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Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't think you have time to volunteer?

You would be surprised at what little time it takes to make a difference in someone else's life!  If you only took 15 minutes of your day you could:

Register to be an organ donor
Donate blood
Read to a child
Donate a gift card from your grocery store to a homeless shelter
Check in on a homebound neighbor or friend
 
It takes so little time to give a gift from the heart!

(For more ideas check out AZ Magazine, March 2012)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

If you want not, then waste not!

The Oprah Magazine (3/12) offers some great ways to donate those items you find in your spring cleaning/foraging so that they find good uses/reuses!  Some of the ideas:

  • Donate gently used baby/toddler clothes your children have outgrown (sizes 0 to 12 months) via www.lovedtwice.org.
  • Have old tape dispensers, dried-up pens or highligthers or even old 3-ring binders?  Check on www.terracycle.net to donate these for recycling into park bences, flowerpots and plastic lumber!
  • Drop of old towels and blankets at a local animal shelter to make comfy beds for animals housed in kennels with concrete floors.
  • Old and even broken mobile phones can be donated at www.hopephones.org to allow medical workers in 14 developing countries to text each other re: patients and treatments!
  • Don't need that old iPod or some old DVDs any longer?  Go to www.tunes4thetroops.com to find out how to ship these directly to U.S. soldiers stationed in Kuwait, Afghanistan or Africa.
  • Old baseball bats, balls, and gloves can be donated at www.pitchinforbaseball.org for distributed to impoverished kids worldwide!
Know of any other donation websites or locations?  Let us know!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apps to get you organized!


Here are a couple of apps you might find useful:

"Remember the Milk" app creates master "to-do" lists and allows you to set reminders and sort tasks on your Android, Blackberry, iPhone or Windows Mobile (did I mention it's free?)

The "Lemon" app lets you scan and catalog receipts so you can track when and where you are spending. The app is free for Android and iPhones!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some lavender for your honey!


A close friend of mine used to adore lavender honey in her tea. In her later years, I was forever trying to find someplace that carried this specialty item (in AZ you can find prickly pear honey, but lavender...that's another story!). I wish I'd found this recipe years when I needed it, but for anyone interested in this here you go:

Lavender Honey

Bring 1 cup mild honey and 1/4 cup dried lavender flowers (available at Sur La Table stores) to a boil,
stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Gently reheat to pourable consistency and strain through cheesecloth into a heatproof container.

Relax and enjoy - you deserve it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gifts from the heart!


"The best gifts come from the heart. Being thoughtful doesn't have to be expensive." -- Alice Wood (Wealth Watchers founder and author).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daily discount overload?


OK, admittedly I am always looking for a great deal, so I do subscribe to a wide range of "daily deal" sites (i.e. Amazon, DealChicken, GroupOn, Dealfind...you know the list!). And, while I actually do partake of their offerings once in awhile, I do get overwhelmed by the amount of "deals" that fill my inbox! Check out www.familycircle.com/dailydeals to discuss your problems or successful buys on these sites. The magazine also addressed (3/12 issue) ways to get the most out of these sites and their offerings. My favorite suggestion was using an aggregator such as Dealradar.com or TheDealmap.com to collect all of your daily deal offers in one place (either via you visiting the website or having one e-mail sent to you). Your thoughts on this?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thought for the day!


"A wise person once said, 'Parents who give their kids everything give their kids nothing.' There's nothing wrong with telling kids, 'It's not in our budget." -- Alice Wood (Wealth Watchers founder and author)

Friday, April 13, 2012

A sweet way to help end childhood hunger!


Are you looking for a great project for your club, Girl Scout troop or other group? Consider holding a "Share Our Strength's Great America Bake Sale!" Visit www.chsugar.com/bakesale to register and also to find easy recipes for treats to sell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another online "helper"!


Earth day is April 22nd and you can do your part by cutting the paper in your mailbox! Download the free Google Catalogs app to your iPad or Android device to get instant access to over 400 digital catalogs. Life just got less cluttered!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Free online home planner!

In a daze from trying to redo a room in your home? Check IKEA's website for a free online planner to help you use a selection of their furniture to try out sizes and scale before you do something "drastic"!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Inexpensive yet far from ordinary fashion fixes!


With Spring comes the need to go for something new and fresh! Linda Moran Evans, the Family Circle magazine Beauty & Fashion Director, suggests two sites for interesting shopping:

Bonanza.com has unusual and vintage jewelry, furniture and stationery among its many unique offerings.

Bauble.com offers trendy costume jewelry many of which are under $50.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gardening with a historical twist


OK, my family will swear that I am the worst person in the world to talk about gardening tips. I have killed a wide variety of houseplants including a cacti (not kidding!) and don't get me started on planting flowers outside!

But for those of you with a greener thumb than mine, these seeds sound like a unique addition to your garden this Spring. Check out www.monticellocatalog.org to order seed varieties that Thomas Jefferson would likely have grown at Monticello. Seeds are only $3 per packet! If you try it, post a photo of the results on the blog for us to see!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Postcards in a snap!


Here's a new twist on sending postcards while you are on vacation! Check out the POSTAGRAM
app (a free download for iPhones and Androids) then snap a photo with your phone (or choose one from your library or Facebook), add a message, and a real postcard will be mailed to your friends/family anywhere in the world for a mere 99 cents! Say "cheese"!