Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Trixi

Not a creature was stirring...
Trixi-Belle
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trixi Thursday

Vintage Holiday Trixi 2004
Holiday Trixi 2004

Vintage Holiday Trixi 2006
Holiday Trixi 2006

Holiday Trixi 2008
Holiday Trixi 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Books Are Great Gifts

I stumbled upon BooksAreGreatGifts.com yesterday and this video below. The video, produced by Random House, Inc., has authors and celebrities sharing why they feel books make great gifts.



From what I have seen, I think you still have a few days to order books online taking advantage of free shipping and/or other discount offerings and get them by Christmas.

If you need some ideas for great books, check out the Red River Writers' Christmas Event (RRW Christmas Exchange) on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=32917461597.

Character from Willow May

Holiday Specials on Totes, Journals and Printable Gift Tags

If still needing to do some holiday shopping check out the All Us All the Time Blog. They were running a 12 Day of Christmas Special and Day 12 is where you can take advantage of any of the previous 11 day specials which include free totes, journals, and magnets with purchase. Also they are giving away free printable gift tags that are adorable. The offer is good through 12/16.

If you are looking for some cute stocking stuffer, unique gifts, reusable gift bags, or package bling, check them out but you will need to get the promo codes from their blog.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 8 of Holiday Specials

RingmasterI particularly love today's special for the 12 Blog Postings of Christmas on the All Us All the Time blog. Purchase the Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival book from their site (it is even on sale!) and besides getting the free bookmark, button, book plate and character trading cards, if you order today, they will throw in a free Willow May tote. The great thing about the tote is no wrapping needed, you can just present the gift in the reusable adorable canvas tote. Hop on over to my site and print out some of the free coloring sheets to add in, throw in some crayons or markers and you are set with one neat gift. If to a child (because this book also makes a cool gift for adults who are fans of features like Nightmare Before Christmas and the Addams Family as well as enjoying to color, you know who they are), you could also include a coupon for a free reading, I suppose you could even include that if giving to an adult, it would depend on the recipient whether that would be awkward or not. You can visit the All Us All the Time Blog for the details and promotional code.

Also for more great book ideas check out the Red River Writers' Christmas Event (RRW Christmas Exchange) on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=32917461597.

Okay, I will stop with my special promotional announcement and let you get back to your normal Monday programming.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way

The Umbrella AcademyI know a graphic novel is good when I scratch my head on how to try to describe it. That is definitely the case with The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance) and illustrated by Gabriel Ba. I quite enjoyed it but not sure how to explain it, but I will give it a shot.

It starts with an atomic flying elbow and ends with making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can already tell it is going to be good, right? Forty-three extraordinary children were simultaneously born to women who had no signs of pregnancy. Most of the children were either abandoned or adopted. Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric rich inventory, took in seven of the children. When asked why, he only replied, “To save the world.”

The seven children were known as the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with unusual powers. But when the team gets older they disband and go their separate ways. Then one day they get a call from Pogo (a chimpanzee) that Hargreeves has died. When they reunite for the funeral a chain of events including flying Dalek like aliens and a mad Maestro signal the end of the world. The siblings once again need to band together not only to save the world but also rescue one of their own.

Deadly Eiffel Towers, zombie robots, mannequin mothers, and exploding carnivals...good stuff.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Free Holiday Gift Tags

The All Us All the Time's Day 5 of their 12 Blog Postings of Christmas is free gift tags...and they are pretty cool.

Hop on over to their blog if you would like to check them out.

The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher

Dresden FilesI just recently started reading the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher and was a fan of the short-lived Sci-Fi show. Thus, how could I resist the first graphic novel of the series, Welcome to the Jungle? I could not.

Welcome to the Jungle takes place before his first book, Storm Front. Here our favorite paranormal detective and wizard, Harry Dresden, is called upon by the Chicago police to help investigate a brutal animal attack at the zoo that has left a security guard dead. But as you can probably guess, there appears to be something more of a supernatural nature behind this mauling. Once again, Harry finds himself the target of some pretty wicked dark forces as he tries to figure out who or what is behind this crime.

Welcome to the Jungle is an action-packed fun read. It took me 2 nights but most can probably read it in one sitting. The graphic novel has bold illustrations that nicely compliment the story and in the back of the book there is bonus material including a cover gallery and concept artwork that I found fascinating. Even though not necessary, if you have not read any of the Dresden Files books or watched the series on Sci-Fi, I would recommend reading Storm Front before reading the Welcome to the Jungle to get more of the background story on Harry Dresden and his wizardry.

I hope the second Dresden Files graphic novel is not far behind.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just a Friendly Reminder

Just a friendly reminder about two events that are currently taking place online.

The first is the Red River Writers' Christmas Event (RRW Christmas Exchange) on Facebook featuring great books of all varieties. There are over 400 entries to date with 16 participating groups. Grab a hot beverage or for those in warmer climates a cool one and do some fun perusing at this online event. I am new with Facebook, but I think this link should get you there. You may have to create an account, but that is rather simple, and I promise, we will befriend you.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=32917461597

The second is the 12 Blog Postings of Christmas happening online over at the All Us All the Time Blog. Each day between now and 12/12, they are have a one day only promotion for their site that is filled with creative goodies.

The Sandman Volume 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

The Sandman The Kindly OnesI got The Sandman Volume 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman the weekend before Thanksgiving thinking I could nurse it through the long holiday weekend. My mistake was I cracked it open that Monday and had it done by Tuesday. Needless to say I loved it.

When Lyta Hall’s child is taken from her she turns to The Kindly Ones or The Furies to take revenge on whom she thinks is responsible, Morpheus, The Lord of Dream. The Furies do not rest until their vengeance is satisfied and the world of Dream is in peril. But who is really behind the disappearance of Lyta’s little boy, and what sacrifices will have to be made in order to save the Kingdom of Dreaming?

Unlike some of the other Sandman Volumes, like Dream Country, Fables & Reflections, and the Worlds' End, this is not one you should probably pick up without reading the prior volumes. Mr. Gaiman does an excellent job weaving in the storylines and characters from his earlier tales in to this one epic journey. You follow each of their separate stories knowing that somehow they are intertwined but wondering how the dots will be connected, or will they? Like the story, the illustrations are just as dark and dramatic.

Need the weather to clear up so I can run out and get the next volume.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All Us All the Time Blog

The All Us All the Time blog is doing "The 12 Blog Postings of Christmas" where each day they have a new special for their site. If you would like to check it out, go visit the All Us All the Time Blog.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving

TurkeyWe celebrate our Turkey Day on Saturday because my husband, an executive chef, works on Thanksgiving. Needless to say, he does all the cooking. Now if I could just get his staff to come over and do all the cleaning :). Since we do celebrate on Saturday, it is kind of a quasi Thanksgiving/Holiday dinner. We have the traditional thanksgiving fixings served with Christmas-time d├ęcor.


Winter
It had been a beautiful November here in Colorado, lots of sunshine with temperatures in the 60's and 70's.... until this past weekend. Don't get me wrong, the winter wonderland is very picturesque, but not when you have family traveling. Friday night the weatherman said that we were just suppose to get a “skiff” of snow, which obviously means 5.7”. Funny, my sister and I thought that it would be a little less than that.


Thankfully everybody made their way over the river, through the woods and down the mountain to our house. Though it was a treacherous journey for my folks, they made it safe and sound with LaKeit and Tasha. I am sure they were helping navigate the whole way. Since my little one does not care too much for the canine species, they had to spend the day playing in our backyard.

My sister came down on Thursday so we could take in the after Thanksgiving Day bargains (unfortunately we could not find them). I preoccupied her Saturday morning with helping me make cornucopia place settings out of waffle cones. I got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine I borrowed from my Mom. Now I am sure Martha would be appalled at our interpretation of them, but I thought they turned out great.

What you do is steam the tip of the waffle cone and curve it upwards and then steam the opening to push flat so it won’t roll. My sister came up with a clever way of cracking the lid to our pot of boiling water and laying the cone on top of this crack. This steamed the whole cone allowing us to do both ends at the same time.

At this point, Martha dipped the open end in white chocolate and rolled it in chopped nuts and filled it with jellybeans. However, I was thinking folks would not want to be snacking on something that sweet before the meal, so we rolled ours in red and green color sugar and then filled them up with mixed nuts and dried fruit. I bet if you wanted to do them for a holiday party, you could add something to the tip like a white marshmallow and turn it into a Santa or Elf hat.

Any way, here are a few photos of our masterpieces:

Green One
Green Cone
Red One
Red Cone
Of course, my sister’s had to be purple:
Purple Cone

Then we had a great meal:


Cheese PlatterCheese Platter


Relish Platter


Spicy Sweet PotatoesSweet Potatoes with paprika, cayenne and white pepper, ginger, salt and lime squeezed over the top


Fennel MushroomsMushrooms sauteed with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, red wine and crushed fennel seed


Brussel SproutsBrussels Sprouts with lemon juice, lemon pepper and butter


Dauphinoise PotatoesDauphinoise Potatoes


Pumpkin Pieand of course Pumpkin Pie