Last Chance To Print Coupons

Faten's Binder of Resources Week of 11.29.10

Every Monday, my goal is to bring you a variety of useful resources that will hep you as a woman, mom, and a professional.  These resources will be taken from blogs and websites.  And if you have any favorites, feel free to let me know via comments or on the contact me link or tweet me

 Twitter for CEOs via Little Pink Book

Learn how  to register a Trademark  via Startup Nation

Often times, one doesn't know what to say to someone who is dealing with depression.  Here is a what to say and not say guide via

Ok, I admit it, I have a chocolate obsession.  Enjoy these dark chocolate brownies recipe via Blog Her

If you would like to know what is the latest in the medical research, here is the top 50 sites via Blogging Health Careers

If you are a knitter or crocheter or know knitters/crocheters, join the Scarves for Special Olympics Project via Scarves for Special Olympics

Breastfeeding rights may be a concern to you.  Now, you can find out your public rights via

Don't throw your old tennis balls away, reuse them instead via VocalPoint

Use Social Media to Build Buzz for Your Business via Startup Nation

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Once Upon A Time There Were Two Black Fridays

Until 1939, Thanksgiving was held in early December. But merchants wanted more time to peddle their Christmas wares so they lobbied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move Turkey Day back a week. The change naturally angered much of the public and some refused to honor what they called "Franksgiving." As a result, for a very short time, America celebrated two Thanksgiving Days and two Black Fridays.

To learn more about the surprisingly interesting history of Black Friday, check out Coupon Sherpa's post "Once Upon a Time There Were Two Black Fridays?"

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Save the Date: Facebook Q &A with Dr. Laura Jana

When: Wed. Dec. 1st, 1-2 p.m. CST
What: Any and all questions about new motherhood
How: Send questions to PlaytextBaby on Facebook or @PlaytexBaby
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On Facebook: Each "Like" = $1 For Toys for Tots

For the rest of the month of November, Growing Tree Toys have teamed up with the Marine Toys for Tots for a special promotion! Throughout the month of November, for each “Like” Growing Tree Toys  receive on their Facebook page , they will donate $1 to Toys for Tots! 

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Tips for Safe Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, have become the most popular holiday shopping days of the year. Whether shopping at a brick and mortar store or online to avoid the crowds, buyers should be alert for scammers and hackers.

Before leaving home to snag great holiday deals on Black Friday, the Better Business Bureau recommends shoppers look both online and in the newspaper for the best sale prices. It’s vital for consumers to not only research what stores have the best deals but also to find out if these retailers are reputable. Go to to obtain free Business Reviews on any store you are planning to shop at this holiday season. The BBB also recommends shoppers bring the ads to the store on Black Friday and to also become familiar with the store’s return policies.

 “Finding exceptional bargains and deals drives many consumers to stores and online retailers after the Thanksgiving holiday—however, both have their own set of risks,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Taking steps to avoid the fraud in both situations will result in a much happier holiday experience for everyone—except, of course, for scammers and hackers.”

Following are the top 10 online shopping tips for holiday shoppers to help fight deceitful online retailers, scammers and hackers on Cyber Monday and the rest of the season:

1. Protect your computer – A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.

2. Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers should start with the BBB to check on the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction at  Always look for the BBB seal and other widely-recognized “trustmarks” on retailer websites and click on the seals to confirm that they are valid.

3. Protect your personal information – The BBB recommends taking the time to read the site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn’t one posted, it should be taken as a red flag that personal information may be sold to others without permission.

4. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true – Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end, and look up the company at

5. Beware of phishing – Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If a consumer receives such an e-mail, the BBB recommends picking up the phone and calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.

6. Confirm your online purchase is secure – Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, the BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.

7. Pay with a credit card – It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. Never wire money and shop locally.

8. Keep documentation of your order - After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail. The BBB recommends saving a copy of the Web page and any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.

Check your credit card statements often – Don’t wait for paper statements; the BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by checking statements online regularly.

10. Know your rights – Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit.

For more advice on staying safe online this holiday season visit
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Cyber Monday Special

This Cyber Monday, November 29th, several incredible sites, with gifts for just about everyone on your list, are offering online discounts!

Essential Journeys ( is the perfect present place for women of any age as well as the eco-conscious people in your life.  Essential Journeys is a handcrafted, handmade soap, lotion and lip lube company.  These are not just beauty products, they truly are beautiful.  And they come in all shapes, colors and scents.  Plus, the lotion is all-natural, the soap is vegan and the lip lube is made from natural bees wax.  On Cyber Monday, Essential Journeys will offer free shipping with the coupon code: CYBERFREESHIP  

The Friendship Stone ( is a unique and meaningful gift.  The semi-precious Tiger’s Eye stone are hand-picked from South Africa.  No two stones are alike, just like our friendships and relationships.  The stones are a concrete and symbolic reminder of the people that impact your life.  The stones can be carried in your purse or pocket, or you can get necklaces.  On Cyber Monday, The Friendship Stone is offering 15% off everything with the coupon code: CYBER  

Blamtastic ( is the perfect stocking stuffer.  The lip balm was created by two young sisters.  It comes in flavors and colors both boys and girls will love.  And mom will love the SPF 15.  Plus, you get a really cool sleeve for your “blam” so it can hook onto backpacks, notebooks, purses and more.  On Cyber Monday, Blamtastic is giving all shoppers free shipping!
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The SU2C Real Simple Room Makeover Sweepstakes

Give a very special gift to someone currently going through cancer treatment, or to a family who has recently lost a loved one to this disease. Real Simple magazine is offering one room makeover to the winner, who will be randomly selected. Send an email to and tell Stand Up 2 Cancer how it would help an individual or a family to receive the room makeover and reorganization (valued up to $5000), which room in the house, and your connection to the recipient. Check out the full details by visiting before you send your e-mail. They must receive your entry before 11:59PM EST on November 23, 2010 for the person or family you nominate to be eligible for the random drawing. The winner will be announced on December 1, 2010 in Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Enter now to help Real Simple bring something fresh into a life touched by cancer.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.  Contest entry period ends at 11:59 pm EST on 11/23/10. Open to permanent legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and District of Columbia (void in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and possessions) who are physically located and residing therein and who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry.  Click here to see official rules [].  Sponsor:  Stand Up To Cancer c/o Entertainment Industry Foundation,1201 W. 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
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Five Ways to Fight Back Against Phone Bill Cramming

Sneaky little charges are making their way onto telephone bills and can go unnoticed for months.  Victims of so-called “cramming” often face a tough battle to stop being billed every month and start getting their money back.  In order to fight cramming, the Better Business Bureau recommends keeping a close eye on every bill and being extremely cautious when giving out personal information such as phone numbers.

Cramming is defined as the addition of charges to a subscriber's telephone bill for services which were neither ordered nor desired by the client, or for fees for calls or services that were not properly disclosed to the consumer. These charges are often assessed by third-party suppliers of data and communication service that phone companies are required, by law, to allow the third-party to place on the bill.

“You might think that nothing bad can happen from giving out your telephone number, but you should guard those digits like you would a credit card or social security number,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Monitor your monthly statements closely because even if you are very protective of your personal information, cramming can still strike.”

Cramming can come from any number of sources. Some victims may have inadvertently signed up for a subscription service – such as for “free” ringtones or a daily joke or horoscopes – not realizing they’d be billed every month. Calling a psychic hotline or entering a sweepstakes can also lead to cramming. Unfortunately, in some cases, the victim may just be an unlucky, random target.

The BBB recommends taking the following five steps to fight cramming:

  • Keep a close eye on monthly statements. Anyone can become a victim of cramming so monitoring you monthly bills is extremely important. The sooner you spot the charges, the sooner you can fight them. 

  • Know your rights. Contact your telephone provider to see if you can completely restrict third-party billing on your account.

  • Know whom you can trust online.  Before sharing any personal information online, always research the business with your BBB at

  • Guard your personal information closely. Be wary when asked to provide personal information to sign up for a free trial or enter a sweepstakes. Always read the fine print on any offer so you understand how your personal information may be used.

  • Know where to complain. If you are unable to resolve the issue either through your telephone provider or directly with the business, file a complaint with the FCC for charges related to telephone service and FTC for all other cramming charges on your phone bill. You can also file a complaint with BBB at

For more advice on managing personal finances and protecting your wallet, visit
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Hamburger Helper Coupon

As the holidays approach and schedules get hectic, Hamburger Helper skillet meals provide a quick and easy weeknight meal that your whole family, from picky eaters to hungry adults, will enjoy!

Print your 35-cent coupon for Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper OR Chicken Helper Home Cooked Skillet Meals. Hurry -the coupons are only good through November 30th and supply is limited!

Click here to print your coupon.
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Merchants Launch an All-Out Free Shipping War

The free shipping holiday melee has turned into a raging war and consumers are destined to win. So far, the gunfire has been hot and heavy.
  • Last week, Walmart, pulled out the big guns by providing free shipping on more than 60,000 online items during the holidays, with no minimum order or subscription registration required. The offer extends through Dec. 20, with a heavy focus on electronics and toys. The move was a clear attempt to wrest market share from e-commerce leader Amazon. The founding father of free shipping deals is widely recognized for its Amazon Prime offer of free two-day delivery for an annual subscription fee of $79.
  • Amazon sent a shot over Walmart's bow Thursday by saying it would meet or beat any free shipping deal out there. The matching offer applies to a limited selection of items.
  • Up until recently, Best Buy had trumpeted free shipping on thousands of products. Wednesday, the electronics retailer said its offer is now valid on hundreds of thousands of items, including all CDs, Blue-Ray and DVD movies, gaming software and accessories. Strangely, such in-demand items as laptop computers, Apple iPads, iPods, netbooks and electric vehicles (?) are not included in the offer.
  • Noticing Walmart's big push in their traditional territory, Toys "R" Us Monday began a free shipping offer on purchases of $49 or more for all items except video game consoles/handhelds, software, hardware and accessories.
In 2007, increased desire for similar holiday offers led founder Luke Knowles to create Free Shipping Day, a one-day event held this year on Dec. 17, during which an estimated 1,000-plus merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.

"The reason merchants are getting behind free shipping deals is no secret. A 2010 Accenture consumer holiday shopping survey showed free shipping is the biggest reason consumers continue to prefer shopping online. We created Free Shipping Day three years ago and was overwhelmed with the interest shown from consumers, merchants and national media. Now we know the opportunities are endless for both the public and merchants."

In an analysis of free shipping entitled "The Free Shipping eBook," Knowles noted this trend has been building for much longer than three years: "Amazon and Zappos several years ago demonstrated how effective a well-planned and well-executed free shipping campaign could be for increasing sales and market share, as well as creating positive buzz about their brands. Both of these merchants have replaced advertising with free shipping and gone on to dominate the online retail industry. We've also seen how small e-merchants have used free shipping to make inroads against large retailers. It's the only way some small retailers can compete."

As predicted in Knowles eBook, the big boys aren't the only ones shooting off their guns this holiday season. According to's eHoliday Survey, four out of five online retailers will offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season, and nearly one-third said they began their 2010 offers earlier than a year ago.
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Join Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel

Earn valuable points , which are redeemable for electronics, household items, jewelry, toy, gift cards, and more. If Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel are accepting panelists in your area, you'll receive a price gun that you scan your groceries and coupons to earn points. This is a fun activity for kids to do while you're putting groceries away and the longer you're a panelist, the better the prizes get. 

If you have a landline, click here, if you only have a cell phone, click here
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Carpe the Chaos: How Women Will Thrive in Uncertain Times

Join Author and Activist Gloria Feldt on Dec. 2

The International Museum of Women is proud to co-host this SF Chamber's Women in Business Roundtable event on December 2 in San Francisco featuring Gloria Feldt, internationally renowned activist and author. During this presentation you will explore nine specific tips and tools on how to redefine power and leadership as she describes in her new book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.
Event Details: Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. Registration at 11:45 a.m.; program from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. at the SF Chamber of Commerce Boardroom, 235 Montgomery St., 12th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94104. Please note that IMOW Members must call (415) 392-4520 to purchase tickets to receive a member discount! For more information please contact

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Don’t Let Drunk Facebooking Happen To You!

Just in time for Thanksgiving vacations, holiday office parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations, an Internet security company and an advertising agency have teamed to launch a new free browser extension, The Social Media Sobriety Test. Designed as the ultimate “bad idea” protector, The Social Media Sobriety Test aims to help stamp out posting under the influence -- and let’s face it, anyone who imbibes, regularly or not,  is  susceptible to online ruin.  The free download can be found at

The Social Media Sobriety Test  is a keyboard/mouse-based social-media blocker that prevents “under-the-influence” posting on sites including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Tumblr, as well as custom URLs (like blogs) and/or web-based email accounts such as Gmail or Hotmail.  Users can customize which sites they wish to block and at which hours of the night (and following day) are the most personally vulnerable.    For access to their social media, the consumer has to pass one of a variety of randomly selected sobriety tests such as “drag your mouse in a straight line,” “type the alphabet backwards,” or “follow the finger.”
The Social Media Sobriety Test is the concept of Webroot, a leading provider of Internet security for consumers and businesses worldwide, and TDA Advertising & Design, a full-service advertising and design agency.
“We’re working with Webroot to offer this as a public service to anyone who enjoys beer, wine or spirits but doesn’t enjoy the over-sharing that often accompanies one too many,” says Jeremy Seibold, Associate Creative Director at TDA Advertising & Design, in commenting about the introduction of the Social Media Sobriety Test.  “In the old days, all you had to worry about was drunk dialing – a randomly placed call to an ex was certainly embarrassing but it was limited to him/her and maybe a few friends.  Today, the consequences of a stupid blog post or an ill-advised photo can be instantaneously spread around the globe.    It’s our hope the Sobriety Test will come to the aid of all who are in need of its protection.”
For more information, or to download the Social Media Sobriety Test, interested consumers can visit Browser compatibility includes Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. 
Remember, the stupidity you avoid this holiday season could be your own.

Traveling for the Soul: My Version of Eat Pray Love

Food is a connector to life.  Food is used in happy occasions, as well as grieving occasions. It is an identity, often a common link amongst people.  People are proud of their cultural foods.  Even here in USA, we can find that foods vary from region to region, yet we share the same language and pop culture.  So, imagine when one travels outside the US.  Oh the variety—the beauty, the smells, tastes, and textures.

This summer, my son and I had the privilege to travel to the Middle East: Jordan and the Palestinian territories.  A civilization that is thousands of years old, a history filled with cultural achievements, the Arab society continues to thrive on food.  When you enter someone’s home, expect the hospitality to be equivalent to five-star hotel.  This is the treatment we received from family and friends. 

In Jordan, we had visited my husband’s family, his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.  (Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t take time off work to come with us.)  One of the cities we stopped in Jordan was Aqaba, near the Red Sea.  It is a tourist spot for many domestic and international travelers.  Hubby’s family served us the local dish: Samak Asayadeyah (Fish and rice dish):

This is considered top quality because the fish is from the Red Sea.  Yup.  Imagine fresh fish.  Once you have tasted fresh fish, there is no way going back to frozen fish.  It is just not the same.  Your taste buds have experienced something out of the ordinary. 

Now in Ramallah, West Bank, there are lots of varieties of foods to choose for the taste buds to experience and enjoy.  A favorite dish that I had there was Stuffed Grape Leaves.  It is cooked with a rice mixture rolled in grape leaves with a little lemony taste.  I heart this dish as a child and as an adult.  Stuffed Grape Leaves is my all time favorite dish. 

The Old City of Jerusalem has a special place in my heart.  Not only for the richness of its history, but also for its religious meaning. Not only is it a religious place for Jews and Christians, but also for Muslims.  The Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque are must visit sites for Muslims, and even tourists who are interested in religious history.  Even to see different people of religious backgrounds walking the streets of Jerusalem is an awesome experience.

Just like Eat Pray Love, I have found Aqaba and Ramallah a place to eat foods that are a truly enriching experience.  I found love in Aqaba and Ramallah when visiting family and friends.  I found a city to pray in Jerusalem where the prophets and messengers walked the old city.

This post is sponsored by EAT PRAY LOVE ON DIRECTOR’S CUT BLU-RAY & DVD will be released on video November 23rd. I was able to preview a copy of the DVD.
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Free Fly's Coupons & Samples

View this Global Photography Exhibition in Oakland on Nov. 30

From Joanna Lipper’s series for
Picturing Power & Potential,
Growth & Stagnation
The International Museum of Women, Mills College, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery invite you to a reception and viewing of Picturing Power & Potential at Mills College in Oakland. Picturing Power & Potential is a juried photography exhibition of over 50 extraordinary works by 20 artists from around the world celebrating women as economic participants and agents of change.
Event details: Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. RSVP Required! To RSVP, email no later than Tuesday, Nov. 23.
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Holiday Scams - Tis the Season

The holidays are a happy time for food, family, and friendship, but they are also a time for fraud. Consumers can fall into any number of traps over the holiday season and become victim to identity thieves, hackers or deceptive merchants online. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning holiday shoppers and donors to look out for five common scams this season.

“While the rest of us are pulling the decorations out of the attic, scammers are blowing the dust off of their tried and true holiday scams,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “We can all help make these holiday scams a ghost of Christmas’ past by not falling for them anymore.”

The BBB recommends being on the lookout for the following scams this holiday season:

Scam Shopping Sites Online: 
We’re all looking for a great deal online, but some sites offer electronics or luxury goods at prices that are too good to be true. Every holiday season the BBB hears from holiday shoppers who paid for a supposedly great deal online, but received nothing in return.

BBB Advice: Always look for the BBB seal when shopping online and click on the seal to confirm it is legitimate. When shopping on sites that you aren’t household names, check the business out with the BBB before you buy at  

Finding the Season’s Hottest Toys and Gadgets Online:
Every year, holiday shoppers fight over the “must have” toy or gadget of the season. When the item is sold out in stores, you can often find it online through various sites for a much steeper price; some sellers, however, may take your money and run.

BBB Advice: Shop locally and conduct the transaction in person; never wire money as payment. When purchasing items on online auctions, research the seller extensively and always listen to your doubts if the deal doesn’t sound legitimate.

Identity Theft at the Mall:
While you’re struggling at the mall with bags of presents, identity thieves see an opportunity to steal your wallet and debit or credit card numbers.

BBB Advice: Don’t let yourself get bogged down in purchases and lose track of your wallet. Know where your credit and debit cards are at all times and cover the keypad when entering your pin number while purchasing items or getting money from the ATM.

Bogus Charitable Pleas:
The holidays are a time of giving which creates a great opportunity for scammers to solicit donations to line their own pockets. Also beware of solicitations from charities that don’t necessarily deliver on their promises or are ill-equipped to carry through on their plans.

BBB Advice: Always research a charity with the BBB before you give to see if the charity meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability at

Phishing E-mails:
Phishing e-mails are a common way for hackers to get at your personal information or break into your computer. Common phishing e-mails around the holidays include e-cards and messages pretending to be from companies like UPS or FedEx with links to package tracking information.

BBB Advice: Don’t click on any links or open any attachments to e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious. E-mail addresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes are common red flags of a malicious phishing e-mail. Also beware of unsolicited e-mails from companies with which you have no association.  Make sure you have current antivirus software and that all security patches have been installed on the computer.

For more advice on being a savvy consumer this holiday season, visit 
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Techilicious - Tech Made Simple

Technology Made Deliciously Easy! Sign up for Techlicious and get helpful advice and buying guides—all to make tech simple—delivered directly to your inbox. Email subscribers are the first to know about exclusive giveaways, too, so don't miss another tip!

Enter to win an LG Vacuum!Right now, Techlicious is giving away an LG Kompressor Vacuum worth $399!
  1. Signup for the Techlicious newsletter
  2. Click "Home" in the top right corner
  3. Leave a comment in the contest blog post about who will be using the vacuum.
  4. Cross Your Fingers!

Saucony Performance Sweepstakes

Saucony Performance is running a great sweepstakes offer. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 Visa Travel Card and a head-to-toe ViZi-PRO outfit with apparel and shoes valued up to $400. There is also a weekly winner drawn each week who will receive a Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watch and their choice of ViZi-PRO apparel or ViZi-PRO footwear up to $150.  Sign up here.

Zantac Savings

Got heartburn? Save $3 on Zantac OTC. After registering you get access to the $3.00 coupon.
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Holiday eGreeting Site Returns Elfier Than Ever

Let’s face it, when you tried to show off your pop n lock break dancing moves at senior prom, it wasn’t a huge hit. Thankfully, you now have the chance to redeem yourself. The wildly popular holiday eGreeting site, is back for its fifth holiday season with two new dances including the rad “80s Remix” and gnarly “Surfer” dances.

OfficeMax and JibJab are excited to bring back the most viral holiday website on record. Since 2006, more than 378 million people have joined in the “Elfamorphosis” from over 50 countries. Through word of mouth, social media, celebrities and news coverage, ElfYourself has turned into a pop culture phenomenon, and each year, thousands request its return for another chance to create FREE holiday eGreetings featuring their photos on hilarious dancing elves. Users can also visit the Elf Store for custom holiday gift items featuring their “elfed” photos.

And that’s not all! For those who love games, OfficeMax is also today launching “Elfmas Town” on Facebook, a collection of fun holiday games including Reindeer on Ice, G-Bread Man and Holiday Grab Bag. Players have the chance to win free gifts and earn points and coupons for holiday shopping.

OfficeMax’s elves are also hitting the streets – You’ll get to see them this year at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on a float titled “Elves Raise the Roof” and at NYSE where 100 elves will help “ring in the holidays” with OfficeMax during the Closing Bell on Nov. 23!
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Guest Post: Facebook and Privacy by John Sileo

Facebook is a cigarette, information is the nicotine, and you are the addict. And it is time to stop blaming Facebook if you get privacy cancer.

Years ago, after a long and drawn out fight, the tobacco industry was forced to put labels on their cigarette packs warning smokers that these nicotine delivery devices caused cancer, birth defects and premature death. The warnings did little to slow down sales of cigarettes, though they might have helped the tobacco companies avoid some costly lawsuits because, after all, they had clearly warned users about the dangers.

With the latest iteration of privacy settings being introduced this week on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (or more likely the brilliant Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg) has discovered a similar truth - you are either too addicted to the information drug, or too indifferent to the privacy consequences, to care.

I applaud Facebook for giving users more visibility and a bit more control over how much personal information third party applications can access. They deserve credit for moving the application controls into the privacy section of the website, acknowledging, albeit quietly, that third-party data-mining is a significant source of non-consensual information leakage.

If Facebook would go one step further and demand that third-party apps give us a choice of how much information is shared, along with letting us know how much of our personal information is being shared through the apps that our friends install, we information survivalists would be that much happier. For example, even if you don't allow your third-party apps to share personal information, your friends' third-party apps could  be sharing it anyway. But as it stands now, we would never know it.

The good news for Facebook privacy doesn't end there. Facebook has also redesigned the Groups feature, which theoretically gives you a greater level of control over subsets of friends and how much information they can access. For example, you could choose to share your vacation pictures with family and close friends, but not with co-workers who thought you were out sick. Dishonesty aside, group differentiation makes communication within your social network much more like that of the real world - acknowledging that you don't share all things with all people equally.

Here's where the news gets really good for Facebook - they have done their job (or at least have taken steps in the right privacy direction), and they can still bank on you ignoring the very controls they have given you! Sure, those of us who write about social networking professionally will make the changes, but ninety-nine percent of the people who read this article will do nothing with the knowledge. This claim isn't grounded in bitter cynicism, but statistical fact. I hope that 500 million of you will prove me wrong. When the Facebook changes are live for everyone (they are in beta as I type), we'll put up a new video showing you how to make them.

Granted, Facebook hasn't done everything they should do to make THEIR use of OUR data completely transparent to US; but most of US have done nothing to utilize the tools THEY already built to protect OUR privacy anyway, so the point is mute. Facebook is banking billions on our indifference and inaction.
Facebook executives should roll this strategy out to its logical conclusion: give all of us privacy professionals (the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EPIC, the World Privacy Forum, me) exactly what we want, because your Facebook addicts are already too high on info-voyerism to kick the habit. Your product is too good and too necessary to too many people to be hindered by a bit more transparency and a little more control. You have nothing to lose but our complaints.

 John Sileo, of,  speaks professionally about social media exposure, identity theft and cyber crime for the Department of Defense, Fortune 1000 companies and any organization that wants to protect the profitability of their private information.
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Ingrid Betancourt Podcast Now Available!

“Let go. Forgive. Be in peace with others. You cannot be truly free if you are chained to your hatred.” –Ingrid Betancourt
On October 28, former Colombian Senator and activist Ingrid Betancourt told the story of her six and a half years of captivity in the Colombian jungle for IMOW’s Extraordinary Voices, Extraordinary Change Speaker Series event in San Francisco.
If you weren’t able to make it to the event, a podcast of the evening is now available!
You can also download any International Museum of Women podcast for free. Just search for International Museum of Women on iTunes!
Ingrid Betancourt appeared in conversation with Jeanne Carstensen, managing editor of The Bay Citizen, a nonprofit news organization in San Francisco that covers civic issues and produces the Bay Area pages of the New York Times.
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Add Flavor to Sweet and Savory Dishes This Thanksgiving

The tastes and scents of Thanksgiving food are a source of cherished memories over generations. The feasting table will always have room for time-honored traditions, as well as new interpretations of classic recipes. Chefs at restaurants and home cooks alike often have a secret weapon in their kitchen to give dishes that extra "something." Many times this weapon comes in the form of pure flavor extracts.Golden Squash Bisque

Adding pure flavor extracts to dishes can offer convenience and flavor without compromising your dishes. When Pure Coffee Extract is added to cocoa it makes a delicious mocha drink and you can punch up the flavor of tea by adding a touch of Pure Lemon Extract. Manufacturers like Nielsen-Massey Vanillas offer top quality pure flavor extracts that are ideal for both sweet and savory fare.

The most exciting part of working with pure flavor extracts, for many cooks, is finding out how to make new and creative flavor pairings that are unexpected, and delicious. Vanilla and sweetness will always go hand in hand, but the flavor and scent profile of different types of vanillas can vary widely. Nielsen-Massey's Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract has a creamy, sweet, velvety flavor that is perfect for a range of products from baked goods to ice creams, salad dressings to barbeque sauces, while Nielsen-Massey's Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract is known by its creamy, spicy flavor that has a special affinity for dishes that contain chocolate, cinnamon and other warm spices, and Nielsen-Massey's Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract is especially symbiotic with fruit-based products such as fruited yogurt and sorbet.

It's the variety and complexity that make vanilla perfect to experiment with in new and treasured Thanksgiving recipes. Home cooks can also intensify tastes with other pure flavor extracts such as Pure Chocolate Extract that can add a rich character, without sweetness, or Pure Peppermint Extract that can bring the standard pairing of lamb chops and mint jelly up to date.

Thanksgiving feasts are the perfect opportunity to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious cool weather treats. The savory flavors of fall are ideal to accent with extracts like Orange, Lemon or Coffee. Wow the crowd this Thanksgiving with an added twist to these autumn favorites.

Rich Corn Bread
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon each salt and sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 x 16 inch pan or large cast iron skillet. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and vanilla. Add eggs lightly beaten with milk and beat until the batter is thoroughly blended. Stir in heavy cream and butter. Spread the batter into baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until well browned.

Golden Squash Bisque
2 acorn squash, peeled and quartered (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups (or more) organic chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 whole fresh sage leaves
1 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
1/2 teaspoon Pure Orange Extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash in a covered baking dish with the water. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute until golden brown. Whisk in the flour until blended. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock gradually, whisking constantly. Add the squash, salt and white pepper. Mash with a potato masher. Add the bay leaf and sage leaves. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaf and sage leaves. Spoon the squash mixture into a blender. Add the warm cream a little at a time, pureeing after each addition. Add the orange extract. Pour into the saucepan and reheat thoroughly. If the bisque is too thick, you may change the consistency by adding additional stock 1/4 cup at a time.

Serves 4 to 6.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey's Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas recently introduced a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
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Andouille Cornbread Dressing

•           2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
•           1 pound Andouille sausages, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
•           1 12-ounce package breakfast-style bulk sausage
•           3 cups chopped onions
•           2 cups chopped celery
•           2 cups chopped red bell peppers
•           1 cup chopped green onions
•           2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
•           1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
•           1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
•           12 ounces dry corn bread stuffing mix
•           1 1/2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth

1. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add all sausages and cook until brown and cooked through, breaking up bulk sausage with back of a fork, about 5 minutes.
3. Add onions, celery and red bell peppers. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
4. Stir in green onions, thyme, hot pepper sauce and sage. Transfer sausage mixture to large bowl.
5. Stir stuffing mix into sausage mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
6. This recipe can be prepared one day ahead:  Cover and refrigerate. 

         Touch Bayou Catering is an upscale, full-service, off-premises catering company specializing in Cajun, Creole and Beyond (International Cuisine) and serving all of New Jersey, the Philadelphia area and parts of New York. The company provides delicious multi-cultural, international menus, arranged beautifully in the client’s setting of choice, with professional and personal service. Touch Bayou has been placed on the Preferred Caterer’s List of the Newark Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, WISOMMM Cultural Center in Newark, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) and the Welmont Theater in Montclair, NJ.
            For more information about this unique catering company, call Jennifer Tyler-Washington at (856) 629-0988 or email her at The website is


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