As a reminder to all, taxes are due on April 17, 2012. Everyone gets a two-day extension.
There are a lot of things you can do with a picture frame besides hanging art. If you have extra frames lying around the house, here are some fun do-it-yourself projects that you can do to jazz up your walls.
Buy a clock face and motor (you can get them at hardware stores) and mount it to the wall. Then take twelve small frames and arrange them around the clock face to correspond to the numbers on a standard rotary clock. Put pictures, dioramas, or whatever you want in the frame for a kicky modern look.
Frames also make a great basis for a decorative jewelry organizer. This is a great thing to do with ornate, gold-painted vintage frames. Remove the glass and the backing and hang the frame on a wall. Drive small nails within the frame and use them to hang necklaces, earrings, and more.
One of the biggest problems with using second-hand frames to house your art is getting them to match in color. Thankfully, you can spend some time and spray-paint them all. Try coloring them white or the color of your wall for a cool effect.
If you want to display art in a clever and unusual way, try making a frame out of an attractive hardcover book. Carefully cut out rectangles from the front cover and mount your art on the inside, then display on a table.
One way to give a frame a new lease on life is to strip thin layers of bark from a birch tree and flatten them. Use hot glue to affix them to old frames for a cool, Scandinavian rustic look.
Jaipur Indian Cuisine lives up to the localized authenticity of its namesake Northern Indian city. Prepared with the freshest ingredients and pleasantly authentic flavors, Jaipur’s menu features Indian favorites and Northern regional specialties. From mouthwatering items like chicken tikka masala and Goa fish curry to seven kinds of rice, thirteen selections of tandoori breads (including varieties of naan and parantha), and exotic desserts like honey-dipped cheese balls and distinctive rice pudding, there are options for picky eaters and daring diners alike. The restaurant offers a welcoming atmosphere in its lushly decorated dining room, and don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions from the friendly servers.
Jaipur Indian Cuisine
336 West Dekalb Pike
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Unlike its namesake explorer, Marco Polo makes it so you don’t have to travel the world to find good cooking and a quality atmosphere. Putting a contemporary spin on authentic Italian food, the local restaurant appeals to palates of all inclinations. Appetizer options are mostly prepared to be shared with popular choices like chilled asparagus topped with crab meat, garlic mussels, and crispy calamari. Meat and seafood lovers, meanwhile, will find plenty of choices among the dinner menu, but risotto specialties, fresh pizzas, and handcrafted pasta dishes are not to be missed.
8080 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA
Exercise routines can fall by the wayside in the deep winter months, as short days and inclement weather restrict our access to the outside world. Stay active year round with these ideas for at-home indoor exercise:
Try some exergaming
Motion sensor games are a fun way to get in some exercise. A large range of games, some specifically designed as exercise programs, will get you moving. If you have an older system, try a dancing game that uses a large mat controller.
Mix up the exercise videos
Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offer thousands of exercise videos piped straight to your TV or computer. It’s a great way to try out a new exercise routine without the commitment of buying a DVD.
Adjustable hand weight sets are fairly inexpensive and the right set can continue to serve you for a good long time as your strength increases. Hand weights and strap-on weights can be used for full body workouts or be lifted when you’re watching TV or listening to music.
If you have access to a staircase, grab your mp3 player and do some stair climbing… the old fashioned way!
There’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on a movie, CD, or video game that turns out to be below average. Thankfully, the Internet is full of awesome websites that present reviews of just about everything under the sun. These sites are essential stops before you purchase:
Entertainment Weekly covers a wide range of media, and boasts fairly in-depth reviews as well as interviews, features, and more. It's a good place to go for a general audience perspective.
Growing from a niche site that covered alternative music exclusively into one of the most trusted music reviewers on the Internet, Chicago-based Pitchfork puts up multiple reviews every day that cover a huge range of genres.
Featuring reviews sourced from its users, Epinions covers a wide range of products, including movies, TV shows, CDs, video games, and more. It's also a good source for home electronics reviews.
Unlike the other sites on this list, Metacritic works as an aggregator, taking scores from all over the Internet and combining them into an overall critical impression on a product. With great coverage and an easy-to-read design, it’s probably the best one-stop shop for reviews on the Internet.
Looking for something to do? This January, Philadelphia hosts some exciting events! Check out these four:
Mummer's Parade, January 1, 2012
A Philadelphia tradition, old men in elaborate costumes sit in small go-karts and whiz around the streets along with bands and other festivities. It's supposed to be linked to Celtic customs, but mostly it's a raucous good time.
Story Slam: Daily Grind at World Cafe Live, January 9, 2012
In the new year, make your new favorite hang out the Story Slams at World Cafe Live and L'Etage. Twice every month real people pour their hearts out about a selected theme. You can also compete with your own five minute tale of humorous woe.
City Food Tours, ongoing
Philly's foodie scene is thriving and City Food Tours is offering a fun, social way of experiencing it through restaurant crawls. Look out for special tours like Craft Beer and Artisanal Cheese or Decadent Gourmet.
Jerry Seinfeld at the Academy of Music, January 14, 2012
The original funny man comes to the Academy to talk about nothing. Really. But he'll probably include a few topical quips about the city and his act's guaranteed to be a good time!
In the swirl of holiday activity, one of the best ways to spend some quality time with kids is to enjoy a holiday film together. Here are some of the top holiday movies for youngsters:
A Muppet’s Family Christmas
This is a fun movie that will fill your house with song. In fact, the kids (and you!) probably won’t be able to resist singing along. The film features characters from Sesame Street, the Muppets, and Fraggle Rock, a colorful and energetic ensemble that brings the season's spirit right into your living room.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Many film aficionados consider this Disney cartoon version of “A Christmas Carol” one of the best adaptations of the classic Dickens tale. You and your children will love watching Scrooge McDuck’s adventures as he discovers the true meaning of the season.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
This holiday classic, narrated by Burl Ives, uses puppetry and stop-motion animation to present an original twist on the famous tale of Rudolph. You’ll enjoy making holiday memories with your children as you share in the whimsy, charm, and intelligence of this film.
This action-filled comedy is particularly fun to share with older kids, pre-teens, and teens. The main character, a spunky eight-year-old boy, accidentally gets left home when his family leaves for vacation and finds himself fending off house robbers. Hilarious holiday capers ensue.
A Christmas Story
Generations of young people have grown up enjoying this funny, moving, memorable tale of a boy’s December adventures during the 1940’s. You’ll love revisiting this classic film just as much as your kids will adore discovering it for the first time.
The director has the greatest influence over the trajectory of a film, more so than writer, actor, or editor. It is the director's vision that, in the end, makes it to the silver screen. It’s not surprising that the history of cinema has produced a number of auteurs that elevated the form. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of movies, becoming familiar with the movies made by these groundbreaking directors is essential.
- Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense is one of the most influential men to ever make a film. So much of the visual style and storytelling that we take for granted was innovated by Hitchcock in films like Psycho and Rear Window.
- Orson Welles. If the only film Welles had ever made was Citizen Kane, he’d still be one of the most influential directors ever. Welles packed his frames with detail and potency, pushing the art of cinema forward in new ways.
- Jean-Luc Godard. One of the leading lights of the French New Wave, Godard helped transform the way we think about movies, freeing them from commercial responsibility and opening the door to unique viewpoints.
- Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s films range across a wide variety of genres, but they are united by the director’s keen sense of visual style. His films are among the most aesthetically beautiful ever made, even as they delve into the darker side of human emotions.
- Steven Spielberg. Perhaps the director who epitomizes modern cinema more than any other, Spielberg ushered in the era of blockbuster filmmaking with Jaws in 1976 and hasn’t slowed down since.
Trifles are coming back into fashion in the dessert world. If you’ve never had one, they’re layered treats made with candied fruit, cream, and spongecake, usually presented in a clear dish so you can better admire the visual splendor of the dish. Here are five great ideas for making trifles:
- Chocolate is an awesome trifle base. Start with lush, creamy brownies, layer them at the bottom of your trifle dish, and then layer coffee-flavored pudding on top. Add chopped chocolate and toffee to finish off the trifle.
- Angel food cake is a traditional trifle base, and pairs perfectly with fresh berries. One classic trifle uses interspersed layers of cake, fresh whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries.
- Bananas make a great trifle base as they retain their shape well when layered. Pair them with coconut macaroons ground up and formed into a cake layer, and then top with whipped cream.
- Using crumbled graham crackers as the base of a trifle can make it a delicious down-home treat. This pairs exceptionally well with blueberries and fresh cream, as well as melted chocolate.
- Caramel apple trifles are a great autumn dessert, with crisp, fresh apples cooked with walnuts and maple syrup to make a delicious filling and served over caramel cream cheese and poundcake cubes.