PBS Video Series “Off Book” Linking Art & Science

Since 1970, the Public Broadcasting Service, famously known simply as PBS, has proved to be consistently placed as America’s most-trusted national institution by the data from large-scale Roper polls. From their non-profit business model, to their prominent series PBS NewsHour, Masterpiece, and Frontline, PBS has given us an unrivaled wealth of information that cannot be found on any other television channel. They cover topics that any American could enjoy like fine arts, drama, science, history, public affairs, and even air independent films.

I, personally, am a huge fan of the network and the incredible work they produce. One of their latest efforts is a web original video series called “Off Book“. The series aims to explore cutting edge art, whether it is in video games, film, or in this case, science. Effectively bridging the gap between the longtime discipline rivalry between art and science, PBS presents, “Seeing Beyond the Human Eye.”

Watch, marvel, and enjoy.

A Deal Writer’s Food for Thought

Sometimes I think my love of cooking and food trumps all of my other passions. I had a stint in the tail end of high school where all I could think about was going to culinary school. The idea was silenced by my parents as quickly as I could spell it out. They told me it would be a hard life. Physically and mentally. You’re always on your feet in a hot kitchen, you have to work late nights, weekends, holidays. I still don’t think I would have minded because cooking is something that I find centering, even kind of inherently akin to. But, I have to say, I am happy to have pursued traditional academia as it lead me on the path to actualizing myself into a writer.

I became especially sure of it when I realized through the years that I didn’t need a culinary education to be a great cook. Part of what I love about putting together a dish is the reckless abandon of rules and restrictions. I almost never use a recipe, except for baking. I do not own a single cookbook, because, for me, I want to create something that’s organically mine; something that is completely subservient to the facets of my personality that are haphazard, impulsive, and childlike in their vastness.

I don’t have a desire to learn extremely complex recipes with upwards of 20 ingredients. Why would I? I can make an elegant, beautiful gnocchi dish like this one above in under 10 minutes using 5 ingredients while wearing sweatpants in my own house. And then eat it in bed while watching Netflix.

So, I guess, in the end everything worked out pretty alright with me and my never-ending prowess of food. It just so happened that I ended up getting paid for my other passion, and still get to come home after a long day having my kitchen be my sanctuary.


Ch-Ch-Changes! Loving Our New Look

Many of you have come to expect a new deal every day, sent to your inbox while still in honk-shoo mode. So, you may have noticed that local deals have been replaced. That’s because Saveology has changed the way you shop..for just about everything! Instead of offering a new deal each day on a local and national scale, we’ll offer numerous new deals available nationwide, every day! I’ll give you a moment to soak in that awesomeness.

Along with killer deals on the latest in health and beauty, home goods, gadgets, fashion and accessories, vacations, and kid/pet-friendly products, you can now shop our entire selection which is sortable by category, price and popularity. Not to worry though, local deals are still available. To view local deals, click the “National” tab on the left sidebar and find your city in the drop down menu. It will take you to a separate page full of great local deals in and around your city.

Cruise on over to the new site and start shopping. Have fun!


Who’s Who at Saveology: Corinne Formisano, Director of Merchandising

With an office as unique as ours, you can only imagine that we have tons of interesting characters who work within these wacky walls decorated with boldly colorful murals. More than that, operating a company with so many subdivisions means everyone has an important job to keep it all afloat. Here in the Deals department, one of our most hardworking individuals is the Director of Merchandising. We love her so much we thought you would too! So get to know our fearless leader, Corinne Formisano.

Kristine: Tell us a little about what a Director of Merchandising does.

Corinne: My job, first and foremost, entails working the sales team to locate great deals and ensure the price points provide our customers with a bargain. From there, I must schedule them into the calendar and work with the creative, sales, and email teams to oversee the creation of the deal to its final destination on the Saveology website. Basically I baby each and every deal from its inception until it goes live online.

What are the key elements to a great deal?

Determining a great deal is a simple formula: it must be an exciting item with a good price. For instance, right now we’re running a deal for a bladeless fan–that’s not something you can find just anywhere. That’s what makes a great deal, something fresh and exciting, with savings to boot.

I know you’re a bit of a shopping junkie, how did this come in handy with your role in Merchandising?

What? Me?! No! (Laughs)

No, really, the best part is receiving samples and getting to play with the products and my addiction to daily deal sites does help with every aspect of my work. From the customer experience, to content, to the flow of information, to the layout of the website; it all helps me in providing the best buying experience possible.

Top 3 favorite features of Saveology Headquarters…go!

  1. Koi pond and baby turtles.
  2. The open layout for communication between departments.
  3. The dance music playing in the front lobby. It gets me super excited for the day.

What’s one thing you’d love to see sold on Saveology.com that will probably never make it to the e-mall?

If anything was fair game? How about…a deal on my bills? That would be fantastic!

What is one thing that we don’t know about you (secret talents, etc.)?

I taught myself to play the piano when my Grandma would babysit me as a kid. My parents would take me to her house sometimes to look after me, but really it was the piano that babysat me. I also can play the recorder with my nose.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Definitely Italy! While I have a deathly fear of flying, I do love to travel and I’ve heard it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I also want to go so I can trace my family roots. My family came from Southern and Northern Italy and emigrated to America way back when, but most of the history is lost. I’d probably go there on a cruise.

Could you see yourself in any other position besides this one?

Well, I’ve held 6 different positions while here at Saveology; 5 of those before the Deals department was created. I started out in our Call Center, and then became a Corporate Trainer, an Account Manager, Social Media Strategist, and Project Manager. I’ve been all over the map! But that’s what I love about Saveology; it has always challenged me with different roles and I can’t imagine leaving this position. Though, this is, by far, the most creatively challenging, fun, and rewarding job to date.

Okay, last question. What were your last greatest splurge, impulse, and bargain purchases?

Splurge: I recently bought a new 52-inch flat screen TV with all the bells and whistles, and that was huge for me. Before I was using one that with a built in VCR.

Bargain: My Kate Spade purse that I purchased from Gilt. I got it for only $100 and it cost $500!

Impulse: Absolutely EVERYTHING from Target. I mean, who needs specialty lavender & violet infused soap?

Animal Planet’s “Tanked” Here at Saveology Headquarters!

Something fishy is going on here at the Saveology office…literally. We, in fact, are about to get a whole new family of aquatic friends at our wacky workplace and we’ve enlisted the very best of the best to do it: the family-owned business turned Animal Planet “Tanked” reality stars of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing.

Tanked film crew with ATM Staff

The Las Vegas-based aquarium masterminds who shot to reality fame building stunningly outrageous aquariums across the country are building us a one-of-a-kind water wonderland, but details of the new addition are securely under wraps from all of us here. Not only do we not know yet what will be in the tank, but throughout construction we aren’t allowed to tell anybody (no, not even you guys!) about what’s inside until the show unveils their latest creation on the air in August.

Saveology CEO Benny Aboud (in white) talks with Tanked filming crew

Go here to check out some of Tanked’s most impressive before and after projects. We can’t wait to show you what the nation’s largest aquarium manufacturers have in store for Saveology’s home sweet home–given their glorious track record, it’s sure to be absolutely incredible.

There’s No Place Like Vegas: Decadence in the Desert

One of my fondest childhood memories is going on a family vacation to the West, where my miniature 10-year-old self marveled at the immensity of the Grand Canyon, only to end up in Las Vegas, a city like my eyes had never seen; glittering in the night like a diamond smack dab in the middle of desolate desert terrain. I was enamored; the lights, the sounds, the fantasy-like architecture. Las Vegas is a bona fide destination that can only be believed when seen, and our deal makes your dream vacation a reality.  Not quite the vacation I remember as a little girl, this package boasts VIP treatment, vodka, and 2-4-1 drinks — perfect for adults looking to turn Sin City into their personal playground.

At the end of the 20th century, Vegas became the most populated city in America thanks in part to its…errr…tolerance in many forms of “adult entertainment”; hence it’s most favored nickname: “Sin City”. Now, Las Vegas is the most populated city in Nevada, with a metropolitan area totaling almost 2 million residents. A lot has changed since the 4.5-mile stretch of lights shot to fame for indulgence seekers worldwide, though.

It’s not all craps tables and happy endings anymore. Vegas is a spot for indulge in all of life’s purest pleasures; from food (buffets EVERYWHERE) and high-end shopping (retail therapy anyone?), to roller coasters (pre-buffet, of course) and tricked-out hotel suites with killer views – luxury is literally unavoidable.

If you’ve snagged our Vegas vacation – or feel tempted to – don’t forget to pack these essentials for your sinful stay:

  1. The finest threads in your closet. Because you want look like a high roller while hitting the nickel slots, am I right?
  2.  Sunblock.  The resort features multiple pools and a STRONG desert sun beating down on you, so make sure you’re protected. After all, looking like a lobster WHILE eating lobster would NOT be fun.
  3. Swimsuits, lingerie, etc.  Hey, you never know where the night might lead.
  4. Digital AND disposable cameras.  Use your digital during the day before things get messy, but if I were you, I wouldn’t take it for a night on the town. Tow a disposable along to capture all those moments you probably won’t remember, and if you lose it, who cares?
  5. Ladies, behold the JoeyBra.  This is a bra. With pockets. Shove your iPhone in, and a wad of cash, and you are ready to become the ultimate party monster–purse free!

Gadgets, Guys and Father’s Day

This month’s Father’s Day sweepstakes had me laughing. While many-a-men loooove their gizmos and gadgets aplenty, and have whos-its and whats-its galore (name that movie), I couldn’t help but think if my own father who, when sending a text or typing on the keyboard circa 2005, used one finger at a time. Though, getting him to that point was a quite a production. He couldn’t understand why people would text in the first place. “Just pick up the phone!”, he’d plead to me, “text messaging ruins the art of communication”. Flash forward 5 years later. Now, he types, emails, reads and draws something at the speed of light — all on his new iPad! And you know what? We communicate even better now.

Here’s to all the 21st century dads out there – and one in particular. I love you dad!

Enter to win your 21st century dad the ultimate Father’s Day gift here.

BBQ Basics: More is More

Never mind slow-roasted ham or Thanksgiving turkey, it’s GRILLIN’ season!  Synonymous with summer, BBQ parties are the go-to for gatherings in the great outdoors. Ah, yes; family, friends, drinks with mini umbrellas in them, and music flooding the expanse of your backyard…it doesn’t get any better than this. Thinking about hosting a cookout of your own? Keep these tips in mind:

A good burger is critical.  The place to cut costs is not with the burgers.  Fact of the matter is, it’s a BBQ, and at least a few people WILL be expecting and craving a juicy burger, so don’t disappoint with some frozen slab of factory pressed meat.  Put your money in the spots that count: quality, fresh beef, good toppings, and fresh baked buns.  If nothing else, putting together a bangin’ burger will rock your guest’s socks.  Check out 10 killer burger recipes ranging from the Bacon Double seen below to a Cajun burger.

People eat with their eyes.  Adding a few visual touches to your grilling extravaganza will definitely enhance the mood and have the tummies a-rumbling. There’s no need to spend money on one-time-use decorations and paper table settings; snag something practical and adorable like this Picnic Table Condiment Set by Neato Shop.  Everyone will be slathering up their burgers and dogs with their favorite primary colored sauce, and this is too cute for the occasion.

Serve a signature brew.  Give your friends and family something they might have never tried (and keep some favorites in the fridge too!) Shiner Ruby Redbird by Texas-based brewery, Shiner Bock is a light tasting, crisp lager infused with grapefruit juice and ginger — a blend that complements the menu AND is refreshing on a hot summer day.

Don’t leave vegetarians eating only side dishes.  Meat-free food options are more prevalent than ever, so be sure to provide satisfying alternatives for vegetarian attendees. These easy to make Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Avocado are crispy and fulfilling.  Slap them on a multigrain or wheat bun, and rejoice in knowing you cooked more than just cholesterol!

Bring on the watermelon!  No BBQ is complete without fresh fruit. It’ll not only quench one’s thirst, it’ll also satisfy many a sweet tooth after courses of salty delights.  The classic summer fruit is, no doubt, watermelon.  Cutting through those suckers can be difficult, and buying it pre-cut will lose the juices and thus, lose the flavor.  Go ahead and get the whole melon (it’s cheaper too!) and have this handy-dandy Watermelon Knife from Williams Sonoma on hand to help you out.  You’ll feel like a master swordsmen slicing through that melon with ease!  Plus, come on, look at it.

Well, folks, this will surely get you well on your way to an unforgettable and extra tasty BBQ.  Power up the grill and get going…there are lots of hungry mouths to feed!

Fun Facts About: New York City

Millions of visitors come to NYC for the culture, numerous attractions, world class cuisine, and exciting nightlife and to make their mark on the city that never sleeps. The Big Apple is the most populated city in the US and a major influence around the world in commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion and entertainment. Let’s take a look at what makes it so…interesting!

  1. 100 million Chinese food cartons are used annually in New York City (completely believable, I mean – have you tasted NYC Chinese?! Mmm….)
  2. The musicians who perform in the NYC Subway system go through a competitive audition process. Some of the subway musicians have also played at Carnegie Hall
  3. New York City has 4000 street food vendors including hot dogs, pretzels, falafel, kebobs, and more. (All hail “dirty water dogs!”)
  4. New York City was the U.S. capital from 1789 to 1790
  5. The Federal Reserve Bank on New York’s Wall Street contains vaults that are located 80 feet beneath the bank and hold about 25 percent of the world’s gold bullion
  6. In most recent years, the average daily room rate in New York hotels was $267
  7. Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business
  8. Why are New York Cabs yellow? Because John Hertz, the company’s founder, read a study that concluded yellow was the easiest color for the eye to spot.
  9. The Manhattan grid pattern produces an effect known as “Manhattanhenge” (like Stonehenge) as, on two days – around May 28th and around July 12th – sunset is directly aligned with the street grid pattern. This means the sun can be seen setting exactly over the centerline of every Manhattan street. A similar effect occurs during sunrise on two winter days, understandably less popular.
  10. When the Dutch still controlled the region, Wall Street was the city limit and there was actually a wall there.
  11. Cleopatra’s Needle, a 3,000-year-old Egyptian ruin, can actually be found in New York’s Central Park. In 1879 it was given to the city as a gift by the Khedive of Egypt. The 220-ton, 66-foot-high monument took a decade to be fully transported.
  12. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is so long, 4,260 feet to be exact, that the towers on either end were built a few inches out of parallel to accommodate for the curvature of the earth.