Holiday Playlist: Alternative Christmas Jams

ChristmasPlaylistSick of hearing Mariah Carey on holiday playlists? I’ve compiled a list of holiday songs to play as soundtrack to your festive fun!

The Season’s Upon Us – Dropkick Murphys

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Lady Gaga

Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) – The Ramones

Christmas In Hollis – RUN DMC

Christmas Lights – Coldplay

The Little Drummer boy – David Bowie & Bing Crosby

 

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Holiday Reads: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz

Holiday Reads Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz

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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

SynopsisDarcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

ReviewThis book had such an intriguing premise, I couldn’t wait to dive in. The idea of gender-swapping a classic was fantastic. Melissa de La Cruz is a writer I can always count on to deliver great books.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe is a modern day retelling of the classic Pride and Prejudice which adds it’s own flavor to the story by switching up the genders. This story has been revamped into the current times. It is a light, cute contemporary romance in today’s world but of course has that touch of reminder of the original story.

The story has a fast pace, similar to a romantic comedy film. It’s a fluffy read that is absolutely enjoyable. A must-read for the holiday season.

Thanks, Raincoast Canada for the review copy.

 

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Gift-A-Book: Perfect Gifts For Game of Thrones Fans

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Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones: Season 1 & 2 by Bryan Cogman

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HBO’s Game of Thrones reigns as cable’s highest-rated series.

This official companion book gives fans new ways to enter this fictional world and discover more about the beloved (and reviled) characters and the electrifying plotlines. Hundreds of set photos, production and costume designs, storyboards, and insider stories reveal how the show’s creators translated George R. R. Martin’s best-selling fantasy series into the world of Westeros. Featuring interviews with key actors and crew members that capture the best scripted and unscripted moments from the first two seasons, as well as a preface by George R. R. Martin, this special volume, bound in a lavishly debossed padded cover, offers exclusive access to this unprecedented television series.game-of-thrones-season-4

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones: Season 3 & 4 by C.A Taylor

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Each episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones draws millions of obsessed viewers who revel in the shocking plot twists, award-winning performances, and gorgeously rendered fantasy world. This official companion book reveals what it takes to translate George R. R. Martin’s bestselling series into a wildly popular television series. With unprecedented scope and depth, it showcases hundreds of unpublished set photos, visual effects art, and production and costume designs, plus insights from key actors and crew members that capture the best scripted and unscripted moments from Seasons 3 and 4.

Required reading for the die-hard fan, and the perfect way to catch up on the series before the much-anticipated Season 5 debuts, this special volume offers an exclusive window into cable’s highest-rated show.

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Have a Game of Thrones fan on your Christmas list? Well, lucky for you, err should I say lucky them? These two books are essentials for fans of the television show. These books are simply lush. Everything you want to know about the world of Westeros and the characters you love, or love to hate.

Give the gift of reading!

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Holiday Recipes: Candy Cane Coffee Cake

Holiday RecipesINGREDIENTS
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, beaten
5-1/4 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) finely chopped dried apricots
1-1/2 cups finely chopped well-drained maraschino cherries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
ICING:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, heat sour cream until lukewarm. Set aside. Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, softened butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour. With an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Stir in just enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide into three equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each part into a 15×6-in. rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets. With a scissors, make 2-in. cuts at 1/2-in. intervals on the long sides of each rectangle. Combine apricots and cherries; spread one-third of the mixture down the center of each rectangle.
Crisscross strips over filling. Stretch dough to 22 in. and curve to form cane. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°

Bake 15-20 minutes. While warm, brush canes with melted butter. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over tops.

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Gift-A-Book: The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere

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The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere

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Published: October 2016 by Raincoast Books

Donna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope, is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places.

Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day.

When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

Review

This moving story is the perfect gift for the reader on your list. A story to cherish year after year. This was my first plunge into author Donna VanLiere’s writing and it certainly won’t be my last.

Grab your copy at Raincoast Books!

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Holiday: Krampus Fashion

krampusA centuries old German Christmas tradition gives way to a mysterious character who is called Krampus.

While the man who became known as St. Nick is famous for rewarding good children, his companion Krampus has been given the legend of making a special appearance to the more naughty children. During the night before Dec. 6 each year, to those children who have been especially naughty, Krampus pays a visit and punishes them, often with a whip made of birch branches or a rusty length of chain, before dragging them out into the blizarding night in a burlap sack.

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The night is called “Krampusnacht,” according to folkore, and the tradition has been kept alive in some remote villages of Euro-Germanic countries.

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The name Krampus, derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. Risen from the antique myths and legends of Alpine Europe, Krampus has long been a commonplace of the snowcapped mountains of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Northern Europe.

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Sour Puss Krampus Fair Isle Dress

And while America may receive many of it’s Christmas traditions from our European ancestors, the story of Krampus is one that many Americans have never heard of.

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Poprageous Krampus Leggings

Nothing says Christmas like clothing showcasing Krampus!

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Gift-A-Book: Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

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Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro by Bobbi Brown


This is the book that Bobbi Brown’s fans have been waiting for: her 25-plus years of makeup styling experience distilled into one complete, gorgeous book. Bobbi looks at everything from skincare basics to every aspect of facial makeup–from how to find the right color and type of foundation for any skin tone to how to apply every detail of eye makeup (Brows, Eye Liner, Eye Shadow, and Eye Lashes) no matter your eye color and shape.

The perfect gift for every make-up lover on your list!

The perfect gift for every make-up lover on your list!

Of course there are never-before-seen tips on blush, bronzer, lip liners, lipstick, etc. And Bobbi looks beyond the face with informative chapters on “Hands and Feet” and “Body Skin Care.” Each chapter has thorough step-by-step basic directions for makeup application and easy-to-follow photographs and line drawings, along with Bobbi’s expert, yet assuring, advice. Plus, there’s a groundbreaking section of the book that will be of special interest to women who’ve wanted to know how makeup stylists do what they do: the top beauty secrets only these artists know, essential equipment to keep on hand, how to break into the business, and how to work with photographers and celebrities.

Breathtaking photos of the finished faces-from everyday looks to exotic runway style-along with advice on putting it all together for every woman, make this a book like no other.

BOBBI BROWN’S MAKEUP MANUAL will be the only book any woman will need to look absolutely fabulous.

 

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