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SOTA Graduation

Bethany and Alex

Recently I was honored to be invited to attend Alexandra’s graduation from The Tacoma School of the Arts. Alex is my daughter Bethany’s best friend and honestly she is like family. I love this girl. Alex has been on hand as a trusted friend practically since we moved to Tacoma from Seattle years ago.  I’m sure the girls will be friends for a lifetime.

Pantages Theater

The graduation took place in the Pantages theater in downtown Tacoma. The venue is small and elegant so I felt really very touched to be invited to attend the graduation along with her family.

The kids from SOTA are very talented and put on a truly top shelf performance. The announcers and staff kept the comments to a minimum, with the exception of one lady.. she seriously recited her entire job history, I can only conclude she was actually job hunting and this was a way to get her resume out there. She gets extra points for the creativity. The odd part about her was that even Alex had no clue who she was. The gal never introduced herself, but she had a robe so I guess she was supposed to be there. :D

Alex is headed to Northwest University in the fall where Bethany is already attending. I just know she will have a wonderful time. We were trying to think of something great to give her for graduation. Finally we came up with the idea of a dorm essentials box. I got a list of items from Bethany and bought a Rubbermaid Tote to put it all in. We put in tea, coffee, cocoa, sugar, salt & pepper, granola bars, white board, hanging jewelry organizer, dish towels, dish soap, cleaning wipes, paper towels, big clothes pin, big mug, travel mug, kleenex, Command hooks, warm blanket, erasers, double hanging rod… etc. We wrapped every silly item and added little funny blurbs on each one, for instance on the hanging rod “For your big hang ups”..I had such a great time shopping for stuff. I had no shortage of ideas when it came to this gift.

The Loot

The Dorm Box Before

To Keep You Warm

Almost Finished

Alex has a wonderful family and they must be so proud. Here is a girl who passed on getting a car in order to do a mission trip. How many teenagers forgo a car? For anything let alone to help others?!?  I love it!


Farmer’s Market September 3rd

Saturday morning we hit the Federal Way Farmer’s Market and picked up a few more produce items and then ran by Trader Joe’s on the way home.

At the Farmer’s Market we picked up Apples, cucumbers, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes, radishes and a flat of blueberries.

At Trader Joes we grabbed my favorite Belgian chocolate, bag of pears, a truffle chocoalte bar to try (not as good as the Belgian Chocolate), Dark Chocolate Pomegranate seeds (for Carl), Vegetable Root Chips and some cherry pomegranate water flavor packets (no artificial sweeteners).  The Vegetable Root Chips were at least as bad as they sound.. barf! Seriously, even the dogs were not interested in these chips.

Daily Deal Line Up

It’s been a while since I posted a list of all the deal sites I belong to, and honestly I join them all because I love a deal and I love to get mail. I’ve taken advantage of a number of deals on several different sites.

Beyond the Rack – These folks have a ton of deals running every day from every category.

Buy with Me – Local deals

CBS – Local deals on food etc..

DealPulp – A couple great deals every day.

Doggyloot – Pet related daily deals

Eversave – These folks offer both local and online saves, everything from dinner out to magazines.

FurryBoo – Pet related daily deals

Gaggle of Chicks - One main deal and 3 “side” deals going at any given time

Groupon – Groupon has a number of deals in several categories, eateries, beauty, home and garden as well as a new feature to get a local Groupon to use that same day.

Hautelook – Multiple sales running every day – everything from trips, art, fashion to home decor

Heartsy – Deals for sellers from Etsy and Artfire, I’ve loved everything I’ve gotten from them. They feature several deals every day.

Housewares Deals – One great daily deal on flatware, dishes, kitchen accessories etc..

Jasmere – They usually featyure one deal on a smaller lesser known company or brand. They always have something interesting.

Living Social – Local deals on activities, food, classes, beauty and spas

Mamasource - A main deal and a handfull of side deals.

Moolala – Usually one featured deal and maybe a side deal or two every day.

No More Rack – Eight new deals every day, they often sell out quick.. so if you want something get on and get it ASAP.

One Kings Lane – Four to six deals on primarily high end housewares and furniture

Plum District – Offering both local and national deals, Plum District usually has 2-4 deals at any given time.

Rue La La - A huge selection of deal running, lots of clothing, accessories, housewares as well as local deals.

Social Buy – Daily featured deal and a side deal or two depending on your area.

Tanga – Six deals every day, often on T-shirts, magazines and a plethora of other oddball items, some you only pay shipping on.

Totsy – Several Sales running (all 3 day duration) for kids, home, parents… even a travel section

Zozi – One featured deal and several everyday deals

Zulily - Twenty plus deals running all the time


Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Need some great ideas for the new graduate in your life?

In a word luggage… as the Dr. Suess book says “You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

Help them get on to those new adventures with a new piece of luggage.  Beyond the Rack has a great selection of great luggage today. I’m especially fond of the Yak Pak Multi bags. Talk about CUTE!  As an added advantage with cute bright luggage you can spot it right away on the baggage carousel.

Ideas for Father’s Day – June 19th

Jasmere has a great tech product for the forgetful father, this small device will tell dad if he has that cell phone with him or if he left it in yesterdays jacket.  The Bringrr Charge plugs into your power port and sounds an alarm when you get into the car if you do not have that cell phone with you. This would be a great gift for the new mom or anyone else that may frequently forget their cell phone.  Jasmere is one of my favorite daily deal sites, they are reliable and offer a new deal every day.

Of course if dear old dad is a beer nut, he may be partial to the deal at Moolala; a one year subscription to Beer Connoisseur Magazine. Combine that with a basket of different beers or a beers of the world pack and you have a great gift for the beer lover dad.

Sigg Water Bottles

Sigg water bottles are back at Hautelook today. If you are a fan of the Sigg brand this is the time to get them. These reusable water bottles come in a variety of sizes, colors and prints to fit every personality. Its a great way to go green.. get rid of the plastic water bottles.

This would be great in that new grads gift basket as they head off to college or maybe a new water bottle for dad (Father’s Day is coming up!).


Groupon (San Diego) has a great online deal today on ReUsies. Considering how much plastic waste gets tossed into the trash on a daily basis these are a fabulous idea. You get $30 worth of ReUsies for $15.  These bags are washable and made locally in Seattle.

Check out Heartsy


If you are a fan of Art Fire or Etsy and love handmade or one of a kind items you will love this great daily deal site Heartsy. They feature a number of deals every day including art, bath items, jewelry, clothing etc.. I have purchased several deals from Heartsy and have been very satisfied with everything. Its a great way to try new things out, find great new products and sellers. I’m always looking for reuseable sandwich & snack bags or bath products without so many chemicals in them.. which I have been able to find thanks to Art Fire and Etsy.  I was able to get them at a discount thanks to Heartsy.

Eco Friendly Bowls, Accessories and Serving Pieces

Today we have a couple great deals on beautiful Core Bamboo and Acaciaware.

Today on Modnique there are incredible deals on Core Bamboo bowls, trays and accessories. Modnique is a daily deal site and they run a number of deals every day.

Rue La La has beautiful Acaciaware bowls, Acacia wood is a very fast growing species of dense wood with natural resins so you will not need to oil the pieces to keep them looking beautiful. Rue La La is another daily deal site also featuring a number of deals every day.

Today’s Mother’s Day Ideas

Zulily has Tag accessories on special, these cute things scream spring. They have a darling cupcake cookie jar and a set of cupcake plates, a butterfly platter and a butterfly table runner. A darling blue straw bag for only 9.99 (think cute gift bag for mom).  Click on over to Zulily and check out the sale on Tag.

One Kings Lane has a darling selection of bright fun coffee mugs, tea cups etc. Think how much mom would enjoy this especially if you added a pound of her favorite coffee or her favorite tea.  There are travel mugs, dessert plates, tea sets… all in happy bright colors. One Kings Lane is another daily deal site. They have a handful of deals going every day, they focus on the home and garden sort of deals and most of the items seem to be higher end brands.

Rue La La has Picnic Time Items today but I love the cheese sets, these would be fabulous for that wine and cheese party. The one pictured above is on special for 29.90.  Treat mom to a new picnic basket and take her to the beach for a picnic, that would be a wonderful suprise.  As you may know Rue La La is a daily deal site, you may be seeing a trend here with these because I am so addicted to them.