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News, Tips & Tricks
May 8th, 2015
monster soldier

Commemorating Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day will arrive soon!  Ever hear of it?  No, it is not the same as Memorial Day. Memorial Day, celebrated much later this month, honors and remembers those who died while serving in the military. Instead, Armed Forces Day was officially created in 1949, long before you were even a twinkle in your parent’s eyes. This distinctive event recognizes the heroes of our Armed Forces that are currently serving to protect all our freedoms.  Every branch of the military is honored on this single day which takes place on the third Saturday in May.

by Anne Middleton

May 7th, 2015
mcaffee graduation

'Tis the Season to Graduate

'Tis the graduate. With so many hats and gowns swaying their way to the stage to that old familiar tune, Pomp & Circumstance, you may find yourself in a gift pinch. This year alone, I have 3 graduates to buy for: two high school grads (one super nerd and one...shall we say...super popular with everyone but their teachers) and one Ph.D. recipient. Obviously in this situation, a one-size-fits-all gift is out of the question. So what to buy? Having graduated high school myself a few short (wink wink) years ago, I remember how great it was to have all that cash thrown at you.

by Abbey O'Bryan

May 5th, 2015
monster teacher class

National Teacher’s Day

Most of us adore shaking maracas and consuming margaritas and munching on nachos during the annual tradition of celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  But did you know that this year, May 5th is also National Teacher Day? This designated day for the kings (and queens) of the classroom may not be as colorful as the mariachis strumming their round-backed guitars dressed in their sombreros, but it provides an opportunity to honor our distinguished and underpaid educators.  These motivating instructors deserve all the recognition and appreciation we can muster for the enormous positive impact they make on generations of students.

by Anne Middleton

May 1st, 2015

Honor Your Mother with New Balance

Mother. Mom. Ma. Mama. Mommy. Mum. Mummy. Madre. The list of names she could be called is countless, but there’s only one woman who holds that exclusive place in your heart. And if you’re lucky enough to still have her here on earth with you, make sure you honor her this Mother’s Day. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My mom is not only still here, she’s amazing in so many ways. Vibrant, healthy, loving and wise, she is a treasure in my family. And this is a seemingly small thing, but I’ve always admired how timeless she is. She always looks put-together, never frumpy, but also never fussy. Just classy, you know.

by Abbey O'Bryan

April 28th, 2015
advance auto mom daughter car

Automotive Gift Ideas For Mom

Attention husbands, sons and grandsons!  Mother’s Day is creeping up on you.  Do not be caught unaware.  Admit it; previous years have found you scrambling for a last minute gift and scouring the drugstore for the final, overlooked Mother’s Day card hiding among the graduation and birthday sentiments. But, if you start right now, you can impress her with your Mother’s Day prowess. Honoring her with a phenomenal gift doesn’t have to mean schlepping through the mall, procuring lavish jewelry or ordering expensive flower arrangements. There are plenty of gifts that will wow the mamma in your life right at your favorite auto supply stores.

by Anne Middleton

April 27th, 2015
verizon carrier pigeon

If They Could See Us Now

If my grandparents were alive today (and I wish they were), they could never (ever) imagine the technological advances that permeate our everyday lives. They would be stunned that technology has leaped so quickly and produced such an amazing amount of changes in such a short span of time. In fact, there are numerous items that these lovable relatives of mine wouldn’t be able to fathom.

by Anne Middleton

April 24th, 2015
child parent piggy bank

Happy Teach Children to Save Day!

Happy Teach Children To Save Day!  Admittedly, that doesn’t sound as exciting as “Happy Birthday!” or “Merry Christmas!”  But, April 24th is a profoundly important, though unsung, holiday. Established by the American Bankers Association, Teach Children To Save Day encourages moms and dads to instruct their progeny about the importance of putting funds aside for the future. Getting the conversation about financial responsibility started actually isn’t as onerous as it seems. Most moppets love sticking dimes and nickels in their piggy banks.

by Anne Middleton

April 24th, 2015
boston proper tax refund sign

Wise Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund

The dreaded April 15th, tax deadline day, is finally over!  Itemized deductions, W2s, and complicated forms may not be much to cheer about, but that’s all behind you. Now comes the fun part… the tax refund. There’s nothing quite as much fun as seeing that sum pop into your bank account. Now it’s time to decide how to spend the funds your friends at the IRS just sent back to you. Depositing it into your retirement account or setting it aside for your kid’s college tuition might be shrewd choices, but they aren’t much fun. Instead of simply making an astute decision, look for a way to spend your refund that is both brainy and beguiling.

by Anne Middleton

April 23rd, 2015
boston proper jeans

Hot Denim Trends in Your Closet

If you are still rocking high-waisted mom jeans or frayed hems, it’s time to update your denim duds. But, that doesn’t mean it’s time to purge your closet of all your comfy blue jeans. Denim is one of the hottest looks in fashion, but it’s taking a few new twists and turns. It may come in fresh shapes and new hues, but the latest denim styles are just as practical and relaxed as ever. Here are the most contemporary denim trends that you need in your closet right now. Dresses:  Dismiss the “Little House on the Prairie” vibe you are getting right now. The current crop of denim dresses is short and sassy.

by Anne Middleton

April 22nd, 2015
converse beach cruise

4 Things Not To Do On A Cruise

As the weather heats up and we start the slide toward summer vacation, it’s time to start thinking about travel plans. Whether you are looking for family fun, a wild girl’s weekend or a romantic getaway, a cruise can be an appealing option. A vacation at sea, with stops in a handful of tropical isles, has enough variety to satisfy serious wanderlust. But, they are also easy to plan, and, with the captain at the wheel, you have a built-in designated driver for your entire time aboard. All you really need to do it relax and have fun. But, there are a few things you shouldn’t do during your cruise vacation.

by Anne Middleton