Tuesday, April 20, 2010

5 Things You Probably Already Know About (But Maybe Not)

Recently I have been surprised to find out that stuff I thought everybody knew about maybe isn't quite as common of knowledge as I originally believed.  Like for example, a friend recently posted on her Facebook status about Seriously So Blessed as though TAMN had just come up with her first post or something--she was telling all her FB friends to check out the awesome new website she had stumbled upon.  I was flabbergasted that she was just now being exposed to the hilarity that I thought every LDS gal in Utah Valley had already known about for at least a year.  So if I have already raved about some of the following to you in person or you already know about any of this, please forgive me.  But here are some of my favorite things:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I thought everybody had heard about this book until the other week when a well-read friend mentioned that she had just barely heard of the book and hadn't read it yet.  It's easily one of my favorite books I've read in a long, long time.

2. If you hate uploading photos onto your blog because it takes forever and inserting them is frustrating because it messes up your formatting, you are probably using the old editor settings.  There is a super easy fix for this.  On your Blogger dashboard/profile, go to "Settings", then "Basics", then scroll to the bottom of the page where it says "Global settings", then choose "Updated Editor" (it's the button next to "Select Post Editor").  You can insert photos easily anywhere into your blog post and you can also easily change the size of the image.  You can also upload all of the photos for your post at one time, then go through your post and insert them where you please.  We always size our photos to x-large. 

3. Speaking of photos, you know that Paul and I aren't against fixing our images with photo-editing software to bring out colors that get lost due to bad lighting, right?  A little saturation or fill-lighting here and there never hurt anybody, so long as you don't go over the top with it.  And you don't need to be a photoshop pro to do it.  I just use Picasa, which is free to download at http://picasa.google.com/.  Once you have the program on your computer, play around with the different functions.  I almost always use "I'm feeling lucky", then a little "fill lighting", then sometimes I'll up the "saturation" if the photo really needs it. 

Here's the original photo (not bad, right?):

Here's the photo after my Picasa adjustments (better, don'tcha think?):

You can also crop the picture, make your image sharper, etc.  It's a really fun tool. 

4. Bertolli dinners.  Yes they are frozen dinners and I am a slacker for using them, but they are scrumptious.  My favorites are the Lemon Penne Shrimp and the Roasted Chicken with Linguine.  So yummy and all you do is dump the bag into a pan and heat for about 10 minutes.  They actually taste like real food and have vegetables and everything.  I watch for them to go on sale at Safeway and then I stock up.

5. Books on CD.  Since I have been commuting, I have gotten into listening to these while I drive to and from work.  I just finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and I loved it (thanks again for the recommendation Nathaniel and Dorothy).  It's not like I never knew that books on CD existed before this year, but I just never thought about listening to them.  They don't replace books for me per se--I'm still reading during lunch breaks or before bedtime--but they have brought a whole new dimension to literature.  I just check these out from the library, and it works out perfectly.

I'm pretty sure I had a couple more things in mind when I planned out this post, but it's getting late and I can't remember anything more, so that's it for now.  Does anybody have recommendations for things that you think I should know about but that I may actually not know about?  I'm usually pretty behind the times about stuff - I never even heard of Harry Potter until the third book had already come out.


  1. Thanks for the tip on updating the blogger settings. Can't wait to try it out.

    I just recently started using Picasa. We have been using Adobe Photoshop, but I like how easy Picasa is. I like the feature that changes the picture to black and white except for one spot of your choice (don't remember what it is called).

    Anyways, fun post. I guess I am not too behind the times. Except the husband had to tell me about that volcano in Europe that erupted last week and I had no idea. Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock :) Good thing I have a husband who lives in the real world.

  2. Oh my gosh Amy, you are my hero! If those new blogger settings work then you have just saved me from total insanity. You have no idea how much time & frustration went into that London post all because of stupid blogger formatting & photo uploads. I nearly pulled all my hair out! I am excited to try the picasa photo editing too, since my camera is nothing special and I am often wishing I could make my photos look nicer. Thank you!

  3. Ok so the only thing that popped right into my head was these:


    If you have never used them, get them today, your life will be changed forever.

    Oh and this:


    I don't think they make them anymore, but you might be able to find them online. We got one for everyone in our families for Christmas last year. Our car stays so clean.

  4. You are hilarious.

    I really enjoyed The Hunger Games, too, and appreciate your other tips. I've just re-discovered audio books lately and they are the best--one in the car and one in the kitchen. I have been listening to autobiographies read by the author, which makes me feel like they are talking to me (Julie Andrews, Frank McCourt's Teacher Man, whatever I find at our library). Totally recommend it.

    In fact, speaking of audio books, just this morning I started listening to Anonymous Lawyer and it is making me laugh so hard I cried. You've probably seen the blog but have you read the book? Bahahaha!

  5. I LOVED Hunger Games, I can't wait for the next book (June, I think). I'm really interested to see how they end up making the movie versions...

    I listened to the whole Lord of the Rings triology on CD while driving. I loved it because they do all the voices (Harry Potter is supposed to be awesome too).

  6. Ooh, Ginny - good call on the slow cooker liners. Now if I could only get my act together enough to throw something in the crockpot... J/k. I had never heard of those before. And Kathleen - now I am all giddy about listening to Julie Andrews' autobiography.


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