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Regina's personal blog

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Recipe Review: Stabilized Whipped Cream

One of the ingredients I use in my Cheesecake recipe, is heavy whipping cream. Normally, with the leftover cream, I use a Braun Immersion Mixer to make whipped cream.

The whipped cream though good, tends to lose its body after a day, so I found a Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe that I decided to test.

Short video- making the Stabilized Whipped Cream version...

Both versions of the whipped cream are good, however the version using the Braun Immersion mixer should be used immediately (it will destabilize over time). I think the stabilized version is worth the effort.

Things you may need for these recipes:


Friday, May 24, 2019

Bedroom & office Additions

Currently, I set up an office in any room in the house because I am mostly mobile. Even my bedroom has a desk (of sorts) and an old computer. I rarely use the desk and old computer, instead a breakfast tray and wifi wireless devices.

Also in my bedroom, I have a four poster bed, highboy chest, dresser, and two nightstands. The set is all wood (cannot get all wood now for the price I paid then), in a Queen Ann style with a cherry finish, purchased over twenty years ago. I also maintain an office upstairs where I have two of my desktop computers. The photos below, show elements from both rooms.

I would like to update the bedroom set, however it is not a priority at this time. What can I do? Update the desk in the bedroom. I have looked around and found things I would like to add.

The leather wingback chair, is really not an option at this time, however I love this idea (used to have a pink wingback chair in my bedroom-- see link below). Not only is it a little too expensive (for my budget), I really do not have the room. The guest bedroom is larger, however for some reason I did not want to take that room.

The finial is to replace the one on the lamp in the upstairs office. I was moving the stereo equipment and cables around and dropped the lamp. I am happy only the finial was damaged (superglued it). I purchased the lamp years ago from the Tyson's Corner Woodward and Lothrop and would have been very upset if more damage had been done.

Underneath the desk, I have a cardboard box holding paper stock that I want to replace with the rolling wicker file cabinet.

More photos of my office areas...

These updates would cost around $700.00, and within budget, however it would mean going into my savings. I will let you know what I decide. The problem, I want an iPad, iPhone, and iMac Pro.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday morning, Sunday, I got up early, took a shower and made dessert (fruit tart discussed here).

Then I dressed (hair & makeup), and decided to enjoy Sunday morning driving around town. Some things I noticed...

Last week, because I am always researching new ways to generate revenue from my sites, I signed up for a new affiliate marketing program. Often, I try to develop new programs for use on WiredPages and this blog using affiliate API network resources. For example, see this link.

So yesterday, after returning from my drive, I sat around reviewing some of the affiliate merchant programs offered by ShareASale.com.

I also made a pizza and watched a movie, "Jennifer 8" on television. The illustration below shows the other side (see last post) of the main entry. Behind me on the right, is the closet and on the left, the hallway leading to the informal dining room off the kitchen (working on the smile, issue).

Then I went out to my gardens and took photos...

Came in, updated some of my stores, had dessert and went to bed around 9:00 pm.

Thought the new episode of Showtime's "Billions" was coming on last night, however research provided the new segment is scheduled for next Sunday. Think it is the season finale.

Did you have a nice weekend?


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Main Entry: New Look

We are still creating the new look for the main entry. Late last year, we purchased an espresso console table from Wayfair to replace the Queen Anne Table & Mirror that were damaged.

Last month, we finally hung a mirror that matched the table and are now in the process of adding other pieces to compliment the new look.

A couple of weekends ago, I found the brass pocket change holder in a drawer somewhere, so I cleaned it up with Brasso. The palm tree (purchased specifically for the area) and other knick-knacks found around the house added a new dimension. We are pleased with how this turned out.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Business Savings: Color Printing

I am always trying to cut my business expenses. Several years ago (December 15, 2014), I purchased a Konica Minolta Color Laser Printer (see Items I Have) at a great price because I wanted to cut costs on inkjet printing.

Realized savings: I am still using the original toner cartridges that came with the color laser printer. Because I seldom need to use a printer, I no longer worry about dried out ink cartridges when I do need to print. Laser toner cartridges do not dry out.

I purchased the same printer for my Mother a year earlier because she constantly complained she needed to replace the ink for her inkjet printer. Her toner cartridges have never been replaced.

I use Microsoft Publisher for most of my production printing needs. I have been using Microsoft Productivity Suite Software since 1991 or so, therefore I have little or no overhead costs insofar as "howto". You may want to consider this when deciding to do your own printing.

The illustration below, shows the Publisher windows for the check I recently sent to the State of Maryland for my business renewal and this year's Mother's Day card for my Mother.

Illustrated below, photos of some of the paper stock I keep on hand for printing and (on the right) the unfolded and folded printed Mother's Day card and a photocopy of the printed check. If you look closely at the photocopy of the check, you will see the hidden "void" stamps, a feature of the check paper I use.

I use Microsoft Money for all of my financial record keeping, and though I could print checks with that software, prefer to use Microsoft Publisher for that particular task (both personal and business checks). Here again, I can do this because I seldom write checks, preferring instead to use a credit or debit card when making purchases.

Another cost saving? I order inexpensive secure blank check paper which I can use for either account type (business or personal).


Saturday, May 11, 2019

On The Menu- Last Week (May 2019)

Went to the market and purchased many of my favorites, so I decided to take photos of the dishes and snacks I prepared over the last week.

Photos, reading left to right:

  • Grilled Ham & Cheese on Sara Lee Artesano Bread (photos 1 & 2)
  • Fresh Fruits from the market
  • Fish (Gortons) & Chips w/Coke
  • Strawberry Shortcake and Fresh Strawberries (photos 5 & 6)
  • Thomas' Mini Bagel w/Philly Cream Cheese & Apple Jelly (Smuckers), Watermelon Chunks & Bacon
  • Blackened Chicken Breast Slices (Oscar Mayer) on a Hamburger Roll, Grapes & UTZ Honey BBQ Chips
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Grapes
  • Red Baron Brick Oven Pepperoni Pizza

Normally, I have Kung Pao Chicken at least once a week, so I am a bit surprised I do not have a photo. Think I had it a day prior to the start of my photo shoot. Also not shown, the chicken fajitas I had on at least two occasions last week.


Sunday, May 05, 2019

My MasterCard Activity: April-May 2019

I use the Sunset version of Microsoft Money to track all of my financial accounts (both business and personal). This works for me because I use a Windows XP platform to maintain these records. Quicken is a good alternative, if you are looking for something similar.

The illustration below, shows the MasterCard account activity for the last month (via Microsoft Money).

Line items shown for the MasterCard account include:

  • Today's Payments-- broken down into non-business and business related expenses (I have separate business and personal checking accounts with different financial institutions).
  • New plants (Safeway)
  • MVA Payment Driver's License
  • MVA Payment Car Registration
  • Mother's Day Gifts
  • Cobbler Repairs
  • Domain Registration Renewals
  • Some line items redacted because I do not wish to publicize how much I pay for a particular service.

For various reasons I prefer to use my credit cards rather than debit cards, whenever possible, hence the reason you also see the charge for my visit to Dunkin Donuts (I rarely do this). That said, I pay entire balances when statements come due.

Keep in mind, I am a sole proprietor (QiSoftware), however rarely have the opportunity to deduct business expenses. That said, I do track business expenses through payment checking accounts and Microsoft Money.

The MasterCard discussed in this post is a personal credit card which I use for both personal and business use. My business is a legal business entity (in Maryland), however I use the same tax identification number for both business and personal filings. I note these details in case you are a business owner and wonder why I track and pay in the manner I have outlined.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

2019 Renewals

Coming into the new year (2019), I had several business registration and motor vehicle renewals, including:

  • QiSoftware's Business Renewal (every 5 years)
  • Domain Registration Renewals for hosting-q.com and reginadenisethomas.com (résumé site)
  • Driver's License Renewal (every 8 years)
  • Automobile Registration Renewal (every 2 years)

For some reason this bothered me. This may have been because the business and driver's license renewals both came due this year.

Happy the last of the renewals (QiSoftware's Business Registration) was mailed off last week (paperwork shown in the illustration below).

My new driver's license arrived in March (birthday in July) and the car registration and stickers earlier this month (April).

Other business related renewals: This year, I actually had four domain renewals however only hosting-q.com and reginadenisethomas.com (résumé site) are active sites. QiSoftware.com expires in June 2020, however will be renewed long before the current expiration date.

Also shown in the above illustration, new plants purchased last week and the apple pie I had for dessert today. I have already started trimming the palm and the little pineapple plant will get more leaf shine.

Other things I have been up to?

  • Movie: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
  • Movie: "Misconduct"
  • Movie: "Crazy Rich Asians"
  • Showtime Series: "Billions"
  • Looking forward to the Showtime Series: "City on a Hill" premiering Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m.
  • Looking forward to the final season of Showtime's "The Affair"
  • and the new season of StarZ's "Power"

It was a nice day here, and I decided to prepare a somewhat large dinner. On the menu: pork chops, steamed cabbage, mac & cheese, candied yams and cornbread. Did I mention apple pie for dessert? Happy, the kitchen is tidy and the dishwasher is ending its drying cycle.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Public Notice (this is going to be long and updated)

Yesterday, stopped by Arundel Mills Mall to pick up a pair of sandals and my Coach bag from the cobbler. I also wanted to get an exterior photo of the new Ulta Beauty location, scheduled to open May 3, 2019.

See this related Facebook page for one of my community projects-- note the Instagram tab.

I broke the strap on my Coach bag several years ago, and just now getting around to having it repaired.

The illustration below, shows what I was wearing yesterday from the top up. You cannot see in the photos so allow me to explain- I completed the ensemble with a matching brown pencil skirt, stockings and a conservative pair of leather pumps. My mother thought I looked nice.

Why am I doing this (writing this post at this time)? Not because, as I have just noticed, the WiredPages Employment page has issues this morning with the CareerOneStop API resources. You may recall there were problems about a month ago.

For the last 7 years, since negotiating a settlement worth millions, all of this was going to be over in short order. Almost every day, since then, this promise has been offered. Explanations given to me as to why it is not over (for me at least), goes something like this-- I tend to draw the filth and it is said that major law schools and Washington are cleaning up a lot of the filth.

On August 19th, 2018-- around 2:30 am in the morning a car smashed into the front door of the house my mother and I live in (local news story and video to be provided later). Just under a week earlier someone shot at one of the cars with a BB Gun-- here is the related post.

Do you think all of this happened because I am a shun somehow? No. I am an upstanding citizen with expired government clearances and a business owner. I know who my parents are and most people who have known me, understand I have a great many public relatives. This includes Richard Nixon. He is my grandfather. I did not know this until 1998. Am I somehow part of the Watergate scandal? No. That said, I do understand how all of this ties in, however feel to explain in more detail, would be detrimental in my attempts to resolve all of this.

Allow me to also explain, my parents purchased the home where I reside, in 1984. It was a brand new home and built to my parents specification-- meaning it was an empty lot when they signed the contract to purchase. The community elementary school was built in 1955 and less than a football field away from the house. Why is this important? If there were questions about my parents or me given our extensive ties to Washington, Europe and Hollywood (casting couch issues)-- they would not have allowed my parents to move into the house nor would I have livedat the residence since 1996.

Like most governments (state, local or federal) home owners with background check issues-- no matter how big the celebrity or public figure-- cannot live in a house too close to an elementary school. Does not matter who they pay off. Most governments cannot afford to have big names with criminal issues owning a home like the one I live in. Most public figures with issues cannot even spend the night in a house like the one I live in because of its locale. If the state of Maryland could have moved me because of a character or criminal issue-- they would have. Promise.

I would also like to explain, I am HIV negative. This should not carry as much weight in all of this as it may, however I believe has been a big factor in many of the issues.

To be continued...


Thursday, April 11, 2019

This Day In History Calendar: Java Applet to Servlet Conversion

Work continues in the process to convert all of my Java applets to servlets. The latest effort, the "This Day In History (TDIH) Calendar" applet illustrated in the following graphic.

You may recall, the TDIH applet originally ran on the WiredPages Style & Events page.

Since most modern desktop and tablet i.e., iPad/Android browsers no longer support Java Applets, I have been in the process of converting the applets to servlets.

The graphic on the left, illustrates the new TDIH Calendar as a Java Servlet. The html code snippet on the right demonstrates in real time, access links to the history.com site for April historical events that happened on the specified day.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Though most of the work on the new servlet has been completed, I am not sure when I will install the new tool.

Related Effort: The old Blogger Calendar applets will also be rewritten using a lot of the underlying code from this conversion effort.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Working Redesign Projects

I am not a web designer (more software developer), that said I do all of the work -including web design for my sites.

As mentioned in the last post, I recently updated the look for the Business Blog, Remix. I liked the way the new header graphic worked out so I thought I would do something similar for this blog.

Initially, I tried a photo image, however the results were not what I expected. I searched through stock clip-art I keep on hand and found a graphic I thought I could use.

The new header graphic for this blog looks similar to the one created for the business blog, however I am going to keep both headers for the time being.

Why not hire a web designer? Nerdy programmer cannot afford a web designer. Because of security issues, I have put on hold most of my programming projects, and began updating the graphics on several areas of my site (qisoftware.com). That said, programming is easier for me.

Other things I have been working?

By the way, have you noticed the relatively new widget on the WiredPages Real Estate page?

Unique properties are added to the interface (lower right corner on the page) on Tuesdays & Fridays. There are quite a few noteworthy (expensive) homes that you may want to scroll through. I have spent a little time going through the interiors of most of the homes. If you love great design be sure to check out the details by clicking on the links.

Want your Unique Property listed? A project I am considering.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Remix Updates (March 2019)

Over the weekend, I updated the header graphics and elements of the CSS for the QiSoftware Business Blog, Remix.

In coming weeks, you may notice changes to other areas of the QiSoftware site and its sub domains.

QiSoftware site areas include (but not limited to):

QiSoftware updates in conjunction with new features and other enhancements planned for the site.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Driver's License Renewal Process

Spent most of the day, yesterday at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Express Services facility in Columbia, MD renewing my driver's license.

Why? Although, I set an appointment for Friday, March 29th, 2019, I decided I wanted to get this process out of the way as soon as possible. My first mistake. I should have stayed with the original appointment.

Key to my driver's license renewal process was having my prescription for glasses updated and certified by a doctor. Saturday, I picked up the glasses and Sunday, the MVA paperwork signed by my doctor detailing my corrected vision with the prescription.

So this prompted the desire to have the license renewed sooner rather than later.

The second mistake- I photo copied my birth certificate and did not take the original with me to the MVA facility. I returned home to get the original. Although, I returned to the facility by 11:00 AM, I did not leave the center until after 3:00 PM.

Based on my experience, I thought I would post things you might do to avoid problems:

Your State will probably provide the exact details as to the documents required for the renewal process, however the list above provides a good starting point.

My birthday, is not until July, so I had a little time to complete the process, however I wanted to make sure I had my eyes certified by a doctor before I went in to renew my license.

Maryland notified me in February that I could start my renewal process at anytime. The notification and collection of documents made me a little apprehensive at first, however I had more than enough in the large folder I used to collect the copies, including copies of diplomas, social security card, birth certificate, a motor vehicle registration, bank card statements, recent tax returns and official correspondence from state agencies.

Be sure to read carefully your State's requirements for the renewal process.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Picked Up New Glasses

Went by Visionworks @ArundelMills this morning to pick up my new glasses.

Pretty pleased with how this turned out. Took advantage of a "Buy One, Get One Free" offer.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Recent Additions, Just Want

Spring is right around the corner, along with the rainy season. In anticipation, I have been thinking about things I would like to own.

I added the above items to the "Just Want" store...


The socks are a little late in the season, however when I find this type of sock, I always want to stock up.


Tuesday, March 05, 2019

I Am Getting New Glasses

Last week, I had an eye appointment for new glasses. I ordered two pairs. Normally, I wear contacts during the day and glasses at night, however I have not purchased new prescription glasses in over 10 years so I thought it was time.

The new glasses are on the way. With all of the advancements in eye care treatment, I am rather old school as to how I handle my eye care needs:

  • Very near-sighted
  • Astigmatic
  • Aging eyes (need reading glasses)
  • Use computers a lot

I prefer to handle each of these issues separately rather than a single correction (contacts or glasses). The reason? The astigmatic issue, in my case- eyes are slightly off center, and at times causes dizziness and headaches depending on the type of vision wear.

I prefer contacts and over the counter reading glasses most of the time and prescription glasses without the bifocal for night time wear.

PS- Why do I have on PJs and makeup? I work from a home-office and often leave my hair pinned up, unless going out. When I have to take it out (should be every other day), sometimes I want to see if I still know how to apply makeup. I took photos because I thought my hair looked nice. Photo on the right shows the squinting issue without my reading glasses.


Monday, March 04, 2019

Go Figure.

On February 24, 2019, I installed a new tool for job seekers, refer to this post.

On the first of March, I noticed both CareerOneStop resources I installed on the WiredPages Employment page no longer worked. I tweeted about it.

The Occupation Wage Data tool as discussed in this post, was installed September 23, 2018.

The CareerOneStop APIs are offered by the U.S. Department of Labor. On March 1st both tools were rendered inoperable because of a new requirement dealing with TLS protocols put into place by the government agency running the API service.

On Saturday, March 2, 2019, I fixed the TLS handshake problem by adding the following line of code to each of the Java servlets used in the deployment of the tools (keep in mind I use a private JVM on my hosting platform):

static {System.setProperty("https.protocols", "TLSv1,TLSv1.1,TLSv1.2");}

This morning, the tools are again inoperable.

Go Figure.......................................

More information: As I indicated the tools were operable all day Saturday and Sunday, however this morning the Protocol Handler was paused (reviewing Private JVM log files-- not shown "null pointer returned" for each request). Not sure why.

Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardServer await INFO: A valid shutdown command was received via the shutdown port. Stopping the Server instance. Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol pause INFO: Pausing ProtocolHandler ["http-apr-13895"] Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.catalina.core.StandardService stopInternal INFO: Stopping service Catalina Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoaderBase clearReferencesJdbc SEVERE: The web application [] registered the JDBC driver [com.mysql.jdbc.Driver] but failed to unregister it when the web application was stopped. To prevent a memory leak, the JDBC Driver has been forcibly unregistered. Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.catalina.loader.WebappClassLoaderBase clearReferencesThreads SEVERE: The web application [] appears to have started a thread named [Abandoned connection cleanup thread] but has failed to stop it. This is very likely to create a memory leak. Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol stop INFO: Stopping ProtocolHandler ["http-apr-13895"] Mar 03, 2019 3:01:27 PM org.apache.coyote.AbstractProtocol destroy INFO: Destroying ProtocolHandler ["http-apr-13895"]

A lot of my case involves, how could all of this have happened. When I work hard to install operable tools and someone interferes with my efforts, I have to show how and why these issues might be in play. Just wanted this issue noted.

I spent a bit of time researching and developing these tools. I do not like my work tampered with, especially when I have an ongoing case.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

FICO® Scores

Yesterday, I decided to check my FICO® Credit Score. This link provides similar statistics from a check 3.5 years ago.

The score is slightly higher now, I think because savings accounts were established in the intervening period and my debt to income ratio looks good.

I have business savings and checking accounts with the same bank, a personal checking account with another large institution, and personal savings accounts with the following:

Want to learn more about credit scores?


Sunday, February 03, 2019

Super Bowl Sunday Snack Idea: Chicken Fajitas

Are you having friends over for the game? Are you looking for another snack idea?

Thursday, I stopped by the local market and picked up Old El Paso Soft Taco Shells. I wanted to make one of my all time favorite "diet" entrées, Chicken Fajitas. Weight Watchers used to offer a similar frozen entrée that I liked taking to the office.

These fajitas were so good, I wanted to post about this lower calorie, lower fat idea in case you needed something similar.

P.S. Tabasco Sauce works well with this dish, however your favorite hot sauce will work just as well (without adding extra calories).


Monday, January 28, 2019

My Personal Site, A Work in Progress

I maintain my resume (résumé) as a Microsoft Word document. In February 2018, I decided to post an online copy of my resume to my personal domain (reginadenisethomas.com).

After converting the Word document to an html file, there were a number of updates made before posting the online version of the resume.

Over the weekend, I decided, rather than maintaining my personal site as autonomous html files (including the resume), I would use the content management platform, Thingamablog, used for two of my blogs, this one and Remix. It's Personal, this blog, is maintained on a Windows XP netbook and Remix, the business blog, is maintained on a Macbook.

The illustration below, shows the additional site/weblog added to the Thingamablog installation on the Windows XP platform.

For more information about Thingamablog visit these pages:

The template for the new site is a work in progress.

The template was adapted from the one I use with most of the site areas on qisoftware.com and hosting-q.com.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

January 2019

I have been working a number of projects, illustrated in the diagram below.


  • Several license/registration related renewals this year, including MVA.
  • Gathering tax related documents and starting my TurboTax process.
  • Finance moves, hoping to get the best returns on my meager savings. Switched funds in a recently matured CD, to a CD with higher interest rates. Went from 1.75% to 2.85%. Happy with the timing on all of that.
  • Last but not least, preparing (setting up development environments on my MacBook and WindowsXP systems) for more efforts using the c++ programing language.

Lately, I have spent a lot of time on software efforts. Several problems with API resources that have me searching for workarounds. You may have noticed issues with WiredPages.

To a lesser degree; efforts with taxes, finance and state renewals-- nevertheless important projects that I need to get out of the way. Simply a matter of gathering paperwork and submitting requests.

Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration- in keeping with Federal law, now requiring new procedures for renewals. Happy to report, this seems like an easy adjustment to my plans and moving along.

Several in my family are affected by the Federal Government's partial shutdown so things are a bit low key. I am self employed. I have been working late hours and hoping things work out.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snow Day

It started snowing yesterday evening around six, and has continued throughout the morning.

I am working an OAuth issue with an API service, (the WiredPages WeatherTool is unavailable at this time), so I had no plans to venture out.

The new year brought any number of issues, I was not expecting. That said, pretty pleased I think I have found solutions for most of the problems.


Thursday, January 03, 2019

My World, Busy Lately

I have been working several projects including updating my sites for the new year. This mostly involves updating the copyright year, i.e., 2002-2019 for site pages that provide the data.

I have also been playing around with a new audio resource. I am pleased with how this worked out. The video does not provide the actual robust audio quality, however you may get a sense of how well this works.

The video provides demonstration of Alexa Echo Dot, Apple iPod Mini and Youtube video via my Android as sample input audio to the 100 Watt per Channel speaker set. Keep in mind, I am still not expert in video production.

Other projects?

This year, I spent a lot of time planning for the holidays. I am kind of happy now, to only have business issues to worry about.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

USPS Biz Zips Tool

I started work on the USPS Business Zip Tool. The tool (Java Servlet), is powered by the USPS Webtools APIs and will be installed on the Wiredpages Business & Markets page. Work is almost complete.

The following video provides a simulated look at how the tool will function. This is a simulated demonstration because I used the HTML results file provided by the program and not real time program execution results. The screen recorder(great resolution) I use is installed on my Android.

Screen grabs of the new tool.

I have minor changes I want to make, however in no hurry to install the new tool. I probably will have it up before the end of the year, however I may wait until the new year. Security and server loads always an issue.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Old, Older & One New Gift

I am always looking for new ideas to add to my stores. That is why recently, while taking stock of items in the guest bedroom/sewing room I found one or two items I decided to add to my Gift Ideas list.

What's in your guest bedroom?

I like the idea of the quilt rack, and quite pleased when I received a similar item in the late eighties as a holiday gift. Unfortunately, my rack was damaged in a move, so the one shown is the one in my parents home.

The valet stand was a gift for my father. Though I think a nice gift, now rarely used.

The other gifts continue to be used. One of my favorites, the convection oven. I use the oven quite a bit and now cannot imagine- not having this appliance in the kitchen.

The fur trimmed cape? I love this gift for its simple elegance. It works with both evening as well as more causal daytime attire. Swank enough to look stylishly expensive while walking the dog in the city? Yes, you will need the right pencil skirt, however the one shown was less than $100. The lace-up heels match the charcoal grey cape perfectly.

This post really is not about last minute gift ideas. It's really about the old gifts I found in the guest room-- and holidays remembered.




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