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Showing posts from December, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you are having a wonderful day as you get ready for Christmas. Personally, I love Christmas Eve! More than I like Christmas, even. I also love Christmas Eve Eve, which was yesterday. I don't know. There's just something about the anticipation that gets me all giddy.

My stepson, now 15-years-old, often counts the days down. I still remember a few years ago when it was "only two days ‘til Christmas," for about a week. Wishful thinking?

I can’t help but share his enthusiasm. I love Christmas. I love the lights, the bustle of people (okay, maybe not the bustle of people), and wrapping gifts in cheerful paper.

Inevitably at some point today, he will ask, "but when are we going to read the little book?" The first time he asked (a few years ago) my heart filled with joy.

You see, "the little book" is one of my Christmas ornaments. It is a 2x2" red leather bound copy of The Night Before Christmas. It has crisp aged white pages…

Anyone else feeling a little frantic today?

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Winter solstice is here. It is the shortest day of sunlight for the year. After today each day will get a tiny bit more light as we work our way back to long summer days. Eventually.

Today is also the day the Mayan calendar ends. I saw one weather report for the week showing clouds and cold temperatures all week long with today's forecast showing firey meteors hurtling down and a high temperature of 1250 degrees. Saturday's weather was blank.

No meteors here. Let me know if you see anything suspicious.

More pressing, though, (more pressing than the potential end of life as we know it?) is Christmas is coming. In just four short days, we must be ready for family, gift exchanges, and trying to remember what Christmas is really about in the middle of all that family time and gifting.

Fortunately we aren't hosting Christmas. That means I don't have to cook- yay! There is still plenty to do and I'm feeling a bit frantic today about it all.

I'm running my washing machine …

Interview: Sara McClellan

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Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today's interviewee is one of my closest friends and author of the new book The World Needs Hope, Sara McClellan. (The very same book I've been mentioning here recently because it also includes my first print credit.)

Sara is a writer with nearly 20 years of creative communications experience. She chose to transform personal loss into a mission of positive change. Sara dedicates her voice to awakening the world to the inspiring presence and power of hope.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?



Just a blink ago, I was wonderstruck by the emphatic sound of an escaped cockatoo traversing the neighborhood. After trying to woo it over to my patio with an ├╝ber-healthy breakfast cereal—to no avail, I might add—my bright white friend, instead, opted to serenade me from the vent to my attic on…

Pinterest Recipe Review: Blackberry Cider

Each week in December I've been reviewing recipes that I found on Pinterest. It seemed about time to actually try some of those things I kept pinning, so I thought I'd share the results in case you were looking for something new to try for the holidays.

I've already reviewed Cherry Pie Poppers, Apple Cider Sangria, and Cookie Dough Balls. Next up: Blackberry Cider.

Here is the pin:Blackberry Cider on Pinterest

... which leads tothis recipe on the Driscoll's website.

Check out the photo through either link. I forgot to take pictures.

I won't repeat the recipe here. You can get that from the links above. I'll just let you know how it went for me.

Stellar! And here's why... my husband made it. Anything I don't have to make is okay by me.

While I was busy working on Thanksgiving side dishes, my husband took it upon himself to take my printout of this recipe and get to work. I love him.

The basic idea is to simmer apple cider with blackberries, oranges, cinnamon and…

Interview: Ellen Gregory

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Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today's interviewee is fantasy fiction writer Ellen Gregory.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?



A few weeks ago, when rigorously pruning in my garden, I chopped down a branch that held a birds’ nest (which I initially didn’t realize) and two tiny recently hatched chicks tumbled out. Improvising madly, I got the nest back into the tree and spent the next several days avidly watching the two parent birds (Australian silver eyes) feed their chicks. I watched those little chicks grow stronger and larger, develop feathers — felt amazingly protective, fascinated and definitely wonderstruck by them. Unfortunately they disappeared from the nest when I went away for a few days, so I like to believe they found their wings and flew away.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I suspect my an…

Pinterest Recipe Review: Cookie Dough Balls

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Each week this month I am reviewing one recipe I found on Pinterest. After collecting a number of scrumptious looking foods on my Cooking board, I realized I should probably start actually making them. Novel concept, I know.

I've already reviewed Cherry Pie Poppers and Apple Cider Sangria. This week: Cookie Dough Balls.

Here is the Pinterest pin: Cookie Dough Balls

...which leads to this recipe: Cookie Dough Balls on Love and Olive Oil site

I won't reprint the recipe here. You can get that from the links above. Basically, you make egg-free cookie dough, roll it into balls, freeze on a cookie sheet, then dip in chocolate and refrigerate.

I'm going to say right off the bat, I had some ups and downs with this recipe.

Mixing the cookie dough was easy. Rolling the dough, also easy. At a friend's recommendation (who had previously made the same thing with a different recipe), I rolled the balls a bit smaller than the recipe called for. My friend had used a melon baller and thought…

The Book is Here! (And also, a quick poll)

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It's here! It's here!

The book with my name and my creative work in it arrived on my doorstep on Monday! The World Needs Hope is an inspirational book written by my good friend, Sara McClellan.

I copyedited this book. It's my first print credit. :)

Even better, I contributed art. A photograph and short passage of text, both by me, appear at the end of Chapter 2: Comfort. (Yes, I'm smiling as I type this. It's so freakin' exciting!)

Holding this book in my hands, flipping through the pages... I can't describe the feeling. It's amazing. This is a beautiful project and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.


Please Answer a Poll Question
In other creative news, I've been working behind the scenes on this blog and I could use your help.

There is a poll at the top of my Facebook page right now asking whether you read this blog on a computer or your phone, on the Live Wonderstruck site or in a reader. I'm still tweaking design and I want to make sure I'm del…

Interview: Siri Paulson

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Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today's interviewee is science fiction and fantasy writer Siri Paulson.



What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

Sunsets. I used to live in Alberta, which has the most glorious sunsets. Then I moved to downtown Toronto, to an apartment in a cluster of high-rises, and could barely see the western sky. I thought Toronto just didn't have nice sunsets. But this spring I bought a house, and my new writing space has a good western view...and boy, is it spectacular some evenings. If I'm at home at the right time of day, I try to remember to look.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

Any part I get to spend with my husband. Our schedules aren't meshing that well right now, in part because we're both so busy, so the time that we do get to spend together is precious. We often co…

Pinterest Recipe Review: Apple Cider Sangria

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A few weeks ago, I was looking at my Pinterest boards at all sorts of ideas I've collected since joining.

That's when my husband came up and saw my "Cooking" pin board and asked, "How come you never make any of these? That looks good and... ooooh, that one... and this one, this, this, and... get on it, woman!" (He says these things in happy love, not like a drill sargeant.)

So, I've been trying some out.

From now until Christmas, I'm reviewing one recipe found on Pinterest each week. Last week was Cherry Pie Poppers (yum!). This week, Apple Cider Sangria (also yum!).

Here is the Pinterest pin:Apple Cider Sangria

...which leads to this recipe:Apple Cider Sangria on How Sweet It Is (www.howsweeteats.com)

Be sure to visit that link for the beautiful photography. Your mouth will water! (Aside from which, I didn't take any pictures.)

I won't rewrite the recipe here. You can get that through the above links. The basic idea is to mix white wine, apple cid…