do something positive this holiday season!

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It’s absolutely disheartening to read about the tragic incident that occurred at the Wal-Mart in Nassau County, New York this past friday. Apparently in all the black friday frenzy, deal hungry shoppers trampled over a Wal-Mart employee when he opened the doors at 5 a.m. I understand the excitement of the hunt for low-priced deals but it’s scary to see how people can lose control of themselves over some cheap electronics. We as a people need to find better perspective on the holiday season and try to do something more positive than simply trying to purchase more things for ourselves. Take for example a new donation program called the Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry. Sears has set up a special website where you can donate money to help fulfill holiday wishes for 30,583 military families. The site also features special stories on a number of participating military families along with their personal wish lists. Another nice touch is the opportunity to post your own messages of support for the military service members and their families to read. Please note that the donations made to the Wish Registry will not be tax deductible and all contributions will be equally distributed among participating families as Sears Gift Cards. Let’s do something positive this holiday season and honor those that serve and protect our country by contributing to the Sears Heroes at Home donation program today!!

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Kmart deals

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To accommodate shoppers like me who hate crowded malls and shopping centers during the holiday rush, most retailers are posting special offers on their websites. Take Kmart for example. They’re currently offering an extra 5% discount on all electronics ordered through their website. They’re also offering a 10% discount on all other items with the exception of toys. While browsing through the site, I’ve also found that they’ve got the Abbey Hill bedding Medallion Dream bedding collection for 30% off (search ID# 96096112). And for those searching for jewelry for their loved ones, how about an extra 10% off a 1/4ct tw Diamond 5-Stone Journey Pendant and Earrings Set in 10K Yellow Gold (search ID# 89270115). There’s also huge savings to be had with men’s shirts and bottoms, big men’s shirts and bottoms, all juniors, girls tops, boys tops, women’s plus sleepwear, women’s attention brand, infant and toddler bedding.

Another shopping tip is to look out for hidden ornaments that randomly appear on various pages throughout the Kmart.com site. The ornaments contain a special coupon code to provides even more savings for shoppers. It’s just another great reason to do your holiday shopping online this year!

Oh and just so you know, the discounts aren’t displayed until the items are in your shopping cart so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the sale prices right away.
These online discounts are only offered through November 26th so be sure to check out their website today!
Click Here
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black friday deals

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This is more of a reminder for my own personal use but I’m posting it just in case anyone else is interested.
crowded aisles
I’ve braved the early morning mayhem on black friday in years past but I’m thinking of simply staying home and just do most of my shopping online this time around. I’m hoping to score a nice deal on a new laptop and maybe a new HDTV. so, we’ll see. here are a couple of notables I’ve stumbled across..

black friday prices for Virgin mobile phones. (I might get one for my middle schooler who is in need of a phone of his own…)
WildCard $40 at Target
TNT $10 at Kmart
Flare $9 at Best Buy
Arc $20 at Radio Shack

various electronics…
Aiptek ISDV 2.4 MPEG4 Video Camcorder $69 at Target
Apple 8GB iPod Nano $145 at Target
SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4 GB MP3 player $50 at BestBuy
iPod Touch 8GB $228 at Walmart

Laptops
Toshiba AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Laptop (3GB RAM / 160GB HDD) $380 at BestBuy
HP Pavilion Laptop - 15.4″ LCD, Pentium Dual-Core (3GB RAM, 250GB HDD) $500 at Circuit City
HP Pavilion Laptop w/ AMD Sempron (2GB RAM, 120GB HDD) $430 at OfficeMax

HDTVs
Samsung 52″ LN52A580 1080p LCD HDTV $1,499.99 at BestBuy
Sony 46″ 1080p LCD HDTV and Sony Blu-Ray Player Bundle $1,499.98 at Circuit City
Sony Bravia S-Series KDL-46S4100 46″ 1080p LCD HDTV $1299 at Sears
Toshiba 32″ 32AV500U 720p LCD HDTV $449 at Circuit City

what deals are you looking for this year?

save with Mr. Bluelight

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save with Mr. BluelightIt’s unfortunate that Kmart often times gets overlooked as a “go-to” retailer during the holiday shopping season because they seem to be offering a lot of great deals lately. I guess consumers have been conditioned over the years to simply head to Walmart or Target when shopping for bargains but savvy shoppers are now realizing that Kmart is fast becoming a top contender when it comes to smart buys. The retailer is currently hard at work trying to spread the word to consumers about their great sales with a series of Mr. Bluelight commercials. You know, seeing Mr. Bluelight reminds me of a time back in the dial-up days when Kmart offered free internet access called “BlueLight”. I actually used their service back then since I was tired of what AOL was charging for dial up service in those days. The service was supported by viewing banner ads from Kmart but it wasn’t that bad considering that AOL was charging $22 for similar access. It just goes to show you that Kmart has always been about saving consumers money. As a matter of fact, they’re the only national discount retailer that offers consumers a layaway option. With the Kmart Layaway program, folks can simply make payments over eight weeks to purchase an item. During this time of economic strain, it’s a smart alternative to use rather than increasing credit card debt. And be sure to check them out for exclusive products ranging from the Christopher Radko® handmade glass ornament collection to the highly popular Joe Boxer series of apparel.
Click Here
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Christmas Photo Cards

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It never fails. It’s almost like clockwork. Now that we’re through with halloween, the retail stores are all gearing up for Christmas. Man, I’m just trying to get my head around the elections and now you’re telling me I gotta think about Christmas already? I must be getting old because what used to be a holiday that I’d look forward to is now simply a pain in my wallet. Instead of the glory and wonder surrounding the holiday season, all I see are bills, expensive gifts and more bills. yeah, bah humbug to you too. But in the state of the economy we’re in, it’ll be wise to be thrifty and shop more conscientiously this holiday season. I can tell you right now that our Christmas shopping list will be a heck of a lot shorter than years past. And I’ll be sending out more Christmas Photo Cards to family and friends in lieu of gifts and such. Since everyone has been affected by the fragile state of the economy, I’m pretty sure folks totally understand the “it’s the thought that counts” mentality this holiday season. Why spend money on gifts that may wind up in a donation box next year when heartfelt words on a customized Christmas Card can mean so much more. Thankfully the folks over at VistaPrint make it easy to design your own Christmas card on their website which they can then print up on high quality cardstock. I recently took a great photo of the kids which I’ll be using for our greeting card this year. Got a great photo of your own? Check out VistaPrint to get your very own custom photo cards printed up.

affordable glasses

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I hate being told what to do. I like the freedom of making my own informed decisions as opposed to having something forced down my throat. But that’s exactly how my eye doctor’s standard operating procedure is like. Their office practice is geared toward their patients purchasing products from their in-house optical retail section. Whether it’s prescription glasses, contacts or sunglasses, I suppose that’s where their business obtains the most profit. Since the majority of their appointments go through some sort of health care program, the vision care portion of their business is limited by what they can charge through HMOs and such. So, obviously they need their patients to purchase new frames and lenses through their own shop in order to make money. I totally understand the need to do so from a business standpoint. But as a consumer, it’s something that gets on my nerves. And they always make me feel awkward when I refuse to purchase new lenses from them. But in these days when every penny counts, I’m not going to spend more money than I have to. Not when you can purchase eyeglasses online through ZenniOptical.com at rock bottom prices. Since they manufacture their own line of frames, they manage to keep their prices low and ultra affordable. Why overpay for glasses at your optometrist’s office when you get them at Zenni Optical for less?

order checks online

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Like most people nowadays, I’m constantly looking for ways to save money. Every expense is scrutinized and evaluated. You pretty much HAVE to with our economy the way it is. Nothing is for certain in this stage of the game - employment, the value of our home, fuel prices, our savings can all change in the blink of an eye. So basically, every penny counts. It may sound overly trivial but that’s what it has come down to. I’ve switched providers, canceled subscriptions, limited our eating out and even changed where we purchase our personal checks. I normally purchase the standard line of checks directly through our bank but I’ve realized that I can simply Order checks online for a whole lot cheaper. The leading online supplier of customized printed products, VistaPrint, offers 150 custom printed checks starting at $9.99. That’s almost half of what I normally pay at the bank. Not only that but with coupon code: checks25 I can save an additional 25% off of my purchase. VistaPrint is a trusted online printing service that has served over 15 million customers worldwide and utilizes Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to keep all customer information safe and secure. It’s high time to get smart with your money. Save money by purchasing check through VistaPrint.

save on eyeglasses

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I recently had my yearly eye exam and once again, my prescription has changed. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be practically blind by the time I’m fifty. I like my optometrist and respect his expertise but the part of my visit that I loathe the most is going through their eye glasses department. I understand that they are running a business and need their patients to purchase their eyeglasses at their office but I hate their high pressure sales tactics. Their pushy sales staff is a huge blemish on an otherwise nice optometrist’s office. I had a difficult time getting out of there without updating my frames and lenses. What they don’t know is that I get my prescription glasses from Zenni Optical. They’re a well respected online optical retailer that offer stylish frames and prescription lenses at discount prices. Zenni manufactures their own brand of frames so the cost savings go directly to the customer since there’s no middleman to deal with. They’ve got a huge selection with a variety of different styles to choose from. Their eyeglasses are such a great deal even trusted consumer advocate Clark Howard uses them. So if you want to stop paying premium prices for your glasses, check out Zenni Optical today.

time to get fit!

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As I have already mentioned in my previous post, I recently had another birthday and what I’ve realized is that it’s no longer a festive, celebratory occasion but more of a bleak reminder that our youthful, carefree days are long gone. One thing that has become more and more apparent is that I need to be more mindful of what I do and what I put in my body. As we age, our bodies aren’t as resilient or forgiving as they once were back when we were younger. So essentially, I have to be more conscious of what I eat and also make the effort to put in the time to keep my body fit. Every time I eat pizza or cheeseburgers and fries with the kids, I always end up feeling bloated, sluggish and tired. My waistline seems to want to expand to coincide with my numeric age which is most definitely not something I’d like to see. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of exercise programs to try to keep myself fit but I always seem to lose interest. I can’t seem to get beyond the monotony and the discipline required to keep up with an exercise regimen. But I recently came across a new workout program called XFLOWSION that may keep my interest this time around. It uniquely combines movements from power yoga, dance and martial arts to keep things fun and fresh. The nice thing about XFLOWSION™ is that you can follow the routines in the privacy of your own home. The DVDs feature celebrity trainer Eric Paskel who has crafted a workout that challenges you as well as keeps you entertained with its variety of constantly shifting moves that are designed for maximum fat burning and muscle toning potential. It’s probably the best looking and best sounding exercise DVD I’ve seen featuring great music performed by a live band and tasteful visual direction all filmed in high definition.
Yes, I recognize the fact that I’m middle-aged but that doesn’t mean that I have to look it. I’m not going down without a fight. I’m getting fit with XFLOWSION™!!
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Windows Vista on my loaner

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For the last couple weeks, I’ve been taking our company’s laptop home with me so that I could work on an upcoming presentation. The loaner laptop that I’ve been working on happens to have the new Windows Vista Business edition installed on it. I normally work with XP machines both at work and at home but I guess our IT department has chosen to test the new operating system on a few of our loaners. So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with the performance of Vista especially after hearing so much grumbling about the new microsoft product this past year on the net as well as in the media. My guess is that if a computer system is underpowered there might be issues but as long as you have a well configured machine with plenty of memory, things should run smoothly. I have to say that the new Aero interface is pretty slick with the translucent glass effects and the neat little gadgets that can be placed anywhere on the desktop. The new integrated search feature is also a nice addition to the desktop. Oh and remember those awful blue screens of death that would often torture us on old windows 98 and NT systems? I remember freaking out whenever I’d lose important data with those old systems. Well, Vista has virtually eliminated those types of hard crashes and I, for one, am thankful for that especially when crunching massive amounts of analytical data every day. But with that being said, you know with any type of high tech system, problems can still occur. and that’s what Microsoft’s Windows Vista customer service team is there for, ready to offer up solutions to any issues that one may encounter with just a click of a mouse. So, I’m not sure what all the fuss was about. There’s a lot to like about the new operating system. and I’m looking forward to my very own Vista system when I upgrade my own home PC later in the year.
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the Heart of the matter

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A couple weeks ago, a neighbor down the street passed away. He had a severe Heart Attack while out working in his backyard and died on the way to the hospital. The whole neighborhood seemed to go in shock after hearing the news. He was such a pleasant man and was only in his mid-fifties. It’s just so hard to process and I can’t even imagine what their family is going through. It’s just another reminder of how fragile and precious life is. Concerned about our own health as well as the health of our family members, the wife and I have been viewing the informative videos over at the Heart Library. It’s a great resource set up by the physicians and staff from St. Jude Medical to help inform people like you and me about heart disease, the symptoms and the treatments. It’s definitely worth bookmarking for future reference.

reverse phone lookup

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Ever once in a while I’ll get a phone call on my cell phone from a number I don’t recognize. Like most folks, I won’t answer the call. I figure that if it’s important, they’ll leave a voicemail message for me. I mean, why waste your wireless plan minutes on a wrong number, right? But whenever I’m curious about a phone number, I use an online Reverse Phone Registry to lookup the person or business on the other end. It’s a quick and easy way to satisfy one’s own curiosity. The service is also tied into a detailed database where you can get addresses, records and cross references for an extra fee. I suppose the service would definitely come in handy in investigating prank callers and such.

Seafood Cook Off

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Not too long ago, my wife and I enjoyed lunch at our favorite local seafood joint. We don’t go too often since it’s a bit pricey but whenever we do go, we definitely get our fill on some calabash-style seafood. I love getting the scallops, shrimp and flounder combo platter. the lunch combos all come with the restaurant’s special hush puppies that are simply to die for! and those juicy, moist scallops just melt in your mouth. oh, I can’t get enough of them. Well, over the weekend, I got a hankerin’ for something from the sea so I checked for some recipes online to get some ideas for dishes I can prepare at home. While searching, I came across GreatAmericanSeafoodCookOff.com. It’s an annual competition that features the best seafood dishes from around the country. Since I just love shrimp dishes, Chef Mark Holley’s Texas Gulf Shrimp recipe caught my eye. With the combination tomato relish and prickly pear gastrique, it seems to have this unique balance of the sweet and salty. the recipe seems a bit complicated but I might just have to give it a try one of these days. the neat thing about the cook off is that we can all participate by voting for our favorite recipe. and simply by casting a vote, you are automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip to New Orleans. mmm, can you just imagine getting authentic seafood jambalaya down in New Orleans? gosh, it’s making my mouth water just typing about all this here on my blog. I think it’s time to heat up my saute pan and get my shrimp on. yum.
Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

flirt with the best of them

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recently a co-worker of mine, stormed in the office break room and proclaimed to all of us in the room that she will never enter another local bar ever again. Apparently she has had enough of leery single men only looking to obtain some Victory Hair. for those not familiar with today’s dating scene, “Victory Hair” is essentially what your hair ends up looking like after hooking up with someone. yeah, I know, it’s sort of crude but don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger here. anyway, she went on to mention all the lame opening lines these losers used on her including the legendary classic - “excuse me, I seem to have lost my phone number, could I borrow yours?” and the highly offensive but hilarious - “That shirt’s very becoming on you. Of course, if I were on you I’d be coming too.” yup, it’s bad out there. Who can blame the girl for never wanting to do the bar scene ever again with idiots using lines like those. I suppose that’s one reason why Extreme Style by VO5 added the Ultimate Flirting Championship game on their site. It’ll give single men the opportunity to hone their flirting techniques in the “virtual” world before unleashing their charm and wit in the real world. Think you got what it takes to charm the pants off the ladies? get into the game and see for yourself.


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