All posts by debbie

Native Californian transplanted to Ohio. Wife, Mom of 2 college kids, and full-time Inventory Planner. Love to read, write, sew and enter contests. Love my family, the beach, and being half Sicilian. I know a little about lots of stuff and would like to share that knowledge.

Today is National Kindness Day

A lot people usually think of acts of kindness around the Holidays. I would like to think that we can do things for others at any time of the year. I have compiled a list of 25 things you can do as an act of kindness. Hopefully there are a few that you might not have thought of. Pick one or all, and spread the kindness all through the year.

Help a coworker with a big project-offer your time so they don’t have to work late.

Thank your mail carrier with a thank you note or drink (hot chocolate in winter; cold water in summer)

Donate used books to the library

Forward email coupons to a friend if you can’t use them

Give a ride to someone in need

Let someone go ahead of you in line

Do the survey on your receipts and compliment an employee

Become an organ donor

Shop Farmer’s Markets in your community

Share your garden produce with neighbors or a food bank

Make someone laugh

Give a hug

Leave a dollar on the vending machine for the next person

Offer to be the designated driver at a party

Leave that close parking spot for someone else and walk a little further

If you travel, bring a little souvenir to someone who wouldn’t expect it and brighten their day.

Go caroling or sing at a nursing home

Send a note of appreciation to anyone in your life that may need a pick me up

Bring a meal to the family of a friend that may be under the weather

Pay for someone behind you, whether at the store, coffee shop or drive-thru

Donate your hair to charity

Practice being nice on the road to other drivers

Adopt a soldier

Do a fundraiser or help out for your favorite charity

Be a parking meter angel- put coins in meters so they don’t expire


5 Old School Makeup Tips that Still Work Today

Some makeup tips have been around forever and you probably think there must be better ways today, right? Well, don’t be so quick to ignore Mom’s advice. Here are 8 tips that are still relevant today and work great!

To Frown or not to Frown

You probably were told not to frown or scowl, but Mom might have made an exception when giving you brow advice. When you need to fill in your eyebrows, the best position to be in is your head tilted downwards and with a little scowl on your face. Furrowing your brows gives you a better view, especially the top of your eyebrows. You want to do a good job filling in the top brow area to really give your eyes a wide-awake look.

Double the Fun- Half the Cost

You can look great, but still be frugal when it comes to makeup choices. If you use a powder blush, it can double as an eyeshadow in a pinch. Some kinds of lip glosses can also be used as a blush. This is great for a night out, since you can take that cute little clutch without stuffing it full of makeup.

Light, Please!

Harsh lighting is not the best environment for you to put on makeup. If you can, try to be near some natural light. Natural light will really give you the best view of what your makeup will look like when you go outside. Some makeup mirrors simulate natural light as well, and this could be a good alternative if you don’t have good access to natural light at home.

Don’t Forget Your Hands

Our hands tend to get neglected in our makeup routines, but they need a little effort. You probably make sure you are protected from the sun on your face and skin, but your hands would appreciate a little SPF love. You can use whatever sunscreen you are using and just dab a bit on the back of your hands. Also, if you ever apply self-tanners, don’t forget to apply just a little to the back of your hands as well.

One Way to Smooth

You want your makeup to look smooth and flawless. Stick to one type of makeup to achieve the smooth look you want. If you use a liquid foundation, use creamy shadows and blush. Likewise, if you are using a powder, stick to other makeup that is powder-based. Keeping to one type of makeup helps to blend and give you a cohesive and smooth look.


Stop the Time Suckers

Who doesn’t want to make better use of their time? We all have those silent time suckers that we don’t really think about, but all of us waste time every day. How can you can get a handle on it?  Here are some tips for you to make better use of your time and stop the time suckers.

It may sound boring, but you really have to set some goals for yourself first. Even if you start at a high level (more time with family, more exercise, etc.), just writing down some goals will give you a good start. Pick one and then break it down until you get to a daily goal. Start with one at a time for best results.

Most of us have a general idea of how much time we spend every day on regular tasks. Would you be surprised to find out that we are usually way off? We tend to think smaller tasks take longer, and generally underestimate how long it really takes for larger tasks. It really helps if you can get some accurate data around the actual time you spend doing things. Jot down how long your regular tasks are taking you to accomplish. Do this daily for about a week. You may be surprised that washing dishes doesn’t take as long as you thought, but making your shopping list takes much longer. Once you have a better idea of how time is being spent, you can budget your time and plan accordingly.


You can start making a plan for daily, weekly or monthly tasks. Use a paper or electronic calendar- whatever will work for you. You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, but you want to have a general and realistic plan of what you can get done in set amount of time. If you think of something when you are running around, jot it down or put it in your phone so you can remember later and schedule time for it. You want to be flexible, but try to set a realistic start time that you can stick to- that way the rest of your day won’t be so pinched.


Even though it can be hard, you can learn how to prioritize. We tend to think every task is important and must be done right away. This is not possible. We can’t do everything at once.

Start with eliminating things you really don’t have to do. There are some things, such as paying bills or buying groceries, that we absolutely have to do. Set your priorities and work on the big things that MUST get done. The next layer would be important items that you have some time to work on. Do a little at a time and enjoy the moments when you accomplish something!


Don’t get stuck doing everything that anyone asks of you. Ask yourself if doing something is a good use of your time. Spend time with your family and friends instead of organizing the pantry. Don’t feel pressured to do everything! Also, ask for help if you need it and lessen the burden that is on your shoulders.


If you find yourself with a spare 10 minutes, think about 1 item you can knock off your list. It may be tempting to check your email again, but just do 1 thing and then allow yourself more time to relax at the end of the day. Also, if you find that you allotted 30 minutes for an item and it takes longer, just stop for the day and reschedule another time to finish the work. The next time you have to tackle the same task, just allow the more realistic time.


Make sure you allow time for breaks during the day, especially lunch or dinner. Whether you are at home, or in an office, you must have time to step away for a little bit. We are all tempted to just keep on working sometimes, but that does more harm than good. Recharging your mind will do a world of good for you and help your productivity when you resume working.


Reward yourself (reasonably, of course!) for a job well done. Schedule your free time for the weekend or even a mini-vacation. It is really important to have something to look forward to that you really will enjoy. A lunch with friends or movies with the family are both some fun things you can fit in.


To recap, be realistic and keep track of things you have to do. You can still have some flexibility, since over structuring is not really good, either. Once you have your goals and schedules you will find that you are using your time more wisely and put an end to all those time suckers!


6 Easy Tips to Organize Your Garage

Does your garage feel like a vast wasteland? Do you trip over things and still can’t find what you are looking for? The garage often becomes a catchall for things that we just don’t know what to do with. You can get organized without breaking your back or your bank account. Here are some tips to help you get your garage in shape.

Start Out Right

Pick a nice day to work on the garage since your best best is to empty out your garage, or at least a piece of it to start with. Anything you remove from the garage look at with a critical eye. What do you absolutely need to keep in the garage? How much room do you need for your cars? You will first have to empty the garage or at least a portion of it at a time. You will need to figure out what items you need to store in the garage, and whether or not you are keeping vehicles there, too. Get rid of what you don’t need, and then figure out how to store the rest.

Tooling Around

If you have hand tools, think about using a magnetic tool board. You can use any kind of board to start with, so it is an economic fix, too. Use a thick magnetic tape put across the length of the board. Any metal tools or supplies will attach to the magnet. This will really help organize your tools and is a space saver as well.

Look Up

One space that is often not used in the garage is right above the door. You can put a shelf up high which is great for seasonal items, including sports equipment you don’t use all the time. Anything you don’t need access to on a regular basis can go up high.

Garden Space

Are you a gardener? If you don’t have a garden shed then think about some kind of table space in the garage to organize your gardening tools and supplies. A dedicated space makes it easier to access what you need and to keep garden stuff in one area of the garage.

The Pegs Have It

Pegboard is very useful to add adjustable shelving or just hang up miscellaneous tools. Any outdoor, garden or even sports items can be stored on these shelves. If you need to change things around, shelves on pegboard are the easiest to move around and have the most flexibility of use.

Another cost saving storage solution is using metal garbage cans with lids. These garbage cans are great for storing things like rock salt, potting soil or sand. These containers seal tightly and can even store pet food. You don’t have to buy special containers at all.

These ideas are a good starting point to organizing your garage space. Once you get going you will probably think or more ways to make your garage more useful.  

6 Energy Myths- Busted!

We all want to save energy and money, right? Even with good intentions we probably fall into the trap of believing energy myths that we’ve heard for years. Here are 6 energy myths that you need to bust now.


Shutting a vent in an unused room is supposed to save money, but it actually does not work. The cool air or heat is just redirected to your other vents in the house. The air can also just leak out of any holes in ducting. The pressure backs up and can actually cause more wear and tear on your heating or cooling system. This will cost you money in the long run since your unit will not last as long as it should.

Space Heaters

Electric space heaters sound like a good idea, but do they help you save? The answer is NO. Electricity is generally more expensive than gas and the costs to run a space heater or two can be as much as heating your whole home with natural gas.


You might think that you can’t use solar if you don’t live in a sunny climate, but that is not true. You can still have your normal electric service, but build up credits when your solar energy kicks in. The sunny days will help you build up power and you can usually save quite a bit on your normal electric bill.


While double paned windows are more efficient, the cost of replacing your windows may not actually give you a great return on investment. The savings you get can depend on how many windows you have, where you live, and which direction the windows face. Replacing windows can get quite expensive and you can probably generate the same cost savings in other ways.

New versus Old

If you buy a newer house, don’t assume that it is automatically more energy efficient. While many newer homes do have energy savings features, not all of them do. Even if you are looking at an older house, it may have been updated with modern insulation, for instance. Always consider these facts when you are house shopping.

Getting Warm

Setting the temperature on your thermostat higher will not heat up your home faster. Your heating system works hardest when it first comes on. It is better to set your thermostat on a normal temperature and leave it alone. A programmable thermostat is a great idea, though, and can save you money. Just reducing your temperature setting by 1 degree equates to saving 1 percent.


Valentine’s Day goodies

This Valentine’s Day should be all about lavishing your loved ones with little luxuries. L’Occitane has you covered in this department! With Valentine’s gift ideas for him and for her, you really can’t go wrong with anything you chose.

Men’s gift ideas include fragrances, skincare and grooming products, such is this Eau des Baux Eau de Toilette or this Almond Daily Ritual Duo.

For ladies, L’Occitane carries a range of fine fragrances, luxury bath and body products, home fragrances, candles and gifts sets — all of which are superb gift ideas for women. We suggest the Divine Cream or the Roses et Reines Eau de Toilette.

New to the L’Occitane brand and not sure where to start? Now through 2/14, you can get this 8-Piece Shea Set for only only $20 with any $45 purchase. Use promo code COZY at checkout. The set includes 8 Shea Butter essentials, including Light Face Cream, Hand & Foot Cream, Extra-Gentle Soap, Shower Cream, Ultra-Rich Body Cream and a Sample of Comforting Face Oil.


Chinese New Year 2017

         In 2017, Chinese New Year (sometimes called the Spring Festival) begins  on January 28th. It is the year of the Rooster In the Chinese Lunar Calendar. People that were born in previous Rooster years are considered to have an unlucky year.

         Celebrating Chinese New Year begins early and ends well past the actual New Year’s Day.  People start cleaning their houses in preparation around the 23rd of the month and family may start coming together the week before the actual holiday. Lots of workers in China will take off two to three weeks so they have time to travel to their hometowns.

            Chinese New Year originated as a break after farming and harvesting. The wish was for a prosperous harvest in the new year. Today people wish for a prosperous year in work and business, too.

      The Spring Festival focuses on family. The special Reunion Dinner (on New Year’s Day) is the most special meal of the entire year. Many generations of family come together during this important meal.

      Dumplings are thought to bring prosperity and wealth in the new year, so they are always served at the meal. Fish is also popular since it is believed that a person will get extra money in the next year if you eat fish.

               You will see a lot of the color Red during this time of celebration. Red is a traditional Chinese color and is said to bring good luck. People in China will be wearing red as well as decorating their homes in this color. Since it is the year of the Rooster you will also see rooster decorations.

          It doesn’t matter if you are in Shanghai or in small town, the celebrations will be big. There are always dragon and lion dances, as well as plenty of fireworks.

           Children and older folds get gifts during Chinese New Year. You must use a lucky envelope (red of course!) to tuck away small money gifts.

           Even if you are not in China, you can celebrate. Have a family meal, wear red, and give small money gifts in red envelopes. Welcome the Year of the Rooster!

      Gōngxǐ fācái!



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