Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Posts Tagged ‘Holiday Shopping’

Are Smart Appliances Safe?

Happy Cyber Monday!  

How was your holiday weekend?  Did you find any Black Friday bargains or Shop Small Saturday steals and deals?


Not much of a shopper myself I didn’t leave the house, however, we recently had to replace our LG Washing Machine and the new model is awesome. It’s amazing how far technology has come in just a few short years…or at least in the past 10 years since we purchased the other model. 

LG Washing Machine

I hope we don’t need to replace any of our other major appliances any time soon, however, I have been curious about some of the new “Smart Appliances”.  Still being a little reluctant to purchase one, especially with all these Cyber Security hacking in the news, I decided to do a little research and found an interesting article that I wanted to share from TechforAnyone.


Back in 2014, a security firm announced details that a number of smart appliances were used to send out spam across the internet. It was a wake-up call to the potential security threats that our new home appliance and electronics pose. Most people now own at least a connected television for streaming but the appliance makers are pushing out the boundaries of what information and capabilities these things have. But is this necessarily a good thing?


What Are Smart Appliances?

There are a wide range of features that appliances can have that a manufacturer might claim for them to be a smart appliance. After all, many devices have computers in them to help manage their energy consumption or adjust actions so that they perform their duties better. My fuzzy logic rice cooker is great at cooking all sorts of rice perfectly but is it a smart appliance? The real definition these days of a smart appliance is one that it is connected to other devices remotely. This can be as simple as a television that can stream video from a service like Netflix to an oven that can be setup with a meal that is refrigerated and then told remotely when to have the meal ready to eat.

Insteon Home Automation Controller

Insteon Home Automation Controller

Home automation is one of the key aspects of smart appliances. The ability to turn on and off appliances at specific times, adjusting lighting remotely and managing power consumption are just a few examples. In the case of home automation, the appliances and light fixtures may not even be smart appliances but connected to a smart power outlet. The key here is that there is a home automation controller that is in essence a computer that somehow controls those devices and it can be accessed with a remote computer or mobile device via a web page or through a mobile application.

Why They Are A Threat?

Essentially, anything that is connected to the internet can pose a risk. As the event at the start of this article pointed out, the smart appliances were used to send out bulk spam. Similarly, they could be setup to do things like a DDoS attack to take out web sites on the internet, be used as remote relays to try and break into other network systems or just be hacked to cause malice to the appliance owner. If the devices did not have any connection with the internet, the threats would be significantly lessened.

Lack of Security Expertise

One of the biggest problems with the rise of smart appliances is the lack of a security focus. Computers have existed for consumers for a long time and have developed a set of security standards. While not all software is necessarily secure, you often can get third party security companies that help maintain the security integrity of your computers. This is where Synmatec, McAfee, Kaspersky, Sophos and Trend Micro to name a few make computer security products to help protect consumers and businesses. Appliances on the other hand are reliant upon the developers of the software working at those companies. This can best be claimed as security through obscurity.

Users are unaware of how their devices are managed or interconnected. They have no ability to put a security product on them to help prevent any sort of attack. In essence, they have to rely on the appliance manufacturer to make a secure product. Since they use a proprietary system, they think that it will be more difficult to hack but hackers were able to develop a means to remotely control a Prius or Ford Focus. They still needed local access to do this but who is to say as our cars become more connected that this could eventually be done over the internet?

Need to Limit Exposure

The concept is that these appliances need to be connected to the internet to make our lives easier. A refrigerator that can notify us when we are running low on certain groceries, an oven that can be told when to start cooking or just being able to program when a TV program will be recorded by a built in DVR. They are all ideas that are beneficial to some people but they are not critical features. The thing is that many of these things don’t necessarily need to be directly connected to the internet to do these tasks.

For instance, a refrigerator could be setup to monitor the age of various perishable items in it. When they hit an expiration data, it can modify a shopping list to replenish those items. Rather than being designed to order them via the internet, why not just design it to sync up with a mobile phone shopping list application via a near field communication to update the apps list of items to get. It still is a smart appliance as it will sync with a device but is not exposed to the internet.

What Can Be Done About it…

Whirlpool My Smart Appliances App

Whirlpool My Smart Appliances App

With the ubiquity of smart phones, I think that manufacturers should look at more ways to interface their smart appliances through a centralized system. This could be similar to a home automation system that could then be secured more readily by the consumer. After all, a smart automobile could route all its features through a smart phone or tablet connected to wireless internet. The phone security can then be used to hopefully prevent attacks. A central home automation server could do same with home appliances that need to be adjusted remotely. The downside to such a system of course is a single point of failure. That smart phone or automation computer breaking or being breached puts the whole system at risk. The different though is it is easier to secure a single point rather than multiple ones.

So, don’t give up on smart appliances. They can still be quite useful but as a consumer, be mindful of what those capabilities are and how vulnerable you may become through them. Hopefully manufacturers will start considering the smart appliance security implications now that real world threats have been found.

Do you own a smart appliance?


In Style with Avon Activewear

In Style with Avon Activewear

I am loving this unseasonably warm weather because we all know that it’s just a matter of time, a few weeks from now when the first snow flakes will begin to descend, but until then, I am wearing short sleeves! 

This outfit is a recent Avon Insider purchase and it will be available in Campaign 2, next month in 2016.  Wow, 2016…where did the year go?  Activewear for Autumn The Serene Lounge Set is a relaxed-fit lounge outfit with ribbed collar and kangaroo pocket.  The comfy pants have drawstring and an elastic waistband, as well as pockets.  Made of Polyester/viscose/and spandex, is machine washable and dry and is $39.99.  Avon ActiveWear available in Campaign 2 This 2 piece set is perfect to not only lounge around the house after church as seen here or for a casual weekend run-around-town outfit.  It would also be great to wear while you’re traveling whether it’s by train, plane or automobile.  It can be dressed it up with a pair of booties and oversized jewelry or just kept comfy with simple jewelry and sneakers.  Serene Lounge 2 pc set On Sunday, hubby felt well enough to take these pictures so I took full advantage of it and decided to play around with this “in style” with “InStyle” photo shoot.  I just love seeing Viola Davis on the cover of the January issue, do you watch her in “How to Get Away with Murder?”

Instyle photo shoot

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  Believe it or not, I haven’t even started, but my sons are older and don’t really need anything so I can hit the stores this weekend to pick up a few “stocking stuffers”.

Although it’s too late to order and have it shipped to arrive by Christmas, take a look at the latest Avon catalog for fresh looks in makeup, jewelry and more for the New Year.

Avon ActiveWear is In style

DISCLOSURE:  I am an Independent Sales Rep for Avon so if you place an order via this link, I will receive a percentage of the sale but it will not increase your cost.

Best Stores Coupons and Deals Available


Lord and Taylor Coupons: 25% OR 30% Off

The Christmas rush is upon us, and it is time to find something for everyone on your shopping list! Save on perfect gifts for friends and family when you shop at Lord & Taylor during their current Friends & Family promotional event. During this event save 25% off with I’m in! on almost all full-priced items and 30% off clearance purchases. Find the perfect scarf, a beautiful necklace, stylish kicks and more, all at great prices, during this holiday sale at Lord & Taylor. Shop online at today. This promo ends 12/17.



Macys Coupons: 25% Off

Have you had an eye on a beautiful designer handbag, a stylish pair of boots from your favorite brand or a gorgeous necklace—all of which never seem to go on sale? Good news! Macy’s is currently offering 25% off their most popular brands that never go on sale during their Friends & Family event! Now through 12/10 save on those items that never get market down, and save on the perfect gift for a friend—or get a little something for yourself! Shop at today, and save with promo code.



Sierra Trading Post Coupons: 20% OR 25% Off

Christmas shopping for an outdoor lover, and not sure where to start? Let the experts at Sierra Trading post help you find the lowest prices on all of the most popular outdoor brands like Carhartt, Icebreaker, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear and more! Even better, save 20% off your purchase of $125 or more and 25% off your purchase of $200 or more with code, when you shop now through the new year! The savings don’t get much better than this. Head to today to find the perfect gift for the outdoor adventurer in your life.



Body Shop Coupons: $25 Off $75

This holiday season, pamper your friends and loved ones with luxurious, nature-inspired body products from The Body Shop! Show everyone on your list that you care with moisturizing body butters, seasonal hand creams, festive gift sets and more, and save now through Christmas by taking $25 off your purchase of $75 or more with code! Shop conveniently online at today to check off everyone on your Christmas list, without even leaving your home. Hurry! Christmas is right around the corner, and these savings won’t last long.



Home Shopping Network Coupons: $5 Off

Shopping for a beauty junkie this holiday season? Save on products and gift sets from the most popular cosmetic brands when you shop conveniently online at! Find discounted Juicy Couture fragrances, holiday gift sets from Lancome, fun nail polish kits from Deborah Lippmann and more, when you shop conveniently online at Better yet, is offering $5 off your next beauty purchase of $25 or more, now through 12/31! Save on the perfect gift for that beauty lover or a little something for yourself during this promo at



Kay Jewelers Coupons: $100 Certificate

Unsure where to find the perfect gift for your significant other this Christmas? Look no further than Kay Jewelers! As one of the nation’s most popular fine jewelers, Kay offers much more than engagement and wedding rings. This jeweler also has a wide selection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches and more. They can even personalize items with the engraving of your choice. This holiday season find find the best fine jewelry gifts and save when you shop at Kay, as you receive $100 in “Santa Certificates” for every $300 that you spend! Shop online at today to see how much you can save.



Office Depot Coupons: $10 Off $30

Don’t have fancy printing equipment, but want to print a holiday letter or card for friends and family? Check out the affordable and easy-to-use print services from Office Depot! This holiday season, Office Depot is offering print customers $10 off qualifying print services of $30 or more. Some exclusions do apply. Design and print fun, festive cards, letters, invites and more this Christmas and save, when you use the print services from Office Depot! Hurry! This promo ends 12/26.



Pet 360 Coupons: $20 Off $150

Keeping up with all of your pet’s needs can be costly and time consuming! Let simplify your pet parenting process with their interactive website and store. In addition to dog and cat must-haves, Pet360 also has a pharmacy and a flea & tick center. They also have useful blogs with pet parenting pointers and advice. This holiday season be sure to check out their Sugar Plum Pet Shop for perfect gifts for your furry friend. Best of all, now through the end of the year, if offering $20 off your purchase of $150 or more! Take the guess work out of pet parenting today, and visit to save time and money.



Shoebuy Coupons: 20% Off

If you are Christmas shopping for a shoe lover, find savings on everything that you need at! This online shoe retailer has a wide selection of the top styles and brands including UGG, Converse, Minnetonka, Patagonia, Merrell, New Balance and more. When you shop this holiday season save 20% off your purchase site wide with a coupon from Even better, save with FREE SHIPPING with code. Hurry to and find stylish footwear for everyone on your list!



Children’s Place Coupons: 50-75% Off

Black Friday may be over at most stores, but The Children’s Place is extending their amazing online savings through the entire holiday season! When you shop online at, save 40% to 70% off everything that you need for the little ones in your life. Better yet, this popular children’s apparel vendor is offering FREE SHIPPING with no exclusions! Hurry and find the perfect Christmas gifts for you children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews while these amazing savings last!



Fannie May Promo: 15% Off

Show everyone on your Christmas list that you care this season with delicious fine chocolates from Fannie May! This popular online chocolatier has a beautiful selection of gourmet chocolate assortments and sets—with customizable options available as well. Now through Christmas, save on every purchase you make at by taking 15% off your order! Who doesn’t love chocolate? Find something everyone will love this season and save at



HP Promo Code: 30% Off

Treat yourself or someone you love to a new computer this holiday season during the current savings event at Now through 12/15, is offering 30% off instantly with your purchase of their configurable PCs valued at $1,199 or more. Some exclusions do apply to this sale. Upgrade your tech game today with this wonderful savings from this popular computer and technology company. Hurry and shop while these major savings last. This promotional event ends 12/15.



Wilsons Promos: Free Shipping $10 Off

This holiday season, find perfect, timeless, quality gifts for everyone on your list at Wilsons Leather. It may be a gorgeous leather handbag, a classic jacket, or a business case for a new professional. Whatever you are looking for—Wilsons has it! To get into the holiday spirit, Wilsons is also offering $10 off orders as well as free shipping for all of December, with a $100 minimum purchase! Shop in stores or conveniently online at today to save on something for everyone on your list during this savings event.



Torrid Coupon: $75 Off $225

Save on stylish, plus-size clothing this holiday season with Torrid! This popular apparel brand, featuring the hottest trends in sizes 12 through 28, has perfect Christmas-party styles, that will work perfectly for every event and occasion. Check out this December, and save $75 off your purchase of $225 or more. Stock up on everything you need to see you through the holiday season in style during this amazing promotional event—only at!



Puritans Pride Coupons: Buy 1 Get 2 Free

Stay healthy this holiday season and start the New Year off on the right foot with healthy-living essentials from Puritan’s Pride! This popular supplement company has a convenient online store at, and is offering Buy One Get Two Free along with FREE SHIPPING now through January 4th! No code is necessary to redeem these amazing savings. Make this Christmas and New Year your healthiest yet, and stock up on vitamins and supplement from during this amazing sale!


starbucks Coupon Code: 15% Off $70

Shopping for a child, grandchild, niece or nephew that has their heart set on a new set of kicks this holiday season? If so, save on all of the most popular footwear brands including Nike, Adidas, Timberland, Puma, Asics, Converse and more, when you shop at Kid’s Foot Locker! When you shop conveniently online this December at save 15% off your purchase of $70 or more. Make Christmas dreams come true and save, when you shop at now through 12/31/15. Some exclusions do apply.



Dress Barn Promo: $20 Off $90 + FS

Do you have upcoming Christmas parties and holiday dinners, but nothing to wear? Check out the Dress Barn today! This popular women’s retailer has festive and fun party dresses, stylish sweaters, dressy pants and more—all in sizes 4 through 24! This December, save on Dress Barn’s already low prices by shopping conveniently online at When you shop online, you will save $20 off your order of $90 or more and receive FREE SHIPPING with code! Find the perfect holiday attire and save when you shop at during this promotional event!


starbucks Promos: $5 Off $25

Christmas is almost here, and 2016 is just around the corner! What better gift to give than a calendar or planner from This popular calendar retailer has it all—with themes ranging from cats to humor to flowers to Star Wars. Save on all of your purchase this December by taking $5 off your purchase of $25 or more with code! Find the perfect gifts for everyone, as well as a 2016 calendar for yourself during this promotional event. Hurry! The New Year is quickly approaching, and this offer ends 12/31!



WorldMarket Promo Code: 10% Off

Decorate your home beautifully and find perfect gifts this season with festive holiday items from World Market! Shop conveniently online at to view the retailers festive lighting, classic nutcrackers, Christmas candles, fun stocking stuffers and more! Make your home a winter wonderland and save this December by taking 10% off every purchase of 10% or more! Hurry to today! Christmas is almost here, and this promo won’t last long! Offer ends 12/19.



FragranceX Coupon: 10% Off

One of the most popular and timeless Christmas gifts is the gift of perfume! Shop conveniently online at to save on all of the most popular fragrance brands for Men and Women, with top-selling brands including Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and more! All of’s products are guaranteed to be 100% authentic. Save on the perfect gift from when you shop this December by taking 10% off your entire order with code. Shop and save today!


Best Stores Best Coupon Codes


Kohls Promo: 15% Off

‘Tis the season to treat yourself to something special. Whether you’re planning a classy holiday party or shopping for the kids, Kohls has affordable options for every budget. And now, shopping for your holiday needs is easier than ever when you take 15% off your order of $100 or more. Shop brands like Simply Vera by Vera Wang for her, IZOD for him, OshKosh B’gosh for the kids, and Calphalon for your home! Shop by January 1, 2016, to take advantage of these savings.


starbucks Coupons: UP to $100 Cash Back

Planning your next vacation (or stay-cation!) is a cinch with! Whether you’re looking for a bed and breakfast, all-inclusive resort, or well-known national chain, can help you plan the perfect stay with the click of a button. With over 257,000 hotels in more than 60 countries, guarantees the best prices, even on last-minute bookings! And now you can save big on all hotel bookings with up to $100 cash back with code! Book by 12/31/15, Travel by 1/31/16.



Lamps Plus Coupon: $10 Off $150

From chandeliers to outdoor lights to home decor, has you covered. For those just browsing for their home, can help you narrow down your search for perfect lighting. For those who have something specific in mind, they can offer quality customer service and low prices. With over 70,000 designs to choose from, there is something for everyone at Between now and 12/31, save $10 off your online purchase of $150 or more with code from



Office Depot Coupon Code: Free Delivery

For a productive and well-stocked workplace, Office Depot is the place to visit. They’ve got technology, office supplies, office furniture, and school essentials from all the highest-rated brands. No matter what your project, Office Depot has got the tools and the prices to get the job done. Whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, or professional, take advantage of free delivery on qualifying orders of $50 or more. Shop now, because offer ends 12/31.



Peapod Coupons: $50 Off

Do you dread the hustle and bustle of grocery shopping? Try Peapod, America’s leading Internet grocer, delivering straight to your home or business. Choose from over 12,000 products like farm-fresh organic produce, fine-quality meat and seafood, fresh deli meat, cheese, and salads, and prepared meals — all delivered straight to your door at your convenience! And until December 31, 2015, take $50 off your order. So don’t wander the grocery aisles, use Peapod from the comfort of your own home.



Pet 360 Coupon: $20 Off $150

Do you want to be the best pet parent you can be? Pet 360 offers pet parenting made simple. Shop for all of your pet’s treats, necessities, and medications without leaving your home. Pet 360 stocks the biggest brands like Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin, and Taste of the Wild, and they offer a customer satisfaction 100% Guarantee. So spend less time shopping for your furry friend, and more time playing with them. Use this code for $20 off your order of $150. Ends 12/31



Petco Coupons: $7 Off $70

Our pets are like family — so treat them like family by shopping at Petco for the biggest brands in pet products at the lowest prices. Petco offers food, treats, beds, crates, toys, and more for your dog, cat, reptile, or other small animal. You can also set up repeat deliveries for your pet’s prescriptions and medical needs. Shop from the comfort of your home at and and save $7 off of your purchase of $70 or more! Ends 12/31



Sears Promo: $50 Off $499

Is it finally time to purchase that new washing machine, fridge, or dishwasher? When your current appliances become more of a headache than a help, head to Sears, where experts can help you find the perfect product for your home and budget. Sears offers tops brands like Kenmore, Whirlpool, Samsung, Frigidaire, LG, and GE, which can conveniently be delivered to your home. Don’t wait to shop! Right now, take an extra $50 off an appliance purchase of $499 or more with code.



Shoebuy Coupons: 10% Off

No need to visit shoe store after shoe store for your next pair. Instead, visit, the world’s largest site for shoes, clothing, bags, and accessories. With over 1,200 brands, styles, and hard-to-find sizes, Shoebuy makes shopping for shoes easy and convenient! Even the pickiest of shoppers will enjoy brands like UGG, Sketchers, Merrell, and Converse. So whether you’re shopping for booties, boat shoes, oxfords, or pumps, enjoy 10% off sitewide plus free shipping at!


starbucks Coupon Code: 30% Off

Does shopping for shoes have you quaking in your boots? Then put your feet up and do your shopping online at Shop all your favorite brands like UGG, Michael Kors, Timberland, and Clarks at prices that can’t be beat! With collections of boots, sneakers, sandals, loafers, and slippers for men, women, and children, takes the hassle out of shoe shopping. Right now save 30% off your fall boot purchase of $125 or more with code at! See site for restrictions.



Body Shop Coupons: 10% Off

Give the gift of amazing skin when you shop at The Body Shop this holiday season. Offering skin, bath and body, makeup, and hair products in hundreds of fragrances and formulas, The Body Shop has something to please everyone on your list. When you join the Love Your Body program, you’ll receive 10% off most in-store and online purchases, as well as reward points and members-only offers. The Body Shop makes it easy to love the skin you’re in!



M and M Coupon: 15% Off $100

Plain or peanut? Coconut or pretzel? What about peppermint and birthday cake? How many M&M flavors have you had? Try them all now or give as a great gift for any occasion and save 15% on your My M&M’s Order when you spend $100 or more. Create a personalized and delicious gift at for the candy lover in your life. Personalized M&Ms are great for weddings, baby showers, businesses, and parties. But shop now, because deal ends 12/31/15!



Silver Jeans Coupon Code: 10% Off

Discover your new favorite pair of jeans when you shop at Silver Jeans. With jeans for women, men, and kids, Silver Jeans offers a variety of fits, colors, and styles like bootcut, skinny, boyfriend jeans, and overalls. With new holiday arrivals every day and free shipping, Silver Jeans is sure to be your new go-to store for all things denim. And when you sign up for Silver Jeans’ email list, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase with promo code.



The Watchery Promo Code: $30 Off $300

Don’t let time pass you by — stay up-to-date with the latest styles of high-end luxury watches when you shop at The Watchery. With free shipping and 100% authenticity guarantee, The Watchery is your one-stop shop for genuine brand name timepieces. Surprise someone special with a watch by Rolex, Seiko, Movado, Nixon, or Swiss — or treat yourself! Take $30 off your order of $300 with code. Shop now because offer ends 11/30.



Naturalizer Promos: Save 20%

For shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, shop Naturalizer’s Winter Catalog, filled with boots and shoes of all styles to last you through the cold weather. Following the trends doesn’t mean your feet have to suffer. From the workplace to special occasions, Naturalizer offers style and class without sacrificing comfort. For the woman that wants to look and feel good, shop the Winter Catalog at! Save 20% off your order with code. Ends 11/30



Oneida Promo: 20% Off

Since 1880, Oneida has been creating quality flatware, dinnerware, cookware, and stemware that consumers have come to know and love. To really take your entertaining to the next level, make sure you grace your table with Oneida products this holiday season. heir products, which are proudly make in the U.S.A., will make a lasting impression on your guests. Purchase beautiful kitchen essentials at and receive 20% off your entire order! Shop now because offer ends 12/07.



Only Natural Pet Store: Coupon: $10 Off $30

Our pets are part of our family — and we want to give them the very best. Only Natural Pet Store makes finding the best easy by offering thousands of natural products that will improve your pet’s vitality, health, and quality of life. Experienced Only Natural Pet employees can help you find the best natural food, vitamins, treats, and grooming products for your furry friends. New customers can save $10 on your first order of $30 or more with code at! Deal ends 12/31.



Rite Aid Coupon Code: $10 Off $50

Shopping at your local neighborhood Rite Aid is already easy. Now, shopping is even easier at Browse beauty products, find holiday décor, and discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Rite Aid is committed to wellness, so stock up on pharmacy supplies before the cold winter months hit. When you shop online, you’ll enjoy free shipping and can take $10 off your order of $50 or more. Shop smarter and be healthier at!



FragranceX Coupons: 10% Off

FragranceX offers 100% authentic designer-brand fragrances at up to 80% off. With over 9,500 brands of perfume, cologne, body lotion, and after-shave, you are sure to find your favorite fragrance — or discover something new. You’ll find Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent and more! You can be confident that you are getting the best deal when you shop And save 10% off your entire order with code. Offer ends 12/31.



Bloomingdales Promo Code: Save 10%

Bloomingdales has everything you need for the winter and holiday season — stylish boots and coats that won’t break your budget, sophisticated dresses and suits for any event, and statement bags and jewelry that will be the talk of every party. Shop Bloomingdales for beautiful, chic gifts for even those that are hard to buy for. When you sign up for Bloomingdales email list, you’ll save 10% off your purchase with this I’m in coupon. Shop Bloomingdales to make your holidays bright!


Christmas Gifts for the College Students

christmas gifts

With two sons in college this year, the gift selections are going to be a lot different than in previous years.  Although their stockings will still be filled with the traditional Pez Dispensers, toothbrushes and socks, this year’s gifts will be specific to their needs and not their wants.  Malik lives in the dormitory at Bowie State University so here are the gifts that I have selected for him:

Mini Keurig

he is not a coffee drinker so I will include Tea K-cups

mini keureg

Tide Pods

these are so much easier to carry down to the laundry room as opposed to a large bottle of detergent

I won’t forget the quarters

 Rapid Ramen Noodles Cooker for the Microwave

this is a new product that I may have to buy for myself – I still eat Ramen Noodles, so don’t judge!

rapid ramen cooker

Heavy Hooded Jacket  

walking across campus in the cold snow, rain and winds, he’ll definitely need a heavy, insulated jacket, gloves and hat


Heavy hooded jacket to wear as he walks across the yard

men's winter hats



Tayair on the other hand lives at home and drives to the University of Delaware.  He, however, catches a shuttle bus and also walks on campus so he’ll also need a heavy winter jacket, hat and gloves, along with these items:


shuttle buses run pretty regularly but while sitting in the bus shelter he can listen to music or a podcast while he waits


Gaming Chair

the chair he has now is flat on the floor causing him to look up, so, a style like this would eliminate the back strain that he must be feeling



In addition to a few gift cards and  gas money I’ll also get them a few Avon products including a fragrance gift set and new slippers which they both need.

Avon Men Gift Set

Avon Mens Slippers

Now I guess it’s time to start working on a list for hubby, but he’s easy to shop for.

Have you started shopping for gifts yet?

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014





Shop Small Business Saturday #shopsmall

Shop Small Business Saturday 011 Hello friends, were you one of the millions out and about yesterday shopping on Black Friday?  If so, I hope you found some good bargains.  I had an early morning appointment then did a few chores around the house, but today I’ll be heading out to support some of our local businesses.

Today is officially Shop Small Business Saturday and there are several stores in Middletown that I’m featuring and I hope that you will be out supporting some of your own.

Elana’s Florist is located on 500 North Broad St. in Middletown, and it is more than just a florist shop.  Elana’s is filled with a wonderful array of holiday items and decorations where you are guaranteed to find something for everyone on your gift list.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday Small Business Saturday Shop Small Business Saturday

Sweet Melissa Bakery is newly opened also on Broad Street adjacent to Elana’s which is convenient for your wedding and bridal shower planning.  They also create awesome personalized birthday, holiday and special occasion cakes.

Sweet Melissa Bakery Sweet Melissa Bakery Shop Small Business Saturday Sweet Melissa Bakery

Wardrobe by Carolyn & Nadira is a small boutique located on the 2nd floor at 11 W. Main Street and this is by far my favorite small shop in town.  Big Buddha Bags, evening gowns, faux fur, and tons of gorgeous accessories line the glass shelves of this hidden treasure.  Fragrant soaps and lotions are perfect stocking stuffers.  

Wardrobe by Carolyn & Nadira was previously Lai Renise, however, they still offer private shopping, trunk shows and Ladies Night Out events which is a perfect way to kick off the new year.

Wardrobe By Wardrobe & Nadira Wardrobe By Wardrobe & Nadira Wardrobe By Wardrobe & Nadira Shop Small Business Saturday 037 Wardrobe By Wardrobe & Nadira

Half Baked Patisserie is another bakery located on the 1st floor at 11 W. Main Street and their cupcakes are delicious.  With more than a dozen varieties to choose from including these seasonal flavors; Peppermint Patty, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Sweet Potato Pie

your taste buds will definitely thank you.  I can’t say which is our ultimate favorite, but my husband’s goal is to try one of each before the end of the year – wish him luck!

Half Baked Patisserie Half Baked Patisserie Half Baked Patisserie Half Baked Patisserie

Middletown has such great history and it’s nice to see that there are shops in town that have been around for years, including Middletown Hardware.  Each year a Lamp Post Design contest is held with each of the shop owners participating and customers can fill out a form voting for their favorite.

Small Business Accountant Shop Small Business Saturday Lampost Contest Shop Small Business Saturday Small Town Middletown

Femme Fatale Boutique is a high end shop that offers personalized shopping, free gift wrapping and has a nice selection of many accessories including the Pandora Bead collections.

Femme Fatale Boutique Femme Fatale Boutique Shop Small Business Saturday 046

Purple Sage Teas is also one of my favorite places to shop and this year marks their 10th Anniversary – so mention this when shopping to receive an additional discount off your total purchase.  More than teas, you can also find a large assortment of coffees, Troll Beads and Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soaps.

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Another landmark in Middletown is The Gibby.  For the holiday season you need to check out their great handcrafted jewelry, fine art, stain glass, wooden pens, and clothing. These items are all handmade by local artists, so please support your local art center and shop The Gibby.

The Gibby The Gibby The Gibby The Gibby The Gibby The Gibby

My sons are in college, but if you have little ones to shop for there are two locations that I recommend.

First and Little, sells the most adorable clothing and nursery items.  Previously a DEDO PopUp, they are now celebrating their 2nd year in Middletown.  You will definitely find a unique gift for the little one in your life.

Shop Small Business Saturday 060 First and Little First and Little First and Little Shop Small Business Saturday 066

Jewelapalozza is more than a shop for the little ladies, they also carry accessories and clothing for women as evidenced by my purchase of a burlap tote bag.  In addition to unique gift items, they also carry Alex and Ani bracelets and conduct a Santa’s Workshop where children can make 3 handmade gifts, jewelry, ornaments and handprint canvas art for only $25 per child.  The workshop is available on November 22nd, 29th & December 6th, no appointment needed.

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“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” so stop in at Saving Grace Christian Bookstore the best place in town for not only Christian books and Bibles, but also for religious maps, jewelry, clothing, home décor and accessories.

Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store Saving Grace Christian Book Store

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Candy Connections.  This newly open candy store on West Main Street will remind you of your childhood with it’s large assortment of sweets in glass jars more than enough to fill the biggest Christmas stocking.


CandyConnections CandyConnections CandyConnections

If after a long day of walking and shopping you need to take a break and get some rest and relaxation please step into La Dolce Vita Spa for Wellness on 2nd West Main Street.  Now is the perfect time to schedule an hour facial or massage.  This oasis of serenity also offers hair and skin care as well as body treatments and waxings.  An Open House is scheduled for December 10th so make sure to stop in and then perhaps purchase a gift certificate for that special someone in your life.

La Dolce Vita Wellness Spa La Dolce Vita Wellness Spa La Dolce Vita Wellness Spa

However, if you plan to end your shopping day a home with a glass of wine, make sure to stop in at Fromage, to pick up a few pieces of gourmet cheese.  This cheese boutique is located on Main and Broad Streets and the knowledgeable and friendly owner will provide you with plenty of samples to help you choose just the right cheese to satisfy your palate or compliment your holiday meals.

Fromage Cheese Boutique Fromage Cheese Boutique Fromage Cheese Boutique

Shop Small Business Saturday is definitely the most exciting day of the holidays season for me and I hope you enjoyed yours as well. Christmas in Middletown Fromage 1 Fromage 2 Fromage 3 Middletown Transcript

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!

dedivahdealssignature2_thumb.png Over 2,000 Unique and Exciting Toys for Children of All Ages! Click here!

Now You Can See It with Mr. Beams!

If your house is like ours, there is at least one area that is totally dark with no light switch or a lamp, perhaps it’s a hallway or the stairs.  We keep the vacuum in a small cubbie in the basement and when the boys were younger they hated going in there to get it because it was too dark. 

If we had these Mr. Beams Stick Anywhere Task Lights there would have been no excuse because these high illumination lights really brightens up the area.

Mr. Beams Task Light Review

Mr. Beams lights are bright, battery operated LEDs that provide safety and security at an affordable price.  They can be installed anywhere with heavy duty double sided tape, velcro or two screws (not included).  They are also great for kitchen cabinets, inside toy boxes, closets and shelves.

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These motion sensors lights have a range of 10-15 ft. and can be set to stay on from  20 to 60 seconds.  Mr. Beams Stick Anywhere Task Lights need 4 – AA batteries and only illuminate in the dark so they would be good for a hallway, stairway or as a nightlight in the bathroom.  Mr. Beams also has a variety of other energy efficient wireless LED lights which can be ordered today to arrive quickly in time for the holidays.

Mr. Beams Stick Anywhere Task Light Review

Mr. Beams Stick Anywhere Task Light Review

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

6 Smartphone Shopping Apps To $ave You Money

theres an app for that Shopping with smartphones and tablet computers is extremely popular and there are several apps that can help you save money while doing so.  Whether you want to save money on gas or groceries there’s an app for that! 

You can say goodbye to the old tradition of looking for and clipping coupons just to save a few bucks with these free downloadable apps.  MONEY MONDAY

Safeway’s Savings Just 4U > saves you money on groceries and you also earn Rewards points to use at gas stations.  Every 100 points gets you 10¢ off per gallon in for a single fill-up.

Safeway Just 4U rewards

Shopkick > locates the best sales at stores in your area and it also gives you rewards by just walking into a store.  Stores include Macy’s, Old Navy, Best Buy, JCPenney, Crate & Barrel, Sports Authority and Target


google shopper Google Shopper > helps you find the product you are looking for at the lowest price. Whether it’s a book, CD, DVD, or video game, you can use your camera’s phone to scan the cover and the app will search the Internet for stores nearby or online. Another option is to search using the barcode scan, which will also give you more information about the product. 

walmart savings catcher

Walmart Savings Catcher > If a local competitor has a lower advertised price.  Walmart will give you an eGift Card for the difference.  Enter your receipt number or scan the barcode and Walmart will check local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.  In a few days if Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference.  


Hip2Save > This FREE Hip2Save App allows you to easily access all the latest in-store deals, online bargains, freebies, coupons and more that are posted on Save money and time while on the go!


Yowza > If you are a coupon addict, this is the app to get. Yowza!! negotiates deals specifically for its users, providing instant coupon results based on your city and zip code. You can also be notified when your favorite store adds a coupon, share your finds via Twitter, Facebook, or email, and track how much you saved.  

What are some of your favorite Smartphone apps?

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!


12 Tips to Avoid Fraud – ‘Tis the Season to Be Cautious

MONEY MONDAY Hello friends and Welcome to Money Monday

Remember last month when I told you that hubby couldn’t buy me a gift for my birthday? Well after checking his bank statement a few days earlier, he realized that there had been some fraudulent charges made against his account. Luckily, they weren’t excessive, but after contacting the bank his debit card was immediately suspended, oh by the way, there’s a charge for a replacement, which I think is unfair but that’s another story for another Money Monday.

Anywho, I’m glad that he had finally heeded my warning in making sure to check his statements as well as any credit card or medical bills that were received in the mail. There are so many ways for scammers to get you and it doesn’t just happen during the busy holiday season.

Scammers and fraudsters are ever vigilant, therefore, as wise consumers we must be the same, so here is a list of 12 tips to help you avoid fraud and keep the scammers at bay! fraud stoppers


  1. Install a lockable mailbox to reduce mail theft.
  2. Limit the number of credit cards you have.

  3. Reconcile your check and credit card statements as soon as possible, and immediately challenge any purchases that you did not make.

  1. Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to make sure the charges are yours.

  1. Keep a list of all your credit and bank accounts in a secure place so you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Or make a copy front and back of your cards with the numbers to customer service and fraud departments.

  1. Do not toss pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or shredding them. Dumpster divers can use these offers to order credit cards in your name and mail them to their address.  Always do the same with other sensitive information, such as credit card receipts and phone bills.

  1. Avoid credit repair scams. If you are tempted to contact a credit repair company for help, use considerable caution. The FTC and a number of state attorney generals have sued credit repair companies for false promises to remove bad information from credit reports. Only inaccurate information may be removed from your credit report; negative information that is accurate (such as a bankruptcy filing or a defaulted loan) will stay on your credit report as long as governing laws allow. running with money

  2. Never give any credit card, bank or Social Security information to anyone by telephone unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate.
  3. Minimize exposure of your Social Security and credit card numbers. If the numbers are requested for check-cashing purposes, ask if the business has alternative options, such as a check-cashing card.
  4. Do not have your bank send your new checks to your home address. Tell the bank that you prefer to pick them up.
  5. Destroy all checks immediately after you close a checking account. Destroy or keep in a secure place any courtesy checks that your bank or credit card company sends to you.
  6. Do not allow your financial institution to print your Social Security Number on your personal checks. I remember when your social security numbers were not only printed on your checks but also on your driver’s license as well. Times sure have changed!

Have you ever been a victim of a scammer, whether online, via the telephone or mail, if so, then you know how difficult, time consuming and sometime costly it can be to get things back on track. AARP logo

Check if you are concerned about an organization that doesn’t sound legitimate and call 877-908-3360 which is the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center.

Better Safe than Sorry!  

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!


Thankful Thursday

Hello Friends and Happy Thankful Thursday

Last week I was thankful for the opportunity to have met the beautiful and “blessed with success” owner of Lai Renise Boutique, Nadira Alston.  Lai Renise Boutique is located on the 2nd floor of 11 West Main Street in Middletown.

Nadria and her family relocated from Philadelphia where she started and still operates a successful online boutique with clients from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware.   She moved to Delaware and on the 3rd of May opened Lai Renise which is partially named after her daughter.  

Lai Renise is a high end yet affordable shop for women looking for something special or a one of a kind outfit.  Nadira offers a personal shopping experience and hosts Trunk Shows in which family and friends gather for wonderful evening of shopping and styling.



Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 040 Nadira had always dreamed of operating a brick and mortar shop and was blessed to have found this location which was previously a dance studio.  The mirrored walls were already in place so she just added the shelving to showcase the beautiful handbags and accessories with brands like Big Buddah Bags, Betsy Johnson, Vieta and Russ Jewelry.

Nadira also runs a full time Ministry and enjoys working with young women in empowerment and positive transformation.  On Saturday from 4:30 to 8:30 she is hosting “Daughter’s of Excellence Annual Dessert Cafe” a fellowship featuring an Open-Mic, Singing, Poetry and Storytelling at 14 West Main Street.  For more information please send an email to

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In honor of #ShopSmall Saturday I treated myself to a Big Buddah Handbag – it was a tough decision but I purchased the black one.

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Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 052

 Now it’s your turn – what are you thankful for this week?