Simple Fall Mantle with Budget Friendly Items

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8.20 Fall Mantle Decor - Give ThanksSimple Fall Mantle

Do you change the decor on your mantle for each season?  Well here is a Simple Fall Mantle idea… of course you can mix an match styles to add your own personal touch.

These are just ideas of course.  Some become non-budget with shipping costs, BUT you get the idea.  Be sure to check your local craft stores as well.

Send me a picture of what you create!

Price was current as of this posting but Amazon prices are subject to change without notice.

Highland Street Foundation | FREE Fun Fridays 2016

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Highland Street Foundation: FREE Fun Fridays 2016

Highland Street Foundation is again offering FREE Fun Fridays this summer in Massachusetts starting on June 24th, 2016.  There will be 80 museums and cultural venues open for FREE on Fridays all summer long.  These are perfect to schedule into your STAYCATION plans this summer.

NOTE: They do tend to be packed on these days so get an early start.  Or use this list to start your summer fun bucket list.  Many are not that expensive.

You can see the schedule HERE, but these are the offerings through July.

JUNE 24th, 2016

JULY 1st, 2016

  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • The Sports Museum
  • Heritage Museums & Gardens
  • Falmouth Museums on the Green
  • Cape Cod Maritime Museum
  • Amelia Park Children’s Museum
  • Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
  • Wenham Museum

JULY 8th, 2016

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Cape Ann Museum
  • Buttonwood Park Zoo
  • Children’s Museum in Easton
  • The Hall at Patriot Place
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum

JULY 15th, 2016

  • Edward M. Kennedy Institute
  • Boston Athenӕum
  • Larz Anderson Museum
  • Cape Cod Children’s Museum
  • Edward Gorey House
  • Danforth Art Museum\School
  • Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History
  • Fitchburg Art Museum

JULY 22nd, 2016

  • Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park
  • Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Cape Cod Museum of Art
  • Pilgrim Hall Museum
  • The Eric Carle Museum
  • Fruitlands Museum
  • Museum of Russian Icons

JULY 29th, 2016

  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
  • Commonwealth Museum
  • Battleship Cove
  • Marine Museum at Fall River
  • Sandwich Glass Museum
  • Nantucket Whaling Museum
  • Tower Hill Botanic Garden
  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

I will post reminders each week, but mark your calendars now!  Print the full schedule HERE.

Do not forget to check out other Massachusetts Staycation Ideas!

FREE-FUN-FRIDAYS-2016-Schedule

How to Shop the Amazon Black Friday Deals – NEW Watch List!

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How to Shop the Amazon Countdown to Black Friday Deals

~updated November 2015

You may have noticed an up-swing in Amazon LIGHTNING DEALS.  The Amazon BLACK FRIDAY 2015 Deals Week has officially begin.  Let’s hope for some deals on the Top 2015 Holiday Toys.

Amazon BLACK FRIDAY 2015 Deals Preview HERE

Before you start it is important you remember the Holiday Shopping Strategies around BUDGET.  Do not spend money you do not have!  The holidays are about family and being together and not about STUFF.

Also do not stress – the deals go fast.  When I miss one I figure it was not meant to be – there will always be another deal another day.  However here are some tips to help you be as successful as possible.

There will be LIGHTNING DEALS throughout the day in many different categories.

REMEMBER that LIGHTNING deals are only for 1-3 hours and there is limited inventory so sometimes they sell out quickly.

Be on the page ready to click at least 5 minutes before the deal is scheduled to go live.  I will post as many as I can but you may want to bookmark these pages.

Some deals are time sensitive and may not be available for long so make sure to check facebook and twitter for the most up to date information.  Prices can change by the minute.  Be sure to ask for facebook NOTIFICATIONS… or you can also join the Maven of Savin Deals GROUP on facebook.

Where to Find the DEALS

Most lightning deals will be on the main Black Friday Page or the Amazon Lightning Deals page but you can narrow down your search by using the category guide on the left of the page.

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You can choose the categories you are interested in, choose Lightning deals and then you can check off if you just want to see active one, upcoming or all.

Though this makes it easier, I HATE the new format of the deals page.  I much prefer previous years “widget” you would scroll through (which is still available on some of the CATEGORY deal pages below).

Use the new WATCH DEALS Feature

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Luckily Amazon just created a new feature (WHICH I LOVE) that helps with the horrible new format.  You can create your own WATCH LIST.  In the morning you can scroll through all the deals and click on “Watch this deal” to place the ones you want on a WATCH LIST.  That then creates your OWN personal Lightning Deal page!!!

Amazon-Watch-ListSo with a little work at the beginning of the day you can be prepared to jump on your favorite lightning deals throughout the day without worrying about having to scroll thru pages and categories to keep track of them all.  HOW COOL IS THAT?

START your WATCHLIST NOW

Join the WAITLIST

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 10.53.54 AMThe price will be posted as soon as it goes live.  Be sure to ALWAYS join the WAITLIST because there are many people who just click BUY as soon as it goes live and then decide after whether they really want it.  I have seen the waitlist pull from as low as person #100 and higher!  Find out more about the WAITLIST HERE.

Amazon Black Friday Deals by CATEGORY

There are so many deals going on that it can get confusing.  If you are only looking for certain types of items it may be easier to start on the category pages.  NOTE: You cannot add things to your WATCHLIST from these pages, only from the MAIN Lightning Deal page which you can narrow using the category check list on the left.

If you like the old school widgets you can scroll and like to see all OTHER deals in a category use the links below to narrow your search.

ALL Amazon COUNTDOWN to BLACK FRIDAY DEALS

Black Friday – BABY and Baby Holiday Gift Guide

Black Friday – BOOKS

Black Friday – FASHION including Jewelry & Watches

Black Friday – ELECTRONICS and Electronics Holiday Gift Guide

Black Friday – CAMERA, Photo & Video
Black Friday – COMPUTERS & Accessories
Black Friday – LAPTOPS & TABLETS
Black Friday – TV, Video & Audio

Black Friday – GROCERY & GOURMET and Grocery Gift Guide

Black Friday – HOME, KITCHEN & Garden

Black Friday – MOVIES & TV

Black Friday – MUSIC or Digital Music

Black Friday – SPORTS & Fitness

Black Friday – OUTDOORS

Black Friday – TOOLS & Home Improvement and Tool Holiday Gift Guide

Black Friday – TOYS & GAMES or Holiday Toy List

Black Friday – VIDEO GAMES

Of course if you still need gift ideas visit HOLIDAY CENTRAL HERE

BOOKMARK your favorite pages do you can shop quickly each day as the lightning deals POP.  NOTE – some of the category pages do not have the lightning deals on them yet – I would expect them to update by weeks end.

Remember, RELAX, be prepared and do not stress. There is always another deal. always another day.
GOOD LUCK!

Check out Maven’s Holiday 2015 Savin’ Guide

Mavens-Holiday-2015-savin-guide

 

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Udemy’s Complete HTML & CSS Course for FREE

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Have you ever wanted to learn HTML or CSS for creating websites? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. For a limited time Udemy is offering The Complete HTML & CSS Course: From Novice To Professional for FREE. It is listed for $199 but use code FREE4ALL and it drops to ZERO.

AGAIN, I have no idea how long the coupon code is valid for so give it a try.

Groupon | ONE DIRECTION Tickets at Gillette Stadium!

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We have a HOT new Groupon for ONE DIRECTION TICKETS at Gillette Stadium on September 12th!!  I thought they were coming in July, but what do I know?!?!

You have 2 different ticket options:

Limit 8 per person.

Get your One Direction Tickets HERE

Highland Street Foundation: FREE Fun Fridays 2015

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Highland Street Foundation: FREE Fun Fridays 2015

Highland Street Foundation is again offering FREE Fun Fridays this summer in Massachusetts starting on June 26th, 2015.  There will be 70 museums and cultural venues open for FREE on Fridays all summer long.  These are perfect to schedule into your STAYCATION plans this summer.

You can see the schedule HERE, but these are the offerings through July.  Click on the date you are interested in to get specific details:

JUNE 26th, 2015

  • TANGLEWOOD
  • NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM
  • THE MOUNT: EDITH WHARTON’S HOME
  • WORCESTER ART MUSEUM
  • MIT MUSEUM
  • PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
  • THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES

JULY 3th, 2015

  • BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
  • HERITAGE MUSEUMS & GARDENS
  • FALMOUTH MUSEUMS ON THE GREEN
  • BERKSHIRE MUSEUM
  • AMELIA PARK CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
  • NAUMKEAG, TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS
  • OLD MANSE, TRUSTEES OF RESERVATIONS

JULY 10th, 2015

  • EDWARD M. KENNEDY INSTITUTE
  • CAPE COD MARITIME MUSEUM
  • NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM
  • CHILDREN’S MUSEUM AT HOLYOKE
  • INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME
  • DANFORTH ART
  • NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

JULY 17th, 2015

  • MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
  • LARZ ANDERSON AUTO MUSEUM
  • THE SPORTS MUSEUM
  • CAPE ANN MUSEUM
  • CHILDREN’S MUSEUM IN EASTON
  • FITCHBURG ART MUSEUM
  • TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN

JULY 24th, 2015

  • COMMONWEALTH SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
  • ARNOLD ARBORETUM OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY
  • BATTLESHIP COVE / MARINE MUSEUM
  • EDWARD GOREY HOUSE
  • PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM
  • FRUITLANDS MUSEUM
  • MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ICONS

JULY 31st, 2015

  • THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON
  • SANDWICH GLASS MUSEUM
  • CAPE COD MUSEUM OF ART
  • GARDEN IN THE WOODS
  • WENHAM MUSEUM
  • AMERICAN TEXTILE HISTORY MUSEUM
  • THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM

I will post reminders each week, but mark your calendars now!

Do not forget to check out other Massachusetts Staycation Ideas!

Make Over Your Mornings – 14 Day Online Course!

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TODAY is the launch of Crystal Paine’s brand-new 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course.

Do you have trouble getting started in the morning?  Do you feel overwhelmed and end up getting nothing accomplished?  Do you often wake up feeling behind—before you even get out of bed?  Are you constantly frustrated that it seems like you are so busy, but you have very little to show for all your effort?  Are you worn down and worn out by all the hats you are wearing and balls you are juggling?

Do you wish you could find time to refuel your tank, improve your health, invest more into your family, or even just to slow down and breathe?

This course walks you, step-by-step, through a process that creates a routine that will:

  • Prioritize nourishing your soul before launching your day
  • Streamline your mornings (and your whole day)
  • Create a to-do list that serves (not strangles)
  • Establish accountability
  • Set short- and long-term goals, and SO MUCH MORE!

mym-complete-set-cropEvery day of this course covers a different topic – from streamlining mornings to setting up bedtime routines to goal-setting to creating a task management system, and much more – but the beauty is that it takes only 15 minutes a day to complete! 

The course includes a handbook, a video, and a daily project.

I met Hal Elrod last year and have already started Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning routine which is awesome!  Research shows successful people are morning people and you can become one too.  I cannot wait to add some of Crystal’s learnings into my morning as well.

SPECIAL LAUNCH DAY PRICING!!!
7 am to 12 pm ET: Just $7!
12 pm to 5 pm ET: Only $10!
5 pm to 12 am ET: Only $13!
25% Of All Sales From Our Site On Launch Day Go to South Africa!

Head on over to MakeOverYourMornings.com to learn more about the course, and get in on the rock-bottom price for this fabulous course today!

Staycation on a Budget 2015: over 50 cities!

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Staycation on a Budget

If you want to plan a staycation or frugal vacation somewhere in the US, go no further.  I have shared STAYCATION NEW ENGLAND: Boston and Beyond and how you need to make sure you UNPLUG, PLAN and be CREATIVE!  Lucky for us over 50+ other bloggers who did the same for their part of the country and here they are.  What a fantastic resource!

Be sure to come back and let me know what great staycation ideas you have for YOUR home state.

A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida — LaToyaEdwards.net
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That

What are your favorite STAYCATION ideas?

Staycation New England: Boston & Beyond

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Staycation New England 2015: Boston & Beyond

Check out 50+ other city resources for Staycations HERE

New England, made up for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island & Connecticut, is rich with history and variety.  There are mountains, beaches, history, art, cities and country life… almost anything you could imagine.

I said it before and I will say it again… When is the last time you looked around where YOU live and took advantage of all it has to offer?  Massachusetts and the surrounding areas have a plethora of activities for the local or distant tourists.

Memorial Day approaches, HIGH gas prices remain and we continue to look for frugal summer fun.  More and more people will again be sticking close to home for STAYCATIONS, but this does not mean you need to settle for anything less than a spectacular.

Staycation – UNPLUG, RELAX, it is a REAL VACATION

Before we talk about WHAT you can do, you need to be in the correct state of mine.  A staycation does not need to be a “what we did because we could not afford to go away”.  It can be an adventure and you should plan it with as much excitement and vigor as you do a vacation.  Whether you are taking a full week off or using your days as a series of long weekends, it is important that you “pretend” you are actually away and on vacation.

  • UNPLUG – though this is tough with today’s technology, if you were on a cruise in the Bahamas, would you be checking email and texting all day?  I say NO, so do not when on your staycation.  The purpose of a vacation is to regroup, re-energize and spend quality time with the ones you love.
  • PLAN ACTIVITIES – Once you pick your staycation dates, plan the week with activities as you would a real vacation.  Even if you choose to have a down day and just relax, do not fill it with chores – you are on vacation.  READ a BOOK.
  • BE CREATIVE – Think outside the box.  Camping in the backyard could be just as fun as going away.  Vacation is a mind-set and if you set your mind into having a fun, fulfilling week, you will.  Take pictures just as you would on a traditional vacation.  Eat ice cream, sleep in, stay up late and any other things you typically do on vacation.

Year of the Staycation 2015: Exploring MA and beyond

I am lucky enough to live in Massachusetts where over 12 million tourist pay lots of money each year to visit.  So why is it that we feel we have to travel for vacation?  There is so much to do in this state in addition to all of the obvious Boston and historical attractions.  It is really easy to forget what is around you when you live here.  As you begin to plan, be sure to check out BostonCentral as well as some great daily deals on local attractions through Groupon, Eversave, LivingSocial, PlumDistrict and Amazon Local so keep an eye out for those as well.

Below are some fun activities and resources to help you explore Boston, all of Massachusetts, and even further into New England to help you plan a wonderful staycation:

[Read more…]

Fandango Movie Tickets – Buy one, get one FREE (Visa Signature Cards)

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Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.43.02 AMAre you headed to the movies tonight?   Fandango has a great deal if you have a Visa Signature card.  Every Friday, get 2 for 1 movie tickets when you use your Visa Signature card.

Check your VISA – it may be a Signature Card and you do not even know it.

Get a head start if you have a Chase Visa Signature card – you can order your tickets on Wednesday through Friday  for any film currently on sale for a Friday showing.

This offer is every Friday through 8/21/15.

What movies are you seeing?