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Archive for July, 2015

To Be Inspired

Friday, July 31, 2015 posted by Martin
I Have a Dream Inspirational Stone

Inspirational Greeting Stone

Life has its ups and downs.  I remember as a kid when I was a reserve on the high school football team, I wished that I could be a starter.  Inspiration takes various shapes and forms from an inspirational paperweight to positive reinforcement from a teacher or parent.  You can’t just give up.  You must be determined to succeed or it probably won’t happen.  Having a plan or strategy is critical.

During football practice, the starters would run practice plays against the backups.  During one of those practices, I decided not to be lame, but to really try to stop the play.  The starters complained to the coach, but he ignored them and told them to deal with me on the field.

I was such a pain in the butt, that when our starting guard went down with an injury during our first game, the coach gave me a shot to see what I could do against real competition.  That was all I wanted.  On the first play, I drove my opponent five yards downfield and the rest was history.  I was now a starter.

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Early Holiday Shopping

Thursday, July 30, 2015 posted by Martin
FREE Engraved Christmas Stone

FREE Engraved Christmas Stone

Before you know it, the holiday season will be here and everyone will be stressed to find everything from the right toys to the correct personalized engraved corporate gifts.  Gift giving is not just about giving something. It is about putting a smile on the recipient’s face and staying within the budget.  Late summer is not too early to begin a strategy. Take out last year’s list and develop a budget for the coming holiday season. Total it up and see if it works for you.

Now is the time to begin paying attention to special offers that make sense for you.  Sizes can be a problem so think in terms of one size fits all, as with hats, kimonos, certain jewelry, etc.  See if you can manage each gift at 10% less than the budget.  That way, you have some flexibility in case a particular gift exceeds your cost expectations.  The hard thing about buying early is remembering where you stored each gift, so place a locater on your list.

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Review of Trainwreck Movie

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 posted by Martin
Happy Birthday Greeting Stone

Happy Birthday Engraved Stones

We had only looked at the reviews of Trainwreck, not at the plot. We thought it had to do with a train that left the tracks. Wrong!! This movie starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader deals with young folks who haven’t figured things out yet. Eventually, Amy (all screwed up) meets Aaron, a famous single sports surgeon as part of an assignment for a magazine. She has trouble accepting the fact that she really likes this guy, and their sex is for real.

There are lots of cameos including Chris Evert, Matthew Broderick, Marv Alpert and others. LeBron James has a sizable role in the movie and is very funny. These parts are as good as clever birthday greetings. Amar’e Stoudemire plays the role of an injured basketball star who needs surgery from Aaron and freaks out at the thought of it. I laughed at times but found the plot rather lacking although the performances were good. If you are over 60, consider missing this one. It drags quite a bit.

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Review of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 posted by Joan
L'Chaiim Inspirational Stones

L’Chaim (To Life) Inspirational Stones

Author, Kristin Hannah, shows us the heart-wrenching horrors of war from the women’s perspective. The misery and plight of the French people under German rule including the horrific actions of the Germans towards the Jews come to life in this book. The Nightingale is the story of two sisters during German-occupied, war-torn France during World War II. No words can tell the tale of the survival, freedom, and love as well as Hannah does in this thought-provoking and riveting novel which is based on a true story of a real Belgium woman. Engraved rocks, with the words L’Chaim (to life) represent their only objective – survival.

Vianne’s husband leaves her and their young daughter to fight in the French army. Although Vianne survives the German occupation of her home, her every move is scrutinized while her life and the life of her child are in constant danger. She is forced to make difficult choices, without food or money, to keep herself and her daughter alive.

Her younger sister, Isabelle, joins the resistance while risking not only her freedom but the freedom of her family. Isabelle brings British and American pilots who have been shot down across the dangerous mountains and into Spain.

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Who Are The Stones?

Monday, July 27, 2015 posted by Martin
Success Motivational Stones

Success Engraved Stones

The Rolling Stones are a household word almost everywhere. The original group members were Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts. Over time, the group members changed. The Rolling Stones became stone engraving icons (made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) during 1989 and still are regarded as one of the most popular music groups. Originally, they were referred to as the Rollin Stones.

But there are other famous Stones too. Take Christopher Stone (actor), Fred Stone (actor), Robert Stone (actor), Sharon Stone (actress), Oliver Stone (director) and Matt Stone (screen writer). I guess if you want to make it in the entertainment business, consider changing your name to Stone. There is something very solid about the image of stone. What do you think?

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US Women’s Soccer

Friday, July 24, 2015 posted by Martin
You're A Winner Motivational Stone

Engraved Inspirational Paperweight

It is fair to say that most Americans take pride in the success of the women’s team and their 5-2 win over Japan in the FIFA world championship.  As we watched, it is amazing how these players were able to sustain their composure in spite of the extreme amount of stamina needed to prevail.  Surely, they will receive many accolades and engraved business gifts from proud businesses throughout the country.  Hope Solo was magnificent in goal and Carli Lloyd succeeded in scoring three goals in less than 20 minutes in the first half, a new record.

Their winnings of two million dollars will be shared among the team along with their medals and their trophy. However, when you compare the two million with the prize money for men’s soccer, it leaves us wondering why they receive substantially less as winners than the men receive as also runs in the men’s competition.  It seems to me that considering the many millions of TV viewers for the women’s finals, the women players are not getting their fair share of the pie.

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Happy Ice Cream Month

Thursday, July 23, 2015 posted by Joan
Be Happy Greeting Stones

Be Happy Engraved Stones

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?   According to the childhood rhyme, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”  Use these eight interesting facts about ice cream for a fun quiz or trivia contest at your next summer barbeque. Great gifts for the winners are message stones.

  1. The largest consumption of ice cream is in the United States.
  2. The most popular flavor is vanilla.
  3. Ice cream cones were invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The waffle vendor helped the ice cream vendor because of the large demand for ice cream.
  4. Sunday is the most profitable day for ice cream vendors.
  5. One ice cream cone can be finished in 50 licks.
  6. On June 13, 1789, George Washington became the first US president to eat ice-cream.
  7. There are 273 calories in one cup of vanilla ice cream.
  8. Ice cream “brain freeze” occurs when cold ice touches the roof of your mouth, which causes blood vessels in the head to dilate.
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Declaration of Independence Trivia

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 posted by Martin
Good Luck Engraved Stones

Good Luck Engraved Stones

Jesse Watters did a segment on TV asking ordinary folks questions about the USAs independence and the Declaration.  Here are some trivia points which you can turn into a quiz and test the knowledge of your friends.  If they are lucky enough to get more than 75% correct, give them a good luck stone.

  1. We declared our independence from England with the help of France.
  2. The document was written on July 2, 1776 however the final version was not adopted until July 4.
  3. The principal author was Thomas Jefferson.
  4. The second Continental Congress adopted the final version of the Declaration.
  5. At that time, George III was the king of England.
  6. The fourth president of the United States did not sign the Declaration. His name is James Madison.
  7. Although the Declaration was written during July, it was not actually signed until August 2.
  8. The first and largest signature on the Declaration is that of John Hancock.

Now show off just how smart you are.

 

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Review of Husband’s Secret

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 posted by Joan
I Have a Dream Inspirational Stone

Inspirational Greeting Stone

Whether this novel is for birthday, Christmas of Hanukkah greetings, it is a thought provoking and stimulating read. After reading Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, I began to seriously think about the effects of revealing one’s darkest secrets on others.

In this novel, the lives of three women are intertwined as a result of a secret that occured 20 years ago. Cecilia in a successful business woman, a pillar of her community, and a devoted wife and mother. When she discovers her husband’s secret, everything in her life and the lives of others change forever. Tess finds out that her husband and cousin, who is also her best friend and business partner, are in love. When she find out, she leaves her home in Melbourne with her son, and returns to her childhood home in Sydney. Rachel has grieved everyday for twenty years when her teenage daughter was murdered and is haunted by the circumstances of the murder.

Besides this secret, there are other secrets in the book which also have a profound effect of all. The author skillfullly weaves the secrets throughout the story leaving the reader wondering and fearing what will happen when all the secrets are finally exposed.

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Healthy Macaroni and Beef Casserole

Monday, July 20, 2015 posted by Joan
Be Happy Greeting Stones

Be Happy Engraved Stones

This was a favorite recipe of  my kids when they were growing up. My adult daughter still talks about it, and asked me to make it for her birthday last year. It’s comfort food that you never forget like your lucky pocket stones. Here’s the healthy version:

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (I use organic when possible)
16 oz. multi-grain elbow macaroni
1 jar (24 oz.) low-sodium marinara sauce
2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup low-fat parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until al dente. Drain.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3.  In a skillet, cook beef until brown over medium heat. Drain any fat from meat.

4.  Mix browned beef, cooked pasta, and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.

5.  Place in casserole dish or lasagna pan.

6.  Top casserole with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

7.  Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until casserole is bubbly.

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