Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gift cards, yea or nay?

What did you buy this Christmas for that tween who acts and dresses like she is 25; or how about the teen that only speaks in monosyllables?  I mean seriously how do you figure out what to buy for someone whose sole communication is limited to yes and no…mostly no? How about Sister June’s tots from Florida that you aren’t even sure if they are 6 or 9?  We won’t even discuss Auntie Bertha from Phoenix who you haven’t seen since you were 6 or 9? 

I bet you opted to buy a gift card. Consumer reports states that gift cards are the worst gift you could give.  Why?  Store cards don’t have fees like bankcards but they are sometimes inconvenient since you can only use them at that particular store. A huge percentage of cards remain unused moldering away in drawers and wallets and some simply forgotten. 

Then we come to deciding which store to get that gift card from. Someone I know loved Bath and Body works and they received a gift card to Bed bath and beyond.  Ok, both have the word, bath in their names, and they are both nice stores. It is just a minor mistake but Bed bath and beyond happened to be 40 miles further than the other store so, yes, it went unused.

While Cards from malls and those issued by banks like Mastercard, Visa, and American express seem like a good idea they come with purchase fees up front.  In addition after a year of inactivity they subtract an amount every month so that a $25 card can become worthless in 10 months time!  Lose that card and you will pay a hefty fee to get another or more commonly you are simply out of luck.

The Mall cards I’ve seen literally come with a huge booklet in tiny print of stipulations, rules and limitations.  Personally I don’t even read the manuals that come with electronic equipment so I sure as heck am not going to spend my time reading that!

In conclusion if you want to give a gift to someone and you just don’t know what to get them, give them a check or cash.  There are very creative ways to turn cash into a gift that keeps on giving.  And if you get a gift card be sure to spend it--quickly!

So…your opinions are welcomed –gift cards, yea or nay?

There are lots of ideas to make money a gift in itself...search Pinterest for tons of ideas. This star tutorial is an easy one that you can make in any denomination...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bank on this?

A multi- cup coffee morning

So, it's raining.  It's raining hard and I'm late.  That not so unusual you say.  I still have one errand to complete before I go to work.  Yes, I got going earlier than usual because I needed to stop at the bank to make a deposit.  I't just a small deposit in my personal account.  Easy, peasy you say.  Just go through the drive thru window right?

Well, It's pouring harder and harder and the windshield wipers are slapping in sync with the music on the radio.  If you know me I'm not a fan of rain.  I know it's necessary and all that, but it's dreary and this kind of rain in 40 degree temperatures is just plain bone chilling.

I get to the bank drive thru and although it is well after 9 a.m. all the lighted signs say closed.  Hmmmm well, I turn my car and try and find a parking space to just go in and be done.  Thrice around the building and I still can't find a space.  Geez, it's only thursday morning , what's up with that?  Finally on the fourth pass I grab a space recently vacated.

I get out and the wind whips my umbrella inside out.  You knew that was coming didn't you?  I toss it back in the car and run to the bank doors.  Wet, bedraggled and frustrated I open the door and the line is almost 7 deep.  Whoa, this may take some time.

Here is the scenario...there are two tellers for four windows.  From my vantage point I can see there are four tellers in the drive in window area milling around.  In the main bank there are three tellers walking behind the two working tellers with one (apparently a manger of some sort) Just staring towards the customers with her arms folded.  Every customer at the working windows are doing some major banking.  I wait, I wait, I wait.  When, I ask, did the bank turn into a Walmart?

From my position in line I can see the large clock ticking away.  Finally after about 30 minutes for a banking job that should have taken three, I arrive at the teller window.  She quickly makes my desposit and I tell her that the drive through window says it's closed.  She tells me she will tell someone to turn it on.  So she calls over to the three standers behind the worker bees.  One of them thanks me for letting them know.  Um, your welcome.

I arrive at work a bit late.  It's just another rainy day in my world. And after all, in the words of Scarlett Ohara..."Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Easy to create a tree top ribbon tutorial with Bowdabra bow maker

If you are making bows this year to top your tree, packages or just about anything, hop on over to Bowdabra.com and check out the many tutorials.  You will be an expert bow maker with a Bowdabra bow maker!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Parking lot pet peeve

Christmas will be here before you know it and you will be shopping and going in and out of many parking lots.  Beware—because there is danger there.  No, relax I don’t mean someone is out get you. (Although you might be careful there too) I’m talking about your car.  I’m referring to the lazy people who wheel the shopping carts out and then leave them…anywhere. 

I know you’ve seen it.  You enter a parking lot at a strip mall or discount department store and there are carts littered all over the place, left by those who couldn’t be bothered to return it to the store.  Just this morning, I counted 7 carts left on medians, sidewalks and even parking spaces in just one lot.  They are calling for wind today so that is a recipe for automobile disaster. 

Have you ever wondered why stores put up signs that they will not be responsible for any damage incurred in their lots?  It’s not due to graffiti artists or car accidents; the reason is due to errant carts wheeling around without a driver like bumper cars.

The best solution to this lazy problem is what a store like Aldi grocery store does to combat this problem. You place a quarter in a slot for your cart and then when it is returned, you get the quarter back.  If you don’t return it then you’ve paid a quarter for your laziness. You never see any carts sitting around their lots.

So be a doll and protect the cars in the lot, return your carts this season…the car you save may be your own. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Are you aware?

Nowadays you see awareness ribbons almost everywhere.  There ribbons for almost every cause, disability or illness, but did you ever wonder what an awareness color ribbon stood for?

Click on the link to see a listing of a bunch of awareness colors and their meanings.  I had no idea there were so many.  Did you?

Awareness ribbons

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What’s in a name?

The names that are the most popular in the 100 years haven’t really changed that much.  Ok if you’re talking about celebrities maybe the names they use are a bit outside the box.  I mean it’s a tad different to name your child after a fruit or a compass point.  It’s a good thing these children go to private schools because I can only imagine how they would fare with other children and the poor teachers struggling to spell or pronounce their names.  Take it from me.  I was named Crystal when it wasn’t popular at all and no teacher, not even my grandmother ever knew how to spell my name.

Me, I’m a traditionalist.  Today is my daughter’s birthday and her name is simple and traditional…Mary.  If she had been a boy (We didn’t know her sex beforehand) her name would have been John.  You may wonder why I chose the name Mary in a sea of Jennifers, Jessicas and Brittanys, Boring, you say?  Maybe, but well used through the last century. The United States Social Security website states that the following names are the five most popular in the last 100 years…


You will notice that Mary and John are both on the list.  John weighs in at number 2 and Mary is number 1.  Funny but I don’t see a Sage, Moon unit, or Maddox on that list anywhere.  Maybe those who want to be different should name their children after Captcha words.  They are unique, many times unpronounceable and most definitely one of a kind!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Diaper changers go home!

Baby ducks, no diapers required

I don’t often comment on current events that are often hot buttons for opinions of all kinds, but I feel this time I must.

I recently read a news article about a woman who changed her toddlers diaper in a Chipotle restaurant on the dining tables!  Can you imagine placing a 16 month old child on a table people where are going to eat? Her husband was furious that the restaurant employees told her it was a definite no-no and wrote a letter to Chipotle chiding them for not having changing tables in the bathroom.  It was much too inconvenient for the woman to take her child out to the car on a beautiful day. 

Let me make this clear.  I am a mother.  While my daughter just graduated college and is no longer in diapers, I well remember those years.  Few if any restaurants back then had changing tables in the bathrooms.  Oh my!  What did I do?  I went to the car and changed her there, or I just didn’t go out. Inconvenient?  Sure, but those are the little sacrifices one makes when one decides to have children.  I also didn’t let my daughter scream and cry in restaurants or stores.  Lets just say I am far from a stern disciplinarian and I never hit her in any way shape or form, I simply took her outside.  After a couple times like that she didn’t do it anymore because if she was screaming and crying for something and that something wasn’t there anymore, what could she do but stop? Yes, it was inconvenient but common courtesy to others made me aware that while my daughter’s cry was not hurting anyone, it could be annoying to others.

Changing a diaper on a dining table is just unsanitary and probably breaks many health laws.  In my opinion, (And it is just an opinion) the woman should be fined and banned from the restaurant.  And shame on Chipotle for coddling her idiot husband to tell him they are trying to install changing tables soon.  Restaurants are not required to install them and if patrons cannot be civilized then they should just stay home…or has she ever heard of carry out?

What are your thoughts on this matter?  Was she right, wrong, or are you as appalled as I am?
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