Cyber Monday Deals Week

I don’t hit the stores for Black Friday. No way, not in cold Ohio! I do, however, love Cyber Monday. Even more, I love how Amazon has extended the fun and savings all week long, just like they did for Black Friday Week. The sales have already begun on Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week, with a new special being announced every 10 minutes.

Watch their Cyber Monday landing page or use any of the following links to take you to whatever department makes you drool — err — catches your eye for gift-giving this season. Deals are announced ahead of time so you can pop back in when they start.


2013 Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week

2013 Amazon Cyber Monday Deals Week: New deals every 10 minutes, all week long!


Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals Week in Laptops

Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals Week in Desktops

Shop Amazon – Cyber Monday Deals in Sports


Coupon for Amazon’s new MYHABIT discount site for fashionistas

Amazon’s ever expanding line of goodies now includes high fashion. They just launched MYHABIT, a site dedicated to high fashion for men, women and kids. They discount up to 60% and offer free shipping, plus free returns. So, basically, no-risk shopping for your habit.

Now for the great news: I have an Amazon MYHABIT coupon code for my readers!

Save $10 Promotion Code: through September 1, customers can save $10 on their order by entering the code MYHABITX at checkout. The offer ends at 11:59pm on September 1, 2011.

I’ve been an customer for over ten years, and I’m excited to see them doing so well. Their customer service has been great through the years. I’ve bought everything from soap to clothes to toys to electronics and more from them.

I sincerely hope this does well for them!

Inexpensive scrapbook supplies: Oriental Trading Company

Oriental Trading CompanyI’ve been visiting Oriental Trading Company’s website quite a bit lately because we’ve found things to use at the flower shop, so we’re always on the lookout for other neat goodies. We get lots of fun ideas just looking at pictures, for that matter.

BUT, what I’m really wanting to get is some scrapbooking stuff. I know I don’t need more, but they have a lot of cool embellishments, paper, beads, brads, eyelets, albums and, and….just all kinds of stuff. Cheap! I know some girls from the local scrapbook store went in together on a big order of bulk brads and other embellishments and came away with a ton of stuff for very little. That’s the way to do it.

Tell me what bargains you find! Let me know if you’re going to do a scrapbooking co-op or anything fun like that.

Dante the PT Cruiser GT

My folks were out driving our van last week when a deer decided to dash out in front of it. Mom and dad weren’t hurt, but the deer was and so was the van. The radiator was crunched into the engine and the grill and headlight assembly on one side were history. Our insurance company totaled it.

So, Howie and I began car shopping. Our wonderful 1992 Buick Park Avenue that was totaled in my accident of 2007 was our second Park Avenue in a row. The 1997 VW Jetta III GLS we bought after the wreck just wasn’t for us – cramped, devoid of a glove compartment or any decent storage spots in which to stow our electronics’ adapters and such, and….it had tiny cupholders, both crammed beneath the ashtray so only small to-go coffee cups would fit in them. It’s not a bad car, just a bad car for us.

We missed having a big, comfy car. So, when we started shopping for a used car, we gravitated right toward the luxury cars again. We always buy used, and when you get a luxury car that’s almost ten years old, you can get a great ride with all the bells and whistles for a reasonable price. We test drove some large sedans from Buick and Mercury, but just didn’t find any we really loved.

Well, one of the dealers had a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser on the lot. Howie and I always liked the looks of them, but when he was told they were built on the same frame as the Dodge Neon, he assumed they would be cramped like the Jetta. Still, we thought we’d get in the car and see what it felt like. Amazingly, it was comfortable for us, with plenty of leg room. It had a center organizer between the seats, generous cup holders (!) plus a glove compartment. We took it for a brief test drive.

That sold us. They are fun to drive! We didn’t get that particular car, but we decided that was the car for us. After we began researching them, we realized we wanted to get a 2006 or newer because of the changes that year brought to the cars.

I read up on the great PT Cruizer website and learned what was new with each model year, the various trim and options available, etc. Fortunately for us, the base models sold for under $19K new, so models several years old were within our price range.

We checked out a few dealerships and had decided we’d wait and get our car from CarMax come time. I won’t go into why we decided on them; you can read up on them at their site and see why we think they’re a good place to go. We thought we’d wait a while since we thought we wanted a 2008, but didn’t want to get into high car payments right now.

Life threw us a curve.

Howie saw a car advertised that we just had to check out. Today we went to Lash Chevrolet to test drive a 2006 PT Cruiser GT we saw advertised online. It was a 1-owner car, a traded in from a man who bought a new crossover vehicle from them. The CarFax report shows the original owner took the car to the dealership where he bought it for all its scheduled maintenance and servicing.

This car is like brand new! It has leather interior, heated driver and passenger seats, chrome trim option, a satellite radio ready stereo with a 6-CD changer and the premium Boston Acoustics sound system. Something we didn’t know about, but love is it even bluetooth connectivity that works through the car speakers.

It has a little over 72,000 miles on it, but from what some mechanic friends have told us, that is nothing for these new engines. The salesman said the gentleman who traded it in liked to travel a lot, so the miles were likely mostly highway miles. We took the car for a good, long test drive of 90 minutes and it drives like a dream.

Yep, we got it. 🙂 The dealership was asking about $1000 less than Kelley Blue Book on it. Thanks to the settlement money from the totaled van, we didn’t have to finance much. Win-win!

Here are some photos of our new (to us) 2006 PT Cruiser GT.

The color’s called Inferno Red Crystal Pearl, so I thought I’d call the car Dante. You know…Dante’s Inferno from The Divine Comedy? Nerdy name, but hey — consider the source. I need to read that again since it’s been a good 25 years since my eyes saw that book.

But I digress! We’ve given my folks the Jetta since their vehicle is probably on its last legs (tires?). We are so thrilled with this car — such a departure from our usual cars. Yet, it’s funny, because it’s kind of an “old person’s car” like most of our previous cars have been. Hey, that’s okay with us. We like that it’s quirky and retro. We don’t need to be cool with the younger crowd. What matters is WE love it!

Save on textbooks and get free 2-day shipping

Hand written ad saying poor student will buy your textbooks.Back when I was in college*, I was pretty much at the mercy of the college bookstore when it came to textbooks. Even their used texts were outrageously expensive, and this was the late 1990’s. I can only imagine what students pay now.

There were always a few “for sale” notes pinned to campus bulletin boards, but competitively priced books were quick to sell. I didn’t have a car, so driving in to a campus bookstore in Columbus wasn’t an option.

Not so, now! College students have an amazing world wide store at their fingertips. They have textbooks for everything from math to literature, business & finance to medicine.

They even have textbooks in audiobook format. It’s great these are available, especially since some students learn better by hearing than by reading and reading while you listen can help anyone with retention and comprehension.

This morning, I learned Amazon has a great deal going on for anyone in need of college textbooks. They have new textbooks discounted up to 30% and used textbooks discounted up to 90%. That’s not shabby in itself, but they’ve sweetened the deal with an unbeatable bit of sugar: Right now, if you buy any textbook, you will receive free 3-month tial of Amazon Prime. The normal trial membership is 30 days, so this is great!

For those of you who don’t know, Amazon Prime gives you free 2-day shipping on anything fulfilled by Amazon. That’s fast! You can get hard-to-find grocery items, paper products, electronics and — of course — books. Amazon has just about everything that doesn’t require a refrigerator or a permit.

I’m not currently a student, but consider myself a lifelong learner and some of the titles I saw while browsing had my brain drooling. There’s so much out there to learn, no matter what your age! You don’t have to enroll in a college to do it, either. Textbooks don’t require a prescription or a copy of your tuition receipt. Anyone can read and learn!

* Does this make me sound ancient or what? What a lead in for some tale of woe or fanciful trip down memory lane. Here’s one: Back when I was in college, we didn’t have the interwebs, nosiree! We flipped through a card catalog at the library to find the book we needed and didn’t know until we got to its place on the shelf whether or not it was checked out.

Review: Progressive International measuring cups and spoons

A few weeks ago I was browsing the kitchen stuff on Amazon and saw this Progressive International 19-Piece Measuring Set and snatched it right up. As regular readers know, I enjoy cooking and have recently begun baking bread at home, too. I’ve been using this set several times a week since they arrived and I am so glad I got them!

What’s unique about this set is, it’s not just the standard dry measures you see in typical sets of measuring cups. Oh, no, kids —  This one has handy oddball measures, too! Check them out:

Measures included

Spoons Cups  
1/32 tsp - Smidgen (.15 ml) 1/8 cup (30 ml)  
1/16 tsp - Pinch (.3 ml) 1/4 cup (60 ml)  
1/8 tsp - Dash (.6 ml) 1/3 cup (80 ml)  
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) 1/2 cup (120 ml)  
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) 2/3 cup (160 ml)  
1 tsp (5 ml) 3/4 cup (180 ml)  
1/2 Tbsp (7.5 ml) 1 cup (240 ml)  
2 tsp (10 ml) 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)  
1 Tbsp (15 ml) 1 3/4 cups (420 ml)  
  2 cups (480 ml)  

The entire set is made out of a tough, hard plastic.  Yay, no rust and no weird oxidation and powder on aluminum. They wash up great in the dishwasher. And did I mention they’re in The Ohio State University colors – scarlet and gray –  plus white? This matters more to Howie than it does me, but I’m just sayin’.

Wide range of sizes

Those odd-sized measuring cups are proving very handy to me as I measure stuff out for baking. With my little kitchen, space is at a premium and I try to keep my work area as neat as possible as I measure out my various ingredients. A lot of my bread recipes seem to take 3 1/2  cups of flour. I love how I can measure that out in two steps using one 2-cup measure and one 1 1/2 cup measure. It makes the job go faster.

The form factor

Not only that, but the cups are broad and shallow, making all but the 1/8 cup measure stays upright when put on the counter. I find myself using the cups as ramekins for my yeast, spices, and other ingredients. Anything that does double-duty like that is a winner in my book. The cups also nest very well, nice for storage.

Unlike the cups, the spoons lean toward being deep. If you’ve used old-style, nearly-flat metal measuring spoons, you know deep spoons work a lot better for both liquid and dry measuring. I keep the spoons hanging by their loop inside my cupboard door. Speaking of the loops, these snap together with a simple reclosable clasp. It makes the spoons a snap to separate from one another.
Stamped, not printed

Another thing I like about this set is, the labels are molded into the handles rather than just printed on them. Additionally, as you can see in my table, the measurements are expressed in both fractions of cups and milliliters. They’re accurate enough for everything I’ve made using them; every recipe I’ve made has come out great.

The only thing they’re not good for. Heh.

I did figure out that these are not good for melting butter. It was actually my fault since I let the microwave go for too long and that butter got really hot. The cup is fine, but you can see where the hot butter was in it. I know to use glass receptacles for melting butter in the future!

The lowdown

Anyway, if you want a really versatile measuring set for your kitchen, these are a great bet. They’re a super value for the price. When you buy your own, grab a set or two for giving as gifts. They’ll make great Christmas gifts, but would really rock as part of a wedding present or for anyone just setting out on his or her own for the first time. They’ll last a lifetime. I’d buy them again in a heartbeat!