Posted on Leave a comment

Amazon Prime Day Deal: Hiboy Electric Scooters

Hillary, my Siberian Husky, believes that every morning must begin with a run alongside my Hiboy Electric Scooter. Nothing gets her out the door faster than asking if she is ready for her “zoomies” and trip to the park. Every dog needs exercise, but if you’ve ever had a Husky, you know that they have an incredible need and desire to run and get out their energy. A few romps of play in the yard or even a walk in the park isn’t enough exercise for her. The Hiboy Electric Scooter makes us both winners, as my knees are saved from running on concrete, and she gets the much needed running time she loves (and her nails are kept trim as the running on hard surfaces keeps them short).

It is a very sweet ride.

Amazon Prime Day is here and so are the deals on scooters! You can save 20% – a savings of $92.00, plus you get that sweet free shipping, on the following scooter: Hiboy MAX V2 Electric Scooter – 8.5″ Solid Tires, Up to 17 Miles & 18.6 MPH, Front & Rear Suspensions, One Step Fold Electric Scooter for Adults, Commute and Travel

Hiboy S2 Electric Scooter with Seat – 8.5″ Solid Tires – Up to 17 Miles & 18.6 MPH Folding Commuting Scooter for Adults with Double Braking System, Rear Suspension and App

This is the scooter I own. The current deal offers a coupon to be used at checkout for a savings of $50. See the product description on the product information page at Amazon for more details.

One of my favorite things about the scooter is the seat! Yes, you can either stand or sit down! I find it easier to stand when she is running alongside, but the ease of removing and installing the seat is a breeze and makes it an easy transition. The seat is used most often for a leisurely ride when Hillary is home.

photo courtesy of Amazon and Hiboy

Purchased in September 2020, the Hiboy scooter has been a much needed outlet for both of our energies as we have navigated the times of the pandemic. It has really helped keep both of us active during periods of limited travel. The wonderful thing about the scooter is that is is so lightweight (35 lbs) and folds easily for quick runs to the park. Hillary does a thirty minute run every morning, and I only need to charge it once a week.

The scooter is stable and durable. My feet have plenty of room on the deck and the bell and double breaking system make me feel secure while riding. The scooter operates silently and it really can pick up some speed as it approaches 18 miles an hour.

Check out the deals and get ready to give your dog some overdue exercise. *Please be careful when exercising your dog in the heat. We go early morning, but even then there are days where I have to be extra careful with her level of exertion to ensure that she doesn’t approach heat exhaustion. Also be careful with the surfaces you ride/run on, as dogs can burn their paw pads. The only thing missing is a compartment for storage. I keep her water, collapsible bowl, and poop bags in the Hiboy Waterproof Scooter Storage Bag.

She could use a little cleaning, but she is well-loved.

The Hiboy scooter is definitely an investment, but they are quality products that will support your needs for exercise.

Here is a helpful video that I watched prior to my purchase. I’d love to hear your views and see pics of you with your dog in action. Safe scooting!

Posted on Leave a comment

Buying Tickets To Walt Disney World: A Little More Complicated Than 25 Years Ago

Twenty-five years ago, buying tickets to Walt Disney World consisted of showing up at the gate and purchasing a ticket. It was simple, and it didn’t require much more effort than having money in the bank to afford them. Now, thanks to our new normal that includes living with COVID among us, buying tickets to visit Disney World is a little more complicated than the last time I did it in 1996.

image of tickets and text save money on your tickets

2020 & the Dawn of the Park Reservation System

Prior to the March 12, 2020 closure of Walt Disney World, the park reservation system did not exist. Once the park reopened in July, it was necessary to implement new COVID-19 restrictions and procedures to ensure that park employees and visitors were able to safely enjoy the park. Part of the new normal included face protections (masks), social distancing rules in the ride queues as well as on the rides, and limits to the number of attendees in the parks. Now, for one to enter one of the four parks at Walt Disney World, both a park reservation and valid ticket (or pass) for the same park on the same date is required. And heads up, the limited availability of park reservations means that you should make your theme park reservations IMMEDIATELY after purchasing your admission tickets. Don’t push it into the “do it later” pile and end up without a park reservation.

Get comfortable with the idea of the park reservation system. Disney has announced the system will be in place until at least 2023!

Start Here

Before you do anything, and especially before purchasing your tickets, check out the calendar of theme park availability to see if the days you wish to attend are available for a reservation.

Below is an example from the Disney site that shows the desired search result: green means all parks available.

calendar of days for Disney World

You’ve got the green light for dates, and now you’ll need to get your tickets. You have many options when buying tickets. You can purchase direct from Disney, you can go through a travel agent, and there are a number of websites that sell tickets, too. Don’t forget your local banks, credit unions, shopping clubs, and possibly insurance companies. Check out their website or give a call to inquire if they sell tickets. Discount tickets are everywhere, but vet the sources before spending your money. You’ll really need to do your homework when researching ticket vendors. Read reviews of those services and sites. I did a lot of research and happily landed at Undercover Tourist.

Discount Disney Tickets

The Undercover Tourist site is user friendly, and there is no delay between ordering tickets and receiving communication from them, whether it be receiving an emailed receipt or the confirmation of the purchase of your tickets. For example, I received an email with a receipt at 1:30 and had my ticket ID numbers emailed to me at 1:36. They do not charge any hidden fees, tax is included in the price, and your actual tickets are mailed to you with free shipping! You will receive an email with the actual ticket ID numbers that will allow you to immediately go into the Disney phone app and reserve your park preferences! I was seriously nervous about plopping down $1,500 for the tickets to an unknown source, but the online reviews were all extremely positive. They were also running a great promotion that discounted the purchase an additional $30.

The Undercover Tourist offers a refund policy. Per their site, “Your confidence in purchasing takes priority, which is why we offer a 90-day Return Policy and use common sense and fair practices when dealing with your cancellations & refunds. If you believe you are eligible for a refund, please contact us for further shipping instructions. Once tickets have been received and verified by Undercover Tourist, we will issue a refund back to the initial form of payment according to the terms below within 15 business days.”

image of piggy bank with money with every dime saved counts text

Our plan was to visit Disney for four days, providing one day per park. Undercover Tourist featured a promotion for a 4-Day ticket with an extra day at a great rate, so we chose for that option, giving us five days at the park.

My purchase:

order summary of purchase for disney tickets

Note that this is a 5 day ticket! Tax is included and that is a nearly $100 savings (see below)! The online promotion made it an easy option to pick up an extra day!

When price comparing, check out the daily price of the ticket at the Disney site. The price will vary based upon time of year, day of week, and what ticket option you are selecting (park hopper, water park admissions, etc…). My party will consist of three adults, and we wanted four days in the park with the park hopper option without any water park visits. It works out that we are traveling when tickets appear to be less expensive, and that really helps the budget restrictions. The more days you add to your visit, the cheaper tickets are per day!

Let’s check out the Disney site. As you can see, tickets per day are $106, for a total of $527.39 per person before tax.

calendar with prices for disney

After tax, the total came to $1685.04. Also note, the tickets at Walt Disney World are not refundable. They do offer free shipping on your actual tickets mailed via USPS, or you can opt to receive the tickets via email and use that email when you reach the park.

price of five day ticket to disney world

4-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper® Option – with Extra Day – ADULT $529.82 per person (and tax is included in that price), but after the $30 promo discount (and applying $10 of the discount to each ticket), that brought the tickets per person down to $519.82! Five days at $104 per day!

At the Disney site, the 5-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper® Option -ADULT $527.39 per ticket (before tax) and after tax, $561.08 per person. Five days at $112.22 per day.

Undercover Tourist came out ahead for a total savings of $125.58 versus purchasing the tickets at Disney. I’m excited to have the option of an extra day, especially if we need extra time to fit in the rides we are really hoping to experience, like Rise of the Resistance.

Remember, your savings experience may vary. You may find a greater discount when you are combining on-site lodging with your admission tickets. Different coupons and promos may be offered at Undercover Tourist, too. For the purposes of my trip, and as a general guidance, I am encouraging everyone to evaluate the options that exist and scoop up the best deals that will help you create the memorable trip you desire.

Have a frugal ticket purchase tip? Let me know!

Disclaimer: I became an affiliate for Undercover Tourist after I used the service and wanted to share them as a resource.

Posted on Leave a comment

Planning A Frugal and Fun Vacation to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios

Come along with me as I plan my vacation to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida! It will be frugal, it will be fun, and it will be in September 2021! I haven’t had a vacation since 2004. Seventeen years! I think I’m overdue for some relaxation and fun at the Most Magical Place on Earth* and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

* while I love Disney World, I consider the most magical place on earth to be Asheville, NC.

I’ll be sharing my tips, tricks, and guides that I am discovering throughout my blog. You can always check out this page for the running list of posts, and don’t forget to check out my list of essentials for the trip!

The cute cups you see photographed are from TJMaxx. 🙂 I’m not a diehard collector of all things Disney, but this is a big trip for me, and I want to have fun counting down to the event as well as attending it.

Posted on Leave a comment

See You at the Mother’s Day Finders Keepers Market at NoDa Brewing Company

Where:

NoDa Brewing Company

2921 N Tryon St, Charlotte, North Carolina 28206

Finders Keepers Market Information

When:

May 14, 2017

1:00 – 6:00 pm

Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more!

Bring Mom along and let her choose her favorite things!

Posted on Leave a comment

See You at the Girls Shopping Network Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina

girls shopping network

I’d love to see you at the Girls Shopping Network Vendor and Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina!

Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more! Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017) is just around the corner, and Bushnell Unscripted Handmade items make wonderful gifts.

See you there! Look for my banner!

March 18, 2017

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

In the Old Burlington Mill

Merino’s Furniture & Design

This event will have a separate entrance – look for signs!

500 S. Main Street Mooresville, NC, 28115

girls shopping network

 

Visit my shop to see a sampling of the items available:

Posted on Leave a comment

Book Review: Crafty Critters by Vickie Clontz, Leisure Arts

felt leaf mug rugs






Crafty Critters Book Cover




Crafty Critters





Vickie Clontz





Nonfiction: Craft: Sew




Leisure Arts, Inc.




printed, digital




32



The craft patterns include shoulder bags with fox and raccoon faces, a big-eyed owl case for eyeglasses or cell phones, cute pincushions and storage cases, leaf coasters, wall pockets, and magnets. The instructions are easy to read and decipher, whether you are a beginner or expert crafter.

The completed projects from this book will become treasured gifts, too!

 

crafty criter book

I was ecstatic to receive a review copy of this book from Leisure Arts. Over the years, I’ve learned many skills from the wonderful publications Leisure Arts produces. I wanted to start with an easy project, and one that will definitely be of use to me, and I hope it will inspire you, too! I thought the leaf mug rugs looked adorable, and I couldn’t wait to create them.

 

felt leaf mug rugs

 

The following method that I use differs slightly from the instructions provided in the book. The directions in the book are fine; this is simply the procedure I used to create the end result.

A Note About Materials Used:

The directions use wool felt, but as a vegan, I don’t use wool. I substituted the wool for my favorite Kunin Eco-fi felt. It is made of polyester from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The felt is made in the US and comes in a number of great colors. I’ve used it for many years and always have a large stash on hand. I am using olive and goldenrod colors. This felt is actually stiffer than a wool felt, so keep that in mind.

Time to craft!

I printed a copy of the leaf I wanted to use and transferred the outline onto the felt. I used a marker, as I knew my lines wouldn’t show once cut.

leaf selection

 

I cut out two leaves from the felt–one for the front and one for the back. The instructions also call for a thin batting to be sandwiched between the layers of felt. I used Insul-Bright, as this is the batting I happen to have on hand, and I know it will help keep my cup warm and toasty.

Insul-bright

 

After all the cutting, you should have the following pieces:

a front and back of the leaf, a liner for the leaf, and a piece of jute

The photo below shows the order the layers should be in. You will be inserting the twine between the leaf layers, sewing around the leaf, and turning the leaf right side out so that the finished product will have the two felt pieces on the outside and the batting on the inside.

cut leaves

 

For the loop:  The instructions call for 10 inches of jute twine, but I used 8 inches of hemp twine.  Sandwich the twine between the leaf layers, placing the hoop on the inside and the loose ends hanging out 1/2″ beyond the raw edges. The key is to place the hemp where the stem of the leaf would be.

 

leaf stem

 

I like to use clips to secure my layers together before heading to the sewing machine. Yes, feel free to use pins, and use as many as you need. There are no judgments here. Also, don’t worry about one heart being a tad larger than the other, and don’t fuss over trying to perfectly align them. As you can see, I have a little wonkiness going on, and that will take care of itself when you sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance (give or take a little more as needed).

clipped felt leaf

 

With a sewing machine, sew around the perimeter of the leaves, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance and a hole for turning the leaves right side out. You may want to use clips or pins to mark where you want to start and stop for your opening. It is easy to sew past the spot you wanted to leave open for turning.

Tip: Remember when I said this felt was stiffer than wool felt? Well, that becomes important with turning. I needed two inches to turn this fabric right side out.

 

turn and stitch

Once you’ve turned the fabric right side out, you need to use a blunt object, such as a chopstick, blunt crochet hook, or turning tool to round out the leaf and smooth out the curves. Once complete, it is time to sew your leaf closed. Take your time, and you’ll be pleased with your results.

Next, I recommend freehanding the leaf lines with chalk. You don’t need anything fancy. I have a box of sidewalk chalk that works just fine. Again, don’t worry about duplicating the exact lines from the book. It is okay if your lines vary from the project instructions. I used to worry about making everything an exact duplicate of what I saw in a book, and that really took the creativity and fun out of crafting.

leaf marks

Take the leaf to your sewing machine, and stitch along your drawn lines. Before your very eyes, you’ve whipped up a beautiful little mug rug that is sure to make your coffee breaks more enjoyable. These make great gifts, and with four different leaf patterns, you can make an assortment! As you can see, there is plenty of room next to my mug for a cookie or two.

leaf mug rug with coffee

Stay tuned for more crafts created from this adorable book. For more information, or to order the book (as a digital download or print edition), please see the following link:
DIY Crafty Critters

Items I used to create the mug rugs (affiliate links to Amazon products):

Felt:

Kunin Eco-Fi Felt Goldenrod

Kunin Eco-Fi Felt Olive

Hemp
Hemptique Cord Spool 20-Pound Earthy

Liner: Insul-Bright Needlepunched Insulated Lining -45 inches x 1 yard

Clips:
50pcs Sewing Craft Quilt Binding Clips Clamps Clear and Red

Posted on Leave a comment

Traveling Author: Epicentre Studio Movie Grill

Epicentre Studio Movie Grill seats

Charlotte has some great movie theaters, and one of my favorites is the Studio Movie Grill at the Epicentre in Uptown Charlotte.

Check out my view from my sweet seats in the theater.

Movie time! #theaccountant #Charlotte #movie

A photo posted by Jeannie M Bushnell (@jmbushnell) on

What Makes it Unique

Studio Movie Grill has the first-run movies you want and alternative/retro movies you can’t wait to see on the big screen. The in-theater dining includes the old popcorn favorite, but they have a full menu to order from, including a black bean burger for your veggie friends! There is a full-service bar, too.

As the video below shows, you push the little button on your seat table and an SMG team member appears at your seat and takes your order. You now sit back and relax in the reclining seats and enjoy the movie. Your food arrives hot (unless you order something chilled) and freshly made. The servers are not a distraction during the movie, and surprisingly enough, the smell of the various foods being eaten are not bothersome. Unless your bladder alerts you, you won’t have to leave your seat for a refill or to purchase the food. All transactions are brought to your seat.

Discounted Tickets

Studio Movie Grill frequently runs a promotion on Groupon for $5.00 movie tickets. If you are like me, and you consider movie tickets to be a nice treat, then you will want to scoop up the frugal ticket price when you see it on Groupon. At 51% off the regular price of a ticket, you will find yourself treating your friends and family to a night on the town and a movie.

Please note, food is not included in the Groupon ticket price, and you cannot use the Groupon discount toward food.

There are restrictions on the Groupon ticket purchase.  For example, the tickets are not valid for movies at 5pm or later on Friday – Sunday. They cannot be used for Special Event movies, Crowd Sourcing, or Film Series Movies. There are extra fees for 3D movies. See the link above for additional restrictions.

Buy Tickets in Advance or in Person

If you are attending a movie where you may be running late, or you anticipate the theater will be full, then you may want to redeem the Groupon tickets online and reserve the exact seat that you want (a $1.50 convenience fee/seat applies).

Otherwise, have your Groupon ticket ready to redeem at the counter, and you can pick your seat from the ones still available. You will know going into the theater what seat number you will be sitting in. Pretty cool, eh?

Parking

Parking in Uptown isn’t scary at all once you realize that SMG validates parking (up to 4 hrs)  in the self-parking area of the EpiCentre parking deck for guests of Studio Movie Grill. Valet parking will not be validated.

Be sure to check out the other restaurants and stores at the Epicentre. Fun events happen every day of the week, and if you are still hungry after the movie, you can swing into Five Guys and feed your french fry addiction. I know I’m not the only one who loves a potato.

Studio Movie Grill Experience from Studio Movie Grill on Vimeo.

Location and Phone

210 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202

704-972-1062

 

 

Check out some of the views you can see at the Epicentre!

uptown charlotte
uptown charlotte epicentre

#Charlotte sky is dark and cloudy. #sky #clouds #night

A photo posted by Jeannie M Bushnell (@jmbushnell) on

 

 

This post contains affiliate links that help to support me and my french fry habit.

Posted on Leave a comment

Become a Bushnell Unscripted Insider

JMBSale

JMBSale

 

Sign up to become a Bushnell Unscripted Insider, and you will be the first to know when I am having a sale in my shop! You will receive special promotional offers that won’t be available to anyone who isn’t an Insider!

Starting April 1st, all Bushnell Unscripted Insiders will receive 25% off of an order placed at my online shop. Want this deal? You have to sign up! Feel free to let your friends know, but they won’t see the discount in their cart unless they become an Insider, too.

Sale Dates: April 1, 2016 – April 20, 2016

Below are just a few of the items available in the shop!

Posted on Leave a comment

Traveling Author: Bechtler by Night Scavenger Hunt

Jeannie M. Bushnell Draws her version of a sam francis self portrait

Photo of the Firebird at the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina

As someone still new to the Charlotte scene, I’m always searching for fun and affordable events to attend within the city. One of my favorite places to find information that fits within those parameters is the Charlotte on the Cheap list that Jody Mace compiles. One of the events that she recently listed is Bechtler by Night.

The Bechtler museum is in Uptown Charlotte and open Monday through Sunday. I’ve had plans to make it out there before, but something always comes up, and I find the hours are just not workable for me. I’m obviously not alone, as the Bechtler by Night event exists for those like me who can’t seem to make it to the museum during the regular business hours.

Once a month, on the third Friday of the month, the Bechtler museum opens from 5 pm until 9 pm for a night of art appreciation wrapped in fun activities and prizes. The event makes for a wonderful date or outing with family and friends.

Unsure of what to expect when we arrived, my friend and I found a bustling museum entry filled with people in line to receive their bingo cards and sheets for a scavenger hunt. If you are one of the first 100 people to return the completed scavenger hunt and bingo card, you will be offered the chance to draw from a raffle box and win a prize!

As you walk through the museum hunting for the answers to the questions on the scavenger hunt page, you find yourself reading the descriptions for the art and looking at the art in an entirely new way than you have before. As a lover of museums, I’ve frequented my fair share, but this event encourages us to take the time to really read about the artists and the works rather than just scan the room and do a quick glance at each piece as we pass them by without a notice of much else.

The current exhibitions feature Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision (on view until March 7, 2016) and The Art of the Print (on view until June 19 2016). This was my first introduction to Francis, an Abstract Expressionist artist, and I found myself enamored with his techniques and works.

On the back of the scavenger hunt sheet, you are asked to draw a quick sketch of your favorite work of art in the museum. I chose a self portrait of Sam Francis. The obscure sadness just called to me.

Jeannie M. Bushnell Draws her version of a sam francis self portrait

I applaud the museum for creating an event that invites patrons to engage with the art in a new way. The modest size of the collections at the museum are ideal for this type of event. The museum is not expansive like The Smithsonian, and this helps prevent the patrons from feeling overwhelmed by the game. My friend and I were two of the lucky ones to finish the scavenger hunt before all the prizes were awarded, and we won two passes to the museum! Other prizes included items from the museum gift shop and tickets to jazz performances at the museum.

I thoroughly enjoyed my night at the Bechtler museum, and I can’t wait to return for future nights of Friday fun at the museum.

More information about Sam Francis at the Sam Francis Foundation.
Here are the future 2016 dates for the event:

March 18
April 15
May 20
June 17
July 15

Price: Free

Parking: Don’t fret – if you park at the Levine Center for the Arts Parking Garage, you will pay $5.00 and the museum is just a scant walk across the road. More information about parking can be found on the Duke Energy Center page.

Food and drink: Check out a menu and times for The Modern Cafe at the Bechtler

Normal Museum Hours and Admission:

Monday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed for major holidays (New Year’s day, Thanksgiving day, Christmas day)

Check out their regular admission prices, but please note:
Active-duty and retired military personnel,
National Guard, Reserve and their families get in Free!

Check out what people are saying on Yelp!

bechtler museum outside from the inside

The first image is of the Firebird, a permanent fixture in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection.

Blue Balls art print by Sam Francis:

Posted on Leave a comment

New Products in the Store: Cozy to Go! Cup Wraps

The Book Was Better Coffee Cozy

Are you in need of the perfect gift for your favorite bibliophile?
Bibliophile on Cup

What about your best friend who devours big books?

I like big books cozy

 

Maybe you just want to say that you love them?

Sign Language Love Cozy to Go

Gifts are wonderful to give, but don’t leave yourself out!

I'm drinking coffee for your benefit Cozy to Go cup wrap.

Whatever the occasion, my Cozy to Go! cup wraps are the perfect accessory. Each Cozy to Go! cup wrap is cut and sewn by hand. Made of three layers: one outer embroidered cotton print or solid fabric, one cotton lining solid or print fabric, and a polyester insulating liner. You’ll be fashionable while protecting your fingers from the cold or hot drink in your hand.

The wrap should fit most disposable hot and cold to-go cups, however, it may not fit all large cups. Send us a note regarding specific cups, and we may be able to help you.

I’m continually adding new designs to the shop, so please stay tuned. Also, if you sign-up for my newsletter, you will automatically become a member of the super club who receives special coupons and purchase opportunities that are not made available to the general public. Don’t worry, I don’t flood your inbox with junk mailings or alert you to my every move.

New products are in the shop! Scoot over and check them out.