Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Giveaway!

Why is this the most wonderful time of the year? Yep. You guessed it. I'm giving away a MASSIVE stack of books to you- my fellow bloggers!

This Christmas holiday, I want to add a little sparkle and fun to your holidays. I'm giving away three huge stacks of books in the categories of paperback mysteries, paperback girl fun, and hardbacks.

Here's what you'll find:
Paperback Mysteries
- Do You Know the Monkey Man?
- Things Hoped For
- The Case of the Missing Marquess
- Chasing Vermeer
- The Ghost in Room 11
- Pish Posh

Paperback Girl Fun- The Princess and the Peabodys'
- I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
- 10 Ways to Make My Sister Disappear
- Kickoff
- Prada and Prejudice
- The Fashion Disaster that Changed My Life

- Fire
- Braless in Wonderland
- Triple Shot Betty

Are you excited? Feeling the holiday fun? If you are, fill out the form below. This contest ends on Jan. 5th. So spread the word and pass on some sparkles of your own.

Critter's New Destination

It was a tough, really tough choice. But in the end, I decided that Critter would have a blast with Nandini in New England. Critter is itching for some snow and I'm dying to see where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women! (She's one of my favorite authors.)

Nandini, please email me your address at farley dot christinal at gmail dot com. I'll send Critter on the plane over to you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Ride- DMZ or Bust

My husband and his buddies are crazy. Not only did they jump on their scooters in the FREEZING cold, but they rode until they met barriers and machine gun toting guards at the DMZ line (Demilitarized Zone).

Like I said, crazy.

Every year, a group of teachers (the Hill's Angels) from our school jumps on their scooters in the dead of winter and rides as a group to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) 40 km north of our school.

They ride until they get turned back by ROK guards with machine guns (they're nice though).

Doug doesn't have a fancy scooter or motorcycle. In fact, I was worried his bike wouldn't even make it that far (usually it's used for getting the store and avoiding Seoul's traffic by weaving in and out of cars and running red lights). His scooter even got a nickname- The Banana.

After getting stopped at the border, they visited a war memorial with some tanks on display, and then headed back into the next town to eat at Dunkin' Donuts (gotta love capitalism).

You can also go to this link and see a video of their run.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Party Time for My Writing Bud

This is a huge day(s) for my brilliant writing buddy, Beth Revis. She just announced her signing with Writers House, agent Merrilee Heifetz. I'm so excited and thrilled for her. She totally deserves this and her book ROCKS! It will sell and when it does, you need to go out and buy it and read it!

Check out all the details here.

So now it's time to party!!!!!

Here's some delcious Fudgy Milk Chocolate Fondue.

Grown Up Hot Chocolate

And some White Chocolate Party Mix

Notice the chocolate theme?

Congratulations Beth! I'm doing the writer's jig for you.

Note: pictures are taken by recipe creaters. (not me!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where Will Critter Go for the Holidays?

It's time for Critter to leave Korea. Boo hoo! But we've had him so long, it's embarrasing. It's because he's just too cute.

A little background about Critter. He was created by the artistic genius, Ian Sands , and has been sent on a blog tour around the world.

Places he's been so far:
1. Christy's Creative Space
2. Roots in Myth
3. Writing It Out
4. Chocolate for Inspiration- shopping and the palace

And now.....

How would you like to have Critter come see you? Here's what it entails.

1) If you want Critter to visit you, leave a comment in the comments section and tell me why Critter should visit.

2) On Wednesday, EST at midnight (2 pm Korea time) I will choose the lucky winner and announce it on the blog (So exciting!). The winner will need to email me their mailing address so I can send Critter along to you.

3) When you get Critter in the mail, write your name and city location.

4) Now you get to Send Critter someplace else. Host a contest for Critter on your blog and then send Critter to the winner from your blog. (the critter is made of a light weight foam board, so it should not be too expensive to mail.)

5) Christy Evers will track Critter's location so we can see where he has been and where he will be going.

The last person will send Critter back to Christy Evers.

So the big question is, where will Critter go for the holidays. Will it be your house?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Critter Explores the Palace

Critter took on a whole new adventure as he stepped up to the guards of Gyeongbokgung Palace. This is the central and largest palace in Seoul, which I think surpasses the Forbidden City in beauty and the the Golden Temple of Japan in architecture.

It was a cold day, so Caleb kept Critter warm in his arms. We came up to the fierce guards, so fierce that Critter and the boys told me "No Way!" when I tried to get them to take a picture with the guard. But one glimpse of that sword, I had to agree.

We arrived there just in time to see the changing of the guards. Critter liked the Blue Dragon flag.

Then we entered through the massive gates (Haungnyemun). This palace was the royal family's residence during the Joseon Dynasty and is flanked by ragged mountains. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Unfortunately, the palace was burned during the Japanese Invasion in 1592 but rebuilt during the reign of King Gojong.

The river flowing inside the palace was frozen. When we crossed the bridge (Yeongjegyo) Critter tried jumping into it (he's dying to ice skate). Don't jump Critter! Caleb caught him just in time. Whew. That was a close one.

Our last stop (before Critter froze to death) was the Sajeongjeon. This is the hall where the king pondered his decisions and met with his officials. The king held a meeting there every day at 3 am and 5 am. We were pretty impressed at that since we were tired just walking to the building.

The ceiling is truly breathtaking.

Critter said he like the dragons.

Luke wanted to sit in the throne and Caleb wanted to do his taekwondo moves in the center.

But there was a sharp wind cutting through (the winds here make the weather seem colder than it is) and we were COLD. Critter suggested hot chocolate. Great idea Critter!

So we headed back home to our cozy, warm apartment for cocoa and cookies. A great end to a fun adventure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Critter is HERE!

Yep. That's right. Critter made the long, long flight over here. He was a little jet lagged when he first arrived, since our days were his night and so forth, but he's now fully recovered and out exploring.

The first order of business was to get him in a hanbok. Luke and I made one for him and he looks so cute in it. Don't you think?

Then we took him shopping.

He debated over which selection of kimchi to choose.

Got a little freaked out by the wide eyed fish and octopus.

He got hungry so I let him choose from dried squid or dried seaweed.

Luke told him to choose the seaweed, because it's salty and yummy.

Critter says shopping is really different in Korea but he had a blast.

Stay tuned in the next few days for more adventures from Critter. Hint: it starts with a p and is a place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Need a totally delicious and EASY Christmas cookie recipe? Bake this and your friends, sweetheart and fam will adore you. (Well, that's if they like chocolate)

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix together butter and powdered sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch and flour
3. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir well.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Drop by heaping tsps onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F until the edges just begin to turn golden. About 9 minutes.

While those are baking, head over to Tabitha's blog for a great contest. You can enter, but only I'm allowed to win. Kidding! (Sort of)

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Wow. Time is flying. I can't believe that November is gone. Nano is finished and here we are racing toward the holidays.

Even my hair is windblown. (kidding)

I haven't blogged in a while. Busy with work (my busiest month in a very, very long time). But in spite of the craziness, I managed to write 23,000 words this month. (can you hear me giving myself a little round of applause?) I still have my goal at finishing it in January and revising it for another three months after that if all goes well.

I'm so out of the blogging loop and I'm terribly curious how your November went.

For those of you who did Nano, how did you do?

For those of you who didn't, what's up?

And Critter says "Hi!" He has arrived and been very busy, getting into all kinds of trouble. I had some trouble with the camera with all the pictures but working that out. Will blog soon about Critter!

And the picture is one I took dangling out of the car. It's a Korean drying out gochu (red peppers). He had a giggle over me. I'm sure he's saying something like: "Meecchin waegook!" Translated: "Crazy foreigner!"