Fun Halloween Tips and Ideas

Halloween is coming up around the corner and its time to start thinking about costumes and crafts for celebrating the holiday. If you’re having a hard time of thinking of ideas, check out DLTK, a website full of holiday ideas and crafts, including pumpkin carving patterns that you can print off for free. Among the patterns are Aliens, Bats and even Blue’s Clues patterns.

Make sure you take your kids and get out to a pumpkin patch. Enjoy making some apple cider together, enjoy a hay bale ride or corn maze and celebrate the season. Check out the innovative pumpkin cannon for an enjoyable way to get into the mood for the season.

Heiser Farms Pumpkin Canon – Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series from nwduffer on Vimeo.

6 Tips to Help You Save Money on Dry Cleaning

1000115_42973077Everyone is looking for ways to save money in this economy and if you work in an office, you probably have a hefty monthly dry cleaning bill. Here are some helpful tips on how to save money on dry cleaning.

  1. Apply Makeup, hair spray, and perfume before getting dressed. They can all stain fabrics. Allow these cosmetics to set for at least 5 minutes before getting dressed.
  2. Omit odors at home. If your sweaters are a bit stale(but not stained), use heat-activated dryer sheets, such as Dry Cleaner’s Secret.
  3. Spot-Clean. If you get a small stain, treat it immediately with a product like Oxiclean Spray-A-Way and save yourself an emergency trip.
  4. Check your local newspaper for coupons and deals. Cleaners generally offer discounts(10 to 33% off) in the spring and fall.
  5. Practice Moderation. Overcleaning can decrease clothings longevity, so dry-clean only when necessary. You might get away with cleaning a wool suit once or twice a year, and wool sweaters and skirts may be worn up to six times before you need to send them out.
  6. Wear a machine washable shell under your jacket to protect it from perspiration stains.

Homemade Father’s Day Gifts

fathers-day-glitters-05Just a reminder to all you kids and mothers out there, Sunday is Father’s Day! Father’s Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 of the world’s countries and on other days elsewhere. A chance to honor dads, fire up the BBQ and enjoy time with family. Father’s can be a little more difficult to shop for than Mother’s at times, especially if Dad already has all the tools and BBQ supplies he needs. Instead, consider making some personal gifts that are not only cheap, but will be special to Dad. Check out these websites for some fun ideas for the special day…

FamilyFun-Great ideas that get the whole family involved with making crafts.

Homemade Crafts-Make dad’s day special with these clever Father’s Day cards and personalized gifts.

Father’s Day Guide-Here you’ll find ideas for gifts for dads, grandfathers, uncles and all the special men in your life.

Holidays-Check out these great Father’s Day gifts, super fun Father’s Day crafts and delicious recipes.

Happy Father’s Day

Memorial Weekend Traveling Tips

memorial_dayEver wonder how Memorial Day came to be? Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays)

According to AAA, an estimated 32.4 million people — roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population — will take some kind of trip over the holiday, most of them on the road. That’s an increase of 1.5 percent from last year’s dismal travel season, when pump prices rose above $4 a gallon and millions of people stayed put.

So here are some tips to traveling this weekend that you’ll want to be sure to remember.

1. Make sure your car is in good shape and ready for the journey. Check the oil, the tires, the air-conditioning, etc. to make sure they all work.

2. Stay up to date on the traffic patterns so you don’t get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the way out of town.

3. Bring games, music, movies and other items for your kids while in the car (which will prevent them asking, “Are we there yet?” every five minutes)

4. Bring essentials in the car with you in case you’re stuck on the freeway with nowhere to ‘go’ (that means toilet paper). Bring water, snacks and other essentials for a car ride as well.

5. Have a plan for your trip. Make sure you know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. Reservations can also be helpful on a busy weekend

6. Have fun! Enjoy life and being with family. Appreciate the freedom and privilege that many have given their lives to protect for us.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

20080508-telefloristMothers day is almost here, just 2 days away. If you haven’t picked up something beautiful to show your love for your mom, check out some of the suggestions below.

Flowers/PlantsFTD has a coloful bouquet perfect for Mothers Day at only $29.99 or the Spring Tulip Bouquet at $39.99. You can also check out the plant section for beautiful baskets and tiny trees. Place your order by 4pm for next day delivery.

FragrancesEd hardy Eternal Love Gift Set, Sephora Scent Sampler, or Amazing Grace Gift Set by Philosophy. They offer UPS Next Day Air.

CandlesAblaze Candles has a beautiful candle with ‘I Love Mom’ carved in it. All of their designs, including the wonderful Mother’s Day presents, are durable enough to use indoors and out, making them ideal decorating choices regardless of location.

Gift Cards – Buy your mom a gift card to her favorite restaurant, department store, or coffee shop. This may not be the perfect gift for every mom, but some moms love to get gift cards, knowing they get to spend that money on themselves to get what they want.

Gift BasketsGourmet Gift Baskets has a wonderful range of gift baskets for any mother on your list. Ranging from gardening themes to golf themes to sweets and treats. Order by 7:30pm EST to recieve on Mother’s Day.

Bottle of Wine – Pick out a lovely bottle of wine for your mother. For some great wine gifts, check out They have gift baskets, chocolate/wine combos or you can just purchase a great bottle of wine.

5 Ways to Enjoy Spring Break on a Budget

Spring Break starts next week and as some already have plans, many don’t because they couldn’t afford to shell out the money to go on vacation. In these tough economic times its seems all have to cut back. There still is plenty of things you can do to enjoy the week of spring break and not spend a lot of money.

1. Take a Trip to Visit Family: If you live with a few hours of family, or close friends, take a trip to visit them. Keeping the cost down my staying with them in their house.

2. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town: Most of us drive by some of the best museums, libraries, and attractions that people from out of town come to see and we usually  have never ever visited them. Take your city by storm and enjoy the many wonderful touristy things it has to offer. A lot of museums and historical sites are free or have a minimal fee. Visit and select your state for fun places to visit and outdoor activities.

3. Volunteer: This is great for children and adults alike. Show them how others live by taking them to shelters or soup kitchens to help those less fortunate. Check in your local area for opportunities.

4. Get Outside: Now depending on where you live this may not be the easiest of most fun way to spend spring break but if the weather is conducive to spending time outside than take advantage of it and enjoy a hike, or a walk on the beach. Take a trip to a near by park, throw a Frisbee, pack a picnic and just enjoy being outside.

5. Stay Home & Relax: Why go anywhere? Sometimes all we need is a nice long week of relaxation. Just enjoying being together as a family with games, movies and some homemade cooking, is all it can take to make a great week.

The Real Color Of St. Patrick

Today is a great day of celebration in Ireland and throughout the world as St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. So pull out your box of Lucky Charms, look for the pot of gold and grab onto your shamrocks, oh, and don’t forget to wear green. Ever wonder why wearing green is the tradition for St. Patrick’s Day?

In reality, BLUE is the color most often associated with St. Patrick himself and the ancient colours of Ireland. According to wikipedia, St. Patrick’s Blue refers to a blue, often but not always dark blue, associated with St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Although St. Patrick is often depicted in green chasuble and episcopal mitresaint was more often shown wearing blue garments today, before the 20th century the saint was more often shown wearing blue garments”.

St. Patrick’s Blue is officialy the color that appears on the Presidential Standard of Ireland and the Coat of Arms of Ireland.

So where did the green come from? “Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick’s Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase “the wearing of the green” meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.”

So little did I know that when I put on my blue jacket and blue shirt (forgetting that today was St. Patty’s Day) I was actually celebrating the ‘older’ St. Patrick’s Day tradition of wearing blue in celebration of Ireland and its rich history.

St. Patrick’s Day is a great day for celebrating and enjoying the culture and heritage of Ireland. Its a reason to dance, sing and have fun. So enjoy this clip from a local St. Patrick’s Day festival of some Irish pipers, drummers and crazy dancers…

Irish Pipers from 72mm Blogs on Vimeo.

7 Ways to Save on Valentines Day

Most people think “Debt” when they think Valentines Day; flowers, chocolates, dinner out, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the economy how it is today, we can’t afford to do the things we used to. Lets explore some ways you can celebrate Valentines Day with little or no expense.

1. Cards – First off, I have posted in the recent past about homemade valentines cards, it doesn’t take much, some paper and a few hearts and that”s it. If a store bought card is a must, try Hallmarks .99 cent cards. They offer a great variety.

2. Flowers – If you must you can buy some flowers but check the local farmers markets or grocery store, you can find beautiful flowers for around $10 instead of spending $40-50 on roses. If you want to get crafty, you can design your own flowers out of tissue paper or card stock. and both have some examples of paper flowers.

3. Chocolates – You don’t have to buy a huge box of chocolates, and your receiver may thank you for not buying a huge box, especially if they are on a diet. Try buying a box of four truffles or even one very pretty one. This will keep your cost down. If you are a baker, than making your own special Valentines gift would be appreciated more than any you could buy.

4. Dinner out – Instead of the restaurants with $$$ dollar signs, try a quaint little diner or out of the way cafe to share with your loved one. You will be amazed at the cute little hole in the walls with great food that are out there when you start looking for them. Some are very romantic and the money you save will help keep your mind on your date and not the amount of money you are spending.

5. Movies – Skip the movie and check out the new releases at the redbox, you will only spend .99 cents and if you get it early in the day Saturday you will have a lot to choose from. You can also get online and reserve a movie and pick it up when you are ready. A night in front of the tv with the one you love is better than sitting in a movie theater with a bunch of other people.

6. Dessert – If you are like me, dessert is the best part of any meal. You could skip dinner and just make reservations for dessert. Dessert can end up being a bit expensive so your best bet is to make it at home and you can enjoy it with a glass of wine or while watching a romantic movie together. Joy the baker has some great Valentine recipes.

7. Wine – If at all possible try to Skip it at the restaurant, the price they charge is way more expensive than if you buy a good bottle at the store. Check out the Best Chardonnays under $20 for some guidance.

Try these and see how much you save!