Showing posts from June, 2011

Mini-Post Thursday—Cute Mystery Sound

We used to have two of these...  (turn up your sound & click)

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Green Cards & More to MOO About

Cool environmentally-friendly paper products that make a positive difference!

I found these great little cards by at Whole Foods, but they can also be found at Papyrus and Franklin Covey, or you can order online from their website.

10 percent of the profits are donated to Conservation International and Climate Solutions, two environmental organizations dedicated to sharing practical and profitable solutions to global warming.  

The parent company, Compendium, Inc., based in Seattle, has been around since 1985.  They manufacture gift books, journals, stationery, desk accessories and home décor. Positively Green® is a product line of greeting cards, notebooks, gift wrap and gift tags.  Be sure to check out all 8 of the product lines.

How positively green are they?
I like companies who go all out when it comes to incorporating green methods into their manufacturing process.  Positively Green® uses FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) 100 percent post-consum…

Tuesday's Cupboard—31st Anniversary Table

A celebration dinner at home, restaurant-style...

Monday—The Reading Corner—Two Girl Detectives & An Amazing Cat Story

Girl detective #1...

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agencyby Alexander McCall Smith — $7.99 Amazon Kindle
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is the first in an engaging and entertaining series of stories about a confident, clever lady detective named, Precious Ramotswe, from the South African Republic of Botswana.

I don't know where to start talking about all of the things that make this book (and the entire 6-book series) so much fun to read.  The author puts you squarely in Africa with Mma Ramotswe as she navigates in her tiny white van through sumptuous African landscapes to solve mysteries that are brought to her by the local citizens of Gaborone.

The story evolves through a series of crimes—some minor, some complex, all culturally rooted—as new characters are introduced and their backgrounds are revealed.

I love the tone of the writing, the African dialect in the narration, and the infusion of gentle humor throughout the book.  Each little mystery percolates cheerfull…

Sunday—Catching Up

One can of nonfat evaporated blog...

I'm not sure when I lost track of last week, but I think it was somewhere around Monday.  I had a trip to Boulder City scheduled for the middle of the week, and I had to condense a week's worth of scheduled activities into Monday and Tuesday.

Plus, I had a canning project on deck, which takes a lot more planning and coordination than non-canners realize.  I had a pile of fresh organic rhubarb in the fridge, and I was attempting a new recipe, which requires more culinary acumen than my usual routine.  I grabbed a few pix along the way, and I'll include those in Tuesday's post.

And, I finished 2 good crime detective books, so I'll talk about those this week, as well.

★On Wednesday, I was on a plane flying from the temperate Bay Area into McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.  Once I arrived, I hustled down to the Alamo car rental garage and tried three different vehicles before I finally settled into a spiffy new, steel blue, Ford Fusion wi…

Mini-Post Thursday—Happy Hot Dog Men!

While we're on the topic of weiners...

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home—Going Gray

Comfortable in your skin

I prefer to call it "platinum elegance," as one vlogger referred to naturally gray hair.

Gray hair is mostly a result of genetics, but stress and exposure to toxins in the environment are contributing factors.  It's ironic, isn't it?  The hair color that women and men apply so diligently to mask the gray may over time be making hair turn gray faster due to the constant bombardment of harsh chemicals on the delicate cells (called, melanocytes) in the hair follicles that give hair its natural color.

Fwiw, melanocytes grow alongside keratinocytes, the cells that build hair strands, but they have a much shorter life span than keratinocytes.  As hair grows, the kerantinocytes build the strands, and the melanocytes provide melanin to the hair follicles through melanosomes (little packets of melanin within the cells).

In fact, the whole process is fairly elegant and complex because the specialization of cells within the follicles originates with …

Tuesday's Cupboard—What's Cold & Blue?

Delicious, smooth, creamy, home-churned blueberry ice cream! 
IT'S three weeks before the Fourth of July and time to start bringing out the red, white & blue.

June is also blueberry season, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than with a fresh batch of classic homemade ice cream.

( FYI, we are past the First Day of Spring, which is the day that we traditionally celebrate with an ice-cold gin & olive martini out on our deck).

This recipe is from the Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, by Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield with Nancy J. Stevens, ©1987 ($7).  I've updated it by using a Kitchenaid mixer ($250-$300) to do all of the mixing and a Cuisinart electric frozen yogurt & ice cream maker (about $50) to make the ice cream.  I've also used nonfat milk in the cream base to cut down on the fat.  It tastes just as good, and it's a little healthier!

Ben & Jerry's has 2 other cream base recip…

Monday—The Ranting Corner—Facebook Privacy Fail

It's all about privacy, or the loss of...
Four consumer advocacy groups—
The public interest research group, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC); The Internet safety group, The Center for Digital Democracy; The California-based Consumer Watchdog; and The consumer education group, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse—filed a complaint today against facebook asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate facebook's new image identification system and to force facebook to stop compiling user biodata to be used in this automated system.  U.S. Representative, Ed Markey (D-Mass), co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, happens to agree. 
The complaint contends that the covert collection and compilation of personal information to be used for automated tagging, without the opt-in consent of users, adversely impacts consumers and qualifies as unfair and deceptive trade practices.  The complaint also points out that the recognition system is under the sole control …

Mini-Post Thursday—Pet Painting Kits

For dogs & cats...and even talented turtles!

It's a clever way for your 4-legged friend to become a bonafide artiste.  Authentic art created by pets!  

This kit does not require your pet to hold a paintbrush and chew on it.  This is just part of the creative process for HRH, Clara.

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: LivingSocial

For the bargain hunters!

I want to share a great daily bargain site that I've been using for the past couple of months called, LivingSocial.  It's safe, reliable, spam-free, and the deals are fantastic!  

What's really neat about the daily deal is that you get your coupon for free if 3 of your friends buy the same coupon from your unique link.

Here's the catch:  There is a time limit on how long your friends have to buy the coupon.  Sometimes, it's a couple of days; sometimes less, but usually a day.  They have to be checking their email, facebook, or twitter once a day to catch the offers before they expire.

Another thing that I like about the livingsocial coupons is that these are deals that I can actually use.  I really don't need a 20 percent off coupon on 5-inch designer heels or a discount on handbags with big gold chains on them.  I do not own anything with the word, "juicy," on it.  I'm not interested in getting any part of my body tattoo…

Tuesday's Cupboard—What Rhymes With Artichoke?

Bicycle spoke, antidote, periscope, telescope, anecdote, endoscope

It's artichoke season!  Here is one of my favorite summer recipes for a simple, healthy shrimp salad with fresh steamed artichokes on the side.

I could have tucked the shrimp salad in-between the steamed artichoke leaves, but it was a lot easier just to serve it on a fresh bed of spring greens & baby spinach.

Artichokes take 35 - 45 minutes to steam, so for an easy, no-fuss super, make the salad while the artichokes are cooking and refrigerate it while you wait.  The salad has 6 ingredients (shrimp, celery, olives, onion, lemon juice & mayo) and goes together in a snap.

If you pick artichokes from your garden, be sure to soak them in a bowl full of cold water weighted down with a plate on top.  Buggies will vacate after about 10 minutes, then proceed to snip the leaves & rinse out any remaining debris that might be left down inside of the leaves.

Classic Shrimp Salad with Steamed Artichokes on the Side

Monday—The Reading Corner—The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly  ★★★★1/2

If you enjoyed, The Lincoln Lawyer, you're going to like The Brass Verdict, too.    In fact, you may even like this one better.

As with any good sequel, The Brass Verdict brings back some of my favorite characters from the first book and introduces some really great new ones.  Without revealing anything about the ending of The Lincoln Lawyer, the Brass Verdict jumps off with an unanticipated set of circumstances.  Our intrepid hero, Mickey Haller, is more vulnerable this time, and we see him work through the labyrinth of his next big case on shakier ground.

Michael Connelly does a great job of putting you in the courtroom as the lawyers, judges, jury, and key witnesses weave through the layers of evidence.  We are introduced to a new character, Hieronymous Bosch, the hard-boiled and somewhat mysterious veteran police detective who works on the case parallel to Mickey's legal team.  Mickey ex-wife/office manager, Lorna, is back. …

Saturday Extra! Extra! — For the Lounge Lizards

Sahara Hotel & Casino Liquidation Sale

Home of the Rat Pack, Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin, Johnny Carson & Tony Bennett

Even if you won't be there, these pix are fun to view!  

First, click on the link above to get to the liquidation site.

Then, click on the first thumbnail to click through the individual slides.  Use your browser back button to return to the thumbnails.  Scrolling over the thumbnails gives you subtitles for each slide.

1.  Check out the king-size bed completely surrounded by mirrors from the Beatles suite (image 39).

2.  The Beatles stayed at the Sahara on August 19, 1964 (image 106 plaque).

3.  The circular marble tub with overhead spot lights and plate glass windows is kind of interesting (image 28).  If these walls could talk...

4.  The entry-lobby camel will go for a fortune (image 102), and the Arabian-style wall sconces from the restaurant are pretty neat (image 55).

5.  The game tables and stools will be in high demand—images 91 roulette, 97 red game…

Mini-Post Thursday—My favorite Google Homepage Widget

ABowman makes some great little doodads for your igoogle homepage.

I ❤ this little interactive widget of a hamster eating, sleeping, and running on its wheel!

Hamster widget

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home

You know you wanna...How to Clean Up Your Facebook Friends List

Pay attention to #4:

Reflect on what friend means to you...What is a friend 

by yourdefinition and not by Facebook's or social media in general? 

Don't be afraid to call a friend a friend and an online acquaintance an online acquaintance.