Friday, April 15, 2011

Dominos Pizza is in the Dog House

I have found some AMAZING deals using Groupon, CityDeals, and livingSocial, among other sites. A company wanting to get more business and find new customers uses these sites to offer a steep discount for their product, bringing in a great deal of business, and allowing people to try something new, expecting they'll also get return business from these new customers. I have been buying their deals to reduce the cost of date nights for my hubby and I!

One of the deals that was advertised on Groupon was "any large pizza for $8 up to a $20 value," with the stipulation that you could only buy three coupons, and they expired about six weeks later. Okay, that's a great deal! We enjoy a good meat lovers pizza and it's nice to have the option of pizza already paid for!

For starters, Dominos made it very difficult to order. First you had to start on a specific website (not bad), and put in your coupon code, which was a mile long, and then put in your passcode and email address. Then Dominos would email you the real coupon code that would need to be used before paying for your online order, after which you also had to enter a gift certificate number. UGH!

The first time it took me awhile to figure out the process. I finally got it ordered and sent Matt to pick it up, but expected some questions upon arrival. As I suspected, they wanted to use our coupon as "credit" towards our purchase, then owing approximately $12 on the pizza. I sent two pictures to Matt's phone, one showing the original deal, the other showing the coupon code that was sent to my email. They gave him heck and finally let him go with our dinner while they figure out how to enter the other $12 worth of "free" pizza into their computer. Grrr, argh. A couple weeks later, I pulled out the next coupon to try it again. This time, after going through the whole process AND filling in what type of pizza we wanted, upon entering the coupon code, the Dominos website gave me a message, "This store is not accepting this coupon code at this time." Oh you've got to be kidding me.

So, instead of calling the main office and figuring out how to deal with the Groupon code number, they simply found a way to block the code. Needless to say, I am not happy with Dominos. They will not be getting business from us for a VERY long time. I am grateful to Groupon, who is willing to refund my money on the coupons not used because of lack of customer service on the part of the advertising business. Now to find Groupon's phone number. Wish me luck!

Other deals I have found are 50-75% off restaurant coupons, 50+% off hotel stays, and even 50% off movie tickets! We have several coupons waiting to be used, including tickets for the family to go to Clark Planetarium! A couple of the sites will give you credit on your account for referring a friend. One site gives you your purchase free if three other friends buys the same deal. Another site gives you $10 credit when a friend opens an account with them. SO awesome. I ended up with a $10 credit on CityDeals. Here's how I used it. They ran a one day promotion for 15% off all their restaurants, which made the Thai Basil (not far from us) $6 for $20 worth of food! So cool. I decided to buy two coupons, making my total after the discount code $13.60. Then I applied the $10 credit towards my purchase and paid $3.60 for $40 worth of food at the Thai Basil!!! I am very excited about this! The fine print says I can only use one coupon at a time unless I take a party of five or more. Cool beans. I'm good with that.

In the meantime, Dominos Pizza is in the Dog House.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Little Boys Are Made Of

"Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of." My boys are pretty typical. They don't come home with frogs in their pockets, which quite frankly surprises me considering we live on Critters Cove. But they do come home from the school library with books about snakes, sharks, and spiders. I'm grateful they're not afraid of spiders considering we have so many around the house. You'd think we kept them as pets with as many as we find.

Anyway, Joshua came home from the library with a book on how to make slime. He begged to make slime practically everyday. It was a crazy week and we didn't get around to it. I know, I'm a bad mom. BUT, I decided I needed to put forth the effort and quickly wrote down the recipe. Without the book around, Joshua forgot about it and quit asking. I figured we'd find the paper I wrote on and make the slime eventually.

Wishful thinking, huh? Joshua has an awesome teacher this year. Apparently several of the other kids wanted to check out the book since it was about slime, so the teacher wrote down the recipe with instructions and sent it home with everyone! Hurray! *heavy sigh* The begging begins again. Once again I told Joshua, "When your chores and your homework are done, we can make the slime." This time he actually followed through and asked again before bedtime. Oh the joy! And...we even had enough corn starch to make it so I finally said yes. a good mother should, I pulled out my phone and took a couple pictures of the boys playing with the slime. The memory is captured! And hopefully we won't have to make it again any time soon! But, knowing that so many of you are awesome moms that do cool projects with your kids all the time, so here's the recipe:


large bowl
1/2 cup water
add a few drops food coloring
slowly add 1 cup corn starch, stirring well
slime should break when stirred when it's "done"
if it doesn't, add one TBSP at a time to make thick enough to break

Gorilla Feet: The Results of Research

I've been having issues with threats of shin splints when I run, as well as my foot going to sleep towards the end of my half an hour of jogging and walking. NOT COOL. But, my awesome husband loves to research. So he reads up on how to prevent shin splints, and what causes them. Shin splints are caused by an incorrect stride, meaning how your foot hits the ground. In other words, I'm running wrong. I'm still on week two of the Couch to 5K program, so it's not like I'm running much, but I definitely need to prevent shin splints or I won't be going at all.

In the process of Matt's research, he found a new theory with plenty of evidence demonstrating that running barefoot is best for correct stride, and removing joint and muscle issues. You're not going to find me running barefoot. First of all I'm a woos. I don't want to step on anything that might poke my feet. Second, it's against the rules at the gym, which solves my first problem! SO...there's a brand of shoes called Vibram Five Fingers that fit like a foot glove, with a bit of rubber on the bottom. Wearing them is basically the same as running barefoot! They have several different styles in order to fit your kind of feet. I was very excited they had a pair that fit me, as I have particularly wide feet.

After Matt's extensive research, including reading a whole book about barefoot running, we decided to buy each of us a pair as our birthday present. (Both of our birthdays are at the end of the month. It's very convenient right after tax returns!) We found out that Vibrams can't be found just anywhere. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, one can find them at REI or at Salt Lake Running Co.

There is a catch. Someone who is an avid runner should not buy a pair of these and continue their usual running routine. A person's stride needs to be correct, otherwise the feet begin to hurt and can be seriously damaged. Lucky for me, I'm just getting back into my fitness routine and am not yet running a lot. Even with switching to a new stride, the calf muscles are not used to the new angle of work and become very sore. So my calf muscles are being strengthened! For now I'm just wearing them around the house to get used to walking correctly. Tomorrow I may attempt to run my C25K routine in them to begin my gradual switch to "barefoot running."

Matt has already found a great reduction in pain from wearing his for one day! He's been having knee and hip pain the past few weeks. At this point, when he's on his feet, he's not in pain! Just because his stance is better with the barefoot adjustments. Now if only he could work on his computer standing up!

Today is day two for me. In a few weeks I'll let you know how they're treating me.

Vibrom's regular price is about $100 a pair. YIKES! I know. But if you normally buy running shoes, you know that you'd spend that much anyway. They say to replace your running shoes every 500 miles. The good news is some long distance runners are reporting 5000+ miles on their Vibrom's! That's nine pairs of shoes I won't have to buy (should I decide these work for me), then saving me approximately $900 dollars! I look for good deals and use coupons, so realistically it's saving me $450.

Anyway, at the Barnson's we're all about the weirdness, the geekiness, and all that jazz. This particular health kick involves what I call Gorilla shoes! It's weird having my toes individually wrapped, like toe socks. Meanwhile, I have some running habits to change. Wish me luck!