Birthday Bling and Food Freebies – November 2012 Recap

The best month of the year flew by! Here’s my monthly recap for November 2012. (I also posted an annual recap of 2012 on my birthday.)

Birthday Bling and Sparkle

Sparkle movie still (Source: Creative Loafing Atlanta)
Sparkle movie still (Source: Creative Loafing Atlanta)

Over the weekend, I took advantage of the free 1-night Redbox rental code I got for my birthday and copped Sparkle (the remake of the iconic 1976 film with Irene Cara in the original title role). I love Jordin Spark’s voice, and seeing Whitney Houston play a different kind of character was refreshing and bittersweet. Derek Luke is awesome in everything he does. Omar Epps’ dramatic turn was also pretty awesome, but I notice several comedians that do well in dramatic roles (think Jamie Foxx, Anthony Anderson)–probably because a lot of comedy comes from a place of pain.

I didn’t get any jewelry for my birthday but I enjoyed my gifts and time with my family. Any “bling” I claim came from the Cyber week deals last week. Much better than Black Friday shopping, and without the traffic.

I was able to celebrate my birthday throughout the month.  I subscribe to a ton of birthday freebies, and I took advantage of most of them, including:

  • Baskin-Robbins
  • Ihop (I got the seasonal carrot cake pancakes)
  • Gamestop – 20% off a pre-owned game
  • Godiva – $10 off $10 purchase (I added this to the free piece of chocolate I already get each month as a loyalty club member. Not Weight Watchers friendly, but 1 piece of Godiva chocolate per month won’t derail my efforts.)
  • Maggiano’s – $10 off $30 purchase
  • Moe’s Southwest – 1 free complimentary entree (expires one week after printing)
  • Old Navy – $10 off $50 purchase
  • Redbox – 1 night free rental
  • Red Robin – free gourmet burger and side
  • Ruby Tuesdays – free burger (comes with two sides)
  • Sephora* – (changes each year)
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Starbucks* – 1 free item (anything; I got the eggnog latte but it wasn’t all that. Had to add real eggnog.)

A few “freebies” I didn’t use (on purpose) that may interest you:

  • California Pizza Kitchen**
  • Carrabba’s**
  • Cold Stone Creamery (They changed their program last year, so that now it’s a BOGO. Despite being “Weight Watchers unfriendly,” I’m not a twin. Why do I have to share my birthday treat.)
  • Chili’s**
  • DSW Shoe Warehouse (I couldn’t find a pair of shoes in my size that I liked — I wear 11s)
  • Joe’s Crab Shack**
  • Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen**
  • Texas Roadhouse (free appetizer)

I also got a few offers for local massages during my birthday month from spas I patronized earlier this year, but they were sent toward the end of the month, so I barely had any time to use them.
* – I did not receive an email for these freebies this year–not even in my spam folder.
**- You get a free dessert when you purchase an entree. But doesn’t that happen at any restaurant you’re dining at on your birthday?

Other Highlights

From L to R: Me, Rosetta, and Brittney
From L to R: Me, Rosetta, and Brittney

Social: I got to meet personal development blogger and coach Rosetta, aka Happy Black Woman at her Atlanta mixer.   She’s so young and yet so wise! I enjoyed meeting her and look forward to learning more from her.

Kudos: I was recently announced as a 2013 Stilletto Woman in Business Finalist in 2 categories: Author of the Year and Girl Advocate of the Year.  Someone nominated me somewhere…  THANK YOU!

Fitness: I went from doing 0 burpees and short-lasting modified planks to doing longer regular planks and multiple burpees (in the teens) per workout. I also started using the treadmill for interval training (short bursts of running on inclines and breaks in between) prior to using the nautilus machines.

Writing: Complete NaNoBloMo for the first time (daily blogging challenge for November), only missing a few days of prompts!

Homeschooling: Met a local homeschooling support group and toured a home study institution that teaches STEM subjects (my weakest subjects).

Publishing: Got paid from bookstores in California and Virginia that carry my books.

Peace of Mind: Ceased contact with a negative, energy-draining neighbor who wanted to schedule constant playdates with my daughter (there’s a lot more to that story… maybe for another day).

How was your month?

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