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Book Four: Coming Right Up

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My head has been on fire lately with good thoughts and good ideas! Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Its perfect timing because I’m just getting started on book four! It is so nice to be writing a book with all sorts of ideas flying around in your brain. I gotta say it would be pretty tough to do it any other way. :)

So the process begins! By now, if you take the newsletter (you are signed up for the Jolly Jingle right? right?) then you already know the working title for this book is Inside Out & Upside Down and its going to pick up right where we left off in book three. There’s a lot of peril and lots for Sandra to start on right away again. Sadly, I don’t think she’ll be getting to enjoy Slumber Month again this year.

But at least she won’t be bored! We won’t be having any of that bad kind of mojo hanging around these here parts. :)

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And speaking on books related to Christmas, check out this one I spied at my most recent trip to Barnes & Noble. What the what? Clearly this was written by someone chronically on the naughty list. :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

 

January Kindness Tips for You!

Well all, my hair is a mess and I look a little unorganized but that is how we roll on an early Sunday morning in January when the sun is shining, the thoughts are flowing and there’s lots going on. :) My second vlog is on three easy kindness tips for your most important audience — yourself! My favorite part of this one? Lovey — our little white cotton ball of a cat — photo bombs me a couple of times. Watch for her! Love to you all!

All sorts of crazy good!

What’s been on your good list lately everyone? My list is loaded with fabulous!

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A visit with my parents

In the sunshine! So spoiled. This time of year the Seattle area is wrapped in gray most of the day with doses of rain followed by darkness. Alas. I love getting in some sunshine each winter visiting my folks down in sunny Arizona.  And I got a glimpse of the Super Bowl stadium before everyone else in my part of the world. :)

A win by the Seahawks!

Woo-hoo! I’m a Seattle girl and our birds are headed again to the Super Bowl. Green Bay was a great team to play against for the playoffs and no one was more shocked with that win then a bunch of us locals. Russell Wilson though and the team are a class act and we’re super excited about Super Bowl Sunday coming up soon. I got a preview of the stadium on my way to the Phoenix airport this week and there was tons of sponsor displays already going up!

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I got cool new business cards

I shared these on Facebook but what do you all over here think? I was pretty jazzed about them. Order your own cool cards on Moo.com.

This weekend, book four begins!

The time has come to start writing, the hubs is out of town and my schedule has been cleared. Can’t wait to see what is in store for Sandra and the gang this time around. Oh my goodness.

The Jolly Jingle is coming!

The next issues of the Jolly Jingle comes out on Saturday, Jan 24. You’re on the list right? :)

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My husband is the best

I mentioned how nice it would be to have our computer downstairs instead of hidden away upstairs and just like that he made it so! He tracked down a table at Pier 1 (my favorite!) moved some furniture around and we got ourselves a computer just where I wanted it. New writing corner! Win! 

Good friends are treating me to a concert

I am sooooo spoiled! We have good friends who scored front row seats to hear Marc Cohn (Walking in Memphis) perform Saturday evening and they asked me along! Lucky day!

So c’mon, what’s on your list? Goodness flows around the globe

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

 

Beating Back the January Blues

Wowzaaaaaa, for the “slow” month of January this baby is flying by! It’s been packed with so much good stuff already. Coming up: did you know that this Monday is considered “Blue Monday?” Through some kind of formula involving darkness and weather and time of year plus some things, it’s calculated to be the most depressing day of the year. Well!

I have had years where I find January personally challenging as well, so I get it, but I have made it a personal mission the last few years to “Beat the Blues!” That means we can’t be letting Monday just lie there as a down day. No way. Time to beat out those blues with  . . . popcorn!

Okay popcorn may not be your first thought when it comes to beating back the blahs but really popcorn is certainly a fun food and fun always helps beat back blah. It happens that besides being Blue Monday this Monday is also “National Popcorn Day.” Much better and you just happen to be friends with a true popcorn connoisseur as it happens.

I am super particular about my popcorn. Or rather pre-popped popcorn. I only like two brands but I like them ferociously. We have Erin’s Popcorn to choose from at my house and giant bags of Slim Pop. However, when we’re popping it from scratch and looking for a little decadence as surely a day termed Blue Monday deserves, I like to whip up a big batch of Party Popcorn. You are going to love it!

This recipe is actually from Nigella Lawson a popular British chef. Just the name is tons of fun but the buttery, sugary, spiciness of this treat is what makes it really special. It looks a little sketchy but that never seems to stop anyone from scarfing it down fast as can be! Make yourself a big ole bowl on Monday to celebrate Popcorn Day, beat back Blue Monday and revel in the goodness each day, year round, brings!

Party Popcorn

by Nigella Lawson

Ingredients
4 cups popped popcorn
1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground paprika
4 teaspoons table salt
4 teaspoons sugar

Melt the butter with the spices in another pan and then pour it over the popcorn and put everything into a large paper carrier bag/shopper. Shake, shake and shake the bag again to mix the popcorn and get it thoroughly coated in the spicy butter.

Jolly Jingle Giveaway! C’mon, sign up already!

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So are you all ready to check out the next great giveaway in this month’s edition of the Jolly Jingle? As usual, its something I’m super excited about and would like to have for my own!

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These great socks are like the ones Glen got me for Christmas but with different words on them! I might like the Smiling pair the most. No wait, Happy is the greatest of all. Oh c’mon, who am I kidding? You all know Kind is going to be my favorite of all! 

How about you? Any preference? Just so you know, these super terrific socks are women’s size medium. I love these so much, I might have to put in my own name! :)

Don’t miss out on your chance to wear these friendly words of wonderful on your feet. Get your name on the Jolly Jingle list in the box above and you’ll be entered in the monthly drawing for something fun, fun, fun!

Oh and in this month’s issue I’ll be sharing the name of the next book in the South Pole Santa series. You know you don’t want to miss out on being one of the first to know! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

A video message from me to you! (egads)

The above vlog, my friends, is the first item I can check-off my 2015 to-do list: Try video blogging (vlogging).

Soooo, I’ve been thinking that I can’t encourage everyone else, and children especially through the books, to stretch out of your comfort zones and try new things if I’m not willing to do it myself. Well, okay, technically I can but it wouldn’t be one of my best features. That gets combined with the fact that I have people in my life encouraging me to use video to talk with all of you which is, for me, a hugely big and rather uncomfortable idea and then, well, I decided it wasn’t. Or at least it didn’t have to be. We need to do things that push us out of those comfort zones. Other people do videos all the time and I can learn to get over it and get on with it and most importantly, have fun with it too.

So without further ado, here’s me to you, live on video! (Warning: It’s me to you live on video, trying to figure out how it all works with “rustic” lighting and eyes looking off somewhere though I swear I thought I was looking at the camera! My comments are sincere though. Still, watch only if perfection is not your thing! :) ) Thanks for being wonderful!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Some Favorites to Share

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Oh my gosh! I don’t think I shared this fun find with you! Who do you think these two look like? Hope you said Sandra and Birdie because that’s exactly what I thought too! I found “Sandra” and “Birdie” at Target! These dolls could totally be the two best friends. I was super jazzed.

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Check out the new gratitude corner in our kitchen! Kind of excited about having this spot carved out for something so positive. Gratitude and kindness go hand in hand.

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I am crazy about my new Joy sign on the mantle. Isn’t it super charming?

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Next on my list of favorites to share are my new socks! Love these! Aren’t they spectacular? They’re made by Notes to Self and these big words are on the bottom.  I got them in my Christmas stocking this year tucked in by my hubs. I’m crazy about them. Best of all on these? You can win three pair too! These inspired socks are the giveaway for this month’s Jolly Jingle drawing. Watch for a post soon on what colors and words are on the giveaway socks. I’m so excited about them! Hey and a shoutout to Maddy R who won the December “Welcome Elves” doormat!

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I saved my favorite favorite for last – these two cutest elves ever! This is Savanna, the dragon lover, and her little brother Desmond, the explorer, on Christmas morning in their elf PJ’s. How my heart soars! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year!

On my list of wonderful things from this past wonder-filled year all of you, my spectacular, thoughtful readers are near the top! Thank you for the notes, the reviews, the stars, the follows, the likes, the shares, the recommendations – the love! I appreciate it all more than I could ever fully express.

So, our year zoomed by and we look ahead to all the unlimited possibilities of the new year. Do you do resolutions? I go a lot of different directions on that with long lists some years, no lists others and reasonable ideas for most. This year, I fall into the reasonable column again with my focus on improving just three things:

I want to:

Be kinder

Practice forgiveness quickly 

Be present

It’s a short list (and trust me, I have at least 50 very practical things on a separate “2015 to do list”) but I wanted my resolution list this year to be actionable items that were both easy and challenging at the same time.

I also finally chose a word of the year as well. Do you select a word every year as a theme? I started doing that several years ago and really like how it gives a little shaping to my plans. In 2014 my word was “savor” and I feel like I really did savor this past year. This year, I started with clarity changed it to clearity (quite pleased with myself on that one as it took my wanting to be clear on getting clarity more specifically on parts of myself), then bagged all of that as a little too blah for how I was feeling and switched over to “Wow!” which seemed to be exactly right.

For about three days.

Then finally, I realized what I want my word to be in this year that is an 8 when you total up the numbers (2+0+1+5 = 8) and 8 is the infinity symbol which is the symbol of endless possibilities. So, in the end, and with great fanfare, I present to you my word for this year of the great number eight . . .

UNLIMITED!

It’s the perfect word for me this year. It’s what I believe is possible for all of us and the word I want to keep in my mind when those pesky doubts and uncertainties crawl in and make me question my next steps or abilities.

Be gone pesky doubts! We are unlimited and won’t be stopped! Bring the fun, the new, the adventures, the learnings, the opportunities!

Unlimited is where I finally landed. How about you? What’s your word for this year?

Oh, and on my list of the “50 very practical things on my 2015 to-do’s list,” solidly at the top, is “write book four.” :) Gonna be a great year! Know it! Grab it for your own! Thanks for being wonderful.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Magical Fairy Doors!

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It’s two days after the holiday and it already feels like weeks ago! What is up with that? Maybe it’s because I’ve spent these two days organizing, cleaning, putting things away and giving things away. Feels great! I’ve committed to “giving two things away for every one thing that comes in.” Do you do that? Its a fairly new commitment for me that has largely applied to clothes and shoes so far but this week I am going through the house. Hoooo boy. I’ll just be honest and say the purging has been overdue. 

Adding to the problem – I got spoiled to pieces! I kid you not. Which means, via my “two things out for one thing in” formula, I’ve really had to get ruthless! So, in the two days, I’ve come up with five boxes of items heading to the Salvation Army and I have two more floors to go.

But not tonight. Or tomorrow. Another time. For four days off these have flown by filled with holiday fun followed by this  holiday clean-up. Now it’s time for some “JingleBelle Time!” Oh yeah. Tomorrow. I plan to veg in reading in the morning, followed by a few rousing rounds of cards with my folks. Perfect end to a holiday weekend. I mean since a holiday weekend has to end. dang-a-lang.

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But before we move along I wanted to share something fun with you — fairy doors! Are these charming or what? Do you know about fairy doors? If you are lucky enough to be gifted a fairy door, you place it at the base of a marvelous tree and invite fairy folk in to grace your yard and garden. We adults will rarely see them but if you have children around they will love to see the fairies coming and going. In this case, I was lucky enough to meet the magical Door Maker who crafted these and gifted them to my family so I know how special they are. :) Best of all, I love love love this photo sent by my nephew of my adorable niece who put their door right to work — on their Christmas tree! Such ingenuity. Of course there are Christmas fairies about. :) I don’t think any would appreciate this “fairy trap” but I love how quickly she caught on to how the door works. :) I also love how something so simple can add a little bit of magic to any yard or home.

I so hope your holiday was filled with love, delight and magic galore too! And that you’ll come back all year round. You know we’re about a whole bunch of fun things around here so be going away! 

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Merry Christmas!

Hope the Santa’s left nice gifts for you and yours under your tree and tucked in your stockings! Love from me to you.

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