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Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

Happy And Prosperous Chinese New Year Of The Rat

Posted by infinitygoods on February 7, 2008



The Chinese year 4706 begins on Feb. 7, 2008 and festivities last for 15 days. It is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Pictured is the Fu symbol for prosperity. This photo was uploaded to Flickr’s public files by Suzzanna Low.

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I’m Still Dreaming; I’d Rather Be Singing

Posted by infinitygoods on January 20, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) I have a dream speach; Print designed by Tio and posted on Flickr’s public files

Would you rather be singing too?

Posted in African American, America, American History, art, Black, blog, blogging, Blogroll, celebrities, Childhood Memories, Children, choir, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, Famous Speeches, Flickr, Freedom, Friendship, God, history, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Israel, Jewish, Journalism, Judaism, Legacy, life, Martin Luther King Jr., Media, Memories, murder, Music, Nation, Negro, Negro Spiritual, New Year, News, nonbelievers, Obituary, Organizing, Photography, Photojournalism, politics, Race, Racism, religion, Republic, Resolution, singing, Slavery, Slaves, Speech, Spiritual, spirituality, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, United States, USA, Website, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Celebrate Life; Plant Trees On Tu B’Shevat And Year Round

Posted by infinitygoods on January 19, 2008

1 Tree and 1 Bird by Mary B. Bloom uploaded on Flickr public files

When you shall come to the land, you shall plant trees. Leviticus 19:23

At sundown on Monday, Jews around the world will be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, which is the New Year for Trees. It is not a high holiday like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, but some families celebrate with their children by planting trees, donating to the Jewish National Fund to have a tree planted in Israel, or having a seder similar to the one from Passover as Tu B’Shevat begins the 60 days leading to Passover.

During President Bush’s recent visit to Israel, the Jewish National Fund presented him with a certificate for 36 trees to be planted in his name at the American Independence Park in the Judean Hills and in Negev. The JNF states, “As the present year, 5768 in the Jewish calendar is a shmitta year, when the land lies fallow and no sowing or planting is allowed in the earth of the Land of Israel, the trees that will be planted in the name of the U.S. President will actually be planted at the end of the shmitta year.”

Fellow blogger Robin has an excellent 13-point description of Tu B’Shevat and I encourage you to check her easy-to-understand but detailed information and links.

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Cleaning Supplies In Every Room

Posted by infinitygoods on January 15, 2008

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This Works For Me Wednesday is short and sweet, but it works great for me and it will for you too.

I keep several sets of cleaning supplies, not just one. I have a set under the sink of each bath, the kitchen and one in the laundry room. Since my supplies are right there, I don’t have to run across the house or down the stairs to go get them. It saves me valuable energy and time therefore making it much easier to do a quick cleaning as needed and to clean daily. Since the dirt doesn’t pile up, it gets done quickly, easily and I don’t get grossed out.

For more participants in Works For Me Wednesday, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

Below are my previous Works For Me Wednesday posts and my household organization posts in case you missed any.

Posted in blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, education, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, New Year, Organizing, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Uncategorized, Website, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

How Do You Organize Your Home?

Posted by infinitygoods on January 8, 2008

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Today’s Work For Me Wednesday theme from Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer is to ask our readers a question. With the new year upon us, I ask all of you how you keep your home organized. What is your best tip or advice? It can be for any room in your home, including your garage. It could even be for a small portion of a room such as a kitchen cabinet, a desk or the refrigerator.

Be sure to leave a comment for the next person to find some tips and ideas and be sure to come back in a few days to see everybody’s ideas. In the meantime I’m going to your blogs to see what you all have to say and to leave lots of comments of my own. Happy Wednesday!

Posted in blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, culture, education, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, New Year, Organizing, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 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!!

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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!!!

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Thursday Thirteen #13 — 13 Resolutions And Why They Will Fail

Posted by infinitygoods on January 2, 2008

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Wow, 13 Thursday 13s already.

I never make New Year’s Resolutions other than resolving NOT to make resolutions! Here’s 13 reasons why the top 13 resolutions around the world fail.

  1. Lose weight: Doomed from the start because it’s almost impossible to escape corn syrup. It’s in everything! Statistics show that weight gain in the United States has gone up 4000 percent since the 1970s and it correlates exactly with the 4000% increase in manufacturers’ use of corn syrup since the 1970s. Corn syrup also increases cravings!!
  2. Exercise: Most people are too tired all day to exercise and when you add to the equation that you have to drive both to and from the gym (in my case it would be a 25 mile round trip to the nearest gym) it makes the whole thing futile unless you can give all of us a few more hours in the day.
  3. Diet: We all have the best intentions until our ALREADY STARVED stomachs get tempted by the aroma of pizza or warm chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Write to far away relatives: Tomorrow I’ll write to my aunt, but when tomorrow comes, well my dear, Scarlett said it best, “Tomorrow is another day!”
  5. Be a better spouse/child/friend: If we couldn’t do it on Thanksgiving or on Christmas Day, what makes you think that we can miraculously do it by procrastinating waiting until January 1.
  6. Stop procrastinating: Some people do procrastinate because they just don’t want to do something, but most of the time, people just don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the TO DO list. Give all of us another few more hours in the day AND the energy to do it, and I guarantee you we’ll all procrastinate a whole lot less. Until then, that resolution is guaranteed to be broken quickly.
  7. Get more sleep: If you live in the city, be sure to pass a law forbidding garbage trucks to stagnate under your window and beep when they back out with a 13-point turn. While you’re at it, pass a law to forbid all traffic, all honking, all loud neighbors, all barking dogs until after you have woken up on your own and are well-rested. If you live in the country, make sure the rooster is blind and your neighbor has agreed to milk the cows and do all your morning chores. And above all, regardless of where you live, be absolutely sure that you do not have any children under the age of 50.
  8. Keep a clean home: Unless you want to get rid of the dirt-tracking, slobbering dog, get rid of the germ-carrying, toy-scattering kids, maybe even the food-eating, clothe-wearing spouse, that’s going to be a tough one. Even at the Carlsbad caves in New Mexico, they have to spend thousands of volunteer hours dusting and picking dirt and lint out of the stalagmites each year and nobody even lives there. You do LIVE in your house, don’t you?
  9. Quite smoking/drinking/and God-forbid taking drugs: These are all substances which affect your brain receptors. You not only have to get rid of a nasty habit, but you have to get your brain and your physiology to stop reacting. With very hard work and lots of will-power you might be able to quit, but your body will always be addicted. It would be much easier to resolve to never use and abuse these substances in the first place.
  10. Reduce stress overall: LOL! LOL! When I hear people say that it reduces MY stress because it makes me laugh so much. Of course this is probably the easiest resolution to achieve. All you have to do is die and go to Heaven. That’s all. Now, be careful! Make sure you DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, commit suicide under any circumstance, because then you’ll die and go to hell!
  11. Reduce stress at work: If you work with people, it’s impossible. Unless maybe if you work with French people, because I seem to recall Napoleon saying “Impossible is not French.” You can’t work with machines or robots because they are designed and programed by people. Now maybe if you want to follow in Jane Goodall’s footsteps and go to the jungle to live with animals. They say animals reduce stress — as long as they’re not trying to eat you!
  12. Get out of debt: First thing is to sell your house because a mortgage is a 30-year debt. Sell your car too since you don’t want car payments. Cut up your credit cards which will of course wreck your credit score, but that’s OK since you don’t want any debt.
  13. Save money: That is another way of saying join the rat race, because to save money you have to earn money with a job and you have to work your little rat wheel faster than INFLATION. Also, don’t believe all those commercials that say you can save money if you go to their stores, because what they conveniently forget to tell you is that to save that money, you have to spend money first, so you’ll have to stat in that giant rat race.

If I didn’t deter you from making resolutions, just remember that it takes at least three weeks to form a good habit, so don’t give up before then, and best of luck and Happy New Year to you and yours!

If you want to see the list of Thursday 13 participants, just click here.

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Thank-You Note How-To and Sample Ideas

Posted by infinitygoods on January 1, 2008

It’s easy to write a thank-you note if you keep it short and simple. It doesn’t need to be long. It could even just be a small card preprinted with the words “Thank You” that you simply sign and mail. These days so few people send thank-you notes that you’ll really make someone’s day. Just keep it simple and keep it sincere, and it’s never too early to teach children to send a thank-you because even a newborn can draw a scribble.

Here are some samples:

  • Thank you! I love it!
  • Thank you for (fill in the blank). It was such a pleasant surprise on Christmas morning.
  • You made my day! Thank you for the (fill in the blank).
  • So sweet of you to remember that I like _____ . Thank you!
  • Thank you for thinking of me. You are such a thoughtful person.
  • Thank you for _____ . It will be so useful for _____ .
  • I’m so lucky to have a friend like you. The _____ is fantastic. Thank you so much.
  • Thank you doesn’t seem enough for a (fill in extravagant gift), but you leave me speechless.
  • Thank you so much! You are great!
  • Thank you for being so nice. I love the _____ .
  • You couldn’t have picked better. Thank you.
  • Thank you for _____ .
  • Thank you so much!
  • Sweets from a sweet person like you are twice as nice. Thank you for remembering me on (fill in occasion).
  • Enjoyed your homemade treats. Thank you for taking the time to make (fudge, toffee, etc. fill in the blank).
  • Thank you for thinking of me this Christmas (or appropriate occasion).
  • I always love your gifts. Thank you for being such a special (fill in the blank, friend, mom, sister, etc.).
  • Thank you. You’re the best.
  • I will have so much fun (reading, eating, etc. fill in the blank appropriately). Thank you!
  • Love it! Love you! Thank you!
  • Thank you!

Pay It Forward With A Letter will give you more details on the lost art of letter writing. For more on why you should resolve to write thank you notes, see Time For The New Year And Thank Yous.

Posted in Cards, Caring, Children, culture, education, Family, Friendship, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, Tips, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Time For The New Year And Thank-Yous

Posted by infinitygoods on January 1, 2008

wfmwbluebanner.jpgResolve to write a short thank-you note to each person who gave you a gift.

The person who gave you a gift took the time to either make it by hand or to brave the nasty Christmas crowds and traffic. Neither rain, snow nor sleet prevented them from going out just for you. They wrapped the gift just for you, and they might even have had to wait in those long post office lines. They could have spent their time and money on plenty of other people, including themselves, but they chose to do something nice for you.

The least you can do is show them your appreciation by sending them a short note. It doesn’t have to be long, but it will make them happy, and even more so these days when so few people send thank-yous. So be one of the polite people.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even if you don’t want to be polite, even if you don’t give a hoot about that kind person who thought so nicely about you, even if you are just one big selfish person, it will be in YOUR best interest to send them a thank-you note. Today, so few people send thank-yous that you’ll get noticed in a good way and people will give you EVEN MORE GIFTS.

If you need sample ideas for very short thank-yous, just click here.

Pay It Forward With A Letter will give you more details on the lost art of letter writing.

For a list of this week’s participants in Shannon’s Works For Me Wednesday, just visit Rocks In My Dryer.

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

Posted in blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, culture, Family, Friendship, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, New Year's Eve, Pay It Forward, Tips, Tradition, Website, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »