Archive | November, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

30 Nov

Go ahead, let it out. Let out all that Christmas spirit, jolliness, and décor you’ve been storing up since last year.  Dust it off, and spread it everywhere.  Feels good, doesn’t it?  And what better way to usher in those warm fuzzy holiday feelings on my blog than a post on the decoration that I always pull out of the closet first.   That’s right, the tree, or as I like to call it “the glistening centerpiece of the season” (not to be confused with “the reason for the season”).  Although we all appreciate a twinkling tree, achieving the perfect look and ambiance isn’t as cut and dry as I thought.  Here are some of the tedious options you must consider before you cover your tree with ornaments and happiness.

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Best of 2010: Books

29 Nov

Here’s my favorite best of category! Books! I don’t get to read as much as I would like, but I have gotten my hands on some great, thought-provoking material this year. As we are entering the holiday season, I hope you will find yourself with more time to sit back and read (if that’s your thing, and I hope it is). And maybe you are like me and you haven’t sent your letter to Santa yet. Whatever the case, here are a few great books to consider for your 2010 Christmas list. Happy reading!

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Top Thanksgiving Episodes: Part II

24 Nov

Back for more?  Here are the meat of potatoes of Thanksgiving episodes.  Please make room for these holiday treats in your mind and schedule.   And please don’t forget to have a great Thanksgiving this Thursday.

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Best Thanksgiving Episodes, Part I

23 Nov

Thanksgiving is this Thursday.  I’ll let you chew on that morsel for a bit.  You done?  Ok.   Although most stores ushered in the Christmas season the second after Halloween, let me assure you that the eat-until- you-burst holiday is still on this year.  Let’s all take a collective sigh of relief; I kept thinking I’d missed it too.  If you’re like me (awesome), you may need some help getting in the TG spirit.  Anyone?  Ok, this list is for you, guy raising your hand in the back.   As a sweet bonus, most are available online via You Tube or Hulu.  But before you dig in, tie on your bib, pull up your chair, and savor this reading experience.

Here are your first 5 episodes, let’s call them the appetizers and salad.  Each is scored out of 10 wishbones for laughs, Thanksgiving relevance, and cheesiness factor.  Come back tomorrow for the turkey and pie (or if you aren’t imaginative, the next 5 on the list).

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Best of 2010 Volume I: Plays

22 Nov

Hey there, and welcome to the first edition of my illustrious “Best of 2010” Series.  Every Monday from now until 2011 (or until I run out of topics) I’ll share my “Best of (awesome category of the week)” picks.  I know that for sure I’ll cover albums, movies, and books in the near future so stay tuned.  One final nuance: my picks haven’t all originated during 2010; instead they are things I’ve encountered for the first time this year.  Sorry if that seems shady, but it is my blog and I make the rules. Deal with it!

So today I’ll share the best plays of my 2010.  These are in no particular order.  They are all special in their own way.

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Debunking a widespread, pervasive and really prevalent Money Myth: Need for Credit to buy big stuff

19 Nov

For all my big fans out there, this article was posted yesterday on Blast Magazine.  I have tweaked it a bit, but I feel like this message is important enough to share in multiple places.  So bear with me constant readers, to make it up to you I’ll be awarding a prize to the first person who can spot 5 differences between the 2 (and by prize, I mean a high 5 and lots of well wishes)!  Tempting, I know!  Happy reading, and happy Friday!

In my previous budget tips, I have mentioned that I don’t use credit cards.  Some of you may have fainted, got back up and then wondered aloud “How will she buy a house or a car or other big stuff?” Thanks for your concern!  Okay, fine, maybe I have an over active imagination.  But I can’t be the only one who has been told by co-workers, friends, or older adults that I have to start building my credit if I ever want to achieve the white picket fence enclosed American Dream.

Well my friend, the need for credit cards is a big fat lie.  You don’t need the magical plastic, if you live a financially responsible life.  And it isn’t as tough as you may think.  You are probably doing several financially responsible things right NOW (fingers crossed).  If not, you have the power to start ASAP.  Let’s face it, apartments are cool, but someday you may want a house.  I know I do.

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Some Great Stuffing About Thanksgiving*

18 Nov

*=Sorry, my slight addiction to puns keeps raising its ugly head

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the store.  I’m going through this phase where I forget 1 item or so every time I do major shopping.  This time it was dental floss.  Dental hygiene is important and worth a mid-week trip, remember that children.  Ok I’m getting to my point, I pinky promise.  So as I breezed into the store, I was hit (figuratively) in the face with Christmas paraphernalia.  What’s with that? Now before you go thinking I’m a humbug, I assure you my ears are itching to hear Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas album.  Itching!  But I also know that a crucial part of Christmas is tradition, tradition!  All right, maybe not the most Christmas relevant musical to be quoting.  Anyway, I was raised in a household where Christmas decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving.  Not the day after Halloween.

Ah a perfect opportunity for a smooth transition.  I have an announcement:  Thanksgiving is 1 week from today.  Has the whole country forgotten?  The store certainly had.  Just because harvest colors are not as pleasant as red and green and turkeys don’t bring presents like Santa, doesn’t mean that Thanksgiving should be dissed and dismissed.  The only remaining Thanksgiving items they had were stuffed on the end of an aisle, just a few pathetic looking turkey paper plates remained.  Who wants paper plates for Thanksgiving?  Not me!  I need ceramic plates to support my mountain of turkey and dressing next week.  Anyway, I’m ranting (and meandering) my way toward introducing 7 great things about Thanksgiving!!  Read on!  And remember.

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The Gift of Chocolate

17 Nov

If you don’t like chocolate and the happiness it brings to peoples’ lives, please read no further.  Instead, get up and find the best psychiatrist money can buy.  Well, that may be extreme, but I guess I’m a little biased on the subject.  In my world, Chocolate is a delightful, exhilarating, wondrous (too much?) experience. End of story.  So if you are living in the chocolate camp with me, read on!  Oh dear, Chocolate Camp sounds like such a good place.  Anyway, this year I discovered a wonderful way to make one of my favorite chocolate treats even better.  You ready?   How about some cake-like brownies with cinnamon?!?  This recipe, officially called Mexican Chocolate Cake, (Get it? It’s spicy!) is one of my repeatedly most successful baking endeavors.  I’ve made it for game nights, dinner gatherings, and even birthday parties.  And all to rave reviews.  I’d like to take the credit, but I think I have the delectable melding of chocolate and cinnamon (and a lot of sugar) to thank for the success.   I got this recipe from a twitter pal, @afox98, so thanks Alyssa for sharing the wealth.  If this heavenly experience sounds like something you’d be willing to devour, read on!

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Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

16 Nov

It is a blustery November day here in Little Rock. And blustery days make me feel cinematic. You know what I mean? I suddenly feel compelled to blast some classical music, gaze out on my rain swept surroundings, and imagine some super dramatic scene. Maybe that’s because so many movies use rain to heighten tension, mystery, romance, or freedom. This morning, my imaginings were foiled by my wet dog’s slight odor and his need for a flea bath. Sigh, real life. Now, that we’re all clean and calm again, I’ve had time to think of a short list of movies with pivotal rain scenes. Ok, some are more pivotal than others, but all do feature rain. I promise. Now it’s time to grab a cup of tea, blast some movie sound tracks and read on!

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Comfort TV: Things to Watch While Job Searching

15 Nov

On this chilly Monday, I’m feeling the need for comfort and familiarity.  I’ll be skipping my super long love song to dark chocolate to discuss another source of Monday, nay daily, comfort.  I’m currently in job searching mode.  And even though I don’t have to be anywhere from 9-5, I do feel like I’m working nearly full time.  But one small perk (ok, there are a lot of perks) of working from home is the break time freedom.  So when I need a break from computer time, I can pop in a DVD over lunch and escape into a familiar show world for a little while.  Here are a few of my shows that I can pop in and have great moments of comfort.  Let me know yours!

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