Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Worlds Largest Ice Cream Social

Tomorrow evening (September 30, 2010) is the 9th Annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social at Cold Stone Creamery.

From 5 to 8 p.m., you can stop by your local Cold Stone Creamery to get a free 3-oz. Ice Cream Creation. This year’s creation is Caramel Apple Ice Cream mixed with Chocolate Shavings, Graham Cracker Pie Crust and Apple Pie Filling.

A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation is encouraged but not required.

Get a jump on the holidays

School has just started and the last thing we want to think about are the Christmas holidays. At least until you walk into most stores. Most stores have had the Holiday decorations out for a couple of months already. But now is the perfect time to get started. If you start planning now and are able to cross items off your list, you can save yourself from some of the last minute pressures of trying to do everything at the last minute.
First make a list of people you plan to buy gifts for and an amount you plan to spend. This can include family, friends, teachers, daycare providers and anyone else you usually purchase a gift for. Once you have this list you have an idea of what it will cost you and you can also jot down ideas you have for each one. Then when you are out shopping if you happen to find something on sale, you can purchase it then. Also, by starting now, you can spread the spending out of the next few months instead of large bills in December and January.
Along with the gifts, also make a list of extra expenses you usually incur over the holidays, such as extra parties, dining out, cards your send, postage. Those little expenses can add up quickly.
So with a little planning and preparation you can take steps to make the holiday season a little easier.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FM Women's Showcase

The FM Women's Showcase will be held Saturday, October 16 at the FargoDome from 9-5. The day consists of exhibits from businesses and seminars on a variety of topics targeted to women.
They can get information from various vendors at one stop.
On the Main entertainment stage scheduled are Ali Vincent from the Biggest Loser, Joan Steffend, Missus Smarty Pants and Chris Linnares. On the cooking stage will be Jon Ashton, Sue Doeden and Eric Watson.
There are other seminars scheduled throughout the day on a variety of topics such as dealing with finances, organizing, health and wellness and others.
The tickets for the event are $10 available at various locations or at the door. There are VIP tickets available for $45 which includes 2 VIP receptions with Ali Vincent and Jon Ashton and VIP seating for their presentations.
Also, besides the drawings at the various vendor booths, there are drawings for prizes from some of the major sponsors. Prizes include a diamond & sapphire pendant valued at $3,225, One year of housecleaning and one of five makeovers done that day by Hair Success, and others.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Race to Nowhere

The documentary, Race to Nowhere will be shown at the Fargo Theatre at 7:00, Thursday, September 30th.  Admission for the showing is $5.  The film is about the high-pressure, high-stakes culture that has invaded our schools and our children's lives. It discusses the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. The screenings begin across the country this week.
 It spotlights students and teachers plus national experts in education.
 A panel discussion moderated by WDAY Radio's Christopher Gabriel will follow the screening.  Panelists will include students, parents, teachers and school administrators from the Fargo-Moorhead area.
 Some of the issues discussed are:
How can we best support the youth of America today and prepare them for the future?
How do we define success?
How can we make choices that support the healthy development of young people?
How can we end the race to nowhere?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Secure ID Day

AARP and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of North Dakota are sponsoring Secure Your ID Day on October 23 in Fargo and Bismarck. As part of this they are offering free shredding of documents and papers you no longer need. In Fargo it will take place at the Wells Fargo on 13th Ave South and 25th St South.
The hours of the event are 8 am to 1 pm. There is a limit of one box per vehicle.
Residents and small businesses are encouraged to attend the event and take a key step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of sensitive paper documents as well as CDs and floppy discs. BBB experts will also be on hand offering important advice and simple steps everyone can take to prevent identity theft.

Identity theft is an equal opportunity crime. However, consumers can greatly reduce their exposure to identity theft by taking simple, preventative measures. “Secure Your ID Day” provides people with an excellent opportunity to destroy sensitive documents for free.

Last year 11 million Americans became victims of identity theft with a total of $54 billion in loss. There are two “Shred it” days per year. One in the spring and one in the fall. In 2009 between the two events the BBB helped small businesses and individuals at 133 sites and shredded 1.3 million pounds of sensitive documents.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You Make a Difference

In Out Live Your Life, as the subtitle states, there are stories showing that You Were Made to Make a Difference. As in other Max Lucado books, he does a great job of combining bible verses and stories to show how important we are and what we do does make a difference, even though we may not always think so.
At the end of the book is a 30 page Discussion and Action Guide with questions for discussion and ideas for action for each of the 16 chapters.
Outlive Your Life consists of 16 chapters which are separate stories so they do not have to be read at the same time to make sense. So it can be read anytime you have extra time and you don’t have to wait until you have a large span of time to start reading it.
One hundred percent of the author’s royalties from Outlive Your Life products will benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Deals found online today

Free portraits through October 31st for military families at JC Penney.

E Mealz Free downloadable meal plan.

Rent the Runway. If you have a special occasion, instead of buying an expensive dress to wear once, you can rent a runway dress ($400 + value) for $50. For a small amount more you can have a couple different sizes or a backup dress sent also. After you wear the dress, you put in the addressed envelope and mail it back.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Butterfly Effect Review

In “The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews, he shows how even actions you think are small will have an effect of the future for many. Everything you do does make a difference.
The book includes two stories that happened many years ago and how our world would be different if a different decision would have been made at that time.
It is a short book and quick to read but I feel it has a deep meaning and I will be reading it quite often as a reminder of how little things can make a big difference. I highly recommend “The Butterfly Effect”. As Andy Andrews has on the back of the book “Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world”.

It would also make a great gift for someone.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Museum Day Sept 25

September 25th is the 6th Annual Smithsonian magazine Museum Day. With a ticket printed from the site you get free admission to select museums throughout the United States. Clickhere to find a location in your area.
Locally, the Hjemkomst Center is a participating museum. There are other participating museums in the western part of North Dakota.
The Museum Day Ticket is only good for two people per household, per address. If you go to Museum Day with more than one guest, your other guests will have to pay full admission.
For tickets, you can download here.

What is debt settlement

What is a debt settlement service? You have probably seen many advertisements stating that they can help you settle your debts for a lower amount. With most of these companies, for a fee, a professional debt-settlement company will help you get rid of your debt for as little as half the amount you owe.
I don’t have any personal experience with a debt settlement company but will share information I have learned about it. It works for some people and some share horror stories about it.
Most creditors will not settle with people until they are in real hardship, which means they are not able to make their payments. In some stories, the debt settlement companies tell their clients to stop making payments and that ruins their credit scores even worse than they were to start with.
The fees charged by these companies vary by firm and are not always easy to determine what the fees are.
Some creditors will settle accounts for less than you owe if you are able to make a one-time payment. In these cases some may settle for between 20% and 75% of what you owe and the creditor will forgive the rest of your debt and will report it to the credit bureau as settled. However, when you settle like this it is considered taxable income. Any forgiven balance over $600 you will owe taxes on that amount. For example, if your tax rate if 15%, $5,000 of forgiven debt will have a $750 tax liability.
So if you are drowning in debt a debt settlement company may sound like an easy fix but you need to do more research before committing to this solution.

Consumers are being warned to exercise extreme caution in dealing with companies that offer to reduce credit card debts. The warning follows a little-noticed rule announced by the Federal Trade Commission which is likely to put many put of these firms out of business in the next few months, but only after they have collected millions of dollars in fees without providing any service.

On July 28th, the FTC adopted a rule that prohibits firms from collecting upfront fees from consumers in debt settlement cases. Instead, they will have to wait until at least a partial settlement is made before collecting their fee. They will also be forced to disclose how long the process will take and the possible negative consequences of using a debt relief service.

The new rule does not take effect until Oct. 27, and the debt settlement companies are still advertising their services and may legally continue to collect these fees until the cutoff date.

What happens to the consumer when the company goes under? Under the typical contract with debt settlement companies, consumers stop paying their lenders and instead pay into an escrow account for both the fees and the balance on their credit card debt. The escrow accounts are usually at third party institutions, but there is nothing in the current law to prevent a company from closing on Oct. 27 and taking its fees without performing any service.

See full article from Daily Finance.

Whatever method you use to get out of debt. One of the first things you need to do is take a look at your spending. If you do not get your spending under control, you will be in the same bind soon again.