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Dec 20, 2014

4 SMALL HOSTESS Gifts that Made My Christmas Rock

We had a little party last night...at a Chinese Restaurant...with a dance in the RV resort. I wasn't chic or even exciting but it was perfect for us. We are very lucky to have 6 friends that we can count on for table partners and shared experiences. AND we know each other so well, we are always able to find the perfect gifts for each other. Here are a few we have exchanged this Christmas Season:

I originally found these at World Market. They are just gorgeous and the perfect gift for a friend that loves to cook.



Last night I received this knife from a friend. IT is shaped very much like my large butcher knife but is simply smaller. I fits so perfectly in my hand. I am a little arthritic so that is important. I absolutely love it.





I do not collect chickens but what kitchen is complete without a nod to such a wonderful image. A friend gave me one that I love.

Dec 19, 2014

6 Best Ways to Say Thank You

It occurred to me as I was getting ready to finish up some Christmas gifting that this is the perfect time of year to say "Thank You" to some of those people you might overlook. I know it has been a tradition to give the postman and your hair stylist a gift but what about all those people that actually did something for you without being paid. Wow, what a concept.

Here are a few ways that I think you should go about doing this. First take a minute to reflect on the year that has gone by. Were you sick or needed some help from a friend or family member? Did someone take the time to stop by and visit on a rainy day? What about the small acts of being nice that happen every day? Can you remember someone that really made you feel special?

I know, you say thank you at the time but what about just going the extra mile to make someone feel like you felt on a Tuesday when a small gift came? How about we make this Christmas mean something more than it does.
  1. Have you received gift cards that you have not used? Pass them on!
  2. Gather up a few cards...birthday, get well, etc. and make a packet so the recipient will have them on hand later.
  3. Upcycle something you have. I spray painted an old flour sifter, placed a small plant in it and put napkins in the handle. Small gift, very little cost. But because I made it myself, it is very personal.
  4. Take the time to pass on a kindness and then write the person that gifted saying thank you and letting them know that they made a difference.
  5. I like the idea of passing the start from a plant I have to someone that will like it. It serves as a reminder that you were grateful.
  6. And last but not least, write a real note, put it in an envelope and mail it. I like that one best of all.
Thank you everyone for supporting my Amazon Associate account.  If you order using the search on the side bar or any of the other links on this page, drop me a note at btorris@gmail.com. I will put your name in a drawing that I will hold in January sometime.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Dec 17, 2014

Why use Facebook to Contact a Business

Okay, here is the deal. It is not only frustrating, it is not good business to let money be lost because you cannot get in contact with a business either by email or telephone. Snail mail is just too slow. Therefore, public media websites like Facebook may be the quickest way to get the a reply from an unresponsive business owners.

Our Story:
This is what led to my discovery of the real value of using Facebook.

Fedex called us telling us that they had attempted to deliver a case of wine to our Oregon address and we are in Arizona for the winter. My husband and I could not figure out why our wine seller would send us a case of wine now. They knew we were gone.

How? In an email to them we said, "We will be gone from December to March. Do not send any shipments to us during that period of time." They responded that they would follow our instructions. Pretty clear don't you think. What part of that email didn't they understand?

We did not know what to tell Fedex to do with the box of 12 bottles of wine. We didn't want to return it if the money would not be refunded. But Fedex told us they were not going to hold the shipment and they needed some direction. If we had to pay for it no matter what, we would have given it to someone in Hillsboro near our home. The wine seller did not need more wine!

We called the wine warehouse company 4 times in one day. We left a message each time asking them to respond as soon as possible. We sent emails on that day too. By 4 in the afternoon we still had not heard a word. We were stumped about what to do. The clock was ticking.

That was when I found the wine seller on Facebook and went to their fan page. I placed a query in the timeline section (so that everyone could see it) and asked for a response. Like magic my husband had an email within minutes!

You are going to love this...they said they wanted us to have a "special case of holiday wine" and that they had contacted us so we could tell them no if we didn't want it. In other words, if we DIDN'T respond they would ship the wine and charge us money because we were so special. Doesn't that seem a little backward? Again...what part of that earlier email didn't they understand? It is a good thing that they agreed to accept the wine back and return our money.

We called Fedex and had the shipment returned. The money was refunded that same day. Amazing! Public media CAN make businesses sit up and take notice, especially when they think the world may be watching.

Oh by the way, we will NOT be dealing with that business again.

I am just saying!

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Dec 16, 2014

How to Fix a Slow Keyboard (Apple) in 4 Easy Steps

Apple Wireless Keyboard - second generation, a...
Apple Wireless Keyboard - second generation, aluminum slim profile - side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been out of touch for a few days. My computer had slowed down to the speed of a turtle and then my wireless keyboard decided to quit working altogether. It was very frustrating for me. My solution was to turn the computer off and go golfing. That should fix everything...right? But now I know what to do if the keyboard slows down to nothing and that is something. The computer is another thing altogether. I will see how it goes in the next few day.

If your wireless keyboard does not respond unless you hold the key down for an extended period of time you will find the fix in the Accessibility page of your system preferences.  Right there on that page is the Keyboard on the left. When you click on it this is what shows up. See where it says Slow Keys adjust the amount of time between when a key is press and when it is activated? Turn that off. Trust me you do not want that on....ever.

  1. Open Preferences
  2. Click on Accessibility
  3. Click on Keyboard
  4. Turn off Enable Slow Keys



It took me two days to figure this out and I could not find any help...! So there you go. Let me know if this helps you.

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Dec 11, 2014

How To Rock Christmas for All Ages

We actually celebrated our Christmas before we left for our winter home and it absolutely rocked! I think the things that appealed to my husband and I might be the things that would light up the eyes for any age group. As I began to deconstruct the whole experience several things became evident that I had not thought about. So how can you make you Christmas rock? Here goes.
Ice Ball Maker Mold
  1. Everyone got t a gift, even the grandparents. It does not have to be big but the thought is very important.
  2. We shared our talents...I love to cook so I gave the ingredients for a favorite dish with a piece of cooking equipment to make it with plus the recipe. I even considered giving a coupon for my favorite hairdresser. We received a gift certificate for a photo setting from our professional photographers daughter-in-law and son. (@ABlissPortraits on Twitter)
  3. We didn't struggle with gifts for the little children. They may love toys but they also love toy accessories...a storage bag for legos, a addition dress for a doll or a diaper bag for the baby doll.
  4. I know that teens love lots of things because even though they are grown up on the outside, they are very young inside. I let them help me look-up what they want online and then ordered it and wrap it. Everyone is happy.
  5. We also surprised our teens. Those young people have interests that continue from them childhood. Lego Bionicle Advanced Level turned out to be a big success.  We bought a music stand for our granddaughter to use when she practices her cello. She liked it a lot.
  6. We gave some unusual gifts that broke the Christmas mold. A bottle of booze is a good gift but even better is all the things necessary to make a favorite drink (mixer, rim salt or sugar, Ice Ball Maker Mold These are very trendy now.)
  7. Simple is better...my husband got socks which he actually needed. Pay attention or better yet shop with your parents/children/grandchildren for a bit and watch to see what they drool over. That is what I did.
  8. We were told that re-gifting is perfectly okay...explain why you wanted to pass on what you already have. We shared some of our treasures and our children loved it.
  9. I was allowed to help decorate for Christmas...I liked being included. (Adopt a theme or color scheme for your Christmas and follow through with it throughout the season.)
  10. Hot Lime Burlap Ribbon 
    for a color coordinated Christmas


  11. We discovered that a party is better than a sit down dinner...keep it lite but make it fun. Fun was the best gift of all!
I know you have ideas because I am sure I have seen all of these somewhere else. Let me know if you can add to the list...I would like that.

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