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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Entries tagged with "christmas"

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Do you people realize that a week from today we will be celebrating Christmas? Hard to believe. But just in case there are those of you who are still about three months away from finishing shopping, (insert my photo), here’s another great gift idea (which just happens to be in a dead heat with pomegranate vinegar for this year’s favorite in my opinion): Bird Seed Ball Oh the simplicity. This is such a great idea, I could just hug the person who originally dreamed this up. Here’s what you’ll need for one batch: 4-5 inch twig balls 1 cup animal lard 1 cup peanut butter raisins, cranberries or other bird-friendly fruits 3 cups corn meal 1 cup oats sunflower seeds or any other seed (as far as I know…) Press n seal wrap Melt peanut butter and lard in large pot (don’t …

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Kate’s Ecscapades – What your perfect ‘Snow Day’ says about you

You wake up in the morning and see that  snow has been falling all night, covering the roads and blowing into snowdrifts keeping you from your job/school/regular life.  How do you choose to spend this unexpected day of freedom?  How you choose to spend a snow day shows the activities you are longing to participate in, but rarely have the time for. See if you can find your favorite snowy day diversion and find out what that says about you… m If a snowy day means… Baking up a storm – You’re a serenity seeker! According to psychologist Kathleen Nickerson, Ph.D. (, “Bakers often tell me what a release it is to create something out of flour, sugar and butter.” Nickerson says that following a recipe’s instructions zaps stress by turning off the analytical … Read entire article »

Filed under: Handy Dandy Tips, Read Full Report, Kate's Escapades

Liz’s rant: It’s a marshmallow world

In case you dare have the audacity not to read this entire post, I’ll warn you now. First I’ll rant, then I’ll craft (and this gift is one that’s tied for my favorite gift of 2009). The other contender will be featured Friday, so stay tuned. I guess my rant isn’t as much a rant as a longing. A longing for simpler times. If you read my rants, you likely have surmised that I love old music. It defines an age of innocence as it were. An age when there was nothing wrong with a little romance, knowing what you stood for and defying anyone to cross you. Yeah, I guess those are “the good ol’ days” for me. Sometimes I wonder if I was re-incarnated from World War II, Case in … Read entire article »

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Kate’s Escapades – Wacky gift exchange

I am big on holiday traditions.  I think it’s the  memories of the cherished holiday traditions of our childhoods that warm our hearts and make the holidays so special.  Let me share with you today one of my family’s favorite, and  slightly unusual traditions. It’s our Wacky gift exchange.  When my family first started our gift exchange tradition, we stuck to the standard gift exchange rules: draw names, buy gifts, and exchange them.  Well, if you know me at all by now, you know that I couldn’t be satisfied with that routine for long.  Had to find a way to add a twist, mix things up and make it more challenging. So first we set a price limit  of $5 on the exchange, forcing us to be creative and thrifty with our … Read entire article »

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This Week’s Giveaway – A Cozy Christmas Eve Set

The winner of this cozy Christmas Eve set is Sarah. Congrats and Merry Christmas. We’ve sent you an email from to get your mailing address. No giveaway this week, but make sure to check back next week for another great giveaway. Congrats to the winner of last week’s Reindeer Wrapping Set giveaway – Ryana. We’ll be sending you an email from lizandkate@live.con to get your shipping info. Thanks for visiting Coffee Break with Liz and Kate, readers, and thanks for all those great comments. This week’s giveaway – A Cozy Christmas Eve Set Includes: Laughing All the Way, a hardback Christmas book written by Sam Beeson. “What if by some strange series of events Santa can’t do his job this year?  That’s precisely what Thomas Bunk is counting on as he initiates a scheme … Read entire article »

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Liz’s rant: Shop ’til you wonder why you’re there

I love my daughter. Really I do. She has a few quirks, though. She can’t make a decision to save her life. (Fact – deal with it.) Today was no exception. “Let’s go to the mall,” she said… On a Sunday afternoon, less than two weeks before Christmas. Had she lost her mind? “Don’t you have friends to submit to this torture without taking your mother?” I asked. And she did. Except that she’d just gotten back from a round-the-clock softball tourney in Indianapolis. And since her last game was at 5:30 Sunday morning, and she didn’t get home until about 1 p.m., her friends had conveniently made other plans. So had her brother and I. In fact, we’d been at another store when she’d called to say she was home, and made that dreaded mall … Read entire article »

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Betcha Didn’t Know – Where Santa’s Village is

Yes, Santa Claus really does exist — and he lives in Rovaniemi, Finland! At Santa’s Village, you can visit Santa in his workshop and watch his trusty elves building toys and decorating for the holidays. You can also stop by one of the gift shops and pick up Santa’s favorite Finnish candies or a toy from Santa’s workshop. Apparently there is even a webcam set up to keep tabs on happenings at Santa’s Village. In keeping with Santa’s North Pole address, Santa’s Village is located in the Finnish Lapland on the Arctic Circle. The Lapland is a region that includes northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway. It is north of the Arctic Circle, an imaginary line on the surface of the earth where the sun does not rise on the winter solstice or … Read entire article »

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Betcha Didn’t Know – how to feel less tired with peppermint

Betcha didn’t know… how peppermint can make you feel less tired.  The scent of mint increases activity in the area of the brain responsible for alertness and arousal, says Brian Raudenbush, Ph.D. In fact, research shows it can even reduce driver fatigue and car accidents.  A study at the University of Cincinnati found that volunteers who did a task requiring mental acuity finished faster in a peppermint-scented room, and other studies have found peppermint can make atheletes perform better and work harder without even noticing! So grab a candy cane and enjoy! … Read entire article »

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Kate’s Escapades – Things I Love About Christmas

To celebrate this wonderful time of the year, I thought that today I’d share with you some of my favorite things about Christmas. So these are some of my favorite things about the Christmas season. Now it’s your turn, readers.  Let’s hear some of the things that you love about Christmas. ~Kate Enjoy your Coffee Break! *Leave a comment on this, or any , post to be automatically entered in this week’s giveaway. Come back tomorrow for some great Christmas ideas in our Craftdown to Christmas, week 5. … Read entire article »

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Kate’s Escapades – I Believe in Santa Claus

I’ve always known that this dreaded day would come . In fact, it’s been 25 years in the making. I had hoped to stretch  it out one more year, but alas, it’s not to be. And let me tell you, I am heartbroken.  Much more heartbroken, it seems, than my son is. (Note to reader…if you have a small child lurking over your shoulder, who happens to be able to read, please send them off to frolic and play before you read further, unless you’d like the dreaded day to come before you’re prepared for it, like it has for me.) The youngest of my seven kids now “knows”. I’ve seen it coming all through the year.  First the Easter Bunny fell by the wayside. (Isn’t he always the first to go? … Read entire article »

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This Week’s Giveaway – Reindeer Wrapping Set

Congrats to the winner of last week’s giveaway – Julie L.  We will be contacting you by email from to  get your mailing address so we can get you prize out to you. This week’s giveaway, sure to have you wrapping in style this year – Reindeer Wrapping Set including… Reindeer Keepsake felt giftbag from Hallmark Reindeer scissors Scotch Pop Up Tape Dispenser Here’s how to enter: There are several ways to enter.  You may choose to enter one way, or you may choose to do them all.  It’s up to you.  The more times you enter, the more you increase your chances  to win. Leave a comment on this post between now and Sun. Dec. 13th 9:00pm MST. and you’ll automatically be entered. Leave a comment on any other Coffee Break with Liz and Kate post … Read entire article »

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Everybody’s Fine Movie Review by Kate

Everybody’s Fine Movie Review by Kate. Reel reviews for real people Everybody’s Fine Movie Reviews Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language Genre: Comedy Plot:Robert De Niro leads a stellar cast in this insightful dramedy starring Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell. A remake of the Italian film Stanno Tutti Benne, Everybody’s Fine features De Niro playing a widower who tries to improve his relationship with his troubled adult children. Starring: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell Director: Kirk Jones Running Time: 1:35 Kate says – 3 stars “Everybody’s Fine is a warm and touching movie full of solid quiet performances on all fronts, but especially by De Niro, who’s calm and understated portrayal of Frank Goode is both believable and emotional. The story line does follow a predictable path, and … Read entire article »

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Kate’s Escapades – While I was sleeping…

Let me tell you about the ridiculous dream I had last night.  It was one of those really, really awful dreams… full of panic, anxiety, desperation. A nightmare, if you will. But let me also tell you that you’re going to get a kick out of this, I think. And it serves  as a perfect segue into the whole holiday season for me. So in my dream… It was about 10pm and everyone was nestled all snug in their beds with visions of…well, I’m probably better off not knowing what they were having visions of, but my point is…I was the only one awake.   I was sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket reading a book, and all of the sudden it dawned on me that it was Christmas … Read entire article »

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Kate’s Escapades – Deck the Walls…

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday.  It’s the big grand finale celebration of the year…the other holidays scattered throughout the year just serve as dress rehearsals for the big show in December. The season is full of happy music, bright lights, delicious treats, and general merriment.  But it is also a season filled with busy schedules, crowded stores, high expectations, and extra stress.  Through a process of trial and error over the years, I’ve discovered some tips and tricks that have helped me to simplify and survive the season, with my sanity relatively in tact. Today I’m going to share with you a quick, easy and inexpensive decorating tip.  It’s one I happened upon in the early years of my marriage, when money was tight and we had very few decorations.  … Read entire article »

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Liz’s rant: The snow is snowing

Ever notice how the silliest things have the capacity to turn into discussions that just make your head spin? Case in point would be my little argument with Hannah over a Billie Holiday Christmas song, where the late great singer bellows out lines like, “The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing.” “Why is the snow snowing?” I asked. “That’s what snow does, Mom – it snows.” “No the snow does not snow – it falls.” “Mom, you are so misguided. When it snows, we don’t say ‘it’s falling’. We say it’s snowing.” “Then why isn’t the wind winding,” I asked. “Note that even Billie admits the wind is blowing. Snow can do that, too. But I still maintain the snow doesn’t snow. Nor does rain rain.” “Then what does rain do, Mom?” “It falls, too. Sometimes … Read entire article »

Filed under: Read Full Report, Let's Celebrate, Liz's Rants