Holiday Observation #1

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Holiday observation #1: Without Family, Wine Wouldn't be Neccescary

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Money Saving Christmas Gift Idea #2 – Zip it Drain Cleaner

zip it drain cleaner money saving christmas idea 2When you find a product at the right price that really does the job – you’ve just gotta spread the word. If your sink or bathtub is not draining properly, the Zip it Drain Cleaner — a low-tech gizmo that costs about $3 — really does the trick. It’s available on amazon.com and at big-box home improvement stores.

In less than five minutes, you can use it to pull out all the gunk in the drain and have water flowing freely again. And it’s simple enough that anyone can do it.

It also makes a good, low-cost (weird, but) practical gift. Last year everyone in my family got one in their Christmas stocking! No more slow-running sinks for us!

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Money-Saving Christmas Gift Idea #1 — Extend Your Beauty Cosmetic Tool

Christmas Gift Idea #1**This is not a sponsored post. I just like the product!**

Studies show that about 20 percent of the contents of health and beauty products remain in containers when users toss them — usually because they can’t get any more to come out!

The Extend Your Beauty cosmetic tool is a unique and practical Christmas gift idea for people who like to get their money’s worth.

The tiny spatula-like tools let you get every last drop of liquid or cream from containers — great for female family members and girlfriends!

Jar scraper Christmas gift #1 Continue reading

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Celebrating Ten Thousand Blog Hits in Six Months

10,000 Blog Hits - May 15 - Nov. 21, 2014 - Thoughts, Tips and TalesGee, I guess the title said it all, right?

Anyway, I’m thrilled to have gotten more than 10,000 (!!!) hits on Thoughts, Tips and Tales in a little over six months since its inception (six months and six days, to be exact).

Thanks so much to everyone who’s read the blog posts and to everyone who’s commented!

My dad wanted to know if I’d run out of things to write about, but I’ve had a pretty weird interesting life so far, so that probably won’t be a problem…

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Use Unpleasant Credit Card and Earn a Free Cruise

Unpleasant credit cardA friend recently told me about how, over the years, she and her husband charged all the things that were particularly distasteful – pap tests, plumbers’ bills, tires for the car, etc. – on a credit card offered by Carnival Cruise Lines. They called it their unpleasant credit card. Continue reading

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Adult Advent Calendar Gift Ideas

Advent Calendar Gifts for AdultsAdvent calendars have been used to mark the days until Christmas for thousands of years.

Today, they’ve become a fun way for kids and adults alike to count down the days in December — and they offer you a chance to add to the holiday excitement by providing loved ones with a small daily treat leading up to the Big Day.

Giving children chocolate advent calendars is a great holiday tradition to start; kids open a little paper door with the date on it to get a piece of chocolate candy every day — and they love it!  Calendars are widely available at major retailers and grocery stores for less than $5 each.

I first heard about chocolate advent calendars from a 27-year-old family friend whose mother gave one to him each year — and he passed his calendar on that year to my toddler son!

Although people usually give advent calendars to children, the gift-a-day concept is also ideal for adults. It’s especially thoughtful when someone moves away from home or to a new city, has a traumatic life event (breakup, job loss, illness, etc.) or isn’t able to make it home for the holidays. Continue reading

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News Updates about Christmas Shopping Bargains

Christmas Shopping bargains 1Everybody wants to save money when buying holiday gifts, right?

Did you know that…

  • Walmart is abandoning the one-day-only “Black Friday” sales and will offer its best deals over a five-day period beginning the last week of November this year?
  • Target offers free shipping on all items ordered using the Target credit card? (You also get a 5 percent discount on every purchase made using the card.)

What other money-saving tips have you come across?

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December Daily — a Fun Way to Document the Holidays

December Daily -- a Fun Way to Document the Holidays A great way to record precious memories and capture the best of December is to create a December Daily scrapbook.

You can set up album pages with background paper in November and create a tentative list of some of the holiday activities and decorations you want to capture ahead of time. You can also get number stickers or cut out numbers for each day of the month and adhere titles to the pages in advance.

During December, just photograph the items listed as well as important and impromptu moments with family and friends. Continue reading

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It’s a Small World

woman with a globe in her hand: It's a small worldIsn’t it amazing sometimes how people you know show up in the strangest places?

Here are some examples:

1) Years ago, we got a new minister at church; he seemed to have a great sense  of humor and he introduced himself, his wife and his two children. They had just moved to the area from Denver. (I belong to a big church that has well over 1,500 people each Sunday at four services.)

For some reason, on Monday I called him at the church and invited his family to my house for dessert, based, I guess, on the fact that his children were somewhat near the age of my son. I have never ever invited a minister to my house in my life! What possessed me to do that?

When we spoke, he asked where I lived. I told him the subdivision name, and he said, “Oh, I live there.” OK. A coincidence. Then I told him the street, and he said, “I live there, too!” It turns out his family moved in down the street and around the curve from my house. What are the odds of that?! Continue reading

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Amazon Echo — the Coolest Christmas Gift of 2014

Amazon Echo -- the Best Christmas Gift of 2014

Amazon Echo — the Best Christmas Gift of 2014

Have you heard about the new Amazon Echo? It’s an amazing household digital assistant — like having a magic genie inside your house to answer every question you can think of, make lists for you, play your favorite music, set alarms and more. And all you have to do is plug it in once, “name” your genie (which turns on the voice recognition feature) and ask away.

After watching the marketing video, I’m sold. Continue reading

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