Don't laugh- you can really score some great deals at the Salvation Army. I've found a like-new sweater from L.L. Bean for $4, Gap sweatshirts for $3, as well as clothing that is brand new (with the store tags still attached) for less than $5 per piece. You really can't beat those prices, and buying from the Salvation Army helps charity and Mother Earth (by keeping these items out of landfills). How many mall stores can you say that about???
I love Priceless Kids, because there is always a deal to be had. I've found winter hats from Gap there for $3, and shelves of first-quality Stride Rite sneakers for $12.99 each! (The only place I buy Stride Rite!) However the store does tend to be a little cluttered and disorganized, which is why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars.
I love to shop at Gymboree, they have some of the cutest clothing lines that I have seen for little boys. (And the girl's lines are fabulous too!) The clothing they make is high-quality with attention to the small details that matter (like lining appliques stitching inside the clothing, so it doesn't itch!) I gave them 4 instead of 5 stars though, since the regular prices are extremely high. If you look out for sales though, I think you can find some terrific clothing at a reasonable price!
Having a baby, we of course, get a lot of pictures done. We've tried JCP, Sears, and the Picture People so far, and we always like the portraits we do at Picture People the best. They are more expensive than some of the other portrait studios, but have always delivered great photos of my son! The quality makes it worth the price. I give them my highest recommendation!
We take my toddler son to a pediatric dentist in our hometown, Dr Willis. The office has a terrific waiting room, well-stocked with toys, and the staff are always very friendly. They are always respectful when dealing with my son, and gentle with his teeth. I think that their dental equipment (like the teeth polisher) seems quieter than usual, it doesn't scare my son. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist, Dr Willis' office has my highest recommendation!
Mastercuts is convenient (located right in the largest mall in the area), and inexpensive. They even have a punch card deal where if you get 8 haircuts, you get the 9th free. They usually do a great job on my hair, however it seems that some of the stylists are not as skilled as others. Thus if you do not know who to ask for, it is the luck of the draw. (This is why I gave them 4 stars instead of 5.)
I got my most recent haircut at Cost Cutters because of a coupon they sent me in the mail. ($8.95 to get my haircut is a great deal!) The salon was not overcrowded, even though I went on a Saturday (yay! no waiting), and the stylists were very friendly. Most importantly though, I love my new haircut. What more could I ask for from a salon?!?
We love Concepts in Hair in our house, because they offer $5 haircuts to men and boys. With a toddler ds and dh seemingly always needing a haircut, price is important! As if the price wasn't reason enough to go, they always do a wonderful job (quite a feat when cutting the hair of a squirmy toddler). I've had my son's hair cut at more expensive salons (such as JCP), and I prefer the job they do at Concepts in Hair! They are a small local business, and top class!
Cornell University has a beautiful campus (all those "Ithaca is Gorges" bumperstickers are right on), and the food on campus was great (no matter what your dietary restrictions are). However I only gave Cornell 3 stars because the campus is overcrowded and the classes are very impersonal. I have had several 400-level classes with 50+ students, and most of my classes in my 3 years there had 150+ students. It is very difficult to meet with professors (or even have any of your professors know your name for grad school recommendations) under these circumstances. However, I was a biology major, perhaps things are different for those who choose less popular majors.
I am currently a graduate student at this university. I have previously attended 2 other universities, including an Ivy League school, but this is the one where I am happiest. I also have friedns in other schools, so I have a decent idea of what to expect. At other schools, people tend to get lost in the crowd; the administrations are typically rather harsh (especially at the Ivy League school), and students are pretty much ignored. At Syracuse University, most of the professors I have met are quite friendly and are not so involved in their research and personal interests that they try to spend as little time with students as possible, like a lot of other research institutions.