Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Time to plan our trip and buy a camera for it! (+deals)

Hiya yall.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Ours was great, but it flew by, although it’s not surprising since we had six holiday celebrations to attend! (Both of our immediate families and extended families for each side of our parents).  However, I'm really glad we were able to spend time with everyone.  It was nice to catch up and visit.

Santa and family were gracious to me and I received some awesome gifts.  Nothing to exciting, but many much needed/wanted items:  clothes, jewelry, flat iron, etc.  I’ll have to share some of my favs once I have things unpacked more.

Besides all of the get togethers, the weekend was also pretty productive.  The big decisions of the weekend were:

#1.  I think I am going to purchase the Canon Rebel T3 digital SLR camera!!

 My friend bought a T2i and received it last week.  She brought it to our breakfast on Saturday (seriously, the only time that worked for both of us to see each other) and I really liked it.  Then, when I got to my parents on Saturday for Christmas Eve pizza (yummy tradition) with my grandma, I realized that my bro and SIL have an older Canon EOS and I monkied around with it.  I loved it.  To me, it was a lot more intuitive than the Nikon D3000 and it also didn’t have the funky delay that Nikon had.  However, I had been watching the pricing at Sears, which was $449 then 10% back via ebates for final price of $404.  Now it went up to $499 and 4% back, so $479.  Amazon has it for $439 and with my Chase Freedom credit card, we get 5% back on amazon purchases this quarter, which would take it to $417. Anywho, I’m going to keep my eye on them and wait until we take our intro to photography class to make the final decision and purchase.

#2 decision, is really not a final decision, but more like some progress on our Europe trip. 

 If you remember, my little sister is moving to Reading (30 min train ride west of London) in just 9 days (holy crap).  We’re going to visit her in April and although we have a rough idea of what we want to do, it’s been up in the air.  The goal is to book our flights soon (maybe within two weeks or so).  M, my sis, wants to do a 5 or 6 day trip with us over Easter wknd.  We’ve ruled out a number of places because of the holiday itself (no Italy) or because my parents really want to visit there (Prague, my parents will go visit my sister twice in the six months she’s there).  As of right now we’re considering: Barcelona, Hamburg, Brussels and Bruges, or Copenhagen for our trip together. 

After spending a lot of yesterday morning talking with MIL and BIL, our rough agenda is looking like:
·         Thurs night: Depart from Chicago
·         Fri: Arrive in Amsterdam
·         Sat: Amsterdam
·         Sun: Amsterdam
·         Mon: Amsterdam; leave for Paris
·         Tues: Paris
·         Wed: Paris
·         Thurs: Paris
·         Fri: Leave Paris and meet my sister, maybe Barcelona?
·         Sat: Barcelona?
·         Sun: Barcelona?
·         Mon: Barcelona?
·         Tues: Barcelona?/return to London
·         Wed-Sun: London, Sunday depart for home.

It’s a slightly ambitious itinerary, but I think it is doable.  However, we’re not booking flights until we lock in our where we’ll vacation with my sister.  There is so much to consider!  Now that the holidays are slowing down, I’m really hoping to dive into planning this trip. 

Here are some of the sales I found for today:
·    AT Loft: 50% off everything (excluding new arrivals) in store and online with code TAKE50
·    Banana Republic: In store only, take an extra 30% off sale items
·    Barnes and Noble: 30% off one teen or children’s book with code M7K4K8J or in store with this coupon
·    Bloomingdales: 30-50% off boots through 1/2 in store and online (get back 6% via ebates.com)
·    Crate and Barrel: Winter Clearance Sale
·    Gap: Online only, ends today, take an extra 20% off sale items with code GAPSALE
·    Magazine.com: $5 off subscriptions with code AFTERXMAS through 1/12 (plus get up to 40% back when you shop via ebates.com)
·    Puma: Up to 75% off private sale
·    Restaurant.com: 80% off gift certificates, $2 for $25 GCs with code SALE (plus get money back via ebates.com)
·    Sephora: Online only, extra 20% off sale items with code EXTRA
·    Snapfish: $5 5”x7” photobooks through 12/31 with code EVERDAY5 or CUSTOM5 for a custom cover photobook (plus get 20% back via ebates)

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