Jan 02 2014

It is always a financial challenge for a family that consumes large quantities of food to eat out.

The prices of eating at a restaurant are much higher and the quality of food much lower than what can be prepared at home. Especially if one is used to organic nutrient dense food. It’s a stretch to think restaurant dining can be cost effective.

First trip to the buffet. Are you KIDDING me?

But, let’s not be hasty. Sometimes with the four walls closing in, mid-winter, a meal out while getting fresh air and a new point of view, is well worth a compromise on the organicity and family budget.

 Only $6.99 each? Are you KIDDING me?

Then, on the other hand, if one is feeding Viking descendents, testoserone laden beasts that I have affectionately TradeMarked the “Barbarian Hordes,” one MUST be aware that ordering off the menu could result in a sizable bill. So, what’s our answer to this awkward dilemma? The Flaming Grill and Buffet in Frederick, MD. It’s worth a drive from anywhere.

 Tasty delights as far as the eye can see.

The Flaming Grill has not disappointed since we went the first time in November. The quality of the food is high, meaning that we, organic eating devotees, do not feel the effect of chemicals after we eat. Now, we do always stay away from sauces, as many times they seem to have “ickies” in them. But, the Flaming Grill has been a fun repast that I want to share. And, did I mention the blue?

 Love the gracious ambiance, all for $6.99.

Cosmic blue light shines down lulling diners into the surreal. It’s really pretty with a large crystal chandelier catching light and radiating sparkles.

 All the ice cream you care to eat.

There is a large ice cream freezer which reminds me of the wonderful snacks at the BlogHer conferences, included with each person’s registration fee. When we leave the conference rooms after each session, there are tables of top drawer treats and freezers of the best ice cream bars.

 Lovely desserts. Try a bite of each!

And, let’s not forget the dessert table! What fun to go to the Flaming Grill, have a pleasant time and not break the bank. Now, I’m not suggesting every buffet is worthy of your attention, but if you are selective, perhaps you can find you can find such a gold mine in your area. If you do, let me know the name!

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page



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Jun 06 2012

Oh, I love fun things!

And look what I found today! For FREE!

I was watching “TED Talks: Smart Laughs” on NetFlix this afternoon. One of the speakers was Ze Frank, who is a genius at comedy and software programming. He had a terrific presentation, “Ze Frank’s Web Playroom”  In addition, he is wacky and comes up with the FUNNIEST stuff. If you have time to spare, or need a break when you don’t, try his web site out for size.

TED Talks are always interesting. Ze Frank’s is as well.

One of my favorites sections of his web site is where people recreate photos from their past. Called “Young Me, Now Me,” I just LOVE looking at these photos and there seems to be an endless supply. Why, just look at this snow lady!  Once you get started, it’s so much fun, you won’t want to stop. Fair warning! Looking at these comparison photos is like eating popcorn.

Playing with The Scribbler can wile away countless,
otherwise efficiently used, work hours.

BTW, don’t miss The Scribbler. This bit of programming brilliance allows anyone to be an artist and you can print and save your work. All for free!

Ze Frank has made the world quite a bit nicer!

 

   

NaBloPoMo June 2012



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Jan 02 2012

The older I get, the better I understand Ben Franklin
saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Whenever I feel a need to jump start my financial situation, I turn to self-help authors, although I have been “self-helping” myself so long, I should probably have written self-help books by now. Even so, I like to bring in new ideas and feel bolstered in my efforts at improvement by listening to voices of authority. I never get tired of “going to school.” I suppose that does make me a perpetual student, but I’m not offended by that term.

At any rate, after watching all sorts of experts from all sorts of places, it seems the best advice to be found is to spend less than you make, or make more than you spend. In addition, it seems the only sure fire way to make money is to save it, by setting aside some of whatever it is I can bring in. I’ve decided even if I’m just saving  spare change in a sugar bowl, the old time symbol of frugal housewifery, I will be better off tomorrow, thanks to my efforts today.

Sugar bowls, all shapes and sizes, have traditionally been
a safe haven for women’s household emergency money.

I like the female energy of saving in a sugar bowl. I like female traditions handed down since kitchens have had cupboards. Connecting to a long line of women who have known how to control that which they could control, makes me feel more solid. And sugar bowls are so profoundly beautiful, whimsical, floral, Scandinavian, elegant and retro that there is something for everyone, no matter what the inner saver may require to get motivated.

The sugar bowl is a secret place hidden away in what, for most of history, has been a women’s refuge, the kitchen. There is no reason why, as we grab a briefcase to go out to the morning commute, this tender tradition can’t continue. Handy change for needy moments, right there, ready to go and only we know where it is, or that it even exists.

Anne is author of the blog, Sugar Bowl Mix

Speaking of sugar bowls, I joined www.BlogHer.com in November 2011, and have been enjoying the contact with female bloggers. On BlogHer, there is a particular blogger who carries on the female tradition of the sugar bowl. A blog called Sugar Bowl Mix posted by Anne, was one of the blogs that got me interested in BlogHer in the first place. Anne understands the tradition of the sugar bowl and has a great anecdote about a family sugar bowl that she shares here.

Anne’s lovely heirloom sugar bowl has a cute story.

But! Anne hasn’t blogged since October, 2011, and I miss her! Maybe she is tired of the demands of blogging, after all, she’s been at it since 2009. Or, maybe she needs to hear from her reading public that we miss her. Whatever the reason, I want to start an e-mail shower for Anne at Sugar Bowl Mix right here, right now.

Would you help?

You can write Anne and tell her she’s missed by
sending an e-mail to: Anne(at)sugarbowlmix(dot)com

 

To visit Anne’s blog, click this button:

Be sure and write and let Anne know we want
  more stories from and about the sugar bowl.

 

If you need more money to put in your sugar bowl, this
series of positive thinking lectures by Napoleon Hill
is captivating. See what you think.

 

NaBloPoMo January 2012



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Dec 04 2010

Ed Slott reveals the sad truth of IRAs.

Ed Slott is mesmerizing in his manner of speech. I love listening to him.  I feel better informed about lifetime saving realities and on top of my game when I view his videos and read his books. The bottom line? The tax free accounts most people fund all their working lives don’t give a valid return. As this goes against everything proposed by the nationally accepted plan of savings and it’s conversion, this might be hard for you to believe. But, Ed Slott’s presentation were was convincing enough for our family to place our 401-K assets into other investment avenues.

Think about this: Ed Slott says that if “you like staring at zeros on a piece of paper,” you are well served by your IRA plans, but if you want lifetime assets to eventually cash in or pass down to your family, you are in the wrong ball park. It just doesn’t work the way you have been lead to believe it does.

I couldn’t possibly lay it all out for you as well as Ed Slott, so here is a video to broaden your saving horizons. Click play to learn how you can better your retirement and your family’s inheritance:

Video #1-3 seem to be missing on YouTube.com, but this
one explains the basics. At the end, look over to the
right hand side and find #5 & 6.

Ed Slott has a very informative and polished web site to access by clicking here. By the way, there is a workshop for financial advisers on March 25 & 26 in Washington, D.C. that beckons to any financial professional interested in helping clients provide the best for themselves later in life and for their heirs.

Although you may not have heard of Ed Slott as yet, the bio on his web site lists a few of his many accomplishments. He has been “named “The Best” source for IRA advice by The Wall Street Journal and called “America’s IRA Expert” by Mutual Funds Magazine. Ed is a widely recognized professional speaker and collaborated to create the nationally aired Public Television specials, “Lower Your Taxes Now and Forever with Ed Slott” (2010), “Stay Rich for Life! with Ed Slott” (2009), and “Stay Rich Forever & Ever with Ed Slott” (2008).

Ed Slott also established the IRA Leadership ProgramSM and Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor GroupSM, which were developed specifically to help financial institutions and advisors, financial advisor firms and insurance companies become recognized leaders in the IRA marketplace”

 

On his web site, Ed Slott offers a newsletter power packed with essential information.  Look for this banner:

Experts are baffled by the complex IRA tax laws and their corresponding rules. Yet, you must know them and how to apply them CORRECTLY to any particular situation. Otherwise, you will be hit with excessive taxes and possibly even penalties that can consume the lion’s share of your life savings.

Protecting your nest egg from needless taxation is the main purpose of this newsletter.

 

I betcha, once you watch Ed Slott’s video and look at his web site, you will be looking forward to reading his books.  I can’t say which one is better as they all provide insights that knock your sense of the IRA savings world off its moorings.

Here is one of his books for you to preview by hovering your mouse over the link:

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb . . . and How to Defuse It: A Five-Step Action Plan for Protecting Your IRAs, 401(k)s, and Other RetirementPlans from Near Annihilation by the Taxman



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Oct 01 2010

A 10 cent Savings Stamp, available for purchase until 1970.

When I was a kid we saved in school. Each week, the teacher gave students an opportunity to buy Savings Stamps. Some of you will remember Savings Stamps, and if you do, you know they had engravings of the Minuteman statue, they were licked and then they were collectively placed in paper folders to await redemption.

When the paper folders were full of stamps equaling whatever the proper purchase value was, they were traded in for a $25 United States Savings Bond. The Bond wasn’t worth $25 when you bought it, but with time would accrue interest until it could be cashed in for twenty-five dollars.

This book on war savings bonds might be of interest. Preview this Kindle Book by hovering your mouse over this link:

Factual information, the seven war loans and the victory loan, war savings bonds and stamps



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Sep 30 2010

When I was a kid, we saved “Lady Head” Dimes.

By the time I was a kid in the 1950s, there was a mixture of “Mercury Dimes,” or lady head dimes as we called them, and Roosevelt Dimes in circulation. I had a girlfriend, a BFF or Best Friend Forever, by today’s vernacular, who belonged to a very functional family that seemed to have every based covered. They were also very frugal and spent their money wisely from everything I could see and from what I can now remember. The concept of saving lady head dimes” was not my own, therefore, but came from my girlfriend, Janet.

A Roosevelt Dime

I remember one day when I was at her home with her and her family, one of them was handling a handful of change for some reason and exclaimed, “Oh! A lady head dime!” The treasure was immediately removed from the handful of change and placed in a savings bank. It was explained to me, that lady head dimes were being saved. Saved? That was a new concept: to save regularly from pocket change. But, saving that way was a formal experience and I enjoyed the immediacy of Janet’s lady head dime method deducted from “cash on hand.”

I thought collecting lady head dimes was a great idea and started saving them on my own in a little round glass fishbowl Daddy had helped me win at a carnival by throwing a ping pong ball at a display of goldfish meekly awaiting their fates. After the fish had decided to move on to better things, the fishbowl sat on my Mother’s old vanity table in my room at home.

The bowl just sat there and the dimes within it grew and grew until one day I had the fishbowl almost full and spent it for some goody at the dime-store, which you have to admit, was appropriate. I have always remembered the thrill of the experience, for it made the idea of saving money for a rainy day into a game of treasure hunt. And the Liberty Dimes were declining in the frequency with which they were found in pocket change, so I did not generally miss the amount subtracted from my cash flow.

I still save that way today saving selected state quarters. It’s a handy way to save and it is amazing how these little subtractions from pocket change add up to provide a nest egg. Why not try selecting a coin for saving out of your pocket change? Then you’ll have a cache of coins for when you need that little extra something.

Why you could even save them in a sugar bowl in the kitchen cabinet, just like they did in all of the farmhouses on TV. If you watched those shows, you’ll remember the mother would think pensively about some otherwise denied purchase, go to the kitchen cabinet, solemnly take out the sugar-bowl and say wistfully, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to take the money out of the sugar-bowl.” Her voice then trailed off into a fear for the future.

Start your Sugar Bowl nestegg today! It’s fun and it accrues quickly.



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Sep 29 2010

Winged Liberty Head Dime
(1916-1945)

When I was a kid and called this a lady head dime, I was corrected more times than not by someone offering the admonition that this was not a lady, but was the head of Mercury, the Roman messenger to the Gods. Now, having carried this grudge for years, I would like to set the record straight. Although many people call this a Mercury Dime, this portrait is not of Mercury and actually is of a lady, Lady Liberty.

Lady Liberty wears a Phrygian Cap, a classic symbol of liberty and freedom and the wings extend outwardly from the cap to indicate Freedom of Thought, in particular. Winged Liberty Head Dimes were produced from 1916 to 1945. The Roosevelt dime, showing a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was produced starting in 1945 and is still minted today.

Funny how things change.  You could look long and hard before you find a Mercury Dime in your change today. Better pick a favorite state and collect state quarters…



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