Sunday Stories for January 19th, 2014

Kona Hawaii

I enjoyed the better part of this past week in Hawaii, with days spent on Maui and Kauai. No matter how many times I visit the island, I also discover something new. Whether it’s a previously overlooked spot of beach, a restaurant I’ve not yet tried, or a little cafe for my morning coffee, there’s something about island life that calls out for a day of exploration.

Maybe it’s the beautiful sunsets. Or just the opportunity to escape the Seattle rain for warm weather. If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit the islands (and any of them would make a good choice), but it on your to-visit list and start making plans and dreaming of aloha. Here are a few stories that caught my eye this week. I hope you’ll click through to read the full story and leave a comment.

Ever Wonder Where Returned Stuff From Best Buy Goes?

I’m not one of those people who grabs up great buys on electronic goods. I just don’t have the patience or time. But this tip makes it a little easier to check and takes little time. Go take a look. Is there something you have your eye on? (For me, it wondering about picking up a second Kindle.)

They’ve been “unofficially” Best Buy’s overstock and outlet store for a couple of years now, but this is the first whole scale advertised “Best Buy” open box sale I’ve ever seen from them so they must have a TON of stock to unload, which means good deals for you!

How to Make an iPad or Tablet Sleeve

I have a cool iPad cover that I always get comments about.  But if I didn’t (and if I could sew), I’d make my  own. Here are some easy instructions, and some creative ideas to get you started.

The video below will demonstrate how to make an iPad or Tablet sleeve in general which looks attractive and protects your tablet from marks, dirt or even excessive sunlight for when you’re on the go.

Read original article here:  How to Make an iPad or Tablet Sleeve

PHOTO GALLERY: 40 Amazing Costa Rican Wildlife Species

I was in Costa Rica many years ago, at a before digital photos were the norm, and my photo memories are stored in a box that I look at rarely. My little point and shoot 110 camera couldn’t pick up much of the flora and fauna of the country, resulting in great regret but also a reason to make a return visit. It’s also the reason why I enjoyed the shots from eco-travel friend Bret and his wife, Mary. I think you’ll love them, too.

We’ve been to the Central American ecotourism hotspot three times now, exploring nooks and crannies ranging from the rivers of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (near the Nicaragua border) to the cloudforests of Monteverde , to the remote Caribbean coast of Tortuguero National Park . With its remarkable range of ecosystems– from sunny beaches and volcano-fed hot springs to the world’s most bio-diverse rainforests– we couldn’t imagine anyone getting bored with exploring the country.

Read original article here: PHOTO GALLERY: 40 Amazing Costa Rican Wildlife Species

How to Turn Extra Garlic into Garlic Confit

This is one of those stand by recipes that you’ll use again and again. I do it frequently, and it’s great for bread dipping, basting, or add a smear to the top of a grilled steak. It’s simple – and only two ingredients, garlic and oil – and adds lots to a dinner presentation. Try it!

Got leftover garlic? Whether you’ve got an entire extra head or a handful of cloves lying around, your leftovers will lead you to one of the greatest condiments of all time: garlic confit. Basically, you roast garlic in olive oil until each clove becomes soft, golden, and fragrant. And spreadable.

Siamese cat perched on top of cupboards

This Furniture Gives New Meaning to the Term ‘Ceiling Cat’

My cats love to go to ceiling, sort of the opposite of going to ground. They already manage it on their own, usually for a little catnap while surveying their kingdom, but I can only imagine how much fun they’d have on this creative modular cat furniture that keeps them high off the ground.

Stefan Hofmann is a designer, carpenter and cat lover. Through his company Goldtatze, he designs and installs modular cat furniture for your home, which is now your cat’s home. Like a feline jungle gym, Goldtatze offers various units that can be connected and pieced together to create the ultimate play space for your furry friend. There are places to perch, bridges to cross and things to scratch.

Majestic Lion Sculpture Made Of 4,000 Pieces Of Hammered Scrap Metal

A simple WOW seems inadequate to describe this magnificent piece of art. Given its size, I’m guessing it’s destined for a museum or gallery exhibition, but what a powerful addition it would make to home with size and room to accommodate it.

Turkish artist Selçuk Yılmaz has created an exceptional lion sculpture from almost 4,000 pieces of scrap metal. Titled Aslan (Turkish for Lion), the sculpture took 10 months to complete and weighs roughly 550 pounds (250kg). Selçuk hand-cut and hammered every piece by himself, and metal-work is not easy.

Read original article here: Majestic Lion Sculpture Made Of 4,000 Pieces Of Hammered Scrap Metal by Selçuk Yılmaz

PHOTO:  Blue Mosque

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Barbara and have talked with her about her travels, including how much she enjoys returning to certain favorite spots. A visit to Turkey has been on my bucket list for some time now, and Barbara’s photo of the inside of the Blue Mosque reinforces that choice.

Interior of the magnificent Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, commonly known as the Blue Mosque

That’s it for this Sunday. Go have a great week, and if you find a story that you think I’d love, get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, or email.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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