Next Time, Just Say “No!”

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

I was sad to hear that a friend’s husband was recently taken for a ride by some guys wandering their neighborhood selling pressure washing services. All the red flags were there. Read more

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Posted in: Home Maintenance, Safety, Bay Area, Consumers, Home Tips, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Just a Spoonful of Sugar

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

It’s amazing how some consumer complaints can easily be resolved when a responsive provider does something a little extra and unexpected. That was my experience on our first family vacation since the pandemic began. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Customer Service, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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Summer Travel = Rental Car Rigamarole

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Chris Bjorklund

I’ve rented a lot of cars over the years, but I’ve never seen what I’m seeing today. Prices are high due to low inventories, and in some cases, no cars are available at any price. The strategies I’ve used in the past to save money have been upended by unanticipated consumer demand. The rental car industry sold off large numbers of vehicles during the pandemic to stay afloat, and those same companies are now having trouble ramping up with new cars due to manufacturing delays. This shortage in some popular destinations could last through the summer. Read more

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Posted in: Automotive, Auto Tips, Consumers, Personal Stories, Savvy Tips
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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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