Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Hunger Games

Certain books just captivate the reader and you can't put it down. The Hunger Games is one of those books. Marcie and I both read it based on the glowing reviews of everyone who read it. Like everyone else, we finished it in mere days and can't wait to read the last two books in the series. The story is about a girl who has to survive against incredible odds including fighting to avoid poverty, fighting to survive in the wilderness, and fighting to avoid being killed by those who would see her fail. The author puts you in her shoes as she quickly sweeps from scene to scene. By the end, you're caught: hook, line, and sinker.

We're leaving just after lunch time Wednesday for MI. Luckily, the last two books we were able to find on mp3 from the library. Per the agreement, we could burn a cd so we can listen on the way down and back up. Both book 2 & book 3 are around 10 hours so that leaves only 5 hours each way of down time... much better then the 15 we're used to.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cheese Ball Igloo

How cool is THIS? It's all edible and looks pretty cool... get it?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Toy Story 3 On Ice

We went to see Toy Story 3 on ice last weekend with my sister's family. As you may be able to see, the costumes were pretty good and we all had a fun time. If you have kids that enjoyed the movie, I would really suggest you take them to see one of the Disney on ice productions. It's worth the money.

Beautiful Egg

Yet another interesting item at Williams & Sonoma. We bought these daisy shaped egg frying rings there and gave them a try. If you decide to buy them also, make sure you really grease the side of the rings so the egg doesn't stick. Also, a toothpick works good to unstick any parts you missed.

New Calphalon Pan

This isn't a great picture but we just bought another Calphalon pan. It's the slide nonstick which means you can bake in the oven up to 550 degrees as well as put it on the burners on high to sear meat. On top of that, it's dishwasher safe.

You probably know how much Calphalon pans run if you've read this far. This one 12 inch frying pan with lid would typically run around $150 if I had to guess. Because this is an "introduction" offer, it was only $60 and Williams & Sonoma had an additional 20% off that. It came out to only $51 and some change. We did the same thing last year also. Last year the deal was an 8 & 10 inch pan set for around the same price. Most of our cooking is done on the range so we've really gotten good use out of those. Calphalon makes a great product and we look forward to December because they always have one product on sale. Ten years from now, we will hopefully have the full set. Until then, we're happy with the pampered chef pots we're using.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to tip teachers

I was looking at the tipping guide in THIS article and saw what it said about teachers. It made me laugh because I know first hand how excited Marcie gets about gift cards her kids give her.

Aspirin the Wonder Drug

You've heard about aspirin being good for your heart. THIS article also claims it can lower your risk for cancer. They suggest everyone over 40 should be taking this wonder drug.

Ice Luminary

Here is an easy way to make this.

Inexpensive Christmas Gifts

How do you show people you care about them when you're on a budget. Here are a few ideas I've read on the internet on how to give gifts on a budget. I thought I'd pass this along in case someone needs some ideas.

1) Food basket - you can get a wooden basket from the thrift store for no more then a dollar or so. If you're couponing regularly, you should have a surplus. Tie a ribbon around the basket and stock with some of those items.

2) Sprite Gift - This makes a great house warming gift. Some bring fruitcake or a bottle of red, you can wish their Christmas to be merry and sprite.

3) Canned Goods - Thanks to Crate & Barrel, Smith & Hawking, and a variety of other stores like that, canned goods mean more then just the food inside. Cut out a circle of fabric, put that under the cap and tie a ribbon around the top.

4) Mailed Card - Cards through mail are timeless and let others know you're thinking about them. Using cards people sent you last year, cut out the picture and glue them in the corner of a blank piece of colored paper. Voila! You've got a new Christmas card. Cut pieces from last year's cards also make good gift tags for your presents.

5) Mulling Spice - If you know how to sew, wrap cheese cloth over 2-3 times and sew it into a bag. We found a triangle shaped bag looks pretty good. If you attach a cork to the top, it keeps the bag floating in the cider and looks pretty cool too.