Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Great Personalized Gift

A few months ago at my entrepreneur group meeting, one of the girl's in my group was talking about a personalized cookbook that she made. Um, hello, why had I never thought of that??? She referred me to the site where you can customize and create your own cookbook. It is super easy and I am really pleased with the final product.

My dad loved to cook and I knew he kept every recipe on my parent's home computer, so for Christmas I wanted to surprise my mom and sister with a cookbook with all of my dad's recipes. While going through them, I found many had been passed down for generations and new ones too. So, I decided to name the book Memories Around the Table. The front and back cover is a huge picture of my dad's entire extended family on his mother's side. (Right, Aunt Angie?) My dad was just a baby in this picture and you can barely see him. He is behind the woman in the dark shirt on the front row (my grandmother) on his dad's shoulder.

This is the cover picture in its entirety. I had it wrap around the book to be the front and back cover.

You can customize the book to be hard bound or spiral (I chose spiral because it would get here before Christmas) and you can include up to 100 pages of content.

You can also include pictures throughout the book. I have some pictures of food and other pictures throughout the book of people cooking. They do have stock photos that you can use for graphical images of food too.

I think this would make an awesome gift for any cook in your life!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pics from Christmas

I still have lots of gift related posts but that little Max is too cute not to highlight!

Before his Christmas bath. He is such a happy baby!

He already has very good hand-eye coordination. He could use this little whisk perfectly! I think he will be a chef.
Baby's first Christmas present. He was so good with unwrapping!

Allison loves Max too.

Susie is also really good with Max.
The best aunt and uncle to Max. (Bwaahhhaaa Tori!!!)

Tomorrow I will post some fabulous gifts!

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Addiction

There is one positive to Tommy's parents living so far away from us but still in the same county....Freshberry is on the way. I never would have tried this fabulousness if I didn't have to pass it on my way there. You guys, it is so good I would go out of the way to eat it. I am just lucky I go to Tommy's parents at least once a week....and this week I have already been to Freshberry twice. For my Tulsa readers, our local Freshberry is at 111th and Memorial. I know, its not around many of our neck of the woods but it is soooo worth the drive.

Okay, so how is the yogurt any different than TCBY, Braums, even McDonald's : )? Honestly, you have never tasted another yogurt like it! It is more tart than sweet...but in a good way. And, you know I love a good sweet. Growing up in Shreveport we would often have yogurt from this place called Counter Culture Yogurt and the yogurt was really tart and the toppings were granola and fresh fruit and honey. (It sounds weird but it was soooo fabulous...especially the honey!) The Freshberry Yogurt is so close to my childhood memories --it is the perfect substitute. The past three times I have been I have gotten the tart yogurt with granola and fresh strawberries and blueberries. It just tastes so healthy. If there was one in midtown, I would have to go on a "Freshberry Budget" because I would seriously want one daily.

If you are on the fence about tart yogurt, they give free samples of all of their flavors. The strawberry tastes less tart and more like "regular" frozen yogurt to me. And, tonight I also tried the acai berry (you know -- the superfruit) and I loved that flavor too. I think I will try that next time.

Kelsey, I know you love a good dessert find. We must go when you get back in town! Let me know if you guys try it! I promise you will love it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Girls Gone Wine

Today I was searching my normal sites and I came across this-- Girl's Gone Wine, located right here in our great state! According to the website:

Girls Gone Wine is more than just a winery and tasting room—it is a fun place where you can taste, select, make and bottle your favorite wines for gifts or special occasions. Of course, you can simply select your favorite bottle of wine and be on your way to enjoy your vacation. Or you might choose to spend a little more time to make your own batch of wine, returning about eight weeks later to bottle, cork and custom label your wine.

What a fun girl's weekend!!!

Amazon Store

Just wanted to let you know I have started an Amazon store so that my readers can go back and easily find some of the items I have blogged about. No worries, I will still feature fun products from places other than Amazon too! I have gone through the blog's archives and added the products I have previously discussed that Amazon sells. Hopefully this will eventually make some of your shopping easier!

You can visit my store here!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Books, Books and More Books

One of my top favorite things in the whole world is to go to the bookstore and walk around. Then, I immediately come home and buy everything I want off of Amazon! ; ) I love the experience but love a deal more. For Christmas I received several new books that I want to share. I am currently very into the consumer behavior genre of books. I love to understand people and why they do and buy certain things. So, you will notice a theme.

Also, I will be creating an amazon store, which I will feature on my site that will carry my recommended products that they sell. So, when you have a gift you might check my site for recommendations! I will be adding to it throughout the year as I discover new things but I love the idea that I can showcase many of the items I blog about in my very own "store." Fun! More on that soon.

It was a Malcolm Gladwell Christmas for me. I received 3 of his books.

Outliers: The Story of Success - The book is about why some people are successful at their craft and others are not. The book describes how it is not so much talent that differentiates those that are considered successful from the average person. It is the amount of time put into their passion and how much time they spend honing their skill. Interesting.
I also received The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Both books focus on human behavior and intuition.

I mentioned in an earlier post the book Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive , which I absolutely loved. Well, Tommy got me another book by the author called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials). I started reading this book first and I absolutely love it. It goes into all of the information from the Yes book in greater detail and it is a great refresher. It is so good!

The last book I received was recommended by a girl in my Entrepreneur group. She went to product design school at Stanford and the author of this book The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firmwas her instructor. (How cool is that??) Anyway, the cool thing is that many of our innovative products like the palm pilot, the apple mouse, etc... come from workers at IDEO. Since one of my life goals is to invent something, I think this will be a good start since I have no idea where to begin!
Anyone want to start a book club?

Friday, December 26, 2008

A collector's dream

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Our day was busy but relaxing. We spent a lot of time experiencing Christmas through Baby Max's eyes. He is just so cute! I have lots to fill you guys in on! I got some wonderful gifts and gave some fun ones too! So, more to come over the next few days.

But, as promised, I am featuring my Aunt Angie's fabulous Christmas display of mostly Hallmark ornaments. I cannot post everything because you have never seen a wonderland like this. But, I will post some highlights below. Just to give you an idea, Aunt Angie has up 8 large trees, a miniature tree, several garlands and wreaths. Each tree features a complementary topper and tree skirt.

To start, Aunt Angie loves birds. Below is her bird tree, along with some close ups of the birds.

Aunt Angie also has a bird garland displayed.
My mom also was a big Hallmark ornament collector. I used to wake up early and go with her and Aunt Angie the day after Christmas to get our Hallmark ornaments half off. My mom also has the blue birds singing in the nest below. It is one of my favorites.
My mom also has the blue bird in the egg nog box. I love it too!

Immediately when you walk in the front door, you are greeted with an angel tree filled with all of Aunt Angie's angel ornaments.

I love this idea for a tree. Aunt Angie has a picture tree of family and friends (it even revolves)!! I thought this would be a fun thing to do with all of the photo cards received over the holiday season.

This is the children's tree that she puts in her play room for the grandkids.

This is Aunt Angie's miniature tree. These are all mini Hallmark ornaments. (You know I love miniatures!)
This is Aunt Angie's Frosty Friends tree. It includes all of her snowmen, Eskimos, penguins and cold weather animals! I also have many of the Eskimo ornaments on my tree too.

Below is her Santa tree, which includes Santas, elves and reindeer.

In Aunt Angie's living room, she also has a religious tree that showcases nativity scenes, religious sentiments, etc...

This tree is one of my personal favorites. It is her animal/woodland creature tree. Tommy would love this one too. As you know, we are both huge animal lovers.
I love the puppy part of the tree!

I am so glad I could share this with you all. A special thanks to my aunt for taking and sending pictures of all of her favorite ornaments!
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