Let’s Pick Blackberries! Picking Tips Plus My Mom’s Cobbler Recipe!

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the end of summer, might I suggest Cobbler? Mmmm…..cobbler.

O.k. first you’re going to have to pick a few blackberries. I have some tips on doing that, or just scroll on down for the recipe!

Now, let me acknowledge that I had originally planned this post to run last week, but then there was that crazy rain. And then, today, I see it’s kind of wet out. Could this post be cursed? Maybe! I’m running it anyway. I think you can dodge a few raindrops for cobbler-amIright?  Yes, the picking was better a couple weeks ago, we still found plenty on our trip yesterday-even if we did have to look a little higher and lower.

The kind you see most around here are Himalayan blackberries. These are the big, fat berries growing on bushes with thick, thorny stalks.  The slightly smaller ones are called Evergreen blackberries. They have the more delicate, lacy looking leaves. You can see pictures of both here.

Neither type is native, but they’ve thrived around here like gangbusters. Left to their own devices, they’ll take over your yard in no time.

There is also a trailing blackberry that grows very close to the ground. It’s actually a native plant, but much less common. The kind you see at the store are probably cultivated, thornless blackberries-but really, you’re not going to pay for blackberries this time of year, are you?

It’s not hard to find a good picking spot. We try to find an area away from the heaviest traffic that hasn’t been chemically sprayed. Do keep in mind that berries will stain and blackberry thorns can be serious business-especially around eyes and your kiddos delicate skin, so do be cautious. We picked ours on the section of the Foothills Trail between Puyallup and Orting. Quite frankly, my husband picked about 95% of them. I kept searching for the perfect spot, and both boys lost interest in about five minutes. Luckily the oldest had brought his skateboard. My friend Tracy always has her youngest bring small toys when she goes berry picking, like cars he can run in the dirt. I think that’s a pretty great idea.

Now, I’m really not trying to add a lot of drama here, but if you’re new to the area, you should know that every once in a while, you will find poison oak mixed in with blackberry-especially near the water or on bluffs. The rule is, “Leaves of three; leave them be.” Just take a look at your blackberry spot before you start picking, and if you see another bush/tree mixed in with the berry vines, make sure you’re not looking at this (scroll down for the one on the left that says, “Summertime Flowering,”) and you’ll be fine. They tend to be shiny, but the unique grouping of 3 is your best bet for steering clear.

Blackberries are delicious right off the vine, or in freezer jam, but our favorite way to enjoy them is in cobbler. It took some doing (mainly because she doesn’t use a recipe), but I got my mom to share her cobbler recipe. She says to tell you she’s not responsible for failures, but really-can you go wrong here? I don’t think so!

cobbler

My Mom’s Cobbler Recipe

2 1/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup milk (buttermilk if you have it)  SFM Note: I had to use a lot more buttermilk than this. Maybe because I used gluten free mix? I don’t know….
1T sugar (optional)
Stir until soft dough forms.
Knead 10 times.
Roll or press to 1/2″ thick.  SFM Note: Try not to let the kids overwork the dough.
Spread with 2 tablespoons butter
Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
Roll it up like for cinnamon rolls.
Slice in about 9 pieces.
Rinse about 4 cups of black berries.
Dump them in a 2 1/2 qt casserole dish.
Stir in 3/4 cup sugar.
Top with the biscuit spirals spaced evenly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until biscuits are golden.
Top with ice cream or whipped cream and serve. SFM Note: Do the ice cream!

Got a favorite picking spot or recipe to share? Or are blackberries just a thorn in your side? Either way, I love to hear your comments!

Photo Credit: Stock xchng

South Sound Sunday Fun!

Sunday

Get adult admission to Wild Waves for half-off or 19.99 with a donation of new school supplies

Family Day at Emerald Downs-Pony rides, face painting, and bounce houses along with your horse racing. I believe these start at 1PM. Some activities are weather dependent.

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Sand in the City continues-Grandparents’ Day today

Sunday Farmer’s Market at STAR Center in South Tacoma and the Center at Norpoint Many other areas now have a Farmer’s Market open on Sundays. Get your fresh on! The Auburn Farmer’s Market is another great choice.

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours 1-4PM

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Working on your bucket list for the rest of the summer? Check out our 10 Must-Do adventures! 

As always, if you know something we missed or you’d like publicity or advertising for your group, get in touch! You can email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun And Things To Do August 21st-23rd!

Need something great to do this weekend? Send summer off with a blast with our weekend list of awesome free events for kids and families in Tacoma, Olympia, and everywhere in between.

We have an awesome list just like this every Friday, just for South Sound families, and tons of other fun ideas every other day of the week!

Friday

Learn about blubber with Harbor WildWatch at the Key Center Library for kids in K-3  2:30

Wow! It’s a big evening for outdoor movies! Most are free and include family activities before the outdoor showings at dusk. Use the links provided for more details.

Pier Peer at Boston Harbor Marina-Olympia  Come see sea critters by dock light!

Popsicle anyone? Watch animals cool off with ice treats Saturday at the Point Defiance Zoo. Included with admission.

Popsicle anyone? Watch animals cool off with ice treats Saturday at the Point Defiance Zoo. Included with admission.

Saturday

All Over

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a pencil topper from 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

South King County

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome. Farmhouse tours at 1 and 3. This is a quieter outing but really neat for kids-reader Becca said her family ended up with a private tour last weekend!

Fun run/walk in Auburn to benefit Avery Huffman

Health Fair in Auburn  vendors, demos, kids’ bike rodeo, appearance by Seahawk mascot, Blitz, and more

Visit the HCC Mast Center at Redondo   Touch tanks with sea critters free and open to the public Saturdays from 10AM-2

Movie in the park in Fife It’s Cinderella (I believe it’s the older one)

Back to School Giveaway and Carnival at Mountain View Community Center in Edgewood  Free school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, dental screenings, and carnival fun for kids 10-2

Auction to Benefit Avery Huffman

Puyallup

Free children’s activities with the master gardeners in Puyallup  It’s a pirate theme today; at the WSU demonstration garden. Last program of the summer!

Outdoor movie at Bradley Lake in Puyallup   Concert before hand; community camp out after, but you must have pre-registered for this. The music and the movie are free and open to all  Looks like the movie is Big Hero 6-I got some of this info. muddled with last night’s movie. Sorry for anyone we confused!

Tacoma/South Tacoma/ Parkland

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Arctic Blast at Point Defiance Zoo  Watch animals enjoyed special ice treats. Included with admission. Note from SFM: The zoo gets spendy fast. We suggest investing in an annual pass unless you can take advantage of monthly free days for City of Tacoma residents.

Family nature walk at McKinley Park   Volunteer naturalists lead family friendly walks. Not suitable for strollers; perfect for ages 3 and up.

Hilltop Street Fair  Live entertainment, kids’ activities, book giveaway, vendors, and more!

Storm drain marking event with Citizens for a Healthy Bay at Wapato Park  Call to pre register

Mobile Food Fest at Sprinker Rec Center 12-7  Free admission; bring money for tastes from a variety of food trucks

Children and all ages shows at the Science Dome presentations and shows on the overhead dome at the area’s only indoor, digital planetarium. Great, low cost, indoor activity-we really recommend the children’s version! Bring cash-no cards can be accepted at the venue. 3.00 as of this writing Children’s show is Pluto today; all ages is moons.

Olympia/Lacey/Beyond

Sand in the City!   It’s a beach party right in the city! Big fun with sand sculpting, kids’ activities, discounted admission to the HOCM, and more.

Back to School event with South Sound Church  School supply and backpack giveaway, free haircuts, hot dogs, and more

American Tall Tales at Olympia Family Theater  5.00 tickets  45 minute show with Paul Bunyan and other familiar stories. Doors open at 10AM; show at 10:30

Pie in the Library  Community pie contest in Lacey

Rainier Round-Up Days parade, vendors, small town fun!

TugBoat tours  Free tours of historic tugboat, The Sandman at Percival Landing most weekends

Play at the LOTT Wet Science Center  Free and open 10AM-4PM Saturday and Sunday-special hours in conjunction with the big Sand in the City weekend.

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Gig Harbor 

Superhero training camp at the Gig Harbor Library  Activities, superhero costume design and more super fun!

Your trolley is back!   Ride it before the summer ends!

Sunday

Get adult admission to Wild Waves for half-off or 19.99 with a donation of new school supplies

Family Day at Emerald Downs-Pony rides, face painting, and bounce houses along with your horse racing. I believe these start at 1PM. Some activities are weather dependent.

America’s Cup Tour at the Foss Waterway Seaport  walk aboard tours and sails on the replica of the schooner America  Tours are free with admission to the museum, which is reasonable, or 5.00 alone. 2-3 hour sails on the ship are 75.00 and do include museum admission.  The museum is lots of fun for kids, though I personally think it’s tricky to tell what is o.k. to touch, and my kids have been scolded here on multiple visits. No biggie-just prepping you.

Sand in the City continues-Grandparents’ Day today

Sunday Farmer’s Market at STAR Center in South Tacoma and the Center at Norpoint Many other areas now have a Farmer’s Market open on Sundays. Get your fresh on! The Auburn Farmer’s Market is another great choice.

Historic Fort Steilacoom is now open for Sunday tours 1-4PM

Visit the South Sound Estuarium   open 11-4 weekends

Working on your bucket list for the rest of the summer? Check out our 10 Must-Do adventures! 

As always, if you know something we missed or you’d like publicity or advertising for your group, get in touch! You can email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com or use one of the icons up top to find us on your favorite social media.

Coming Soon!

A quick note to email subscribers (and others) that the weekend list is on the way!

It should be live on the site by noon. We hope to see you here!

We are actively working on adding staff to keep up with our growth (and all the fun)! Let us know if you’d like to be part of our team.

Just Between Friends Sale In Olympia: Win A Pass To Prime Time Shopping!

Update: Congratulations to our winners whose comments were chosen via random number generator! 

They were notified by email.

I do apologize for the delay in this announcement. I typically email our winners first, and then, quite frankly, I had to go to a medical appointment.

If you didn’t win, you can still show this post on your phone for free entry at any point during the sale. I’ll also have another great giveaway during the Puyallup event. Happy shopping! If you have any concerns about this giveaway, or other feedback, you are always welcome to email me at soundsfunmom@gmail.com. I do value your readership.

Lacey and Olympia area readers, the huge, Just Between Friends, kids’ consignment event is coming right up August 27th-30th!  This is a great chance to score all kinds of kids’ duds and gear at bargain prices. If you need to save on clothes, toys, or equipment for your little ones (and who doesn’t???) this is a sale you won’t want to miss! And make sure to read this whole post, because you can WIN a pass to the prime time shopping event. Woot!

FreeAmission_FA!5

Organizer, Jenny, tell us:  You don’t want to miss this HUGE Back to School (Fall/Winter) consignment sale. Find awesome deals on gently used children’s and maternity merchandise (typically 50-90% off retail pricing). Browse over 12,000 sf of children’s clothing (newborn to teens), maternity and nursing items, toys, puzzles, games, children electronics, bedroom decor, bath & potty training essentials, infant gear and equipment including cribs & beds, swings, bouncy chairs, strollers, high chairs, pack’n’plays & more!

Just Between Friends Sale

I always enjoy shopping JBF events because the merch is all clean and organized, and there is So Much to choose from. Plus, you know with kids’ consignment, you’re getting items that were likely barely used! They even check all the gear to make sure it isn’t on a recall list. You won’t get that at a garage sale!  If you know someone with a new baby on the way, make sure they know about this one! The pics below are ones I took at a different JBF event, but you’ll find similar awesomeness at this one. Jenny tells me it gets bigger every time! Oh, and feel free to show this pass on your phone for FREE entry.

Read on for the rest of the details and your chance to win a pass to shop first!

Just Between friends sale puyallup

 

Address: Cooper Point Marketplace – 1200 Cooper Point Rd. SW, Olympia 98502  (we will be in a vacant retail space in Cooper Point Marketplace, near the Capital Mall)

Sale Dates And Time

Thurs (8/27) 4p Prime Time Shopping 10$  online or $15 at the door).   OR win a pass here (Keep reading for that)! 

5p Exclusive presale for 1st time parents, military families, teachers, & foster parents. You must signup online to register for this presale 

Fri (8/28) 9a-8p ($2 Admission) or show this post for free entry!

Sat (8/29) 9a-6p ($1 Admission) or show this post for free entry!

Sun (8/30) 8a-2p 50% Off Sale (FREE Admission)

The complete schedule is also here.

If your own closets could use a good clean out, be sure to get information about consigning at the next event while you’re there! Jenny also keeps the JBF Olympia Facebook page up to date, so you may want to like that. Don’t forget to keep this post handy for your free admission to the sale.

But, wait…..I mentioned a giveaway! Yep-FOUR lucky readers will win a pass to the prime time shopping event. This is lets you shop before everyone else! If you’re a big brand hunter, or you just like to get first crack at the goodies, you’ll definitely want to score one of these.

We’re going to keep this contest super simple.

  • For a first, required entry, simply leave a comment on this post telling us why you’d like to shop JBF Olympia first! If you’ve shopped a JBF event before, and you want to leave your favorite tips, that would be great, too!
  • For a second, optional entry, share the information about the sale! A fb share is easy, but feel free to text your sister, tell your Mops group, or whatever…..Then come back and leave a comment telling us what you did.
  • For a third, optional entry, subscribe to JBF Olympia emails, and come back and tell us you did so.

To improve your odds, you’ll need to leave your entries as separate comments. Update-Winners were chosen via random number generator and have been notified via email.

Good Luck! What bargains are You hoping to score?

Disclosure: Sounds Fun Mom receives promotional consideration at the JBF Olympia sale in exchange for this post. Be sure to let the folks there know you’re a reader!

Shop The Outlet Collection For Back To School

If you’re back to school shopping soon, I hope you’ll consider checking out our new sponsors at The Outlet Collection.

I took our big kid last weekend, and guys-it is sooooooo much nicer shopping there than at your typical mall.

Outlet collection

It’s clean, it’s bright, and there are tons of budget friendly, trendy stores to shop. Plus, the aisles are nice and wide so you will never, ever get bumped into by a pack of teenagers looking at their phones. I know I sound like an old, grumpy mom here (Hey, if the shoes I found at the Nordstrom Rack fit…..), but I don’t care.

Seriously, upgrade your shopping experience! I have some more tips on shopping with a tween coming later, but for now, just trust me: No matter who you’re shopping for, this is the place to go. They’re also running some fun back to school promotions- you could win a shopping spree just for doing a little texting and taking a selfie (If you’re shopping with your tween or teen, feel free to have them help with this)….

Earning for Learning

They also have an awesome way you can earn money for your school. Earning for Learning runs all the way through October 1st. Basically, you just take your receipts to guest services, and designate a school to award your, “Points,” to. The winning school can get up to 10,000.00!!  Think of all the bake sales you wouldn’t have to do! If you’re involved with fundraising or the PTA at your school, I’d really encourage you to look into this program. It’s one of several great community efforts The Outlet Collection does during the year. You can read all about it here.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions are my own!

Support #AveryStrong At A Fun Run And Auction This Weekend

Here are two  fun ways you can get out with your family and support a courageous local girl this weekend. Avery Huffman is currently undergoing treatment for an inoperable, cancerous brain tumor.  You can help by joining in a fun run or walk at lovely Roegner Park in Auburn Saturday the 22nd, or by going to a silent auction that evening (Yes, you can still donate items)!

I would love to hear that there was a big, giant turn out of SFM readers from the Lakeland Hills, Auburn area. Here’s some more scoop sent in by some of Avery’s many fans.

Avery Huffman is a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter and a friend to so many.  On June 30th, our sweet Avery was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a cancerous tumor that is inoperable.  Officially, she was diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a brain tumor found in the pons, part of the brainstem on the lower back of the brain, near the top of the spinal cord.  Please join us in prayer as we stand with Avery as this tough little girl fights the battle of her life.
avery pic
There are two great events coming up to benefit Avery’s family this Saturday, August 22nd.

First, the Running For Avery 5k Run/Walk, spearheaded by several people from Lakeland  Hills, starts off the morning at Roegner Park in Auburn at 10 a.m.  Suggested Donations: $20 per registration. Kids 12 & Under are free-Bring Coins for the coin drive!   Head here for more details on Running For Avery

ALL MONEY raised goes to the Avery Huffman Donation Fund! And the best news of all? Avery will be there too to join us in the walk/run.

Later that evening we’re looking forward to a fun night with an Auction, drinks and food, at the Lakeland Hills Community Center! Money raised will help offset the astronomical medical bills the Huffman’s are experiencing.  Come join us and support Avery Strong! Head here for more details on the AveryStrong Auction.

AUCTION DETAILS:

‪#‎AveryStrong‬ Auction
Lakeland Hills Community Center
August 22nd, 2015
6:00-10:00PM

Tickets are $25 per person in advance ($30 at the door) and includes admission, 2 drink tickets and food.
Tickets can be purchased via PayPal using email: Averystrongauction@gmail.com, please use friends/family option. You can also pay by check made out to: Avery Huffman Donation Fund and mail it to: 1816 66th St SE, Auburn, WA 98092.
You may purchase additional drink tickets at the door. We will accept cash, checks and credit cards. All proceeds go directly to the Huffman family.
We are receiving items daily! We will have both a silent auction as well as a live auction for bigger ticket items. If you have something you would like to donate, please let us know!

For Tickets/Donations contact Melissa Baird Poznanski or Rob Poznanski
253-335-4995
melissa_poznanski@live.com

And now an offer from SFM: If you own a family friendly business near Auburn, and you make a donation valued at 200.00 or more to the AveryStrong auction, I will give you a month of free advertising here. Your donation must be a new one, and this is open to the first two businesses who contact me and mention this. My contact email is soundsfunmom@email.com, and advertising here is a GREAT way to reach area families. I promise we will make a BIG splash for you.

South Sound Weekend Kids’ Calendar: Family Fun and Things To Do August 14th-16th!

Need something to do with the kids this weekend? We’ve got TONS of fun and free or cheap things to do with your South Sound family, including great fun, things to do with the kids in Tacoma, Puyallup, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and your neck of the woods.

Thinking you might need something fun to do with the kids indoors? We’ve got lots of choices!

 

Saturday

Need help navigating back to school shopping? Don't miss the free event at the Outlet Collection in Auburn Saturday. Styling tips, goodies, balloon twisters, and more free fun for kids. Plus, someone else can tell your kiddo what's cool for school-you know they won't hear it from you!

Need help navigating back to school shopping? Don’t miss the free event at the Outlet Collection in Auburn Saturday. Styling tips, goodies, balloon twisters, and more free fun for kids. Plus, someone else can tell your kiddo what’s cool for school-you know they won’t hear it from you!

All Over

Kids’ Club at Michael’s Craft Stores  It’s a backpack dangler from 10AM-12  2.00 per half hour session

Family Craft Activity at Michael’s Make a chore chart together. 7.00-supplies included. 1-4PM

South King County

FREE Back to School Connect! Kids event at the Outlet Collection in Auburn  personal styling tips, balloon twisters, tons of arts and crafts, and more. Have you been to one of their events lately? They really go all out-we got all kinds of swag and had an awesome time at the last one. It’s way more than the usual mall event-I promise! *The Outlet Collection is an awesome site sponsor.

Open house at Shadow Wetlands preserve in Renton 1-5PM tours, kids’ activities  I have a post about this spot here. Be sure to ask about their ongoing programs and educational opportunities. This is a small, but special place-nice resource for homeschoolers and teachers.

Polynesian Festival at Renton Uwajimaya

Covington Kids’ Fest at Kohl’s 10AM-2  All kinds of fun for kids!

Free activities at Reber Ranch Pet Supply in Kent hay rides, face painting, and other fun for their anniversary sale. Thanks, reader Becca, for the tip.

It’s Milton Days  Small town fun in a big way! Best place to find the schedule is typically in one of the free newspapers-look for a copy of the Fife/Milton Signal.

Auburn Days  Food, vendors, kids’ activities from Lowes and bouncy houses

Open hours at Mary Olson Farm in Auburn Drop in and visited the preserved farm in the summer. Donations welcome. Farmhouse tours at 1 and 3. This is a quieter outing but really neat for kids-reader Becca said her family ended up with a private tour last weekend!

Visit the HCC Mast Center at Redondo   Touch tanks with sea critters free and open to the public Saturdays from 10AM-2

Puyallup/Sumner/Bonney Lake/Greater Pierce  

Cubs and Classics plane and car show at Thun Field   family activities, vendors  Would probably be lots of fun for your little transportation lovers!

Car show in Sumner  food and vendors, too

Hounds on the Hill charity dog walk and pet friendly street fair at Bradley Lake Park

Performances of Annie by kids from the Sumner ManeStage Summer Camp

Lise and Faith Memorial Run  Walk, kids’ run with ribbons, prizes and fun at this great community fun run that honors the life of Lise Palmer and her unborn daughter and raises money for local families in need. I believe you can do day of registration, but I’m still checking for you.

Bonney Lake Days continues! Two big days of family fun-kids’ zone, movie, fireworks, vendors, and much more!

Renaissance Fair in Bonney Lake Game of thrones, anyone? There was a previous Groupon, but it sold out. Bummed you missed it? Subscribe to our emails! This is the last weekend.

Read with a dog at the Puyallup Public Library  Drop in to practice reading with a patient, canine listener 3PM

Sandwich party for summer reading program finishers at the Graham Library  Celebrate finishing your summer reading program by making a crazy sandwich!

Tacoma  Keep Reading for dozens of fun events for Tacoma, Olympia, Gig Harbor, and more! 

[Read more…]

Ten Must Do Family Outings Before Summer Ends

endofsummer

Don’t look now, but back-to-school time is around the corner. Here are 10 must-do adventures that will give your kids plenty of answers to the ‘ol, “What did you do this summer?”

See a movie under the stars. 

Take a kid friendly hike.

Soar into the sky-ride the gondola at Mt.Rainier or play tourist and do the great wheel in Seattle.

Swim at a cool pool. Don’t worry: The water is warm!

Get out on a boat! Paddle at the arboretum in Seattle, or rent a boat  in Olympia, Tacoma, or Gig Harbor. Don’t like to DIY? Walk on a ferry!

Visit a new playground-or as many as you can in one day! Link takes you to the whole category, with lots of great ones to choose from!

Go to Shake, Shake, Shake, for a milkshake that will blow your kids’ mind. Or just try to eat all the ice cream you can.

Tidepool! There is one more good minus tide this summer the weekend of the 28th when it’s a minus 1.2. August 13th the low will be .7, which isn’t super low, but is low enough to see some sand and critters.

Make a meal entirely from things you find at your farmer’s market. Pick blackberries and make a cobbler for dessert.

Visit a sandy beach and build the biggest castle ever.

If we can help you plan another adventure, let us know! We’d love to hear what other outings are on your end of summer bucket list!

Read Digital Magazines For FREE With Zinio From The Pierce County Library System

Every once in a while I get to write about something that feels life changing.

Zinio_Sounds Fun Mom Ad_300x250_20150811172322

Am I exaggerating? Well, maybe, but just a little.

Zinio

What’s the scoop? I just found out you can read digital magazines for FREE with your Pierce County Library card.

That’s right-free.

I am a total magazine junkie. Seriously, my idea of the perfect gift would be one long afternoon with a big (virtual) stack of mags.

I love that this lets you read all of your favorite titles without spending money on a subscription. It’s perfect for the ones you want to read every issue of, and those that just catch your eye from time to time. Personally, I always make time for Us Weekly (judge if you must), but I also love to sit down with a National Geographic if an issue is on a place or subject I’m interested in.

I also love that this lets me read them without having to deal with recycling them. Anyone else have paper overtaking your house?

I know this is one of those things that sounds almost too good to be true, but I promise it isn’t. All you need is your Pierce County Library card, and you can read any of dozens of awesome, new magazines for free.  I’ve pasted the directions below so you can get going now. You can also find them, along with more information, here at the Pierce County Library website. If you don’t have a card, it’s easy to get one. If you’re new to the area, you should know that our library system is one of the very best in the country.

Read on for a, “Quick Start Guide,” to using Zinio!  [Read more…]