Sunday, November 16, 2014

Small Business Saturday

I think Small Business Saturday is officially favorite shopping day. For me, Black Friday has been ruined by so many businesses opening on Thanksgiving Day. Don't get me wrong; I still plan on going out with my friends on Black Friday, but I'm looking forward to Small Business Saturday even more. Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is November 29 this year.

For those who haven't participated in Small Business Saturday in the past, it's very easy if you are an American Express card holder. This year, American Express is offering each person with a registered card three credit statements for spending $10 or more (before taxes) with your registered American Express card at a participating small business. So, let's say you walk into a participating small business and see a book for $11. You buy it with your registered American Express card, and they will give you a $10 statement credit for it. You effectively get the book for $1 + tax. It's an amazing deal! You get to do that three times on Small Business Saturday! Plus, it motivates shoppers to shop at local small businesses. Oh, I should also mention that you have to shop at these small businesses inn person (you can't shop at them online and get the credit).

Registration opened up today, and it continues through Small Business Saturday (11/29), or until they reach their maximum number of registrations.

You can register your American Express card here. After you register, you should get a confirmation email from American Express, along with a link to search for participating small businesses in your area. I should also mention that people with linked credit cards can register separately. So, in the case of my husband and me, we can each register our cards and each get three $10 statement credits if we both make three separate $10+ purchases at participating small businesses on Small Business Saturday. Free $60 for Christmas shopping, woohoo!

This year, we'll be back in the Denver area for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure where we're going to shop just yet, but I have a feeling we'll go to Tattered Cover Book Store and Timbuk Toys. In the past, we've gone to Savory Spice Shop in Littleton. This year, I noticed there's a tea shop in Highlands Ranch called Moon Kats that is participating, too. We can stop there to pick up a gift or just get a treat after shopping!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Third Birthday, Jo!

Our little Joanna Banana is 3. How did that happen?! Seriously, I just can't believe how big our kids are getting.

Jo is a little ball of sunshine. I think she should be a sitcom because she runs around and does hilarious things and often speaks in catch phrases. When I take a moment to stop and think of her, I always picture her with her messy bedhead that she has in the morning, reaching up with her pudgy little baby hand, and brushing the hair out of her eyes. She runs almost everywhere. She often thinks out loud, so we always know what she's going to do next. Also, she is extremely independent. I mean, sometimes I think the only problem she'll ever have in school is that she won't want to do whatever the group is doing because she'd rather do her own thing. She likes to sit in her room and play with her stuffed animals or sit and play with her dollhouse or sit with the iPad and play "Subway Surfer" or watch videos on YouTube (one of her favorites is a Russian cartoon called "Masha and the Bear" that is actually super fun to watch, and she also loves Peppa Pig). She loves being outside, but she usually wanders off to stomp through the flowers or play with rocks. She's aware what everyone else is doing and is socially aware, but she'd just rather do her thing.

She finished potty training back in May, so she was almost exactly 2-and-a-half. She loves singing songs; she sings dozens of songs and nursery rhymes. She memorizes books and videos. She loves dirt, rocks, leaves, and water. She likes monsters and lady bugs and trains, but she also likes princesses and queens. She's starting to like it when I do her hair. Mostly, she loves her stuffed fox.

Another big thing in Jo's life is that she's temporarily going to "preschool!" While I do my school practicum, Jo is going to the 2 year old room at school. The teachers say she doesn't talk much at all to them, but that she is so easy going and easy to care for. If they have room next semester, I might continue taking her for a couple hours once a week because I think it's good for her.

Now, as easy-going as she is, Joanna doesn't listen as well as her brother always has. If we tell her something, she'll try to just wait until she thinks we're not paying attention. If we ever catch her doing something she's not supposed to, she ducks her head and always says, "Sorry Mommy," or "Sorry Daddy," and then runs away. It's kind of funny. I'm pretty sure that she can get away with anything because she's just so adorable all the time. It's probably bad, but what is a parent to do?

Here's a collection of some of my favorite Jo-ments (Jo moments) over this past year: