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This Gift’s For You #MFRWauthor

This Gift’s For You #MFRWauthor

We’ve all received gifts we have graciously accepted and either exchanged or regifted. As the season of gift giving is upon us, how do we give a gift that is personal? IF you do a secret santa or whatever your place of employment may call it there’s usually a handy-dandy list accompanied with the person for whom the gift is meant, but what if you don’t have a list?

One rule of thumb is to give a gift you would like. Even if you have some inkling of what the person may like. Observing how they dress, the music they listen to, or maybe you’ve noticed they like dangly earrings. Even someone who absolutely cannot function without their morning caffeine would appreciate a travel mug with their names or refills at their favorite shop du jour.

Another rule I use is to keep the gift practical. You may not want to buy socks, and underwear for your boss or gasp ex-MIL, but a well chosen ink pen, or gardening tool set could be a thoughtful gift.

 

What about gift cards? This will depend on the person. If you know the person has everything, yes, give them a gift card to their favorite store.

 

Just ask and then listen. Some of the most personal gifts I’ve received over the years are items I mentioned in passing. like Comforters, small appliances, cake decorating implements and the like.

 

Make something. If you’re handy with the arts and crafts, this can go a long way to brightening a person’s holiday. A handmade scarf, quilt, candles, perfumes, etc. gives the recipient a special knowledge that the gift was made just for them.

 

And if all else fails, give cash. That’s personal, right? 😉

 

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Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie #MFRWauthor

Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie #MFRWauthor

Sharing a recipe for the holidays *bounces in chair* Now we’re talking! One of the few things I do enjoy about the holidays is the food. The spicy scents of nutmeg. cinnamon, sage, butter, brown sugar and vanilla always give me a warm, cozy feeling of home. Yeast rising, and roasting meat reminds me of shelling nuts with my mom and grandmother when I was a little girl or baking cookies with mom and siblings.

 

One of the favorite recipes to share is a topsy-turvy apple pie. We used Granny Smith apples and homemade pie crust, but ready-made is just as good. Originally from Creative Cooks Cookbook. Spicy, sweet, with the crunch of pecans is a great way to celebrate the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 2 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Spread butter or margarine evenly on bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Press pecans, rounded side down, into butter layer. Pat brown sugar evenly over nuts, then lay one pastry shell over brown sugar layer.
  • Place apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Toss mixture with apples, coating thoroughly.
  • Spread apples into pie plate. Cover apples with second pastry shell. Crimp edges of pastry and make steam vents in top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then place serving plate over top of pie; invert pie onto plate. Carefully remove pie pan. Serve warm or Cool.

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Friend or Foe #MFRWauthor

Friend or Foe #MFRWauthor

Ah social media. 

 

An entity to bring the world closer and yet keep us apart. Where else can you share a cute little snippet of your day and have friends, as well as complete strangers, like, share or comment.

 

Some of us are old enough to remember floppy discs and DOS. Better yet MySpace. Remember when Myspace was all the rage? Then Facebook came on the scene. I was just getting the hang of MySpace when it seemed all the friends I’d acquired on there were jumping ship to FB. Then came Twitter, Pinterest Snapchat, Instagram and guess what now you’re glued to your phone to find the next trending topic.

 

For a writer, social media can be a great tool to get the word out on a new release, an upcoming appearance or in my case, soapbox rants. 🙂 But social media can be a foe as well.

I know you’ve heard the debate that social media is crippling the younger generation’s ability to interact face-to-face. Why pick up the phone and dial to converse with someone when you can express yourself in memes and emojis?

 

Not only does it affect interpersonal skills, but it has the potential to waste time. 

 

How much work and productivity is lost from viewing someone else’s live stream, or to try the newest internet challenge (cinnamon anyone?) or just posting to keep your own feed at the top of the list. Anybody still playing Yoville or Candy Crush or FarmVille or whatever the newest game is? One of the worst parts of social media is how some think it’s okay to be cruel and say things they would never say to you if you were standing right in front of them.

 

There are some good things about social media. 

 

In emergencies, such as natural disasters or locating missing loved ones, people have been found or are able to check in and let their loved ones know they are safe.

 

Social media can be used to brighten someone’s day…I know I like seeing all those birthday wishes, how about you?

 

Social media has been used to bring awareness to topics one might not normally see in regular media.

 

Social media in and of itself isn’t a good or bad thing. It’s how it’s used which makes it a friend or foe.

 

 

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