Friday, July 16, 2010

Pie Lover's Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pie is a popular dessert, and with so many different kinds, there's no such thing as just "pie." Strawberry, mincemeat, and banana cream are just a few of the pies in existence. Even something that sounds as simple as apple pie can have many variables, including the type of crust, the sweetener, and the variety of apple.

Pie lovers in Grand Rapids are lucky, because there are many options. In fact, several restaurants sell pies by the slice or by the whole pie.

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Best AC Content on Halloween Costumes for Dogs

If you enjoy dressing up your dog, you're probably thinking about potential Halloween costumes. There are a lot of great ideas out there, so even if you've been doing this for a few years and want to come up with something new, you're in luck. I've scoured Associated Content and found ten articles sure to help you come up with a costume for your canine companion.

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Best of AC: Halloween Party Decorations

Halloween parties are a lot of fun, whether you're the host or one of the guests. If you're planning to host a party this year, you'll need to set the tone with the appropriate decorations.

These thirteen articles include some terrific ideas for Halloween party decorations. They're guaranteed to provide the right atmosphere and give you and your guests a Halloween to remember.

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Best of AC Content: Halloween Yard Decor

As Halloween approaches, do you long to decorate your yard? Do you see what your neighbors have done and wish you could do something just as good, or even better? Are you terrified that your yard decorations will look amateurish? Even worse, what if they're not even remotely scary? Oh, the horror! What will you do?

Fear not! I've found 13 terrific articles to help you make your yard look fantastically scary this Halloween.

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Meant to Be

My entry in Associated Content's flash fiction contest from 2009 is a story about a special relationship. One of the requirements was to begin the story with one of three opening sentences provided by AC. I chose to begin with, "Someone was knocking at the door."

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Celebrate the 4th of July in Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration, and several activities are on the schedule for the Fourth in Grand Rapids. With plenty of fun for the entire family, the festivities begin at 5:00 and continue until late into the night.

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Organize Your Closets

Most people don't have enough closet space. Instead, they have a tendency to hold onto things they don't want or need anymore. Does this describe you? If so, it's time to start organizing the closets in your home so that you can maximize the storage space you have.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best Dads on TV

Most lists of the best fathers on television seem to favor TV dads from the 1950s. We've seen some terrible fathers in recent years, but there have also been some good dads on TV. They're not perfect, but they have something important in common.

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Awesome News: Chuck's Renewed

Fans of NBC's Chuck rejoiced on May 17, 2009, when NBC finally announced that Chuck would be back for a third season. Although the renewal is awesome news for everyone who loves the show, its return means major changes, including a late season premiere and a shortened season.

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Best Fruits to Help You Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

Fresh fruit is delicious, and if you want to lose weight, it can be a fabulous part of your diet. Most fruits are low in calories and packed with nutrients, but some are even better than others.

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Please Stop Doing That: How to Improve Your Relationship With Your Adult Children

All parents want to have good relationships with their children, and vice versa. Nevertheless, problems arise. If you have adult children and tend to think of them as children rather than adults, or as younger versions of you, you could be sabotaging your relationship.

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Worst Fathers on TV

Television, as a source of entertainment, can be a means to escape our everyday lives. Often, outrageous characters and events make shows more entertaining. Television would be quite boring without its villains, many of whom are fathers. Check out my picks for the worst fathers on television today and in recent history.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Best 20 Love Songs

Compiling a list of the best 20 rock love songs was hard enough, but then I also decided to choose the best love songs, regardless of genre. Determined not to duplicate any entries from the first list, I set out to choose 20 more terrific love songs.

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The Top 20 Rock Love Songs

As a music lover, I panicked when I had to sit down and compile a list of the very best rock love songs. I finally came up with a solution and made my list. All twenty songs are rock, but in a variety of styles.

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Budget-Friendly Restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Finding good food at good prices can be a challenge, especially when you're traveling and aren't familiar with the area. In the Grand Rapids area, there are several locally owned restaurants that offer great food at affordable prices.

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Awesome: The Best Word to Describe Chuck

Chuck is the series that has it all: action, adventure, romance, humor, and drama. Despite this, its fate is always uncertain when NBC is making programming decisions for the new season. How could the network even consider not renewing this show?

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Review of Panera Bread's Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

When I saw the billboard announcing that Panera Bread had added breakfast sandwiches to the menu, I knew that I had to check them out. The first time I went there for breakfast, I tried the Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich. It was very good, but it made me want to try the one with bacon for added flavor. That's exactly what I did the next time I went to Panera.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Review of Panera Bread's Strawberry Granola Parfait

I discovered Panera Bread's Strawberry Granola Parfait while checking their online menu. According to the description, it consists of low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh strawberries, and maple butter pecan granola. I was immediately intrigued but somewhat hesitant to try it. Vanilla yogurt is pretty much hit or miss for me, but the thought of fresh strawberries and maple butter pecan granola persuaded me to try it during my next visit to Panera Bread.

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Haiku Poetry

I wrote a few haiku-style poems for National Poetry Month 2009. '80s Sense of Style is a response to the challenge to write a haiku about the 1980s. Classic Journey shows the connection between the band and a more recent television show. Medicine Bottle is a haiku about a mundane object.

Later that same month, I wrote On the Bubble, a set of three haiku poems about the nerve-wracking wait for news about whether my favorite shows would be renewed. For the record, one of them was renewed and is still on the air, although not without a struggle. The other show was canceled but lives on in the memory of its fans.

How to Declutter a Coat Closet

As the seasons change, so do outerwear needs. Whether it's a heavy coat, a light jacket or something in between, the best place to store it is near the front door. Decluttering the coat closet and adding storage will make it organized and presentable.

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What is an SR-22 Form?

If you've been convicted of a serious traffic offense, you may have been ordered to file an SR-22. It's important to understand your obligations, because drivers who ignore the SR-22 requirements will lose their driving privileges.

Find out all about SR-22 forms: what they are, who needs one, why one might be required, how to file one, and the penalty for non-compliance.

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How to Get Car Insurance as a High-Risk Driver

Shopping for auto insurance can be stressful, especially for anyone labeled a high-risk driver. If you've been classified as a high-risk driver, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of finding auto insurance at reasonable rates.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pet Food Bank in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Many areas now have pet food banks, where pet owners can get help. One such resource is Kibble Konnection, operated by the Kent County Humane Society in Michigan.

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Help Pets Survive the Economic Crisis: 10 Things You Can Do

The economy is affecting everyone, and that includes pets. Many pet owners feel they have no choice but to give up their pets. Many others want to help but aren't sure how. Here are ten ways to help pets and their owners through the economic downturn.

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Atta Boy, Luther: A Review of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a classic movie from 1966 starring Don Knotts. It is spooky, hilarious, and just plain fun. Don Knotts plays scaredy-cat Luther Heggs in what is arguably his best work.

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Strange Turn of Events: A Review of Being Erica

Poor Erica Strange. She just had a terrible day. First, she got fired from her job at the call center. The reason? She was too bright; never mind that her boss knew about her advanced degree when he hired her. Later, the guy she was seeing dumped her while she was on her way to meet him for their third date; he wanted to go to the gym instead. As she stood there in disbelief with her cell phone in her hand, she got drenched in a sudden downpour. Seeking shelter inside a coffee shop, she gratefully accepted a free sample of mocha mint latte. Too bad nobody told her it was actually hazelnut mocha mint latte; she's severely allergic to nuts.

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Where to Find Real Estate Listings in Grand Rapids, Michigan

We often hear that old adage about "location, location, location" being of the utmost importance when choosing a home, but it's hard to ignore the importance of cost and features. In fact, no one really expects home buyers to ignore these things. Finding the right home is essential. With so many homes currently on the market, especially in the greater Grand Rapids area of Michigan, the search through real estate listings can be daunting. However, there are resources available to help you customize your search and make it more enjoyable.

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Motel Hell: Cult Classic from the '80s

Motel Hell is a hilarious classic horror movie from 1980. The title is something of a play on words, depicting both the name of the motel and the general state of affairs for the unfortunate soul who wanders anywhere near the motel and its proprietors. The story takes place at the very rural Motel Hello. However, the letter "O" on the sign has a bit of trouble, its light flickering on and off. The lights on the other letters are fine, so that when the "O" is out, only the first four letters of the word remain. "Hell" is a good description of the motel, as you're about to learn.

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Review of U2's The Joshua Tree

If you have ever listened to the radio, you're probably already familiar with several tracks from The Joshua Tree, U2's Grammy-winning album from 1987. "Where the Streets Have No Name," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and "With or Without You" seem to have received the most airplay, at least to my recollection.

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