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What Should Be on Your “Do Not Pack” List

Posted on August 28, 2018 by Chris Bjorklund

A couple of summers ago, I was flying to France to stay with friends who had visited San Francisco in the past and fell in love with our foggy city. I thought I had found the perfect hospitality gift when I bought a fog globe featuring the Golden Gate Bridge. A fog globe is similar to a snow globe, but when you shake it up, instead of snow falling, the bridge disappears in gray fog. Because it was breakable, I carefully packed the globe in a carry-on bag, and that was my big mistake. It never occurred to me that airport security (TSA) would confiscate the gift because it contained too much liquid. I have since learned that fog and snow globes about the size of a tennis ball are allowed if they can fit in a clear, Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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4 Guidelines for a Fire-Safe Fourth of July

Posted on June 28, 2018 by James Florence

Fourth of July fireworks may be fun, but they’re also undeniably dangerous. Reduce the risk at this year’s celebration by following these safety guidelines: Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Fire Prevention
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Start Fresh: A New Year’s Checklist

Posted on January 02, 2018 by James Florence

In addition to implementing personal resolutions, the New Year is an ideal time to review and renew your to-do list.

It’s no wonder the custom of adopting annual resolutions coincides with the year’s beginning rather than its middle or end. A new year means a fresh start—a milestone that signals an opportunity for positive change. Like a blank canvas to a painter, the New Year invites us to entertain new possibilities, inspires us to innovate upon the past and fills us with “momentum of purpose.”

While this sense of positive propulsion is often directed toward personal development, it can also be useful for accomplishing tangible goals, which is why the New Year is an ideal time to review and renew your to-do list. Whether you need to catch up on overdue maintenance, have a project you’ve been putting off or simply want to start off on the right foot, Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Consumers
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December Musings and a Family Recipe

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Chris Bjorklund

As I was thinking of potential topics for this month’s Diamond Certified Consumer Report, I decided it was time for something completely different. Rather than writing about how to be a savvy online shopper, giving wisely during the holiday season or the pros and cons of gift cards, I wanted to share something more personal.

Every year, I ask my family members to think about how we can simplify our celebrations. For example, how about drawing names for gifts instead of shopping for every person? I’ve introduced the idea of a “white elephant” gift exchange where we re-gift items we already have on hand. Rather than going out for a family restaurant meal before Christmas, Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Giving Well: Advice for Holiday Charity

Posted on December 05, 2017 by James Florence

The holidays represent different things for different people, but there’s one seasonal sentiment that’s universally shared: generosity. This can be seen in the annual outpouring of monetary goodwill that transpires as people from all walks of life open their hearts by opening their wallets. Naturally, charitable organizations haven’t overlooked this custom, which is why you’re likely to find your mailbox, inbox and social media feed teeming with donation requests this time of year. However, with so many solicitations coming from all directions, it’s hard to discern where to direct your generosity. We’ve teamed up with Chris Bjorklund, The Savvy Consumer, to provide some advice for giving wisely during the holidays. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Savvy Tips
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Happy Halloween from our Diamond Certified Expert Contributors!

Posted on October 31, 2017 by James Florence

As we celebrate this spookiest of holidays, we’ve asked some of our Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to join in the fun by sharing their favorite Halloween costumes from their childhood. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Diamond Certified Experts

De-Haunting Your House: A Halloween Home Maintenance Special

Posted on October 24, 2017 by James Florence

It’s a dark night.

You’re in your living room, binge-watching the new season of “Stranger Things,” when you notice a shrill whistling sound coming from somewhere inside the house. You pause the show and get up to investigate.

Walking into the hall, you’re struck by a sudden chill in the air, which causes you to emit an involuntary shiver. You draw your arms inward and follow the whistling sound to your bedroom, but just as you open the door, it stops. You enter the still room and scan for any unusual signs. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, DIY Home Repair, Home Tips
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