Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the category “Friday Finds”

Friday Finds November 2019

I’m sure after Thanksgiving yesterday the last thing you are thinking about are sweets, but I found this brief history of the Entenmann’s family very interesting. Also made me want some of their amazing soft-baked chocolate chip cookies while reading it.

Women who ruled in Wyoming in 1920.

Fashion and resistance in Nazi Europe.

I’m an early 80s baby so when people call me a millenial, I cringe, especially because I’m an old soul who was late to all the tech trends (I’d probably still have a flip phone if I could). Thankfully, whoever is in the business of naming the generations has found a name for the group of kids born in the late 70s and early 80s ( a microgeneration, apparently) who were on the cusp of the big changes that technology brought, but still remember “the good ole’ days:” Xennials.

A very brief history of TV trays. Did you have TV trays growing up? It was a special treat when we could eat in front of the TV and was often on weekends. I don’t have them in my house now as we eat on the coffee table that’s in front of the TV instead lol.

This is a great interview with Tom Hanks, who is definitely a living person I’d love to have over for dinner.

Friday Finds October 2019

How cookie cutters are made– cool!

I had no idea there was a feminist background and history to the popular song Take Me Out to the Ballgame. 

What a great idea for a way to reuse old call boxes- make them monuments to forgotten women of history.

Some amazing photos from the annual Wildlife Photography contest. The winning photo is pretty funny.


Friday Finds September 2019

Regular posting coming back- back at work after maternity leave ended a few weeks ago so took me a bit to find my groove! Until then, some fun internet finds!

If you’re in New England, you know fall is the most glorious time because of the changing colors of the leaves ( among other fall-related things). Here’s a brief history of leaf peeping!

A forgotten female in cinema history.

And another lesser known woman of history, and her forgotten book full of historic signatures and personal notes.

Not an article, but a recommendation! As usual, I’m always late to the party when it comes to websites and various online tools that have been around for years. In the slew of baby-related purchases over the past few months, it was completely overwhelming trying to figure out the best products, value, etc. has become my new go-to for recommendations. Shout out to my aunt for telling me about it!


Friday Finds May 2019

Knitting as a World War II spy tool– so cool!

A woman recorded over 30 years of TV history and her collection of Betamax and VHS tapes are now being digitized.

A history of cribs and other contraptions to get babies to sleep over the years— those window cribs are crazy!

Friday Finds April 2019

I’ve never been to Paris, but the images of the burned Notre Dame Cathedral were just heartbreaking. If you need something to lift your spirits in the face of that sadness, here’s a story about the priest, fire brigade, and human chain that worked tirelessly to save the relics that were in the church.

Novelists who became spies– I think I have a book about writers/artists/actors being spies in World War II on my own bookshelf that I haven’t read yet.

In case you’re enjoying some Easter candy: why chocolate bunnies are hollow.

Speaking of chocolate, Mr. Hershey almost was on the Titanic! 7 famous people who missed the sailing of the Titanic.

How Nancy Drew inspired a generation. I was a big fan of Nancy Drew books too!

Flannels in plaid prints may be on their way out for spring and summer lighter plaids, but the history of the print–more correctly referred to as a tartan is pretty interesting.

The woman who made Tupperware a household name.


Friday Finds March 2019

If you came of age in the 1980s, there’s a pretty good chance you played The Oregon Trail in school. Here’s how we all came to love fording the river and trying not to die of dysentery. I didn’t realize the same company also made Number/Word/Super Munchers, which was another favorite computer game of my later childhood years. Also, a reminder you can play the original version of the game on the Internet Archive!

The loneliest road in America: Route 50 through Nevada into Utah. Seems like the start to a horror movie.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be in Cincinnati, but if I am, I’m definitely visiting the American Sign Museum. Looks like great fun and love that it basically was one man’s hobby (obsession?)

I’ve never been to New Orleans (it’s on the to-do list!) and I don’t have any interest in going for Mardi Gras, but I have always wondered what happens to all the plastic beads after the parades are over? Sounds like a mess, but interesting how some people are trying to make more eco-friendly beads for the celebrations.

This would be one of the worst nightmares of my museum career- art theft. This article about the guy who stole art from over 200 museums is fascinating, especially in how easy he makes it sound.

In honor of Women’s History Month:

Margaret Rudkin: founder of Pepperidge Farm. Makes me want Milanos.

World War II “night witches”– female fighter pilots from Russia who ran night time raids on German military targets. I’m always surprised and delighted when I learn about a new aspect of women in history.

Women who explored the North Pole wearing corsets and skirts!



Friday Finds February 2019

The way American office spaces look is much in part to this woman, Florence Knoll Bassett, who died in January at the age of 101.

Another notable female passing: Capt. Rosemary Mariner, one of the first female US Navy pilots. She was honored at her funeral with the first all-female US Navy flyover.

How Girl Scout Cookies captured the hearts of America. What are your favorites? I like TagAlongs (Peanut Butter Patties to some), Samoas (Caramel DeLites), and Thanks A Lot cookies. Fun fact: one year when I was a Brownie, my Mom was the “cookie lady” for our troop. There were hundreds of boxes in our dining room for a month or so. It was AMAZING.

Ten historic female scientists you should know. I knew of only one on the list (Maria Mitchell).

If you’re a child of the 80s, you grew up playing the computer game Oregon Trail. There are spots around the US where you can re-enact the real life Oregon Trail, see remnants of ruts from wagons, and visit the real Independence Rock. Also, if you’re looking for a time suck for the weekend, you can actually play the original game on your computer now, thanks to the Internet Archive. Remember to ford the river!


Friday Finds January 2019

I like this idea- the magic of book fairies. Basically, folks that leave special books all around in public for people to discover.

Speaking of books, I have never heard much about the search for missing books stolen by Nazis during World War II, but apparently, the hunt for stolen books is very much alive. In the museum world, there is a lot of work about artwork, especially paintings, silver, and European decorative arts that were taken by Nazis during World War II, but I had never even considered books.

A job I would have loved- tea tasting! The FDA used to have a Board of Tea Experts, though I don’t think my palette is as developed as you’d probably need to have to taste good versus bad quality.

In light of the Marie Kondo craze hitting everyone, courtesy of her Netflix series ( which I still haven’t watched), a tiny history of how Americans have been “taught” to tidy and clean up.

Friday Finds December 2018

Q is OBSESSED with paper towels. If I didn’t buy napkins and Kleenex, he would use paper towels for every single thing. Apparently, he and a bunch of other Americans are also obsessed with them.

Our family started no-gift Christmas a few years ago and it really has made the holiday season so much more enjoyable and stress-free. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us ( and apparently many other people too!)

Speaking of Christmas, did you know that the majority of letters written and send to Santa via USPS are actually answered by them?

I don’t know about where you are in the world, but here in the US, a lot of the suburban malls are dying quickly. The local mall where I spent many a day of my youth has only a few national chain stores left and has quickly become home to non-retail spots like a gym and indoor mini golf to make up for the empty storefronts. I do think it’s interesting how some malls are being creative in adapting the spaces for other uses- there is a mall in my area that now is home to a satellite branch of a local community college in the former JcPenny store space. Got to get creative!

How recycling works in the United States & how the whole system needs a rethink in order to stay in business.

A pickle a day may help anxiety!


Friday Finds November 2018

I love old newsreels, home movies, and so– very happy to learn that so many are available for free via The Library of Congress.

I’m on the waitlist at the library for Michelle Obama’s memoir on audio CD, but this article on the history of first ladies’ memoirs makes me want to listen to a few others while I’m waiting.

The Japanese take splintered wooden baseball bats and make them into chopsticks! Talk about a great way to recycle!

I didn’t know green bean casserole was a thing until I was in college, so this was an interesting read about the woman who invented the dish.

Speaking of Thanksgiving food traditions, jellied canned cranberry sauce is Q’s requirement for Thanksgiving- I didn’t know a man invented it!

Art therapy works wonders, so it’s great to see that doctors are now prescribing visits to museums, concerts, and other art/cultural opportunities.

Do you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? There is one near our public library and I’ve left a few books there over the past few months, but never taken anything.


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