Friday Bulletin Paper Brené Brown

Timely nuggets of information and ideas we want to share with you.

Forty percent of all food in America is wasted. To avoid too many leftovers after holiday feasts, use the Guest-imator. It is a dinner-party calculator that estimates how much food you need to keep your guests happy and healthy. Put in the number of guests and the menu and this free online calculator will figure out how much food you need for an appropriate feast. Don’t worry about giving up the left-overs you like for lunch the next day, this clever calculator asks you how many left-overs you want and plans for them.

We have Alexa, and, like most of our devices, it is underutilized. I recently read about someone who had ‘trained’ Alexa to be a guide for house guests, babysitters and pet sitters. The visitors know to ask Alexa to open the host’s personalized guide for them and then they are able ask her any questions. You can also give Alexa your personal training routine and ask her to keep track of your training schedule.

This 3-pack of LED micro string lights will sparkle up your table, mantel or windows at the holidays. Each string is 10 feet long and uses 3 AA batteries. The three-way switch allows solid light, blinking or off. Indoor use only. $19.95 for three strings.

Are you a dog lover? Take an hour for an episode of  “Dogs” on Netflix and watch a documentary about dogs just being dogs, if you don’t mind a little sniffling. The documentary has 6 stand-alone episodes, set in different countries, profiling different people and their dogs, including service and working dogs. The episodes are touching and some made me weep.

Max Richter’s “Sleep” takes the listener on an 8-hour musical journey of scores for piano, strings, electronics and vocals – it is music to fall asleep by. Max calls it “an eight-hour lullaby”. . You can stream “Sleep” for free on Amazon Prime. Listen to the album trailer. A boxed set of all 8 cds is $50.89.