Christmas 2018 Double Feature: Super Monsters and the Wish Star (2018) & A StoryBots Christmas (2017)

Changing the pace a little with the Christmas marathon, its time to jump into some shorter children movie features. Its a perfect pairing to do double features with so I’ve chosen Super Monsters and the Wish Star and A StoryBots Christmas. I’ve never actually seen any of the actual Netflix series so I’m unfamiliar with the characters here but I still decided to give it a chance.  These are both individual Christmas specials.

Let’s check it out!

Super Monsters and the Wish Star (2018)

super monsters and the wish star

Director: Jacob Joice

Voice Cast: Elyse Maloway, Vincent Tong, Erin Mathews, Andrea Libman, Alessandro Juliani, Nicole Anthony, Diana Kaarina, Ian James Corlett, Britt McKillip, Kathleen Barr, Gigi Saul Guerrero

Christmas wishes come true for Lobo, whose favorite cousin arrives for a surprise visit, and for Glorb, who wishes he could be everywhere at once. – IMDB

Super Monsters at a first glance is a pretty cute series. Simply from the character designs itself, its very colorful and covers a cutesy version of different classic monsters from Count Dracula or werewolves to Frankenstein just for an example of a few. Its a little darker in the background of the characters they choose for the kids but somehow with the cute designs, it works. Plus, it adds this magical element to it. I’ve never been a huge fan of recent kid series mostly it is in how they talk but I think it has to do with the fact that I’m in my 30s now and while a lot of shows I watched when I was a kid still appeal to me like Arthur and Magic School Bus and such, a lot of the enjoyment is the nostalgia which I obviously don’t have for these new series.

Super Monsters and the Wish Star does work as  a Christmas special. There are a lot of Christmas elements from the decorating to different Christmas traditions between the characters and sharing a little message about being decisive and making choices but also being helpful to others. Its also very musical which is a winning  point for me. I thought the songs themselves were quite catchy. It doesn’t take a lot for me to enjoy something like this especially in a less than 30 minute dose. Plus, there is this transformation element of them changing to monster form at night and the transformation screen reminded me so much of Digimon, which is a show that I desperately want to rewatch. I’m not sure I’d go and sit through the Netflix series but this Christmas special was enjoyable that I did end up watching it once and putting in the background a second time afterwards as I was doing something else.

A StoryBots Christmas (2017)

A storybots Christmas

Director: Jeff Gill & Evan Spiridellis

Voice Cast: Judy Greer, Erin Fitzgerald, Fred Tatsciore, Jeff Gill, Gregg Spiridellis, Evan Spiridellis, Edward Asner, Jim Meskimen

When Bo mistakenly thinks that her friends don’t like her gifts, she heads to the North Pole to ask Santa for help making better presents. She learns along the way that Christmas is about far more than just the toys. – IMDB

StoryBots is a mix of real characters like Santa Claus (Edward Asner)and New York City and then there’s this sort of puppet animation when we see the elf and then the rest of show is pretty much animation. It is very reminiscent of child shows and the idea behind it is pretty good. The StoryBots design is fairly colorful and appeal to watch however, there is this odd way that they talk and humor that I’m not sure I’m completely appealed to. However, the message behind this one is pretty good. Its a lot about the meaning behind gifts on Christmas and the spirit of giving and what makes the best present. There is some silly parts like polar bears struggling over opening a soda bottle. It has a nice message about friends and being with the ones you love during Christmas.

Its an okay Christmas special and its pretty short running at around 25 minutes or so. Its a quick and fun time and there are lots of Christmas elements here especially as they go to New York City which is very much decorated. There is this fun humor behind it in some moments especially in the city that works in bits. It has its moments for sure. I don’t really have much to say about this one. Its pretty enjoyable and for a quick Christmas special to occupy the kids, it could be fun enough. Especially with the ending Christmas song that wraps the story which is a fun little bit that really warmed my heart and had me tapping my feet.

Christmas 2018: Angela’s Christmas (2017)

December is finally here! That means that Christmas/Holiday marathon is here.

I’m a bit behind with watching holiday movies even if there was a solid plan on what to watch and even some Netflix films and such to be released before Christmas comes around so its all set. Finally, I got around to getting a short animated Netflix film this weekend. I went into this one completely blind but starting with animated films can’t go wrong, right?

Let’s check it out!

Angela’s Christmas (2018)

Angela's Christmas

Director (and co-writer): Damien O’Connor

Voice Cast: Lucy O’Connell, Ruth Negga

Set in Ireland in the 1910s, ‘Angela’s Christmas’ is a funny, heart-warming and poignant story about the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas time. –IMDB

Angela’s Christmas is a 30 minute short Christmas movie that takes us to the night before Christmas when a little girl takes the the Baby Jesus from her church manger with the best intentions of warming him up before returning him to the cold church. Family-friendly holiday films like these are the perfect dose of the holiday spirit filled with both a valuable lesson on family and childhood innocence. It delivers really fun and heartwarming moments.

Angela's Christmas

At the same time, this film also takes us for a little adventure through the streets as Angela encounters lots of fun little incidents. Be it with a policeman with a fun sleight of hand pulling coins and whatnot from ears or going to a more adult setting with a candy shop during the day that turns into a bar at night or even the little arguments between siblings and how everything comes together. There’s a lot to love in here. The animation is also done so nicely with each set piece drawn really well and the night colors working so well together to create some lovely scenes, just like a little creepy alley scene where Angela’s imagination takes her for a little scare as she imagines the tree branch shadows on the wall chases after her. Perhaps more poignant to myself because, I felt that way before eons ago when I went on a Snow White ride and went through the night escape with the trees doing the same thing.

Angela’s Christmas is the perfect length. It builds a nice simple story and delivers some nice lessons on the Christmas spirit and especially about the togetherness of family with a spark of imagination with everyone. Perfect to add to a Christmas marathon for the whole family.

My Weekly Adventures: Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

November has come to an end. That was a quick and really busy month. Suffice to say, some projects and goals and that endless to-do list had its ups and downs. Its just how it is. The first part is accepting and being okay with it all. Not to mention, everything in general was kind of overwhelming so mentally, not in such a great spot. Its probably telling me something but I’m not going to discuss that because there are a lot of things on my mind right now as 2018 heads into its last month and I’m thinking a lot about 2019.

Blood in the Snow Festival (BITS 2018)

BITS 2018

First time tackling remote coverage is definitely a pretty good experience. Unlike physically being at the festival, remote coverage is all about time management and working with embargos and getting things done in a timely fashion because there is nothing pushing physically to be done and its all more superficial. Blog technicalities aside, its also the first time working on Blood in the Snow Festival and it had a lot of interesting and intriguing movies to offer. Nothing that was disappointing but some were average and some were amazing. It had different genres and covered Canadian films which I love to dive into. Its only a few days long which is a much lighter festival but its a pity to not be on the spot to see all the industry panels and everything they have to offer. The variety of content alone makes it an interesting one to be present in person for.

With that said, all the movies have been reviewed:

With that said, a festival page under movies for Blood in the Snow Festival has been created now so you can find all the reviews HERE.

Black Friday

Black Friday was pretty calm this year. I didn’t go out with a huge intention of spending a lot so I found some deals that I thought were worth it to fill some of the needs and stuff. A few purchases were surprises but nothing that broke the piggy bank too much.

You can see the haul post HERE.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas is in full effect at our house. I only showed the new little bits of our place and the Christmas tree. I might have a little Christmas decorations thing in December but then its not a big change anyways.

NaNoWriMo

The week after I decided to do NaNoWriMo, things pretty much went downhill. After BITS 2018 came onto my radar and work got hectic and whatnot, that was it. I never expected to finish it in the first place but I had to put it aside if I wanted to at least have some normal sleeping schedule. Either way, I might actually work on that during the year afterwards. I have some nice ideas for my fanfic. I’ve never written one and sponataneity wasn’t really working. Either way, not feeling too bad about it. Something had to be give and this was the choice I had to make.

Next year though, I do want to get back to it and get some planning done beforehand.

Announcement: Christmas/Holiday Marathon

We head into December tomorrow. Like the last few years, I’m going to be doing a little holidays and Christmas marathon of sorts. I’m going to see if I can find some holiday themed books to end the year while probably go through some films on Netflix. Its slim pickings and mostly Hallmark type films but I’ll make do with what I can. This will be the official announcement for the marathon.

Some titles  considered right now:

  • The Princess Switch
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • Bad Santa
  • The Night Before
  • A Christmas Prince 2 (I saw that its supposed to be released in December)
  • Nailed It! Holiday (also coming out in December)
  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • El Camino Christmas

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to?

My Weekly Adventures #57 (actually its been a month…)

Welcome back to the first 2018 Weekly Adventures post!

As usual, we skipped one to do the What’s Up 2018. If you missed whats coming up in 2018, you can check it out HERE. Nothing too late since I’m still struggling to catch up with some of the 2017 backlog and get it all out. Especially with this week being quite spotty and missing out on 3 days which is something I hasn’t happened in a long time. Work and balancing adding in a workout routine and trying to just be healthier and house stuff like taking down Christmas and such is starting to prove to be quite crazy at the beginning of 2018.

Regardless, I will catch up in the coming week and get it all out next week hopefully! Let’s see what happened this past month!

Christmas Eve Party

Christmas Eve Party is a tradition that we have with in-laws. My mom comes along with me and we have a great time together just hanging out while chatting and eating. It was supposed to our turn to host this year but things took a turn for personal reasons and we ended up going to my sister-in-law’s instead.We had a great turnout in food and everyone had fun. Gift opening was always entertaining. We got a lovely gift card from my in-laws and sister-in-law and her husband for a restaurant in downtown called Les Enfants Terrible which we’re definitely looking to find a time possibly in the summer to go because its on a top floor and probably would have a nice view in the summer and maybe a terrace or something.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day happened of course. As per tradition, I went out with one of my friends to go spend some money efficiently and get in on some great deals. I won’t expand too much on it but you can find my Boxing Day Haul in this post HERE.

Holidays Gathering

Next gathering we had was with my girl friends. I skipped the last gathering because I just couldn’t make it with a clash in schedule. Its been forever since I’ve seen my girl friends so it was great to actually head out to meet up at a housewarming and holiday gathering potluck at one of the girl’s new place. Delicious food and awesome company go hand in hand and we definitely had both as we sat around catching up and having some laughs.

Family Dinner

This holidays has been back to back to back dinners. You’ll see as right after our holiday gatherings above, the evening after, we went over again to my sister-in-law’s place to have a slightly smaller gathering for a pre-New Year’s celebration. She made turkey that took hours to do but it turned out fantastic. She made some french onion soup. Mine was cheeseless which was a thoughtful move and then used lactose free milk for her mash potatoes. It tasted delectable. Another fun evening.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations
(aka: Mini Battle of Ingredients)

The holidays craze has definitely put a slight hiatus for our Battle of Ingredients. Even with New Year’s Eve slated in, we didn’t quite get a lot of it done in time. Consider this a mini Battle of Ingredients. Phoebe made the prosciutto wrapped asparagus which turned out great. I was thinking that I was going to roast veggies but I ended up making the veggies in a pan instead. I can’t say that mine turned out that well. It felt slightly raw so I had to pop it in the microwave to hopefully remedy it but Phoebe’s dish was really delicious. My mom made a turkey which was also quite tasty.

Fret not, despite still in somewhat of a craze on our end, we’ll figure out this Battle of Ingredients scheduling and get back on track. 🙂

New Workout Regime in 2018 (& how we are being healthier)!

As I feel the ab and leg pains from the currently in progress 2nd week of a 6 week program that I set on Nike Training Club app, I’m actually feeling quite good. The holidays was a weird mush of feelings. As much as I was excited for the holidays and decorated rather early and got everything together, the holidays hit me quite hard. Maybe it was just that I had a lot of time to think and reflect and 2017 was a very tough year and we went into the holidays in somewhat of a bad mood (at least for myself). Reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new year always brings some odd emotions. With that said, I’m getting back to my positive self and I want working out and being healthy from it to give me the confidence boost and the feeling good vibes mostly from it. My husband and I are both hopping back into being healthier this year. Together, we’re aiming to be more active (hiking, running, strength & endurance training), eating healthier by cutting out as much processed food as possible, and being nicer to the environment as in using biodegradable cleaning products and such. Working out has been on track despite the crazy schedule and I’m pretty  happy about it. I’ll try to get an update on how things are progressing on that front.

Winter Storms

Montreal has been a crazy roller coaster of weather. December storms started early. Christmas week was a deep freeze zone as we entered the -40 Celsius zone. Bring on the double layered pants and socks and triple layer clothing. It was in a fairly freezing mode all the way till the last two days which rained and melted almost all the snow from before away and then on Friday to Saturday within 14 hours, we got a lovely 36cm of snow. This was on Saturday morning as the storm was tapering off. We were pretty much snowed in. I shoveled a bit before having to head out to a chiropractor appointment but my husband did a fantastic job and shoveled the rest for 2 more hours as I went off to do groceries as well . Every day life stuff, right? 😉

Miscellaneous Other Stuff

My Weekly Adventures is a day earlier than usual this month. Its because I missed one but also because tomorrow, I have an announcement coming up! Remember to drop back to check that out!

Aside from that, what other miscellaneous stuff am I thinking about. Unboxing will possible fade out this year. I made the move to cancel the FabFitFun box. Its a pretty costly expense that while I like, can’t seem to be justified anymore. We do have another Meowbox coming up but after doing massive cleaning this year, I realize that I still have a lot of unopened cat toys sitting around so I might forego that one as well. I’ve talked about vlogs and other video segments for the blog so I’m definitely working on something to get that together or maybe doing a What’s Up Wednesday video segment instead. If you have any suggestions on video content you’d like to see here, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to work it out!

I honestly had other miscellaneous stuff and now as I’m typing this out, I’ve forgotten all about it.

Cute Kitty Pic

It might not seem cute but when I’m in the shower, this is what she does. You know, my little guard cat…who runs away when she hears anyone approach. Effectiveness is zero but the thought is admirable 😉

Upcoming stuff:

  • 2017 leftovers: Gilmore Girls Season 5 binge, Bring it On: Worldwide #Cheersmack, Stranger Things Season 2
  • Announcement tomorrow
  • A new segment coming up
  • Blogiversary!!!

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
Remember to drop by tomorrow to check out the announcement!
Also, if you have any video ideas, do share them with me: What’s Up Wednesday vlogs or Weekly Adventure vlogs or some movie related vlog.
That’s all the ideas I have for now so maybe all the above will show up. Which would you watch?

Sunday Lists: Must-Watch Christmas Movies

must-watch christmas movie

Happy Holidays, my friends!

I present to you a list that will gather all the films that me (and my husband) deem worthy to be added into our Christmas movie marathons. We still have some classics that are to be watched
With that said, this will be updated as I see further Christmas Movies worthwhile to be added in. They are placed in alphabetical order.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) Review

charlie brown christmas

The Peanuts are a staple with a lot of people and who doesn’t love Charlie Brown and his ugly Christmas tree and realizing the bigger meaning of Christmas through some unfortunate events. The Peanuts are a lovely cast and A Charlie Brown Christmas is a perfect Christmas movie to watch with the family.

A Garfield’s Christmas Special (1987) Review

a garfield christmas

I’m not sure how many have seen this one but this one was a favorite on TV. Garfield was a fave along with Odie and something about this one really touches me every year especially when Odie makes a cute gift for Garfield and when Garfield finds something for Grandma that truly warms her heart. Its definitely one for the family that we love.

Arthur Christmas (2011) Review

arthur christmas

When modern technology changes how Santa treats Christmas, his youngest son Arthur who is clumsy and only does mail writing packed with a dedicated elf and a lot of Christmas enthusiasm goes on a journey to deliver a gift that was forgotten at the workshop to the child by his own means. This animated movie is a newer selection and one that brings a ton of happiness and laughter.

Elf (2003) Review

elf 2003

Completely my husband’s pick comes Elf with Will Ferrell. While we differ on our views of the comedic value of Will Ferrell for most movies, Elf is the exception to the equation that has really grown in fondness. Its about believing in Christmas and Santa Claus. Its a little nutty but its for that craziness and awkwardness that this movie truly shines.

The Holiday (2006) Review

the holiday

The Holiday is the ultimate romantic comedy that fits so well with the Christmas season. It takes place over Christmas holidays when two women heart-broken swap houses and end up unexpectedly meeting men that change their lives. Be it as a love relationship or a father figure that tells her to see herself as the woman that she is, its a heartwarming tale full of laughter and lovely moments. Its one of my favorite romantic comedy and sometimes I even catch myself watching it outside of the holiday season because its such a feel-good story. Plus, the cast is just perfect.

Home Alone (1990) Review

Home Alone

John Hughes in the screenplay and producer seat along with 90s great child star Macauley Culkin as the iconic Kevin McAllister who gets left behind over Christmas vacation and tries his best to protect his home with traps and tricks. Its a wild ride with a lot of happiness that even the brattiest of kids have a special side to them and deep down its also about family.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Review

how the grinch stole christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas ranks very high on our must-watch movies. Its one that makes the cut every single year. Its Dr. Seuss for one (and I’ve shared my love for it every opportunity I can get) and the animated version is narrated by Boris Karloff and its so awesome. And finally, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch is one of my fave Christmas songs to play.

Love Actually (2003) Review

Love Actually is the stories of nine lives intertwined by love during the Christmas holiday. The cast is fantastic and each story has its own heartwarming and thoughtful moments. Its a lot of fun to watch especially the hilarious Bill Nighy moments. Plus, the late Alan Rickman is in this one and he is fantastic.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) Review

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol is such an iconic Christmas story by Charles Dickens and its had so many different renditions. However, the one that holds the closest to my heart is the Disney version packed with Mickey and the fellow animated cast. Its a little silly and keeps it lighthearted and is a family classic at our house.

Now with that said, if you are looking for another Christmas Carol rendition a little less of a short movie but a longer animated version, Disney’s 2009 A Christmas Carol with Jim Carey is a pretty good choice also.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947 & 1994)

Miracle on 34th Street

Does Santa actually exist? Is he just a man that plays the role incredibly well? Miracle on 34th Street is about belief in something that doesn’t have to exist, no matter how out of the world it seems. Both the 1947 and 1994 makes the cut here. The original has a certain magic to it although I still normally watch the 1994 version the most because I just love Mara Wilson.

You can see my reviews for 1947 HERE and 1994 HERE.

Polar Express (2004) Review

polar express

Tom Hanks takes on a multitude of roles here in The Polar Express and while that is a nice gimmick for this movie, its a great movie about the belief in Santa. It has a fantastic musical component to it and its visually stunning. Its a great adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express.

The Teddy Bears Christmas  (1992)

teddy bears christmas

Its been a real difficult trip to find Teddy Bears Christmas. Luckily, some fine people have posted up one of the specials on Youtube. You can find it there if you want to check it out. Its a little dated perhaps but I loved this animated series so much and it had a moment when it was a pretty big thing on TV. At least it was for me. This one is a ton of fun about Ben, a teddy bear that goes looking to retrieve a gift, a new teddy bear, for his owner Sally. While trying to dodge the eye of the humans, he tries to get to and from the toy store before Christmas arrives.

Am I missing any of your faves? Share them in the comments below!

Music Obsessions [December 2017]: Celebrating the Holidays!

music obsessions

December is finally here!

We’re a bit of a Christmas holiday nut over here and being Canadians, we already got the whole Thanksgiving done back in October so its full steam ahead in November to start decorating for Christmas. We had about 80% of everything set up by November 20th with only just little things to do for outside decorations and garlands on ramps and whatnot. Suffice to say, Christmas decorating and Christmas music almost go hand in hand.

As usual, some Christmas and some other music obsessions to balance things out! 🙂

Cold December Night – Michael Buble

Kicking off with some Christmas music! What is Christmas without Michael Buble, right? Well, I’m a Michael Buble fan, so I guess I’m slightly biased. That also means that there will be a more traditional Christmas music a la Michael Buble style later on in this post also.

Hypnotized – Set It Off

I have no idea how I missed this song by Set It Off which was released earlier this year. I love their style a lot and this one is really no exception.

O Holy Night – Voiceplay feat Rachel Potter

Voiceplay and Rachel Potter collabs always turn out really awesome. O Holy Night is one of those songs that I remember from an elementary school recital. I can’t say its particularly a fond memory although at least it wasn’t embarrassing, just included an angel costume. Still, this rendition is fabulous.

Nobody Else – RetroVision x Raven & Kreyn

Lighthearted and fun are the only two words that I can use to describe this song. Nobody Else is what of those songs that I love for their uplifting style which makes it a great song to bring up the energy any time.

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Lindsey Stirling ft. Sabrina Carpenter

Christmas classics are the most fun to watch in the holiday season. I have my faves of course. Charlie Brown Christmas, Garfield Christmas Special and of course, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I always love to hear different versions of You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. And this one is absolutely cool.

How Long – Charlie Puth

If you asked me back in the Meghan Trainor duet days whether Charlie Puth was on my radar, I’d probably tell you no. But the last few songs that I’ve discovered with Charlie Puth has honestly been quite catchy. I’m not exactly a fan of the lyrics in this one but its a catchy beat to it that works.

All I Want For Christmas – Michael Buble

Okay..so I know my husband thinks this (and a lot of other people) that Mariah Carey is really the only one that can do this song justice however, I do think Michael Buble does a great job with it. Plus, its nice to see the Christmas music renditions he does. I don’t have it here, but go and check out a guy version of Santa Baby. Its hilarious and awesome all at the same time.

And for something a little different…

Light shows are such a staple for the winter events. Lyon had the Bandai Namco Insert Coin Lightshow that looks fantastic. It showed off Pacman, Tekken 7 and Little Nightmares which higlights both new and old titles.

This wraps up the Music Obsessions for this month & the last of 2017!
It will be back in 2018!

Salon des Metiers d’Arts of Montreal Haul!

Winter is here! Christmas is right around the corner. What does this mean? Gift shopping and every year for the last few years, I would go with friends to check out the Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal. In translation, it is the Montreal Arts and Crafts Show.

This show has free entrance and especially for the food and wine vendors, there are free tastings. Another addition is that it focuses on smaller Quebec vendors (at least nearby). It is a great place to see what is new on the market and learn about the new products.

Usually, I go to these shows and pick up ice ciders or ice wines but this year, somehow I had a change of heart and focused on other things. Maybe its because we went to the Magog event: Festival des Vendanges (post HERE). Lets check it out! 🙂

Timothee Tartinier Gourmand

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I actually picked up two items from this place. The other one I split with my friend and I forgot to take it back which is a roasted hazelnut spread. This one up there is gourmet popcorn with flavors of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. It was my husband’s gift for all the hard work and long hours he’s had to endure the last few weeks. He tasted it and loved it. You can check out this place HERE.

Ferme Guy Rivest

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Have you ever tasted fruit pearls? I haven’t. I’ve seen them before and they look cool. I just never figured out how it would work with what we eat and didn’t see the need for it. This year, I wanted to try something new and these ladies looked nice so I went over to try it out. The passion they have for these products are fantastic. Ferme Guy Rivest sells five flavors (I believe): strawberry, raspberry, apple, blueberry and cranberry. If I’m missing well, you can always go check out their site HERE. I ended up getting the raspberry. They suggested to use it either as a topping on appetizers like cracker and cheese (which was their display product) or its good to put inside champagne or wine which is what I intend on doing.

i-Sens

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

A  new vendor at the show (I think) is this gourmet maple syrup/fruit pearls/organic tea place called iSens. The owner is chef and world traveller Philippe Morin and the maple syrup, from what he tells me is sold internationally. I bought this vanilla flavored maple syrup but also tried their Yuzu flavor and Ginseng one as well. While those latter two were pretty good, I just couldn’t decide who I could give it to that would appreciate it the same way and how to use it. However, Vanilla is also quite gourmet and there was no hesitation in getting it. It seems good to make desserts or pancakes. You can check out iSens and their products, including the fruit pearls which have mango and passion fruit flavors HERE.

La Nougaterie

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I buy from La Nougaterie every year. They make delicious soft nougat. My absolute fave is Christmas Nougat which they didn’t have last year so I made it point to get it this year. Its great to cut up into pieces and serve at parties. My husband likes the honey and almond and chocolate ones so I get those for him. I’m thinking of giving away the Lavender as a little gift. Lavender is a tricky ingredient to use but they actually retain a good balance, floral but never overpowering. We also went to their shop at Ile d’Orleans a year or two ago. You can check it out HERE. Did I mention that they expanded their line quite a bit with meringue and candies and my absolute fave, marshmallows!

Coach House Shortbread Company

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Also, a recent addition to annual buys which works so cute as gifts. I believe in giving food as gifts a lot because its absolutely great to have and its something to share with everyone especially as a general gift. While they come in salty flavors with cheese and herbs in four different varieties, I always go for these sweet ones. I usually would get sugar plum since its so festive but this year, I changed that up for Lavender and the other two flavors are Ginger (which is for myself) and Dark Chocolate/Fleur de Sel. There’s a ton of other flavors and you can find them HERE.

Domaine Labranche

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

I can’t go to these shows and not buy at least one bottle of ice cider, right? C’mon! That just wouldn’t be right. Fire Cider didn’t quite originate in this show with Domain Labranche but we’re not here to talk about that company. However, Domaine Labranche stole my heart last year when they introduced Fire Cider but as a hot cider drink. You can make it with cinnomon stick and it’ll have this delicious apple and cinnamon smell that just gives off a lovely scent through the house. Its like the drink you picture drinking on a cold winter’s night and its snowing outside and the fireplace is roaring. Yeah…the thought of it all was what happened when I had the fire cider so there was no question when I tasted it again and just fell in love again. I’m actually starting to like fire ciders quite a bit. The way its made gives the drink a nice smooth taste. You can check out Domaine Labranche HERE.

We learned at the show that they also are a vineyard, orchard and maple shack. Maybe we’ll consider it the next time we look for those activities.

Rustique Design by Pascal Normand

Salon des metiers d'arts montreal

Surprising that it isn’t food to end it all off, right? I’ve been looking for artwork for some walls on my house. We’ve moved in for two years and its been a gradual climb to getting it all decorated. As much as I do have complaints about Montreal here and now, which I don’t share here, Montreal is a beautiful city and adding in the rustic feeling on some of the landmarks makes for a really nice touch. This art is called Rustique Design by Pascal Normand. You can check out more HERE.

And thats it! Montreal Crafts Show had a few new vendors. There are still a lot of the same but in general, its a nice place to get gift ideas and seeing as its free entrance, even if you don’t pick up anything, its a nice 2 to 3 hour walking away activity, which is always fun.

Short Story: A Zombie Christmas by Anthony Renfro

Christmas is just over 20 days away! I’m not prepared at all for anything on the blog for it. Luckily, there’s always something to highlight.

Today, I’d like to do some promotion for a fellow blogger Anthony over at Poetry, Books, Movies and Music with one of his short stories set during Christmas! Anthony has released a lot of impressive and entertaining short stories that I’ve personally liked a lot! This one is one of my favorites. You can check out my review HERE.

A Zombie Christmas
by Anthony Renfro

A zombie Christmas

Synopsis

This short story is about three men who risk life and limb in a Zombie Apocalypse in order to bring happiness to surviving kids on Christmas Morning.

Excerpt

Mike Beem lowered his rifle, put his right eye on the scope, and closed his left eye. The zombie he was about to shoot was an ugly sucker. From what Mike could tell, this zombie used to be a man around five foot five or six, maybe seven. Hell, he couldn’t tell the exact height from just a tiny scope. Its suit was disheveled, full of dirt and blood (it looked fresh, a recent feast perhaps), and half of his face was gone. This zombie was currently investigating Mike’s Santa Claus and reindeer display. The zombie was studying it like he knew what it was or remembered what it was.

Where to get it

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GUS7WS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004GUS7WS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B004GUS7WS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B004GUS7WS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

TMI Podcast: The Random Chat Show Can’t Agree On What Are The Best Christmas Movies Ever!

We’re back with our final Christmas show (maybe a little delayed) but its a fun one! We argue a little about what is the best Christmas movies.  We give each other some gifts and Melissa shares a DIY. Hope you enjoy!

Which movie do you think is the best Christmas movie ever? Do you agree with our choices?

Christmas: Jingle All the Way (1996)

Moving right along with the Christmas/Holidays marathon, Netflix just added back Jingle All The Way.  We had the sequel sitting there for the longest time but I didn’t think it right to see it before the original and honestly, it looked kind of bad.  Still, I’m happy this one came back.  So, I gave it a go the other night. Man, when was the last time I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger in a movie? I can’t even remember..maybe Total Recall a few years back or…Expendables?

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Jingle All The Way (1996)

Jingle All the Way

Director: Brian Levant

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rita Wilson, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Robert Conrad, Jake Lloyd

A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, however, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.-IMDB

I went through this just last week when I was talking about Yours, Mine and Ours and family comedy. Sometimes, we have characters played by actors that don’t exactly match or excel in it.  I’m guessing you already figured out that I’m talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s like Dwayne Johnson doing The Tooth Fairy. I’m not saying that they aren’t father figures but they are one liner guys.  Their characters resound because they don’t need to talk much and they just have catchy one-liners and that works for them in action flicks. Stick them into family comedies and they turn into these creepy dudes with awkward lines and apologies.  C’mon! Arnold is the man! He doesn’t need to apologize 😉

jingle all the way

Getting past that, Jingle All The Way has its fun moments.  It definitely does.  However, it is also really formulaic and predictable.  I’m forgiveable most of the time about these things.  Its for kids and its holiday movies.  Its supposed to be a little silly and all that jazz.  I’m down with all of that.  This one didn’t make me feel too much and not to mention those 1996 effects.  Those effects were…ha, ha, ha! I don’t even have an adjective for them. Arnold turns into Turbo Man. Thats okay.  I can go with that but tell me what technology let the guys disguised as our superheroes with a jet pack fly into the sky.  If that’s the case, I demand one for this year’s Christmas parade for any flying superhero 😉 It should be totally doable now that its almost 20 years after this movie was released.

jingle all the way

Jingle All The Way is pretty harmless.  It tries its hardest to pull all the tropes out to make this funny.  There’s some funny moments when Arnold and Sinbad are battling it out to find that Turboman doll.  Then there’s the extremely exaggerated and even more over the top moments with the neighbor Ted (Phil Hartman) trying to sweep Arnold’s wife, played by Rita Wilson from him.  That was just so weird and creepy all at the same time.

jingle all the way

In the end, Jingle All The Way did have its moments.  Arnold did some silly fighting.  He had to claw through crowds and get laughed at.  He was Turboman and made up with his family and he learned the importance of keeping his promises and how his family should be placed number one. The message is there and its a innocent little family comedy.  I’m not exactly sure about seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in  family comedy but it still has some fun moments. Its not exactly a holiday classic but its pretty harmless so I’d watch it if it was playing on TV or whatnot.

Have you seen Jingle All The Way?