Monday, August 19, 2013


When you see a bee land on a flower, what do you do?  Chances are you either swat at it, run/shriek/scream at it or worse, kill it.  While it’s nice to ignore it and leave it alone – it’s also very important to be conscious of how important the bee is and respect it. It’s time to be thankful for the bee and be respectful for its chief importance of pollinating the world’s crops and food supply, in addition to pollinating crops like cotton.   

Bees are responsible for the food on your table and the clothes on your back, the Q-tips in your ears, the sheets on your bed and towels in your bathroom.  And while birds, wasps, bats and other types of insects also help pollinate our world, it is the honey bee who literally is the worker bee of the bunch credited for pollinating the majority of the nation’s crops. 

The bee often gets a bad rap.  But the truth is the bee is our friend.  And without the bee, the world would be in serious trouble in being sustainable producing food for all of us who live on this planet.  

Honey is an important food source. It is more than just a sweetener, it is an antibiotic and has lots of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well.  Honey is also a pre-biotic helping the human body absorb probiotics better into the system, along with helping dissolve fat cells and reduce cholesterol.  It’s also great for the skin. Many often put honey in their tea, particularly when they are sick, but perhaps may not be aware or comprehend just how important it is in overall wellness including arthritis, bladder infections and heart plaque.    

And we can thank the bee for this precious gift.

Bees also produce wax.  Wax is one of the top ingredients in hair products, car products, cosmetics, lotions, cleaners and shoe polishes and of course the healthiest and safest candle you can burn because there is no harmful lead, it is all-natural.  Again, we can thank our friend, the bee. 

We depend on the bee more than we realize for so many things we take for granted every day.  Many organizations around the world are doing their part in bringing about awareness about bee keeping to fighting against pesticides which are killing off the all-important bee we need so very much.   Other organizations are about promoting education, preservation, encouraging consumers to buy local produce and honey from sustainable farms and farmer’s markets, to spreading the word about how bees are dying off and we need to do our part in continuing planting what we can, for that helps sustain the bee, too.

It’s time to create some buzz about the bee.  Join us at We Solved It in spreading the word by forwarding the link to this blog to encourage others to become more aware and “BEE” conscious about the importance of bees. 

Thank you. 

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It

Friday, August 9, 2013

Computers. Printers. Scanners. Fax Machines. Phones.  They’re not just for work at the office, many people have most of these items in their homes today.

But how much is this costing you?  Do you know?  How do you know whether or not you are wasting more money than these items are worth, just to operate them?   The key is really doing your homework before you make your purchases.  But once you have these items, how can you stop these items from bleeding your bank account?

Don’t worry… here at We Solved It we can help you either streamline your life and cut back on expenses or cut your losses to improve your life going forward.

While most people have to have the latest phone or latest computer, you have to ask yourself if this is really necessary.   How do you know when it is time to upgrade to make your life better or if you are just wasting money to keep up with the Joneses?

First you must identify what your bills are.   Look at your electricity bill.  Is it higher than it should be?  Did you know that older machines and devices can actually use more energy?

*You want to be sure your devices have ENERGY STAR so that they do not use more energy than they should.

*Do all your devices need to stay plugged in 24/7?  Probably not.  If you do not use your scanner/printer every day, then you are wasting energy.  Same goes for your fax machine if you still use one of these instead of or in addition to a scanner.  Your computers should have their software updates and anti-virus scan scheduled BEFORE you go to sleep, so that your computer can also be powered off  and go to sleep, just like you.   Your cell phone does not need to be on and charging while you are sleeping either.  By powering your phone off, not only will you ensure your battery gets a true, full charge, but you save energy as well.

*When you do have items plugged in, you need a surge suppressor.  With the number of storms across the globe happening, you do not want to ‘fry’ your devices.  You want to protect them by having them plugged into something that can ensure their protection when they are plugged in. It is also easier to power ‘off’ everything by one switch when you need to do this.

Next question… do you really need all these items?  Can you streamline into one item?  There are many All-in-one printer/fax/scan/copy machines these days. This might be something to look into to simplify your life and only plug in one device instead of four.  This will also help you save on your bill, save space and also decrease the number of extended warranties you have to purchase.  Think about that – weigh the savings. 

When it comes to your printer – you will need to consider one important thing:  Does it cost more to supplement the ink cartridges than what the printer is worth vs. the longevity of the machine?    If you do not need to print in color, no need to be stuck paying for two cartridges.  And while laser printer toner cartridges do cost more, you have to replace them less often and these are workhorse printers that will last you at least 10 years or more.  You have to examine the use, what you need the printer to do and how often you replace.  If you are replacing ink cartridges more often than you would like and they are expensive and cost more in 2-3 replacements than the printer itself, it may be time to switch.  This is a major consideration to think about when purchasing your next printer.

Computers.  Everyone wants a tablet. Everyone wants the smaller device that weighs less.  But do you really need it?  If you have laptops or even archaic desktops which work fine and you only use them for leisure and a few related school or work  projects and you are not a jet setter hopping planes every week, chances are you don’t need a tablet or smaller device if your current devices are working fine.   Why do it?   So you can be a slave to technology while you are away on what is supposed to be a vacation?   Perhaps this is defeating the whole purpose of going on vacation.   If you have a cell phone that has internet access, you really don’t need a tablet.  Or if you are staying at a motel, hotel or lodge that has a business center, you have computer access if you really need it.   Rethink the upgrade and just upgrade your software instead.  It’s a better choice.  If you keep your computer in shape and maintained you won’t have to worry about needing more memory, just clean it up and rely upon inexpensive flash drives to back up your computer.

Phones. We’ve become a greedy society upgrading to the latest and greatest phone.  Does your cell phone still make a phone call (what it was designed for)?  This should be your first question.   Second, you need to ask yourself if the extra expense is worth it.  Sometimes new versions of phones have not worked out all the latest bugs and you do not get the tech support you need to make it work as it was promised.  Bottom-line, you are creating more headache for yourself as well as unnecessary expense.   If you are happy with your phone and it works for you, why upgrade or get stuck in a higher priced phone plan when you are currently operating just fine?    Ask yourself if there are ways to cut your phone plan down if you are not utilizing all you are paying for. This will help you streamline your expenses, particularly if you only do carry it for emergencies.

If you just cannot control yourself and you are a new gadget junkie, then take a close look at your habits.  If this is who you are and you know you constantly upgrade year-to-year, then avoid the extended warranties for items you won’t be continuing to use. It’s a waste of money to do this if you are just going to buy a new device anyway.

Above all, ask yourself about what you’ve accumulated and what you are using vs. not using, and what has just become a dust collector.  You can donate your old machines to many charities, schools, shelters and churches and get a tax write-off.  And if you are a gadget junkie, then at least make the donation, rather than dumping the devices in the trash and destroying our planet. Someone else can use these items and will be grateful for the donation.

Streamlining your devices and really examining what it is costing you is helpful to maximize your overall savings – both for your wallet and for saving energy.  And in the end, this helps minimize our carbon footprint and too many devices which only cause unnecessary headache.  This is like a multipurpose solution all-in-one you can do for yourself today!

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It
Thursday, August 1, 2013

That time of year is just around the corner.  And if you are a student yourself or if you are a parent and you have kids, you know that going back-to-school takes a lot of energy refocusing as well as taking its toll on your wallet. 

Here at We Solved It, we have some tips that might make the return a little less stressful on your mind, body and bank account.  

Take a good look at the calendar.  Note how many days you have left until the first day of school is officially here and how many days left that you have of your “official summer” to play with.
From here, you will be able to calculate what FUN things you still can do with the time you have left and create a budget to allot for those fun things as well as what you can work with for your back-to-school shopping (school supplies, clothes, etc.) 

To make sure that your back-to-school week doesn’t end up in back-to-school blues, you will need to do some preventative measures to make sure your first week back goes smoothly.  
Car or bike maintenance.  The last thing you need if you are a student or a parent in carpooling is to have car issues.  This not only throws a wrench in your transportation to and from school, but adds more headache as well. We do not realize how much we tax our cars (or bicycles) during the summer having fun, as we simply just take it for granted and go where we need to.    If you take the bus, make sure your bus passes are in place and cover you at least through the holiday season. 

Computer check-up.  Have you put off cleaning out your computer?  It’s time you get this handled.  The last thing you want to do is to wait last minute and have Geek Squad holding onto your computer for 2-3 weeks wait time because they are backlogged from everyone else who did the same thing – waited and then had computer issues.   Get on this.   First clean up your computer files, run antivirus software updates, get the software upgrades you KNOW you are going to need for school and clear your cache, temp files, run all the necessary scans and defragment your computer.  You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway. But everyone gets lazy in the summer having more fun rather than tending to computer maintenance.  You can improve the speed, functionality and efficiency of your computer so it is not sluggish and bogged down, further making class homework painfully s-l-o-w-er to do because your computer isn’t running efficiently.    You know you put your computer or tablet on overload downloading new music, reading new books during your vacation and also all those summer fun photographs you’ve shared on your social networks.  Time to give your computer some cleanup time and get it ready for back-to-school, so YOU don’t CRASH and burn before school even begins. 

Closet rehab.  When was the last time you went through your clothes closet or took care of your shoes?  Has it been awhile?   This sounds like a pain, and it is – but it is better to find out now what fits, what needs repair, pressing and what doesn’t rather than when that 5:00 a.m. alarm goes off come back-to-school time only for you to discover your closet situation is a mess and you are late for class each day because of it.   Make Goodwill bags or if you want to make some extra cash, look into places like Plato’s Closet or other trading post exchange shops where you can sell your clothing, especially if there is stuff in your closet you never bothered to make use of or wear, or have only worn once or twice.    Get rid of it, make some cash and/or make good karma in donating.  You’ll be glad you did.    While you are here, make notes of what you need to fix, get it to your tailor or drycleaner, or sew stuff yourself if you are that handy.   If you did a major cleanout during the spring, then make notes of what you need to add to your list for back-to-school shopping.  

Shop the sales.  There will be an end-of-summer sale and a Labor Day weekend sale. Take note and keep watch in your mailbox or online for merchandise coupons.  If you shop the Thrift Stores – get in there before others do, so you have first pick at the selection.  Compare shop before you hit the stores, so you can use your time more efficiently.  Recycle things in your closet that you have that you can wear other ways to save on making unnecessary purchases.  When it comes to school supplies and things you need like a printer cartridge or a flash drive or other items, check the office supply store websites – you’ll find competitive couponing.  Also check warehouses and superstores and do your bulk shopping where you need and double check competitor cash back promises.

Plan the "1 week ahead sleep pattern rescheduling."   You know you’ve taken all the liberties with what summer has to offer.   You stayed up late and slept in.  Now is the time to get your body and mindset as well as sleep schedule back on track.  Do this in advance and you will not only return to your optimum level of sleep, but you will be on a healthy trek to build up your immunity before the Fall flu season hits.   Stock up in vitamins and essentials to ensure that you can nip a cold in the early stages so you are not missing any critical school time. 

Back-to-school savings isn’t just about saving money, but it is about saving time and money as well as your sanity for the season ahead.   A little preparation goes a long way and before any of these back-to-school blues set in, you can stay ahead of the curve now and say “I SOLVED IT!”

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It