Sunday, June 30, 2013

Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Italian food.  And what is one of the best ingredients to use when cooking up some Italian food?  Olive Oil!  I was lucky enough to be able to try Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil through Buzz Agent recently.  What I loved is how they explained how easy it is to substitute healthy olive oil for things you would normally use butter in.  You can even download your own printable copy of the Substitution Chart at and also get some healthy recipes to use.  Olive oil is naturally free of cholesterol, trans fat, salt, sugar, and gluten and it is rich in monounsaturated fat (the good kind).  So, feel free to substitute away!

I really like Filippo Berio EVOO.  It is light and doesn't have an overwhelming flavor.  I mainly used it to cook up veggies to throw in my recipes.  On a related note, my favorite recipe that is full of healthy veggies is this Vegan Detox Green Soup Recipe with Broccoli, Spinach and Ginger.  It is really easy to make.  The most time consuming part is just chopping up the veggies, but remember, they do not need to be perfect, you are going to puree them in the end.  Also, I don't have an immersion blender, so I just throw them into my giant food processor.  The parsnips give the soup a very unique flavor, so if you haven't used them before, I recommend using a little less and then seeing if you like them.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Review

Got another awesome box from BzzAgent to try out Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Shampoo, Conditioner, and the Hydra Recharge 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment.  I love being able to try new products without complete freedom to share how you actually feel and how well it works (or doesn't work). Got lucky again because the Hydra Recharge system is great.

The shampoo has tiny moisture beads that disintegrate once you start to lather your hair.  I was unsure about it at first, felt kind of weird and I was afraid the beads would get stuck in my hair, but you do not even notice them at all once by the time you rinse your hair.

The 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment was my favorite out of the three.  You do not need a lot and you only need to let it sit for a minute, and you end up with some seriously smooth hair.  The Hydra Recharge conditioner goes on afterwards and with those two combined there are no tangles or frizz in your future.

Final verdict?  The Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge products are affordable, do what they say they are going to do on the bottle, and (my favorite part) they smell amazing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Schick Hydro Silk Razor Review

I was lucky enough to be able to try out a Schick Hydro Silk Razor thanks to BzzAgent.  I usually use cheap disposable razors and never really gave a nicer razor a try.  I figured, eh, it is all the same.  I was wrong.  My legs felt so smooth after using this razor.  BzzAgent allows people to try products out and then give an honest assessment, which is great.  I get to try a new product without any pressure!

I am pretty excited that it came with an extra cartridge.  Once this one gets dull from use, I can just pop another one on.  Plus, there is a sweet little suction cup holder for the razor, so no more trying to balance the razor on the side of the tub where it doesn't dry completely (I can't be the only one that has this problem).

Overall, I would definitely recommend the Schick Hydro Silk Razor.  Good quality, decent price, and smooth legs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Review of GIANT GUMMY BEAR ON A STICK| Flavor| Red - Cherry

Yummy and Fun

By Kelly F from Manhattan, IL on 4/26/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Unique, Tasty, fun

I bought this for my nephew (who is 4) and he absolutely loved it. The taste is really yummy. You could smell the cherry through the wrapper. Definitely recommend sharing this treat, it is one big gummy bear!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bluestem Book Awards

Being a librarian in the Kid's Department, I am always being asked to find award books for the kids to read. A new award has been created and the books are awesome.

The Bluestem Book Award is a new award that was created by the Illinois School Library Media Association.

“The award is designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles. Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists.”

The Manhattan-Elwood Public Library has a great (visual) list on their blog with more info on each of the books.

A Love Unrequited

I have a confession. I am in love.

With a body wash. I know, I know, inanimate objects can't love back. But I have a enough love for the both of us.

One problem. I can't find my lover (SoftSoap's Spa Radiant Moisture Wrap Body Wash) anywhere. Not at Walgreens, not at Target, not at CVS. Nowhere.

I. Am. Not. Happy.

First of all, let me say right now that I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with Colgate (the company behind SoftSoap). In fact, I am furious with them right now, so I don't think they would like me very much at the moment.

Everyone has that one product that they absolutely adore. The one that they just can't live without. My grandma used to buy massive quantities of Pond's Cold Cream and store them in the fridge (she said they lasted longer that way). Unfortunately, I didn't follow suit and I am now left with just half a bottle of Moisture Wrap body wash. Did I mention that I am not happy?

I have written a letter to Colgate expressing my feelings about not being able to find the product.

"I have been using Colgate products, well I am pretty sure since I was old enough to know what toothpaste is. I have never had a problem with any of your products. In fact, I have recommended them to my friends and family. But now I find myself on a frantic search to find the one body wash that I absolutely adore. My love affair with Spa Radiant Body Wash Moisture Wrap began a few years ago. My back kept breaking out because it was dry and then when I would put lotion on it, it would get too oily. My mom had bought the Moisture Wrap body wash because she had a coupon and gave it to me. Absolute heaven. I am not exaggerating, my back problems were cleared up within a few days. But now it is nowhere to be found. I am now on a Colgate boycott. I, along with family and friends, feel betrayed. You make an awesome product, we fall in love, and then you just take it away? I will be here dealing with my heartbreak and I guess I will have to try to fill the void with some other sub-par body wash, but I will always be thinking about the Moisture Wrap while I am using it. Please bring it back to the stores near me. I can't even find it on anymore. If you can't bring it near me, tell me where else I can find it! I need that body wash back in my life!"

Colgate is such a massive company, I don't see my letter doing much, but it felt pretty good to share my feelings anyway.

Off to find a stupid replacement for the body wash of my dreams.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paging Dr....Baby?

I was never much of a doll girl. I was kinda busy playing with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys and playing tag outside. I can see why girls like playing with dolls though. Just because I was a tomboy doesn't mean that I don't understand the girly girls.

But, when I saw this doll, I did not understand.

So, I thought maybe if I read the description it would help.

"The My Lil' Vet set is all you need to make your puppy all better! All of the tools you need are included! Press the dolly's hand to hear 15 different phrases and sounds. Press the puppy's paw to hear him bark!"

I still did not understand.

I do not understand why you would want to pretend that a baby is a veterinarian. Barbie vets? Fine. Barbie is a doll that is supposed to be an adult. But an infant with a stethoscope around their neck? Weird. I am imagining some child feeding and burping the baby doll and then having the doll check the dog for fleas and taking his temperature. "No, baby can't give the doggy it's shot right now, baby needs their diaper changed".

I don't mean to rip on the company completely, they offer a lot of other really cute, fun dolls. So, to end this on a positive note, just be happy your vet isn't an infant and go check out the rest of the dolls on the site.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Like unique jewelry?

Unique pieces of jewelry are the best. Your Every Color over at Etsy has some pretty awesome looking earrings.

I haven't received them yet, but the pics look awesome and I can't wait to put a pair of her button earrings on!

She is having a sale right now to celebrate two recent features on the front page of Etsy. If you buy two pairs of earrings, you get the second one free! She just started tweeting, so follow her there to stay up to date with her creations!

Also, be on the look out for my review and giveaway if you want to win a pair for yourself.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blogosphere Giveaway Alert!

Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is having an awesome giveaway sponsored by SlimPerfectTM. Stop by before 11:59pm ET on August 26th and enter to win a $50 Gift Certificate!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Family Time

I'm visiting my parents this week. The computer situation is actually better than I thought it was going to be. My laptop cord broke, so I was going to be relying on their desktop, which they said was broken. Turns out that it was just internet explorer (which I absolutely abhor, mozilla firefox all the way please) acting up. So I fixed that and here I am!

I won tickets from a local radio station to go to the red carpet premiere for the movie The Goods and the exclusive after party. Problem is, since it is on a Thursday, most of my friends can't go. I have a chance to meet Jeremy Piven (Ari on Entourage) and I might not even be able to go? That is just lame. Maybe I should just go by myself haha . I am currently on a spree calling people I haven't called in awhile. Hey, don't judge, we are busy people...and we all suck at keeping in touch. That's what facebook's for, right?

Oh yeah, I also won the whole collection of NOW That's What I Call Music cds. One word. Hilarious. Since I consider myself somewhat of an Indie music lover, it is definitely amusing to see me popping in a cd full of Britney Spears, N'Sync, and Destiny's Child. My 3 year old nephew was thrilled to have some music to dance around to, so I guess it is a good prize.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blogosphere Giveaway Alert!

3 Garnets and 2 Saphires is giving away an Eardoc!

All of us have had ear pain and know how frustrating it can be. Eardoc helps relieve that pain!

Go check out the giveaway and enter to win!

Monday not so funday

Whoo, I got a good workout in today. I absolutely love that Comcast offers free workouts OnDemand from

If anyone has Comcast OnDemand you can find the workouts by going to your OnDemand screen, clicking on Sports & Fitness, then clicking on Fitness TV. They have anything you could possibly want. Yoga, pilates, workouts with Jillian Micheal (Biggest Loser trainer), cardio, strength training, and more.

My favorite at the moment is a 20 minute pilates video. I had never done pilates before and I was surprised to find that I love it. It stretches you out and really works out your core. I have horrible posture (think hunchback of Notre Dame and then realize I am hugely exaggerating haha). Ok, it is not that bad, but I am hoping that once I strengthen my back muscles it will be easier to sit up straight.

I am not a big fan of Mondays. Even though I am having a good day, it is still sad to say goodbye to the weekend :(

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New 50 Calorie Fiber One Yogurt $1.00 Coupon

MyBlogSpark has offered a $1.00 off coupon for me to share with you all!

New 50 Calorie Fiber One Yogurt $1.00 Coupon

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks pretty yummy. Plus, I am all about the coupons. Which reminds me, my coupon holder thing broke and I am looking for a new one. Anyone got any suggestions?


Blogosphere Giveaway Alert!

Conversations with Moms is hosting a great giveaway sponsored by My Blog Spark! The winner will receive a Honey Kix Cereal Prize Pack including a coupon for a FREE Box of Honey Kix Cereal, a cool Honey Kix container, the matching bowl, a nifty on-the-go container that keeps your beverage cool, and a honey container! This giveaway ends August 9th, 2009 so don’t miss out on your opportunity for a chance to win this great giveaway.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sexy Hot Tan or Sun Stroke?

Ok, anyone who knows me knows my love for all things Will Ferrell. I am sure that my family and friends are sick of hearing it, but I was a fan before it was cool to be a fan.

I met him while he was filming "Stranger Than Fiction". Part of it was filmed at UIC in Chicago. A friend and I waited outside for a few hours. First, Dustin Hoffman came walking out dressed in khaki shorts and black socks with little ghosts on them (he is eccentric and I love him for it). He stopped and talked to us for a few minutes and was really sweet. For some reason, I wasn't really nervous. He went on his way and we continued waiting....and then it happened. Will Ferrell walked out of the building and stopped to talk to us. My friend was chatting away, but I...couldn't....say...a...thing. He even tried asking how I was doing and all I could do was mouth the word "okay". Even though all I did was stand there gaping like an idiot, it was still one of the best moments of my life! haha

So, when I saw that Will Ferrell created his own line of sunscreens, I about died! They are called Sexy Hot Tan or Sun Stroke.

You can find them at and according to their description:

"Save your skin AND support Cancer for
College with these hilarious sunscreens
endorsed by Will Ferrell! Proceeds go to
scholarships for cancer survivors. PABA
free, alcohol free, mineral oil free, and
fragrance free! 30 SPF lightweight sport
formula has aloe and vitamin E. Hypo-
allergenic and UVB/UVA broadspectrum
protection. Choose from, Sexy Hot Tan
or Sun Stroke. 6 oz. Limited availability!"

So, not only are you buying some awesome sunscreens that you will want to save the bottles of, you are also helping to support a great cause!

I am definitely adding these to my Christmas wish list (hey, it is never too early to start your list!)

Sometimes inspiration comes at the most random moments...

I was over at My Bottle's Up entering a giveaway and one of the extra entries was to subscribe to her feed. I did and I was looking through her posts when I stumbled upon her entry sharing a link to the story of her rape. It was posted on a website called Violence Unsilenced. It brought tears to my eyes reading her story and I was amazed at how brave she is to have shared such a scary, traumatic event with the world.

She has inspired me to speak out.

It is amazing to me how the internet can seem so vast and anonymous, but at the same time, you read one story and you feel like you have support that you never even knew existed.

Violence Unsilenced helps survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault by giving them a voice.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Awesome Blog Giveaway Alert!!!

The Dirty Shirt is giving away Sprint HTC Snap phone!!!

Now that is one awesome giveaway! The phone has 3G support, Microsoft Office Mobile, and a bunch of other great features! Go enter here!

Ends August 5

Monday, July 27, 2009

Awesome Blog Giveaway Alert!!!

Mission Mommy is giving away a bottle of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion!

Great for dry skin and even eczema and psoriasis sufferers! Go enter to win here!

Giveaway ends July 28th.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Awesome Blog Giveaway Alert!!!

“Jeanne's Ramblings is hosting a
giveaway sponsored by Bedding! The winner will be able to select between four Modern Basics Boo Hippo Pillows, from the Boo Hippo Collection. This giveaway ends July 25, 2009, 12 midnight EST so enter now."

There are other giveaways going on at Jeanne's Ramblings that you should definitely enter as well!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Technorati Blog Claim


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: A Gift From Brittany

A Gift from Brittany: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the French Countryside A Gift from Brittany: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the French Countryside by Marjorie Price

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
To be honest, I still sometimes judge a book by its cover. (I know, shoot me) At first I thought this was going to be another book about some lady who moves to France, falls in love and blah, blah, blah. It ended up being so much more. The story pulled me in and elicited emotions within me that usually remain dormant. Definitely a book that I fell in love with.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy Mom Triderma Giveaway!

Busy Mom is giving away hundreds of dollars worth of TriDerma products!

Be one of seven winners. The giveaway ends May 28th. Be sure to check out the other great giveaways on Busy Momincluding a Keurig Platinum Brewer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Days Like These: Uprinting Giveaway!

Days Like These is having a giveaway of 500 Postcard Printing to 2 lucky winners from!! These would come in handy for anyone who is looking to promote their blog, ebay business, etsy business, or anything else you can possibly think of! You should definitely stop on by before Sunday, May 24th at noon and enter to win!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's my birthday!

I am 24 today. Wow, that sounds old to me. I know, I know, it isn't! But still, it just feels...weird.

Going to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to see The Harry Potter Exhibit!!!

Age appropriate birthday outing? haha, I think so.

Afterward it is either Heaven on Seven or Grand Lux Cafe. It depends on which I am in the mood for, they are only about a block away from each other.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mom In The City Blog Contest

Mom In The City
is giving away a Sansa® slotRadio™ Player and SanDisk® slotRadio™ Card

The player comes preloaded with 1000 songs, which is absolutely, amazingly, stupendously, awesome!

Also, you should go check out this post on her blog. She is looking for some feedback for her great blog and if you are the creative type, help her out with some ideas!
(valued at $99.99)!

Mommy's Idea is hosting a Blog Makeover Giveaway!

Sick of looking at your boring blog? I know I am.

Lucky for us, Mommy's Idea is giving away a Custom Blog Design or Blog Makeover from Sweet Pea Design Studio (who, by the way, is super talented)! How cool is that?

Go check it out here!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blog Contest Alert: The Parenting Pink

The Parenting Pink is giving away an awesome Mini Kick Scooter (valued at $74.99!) from Kickboard USA!

They look like so much fun, I want one! They have a bunch of different colors that you can pick from and they all look really cool. Go check it out and enter here!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Contest Alert: A Mom in Red High Heels

A Mom in Red High Heels is giving away an awesome package from beauty fix to 15 of her readers! You should check it out here!

Besides the giveaways, A Mom in Red High Heels has other interesting and helpful articles on her site like Beauty Tips, Book Reviews, and Children's Products.

It is definitely a blog that you should take some time to read!

Blog Contest Alert: Life In a House of Blue

Life In a House of Blue is having an awesome giveaway!

They are giving one lucky winner
A KODAK EASYSHARE Z1015 IS !! (A 279.95 value ! )

Get on over and enter to win!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blog Contest Alert: Parent Reviewers

Parent Reviewers are giving away one Wordlock Padlock and Bike lock to a lucky reader!

These locks are the first locks to let you set a word combination instead of just a normal number combo (which can be hard to remember). Check them out and enter the giveaway as well!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blog Contests Shout Out

There are so many good blog contests out there, it is hard to keep track!
Here are a few that I think are worth mentioning:

The Ohana Mama is giving away a Medela Swing Pump & Bamboo Nursing Camisole! Visit to learn more about breast feeding and other great information!

Confessions of a Housewife is giving away a copy of the Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads-To-Be DVD! Interesting and informational look at how dads feel!

Babes and Kids is giving away and Aden and Anais 2 pack of swaddling blankets! And she has a discount for her blog readers as well!

Go Graham Go!
is giving away Mama Jewels and an All About Me Diary from Fresh Baby! Check out her review (and the giveaway) here!

Berrie Sweet Picks is giving away a "She Colors My Day" photobook from Snapfish by HP! It is a great giveaway promoting an amazing cause!

Mom Start is giving away an awesome bag from Tessuta Woven Products! They have tons of team colors that you can choose from!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Book Review: Brisingr (Inheritance: Book 3)

Brisingr (Inheritance:  Book 3)
Brisingr (Inheritance: Book 3)

by Christopher Paolini

Finished this book with a sigh (almost a scream) of frustration. Silly me, I had no idea that the last book of the trilogy (now a cycle) had been split into two books. I was so excited to finish the series and see how it ended. Get to the last page and realize that this isn't the end. The book just wasn't as good as the first two. The story is so good, but Paolini's writing can sometimes seem superfluous and whole sections of the book seemed unnecessary. I see the importance of the sword being forged, but did I honestly need to sit through about 30 pages of minute-by-minute details of how exactly it was made?

All of that aside, it really does engage the imagination and lives up to what a fantasy novel should be. There is the right amount of suspense and danger that keeps you reading (even when it is way past your bedtime). I hope the fourth novel finishes what has been a great series in a way that satisfies.

Oh, and if it turns into five books, I swear to god....

Book Challenge 2009

Two years ago I made a New Year's resolution to read 50 books in a year. I completed it and it was a unbelievably satisfying feeling and experience. I decided this year I would like to try it again.

Here is a list of the books that I have read so far (I have been on a fantasy series kick lately it seems). I am in need of a good nonfiction book to read next.

Even if you can't find the time to read 50 books, take a little time out to read a good book. It is amazing how it can make you feel when you find a book that you love.

I linked all the books to their sites on goodreads. That site is perfect for keeping track of books that you have read and that you would like to read. Plus, you can check out how other readers rated books and what they thought of it.

Nuclear Winter Wonderland: A Wild Tale of Nuclear Terror, Kidnapping, Gangsters and Family Values (Paperback) Nuclear Winter Wonderland: A Wild Tale of Nuclear Terror, Kidnapping, Gangsters and Family Values Corin, Joshua

I Am Legend (Paperback) I Am Legend Matheson, Richard

Little Bee (Hardcover) Little Bee Cleave, Chris

The Host: A Novel (Hardcover) The Host: A Novel Meyer, Stephenie

How to Be Good (Paperback) How to Be Good Hornby, Nick

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) Meyer, Stephenie

Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) Meyer, Stephenie

New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) Meyer, Stephenie

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) Meyer, Stephenie

Brisingr (Inheritance:  Book 3) Brisingr (Inheritance: Book 3) Paolini, Christopher

Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2) Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2) Paolini, Christopher

Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) Paolini, Christopher

Monday, December 8, 2008

Free Shipping Day

What is Free Shipping Day?

Thursday, December 18th is Free Shipping Day. Participating merchants (and there are a lot of them) will give free shipping to online shoppers and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. That is a pretty cool deal and I will definitely be utilizing it. This could be a second (hopefully, less stressful) black Friday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Giveaway Coming

I am trying to figure out a giveaway to do to celebrate me starting this new blog (woohoo) and the Holiday Season. When I figure it out, which I will soon, I will let you know.

Try to relax in this busy, busy season!

Christmas is in how many days?!?

I cannot believe how fast this year went by. I swear it was just yesterday I was making another New Year's resolution that I knew I wasn't going to keep... It is now that time again. But before I make a list of unrealistic goals, I need to figure out what I am going to get for everyone on my list (and what I want them to get for me). I hate getting the typical gifts for people. I am always looking for something new and unique (and maybe even a little weird) to get for my beloved friends and family. I have been stockpiling and bookmarking products and their sites all year long and I have compiled quite an interesting list full of goodies.

Would you like me to google that for you?

These are for the iphone addict. Everyone knows one (or maybe you are it) and what happens when it starts snowing and you have to put your gloves on? Going to be a little difficult to check your email every five seconds or google where that restaurant your trying to find is at, on your iphone with those bulky mittens on. DOTS has you covered. They have little metal dots on the fingers to let you use touch screens without scratching the surface. They are completetly safe and they come in a knit and wool style.

Hold my heart in your hand (but don't let it melt)

Who doesn't love chocolate? Better question. Who doesn't love chocolate shaped like a hearts and brains? I know I do. G&C Chocolates offer an alternative to the regular chocolate bar or boxed candies. They even have mini chocolate brains w/ cherry! I don't think this would be the best gift for a first date situation. Just saying.

He never borrowed my pen again....

Stuck in the office over the holidays? Frankly, just pissed off that everyone else is out at Holiday parties while you are stuck doing the year's inventory reports? Or maybe that guy who whistles two cubicles down is about to make you snap.

Take your frustration out on the Dead Fred pen holder. I guess it is a bit of a morbid way to organize, but hey, it is worth always knowing where your pen is. Dead Fred has some brothers that help out with other household and organizational problems. You can find all of them at Suck UK (and a bunch of other really cool stuff). Not for the easily offended or the queasy.

Everything tastes better with bacon on it...except maybe sushi.

The day I realized how great bacon tasted was the day I was doomed to forever be on a diet just so I could savor that greasy goodness. I have recently discovered turkey bacon and, although the crunchiness isn't there, it is a pretty acceptable substitute for the real thing.

Now, I don't know about you, but I have often found myself wishing for a bacon snack during the day when I don't have the time to cook any. Well, look no further Archie Mcphee has solved that problem for you. Not only do they have bacon gumballs, they also have bacon floss and bacon jelly beans. If you would like to share your love of bacon with the world, they have bacon wallet. Let your bacon colors fly!

Ok, ok, I am not just some unrefined nutjob who sits around eating bacon all day (just on Sundays). I redeem myself as a self-proclaimed foodie by telling you about my other obsession: Sushi.
As a kid, I had no idea why someone would want to shove a bunch of raw fish covered in blah rice in their mouth. Three years ago I tasted my first roll and my life has not been the same since then. And, thank god, Archi Mcphee is there for me when it comes to sushi as well as bacon.

Doing a little redecorating? How about a sushi shower curtain? Or maybe a sushi rug? Maybe use a little of their sushi tape for wrapping presents this year.

And if bacon and sushi aren't your thing (blasphemy), Archi Mcphee has a bunch of other equally, ummm, unique (like an inflatable fruitcake) products.

Ok, some less bizarre ideas

I am starting to think that maybe I should have started the list with these instead of the other way around...Oh well. If you are still with me, here are some ideas for the loved ones in your life that might not have the same twisted sense of humor as me.

A personal gift for your loved one:
I have seen these mentioned all over the place lately and they look great. Between Me and You Books are a gift that is definitely meaningful. Each book is full of personal questions that the recipient writes down the answers to and then gives the book back to you. It is a gift that will allow your loved one to write down memories that you both will cherish forever. They have a lot of different books for each specific person in your life. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Honey, Brother, Sister, and more. These would also make a great birthday or anniversary gift. I was also thinking it would be cool to buy one and fill it out and then give it to someone like that.

For the Chef:
The blog Better Living Through Design mentioned these awesome fingertongs "the silicone cooking tongs you wear", that are available from Fusion. They allow you to literally stick your hand into the pan and flip things (like bacon, of course) over. This is perfect for the chef in your family. And, at $16, they won't break your bank. Fusionbrands has a lot of other useful kitchen products available.

For the Reader:
As much as I love bacon (I swear, that is the last reference), I love reading even more. The only New Year's resolution that I have ever kept was to read 5o books in a year. Last year I read 52 books and it was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I am always asking for suggestions for books, but a lot of the time, I forget what the suggestion was. A Life Well Read is the solution for that. According to the product description,
"This truly unique product helps readers capture, organize and share their ideas about books, create their own book wish list, remember books they want to give others, and track books on loan to friends". I think I need to get one of these myself.

Handmade Goods lover:

If you have not discovered Etsy yet, then click on that link and be ready for a handmade ephiphany of goods. Seriously, you can basically find anything you want on there and all of the goods are handmade and amazing quality. They have plenty of organic products on there, too. One of my favorite Etsy shops is the fakerbakery. She has jewelry shaped like donuts, coffee, and poptarts. It is a carefree shop that allows jewelry to be fun. You should definitely check her shop out and other Etsy shops. There are many shops that are very affordable (I don't want to say cheap because the quality is way too good for that word) and many are having specials for the Christmas season.

Ok, I have a lot more ideas floating around in my head for my ever-changing gift list. Hopefully, at the very least, you caught the spirit of giving unique gifts instead of heading out and buying a cookie-cutter, unpersonal gift. If you have any questions, let me know!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'd Bump That

I love music. Any kind of music. Well, almost any kind of music. Now, being an avid music lover, I am always looking for the newest music. I consider myself one of those Indie kids who always knows the bands before they get big. And then I hate them afterward for selling out. I rely on the web to keep me updated.

One of the best websites to discover new music is thesixtyone. I stumbled upon this site around January of last year and I have signed on every day since then. Yes, it is that addictive.

Their mission statement:
"thesixtyone makes music culture more democratic: artists upload their work for review, but, rather than allow a stuffy suit in a boardroom to decide what's good, thousands of listeners do. The best music automagically bubbles up on our homepage where you can listen to the most popular songs for any genre. It's a quick way to find new music for your iPod powered by pure excitement as opposed to some contrived marketing budget.

Think you've got a good ear? Aside from customizing your experience, creating an account allows you to earn points, level up your influence, and collect badges for discovering and recommending good music that others may enjoy. On thesixtyone, tastemaking becomes fun, competitive, and trackable."

I have discovered some really great bands on there. Paula Fuga, Horse Feathers, Meiko, Yael Naim, Chris Merritt, Stars, Band of Horses, the list could go on forever (seriously, I literally mean forever). There are a lot of really talented musicians there. The web site is run by two guys (crazy, right?), James and Sam, who came up with the idea themselves. The site is free, but they do accept donations if you are feeling generous :)

So, go check it out and let me know what you think. Oh, and pass any good music recommendations my way!

My page at the sixtyone

Post #1

So, this is my first post (obviously).

So, I am still in the process of refining my site. Let's just say that it is under construction for the time being. I follow a lot of really good blogs, so if you get a chance, check them out.

I am currently watching the Kanye West "Love Lockdown" video and wondering what the heck is going on. African tribal dancing and space ships? Really now?

Don't worry, all of my posts will not be this disjointed, I am just hastily posting something, anything, so my page doesn't look so blank and sad.

I will have a theme to the blog once I start rolling, so yeah, come back later and check it out.