November Odds & Ends

Last month one of my most popular posts was October Odd’s and Ends. I decided to bring it back  again this month with a whole new batch of tips and tricks to make your day a little brighter and your life a little easier.

Starbucks Ordering Trick

Tis the season for festive cups and tasty holiday drinks at your local Starbucks. Did you know that if you typically enjoy your seasonal beverage without whip cream, you can save $0.50 on a grande drink by simply changing the way you place your order? Instead of requesting a gingerbread latte, ask for a latte with (your preference of pumps) gingerbread syrup. For example I order a grande nonfat latte with two pumps of gingerbread syrup. This costs me $4.45 instead of $4.95 a gingerbread latte would cost and I save myself the 70 additional calories the whip cream contains. This trick works on both the mobile app and in the store.

You can also save an additional $0.10 of your order by bringing your own cup or using a Starbucks reusable cup. During the holiday season, Starbucks is offering customers $0.50 off their seasonal beverage after 2:00 pm if you use their reusable red cup. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use a reusable cup with a mobile order.

Do you want to add a side of holiday cheer to your beverage? Use the extra money you have saved with my ordering trick to tip your favorite, hardworking barista. It won’t cost you any more than you would have originally spent and it will go directly into their pocket at the end of the shift.

November Birthday Gift Idea

One of my favorite gifts to give the November birthdays in my life are Advent calendars. They are a gift that keeps on giving during the entire month of December. Here are a few of my favorite Advent calendars for kids and adults alike. If you don’t have a someone with a November birthday in your life these would be a fun gift for your Elf On the Shelf to bring when he arrives or to give a loved one just because…Click on the individual Advent calendars to get a close up view and be linked directly to the various websites through the underlined caption.

Toddler and School Age Children’s Advent Calendars
Teen and Adult Advent Calendars

Table Etiquette Tip

Growing up I could never quite remember which side of the placemat to set the various pieces of silverware and which glass and bread plate belonged to me. Shortly after graduating college a dear friend taught me a few tips that I have used ever since and passed down to my own children.

Tip #1 Knife and spoon both contain 5 letters. The word right is also 5 letters long. Therefore, the spoon and knife are placed to the right of your plate.

Tip #2 Fork is a four letter word. No, not that kind of four letter word 😂, although sometimes when I suggest that my children should be using a fork instead of their hands you would think I had just used a four letter !#@% word. I digress…left is also a four letter word. Always place the fork on the left hand side of the plate.

Tip #3 Make the ok symbols with both your right and left thumb and pointer finger. Do you notice that one hand resembles a lower case “b” and the other hand resembles a “d”? You will find your bread on the left side (the side of your “b” hand) and your drink is on the right (the side of your “b” hand).

Ta-daa!!! You are now ready to set the Thanksgiving table and won’t accidentally eat or drink your from the wrong place setting.

Costco Find

Last winter, one of my girlfriends showed up to our sons’ football game with this Double Black Diamond Packable Down Throw. I was so impressed by the fact that something that could be packed into such a small duffle could be so warm and cozy! She shared that she had found the blanket on a recent trip to Costco. Unfortunately, the next time I went to Costco the down throws were long gone. Good news, Costco has the Double Black Diamond Packable Down Throw back in stock! It is available in 5 colors. large enough to share, and machine washable. It comes as a pack of two which  gives you the option to keep both or keep one for yourself and give the other as a holiday gift. I think these would be great to keep in a car for sporting events, take camping, tuck away next to your favorite snuggle spot or use out in the backyard by the fire pit on a chilly night. If you don’t have time to head over to the Costco Warehouse, these are available for purchase online with shipping and handling included. FYI: the Hunter rain boots and T3 hair dryer I wrote about in last month’s Odds & Ends are both still available at


Double Black Diamond Packable Down Throw 2-pack

The Best Refrigerated Holiday Cookie Dough

You might have seen my instagram story and Meal in Under 30 Minutes post last week about the return of my favorite Harvest Blend salad to Trader Joe’s. I neglected to add that on the very same day I discovered that they also had stocked my number one choice for refrigerated cookies. The Gingerbread Molasses Cookie Dough reminds me of the molasses cookies my grandmother used to make from scratch, only easier. These make a great after school treat or impromptu dessert (possibly served with a little pumpkin ice cream) when you have unexpected company. These delicious cookies are especially yummy right out of the oven and they will leave your kitchen smelling divine. You can find them near the refrigerated cinnamon rolls, eggs and butter at your local Trader Joe’s. Hint: Santa enjoys these just as much as you homemade cookies if you find yourself pinched for time on Christmas Eve! 

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