Promo Products Deal – It’s That Easy

Need a polo shirt – or six – for this summer? Well Staples has a deal for you! Their men’s & women’s Savannah polo shirts are only $3.00 each while supplies last (regularly $18.75).  The catch is that the deal is only available online, you have to order a minimum of six, and embroidery is not included.  That said, if you have a business, sports team, or just a big love of polo shirts, this deal is for you.  To scoop up these shirts, just click here (the link includes the promo code).  If you’re not into polo shirts, Staples has 20% off of many of their other promotional items – just click here.

Thanks to my pal, Cheryl, for sharing this tip. Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow.


Wine by the Dollar

A few weeks ago, Bill Daley profiled Carolyn Evans, author of “Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines” in the Chicago Tribune.  I ripped the piece out, set it aside, and forgot about it – until tonight.

Next week I’m having a few friends over for spring cocktails and so I began the clean up of “the good enough apartment” tonight.  I started with reorganizing the piles of papers and – voila! – treasures like this article found!

In “Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines“, Carolyn Evans helps real people like you and me figure out the best wines to purchase at different price points.  Looking for a good Chardonnay under $10? She suggests Columbia Crest Two Vines ($8).  Or how about an inexpensive Pinot Noir? Mark West Pinot Noir Sonoma County apparently fits the bill. Actually, I can vouch for that one personally – yum!

Good, Better, Best: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines” will be added to our bar shelf and I suggest you do the same.  In the meantime, check out Carolyn’s Web site here or follow her on Twitter by clicking here.

The Trib article included Carolyn’s Top 10 “Must Try” wines available under $15.  That list includes:


1. Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, Italy; $7

2. Columbia Crest Two Vines Chardonnay, Washington; $8

3. Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, California; $12


4. Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon, California; $22 (for 3-liter box)

5. Gabbiano Chianti, Tuscany, Italy; $9

6. Mark West Pinot Noir, Sonoma County; $10

7. Bogle Petite Sirah, California; $10

8. Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, South Australia; $11


9. Korbel Brut California Champagne, California; $9


10. Sutter Home Family Vineyards Moscato, California; $6

So, do you have any to add to the list? Share with the rest of us!

Thanks for reading Bright- Yellow!

Put Another Record on the Record Player…

No records? No problem – it’s CHIRP Record Fair time again!  The 8th annual CHIRP (Chicago Independent Radio Project) Record Fair takes place this weekend, April 10 and 11, at Plumbers Hall (1340 West Washington Street) from 10AM – 5PM.  Tickets are $7 (all proceeds help keep CHIRP on the air) but if you click here, then you can download a coupon for $2 off.  You can order an “I Heart Records” button from that link, too.  I know of quite a few folks who scored some treasures at last year’s CHIRP Record Fair.  Did I mention the live music and DJs spinning – AND free parking?  Don’t miss this event!

Need to unload some records or CDs? No problem, CHIRP accepts donations of vinyl or CDs. If you have old records or CDs that you’d like to donate to CHIRP, please contact Micha Ward at Your donation is tax deductible, and Micha can arrange pick-ups of donated materials.

Get your groovin’ groove on!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

One Year Anniversary – The Paper Anniversary

Today, April 6, Bright-Yellow officially celebrates its one year anniversary.  I find it funny that the one anniversary is the paper anniversary which we’re celebrating for a digital product!

One year ago, I launched Bright-Yellow as a way to challenge myself with daily writing while I searched for a full-time job.  Returning to Chicago as a double unemployed couple meant living on a budget.  I enjoy sharing the tips and tricks I find for budget living as well as general “stuff that you should know, too” that I discover along the way.

Groupon logoA year ago, my first post was about Groupon, a daily deal available for one day only.  When I wrote about it a year ago, Groupon was available in New York and Chicago.  Today, 45 cities enjoy Groupon from Albuquerque to Washington, D.C.  and Groupon offers deals seven days a week (as well as a side deal every day).  If you have not signed up for Groupon, DO IT NOW!  And iPhone users, download the app – you no longer have to print the Groupons – just show your phone and you’re all set!

Since starting Bright-Yellow, I have posted 118 times, had 10,391 page-views (apparently you readers like booze and books since those are the top tags used to find Bright-Yellow), had my busiest day on December 15 (Gifts that Do Good), and Jeff and I have gone from double unemployment to double employment with Jeff landing a dream job (that involves booze – apparently that beercation was well worth it)!

The next few posts will be a check in on some more favorites from the last year so if you have a particular past entry you’d like highlighted, just let me know through the comments section.

As always, thanks for reading Bright-Yellow.

Chicago Eats – Freebies and Almost Freebies

In case you missed it, today (Tuesday) is FREE PASTRY DAY at Starbucks! Just purchase a handcrafted, brewed, or iced beverage (read: buy a cup of coffee) and with the coupon, get a free pastry! The offer is only good until 10:30AM so hurry hurry hurry!  To get the coupon, just click here.

Now that you have breakfast locked up, it’s time for lunch and dinner!  This week (March 22-28), it’s Chicago Chef Week!  For just $20 at lunch and $30 at dinner, you can enjoy a fabulous three-course prix fixe menu at one of 34 wonderful Chicago restaurants.  Boka? Check.  Publican? Check.  The Gage? Check.  And many more!  For a list of all of the participating restaurants, just click here.  Even better, if you’re on Open Table (and if you’re not, get on it), all reservations are booked through Open Table – bring on the points!  Really, if you can swing it, this is a great way to try some of Chicago’s chef-centric restaurants.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

The Drink Deck – 52 Ways to Sample Chicago Drinking Establishments

Remember my love of a la Card Chicago?  Well, Jeff and I are enjoying checking out new places (yes, we just got to Smoque) and old favorites (yummy Big Jones).  We can’t figure out how two people will be able to spend $25 at Hot Doug’s but we’re up for the challenge!

I just discovered the unofficial companion deck to a la Card Chicago – the Drink Deck!  Jeff, the beer man husband, should be happy when he reads about this!  Like a la Card Chicago, the Drink Deck puts 52 establishments on a deck of cards and encourages you to “play” Chicago!  The Drink Deck divides the watering holes by a number of categories including wine bar, beer bar, music venue, dive bar, hip hangout (don’t worry those of us over 25 – these places are hip but not so hip that we have never heard of them!) and more.

The Drink Deck is only $30 and each card gives you $10 off of your tab ($30 minimum before tax and tip).  You can order a Drink Deck by clicking here.  Remember – outdoor drinking in Chicago is just around the corner…

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

Dine For Less – Restaurant Week

I love Restaurant Week.  Practically every large city has one (or two or three) to encourage diners to break diets but not banks and support the local restaurant industry.  Restaurant Week is a great way to explore a new restaurant (or an old favorite) without feeling like your entire paycheck is going toward one meal!

Here in Chicago (and, again, in many other cities) we have multiple Restaurant Weeks and the first starts this week!  The Local Tourist (featured in an earlier Bright-Yellow) hosts its first Restaurant Week this week (January 8-15).  Each of the participating restaurants is offering three course meals for only $25 for lunch and $35 for dinner – PLUS 10% of each meal goes to Endure To Cure, which raises money for pediatric cancer research, treatment and care.  For a list of Local Tourist Restaurant Week restaurants, please click here.

Not every city has The Local Tourist but every city does have a chamber of commerce and/or tourism bureau and many of them, like Chicago, put together a restaurant week.  Chicago’s big Restaurant Week is just around the corner – February 19-28 – yippeee!  These tables book quickly so reserve yours now – lunch is only $22 and dinner $32.  You can see the complete list of participating restaurants here and, if you’re on Open Table (and if you’re not on Open Table, get on it!), make your reservation here.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you of Chicago Restaurant Week again when it starts.

Looking ahead, Yelp! also hosts a Restaurant Week in June.  Last year’s event was June 1-7 so look for that to happen again this summer.

In these tough times, I know going out is not easy on the old pocketbook.  However, we have to all help each other out and Restaurant Week makes it a bit easier to support local business.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!  Please leave a comment or two (including ideas for future posts!).