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July 2011 (137 posts)
About three years ago, they began food shopping for each other. It started as a favor, but now it's a game. They don't do it all the time, just every so often, and when they do, those normal conventions of what they always buy go flying out the window. No boneless, skinless anythings. Why buy chicken thighs when you can get the whole bird? Pasta: how about something different, like pappardelle? Into the cart go breasts of veal, ruffly savoy cabbage, ground lamb. "Doing the grocery shopping can be kind of dreary," Hamilton says, "especially if you're in a store that's not particularly inspiring." But shopping for a friend gets you excited about grabbing things.
Monday is too stressful. Wednesday is already hump day. But Tuesday is "you" day: a day when you have the energy to do--or plan--something fresh and unexpected that might just turn your whole week around.
Tomorrow is National Lollipop Day. How to make your own scrumptious tea or fruit flavored suckers. (our advice: try lemonade).
Who doesn't love a backyard picnic? How to design little chalkboard pots that you can fill with flowers or herbs and use as totally original, fun place cards for guests (the bonus: everybody gets to take one home).
Currants are in season. What the heck are they? Learn about this lesser known berry and how to whip up a currant barbecue sauce.
Father's Day and Mother's Day are lovely, but they don't really acknowledge the team effort behind raising kids. Sunday is Parents' Day. How to make a planetarium out of a Pringles can and 40 other super-fast ways to raise the fun levels in your family's summer.
I am the crazy lady in pumps racing down the street after work to get home to my kids...only to burst through the door to find them splayed out on on the floor watching Toy Story 3 for the tenth time. The problem: how to have the kind of traditional school-is-out family summer fun--say, a trip to the beach or a monopoly marathon--when you don't have the full day to spend together?
Our solution: Make your fun happen a little faster with some quirky, original, 2-hour projects like....Making A Planetarium Out of a Pringles Can.
Click here to find out how the delightful deed is done, plus discover 41 other unexpected family activities, many involving: watermelons, tarps, grandparents, pajamas, whipped cream, clouds, and mailboxes. Not to mention laughter.
1) Google +
What it is: Kind of like Facebook. But with live video chat.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "My cousin invited me, but I haven't checked it out." (You have to be invited; this is a key point. Do not be like me and try to discuss Google Plus as if all you have to do—duh—is hop on the site and try it out).
Nonchalant Sentence #2: "I'm up to like 67 circles." (Circles are like clubs that you organize. You can have friends circle or a co-workers circle or trout-fisherman circle,etc)
What it is: A place where ordinary people can make their own tiny, simple blogs really easy. Think of it as scrapbook where people post ideas on pages instead of just pictures.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "Have you seen the one about the Daily Beast cat?" (Have see the one implies that you have seen more than one. The Daily Beast cat is a green-eyed tabby cat named Beast who is photographed by his owner every day. It bears no relation to the Daily Beast website).
What it is: A service that lets you broadcast your location to everyone you know.
Nonchalant Sentence Number #1: "I'm going for mayor of...insert fashionable eatery." (The mayor of anywhere is the person on FourSquare who is physically at that place more than any other user. So being a mayor of some place famous—say Thomas Keller's Per Se—might get you street cred among foodies. I, on the other hand, am going for mayor of Rite-Aid. I will probably earn it too, due my children's need for milk, diapers, and black Spiderman Band-Aids.)
Want to sound like a total tech-master? Just say the word: Spotify.
Keep Reading: How Social Media Can Help Sustain Your Friendships
Self-tanner is a smart alternative to spending days baking in the sun, but applying it can be tricky, especially to your face. (Not to mention the Oompa Loompa factor). That's why we're glad we found Givenchy's Mister Radiant. This weightless clear gel is filled with gold and bronze beads that distribute color as you rub it in--leaving you with a subtle glow minus the commitment and the streaks. Plus, it gives enough coverage that skipping foundation--especially appealing on hot, sticky days--is an option.
Givenchy Mister Radiant, $36
Self-tan without the streaks
5 Steps to getting gorgeous legs
When Claudia Kincaid, heroine of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, grew tired of the injustice of having to both empty the dishwasher and set the table on the same night and bored of the sameness of every week, she devised a plan to break free from the monotony of everything. That plan involved running away from home to hole up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and for many readers of E.L. Konigsberg's 1977 children's classic--I include myself among them--a museum-based slumber party has long represented the ultimate escape fantasy.
I still haven't figured out a way to sleep in a bed that is also an 18th-century work of art, but the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is offering an opportunity Claudia Kincaid would have schlepped across the country for.
Every Monday, we're rounding up things--small and big--that made us stop and think. Today, we were captivated by two talented, hard-working women's soccer teams, one blogger's advice to parents of teenage writers, and more...
Lambrusco Sangria from Chow.com
Be delicate when you stir otherwise you'll kill the bubbles.
Raspberry Thyme Sangria from Food Republic
Muddled raspberries and thyme go nicely with Prosecco (if you like your sangria spritzy) or Rose (if you prefer it more full-bodied).
Sake Sangria from Daily Loaf
Peaches and plums play up the flavors in sake and plum wine.
Sangria and Iced Coffee from the Women's Health blog
A non-alcoholic version that blends coffee, juices, fruit and soda water.
Summer White Sangria with Pink Peppercorns from Food52.com
Let muscovado sugar, cinnamon, pink peppercorns and mint leaves work their magic on fresh, ripe fruit and wine for a good half-hour before drinking.
Starfruit Sangria from Serious Eats
A cross between spiked lemonade and sangria, this drink can be made with club soda or ginger beer.
How to buy wine for a party
9 savory appetizer recipes
7 things to do before your party starts