30 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 164

Last Slice
Pizza Hut's "Do I Get the Last Slice?" flowchart
via Serious Eats

Women in the Workplace (video link)
problems caused by all these women trying to hold down real jobs!
via Miss Cellania

Tall Man
remember there are four other fingers in the song "Where Is Thumbkin?"
via grass stains

Gag Boxes
How Your Grandpa Got His LOLs
via Neatorama

Destiny Fart
The Fart that (Almost) Altered My Destiny
via Sweet Deals 4 Moms on Facebook

27 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 163

Feel Inside and Stuff Like That (video link)
Flight of the Conchords collaborated with kids to raise awareness for
via Pleated-Jeans

Happy Mail
you can mail anything under 13 ounces with the Happy Mail How-To!
via not martha

Dangerous Ads
What Were We Thinking? The Top 10 Most Dangerous Ads
via The Presurfer
Basketball Class (video link)

If Kids Wrote Movie Scripts
"That's why I was running for so long an hot, so I have sweaty. I'm serious!"
All of the BoredShortsTV episodes are great!! Watch them all!!
via Pleated-Jeans

24 August 2012

Recipe: Amy's Berry Crumble

So this isn't the most appealing food photo I've ever taken, but I had to get in there before it was all gone! I baked this cobbler with frozen blackberries and blueberries this morning and brought it to work. It is a great recipe for breakfast or dessert!

I adapted this Berry Crumble recipe from The Fitnessista

Amy's Berry Crumble
Serves 12 | Difficulty: Easy
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30-45 minutes

Cooking spray or oil
6-8 cups berries, fresh or frozen (8 cups = 2 quarts; if using frozen, use two bags, 12-16 oz. each)
[optional: 1-2 Tbs. cornstarch if using frozen berries]
2 cups oats (old-fashioned, quick oats, steel cut, whatever you have is fine)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, or a combination; or the equivalent artificial sweetener)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold butter

Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.

If using frozen berries, toss berries with cornstarch so that the juices will thicken as it bakes.

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (from oats to nutmeg). Cut butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or knife until mixture resembles small crumbs.

Press half of the oat mixture into the baking dish, top with berries, and sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top.

Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes (fresh berries) or 45 minutes (frozen berries), until the oats are toasted and the berries are bubbling around the edges.

22 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 162

Strange Mascots
10 College Mascots That Are Really Strange and How They Came To Be
via The Presurfer

School Supplies
Shopping for school supplies should really be called the “Annual State-Sanctioned Snipe Hunt.”
via {NiceGirlNotes}

Jesus Saves
not sure that's what the phrase implies
via This Is Why I'm Broke

Banana Slicer
great reviews, like "Banana slicer...thanks to you, I see greatness on the horizon."
via Neatorama

Hidden Playrooms
blogger Andrea of Happy Chaos converted unused spaces in an older house into hidden playrooms for their children
(side note: great idea to set up a "pre incident plan" with the local firefighters so they know about these nooks where children might be hiding or stuck)
via Miss Cellania

20 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 161

All-video linkage today!

The LEGO Story (video link)
animated film celebrating LEGO's 80th birthday
via The Presurfer

How to walk your human (video link)
"Step 4: Once they're comfortable, bring them to a job. Humans need exercise to thrive!"
via Etiquette Hell

First World Problems Rap (video link)
"My fridge doesn't have a touch screen: first world issue/
Killed a spider with  a dollar 'cause I didn't have a tissue."
via Serious Eats

How to Eat a Watermelon (video link)
expert in everything Tom Willett gives an enlightening beginner tutorial
via Miss Cellania

16 August 2012

Recipe: Zucchini Corn Fritters

Shamelessly copied from Serious Eats!
I have made these several times each year since the recipe was published in 2009. These fritters make me very happy in late summer! They are crisp on the outside and soft & custardy on the inside.
My variations: I leave out the cilantro and usually use just one kind of onion, I drain them on a wire rack over a baking sheet, and I sprinkle with salt while they are still hot from the oil. I may try baking them in greased muffin tins instead of frying this year! (update: fritters just aren't fritters without having been frittered. I tried baking them, but the result was disappointing.)

Zucchini and Corn Fritters
by Carolyn Cope

    4 cups shredded zucchini
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 eggs
    2 ears corn
    1 small onion, diced small
    3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup cilantro, minced
    3/4 cup flour
    A few good grinds of black pepper
    Canola, grapeseed or other neutral oil, for pan-frying
    Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving

    1    Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or with the shredding disc of a food processor. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine. Let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

    2    Crack the eggs into a large bowl and scramble lightly. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and add the kernels to the bowl along with the diced onion, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, flour and pepper.

    3    Pick up the shredded zucchini in small handfuls and squeeze out and discard as much liquid as you can. Add the zucchini to the bowl. Mix well to combine.

    4    Pour the oil into a large frying pan to a depth of about 1/4-inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop large, heaping spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture into the pan to form disc-shaped fritters. Cook in batches without crowding (about 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan) until golden brown on the underside (about 2 minutes) and then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Add a bit more oil between batches if necessary.

    5    Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. The fritters should be crisp on the outside and slightly custardy on the inside.

14 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 160

Having It All
What My Son's Disabilities Taught Me About 'Having It All'
via swissmiss

Somebodies (video link)
Gotye compiled a remix of remixes
via Neatorama

Placebo: Max Strength
harness the power of the mind!
negative placebo power!
via spellingmistakes on Etsy

guy falling off a treadmill (video link)
title says it all
via {NiceGirlNotes}

11 August 2012

Car Seat Cover

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting my brand new nephew! I got crafty last month and sewed a special gift to celebrate his birth into our family. I followed this tutorial from Make it Do to make him a car seat cover.

He used it today for his fist doctor visit, to keep his delicate skin out of the sun outside and to keep the germs and people out at the doctor's office!

The nurse practitioner said I should sell these car seat covers because there would be high demand! I don't have time for that, but it was quite a compliment :)

10 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 159

No Girls Allowed
redditor requested a pillow fort and vanilla Coke at a Fairmont Hotel
via Neatorama

Famous Last Words (video link)
comedians Rhett & Link die many deaths
via Neatorama

Neon Shoes
the bright green shoes worn by track and field Olympians are sponsored by Nike
via The Presurfer

Detroit's Dumbest Criminal
counterfeiter caught (on tape!) selling to famous Detroit pawn shop of 'Hardcore Pawn'
via Neatorama

Impeccable Logic
"Well, the fridge broke, so I had to eat everything."
via Miss Cellania

07 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 158

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Team USA's Gymnastic Leotards
via Buzzfeed

Six Thinking Hats
"how Speedo created the new record-breaking swimsuit"
via Neatorama

Magic Arms (video link)
how duPont Hospital uses a 3D printer to help a little girl without the strength to lift her arms
via Neatorama

Security Cameras (video link)
cameras catch all kinds of good, silly, and kind acts too
via Etiquette Hell

06 August 2012

Budget Allowance

When I was small, my mom would put a dollar's worth of nickels in a dish on a high shelf in my bedroom each week. There were certain chores that I was expected to do every day, like make my bed and put my clothes away. Whenever I would not do one of those chores, she would take away a nickel. At the end of the week, I got the amount that was left as my allowance, and the dish would be replenished with nickels to equal one dollar again.

That system worked well, but it was based on punishment. I did not get money as a reward for work, since I was expected to contribute to the household chores, but rather money was removed for disobedience.

When I was in fifth grade, my mom changed her tactic. I was still expected to do household chores, which had increased by then to include things like laundry and dishes and cleaning, but punishment would not be related to money. She told me that she would give me $40 each week, but I was to keep a strict budget. She glued envelopes to a poster to hang in my closet. Each envelope had a designation and an amount. I believe the breakdown was:

Category / Percentage / Amount
Tithe / 10.0% / $4.00
Savings / 10.0% / $4.00
Vacation / 10.0% / $4.00
Miscellaneous / 20.0% / $8.00
School Lunch / 22.5% / $9.00
Clothing / 20.0% / $8.00
Gifts / 7.5% / $3.00

[Total / 100.0% / $40.00]

*Tithe: I gave 10% each week first to God. Whether to my local church, a visiting missionary, or a Christian charity, I was giving the first 10% to God to thank Him and acknowledge that every blessing I have is from Him.

*Savings: 10% of my allowance went into a savings account in my name at the bank. This savings account is how I was able to afford a down payment on my first house 10 years later!

*Vacation: I saved 10% of my allowance in cash to take with me on our twice-yearly trips to see family in central Missouri and any other vacations that we took. This cash covered any expenses that come with vacation - souvenirs, car trip entertainment, and any other special purchases.

*Miscellaneous: This was my personal spending. I used this to buy things for myself or to go on outings with friends, like to buy a movie ticket or ice cream.

*School Lunch: Lunch at my school was $2, and my mom charged me $1 to take my lunch. Given $9 each week for this category, I had to take my lunch at least once a week. If I brought lunch more than once, I got to keep the leftover money for miscellaneous.

*Clothing: I had to begin buying my own clothes. I had no idea how much my parents spent on my clothes! This was a real eye-opener, and I discovered the beauty of buying second-hand and stalking sales at my favorite stores. My parents helped out with big purchases, like athletic shoes and winter coats, but I did not get new ones every year like some kids - I wore things until they were worn out or didn't fit.

*Gifts: I bought my own gifts to take to friends' birthday parties, and I bought gifts for immediate family (parents) for Christmas and birthdays.

My allowance was increased every couple of years, to $70/week by the middle of high school. 

It seems like a lot of money up front, but I am pretty sure my parents ended up spending less on me this way, saving them money and a lot of whining and asking for things all the time from me!

I am so thankful to my parents for instilling the idea of a budget in me when I was so young, so that it was natural to me as an adult. The categories and percentages have completely changed now, but the basics are the same - give some to God, save some, spend on necessities first and personal second, and give some away.

02 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 157

30 Jokes
made me giggle, especially #2
via Modern Parents Messy Kids
1996 US Gymnastics Team
how the gold-medal-winning women's gymnastics team grew up
via Miss Cellania
Paulette Huntinova (video link)
comedy gymnast Paul Hunt demonstrates the women's balance beam event
via Miss Cellania
Gangnam Style (video link)
"hilarious, bizarre, and - dare I say it? - kinda catchy!" -Jen of Epbot
via Epbot

01 August 2012

Linkage, Volume 156

Greek Yogurt
are you eating authentic strained Greek yogurt, or standard yogurt with added protein and thickener?
via The Awl
Lamp Full of Memories
collection of a child's pocket treasures, displayed in a glass lamp
Reach for the Gold
Twinkies Gold, that is...
via Miss Cellania
NBC Olympics Embargo
How the ‘Wall Street Journal’ Beat NBC’s Olympics Embargo
via The Presurfer