Archive | July, 2012

Attention Shoppers: the stores you love/hate

30 Jul

Attention bargain shoppers!  It’s taken me months to gather my material for this blog, but the names of the stores are being withheld to protect the innocent. By reading carefully, you should be able to connect the dots. You see, I’m a proud bargain shopper, but recently I came to grips with the true limits I’ll go to for a deal. For instance, I won’t do Black Friday shopping because the crowds are horrible. I also have newfound respect for others’ bargain boundaries.

Shopanistas in training


I’ve loved pushing a grocery cart since I was a little girl, but now that I’m married, I get to shop even more! There are so many extra items to buy and double the amounts of groceries. When you see that total on the screen, sometimes it really gets you thinking, ‘hey, maybe those coupon fanatics have a good thing going.’ I have not jumped into “couponing” just yet, but I’m considering it. Do you have a favorite source for coupons? If I could find the simplest way to manage it, I would try it out on some grocery runs. Who doesn’t love seeing double and triple digits savings on the bottom of the receipt?

When it comes to stores though, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with certain chains. The best bargains seem to be in the big box variety or membership places. My complaint there would be the massive parking lots, the high chance of running into unhelpful or unavailable staff and the fear your meat or frozen items may have thawed two days ago on the toy aisle only to be placed back on the shelf. At smaller stores, you typically find more staff members per capita around tight aisles and higher sticker prices. But as you make your way in and out more quickly, it somehow seems worth it considering some of the junk you avoided at the big box. Again, when the total pops up, you still wonder, ‘did I make a costly mistake?’ Then there are the bare bones, no frills stores. You have to do a lot of stuff yourself, but the savings really add up. Works out great if you feel like putting a little more elbow grease into it. Is it worth it to you?

Recently, I had a shopper’s worst nightmare come true at a big box store. On the way to the register with my items, I realized I needed one more thing and stepped away from my nearly complete cart for less than a minute. Upon returning, the cart was gone! An hour’s worth of work, poof! When I inquired with nearby staff, I was met with scowls and shrugging shoulders. One assistant manager offered to help, but said it was probably taken by one of their classless customers. What!? It was weird no one suggested to check with customer service because that’s where I spotted the abducted cart full of cold items as I was leaving without my groceries.  Yuck!

After that day, I started taking better inventory of where I’m shopping and why.  I think I have a better understanding of why some people are very particular about the places they will and will not spend their hard-earned money. Do you have favorite stores or locations? What about brand names versus generic? What’s your go-to source for your favorite foods, coupons or deals? Which places do you absolutely loathe and why?  I’d love to hear from you. Facebook or Twitter!

See you in the morning,



You’d never pay $10,000 for a sandwich

30 Jul

Lately, I’ve been looking for ways to be kinder to the environment. I’m not planning to buy a hybrid car just yet, but I try to do little things. My mother taught us how to recycle as kids. I can remember collecting cans at home and being amazed at just how many bags of them it took to amount to $1 in cash back from the recycling center. At home these days, we don’t have room for composting, but we make sure every little thing that qualifies for the recycle bin makes it in there. Sometimes it means we have more stuff in the bins than our gigantic trash can.

Right now, my thoughts have turned to the growing case against bottled water, here you can watch a pretty convincing video about the reasons to avoid it. More recently, articles were published questioning its effects on young teeth. Does bottled water boost tooth decay for kids? How about a $10,000 sandwich?  Apparently, that’s a similar ratio to what we pay for bottled water.

Does your water taste funny? When I moved to Florida in 2010, I couldn’t help but notice the funny taste in the water.  Yikes! Ironically, there are lots of water brands bottled in Florida. I’ve tried pitchers, refrigerator filtered water, but the pre-packaged stuff always seems most convenient. When I eat out, however, I order “Florida’s finest” which IS tap water. Sometimes it tastes funny and sometimes it doesn’t. Usually, I plop in a lemon hoping for the best.  I later discovered several Florida cities and the state rank poorly for drinking water. Pensacola was number one! Yikes!

Anyway, once I started investing in bottled water, I realized I was occasionally buying water bottled somewhere else in Florida!  Just crazy! You know what I mean? At that time, my apartment complex did not offer recycling which added to my guilt. After some research on where some plastic items end up, I made a decision to cut back on plastic when possible. It seems the only thing better than recycling a bottle is not buying it in the first place.

To add some balance to my thoughts, I looked at the International Bottled Water Association’s just released stats on consumption. The release paints a brighter picture about why bottled water is safe for us and the environment. In the end, I think it’s up to all of us to make informed decisions based on all the facts. I know I have so much more to think about now every time I reach for plastic bottles of anything including water.

Let me know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

See you in the morning!


Alex’s Lemonade Stand

23 Jul

The search for a cure to end childhood cancer is being funded by everyday people.

One cup at a time, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is fighting childhood cancer with lemonade stands hosted by volunteers and businesses all over the country.

The children’s cancer research charity was founded by the late Alexandra Scott.

Participating Toys ‘R’ Us stores are running in-store and online fundraising through the end of the month.

Since 2005, Toys ‘R’ Us has raised more than $1.5 million for ALSF.

“Her (Alex’s) idea was when she got out of hospital to have a lemonade stand. I just think, to be part of that, I started to cry. It’s just so touching she wanted to give for other kids,” Jacquelyn D’ercole, a volunteer for ALSF, said.

Over the years, ALSF has raised over $55 million with help from donors and volunteers like you. And now you can host your own lemonade stand to help cure pediatric cancer just click here.

‘The Kiss’ gets the Google treatment

18 Jul

The other day I was surprised to see a Google doodle of one of my favorite paintings, “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. The website was commemorating Klimt’s 150th birthday. I am not claiming to be an art buff, but it’s definitely one of THE most iconic paintings I’ve ever seen.  I lump it in with some of my favorite works by Monet and da Vinci.

I bought my print of “The Kiss” from Overstock, so it’s a humble reproduction and I’m not bragging about having it, but I just loved looking at it enough to buy a print.  The question is, where would you hang it in your house? I used to keep it in my bedroom, but now I’m thinking of putting it in the dining room because it matches the color scheme. Is that too much? Ha ha!

  There’s something about art that touches the soul and evokes emotions. When I do decide to put pieces in my home I look for things that seem to inspire positive vibes. “The Kiss” is undeniably warm and fuzzy to look at.

See you in the morning!


Join Us Saturday at Seminole Towne Center Mall!

13 Jul

Local 6 is always out in the community covering news and events that matter to you. Saturday, we’re taking a quick break from the newsroom to head out to the Seminole Towne Center Mall. No, we’re not going shopping, we’re hosting the Central Florida School Expo!

All day Saturday, you’ll be able to stop by the mall and meet all your favorite Local 6 team members, plus pick up important information about schools and other education-based companies across Central Florida.  There will be more than 50 exhibitors at the mall with products and services related to education for children and adults of all ages. There’s something for everyone. From pre-school to post-grad, you’ll find an assortment of local experts and the largest gathering of schools in the area all in one spot ready to chat with you about continuing education or planning your child’s educational future.

 The Local 6 Morning News crew (Matt, Troy, Jess and I) will be out at the mall from 2-4p.m. and I hope you’ll stop by and say “hi!”

See you at the mall and on Monday morning!



Cupcakes With a Cause

13 Jul

For a recent Making a Difference story, I had the opportunity to go inside the new kitchen for All Things Sweet, a new bakery whose proceeds benefit the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.

It’s a new effort to create jobs for mission residents and generate funding to keep the mission running. There are 13 cupcake flavors available and the one I sampled,”Plain Jane”, was fantastic! Starting today, you can call in or place your order online. Right now, the cupcakes will be available for pick-up or delivery, but there are future plans to build a storefront or food truck for All Things Sweet.

The bakery is sponsored in part by First Baptist Church of Orlando and Overstreet Foundation. They purchased a commercial oven and refrigerator for the operation.  Chef Michael Anthony, a well-known baker in the area, is teaching culinary arts to mission residents so they can work in the bakery. He wants to expand the menu from 13 cupcake flavors to gourmet cookies and cakes eventually.

Have a “sweet” day, see you in the morning!


Affordable summer fun

3 Jul

Long before Orlando was a tourist destination, Sanford, The Celery City, put Central Florida on the map.

It’s just one thing you’ll learn at The Museum of Seminole County History. 

The museum is also an educational and affordable option to keep the kids occupied this summer.

Local 6 went out to the museum recently to see what’s new at a place known for historic items.

The Museum of Seminole County History 

Kim Nelson, the coordinator at the museum, showed us around 22 rooms filled with artifacts all collected and donated over the years. 

“We try to preserve and educate visitors about the rich heritage here in Seminole County,” Nelson said.

There’s a broad range to explore, authentic Native American clothing from the area and even more recent artifacts like a one of a kind computer built in Longwood.

“(We have) the original Zorba computer in one of our galleries from 1950s, the original portable computer made by Gemini Corporation.”

 Right now the museum’s summertime exhibit is showcasing historic maps of Seminole County restored thanks to a grant.

If you want to go, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. It’s located on Bush Boulevard in Sanford.

For more details on the museum– click here.

Admission’s really cheap, $1.06 for kids and $3.18 for adults. That’s cheaper than the movies and much cooler than baking at the parks and pools.

See you in the morning,