Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Facebook Timeline

sooo....has anyone else made the big change yet?

you've heard the rumors that Facebook will soon be transitioning everyone's profiles to the "timeline" format, right? i saw a presentation this fall introducing it and it reminds me of a comprehensive scrapbook your stalker-ish aunt suzy compiled for you since 3 years before your birth. but in the sweetest, most well-intentioned, innocent way.

well, if you're Type A like me, you want to be in control of that transition. those other folks can just let it happen to them, but not me. no sirree. nuh-uh.

though Facebook will be rolling it out over the next week or two, you can go ahead and update your profile to the timeline format now. it's super easy to do, but be warned that Type-Aers may lose a few hours making sure everything is just so. perfect. accurate. stalk your friends to make sure their timelines are accurate. i mean, what kind of friend has a sloppy timeline? geez.

want it? yeah, ya do. here's a super easy guide from mashable to get you to it. may the timeline be with you. once you set it up, you have 7 days before it goes live. this gives you time to perfect it. (as if you wouldn't do that in one sitting.)

 not sure what i'm talking about? well, Facebook is changing the way everyone views you. it will basically chronicle your life based on info you've provided, photos your friends have tagged you in along the way, places you've checked into, and well, some educated guessing. you have the control of editing what you want peeps to see, making sure things are accurate, and auto-editing every photo of yourself to be 7 pounds lighter, 97% muscle mass, + healthily glowed. okay, last part MIGHT be a lie.

don't like it? well, before you start complaining, a few things to remember:
  • it's free to use
  • it's your choice to use it
  • they need to make money, and well, yeah, they'll probably know more about you now
  • and they'll probably sell some insights to advertisers
privacy? well, you'll have to read their policy on that. i'm sure it's just as solid as your average million-plus member community on the internet. use it at your own risk, be smart. it is what it is.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

magic reindeer food

when i was little, one of our holiday highlights was putting out the reindeer food on Christmas Eve. every year, Mrs. Gidley would deliver the magic mix to our porch, and we 3 girls were delighted to get to sprinkle it on the lawn. part of this excitement may have stemmed that this brown paper bag had likely been touched by Mrs. Gidley's son, who was SOOOOOOOO cute. cute boy aside, the reindeer food was always a favorite thing.

after we'd open our Christmas PJs on Christmas Eve, we'd put on our slippers, bundle up, and sprinkle the mix on the front yard to make sure Santa's reindeer had a snack while he was so busy unloading our loot. then, we'd argue over who got to color which part of the reindeer.

Mrs. Gidley's mixture consisted of hay and glitter packaged in a brown paper sack, and it always had a hand-drawn reindeer picture for coloring. apparently, glitter isn't bio-degradable, so i had to adjust the mix to be environmentally friendly and all. but the packaging stayed the same.

Oats - duh, reindeer LOVE oats
Colored sugar - creates the "magic" sparkle to help the reindeer find your house
Cypress fronds - gives it a Christmas-y smell to help the reindeer know it's safe to eat

Evenly disperse the oats among the dozen or so bags (about 1/3 cup each). Sprinkle sugar crystals into each bag. Top off with some cypress fronds (I salvaged mine from the porch where my garland was shedding). Give it a shake.

Fold over the top of each bag + staple the coloring label onto the front. I stamped each one with our name so folks knew where they came from, too.

You can download my coloring labels here. 2 will print per page, and they fit perfectly onto the average brown paper lunch sack. If you're distributing to a household with siblings, you may want to tack on enough coloring labels for each child to avoid a small war.

The label's poem reads:
Sprinkle on your lawn at night
Rudolph's nose will make it sparkle bright.
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam,
This will guide them to your home.

Drop them off to your friends + neighbors with school-age kiddos the week before Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'tis the season - spice rub gift

for holiday gifts, we've started giving friends some of cricket's famous rub. he uses it on his pulled pork, but it's good on rubbed on tenderloin, chicken breasts, or sprinkled on grilled veggies + anything else you put on the grill.
[the label for the jars]
over the past few weeks, we've gotten a few hints from last year's recipients about how they love it, use it all the time, are running low. hint hint. yeah yeah, we whipped up a batch of the super secret mixture this weekend and packaged it up for this year's gifts.

of course, it's packaged in mason jars. a little tissue paper + we have ourselves a gift.

Monday, December 12, 2011

cinnamon honey butter gifts

my mom has long given her friends + neighbors homemade roasted garlic butter as holiday gifts. it's delicious on every.thing. and fills the house with a wonderful garlicky aroma when she's roasting like 20 cloves at a time.

since i'm not much of a baker (and when i do bake, the treats don't last very long), i thought i'd follow in my mom's footsteps + whip up some flavored butter as gifts this year. whip up, get it?

i found this recipe from ina, and figured i couldn't go wrong. the cinnamon + honey flavors just scream holiday time to me. i knew this would be perfect for family gatherings around the holidays: french toast on Christmas morning, smeared on warm rolls, used to ice cinnamon rolls, or even used to make cinnamon toast.

as usual, i altered the recipe a tad. here's the recipe to fill 1-dozen 8-oz mason jars. i actually had enough to fill 2 additional 4-oz jars.

3.5 pounds of unsalted butter, room temperature (each stick of butter is 1/4 pound, so 14 sticks)
2.5 cups + 2 tablespoons of clover honey
3.5 teaspoons of cinnamon - i used roasted saigon cinnamon for a richer flavor
1.75 teaspoons of kosher salt
heavy whipping cream, about .5-1 cup
12 8-oz jelly jars, with lids

blend butter using mixer's paddle attachment until no longer in large chunks.

add honey, cinnamon and salt into mixer's bowl until well blended. blend on medium speed until smooth.

add cream until desired consistency. the more you add, the creamier it will be. the less you add, the firmer it will be. it's really a matter of preference.

once it's creamy enough for your liking, spoon into jars, approximately 3/4 full. place lids on the jars, affix label, tie on your ribbon, and refrigerate. it's a very yummy + very inexpensive gift for the holidays!

i created little labels for my jars and printed them on 1 1/2" round labels from Avery (item #8293). i had the labels available for download, until i realized i'd misspelled the word "biscuit." shame, shame, shame. i've actually already gifted a few, so i'm just gonna go with it. please don't tell Teacher Sis.
[i misspelled BISCUITS. that makes it more personal, right? geez. i'm ashamed.]
would love to know what you try the butter on this holiday season!! and check out the other holly bloggy christmas parties across blogland:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

i found Christmas!

as i blabbed about last week, i was having a hard time really getting into the Christmas spirit. despite shopping, carols, holiday parties, & endless trips to Starbucks, i couldn't find my cheer.

turns out, it she was right here all along.

thanks to her aunt coco for the holiday pawty collar, and to her gran for the Santa bandana.

as you can see, the tree is up. more details on the decorating extravaganza to come...

Saturday, December 3, 2011


got the crate + barrel holiday magalog today, and what did i see?
yes, you + everyone on Santa's list can have not one, but S-I-X of these "antique" bells for $11.95.

do they look familiar to you? let me refresh your memory:

the "antique" bell i picked up at a local antique mall for $20 in february. then, ballard started selling them (for $35!) and they've been spotted all over the place. now ornaments.

i guess i need to add crate + barrel to the list of style gurus who must be stalking me. geez. can't a gal be original?