The Lighter Side
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Friday, March 24, 2017
Spring has sprung. The days are longer, flowers are in bloom everywhere you look, and the weather is starting to feel gentler and kinder. That could only mean one thing: t-shirt weather is almost here! I can't wait. There's nothing as comfy as a soft, old tee.

I wear out my t-shirts completely. I wear them until there's nothing left but a few threads. When they're new, I wear them out and about. As they age and get faded and tattered, I just wear them around the house while I'm laying around or doing chores. When they get so old and thin you can almost see through the cotton they lay at the bottom of my drawer waiting for their final assignment: becoming a rag.

Worn out, washed-a-million-times tees are great for cleaning windows and mirrors because they have given up all their lint, which means no nagging "fuzzies" left behind. I use them to wash and dry my car because they're soft and won't scratch the paint or trim (just remove any decorations first). They're perfect for painting - both for wearing and cleaning up.

You can also use them for everyday spills and messes. Just cut them into different sized pieces and stow them in the kitchen, bathroom, or garage - any place you'd reach for a paper towel. Since they're re-usable, they're a 'green' alternative to paper. Not only will you save money, you'll be doing your part to help the environment!

Your "Love Your Tees for Life" Gift Guru,
Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, March 17, 2017
Looking for a feel-good tale? A real-life story that will put a smile on your face and warm your heart? Look no further than this unlikely pair of BFFs.

Photo Credit:
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Wamba is a 50-pound African tortoise who spends her leisurely days in a heated shelter near the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Dove Mountain where her other BFF, caretaker Ron Brink, works.

When Brink went to Wamba's shelter a couple of weeks ago, he found the African tortoise had made a new friend: a baby bunny who presumably cozied up to Wamba to escape the bitter cold of the Arizona night.

It turned out to be a good thing that this bunny found Wamba - and not just because of the cold. "We found that the bunny had stuff wrapped around his neck, like grass and weeds," Brink said. "There were four layers of this plant matter wrapped around, constricting so tightly it was embedded in his skin."

Without a little cuddle and care from Wamba and help removing all that junk around his neck, the bunny probably would have perished. Instead, he now spends his days hanging around with his new friend, safe from the cold and those pesky grasses and weeds.

Brink and Wamba intend to care for the little guy until he's strong enough to be released into the wild. But I wouldn't be surprised if the bunny bounced right back to the warmth and comfort of his foster mom. I'll be keeping an eye on the baby bunny's progress and I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Your "Every Bunny Needs A Friend" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, March 10, 2017
My family - both sides - came to the United States from Ireland. It's never been clear whether they were running from the Great Potato Famine or something else. Or if they weren't running from something at all but running to a New World. A world that held great promise for those bold enough to set sail for distant and unknown shores.

What is known is this: we remain to this day stolidly Irish. If there's an Irish holiday to be celebrated, we have a party. Or go to church. It all depends on the tenor of the holiday.

Along with traditional Easter and Christmas holidays, we celebrate both Easter Monday and St. Stephen's Day (December 26). And we celebrate St. Patrick's Day along with the rest of the world.

This year we'll be wearing the green (shamrocks, of course), cooking up some corned beef and cabbage, and downing our fair share of Guinness. But as true Irish folk do, we'll also be paying homage to good old St. Patrick who (the folktale tells us) banished all snakes from Ireland by chasing them into the ocean.

Whether the tale is true or a bunch of blarney, Ireland is snake-free to this day. And that alone is something to celebrate!

Your "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, March 3, 2017
What would you do if your co-workers offered to take a pay cut so you could get a raise? That's exactly what the big stars of The Big Bang Theory just did for co-stars Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz) and Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler), who both joined the show in season three and became regulars in season four.

The original five cast members currently make about $1 million per episode, but as Bialik and Rauch enter salary negotiations, the stars of the show each agreed to give up ten percent of their pay - as long as that money goes to their supporting cast.

It worked for Friends, the first sitcom cast to try the collective bargaining approach. By the end of their 10-season run, all salary negotiations were conducted as a group and each of them ended up making $1 million per episode in the final two seasons. (They also negotiated for and won syndication rights.)

Now in its 10th season, The Big Bang Theory was just renewed for two more and there's no end in sight. "We’ll put it on for as long as everyone wants Big Bang on the air,” said the network's chief Glenn Geller. “I hope it lasts forever.”

We do, too.

Your "Equal Pay for Equal Laughs" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, February 24, 2017
Mia is like most beagles. She's curious. Energetic. And easily distracted.

Competing on the agility course at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show, Mia is most certainly a smart, agile dog. But her handler couldn't quite keep her on task. The announcer tries to give her a little help by saying, "Don't be a beagle! Don't be a beagle!" But Mia can't help herself, stopping to sniff at the grass and 

Check out the hilarious video of Mia's epic performance:

She might not have taken home "Best In Show" honors, but she definitely won the hearts of the audience.

 Your "Beagles Will Be Beagles" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, February 17, 2017
You wash your hands a lot. Try not to touch your nose, eyes, or mouth too often. Stay away from sick people. And yet, here you are, down with...something. Maybe it's the flu. A cold. Bronchitis. Viral. Bacterial. Who knows? And the way you feel, who cares, right?

You just need something to do while you recover. Something fun that doesn't take a lot of energy.  Something that won't tax your system, but keeps you busy enough not to lose your mind while you recover, right?

And if you're not the one down with the flu? Well, then you need to keep your patient occupied, don't you? Today, I want to share (from experience) three ways to beat the flu season blues:

  • Rediscover coloring. Adult coloring books are not only popular right now, they're fun and relaxing. No wonder we loved coloring as kids!
  • Do puzzles. Word puzzles, jigsaws, dot-to-dot - puzzles are perfect for keeping your brain so busy that you don't have time to think about those awful body aches or the stacks of work piling up on your desk while you're out.
  • Watch your favorite shows. Binge streaming is great, but there's nothing like loading up the DVD player with your favorite, commercial-free movies. 
I'm hoping you and yours don't get the flu this year...but if you do, now you know what to do!

Your "Cough, Cough, Sneeze" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, February 10, 2017
'Tis the season to be pregnant - at least among my friends and family. That means lots and lots of baby showers are in my future. And for brand new parents, it means there is tons and tons of advice in their future. I can't even count the tidbits of pregnancy and baby wisdom passed down through the generations in my family. With the advice new parents get from friends and coworkers, it adds up to more than any person can remember.

 So I thought I'd boil down three of my favorites (you know, the ones that really work!)
  • First (and most important in my opinion), sleep equals more sleep. If your new bundle of joy is waking up too early, put them to bed earlier, not later. Believe it or not, they'll sleep longer. 
  • Second, give an eyedropper of plain water every single day. Let's face it, baby will have to take some kind of medicine eventually. Getting them used to the eyedropper early makes it seem like just a part of any other day, which means you won't have to battle baby when it comes time to take medicine.
  • Third, help your colicky baby sleep with white noise. My grandmother used to turn on the vacuum and leave it running to help us sleep. I'm told a noisy box fan or even a TV tuned to static can calm your child and help them get through a difficult night.
As you head out to baby showers this spring, you'll hear lots of advice from friends and family of the parents-to-be, most of which they won't remember. So jot down the three tidbits I just shared on the gift card. They might not remember the gift you gave, but they'll love you for giving the gift that keeps on giving - tips they can actually use!

Your "Making Room for Baby" Gift Guru,

Posted by: Linda | 8:00 AM | permalink

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