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Mini-Makeovers for Your Baths

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I’m addicted to home improvement shows. In episode 13 of BargainJill TV, I’ll walk you through two different bathroom makeovers. One for under $550 and another makeover for under $300.

Makeover #1

Bathroom makeover #1 is all about quality brushed nickel fixtures and adds up to about $550 total:

1) Fontaine Monaco Brushed Nickel Widespread Faucet from Overstock.com – $170 ($330 retail)

2) Fontaine Monaco Brushed Nickel Centerset Faucet from Overstock.com – $120 ($230 retail)

3) Fontaine Old English Tub/Shower Set (Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze from Overstock – $120

4) Bath Accessory Set at Overstock(toilet paper holder, towel ring, towel rack) – $60 ($87 retail)

5) Liberty Hardware Satin 3-inch Satin Nickel Pulls from HomeDepot.com – $1.99 each

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6) Hampton Bay 4-Light Brushed Nickel Bath Bar with Etched Mist Glass at Home Depot – $101 ($169 retail)

7) White Waffle Weave Shower Curtain at Target – $25

8.) Shower Curtain Rod and Hook Set in Nickel from Overstock.com – $35 ($60 retail)

9) La Grande 800-gram Egyptian Cotton 6-piece Towel Set at Overstock – $40 ($96 retail)

Total cost for makeover #1: $499-$550

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Makeover #2

Makeover #2 is centered around rich, oil-rubbed bronze finishes and rings in at less than $300:

10) Fontaine “Bathroom in a Box” Set at Overstock – $120

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11) Fontaine Old English Tub/Shower Set ( Oil Rubbed Bronze) from Overstock – $120

12) Vinyl with Mesh Pockets Shower Curtain from Overstock – $15 ($20 retail)

13) Liberty Hardware 3 In. Banded Spindle Pulls from HomeDepot.com – $5 each

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Cheers!

Jill

Tennis Sale: See Sharon Swoon. Swoon, Sharon. Swoon.

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Strawberries and cream.  Blood, sweat and tears.  Grass and chalk.  Victory and defeat.  White and… more white. IT’S WIMBLEDON TIME!! In episode 12 of BargainJill TV we’re gonna talk tennis!

It all started in 1877.  22 men battled racquet-versus-racquet at The All England Club’s Lawn Tennis Championship.  One man reigned victorious.  Seven years later, ladies were allowed to play.  Full-length skirts with bustles, petticoats, corsets, and fancy hats.  Elaborate white clothing as far as the eye could see. By World War I, some lady players caused a stir by donning SHORT SLEEVES and “revealing” calf-length skirts. Shortly after Word War II, all sense of fashion decorum was lost forever when in 1949 “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran wore tennis panties trimmed with lace [GASP] under her white tennis dress to spite the officials who refused to allow her to wear color. It was the talk of the papers.  Also, an enemy of the all-white tradition, and probably of corsets as well, Andre Agassi boycotted Wimbledon from 1988 to 1990 because he refused to wear the conservative, all-white attire.  Image was everything.

Fast forward again to June 26th, 2008 and while Wimbledon is white and traditional as ever, the rest of the tennis landscape is anything but.

If you’re a tennis fanatic like myself, or if you used to be and it’s time to get back onto the court, because it’s AWESOME, you won’t want to miss the Golfsmith Friends and Family Sale running today though Sunday, June 29th.  I recently loaded up on tons of new tennis clothes from Golfsmith, and if you need to do the same, the time is NOW. You will need to use promo code FFSS08 (that’s a zero, not the letter o) during checkout to see up to 25% off all kinds of tennis clothing.  And you GOLFERS out there can get up to 40% off select golf apparel and accessories.

I want to start off our tennis bargains with the Nike Tennis Control Seamless Tank in burgundy.  They have sizes S-XL.  It retails at $60, but should be on sale for about $40, if not less.   Along with this top, I ordered several other tanks that were on clearance, for much lower prices in some cases, and yet, this is the top that I always seem to grab.  It is so stretchy and comfortable, there are no side seams to drive you crazy, and I’ve gotta say that it stays in place pretty well.  I don’t feel like I’m constantly tugging at it to adjust it while I’m playing. Also, the built-in bra does its job much better than in most of the other similar tops that I own.

Another high recommendation that came out of my tennis shopping spree is the Nike Power Skirt.  I ordered at least 5 tennis skirts at once, and the others practically never even leave my drawer.  Again, this skirt cost $10-$15 more than the other skirts I bought on sale, but MAN is there a difference. There are a couple of slightly different styles of this skirt, one with a lower-rise waist-band, and the other with a more traditional waist, and it comes in many colors.  What I love about this skirt: first is the length.  It’s a generous 14″ which means that you can be seen in public without feeling half naked. Secondly, the fabric is thick, durable and figure forgiving.  And thirdly, the cut of the compression shorts built into this skirt, works really well.  They stay put while you’re playing and the length of the shorts is just slightly shorter than the length of the skirt.  These skirts retail at about $50, but several colors are on sale for $33 or less.

Some of the best deals at Golfsmtih right now are, of course, on items in very limited sizes, so be sure to head over there and check it out yourself.  Don’t forget to use the promo code FFSS08 during checkout to see your extra Friends and Family discount.  And yes, that’s a zero in the promo coded and NOT the letter o.
Another athletic top that I wanted to share with you is actually on sale at MACY’s right now.  The Nike Pinnacle Long Sport Tunic retails at $50 and is on sale for $35.  I love the length of this top.  I can see this working great for all kinds of sports and activities.  This tank offers nice insurance that you’ll stay covered whether your reaching for the sky to serve a tennis ball, spike a volleyball or do some of your crazy yoga moves.  Especially considering how low-rise a lot of athletic pants, short and skirts are now-a-days, it’s nice to see that Nike has put some thought into helping us stay covered.

Well, you all go check out some of these deals…  I have some Wimbledon to watch!

Cheers!

Jill

Ahhhhh YEAHHHH – BargainJack Relaunch with Triple Deal Goodness!

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

You endured our green and orange bargainjack color palette for far far too long.   You’ve heard us talk about a BargainJack redesign for…almost a year. We’ll, this past weekend, we finally did it!  Now Jack is sporting a whole new look and LOTS of new functionality, catching Jack up with BargainJill.  The Much-Awaited BargainJack Relaunch offers all kinds of eye candy, deal-finding features and a triple threat of deal goodness with three linked deal sites.

The coolest thing about this redesign is that it makes it super easy to navigate in between our three sites, BargainJack, BargainJill and One Day Buys.  What in world is One Day Buys? – you ask.  OneDayBuys.com is our brand new site which was formerly the One Day Deals tab on BargainJack.  OneDayBuys.com has many of the cool new features that have been added to BargainJack and BargainJill, and continues to be your one stop shop for keeping an eye on over 100 One Day Deal sites as well as major retailers who offer a Deal of the Day.  We’ve added categories to browse through to make your deal search easier.

Now let’s walk through some of the new features on BargainJack.  Our big focus was around encouraging more interaction and more of a sense of community, so we added the ability for our readers to rate deals.  You don’t even have to be logged in.   You can also share a deal with your friends via email or with your favorite social sites by hovering over the Share Deal link next to each deal.

We’ve also added an easier way to comment on deals.  Now instead of having to jump over to the forum, you can comment on a deal directly on the product page for that deal.  Then other users can see your comments when they visit that product page, AND the comment is automatically added to the forum, also.  You DO need to be registered to comment on deals and if you were registered with the old bargainjack forum, we WILL need you to sign up again in the new forum.  But hey, it’s free.  If you were already signed up for newsletters, those should continue to arrive without any interuption, so you DONT need to change anything there.

Back at the home page, we show the daily commentary which you’re already familiar with, we’ve added a spot for Jack’s Pick for the previous day in case you forgot to check in.  And another new feature is that you can click Jack’s Picks to see ALL of the commentaries that Jack has written in one place and you have the ability to comment on the daily writeup.  Next on the homepage, you’ll see the latest 25 deals that we’ve posted.  If you want to see more than 25 deals and also want to use our snazzy new filtering tools, you can either click the “See More” link above the deals list or you can click the Latest Deals tab in the top nav bar.  Now that you’re at the Latest Deals page, you can easily slice and dice your results by category. Expand the CATEGORIES link and just select the categories that YOU care about.  If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can click directly on the link for the category you want, and it will filter your results for you and give you SUBCATEGORY choices to use to filter your deals even more. Let’s say that I’m looking for a new computer and a hard drive.  I can click the “None” link below the categories so that NO categories are selected, and then i can go back and click the checkboxes for Computers and for Hard Drives.  And then click Refresh List.

Under Advanced FIlters, you can specify whether you’d like expired deals or deals with rebates to be hidden. Also, you can hide “Storewide Sales and Coupons” which means that you will only see PRODUCT-SPECIFIC deals, and not any broad sales or coupons which require you to go out and pick the product yourself.

If you have a favorite store and want to see the latest deals for them, you can click the Shop by Merchant tab and choose a Merchant.  On the individual merchant’s page, we first list any general sales and coupons we have for that merchant, and then list all of the specific product deals that we have for that merchant.  This is handy if you already know that you are going to buy something from Buy.com, for instance, and you want to make sure that you’re not missing out on any coupon codes or other hot items while you’re there.

Want to submit your own deal to BargainJack or BargainJill? You can click “Submit a Deal” from the left nav and then walk through the DEAL adding wizard.  We moderate all of the deals just to make sure that we squash all of the viagra spammers and crazy people like that, but it’s another great way for you to contribute to this deals community.

We really hope that you’re as excited about the redesign as we are.  Shoot us an email or add your thoughts to our forum, or add comments to this blog post.  We want to hear what you think!

Thanks as always for all of the support you’ve given us.  You’ve allowed us to evolve to three sites that we’re really proud to share.  To help us promote our launch, please tell a few of your friends about us!

Have an excellent week! Bye!

Episode 10: Linens ‘n Things ‘n Bankruptcy ‘n Bargains

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Note: Prices dropped even more on both Overstocksheet sets after this episode was taped.

As you may or may not have heard, Linens ‘n Things has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is closing 120 of their 500 some odd stores. The affected 120 locations are now liquidating their stock, and awesome prices are abundant at these affected stores, so this is one time when it will absolutely pay to head to the brick and mortar store rather than buying online. To find out if your favorite Linens ‘n Things will soon be closing its doors, click here.

If all of the employees at your local Bed Bath and Beyond are walking with an extra spring in their step, now you know why. And just FYI, there had been a rumor circulating that Bed Bath and Beyond was also considering filing for bankruptcy, BUT…that rumor is false. In fact, as you can imagine, the Linen’s n things bankruptcy has put Bed Bath and Beyond in a pretty decent position. I can raise my hand and acknowledge that I helped put Linens n Things in their current bind. I’ve been a staunch supporter of buying linens from Overstock.com for the last several years. Overstock’s prices are so much more reasonable, on a CONSISTENT basis, the quality is great, and many of their sheet sets have been reviewed hundreds of times over. So, it’s kind of hard for me to look at Linen’s n’ Things and be surprised by their current predicament…not that I don’t love their constant stream of 20% off coupons in my mailbox, but sometimes it’s just easier to shop with the store who offers consistently lower prices.

And while we’re on the topic of linens, Overstock.com has created another exclusive discount for BargainJill readers. This time, they’re offering an extra $12 off their second-best selling sheet set: the 1000 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Striped Sheet Set. This set retails at $260, is on sale for $150, and BargainJill readers can score this set for $135. You can choose from eight different colors (white, ivory, gold, taupe, black, blue, burgundy and sage), and it’s available in sizes Full, Queen, King and even California King. This set scores very well after 21 customer reviews with an overall rating of 4.6 stars, so it’s no surprise that it’s a top-seller.

I’m going to tell you about two more sets, but I first want to point out that only this first set is Egyptian cotton. So what does that mean? Egyptian cotton is literally grown in Egypt and is know for being the strongest, most beautiful and lustrous type of cotton and is thought to be the most luxurious of all cottons. So between the Egyptian cotton and the super-high thread count, this set is more pricey than the next two that I’ll talk about, but it’s still a fantastic value for a set of truly luxurious sheets.

Another set that I’d like to mention is one that I’ve owned and slept on since November, the Luxury 800 TC Combed Cotton Sheet Set, also from Overstock. Colors are more picked over than the previous set unless you have a King-sized bed, but if you are looking for a great set of sheets for a Queen or King bed, these are wonderful. They are thick and seem very durable so far. They get softer with each washing and feel great against your skin. I should mention that they are quite wrinkled when I take them out of the dryer. If I had time to iron them, I’d iron them, but I don’t. And we still manage to sleep just fine. The wrinkles eventually work themselves out for the most part anyway. But if YOU obsess over these things, you might have luck with a different set, especially lower thread count sets which tend to look a little more presentable straight from the dryer. For the $50 sale price (that’s 83% off the retail) this is a killer deal that I definitely recommend. And I’m not the only one. These sheets are rated 4.5 stars after 935 reviews.

In addition to Overstock, there’s one more company who deserves some recognition for bargain-priced, quality linens, and that is SmartBargains.com. Right now, they’re offering an excellent price of $40 on a set of 600TC Cotton Sheets that retails for $165. The carry sizes Full, Queen and King, and they are offering nice cool and subtle colors including white, ivory, celadon, sky blue and pecan.

All three of these sets should feel great when you jump into bed, and you can also feel great about the price for the overall value.

Have a great day!

-Jill

BargainJill TV Episode 9: Funky Chunky Necklaces

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Today is about funky beaded necklaces to heat up your summer dresses and tops. One of the beauties of summer is that low necklines and fun colors can be a fantastic excuse to show off a great chunky beaded necklace. VERY hot this summer. And, the great thing about beaded neacklaces is that there’s a style and a price point for everyone. Whether you’re bedazzling yourself in funky, plastic beads or adding an element of interest to a simple summer dress with a semi-precious stone necklace, there are plenty to pick from, from $10 to hundreds.

For just $13.99, I found a great Amber Beaded Y-shaped Necklace at Target. It has a 20″ adjustable length chain, closes with a lobster claw clasp and is 30% off the $19.99 retail price right now. This could blend with all types of outfits due to its amber, cream and brown beads.

Another great necklace is the Gemstone and Cultured Freshwater Pearl Necklace at Overstock for $49.99. That’s 46% off the regular $92 price. It scores 4.6 stars after 22 reviews so far and is made from a fantastic mix of pink, rose, and white cultured freshwater pearls intespersed with chips of carnelian, amethyst, and citrine.

And for our third and final necklace of today, Overstock is offering BargainJill readers an exclusive discount on a beautiful Turquoise and Smoky Quartz Necklace. It retails at $185, is on sale for $114.99, and after the extra $10 off for BargainJill readers, you’ll pay just $104.99. To receive this extra BargainJill discount, be sure to click any of our BUY IT NOW buttons that you see for this deal or the link directly above.

This gorgeous necklace is made in the USA by artisans who used oval African turquoise and faceted smokey quartz. A lobster claw clasp keeps the necklace secure in the back and it’s rated 4 stars after 3 reviews.

All three of these necklaces would be great additions to your jewelry box, and I like that they fit with the chunky beaded necklace trend without looking TOO trendy. You’ll be able to wear any of these for years to come while still looking really hot right now.

Check back again on Thursday. I’ll tell you the latest scoop in the world of linens. Change is afoot.

Have a great day!

-Jill

BargainJill TV Episode 8: The Women’s (Mouse) Revolution

Thursday, June 12th, 2008


I’ll admit that I’m a pretty geeky girl. If I’m not sleeping, the odds are good that I’m on my computer. Considering the amount of time that I spend on a computer, I’ve become very picky about the tools that I work with.

Over time I’ve realized that every high quality mouse, especially cordless mice, are totally designed for giant man hands. What is up with that? Sorry ladies, only guys are allowed to comfortably use a computer??!!?? That’s garbage! I still get fired up about it. So, odd as it may sound, I kind of made it my personal mission to find a killer mouse that WORKS great, is CORDLESS and is super-comfortable for women to use. I finally met the perfect mouse: the Logitech VX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks.

I’ve now been using this mouse now for about 10 months and am still completely in love with it for both my laptop AND my desktop computers. It’s on sale at Buy.com right now for a very reasonable price of $57.24 and ships for free. This usually sells for closer to $70, but to me, this thing is so priceless that I’d gladly pay $100.

The only reasons to NOT get this mouse would be if you are deep into gaming since this mouse can only handle lighter gaming, or if you’re left handed, since it’s designed for righties. Otherwise, performance is fantastic and I rarely see any lag. Operation is very smooth and reliable. The VX Revolution has Forward and Back web browsing buttons within the reach of your thumb, which I find incredibly handy.The scroll wheel works well and has a nice feel to it, and makes scrolling through a document or webpage fast and easy. And beneath the scroll wheel is a Search button that gives you one-click access to search for files on your computer. Also, some additional features can be enabled if you install the Setpoint software that’s included on a CD with this mouse. With setpoint, you can enable horizontal scrolling, zooming, the search button so that it grabs your favorite web browser, as well as set the speed and acceleration of the mouse.

The design thought that went into the portability of this mouse is well done and very clever. When it’s time to pack up your laptop and mouse, you can just pull the USB transmitter out of your USB port and pop it into the back of the mouse for safekeeping. This automatically turns off the power on your mouse, thereby saving your AA battery. And then when you’re ready to use your mouse again, you just press the eject button on the mouse, the power turns on automatically, and you pop the receiver back into your laptop. Very simple.

This is not a rechargeable mouse, which has both its pros and cons. When the AA battery on the VX Revolution starts to die, the mouse starts acting sporadically flaky and you know it’s time to grab a new battery. One battery lasts a nice period of time, though…i’d guess like 6-8 weeks of heavy use, which is impressive compared to other wireless mice I’ve used. What I like about non-rechargeable mice like this is that as long as you always have batteries on hand, you’re never without a mouse for more than the minute or 2 that it takes to change the battery, whereas with a rechargeable mouse, if you leave it off the charger for too long, your mouse is basically worthless to you until you placed it back in the charger and let it fully recharge. For me, that is BAD NEWS, so I much prefer using a mouse with batteries.

The last thing that I want to point out is the beauty of the size and ergomic design of this mouse. It is THE most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used. When we compare it side-by-side with a couple other “standard”/man-sized mice, it’s easy to see the difference when placed in a woman’s hand.
With many standard mice, I feel like i have to choose between having my fingers in the proper place and holding up my arm all day or resting my hand more comfortably but not properly reaching the buttons. The VX Revolution is so much more comfortable. I’m able to rest the base of my hand on the desk, my fingers are perfectly positioned on the mouse bottons, and overall, the hand position and spacing of my fingers is just so much more natural.

I’m not the only one to give this mouse rave reviews. And even though I love to pretend that it was designed for women, men also give this mouse really high marks. After checking reviews at TigerDirect, Buy.com, Best Buy, NewEgg and Circuit City, this mouse consistently scores between 4 and half and 5 stars after hundreds of reviews. But remember, Buy.com has the best price right now at $57 with free shipping and no rebate needed. So for all of you right-handed ladies out there, you cannot beat this mouse.

The shirt worn in today’s episode is available at Macy’s. This is the Ruffle Trim Top in white from International Concepts. It’s also available in black and sells for $39.

Check back again on Monday for the next episode of BargainJill TV and enjoy the rest of your week!

Cheers!
-Jill

Episode 7: Mizrahi and Target Break Up the Wedding Cartel

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Episode 7 of BargainJill TV is all about one designer who shattered the mold of high price wedding gowns.

About a year ago in May of 2007, Isaac Mizrahi (who I love) and Target teamed up to shock the bridal world by creating a line of truly affordable and elegant bridal wear. From wedding dresses, to bridal shoes, veils and all sorts of other accessories, to even bow tie and cummerbund sets for men, Isaac ROCKED our pre-conceived notions of how much bridal attire should cost.

When Isaac and Target made their announcement about this new line but before the designs had been unveiled, there was a large, collective cry of women asking “Who in their right mind would ever wear a dress from Target on the most important day of their life?” But, it’s a year later now. When we saw Isaac’s inagral line of dresses, between gritted teeth, we HAD to admit that they looked awfully elegant for the price, or for ANY price for that matter. So THEN we questioned the comfort, and the quality, and the fit. But after a year of customer reviews, there’s not much to question anymore except our own prejudice against affordable brands where there have previously been none in the past. While it’s certainly not for everyone, I am going to call this experiment a success. It’s opened up a whole new world of style to women who don’t have the deep pockets or even just the desire to spend a crazy amount of money on a dress. Most of Mizrahi’s dresses have excellent reviews. And most importantly, so many of these reviews absolutely gushed about how gorgeous these brides felt in Isaac’s creations. And, afterall, that is the goal of any wedding dress. So congrats, Isaac. I thought you were crazy at first, but I’m certainly not a skeptic anymore.

Several of Isaac’s wedding dresses are on clearance right now at Target which means that we’re seeing prices on wedding dresses that are absolutely unheard of. MY favorite is the Isaac Mizrahi for Target Trapunto Bell Dress in Opal Cream. This beautiful dress is $80! That’s 50% off the $160 retail price. Seriously, we spent more than that on dinner last night. Reviews indicate that the color is closer to buttercream than to opal, but those with fairer complexions seemed to especially enjoy the color. The cut is fabulous and perfect on so many body types not to mention that this dress is made of a figure-forgiving rich tafetta of 54% Silk and 46% Polyester. It’s a nice dense fabric with a plain weave and gives off a subtle sheen. It is Fully Lined in Polyester Georgette and has an inner Tiered Crinoline Skirt to enhance the Bell Shape of this gown. The square neckline is SO pretty and classic and can be dressed up beautifully with simple OR ornate jewelry, and the straps have bra-keeps to ensure that bra-straps stay safely hidden. The base of the skirt features a wide band of trapunto, which is embroidered, cushioned fabric along the bottom that adds a nice subtle detail while also helping to maintain the shape of the dress. This dress is available in all sizes from 2-16 except for size 12. But since you should always expect to alter a wedding dress anyway, there’s no reason to not order a size 14 if you normally wear a 12 and are interested in this amazing deal. It’s rated 4.5 stars after 13 reviews, and considering how demanding brides can be, I think that’s a pretty impressive mark. 😉
If you’re looking for a true white dress, the Isaac Mizrahi for Target Classic Princess Dress is quite the confection in Igloo White (though it’s also available in Opal Cream)and is also 50% off and sells for an astounding $65. This dress features the same tafetta fabric, lining and built-in crinoline as the previous dress, but has some fun features like hidden, built-in POCKETS to stash your lipstick and cell phone, or whatever you need to keep handy on your big day. How brilliant is THAT? This dress is rated 4 stars after 6 reviews.

And these two styles are just a taste of what’s available. There are a few more on clearance, and several more are available at regular prices. I know for some of us, it requires an open mind to consider this option for your wedding, but looking back at mine, I would gladly have saved $600 on my dress, still gotten a gorgeous dress out of the deal, and I would have put that savings into a better photographer. Word to the wise.
The shirt worn in today’s episode is the Mossimo Printed Top in Ebony and it sells for $14.99 at Target. There’s nothing “printed” about it, but I can say that it is an incredibly comfortable crinkly, gauzy fabric that has a tone-on-tone vertical stripe pattern woven directly into the fabric. The fit is very loose and breezy.

Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Remember to check back again on Thursday for the next installment of BargainJill TV. Also, remember to order your gifts for Father’s Day if you haven’t already. Father’s Day is this Sunday! For gift ideas, check out BargainJill TV Episode 5. And, just to be safe, you’ll want to pay a little extra for expedited shipping.

Cheers!

-Jill

At 2:14am, Roomba became self-aware

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

People have an irrational fear of robots thanks to too many bad sci-fi movies. I’m ok with robots taking over the world…as long as they clean my house while they’re at it.

I’m a horrible housekeeper, we’re insanely busy, and we have two, big black dogs. Not a recipe for clean floors. Dog hair was far and away our biggest problem. And then… I met Roomba. This amazing little vacuum sweeps around and even under furniture and works like a champ self-adjusting its own height on tile, hardwood, carpet, vinyl or throw rugs. It has large enough wheels to be able to handle changes in floor level, like transitions between wood and tile. The results are not the same as if you were to vacuum the floors yourself, but the results are pretty darn good and allow us to go much longer in between regular vacuumings.

Roombas are available in many flavors, and today, I’m featuring the same model that I have. It is the Remanufactured iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot with Scheduler at Amazon for just $150. I think that’s $20 less than we paid and it’s 55% off the retail price of $330. Free shipping is included. The Scheduler technology means that you can program your Roomba to vacuum on a set schedule, even alternating between different zones of your house. So each day, all you have to do is remember to empty the dirt canister, which is a pretty painless process. With all of the pet hair in our house, I find that I usually need to pull hair out of the brushes at least once a week, but this is also pretty minor considering all of the vacuuming that I’m getting out of.

The manufacturer will choose a color for you, but you can expect to receive your Roomba in “like-new” condition. You may see minor cosmetic blemishes, but ours looked brand new.

It’s rated 4 stars after 211 customer reviews at Amazon, and like me, several reviewers say that it’s one of the best purchases they’ve ever made.

The next robot i have my eye on is the iRobot 5800 Scooba Floor-Washing Robot. The Scooba will MOP your floors and is safe on sealed hardwood, tile, marble and linoleum. WHile the scooba doesnt do corners, most reviewers are quite happy with the overall results. Amazon has the cheapest price right now on this Scooba and it sells $250, which is a nice drop from the $400 retail price, especially considering that this is a NEW model, unlike the refurbished Roomba that we talked about.

I think that the bottom line with both the Roomba and the Scooba is to set your expectations properly. If you want your floors to be perfectly mopped or swept, you need to do it yourself. But, if like me, you know that rarely have time to mop or vacuum, these robots can keep your house much cleaner than you would on your own. I highly recommend the Roomba, and I while I haven’t used a Scooba yet, I’m definitely in the market.

Thanks for watching today’s episode. The white sequined tank work in today’s episode is the Mossimo Sequined Tank in White with Gold sequins. It’s available at Target for $12.99 and is available in White, brown or black and comes in sizes XS-XXL.

Cheers!
-Jill


Gifts For Dad – Because You Were a Wild Child

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Sunday, June 15th is Father’s Day which means that it’s time to get a move on for Dad’s presents. In case you’re coming up blank on gift ideas, I have found a dozen deals that should please a wide variety of fathers.

Deals #1 and 2 are tools for the grill master. Stay with an all-stainless set and ensure that Dad can use your gift for years to come. The Mr. Bar-B-Q Premium Stainless Steel BBQ Tool Set is ready for the job and sells for $39.99 at Target. Or, help dad quickly check the temperature of his chicken and t-bones with the Taylor Commercial Waterproof Digital Thermometer at Amazon for $15.45. It’s rated 4 stars after over 100 reviews.

Deal #3 is all about FOOD. When in doubt, you know that Dad has got to eat, so get him something good. Omaha Steaks is an excellent idea for Father’s Day and right now they’re running a special on The Father’s Day Cookout Classic.

For $50, this bundle includes 2 9oz boneless strip steaks, 2 6oz top sirloins, and 8 burgers. Also, if you click this 12 free burgers link, you’ll receive an extra 12 burgers to add to dad’s order for free.

Wrist watches make our gift list as deals #4 and #5. The Invicta Men’s Swiss Quartz Steel Watch is 79% off at $99.99 and is well- rated with 4.7 stars after 153 reviews at Overstock.

If Dad is more of a classic guy, go for the Seiko Mens White Dial 2-tone Stainless Steel Watch for just $79.99. That’s 59% off and it’s rated 4.7 stars after 13 reviews at Overstock.

Deal #6 and 7 are two shirts available via Kohl’s buy 1 get 1 free sale which is running through June 4th on many items including numerous shirts for Dad. Shirts are tried, true and perfect gifts if most of your Dad’s shirts have seen 10 or more Father’s Days. The Arrow Plaid Sport Shirt in Blue is available in Sizes S-XXL, retails at $36 and is part of the buy 1 get 1 free sale.

Another sharp shirt for Dad is the Arrow Pin-Dot Jacquard Polo in sizes M-XXL. It’s available in blue, black or green oxide and retails at $34 but also falls under the umbrella of this buy-1-get-1-free sale.

Because…apparently… real men don’t stop to ask for directions, GPS was invented and GPS is our deal #8. Prices have been dropping like crazy and you can now even find a GPS for under $150. A perfect example, at $100, is the Magellan Maestro 3100 GPS. It’s decked out with a 3.5″ Touchscreen Display, Multiple Viewing
Modes,and 750k points of interest. This model is Refurbished and is available at Tiger Direct for a super price of $100.

Deals 9 and 10 are our salute to the dad who loves Tools. Amazon has an awesome sale on the Black and Decker 9.6-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver Kit. It’s 59% off and now sells for $33.89 with free shipping included. This drill is rated 4 stars after 24 reviews.

A nice set for the dad who takes his lawn care seriously is the Black & Decker 18-Volt Cordless Electric Lawncare Center. It is a brilliant 59% off and sells for $149 with free shipping right now. It includes a trimmer and edger, a hedge-trimmer, a sweeper, 3 Ni-Cad batteries, a 3-port charger, and a wall-mount for dad’s shed or garage.

Deal #11 is for the dad who needs a snappy new briefcase. The Black Leather Business Briefcase at Overstock.com is a great briefcase for $59.99. That’s 40% off the $100 retail, and it scores 4.7 stars after 61 reviews. While it’s not a dedicated laptop case and has no padded laptop compartment, reviews indicate that it will accomodate smaller laptops in the 15″ realm, but is too small for 17″ laptops.

And now for our 12th and final deal. For the consummate sports fanatic father, don’t try to over-think the gift. Just get him what he wants. You know his favorite teams, so get him a t-shirt , or ANYTHING for that matter, with his favorite logo and it’s sure to please.

For the baseball or football fan, Amazon has the Official Wordmark Short Sleeve T-Shirt for over 60 NFL and pro baseball teams. Baseball shirts are $14.99 and NFL teams will set you back 1 dollar more.

That rounds out our Dozen Deals for Dad. Be sure to order soon so that your gift arrives in time for Sunday the 15th. You’re never too old to be grounded. I’ve learned that the hard way.

Cheers!

-Jill

Episode 4: Borders Book Store and Macy’s Summer Essentials

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

The year was 2001. The dot-com bubble burst in a spectacular show of web-based and high tech companies filing for bankruptcy, undergoing mergers, or otherwise being wiped off the face of the web. In the midst of the chaos, Borders bookstore decided to partner with Amazon after Borders failed to show a profit from their own online store. On Tuesday, after a 7-year partnership, Borders filed its divorce papers from Amazon and relaunched their own online store once more. This means that the 26 million of us who are members of the Borders Reward program can finally, for the first time, redeem our Rewards coupons and points online. Since this relaunch falls on the heels of a partnership between Borders and Sony, it also means that in addition to their 2 million books, 400,000 CDs and 100,000 movies, the new site is also able to offer over 25k e-books for download. The home page has a snazzy “magic shelf” feature which literally looks like a bookshelf and allows you to scroll through items that have been custom-choosen to fit your tastes. My biggest complaint is that prices arent immediately visible when you are perusing a long list of titles, but overall, it looks like a nice new site that is worth paying attention to.

How about some deals on gear for summer? The Macy’s Summer Essentials Sale is still heating up the bargain shopping landscape through June 1st. They are offering 10-50% off products in categories from clothing for the whole family to shoes, handbags, bed & bath and home items. Let’s take a look at a couple of my favorite picks.

The Cielo by Froxx Satin-Trimmed Asymetical Dress is 50% off it’s $98 retail price and is on sale for a much more reasonable price of $49. The blue rayon/spandex body of the dress is trimmed by silk satin along the rounded neckline and edges of the dress. There’s no need for dry cleaning since it’s hand-washable and you can expect the length to hit about mid-thigh. This dress would be great alone or layered over leggings or jeans and is still available in sizes Small and Medium.

Another nice find is the Style&co. Halter-Like Top with Flyaway Front for just $18. This top is half off. The v-neck front extends up to high back neck for a halter-top illusion from the front and the front of the top features a flyaway layer of fabric over the main fabric layer to create some flirty movement. It’s available in sizes m-xl,and again, costs just $18. (Size Small was available at the time the video was shoot but is now sold out.)

Also half off is the Martha Stewart Collection “Balinese Mosaic” 24-Piece Well-Decorated Bedroom for
$250 down from $500. It’s available in sizes Queen, King and California King and comes with practically everything you need for a bedroom makeover. The set includes a comforter, 2 standard shams, 2 European shams, 300-thread-count sheet set (flat, fitted, pillowcases), bedskirt and 2 decorative pillows as well as 4 drapery panels, 4 valences and 4 tiebacks.

There’s plenty more where that came from, so have a look around Macy’s before the Summer Essentials sale ends on June 1st.

Wondering about the pink shirt worn by Sharon in today’s video? It’s the Supply and Demand Stefi Mockneck Tank and it’s available at Dillard’s for $79.
Have a great day and check back at Bargainjill TV on Monday for gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Cheers!

-Jill