Monday, July 31, 2017

Easy Cash in Your Bank Account

Honestly, there is no shortage of apps out there to help you earn cash. Some of them have been around for years and, yes, you can get money from them.

The problem is that “earn” is the key word. Most of them make you work hard to get a little money back. There are rebate forms to fill out, receipts to worry about, codes to remember, or cookies to clog up on your computer.  Dosh is different.

While you can definitely get some great deals on shopping, vacations, restaurants, and activities by clicking through on one of the fantastic offers on the Dosh app, you don’t have to work to earn money with this app.

You can receive cash back with Dosh by just living your life, spending money on things you always do.

With Dosh, you simply and safely link your credit and debit cards to the application. Then, every time you use it at a place that works with Dosh, money is automatically deposited in your account! No need to remember which places give you money and which don’t. The Dosh app does it all for you.

After the money accumulates in your Dosh account (you can see how much you’ve made as soon as you log in), you can request to have your easy cash sent right to your bank account or PayPal. There are no hassles, no waiting until the quarter is over, or until a check comes in the mail.

Once you start using Dosh and see the great offers, you’ll probably want to actually look at the app more often. New deals are added all the time. At this moment, for example, you can receive 3% cash at the Gap, 4.5% money back at Nike, and 5.2% of your purchase from Speedo.

It’s also not too late to wear that Speedo bathing suit on your summer vacation. 

Among the Dosh travel deals are hotels in New York City with up to 40% cash back and a Chicago Explorer Pass that offers $4.73 back in your wallet.  Or, how about getting $7.88 cash for taking a Viator VIP tour in Washington, DC. 

We usually come back from vacation facing bills, wouldn’t it be much better to come back and find out you have some surprise cash coming?

Whether or not you are traveling, we all need to eat and shop, so download the free Dosh app and get started receiving your cash back.

This is a sponsored post. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dosh to Summer Fun and Vacation Deals

Last month, I talked about a new app I’m helping to promote called, Dosh. I was impressed with all the cash back offered when shopping with just a few easy clicks.

I’m back to tell you more about how you can use Dosh to have more fun this summer, whether it’s a staycation or a vacation.

Looking to travel to NY? Great rates at dozens of hotels PLUS up get $50, $100, $150 or more back in cash in your dosh account. You can also get tickets for the Circle Line, the Empire State Building, and a Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour.

These deals are available in most major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. If you want to explore on your own, car rental deals with cash back are also on the Dosh App.

Whether you are traveling out of town or enjoying your hometown, Dosh also has cash back offerings at chain restaurants such as Jack in the Box and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, as well as local restaurants throughout the country.

For the summer, Chuck E. Cheese is giving 5% back to Dosh subscribers on all purchases over $30. Whether you are escaping the heat or the rain, or just looking for something fun to do with the family, stay comfortable while the kids enjoy games and pizza.

The thing I like the most about Dosh is that I don’t even have to remember to use it at all these places. I enter my credit cards securely* in the app (and receive $1 cash for each one I put in). The system takes MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. You can enter as many cards as you’d like.

Every time I use one of those cards at a Dosh participating store, restaurant, hotel, or activity, the cashback is automatically put into my Dosh account. No rebate forms, coupons, or having to remember to click somewhere.  

I can take money out of my Dosh account anytime I reach $15. I can transfer it into PayPal or write into my bank account. I also have the option to use the money to make a donation to over two million charities.

Dosh is available for smartphones and tablet devices at the App Store and at Google Play. Just sign up here. New cash back opportunities are being added daily.

Dosh security information is here.

This is a #sponsored post

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My First Trip to Branson, Missouri

Branson, Missouri has been on my list of places to visit in the Midwest for years. Since it was a bit of a drive (about seven hours) and there is a ton to see and do there, I wanted to make sure there was enough time.

I planned the time and the crew for a perfect five days girls’ getaway, that would end with an extra-special birthday.

Brittany has traveled with me many times, but this was my friend Marsha’s first adventure with us. Marsha and I had actually met on social media when I saw we had mutual friends and a very similar name.

She’s Marsha Lynne and I’m Marcia Lynn. As we became closer, our friends started referring to us as ML1 and ML2. So, this was the first of many trips for ML^.

We picked up Amanda in Alton, Illinois, and decided our lunch stop was going to be our favorite barbecue place in Missouri, SuperSmokers in Eureka.

Their BBQ Nachos, corn chips topped with brisket, chicken, pulled pork, tomatoes, cheese, and baked beans, are not to be matched anywhere.

We over-ordered as usual and took the leftovers to go as we hit the road to Branson.

The trip went smoothly and we checked into our hotel for the next four nights, the Radisson Hotel Branson. It’s a very large hotel and has a lobby welcoming families and groups with seating areas and plenty of information available on everything to do in the area.

We had two adjoining rooms with two beds each (the Radisson is very accommodating to families). We also had refrigerators in the rooms which were perfect for drinks and leftovers.

The hotel is in the center of this resort town, filled with restaurants, hotels, and attractions. It was just a few minutes from our first activity, the Legends in Concert show.

I had only been to one other Legends in Concert show before (on a cruise ship) and this was much better than I expected.

Marsha and I had some fun posing with the Blues Brothers statues inside before grabbing some popcorn and settling into the very large Dick Clark Theater.

Dancers welcomed us first, followed by the impersonators. Each had a chance to do multiple songs.

The Brooks and Dunn singers started were first, looking like the originals and finishing with a wonderful tribute to Vets, with the American Flag in the background.

The Blues Brothers performers were not only right on, but they encouraged audience participation, making for a very funny performance.

Elvis didn’t look much like the Mr. Presley, but he certainly sounded and danced like him.

The Michael Jackson impersonator was a perfect choice in every way, including when it was time to moon walk.

I was disappointed when the Celine Dion came out because she didn’t look anything like her, but when she started belting out the tunes, it didn’t matter.

Every month there is a different additional performer and we were lucky enough to see the Bruno Mars impersonator, who was great at and off the piano.

The show ended with all the performers singing and dancing.

They had one of the Blues Brothers cars, as well as the Car from Cars. Inside the museum they show all 7 cars from Fast & Furious, as well as vehicles from Transformers, and Back to the Future.

Before we left the parking lot, we Looked around at the outside cars from the adjacent Celebrity Car Museum & Attraction.

Since we had a big, late lunch, we never did have dinner. We discovered the one thing Branson doesn’t have is restaurants open late.

It was a good excuse for some Dairy Queen comfort food, before we headed back to the Radisson for a good night’s sleep. It would be a full next day in Branson.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spring in Indianapolis

My friend Angela and I were on a short getaway to Indianapolis.

We were staying downtown at the Courtyard Marriott, directly across the street from White River State Park.

Our first scheduled stop of the day was a Segway tour at the park, but it was a bit windy so we decided to put it off for a few hours and head to brunch first.

I usually don’t repeat places when I travel because I like to try something new.

Café Patachou is the exception. Owner Martha Hoover (a fellow former New Yorker) opened one healthy brunch spot 25 years ago and it has turned into a chain of tasty cafes.

Hoover also gives back to local children in need of food through the Patachou Foundation.

The place was packed and we decided to take our food to go and sit outside instead of waiting for a table inside.

Although I usually spend some time skimming the menu filled with delectable dishes, I almost always get the same: the California Omelet (filled with lots of avocado) and a side of their delicious cinnamon toast. Angela couldn’t resist the latter with her oatmeal.

We took an Uber from there to White River State Park. The Segway Tour area is adjacent to the Visitor’s Center.

It had been a few years since I had been on a Segway and I was disappointed to find out I would have to put pressure on my recently operated on ankle.

That was out so I bid Angela farewell as she toured the park on the Segway.

I spent the time walking and taking in the many sites of the park. 

The gondolas were just coming into the park, as were the paddleboats, and kayaks – all on my list for a future trip.

Also within White River State Park is the Indianapolis Zoo, the NCAA Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, Victory Field, and the Indiana State Museum, which we had visited the previous day.

Angela loved the Segway tour. We headed back across the street to get the car from the Courtyard Marriott and then drove to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.

Conner Prairie is about a half hour from downtown, in Fishers. It’s a great family attraction which is suitable for kids of all ages.

The park explores the history and agriculture of Indiana, through interactive play and displays. For 2017, there is a new balloon ride at the park.

It was too windy for us to get up in the balloon, so we opted to take the train ride to see more of the park. 

It was a fun way to end another great trip to Indianapolis.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

History and Music in Indianapolis

I’ve had the pleasure of making a lot of trips to Indianapolis as it is less than two hours from here. Every time I go there are different things to see and do. That was especially true for this trip.

My friend Angela and I checked into the Courtyard Marriott Downtown

It’s in a perfect location, directly across the street from Whitewater State Park and the Indiana State Museum.

The Courtyard has a nice coffee shop and lounge area, and it’s connected to the Fairfield Inn and the massive JW Marriott Indianapolis for more options.

First on our schedule was our first trip to the Indiana State Museum. We really enjoyed learning about the Hoosier State and it’s place in America’s history.

Among the exhibits and hands-on experiences are a 50th Anniversary exhibit on the Indiana Pacers and a looks into the gems and minerals in the state, as well as its start through the Ice Age. 

We also were able to see plenty on famous Indiana natives, including James Dean, Michael Jackson, Florence Henderson, Kurt Vonnegut (who has his own museum in Indy), and Axel Rose.

The Indiana State Museum also has a Peewinkle Puppet Studio, which has puppet classes and a puppet camp, as well as show you can watch.

We grabbed some coffee at the JW Marriott Indianapolis Starbucks and headed back to the room for some rest. We were spending the evening about a half hour from downtown at FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale.

Our motivation for heading to this venue was actually to see a local Champaign duo who Angela and I knew well on and off the stage. 

Mank N Sass, Jared Manker and Sara Siders, formerly in the band UpShot, have extended their following into the Indianapolis area, where they play frequently. 

FoxGardin is one of their favorite places so we were anxious to check it out.

While we waited for our table, we visited the upstairs whiskey bar with Jared and Sara, and did a little sampling. The place was quite busy and I’m told it’s always that way.

They took the stage and we took to the menu for some cocktails to start the evening. For main courses, Angela loved her filet oscar and I really enjoyed my eggplant parmesan. Manager/Chef Jacob Burgess has quite an unusual and popular menu.

Mank N Sass were wonderful, as usual. They played some original songs and filled in with just about everything from the Beatles to Michael Jackson to Tom Jones.

Before we left, we talked to some of the Fortville locals. 

We loved hearing about all the small women owned shops in the area. It was quite a fun evening in the little town with the big restaurant.

We arrived back at the Courtyard Indianapolis pretty late and ready for a good night’s sleep before another day exploring Indianapolis.

Monday, May 15, 2017

DOSH, Introducing a New Easy Cash Back App

I’m all about saving money and it’s even better when I can get deposits in my bank account without doing anything. That’s why I love this new cash back app, DOSH.

DOSH, which is available for Apple or Android devices, is easy to use. You enter your credit and/or debit cards once (they’ll even give you $1 cash back for each one you put in) and it securely and safely. You can also get cash for referring friends.  Then, cash out when you reach just $15 through Paypal or directly to your bank account. You also have the opportunity to donate the money to charity.

The new DOSH app couldn’t have been released at a better time. It’s worth a download for your summer fun, and you can even make money while you travel.  

The number of stores using DOSH is expanding every day, locally and nationally. Some of the great deals shopping include Gap, Nike, Forever 21, and even Walmart. You can also get your car fixed at Jiffy Lube, or eat at Dickey’s BBQ and Jack in the Box for cash back. They have a selection of local restaurants too, with many more to come.

For travelers, DOSH offers deals on hotels, so you not only get cash back, you get a great price on a hotel room. Boost your budget with cash back in your bank account when you return from vacation

Just like any new app, there are some glitches in finding your location (you can type it in) and a few crashes, but I found the app to still work better than most. Just make sure you continually check for app updates when you use it.

Start your summer off with a download DOSH . Not only is the app free, but you’ll instantly get a dollar for every card you connect.

This is a #sponsored post

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Smithsonian Zoo for Washington DC Finale

It was my last day in Washington D.C. and it was going to be a good one.

I was able to sleep in at the Embassy Suites Chevy Chase Pavilion and enjoyed their hot, complimentary breakfast. I made up a bowl from the yogurt bar and had a couple of pancakes on the side.

My niece, Alea, had some school work to do so we decided to meet directly at the Metro Station beneath the hotel.

We took the train to the stop closest to the Smithsonian National Zoo. I love zoos and I was especially excited to see the giant pandas here.

This zoo is not only one of the best in the country, but it’s free.

The pandas did not disappoint. They were happy to eat and play for the growing audience. We hung around for a while and the kept us laughing and smiling.

We walked around and also saw the tigers, lions, and cheetah. I’m always thrilled to see content animals in a zoo.  

 Alea and I got back on the Metro to head to an interesting spot for lunch.

Bayou Bakery is located at the Old Naval Hospital, a historic building which goes back to President Abraham Lincoln.

The Washington, DC café is owned by Chef David Gaus and is modeled after his New Orleans roots. 

Chef Gaus frequently hits the talk show circuit and has also served as host of the Travel Channel’s American Grilled.

We were very hungry and ready to taste some of Bayou Bakery’s Southern cooking.
While we waited for our food to be ready, we had to try one of their Dat-O cookies, sort of a homemade Oreo, but bigger and better.

We also shared an order of light and sweet beignets. 

I then had an egg and cheese on a flaky warm biscuit, while Alea went for the lobster roll.

We walked back to the Metro and took it to the hotel where we said our goodbyes. 

It was time for me to head to the airport and leave Washington DC , but I’m sure I will be back soon. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Smithsonian History and Ethnic Delights in Washington DC

I woke up for my third day in Washington, DC, well-rested. My room at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C. Chevy Chase Pavilion was large and comfortable.

I had come into Washington, DC to spend some time with my niece, Alea, and check out the activities and food in the area. There certainly is an abundance of both in our nation’s capital.

While Alea caught up on some school work in the morning I caught up on some writing, after another delicious breakfast. This Embassy Suite has one of the best complimentary breakfasts I’ve ever seen.

We met up at the Metro station just downstairs from the hotel in the afternoon and headed to downtown, not far from the White House.

Lunch was arranged at the Alfa Pie House, an authentic Greek casual restaurant with more options than I’d ever seen at similar restaurants.

Tina, the manager, greeted us and told us about the Greek pies, salads, and other dishes they had at Alfa. Everything looked delicious.

It was so hard to decide and we definitely ended up with too much as Tina continued to bring additional dishes for us to try.

I mentioned I love spinach pie and she brought a selection to choose from.

All were delicious, as were the cheese pies, an amazing Mediterranean Salad (marinated grilled vegetables with authentic Greek feta cheese crumble, grilled chicken, and a Mediterranean sauce).

She also brought me a dark chocolate filled mocha latte and we ate as much as we could, while watching locals come in to sit at a communal table.

It looked like a scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding as friends and family sat around this big table, passing dishes of food.

We took a few bites of the best Baklava I’ve ever had before heading outside to see the sites.

We walked around the mall area, and past the Internal Revenue Service Building. The original plan called for taking a Potomac Riverboat Cruise through Washington Harbor.

It was a cool and rainy day in Washington we decided it would be a better day to go to Smithsonian Museums.

We started at the one I remembered most, the National Museum of American History.

Others had the same idea as the line was pretty long, but it moved quickly.

The first thing we saw were all the advertisements for the Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Kickstarter.

It seemed the Wizard of Oz's Dorothy’s shoes had seen too many years and they were ready to be renovated!

The museum was filled with interactive activities for children, even toddlers. That was one thing I didn’t remember from my last visit when my daughter was still a kid.

We walked by those exhibits to check out some of the others. I was fascinated with History: 70s, where we saw displays on Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and even a history of Sesame Street.

An exhibit on slavery was interesting, as was the First Lady Exhibit, which had a dress from each first lady and information about each woman. It ranged from the china they picked for their White House term, to what they did accomplished while their husband was in office.

Another exhibit was truly relevant to me -- Food: Transforming the American Table. It examined everything from the inventing of TV Dinners to the influence of Julia Child and her television kitchen.

Also included was information on wine in all 50 states.

From the American History Museum, we headed to the NationalMuseum of Natural History, where there is a lot to see.

We strolled through the American Dinosaurs Exhibit, sections on owls, Geology Gems & Minerals, and Butterflies. I also loved the Elephant Discovery Station.

From the second floor of the Natural History Museum we also could see the building’s unique architecture.

We stayed until the museum closed and then headed to dinner at Ottoman Taverna. The décor here is beautiful and the food unique. It’s noted as Eurasian, but I found a lot of Turkish influence.

Our waiter was very helpful in picking out food and even suggesting a Turkish wine for me. The Massaya Blanc, a blend that includes Obeidi, Clairette, and Sauvignon Blanc, was perfect.

We started with a delicious soft, seeded bread with dips.

For an appetizer, Alea had Karides Güvec, a shrimp stew with saffron & tomato broth, garlic and herbs.

I had something that looked like egg rolls. Sigara boregi, was filled with cheese and herbs, and very good.

For a main course, Alea liked the chicken and I had a Lamb Stew special with Brussel sprouts.

The waiter also brought an eggplant dish in tomato sauce that we really liked.

We finished up with some an oven baked rice pudding, not too sweet or rich, but just right.

We took an Uber from the restaurant, dropping Alea at her dorm before taking me back to the Embassy Suites. It was time to get some rest before my final day in Washington, DC.