Lessons Learned From Selling Two Used Cars

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

For reasons I won’t go into here, my husband and I recently found ourselves in possession and taking care of five automobiles. For a while, my nickname in the family was “Fleet Manager.” One of the vehicles was sent to the East Coast by transport to our son, but that still left us with two extra used cars. We decided it was time to sell my 2015 Honda Fit and my husband’s beloved ’69 Volkswagen Beetle. (He was the original owner!) Read more

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Posted in: Automotive, Auto Tips, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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A Swedish Bread for the Holidays

Posted on December 17, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

In past December newsletters, I’ve shared recipes from my family’s Christmas Eve dinner that features Swedish meatballs, the heated adult beverage Swedish glögg and Green Goddess salad dressing. Now it’s time to tell you about the bread I make every year called limpa bread.

This Scandinavian bread was originally made from fermented brewer’s wort, a byproduct of beer making. While some recipes include stout beer as a key ingredient, mine uses molasses, orange rind, fennel and cumin seeds. Limpa is traditionally served at Christmas Eve smörgåsbords. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Seasonal, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Emphasizing the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

 

 

Let’s face it—this Thanksgiving is going to be really different for most of us. My family started talking about how we might safely get together for the holiday back in October. All options were discussed, ranging from everyone doing their own “thing” to having a socially distanced barbecue outside. We also thought people could stagger their visits and stay outdoors (there are only nine of us) with some overlap. We all agreed on the main thing: it’s a pandemic Thanksgiving, so everyone has to be flexible. The final plan isn’t finalized and it will most assuredly evolve until we get closer to the holiday. Read more

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Posted in: Holiday Related, Seasonal, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Getting Back to Normal?

Posted on August 25, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

I’m happy to be writing for the Diamond Certified Consumer Report again after a short hiatus. Since March, so much has happened to all of us (I was in a scary car accident, my husband had foot surgery and I broke my leg to boot!) that I don’t really know what getting back to “normal” means right now. But let me share a few observations.

Most of us are beginning to resume some activities, albeit with many adaptations. I’ve continued having groceries delivered, but now I make brief forays into stores that have best practices. Read more

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Posted in: Safety, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Kids and Choking Hazards

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

kids playing with blocks

I’ve been babysitting a one-year-old and a three-year-old on a regular basis this year, so I’m constantly on the lookout for choking hazards. You’re probably familiar with the obvious ones like hot dogs, seeded grapes and marshmallows, but I was surprised when the children started coughing and choking on apple slices, french fries, and beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can prevent choking by making sure your little ones sit up while eating and not giving them food while they’re in the car or stroller. Kids are still developing their swallowing skills up until they’re 24 months old, so keep this in mind when introducing solid foods. Read more

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Posted in: Safety, Consumers, Health Tips, Home Tips, Savvy Tips
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A Glimpse Into the World of Con Artists, Swindlers and Fakers

Posted on February 18, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

 

My latest obsession is listening to podcasts about criminals who have defrauded, scammed and deceived others. Consumer investigative journalism is now more accessible than ever in this medium. All the shows I’m digging into are free through podcasting apps and streaming services like Spotify.

“Swindled” is my current favorite. It’s an independently produced true crime podcast about all sorts of money-making schemes, white collar crime and corporate greed. The anonymous host calls himself “A Concerned Citizen.” His goal is to shine a light on stories that you may have heard about in the news but didn’t really know all the sordid details. In an interview, Read more

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What Do You Procrastinate About?

Posted on January 28, 2020 by Chris Bjorklund

I was sitting around with a group of girlfriends at the end of last year and the conversation got around to all the things we meant to do in 2019 but didn’t. It was interesting to hear how differently we all prioritize tasks and projects and keep putting some things off for months and even years. The discussion got me thinking about how I could be more productive in the coming year. So, I made a list of random things I’m working on in 2020 or that I recently completed. My list might get you thinking about yours. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Savvy Tips
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