Start a Christmas Tradition with Elf on the Shelf

December 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm (Humor, inspiration, Personal) (, , , , )

I’m always a little envious when I hear people talking about family traditions.  We never had any traditions.  So, when I heard about the Elf on the Shelf, my ears perked, and I started thinking that it could be a nifty little tradition, not only for Malissa and me, but for us to have with Stephanie, my 7-year old cousin, who is more like my niece, but you get the idea.


 So, here’s the premise, as told in the book that includes the elf:   the elf has been sent by Santa to keep an eye on their assigned child and report back to Santa; the elf, who is named by your child, appears around Thanksgiving, and relocates within their assigned home each evening…some creative parents leave treats and little “happies” as a gift from the elf for the child;  the elf is not to be touched by the child(ren) in the home, or else he loses his magic; consequences for touching the elf is that he loses his magic and must return to Santa for a period of time; the elf returns to Santa on Christmas Eve each year.  

It’s already a bit too late this year, but you can bet I’ll be ordering my very own elf (likely from Amazon) during the after-holiday sales.  They are a rather hefty $30-40 right now, but a friend told me she got hers last year after the first of the year for about $15.  That’s much more doable.  This will be a great little tradition for us, and I can use my extra time planning all sorts of little treats and crafts.  If I start now, I just might be ready by next Christmas 🙂  
Happy Holidays!


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Tips and Tricks: Some (Slightly Snarky) Google Help

December 23, 2012 at 12:40 am (Apple, Applications, How-to, Humor) (, , , )

Most of you guys know what it’s like to have family members always calling you with mundane questions about things.  They are usually along the lines of “How to I…..” or “I can’t figure out how to …..”.  Frequently, these involve their remote, computer, printer, iDevice, and so on.  They’ve obviously never heard of Google, or any other search engine since the days of AOL.  How many of you have a t-shirt (or want one) that says, “No, I will not fix your computer”? So, you know what I mean, right?

Folks always seem to call at the most inopportune times.  Do you help them with their issue, or tell them to look it up themselves?  Well, some slightly exasperated developers at Google have helped us out with this conundrum. LMGTFY to the rescue. “Let Me Google That For You” is a nifty little assistant that lets you show someone else how to use Google.  So, rather than outright telling them to look it up for themselves, you can let Google be the smart@ss and tell them to look it up for themselves. 😉 Nifty, no?

LMGTFY Stickers 1

Here’s how it works:

Go to  There’s a box below the search box that says “Type a question, click a button”. Type in your query and submit. It then creates a link and the box tells you to “share the link below”. You can copy and paste it for sharing,  or shorten it or preview if you like. The resulting animation shows you typing the query into the box, shows Google’s search results, then the box says, “Was that so hard?”.  Gotta love it.

Here’s an example.  I searched for “LMGTFY”.  Here’s the results:

Give it a shot and see what you think.  Of course, what they do once they get results is another story.  Good luck!

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You’ve Purchased HOW Many Apps???

June 18, 2011 at 1:45 am (Apple, Applications, Humor, iDevices, iPhone/iPod Touch, shareware) (, , , , , )

I stumbled across this Mac application recently after seeing one of my friends, @chartier, tweet about it and thought I’d share it with you so we can all be staggering around in disbelief at the sheer number of apps that we have purchased (and how much we’ve spent on them!). I’d been trying to find a program like this after a friend and I were discussing how many apps we’d purchased for our iDevices. After seeing David’s tweet, I decided to download it and give it a go.

The application, by WetFish Software, is called App Store Expense Monitor. It’s a free app (donations accepted).  It’s just a straightforward zip file for your Mac. Run it, and the program finds all the apps in your iTunes Mobile Applications folder. It tells you the App, Developer, Category, and Price of the apps you’ve downloaded.


It shows the current price of the app, although you can edit the price to reflect what you actually paid for it — good for those that might have been free or that even (gasp!) cost more when you purchased it than they do now.

It can be exported as a CSV or XML file.  I did have to change the path so my Mobile Apps folder could be located, as it wasn’t quite in the standard spot. However, this was easy enough to do, as it just involved choosing the desired path and selecting it in the options.

Try it and see what you think.  You can download from their website here: . I have 342 apps totaling $593.57.  Leave me a comment below and let’s compare purchases.

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