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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Amazon Prime…Is it Right for You?

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It was Christmas day in the afternoon, the presents were opened, we were relaxing at home and I wanted to watch a movie. We had subscribed to Netflix for years, but when they raised their rates I was one of those people that left (good selection for kids, but really old movies for adults). Then we tried Blockbuster’s online version, very similar to Netflix, so we cancelled that too. We became Redbox fans, but living about 15 miles from the nearest one, it wasn’t an option on Christmas day for me.

I was online looking at some of my Christmas list items that I hadn’t received when I remembered that Amazon offers a prime membership that is supposed to include video. I went online and looked it over, the movie selection looked pretty good, I glanced at the book selection, and then looked at my own order history. I still wasn’t convinced that the $80 annual membership was worth it, so I did what most people do, I Googled “Amazon Prime evaluation.” Lucky for me,  USA Today had run a complete evaluation of Amazon Prime a few months prior. Here is a link to it if you want to read it too, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/products/story/2012-09-08/tecca-guide-to-amazon-prime/57691570/1.

After reading this article, I was pretty convinced that a Prime membership was for me. I am every marketers dream, you offer me free shipping on a $50 order and I am going to make sure I get to that $50 mark. I was guilty of doing this on Amazon often. I completely support shopping locally, but sometimes my local shops don’t have what I need so then I turn to Amazon. Also, my sister has four kids and lives in a different state so I love using Amazon to order gifts for them and have Amazon mail directly to her. I realized by signing up for Prime I would be saving myself money in the end.

So, I did what made sense to me, and I signed up. I hated spending $80 right up front and not having something tangible in my hands to show for it. I got over that pretty quickly. It is mid-January and I have already order  three things from Amazon that I couldn’t find locally, have watched many movies (so has my son), and Season 1 and 2 of Parenthood  (absolutely addicted).

If you skipped reading the USA Today article, mentioned above, one item they do point out, is that Amazon will add movies to their Prime members free list for a designated period of time. So, with that in mind, keep checking back for more movies to watch and add to your watchlist.

The Cork L

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I have seen such cute things on Pinterest and in stores to do with wine corks. I have not attempted to make any of these or to buy any of these cork holders because I don’t drink enough wine to ever be able to accumulate the amount needed.

I went to visit a new consignment shop in my town the other day and found several containers filled with wine corks for sale. I immediately grabbed a few of them and was ready to make a project, I just needed to decide which project.

I went to Pinterest to see what others had done. I decided that I wanted to make the monogram letter. I went to Hobby Lobby to see what my letter template options were. I intended to buy a chipboard letter but none of them were the size I wanted, so I found a wooden letter. I also found some really cute burlap ribbon that I wanted to add to it.

I came home and started testing out some patterns with the corks, then began gluing them down. I really love how it turned out. I added a burlap ribbon bow to the top corner and then glued some to the back so that I could hang it on my back door.

I even went back a few days later to the consignment shop thinking I would need more corks, but after finishing the monogram I have plenty of corks left to make at least one more project.

wine cork monogram letter

My New Griddle

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I am trying to expand my cooking techniques to provide more variety in our meals at home. I attempted to use a grill last summer, turns out I am not very good at it. I love the taste of grilled food though, so I bought a double burner griddle.

I have learned to read the reviews of everything before I buy expensive items. After reading the reviews, I decided to purchase the Chef’s Design version. One of my requirements was that it be flat on one side and have the ridges on the other side. I also wanted it to have a well for grease or liquids. Here is a link to it on Amazon for anybody that is interested, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000860FJ/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00.

I was dying to try it out once it arrived so I went to Hy-Vee and purchased a nice slice of salmon for myself and some bacon wrapped sirloin for the boys. I also found a great recipe on Pinterest for potatoes on a grill. After heating up the griddle I tossed everything on it, with a good distance between so nothing would get tainted, and began “grilling” on my new griddle.

My new griddle.

My new griddle.

Everything turned out wonderful (potatoes didn’t get quite done).

While looking for recipes that day I read that a lot of these griddles smoke really bad, but even when grilling two steaks, I didn’t think it smoked too much. I had the stove vent on and the ceiling fan on, and the window open a crack. I think I would have been fine with just the vent on.

I grilled shrimp on it tonight and they were wonderful as well. I have to say, I am thrilled with the purchase and truly love my griddle. I keep trying to think of new things that I can make on it. The clean-up is so easy, it is wonderful! This is a kitchen must have.

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