Tag Archives: Costco

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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Apparently, He Brought Obama’s Birth Certificate

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How was your Easter?  I had a lovely time in Newton Grove (or Circle City, as my Daddy likes to call it).  On my way down on Sunday morning, I ran by the new Whole Foods on Six Forks Rd and grabbed two fruit tarts for $4.99 each for Sweet Thing and Uncle Carl, and a lavender bunny cake for $6.99 for Mama and Daddy.  They were a hit!  And I loved that my family was eating products made with ingredients like cage-free eggs, natural butter, and unbleached flour.  (www.wholefoodsmarket.com)  I was able to spend the entire afternoon relaxing and visiting and chatting.  I love using Hallmark’s FREE e-cards to surprise friends and family on holidays (my favorite this year was ‘Candy Wrappers’, a rapping chick and bunny duo), but I also picked up seven Easter cards and one birthday card at Kroger for $8.18.  (www.hallmark.com)  Of course, my folks never let me come back to Raleighwood empty-handed.  Mama saved her recent collection of “Good Housekeeping”, “Southern Living”, and “Redbook” magazines for me, and Daddy had three baby tomato plants waiting.  The simple gifts are always the sweetest.  Looks like the Easter Bunny wasn’t empty-handed, either, in DC… Apparently, he brought Obama’s birth certificate.

Since last week, I walked my dog, downward-facing, at one of my two FREE yoga classes offered each week.  Both classes break for the summer, so I need to get in the habit of practicing on my own.  Instead of paying for gym membership fees, Andrew and I have opted to take part in FREE outdoor activities now that the temperatures are soaring and the days are longer, like walking around Lake Lynn with Chuti, Scott, Alex, and Chela.  (Can you imagine how excited I was to hear almost-two-year-old Alex say my name?!)  (http://www.raleighfree.com/lake_lynn_park.html)  Andrew and I took a road trip to Goldsboro to the Wings Over Wayne air show on Sunday.  My absolute favorite trick was the snow white exhaust from a jet forming a humongous heart in the bright, blue sky.  Afterwards, we had dinner at the local Outback.  I was able to get my favorite Signature Side Salad (the blue cheese pecan chopped salad) in an entree size, at NO additional charge ($3.99).  Andrew’s father, Dale, gave me a FREE Adele CD.  Love, love, love it.  Think Macy Gray meets Amy Winehouse.  We redeemed a $4 off coupon at Red Lobster.  I had one of my favorite dishes (a tuna salad salad) at one of my favorite places (Shish Kabob) for only $5.50.  I used the last of my $50 gift card to Goodberry’s that I paid only $25 for.  I will miss those late night frozen custard runs.  I racked up at Trader Joe’s:  salsa, spicy black bean dip, gorgonzola crackers, fig cereal bars, pita chips, 2 pounds of pink lady apples, blue corn tortilla chips, apricot and raspberry shortbread cookies, oat and wheat bran cereal, 2 cans of no salt added albacore tuna, 4 bananas, and tea tree oil facial wash…. all for $32.49.  No coupons, none needed, and still not cooking!  (www.traderjoes.com)  I destroyed my Citipass book.  It was starting to look mangy from all of the missing coupons and pages, so I put it out of its misery and ripped out all of the remaining pages.  For the coupons that I wouldn’t use, I made piles for various friends and passed the rest around my office.  (http://raleighcitipass.com/)  On Monday, Andrew and I took advantage of PF Chang’s tax day special (15% off all orders) and dined on Mandarin Chicken and Buddha’s Feast for $17.47.  On 4/19, I did Ornamentea’s Try-It Tuesday project (Fabulous Floral Earrings) with Bluefish.  We wrapped pastel flowers and beads around copper-colored hoops.  On 4/26, Andrea and I did the Try-It Tuesday Comfy Summer Bangle project.  I made mine for Miss Morgan, with purple beads, of course.  (www.ornamentea.com)  It’s that time of year again – time to take continuing ed classes to keep my NC real estate license active.  Of all the schools (HPW, JY Monk, Fonville Morisey, etc), Legacy offers the most affordable classes at $45 per class versus $50-$65 for other schools.  (www.legacyrealestateschool.com)  I know it is only April, but I have already ordered my first Christmas gift, for Andrew’s grandmother!  I also found a cute gift for Brian, whose birthday is not until August.  With such passion for the ‘Pack, this family is easy to shop for.  (www.ncstateshop.com)  Tonight, Chavon, Andrew, and I joined tons of other folks at Brio for $2.95 appetizers in the bar.  Don’t let the price fool you; these appetizers are hearty.  Try the margherita flatbread and ravioli.  (www.brioitalian.com)

In response to the devastation caused by last Saturday’s tornadoes, folks at work donated items to the Red Cross.  (www.redcross.org)  I shopped at Costco, which allowed me to buy in bulk and use coupons from this month’s coupon booklet for 5 out of 8 items purchased, saving me $11.75.  I donated 90 33-gallon Kirkland trash bags, 36 jumbo rolls of Cottonelle toilet tissue, 12 rolls of Kirkland paper towels, 2 loaves of Nature’s Own bread, 4 packs of 320 Lysol wipes, 35 half-liters of Deer Park bottled water, 152 Ziploc gallon size freezer bags, and 2 48-ounce JIF creamy peanut butter jars, all for about $81.  We also held a bake sale to raise $565 for Christina Alvarez.  You may have read about her story on WRAL.  (http://www.wral.com/weather/story/9474504/)  She lost two nephews, a son, and an infant daughter when a tree crushed her home.  Donations can be made at the McDonald’s at the corner of Six Forks and Wake Forest roads.  In times like these, a high school classmate’s recent Facebook status comes to mind, “Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”  It is my hope that Kewana’s thoughts touch your heart and encourage you to give time, money, or needed items.

From Thursday until Saturday, Andrew and I enjoyed a mini vacation in Richmond, Virginia.  Andrew’s childhood friend, Quincy Latimore, plays minor league baseball and we always try to watch as many games as possible.  He plays for Altoona Curve, which happened to be the away team playing against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, that weekend.  (http://altoona.curve.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t452)  Quincy is sweet enough to offer FREE tickets to his games, which we gratefully accepted for both Thursday and Friday nights.  I thought I was a damn good sport (no pun intended) on Friday night when we finally left the ball field at 11:30pm, after 5 hours and 15 innings, wearing a sweater and three light jackets (I could barely bend my arms, like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”), holding an umbrella in 48 degree temps.  Ugh.  At least Altoona won…  While vacationing, we received 15% off of our meal at Quaker by simply showing our hotel room key and enjoyed complimentary breakfasts (including divine Earl Grey tea… mmmmm).  Admission to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was FREE and I scored Sweet Thing’s birthday gift of Renoir greeting cards for $13.95 and an adorable bird mobile for the guest bedroom at $6.95.  (http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/Default.aspx)  We were super excited to find a Costco near our hotel, which saved us money on gas.  On our way home on Saturday, we stopped by downtown to attend Richmond’s Earth Day street festival, with live music and a gorgeous view from the top of the pedestrian bridge.

Some Things To Look Forward To:

Today 4/29 – Whole Foods One Day Sale – organic strawberries $1.99/lb  (www.wholefoodsmarket.com)

Today 4/29 – FREE Midnight showing of “Princess Bride” at NCSU’s Witherspoon Student Center  (http://www.ncsu.edu/cinema/index.html)

4/29-30 – 25th Annual NC Pickle Festival (Mt. Olive) – FREE admission  (www.ncpicklefest.org)

4/30 – Designer’s Downtown Market  (http://www.designersdowntownmarket.com/)

4/30 – 18th Annual Spring Daze (Cary) – FREE admission  (http://www.townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation___Cultural_Resources/events/festivals/springdaze.htm)

5/1 – American Tobacco’s “Explore… Create… Move” (Durham) – a 4 part series for kids featuring an expert leader and a theme – $5 registration fee  (http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/goaskmom/blogpost/9500062/)

5/1-8 – Sherwin Williams – 25% off paint  (www.sherwin-williams.com)

Through 5/2 – Lowe’s 4 for $10 Spring Essential Sale  (www.lowes.com)

5/2-3 – FREE 7pm and 9pm showings of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:  The Movie” at NCSU’s Witherspoon Student Center (http://www.ncsu.edu/cinema/index.html)

5/3 – $2 Try-It Tuesday Coreopsis Bangle project at Ornamentea  (www.ornamentea.com)

5/6-7 – North Carolina Symphony – $20 tickets to “Blues in the Night” – code SPRING*  (http://www.ncsymphony.org/?link=1&trid=380)

Through 5/8, $3.50 off any $10 purchase at Ulta (http://search.ulta.com/nav/marketing/couponwk1260640e/0?n=ulta&CID=ET_wk1311_Mon_SH_TStore_TN_x_x_x&ET_LID=Coupon&RID=358350579)

5/12-14 – North Carolina Symphony – $20 tickets to “Composer Portraits:  Mahler” – code SPRING*  (http://www.ncsymphony.org/?link=1&trid=380)

Every Thursday through 8/25 – Midtown Music Concert Series – FREE  (http://www.northhillsraleigh.com/)

20th of Every Month – Shop Local Raleigh – $20 on the 20th  (http://shoplocalraleigh.org/care/$20-onthe-$20th-Promotions)

Beginning Every Tuesday – Half price rolls at Carolina Sushi and Roll.  Check under “Events” for a list of the discounted items and also under “Coupon” for a buy one get one half off deal.  Tell Edward and Nahbi that Andrew and Amanda sent you.  C-dub and I dined their recently for only $11!  (www.carolinasushiandroll.com)

Borders Bargain Blowout – BOGO FREE  (www.borders.com)

Bed, Bath, & Beyond now offers wedding invitations and stationery, online.  FREE shipping on your FREE printed samples.  (http://invitations.bedbathandbeyond.com/index.jsp?utm_source=e&utm_medium=e&utm_term=e&utm_content=BridalInvitations&utm_name=BridalInvitations)

Vestique – fabulous styles at affordable prices.  Be sure to read “Our Story”.  (www.vestique.com)

Hamlin Drug Company – FREE deliveries to downtown Raleigh for prescriptions, which are by Segway  (www.hamlindrug.com)

Taste of Home – $5 cookbook sale  (http://www.shoptasteofhome.com/$5-Cookbooks/5CBK,default,sc.html)

Food Network Breast Cancer Merchandise – all items $5 or $10 – 100% of the net profit is donated  (http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/foodnetwork_new/WomensCauseMerchandise.jsp?om_mid=_20110428_BCMerch)

FREE legal assistance by the North Carolina Bar Association to those affected by recent storms  (http://www.wral.com/news/local/noteworthy/story/9496873/)

$1.00 off any cream cheese tub at Bruegger’s  (http://www.wired-differently.com/bei/dlz/11/042511/nodup_x111005.jpg)

JC Penney – $10 off a $25 purchase  (http://f.jcpenneyem.com/i/2/95827765/welcomemain.html)

Happy Royal Wedding Day!  I am super excited to see Kate’s gown and to view the festivities on tv.  Get prepared by purchasing a big, fancy hat and perfecting your royal wedding guest name (Lady or Lord + your grandmother’s or grandfather’s first name + the name of your first pet + the name of the street where you grew up).

Regards,

Lady LaRoyce Midnight Rosin Hill

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!

Funny Big Toe

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I am so proud of myself!  I took my first Try-It Tuesday class at Ornamentea with Bluefish, tonight.  From 10am to 8pm every Tuesday, you can stop by for a quick and easy project… all for $2!  Tonight’s item was a pair of green sparkly drops earrings, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday.  I also made a pair of antique brass filigree flower earrings.  These were just $6.  Check out some adorable and affordable items at Funny Big Toe.  (www.etsy.com/shop/funnybigtoe)

Have you heard?  The Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill offers discounted services by cosmetologists in training.  Cuts range from $19-$25, all over color with simple highlights goes up to $65, and spa pedicures are $25.  And the coolest part?  Tips are not accepted.  You may, however, donate to “Tips for a Cause” (the charity choice for that particular month) in lieu of tipping.  (www.avedainstitutechapelhill.com)

The Chick-fil-A cows have stepped up their game.  Chick-fil-A is offering FREE breakfast items every Tuesday during the month of March (8:00 – 10:30am).  Also, if you bring in your church bulletin from Saturday or Sunday each Monday, you’ll receive a FREE original sandwich when you buy a side item and medium drink.  (Verify that your Chick-fil-A location is a participating restaurant – www.chick-fil-a.com .)

Bruegger’s is offering a baker’s dozen of bagels for $5.99 every Wednesday.  (www.brueggers.com )

Sure, Costco seems to have a deal on everything, including…. contacts?  Why has this never dawned on me?!  The Raleigh store has an optical department and has the cheapest prices of contacts, on average, nationwide.  Simply know your prescription and brand when inquiring.  (www.costco.com )

Through 3/31, wear your favorite school’s baseball gear when you visit Biltmore Estate and receive $10 off your admission ($29 rather than $39).  (www.biltmore.com )

Bank of America debit and credit card holders will get FREE admission to 150 facilities nationwide (including Marbles Kids Museum) on the first full weekend of every month (4/2-3 is the next one).  (www.mbna.com )

CVS is now offering a new budget friendly brand (Just the Basics) for general household needs.  Look for the lower case “b”.  (www.cvs.com )

Macaroni Kid is a newsletter which suggests mostly FREE family activities in North Raleigh (http://northraleigh.macaronikid.com ), South Raleigh (http://southraleigh.macaronikid.com ), and Durham (http://durham.macaronikid.com ).

Wednesday (tomorrow) is the last day of the latest Central Raleigh Borders closing sale.  Prices are 30-50% off plus an extra 10%.  Even store fixtures and equipment are for sale!  (www.borders.com )

Tuesday night, I redeemed a coupon for a free cup of soup at Quizno’s.

I received on Wednesday my $10 gift card to Eye Care Associates for taking the online survey after my appointment.

Thursday night, I used two $50 gift cards at CVS (from submitting Blue Points through BCBS)!  Also on Thursday night, Andrew purchased a WaterSense toilet, which uses 1 gallon of water versus 3, and is eligible for a $100 rebate.

On Friday, I received my federal tax income refund.  I applied every cent to my credit card with the smallest balance.  Man, that felt good.  On Friday night, Andrew and I cashed in a $25 Living Social gift card ($10 price) to Pulcinella’s Italian Restaurant.  (www.pulcinellaraleigh.com )  I received $2 off of the $12 price for simply watching a 32 second trailer on NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant.

Saturday morning, Andrea and I attended the Downtown Designers Market.  I scored an African shell bracelet for $5!  (www.africanbeautyjewelryandartifacts.com )  Andrea brought with her my new “Oprah” book that she found at the Borders sale.  I am super excited to dive in.  Later that day, Andrew and I enjoyed a BOGO deal at Henry’s Gelato.  Try the bacio flavor.  (www.henrysgelato.com )  That night, my two Andys and I (Andrea and Andrew) visited Vinos Finos Y Picadas to hear Andy Coats perform solo – NO cover.  (www.vinosfinosypicadas.com )  Awesome cheese, nuts, and dried fruit.

Sunday night, Andrew and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early by redeeming a $15 Twongo gift card at Napper Tandy’s.  (www.nappertandysirishpub.com )

Also this week, I performed my first doorknob replacement, finished the Dave Ramsey book, and realized what to give up for Lent… my temper.  (I just heard my boyfriend sigh in relief!)

As I think of all that the Japanese are facing, I am so thankful for companies like Time Warner Cable, Vonage, AT&T, and Verizon which are allowing customers to call Japan for FREE for a limited time.

I’m excited to try another FREE yoga class, tomorrow night.  We just happened to have a substitute teacher in my Monday night yoga class, who announced that she teaches 4-5 students in her home each Wednesday evening.  Hip, hip, hooray!  Or, should it be hip flexor, hip flexor, hooray?!

Pointy Toe Boots

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 Ugh.  So, I have a good excuse this time for not writing in so long.  Did you ever read the “Bubble Gum Monster” as a child?  In this book, Sam saves pieces of old, chewed bubble gum and, before long, the pile has turned into a monster that is sticking to everything.  Well, my adult version of this is the “Laundry Monster”.  I am totally serious when I tell you that I procrastinated until I had five… yes, five… loads of laundry to do at once.  It is a miracle that I wasn’t going to work wearing only my pointy toe boots!

Well, the desserts for the luncheon on Thursday were a hit.  (Thank goodness for Costco!)  If the old saying is true – “The way to man’s heart is through his stomach.” – then, I’m in big trouble.  Maybe I can overcome this flaw by charmingly and gracefully finding restaurant deals.  That same day, I signed up to receive The Flying Biscuit newsletter via email.  Imagine how thrilled I was to be rewarded with a BOGO coupon just for signing up.  I subscribed to Redbox and got a code for a free DVD rental, as a result. I also joined Living Social (www.livingsocial.com) and Twongo (www.twongo.com).  Both function like Groupon, in that you are emailed daily deals in your area.

On Friday, I celebrated the end of the work week with a BOGO coupon to Bruegger’s (tuna salad… mmmm) and by using yesterday’s code for a free DVD rental through Redbox.  If you have not seen it, “Salt” is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Saturday was a day of fun from dress shopping and lunch with Chavon and her girls to game night with Andrea and Rob.  It is so refreshing to know that spending time with friends doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg to be enjoyable.  I was super excited to learn that the sash I will wear at the wedding is only $15 at David’s Bridal.  So, that plus a solid black cocktail dress (hello Steinmart!) is well within reach.  Only 6 months until the big day…  The game night menu consisted of another giant pizza from Costco (this time, the tomato basil mozzarella), Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn, and Trader Joe’s maple cream cookies – a yummy, healthy, and affordable meal.  Note to self – less wine equals more wins.

On Sunday, Andrew and I enjoyed a nice visit with his grandmother and father.  I love going to her house on Sundays because I don’t have a subscription to the N&O and she always saves the boatload of coupons that comes in the Sunday paper.  Oh, how I loved hearing her say to take any coupons I wanted.  I clipped everything from Sherwin Williams to Suave to Tide.  Later that night, we were able to use a BOGO coupon at The Diner (tuna salad again!) and even received a free triple berry milkshake because the wait was a little longer than usual.  Score!

So, here’s the big question of the week – How was your Valentine’s Day?  Did you take advantage of the free raspberry cheesecake cookie at Subway or the dozen roses for $9.99 at Trader Joe’s or the free Redbox rental (the Valentine’s Day code was listed on their website) or the BOGO half off Massage Envy gift cards?  Whatever you did, I hope it was lovely.  I was lucky enough to receive a treat at work – roses, chocolates, and a card.  I was very surprised.  To avoid long lines and crowded restaurants, Andrew and I decided to celebrate the holiday later.  I attended my yoga class that night and scored on a BOGO deal at Cafe Carolina.  (Their Cafe Carolina Signature salad is a must – complete with strawberries and mandarin oranges.)

On Tuesday, I made my first ever appointment at an Ulta Salon.  I am super excited about becoming strawberry blond tomorrow.  The prices are affordable and the salon service counts towards the points system, so cross your fingers that I’ll be pleased with the results.  I also did my weekly three mile trek with Grace Ann.  The gossip and the exercise does a body good.  After walking, I grabbed a sandwich from Panera Bread (If you guessed tuna salad, you are right!) and was given a loyalty card to receive deals via email.  Also, I learned that day from my friend Bluefish that from 5-7pm on Tuesdays, Chick-fil-a offers a FREE 4 count kid’s meal with the purchase of any combo.

Today, I was checking out Ornamentea’s website (www.ornamentea.com) for classes and saw that the project offered from 6-9pm on the first Friday of each month is FREE.  This coordinates with Raleighwood’s First Friday event in which many downtown businesses offer specials and extended hours to encourage art, music, and dining appreciation.  Also, head over on any Tuesday for Try-It Tuesdays.  You’ll leave with a cute project, having learned a simple technique and all for about $2.  I registered my Panera card from last night and… drum roll… was rewarded with a FREE coffee, hot tea, or soda automatically loaded to my card.  Call me crazy, but I think I’ve found an inexpensive and natural moisturizer – EVOO.  A co-worker told me about her neighbor, who uses extra virgin olive oil externally in the morning and at night and has beautiful skin (http://www.naturalskincaresecrets.com/olive-oil-skin-care.html).  My Aunt Caroline suggested that I wear a rosemary sprig behind my ear and a garlic necklace.  C-dub sounds skeptical of my idea…  I just hope I don’t leave a trail of grease behind me.  Tonight, Andrew and I cashed in on the BOGO deal (from signing up to receive the newsletter) at The Flying Biscuit Cafe.  The smoked salmon scramble was scrumptious.

I’ve recently added a new email subscription feature that allows you to subscribe to the blog.  If subscribed, each time a new post is added or the blog is updated in some way, you will receive an email notification.  While I am adding items for you to do, here are two items to put on your calendar:  now – half price Valentine’s candy; and on 3/1 – FREE pancakes at IHOP.  For National Pancake Day, IHOP is serving up one complimentary short stack per person in hopes for a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The timer on the dryer just buzzed and I’m up to my ears in hangers, baskets, and lone socks.  Sounds like that Tide coupon is going to come in handy….

They Can’t All Top Janet Jackson

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I survived the Superbowl, but the halftime show is another story.  Did anyone else have a flashback to the Oompa Loompas in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”?  Add robot/astronaut suits and a cheesy light show and voila!  Anyway, they can’t all top Janet Jackson, can they?

Groupon offered yet another awesome deal on Sunday that I had to take advantage of – $10 for $20 worth of food at The Flying Biscuit Cafe (www.flyingbiscuit.com).  This cafe, located in adorable Cameron Village, has delicious and unique food combinations.  While at Smoothie King Sunday afternoon, I noticed a new promotion.  Every Friday is Freeloader Friday, where you and a friend can take advantage of a BOGO deal.  That’s a healthy way to wrap up the work week.  Try the Grape Expectations.

On Monday, I spotted Subway’s new ad – Februany.  Any footlong is $5 during the month of February.  Normally, the $5 footlong deal applies only to particular subs, but in February you can choose from the entire menu.  On Monday night, I attended my beloved yoga class.  Oh, how I have missed it!  I began practicing yoga last summer.  In November, my yoga instructor had to take a leave of absence due to pregnancy.  No replacement was found until now.  Not only do I feel energized, relaxed, and toned after each yoga class, the class is FREE!  Christ Episcopal Church (www.christ-church-raleigh.org) provides the class for members and non-members, alike.  The class is made up of 15-20 women (every now and then a gentleman stops in to see what all the fuss is about) ranging from about 30 to about 70 years in age.  Who knew how good it could feel to do The Pigeon?  I believe it was John Cougar Mellencamp who said, “Come on baby, make it hurt so good.”  After yoga class, I used a BOGO coupon at Cafe Carolina & Bakery (www.cafecarolina.com). My total bill was just over $8!  I recommend the Cafe Tuna Salad Plate, complete with a hard boiled egg.

On Tuesday morning, I awoke 30 minutes late.  Eeeeek!  The strangest thing happened – the alarm was set properly and even went off, only the sound was missing!  Grrrrrrr  Later that day, I received an email coupon from Sherwin Williams for 25% off!  During the fall of last year, I purchased the painting paraphernalia needed and have since completed three bathrooms in St. Barts, Lemon Verbena, and Plantation Brown.  Next, is either the kitchen or one of the bedrooms.  (I am thinking Show Stopper for the master bedroom.)  So much to do, so little time!  On Tuesday night, I walked my usual three miles with Grace Ann at the ROC, the free gym at Trinity Baptist Church.  With all the talk of exercising and eating healthy, it dawned on me that I have not shared my favorite app, Calorie Counter.  With this app, you can search restaurants, popular brands, and supermarket brands for nutrition content, record your food and exercise diaries, and track your weight – all for FREE!

Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day”?  Well, this morning’s alarm didn’t go off, either!  In the mornings, every second counts, so the 30 minutes of extra napping totally threw me off schedule.  What good is a Crackberry if it doesn’t work?!  At least the Facebook application works like a charm.  How else could I entertain myself?  Tomorrow at work, we are having a farewell lunch for a department that will be transferring to another building.  I am responsible for a dessert.  A dessert for about thirty people.  A dessert that I don’t have to cook or fuss over.  A dessert that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  Wait a tic…  Is that a mirage in the distance?  No, it is Costco!  I ran right over on my lunch break and got 30 mini Belgian cakes with white chocolate shavings for $7.44!  I’ll just arrange them on a cute serving plate and tell my co-workers that I slaved over them all night.  Tonight for dinner, Andrew and I cashed in on the Flying Biscuit Cafe Groupon coupon.  We had an appetizer and two meals for $5.39, before tip ($15.39 counting the Groupon purchase)!  I would definitely get the black bean burger with guacamole, again.

In this Battle of the Blues, Andrew is unusually quiet.  No yelling at the referee or making fun of the announcer.  “It’s like having to choose between Satan and a terrorist,” he says.  “Can’t they both lose?”  Duke is puke, Wake is fake, the team I love is NC State!

Here’s to One Wabbit That Isn’t Pesky

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Thursday marked the start of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.  This year symbolizes sensitivity and wealth earned with hard work.  This is our year, baby!  It is written in the stars that through hard work, our debts will be paid down and our wealth will increase.  Here’s to one wabbit that isn’t pesky.

My Chinese New Year began with interesting news.  Driving to work that morning, I heard a commercial for NCSU’s new online MBA program (www.mgt.ncsu.edu/mba).  The program, which launches this fall, offers students the opportunity to earn an MBA via online methods.  In the past, NCSU offered an MBA offered via online and in person methods on a full or part-time basis.  The program that begins this fall will allow students to participate fully online with the exception of one three day residency in Raleigh and one overseas trip.  This is a wonderful opportunity for those who can’t commit to a traditional schedule.  Thanks to my alma mater for providing such a convenient program.

On Thursday night, I visited my cousin Thomas (aka Sweet T, aka T Rex, aka LL Cool T).  His mother was kind enough to buy him a new leather recliner.  Every bachelor knows that his palace isn’t complete without a throne.  And his takes the cake – black, leather, and as soft as a cloud.  Being the avid recycler that I am, I asked if I could rescue his old green hand-me-down to have rebuilt and recovered.  This chair is the Chair and a Half style and proved to be just that in weight.  My cousin and Andrew had no problems moving it from Thomas’s townhouse to Andrew’s car, but getting it from Andrew’s car into my townhouse was another story.  We ended up ‘rolling’ it up the stairs, with him on the verge of a breakdown and me laughing hysterically (an involuntary reflex during times of stress).  I thought he was going to lose it when it first appeared that the chair wouldn’t fit through the guest bedroom doorway.  I thought suggesting to him to “lift with his knees” was considerate.  Apparently not…

Eeeek!  Friday brought a headache, sniffles, and sneezing.  Note to self:  eat more super foods.  Those of you who know me well, know that I refuse to take medicine.  So, I am treating my symptoms with hot tea and rest.  To my relief, I have recovered tremendously since last night at this time.  With no groceries in the house (ever), I bundled up and enjoyed a BOGO dinner at A Slice of NY Pizza.  Our total bill was just over $8!  Afterwards, we rented “Date Night” through Redbox for $1.  Steve Carell and Tina Fey do not disappoint.

As part of the healing ritual, I slept until noon on Saturday.  Andrew and I enjoyed another BOGO meal, this time at Sunflower’s (www.sunflowersraleigh.com).  Healthy and fresh sandwiches of every combination…  need I say more?  In preparation for the Superbowl (let’s go…. commercials!), I braved Costco for some supplies.  For you last minute shoppers, Costco is offering a HUGE pepperoni pizza at the automatic $3 discounted price (no coupon needed) of $6.99.  Other honorable mentions are Little Sweets mini cinnamon rolls (32 for $5.99), Silk vanilla soy milk (3 half gallons for $6.99), and Kirkland’s organic creamy peanut butter ($7.79 for 2 28 ounce jars).  Tonight’s meal was a BOGO Mexican dinner at La Rancherita, totaling just over $13 for two even after tip.

As I watch Food Network at 2am (a bad idea), it dawns on me that it is now officially Superbowl Sunday.  May your chili be hearty and your wings kickin’.  And, ladies, his testosterone level will return to a semi-normal state in just a few hours…