Puzzles for Fitzgerald Aficionados

If you are anything like me, you can’t wait for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby coming out this May, even though historically they have failed. The Great Gatsby has a double charm—it’s an American classic, but it’s also adored by the average reader. It’s going to be a challenge to turn the introspective book into a successful movie, but let’s keep our fingers crossed and our hopes up. Here are some puzzles that I think Fitzgerald might like to do during breaks from writing if he were alive today. Here’s hoping he’ll also like the new take on his novel.

Martini Rossi Vermouth Bianco by Euro Graphics. $15.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25” x 26.5”.

Afternoon Stroll by Clementoni. $15.99. 1000 Pieces. Finished size: 26.5″ x 18.75″.

Beautiful Peacock Garden – House Beautiful by New York Puzzle Co. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Beary Patch Park by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Spirits of the World by Piatnik. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 17.4”

Classics – Sammy’s Playground by Master Pieces. $10.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 14″ x 19″.

 

And a product that our girl golfer, Jordan Baker, from Gatsby might have liked: some ladies’ golf bridge cards:

Ladies Golf Bridge Set. $16.99. Features two decks of bridge size playing cards and come in sturdy, beautifully made boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to De-Stress and Be Happy

January’s nearly over, and for many of us, we may have quickly realized that while a new year feels fresh and new and time for some change, sometimes that just feels impossible. The burdens and stresses of 2012 didn’t just evaporate into thin air, but there is a chance that we can do something to change it in the new year.

Did you know that doing jigsaw puzzles helps encourage the happy hormone dopamine, which regulates mood and affects concentration? Not just puzzles, but simply focusing more on your hobbies and interests, can be rewarding and soothing in itself. The task of starting and completing a project, like jigsaw puzzles or other crafts and activities, can help keep your brain focused and motivated.

Here are 7 great tips to help you manage stress levels and have a happy new year:

  1. We all know that exercising regularly helps us combat stress. But sometimes it seems like finding the time or energy to exercise is a stress in itself. Start slow. Make baby steps. Ten minutes every other day—and then work up. Do exercises you like, instead of forcing yourself to do something you hate. Even just stretching is good for the brain.
  2. In the same vein, start making some conscious decisions to eat healthier. Water instead of soda. Pour less cereal than you can eat. Go for the fruit first when you want to snack.I find that the more healthy things I opt for, the more I start craving healthy things.
  3. Make time for your hobbies. Doing something that you want to do—and not attaching guilt to it—can be a nice way to relax. Sometimes I prolong bedtime by 20 minutes just to fit in some reading.
  4. Smile! We do naturally when we’re happy, but we can also start to trick our brains into tranquility the same way.
  5. Assess your issues. What’s making you feel stressed? What would you assign it on a scale from 1-10? Sometimes taking a step back and analyzing our issues makes us realize that we’re going to end up okay, that we’ve survived worse, and that we can accomplish what we need in order to relax.
  6. Write about it—releasing pent up feelings will help you let go of some of that tension, it’s private, and if you find there’s something you actually need to say to someone else that’s concerning your stress levels, you can do it in a more composed, thoughtful way now.
  7. Go for a walk, or stare outside at something beautiful and let your mind wander.

Check out this article from Reader’s Digest for even more tips to reduce stress.

Now, of course, here are some of our lovely puzzles that can put you in a tranquil state of mind.

Puzzle of a lighthouse on a rock cliff by the sea.

Dawn’s Early Light by Buffalo Games. 500 pieces.

An image of Hatley Park is on this puzzle and it features a red tree, a bridge, and a river.

Hatley Park by Springbok. 1000 pieces.

An image of a quaint lakeside town with mountains in the background.

Lakeside Afternoon by Buffalo Games. 500 pieces.

A giant field of poppy flowers.

Poppies – Sierra Club by Pomegranate. 1000 pieces.

This is a puzzle featuring an image of a bear being surrounded and embraced by hundreds of butterflies.

Robert Bissell – The Embrace by Pomegranate. 1000 pieces.

A lone fisherman rides in his boat against a blood orange sky.

The Fishermen by Clementoni. 1000 pieces.

A forest stream in fall is illuminated by the yellow and red leaves.

Forest Stream by Euro Graphics. 1000 pieces.

Hot air balloons illuminate the sky of a quaint town.

Balloon Glow by SunsOut. 6000 pieces.

Trees cover the path in this autumn fairytale.

Forever Autumn by Educa. 2000 pieces.

 

What’s More Difficult Than an Impossible Puzzle?

We got an email from Rob asking for suggestions for a gift from his wife. He recently purchased an Impossibles puzzle from Great American Puzzle Factory, known to be quite the challenge with no edge pieces and also extra pieces inside the box – but that just wasn’t challenging enough! As I was writing a response, I thought it would be nice to share with everyone. Here is my response…
Wow – if those Impossibles puzzles are not a challenge, it sounds like we need to either go big (like a 3000pc or larger) or try some specialty items.
Here are some suggestions:

Krypt Puzzle

This jigsaw puzzle is all the same color, so it’s all about the shape of the pieces to complete. According to some of our reviews, it takes several hours just to get the edge pieces together. Some say 1 piece an hour is a good pace… It also has a really shiny, metallic surface, so it looks really cool when complete.

Alex Beard Puzzles

The challenge in these is only a little higher than the Impossibles, but customers have told us it’s really challenging because of the way the pieces are cut. The thing that’s cool, though, is that it’s not a standard cut – the pieces are all random shapes and loose fitting, so they don’t snap together like a regular jigsaw.

Murder Mystery Puzzles

These have 2 puzzles in the same bag, mixed together. There is also no puzzle image. I’ve had a lot of fun doing these with friends. One puzzle is a “before” and one is an “after” scene from a crime – you have to solve both puzzles to solve the mystery. We normally have more in stock if you check back in a few weeks there will be more theme selections.
If none of those sound appealing, then it might be time to up the challenge simply by upping the size of the puzzle. Here are all of our large puzzles: http://www.puzzlewarehouse.com/puzzles-by-difficulty-worlds-largest/

Gift Ideas: For Ages 6+

The holidays may be over, the gifts unwrapped, the Christmas puzzles already built, but the kids in your life still have birthdays and Easters and rewards for good grades that are all great occasions to gift them a puzzle! Today we continue with puzzles appropriate for ages six and up, with dinos, princesses, trains, and teddies!

Real 3D Breakthrough – Princess Heart from MEGA Puzzles. $21.99. 125+ pieces.

Chuggington – Busy Day by Ravensburger. $10.99. 100 pieces. Finished size: 14.25″ x 19.25″.


Princess Carriage Ride by Ravensburger. $10.99. 100 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 14.25″.

Dino Balloon by Cobble Hill. $9.99. 60 pieces. Finished size: 12.5″ x 19″.

tatty teddy puzzles

Me to You – Cottage Visit and Garden Party from Tatty Teddy by Ravensburger. $15.99. 100 and 200 pieces. Finished sizes: 19.25″ x 14.25″.

pirates puzzle

Pirate’s Bounty – Floor Puzzle by Melissa and Doug. $11.99. 100 pieces. Finished size: 2′ x 3′.

girly puzzles

Moxie Girlz – Magic Hair by Master Pieces. $7.99. 100 pieces. Finished size: 11.5″ x 15″.