We are finally saying goodbye to North Carolina, though I've been gone now for a handful of weeks. It seems so long ago that I even moved here. And, I can't believe we're officially 'done' with the South.
Even though I'm in beautiful Wisconsin, I still feel a little bittersweet about closing on our house in Wilmington. We loved the people and the scenery. I am sad I'm going to miss some big events. My friends Vicky and Jeff are having their first baby pretty soon... and I didn't get a lick of beach time in this summer... the whole reason for living at the beach!
But, as I write, I hope you'll consider giving a little thought to my husband as he treks his way west. I always worry about making a long drive! I love Madison, and I know Jim will love it, too. But it's okay for us to miss North Carolina as well.
Now we've got to focus on closing in Madison! That's next week... and expect another Closing Time post! :)
There are quite a few good deals on school supplies this week. Since we're headed into August, now is really the best time to get office or school supplies for the year. As I've mentioned before, if you piecemeal your shopping and break it down each week, you could save a lot of money in the long run.
1. I just bought two backpacks for a penny each at Office Max. There is a catch, but if you need backpacks and some more office supplies, it's worth considering.
If you buy a backpack at Office Max this week, you'll get all of it back (with the exception of a penny) in Office MaxPerks, aka store credit.
For me, it works because we needed backpacks and we also need to buy an office chair in the near-ish future.
2. And, you just need to spend $5 to qualify for the penny deals... and I also needed those! You can get small scissors, single hole punches and zipper binders for one-cent each.
3. Also, Office Max is just giving away two packs of highlighters. There is a coupon in the store insert from the Sunday paper, but my store just had the coupon taped to the register... which meant, I got to keep my coupon... and means that you likely don't need one.
MY OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE AT OFFICE MAX? 09-CENTS + TAX.
I also bought a 2 year replacement protection plan for my backpacks at $6.99. If my backpack stops working in 2 years (ie: rips, tears, wears, etc.), Office Max will replace it for free. I thought I'd try it out to see if it's worth it, especially because I have a built-in audio jack in one of them.
Since I bought the protection plan, here's what the breakdown looks like:
$6.99 service plan
+ .09 merchandise
+ 4.79 tax
*I'll get $89.96 back in rewards in 30 days... and then I'll buy a desk chair that I've been eyeing.
This is the thing with deals. I had to pay $91.83 for the total, but I'll get $89.96 back in store credit. So, that means I'm really out $11.87. And, when you subtract the tax, it really means I paid $.09 for the whole she-bang.
***EDITOR'S NOTE: I also may have even saved more money depending on how the MaxPerks shake out. The clerk gave me an extra $10 off for buying a certain style backpack (Coupon 23649121050513). If this is the case, then that means I'm really out less $1.87 for the whole thing. It's a little confusing, but at the end of the day, it works in my favor... and that's really the most important thing to note.
Here's a list of other great deals listed in the paper this week:
Couponers... am I reading this right? If I am, I believe you can get two packs of highlighters for free at Office Max this week. If you don't need highlighters, don't get them. But if you do, save the $3 it costs...and go buy a coffee. This ad was in the paper... first page in.
It was so nice to hang with the monkeys, giraffes, sea otters and more Saturday night! And... of course, so many awesome people from work and the community!
We all came out to support the Henry Vilas Zoo for its yearly "Rock and Roar" event. We tried to wear white since we were raising money for a new Arctic addition, but we mostly just wore something warm! It was pretty fitting that the temperature was freakishly cold on a day to raise money for the polar bears.
First of all, the history of the Henry Vilas Zoo is SO MADISON. If you didn't know, it's FREE. The reason? The Vilas Family donated the land and stipulated that it always remain free and open to the public.
WISC was a proud sponsor of the event, and we had a great showing. My favorite thing? Penguin pictures (below)! One of them was also called "Crappy Feet". Potty humor is never lost on me, even when it's penguin poo.
The zoo is such a neat place! It's also incredibly fun to walk around the zoo at night. Loved the dancing, the food, the auction and of course, the photo booth!
I also had such a warm reception from people at the event, and I wanted to say thanks for all your kind words. I love it when people welcome me to Madison! It means a lot!
This pic is for WISC's Karin Swanson.
It's so funny starting over! I am currently subletting a 4th floor studio in downtown Madison until my house closes. I am also renting a parking space about a block and a half over. So... I've got to walk a bit, and my bin of shoes felt kind of heavy to haul up four flights of stairs.
My solution? Leave my shoes in my car! I leave my flats in my apartment, and then trade out shoes when I reach my car.
The benefits? It's always nice to have an extra pair of shoes at your fingertips. The bad side? People like Karin think you live in your car!
I thought I was being clever.
Anyway, this is how I've been rolling for a few weeks now. I like to think it's a continuation of my urban camping series. Got any tips for downtown living? I'd like to hear it!
My goal is to spend $5 or less on school supply shopping every week. You can save so much money if you piecemeal your shopping trips. From now until the start of school, you'll find really great deals... but they just come out ever week.
I'm going to have to get back into saving money. I never really left it, but I've been a little busy since I moved to Madison. In fact, we're about one week away from closing on our house in North Carolina... and two weeks away from closing on our new house in Wisconsin! Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, the best place to buy notebooks this week is Shopko. At least from what I could find. You can buy Mead notebooks for 19-cents each. Normally they're $1.49. Staples comes in at 25-cents.
The reason I like Shopko? You can buy up to 18! That beats any store limit... and it really comes in handy if you need to buy several. You'll be set for the year!
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:
You'll be hard-pressed to find so many journalists under one roof who are excited about connecting with you.
We are looking for people to join our new online community. If you check-in with us online during the day, then you may have noticed we're experimenting with new ways to talk with you.
One thing we're doing? Google Plus hangouts. The picture below is the moment Dannika Lewis and Jennifer Hoff first tested it out. Look at Jenn's face - she looks completely amazed!
We're also startinga new online community. It's a forum, for lack of a better word. It's run by us, but we think it runs better if you're on there driving the posts. Click here to join! You can share anything and everything there - it doesn't have to be strictly Madison. We've had some good posts there already! Circle us below:
What's a hangout? We recently held animpromptu hangout about the Rolling Stone cover controversy. We typically hangout every night at 10 p.m. Central. The goal is to let you guys see what happens behind the scenes... and to connect with you. It will really come in handy during breaking news events, but on most days, it's just nice to see you.
So many of the folks at the station are embracing the technology, so we'd really like to see you.
A lot of people are trying to figure out what in the world we're doing on the news in Madison. "A Google Plus...what?"
Well, the answer is simple. We're HANGING OUT with our most important people... YOU! We've already got some great people from Madison participating.
Here are a few basic things you need to know about Google Plus and Channel 3000:
1. Google Plus is a social layer that allows you to communicate with people better.
2. You can "hangout" which is kind of like group Skype. You can do it privately or you can do it publicly.
3. If you do it publicly, it's called a Hangout On Air, and it streams LIVE over YouTube.
4. You can have up to 10 people in the actual hangout, but you can have an unlimited number of people watching on YouTube.
5. You can comment on YouTube as the livestream is happening.
6. It's a great tool for newscasts because we get off our news pedestal and talk to you.
7. It's also crucial for breaking news events, such as severe weather.
8. You can join us every night at 10 p.m. central time, we post the links on FB, Twitter and G+.
9. It's also a great platform for discussions.
10. Signing up is easy.
If you're on Google Plus, you should circle us! Madison prides itself on being innovative. We could really get a great community going. We hope you'll join us and we'll certainly be talking about it more. Right now, we're in more of a soft launch mode, but as soon as we get our livestream in our hangouts, we'll be talking about it much more. Hope to see you!
People will tell you there are so many things to see and do in Madison. And, they're right. This weekend was Art Fair on the Square... but don't forget, there's also Art Fair "Off" the Square, and the Farmers' Market.
A few of us girls from WISC met for a morning cheese curd and hit the square. I think our producer and social media guru, Jen Ayres, found the best piece of artwork. It's a print of a picture that works really well for TV News -- "There's Always Tomorrow". The artist, Kent, said his inspiration came from procrastinating because of the television. Our interpretation is more like, "Oh, shoot. Let's hope for a better newscast tomorrow!"
My favorite? The cat with backwards Korean.
I just got a chance to see the promo that's been floating around on WISC. I am so excited and honored to work here. This is a great place, and the community is wonderful.
We are gearing up to launch some major interactive initiatives, but we are working on logistics and hardware. I know Google Plus hangouts will be in the mix, so please stand by! And thanks for being patient while we're working...