Wednesday, January 28, 2009

VERY Important Information on NEW LAW effecting YOU and Everyone...Read!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Toot! I'm on Top! Help me stay for a day or so!

I have been waiting almost a year or more to get on on their front page and they have finally gotten around to me! Help me out! Help me stay there! You help by simply clicking on the icon that says "I'm a Top Momma!" My picture there is of my son eating food! Click on that picture! Thank you for your help! :-) Hopefully I'll last a day or so!

This will be my Tuesday Toot Also! Help me Tuesday Tooters!

I'm a Top Mommma!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Free Cup of Starbucks Coffee!!! You have to Act Fast! Offer Expires Tomorrow!

If you would love to enjoy a Free cup of Coffee from Starbucks...then you will enjoy even more the fact you can get that Free cup from signing up for 5 hours of community service and help your fellow humans!

For more detailed information...Visit the Starbucks Site! I love their intro page for this effort!

Deadline to take advantage of this offer: You have til the 25th (Sunday) to do so!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday! Snow Day!

Snow Day in NC 2009! (It has been approx. 5 years or so since we had one like this!)

We got lucky in NC for a change and got a really nice snow fall yesterday! 6-7 inches where we live! It was exciting for my son and dog!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It is a New Day: New President and NC actually gets a Snow Day!

This is off the mark on the title "Thrifty and Creative" but it is so nice to finally see a real snow fall after 4-5 years! We haven't seen anything stick to the ground in central NC in years! It is exciting for the kids as well as adults! I have the day was cancelled for Students and Staff!

It is a wonderful day off as now pretty much anyone that wanted to watch THE Inauguration that couldn't before, now they can because the snow has given us a day off to do so!

As stated in the Subject Title: "It is a New Day!"

What a great event we all get to witness! Set those DVRs, etc...!

Have a great day!

Looking for some memorabilia? Go pick up a newspaper EARLY before they sell out! Or go to the popular Trading Card maker site Topps and purchase some Trading Cards of Obama! Very cool collectors piece!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stumbled upon a cool gift idea: Custom Trading Cards by Topps!

By accident (while searching for prices on the Obama Topps Trading Cards) on the Topps site...I ran across their very cool Custom Trading Cards!

The prices are very affordable and would make great unique gifts! You put your own picture on them and pick out your template (from former templates dating all the way back to the 1960s). They have the Topps logo on them and everything. Not a cheap print...the Topps website states that all custom cards are also printed on a Real Commercial Press! Not to put stats, etc.. just like a real card and it is printed front and back!

This (in my opinion) would be an awesome party favor for a Boy or Girl's Birthday Party. Also, I think it would be so awesome as a Newborn Baby Announcement! It is naturally the traditional size of 2.5"X3.5" and would be easy for anyone to store and keep!

The prices are great at:
5 = $10
10 = $13
30 = $23
There are many more quantities and pricing on the Topps Site as well!
I think it is a cheap price considering it is one of the top manufacturers of Trading Cards and printed on a commercial press!

The ideas for how to use these custom cards are endless!
You know I love personalized gifts and products!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Truly UN-Thrifty and UN-Creative: Important Read...

Hi all!

I was visiting one of my favorite sites and online communities this morning: PoshMama when I read an article that just blows my mind in disbelief! You must read it....titled:

New Law Will End Handmade and Thrift Store Purchases for Kids!

I can only say What? This is going too far, or at least I think so as someone who enjoys yard sales shopping on ebay, etc... I understand their point; however, this is just going TOO far and will just mushroom into some bigger issues. Might I add....extremely bad timing in our economy, etc.... Curious what I am upset about? Read the article by clicking the link above that will direct you to PoshMama's front page article. I will be doing some research on my own for updates, etc...on this matter.

Just me thinking out loud:
Is the economy possibly so bad that this is secretly to help the big businesses force parents to shop in the stores to boost the economy since many have resorted to secondhand to save money due to the lack of? The economy is bad and many have turned to thrift stores, yard sales, hand-me-downs from friends...etc...and surely, this has taken a toll on big business? Hey, you never know! I mean, I understand it is to protect kids from lead etc...; however, why wasn't this done some other time since it has been going on for years? Why now in this economy? Hmmm.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Toot: Bought Some DVDs for Fun!

My Tuesday Toot this week is kinda silly I guess, but I am excited that I purchased some (what I consider) "cool" Dance/Workout DVDs! No, it is NOT a resolution...but I do feel I need to get more movement in my day.

I purchased a Beginner Hula Dancing/Fitness DVD; Hip Hop Abs; and a Hip Hop Dance DVD! I love to dance as well as high energy music and thought these would be great fun and interesting to learn something new! Also, I figured since the music is "fun" son will join me and enjoy it as well...thus allowing me to do some type of workout/movement.

I'll keep you posted if these DVDs work out. If they do...I want to purchase a Tap Dance DVD too! My husband isn't too excited about that one...he is scared I am going to mess up the floor with my tap shoes. :-) I told him I could get a wood board and put it down and not use the hardwoods. We'll see. :-) Oh yeah, and I am pretty son would end up wanting a pair of Tap Shoes. (I already have a pair from a class I took in was soo much fun!)

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Taxes: Get Organized!

It is my favorite time of year...Tax Season! It is starting now, and if not now...real soon!

Some items not to forget:

  • Grab a few little containers (or shoe boxes) and start organizing your receipts: box for work expenses; box for medical expenses; box for donations and charitable contributions; final pay stubs and a box for all those forms you receive from different places such as mortgage company, banks, church, etc... (and a box for other deductions, may need for Your tax situation...everyone is different.)

  • Make sure on your donation receipts that you have listed in detail the items that were donated and that they were in "good" condition. Also, you can use ItsDeductible in TurboTax to figure the value. Many time ItsDeductible allows way more than I ever would have estimated myself. So I just (take the time) plug in one item at a time and ItsDeductible estimates the value and it is automatically transported into my TurboTax! I love it, it is Awesome!

  • I always pay the little extra to E-file both the federal and state with TurboTax (federal is free) and for direct deposit (Direct Deposit, I don't believe costs anything extra...and it is worth using and you receive your refund faster than folks waiting for a paper check). I am a big fan of TurboTax and this is my sixth year using them. I also assist four other people with TurboTax on filing their taxes every year as well and they have been impressed and happy with them as well.

  • Also, even if you don't have all your tax papers can still get logged into TurboTax and plug in your personal information and have that done. When you log out...TurboTax automatically saves where you are! I love it!

  • If you feel like you Might Not need to itemize...I suggest starting with the Basic Program on TurboTax as you CAN upgrade at Any time during the process; however, you can Not Downgrade! (This is an unfortunate flaw...but just remember to start with the cheapest choice and if need be you can upgrade with no problem any time. The program will even tel you if it is a benefit to you to upgrade to get more money back. If you itemize...the Second package is what you need in order to use ItsDeductible, etc...)
  • Another item to remember: If you use TurboTax and are unhappy with what you don't have to pay ANYTHING! Just don't go through the final steps of filing! Its can plug in everything and if you don't like it...don't file! You pay nothing to try it out!

Best Wishes on a Great Tax Season for Everyone!

TurboTax - Do your taxes for Free

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Life Returning to Normal....Tuesday Toot!

I am going to make this my "Tuesday Toot!"

Just wanted to send out an update that life after a layoff (husband's) is finally returning to some sort of "normalcy!"

My husband, as explained in an earlier post, was laid off and within two weeks found another job (we are thankful)! This is his fourth week at the new place and he is doing well already. He seems to like his new job also and I am glad about that. It is one thing to have a job and it is another to LIKE your job.

After having two weeks off for the Holidays, I returned to work Yesterday (Monday)! It was a nice day no complaints!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year! Get to work on your Taxes!

I help four other people besides myself with taxes each year. For all of us, I use TurboTax! This is my 6th year using this online program! I love it and feel it truly does give you back your maximum refund and is very easy to work with and understand. If you can follow directions and answer can and should use this program! Also, not only that...but you could do your taxes on TurboTax and if you feel like it isn't for you...just don't file can delete and pay nothing. I am pretty sure you will want to use it though.

I had a friend last year that went home (her and her husband) and did their taxes on TurboTax...logged out...went to their usual place of getting their taxes done. When the end of the process was reached...their bill was going to be higher and TurboTax was going to get them back a little bit more money even. They said no thanks and came back home and efiled from there and were very happy. True Story!

Depending on your needs (if you are a business or something or don't have the time) it might not be for you. I am not a tax expert but TurboTax helps me to be most confident in filing my own taxes and it is somehow fun!

TurboTax - Do your taxes for Free

If you itemize (I do)...use the Deluxe! Read the choices and choose based on your needs! You can upgrade anytime through the process...but you can NOT downgrade! Best thing is to start with the lowest or deluxe program and TurboTax will ask you the questions it needs to in order to see if you need a more. Most people will use basic or Deluxe! Deluxe is going to give you all those deductions for donations, medical, childcare expenses etc...