Category — Who Knew?
Browsing at Walgreens, hidden in the Easter candy aisle, I came across Rabbit TV.
According to the packaging, for $9.99 I can purchase this USB stick smaller than a pack of gum and get 5,000 TV channels on my computer. I’ll happily spend $9.99 at Starbucks for a chai tea latte and a feta, spinach and egg wrap, but for 5000 channels wrapped in plastic? No way. So I snapped a photo and decided to go home and Google Rabbit TV.
According to their website, Rabbit TV gives you free access to over 5000 TV and 9000 radio internet stations. But then goes on to say Rabbit TV has an annual fee of $10/year: so not exactly Free (the word Free in large red letters is displayed prominently on the website). The site also says channels include:
- Food Network
- Cartoon Network
- Discovery Channel
- National Geographic
Hmm… all those networks have websites where I can already watch full episodes of some of their TV shows, and I’ve been listening to internet radio since the 90s when we lived in Paris and AOL radio offered live radio channels… in English.
So I kept googling for user reviews. In summary, for a $10 USB stick purchase plus $10 annual feed Rabbit TV appears to consolidate already free online TV programs into a single site. Convenient, yes. Worth $20? No.
I’m heading to Starbucks for breakfast…
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March 29, 2013 No Comments
There was a clear trend for our Christmas holidays this year: Pinterest.
I introduced niece Rachel to Pinterest this Fall, and showed her all the cool stuff you can find pinned there, like this glittered Starbucks cup. Score: Rachel made me a blinged-out Starbucks cup for Christmas!
• Christmas Eve sister inlaw Lizzie served a new spaghetti casserole recipe she found on Pinterest.
• My daughter Angela wanted to know how I knew she wanted an Øster blender: she’d pinned it!
• Best friend Stacey made wine cork Christmas trees: from a browse on Pinterest.
• I tried a new spinach and Parmesan appetizer I saw on Pinterest.
• Another sister inlaw was wearing a scarf from a pattern on Pinterest.
• I was asked several times in December for my hot spiced wine recipe: it’s pinned on my She’s Shopping Now board!
I follow boards of some of my favorite stores and online sale sites to quickly find deals and ideas for gifts and promotions.
Even though I spend my work day entrenched in the world of social media, I’m surprised how quickly Pinterest – and pinning – have become everyday verbs for enthusiasts of all ages. Pinning is easy to understand, and has become a daily practice for everyone from students to business people to crafters to teachers to designers to politicians to sports fans: in short, just about everyone!
Now I need to figure out how to pin from all the digital magazines I subscribe to with my iPad!
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December 27, 2012 2 Comments
I tend to DVR all my shows so I can fast-forward through the commercials. The last week of August and first week of September my DVR was empty, so I had to resort to watching live TV, and commercials.
And discovered 3M Command Adhesive Clear Hooks and Fridge Clips.
I thought everyone knew about 3M adhesive hooks. But I was wrong. I was talking to the Queen Mum this weekend about hanging some pictures on the screen porch. No, we don’t need nails: we need 3M adhesive hooks: they come in different sizes and can hold weights up to 5lbs. I use them to hang
- holiday garland and lights on my fireplace mantle
- photos on my antique English library bookcase
- nylon body scrubbers on my marble shower surround
- dishcloths inside the cabinet under my kitchen sink
The adhesive fridge clips are great for hanging
- coupons from the side of the fridge
- recipes on the microwave
- potholders on the stove
And when you no longer need the hook: just pull the adhesive strip and the hook comes cleanly away, no mess, no holes, no stains, no tools. Genius! Plus, the hooks are reusable: just buy 3M replacement adhesive strips to use them again and again.
And now 3M hooks come in clear, in addition to white and silver. This just helps the hooks “disappear” not interfere with your decor.
Who knew 3M hooks could get even better! Maybe I need to watch more commercials…
Go to the 3M Command website: they have 4 $.50 printable coupons for Command Products. But hurry: the coupons expire September 30.
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September 7, 2012 1 Comment
I have a favorite white Furla bag I use throughout the summer… which since I commute between SoFlo and Chicago, means I use it year-round. This bag is a special souvenir purchased 2 years ago on Paris’ Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, on a trip with a favorite fairy-godchild who was born in Paris 10 years earlier. It replaced a similar version which I had retired immediately after a 3 week trip to India. Note to self: don’t take a white purse to India.
In addition to the memories, why do I love my Furla bag?
- its a soft, fold-able, smooth leather that weighs practically nothing
- its large enough to hold everything and anything, but when empty hangs smoothly and compactly
- the shoulder strap fits easily over my arm or a coat shoulder
So what’s the problem? In the past few weeks both moi husband and daughter have said repeatedly: That bag is filthy. You need to retire it. I hate to think what everyone else was too polite to say!
So, I grabbed a bottle of leather conditioner/cleaner and a soft rag, then scrubbed and scrubbed. A few days later: Retire that bag!
Next brilliant idea: searching for a leather cleaner who could return my purse’s creamy white color. No such luck.
Then, my brilliant husband did what I typically do: he Googled it.
Voila! According to Google, the best things to clean a dirty leather purse are:
- saddle soap: tried
- Dove soap: tried
- Nivea lotion: tried
- window cleaner: No way! did they see My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
- rubbing alcohol: no
- nail polish remover: NO WAY!!!
- Mr Clean Magic Eraser
Whoa! I love Mr Clean Magic Erasers, and I’ve talked about them with you before. But for leather purses??? Hmmm, what have I got to loose? And I have a new box under the sink.
1 hour later, I have a fairly clean while leather Furla bag. I’m going to clean the bag with Magic Erasers again next week. It’s not perfect, but I don’t think I’ll get any more mean comments from family members. And I have some time to search for another perfect white leather purse.
Mr Clean Magic Erasers safely clean leather. Who Knew?
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July 29, 2012 5 Comments
My kids tell me I severely limited their TV watching when they were in grade school: which I find hard to believe since they can sing every 80s TV theme song. But today lots of moms I know continue the practice of limiting their children’s TV viewing, especially on school nights. But if you’re going to let them watch, why not require them to Viggle?I’ve told you about Viggle before: its a way to “check-in” to your favorite TV shows, get points for watching those shows, and then redeem those points for free stuff… like Starbucks and movie tickets. (If you’re a mom or grandmom reading this its kind of like being a Nielsen Ratings home: but instead of recording your TV watching in a diary and receiving a weekly cash thank you, technology allows you to check-in with your iPhone or iPad.)
Check-in with Viggle is very simple:
- download the free Viggle app to your iPhone or iPad (the android app is in beta)
- when your TV program starts, open the app and press “check in”
- Viggle will “listen” to your TV and search for the right show. If Viggle can’t find your show, you can manually input the show you’re watching.
- confirm that Viggle is listening to the right show and voila! you accumulate points
Viggle also give bonus points for special shows, quizzes, watching commercials, and other opportunities. Then, when you redeem enough points, you redeem them for a coupon that Viggle emails to you.
So, what does all this have to do with charity? You can redeem your points as a charitable donations! Viggle lets you redeem your points from a frequently updated list of vendors. Today, in addition to Starbucks, Best Buy, JC Penney, Fandango, Amazon and other vendors you can redeem your points for:
- Covenant House: 7500 points donates $5
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America: 7500 points donates $5
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc: 7500 points donates $5
And Viggle would like to hear what other charities you want added to the Viggles Reward Catalogue: email them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
So next time your kids want to watch a little TV tell them yes: if they Viggle for charity!
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May 9, 2012 3 Comments
Yes, you read that right: Belly doesn’t just work for our Arbe visits, it adds points if I visit NYC Bagel and Deli. Or Elly’s Pancake House. Or over 600 businesses in Chicago alone, with more joining everyday.
Founded and based in Chicago, Belly is growing quickly as businesses sign-up to take advantage of customers’ desire to be rewarded while not being inconvenienced. Targeted mainly at small and medium-sized businesses, Belly offers a customer retention program for small businesses whose customers may not sign up for a loyalty program for their store only: I won’t go to Arbre again, while the manicure was fine it’s not in my neighborhood: we simply had a few hours to fill before an appointment. But I joined up because I do regularly go to other businesses who use Belly. Starbucks I’m at almost daily: I’m happy to let my drink stars accrue toward a free drink. But Dog-a-holics I only visit a couple times a year. I can Belly at Dog-a-holics. Genius!
When we signed up, I used the in-store iPad and entered my email address, and received a plastic card for my wallet or keychain. But then I downloaded the free iPhone app: no more card to carry, I just bring up my barcode and rake in the points. With hundreds of locations already in Chicago, Belly is expanding rapidly, and I can find dozens of new locations in SoFlo, NYC, Texas, Arizona and even Nebraska!
And with all the points I’m raking in, I can get free cupcakes… and a whole bunch of other stuff like haircuts and comic books.the details website: www.bellycard.com twitter: @bellycard facebook: bellycard iPhone: Belly Card
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April 19, 2012 2 Comments
I thought everyone knew what Rooster Sauce is: but after 2 restaurant meals this week with friends, I found out I’m wrong: alot of you are somehow missing out on the huge red squeeze bottle with the green tip on your table at many casual Asian restos. I use Rooster Sauce like a sweet and spicy ketchup: occasionally as an ingredient, but more often as a condiment for soups, sandwiches, dips, spreads, marinades and sauces.
Rooster Sauce is not the real name: it’s actually named Sriracha Sauce. But because the most popular brand has a big rooster on the side I – and everyone else – call it Rooster Sauce. According to the Huy Fong website, Sriracha Sauce is made from sun-ripened chilies and garlic. And according to dozens of bloggers, it’s easy to make at home. But I just buy the Rooster!
I 1st remember Rooster Sauce about 12 years ago in Paris, where it was a condiment on the table in a Thai resto. Then, I brought it in the International section of the grocery. Where I still buy it today, in the US. I never have to search it out: it’s been available wherever we’ve lived from NYC to Chicago to St Louis to SoFlo. (But FYI: I never once saw Rooster Sauce in Thailand.)
The easiest way to use Rooster Sauce is to just put it on the table and let everyone spice up! But if you need some ideas on how to use Rooster Sauce:
- Spicy mayo for dipping sushi, egg rolls; spreading on BLTs and tuna or salmon burgers; or mixing into cole-slaw or macaroni and cheese
- Blood Mary mixes perk up with a squirt of Rooster Sauce
- Make pasta arrabiata with Rooster Sauce in place of red pepper flakes
- A stream of Rooster Sauces wakes up instant ramen noodles ( college kids: take note!)
- Jump-start deviled eggs or chicken wings
- add Rooster Sauce to cocktail sauce for shrimp, crab or scallops
Spicy Mayo Recipe
2 parts mayonnaise
1 part Rooster Sauce (adjust to taste: some like it spicier so try equal parts; some like it milder so try 4:1)
Wedge of lime
Mix, and serve! (For a party, I put the mayo in a small dish, squirt circles of Rooster Sauce on top, and wedges of lemon on the side. It’s pretty, and festive!)
Rooster Sauce: Who Knew?
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February 25, 2012 3 Comments
The photo was everywhere: Lenny Kravitz walking down the street talking on the phone…with a traditional telephone handset wired to his iPhone.
Voila! The perfect gift for my son and TBG, both iPhone addicts who like to pace while they talk, and both notorious butt-dialers. The POP Phone is a retro-style wired handset that connects to mobile phones, iPads, lap tops and other devices.
I found my POP Phone at Urban Outfitters, in an assortment of colors from black to red to purple to yellow…and everything in between. I chose 2 red POP phones: tres cool! Check online: POP Phones are popping up all over: Best Buy, West Elm, CB2, as well as online vendors like Amazon. And prices vary $17-35, so shop around!
Moi tip: POP phones aren’t just for phones: they can also be used for iPads and computers: if you use Skype or VOIP calling, I’ve found that if your connection is static-y or breaking up you can get much clearer reception with the POP phone. Adaptors may be necessary.
And I did test wireless retro handsets for mobile phones: I didn’t find them to be as clear at the wired POP Phone.
Who knew retro handsets would be sooo cool: Lenny knew! I’ll be gifting a few more POP Phones in 2012.
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January 18, 2012 2 Comments
Lil Sis Mary was being released from the hospital after surgery, and had to be sure not to get her incision and staples wet in the shower. I’m on it: my friend Carla just shared a showering after surgery tip and I was thrilled to be able to pass it on to Mary:
Press’n Seal! Cut off a piece of cling large enough to cover the area you need to keep dry, press carefully around the edges to “seal” the cling to the skin, then shower! When finished, just toss out the used cling and tear off a fresh piece for the next shower. In addition to surgical scars, Press’n Seal would have worked great when TBG had a PICC line after surgery, and when he had his knee in a cast.
Simple, effective and cheap! Press’n Seal can be found at your grocery or home goods store, $5 – $8 depending on size.
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October 26, 2011 No Comments
From the bed of…
Little Sister Mary is unexpectedly in town this week: she flew from Texas to Chicago for an unplanned surgery, so arrived with 1 suitcase and 1 daughter, 1 husband and 1 son to follow shortly. In all the rush and confusion of course things were forgotten, so from her hospital bed Mary started giving me lists of things she needed from Target, Gap, Bed Bath and Beyond, grocery store, etc:
- hot pink pillowcases
- pink eyemask
- cotton t-shirts
- bottled water and Crystal Light packets
- Monistat Chafing Powder
Monistat Chafing Powder? Wait: you’re in the hospital, shouldn’t we check with your Doctors before you order yeast infection ointments?
Mary looked at me like I’m crazy: Don’t you read the blogs? I use Monistat powder as a primer for my BareMinerals makeup. Hunh?
Once home I spent an hour googling it: she’s right. Since being introduced, women have discovered that Monistat Chafing Powder has similar ingredients to much more expensive makeup primers: $7.99 for Monistat v $20, $30 or more for similar cosmetic primers. I just converted from wearing moisturizer and concealer to BareMinerals make-up, and living in very humid climates, had been trying to deal with makeup dripping down my face. That’s why I need a primer!
(What’s a makeup primer? I didn’t know either, so I looked it up: it’s a basecoat for your foundation, that leaves your skin smoother and helps the makeup adhere better. So on hot humid days, your expensive powder foundation isn’t running onto your white tank top! Apply after moisturizer, before foundation.)
Who knew? Monistat is now in my medicine cabinet…and happily not for a yeast infection.
Thanks Lil Sis!
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October 20, 2011 1 Comment