Posted in Information Article

A Modern Take on Grandma’s Coupons

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hances are you think you know what coupons are,  how they work and that they’re something you’ll never use. Chances too are that you’re thinking of the old style paper coupons your grandmother used to clip from newspapers and magazines, carrying them around in her wallet or clipping them to her grocery list. If that sounds familiar, forget all you thought you knew.

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Time Magazine reported in 2009 that by the mid-way point in the year 1.6 billion coupons had been redeemed in the U.S. While that number is incredible in itself, what is even more remarkable is who used them.

According to Time, the Nielsen Company reported that serious coupon users included people with incomes greater than $70,000, those living in affluent suburban and country homes, those run by a female head 54 years of age or younger, and those with large families. While the latter may be expected, the former sheds a different light on coupon use.

Nielsen also reported those least likely to use coupons included low income and one-member households, which leads to another little-known fact: that many of the country’s wealthiest people are actually quite frugal and achieved their wealth by saving money wherever and whenever they could. The difference here between those who have and those who have not, is that those who have find the time to save.

That’s the real key to couponing, and why your grandmother’s task looked hopeless: time. The difference today and why it’s important to take a fresh look at couponing is that saving money doesn’t have to mean hours spent flipping through and clipping from newspapers and magazines. Today coupons are available online through central sites, from a wide range of stores and through subscription services that email coupons directly to you.

Greatdeals.com is one site that sorts coupons by store and category and allows members to share coupons. The website promises an uncluttered, easy to understand user experience. One of the biggest advantages is the easy access to stores you already know and stores you may not have thought of for coupons.

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A Modern Take on Grandma’s Coupons – How to become a coupon EXPERT!!

Best Buy, Drugstore.com and Macys are just a few and show the diversity of stores who participate. A recent look at Macys on Greatdeals.com offered coupons ranging from 25 per cent off men’s and women’s North Face clothing to 40 per cent off bedding.

With sites like Groupon.com you enter your location, register and automatically receive coupons valid in your area direct to your computer. With a range including everything from travel to car detailing to restaurants there may be services you aren’t interested in but with the work managed for you, what is there to lose?

Financial guru Dave Ramsey, author of several financial self-help books and host of the nationally syndicated self-titled radio show, has jumped on the coupon bandwagon. He suggests those who have given in to the iphone trend make use of the phone to discover the many couponing apps available.

Apps like SnipSnap allow you to photograph coupons for use from your phone and the Yipit app sorts daily deals in your area and sends them in one summary email.

The advantage to these couponing sites and apps is the use of search engines and regionally specific criteria to help make the work of finding savings easier.

The next thing you need to understand is the power of coupons. Forget the days of being excited to save $0.50 off cereal, although once you discover the value of couponing you’ll realize enough of those $0.50 equates to a meal out you hadn’t planned on or an extra payment towards your debt. Think 25 per cent off the previously mentioned North Face clothing deal at Macys and you’ve saved $50 off next year’s winter jacket.

Once you discover the value of couponing, you may find yourself becoming a coupon expert. Like the experts seen on shows like Extreme Couponing you too will know the difference between buy one get one free and 50 per cent off, understand the value of stackable coupons and how to combine in-store discounts with brand discounts, see the value of buying in bulk to capture savings when they are available. Ok, maybe not. Chances are good though that you’ll never pay full price for toilet paper or cleaning supplies again.

Start today by investing an hour to check out the sites and apps available to you. Commit to watching those for a month, keep track of your savings and you too will understand the value of the coupon.

Linda Kelly is a working mother of two from Florida. Growing up she had a grandmother who clipped coupons for her own use and shared those she thought would be of interest to others. It took many years, but Linda now understands the value of coupons and has become her grandmother, but using internet search engines and apps to discover and share the wealth.

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Posted in Books, Information Article

Why Read to a Baby?

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arents are excited and proud when their baby learns to say a few words.  From infancy onward, of course, the baby has been listening and learning language.  The skill of saying the words aloud is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside their developing brains, babies are ripe for knowledge. They soak up everything that they see and hear.  Reading books to them can enrich their knowledge and lay the foundation for a richer vocabulary at an early age.

BookReading to an infant may seem silly, but they love the sound of your voice and they are learning the nuances of language. By reading to them from all sorts of sources, parents can create an atmosphere of learning.  As they get old enough to see pictures, then the real interaction between language and visual cues really begins. Personalized baby books can deliver a one-two punch of learning. One of the first words that a baby recognizes is the baby’s own name. After all, it is usually said again and again by the parents. If it is said in a book, then the baby becomes more alert to the text that the parent or grandparent is reading. This provides both enjoyment and education at the same time.

An enriched vocabulary helps babies to understand the world faster. Reading books aloud is an important and loving aspect of good parenting.

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Do I Need A Real Estate Agent Or Can I Sell Property Myself?

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or those who are thinking about selling their house, one of the most common questions that comes up is, “Do I really need a real estate agent, or could I just sell my home myself?” Well, the answer is fairly straightforward. No, you do not need to hire a real estate agent, as it has become quite easy to sell your home yourself using the internet to connect you with potential home buyers.

In fact, hiring a real estate agent will actually end up costing you much more money as they typically charge very high commission fees. By selling your home yourself, you can avoid paying commission, and instead keep the majority of the profit from the sale for yourself, instead of giving half of it away to a realtor.Selling your home on your own is actually quite easy, and the steps below will tell you exactly how to go about it.

List Your Property Online

The first step you take when you go to sell your own home is to look online for real estate websites and portals. You should be looking for FSBO websites (for sale by owner), these websites can be found with a simple Google search. These websites will allow you to create a listing for your property for a fraction of the price that you would be paying to a real estate agent. Of course, it is best to choose a site that specializes in the area you live, as you will need to connect with people looking to buy a home in your locality.

Creating a property listing on these FSBO websites is incredibly straightforward and easy, but there are a few tips which could help to make your listing more successful and get it noticed. The first thing you should do is look at other listings on the site to see which appeal to you and which don’t. You will want to try and take notes and model your listing on the ones which appealed to you. You should also make sure to provide very detailed and honest information about your home in the form of a good description and high quality pictures of all of the rooms in the home, as well as the exterior and anything else you wish to highlight.

Talk To Interested Buyers

After creating your listing on one of the FSBO websites, you can think wait for potential home buyers to start making inquiries. Once you have an inquiry, you will want to talk with them and invite them to come and view and inspect your home to see if it is right for them. After conducting a few viewings, you will most likely start to get offers from those who are still interested. If you are not getting any offers, then you may eventually want to consider lowering your asking price.

Negotiate A Deal With The Potential Buyer

After you have received a few offers, you will then be able to start directly negotiating with the interested parties. If you have more than one offer, you can try to use the offers against each other to see if you can get one of the parties to better their offer. Once you have an offer that is acceptable, you can then negotiate and close the deal.

Hire A Lawyer To Create The Contracts

This is the only step of the process that cannot be done on your own, unless you happen to be a lawyer or have a very intimate knowledge of real estate law. After you have negotiated a deal, you will then want to hire a lawyer to draw up the contracts for the sale. Hiring a lawyer for this step will make sure that everything is done properly and within the scope of the law.

Settle Your Property

Once the contracts have been drawn up, all that is left is to go to the bank and sign the contracts. Both parties will need to be present and you will have to have all of the details settled by this point. After signing the contract, then the sale will be complete, and you can sit back and reflect on just how easy the whole process was and how much money you saved by not using a real estate agent.

About the author:

 is the General Manager of an online property listing service called For Sale For Lease. ForSaleForLease.com.au can help you to sell your property privately. If you’re based in Australia, go ahead and visit their website today.

Posted in Information Article

Till Death Do Us Part?!?!


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t is so sad to see these statistics of marriages ending in divorce.  Yet, the one that jumps out to me the most is that ” [t]he divorce rate among couples WITH children is 40% lower than couples WITHOUT children.”  It seems we hear so many say they will have children when their lives are all set in the right order . . .  no debt, a secure job, a large savings account, etc., and by the time they seem to get to that point, the marriage is already dissolving.  Marriage is definitely work.  I’ve been married over 28 years and it’s still major work.  Our faith plays a very big role in our marriage staying together, but another close reason behind it, is our children.  Marriage is also a picture of sacrifice – to each other and again, our children.  

I appreciate the article Cornelius Julius Sebastian wrote titled, Marry Young (and Well), Have Many Children Early (But Responsibly).  This paragraph summarizes many of his thoughts well:

I know the arguments against early marriage and child rearing — go to school, get yourself financially established, etc. I fell for them too. Frankly, I think they are ridiculous.  The vast majority of the world raises far larger families than we do on a fraction of our GDP. It is only materialist selfishness that made the prevailing ideology the norm. In fact, I find that worldview to be unabashedly liberal, not conservative. Delaying responsibility has only extended the infantile adolescence we all criticize. You want an adult civic populace? Give them adult responsibilities. There is no greater responsibility than having kids.

blog1Why is it so many marriages do end in divorce? What happened to “till death us do part?” Is it made too easy with no-fault divorces?  Someone is to blame for the marriage failing – most like both of them.  But with a no-fault divorce, they both escape their vows, and most likely someone is to blame and the other is taking the punishment.  What happened to pushing for reconciliation?  What happened to working on a marriage?    Another author said in his article, The Real Problem with No-Fault Divorce,  It isn’t that the guilty are not being punished, but that the innocent are.”  

The above statistics are sad and scary – even scarier for me as a mom, as my children are marrying.  What is the likelihood that with having ten children, one or more of my children’s marriages will end in divorce?  This is where I do have to let go and let God be in control, but I hope and pray that their seeing our marriage making it through the odds of many rough times, and making materialistic things not the center of their marriage, that they can be on the positive side of the statistics.  It will be work, but well worth it too.

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Wedding Receptions & Ballrooms in Grand Rapids, MI

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ith having married off three of our children, two last summer and one the summer before,  we are often asked about things we did research on, such as the best place for wedding receptions in Grand Rapids Michigan.

pictureBeing the ages of our kids, including some of the kids I have babysat for, it seems we are attending a lot of weddings.  One that stands out the most in my mind is the beautiful reception for one of the girls I used to babysit for.  It was a very elegant sit-down dinner and the atmosphere was beautiful.  The part that stands out the most in my mind, is before dinner began, the wedding party was introduced from the above balcony and as they came down the stairs.  It was just gorgeous. I am sure the bride especially loved her special entry to begin the reception with her new husband, being introduced as Mr. and Mrs.  It really was the perfect place for a wedding reception, and one of the best ballrooms in Grand Rapids.

I have only been to that specific ballroom one time, however I know our local high schools have had proms and homecoming dances at it as well.  It would also be an ideal place for corporate events in Grand Rapids Michigan with the ability to divide up the ballroom into separate areas.

It definitely is a place to consider for special events.

Posted in Family, Information Article

Making Memories at the Auto Show

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think some of the best bonding times my husband has had with our boys, is going to auto shows with them. They get their pictures taken by the sports cars and the most expensive cars, they probably will never own. They sit in them, and act cool.  Sometimes I get a picture text with one of them in or by a “hot” car!  My oldest son, the master auto mechanic, puts the hoods up and checks them all out and discusses with his dad all mechanical jargon (which I am thankful to miss out on).  They make it an all day event, checking out the cars and getting a meal out and come home super hyped!  The boys each come in with a big bag filled with fliers and information on all their dream cars and information from insurance agents that want to be sure to insure them, including, http://www.KANETIX.CA. They get posters too, which they put on their bedroom walls.  

Now of course, even though I don’t like going (and would much rather go to a quilt or craft show), of course, I’d be biased that Michigan has the best auto shows.  We usually go to one more local, than going to Detroit,  though my older boys have gone to the Detroit one. But not too far away, in Canada, the Canadian auto show schedule shows they still have one auto show that can be attended for this season, and still some time to quickly make vacation plans!  The Edmonton Motor Show is being held April 18 – 21 in Edmonton, Alberta at the Edmonton Expo Centre. One of the big excitement draws is the Precious Metal Gala, on Friday, April 18th, which is a mixture of live entertainment along with a variety of culinary foods, elegant lighting, live entertainment and the unique opportunity to see the cars in an unhurried, uncrowded atmosphere. You might even get the chance to sit in one of the exotic cars which can only be seen later at the regular show hours.  

So our Canadian neighbors did not have to take a road trip here to the Motor City, but saw the cars from Michigan and from many other places, brought right to them. Numerous shows have already taken place this year including,  Montréal International Auto Show, the Toronto Auto Show, the Calgary International Auto and Truck ShowVancouver’s International Auto Show, and the Montreal Auto Show.  It looks like a lot of excitement happened at these shows!

At the Montréal International Auto Show a young woman won a Suzuki Grand Vitara!  The Toronto Auto Show (also known as the Canadian International Auto Show) celebrated their 40th annual show.  I am sure my boys would have loved the the Hot Rod Canadian Builder Showcase at that show.  And then at the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show a man won 2013 Ford Escape and another man won a 2013 Volkswagen Passat Comfortline TDI.  Also, at Vancouver’s International Auto Show, they were giving numerous prizes away as well, including  a “Mastering Performance Program” which was a  full day program conducted on a purpose-built race track where to learn advanced driving techniques.  I wonder how many mom’s tried to win this!  🙂

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Posted in Family, Information Article

Finding Spring

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year ago we were greatly spoiled by an early spring – actually, almost skipping spring and going right into a very hot summer.  We had two daughter’s weddings last spring and summer which made the year speed by quite quickly.  Now, we have been waiting for spring too long, so it seems.  It’s finally slowing coming through for us.  We found our first flower budding open.  We bought baby chicks today.  Yes, spring is arriving.  chicks

And so is the mud and a deep ruts in our lawn and driveway evident of spring.  We certainly would not win for a cover of a landscaping magazine! Someday, maybe when we do not live in the country and have a smaller yard we will be more concerned like our parents and have greenlawncare.net making sure we have a lush, green, weedless lawn.  For now the kids ride their bikes and motorbikes, snowmobiles and go-carts through the yard, spitting up the mud . . .  and grass.

We are still collecting a lot of debris from the remnants of winter by raking while the kids are searching for more blooms and looking for salamanders under rocks and big branches.  We have started numerous vegetables from seed in the home, getting them ready to move them outdoors to our little greenhouse.  And soon, I should be receiving bouquets of yellow flowers – dandelions – while the neighbors get theirs sprayed and dig out the rest!  

I am ready for spring . . . to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot through the grass we do have and find flowers and butterflies with the kids.

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Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Cheap Auto Insurance

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o far we have had five of our kids become drivers.  It’s nothing we take lightly when they want to drive.  Sometimes I feel bad that we have lived such a tight lifestyle, yet, I know it’s taught our kids to appreciate things more.  We have never bought them a car, or paid for their car insurance.  If they want to drive, they have to be responsible in being able to pay for it.  We will help them do the research to find the best, yet, cheap auto insurance.   They have been on our account, but have to be pay for their portion. Usually having more than two cars on an account gives a lower cost, so they do get that fringe benefit!

But they know too, if they are getting tickets, being reckless and getting in accidents, we do not want them under us because it affects us too.  Then they have to go on their own.  I am thankful seat belts are the law in our state and also our state limits how many kids can be in a car with an under 18 driver.  It helps this mom out who wants these guidelines too so they don’t have to just follow mom’s law – but the state law too! 🙂

We have encouraged our kids to buy cheap, used cars to start out – yet safe cars.  We do not like the small cars that are like a tin can.  Then, they can just get PLPD insurance.  PLPD means Public Liability and Property Damage.  Our state is a no-fault car insurance state,  and mainly means it that the car insurance will cover me in the event that my car causes injury or death to a third person or cover property damage if my car causes damage on someone else’s property.  But PLPD will not pay for the damage to my car.  It’s a loss! 

It’s definitely worth doing the research on car insurance, be it for me or any of my family.  It’s absolutely needed, yet, but costs can be cut on it if the research is done.

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Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Meet Dr. Tara Andresen, ND

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hough I am very thankful for the various medical doctors in our lives that have not only saved my life but also my daughter’s life with life saving surgeries, I am also one to research a more natural way for various aliments.   Naturopathic physicians are trained to work with nature to restore people’s health in a more natural, non-medical way.  One such physician I have been reading about is naturopath Toronto, named Dr. Tara Andresen.  

In reading about her, I like the fact that she spends time with her clients which includes an in-depth assessment, a physical and various lab tests and after this, puts together an individualized plan outlining the natural treatment options for the specific person’s health goals and concerns. If she feels she cannot help you, she will tell you, rather than spending a lot of time and money that will get you no where. This Naturopathic physician will put in writing the expected treatment timeline and what she requires and expects of you before treatment even begins.

Personally, for building up a healthy body, knowing how to defeat colds and other minor illnesses, a Naturopathic physician is one of the first places I’d like to start with.  

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Devotional Series Plans

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ow is your new year starting out? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?  Have you already given up?  Or been frustrated because you are prone to failure?  How about with Bible reading and devotions?  It is never too late to start .  . . or start over.  And there’s just some amazing helps for us!

This week I am going to share some things that have helped me, or have been recommended to me . . .  or I am looking into!  The first place I recommend looking at is YouVersion Reading Plans.  I have a physical One Year Bible.  But, in the past, I’ve gotten behind.  What I like about the YouVersion, is that there are numerous different read through the Bible plans, and I can have it delivered to my phone, e-mail or read on my computer.  So the times I have neglected it first thing in the morning, I can catch up in the doctor’s waiting room, when my husband is driving and running us about for errands, or in another room of my house when I don’t have my Bible close by.  

This week I will share with you some devotionals I have either used or am using and ways I journal through some of my devotionals and life.  

I would love to hear what your favorite is devotional and/or Bible reading plan . . .  tried and true or something new you are using!  I’d even love to have a guest blogger for this!  Just leave me a message in the comment section!

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In ‘Other’ Words: Tuesday’s New Quote by J.C. Ryle ‎~ Join In!

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oin us on TUESDAY for our weekly In Other Words.  Just write about the quote below on your blog and then link up with our hostess on Tuesday.  This week’s hostess is Twinkle Mom on her blogSunflowerFaith

The quote she has chosen is: 

 “What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err.

~ J.C. Ryle ‎

Want to learn more about “In Other Words”  . . .
what it’s all about,
how it works,
how it originated?
Click here!

Posted in Family, Information Article, Wedding

A Brief History of Weddings

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t the end of October, we will have married off three of our children in 15 months!  It’s been an exciting time, with numerous bridal showers, rehearsals, special dinners, and of course, the weddings and receptions to follow.  I remember dreaming of my wedding, and now, am the mom who has watched a son and daughter, and next a daughter,  marrying wonderful new additions to our family.  Seeing the rest of our children unite and be excited is a thrill.  The bridal showers have been fun, yes, even the goofy games.  One of them we’ve played is learning about the traditions of various parts of the wedding, such as, why the bride stands to the left of the groom during the ceremony.  Do you know why?  Click below to enlarge this Brief History of Weddings.  It is quite interesting and might find some ideas for a wedding shower game you have to put together! 

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Posted in Information Article, Recipe

Old Recipes & New Ones to Try

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hings have finally calmed down here since our daughter’s wedding,  and so I did some things today that I really enjoy doing – sewing and baking.  It’s been awhile since I have done some from scratch baking and I even tried something new!  I made some bagels.  

And they turned out pretty good!  It’s a lot like making bread, but one step, after making them into the bagel shape and letting them rise for about 15 minutes, is boiling them in sugar water for 7 minutes and then baking!

I also made five loaves of whole wheat bread, and I do this all from scratch too, including grinding the wheat!  I love fresh, warm, just-out-of-the-oven bread.  And, it’s a good wholesome food for our kids.  For the whole wheat bread I use honey instead of sugar.  It’s very good!

As I was looking for the bagel recipes, I also looked at this partial recipe, which is Red Beans by Russell A. Solomon.  It’s not the full recipe, but it looks like an original from Louisiana that I would really like to try.  I imagine the recipe listed is a good start, and could be adapted for a slow cooker.   So, I will have to do some more researching on this.  It sounds like a good fall recipe!


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Learning and Saving too!

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id you happen to see the solar event when  Venus crossed over the face of the sun, a few days ago, on June 5th?  The last time this happened was in 2004 and now it will not happen again  until 2117!  If you did not see it, you can see the video footage of it at science and technology news 2012.  What great timing for this with nearing the end of the school year.  I can imagine many science teachers showing this to their classes.

You can find a lot of other interesting articles and videos on this webpage, including, Searching for the Best Shape for Cancer Fighting Nanoparticles or Scientists Look to Photosynthesis for Cheaper and More Efficient Fuels.  Not only can you read these educational articles, but also Expedia coupon codes and other discount coupons and promo codes for a wide variety of online stores and services.  Whenever I buy something online and I see a space to insert for a promo code or some kind of discount code I do a search, and often I find something from GeekAlerts.com.  It can be saving me the cost of shipping, getting an item for free or half off!   I hate paying full price for anything!


Posted in Family, Information Article

Am I really THAT old?!?!?

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rue story!  A few days ago I was at a Good Will store.  I was ready to buy my items and was waiting behind an elderly man.  He definitely was elderly – looked about 80 years old to me.  He was easily of grandfather age, if not great-grandfather age.  The gal finished scanning his items and told him his total, and he said to her “aren’t you going to ask me if I want the senior citizen discount.”  She was kind of taken aback and then said “Do you qualify for it?“.  For our local Good Will the age is 55 – HE definitely qualified!  I just kinda laughed to myself.  He was not real pleased and slowly shuffled away.  Yes, he was old.

She scanned my few items and then said to me “and do you qualify for the discount too?”  OH MY!  I just about wanted to smack the girl!  I’m a few years before I even hit 50!  Come on! She didn’t ask an 80+ year old man, but did me?  I did not know if I should laugh or cry!  Should I have just taken the discount for her naivety?  (No, I didn’t!)

Now if I am asked at our local pharmacy, which we have been going to for over 15 years, if I need help with my Medicare supplement . . . I may . . . have to go for a facelift, go blonde, get botox . . . etc!