4/23/2015

Sex & The City & Us

I don't know about you, but I was "crazed" with this series and never missed an episode.  When it came to the reruns, I swear I watched them more than I care to admit, and still do.  It wasn't just about the fashions, it was more about the bff's, that special bond they had and how they complimented each others personalities.

That connection we have as girlfriends is not like anything else, and I've got a few who are more like sisters to me.  I bet you feel the same.  They're the first to defend you, console you, make you laugh, know when something is wrong, will change their plans when you desperately need them and will smack down any man who plays with your heart.

That was Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda.  Are you lucky to have friends like that?  For all of you crazy Sex & The City Fans out there, I found an exclusive slide show of all our ladies, since the beginning of the show I think you'll get a kick out of.

The stylists who created a fashion statement for each of these divas did such a fabulous job and even offer some great styling tips!

4/17/2015

Cool & Tasty Cocktails


































It's that time of the year again when sitting out on the veranda, poolside or during a house party you're hosting, when cocktails are in demand.

These smooth and tasty creations are sure to delight any taste buds this spring, summer and fall.

To learn how to mix them up go CLICK HERE and enjoy!

4/16/2015

Attracting New Buyers With Curb Appeal

Have you ever pulled up in front of a home or driven pass one and just thought to yourself, "Oh Wow!  Attracting new buyers with curb appeal is certainly the way to make a great first impression.




The WOW factor is priceless when it hits someone from curbside and that is exactly the charm you want to exude when listing your home for sale. If you "don't get them" at the curb, you may as well kiss your chances of ever seeing them walk through your entry way. A prospective buyer's connection to your home can be rather immediate, and if they don't feel one with your home, the competition in your neighborhood will be their next focus.

Creating curb appeal does not have to cost a fortune, but it will take a little bit of planning on your part before you post that For Sale sign on your front lawn.  Approach your home with the eye of a shopper. You may want to scope out those other homes in the general vicinity also up for sale and see how your home compares to them.  Be honest, critical, and leave your ego at the door. What makes them stand out? What can you do to compliment the outside look of your property?

It could be as simple as taking something away i.e. removing clutter, putting lawn equipment & tools in their proper places, pick up fallen tree limbs or removing those touching the roof, clean out your gutters, remove spider webs, rake away the leaves and excess grass after you mow the lawn and trim the walkways, power wash the siding and clean all the windows inside and out so they will sparkle in the sunshine. If your shrubs are overgrown, cut them back and weed out around them.

Low Cost Additions

- Fresh paint on outside trim & front door
- Replace old door hardware with something new
- Brighten up the front porch with large pots filled with a colorful arrangement of seasonal flowers
  and hanging planters or ferns
- Place window boxes in the front as a compliment
- Buyers also drive by after work and early evening which can change the outside "awe" of a 
   home. You may want to also keep in mind the following:
- Is your entrance properly lighted? If not, add a decorative fixture or lamp post. If you already have a
   light post, surround it with an attractive bed of flowers including the color white as it shows up in 
  dim light and reflects when the outside light is on.
- Set the stage and light sidewalks along the drive way or highlight landscape elements with solar
   lighting you can find pretty inexpensively at your local discount stores.
- Make a landscape spot stand out with a spot light
- Open heavy drapes, shades, and blinds in the evening to let interior light out. Privacy sheers make
   buyers feel that your home offers privacy and at the same time present a gentle glow that looks 
   attractive at night.
- If you can see a peek of your back yard, add gentle lighting to spark their imagination so they can
   envision it as space for entertaining guests.

Remember, buyers need to visualize in their minds eye what it would be like to occupy your home. You do not have to be a landscape designer to create a beautiful and captivating picture. You also don’t have to invest a lot of money to incite a "Wow Factor" of your own.

4/08/2015

Did You Forget Something on Your Tax Return





Life in of itself for most consists of beating the clock whether it’s meeting deadlines or making appointments on time.  We all spread ourselves thin at one time or another.

When it comes to tax time, meeting those mandatory deadlines for filing returns with the IRS can create major league “agida” in all of our stomachs.  Added stress doesn’t help, and that generally leads to making mistakes, forgetting to claim an important tax credit, or adding a deduction on your return.

Not to worry.  Filing an amended version will fix the problem, and here are some tips to help you along: 

1.       What Might Need Amending?
Changing your filing status, number of dependents, total income, claim tax deductions or tax credits you forgot to add.  The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list more reasons to amend a return or call or call 800-829-3676.
2.       Don’t Amend If …
You find an error in adding/subtracting on your original return.  The IRS usually catches those mistakes. If you forget to add a required form or schedule, they’ll request the missing item.
3.       Form You’ll Need. 
 Form 1040X is used for making changes to a federal income tax return you previously filed. Make sure you check the box at the top of the form that shows which year you are amending. You can’t e-file an amended return, and must mail a Form 1040X directly to the IRS at the address noted.
4.       Amending More Than One Year.
You must use a separate 1040X for each tax year you’re amending and mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS at the address noted.
5.       Form 1040X. 
Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows amounts from the original return. Column B shows the net increase or decrease for the amounts you are changing. Column C shows the corrected amounts. You should explain what you are changing and the reasons why on the back of the form.
If your changes involve other tax forms or schedules, make sure you attach them to Form 1040X when you file the form. Failure to do this will cause a delay in processing.
6.       When Do You File Your Amended Version?
Wait until you receive your refund from your original tax return first before filing.  You can still cash your refund check.  Amended returns may take 12 weeks for processing.  You can track its status online at with ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ or calling the IRS help line at 866-464-2050.
7.       Owe More Tax Than You Thought?
File Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will limit any interest and penalty charges.
8.       Time Frame to Amend. 
If you expect a refund, you generally must file Form 1040X within three years of the file date of your original return, or, two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later than the three-year rule.