Thursday, December 29, 2011
Here is a pic from our holiday with Grand-Wee-One opening up some of her holiday gifts. It took her well over an hour! Yes...she is our first & only grandchild so we do spoil her a lot!
Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday!
~* Shelly *~
I know that when I was a new mother you could never have enough blankets so I always like to give one as a gift at the baby showers I attend. This time around I am specifically looking for special baby boy blankets since she is having a precious little baby boy.
In addition to the blanket I will be giving her some newborn baby boy outfits, box of disposable diapers, changing pads, organic cotton baby bibs and I purchased a baby monitor. I love it when we are provided a list of things that the new mom will need as it makes my shopping a whole lot easier!
My mother-in-law is into Knitting Baby Blankets and is already working on a blanket for Ashley's baby shower so I know that will be a treasured gift too! I know I still have the baby blanket that she knitted for my daughter (who is now 26 years old) and I gave that to her when she had her first child 2 1/2 years ago. Blankets can become treasured heirlooms and I love that aspect!
I am really excited about Ashley's pregnancy and I am looking forward to attending the baby shower in late February. I will post again here on my blog once she finally has the baby in April and give you all an update.
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Monday, December 26, 2011
According to a Consumer Reports poll, six percent of us are still paying off holiday debts from 2010. That means any new purchases racked up over the past holiday season will inflate those interest charges and make paying down the old and new balances more difficult and expensive.
If the bottom line on your bills is looking ugly, it's time to get a financial-management makeover. Consider these tips for balancing your holiday debt:
1. Double and Triple Up
Multiply your credit card minimum payments two or three times to reduce the amount of interest you'll end up paying. Merely meeting the minimum means you'll never see bottom.
2. Now's the Time to Negotiate
Talk to your credit card company about negotiating a better rate on interest, fees and other expenses. If your interest rate is above 15 percent and they won't negotiate, it may be time to transfer much of the balance to a lower-cost card. Just make sure you pay off the debt before the interest rate climbs again.
3. Go On a No-spend Diet
Stick those credit cards in the freezer, if you have to, but do what it takes to avoid impulse shopping sprees. Better yet, give them to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.
4. Get Couponing
Using coupons for necessary purchases not only saves you money, but the practice helps you make more educated purchasing decisions. You can find online and printable coupons for thousands of stores on CouponSherpa.com, or download their mobile app for instant access to coupons while you shop.
5. Stick to Cash
There's something about parting with greenbacks that makes us less likely to spend. Keep a budgeted amount on hand and stay away from the cards. Using the envelope system is expecially helpful in tracking your cash spending while working toward financial goals.
6. Cut Back on Luxuries
You've had your fun during the holidays; now it's time to get serious. Cut out the restaurants, nail salon and triple shot mocha latte until the bills are under control. Of course, too strict of an economic diet is as easy to break as a weight-loss regimen. So figure in an occasional, small splurge to keep you going.
7. Set Small Goals
Don't try to do everything at once. If paying off credit cards in three months means going hungry, you're biting off more than you can chew. Set smaller, obtainable goals and you'll appreciate the final results more. For those with multiple credit cards with high balances, try paying down one card at a time to feel that sense of accomplishment needed to push on to the next goal.
8. Meet With a Financial Planner
If you're barely treading financial water, it's time to get some assistance. A professional financial planner can help you establish a reasonable plan that won't leave you paying off debts until next Christmas. You can find a qualified guide through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards website or you might check for non-profit assistance.
Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert who has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I will be enjoying the day with my husband, daughter, granddaughter and my mother! Lots of gifts to open and some delicious food to eat so I am really looking forward to it!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
It sounds like people know exactly what to give their beauty-care specialists and, since gift cards are the most-requested present for the fifth year running, you have to bet a large portion of those holiday tips came in the form of gift cards.
Tipping with gift cards adds a personal touch you can't get with cash. It shows you know something personal about the recipient, other than that they provide a good service. If this sounds appealing, read on for five suggestions on tipping with gift cards.
1. Consider The Individual
Those who stand on their feet all day would likely love a spa treatment. Delivery people who use their own vehicles, like newspaper carriers, would probably appreciate a gas gift card.
2. Give an All-purpose Card
If you're totally clueless, a grocery gift card from Whole Foods, Safeway, etc., could hardly go amiss. Other gift cards to fall back on include iTunes or big-box stores, like Wal-Mart or Target.
3. Buy Discount Cards
You can prove your largess without spending large. Check out websites like GiftCardGranny.com, where you can buy discount gift cards at up to 50 percent off the face value. The recipient will never know and you'll save enough to tip your newspaper-delivery specialist.
4. Give Them Something to Chew On
Check with local eateries for discounts on gift cards. At this time of year, some restaurants -- big and small -- offer bonus cards when you buy a minimum amount, like California Pizza Kitchen.
5. Point Them Towards Gift Card Exchange Day
Should the recipient give you a blank look when you hand over their gift card, you might casually mention Gift Card Exchange Day, when they can exchange their card for cash on Dec. 26 through a variety of resellers.
Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email email@example.com.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Only Nice Thing About Winter Is...
1. We don't have to mow the grass every week.
2. Christmas Vacation with family.
3. New Years Eve, great time to hit the party scene.
4. I (Shelly) don't have to shave my legs every day! LOL
5. The neighbors dog doesn't come over & poop in our yard. (their dog hates the cold, ice and snow, so he won't come over to do his business).
6. School & Work Closings due to bad weather. (free paid days off work)
7. No Traffic Jams that last 3 hours. (we live in a tourist area near Hershey PA and winter is our off-season).
8. More Romance Time! Yes folks, it is a proven fact that romance increases during the winter time thanks to couples being stuck indoors).
9. Valentine's Day: Hubby always takes me away for a mini romantic weekend.
So folks, as you can see...my list isn't very long since we are not fans of winter!!! Are you a winter fan? If so, what do you like about winter?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
In an effort to reduce their inventories further, some stores are dropping prices as Christmas approaches, so it sometimes pays to wait. Still, it's a lot more stressful and shoppers are more likely to grab the first thing they see, regardless of price. Avoid overshooting your budget by following these six tips for last-minute holiday shopping.
1. Skip the Hottest Toys
The odds of finding a Nerf Vortex or a Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo rank up there with winning the lottery. Even if you could locate the object of your child's most expensive affection, stores will likely have jacked up prices as they know shoppers are desperate.
2. Read Your Junk Mail
Remember all those merchant e-newsletters you receive throughout the year? Well this is the time to start reading them. Online retailers usually include coupon codes that allow you to score great last-minute deals.
3. Take Advantage of Free Shipping Day
It's not too late to order gifts online. Scheduled in its fourth year for Dec. 16, Free Shipping Day allows procrastinators to shop from over 2,000 merchants with free shipping by Christmas Eve. You'll find both big-name and small business merchants at FreeShippingDay.com, along with many great deals.
4. Keep Comparing Prices
Stressed shoppers will often pay whatever a retailer charges for an item just to cross it off their gift list. However, it's important to comparison shop even when you're in a hurry, which is why sites like PriceGrabber.com are so helpful this time of year. Simply enter the product name and the site locates a store near you with the lowest price. Better yet, get notified via FreePriceAlerts, a free browser download that updates you via e-mail or mobile app when your desired item drops in price.
5. Seek Out Free Gifts
Victoria's Secret is making 100,000 fans very happy with free gift cards given away on Facebook each day through Dec. 15. American Express cardholders who spend $25 or more at select stores are receiving a surprise gift by email through their "Gift Chain Program" (while supplies last). Keep an eye out for such special deals as they're all over the place this year.
6. Last-minute Lifesavers
The secret to successful procrastination is making it seem like you plan things well in advance. Gift cards are a go-to solution for anyone facing a last-minute gifting challenge, especially now that they're available in printable, e-mail and mobile formats from popular merchants. You can also find printable gift wrap for small purchases from sites like gift-wrapit.com for last-minute packaging.
Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Do you still need to pick up a last minute holiday gift this year? Got someone on your holiday list who is asking for a new cell phone? If so, You need to check out the big 3-Day sale going on now over at Sprint!
Right now you can get one of the Android™ powered EVO 4G devices for FREE! Thats right, you heard me correctly, FREE! For a limited time you can get the HTC EVO 4G or the EVO Shift for FREE! What a great deal! Furthermore, you can get the activation for new lines of service and free shipping from Spring but checking out the offer details directly on their web site!
In addition, Your old cell phone could pay for your new one (up to $250) with Sprint's buyback program! You can grab the details for that also from their web site. These offers are strictly online so you will need to head on over there today to grab the details and to learn more about it.
Here is a fact you might not know about Sprint. They are ranked #3 among companies in America for being green in Newsweek's 2001 Green Rankings! Wow, that is impressive for sure!
So head on over to the Sprint web site today and check out this fabulous new offer before it is gone!
There is so much that I have to do over the next month. I really don't even want to think about it, so going ahead and decorating for Christmas is a necessity, not an option. I think it's that way for a lot of people. But I don't just want to throw up the old Christmas decorations and call it a day. I enjoy coming up with neat, new Christmas decorations to make!
But because time is of the essence, I looked online to see if I could find some really cheap and easy DIY cute decorations to make on my own. While I was online looking for that, I ran across some stuff about Replacement Windows that sounded really great, so I decided to use that service to replace our windows right after the holidays. I just don't have any time for it right now!
I did find some pretty cute little tutorials on decorating that I'm pretty proud of! I made this really cute little Christmas bunting to hang up in our dining room that really brings teh crafty little Christmas look into our space.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Thanks to a bit of a sneak peak, Coupon Sherpa offers practical advice based on a selection of Season Two topics.
1. Shelf Clearing
No matter what the extremists say, clearing a shelf of every item is just plain rude. Sure it's okay to go for big bargains, but it's also important to remember the lesson we all learned about "sharing" in nursery school.
2. Teach Your Children
Another couponer teaches her college-bound son a few tricks of the trade. What a great way to ensure the next generation learns frugal lessons before it's too late! If you want to extend this courtesy to your children, make it relevant by encouraging use of both print and online coupons.
3. Building on a Dream
Do you get the feeling TLC learned the public wasn't too crazy about the hoarding aspects of couponing? This season focuses on more than filling your home with endless boxes of toothpaste. One segment in Season Two tells of a couponer with the worthy goal of building a dream home with coupon savings.
4. Feeding the Masses
Is it possible to feed 280 wedding guests on just $150? Apparently one woman is giving it a shot this season, but thankfully your family's food requirements are likely more manageable. In addition to using coupons for groceries, avoid paying too much by reading 8 Overpriced Grocery Items to Skip from SavvySugar.com.
5. Share the Savings
A featured couponer this season feeds both her family of seven and 200 fellow parishioners on just $100 a month. Now there's a good lesson. Extreme couponers often get a bad rap, but most of these thrifty consumers donate part of what they purchase. Read up on these rockstars to renew your faith in the practice.
CouponSherpa.com is dedicated to helping consumers save money and live more frugally. For all media inquiries, please contact Kendal Perez at 970-672-1136 or email kendal@couponsherpa(dot)com.