Let "the gifting" begin:
Yes, it's true…we're at 30 days and counting. You have my permission to steal these holiday gift ideas and make them your own:

Gifts for coffee lovers:
java lip balm, thermal carafe, home coffee roaster kit

Gifts for runners:
foot massage cream, wrist-mounted safety whistle, music transporter pack

Gifts for people on the go:
portable laptop light, mobile office tool, auto desk
Donate (it's good for you):
Your old sneakers—you know, the five pairs that are piled and forgotten in the corner of your closet—to Nike, who will have them ground into tiny pieces and used to top tennis courts and playgrounds.

Your old eyeglasses to a national eye-care center or eyeglass recycling program, where they will be retrofitted and sent to Third World countries

Your has-been cell phone to a domestic violence program, where it will be reprogrammed to dial 911 at the touch of a button and given to a victim in need.
Take off:
Airlines offer their cheapest online fares on Wednesdays, when they try to fill their weekend flights. These great fares—especially to Florida—are usually offered for Saturday through Monday travel, says Anastasia Mann of the Corniche Travel Group in Beverly Hills.
Heard it on the grapevine:
Screw caps are replacing corks as the stopper of choice to ensure flavor consistency and eliminate the possibility of cork rot. This is good news since I keep breaking that air-pressure corkscrew anyway.
Weight a Minute:
How do you enjoy the holidays and avoid putting on the pounds?
Remember, EAT before you meet, says Prevention magazine. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled Egg, an Apple and a Thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

I am a spy. I'm addicted to finding out what's new, what's next, what's what and how to get it. I'm not talking about the trendy or the hyped-up, but the real deal. My most prized info-nuggets come from just listening to and observing the people around me—a casual chat in the hallway, my fitness trainer's ramblings while I work my you-know-what off, eavesdropping on a restaurant conversation. I pay attention. For instance:

The hallway: "We're staying in suite 1265. It has the best views on the island." (The hotel is the Halekulani; the island is Oahu, Hawaii.)

The fitness trainer: "You should join Wine Brats. You taste all kinds of wines and it's a great way to meet people."

The restaurant: "My wife has this program on her Palm Pilot® and she just punches in the check total and the percentage she wants to tip and that's it." (It's called Check Please. I asked.)

I've gathered all the sticky notes and scraps of paper, added the information I come by working for this network (whose very essence is to be the ultimate resource) and created Notes To Self. But I can’t do it alone. I need your help to fill me in, set me straight, inform your fellow beings.

So write at: FLEditor@fineliving.com  ... and let's get started!

FL Editor
Live like you mean it

Can you hear me now?
You're probably closer to your cell phone than you are to your significant other—you wouldn't leave home without it, when you lose it you're inconsolable, when it breaks down you replace it immediately. Be good to your cell phone and it should last for two years. Charge it overnight using the standard home outlet adapter or charging base it came with. Car chargers are murder on your battery. Every time you stop and restart your engine you use up the lifecycle on the battery. Believe me, Jim Tessmar, owner of Battery Hut in Burbank, Calif., knows what he's talking about.

Face time:
OK, guys, women like a man whose face feels smooooooth, and that's all about technique. Here are five simple steps to the shave of your life:

1. Use hot water to soften skin and hair.

2. Put shaving cream on a brush and use a circular motion to build up the lather on your face.

3. Apply a thick coat of lather—it packs the hair with shaving cream.

4. Shave downward and forward with the growth of the hair. Going against the growth can cause a rash, and we know how sensitive you are.

5. Don't use aftershave. It contains alcohol, which closes the skin's pores and dries out the skin. Instead, use shaving oils to replenish the skin's moisture.

P.S.: Avoid shaving in the shower: It wastes up to 30 gallons of water.

Things I have to tell you or the big boss will have my head:
Television Fine Living style is awesome. I promise you there is nothing like it anywhere on TV. We live, breathe and create shows true to our mission statement: Fine Living inspires and empowers people to live better.

If that sounds corny to you, I can suggest a couple other networks. If not, you're in for an incredible experience with Fine Living Network.


Don't miss:

Radical Sabbatical: Amazing people who changed their lives to follow their passions.

The Great Adventure: Truly unique and adventurous travel destinations where you can still lay your head on an Egyptian cotton pillowcase.

Simplify Your Life: Everyday people with real-life problems and the top-notch experts who help solve them. (Somebody simplify my life, please!)

Fine Living Essentials: Short, informative, to-the-point vignettes about any and every topic, from how to teach philanthropy to your kids, to how to throw a sports party.

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