Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free Paper Toys

When I was teaching crafts at a school with a limited art budget, I became quite adept at coming up with art projects that required nothing more than paper, scissors and some folding skills.

Oh, I surely wish that I had known about Marilyn Scott-Waters' wonderful free paper toys site. I think we would have made each and every project on her list.

There are dozens and dozens of simply beautiful projects. I think my favorite two are the Penny Butterfly (design and color the wings, then place a penny on each wingtip and balance on your finger) and Fairy Furniture.

Marilyn's whimsy and joyful-create communicates in all that she does. Reading her journal and looking at her artwork just made me want to invite her over for a cup of tea served in little buttercups.

If you are a parent, art teacher or lover of things whimsical, check out these creations. They are sure to become favorites of your little (and not so little) artists.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maker Faire 2010 coming to New York, Detroit and the Bay area

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I am a huge fan of Maker Faire - the DIYer's Disneyland.

Our family has been making a yearly pilgrimage to the weekend long cutting-edge tech, craft and eco-friendly event since its inception.

You can read my past posts on Maker Faire here.

I've always felt sorry for my East Coast friends who were never going to have a chance to experience this ultimate field trip.

Now, I don't have to feel sorry for them any longer (well, at least not about this... I still feel sorry that they have to shovel tons of snow while I luxuriate in my flip flops and short sleeves in December).

Maker Faire is coming to Detroit and New York!

Get out your calendars. Circle the dates and make your hotel reservations. You do NOT want to miss this.

Bay Area

May 22nd and 23rd, 2010
San Mateo County Event Center
San Mateo, Calif.

Detroit Maker Faire 2010 Detroit
July 31st and August 1st, 2010
Henry Ford Museum
Dearborn, Mich.

New York
September 25th and 26th, 2010
New York Hall of Science
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A couple fun sites

I just ran across some new and fun daily bargain sites that you might enjoy:

Koupon Karen - oh gosh, this site is fun. Lots of freebies, hot deals and coupons.

If you are into impulse bargain buying, then you might want to check out - they have "today only" super deals.

Hope you enjoy these two sites.

Remember, Bobbi's Bargains is not about letting you know about the latest $1 off coupon. My job is to let you know where to find the latest $1 off coupon and even better, how to get the item for free!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tips for posting items for sale on Craigslist

Price items with pictures.

State your specific price. Note whether it is firm or best offer.

Only one item per listing.

Make the subject heading indicate exactly what you are selling.

To avoid spammers and con artists - state local pick ups only. Cash only.

Be real about your pricing. I don't care that you paid $500 for the chair 10 years ago. You are only going to get MAX $50 for it now. Maybe less. Probably less. Be glad that you don't have to pay to get someone to take it away for you. Sorry....

You may need to post several times. Most people do not look past the first two pages when searching. I've had people tell me that they posted on Craigslist and "nothing happened" but when I asked more questions I found out that they only posted once and without a picture because it was "too much trouble."

Make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct in your ad. It makes you sound more real and honest. Don't use your real email. Use the made up ones that you get from Craigslist. You can use your real email when you respond to specific inquiries.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Valentine's Day to Remember

The following article was written by me and featured as the cover story in February issue of the Voice of the Village newspaper. It is my gift to you, my readers, on this Valentine's Day. - Bobbi

I have discovered one of the happiest jobs on the planet – Valentine’s Day Flower Delivery Person. It’s like Santa Claus with petals! Who doesn’t like getting flowers?... especially on Valentine’s Day.

How did I make this discovery? Well, I know someone, who knows someone, whose twin sister owns a flower shop. So of course, when I heard that they needed extra help for Valentine’s Day deliveries, I said, “Yes! That sounds like fun!”

Now, let me tell you, I thought I knew something about flower shops. I had been in one once or twice. R-i-i-i-ght! I knew NOTHING about flower shops. Running a flower shop is HARD work. I don’t mean that you have long hours or have to think hard (which is true) … I mean, physical, HARD work.

First of all, most of the flowers we see in Los Angeles aren’t grown in the city. They are grown elsewhere and are then picked and packaged in such a way that they can survive the rugged treatment that they will meet on a trip which is sometimes half way around the world. They arrive at a district flower mart where they are sold to a local florist, put back on a truck and delivered to the shop. Now, these flowers have to be unpacked, trimmed and placed in water and refrigerated. (All this, by the way, is done standing up. I didn’t see one chair in the entire shop and no one ever seems to sit down.)

It is only at this point, that the flowers have a chance of making it into the hands of the (sound the trumpets, please) floral designers. The flowers get placed into individually designed arrangements, packaged to be shipped again, and then delivered to the recipient of all this hard work…. that special someone…. your Valentine! Wow!

Now, who wouldn’t want to deliver THAT present? How many people had to work how many hours to create this lovely gift?

Walking into an office or house with a huge (or small) Valentine’s bouquet in your hands is like walking in with The Crown Jewels. My entrance brings ooohs and aahs and admiration for the flowers and the lucky recipient who has someone in their lives who cares enough to present them with such a precious treasure.

My first delivery was a huge arrangement of long-stemmed roses from an “on-again-off-again” boyfriend. (This relationship condition was explained by the recipient to her admiring co-workers as she read the attached card.) Hopefully this large token of his affection bought him a bit of “on-againness.”

The next delivery was to the most important client…. the mother of the owner of the shop. She received (appropriately) the biggest and most beautiful arrangement of them all.

A very special moment occurred when I delivered flowers to someone in a beautiful, large house in an exclusive area of town. The stylish woman who opened the door was very nice, but indicated that she was not the recipient of the flowers but was only a friend staying “in this expensive world” while recovering from an illness. She said that my “Happy Valentine’s Day” greeting was the only one that she expected to get that day, but that when one has been sick, just finding out that the lab test results are “clean” was enough to make each day special. We mutually admired the blue sky and I went to my car and she went into the house. I had a few long stemmed roses in my back seat that I had taken to replace any that might get broken in transit. On impulse, I grabbed one of those roses and went back and rang the doorbell again. When she opened the door, I handed her the rose and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” She started to cry. I started to cry. We hugged. I’m glad that I did that… although technically, it was not my rose to give, I’m pretty sure that the wonderful owner of the shop I was working for, would have approved. I’m glad that I did it. It was important.

Moving along, I continued to dole out my Flower Claus gifts to the expecting and non-expecting. Eventually, there were only two arrangements left in my car. Both were going to health care facilities. The first one went to a woman in a nursing home. She was so old and frail that I don’t think that she even realized that the flowers were there. Walking the halls and seeing the elderly people in their wheel chairs, staring blankly at the walls, made me sad. It seemed like such a waste and a horrible way to end life.

Next was my final delivery. I found the hospital and parked in a no parking/delivery only zone (I always wanted to do that.) I made my way to the appropriate floor and door. As I entered the room, I realized that this was not just a Valentine’s Bouquet…. This was a “New Baby” Bouquet. All of a sudden, I was face to face with a brand new mommy, a brand new daddy and a brand new baby. What a twist of fate…. the circle of life within 10 minutes.

Feeling uplifted and hopeful, I returned to home base – the flower shop. Here, the store was still abuzz with late Valentine’s Day activity – husbands picking up flowers for their wives on their way home from work, last minute orders coming in by fax, the designers STILL going non-stop on making arrangements. The regular workers had hours to go, but my Flower Claus duties were done.

I took off my FTD florist apron and handed in my route sheets. I thanked everyone for allowing me to glimpse their world. I took a deep breath of the heady flower smell that I had gotten used to over the last few days and towing a huge Happy Valentine’s Day helium balloon behind me, I bid them all adieu.

My view of flowers, delivery people and Valentine’s Day had been changed forever. It was not just about the money or the work. Each flower, each bouquet, each arrangement is the end result of hours and days and weeks of labor and attention by many people, that have given of themselves, so that the colors and smells of fresh flowers could communicate to all who pass by the very important message that this world can and is beautiful… if you only stop and smell the roses.

Creative Commons License
A Valentine's Day to Remember by Bobbi Burger Brunoehler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

See We are the World 25 for Haiti video

I love this song. I love what it stands for. I love the fact that the husband of one of my dearest friends has been on the front lines helping in the "hospitals" in Haiti. You can read his story here.

Watch the new video. Help how you can. Remember that there are people much closer than Haiti that need your help. Perhaps as close as your neighbor. Reach out and help another.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free Admissions on Presidents Day

Looking for something fun and frugal to do on Presidents Day?

Target has been sponsoring free days at museums around the country this year. Presidents Day is one of those days for some museums. Click here to find out where and when the Target Family Free Days are in your area.

Do a web search using the words "free admission on Presidents Day"+"your state/home town."

Here are some results:

New York City:

The New York Historical Society

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (free admission for family up to 5 in number Feb 12-21, 2010)

The Henry Ford Museum

Of course, most museums and libraries having to do with the US Presidents have free admission and programs on Presidents Day:
Nixon Library
Reagan Library
Clinton Library
Kennedy Museum

Please note that due to the huge snow storm in the Northeast, some activities may be canceled like the Alexanderia, Virginia celebrations. So, if you are in that area, check to make sure the event is still happening.

Apparently, the Northeast is going to hold all its Presidents Day events as snowball fights. Check your local blogs and friends in the know to see if there is one scheduled in your area. Meanwhile, check out the massive snowball fight in Washington, DC.

and then a few days later a rematch was arranged

Monday, February 8, 2010

Send a "Wicked" Valentine

The promotion department of the Broadway Musical "Wicked" has come up with a nice little gimmick for those of us who love the show's music.

You can customize a free Valentine's card for your love with images and music from the soundtrack.

Of course, there is also a link to buy tickets to the show or download (not for free) the songs from iTunes or buy the album from their online store.

I love the show and have seen it with my daughter three times. As the bargain queen, I buy the cheapest seats (first row in the top tier during the week) and we bring our binoculars.

I'm sure there are going to be other great free email valentine sites. Please let my other readers know about them buy placing a comment.

Be My Valentine!

2010 Super Bowl XLIV Commercials

What does this posting have to do with bargains?

You didn't have to spend Sunday afternoon watching the Super Bowl just to see the commercials. Think of the time you saved.

Here they are.

<a href="" target="_new" title="Snickers: Betty White">Video: Snickers: Betty White</a>
Click here to see all the commercials.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Send Baby Mail just like the Super Bowl E*Trade commercials

If you liked Elf Yourself, then you are sure to life Baby Mail. You can type in your message and it will translate into a male or female voice (your choice) with a video of a baby.

You can upload your own pictures and record (via phone or mic) your own voice.

Send a Baby Mail. It's sure to crash the servers in the next 24 hours and make lots of money for E*Trade.

The same group that is bringing you Baby Mail for E*Trade is bringing you Avatarize Yourself for McDonalds.

Be the first to send these to your friends.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grammar Girl - quick and dirty grammar tips

Want to sound like you went to an Ivy League school? Use proper grammar. Want to sound like an illiterate boob? Don't use proper grammar. It's pretty basic.

I must admit that I am not always the Queen of Grammar, but I know a link to someone that is:
Grammar Girl.

Using proper grammar in resumes and letters to potential employers is a sure way to improve your chances of getting hired.

If you are unsure of your abilities in this area, ask for a friend to help you by proofreading your work.

Another fun site for the grammar minded is A Way With Words radio program.

Now... please don't start sending me emails correcting my grammar. I'm working on it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rights and Responsibilities when you turn 18 years old

I am constantly amazed when I talk to 19 and 20 year olds to find out that they have already trashed their credit or were taken in by some scam on the internet. Or worse, that they have unwittingly committed and been convicted of some minor crime that is going to be on their record for the rest of their lives.

When someone turns 18 years old in the United States, the rules of the game change.

It is important that you know the rules so that you don't pay for your ignorance. If you have teens that are turning 18 or have turned 18, make sure that they are aware of their new rights and responsibilities. They will save a ton of money by NOT making mistakes that have high fines or lifelong consequences attached to them.

This is a link to a pamphlet created by the California Bar Foundation entitled:
"When you become 18 - A survival guide for teenagers"
If that link doesn't work, then click here.

This pamphlet is specific to California law, but much of it is true no matter where you live in the United States. Many other states have created similar pamphlets, so if you live elsewhere you can probably find one specific for your state by searching for "turning 18"+"name of state"

Make sure your teen is educated in their new rights and responsibilities.

(Note: the link to this pamphlet changed and is now correct in link above.)