Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New All-Clad Product - D5 Stainless Steel

Just what we need, another improved piece of cookware: This does sound interesting - using lower heat to get the same results. Here is the description direct from the page of

Representing the best in American craftsmanship, All-Clad’s D5 Stainless Steel line incorporates five-layer bonded construction as well as functional advances that make it the finest stainless-steel cookware to date. The nonstick surface of this fry pan releases food effortlessly and the lid makes it perfect for simmering or braising.

  • Each of the five bonded layers serves a specific purpose, creating a noticeable difference in cooking performance.
  • Nonstick interior ensures easy release of the stickiest foods and is dishwasher safe.
  • Two aluminum layers, one to conduct and one to sustain heat.
  • Patented stainless-steel core diffuses heat for consistent results.
  • Magnetic stainless-steel exterior for durability.
  • 10" pan includes a domed lid; 12" pan includes a flat lid.
  • Extra-large loop handle on lid is easy to grip, even with oven mitts.
  • Improved stay-cool stick handle with finger guard for balance and control.
  • Pan size etched on base for quick identification.
  • Ideal for use on any cooktop, including induction.
  • A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.
Where to buy:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ever do a Vodka Taste Test?

I love drinking a martini every now and then. So one day we decided to see if the popular Grey Goose was the best.

We tried making martinis with Absolute, Grey Goose, Kettle One, Belvedere and the less expensive Tito's.

To be certain, we first made martinis knowing which one was in the shaker. The second time, we did a blind taste test.

Both times we choose Tito's Vodka. A big surprise! We found it to be smoother than most and at least equal to Grey Goose.

You should try it. Let me know what you think. What we believe, is that for the money, you can have very good martinis for a lot less money. And really, after the first or second one, who even knows what you are drinking?

Bottles of wine you may not find elsewhere

Great wine at great prices: sounds a bit cliche, but it's true. When you sign up at, you will receive emails with offers, usually wine from smaller wineries, where production is limited. Since the production is limited, most likely you will not find the wine everywhere you look.

Another plus for this site,, is that there is usually an offer for free shipping, depending on the quantity you purchase, and most of the time it is for 4 or 6 bottles of the wine being offered.

Also offered are quantity discounts. Usually there is a price for one bottle, another price point for 6 bottles and then the case discount. What better deal than to get the wine discounted and shipped free?

Many of the wines offered are "Pre-Arrival" offers and when wines become available, they will ship when the temperatures are appropriate for your location.

Where to buy:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Cordless Wine Opener

I just bought myself the best present: a Waring Cordless Wine Opener! I had been reading about these recently and thought, "Who needs this gadget?" Then finding myself at my favorite store, Costco, I noticed the Waring Cordless Wine Bottle Opener with a $5.00 instant rebate. How could I go wrong? And if I didn't like it, I could return it without a problem.

Got home and charged it in the base for 8 hours. I was looking forward to having wine that night. It was so simple, so easy to use, I couldn't wait for my husband to see it. Seriously, how could you go wrong spending $19.99 for this?

Here is the description of the item from the Waring website:

The Waring Pro™ Professional Cordless Wine Opener (model no. WO50) removes natural and synthetic corks with ease, allowing consumers to effortlessly open a bottle of wine in seconds. The rubberized handset is ergonomically designed to provide consumers with a comfortable grip while removing the cork. The product also boasts a streamlined design; there are no levers or winged attachments to manipulate, so novices and sommeliers alike can open a bottle of wine with one hand, without tugging on the corkscrew.

A removable foil cutter, stored in the base of the unit, saves the consumer time in opening a bottle of wine. Simply attach the foil cutter to the top of the bottle, keeping hands on the lower part of the bottle and away from the cutter blade, and turn the cutter in a twisting motion to remove the foil.

Where to buy: at your local Costco. You can find it on their website, but it is $34.99, shipping and handling included. It is sold many places with an average price of $39.99. Please note that the model number on the box at Costco is different, but that is something manufacturers do when Costco offers products you can find elsewhere. The actual unit has the WO50 on th

Don't forget to check prices on

Friday, December 18, 2009

How to be a Better Shopper

Just read an article in the New York Times: there is an application for the Apple iPhone called ShopSavvy, which helps you find the best price of an item. If you are in a store, you can scan the bar code of the item using this application, and it will show you where you may find it for less.

It seems that this is only one of many applications dedicated to help us all get the best prices while shopping in actual stores since we already know we can do all this from a computer at home.

Another application called also looks for coupons for the store you are shopping at.

There are other phones, other than the Apple iPhone, for which these applications are suited, and I have not yet done further research on it, but this is an entirely new way to shop.

Normally I would use my Blackberry to go online while in a store and start searching for prices on an item, using for example, but it can take too long.

By the way, from my computer, I just opened up a site called You put in the item you want and in seconds you can see all the difference places it is sold along with prices. , an electonics review site, uses the application RetrevoQ, letting users send a text or Twitter message with the product they want to buy and they will get a quick response telling them whether to buy it at the given price and it lists a range of online prices.

Needless to say, I am thrilled knowing how easy it has become to price shop. And this is only the beginning.

Maybe when I am eligible for a phone upgrade, Verizon will have the Apple iPhone. I don't want to switch to AT&T.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shopping At

Pay attention to your shipping costs: Today I received an email from for an additional 20% off their outlet prices. I proceeded to order mulitples of one item, because with the 20% off, it was a good deal.

When I checked out, the shipping costs were calculated on the price BEFORE the 20% discount, which was just not right.

I called and they took the order over the phone and made sure the shipping charges were based on the discounted price of the order.

Where to buy:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Discount at

Here goes, I may need to buy something...

You can get 20% off with a purchase of $50, which is pretty good considering the last one was good with a $100 purchase, good until 12/14/09. You also get FREE SHIPPING.

Where to buy:

Friday, December 11, 2009

For Ugg Lovers

Uggs, some people love them. If you want to buy a pair of Uggs, Classis style only, on, you will get a $20 off if you use code 9UGG20.

This expires December 14th at 11:59pm PST.

Where to buy:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great Coffee with a Flat Rate Shipping Cost

All you can brew delivered to you: There is this wonderful site, called Grounds For Change, and I am including some information about the company as posted on their site, word for word, but you can read more on the site.

Right now they are offering a flat rate of $4.95 to ship any amount, though this ends on the 10th of December. Even if you don't buy coffee now, please take a look at this site and read all about their business model.

They sell tea, chocolate and some small gift items. You can also buy Coffee Gift Baskets as well as memberships.

Where to buy:

Here's the info on the company:

Grounds for Change is a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest [our mission]. We roast our 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible [what our customers say].

All of our coffee is Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA and our Organic Certification meets the stringent Organic Processor Standards enforced by the United States Federal Government and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The vast majority of the coffee we sell is also Shade Grown Coffee which ensures healthy habitat for migratory birds.

A number of community-based programs in coffee-growing countries directly benefit from the purchase of our coffee. For example, farmers in Peru receive a higher price per pound for their coffee (above the going rate for certified coffee) to help support local domestic violence intervention programs and small business loans for women.

Great Wine/Free Shipping Offer

Act Now for a great promo: Purchase wine totaling $50 and you will get free shipping if you enter code: FREE50.

One such wine offered is Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 for $50.55.

Where to buy:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Does Your Hair have the Frizzies?

I thought I had the right stuff: I was using Kerastase Oleo-Relax for my hair. You put it on when hair is damp and it helps with keeping frizzy hair calm. Loved it and recommended it to many, many friends. Each one told me how great their hair looked.

Then my sister told me about another product used in the hair salon she now goes to. It is called Moroccan Oil. I purchased it right away and it is better than the Kerastase . The Moroccan Oil costs a bit less per ounce.

Where to buy: both products are available at

Friday, December 4, 2009

Garnet Hill Sale

One catalog/website I have not yet written about is Garnet Hill: Some items that they carry are clothes for women as well as accessories, shoes, outerwear, bedding and kid's clothing. Some brand name merchandise is available such as Eileen Fisher and Hanro.

There is a Friends and Family offer of 20% off full priced merchandise, good until 12/07.

I have to share the email since it is Friends and Family, so if you want it, please drop me a comment with your email address and I will forward it to you.

FYI, the website is:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Putting Anti-Freeze in Your Heating System

Have you had to add anti-freeze to your heating system? I guess I do this because my heating and air conditioning company tells me to.

They came out to measure how much anti-freeze was left in my system, decided I needed more, in the amount of eight (8) - 5 gallon containers.

The expense is very big and I had a bigger mess after they left.

Someone forgot to re-open a line they had closed when adding the anti-freeze and the relief valve opened to release the pressure and there it was...antifreeze all over my floor.

At least it was the basement and a concrete floor, but who needed the mess?

Now they returned to clean up my mess and take another measurement because I had lost a good amount of product in the flood.

Bad news is that I need more again. Good news is that they will make sure to do it correctly this time. Needless to say, I have not yet paid my current invoice.

Advice: Anti-freeze is a necessary evil if you don't want to worry about pipes freezing in the winter should you ever lose heat. Some say that if you have an enclosed system you don't need it, but I would not take a chance. I have Weil-McLain boilers and they do recommend using an anti-freeze designed for hydronic systems and formulated with inhibited propylene glycol, a non-toxic anti-freeze. Just make sure that whomever is doing the job opens/closes the necessary valves correctly.

Stay warm.


GREAT NEWS: OOMA can be found at Costco for $179.99, a great price, for now anyway. Not sure how long this price will last.

You need to shop at the actual store because online has a different model for more money. This new model is most likely not worth the extra money but you can always check out the difference on OOMA's website.

Remember, the Costco store is where you will find the good deal.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sale at Luggage Pros

Check out for a sale ending shortly: 25% off until Monday, 11/30 but there are Brand exclusions. Free Shipping. Enter code: BlackFri25.

Now you can buy the luggage scale or locks or some other accessories for your next trip.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Discount Coupon for

Coupon good until 11/30: Get $25 off a purchase of $100 and free shipping.

Go to:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Terrorism that's personal (12 images) | Reporting with a camera

Terrorism that's personal (12 images) | Reporting with a camera

Posted using ShareThis

What are you reading lately?

Care to share a title or two? Last month I read "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls. You may know this author from her other book, "The Glass Castle," but I haven't read this one. "The Glass Castle" deals with her mom and "Half Broke Horses" speaks more of her grandmother and you see how her mom grew up. The book remained in my head for many days. Out of nowhere I would have a vision, and at first not understand where it came from, then realized it was a scene from the book. A powerful story.

You can read this in a few days, easily. Reading this memoir gives you reason to pause and realize how much easier we have it, regardless of how difficult some of our days may be. We have so many choices and it is up to us to take advantage of them - an easier task than her grandmother had.

When I started to read David McCullough's, "John Adams," I felt that I must have slept all through my American history classes. The story of John Adams and his place in the beginning of our country's history, made me realize how we have not learned anything from our past history. Either that or is it that countries and politicians have not changed in all these years? But what an incredibly bright and insightful man John Adams was. Most importantly, he was honest.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Need Wine and Free Shipping?

A good source of wine comes from: I used it many times, and I want to share with you this site's offer of Free Shipping until the end of November. No minimum purchase is necessary.

I will take Free Shipping anytime. You can reach them by phone at: 1-800-946-3937.

Go to:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Need a Flat Iron?

Start with your hair and go from there: You may need a hair blower, a flat iron, shampoo, skin products, makeup, you name it. And what if you need a good eyebrow tweezer? Look at I now own a few straighteners as well as large bottles of shampoo, etc. because each time the website offers a discount code, I order something else.

The selection of brands on this site is amazing. You may not find every single name brand, but there are more than enough to get you started.

The prices are just right and with the discounts you can be certain you are getting a good price. Most of the time shipping is free, if you spend a certain amount...unless a promotion is offering Free Shipping in general. They have a 30 day return policy. I love this site and have recommended it many times.

I will write about products I have tried shortly.

Check it out:

Phone and Cable companies

Why do these companies like to take advantage of loyal customers? I am so tired of having to negotiate with these merchants just to get a fair price for their services. For example, haven't you seen offers for new customers at prices you are no longer paying? The "introductory" fees they use to hook you usually expire in a year. Then the price hike comes and what are you to do?

I would rather not mention the name of the companies I am referring to in this writing, but all function the same way.

A while back I was researching a new blackberry online and came across a promotion, from a third party, for the blackberry I wanted at a price I could not believe. When I called my wireless phone company the rep at first was a bit perplexed. Soon she figured out that it was an offer for new customers. I said that for them to not offer a great deal to their "loyal" customers, like me, who pay bills on time and have not switched to another carrier, is ridiculous. She agreed and offered me a $50 credit on my bill which brought the price of the blackberry to the "new customer" price.

Of course I took it.

Same happened with Cable. I had just read the notice about a price increase. I also saw an ad for first time customers. I called and said they are giving me so many reasons to change my cable provider since I can be a first time customer somewhere else and get a much better price. By the time we finished our discussion, my bill became $15 less per month. Not exactly the same as the "new customer," but close enough. And I didn't have to be hassled with returning equipment.

My advice is never to accept an increase at face value. Try to get it reduced. In this economy, I would think that having a customer who pays on time every month is better than losing one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

David Mamet's RACE, on Broadway

I seem to be busy: going to these shows, but it was my birthday and we decided to just have some fun.

"RACE" opened for previews on November 16th and we saw it on the 19th. I am sure that there is some tweaking to be done, but all was pretty buttoned up.

Problem is, the play seems as if Mamet found the script, put away earlier in time, and decided to bring it to Broadway now. The subject matter is old and current at the same time, but what did I learn from it? He didn't bring a different perspective to light. It is possible to say that the play showed that nothing much has changed on the subject of race, but then I have to ask why do it? There are some lines which mention that it was different years ago when racism was so obvious, but again, we already knew that.

Now the cast: James Spader is playing a lawyer, just like the one he played on TV. I feel that his dialogue was more interesting in one of his "Boston Legal" speeches than it was in the play. And he delivered it better on TV. David Alan Grier did a very convincing job but his role was secondary to Spader. Richard Thomas was dull as was Kerry Washington. She read her lines as one usually reads them in a Mamet play, but her delivery was flat.

Richard Thomas's character was supposed to be a very rich man, but the way he was dressed, as if his clothes needed a bit more tailoring, made me wonder if a point was being made, or was it just a poor choice of costume design?

I hope my comments help.

Hamlet starring Jude Law on Broadway

Finally got to see Jude Law up close: and was not disappointed. Although the play itself was lacking drama, lacking soul, it was a pleasure to see Jude Law do Shakespeare.

The show is closing December 6th, so if you do get tickets, I would mention that he seems to be on the left side of the stage (audience's left side,) more often, so choose a seat accordingly so you can see him better.
We were in the third row, right side.

Most of the other actors were just average and if Jude Law was not in the production, I would have left. But then, if Jude Law was not playing Hamlet, I would not have purchased tickets in the first place.

It is a 3 hour play, so be prepared.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 coupon

Coupon Code: "48HOURS" good until 11:59pm PST November 16th. It is for $25 off a purchase of $125. There are some brand restrictions.

Go to:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You May Find This Interesting

On a totally different note, you may want to look at this website:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Moosejaw Again

Now they are having a 30% off Friends and Family and Enemy coupon: Starts today and ends on Sunday, the 15th. Must be something magic about that date. I can send you the link. Email me at:


If you do anything: like hike, run or camp out, ski, snowboard, or travel, or need clothes for those mentioned activities, you must go to! When we were going to Antarctica we went nuts at this site and thankfully they were offering a discount at the time. We bought almost everything we needed and more. The brands they carry are numerous, but I will mention a few: Patagonia, Northface, Leki, Arcteryx, Icebreaker, J-41, Mamot, Mountain Hardware, Volcom.

Right now on their site they are having a sale on Jackets. I love Moosejaw and love getting help online with their "chat" sessions.

Give them a look:

30% off at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy

Gap Give and Get Program: started today and ends Sunday the 15th. It works for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. If you want me to forward the email to you let me know. I was at Banana Republic today and it was very busy. I actually found some corduroy pants which fit. Send me an email at:

My New Baggallini Bag

Update on my new purchase: When the coupon from arrived in an email, I just had to use it. I didn't need another pair of shoes, so why not a bag? As I mentioned in the past, I love these Baggallini bags. I have 2 small ones which I use when I don't have to take much along with me. But what if I need more room? I found the perfect style: The "Brussels Bagg." It has flaps, pockets, zippers, changeable straps to go from shoulder bag, to cross body bag to backpack. I had room for all my Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, a towel I had to take with me to match color at BBB, my cell phone and even my umbrella. I was in heaven. And remember, these bags are very lightweight.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Avoiding Stains on Your Furniture and Carpets

How stain free is your home? I have no fears, Fiberseal is my saving grace. This product gets sprayed on fabrics, sofas, carpets, upholstered beds, for starters. It lasts a few years and you may have to repeat it in heavily trafficked areas. The idea is that the product will prevent stains from becoming permanent. This company can be found across the USA. You can have a representative come out to the house and give you an estimate and can decide how much you want to do. Once the work is done they will leave you with a package of the sprays and solutions to mix to help remove any stains you may get. (My lab decided to "regurgitate" on my bedroom carpet 2 days after having Fiberseal put on. It came right out after following the instructions in the package.) I contacted the franchise in NY and spoke with Beverly Spitzer, who had started this franchise over 30 years ago. If you are out of the area, she can tell you whom to call. She can be reached at: 212-888-1070.

Where to find information:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Clean or not to Clean

I can vacuum holding a cup of coffee: When I was young, my mom would smoke a cigarette and vacuum. I am sure that many moms did that since smoking was not considered a bad thing. Whether it is an upright or canister, I have had them. Right now I am using Miele, both an upright and canister. A long time ago I fell for the Oreck mailing and ordered their upright. It never seemed to clean my carpets well, especially with the dog hair I have from my 2 Yellow Labs. When I brought it in to see if anything was wrong, I was told that it was working fine but needed these tablets which go inside a small pouch in the cover to make it smell better...because I had dogs. I ended up a nice smelling vacuum but the machine still didn't do a good job.

Onto Miele. Yes they are expensive but I don't have any issues with them. I found a very nice site to buy these from, I have actually spoken to the same person each time I have called. Most of these brand name items aren't discounted but somehow the person at threw in an extra box or two of vacuum bags. Maybe it was because I had purchased from him before, or maybe it was the fact that I asked for something to help make me feel better about spending the money. Don't really remember, but nothing should stop you from asking for anything. All they can do is say "no." And this site also ships boxes of vacuum bags for free.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update on Shoe Sites

Nothing stays the same: Just spoke to a rep at and was told that their return policy is now 365 days. Don't ask me why it may take someone a year to return something they have not worn, but the site says you would be surprised...some people buy things, put them away, forget they have it and then want to return it. How nice to buy something and forget you just spent money!

I did notice that their competitor,, has the same return policy, 365 days. They also have free returns, which online does not unless you feel strongly about the shoe you want to return - it is not made well, or something like that - and ask that they pay for the return. They do have free exchanges.

So far I have not seen discount coupons from I do like my discounts!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shopping For Your Pets

Where are the best prices for most of your pet meds and other things? Having had 3 labrador retreivers and a cat all at once meant spending lots of money on visits to the vet as well as paying for all their medications. I found one site where the cost of most items I needed was at least a few dollars less per item as on other sites. Couple this with free shipping over $100 and many coupon codes for discounts on your total order, makes this my favorite site over and over again. Many times I receive the products in a few days after ordering.

Where to go: check out

You can also call them to ask any questions and place your order. After I signed up to receive emails from them, I have gotten coupon codes for 5% off any order with no minimum, although under $100 you pay shipping, and 7 or 8% off orders over $150.00. It varies but the codes keep coming.

They have loads of other things for all your pet's needs and when I say pets, I mean cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish and reptiles, to name a few. They will fax your vet a request for a prescription medication you want if you don't have a script to give them. Of course your vet has to have approved your pet's taking this medication first. And...your vet doesn't mind you buying the medication from somewhere other than their office.

I do use other sites when there is something I need which does not have, and also if there is a coupon code for a big discount or if something is specially priced. I will post more on other sites at a later time.

Start saving money now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Going to order wine in a restaurant?

No, I am not going to tell you how to order wine. But here is what I do if I happen to check out a restaurant's website before going: if they publish their wine lists, I go to to get an idea of how much a wine I may want to order actually would cost to buy and then see how much the restaurant marks it up. Some markups are not as bad as others, and that may help me decide.

Of course most sites don't have prices published even if they have the wine list online. Sometimes you don't know what type of wine you will want, and then sometimes you may just want a great wine, regardless of the cost.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Searching For and Buying Wine

How much wine can one person buy? As much as I can store. I look for wines which I have tried at restaurants, or ones I read about on different wine sites, wine columns in newspapers and magazines. Then I check to see who may have them and when they may offer free shipping. Sometimes the price offered is so good that I will pay for shipping.

Where to price wine: I start out by going on to see who sells a particular wine and check out the costs. Information is free unless you want to see an even longer list of merchants. There is a fee for this "professional" service.

Then I order. The best thing to do is to register on various wine sites so that you will get emails about all their offerings especially the sales and free shipping offers.

Where to buy: here are a few of my go to sites:,,,,,,, The physical location of the wine site is important to me because the further away, the longer the shipping time, the worse for the wine, maybe. All this is based on using ground shipping, not any kind of expedited time frame. I don't want to spend a great deal to get the wine. Some sites will tell you that due to warm weather, they may not ship until a certain time. Most importantly, you may need to be home to sign for the delivery.

Winery Sites: you may be able put your name on the mailing lists of the wineries you like so that you can get first choice of the wine produced each year. Many wineries have waiting lists since they can only allocate a certain amount due to the fact that they do not produce more than a couple of hundred cases a year.

Enjoy your wine and remember to drink responsibly!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Broadway Ticket Discounts

Who likes paying high ticket prices for a Broadway Show? You can bet that I don't so I signed up at various sites to get emails for discounted show tickets. Usually they are for a show about to begin its run and only for a specific time period. I would also guess that if a show is not doing well or has been running for a long time, you may get emails for discounts.

You can print out the email and go directly to the box office for purchase or do it online using the code from the email. That's all you do, other than hope to get a good seat.

You can go to the TKTS booth in Times Square at Broadway and 47th street for tickets to a show that same day. For evening performances, tickets start selling at 3pm, and for matinees, 10am Wednesday and Saturday and 11am on Sunday. The line starts way before selling starts.

Sometimes you can buy tickets for "standing room only", or the box office may have "rush" seats, at a discounted price, at the very last minute.

Check out and search "discounts for broadway shows" to get more information.

Just be sure to turn off your cell phone when the show starts!

Ticket sites:,, (limited shows, but lots of other discounts,) (a site to click for coupon codes for all shows,), to name a few.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

YAPTA: Planning a Trip Part 2

Air Fare Watcher: Don't forget, if you are planning a trip and can wait to book your airfare, check out This site will send you updates for any reduction in the fare to your destination. Just register, find your flights and add them to your profile. You can check fares on multiple airlines if more than one goes to your destination.

You can also do this for Hotel prices.

If the price of your airline ticket drops below what you paid, Yapta will alert you when you are eligible for a refund from the airline.

Have fun saving money!

Go to:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leaving My Land Line Behind

Forget your Landline: I recently purchased the OOMA system to use as my home phone. Yes, it works through the internet, but it has more advantages than getting the "Triple Play" from your cable company. You need to make the initial investment for the equipment, but after that, it is free, with certain exceptions, such as a maximum use of 3000 minutes per month or making a 411 call or a "900" number call. You pay for calling those numbers. You can choose between keeping your existing telephone number or getting a new one.

It took 15 minutes to set up and there it was, a dial tone on an old "home phone." It comes with the "Hub" for your main telephone and a "Scout" to use for plugging phones into jacks in other rooms. The "Scout" can also function as a second line.

As I use it more, I will post comments.

Where to buy: many websites and stores sell it. I bought mine at a while ago, but it is getting more popular, so more venues are selling it. Right now it is actually sold out on the site. You can also go to and get further information. You can find forums online which help answer some questions and OOMA'S site will answer most questions you can think of.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Airlines May Not Be That Forthcoming!

REMEMBER MY POST ABOUT BUYING A SCALE TO WEIGH YOUR LUGGAGE? See this article below from Budget Travel. I am happy to know that my small scale was right!


8 Things an Airline Would Never Tell You

We asked a half-dozen insiders to expose little-known facts the airline industry would rather you didn't think about. They shared some pretty eye-opening stuff.
By Alexander Basek, Thursday, September 3, 2009 |

1. "Airport luggage scales often lie." It's bad enough that the airlines charge a fee for overweight luggage, varying from $39 to $300 per bag industrywide. But it's galling that they may also hit you with the fee by mistake. At JFK last November, New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs found that 14 percent of the airport's scales were not properly calibrated. At Boston's Logan airport, 10 percent of the scales recently inspected gave incorrect readings. The South Florida SunSentinel has discovered numerous busted scales at area airports. And the list goes on. What to do? Stand up for yourself, especially when a scale barely tips the balance into the "overweight" category. Brandon Macsata, executive editor of the D.C.-based lobbying group Association for Airline Passenger Rights advises passengers to weigh their bags at home first, and if the airport scale comes up with a different number, insist that your bags be weighed on a different scale. Yes, it's come to that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking a Trip, Part 1

Taking a Trip Can Be a Wonderful Experience: You just have to know how to do it. You can, for example, use an independent travel agent, go through American Express, or find an online site offering loads of different trips. You name it, you can do it. I have tried numerous ways.

When an online tour company offers many trips, you can request brochures for those you are interested in. These can be sent to you or downloaded from their site. I prefer the actual brochures. You will also notice that the same tour is offered by other companies, so you can choose the company based on how much help or additional services they offer. More importantly, some of these companies will let you personalize a trip at an additional cost. We travel with another couple, and we found that this works best for us.

When you are in a group, you tend to go at the pace of the group and we also found that some trips have too much down time. You are paying good money for your tour and from my point of view, I want the most out of it. By compiling your "own" schedule, you can see and do more each day.

A few years ago we took a trip to Thailand and Cambodia and used independent tour guides in each country. All this was arranged for us ahead of time by the tour booking company, incorporating our suggestions as to what we wanted to do and see. In Cambodia, we asked to be taken to a local market, not commonly on a list of places to see, and that was one of the best experiences of the trip. When you have a group, it would have been difficult to arrange this.

This is not to say that a group tour is not good. In some cases, you are going to a country where you have to be in a group, for many reasons, or the trip is not set up for totally independent travel. Let me add that I didn't mind a group tour when we took our first trip to the Peru and The Galapagos, because we met wonderful people and that was where we met our future traveling companions.

Start planning your next trip and let me know how it goes!

Some Tour Companies I have used:,, and I looked into,, and there are many others. Price tends to be a factor in which one you choose.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coupon for

Go to: for a 10% off coupon on sale items good through October 13th.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When You Want to Buy a New TV

Do you search the internet for the best price for a TV? I do this all the time. It seems that the price changes each week. Sometimes the price is so good that I will want to buy it. Instead I wait. Wait because you know that at some point it will be less. You know that as soon as a newer model comes out the older ones need to be sold. Many times you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the old and the improved version, so buy the model which is now reduced. I have ordered large size TV's online and there was never a problem. Once, on a lark, I went into Sears. They claim that they match prices, but as it turns out, the only price match they do is with stores which are nearby. Forget internet price matching as far as Sears is concerned. Wherever you buy, try to check the site's ratings. This is one reason I try to stay with one or two of the companies I have used in the past.

Your favorite TV programs never looked so good.

Where to buy: www. or I believe that they are the same store, different sites, so I go back and forth to see which posts the better price. Not everything on these two sites are the same. These both usually offer free shipping. Another company to try is They are out of NYC and the store practically takes up an entire city block. Sometimes you can try to negotiate the price on an item. There is also but note that they do not usually sell the newest nor the top of the line model, which may not matter in the long run. Some TV's on come with shipping included and that is not bad. Or you can go to the store which may have different models and prices. And you have to be a member to buy anything.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Does Your House Need a New Coat of Paint?

How much longer can we put this off? Painting a house is a major undertaking as well as an expensive one. Painting estimates will be a price for the total job, or can be priced by the hour plus supplies. (See my comment below about painting supplies.) Which way is best is up to you and I would base it on how much I trust the painter to be honest with his hours. An advantage to a one complete price is that you know up front what you are spending. I have done it both ways and when I use the hourly method, I have an estimate of hours put into the contract. You can also ask if you can buy the paint because I found that a paint store may give you the "painter's" discount or better, since you are buying a large quantity of paint. (Remember, the painter may get a discount but he may not pass it on to you.) Or, get the prices on your own and have the painter agree to a price per gallon. How neat a painter is also matters. You don't want to clean up after them each day. Try looking into their van to see how neatly they keep it.

How to find a painter: Definitely ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, although a local company whose vans/trucks you see all the time can't be bad - as long as they are legitimate. Once, on a whim, I asked a painter for his card when I parked next to him in the parking lot of a local store. Turned out to be the nicest man, lived locally and that was that. Your local hardware store (if any are still left in your neighborhood,) is also a good place to start asking for names.

And remember, this painter will be around the house each and every day. Make sure your dogs don't steal his lunch!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baggallini Bags

Does your shoulder hurt from your shoulder bag? I walk a great deal and have finally made some good decisions: I started to carry less and less in my bag and then bought a smaller bag, one which I carry across my body. What a relief. This has definitely helped me cut back on trips to the chiropractor.

I discovered a line of bags called Baggallini. They come in basic colors and then some more interesting ones. Some come with loops in the back so that you could slip them onto your belt. Aside from the ones which are worn across your body, they do have handbags, totes, you name it. The smaller ones make you realize how much excess you needlessly have carried in your other bags. A thought: the less you carry, the less phone calls you have to make to credit card companies if you lose your wallet.

Have fun taking your walks!

Where to buy: I have to admit, I found these on, my go to site for my Merrell shoes. Again, remember that this site often offers discount codes when you spend a certain amount. If you decide to buy a pair of shoes and a baggallini bag, you could be eligible for the coupon. Sign up for emails from the site.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Are Your Pets Happy With Their Food?

Most Dogs Love to Eat: This is very true when it comes to my dogs. They even eat dry cat food! We were feeding them one brand of dog food for many years, but the food got caught in the contamination fiasco so we had to change. Because of allergies, we went to a much better product but it was only sold in some specialty dog supply stores. No online ordering for me because I needed to pick it up to avoid shipping charges. I have two yellow labs and buy 30lb bags.

While searching online, I found a site that had stores not too far from where I live. They will do a price match if you see it somewhere else for less. Of course they will call this "other" store to confirm the price.

This price gets logged into their computer and each time I come in to buy more dog food, they ring up the lower, matched price. One caveat: they will give you a free bag for each 10 you purchase, but discounted bags are not covered. Also, they keep this lower price active for a specific amount of time.

If you don't live anywhere near this particular franchise, why not do some price checking and see if your store will do the same. It never hurts to ask.

By the way, the food I buy is called Artemis. I use this brand for both my dogs and cat.

Where to buy: stores are in CT. They offer coupons every so often which you have to print out from their site and bring into the store. A little work, yes, but the discount is decent enough to make you turn on your printer.

Buy Dig

Do you search the internet for the best price for a TV? I do this all the time. It seems that the price changes each week. Sometimes it is higher, sometimes so low, I will want to buy it. Instead I wait. Wait because you know that at some point it will be even less, especially as soon as some newer model comes out. If you don't need a magnifying glass to see the difference between TV model #1 or #2, you can buy the model which is now reduced. I have ordered large size TV's online and there was never a problem. Once, on a lark, I went into Sears. They claim that they match prices, but as it turns out, the only price match they do is with stores which are nearby. Forget matching internet pricing as far as Sears is concerned.

Where to buy: www. target="new", and target="new". I believe that they are the same site so I go back and forth to see which posts the better price. Not everything on these two sites are the same. They usually offer free shipping. There is also but note that they do not usually sell the newest nor the top of the line model, which may not matter in the long run. Some TV's on come with shipping included and that is certainly a plus. Or you can go to the Costco store which may have different models and prices. And you have to be a member or someone's guest to buy anything.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weighing Luggage

Does your trip have a weight limit? Not you of course. I was referring to your luggage. If so, buy a scale, one with a hook or strap to hang luggage from and you can easily see what it weighs.

On our last trip we had to take a small, chartered plane for one of the legs with a weight limit of 33lbs per each of 2 suitcases. I was so worried about this, because you know how you can stuff a suitcase, that I purchased a hand luggage scale. Now I was set.

When we arrived at the airport, our luggage had to be weighed for the airline's purposes - to see if we are over their weight limit. All of a sudden, my luggage weighed 51 pounds. Now, unless I had someone else's suitcase, I have no idea how that happened. My guess is that the scales at the airlines may be wrong. Maybe it is a case of not being checked often enough they do it on purpose? I have no idea, but this is reason enough to purchase these small scales for a do it yourself check. I weighed my luggage numerous times just to be certain I was reading it correctly. I know I was right and the airline was wrong. (I was not over the airline's weight limit, so I didn't bother to complain that day.)

Have a great trip!

Where to buy: I purchased a luggage scale from It was easy to use so I was able to pack properly. The exact one I purchased is not on the site but they have one called "Balanzza Luggage Scale Ergo" at $25. You can also find others which cost less, at, for example, which has one similar to what I have for $9.95, item # KT689.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Love Shoes, Comfortable Ones, That Is

If there is a shoe sale, I will be there: I cannot help it. I have always loved shoes and to this day, have some I have never worn. At least I can say that they were all on sale. I may bore you now, but for the past six years, I have been dealing with a very arthritic foot and it has forced me to give up all the great shoes I have in my closet. Now my favorite shoe brand is Merrell. I have many of them, but I do wear them everyday. Some are really cute and the compliments I get are from people surprised that they are Merrells. I guess they picture them to be lacking in style.

Where to buy: all my Merrells come from They have free shipping, offer different discounts which you find out about if you sign up for emails. Free exchanges are also a plus.

When I need a dressy shoe, I have to wear a shoe
where the sole has a wedge versus a heel. Some very stylish ones happen to be from Bruno Magli.

Where to buy: I buy those from Lord and Taylor, when they have a sale, of course. They always have a decent selection. I shop at the store because online choices are not as good. If you don't have a Lord and Taylor near you, let me know.

Stay comfortable and be happy in your shoes.

How do you clean up those coffee grinds?

Coffee Grinds sometimes do fall on the floor: And what you would need is a great vacuum. I am not recommending one, but I will mention an online site where I have purchased 2 Miele vacuums as well as vacuum bags.

Where to buy: It is And you can try for, what else, applianaces. Matt Witbeck is the one I have spoken to many times and he is not only knowledgeable but a really nice person. He will do what he can to make a sale as pleasant as possible.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Jura Capresso Coffee and Espresso Center

What can I say? I love coffee: Because I drink it all day and because I need to be able to make a cup of decaf as well as caffeinated coffee, one at a time, I needed to buy a coffee system, not just a coffee maker. Being that I love to buy whole beans, I didn't want a Pod-type system.

Years ago I bought a Jura Capresso E8 Coffee and Espresso Center. To tell the truth, it was a tough decision because of the price, as is any coffee center of this type. This machine was wonderful and I have used it so much, I could have owned a coffee shop.

Recently a situation arose and I needed to buy another one. I researched all the new models of the Jura Capresso brand as well as others which had come on the market. Finally I decided on the new Jura Capresso ENA3 model. Again, I am putting it to use morning and night.

This model is a bit smaller than the E8, which is what I wanted, as well as quieter and also has a higher temperature as default so the coffee is a little hotter when it comes out. Great improvement especially for the price point. Jura Capresso makes many other models which are more expensive, which have addressed the temperature settings, but I wanted to stay at a certain price.

This company's customer service is really buttoned up. Not only can they advise you over the phone with any question you may have on the machine, but if something goes wrong and your unit is still under warranty, they will send you a label to ship the unit back (at no cost to you,) and in a few days you will have your unit returned. If the warranty is over, you pay for repairs but it is still cost effective.

Where to buy: One of my favorite sites is You can call and speak to someone for advice and every now and then you will find a discount offered on certain brands. They offer free shipping, price matches and bonus gifts on purchases of coffee centers. For example you could choose a free filter cartridge or a pound of coffee and more. They don't just sell most major brands of Coffee Systems, but tea products and many other items. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introducing myself


My passion is getting the best for the least.

I research products, companies, negociate deals and credits when possible with cable, phone and internet businesses.

What I want to share is how I do what I do, how I can help you make a good decision and offer reviews on companies/merchants which I have done business with online as well as commenting on their products.

So many people I know have asked me questions, asked for advice, asked for suggestions. Now I can do it for others.