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Need an instant gift? Mall at Robinson debuts digital gift cards

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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We all have that tricky person to shop for during the holidays. Help them get what they want -- and fast -- with new digital gift cards from The Mall at Robinson

Here's how it works: 

  • Visit www.shoprobinsonmall.com: Choose "email digital gift card" and enter payment information and a personalized message for the card's recipient.

  • The gift card recipient will receive an email with the personalized message and a unique alphanumeric code. (There's also an option in the email to have the code texted to his or her cell.)

  • The recipient can present the text or a copy of the email to the guest services center at The Mall at Robinson and receive a traditional plastic gift card in exchange.

  • Start shopping!

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Acrobatic squirrel outsmarts this gardener...again!

Written by Doug Oster on .

For 30 years I've been outsmarted by the squirrels. Don't get me wrong, they are cute, but I want the birds to enjoy their food and want the squirrels to eat somewhere else.

Why does it matter? When the squirrels are in the bird feeder that excludes the birds. When squirrels eat everything in the feeder, they will tear it apart, assuming there's more inside.

That beat up green bird feeder was made by my late father-in-law. I've done everything to keep it sturdy and viable in his memory. It means a lot to myself and wife.

Over the years I've found that a 10 inch round piece of heating duct work about three feet long, installed under a pole feeder will stop squirrels and raccoons from feasting on the bird seed.

One morning, a gray squirrel was sitting inside the feeder gorging on black oil sunflower seeds.

I opened the door to startle him and waited to see how he was getting up there. Once a squirrel gets into the feeder, it will return relentlessly for a free meal.

Only this time, it didn't get right back into the feeder. It wasn't until a few days later I figured out how this athletic squirrel was getting to the bird seed.

Check this out. Once you get by the pictures, I'll give you the details of the distance this squirrel traveled for some bird seed.

blog squirrel startThe blue jay on the feeder is about to get a surprise. One of the squirrel feeders is in the background. I screw on pieces of corn for them to enjoy. Photos by Doug Oster

blog squirrel use 1Take off! Has to be nearly 15 feet in the air.

blog Squirrel use 2Gliding towards pay dirt.

blog squirrel use 3I think the blue jay sees the squirrel getting ready to land.

blog squirrel use 5Safe and sound, ready to chow down. The blue jay is long gone.

That's a 10 foot jump from a birdhouse which is about 10 feet high. He gets up there pretty high, spreads his arms and legs to get the wing effect from his limbs.

I'm moving the birdhouse to a new location, but still feeding the squirrels!

Here are the photos put together in a video. Gives a new meaning to the words "flying squirrel."

 

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Don't stop, still time to plant bulbs and get a bargain too!

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog bulbs winterThese 'Vanilla Peach' daffodils are something different to grow. Using this bulb auger, 10 of the bulbs were in the ground in about 10 minutes. Photo by Doug Oster

It's only December and I miss my garden. Some people enjoy the break, but not me.

Since the ground isn't frozen yet and temperatures around my place have hovered in the 40's, it's been fun to do a little work in the garden.

The nurseries are discounting bulbs, I'm getting them at 50 percent off, you might even find a better deal.

The 'Vanilla Peach' daffodils are the split corona variety. I plant lots of different types of daffs as the deer feast on tulips. You can see from the photo how different and wonderful these daffodils are.

They will be spectacular in bloom this spring, announcing the end of another gray, dull winter.

For years I've used a tool called a bulb auger to plant bulbs. It's a giant drill bit available at most garden centers.

Christmas marvel tulip'Christmas Marvel' tulip.Besides 10 of the 'Vanilla Peach,' I planted some 'Woodstock' hyacinths, and 32 tulips. 'Christmas Marvel' was one and 'Mosella' was the other.

Like most hyacinths, 'Woodstock' offers a wonderful fragrance. I love cutting them and bringing them inside to fill the house with the amazing scent.

Using the auger, it only took me minutes to get everything in the ground. It was fun and it was easy. There aren't too many garden jobs which are both.

The tulips are planted in the vegetable garden which is surrounded by a fence.

Since I've converted that area to a no-till garden, the bulbs will flower and then tomato plants will be put in place. Each season compost is piled on top of the beds and the plants are tucked into the rich soil amendment.

Get some bulbs in before the ground freezes, you'll be so happy in the spring.

 

 

 

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American Music Awards fashion recap: Top looks of the night

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The who's who of the music world turned out Sunday night for the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. While performances by top artists were the highlight of the show, the fashion foray on the red carpet was the appetizer.

Check out some of the night's top looks below. Who do you think wore it best? (Photos by Associated Press)

AMA Ciara

Ciara


AMA KellyOsbourne

Kelly Osbourne


AMA LadyGaga

Lady Gaga


AMA MileyCyrus

Miley Cyrus


AMA NicoleRichie

Nicole Richie


AMA TaylorSwift

Taylor Swift

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ShoeDIVA e-boutique to mark Pittsburgh launch with 'Sip, Shop, Shoes' event

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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An e-boutique with some sassy, sparkly stilettos is about to strut its way onto the South Side for a launch party.  

From 2-6 p.m. Sunday at Windys boutique, 1903 East Carson St., fashionistas are invited to sip some wine and shop for shoes and accessories from the ShoeDIVA boutique label.

Started by Janelle Cutler, the unique collection of pumps, flats, wedges, boots and more are available only online at www.shoedivaboutique.com.  Soon Ms. Cutler hopes to bring the e-boutique to a brick-and-mortar store. 

Check out some of ShoeDIVA's offerings below ... 

ShoeDiva1 400

ShoeDiva2 400

ShoeDiva3 400

 

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