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Two FREE Easter Craft books

DIY Easter WreathJust a quick post to keep you up-to-date on the best FREE ways to get your easter craft on – The first is a PDF ebook from All Free Holiday Crafts (yeah, long name, I know, but hey, at least they live up to it!). It contains several super-cute crafts with an Easter theme from the incredibly easy (like the wreath pictured at right) to the more complex (such as a quilted easter basket/bag. Check it out for free right here.

Scrapbook Easter EggsThe other is a great little PDF booklet that gives some really cool ideas on how to use your scrapbook supplies for truly stunning colored easter eggs! i know, who’da thunk, right? Of course, if you want to be completely on the safe side, you’ll want to use pierced and drained eggs, since I have no idea how toxic those supplies might be if they leach through the eggshell. Luckily, the booklet includes instructions on exactly how to drain eggs without breaking them!

Natural Easter Egg DyesOn the other end of the spectrum, this booklet also shows you how to go the all-natural route, using things like beets and onion skin to make organic dyes for your Easter eggs and how to use natural leaves and flowers to create gorgeous patterns on them, like the ones shown at right. Last but not least, the booklet includes several recipes, so you won’t be at a loss as to what to do with all those eggs after Easter! I know I’ve gotten tired of egg salad, so this was a very welcome addition to an Easter crafts book. Click here to download your free copy!

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UPS My Choice – Save Time & Hassle This Holiday Season!

Before we hit Black Friday & Cyber Monday, I wanted to post about something which I think is going to be incredibly helpful to you, if you haven’t already signed up for it. It’s called UPS My Choice, and it’s a new FREE service from UPS that allows you to manage all the items being shipped to you at a level UPS has never before offered.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home to see the little yellow and white UPS stickies on my door, instead of the wonderful widget I was hoping to find delivered to my doorstep. It’s frustrating, not having a job that allows me to take deliveries at the office, but I know I’m not the only one in this position. Enter the solution I’ve been waiting for for years: UPS My Choice.

My Choice not only has tracking, it also lets you know when your UPS packages are due for delivery A DAY IN ADVANCE, and allows you to authorize delivery without a signature. Translation: NO MORE YELLOW & WHITE STICKIES! If you happen to have an Amazon Prime membership, you’ve probably noticed that all of your deliveries come via UPS (at least mine all do). The hassle savings on these deliveries alone made it worth my time to sign up!

But there are other great features; for example, I know I mentioned that they let you know about your deliveries a day in advance. What’s really nice, though, is that they notify you via your preferred method – email, phone or text. So if you’re not the type to check your email every day, but you always have your cell with you, you can get a text. Don’t have a cell or an active email account? They’ll call ya! I like that they’ve geared this toward more than just the younger set.

But what if you’re having something big and expensive delivered, and don’t want it left on your front porch all day? They’ve got that instance covered as well, and two different ways! You can either have your package delivered to the nearest UPS Store, or choose another address (say, a neighbor who’s a stay-at-home mom?) and have the package delivered there. I don’t know about your local UPS Store but mine (and all the ones I’ve ever had occasion to use) have reasonable hours like 8am-7pm, that let me swing by after work and pick things up. I can see where this option would also be happy if, for instance, a package you were expecting didn’t arrive before you were slated to leave town for the holidays; then you could just re-route it to a nearby friend’s house to wait for you until you get home.

Now, all of the above is, as I said, FREE (although if I understand correctly the changing-the-delivery-address option might have an additional fee). Interestingly, they also offer a “Premium” membership level that adds a few more niceties. Like telling the driver where to leave your package (why leave it on the rainy front porch when the back porch has a roof over it?) and getting a confirmed two-hour delivery window. Upgrading is an option once you’ve finished your registration. I didn’t bother with it, as the fee was $40 per year, but I realize everyone has different needs, so I did want to mention it just in case.

UPS CouponsThere was also a little bonus I noticed on the confirmation screen; look at the top right of the Confirmation screen once you’ve finished registering, and look for a link that looks like the one at left that says “Download Coupons.”

I’m betting that these coupons will be the same all over, but just in case they aren’t here are the coupons I was able to print (and they’re a .pdf, so I was also able to save):

  • 25% off packing service (this will come in handy during the Christmas shipping season!)
  • 25% off printing service (if you do holiday newsletters, you’ll love this)
  • 3 months free with a 1-year mailbox agreement (probably not for most people, but hey, if you happen to need it, why not save?)

Naturally, these are all redeemable at my local UPS Store.

So if you want to save a lot of time, hassle & frustration this holiday shopping season, make sure you sign up for UPS My Choice now, so that when you need it, it’ll be ready and waiting for you!

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Big Fish Games Coupon Code – $2.99 Games!

As usual, I actually have more than one Big Fish Games coupon code for you. I’ll start with the moneymaker! Note that all the coupon codes in this post are for *new* Big Fish Games customers, so if you haven’t yet signed up under your email address, you’re golden!

Big Fish Games Coupon Code Moneymaker

The most exciting code this week will net you a game PLUS a $25 gift certificate, for JUST TWO BUCKS! The small drawback is that it’s only good on one game – Puppet Show: Mystery of Joyville – but if you like hidden object games (and don’t already have this one), it’s a beautiful game to add to your collection! All you have to do is click through this link, then use coupon code show25 at checkout. This will lower the price in your cart to $1.99, and seven days after you’ve completed checkout, you’ll be sent an email with a code to claim your $25 gift certificate. This makes it a $23 moneymaker…and you get a great game to boot! This deal is good through October 31st, 2011…a perfect creepy game for Halloween time!

Puppet Show: Mystery of Joyville is a hidden object game, in which you collect clues to solve the mysteries of a once-popular funhouse attraction. It’s available for both PC and Mac, and normally costs $9.99, so even without counting the gift certificate, you’re getting the game for 80% off. What’s more, they offer a strategy guide for the game, so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck. Of course, the strategy guide costs $9.99…but you know how I like to help you out right? So I went ahead and found you this blog walkthrough of the game for FREE. It’s not as comprehensive as the strategy guide, but if you get stuck, it’ll definitely get you out of a tight spot.

Big Fish Games Coupon Code – $2.99 Games

So maybe you’re not interested in hidden object games, or you already have enough. Whatever the reason, you want a different game from Big Fish, but you don’t want to pay the full $9.99 price. Here’s a coupon code to rescue you! This coupon code will net you any standard-edition game on the site for just $2.99. So whether you like match-3 games like 4 Elements (I recently finished playing through this one myself; it’s a cool twist on the standard match-3), time-management games like Hotel Dash, strategy games like Roads of Rome, or even solitaire (they have a really cute twist on solitaire in their Fairway Solitaire), Big Fish has you covered. Just make sure to click through this link, and use coupon code NEW299 at checkout. This coupon code is only good through October 23rd, though, so hurry over to Big Fish and use it while it’s hot!

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Halloween Costume Coupon Code Extravaganza!

maybe break into two posts – costumes & decorations?

Halloween is nearly upon us, do you have your costume? If not, I have great news for you: the Halloween Costume coupon code season is in full swing!

Vegas Showgirl Costume

Be a Showgirl for $7.50!

First up is the most drastic (and also shortest-lived) sale: Shindigz has slashed prices on all of their costumes by 50%. I literally saw costumes as low as TWO DOLLARS (any moms of Hannah Montana fans out there?)! However, this sale is only good through 11:59pm on 10/5, so if you want to take advantage of the crazy prices, hurry over to Shindigz now. Another cool thing about Shindigz is that they also have Halloween party supplies and lawn decorations – and they are all on sale for 50% off as well! If you think you can work up an $85 tab despite these low prices, then make sure you use coupon code WSXDK4 at checkout to get FREE shipping.

Badtz Maru CostumeIf you’re looking for sexy costumes, or any sort of anime or pop culture costume, you’ll probably want to check out Hot Topic. I was actually really surprised by their selection. They even have a few kids’ costumes! Best of all, they don’t leave you hanging if you’re looking to get your Halloween on for cheap. Not only do they have a selection of costumes which are 25% off, they’re also offering an additional 20% off any order over $60, when you use coupon code HTAF20HWN at checkout.

One of the things I really like about Hot Topic is that they almost never leave you on your own for shoes. It seems so often, other costume shops say “shoes not included,” but then also don’t give you any idea about how to find the shoes they display on their models! At least 9 times out of 10, Hot Topic has, in-stock, the shoes or boots they show on their models, which makes them an awesome one-stop shop in my book. Take for example this cute, girly Badtz Maru Cosume. They not only have the costume, but also the sexy black platform heels they show on their model. And you won’t feel bad picking them up, because they’ll only set you back $30 (or $24, if you use coupon code HTAF20HWN on your order), and you can wear them for more than just Halloween!

Marble Statue CostumeWholesale Costume Club has a bit of a different take on costume-buying. They are a genuine membership club, though I’ve found you a coupon code to get you a FREE membership (normally $5 per year) – SAVENOW. And honestly? Given their pricing, even having to pay the $5 would be worth it in my estimation. Most of their prices are around half off retail, and they also have an amazing selection of costumes they’re clearancing below their cost! Even if you’re paying their regular prices, though, they have some truly unique and gorgeous costumes. Check out the Venetian Marble Statue costume at left! It includes not only the dress and drape, but also gloves, shoe covers, the molded headpiece, a medallion, and detailed instructions on how to apply the marble look make-up effect. The cost for all those pieces? Just over $40! (Non-member pricing is about $48, but why wouldn’t you become a member when it’s free with coupon code SAVENOW?) Add to that the fact that you get $4.99 flat rate hipping on all orders, and you’re looking at some real value. As I mentioned above, I hate having to chase down extras and try to make sure they match a costume!

Another plus with Wholesale Costume Club: They have a hugenormous selection of plus size costumes for both ladies and gents, and they actually have them displayed on plus-size models! I don’t know about you, but I hate seeing costumes that are advertised as being plus-size, but the picture on the site clearly reflects that the model falls in the size 8 range. It gives me ZERO idea of what the costume might look like on my size-16 frame!

Last but not least, has a series of coupon codes, depending upon what you need. For example, do you have more than one Halloween party to attend this year? If so, you mighw want to use their BOGOSEXY code, which will net you your second costume at 25% off, AND free shipping (I believe both costumes have to come from their sexy collection). If you’d prefer to go with a less risque costume, then the BOGO20 coupon code is for you – it’ll get you 20% off your second costume AND free shipping, regardless of how sexy or modest your costume choices are (this one is also great for couples buying their costumes together). Finally, we have the code that will get you 10% off any purchase over $40 – Hallow10. These coupon codes are good through the end of October, so if you take your time deciding what to be this Halloween, these coupon codes will still be there for ya!

That’s all I have for today…if a coupon code for your favorite Halloween costume shop isn’t covered, be sure to drop me a line & I’ll see what I can dig up for ya!

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Pant Hem Snaps – Do they Work?

I was looking for a way to spend some ECBs that were about to expire yesterday, and while browsing around CVS I found a box of Style Snaps (click here to view their online site) in their little section of As-Seen-On-TV stuff. Since I have some pants that I’d like to be able to wear with both my heels and flats (and some others that are too long for either), I decided to give them a try.

So I got them home and went through my closet. I picked out a pair of jeans that fit well (other than the length), a pair of sweats that have been too long from day one, and a pair of nice pleated-front dress pants whose hem has come undone and I haven’t taken the time to re-hem yet. Then I had to wait…as I didn’t want to waste them. You see, whenever you’re hemming a pair of pants, you need a second person to be at floor level while you’re standing upright. Otherwise bending over totally changes where the hem falls! So I had to wait until Mr. Wonderful got home from work and could be my personal tailor. ;)

When he got home, I had him mark (the old fashioned way, with a straight pin) where I told him the hem should be for my flats on each pair of pants (actually, I wore sneakers for the sweats, but who’s counting right?). Then I was able to proceed. I peeled the backing off one half of a pant hem snap, and stuck it inside the edge, and then folded it under to see where to place the other half. First I did this on the outside of one jeans leg, then I repeated the process on the inside of the same leg. Naturally I did the same thing (two snaps per pant leg) for my sweats as well. On the pretty pants, I just attached one inside, in the area where the hemming had fallen out and left it at that.

But do they work? So far, so good. My one beef is that the hems made this way look a bit odd. For example, when you look at the bottom of my jeans when they’re un-style-snapped, you clearly see the contrasting stitching and lump of the normal hem. Since that is all hidden when I style-snap them up, the hem looks, well, sort of folded-under. Still, I never claimed to be the uber-fashionista, so it doesn’t bother me too much. And since I’ll only be using the pant hem snaps when I’m wearing flats (i.e. going for a more casual look), it’s not super-important that my hems look perfectly creased or anything. So I guess the answer is yes, they work, so long as you’re going for a casual look, and don’t need a crisp, creased hem.

While I can’t yet comment on their durability (since I only just bought them yesterday), they do seem plenty sturdy enough to hold fabric in place. According to the package, they are also supposed to be reusable (i.e. you can peel them off and use them on other clothing pieces). I’m a little skeptical about that claim, given my extensive experience with adhesives in scrapbooking, so I think I’ll just leave these where they are and see how many washings they last through. :) That will also save me the hassle of waiting for Mr. Wonderful to help me place them properly.

If you’d like more info about these pant hem snaps, check out the official site here. It actually looks like they have a better deal ($10 for two packs, whereas I only got one pack for that price), but I don’t feel too bad since I was using my ECBs up.

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