Here Kitty Kitty!

I love Hello Kitty, since elementary school when Mummy Maven bought me a Hello Kitty pencil case.  I kept that thing as long as I could. LOL  Now, that I am older and do not have a daughter, I buy Hello Kitty stuff, especially barettes, little purses, stickers and such for 2 of my little cousins, both under 6 years old.

Now, I have a limit to my Hello Kitty love.  I will not wear Hello Kitty apparel (including underwear), shoes.  I do not and will not buy Hello Kitty wallets, jewelery, nor purses. (I will get a tote bag!)  Now, I am all over notepads, mugs, bowls, ziplock bags, ice packs (which come in very handy), pens and pencils.   FYI, check your local Target for Hello Kitty paraphernalia in the Dollar section.

Last year, when it was time to order checks, I ordered Hello Kitty.  Now, I had to check with Mr. Maven because since the account is joint and I did not want him to feel bad about presenting a Hello Kitty check.  Well, he was cool with the idea because he rarely uses checks, especially since I am the Home CFO, so I placed my order.

Hello Kitty Check

Hello Kitty Check (1 of 5 Designs)

Recently, I was in the bank doing a transaction and I gave the teller my Hello Kitty check for deposit. After the transaction, she showed me a Hello Kitty debit card.  Whoa-wee, I was very excited.  The card is too cute. As soon as I got home, I called up my bank and ordered my Hello Kitty check card.

Hello Kitty Debit Card

Hello Kitty Debit Card

There is buzz on Specktra that Hello Kitty and MAC will collaborate for MAC’s anniversary collection. That sounds better than good to me.   Someone cracked me up by saying (paraphrasing), “How can Hello Kitty promote lip gloss when she has no lips?”  Too funny LOL!!!  *Good point* I cannot wait to see the  products and colors that will result from the collabo.  The launch is slated for early 2009.

Mix Maven

Parents, You Need An Intervention!

Last year I did a post entitled, Counting Up The Cost. The post was about how parents are buying their children expensive, luxury brands. Now, I stumble on another article about how parents are spending tens and thousands of dollars on kiddie birthday parties. America, we need a parent intervention!!

The problem did not start with MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16,” but I am sure that the show contributes to the excessiveness of parents and children. The CNN article highlighted a mother who spent $5,000 USD for a 3 year old toddler’s birthday party. The party had expensive favors, lavish entertainment, a four-layer cake. (That sounds like a wedding reception to me!)

Cake with bow

Another family spent $10 million on a bat mizpah. According to the CNN article, “former defense contractor David H. Brooks of Long Island reportedly spent in 2005 on his daughter’s bat mitzvah. That soirée, at the storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, featured 50 Cent, Don Henley and Aerosmith, among others.” (Sidebar: please note his career choice!!)

Above picture is a Coach™ – themed cake for a birthday party. This cake runs about $1500. I know many brides who spent less on their wedding cakes.

What kind of values are we passing on to our children, when we spend lavishly on a birthday party? To be honest, I do not think most of the parents have the money to spend on these parties, but they want to look like good parents by giving their children the “best” of everything.

I feel like children today do not have anything to look forward to in life. Parents shower them with expensive everything and when they get older, they will try to maintain the lifestyle and realize they cannot. At some point, these excessive acts must end. Parents have to realize that affection, love and care cannot be bought.

We are destroying our children by giving into their every whim or creating these whims. Parents need more backbone and learn how to say no. I tell you my parents had no problems telling my sibling and I “NO!!” on a regular basis. I do not even know how I would live in the world, if my parents spoiled me.

I believe the children are the future. Teach them well and let the lead the way. BUT we cannot do so if parents do not have any self-control.

Let us move up a little higher,

Mix Maven

Happy Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.

Here are some tips to Save Energy:

Reduce your carbon footprint. Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions over 1,500 pounds per year. Reduce greenhouse gases on the road.

Don’t idle. Don’t idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked to eliminate harmful exhaust pollution. More about reducing engine idling.

It’s electric. Check how much of your electricity comes from renewable sources, like wind, solar. Then find green power options available to you. Use the green power locator.

Tread lightly. Commuting without polluting! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs. Learn about reducing your carbon footprint.

Make the switch. Buy or switch to energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Look for the EnergyStar label to help save you money on energy bills and pollute less. Find more energy savings.

eCycle it. eCycle – take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of the landfill. Find eCycling centers near you.

Make your home an Energy Star! As you start your spring cleaning, do a home energy audit and switch to EnergyStar products. More ideas for what you can do at home.

Here are some tips to use water efficiently:

Make it a full load. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full; use the rinse-and-hold dishwasher feature until you’re ready to run a full load. More about using water wisely.

Be sensible. Buy water-efficient fixtures and products. The WaterSense label helps shoppers identify water efficient products and programs. More about WaterSense.

Shower power. Shower power! A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons. More about using water wisely.

Don’t be a drip – fix that leak! Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water each year, like money down the drain. Repair or replace old or damaged fixtures. Find out more about saving water.

Fill ‘er up! Make it a full load. The average washing machine uses 40. 9 gallons of water per load. Buy a high-efficiency washer or save up for full loads. More about using water wisely.

Compost it. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. More backyard composting ideas.

Proper maintenance reduces waste. Maintain and repair products. Keep appliances in good working order. Follow manufacturers’ suggestions for proper operation and maintenance. More ways you can reduce waste.

Don’t trash it – reuse it! Be creative about reducing waste. Give pet hamsters or gerbils cardboard tubes to play with. Use an egg carton to plant seedlings. Other creative tips to reduce waste.

Just bag it. Take reusable bags on shopping trips. Keep them in your car or near your door to remember. You can also reuse paper or plastic shopping bags. Get more tips for shopping.

Wait for the storm to pass. Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – washes down storm drains and can pollute rivers and bays. More on greenscaping.

Compost it. When properly composted, kitchen wastes can become natural soil additives for lawns, gardens, and even house plants. More on composting.

Here are tips to reduce/reuse/recycle

Compost it. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of bagging them. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. More backyard composting ideas.

Proper maintenance reduces waste. Maintain and repair products. Keep appliances in good working order. Follow manufacturers’ suggestions for proper operation and maintenance. More ways you can reduce waste.

Don’t trash it – reuse it! Be creative about reducing waste. Give pet hamsters or gerbils cardboard tubes to play with. Use an egg carton to plant seedlings. Other creative tips to reduce waste.

Just bag it. Take reusable bags on shopping trips. Keep them in your car or near your door to remember. You can also reuse paper or plastic shopping bags. Get more tips for shopping.

Wait for the storm to pass. Don’t fertilize before a rain storm. Your fertilizer – along with your money – washes down storm drains and can pollute rivers and bays. More on greenscaping.

Compost it. When properly composted, kitchen wastes can become natural soil additives for lawns, gardens, and even house plants. More on composting.

Travel green. When you travel, stay at hotels that use less water or energy. Before you go, unplug your VCR or other electronics that use electricity even when “off.” More ways to save when you travel.

Travel green. When you travel, stay at hotels that use less water or energy. Before you go, unplug your VCR or other electronics that use electricity even when “off.” More ways to save when you travel.

For are you MAC Cosmetics lovers, remember that MAC has a recycling program called Back To MAC. Bring in 6 products in primary packaging to a MAC counter (i.e inside of department store), you will receive a free lipstick (Viva Glam products not included!) If you take the 6 products to a freestanding MAC, you can receive eye shadow (not palette pans), lipstick or lip gloss.

Stimulate the Package

I know many of you are looking forward to the tax rebate. (To be honest, I am not sure how well the rebates will stimulate the economy.)

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Please make sure you mail or complete taxes (online) by April 15, 2008, so you can receive the tax rebate. You will receive your payment, how you received your tax refund (assuming you did not have to pay this year). If you sent or received tax payment via DIRECT DEPOSIT, you will receive tax rebate payment DIRECT DEPOSIT. So, if you sent or received tax payment via PAPER CHECK, you will receive tax rebate payment PAPER CHECK.  The payment schedule also correlates with the last 2 digits of your Social Security number.

Direct Deposit Payment Schedule

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Paper Check Payment Schedule

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Have fun today, check out this video. (Gotta love YouTube.)

Walk It Out – Fosse Version

Live Triumphantly,

Mix Maven

Alert: Free Suze Orman Book

Suze Orman is giving away free copies of her new book, Women and Money on Oprah.com.

Women and Money - Suze Orman

You will be able to download a free copy of the book (pdf file.)  The book is available in English and Spanish.

Ok, there is a catch.

The deadline to download this free copy is

February 14, 2008 June 27, 2008

5PM (Pacific Standard Time) /8PM (Eastern Standard Time)

To download Adobe Reader, go to Adobe Reader download page.

Download your copy ASAP!!!

Thanks “happy mom” for the update!!