Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas Tree Alternatives



courtesy of Pixabay
Yes, I too love the traditional Christmas tree-- the fragrant pine or the standard luxurious artificial tree with the built in LED lights that never need to be strung or removed.  But this year I thought it would be fun to have something in one of the corners of a room that was NOT a traditional tree as defined above.   The best place I find for ideas is on Pinterest

1. LET'S START SMALL.....


Pretty easy representation of a small tree.  More like a wreath.  But shaped like a tree, so it passes.  Get a pair of knit mittens and stuff them with greens-- fake here, but you could use fresh cedar, etc.

2. The Gentle Woodlands Tree Hanging ..

Alternative Christmas Tree ideas - Christmas decorating ideas - DIY Christmas decor - Different Christmas tree styles
Image Sourced from OHbaby
This is a simple and sweet stylized Christmas tree that would look good on any wall.  Drill some holes in some sticks of lessening lengths, put string through to take on the triangle tree shape, and hang (or perch) your choice of whimsical decorations on the stick branches.  Weave some lights in.


   3. The Wonderful Light-ness of Christmas

33+ Amazing Christmas Tree Light Decor Ideas #christmas #christmasideas » ideas.hasinfo.net
                                         And then there was lights-- just lights!      ideas.hasinfo.net

This might work quite well if you have a ceiling hook that was originally designed for a hanging plant.  I have a few of those in my 70s house.  Even when my husband re-painted the ceilings, he replaced the hooks for the hanging plants.  Hmm.  Perhaps he was envisioning this light tree!  

4. The Scent of a Christmas Tree...

Christmas Tree Alternatives
When the bough bends....   Wedding Chicks

I really like this as an alternative to the artificial tree we have been putting up over the recent years.  A pine branch or a cedar bough-- all good.  The fragrance will be lovely.  There will be needles, but that is the cost of enjoying natural ions right in your home!  It appears that this tree is hung with tiny pots of Tillandsia or air plants.  Wouldn't my household spider just love this!


5. The Book Worm's Tree

Inspiring Christmas Tree Alternatives Ideas For Small Space 02
The Light At The End of the Semester   Trendehouzz



So, there you are!  Five interesting alternatives to your usual Christmas tree to whet your creative juices during this jolly season!   All the best!  Enjoy yourself!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

2019 Vegan Recipes on Instagram (healthiacynthia)

Here are the vegan mains, sides, soups, smoothies, desserts, pastries, and breakfasts as shown on Instagram.  These recipes appeared on Instagram in 2019. (This is a work in progress-- thank you for your patience)
Just go ahead and click on the link below to go directly to the recipe! They are arranged in their categories from the most current Instagram recipe to the oldest-- to see them as they come out, join me at https://www.instagram.com/healthiacynthia/

MAIN COURSE VEGAN RECIPES

Roasted Brussels Sprouts



Zucchini Basil Linguine

Sweet Potato-Braised Purple Cabbage



Real Deal Baked Veggie Burger

                                                        

                                    Tofu Amritsari Masala

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes




                                Sweet Potato Vegan Stew


                          Maple-Brown Sugar Glazed Tofu


                                          Vegan Baked Beans


VEGAN DESSERTS

Vegan Pumpkin Hermits & 3 more pumpkin cookie recipes



Vegan Lemon-Blueberry Squares



Blueberry NiceCream on Raspberry Chia Pudding


VEGAN SOUPS

Garlicky Cauliflower Soup (& Garlicky Mashed Spuds)  


                                 Creamy Celery Soup


           Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup from Healthier Steps 



Vegan Get Well Soon Soup with Rice & Beans


BREAD AND  PASTRIES

Lentil-Rice-Chia Flatbread (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

So, You're Into Books and Your Sweetie Isn't?

Woman, Studying, Learning, Books, Reading, Adult, Bed

If you are a bookworm-- a bibliophile-- someone who loves reading books-- then you likely enjoy being around other book-ish folks. I am going on my own thoughts and experiences here. I grew up in a book-loving home, was read to as a child, and was reading the same serial books as my mother by the time I was twelve. I married an English major. He reads, he writes. If I need some time to finish a chapter at night, he understands.

If you are dating-- or married-- someone who doesn't read, there is likely some cognitive dissonance in your relationship. Maybe that is an unfair judgement. But I'm guessing that if you are a big time reader-- maybe a teacher or someone who belongs to a Book Club- you enjoy discussions about books you love. And maybe you get those needs met by having friends who you can talk to. But on the off-chance that you would like your partner to start reading, you might be interested in the Reading List for "He's Just Not That Into Literacy-- Turning Your Lover Into a Reader" supplied in the book  Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by writer-librarian, Annie Spence. (Read a little more about the book on my blog post here) You'll have to get hold of the book yourself (you'll love it) to read all the clever paragraphs around the books she recommends, but I provide you with the actual list of books:

Annie Spence says that librarians "turn people onto reading every day" and librarians fervently believe that there is a "book for everyone".

After a casual conversation on the topic, if you decide your beloved liked reading something like "The Hunger Games" or "Fifty Shades" or "Twilight", it is possible they like the "momentum and deluge effect" of a series. She recommends:

The Lunar Chronicles Boxed Set: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter by Marissa Meyer

and

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (a little more sophisticated than the young-adult genre of "The Lunar")

For people who like the snark they find in The Onion, but don't actually read a full-blown book, they actually might enjoy Fraud by David Rakoff, or Amy Sedaris's "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence".

For foodies who actually read cookbooks like novels (a small population), there are a few novels with foodie themes/metaphors:

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry
Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook by Christina Tosi
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivavel
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Books about Musicians and Music

The Dirt (The Anniversary Edition): Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue and Neil Strauss
Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir
by Carrie Brownstein



JOCK Books

**An autobiography of your love's fave player or a historical account of the year their team won/almost won the World Series**

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella  (the book that the movie "Field of Dreams" was based on)

The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach

Have a gal friend who hasn't read anything in a while?

I Think I Love You by Alison Pearson

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

If none of the above works to get them into reading, drag them to the library and get them a card.  Then introduce them to the librarian and let them ask all the right questions to find a book they will love.  Promise.

HOW BEING READ ALOUD TO SHAPED MY LIFE


Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Librarian's List of Books about Librarians


Go ahead and catch the Introduction.  Get a sense of the humor and sparkle in this book written for other bibliophiles like Spence herself.  Spence writes book reviews in various unusual formats: as love letters and Dear John letters (when having to "weed" the old books from the library's shelves).  In the final chapters she has a number of lists of books that I have begun to request from my own library-- not all of them, because I actually have read some of the books she reviews. 

As I read books from the following lists, I will probably review them myself on Good Reads.  Please join me there where I review under my name, Cynthia Zirkwitz.  If you have read any of the books on the following lists, please let me know what you thought of them in the Comments section below.  I'd appreciate that!
In the Stacks


BOOKS ABOUT LIBRARIANS

The Uncommon Reader by Allen Bennett

In the Stacks: Short Stories about Libraries and Librarians by Michael Cart

Jade Dragon Mountain: A Mystery (Li Du Novels Book 1) by Elsa Hart

In One Person by John Irving

Love and the Art of War by Dinah Lee Küng

When Tito Loved Clara: A Novel by Jon Michaud

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Book of Speculation: A Novel by Elrika Swyler

Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness by Jennifer Tseng

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami



Here is a group of Books that were formative for Annie Spence in growing her love of books in general (remember: she advises that we read from a wide range of book genres and subjects)



The Fledgling by Jane Langton

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Follow the author-librarian Annie Spence on Twitter at https://twitter.com/annieaupence 

HOW BEING READ ALOUD TO SHAPED MY LIFE



Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX

Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX
Mostly Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes