Monday, November 17, 2008

Suggested Surfing

With the amount of time I spend wandering through the webworld, I figured I should put my travels to good use and share some sites that might interest segments of my reading population :)

Gluten Free Mommy
I stumbled upon this one while searching for a good photo of the apple crisp I discussed here. A long time friend of mine is a victim of celiac's disease, a nasty illness which makes wheat Public Enemy #1 (gluten is the fancy word for wheat). Over years of trial and error she's learned which foods she can safely eat, but whenever I run across a good gluten-free source for her, I feel the need to pass it on. This blog is a collection of easy gluten-free recipes - there's also tons of links to other bloggers with a similar passion. Miss Kewi - bon apetite!

NavyGuy and I have nine banking accounts. We also have three credit cards. I know this may be a few more than most couples, but as engaged peoples, we're still in the process of combining our finances, so somehow between the two of us we have checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts - you'd think for all the accounts we have we'd have more money! (Hah... sad laugh.) Okay, so even for the rest of you who have a less complex financial situation, can be a lifesaver. The website basically keeps track of all of your financial information - income, spending, credit card debt, loans, whatever! You input your account information (it passed NavyGuy's tough online security test, so don't fret), and then it magically keeps everything updated and organized. So far we mostly use the website as a one-stop safety valve for our accounts (hmm... which account can I pay the water bill with?), but it can organize your financial information to help you create and stick to a budget. The biggest selling point for this website is that it's free, unlike many other money managing software programs (ex. Quicken). It's also accessible anywhere (meaning you can check your accounts at home, work, vacation, etc.) I included a screen shot below; it's very user-friendly and customizable.

There's lots more information on their website, and many other bloggers have reviewed it more intelligently; mostly, I wanted to alert those of you who are looking for ways to keep a better handle on your money.

Their catchphrase is "stylish celebrity escapism" which I think is college-speak for "tabloid gossip with pictures." For those of you who'd rather read People than the Washington Post, this site is a grand way to get Hollywood gossip. Each article includes witty analysis along with the original source for the tittilating news about Paris, Tyra, Ashlee, or Russell Simmons (all of whom are on the front page today). They tend to get more of the offbeat news that isn't covered in many of the other mainstream publications; you have to appreciate the random bits of scuttlebut.

Holiday Mail for Heroes
I know the economy isn't great this year, and everyone is going to be looking for ways to cut back and save money. I'm going to start my campaign right now to make sure than two things don't fall by the wayside: 1) donations to charities and 2) holiday cards. Donations to charities don't have to come in the form of lots of money, and neither do holiday cards. (Look for future rants on all the ways you can frugally participate in these traditions.) Anyway, my point is that this website will give you the mailing address and all the information you need to send a Christmas card to a military servicemember or veteran (two birds, one stone). The Red Cross is trying to distribute one million cards, and they even have a link where you can print out a card. The full instructions are listed on the site, and there's also information about how to make other types of donations to soldiers (gift cards, care packages, etc.). If you're already making or getting Christmas cards, how hard would it be to add one more to the list? Teachers - how many of you need a quick 20 minute time filler or sub activity? Kids make great holiday cards. I doubt soldiers will be too picky about spelling or artistic ability :)


Tracey January 7, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

Thanks for mentioning Holiday Mail for Heroes! I worked with Pitney Bowes and the Red Cross on this program, and on behalf of my colleagues, I'd like to express my appreciation for your support.

You mentioned that our goal was to collect one million cards; I'm please to announce that we actually surpassed this number! Bloggers like you played a huge role in this accomplishment, and the Holiday Mail team would like you to know how grateful we are for your help.

We've created a video to show our thanks for those who got involved in the Holiday Mail initiative:

Thanks again for your support!

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