Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

7 Summer Songs

June 12th, 2009 by Jane

This morning, my favortie radio station was playing the Gershwin song Summertime. You know, “…and the living is easy” from the musical Porgy and Bess. So many people have recorded this song and it made me think of other summer songs that I like.  Let me hear about your songs of summer.

1. Margaritaville
It goes without saying that Jimmy Buffett’s music is the embodiment of endless summer. My aunt used to have a very stressful job as a social worker and she asked her son to record this song on a cassette so she could listen to a constant loop of it on her drive home. My other favorite Buffett songs are Cheeseburger in Paradise, Come Monday and his version of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl.

2. Light Enough to Travel
I love this song by The Be Good Tanyas. Makes you want to pack a bag and head out. 

3. Friday I’m in Love

My husband is a big fan of The Cure and this song reminds me of when we used to go on dates. Aaaahhhh.

4. Heavenly Day
Pack a picnic, load this Patty Griffin song on your iPod and it will indeed be a heavenly day! 

5. Put Your Records On
I can just picture girls in cotton dresses dancing barefoot to this song by Corinne Bailey Ray. 

6. In These Shoes?
This song was huge in my neck of the woods a few summers back. Sadly, Kirsty MacColl died and we are left with just a taste of her fun dance music.

7. Thunder Road
You know I can’t talk about music without mentioning my personal poet, Bruce Springsteen. Thunder Road brings to mind graduation and dreams of the future. Might I also suggest Rosalita and Blinded by the Light for your summer playlist? Yes, Bruce wrote Blinded by the Light, but it was made famous by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. If you doubt the brilliance of the Boss, listen to his remix of it on his Live in Dublin disc. Can you think of any other artist who can do a remake of his own song and make it better? I didn’t think so.

7Of Welcomes You To Summer!

June 2nd, 2009 by Amy


Today is our children’s last day of school … which means it’s the first day of Summer!


Jane and I (did I mention we have five children between us?) are going into the coming months a bit like Thelma and Louise … holding hands, closing our eyes, and running into the sprinkler!


We love writing Seven Of and will be posting several times a week … instead of every day … so check back often! (Or follow our tweets on Twitter!)


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We have well over 100 posts, so pour yourself a drink and enjoy the read!


When we aren’t keeping up with our respective children, we’ll be pursuing our other projects – Jane is a jewelry designer and Amy is a photographer.


Welcome to Summer!


XO Jane and Amy

7 Entirely Random Thoughts From Erma Bombeck

May 20th, 2009 by Amy

Browsing through the public library recently I came across some well-worn Erma Bombeck books and vividly remembered being a kid and wishing I could grow up to have her job … living life, laughing a lot, and writing about it. Brilliant.


1.  Christmas Shopping: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find one gift that you didn’t have to dust, that had to be used right away, that was practical, fit everyone, was personal and would be remembered for a long time? I penciled in “Gift certificate for a flu shot.”


2.  Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.


3.  People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.


4.  Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you.


5.  Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?


6.  It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.


7.  When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”.

7 Ways I am Saving Money this Month

May 11th, 2009 by Jane

Everyone I know is feeling some sort of a money crunch lately, myself included. I am researching simple ways to save a few dollars and I thought I would share them with all of you. Please send us any of your great money-saving ideas!

1. Beverages
I love a nice soy chai latte from the coffee shop, but at $5.00 a cup I have started cutting back on my frequency.  I have been making them at home with Celestial Seasonings chai tea and regular soy milk. Delish! And I have been brewing iced green tea with mint for my husband. These little tips save us about $6.50 every time we drink a cup!

2. Cable
We are cutting out our cable for the summer and renting shows on Netflix. I plan on catching up on The Tudors. Total monthly savings: $100.00.

3. Crock Pot
A few friends and I are planning to host a few crock pot parties.  Each family brings a crock pot dish and we all feast! For the cost of about $7.00 per family, we have a fun night that is much cheaper than meeting at a restaurant.

4. Kids’ Parties
My twins just had their 5th birthday and we hosted the party in our backyard. I glued craft sticks together to make dragonflies and other insects, which the guests painted and took home. I saved a bundle by having the party at home and I feel great about not buying cheap plastic toys for party favors. I also made the cupcakes. Tip: a Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix with homemade cream cheese frosting is better and cheaper than any store bought cake you can find.

5. Rain Barrels
We are ordering rain barrels to cut down on our water bill.  Or build your own and save even more money. Now we just need it to rain!

6. Sitting Co-Op
Some friends and I have agreed to help each other out with babysitting for the summer.  There are about 5 of us whose children get along really well and we are planning to alternate days for sitting. This will save me hundreds over the course of the summer and my kids will have a great time with their friends. 

7. Websites
I have found some great ideas on some websites like the Federal Citizen Information Center website and  the online magazine Shoestring

7 Hysterical Magnets For Mom

May 8th, 2009 by Amy

I love being a mom and I’m sure Anne Taintor does, too.


Pure love … covered with a thick sauce of What You’re Really Thinking!


Which I also love.


Thanks for keepin’ it real, Anne!


Happy Mother’s Day!


All designs available for purchase at

Photo credit & copyright Anne Taintor.

7 Benefits Of Hugging

May 6th, 2009 by Amy

Remember when Michelle Obama broke royal protocol and gave the Queen of England a hug?


Ensuing media frenzy aside, the strangest thing about the whole incident was that while the Queen had never been that intimate in public before, she seemed to like it just fine.


As well she should.


According to family therapist Virginia Satir:

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival.

We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.

We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

Which is exactly the premise of the Free Hugs Campaign.


Here is a portion of  Free Hugs founder Juan Mann’s story:


“I’d been living in London when my world turned upside down and I’d had to come home. By the time my plane landed back in Sydney, all I had left was a carry on bag full of clothes and a world of troubles. No one to welcome me back, no place to call home. I was a tourist in my hometown.

Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words “Free Hugs” on both sides.

And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.”


Be sure to watch the video (42.5 million people already have!) and spend the rest of your day getting your hug on!


7 Benefits Of Hugging:

1.  Reduces heart disease

2.  Diminishes stress

3.  Promotes longevity

4.  Strengthens social ties

5.  Lowers blood pressure

6.  Lowers heart rate

7.  Benefits the hugger and the huggee equally

7 Vocabulary Words

April 30th, 2009 by Amy

A friend of mine turned me on to A true wordsmith, she has been using their word-of-the-day in her Facebook posts with admirable frequency – growing her own vocabulary and, by extension, mine.


Here are a few of my favorites:


1.  Chimerical \ky-MER-ih-kuhl; -MIR-; kih-\, adjective:
1. Merely imaginary; produced by or as if by a wildly fanciful imagination; fantastic; improbable or unrealistic.
2. Given to or indulging in unrealistic fantasies or fantastic schemes.


In the chimerical atmosphere of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, it is far from clear where fact ends and fiction begins–or vice versa. - Margaret Wertheim, “The Museum of Jurassic Technology”, Omni, November 1, 1994


2. Frisson \free-SOHN\, noun:
A moment of intense excitement; a shudder; an emotional thrill.


As every parent knows, children have a love-hate relationship with stories about monsters. They love the frisson of hearing about such terrifying creatures as the Cyclops — but hate to think about what they might do if they bumped into one.- “Strange but true: One in the eye for all those Homer-phobes”, Daily Telegraph, June 21, 1998


3.  Jape \JAYP\, noun, verb:
1. A joke or jest.
2. A trick or prank.


He tried to defuse each petty crisis with a merry jape and spend each day with a life-affirming and reasonably up tempo country song in his heart.- Chris Priestley, “Payne’s grey”, New Statesman, November 29, 2004


4.  Ken \KEN\, noun:
1. Perception; understanding; knowledge.
2. The range of vision.
3. View; sight.


Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken

- From “You Are Sixteen Going On Seventeen” from The Sound Of Music.


5.  Outré \oo-TRAY\, adjective:
Unconventional; eccentric; bizarre.


This seven-year-old house of outré culture is the kind of place you can shop for a sculpture made out of working flamethrowers, videocassettes of underground movies, computer-generated art or a cute robot - David Sturm, “Berlin’s Green Man, Running for Life”, Washington Post, June 14, 1998


6.  Peccadillo \peck-uh-DIL-oh\, noun:
A slight offense; a petty fault.


And besides “what do they say? ‘Don’t judge lest you be judged.’ Everybody has their peccadilloes.” - “Tyson has a friend in his corner”, Irish Times, October 21, 1999


7.  Stormy Petrel \STOR-mee-PET-ruhl\, noun:
1. Any of various small sea birds of the family Hydrobatidae, having dark plumage with paler underparts; also called storm petrel.
2. One who brings discord or strife, or appears at the onset of trouble.


. . .restless and indomitable, scouring like a stormy petrel the angry ocean of debate. - Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians

7 Fruits To Cobble Together

April 28th, 2009 by Amy

Peach Crisp.


Blueberry Buckle.


Apple Brown Betty.


The other day my friend sent me this recipe for a fruit cobbler, along with the assurance that it was delicious.


I baked it and ate it (with ice cream) … and it was!


Seven fruits – fresh or frozen and in any combination – to add to a cobbler:


1.  Apples

2.  Apricots

3.  Blueberries

4.  Cherries

5.  Peaches

6.  Pears

7.  Strawberries

7 Quesadilla Fillings

April 22nd, 2009 by Amy

It’s lunchtime and I’m starving. Instead of making a meal, I’m sitting here writing about the one I wish would magically appear on my desk.


I’ll have to check the refrigerator, but if I have these seven ingredients I’m going to sauté them together (adding the mango afterwards) and stuff them in a hot, gooey, cheesy flour tortilla quesadilla and smother the whole thing with salsa. Yum!


1.  Corn

2.  Mango

3.  Onion

4.  Avocado

5.  Mushrooms

6.  Black Beans

7.  Poblano Peppers

7 Audio Clips Of David Sedaris

April 8th, 2009 by Amy

David Sedaris makes you want to pee your pants (which, it turns out is an indignity you no longer need to suffer … watch Mr. Sedaris’ review of Stadium Pal.)


Perhaps the only thing better than reading David Sedaris is listening to David Sedaris and I am grateful to NPR for neatly arranging exactly seven hysterical clips here.



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