Saturday, November 28, 2009

COUPONS: Target Coupons Generator

I love shopping at Target. Because I am a mom, I love being able to get most of my shopping needs satisfied in one shopping stop.

Did you know that Target has a coupon generator which you can use to print just the coupons you are interested in?

Click here to start printing your Target coupons today.

Happy shopping...

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Friday, November 27, 2009

DEAL: Windows 7 download $30 for College Students

ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS: You can buy Windows 7 Home Premium Edition for $29.99 if you qualify
Click HERE for offer
How do I Buy?
1.Check that your PC can run Windows 7 with the Windows Upgrade Advisor.
2.Enter your college/university email address.
3.If you’re eligible, you’ll receive an email with purchase details.
4.Click on the link provided in the email to proceed with your purchase.
5.Purchase your license/product key.
6.Checkout and download!

Am I Eligible? Yes, if…
√ You qualify if you have a valid .EDU e-mail OR an e-mail address through one of the educational institutions listed here.

√ You are enrolled in coursework, current proof or enrollment may be required in the United States.

√ Your PC is able to run Windows 7 - use this tool to check. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

FREEISMYLIFE Communication Changes


There will be some changes in how we communicate with our readers....

If you are a subscriber to our FREEISMYLIFE Newsletter, it will now come to your email account only once or twice a week. The Newsletter will be used to spotlight key freebies, deals, discounts, coupons, and charities. We will also let you know when items are about to expire.

To get FREEISMYLIFE DAILY UPDATES, please subscribe to our NEW RSS FEED. You will get a daily email only if there are new entries on FREEISMYLIFE. Please SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

Also remember to follow us on TWITTER for even more FREEBIES including movie ticket giveaways.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Disney Cruise or Bust (Part 1): HELP!

Can a cheap mother find a way to take her 9 year old son on a Disney Cruise without putting a hole in her budget? Let's start the journey...

In 2007, I went on a business trip to Orlando and I decided to take my then 7 year old son with me so we could go to Disney World. I really did not expect to have such a wonderful time. We stayed at the Disney value resort All Stars and went to Disney Quest, Disney Animal Kingdom and Universal Studios. Since then, I have been thinking about taking my son on a Disney Cruise. I like to do research, but even I was overwhelmed by the amount of information on the Internet about Disney.

Enter Twitter.
I love Twitter and I have met some great folks and found out lots of useful information on Twitter. So I figured that Twitter could help with with my Disney Cruise questions. A few months ago, I started following @wdwfan on Twitter because she tweeted some great information on Disney every day. She also puts on Disney Vacation Planning Live Chats where Disney fans can meet online and get their questions answered by the Disney experts. So I contacted @wdwfan and found out her real name is Allison Jones and she is a Disney World & Disney Cruise Specialist. Cool!

I asked Allison to answer some of my burning price related Disney Cruise questions. She did such a great job that I am including my questions and her answers below. This is just the start of my Disney Cruise journey so stay with me over the next few months as I find out more and hopefully decide to take my son on a Disney Cruise in 2010/2011.

(Photo above from

1. What is the best time of year to go on a Disney Cruise to make it more affordable? The best time of year to take a Disney Cruise is January and September. Both of these months are lower rates and more discount promotions. For example, right now Disney is offering a Kids Sail Free promotion where kids 17 and under sail free with a paid adult on a 3-Night or 4-Night Cruise in January. It also helps to book way in advance. Disney does offer something called an Early Booking discount. The farther out you book, the more money you will save. If any deals come up after you booked, you can always update your reservation as deals come along.

2. Which is more affordable overall - a 3, 4 or 7 day cruise?
A 3-Night Cruise will be the least expensive cost for a Disney Cruise vacation. However, the longer you cruise the more value you will get on your cruise. When you cruise for a longer cruise, you will have more time to enjoy activities on board the Disney Cruise Ship. For a 3-Night or 4-Night Cruise, you hit two ports of call and are spending most of your time at these destinations. You really only spend some of your time on the cruise ships in the evening. On the longer cruises, you get more value because you can enjoy more of the amazing activities, behind the scene tours, and Children Programming that you may not get to experience on the shorter cruises.

3. Now that the Disney Dream is booking, will the cost of the existing older ships go down?
At this point, we have not heard any news about the Disney Wonder or Magic going down in price. For cruise lines, these are still very new ships so we are not expecting these prices to go down with the addition of the Disney Dream.

4. Is is cheaper to book through a travel agent or go directly to the Disney website?
I always suggest booking through a travel agent, but more specifically an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Now, I am a little biased because that is what I do for a living. However, I would recommend any Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for book a Disney Cruise vacation not just our agency. They are really the best of the best in planning Disney Cruise vacations!

Not all companies do this, but I know alot of Authorized Disney Vacations Planners do. Just recently we had a Florida Resident family book a 4-Night Cruise. They booked with a Kids Sail Free promotion, which was the best deal at that time. They were paid in full and Disney released to us some new discounts for Florida Residents. I called and had their reservation updated to the new Florida Resident discount. This new discount saved them close to $3,200 total. We knew the discount came available, and we took the initiative to update their reservation to the new discount, even after they were paid in full. Disney will not do this. You would have to call Disney and ask them to modify your reservation and you would have to give them the rate code of the promotion. It is part of our job to make sure you get the best possible deal. It is always less expensive to book with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They are your travel "agent" to help you get the best possible deal and have the best possible vacation!

5. I heard that kids sail free on some 2010 cruises with 2 full paying adults. Is this only when school is in session or also during the summer?
The Kids Sail Free is a great promotion. Disney first offered this promo last May. However, Disney did also offer the same Kids Sail Free promotion last summer for June and early July.

6. Are prices on the Disney Dream more than the prices for the existing ships? Will the inside cabins on the Disney Dream be more expensive prices now that they will have the virtual porthole?
The Disney Dream is new and exciting, so right now the prices are rather high. The prices vary depending on cabin availability. The more rooms that book, the higher the price goes for the staterooms. Right now the prices are a little higher than normal, because people are excited and booking the new ship. The Disney Dream will slow down in prices once the excitement wears off. The prices are expecting to be just the same as the Disney Wonder and Magic. Just because it is a newer ship and more technology, they are not expecting the prices will increase. It is more added benefit than price increase. Talking about value and saving money. The new Disney Dream has a huge money saver for larger families. Right now a family of 5, has to upgrade to a Deluxe Family Stateroom with Verandah (which is one of the most expensive staterooms on the ship). The new Disney Dream will have room for families of 5 in a less expensive Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom. This room will be about $50-100 more than a Standard Inside Stateroom, so for a larger family much more reasonable in price!

7. What is the sleeping situation in most rooms - queen beds or twin beds? The rooms have (2) twin beds that can be separated or combined to a King Bed. There is then a sofa that is converted to a twin bed. In some of the other quad rooms, there are also drop down beds from the wall or ceiling to make additional space for family members. These beds are locked up during the day and then during turndown service, they are broken out into the sleeping arrangements.

8. Are there packages that include airfare from Detroit or is it cheaper to book my own airfare? For airfare, it actually depends on your travel dates. Sometimes flights may be less expensive with Disney or sometimes it may be better to book on your own. Certainly, try to price both ways to see what is the better deal. With Disney Cruise airfare you are not actually assigned your flight or airline until about 30 days, before you leave for your Disney Cruise vacation. Most guests like to know their arrival time, departure time, airlines, etc. way ahead of time. If you like to have everything organized, you may want to book your own airfare. If you are flexible to allow Disney to book your flights, you can save some money when you add airfare to your package. One other nice feature about the airfare into your package, Disney kicks in free shuttle transfers when you book airfare into your package. An extra way to save money on your Disney Cruise vacation.

Allison Jones is a Disney World & Disney Cruise Specialist, a Universal Studios Specialist and also a Sea World Guide. Allison's company, Destinations in Florida Travel wants to be your PreEAR Disney World and Orlando Vacation Planners. Follow Allison on Twitter (wdwfan) and Facebook (Destinations-in-Florida-Travel).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FREE Caribou Coffee for Donating to Goodwill Toy Drive 11/27-12/8 (EXPIRED)


Metro Detroiters donating a toy at any Metro Detroit Caribou Coffee location will receive free coffee and bring happiness to children of parents in Goodwill job training programs

The "12 Days of Christmas" campaign sponsored by 89x Radio and Caribou Coffee encourages Metro Detroiters to donate new toys for area children whose parents are unemployed and working toward new jobs with help from Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. Donations will be accepted at all 19 Metro Detroit Caribou Coffee locations from November 27 through December 8.

The toys will be available for purchase in Goodwill Industries' "Santa Shop," which offers individuals receiving employment education and training support from Goodwill the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts for their children at highly discounted prices. Santa Shop “shoppers” are Goodwill Industries clients working to become trained, trusted and ready to work.

Radio personalities from 89x will appear at live remote events at a different Metro Detroit Caribou Coffee location each day during the campaign. Details on locations and times will be available at and

Anyone donating a new, unwrapped toy to Goodwill Industries at any of Metro Detroit’s 19 Caribou Coffee locations throughout the campaign will receive a coupon for a free small coffee redeemable at any area Caribou Coffee location. Visit to find the nearest Caribou Coffee location.

Friday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 8, 2009

19 Metro Detroit Caribou Coffee locations. Visit to find the nearest Caribou Coffee location. A complete list of “12 Days of Christmas” dates, locations and times is below.

"The generosity of 89x, Caribou Coffee and the people of Metro Detroit will enable our students and trainees to focus on getting the support they need to earn the jobs that will lead to better lives and future happy holidays for their families,” said Lorna G. Utley, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit “12 Days of Christmas”
89x and Caribou Coffee Remote Events Schedule

Friday, November 27 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 401 South Main St., Royal Oak 48067

Saturday, November 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. (Updated time)
Caribou Coffee at 17043 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe 48230

Sunday, November 29 from 10 to 11 a.m.
Caribou Coffee at 47490 Grand River Ave., Novi 48374

Monday, November 30 from noon to 1p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 44601 Five Mile Rd., Plymouth 48170

Tuesday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to noon
Caribou Coffee at 3117 Crooks Rd., Troy 48084

Wednesday, December 2 from noon to 1 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 40200 West 14 Mile Rd., Commerce 48382

Thursday, December 3 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 3495 Rochester Rd., Troy 48083

Friday, December 4 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 1413 West 14 Mile Rd., Madison Heights 48071

Saturday, December 5 from 10 to 11 a.m.
Caribou Coffee at 3224 Walton, Rochester Hills 48309

Sunday, December 6 from 10 to 11 a.m.
Caribou Coffee at 1333 North Coolidge Hwy., Troy 48084

Monday, December 7 from noon to 1 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 31901 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak 48073

Tuesday, December 8 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Caribou Coffee at 17378 Haggerty Rd., Livonia 48152

Monday, November 23, 2009

DINING COUPONS in Metro Guide Online

Click here to view the Metopolition Detroit Menu Guide. Use the coupons in the guide to save money on your dining. The coupons start on page 158.

FREE Kindle Books: 3 HOT Romance Novels

Since I blogged on Saturday about the FREE download from Amazon that allows PC users to read Kindle Books, I have been looking for FREE books.

I love reading romance novels and I have found a few of my favorites available on Kindle for FREE. But just a warning, these books have great story lines, but they are HOT!

African American Romance Writer Brenda Jackson's Irresistible Forces

Romance Writer Janice Kay Johnson's Snowbound

Romance Writer Leslie Kelly's Slow Hands


Saturday, November 21, 2009

FREE Download: Read Kindle Books on your PC computer

Read Kindle Books on Your PC Computer with a FREE download from
Sometimes when I am surfing the web, I see offers of FREE Kindle books or Kindle books that are far cheaper than the paper version. Now I am way too cheap to buy a Kindle ($299) and I do most of my reading from visiting the library. But now Amazon has a FREE download that will allow you to read Kindle books on your computer.
Click here for more info and to download
Once you have the dowload on your computer, you will now need FREE Kindle books. The easiest way to find free Kindle books, is to visit the Kindle Store for books on your computer and sort the books by price: low to high. This will bring up a list of all the free books (price $0). As I come across good free or low cost Kindle books, I will be sure to update this post with the information.
Here is a free Kindle download (until 11/26) that I saw today on the Amazon Kindle's Blog - FREE Adventures. Or how about this title on leadership "Unleshing the Power of Rubber Bands"...

REVIEW: DSO Young People's Concert Series

Hola! This morning, my son and I attended a performance of "South of the Border" at Orchestra Hall that was part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Young People's Concerts series. DSO Young People's Concerts are one hour long and are specifically for children age 6 to 12. The concerts are performed by the entire Detroit Symphony Orchestra with arrangements and added extras that help kids understand and better appreciate live classical music. We received our tickets compliments of the DSO from following them on Twitter and Facebook.

The music from "South of the Border" was a mix of South American classical music and jazz. The performance was moderated by DSO Violist Caroline Coade, who was dressed as a Spanish dancer. She liken music to a taco, saying that both are layered with texture, flavor, and color. She asked the kids in the audience to close their eyes as the listened to each piece and let their imaginations take them to different places.

One piece called "Bachiana Brasileria No. 2" was based on a train ride through the countryside. My son closed his eyes and imagined himself on the train as it was speeding up and then coming to stop at the end. The piece even included a clarinet that sounded like a train whistle. Two children from the audience where picked to come on stage and sit with the orchestra while the piece was played. Everyone could tell that the kids were very excited by the honor.

The last piece was written and performed by DSO jazz director Michel Camilo. Michel was born in Santo Domingo and the piece ,"Piano Concerto No. 1", was Michel's interpretation of his family going from worshipping in church to feasting and celebrating in the countryside of his homeland. We had great seats in the center, 7 rows from the stage and we were able to see Michel's hands as they flew across the piano keys as he played with the orchestra. It was amazing. Even my son was impressed.

The concert was wonderful. Since my son is currently studying Spanish in school, this concert tied in great with what he is learning. The length of the concert was perfect - just long enough to get a flavor of the music and short enough to entertain kids (and adults) who find it difficult to sit still.

The next DSO Young People's Concerts Series concert is "Home for the Holiday for Kids" on Saturday, December 19th. I am sure it will be just as good as today's concert. AdiĆ³s.

Friday, November 20, 2009

FREE Download Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2010 BETA Version

All you trendsetters who have to be the first to try out something, read on...

With Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, your people get a wide range of powerful new ways to do their best work from more places – whether they’re using a PC, smartphone or web browser. From insightful updates to Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook, to new server integration capabilities that make it easier for everyone to track, report and share vital information, Office Professional Plus 2010 offers the complete package through familiar, intuitive tools.

Microsoft is inviting you to work with Office Professional Plus 2010 on your secondary PCs in order to help ensure smooth adoption when the final product is available and gather feedback from real world settings.

Click here for details and to download

Thursday, November 19, 2009

REVIEW: The Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus is "OVER THE TOP" GREAT!

Last night, my son and I went to the Palace of Auburn Hills for the opening night performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey "Over the Top" Circus.

The show was fabulous. It was like a high tech video game come to life with booming bass music, high tech monitors showing images that coordinated with the acts, virtual "rings" (as in the typical 3 ring circus) that appeared and disappeared as needed, beautiful stage costumes, amazing trick horse riders, dozens of motorcycle riders who performed amazing tricks on the ground and in the air, pyrotechnic explosions, and unexpected confetti drops - it was totally OVER THE TOP!

For the traditionalists, this circus still has the old favorites of crazy clowns, dog and pony acts, talented pigs, dancing elephants and amazing tiger acts. I did not know how Ringling Bros. were going to top last year's "Bellobration" circus, but this year's "Over the Top" show is completely retooled and brings a totally unique experience.

The Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey "Over the Top" Circus will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills through this Sunday, November 22nd. Please don't miss it...

Tickets for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents Over The Top are available at the Palace of Auburn Hills Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, The Palace Locker Room Stores and To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-745-3000.

Free Is My Life readers have the opportunity to get a great discount. While ordering, enter promo code MOM to get 4 tickets for $44 for a weekday show or $4 off any of the Friday night or Saturday and Sunday shows.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

REVIEW: Working Mom's "Me Time" Twitter Party

When I joined twitter earlier this year, I never thought I would be using it to party. But, last night I did just that at the first ever "Working Mother Me Time Twitter Party" event hosted by Working Mother Magazine and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.

The event lasted one hour and encouraged us working moms to take this time as a break to figure out how to find a little "Me Time" in our busy schedules. Using tweets, moms (and some dads) shared their stories and thoughts on how to (or why they cannot) carve out some time just for themselves.

Working Mother Magazine asked a series of thought provoking questions to get everyone talking, laughing and relating:

- What do you do just for YOU?

- Is is easier to find time for yourself at home or away from home?

- What's the funniest "Me Time" thing you have ever done?

- Do you think your significant other or children understand or support your need for "me time"?

- What is the difference in the way or how often you spent "me time" before and after you had kids?

- What special "me time" activities do you do on business trips?

- What are your biggest fears about leaving home and taking a retreat?

- Describe the best solo or "girlfriend" retreat you have ever taken. What made it so special?

- Does holiday travel pose family stress or is it just fun?

- If you had an extra hour a day, what would you do for yourself?

I learned from the conversation that all of us are feeling stressed and are putting everything first before ourselves. But I also learned some moms and dads are squeezing out "me time" where they can. The success stories ranged from putting the kids to bed early (one parent said bedtime is 7pm!), to mini spa treatments, to lunches with friends, to reading and tweeting behind a locked bathroom door. The stories I heard made me remember one Mother's Day when I locked myself in my bedroom with my TV and remote as a present to myself - that was one of the best Mother's Day presents I ever had!

As parents, we all know that family time is very important. But tonight's conversation also brought out that family time has to be balanced with "me time".

The one question that really made me think was concerning my best "girlfriend retreat". The question made me realize that I have not had a girlfriend retreat since I became a mom because my friends and I have not made the time. Well, one lucky mom at the party will now have to make the time since she won the grand prize of the event - A special girlfriend retreat package courtesy of Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.

This virtual party was a whole lot of fun. I learned good tips, heard many funny stories, made some new friends, and released the stress from my day. Thanks Working Mother Magazine and Country Suites. Let's do it again real soon.

By the way, the most popular answer to the last question "If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do for yourself?" was to take a hot bath or sleep. They both sound good, but I would have to add bargain shopping to that list!

(Graphic above from

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bargain Jewelry @ Macys - Hurry!

Listen up all you Detroit Area Bargain Fashionistas -

Macys is deeply discounting lots of their jewelry that has been in the store for over a month. Each piece of jewelry has been put into an individual plastic bag and thrown into overflowing plastic bins at both the Northland Macys and the Fairlane Macys. I would have to believe it would be the same at other Detroit Area Macys stores.

I found Jessica Simpson leather bow cuffs reduced from $38 each to $11 including tax if you use your Macy's card to get an additional 15% off or the Macys saving pass that is online. I also found the Jessica Simpson Leather Large Leather and Chain cuffs reduced from $48 to $15 including tax if you get the extra 15% off. They must be adding more jewelry everyday since the amount of jewelry in the bins is not going down.

Hurry - Bargains like this will not last forever....

IRS May Have a Refund for YOU

IRS may have a refund for you
Patricia Sabatini / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Scripps Howard News Service

Wouldn't it be great if the Internal Revenue Service were looking for you to give you money?
For nearly 108,000 taxpayers nationwide, that's exactly the case.
The agency is holding federal income tax refunds totaling about $124 million that it tried to distribute this tax season but were returned as undeliverable.

The checks were returned by the Postal Service because of incorrect or outdated addresses. The only way taxpayers can get that money, which the IRS holds indefinitely, is by coming forward.
Anyone who is owed a refund or may be the heir to one should visit the "Where's My Refund?" section at to update his or her address. To access the phone version of "Where's My Refund?" call 1-800-829-1954.
To use either system, a taxpayer must submit a Social Security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on the 2008 tax return.
Taxpayers can help avoid future mix-ups by signing up to have refunds electronically deposited into a savings or checking account.
Even taxpayers who file paper returns can have refunds automatically deposited by choosing the direct-deposit option on the returns.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

WHAT A DEAL! Yellow Happiness...

I knew that I should not have gone in the handbag section of Macys yesterday, but I could not help myself. There is only one thing that I love better than a bargain and that is a handbag that's a bargain. And I found a beautiful bargain in this COACH 70157 Hamptons Canvas Tote in yellow. I have discovered that yellow is a color that looks great with my coloring so I am acquiring more things in this buttery color. Just look at the photo. What more needs to be said, especially when the bag is discounted from $280 to $80...

Tote Measurements
16.5" L x 13" H x 5" W
21" Handles with an 8" Drop

Tote Description
Zip Top Closure
Yellow Leather Accents
Brown Leather Straps
2 Outside Slip Pockets (Front & Back)
Silvertone Hardware
2 Coach Hangtags (1 is leather and 1 is silver)
Khaki Fabric Lining
Contrast Stitching
One HUGE Interior Zip Pocket
Two Large Interior Slip Pockets
One Cell Phone Slip Pockets
Three Pen / Pencil Loop Slips

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Target has some great coupons available for toys and video games. Click here

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good Customer Service: The Pizza Hut "BOOK IT" Incident

This is a case of FREE gone wrong, made right!

I usually don't blog about customer satisfaction but I had to today because it involves my nine year old son. This is an incident of FREE gone wrong, made right...

Last week, my son received a Pizza Hut BOOK IT! coupon for reading over 20 books in month of October. He was so happy that he insisted that we redeem it that evening for a FREE personal pan pizza. When he and I went to pick up the order, the employees at the Pizza Hut refused to redeem it. They claimed that management did not allow them to take BOOK IT! coupons after 4pm. Now, I am thinking "Aren't most kids in school until 4pm?".

Now my son is standing there looking sad and my "mommy powers" came out and I started "explaining" that this "policy" made no sense, i.e. "Bring me the manager!". After another round with the manager I don't seem to be getting anywhere. But, now the other customers in the Pizza Hut have joined in (amazing how strangers want to look out for kids too!) and then the employees give in and they take the coupon and give my son the pizza.

I was still mad over the experience so I contacted the Book IT! customer service via their BOOK IT! web page.

Within 24 hours, they accomplished the "holy grail" of good customer service:

1. They apologized for the incident.

2. They contacted the management of the Pizza Hut that caused the drama. The manager admitted that the employees were wrong and said that the employees will be retrained on accepting BOOK IT! coupons.

3. They voluntarily offered to send my son some BOOK IT! goodies. (Happy Kid, Happy Mother!)

4. And they asked me to relate to my son that Pizza Hut and BOOK IT! are very proud of his reading accomplishments. (Proud Kid, Proud Mother!)

Now that folks is good customer service. Everyone makes mistakes, but few take responsiblity, fix the problem, and make amends.

Thank you Pizza Hut and BOOK IT! You made my day...