ladies Fitness and Wellness Center.  I’d never had a male yoga instructor before, but he was great.. and funny.  Yes, it is possible to laugh in a pretzel position.  (www.youcallthisyoga.org)  Did you get your FREE doughnut on National Doughnut Day?  I treated myself to an original glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme – totally FREE!  Andrea tells me the newest flavor is cookies and kreme.  Must… have… willpower.  I received more FREE gift cards through Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Are they your insurance provider?  Just sign up online and tally your fruits and veggies consumed and your exercises performed and choose your FREE gift!  I redeemed an $8 AutoWash coupon and finally had Sally cleaned.  It is amazing how much younger she looks when she is shiny!  Andrew and I enjoyed BOGO FREE pizzas at Brixx (after 11pm on weekends, 10pm during the week).  I visited Ikea for the first time with Chuti.  Oh… my… goodness.  I fell in love!  If I had extra money, I would re-do every room in my townhouse, using all Ikea products.  Get your best shopping buddy and head to Charlotte for a fun day trip.  I purchased 2 each of a six-pack of matching plastic plates, bowls, and cups for Troy and Warren (think Roy G. Biv minus one) at $1.99 each, a fleece blanket for Christmas for Troy for $3.99, 3 huge chocolate bars for $2.49, and 3 rolls of cookies for $4.  You’ll receive a small discount for using your debit card.  Chuti gave me her discount and I gave mine to the person in line behind me since you can’t use it during the same transaction.  One word of caution:  do not eat at Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe in Concord Mills.  Eeeeek!  Since I’ve signed up to receive texts from Redbox, I received a one day FREE rental code and watched “The Dilemma”.  No need for you to spend money on it.  Have you seen the trailer?  Then you’ve seen the movie…  We finally received the $100 toilet rebate for purchasing and installing a Water Sense toilet.  Now, we have a toilet that was only $38, after the rebate, and uses less water with each flush – a win-win.  Andrew and I also redeemed a BOGO FREE coupon at Tijuana Flats. Sign up for their emails!

I know I was just going on about doughnuts, but… Have you heard about the new Food Pyramid?  (You know I have to always share health-related FYIs.)  The USDA has created a new Food Pyramid which is no longer a pyramid.  Suggested foods include vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy, with the focus on vegetables and fruits.  (www.choosemyplate.org)

Upcoming Events:

While you are playing outdoors with your kids or hiking with friends, download Smithsonian’s FREE app, Leafsnap, to help identify plants for added fun and education.

Visit your local library’s website for FREE classes and clubs for adults, events for teens, and projects and story times for babies and toddlers.

Selected kids’ books are BOGO 1/2 off, online only, through Barnes & Noble.  Also, buy 2 kids’ DVDs, get the 3rd FREE.

Don’t forget Sam Moon offers cute and affordable hair accessories, jewelry, and handbags for kids!  (http://www.sammoon.com/dev/product.asp?cat=kids)

Now!  Selected Dave Ramsey books, CDs, and DVDs on sale for $10!  (http://www.daveramsey.com/store/index.ep)

Also, enter to win Dave’s Rainy Day Cash Giveaway.  (http://www.daveramsey.com/specials/rainy-day-cash-giveaway?ectid=dd1106.1_1)

Borders selected paperbacks are BOGO 1/2 off.

For Father’s Day, Stein Mart is offering selected ties for $10.99, and wallets and boxers for $9.99.

Through June 13 at 6pm, Snapfish offers FREE overnight shipping for orders $30 or more.  Enter code “FAST4DAD” and select “Overnight”.

June 14 – make a pair of Confetti Dusters earrings at Ornamentea for only $2.  Do you have kids?  They also offer Monday Youth Classes and Kids Work Wednesdays.

Through June 16 at Ruby Tuesday, get a FREE garden bar add-on with the purchase on any adult entree.  (http://pages.rubytuesdayrestaurants.com/0611_Facebook_FGBCoupon/)

June 16 – From 11am until 1pm, Blueberry Day at the State Farmers Market offers everything blueberry from recipes to activities.

June 18 – Cary’s Polar Ice House will have an Open House from 1-4pm, with FREE ice skating, games, prizes, food, and a visit from Stormy, the Carolina Hurricane’s mascot.

June 18 – Borders’ will hold its “Cars 2” release party at 2pm.  Best for ages 3-8.

Through June 20, Perfumania offers BOGO 1/2 off cologne as a Father’s Day promotion, plus FREE shipping on orders of $25 or more.  (www.perfumania.com)  Not sure about cologne?  Shop by interest online through Bed, Bath, & Beyond, or by price range online through Kohl’s or Lowe’s.

For a midweek treat, each Wednesday between June 22 and July 27 Redbox is offering 50 cents off select family movie titles (PG-13 and under) when reserved online.

Through July 5 – Barnes & Noble’s online story time book is “Ladybug Girl at the Beach” by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

Through July 6 – Bruegger’s offers its Bottomless Mug Half Year sale.  Get FREE refills of coffee, tea, or soft drinks for 6 months for $99.

Through July 9 – The Kroger in Wakefield Commons is closing, but clearance deals have already begun (examples are 50% off of cosmetics and 20% off of light bulbs).

July 1 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Festival Park, Fayetteville – 8pm

July 3 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Lake Benson Park, Garner – 8:30pm

July 4 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Koka Booth Amphitheater, Cary – 7:30pm

July 9 and August 13 – Second Saturdays combine arts and heritage with food and fun at all 37 museums and historic sites across the state.  (http://www.ncdcr.gov/2ndsaturdays.asp)

I am looking forward to this weekend in Newton Grove.  On Saturday, Daddy and I have planned a canoe trip (please don’t turn us over this time, Daddy!).  On Sunday, the whole family will celebrate Father’s Day with a nice meal and gifts for Strawberry.  Hopefully, there will be some free car maintenance in it for me!  I have been missing NG since hearing one of mama’s stories, last week.  She got 2 pints of fresh local blueberries for $5, straight out of the back of a farmer’s truck, plus a free scoop of homemade blueberry peach ice cream.  Now, that describes summertime.  Speaking of blueberries, I came across a recipe for a blueberry cream smoothie.  For those of you who have read a few of my blog posts or who know me personally, you know that a recipe must fall in the “recipes for dummies” category for me to even consider trying one.  Here goes:

Blueberry Cream Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh blueberries

4 scoops frozen vanilla yogurt (I suggest Fage’s Total 2% Greek yogurt, with 20 grams of protein.)

1/2 cup milk (I suggest 2% milk.)

Directions:

Combine blueberries, frozen yogurt, and milk in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into chilled glass and garnish with blueberries.

Voila!  Enjoy.

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Snowballs in Spring

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I’m an aunt… again!  No, Morgan isn’t yet a big sister.  I love to call myself “aunt” whenever my close friends have babies.  Congratulations to Ambie and Josh!  I can’t wait to meet their sweet bundle of joy, Daniel Troy.  (And, this is even more reason to visit them in sunny FL!)  How was your Cinco de Mayo?  Your Mother’s Day?  Your past few weeks?  I hope you’ve been seeing snowballs in spring… debt snowballs.

Doing things outdoors, like walking around the lake, attending Jimmy’s birthday pig pick’n, and grilling out with William and his friends, has made me think of lazy summer past times… and the new organic apple acai smoothie at Smoothie King.  As the temperatures creep up to the 90s and the neighborhood pools open, we begin to dream about vacationing with our toes in the sand and drinks with tiny umbrellas.  Sure, Stein Mart’s swimsuits (www.steinmart.com) are 30% off and Kohl’s (www.kohls.com) are up to 50% off, but consider Dave’s latest article before you’ve taken two baby steps back – “Does your vacation match your budget?”  (www.daveramsey.com)  Speaking of summer, Wal-Mart has a pink double knock out rose-bush in a 3 gallon container for $16 and an 18 gallon beverage container with handles in red, orange, blue, and green for $5.97 – just the things you need for deck parties.  (www.walmart.com)

I was excited to read “The Budget Family Weekend: Atlanta” in the April 2011 edition of “Southern Living” magazine. (www.southernliving.com)  A family of three saved money on dining by purchasing a picnic lunch from our beloved Trader Joe’s (www.traderjoes.com), enjoying it in Piedmont Park, and having breakfast at the very lovely Flying Biscuit Cafe (www.flyingbiscuit.com).  I was so glad to learn that two of my favorite places made the savings cut!  Also in the same magazine edition, Mia James restores her Baton Rouge home and had these five steps to guide anyone on home purchases:  1) Buy only what you love; 2) Use a signature color palette; 3) Make antiques the focal point; 4) Choose art with your heart; and 5) Pick furniture that will work in multiple spaces.  I know I’m always in a hurry to complete a room, but it is wise to be sure about your purchases so that you’ll use them for years to come and will get your money’s worth.

These past few weeks have flown by!  I did a few of the TIT projects at Ornamentea – a Coreopsis Bangle on 5/3 with Bluefish and Joanna and a Pearl Cocktail Ring on 5/17 with Bluefish.  Nothing like FREE Hershey’s Kisses and FREE hot tea to help you focus on a jewelry project.  While I was there this past Tuesday, I bought beads for one of the two pairs of earrings that I’ll make for Peggy’s birthday.  I just hope she likes them!  (www.ornamentea.com)  I completed my two continuing ed real estate classes.  I don’t know what intrigued me more – real estate taxes and form changes or listening to my teacher’s Texas accent.  If any agents/brokers need to fulfill some credits, Legacy Real Estate school offers pre-licensing, post-licensing, and continuing ed classes ($45/class) at lower rates.  (www.legacyrealestateschool.com)  I saved money in the food area by taking advantage of the Moe’s (www.moes.com) Cinco de Mayo promotion (two meals were $9 and change), having the two for $20 special at Chili’s (www.chilis.com) with Chuti (definitely splurge on the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie), and making nachos at home.  At least this didn’t require me to turn on the oven.  I saved $5 per ticket purchasing two Cape Fear Beer Fest tickets (www.capefearbeerfest.com) for Mama and Daddy, as a Father’s Day gift.  Tickets were $35 rather than $40 when purchased prior to 5/15, if a promotional code was used.  I just googled this code and found that a local radio station published “encore”.  Easy as pie!  I bought Miss Morgan nature bracelets (butterflies, insects, and plants) from Blockbuster, on clearance for $.99.  (www.blockbuster.com)  Andrew and I bought Mother’s Day flowers from Trader Joe’s for the mothers in both of our families.  Potted begonias (white, pink, or red) were only $2.99 and cut cream-colored hydrangeas were only $5.99.  The Red Room (the master bedroom in Show Stopper red) is now complete!  All that’s left to do is purchase a small rug to cover the paint stain on the floor.  Until then, I’ll just tell my guests to be snobby and look up.  I joined Moolala (www.moolala.com), which is similar to Groupon and Living Social.  The only difference is that Moolala gives members 2% back on every deal purchased.  Andrew and I tried two new places that I must share with you.  Pronto Pasta (www.prontopasta.com) offers fast and fresh soups and pastas.  Try the quinoa with spinach pesto and tomato basil soup.  Thanks Bryan!  Relish Cafe & Bar (www.relishraleigh.com) serves comfort food with a twist.  Dig in to the Italian mac & cheese skillet.  Thanks C-dub!  Thanks to Sarah, I have a new gem on my list to try – Gigi’s Cupcakes.  With flavors like Champagne and Kentucky Bourbon Pie, this is a must.  Be sure to read “Gigi’s Story”.  (www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/raleighnc)  I babysat sweet Alex.  He spoke partly in Thai while I perfected my Southern accent.  Why is it so mesmerizing to watch a child take everything out of my purse, then put everything back in all the wrong places?  I could just squeeze him.

Some Things to Look Forward to:

For a limited time while supplies last, Borders offers 40% off CDs and DVDs, in stores only.  (www.borders.com)

Through 4pm today, take the Hen-side the Beltline Tour D’Coop, the 6th annual Raleigh garden tour of hens and coops.  Admission – a non-perishable food item or cash donation to Urban Ministries of Wake County.  100% of the proceeds will be donated.  (http://tourdcoop.com)

Through 5pm today, the Magic Wings Festival is held at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.  Admission – Adults $12.95, children ages 3-12 $9.95, children under 3 FREE.  (www.ncmls.org)

Through today only, get $5 off a $25 purchase at Dollar General.  (http://dollargeneral.com/coupons/Pages/index.aspx)

Also through today only, Old Navy offers $1 flip-flops.  Limit 5 per customer.  Bring in your old flip-flops to be recycled.  Also, get $5 off a $35 purchase.  (http://oldnavy1.m.delivery.net/w/webView?cid=22462892314&mid=1945212391&pid=789178&vid=131&ee=YmlybWluZ2hhbWjhcmdhaW5tb21AZ21haWwuY29t&si=&mv=H&bv=H&oc=H&sc=&k=1pyPNd)

Through 5pm tomorrow, Raleigh’s Museum of Life and Science hosts Astronomy Days.  FREE admission.  How cool is this in conjunction with Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal call to space?!  (http://naturalsciences.org)

Through tomorrow, the musical version of “Stuart Little” is being performed at the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre.  Tonight’s show is at 7pm ($15) and tomorrow’s matinée is at 3pm ($10).  Senior and student tickets are $12.   (www.nract.org)

Through tomorrow, Artsplosure 2011, the Raleigh Arts Festival, is held in Moore Square and City Plaza.  Admission – $5 per person.  (www.artsplosure.org)

Through tomorrow, the Got to be NC Festival is at the State Fairgrounds with food, rides, and live entertainment.  FREE admission and FREE parking.  The Smurfs will make an appearance today, through 5pm!  (www.ncagfest.com)

Through tomorrow at Earth Fare, get a coupon for a FREE pound of shrimp with any $10 purchase.  (www.earthfare.com)

Through 5/23, Borders is holding its Customer Appreciation weekend.  If you are a member, check your email for the 50% off coupon for one item and the coupon for 50% off one large cafe beverage.  If you aren’t a member, sign up!  It’s FREE.  (www.borders.com)

Through 5/25, Redbox is offering texted discounts on movie rentals.  Each day, text DEALS to 727272 to receive a new daily discount code, offering anywhere from $.10 to $1.50 off your rental.  Andrew and I did this last night and received $.50 off our rental for “The Next Three Days”.  (www.redbox.com)

Through 5/28 at Ulta, Rejuvenating Bath & Shower Gels and 3 in 1 Shower Smoothies are buy 2 get 2 FREE (mix and match).  Includes yummy smells like Mandarin Mint and Chocolate Milkshake.  (www.ulta.com)

Through 6/7 in conjunction with Barnes & Noble, Ree Drummond performs an online reading of her children’s book, “Charlie the Ranch Dog.”  A new online story begins on 6/7.  (www.barnesandnoble.com)

Through 6/15, get $1 off McDonald’s new McCafe Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.  (http://cdn.eyewonder.com/100125/769897/1478424/coupon_landing_page.html)

5/22-30, Sherwin Williams paints and stains are 30% off.  (www.sherwin-williams.com)

On 5/24, Ornamentea’s TIT project is Ruffle Ear Drops for only $2.  (www.ornamentea.com)

On 5/26, the Midtown Beach Music Series spotlighted band is The Magnificents.  6-9pm.  North Hills Commons.  FREE  (www.northhillsraleigh.com/news/3758)

On 5/28 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Biplane.  (www.lowes.com)

From 6/1 – 9/5 for kids 12 and under, Borders offers a “read 10 books get 1 free” promotion with its Double-Dog Dare Challenge.  (http://media.bordersstores.com/pdf/formDoubleDogDare.pdf)

At the 6/4 game against the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Durham Bulls (players, coaches, and Wooley Bull) will be going pink to show their support in the fight against breast cancer.  $12 gets you a ticket, a Bulls baseball cap, and a pink Komen for the Cure bracelet.  $2 from every Komen Go Pink $12 package sold will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  Enter promotional code “KOMEN”, for online ticket purchases.  (www.dbulls.com)  Kohl’s has also joined in the fight against breast cancer, offering $5 and $10 Food Network breast cancer merchandise.  Shop for a cure.  (www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/foodnetwork_new/WomensCauseMerchandise.jsp?om_mid=_20110428_BCMerch)  Our Race for the Cure team, Pink Floyd, has grown to 28 registered walkers/runners, 60 team t-shirt orders, and over $1,000 in donations!  There’s still time to make a difference.  (http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/DUR_NCTriangleAffiliate/16677936?pg=team&fr_id=2137&team_id=152919)

On 6/11 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Goofy Golf.  (www.lowes.com)

Beginning 6/14 through August, Raleigh Grande 16 Movie Theatre presents the 2011 Free Family Film Series, offering a FREE movie every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am and a $4 drink and popcorn combo.  (www.carolinacinemas.com/raleigh/announcements.php)

On 6/18 in historic downtown Burgaw, is the 8th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival.  Admission is FREE.  (www.ncblueberryfestival.com)

On 6/25 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Waving Flag.  (www.lowes.com)

On 7/9 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Tow Truck.  (www.lowes.com)

On 7/23 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Binoculars.  (www.lowes.com)

Check out the NC Museum of Art’s new FREE mobile app.  (http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2011/05/north-carolina-museum-of-art-launches-first-ipad-app-free-video)

Salon Blu offers New Talent Mondays and Tuesdays, with men’s cuts for $19, women’s cuts for $29, and cut and color combos for $79.  Salons are located in midtown, Brier Creek, and North Raleigh and have won awards including Best Hair Salon in Wake County (Independent Weekly 2008) and Trendiest Salon (Social Magazine 2008).  (www.salonbluhair.com)

Raleigh’s new Contemporary Art Museum has opened its doors.  General admission is $5, but FREE for members, children 10 and under, members of the military, and NC State students, faculty, and staff.  (http://camraleigh.org)

Here’s a new savings website:  www.southernsavers.com.  Thank you Jenny!

Are you in need of a gift?  Check out Sam Moon’s latest collar necklaces in funky styles and lovely colors.  (http://www.sammoon.com/dev/product.asp?cat=jewelry&tempcat=Trendy_Style⊂=sub)  For a young child, I always love Kohl’s Cares books and stuffed animals.  At only $5 each, 100% of the net profits will be donated to kids’ health and education initiatives nationwide.  The latest?  “Llama Llama Red Pajama” and “Llama Llama Misses Mama” books with llama and zebra stuffed animals.  (www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/kohlscares/kidscausemerchandise.jsp)

Keep your eyes open for treats for Father’s Day, which is less than a month away.  Scentsy is offering “manly” scents such as Amber Road and products such as the Magellan warmer to mask the man cave.  (http://scentsy.net)  If he is an NCSU graduate or fan, take a look at NC State’s online store, where purchases are shipped in 3 days.  (www.ncstateshop.com)  Through 5/23, enter promotional code “BOOK4MAY” to receive a $15 8×11 custom photo book through Snapfish.  (www.snapfish.com)  Or do like Andrew and buy something functional.  He found a fun pen/fan combo for himself at Stein Mart for only $5.  (www.steinmart.com)

Well, I’m off to get ready for Chavon’s bridal shower.  She and Ken didn’t register for the typical types of gifts that most engaged couples register for (china, towels, etc).  They have everything they need, so Chavon’s matron of honor is hosting a Honeymoon Shower.  Guests will bring gifts that can be used by Chavon and Kendrick while they are honeymooning in a beachy setting.  How fun is that?!

Put ‘Em Up! Put ‘Em Up!

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What a scary day with tornadoes, high winds, and severe thunderstorms.  Luckily, I saw only rain at my house, but the area around downtown Raleigh and Yonkers Rd was another story.  There, the bad weather brought with it downed power lines, uprooted trees, and even an overturned truck.  The Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” said it best…  “Unusual weather we’re having, ain’t it?”

Last Sunday, Andrew and I celebrated 2 years together.  You can imagine my surprise when I received 2 dozen roses delivered to my office on Friday!  What a great way to start the weekend.  The surprises continued on Saturday with dinner at Second Empire and tickets to the new “Hop” movie.  My treats to him on Sunday were massages at Massage Envy for both of us and dinner at Kanki.  Who said you can’t find deals for special occasions?  You’ll be proud to know that the massages were a special introductory rate of $49.99 each for one hour and Kanki offered a 5 course meal for 2 for $39.99.  Sure, we don’t like to spend that kind of money for any ol’ meal, but that was a decent price for an anniversary meal of soup, salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert (plus the fake ketchup squirt and volcano onion).  Speaking of Kanki, triangle sushi chef and Japanese native Yuya Chiba of the Durham Kanki restaurant designed a special sushi roll to raise money for the earthquake victims in Japan.  Three triangle Kanki restaurants are selling the $10 rolls, with $5 going to the Japanese Relief Fund established by the United Nations Children’s Fund.  These restaurants are also selling the chef’s original artwork and T-shirts to raise money for the cause.

Spring is in the air and Easter is quickly approaching.  Are you ready?  Costco has 21 cute and delicious frosted spring sugar cookies for $3.89 versus 8-10 cookies of the same type at any typical grocery store for about the same price.  This would be a super easy way to contribute a festive dessert to an Easter gathering.  Just place the cookies on a pastel plate and sprinkle flour in your hair.  Voila!  Also at Costco are braided azalea trees (2.65 quarts) for $21.65.  With rich color options like red, white, light pink, and hot pink, you can’t go wrong.  Andrew’s grandmother loved the light pink kind for her birthday.  For Miss Morgan, I decided on Build-A-Bear’s Make-And-Play Hoppy Spring Bunny ($10 from Wal-Mart).  She’ll be able to sew, stuff, decorate, and dress her bunny with the included stuffing, safety needle, clothes, and accessories.

Well, so far the carpet paint cleaning failed!  Even with Justin’s steam cleaner and the special Lowes solution, the new red designs just aren’t budging.  At this point, I’m willing to try anything.  With Mama’s and Kendrick’s suggestions, I purchased from Wal-Mart Clorox ($1.22) and WD-40 ($3.27).  If the paint doesn’t come up, I’ll either have a white or black spot where the red once was.  Oh well, at least the accent colors are red, black, and white, already!

There will be no more decreased sale prices to report at the Borders central Raleigh store, as it has officially closed.  Luckily, the Six Forks Rd location is still fairly close to both my house and office, so the weekly coupons will still be appreciated.

Since you last heard from me, I redeemed a coupon for $1 off at Shish Kabob.  I enjoyed a FREE vanilla concrete with bananas and Reese’s peanut butter cups at Goodberry’s with my gift card.  I redeemed a Groupon coupon to The Pickled Onion ($10 for $20 worth of food).  Try the ahi tuna steak and enjoy the laid back atmosphere and sports trivia (http://thepickledonionrestaurant.com).  I received another $50 gift card from Blue Cross Blue Shield via their Points system.  I enjoyed a BOGO FREE meal deal at Cafe Carolina.  Thanks Donna!  Speaking of Cafe Carolina, try their new coconut cream and strawberries and cream cupcakes.  Also courtesy of Donna, I am now reading “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan” by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi.  And I received the Dove men’s samples of deodorant and body wash that I registered online for several weeks ago.  Andrew reaps the benefit of that freebie!

As summer approaches, do you wish for fresh produce but can’t always make it to your local farmer’s market?  Check out The Produce Box at www.theproducebox.com.  Have your box delivered to your home or office, decide to skip a week or even an extended period of time, and choose the contents of your box.

I was actually able to listen to The Dave Ramsey Show this week.  I was running errands when it dawned on me that perhaps I could hear the man who provides such inspiration for this very blog.  Of course, William responded to my text in a nanosecond with “680A.M. 11am-2pm”.  This witty line stuck with me for the rest of the day: “The man who became a gazillionaire by being so cheap,” a reference to Dave by a colleague being interviewed by him.

Race for the Cure’s 15th anniversary challenge encourages participants to raise $300 for the cause to receive a $25 gift card to Belk.  So, hound your friends and family for some funds to “Save Second Base”.  (I couldn’t resist using this charming slogan.)  (www.komennctriangle.org)

Upcoming Events:

Today, 4/17, is the Wings Over Wayne FREE air show.  Andrew and I are prepared with his new chair in a bag from Wal-Mart for $9.88 (NCSU red, of course) and ear plugs (6 pairs for $1.97).  (www.wingsoverwayneairshow.com)

Also today, get a $6 Durham Bulls ticket for a Terrace Reserved or Diamond View seat and a Brightleaf hot dog.  Just use promo code “TWC” at checkout, online.  There is a limit of 8 tickets per household.  (www.dbulls.com)

At Johnny Carinos, take part in their Pasta Harvest and enjoy all you can eat pasta and salad for $8.99 per person.  (www.carinos.com)

4/17-18, Bruegger’s hosts a Tax Day Special of a baker’s dozen of bagels and 2 tubs of cream cheese for $10.40. (http://niuminc.com/brueggers/deals/bbtaxdayoffer_1040_exp041811/no_dup.jpg)

Through 4/18, Lowes has 2-quart perennials, 3 for $10.  (www.lowes.com)

4/18 is a Tax Relief Special at PF Chang’s, with 15% off all orders.  (www.pfchangs.com)

Like Chili’s on Facebook and get a coupon for one FREE appetizer or dessert per table on 4/18.  (www.facebook.com)

On 4/18 at participating locations, Cinnabon will be giving out two FREE bites to each customer from 6-8pm.  (www.cinnabon.com)

In honor of tax season, Office Depot is welcoming all customers to make copies of their 2010 tax returns, FREE, anytime through Monday, 4/18.  (www.officedepot.com)

With Maggie Moo’s Sundae Stimulus, all customers get a FREE mini sundae from 3 – 6pm on 4/18. The freebie being handed out is a Crumb Cake Fundae, which consists of cinnamon ice cream, cinnamon cake, caramel sauce, nuts, and whipped cream.  (www.maggiemoos.com)

While not tied directly to tax season, 4/16-24 just happens to be National Parks Week, when admission is FREE to all parks and monuments that normally charge fees. Some of your tax money goes to funding these parks, so here’s your chance to enjoy them without having to pay more at the gate.  (www.nps.gov)

McCormick & Schmick’s offers $10.40 “Tax Relief Certificates” to guests dining in the bar on 4/18. Special entrees are priced at $10.40, too.  (www.mccormickandschmicks.com)

Through 4/18 at Snapfish, buy one custom photo book and get 2 FREE.  Use the code MOMMYBOOKS at checkout.  Also, through 4/20, spend $25 and save $10.40 using code TAXDAY at your online checkout.  (www.snapfish.com)

Ornamentea’s Try-It Tuesday class on 4/19 features Fabulous Floral Earrings, for just $2.  (www.ornamentea.com)

Now through 5/12, Barnes & Noble’s latest offer is to buy 2 paperbacks, get the 3rd FREE.  Selected titles only.  (www.barnesandnoble.com)

The Kids Bowl Free program starts 5/1.  This program allows 2 FREE games of bowling per child per day and lasts throughout the summer.  (www.kidsbowlfree.com)

At 2pm on 5/7 is the Throne of Fire Release Party at Borders.  Kids ages 8-12 are invited to celebrate the new Rick Riordan book with a FREE Lego Pharaoh’s Quest building set.  (www.borders.com)

Vinos Finos & Picadas offers FREE wine tasting every Tuesday night from 5:30-7pm.  (www.vinosfinosypicadas.com)

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at Mirage, buy one sushi roll, get one FREE.  (www.mirageraleigh.com)

Each week, Toys R Us holds FREE events for babies and older children, alike.  (www.toysrus.com)

Each month, Barnes & Noble offers an online story time.  Currently the story being read online is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, read by the book’s author Eric Carle.  Beginning 5/3, the story read online will be “Charlie the Ranch Dog”.  (www.barnesandnoble.com)

Whew!  Lots for you to plan and do!  If I don’t post again before Sunday, may you find lots of freebies and discounts in your basket.  And don’t forget to stock up on half price chocolates on Monday, 4/25.  Happy Easter!

Spring Cleaning

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Wasn’t it Sheryl Crow who sang that a change would do you good?  Well, Sheryl would be proud of me.  Since I last wrote, I’ve had my hair cut and dyed, began reading “Oprah”, started painting the master bedroom Showstopper red (two out of four walls), and changed my blog theme to “Bueno”.  That’s my version of spring cleaning!

I’ve still been pinching my pennies.  I found a “Jungle Babies” book at Barnes and Noble for $4.88, just in time for Jeremiah’s birthday.  (Barnes and Noble is having great sales on Easter books for children.)  I tried Chipotle for the first time ever with Chavon and, boy, was I impressed – great food at great prices and super healthy.  (www.chipotle.com)  Did you hear about the new Whole Foods store opening in North Raleigh at 8710 Six Forks Rd?  I signed up to receive email newsletters from them.  Check out the “What’s on sale?” icon in the top, right-hand corner of the local store’s website.  (www.wholefoodsmarket.com)  I tried Tijuana Flats with Grace Ann and have gone back twice since!  I enjoyed BOGO coupons 2 of the 3 times.  Think of a cross between Moe’s speedy service and Armadillo Grill’s trendy atmosphere.  (www.tijuanaflats.com)  Andrew and I enjoyed a FREE appetizer at Brixx, a BOGO deal at El Rodeo Grill, and $6 off at Shish Kabob.  Brixx offers an awesome late night special of all appetizers and pizzas BOGO when ordered after 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and after 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.  (www.brixxpizza.com)  I also redeemed a coupon for a FREE fruit and maple oatmeal cup at McDonald’s.  Through Living Social, I donated $5 to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake Pacific Tsunami fund and Living Social matched my donation 100%, totaling $10.  And, just today, I purchased from Lowe’s a Schlage doorknob/deadbolt combo at 30% off.  Andrew purchased a wireless router for $49.99 ($10 off) at Target, which will save $11.95 per month on the Time Warner Cable bill as a home networking charge.

Speaking of painting, Sherwin Williams runs a sale on paints and stains about once every month and a half or two months.  This past weekend, I was able to get 30% off.  Remember, you can buy paint when it is on sale and have it injected with the chosen color at a later date, in order to get the sale price.  The next sale will be April 8-10.  (www.sherwin-williams.com)

Ulta is offering a BOGO MicroZone Skin treatment through 4/2.  $20, 20 minutes, immediate results.  (www.ulta.com)

Like Old Navy on Facebook and get a coupon for 15% off a single item purchased through 4/7.  Also, like Suave Professionals on Facebook and receive a coupon for a FREE Suave Professionals product.  You’ll receive the coupon in the mail in 6-8 weeks.  (www.facebook.com)

Borders Final Week to Save – with the central Raleigh store closing (404-101 E. Six Forks Rd), get 50-70% off everything in the store.  At all other Borders stores that are remaining open, 4/16 is the Springtacular special kids’ event for children ages 3-8.  There will be FREE storytime, games, and crafts.  Show your Borders eReading app and get a FREE small brewed coffee in the cafe.  (www.borders.com)

The Race for the Cure registration fee will be $25 through 4/1.  This is part of the early bird special, which expires on 4/2.  Once expired, the fee increases to $30.  Join Team Pink Floyd and help save some tatas!  (www.komennctriangle.org)

Get a free men’s Dove sample delivered in 4 weeks.  (http://see.walmart.com/dovemencare)

Sign up for the new Living Social Raleigh-Durham Family edition to receive deals on family fun outings such as visits to museums, zoos, and aquariums.  (www.livingsocial.com)

We all love Trader Joe’s, but now that spring is in the air (well, it was and hopefully it will be back soon), stop by for amazing deals on gorgeous flowers – just a few examples are $4.99 for cut tulips and $2.99 for potted begonias.  (www.traderjoes.com)

For all you folks with kids, Barnes & Noble is offering a grand deal on “Parents” magazine – a one year subscription (12 issues) for just $1.  Enter code K4M8W9D at checkout.  (www.barnesandnoble.com)

Continuing to support those affected by the Japan crisis and those interested in staying up-to-date, Time Warner Cable is allowing the FREE viewing of channel 880 TV Japan to digital customers through 3/31.  (www.timewarnercable.com)

Shop for a good cause…  For every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS, a pair of new shoes will be donated to a child in need.  This is part of their “One for One” movement.  (www.toms.com)

Too sick to leave home?  Kerr Drug now delivers prescriptions for FREE.  (www.kerrdrug.com)

In the mood for some Italian food, but don’t have much cash?  Hungry Howie’s has 10 inch subs for $6.99 and salads for $4.99.  And, they are open until 3:00am on Friday and Saturday nights – just in case you stay up late playing a mean game of Uno.  (www.hungryhowies.com)

Love coffee?  Check out It’s a Grind.  With fun names like Nutty Cow, their drinks are tasty and cheaper than our beloved Starbucks.  (www.itsagrind.com)

In a recent issue of “Reader’s Digest”, there was a list of popular gadgets and the 2011 price prediction.  Not seeing these amounts yet?  Wait a little while and pay less!  Blu-ray Player – $39; Kindle eBook Reader – $99; 55-inch HDTV – $599; Full-size Digital SLR Camera – $299; 15- to 16-inch Dual-core Laptop – $199; Portable GPS – $40; and iPhone 3GS – $49

Lowes feeds kids’ curiosity with FREE Build and Grow clinics every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.  (www.lowes.com)

Feeling creative?  Stop by Ornamentea today between 10am and 8pm to give the Lovely Leather Necklace a whirl.  (www.ornamentea.com)

So, as the weather finally warms up, think about what to plant in your garden.  No yard?  No problem.  Many veggies grow nicely in pots on decks or porches.

Health.com recently rated the Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants.  The list includes Panera, Jason’s Deli, Noodles and Company, Chipotle, and… McDonald’s??  Yep.  McDonald’s is making changes to the menu to make it easier on the ol’ waistband.  I am excited to learn that so many of our inexpensive favorites made the cut!