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Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

THE BEAUTY AND VERSATILITY OF BASKETS!

In Your Guest Writers, Your Home on June 29, 2010 at 9:44 AM

BY: JENNIFER BROWN BANKS

Image Courtesy Gail Merriwether

I was flattered and tickled pink by a comment made by a recent guest at my birthday celebration.

“I love your home!” She stated as her eyes danced around each room taking it all in as if to take “mental notes.” (And this coming from an accomplished woman whom I admire greatly as well.)

Truth is, it’s nothing fancy.

But I do try to be creative within my limited resources, and being meticulous also helps. 😉

One thing that I found that enables me to stretch my budget dollars and get more mileage for my money is purchasing baskets. That’s right; something as simple as baskets can add a nice touch to your environment, and offer a great deal of versatility.

Not to mention, they’re abundant and inexpensive. You can get them at dollar stores, flea markets, thrift stores, arts and crafts shops, or use the ones that come when you receive periodic gifts like fruit baskets, bath products, or flowers.

Here’s how to enjoy the beauty of baskets and become better organized as well.

  • Combine colorful baskets of different sizes, shapes and hues, and discover how they make great wall art!— I use them to add a playful touch to the kitchen area of my basement.
  • Use them for storage—Baskets in my washroom are functional as they serve as  containers for odds and ends like sponges, nail polish, candles, etc. I have a fuchsia colored one that matches my shower curtains that I scored from a local store for less than a buck!
  • Use larger versions to keep the kids’ room neat—Place toys, movies, books, and other items in them for a quick and fast clean-up.
  • Baskets can be used for serving— Things like breads, fruits, and snacks.

 As you can see the possibilities are endless!

So the next time you’re seeking an inexpensive, versatile way to spruce up your place, pick up some baskets and let your imagination run wild!

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger. Visit her blog  Pen and Prosper  and her column at Bloggingpro.com

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Organic Food: Help! I’m sooo confused!

In Your Health, Your World on June 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

 

If you’re like most folks you probably try, (or at least think about :)) taking care of your body  by eating “right”.  You may even be the type that occasionally buys foods that conserve Mother Earth’s resources.  But, if you’re like me, with dietitians, nutritionists, and green experts throwing around terms like hormone-free, free-range, natural, and organic, you don’t know what to buy or eat!

 After-all, isn’t organic just a fancy word for natural?  

After doing a bit of research, I found the answer … No!  Even though these terms often appear on food labels they don’t have the same meanings. 

What is organic food? 

Organic refers to the way agricultural products such as grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, poultry, and meat are grown, raised and processed.  For example, organic farmers don’t use conventional methods to fertilize crops or feed animals.  Instead of using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, techniques like crop rotation, adding compost and even beneficial insects are utilized.  Animals raised on organic farms are fed organic foods, allowed access to the outdoors and kept in clean living quarters.  And unlike conventionally raised livestock, they’re not given antibiotics, or growth hormones.    

In addition, organic farms and companies that process organic foods must be certified by the government that they meet United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA) organic standards.  The only exceptions to this law is are business that sell less than $5000.00 a year in  organic products. Violators face a stiff penalty of $11000.00 per  incident.

How Can You Tell If Food is Organic? 

Read the label.  Most, (though not required), certified farms and businesses label their products with USDA Organic Seal. 

Use the guide below to help identify  organic agricultural products.  

100% Organic

  • Product must be 100% organically produced; this does not include added water or salt
  • Product label must list: the ingredients when the product has more than one ingredient, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, etc, of the finished product and the name of the certifying agent
  • Product may display USDA Organic Seal 

95% Organic

  • Product must be 95% organic; this doesn’t include added water or salt. 
  • 5% of the product may contain non-organic products that are not commercially available in organic forms.
  • May use the word “Organic” in the product name  
  • Product label must list the ingredients, noting the organic ingredients, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, etc, of the finished product, and the name of the certifying agent
  • Product cannot contain sulfites  (a food preservative)
  • Product may display USDA Organic Seal 

Made With Organic

  • 70% of the product must be organic; this doesn’t include added water or salt
  • 30% of the product may contain non-organic products that are not commercially available in organic forms
  • May use the words, “Made with organic …”  
  • Wine products may contain added sulfites in the form of sulfur dioxide
  • The product label must list the ingredients, noting the organic ingredients, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, etc, of the finished product, and the name of the certifying agent
  • The USDA Organic Seal may not be used 

Some Organic Ingredients

  • 70% or less of the product may be organic
  • 30% or more of the product may contain non-organic agricultural ingredients 
  • The product label must list the ingredients, noting the organic products 
  • The USDA Organic Seal or certifying agent seal may not be used 

While natural, hormone-free, and free-range are important product labels, don’t confuse them with certified organic foods – they’re not the same nor are the words interchangeable. Be a smart shopper by familiarizing yourself with all these terms.  Understanding product symbols and labels allows you to make better nutritional decisions for you and your family. 

Resources 

USDA National Organic Program  

Organic.org  – Find practical educational material about “going organic”.  Also, has fun activities for kids.  

Local Harvest – Find organic farmers’ markets, and family farms in your area.

What are your thoughts on organic foods?  Are they really better for your health?  Are they worth the expense?  Or, are they over-rated?

A Date With Rubybliss!

In You on June 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM

When Lisa Lazarus is not out playing with her dogs or roasting golden beets, she’s  in her studio creating extraordinary works of art.   She’s someone who  followed her dreams and made them come true.  Here, Lisa shares her loves, her passions, things that make her laugh, and  the things that make this  silversmith tick.

 

1. Your shop’s called Ruby Bliss – that’s an intriguing name that must have a fascinating story behind it. What’s the scoop?

You’re right; the name Rubybliss does have a funny story… though it has nothing to do with jewelry! Back in the late 80’s, early 90’s when I was studying architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, one of my friends decided he was going to become a filmmaker. He set up a whole studio in his attic where a group of us would go over and make these hilariously bad films. Of course we needed “screen names”, and that’s when Ruby Bliss was born. I really just liked the sound of the words and thought it was a perfect name for a starlet. She actually became a character in some of the films; Ruby was a southern woman with a deep drawl and her mama’s name was Pearline! Then when I started making jewelry, it just seemed like a perfect fit. Ruby for the gemstones and bliss for all the joy and contentment that I get from making art/jewelry… and hopefully that you all get from wearing it!

2. What influenced you to begin creating jewelry? And how long have you been an artist?

I have always been an artist. I think being an artist is really about who you are inside, in your heart and soul, and not a profession or job. By the time I was 8 yrs old, my mom had already signed me up for very advanced painting lessons, which I loved, and I was also taking cooking classes where we made everything from meringues and soufflés to chicken and meat dishes – all kinds of complicated stuff. We were even featured in ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ and ‘The Boston Globe’ for doing such advanced cooking at a young age! The point being, if it was creative and I could get in there and express myself somehow, then I was all over it. I wanted nothing to do with ballet or soccer or things like that, but candle making or needle point? Yes, please! Nothing has really changed in the 36 years since then. I studied fine art as an undergrad and went to Paris for a semester to study printmaking and ceramics. Then I went to grad school and tried to do something I thought I could make a living at. Big mistake! Never go against your heart. I quickly realized that if I am not directly involved in the process of making art every day, my life becomes very empty. Making art, or being an artist, is just who I am. Right now I happen to be expressing myself through the medium of jewelry, but it is only one of many media I work in. What I do like so much about jewelry is that each piece is like a miniature sculpture. I can focus on every little detail and I know that those things will be noticed. I also like the fact that women and some men really LOVE to wear jewelry. It is wonderful to make something that you know will be so appreciated and treasured by your audience!

3. A lot of silver jewelry is mass produced; what makes your work unique?

Great question. I would say that by and large, the majority of all jewelry we come across has been mass-made, meaning millions of the same pieces made by machine. Even much of what we see that is called handmade or artisanal is really just mass produced components that have been put together by a crafts person. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking anyone who does that! It is great fun to go to your local bead shop and find cool beads and all the supplies and put them together yourself… but it is not the same thing as making jewelry from scratch. I make all of the silver pieces that I use right in my studio. Occasionally I will use a machine made clasp for certain designs, but mostly I make all of my own clasps, pendants, connectors, etc. Larger chains I also make myself, but fine chains are always machine made. The cost would be prohibitive if it was handmade- none of us would ever be able to wear a necklace! I still source my gemstone beads from suppliers, but would really love to take a gemology course and also learn to cut my own stones. That would put my work at a very different price point though, and I’m not ready to make that jump!

 4. What drew you to these materials?

Gosh, I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about it! They’re just sooo beautiful… don’t they draw you in too? 🙂  I mean, for starters, the cost of gold is just too high for me at this point. I don’t like to feel nervous that I’m going to screw up while I’m creating something, because OF COURSE I’m going to screw up! That’s just how the creative process works. So if I’m constantly worried about the price of the gold that I’m wasting it is going to impede my natural creativity. By the way, as of June 7, 2010, silver costs $17.38 an ounce; gold costs $1,249.00 an ounce… that’s a BIG difference! I have always loved silver though. I love the look of it; the fact that it can be very elegant or super casual. I like the different tarnishes it can have; how easy it is to work with. And gemstones and beautiful beads are just irresistible! Often I like to make very plain pieces just from silver, but the gemstones are always calling my name. Their colors, cuts, everything. When I see beautiful stones, my mouth starts to water-really! I want to make things with them, but also lick them and eat them… sometimes I just want to jump in a big pile of them and roll around!!  

7. It sounds like you have a lot of fun in your studio!  What qualities should consumers look for when purchasing silver jewelry?

Well, I think it all depends what you are looking for. Obviously if you are looking for good quality, then you want to make sure that the silver is either sterling or fine silver. Most silver is sterling and should be stamped somewhere on the back, either “sterling silver” or “.925” which means that it is 92.5% silver. Fine silver, which I use, is .999%, or 99.9% pure, but you are not likely to see that around as much. It would be at a jewelry store or through an artist directly and they will be able to tell you what the pieces are made from. Anything that is not marked or has not been vouched for by a jeweler is NOT silver… you are just getting some kind of base metal. That is fine, and I absolutely believe that there is a place for cheap, fun jewelry that you can wear once or twice and then get rid of as long as it’s cheap! Just make sure you’re not paying silver prices for base metals.

5.  I can imagine you have many sources of inspiration – care to share?

I find inspiration for my work everywhere, but definitely a lot in nature and in food. I really like organic shapes and color combinations. Often times I see something that makes me want to paint, but then I don’t want to make such a literal translation. Jewelry is perfect because I can take the beauty that I have seen and transform it. A painting of a sunset might be very mundane, but a necklace of a sunset… wow! Just the other day I was washing some golden beets before roasting them and the colors of the deep bright orange and yellow and a little bit of spring green just awed me. I wanted to capture that beauty somehow, but I didn’t feel moved by the idea of painting or photographing beets. I can assure you… those colors will be showing up together in my jewelry palette very soon!

6. What are your favorite pieces to create?

By far my favorite pieces to create are custom orders that mean something to someone else. Of course it is always fun as an artist to be able to have free reign… just to make whatever you feel like… but, I hate to say it, sometimes that can be a little bit boring, or empty. When you have to take into account someone else’s desires and needs, it makes the work much more challenging, and for me, much more fun. I recently helped a young guy surprise his wife with a 5th anniversary gift it was a necklace and earring set. I was sooo into it, I felt almost as nervous as he did by the time he presented it. Luckily it was such a huge success; his wife says he’ll “never be able to top that gift”! I don’t know… maybe he and I will try to come up with something next year! Another one that stands out was a birthday gift a man ordered for his wife. Her dad had recently passed away and he wanted to somehow represent her and her dad in the necklace. They both loved topaz, so I used couplets of smoky topaz and London blue topaz to represent her and her father. It is very special and meaningful to work on a project that you know will mean so much to someone, forever probably.

8. What’s next, creative wise?

I’m pretty happy with the direction my jewelry is going right now, so I don’t want to lose any momentum here. But I am always itching to get my fingers in something else, too. I have about 100 project ideas at a time. Right now there are baby quilts that I want to make. I probably have enough fabric to put a blanket on every baby in the U.S.A.  There is a series of very colorful porcelain bowls I want to continue, and I have a collection of pen and ink drawings of women that I’ve been doing for a long time and I would like to make them into prints. That’s just for starters…

9. Where can our readers find your work?

Rubybliss On Etsy

Rubybliss On Facebook

10. Before we let you go, give us three “Good to Know” facts about you.

a. I’d sell my soul, my right arm, and anything else of possible value for a good cup of coffee. I’ve been known to drive miles and miles out of the way to get my daily “fix”.

b. I’ve had dogs in my life since the day I was born. To me, my dogs are family members… love me, love my dogs. I don’t dress them in little outfits though!

c. I am possibly the least competitive person on the planet. As a kid I used to like to go to swim team practice, just as long as I never had to participate in a swim meet! I still don’t like watching sports because even if “my team” wins, I always feel terrible for the team that loses.

11. Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d just like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with your readers. Anyone who wants to buy some Rubybliss jewelry and mentions that they learned about me here on Live Well For Less will get a 15% discount!

Thanks so much Lisa!  I really had a wonderful time getting to know you and Rubybliss these past few weeks.  Your work is exceptional and I know you will continue to have much success.

Don’t forget to take advantage of Lisa’s 15% off deal!  🙂

 

Everyone has a story to tell and we want to share yours.     Please contact us at livewellforlessblog@gmail.com to share your passions, inspirational stories, and handmade creations.  We’re looking forward to featuring YOU!

What’s In Your Beach Bag?

In Your Books on June 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM

As you head out this summer to lounge poolside and on sun drenched beaches, don’t forget to pack a few great reads along with your sunscreen, towels, and beach balls. 🙂

Following, are a few suggestions to get you started.  Enjoy, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Jenniemae and James A Memoir in Black and White by Brooke Newman

This true and heartwarming story is about the extraordinary friendship between an illiterate but,  number savvy black maid and her employer, mathematician and friend of Albert Einstein, James R. Newman.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

A heartwarming, heart breaking, and yet at times, funny tale of family, love, and hope told from a dog’s point of view.

In a Heartbeat by Leigh Ann and Stan Touhy

The extraordinary couple depicted in The Blind Side tells their remarkable story.

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

The lives of three women connect and intertwine in this suspenseful story as  secrets and sins from the past are reveled.

Total Money Makeover by  Dave Ramsey

Best selling author, and radio talk show host, Dave Ramsey shares financial advice and tips.  “The bedrock of his system is simple: work hard, pay what you owe and stay out of debt.”

What’s on your summer reading list?

Find Your Frugal Mojo

In budget, Your World on June 15, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Many folks are searching for smart and creative ways to stretch their hard-earned dollars while riding out this economic recession. 

Here are two snippets from budget-stretching articles we wrote that were featured on Inexpensively.comClick on the title links to read the full versions.

Organization:  The Key to Savings

Have you ever paid a hefty late fee because your mortgage statement was buried under heaps of coupons or pyramids of free sample packs of gum?

Or paid a fine for an overdue library book, simply because it was hidden under piles of BOGO ads from 2006? 

You’re not alone in your battle with clutter.

Disorganization clogs the pipelines of many homes. It’s frustrating, it’s expensive and it destroys household budgets. Studies have shown that 98% percent of moms are disorganized. Actually, I made that last part up; it’s probably more like 56. 🙂

Start With Baby Steps

It doesn’t make much sense to clip coupons and pour over weekly circulars, only to have your savings eaten up by late fees. Starting today, make a vow to stop wasting time and money, searching for coupons, invoices, cell phones and keys. Throw out those ancient magazines and piles of junk mail that occupy prime real estate on your office desk. Empty those overflowing trash cans and wastebaskets and stop playing hop-scotch with the heaps of catalogs sprawled across your office floor. Organization is the key to saving money and it’s really not as difficult as you might think…

Save More and Waste Less

Everyday living expenses can easily get out-of-hand.  Money spent on paper towels, single use cleaning supplies, carbonated drinks and similar household staples could be put to better use.

Follow these five  tried, true. and green ways to stretch your household budget.

1. Use Smart Products. Use multi-tasking products that save time and money.

  • For Body:  Look for foundations and moisturizers that contain sunscreen (at least 15 SPF), and shampoos with built-in conditioners.
  • For Home: Make your own, or use versatile cleaning products that work on windows, countertops, appliances, and mirrors.  Make your dollars work smarter by choosing products that are safe to use on the interiors of cars.

2. Turn On the Tap.  Put the kibosh on soda and other expensive drinks.  Next to air, water is the most important (and cheapest) element our bodies need…

Top 7 Creative Ways to Get Out of Debt

In budget, Your Guest Writers, Your World on June 9, 2010 at 8:31 PM

If you’re thinking about moving to Argentina and changing your name then you might be missing the point of this article’s title. Let’s face it, debts have to be handled responsibly and promptly and it’s important while fighting debt to not lose hope. Here are seven creative ways to get out of debt: 

7. Circle the Wagons

If your debts are threatening to drag you under then its time to realize you can’t go it alone. Sit down with your spouse and family and hammer out a way to fix your finances. Two heads are better than one and you’ll be teaching your kids the importance of good spending habits in the process.

6. Do It Yourself Luxury

There’s no easier way to take a bite out of debt than to cut back on some of the luxuries we’ve gotten used to pampering ourselves with. Make your own coffee, roll up your sleeves, put down the phone book, and attack those minor household repairs yourself. Maybe take a break from dry-clean only clothes in favor of wash and wear. Feeling tense: take a hot bath, not a spa treatment. You get the message here.

5. Starting Small (Business) 

It’s going to take a lot of work to eradicate your debts so why not make the work fun? Have a hidden talent or skill you’ve always wanted to show off? Well, now is the time. Turn your talent into a small side business for extra income or create a business out of whole cloth. You can pay off your debts while being your own boss. That doesn’t sound so bad.    

4. Ducks in a Row 

The key to starting out on the road to being debt free is to get organized. Spending can sometimes get away from us if we’re not on top of things so when you start to get that sinking feeling on the way to the mailbox, it’s time to step back and analyze where and how your money is being spent. Eliminating unnecessary expenditures is a lot easier when you’re looking at the big picture.  

3. Department Store Servitude 

Attacking debt head on means, first and foremost, launching a full-scale assault on those department store credit cards. With crippling interest rates, these cards will keep a stranglehold on your finances. Clear these as quickly as you can. Hold a burning ceremony in the backyard when they are paid off and never apply for one again. 

2. The Envelope Please 

It’s a good idea to set up envelopes for various expenses: groceries, bills, clothes and so on. According to your budget, put the amount needed for the week or month for each of these costs into their respective envelopes. If one of them empties ahead of schedule, you’ll pinpoint a spending problem. Stick with this method and you may find you don’t need to spend as much on certain items as you did previously. 

1. Cashing In 

Vampires live among us. They suck the life right out of our wallets. We refer to them as credit cards. It’s imperative while struggling with debt to begin paying cash for everything whenever possible. Raising credit card balances will only increase your debt. Put the cards away.

This article was provided by Andrew Salmon from IVA – a website about Individual Voluntary Arrangements

Mommy and Me – Baby Giveaway!

In Your Giveaways on June 6, 2010 at 10:25 PM

   

Heather  is the winner of your Mommy and Me – Baby Giveaway!!!  

Congrats Heather! 

SUMMER is on its way and we’re kicking it off early with a guest article written by Lauren Dzuris, Top Carriers for Toting Your Tot, and a nifty Mommy and Me, Baby Giveaway!     

It’s super easy to enter; you’ll find the prize package, and steps listed below.      

Prize Package:       

  • Eco Fi Booties
  • Hungry Friends: Mealtime Book and Bib
  • The Everything Guide to Raising a One-Year-Old
  • My Favorite Toys

Total Value: $60.00      

Eco Fi Booties.  Also called Ecospun, these soft booties (with removable liners) are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles – pretty neat! Two hand embroidered flowers adorn the toes.  Size:  Infants  0 – 3 months old.      

Eco-Fi Booties

 

Hungry Friends:  Mealtime Book and Bib. Wipe clean pages and bib are features you  enjoy; while baby has fun dining with a hungry frog, tiger, dog, cow, pig and more.     

       

The Everything Guide to Raising a One-Year-Old. Written by a pediatrician and a mom, this book offers practical and informative advice to busy moms and dads, on the developmental milestones that occur between the ages of 12 and 24 months. From how to select daycare providers, to dealing with tantrums, and communication needs, this book  helps parents and their little ones enjoy a safe, happy and healthy transition from babydom, to toddlerhood.     

      

My Favorite Toys. This delightful book helps children explore the wonderful world of toys.  Discover teddy bears, wooden blocks, trains, wind-up cars, puppets, and all sorts of colorful playthings on every page.     

     

      

A Few Simple Steps to Enter        

No. of Winners: 1     

Start Date:  12:00 AM7 June 2010      

End Date: Midnight EST – 12 June 2010     

Open To: Residents of the United States and Canada  

Please leave the following in your comment(s):

      

  1. Read Lauren’s article Top Carriers for Toting Your Tot, then list the three baby carriers she wrote about.
  2. Leave a way to contact you: Email, Blog Address, Twitter, Etc.
  3. If you like our magazine, we’d appreciate (NOT required to enter) a follow here and on Twitter
  4. You may enter twice (2). Good Luck!

Your giveaway ends 12 June 2010 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Each comment is numbered and your winner is chosen by Random.org and notified 13 June 2010. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize package, (we’d hate to give your prize to the someone else) 😦

Top Carriers For Toting Your Tot

In Your Guest Writers, Your Health, Your Home on June 6, 2010 at 9:38 PM

by Lauren Dzuris   

Image Courtesy Justyna Furmanczyk

 

When it comes to our little one, we want the best products on the market. We have safety in mind, comfort and an affordable price to look for. One thing you don’t want to go without is a baby carrier or car seat for your child. These make doing everyday tasks much easier since they are always with you and you can keep your eye on them. If you’re on the hunt for one of the best baby carriers, here are a few that are known to be the best-selling. These have the best reviews, ratings and are highly recommended by other parents!    

Baby Bjorn: This is a carrier that we’ve all heard of and love. It allows you to go about your day hands free, it is easy to buckle on, all the adjustments are made in the front for easy access, and it has wide padded shoulder straps for your comfort and easier carrying.    

Baby Bjorn Original Spirit

 

Ergo Baby: The Ergo Baby carrier is another carrier that parents are very fond of. It has padded shoulders and waist for easier carrying, it is very easy to adjust, it allows you to carry your baby on either your back or front and it also has several colors and designs to choose from!    

ERGO Baby Camel Carrier

 

Jeep 2-in-1: Jeep has several great baby products, including baby carriers. There 2-in-1 is great because it has extra wide and padded shoulder straps, a secure fit indicator to make sure your baby is locked in properly, it has a mesh air circulator to keep your little one chill, and lastly it has a reflective trim to help with night visibility.    

Jeep 2-in-1 Baby Carrier

 

When looking for a baby carrier you want to make sure it is convenient for not only your baby but you as well. Getting certain features like padded shoulder straps, the option to choose between wearing them on your back or front side, and the easy buckle adjustments make your time with your baby much easier.   

It is always a good idea to do your research, to compare similar products along with their features and to make sure you and your child are comfortable. There are a lot of great baby carriers on the market, but these seem to stick out from the rest!   

Lauren Dzuris runs FindMyCarSeat, a  website that helps soon to be parents find the right car seat for their child, while giving them tips and advice on everything from pregnancy to caring for your baby.

Your Freebies!

In Your Freebies on June 5, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Round out your weekend with a few noteworthy  freebies – Enjoy!

Enjoy a steamy cup of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

 

Order a free home water care test kit from Nature’s Own

Receive a free sample of New Moist Sure Soothing Hand Hygiene.   Click on the “pump” .

The Polly Klaas Foundation offers a free Child Safety Kit

Receive  a Free Grilled Sandwich at participating Jack In The Box Restaurants.  Click here to find a location near you.

5 Things I Love

In Your Home on June 2, 2010 at 12:13 PM

… and think you will too!   

RoomMates.   These stylish, fun, repositionable, and removable wall decals are perfect for those afraid of commitment. Make boring walls, laptops, and just about any flat surface you can think of, come alive in minutes.  They’re available in a variety of designs (even peel-and-stick mirrors) and sure to please even the most selective adults and kids.     

Scroll Tree

 

Hemp Stripe Bone Toy.  Green pet owners and their dogs love these Harry Barker squeaky toys.  The bones are made from 100% hemp and recycled post-consumer plastic. Mix colors and sizes for the most economical pricing.   

Hemp Stripe Bone

 

Magic Cymbal Monkey Toy.  Rediscover retro classics like this toy monkey at Retro Planet.Com.  You and the kids will laugh as this battery operated chimp jumps around playing his cymbals.   

Cymbal Monkey

 

Beach Bubble Hanging Glass Terrarium Kit. Terrariums are returning in new and fresh ways.  No longer caged houseplants, today’s terrariums are works of modern art.  This gift wrapped trio includes a glass terrarium, white sand and a tillandsia (air plant). Available on Etsy at Terradctl’s shop.   

Pineapple Tillandsia

 

Tiny Prints Greetings.  – Celebrate special moments in your life with on-line greeting cards that you create, and Tiny Prints ships out the next day!  Use one of their creative designs or with just 3 mouse clicks, design your own by uploading photos and artwork.   

Father’s Day is this month, give their service a try.  They’ll address and mail your card (current special is $1.99 per card) or send it to you for free.    

I recently used their service to design my son’s high school graduation announcements and have since recommended them to several friends.  Their prices are competitive, the cards are made of  quality material and their customer service is quick and unparalleled.    

5 Bags

 

Father's Day Card