The Power of the Coupon

It's time for me to check in again and be accountable for my resolutions. I believe one of them had something to do with saving money at the grocery store:) Last week I had a huge trip to Kroger where I was able to take advantage of several deals they were running. First, here are some reminders:
  • Register your loyalty card. Kroger will send you coupon booklets periodically. I had 3 booklets and probably half of the coupons in the booklets coincided with the in-store deals that were running.
  • Check out e-coupons on Remember, you can't stack these with paper coupons but they sure do help.
  • Bring your own shopping bags. Those nickels will add up. My mom literally adds nickels to a jar when she comes home from the store and then sends the $$ to the grandkids. We like!
Okay, so here's how I did. I did a lot of stockpiling. Especially for baby-type products since the Kroger-brand baby products were on special. My total savings was $64.02 with $14 of that in coupons and $49.02 in in-store Kroger deals. My guess is that the majority of the latter came from the fact that I stocked up on Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. Our stash was down to the last bag and in a house with 2 toddlers that is just dangerous. Goldfish were $1 and I bought 10 bags on that trip. Goldfish crackers are a bonus for Comfort's school, too, because they collect the Campbell's Labels for Education. And, when you register your Kroger card you also collect e-Labels. See, it just gets better and better.

So, even though my grocery bill was $91 I had 4 packages of diapers [2 of which were Huggies so I'll turn this receipt in to Caregiver's Marketplace for a few cents back, too], 4 packages of baby wipes, and a quart of Pedialyte. I also stockpiled 10 bags of Goldfish Crackers, 5 bottles of Suave Shampoo and Conditioner [which had been listed in The Grocery Game], 5 bottles of BBQ sauce I needed for Once A Month Cooking I'm doing, and 4 cans of baking spray to keep up with the extra work. 

The nice thing about this grocery trip was that even though I did a lot of stockpiling I also had food to eat, too. Comfort requested yogurt. Or 'oglurt' as she calls it and I had a coupon for YoBaby and grabbed some less expensive cups of Kroger Brand to tide us over until I get up the nerve to try my hand at making another batch. I also had coupons for things like flour and sugar, which were in the Kroger booklets and I desperately needed those since I've been doing so much baking lately. 

And there you go. It was a big day. The Power of the Coupon. Definitely a Cool Idea!

National Infertility Awareness Week

Smack Dab in the middle of burgening springtime is National Infertility Awareness Week and that's probably not by mistake. After we've all gotten the mythos of Easter chicks and bunnies out of our heads let's contemplate that fertility is not as easy for everyone. One in 8 couples [that's 7.3 million!] has difficulty conceiving of some type. We have the technology now to help meet the needs of some of us, but still many remain childless. 

With fertility challenges comes pain, grief and a wealth of community. I found a wonderful group of women online that I am proud to still call my friends. We have laughed together, cried together, said some really unladylike words out loud when truly horrible things have happened to our friends. I never thought I'd have difficulty with something that my body was supposed to know how to do naturally but I'm so glad that I didn't have to go through it alone. 

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing fertility challenges know that you don't have to wait for your doctor or your insurance. Also, try to find a support group in your area or online. It will make the world of difference. And if you are one of the 1 in 8 along with me - I extend my hand, it's good to meet you. Let's make sure it's easier for our friends and our daughters to get the care they need, when they need it. And, in case you are looking for a charity to donate to at some point this year, I'd like to recommend March of Dimes. Many babies who are born pre-term have benefitted by the research funded by this organization. They definitely do good work.

The Color of Springtime in Virginia

My sophomore year in college I learned one thing. Well, quite possibly I learned other things but I learned one very important thing - most airborne allergies in the contiguous United States converge in Central Virginia. So, if you are going to be allergic to it - you will be allergic to it HERE. Good to know!!

That year I had horrible issues with my sinuses. Before that I didn't even know where my sinuses were located. I went into student health and picked up packets and packets of whatever they would give me. I saw the yellow and green pollen floating on the lake as I walked to class and laughed when the dogs came out of the water looking that same color.

Life and allergies can be more complicated when you have kids. That is, unless you have Children's Claritin. Claritin provides products for kids ages 2+ in liquid, chewables, and reditabs. All of the products provide 24-hour relief of itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing without drowsiness or making your kids jittery. The products are sugar, alcohol and dye-free and make it more fun to be outside when the world is in bloom even though the porch is dusted in yellow.

So, if your kids have issues with allergies checkout Children's Claritin. We've had a much easier spring season and friends that have switched to Claritin report good results as well. And don't miss the coupon on their website. Every little bit helps!!

Restaurant Coupons

Time to restock!! We used our last coupon on Friday for a night out with the kids and I was hoping there would be a good deal soon. Well, here it is. $25 certificates are $2 with the code 'LUCKY'. Get 'em while you can!!

This is good April 27-30, 2009

Earth Day All Through The Year

Earth Day really shouldn't be just be one day a year. We should be mindful about our use of natural resources every day. Hopefully you've already begun to make some changes in your life. Maybe you've stopped buying bottled water and switched to a reusable, BPA-free bottle that you carry with you. Good job! But wait - there's more. Lot's more. We'll keep talking about ways that we can help the Earth and help ourselves but while Earth Day is still fresh in our minds here's a great post from Frugal Upstate. Check it out!!

Giveaway in the Blogosphere

Check out the giveaway that Nothing but Bonfires is having for a HP Wireless Photosmart C6380. Yep, A WIRELESS PRINTER!! Want an amazing invention. Just leave a comment and it enters you in the giveaway. It's that easy.

See the review and the amazing lanterns that she made. Just amazing. Definitely a Cool Idea!!

Arbor Day: Read a Book - Save a Tree

I'm not being an oxymoron here. It can be done. I used to read the Harlequin daily reads when I was at work. They are short and not hard to read online. Of course, if you have a Kindle or other e-reader then you are well on your way to saving the trees from your books. Most, if not all, of the major publishers, and most of the minor ones, now have their catalog accessible electronically. In fact, they'd probably prefer us to move this way since it's less of a drain on their resources especially in these difficult economic times.

If you haven't read a book electronically you can find publishers that will give you books to try out in this format. Or download free ebooks from Harlequin in recognition of their 60th year and see how you like the format. Here are some more tips for finding ebooks for free

If you decide to make the move to ebooks you may be in for a pleasant surprise in your wallet. While some books are comparably priced, other e-publishers may have titles for as low as free - $1.50 for a full length novel. Use Swagbucks to take a look around and see what you find. 

Have I convinced you yet? Maybe? Personally, I'm still getting there myself. I can do audio books but I still read a lot of traditional, tree-based books. I need to make the move to ebooks and I hope to do that this year. I know it's a good idea and I know it's a Cool Idea. I just need to DO IT!!

Save Money and Save Trees

We all know that coupons save us money and Earth Day is a good time to remember that there are good ways to save money without using paper coupons.

If you shop the Kroger-family stores don't forget to log into to load coupons onto your loyalty card. These coupons are taken directly off your bill at the register and you don't have to remember to do anything. However, you should know that they are not meant to be bundled with paper coupons.

And don't forget P&G eSaver. Sign up for emails and eCoupons. There's great stuff in there.

I also get emails from with reminders and additional coupons. It's not a bad idea to register with them even though you'll need to print these out to use them.

Also, don't forget to check out the Upromise ecoupons. These ecoupons get loaded onto your loyalty cards and can be used at any grocery or drug store - wherever you shop. The amount doesn't come off your bill but goes into your Upromise account instead so you're paying yourself into your savings, which is definitely a Cool Idea. 

If you don't have a Upromise account scroll down the page and we can help with that!!

Walgreens Goes Green

Celebrate Earth Day and save 15% on April 22 with in-store coupon. 

Save 15% off Eligible Items and 20% off Walgreen's Brand Items Plus get a Free Reusable Bag when you bring in this coupon today. 

Coupon offer good on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 only.

* Valid in Walgreens stores on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 only, during regular store hours. Coupon must be presented at photo or beauty counter prior to checkout to redeem offer(s). Discount does not apply toward dairy products, liquor, liquor department items, postage stamps, tobacco, prescriptions, prescription copays, Prescription Savings Club, gift cards, pre-paid cards, newspapers, magazines, transportation passes, charitable contributions and items prohibited by law. Limit one coupon per customer. Coupon must accompany purchase.

** Style may vary. Limit 1 while supplies last.

Reminders for the Day

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. It's free. It's good ice cream. I'll get over that it's not Local;)

Also, Erin from $5 Dinners is on The Rachael Ray Show today!! You've seen me link to her site before. Check out the segment if you can.

I'll be back later with more Earth Day News. TTFN.

Helping out the Earth

Earth Day is this Week and there are lots of great ways to celebrate. I'm going to post some links to celebrations around the blogosphere.

Check out this post at Tia's Savings Cents

Also, Jenn at Frugal Upstate is running a Frugal and Green Giveaway. Check it out. Leave a tip in the comments to enter.

So, You've Read All These Books

Now how are you going to keep track of them? When I first started reading Agatha Christie mysteries in my teens I would check them off in the front of one of the books I actually owned. Otherwise, I found, I'd pick up the same book over and over because the premises sounded so similar on the back cover copy. Then when I started using the library extensively after college I had a journal that I tracked my reading by author. It was very well kept.

Then life got in the way and more than a decade and two toddlers later there's no way I'd be able to keep up with a reading journal. Of course someone on the internet has come up with a solution. It's called Goodreads. You can use it as much or as little as you want - which is my criteria for a Cool Idea!

Sign in and set up your library. Keep track of the books you've read or want to read. Give them ratings and reviews. Or not. Friend people and other authors. Or not. Set up online discussions with your book club. Or not. It's totally up to you how you use it and to what extent.

I have a couple of friends that keep track of everything they read and I do mean everything. They even track books they pick up from the library or buy at the bookstore. I have another friend who has an account for her book club and tracks their monthly readings going back the 15 years they've been together.

I'm kinda down the middle. I have some of my favorite books from my keeper shelf listed with a one or two line review. I also have listed all the books I've read for the book club I'm in. I definitely want credit for those. I don't do a very good job of updating it as I go along. I tends to be in fits and starts and you know what - I'm fine with that and no one is going to bust me for being a slacker. It's mine to use how I want.

So, go and explore. Friend Paulo Coelho or Susan Wittig Albert or Kelly Corrigan. Invite your friends and friend others. You might find books you'll enjoy are on other people's shelves. That's the good part. It's Goodreads and it's definitely a Cool Idea!

Libraries are Fun!

Really they are!! As National Library Week comes to an end I'm going to put in a serious plug for using the library. There are many, many benefits and here are just a few.

I love books. My husband and I both do. When we were first married we were spending more on books than groceries. It didn’t take too many months for the money to run out though and for us – or rather me – to re-learn about the wonderful properties of the public library. Libraries are Cool Ideas!

Save money and go use your local library. Ours has books, videos, DVDs, kids/ educational DVDs, and educational kits that can be checked out. Plus there's story time, cultural events, summer reading programs - well, the list goes on and on.

If you live near a college or university check to see if their library offers a special borrower card. This can be very useful if you enjoy audiobooks since they usually buy unabridged and non-fiction titles.

Another great feature is that many libraries are putting their catalog online. This makes it just as easy to ‘shop’ your public library as it does to Amazon. It’s a Cool Idea to bookmark the catalog, just put it next to Amazon on your bookmark bar and check it out before you click to buy.

Okay, I know what you're saying - there's an Amazon widget here on the page! Yep, because not all the books I want are in my local library, sad to say. Which means I use my gift cards from Swagbucks to go to Amazon and buy the books I need for book club. But, I do have my local library's catalog on my menu bar and I check there first for any book that I want. It's instinct now and it automatically pulls the book from wherever it is in the city and sends it to my local branch for pickup. Definitely a Cool Idea.

So, to wrap up. Libraries. Use them. They are your tax dollars at work and if you use it they will buy more of what you like. That's the way it works. Get to know your librarians. Be nice to them. Wait in line with a smile. Bring your kids and clean up after them. Meltdowns happen occasionally and librarians are aware of that. Don't use your cell phone in the library. Be nice to the books. And remember to use your indoor voice:)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Here’s a Cool Idea that couples my love of Books with something close to the Cool Idea of the CSA we belong to. Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is about her family’s decision to eat locally for one year. This wasn’t an overnight decision for them but an enhancement of many of their previous life choices. One of the most significant choices they make is to leave their main home in Arizona to live full-time at their summer home in Southwest Virginia. They’d been making preparations for several years but still it was an adjustment to move from the arid southwest to the agricultural/ Applachian land in which they settle. They plant the garden, set the rules to eat by – to buy nothing that isn’t grown/ produced within their county and stick to the plan for one year.

The book follows their work month by month through the year. To me, it’s like being in school but more fun. I loved ready about how “I” could do things for myself if I just put my mind to it. Had I ever thought about the fact I could make my own cheese or yogurt? Of course not. Those things come from stores in my world. They had to because no one was producing them locally. Had I thought of canning my own tomatoes? No, I didn’t even have tomatoes except the ones that came in my farm box each week and I was still at the point of trying to consume them before they went mushy instead of putting them away for the winter.

I loved the pacing of the book. There are stories of their work along with essays and recipes. I did try the one for Swiss chard but I hesitate to tell you how it turned out. Let’s just say there was user error. The anecdotes about trying to get the turkeys to have sex or getting seeds out of the melon in Italy are unexpectedly entertaining and kinda remind me of listening to stories my grandmother might have told – if I had been old enough to understand what she was talking about.

Is this a Cool Idea? Absolutely! I’ve talked about this book to everyone with ears. In fact, I make a poor religious evangelist despite the fact I was raised Baptist but this is a book that I have practically handed out to strangers on street corners. Check out your library. It’s fantastic and beautifully readable.

Wonderful Wednesday

Be sure to check out the Coupon Bar on the right hand side of the page ---> especially if you are looking for Huggies/ Pull Up coupons. Then go to your Upromise account and load the Huggies and Pullups coupons. If you don't have a Upromise account, click on the button by the archives list and sign up. You won't be disappointed.

Now, for the regular line up of freebies, etc:

Get a FREE roll of Reynolds Wrap Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum

Coupon for FREE Buffalo Chips at BW3

What could be better for Mother's Day than a FREE Family Portrait at JCPenney

FREE Vlasic Product

Having trouble with a Spring Cold? Get a sample of Airborne!

Huggies has a new product - Pure and Natural available in sizes N-size2

FREE Sample of Idea-Paint Dry Erase Paint - I gotta try this!!

FREE Books are a favorite of mine - as I've mentioned before - and since it's National Library Week it seems appropriate to mention books, too. In case you haven't been over to my sister-site to check out the FREE Harlequin books take a look. Also, you can get FREE downloads at to celebrate their 60th Anniversary. Check out my earlier post.

And, to 'Celebrate' Tax Day - Maggie Moos is giving away  FREE single scoops of ice cream. Make sure your taxes are done and then go get something yummy. That is definitely a Cool Idea. Get it?!?!?!?!

National Library Week

I didn't even have to check my calendar to see that this week was National Library Week. My best friend is a librarian and I knew from her wreck of a schedule that this was a crazy and important week for her. If you are going to be at your library this week - and I hope you will be - be sure to thank your librarians. They do us all a wonderful service and put up with screaming kids, people asking for the key to the bathroom, and [if you work at an academic library] inane questions like "where are the books". 

I'd also like to create a bridge from the previous topic of the Nora Roberts' movies to the topic of the local library. If, perhaps, you caught the movies on Lifetime but have not had the opportunity to read the books this would be a really great time to, literally, check them out. I guarantee that you will find Nora's books in your library although there might be a wait list. These four are relatively new so they should be in good shape and there are probably multiple copies in circulation. Take advantage of your tax dollars at work. 

Also, authors are proud to have their work in our libraries. They are happy when librarians order their books. It's good for their royalty statements and builds their readership. They know that if you like their book you are likely to pick up another one and another one and another one and that some day you are likely to pay money for it. And even if you don't. They don't mind. They enjoy knowing that someone really, truly appreciated their book.

So. Libraries and Librarians. Go visit this week and make sure you take a smile. Pay your fines if you have any, like I do. Pick up a book that you might not have tried otherwise. Expand your horizons. Knowledge is Power and Libraries are definitely a Cool Idea!

Nora Roberts' Tribute on Lifetime

Did you catch them all? If you missed Tribute this weekend like I did [I was busy with Easter stuff and forgot] it's on again tonight at 9p. This is the last of the four new Nora Roberts Original Movies that Lifetime is doing this time around.  And if you missed any of the others and are really bummed about it you can buy them on iTunes apparently. 

Go Green!

One of my resolutions is to be mindful about how decisions I make impact the environment and there's no time like Earth Day Month to talk about it here. It's great that there are lots of sites talking about it this month. One that I found this week is Kroger.

You can submit a design for a reusable grocery bag - one entry per day and entries to be voted on by May 15 - and you'll receive a credit on your Kroger card for one free reusable bag that you pick up at your local store.

Well, I was going to tell you more about it but Erin at $5 Dinners did such a thorough job. Besides, you should check out her site. Bookmark it. Subscribe to it. It's a Cool Idea, too.

So, give it a try. Have the kids make one, too. Do one for fun. Do one that's serious. Do one with a theme. Do one for the Dog or the Cat. Just do one. It's a Cool Idea.

5 Reasons to Buy Locally

I've talked about this before and I'll talk about it again, I'm sure. Here's why.
  1. Buying locally gives us a face to put with our purchases. I know who makes the ice cream in my neighborhood and she's a wonderful woman. Not only does she make great and unique flavors but she's part of the neighborhood. 
  2. Plus, She's not trucking in her product from across the country and wasting fuel and increasing her carbon footprint. She makes the ice cream right here. Sure, there's a Ben and Jerry's in my neighborhood, too and it's hard to pass up some days but it's not the same anymore.
  3. A drive through the neighborhood also showed that an increasing number of stores are now sitting vacant. I'm not great at math but that can't be good for the city's tax revenue. If businesses aren't open they aren't paying taxes or collecting sales tax and someone is going to lose - either by losing services or by paying higher taxes. Buying locally helps keep these businesses open and keeps tax revenue local, too.
  4. You know where they came from. This can be especially comforting when it comes to food products. Buying your fruits and vegetables from the Farmer's Market or through a CSA is one way to make sure that you are eating food that hasn't been waxed or coated to make it hardy for transport or that has been mishandled in some way. You still need to clean foods properly but a reputable grower that is listed in will have their growing information and will answer any questions you might have. This is Earth Day Month - Go Green and Stay There.
  5. Be a role model for your children. Teach them that being part of your community is important. Show them that knowing the people in the neighborhood is fun. We walked up to the Crayon Store [which actually has nothing to do with crayons but happens to have a place for kids to draw while adults shop], stopped by Amy's shop on the way back, ducked into the Mirror Store [it has a fun house style mirror out front], and then went into the Homer Store [so called because the owner used to have a dog by this name]. This is the way Comfort navigates our neighborhood. She feels a connection to our neighborhood and to the people who live and work here. What more could we want.

Mystery Shopping - Blogger Love

One thing I love about the blogosphere is that everyone is great about helping out the next person. This is extremely helpful when it comes to Mystery Shopping because it can be focused very regionally. Some companies that work great for me in Virginia may not be what you are looking for in Texas or South Dakota or Ohio. So, I'm going here are some blogs that I follow who also include information about Mystery Shopping. Check them out and say hello.
Carrie has great tips in general for saving money. Nicole also includes giveaways and store deals. Jen's blog is focused mostly on surveys but you'll also find money saving tips, focus groups, and mystery shopping info.

Wonderful Wednesday

It's Spring Break this week and the weather is as crazy as we are. There are great posts around the blogosphere with details for Wonderful Wednesday. Check out:
There are great posts out there with details about freebies and wonderful deals. Check 'em out and then come back tomorrow for the last of this week's posts about Mystery Shopping. I guarantee it'll be Cool!

Mystery Shops - Additional Sources

Here are additional sources that I don't have personal reference for but I'm going to go ahead and post. I'm sure they are great to work with they just haven't had anything available in my area that I've been able to do. 

Okay, you may have already noticed that a lot of the companies use the same database system, Sassie. The good news is that once you figure out once system you'll be able to better navigate the other company's sites. The bad news is that you might forget that you need to register at all of them because they are not linked together. Each company keeps their own information. 

Be patient. It might take a little while to learn which companies have the types of shops that you are really interested in in your area. Then you might need to learn which companies send you regular emails and which are ones that you need to go check on a regular basis. I get emails from all of them but I can tell you that I check Trendsource on a regular basis and I have rarely gotten an assignment there unless a previously assigned shop has fallen through and I was the backup. Those grocery shops go fast. The early bird gets the work!

Mystery Shopping - Food and Retail

I've been doing Mystery Shopping since last summer but it was a slow start. I had one company that I got several assignments from in the fall but that was pretty much it. Now I'm finding that you need to put your information out in a lot of different areas and be available as much as you can when someone is needed.

Some key things to remember:
  1. This is a job. It may not pay great but in order to be asked to return you need to be professional even by email. Most applications will ask for a writing sample. Use correct punctuation and grammar. 
  2. Doing a Mystery Shop is about being just that - a Mystery Shopper. You are not supposed to look like you are checking things out or taking notes. This can be hard because reports ask for very specific details. Be sure to check the reports before the shop to know what you need to detail and figure out how you will capture the data.
  3. Follow the directions. Turn in your information on time. Fill out the information completely. Most companies have an internal shopper rating system and if you don't fulfill their requirements you can negatively impact your rating which can impact your ability to pick up future assignments.
Here are some a few more companies to sign up with:
I've done fast food and fast casual food shops for Market Force, nice retail store shops for Sinclair, and retail and grocery shops for Trendsource. Each shop takes no more than 30 minutes on site but does take some prep time and some additional time to fill out the report. The payoff is that I got Christmas presents for my mom and mother-in-law for free, my kids bathroom rug for free, kitchen knives for free and several trips to the grocery for - you guessed it - FREE. Well, they were free because I stayed within the reimbursable amount. These companies don't hand you a blank check. Part of the instructions will be the shopper pay and the reimbursable amount, if applicable. The smart thing to do is to stick to the Price is Right Rules - get as close to the cost without going over - that way as little comes out of your own pocket. And there you go. Some more very Cool Ideas for ways to get some cool stuff for free. 

Eat Cheap (or Free)

Mystery Shopping is a great way to be able to eat cheap or free with a little preparation on your part and some work on the back end it can be fun and a great way to get out and enjoy a night out with your family and friends without feeling the pinch in your wallet. 

I didn't do as well last month picking up Mystery Shopping jobs so this month I'm going to work harder. Where do you find mystery shopping jobs? I'm going to post some here this week and I'll point you to some other bloggers in different areas of the country that post their mystery shopping success. 

A lot of the companies have regional clients so Your Mileage May Vary. My first suggestion is to either decide that you're going to use your own email account or get a new (free) email account just for your mystery shopping jobs and make sure you are going to check it regularly. That means every day if you are going to be serious about picking up shops. I started slow and used my own private email to begin so I stuck with that and it works fine for me. Other's, like Carrie at Money Saving Methods uses a different email for each of her projects.

Here are a few sites to start with:
In my area Game Film does a steak restaurant chain. I picked up a shop from ICC for a wine warehouse and BARE does restaurants and banks. Mystery Shopping has been an extremely Cool Idea for me. It has allowed me to add to our income, cut expenses if we eat out on someone else's dime, and has a flexibility that allows sometimes allows me to include my family. Please make sure that you read the guidelines for each shop as some don't allow other people with you, but on the whole most restaurant shops want you to look like the typical diner. So, give it a start and see how it goes and I'd love to hear what you think.

High Noon on Lifetime

This week's Lifetime/ Nora Roberts movie is High Noon. It premieres April 4 at 9pm and will be shown throughout the weekend if you miss it. In fact, if you missed the previous movies you can download them from iTunes. You can also get an exclusive excerpt from Nora Roberts next novel "Vision in White". There's lots of great stuff available on the site so that you can get excited about the upcoming movies which are a perfect antidote for the spring showers we've been experiencing. Snuggle up with a good book and get ready for a great movie. It's a Cool Idea!

Wanna try out some Magazines?

Try These. There Free.

Creativity - Where do you get your ideas? Check out a magazine geared toward priming creativity for professionals and those that are creating ads. Find out how they do it and what they tap into.

Food Arts - Are you thinking about starting a food-oriented business? If so you'll want to check this out. Recipes, fresh ideas, chefs, and more.

Student Group Tour - focused on student oriented destination, itineraries, travel trends and lots of great information for those planning student travel.

Smart Meetings - Meeting industry trends to plan meetings in Western US, Canada, and Mexico.

And, if you are looking to for some great new reads for Spring. Check this out... Spring Cleaning Sale at Save up to 76% during the month of April on Featured Books

Just some more stuff to give us ideas for life. Enjoy where the Cool Ideas come from.

Cleaning Tips redux

Okay, I don't usually clean this much all at once but spring has come to Virginia and I have book club at my house next Monday so it's time to get tidy. Today I was in the bathroom and noticed that thanks to the Scrubbing Bubbles Cleaner I still don't have to do any major shower cleaning except to the floor of the shower. 

I'd forgotten to get a Magic Eraser as my commenter suggested but I thought about what the problem is - it's the texture of the shower floor. I needed something to get in and around the ridgelets. So, I went down to the kitchen to get a dish scrubber that we'd picked up at IKEA forever ago and never used, squirted some cleaning goo in the shower and went at it. 

It was clear pretty quickly that this was working and working well. In fact, I think I heard angels singing:) In just a couple of minutes it looked like new. Lesson learned here - most problems that are in our home can be solved with something found in our home. Just take moment, take a look around, look at it inside out or whatever it takes. But unless you've found something highly specialized or you don't have any extraneous stuff in your house (in which I envy you) try to recycle what you have for another purpose. It's Cool to find a new life for stuff lying around the house.