Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Post Roundup (9/29/12)

Here are a few posts I thought y'all might like to read.
Get a Dumpster @ Learning God's Lessons

Don't Wait for "Let me Know"! @ Living Life with the Loves

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Butterfly Boo-Boo Pack

My daughter took a tumble tonight. Somehow, she practically did a somersault when getting out of the dining room chair and she landed on the floor on her back. She hit her head either on the chair or the floor. It didn't long for a giant goose egg to pop up on her forehead! I ran to the freezer and grabbed the first thing I could find, a half bag of frozen peas. My husband mentioned the ice pack that we have and he got that out of the freezer. It's a moldable ice pack, but too big and heavy for my daughter to use.

As soon as I could see that Gracie was doing ok ("I stopped crying, Mommy!"), I did a search for ice pack on Pinterest. I found several different recipes. I decided to do an experiment and try two different recipes (because I'm a geek like that), and I made up two different baggies. One baggie holds 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and 5 tablespoons of water. The other baggie holds mostly dishwashing soap and some rubbing alcohol. Yes, I probably should have measured, but I didn't want to clean up a soapy measuring utensil. I stuck them in the freezer with the zipper side up so that they were sitting kind of in a tube shape.

Then I went searching for some sort of pretty fabric to use. Most of my fabric is in boxes either in the garage or in the loft above the garage (never-ending home renos are a hindrance in matters like this!). I remembered that I have a bag of "too small" items in Gracie's closet. I found a pair of purple butterfly tights from last winter that she maybe wore once. Actually, I don't think she wore them at all. We didn't have a winter last year; it was very mild the whole season.

I cut off the legs and stitched one end close. These tights are the footless kind (which I didn't know when I got them) so they already had a nice finished edge on the other end. I found some sticky no-sew velcro and put them in on the finished edge side. The baggies were not yet frozen, just barely cold, but I put them in the purple butterfly packs anyway. I let Gracie hold one and she enjoyed holding it against her goose egg.

She now has both of them while she's watching Dora. She says, "I want to watch Dora!" I say, "OK!" She thinks she's really getting away with something because she knows it's time for bed, but I want to keep her up later just to be on the safe side.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mosaic Photo

If you'll scroll down almost to the very bottom of this page, you will see a really neat mosaic photo of my daughter. The small pictures are taken from my Facebook photos over the past two years. Pretty neat, huh? There's a link to the site that did this. I can download a hi-res photo if I want. I want to do that and have it printed (possibly an engineering print from Staples which is supposed to be really cheap) and mounted on canvas or foam board.
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Google Reader: A Great Way to Follow Blogs

Please note that Google Reader is being retired on July 1, 2013.  Read here to find out about alternatives.

I remember when I first started visiting blogs, probably about 5 years ago, give or take.  I loved reading them, but I didn't like going to each blog every day to check for new posts and finding none.  It felt like a waste of time.  Then I learned about Google Reader which is "a web-based aggregator capable of reading...RSS feeds." (Wikipedia definition)  In layman's terms: it will grab all of the new content of blogs and other types of web pages that are updated often and will put them all in one place for you.  It's like reading a customized newspaper especially for you!

In order to use Google Reader, you must have a Google account.  If you have a gmail email address, you're good to go.  If you don't, I recommend you get one because I have found it to be a great email service -- far better than Yahoo mail which is a spam magnet.

Go to Google Reader, and log in (if you're not logged into Google already).

How to add blogs to your Google Reader:

Method 1:

If you'll notice in the upper left-hand corner, right under the word Google, there is a red button that says subscribe.  This is what you will use to add blogs to your Google Reader.

First, in a new tab, go to the blog you want to follow and copy the URL (web address).  Then, go back to Google Reader, click on the red subscribe button, and paste it into the box, and click on Add.

Make sure that you only put the main address for the blog.  For example, do not copy  Just select to copy.

Method 2:

Go to the blog you want to follow, and look for a button or icon that looks something like this:

See that orange and white thing that looks like radio waves coming off of a dot?  That's the universal symbol for RSS.  Click on the icon and from there, you can tell it to use Google Reader to collect the blog posts.

One thing to note is that it will not always be orange.  It can be other colors as well.  Sometimes it can be hard to find because of where bloggers put it on their blog.  You just have to look carefully.  If you can't find it, you can always use Method 1 above.

Method 3:
I do not recommend this method.  Here's why.

This is an example of the Google Friend Connect widgit.  You can simply click on Join This Site and it will add the blog to Google Reader.

Google Friend Connect has been retired from all non-Blogger/Blogspot sites.  Read here for more information.  It still works every time I use it, so I'm not sure how much of an issue that is.

How to Use Google Reader

After you've added your favorite blogs, you can use Google Reader to read the posts.  One thing to note is that when you've added a blog to Google Reader, it will automatically put in the last ten posts, so that allows you to read some older posts without getting too overwhelmed.

To read your posts, click on the words AIl Items in red on the left-hand side of the web page.  In the screen shot above, it has loaded my posts to read.

If you'll notice the first couple of posts (of a brand-new blog I just started following) are truncated (short, cut off posts).  This is one of my pet peeves and I wish bloggers wouldn't do it.  However, lately there's been a big stink about some  jerk somewhere stealing content off of blogs and claiming it as their own.  To combat this, some bloggers have opted to truncate their posts.

In order to read the truncated posts, I have to click on the grey arrow to the right of the blog post title:

This will allow that blog post to open in a new window from which you can read the entire post.  {Note: if you do a right-click on the grey arrow, it will open in a new tab without going to that tab.  You can then look at the blog post at a later time.}

To get to other blog posts, just scroll down to read.  The first screen shot up at the top shows a blog post that has not been truncated.

One very useful thing you can do is "star" posts.  When I read blog posts on my phone or iPad, I will oftentimes star posts to re-read later.

To go back to the starred posts, click on Starred Items below All Items on the left-hand side of the web page.  You can then scroll down and re-read those.  To "unstar" the blog post, simply click on the star again.

There are several different reasons why I star posts.  The main reason is to save it to read on my computer at a later date.  From there, I can open up the blog post in a new tab and pin the post on Pinterest or comment on the blog post.

If you change your mind about following a blog, you can unsubscribe from it using Google Reader.  On the left-hand side of the web page at the bottom, the blogs you are subscribed to are listed (I have many of mine put in folders.  I'm not going to blog about that.). 

The easiest way to manage your subscriptions is to click the gear wheel on the right-hand side of the page underneath your profile pic.  From there you can click on Subscriptions and manage them.

The bad thing is that just because you have unsubscribed from a blog doesn't mean you will stay unsubscribed!  I have had subscriptions come back hogging up my feed.  This is my one big pet peeve with Google Reader.  I have had to unsubscribe several times from blogs to make them stay away.  The good thing is that it doesn't take too much time to scroll past posts I'm not interested in.  Problem solved!  I have caught the bad guy and put him away for good!

This should get you started on using Google Reader.  If anyone has any questions or suggestions for things to add, please let me know in the comments below or by sending me an email.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Blog Tip: PrintFriendly

I just discovered an amazing little widget that literally saved me HOURS of future work!  For several months, I've been wanting to convert my recipe posts into alternative print-friendly versions so that y'all can print just the recipe and not all my rambling.  I considered using Goggle Docs, but really didn't want to spend all that time copying, pasting, and reformatting.

Today, I found!  Not only do they offer a widget that I now have at the bottom of each post, but they also offer a PrintFriendly bookmarklet which allows you to turn ANY web page into a print-friendly version!  You may wonder, "Well, what about all the rambling mumbo jumbo that you put in with your recipes?"  You can easily tell it to delete portions of the page!  You can also tell it to not print the images.  (Unfortunately, that is an all-or-nothing feature.)  To make it even better, rather than print the page, you can have it converted to a PDF file and save it on your computer!

I was so excited about this website, I just had to post right away and tell y'all!

Please note: I was not asked to do this review and was not compensated in any way.
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to Fix a Redirect to CLCACHE.INFO

My mom has been visiting us, and she mentioned today that she'd like to go to a garage sale while she's here.  I went to Craigslist to see if there were any listed for the next few days.  While there, it popped me over to  I hit the back button and tried to go again.  Same redirect.  This was using my Firefox browser.  Google Chrome did not do a redirect.  I didn't try Safari.

I did some Googling and what I think worked is that I removed a Firefox add-on called something like Craigslist Image Prefetcher, and I restarted Firefox.

I opened Firefox back up, went to Craigslist, and clicked on the Garage Sale link.  It opened up just fine with no redirect.
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog Post Roundup (9/8/12)

Here are a few posts I thought y'all might like to read.
The Right Kind of Control @ Journal for Women

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blog Post Roundup (9/1/12)

Here are a few posts I thought y'all might like to read.
Look at the White Line @ Valerie Write Now

One Kind Act @ Everyday Grace

The New Normal @ Our Daily Bread

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