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  • Morning Coffee: Nora Roberts book for $1.99, 1-cent copy paper at Staples & More

    Morning Coffee - July 5, 2015 @ ChiefFamilyOfficer.com
    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts for $1.99 {4.4 stars in 3,197 reviews}

    ~ New Coupons.com printables:

    $1.00 off any THREE Kellogg's Cereals
    $0.50 off (1) Shout product
    $2.00 off any THREE Glade products
    $2.00 off any Glade Automatic Spray starter kit
    $2.00 off any Glade Wax Melts Warmer
    $1.00 off any TWO Glade Automatic Spray Refills
    $1.00 off any TWO Glade Wax Melts 6ct. Refills
    $1.00 off any TWO Glade Jar Candles
    $1.00 off any TWO (2) Glade products
    $0.75 off 1 Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Twin Refill
    $0.50 off any 1 Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Warmer
    BOGO Playtex Sport Pads, Liners or Combo Packs
    $2.00 off TWO Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner
    $1.25 off ONE Pantene Styling Product

    ~ New Staples coupons: 1-cent ream of copy paper, free shredding, and more

    ~ For the Mommas: Short stack of pancakes for $0.57 at IHOP

    ~ Cupcake Project: How much does a cup of flour weigh, and does it matter?

    ~ Andrea Dekker: Use the 80/20 rule to declutter

    ~ The Kitchn: How canning was invented

    July 2015 Reader Appreciation Giveaway: $25 GAP Options Gift Cards (2 Winners)

    GAP Gift Card Giveaway | Chief Family Officer

    Each month during 2015, we’ll have a month-long Reader Appreciation giveaway. The prize for July is a $25 GAP Options gift card! It can be used at the GAP family of stores (including Banana Republic and Old Navy), and there will be two winners!

    GAP Gift Card Giveaway | ChiefFamilyOfficer.com

    Some of the entries can be done every day, so be sure to bookmark this page and come back daily to increase your chances of winning. To enter, simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below – and thank you for reading CFO!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    RSS and email readers: Click here to reach the form.

    What I Did Today: Robot Restaurant

    I’m not quite sure how my friend found this place but she said one of the things she wanted to do while in Japan was visit Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. So we got someone to watch the kids, and headed over. The show is billed as family-friendly, but the marketing implies pseudo-sexual content, so I didn’t want to take any chances. It turned out that you see way more going to a beach in Southern California than you do during the show, though. It also turned out to be less of a restaurant and much more of a show.

    We were rather confused about where to go, so I totally forgot to take a picture of the (incredibly loud) outside of the restaurant. Before the show, we went upstairs to a garish lounge, where we were entertained with truly lounge-y music:

    Robot Restaurant lounge

    The pre-show started with an acoustic guitarist (pictured), who was joined by a flutist. They were then joined by a saxophonist and a bassist, and for the last song, they were all joined by a singer (the girl on sax switched to piano for that song). I can’t remember the full playlist but the second of the five songs they played was “Nothing’s Gonna Change my Love for You” by Glenn Medeiros on guitar and flute. My friend and I were laughing because the music was so mellow, and a total contrast to the booming techno music the restaurant pipes out onto the street.

    After the lounge act, we moved to the sub-basement (level B2) for the real show. In this shot, you can see where the audience sits and the mobile drum stage used in the first act:

    Robot Restaurant stage area

    We were allowed to take photos during the show, but without flash so my pictures aren’t great. Here’s the stage in use, plus more shots from the first act:

    Robot Restaurant Taiko

    Robot Restaurant drums

    Robot Restaurant guitarist

    I wondered if he was the same guy from the lounge act!

    There was a ten-minute break, during which you could use the restroom, or buy beer, drinks, and snacks (including some pretty tasty popcorn). Then came Act 2, which was just ok (it had this weird robots vs. nature theme that was too forced):

    Robot Restaurant dragon

    I think she’s riding a dragon.

    Robot Restaurant bad guy

    He was one of the evil robots.

    I think this robot was part of Act 3, which was marching band-themed:

    Robot Restaurant robot

    Robot Restaurant marching band

    And then they brought out the robots featured in their marketing for the finale:

    Robot Restaurant finale

    Robot Restaurant finale

    Robot Restaurant finale

    This guy ended up right in front of me – kind of a cross between a Transformer and the Terminator:

    Robot Restaurant finale robot

    Robot Restaurant finale robot

    Robot Restaurant finale robot

    He came off his transport platform, then danced bounced to the music, while the girls and guys with more mobile robot costumes danced and performed. I didn’t get any good shots because they moved too fast, but I was fascinated by these three Segways which had detachable pieces to fit the theme of the act.

    My friend and I agreed that we don’t need to see the show again, but it was worth seeing once!

    What I Did Today: Tokyo Disney Sea

    I know, it’s strange to go from Southern California, the home of Disneyland, all the way to Japan, just to go to another Disney park. But that’s why I thought the kids would get a kick out of it. Right next to Tokyo Disneyland, which has been open for about 30 years now, they’ve built another theme park called Disney Sea, which sounds like it should be like Sea World but is actually much more like California Adventure next to Disneyland.

    The whole area is called Disney Resort, and when you arrive by train at Maihama Station, you have to take Disney’s tram to the theme park of your choice. Here’s the adorable inside of the tram:

    Disney tram

    Note the Mickey Mouse shaped windows and hanging hand holds! They even sell toy versions of the tram in the gift shop:

    Disney Toy Tram

    This is the outer courtyard when you start to enter Disney Sea:

    Disney Globe

    The submarine ride at Disneyland is gone now but it’s alive and well at Disney Sea (this isn’t the sub you ride, but it’s in the same lagoon):

    Disney Sub

    In this same area, there’s a Chinese restaurant with kid’s meals served on Mickey Mouse plates:

    Disney kid's meals

    We grabbed food from a restaurant serving burgers, and were surprised to find ourselves with live entertainment while we ate:

    Duffy

    That’s Mickey with his friend Duffy the Bear, who was quite popular at the park. The show was all about Duffy and his hesitation to embark on his adventures with Mickey. Mickey speaks in Japanese in the same high-pitched squeaky voice as American Mickey.

    Disney Sea has a small Toy Story section, with the same Toy Story Mania ride that they have at California Adventure:

    Toy Story Mania at Disney Sea

    The highlight for me may have been stumbling across Cruella de Vil:

    Cruella de Vil at Disney Sea

    And that was Thursday for me!

    A Few Easy Ways to Curb the Cost of Being a Homeowner

    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    Being a homeowner is one of the most pivotal aspects of being a responsible adult. That humble house is supposed to represent a sense of security, stability, and family. However, as great as it is to have your own home, that ownership often come with a hefty financial responsibility. The responsibility of paying the mortgage, bills, insurance, taxes and household upkeep, in addition to personal expenses, can seriously put a strain on your wallet.

    However, there are many things you can do to help curb the cost of being a homeowner:

    Take advantage of your tax deductibles: Many newer homeowners are unaware of the deductibles that are available for them to take advantage of – instead of filing your taxes on your own, this season partner with a qualified tax expert or use a detailed DIY tax return program, and learn how take advantage of available tax breaks. You may be eligible for deductions on your mortgage, closing costs, property taxes and home equity loans.

    Be more energy efficient: Being energy efficient is not only a way to save the environment, it can also help you keep some green in your wallet. You can take steps to being more energy efficient by upgrading your appliances to energy efficient options and by properly insulating your home to repair any open cracks. Additionally, you can purchase energy efficient power strips, switch to LED bulbs, hang energy saving blackout curtains, insulate your water pipes, use solar powered chargers, and do laundry less often.

    Consider a reverse mortgage: Home financing through a reverse mortgage┬áis an option for homeowners who are 62 years or older. This option will allow you to turn part of your home’s equity into cash to help cover monthly living expenses.

    Brush up on your DIY skills: It goes without saying that it costs money to outsource home repairs and upgrades. However, it doesn’t do very much for the value of the home if you don’t properly maintain it. Therefore, the best option is to do it yourself. Now, it is still highly recommended that you save the massive projects for the experts, however, you are well able to tackle the moderate household repairs yourself – such as painting, replacing windows and doors, upgrading toiletries, insulating and landscaping. Learning how to become a home DIYer can save you a lot of money, and doing so will give you that sense of satisfaction and pride that you learned new skills and tackled projects on your own.

    Make extra money: There is no better way to avoid the sting of financial struggle than to make extra money so that you can comfortably live in the home that you love. This current age of technology has made it possible for anyone to make a few extra bucks every week. To begin, you have to determine your skills and think of ways through which you can capitalize on them. For example, if you are a good writer or web designer, you can freelance on the side. You can even become a product flipper – buy inexpensive/valuable items from thrift shops and yard sales and sell them for a little more on auction sites. Or, you can complete surveys, sell your handmade crafts or homegrown veggies at fairs, or build your own website or use social media to be an affiliate marketer for a few companies.

    The worst scenario for any homeowner is to struggle to make payments every month or to lose their home entirely. This isn’t the dream of homeownership. Therefore, is up to you to find ways to save money so that you can live the peaceful, secure life that you deserve.

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