22. October 2013 05:18
Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. A little more of this or less of that can seriously affect the outcome of a dish when you're baking.
I'm more of an artist in the kitchen. I prefer to "eyeball" rather than measure.
This is probably why, though I love to cook (and bake) and I consider myself a fairly good cook, I didn't do well in home economics in middle school.
"You can't MAKE me use those measuring spoons." I didn't speak those words, but my actions said so, loud and clear.
That's why these little gems were made for cooks like me.
Aren't they cute? They're just like you'd find in a science lab, with precise measurements along the sides--and, unlike measuring spoons, they greatly reduce the risk of spillage.
Plus, when I use these to measure liquid ingredients, I feel like a scientist, not a home-ec-class dropout.
Fun kitchen tools add a touch of whimsy to those everyday tasks. Check out the Deal of the Week at Cutlery and More and you'll save up to 25%!
19. October 2013 06:26
It's taken me fortymumble years to get there, but I finally joined the gym. And I don't even hate it. I'm not too adventurous with my choice of workout--30 minutes on the treadmill suits me just fine.
That's 30 more minutes on the treadmill than I was managing before I joined the gym.
I've made it work by getting up at 5:15 and arriving at the gym by 5:30. That leaves me enough time to exercise before I need to get home and haul everyone out of bed so they can leave on time for work or school.
Right now, my distance is pretty paltry, but I'm overcoming a foot injury and a sinus infection that has activated my asthma, so I'm working my way up. I can only go up from here.
I've also stopped buying cola, which is basically the only soda I'll drink. Between that and the exercise, I've got two healthy lifestyle changes happening at once. Go me!
Unfortunately, my teenage daughter, who is a varsity track athlete and who almost never drinks soda, is on my case because I gave in to a seasonal craving and bought a bag of cider donuts.
I didn't eat all of them. Only two--and not in the same day.
"You might as well not even bother to go to the gym if you're going to buy donuts," she coldly informed me.
I disagree. Whether or not I exercised, I'd buy the donuts anyway. At least this way I'm canceling them out.
Want to look good while you work out? Use coupon code DAD12 at Spinning.com to get 10% off your purchase of apparel and accessories!
14. October 2013 06:33
What's better than finding a coupon code that helps you save money? A coupon code with a clever twist that makes you laugh--AND helps you save money! Let's liven up an ordinary Monday with a few clever coupon offers!
E.L.F. cosmetics is offering FREE shipping on orders of $14.92 or more, today only, when you use code COLUMBUS at checkout.
Gotta love a play on our own site's name! Save 5% at Luna Bazaar with coupon code tjoosthis.
What you see is what you get: enter code TENPERCENTOFF to save (you guessed it!) 10% on purchases of $35 or more at MovieTickets.com.
Here's another descriptive code: save 15% on orders over $75 at JustFab.com with coupon code fallhaul13.
Save 10% on Nutrition Bars at Drugstore.com with coupon code BAR10.
These are a lot more fun than those random combinations of letters and numbers that you usually forget by the time you get to the checkout page!
12. October 2013 00:43
My daughter and I are going On Tour: college tours, that is. And one thing that all the schools we've visited--large and small, urban and suburban--have in common is that there's a lot of walking to be done.
We've trekked uphill and down, climbed stairs, and tripped over cobblestones. We've stepped on acorns and dodged puddles.
At least now that summer's over, families On Tour have made more sensible shoe choices. In the warm weather, most people I see taking these tours wear flip-flops. By the end of a three-hour tour, I'd be surprised if they didn't regret that decision.
Planning to take your teenager on a college tour? Wear comfortable shoes. Here are some ways to dress your feet in style while still saving money:
At Sperry Top-Sider, you'll save $5 on a $25 or more purchase with coupon code B2T46.
Get FREE shipping on all orders at 6PM.com! Their sale section can't be beat.
Journeys also offers FREE shipping on orders over $39.99--and you'll find plenty of campus-friendly styles.
8. October 2013 05:21
Sometimes when you want something done, you've just got to do it yourself. So even though I'm not much of a gardener, I headed out front this morning to take care of some overgrown weeds that had turned into saplings and were starting to scratch under the eaves of my roof.
The spooky, scratchy, creaking noise was driving me crazy! So even though I didn't have a hockey mask to put on, I grabbed the electric hedge trimmer out of the garage, plugged in a really long extension cord, and got to work.
I took care of those scratchy branches and even trimmed off a bit of the lilac bush that gets in the mailman's way when he crosses the yard to put our bills and junk mail in the mailbox. It's really gratifying to look out and see a neater front yard, and a big pile of branches in the street, awaiting the next time the chipper truck comes through the neighborhood.
Of course, the whole time I was out there, I worried about using power tools while I was home alone. I remembered a day years ago when I was home with a toddler and my neighbor banged on the door. She'd been trimming the hedges in front of her house, and one of her fingers got in the way. I grabbed a clean kitchenn towel to wrap around it, sent my little boy to another neighbor's house, and drove her to the emergency room.
"Look at this," she was telling me. "I could have cut my finger right off!"
No. Just no. I can drive you to the ER, but I cannot look at your wound. (And I didn't want that kitchen towel back, either.)
Now here's the kind of gardening where you can't get hurt: bonsai! You can save 20% on selected trees from Bonsai Outlet, no coupon code needed! Bonus: these things won't take over the front yard!
7. October 2013 07:12
It was a dark and stormy afternoon, and your humble blogger was looking at three things: the rainstorm outside, the 6-PM weather forecast, and the email inbox. That's because soccer practice for Eleven is scheduled only three hours from now, and it's going to be pouring. Will the coach cancel?
I don't care too much if my kid gets wet, since he is washable, after all, and it's pretty warm out. I can sit in the car, where it's nice and dry, and read a book and listen to the rain--which will drown out the sound of the coach teaching the kids secret plays with German keywords so the other teams won't catch on.
But we are under a Tornado Watch in this area. And that's where I have to draw the line. Nobody's kids should be practicing an outdoor sport in that kind of weather.
As I sit here refreshing my email inbox to see if the coach has come to his senses and canceled practice, I'm mentally packing a bag for Eleven just in case that doesn't happen. That's because he has to go straight from soccer practice to a rehearsal tonight, and I don't think they'll want water running out of his cleats onto the stage. So he'll need a towel, a full set of clothes, and dry shoes.
Need a thirsty towel after a rainshower or a regular shower? Check out the deals at Turkish Towels--you can save 35% with coupon code SAVENOW35.
30. September 2013 02:24
I love to use coupons and get good deals, whether I'm shopping online or just in the supermarket or other brick-and-mortar store. Part of saving money on the grocery bill has to do with planning our meals around meat and produce that's on sale, and building a good stock of non-perishable food in my pantry.
Right now, things on your grocery list should include:
- canned fruits and vegetables
- dried fruits (raisins, apricots, cranberries)
- late-season sweet corn
Taste of Home has a great state-by-state listing of in-season autumn produce.
If you prefer to purchase your groceries online, we've found a source for organic produce: LocalHarvest offers free shipping on select produce and meat from local sources--no treks to the farmer's market necessary.
Here's my pantry (or, as my neighbor calls it, the Bomb Shelter.)
28. September 2013 01:22
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday and I'm already at the end of my rope, thanks to the mix of real (and imagined) crises my kids are having. My high-school senior is figuring out how to juggle school, a part-time job, a varsity sport, college applications and still have a little time left over just to relax. That involves self-discipline, advanced mathematics and an understanding employer.
Two out of three ain't bad.
My middle-schooler is feeling his oats these days. He expects it to be his way or the highway, and if one of us changes our mind about something, he tells us we're lying. His behavior has been rude--and we're calling him on it. Again and again and again.
I'm more persistent than a sixth-grader, for the record. But if I'm going to be expected to parent at this level for too much longer, I'm going to need a whole lot more coffee. And maybe a Milky Way. For medicinal purposes, you know.
Here are a few deals on things designed to cure what ails you:
Use coupon code SALE to save $10 on a Kona triple pack at KOA Coffee. That should be enough caffeine to carry you through several more parenting crises.
Coffee's not your thing? Try a relaxing cup of tea. Save 10% off one pound of tea--and 20% off 5 pounds--at Teavana!
Need something stronger? New customers at The Wine Enthusiast can save $15 on orders of $99 or more with coupon code SAVE15. Hurry, this offer expires Monday!
And, of course, there's always chocolate. Go for the good stuff at Godiva Chocolate and get FREE shipping on orders over $65 with coupon code TRUFFLES.
24. September 2013 02:09
I'll bet you didn't know this about me--I live on the edge.
Here's how I found this out: yesterday, a family obligation took me on a 240-mile round trip to northern New Jersey. The farther north I drove, the more I noticed that the leaves are already beginning to turn color there; at home, all the trees are stubbornly hanging onto their green.
When I checked the fall foliage maps at the Weather Channel website to find out when I could expect some brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves around here, I discovered that I live right on the dividing line between "Northeast" and "East Central."
I guess it's going to be awhile before it starts looking like autumn around here; as my sister would say, I live too close to the Equator for fall to arrive this early.
When it does get here, I'll be ready. And I'll want to have a picnic, someplace where I can enjoy the cool breeze and the warm colors.
Need a picnic basket for your next outing? Grab an extra 10% off (plus free shipping) on orders of $50 or more from PicnicBaskets.com! Use coupon code extra10 at checkout.
19. September 2013 04:41
When you're planning on a major purchase, whether it's a new car, a household essential or a wardrobe update, it's good to know when you can find the best prices on the items you want.
At this time of year, there are plenty of great deals to be had. Look for rock-bottom prices right now--and don't forget to start your shopping at Tjoos to find the best coupon codes to make that sale price even better.
GRILLIN' and CHILLIN'. Summer may be over, but you can still toss a T-bone on the grill and enjoy that charcoal-broiled flavor. Save 15% on any purchase at Char-Broil Grills with coupon code M13PJK15. This deal is good through October 30.
PARTY TIME. Party supplies are also on sale this month, so plan ahead for upcoming occasions and save! You'll get 5% off on your order of $35 or more at Party Imagineers when you use coupon code TJ789.
TIME FOR A TRIM--of the price, that is. Lawn mowers drop in price right now (which is great, because we need a new one.) Tractor Supply is running a clearance sale right now--no coupon code required! You'll save on plenty of things to keep your yard (or the whole ranch) in great shape.
MAKE THE ROUNDS. New tires are on sale in September. Get ready for winter with new wheels all around. Tire Rack is offering a $70 rewards card with the purchase of 4 tires from Bridgestone. Make your purchase before September 30!