th3 Busting cheap airfare myths.Planning to hit the beaches on spring break or take your kids to a theme park during school vacation? Better buy those tickets soon. A new study from CheapAir.com indicates that the lowest prices can be found about seven weeks out.

The study also addresses questions like “When’s the best time to buy a ticket for Thanksgiving?” and “Is Tuesday night really the best time of the week to buy a ticket?”

The answer to the second question, by the way, is “no.”


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chocolate 0 150x150 Just in time for Valentines Day: Chocolate scented toiletries.The every-Friday giveaway fell by the wayside for a few weeks. I missed it again last week because I was waiting for a couple of items to arrive from Good Earth Beauty.

They sat in the mailbox until my roommate got home late Friday evening and I must admit that the first glimpse caused me to make the girl-noise. Take a look at the accompanying photo and you’ll see why.

Couldn’t use them right away, because they were solidly frozen. But oh, how delicious they smelled on Saturday morning.


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th2 The bottle blonde at the DMV.Yesterday I had the use of a car so I stopped at the Division of Motor Vehicles to get my driver’s license switched over. The clerk asked if I’d been licensed in Alaska previously, and was in fact able to find me in the system. Fill in form ABCXYZ, take the written test and you’re good to go.

Written test? Really? Couldn’t I be grandmothered in, based on the fact that I was once a licensed Alaska driver?

Nope. Moments later questions like “How much liability insurance is an Alaska driver required to carry?” were flashing before my eyes.

The answer is “$50,000/$100,000/$25,000.” Who knew? Not me, apparently, because I got four questions wrong and the testing system kicked me out.

I’ve been driving for 38 years and I flunked the blankety-blank written test. Still can’t quite believe that. The real surprise of the day, however, came from filling out the form.


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k7316319 150x150 Live, and almost live: Advice on writing and personal finance.You’ve got two chances to hear me talk, if you so desire. The first is archived and aimed at writers, and the second is personal finance advice done in real time on Google this Friday. (Edited to add: This, too, has been archived; see below.)

Those of you who missed the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference can catch some of it as archived presentations on the FinCon video page. My own speech, “Got voice? How to make your posts more compelling,” just went up.

I came up with the idea at the initial Financial Blogger Conference in 2011, after my “Write like a pro” presentation. Several people asked some version of the question, “How can I learn to write like you?” My response was, “You shouldn’t try – you should learn to write like you.”

I don’t think the problem is that bloggers aren’t creative. I think it’s that they don’t trust their own voices.


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Recently my daughter became pregnant for the third time – and for the third time, the pregnancy stopped developing. Since it did not spontaneously abort, Abby had to go in for a D&C, her second.

When people have asked how I’m doing, I’ve replied with everything but the truth.


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