Archive for the ‘Bargains’ Category

Demo Days

Due to low registrations and the extreme weather we’ve had in the past two days, the *free* Kindermusik classes that were scheduled for Saturday, January 17th, have been cancelled.  We will re-schedule them at a later date in the next few weeks.

Please visit our website for the class schedule for our new Kindermusik semester starting next week.  It’s not too late to register! 🙂

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If you’ve been thinking of making a major purchase for your home of an energy-efficient product such as a new refrigerator or dishwasher or even (hey, honey!) a new washing machine, this is the weekend to buy.  Given the condition of Georgia’s budget crunch due to the economy and low sales tax collections, who knows if sales tax holidays might even be continued in the future?  Take advantage of it now while you can.

From October 2 – 5, 2008, there is a sales tax holiday in the state of Georgia for specific EnergyStar and WaterSense products listed below.  The exemptions are limited to products with a purchase price of $1,500 or less that have been designated as meeting requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy “Energy Star” programs.

The energy efficient products eligible for the exemption are as follows:

air conditioners
ceiling fans

fluorescent light bulbs
clothes washers

windows (including skylights)

programmable thermostats


The water efficient products eligible for the exemption are as follows:

bathroom sink faucets
faucet accessories (such as aerators)

high-efficiency toilets

high-efficiency urinals
weather or sensor-based irrigation controllers

The exemptions are intended for items purchased for non-commercial home or personal use. The exemptions do not apply to:

energy efficient exemption – products not specifically listed above;

  • water efficient exemption – products that do not have either the EPA’s Water Sense designation or a designation by the EPA that they meet the Water Sense efficiency requirements;
  • products with a purchase price over $1,500;
  • products purchased for use in a trade or business;
  • products that are rented or leased; or
  • sales by or to a contractor or retail dealer performing a real property construction contract as a contractor.

One question I am always asked during the Sales Tax Holidays is “does the exemption apply to internet sales?”  Previously, I had not been able to answer that question, but, thankfully, the DOR has very kindly created a FAQ’s page (also linked below) that does answer this question! 

Q. Do the sales tax exemptions apply to catalog sales, Internet sales and other similar sales?

A. Yes, provided the sale is completed during the four-day holiday period. A completed sale means the retailer has taken an action to immediately fill the order and the consumer has paid for the product during the holiday period.

Get that?  The retail establishment that you buy from must have taken action to fill your order, and you must have paid for it during the sales tax holiday.  So, if you’re considering making an online purchase, I’d do it the first day of the holiday, October 2, to ensure that your retailer gets everything taken care of on their end before the sales tax holiday is over by the end of Sunday, October 5th.

For detailed information on the 2008 Energy and Water Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday, please visit the Georgia State Department of Revenue.  If you need additional information, see the answers to frequently asked questions and Regulation 560-12-2-.112.   You may also contact the Taxpayer Services Division at 404-417-6601 or via e-mail to taxpayer.services@dor.ga.gov for assistance.

Now, where did I put that catalog of new appliances?  And what did I do with that number of the window manufacturer?  😉

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Imagine whirling, creating, storytelling, singing, and dancing.  Nowhere else is learning this much fun!  And no other experience offers more ways for children to grow! 

 This unique opportunity allows you and your child to experience the most respected programs in early childhood music education first-hand. Together you’ll share the wonder and magic of learning through music.


We will share activities from our Fall Semester programs:
Dream Pillow and Zoom Buggy for Village classes,
Milk & Cookies for Our Time ages,
and Our Kind of Day for Family Time
in our class for ages newborn to 3 years.  

For older children, we will also share activities from:

Hello, Weather for Imagine That! ages 3.5 to 5 years, 

as well as Young Child, Semester 1 for children ages 5 to 7.

 Come join us for 30 minutes of fun, laughter, and special bonding time created just for you and your child!  Share the magic of Kindermusik with your child and experience it for yourself.

Register Here.

Not sure where we’re located?   

All classes are held at Avondale First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Road, in Avondale Estates. 

A map and directions are available here

Come join us as we share some of the fun and learning you will find in our Kindermusik classroom this fall!

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I’ve had a number of readers contact me, asking for further updates about the Sales Tax Holiday for 2008. 

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website,  Georgia House Bill 948 provides for a sales tax exemption from both state and local sales taxes for certain items purchased July 31 – August 3, 2008.

The Bill also provides an exemption for specific energy and water efficient products purchased October 2 –5, 2008, with information pertaining to that specific holiday being released at a later date.

During the sales tax holiday of July 31 through August 3, 2008, a sales tax exemption applies to purchases of tangible personal property in the following categories:

  • Articles of Clothing. The exemption applies to articles of clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item. Clothing accessories such as handbags, umbrellas, cuff links, handkerchiefs, jewelry, key cases, wallets, watches and watch bands, and ponytail holders and/or similar hair products are not exempt.  In other words, they’re taxable.  See link below of exempt items.
  • Personal Computers. A single purchase of $1,500 or less of personal computers and/or related accessories is exempt. If the single purchase exceeds $1,500, the entire transaction is taxable. See link below for exempt items.
  • General School Supplies. The exemption applies to the purchase of general school supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item.  Exempt items are linked below.

All of these items are intended for personal use and are not for resale.  They do not include items purchased at theme parks, entertainment complexes, hotels, restaurants, or airports. 

For general information about the 2008 Sales Tax Holiday, please visit the Department of Revenue here.

You might also visit your child’s school website for a list of required supplies by grade-level.  Print it out and take it with you.  Many of the local office supply stores such as Office Depot, Target, or Staples also have lists there at their stores, supplied by local area schools for specific grade-levels as well as teachers.   For a printable list of tax-exempt school supplies, go here

For information about children’s books that are exempt, please follow this link.   After last year, when I had a question about a specific book I was trying to locate for my then 12yo daughter, and finding no one in any of the local stores who could verify that, yes or no, it was tax-exempt or not, I’m definitely printing that list out and taking it with me. 

Tax-exempt clothing and footwear may be printed out from this page.  Know before you get to the checkout lane whether or not your selections are taxable.  It can save you money. 

The single purchase of $1,500.00 or less of personal computers and personal computer related accessories for noncommercial home or personal use is exempt during the sales tax holiday. Computer related accessories include keyboards, monitors, other peripheral devices, personal digital assistant, modems for Internet and network access and non-recreational software.

Be very aware of the $1,500.00 limit on personal computers and software.  If your purchase exceeds that amount, even if only by a few cents, you’re liable for the sales taxes on the *entire* amount – not just the difference over and above the $1,500.00. 

For a printable list of exempt computers, software, and related accessories,  please check out this page.

Plan your shopping accordingly ahead of time.  Stores tend to be extremely busy during these days.  A little bit of foresight and planning can pay off not only in big savings, but also less hassle and frustrations.  

I did this last year, checking out recommendations for laptops, and plotted my shopping strategies accordingly.  By visiting major stores’ websites ahead of time and adding my email address to their email newsletters’ list, I received sales flyers *before* the sale dates and shopped at home. 

I found the laptop I wanted on sale at BestBuy.com, visited the local store’s website the night before to verify they had it listed in stock, went there first thing the next morning, and came back home in less than 90 minutes, the proud owner of a new laptop being set up and loaded by the Best Buy Geek Squad with software I had chosen.  I picked it up later that afternoon while others were still roaming around, making their choices.  This process also saved me over $98.00 in sales tax, not including the incentives that Best Buy offered in their promotional sales for laptop computers. 

For additional information and any other questions you may have, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue site.  I do not know if any of these tax-exempt lists pertain to online purchases or not.  That is a question that can be researched at the Revenue site or by contacting them at the Taxpayer Services Division at 404-417-6601 or taxpayer.services@dor.ga.gov .

Plan ahead – it’s worth your money *and* your time!

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worried woman 

“I’d really like to enroll my child in your classes, but how can I afford it?”

“With gas prices so high, I don’t know how we’d pay for the classes!”

Sound familiar?

I know I’ve had similar thoughts in my head before when my own children were small.  I’ve even had similar thoughts recently!

As a mother of five children, I am very familiar with how tight finances can be.  Because I believe so passionately in Kindermusik and what it can provide for a child, Masterworks Studio now offers a Payment Plan for just about any budget.  Of course, full payment with enrollment is always gladly accepted!  🙂

Masterworks Payment Plan

For our Payment Plan, the following options are available:

  • Option A: $75 Deposit with Enrollment, Balance by the first class in August.
  • Option B: $75 Deposit with Enrollment; Balance split into two payments: 1st payment due by the first class in August and the second payment due by 9/16/08.
  • Option C: $75 Deposit with Enrollment: Balance split into three payments; 1st payment due by the first class in August; second and third payments due by 9/16/08 and 10/16/08.
  • Option D: $75 Deposit with Enrollment; Balance split into four payments: 1st payment due by the first class in August, second, third, and fourth payments due by 9/16/08, 10/16/08, and 11/16/08.

Regardless of which option  you choose, an initial $75 deposit for your child’s home materials is required, and the first installment is due by the date of your child’s first class in August. 

In some instances, due to later registration, this might result in the home materials deposit and the first installment being due and payable at the same time.  The earlier your registration is received, the further you can stretch your payments – even over five months – from July to November!

Wonder how that translates to real dollars?

For a child enrolled in any Village, Our Time, Imagine That, or Family Time class, the remaining cost of tuition after the $75 deposit is $155.  Split into two payments, that’s $77.50.  For three payments, it’s $51.67.  And spread out over four installments, it’s only $38.75 each time – less than $10 a week each month!

For Young Child students, due to hour-long classes, after subtracting the deposit, the remaining balance is $195 – resulting in two payments of $97.50, three payments of $65.00, or four payments of $48.75 – which is less than $12 a week each month for an hour-long lesson!

And, as always, siblings receive a 10% tuition discount (or more for additional siblings) which results in an even lower monthly figure for their tuition!

For questions about which plan will work best for your situation, do not hesitate to contact us at info at masterworks-studio.com or call 404.395.5247.  We are always happy to work with any family to make Kindermusik possible for their child.

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When’s the last time you went to the movies for $1.00?  (And, no, I don’t mean when you won a free ticket for reading a certain number of books or reading for so many hours for the local library’s summer reading program, either.)

$1.00 Movies for Charity

Well, take your children and visit your local AMC Theatre each Wednesday at 10AM this summer, all summer long, and enjoy a movie for only $1.00.  AMC also makes a KidsPack available that includes a kid-sized drink, popcorn, and snack for only $3.00 (a $2.75 savings only for the Summer Movie Camp). 

Summer KidsPack - special price for Summer Movie Camp

Participating AMC Theatres in our area include the AMC Stonecrest 16 at Stonecrest Mall in eastern DeKalb county, AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 in Morrow near Southlake Mall, AMC Discover Mills 18 in Gwinnett County near Discover Mills, and AMC Avenue Forsyth 12 located at GA 400 and Peachtree Parkway. 

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the box office or online on the AMC Theatres website.

The lineup includes:

June 25: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

July 2: The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

July 9: Alvin & the Chipmunks

July 16: Shrek the Third

July 23: Bee Movie

July 30: Surf’s Up

August 6: TMNT

All proceeds from the AMC Summer Movie Camp benefit the Variety – The Children’s Charity and the Will Rogers Institute.  Find participating theatres and fun activities for your kids here.

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Looking for something to do as a family this weekend?  Look no further than the Square in Decatur!

Concerts on the Square in Decatur

Every Saturday night in May from 7 – 9:30PM, you and your family can enjoy an evening of musical entertainment in the Square in Decatur.  Come early and find just the right spot to spread your blanket near the community bandstand.  Decatur is a very  family-friendly town with lots to offer not only the kids, but mom and dad, too!  See you there! 😀

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Several readers have written me, asking if I had any information regarding a Sales Tax Holiday for 2008.  I did not have any new information to share, however, until today. 

Prompted by a comment and a request on an earlier sales tax post, this morning I contacted Charles Willey of the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Public Information office and asked for any information about tax holidays in 2008.  I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an initial response within 8 minutes of hitting the “send” key. 

Basically, the reason that there has been no information is that the state legislature has not yet passed a bill this legislative session authorizing a sales tax holiday. 

Later this morning, I received additional information from Mr. Charles Willey, Public Information Officer for the DOR. 

House Bill 948 has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to provide a sales tax holiday; however, the bill has not been adopted at this time.  This legislation allows for a general sales tax holiday from July 31, 2008 – August 3, 2008. It provides a sales tax holiday for energy efficient products on October 2 – 5, 2008.  You may view House Bill 948 at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2007_08/pdf/hb948.pdf.  

Thank you, Mr. Willey, for your quick and timely follow-up.  This Georgia citizen greatly appreciates your efforts on our behalf!

UPDATE: Please visit this post from July 18, 2008 for the most up-to-date information.

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Recently, my friend, Molly, posted on her blog about cute Halloween costumes that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you can easily make them yourself, and they aren’t made of smelly vinyl possibly contaminated with dangerous lead levels.  I couldn’t resist sharing some of them here with you. 

Happy Clown

Happy Clown


* Attach two plastic pot scrubbers and a colored ball to the top of a cotton cap.

* Thread plastic pot scrubbers loosely with elastic as the clown’s collar

* Hot-glue or stitch three plastic pot scrubbers to the front of a one-piece jumper.

* Cinch pot scrubbers with twist ties and stitch or glue to shoes.




* Cut green sponges into triangles and stitch or glue them down the center of a pilot’s cap.

* Attach more triangles down the back of a matching bodysuit.

Bumblebee and Flower

DIY Baby Bumblebee 


* Make yourself a flower-petal collar from a plastic shower-curtain liner.

* For antennae, attach chenille stems topped with pom-poms to a cotton cap.

* Use bubble wrap as wings.

* Wrap a yellow towel around a baby carrier and fasten it with stripes of black electrical tape.

For additional information and costume ideas, visit Parent.com here.

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We are starting something new here at Masterworks Studio!  If you look over to the right, at the top of the right-hand column, you will see a widget labeled “Subscribe and Enter.” 

Subscribe and enter what, you might ask? 

Every month, on the last day of the month, we will have a drawing of all subscribers to our e-newsletter, “Kindermagination“, that will determine the winner of our freebie of the month.  October’s winner will receive a  free “Best of Kindermusik” CD which has the best of the very best Kindermusik songs chosen by Kindermusik families like yours. 

The Best of Kindermusik

Selections include: Mary Ann, The Keel Row, Wishy Washy Wee!, Hey Lolly, The Toe Tappin’, Feet Stompin’, Egg Shakin’ Blues,  All Around the Kitchen, Hop Up My Baby, Rurru, With My Baby on My Knee, Ally Bally, The Wheels on the Bus, In the City, Kerry’s Ten Penny Wash, Fiddle-Dee-Dee, Sing Your Way Home, and, one of my own very favorite Kindermusik songs, The Water is Wide – perfect for winding down the day with your child in your lap.

How do you enter?   Simply click on the link “Sign up for our Newsletter.”  A new window will open for you to enter your information very quickly and easily, and your name will then be entered into the pool for the Best of Kindermusik CD.  Be sure to check back each month to see who has the winning entry! 😀


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