1. Is Your Password "Strong"?

While running an errand at the Microsoft store for a client, I was chatting with an associate, Mike, when I inadvertently revealed the errors of my password ways. He sat me down and shared his strategy, making me cross-my-heart-hope-to-die that I'd change my password every three months.

Mike composes two sentences and uses the first digit of every word and number. For example, My first pet was named Max. We got her when I was 5. The password becomes: MfpwnM.WghwIw5. And it's 15 digits, which according to Microsoft Mike, should be the minimum amount. His motto? "Longer is stronger!"

Another idea he shared was using lyrics from a song and replacing a letter with a number. For example, And the haters gonna hate hate hate Baby I'm just gonna shake shake shake Shake it off. Switch the S to the number 5 and the password is: AthghhhBIjg555510

Sorry. I put the song in your head, didn't I?

2. Metro DC Area Restaurants With Private Dining Rooms

A client planning a family graduation party asked me to find a few restaurants in the DC Metro area with party rooms. It only took a few clicks on the internet to find this fabulous and extensive list by Opentable.

And my work was done.

3. Attention Globetrotters:

I promised a reader that I would share his favorite airfare alert site, The Flight Deal. They have a website, but he "liked" them on Facebook and follows the site on Twitter so that he can be made aware of the deals as they are posted. The Flight Deal monitors all the deals as they happen and posts the bargains for their followers.

3. Don't Leave Home Without Setting Your Email

Thank you for your message. I'm out of the office and will be back on xx/xx/2015. I will have limited access to email. For immediate assistance, please contact xx xx. Otherwise, I will respond to your email upon my return.

Here are instructions for some of the email accounts:








Microsoft Outlook

4. Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons

The fact that Bed Bath & Beyond changed their return policy actually made national news.

Now their policy reads:

"Effective April 20, 2015, if you do not have a receipt for a purchase made in the last 365 days, we can look up the purchase using either your credit card or gift registry used to make the purchase. If we can't find record of the purchase, we will gladly complete an exchange or provide you with a merchandise credit for the current selling price less 20%".

Still a nice policy since they will refund you with a receipt without a time restriction.

But to my point: While I was reading about this change, I discovered that you can use up to five 20% coupons in a single transaction provided you are purchasing a minimum of five items. You can combine them on paper and digitally off your smartphone. (Looking into this further on the internet, some said that Bed Bath & Beyond will even take expired coupons.) Also if you are shopping without a coupon, you can return with one (or up to five, if applicable) and your receipt, and they will credit you the difference.

If you fondly remember motels with these thick plastic key rings, you'll appreciate this cute $7 Home Sweet Home version. Great little host/ess gift, great website,