Um, Kroger... Can I ask what you were thinking?

Like many people who have a Kroger loyalty card I got my 'exclusive coupon' booklet in the mail this week. Maybe you already looked through yours. It took me a few days to get to mine. It's been that kind of week. Personally, I actually like the articles and I noticed the "Take Steps to Shape History - Black History Month" logo on the front and I read the article on school lunches because this is a BIG deal for me.

Then I got to the coupons and -- I kid you not -- the first coupon is for Aunt Jemima frozen waffles or french toast.

Now, personally I love waffles and french toast. I eat them whenever I can but I make them for myself or someone else makes them for me, in the case of french toast because I've never figured out how to keep the structural integrity of the bread and still get enough eggy flavor.

But this is a secondary issue. The theme on the front is "Black History Month" and the lead coupon is Aunt Jemima. Really? I'm just going to stop here because I don't think there's anything more to say. Let's just reflect on this anachronism and move on to our own personal celebration of Black History Month.

And if you have a tried and true french toast recipe, please feel free to send it to me.

So You Think You Have An Idea For A Book

Uh-huh. And then you sat down and tried to write. How did that work out for you. Some days I get writing done and some days my butt just goes numb.

Somedays I just have to push through even if the kidlets are home sick from school. It's not easy and it usually means I can't get the heavy-lifting kind of writing done because someone says "I need juice" every two minutes.

These are times when I can stretch my creativity and let it out to play untamed for a bit. Sometimes I have a subplot I can noodle. When this happens I'm often surprised at the twists and turns - sometimes in a good way:)

Sometimes I need a prompt for this creativity exercise. That's when I head over to The StoryWonk Story Generator. It randomly generates a Hero, a Heroine, and a Situation of Action. Here's the one I just got:

He's a disillusioned pirate; she's a dishonest stripper. Together, they must survive in the wilderness and save the world.
Voila! How Cool is That. Or, if you want a different prompt, just click and try another one. But really, the best part of using the story generator as a creativity prompt is taking whatever if gives you and just working with it.  Usually it wakes up something in my head that I can actually use because that's the way the brain works.

So, hop on over to The StoryWonk Story Generator and give it a spin. Not only is it a great kick in the  creativity pants but it's just plain fun and that is definitely a Cool Idea!

Awesome News From Cellfire

Shoppers at Kroger and the Kroger-family of stores need to head over to Cellfire today because they are running a promotion from 6am ET to 9pm ET. Just log in at some point during the day to find out the amount of the coupon that you've won. You'll find the coupon in with the regular coupons.

So, hop on over to Cellfire today and see what they have for you!!

Redeeming The Fruit of Work

It's been some time since I've had time to work on surveys. It took a long time to get set after school started and then there was NaNoWriMo. Now, I'm working on the surveys again and I'm beginning to reap some of the fruits of my time.

Most recently I just received a $20 iTunes card from MyOpinionNow. Last week I got a $5 check from Opinion Outpost and I've almost accumulated enough surveys to cash out another $5. Also, I've just put in a request for a payout from Mindfield Online for $18 to my PayPal account. And while I was updating this post I decided to check out Survey Savvy and found I had enough to get a $5 check.

Sure, it's not a lot from one place right now but it'll all add up in bits and pieces and it'll certainly pay for a night at The Byrd and that's a pretty Cool Idea.

Have you seen TED?

Yes, I have been living under a rock. Well, maybe not under a rock but I have been living in the work of Nick, Jr and Sesame Street so I don't get to watch much TV aimed at adults. Most of the television I see is brought to me by 'The Letter R' and the 'spokesmonsters' have lured colors of fur. Maybe this is your world - maybe it's not:)

But now we have Netflix and I just adore the streaming feature. This might be the best use of Wii since the Fit!! I sit down to feed the baby I take care of during the day, make sure the controller is close to hand and now I have thousands of movies, shows, and documentaries close to hand in case he falls asleep and I'm trapped under an adorable baby and can't get up. I know, it's only a little bit of an excuse. We all know not to wake sleeping babies and it's been a VERY cold winter here in Virginia so I've been keeping the little guy close by for warmth. It works for both of us actually.

Netflix streaming has let me catch up on some shows that I never saw in the first place - like Buffy - and rewatch favorite old movies - I just love Desk Set. And the other night dh and I sat up and watched The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED. This was fantastic. It was full of great conversations in real English and everyone had a time limit and kept to that time limit out of respect for their peers. And some of those peers included Al Gore and some were community activists who I'd never heard of before.

So, I'm going back to the TED site to watch more of the talks and this is now part of my goal setting for the year. Here's one that I'm particularly fond of: 

Here are a lot of takeaways there but the one I'm starting with is "I am enough" because that is definitely a Cool Idea.

Kroger MEGA Event

In case you missed last week's Mega event at Kroger it's held over for another week. Just buy 10 items from the list and you get $5 off your bill. While I'll admit that most of the items aren't on my usual shopping list this did allow me to take a break from my baking schedule and buy some snacks for the kidlet's school lunches. In fact, I think I have enough snack now to make it to Spring Break. I'll hit the store again this week because I had the great fortune to get two $1/3 Catalina's for Quaker Rice Quakes which get me two-thirds of the way through another mega-deal.

If you're thinking about what you might need to buy for Super Bowl snacks here are some things on the list:
Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Goldfish Crackers - great for school lunch, too:)
Hormel Chili
Hebrew National Beef Franks
Pepsi Brand Soft Drinks

And well, there are just so many more on the list. I stocked back up on hot dogs the first week since we'd gone through the last from the freezer over Winter Break. I also got deli meat for school lunches. Anyway, it was one of those shopping trips where it might not have made a great many meals but it was a great week to restock and sometimes that's a Cool Idea.