Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Silver Spoons

I found it! I found the perfect gift form my three year old niece. Even at such an early age, she has developed a strong interest in cooking. She loves to chop vegetables with a butter knife, stir muffin batter until it's tough as rubber, and knead bread dough (although she calls it "squeezing" bread dough). So, when I saw that there is a new children's version of the best selling Italian cookbook The Silver Spoon, I grabbed it.

Now when she helps her mommy with lunch she can make Tuscan Minestrone Soup, Rigatoni with Meatballs or Chicken Stuffed with Marscapone. Well ... maybe she'll can start with the Banana Cream. There's time. In a couple years she'll be ready for the 1,264 page original.

Total Cost: $20 ... but right now it's 20% off at Barnes and Noble with another 10% off for members. Buon appetito!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

This video was shown today during the Advent prayer service at school. The message is great, and the cause is worthy. Please click here to watch.

Total Cost: $0 to to talk, read, play or sing. (That's a savings of 450,000,000,000!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Give Us This Day

I have been searching for a good gift to give my neighbors. The trick is, it has to be something I can make and something that can be enjoyed by all -- the retired couple in #1, the handyman in #4 and the crazy guy in #7. I finally decided on quick bread when I saw these great gift tags from Persimmon & Pink.

Now all I have to do I bake up seven loaves of Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread, and I'm done!

Total Cost: About $5 for the ingredients, and $0 for the gift tags. (I'm going to make my own.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1 New Message

To: Reader's of my blog
From: RissieGrace
Subject: Cute Movie

Hi all,
I've been at school late every night this week grading papers. While I work, I watch shows on hulu, and I found this Christmas themed one tonight.
Very funny. Had to share. Hope you can enjoy it too!
Merry Christmas Season!

Total Cost: $0 to break the silence while I check in homework.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Well Said

I found this cartoon by Rick McKee on this morning, and I thought the message was particularly good ... especially in light of the topic of this blog. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


Last weekend I went to see “The Blind Side” and it was wonderful. I left the theater feeling happy and hopeful, thinking about all the great things that I could do to make a difference in someone else’s life. The movie obviously showed the stark contrasts between rich and poor, but it also contrasted grateful and ungrateful, patient and impatient, thoughtful and thoughtless.

One part that I found very striking was when Michael was picking up discarded popcorn after a volleyball game because he had nothing else to eat. It doesn’t take much to help someone in a situation like that. Even someone who is living large on a small income can help. Besides, happiness is the real goal of life, and happiness is not about what we have, but what we share with love.

Anyway, Ruben Navarrette apparently felt the same way about the movie and wrote about it in his column. It’s a good read – especially the part about giving his kid a paper route for Christmas.

Total Cost: $10 for the movie ticket, and in the words of Leigh Anne Tuohy, “you can thank me later.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Wish Fulfilled

I don't know if you've noticed, but I put a wish list on this blog. It's a reminder of things that I want, but don't want to pay for quite yet. Anyway, one thing on the list was a Stanley Cooler Combo (thermos and lunch box set). I know it might sound weird for a fashionista like myself, but I love the Stanley line. There is something so American about carrying your soup in a stainless steel-double walled-vacuum insulated-rust proof bottle with a lid that doubles as a cup. And then ... if you throw in a large lunch box for all the extras like bread, cheese and cookies to share you have the right equipment to turn lunch into a feast.
So, I put it on my wish list, and guess what! My mom already had one! She picked it up at a rummage sale sometime in July -- for about $5. She saw on this blog that I wanted one, and now it's mine! Hooray!

The wish list worked! I'll have to keep it updated.

Total Cost: $6 to my mother. $5 for the set. $1 finder’s fee.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Count Down Begins

Today is December 1st, and children all over the United States are pulling out advent calendars like the one above. It’s a fun tradition that often makes the wait for Christmas even longer.

As for me, I don’t have an advent calendar, but I do have an advent activity list. My goal is to do each of the things on this list before Christmas.

1. Put up a Christmas Tree
2. Attend a Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along with Nora
3. Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards
4. Go ice skating
5. Hang a stocking for St. Nick’s day (December 5)
6. Go to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional
7. Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with friends
8. Make a wreath-like-thing for my front door
9. Give hand made gifts to neighbors
10. Drive and/or walk around to see neighborhood lights
11. Make gingerbread cookies with red hots
12. Watch “A Christmas Story” with my parents
13. Make and give out pepparkakor on Saint Lucy’s day (December 13)
14. Go to a Christmas concert
15. Send out Christmas cards
16. Have hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows
17. Tell family stories around the fireplace
18. Help out with dinner at St. Ben’s
19. Go caroling
20. See a nativity display
21. Go out and look at the stars on the longest night of the year (December 21)
22. Read the Christmas story out of the Luke 2
23. Make wheat berry pancakes for the Schows
24. Call the people I love and let them know (that I love them)
"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."Howard W. Hunter