Savvy Chic

tidbits, thoughts, and ramblings. . .with a Mormon twist

A caucus is NOT the voice of the people March 17, 2012

Missouri had a funny election process this year.  First we had our “beauty contest” primary February 7th costing the state around $7 million.  This non-binding vote did not count because the national Republican party had recently passed rules–the MO primary was a month too early.  In order to keep all 52 delegates, Missouri opted to also hold a caucus in March.  However, while keeping all delegate votes, I believe the people lost much of their power by holding a caucus.

Whereas a primary allows people to vote privately, to come-vote-and-leave with polls open at relatively convenient times, a caucus is a communal event.  It is a face-to-face, hours-long commitment where you must be there the entire time whether the event is 1 hour or many.  Needless to say, this is not a very family friendly outing!  If you happen to have young children, this event is particularly less appealing unless you can hire a babysitter.   But what about single parents?  People on limited incomes?  Or what if you have an inflexible work schedule?  Additionally, there is no absentee voting with a caucus.  So, if you must be out of town or if you are a home-bound citizen, your voice will not be heard.

And one more thing, if you happen to be daring enough to attempt to bring your children to caucus, leave plenty of time to get there early.  Apparently there is a rule (not necessarily written or advertised) that you must be in your place in line at the appointed time or you will not be able to vote.  There is no leeway, not even a minute or two, even if you were there early but couldn’t find a parking place, and having multiple children with you who are excited to learn about the process will not soften anyone’s heart.

So, after eliminating many families, single parents, people with inflexible work schedules, and traveling or home-bound citizens, are we really hearing what Missouri wants?  I don’t think so!   I hope we never have another caucus.  A caucus is NOT the voice of the people.  Instead, thank you to all those who have helped and will help in future primary elections that allow for a more diverse, more fair electoral process.

For more information:

Missouri Primary Explained: Why Tuesday’s Contest Won’t Matter In The Delegate Count

Fact Check: Caucus vs. Primary

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Zenni Optical: glasses for less than $15–shipping included! November 12, 2011

Filed under: children,frugal,kids,savvy thoughts,thrifty tips — savvychic @ 1:45 pm
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In case you hadn’t heard, you don’t have to pay hundreds for your next pair of glasses.  Check out Zenni Optical at zennioptical.com. I don’t know how they make the glasses for so little, but I am sure grateful!  Complete glasses start at $6.95 (as of Nov 2011).  “Complete” means: frames, 1.57 lenses (these are really thin), UV protection, lens scratch protection, a hard case, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.  For an additional $5, you can add an anti-reflection lens coating or a tint, making prescription sunglasses!!!  They can also do bifocals.

Another nice feature on the website is the ability to upload a picture of yourself so you can virtually “try on” different pairs. Pay attention to the frame width, though.  It isn’t easy to see if the glasses will fit just right.  I made sure I purchased glasses with similar measurements to what I had before.  Typically there is a flat $4.95 shipping charge for your entire order.  Right now Zenni is offering free shipping on purchases over $50.

All the information you need to order glasses is on your prescription, except your PD (Pupillary Distance).  Zunni’s website has a tutorial on how to find your PD, or you can get that information from glasses fitting at your doctor’s.

One additional piece of advice, I would not necessarily recommend purchasing glasses from Zenni for your child’s first pair of glasses–in case there is anything wrong, your child may not know the difference and you wouldn’t have the convenience of getting advice from the doctor.  Also, Zenni doesn’t presently do lenses with prisms.

My experience has been that these are high (enough) quality glasses!  Better quality than the inexpensive glasses I purchased from the doctor.  My first pair from Zenni had the wrong prescription though, so mistakes do happen.  Since then, I have not had a problem getting my glasses just right.

 

My favorite Christmas light show! December 2, 2008

Filed under: fun,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 5:49 pm

I LOVE Christmas! There are a lot of things that make Christmas wonderful.  Watching Christmas light shows has become a family tradition for us.

It is absolutely incredible what people can do.  These are a couple of favorite light shows.  We’re sure glad we can watch it in the computer rather than have the neighbor across the street!  Enjoy!

TransSiberian Orchestra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmgf60CI_ks

Amazing Grace:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOyN9CawB8w

 

fun halloween photo October 31, 2008

Filed under: children,fun,kids,savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 8:01 pm

I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine–take a picture of your ghouls and jack-o-lanterns with a post it note over the flash.  It turns the photo the color of the post it note!  Having a light source (like the candle in the pumpkin) creates an additional fun effect!

 

CheckMyFees.com–Loan Tool To Compare Your Rate September 18, 2008

I just learned of a new website (www.checkmyfees.com) that will help homeowners and prospective home buyers.  It allows those who are looking for a new loan or a purchase loan to compare either their current rate or the rate they have been quoted by others to people in their area.

There is a very short survey (about 30 seconds long) for people who have recently gotten a home loan, or have recently looked into it and have been given a quote for one.  If that description fits you–you should take the survey! (This is a new website, so getting this information will help the site to be an even better tool.)

The site doesn’t require any confidential information, no addresses, or personal information required at all. The only required information someone would need to know is:

* Approximate credit score (or you can assume it is the highest available)
* The approximate value of the property
* The desired loan amount
* The rate quoted
* The APR quoted (annual percentage rate will typically be higher than the actual interest rate)
* The fixed term of the loan – most loans today are 30 year fixed but some are adjustable rate loans

P.S.  This is a perfect tool for those of us who are always wondering if we are getting a good deal.  This helps us to make sure we are getting the best rate possible.  Also, this site is in both English and Spanish! (In the top right hand corner it says, “Translate to: Espanol.”)

Check it out!

 

Getting your Political Facts Straight September 11, 2008

Filed under: savvy thoughts — savvychic @ 12:49 pm

I wish people would just be honest and nice to each other. The world would be a much better place if that were so! Unfortunately, that is not how it always is, and during an election year, it seems to bring out the worst. Actually, the opponents try to bring out the worst in each other, and when the facts don’t do the damage they want, the candidates tend to make things up. But this is nothing you didn’t know already.

So, how do you separate the facts from the outlandish lies? In this day and age it isn’t so hard. We are blessed with some great resources. One of my favorites is Snopes for all those chain letters and downright mean emails that are passed along. Snopes sets the record straight on these rumors stated as facts. (I believe that is also called gossip!) Please check your emails through Snopes before passing them on.

Another favorite fact source is FactCheck.org. I receive email updates from them (you can also RSS feed) and find the information particularly useful when trying to decide on a national candidate. I am amazed, or rather appalled, by the outlandish lies that some of these politicians come up with. Also, I find it hard to believe some of the things I thought had to be wrong were actually right.

FactCheck.org was recently named one of the 20 best political websites by PC Magazine. They praised FactCheck’s extensive research team. I have also been very impressed by their impartial view on all candidates. They really are just checking the facts and getting them straight.

Another helpful news source for all things political is Politico. This news source started while our family lived near Washington DC. (Not that that has anything at all to do with their validity, it’s just a little tidbit of info.) They have some of the best people working on their staff, those that wanted the truth out rather than being so influenced by the agendas of those in control of their paychecks.

There is so much riding on this election and we are all obligated to truly make a valiant effort to decide who would be the best leaders for our country. And then, GET OUT AND VOTE! I won’t endorse a candidate here because I still need to know more. I am very grateful for the work of those who are diligently trying to get the real truth out, rather than hearsay or outright lies.

Again, here are those links:
FactCheck

http://www.factcheck.org/

Politico
http://www.politico.com/

Snopes
http://www.snopes.com/

 

Teach Me Mommy Preschool curriculum book September 8, 2008

A few years ago, when my first child was three, I started thinking about preschool. As a stay-at-home mom with a graduate student husband, a commercial preschool was out of the question. Besides, I wasn’t ready to send my little one away from home for the day. Some friends were starting one of the paid curriculum programs and I thought about it until I saw how much it was and realized that I could easily do that myself without the cost. However, it would have been time consuming to gather all the materials and to create all the lesson plans.

Fortunately, I came across a great book called Teach Me Mommy. It was put together by a mom for moms who wanted to teach their little ones. The lessons plans are simple to follow, the supplies needed are things you would have around the house anyway, and there is no need to pay monthly fees–just buy the book and use it for all your kids! There is minimal preparation for the lessons plans since everything is laid out in the book. I also use the lesson topics as ideas for lesson plans of my own.

A friend and I both bought the book and created our own preschool. First we went through the book and marked which lessons we would teach and who would teach them. We met two times a week and took field trips too. Our kids loved the interaction with each other and the special time with their moms.

One very memorable field trip we went to a dairy farm while learning about farm animals. We actually milked some cows, drank fresh milk, and watched the whole process of cow-to-milk pumps-to-pasteurization tank-to-collection in the big milk truck that took it to the factory. The farmers gave us some dairy memorabilia and we were off with a memory that we still laugh about.

I’m now starting preschool with my second child and excited to have this book with everything ready to go. I noticed that there are new resources on the Teach Me Mommy website and a new blog with ideas of activities to do with your child.

Check it out. I think you will like what you see.