Friday, December 13, 2013

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Squidoo HQ

AnnaMKB Is Sharing Her Holiday Traditions

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 06:18 AM PST

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What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Wigilia (pronounced vee GHEE lee ah). This Polish feast, taken from the word for “vigil” is celebrated on Christmas Eve and begins when the first start is visible. My family and I extend the feasting (with breaks in between courses!) until midnight, when we open our gifts.

What’s your favorite holiday food?
Tourtiere! I make it using the recipe my mother in law shared with me.

What do you love most about the season?
Being together with my family and passing our traditions on to another generation.

What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
Going to Midnight Mass with the family after Wigilia.

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
No dreams needed – I live in the Great White North, and we’ve had snow for quite a while now!

AnnaMKB is a Giant Squid on Squidoo

Product Review of the Day: The Wilton Cake Caddy: Store and Carry Bakery or Homemade Cakes Safely!

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 05:23 AM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 9.58.35 AMThis Wilton Portable Cake Caddy keeps homemade or bakery bought iced and decorated cakes and cupcakes fresh and transport them safely without ruining the beautiful frosting and decorations. It’s one of the best gifts for cooks who love to bake … or for anyone who enjoys cakes or cupcakes!

Quest of the Day: 22 Christmas Movies

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 05:07 AM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 6.35.49 PMThese 22 Christmas Movies are sure to get you in the spirit of the season. Our number one favorite movie is Elf but we have a fondness for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.

Lens of the Day: Robin in Summer, Robin in Winter

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 05:06 AM PST

robin123Today’s beautiful Lens of the Day was nominated by way of our Giant Squid exclusive Nominate a Lens for Lens of the Day Quest.  If you’re a Giant, there’s still time to complete this quest.

And everyone else can nominate a great lens of their choice by visiting:  Nominate Lens of the Day

But before you go, be sure to stop by  Robin in Summer, Robin in Winter  by lensmaster 

You’ll be glad you did.



Squidoo Is Having Connectivity Issues – UPDATED

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 05:16 PM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.46.25 AM3′s an (unlucky) charm today.

Squidoo is momentarily down. We’re working with our service provider to get up and running quickly so hang in there.

Fingers crossed that the gremlins are gone soon.

UPDATE – We’re back in action : )



Green Gift Wrap Alternatives

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 03:46 PM PST

brown paper packages by lornawatt on flickr via creative commonsDo you reuse or upcycle wrapping paper? Make your own? Have an alternative to using lots and lots of paper to wrap presents every year? Whether your primary motive is saving money or if you just prefer to be socially responsible at gift-giving time, if you have a lens about an alternative to wrapping paper we’d love if you’d share it with us.

Put a link to your lenses (new or existing) on environmentally-friendly or homemade gift wrap right here in a comment.

Have a happy, green holiday season!

Photo Info

MissMerFaery Is Sharing Her Holiday Traditions

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 03:44 PM PST

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What is your favorite holiday tradition?
All the little things that we do on Christmas Eve. Now that I have kids it’s even more fun! We do some Christmas crafts, go for a drive when it gets dark to see all the decorated houses lit up, snuggle up in the evening, leave a mince pie and sherry out for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolph), hang up the stockings, and when the children are in bed, we enjoy the mince pie and have fun putting all the presents in the sacks and stockings!

I love the advent tradition too. We’ve gone a bit overboard this year – my daughter has an advent calendar, and an advent house too as we’ve always wanted one – plus we’re doing an advent tree of activities (Christmas baking, crafts etc for each day of December) and The Story of Christmas, which is 24 little books telling the story of Christmas, and after reading them day by day you hang each one on the tree. I think this will become a lovely annual tradition!

What’s your favorite holiday food?
Christmas dinner itself – I love a roast, but the extra trimmings at Christmas make it all the more yummy! I love that heady mix of crunchy roast potatoes, the turkey, the pigs in blankets, the stuffing, the veg (especially the parsnips – they were the only veg I didn’t like as a child, now they are my favourite! Love the sprouts too) and the gravy, made extra delicious from the meat and potato juices! For dessert, I can take or leave Christmas pudding but I am very partial to iced Christmas fruit cake.

What’s your favorite holiday food?
Christmas dinner itself – I love a roast, but the extra trimmings at Christmas make it all the more yummy! I love that heady mix of crunchy roast potatoes, the turkey, the pigs in blankets, the stuffing, the veg (especially the parsnips – they were the only veg I didn’t like as a child, now they are my favourite! Love the sprouts too) and the gravy, made extra delicious from the meat and potato juices! For dessert, I can take or leave Christmas pudding but I am very partial to iced Christmas fruit cake.

What do you love most about the season?
The cosiness, the feeling of goodwill, the twinkly lights – and the magic of it. I have two small children and it is so special seeing it through their eyes – the lights, the decorating, the excitement! I love going into the city and wandering around the festive Christmas huts and seeing all the lights.

I love all the things we do, too – decorating the house, baking festive and seasonal fare, and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when they open their gifts!

What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
The excitement on Christmas Eve and not being able to sleep until the wee small hours… I remember one Christmas, I heard “Santa” come in to my room and had my eyes squeezed shut as I always did every year (because I was always too excited to sleep until “he” came). I was usually good and never peeped, in case he left without leaving any presents, but that year I did peep, and I saw a figure all dressed in red. I was beside myself with excitement and went back to pretending to be asleep. Of course, a few years later, I realised it was my mum in her red dressing gown… but it doesn’t dull the memory of that excited feeling!

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Kind of! Usually I would be wishing for a white Christmas like crazy (I’ve only ever seen one in my lifetime) but this year my parents are driving up to us for Christmas – they’ve not been for a few years due to getting the flu or bad weather or other problems arising, so I’m determined to get them up here this year! I’ll be wishing for a white New Year instead, when they’ll be safely back home again!

MissMerFaery is a Giant Squid on Squidoo

75 Things To Write About On Squidoo

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 12:28 PM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 1.05.04 PMI’ve had a couple of community questions regarding what lensmasters should write about on Squidoo and I got pretty excited and this post was born.

There are in fact thousands of things that you can write about but I’ve narrowed my own list down to 75. These are the things that I personally love and care about, you of course should make your own list and I’ll bet there are a few things on my list that you love (or not) so feel free to grab a few. You’re likely to love them for completely different reasons than me and that’s the beauty of multiple people sharing the same things.

Some of these ideas are super niche, some are broad but I’m hoping they give you some brain fuel to run with. The key to success is writing with passion and sharing the things that you know and love. Being humans we often times love the same things which brings about connections and sharing and brilliant conversation. Share online like you share in person.

So your exercise for this week is to make your own list. Try to add as many ideas as you can (even if it’s 10). As your list grows you might find some interesting patterns and new ideas. What’s awesome about this exercise is that you’ll have wonderful ideas for lenses going into the new year.

Reach deep, go far and make human connections via your writing. As you write down one idea a new one is sure to be sparked from the previous…I call this the “If You Give  A Mouse A Cookie” phenomenon (which I love).

This is what it’s all about, YOU!

Here goes…

  1. Han Solo – Yep, I’m a huge fan of Han and I could write for hours on why he trumps Luke any day. Any Han Solo memorabilia is tops on my list.
  2. Qwirkle – I just recently discovered this game and have been playing non-stop with my mom. I’ve discovered I’m pretty darn good at getting Qwirkles!
  3. Parry Sound, Ont. – I vacationed there as a kid and have a slew of great memories, photos and information about the area.
  4. Dramaturgy – I was a Dramaturg in college and enjoyed it immensely.
  5. State Quarters – My collection is vast. I am such a fan of the art work and design.
  6. 200 Cigarettes - One of my favorite movies and a fun ride for anyone who loves the 1980′s.
  7. The Red Hot Chili Peppers – I could review every album they ever made with reckless abandon. Go Anthony and Flea, these guys know how to rock.
  8. Speaking of Rock – I really need to do a lens on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (me being in Cleveland and all).
  9. Meat Loaf – This man can sing! I’ve met him once, he’s quite amazing and his music is the best on the planet. He still rocks it in his 60′s.
  10. The Keurig – We have two. One for coffe and one for tea. My how I love technology.
  11. iPad – This little device goes everywhere with me and it’s often the place where I e-mail you all back at odd hours of the day. Could not live with out it.
  12. Mums – I have some and like to keep them alive. My journey in doing so needs documented.
  13. Star Wars (see number 1) – I could write books on the value of the 3 original movies and win at Star Wars trivia.
  14. Martha Stewart – I like her and her stuff.
  15. Breaking Bad – My all time favorite show. I could talk about the genius of Vince Gilligan and Breaking Bad for days. Oh how I miss Walter!
  16. Lake Erie – I live near it and it’s not as bad as the news reports. We love the lake in the Summer.
  17. Lake Effect Snow – Now that’s something to behold. 30″ in 6 hours.
  18. Crocheted Blankets – I’m actually quite good at crocheting and wish I had more time to do it.
  19. Rod Stewart – A favorite of mine, he looks amazing at 68 too. Did you know he builds model trains?
  20. Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs- I need to review this book. Steve Jobs had a great impact on the way I think.
  21. LEGOS – We love building with LEGOS at our house and I could write 10 lenses about our creations and the unfortunate byproduct of building for hours…Lego Finger.
  22. Birkenstocks – My feet love these shoes.
  23. Indiana Jones – Yes I know, more Harrison Ford but come on Indy was amazing. My favorite was the first movie.
  24. Minions – As in Despicable Me. I prefer the yellow ones. Kenny is my favorite.
  25. Speaking of Kenny…I am a South Park fan.
  26. Scrabbled Eggs – The one food I am pretty good at making.
  27. Penn & Teller – I was such a fan that in college I wrote a pretty complex term paper on their genius. I love them together and as well as individually (they have very separate lives off stage).
  28. Duran Duran – If you saw me at 14 you’d understand my obsession.
  29. Can you tell I love Pop Culture? I could/should write a book.
  30. The Blue Hole – An underwater sinkhole in Ohio.
  31. Guinea Pigs – I have 4.
  32. Drew Barrymore Movies – I have a great respect for Drew as a female leading lady and character actress. Ever After is an all time favorite.
  33. Sand Dollars – I have a collection.
  34. Sea Glass – Another thing I collect.
  35. Fords – I’ve owned my fair share.
  36. Mario Bros. – I’m old school I love the 8-bit Nintendo but I’ve grown fond of Super Mario Bros. on the Wii in recent years.
  37. Banana Splits without the banana or pineapple but with extra nuts.
  38. Freddie Mercury.
  39. Beads – I collect glass beads and try to make things once in awhile, mostly I just love looking at them.
  40. Marbles – Marbles are kind of like beads only bigger and with no hole and they’re pretty.
  41. Abandoned Amusement Parks – There is something hauntingly beautiful about their decay. I’d love to do a series on this.
  42. Community Organizing – I do this for a living and can alway write more.
  43. The Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of my early heros.
  44. The Kinks – I’m listening to Ray Davies sing right now.
  45. Stephen King – More than anyone he inspired me to want to write. I loved how affected I was after I finished one of his books.
  46. My Fitbit – I try really hard to walk every day.
  47. Horses – I rode nearly everyday for 8 years.
  48. Peanuts – I could gleefully share at least 3 recipes with peanuts.
  49. Early 80′s Punk Rock – I lived in that world for a few years and loved every minute.
  50. Books – I love my iPad but there is something magical about holding a book in your hands.
  51. Atari 2600 – Old school fun, jittery paddles and all.
  52. Badfinger – Breaking Bad connection.
  53. Malcolm In The Middle – Because I was a Bryan Cranston fan way before Walter White came along.
  54. Bob Geldof – For heading up the Boomtown Rats and founding BandAid with Midege Ure.
  55. Robin Zander.
  56. Play-doh – Even as an adult I can stop everything I’m doing to play with Play-Doh.
  57. Murphy Brown – Because she’s the only woman on TV I aspired to be. We share multiple personality traits.
  58. The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach – Because after my stint with punk rock I became a Preppy. Penny Loafers and all (only I wore black ones with dimes).
  59. The B-52′s – Rock Lobster
  60. Educational Reform – My ideas are vast.
  61. Genealogy - My mom and I have traced our heritage to American Indians and the Revolutionary War.
  62. Snorkeling - Something I want to try.
  63. Molly Ringwald – She rocked our world in the 80′s and she did it with class.
  64. Vera Bradley – I like paisley and bright colored patterns.
  65. Rock Gardens – One day I plan to make one.
  66. Paper Snow Flakes – I need to get better at these.
  67. Parakeets – I have 2.
  68. Pottery - Play-doh for adults and something I love doing. I could spend all day in the studio and never get bored.
  69. Chewbacca – Because he hangs out with Han Solo.
  70. Midnight Oil, Blue Sky Mine – Peter Garrett is an amazing human.
  71. Canasta – I am an expert player.
  72. Steve Martin – My favorite Steve Martin movie is by far The Jerk.
  73. Valley Girl – Missing the 80′s again…and the music.
  74. Astronomy and Space – My second career choice.
  75. Meatballs – One of the best Summer Camp movies ever, just don’t watch the sequels.

This list was fun and I could easily add about 200 more things that I love. This is just a small collection of things that shape my personality and I could create a quality lens about every one of them and I know that you can too.

I’ll end with a Steve Jobs Quote: If you keep your eye on the profit, you're going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow.

Start now…make a list…then…

Review something you own and love.
Share a recipe.
Write about something you’re passionate about.

Image Credit 

Dashboard Bug – UPDATED

Posted: 12 Dec 2013 09:25 AM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.46.25 AMThere is currently a Dashboard bug where your data may be missing (and replaced by lenses you’ve never seen). We should have this fixed in a jiffy.

Sorry for the panic. HAL has not taken over.

UPDATE – This has been fixed.


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