Happy Valentine’s Day!

Categories: Crafts and hobbies, Holiday

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who prefers gummy bears to chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now that the big day is here, some of you may be worrying about what to get your sweetie – not all of us are good at planning ahead. While a box of chocolates and something sparkly are always good standbys, why not try something a little different this year?  Try making this delightful little card and showing your valentine how much you care.

I Dig You Card

©Melissa Lucier

 

“I Dig You” Card

What You Need:

Ruler

Craft knife

Self-healing cutting mat

2 sheets of colored paper (8 1/2” x 11”) in different shades

Bone folder

Access to a computer with a printer and paper

Words and veggies templates

Small scraps of paper (at least 4” by 4”) in various colors

Glue stick

What To Do:

  1. Use the ruler, craft knife, and cutting mat to cut a 10” x 5” rectangle from each sheet of paper. Set aside the excess paper.
  2. Fold each rectangle in half to make a square, and crease the fold neatly with the bone folder.
  3. Print and cut out the words and veggies templates.
  4. Trace three veggies and four greens templates onto scraps of paper. Cut out the shapes and apply glue stick to the top back of each veggie to attach the greens (Two greens for each veggie).
  5. From the paper left over in step 1, cut three 1/4” x 3” strips. Glue each one vertically along the back of each of the veggies to make them more stable.
  6. Select one of the folded pieces from step 1 to be the outside of the card. Unfold it and lay it flat. Layer the words template over the front outside of the car and trace with a pencil.
  7. Use the craft knife to carefully cut out the words.
  8. Use the ruler and pencil to make a horizontal line along the center of the front of the card.Cut three slits about 1 1/4” wide and 1/4” apart along the line in the card. (These are pockets for the veggies).
  9. Flip the card over and line the perimeter of the card with glue stick. Press the remaining folded piece from step 1 inside the outer card and press together along the edges. let dry.
  10. Refold the card and tuck the veggies into the slits on the front.

And that’s it! You should now have a beautiful card to give to your valentine:) If you liked this project, you can check out all the other great ideas in Paper Made!: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out Of Everyday Paper by Kayte Terry.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s

Paper Made Cover

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Wednesday Cute: Lessons In Love From The Animal Kingdom

Categories: Nature, Wednesday Cute

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who thinks penguins make the cutest couples.

Take a deep breath. Do you catch that distinct whiff of chocolate and roses? That’s the smell of love in the air, my friends! As Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, we’re going take a look at some romantic creatures in the animal kingdom and the lessons we can learn from them. Let’s get started with….

1. Sea Otters

Otters1

Sea otters like to float together – while they’re eating, sleeping, or playing. What is adorable about these little guys is that they hold hands when they’re sleeping so that they don’t float away from each other. Super cute!

Lesson Learned: Hold your significant other’s hand! Even if they have sweaty palms, there is no simpler expression of affection.

2. Penguins

Penguins1

Penguins are known for being super romantic, since most of them mate for life. As part of their mating ritual, male penguins search for a pebble to give to their mate-to-be and not just any pebble, but the prettiest, smoothest one he can find. This is so important to the mating ritual that fights break out over the best pebbles!

Lesson Learned: Give your S.O. something nice! It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be a rock (if you catch my drift), but it does have to be meaningful.

3. Seahorses

Seahorses2

Seahorses know how to keep a relationship fresh! Mating pairs will meet every morning to do a courtship dance that involves changing color and twirling about the ocean together and when the male seahorse is pregnant (yes, the males get pregnant), the female will check in on him every day to flirt and hold his tail. Now that is sweet!

Lesson Learned: Keep the passion alive! It is important to show your affection for your S.O. every day, not just on anniversaries and Valentine’s day!

4. Lovebirds

Lovebirds2

These birds take their relationship super seriously! Lovebirds mate for life and spend their days preening and snuggling with their mate. They can behave erratically when separated from the partner, but when they are reunited after a long separation, they feed each other to reinforce their bond. Lovebirds may, in fact, have been part of the inspiration for Valentine’s Day! They appear in a poem called “Parliament of Foules” by Geoffry Chaucer, which was the first piece of literature to connect romantic love with Saint Valentine’s feast day.

Lesson Learned: Be there for each other. You depend on your S.O. and your S.O. depends on you, so be dependable! Through thick and thin, through long absences and life changes, take the time to reinforce your bond with your partner.

5. The Fox and the Hound

SWNS_FOX_AND_HOUND_02_2

In a real-life version of the Disney classic, Copper the fox and Jack the hound became fast friends while staying at the same wildlife center. Both came to the shelter through unfortunate circumstances but immediately took to one another. They spend their days napping, spooning, and playing together. As their caretaker says, “They’re totally devoted to each other, even though Copper now has other foxes in his life”.

Lesson Learned: The strongest relationships are based on friendship. When it comes right down to it, the best way to be a good partner is to be a good friend. So don’t forget to work on those parts of your relationship as well as the romantic parts! Stay in and watch a dumb movie, cook dinner together, or take a hint from our furry friends and take naps together. Do whatever activity you and your S.O. love to do together to remind yourselves of why you liked each other in the first place!

So as Valentine’s day approaches, remember the lessons we can learn from some of the world’s most romantic animals and try to make not just this Saturday memorable, but every day you have with your loved one.

And if you’d like to read more about animals in love, like Copper and Jack, check out Unlikely Loves by Jennifer S. Holland.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s | Page-A-Day

Unlikely Loves Cover

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#TravelTuesday — Falkland Islands

Categories: News

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Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is the Falkland Islands, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Bird-watching and Penguins (pictured above): The Falklands are famous for their biological diversity – they’re known as the cold Galápagos – and in particular for their five species of friendly penguins. Like their Pacific Counterparts, the animals are utterly unafraid of visitors. Three-foot-tall gold-throated king penguins hold court on bleakly beautiful Volunteer Beach, a 2-hour drive from Stanley, while gentoo and Magellanic penguins roam Leopard Beach on Carcass Island, in the northwest of the archipelago. Along with some 180 other bird species (and the world’s largest colonies of the huge black-browed albatross), they make this remote land a bird-watcher’s wonderland.

2. Animal-Watching: For even more wildlife, head to Sea Lion Island, where aptly named elephant seals and sea lions swim ashore while killer whales circle in pursuit.

  • Where: 1,200 miles/1,931 km southwest of Buenos Aires.
  • How: U.S.-based Ladatco Tours offers 14-day wildlife tours. Tel 800-327-6162 or 305-854-8222; www.ladatco.com
  • Best Time: October-February for birdwatching; September-April for animal-watching

Read more on 1,000 Place to See Before You Die and the calendar line here:

1000-Places-3D-Image9780761178170_225_263_701 9780761179375_3d_235_240_701

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Wednesday Cute: Groundhog Day Edition

Categories: News

This post was written by editorial intern Rachel, who watched Groundhog Day at least twice on Monday.

Have you looked at a picture of a baby groundhog recently? Let me fix that for you.

hello groundhog

Pretty cute, right? And there’s more where that came from.

two babies

Here, have some babies with their mama.

mama and babies

See what I mean?

Unfortunately, the groundhog saw its shadow this year, thus predicting six more weeks of winter. But at least there are pictures of groundhogs to squeal over while we wait for all this snow to melt.

 

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#TravelTuesday – Papua New Guinea

Categories: News

2_3Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Papua New Guinea, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Few places in the world fascinate anthropologists more than Papua New Guinea. Occupying the eastern half of the world’s second largest island, “PNG” is known for its warm seas rich with marine life and sunken World War II ships. On land is a vast array of flora and fauna, including 762 species of birds (with over 400 unique to the island), the world’s greatest variety of orchids, and more than 400 species of butterflies.

Top Attractions:

1. The Highlands Sing-Sing Festival (pictured above): Come to Papua New Guinea during a “sing-sing,” or cultural show, when drums thunder and hundreds of Huli adorned with lavish face and body paints as well as elaborate headdresses stop and chant in friendly inter-tribal competition. The sing-sings began in the 1960s as a government effort to halt centuries-old tribal rivalry and warfare. The largest today is the Mount Hagen Sing-Sing, during which nearly 80 tribes come from all parts to “mock fight” on a soccer field in the Western Highlands trading town while some 500 tourists watch.

  • Where: Mt. Hagen is 320 miles/514 km northwest of the capital city, Port Moresby.
  • How: U.S.-based Asia Transpacific Journeys offers tours that coincide with the sing-sings. Tel: 800-642-2742 or 303-443-6789; www.asiatranspacific.com.
  • When: May for Tumbuna Sing-Sing; August for Mount Hagen Sing-Sing.
  • Best Time: April-October is cooler and drier.

2. Sepik River: Winding across a vast delta before ending 685 miles from its headwaters in the soaring highlands, the Sepik River was once the domain of anthropologists, naturalists, and adventure seekers. Today, an expedition up this mysterious river is for anyone wanting to explore one of the world’s last unspoiled reservoirs of nature, culture, and—most especially—tribal art.

  • Where: The town of Timbunke is 444 miles/715 km northwest of Port Moresby.
  • How: U.S.-based Asia Transpacific Journeys offers tours that coincide with the sing-sings. Tel: 800-642-2742 or 303-443-6789; www.asiatranspacific.com. In PNG the long-established operator Trans Niugini Tours manages and owns many of the wilderness lodges, such as the Karawari Lodge and the Sepik Spirit: Tel: 675/542-1438; www.pngtours.com.
  • Best Tim: July-November is cooler and drier.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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Wednesday Cute: Corgis Frolicking In The Snow!

Categories: News

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who, if she were a dog, would be a Corgi.

As many of you know, New York  City has spent the past week gearing up for Winter Storm Juno, which we were told would be the storm of the century. It turned out to be a major non-event! We were expecting 2+ feet of snow and we got about 6 inches. I, for one, was pretty disappointed! I wanted to go sledding! I wanted to make snowmen! I wanted to frolic through the icy tundra! So to make up for all the snow-related fun New Yorkers missed out on, here are a bunch of corgis having fun in the snow!

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#TravelTuesday – Wyoming, USA

Categories: News, Travel

27

 

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Wyoming, USA, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Cheyenne Frontier Days: Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA. The Cowboy State’s capital city was once nicknamed Hell on Wheels, and during its annual Frontier Days you’ll understand why. This celebration of all things Western was first held in 1897, a mere 15 years after William F. Cody, aka “Buffalo Bill,” created the rodeo tradition with his traveling Wild West Show.

  • Where: 100 miles north of Denver. Tel: 800-227-6336 or 307-778-7222; www.cfdrodeo.com.
  • Best Time: Late July

2. Bitterroot Ranch: Dubois, Wyoming, USA. Fifty wild, mountainous miles from Yellowstone, Bitterroot Dude Ranch rests in a remote valley flanked by the Shoshone National Forest on one side and a 52,000-acre wildlife refuge on the other. Mel and Bayard Fox own and operate this 1,300-acre rider’s paradise, with a dozen hand-hewn log cabins—some a century old—scattered along the trout stream that runs through it.

  • Where: 85 miles east of Jackson. Tel: 800-545-0019 or 307-455-3363; www.bitterrootranch.com.
  • Best Times: June-July for wildflowers; September for aspens.

3. Grand Teton National Park (pictured above): Wyoming, USA. Craggy, glacier-chiseled and rising to 7,000-plus feet above the floor of Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Valley (itself more than 6,000 feet above sea level), the dramatic peaks of Grand Teton National Park win America’s topographical beauty pageant. With no foot-hills to mar the view, the oft-photographed Tetons dominate the skyline with a grandeur that’s starkly primeval.

  • Where: 12 miles north of Jackson. Tel: 307-739-3300; www.nps.gov/grte
  • Best Times: July-August for warmest weather; September for foliage and fewer crowds.

4. Jackson Hole: Wyoming, USA. One of the art, recreation, and lifestyle capitals of the New West, Jackson has evolved from a fur-trading cow town into a bustling tourist center that borders on being cosmopolitan. While the scenic 50-mile-long Jackson Hole area (the “hole” is a high, enclosed mountain valley) is full of trophy homes and gated communities, Jackson itself draws an egalitarian mix of ski bums, the moneyed elite, hikers and climbers, and even a real Wyoming cowboy or two.

  • Where: Jackson is 275 miles northwest of Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Best Times: January-March for skiing; late May for Old West Days; July 4 for Music in the Hole Concert; mid-September for Fall Arts Festival.

5. Yellowstone National Park: Wyoming, USA. Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s oldest-national park, known worldwide for the geysers and geothermal pools that hark back to its volcanic past. Yellowstone’s 3,500 square miles encompass rugged plateaus and heavily forested peaks, steaming hot springs, crystalline lakes, and 290 thundering waterfalls. Over 3 million people visit every year, so if you plan to go between June and September, expect plenty of company in the park’s popular areas.

  • Where: The park has 5 entrances: 3 in Montana and 2 in Wyoming; www.nps.gov/yell
  • Best Times: May-mid-June and September-mid-October for nice weather without crowds; September-mid-October for fall foliage; winter for cross-country skiing.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

1000 Places 3D Image 9780761178170_225_263_70 9780761179375_3d_235_240_70

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Wednesday Cute: Armadillo Edition

Categories: News

This week’s edition of Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Rachel, who has had a change of heart about armadillos.

When you think of cute animals, I’m guessing that your mind doesn’t immediately jump to armadillos. Mine didn’t either.

standing armadillo

I mean, you know, they’re not bad-looking and they do that cute roly-poly thing.

roly poly armadillo

But I wouldn’t have compared them to kittens. Well, not until now anyway:

I promise you, if you watch this, you will also change your views on armadillos.

 

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

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#TravelTuesday – Tanzania, Africa

Categories: News

20

 

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Tanzania, Africa, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Mount Kilimanjaro: “Wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun,” wrote Ernest Hemingway in his famous short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” As global warming has caused temperatures to creep up, those snows have been melting, but even now, few mountains rival Kilimanjaro—Swahili for “mountain of greatness”; at 19,340 feet, it dwarfs all of Africa’s other peaks. The 9-day, 25 mile round-trip trek to the dormant volcano’s oddly flat top, ascending by way of the remote, seldom-used Shira Plateau, has several advantages over the more popular, five-day Marangu Trail, or “tourist route.”

  • Where: Arusha is 168 miles/270 km south of Nairobi.
  • How: U.S.-based Mountain Madness offers 12-day Shira route trips. Tel: 800-328-5925 or 206-937-8389; www.mountainmadness.com; Cost: from $4,975 all-inclusive.
  • Best Times: September-October and December-January for clearer, warmer, and drier days on the mountain, but also biggest crowds.

2. Greystoke Camp: Just 60 miles south of where Stanley uttered his famous greeting, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” on the remote eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, lies Mahale Mountains National Park, home to the world’s largest known population of the wild chimpanzees, mankind’s closest relatives. The 600-square-mile, road-free park remains almost untouched by the outside world, yet on the lake’s sandy shores at the foot of the mountains lies Greystoke safari fantasies and a strong candidate for the most beautiful in all of Africa.

  • Where: On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in western Tanzania; accessible via charter from Arusha, plus a boat to transfer to camp; www.greystoke-manhale.com.
  • Cost: From $1,075 per person per night, all-inclusive, with round-trip charter from Arusha (off-peak), from $1,225 (peak).
  • How: U.S.-based Africa Adventure Company offers custom itineraries. Tel: 800-882-9453 or 954-491-8877; www.africa-adventure.com.
  • Best Time: Trekking can be easier August-October when chimpanzees are often closer to the bottom of the mountains.

3. Ngorongoro Crater (pictured above): The volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unflooded, intact caldera is considered one of the natural wonders of the world, both for its unique beauty and for the staggering concentration of animals that live there.

  • Where: 120 miles/190 km west of Arusha.
  • Best Times: Animal numbers are high year-round, but expect rain in April-May; June-August for cooler, drier weather.

4. The Serengeti: The Serengeti, one of the oldest ecosystems on earth, is Africa’s No. 1 World Heritage site. It has barely changed since early humans first appeared about 2 million years ago, a fact that remained unknown until Louis and Mary Leakey began excavation work in the Olduvai Gorge in the 1950s. It remains an important region for the study of human origins, but what brings in the Land Rovers packed with wide-eyed nature lovers and shutterbugs is the grandest of all wildlife shows: the great migration.

  • Where: Northwestern Tanzania.
  • How: U.S.-based Africa Adventure Company arranges custom trips. Tel: 800-882-9453 or 954-491-8877; www.africa-adventure.com.
  • Best Times: Wildlife abounds throughout the Serengeti year-round. June-July are typically good months for the migration in the Grumeti Reserves.

5. Zanzibar: The very name Zanzibar conjures up images of romantic spice islands, and—like legendary Timbuktu or Kathmandu—the name alone is almost reason enough to make the trip. The historic center of its capital city is known as Stone Town, a maze of narrow streets, crooked passages, and crumbling houses once owned by Arab traders, with enclosed balconies and carved, brass-studded doors.

  • Where: 22 miles/35 km off eastern coast of Tanzania.
  • Best Times: December-February and June-October for dry season; early February for Sauti Za Busara African music celebration; July for Stone Town’s Festival of the Dhow Countries, with film, art, and cultural events.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here:

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Wednesday Cute: Puppies vs. Stairs

Categories: News

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who also struggled with the complexities of stairs in her youth.

Hello dear readers, and welcome back! Now that Christmas is over and New Years is past, it is that time of the year when resolutions are made. We all vow to be healthier, exercise more, work harder, be kinder, or call our mothers more, but the point is that we all try to recommit to the idea of our best selves. No matter what your resolution this year, take inspiration from these adorable, courageous pups, trying their best to figure out how to get up and down stairs. Some do it gracefully, some do it ridiculously, and some not at all, but they all try and that’s what counts!

So if you too find yourself facing a challenge in the year ahead, remember the puppies who did their best to conquer the stairs. Their bravery, perseverance, and cuteness is an inspiration to us all;)

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