Saturday: Arts Alive Free Museum Day

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If you love art, spending time with your family and free stuff, then you’ll have a great time this weekend! This Saturday, September 25th (always the last Sat. in Sept.) is Arts Alive Free Museum Day; no passes required and no residency restrictions.  Last year my husband and I got a very late start with our little boy, so we were only able to make it to the Museum of Fine Arts (St. Pete). This year, we are determined to see more than one. Here’s a list (taken from stpete.org) of local museums you can visit for absolutely FREE this Saturday:

So grab your family and take advantage of this great deal! I think we’ll try to make it to Great Explorations and The Morean Arts Center this time to see the Chihuly Collection. Which museums will you visit for free? To learn more about our local museums and other activities going on this weekend, click here.

Last year at the Museum of Fine Arts all the kids were invited to make their own art to display.

Tijuana Flats Freebie: Today Only!

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Here’s a great deal for lunch or dinner today. I found this little gem in my mailbox this morning! This is one of the perks of being a member of restaurant email clubs. Enjoy!

Speaking of free stuff, you can always get a free insurance quote at http://www.patronsinsurance.com. You can easily get yours on your lunch break!

Happy Birthday, Nihja!

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Today we’re celebrating Nihja’s 22nd Birthday at Patrons Insurance Agency. He’s not just an agent, he’s family. To celebrate, we’re handing out cookies to everyone! Well actually, we give out cookies every Friday, but we’re still excited about his big day. Check back here later to learn more about this superstar agent. I (Jenn) will be stopping by the office to ask him a few questions. However, feel free to give him a call now at the office (727-394-1890) for a free quote. We’re passing those out all day everyday!

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Make Free Music Videos with Animoto

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You too can create videos like this one for FREE! Animoto allows you to turn your photos and videos into 30 second slideshows with very little effort. All you have to do is upload 8-10 images, arrange them in the order of your choosing, pick out a song and theme (earth, water, fire, classic) and let Animoto create a music video for you. They choose the transitions and make sure the timing works with the song. You can even add text, like I did for the video above. One of the difficulties I’ve had with the service is not knowing how many photos will fit in my video. I often upload the number recommended with two or three text slides and find out that the last 2 photos didn’t make the cut. I think this may have to do with the length of the songs I choose; some are less than 30 seconds long.

However, if you’re looking for something more elaborate, you could just purchase an All Access ($30/year) or a Pro account ($249/year). For $249 a year you can make music as long as you want, as many as want. Unlike the free account, they won’t be branded–no Animoto graphics for you. With a professional account you also have the option of downloading your videos so you can upload them where you please and create DVDs. Members with free accounts can email their videos or share them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, MySpace and a few other places. Videos can also be embeded on a person’s website. However, the video above had to be exported to YouTube first, then the embed code for that was used here on this blog.

I like using Animoto because I know next to nothing about editing videos, but I do like to showcase our commercial clients, like Rejuvenation Station Studios. I usually export my video creations to YouTube and then share that link on Twitter and our Facebook page. If you’d like to try out Animoto for yourself click here to create your free 30 second video. Don’t forget to show us what you made!

Win Giveaways

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One of my favorite coupon bloggers, Mindi over at Moms Need To Know, is teaming up with 10 other female bloggers to give away tons of prizes from their sponsors. All week long they’re announcing new prizes like laptops, $100 AMEX gift cards, backpacks, snapfish.com gift cards, and much more. All the winners will be announced this Friday. If you’d like to join the fun, “like” the Win Giveaways page on Facebook. There you’ll find out who’s giving away what prizes. Entering is easy and you can do so multiple times. They usually ask that you leave a comment…

1. about their post
2. that says you subscribe to their blog
3. that you shared the giveaway on Facebook
4. that you tweeted the giveaway

Sometimes you can enter more than 4 times. It’s very easy! I actually won a $20 Diapers.com gift certificate in one of Mindi’s giveaways last week and my order should arrive tomorrow. Some of the prizes can be won on all the blogs and other prizes can only be won on one or two. However, they’re all giving away a $100 AMEX gift card from Invisalign Teen, a Land’s End backpack and Belkin laptop messenger bag with accessories. Just keep checking the Win Giveaways Facebook page for the latest postings. Good luck! Don’t forget to let us know if you’re a winner.

My Favorite Coupon Blogs

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I’ve recently made a concerted effort to save more money by using coupons. So far so good! On Friday I saved $33 on groceries at Target and yesterday I saved $21 at Publix. There are 4 blogs that have inspired and helped me to do this. I’d like to share them with you.


The first one I discovered was Smart Couponing. One of our Facebook friends, Amanda, shared a link for free bagels and I’ve been a subscriber ever since. This blog tells you about all the good deals happening at several of my favorite stores, like Target, Publix, Amazon.com, CVS and Walmart. You can find coupon/sale match-ups on the blog, on their Facebook page, or just follow them on Twitter @SmartCouponing.

I Heart Publix
The same day I found Smart Couponing, I found a link to I Heart Publix. This blog is all about the sales, specials, promotions, etc. at Publix, my favorite grocery store! My favorite feature though, is the Sneak Peek at the upcoming Publix Weekly Ad. You’ll also find great deals from other stores there. You can also follow all the great savings on the I Heart Publix Facebook page.


Around the same time, I came across Moms Need To Know, a blog by a mom in the Philadelphia area. You can follow her on Twitter @MindiCherry or visit her Facebook Page. She posts printable coupons, free stuff, drug store and grocery store deals all day long. She also has a Moms Need To Cook section full of recipes. You’ll love her!

The fourth and final coupon blog that I love is True Couponing. This is a Faith-based blog run by 3 stay at home moms. They post great deals going on at Publix, Walgreens, CVS, Kmart, Walmart and Whole Foods. They also match up coupons to the sales and have “good deal alerts”. This blog is especially for the moms I know because these women live in Central Florida and offer coupon training classes at local churches. You can find their schedule here.

I hope find these sites helpful and you’re able to save some money. Please let me know if you of any other good coupon blogs or ways to save money. Happy shopping!

I <3 The Road Photo Contest

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We had so much fun with the I ❤ My Pet photo contest, we decided to do another one! You don’t need a pet for this one. We want you to tell us all about  your Summer road trip. Tell us where you’ve gone this Summer and why we should go there too. I will post the photos to the “I ❤ The Road Photo Contest” album on our Facebook page along with your description. Then all of our Facebook friends will vote (by clicking the “like” button) for their favorites. Email your photo to us at patronsinsuranceagency@gmail.com and we’ll post it pronto. Click here for contest details.

You’re not the only one traveling this Summer. Two of our agents at Patrons Insurance Agency, Dawn (mom) and Siobhan (daughter), are headed West right now. Their destination is unknown, but they’ll share photos from their trip along the way. You can find their photos on our Facebook page too in the “Dawn & Siobhan Headed West” album. Perhaps you’ll be inspired for your next road trip. They return August 7th and the I<3 The Road photo contest winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 10th. Their prize? A $25 VISA gift card. Stay tuned to our blog for all things road trip related until then.

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