Tuesday, December 27, 2011

They don't waste any time, do they?

'Twas the day after Christmas
And the dollar store displays
Were packed tight with goodies
In various ways

But the goodies weren't decorated
With Santas and sleights
They were adorned with hearts
All for Valentine's Day!

Bad poetry aside ... the workers were busy yesterday. The remnants of the Christmas goodies (which was pretty much a box of wrapping paper, a box of tissue paper and a few bags of bows) were piled into a couple of boxes with a 50% off sign.

But all was not lost. I did score 3 rolls of wrapping paper for 50 cents each!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

For all who celebrate this day, best wishes from us here at the casa de chaos. Hope it's a wonderful day with friends and family! And maybe tomorrow, we'll get some rest ... LOL!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas improv 2

I like to use tie-on tags for gift bags (makes it easier to reuse them, LOL!)

Unfortunately, I ran short of the card tags, but had plenty of sticky tags. I did happen to have a sheet of card stock used to make business cards. So, apply one sticky tag, punch a hole in the corner, and poof! One tie-on gift tag.

You could certainly cut cards stock or paper to fit (and color card stock would look pretty darn good). But I'm just on a mission to get stuff out of my house ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas improv 1

I ran a bit short of gift bags, and didn't want to delay gift wrapping to go buy more.

So, a white "shopping bag" and a bit of clip art saved the day.

(I printed it onto label paper so it would have adhesive, but I think double-stick tape would work as well.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What do you mean, we're out?

One of the pitfalls of keeping a "pantry" of anything is that sometimes you think you're better prepared than you really are.

Case in point: I've been wrapping Christmas gifts tonight. I looked for a small gift box .... nope.

Tape? Oh sure, three rolls. Ack! All three rolls are down to the end!

I can punt on the small box and use a gift bag instead. The tape is a different matter.

Well, at least it isn't Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stay safe out there

There've been reports of car break-ins and ATM robberies in my city recently. Seems that the holidays don't always bring out the best in some folks.

So, since it certainly isn't frugal to be robbed, or to deal with a smashed-out car window, here are a few safety tips for holiday shopping:

    When you park, roll up your windows, lock your car and take your keys with you.

    Always park in a well-lit area, close to the store or mall's front doors.

    Lock valuables and purchases in the trunk or cover them up so they can't be seen. This includes backpacks, GPS units and MP3 players. (It's not always possible, but consider single-store trips so you don't have multiple packages sitting in your vehicle unattended.)

    Shop during the day if possible, or take someone with you. (Maybe not the kids ...)

    Don't carry a lot of cash or many credit cards. Don't wear a lot of jewelry. Don't carry a purse or bag unless necessary. Keep your wallet in a front pocket.

    When paying, be discreet. Don't display the contents of your wallet.

    Have your car keys in hand when you leave the store.

    Look inside and under your car before you unlock the doors and get in, and lock them right away after you shut the door.

    Be aware of your surroundings both inside and outside the store. Look around before loading packages into your vehicle. If anything seems amiss, go back into the store and tell security, or call police.
ATM safety tips

    Visit ATM's only at well-lighted and populated locations; visit during daylight hours if possible. Using the drive-up is usually safer.

    If you see someone hanging around the area (on foot or in a car) leave the area.

Various sources, including Peoria, Ill., police; University of Oklahoma

Friday, December 9, 2011

Going with the flow

Howdy ... been off a couple of days trying to get some headway on Christmas ...

Anyway, looks like we're "downsizing" Christmas this year -- but not because of the economy. More like because of a couple of naughty little cats.

Actually, I expected it -- over the years, I've learned that young cats and Christmas decorations don't mix well. (For her first holiday, Senior Cat dared getting catnip coal by knocking over a fully decorated 6-foot tree.)

But hope springs eternal. So we put the (now 7-foot) tree up, sans decorations, and waited to see what our new residents would do. All went well for a while, until we caught Little Girl trying to climb it. Another look, and we realized why: Big Boy was sitting in the middle of the tree! (IMHO, any artificial tree that can hold a 12lb cat is darn well made.)

So, down with the big tree. Instead, we pulled out my late DM's tabletop tree, which after 20+ years has a bit of a Charlie Brown look to it. But a few lights, and lots of unbreakable decorations, and we got a tree.

Now, if I can just keep the little beggars from trying to snag the ornaments ...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas music downloads

Here's something a little different for your holiday music collection. The U.S. Army Chorus is offering 18 free MP3s of Christmas carols on its site.


(If you like blues or classical, the site also offers MP3s from the Army's string and brass quartets, as well as streaming Internet broadcasts of concerts.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

November freebies

It's not quantity, but quality ;)

Head & Shoulders shampoo/conditioner
Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal
3 Twinings tea bags
Aveeno shampoo/conditioner
1 bottle Dr. Pepper 10