Review:Country Inns & Suites-Kendall,Miami

Monday, October 31, 2011

After a cruise with more noise than what we were used to, it was so nice to dock in Miami and head over to our hotel in Miami/Kendall- Country Inns & Suites.

The moment we walked in, we felt relaxed.From the relaxing decor in the entrance to the friendly,personal service, we didn't even want to go sightseeing today, and we didn't.

Country Inns & Suites Miami/Kendall is located in a quiet end of the city, yet near the Miami Zoo, Gold Coast Railroad,Everglades National Park,the Miami Seaquarium, colleges and universities.

Each of their  guest rooms and suites includes complimentary high-speed, wireless Internet access, a microwave, refrigerator, hair dryer, coffee maker and cable TV.

Staying at a hotel with a complimentary buffet breakfast is also important to us.Convenient that we can eat right at the hotel and at no extra charge to us.As well, our room had a microwave and fridge.A great money saver as well.The Publix store is very close to this location and it was easy for us to pick up a few snacks and drinks and bring them back to the room.

If not staying at this location however, Country Inns & Suites has locations across the country and available in many cities.By joining their Club Carlson as well, you can earn points towards future stays.

A nice, quiet room for a good night's rest- quite what we needed today, with Country Inns & Suites delivering.

Our Carnival Cruise-Top Likes and Dislikes

We've completed our first cruise- and had chosen Carnival, mainly because of the price and the fact that they had a 4 day available that made a stop in Key West- the spot that I had chosen to have a beach wedding.Well, Gerry and I did want to share with our readers, our top likes and dislikes list for you:

-Beds.Cozy, comfy beds, pillows and sheets.Loved their turn down service as well with the towel animals,next day schedule and 2 chocolates.

-Balcony cabins.If you cruise, a balcony cabin is a big plus.Nice to have your own private balcony with views of the ports and the ocean. There were many a night I would wake up and go out onto the balcony just to hear the ocean lapping against the boat,see the white caps out on the dark ocean and smell the fresh air.

-There is a wide variety of foods for everyone, to satisfy everyone's taste buds.Even a 24 hour spot to grab something to eat.

-Sailing into the ports of call was interesting.It was interesting to see different cultures as well. It makes you much more appreciative of your own home.

-Loved the availabilty of the salon on the ship.Gerry had a manicure and I had my hair done for the wedding.


-Internet service. I took my lap top and wanted to keep touch with the family back home and with you all, but it costed me a small fortune. Rates ranged from .33-.75 a minute, depending on the package you needed.The connection was very slow as well, so by the time you did connect and get to where you wanted to be, you had already used 5 minutes of your time.

-Noise.Absolutely unreal Carnival. I know your known as the Fun Ship but we honestly need a vacation from this vacation.There were doors constantly being slammed, kids running in the halls all night and yelling and playing in the elevators,( parents, where were you??).The piano bar was in a location that could be heard almost everywhere- especially where we were located. We will not recommend you to our friends.

-Alcoholic beverages.The cost of the few drinks that Gerry had were in the $7.50-$9.50 each range!Wow! The drinks are being pushed from 9 or 10 am from what we saw and some people drink alot,so I'm not sure what their final cruise bills were but I'm sure it could get crazy, as you only charge to your room card, and without actual cash in hand, wow, is all we were thinking.

-Room Amenities.No in cabin coffee,no clocks to know what time it might be in the middle of the night,an ice bucket in the room but where are the ice machines??

-Entertainment. Not very good and some things like your bingo, we had to pay. With all the money you were making off our drinks and from the casino, could you not have allowed us a bingo game win "on the house"?

-Gerry watched your baggage handlers in the terminal throwing around luggage like they were playing ball.He said he was glad my lap top wasn't in any of the bags.There was no consideration for our luggage or anyone else's for that matter.

We were glad in one way to have experienced a cruise but if we could have done it again, it would have been with another cruise line or it would have been a fly in to Miami and a drive to the Keys.

Friday-October 28

Friday, October 28, 2011

I just wanted to let everyone know that Gerry and I were married today on Smather's Beach in Key West,Florida.Thank you to Peter and Sharon Estenoz of EZ Weddings in Paradise, who were first class hosts.

I hope to have you all, our readers, a photo in the next few days.

Internet service is quite expensive to use on the boat so I will be more in touch with you all once we are in Miami, on Sunday or Monday.

Carnival Cruise has been quite noisy and loud for us. We're quiet people and there has been alot of yelling and partying on this ship.Think next time, when there is a next time to cruise, it will not be Carnival Cruise.

I promise to stay in touch...


Is Now a Good Time to Sell Scrap Gold?

Many large and small investors are anxiously trying to find ways to protect their assets, and one way to do that in this volatile stock market is to buy gold. The sluggish American economy, broken economic promises by politicians and the effects of the European debt crisis on American banks has been driving gold prices up, what does that mean for the average American?

Is Now a Good Time to Sell Scrap Gold
Almost everyone has some old gold jewelry or scrap gold lying around, and if there was ever a time to sell it, now might be it. Banks, investors and countries around the world are scrambling to buy gold. Gold is just coming down from an all-time high, but it's still pretty darn high. No matter what state you’re living in, there are scrap gold dealers who are anxious to by your gold. Some of the best locations include California, New York, Texas and New Jersey cash for gold companies.

While there is no doubt that now is a good time to sell your scrap gold, despite the recent market upticks and bailouts, there is still plenty to worry about in the financial markets. The stock markets are still volatile and the European economic crisis keeps showing a lack of economic recovery. So it stands to reason that gold prices will continue to rise, and the shrewd holders of scrap gold may wish to keep holding on to what little gold they have, in expectation of the price of gold to go up further.

Why Hold Gold?
During a time of stock market volatility, many choose to hold their scrap gold as a backup plan. However, trying to play it safe may come at a cost. Over the long run, liquidating your stocks into cash or buying government Treasury bonds may actually be even riskier because of low interest rates and low returns.

Cashing out could do more permanent damage to your retirement objectives and hurt your money’s buying power. This is common advice from financial advisors everywhere. Disillusioned Americans and investors everywhere, who fear another financial meltdown, are chasing the illusionary so-called “safe havens.” The sad truth is that the safe heavens aren’t that safe anymore. The truth is that there are no safety nets left.

Why Sell?
Cashing out your scrap gold or silver could make sense if you have a small quantity and want the money to pay down debt or fun the holidays. No one really knows where the price of gold is going, but if the economy continues to struggle as it is doing world-wide, the price is likely to rise. If you are holding a large amount of scrap gold, than selling may not be best right now. But if you have a few items and could use the extra cash, now is as good a time as any. The price of gold is still very high, despite recent market fluctuations.

5 Ways Online Learning Can Save You Money

Thursday, October 27, 2011

E-learning cuts school costs and allows you to work while earning a degree:

Sure, there are both advantages and disadvantages to earning an online degree. While you sacrifice the social experience of a traditional brick and mortar college—online learning does have many benefits in the cost-savings category. Aside from the obvious higher tuition fees and student housing costs associated with the traditional college experience—with online students are able to earn more money working while they study, save money on textbook rentals, save on typical classroom expenses, student living as well as commuting costs.

E-learning works for students who are self-disciplined, driven to succeed organized and able to work to a set schedule.  That doesn’t mean it’s a better option compared to a traditional brick and mortar college experience. In the end, it’s really up to you. However, we can share the benefits that online learning offers as far as cost savings to help you make up your mind once and for all.

Earning a college degree online will save you money in the following ways:

1. You’ll avoid the scheduling conflicts of classroom learning – As you earn a degree online, you have the obvious luxury of working from the comfort of home. Traditional college students typically must adhere to strict class schedules, several times a day without flexibility. However, students who chose e-learning are allotted a huge amount of flexibility as far as setting their own learning schedules. This is ideal for those students who work or care for children during the day time hours and who can’t attend daytime classes. Online learning allows these students to save money by keeping their jobs (or having to hire alternate daycare for their children) and creating a classroom schedule that works for them. Students can schedule their classroom reading, assignments, and the review of lectures during the evening hours if they work during the day. Having the ability to earn money by keeping your full time job—while earning a degree will keep you out of financial debt and save you money in the long run.

2. You don’t need to move - Online students can attend their e-learning courses any time and from anywhere. This means that online students don’t have to quit their jobs, pick up their families and move to the college city of their choice—they can complete their degree from their current city and avoid the costs associated with relocation.

3. You’ll save on commuting costs – With the current state of gas prices that anyone would reconsider commuting to the college of their choice. Student travel has become a big financial burden for those attending brick and mortar colleges. Once you spend all of that money on gas getting to your school—you still have to pay for parking. The commuting costs just never end.  Online learning allows you to work from home, which not only saves you transit costs, but also saves you time on studying that would otherwise be wasted traveling to and from your college. Rather than rushing to work to class to home to take care of the kids, students who choose e-learning can spend those hours getting home from work, feeding the kids and then settling down to read their assigned course material from the comfort of their living rooms.  By cutting out the commuting costs to and from campus every day, you will radically cut back on gas spending and you can even sleeping in.

4. E-learning will save you classroom material costs – Just think how disappointed Staples and Wal-Mart will be when you don’t enter their stores in September with all of the other students to purchase pencils, pens, paper, notebooks and printer paper. Online students save a lot of money simply because they don’t require as many school materials throughout the school year. How?
  • Online students submit assignments virtually
  • College professors also spread their lecture notes electronically
  • Most of the interaction between students and teachers and students and students is paperless
This electronic style of learning allows students to save on small expenses like printer paper, ink cartridges, photocopying, pens and pencils. And saving money on small things can really add up over the course of a semester—and even a year. 

5. You’ll save on textbooks – The final, and probably the biggest, cost savings for online students is textbook costs.  Most textbooks and reading materials that are assigned to students enrolled in an e-learning course are free. Paper textbooks cost outrageous amounts of money. And most of the time, they come in “bundles” with CDs and lab notes that you don’t even end up using. If you do end up needing a physical textbook referral, you can always rent textbooks online—this way you are only borrowing what you need. Cutting the cost of paper textbooks helps online students see huge savings. And in addition, they don’t need to scramble to get their money back by trying to sell the used textbooks at the end of the year.

2 Days Travelling and Lost Touch

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

*** photo taken out of window on American Airlines-and coming into Miami

Sorry everyone that I have sort of lost track with you these last few days.
My Blogger was down and I have not been able to post, (as I and another lady have been working on a new site and things had just gotten messed up so to speak, but looks like I'm back in business).Will let you know as soon as we go live with the new, different review site.

Add to that that we have been on the road and in the air since October 25. Driving from home to Saskatoon,Sk.,then flight over to Toronto and overnight, and now in Miami and overnight.
The Carnival Cruise leaves tommorow! The weather here in Miami was very muggy when we arrived and was overcast.We just heard as well that there is a hurricane Rina that is heading to Cozumel- but we will be there on Saturday so I think it should be gone by then.

This evening though we also arrived at the beautiful Intercontinental Miami, and here for an overnight stay.The staff has made us feel like celebrities here and we were even treated tonight to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries courtesy of the hotel. (Mainly because we are getting married in 2 days)

Please be sure to check out their special offers if you or anyone you know is coming to Miami and wants to be treated well.Perhaps a wedding, birthday, anniversary or a weekend getaway for two.You'll come away quite satisfied.

A DIY Project in the Works

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gerry has another DIY project on the go that he is doing before we leave on our trip- loves spending time in his workshop!

Erika is planning on moving out soon and had found a table with 6 chairs that a girl was giving away on our local buy and sell on Facebook.

The chairs needed work though: both the seats and the chairs themselves.

Erika bought material to re do the seats and Gerry is also cleaning up the wood and varnishing.

The photos show the before chair on the left and one of the after chairs on the right.

Review and Giveaway: Rubbermaid Bento

Sunday, October 23, 2011

These new, decorative containers from Rubbermaid were reviewed by my daughter Erika.

They are called Bento and have internal Flex Dividers that allow you to organize the items inside the box to make them easy to find.Erika found them quite durable and nicer to use she said than a regular box. I found their outside material being very durable and much like the outside of a suitcase.

Another nice things about these storage containers is that everything that is stored can all be divided and not just piled on top of each other in the box. Everything in the box can be seen at a glance when opening the lid.

Currently available in 4 different colors, Erika said she would like to see more colors and patterns become available. Storage containers with more designs for men, children and teens.

The Rubbermaid Bento have:

• Internal Flex Dividers that can be individually popped open or closed

• Toppers act as trays, covers or lids

• Same size containers can stack on top of one another

• Smaller sizes nest inside larger sizes for space efficient storage when not in use

• CARB-certified MDF covered in durable polyester fabric

These can be purchased online and priced from $9.99 to $26.99 depending on model/size.

Rubbermaid Bento has a few suggestions for you that helps to find a place for these storage boxes for most rooms in your house.

Disclosure: I received the Rubbermaid Bento for my opinion of the product.

Rubbermaid would love to give away this very same set to one of our lucky readers from Canada or the USA.
A random draw will be made by on November 9, 2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:

Tell me why you would like to win these.

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Today's Winner!

Today's Winner for today's giveaway:

** Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to all who entered.

Saturday-October 22

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well its hard to believe that we will be leaving for our wedding/trip soon.There is so much last minutes to do, but I think I have everything almost in order. Tommorow I am going to put together my little book I always do when we go travelling.

I have a purse sized notebook that I organize day by day, with hotels we are suppose to be at, plane times, and places I'm suppose to be at, contacts, etc.. I take my main papers as well such as print outs for flight confirmations, etc., but this just gets things together a bit better and at a glance.I guess it's my idea of a "day planner". It always serves us well.

Gerry and I were away for most of the day, out of town, as I did a few mystery shops. Only an hour and a bit away and I'm compensated extra for the gas and mileage, but today the trip was tiring. We have snow forecasted for tommorow so it's been very dull,dreary and rainy around here. Feel like one should start hibernation like the bears do!

Gerry told me today that it looks like I need new tires for my car and rims.Everything is shot.But after going to Canadian Tire and having it priced out with the cheapest all season tires, rims and install for almost $900, I almost freaked on the spot today! When we left I said no way, no way and no way. So we are going to go call the place where we had gotten the windshield off a car like mine, and see if they have tires and rims I can get from it too. Will keep you all updated on that but seriously- $900??

Off to watch some tv though-enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

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Today's Winner!
is today's winner of the following giveaway:

*** Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.

Hamburger Helper Helps Canadians With A Free Green Giant Coupon Plus They Have A Giveaway For Our Readers!( Canada Only)

Friday, October 21, 2011

On specially marked boxes when you buy Hamburger Helper you get a free bag of Green Giant Veggies.

Yes Moms and Dads- Free Green Giant frozen vegetable 750g with your next purchase of a Hamburger Helper dinner kit!

Growing up, I remember mom mom making Hamburger Helper, and when I had my own family, I too would make it when life got hectic.There are many types to choose from and it's so easy to just whip up with some hamburger.

Do you make your Hamburger Helper just like on the box or do you add a twist to it?

We love cheese in our home and I like to add it to the tops of alot of meals.It's also great, grated on the top of the final Hamburger Helper meal and melted.Whatever your twist, Hamburger Helper is sure you’ll love their Free Green Giant frozen vegetables promotion that can be found on specially marked Hamburger Helper packages this month.

Finding easy recipes and making quick, easy meals are always important in my busy life.Receiving free product coupons on specially marked packages is fun too!

Hamburger Helper would love to help with your meal times by giving away a brand new skillet ($50 value) and some Hamburger Helper and Green Giant coupons to whip up your perfect family dinner.

This giveaway is open to all Canadians, with a random draw being held by on November 8, 2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:

Tell me if you eat your Hamburger Helper as is or do you have a twist you add to it?

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Review and Giveaway: Blanchard's Coffee

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gerry loves his coffee and once up and out of bed, on comes the coffee.

He recently had the opportunity to review some organic El Savadorian coffee from Blanchard's Coffee.A real coffee that's real aromatic and fresh he said. I personally don't drink coffee but I LOVE the smell of it while it's still in the bag-mmmmm.

Let me tell you about Blanchard's Coffee company though. It is an independent, family-owned coffee roastery in Richmond, VA.that roasts almost daily and have been since 2004.They are so proud of their coffee that they decided their name should go on the bag.

Packaged fresh, rich aroma and great flavor.Their coffee can be bought online or at any of these locations.

Blanchard's Coffee would love to give away this very same coffee to one of my lucky readers from Canada or the USA. A random draw will be held by on November 6,2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:

Tell me how many coffee drinkers are in your home.

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Green Works Green Home Challenge BIG Giveaway (Canada only)

This Fall, Green Works is hosting a Green Home Challenge.

We are very excited about this opportunity for ourselves and our readers as we love blogging about great products and giveaways and have always been a BIG fan of Green Works.

All Green Works natural cleansers are made from ingredients derived from coconuts and lemon oil.
The products are biodegradable, non‐allergenic,and packaged in bottles that can be recycled and not tested on animals. Their line up includes natural cleaning products for use in the home,kitchen,laundry and bathroom.

The Challenge will run from October 20-30th and we are looking for your comments on why you love Green Works if you are already a loyal user or why you would like to make a switch to Green Works.

Our winner is going to win an eco-cleaning service of three hours of cleaning your home (kitchen, floors, vacuuming, bathrooms, etc.). Then when they leave, you will be left with a bunch of Greenworks products to continue using!
The value of the winner's prize is over $ 200 in Greenworks products and a home cleaning services (Valued around $ 150).

A Canadian winner will be randomly selected by on December 1,2011 with the the green cleaning sessions to begin from December 5,2011-January 15,2012.

To Enter:

Tell us why you love Green Works if you are already a loyal user or why you would like to make a switch to Green Works.

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Today's Winner!

Today's winner for the following giveaway:

*** Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to all those who took time to enter.

It's Coming- The Christmas Cash Giveaway Event: Nov.18-Dec. 2

It’s Coming- the Christmas Cash Giveaway Event!

This is a giveaway hop event with spots open to help give your readers/fans/customers some GREAT Christmas Cash! This is also a great way to get more blog, facebook and twitter fans for you!!

This event will run from November 18th - December 2nd, 2011. Winners will be picked using Rafflecopter. There will be 2 cash prizes awarded to the readers, so the more that participate the more cash for the giveaway!

See here for more details.

The Intercontinental- Miami

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I’m excited to announce our trip to Miami next week. We are looking forward to sun, fun and relaxation and the wedding on the 28th. While in Miami we plan to stay at the most stunning Intercontinental Miami, a hotel that features travertine marble from Italy and precious woods from Africa . It was designed by Pietro Belluschi, and has been wowing visitors for 25 years. Despite the hotels outstanding reputation it continues to strive for superior hospitality as it makes advances in our fast society.

As with most business these days the Intercontinental is working towards being social media ready. They have linked up with some Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube in order to better serve current and future guests. This is a great way for the Intercontinental to hear feedback from guest, and offer some great deals at the same time. It is without a doubt a must have for any business to be social media literate, and the Intercontinental is striving to make this happen for their business.

Another great event happening at the Intercontinental this year is the 17th Annual Intercontinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, which is known as the number one philanthropic event in South Florida . In addition to being number one the event really makes a difference for the Make-A-Wish foundation in Southern Florida .

Finally, in addition to these advancements and traditions the hotel offers superior accommodations. This 34-story hotel boasts 641 rooms and 34 suites. The hotel is also conveniently located near the business, art and entertainment industries of Miami , so it really is the ideal place to stay for any event. The Intercontinental Miami also offers fine dining, including the only Chef’s Table in downtown Miami . The hotel is complete with a spa and fitness center sure to please any fitness enthusiast or anyone wanting to relax at the luxury spa. Needless to say, we are really looking forward to spending time at this great hotel.

Review and Giveaway: Patch Products Newest Game:100 Wacky Things

We received the game from Patch Products, Inc. called 100 Wacky Things.

This is a super fun game that has everyone being silly as they act out the commands on cards they draw.You really can get a good laugh at the expense of others!

We like simple games too. Ones that we don't have to take turns reading the instructions for half an hour before we all think we have it figured out on how to play and what the rules are.

100 Wacky Things of course is ages 7 and up so quite simple.

This game was from Patch Products- a leading manufacturer and marketer of entertainment products. They carry a ton of games and puzzles,activity kits and so much more for your children or classroom- actually over 500 products! One of their missions is to be a leading international toy company and be well recognized for their innovative products.We think their well on their way!

Patch Products would love to give away one of the games, 100 Wacky Things to one of our Canadian or US readers.
A random draw will be held by on November 5,2011.

To Enter:

Tell me if you hold regular family game nights.

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Disclaimer: "Although I received this product to help facilitate my review, all opinions are 100% my own."

Thinking Ahead to Holiday Baking and Cooking

With Halloween soon approaching,it doesn't seem like it's that long after that we start thinking of Christmas.Some of us will soon start thinking about our holiday meals and baking .Glancing through recipes online and in magazines, looking to make meals and entertaining more special.

Personally, I love to bake and cook and trying new recipes is always fun, providing they turn out!I start my Christmas baking early as well.Every year I put together those easy to assemble baking boxes, and fill them with a few different dainties that I make.I had my brother tell me last year that the boxes weren't big enough, so I know they are enjoyed. I have been doing this for at least 4-5 years, so can't break the tradition now. Cooking is fun too and we always look forward to eating great food!Think ahead to the holidays-

Our friends below would love to share with you their great food ideas for your holiday baking/cooking this year:

Fisher Nuts-Planning your holiday menu? Don’t forget the nuts! In recipes, like Banana Bread , and Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies nuts are one of the easiest ways to add flavor and crunch to your holiday favorites. To help keep nuts fresh, Fisher Nuts has created a new Freshness Seal Bag with a press-to-seal closure that preserves the flavor and crunch of the nuts after opening. The stand-up design also features an expandable bottom that opens into a flat base, allowing it to stay upright. The upright design makes it easier to scoop the nuts right out of the bag and into a mixing bowl. It also makes it more convenient to store in the pantry or freezer in between uses.

Looking For A Site Designer

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am starting a new web site soon- and looking for a simple designer.
I have my domain already and going to be hosted on Blogger with this one as well.
If anyone does this and can offer speedy service,(as I want to be up soon since I'm going away next week), I would love to hear from you and your rates.
You can reach me at:

*** Update- site designer found



Monday, October 17, 2011

As part of Best Western International’s continued efforts to help travelers earn the “Fastest Way to a Free Night,” the chain has launched a “Virtual Accelerator” app on its Facebook page that allows Best Western Rewards® members to earn up to 100,000 rewards points with the click of a mouse.

New and existing Best Western Rewards members can get behind the digital wheel and take a spin on the “Virtual Accelerator” dashboard to win rewards points, which are redeemable at more than 4,000 Best Western hotels worldwide.

“The ‘Virtual Accelerator’ provides us with a fun and unique way to engage with travelers and show them how fast and easy it is to earn a free night with Best Western Rewards, “ said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western senior vice president of sales and marketing. “To thank our members for their loyalty, we’ll give away a total of 10 million points, good for more than 1,200 free nights. It’s a program designed to ensure that everyone who participates is a winner.”

To take advantage of the “Fastest Way to a Free Night” promo, Best Western Rewards Members can:

· “Like” the Best Western Facebook page, take a seat behind the wheel of the “Virtual Accelerator,” and rev the engine with their mouse to score between 100 to 100,000 rewards points

· Encourage other Facebook friends to play the Virtual Accelerator to earn an additional 100 points

This fall, travelers can also earn double rewards points during the Best Western’s Fall Promotion through November 20, 2011. Guests who stay two separate times at any Best Western hotel worldwide will earn double Rewards points on their second stay. Points can be redeemed for global free room nights with no blackout dates. For more information and to register for the Fall Promotion, visit

Best Western Rewards is one of the industry’s most generous rewards programs. It has the lowest redemption thresholds for awards, and is one of few loyalty programs that is truly international. With more than 4,000 locations in more than 90 countries, Best Western makes it easy for members to earn points that can be redeemed for global free room nights with no blackout dates, the Best Western Travel Card®, dining, shopping and entertainment gift cards, gas cards, airline/partner rewards and more. Best Western’s Status Match...No Catch ® program will match members’ elite status in any other hotel loyalty program free of charge.

Daughter Looking For McDonald Game Pieces (Canada)

My daughter Erika is collecting the Canadian game pieces for the Mc Donald's Monopoly game 2011.
She is short a few pieces and would welcome any extras if someone has or isn't collecting.
You can email me for my address at:
Thank you!

She doesn't have any to swap but is looking for:

-Pennsylvania Avenue, Pacific Avenue
-Ventnor Avenue
-Kentucky Avenue
-New York Avenue, Tennessee Avenue
-Virginia Avenue,States Avenue, St Charles Place
- Vermont Avenue
-Short Line
- Mediterranean Avenue

Ways To Bring In Some Extra Cash

The Economy has been bad, continues to be bad, and things will get worse before they get better. Whether you're a nonprofit organization or a responsible individual having a really tough time, here are some suggestions for multiplying what you have left:

If you cook or bake:

Farmer's Markets are huge right now. Even if you don't grow anything, you can participate and cash in on the popularity. Do you make the best fudge ever? Do people rave about your brownies? Have a unique cookie recipe? Find out what your limitations are. If you're in a metropolitan area, you might be limited to what can be produced in a commercial kitchen. But in the county, there might be markets without those restrictions. It's like a bake sale, only you're the only baker. Figure out what it costs you to make it and triple the cost. Best bets: on the spot consumables like mini-cakes (made in individual loaf pans); condiments like jams or preserves; specialty items like baklava; or gift items like special mixes in pretty jars topped with bows.

Find somewhere to rent commercial kitchen space. The local health authorities are usually concerned about the condition of the kitchen rather than the conditions of where it is served. Check with churches, the local Y, community centers, etc. for available cooking space. The delivery space is limited only by your imagination: offer to cater a dinner party in a park, or a picnic for 12 in the mountains, at the lake or on the beach.

If you write:

Always wanted to freelance or have your own agency but no idea where or how to start? is the ticket. If you have some writing projects behind you, go to oDesk and create a profile in their system. Here's the key: Take your time when creating your profile. Include several pieces you've already written; think of every bit of writing/editing you've done for someone else over the years and proclaim your talents. Once you find the right first job with good pay and a trustworthy employer, complete it in an outstanding manner and get that all important initial feedback, then oDesk goes to bat for you and starts recommending you to the thousands of employers who look for contractors there daily. oDesk also has complete instructions for forming your own writing agency through them.

Offer book editing services on some of the many writing sites. You'd be surprised how many people are writing or have written, but are stymied because they know their work needs help, but don't know where to turn.

If you're handy and/or an animal lover:

If you're in dire enough straits that you could lose your home, check out or There are lots of people with farms and ranches out there who can offer you a roof over your head in exchange for a few hours of work a week, and if you have construction skills, you'll really be in demand. That can get you a stipend on top of the accommodations.

Offer your skills in unique places:

Want to start a chocolate shop? Rent out a commercial kitchen, make samples of your wares, and set up a booth (with appropriate permission, of course) at a college, outside a high school or after church.

Want to get your accounting business off the ground? Go around to small, newly opened shops and offer to do just a basic spreadsheet of income and expenses for them for a minimal monthly fee to make their lives easier.

How about event planning? Study up on event planning best practices online and then offer custom event or wedding packages. If you're a cook to boot, work with a local event space to offer the bride and groom a comprehensive wedding package with a customized ceremony and reception.

Need cash today?

If you are really down to the wire, make a decision to change your lifestyle today; then find that one treasure that's been weighing you down and put it on with a picture taken with your camera phone. Take a good look around - how much good will that 48-inch Hi Def TV do you if you end up on the street? What's it worth -- $750? Sell if for half that. It will sell quickly, and you will have staved off the wolf for a little while at least.

Repeat #1 in this category. You will be surprised how much creativity you unleash when you get rid of your entertaining toys and you have the free time to think and create. Then, implement one of the other methods above to sustain yourself for a longer period of time.

About the author: Thomas Lewis is a writer for which is one of the top fundraising ideas blogs. is aimed at helping great organizations and individuals raise money for great causes. To that end, the site also offers an extensive directory of nonprofit consultants.

Review: Buy

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review by: Ria

Woot-woot! Got my Halloween costume in from and LOVE IT!

I usually don't get excited about holidays, but I really enjoy Halloween and like dressing up as something new every year. The costume I picked out this year was the Parade Wizard Adult Costume.

I like the super scary/blood/guts/gore costumes that this site sells but because I work at a daycare, super freaky costumes are not really appropriate. Although this wizard is SO cute it's scary, and I am sure I'm gonna make some little kid pee in their pull-up when they see it!

The way that this costume is made makes it seem like the wizard is a dwarf with a giant head! The face measures about a foot and a half across and is worn as a chest piece which wraps around with hair in the back. You are inside the costume and "see" out of the oversized hat! There are small eye screens inside which allow you to see everything (quite clearly too!) but nobody can see you! The face is made of soft plastic and robe/hat are polyester. I love the material they used down the front of the robe with the glittery gold stars (would like to find some of this to use in one of my quilts!) and this costume should fit everyone. It comes in one size fits all and would fit a large range of sizes. I am 5'4 and there is at least a foot of material left at the bottom of the gown which I haven't decided is I am going to pin, or leave loose and hanging. It is very big in the body area as well but still seems to drape nicely on my smaller frame. I would love to see this costume on a bigger man and may have to get someone I know to try it on! (Dad?) I am also doing Boo at the Zoo this year so I will have plenty of room to wear my snow suit under the costume if it turns out to be a freezing Halloween night.

The costume does not come with gloves or a wand, which kinda made me sad but I should be able to buy one before Halloween and will just wear black winter gloves with it. What's a wizard without a wand? Other than that I was very impressed with this costume, which sells for $79.99 on the website. If you don't have your costume yet, better hurry! Only 15 more days 'till Halloween!

Fun & Spooky Decorating Ideas

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween is right around the corner, and it's time to decorate your home accordingly. Don't miss out on the chance to make your home sparkle with the flare of one of the best holidays of the year. Halloween can be a fun time for everyone, and decorating your home is a vital aspect of enjoying Halloween to the fullest. Only with proper Halloween decorations can you really embrace the spirit of Halloween and make it real.

One of the best tips for decorating a home for Halloween is to put lights and props outside. Just as you may decorate your yard and the outside of your home for Christmas, you can do the very same for Halloween, too. Take advantage of the space right near your sidewalks for orange and black Halloween lights. Perhaps you could set up scarecrows, pumpkins, witches, goblins and vampires and decorate those with lights on your lawn. The trick or treaters in your area will enjoy coming to your house to get their candy, and you'll become one of the most well-liked houses in the community. The possibilities for decoration in your yard are truly endless.

You could also utilize your porch area for decorating. This is a great place for those bags full of leaves that are designed to look like pumpkins. The porch area is also a great place for more realistic, life-like depictions of Halloween horrors. You could keep synthetic bats on the porch, as they would be safe from the elements. You could also make a small tunnel or maze leading from the yard to the porch, which would be a fun little attraction on the side for your trick or treaters. The kids in the neighborhood will call your house one of the best they've ever seen for getting candy.

Inside the house, you can try hanging dark curtains to block out the sunlight and create a haunting atmosphere. You can hang bats and witches from the ceiling to create a fun yet spooky house for everyone to enjoy. You could get costumes for all of the members of the family to wear for Halloween festivities. Another idea is to get some Halloween-themed movies and enjoy the season that way. Although they aren't decorations in the traditional sense, scary movies are very good tools to use to set the Halloween mood.

If you're having a Halloween party, you could bring all of these ideas together to have an amazing party. The movies could be one of the main attractions at your Halloween party. In addition, you could require everyone to get a costume on to make the night a memorable one. Halloween-theme music would also make for quite an interesting party. There are endless possibilities for Halloween, and you have to research them all to find out what would work best for you.

Laura Hopkins holds a B.A in Literature and currently writes for, a safe online facilitator for Viagra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Cialis. Laura uses her research scientist skills to cover health and wellness and uncover big pharma news she shares on the AccessRx Blog.

Cozy Up in Cozumel !

Friday, October 14, 2011

Although summer has officially ended, this is a really good time to have a quick getaway and Cozumel , Mexico is the perfect destination. Like other Mexican vacation spots, the beautiful blue water and white sand beaches are a sight to behold. Unlike Cancun, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta , Cozumel is an island just off Mexico ’s coast anchored in the sparkling Caribbean . Being removed from the mainland on Cozumel gives guests the feeling of distance and remoteness from the busy mainland life but without sacrificing any of the luxuries of a resort.

Diving, snorkeling, golf and fine dining are just some of the activities that draw visitors to this charming island. Cozumel boasts the Mayan Jungle as another big attraction as well as the Western Hemisphere ’s largest reef. Tourists typically take advantage of the Chankanaab Park , where they can swim with dolphins. The Punta Molas Lighthouse is another popular location for an adventure. Charter boat fishing is easy to come by on the island and can be arranged through most resorts. Even history buffs can get their fix at The Museum of the Island of Cozumel . There is no shortage of memorable things to do in Cozumel .

The local people are known for their hospitality while Cozumel itself is known for its many annual festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Check some local websites to see if any coincide with your visit for an extra dose of the culture.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a girls’ trip, a guys’ trip or even a destination wedding location, Cozumel is a place to consider. Its remote beauty and one of a kind adventures are to sure to make any trip worth taking. The beautiful weather and sunny days are waiting to be enjoyed.

Uncommon Goods Review & $60 Gift Certificate Giveaway ( US only)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do you ever feel when gift giving, that you'd like to give something different from the "usual"? Do you want your gift to "stand out" from the rest?

Uncommon Goods,is an online retailer that specializes in handmade, eco- friendly and uniquely designed gifts and accessories.
Plus,they donate a portion of each order to your choice of non-profit organizations: American Forests, AmeriCares, City Harvest, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

Uncommon Goods has just super great ideas for everyone on your gift giving list:
-Unique birthday
Gifts (see here)
-Birthday gift ideas (see here)
-Gifts For Dad (see here)
-Gifts For Mom (see here)

And sale gift items like these for us bargain shoppers too!

We chose an unusual black crow to review as we always have crows in our yard, and it seemed most fitting.

Inspired by outdoor time spent in her North Carolina garden, folk artist Margaret Taylor created these rustic Black Crow sculpture as an homage to the striking beauty of local wildlife.The crow is handmade using antique heart pine from Georgia and old spindles, silverware, and ceiling tin.We displayed it on top of the fence in our backyard and is a most striking piece to the yard.

Uncommon Goods would love to give away a $60 gift certificate for shopping on their site, to one lucky US reader.

A random draw will be held by and made on October 23, 2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:

Sign up for their email list.

Extra Entries:

Follow me in Google Friend
Vote on a product in their voting tool -They only want comments pertaining to the products
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Tweet a link to our Gifts for Mom page
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Cutting Out Cable and Still Keeping Entertained

Cutting out entertainment is one of the hardest things to do these days. It seems like all day long we are staring at glowing screens in order to receive information, laugh, cry, and stay connected with friends. If one of our media outlets was pulled out from under our feet, it might start a slippery slope into withdrawal, depression, or even worse boredom.

If you are looking to save money on your entertainment budget, you should look into cutting out your cable subscription. You need to access the Internet for work related purposes and keeping a cell phone around is always important for communication. Cable is fast becoming a disposable medium in our ultra connected world. Here are some of the ways you can entertain yourself without it:

Having a smartphone is an absolute necessity in our modern society. There is no way to get around having one if you are a business professional, student, or parent of an over materialistic teenager. The good thing about owning a smartphone is that it is an all in one communication and entertainment device. You can watch clips from your favorite television shows while carrying about important texts and calls on the same device. By purchasing a Prepaid Phone and setting data limits you can save even more money on entertainment.

Streaming Services
There are websites like and Telly TV that offer everything from sporting events to award shows live through their streaming website. Users plug in an HDMI cable to their televisions and upload live content straight to their computers. The best part about these websites is that they are totally free to use. You can also chat with other people watching in real time.

Network Television
With the edginess of cable attracting creative producers and actors away from the networks, there has been a lack of quality shows on free TV. Fortunately the nightly news is still an unbiased source of information, unlike the cable channels. You can also nod off to Dave Letterman and Jimmy Fallon as the night progresses.

The publicity surrounding Netflix has been pretty negative in recent months. They have changed names of their services, jacked up their prices, and disregarded customer service. At the end of the day, the streaming service is still a valuable investment if you do not have cable. For only $7.99 a month you can access quality programming from networks like CW, HBO, and Comedy Central whenever you want as well as tens of thousands of movies to discover.

One of the oldest forms of entertainment, reading, can be accessed for absolutely no cost. You can visit a public library or read blog posts and news articles online instead of watching television. This will stimulate your mind because it is not as passive of an activity as absorbing scripted programming.

Remember that how you choose to spend your time without cable can be very rewarding if you choose for it to be. Don't start panicking about missing your favorite shows because they will always be available online and in DVD packages.

Wednesday-October 12

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm fighting to keep my eyes open as it's getting late, but one more post for the night, to share some tidbits.

Erika will hopefully be getting a new heated throw after her not so old one from Sunbeam, started losing heat.We had that happen a few times with our bigger ones we have for our bed.Good thing about buying Sunbeam, is that they stand behind their products and have always replaced blankets that have died on us.Save your receipts and your warranty info everyone. You never know when you may need it, and it saves you from buying new again.

You may have remembered me saying I had bought a used Kobo a few weeks ago and got a great deal on it, and I did, but I think I like my hard copy books better and can see myself selling this one.

We were able to get the last of the insulation that Gerry needed for his workshop, at a good deal. Found another guy recently that just gave us his leftover bundle and his friend sold us 6 more bundles for almost half that we would have paid at the hardware store.We have been looking for leftover wall board as well, but haven't had luck with that one so may have to buy that new.It's 8.99 a sheet and Gerry figures he'll need at least 16 sheets for the inside walls.

My grandma gave us an early wedding gift today. $100- so she said we better still be going ahead and getting married-LOL. That $100 we will use to pay for our marriage license that we will need to pick up in Key West before the ceremony. Seems like a steep price to pay for a license but I guess it is what it is and no bargaining there.

On a last note for the night, we have a local grocery supermarket that is closing it's doors in 2 days. They have been operating for 5 years plus and apparently say they are losing money. It's too bad. We don't have many stores here and their prices were not bad. I was able to get 30-50% savings on alot of their things in the last few days, but upon going today, most of it had been packed up and possibly going to another one of their chains, 100 miles from here.I can see our grocery bill going up though as produce and other items are higher at another store I'll have to shop at.We do have a Walmart here but it doesn't have meats or produce and a limited frozen and dairy section.Stay tuned- we hope that the building, as big as it is, will just not be left there and that there will be plans in the works to bring in another supermarket chain.We can only hope.


Vector Marketing Scam: Learn The Truth Behind The Myth

Too good to be true is the first reaction of people who bumped onto the website of Vector Marketing. It offers steady source of income which is risk free and reliable in every sense of the term. But there are some other players who make similar big promises but deliver none when it comes to fulfilling them. This is probably the reason why most of us make Google search to find out whether marketing job in the offer is legitimate and reliable and in majority of cases they see thousands of complains lodged against the company. It is really frustrating. But this is not going to happen and which is why you do not need to search for Vector Marketing scam because there is nothing of that kind. However, if you chance upon any of such biased claims, just take our word they are the production of deliberate production by their competitors to defame them. However, their long standing market reputation and their successful marketing professionals stand testimony to their commitment.

Vector Marketing has been offering this great opportunity for everyone around who is serious about earning a bit more. However, it is not just about earning, at Vector Marketing, it is also about learning too. You do not need to get yourself prepared to do the nine to five job anymore, as their job is flexible and you can easily continue your regular job and take up their job as a side income. All you need to have an attitude, and a passion for excellence. They will take care of the rest.

Review and Giveaway: Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Solutions ( Canada Only)

I have practiced good skin care since the time I was young.From cleansing to moisturizing-day creams and night creams.It just makes sense to keep your skin in great shape- especially for your face, since it is exposed to the elements daily.

Burt's Bees have always been a favorite product of mine.They just make sense, with their natural skincare.I love the texture of all their products and they work great on my skin.I tried their daily moisturizing cream and really liked the way it went on and felt on my face.

In their latest line up, they have Sensitive Skin Solutions.With Sensitive Skin Solutions, you can cleanse and gently moisturize without any redness or irritation.

This line is formulated with a Cotton Extract to soften, Rice Extract to moisturize and Aloe to soothe.Your skin is going to feel great and look healthy.

Burt's Bees would love to give away to one lucky Canadian winner, a Sensitive Skin Solutions daily moisturizing cream.

A random draw will be held by on October 22,2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:
To you have a skin care routine?

Extra Entries:
Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Book Review:Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips and Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It! by Laura Whittmann

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

After recently reading Laura Whittmann's book: Clutter Rehab,101 Tip and Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!,( try saying that all in one breath),I realized I am just as organized as Laura is.So much of how she organizes her rooms and keeps clutter away, is me 100%.

I am always sorting and decluttering.Like Laura,(also the same Laura of the popular blog,I'm an Organizing Junkie,),daily I keep organized and simplified. I think the simplified and clutter free life also goes hand in hand with being frugal, thrifty and living simple.

So, whether you are someone who needs help with decluttering your life, or just one who would like to read Laura's 101 tips on being more organized, this book will be one you won't put down!

Review and Giveaway:Clean+Green Natural Pet Stain and Odor Removers

We have 3 guinea pigs.
I usually find I have to clean them every second day.It's often yes, but with 3 of them doing their business in one cage every day,I really need to clean them that often or they will smell.My daughter as well has 3 ferrets at her place and has the same problem- the smell.

We don't like spraying air fresheners around their cages though, since most of those sprays are toxic.But we found online a site called Clean+Green, that sell natural pet stain and odor removers.Look as well for their product in stores near you if not ordering online.This spray is great for their cages as we can spray it in their cages once we have cleaned them and keep odors at bay.

Clean+Green carries a variety of products though and Each Clean+Green product is individually formulated to address a specific odor/stain problem and can be used on carpet and area rugs, wood floors, tile, cement and all fabrics – even litter boxes!

Clean+Green is made with ingredients and materials that are all-natural, biodegradable, and recyclable. These products are non-toxic, non-flammable, non-carcinogenic and will not damage the ozone layer – with no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Lingering odors are now a thing of the past with Clean+Green.

Have more questions in their products? You can read their FAQ section to learn more.

Clean + Green would like to giveaway to one of our readers in Canada or the USA, any one of their odor eliminators suitable for your pet/situation.
A random draw will be made by on October 20,2011 from all entries received.

To Enter:
Tell me what type of pet you have.

Extra Entries:
Follow me in Google Friend
Sign up as an email subscriber
Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one

Best of luck to all!

Today's Winners

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's 2 winners of our giveaways:

*** Winners have been contacted and have 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to all who entered!

Today's Winner

Sunday, October 9, 2011

reducefootprints at gmail dot com

is today's winner of the following giveaway:

**Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to all who entered!

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It is truly unfortunate that the majority of us have been touched by breast cancer in one way or another. Everyone seems to have a friend or an aunt or a grandmother that has fought breast cancer. Some of us have experienced the disease first hand. It is a sad reality that must be brought to light.

So, this month show your support any way you can. There are products on the shelves that the proceeds go towards breast cancer research and care, consider buying some of these products to help out. Or, if money is a bit tight consider walking in a breast cancer awareness walk or simply lending a shoulder or ear to someone that is battling the disease.

Do not forget about yourself this month either. Be sure to schedule your next mammogram and keep going back to ensure your own good health.

Who's Got The Best Deals On Car Rentals?

Friday, October 7, 2011

I have to book my car rental for one day in Miami, for our trip.
Am looking for any bloggers who have reviewed car rental companies or sites that offer the best car rental deals.
Thank you!!

Using Up: Nutella

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I had about a cup left of Nutella that I had bought for a cake balls recipe I tried.So I did a search online for Nutella recipes and found a collection of them.
Last night I used 1/2 cup of the recipe for some mini brownies. They were a hit, so I used the rest of the Nutella up today for another small batch.
Have leftover Nutella in your house?
Check out all the recipes here.

Yoplait Yogurt and General Mills Cereal News ( Canada)

Yoplait yogurt and General Mills cereals. That’s right, this delicious (and healthy!) duo has come together for the mother of all promotions.

Free Yoplait yogurt is available with the purchase of specially-marked General Mills cereals- and in stores now!

Wednesday-October 5

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well, I learned today that by using Google Chrome, things I couldn't accomplish with Internet Explorer and such, I can now do with Google Chrome.
In light of the recent problem one reader had over entering our giveaways, I can see that some browsers seem to work better than others.So, I tried using Google Chrome, and the publishing problem I had before is now gone.
Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies.

Tommorow is my gramma's 89th birthday. I feel blessed to have had a gramma around for so long, and hope for her to see a 90th birthday next year.She is my last living grandparent.

I got a nice phone call yesterday from Canada Bread/Maple Leaf, from a contest I had entered. 3rd prize- 1 entry: A backpack filled with school supplies worth $107.
Although I do not have young kids that go to school,we are looking forward to the prize and may be able to sell the backpack on our local buy and sell online.Not sure what's inside the backpack but can share with family if we don't need something.

Every morning I've been getting up and there are less leaves on the trees it seems. Things are just a bit more dreary looking too.
I've already added another big quilt to our bed- well, half the bed.Gerry is always more warm blooded than I.

Off for the evening- enjoy yours- and have a good week everyone.

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