Archive | July, 2013

Black Tot Day

July 31, 1970 marked the last day that the British Imperial Navy would serve daily rum rations (or tots) to their sailors.

In the 17th century, British sailors were given a gallon of beer as their daily drink ration, which was replaced with a half pint of rum in 1655 due to storage issues. Drunkenness among sailors on board Navy ships became a problem, and naval regulations in 1740 called for the pint of rum to be cut with water.

In December of 1969, the Admiralty Board issued a statement that read: “the rum issue is no longer compatible with the high standards of efficiency required now that the individual’s tasks in ships are concerned with complex, and often delicate, machinery and systems on the correct functioning of which people’s lives may depend”.

July 31, 1970 was the end of the rum ration, and sailors mourned their loss with black armbands and mock funerals.

Sources: Wikipedia, The Telegraph

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Birthday

Former professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947 in Austria.

At age 20, Schwarzenegger won Mr. Universe and received the Mr. Olympia title seven times after that. He gained the nickname “Austrian Oak” for his roles in Hollywood action films including Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Eraser, and many more. Arnold Schwarzeneggar served for two terms from 2003 to 2011 as the 38th Governor of California.

Happy Birthday, Arnold!


Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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The Perfect Command Center

With summer winding down and the school year ramping up, this perfect time to reorganize anything that didn’t work for you last year. One of the easiest ways to keep your house organized is to have a functional command center that meets the needs of your family.

The first step is to figure out where your problem areas are. For my house, it happened to be the kitchen island. My husband and I would walk in through the garage and just drop everything there until it became useless as actual counter space in the kitchen. Find where you family currently dumps everything because that will make it easier to retrain and replace the bad habit. Luckily, we had some nice wall space just past the island that was begging to be used!

Once you know where you want your command center, the next step is to identify the needs of your family. Since we don’t have any children yet, our needs were pretty basic. We needed a place to put the mail, Groupons, coupons, a whiteboard for notes and honey-do lists, a place for pens and markers, and of course, a calendar. We also needed a place to keep our keys and sunglasses, but I put that closer to the door instead of with the command center itself. Some other things you might consider for your command center would be a place for kids to hang their backpacks, an in/out wall file for homework and paperwork from the school, chore charts, a shopping list (we have an awesome magnetic shopping list hanging on our fridge), or a cork board.

Now that you have your needs addressed and your space assigned, it is time to find products to create your perfect command center. You can go with an all-in-one system that allows you to simply snap what you need onto a preformed back, or you can do a hodge-podge approach. Martha Stewart has a great system if you want everything to be identical, but I wanted something that matched the look of my kitchen and dining area a little more.

I measured off my space, and because I am a bit OCD, created a template in Photoshop to show the available space. Another way to do this would be to map it out on graph paper, This will allow you to play with what elements will fit where before you start hanging anything. My first priority was finding a calendar that I loved. We don’t necessarily want our calendar to feature any particular artwork, so I opted for a monthly desk pad style instead. Before I created the command center, we had a monthly magnetic calendar on our fridge, so I knew we already liked the format. I found the Kathy Davis Desk Pad that matched my color scheme and planned the other elements around the size of my calendar. A close second was the Bold Blossoms Monthly/Weekly Wall Calendar, but we didn’t need that much space for just the two of us. Knowing how much space I had left to work with. I found some galvanized steel containers that I then spray-painted a metallic bronze to match my fixtures. I also found a cheap 12×12 whiteboard and bought a simple unfinished wooden frame. I used the same metallic bronze spray-paint and it worked wonderfully.

The last step is something to claim it as your own. I opted for a wooden sign that had our name and the year we were married, but I have also seen some cute command centers with a simple initial that matched. Whatever your style is, this identifier will round out the command center and make you smile every time you look at it.

Command Center 1

Command Center 2

Do you have some great command center ideas that I missed? Please share below!

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National Lasagna Day

July 29 is one of the most cheesy and hearty food holidays of all – it’s National Lasagna Day!

This pasta dish, said to have originated in Greece but now characteristic of Central Italy, is made by combining rippled lasagna noodles, tomato sauce, and cheese in its simplest form. However, there are many variations that include different meats and veggies as well, so that carnivores and vegetarians alike can enjoy it.

Celebrate National Lasagna Day by gathering your close friends and family for a homemade lasagna dinner. Try this easy and delicious recipe from The Pioneer Woman, complete with step-by-step instructions.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Punchbowl

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Johann Sebastian Bach Dies

Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer and musician, died at the age of 65 on July 28, 1750. Many historians agree that a combination of stroke and pneumonia are to blame for his death.

Bach came from a very musical family and is now regarded as one of the best composers of all time. Some of his most famous compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B Minor, original cantatas, chorales, and partitas, among others.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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Take Your Pants for a Walk Day

July 27 is Take Your Pants for a Walk Day!

Who knows who came up with a holiday that appears to revolve around taking an inanimate object for a walk…but we suspect that “take your pants for a walk” is just a silly way of saying “go for a walk.” Celebrate Take Your Pants for a Walk Day by heading out for an early morning or post-dinner walk.

Considering that this holiday is smack dab in the middle of summer, you might be more comfortable in shorts…but carry a pair of pants with you anyway so that you can literally take them for a walk.


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Aunt and Uncle Day

July 26 is Aunt and Uncle Day!

We have days dedicated to celebrating mothers and fathers…but what about aunts and uncles? They may not have created you or spent a good portion of their life raising you, taking care of you, and putting up with your antics, but aunts and uncles gave us a lot growing up, too: good advice, an open ear (for those things you just can’t discuss with the parental units), the best birthday presents, and all the dirt on your parents’ teenage years…including a plethora of embarrassing stories.

Celebrate Aunt and Uncle Day by taking your aunt(s) and/or uncle(s) out to lunch or giving them a call. Are you an aunt or uncle? Spend some quality time with your niece(s) and/or nephew(s).


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Culinarians Day

July 25 is Culinarians Day!

Whether you’re a chef or just love to cook, celebrate by cooking your favorite meal, trying out a new recipe, or creating a new dish. If you go out to eat today,  take the time to send your compliments to the chef.

Not much of a cook? Sign up for a cooking class (or a few) in your area so that you’ll be prepared for the next Culinarians Day.




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National Tequila Day

July 24 is National Tequila Day!

Tequila originates from Mexico in the 1800s and is now one of the most popular alcohols worldwide, especially in America.

Check out this awesome video to see the step-by-step process of how tequila is made.

Sources: Examiner, Altius Directory

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Daniel Radcliffe’s Birthday

British actor Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role as Harry Potter, was born on July 23, 1989 in London, England.

Radcliffe got his start playing the young title character in BBC One’s television adaptation of David Copperfield. At the age of 11, he was offered the role of Harry Potter, a character he would play in 8 series films over the span of 10 years. The Harry Potter films have been credited as the highest grossing film series of all time with receipts of over $7.7 Billion.

In 2007, Daniel Radcliffe transitioned to stage acting and began starring in productions such as How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and the critically acclaimed Equus. He has also acted in several other films such as The Woman in Black and Kill Your Darlings with more projects to come.

Happy Birthday Daniel Radcliffe!

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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