Holiday Book Gift-Giving Guide

12 December 2013


And so begins the 12 Days of Christmas! To start of the festivities I'm here to help you guys with all your holiday book buying needs, because let's face it, I'm not the only one who still has Christmas shopping left to do...

Being that I work for a major book company, I feel like I know books pretty well, so I've compiled a short (yet completely AMAZING) guide of some books that you might want to pick up for the book-lover you're buying for (or maybe you're like me and just want a good read for the holidays).

Rest easy, kinfolk, for I have just what you're looking for!

For the classic literature junkie, I suggest Longbourn by Jo Baker. Pride & Prejudice is relived as told by the servant-staff. Jo manages to capture the characters Jane Austen created in a very true-to-form way. Not to be dismayed by another P&P retelling, the story mostly focuses on the lives of the staff, with Austen's story kind of in the background. This story has all the key bits that an Austen novel possesses: arrogance, pride, whit, and romance. I am reading the book now and can't put it down!

If you're buying for someone who loved The Fault in Our Stars or anything by John Green, Rainbow Rowell's book, Eleanor & Park is definitely the best choice for the YA reader you're buying for. The story is a classic coming-of-age story about two "star-crossed" 16-year-olds with some really serious life issues. It's inspiring, and intense, but totally worth the read!

This book piqued my interest after I finished reading The Hobbit. It's a new collection of J.R.R Tolkien's poems, which if you have a fantasy nerd to buy for, is the perfect gift.

If you haven't heard of Malala Yousafzai, where have you been the last three months? She's been on countless talk shows talking about how she stood up for her right for education, and in doing so was shot by the Taliban. She has taken her inspiring story to pen and wrote her very own book about her experiences, and is a must-read for anyone interested in current events, and biographies.

Finally,

If you're buying for someone who isn't a big reader, give them the gift of audio books! I love popping in my headphones while I'm on the subway or on the train back to my hometown and listening to a good book! If you go to Audible.com, you can sign up and get your first audio book for free! You can even buy one for your friends or family!

 Peace Out, Kate

A Christmas feast! (For your ears)

10 December 2013

There's this new video that's been making it's way around the webisphere by these really talented musicians who go by the name of The Piano Guys.

You guys know how much I love music, so watching these talented guys play the whole song on a piano (save for their "paper" drum) really got my gears going! It's such an incredible talent celebrating the Christmas season! Take a look, share and thumbs up the video!



 Peace Out, Kate

Must-See Christmas Movies

03 December 2013

One of my favourite things to do during the Christmas season is turn out all the lights except for the Christmasy lights, light a few candles, make some hot chocolate and pop in a Christmas movie. It really puts me in the holly jolly spirit.

If you're a big fan of Christmas like me, you've probably seen these movies and have no doubt put them on your must-see movie list, so let's share the fun together!

Here are my must-see Christmas movies.

Elf


Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. You can't go wrong! I can quote this movie inside and out (like most Christmas movies) but this is probably the only one that I quote all year round! An elf sticks by the four basic food groups, candy, candy cane, candy corn, and syrup. I honesty love this movie so much, and if you don't, you're a cotton-headded ninny-muggins.

Dr. Suess' How The Grinch Stole Christmas


I do love the original cartoon version of The Grinch, but nothing beats Jim Carrey's take on the hairy green guy that loathes Christmas entirely! I was a kid when this came out and I remember the hype when we went to the theatre to see it. Watching this movie always brings me back to that feeling, and I love that about Christmas-- feeling like a child again.

Charlie Brown Christmas

The music is really what I love most about this movie. Simple piano and chorus. Plus who doesn't love Lucy's meltdown, "I've been kissed by a dog! Get the hot water, get the disinfectant!"Classic.

A Claymation Christmas Celebration
Not many people have heard of this one, but like Charlie Brown, I love this movie purely for the music (it is specifically a music special). Everything from The California Raisins singing theory rendition of Rudolf to two walruses figure-skating in love.

Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer 


An elf that wants to be a dentist, and an island of misfit toys. This is one movie I don't mind watching more than once during the season! Classic.

It's A Wonderful Life
This one is my mum's favourite Christmas movies so she made me watch it with her every year. As a kid I didn't understand it all too well, and the only part I could fully remember was the end bit that everyone knows, "every time a bell rings and angel gets it's wings". Now that I'm older, I've really grown to love this movie. It's romantic, heartfelt, and completely timeless.

The Sound of Music
You might be thinking, The Sound of Music isn't a Christmas movie! This may be true, but for some reason it's always on TV Christmas eve and it's become somewhat of a Christmas tradition for my whole family to watch it after church while sipping eggnog and eating tons of baked goodies. The Sound of Music is one of my all-time fave movies, so I could watch it any time of the year and love it, but there's just something about watching it with my whole family that makes it so much more enjoyable. Especially when my Nana bursts out into "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria".

Side note: Is anyone into Carrie Underwood's Sound of Music Live this week? I'll watch it, but I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.

Also!!! This year I'll be doing a special 12 Days of Christmas series here on the blog. I'l be blogging every day for the 12 Days before Christmas and each post will be especially Christmassy. I've got some lovely DIY crafts and yummy baking! I'm so excited!


 Peace Out, Kate



Glossy Blonde

What to do with Friday nights.

29 November 2013

Tonight I find myself in a situation that I'm often in most Friday nights. My room mate has gone back home for the weekend, I'm single, and I can count the amount of people I know in Toronto on one hand. Thus rendering me all alone, on my own. Once again.

I've learned a thing or two about how to occupy my time whilst home alone, and since I've become somewhat of an expert at the Friday-night-solo-hang, I figured I'd share with you guys some things that you can do if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

Don't Wear Pants

I sometimes follow this rule even when my roommate is home, but usually I wear a long enough shirt to avoid any kind of indecencies. But tonight, nah, tonight you can go pants-free in all it's glory. You deserve it, you've had a long, pants-wearing-filled day. Treat yourself.

Light The Candle Your Roommate Hates

When you live with someone else sometimes you have to make compromises, like, say if a particular scent gives your roommate a headache, you have to refrain from burning said candle. But not tonight! Burn that mother effing candle in every single room. Because you can.

Pee With The Door Open

Don't pretend like you don't do it! This is one of my favourite parts about being alone, I don't have to worry about privacy. I can pee with the door wide open all. day. long.

Watch Whatever You Want On TV

You don't have to share the TV with anyone, so watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad's fourth season. And while you're at it, go ahead and watch the fifth season too.

Dance

A la Tom Cruise in Risky Business, shake your groove thang, twerk up a sweat, go crayzay. Extra fun if you include your pet as a dance partner, or if you motion towards your pet as if telling them, "this one's for you"

And finally,

Solo-Karaoke

Blast that stereo, sing all the wrong words, heck, don't even sing, just groan random notes. No one is here to judge you. Do whatever you want! You can even play that band you're embarrassed to admit you love, because you don't have to explain why "they have such a catchy sound, you know?"


 Peace Out, Kate

Things I'm loving this winter.

28 November 2013

The weather has been getting more and more Canadian by the day, and by that I mean it's getting effing colder every morning I wake up. Being that the weather is getting so cold, I've been eyeing some fabulous new fashion finds both online and during my daily walk to the subway station. I've made a list of sorts (we'll say it's a "wish-list" but let's be honest, I'm definitely getting err thang).

One / Two / Three / Four / Five


 Peace Out, Kate

I Am The Bermuda Triangle.

27 November 2013

About a year or so ago I went on a road trip with a few friends to Florida. We decided we would drive from our little city in Ontario all the way to Orlando, spend a few days there, head to Miami for a couple of days, and then drive back home.

So in planning the trip the four of us going decided that we would all take turns driving. Now, when I say "we all" I mean the three of us that could drive would take turns driving. Jess, my current roommate and I would be driving buddies and Rach, my former roommate and her boyfriend would be driving buddies. We had a rule, if your driving buddy was driving, you were to sit in shotgun and navigate while the other two slept in the back. Sounds simple, simple it was not.

As it turns out, both Jess and I are actually quite fantastic drivers. Directionally, however, we were a little helpless. First, we brought a faulty GPS. Apparently it was only programmed for Canadian cities, which was great for the first two hours of the trip, but once we crossed the boarder it was about as handy as a two year old with a wrench.

We did come prepared with our handy dandy Google maps, so at least we did have some sort of guide to getting to Orlando. Our route looked a little something like this:

We were off to a really great start too, of course because it was Rach's boyfriend who had started the drive, but as soon as it was my turn to drive, Jess and I would get talking, or singing, or waving to passersby and the next thing we knew, we were off course. We didn't want to wake the two sleeping babes in the back so like any normal person would do, we drove around to find the nearest McDonald's to get free WiFi. (I neglected to tell you that we had turned our phones on Airplane mode to avoid roaming, so we couldn't even use the GPS on our phones unless we used WiFi, hence the need for McDonald's).

When we finally found the WiFi we were looking for and turned on our GPS we noticed that we had gone more than a little off-route... Nashville Tennessee off route. By the time we got to Orlando our map looked a little more like this:

We got there in one peace and fun was had by all. Then it was time for us to drive home. Jess and I had decided to do most of the driving because *spoiler alert* Rach's boyfriend was going to propose to her the day we got back so they needed the sleep. We had the best intentions, but we failed miserably... For the geographically challenged like moi, here's what our map looked like heading home:

We decided to take a different route so we could see more of the United States. And boy, did we ever... Again, Jess and I did more talking, more singing, and more waving and again we found ourselves looking at unfamiliar signs. After much debate, we caved and woke up the rest of the car to figure out where we were. We did this more times than I could even count, including once while we drove through the Carolina's during the huge tornados they had (March 2 & 3 2012, look it up because Rach and her man think Jess and I made it up).

We had also managed to drive through Washington, (don't ask how, but I saw the freaking Peace Tower and was like, whaaa) Baltimore, (yes, I sang the song from Hairspray as we got out of the car at a KFC to ask for directions) and, wait for it, New York City. We decided since we were already on our way we were just going to go and enjoy ourselves for a few hours, which we did, then hop back in the car, and go home.

Yeah... I was way off.

*Side note, I did manage to get from the U.S/ Canadian border at New York, all the way to Toronto in about two hours. I may or may not have broken the law in doing so, but that point is moot.

All was good, Rach and her man got engaged, and we ate Chinese food in celebration, but not before Jess and I had been officially dubbed "The Bermuda Triangle". Basically our faces are in Wikipedia now.

True story.

 Peace Out, Kate

That time I worked at a call-centre...

26 November 2013

I took a gap year in between graduating college and starting university. For sake of theatrics, this year will forever be remembered as “The Dark Ages”. During said “Dark Ages”, I worked at a call-center for an American cable company. I received calls from all over the United States of ‘Merica, anywhere from California to Florida, and usually within the first three minutes of answering the phone, I was always asked the same questions. 

This is how it typically played out:

Customer: “Are you Canadian?”
Kate: “Yes, I am!”
C:“I could tell by your accent.”
K: “You could? I didn’t know I had an accent.”
C: “Oh yeah, it’s a mix between a Californian and Minnesotan accent.”
K: “Really? That’s surprising since I live so close to New York.”
C: “So, do you know Drake?”

Other calls usually went like this:
Customer: “Oh, so you’re Canadian! It must be really cold out there!”

Most of these particular calls occurred in the summer time.

Kate: “Well today it’s about 80 degrees”
C: “Oh wow, so you folks do get some warm weather!”

I’d also get the typical questions about free healthcare and getting rid of the penny, but my favourite calls were usually the angry customers:

I’ve taken the liberty of editing the language since ladies don’t swear....

Kate: “Thanks for calling [American cable company that shall remain unnamed], my name is Kate, and how might I help you today?
C: “Y’all done [rhymes with trucked] up my TV!”
K: “I’m sorry ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”
C: “Y’all cut off my TV! Cut it back on right now!”
K: “Well let me take a look at your account and see what the issue is”

After about five attempts of having her list off her phone number at lightning speed with a very heavy southern accent I ask her one more time...

K: “I’m sorry ma’am, but I’ll need you to say your phone number a little slower so I can catch all the numbers, please”
C: “This is rediklus! You stupit or somethin’?
K: “No ma’am, it’s just hard for me to record your number when you say it so fast”

After many sighs, and finally some cooperation, I find the account and see that the customer is two-months past due and has an account balance of about $600.

K: “Okay, so I see the reason why you’re in an interruption is because your bill is past due. Are you able to make a payment today to clear up the arrears?”
C: “I don’t know what the [rhymes with stuck] you’re goin’ on ‘bout, but turn my [Lord’s name, beaver’s house] TV back on right now!”
K: “I’d be happy to restore services for you after you’ve paid the past due balance.”
C: “Well I’m not payin’ the [Lord’s name, beaver’s house] bill because my cable went fuzzy last month and y’all didn’t fix it.”
K: “I’m sorry, did you call us about the issues”
C: “No, I got other [feces] I got to deal with, I don’t have time to be sittin’ on the phone witches”
K: “Okay, then unfortunately there’s nothing I can do apart from take your payment”
C: “Where are you?”
K: “I’m sorry?”
C: “Where. Are. You?
K: “I’m in Canada, ma’am
C: “Mmmhmm. You Canadian’s are so stupit. Takin’ our jobs and now stealin’ from a poor old woman who’s lost her husband and doesn’t have a job. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves” (Her husband was alive, it was notated that he called the night before to make sure his pay per view titles wouldn't be on the bill).
K: “I’m sorry you feel that way ma’am but there’s nothing we can do until you’ve paid your bill”
C: “Oh I’ll see about that.”

And then usually they hang up. Most of the time they spew out obscenity after obscenity and then hang up, but I think you get the drift.

True story!

 Peace Out, Kate



Glossy Blonde

Weekend Recap

25 November 2013

This weekend brought a variety of things to the table, here's my recap:

Doctor Who The Day of The Doctor

Was anyone else completely sidetracked every time they went to look something up on Google this weekend? I was writing a paper and it took me twice the time to do research because I kept playing the fantastic game that Google had in celebration of The Day of The Doctor. Also, did anyone see it? Wowowow. Two words: David. Tennant.

Christmas movies are finally being shown on TV!!!

Words cannot even express the excitement that overcame me while channel-surfing Friday night, and Elf appeared on my screen...


I mean, I think you guys have an idea...

I love when people cook for me...

Saturday I went to my uncle's for dinner, and was surprised with a fancy-schmancy four-course meal. Of course I was too busy stuffing my face to take any pictures, but imagine homemade puff pasties, a tomato bacon and some-french-cheese-I-can't-imagine-pronouncing-correctly soup, chicken and pesto pasta with black olives, walnuts and sundries tomatoes, and to top it off, a toasted croissant with caramel and brandy sauce, served with freshly pressed cappuccino. I literally died and went to fat kid heaven.

Am I the only one who didn't watch the AMAs last night?

I was too busy snuggling with babies and watching White House Down. Great movie, by the way. I mean, if you're into explosions and Channing Tatum's rippling muscles and stuff...


 photo signature_zps2625a20e.png

Things I'm Loving This Week

22 November 2013

There's nothing I love more than looking at the silver lining. This week started off rather heinous because of the whole flu thing, but it's turned around! Here's my list of things I'm loving this week:

Sleep

Who knew a girl could sleep so much? I think Tuesday I managed to sleep a much-needed 14-hours! Boo-ya!

Super Fun Night

Good ol' Rebel Wilson just really knows how to make a girl laugh.


Surprise Chipotle

I tweeted this today, and it was awesome!

Leia



When you're feeling under the weather, nothing beats seeing this cute little face!

Catching Fire



I went to see Catching Fire last night with some old friends from college, and oh my! It was amazing! I mean, I'm a fan of the series so even if it sucked I probably would have still enjoyed it, but wow! It was executed way better than the first movie, and being that Catching Fire was my fave book of the series, I held a pretty high standard to the movie. It did bot disappoint. If you haven't seen it yet, go this weekend!

Getting Good Sushi

I have hesitated ordering sushi since I've moved into the city for fear that I would get food poisoning and die. Finally, after asking around I found a good sushi joint, and picked some up for lunch and just ate the crap out it. It was so good. What's even better? Didn't get sick. Win.

Christmas Music

In preparation of Christmas decorating next week, I've been pumping myself up by blasting the Yule tide tunes! And since today is #backthatazzup Friday, I've selected one of the many that have been repeating aaaalll week!


 photo signature_zps2625a20e.png

Grow Your Blog Link Up #01

19 November 2013

Happy Tuesday guys! Today I'm literally feeling like death. It seems procrastinating to get my flu shot has left me vulnerable to the flu and I am currently laying in bed all sickly with a bucket next to my bed. It's really a beautiful sight. If I've learned one thing out of this it's this: get your flu shot guys, seriously.

Anyways, vomit and delusions aside, I'm happy to announce a link-up I'm co-hosting with One Chocolate Box!

Welcome to the very first Grow Your Blog Link Up!

It's a link up specifically for new bloggers (those with less than 500 followers per social medium are welcome too). It's a chance to meet other new bloggers, and hopefully build networks and friendships.

There are no fees for co-hosting. Just email Toni at onechocolatebox@gmail.com if you're interested.

Link ups start every Wednesday at 9pm NZDT for all you Kiwis and Tuesday 9pm EST if you're an East-coaster like moi.

Each week, one participant will be randomly selected, and gets featured on the following week's blog hop. More free exposure!

There'll also be a giveaway from time to time, so make sure to check back each week.
1. Toni put a lot of work into this link- up, so go follow One Chocolate Box!

2. Follow the co-hosts! Let us know you're following from the Link Up, so we can follow you back.

3. Link up in the appropriate section using your blog URL or profile URL. Remember you can only link up in the section if you have less than 500 followers in it.

4. Visit and follow at least 1 other blogger. Let them know what you like about their blog.

5. Return the love, follow your new followers!

6. It would be super if you shared the Link Up via Facebook or Twitter. The more people join up, the more potential followers you can get.

7. I'd love you forever if you grabbed the button below and place it on your sidebar!

A big welcome to all the lovely co-hosts this week:

Kate at Odd One Out
Jennifer at Magic Cat Jenny
Chynna at The Invisible Child
Bri at Deliciously Active

Thanks so much for co-hosting ladies!
 photo darkhgrey_signature_zpsba2274b8.png

Kate Bakes...again

18 November 2013

If you remember, I'm not much of a cook... but this weekend I got hit with the baking bug and decided to take my chances baking.

I had been craving cheese tea biscuits for weeks so yesterday I finally got off my butt and attempted to bake them. From. Scratch. The result?
Success!

To be honest, the recipe was really easy to follow. I used my mum's recipe, and since I was so happy with the result, I figured I'd share the magic with you guys.
Bake your own and tweet me a picture!

 photo signature_zps2625a20e.png

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...