Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Love is in the Air- Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it's a good idea to start thinking about gift options now — lest you wind up with some half-hearted, last-minute present. Need some inspiration? We have some great ideas for her:

Midway Hobo Bag from Thirty-One Gifts-

The stylishly slouchy Midway Hobo bag from Thirty-One Gifts is the perfect everyday bag your Valentine can take to the office or out for a night on the town. The faux leather strap and body, poly satin lining and zig-zag stitch detail on the handle make this a must-have shoulder bag. Not only is it fashionable, but it’s functional too, with a zipper closure, 3 interior pockets and a hidden exterior cell phone pocket. Available in five neutral and eye-catching colors. ($78 U.S.). Find it here.

Everything Grows with Love-

Relish life, love, and friendship—and share it with everyone you love. Created by the editors of Flow magazine,Everything Grows with Love features dozens of uplifting quotes and sayings in original graphics and hand-lettering by 20 contributing artists and illustrators. On each page, affirmations, motivational sayings, and quotes are illuminated in gorgeous calligraphy, playful photomontages, and exquisite embroidery. These are sweet expressions of inspiration and wonder: From little things big things grow. You’ve got to have a little rain to make a rainbow. Love is all you need. Collect moments, not things. Life is beautiful. Be happy, so that when others look at you they are happy too.
A perfect Valentine’s Day for your best friend, mother, or anyone seeking a reflective and optimistic outlook on everyday life.

***Watch this spot for more great gift ideas- coming soon!

Valentine's Day Is About To Get a Little Sweeter

On Valentine’s Day there should be nothing sweeter than the love for your sweetheart. However, if you are looking for that proverbial “cherry on top”, now is the perfect time to indulge in some sweet treats, and since sharing is caring, you will certainly make your Valentine quite happy with any of these sweet treats. Treats like:

 Chocolate Twist-

Chocolate Twist is a Riverside, IL-based artisan chocolate maker offering an assortment of chocolate bars, caramels, marshmallows, caramel sauces and more. Paired with a love for experimenting with delightful flavors and ideas, Chocolate Twist has built a reputation for offering one-of-a-kind treats. This Valentine’s Day Chocolate Twist will be offering Champagne Rose Petal Caramels, ( as pictured in above image) ,Go Fudge Yourself Chocolate Bar (for a passive aggressive gift), and Chocolate Thruple —chocolate cookie base, chocolate-infused caramel, chocolate ganache. Launched in 2011, Chocolate Twist has its roots in founder Kate Coffey’s childhood. Captivated by both of her grandmothers’ love of cooking and baking, Kate knew what she wanted to do with her life from a very early age, and so with a nod to the meandering streets of her hometown, Riverside, Illinois, Chocolate Twist was born.  

***Watch this spot for more sweet treats, coming soon....

Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats #TryItHot Mission

Winter mornings are challenging for even the heartiest among us, and with this year’s recent frigid temps, are sure to test even the most resilient fans of the season. In fact, a recent survey by Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats reveals that more than half of Canadians (55 per cent) agree they feel miserable on cold, dark and blustery winter mornings. And with many experts forecasting more wild weather to come, these dark, dreary and mundane mornings have the potential to zap all the joy out of our fun-loving nation.

That’s why we wanted to tell you about Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats and the launching of the #TryItHot mission to brighten mornings. It’s simple: just add hot milk to your Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats cereal and let the welcoming warmth spark a little playfulness and childlike joy in your day. It doesn’t have to be big – dance at the breakfast table, compliment a stranger, make a snow angel – just a little something to perk up your morning.

We're personally enjoying our Mini Wheats still with cold milk, here in Arizona while we're away, but once we get back home in the Spring, we're surely going to give this a try, and we'd love to hear how you like YOUR Mini Wheats- hot or cold??

Monday, January 15, 2018

Decor Enhancement Ideas That Make Your Office's Reception Area Look Awesome

Reception area is one of the most important and visible areas within any office environment. This area creates the very first experience for your visitors, guests as well as employees. Most of the companies, nowadays have a well-planned reception or waiting area especially created for their clients. Most commonly a reception area consists of a set of elegant sitting furniture like table, chairs or sofa set accompanied by magazines, company brochures and possibly water dispenser. For making clients and guests feel more entertained and calm, companies also utilize greenery and colorful flowers for display. Overall, a well-planned and decorated reception area communicates pretty much about your office in general. If you are planning to make your guests feel good to be in your office, find out the below listed useful ideas to decorate your reception area.

Keep It to Be Functional

Functionality is the feature that should be reflected from your reception area design. Enough sitting arrangement should be there to accommodate all your visitors and guests. Their preferences also need to be kept in mind. For instance sofa may be appropriate for any office like IT firm, law firm or any business except medical office. As in hospitals or clinics people prefer to sit separately without getting closer to other people who are sick. The space need to be lighted enough so that people can read magazines, newspaper or work on their laptops. Anything giving harsh glare to the area need to be avoided.

Provide Diversion to Your Visitors

The primary purpose of a reception area is to give visitors a place to relax while waiting for their turn to get into the business deals or more. Hence a diversion need to be provided that is suitable as per your audience. For example if you are an insurance company then relevant magazines and brochures would be appropriate for keeping visitors busy. While for a podiatrist, toys and similar items would be suitable that can keep kids entertained while waiting for their turn. IF you are considering keeping a TV on your reception area, first think whether TV noise would be appropriate for your customers or not.

Add an Elegant Reception Desk

The centerpiece of your reception area should be the reception desk. Its design, size, style and all will further decide other decorations of this area. It should not only be designed eye-catchingly but also be capable to make a unique statement. Placing the reception desk towards the office entry is the best way to offer your visitors a warm and welcoming atmosphere immediately. The furniture accompanied in your reception area need to have a perfect combination of comfort, durability as well as appealing looks. It is the best ideal to cover the reception furniture with stain and wear resistant fabric. Wooden furniture would offer a warmers appeal to your guests.

Add Greenery to Your Reception Area

Adding greenery in the form of indoor plants is one of the great way to make your customers and guests feel pleased while waiting. Plants can greatly help to increase the aesthetic appeal of your office. But in this effort, if you use living plants for your reception area, then there are chances that you may have to deal with insects and pests. These may create a negative impact on your visitors mind. Hence consider choosing perfect artificial boxwood hedges  for your reception area. Faux plants possess the looks just like living plants and can transform even your small reception area to an interesting place to wait and relax. You can utilize colorful flowers with vases for your reception desk while also choosing a perfect small indoor plant or hedge for empty corners of your reception area. Hanging plants would also be suitable if you don't have much space to arrange potted plants.

Choose Durable Products for Your Reception Area

While buying any furniture or product for your reception area, it is very important to consider their durability first. Especially if your business is based on day to day dealing with bulk traffic. Vinyl and faux leather are much easier to maintain than any upholstery. Less wear is shown by pattern wallpapers than paint. Also, dark colored carpets can help you hide dirt, stain, and all while also keeping low noise levels. If you have to deal with children often then it is a better idea to keep expensive antiques and decor away. Accompanying high end and durable furniture is necessary for setting your clients' to wait.

Keep Free Space around Reception Desk

Disorganization at your reception can be the most frustrating thing for your visitors. In an office reception area, you have to organize parcels, packages and all on a daily basis. Keeping that in an unprofessional or unorganized manners all around your reception desk and tables would be annoying for everyone. So it is a better idea to keep additional space booked in the reception area to keep such things until they get picked up. Make sure to have a large enough desk so that packages of any sizes can be places on the sides of it or behind the main desk.

Put Some Efforts for Branding

Incorporating some branding is ideal to let your visitors identify the ways in which you can help them. It is obvious that people will look around for something to read and pass their time while waiting. So you can take advantage of this time by branding your company or business in an appealing way. You can add your business logo into your design, near the front desk or the main door. Also consider to showcase your line of products or services along with a brief overview of each one. Adding a brief history of your company would also be appropriate.

Choose Neutral Colors for Walls

Neutral colors can always complement any your reception area design. These will also make sure the suitability of people of different kinds. So giving neutral colors to your reception area wall will always be a good idea. IF you feel your walls seem boring you can always have other decorative products added to the interior to add some appeal to this area. Moreover, you can also clean such neutral colors easily and have a change whenever required.

Description - Reception area gives your visitors a though to presume about your office or company, so it is important to organize everything in your reception area carefully and thoroughly. A perfect organization will help your clients feel awesome while being in your office environment which can be a great advantage for your business.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Looks Like I'm Going Back to Mexico!

After a week of enjoying my new cap/crown, it broke off! Yup- never ate anything more than a muffin and oh no! Off it came. 

So since we are 1.5 hours away- we'll be making another trip that way on Monday to have it re-cemented. Grrr- a bit of an inconvenience too since it's extra gas with the RV and I am not the best with trips to the dentist and my anxiety..but. Has to be done.

We'll overnight there, and head out the next day for a stop in and around Phoenix, to pick up a few things and use some of my gift cards in the area that I haven't been able to use here. We were there, and in Scottsdale before, so won't be doing much in the way of sightseeing- just more or less passing through.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Learning To Love Stability: Budgeting Tips For An Adjusted Lifestyle

Living on a budget often causes dread for those well-accustomed to their lifestyle. The thought of having to give up creature comforts. But, when the tell-tale signs begin to show that you’re living outside your means – it’s time to reassess the budget position.
Yes, budgeted living does place restrictions on what you can and cannot do.
However, those willing to make temporary sacrifices will gain long-term stability. They may even find this new lifestyle more enjoyable due to less stress and societal pressure!

One Slip Toward Financial Ruin – A Wakeup Call for Finances
There were nearly 800,000 bankruptcy filings in 2016 (most being Chapter 7). Much of this is caused by unexpected, financial downturns caused by loss of work and emergencies. We’re sure quite a few were also due to poor planning.
The problem: Most American families are one paycheck away from financial ruin.
Predatory businesses, stagnating wages, and poor healthcare exacerbate these issues. No family goes through bankruptcy for enjoyment. Though, we wonder how many families could have avoided these problems if they were budgeting properly.
How to Get on Track with Your Financial Future
There are hundreds of small items you could sacrifice to reach financial goals – these have been discussed ad nauseam. Items like saving on utilities with programmable thermostats or making coffee at home versus buying one during your morning commute.
Let’s look at the bigger picture.
  • Make health a priority. By learning to cook healthy meals and becoming active. Avoid dangerous situations. Learn to remain calm in tense moments. Many health problems (and their associated costs) are the result of poor diets.
  • Make insurance and meds #2. Americans spend $3.4 trillion (a year) on medical services and care. One can lower these costs through committed comparison shopping. It’s the act of spending a couple extra hours learning health plans. Or, comparing the generic Adderall cost, Zantac alternatives, or natural Lasix replacements.
  • Make haggling the norm. Don’t feel complacent when costs rise year-over-year. Some services are impossible to avoid because of the (virtual) monopoly companies have on an area. Haggle with companies – threaten to switch or simply as “can you change this?” – to see them fall over themselves to retain your customer patronage especially with items like your banking.
Begin funneling these big wins toward micro goals.
Create a user-friendly budget that rewards participation. Small savings (even $5-$10 a week) with small rewards (monthly dinner date or buying a wishlist item) reinforces the good behavior.
Likewise, find cheaper entertainment (almost 5.6% of American spend) through older media, local events, hobbies, or activities like reading or gaming.
The longer you “do without” the more you realize you didn’t need those things. It brings it back to the basics. A lifestyle that becomes less dominated (and stressed) from riding too close to financial ruin on a week-to-week basis.
With Financial Control comes Great Lifestyle Stability
It’s sometimes hard seeing others enjoying themselves through their posting on social media. A fear of missing out because you’re confined to your budget-friendly lifestyle.
Ponder: Do these people live like this 24/7?
People put on a show to appeal to others – social media has doubled this practice – but, they’re leading everyday lives. They go through similar troubles. In fact, their social lifestyle may not mirror what’s going on behind-the-scenes.
Where will they be in 5 years? 10? 25?
Learn to love the stability budgeting creates in your lifestyle.
Do this and you’ll have the finances (and lack of stress) that’ll allow you to create sustained enjoyment from activities instead of sharp spikes and horrible bottoms. A lifestyle that’ll snowball equity and comfort – all started with what you’ll find to be minor sacrifices when looking back years from now.

What Renters Need to Know About Buying a House

There are two kinds of people: renters and owners. And they each tend to have horrible misconceptions about the other. One of those misconceptions is that one is better than the other. Which is better for you depends largely on the life circumstances you happen to have at the time. There are times when renting makes more sense, and other times when owning is the best choice. 
But one thing is certain: If all you have ever known is renting, there is a steep learning curve when going from renting to owning. There are things you simply have no need to think about as a renter that can make or break your prospects as a homeowner. 

One of the things you probably haven’t considered is what national title company you will be dealing with. If you are working with an agent, the title will be handled by whatever title service they choose. But if you are dealing with a sale by owner, you might want to have a more active role in who handles the title. You will also want to make sure you have sufficient title insurance in case there is a situation that puts your claim in doubt. This situation can cost you thousands.
When renting, you never have to think about who owns the title to your rental. That is one of the many professional services you don’t have to deal with as a renter. Here are a few others:
Mortgage Lenders
You might sign a lease for a year. But you pay rent one month at a time. You don’t have to pay 30 years of rent all at once. When buying a house, you do. It’s called mortgage. You get a loan for the total amount, then pay it back to the lender on a monthly basis. 
Often, whether or not you can afford a particular home has less to do with the total cost of the home, and more to do with the terms of repayment. When you rent an apartment, the only terms are the rent amount and the lease duration. Your credit may determine whether are not you are approved. But it has nothing to do with the amount you pay on a monthly basis. 
But when buying a house, nothing is fixed. You need a good lender to get the best terms. If you do not account for this aspect of buying, you will be stuck with unfavorable terms for your first home purchase.
Credit Repair Specialists
Your credit score does matter when you are renting. But it matters a whole lot more when you are buying. Some of the nicer apartment complexes will not rent to you if your score is not high enough. But if you do get in, you will not pay more than anyone else because of your credit score. Mostly, apartments are more concerned with your rental history than a high credit score.
If you want to transition from renter to buyer, you might have to find a credit doctor to help you increase your score before shopping for loans. Not all credit repair services are created equally. Do your homework. If you don’t repair your credit before shopping for loans, you could be denied, or worse, get a bad loan with bad terms. You don’t have to fix your credit before renting. But you absolutely do before buying.
Maintenance Inside and Out
One of the best things about apartment living is when something goes wrong, you fix it by picking up the phone and calling the super, not by opening your wallet. Owning a home means being responsible for all the myriad of things that will most certainly go wrong.
When the sink starts overflowing, you have to call a plumber that you didn’t budget. The grass has to be cut. And you are out of pocket for that tree limb that fell on top of your roof. It will serve you well to get to know a few people who are handy with repairs. And there are always repairs that need to be done.
Going from renter to owner means cultivating relationships with a new set of professionals. Beyond the title, you have to find a good lender, a reputable credit doctor, and a talented handy person for repairs. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Life is But a Dream- Da-Da-Da-Da-Da!

Went to see an RV Gerry had said I would like.. as he went RV browsing one day on his own. He took me there today to see it. A 2013 Winnebego Itasca Suncruiser- Nice! and nice price @$105,000 USD! 

- 3 slides
- residential fridge
-stacked washer/dryer
-queen bed
-bath and half
-37,000 miles

We paid around  $55,000 CDN for ours that we have- a 2005 Georgetown XL 370, 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, even on a trade in, they really depreciate them and would only give us $35,000 high end for ours. But it's always free to dream.
Here are some pictures of it.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Overdue Post On Dental Trip To Mexico

Been putting off doing a post on our trip to Algodones, Mexico for dental for me last week. Sometimes one just gets "writer's block"!
We're settled in Quartzsite right now for two weeks- at La Posa South.

Have been here about a week already. Spent time here last two winters.( Alot dustier out here too though than in Lake Havasu). We love the space, and close to the water, dumps and garbage BUT shopping is not the best in town, food wise and especially if one is diet specific, like I am at most times. Having a dust-storm here today and waiting on called for rain that may arrive in the next few hours. With the wind blowing as much as as it is today, I can see a few things will be blown and tossed from campsites today!

We stopped in Quartzsite for 2 weeks ( $40), on our way from Yuma, Arizona and Algodones, Mexico. Had gone to Mexico for a crown, after my molar cracked and left me with little choice but to have it pulled - which I didnt want to do- or crown it. With no insurance, a crown was going to cost between $1300-$1500 US in Lake Havasu. Mexico? $200. So we made the trip of 1.5 hours from Lake Havasu, Az to Quartzsite, and then next day another 1.5 miles to border.  We went to a dentist office called Alberta Dental, in Mexico. It was recommended to us. Nice people, great service- although they were a bit behind both days and caused us a half hour wait over our appt times. 

Parked at the casino there, and yes, even went in and won some $$$. It helped Gerry buy 2 new batteries for the RV, some other things that we wanted, and some we played back and lost too. We had a two day layover there, and then now back in Quartzsite till at least the 16th of this month.

Gerry is in need of a a few bridges and crowns, which they told him in Havasu would cost $4352.00 for 1 bridge and 2 crowns for example. In Mexico? $600. So we may be putting some $$ aside and he'll get that done next year we are down here. He has teeth missing on both sides of his mouth and says it would be nice to have teeth on at least one side to make eating easier!

We are hoping to make another trip south once our 2 weeks is done here- so we'll tell you more about that soon!

Had our propane bill for back home ( as yes we have to leave the heat on while gone so it doesn't freeze up), this month was $194. compared to $253 last month.. so we're happy about that despite it being alot colder last month than it was in November. We had decided to have neighbor turn the furnace up a bit more so the furnace wasn't running as much to heat the place. Guess doing that made a difference.

My anxiety has been acting up over the last few months. Even trips to town to the store it will get bad, so I'm looking into some natural supplements that will help. It's not an easy thing to live with, especially when I also have IBS. Just do my best to live with it.

Updated pics on the rain we got today- views outside our RV. And she was coming down hard today! Heard about California's mudslides on the Internet today- will have to watch news later on that.

Sunday's Frugal Web Crawl

We're back with more great sites from around the web this week:

-5 Advanced Hacks No One Taught You About Personal Finance

-The Best Inexpensive Holidays for your family when money is tight

-100 Great Tips for Saving Money

-Sour milk? Make a spice cake!

-Garage Sale Jeans? Make them look new again.

Enjoy your week everyone....