Thursday, August 6, 2015

Let's Save Some Money

Let's Save Some Money!!!!

Today I thought I’d share with you some extra ways to save money through a few popular rebate and savings apps. There are far more than the ones listed below, but these are definitely the most popular and most helpful in my opinion. Download a few, try them out, and if you don’t like them, you can always delete them.
Ibotta - Ibotta is essentially an instant rebate machine, and one of the most popular coupon apps around, thanks to its, “many offers, many retailers” in a variety of categories. Simply choose a few products from Ibotta's list (updated weekly), and then complete a short, related task (take a survey, watch a video, etc.). Afterwards, go shopping and take a picture of your receipt as proof of purchase. Payments come in cash or self-selected gift cards, and the desktop site provides an excellent run-through of the app itself, which is simple to use.
Checkout 51 - The three big advantages of using Checkout 51? "Good offers, easy to use, and you can also access it on a desktop computer," says Nelson. Like Ibotta, it’s a rebate app for which you upload a receipt to receive cash. Unlike Ibotta, you must reach $20 in your account to be mailed a check. Products are updated Thursdays, and can be purchased from a wide range of stores, from WalMart to Whole Foods.
SavingStar - Coupon Mom is a big fan of SavingStar, because it gives you, "the best offers for major brands, works at the most retailers, and can be accessed on a desktop computer." To begin, link the app with your supermarket and drugstore loyalty cards. Then, check out a list of available savings (which insiders say are comparatively excellent). Finally, purchase your items. Payment thresholds are only $5, and you can choose to have the money sent to your bank account, received through PayPal, or forwarded directly to a charity.
RetailMeNot - Whenever you shop anywhere, whether it’s online or at a brick-and-mortar store, go to RetailMeNot first. The discount juggernaut offers more than 500,000 bargains at over 50,000 retailers, which you can customize to your geographic location and then keep in a favorites list. Best of all, there’s no forethought involved. Simply saunter into a store, look up the coupon, and have the cashier scan it directly from your device.
Target Cartwheel - The Target Cartwheel App is a choose-your-own-offer savings experience that will run through Facebook (although you do not need to be a Facebook member to join). Cartwheel is a first-of-its-kind program that gives shoppers a new way to save on hundreds of items throughout Target stores. The bonus is that you can stack Target Coupons and manufactuer coupons with the Target Cartwheel offers.
Snap by Groupon – Snap by Groupon is probably my favorite rebate app. The selections of products are great and you can purchase them at any store. Also, you can do the rebate multiple times which is a great feature for stocking up on products.
ShopKick - a great iPhone and Android App for your phone that gives you exclusive deals to all of your favorite stores including, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s & Toys R Us. You can earn “kicks” (points) just for walking into a store and earn even more “kicks” for making qualifying purchases. Kicks can be redeemed for gift cards to Target, Best Buy and so much more.
MobiSave - The latest rebate App to hit the scene, MobiSave is currently available for Apple based devices ONLY. Much like their predecessors, MobiSave offers you rebates on items that you can choose to purchase. Just take a picture of your itemized receipt and submit. Rebates are posted to your account normally within 24 hours. Cash out your account at any time, NO MINIMUMS to meet. Visit the Apple ITunes Store and download MobiSave for free!
Walmart Savings Catcher - The Walmart Savings Catcher App was introduced earlier last year to select states and regions however it is now available nationwide! If a local competitor offers a lower advertised price on an item you purchased at Walmart, this program allows you to get back the difference on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card.
When you’ve finished reading this post, comment below with which of these cool, money-saving apps you’d most like to try out first!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Involved Dad???

I am sitting here looking at my two youngest children hanging out with each other and thinking about our day. Every morning that they have school I am up laying out clothes for my youngest (if  I didn't he would look a hot mess with a thousand colors, lol) and calling my daughter a few times before her teenage self begins to move.  My children are like me, they are not exactly morning people - we are not morning people.  We like to ease into the day.  We aren't grumpy we just like to move slowly and not talk.  Sometimes it is an issue when we oversleep but in general we are good.  Once we hit the car we are wide awake and ready to go.  We listen to our music, talk about where we need to be after school, do we have everything (books, laptops, homework, lunch), all in our 20 minute ride to both Charter schools.  Watching them got me thinking about all I do as a Mom.  The fact that my day seems to revolve around our schedules - I think about how I am always considering where they need to be, how they are getting there, is homework done, is there lunch food, what is for dinner, did we spend enough quality time together, do they seem happy, what do they need etc...all before I make a move.  I can never just get up and leave the house without being sure they are okay, whether they are coming with me, are they safe, are they fed while the DIOL (dad in our life) moves about doing whatever he wants, comes and goes, without much thought as to what is going on with kids.  Not because he is a bad father but because he knows Mom has them.  Are all men like this? He expects me to make sure he knows about the going ons at school and in the kids lives and to just let him know, he expects me to make all doctors appointments, make sure there is food, that they have all that they need etc...not because he isn't thoughtful or doesn't love his kids.  He just doesn't think about it.  Is this normal? What about the DIOL in your house? How much do they participate in the day to day stuff with the kids? Do you wish they participated more? Or is just easier for you to handle everything? I think about other men in my life and realize one never has a clue how much money he has and depends on his wife to take care of the bills.  He of course contributes financially and for many years was the sole provider but never knows if he can afford a haircut without asking.  Another pays the bills for the household but just kind of does it willy nilly.  Nothing gets shut off but lots of late fee's build up.  Do men take this role on because we put them there, do they naturally fall into it, are they just lazy, what and why is it that way? Maybe it is just in the circle I see but I had to ask.  What are your thought?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Exploring Columbia

So I am here in Columbia, SC still trying to adjust.  Monday through Friday my butt is busy, busy, busy but when the weekends come I miss my Atlanta.  I am use to knowing where we can go as a family and have some fun.  Now that I am here and starting to get into the flow of things it is time to start experiencing what Columbia, SC has to offer.  I am open to suggestions – just remember it must be family friendly and budget friendly, lol.  I have done some research and here are a few places I plan to visit:

SC State Farmers Market:  My children and I absolutely love places like this.  We take the opportunity to browse, taste the fresh produce and things we have never had.  My kids will spend hours asking questions and taking selfies.  This one is actually located in West Columbia but same difference.  It is located at 3483 Charleston Hwy, West Columbia, SC
Below are few more tidbits about the market:

Market Pavilion
The Farmers Market Pavilion is open 7 days a week throughout the year in the climate controlled Corbett Building. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the shops.  Everything from fruits & vegetables to canned foods, baked goods, dips, soups, Himalayan salt as well as South Carolina made crafts, cast iron cookware and more. The SC State Farmers Market has something local every season. Open 8am-6pm.

Comfort food at its finest is on the menu at Judy’s at the Market. Our motto of “fresh, healthy, local” is reflected in everything we do, from our hand-battered fried okra to our top-quality angus beef burgers to our red velvet cakes made with lots of real butter. We make everything from scratch- even the cornbread! Come on by and see what all the fuss is about… and prepare to become a regular! We’re also available for catering your next event. 

Hours of operation for the Judy’s at the Market restaurant are:
Sunday- Thursday
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
Friday – Saturday 
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Lunch & Dinner 
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM 
If you go or have been there let me know what you think!

Next up will be Frankies Fun Park:  Located at 140 Parkridge Drive, Exit 103 off I-26 (Harbinson Blvd.) 803-781-2342
This place is defintiely for my kids, they are such adreniline junkies!  I will go just so I can see them have a great time.  In Atlanta we were season pass holders at Six Flags so I don’t think this place will measure up but what the hey we will go and I am sure they will enjoy it.  Here is a little about Frankies:

Frankie's is Thousands of Square Feet of Entertainment.

Sure, we could have named it, 'THE MOST AWESOMEST FUN PARK IN THE WORLD', but Uncle Frankie is glad we didn't. Frankie's is your one stop for good food and great times! Where else can you challenge your family to a mini golf wager, where the loser has to promise not to scream like a girl while they defy gravity being hurled through the air on the Sidewinder? Or where else are you not only encouraged but rewarded for playing video games? Speed limits? Not here. Whether you're 5 or 75, Frankie's Fun Park is the cure to an ordinary Saturday or any other day. · 803.781.2342

My kids and I always love parks so here in Columbia we are excited to go visit Saluda Shoals Park:

Saluda Shoals Park is a beautiful 400-acre riverfront park that is the perfect spot for families to enjoy the treasures of the Saluda River through exceptional educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. There is outdoor fun for the entire family to enjoy such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, bird watching, nature hiking and more! Both paved and unpaved paths are available for hiking, biking, and horseback riding and Saluda Shoals also offers a boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch. For directions and seasonal hours of operation, check out! 803-731-5208

Hopefully our explorations will begin this weekend.  If you have any suggestions let me know.  Until then stay blessed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Trip Advisory - Bluffton / Hilton Head, SC

We hosted an event the last weekend in Bluffton, SC which is just outside Hilton Head, SC.  Hilton Head beaches were absolutely beautiful however the hotel we stayed in - well stayed in for an hour was absolutely horrible.  Felt I needed to share so you don't go through what we went through.

Suburban Extended Stay Hilton Head
1376 Fording Island Road
1 of 5 stars
The most disgusting place I have ever seen. Roaches crawling out of the sink in droves and crawling into the bed. We had 5 rooms checked in at 10:30 pm vacated at 12:30 am. Couldn't stay there, will never stay there again, wouldn't send my worst enemy there. Totally disgusted and was willing to sleep in the car. Luckily we found rooms elsewhere. Came home to only have to visit doctor to find out the skin bumps are bed bug bites. Yuck yuck yuck! This place needs to be destroyed.

Finding My Way

I recently decided to leave my job in Georgia and take a leap of faith were I movedband my youngest two children to Columbia, SC and work with my family in starting our own businesses.  Yes businesses plural.  Those who know me know that for the last 7 years I have worked with my family in a business were we host youth basketball tournaments primarily in the Southeast.  We do it to help young ladies and young men to get exposure in a safe, fun and family oriented atmosphere to high level basketball with the possibility of being recruited to play college level ball with scholarships.  Each of us has worked in various industries and we have all given 200% to others dreams while not really reaching the levels we wanted.  We decided that our ideas and our talents should be used to benefit ourselves and our families not someone else's dreams hence the starting of our companies: Bridgeway Medical Solutions and Krazy Kards.

Moving to SC meant some changes personally.  I left my oldest son and my fiance behind in Atlanta. The original idea was to come over get things started and in about 60 days my man would follow.  Well we are on day number 106 and he is still in the A.  Starting a business is so much harder than I ever dreamed.  I have moved in with my brother and his family (my business partners) and we are all co-parenting (maybe it is tri-parenting?) our four children, sharing in the day to day issues of regular life while working diligently to make our businesses successful. I love being able to collaborate at anytime, we are quick to rally around an idea and we share the leadership. I truly love our working together.  However I miss the rest of my family.  I miss my son.  Someday's I think I fu$%ed up, that trying to build my own legacy is just have too hard; that bringing home that bi-weekly paycheck should be enough. I continuously have second thoughts about separating my family.  It hurts me to hear my oldest to say he is out of money and has little food and I can't help.  It hurts to not be able to cuddle next to my SO (significant other) and share my day, but then I remind myself this is only temporary.  This leap of faith I have taken is for my legacy.  We will all be stronger and happier.  

I am still finding my way in this world and I believe I am moving down the right path.  I truly believe that even at my age (47) that it is never to late to find your way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From the Heart of a Felon

While this is not my post I felt I should share this.  I am so proud of the man he is trying to be.  

It seems as though I will never be given an opportunity to restart my life with a regular job due to my background as a felon. I have been rejected so many times now that discouragement and uselessness are beginning to set into my psyche. you hear while in prison about rehabilitation and becoming a productive member of society but once you actually hit the streets its as if society has discarded you for the duration of the rest of your life. No company wants to hire you despite the training you may have gone through while incarcerated, its just pretty much an automatic rejection once you either self disclose your background to employer or especially after the background check has been done, and nowadays, doing a background check is a pre- qualification of employment for almost all jobs in today's american workforce. So I ask, "how is or how am I to get a job so that I can be that productive member of society, take care of myself and family , basically just survive, when now that I have paid for my crimes to society, served my time, did the necessary things while incarcerated which was told to me then that these things would afford me the ability to reinsert myself back into society productively, have proven to be nothing but a lot of time spent in prison that now as a free man that doesn't helps me to accomplish anything when employers all uses your background as a means to disqualify from the potential job applicants.?
I have served my time, why am I still being persecuted? I hope that someone who is in "control" will realize that with the increasing number of felons in America and recidivism that the biggest problem with that is that ex-felons are not being able to get a job to continue in his or her rehabilitation and re entrance into society so consequently a high number of these individuals go back to crime and eventually back to prison. And that is SAD.
Where do we (felons) go from here? Where is the Justice? Where is the forgiveness? This is the land of the free but for us ex-felons our background seems to keep us imprisoned forever, A life sentence.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall is one of my favorite times of the month.  It is a great time to be out and about with the kids.  All of the Fall Festivals, the turning leaves, the great weather.  My kids and I tend to venture out a lot more now than we do any other time of the year.  Of course there are the regular school things to be done, fall league basketball starts and this year my daughter will be marching in the 100 Black Men Parade of Excellence sponsored by KIA.  I am so excited for her as it will be televised on WSB-TV as well. 

There is so much going on in Atlanta so I thought I would share a few of the things my family enjoys.

1) Fairburn Festival - October 5, 2013 - we always love small town festivals -Bridging the Past with the Future” is the 2013 Theme for the Fairburn Parade and Festival.
The Fairburn Fall Festival will take place Saturday from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The festivities include activities for children and adults, musical performances, a food court, street entertainment and the much awaited Fairburn Festival Parade at 9:30 am.

The Fairburn Fall Festival will be held in downtown Fairburn and admission to the Festival is free and open to the general public.

The Festival brings the “Best of the Best” together. Artists, musicians and vendors provide an enriching and family oriented environment for citizens of Fairburn and surrounding communities.

Bring your family and friends out to enjoy a day of celebration, fun and fellowship.

Oh yeah don't forget to support the Campbell Elementary PTA by becoming a member for only $5 - it is open to the whole community! Or you can donate a $1.00, become a PTA Partner and have your Cougar Paw hanging on our PTA tree in the hallway of Campbell Elementary. 

2) East Atlanta is one of my favorite places to wander around and this weekend on Saturday from 2pm - 6pm The Taste of East Atlanta will happen.  It is an opportunity to taste from 15 of East Atlanta's fine eateries. The Taste happens throughout our village at the Restaurants situated near the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Flat Shoals Avenue. Tickets are $1 each and tastes range between 1 and 3 tickets. Proceeds go to the East Atlanta Business Association for building a stronger and more diverse business community.  Who can resist food?

3) Sweet Auburn Heritage Festival - this is always one of my favorite things to do.  So many vendors with great food, clothing, natural soaps, jewelry, music....did I say food, lol?  Love love love this festival.  The Sweet Auburn Heritage Festival  attracts over 30,000 people over a two -day weekend. It is fun, food and entertainment for the whole family. In addition this year Electoral Candidates for the APS Board District 1 Brenda Muhammad and ATL Council Post 3- At Large to speak on the importance of voting.
There are so many things going on in Atlanta that I can't even begin to name them all.  Get up and get out! Enjoy this great weather while you can.  Go to a farmers Market, go pick fruit, or just talk a walk in the park.