Spent pretty much the entire day eating, opening presents and watching movies with people I love. I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas day! However and wherever you celebrate it, here’s hoping your big day was great. Merry Christmas, amigos!
Monthly Archives: December 2013
Gingerbread House 101: How to stay sane while decorating with candy, gingerbread and a very willful four-year-old!
Despite the fact that Mrs. Yeti and I created an award-winning gingerbread house in 2008, this year’s casa de gingerbread was a totally different story. To start with, we had a very opinionated four-and-a-half year old at the helm and an even more opinionated construction crew helping her.
To complicate matters further, we started the project when we were all very hungry, for, you know, real food, which is never wise. And though the candy involved in the making of our house was tasty, one can only eat so many M&M’s and sour gummy worms before true holiday madness sets in. So, as you can imagine, the hunger-fueled sniping and arguing came on pretty fast and furious like.
Mrs. Yeti, who had already been baking all weekend, dropped out first, followed quickly by our master junior architect who got bored and left the table in a huff after assembling the roof. That left my mom and I to finish up the sides of the house and the yard. And despite some major artistic differences (I still say we need a wreath or something over that back window!), overall, I think we did a pretty good job. And as the pictures prove, we all came together again at the end to share in the glory of our crooked little candy house. So, there’s always that.
Anyway, if you’re interested in making a gingerbread house with your kids this season, I highly recommend using Trader Joe’s tasty Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix (a house mold our size takes two boxes) and one of Nordic Ware’s amazing Gingerbread Cake Pans. Both will save you loads of time and heartache in the early stages of making your house.
And, trust me, anything that saves you time and heartache when you’re creating Christmas memories with a four-year-old is a very good thing. Enjoy!
I know it’s probably too late to get these super cool Bigfoot and Yeti-tastic Christmas ornaments shipped out to you and yours by Christmas Day, but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll hardly care. The fact that someone knows and appreciates your deep abiding love for all thing Cryptozoological is reward enough. And what’s a belated Christmas gift or two amongst friends, right?
So, slip your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, loved one, or even your child a little note with the name and online store address of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine — I’m still getting over the fact that such a place exists. So cool! — and tell them to order you a hand blown glass Bigfoot and Yeti Christmas ornament today. If you’re lucky, they’ll get you both of them.
And if you’re really lucky, who knows, maybe your secret Santa will even pay extra to overnight these bad boys to you in time for the holiday. Because nothing says “I love you and Merry Christmas, nerd!” like a pair of fancy Bigfoot and Yeti ornaments.
Kelly Clarkson has been all over the radio and talk show circuit this season — she was even the guest DJ on one of the all-Christmas music stations on Sirius/XMRadio last week! — but, if you’ve heard her new Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red”, you know that the girl has every reason to be proud of it. Loud, fun, sweet and beautifully-produced, Clarkson has called “Red” her favorite album she’s ever done, and I’m tempted to agree with her.
Every song on “Red” — which features a very cool mix of holiday classics and new material mostly written or co-written by Clarkson herself — is infused with Clarkson’s genuine love of Christmas music and the album has songs for every kind of holiday music fan. Clarkson’s rendition of “Silent Night” (sung with Reba and Trisha Yearwood) is just plain beautiful and her recording of “My Favorite Things”, whether intentionally or not, proves that there is only one true American Idol this holiday season. Sorry, Carrie.
But, of course the real gems are the raft of new songs Clarkson wrote for the album. “Underneath the Tree” is already an instant classic (not to mention Greta’s favorite new song to sing!) but the title track and the songs “4 Carats” and “Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)” are sure to be around for a while as well. We have over 75 Christmas albums in our collection and, trust me, it’s rare that you find one from a major pop star that feels so artfully-crafted and produced. Seriously, Clarkson knows her Christmas music, yo.
So, if you tired of the glut of mass-produced lump of coal Christmas albums that usually bubble to the surface this time of year, check out “Wrapped in Red” instead. And if you get a chance to catch her NBC Christmas Special in reruns or video on demand, watch that too, it’s freaking hilarious!
So, just as I was getting ready to go to bed and stop blogging about Christmas trees and crafting one’s own Middle-Earth entirely from LEGOS, I came across this amazing, one-of-a-kind Christmas wreath and just had to share it with you guys.
I heard about this nerdtastic ode to Christmas and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn from a friend’s status update on Facebook, but, apparently the Wreath of Kahn –has been taking the internet by storm for a few days now. It might not be the first Wreath of Kahn out there, but, it is pretty damn cool. According go her twitter feed, the wreath was designed by NYC-based Annie Shapiro. I don’t know her personally, but, in the spirit of the season, I love her already.
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I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been geeking out about The Hobbit way too much these days. Finally saw the movie on Friday (and LOVED it!) and am seeing it again tomorrow with a Tolkien aficionado who will no doubt help answer some of my burning questions. I won’t spoil the movie for you by telling you anything more, but, know this…Smaug ends very abruptly with a doozy of a cliffhanger. Yes, we have to a whole year to find out what happens. Unless, you could always, you know, read the book. But, even then, Peter Jackson’s Hobbit is so markedly different from Tolkien’s, that you never know what he has in store for us. Either way, be prepared to be left hanging.
Luckily, for big old toy geeks like myself, there will plenty of fun, Middle-Earth adventures to be had while we wait for the next movie thanks to LEGO’s very cool line of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings LEGO sets. And since Greta just recently “graduated” to “big kid LEGOS” from her old DUPLO play sets. Now I actually have a totally valid excuse for dumping loads of cash into the beautiful The Hobbit LEGO sets. You know, because, ahem, I’m buying them for her too now.
Anyway, if you haven’t already seen them in stores or online, the LEGO sets are gorgeous and as textured, detailed and visually stunning as the movies they are based on. So far I only have the mini-pack Riddles of the Ring which includes LEGO mini figurines of Bilbo and Gollum as well as not one, but two shiny golden rings. You know, in case your kid drops one in the fires of Mordor or something. And while that set is cool, you can’t really build too much with it, so, I’m hoping Santa got my memo and sends me a couple more sets for Christmas.
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Believe it or not, it’s been nine months since Greta last got her hair cut. We were keeping it long for my sister’s wedding in September, and then I guess we just kind of forgot about it when the holiday insanity set in. So, last weekend, we headed to Floyd’s 99 Barber Shop for what has now become Greta’s semi-annual haircut.
And though her favorite hairdresser, Miss Rose, was no longer working there, a very cool gal named Ashley did a bang up job on Greta’s hair. So, everything worked out fine. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product (except for the last shot below, where it’s mostly hidden by her hood!) but I did get lots of pics of Greta in Ashley’s chair. So, enjoy!
Oh, and if you live in the are and are looking for a cool, inexpensive place to get your kid’s haircut, I highly recommend Floyd’s. They might not have little airplane seats and stuff for the wee ones, but, they have a chill, rock ‘n roll vibe, are super friendly and Greta loves all the music posters and stuff on the walls. Floyd’s has locations all over L.A., so, find one near you and check them out. And in the meantime, enjoy the pics!
We will probably be too busy decorating our Christmas tree and working on getting our cards in the mail to be able to attend, but, the super fun Renegade Craft Fair is in town this weekend. And this year, which marks the fourth year that Renegade has come to Los Angeles, the Library Store’s rocking Library Store on Wheels will be there as well, so, how can you lose?
So, if you live in the area and are craving some unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the folks on your Christmas list or, hell, even for yourself, get thee to the Los Angeles State Historic Park and get shopping! Tell them the Yeti sent you…