Rose Garden
Neighborhood Association

Happy New Year - The First West End Blogger Entry

January 31, 2012 10:56 AM | Amy & Ted Douglass
Welcome to the inaugural West End Blogger entry and Happy New Year to the membership of RGNA. If you've been a member for awhile and have taken advantage of using or visiting the RGNA website in the past, you'll notice we've had a face lift. We're introducing a new site with an opportunity for new and more interactive experiences with our membership to help foster more frequent exchanges and participation in neighborhood activities, create an easier way to join and renew your membership and  get to know your neighbors even better.
We also decided to introduce a new communications vehicle, "The West End Blogger", to learn more about and from the people who reside in the West End. We will be looking for volunteer "bloggers" who are interested in sharing information about their professional expertise, home ownership experiences, and even hobbies once a month. Entries can be any length, so don't be shy and reach out to me, if you're interested! 
Because this is the first entry and we are in a new year, I am sharing my New Year's resolution with everyone. My main goal for 2012 is to "simplify my life." As generic as this resolution may sound, it can be fulfilled in myriad ways--which is good for me because I'm the type of gal who needs options. So, today, I'm sharing one of my strategies - simplying my life "virtually." I think you might find some of these ideas helpful, too.
If you have been bombarded with catalogs, leading up to and even after the holidays have passed, there is a way to save a few trees, a few backs of the men and women who pick up our recycling bins, and a few minutes almost daily sifting through endless piles of junk . Visit "Catalog Choice" ( It's a free service that helps you opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
Do you find yourself scrambling to find out when a loved one's flight is arriving or departing? Like me, you always question whether you really should get in the car to go to the airport. Visit or download their mobile app. FlightAware was the first company to offer free flight tracking services for both private and commercial air traffic in the United States and currently provides private aviation flight tracking in over forty countries.
Looking to make a reservation at a restaurant and tired of searching for the number or waiting until they open to speak with the hostess? Make your own reservations at dozens of restaurants both locally and all over the country. My husband and I booked every restaurant on our last two vacations (Louisiana, Georgia, DC and Virginia) almost two months in advance without ever picking up the phone. Visit They also have a great mobile app for smartphones, iPads and other devices.
Of course, we can't leave out shopping. If you can't find the time to make it to the mall or your favorite boutique. If you're a savvy shopper, know all your sizes and household needs I'll offer three sites of interest. Let's start with high-end designers from toys to shoes to chandeliers. Check out This site was started by two gals in the fashion industry. They offer daily, short-term sales on items often created as "samples" presented to retailers at their "buying" times. The samples not kept by retailers are sold at up to 70% off on this site and they have beautiful things.
If you are loyal to retailers and brands and sign up for multiple email lists so you won't miss a sale, you should visit This site is great. Create a profile that includes all your sizes and the sizes of all of your family members, too. Select your favorite retailers and brands and they will send you every item that's on sale and meets your criteria via one e-mail. You can even control the frequency in which you receive them. The ultimate personal shopper/sales clerk that doesn't follow you around the store or sneak up on you in the dressing room! 
Finally in the sale cateogry, one of Oprah's favorites--sorry, you won't find it under your chair, but you can find it on the internet. Go to for up to 80% off furniture, antiques, home goods, designer and handmade rugs, original art and prints, small gifts, faux and dried florals, holiday decorating ideas and more. They work directly with interior designers and manufacturers to create these one-of-a-kind sale experiences. This site is fun. It operates the same way as Sales are short, so you have to act fast and items move very quickly.
OK! So I'm feeling like I've accomplished a little something already, but I have so much more to do. In the meantime, closets, basements, cabinets and shelves are calling my name, begging to be thinned and I'm dreaming of sunshine and lazy, long afternoons just breathing in the fresh air. Happy New Year West End!


  • February 10, 2012 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Nice job Amy! We'll try out the shopping websites.
    Link  •  Reply
    • April 03, 2012 11:22 PM | Anonymous
      Amy - How useful! On with the blogs...
      Link  •  Reply
© Rose Garden Neighborhood Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software