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I’ll admit it:  “Cellfire” as the name of a Web site automatically makes me think of companies spamming my phone.  Luckily, first impressions are not always correct!

If you shop at Shop Rite, Kroger’s, Safeway, Giant Eagle, Shop’nSave or Foodtown, you should be signed up for this site.  Jared and I first discovered it through Fios TV, and I think the concept is awesome.  By registering with the site, you are able to register your store loyalty cards and add coupons directly to the card.  No more coupon clipping or searching for coupons you’ve misplaced (Disclaimer:  I’m still a coupon clipper, and my system is so organized it would make your head spin.  But I digress).  Simply log on, add the coupons you want to your card, and the discounts will be automatically taken at checkout.

The site has a multitude of ways to keep consumers connected to the coupons they choose, whether it’s online, through your TV or through a mobile app.  The offers are for popular brands that you might shop for anyway, making it worth the time to sign up and browse.  The site also features a section that allows you to print coupons by installing an App onto your computer.

I’m desperate to use this site and all its features, but for some reason Jared and I are having a problem with our Shop Rite card, where the site doesn’t seem to recognize it.  We’ve noticed this before too in Shop Rite when they try to look us up, so I think the problem is on our end.  Once I’ve got it up and running properly, I’ll be sure to share any hints and tricks I’ve found when using the site!

Anyone else currently using this with success?  Or have you had trouble as well?

Thanks to Hip2Save, I’m discovering all sorts of fun sites lately.  Yesterday, I saw a notice about House Party on the Facebook feed.  After some exploration of Hip2Save’s blog post and the House Party site, I thought it would be a fun site to share.

The concept is pretty cool:  House Party lists a number of different events sponsored by various brands that are looking to get the word out about their products.  As a member of the House Party site, you apply online to act as host for the various events.  If you are chosen, you get some free stuff and great products to use.  All you have to do is host the party!

So what’s the catch?  Parties do have to be hosted on a specific day, so if you’re booked for like months on end like we always seem to be, it might be hard to find something cool to host.  Also, there is no guarantee you’ll be chosen.  Basically, it seems as if you have to meet certain requirements, and there are only so many party packages to go around.  Also, you are expected to be an active part of the community, sharing photos and information from your party.  Fun for a blogger like me, but probably not a real incentive for most other people.

I’m super into this concept.  Number one, because I like free things, and number two, because it’s a great excuse to get people together.  My only concern is not getting enough people to attend!  While most of the upcoming parties are on dates that I wouldn’t be able to host, I’ll be on the look out for some fun ones.

Who’s in??  Would anyone come to something like this, or is it annoying?  Feedback, please!  Otherwise, I’ll update once I have my first party 🙂

I don’t typically do things like this, but since my brother is getting married on Friday, I thought it would be appropriate to share some thoughts I have on the relationship my siblings and I have shared and continue to share.

I never thought that the relationship that my brother and sister and I share was all the unique, until I got older and saw how other siblings talked about one another and interacted.  Now, I’m not saying that we didn’t get on one another’s nerves (anyone remember when Mark punched that window because Kelly and I wouldn’t come see him ride his bike without training wheels?).  However, there are certain experiences that shape you and allow you to build such wonderful relationships with your siblings that many fail to understand.

My brother, sister and I share experiences that we would never even speak of to anyone but each other.  When you go through hard times, you really have no choice but to embrace the only people that truly understand.  When you start to realize that no one else gets you the way your siblings do, or that they don’t want to believe the things that are going on in your life, you begin to cherish the unique bond you share.  After all, they know things that no one else should ever find out!  😉

Although I certainly wanted to have control over my brother and sister  (hence my creation of the Vacation Club, the Christmas Club, the Christmas plays and every single other group imaginable that would allow me to be president and order them around) I realized in the end that it was Mark that actually ended up leading us.  Through his faith, his committment to working hard, and his fortitude through the hard times, I’m almost embarassed to say he’s my little brother-after all, he’s light years ahead of us at times when it comes to some things.  It’s amazing to see how far he’s come, despite some of the obstacles he might have faced.  I mean it when I say, no one works harder than my brother!

It is for this reason that I chose to have my brother walk me down the aisle at my wedding.  Although this decision came with some controversy and many thought it was disrespectful, it was a choice I felt comfortable making.  My brother has been like a father figure at times, and who better to walk me down the path to my future than someone who knows my past almost better than I do.

Mark, you truly exemplify to me what it means to be a son, a brother, and now, ultimately, a husband.  The way you supported Mom all those years when Kelly and I were away is invaluable to us.  Just knowing you were there to take care of things  was enough.  All our lives you’ve given us the confidence to move forward with thing, as we know you’re right there behind us every step of the way.  We hope that as you embark on this journey with Pam, we can provide the same kind of love and support to you as well.

We love you!

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Four years ago today, we lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer.  January 10th, 2006, a few days before I returned to Susquehanna University to finish my undergraduate studies.  With the gracious support of hospice, my grandfather was able to live out the worst of his disease at home surrounding by his family.  Even though watching him die was a terrible thing to have to go through, the honor of caring for him in his final hours is an experience I will never regret.

My grandfather lost his battle quickly.  He doesn’t have a Patrick Swayze story.  He was diagnosed in late 2005, I believe around October, and we lost him a few short months later.  Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease like that.  Each year in the US, over 42,000 people are diagnosed with the disease and over 35,000 die from it.  The survival rate, although it has improved, is extremely heartbreaking.

My grandfather was a wonderful man, and not a week goes by that I don’t think about him and cry over our loss.  I know that 4 years after the fact, that seems a bit over done, but my grandfather was a hero in my eyes.  A great husband to my grandmother for over 50 years, a great father,a terrific grandfather, and a dedicated public servant, we miss him more and more every day.  I especially miss him this year, as I prepare to take a trip down the aisle.  What I wouldn’t give to have him holding my arm, and walking me to my future husband. He set a great example for what a beautiful marriage looks like, and I intend to honor his example each day of my own marriage.

To honor the memory of my grandfather’s death and support the advancement of pancreatic cancer research, I have donated to The Lustgarten Foundation, an organization that advances the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer.  I plan to continue to do this every year on January 10th as a tribute to a man I love and still miss each and every day.  If pancreatic cancer is a disease that is close to your heart, I encourage you to do the same.

My grandfather used to tell us before we left his house each time to return to school or whatever adventures we had, “Be good, and you’ll be happy.”  I’ve been good, Grandpa.  But I still miss you terribly.

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