Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Target's Cartwheel App - A Tutorial

Disclosure:  I am not affiliated in any way with Target.  But I love them.  Hard.

In the last week I've had a few friends mention that they have heard of the Target Cartwheel app, but weren't sure about how to use it.  At the suggestion of a friend, I'm sharing this special little bit of Target love with you!
Download the Cartwheel app on your phone - it's free!  (If you don't have a smart phone - this is not the end for you.  I'll get to the PC page!)

Set up your Sign In (you can use Facebook to sign in) and let's get started!



The above is what you'll see when you tap the shopping cart on the top left.   Tap "offers" on the menu that appears.  As you can see, you can choose a category or just choose "All" to browse.


Let's choose "All" to see what's there.


Oh, look!  More video game stuff for my poor children who are deprived of semi-violent visual stimulation!  I need that!

Tap on the picture of the item you neeeeeed.  An "add" button shows.


Tap that baby and it is now in your cartwheel.  Remember that shopping cart menu at the top left?  Let's tap that again and hit "My barcode".



Look!  There it is!  Now, when you purchase that item at Target, that offer is tucked away just for you.  When you get to the check out, pull up your barcode and have the cashier scan it.  The savings are yours!  I blocked out my bar code because, hey, these are MY offers.

You can have up to 21 offers in your cartwheel at one time.  If you are out shopping and find an offer that is perfect for what's in your actual shopping cart, use the "x" next to an item you don't need that day to make room for the new one.

As you can see, there are expiration dates for each offer so some will fall off and leave you more room for new ones.

Here is my real-life example of why I love the Cartwheel app:

See that deal I loaded for 20% off Clearance Apparel?  I went to purchase jeans for my preteen last week.  A certain brand was on sale for $10 a pair.  On a clearance table in the boys' section was almost the exact same pair of jeans but at less than half the sale price.  I scanned my Cartwheel barcode at check out and scored them for even less!

THE BEST PART (worthy of shouty caps):

You can use a Target coupon (printed from their website), a manufacturer's coupon AND a Cartwheel offer all on one item.  The triple stack is totally legal here.

Let's say your kids eat those Nutrigrain bars.  It's almost time to start packing lunches again and you need to stock up.



Tap on that 25% off of those Nutri Grain bars, baby!  Now, say that Target has a store coupon for those on their website.  Print it and bring it in.  Oh?  You found a Kellogg's coupon for those as well?  Bring it all.  Show the coupons, then show your Cartwheel barcode at the end.  SAVE BIG.

Here's all the stuff you need to know, straight from the app:

So, you can buy up to 4 of the same item in one transaction and get the Cartwheel offer on all of them.  The other day, I bought 3 pairs of those clearance jeans. If I had added 2 more pair, I only would have gotten the 20% off the first 4 pairs.

My non-smart phone friends (and yes, I do have some.  One.  I have one friend that doesn't have a smartphone.)  You can absolutely pull up the Cartwheel page on your PC.  When you click to show your barcode, you are given an option to print that page (on the right hand side, under your pretty picture) and you can take that into the store with you.  Target has love for you, too.



Monday, July 27, 2015

The Stressing That Was A Blessing

Friday afternoon was taken up with filling my son's prescription.  

The entire afternoon.  HOURS.

Here's the short version:

My oldest son puts the "H" is ADHD.  We have a trip coming up.  I was running low on meds.  Disaster loomed.

I went to the pediatrician to pick up the prescription - can't be called in because it's a "controlled substance".  I then proceeded to our usual pharmacy, Walgreens.

They didn't have enough on hand to fill the prescription.

Neither did Kroger, Rite Aid or my local Publix.

I found out about Publix after waiting 20 minutes, only to be told that there was a brand vs generic snafu and, no, they did not in fact have enough.  (They did, though, have a Starbucks in house, so a frap was involved as a bonus.)

Now, my kid doesn't take 5 pills per day.  I wasn't requiring massive amounts of drugs.

Publix did do me the solid of finding out which of their other locations had it AND calling ahead to let them know I was coming.

While waiting at the 5th pharmacy of the afternoon, I was surprisingly calm.  I'm normally a very easily irritated person - I'll own that.

Here's what I realized - I am blessed beyond measure.  The following all fell into place:

  • I had the time.  I don't work full time and I didn't have to try to do all this on a lunch hour or take time off work.  
  • I didn't have to drag my youngest around with me.  My husband was working from home and could hang with Thing 3.  What a luxury!
  • I have pretty good insurance.  Rail all you want about the cost, but we cover it and it pays us back.  Those ADHD meds are no joke - they rack up a pretty penny.  And we have TWO kids who take them.
  • I have a pediatrician who is kind and responsive.  I'm sure dealing with moms like me - that open the pill jar and realize I am almost out and I need these NOW - is frustrating.
  • I have a great car that runs well.  I had no concerns with driving all over to these pharmacies.  I had just filled up the tank, too, without stress about how to pay for that gas.  
Not to mention that while I was waiting at the first Publix, I trotted on into Starbucks and got myself a drink while I was playing on Facebook.  A Frappucino and a good data plan are also luxuries not everyone enjoys.

Sometimes, it's the stresses of life that makes us realize how much we're really NOT stressed.  Not legitimately, anyway.  I'm about to turn 45, and I think I am FINALLY coming to the point in life where I'm truly believing that life is too short not to recognize the good around you.  

Did you have any stressing that turned into blessing last week?  Tell me about it!  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Garage Sale? Nah... Have a VarageSale!

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  I do love buying used and getting rid of excess, so I'm behind this brand.  All opinions are my own!  

Garage Sale

Those two words strike loathing or excitement into hearts.

I'm in the former camp.  However, as a St. Jude Hero, I find that cash doesn't donate itself so I had to give in to the dark side.



I received scores of donations from wonderful friends.  Advertised everywhere I could think of.  Signs posted all over.

I sat in my driveway for FOUR hours on a scorching July day in Georgia - and barely cleared my minimum goal.  Ouch.

Don't get me wrong - I was grateful for what I received.  But I still have a garage full of really good stuff.  Before it gets hauled off to a charity thrift shop, I'm giving some of these items one more go - online!



VarageSale.com is an online source for letting your stuff go and getting cash in return!  Unlike some national sites, VarageSale is clustered into local communities in the US and Canada.  Join the community nearest you and all pick ups MUST be done in that area.  No packing, shipping or post office lines necessary!

They have several communities opening up in GA - including my area!  Pop in your zip code and see what's available near you!  I posted my first item from the app - it took less than 5 minutes.



Why go online?

  • It's efficient.  Post, reply, schedule a pick up when it's convenient for you.  Done.  No spending 4 hours in your driveway, just waiting.
  • It's less effort.  Even if you have to coordinate several pick ups, it's a lot less time and work than I put into prepping for my garage sale!
  • It's more lucrative.  You are much more likely to get closer to the value of your item online than at a garage sale.  Garage sale shoppers are much more likely to haggle.
  • It's more eyes on your item.  At a garage sale, you're limited to the people who make it out and about that day.  With VarageSale, you catch the busy people.  The ones checking the app from doctor's waiting rooms, car care places and other boredom inducing but necessary errands!
VarageSale wants to sweeten the pot - they'll give you $10 just for posting your first item when you use #VSDEAL in the post before August 12th!  


I encourage you to give VarageSale a try!  Populate your local community with friends and family to make it a fun place to buy and sell!  Think of what you have just lying around your house that you could turn into cash!  Have a need?  You could find just what you are looking for online without the price tag pain that "new" inflicts!

Tell me - what's your first item that you will list?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Slump No More - Deliciously Sore! 5 Ways I'm Breaking The Running Slump

Linking up with the girls from Tuesdays on the Run: April, Patty and Erika.  Head over to their blogs, link up, and discover some great running blogs!


I have a love / hate relationship with running.

When I'm good, I'm very good.  When I'm bad?  I am a completely lazy sack.

I've posted in the past about why I hate running and why I keep doing it.

All Summer, I've slacked off.  Okay, a little bit in the spring, too.  I still feel guilty for assuring my friend Kristen that I was ready to run the Country Music half with her in Nashville but then kind of tanking on my time.

But now?  It's ON.  How am I breaking out of my slump?

Pressure
I'm registered for 4 half marathons, a 15 K and a full marathon between now and February.  I can't suck at ALL of them!  Especially not the October Volition Half in NC and the November Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Half.  Those are super flat courses that will provide me with a good Proof of Time for at least 2 years!!!



Peer pressure works, too.  I'm running the WDW marathon with April.  We're both running the Volition Half in October to get our POT for marathon.  That woman birthed a baby but she's coming back quick, y'all and I need to be ready.  I can't screw her out of a good marathon corral by making her fall back with me.  This is what happens when you commit to running with someone 15 years younger than you.

New Shoes
Seriously.  It appears that I'm just that shallow.  My last pair got trashed by the swamp that was at the end of the Peachtree Road Race this year.  I was overdue anyway.  My beautiful, beautiful Brooks Ravennas came on Sunday and they make me want to RUN!  They're so pretty.  Is this messed up?  Whatever.  It made me want to run.  I can be shallow and fit.



Thoughts of Fall
School will be starting.  It won't be blazingly hot like it is now.  I treadmilled it last night because.... Georgia in July.  But I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to September runs.  If I want to fly like a Kenyan in that blessed break of humidity, I need to start preparing now.

Accountability
The DisBroads are holding each other up again, y'all.  My girls started posting a daily workout thread where we can all post our achievements for that day, big or small.  I got tired of being left out of it.



New Tunes
The boys and I have spent a lot of time in the car this summer and have logged many radio hours.  We're keeping random lists of songs that we like to download to the iPod.  Once I get this fresh stuff mixed in with my old favorites, I think it will help a lot!

I did a 1:20 plank last night - I figured, hell, the least I can do is lay on the floor for a minute - and ran 3 miles on the treadmill.  I think I pound the hell out of that thing, so my thighs are a little sore this morning.  And it makes me smile, because it means that I'm moving and beating those slack muscles back into submission.

Give me your best tips for breaking out of a slump!



Saturday, July 11, 2015

Main Event Camp - By The Day or The Week!

Disclosure:  I am receiving one complimentary day of camp for one of my kids in exchange for promotion.  All opinions are my own, and I think this is super cool!


For us in GA, Summer is sadly winding down.  We start school in 3 weeks.

THREE WEEKS.

At this point, my kids are kind of over some things.  Including each other.  And maybe me.

Enter Main Event to the rescue!



Main Event is an entertainment complex that is relatively new to our area.

THEY OFFER SUMMER CAMP!!!  My kids can spend 8:30am - 1:00pm at Main Event.  No rain out, no sunburn, no heat exhaustion.  Here's what they offer:


Atlanta and Alpharetta:
  • Week 4: July 13th - July 17th
  • Week 5: July 20th - July 24th

Here's the best part - you can sign your kids up for a whole week - or BY THE DAY!

This is ideal for people who might just need supervision for their kids a couple of days a week, or just want to give them something different to do without committing to an entire week.



It's hard to find a summer camp for older kids that they think is "cool".  This one got nothing but enthusiasm from my tween and teen.  Sessions are open in Alpharetta and Atlanta locations for the next two weeks - give your kids a fun way to beat the Atlanta heat before they go back to school!
Find more information and register here!



Friday, July 10, 2015

Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta

Disclosure:  As a member of US Family Guide, my family was provided complimentary admission to Legoland Discovery Center.  All opinions are my own.

If you've read the blog for any length of time, you know that Lego® is an everyday word in my three boy house.  Even the 13 year old is still into them with no signs of losing interest.  

Although we conquered Legoland Florida, we hadn't been to the Legoland in our own backyard yet!  Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta is in Phipps Plaza, the Buckhead area of Atlanta.


My crew was excited and ready to check it out!  My youngest, age 7, is really getting into them and is tending his own growing collection.


My kids were surprised to see that there are actually RIDES inside the LDC!  Our first stop was the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride.  This is a slow-moving vehicle that tours through several rooms.  In each room, there are targets for each guest to hit with their provided laser gun.  Points are racked up throughout the game!

Next up was Miniland!


In Legoland Florida, Miniland was huge and full of national and international landmarks.  Locally, it's all about Atlanta!  My kids really liked seeing their favorite places to hang out, Lego-fied.  We were especially impressed with the model of the High Museum of Art!


There was also a small Star Wars miniland next door that was very cool.

Once into the main room, the boys went straight for the Lego Racers building area.  Free-building and ramps to test out their creations - this is all they wanted!


There is a playground area - it's huge.  My youngest wanted to jump in, but be prepared; it requires socks.  Having worn his Crocs that day, he had to bypass this area for another time.


For the youngest builders, there is a play area with large, soft-sided bricks like I have in my preschool room.


There is another ride inside the main room, Merlin's Apprentice Ride.  It looked fun, but there were a lot of day camps there the day we visited and the line for this was a bit long.

There are classes that run every hour or so.  Your builder can learn from a Master Builder!

BOTTOM LINE

As a mom, I felt like the center was a bit small and crowded, and I feel like there should have been more free-play areas.  My guys spent the majority of their time at the Lego Racers area building cars because they really just wanted to dig in and make their own creations.  This is what I love about Lego.

My kids, though, thought it was more than sufficient, and I guess that's what it's all about, right?  My test, after we visit anywhere, is to ask them if they ever wanted to return.  My guys are pretty honest about whether or not something held their attention.  All three of them affirmed that yes, they would definitely be interested in attending.

Prepare - it's pricey.  But there are regular discounts and coupons offered.

Currently, U.S. Family Guide has a coupon for the Legoland Discovery Center.

There is also a "Christmas in July" promotion the LDC is holding: Throughout the month of July, if you bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more, you will receive a Kids Go Free voucher, valid with the purchase of an adult walk-up ticket.  Legoland Discovery Center will match the donation with a Lego toy and they all go to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta!

I leave you with some fun facts from Legoland theme parks!



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Brings The Bling! Medal Preview!


I loved so much about the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Half Marathon last November!  The medal was... fine.  To be honest, I thought it was kind of generic for a city as rich in images as Savannah, GA.

This year?  They brought it.  I LOVE these medals!  Unique and pretty, I'll be excited to add the half marathon medal to the rack!



I'm really kind of wishing that I signed up for the 5K as well, just for the medal!  It's not too late!

If you don't know the story of the Waving Girl, you can read about her here.

If you have been on the fence, are these pretty babies enough to push you over the edge?

Register for the race of your choice today!  It's the 5th anniversary of this race, so it's sure to be an extra special experience!  Talk to me about fast and flat course - I got a PR on this course without even setting out to do so!  Half way through the race I realized I was on track and went for it.  Make this your new PR course!

You can read my recap from last year here.

Register here and use code MOMSMAGICALMILES15 for $15 off the full or half marathon!

See ya in Savannah!