Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrex Coupons

Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory drug manufactured by Pfizer, can be expensive.Celebrex coupons, free samples, and Pfizer patient assistance programs can help arthritis sufferers save money on Celebrex.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wrapping Secrets

For the first time since 1990, I have all my Christmas wrapping done before Christmas Eve. Usually, i start after everyone has gone to bed - meaning that I'm too exhausted to enjoy the process...and sometimes too exhausted to enjoy the gift opening in the morning. I am much more relaxed than usually this holiday season, knowing I won't be up until 3 am battling unwieldy rolls of paper, tangled ribbons, and tape that sticks to itself.

If you're still stuck with that chore ahead of you, you may have questions. What type of paper to use? How to make an attractive bow? What do you do with an awkwardly shaped present? Are there things you need to know before you ship a gift? Whatever your issue, Mahalo has a number of Christmas wrapping pages that should help you wrap your gifts like pro in no time!

How to Make a Christmas Bow
How to Gift Wrap a Christmas Present
How To Gift Wrap a T-Shirt
How To Gift Wrap an Odd-Shaped Present
How to Tie a Bow
How to Make a Bow
How to Wrap Presents
How to Ship Christmas Gifts
How to Make and Decorate a Christmas Bow
Christmas Wrapping Paper

What Makes a Good Mahalo Page?

Working at QC for Mahalo needs more than a good foundation in grammar. Pages are reviewed for grammar and spelling, of course, but that's just the first step. They also need to be aligned with Mahalo's formatting and style conventions, so that- no matter who writes them- they are a consistent part of a whole. Every actor page should have the same basic information, in a uniform order.

However, those are not the most important things a Mahalo QC-er does. Each page should contain accurate information, presented without bias or opinion. It's sometimes difficult for a writer to tell when they are inserting too much of themselves into a page - and it's the Qc-er's job to find and eliminate any well as to teach the writer how to avoid it in the future. Sources need to be checked- to ensure that the information presented is credible. Writing needs to be concise - so filler needs to be removed. And the page also needs to present the most important information about the topic- so that it provides value to the user.

So, a QC-er needs to be have the skills of an English teacher, a journalist with a knowledge of AP Style, experience with Mahalo's formatting and style conventions, an Internet researcher's knowledge of good sources, and the skills of a winning Trivial Pursuit player- to have that little bit of knowledge about everything that allows them to determine when a piece of information just doesn't seem to fit and warrants further evaluation.

Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes are a fast and easy way to decorate baked goods for the holidays. Mahalo's page on Christmas Cupcakes gives a number of ideas for these seasonal treats, including decorating them to resemble "fun-loving Christmas characters" or glittery Christmas trimmings. Mahalo also suggests baking cupcakes in the shape of Christmas trees, or arranging them to create a 2 D snowman, or stacking them to create a 3D Christmas tree, using a cupcake tower.

While some decorated Christmas cupcakes (such as snowmen or snowballs) can be used all winter long, specifically Christmas themed ones can be used to decorate a dessert buffet, brought to a school holiday party, or given as a hostess gift when you attend a Christmas party. Mini-cupcakes make a sweet bite sized finger food, that can be eaten without much of a mess.

Some other ideas from Mahalo include using a "round, red lollipop with the stem trimmed down" to form Rudolph's nose, stacking marshmallows on top of a frosted cupcake for a snowman, using sprinkles or colored sugar to make Christmas ornament designs on cupcakes, or topping the cupcake with an upside down ice cream cone that's covered in green frosting to make a Christmas tree.

Tron Legacy

My taste in movies generally runs to the serious- I prefer movies that make me cry, or think deeply, to those that make me laugh. I am also very sensitive to motion sickness- avoiding anything that can upset my equilibrium.

Last week my son suggested that, while he sisters were home from college, we all go see a movie as a family. I said sure - thinking a movie sounded like a great idea. He then revealed that the object of the expedition would be Tron Legacy, in IMAX 3 D. (The last IMAX movie I went to was as a field trip chaperone- and I didn't have to worry about feeling sick while watching it, as I spent all my time trying to prevent the 12 year old boys from creeping out of their seats during the film.)

I was pleasantly surprised. The film was better than I expected - although the storylinbe was weak. The special effects were great - particularly the "reverse" aging used on Jeff bridges so her could portray himself as both 30 something Clu and Kevin Flynn as well as 60-ish Kevin Flynn. And the IMAX didn't make me nauseous.

Mahalo's Christmas Music

If you're a guitar player, and are looking to expand your holiday repetoire, Mahalo can help. Mahalo's Guitar category includes many learn to play pages. Each page includes a video tutorial, and text with helpful tips.

* Christmas Guitar Tabs
* How to Play 12 Days of Christmas on Guitar
* How to Play Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley on Guitar
* How to Play Feliz Navidad on Guitar
* How to Play Frosty The Snowman on Guitar
* How to Play Hark The Herald Angels Sing on Guitar
* How to Play Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on Guitar
* How to Play It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas on Guitar
* How to Play It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year on Guitar
* How to Play Jingle Bell Rock on Guitar
* How to Play Jingle Bells on Guitar
* How to Play Joy to The World on Guitar
* How to Play Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart) on Guitar
* How to Play Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! on Guitar
* How to Play O Holy Night on Guitar
* How to Play Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree on Guitar
* How to Play Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Guitar
* How to Play Santa Baby on Guitar
* How to Play Santa Claus is Coming to Town on Guitar
* How to Play Silent Night on Guitar
* How to Play Silver Bells on Guitar
* How to Play Sleigh Ride on Guitar
* How to Play We Wish You A Merry Christmas on Guitar
* How to Play Welcome to The Jungle by Guns N Roses on Guitar
* How to play What I Got by Sublime On Guitar
* How to Play What's My Name by Rihanna Ft. Drake on Guitar
* How to Play White Christmas on Guitar
* How to Play White Shadows by Coldplay on Guitar
* How to Play Winter Wonderland on Guitar
* Learn Christmas Carols on Guitar

Waiting for Dexter Season 6

Yesterday was a very sad day. It was Sunday night...and there was no Dexter. Luckily, it's the Christmas season- but come January, there will be a huge hole in my family's life on Sundays at 9 p.m.

My son introduced us to Dexter during the show's second season. He'd discovered it with a friend during the first season. He had borrowed the Season 1 DVD to watch before the second season started. When I found him watching it, he explained that it was a series about a serial killer- but, he said, it was "more than that." I sat down with him, and was soon hooked. This led us to order Showtime, so that we could watch the subsequent seasons as they unfolded. Sunday nights at 9 p.m., during the 3 months that the new Dexter season airs, finds our family in front of the TV.

When I was a child- my family also spent Sunday nights in front of the TV, but back then we watched 60 Minutes and the Wonderful World of Disney.

At first I thought we were a little warped - until I started sharing our "secret," and finding other families that watched the show together. I guess that our routine wouldn't be suitable for families with young children, but it works for us. I can't wait until Season 6 launches!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What a Mahalo Editor Looks For

There are many content sites on the Internet. As a freelance writer, I've written for many of them. Some of them have editors who review material, and some don't. I can say from experience, however, that the editorial team at Mahalo does the most thorough job that I have experienced.

Mahalo editors check for formatting, ensuring consistency in layout and style which standardizes the content's look and feel. They also check for grammar - are commas in the right places? Are words used correctly? Is everything spelled correctly? Does the writer know the difference between affect and effect?

We also check for AP Style - since it's not intuitive, a QC of a page may send an editor to the AP Style Guide as part of their review.

All of those things are pretty standard, however. Mahalo editors also check to see if the material flows in a logical manner that is understandable to the reader. Is language simple and concise? A reader's time is precious, so the page needs to be scannable, with only relevant information - no filler or repetitive language to waste time.

The most important part of the quality control check is for accuracy. Citations are checked - both to ensure the source is authoritative, and that the information on the page accurately reflects what the source says.

Mahalo How Tos

There are many "How To" sites on the internet, with varying degrees of credibility. At Mahalo, every How To writer is required to source--and cite--their information from reliable authorities, and every How To is reviewed and edited by a staff member before being published. So, if you're looking for information on how to make sure you get an exit row seat on a plane, Mahalo is a great place to start. Here are a few other How To's you might enjoy browsing:
* How to Become a Dentist
* How to Become a Lawyer
* How to Become a Mystery Shopper
* How to Make a Friendship Bracelet
* How to Get Pregnant
* How to Draw Manga
* How to Become a Pharmacist
* How to Get a Free Credit Report
* How to Get Out of Debt
* How to Buy Gold
* How to Become a Substitute Teacher
* How to Play Golf
* How to Speak Spanish
* How to Throw a Spa Party
* How to Buy a Timeshare
* How to Make Simple Syrup
* How to Protect Your Computer from Viruses
* How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles
* How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
* How to Write a Grant Proposal
* How to Buy Your Own Health Insurance
* How to Become a Caterer
* How to Get a Car Loan

If the Mahalo How To doesn't address all your questions, you can use the question box at the bottom of the page to ask for additional information on the topic. The interactive nature of the page is another way that Mahalo How Tos stand out from the rest of the How To sites on the net.

Happy browsing!

This Week on Mahalo

One of the benefits of working in Quality Control at Mahalo is getting to learn alot about a diverse group of topics.

This week gave me an intense Korean lesson. I learned how to say many things in Korean- including how to say "I'm angry", "I miss you" and "Good luck." Whereas most language lessons teach you the basics you need to go to navigate in society- where's the bathroom? How much is it? Do you speak English? The Mahalo language pages are much more nuanced.

I also have been looking at pages describing the details of Black Friday Sales and deals. I learned that some stores released their Black Friday discounts at the beginning of October- almost two months ahead of Black Friday. Other stores, such as Walmart, keep their deals under wraps until the last minute - increasing the number of Internet searches for those "secret sales."

I'm constantly amazed at the names people come up with for cocktails. While a Texas Tea is obviously a cousin of the Long Island Iced tea-- where did the Old Lay originate? While the Mahalo page doesn't explain the drink's origin, it does explain how to make this variation of the cherry Margarita.

The Best Cranberry Sauce

One of the most important things on the Thanksgiving dinner table is one of the easiest to prepare. A bag of fresh cranberries will cost less than $2 at the grocery store in November. They are only in season for a few months, so it makes sense to stock up while you see them. You can toss the bag in the freezer, as is, and use them throughout the year to prepare fresh cranberry sauce whenever you roast a chicken. has detailed instructions on how to make cranberry sauce, including a number of variations.

My method is very simple. I combine a bad of cranberries with a cup of sugar and a cup of water in a saucepan. I bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. I do this several days ahead, and refrigerate it in a microwave safe bowl. I then warm the sauce for a minute before serving.

If I want a slightly more "interesting sauce, i add 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/4 teaspoon of allspice, and a tablespoon of chopped crystalized ginger with the cranberries before I bring the mixture to a boil. This variation goes particularly well with pork.

The Busiest Travel Day of the Year

Thanksgiving means many things to many people...but unless you have your loved ones close by, Thanksgiving may mean travel. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as the busiest day of the year. When many people think of Thanksgiving Travel they think of long lines at the airport. That is especially true this year, as there is talk of a massive "opt out" of full body scans across the U.S., with the goal of causing massive delays as a way of "sending a message" about the new TSA screening procedures. I'm not flying this year, so that won't affect me.

Actually, the only year I did fly, it was to St. Thomas for a very un-traditional Thanksgiving - and travel was not an issue at all.

Most of my Thanksgiving travel has been to probably the most difficult place to drive to to on Thanksgiving - the metropolitan New York area. My route took me down Route 495, to Route 290, to the Massachusetts Turnpike, to Route 84, to Route 95, to the Cross Bronx Expressway, to the Belt Parkway, and finally to the Southern State Parkway. A drive that was normally less than 3 and a half hours could take 8 hours on the day before Thanksgiving. It was worth every minute, though, to spend the time with family!

Talking About Thanks...

Some families say grace before Thanksgiving Dinner, others share things they are personally thankful for, and others share inspirational quotes. While searching for some great Thanksgiving quotes, I found these on Although the collection includes luminaries such as John F. Kennedy and Cicero, my favorite is the gem by Erma Bombeck at the bottom.

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day."—Irv Kupcinet

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."—John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues."—Cicero

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."—George Bernard Shaw

"There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American."—O. Henry

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" -Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to Make Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween presents a great opportunity to dress up food as well as people, and one of the easiest ways to do this is with cupcakes. Halloween cupcakes can range from simple desserts--topping a cupcake with a small candy pumpkin, to turning a cupcake into a cockroach. Mahalo did a video series on Halloween cupcakes this year, and while reviewing them, I was reminded of my favorite way to decorate pumpkin cupcakes. These pumpkin cupcakes take only minutes to frost and decorate- and you probably have everything you need in the kitchen already.

What you need:

*Cupcakes of your choice, cooled and ready to be frosted
*Container of vanilla frosting
*Orange food coloring
*Orange decorating sugar
*Pretzel rods, broken into short pieces about 1" long

Step 1: Scrape the container of frosting into a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add several drops of food coloring, and combine with an electric mixer until blended. Repeat if the color isn't dark enough, continuing until you're happy with the hue.

Step 3: Mound frosting on the cupcake, smoothing the top as much as possible.

Step 4: Roll each cupcake in decorating sugar.

Step 5: Use a bamboo skewer to draw segments radiating out from a bit off center of the cupcake. (A toothpick will make too thin a line).

Step 6: Insert a piece of pretzel rod where the segments meet.

If you feel like trying out Mahalo's version, you can check out their video tutorial on How to Decorate Pumpkin Cupcakes here.

Would You Like to Dance Like the Stars?

Mondays evenings find me curled up on the couch watching Dancing With the Stars. (Well, most times I'm also working, but I can see the screen over my laptop) My dance experience is limited to the modern dance lessons with had in gym class back at Sacred Heart Academy, but I enjoy watching. It was tough to understand to understand the technical nuances, however, until Mahalo did a series of dance "how tos" that I was able to read while doing quality control. Here's a sample of the pages that will help you with the Foxtrot. Perhaps Kyle Massey should have taken a peek before last week's episode?

There are similar pages for all the major dances: the Jive, the Waltz, the Viennese Waltz, the Samba, the Salsa, the Tango, the Rumba, the Argentine Tango, and the Quickstep. There are also special pages such as How to Dance in a Night Club and How to Dance at the Prom.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Merging Work and Play

This week, I've been reviewing a number of movie pages in my job as Quality Control manager at Mahalo. Pages about movies, pages about movie trailers, pages about movie reviews. Movies that were released decades ago, current movies, movies that will be released in the future. I scrutinized facts, hunting down obscure facts that the writer hadn't been able to find, checking write-ups for accuracy, reading plot summaries, and locating additional reviews for pages. After having thought about movies all week, I began craving the real thing. I started feeling like a chocolate addict who could only view the Godiva truffles through the window. I needed an actual "movie fix."

It was 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon. As a freelancer, I have some flexibility to my day - and I'd been working since 7 a.m., so felt I was due a break. I checked movie times, and by 3:10 I was heading up route 495 on my way to go see Hereafter. I'd viewed the trailer, and read the reviews, but was still not prepared for the intensity of the tsunami at the beginning of the movie. Teh three separate stories worked well, and I felt the ending was perfect. There are no easy answers in the movie- just a well crafted look at the questions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Week on Mahalo

I've been managing Quality Control at Mahalo since July, which has enabled me to read lots of great information about different topics. Some of the pages I review I have only a professional interest in, some introduce me to to topics I would never learn about otherwise, but some tap into a true passion. When I started at Mahalo in July 2007, I did so with hopes of building out the History vertical. I was able to write many History pages, but soon was assigned other tasks, and history languished. So, I was overjoyed two weeks ago when a new guide began the task of filling gaps in the History pages, including this great page on Edward VI of England.

Freelance writers at Mahalo can create the topics for up to half of the pages they write themselves. This means that you are not restricted to a boring list of titles created for SEO purposes, the way you are on certain unnamed content sites. If you want to delve deeply into the Tudors- there's a place for you. If you are a sports fanatic- there's a place for you as well. You can write about what you love! If you're interested in becoming a freelance writer at Mahalo, and rediscovering your passion, you can apply here

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Try Something Different for National Watermelon Day

August 3 is National Watermelon Day!  While you can celebrate by just eating a slice, why not experiment?  You can make watermelon ice cream, watermelon soup, or try a tomato and watermelon salad for a change of pace.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

National Lasagna Day

Lasagna has always been closely tied to Christmas for me.  Growing up in an Italian family with five children who were not enamored of fish, it became our family's traditional Christmas Eve dinner.  I was surprised to learn that National Lasagna Day was celebrated at the end of July- on my English-German mother-in-law's birthday, no less.

While making lasagna would be a great way to celebrate, it's a bit too hot for turning on the oven these days.  Luckily, there are several restaurants that are offering half price lasagna to celebrate.  Buca di Beppo is even serving up free lasagna.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simple Grilled Italian Dinner- Chicken, Rapini, and Bruschetta

It's a hot, lazy summer day here in New England. What better time to use the grill instead of the stove? I'm looking forward to preparing a spicy meal of devil's chicken, grilled broccoli rabe (yes, you can grill broccoli rabe-- it takes about 3 minutes), and bruschetta with tomato salad.

This menu can also be done in the broiler, if the weather isn't conducive to grilling where you are.  Here's a simple method to broil broccoli rabe.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Monday, July 19, 2010

Prescription Drug Abuse up 400% in 10 Years

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported on July 15, 2010 that the use of [ prescription drugs] for non-medically prescribed purposes increased 400% between 1998 and 2008.  According to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., "The non-medical use of prescription pain-relievers is now the second most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the nation, and its tragic consequences are seen in substance abuse treatment centers and hospital emergency departments throughout our nation."

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Monday, July 12, 2010

FDA to Consider Qnexa this week

Obesity is a major health issue in the United States, with almost 35% of Americans being classified as obese.  A new weight loss drug Qnexa shows promise as being both safe and effective in aiding weight loss when combined with diet and exercise.  Patients in the Qnexa clinical trials lost between 13 and 15% of their body weight, while experiencing mild side effects.  The FDA Advisry board meets to review Qnexa on Thursday, July 15, with a targetted approval date in October.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Metformin Coupons Available From Several Sources

Metformin is a prescription drug that is used to treat Type 2 diabetes.   It is the only antidiabetic drug that has been conclusively shown to prevent the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. It helps reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and is not associated with weight gain.

Because it specifically addresses insulin resistance, it is also useful in treating polycystic ovary disease.  Metformin is marketed by several manufacturers, under the brand names Fortamet,Glucophage, Glucophage XR,Glumetza,and Riomet.  While your doctor should prescribe the brand that works best for you, having several manufacturers means that they all all offering incentives to use their brand.  While printable prescription drug coupons are usually tough to find, this is not the case for metformin.  Each of the manufacturers offers deals and discounts that can save you money.

Pharmacy Drug Guide has assembled all the offers in one place on their Metformin Coupons page.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unemployment Extended benefits Expire April 5 Without Senate Vote

The Senate will be voting on yet another short term extension of
unemployment benefits this week. The vote has been delayed because
voting on healthcare reconciliation amendments is taking place first.
Majority Leader Harry Reid is looking for unanimous consent to pass
the bill even though this will give controversial Senator Jim Bunning
one more chance to block unemployment extension efforts. If the
extension doesn't pass, there won't be enough time to resolve the
issues and disagreements before the coming Senate recess. This would
cause the extension to expire in its current state on April 5th.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Red Carpet Live Coverage

The Oscar Red Carpet Live Coverage page is minute by minute coverage
of the red carpet arrivals at the 2010 Oscars, that are being held on
March 7, 2010 at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Complete Live Coverage of the Oscars on Mahalo -

Complete Live Coverage of the Oscars on Mahalo -"

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Live Coverage

As most of you know, I'm bedridden with a broken back this Super no parties, chips and salsa or beers for me--however, I
don't have to miss the play by play action! My good friend Angie will
be live blogging the game for Mahalo. You can read her insights and
follow the game here:

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Friday, January 22, 2010

Whopper Bar

Do you want a beer with your Whopper? Burger King to start selling
beer in Miami in February.

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Are you unsure who to vote for in the Massachusetts Senate Special Election on January 19?

Are you unsure who to vote for in the Massachusetts Senate Special
Election on January 19? You can watch the entire debate between Scott
Brown and Martha Coakley here:

Posted via email from susan's posterous

Saturday, January 2, 2010