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About Marilyn Franklin

Marilyn Franklin has been a member since April 23rd 2013, and has created 5 posts from scratch.

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Easter Gift Ideas Revisited

Easter Gift IdeasEaster is coming up this weekend have you got your gifts ready?  I know, not everyone thinks Easter is for gifts but you will find there are many Easter gift givers out there.  They don’t have to be expensive or even bought but they do add to the celebration on Easter Sunday.  We have posted in the past about the typical ideas which include:

  • Easter Gift Baskets
  • Easter Flowers
  • Easter Candy
  • Easter Plush Toys – think Rabbits, Chicks and Lambs

Just to prove that I am not the only one who thinks about these things I am adding a video from Bethany Mota.  For the older folks who might not know about her she is a YouTube sensation and was so popular that she was recently on Dancing with the Stars.

She is very creative and I love the do it yourself Easter Gift Ideas in the following video.  They are definitely a good fit for my Tween daughter who happens to be a Mota fan.  There is still time to do some of these projects…Happy Easter and thanks to Bethany Mota…

Cyber Monday, Cyber Week and Cyber Sales 2014

cybermonday_2012Cyber Monday is here and the move toward online purchases continues to get stronger.  According to reports from the likes of Reuters and the Wall Street Journal Black Friday sales are down this year. They also report that online sales during the weekend were down as well.  Given that I didn’t do any shopping this weekend I think I fall into a bigger group of people that is focusing on family time during the Thanksgiving break versus shopping.  But now reality is setting in and if you want to get the items you want shipped on time it’s time to get serious about the 2014 Holiday Gift Shopping season.

Back in 2012 we did a post on Cyber Week as well and at that time there was less comfort with buying things online but that has changed.  Even with concerns over security the theft of Credit Card data this year has mostly been associated with big brick and mortars.  Whether you shop online or off at the end of the day your best bet is to track your credit information with services like LifeLock or similar.  Unfortunately computer hacking thieves are bound to increase so making sure you have a service like that or at the very least monitoring your credit cards weekly if not daily is going to be a part of life.

In my opinion the continuing trend toward online sales does make online discounts more of an ongoing thing.  The following are some Cyber deals that we have found but given this new trend we will add any Cyber Sales of note for the rest of the 2014 Christmas Shopping season.

Big Box Stores(Online and Off)

Amazon Cyber Monday Deals

Target

Cyber Week savings are on – Electronic deals on tablets, cameras, audio, and video games, valid 11/30/14-12/6/14

Cyber Week savings are on now – all the TV deals are here, valid 11/30/14-12/6/14

Cyber Week savings on top Toys, valid 11/30/14-12/6/14

Servin’ up Cyber Week savings on top Kitchen brands, valid 11/30/14-12/6/14
Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Home Decor

CYBER MONDAY SPECIAL! Save 45% on ALL orders at Art.com! (Valid only 12/01/14 at 12:01am PST until 12/02/14 11:59pm PST) Use promo code GUF446

CYBER MONDAY MADNESS! Save 45% on ALL orders at AllPosters.com! (Valid only 12/01/14 at 12:01am PST until 12/02/14 11:59pm PST) Use promo code FXR422

Clothes and Accessories

eWatches

20% Off Cedar Tie Racks at Ties.com Expires Dec 7th


Take and EXTRA 40% Off sitewide at SolsticeSunglasses.com!

Electronics

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Sony
Shop Sony: Save $70 on 63x Zoom, 20.1MP Digital Camera (11/23-12/6)

Shop Sony: Save $100 on a Sony 40″ R Series TV – now just $299.99 through Cyber Week (11/16-12/6)

Shop Sony: $100 off 18.2MP Digital Camera with 20X Optical Zoom (11/23-12/6)

Toys and Games

GameStop, Inc.

More to come…

Thanksgiving Gift Ideas – Hostess, Kids, Guests…

ThanksgivingGiftsPeople don’t often think of Thanksgiving as a traditional time for gifts but there are some simple gifts to make sure your bases are covered during the Thanksgiving holiday celebration and break.

Instead of babbling on about them for too long I am going to include 3 videos that I found on YouTube that give you some great ideas that fall into the categories of hostess gifts, kids gifts(and crafts) and Thanksgiving gift baskets.

Hostess Gifts are a must because hosting Thanksgiving is a lot of work.  As mentioned in the video Wine and Flowers are classic gifts but in my mind Food gifts like boxed chocolates or baked goods fit right into the occasion and give guests options if they are not into pies.  For someone who really loves to host parties and cook there are also things related to presenting the meal like gravy boats, nice serving trays or center pieces(don’t have to be flower-centric).


Kids Thanksgiving gifts are really useful so that they can pass the time during Thanksgiving Day and the holiday break.  This is why we would include Thanksgiving Day crafts like making Turkey cups like the one in the video below.  There are many options also available on Amazon if you put in a search for “kids crafts Thanksgiving“.  You can also buy board games or the electronic version of classic games like Uno which is a hit at our house.  They also have come out with various versions of Simon with the Simon Swipe Game being the latest.

Thanksgiving Gift Baskets are also great as hostess gifts as well as for guests.  Doing them yourself is a great way to go because it can be personal and relevant to the hostess or the guests involved.  In one of the videos they have a left over “To Go” container idea that is great that can also be used with the gift basket idea.  Add recipes, a couple of the simpler ingredients and the To Go container and you have a memorable and useful guest gift.  If the Thanksgiving Gift Basket is for the hostess you can include a table runner like in the video and other things the hostess could use not just for Thanksgiving but when they may host other occasions.

Remember that being sincerely grateful for the time with friends and family and the bounty of food we are privileged to have is the greatest gift not just to everyone else but to ourselves as well.  Have a great Thanksgiving…videos below…

Do it Yourself Gifts

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Creative Hostess Gifts

Thanksgiving Gift Basket

2013 Black Friday Deals – Is the Mystery Gone?

Black Friday 2013Each year Black Friday is becoming less of a mystery but is it still worth the effort?  As with any shopping if you want to save money the best idea is to plan.  Holiday shopping strategies have to include Black Friday deals just in case what you have on your list is going to be one of the hot items for Black Friday.

You do have much more transparency on what retailers will be featuring as specials on Black Friday weekend.  They want to get the information out as soon as possible so the shoppers are definitely at an advantage here.  The major retailers are already publicizing their deals.  Off the top of my head here are some that already have information out:

Amazon

Best Buy

WalMart

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Why Wait? Black Friday Hot Buys are Ready at Walmart.com! Offer valid 11.25-11.27

Target

Besides the usual Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals I personally am keeping an eye out for price match guarantees.  Everyone hates the feeling that they paid more for something than they had to.  Some retailers are offering this on certain items.  I will update this post with specifics as I find them.

Last year we posted links to the retailers advertising specials for Black Friday.  We will update them as we find them on our Black Friday Deals Page.  Please keep in mind the best strategy is to have a list by person of what you hope to buy as a gift for them.  At the very least you should have a category identified that you know they would like.  It could be as specific as a jacket or as general as clothes but without this information your results on Black Friday can be hit or miss.  Good Luck!

 

Technology and Appliance Gifts for Mother’s Day 2013

Multitasker MomAs a mom this Mother’s Day I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Being a bit obsessed with time management I always think technology can save me.   Though I love technology I have a love/hate relationship with it.  The main reason is that in order to gain the benefits of saving time that most of us look for when buying the latest phone or e-device or the latest cooking appliance , we actually have to spend time learning how to use these things.  Through the years though I have come to realize that the payoff is worth it.  That is what has driven our Mother’s Day gift ideas for 2013.

We have updated our list of suggested mother’s day gift ideas on our Amazon store and the trend definitely is techie.  The classic Mothers Day ring is there of course as it should be since every mom should eventually have one but the new Kindle Fire HD models are also spotlighted.  The new versions definitely add to the convenience of all things digital and improve on the affordable original which was/is a pretty good value to begin with.  On top of that we have included a recommendation for the GoPro Hero3 video camera which can capture not just your kids active adventures but is also great for active and adventurous moms who want to get it all on “film”.  This is also great for the mom who loves being the videographer for the family.

On the convenience and time saving side we have added 2 appliances that are a great addition to any mother’s kitchen.  The first is the Keurig coffee maker that not only makes making coffee convenient but also offers the ability to break out of the every day with a variety of flavors offered through K-Cups.  Make sure to pick the best model if you want all the options for size cups and offerings for both iced drinks and hot chocolate.

The last gift idea we will offer up is the Hamilton Beach slow cooker which can save the typical family from many take out/fast food meals.  This gift can be given with a variety of recipe books that are available for Slow Cooker recipes.  This is a great gift for the mom who has talked about this but has never gotten the chance to follow through on it.  Otherwise it might be take the wrong way.

Have a great Mother’s Day and remember to thank your mom every day!