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13 Inexpensive Ways To Show Your Love

Posted by infinitygoods on February 5, 2008

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Let romance work for you on Valentine’s Day and year-round. It’s not always the expensive gifts that will show you care. Quite often, it’s the little ways. What’s a big diamond if you don’t even pay attention to each other? Here are 13 tested and approved ways to show your loved ones you truly care about them. They will work for you too.

  1. Write a love letter (see this wonderful sample at Pensieve — it got him the girl and 20+ years later, it’s still her favorite valentine of all time);
  2. Write a poem;
  3. Take your loved one to a picnic on the beach, park or some pleasant, but secluded spot;
  4. Rent romantic movies, make a fire in the fireplace, dim the lights, make or buy a tiny cake for two or dip some strawberries in chocolate, serve some sparkling apple cider in crystal flutes; (Here’s a lovely Valentine dessert recipe!)
  5. Read or recite poetry while you massage your loved one’s feet. Shelley and Tennyson are very romantic! Get a tiny book edition to make it easy to hold in one hand.
  6. Make a special dinner for two. Think small portions and ingredients you don’t use everyday. Don’t go out to a crowded, noisy, expensive restaurant. Where’s the romance in that?
  7. Tuck a heart-shaped cookie and an “I love you” in your loved one’s lunch bag;
  8. Also for the lunch bag or briefcase or even the front seat of the car, place a few Hugs and Kisses chocolates in a decorative cellophane bag or other pretty container with a promise for more at home. More chocolates for a child or more … for a spouse — that’s up to you;
  9. Do a chore your loved one would normally have to do (Do it well!! Don’t make your loved one have to redo it or clean up your mess. The thought only counts so far in this case.);
  10. Remember the phrase “As you wish” from “The Princess Bride”? It meant “I love you.” Use it or come up with your own phrase and see how quickly your bride or prince charming figures out what you truly mean.
  11. Pick out a novel with a romantic love story or subplot and read it to your loved one or to each other before bedtime;
  12. Give a vase or box full of 365 heart-shaped slips of paper. On each heart write a reason why you are in love, a compliment, an “I love you,” a promise for a kiss, etc. and fold in half. Each day, for an entire year, your loved one gets to open a heart. You can make it as platonic or as explicit as your relationship allows.
  13. Make the decision to make your loved one happy year-round. Base all your actions on whether it would make your loved one happy. It will do wonders for your relationship and soon, without even realizing it, your loved one will reciprocate. 🙂

What are some of your ideas for showing your love on Valentine’s Day?
For more tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer and for more lists of lucky thirteens, visit Thursday Thirteen.

If you’ve missed any of my other household tips, just click below.

Posted in author, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, Cards, Caring, carnival, Cooking, coupons, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, entertainment, Family, February 14, film, Food, Friendship, frugal, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, love, reading, Recipe, romance, Romantic, Ti Adoro, Tips, Valentine, Valentine's Day, Website, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

I Am Not A Number! But Still A Prisoner At Spam Village

Posted by infinitygoods on February 1, 2008

I’m a huge fan of “The Prisoner,” a British tele series from the late 1960s which I watched when I was a toddler. I was probably too young for that matter, as it has marked me for life. “I am not a number!” was a favorite quote of mine throughout childhood and I still use it from time to time. It came to mind as I was reading all the numbers I have been assigned by a spam e-mail which wormed its way out of the bulk mail filters and into my inbox. The nerve of these spam e-mails, really!

I have been assigned a reference number, a ticket number, a lucky number (oooh, lucky me!) and a serial number. There’s also an international number to call! But I don’t think I’ll be calling it. They want INFORMATION! INFORMATION! But who is their Number 1? That would be telling! Who is Number 2?

I AM NOT A NUMBER! I am a free woman! I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, NUMBERED OR SPAMMED!

Here’s the series introduction:

When the prisoner wakes up, he finds himself in The Village.

Here’s The Village and its architectural history as documented by “The Antiques Road Show”:

If you’re interested in the DVD boxed set of the complete 17-episode series, it’s available here.

Be seeing you! 😉

Posted in America, art, Arts and Crafts, Britain, British, Car, celebrities, crafts, culture, Documentary, DVDs, education, england, entertainment, film, free, Freedom, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, movies, television, travel, U.S., United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flickr Delivers Library Of Congress’ Historical Eye Candy

Posted by infinitygoods on January 18, 2008

Woman Aircraft Workermain-church-altar-trampas-nm.jpgSunsetlocomotive-driver-wheel.jpgInstructor and Students Studying Map, Meacham Field, Ft. Worth, Texas

The United States Library of Congress pilot program launched on Flickr just two days ago has Web viewers entranced with its display of 3,115 images from the library’s extensive photo collection and clamoring for more.

Last night’s statistics from just one day on Flickr reveals the following:Girl Next To Barn With Chicken

• 392,000 views on the photostream;
• 650,000 views of photos;
• Adding in set and collection page views, there were about 1.1 million total views on their account;
• All 3,100+ photos have been viewed;
• 420 of the photos have comments;
• 1,200 of the photos have been favorited.

The Library has struck a chord with the people of the Internet. Matt Raymond, the author of the Library’s 9 month old blog and director of communications says, “The response to the Library’s pilot project with Flickr has been nothing short of astounding. You always hope for a positive reaction to something like this, but it has been utterly off the charts—from the Flickr community, from the blogosphere, from the news media—it is nothing short of amazing.”

And we all want more photos. The most frequently asked question on both the Flickr and the blog comments is asking when the library will upload even more photos. There are more than 1 million photos on the library’s Web site and some are easily viewable as sample images, but the great majority of these images can only be accessed through search words. If you want to see the images in say their Daguerreotype collection youA-20 Bomber Being Riveted By Woman Worker, Douglas Aircraft Co., Long Beach, California have to type in specific search words, and there my friends is where the Library of Congress’ Web site went totally wrong and where the Flickr project went totally right, because if you don’t know what to search for or you just want to see what’s available, you are facing a computer screen full of daunting type and not one single beautiful image; no eye candy, no mesmerizing piece of history, no emotionally stirring art.

If you like history or photography, or better yet, like me you like both, you will be spending hours pouring over your LOC Flickr screen, so be forewarned, this may be a whole new addiction which might even spawn further interests you will just HAVE to research.

  • A note on the high quality of these historical photographs: “The scans are not color corrected or adjusted to create an optimized view of the photographic scene, rather they represent the qualities of the images as they exist in the collection at the time they are scanned.”
Carpenter, Douglas Dam, TenesseStacks Of Home Canned FoodPutting Finishing Touches On B-17F Navy Bomber

Filling Station And Garage At Pie Town, New MexicoJim Norris Homesteader, Pie Town, New Mexico
  • For an article about Pie Town, New Mexico and Russell Lee, the photographer who chronicled its homesteaders, visit this Smithsonian article.

Posted in America, American History, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, eggs, Family, film, Flickr, government agencies, history, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Journalism, Library Of Congress, life, manufacturers, nature, News, reading, technology, Tips, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Adopt The Tradition of the Feast Of The Magi And The French Galette Des Rois Recipe

Posted by infinitygoods on January 4, 2008

galettedesroispostedonflickrby-tn-fnn.jpg French families have an Epiphany tradition to celebrate the Magi each January 6. Even non-religious families celebrate because they have such fond childhood memories and the galette, a covered almond tart or pie, is so good that they just can’t leave it only to the Christians.

I think you should adopt it too because your children will love the game (adults enjoy it too) and all your taste buds will rejoice. The recipe is easy and fast too if you don’t have a French bakery near you.

You’ll have to “draw a king.” After a fancy holiday dinner, everyone eats the Galette Des Rois (Mages). Inside the covered pie is a “feve” or a small ceramic figure or even just a fava bean or button. The figures are traditionally of the Baby Jesus, but can be of any of the nativity pieces, of a champagne bottle, a lucky clover, a horseshoe or anything symbolizing good luck for the New Year.

The mother or hostess cuts and serves the pie pieces while the youngest child gets under the table or simply closes his eyes to tell the server to whom each piece should go to without being able to peek at the little hidden figure.

When someone finds the figure, they are crowned King or Queen and everyone toasts to them with Champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider, and none will prevent you from drinking soda or milk if you prefer. Each time the King drinks everyone says “The King drinks!”

Then that person discretely places the figure in the glass of someone of the opposite sex so that the King has a Queen or vice versa. Everyone waits for the Queen to find her figure in her glass and when she drinks, everyone says “The Queen drinks!” The King and Queen wear their crowns all evening.

When children are participating, the mother strategically makes sure that one of the children gets the treasured figure. Should a parent accidentally become King, that parent should make a child the Queen (or King or Prince), NOT his spouse.

The game is rigged, but the gullible children have no idea and believe that each year they are just the luckiest kids in the whole wide world and it makes them quite happy and excited. It also boosts their self-esteem in a safe manner. You could crown all the children or even everyone present too.

When the game is played only among adults, it is often agreed upon that the King or Queen will host the Feast of the Magi the following year or bring next year’s galette or pie to the party, and everyone looks forward to more good times among good friends or family.

Whether children or adults, the King and the Queen are supposed to have good luck all year long!

You will need 2 crowns. Your children can easily make them out of paper and decorate them by drawing jewels or using stickers or gluing plastic jewels or sequins. It’s an easy and fun craft. Otherwise you can find crowns from the most basic paper to fancy gold plastic or even velvet ones at a party or costume store.

Nativity with  “feves” or little figures collected from year to year from the galettes des rois each Epiphany

For the figure you can use a bean or a button. Be sure to warn everyone so there is no tragic chocking! If you decide to play each year, you can even buy tiny figures on-line like the ones in the photo or even outside France at some French bakeries. E-Bay also auctions them as they have become collectibles.

Here’s the recipe:

Galette Des Rois
For 4-6 people

  • 2 circles of store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 1/2 cup of powdered almonds
  • 1 1/2 stick of butter (melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 heaping cup of granulated sugar
  • Natural flavoring to taste such as orange flower water, rose water, pure vanilla extract, rum, Amaretto or Grand Marnier

Mix the sugar, butter, 2 eggs, almonds and your chosen flavoring. Evenly spread the mixture on one of the puff pastry circles. Insert your “feve” or a button or bean, and cover with the second circle. Make a pleasant design on the top with the tip of a knife and paint with 1 egg yolk. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden at 325-350 degrees F. depending on your oven.

It is best served warm. You can also serve at room temperature.

Bon Appetit and Bonne Fete Des Rois!!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, Caring, Children, Children's games, children's stories, Christianity, Christmas, consumers, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, entertainment, Epiphany, fairy tale, Faith, Family, Food, food flavoring, food products, France, Friendship, galette des rois, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, New Year, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, Party, Recipe, religion, royal family, royals, royalty, spirituality, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Growing Blog, Top Post And Blog Forecast For 2008

Posted by infinitygoods on January 3, 2008

I’m amazed and also quite pleased to see that I continue to make the Growing Blog list on WordPress despite the exponential factor which should make it progressively more difficult to be on this list.

To remain a growing blog, you not only have to grow, but you have to outdo your own growing rate and the rate of others each time, and I’ve started the new year with a bang not only being one of the WordPress Growing Blogs, but also having one of the Top Posts on WordPress.

At last count my post Organizing Household Resources In An Address Book was the 99th Top Post on WordPress out of more than 2 million blogs and an unknown bazillion posts.

I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again that I thank my readers.  I’m so glad that you find my blog to be interesting and useful.  I’m so glad when I look at my statistics and see that you came to my site from a link which was e-mailed to you or when I read my own e-mail and there’s a note from you telling me that you are putting me on your reader so you won’t miss a post.

As you saw with yesterday’s post, I don’t like to make New Year Resolutions because so few people can keep them and if I’m going to have a resolution or a goal, why wait for January 1, but here are just a few of the directions I see my blog going in the coming months.  I have other plans too that I’ll let you know about as the year unfolds.

If you’ve made the resolution to be organized, this blog is quickly becoming the place to find easy tips and solutions.  I’ve even created pages at the top of this blog for Household Tips and for Organizing so that you can easily find my posts at any time.  To help you with that there are also a search feature and a calendar in the sidebar.

I’ve noticed that you are also especially interested in my posts on healthy eating and cookies (not so healthy but yummy) as well as other recipes.  So I’ll give you a bit more in these areas too in the coming months.

I’ll continue to post about religion, God and my opinions on the topic.  The Lenten season is approaching quickly.  For the past two years I have used the book “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren to prepare for Easter by reading his book and reflecting on his 40-day spiritual journey.  I found different insights each year as I have grown and changed, and for 2008 I hope you’ll join me on-line.  I highly recommend this book which according to Publishers Weekly has become “the bestselling nonfiction hardback book in history.”  So come find out why with me and my other readers.  If you don’t already own it, you can check it out from your local library when the time comes, or you can purchase it.

Today and anytime, feel free to leave me comments.  Comments help us get to know each other and to build a community.

In the meantime, thanks a million to all of you for reading my blog, and I wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2008!!!

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, Caring, Christian, Christianity, consumers, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, crafts, Cuisine, culture, diet, education, entertainment, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, New Year, New Year's Eve, News, organic food, organic foods, Organizing, reading, Recipe, religion, Resolution, spirituality, Tips, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Website, WordPress, WordPress Statistics, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thursday Thirteen #12 — Organized In The New Year

Posted by infinitygoods on December 26, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! With the New Year resolutions looming in the near future, I am sharing with you 13 ways to remain organized in 2008 and for years to come. Click on the links for more details.

  1. Desk Calendar: I hide a large desk calendar inside my guest closet;
  2. Notebooks: Never again lose notes jotted on a scrap of paper. I have a tiny one in my purse for notes on the go; a small one near every phone and especially near the answering machine, just the right size for a name and phone number; regular school notebooks for projects, ideas, my blog, journals, etc.;
  3. Binders: I keep regular school binders by category such as my household binder;
  4. Flash Drives: I’m so excited flash drives were invented and have so drastically dropped down in price. I back up just about everything by category on flash drives. These days, you can even buy them in packs of 10! I have one for my photos, one for my blog, one for my recipes, one for my documents, etc.
  5. Easy Zipper Bags: These are not relegated to just the refrigerator. I use them in just about every room. They are particularly good to help children store and easily find their toys;
  6. Bread Bag Close Tabs: I use these in the freezer!
  7. Kitchen Colander: Really, I’m not crazy, and a colander does keep me organized — in the bathtub!!
  8. Plastic Grocery Bags: Paper or plastic? Plastic for me because they get reused in a whole slew of ways before finding themselves in the landfill;
  9. Trading Card Storage: Our son has lots of game and trading cards, and like his friends and their parents, we were having a hard time finding a good way to organize them at any price until I thought of using this free box.
  10. Keeping Our Bookcases From Breaking: My husband, our son and I are all avid readers so our bookcases are always bulging despite using the library. I recently found this solution and so far it seems to be working as it should. If any of you do this too, let all of us know how it’s working for you. 🙂
  11. Letter Writing Containers: I like to write short notes and thank yous to make someone’s day. I found it’s a lot more likely to get done if I’m organized. I have a zippered binder in my car where I seem to spend too much time waiting. The binder is within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat and I keep it stocked with small blank notes, thank you cards, some stamps, pens and colored pencils, Post Its, paper clips, a small ruler, pencil sharpener, pretty stickers and address labels for both myself and the people I write to most often, an address book, and a calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. I keep a pretty container stocked with the same items near my easy chair and by my bedside.
  12. Lazy Susans: I have no idea why they call Susan lazy when she’s so smart, but she keeps the hard-to-reach back corners of my deep kitchen cabinets stocked with my mugs on one shelf and my glasses on another;
  13. Diaper Bag/Grown Boy or Girl Bag: Our son has outgrown diaper bags, but I used to keep one large bag in each car with extra supplies so that I would never run out of anything. I carried a small, light one everywhere we went on foot, but the big, heavy one remained in the car with everything a baby could possibly need because if you don’t have it, that’s when you’ll need it. Today, I still keep a bag with non-spoiling munchies, water, spare socks, a blanket, drawing supplies, one or two toys, wipes, Kleenexes, picnic supplies and plastic grocery bags. Because we live far away from civilization, I’m ready for wasted time in waiting rooms or traffic jams, we can have an impromptu picnic at the park, and having had to run for our lives on several occasions because of California fires, I’d rather be ready like the Scouts.

Feel free to leave me comments, and if you are participating in Thursday Thirteen too, let me know you came by so that my readers and I can come visit your blog as well. 😉

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Happy Thursday!!

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Baby, Bath Time, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, Christmas, consumers, crafts, education, entertainment, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, Noel, Organizing, Photography, Plastic Grocery Bags, publishing, reading, Recipe, Recycle, Resolution, Reuse, technology, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, Toys, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Thursday Thirteen #11 — Classic Christmas Books

Posted by infinitygoods on December 19, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! You might also be interested in yesterday’s post for Works For Me Wednesday which is also a list of thirteen Christmas ideas. Happy Thursday Thirteen!! And wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  1. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
  2. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  3. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
  4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  6. The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman
  7. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
  8. Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien
  9. Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
  10. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
  11. Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May
  13. Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church

If you are interested in Christmas Ideas or Household Tips, just click below.

  • Reusing Christmas Cards
  • Where’s Santa?
  • Magic Reindeer Food
  • Advent Calendar Chain — Easy Children’s Craft
  • Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
  • Favorite Christmas Movies
  • Using an Advent Wreath as a Devotional Tool
  • Write a Santa Letter to Your Children
  • Holiday Shopping List
  • Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas
  • HOUSEHOLD TIPS
  • Ten Minute Recipe
  • Egg Tip
  • Bookcases at the Breaking Point?
  • Organizing Household Binder
  • Trading Card Storage
  • Freezer Solution
  • Large desk calendar inside guest closet
  • Child’s haircut without tears
  • Homemade bread stuffing
  • Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder
  • Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car
  • How to increase Web site traffic?
  • 16 Blog/Web site tips
  • Toy storage
  • Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
  • Black Friday Holiday Shopping
  • holly-divider-bar.jpg

    Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, children's stories, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, fairy tale, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Noel, novel, publishing, reading, Recycle, Reuse, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

    WFMW — Put Used Christmas Cards To Good Use

    Posted by infinitygoods on December 18, 2007

    wfmwbluebanner.jpgBe sure to see my other Advent and Christmas ideas below too. I save some of my Christmas greeting cards because I’m the sentimental type, but here are some great uses for those who usually just discard them in the trash. These are some of the uses I find for the ones which do not hold special value to me. I love comments 😉 Also, if you have more ideas be sure to let all of us know what they are.

    1. Give them to a teacher (always ask first when giving). Many preschool, kindergarten and early grade teachers need these cards (Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. too!) for their students to do paper crafts in class. Sometimes they use them to make collages to send cards to soldiers, senior citizens or the homeless. Some teachers will have their students use them to create a priceless gift to their parents. Some teachers will use them for their own bulletin boards to make the classroom more festive.
    2. Give them to a student artist or a professional artist. One of the professional artists at our church asks the office to save all the cards we receive for use as inspiration, models, etc. Some artists will separate the various colors and turn them into pulp for use as papier mache and handmade paper. Others use them as found objects for their art or even for installations.
    3. Give them to a church or senior group. When I was involved with our monthly Senior Luncheon group, the organizer would always be on the lookout for seasonal greeting cards to use as nametags, placecards, To/From tags and decorations. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day each senior would receive a card made from these used greeting cards. The card would be cut in half so that the side written on would be discarded. The picture side would either be folded in half or glued to a piece of paper and a personal message would be added for the senior. You have no idea how much joy it brought to some of these seniors. For some of them, this would be the only card anyone would give them. The church and the volunteers did not have a special card budget, so these recycled ones would be it or there would be nothing.
    4. Use them for scrapbooking. As we become more and more conscious of our environment, printers and card companies are using acid free paper and inks so they can be used to make some fancy frames, backgrounds, clip art, etc. for our photo albums and scrapbooks. Many cards today are even made by hand and have that three-dimensional effect that so many scrapbookers are looking for.
    5. Give them to your child for cutting. Younger children love to cut paper, and cardstock gives them a different texture to manipulate. Manipulatives are very important for a young child’s development and for fine motor skills. The ones with layers, ribbons, pop-ups, etc. can all be taken apart and possibly reconstructed by the child. Children can use the pictures to illustrate their own stories. Old magazines also work well for this.
    6. Save them until next year, and children can decorate their own small packages.
    7. Help your children make next year’s Advent calendar. You’ll need one card for the main scene in the front, from which you will cut out the 25 windows (cut three sides only, door-style). With a pencil, outline the windows on a piece of paper. You’ll need one or more cards for the back where you’ll glue the 25 mini-pictures to the outlines on the piece of paper. Then glue that paper to the back of the main scene with the 25 mini-pictures showing through the windows. Next year, you’ll bend back one window each day of Advent. If you do the craft this year, it will help your children transition from too much excitement during the pre-Christmas rush and too little excitement in the post-Christmas letdown and boredom before returning to school. This craft is not about making the prettiest, most professional-looking calendar (you can buy that at the store), it’s about letting your children practice gluing, cutting, aligning and using their creativity, while letting them do something more than just watch TV and boosting their self-esteem. If you put away the calendar(s) with the Christmas decorations, you will not lose them during the long year ahead. You can also elect to tuck in all your used cards with the decorations and they will be waiting for your children’s creative talents next Advent season.
    8. Another good child craft is to use cookie cutters (or a glass for a simple circle) to outline 25 scenes, cut them out with scissors, punch a small hole on either left/right or top/bottom and string them garland style. Your children can add bows in between each scene, or add beads, etc. Their creativity is the limit. You also have the option to add the numbers 1-25 on them. It will make a nice swag for across the mantle, a vertical garland to hang in their room or for the homeschool classroom for next year’s Advent.
    9. Frame them. Many cards are art reproductions of the Masters, and some may be from unknown artists at Hallmark or American Greetings but just as pretty, and will make cute holiday pictures to decorate your home. Get a few small frames from the dollar store (sometimes even two or three for $1) or insert them in frame ornaments for your tree, which have become so popular in recent years. There’s no law that says you must put in a family snapshot. You could put in a reproduction of the Holy Family or a cutesy teddy bear with a holly wreath if that’s more along your decorating theme (shop those after-Christmas sales for bargains).
    10. Our son, the future scientist, tells me the computer chip components from musical Christmas cards can be reused for scientific and robotic purposes.
    11. If you receive cards from Europe, they have a paper insert which is not glued to the card as they are here in the U.S., so you can just save/toss the insert and reuse the card as a brand new greeting card next year. All you’ll have to do is buy some envelopes.
    12. One senior citizen I used to know would cut away the written portion and send the picture portion as a Christmas postcard. On her tiny, fixed income, she would also save on postage, yet she was able to continue her social tradition of sending cards to everyone she knew. She said the ones which were not embossed worked best as it was more difficult to see that they were reused greeting cards.
    13. Save the written part of the card. Yes, you read that correctly. Professionals write these cards and say it better than most of us can, so save your favorite samples and incorporate them in your own greetings. Soon, even blank cards will be of no concern to you even if you are normally completely tongue tied. This works for birthday and especially sympathy cards.

    For the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head to Rocks in My Dryer.

    If you missed any of my Advent and Christmas ideas, just click below.

    If you missed any of my household tips, just click below. I also have these as a separate page you can access any time at the header on top.

    Posted in Advent, art, Arts and Crafts, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Cards, Caring, carnival, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, Family, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, Memories, Noel, Photography, Recycle, Reuse, Rocks In My Dryer, scrapbook, scrapbooking, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

    Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007

    This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.

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    Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

    Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

    Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

    15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!

    16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.

    17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.

    18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.

    19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.

    20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.

    21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.

    22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

    23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.

    24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.

    And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!

    25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.

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    Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 2

    Posted by infinitygoods on December 13, 2007

    This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here.

    holly-divider-bar.jpg

    Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

    Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

    Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

    7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Of course! Several actually. Like with our Christmas trees, I like to have at least one in each room. I have one I splurged on as a teenager. It is a Fontanini, which I bought from the San Francisco Music Box Company. The manger has a real Reuge movement which plays “Silent Night,” bringing me warm childhood memories of my entire extended family singing that carol in German, French, Italian and English. Each year I add at least one new piece to my nativity. I have another nativity made of porcelain and also with a music box. My mom gave it to me because it is small and one solid piece so that I could take it with me wherever I traveled. This one plays “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” We have a nativity we inherited from my mother-in-law. It is nothing special, but has great sentimental value to us. I have one Santon from France which is dressed in fabric clothes. I love that little old lady very much, and she reminds me of the Santons my aunt and uncle collect during their travels to the small villages in France. Each one is designed after a real person in the village.

    8. Who is your hardest person to buy for? It was my mother-in-law. She was one of those people who has everything, needs nothing, buys anything she might remotely want or wish for, long before anyone else even had the chance to get it for her. When you encounter someone like that, I advise you do as the Wise Men did, and bring lots of gold. Diamonds work well, too.

    9. Easiest person to buy for? Our son has loved everything we have ever given him. He is so enthusiastic with every gift, it is a real joy to see him react to even the most basic item.

    10. Worst gift you ever received? A scale so I could GAIN weight. I was in high school and my very own parents thought 90 pounds was not an appropriate weight. My feelings were very hurt.

    11. Do you mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Both. I send far fewer cards than I used to, but I still send to my relatives scattered around the world and a few dear people who have remained friends over the decades. I do not feel obligated to send a card to every person I have ever met. I send a few e-cards to people who write to me via e-mail throughout the year. I do not write annual Christmas letters, obviously not because I do not like to write, but because if there is someone out there who hasn’t kept in touch with me (and vice versa) since the previous Christmas, then I’m sure they would not be interested in my Christmas letter. I also do not send Christmas cards to atheists, even if they celebrate “christmas” with a tree and gifts. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The tree and the gifts should be symbolic, not an atheist excuse for consumerism and greed. I also send a few Hanukkah cards.

    12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Hmmm. … One year I found myself having to shop on Christmas Eve, one year I did some year-round shopping, a couple of years I did most of my shopping during all the AFTER Christmas sales and clearances for the following Christmas, so I was a full year ahead. I highly recommend being a year ahead of the game. Not only will you enjoy the Advent season far more if you don’t have to battle those crazed people in the malls, but you’ll save money twice (once because everything is on sale and another time because you’ll have beat inflation since by the next year, all the prices will have gone up. I wouldn’t recommend buying technology-related items like computers or iPods of course.) I prefer making my own gifts for those I love. I just pour all of my love into it. It’s usually projects which require many hours, but the people I love are well worth it, and I think it is much better than a store-bought gift. I also love to create memories more than buying something for under the tree. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself buying fewer and fewer gifts as a reaction to the world getting more and more commercial. One huge pet peeve is that the store clerks are no longer allowed to wish us a Merry Christmas. What a bunch of double-standard, bah humbug Scrooges all these store owners and managers are!

    13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? If I am given a gift which I have no use for, I will give it to someone I know will be able to use it or enjoy it, otherwise I give it to charity. I see nothing wrong with making others happy.

    14. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights. I think it looks much better. I still have some old strings of colored lights and they do get used around the house, but not on any of the trees.

    Part 3 is here.

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    Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Chanukkah, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, entertainment, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Organizing, Recycle, religion, sales, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Toys, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »