Friday, November 30, 2007

Assignment #6

I can not believe this semester is actually over and how long I have kept this blog going for. When I first created my blog I honestly was not very excited about it. I was worried that my topic would be too difficult and that it would be hard for me to find enough content each week. At first a struggled a bit, but by the end I realized I really had a good handle on what was appropriate to post. I realized that time management can be applied to every aspect of someone's life. It doesn't just stop at juggling work and school, but also in how we spend our free time, how we plan parties, how we exercise, what we cook, what we wear, etc. Once I figured this out I had a lot more fun with my blog. I tried to find more offbeat articles to link (like the quicky sex one) and tried to get a little more creative with my photos. I realized how "into" my blog I had gotten when I got to the Red Sox parade and saw the girl holding the sign that said "Thanks Sox, now I can do my homework again." I pushed a dozen people out of my way so I could get that shot!

I think I got a lot out of keeping this blog. Most importantly I think I learned how to be a beat writer and still stay creative. I don't think I would have done anything differently but I wish I had had more opportunities to take photos. I didn't share my blog with my family because if they really knew how much I was working and how little time I have they would kill me! I most likely won't continue my blog, but I know I will still find things everyday that will come to mind as something that I could turn into a post.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought about blogs I would have said they are a waste of time. After I lived to Spain, however, I realized that blogs are powerful means of communication. I used my blog in Spain to show all of my friends and family at home what I had been up to and where I had traveled to. Friends and family and co-workers of family and people I have never even met started looking at my blog regularly and it really surprised me. One my friend's parents even allowed her to go abroad after they saw what an incredible time I had. Now I am a lot more appreciative of blogs and I realize that a lot of them do a have a place and a purpose. Knowing this ahead of time really helped me to be more open about starting a new blog for this class but I definitely had to step up my game in order to post as often as we did this semester. Now that I know I can keep up a blog, I am positive I will have another in the future once I find a new beat to interest me.

Short-Story Stocking-Stuffers

For busy people who love to read, a good collection of short stories is vital. I, myself, am a big fan of Alice Munro's short fiction works. Check out Barnes & for the best selling short-story books to give this season.

No Time to Play Games

Sometimes hanging out and playing a board game with friends and family can be a fun and relaxing activity. But with people always on the go, not everyone has time to sit down for a three or four hour game of Monopoly these days. I did a search trying to find out which board games take up the least amount of time and realized I'm not the only one looking for fun within a time frame.

Hasbro Inc., the largest game company in the U.S., has started to released Express editions of favorite games such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry. They have also come up with a streamlined version of Life which uses an ATM card instead of paper money to cut down on game-time. There have also been trends towards DVD games which are faster to play than normal board games. DVD versions of Clue as well as Candy Land are now available. I think all of these ideas are great for the modern family. It allows people to still play together and spend time with each other without committing an unreasonable amount of time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TV Time

Sometimes it's really difficult to fit your favorite TV shows into your schedule. For example, now that I work Thursday nights, I have given up watching Grey's Anatomy. However, if I wanted to catch up, NBC and ABC have great websites now where viewers can log on and watch their favorite shows on demand at any time. Unfortunately the websites throw annoying commercials into the streaming video so it doesn't really cut down on watch time., however, does not use commericials during its online TV shows which allows to viewer to get through a half hour program and in a little over 20 minutes, thus making it even more convenient.

For those who are REALLY short on time, check out the new Minisode Network. The Minisode Network operates out of and basically compiles well-known classic TV shows (think Charlie's Angels and Starsky and Hutch) into short episodes known as "minisodes." Basically the videos will show the introduction, a few action scenes, and then the conclusion of the episode. Perfect for TV lovers with little down-time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Conquering the Vending Machine

When you're on the job or going to class all day, vending machine snacks can become quite tempting. Lately I have noticed that more vending machines are offering healthier options than the typical Twinkie or M&Ms. The other day in Shillman Hall I noticed a disclaimer on a vending machine announcing that it had healthier snacks such as Stacy's Pita Chips. offers a great breakdown of the worst and best vending machine snacks for those days when you really can't wait until your next meal.

Pre-planned Parties

I for one love to play hostess during the holiday season. Cocktail parties are a fun and easy way to get all of my friends together during the busy holiday season that is normally dedicated to family time. Planning a party, however, can most definitely be a time consuming endeavor. Thankfully, is right on point again this week with an article that gives readers ideas for several pre-planned cocktail parties. Each theme provides a shopping list of where to buy everything from tablecloths to martini glasses. Some of Boston's best bartenders share their favorite holiday drink recipes as well. I do have to say the music play lists they have generated for each party are all equally horrible. My advice: put iTunes on party-shuffle and enjoy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

At Home Shopping

An article posted on reveals the latest in effortless shopping. Sales associates will make at home visits for companies such as The Worth Collection which provide direct sales of upscale retail garments. Many women are attracted to this form of buying because it allows for a lot more flexibility and cuts down time spent in traffic, parking, browsing different stores, etc. Be prepared though, at home shopping comes with a higher price tag than you may find in the store.