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If you want timely tips and links you can really use, you’ve come to the right place. Check back often for helpful info in eighteen lifestyle categories featured at HabiLinks. Better yet, subscribe to HabiTalk using the form on the left. We’ll alert you to the latest post and topic, so you can discover useful links as soon as we do. Don’t worry, we won’t share your info with anyone.

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Time to Refinance the Mortgage?

Is it time to refinance the mortgage?
Deciding whether to refinance your mortgage is more than a matter of “rates are down let’s do it.” Unless you do the homework, refinancing can actually cost more in the long run. I refinanced in 2018. Rates have dropped, but in ... Read More

Family Games for When Stuck at Home

family games
When my kids were kids and I was simply a parent, not a grandparent, our favorite family games were Uno, Monopoly and a ridiculously fun game called Pig Pong. If sheltering in place finds you running out of ways to entertain ... Read More

A Gift of Holiday Songs

A gift of song
  Music, especially singing, is a big part of my life. For twenty years, I’ve sung with a small vocal jazz ensemble, The High Seas. We haven’t rehearsed or performed since March, but we recorded some of our favorite holiday songs ... Read More

Wrap Up Your Gift Shopping the “New Normal” Way

gift shopping
I usually wait until December to switch from “Thanksgiving” to “Christmas” mode. That includes thinking about gifts and decorating my home for the holidays. But his year, across San Francisco, homeowners are putting up holiday lights earlier than ever. Like the ... Read More

When a Friend Loses a Job, Here’s How to Help.

a friend loses a job
When a friend loses a job it’s hard to know what to say or do. Hopefully, you know your friend well enough to know what kind of support they’d appreciate or what they might resent or find embarrassing. If they want ... Read More

How to Find the Best Podcasts for You

Find the best podcasts
      Building a library of the best podcasts for you can be a daunting task. There are lots of podcast player apps to help you find, download and organize shows. And there are hundreds of thousands of podcast episodes. They ... Read More

Fruits and Vegetables in Season

fruits ad vegetables in season
Using fruits and vegetables in season. I’m taking advantage of sheltering in place to try some new recipes and brush up on my cooking skills. For breakfast this morning I enjoyed an outrageously juicy, sweet nectarine with yogurt and granola. It ... Read More

Spice Up Your S.I.P Life

spice up your S.I.P. life
Want to spice up your S.I.P. life? I’ve been tackling projects I would skip if life were normal. The latest? Cleaning out my spice drawer. The cardamon seeds had been there since the last time I made Swedish Glogg for the ... Read More

The Truth About Coronavirus

Coronavirus photo
What’s the truth about coronavirus? There are so many conflicting “facts,” it’s hard to know who to believe. The only thing that’s certain is the information changes every day. I checked the World Health Organization website for information, but lost confidence ... Read More

Beat the Boredom of Sheltering in Place

Family bored while sheltering in place
Let’s face it, sheltering in place is getting very old. I’ve got plenty of work to do, but at the end of the day I like to relax. Just when I thought I’d go nuts with boredom, my friend Candy came ... Read More

Sustainable Seafood Lists for You

sustainable seafood guide
I love seafood. But many species are threatened by overfishing and climate related changes. So when I shop for seafood or peruse the menu at my favorite restaurant, I try to choose only sustainable species. The list of what’s sustainable and ... Read More

Extended Deadlines to be Aware of

Extended deadlines represented by calendar and note pad
Due to the Corona virus pandemic, some important deadlines have been extended. The ones below include state and federal deadlines faced by most of us. But many other institutions are extending deadlines for things like payments and applications. If you need ... Read More

Printable Grocery List Saves Trips to the Store

printable grocery list
I’ve been using printable grocery lists for years. When I’m in a hurry (almost always!) my handwriting is so bad no one can read it, including me. Because the list reminds me of basic needs, we rarely run out of things. ... Read More

Tax Return Help You Can Really Use

tax return help
There was a time I didn’t need tax return help. My finances were so simple I could get a form at the post office, fill it out and mail it to the IRS the same day. These days my finances and ... Read More

Will Money Management Software Help?

Woman needs help from money management softeware
When I was young and single I didn’t need money management software. (It’s a good thing, because there wasn’t any such thing!) As the years passed, along came the husband, the children, the house, the dual incomes, multiple bank accounts and, ... Read More

Curious About Cryptocurrencies?

about cryptocurrencies
I’ve been curious about “cryptocurrencies” since they appeared in 2009. But until recently I wasn’t sure what they were. I don’t think I’m alone. I wanted to add an “About cryptocurrencies” link to the “Financial Matters” category at HabiLinks, my web ... Read More

The Real ID: Do You Really Need it?

The Real ID or a passport will be required to fly in the U.S. starting October 1, 2020
The government has changed the deadline for obtaining a Real ID from October 2020 to October 2021. Due to the Corona crisis, some states’ DMV offices are closed. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles to make sure your local office ... Read More

Help With Your Gift List

person in Santa Hat holding a long gift list
If you could use some help with your gift list, you’ve come to the right place. And you’re not alone! In spite of good intentions, I’m way behind this year. Things just happen. Because of some tech problems with my computer ... Read More

Turkey Shortcuts You’ll Give Thanks For

turkey shortcuts
I used to spend days preparing for and making Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. The stuffing was never as good as mom’s. I finally asked for the recipe. I was so surprised by her answer: Stove Top®, with a few added touches! ... Read More

Emergency Supplies Road Trip List

Emergency supplies for a road trip. Young family packing for car travel.
You’ll want to have emergency supplies for your road trip, whether you’re driving “over the river and through the woods” to grandmother’s house, or just an hour or two from home. See the suggestions below. You probably don’t need all of ... Read More

What to Give on Halloween Besides Candy

        While my kids were growing up, the family home was on Washington Street in San Francisco. To call it “Halloween Central” would be an understatement. Ant-like ribbons of ghosts, goblins and all manner of creatures climbed the ... Read More

Web Search Tips for Better Results

web search tips
Because I curate HabiLinks, the web guide associated with this blog, I spend a lot of time searching the web. When I created the guide, almost ten years ago, I didn’t know the tricks that help get better results. With eighteen ... Read More

Flu Shot Reminder, Tips & Info

Flu shot info & tips
If you’ve been good about getting your shot and haven’t had the flu for years, it’s easy to forget how terrible it makes you feel. A fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and headache are common symptoms. But in ... Read More

Garage Door Openers in a Power Outage

garage door openers
If you have an electric garage door opener it’s important to read the instructions. If there’s a power outage you may have to lift the garage door manually. Most systems have a pull cord to disconnect the door from the opener. ... Read More

It’s About Your Eyes

about eyes vision health
Most of us don’t think about our eyes or vision health until there’s a problem. Obviously, if you already wear corrective lenses, you’ll see a healthcare professional for a new prescription when things get fuzzy. But even if you’re lucky enough ... Read More

A Vacation Pack List to Customize and Print

Vacation Pack Lists make sure you're good to go.
All vacation pack lists are not created equal. If you search online you’ll get 171,000 results! You can’t customize most of them. And when you click a link you often end up on a site that wants you to pay for ... Read More

Are You Eating an Endangered Species?

eating an endangered seafood species, sushi
Unless you and that endangered species were the last ones on earth and it came down to either you or it, you probably wouldn’t knowingly eat a species that’s not sustainable. But whether you’re deciding what to serve at home or ... Read More

Do You Need a Measles Booster Shot?

measles booster shot
Measles is highly contagious. Because the number of cases is rising at an alarming rate, health officials encourage adults who haven’t had measles to get vaccinated, or in some cases, re-vaccinated. Unlike most adults born before 1989, I’ve never had measles, ... Read More

Springtime Allergies? Here’s some help

spring allergies
Spring has sprung and so have your allergies? The birds are singing and the bees are buzzing. It’s spring, glorious spring. Unfortunately, for those of us with seasonal allergies, it’s also time to break out the hankies. I’ve suffered from “hay ... Read More

Change Clocks and Smoke Alarm Batteries Sunday

Change Your Clocks, Spring forward
In San Francisco we’re having a hard time believing that spring arrives soon! It seems like we haven’t seen the sun in months and rainfall records are broken almost every day. But the calendar doesn’t lie. And along with spring comes ... Read More

Tax Changes Affecting Upcoming Tax Returns

the latest tax changes
April 15th is tax day for most of us, and it’ll be here before you know it. Whether you fill out your income tax returns by hand, use software, or hire a professional, only you can gather the information needed. Before ... Read More

Learn How to Stop Robocalls and Texts

Stop robocalls and texts
Do you want to know how to stop robocalls and texts? Whether it’s a mobile phone or land line, you’ve probably answered a call that’s an unwanted sales pitch or recorded message. There are laws against unwanted calls and text messages, ... Read More

Wine and Food Pairing Tips

Printable Wine and Food Chart
You’d think simple wine and food pairing info would be easy to find. I spent hours searching online but couldn’t find a simple article by an authoritative source. In desperation, I contacted the editor at the Napa Wine Library. Thank you, ... Read More

Decluttering, A Simple Plan

Decluttering, A Simple Plan
Decluttering. Most of us have good intentions, but for many the job seems overwhelming. Decluttering ends up at the bottom of the “to do” list, right under cleaning the oven! Even more discouraging, if you search online for “decluttering plan” you ... Read More

Quick Gift Ideas

quick gift ideas
Need quick gift ideas? You’ve come to the right place. Gifts don’t need to be fancy or expensive. Any gift with a personal touch will be appreciated. Time is running short, but here are some ideas to help check off those ... Read More

The Easiest Way to Roast & Carve a Turkey

The easiest way to roast & carve a turkey is the “spatchcock” method. For years I cooked and served the holiday turkey my mother’s way. The only thing missing was my dad, who used to carve the bird VERY carefully, under ... Read More

Credit Cards That Pay You Back

credit cards
Because there are countless credit cards to choose from, they offer all kinds of perks to entice you. But offers are confusing at best and can be misleading if you don’t read the fine print. If you’re thinking of applying for ... Read More

Is Your Water Heater an Accident Waiting to Happen?

hot water heater
Your hot water heater may need attention. If you’re like most people, you don’t think much about your water heater. As long as it works, no problem, right? Not necessarily. The first sign it’s on the blink might be a cold ... Read More

A Wine Guide You Can Really Use.

wine guide
With this wine guide, all you need is a smartphone to make the right choice. I like wine, but it doesn’t always agree with me, so I don’t drink it often. That made it hard to select a bottle from a ... Read More

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips

cell phone etiquette
Here’s a link to some useful cell phone etiquette tips. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. For example they suggest that talking while walking down the street is bad manners. But if you’re not bothering anyone, why not? Getting ... Read More

Discuss the News in a Civil Manner.

I admit I’m a news junkie. And whether on TV, newspapers, magazines, podcasts, or the internet I often want to discuss it. Can that possibly be true? Is it fake news? Is that a good idea? How would I feel if ... Read More

Keep Your Personal Records Safe in Case of Emergency

Better safe than sorry! Matters of Fact personal records keeper safeguards things the family should know in “the cloud.” Encrypted and password protected, it’s both printable and accessible anywhere there’s internet access. You can share access with a loved one if ... Read More

Last Minute Gifts They Can Really Use

quick gift ideas
  Need ideas for last minute gifts they can really use? Shopping for gifts online is a great time-saver. But if it’s getting a little late to depend on delivery by the holidays there’s still time to come up with thoughtful ... Read More

How to Prepare, Roast and Carve a Turkey

roast turkey
Turkey is a popular entree for the holidays. But most of us serve it only once or twice a year. It’s easy to forget how to prepare, roast and carve it. Here are links to Real Simple Magazine’s suggested turkey techniques. ... Read More

Houseguests? A Little Planning Makes a Big Difference

Having houseguests can be a lot of fun instead of a total disruption if you plan ahead. Got extra new toothbrushes? House keys? Also, a card with your wi-fi password will be appreciated. Certainly you’ll add your own special welcoming touches, ... Read More

Do Your Guests Look in Your Medicine Cabinet?

party planning, check your medicine cabinet
Here comes the party planning and holiday entertaining season! Is there anything in your medicine cabinet you don’t want party guests to see? This home party planning checklist is so thorough it even reminds you to check your medicine cabinet before ... Read More

Keeping Personal Records Safe

home office computer
The importance of keeping personal records in a safe place has never been so evident. Keeping personal records may not be one of your favorite things to do, but there are useful tools to help you get started. After that it ... Read More

How to Prepare for Emergencies

emergencies first aid kit
When you prepare for emergencies it can give you peace of mind. Because it’s not a matter of “if” an emergency will happen, but when. While you can’t prevent natural disasters or accidents, you can be prepared. Here are some useful ... Read More