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Archives for December 2011

Free Stock Photography of Cars and Travel Related Themes

No Parking SignAre you looking for a picture of a tire or a parked car? Maybe you need a photo of a stop sign or a street scene? The TireZoo has a Flickr site dedicated to common vehicle and travel related photographs to use under Creative Commons licensing. We’re happy to share these photos and make your day a little easier!  Here is more information on how to use photographs from Flickr and adhere to Creative Commons license. Never simply use any photograph from Google Images, as they are likely copyrighted.

If you have a blog or other online presence where you need photographs, this article explains rights and regulations of stock photography, “Images 101- Copyrights and Creative Commons”.

If you use one of our photos, please don’t hesitate to post a link in our comments section and tell us about your article. We’d love to hear from you. We’ve actually heard from quite a few people around the world using our photographs, and it’s really fun to see the creativity in action!

TireZoo 2011 Holiday Hours in Anoka and Bloomington, MN Locations

Tires at the TireZoo holiday hours for 2011Need tires? Now is the time to stop in. We’re looking forward to helping you stay safe on the roads this holiday season.

The TireZoo Holiday Hours are as follows:

  • Friday, December 23, 2011; Regular business hours at both locations
  • Saturday, December 24, 2011; Open 9am to 1pm at both locations
  • Sunday, December 25, 2011; Closed – Merry Christmas!
  • Monday, December 26, 2011; Closed – Merry Christmas!
  • Saturday, December 31, 2011; Open 9am to 3pm at both locations
  • Sunday, January 1, 2012; Closed – Happy New Year!
  • Monday, January 2, 2012; Closed – Happy New Year!

Along with our contact information and directions, our regular office hours are always up-to-date on our website; Anoka Location and Bloomington Location

Perfect Travel Snack: Homemade Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

homemade cinnamon roasted almonds

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jackfrost nipping at your nose”. But, almonds are just as good!

Are you a fan of cinnamon roasted almonds? They are a simple travel snack that is easy to eat, but doesn’t make a mess in the vehicle.

However, you don’t have to hunt down a gift shop to buy them. Why not make them at home for a fraction of the cost. When you make homemade cinnamon roasted almonds, you control the ingredients and flavor as well as the cost! Don’t forget to divide them up into small containers so each person can have their own in the car, and avoid losing them all to the dirty carpet if you hit a bump!

Recipe: Homemade Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

3 Cups Salted Whole Almonds
2 Tbls Vegetable Oil
3 Tbls Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions: Heat oil in large fry pan, then add almonds. Toast for a couple minutes stirring constantly. Slowly and evenly shake sugar over almonds, then cinnamon. Keep stirring until sugar melts and adheres to the almonds; about 1 minute. (Note: there may be extra sugar in the pan, and that’s ok) Lay almonds in a single layer on parchment paper to cool.  Enjoy!

If you liked this travel snack recipe, you may enjoy “Great Snack Mix Recipes for Traveling”.

Donating a Vehicle to Charity is a Good Thing

You’ve maybe heard of people donating a vehicle to charity, but many people who might consider this gesture are still left with questions about the logistics of doing so. I know this, because I used to be one of these people until an opportunity presented itself and I dug in to see how I could make this happen.

A few years ago, my husband and I owned a car that we loved. It was our first “new” car purchase together, and it was dependable. It was in great condition, and we had it paid off. Unfortunately, we needed something bigger to accommodate our growing family, and we already had another vehicle. Keeping three vehicles wasn’t practical, so we decided to sell our beloved car or trade it in. Unfortunately, we knew the car was worth more on paper (such as Blue Book) and certainly worth more to a person. We weren’t interested in selling it privately and all that entailed. We discussed what it would take to donate the car to charity, but neither of us really knew much about it. I volunteered to check into it and see where that led us.donating a vehicle to charity in Minnesota, TireZoo

Not long after this, I read something in our church bulletin about donating a vehicle to someone in need. As it turns out, our local Alliance for Victims of Domestic Violence had a young family in need of a car to get to work and take kids to daycare. I made a call inquiring about donating our car and was met with enthusiasm, encouragement, and a helping hand to make it happen. A local agency was interested in helping facilitate the donation. I needed to provide an estimated value of the vehicle as provided by online services like Blue Book. While I don’t think they required me to, I volunteered to have the oil checked, tires checked, and a tune up. I also filled the gas tank as a good gesture, and then let the agency know it was ready. While other vehicle donation programs might operate slightly different, all I needed to do was meet the person at the DMV to sign over the Title Card/Vehicle Registration from my name to hers. That’s all there was to it. I gave up the keys, and received a donation letter for tax purposes in the mail from the facilitating agency. I made sure to discuss the donation and documents with our tax preparer at our next visit.

I’m so glad I was able to donate our car to someone who could use it. The process was simple, and it placed much more practical value on our vehicle than a trade-in scenario would have. I hope this holiday season, or anytime throughout the year that more people will consider this option given the right circumstances. For more information on donating a vehicle in Minnesota, contact your favorite local charity to see if they have an established program and policy. Otherwise, Goodwill of Minnesota has a car donation program, as does Make-A-Wish Minnesota Chapter and Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.


Do Tires Make A Good Christmas Gift?

buy tires for gifts at anoka or bloomington, mn locationsGone are the days when you need to feel as though you must conform to strict gift-giving guidelines. Gift cards and technology have really paved the way for people to give new, creative, and often practical holiday gifts. How often have you received a gift that you immediately knew you’d never wear or use, yet it was (hopefully) given with the best intentions. If someone bought you a set of tires for a gift, chances are you’d love it. No doubt they’d get used!

new set of tires make great christmas gift ideasIf a loved one in your life needs tires, what better way to say “I love you, and I care you are safe” than a new set of tires? Go ahead and give a set of tires for Christmas or any upcoming gift-giving occasion. We’re open Monday through Saturday in Anoka and Bloomington, and we’ll help you select a gift that is both practical and appreciated! Our technicians are wonderful personal shoppers when you or someone you love needs tires.