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Mystery Gifts
December 18, 2009, 11:51 pm
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You know those mystery gifts that you get every year. The ones you get from that aunt you rarely see that make you raise an eyebrow. For example, some gothic boots last year and my wife got a pirate wench costume from an uncle. Uhh…thanks? There is always someone strange in your family and you never know what you are going to get from them. I mean, I think I’d take my 40th pair of pajamas over a Baggallini bag, but I guess that’s why December 26th was invented. Hooray, I get to spend hours in line returning gifts that I don’t want. Here comes another year of mystery gifts.



My New Favorite Band
July 17, 2009, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Never Setting Suns -

check em out.

Corey Larrison from The Never Setting Suns from Lisa Hanneken on Vimeo.



Spiral Effect

It’s amazing how the spiral effect kicks in when one part of the economy goes wrong.  I’m no expert when it comes to everything technical in our economy, but I don’t have to look far to see the impacts all around me.  With unemployment levels skyrocketing, companies are looking to trim the fat left and right.  If you are not somehow contributing to the bottom line of your company, this is a very scary time.  Hard working people all over the place are getting laid off and can’t find jobs.  Plumbers, accountants, managers, manufacturers, even people who make dowel rods are feeling the squeeze.  And it doesn’t stop there.  Spending is down.  People won’t buy discretionary items that are not important, no matter how cool they are.  People are taking less vacations and going out to eat less.

Imagine being the head of non profit organizations right now.  With people holding tight to their dollars, holding a non profit fundraiser is like pulling teeth.  Holding a raffle without a good prize is just not going to work.  Giving is down all around, when it should be the opposite.  We should be looking to help others right now whenever we can.  When times are hard, it’s easy to see what the makeup of people really is.  What is scary to me is the selfishness of this country from the top down.



Great Online Shopping

With my two nephews and niece, I find myself doing a lot more shopping online lately, particularly for toys and clothing.  So, I wanted to share a recommendation or two that I thought would be helpful.

First, I absolutely love this online toy store.  They have almost every kids character you could possibly imagine – Noddy, Ben 10, Strawberry Shortcake, Barney, Yo Gabba Gabba, the Wiggles, Doodlebops, Curious George and many, many more.  I bought a playhut off this site, and my nephew is in love with it!  It’s like his own personal fort that he can imagine any kind of game in it he wants.  Of course, we used to just put blankets over chairs, but hey, that was then.  So, check out Ty’stoybox.  They also have a huge selection of personalized clothing, which is adorable.

Speaking of personalized, this site is fantastic for gifts.  They create music with all your kids favorite characters that actually sing your child’s name!  What’s great about the site is that you can hear a sample before you buy, so you know it doesn’t sound like some strange computer in the middle of a song.  I bought my niece some personalized Minnie music, and she loves it!

So, maybe in the middle of a recession, I shouldn’t be spending like I am, but I can’t help.  And hey, it’s spending that will help get us out.  I just heard on Hannity say that the president’s approval level just dropped below 50%, so hooray!  Down with socialism!



Will Obama help the Economy?

Now that the election is over, the big question on everyone’s mind is, “Can Obama deliver the change he promised?”  People all over this country are seriously hurting.  Many are losing jobs and others can’t pay the bills.  And so, there is a dependency on the government that is growing.  People have been reckless with their money, and they need a bailout.  This is tough, because you need to teach people how to fish, not just give them a hand out.
The market continues to go down in record fashion.  Many people feel that a depression is on the way.  What would that look like in this country?  This isn’t the same generation who knew how to hunker down and work hard.  We have a lot of spoiled Gen X’ers.  Will they be able to fight through these rough times.

Companies continue to report losses, and it looks to be a down year heading into the holiday season.  This is horrible news since so many retailers depend on the 4th quarter to break even.  And now, with fear in America’s minds, the wallets will tighten.  One sector that is expected to do well in spite of the recession is online retail.  Ecommerce companies sell nearly everything online including scrubs, marine corps rings and other merch.  Experts expect online sales to go up again as people are hesitant to spend money on gas and would rather shop for the best deals online.  So, this area of growth appears to be recession proof.  Don’t think Obama will have much impact here.

I am concerned in a plan to redistribute wealth.  It seems to me that people need education on how to handle money, not more money.  I guess it’s not a huge concern in the current state of the economy, but that’s where I would focus.



Toys for Tots

Holiday season is approaching fast, and so it’s never too easy for some early Christmas shopping.  Don’t wait til Black Monday and the insane fury of Soccer Mom’s!  Be smart and get your shopping done online early.  I’ve taken the liberty of doing a little research for you and finding some of this year’s top Toys for Tots.  One of hottest gifts of 2008 will be this Ben 10 Cruiser.  Ben 10 has taken over the reign of Power Rangers and TMNT before it, and doesn’t look like it is going away for a while.  Your young ones will love this Transformer like toy vehicle.

For those of you with some younger children, this singing Barney toy doll has stood the test of time.  It’s soft, purple, wholesome and catchy for everyone.  It will yet again be one the year’s top selling toys.

Some of you may be catering to the teenage group.  People are gearing for HSM 3 coming soon, and of course, there are the Hannah Montana faithfuls.  For those emotional girls, this is a great gift to make an impact at school.  They can fall asleep at night dreaming of being a singing and TV star.

I get to shop for my niece and nephews this year, and these shops are a few of my favorites.  I hope you will find what you are looking for at a great price too!



Dirty Carpet

It’s been said that the sign of a hospitable house, is worn out, dirty carpets.  (sigh) For the rest of my life, this will be said of my house.  I really like clean carpet.  I really like laying on the ground and stretching.  I think I’m a bit OCD, but it makes me feel good.  I also really like being alone.  I’m an introvert, and I get my energy from not being around people.

The problem, if you want to call it that, is that our house is a revolving door.  At any point of the day, someone could be walking in to hang out.  I love it.  I love that people want to be here, but it can be kind of crazy.  For an introvert, this is picking up my cross.  Right now, my roommates nephew is here.  He’s, I don’t know, 8-9.  He’s on the cartoon network, playing computer games.  I’ve never met the kid before in my life, but he came in and immediately started talking about this war game he plays.

He’s told me that he’s into Transformers toys.  He’s wearing Disney Cars apparel, and he keeps going on and on about this show.  I tell you what.  You never know who might show up and dirty your carpets at my place.




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