Momma Told Me: December 2017

Blog Archive

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles Recipe

These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
Momma Told Me: If you play with them long enough they might eat you!

There are few grocery products/brands that go back far enough to span the memories of 4 or 5 generations. Unless you're talking Heinz and beans or ketchup, or Oreos, you'll be hard pressed to find shared memories over a product launched in the early 1900s. And while I may as well not even know Mother's Cookies produces 14 different varieties of cookies, I do know it's near impossible to resist the playful charm of their classic Circus Animals. Cookies so pretty and fun that I rarely actually ate them when my grandmother gave me a handful.
These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
It was the only sweet I could be given and found in possession of hours later- and not for lack of deliciousness either, I was simply transfixed by the imagined interactions of these pink and white cookie animals come to life. The camel, in Pink, was always my favorite, followed closely by the lion, in Pink. These two often had several disagreements, ultimately ending with the lion's beheading because, after all, in a young child's mind, the biggest most powerful character should not always win by default. Yes, I was tackling some heavy issues with my Mother's Circus Animal cookies and you might even say they made me the strong communicator I am today. All from a cookie.
But my memories not only go back to time spent with my grandmother, who often recounted her first Mother's Cookies experience upon the family's immigration from Germany, but to tales of a father and daughter.  A manly man, to this day my father refuses to handle the color pink; that is unless his baby girl has asked him. I remember reaching into the giant bag of Mother's Cookies and pulling out a pink animals, full of giggles, "This one's just for you, daddy!" A wise man, he'd quickly distract me with the age old question, "Do the pink animals taste the same as the white ones?," or does the rhino taste the same as the bear?" and shortly a sampling of ALL the cookies wold ensue (for due diligence, of course.)
To this day I get a little bit of special delight from seeing Mother's Circus Animal cookies on a shelf or at a store. Our local frozen yogurt shops always stock them at the toppings bar and I never miss an opportunity to add 2, one pink and one white, to the very top of m yogurt creation. Then I reveal a secret smile as I recount the memories of childhood and past so vividly linked to them.
These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
So it will come as no surprise, when contemplating the month of love and potential Valentine's Day content I was found reflecting back on Mother's Cookies. It had been far too long since I actually bought a bag of these delicious snacks, and the playful pink color was perfect for the theme of romance. But, to me, Mother's Cookies were also appropriate for mother's day, baby showers, Spring, and more. So many memories and so many smiles attached to this simple treat.
These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
I decided I would not make a Valentine's Day recipe, but an any day of the year, all around pick me up, instant smile inducing, super simple recipe of deliciousness. And it was literally as simple as dumping a bag of Mother's Cookies Circus Animals into my food processor (your hand will fight you, but it's for the best,) and hand mixing the crumbs with a softened brick of cream cheese. This can get a little tedious so just keep rolling the blob of crumbles onto more crumbles, and folding them in until all dry ingredients are gone.
These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
If you're as slightly twisted as me you can take your Circus Animal truffle 'dough' and shape it into a circus animal of you choice. then rip small sections off of your truffle dough and roll them into 1-1 1/2" balls. Place these balls on a piece of parchment paper on a plate or cutting board and refrigerate them (do not freeze, as freezing will cause issues with the 'coating' process.) Next, take some white and pink Wilton's chocolate melts and melt them (separately) for dipping. Add a little shortening to your melting chocolate to thin it out a little for smoother dipping and dip each ball into the chocolate, gently rolling it to coat it entirely.

Place your dipped balls on a clean sheet of parchment paper and toss some festive rainbow sprinkles atop before they set. Store these delicious balls of heaven in the fridge until ready to serve as they're best enjoyed cold (in my opinion.) These Circus Animal Cookie Truffles would be great at a girl's baby shower, first birthday, Easter gathering, on Mother's Day, or just because. They're so simple to make, why not make them more than once? After all, you don't need an excuse to feel like a kid again!

What Daughter Says: These truffles are adorable, but at least I don't parade them across the couch!

These adorable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles only have 4 ingredients and are perfect for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Spring Celebrations, and more!
Circus Animal Cookie Truffles
***Click here for printable Circus Animal Cookie Truffles recipe.

3 Tips To Feel Confident In The New Year + $250 Walmart Giveaway



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There are many things that define me.

For example, friends and family know, I am not responsible for my actions if you wake me from a dead sleep on a weekend morning.

I will always look for, clip, and use a coupon or discount even if I've one day won the lottery and am set for life.

My sneezes sound more like terrified screams than dainty little lady sniffles.

I'd sooner sleep on my bedroom floor than inconvenience my cat.

And, if it has glitter, or bright colors I'll probably convince myself to buy it.

Sometimes people discuss these traits as if they are flaws, things I should be embarrassed about, or strive to alter. But the truth is, if you aren't yourself, who are you?
As we march towards yet another new year the promise of fresh starts, and new outlooks beckon warm thoughts and positive thinking. And, as you reach for those New Year's Resolutions and goals your best key to success, no matter the theme of the goal, is confidence. When you practice confidence in yourself you are naturally inclined to perform better, and work harder, without even knowing. Never-mind the positive cause-and-effect confidence has when others see you radiating positive vibes and owning yourself.

Whether you're experienced with confidence, or spend the majority of the time in your own head arguing with yourself, the new year is the perfect time to help rebuild, or instill some confidence. A few simple tips can help.
1. From The Inside Out

It may seem silly, but you really want to begin your confidence re-boot with a little personal shopping. While so many get hung up on their outward appearance through fashion and makeup, how you feel underneath is just as important. I'm talking, of course, about the clothes generally only you get to see.

As a plus-sized woman my confidence begins with comfort and functionality- my bra lives on me for more hours than I spend living in my bed; we have a pretty tight relationship. I rely on it to not only offer support, and shaping, but to help relieve the pain of walking around with a DD chest. Traditionally this has meant that I have 3 color options (the ever exciting black, white and nude) and must assign a budget of $45-$60 per bra. It also means a trip to a specialty 'plus size' store, as I generally can't shop for what I need at the convenient big box stores.

That's why Dreamfit at Walmart has been a game changer.
Dreamfit offers a wide selection of styles designed to flatter curvy gals in stylish colors and prints every lady can feel flirty and confident in. Even more exciting the average pricepoint of Dreamfit bras at Walmart is under $15- I recently shopped a stretch cotton plunge bra and subtle push up Dreamfit for just $12.88 each! How cute are those stripes in that soft cotton stretch material, ladies?

My Dreamfit bras are not only cute and affordable they are easy to wear- many feature back strap designs that help flatter and fight the 'curve bulge' that make so many plus sized women overly critical of their shape in clothes. I love that I can move easily, while maintaining support, and wear all of my favorite outfits with confidence and comfort- they're easily the most affordable confidence booster I've invested in this year!https://ooh.li/1061c8d
2. Express Yourself

You don't have to be, and very well may not be, loud or colorful to practice this step. All you have to do is embrace your gut instinct. Try something new, buy that extra print you were eyeing on the rack, part your hair a different way just to see what it looks like.

One of the biggest obstacles to confidence is our own self doubts- we tend to question how our choices will be perceived by others, but the trick is to own our decisions with confidence. Regardless of what others personal preference or reactions are your ownership of the decision will quickly win them over.

90 percent of 'pulling it off' isn't being model beautiful, it's walking tall with confidence and loving your decisions.
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If you're still a bit nervous then start implementing these bolder decisions in smaller, private aspects of your life, such as your personal wardrobe or home.

Dreamfit has several beautiful bold prints to shop from, and simply knowing you've decided to step out of your comfort zone and embrace something new is sure to inspire the feel goods inside you. The more you feel comfortable in your own skin, even behind closed doors, or under your 'public clothing' the more confident you will present yourself in public.

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3. Experience More

My final tip may seem a little counter-intuitive- trying new things doesn't always come easy for those looking to build confidence, but it's the surest way to do so!

You don't have to go sky-diving or tear through a bucket list to experience new things. Even the smallest of new experiences will help build your life story, and naturally inspire confidence building new skills, share-worthy experiences, and build a network of equally supportive people.

Start small by trying something new at your favorite restaurant, or binging a show you know little about. All new experiences aren't guaranteed to be positive, and they don't have to, but the willingness to break out of that comfort zone and try them in the first place is worth celebrating. And the things you do discover you enjoy only help to shape the complicated tapestry that is you.

As humans we are naturally the most critical of ourselves.

Use this notion to help inspire yourself to be a little more confident the next time your thoughts get the better of you. It's impossible to influence or control the thoughts and perceptions of everyone your come into contact with, but controlling your own thoughts and perceptions is 100% doable!

Begin by ensuring that you are comfortable in your own skin- update your wardrobe, pick up a few new Dreamfit bras, and don't be afraid to express yourself both in and outside your home with new experiences. Once you begin building and reinforcing that confidence you will naturally accumulate people in your life who are as equally attracted by your confidence, and as enthusiastic about yourself as you are.
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Lastly, one of my favorite bonus ways to help build confidence every day?

The first time you see yourself in the mirror every day stop and say,

"Hello Beautiful"

I don't care if you slept in your makeup and your falsies are stuck to your eyebrows or if you fell asleep breastfeeding and have spit up on your chest, repeat those 2 simple words.

Have fun, say it with sass, use a sultry voice, give yourself a wink- just do it. Every single day.

Why?

Because you deserve to hear it- and hearing it is the surest way to start training your brain to embrace the strong, sexy, confident woman that is you!

I'm not going to say I'm the picture of confidence- I am far from hung up on myself, and I have more questionable moments than not- but these practices, when done regularly, really do help instill that sense of confidence every woman needs an deserves. To learn more about how Dreamfit bras can help you recapture some confidence, and for your chance to win 1 of 4 $250 Walmart gift cards please enter here: https://ooh.li/1061c8d.

A Gamer Girl's Quickstart Guide To Becoming A PC Gamer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveYourPC  #Intel8thGen #CollectiveBias
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
As a millennial (#buzzword) I was born alongside the birth of modern day gaming.

I've shared before how I quite literally would fall asleep to the sound of my father playing The Legend Of Zelda, that iconic 8-bit music my lullaby from my crib. 'Video games' was a battle my mother so smartly chose not to fight- while she never played them, she also never held my father back from investing large portions of their leftover income into the newest systems, peripherals, and games. But what really intrigued my father most was the modern PC. The fact that he could not only build an ideal machine from the motherboard up, but the following introduction of AOL and the world wide web fascinated him.

At the age of 7 my father decided to bring me into his world. Our very tiny 2 bedroom condo living/dining room had an identical, but smaller, roll top desk installed directly next to my father's. Weeknights would be spent playing DOOM, with the blood and guts turned down (my very first game mod experience) and a private server (so only my father and I could play together). I was hooked.
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Of course not everybody grows up being told they can slay demons and save the world one click at a time.

When it comes to women and gaming there are some definite stereotypes- many of my friends have expressed interest in picking up the hobby but simply don't know where to start. There's a perception that you need to invest in special gaming consoles with expensive hard to learn controllers, and choose from an overwhelming selection of titles. For the modern woman who wants to break into gaming, without large commitments and learning curves, I recommend PC gaming.
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Beginners don't need to build specialized computers- many of the modern 2-in-1 PC options, such as the DELL Inspiron 7000 2-In-1 with 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor, are a great option for introductory gaming and can prove a worthwhile investment for home and work.

To get started you'll want to go into your local Best Buy where you'll find a wide selection of portable PC options on display and ready to interact with. The knowledgeable staff working in the computer electronics department can help you narrow down devices to something that is capable of running an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) or other real time strategy game, while also handling everyday consumer demands such as Windows Office, photo-editing, social sharing and online video communication, on-the-go entertainment, and more.
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Of course there are a few things you will want to shop for to ensure you can handle the gaming aspect; my two biggest musts in a beginner gaming PC laptop is a dedicated graphics card and the impressively fast 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor. To be honest, the prior isn't much use without the latter- having the current generation Intel® Core™ on board your new gaming device will really help any and all of your laptop's features function at top speed and quality.

The 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processors offer exceptional performance, high multi-tasking properties (essential in online gaming), state of the art audio/video processing, and even an improved security experience. Just ask your Best Buy representative to show you their recommended 8th Gen Intel® Core™ 2-in-1 PC devices, and/or look for the Intel Inside 8th gen sticker on the lower right corner of display devices.

While there are many options for dedicated gaming devices you, as a new gamer, will want a versatile multi-purpose device that is an affordable entry option. Don't waste your money trying to buy a gaming specific PC out of the gate- this is a hobby that allows for learning and time to grow- invest in a device that has a fast processor like the 8th Gen Intel® Core™, and can double as your primary PC for everyday communications and tasks as well.
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
You may be thinking- well, I'm on a computer right now, why can't I just download 'X' game and get playing?

The honest truth is that gaming, as a hobby, can be an immediate put-off if you are left constantly fighting server lag (jumps and skips in loading and graphic displays) when trying to interact with a real-time world. It's going to be a journey learning the new controls and mechanics of your chosen game, don't bog down the experience with an old processor and computer that can't handle the software. Many 8th Gen Intel® Core™ 2-in-1 devices also happen to feature a dedicated graphics card, something many older PCs often overlooked. This means that they include a graphics card specially integrated into the computer to handle the video content on your computer, as opposed to a built in graphics drive intended to render your everyday content (such as personal videos and social media ads). When shopping for an introductory gaming PC always ask for a dedicated graphics card to get the most out of your processor.
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Once you're set up with a processor that can handle online gaming and video processing you'll want to install your game of choice. There are many types of PC games- traditionally PC gaming is associated with MMORPGs, but the greater majority of high end titles released on gaming consoles are also released for PC. If you prefer more of a first person shooter, or even real-time-strategy there are many titles out there. In general many of the following tips will work with any type of online PC game format but, for the sake of simplicity let's focus on an MMORPG.

1. Getting Started

Begin by downloading your game- most of the main PC gaming titles are now stored online and downloaded directly through their publisher. These files are large and can take the better part of a day on an old processor and device. When I recently installed World Of Warcraft on my new DELL Inpiron 7000 I could immediately see the benefits of upgrading to the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor, my overall installation time was cut nearly in half!
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 2. Get Real World Geared

While your game installs you'll want to wander on over to Best Buy and browse some of the peripherals that might enhance your online gaming experience.

Peripherals are the devices you plug in, or connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, that allow you to interact with your main PC device in new or amplified manners. This could be a mouse, keyboard, dedicated web camera, microphone, or more.

While you can play pretty much any PC game with a basic laptop keyboard you will want at the very minimum a free standing mouse, track-pads simply aren't an option unless you're free range movement will be through your up, down, left, right keys- and that will get quite old after a while. A standard 2 bottom mouse will suffice, and is my suggestion for new gamers, where as you can upgrade to a dedicated gaming mouse later once you've better learned the mechanics of your new game.

My new DELL Inspiron 7000 has built in Bluetooth, which works impressively well for fast stable connections in part due to the 8th Gen Intel® Core™  processor. I enjoy using my existing Bluetooth communication devices when chatting over voice during game-play- it makes for a quick and convenient way to communicate without setting up an entire headset rig.
3. Choosing A Home

When you first login to your new online game you will likely be tasked with choosing a server.

This can seem arbitrary to the new gamer, but is actually something worth spending a but of consideration on above a random selection. Many games will list server population (how many players actively play on that server) and the main focus of the server's gaming style. For example, a PVP server will consist of open combat between players, and would not be a good place for a new gamer to start out. High population servers also tend to demand more background memory and a fast processor, older computers and processors might experience high delays in load times and lag on high population servers. Many games also have servers designated 'New Players' which are often very low in population and a good starting point for those just trying to get the swing of things.

If you have a friend who plays the game you've chosen to embark on consider asking them which server their characters 'live' on. Characters often cannot interact 'cross server' so if you would like to play with your friends, or learn the ropes from them, your first character should be on their server.
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
4. Getting In Character

Next comes one of my favorite parts of beginning a new game- character creation. We in 'the biz' call these avatars 'toons'- they are the physical representation of yourself within the game's world. Different games will have varied personalization options from character's race (troll, elf, human, etc) to skin tone, wardrobe, hair style, and more. You may find that different roles (hunter, priest, warrior, etc) may have different races and physical options available. Do a little research on the role of your character before locking in appearance- your toon's appearance should never dictate your role, as this can immediately impact your game-play experience.

Once you have created a character you'll need to name them. Chances are there will be an option for a random name generator, if you're not feeling particularly creative- just keep in mind that many games charge for name changes- so be sure you are in love with your character's name before locking it in. You may be stuck with it for 100 levels! If you find you keep running into the 'name taken' issue- consider alternate spellings, special linguistics characters, or even translating your name into Latin for some cool workarounds.
5. Setting Yourself Up For Success

Before you take that shiny new character into the brave new world of online gaming get a dedicated gaming space set up. The beauty of being a new casual gamer with a 2-In-1 laptop is that you are mobile and can game anywhere with an internet connection. However, you will want to have a dedicated gaming space for more committed gaming sessions. I strongly recommend using a desk and structured work space for your first few sessions with a new game. The less environmental distractions and challenges you have, the more you can better immerse yourself in the new world and experience.
As someone who has been PC gaming since childhood I rarely 'take myself seriously' and pull out the gaming mouse and keyboard- but I do have in game commitments (more on that later) that require me to try and do my very best. For the most part MMORPGs are wonderful because you can literally log in and play with no stress or specific time relevant goal. There are a variety of things you can do at any time, and there is little to no stress over when you choose to do them. Should you get 'hooked' and progress beyond the typical sandbox modes, and decide to begin building your character and status within ranks, you will want more dedicated peripheral devices.
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
6. Defining Your Gaming Experience

Speaking of grooming one's self to play competitively- There are many options to play against and with large groups of people in online gaming. For the most part, unless you specifically join an elite server, the general mindset is to support and help one another. Your character's gear will help determine it's strength and attack power, but in order to obtain better gear you will need to venture into scenarios intended to require groups of players for defeat. These are typically called dungeons, or raids.

You don't have to have friends who play, or even make friends in the game, to hop into dungeons or raids- most games will allow a sort of random 'group finder' service that will toss you together with other people seeking to complete the same task at the same time. However, you will want to consult some tips and watch these events/fights online before you attempt to tackle them.
7. Doing Your Homework

In general, if you need help with anything in your game YouTube is an amazing resource to walk you through. From character creation, to quest completion and raid fights, you can find in game examples of how-to do just about anything. If you are stuck on a particular quest or fight I highly suggest the FATBOSSTV channel, which is one of the biggest authorities in MMORPG gaming strategies and walkthroughs. We've come a long way from those heavy encyclopedia game guide books my dad used to have stacked on his desk!

Best of all, the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor helps you efficiently multi task with walk-through videos tabbed out, so you can switch between those guides and live game play for an immediate case-and-effect.
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Game aids such as Twich can help new gamers easily install add-ons, communicate with fellow gamers, and live stream content. #LoveYourPC #AD
Game aids such as Twich can help new gamers easily install add-ons, communicate with fellow gamers, and live stream content. #LoveYourPC #AD
8. Modify Your Virtual Reality

Once you've tinkered with your character and the basic game-play a bit, probably around level 30 or so, you'll want to look into game mods.

I know, this sounds extremely technical and geeky but, trust me, it couldn't be easier with the modern technology of Twitch/Curse. Essentially Twitch is a one-stop program for many of your online gaming interactions and needs. It's built into many games, and only needs to be downloaded to start interacting with your game of choice.

From there you'll want to go to the 'Mods' tab, select your game, and begin browsing.

Mods are just as they sound, small extras or mini program overlays that run in conjunction with your real time game to make game-play easier, more understandable, or just plain more fun.

A good example of a widely used mod is Deadly Boss Mods, which essentially puts written warnings on your screen when you need to dodge an attack, or are say, standing in fire (it happens a lot, trust me). Other mods might allow you to move the game's interface around to make it more aesthetically pleasing, add your name next to your character in chat, or alert you when something new is nearby you in the game's world.

Mods aren't needed to run or use games, but they do make the games easier for beginners if you are willing to download the Twitch program. A quick search online with 'game mod' and your game's name will help pull up the most popular and useful mod titles for you.
Game aids such as Twich can help new gamers easily install add-ons, communicate with fellow gamers, and live stream content. #LoveYourPC #AD
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
Game aids such as Twich can help new gamers easily install add-ons, communicate with fellow gamers, and live stream content. #LoveYourPC #AD
9. Reach Out And Watch Somebody

Twitch is also used commonly for gaming communication and live-streaming.

While you may not be ready to live stream your game activity watching live streams of others can be very helpful to learn what to do, where to go, and generally feel better about your own in game fails.

Twitch is very graphics heavy and requires your computer to do many things in the background so having a fast processor like the 8th Gen Intel® Core™is essential to ensure you don't experience any lag or disruptions in game-play.

If you're looking for a less personal method of sharing your game experience, and communicating in game, consider downloading Discord. This will help you communicate real time with other players when you are in group activities such as dungeons or raids. Should you join a guild (a group of players with similar skills and interests who regularly play together) you will most assuredly need to have some form of real-time voice communication.
10. Let Your (Gamer) Geek Flag Fly

Lastly, before you can become a bonafide beginner gamer you must begin expressing your gaming passion through references that seem mildly obscure and non-sensical to those outside your gaming world. You'll instinctively begin dropping jargon such as 'Murloc' or 'DK', reference the time of real life events in 'server time' despite your game's server being located halfway around the world, change your social media profile picture to obscure artwork of your character in game, and acquire a few plush animals that anyone who enters your home will assuredly be unable to identify.

Did I mention my new DELL Inspiron 7000 with 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor  is also impressively good at all of my photo and graphics editing needs, as well? I constantly have Pixlr or PicMonkey up in the background to edit images in between raid pulls and in world events. And, it's mighty useful for those 'real world' tasks like blog post editing, and 'work' (whatever that is).
A gamer girl's quickstart guide to becoming a PC gamer with #Intel8thGen. #LoveYourPC #AD
I'm not going to say you're now a master gamer ready to quit your day job and go pro- heck, I feel like I came out of the womb with a screen-name and a battle tag, and I'm not even there yet. However, PC gaming as a casual hobby is attainable and not something that should intimidate those interested in giving it a try. Start by investing in a solid multi-tasking 2-in-1 PC with an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor and you'll not only be upgrading your everyday computing tasks, but jump-starting your new hobby with smooth online processing and powerful multi-tasking capabilities. You know, so you can tab out when the 'real world' calls.