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Monday, May 24, 2010

Personal Best Monogram Shoppe

We took a trip over to Washington Depot --- a tiny little town in northwestern Connecticut.  What a wonderful shop we found!  Personal Best Monogram Shop sells custom and stock monograms (the stock ones were lovely!) and will embroider that monogram onto pretty much anything you want. 
We noticed bathrobes, napkins, mens shirts, towels, and all kinds of fabrics.  But they also do stationery.  Some people have even had their monogram done on wallpaper (I’d love to see that room --- its either classy beyond words, or tacky beyond words – can’t decide which)
These were beautiful monograms, not the simple ones I’m used to finding everywhere.   Don’t bother looking for a website --- there isn’t one.  But a day trip over to Washington Depot will yield a ton of fun --- they’re on Green Hill Road right in Washington Depot  or give them a call 860-868-9966

Thursday, May 20, 2010


One of my goals for the summer is to try geo-caching.  It sounds fun --- we’ll get outdoors, get some exercise – the dog can go with us – and best of all, its free. 
Geo-caching is a sort of “sport”.  Its like an outdoor treasure hunt.  People set up “caches”  --- small weather-proof containers with a log and sometimes a “treasure” in them.  Participants (that would be ME) use GPS to try to locate the containers.  When you find one, you add your name and information to the log – and get the thrill of finding a treasure.  Best of all (for me) it works with the IPhone because its GPS enabled.  No equipment to purchase. 
I went to to get some information.  I set up a free account (just needed an email address basically) and started looking at possible caches to find.  There were about 25 within 5 miles of my house!!  Including along some of our favorite hiking trails.  We can’t wait to get started.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Speed Cleaning My Bathroom

Speed cleaning is always up my alley.  (No cleaning would be up my alley too, if it didn’t result in living in a pig sty).  I’ve picked up a couple of tricks recently that are making the bathroom part of cleaning a bit speedier. 
First off, I replaced the toilet brush holder.  You know, the one that sits on the floor beside the toilet and holds the brush you use to clean the toilet.  I replaced the holder with a ceramic one that is all one piece.  No seams.  Why?? Because the FlyLady taught me the best trick.  Fill that beautiful ceramic cylinder with a generic cleaning fluid (I’m loving Lysol Lavender scented all-purpose cleaner) and put the toilet brush back in the holder.  Voila – always ready, no fussing around finding the cleaner, putting it away afterward etc.  How silly did I feel that I never, ever though of that??  Better question:  How great do I think it is now? 
My next great aha:  Clorox wipes.  Yeah, I know – the rest of you have loved them for a long time.  And I’ll confess, I’ve loved them in the kitchen and at work.  But I hadn’t thought about them in the bathroom all that much.  They are the cat’s meow for wiping down the sink and the top of the toilet as often as I notice it (which is way more often than when I had to drag out all of that cleaning stuff.)  I did give the Scrubbing bubbles wipes a try – but I like the Clorox and Lysol all-purpose wipes better.  Plus they kill germs like crazy.  And you can do the mirror with them without streaking it like mad. 
Just a couple of tricks, but boy do they make my life a lot easier.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Budget Nagging

Hmmmm this is something worth thinking about. will track all of your spending from credit card and debit card information.  It even sorts your spending into categories for you:  gas, groceries, clothing --- It keeps running totals on your spending in each category.  But the best part?? It lets you set up budget amounts for each category and it sends you a text message if you go over the amount you’ve set to spend.  WOW --- nothing like having your own personal nag to help you stay on budget.   I love it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fonzie the Philosopher

I stumbled across this quote from Fonzie (yep, the leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding, hip dude from Happy Days --- remember him?)  “Cool is knowing the difference between right and wrong and doing with is right with guts”.  Wow – Fonzie the philosopher --- who knew. 
I’m thinking about getting that quote done with vinyl letters and putting it on the wall of my classroom.  The only problem is:  I’d spend eternity explaining to the kiddos “Who’s Fonzie”? 
Still – what a great thought.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Happy Birthday on a Budget

Its someone’s birthday today.  No, not mine.  But someone I think the world of.  Someone for whom all of the below “gifts” apply.  Seriously, at a certain point in your life you start getting birthday gifts from your Uncle Sam.  How great is that?
Happy 65th --- at age 65 you automatically qualify for Medicare.  All you have to do is fill our the forms – and you can do that ahead of your birthday, so you really do get the birthday gift on your birthday (thoughtful, that Uncle Sam)
Happy 62nd --- You can start collecting Social Security if you need or want to.  But if you’re like this fellow, don’t do it.  It makes your payments much lower than they would be if you waited until 65 or 67 to start collecting.  All the same, good to know you can collect if you need or want to.
Happy 60th  This is the point in time where you can make withdrawals from your IRA and other personally funded retirement accounts.  Again, don’t do it if you don’t have to.  But good to know you can --- freeing, sort of.
Happy 50th  Wow – just as all of the kids are independent and your income is as high as its ever going to be (okay, that was a depressing moment there, wasn’t it?) Uncle Sam increases the limits for your contributions to your retirement accounts.  Use the next 15 year to sock away $6,000 a year in your IRA and $22,000 in your 401k.  Even with the short investment span and the historically tragic interest rates right now, that could add up to a lot of spare change.  What a great birthday present!
(And yes, you who’s birthday we’re celebrating around here, I DID get you a real present – the presents from Uncle Sam are just bonuses)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Gardening Thoughts

Since I’m starting to think about the garden and the outdoors again.  I thought I’d do some planning for a potting/gardening area off of our patio.   I don’t want to spend a ton of money on a fancy potting shed or even a potting table.  But I do want an organized workspace for all of the tools, buckets of soil, seeds, packaging, and other stuff that seems to go with working in the yard and the garden. 
Here’s what I’m thinking will work:
Ø  Put a small table from the flea market or yard sales up against the side of the area.
Ø  Add a set of plastic stackable bins (I’m thinking Kmart or Christmas Tree Shop) underneath.  I’m not going to stack them --- I just want the uniform set of bins --- they’ll need to stack in the shed for the winter though.   These can hold extra pots etc
Ø  A straight board to set across the stackable bins – this will make place for holding those things that won’t fit inside the bins – as long as they’re not too heavy. 
Ø  A couple of large buckets (the kind you can get at HD – but I really don’t want orange buckets.)  In the past, I’ve had good luck with a local donut shop.  The filling for the donuts comes in these large white buckets (no handles) and they’ll give them to me for a song.  The buckets can hold the potting soil, fertilizer etc.