WoW: Google, You Talking to Me?

Website of the Week (WoW): https://www.google.com/voice

Quick Bit: Imagine being able to pick your own number (mine ends in “BLOG”) that forwards to all of your personal, business, and cell phones. Depending on who calls determines which prerecorded voicemail they’ll hear. Unknown numbers will get a standard response, employees will get announcements for the day, family will get yet another.

Let’s say someone leaves you a voicemail and you’re in a meeting? Imagine that the service then transcribes the voicemail and sends it to you in a txt or email. The information is important for your husband’s travelling plans and without having to interrupt your meeting, you forward the email version to him. Too good to be true? Not for Google!

Although it’s invitation only right now, sign up to make this mobile fantasy a reality! (I have one account for my blog and one for my personal use and each took about a week to receive the activation link.)

Google Voice (an enhanced version of the original GrandStation site) offers a generous array of incredibly cool features! Although some are highlighted below, view the complete list here. Answer the call on your computer, switch midway to your cell phone.

The transcript service is not perfect but I’ve used it several times with very accurate messages. I like how you can setup multiple voicemails, groups, forwards, and email conversations immediately, I also like how it keeps track of the different call logs. I think it’s incredibly functional, especially for small businesses that would like to route calls in the best way possible. Even allowing particular numbers to reach a specific “message of the day” would be beneficial to many groups.

Google Supports the Troops: http://www.google.com/militaryinvite (loved ones overseas can now communicate for free to US numbers – call from computer to cells phones and send text messages.)

$$$-Saver(s):

  • Conference in multiple callers
  • Free calls to US & Canada phone numbers
  • Send/Receive/Store texts
  • FREE mobile apps – call for free from cell phone instead of using minutes

*One thing I would’ve liked for it to allow was registering for SMS texts from websites…5 digit numbers you text to subscribe to receive coupons from does NOT work right now. 🙁 I’ve commented on their blog and customer support forums, you should too!

Time-Saver(s):

  • Listen to voicemails as they’re being left, pick up midway through voicemail!
  • Automatically transcribes voicemails – read past voicemails, forward to a business partner in email
  • Listen to voicemail online or via normal phone
  • Personalize voicemails – greeting based on caller groups
  • Forward to multiple phones
  • Record entire conversations or start halfway through

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ (view search results nothing official looking…)

Twitter: www.twitter.com/GoogleVoice

Blog:
http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/

WoW: Pingg – the Party Request & Response Site!

Website of the Week (WoW): www.pingg.com

After exploring 5-6 different online invitation sites, my favorite is Pingg, an online invitation site with exactly the kind of functionality, versatility, and intuitiveness that I’m looking for.

To be fair, I also signed up and tried the following:

…but the site that impressed me the most was Pingg.

Quick Bit: From a geeky standpoint, ping is a networking term/tool used to test if a server (“host”) is reachable. If you try to log onto a website but get a blank page, you can send out a request for a response (i.e. ping) from that website to make sure it is up (letting you see if something is wrong on your end or their end.) Since this is an online invitation with a “host” who’s sending out requests for responses, I thought this was very clever and wanted to let you know where the name probably came from.

This website boasts an incredibly CLEAN, intuitive interface. Although I’m comfortable maneuvering around websites, not everyone is. I’m not going to advertise an awesome website the average internet users can’t figure out. For me, this website is a complete one stop shop.

Send any combination of the following:

  • Online invitations – charity events, showers, special events, grand openings

    -and/or-

  • E-cards – Save the date cards, announcements (Birth, promotion, grand openings…)

    -and/or-

  • Printed versions – wedding invitations, birthday parties, dinner parties, holiday parties

Your Pingg Dashboard keeps track of current (and past) events, sorted by date (sort also by event name.) Copy details from a past event easily, so you never have to start from scratch. Select from free or premium images to attach to invite – stunning photography, incredible choices in both sections. I’ve used this site for several parties I’ve thrown with 50+ attendees and did not lose track of one response.

Time-Saver(s):

  • Entertainment Tips
    – loaded with hints for every affair, in addition to invitations, Pingg has an entire section dedicated to a diverse range of party help tips!
  • List Manager
    – saves past invitees by group in address book, no need to retype the same thing twice, EVER! Drag and drop contacts from one list to another, add tags (i.e. “VIP”, “SA Friends”, etc.)

    Another feature I liked was being able to paste in a spreadsheet of my guest list instead of having to update list manually, person by person!

  • Dashboard – for each event, you’ll have an event dashboard which helps you manage guest responses. See which emails failed to be delivered, keep track of who said “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, or hasn’t responded yet (and only send updates to those who haven’t/have responded). You can also see who’s “viewed” the invitation but not responded.

    Easily export your entire guest list to spreadsheet format for additional sorting functionality.

    ***Party Tip: Print out the list ahead of time and easily write down who gave what for the guest of honor if presents are involved (so right next to the gift giver, you’ll already have all the contact information!)

  • Facebook/Twitter – easily post invites as Tweets in Twitter or Messages/Wall Posts in Facebook. Send reminders/links to invite website to remind guest about event.
  • Money Collections – instead of collecting cash at the party or coordinating ahead of time, Pingg allows easy online donations through PayPal so guests can contribute to a group gift, party expenses, or even charitable events. You can display goal amounts for charities or keep that information private.

    ***Right now they’re also working on selling tickets through your website for events!

  • Reminders – instead of having to remember to remind you guests, upon creation of the invite, schedule a couple reminders to RSVP (or come in costume, whatever!) I recently sent out an invite 3 weeks before a “Stock the Bar” engagement party, scheduled reminders for subsequent Fridays, including the day of the event.
  • Thank You Cards – you just threw the event of your life, you’ve cleaned up the house, do you really want to write thank yous? Write them, personally, to each guest, thanking them for attending…and Pingg will send it out AFTER the event! No more looking for addresses, remembering who attended, Pingg will send individual responses!
  • Personalized Party Website – personalize your event website that is automatically created when you create an event OR save the date e-card. Guest can RSVP, leave comments, see who else is attending. You can add pictures, Flickr albums, gift registries, other links, Google maps to the party, etc! You can even edit the website’s URL so it’s easily included in online or print invitations.

Details about all features here.

$$$-Saver(s):

  • COMPLETELY FREE for online invitations, ecards, websites, guest management, and more! Only pay for printed postcards or cards/envelopes, premium images (free images are fine!), and non-ad websites (regardless, ads are unobtrusive.)
  • Let Pingg Print/Mail/Stamp – Use promotional code “PRINT20” at checkout and Pingg will take off 20% (you don’t have to but if you are printing anyways…)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pingg.wellsent

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pingg

E-mail Group:
https://www.pingg.com/login/register – Register for an account to receive promotional newsletters and to start sending invitations today! Newsletters aren’t too frequent, sent monthly, with additional emails sent around major holidays. Well worth it.

Tasty Byte: Roaring Fork’s Smoking Hot!

Geekette Bit’s Tasty Byte Highlight

Name: Roaring Fork

Where: NW Loop 1604 Huebner, San Antonio, TX

*Disclaimer at the bottom of each menu:

Happy Hour may induce a state of euphoria. Please proceed with caution.

It doesn’t have to be Happy Hour to leave Roaring Fork in a state of Euphoria, a wonderful place to watch the game on a casual Sunday afternoon or while celebrating an intimate, special anniversary with a loved one. I have enjoyed each trip to Roaring Fork, a relatively recent addition to San Antonio’s eating scene.

As a frequent visitor, this eatery consistently boasts wood-fired cooking, a contemporary ambience, and incredible Happy Hour specials. Smoked or simmering over a calculated blend of hickory, oak, and pecan, the menu boasts an eclectic assortment of meats infused with a rustic, wood-grilled taste. Although large, 7,200 square feet, the restaurant conveys a romantically, intimate setting for friends and loved ones with its private feeling booths, low lighting, and unobtrusive wait staff.

A victim of Pavlov’s conditioning, I’m salivating at the mere thought of their extensive, comforting, and indulgent menu. Lunching there after church one Sunday, my only disappointment was that the lamb chops were not served in the afternoon. It was only a temporary setback before my taste buds were immediately appeased by the pan sautéed rainbow trout with roasted almonds. Pair with a Roaring side, the sautéed spinach and red onions were a perfect compliment. My lunch buddy went nuts over the Roaring Fork “Big Ass” Burger with longhorn cheddar cheese and smoked bacon. As the name suggests, our waiter delivered a behemoth slab of ground beef, mounded with hamburger condiments. It also came with crispy, French fries – slender, each bite packing a crunch.

Another visit, an anniversary, was preemptively planned with a phone call reservation from my boyfriend. Upon arrival we were immediately congratulated by the gracious hostess on our good fortune and whisked to an intimate booth with a wonderful view of the patio and fireplace (lit with Christmas lights.) In celebration of the 8 nights of Hanukah, the appetizer special (rumored to make a reappearance) that night was potato latke with smoked thinly sliced salmon, capers, diced tomatoes, sour crème, and chives. Every bite was incredible, the capers made my tongue dance in contrast to the sour crème and crispness of the thin, flavorful latke. We still talk about it often. It set a wonderful tone for our main courses to follow. I quickly ordered the lamb chops which came out, a perfectly grilled, as requested, medium…served with Yukon mashed potatoes, this dish left me wishing I could discreetly gnaw the bones. The rich wood flavors drew out the lamb’s wild flavors. The evening ended with a surprise sweet treat, my very favorite dessert, crème brulee…with Happy Anniversary written richly in chocolate on the plate.

Menu

  • Brunch – although I haven’t made it for brunch I plan to! A lot of Tex-Mex inspired breakfasts delight brunch goers (Smoked Salmon Benedict, Breakfast Flatbread, Chicken Enchiladas and Eggs and several other tempting choices.)
  • Lunch – wonderful place to treat yourself (and co-workers??) during a lunch break, several options from the dinner menu at special lunch prices!
  • Dinner – sections of the menu entrees include tantalizing descriptions like “Wood Rotisserie”, “Wood Grilled Steaks, Chops, and Ribs”, and “Fresh Fish, Sandwiches, and Salads”.

Get the Deal(s):

  • San Antonio’s Restaurant Week – Radio station Q101.9 and Tanji Patton of Good Taste with Tanji came up with the perfect pairing to support United Way and Bexar County. A 3-course menu will be offered at Roaring Fork (and other San Antonio restaurants) with $5 from EACH meal going to the community (order of the menu instead and $5 still goes to United Way)! August 17th through the 21st.
  • Rewards Program – Sign up by going to the site and clicking “Reward Program” to get 10% credit for EVERY dollar spent after $50! Card works at all Roaring Fork locations.

Did you know?

Spurs?! The idea to open Eddie V’s in San Antonio stemmed from a Spurs player asking owners in Austin, “When are you opening in San Antonio?!”

Instead of a beer flight, enjoy their Margarita flight! (Choose 3 from their extensive ‘rita menu.)

Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 5pm-11pm –
Flicks and Food has organized a Tweetup at Roaring Fork this month! Come meet other Tweeps and enjoy:

  • FREE appetizers from 5-7pm
  • Half-priced margaritas (),
  • $5 martinis, Mojitos, & select wine
  • $2.50 draft beer
  • $1 off all other drinks
  • $4 off apps that aren’t free!

RSVP here before it fills up!

Feature(s):

  • Giant outdoor fireplace and patio area provides a wonderful fall escape during lunch or dinner
  • All Roaring Fork locations and online reservations here.
  • Possibly having appropriately timed blood drive on Halloween? Very clever!

Job Hunting? Apply here.

E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.eddiev.com/ (Click on “eNews” and select multiple restaurants and locations – special promotion and coupon notifications.)

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/roaringfork_sa

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/roaringfork

Price:
to
Roaring Fork on Urbanspoon
Bargain

Moderate

Upscale

Expensive


Career 101: Finding a Career Field

Inspired by the current state of the economy and job market, this new series of posts will cover the following topics:

  • Finding a Career Field – getting over Peter Pan syndrome and deciding what you want to do when you grow up.
  • Finding the Perfect Job – where to look when everyone else is looking!
  • Landing said Perfect Job – get the competitive edge in this uber-competitive market
  • Keeping said Perfect Job – without living in free of losing your job, quickly move up the chain of command in your new position.

I graduated from high school in the top 10% of my class, enjoyed my classes, had fun learning…no clue what I wanted to major in. Committing to one major consistently lead to hyperventilating…that’s why I’m taking the time to focus on that possibility. You might have already graduated with a bachelors degree AND master’s degree but still don’t feel completely comfortable in your current field. This post is about gaining insight to yourself based on very scientific approaches. 🙂

I knew that I wanted to work flexible hours, I wasn’t always detail oriented, and definitely enjoy thinking outside the box. Before college, I thought Aerospace Engineer was for me. I liked math and science and I was a member of the Aviation Club at my elementary school. I started college, got cold feet, worried I wouldn’t hack the math and declared an Architecture major. That lasted for a semester before I switched to Psychology after an elective class opened my eyes to this introspective career choice. Then I had my daughter and thought, well, can I afford to be in school for at least the next 7 years before making good money in a field that I might not even want to be in, in 7 years? I took a broad range of elective classes, looking for my sweet spot. On a whim I took an intro computer programming class. I had always played around with electronics growing up, taking them apart, fixing them. I was also the resident computer expert. I took the class and aced it (with 100%…) and was hook. It was the perfect field for me and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I may retire and go to culinary school…but for now I <3 it.

Who am I? – During the journey of self-discovery I found the following online resources to help me figure out what I liked, didn’t like and other things to take into consideration. You’re worth it – spend a little extra time now so you can find a position you love.

  • Personality Testmany people are willing to join EHarmony in hopes of finding their perfect match. A career should be NO different, a couple strategic tests can help you identify the following:
    • Have to Have’s – characteristics of the job/career that you HAVE to have in order to enjoy/love/be successful.
    • Can’t Have’s – is it important to you to go to work at 8 and leave at 5, everyday, Monday through Friday? I needed a more flexible work schedule, as a mom and as an ADD-er. Listen to yourself, these are IMPORTANT
    • Nice Have’s – it would be nice to have in the job description but you don’t have to. While Can’ts and Have’s are non-negotiable, this list could help you narrow a close choice or hard decision down.

    NOTE: Make this list now so that when you are job hunting you don’t cater your list to the job you found. This list can change over time but you just like in dating, you don’t want to be blinded by the initial glitter and find yourself trapped in an unhappy job a couple months later.

    The Jung-Meyer-Briggs Personality test is a GREAT place to start. You’ll be amazed at how a simple, short test can accurately depict your personality type. Once you get your results, Google it…mine, consistently is ENFP:

    General: ENFPs are both “idea”-people and “people”-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of “help”) and be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas on principle, but ultimately discard most of them for one reason or another.

    Test takes 5-10 minutes…take it! Afterwards, that site will also link you to possible career options and detail type descriptions. Find out what personality types you’re compatible with and more importantly, WHY! It’ll also list famous people with your personality type.

  • Occupation Outlook Handbook
    – although you can buy the printed version of this inclusive career book, DON’T! Search easily online and browse through multiple fields. Search for something specific or browse through numerous jobs – each including the following sections:
    • Nature of Work – detailed job description
    • Training/Qualifications/Opportunities for Advancement – lists job requirements and nice to have’s employers are looking for
    • Employment – details about self-employment, nationwide employment…
    • Job Outlook – are there going to be any positions when you get out of school? Is employment on the rise or fall? Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…
    • Earnings – average salaries for different positions within that field
    • Related Fields – sounds good but not quite? Lists similar positions within the site.

    Check out sources for the handbook, by state, and also their hints and suggestions about job hunting. I especially liked these questions to ask yourself when evaluating the position before accepting.

You could spend hours, days, months, years pouring over the information in the 2 sections. I think it’s great to take the test every couple of years or re-read about your field. Does it still work for you? Have your tastes changed?

Please also take the time to make the following list and stick it on your mirror or fridge. Make a list of 10 things you HAVE to have in your career, 10 CAN’T haves, and WOULD LIKE to haves. Writing it down will force yourself to think about it. Make the time. Even if you have a job, check the list – it’s it what you still want? Are you in it for the right reasons?

Check back next week for the next postFinding
the Perfect Job.

*FYI – I graduated debt free from college by helping friends and peers through the entire life-cycle of their job search.

WoW: Now that’s Entertainment

Partially in tribute to my WOW loving co-workers (you hear the funniest things when you stop to listen to World of Warcraft conversations…), I have chosen the same abbreviation for my ‘Website of the Week’ (WoW) blog post. This will highlight a website I feel especially impressed by. It might be a great money-saver, like this week’s, or it could be a wonderful web app. Something stands out enough AND I don’t think enough people know about its awesomeness. Some weeks I might post multiple, there are so many out there it’s hard to get through them all.

Website of the Week (WoW): www.entertainment.com

Quick Bit: “The premiere source for discounts and promotions”, I agree. I love that the HUGE coupon book, neatly organized with perforated pages, has a corresponding online membership with ADDITIONAL coupons!

About: Started in 1962 by a suburban Detroit couple created local coupon book, Entertainment has expanded exponentially as a wonderful discount resource AND fundraiser of choice by many schools and programs. Take the time to look through the entire books, some coupons only appear once and if you’re skimming you might miss a GREAT deal! Cut them out and paste then on the calendar when the outing is planned.

$$$-Saver(s):

  • Normally $25 at the start of the year, buy yours now for $9.99!
  • Buy 2010, get 2009 FREE! (Aug. 12th)
  • Coupon Book – based on major cities, find offers for:
    • Dining out – local eateries and chains included
    • Casual and family dining – relaxed family joints
    • Fast food and carryout – chains, bakeries, ice cream shops (hint hint during THIS summer!)
    • Entertainment and sports – included Dave and Buster’s, 2 for 1 movie tickets to several different movie theaters, 50% off pre-season Spurs tickets, 2 for 1 admission to several museums, mini golf and real golf courses, tubing, the circus, Disney on Ice, theaters, fitness gyms, and MORE!
    • Travel and hotel – travelling for a friend’s wedding, used their hotel voucher for an ADDITIONAL 20% off, also include discounts at www.hotwire.com (an already severely discounted travel site), 25% off Nickelodeon Family vacation packages, and GREAT savings on car rentals (although I would check Hotwire first if you’re renting a car), etc.
    • Retail and services – during Valentine’s Day they had free delivery for 2 dozen roses, $19.99, Netflix, video rentals, car washes, World Market, home security alarms, Walgreens, photographers, oil change, spas, dry cleaners, seriously, the list goes on and on and on!
  • Membership Card – found inside the book, use at local participating restaurants and online travel agencies to get additional savings
  • Website – register w/ member ID. Use the membership ID to register on their website. You’ll find additional printable and online coupons, receive weekly emails, and get other member only promotional offers. I love being able to easily search through their website. I normally check here and www.retailmentnot.com whenever I’m looking for deals. If I used up all the coupons at a favorite restaurant in the book, I just go online and print out additional coupons for the same place! Everything found in the coupon book PLUS more! Check out the different sections here. Another nice thing about the book – if you’re going on vacation just print out coupons for that city without buying that book… Nice little Back to school section on the website.

*Side note: When I first used ATT, they had an incentive to join (through their moving package I believe) that also included 10 vouchers for 10 coupons from this site. This is what they were talking about.

***Charity/Schools – learn more about their fundraising programs. Not limited to the coupon book, learn about selling cookie dough and other fundraising ideas for schools, non-profits, sports, and churches.

***Career Opportunities – in this economy you never know or might be looking, start here.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Entertainment-Coupon-Book (I wrote to make sure this is the official site, will update post if it’s not.)

Twitter: www.twitter.com/entbooksavings (not easy to find either!)

E-mail Group: Once you setup an account online, you can modify your account preferences to receive semi-frequent email alerts, based on your interests. (Definitely worth it!)

Did you know? Post directly from Office 2007?!

This is a test. Apparently Microsoft Office Word2007 allows bloggers to post directly to their blogs. Here‘s a list of current service providers, including mine, WordPress. I am never the first to sing Window’s praises…but I’m curious!

Why would I or anyone else be interested in this functionality? I have started to create templates (so I can efficiently post blogs in the same series.) I have tried several different WordPress plugins for post templates and have not been happy with any of them. It would be nice to use my Word templates without having to copy them into my website…one stop shop.

It’s also a lot easier to hyperlink in Word (button to the right of the windows key (looks like a list with an arrow) + “h”.)

No wheelin’ & dealin’ at Discount Tires!

I have a few mantras in life and they all include saving time and money.  As I’ve gained experience through the years, one of the best ways to do this is not only by taking the time to find coupons and specials…but through preventive measures.

 Let me give you the perfect example.  Tire maintenance.  I can spend outrageous amounts of money buying all 4 tires at once (as I did today) OR I can go to Discount Tire and take advantage of their FREE to EVERYONE air pressure and tire check drive ins

As I sat there for a little under an hour, I saw elderly ladies, tattooed motorcyclists, soccer moms, and a 360, pull up, get out and grab a free water.  Literally by the time they sat down, took a sip, and opened a magazine, their name was being called as I wistfully watched on.  Although not everything can be prevented…a lot can.  Take the time to let them check your tires and air pressure; it makes their job easier when you come in a rush, expecting them to see instant results.

Let me tell you, the Discount Tire I went to, off Bandera and 1604 treated me, potentially the perfect sitting duck, incredibly well.  I came in armed with my tire size and the brand I was looking at (based on online reviews) prepared to face the judgment of my poor tire maintenance.  They didn’t judge, they said not to list to the website, just call – there are often appointments available.  They even drew pictures so I could understand the difference between steel and alloy rims.  They scheduled me for a time and when I came, they drove my car in immediately.

I watched many disgruntled customers come in, disgusted to find their cars ready without being alerts on their cell phone.  I watched and their cars were ready just as they got there.  There are a lot of younger mechanics working as quickly as they can, there was no admin, manning the front.  They all efficiently took turns.   I was just so impressed with this well oiled machine.  They kept their sense of humor and just brought a lot of light to the room. 

Be patient, they are trying and they want to make it as easy as possible for you.

They broke the bad and worse news to me gently – I’d need 4 new wheels and 4 new tires.  (NOTE: wheels <=> rims are used interchangeably.)  They showed me why, they showed me what to pick and why, and they did it without making me feel miserable. 

Find the nearest store to you!  And go in armed with current promotions.  Don’t forget to subscribe to their mailing list with specials.  Become a Fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter, I am!

When I go back in 50 miles (just so they can make sure everything is working out as designed) I will bring not only a smile but cookies and other baked goods.  Also, they’ll sign you up for email reminders, whenever you need to come in for your FREE rotations…

Classic like the Sunday Newspaper

Growing up, reading the printed newspaper with my dad while he drank coffee was always a special tradition.  In order to remind people while online isn’t always best, I decided to post about great deals and alerts I found in different sections of the local newspaper…I’m sure the paper in your city has similar deals as well!

The newspapers website offers online articles, contests (I won season tickets to Splashtown once!!), and other great interactive online resources.  Use their Twitter directory to follow individual sections – sports, food, etc.  You’ll be surprised how many people are Twittering!

I’m also a big fan of their food section and their annual Reader’ Choice Awards, here’s 2009.  List includes picks for different types of eateries and entertainment venus (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & my favorite – Critics Choice.)

Although you can subscribe to the San Antonio Express-News paper online, the best deals are offered in front of HEB or Walmarts where they’re desperate to sell and have additional bonus and great discounts.  You can order it Monday-Sunday, Sundays only, Fridays-Sundays…

Favorite Newspaper Days of the Week (and why I like them):

  • Wednesday Food section of the newspaper!!!  Local cooking classes, events, highlights of local eateries, interviews by local chefs, recipes from restaurants, and other fun food trivia.
  • Friday Weekender!  Highlights everything going on this weekend, upcoming music venues, movie reviews, and other events you might have missed…there is also a “kids event” with a lot of interesting tidbits as well.  Car review – I like to see what car is being reviewed…the section also includes Click and Clack’s Cartalk column…another family tradition.
  • Sunday – about to go into detail but the deals, deals, deals!  The advertisements, coupons, etc!

Sunday Newspaper Deals – different sections of the paper

  • Express-News Star – (Gossip section) not only read celebrity gossip for the week but also includes pictures of the locales at recent events (include your pictures by uploading to mysa.com KEYWORD: Entertainment.)  This weeks included pictures from the “Happy Hours, Happy Tails” pet adoption, “Julyfest” at the Polish American Center
  • Advertisements – obviously you’d find a lot of good deals here, some examples this week include:
    • Petco – join Petco P.A.L.S. to get coupons, FREE food/grooming, exclusive pet friendly event invites.  (Petco is also a fun, FREE outing for kids – kid sized shopping carts, and opportunity to walk around and see all the different animals.)
    • Academy – register instantly for the CCA Texas/STAR Fishing tournament running through Sept. 7.  (Who knew you could register at Academy sports + outdoors…)
    • Office Depot – purchases receive 20% at all Foot Lockers coupon, Project Backpack (create unique design on blank canvas backpack with sharpie to win!), FREE glue with $5 purchase, 2 for 1 printing sign coupon…
  • Travel – Coupon alert!  Aiport Security Park offers 1 day FREE (with 2 day stay)!  Also, on the bottom left-hand page was a small blip about the Tourism Development Corporation of the State of Nuevo Leon offers deals to tourist for coming thru Dec. 2009.  Details at www.nuevoleonsesuma.com (although the front page is in Spanish, the tabs are in English – print maps, coupons, and find out where to stay, when!)  Offers include 2 nights/3rd night free, buy one entrance to park or activity/2nd free, refunds on tollbooth expenses, buffets also buy one get one free!
  • Front Page section – Buying Gold & Silver at 2 hotels near the airport (Holiday Inn Airport & Comfort Suites (next to Cracker Barrel, exit Rittiman.))  Do you have old gold or silver coins?  Old paper money?  Coin collectors unite!  Bring misc. items too – sterling silver, fine jewelry, diamonds, lamps, toys (metal, pre-1950)…7 days only!
  • Classifieds – Job Fair, Tues. Aug. 25, 9am-3pm at Crossroads Mall.  The Sunday before newspaper will include a preview of employers set to attend.  Free seminars offered throughout the day.  (Want a booth?  Call 210-250-2387 for details.)
  • Entertainment – not only were there multiple sections on volunteering opportunities, there’s also a poetry section, tributes to the arts, home decorating articles, and a “Bookmarks” section that includes info about local literary events.
  • Metro – this week’s section of the paper included an ad from the San Antonio Water System with details about the water restrictions and days.  On your day you can water from 3am-8am and 8pm-10pm with a sprinkler, soaker hose, or irrigation system.  Hand water anytime. Details on their website and to find out your day….
  • Sports – I have always found good deals here (nestled away…coupons to Rodeo, Spurs family nights…don’t miss this section…even during the week!)  This week I found a coupon for La Cantera Golf Club…Two for One golf, valid through Aug. 30th, starting at 1pm, $45…great deal! Great course!  Ad must be presented at tee time…deal valid for up to 12 players valid.  Right next to that was the 16th Annual Project Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive Aug. 7th from 7am-7pm…bring supplies to any area Walmarts!

University Bowl 101…

At University Bowl, take advantage of the free student bowling program.  Students bowl their first game free, Monday through Friday, 9am-12pm.  Make sure you print out the consent form first.  Shoes are required but available for a discounted rate – $2.25 per pass holder.

Also make sure you join them on Aug. 5th for Customer Appreciation Day!  From 5pm-7pm, bowl for FREE!  First come, first served, limit to 2 games per person!  Shoe rentals for only $1.79!

Want to hear about all the specials in the future?  Become a fan on FB and join their mailing lists.

BUXR – hot deals this week!!!

You may have noticed I’ve added a new side bar widget “Current Deals @ BUXR.”  I have found incredible deals at buxr.com and now you can too!  Don’t wait for me!  Sign up for an account now:

This site also offers a lot of incentives to spread the word and find your own great offers to share.  Monthly and daily monetary awards are given out for best offers found, details here.  Once you join and Buxr and refer friends who signup and buy products you’ll get a commission (2-10%) of whatever the site makes!  People have made thousands of dollars!  Even if you’re just buying you’ll still get a nice little kick back.

I had a hard time finding the “Affiliate Tab” mentioned in the FAQ…so I included it.

From their “About Me” section” on using BUXR:

  • Browse the shopping deals we pick and post daily in our shopping section and save money buying stuff. Look at it as an opportunity to get more for less, to treat yourself to an occasional gadget and not break the bank.
  • Bargain hunting should be fun and we have tried to spice it up with our daily and monthly contests. You don’t need to do anything special though, you participate whenever you submit deals to Buxr or vote deals up/down on our website.
  • If you have a blog or website, you can share our shopping deals with your readers/visitors and earn a commission when they buy stuff.

Look at all the things I’ve found on BUXR today!

  • 100 FREE 4×6 Prints (new members only!) from Snapfish, sign up now!
  • $5 off $25 @ Payless which comes in handy if you have kids heading back to school.
  • Fantasy Football?  Seasons coming up so host your NFL Draft Party @ Dave & Buster’s and get all kinds of GREAT incentives!!!!
  • EL POLLO LOCO is offering FREE Pollo Bowl with purchase of a Pollo Bowl
  • FREE Chocolate coupon through September!  Sign up for a reminder – every Friday visit the website and receive a voucher for M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or Milky Way.
  • Pizza Hut – Get 20% off any ONLINE order
  • Office Depot – $15 off $50 Purchase Printable Coupon
  • Bath & Body Works – Hand Soap Event (all kinds of fun discounts and freebies!)
  • Victoria’s Secret – 40% OFF Any Single Clearance Item + FREE Shipping
  • Office Depot – $20 off $80 Purchase
  • Amazon Prime – 3 months trail
  • 25 Favorite Very Veggie Tunes (MP3 Downloads) $1.99, regularly $22.76!
  • Webcam 2 Pack!
  • Panda Internet Security 2009 – 3 User Panda Security licenses included!  FREE after rebate.
  • Thinking about making an iPhone purchase?  Refurb Apple iPhone 3G 8GB w/ 2-yr Contract – $49.99 from AT&T!!!!!!!!!!!!

One sale a day – Nintendo Wii Nunchuk ($4.99)

$4.99 will get you a Nintendo Wii Nunchuk with Analog Thumbstick and Rubber Comfort Grip!  Normally priced at $49.99, this is a GREAT bargin!  Sale only lasts for another 13 hrs…changes at midnight, every day.

1saleaday.com seems similar to woot.com.  I will continue to watch this site and post about interesting deals!

If you give a mouse a cookie…

The Magik Theater located in downtown San Antonio only produces plays based on children books.  I know they visited my daughter’s public elementary school to preform “School House Rock” and they also visited her private summer school program to give another theatrical performance.

Seating 600 parents and children, the list of performances are rich and fun.  They recently announced the return of the production, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, which we were wait listed for when we waltzed up, expecting to get a ticket to the show on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  They did find us a seat but suggested in the future either purchasing the tickets online or coming on a slower day (weekday or night).  Times normally range from Mon/Tue-Friday from 9:45 and 11:30, with additional showings on Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm.  Plenty of options for everyone.

Up-coming shows include “The Kid who Ran for President” and “The Nutcracker: A Holiday Comedy.”  After the show, kids have a chance to buy souvenirs and get their programs signed by the enthusiastic cast members.  We normally buy the shirt from the show to support the theater and then ask the cast members to sign it.  (They’ve always had sharpie markers – bring a camera though, GREAT Kodak moment.)

They also have a small snack bar and you can eat during the performance.  There’s a balcony but don’t sit up there if your kid is the kind to want to jump…

Especially if you’re looking for a place to entertain the kiddos, out of the heat, head to the Magik Theater while its showing from July 29 – August 15!

There’s also a very nice park, right outside the theater, covered with a lot of trees.  It has swings, slides, and many forts, a very clean, large, and comfortable downtown playground and picnic area.

Follow on FB and Twitter to get the most up to date news, their mailing list also includes summer camp information!  Look for the “Buy one, get one FREE” coupon in your Entertainment book (buy 2009’s for ONLY $7.99, normally $25!!!), every school’s favorite fundraiser!

***Final note:  Is your child’s birthday coming up and you’ve already done the Chuck E. Cheese thing?  Create a magical time and bring the party to the theater!  With 3 options, your child will enjoy the play with their friends and have everything set up with the supplies you bring when the show concludes.  Pay a little extra and even get costumed cast mates to make cameos!

8 reasons to follow Geekette Bits…

Taking advantage of all the social media opportunities, I have tried to reach out to possible readers through multiple channels.  Something incredibly important to me and the goal of my entire blog – make your life easier…by saving you time and money!

Everything I do on my blog should do just that and here’s 8 ways I tried to take advantage of Web 2.0:

  1. Follow me on Twitter! @geekettebits
    Follow me on Twitter!Not only will you be alerted of new posts – you’ll also see them conveniently with everyone else status updates!
  2. Friend me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/geekettebits facebook
  3. Once you add me on FB and Twitter, check out who I am following.  Businesses local to San Antonio, websites that offer GREAT deals, get the scoop before I do!  Or if you don’t want the extra noise, check out my profile to see the alerts without having to add anyone!
  4. iGoogle Gadget – have a personalized Google homepage?  Add the Geekette Bits Google gadget there!  See quick summaries of the most recent posts! 
  5. iPhone – my site is mobile friendly!  Got an iPhone?  Doesn’t have to be 3G but it’s very iPhone friendly!  Bookmark me!
  6. rss-feed-pinkRSS Feed – don’t want to mess with those other tools?  Just subscribe to RSS feeds directly!!
  7. Leave Comments sign up for my site through Google Friend Connect to leave comments, good and bad on my posts.  Let me know what you really would’ve like information on OR what you’d like to see next time!
  8. Google Maps – I have 3 right now…whenever I post about something I try to also include it in one of 3 maps:
    • Lil’ Bits – take a quick glance on a Saturday morning to see what’s free and close…or look to see a map view of kid friendly places!
    • Geekette HotSpots – just places I think are worth checking out!
    • Great Bytes – places I’ve reviewed or want to check out or will eventually blog about!
    • Links can be found at anytime on the right hand column of my blog “Bitmaps”.

Today ONLY! Free iPhone apps!!

Normally $14.99 and $2.99, in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo landing…get SkyVoyager and SkyGazer, respectively from iTunes!  Find more information here, here are the details, copied.

SkyGazer:  “planetarium app that gives you a precise view of the sky from any position on Earth.  If you have a telescope that’s linked to a computer, the app can control it via Wi-Fi.”

SkyVoyager:  “features a database of 300,000 stars and 30,000 deep-sky objects.  Definitely sounds like a must-have for hardcore astronomers.”

Who wouldn’t want to take the night up and look at the stars!?

FREE stuff and great coupons this week!!

Check back each week for great coupon deals!  I’ll try to do this every Sunday!  Finding the deals, so you don’t have to!

Sun., July 19/Thru Aug. 2 Origin.com‘s 10th birthday!  Celebrate by choosing 5 FREE samples from this extensive list with online purchase.  Along with that, FREE shipping for purchases over $50!

Also, stop by the store by Aug. 2nd for a FREE mini-facial!

Sun., Aug. 19 – 20% off coupon at Big Lots from 5pm to 9pm!

Mon., July 20 – Print out these coupons at Barnes and Nobles.

Tues., July 21 Starbucks FREE Pastry Day!!!  Click here to add the event reminder in FB.  Don’t have a printer?  Don’t worry – pull up this website on your mobile phone and show the barista!  Starts from opening until 10:30am.

Wed., July 22Arby’s has specials every Wednesday if you live in various cities across the country.  Buy a soft-drink and get a FREE roastburger by printing out this coupon.

Sun., July 19 – Sun., July 26

  • Joann’s – online coupon code “TTE205A” online gets you 40% off one item!  Click here for the printable coupon to use in-store.
  • AMC Movies – printable coupon for FREE small popcorn with purchase of a drink.  Check here for other printable concession specials.  Printable coupon for large popcorn when you buy a large drink.

Mon., July 27 (Expires – Use soon!)

  • Barnes and Nobles coupon for 10% off one item, printable.
  • Payless Shoes 15% off coupon.

Fri., July 31

  • And finally if you want to beat the summer heat, do it with this coupon for a $1 off a Blizzard treat from Dairy Queen.  (Doesn’t expire until 10/31/09!)
  • KFC coupons, 9 great deals!

Tue., Aug 18 – Printable or online coupon for World Market for 10% your entire purchase!