Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet me on Monday...



Every Monday Java over at Never Growing Old hosts a Meet me on Monday blog hop that is always fun and helps to introduce new folks. Hop on over and check it out!!

Today's Questions:

1. What do you put on your hot dog?
2. Do you play Sudoku?
3. What is your favorite vegetable?
4. Do you color your hair?
5. What is your favorite brand of clothing?

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1. What do you put on your hot dog?


Ever since I have been little I have looked at hot dogs as the base for wonderful things.  Depending on my mood I love Sauerkraut, pickles, cheese, mustard, mayo, onions, chili almost anything goes with the exception of Catsup, I don't really care for the red stuff.

2. Do you play Sudoku?


Nope, a Sudoku puzzle would take too much time out of my month.


3. What is your favorite vegetable?


Just one?!?!  I have a vegetable garden and just discovered that Artichokes love my soil and will grow in our norther climate so they are what I have been craving for the last month or so, as a stand by probably Spinach or Broccoli.


4. Do you color your hair?


I thought only my hair dresser was supposed to know!  ;)  I do color it because I don't like the mix of my natural color and grey.


5. What is your favorite brand of clothing?


Oh an easy one, I love everything from Coldwater Creek, I just found some amazing deals on their on line clearance last week.
 
Have a lovely Monday everyone!
 
C.Q.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday's media madness...


Last week during a blog hop I stumbled across a book that caught my eye and has since captured my heart.  Its called Housecat Confidential and is the autobiography of Fin, a beautiful long hair house cat, told in her own words and transcribed by the author Meg S. Hart.  The story opens with a wonderful look at her kitten-hood in the shelter and dealing with being different from the other kittens in her litter.  Her interactions with her litter-mates are heart warming and funny and certainly a reminder that beauty is something best seen through the heart, not the eyes.  The book covers everything you would want to know about being a cat or as Fin calls it "a Kittizen".

If you ever wondered what your cat is trying to tell you with that slightly different meow?  Its covered. Want to know what your cat is thinking when it just stands there looking at you with "that" look?  Its covered.  Want to know how your cat REALLY feels about being "fixed"?  Its covered.  This book goes through all the joys of being a companion to a cat, everything from snuggle time, to vet visits to grooming.  Having three cats myself I relished the insights on mousey love and the evil Dyson, it was also nice to finally find out why my three cats all turned out to be "Daddies" girls. 

If you have a cat or are thinking of getting a cat I highly recommend this book, it will make you smile, chuckle and nod in agreement....a LOT.  The pictures of Fin are adorable and thankfully one of the first ones, a kitten picture says you can go ahead and smooch the page if you need to....I needed to.

You can find this book at Amazon in paperback for $9.95 or Kindle download for $3.99.

Here is the Amazon Product Description: "Have you ever wondered what “Meow” really means? What would a cat say about her life, or about her observations of yours?

Maybe our lives aren’t so different.

Fin’s life is filled with many of the same struggles and joys we can all relate to. Her love of and frustration with her family, finding love despite the scandal (with her toy mouse), discovering her life’s purpose (humans don’t wake themselves), and protecting the ones she loves from danger (moths and the new family dog).

After reading this humorous and heartwarming tale, filled with advice on living life on the inside, you may never think of “Pet Peeves” in the same way again.

About the Author: Fin is an ordinary suburban housecat living life on the inside."

Fin and her mom also have a blog by the same name, Housecat Confidential, so you can keep up with her and her family, you can follow on line or have it delivered from Amazon straight to your kindle for $0.99 so you never miss a post.

I hope you are all having a great weekend.

C.Q.


Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hotel happiness...

I am just heading home today from a trip to Minneapolis with a friend who needed some medical tests.  I am an old fashioned gal at heart, I went to the hotel web site and checked the rate then called to see if they offer a discount for folks going to the University for medical reasons.  Indeed they do have a special rate for that and it saved us $45 per night on out rooms.  When I was done booking the rooms I decided to check Hotels.com and Expedia just to see what they said and I was able to get the same rate through them but not on the club floor.  Whats the big deal with that you may wonder?  Well here is the difference, by me calling and asking for that rate the woman in reservations signed me up for the Gold Rewards Program automatically, no additional paper work for me, I got free valet parking for my car, a $6.00 gift card for each night we were in the room to Starbucks (which are good at any Starbucks, not just the hotels branch) and $10.00 each night we were in the room to the hotels lounge.  So in addition to the amount saved on the room we got money to spend in the hotel.  In all, with two rooms for two nights we saved $180 on the rooms, plus got $64 to spend on food and beverages.  I think that was worth the call for sure and just proves that sometimes the best way to hunt for a deal is to not hunt too hard.

The other problem with some of the online hotel booking sites is that some chains, like the Kimpton's, have the same rate no matter where you go, which means that booking directly through the hotel site is the best bet because you can request things that the hotel may offer for free.  In the case of Kimptons the have "tall" rooms, which means a longer bed and higher shower heads, something my husband loves, these can't be requested using another site.  The other problem I ran into was checking on Hotwire; you don't actually get to see what hotel you will be staying at until AFTER you book the room.  This is not for me, I like being able to see a picture of the room because if I have to spend a week in a overly modern space it makes me a little nuts.

The moral here is that it pays to do a little homework but I would suggest calling the hotel directly and ask if they can meet the rate you found on line and what comes with your room.  Some hotels will even sign you up for their rewards programs which will entitle you to a free upgrade or other amenities.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

C.Q.


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Friday's freebie...


Are you or someone you know someone who is getting married this year?  Here is a great deal, get a one year subscription to Bridal Guide Magazine, courtesy of WeddingStand.com, just fill in the on line form and wait for the issues to start rolling in.

Have a great Friday!

C.Q.



Thursdays picture perfect deal...

The picture...

Last week my hubby went for a walk through Gooseberry Falls State Park and got this great shot of the old pier covered in ice.  The park is a wonderful place for picture taking all year long.

The deal...

FTD is offering a few different deals for Valentines day.  The first deal is $10.00 off of select floral arrangements specifically designed for Valentines day.  The other deals are coupons you can use at check out; code RETMENOT20 will get you 20% off site wide, this can not be combined with other sales on the site so I have a direct link to FTD and the discount will show up if you go in through here.  If you want to send a nice mixed bouquet of roses with a little box of chocolates these are on sale for $29.99 marked down from $39.99.

Have a fantastic day everyone!

C.Q.


Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday's learn and earn...

~WORD OF THE DAY~

susurrous  \soo-SUR-us\  ~ adjective

DEFINITION: full of whispering sounds

EXAMPLES: The susurrous opening phrases of the first movement, with its whispering violins, gave way to a thunderous crescendo of brass.

"The Colonel raised his Dixie beer to the ladies, still chatting comfortably in the soft, susurrous Vicksburg night…." -- From a short story in Paul Kennedy Mueller's 2010 book The Pandemonium Bar & Grill (And Other Stories)

DID YOU KNOW? "Susurrous" derives from the Latin noun "susurrus," meaning "a hum" or "a whisper," and may be a distant relative of "swarm" (think of the collective hum of a beehive). "Susurrus" also occurs as an English noun, with the meaning "a whispering or rustling sound." Of the two English words, the noun is the older (it debuted in 1826); "susurrous" came onto the scene about thirty years later. Both of these were preceded by the noun "susurration," which appeared in the 14th century and means "a whispering sound," or "murmur." Today "susurrous


~THE REBATE~


3M currently has rebates on a few of their automotive care products.  The first one is for $3.00 back on their Headlight Restoration System or Lens Renewal Kit, you will need to fill in the rebate form and mail it in together with your original cash register receipt, there is a limit of 2 of these per household and they need to be mailed separately.  The next rebate is for $2.00 or $5.00 back on the 3M One Step Cleaner Wax and/or 3M Tire Restorer, just mail in the rebate form together with your original receipt, is a limit of 5 of these per household and they need to be mailed separately.  The last rebate is for $5.00 back on the purchase of  3M Performance Finish Synthetic Wax, just mail in the rebate form together with your original receipt, there is a limit of 1 per household for this rebate.  All three of these rebates must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2011.

I hope you all are having a great week!

C.Q.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Of These Things Doesn't Belong

Cat beds are a new addition to our house. When we were home this fall, I saw how comfy Michele's cats looked in their beds. They were in front of the fireplace and just looked sweet. I decided that our cats should have beds as well. Keep in mind the dog has two beds. I assumed she didn't need another bed. Apparently, I was wrong.

See how cute Capt. Luke and Abby are in bed? She was sleeping and the Capt. felt she needed to be cleaned. This was a once in a lifetime shot. They started to wrestle as soon as we got this picture.

One morning I looked in the living room and what did I see? Look to the bottom left of the picture, that is Scoobie's bed. Look to the right of the picture. See the white tail? That is Capt. Luke lying NEXT too the cat bed.

Again, note how she is lying NEXT to her own bed. She didn't want the cats to get her bone, so she dragged it to the bed with her. We have found that she will leave a bone or a toy in the cat bed when she is not using it.

Michele had a good explanation for it. Scoobie thinks, "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meet me on Monday...



Every Monday Java over at Never Growing Old hosts a Meet me on Monday blog hop that is always fun and helps to introduce new folks. Hop on over and check it out!!

Today's Questions:
1. What is your favorite kind of fudge?
2. Is there snow outside your window?
3. What is your favorite meal of the day?
4. Do you text on your cell phone?
5. Waffles or pancakes?

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1. What is your favorite kind of fudge?












We have a place a ways up North from us called Beth's Fudge, this is one of the only places I get fudge for myself because it is one of my favorite places.  They make a carmel fudge and a mint fudge that are both out of this world!

2. Is there snow outside your window?
















There is enough snow outside my window to share with everyone that wants some!!

3. What is your favorite meal of the day?


Usually its dinner, because even if I am in the mood for breakfast I can still have that for dinner.  Plus I love going out to eat and there is something kind of romantic about going out to dinner vs going out to lunch.

4. Do you text on your cell phone?


Nope, my cell phone is used to call home, on a rare occasion a friend and emergency's only, I have an prepaid plan that gives me 300 minutes and that lasts me all year with about 100 minutes left that just go to waste.

5. Waffles or pancakes?


Yes please!  My grandmother used to ask me this on the weekends when she would watch me, I felt so spoiled!!! I love them both so it is what ever I am in the mood for at the time.

I hope you all have a great start to your week!

C.Q.

Sunday's media madness...

I recently got back into Yoga and its nice to have soothing sounds and music to listen too, but it gets boring listening to the same track over and over.  I found a few really great buys at Amazon for Ambient music mixed with sounds of nature, these are great for Yoga, mediation or just getting a great nights sleep.

Heart of the Wind: Arctic Wind and Ambient Music

The first on is called Heart of the Wind: Arctic Wind and Ambient Music and is available on CD for $16.99, however if you down load it to your MP3 player the full CD, 59 minutes, is downloaded as one song for $0.99. 

7: Music And Rain For Yoga, Meditation And Deep Sleep

Second is called Music And Rain For Yoga, Meditation And Deep Sleep, it is also available on CD for $8.98 but again, the full CD, 1 hour and 14 minutes, counts as one song when downloaded for $0.99.


Relaxation Ocean : Nature Sounds and Ambient Music for Deep Sleep

The last one is called Relaxation Ocean : Nature Sounds and Ambient Music for Deep Sleep and like the first two is available on CD for $8.98 but the full CD  of 35 minutes can be downloaded to your MP3 for just $0.99.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

C.Q.


Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Scrubbing up the savings....

I have a friend of mine who is looking for a fun and relatively simple craft type project for this winter.  Since she also adores her sugar scrub from Bath and Body I thought this would be a great project for her to try, its also super inexpensive compared to what you get in the retail stores.

SUGAR SCRUB

1. Natural oil of your choice, something like olive, grape seed, canola or apricot (Don't use baby oil, it will not soak into your skin and will clog your pores.)
2. Sugar of your choice; Sugar in the Raw has the right size in comparison to the retail scrubs, but you can use regular white sugar or brown sugar.
3. Your choice of scents, you can use perfume oils or aromatherapy oils.

Its that simple, just mix the first two ingredients until you have a nice slush consistency then add in a few drops of whatever scent you like to what ever strength you like.  You can even add some extras into the mix if you want, like lemon, lime or orange peel to add energy to tired legs, ground lavender to relax or ground ginseng to get the blood flowing.  You can also try different exfoliant options instead of sugar, table salt will do the trick but can be a problem if you have any nicks or cuts from shaving, Epsom salts can be great for the athlete to help relieve aches and pains from a workout, regular coffee is great if you have varicose veins because it tightens blood vessels (that's why caffeine is being used in some of the eye creams now), and flax seeds are great for very dry skin, as is oatmeal (NOT instant).  I have made this in the past and when I make mine I add in two or three table spoons of Vitamin E oil which you can find in most stores in the vitamin isle.

I found some great deals on the supplies you need, you can also usually find a lot of what you need in the dollar store. There are a few coupons for the oils, Pompean has $1.00 off 1 bottle of their olive oil, there is a $1.00 off a bottle of  Filippo Berio Olive Oil at SmartSouce, and there is a $1.00 coupon for Goya Olive Oil at their site.  Imperial Sugar has coupons for both their white and brown sugars on their web page.  There is a $1.00 coupon for Quaker Standard Oatmeal from Target (you may need to scroll through their coupons to find it).  There are a couple coffee coupons if you want to try that option, $2.00 off Eight O'Clock Coffee, and $1.00 off Caribou Coffee.  For your scent  Puritans Pride is having a wonderful sale on their aromatherapy oils, buy two get three free.

Now that you have your batch all made up you are going to need something to put it in, your only limited by your imagination here, but I would recommend plastic since you are making a bath product that is slippery.  The little bear bottles are fun if you have any left from your honey, you can even mix in a little honey into your scrub for extra moisture and scent if you like.  You don't need to be too fancy here either, you can use the new Ziploc Twist 'n Lock containers or check the dollar stores for something more fun.  This is also great for birthdays, get well gifts,  hostess gifts, the holidays or just because.  If you give it as a gift you may want to add a cute little spoon to stir the mixture together again when it separates from sitting in the shower or by the bath.

Have a great weekend and stay warm.

C.Q.









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Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday's freebie...

Well today's freebie blog has gone to the dogs, literally.  First up, Paws.com is offering a free toy to the first 20,000 people who fill out their short questioner.  While your there be sure to check out the rest of their great selection of toys for both dogs and cats.

The next freebie for your four legged friend is a free sample of Purina Beneful Incredibits from Walmart, just click the button on the site and fill in your information.  Incredibits is made with great-tasting, protein-rich ingredients, including real beef. Every piece is small-sized, easy-to-chew and fun-to-eat. Plus, it contains calcium-rich ingredients, including yogurt, to help support strong bones.

Have a great Friday!

C.Q.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursdays picture perfect deal...


The picture...

This past summer the hubby and I took a walk through Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  This is a picture of the tower that houses the light.  "In 1905, a punishing November gale (the kind Lake Superior is famous for), claimed the Edenborn and the Madiera (a barge the Edenborn was towing) as well as five other ships, within a dozen miles of the Split Rock River. The tragic sinking of these ships fueled the demand for a lighthouse. The fog signal building and lighthouse were completed in 1909 and commissioned one year later. For 59 years, the keepers at Split Rock warned ships away from the rock and treacherous North Shore with its 370,000-candlepower beacon. In 1971, the federal government deeded the lighthouse station to the State of Minnesota to be operated as a historic site." - MN DNR

The deal...

Valentines day is coming up and FragranceNet.com is having their Warehouse Sale just in time.  FragranceNet has the same designer fragrances you get in department stores at a much lower cost.  Right now they also are offering coupon code WHST6 that will get you another $10.00 off a $60.00 purchase and all purchased over $70.00 will get free shipping.  Plus, by using the link in the blog you will get another 10% off your purchase.

Have a great day everyone!

C.Q.

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday's learn and earn...

~WORD OF THE DAY~

quincunx  \KWIN-kunks\ ~noun

DEFINITION: an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle

EXAMPLES: The tables were arranged in a quincunx, with the hosting family at the center table and guests at the four corners.

"As we walked along the geometric beds -- many of them planted in an ancient Roman quincunx pattern -- I made notes on the beautiful crops I had never grown." -- From an article by Anne Raver in the New York Times, June 30, 2010

DID YOU KNOW?As our second example sentence suggests, today's word has its origins in ancient Rome. To the Romans, a "quincunx" was a coin whose name comes from the Latin roots "quinque," meaning "five," and "uncia," meaning "one twelfth." The weight of the coin equaled five twelfths of a libra, a unit of weight similar to our pound. The ancients used a pattern of five dots arranged like the spots on a die as a symbol for the coin, and English speakers applied the word to arrangements similar to that distinctive five-dot mark.


~THE REBATE~


Febreze has a pretty cool rebate going until the end of this month. Buy one specially marked item from the Febreze Home Collection and they will give you a one-year subscription to Glamour, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler or Allure magazine. If you don’t want a magazine subscription, you can request a rebate of $12.00 instead.  Best of all there is nothing to mail in, the products have a redemption code located on the package that you can enter on the on line rebate form together with you name and address for the magazines or rebate check.  If you are already a subscriber to one of the publications you can use this promotion to extend your renewal date.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

C.Q.

Monday, January 17, 2011

How To Kill an Afternoon With Cats

Last year we decided to enter our fur kids in a contest on a local website. Mr. Bernie thought I had been drinking or something when I suggested it. He reminded me that they are three very different cats. He also reminded me that they wouldn't be very excited about all being together in one spot. I told him that it was not like I wanted to dress them in doll clothes and take their pictures. I was not a crazy cat lady! I promised him that it would be fun. It wasn't. This is my little warning to you, if you ever think taking a group picture of cats is fun. Its not. Go hit yourself over the head with a hammer until the feeling passes. Trust me on this.

The cast of cats from left to right:
Gwynnie, 12 year old, British Short Hair. She is old and doesn't like to move much. - Grey/White
Abby, 4 year old, Maine Coon. She loves to hide in places she shouldn't. - Black
Captain Luke Fuzzy Nutz the 1st. is a Turkish Angora. Our only boy and 2 years old.
This is how it started. I was off to the side waving a cat toy like my hair was on fire.

Luke had better things to do.

So close! They look as if they are waiting for the Mother Ship to suck them up into a space ship.

Finally, a picture we could submit. Notice how Gwynnie did not move the entire time. She is not dead. She is not built for speed. If the youngersters had Gwynnies "speed" it would been easy.

They are having the same contest this year. I mentioned that to Mr. Bernie and he just groaned and rolled his eyes. He suggested we would have an eaiser time getting the dog in a dress and posting that. I was tempted, for about a minute. Then I realized I didn't know her dress size.


One Mixed Bag

Meet Me On Monday...



Every Monday Java over at Never Growing Old hosts a Meet me on Monday blog hop that is always fun and helps to introduce new folks. Hop on over and check it out!!

Today's Questions:

1. Do you like your ice cream in a dish, waffle cone, pretzel cone, sugar cone or cake cone?
2. Do you read the newspaper daily?
3. Marinara or meat sauce?
4. Last time you cried?
5. What word/phrase do you find really annoying?

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1. Do you like your ice cream in a dish, waffle cone, pretzel cone, sugar cone or cake cone?

I am a pretty simple person when it comes to ice cream, usually a dish, on a rare occasion a sugar cone (then the ground).

2. Do you read the newspaper daily?

No, our paper price is very high and they have taken out the coupons and put them in our local free paper and the TV guide is gone so there is nothing I can get from the local paper that I can't get from the local TV news for free. (Plus its better for the environment.)

3. Marinara or meat sauce?

Neither if I can help it, I really don't like the taste or consistency of cooked tomatoes (yes that means I am not a big pizza eater either)  I love Alfredo and cream sauces though.


4. Last time you cried?

Last night we went to see Jeff Dunham and I had tears coming out of my eyes laughing, does that count?  If not I then I am not sure, its been a while.

5. What word/phrase do you find really annoying?

"Yous all" or "yous guys", my in-laws say both of these a lot, and I don't know where it came from since according to the Urban Dictionary "Yous guys is a northeast phrase (often used by jersey girls and long islanders) meaning you guys. The extra 's' is not silent and is added for no reason whatsoever."  No one is from Jersey in the family!?!?

Have a great week everyone!!

C.Q.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday's media madness...

Our temperature here has dropped a lot and I am not hearing the neighbor kids playing outside.  It got me to thinking of something kids might like to do when its this cold.  I used to look forward to my Ranger Rick magazine coming in the mail every month, it made me feel like an adult to get mail.  That one magazine kept me occupied for at least a day with the articles and puzzles, plus I would cut out the animals and put them on my cork board because they were cute. 

I have put together a selection of children's magazines for you today that cover a range of ages.  This first one I have posted before but its a good one; a two year free subscription to Lego or Lego Jr. Magazine for kids, they will send the appropriate magazine depending on your child's age. 

Ranger Rick is a great publication that teaches kids about nature and the outdoors, it's geared towards kids in the 10 - 15 age range and is put out by one of my favorite organizations, The National Wildlife Federation. (They also put out publications for younger kids as well, Baby Animals and Your Big Backyard) You can get the subscription directly through them for $19.95 which would help support the many things they do, or you can find a lower subscription price through MagazineNook for $12.22. 

We all remember Highlights I think and now there is a new magazine from the company called High Five for kids ages 2 - 6.  I found that the lowest price is actually ordering direct through the company for $34.44.  I usually have good luck at Magazines.com but their price says it is 26% less than the regular subscription but their price is $34.95.  Not sure whats up with that and I will have to call the company when they are open on Monday to see if they price match at the very least, or if they will honor their promise of the 26% off.
If you have a young man in your life the he may enjoy Boys Life, its contents include articles on  scouting, sports, science, careers, health, games, collecting, music and moves etc.  The lowest price I was able to find for a one year subscription was through MagazineNook for $14.60.

I can't believe how many publications there are that are geared towards children and young adults now. When I was younger there were pretty much only four, Highlights, Ranger Rick, My Big Backyard and Seventeen. I found a great list of magazines for kids for you to look through to see if there is something of interest that I didn't get covered here.

I hope everyone has a nice relaxing Sunday!

C.Q.

Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop