Seen on Sunday morning: December 9th

December 9, 2007 11:04:29 AM PST
Seen on this Sunday morning show:-----FITNESS GIFTS -----

Are you looking for the best in fitness and sports gifts this holiday season? the gear guru, patrick netter has it all - he joins us now.

  • Natural Fitness Rubber Yoga Mat - $39.95
    Yoga should be green?and this is the first totally natural eco-friendly yoga mat I've found under $40. Made from a biodegradable natural rubber, they offer great traction and a high-rebound dense cushion. These mats are even longer than traditional yoga mats, for taller humans or a sense of more room to move about. Includes a free yoga DVD. Will have samples for small table top.

  • RedEye Golf Laser Putter - $150

    -----TOYS THAT TEACH-----

    A lot of parents are looking for toys that are not only fun, but also teach this holiday season. Eebees Adventures might be just what you are looking for -- the founder and president of "Every Baby Company", Stephen Gass joins us now with more.

    What is eebee's adventures?
    Eebee's adventures is an award-winning series that engages babies with playful ideas and parents with ideas about play and development.

    What is the every baby company?
    The Every Baby Company is an infant/toddler play and development company whose simple, yet essential mission to be a catalyst for rich play experiences that:

  • use the latest developmental research to provide insight into how the world works for babies and babies work in that world.
  • engage the very youngest learners,
  • enhance and encourage meaningful communication, and interactions between children and parents, caregivers, and play partners of all ages,

    How is eebee's adventures different?
    The adventures, whether on a screen or on the floor, are all about play and exploration. The one thing that the research is clear about is that babies learn through play and interaction with people and the objects in their world?we call it "relationship play." The baby is building knowledge through building relationships with people, things and ideas. That's the way we all learn. It's a natural process.

    How does the eebee approach translate into a play products?
    Play is the way in which kids learn so much about how the world works and they work in that world. Often, the more open-ended the materials, the more opportunities there are for experimentation and discovery.

    HAVE A BALL set - $30
    For example, in the HAVE A BALL set, there are three different types of "rolling" toys?a ball, but this one has a cylindrical center that also "rolls"?depending on how it's placed in the ball, this ball can also "wobble." One ball has eebee-like handles for easy grasping and catching, but it rolls differently than the big ball; and this wheel, it rolls, but takes a little more motor skill to get it going?or on it's side, it could slide. The more variation, the greater the likelihood of a new idea, play pattern, and there's also more to talk about?and talking with your baby about what's going on is the best way to promote language development?just describe what you see.

    BOWL ME OVER set - $38
    While bowling is a traditional game, this one comes with 2 different bowling balls that set the stage for comparisons, turn-taking, or parent and child playing together. The different expressions on eebee's face are designed to encourage simple, playful and silly communication and language games. A game of bowling also gives baby practice with hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and cause and effect thinking? if I do this?eebee does that?.

    This play mat when laid out flat offers very young babies with a soft, safe and stimulating environment filled with a range of activities from eebee's graspable hair to a peek-a-boo panel and a range of textures to explore. The real excitement of this mat is that parents can easily transform it into an array of different play environments that will support their baby's growing curiosity and independence. For example, it could become a tunnel, a series of bases or steps to encourage crawling and reaching a goal; a playhouse for imaginative play; a place to explore open, shut, in and out. With each different configuration, there's a new game, activity or idea to explore and learn.

    How are eebee's adventures products created and developed?
    Each eebee's adventures product is inspired by "best practices" in early childhood education and informed by the latest research in how babies learn and grow. every baby company co-founders, Stephen Gass and Don Burton, have academic backgrounds in child development and cognition in addition to experience creating and managing innovative learning businesses at Sesame Street, Noggin and Disney. In addition, every baby company works closely with an esteemed council of academic advisors and experts in the fields of child development and early learning.

    All toys available at FAO Schwarz, and

    -----HOLIDAY HAIR-----

    It's the season for holiday parties. And for many of us, that means being able to go from the office to all out glamorous. This year's hottest trend: volume.

    Joining us now is celebrity hair stylist Orlando Pita with three easy looks.

    -----YEAR END TAX TIP-----

    As the year comes to a close, there are still ways to save on your 2007 taxes. Here to give us some "last minute" tax planning tips is Alan Kahn, CPA and president of the AJK financial group.

    1. Make Maximum Contributions to 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA Plans

  • 401(K) $15,500 + $5,000 (catch up) = $20,500
  • SIMPLE IRA $10,500 + $2,500 (catch up) = $13,000
    *2007 Contributions must be deducted from your current salary!!

    2. Consider Making a Charitable Donation

  • Cash Contributions ~
    Starting in 2007, all cash contributions require receipts.
  • Non-Cash Contributions ~
    Donated items, such as cars, clothing, and household goods, must be in "good used condition".

    3. Gift to College Savings Plan

  • Tax Deductions and Tax Benefits
  • State Tax-Deduction with NYS and CT Plans (NYS and CT Residents)
    $5,000 state tax deduction per person!!!
    $10,000 (Married couples filing jointly!!!
  • New Jersey Residents ~ No State Deduction!!!
  • New York, CT and New Jersey Residents ~ earnings exempt from Federal and State Taxes!!!

    4. Review and Rebalance Your Portfolio

  • Review and rebalance portfolio before year-end to offset any long-term gains by selling long-term losers.
  • You can deduct up to $3,000 per year against ordinary income!!!
  • You can also carry forward balance to future years!!!

    5. Use Up Your Flexible Spending Account - Use It or Lose It!!!

  • Pre-tax programs to pay for unreimbursed health care, child care or elder care expenses?(Drain Your Flexible Spending Account)!!!
  • Use It or Lose It Rule Relaxed ~ Claims Deadline Extended -
  • 2 1/2 months after plan year to March 15, 2008

    6. Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency:

  • Go Solar ~ 30% Credit Up to $2,000
  • Allows you to claim the cost of installing solar water heating, or fuel-cell equipment in your home.
    ** No Credit is Allowed for a Swimming Pool or Hot Tub.**
  • Make Your Home Energy-Efficient ~ 10% Credit Up to $500
  • Lifetime credit of up to $500 for making qualifying energy-saving improvements to your home. Qualifying expenditures:
    1. Installation of certain energy-efficient insulation materials
    2. Exterior windows and doors
    3. Electric heat pumps
    4. Central air conditioning
    *Items must be placed in service before January 1st, 2008!!

    7. Tax Free Gifts

  • $12,000 per year, per person
  • $24,000 per year, per couple (split with spouse)

    -----HOLIDAY TRAVEL-----

    One thing that can ruin your holiday vacation - is holiday travel. Let's get you some tips so you don't pull your hair out. Travelocity's Genevieve Shaw Brown is here.

    1.) Book Tickets Early
    If you haven't booked your ticket yet, do it now. Two easy ways to save money: be flexible with your dates and check alternate airports. A New Yorker going to South Florida this Christmas can save by flying into Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach instead of Miami (up to $85 on a RT ticket). Need to go to Los Angeles for Christmas? You can save $100 on a RT ticket by leaving for LAX on Wednesday Dec 19 instead of Friday Dec 21.

    2.) Reserve Parking In Advance
    Parking reservations! guarantees your parking spot or will refund your money plus find a parking spot for you elsewhere. The lots are independently owned and operated and are located just off-airport. The vast majority have a free shuttle to the airport.

    3.) Print out Airport Map
    If you're making a connecting flight and don't have much time to do it, go to the airport web site and print out a map. That way you will know where you're going and reduce the chances of missing your connecting flight - something you want to avoid this year because of the high load factors anticipated. On the flip side, if you have a lot of time to make your connections, checking out the airport web site can help you figure out what shops to visit and where you might want to eat.

    4.) Stay at Airport Hotel The Night Before Traveling
    Early morning flight? Consider staying in an airport hotel the night before to avoid traffic in the morning, buy yourself some more time to sleep, and maybe even leave your car in the parking lot for the duration of your trip - saving you big bucks on parking! You can do this yourself, or use a service to do it for you, like

    5.) Dress For Success
    Dress for success in the security line. That means wearing slip on shoes, socks (those floors are grungy!), and skipping the belt with the large buckle that sets off the metal detector. Avoid wearing many layers, as you must remove your jacket and bulky sweaters.