Tag: Free

Rhapsody.com: Unlimited Music for $15 a Month

Are you tired of searching for free music on the Internet? Are you tired of waiting forever for songs to download, only to find out that it is not the rendition you are looking for, or that you don’t like the song after all? Do you feel like it’s not worthwhile to pay a buck for a song that you’ll get tired of in a few months, or even weeks?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should look toward Real Network’s Rhapsody-To-Go service to solve your online music quandary. At $15 a month, you can have unlimited music at your finger tips for online streaming, or download to your mp3 player that you can take with you to the gym, in the car, or be plugged in to a speaker at a friend’s party.

person holding black and white quote board

I found Rhapsody.com to be extremely pleasant and intuitive to use. It’s great for discovering music and artists you are not familiar with, and the unfamiliar works by the familiar artists alike. Each artist page not only has the complete list of artist’s albums and singles, but also offers information and links to the artist’s contemporaries and influences. For example, by checking out The Cranberries’ artist page on Rhapsody.com, you’ll also discover The Sundays and Sinead O’Connor. There is also quite an international and Latin music selection, and covers most genres from Pop and Acid Jazz to Classical and New Age.

I find that on most days, their online streaming functionality is enough for me because I listen to music most of the time while sitting at my office desk. If this is also the case for you, then I would recommend getting the $10 monthly subscription which covers unlimited access to the Rhapsody.com website and the online streaming functionality. But if you are a commuter like my husband, and spends much time in traffic where good music is necessary to keep you sane, then I would recommend investing in the reasonably priced Sansa Rhapsody Mp3 player, so you can take your music with you anywhere. It’s not by any of stretch of imagination that you can have hundreds of new songs on your Rhapsody player everyday.

I have been a subscriber to this service for over a year now, and I have to say that it has been the best $15 a month I’ve ever paid for (better than Netflix). Try it and judge for yourself.

Happy listening.…

Corn and Crab Leftovers-What Not to Waste: Fast and Simple Recipes for Butter, Sauce and Stock

The traditions of summer eating usually include a barbeque of some sort and eating lots of fresh seafood. And nothing is fresher in the summer than sun-kissed corn on the cob to accompany a stack of ribs or a platter of crabs. But once the feasting is over, it never fails that there is always a pile of crab shells and leftover meat pickings, plus a stack of cobs and corn husks. Rather than throwing them out, or putting them in the compost pile, turn those leftovers into new and delicious uses that can add a subtle touch of summer into any dish.

orange crab on focus photography

Crab Butter

Crab-infused butter is a delicious condiment for sandwiches, or to mix in with pasta or soups. And of course, it’s perfect to dip in those extra crab claws.

Using the remaining crab shells, break them up into smaller pieces, either by hand or with a meat tenderizer (watch for flying flakes!). While breaking these up, have one stick of butter* resting on the counter to bring to room temperature, or for approximately 20 minutes until slightly soft but not runny. Add the butter in to a mixer and slowly begin to churn. When softened and somewhat creamy, add in the shell bits and continue to mix at a low speed until the shells flakes are combined well with the butter.

Take the mixture and cool overnight, or about 6 hours. Then slowly clarify the crab shell and butter mixture, which will allow for straining out the shell pieces. Then let the crab-infused butter cool in the refrigerator.

*Depending on the amount of leftover crab shells, it may be necessary to adjust the amount of butter used.

 

Crab Sauce

A light sauce that’s a tasty companion for crudités or as a spread on crackers.

Ingredients

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbs Dijon mustard

2 tbs lemon juice

3 minced garlic cloves

2 scallion, diced (white and light green parts only)

1 tsp soy sauce

¾ cup of flaked crab meat (do not use lump crab meat)

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar and mayonnaise. Once combined, add the mustard, garlic, scallions and lemon juice. Stir well. Then add in the soy sauce and crab meat. Season well with salt and pepper.

Golden Corn Stock

Corn stock is an easy broth to make with leftover corn on the cob and is a tasty substitute to using chicken broth or water in corn-based soups. It’s fine to use corn on the cob that’s already been eaten, if washed thoroughly. Otherwise, using fresh ears of corn, simply remove the corn kernels with a sharp knife in a downward motion and save for another use.

Ingredients

8-10 ears of cobs, husks and silk included, rinsed

10 cups of water

To begin, rinse the cobs, husks and corn silk in cold water and discard any brown pieces of husk or silk. Then cut corn pieces into smaller chunks, approximately 2-3 …

How to Find Free Sheet Music Online

If you’re a music nut like I am, you probably spend a rather large amount of time looking for sheet music. However, as most people know, it can be quite difficult to find good free sheet music online. That is why I have carefully constructed this guide, complete with a multitude of helpful tips and incredibly useful links.

Tip #1: Please be aware that a number of free sheet music that can be found online is not arranged by the original person. It is possible that the sheet music you are obtaining for free could not be entirely true to the original song. Be sure that you trust the source you’re getting your sheet music from. (Although, no matter how reputable the website is supposed to be, arrangement mistakes do happen.)

Tip #2: You should attempt to look at musical education websites first, such as makingmusicfun.net. These websites usually have a few free music sheets to print out. Normally the sheet music these websites provide are for well-known songs.

Tip #3: It is always better in the long run to purchase the sheet music. This ensures a 100% guarantee of correctness. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to find out that I’ve been playing the wrong sheet music of a song for two years.

woman standing watching LED light musical instrument

Here are a few links to websites that offer free piano sheet music (please note that these can work with the harp too):

Pianolicious – This contains hundreds of music sheets for popular songs such as Bella’s Lullaby, Bring Me To Life, etc.

Jeanies’ Home Studio – This contains some easy and fun sheet music, including the Harry Potter theme song.

Solo Sheets – I highly recommend this well organized website. It contains a good amount of relaxing New Age sheet music.

If you happen to play other instruments, here are generic free sheet music websites for you to peruse:

Making Music Fun – Contains sheet music for the piano, strings, woodwinds, and brass.

Celtic Sheet Music – This website is one of my personal favorites. It contains over 3,000 old Celtic tunes.

Download Sheet Music Online – Contains a fair amount of popular sheet music.

These websites contain a plethora of wonderful sheet music, both modern and classic. Hopefully these will aid you in your everlasting search for sheet music.…

Shrimp Creole Cajun Recipe: New Orleans Dish Made Easy and Healthy for the Family

If you want something spicy, healthy, and hearty for supper, look no further than this New Orleans dish which can be made easy. You can make this dish in under an hour, and have your family feeling like they are true Cajuns. You can find all of the ingredients at your local supermarket, and you don’t have to be a highly trained chef to be turning out recipes like one.

boat on body of water beside forest

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (the bigger and fresher the better)
  • 1 large onion (white or purple)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Cajun spices (ready mixed)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups rice (white or brown)

Instructions

  1. In a pot, boil potatoes until almost soft. Peel and set aside.
  2. Wash and peel onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Chop onions, garlic, and bell pepper into dime-sized pieces.
  3. In a frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and turn the fire on a medium-low heat.
  4. Sauté onions, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion until brown (5-7 minutes).
  5. Add canned tomatoes with the juice. Stir in a generous handful of Cajun spice mix. Stir well.
  6. Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to the frying pan. Add water until all ingredients are covered. On a low heat, simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While the mixture is simmering, wash and boil the rice.
  8. Add the shrimp to the frying pan. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes on a low heat. To thicken, smash a few of the potatoes on the side of the pan. You may also use cornstarch or flour to thicken if necessary.
  9. Serve immediately over rice, garnished with parsley. Add Tabasco and more Cajun spices to taste.

Serves 4-6 and freezes beautifully.

For a milder recipe simply replace some of the Cajun spice with salt and pepper, or salt only. You may also add carrots and mushrooms to up the vegetable ante.

This recipe can be found all over Cajun country. From the haute cuisine establishments of the French Quarter to the bayou homes of rural Louisiana. It is a favorite in a lot of Southern homes, and was served almost as often as red beans and rice or gumbo in my New Orleans home.

There are a wide array of recipes for this dish available. The Creoles were famous for modifying their dishes to suit whatever ingredients they had on hand. But this shrimp creole recipe is certainly one of the easier and healthier ones out there.…

Five New Technology Gadgets for Weight Loss

Spring is almost here and with spring comes the task of losing a few of those winter pounds you put on. There are many different ways to lose weight and some of those take advantage of new technology. If you are looking to lose weight, then you might want to think of some of these new weight loss gadgets.

BodyBugg is a new gadget that is designed to help you while taking advantage of new technology. The Bodybugg is a small device you wear on your arm that can help you track calories burned and calories consumed. This gadget will help you learn to control portion sizes of the foods you like so you can continue to lose weight. The device uses a digital display to allow you to see how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned and is customizable. This device is a web-based program that will input your daily data and help you manage your weight loss goals. This device tracks all the calories you consume and burn every second of every day and it can be viewed either on the wristband or on the web-based software. You are also given instant access to support and coaching through the device without actually talking to anyone. You can also get one-on-one support from a real coach using your phone which is included in the program. This weight loss management device will cost you $80 per year and it runs on a rechargeable battery. The Bodybugg is a great pedometer as well as support coach and is customized to your personal weight loss goals for easier weight loss. You can either buy the Bodybugg on the Internet or in a 24-hour Fitness store near you.

iPad with keyboard, white stylus, white AirPods; and an iphone on table

The Mandometer is also a new device that will help you lose weight in a new and exciting way. This device is like a computer and scale built into one. It is a computer-linked scale that will weigh your plate of food and as you eat it will weigh the remaining amounts of food. The Mandometer has a screen that shows you how fast you are eating your food and what is an ideal rate to be eating your food. The idea behind this device is that it will show you how to eat slower which is supposed to help you lose weight and feel fuller faster. This device will let you know when you are full before the signals are sent to the brain which will help you eat fewer calories. This new device is great because it can teach people about portion control and about how to make smaller amounts of food make you feel fuller. This device also makes you more aware of how much food you are eating because if you are eating too fast then a sound will be let out warning you to slow down. The Mandometer will cost you about 100 dollars at your local health food store or retail store.

The BC1 …

Music Festivals: The Scream

I love to attend concerts in many genres. Music festivals are another story. The minute I hear that a favorite artist is coming to one, I daydream about everything that could go wrong. Chris Tomlin will perform at Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival this year? Fantastic! Wait a minute…

Money
Entrance fees may be last on some music fans’ lists because they’ll pay anything to hear a favorite artist live. But fees are first on mine! Most concerts I attend are free, but some music festivals charge hefty prices that I can’t afford. If I see an entrance fee, anything higher than $10, I turn away. I hurriedly check the Riverbend website. They want $25 at the gate? There goes my workweek lunch!

photo of woman riding on carousel

Traffic
Cars and people everywhere! I waste fifteen minutes seeking a parking spot. When I finally cram into one, I’m so paranoid about my car that I check all the doors after locking it. Occasionally I forget. Then I would have to walk back, losing time to find a seat. Otherwise I won’t enjoy the concert, wondering all evening if someone stole my car. Guess who isn’t responsible?

Seating
No bleachers or fold-up chairs? I don’t own a lawn chair so I have two choices: physical exhaustion from standing for two hours or dirty slacks from sitting on grass or pavement. I think I’ll try standing. The artist is usually a speck in the distance anyway. Up-front seating costs another $20. And the people near me had better not try to rifle my purse! What is that splattered mess on the grass: a dropped hot dog or did someone lose their lunch?

Atmosphere
I impatiently wait for some mediocre artists to sing their drivel, then leave the stage. Finally, the fan-crazed crowd screams as the main artist introduces himself, then starts blaring a favorite song through loudspeakers. Meanwhile, the 80-degree heat sizzles as mosquitoes buzz near my ear and nip my bare arms. Where is that forecasted breeze? I think all the wailing babies gobbled it up.

Conclusion
I wake up from my nightmare while sitting at my laptop. Then I check the date and start making dinner. Chris Tomlin will perform at Riverbend next week. Do I envy the people who plan to attend? No. I wish they would envy me: eating pasta in pajamas in my air-conditioned kitchen while listening to Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace” on the radio. Life is good!…

Grand Rapids Music Scene

The state of Michigan has a vast history with musicians such as Kid Rock, Eminem, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Madonna growing up here. Grand Rapids, the second largest city in the state, is home to many bars, clubs, and venues.

The largest of these venues is the Van Andel Arena, located at 130 Fulton Street West. The Van Andel Arena has hosted some of the largest concerts ever brought to West Michigan, such as Metallica and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As you enter the venue, you’ll notice how massive the interior is. The surrounding corridor is where you will find merchandise, snacks, and drinks. Due to its massive size, the Van Andel Arena hosts sporting events such as football and hockey also. If you are looking for a more underground experience, The Intersection is within walking distance of the Van Andel.

several guitars beside of side table

Located at 133 Grandville Avenue Southwest, The Intersection is home to metal, rap, and local shows. Split into two halves, this venue attracts a variety of customers. In the front is a bar, complete with lounging and an array of alcohol. In the back of the venue is the stage and another bar. Seating is usually available but for sold out shows, you may be standing. The main floor is large enough for mosh pits and dancing and the venue layout allows for easy movement to leave and return. During intermissions, you can meet bands and performers at the merchandise table, which you will see immediately as you walk into the concert area.

If downtown city venues are not your thing, check out The Orbit Room located at 2525 Lake Eastbrook SE. With its own unique layout, The Orbit Room has an upstairs balcony and a large main floor so you can enjoy your concert from any perspective. I would only recommend this venue if you are of legal drinking age. The Orbit Room is not my favorite venue due to its location but is home to many good shows which makes the visit worthwhile.

Parking for The Intersection and Van Andel Arena will not be hard to find. Many meters become free after the evening rush, but if you can not find a parking spot, there are many pay-to-park lots located within walking distance of the venues. Parking can cost anywhere from five to ten dollars. Service is also most excellent at these two venues.…

Top 10 Random Websites

One of my favorite activities is to aimless wander around the internet, finding and lingering around places that pique my interest. I have compiled a list of 10 of my favorite finds.

Sandhills Lighthouse Inn (http://www.sandhillslighthouseinn.com) A breathtaking Victorian lighthouse, built in 1917, it has been turned into a bed & breakfast. It is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan. After seeing this stunning lighthouse, and you envision yourself on the balcony, overlooking Lake Superior, sipping a cup of hot tea you may want to look up plane ticket prices. The nearby airport (~20 minutes from the lighthouse)is called Houghton County Airport located in Hancock, Michigan.

Laurium Manor Inn (http://www.lauriummanorinn.com) 13,000+ square feet of beautiful Victorian elegance. I have actually been here to take the tour at least a dozen times. It’s incredible. The innkeepers have brought this mansion, built in 1908, by an absurdly wealthy gentleman as a gift to his wife, to life with their extensive antique collection. Historical accuracy is very important to them. They have done a lot of research and tracking of the original furnishings this house once held, so many objects are indeed original to the house. In addition to the Laurium Manor, the innkeepers also own several other houses all located around the Laurium Manor. From the stained glass, the elephant skin wallpaper, the beautiful master staircase, the Hoatson safe, the carriage house, it’s an antique lover’s d-r-e-a-m.

silver iMac with keyboard and trackpad inside room

An excellent website for children’s craft ideas (http://www.childmade.blogspot.com) You could literally spend days on this website checking out all the unique craft ideas for kids.

Vienna Glenn Photography (http://www.viennaglennblog.com) This beautiful, young lady is an extremely talented photographer and writer. Her pictures are wonderful but her writing is insightful, mature, and superb. The short poems and musings are found sporadically placed throughout her photography. The photographer lost her father at a very early age, leaving her mother to raise 6 children. The thoughts this gifted young lady has on why her father passed away, religion, and purpose here on earth are very thought-provoking and well beyond her 20-something years.

Okay, this one is very, very broad but it has everything. I mean EVERYTHING. It is absolutely fascinating the talent and skill people have. Just clicking on the main homepage of Etsy will bring dozens of objects and goods to your attention. Start clicking away and get lost in the world of Etsy. Handmade and vintage collections. Collections created by people from all over the world. From Vietnam (http://www.etsy.com/shop/saigonwoodmodel) to Italy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChiccaStyle).

Not only is Real Simple my favorite magazine, it is also one of my favorite websites for recipes, home decor ideas, and ways to recycle & reuse goods (http://www.realsimple.com).

Music. Pandora (http://www.pandora.com) is awesome! It’s completely free to join. You start by letting it know what type/genres of music you enjoy. It then plays music by some of your favorite artists to artists that you have never heard of. When a song comes on that you don’t enjoy you click the thumbs …

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