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Happy Birthday to Me!

14 Mar

Thanks to CRB for this photo!

Shamelessly putting it out there that today is my birthday!  And in celebration, I’m going to do a recap and update of a post on my other blog of some goodies you can receive when it’s your birthday! Now, the last time I wrote about these eClubs – I included what sort of freebies they offered throughout the year.  This time, I’m going to share what you specifically get on your birthday.

  1. Buca di Beppo – Free appetizer (the bigger the group, the bigger the appetizer!) and a free birthday treat (last time, it was a humongous cupcake)
  2. BD’s Mongolian Grill – free stir fry
  3. Romano’s Macaroni Grill – free chocolate cake
  4. Mimi’s Cafe – free $10 entree with a $20 check
  5. Cantina Laredo – free mexican brownie
  6. Spaghetti Warehouse - free spaghetti and spumoni ice cream
  7. Uno Chicago Grill - free entree
  8. Panera Bread – free pastry (with the MyPanera Rewards)
  9. Starbucks - free drink (with your registered Starbucks Card)
  10. Dairy Queen – buy one get one blizzards
  11. Sephora -  part of their Beauty Insider program, free gift on your birthday (varies each year)
  12. Victoria Secret – $10 off a purchase.
  13. Gap – 25% of your purchase with GapCard

**These were all offers that I received this year.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go out there and join some eClubs (with a dedicated email address – darn spam!) and get ready for some goodies when you its your birthday!

It’s the season of giving (up)!

9 Mar

Lent

image courtesy of openbible.info

 

As far back as I can remember, Lent has always been a major time in my life.  Being raised in a Catholic school environment in a Catholic family – you kind of have no other option.  It seems as though Lent, no matter how strong of faith you have, always seems to take a precedence among my friends and peers.  There is always talk of what people are giving up, and what the best things to give up are, and where in the 40 days you end up breaking your Lenten promise.  Then again, growing up in a Catholic environment doesn’t leave you with too many non-Catholic friends.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have yet to fully fulfill a Lenten promise in my 22 years (almost 23!) on Earth.  BUT, maybe this year I will.  I feel like growing up out of the college phase and into young adulthood has changed the way I look at life, and even how I react to certain things.  And I think that nothing could end my year of transition better then accomplishing this Catholic tradition.

I’ve seen a lot of friends say they are giving up the social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.  And while that is probably something I should give up, it’s not so feasible since it’s also my day job :-) So what am I giving up? After much thought, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 things that I could not imagine life without (because that’s the point, right? Major sacrifice?).  This year, I will be giving up Starbucks (the chain, not the caffeine) and non-essential shopping.

What are you giving up this Lent?

First, the Austin Addys, next SXSW!

21 Feb

Just a quick update for an earlier post “Hey SXSW!

This same wall nominated as a finalist for a SXSW Interactive award also just won Gold at the Austin Addys 2011, held last week.  We’re listed on page 12 of the program hereGold Addy Award

Only 1 more month until the official South by Southwest conference kicks off and we find out if The Teradata PARTNERS Conference video wall will take top prize there.  Until then, fingers are still crossed! :)

My thoughts on the Grammy Awards 2011

15 Feb

Sunday night was the annual Grammy Awards.  And, of course, I watched every minute of it and live tweeted many of my thoughts and reactions for those of you who follow me.

To recap, here are a few my highlights from the show:

  1. Rihanna, Eminem, Adam Levine, and Skylar Grey – hands down, best performance of the night.
  2. Lady Gaga and her birth from an egg.
  3. Arcade Fire taking home the grand prize of the evening – Album of the year.

I thought this year’s show was slightly overrated.  Sure, the stars dazzled and there were some well deserved awards handed out.  But the performances – the sole reason I watch the awards – were not as memorable as I remember them being.  There were some legendary performances, like Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, and some heartfelt moments, like Katy Perry’s tribute to her marriage with Russell Brand, but overall, I was a little disappointed.  No major Beyonce sighting, no Kesha sighting, no Kanye West taking over acceptance speeches.. Maybe the excitement from last year’s show dialed down this years, who knows?

What was your favorite moment?

Hey SXSW!

7 Feb

South By Southwest (SXSW) is one of the largest interactive music and film festivals anywhere. I wanted to share this quick little blurb about a finalist for a SXSW Interactive award – because I was there, have seen it, and helped to actively feed some of the cool things this project did. Behold the Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference & Expo “At the Moment” Video Wall:

At the MomentAt the Moment

This wall was produced and concepted by our team at Teradata, with the help of  Tocquigny, an interactive media agency based in Austin, Texas.   I can’t wait to see if this wins top prize or not at the festival. After all, it is in the same category with talk@TED and Unilever. But here’s to shameless self promotion, and *fingers-crossed* I hope we win! :)

How do you find anything in there?

19 Jan

color coded closetBeing a big of a shopaholic is great because it means that I [almost] always have something to wear.  The challenge with it comes – where do I put it all? And how do I remember what’s what?

I use a color coding system for my main closet – starting with all my tops color coded from Red forwards, then dresses coded from black back to red, and jackets and blazers at the end.  I also do my dresser drawers the same way (all 3 of them!).  Clothes are separated by similar types – spaghetti strap tanks with the other spaghetti strap tanks, sleveless tanks altogether, and then black and white tanks in a group by themselves.

I find that putting the colors that I wear the most in an easy to see place makes it easier for me to find something.  It also helps me to see that I have a lot of colored clothing that I have available to accent my neutral bases.

Two more rules that I set for myself to keep from overcrowding: 1) clothes being worn get the hanger taken out of the closet until they’ve been washed are ready to go back and 2) for every 2 articles of clothing I buy, 1 article gets put in the donation pile.  To make this easy, I use my lightpost to hang the hangers (and set my outfit for the next day) and have a shopping bag at the bottom of my closet ready to be filled with donations.

What tricks or tips do you have for staying organized with clothing?

Adobe TV – who knew?

14 Jan

I recently came across a new web site that offers a TON of tutorials for Adobe users of all skill levels.  My professor for my Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) course used this site as an intro for my Dreamweaver course.  Since it’s been over a year since I have really worked with the Dreamweaver CS4 software – Adobe TV has really helped to refresh my memory on all the features and tools of the program.

I would highly recommend this web site for anyone who wants to learn the basics, or learn the latest features of the new CS5 suite, or even to help troubleshoot some issues with working the program.  The collection of video tutorials on the website is vast and the instructor voice overs are very informative.  Each video captures vivid screenshots so you can always hit pause and double check the screen you are on.

Adobe has definitely made a name for itself in design software and I hope the company continues to innovate their technology and stay at the forefront of user – empowerment and ease for web and print design.

Hit the shops – it’s shopping season!

3 Jan

Early January is the best time to do all your major shopping for the year. Stores often use this time to clear out their winter surplus to make way for spring and summer fashions. There is also lots of deals to be scored with the return of Christmas presents.

Some of my favorite sales this week include the Victoria Secret semi-annual sale, Bath and Body Work’s hello yellow sale, J. Crew’s, Gap’s, and of course your local Macy’s or Nordstroms. I use this time to stock up on my work essentials – pants, plain t’s, tights, LBDs. Since I am still In transition mode from fun casual college clothes to more professional and fashionable attire, I find these sales are great for those on a tight budget or looking for a great deal.

And for those of you who know me well – I also use this time to score great savings on shoes! Since I’m a small size 5 1/2 or 6 (with thick socks) it can be pretty hard to find something in my size that is cute or practical. Sale season means that stores will bring out racks and racks of clearance shoes from summer and winter and can often mean savings up was of 60% or more per pair. Recently, I scored a pair of Michael Kors espadrille wedges in silver for a mere $35 using combined discounts of store sales and coupon discounts. I bought a similar pair during the season in gold for nearly 4x that.

Learning when all the best sales are does take a lot of work but it’s well worth it if you can stand to wait a few more weeks for a better deal on that must-have item. And maybe then, you can even save enough to get that item in a couple different colors :)

Wine Quest Part I

30 Dec

I recently have started a wine quest to find the best affordable wines for my individual tasting palette. I had a Pinot Noir a few months ago that I keep remembering that i think will be the first wine to make it on my list. The label on it is Cloudline and it runs for around $20 a bottle. A little pricey than what my old college budget would allow but definitely well worth every penny.

Cloudline Pinot Noir offers a light and refreshing sweet red flavor. It is fragrant and makes you want to keep coming back for more, whether you pair it with food or not. For me, the ultimate pairing with this wine is a grilled tender filet with some mashed potatoes (as I had it the first time at Eddie Merlot’s restaurant).

I hope to continue on my wine adventure and find more soon to share. In e meantime, what are your favorite Pinots?

My Little Piggy

26 Dec

My family and I entered into a competition against each other to see who could save the most money in coins and small bills between this Christmas and next Christmas. How did this all begin? We found these cute Christmas piggy banks at Target and none of us could resist getting one (now 50% off for only $4.99). It felt only appropriate since they were Christmas themed to run the contest until next Christmas.

To kick-start our savings, we played a little Uno (card game) with some real cash. Each person to go out gets a quarter from all remaining players until none remain – Great if you are first or second to go out – not so great if you are always last (as I seemed to be this night). Needless to say, we all were able to put something into our piggies at the game’s end.

What fun new holiday traditions does your family participate in?

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