Sunday, November 17, 2013

12 FREE Thanksgiving Printables

Thanksgiving in next week and I am super excited. The holidays are officially upon us and it feels like everything is moving quite quickly. Yikes!



I am a Printables Fanatic and I thought to gather up some of my favorite FREE printables for this Thanksgiving to share with you guys. Please venture over to these blogs and sites to see even more amazing content. And don't forget to comment if you use anything of theirs as a thanks for sharing these with us!

{1}

Kind Over Matter 

{2}

Sisters Suitcase Blog

{3}

Paper Glitter

{4}

Skip To My Lou 

{5}

Snapfish.com

{6}

Snapfish.com

{7}

U-CreateCrafts 

{8}

Sissy Print

{9}

The Idea Room

{10}

Dimple Prints

{11}

Chaos and Gloss

{12}

How To Nest For Less


Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Bookworm's Report (#3)

Book Review for...

Unwind
Neal Shusterman

Summary: Set in the future, the second civil war is fought over abortion. To end the war, a compromise is reached that ends the practice of abortion but creates an alternative called "unwinding." Between the ages of 13 and 17, parents or guardians can choose to have their children unwound, which involves having every part of their bodies harvested to be "donated" to another person so, technically, they don't really die. The complex and compelling plot follows three teens whose stories intertwine when they escape while on their way to the harvest camps. 

I have two weaknesses in books: Tudor England and Dystopian fiction. This book fell into the latter category and it was well written. As the summary explained, it follows three teenagers and while that sometimes can be difficult - to separate yet keep each character important and unique - Neal Shusterman wound everything together seamlessly and kept the story gripping.

Before Unwind, I haven’t heard of the plot before so I believe it to be original. And boy, what an idea! You would think, reading the summary, that it’s silly to think any society would allow such a thing to happen but while reading, you understand where the idea came from and why the adults believe this to be ok and more importantly, needed.

The most disturbing part of the book was witnessing the process of being unwound from a kid’s view. That chapter was amazingly well-written. It horrified me and gave me great sorrow.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It’s a YA novel but it’s clever enough to keep any adult entertained, I think. Also, it’s part of a series and at the time of writing this, there are 3 books with another being released next year. I haven’t read any of the others but it’s not a lack of want. These will be on my Christmas wishlist and I hope I can continue the story in the unsettling world Neal Shusterman has created.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November Skoshbox

November's Skoshbox Review

(My apologies for the poor quality of photos. I had to use my old camera which is ancient and pitiful.)


Explanation: What is Skoshbox? It's a monthly subscription box that is delivered the first week of the month filled with foods, sweets, and misc fun items all from Japan. It's $12.00 a month and you can cancel at any time. The items are mostly all small sample sizes, enough for a good taste to make you wanting more.


I am terrible! I was so excited for this month's box that I couldn't wait long enough to share with Husband and hardly could be patient enough to snap photos. (Another reason for the poor quality of this month's box.) I absolutely love this box - more so than Birchbox. I'm just a huge food lover. Shame!


This month's non-food item was a cute paper book for Origami. There were instructions and colorful paper inside the booklet. A note of importance: Skoshbox will be discontinuing the "extra" non-food item starting January 2014. So December will be the last month for this fun addition.


Bisco Creme Biscuits | The description mentioned these are a treat for children and I can easily see why. They reminded me slightly of the snacks sold for toddlers that dissolve. The biscuit was firm but melted almost instantly in your mouth while the strawberry filling was your generic artificial strawberry flavor. (Think strawberry milk!)


Hanatsumi Jelly | These were adorable! A slightly sweet, firm jelly candy. The outside was coated with sugar crystals and really, that's all I could taste. The candy itself was a soft jelly, not as firm as Dots which we have here in the US but I couldn't really distinguish a difference in flavor between the colors. Still - cute!


Sakuma Drop Candy | The iconic candy featured in Grave of the Fireflies. I, sadly, has to get a grape flavor which isn't my favorite. Boo! Though, I did get two of these. I forgot to picture the other! It was a white candy with a slightly different shape and it had a nice flavor of peppermint.

Fujiya Lollipop | Adorable packaging! I think something is off with my tasters this month because I couldn't pin what this lollipop tasted like! I'll just say - a generic lollipop.


Meiji Fruit Gummies | Grape! But you know what? I still ate them! They were nicely shaped like a bunch of grapes and upon opening the package, I was a bit worried because the smell of grape was amazingly strong. But I am a champ and went along with it anyhow! They remind me of the Welch fruit gummies we have here in the states. Not something that is very new to me but I did enjoy them!


Choco-Pie | When I opened my box and saw this, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait. It looks just like a Moon Pie and I love Moon Pies! What Southerner doesn't! But - it just wasn't the same. I could be a bit biased but the cake part was dry and crumbly and overall, it didn't have the strong flavor that Moon Pies do.


Pretz Salad | I love Pocky. I love Breadsticks. Anything in stick form is fun to eat! And I think this was a mixture between those two! Very nice crunch, small sticks with a strong flavoring. The ingredients said consomme seasoning and I could taste it! Yum!


Yakiniku /Unagi Strips | Described as jerky strips in grilled eel or beef flavors. Honestly, I don't know which one I got but it was interesting! I felt there was a somewhat seafood-like taste but I can't use that to determine I received the eel one. The flavoring on these were strong but I like bold food! The texture threw me off a bit. They were tough of course but almost like hard foam. Spongy and... odd. I was happy to have tried this!


Yuki No Yado Senbei | Senbei! Senbei! My favorite treat! So happy to have gotten another one and boy what a treat! The bottom of these had a salty coating while the top had a frosted sugar coating - perfect for that mix of sweet and salty. I wanted more of these!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Southern Living: Foods

I live in on the coast of South Carolina and through my job, I meet people from all of the US. Something that constantly surprises me is the bafflement or humor some express over southern cuisine. These foods have been so common in my life that it's hard for me to realize most (if not all) are a local cuisine. Now, it goes without saying the south is known for comfort foods: fried chicken, green beans, cornbread but maybe there are a few other dishes/food items you haven't heard of! Here's a sample for you.

Source: Istock/NRedmond

Grits
A breakfast food make of boiled ground corn.


Source: Eatgood4life.com  {Recipe}

Fried Green Tomatoes 
Unripe tomatoes that are battered in cornmeal and fried.

Source: Prairie-table.com

Pimento Cheese 
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese mixed with mayonnaise and pimentos.

Source: Roadfood.com | Bertha's Kitchen

Hoppin John 
Rice with field peas, pork seasoning, and snaps (green beans) mixed in.


Lowcountry Boil / Frogmore Stew 
A boil of crab, shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes.

Source: SavannahNow.com

Carolina Red Rice 
Rice cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, smoked sausage, and a kick of hot sauce. 
Similar to Jambalaya.

Not included are items I think are more common and not specifically set in southern cuisine. These include: Banana pudding, cheese straws, fried pickles, pecan pie. chicken fried steak, liver and gizzards.

Note: The South is a pretty big place. A dish can be made differently from one place to the next so the explanations I've given only reflect what I know and am used to.