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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: January 2011

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Magic and Money

Today you get a “Two-Fer”….two blogs in one…a review of Mike Hammer’s Comedy Magic Show in Las Vegas, as well as a lesson on how our money magically disappears when we’re not watching it carefully enough!

 While my college sons were home for Christmas break we headed over to the famous “Fremont Street Experience” in Las Vegas to show them all the bright lights and hoopla, as well as take them to see Mike Hammer’s Comedy Magic Show.   Little did I know, my oldest son would end up IN Mike Hammer’s show!    (Isn’t my son cute?  He’s single, girls!)

Mike Hammer’s entertaining show has been named “Most Interactive”, a very deserving title.  Not only does he constantly pull people out of the audience to help him with his tricks, but he’s very playful with audience members during the entire show and his quick wit is so charming that you can’t help but root for him. 

It’s advertised that this clever performer was banned from Harrah’s Casino, after showing security his sleight-of-hand at the tables.  Now he gets paid to show off his skills at the Four Queens Casino.  During the fast-paced 60-minute magic show you’ll hear yourself say “No way!  How did he do that?”  It’s magic.  It’s comedy.   It’s a lot of fun.

Now, tie that in to money…..unless we’re tracking every cent that comes in and goes out of our hands each day, money seems to magically disappear, right?  At the end of the month, do you ever ask yourself “Where did all that money go?”   Do you have a budget planned out for this year yet?  Companies both large and small, countries and YOU should have a budget and a plan, especially in this crazy economy.

Knowing how much you have, even if it’s not enough, gives you a little more power over your circumstances and makes it possible for you to plan what you will do with what you do have!   January is a great time to reassess where you are in your life, but ANY time is a good time to start if you have no idea what your assets and liabilities are.  Here are some great web sites I like that help you organize what you have (money and stuff):   (Helps you inventory your household items)    (Helps you organize a budget and assets)  (Helps you make a plan to get out of debt)  (Helps you spend less for what you want)  (Helps women understand their finances)   (Helps you evaluate investments)  (Helps with free budget planners)

Before making any purchases this year, ask yourself these questions:
  1. Do I want it ?
  2. Do I need it?
  3. Can I live without it?
  4. How can that money be better used?

Check out some of the other money articles in the archived section of this blog where you can learn lots of tricks so you money won’t magically disappear!


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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Enter to win a FREE Ray Charles CD!

I'm the Entertainment News Editor at and I'm offering a fun contest there that I wanted you to know about!

While living in Atlanta for 15 years, I became a big fan of Ray Charles’ famous song “Georgia on my Mind.”  Concord Records recently released his newest collection entitled Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters , an incredible collection of newly discovered Ray Charles recordings.   The hit album was produced by John Burk, who gave us Genius Loves Company, Charles’ 2004 Grammy award winning last album. 

After sifting through four decades worth of Ray Charles’ unreleased material, John Burk explains “We have so much respect for Ray, and now being the guardians of his legacy, we didn’t want to release anything substandard. In the end, I think what we have here is on par with some of his greatest works.”  And it is.

Although Ray Charles Robinson died in 2004, the world gets to continue to enjoy his great music, thanks to technology.   The “sonically enhanced” material creates cool tracks, smooth background vocals from Eric Benet and Keb’ Mo’ guitar licks. If you love Ray’s cool blues, soulful gospel and warm country sounds, you’re going to get a kick out this new album. 

In addition to the tracks culled from R.P.M. International, the set also includes a surprise from the Sony vaults – a stirring rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me, Lord?” a gospel flavored duet with Johnny Cash produced by Billy Sherrill in Nashville, recorded in 1981. This one-of-a-kind pearl has gone unheard by the public until now. Contrary to correspondence between Charles and Cash anticipating the release of the song on CBS, the track never saw the light of day for three decades for reasons that remain unknown. Cash takes the lead vocal, while Charles hangs back slightly and delivers hefty backup vocals and equally compelling piano lines. “Ray’s presence in the song helps to establish a sort of marriage between gospel, Christian and country music – the kind of thing Ray was so uniquely good at,” says Burk.

A great American Jazz legend, Ray’s newest CD includes high energy music that gets you moving, as well as romantic ballads that will make you sway and laugh, such as in the song when he questions why he’s still talking to a particular woman when he could be doing something else with her, if ya know what I mean. 

His spirit is alive and well in this album, a reminder that Ray was truly an American treasure.   “The rhythmic and improvisational things Ray did with his vocals were incredibly influential to generations of singers in all genres of music,” says Burk.  “And he would always get inside the meaning of a lyric and make the listener believe every word, as if he were describing his own experiences.  His vocals carried incredible emotion and intensity, even on demo tapes.  That’s how Ray approached his music; I don’t think he knew any other way to do it.” 

Ray would have turned 80 this year, so I thought it would be fitting to hold a contest in his honor, awarding the winner a copy of this outstanding CD. 
To enter the contest, simply answer the 5 questions in the Bella Online forum at:

Be the first to respond correctly and you win!  The free CD is being provided by Concord Records.

Free song:
All people who download are entered to win an 11 CD catalog and a travel itinerary owned by Ray Charles and used on his 1998 tour.

VIDEO:  Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters - Episode 1

Ray Charles Store Buy  Link:  includes special packages
Amazon Buy Link:

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                                                                       By Trina Boice

What's the best way to start the new year right?  Get awesome stuff for free!  Nothing gets me more excited than finding and sharing deals, so I just had to share with you a list and link of the top 10 books that are available for free download on Kindle:

  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  5. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  7. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  8. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  10. Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1) by Lorena McCourtney
Enjoy!  May your 2011 be filled with many wonderful adventures, both in and out of books!

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