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  • Check out Chief Family Officer's Halloween Pinterest board for lots of spooky (and cute) ideas!
  • Recently read and enjoyed: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs (LOL funny, as well as thought-provoking and educational)
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  • Morning Coffee: Is it risky to invest in California bonds?

    California has always honored its bond obligations, but the state treasurer is now warning that bond payments are taking up too big a chunk of the state budget. One thing I personally hate is the initiative process, which often results in bond measures being on the ballot at election time. And people actually vote yes to issuing new bonds, I guess because they can’t fathom the consequences. We are facing the consequences now, however, as California’s economy is quite dire.

    There are more Holiday Lightning Dealsat Amazon today, including a Lego set at 7 a.m. PST, Transformers toys at 12 and 4 p.m., and lots of pretty jewelry. Also, for your favorite tween and her slumber parties, The Twilight Saga: New Moon — The Movie Board Gameis just $5.99. If you don’t want to pay for expedited shipping, you can sign up for the free Amazon Prime trialand get free two-day shipping. You can set your account settings so Prime doesn’t automatically renew if you don’t want to pay to continue using it. Disclosure: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

    For locals: Los Angeles County animal shelters are reducing the adoption fee to just $30 on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday only for cats, dogs and rabbits (according to this LA Times report). The county wants to encourage people to rescue pets rather than “buy new,” so to speak. The $30 fee includes free microchip and spay/neuter surgery fees.

    Search & WinThrough 11 a.m. PST, you can get a $25 Amazon gift certificate for the discounted price of 255 Swag Bucks. That works out to 51 Swag Bucks per $5. (Learn more about Swag Bucks here.)

    Common Sense with Money
    has details on how you might be able to get a $15 credit at Shutterfly. Like many of the commenters, I got the message that the credit could not be applied to my account, but the code seems to be working for at least some people so it’s worth a try.

    If you follow food trends the way I do, you’ve heard, seen and read a lot about sous vide this year – it’s a way of cooking food that involves sealing the food and then immersing it in hot but not boiling water. The Sandwich Cult offers some suggestions for cooking sous vide at home, without the $500 machine that recently became available for the home cook.

    Get a printable coupon for 10% off one item at Staples (valid 12/20-12/26).

    Southern Bella’s Ways To Save is giving away a HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart Web All In One Printer. Ends 12/30.

    Born 2 Impress is giving away a Halo Sleep Sack. Ends 12/25.

    Cheap Healthy Good shows how to make your own almond milk, which requires only almonds and things you already have on hand, like water and sugar (or other sweetener).

    I feel like I’m always trying to catch up on my favorite shows, like NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Bones, and a few others. (Since we don’t have a DVR, I’m constantly singing the praises of online video.) But being behind on my shows doesn’t stop me from wanting to read the latest scoop: here are some spoilers on a bunch of different shows from Entertainment Weekly‘s Ausiello Files.

    Scribbit has a roundup of delectable holiday recipes.

    From Our Table to Yours is giving away a $50 American Express Gift Card. Ends 12/23.

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links, and may refer to items that were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. You can read Chief Family Officer’s full disclaimer and disclosure policy here.


    1. I am so with you on the initiative process. I don't think people realize that they are authoring another loan when they approve them and rarely have I seen them produce the results promised. I had to write a letter to our local paper and burn up the phones to our school board to remind our school district what the last one was passed for when they tried to divert the funds. I have also heard people who rent express that passing the bond won't affect them since it is a property tax, but I guess they don't realize the landlord will probably just increase the rent. I am frightened by the prospects of the state budget and greatly disturbed that the state senate does not seem to understand the priorities of their constituencies.