Movies You May Have Missed

I have some favorite foreign films I want to share.

Looking for a romance with realistic characters and lovely scenery? Check out a Swedish movie called Under the Sun. A lonely middle aged farmer living in the Swedish countryside puts an ad in the paper for a housekeeper. A lively woman answers. I came to really care about these characters, and wish for their happiness. More realistic than American romances. This film is for mature audiences.

Do you enjoy quiet foreign films with stunning visuals? I enjoy a Vietnamese film called The Vertical Ray of the Sun. The story concerns the lives and loves of three VIetnamese sisters. I found the story interesting but a little hard to follow. The visuals made me feel like I was meditating or in a trance. SO BEAUTIFUL!

Are you an animation fan? One of my favorite animated features is a French movie called The Triplets of Belleville. A young professional bike racer is kidnapped. His grandma and faithful dog set off to rescue him. They receive help from frog eating 1940’s nightclub singing triplets. Filled with music and other intriguing sound affects, this is a creative film. I particularly enjoyed having an old woman hero.

Do you want a movie that give you a lot to think about? I recently saw a German film called The Edukators. Young anti WTO activists bond with and debate with each other and their yuppie hostage. They must decide what their moral values are, and how to make their actions reflect these values.

I hope you enjoy these movies. I hope you do too.

 

Warning, Destructive Forces Ahead: Technology is Lurking

Thirty years ago, no one had any idea what an iPod is. Xbox, Satellite radio and touch screen phones are just a few of the amazing feats in technology that we have accomplished in these past years. In today's society, we fell compelled to have every single gadget that's in "the now". We strive to be up to date with all the new gizmos and toys there are on the market. But is this increasingly rising power using destructive forces to pull apart the very fabric of human life? Today, we stay home more often; we use technology to do our jobs for us. Consequently, we are becoming lazier and more dependent on electronics for everyday tasks. This new "tech" age also see's the rise in weaponry and nuclear development, something everyone knows can have serious if not deadly effects on our civilization. As technology rises, does our intelligence grow at the same speed? We live in the fast lane, cruising through life without a care in the world, knowing our computers are handling everything for us. Are the upsides really bigger than all the downsides?

Why go to work when you can sit at home and buy and sell products on auction sites such as Ebay, or go outside and play when videogames can be just as if not more entertaining than baseball and basketball? Electronics make life easier, and way more fun. But from this "fun" we see a higher rate for obesity, arthritis and heart disease. Less and less people are walking to work because of the simplicity of a car. Outdoor activities are overshadowed by the need to "pwn nubs in FFS". As this ever-growing wave of new technologies engulfs our lives, making staying healthy a near impossible goal. So we must make the decision of facility or difficulty. Now this question sounds dumb and obvious; we will always pick facility, but is that necessarily the right answer? Although it is much harder, going outside and walking instead of driving can improve your quality of life. You will not melt because of the light, and no your corneas will not explode. With this new rush of technology, this goal seems harder and harder to reach. Cars and television become too enticing to continue living a hard, but healthy life. For example, cars, busses, subways and other modes of transportation have all made our lives easier, quick ways to travel between point A and point B. But is it necessary to drive to a location that can easily be obtained by walking? The extra two or three minutes of travel time will pay off in the long run. You will stay fit, have more energy, won't get sick as often and you will feel better overall. Today we live busy lifestyles. "Drive thru's" may be easier; you don't even have to leave your car to eat. But what if we didn't have cars? "Drive thru's" would be non-existent. We would have to sit down to eat our meals slowly and properly. When you eat, your digestive track goes to work. Remember the old saying don't go swimming 30 minutes after you eat? Well this theory applies to all sorts of activities. It's not healthy to eat and drive. Your body can't digest the food properly because it is already focused on something else. You begin to feel bloated and nauseous. Sitting down and slowly consuming food allows your body to focus on digesting, giving you more energy and leaving you feeling ready to go. But technology doesn't only have a bad effect on our lives.

AK-47, Saw Automatic Machine Gun and nuclear bombs are only some of the new weaponry and defense systems that technology has given us. Electronic equipment allows military forces to build and design new firepower's to use. What can we say technology has given us? We are now faced with the fear of a nuclear bomb being set off, the accidental firing of a gun and of course a plane flying into a building. Good country America, isn't it? Evil minds are constantly at work searching for weaknesses with their enemies. Peace seems unattainable and out of reach. Why stop building new weapons if you can? The technology is there and boy are we using it. It wont be soon enough that we have to wear gas masks outsides to prevent nuclear poisoning from a nuke. But it's not just weapons that technology has helped out. Humans have gotten smarter. We have the ability to track down our enemies using radar, satellites, call monitoring and more. Technology enables us to be smarter than we really are. It's like a second brain, one that is twice as big with one hundred times the amount of knowledge. Is this really what the world needs to continue turning around the sun?

Technology has created many numerous opportunities and advantages, but it also has created a turmoil situation that can almost never be overcome. We have such a high dependency of technology that one day, it will be our downfall. Although there is so much bad from this one source, it brings along a load of good too. We are more organized, intelligent and we can do much more than we thought we could do. What would we do without a cell phone or a laptop? Almost our entire lives are in these devices. Without them, it would be much harder to continue living a regular life, whatever regular is.

 

5 Romantic Movies for You and Your Sweetheart

Frankly my dear, I’d prefer a romance; not exactly Rhett Butler’s line from, Gone with the Wind, but romance is one of the main genres in the film industry. Let’s take a look into a few romance movies that have hit the silver screen and may ultimately become classics.

The Notebook- Released in June of 2004, this romance stars Ryan Gosling (Noah Calhoun) and Rachel McAdams (Allie Hamilton). These two young teens fall in love and spend every moment they can together. However, Allie comes from money and her mother and father feel that Noah is not good enough for their daughter. The young couple becomes separated due to social differences. Will their love rekindle after many years apart? This Nicholas Sparks novel, turned movie will have views searching for tissues as they follow the troubles and trials of Noah and Allie. The Notebook has won 11 awards and 7 nominations.

A Walk to Remember- This Nicholas Sparks novel was adapted into a screenplay written by Karen Janszen. This 2002 romance stars Shane West (Landon Carter) and Mandy Moore (Jamie Sullivan). The two teenagers meet after Landon gets into trouble with the law and has to perform community service. This romance has won 3 awards and 2 nominations.

Grease- This screenplay by Bronte Woodard was released in June of 1978. It takes you into the life of two high school teenagers, John Travolta (Danny Zuko) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy Olsson) as they meet and fell in love over the summer at the beach. However, when the two discover they are attending the same school after the summer ends, will their love continue or does Danny’s fear of loosing his bad boy image tear them further apart? Grease was nominated for an Oscar, along with another 3 wins and 7 nominations.

Titanic- Released in December of 1997, this romance starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack Dawson) and Kate Winslet (Rose Dewitt Bukater) takes you into the story how a poor boy falls in love with the rich girl. Their relationship is ill-fated from the start as they meet aboard the ‘unsinkable ship’ Titanic, heading for America. Written by James Cameron, this heartfelt romance has won 11 Oscars and another 76 wins as well as 48 nominations.

Dirty Dancing- Released August 21, 1987, this romance stars, Patrick Swayze (Johnny Castle) and Jennifer Grey (Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman). Baby, visits the summer camp with her mother, father and sister and ends up falling in love with the camps dance teacher. Viewers will “Have the Time of their Life,” watching this coming of age romance. Dirty Dancing has won an Oscar and another 7 wins, along with 5 nominations.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092890

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281358

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_%28film%29

http://www.imdb.com

Tips To Maintain Your Microwave To Make Them Last Long

Microwaves are one of the most important appliances in every household. We will not be wrong if we say that, it is probably the only appliance of the kitchen which is as useful as the person who is doing the cooking. A microwave is used for a wide variety of purposes in every kitchen.

The only issue with Microwaves is that they start to malfunction if they are not taken proper care of. So, if you have purchased a microwave recently and want to use it for a long period, then you must take care of it. Here, we will tell you about the tips that you can follow if you want to increase the life of your microwave.

  1. Regular cleaning

The most basic as well as the useful way to prolong the life of your microwave is by cleaning it regularly. Every time after you use the microwave, make sure to pull its plug out after the work is done. You should let cool completely every time after you use it. After all, this is done, you need to take a damp cloth and then wipe the inner surface of the microwave carefully.

  1. User proper containers

 

One of the most important things to keep in mind while using a microwave is to use the correct containers. You should always try and use microwavable glass as well as ceramic dishes. You can also use plastic containers in the microwave, but you should always use containers which are microwave safe. You should avoid using dishes which have got a wooden handle or dishes which have got paint or metallic trim. Another thing which should strictly avoid in a microwave is tinfoil.

3. Avoid damages to the door

The one thing that you can do to make sure that the door of your microwave remains safe is to work as much gently as you can. There are a lot of microwave users who just slam the door, well if you do so, then you might end up with a blown-up fuse. If the people at repairclinic.com are to be believed, there are three switches in a microwave oven and there’s a particular pattern in which these switches need to be closed. You can only make sure of this only if the door of the microwave is closed gently.

  1. Proper positioning

This is also one of the most basic as well as the important tips that you need to keep in mind to keep your microwave safe. If you want to make your microwave last for a longer duration of time, then this is probably one of the most important things needed to be kept in mind.

These are some of the most important points that you need to keep in mind to take care of your microwave. If you follow these tips then your microwave is sure to last long. If you have invested, then it’s best to make the investment a bit lasting. 

Kristy Lee Cook Performs Mariah Carey’s “Forever” Tuesday, April 15

Kristy Lee Cook Performs Mariah Carey’s “Forever” Tuesday, April 15


American Idol Mariah Carey week was like a dream come true for me. I have been a fan of Mariah Carey since I was a little girl and to hear these songs re-done was awesome. What was truly awesome to me was Kristy Lee Cook’s performance of “Forever.” Mariah said that Kristy’s rendition gave her goosebumps, and I have to admit, it gave me goosebumps too.

Her performance on Tuesday was phenomenal. She sang it with a country twist but she didn’t make it too country, which was refreshing. Mariah Carey week could have been an absolute disaster for Kristy, since she lacks a little “flavor” that I think makes Mariah Carey so special. She usually puts such a country twang that it completely changes the song, but tonight, she rocked it out!

Even though I am not typically a fan of Kristy I felt that she gave one of the best performances (if not the best) of the night. Tonight, she had a little bit of the “flavor.” Maybe she truly is coming into her own, after working out a few kinks. Her Tuesday performance was truly amazing. Kudos to you, Kristy!

I’m not sure that Kristy has made it to front runner status yet. She is definitely getting better each week, so she might reach front runner status but at this point I think there are a few other contestants that can give her a run for her money, like David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, David Cook (who did an awesome rendition of “Always Be My Baby”) or Jason Castro.

Most of the remaining contestants are very talented and all have a chance at winning this season. If the winner was being chosen from tonight’s performance, the winner would be Kristy Lee Cook. She made an excellent song choice and gave an excellent performance. If she keeps going in the same direction, she could easily be at the top!

Beginner’s Sewing Projects: Gifts You Can Make Your Kids

Beginner’s Sewing Projects: Gifts You Can Make Your Kids


Sew Children’s Gifts for Holidays, Birthdays and More

If you’ve learned the basic techniques and basic stitches in sewing you’re ready to start making your kids some fabulous gifts! You might not have much confidence in your sewing abilities right now, but once you see the fantastic things you can make for your children, you’ll gain lots of confidence! Make things for their birthdays, holidays or just because you feel like it! They’ll love the new gifts, and you’ll have so much fun making them, the party will never stop!

Make a tub play area for your child – or a friend’s – by starting with an old blanket. Set the blanket in the bathtub and cut it around the edges so that it fits well. Start pinning a wide ribbon around the top edges of the cut blanket. As you go along, create small puckers, then cover them with the ribbon. These puckers will allow you to shape the blanket like the tub. Stitch the ribbon on and remove the pins. If you want extra padding use fabric glue to attach pieces of foam to the underside of the blanket, on the bottom and the sides. Babies often cry to go in the bathroom with Mom, and now when ever Mom is fixing her hair or getting ready for work, baby can play in the tub – protected from harm. Throw in some toys and he or she will be all set.

Make bed pockets where kids can tuck in books, tv remote and other items. The pocket set can hang off the side or the end of the bed. Cut a long, wide piece of cloth and hem all the way around it. One end of the cloth will be pushed way back, between the box springs and mattress, while the other side hangs over the bed. Sew on pockets from old garments or create new ones from squares or rectangles of fabric. Or, just stitch one long, rectangular piece across the bottom that hangs near the floor. Stitch sections into this piece and kids can store many items. These are great for adults’, too.

Make your little girl a cute purse by starting with a rectangular, cloth place mat. Lay the mat so that one short side is facing you. Grab the edge and pull it up to the center – or slightly higher. Pin and stitch up the sides. As you near the top edge place the end of a piece of roping, ribbon or other strap material. Finish sewing and back-tack the corners. Fold the flap over and stitch on a velcro piece to close the purse. You can decorate the purse with fabric paints, tassels, fake jewels, sequin and other embellishments.

Make a purse that features your child’s favorite cartoon character by simply stitching two wash cloths together. Leave the top corners open and insert a long strand of beads for the handle. Cut the cartoon character from a piece of cloth. You’ll find many characters at a store that sells fabric. Use fabric glue to attach the image then use fabric paints to outline the design. The paints will hide the raw edges and secure them to the washcloth. This little purse is perfect for any young girl.

Make backpacks for little kids by using a towel and folding it as you did the above place mat. Lay the towel so that one short end faces you, fold it up a little over halfway, then stitch the sides shut. Before sewing the sides you can stitch on pockets, loops and other holders. Use wide ribbon or wide binding to make the straps for the backpack. Use a piece of velcro to secure the flap.

Make a gift for a boy or a girl by cutting 2 long pieces of fabric. The fabric should be about twice as wide as a crayon. Lay the two pieces of material right-sides together. Stitch around one short end and both long sides. Turn the material right-side out. Stitch closed. Fold one long end up until it is only a couple of inches away from the edge. Stitch down the sides and you’ll create one very long pocket. Lay a crayon next to the edge of the pocket and draw a line beside it. Move the crayon to the opposite side of the line and draw another line. Continue moving the crayon down the pocket, drawing lines to mark where each crayon will go. Stitch these lines and you’ve created a unique crayon holder. Tie shut with a ribbon, mark a spot where the ribbon meets the fabric, and tack the ribbon to the cloth in this area. Kids can roll the crayon holder into a circle then tie shut with the ribbon. Make each narrow pocket slightly wider to create a magic marker holder; make the pockets much longer to hold colored pencils. Stitch a length of string across the unfolded edge of the crayon holder, and leave excess string on each end, and kids can wear the crayon holder instead.

Make scarves for the family by cutting long pieces of sweater material. Cut the pieces wide, place right sides together, then stitch along the length. Turn the piece right-side out and stitch the ends closed or just tie them in a knot. Other materials you can use include lightweight blanket material or even velour.

Teen girls will love towels they can wear around their bedrooms or after they’ve been swimming. Take a large towel and fold it in half, then stitch the edges together. Stitch a piece of elastic around one end of the towel and the girl can simply slip the towel on. Or, don’t create a side seam at all but instead, overlap the towel at the top. Pin the overlap shut for the moment, stitch the elastic in, then remove the pin. This creates a split-side towel that’s great for wearing after swimming. You’ll really love practicing your new sewing skills and your kids will love all the new gifts they receive! Keep on practicing and you’ll soon be making them lots of clothes, curtains, bed sets…

Ten Great Handmade Gifts That Anyone Can Make

Ten Great Handmade Gifts That Anyone Can Make


Soap/Candles – This gift is appropriate for women, mostly. Soap can be given to girls too young to be given candles. You don’t have to be a whiz to do this. Stores have kits that you can use to make candles and soaps. Places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels are pretty much guaranteed to have an excellent variety. You can add dyes and fragrances, and a variety of different shaped molds are available. The prices are pretty friendly, too, since you’re only paying for the supplies and doing the work yourself. If your first attempts aren’t as attractive as you’d like, keep them for your own personal use.

Baked goods – Almost everyone would appreciate some sweet treats, but a good target for this sort of gift would be college students and people who are moving out on their own for the first time. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, and casseroles are some examples. Anything that does not require heating before they eat it, or anything easily reheated, is a good idea. Recipes are readily available online, or just grab a cookbook. Cooking not your thing? Try something simple. Cookies are hard to mess up. You don’t have to make them completely from scratch. Buy Pillsbury. They won’t know the difference. Most people don’t care either way. So few people go to such efforts they’ll still be thankful for the thought.

Photo album – This is a good gift for people who are very close to you. Maybe you have pictures they’d like to have? Pictures of you or your family, or pictures you have of that person, or pictures of you and them together. Just take the negatives to a photo center and have some more copies made. You can put them in a photo album or in a scrapbook so that you can add decoration and your thoughts. Also, framing a favorite or significant portrait is a nice thought as well.

Blanket – Everyone loves blankets. Plus, they can range in difficulty, from extremely easy to extremely difficult. Most people aren’t up to making quilts. But if you are, there are plenty of books on the subject. Or you can consult a relative. A simple fleece throw is nice and easy to make. You can add their initials or a special trim to make it a unique and special gift. You can also crochet or knit a blanket, though this requires more effort. You can also buy blankets that have spaces for cross stitching, so you can personalize them that way. Cross stitching is very easy to pick up if you haven’t done it before.

Stationary – This is very easy and very impressive looking. If you have Microsoft Publisher or something similar, I would recommend using that. You can also use Word, though it is more limiting. Create some stationary using the person’s initials, their business or personal information, or their name as the heading. You can print it on nice thick paper, or on paper with a fancy border. They have nice stationary paper at Staples and Office Depot. Scrapbook paper works nicely as well, if it’s standard size. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add embellishment, but keep in mind the sort of person you’re giving it too. Give them a thick stack of it, and include some envelopes and some sealing stickers that match. Return address labels are nice, too, and easy to make with Publisher or Word. Just tie the whole thing together with an attractive ribbon or some twine, and they’ll love it.

Pressed flower bookmark – You can also use a three leaf or four leaf clover if the person receiving your gift is male or doesn’t like flowers. Simply pick the flower/clover, and find a thick book to press it in. They make kits for this purpose, but you don’t really need them. After a while the flower will be flat and dry. To preserve it all you have to do is laminate it, and cut the lamination to a nice bookmark size.

Mug – This is a great gift for a parent or a grandparent. You can buy whatever color mug you like, and decorate it with ceramic markers. Michael’s sells these in a variety of colors. You can decorate it with flowers, a witty remark, something that shows what they’re interested in, or simply their initials. The markers are made for this sort of thing, so you don’t have to worry about it wearing off or looking bad later.

Tie-dye t-shirt – This is a great gift for the fun people in your life, and it’s also one of the more fun and easy ideas. Kids can do this, too. You can buy a tie-dye kit, or look up some do-it-yourself instructions online. You can use as few or as many colors as you’d like. It just depends on who you’re making it for. What’s their favorite color? Sports team? Use those colors if you can, it’ll make it more personal and they’ll be more likely to wear it.

Coupon book – Not real coupons, of course, but little slips of paper they can redeem for things like hugs, hot chocolate made by you, or back-rubs. This is appropriate for the people you are around on a day-to-day basis, like parents or spouses. Just write whatever pops into your head on little slips of paper, roughly the size of a coupon book, and staple in together. You can include expiration dates, or requirements similar to the “buy one get one free” idea. You can give them a lot of coupons, or just a few. I would recommend giving them a lot.

Monogram – Most people love to have their initials on something. Anything that you can paint, sew, iron, or stick their initials on that they use every day qualifies. Handbags, golf bags, luggage, book bags, key chains, blankets, pillows, mugs, jewelry, towels, or journals are some examples. Depending on which one you pick, it could be easy or difficult. But the little touch of personalization makes it really special to the person who gets it.

A Comparison of the Film The Gift and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

A Comparison of the Film The Gift and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying


The literary novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is a rather interesting classic about the perspectives of death that members of a family have as they go on a long journey to bury their dead mother Annie. Similarly the film called The Gift which is directed by Sam Raimi is a peculiar and eerie film that features the local townspeople’s reaction to the death of a woman named Jessica King as they try and solve her murder case. Many themes overlap between the two works of literature such as the physic vision that Anne Wilson has in seeing the future and the line of physic thought that Darl Bundren has in knowing the thoughts of his siblings. The final similarity is the power of the dead to metaphorically rise from the dead. In both the film and the novel, the images of the dead bodies of both Annie Bundren and Jessica King appear and seem to talk to the people who know them best.

The film “The Gift” stars Keanu Reevesand Katie Holmes but the real focus and main character in the film is Cate Blanchett who plays the role of Anne Wilson, a woman who has the ability to read into the future and the past events through a deck of cards and her mind. It is precisely this telepathic vision that Anne has that causes her to be the center of a small little town in Georgia as controversy swirls around her. Townspeople who look for advice come to her to try and read their futures to get some insight into the unknown. While Anne’s “gift” is debatable as to its true authenticity of being fortunetelling or nothing more than piecing together bits of evidence from the past, this much we learn as certain: Anne is treated as an outcast and is perceived as performing witchcraft in her town. In the book, As I Lay Dyingby Faulkner, the question of the morality of Darl’s line of sight isn’t really focused on as much as his ability to understand what his siblings are thinking without them actually saying anything to him. Darl’s uncanny knack for knowing the thoughts of his sister and brother are precisely what gets him into trouble. Darl is able to understand that his sister Dewey Dell is trying to get an abortion and he also knows that his brother Jewel is really his half brother because of his mother’s affair.

In the film, the death of Jessica King engulfs the entire town as the mystery begins to find her killer. This search for the killer takes its toll on the townspeople, particularly Annie who has nightmares and sees visions of King’s body during the day. Through Annie’s vision, she is able to locate King’s body which is found in a lake and discover the identity of the killer by going back to the murder scene. This one dead body further fuels controversy as to its discovery and Annie’s gift. During the trial, Anne is put on the stand and ridiculed by the defense lawyer and called a “witch” by the suspected killer, Donnie Barksdale. Yet the image of Jessica King’s body lingers with Anne so much so that she continues to have nightmares about finding the right killer and getting justice for King. This search brings her to King’s fiancé who we find out in the end has killed his future wife because she cheated on him. The book by Faulkner doesn’t have quite the same plot details as the film, yet the point is made even still. It is the body of Addie Bundren which is the focal point of the novel and her dying wish to be brought into the town where he parents are buried. In the book, Addie speaks to the reader from the grave which is creepy and eerie at best. From the grave, Addie informs the reader of her hatred for her children and husband and her affair with a minister. Finally, the reader is told of the hoax and revenge that Addie is trying to extract on her family for taking her life away as she became a mother.

Finally, the most intriguing concept that both the film and the book both bring out is the power of the dead to influence society. One of the most controversial scenes in the film “The Gift” that is certainly up for debate among literary and film critics is whether Annie herself defended herself from Jessica King’s fiancé, Ben. Annie was taken to the lake by Ben and as she finally realized that Ben was the real killer, Ben is ready to strike Annie and kill her. As the lightening strikes in the background, we see what appears to be Annie’s friend Buddy striking Ben and knocking him down. Then Buddy proceeds to drag Ben’s body into the trunk of the car. Later on in the film, we learn that hours earlier, Buddy had committed suicide in a mental hospital. So the scene begs the question: Did Annie, a fragile and scared woman, really have the strength and courage to defend herself from the killer? The scene recognizes the power of the dead to act beyond the grave as we are led to believe that in some way, Buddy’s spirit helped to save Annie’s life.

A comparison from this theme can also be made to Faulkner’s book as the power of Addie’s spirit comes into question in two scenes where Jewel saves her body from both fire and water. During the flood, Jewel conjures up his strength to rescue Addie’s coffin and when Darl ignites a fire inside a barn to burn his mother’s coffin, Jewel bravely dashes into the barn to rescue the body. These two acts of courage also ask the question about the impact that Addie’s spirit had on recovering her body and continuing the journal to her burial. Jewel was Addie’s favorite son as he was born out of the affair that she had during her marriage. It is up to the reader’s interpretation how the spirit of Addie from the dead had on her family and her favorite son, Jewel. These themes in both the film “The Gift” and the book As I Lay Dying all show us the power of the dead to influence society.

Newborn Gift Ideas

Newborn Gift Ideas


What is a great gift for a newborn?

If you had asked me this question one and a half years ago I probably would have given a silly answer. After receiving many fantastic gifts at my daughter’s baby shower, I knew I was set. About a month into her life I began to realize which items were more useful than others. Now that I am six months pregnant with my 2nd child, I certainly know what I will be asking for on my registry this time around.

-Diapers: You can never ever have too many diapers! Do keep in mind babies are born different sizes. If you plan to buy diapers for someone’s baby shower I would suggest asking around to find out who else may be bringing diapers. Then you can all decide who will buy the newborn, and who will buy size 1. Or if you don’t want to go through the hassle of doing that. You can simply keep the receipt so that the parents can return some of the diapers for a larger size if they may need to do so.

*Note: You should also check with the parents to find out if they plan to use cloth diapers instead of disposable.

-Wipes: Wipes are another fantastic idea. Remember to buy the non-scented wipes. A lot of babies start out with sensitive skin and nearly anything can break them out. They also offer wipes for sensitive skin if you know the parents themselves have sensitive skin so the baby may also.

-Clothes: As far as clothes are concerned this is how I feel. Newborns really stay in onesies and sleepers pretty much 24/7. It is better to keep the regular clothes to a minimum because the babies grow out of them so fast and end up wearing each outfit once or twice. The beanie hats, and socks are also a good gift idea. You have to keep their little heads and feet warm so they don’t get sick!

*Note: If you absolutely want to buy an outfit, make sure that it is one that fits the parents taste. This way you know it will be worn.

-Bibs & Burp Clothes: Another good gift, you never know if the infant is going to be a “spitter” or not. Mother’s should always be prepared. As for bibs, although they won’t be eating baby food for a while, bibs are still a good item to have for babies who spit up on a regular basis.

-In The Bathroom: Baby wash clothes, baby shampoo, baby bathtub, terrycloth robe for after bath. All of these items are fairly cheap. I would suggest staying away from cheap baby shampoo. It can also cause a baby to break out.

-Toys: Newborns may not be interested in most toys due to the fact that their eyes aren’t quite focused yet and they don’t have full control of their body movements. If you get the baby any toys get something that is black and white, this is easier for the baby to see and enjoy.

-Big-ticket items: stroller, car seat, swing, high chair, bouncer, etc. These items are very important and can be very expensive. If you choose to bless your loved ones with a big ticket item I would suggest getting other’s to go in with you so the cost is not so high. Please be sure to read safety reviews on any big-ticket items you may purchase. It will be holding a very important life inside.

-Other: There are other items that some may not think about but are fairly important. Nail clippers (you can also purchase scratch mittens to keep the little one from scratching his/herself and mommy!), gas medicine (many infants keep gas, this is good to have on hand), baby Tylenol or Motrin, and an ear thermometer (they also have pacifier thermometers available but some parents may not be using a pacifier with their little ones). There are probably some things I may be missing but you get the big picture here. Again, as far as pacifiers are concerned, I would leave that up to the parents so that they can choose what they want to do. Some use them, some don’t. Focus on items that will be certainly be used and will make mommy’s life a little easier.

-Books: It’s never too early to start, and you can never have too many!

-Baby Einstein DVDS, or classical music: Although the DVDS can be a little expensive they are such a wonderful gift from newborn and up to start the baby’s brainwaves going. It also seems to keep them content. Classical music CDs or tapes are also a wonderful thing, it not helps get their mind going but it soothes them, great for naptime!

Again, keep all of your receipts in case too many people bless mommy with too much of a certain good thing so that she can exchange them if necessary.

Also, if you absolutely want to give the newborn baby something special and unique. Do it yourself! One of my favorite gifts to give when I hear of a new baby arriving soon is crochet a baby blanket and add the baby’s name and date of birth once the baby is born. If you don’t know how to crochet or knit, that’s fine! You can do this with so many other things, sewing for example. Look up craft ideas on the Internet; you will be surprised what you may find. Another good idea is to create a book just for the baby.

Get some construction paper for the pages, and some to make animals (or another theme) with. Use the letters of the baby’s name to create a book just for him. For example: My son on the way’s first name will be Mateo. I could use M for Moose, A for Alligator, etc. Then create a picture of these animals with the construction paper and other craft ideas. There is always something you can do, just use your imagination, and the Internet!

Note: The most important gift of all you can give a newborn, Tons of hugs and kisses once s/he arrives.

Good luck in your search for a great newborn gift!

GIFTS for a BOYFRIEND

GIFTS for a BOYFRIEND


BOYFRIEND GIFT IDEAS

Men are simple creatures. They like to play, relax and eat. If you can satisfy one of those primal urges you are already half the way to selecting a perfect gift for a man. A few ideas to satisfy the “Play” urges in a man include:

PLAY: All guys like to play something. Find out what your boyfriend’s favorite “play” pastime is and go for it.

1) Game System: Clearly the most expensive of the “play” suggestions but probably the one that will get the most attention. There are several popular ones to choose from. Your selection should include one that has the interactive capability. You know, where you can stand up and play tennis and your physical motions transfer to the player on the screen. This way you are satisfying his electronic need while at the same time still ensuring he gets some sort of exercise.

2) Video Game: If he already has a system and he is pleased with it, consider getting him the absolute latest release game for that system. The new releases are typically more expensive at first then they are say 6 to 8 months later, but he will have it before his buddies do. Find out what type of game he likes playing then ask the store clerk for the very latest game in that type.

3) Internet Game Subscription: There are so many sites offering game services today. Most of them cost something to join though. These fees are usually rather economical so don’t let that scare you away. Consider the sites that offer multiple games of many different types in addition to the individual sites, referred to as; MMORPG: Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.

4) Sports Equipment: Is your boyfriend particularly athletic? Then consider getting him something branded, like a sports team sweatshirt or jersey. Make sure whichever one you select brandishes the name of one of his favorite teams and not one of the opposing teams. If he is personally involved, consider shoes for his sport of choice.

RELAX: After a good round of playing electronically interactive games or even running around on a basketball court for a couple of hours, your man will want to take a break.

1) Bathrobe: Not just the ordinary cotton ones you see on the department store sales rack. Get him the thick and thirsty terry robe. Get one of those that hang to the floor; something he can wrap up in if he feels a need to. Choose a color that screams masculine though. It’s one thing to be caught wearing a bathrobe but if it is a pastel blue one then the trouble just gets thicker. A nice dark brown or black is best. Even white would work.

2) Massage Appointment: The ultimate in relaxing would be a professional massage day, or spa day. Try to mask the inference to a woman’s spa day by calling it simply “a massage.” Make sure the masseuse includes a scalp massage; this one will put him to sleep he will be so relaxed.

3) Favorite Movie: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, it doesn’t matter. Just get him one of his favorite ones and promise to sit there and watch it with him. That’s the important thing; watch it with him. Make it as close to a new release as possible. This to ensure he has not seen it yet.

4) Universal Remote: Don’t just buy the remote in a vacuum pack and expect him to set it up. Bring your cable guy out or get your brother-in-law to help set it up. It should be ready to go when your boyfriend first unwraps it. Get the one that will control up to five components so he can do whatever he wants from one remote and one remote only.

EAT: This is probably one of the easiest categories to fulfill; all guys like to eat and usually they aren’t all that specific about what they are eating.

1) Breakfast Buffet: Take him out to your local buffet for breakfast. I say breakfast because that is the one meal we don’t always get to go out for. There are plenty of evening dinners in his future but breakfast offers such a myriad of interesting foods. Try to make it a buffet so he can have his choice of what and how much.

2) Pizza In: Order pizza and have it delivered or you go pick it up. You can wrap this one up with one of the relax titles. Make it so your boyfriend does not have to lift a finger to provide dinner, at least this one evening. Get plenty of pizza so he can have seconds later on in the evening while he is enjoying one of his “play” gifts.

3) Snack Selection: While he is innocently sitting in his new bathrobe, getting ready to watch his new release DVD, prepare a platter of his favorite finger foods. No knives and forks for this guy; let him caveman it all the way. Some selections could include veggies and dip, little hotdogs, cheese and crackers, pizza rolls, potato chips and so on. Don’t look at it as not being good for him, look at it as one night of guiltless pleasure.

4) Chocolate Chip Cookies: Every guy likes chocolate chip cookies, especially if they are hot from the oven. You don’t have to go so far as to make them from scratch but don’t settle for a bag of pre-made cookies either. You can get buckets of cookie dough, or pouches of precut cookies or one of many other “ready to cook” presentations. The magic here is that you had to put them in the oven, time them and then take them out. You did it all for him. Now he has a platter of hot, melty, chocolate chip cookies.

I would like to repeat that most men are not picky. They like creature comforts before anything else. Please try to discipline yourself and don’t fall for the necktie, T-shirts, socks, watch, cologne or soap on a rope stand bys. He can get those anytime he wants and will, if he wants them. The littlest bit of thought will result in your boyfriend getting a piece of happiness that he will remember for a long time. He will also remember who got it for him just as long.