The Good Friends Question of the Day: “The older I get…. ”
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10 Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank: Whether he’s the household Mr. Fix It or the mower of lawns, Dad works just as hard at home as he does at his job. So how can you honor that thrower of baseballs and teacher of financial wisdom on Father’s Day without breaking the bank? WalletPop came up with cool ideas for budget-wise gifts — some are even free! — and not one Continue reading →
“God knows you – He made you. Don’t let discouragement or shame overshadow His creation.”
“Be careful. Our words attract the very things we say.”
Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of every person on earth. Nothing is impossible for me.”
The Good Friends Question of the Day: How are you keeping your kids busy this summer? Do you have one thing you remember from being a kid at VBS? A story, a teacher, a lesson, a craft, a snack – something you still remember?
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6 easy ways to save at restaurants: Love eating out? If so, you probably know how easy it is to quickly run up an expensive tab. A drink here and an appetizer there, and you’re easily at $20 per person. If you include the whole family, you could be looking at a $100 bill. Then there’s tax. Then there’s tip. Instead of shelling out the big bucks, here are six simple ways to save at restaurants.
Avoid Appetizers: These small portions, while delicious, are not a good value for your money. In general, appetizers are expensive for the amount of food that you’ll receive. If you’re looking for an additional dish, consider ordering an extra entrée. You’ll be able to feed more people, and extras can go into a takeout box to eat later.
Ditch Drinks: Drinks tend to have some of the highest markups of any item on a restaurant menu. Instead of ordering one, ask for a glass of water. It will cost you nothing and will complement any meal.
Clip Coupons: Try signing up for email lists, visiting your favorite restaurant’s website from time to time, and keeping your eyes open for special times and day deals or seasonal promotions.
Split Meals: If you’re visiting a restaurant with notoriously large portions, split your meals.
Eat Half: When you receive a big portion, you shouldn’t feel obligated to eat all of it. Health-wise and wallet-wise, you’re better off eating half your food and taking the rest to go. You will will end up paying $5 per meal instead of $10 per meal. An added benefit is that you won’t have to cook for two meals in a row.
Shop Around: Expensive isn’t always better.Before you take your family to a new place, preview the menu online so that you can budget your night out. Research other options before letting big names win you over.
The Bottom Line: Cooking at home will always be your least expensive option, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a good night out. Despite what your hunger cravings tell you, stick your budget. Your stomach and wallet will thank you.
1. “Did you know stressed is desserts spelt backwards … so just eat some chocolate and relax ”
2. “Your success is determined by who you chose to believe or ignore.” Facebook posted from Tammy
3. “There is a choice you make in everything you do, and in the end, the choice you make, MAKES YOU. We all are the sum of the choices each of us has made.”
The Good Friends Question of the Day: Has God ever tested your faith when it comes to giving? What happened? Please Like Comment & Share! – or call 1-800-944-8443!
Don’t spend more than $30 on any item of clothing. While you’ll probably need to make some exceptions, such as for a winter jacket, the vast majority of your wardrobe can be purchased on the cheap. Estimated savings: $200 a month or more.
Party at home.Game nights have soared in popularity recently instead of an expensive night out on the town invite people over for potlucks which means you get to spend time with friends for a fraction of the cost . Estimated savings: $100 a month and up.
Give coupons instead of gifts. Giving the gift of your time in the form of a coupon to take your mom to a museum, or out for tea, can be far more meaningful than buying that cashmere sweater. Estimated savings: $25 a month or more.
Substitute fancy dinners with cheap date nights. Dining by candlelight at the most exclusive restaurant in town might seem romantic, but the bill can put a damper on those loving feelings. Instead, try these ideas: Sketch portraits of each other. Take dance lessons. Have a picnic. Go to a lecture or performance at your local college. Watch a model rocket launch. Estimated savings: $200 a month and up.
Turn your freezer into your very own “fast-food restaurant.” Make their own breakfast, lunch, and dinners and rarely eat out. Estimated savings: $400 a month and up.
Eat before you go to restaurants. Snack before meeting up with friends at night so you can bypass the pricey entrees at restaurants, opting for cheaper appetizers instead. Estimated savings: $100 a month or more.
With these techniques, you’ll have fun hosting parties, holding cheap date nights, and inventing new meals and gift coupons, while putting a lot more money in the bank. Total Savings: At least $1,000 a month.
Twin baby boys have a conversation. This is part 2.
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. — Unknown
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” — Unknown
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. — Unknown
No matter what you face, if you trust in the provision, the resource, the Word of God, and if you’ve heard from the Father, then it will come to pass. Israel was facing a wilderness, yet God provided. In Jabez time God promised to expand his territory and God did just that… You and I can always count on the promises of God.
Jesus said, “I do what I hear the Father tell me to do.” Mary in the exchange with the angel after asking how could this be that I will bear a child I’ve never been with a man. The angel responded, “For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” Her response, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.”
You may never have an Angel appear before you, however if you set your mind on hearing a from God, you get in His Word, the get still and write down what you think you hear. You’ll be amazed at what He says to you.
Prayer Request and Update on Bowen & Hammit Family: Last week we talked about the lead singer of Sanctus Real and his little boy Bowen…. late Friday a prayer request for Bowen came in because he was having seizures and had possibly had a stroke… this was the update as of yesterday..
Hello there. We had yet another big day. I met with our neurologists and they gave me some of the results for the MRI. They said that Bowen had suffered a stroke at some point over the last week and that it was the cause of his seizers. They checked his heart, liver and picc line for any clots that were coming loose and they didn’t find any. I’m wondering if his extremely low sugars could have caused this. They say it doesn’t look like something that’s related to a sugar stroke, but couldn’t rule it out. Please pray that someone would figure this sugar problem out. I don’t think anyone quite knows what to make of it. As long as Bowen has food in his tummy at all times, he stays balanced. As soon as we switch to feeding him every two hours, he drops really low in between. They keep upping his dose of medication in hopes that it will work, but we’re closing in on the maximum dose they can give him. I hope the next few days give us some more answers.
The good news is that Bowen looks and acts great. He’s a little loopy because of his anti-seizer drug, but he responds to voices, has good eye contact and follows objects well. The neurologists say we probably will not see any evidence of the stroke other than the seizers. I’m getting weary. My brain does not seem to have room for anything else. Everyday seems to reveal a new obstacle and a new thing to wrap my head around. A friend told us she prays that we would learn to “hold Bowen loosely.” So I am learning to hold Bowen loosely, but love him tightly. This is a very difficult task. I didn’t realize how tightly I have held the people I love. In the past, loving with all my heart meant holding on very tight. Now I am having to do it a different way. – Sarah
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to things that are unseen…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Big price clips: Retailers expected to offer good discounts this holiday season — and here’s how to find them (Chicago Tribune)
This year’s holiday season is expected to be stronger for retailers, but it will come at a price for them and a bargain for you: They’ll have to offer lucrative discounts, often in the form of coupons, experts say. So, it will pay off handsomely if you know retailers’ promotion strategies and the most useful online sites for 2010 holiday season gift-giving.
Online promo codes. Shopping online can be a great idea, but don’t finish checking out of your virtual shopping cart without hunting for a promotional code, also called a coupon code. You can get free shipping, a percentage off your order or dollars off. Query the name of the retailer, and such phrases as “coupon code” or “promo code.” If you’re buying women’s apparel, compare current coupon offers from Ann Taylor, Macy’s and Banana Republic.
Stack coupons. Savvy online shoppers know you can “stack” coupons — that is, use multiple coupons on the same order. For example, you might use one coupon code to get 15 percent off your order of $100 or more and then another code to get free shipping. The trifecta is stacking coupons on a sale item, if a retailer permits it, said Teri Gault, coupon expert and founder of thegrocerygame.com.
Newsletters. Sign up for your favorite retailers’ e-mail newsletters, which can contain exclusive offers, such as coupon codes and printable coupons for in-store use. Retailers are experimenting with offering exclusive deals through these social media sites.
Mall and department-store coupons. One little-known trick is to visit the Web site of nearby malls. They often have printable coupons and sales alerts for retailers in the mall. Department stores often have coupons in various advertisements, newspaper inserts and mailers, but it’s worth placing a phone call to the department store of your choice to ask about available coupons. “It never hurts to ask.”
Toolbars and plug-ins. Billeo.com offers a toolbar that integrates with your Web browser and helps with shopping, discount codes and bill paying. It will also auto-fill your logins, passwords and credit card information, and keep electronic receipts of purchases. Rightcliq by Visa (rightcliq.visa.com) is a new browser tool that allows you to organize your online shopping research in a “wishspace” and get input from others on it. It also incorporates discounts and offers.
Combine shopping. While shopping around for good prices is generally a good idea, you might want to combine shopping at a single retailer if it offers a coupon for a certain threshold of spending, say $30 off a $100 order.
Deal sites. Dealnews.com, for example, will tell you how good a deal it is, and often, the last time it saw such a deal on that item. You can also monitor daily deal sites that offer a single coupon or gift certificate per day. The most popular is groupon.com. But supershoppers might shop multiple daily-deal sites using a daily-deal aggregator, such as dealradar.com.
Apps for smart phones. Using coupons from your smartphone is a technology still in its infancy. Many smart phone applications are mostly for grocery shopping with coupons. You can also use a variety of smart phone apps to instantly check prices while you are in a store. Amazon.com’s recently updated Amazon Mobile app for iPhone, for example, can use the phone’s camera to scan product bar codes and deliver competing prices from Amazon, which is known for low prices. It will also give you the product’s star rating, letting you know what others thought about it.
Other strategies. “Retailers have already begun to honor competitors’ coupons more than ever before, and even price matching,” Gault said. “So I expect to see even more of this for holiday shopping. For that reason, even if you don’t think they have a policy to honor competitors’ coupons, it never hurts to ask.”
Box Office Report: If you realize it’s almost Holloween then, you realize why “Paranormal Activity 2″ was #1 at the Box Office. So, what’s Family Friendly? Michelle and I went to see “Secretariat.” It was a great movie “4 out of 5 kernals” and it’s Family Friendly… for more go to (Plugged In)
“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety.” ~ Unknown
“You can be one of two things today, a horrible warning or a good example – you choose!” ~ Unknown
“If you always do what you have always done… you will always get the same results ” ~ Unknown
Fullness of God’s Blessings: If you are not experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings in your life, maybe you start by looking in the mirror. The challenge you may face is with your character. The Good News is… It a matter of walking in His promises daily. It’s also crucial for you to adjust your mindset and attitude to line up with His Word. Then start developing the characteristics of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Galatians 5:22 describes the fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.” When you allow God to express Himself through your life by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you. You cultivate the aspects of His character. By allowing the Holy Spirit to produce the “Fruit of the Spirit” in your life, you become an excellent example of Christ to the world. Another result you experience the fullness of God’s blessings in your life.
It’s World Chocolate Day Saturday: No, it’s not an official holiday… Post office is not closed or anything, but Michelle thinks they should declare an International holiday. What do you think?
The day itself was chosen because it is the birth date of the World Chocolate Day founder, the Italian, Valeria Lo Iacono. Easter and Christmas have always in their own way, been unofficial days when chocolate is sold on a mass scale, but they are not times of the year when people buy and eat chocolate for the chocolate itself. Valeria Lo Iacono proposed September 4th and I have agreed to highlight it on this site and we plan to start events in the U.K. for September 4th 2008, in the city of Bristol or Bath, UK. Three specific things we suggest you on September 4th are:
1. Take a box of chocolates to work for your colleagues
2. Take a box of chocolates to the local rest home.
3. Indulge yourself (and your spouse) in chocolate.
Think You’d be Happier Shopping Than Going to Church? Wrong! A new study reveals that women in the United States generally derive more happiness from religious participation than from shopping on Sundays. The research also reveals that when Sunday blue laws are repealed, women who choose secular activities, such as shopping, are not happier.
The repeal of blue laws decreases the relative probability of being at least “pretty happy” relative to “not happy” by about 17 percent. According to Dr. Danny Cohen-Zada of BGU’s Department of Economics, “We found that there is direct evidence that religious participation has a positive causal effect on a person’s happiness. Furthermore, an important part of the decline in women’s happiness during the last three decades can be explained by decline in religious participation.” (CBN)
Know Your Stuff: 10 Ways to Get a Discount on Anything (US News)
My Money Blogger, Kerry K. Taylor says I used to be shy about asking for a better deal. Seeing sticky price tags marking up costly merchandise led me to believe that store prices were fixed, immovable. Boy, was I wrong. The first time I opened my mouth and dared to ask for a discount I instantly scored 10 percent off — a savings of $5 on a pair of denim jeans on clearance. It doesn’t sound like much, but over the years I’ve honed my haggling skills and saved myself thousands of dollars, just by asking the right questions to the right person. You might be surprised by how easy it is to save a few bucks — just by following these 10 tips you too can get an instant discount on anything.
Find the store manager. Whether you’re shopping for shoes or electronics, your golden path to discount nirvana usually starts with the person in charge. Most store managers have the power to instantly discount merchandise by up to 15 percent. The key is to always be respectful of store employees since many work on commission, and kindly ask if the manager is available to answer a few questions.
Ask the right question. “Is this the best price you can offer me?” It’s a simple question to ask, and politely posing it to the right person is free. The only cost to you is the possible disappointment of walking away with zero savings or leaving the store without your purchase. Just don’t be disrespectful or difficult when you deal — many stores were hit hard during the recession and may not be able to discount to your ideal asking price.
Offer to pay in cash. Merchant credit card transaction fees can range from 2 to 8 percent, costing retailers big bucks. Offering to pay for your purchase in cash could easily save you money if the vendor is able to slash those built-in fees from a cash-only sale. Paying in cash can also help you win the war on plastic —
Shop the less busy hours. Consumer Reports says that serious shoppers should learn to time their haggle in the evening or early hours when stores are usually less busy and so clerks have time to talk. “Late in the month, when salespeople are trying to meet their quotas, can be a good time to bargain for big-ticket items.”
Click to comparison shop. Before stepping foot in a store, educate yourself first by doing your research online. Always check online flyers and competitor prices to find the best deal of the day and to download printable in-store coupons. Vendors want your business and may beat a posted price if you can show them the competitor’s deal.
Skip the store, shop online. If you know your size or don’t need it today, ordering online may be your best path to scoring a discount. Many brick-and-mortar businesses offer online shoppers Web deals and deep discounts — pricing they don’t usually offer in-store shoppers due to shelving space costs. And many online retailers can often discount over traditional businesses since they don’t have expensive store-front spaces to pay for.
Use secret online coupons. Online shoppers can save even more money by searching the internet for secret promotional or coupon codes. Just launch your favorite Web browser, open your preferred search engine, and enter the retailer’s name and the words coupon code. Depending on your search results, you may find several promotional codes that can be entered into your online shopping cart.
Find the flaw. Does the table have a visible scratch? Is the shirt missing a button? If you don’t mind a flaw or two, then choose to buy the less-than-perfect item to save money. Most retailers will offer discounts on floor models and demonstration merchandise if they show signs of wear and tear but are still perfectly safe and usable. Bigger deals can be found on items sold “AS-IS”, but be aware that these generally cannot be returned or exchanged.
Review your service plans. When was the last time you checked your cable, satellite television, internet, or cell phone service plans? Chances are the competition may offer deals for those disgruntled customers looking to make a switch. If you love your current provider, it could still pay to comparison shop the competition and ask your vendor to match the deal.
Shop out of season. Buying an air conditioner in the cold of winter or shopping for snow tires in the heat of summer can save you up to 75 percent off the in-season price. When seasons change, retailers must clear out their inventory to make room for new seasonal stock and will often offer deep discounts to savvy shoppers not bothered by last season’s items.
What’s New At The Movies? ‘This week Plugged In Online reviews “What If…” and “Get Low.” Caution: Some reviews are specific about objectionable material. (Plugged In Online
Today In History: .:. Princess Diana – On this day in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in Pitie-Salpetiere Hospital in Paris, France, after suffering massive chest injuries in an early-morning car accident. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, was killed instantly in the 12:25 A.M. crash, as was driver Henri Paul, who lost control of their Mercedes in a highway underpass. .:. Nazi Germany – Despite threats of British and French intervention, Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler signs an orderto attack Poland. That evening, Nazi SS troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggresion. Hitler expected appeasement from Great Britain and France, but Germany was told to withdraw by September 3 or face war with the Western democracies. .:. 33-RPM Record – On this day in 1951, the first 33-rpm long-playing record is introduced by the German company Deutshe Grammophon.
Question of the Day: How fast, in miles per hour, does the fastest roller coaster in the U.S. go? 128 mph, the “Kingda Ka” in Jackson, New Jersey.
Vital Stat: First unsolicited mass e-mail – May 3, 1978 On May 3, 1978, Gary Thuerk, a manager for Digital Equipment Corp., sent out an unsolicited e-mail to some 600 individuals on the ArpaNet (the predecessor to the Internet), announcing an event at which the company’s newest computer would be showcased. (Los Angeles Times)