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Forget Apples: These Are 5 Gifts Teachers Actually Want

Your teacher doesn't want an apple. Or gifts, really, if you ask them.

Teacher Appreciation Day 2014

When pressed, most of the teachers we know would not tell us what they would want - which probably is to be expected in a profession characterized by selflessness and humility. It would make them uncomfortable to admit that they might like something material. Nonetheless, it was clear that all of them enjoyed knowing they made an impact on their students. Forget the tchotchkes, apples, and all of those punny and sugar-coated Pinterest projects. Here's what teachers actually want.

Handwritten notes

"I do get handwritten notes from kids sometimes," says Jennifer Piatchek-Keith, a high school English Teacher in Lincoln, Illinois. "[I] tuck those away in my 'pick me up' box for after a bad day." Other teachers agreed that the notes and cards they get from their students are better than anything else they receive. Best of all, a heartfelt handwritten note has a price tag of absolutely 100% free.

Anything specific and thoughtful

"I do occasionally get paintings, knick-knacks, or mementos which have value in their meaning and memories," says Chris Gray, Dean of Arts & Communication at Illinois Central College. "I have a Disco Stu figurine that I received over a decade ago because of my great style."

Got that, everyone? Teachers really want nothing more than a heartfelt thank you. But if you're still inclined to spend a little cash, we're told that these next few suggestions never go unappreciated.
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The Trend Report: Rainbow Brite

Although spring hasn't quite sprung just yet (12 more days!), we're more than ready to banish what has been one of  the  most brutal winters in recent history from our memories with an update to our wardrobe's color palette. Taking a cue from spring 2014 ready-to-wear shows from heavyweights such as Chanel, we're banishing those dreary blacks and grays and busting out in a kaleidoscope of colors that span the rainbow. From boldly-hued bags to loud tops and shoes, Brad's Deals has plenty of punch to pack into your closet with bright hues galore. Pow!

Blouse Daniel Rainn Merrakesh Blouse, 2 Colors, $48 Shipped

Get this Daniel Rainn Merrakesh Blouse, listed at $69, for $47.99 right now at Piperlime. Shipping is free on all orders, so there is no extra charge. We couldn't find this blouse anywhere else for less. It comes in the pictured passion Pink or antique ivory and has a split scoop neckline with tassels and embroidered detail. It has vertical pintucking and is hand wash only. Sales tax is charged in most states.

Faux Leather Scuba Jacket, 5 Colors, $56

Get this Black Rivet Faux-Leather Scuba Jacket, listed at $180 and on sale for $79.99, for $55.99 in your cart at checkout right now at Wilsons Leather. Shipping adds $9.95, but we couldn't find this jacket anywhere else for less and this beats our last post by $4. It comes in five colors and features an asymmetrical front zip with zip sleeves and knit sleeve panels. Sales tax is charged in most states.

French Connection

French Connection Snake Satchel $47 + FS

Get this French Connection Small Snake Satchel, listed at $112.32 and on sale for $47.05 at ASOS. Shipping is free on all orders, so there is no extra charge. We couldn't find this bag anywhere else for less. It is faux leather and has an adjustable shoulder strap. It has a flap closure with pin buckle detailing. It also comes in blue and green. Sales tax is charged in most states.

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The Trend Report: Fringe Appeal

2014 has finally arrived, and while we're certainly looking ahead to all that the New Year has in store, there's no denying the past, a fact that couldn't be made any more abundantly clear than in the almighty style arena. Take, for example, the latest trend to circle back around: fringe. Fringe made an impact on the world of fashion way back when in the Roaring 20s, adorning the bags and garments of flapper girls galore. It popped up again in the free-spirited hippy days of Peace, Love and Music, and while it took a little hiatus, fringe has returned with a vengeance to once more reclaim its place on the sartorial throne. Brad's Deals pays homage to the historic trend with these consumer-savvy looks.

Fringe ClutchLana Fringe Clutch $39

This Lana Fringe Clutch goes from $98 to $49 to $39.20 with coupon code WELCOME2013 at checkout at BCBGeneration. Better yet, ground shipping is free on every order. The best price we could find on this bag anywhere else was $65. It is a fold over style with grommet and fringe detailing. It is made of a mix of genuine and faux leather. Sales tax is charged in most states.

Forever 21 Rustic Fringe Sweater $10

This Rustic Fringe Sweater drops from $27.80 to $13.99 to $9.79 with coupon code EXTRA30 at checkout at Forever 21. We couldn't find this sweater anywhere else for less. It features a geometric pattern and a fringed yoke. It is 100% acrylic and hand wash only. Shipping adds $4.95, but is free on orders of $50 or more and sales tax is charged in most states.

Kimono

ASOS Kimono w/Fringed Sleeves $70 Shipped

Save $30 on this ASOS Kimono w/Fringed Sleeves at ASOS. Regularly $99.82, this top is now available for $69.87, plus, shipping is free. We couldn't find it anywhere else for less. It has an open front and is hand wash only. There is no sales tax.

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Pay it Forward: Give Coffee and Get Coffee at Starbucks

Yesterday Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to employees saying Starbucks wants to help us all come together during uncertain times. The letter, available on the Starbucks Newsroom, tells employees that from today (Oct 9) through Friday if a customer buys another customer a drink, the store will give them a free tall brewed coffee. How's that for some good karma?

 

In the letter Schultz talks about the importance of Starbucks being a place of comfort and respite for customers. He explains this deal as an attempt to help people come together at a time when consumer confidence is low, and fears are high as we continue the government shutdown and face the looming debt ceiling.   Read more

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Deals We Are Loving This Week: UGG Boots, Personalized Checks, Beauty Grab Bags

UGG Classic Short Sequin Boots $120 + Free Shipping

Shi by Journeys Deals

These Women's UGG Classic Short Sequin Boots drop from $189.99 to $119.99 at Shi by Journeys. This is the lowest price we could find on these boots by $20. They are available in navy and fuchsia. They are available in sizes from 5-10, but size 8 is sold out in both colors. Sales tax is charged in most states.

 

Up to 70% off Checks + Free Shipping Checks Unlimited Deals

Take up to 70% off Boxes of Checks using the code 9B5X at Checks Unlimited. Plus, standard shipping is free. A box of the pictured Harley-Davidson Checks drops from $21.99 to $7.50 . That's the lowest prices we could find for a single box of checks by $6. Another good pick are the Personal Photo Checks that use your own uploaded image; they'll drop from $23.95 to $7.50. The code can be applied on orders of up to 4 boxes of checks at a time and there is no sales tax.

 

The Body Shop Grab Bag $25 The Body Shop Deals

Get 50% Off this The Body Shop Grab Bag at The Body Shop. A $50 retail value, this item is $25 and includes a large body butter, a large shower gel, an anti-bac hand sanitizer, a travel-sized shower cream, body lotion, body wash, body scrub and bath lily, a fragrance sample, a facial wash sample and a facial moisturizer sample. Items are all discontinued products, so you won't find this elsewhere for less. Shipping is a $5.95 flat fee, and sales tax is charged in most states.

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Catch a (Tax) Break: 17 States Offer Back-To-School Tax-Free Holiday Weekends

With the average back-to-school shopper expected to spend nearly $635 and back-to-college shoppers are expected to shell out close to $835, there’s no better time than the present to start preparing for your annual splurge on school supplies, apparel, electronics, and dorm furnishings. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey, 24% of households with students already received the memo and have begun shopping for their kids’ impending return to the classroom, effectively setting the back-to-school shopping season into motion.

 

Back-to-school expenditures often add up far more quickly than many expect and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress on your wallet. In an effort to alleviate that stress, seventeen states are planning on making back-to-school shopping slightly less painful, not to mention encourage consumer spending and stimulate economic growth, by implementing tax-free holiday weekends in late July and throughout the month of August.

This is, quite literally, highly valuable news for shoppers living in states that have exorbitant combined state-local sales tax rates, like Tennessee (9.44%), Louisiana (8.69%), and Oklahoma (8.33%). For consumers whose bank accounts are regularly subjected to a slightly tighter squeeze than those of shoppers in states that have little to no sales tax, these tax-free holidays should come as a welcome moratorium on their usual sales tax.

2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

Share this infographic on your blog or website! Grab the embed code below.
2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

 

2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

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Introducing Black Friday by BradsDeals!

Are you ready for Black Friday 2012? I know what you're thinking. That we're crazy for asking this question. That it's the Fourth of July and close to 100 degrees outside and the only things on your mind are barbecues and fireworks set to John Philip Sousa marches and Proud To Be an American. But as the last sparkler goes out tonight, we'll remember that Black Friday is just 141 days away. And thus, ladies and gents, we're pleased to introduce Black Friday by BradsDeals!

Black Friday 2012

Okay, we're excited for fireworks, too. But we're also excited to reveal our new Black Friday website. After all, in the land of the free and the home of the midnight doorbuster, there aren't many things that are more uniquely American than Black Friday!

We know that November seems like a long time from now, but you can join the party early by signing up for Brad's Black Friday Email Alerts. From now until November 23rd, you'll be the first to know when we get Black Friday ads from your favorite stores, the latest news and the juiciest rumors with the same commitment to quality that you get from BradsDeals every single day.

So while you're lighting sparklers tonight, remember that the days between now and Black Friday will fly by more quickly than you think. Will you be ready?

5 Totally Crazy Apple Rumors for the World Wide Developers Conference

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) always sparks some interesting rumors, but let's face it, in recent years it has been mostly a time for software announcements and standard product line refreshes.

Apple Mac rumors

Remember this look? Wait till you see how beige plastic looks on your iPad and MacBook Pro!

Will this year's keynote on Monday, June 11 be different? Are the frequently-circulated suggestions that we will be seeing a preview of iOS 6, a refresh on the entire Mac line, and a possible intro to some new iTV platform all that Apple has in store? According to our sources, the current rumors haven't even grazed the surface.

Coming through the BradsDeals pipeline from our very mysterious and possibly alien sources, here are 5 rumors about what Apple will be announcing we guarantee you haven't heard anywhere else!

  1. Not to be outdone by the Microsoft announcement of Smart Glass, Apple will be launching much more than the iTV platform, they will be announcing the iGlass integrated multimedia lifestyle solution. Our contact can't reveal mush, but we've been told it involves teleports.
  2. In a touching memorial to the late Apple CEO, the entire Mac line will be renamed "Steve." Get ready for the new iSteve, iStevebook Pro, and iSteve mini.
  3. Remember Tamagotchi, those virtual pets from the 90s? Well, iOS 6 brings a new evolution of Siri. Now, you have to feed her and spend quality time with her, or risk your personal assistant falling asleep on the job, giving you the wrong info because she's cranky, or just plain abandoning her post to find someone who will care.
  4. The current consensus is that there will not be a new iPhone release on Monday. But that is simply not the case. The iPhone 5 (which will be called the new iPhone, to make it harder to find cases that fit) is set to be unveiled by Tim Cook. Among the standout features: retina displays on both sides, bigger screens, and the iFloat function. That's right, the new iPhone will hover at the height you desire* for ease of use throughout the day. *Note: the height you desire is determined by a mysterious algorithm that will probably not work correctly for 3 months and may leave your inner thoughts open and accessible to users on local wi-fi networks.
  5. The retro refresh is on. If you've tired of brushed aluminum, this is what you've been waiting for! The return of classic Mac beige plastic is coming, adding a hip, mid-century modern look to your favorite device. The new/old look will soon become the ultimate in geek-chic.

I don't know about everyone else, but after hearing all that, I'm pumped (and a little scared) for Monday's keynote. If you've got any hot Apple rumors that didn't make our list, feel free to share them with the group in the comments section below.

Sign up for Brad's Daily Alerts and we'll let you know all the real details from the WWDC 2012 when they are announced!

Brad’s Tech Tuesdays: Top 10 Tech Deals for 12/27/11

Christmas is in your rearview, New Year's Day is on the horizon. What to do in the meantime? Shop for great tech deals with those newly acquired gift cards, of course! We have the top 10 tech deals and coupons for this week, handpicked to make this in-between

Top Tech Deals and Coupons

-holidays time super sweet.

So return that ugly sweater from Grandma (she tries, bless her heart!) and pick up something to fulfill your tech dreams. We've got deals from Best Buy and Walmart, with products from HP, BlackBerry, Nikon and more.

Top Tech Deals:

1) Nikon Coolpix Digital Camera $115 Shipped: This camera is compact, making it a great choice for photogs on the go. It also has a 7x optical zoom, allowing for great shots from a distance without sacrificing image quality. Take some cool pics with this Coolpix. Oh, hahaha, we just got that.

2) BlackBerry Playbook Tablet $200 Shipped: This tablet is a current low price, and it's just two bucks more than we saw it the week of Black Friday.  It has 16GB of storage, a 7" screen, and the reviews are great (4 stars out of 5 on over 100 reviews thus far). Plus, it's way cheaper than an iPad. Put down your Apple and take a bite out of this BlackBerry.

3) Toshiba 42" 1080p 3D WiFi TV $680 Shipped: This HDTV is the lowest price we've ever seen for any 42" 240Hz 3D LED-backlit LCD TV with internet connectivity. Plus, it has access to apps like Netflix. Grab some popcorn, and save us a seat. We'll bring the Milk Duds.

4) Choose-Your-Color Viore 24" HDTV $179: This HDTV comes in several colors, so it becomes a part of the decor instead of merely trying to blend in, making it perfect for a dorm room, a man cave, or any place where style should be at the forefront. We're gonna put one in our limo! Ok, we don't have a limo, we just wanted you to think we're cool.

5) 17.3" HP dv7t Quad Core 8GB Laptop $800: This laptop is packed with top-of-the-line features including a quad-core processor, for the best in multi-tasking performance, a dedicated 1GB graphics card, and a Blu-ray player for movies on the go. Plus, if you ask it nicely, it will take you to brunch...maybe.

Top Tech Coupons:

1) $450 Off HP dv7t Quad Laptop via code NBJ4867 at HP.com

2) 10% Off One Item (Printable Coupon) at BestBuy.com

3) $10 off $150 via code LOYALTY10 at Abe's of Maine

4) 25% off Select Laptops & Desktops via code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9 at Dell.com

5) $10 off $75 via code luvmyiphone at iPhoneCaseMall.com

So this is the final edition of Brad's Tech Tuesdays for 2011. Happy New Year to all of our beloved readers, and see you in 2012!

Want to see more tech deals like these? Subscribe to Brad’s Daily Alerts today to get the best daily deals delivered to your inbox!

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Christmas Gift Returns: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Your dear Aunt Marge had only the best intentions when she thought handheld electronics meant a set of nose hair clippers instead of a Nintendo 3DS. Or you've received enough "scented candle" hostess gifts to maintain a year-long, lavender- infused, bonfire in your bathroom. Best yet, the "light reading" hint you dropped to your coworkers bagged you every edition of Low Calorie Cooking instead of that Lucky magazine subscription you were hoping for....

Enter the post-holiday sales! It's the day after Christmas and slews of stores are offering deep discounts as a consolation prize for the humiliation you've endured for having to try on those Pepto pink bunny jammies in front of your entire egg-nogg filled family. Score big with your exchange booty with these standout day after Christmas sales:

Bad Christmas Gifts

Bunny Pajamas= Bad Christmas Gift

  • Vera Bradley takes 40% off  select colors. Keep that practical luggage set you found under the tree, but upgrade to the Weekender Bag  for your short (and stylish) getaways.
  • If you didn't snag a tablet from Santa, check out the BlackBerry 16GB Playbook Tablet for $199.99 as part of the After-Christmas Sales at BestBuy.com.
  • That Christmas-themed dinnerware is adorable, but can only be used once a year...so bag this White Elements 42pc Dinnerware at the Macys.com 2-Day Sale. It drops from $84.99 to $39.99!
  • For other home goods, hit up the Pottery Barn Winter Sale, which takes up to 60% off over 500 items. A best bet are these Blue Bird Pillow Covers, which drops from $29.99 to $16.99 with free shipping.
  • Your didn't get the running shoes you wanted, but you can still head to Nike.com to take an extra 25% off  all sale items (which are already up to 70% off!) with code WAFFLEIRON. Check out these Nike Free Trainers for $54 shipped, or the Free Run+2 for $68.

So if those fabulous Ukala by Emu boots from your hubby will keep you toasty the rest of the winter, but a Snuggie isn't really your style, remember that those bad and ugly gifts can get you more for your money through hot deals long after the flames from that yule long have flickered out.

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