Introducing…Sunshine And Some Polish

I have decided to start a new mini-blog documenting my adventures in nail stamping, nail art, and polish collecting.  This way I will be able to keep most of my nail-specific posts separate from my usual posts (which I know have been lacking lately).

If you are so inclined, please join me over at sunshineteapolish.tumblr.com!

Don’t worry, I will still be posting on Sunshine And Some Tea.  Coming up shortly: my January favorites post!

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MelissaBeingMartha.com

I always love when friends of mine decide to embark on a new blogging adventure.  And so of course, I try to give them a friendly plug on here whenever I can.

Introducing MelissaBeingMartha.com, a brand new blog started by a girl who I have known her entire life.  Literally. If you had to press my parents into revealing who their best friends are, I have very little doubt that their answer would be Melissa’s parents (and vice versa, I’m sure).  Her dad is my godfather, and our families have been very close friends since before both Melissa and I were born.  They are friends who are really almost like family.

Anyways, all personal connections aside, Melissa is so creative and talented!  She loves crafts, baking, yoga, nail polish, you name it!  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with to share on her blog.  Please go check it out!

Hodgepodging.com

Hope everyone’s weekend was nice!

I just wanted to take a quick second to let everyone know about the brand new blog of a dear friend of mine.  Her name is Carol and she is actually the mom of one of my very best friends.  My family has known her family since I looked like this:

That’s me in the center, and Carol’s daughter on the left!  Ha ha!

Anyways, Carol is starting a brand new blog called Hodgepodging.com about all kinds of topics; health, weight loss, travel, shopping, etc.  I know she would appreciate some new readers and  friends over at her new online home.  Please check it out!

I won something!?! No way!

I got some exciting news today!  I won a giveaway on another blog! I won a Zeo Sleep Manager from this post on Melissa’s blog 320 Sycamore! I am sooooo psyched about this, because I seriously never win anything.

Source: Best Buy

This thing looks so cool!  You wear the headband while you sleep, and it tracks how much and what type of sleep you get throughout the night via a SmartPhone app.  Once I get it in the mail, I will be sure to let you know more about how it works and what I think about it.

If you would like to know more about the Zeo Sleep Monitor, check it out on Best Buy.  Or just read Melissa’s review on her blog!

Eversave Giveaway!

**THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!  CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!**

 

If you know me, you know how much I love a great deal.  Who doesn’t, right?  Especially in today’s economy; everyone is looking for ways to save a buck while still enjoying life to the fullest.

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I am teaming up with the daily deals website Eversave today on a great giveaway for my readers!

Eversave works day and night to negotiate the very best deals for you on all the things you love.  From spas and restaurants to lift tickets and yoga classes – Eversave delivers these local discounts directly to your inbox, in the form of a Save.

In addition to their local daily deals, they also offer spectacular Saves from online merchants which allows their customers nationwide to get in on the fun!

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up for Eversave to start receiving daily e-mails with details of the Saves happening in your neighborhood.  Eversave will even give you $2 [aside: I think it’s actually $3 right now] to use towards your next purchase just for creating an account!

And don’t forget to spread the word.  Eversave makes it easy and rewarding to share Saves with family and friends.  Whether you tell them about a deal you love via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter, when someone you’ve referred to the site makes his or her first purchase, we’ll add $10 in Save Rewards to your account.

Daily deals offering out-of-this-world savings – it’s that simple.  Visit Eversave today & learn more.

Just as an example, today they are offering a great Save for a bike/moped rental over in the Cape Canaveral beach area.

Rent 2 bikes or 2 mopeds for a full day for $25, a $50 value at regular price!  If you include the $3 Save Reward for signing up with Eversave, that’s $22 for 2 full day bike rentals at the beach.  Not too shabby!  And if you aren’t interested in this deal, there are others offered right now, and more deals pop up everyday!  And if you live outside of Central Florida, be sure to check out the great deals going on right now that are specific to your area.

For more info on how Eversave works, check out their FAQ page.

Eversave has provided me with $15 in Save Rewards (site credit, basically) to give away to one of my readers.

Here’s how to enter!:

  • MANDATORY: Sign up for Eversave and come back here and leave a comment letting me know that you have done so.   This is very important because you can’t get the $15 credit unless you have an account!

BONUS! For ‘Extra Entries’ (please leave separate comments for each one…so a total of 4 potential entries):

I will accept entries up through 6pm ET on Sunday, 9/11/11, and the winner will be chosen at random from the comments left on this post.

**I am not being compensated by Eversave for this contest.  Thoughts are my own.   Giveaway open to U.S. residents ONLY. 
  Entries accepted through Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 6pm ET. **

Tuesday’s Tip: Threadless.com T-shirts

Who doesn’t love a good, clever novelty t-shirt?  Even if you are not fond of wearing them yourself, you can at least chuckle a bit when you see someone else wearing one.  And chances are, we are all probably close to at least one person who loves them (which makes them great for gifts!).

Enter Threadless.com, the website where you can order some of the funniest, most creative, and most clever t-shirts on the web.  One of the interesting things about Threadless, is that anyone can submit a design for them to use on their apparel. Users vote on which designs they would like to see printed, and the winning designers get paid for their submissions.   Click here for more info on submitting designs and how it works.

I have used the site in the past to buy shirts as gifts for my husband, brother, and friends, and they have all been much-loved.  Here are some of the ones I have purchased:

"Of The Dead" (for my zombie movie loving husband)

"MP(3)" (for my rockstar brother)

Some of the other ones I have bought are now out of print, but they included a shirt that showed an empty roll of toilet paper with the caption “WHAT WOULD MACGUYVER DO?”, and a shirt done in the style of an Ikea instruction manual showing how to put a viking ship together in pieces, with the word “Vikea” in the Ikea logo font, and a shirt showing Darth Vader pruning a topiary into the shape of the Death Star.  All goofy, but all very clever, cute, and funny.

Since I first became a customer of Threadless.com, they have branched out into hoodies, tote bags, and even baby onesies.  Check out this cute Baby Godzilla onesie currently on clearance for $10, perfect for your adorable “little monster”!:

"Baby Godzilla"

Fans of The Cure (like me!) will love this one which offers a literal word-for-word translation of the lyrics of Friday I’m In Love.  “I don’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s gray and Wednesday too.  Thursday I don’t care about you, it’s Friday, I’m in love!…”

"Friday, I'm In Love!"

My husband has a thing for squirrels (not sure why, he just likes them…one Christmas I got him a squirrel calendar for his office and he was THRILLED).  How cute is this for fall/football season?:

"All-Conference Squirrel" FRONT

"All-Conference Squirrel" BACK

See what I mean?  Cute/clever/funny/whimsical…Great for gifts, and sometimes they even have sales where they have a ton of designs for $10 each!  I know some of the menfolk in my life will be getting stuff from this site over the holidays!  Maybe one of these days I will finally get one for me too.

Disclaimer: Thoughts are my own.  I am not being paid to make the aforementioned
statements.  Simply reviewing products and providing tips of items that I love,
to share with my readers.

Fun with social media.

I have been meaning to do a formal post about this for awhile, so it’s about time I get around to actually doing it.

If you know me, it’s no secret that I love to connect with people via social media.  It’s fun, easy, and helps me not only meet people I wouldn’t otherwise have met, but it also keeps me connected with friends and loved ones I don’t see very often either because of distance or schedules or whatever.

Here are some ways you can connect with me and my blog via social media:

FACEBOOK – You can “like” my blog and have real time links to my new posts sent to your Facebook feed.  Make me feel loved and become a fan.  You know you want to!

Sunshine And Some Tea

Promote Your Page Too

TWITTER – Follow me here: @sunshineteablog.  Like Facebook, my Twitter account also automatically updates when there is a new post on the blog, but you will also get other little nuggets of commentary from me throughout the day.  Fun!

 

 

PINTEREST –  I know I have mentioned it several times already, but Pinterest is awesome, so it gets another shout out on this list.  It’s the best place to go for inspiration of any kind.  Fashion, party planning, inspirational quotes, color palettes, crafts, recipes, weddings, jewelry, tips so simple and revolutionary you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first…you name it, it’s there for you to pin, pin, pin.  Follow my pinboards and I will follow you back!

Follow Me on Pinterest

 

 

FOODSPOTTING – This is the newest one I have joined.  It’s a food/restaurant app where I can post dishes I have tried and loved at different restaurants.  You can follow people, your favorite food items, and restaurants.  And when you see something you want to try, you can bookmark it by clicking “want it” for next time you are in or around that restaurant.  Since I do talk about restaurants sometimes in my blog, I thought it would be fun to share my Foodspotting account here and get some more followers.  Give it a try!  And if you are already on there, click the button below and add me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you all have a great Friday!

Tuesday’s Tip: No Spend August

I know usually I use Tuesday’s Tip to talk about a product that I love and want to share.  But today I am going to talk about a personal challenge that I have taken on for the month of August.  Maybe you will be inspired to use this tip for yourself!

“No Spend” August!

Basically the challenge is as simple as the name suggests…Don’t spend money!  I have seen monthly message board threads on this for YEARS in the budget section of the DisBoards.com website.  As a matter of fact, HERE is a link to their thread for this month’s challenge.  I also heard a “No Spend” challenge discussed on the 7/15 episode of the Dis Unplugged podcast.  Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick did a similar challenge last month where she vowed to not spend any money on DIY or decor items during the month of July.

The “No Spend” challenge can be different things to different people.  You can make up your own rules.  The only unifying rule is that you push yourself to not spend where you would have otherwise spent, and to stop and think before you do spend.  Isn’t it so true that, with debit cards readily available and accepted everywhere, it’s so easy to just spend without thinking?  This challenge will make you stop and think: “Do I REALLY need that thingamabob?” or “Can I wait awhile to get that whatchacallit?”  Mindless daily spending can really add up!

Our goal is that we are going to try not to spend any money on at least 18 out of the 31 days in August.  We are trying to be realistic based on the fact that I am going on a trip during August, and we have a few events that we are scheduled to attend that require spending money.  Plus, of course we need groceries and gas, although we are going to do our best to spend wisely on the days where we do have to spend money.  We have also decided that paying bills and highway tolls do not count as spending for the purpose of this particular challenge.

Lately our biggest culprit has been going to the grocery store too much.  We have been going several times each week with a specific item or set of items in mind, and every single time we end up with way more than we intended on getting.  Spending $30-$50 a few times per week can really add up!  Before we started the challenge, we went on a big grocery shopping trip with the intention of making it last two weeks without having to go back.  I used coupons, purchased carefully, and we ended up with an overflowing cart-full of groceries for $98.95.  Whatever we ended up with is all we are getting for two weeks!

Wish us luck as we embark on this challenge.  I hope we each learn something from it, and save a significant amount of money while we are at it.  If you do a challenge, let me know!  Maybe we can keep each other accountable.

Tuesday’s Tip: Restaurant.com

Do you like to dine in restaurants?  Do you like to save money?  Me too!

My tip for this week is something that can allow you to do both at the same time: Restaurant.com!  Perhaps some of you have even tried it before and can attest to its greatness.

The key to using Restaurants.com properly is to understand what it is, and what it is not.  Restaurant.com allows you to purchase and print out “gift certificates” for local restaurants.  These “gift certificates” can’t be used the same way gift cards can be.  I think of them more as high value coupons than true gift certificates.  Each restaurant has different parameters and rules that govern how their certificates can be used.  Before purchasing your certificate, you need to make sure you understand and are okay with these rules, but 9 times out of 10, they are reasonable and easy to follow.  When browsing the restaurants on the site, the rules for each restaurant and certificate are easy to find and very clear.

Just as an example…When Tadd and I went on our mid-week date night to 310 Park South a few weeks back, we purchased and used a $25 certificate from Restaurant.com.  These are the rules we had to abide by in using the certificate:

Minimum purchase of $35. Excludes Fri-Sat. 18% Gratuity added prior to discount. Excludes: Holidays/Special Events, Other Offers/Promotions. VALID ONE CERTIFICATE per party/group/person PER CALENDAR MONTH.

Since there were 2 of us eating, we knew we would surpass the $35 minimum, and we went on a Wednesday night, so the day of the week wasn’t an issue (although I should note that these sorts of day-of-week restrictions are rare for other restaurants featured on the site).  Once we had solidified plans, I purchased the certificate for $10, printed it, and brought it to the restaurant, and just like that we saved $25 off of our bill.  So with very little effort, we netted a $15 savings off of our check.

Even better, if you like Restaurant.com on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, you will be privy to some really great promo codes that they release quite often.  Right now they are doing a 70% discount on certificates when the promo code SWEET is used at checkout.  That means a $25 certificate that would typically cost you $10 would now cost you only $3.  So you would be spending $3 to save $25.  Not too shabby!

I am thinking about snagging a certificate myself with that promo code to use for our anniversary dinner this weekend (Sunday will be 7 years of marriage!).

Disclaimer: Thoughts are my own.  I am not being paid to make the aforementioned
statements.  Simply reviewing products and providing tips of items that I love,
to share with my readers.

Yelp! Fire & Ice Gala

Tadd and I attended an event after work last night hosted by Yelp! Orlando; the Yelp Fire & Ice Gala, which was held at the oddly-located Heaven Event Center which is an office-building-ish structure in the middle of the super-industrial portion of Sand Lake Rd.  It’s a really strange spot for event space (they hold weddings, corporate functions, etc at this place)…not to mention, it’s super strange to enter an industrial office park to find one of the buildings with a giant sign that simply says “HEAVEN” on it.

I never thought "Heaven" would look like an office building!

Once inside, after receiving our credentials, we scanned the scene.  They had a DJ playing some very loud music, which made it hard for me to really think about what I wanted to see/do first.

So my brain went where it normally goes after a normal business day…”Let’s get a drink.”  So we headed over to the martini bar hosted by Cocktails Catering.  I got a (VERY delicious!) lemon drop martini and Tadd got a blue razz martini.  We headed over to one of the many lounge areas in the corners of the event space and took a seat to enjoy our cocktails.  A magician approached us and did a few cool magic tricks for us, which was fun.  Tadd kept trying to dissect what he did and how he did it after the magician left, because his IT analytical brain is always trying to “solve” problems instead of just enjoying the magic for what it is!  I still love him though…

After that, we decided to peruse the various booths and see what other free stuff we could get!  We located the Sprinkles booth, which was the highlight of our evening.  They have these glorious inventions called Cake Shooters.  They are basically a delicious layer cake, shoved into one of those push-pop contraptions that you used to get from the ice cream man.  You push up the cake as you eat it.  This craze is apparently gaining steam, as even quasi-celebrity Tori Spelling had a batch custom made and shipped from Orlando to L.A. for her daughter’s 2nd birthday party.

This is what I loved about this event:  you just walked up to the display table, and grabbed whichever flavors you wanted for free!  They had a ton of flavors to choose from too.  We restrained ourselves and only chose one each.  Tadd got peanut butter chocolate, and I got pina colada. All I can say is HOLY YUM!

After that, Tadd wanted a beer, so we went over to the Orlando Brewing booth.  We had visited the taproom at Orlando Brewing a couple years ago for the Pints For Paws event put on by Pet Rescue By Judy and had a lovely time, and really enjoyed their beers.  Just a few weeks ago we shared a beer flight of Orlando Brewing beers at The Wave in the Contemporary Resort at Disney.  We are big fans.

Tadd, perusing the calendar of Orlando Brewing events for the month of July.

We knew Sweet by Good Golly Miss Holly was going to be at this event, so we set off to find us some more desserty goodness.  I have heard mixed reviews about these cupcakes and I have to say that after the delicious cake shooters, these cupcakes didn’t stand much of a chance.  But since this bakery is very close to where Tadd and I live, we wanted to give them a try.  And I must say the little cupcakes they gave us were really cute!

Sweet by Good Golly Miss Holly's Red Velvet Cupcake

Maybe we were sweet-fooded out by the time we got to these, but they were just okay.  Not bad at all, but we liked the cake shooters so much better.

After wandering around for a bit, we decided to grab some soft drinks and head home before it got too crowded.  There were starting to be long lines for every booth at that point, so we stopped by the HonesTea booth and picked up some lovely pomegranate blue beverages on our way out the door.  We really liked them.  They are organic and not too sweet.

HonesTea Honest Ade Pomegranate Blue drink

All in all, I would say we had a great time at this event.  The price was right (FREE!), and we got to try a bunch of neat stuff!  I would definitely attend another Yelp-sponsored event in the future.