Don’t Let Fido and Frisky Bust the Budget

 

Got pets? Then you also have costs for everything from food to toys, grooming and perhaps even daycare from time to time. But that doesn’t mean your little friends need to break the bank to be happy. Today I want to share some great tips and tricks that readers have sent in that just might get you in the groove to save some dough. Woof!

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NO-TIP WATER DISH. Use an old Bundt or angel food pan for your dog’s water bowl. Push a wooden stick through the hole in the middle of the pan into the ground to keep the pan from turning over. The pan can be lifted off for cleaning but the dog can’t tip it over.

SHREDDED PILLOWS. If you love for your large dogs to sleep in comfort but do not love the cost, maintenance and smell of the doggy beds, stuff old clean pillow cases (the ones with zippers) with shredded paper from your shredder. Once a week wash the pillow cases and refill with new shreddings. Now each dog has a plump and fresh pillow every week. They sleep in comfort and there are no doggy smells or costs involved. Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Tips 7 Comments

The Glaring Light of Reality

 

Something’s wrong. According to a 2012 survey, 92 percent of women of all ages in this country don’t feel they’re educated enough to plan for retirement. This lack of education can’t be because there aren’t enough books on the subject. And for sure there’s no shortage of workshops, speakers, advisors, brokers, counselors and financial planners offering retirement planning services. Retirement planning has become a mega billion-dollar industry in the US.

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Yesterday I told you about my new book. Yep, it’s a book about retirement planning.

With so many resources already available on the subject, you may be wondering why on earth I’d consider adding another retirement book to the already crowded field. Because I think women need a different kind of a book, one without all the jargon, charts and mind-numbing data―one that simply and honestly cuts through the miles of complicated information that’s out there and gives you just the facts and the motivation you need―in a warm and conversational way, the way we’d chat over coffee about something that is very important to both of us.

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The long process of writing The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement—and now living it—has changed my life.

You may think I say that about every book I’ve written, but this is different. I’ve written other books about the changes in my life. But this time, writing it changed me. I am a different person than I was when I began the process. That is just how powerful it is—and I mean in a practical, doable way.  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Home & Family, Mary's Perspective 7 Comments

A Long, Dark Night of Denial

 

I have been waiting for this day because I have something to tell you. I’ve been holding a secret. For the past year I’ve been on a very lonely, dark and scary journey.

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I knew that when today arrived I would have either come through the pain and agony or died trying. I am so excited because today has  arrived and look—I’m still here! I made it and now I can tell you.

For the longest time—more than a decade—my book editor has been urging me to write a book on a subject I thought was boring, if not distasteful. Every time she brought it up I’d laugh it off and change the subject. Ha ha ha! Not me, please pass the salt.  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Mary's Perspective 11 Comments

Make Your Own Groceries: Salad Dressing

 

If you read the list of ingredients on the back of prepared food products and wonder what they are really (and how to pronounce them), you’re going to love the idea of making your own groceries, whenever possible.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with these mystery ingredients in so many prepared and pre-packaged items. But they do seem to make those grocery items cost a lot.

You can make some of your own groceries for pennies, not dollars. The bonus is that you’ll know for sure what you and your family are eating.

Today I have some really neat recipes for you to make your own salad dressings.

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Posted on by Mary Hunt in Food & Recipes 4 Comments

No Green Thumb Required

 

I love houseplants and boy, do I have some beauties! The truth is I don’t have a green thumb, I just know a few secret tricks and tips that I will gladly share with you.

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Know your varieties. Only consider plants in what I call the thrivuus neglectus family, which comes from the Latin root meaning “really cheap and thrives even under the harshest conditions of poor light and neglect.”

Aspidistra is also known as the “cast iron plant” and for good reason. This baby can survive any condition including low light and a dry environment. And it is not ugly. Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Tips 10 Comments