Another video clip from Clearwater Marine Aquarium

This was a great, males only dolphin show at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. We all really enjoyed visiting this place. The animals were great to watch. And this show was one of the best.



Test Driving a Trek T1000 Tandem Bicycle

One of our latest ideas, is to take a bike tour as a family. Finally, we're kicking around the idea, after 3 years off the road here in Florida. I'm not sure the girls are too excited about it? I guess we'll have to see how it goes when we get there.

Anyhow, here is a brief, 20 second clip of us test riding a Trek T1000 tandem bike. We're thinking about picking this up for our trip. It's a pretty nice bike. And, it's more expensive than any bike I've ever purchased before ... ouch!

Just thought we'd share.



WOW! That's all I can say.

If you thought Minority Report was interesting ... check this out:

Beyond Minority Report

This vision of the future eerily matches Minority Report, and GRI knows it. "Minority Report is one possible outcome," admits Carter. "I don't think that's our company's aim, but I think what we're going to see is an enviroment well beyond what you see in that movie--minus the precogs, of course."
What do you think?
And I thought my every day life was bad enough already. Now, we'll be looking at this shortly.


Got to love Target!

So take a look at this photo and guess how much I paid for all of this.

If you can't make it all out there is a cute purse, 2 lightweight running jackets and 2 4 packs of ladies socks.
So what would you guess? $50.00? $30.00? Here is a little help, the regular retail for all this would have been $68.95. Well here is what I paid for all this $0.00!!
Yep that is correct! I did not make a mistake. I paid absolutely nothing out of pocket for all this. The purse and jackets are on clearance for $2.50 and $4.98. I used Target store coupons that I got right off the web site for $3.00 off any Marona purse and $5.00 off any C9 by Champion apparel. So after coupons they were free. And the socks were on sale for $5.00 each and with the $5.00 off coupon they were also free. And thanks to the tax free shopping weekend there was no tax and so nothing out of pocket!
Unfortunately, I don't think they are still available on the Target site. You have to be quick to print those type of coupons because they never last long. But they do have the fairly often!
By saving them and looking for clearance items you can very often get free or super cheap items at Target. Just another reason to love shopping there! The expiration dates on these types of coupons are anywhere from 2-3 weeks out to 2 months. So plenty of time to look for deals
Let me know if you score any deals! I love to hear about them!



So this week was fun! There are lots of things to tell you all about but I will start with the trip to Publix that I made this evening. And my what a trip it was!
The total before sales and coupons was $91.39. And after sales and coupons $1.10! That is a savings of about 99%!! And actually because one of the cereals was actually less than the price in the sales paper after all the coupons were scanned in I would have been owed money. So to keep that from happening I threw in a pack of gum! So I ended up paying them instead of them paying me. Thankfully I had a wonderful checker and she was not at all rattled about the possibility of having to give me money back for my groceries. But I said no worries I will just get this pack of gum! She ROCKED!! I used the gift card that I won for the total so there was NOTHING out of pocket!!
Also I will be sending this receipt in for a rebate that is offered Here for purchasing the Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats. So I will be making $3.90 for this weeks purchases!
This is what I got...

8-Ronzoni Pasta BOGO $1.39 used .75off/1 from Here Final price -.44 for 8
8-Schick razor packs .99 each used 3.00off/2 from 7/11/10 RP insert Final price -4.08 for 8
4-Sundown Vitamin D $2.99 each used $6.00 off 2 Publix store coupon and $1.00 off 1 1 manufactures coupon found on the bottles. Final price -4.04 for 4
6- Frosted Mini Wheats BOGO $4.19 used $1.00 off 2 Target coupon from here And .70 off 1 manufactures coupon from right on the box (p.s. We don't like to eat this with milk. We like it as a snack! Super Yummy!!)
6- Capn Crunch BOGO $4.49 used $1.00 off 1 Target coupon from Here And .50 off 1 from 5/16/10 RP insert
1- 5lb bag of Potatoes. $2.99 used 1.00 off produce Target coupon from Here
1- Bunch Broccoli $2.00 used $1.00 off produce Target coupon from here
1- Pack Dentyne gum $1.19 no coupons used for this.
I did also use a Target coupon that was for $5.00 off purchase of $50.00 or more. (Total from before coupons!) Leaving me with a total to pay of $1.10!

I also thought that I would give you a bit of a "how to" for couponing at Publix.
Publix has great coupon policies and are generally very coupon friendly.
For the Buy One Get One sales you can use 2 coupons. One for the item you are "paying" for and one for the Free item.
They also will allow for "Stacking" of one Publix store coupon and one Manufactures coupon per item. So eventuality you can use 2 coupons per item. One manufactures coupon and one Publix or Competitor store coupon.
And they take Competitor Store coupons and will allow "Stacking" with a manufactures coupon as well. So you can see how you can really add up on the savings! Different Publix stores will consider their competor stores by what is around them. The 2 stores that I shop at the most will take Winn Dixie, Target and Save-a-lot store coupons. There are a few others but these are the ones that I get coupons for the most. Always ask at customer service what competitor store coupons they will take. They are so helpful there!
That is a quick start to getting great saving at Publix! If you have any questions please ask and I would love to help you so that you can get great grocery savings also. It has been a blessing to my family and I would love to bless others with the knowledge to do this for their families.

Also you may be thinking "how in the world is her family surviving on 12 boxes of cereal and 5 lbs of potatoes?" Well that is the key to couponing! You want to stock up when the things that you use go at the lowest price. This will keep you from having to buy them at full price. So this may look like our diet is very unbalanced because I have stocked up on other things we have a very rounded out pantry and freezer! And by using overages I can get fresh foods cheaper as well. We still eat plenty of fruits and veggies! I just buy what is in season and on sale and we love it!


And Al wanted to add in this P.S.
We are standing there in the checkout line at Publix. The checker has scanned all of our groceries, and she comes to the end of the pile of coupons Christy has brought with her.

And she says ...

"Oh, it looks like I owe you money!"

Can you imagine hearing that when you walk out of the grocery store. I almost fell over when I heard it. And, it wasn't because we wrote a check for over the amount we owed. Nope! She actually owed us money to walk out of the store, because of all the coupons Chris brought in. All I can say is ... WOW! That is pretty freaking cool.

But, Chris added in a pack of gum at the end so we could pay them something, instead of them owing us. What an absolute thrill, to go grocery shopping and get so much stuff for so little.


A Winter vacation during the middle of the Florida Summer

Recently, Kaitlyn celebrated her 11th birthday. Please no comments about how old I am getting, I beg you! I already see it every morning when I get up, I don't need reminders from others.

Anyhow ...

As part of our celebration she asked if we could spend a day at an aquarium. Christy was able to get a great deal on the entry fees to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, so we decided that would be a great place to go.

Turns out, it is a fantastic marine aquarium to visit. While they have sea animals there you can check out, they are also, primarily, a rescue and re-habituate facility. Which means, they are trying to help these animals recover so they can go live back in the wild. And since the Clearwater Aquarium is right down the street from one of America's best beaches, you really can't go wrong paying them a visit.

Here are some of the highlights:

- A petting and feeding tank with rays (they feel like silky, soft, velvet to the touch)
- An excellent series personalized touch tanks with live sea creatures (sponges, crabs, and urchins)
- Huge sea turtles
- And several dolphin tanks

One of the most important visitors to the Marine aquarium is Winter. She is a dolphin who was caught in a crab net at three months old, and had to have her tail fins amputated. She went on to re-learn how to swim without them. And the aquarium also had a new tail fluke donated and designed for her to help her swim again.

In the process of the amputation, she has become a worldwide inspiration to war veterans and other disabled community members who have found, in her, a spokesman who reaches to them across racial, social, and political boundaries. That may be a little over-dramatic, but it is definitely a cool story. So cool, in fact, that there is a major motion picture that will be starting next month based on Winter's tale. It will star Harry Connick, Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman.

Here's a video I took of Winter in her tank.

We'll put up some pictures and more videos in a few days, when we get the chance.

If you're ever in the area, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is definitely a worthwhile stop along the way.

And then ... the World Was Flat

Not too long ago, a friend invited me to check out a book that's been on the market for a couple of years. It's called The World is Flat. I first heard about this book at work ... some random comments from bosses, managers, and other co-workers had circulated around the office for a while. At the time I didn't read it.

However, when my friend suggested it, I picked it up and started checking it out. So far I've read about 175 pages of the book. He's laid out a very convincing argument about how the world is shrinking, becoming more integrated across countries, and shifting away from American leadership.

To be fair, I haven't read the whole thing, but I also don't plan on it now. Since I started reading it, every time I pick it up I get depressed, worried, stressed, and irritated. It's almost as if the book has a spirit of depression enveloping it. I had been reading it, and then I spoke with Chris about how I was feeling, and I decided enough was enough. No matter how good it is, I'm not going to put myself through this torture just because he is a brilliant author.

I do plan on browsing through it to find out how he suggests coping with the flattening of the world, but I don't intend on spending one single minute longer being sucked into his world of hopelessness and his reckless agreement with, and condoning of, corporate profit mongering. I've had it with many of those sentiments. They suck! Even if you agree with the 'thinning of the herd' mentality, I hope the herd runs you over for your blatant disregard and disrespect for the value of a human.

What do you think of the book?
Most of all ... what am I missing here?