Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RATE IT! Breaking the Ice

New Year's Eve celebrations are a few hours away, so in keeping with the giddy atmosphere, here's a party prop to guarantee laughs!

How about an ice cube tray featuring ice burgs and ocean liners? Well, Kate & Leo are back together on the silver screen making movie magic, so the time is just perfect! Your party & drinks will be remembered for their titanic impression! Just don't be surprised when that annoying guy who see only once a year hollers, "ice cube, right ahead!" Just only see him once every 12 months!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HATE IT! Gossip Girl Board Game

You know you've made it when a game is created in your honour. The belle of the ball this season, 'Gossip Girl'.

It's a shame then that this "effort" would embarrass the expensive tastes of Blair, Chuck & Serena. Just opening up the box tells you all you need to know. Drab, blah, a half assed effort. What fan of the show would entertain this mess? Black and white quiz cards & money? Silly grade school questions? Gossip Girl is *never* black & white. It lives in full colour -- passionate reds, envious greens, backstabbing's bright, sassy, overflowing with scandalous energy, not like this game. Bored game, too right. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

RATE IT! It's a December Monday...

Today's Monday. 
In December. 
In Canada...

Get my drift? (and no, that wasn't meant to relate to snow. Don't remind me!)

Long week ahead. Post-Christmas malaise has set in.

I feel - wait! No, I *know* we're all deserving of some treats. I want the Dairy Queen brownie thing. The rest of you can fight over the other treats.

Friday, December 26, 2008

RATE IT! Pet's Eye View Camera

I can't help myself; I find this invention absolutely brilliant!

For the doggy mum who is at work all day - now you can catch up with your pet's antics when you return home. It's the Pet's Eye View Camera! Just attach the tiny camera to your bubba's collar, and it will record your dog's daily adventures from his perspective. See what he ate, chewed...

Your shoes will never fear for their lives again!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RATE IT! Christmas Disco

Merry Christmas! Joy to the World - it's a Christmas disco. Back by popular demand are the Manchester United crew with a dance around the Christmas tree...okay, not really but it's still quite timely and FUN! Enjoy this video I crafted with the help of Jib Jab!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

RATE IT! Creature Comforts Christmas

My Brit friends will know 'Creature Comforts' *very* well! Created by the genius Nick Park - yes, the man who gave the world Wallace & Gromit, as well as 'Chicken Run' - 'Creature Comforts' this time 'round takes on Christmas. Witty, and full of seasonal cheer!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

RATE IT! United Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and the spirit of the holiday got me carried away with the 'Elf-Yourself' funzone courtesy of Jib Jab. I've made about 15 of these videos and am getting more silly as I go along! Here's one that I personally can't get enough of -- I've put various Manchester United footie players plus their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, in a ho-down chock full of Chrimbo hilarity. Wayne Rooney, doing a square dance? Who knew?

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

RATE IT! Welcome Christmas Who-Style

Love Christmas Eve! The anticipation of Christmas tomorrow! Here's an annual gem from the 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'. 'Welcome Christmas' -- full of joy & happiness, plus a song I can't get enough of, 'Trim Up the Tree'. Yep, both are in this Christmas nerd's iPod. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RATE IT! Snow & Heat Miser

I doubt that I'm the only one who thought that THE highlight of the Rankin/Bass Christmas special, 'The Year Without a Santa Claus' was the dueling fair-weather brothers, Snow Miser and Heat Miser. They completely stole the show and got the best songs! Relive the magic! TOO MUCH!

RATE IT! I Believe in Santa Claus

Rankin & Bass get me every time! From 'The Year Without a Santa Claus', I Believe in Santa Claus. And yeah, actually, I do! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

RATE IT! Scared of Santa

Ha ha! Love the full title of this timely book: Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland.

Not all kiddiewinks are excited about being plonked down on the sturdy knee of St. Nick! Check out these kids as they squirm, bawl and completely ruin this annual photo-op.

This book is a laugh down candy cane memory lane!

RATE IT! Dino & Frank's Marshmallow World

Christmas classic! Retro fun with Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra singing 'A Marshmallow World'. I have this recording in my iPod and am thrilled to "see" what the two gents were up to! The studio audience laughter can now be explained! So old school - check out Dino smoking while performing. Don Draper would *love* it!

Thanks to Darren for this find!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

RATE IT! Do They Know It's Christmas could I not?

I am a child of the 80's, and this song features pretty much everyone that mattered (to me, at least) when I was growing up. Still get chills when Simon Le Bon shows up. And Sting's bed head still cracks me up. Some smarty pants should sort out the distribution rights & re-release the making-of doc that goes with this song. I have it on an ancient VHS tape that has seen better days.

Cary from List of the Day posted the vid on his site too -- so I'm in good company in my 80's obsessiveness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

RATE IT! Watch...A Very Merry Cricket

Here's another Christmas special that *used* to air on television quite regularly. The Chuck Jones special, 'A Very Merry Cricket' (a sorta sequel to the excellent 'Cricket in Times Square').

They don't make Christmas specials like they used to. A lovely story -- take a moment in the holiday rush and enjoy the heart-felt sentiment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

RATE IT! Watch...Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey

Earlier in the month, I had mentioned the holiday gem that is Rankin/Bass' 'Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey'. Due to the generosity of a fellow Nestor fan, the entire special is up on YouTube. You can view this heart-bursting special here in three segments below - just be sure to have kleenex on hand. Tears, guaranteed! And...if you want to buy it, 'Nestor' can be found on the DVD for 'Year Without a Santa Claus'.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

RATE IT! Burger Beanie

Hold the pickles! Be the burger king with this lovely crown, woolly beanie. Stay tucked up warm without need for a heat lamp (So sorry! Sad attempt at burger bar humour). If you're feeling inspired by the Hamburgler, just pull this knit cap down, and with the handy eye holes, it can be worn as a mask. 

HATE IT! Want Some Steak with That Whine?

January's GQ magazine *cough* reveals that Penn Badgley - aka, Dan Humphrey of our beloved 'Gossip Girl', finds the role unchallenging. "I can do this role with my eyes closed..." he ungratefully whined to the scribes.

We're not surprised. Dan's a bore. He's vanilla next to Chuck's death by chocolate. Bland Dan. It can't be fun to play such a blah character BUT - this gig brought him fame, probably fortune, his girlfriend (co-star Blake Lively) and the opp to be a poser in GQ. At least he has a job which is much more than many other people have right now. 

And at least he's not portraying the most vile character on GG, Aaron Rose. According to the Los Angeles Times, the December 8 episode where the slimy 'artist' whisks Serena off to South America for Christmas will be the last time we set eyes on the guy. Ah, thanks Santa for the early Chrimbo pressie!

(photo: the CW)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

RATE IT! Jon Hamm's Hair Hang-ups

Ah, it pains me to say that US Magazine is right. Stars *are* like us. Even super stunners like 'Mad Men' star, Jon Hamm have bad hair days. Apparently, the hottie named as one of GQ magazine's 'Men of the Year' & People's 'Sexiest Men Alive', hates his hair. Speaking to CNN, he admitted that he struggles daily. "It never looks's a pain."

Hmm. Beg to differ? Well, yes!

(photo: Reuters)

RATE IT! Research in the Name of Chocolate

Still recovering from rejoicing over yesterday's National Chocolate Covered Anything Day?

True chocolate indulgers won't require any Tums or Pepto this morning. We scarf down plenty of the stuff ~ daily. We are hardcore. 

Remember yesterday I pondered why there was only one day to whoop it up for our favourite treat? I took it upon myself to do a little more in-depth research (yes, there was sampling involved; can you blame me?), and I discovered that there are actually seventeen such ecstatic days of chocolate bliss according to the National Confectioners Association of the good ol' U.S of A. Some days are full-fledged chocolate-centred occasions while others involve guest stars: mint, cherries, caramel to name but a few. However you want to slice, dice, and devour it, chocolate is worthy of many days of mirth. I know, I know...tell you something that you didn't already know. Now, pass the Cadbury's, will ya?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

RATE IT! As If We Need a Reason... honour our fave food. Apparently, today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.

On this historic day, anything goes - as long as it's dipped, smothered or made completely of chocolate. Truth be told, there is no historical declaration for this day of giddy celebrations. Looks like some candy man just made it so.

My question is, why is there just ONE day set aside for such an important ingredient in our lives? In my house, it's national chocolate day (and never mind this "covered" business) *every* day! Care to agree?

RATE IT! McDonald's Free Menu

In these desperate economic times, it's rare to get anything for free nowadays, or is it?

Monday, December 15, 2008

RATE IT! Death Metal Puppy

The gang over at Funny or Die want to introduce you to a canine that loves death metal music. Scared of dogs? You might want to skip this one, or risk having nightmares for weeks. Or, opt for this video (click here) instead for happy, fluffy doggie dreams.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

RATE IT! More Holiday Spirit with SNL's A-Holes

Nativity recreations will never be the same!

Friday, December 12, 2008

RATE IT! Gossip Girl Spin-off Dead - For Now

Just when we were getting our hair bands all twisted in a knot, word comes from E! On-line that rumours of a Rufus-Lily spin-off prequel to 'Gossip Girl' is not to be. 

THANK GOODNESS for small miracles! Whew! Apparently, the idea for some pre-kiddies Rufus and Lily storytelling isn't completely false - the notion was to create possible webisodes for the doomed lovebirds, but Star magazine took that wisp of an idea and ran it through the rumour mill blowing it up into its own series. It is not according to the big wigs at Warner Bros. & the CW. And for that, we say drinks are on us at the Palace Hotel.

(photo: the CW)

RATE IT! Blur Reunited? Take That Become Five?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this photo on the cover of the latest issue of Britain's NME proclaims all is well in the magical, musical world of Blur.

But is it? Guess we have to read NME and see. I was going to say read it and weep but a reunion is supposed to be a good thing, right? I'm on team Graham Coxon for this one. Damon can be a bully & has been a piece of work in the past. Funny what getting older will make you do - experts say forgetfulness is one sign of aging!

In other musical chair news, apparently Robbie Williams might be rejoining Take That. Plenty of hints on the Robster's website but nothing has been officially stated. Sounds like Rob is forgetting the past in order to cash in on the success of his former band mates. Hate to be skeptical but c''s Robbie afterall! To see Take That in their current quartet, click here for a glimpse of some seasonal cheer. Maybe Rob just wants to hang with some babes!

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 12th & Final Day

Our 12 days of Christmas has come to an end, and what better way to conclude but on 'Poinsettia Day'.

All hail the Christmasy plant, a mainstay of holiday decorations everywhere! So pretty...but also deadly to pets. Make sure they don't have a Christmas nibble. Better to let them feast on a sugar cookie or two!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

HATE IT! Gossip Girl *Real* Spin-off News

Much like a VH1 special, word comes that the 'Gossip Girl' spin-off will focus on 90's one-hit wonder, Rufus Humphrey and his Upper East Side groupie girlfriend, Lily.

Looks like we will see what brought Dan's Dad & Serena's Mum together in their youth. Not to fear, the actors from GG proper will NOT be leaving the show. Casting will cull two younger actors to portray Rufus & Lily. Not sure how this will work with new actors to tell the tale. The characters of Rufus & Lily aren't *that* old, so to bring in youngsters to play them 20 years earlier...well, hope the casting dept is really on the money with finding doppelgangers. 

(photo: gossipgirlinsider)

RATE IT! Golden Globe Nominations

A sure sign of the year's end, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominations for their Golden Globe awards this morning. Many of the usual suspects, perennial award winners were in the mix: hello Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Sean Penn, Hugh Laurie, even Jeremy Piven -- but this year also saw some rising stars in movies & television in the mix: step forward Jon Hamm, January Jones, and Anne Hathaway.

Of note, Kate Winslet - one of my faves - received two noms, one each for 'Revolutionary Road' and 'The Reader', and Robert Downey Jr. also got selected for his hilarious turn in 'Tropic Thunder' (as did not-so-secret co-star, Tom Cruise). And the lovable 'Wall-E' looks to grab more hardware too (it's just got to beat 'Kung Fu Panda' -meh!).

The Golden Globes will be handed to those deemed deserving on January 11 at 8pm on NBC in North America. The full list of nominations can be examined here.

(photo of Mad Men's Jon Hamm & January Jones: AP Photo)

RATE IT! Lost Kubrick Figures

Just in time for Christmas! The stranded characters of 'Lost' get the Kubrick toy treatment.

Charlie, Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Sayid, Hurley, Locke -- they're all here!

Each box is unmarked as to which Oceanic Flight 815 survivor is inside making for a more drawn out discovery - much like the show itself!

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 11th Day

The blustery cold of the Christmas rush means -- the horror!! -- chapped lips are back!

To keep them at bay *and* remain jolly, try out this Rudolph (of the Rankin & Bass Christmas special fame) lip gloss. Perfect for the holiday season and right on cue, Rudolph's nose even lights up!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

RATE IT! Duran Duran Toronto Success

I've counted the ticket stubs -- I think my math is bang on -- for the 15th time, Duran Duran triumphed in Toronto last night. Wahey!

Ah, once a Duranie, always a Duranie. Just older, somewhat wiser (I refrained from purchasing their blurry, but apparently arty tour program; bet Nick's to blame) but still well-versed on Simon's often obtuse lyrics. I remember going to gigs in the city and having the T.O. crowd acting absolutely bonkers ~ dancing, jumping, singing along. In recent years, Toronto "fans" regardless of the show seem to prefer to sit on their hands and look bored. Well, we did see two female fans beside us in that poe-faced glaze (wha? think you're at a Leafs game?), but generally the audience at the Air Canada Centre was up on their feet, doing a boogie and singing - loudly.

The band are touring last year's release, 'Red Carpet Massacre' -- an album we first met last November during Duran's 10 day Broadway stint in NYC (one of the best concerts I've *ever* witnessed) -- but surprisingly, the boys only performed four tunes from that album, preferring to deliver a hit by hit showcase of their famously catchy library. The fans ate it up, and could have devoured more had the band not pulled the plug after 2 hours of awesomeness. Oh, how 80's I sound!

The show was fantastic - vintage Duran. Simon sounded on note, John, Nick & Roger -- note perfect. They looked great! Once a Duranie, always a Duranie. Yes, Duranies and their beloved band do get older, but we never lose it (ah, a Wild Boys reference - can't help myself).

Here's the playlist: The Valley (*fave* tune from RCM - ideal show opener), Planet Earth, Hungry Like the Wolf, Nite-Runner, Notorious, I Don't Want Your Love, Save a Prayer, Red Carpet Massacre, A View to a Kill, Serious -- which morphed into the giddy Nice, Falling Down, Come Undone, Ordinary World, Is There Something I Should Know, Reflex (Toronto Duranies' fave. Yep, the video was shot here in '84), White Lines (stonkin' funky cover, brill as always), Sunrise, Wild Boys - plus encore of, Girls on Film, and Rio. I missed the usual inclusion of Careless Memories, but honestly, I cannot complain!

(photo: Jam Showbiz)

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 10th Day

Every day adhesive tape can often leave your carefully wrapped presents looking messy & ill-wrapped. Not anymore! Put some Christmas sparkle into a sticky job with Tinsel Tape. No more shiny strips that bring attention to gift wrap gone wrong...say hello to silvery joy! This tinsel tape will disguise even the dodgy-est of corners. Pretty *and* functional.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

RATE IT! Gossip Girl Sneak Peek - Episode 14

Now that we're at the beginning of the four -- week -- wait for a new episode of 'Gossip Girl', I know I'll be viewing this promo for the January 5 ep repeatedly, over & over again. 

Hello, serious withdrawal happening here. Chuck stormed my dreams last night, no doubt due to my insatiable craving for some resolution in the affairs of everything bad ass Bass. Hungover after last night's intoxicating fireworks too? View this clip & yearn for January 5.

HATE IT! Four Week Gossip Girl Freeze Out

Gossip Girl served up a stomper of an episode last night. Yes, the death we all expected was confirmed. Yes, the secret from Lily's past -- which many a fan guessed -- was also proven. Despite the fact that we figured out all the huge reveals, our super sleuthing didn't take away from the realization that this episode ROCKED! Best episode so far! want reasons?

Chuck -- CHUCK!! Drunk, stumbling, disheveled baby Bass billionaire, *now* the richest kid in Manhattan. His slouchy, growling delivery, with accusatory daggers shot from his squinty gaze at Lily. The motherchucker showed how evil and threatening he can be; I would've put money on him slugging Dan. Staggering between indifference and overwrought redemption, Chuck again proves that he is the true star - like we needed a reminder. We've known all along. We couldn't keep our riveted eyes off him. Totally mesmerizing, totally hot in a messed up way too!

Blair -- The Queen B may be wound up tight, all prim & proper, but boy does the girl show her sensitivity when her heart is crushed. Blair showed us more vulnerability than we've seen probably in the series so far. With her future step-father (her sniffling utterance of "not enough")...easily won over the staunchest of Blair-aphobes.

The other characters? Truthfully, they don't even enter the equation. Sure, the Lily-Rufus arc is reserrected & evolving but it's completely secondary to Chuck & Blair. Aaron & Serena? Pu-lease! Let's *not* go there! He needs a shave, a hair cut & a slap to remove that smug grin. Nate, Dan, little J -- all just by-standers this week but I do give props to Blair's Mum and her little troll (but sweet) fiance. Actually, they had some lovely scenes together.

Chuck & Blair *should* be together. They balance each other completely. Will they be? Don't bet on it anytime soon. And thus, we wait. And wait. And wait. Gossip Girl is gone, baby, gone until January 5, for new eps at least. So we're left desperately wanting, just like Blair herself to see what will come of Chuck. The agony! The separation anxiety! My stomach is doing somersaults. January 5 is so very far away, and to be frozen out from our fave clique in this manner is cruel. 

(photo: gossipgirlinsider)

RATE IT! Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the annual television airings of the Rankin & Bass holiday specials.

Many of us in North America grew up with these TV specials -- we sing all the songs, know the dialogue by heart, and some of us even own the toys (*ahem* -- guilty as charged!). Everyone recalls 'Rudolph', 'Frosty', 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' and 'The Little Drummer Boy'...but don't forget the lesser known specials. Many of these less famous gems are just as entertaining and heart-felt. You might even prefer them.

One of my faves is 'Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey'. Ears, Nestor! Aw, just hearing little Nestor's Mother whispering those words of advice gets the tear ducts going! Like Rudolph, Nestor is shunned by his stable mates & has to overcome great odds to find his purpose in the world. The story's message tugs at your heart & only the Grinchiest will feel unmoved. Me, I cry on every viewing.

Shame that this special gets left on the shelf most Christmas seasons - it should be aired annually. Luckily you can have your Christmas viewing; it's included on the DVD for 'Year Without a Santa Claus.'

NEW!! Now you can watch Nestor - click here!

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 9th Day

Here's a Christmas card good enough to eat! This pop-up gingerbread house from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City stands alone in the coolest card sweepstakes.

Kiss goodbye to cookie cutter Christmas card images for good! Each card comes as a blank gingerbread slate -- just use the candy themed stickers enclosed in the box to create unique cards for each recipient. When all your creative juices have been spent, just flatten the house and it's ready for the post.

Monday, December 8, 2008

RATE IT! Jizz +Timberlake + Lonely Island = SNL's Biggest Hit!

Catch SNL this past weekend? Even if you did, you might want to revisit one of the funniest digital shorts that they've created in *ages*.

Featuring Justin Timberlake as a grocery store custodian, and starring Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island gang of video artisits, 'Jizz in My Pants' is...well, exactly what the title says! It's funny! 

In order to allow Americans and Canadians (and hopefully people everywhere else) to view this clip (NBC's site is now blocking viewers from Canada - for shame! The show's creator, Lorne Michaels is CANADIAN!), just push play below. You'll laugh, maybe be offended (I hope not!) - and you'll watch it again & again! Keep your eyes peeled for appearances by Molly Sims, and Jamie Lynn Sigler of 'Sopranos' fame.


HATE IT! Gossip Girl Spin-Off ~ Part 2

Haven't we already been down this road previously? Geez, I *know* that we have. A 'Gossip Girl' spin-off has reared its ugly spoilt head once again as it's being revisited by the CW brass. Ever anxious to find a kernel of success in an existing program, broadcasters are always willing to cannibalize one great show to spawn a mediocre spin-off (hello? Private Practice! Joey!), and possibly seriously damage the successful original.

Only a few of GG characters are strong enough for their own show. Chuck, Blair and Serena - and that's about it! I don't think GG wants to spare any of these first rate marquee characters for a spin-off. Vanessa is too boring, Jenny - too annoying. Dan -- okay, chalk him up under boring too. Nate -- too vacuous. A spin-off with the parents... Lily and Rufus? Maybe, might work but even they might become flimsy representatives of themselves without the kids to pad out the scenes. So that leaves Blair's maid, Dorota. Well, she can be kinda witty!...

(photo: Gossipgirlinsider)

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 8th Day

I'm a big fan of Christmas but I'm not overly drunk on seasonal cheer to not clue in that some people just aren't.

Here's a Christmas treat for those of you who are more Scrooge than Santa, more Grinch than Rudolph. Wear your bah, humbug sentiments fashionably with this wicked tee.

RATE IT! SNL: Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree

Perfect for the season! Holly jolly Chrimbo wishes for your hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. Just don't behave like these two losers! **Please note: the clip may not be playable in some regions. Don't blame me, blame NBC**

Sunday, December 7, 2008

RATE IT! Rooms for the Memory

One of my favourite songs *ever* -- 'Rooms for the Memory' by Michael Hutchence. 

A single release from the 1986-7 Australian movie, 'Dogs in Space', Michael portrayed the real life lead singer of an Aussie punk band circa the late 70s. A unique slice of life, the flick focused on a mish-mash of youths who shared a house in Melbourne - hippies, punks, students, runaways - all together. Today, the movie retains its cult fave status worldwide. Heck, it's the only reason why I still own a VHS machine -- if only director/writer, Richard Lowenstein could finally release a proper DVD version. Until the movie gets the release it deserves, it's the soon-to-be worn out VHS - again. 

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 7th Day

Once again, Dylan's Candy Bar is celebrating the holidays with an over-abundance of chocolately good cheer!

Similarly to their Hallowe'en solid chocolate trick or treat bag, and delish jack-o-lantern house, they've crafted a charming gingerbread house to ring in plenty of Christmas joy (and feed your chocolat-astic addiction!). But look a little closer. There's not a crumb of gingerbread in sight; this dwelling is ALL milk chocolate, baby! A good 18 oz. worth. Not that I'm complaining!

You can keep your poxy box of Quality Street. I'm asking Santa to gimme this chocolate "home for the holidays" - yes, please!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 6th Day

Yes, it's going to be a white Christmas...white as in Dairy Queen soft serve on your tree!

Who would have thought? Dairy Queen have Christmas tree ornaments! Have a cool yule with this frosty treat.

Do they make 'em Blizzard shaped as well?

Friday, December 5, 2008

RATE IT! Forecast for December Blizzards

You know that I can't go a whole month without *some* mention of Dairy Queen Blizzards. The seasonal tidings are alive and deliciously well at DQ. Our American cousins get to mark this festive time of year with a Peppermint Chip Blizzard of the Month. Isn't it pretty? A minty chocolate celebration that would be the perfect reward after a tough day of Christmas shopping. Ah, it just about erases all the horrors of having your parking spot nicked.

Now the seasonal cheer of soft serve happiness is a bit cloudy for us Canucks. When you visit the Blizzard Club website, they still have November's Blizzard of the Month posted - and I'm FURIOUS that I missed this one! It's a Reese Peanut Butter Cup Blizz! How on earth did I not find this treat!? It's just *made* for me...after all, I was nattering on about adding peanut butter cups as your Blizzard's guest star just recently. I'll have to visit my nearest & dearest DQ to see if it still exists. I can't even post its picture -- it upsets me so!

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 5th Day

Leaving treats for Santa just got a little more festive! Instead of the usual cup of milk and cookies, leave St. Nick a nip of something stronger!

A shot of brandy in these merry-making candy cane shot glasses will help keep Kris Kringle warm & toasty on his world-wide Christmas eve trek.

HO HO HO - indeed!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

RATE IT! New Gossip Girl Couple Alert

It's hardly surprising that when you throw together a bunch of good looking, young actors on a television set that some will hook up.

Looks like cupid struck another pair on NYC's set of 'Gossip Girl'. Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr were spotted intimately engaged at a Dallas airport over Thanksgiving weekend. 

I like this pairing - much better than Ed's last public snog victim, the much older Drew Barrymore. Chuck and Vanessa would never get hot & heavy on the show which makes this bit of gossip all the more intriguing.

(photo: the CW)

RATE IT! Gossip Girl Sneak Peek - Episode 13

What does Chuck know? 

Whoo-hoo!! Face slaps, Rufus & Lily looking guilty...Looks like we're in for a Chuck extravaganza next Monday. The show always soars when baby Bass is on his game.

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 4th Day

Here's one cracker of a Christmas card!

My sister sent this design to friends & family last year ~ I just love the retro characters, perfect for another go around this season.

RATE IT! Happy New Year! Happy New Franz!

Finally! The next release from Glasgow's finest, Franz Ferdinand, has been announced! Their 3rd album, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' hits the shops on January 26 in the UK -- January 27 elsewhere! Hurrah! 

A very Happy New Year, indeed!

(photo: James Looker)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

RATE IT! Yes, Virginia -- Macy's Commercial

I'm especially feeling the Christmas spirit after my festive jaunt to New York City, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Macy's on-air campaign mirrors this year's store window theme, Believe. There's no better story to convey this spirit than the classic 'Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.' A beautiful story, a wonderful sentiment. The commercial features all the star power of previous Macy's ads, but more importantly, is warmly touching. I love it. Catch Jessica Simpson, Kenneth Cole, Donald Trump, Carlos Santana, Tommy Hilfiger & Martha Stewart in the clip below. Enjoy! And for the true story behind 'Yes, Virginia', click here.

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 3rd Day

Christmas just wouldn't be a proper holiday without Charlie Brown...

It's a time for giving and what better way than to give the skimpy Christmas tree from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' a loving home!

Ideal for small condos, and those with a limited decorating budget. See -- no need for fancy ornaments!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RATE IT! Muppet What-Not ~ An Experience!

Back in October, I was thrilled to learn that NYC's venerable toy store, FAO Schwarz was unveiling the first *ever* public Muppet What-not Workshop. Similar to Build-a-Bear but BETTER, shoppers can create a Muppet to their own personal taste. Sound a bit too good to be true? 

Actually, it's not! One of the main objectives of my recent Manhattan Thanksgiving pilgrimage was to check out this Muppet Factory. The results speak for themselves -- we're now the proud owners of a unique What-not! 

Tucked in the back left nook of the main floor of FAO, the Muppet What-not Workshop is a little corner of happiness. Staffers provide Muppet parents-to-be with these cool kits chock full of Muppet possibilities. First you select the body (orange, blue or green), by picking out a card with your body of, take a gander at the selection of eyes, noses, hair, and clothes -- all removable from the selection cards housed in the kit. You can peel off different eyes, put them on the body card, and remove them if you wish to switch up the end result. Want a Statue of Liberty bedecked What-not? Why not! A snazzy smoking jacket for your Muppet? Easy peasy! Once you've settled on a desired image, the Muppet makers take over -- using your colourful blueprint to bring your What-not to life. 

In about thirty minutes, your Muppet What-not becomes real. The terrific Muppet makers are absolutely wonderful -- if you're not in a rush, hang out and watch them build the toys. It's incredible to see the process right before your eyes. Each completed What-not comes in its own clear plastic carrying bag. So what does all this Muppet madness cost? Approximately $130. That's it. Yes, it's more than Build-a-Bear but it's a Muppet personally created by YOU. Well worth it! I would very highly recommend!

(photos: by me!)

RATE IT! 12 Days of Christmas ~ 2nd Day

Christmas as a kid here was always framed by gigantic snow banks, the opportunity to scarf down as much home baking as we could keep down and the annual Rankin & Bass Christmas specials. Like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Now, we can wear the lip balm inspired by the special --er, or something like that! Eau du Bumble! You won't feel like a misfit - guaranteed!

RATE IT! Old School Game Pens

Remember those old games that you loved as a kid - Operation, Etch-a-Sketch and Boggle? Well, now you can revisit these games in the office! sells these cool classic game pens -- and they actually work! Pull out organs and bones from the Operation pen, or mimic your fave Picasso print on the Etch-a-Sketch. These writing instruments might be just the solution to get you through that trip to Snoreville - a destination known as the weekly departmental meeting! Now if only they could customize Ker-Plunk into a pen!

Monday, December 1, 2008

RATE IT! Passive Aggressive Notes

Oh joy! The website that collects real deal passive aggressive notes has now released the best of its collection into a book!

Passive Aggressive Notes is the ideal giftie for the friend who doesn't take a slight lightly and just has to shoot back their two cents ~ using the written word. Snide, often rude and definitely humorous, these notes will put a smile on your face, and an idea or two in your head should someone cross you. I somewhat feel a kinship with this movement -- having had my home-packed lunch stolen from the workplace fridge -- I mean, WHO does that? Unfortunately as these notes prove, many people do! At least I feel like I had my say, posting a snotty retort on the fridge door (I'm still fuming about the lunch theft and it was easily 8 years ago!). Yep...this book was made for me. *sigh*

RATE IT! Snoopy Loves a Parade

Yes, the world needs more Snoopy! Here's the Flying Ace as he floats down Broadway during this past Thursday's Macy's Parade.

(photo: by me!)
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