Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Goodies on Tax Day!

CINNABON: Get two free bite-sized cupcakes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at participating mall locations as part of "Tax Day Bites!" Flavors include Chocolate Passion, 24-Carrot Cake, Vanilla Bliss and Cinnacake Classic.

MAGGIEMOO'S: Get one free slice of ice cream pizza -- ice cream with red frosting to look like sauce and white chocolate to look like cheese -- at participating locations from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. (Gonna have to go to Aggieland for this one, ladies)

STARBUCKS: Get free brewed coffee all day Thursday if you bring your own mug, a promotion the cafe chain says is friendly to the environment as well as taxpayers.


BOSTON MARKET: For a "last-minute tax break" -- one free meal for each one you buy Thursday through Sunday -- show this coupon:

IHOP: Expanding on the tax deduction parents get for kids, the restaurant chain is offering free dinner for one child age 12 or younger with each adult meal purchased 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. all month long.

MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S: The seafood restaurant is offering $10.40 dinner and drink specials in the bar on Thursday -- a nod to the 1040 tax form. Bar guests who come in April 15 also receive a $10.40 gift certificate for a later visit. And professional tax preparers, who may have to work right until the midnight deadline Thursday, get their freebie Friday: dessert on the house plus a $10.40 certificate if they show a business card.

P.F. CHANG'S: Get 15 percent off food purchases for dine-in or take-out, excluding alcohol and happy hour food and beverages.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Family Camping Workshops

I'm not really an outdoor-camping-kinda gal but I live in a house full of blue, so outdoor girl has to show up every once in awhile.

How cool that the someone has taken some of the guesswork out of the how-to of camping?

The Texas Outdoor Family Program offers families the opportunity to learn the basics of camping through weekend workshops around Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

These workshops are hosted at state parks and at various partner sites (such as city and county parks) where your family receives hands-on experience learning basic outdoor skills. You will learn everything you need to create great memories enjoying the outdoors with your family, including:

* How to set up and break down camp (including your tent)
* Fire starting
* Outdoor cooking
* Guided walks
* Nature activities
* How to use a GPS
* Geocaching
* Introductions to a wide range of outdoor activities (such as fishing, kayaking, wildlife watching) depending on the site location, facilities and the season of the year

Best of all, no experience is necessary and you get all the help and advice you need from highly skilled outdoor specialists and trained volunteers!

Take a look at their calendar, pick a location and learn how to get out there and see those big, bright stars at night!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Gray Hair

My name is Laurie and I have color-resistant gray hair.

It is true.

I also have kids that get cavities very easily due to their teeth composition, but that is for another day when I feel like having true confessions. Maybe we can discuss plantar warts and athletes foot that day too.

Did I mention I'm the ONLY pink in a house full of BLUE?

Well, I feel so much better.

You blondes out there do not know the angst us brunettes encounter every 4-6 weeks. I am about to go all Lucy-Lawless aka Sheena Warrior Princess on my hair and dye it dark brown, instead of medium brown, if it doesn't start behaving.

It makes my eyes look so much greener, you know.

And let's not even start talking about the bags that are now taking up residence under my eyes.

Don't get me wrong, I have an entire arsenal of Mary Kay products to remedy these lovelies but I am not consistent enough to make a difference. Suggestions welcome.

But back to my gray hair.

I'm not sure why weeks between my home-dye jobs are becoming less and less, but I think it might have something to do with my younger son, Big Little Brother.

He's my kiddo that truly believes, in every ounce of his marrow, that the consequence is worth whatever adventure needs to be lived.

Don't get me wrong, he is a sweet, sweet boy. Gives me more hugs, kisses and words of affirmation that I can count, but that boy is a Velociraptor. He likes to test those fences.

So it should be of no surprise to you what transpired at Easter Brunch yesterday with my 17 family members.

BLB had already finished the majority of his food, checked out the rest rooms and other points of interest at said Country Club and was in need of another beverage.

No problem. There was a beverage station nearby and he's a capable guy.

So imagine our surprise when he comes back with orange juice in a champagne flute.

I immediately asked him if the orange juice tasted funny and maybe Mom should taste it just in case.

Ladies and gentleman, my 7 year-old son had somehow snagged a Mimosa instead of regular orange juice.

And somewhere, someone today is wondering what the heck happened to their lovely brunch drink that they set down for just a moment.

I'll be buying that dark brown hair dye this week.