Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm trying to decide whether it's worth the money to buy a membership at FreeShipping.com or not. I have a free 30-day trial that expires on 10/16 so I have to either cancel or pay by then.

It costs $84 per year, but you can get up to $500 worth of free shipping by shopping through their site (similar to Ebates, but you get free shipping instead of cash back).

My only problem is that alot of the merchants where I shop don't participate. You can still get $40 in shipping rebates per year for ANY online merchant, but I'm not sure that I'd use the remaining $44.

Also, I can't see that FreeShipping.com has any type of referral program, whereas Ebates does (and yes, that's my referral link above).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Orson Scott Card (Ender)

I just finished "Ender in Exile" by Orson Scott Card, and I'm deeply in awe of his talent. In my opinion, Card is one of the best writers of this age.

Years ago I fell in love with his Alvin Maker series, and the Pastwatch book is one of my all-time favorites (and can't wait for the rest of the trilogy). However I always thought Ender was too science fiction, but my son absolutely loved it, so I decided to try the first book ("Ender's Game"), and I was blown away by Card's vision and spirituality.

I had to take a break after finishing the Ender series, but fully intended to read the Ender's Shadow series. And now (after reading "Exile") I'm ready to dig into it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Title Trader

I had 4 or 5 old VHS tapes that were unopened that I wanted to post for swapping, so I did some searching (using Swagbucks so I can get points and redeem them for gift cards) and found Title Trader.

I looked at other swap sites, but they wouldn't accept VHS tapes - only DVD's. On Title Trader, you can list almost anything for swap.

I haven't heard anything negative about them, so I'll see how it goes and see if I can find a home for these VHS tapes. If you know of any other swap sites that let you list VHS tapes, please leave me a comment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

17 Again

My daughter watched "17 Again" with me the other night. She'd already seen it once and she told me I'd enjoy it.

Actually, I wouldn't be 17 again if you paid me. Those years were so gawky and awkward. I couldn't wait to get through high school and go to college.

But the movie was funny and it had some very sweet moments, both with his "kids" and with his "wife". I told my daughter she might also enjoy Drew Barrymore's "Never Been Kissed" since she hasn't seen that, so maybe we'll watch it together if we're bored this weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Organizing Coupons (Part 2)

I think I may have found the best solution for my coupons !! For awhile I had them ALL in 1 big binder but that was too heavy to lug around.

I wanted them alphabetized, but I wanted to be able to flip through them by page. And I wanted coupon holders that would fit comfortably in the seat area of the shopping cart. So using the idea of small photo albums (50 page albums for $1 each from our local craft store) from How I Save Money, I'm using 3 and have them alphabetized as A-H, I-P, and Q-Z. They all 3 fit in the seat area of the shopping cart and are VERY easy to browse and flip while shopping.

(The basket simulates a shopping cart but it's actually smaller, so the coupons fit better in a REAL shopping cart).

All 3 albums fit into a small tote bag for carrying in and out of the store so I don't feel like I'm dragging a file cabinet with me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speedy Fox

While surfing EntreCard (which now has a referral program - YAY) and Adgitize (which has always had a referral program- YAY), I found references to SpeedyFox at these helpful blogs: Coming Back to Life and

It really, really works and I'm thrilled !! Firefox loads so quickly now, and the browsing history is much, much faster.

Now if I could find a way to speed up Outlook Express, I'd be bubbling with joy.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

US Open

Well, the US Open is officially over for another year. And now I have to wait until winter for the Australian Open. I was sad to see Roger Federer lose, although Juan Martin del Potro is an extremely talented player and appears to be a genuinely nice young man.

While I enjoy watching history-in-the-making and record-breaking performances, my husband took the opposite stance. He thought that since Roger has already broken the record for most Major titles, that it's time for someone else to win occasionally.

Ok, if we have to compromise next year, then Roger can win 2 of the Majors and leave the other 2 for someone else, as long as he gets to the finals in all 4 (exactly like this year). I think I can live with that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sports Day

What a day for sports on television - I think I need more sets to watch all that's happening today.

Of course, the men's semi-finals at the US Open are being televised this afternoon, along with the women's finals tonight.

And it's the start of NFL football. I love football, so I'm so conflicted about which sport to watch today.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yoplait "Delight Your Day" Giveaway

I recently joined MyBlogSpark after seeing it on several blogs since it looked like so much fun. Right away, they sent me a "Delight Your Day" gift pack that included a free coupon for Yoplait Delights, a spa mask, wrap robe and slippers.

I'm a snack-o-holic, in the afternoons especially, so I'm always looking for filling, low-calorie snacks. I tried the Lemon Torte flavor and it tasted like lemon pudding with a whipped topping. I need to eat more dairy and get more calcium (since I have low bone density) so this would be a scrumptious way to do that.

Yoplait and BlogSpark are also letting me give away 1 gift basket like the one pictured here. To enter, please leave a comment on this post letting me know what your favorite flavor of Yoplait Delights would be (you can see the flavors here and print a coupon). The winner will be selected using random.org on September 18th.

I will need your email address so I can notify the winner, and you can leave it in the following ways:
1) enter it in your comment, but please use "at" instead of "@"
2) make sure I can send you an email via your blogger profile
3) send it me to me using this secure message form

Thanks for reading and for being patient with me while I try my first ever giveaway !!

UPDATE: The winner was chosen to be JC, so she will win the prize pack to be shipped from Yoplait. You can also stop by JC's blog and view lots more giveaways and contests.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Artfire ?

I'm debating opening a free studio on Artfire, but I have no idea what to name my shop. From my "projects", I've created alot of decorative items that are just sitting around my house. I have dozens of beaded ribbon bookmarks from when I started beading again last year. So if I add other crocheted items such as baskets and jewelry, I'm kinda drawing a blank on a fun name.

If you have any ideas for names just pop into your head while you're reading this, please let me know !! The Artfire free account lets you list 12 items which should be plenty for me.

I'm going to use many of my handmade pieces for prizes at our tennis team's upcoming Basket Bingo, so I'll see what feedback I get. That's always an outlet, too - just donating them for fundraising events.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hummingbird Garden, Part 3

If you remember, we planted a hummingbird garden at the beginning of summer. These are actual photos I took of hummingbirds at our feeder. I'm so excited 'cos I've seen 3 hummingbirds flying around, chasing each other, and feeding from the feeder at one time.

I'm not sure how long into the Fall that hummingbirds will visit the feeder. I'm also not sure how our plants will survive - some of them don't look overly hardy. I'm saving my receipt, though, 'cos we bought them at Lowe's and they have a 1-year guarantee.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hamster Funeral

We knew it would happen sometime, but my daughter's dwarf hamster croaked on Friday. He/she (we think it was a she) was almost 2 years old, which is about the average lifespan of a dwarf hamster. This is our family's 2nd hamster, so it wasn't overly traumatic. We did have a quick burial in the backyard, though.

My daughter has asked for fish as a replacement, so we're getting our aquarium out of storage and seeing what parts are needed to put it back in working order. I'll keep you updated on this family project !!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shannon Hale

I hope you don't mind one more Austen-inspired novel, but I just finished this one yesterday so I had to tell you about it. A young thirtyish woman inherits a trip to a living history resort based on Austen's Regency England and fictional heroes and heroines. In this resort, you're supposed to remain in character and be "romanced" by Darcy-,Wentworth-,Knightley-like gentlemen.

It's a quite bittersweet novel, 'cos one moment I was almost laughing out loud, the next I had tears welling up in my eyes. Granted, I'm a big softy and can cry at commercials, but I thought Ms. Hale did a wonderful job of showing how women deal with the fantasy and the reality of romance and love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sally Smith O'Rourke

I'm still reading my last few Jane Austen-inspired novels, and I thought the idea of this one sounded intriguing. In the description, I thought it was going more like A. S. Byatt's "Possession" where the present-day people/scholars go in search of historical letters to prove a love affair really happened.

So I was disappointed with the whole time-travel scenario (I'm not giving anything away by telling you that since it's plastered all over reviews at Amazon.com) and it got too romance-novelly (novelish?) in the end.

But I'm not giving up !! I have a few more of these Austen-inspired novels to read and I'll let you know my opinions after I finish them.

I'm not in any way affiliated with Amazon.com. I just buy alot of books there, like crochet and craft books.
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