Shopgirl: Now’s the time to organize your life

The new year is a great time to direct some attention toward organizing areas of life that aren’t exactly exciting, but are extremely important – estate planning, financial planning, and other “drudge” tasks. With good reason, people tend to shy away from these topics because they seem so imposing to those of us who don’t have any particular training in these areas.


Here to your rescue comes what may be a surprising hero: the public library.

The Columbia County Library (on Evans Towne Center Boulevard) has a schedule of programming for January that could really help anyone interested in working on planning the parts of life that sometimes get ignored. On Jan. 12, the library will host an Estate Planning and Elder Care workshop where you can learn about legal strategies to protect your family and estate including: wills and trusts, estate planning, probate avoidance, powers of attorney, Medicaid and VA planning as well as the VA Aid &Attendance Benefit.

Another interesting workshop, on Jan. 28, is “Children, Grandchildren and Your Money” and will just cover the big picture of your family relationships and money, and ways you can make things run a little more smoothly for your family.

If you or someone you love is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, be sure to make it to the Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Dementias on Jan. 18. The session will be led by an elder law attorney, and will go into legal and financial issues that must be considered in this context, and plans you can put into place.

For all of these, register online at or by calling (706) 863-1946, ext. 4.


WHAT’S NEW: I was traveling a good bit this holiday season, and it made me incredibly grateful for my little external battery – but also got me looking for an upgrade.

The one I have is about the size of a credit card, and can only hold one charge of my iPhone, which makes it great for sneaking into long social events or football games, but not quite a heavy hitter for traveling or settings where you don’t want to completely take over your host’s electrical outlets.

Enter the Zendure X6 Versatile USB-C Power Bank. It’s about the size of a soda can, and comes with five USB ports and 20,000mAh capacity. There is an LED display that keeps you updated on how much power is left in the battery, and it recharges in just three hours.

The best part? It will cost you just $59.

Now, this is a product still in the final stages of development, so you will have to wait a bit to receive it, but go ahead and get in line for yours at and search for “X6.”


WHAT’S TRENDY: What a great time to buy a winter coat – around here, we’re just now getting to our cold weather, and most people elsewhere are done with their coat-buying and well into their coat-wearing time.

For utility and price, you literally cannot beat Uniqlo. Its ultralight down is the stuff of legends, and you can get one for less than $70 without even being discounted on sale (which Uniqlo does, frequently). One of Unizlo’s truly remarkable deals right now is its lightweight down collection, which has several long, super-warm options on sale for around $70 as well.

If you want something a little bit more investment-y, check out the sale Nordstrom is currently running on a few Barbour coats. The waxed canvas parka has a very timeless look and will keep you nice and warm with the fleece collar and faux fur-lined hood. If you’ve been looking for a raincoat, Nordstrom also has a Pendleton raincoat (think Paddington Bear’s iconic yellow raincoat) on deep sale.