Tag Archives: Ulta

Star-Spangled Sales Banner

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Happy Fourth of July weekend!  Driving to Brier Creek for dinner last night, I was surprised with a good thirty minutes of fireworks.  Lots of people pulled onto the side of highway 70 to take a moment to enjoy the show.  But the Triangle has much more than fireworks in store for those of you interested in celebrating:

  • Through today, Earth Fare has whole seedless watermelons for only $2!  Must present coupon.  (www.earthfare.com)
  • Through today, buy one entree get one FREE at Draft Carolina Burgers and Beers.  (http://www.draftraleigh.com/eblast/IndepDay063011/exports/coupon.pdf)
  • Today at Lake Benson Park, Garner celebrates with live music, the NC Symphony, kids’ activities, and fireworks (9:30pm).  Gates open at 5pm.  FREE
  • Today at South Park in Fuquay Varina, live music, kids’ activities, and fireworks.  Gates open at 6pm.  FREE
  • Through Monday, July 4, select beach towels are 60% off at Kohl’s.  (www.kohls.com)
  • Through Monday, July 4, Party City has lots of patriotic items (cups, table covers, plates) buy one get one FREE.  (www.partycity.com)
  • Through Monday, July 4, Bruegger’s will donate $1 from every Big Bagel Bundle purchase (a baker’s dozen bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) to Home for Our Troops.  And if you are feeling brave and don’t mind the food coloring, red, white, and blue bagels are options.  (http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/Calendar/1306420942?view=Detail&id=108221)
  • Through Monday, July 4, Whole Foods offers a $20 bundle meal deal including approximately one pound of wild-caught Sockeye salmon, a family size mixed green salad, a six-inch apple pie, and thirty-two ounces of Santa Cruz organic lemonade – a $13 savings!  (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/storespecials/NRL_specials.pdf)
  • Through Monday, July 4 (10-6pm daily), Durham’s Festival for the Eno offers live music, garden expos, arts, and children’s activities.  Admission is $15/person.  (www.enoriver.org/festival/index.html)
  • Through Monday, July 4, Perfumania offers 10% off select items plus FREE shipping on orders $25 or more plus three FREE samples with every order.  Use coupon code “JULY4TH”.  (www.perfumania.com)
  • Through Monday, July 4, get 20% off of any one sale item at Stein Mart.  (http://f.e.steinmart.com/i/24/2075620050/6_29_July4_Coupon.pdf)
  • Through Monday, July 4, paints and stains are 30% 0ff at Sherwin Williams.  (www.sherwin-williams.com)
  • Through Monday, July 4, 16.6 pound bags of Kingsford charcoal briquets are buy one get one FREE at Lowe’s.  (www.lowes.com)
  • Monday, July 4, live music, sports competitions, arts and crafts, and mini-golf will be held at the State Fairgrounds beginning at 5:30pm.  Fireworks begin at 9:45pm.  FREE
  • On Monday, July 4, look for the NC Symphony (7:30pm show) and fireworks (immediately following) at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.  FREE

Here are some other events to look forward to:

Enjoy your holiday and be safe, but no matter how you celebrate, try this new Grilled Bananas recipe from Whole Foods.  This could be successfully paired with a burger, beer, or ice cream.  Mmmmmm.

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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?!

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!

Curls Just Wanna Have Fu-un

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Hallelujah!  The five loads of laundry are done, with only one basket left to fold and put away.  What’s that?  A new pile?  Oh, the joys of being a responsible adult.  Besides conquering the dirty clothes, I marked something else off of my to-do list – covering up my skunk line.  On Thursday, Tammy at the Ulta Salon converted me to a strawberry blond and Zahra gave me the best eyebrow treatment ever.  Gals, you’re gonna love this – Anastasia tinted brow gel (I tried brunette).  Did you know that everyone’s brow color is always a shade darker than your natural hair color?  Anyway, I have three coupons for $20 off salon services if any of you would like to give it a whirl.  But, the best part of my visit was the chuckle I had when I read one of their many marketing signs… “Curls just wanna have fun.”  Indeed.

On Thursday, I filed my taxes for FREE through a tax adviser at work and heard about Zenni Optical (www.zennioptical.com).  Search for trendy prescription frames by type, style, shape, color, etc.  I also received an emailed BOGO coupon from Smoothie King and took advantage of a $12 Living Social deal for $25 worth of food at Cafe Asia.  Bogart’s (www.bogartsamericangrill.com) also emailed their latest deal.  To celebrate 10 years of service, on Wednesday 2/23 through Sunday 2/27 all entrees are $10 and 10% of all sales will be donated to the Foundation of Hope.

On Friday, I got crazy and started my evoo regimen and so far, so good – no residue or pungent odor or expensive price.  That $7 bottle will definitely last for months.  I apply in the mornings, but my co-worker, Janice, suggested applying on the heels and sleeping in socks for pedicure-like results.  In another attempt at moisturizing, I purchased a 6 cup Brita water pitcher for $14.88 to use at work.  I changed from carrying bottled water to a reusable thermos, but still felt like I wasn’t quenching my thirst.  There is no way I am going to get my lips near a water fountain, so I needed a way to have a never-ending supply of H2O.  Also on Friday, I purchased an $8 Twongo deal to Napper Tandy’s for $15 worth of food (www.nappertandysirishpub.com).  That night, Andrew and I took Andrea and Miles to Blue Note in Durham to hear Andy Coats and the Bank Walkers play (NO cover).  Andrea shared with me http://www.restaurant.com, which offers discounted gift certificates.  Their motto “Eat. Drink. Save Money.” is perfect.

Saturday was perfect weather for lounging outdoors on the patio of Armadillo Grill (www.armadillogrill.com) and strolling around NCSU’s campus.  It was also part of the Wake County Public Libraries Booksale and Festival (http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/booksale/default.htm) at the fairgrounds, but the line to even get in the door was massive, so I was unable to search for any good deals.  However, my sweetie pie of a friend Andrea snagged “Oprah: A Biography” at the Cary Border’s store closing for me for $7.  When I got home that evening, Annick (my Scentsy consultant) dropped off the 4 plug-ins and 4 bars that I ordered at a 10% discounted price several weeks ago.  I can’t wait to give these out as birthday gifts.

On Sunday, we were able to spend time with Andrew’s brother (Brian), sister-in-law (Sarah), nephew (Bryce, whom I affectionately call Brycie Poo), and his mother (Peggy).  There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday afternoon of yummy snacks and playing outside.  Andrew must be becoming brainwashed reading my blog posts; he made me proud by using a gift card AND a coupon to purchase new kicks at Dick’s Sporting Goods later that day.

On Monday, I was excited to receive an emailed BOGO coupon up to $9 off to Mimi’s Cafe (www.mimiscafe.com) for breakfast entrees.  But, I was saddened to hear of the closing of the Border’s store at the corner of Six Forks and Wake Forest roads.  Border’s sends out 33% off coupons weekly, making it the perfect store for birthday and Christmas gifts, and is practically walking distance from my office.  R.I.P.  Also on Monday, I researched a site that Andrea shared with me, Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database (www.cosmeticsdatabase.com).  This is a wake-up call that makes you think twice before applying certain make-up, nail, and hair products.  Find out if the products you are using are safe.

Today, I signed up for Qdoba Rewards (www.qdoba.com) and received an automatic 100 points (1,000 points gets you a free entree).  I checked out Border’s on my lunch break and scored three birthday gifts for children – “The Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories and Rhyme” (15 stories), “Toolbox Trouble” (a Busy Bugz pop-up book), and a clothespin doll book and craft kit, all for a grand total of $18 and change.  Just remember, the Border’s stores that are closing won’t accept coupons.  My co-worker, Melissa, shared with me The Krazy Coupon Lady site (http://thekrazycouponlady.com).  This site is like the island of misfit toys, but for coupons.  Every coupon has a home here.  You can even search by store (Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, etc).  I wrapped up the day with a three-mile walk with Grace Ann at the ROC and grabbed dinner at Shish Kabob.  Should I have been surprised when one of the employees thanked me for all of the business Andrew and I have given them?

I want to take this time to say thanks to those of you who continue to feed my hunger by subscribing to this blog, posting comments, or just checking in every once in a while.  My latest update is to connect to Facebook, which will allow me to automatically share new posts with friends.  By the way, check out what Heather has to say about Moving Mantra Yoga Studio.  Thanks Heather!

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….

This Year, Debt Is Out and Fiber Is In

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Ooooh, I just love a lazy Sunday!  There is nothing better than sitting by a cozy fire and watching NCSU beat Miami.  Speaking of lazy, I am going to do my best to submit new posts more often than once a week.  The work week is just so crazy, though.  By the time I get home from work, work out at the gym, and grab some food (not full price, of course), it is practically bedtime!

On Tuesday evening, I visited Ulta for the first time ever.  (Thanks Grace Ann!)  *sigh*  Where have I been?  Under a rock?  I cannot believe that the products hadn’t lured me there before now.  Makeup, lotion, hair products, perfume, wigs (hello, Halloween!), and… drum roll… a salon.  I had heard of the store but no one ever told me that Ulta had salons!  Be still my curls.  The prices were great, with a free consultation and all over color starting at $55.  (I have not yet convinced myself that gray equals wisdom.)  I took a contact card and price list and will be calling Tammy very soon, probably in February.  I was in need of some conditioner and found Redken’s Fresh Curls.  If all this wasn’t enough to color me happy, I was schooled on the rewards system at checkout.  With each in store or online purchase (including salon services!), four points are earned for every dollar spent.  Points may be redeemed at checkout.  (Grace Ann had acquired enough points from previous purchases to redeem $9.)  Also, coupons and special offers are mailed and emailed throughout the year.

On my way home, I had a craving for Goodberry’s ice cream (www.goodberrys.com).  In December, Goodberry’s offered a $50 gift card for only $25.  Of course, I had to take advantage of such a sweet deal.  (Merry Christmas to me!)  So, Andrew and I enjoyed tasty treats that were, in a sense, half off.  And I thought the frozen custard, made every hour with no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavors, couldn’t taste any better.  (FYI:  Monday’s flavor of the day is blackberry.)

On Wednesday, Groupon offered a discount to Cinelli’s; $10 would buy $20 worth of food.  Score!  That same day, I took advantage of my Costco membership (www.costco.com).  Gas prices are cheaper than most convenient stores can offer, so I filled ‘er up.  I also bought several healthy snacks.  My 24 individual bags of Veggie Snacks were 40 cents per bag (I take these to work as part of my lunch) and my Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Spice crunchy granola bars were 19 cents per set of two.  Other honorable mentions are Kashi Heart to Heart original whole grain crackers and Brookside dark chocolate pomegranate.  (Note to self – blogging about snacks may cause uncontrollable snacking, even at 1:09am.)

Andrew and I enjoyed Subway subs for dinner on Wednesday night, taking advantage of the $5 footlong promotion.  We had enough food for dinner that night and lunch the next day… if we hadn’t eaten our footlongs in one sitting.  I blame the tv.  Everybody knows that eating in front of the tv causes one to eat more from mindlessly going through the motions.  Evil tv.

On Thursday night, we cashed in our Groupon coupon to Cinelli’s.  Our bill came to a whopping $0.61!  That same meal without the coupon would have been $20.61, but my grand total was only $10.61.  That same day, I finished reading “SuperHealth” (loved it).  I am on a mission to find buckwheat honey and will be visiting Fresh Market, tomorrow.  Soymilk is next on my list of items to add to my diet.  I have since cracked open “The Total Money Makeover”.  I think I will really enjoy it and can see why Dave Ramsey has such an extensive following.  This year, debt is out and fiber is in, baby.

This weekend was super exciting.  On Friday night, Dave, Nikki, Aaliyah, Andrew, and I had dinner at Carolina Sushi and Roll (www.letseat.at/carolinasushi), one of my favorite places.  The sushi is to die for.  Edward (the owner’s son) always treats us to delicious appetizers, on the house.  This time, I tried the Hungry Roll, made with spicy tuna.  Soon, I hope to try the raw stuff (or bait, as my Daddy calls it).  Baby steps.  Afterwards, we watched “The Social Network” ($1 from Redbox).  I highly recommend it.

In November for my parents’ 50th birthdays, my Aunt Caroline, Aunt Cathy, and Sweet Thing gave my parents a gift certificate to a local photographer for a family portrait.  (Thank you ladies!)  On Saturday, we had our portrait done.  We dressed casually in jeans and various red shirts (Go State!).  I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Today, Andrew proved Daddy right – he really is Handy Andy.  Hee hee.  Andrew was kind enough to repair the guest bathroom toilet and replace the signal lights in my car.  He saved me a pile of money and scored some major brownie points.  Because of him, I didn’t have to call a plumber and didn’t have to take my car to a repair shop.  For dinner, I treated him to a sandwich from Jason’s Deli (www.jasonsdeli.com).  How awesome to find out that online ordering rewards customers with Deli Dollars (one US dollar = one Deli Dollar).  Think it can’t get any better?  Jason’s products contain no high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, or MSG.

I’ll have to say, the best part of the weekend was time spent with family.  In one day, I was able to visit with Mama and Daddy, my sister and niece, my brother, Sweet Thing, three aunts, and a cousin (Happy Birthday Daniel!).  Barrett Strong was right; the best things in life really are free.