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In Living

HBO takes an in-depth look at one of the NHL's hottest rivalries. Recommends: December 30, 2010

Here are a few tips, suggestions and testimonials to get you through the last few hours of 2010. -- With various forms of electronic messaging being the majority of people's communication of choice, sending out cards via snail mail has all but fallen by the wayside. I always thought it a little sad since I like my silly little greetings, but has more than made up for the deficit. Not only are they fantastically sassy, they have messages for nearly every occasion -- and all for free. Plus, if even email is too archaic for you, they have a Facebook application that allows you to plaster your friends' walls with a thoughtful mix of biting sarcasm and love. -- Renee Lorenz

Drinking in moderation -- You are going to need full control of your senses when midnight rolls around. Don't let one too many Four Lokos come between you and starting 2011 off without a shameover. Sure the punch tastes great, but every time someone hands you a cup take a deep whiff and imagine waking up next to that troll in the ice dancing outfit whose been making out with the taco dip all night. Have a drink or two. Celebrate the New Year with your friends. Just don't pound so many beers that you have to take Swamp Thing's understudy to New Year's Day brunch. -- Bob Purvis

"24/7 Penquins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic" -- I'm not a big NHL guy. Nothing against hockey, but I just don't follow it closely. I do, though, love HBO Sports' "24/7 Penquins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic." It's a great look into two teams, their fans, their players, history, coaches and owners. Sports programming at its finest. -- Jeff Sherman

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook (Clarkson Potter) -- This hardcover book was co-written by Milwaukee's Julie Mautner -- a graduate of Nicolet High. But if that's not enough reason to plunk down $35 for an attractive hardcover cookbook, how about a photo of Paul Bartolotta on page 15? OK, Paul's a good looking guy, but maybe you still want more. How about 200 pages of recipes from world famous chefs -- including more than a few celebrity cooks like Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, Ming Tsai, Martha Stewart, Guy Fieri, Alice Waters, Rachel Ray, Charlie Trotter, Rick Bayless and on and on -- for drinks, appetizers, small plates, barbecue, burgers, comfort food, entrees and desserts? There's a ton of photos and festival dish from founder and director Lee Brian Schrager, too, of course. Anthony Bourdain wrote the introduction, so you know this is the real deal. -- Bobby Tanzilo

Boswellia Lip Balm -- In my quest to find a lip balm I love, I've spent as little as $1.99 and as much as $8.50 (stupid, I know) on a little tube of goo. Eureka! I've found one that costs just $3.00 and – get this – comes from a local company. Boswellia lip balm from True Botanica softens and smoothes lips, without feeling greasy, waxy or tacky. A single application lasts for hours, even overnight, and tastes sugary sweet but not at all sickeningly so. Located in Delafield, True Botanica claims each and every ingredient makes its way onto the label of its products; here's the description from the side of the Boswellia Lip Balm: "A natural product uniquely containing boswellia (frankincense) and bio-dynamic beeswax, in a proprietary mix of coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, macadamia oil, vanilla flavor, castor oil and Vitamin E." We're all likely familiar with the healing properties of shea butter, cocoa butter and Vitamin E, but I had to look into this "bio-dynamic beeswax" stuff. Turns out, it's beeswax produced without pesticides, artificially formed colonies, frequent and long hive moves and practices more in the interest of the beekeeper than the bees. These happy bees do good work. -- Velia Tarnoff

Free rides on MCTS -- For several years, my friends and I had a nice little New Year's Eve tradition: the guys would spend the day cooking a fine meal, we'd get all gussied up for our dates and after dinner, the girls would take the men out and get 'em good and liquored up. Every year, we'd watch as folks wait endlessly for a taxi that just wasn't coming. Meanwhile, we'd hop on the bus and ride quickly to our destination. Free, safe, fast and easy. Doesn't get much better than that. Be safe tomorrow, hop the bus. -- Andrew Wagner


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