Archive for December, 2010

“New Year’s Resolutions: I have ideas to succeed – here’s my list!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 27, December 26th 2010

TITLE: “New Year’s Resolutions: I have ideas to SUCCEED – here’s my list!*”


My book of the week is: “Resolutions That Work: How to make & keep new years resolutions” [Paperback] by Serge Prengel. Hence my topic is succeeding at New Year’s Resolutions.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “New Year’s Resolutions”, “commitment”, etc.

New Year’s Resolutions

“New Year’s resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day. Some examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more environmentally responsible.There are religious parallels to this secular tradition. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. During Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one’swrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –’s_resolution


“Commitment means to show loyalty, duty or pledge to something or someone, and can refer to: Personal commitment, interaction dominated by obligations. These obligations may be mutual, or self-imposed, or explicitly stated, or may not. Distinction is often made between commitment as a member of an organization (such as a sporting team, a religion, or as an employee), and a personal commitment, which is often a pledge or promise to ones’ self for personal growth.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


Success rate

“Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.[3].”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –’s_resolution

What are the popular New Year’s resolutions?

Here are several:

“•Drink Less Alcohol
•Get a Better Education
•Get a Better Job
•Get Fit
•Lose Weight
•Manage Debt
•Manage Stress
•Quit Smoking Now
•Save Money
•Take a Trip
•Volunteer to Help Others”
(; government made easy) –

S & R*NEWS ALERT*#1:”Easy ways to keep family-focused New Year’s resolutions”

(NC)-”While New Year’s Eve and the accompanying resolutions may still seem fresh in your mind, months can pass without having acted on them.

Cut yourself some slack, focus on top family priorities, incorporate technology and simplify, simplify, simplify.

Extended family
Promised to visit the in-laws more frequently, but finding it hard to find the time? Use online instant messaging and video conferencing to connect with out-of-town family and save long drives or flights for less frequent, more special in-person visits.

Date night
Made a commitment to take your spouse out-on-the-town more, but feeling that post holiday wallet pinch and back-to-work fatigue? Create special nights at home by cooking delicious meals, lighting the candles, diming the lights and capturing your meals and moments with a digital camera like the Kodak M590 Digital Camera. At the end of the year, create a photo album with pictures or your home-made events, giving them to your spouse as an easily made, romantic gift (and reminder of resolutions kept).

Increased exercise
Thought you would lose ten pounds before February, but didn’t quite make it? Ease up on the guilt and make a few simple changes the whole family can enjoy. When baking things like deserts, substitute yogurt or applesauce for butter or use half the amount in certain sauces and take the whole family out for a 20-minute, after dinner walk …no gym membership required and fresh air and good company guaranteed. Losing weight doesn’t have to be as hard as you think; with a few short-cuts and a family-team effort, the pounds will melt-off over the course of the year.”

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #1: Wilt Chamberlain – New Year’s Resolution

Wilt Chamberlain, famed for his claim to have slept with some 20,000 women, once made a New Year’s resolution to stop fooling around so much. “He wants to find the right two or three hundred women,” Jay Leno quipped, “and settle down.”

Chamberlain, Wilton Norman [“Wilt the Stilt”] (1936-1999) American basketball player
(Source:  [Sources: Carol Amende, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say… Come Sit Next to Me; Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts]

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #2: Dan Miller – New Year’s Resolution

O-Town’s Dan Miller was once asked whether he had made any New Year’s resolutions. Yes, he replied: “To learn how to play bass… I set realistic resolutions. I’d never try something absurd, like giving up chocolate.”Miller, Dan (?-    ) American musician [noted for various recordings with O-Town]


I desire to better myself as a person and improve my life. On January 1st, like most people, I set some goals and make New Year’s resolutions. I know that if I set my sights too high, I might not get there. I also confess that I don’t always follow through.  Although I may not reach my goals, I still achieve something. In any event, I also subscribe to the credo of a good friend who says, “Aim for the stars and hit the sky!*”

New Year’s resolutions work for me. One year, then newly alone, I was VERY determined to start a social life . I needed to find single acquaintances.  I made a few resolutions; and I figured out how to achieve them.  I called a few people and started the ball rolling.  And in a short while, I had a whole new group of unmarried friends.

THE AUTHOR: Serge Prengel

Serge Prengel is a “Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapist- Focusing Trainer”. His clinical training is in Somatic Experiencing and Core Energetics. He is licensed by N.Y. State and he works in New York City. His FOT Specialty areas are: trauma, adults, body Psychotherapy and couples. His other specialty areas are: anger management and life coaching. He is all for the life changes that one may want. He aims to set off your creative juices. His hope is to foster new perspectives leading to the new you.  He uses the occasion of New Year’s and the popular pastime of making resolutions. He wants you to succeed at your resolutions. He has a strategy; and he really believes that if you follow his suggestions, you can bring about personal improvement and real change.

THE BOOK: “Resolutions That Work: How to make & keep new years resolutions” [Paperback] by Serge Prengel

This book is VERY short and sweet. The author is a man of a few words, but he makes do with less. He is very efficient in the communication of his three principles. According to him, embrace them and you will get to the promised land of a better you and better life.


It is usual for one to want to improve oneself and one’s life. However, it is noteworthy when one really tries to do it. And it is exceptional when someone actually accomplishes it. With this exercise, one gains , not only the betterment, but also, an overall positive feeling of self empowerment and satisfaction. As a further bonus, one may have some fun while getting there.

My personal comments

In my view, making New Year’s resolutions is a great custom.  It might even change your life. And you could also, become a better person.

The point

A personal renewal project is a perfect perennial. Everyone should take advantage of the opportunity. It pays dividends. Here are some suggestions.


A person wishing to make and accomplish a successful resolution should:
1. Examine the past year and try to figure out:

(a) “What could have gone better?”

(b) “What is causing you dissatisfaction?”

(c) “What quality being exhibited is holding you back?”

(d) “What new skill set may propel you to the next level?”

2. Leave behind any negativity that might be felt- don’t beat yourself up; instead,

2.1 Forgive yourself;

2.2 Learn from the mistakes made and move on, all the while, ensuring that you do NOT repeat the same errors.

3. Start the New Year on a positive note, striving for more;

4.Enunciate goals for the coming year and to this end,

4.1 Be reasonable in your expectations, recognizing that what you set as your goal will impact upon whether you fail and the extent achieved. Furthermore, never start what you do not intend to finish.

4.2 Choose a subject area (see the above Heading, “Popular New Year’s resolutions”, for examples.) – remember you cannot do it all and you have to start somewhere.

4.3 Prioritize – determine what area is more important to your overall success and focus on that!

4.4 Address  a particular aspect, be it small or big; then, aim to correct it.

5. Break the goals down into small quantifiable baby steps; this is key to your rate of success; making each into realistic sub-resolutions; (say, for example, if you want to read 10 books, make each book a sub- resolution.)

6. Make an action plan to achieve each sub-resolution;

7. Reward yourself with a small treat after accomplishing each sub-resolution; this is essential in providing immediate gratification and encouraging you to look to the next sub-resolution;

8. Be conscious of the power of attitude; whatever you do,

8.1 Go into this with the right frame of mind:  you will get it done, no excuses.

8.2 Do this with gusto – never take a “whatever-will-be … will-be” approach; this spells certain defeat.

8.3 Understand the word, “persistence” –  show it!

9. Aim for the finish line; and when it is in view,

9.1 Steel your resolve;

9.2 Look into yourself for that additional effort and boost of adrenalin to push you across to victory;

Cheers – In the new year, please have the new you call the new me and we’ll do lunch*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on December 26th, 2010 Comments Off on “New Year’s Resolutions: I have ideas to succeed – here’s my list!*”


Vol. 1,  No. 26, December 19th 2010



My book of the week is: “The New Year’s Eve Compendium: Toasts, Tips, Trivia and Tidbits for Bringing in the New Year” by Todd Lyon. Hence, my topic is doing New Years better!


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “New Year’s Eve”; “party”; “year 2010” etc.

New Year’s Eve

“New Year’s Eve or Old Year’s Night is on 31th December, the final day of the Gregorian year, and the day before New Year’s Day.New Year’s Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year’s Day. In modern Western practice, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings spanning the transition of the year at midnight.Many cultures use fireworks and other forms of noise making in part of the celebration. New Year’s Eve is observed universally on 31 December according to the year numbering of the CE (Common Era), or AD (Anno Domini) convention, even in non-Christian nations. New Year’s Eve is also the seventh day of Christmas in western Christianity. Traditional and religious celebrations for e.g. the Chinese, Muslim and Jewish new year, which occur on different dates, are still celebrated separately in the cultures that observe them, on the appropriate dates each year.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -’s_Eve


“A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, or recreation. A party will typically feature food and beverages, and often music and dancing as well.Some parties are held in honor of a specific person, day, or event (e.g., a birthday party, a Super Bowl party, or a St. Patrick’s Day party). Parties of this kind are often called celebrations.A party is not necessarily a private occasion. Public parties are sometimes held in pubs and bars, and people attending such parties may be charged an admission fee by the host.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -

Year 2010

“2010 (MMX) is a common year that started on a Friday and is the current year. In the Gregorian calendar, it is the 2010th year of the Common Era or the Anno Domini designation; the 10th year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century; and the 1st of the 2010s decade.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -


“Each year during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, a time ball made by Waterford Crystal[1] and electric lights is raised to the top of a pole on the One Times Square building[1] and then lowered to mark the coming of the New Year. The Ball descends 77 feet (23 m) over the course of a minute, coming to rest at the bottom of its pole at 12:00 am. Toshiba’s Times Square billboard directly below the Ball counts down to midnight as well.

Every year up to one million people gather in Times Square to watch the Ball drop, and an estimated 1 billion watch the video of the event, 100 million of them in the United States.[2]”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -

Bonus Fact #1: Canada

“In Canada, New Year’s traditions and celebrations vary from region to region. Generally, New Year’s Eve (also known as New Year’s Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l’An in French) in Canada is a social holiday. In major metropolitan areas such as Toronto and Montreal, major celebrations with music and fireworks are often held at midnight. Other common New Year’s Eve celebrations such as late-night partying are also major events in these cities and other places around Canada. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish and drink with their friends until the early hours of January 1.[2]

On television, the sketch comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce had been known for their New Year’s Eve specials on CBC, which in addition before the start of their weekly television series, was one of their first forays into television after years on radio. Consequentially, the series finale of their television series was a New Year’s Eve special on December 31, 2008, although due to their popularity, the CBC requested that they return for a New Year’s Eve special for 2009.[3][4]
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)’s_Eve

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: New Year’s Eve

“Profile America — Friday, December 31st. On this New Year’s Eve, more than 310 million
Americans of all ages are ready to greet the year 2011. A hundred years ago, the U.S. population was just over 92 million — 50 years ago, it was nearing 181 million. To show how fast the nation is growing, by this time tomorrow, there will be almost 12,000 new babies on hand to welcome the new year. Tonight’s celebration will see many of the 186,000 musicians and singers in the U.S. entertaining crowds in night clubs, bars, and restaurants across the country. Also on hand will be most of the 365,000 bartenders and just over 2 million waiters and waitresses. The men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau wish you a happy, safe, and prosperous new year.”Sources: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 10
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 80, 603

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: New Year’s Eve and Day

“More than 311 million – The nation’s projected population as we ring in the New Year.”
Source: Population projections <>

S & R* ANECDOTE: New Year’s Date

“Babysitters are getting $100 an hour on New Year’s Eve,” David Letterman reported on the eve of the Millennium. “That’s more than my date will be getting!”
(Sources: “Late Show with David Letterman”)-


My New Year’s Eve tradition has changed through the years. In my earlier years, I went to a New Year’s party.

Grandparents’ party

As a child, growing up, New Year’s Eve was a BIG family celebration. After dinner, we went to the home of my grandparents. We were a crowd of 35+- persons: all of my aunts, uncles, cousins along with my parents and brothers plus invited guests. My grandfather picked out joyful New Year’s music, which played throughout the evening.The spirit of New Year’s Eve lived at my grandparent’s house. Just like on Christmas, my grandmother would bake all our favorite, traditional desserts and the dining room table also had finger foods, drinks, etc. At midnight, my grandfather took out the champagne and we would all toast the New Year. We looked back, reminiscing about what had happened during the past year. We also looked forward to our hoped for joy, health and prosperity. It was also a time of fun and games. My grandmother loved to play bingo. So at some point in the evening, she took out the game and we would play for a while.

Reception hall party

When I got married, we continued this tradition until my daughters became teenagers. Then, along with friends, we started to party as a family in the big reception halls. These were very glamorous soirees where everyone was dressed to kill and the atmosphere was one of joy and entertainment. They were very expensive, but it was well worth it.

Big restaurant meal

In other years, I went to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve. It was not a good experience. The dining room was a total zoo. Service was very slow. The food was not of the same quality. It was also lukewarm to cold. I decided that going to a restaurant on December 31 was not a good idea.


After my divorce, my daughters went to their own parties with their friends. For a number of years, I got all dolled up and I celebrated the new year with my single friends at our association party. I had a good time: one gin and tonic, loud music, friends and lots of laughs. Oh yes, nearly forgot, there was also some stale chips.


One year, my friend and I decided that we would celebrate New Year’s Eve at an event held in a big downtown hotel. It was a disappointment.

Party for two

The last couple of years, now in a committed relationship, I have again changed my routine. Lately, we stay home and have an exclusive party for two. We have a lovely home dinner and a couple of drinks, watching the Times Square shows. We have fun.


She has been a freelance writer published by the New Haven Register at New Haven Ct. She is on the food beat. She has written about restaurants, etc.

Her books include:
• 50 Ways to Read Your Lover
• 50 Ways to Read Your Lover: Secret Strategies That Reveal the Real Him

THE BOOK: “The New Year’s Eve Compendium: Toasts, Tips, Trivia and Tidbits for Bringing in the New Year” by Todd Lyon

Todd Lyon speaks food. She puts on her party animal hat. She aims high….look up … higher…to the top of the heap : New Year’s Eve. This is the pinnacle of Partyville and the Super Bowl of partytime. She has a sense of history when it comes to this celebration; and she has ideas and suggestions respecting themes, drinks, recipes, games, etc.  Take them or leave them – she offers food for thought (pardon the pun).  For me, it adds to my research. For that, I am appreciative. Is it the last word to be written?…probably not. I leave that to you!
(Fact Source:


New Years is the start of another year. I don’t think it should start on a sour note; rather, I truly want it to be a good night for you and me. Just maybe, it will set the tone for a great year to come. This said, let’s party!

My personal comments

I always look forward to the holidays. New Year’s Eve is the second of the December festivities. This is the occasion ostensibly calling for serious partying and drinking, potentially through to the small hours of the night. It could be a time for great fun. In my opinion, it really depends on the answer to these questions:
1. “How you are feeling?” Regardless, I say: “On the afternoon of December 31, pack up the problems and stack them in the garage.  Then put on a happy face and embrace the joy and hope of the dawning year.”

2. “With whom do you  party?” I say: “This is one of the  keys.  For example – when I went to a downtown hotel party- it was an unpleasant experience. Spending New Year’s Eve in a roomful of  strangers can be lonely. I prefer being with people who are meaningful: loved ones, family friends, my girl friends, etc.

3. “Does it pass the kiss test?” I say: “Just imagine being in a glamorous hotel or hall for a New Year’s Eve party, with a room full of strangers and a friend or two. Midnight comes and everyone is toasting the new year and then strangers came around, making small talk, extending superficial wishes and giving a little peck  – believe me it was unsatisfying.  Now I’m with someone special and at midnight, the kiss is now meaningful.  At this moment,  I’m thinking of going into the new year with this wonderful person and I am hopeful that it will bring health, happiness, prosperity, etc.  I aim high for each one of you – I truly wish for you the same sentiment and experience.

The point

On New Year’s Eve, the venue is not key. The food does not have to be gourmet quality. Music is not essential. In other words, the party is not the point. Instead, it is about fun regardless the form. Most often, it is about being with one or more friends. It could be more, when with one’s  significant other.


“New Year’s Eve party ideas:   I have some!*” I suggest that you:

1. Refuse to have a lousy night. If not, it has the potential of being a total bust. If alone, making no effort, it could be a real downer! Or if at a party, you could be saying: “Boy, is this lousy, let’s leave!”

2.  Recognize that it is in your power to make it the greatest night of your life. I want you to say: “Oh boy, this is great!”
If alone
3. Decide to have fun on New Year’s Eve – plan it out:
3.1 Create one or more new tradition(s):
3.1.1 Make a meal that is out of the ordinary – try to make something different;
3.1.2 Make a phone call to an old friend or a family member, catching up on news, wishing them well, etc.
3.1.3 Do something that YOU LIKE TO DO:

(a)  Go to the movie rental store and have a home movie marathon, (if you like movies) – don’t forget the popcorn and candy. Or go out to a movie or double feature;

(b) Go bowling and ask to join up with others, already there ; and have a beer – it’s New Years.

3.1.4 Go to a specialty coffee outlet or an all-night-breakfast place for some near midnight refreshment.

If with one or more friends

4. Invite a friend or two to hang out and order take out; then get comfortable and,

4.1 View a DVD movie: a classic or new release, preferably still unseen as of yet;
4.2 Have a cool one and chill out;
4.3 Play a party game like charades; and
4.4 Watch the TV New Year’s Eve programming.

If attached and/or with children

5. Invite another couple/family or two over to your house; and

5.1Buy party favors: hats whistles, etc.;

5.2 Ask that each home contribute a meal sufficient for them, whether home -cooked or delivery and put it all out buffet/ serve yourself style;
5.3 Bring spirits or beer plus one bottle of sparkling wine;
5.4 Bring a dessert; and
5.5 Call the kids around at 12:00 AM to share the moment.

5.6 Don’t forget the midnight kiss!!

Oh sugar! My party hat fell on the dance floor and my whistle fell into the punch bowl. Oh what the hoot, have a happy New Year to you and yours! Cheers!*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on December 19th, 2010 Comments Off on “NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY IDEAS: I HAVE SOME – LET’S HAVE FUN!*”


Vol. 1,  No. 25, December 12th 2010



Continuing with the Christmas theme, I am now addressing gift buying. More precisely, the purchase of wearing apparel for adult females. This includes family, friends and yours truly. The perfect book on topic is “Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else [Hardcover] by Clinton Kelly. Hence, it is my book of the week.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  clothing, dress, fashion, fashion accessory, shoes, etc.

Clothing – (Gender differentiation)

It can be said that there are five primary factors in clothing comfort, “identifiable as the ‘4 Fs of Comfort’ (1) fashion; (2) feel; (3) fit; and (4) function.[3] One of the primary purposes of clothing is to keep the wearer comfortable. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are generally more important. Shelter usually reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves, shoes, socks, and other superficial layers are normally removed when entering a warm home, particularly if one is residing or sleeping there. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer seasons and regions than in colder ones.

In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate for men and women. The differences are in styles, colors and fabrics.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)-


“A dress is a piece of clothing that women sometimes wear. A dress is like a shirt attached to a long, matching skirt, which may trail behind the wearer. They are also called gowns or frocks. There are many types of dresses. A dress is usually worn at formal occasions, such as a wedding or a dance. It is also worn in the summer to keep cool. In some places, men may wear dresses as part of their culture.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –


“Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person. The more technical term, costume, has become so linked in the public eye with the term “fashion” that the more general term “costume” has in popular use mostly been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while the term “fashion” means clothing generally, and the study of it. For a broad cross-cultural look at clothing and its place in society, refer to the entries for clothing, costume and fabrics. The remainder of this article deals with clothing fashions in the Western world.[1]

Fashion mostly refers to the style of clothing worn at a particular time. Clothing at its most basic is to keep us warm, but it serves many other functions. Fashion can also mean a style of language or behaviour. Fashions are a kind of nonverbal communication. They communicate something, but exactly what is something of a mystery. Often what they express is membership of a particular group.Fashions are like trends. They change more quickly than the entire culture. The term ‘fashion’ is often used a synonym for glamour and style. Sometimes the term is used in a negative sense, to mean a ‘fad’.There are fashions in many types of human activity and ways of thinking. There are fashions in architecture (the way people build houses) and interior design (the way people decorate inside their houses). There are fashions for clothing. There are fashions for dance and music, and for the way people speak. There are fashions for ideas.[change] Clothing fashions. Fashion is more than just a designer’s whim. Fashion is a reflection of a given time, socially, politically, economically, and artistically. The changing styles show just as much about history and the time period as any history book. It reflects on what people think, what they valued and how they lived. Fashion is a statement, a way of living. Fashion is used in different ways such as clothing, culture, religions etc. Clothes are not just for keeping warm!Fashion is a way to express one’s self. Many teenagers show their ideas and opinions by the way they look. They may want to look unique and individual, often to be a member of a group which looks unique. Fashion is superficial (on the surface) but as the outside of a person is the only bit that other people see, what they wear is meaningful. It helps people to make their first opinion of you and can influence the opinions and ideas of other people. Fashion has changed over the years, long dresses, miniskirts, and bell bottoms are examples of clothing items that were once in style. Clothing fashions that keep coming back in style are known as classics. Khaki pants, polo shirts, and simple dresses are all examples of classics. Eye makeup, Jewellery, hair styles, hats and shoes can all work together to create a fashion image, a total effect.”D&G” redirects here. For the region in south-west Scotland, see Dumfries and Galloway.Type Pr, D.Gelfond Industry Fashion Founded 1985 Headquarters Milan, Italy Products Clothing, footwear, handbags, sunglasses Employees 3,150 Website www.dolcegabbana.itDolce & Gabbana (Italian pronunciation: [&#712;dolt&#643;e e  &#609;ab&#712;ba&#720;na]), is an Italian luxury fashion house.[1]The company was started by the Italian designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana in Milan, Italy. By 2005 their turnover was €750 million.[2] Their clothing designs are usually black in color and geometric in shape.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Fashion accessory

“Fashion accessories are decorative items that supplement and complement clothes, such as jewelry, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses, pins, stockings, bow ties, leg warmers, leggings, neckties, suspenders, and tights.

Accessories can add color, style and class to an outfit, and create a certain look, but they can also have a practical function: handbags can be used to carry small items such as cash, hats protect the face in bad weather, and gloves keep hands warm.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


“A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear varies widely in style, complexity and cost. Basic sandals may consist of only a thin sole and simple strap. High fashion shoes may be made of very expensive materials in complex construction and sell for thousands of dollars a pair. Other shoes are for very specific purposes, such as boots specially designed for mountaineering or skiing. Shoes have traditionally been made from leather, wood or canvas, but are increasingly made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #1: “Haute couture”

“Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.[1]

It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth’s work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century.[2] In modern France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, New York, Tokyo and Madrid.

The term can refer to:
• the fashion houses or fashion designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions
• the fashions created.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #2: Little black dress

“A little black dress is an evening or cocktail dress, cut simply and often quite short. Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel,[1] intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral color. Its ubiquity is such that it is often simply referred to as the “LBD”[2][3][4]

The “little black dress” is considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers, who believe it a “rule of fashion” that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion: for example, worn with a jacket and pumps for daytime business wear or with more ornate jewelry and accessories for evening. Because it is meant to be a staple of the wardrobe for a number of years, the style of the little black dress ideally should be as simple as possible: a short black dress that is too clearly part of a trend would not qualify because it would soon appear dated.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

STUDY/STATISTICS: High heeled footwear

“High-heeled footwear (often abbreviated as high heels or simply heels) is footwear that raises the heel of the wearer’s foot significantly higher than the toes and often can be worn without socks. When both the heel and the toes are raised equal amounts, as in a platform shoe, it is technically not considered to be a high heel; however, there are also high-heeled platform shoes. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion of longer, more slender and more toned legs. High heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump (court shoe), block, tapered, blade, and wedge.

According to high-fashion shoe websites like Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a “low heel” is considered less than 2.5 inches (6 centimeters), while heels between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (8.5 cm) are considered “mid heels”, and anything over that is considered a “high heel”[citation needed]. A recent study suggested that wearing high heels may improve the muscle tone of a woman’s pelvic floor.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – (

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Tips to turn Holiday Frazzle into Holiday Dazzle

“(NC)—With a Holiday calendar jam-packed with social obligations and last minute party invites, men and women can feel frazzled trying to get from one event to the next looking their dazzling best in a hurry. “No one likes to be rushed,” says Peter Papapetrou, Style Expert. “There are quick solutions to help jazz up a look with maximum impact and minimum stress, by keeping a few staple items at the office or in the car so you’re ready to go on the fly. For women, adding a bold accessory or an animal print scarf will add flare to any outfit. Men can loosen up their look by exchanging a tie for a scarf or putting on a pair of stylish sneakers.” (Source: News Canada)


It is important for me to be well-dressed. I have a few good suits and dresses, lots of pants and skirts of different basic colors along with blouses and sweaters to mix and match. In addition, I take the time to complete the outfit. I think about shoes and accessories.

I have a definitive taste when it comes to women’s wearing apparel: (a) formal attire; (b) sportswear; (c) jeans and leisure clothes; (d) sweats; (e) cruise; etc.

Antoinette’s dress code: I reject the notion of looking just nice and pretty. I strive for a look that is feminine, stylish and classy with a hint of sex appeal. For me, stylish means a little different: I have a handbag for which, I received many compliments from women. I have some hats in my wardrobe. My favorite color is red, yet I believe in understatement.  I like clothing that is simple, yet elegant, but always with a sense of fashion. Nevertheless, I also appreciate detailing on clothes. But for me, designer labels are of no consequence. I love to shop; this makes it easier for me to find the item that is just right.  Like many, I am on a budget. I am careful in my purchases.

I believe that every woman needs a little black dress – it is the basic essential. For me, I have several: a variety of styles and detail. Many times, I have pulled one out; and depending on the occasion, I altered the look. Adding a jacket will give an appearance of office wear and professionalism. Adding some nice jewelry, will dress up the outfit sufficient to go out on the town; and  “viola“, you look amazing!

As far as footwear goes, I am definitely hooked on the ‘strappy’ high heel shoes. I have a closet full of them. The problem is that they are not for everyday wear.  For the office, I have several pairs of pumps.


THE AUTHOR: Clinton Kelly

Clinton Kelly is a fashion expert. He is a spokesperson for Macy’s, the huge department store chain. He is a graduate in journalism and had stints at several noted fashion publications, including Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, and DNR.



A TV personality, he is the co-host of the program, “What Not to Wear” broadcast on the TLC channel. He is a critic and counselor all rolled up in one. If you’re a fashion incompetent, watch out, he takes no prisoners.

THE BOOK: “Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else” [Hardcover] by Clinton Kelly.

He has definite opinions as to what works and what does not. He is no lightwieght when it comes to getting dressed. According to him, “The three main components of style are: 1. Fit; 2. Proportion; 3. Appropriateness. ” He also provides HOW-TO directives as regards speaking, behaving, eating, drinking, entertaining, etc. He believes in the whole person doing things his way and thus achieving the exalted rank of fabulous.


It is important for everyone to be well-groomed and dressed appropriately according to the occasion.

My personal comments

I believe that one could decipher a person’s personality by how he or she is groomed and dressed. I like dresses that are feminine. I am not impressed by designer labels. I am of the opinion that people who are insistent on such labels, are shallow, status conscious and insecure. I also think that the type of shoes, which a woman wears, will tell you something of her personality. I really enjoy beautiful clothing & footwear!

Indeed, when it comes to women’s wear, daily, I am a main street focus group!  (un Classifieds 4U)*”

The point

I encourage everyone to do everything possible to look one’s best 24-7. To get there, I have a few pointers.


I suggest that you:

1. Recognize that before someone learns about you from the inside, he or she first sees your outside. (However, I caution you NOT to go overboard, since, in my opinion, what is inside is far more important!)
2. Pay attention to personal cleanliness: (i). Start with good daily hygiene and grooming; (ii). Have your hair cut/dyed regularly; (iii). Have dental care twice a year; (iv). Do your nails: do not bite them, but do cut them not to the quick and apply nail polish – my suggested color is red; while the French manicure is the preferred style;
3.  Plan your outfit beforehand, always keeping in tune, dress-wise, with the season, occasion, venue and time of the day; and lay it out on your bed the night before for a preview. It is like a puzzle – see if it fits together well,  if not, change the mix!

4. Find opportunities to dress-up; and take advantage of the times to dress down; each are fun;
5. Find out what best suits you to accentuate your figure and go with it;
6. Build a great wardrobe;  to do this, (a) Buy a few pieces every season to add to your closet stock – this is to look fashionable; (b) Hold off to the sales, if at all possible;  (c) Buy something that may be worn as part of many outfits; (d) Look for quality:  fabrics,  strong/straight seams, etc.; (e) Try on the garment, before you buy it, to make sure that it fits; (f) Allow for shrinkage from washing; (g)  Look for overstocks and specials; (h) Browse for bargains for next year especially end-of-season items of good quality; (i) Try to maximize your buying dollar by using your gift cards on/during Boxing day or weeks (after Christmas sales).
7. Buy a little black dress and always keep it dry- cleaned ready for anything – it will become a reliable staple in your wardrobe;
8. Complete the outfit with the right shoes and accessories – they will help you achieve the look that you want;
9. Strive for a younger look, but if of a certain age, know that there are certain fashions better left for teenagers even if you have the figure for it.
10. Conserve your wardrobe by proper maintenance:  (a) Wash/dry-clean regularly; (b) Use garment  bags for your better clothes;  (b) Follow the instructions on the label; etc.
11. Be aware that primping is time well spent. When all put together right, one looks distinguished and oozes confidence.

12. Recognize:  (a) That looking your best on a 1st date is key; (b) That your appearance at an interview will make a difference in getting a job; hence on these occasions particularly, dress to the nines!

13. Remember that looking good makes you feel good;

I like to get all dolled-up, don’t you?

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on December 12th, 2010 Comments Off on “WOMEN’S WEAR: DAILY, I AM A MAIN STREET FOCUS GROUP! (Un Classifieds 4U)*”


Antonietta’s Kitchen
Volume 1,  Number 6,  This 8th Day of December, 2010
(Antonietta’s Kitchen*)
“the art of food, wine, family & more*”
By Antonietta La Posta
(Editor’s Note: This is another special post on the main blog page of Antoinette La Posta. We are therefore making a pre-upload this Wednesday. (It is the next REGULAR post of her other blog, a cooking blog, entitled, “CUCINA D’ANTONIETTA* (Antonietta’s Kitchen*) “the art of food, wine, family & more*”. We at Valente want to make sure that Antoinette’s fans know about her excellent cooking blog.  (To access the cooking blog, please enter the following Internet address: Once there, press the “Blog” button – it is the second to the last button on the left, then press the button at the top, the second after home, bearing the inscription, ”Antoinette’s Kitchen”; and there press the
Or you can go directly to the new location at
Please do join her on her food escapades. Reader comments regarding her scrumptuous recipes are whole- heartedly invited.)
In these weeks before Christmas, I am continuing with my theme of holiday meals. Picture this – sitting down for a lunch/dinner and after numerous courses ‘soup to nuts’,  (By the way, I do indeed serve roasted pecans.), with everyone REALLY FULL, and after offering ordinary, coffee and tea, leaving the best for last, I finally offer my delicious Irish Coffee. (I now call it: “IRISH COFFEE IRRESISTIBILE di ANTONIETTA*”)
This is the perfect end to my holiday feast. My family looks forward to this finishing touch.  It adds that extra special richness to the festivities. When everyone has concluded the main course, I start making the coffee. Within about ½ hour, the freshly brewed coffee is ready to be served. After the final steps, and once served, I sit at the table, finally relaxing (I bet all of you out there can relate.), sipping Irish coffee and enjoying pleasant
conversation with my loved ones. Nice picture, eh?
Irish coffee
“Irish coffee (Irish: Caife Gaelach) is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, stirred, and topped with thick cream. The coffee is drunk through the cream. The original recipe explicitly uses cream that has not been whipped, although whipped cream is often used. Irish coffee may be considered a variation on the hot toddy.The original Irish coffee was invented by Joseph Sheridan, a head chef at Foynes, County Limerick but originally from Castlederg, County Tyrone. Foynes’ port was the precursor to Shannon International Airport in the west of Ireland; the coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was Irish coffee.[1][2]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Irish Whiskey
“Irish whiskey (Irish: Fuisce or Uisce beatha) is a whiskey made in Ireland. There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: Single Malt, Single Grain, Pure Pot Still and Blended Whiskey. The word whiskey is an Anglicisation of the ancient Gaelic term “uisce beatha” which translates as “water of life”. (The Craythur is a modern Irish term for whiskey.[1]Most Irish whiskey is distilled three times while Scotch, apart from Auchentoshan, is distilled twice. Peat is rarely used in the malting process, so that Irish Whiskey has a smoother finish as opposed to the smokey, earthy overtones common to some Scotches. There are notable exceptions to these “rules” in both countries; an example is Connemara Peated Irish Malt (double distilled) whiskey from the independent Cooley Distillery in Co. Louth.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Why I prefer Jameson brand
“Jameson is a Single distillery Irish whiskey produced by a division of the French distiller Pernod Ricard. Jameson is similar in its adherence to the single distillery principle to the single malt tradition, but Jameson combines malted barley with unmalted or “green” barley. The most famous component within Jameson is the “Pure Pot Still” distilling tradition.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
It is a leading brand, long known for high quality spirits, especially Irish Whiskey. It is excellent.
Ice cream
“Ice cream or ice-cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavourings and colourings are used in addition to (or in replacement of) the natural ingredients. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
“Vanilla fruits, dried Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. Etymologically, vanilla derives from the Spanish word “vainilla”, little pod.[1] Originally cultivated by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.[2] Attempts to cultivate the vanilla plant outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the tlilxochitl vine that produced the vanilla orchid and the local species of Melipona bee; it was not until 1837 that Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. The method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially.[3] In 1841, a 12-year-old French-owned slave by the name of Edmond Albius, who lived on Île Bourbon, discovered the plant could be hand pollinated, allowing global cultivation of the plant.[4]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Why I prefer Nestle’s Parlour brand
“Parlour is a brand of ice cream originally produced by Sealtest, and currently produced by Nestlé. It is not to be confused with an ice cream parlour, which is any type of vendor selling ice cream. Parlour comes in many different flavours and is available mainly in Canada, where it is labelled “frozen dessert”, as it does not meet the legal definition of ice cream due to the high content of palm oils (see Mellorine). Parlour now competes with bigger brands of ice cream such as: Chapman’s, Breyers and others.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
It is a well known brand produced by a world class food company. More, I like it because  it is creamy.
“Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. They are seeds of coffee cherries that grow on trees in over 70 countries, cultivated primarily in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Green unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.[1] Due to its caffeine content, coffee often has a stimulating effect on humans. Today, coffee is the third most popular drink in the world, behind water and tea.[2]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Why I prefer Maxwell House brand
“Maxwell House is a brand of coffee manufactured by a like-named division of Kraft Foods. Introduced in 1892, it is named in honor of the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. For many years until the late 1980s it was the largest-selling coffee in the U.S. and is currently (ca. 2007) second behind Folgers, which is manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Co. The company recently unveiled a new slogan, “Good Just Got Great,” visible on their website. However, it is best known for its longtime slogan, “Good to the last drop,” and is still running ads featuring the line.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
It is a consistent brand of quality. It has a good after taste, not bitter. The price is also right – a great value.
“The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia, or Spice Islands. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.[1]Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after 20 years. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
“The lemon is both a small evergreen tree (Citrus × limon, often given as C. limon) native to Asia and the tree’s oval yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and nonculinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, mainly in cooking and baking. Lemon juice is about 5% to 6% (approximately 0.3M) citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste, and a pH of 2 to 3. This makes lemon juice an inexpensive, readily available acid for use in educational science experiments. Many lemon-flavored drinks and candies are available, including lemonade and sherbet lemons. The distinctive sour taste that lemon juice gives, makes it a key ingredient in many dishes across the world.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
To make this Irish Coffee, you need a drinking glass (dimension 1,573×2,302  (582 KB); measuring utensils and a good coffee maker.
Coffee Maker
“Coffeemakers are cooking appliances used to brew coffee without having to boil water in a separate container. While there are many different types of coffeemakers using a number of different brewing principles, in the most common devices, coffee grounds are placed in a paper or metal filter inside a funnel, which is set over a glass or ceramic coffee pot. Cold water is poured into a separate chamber, which is then heated up to the boiling point, and directed into the funnel. This is also called automatic drip-brew.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Why I prefer a Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker?
Last Christmas, my daughters bought me a Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker and I love it. It makes fantastic coffee every time … smooth and tasty.To give you a specific reference, I have checked on-line and I found  information on this coffee maker.  Product #43-0571-8 – price $99.99 (
List of glassware- This list of glassware includes drinking vessels (drinkware), tableware, such as dishes, and flatware used to set a table for eating a meal, general glass items such as vases, and glasses used in the catering industry whether made of glass or plastics such as polystyrene and polycarbonate..jspProduct #43-0571-8Glassware
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –
Why I prefer a certain drinking glass?
I use a drinking glass (dimension 1,573×2,302 (582 KB). This drinking glass is the right size for all the ingredients used.
Antonietta’s Recipe of the Month:  IRISH COFFEE
•       Irish whiskey (Jameson brand) (1 oz.)
•       (Maxwell House) coffee (best made strong, served hot) (1 cup)
•       Vanilla (Nestle’s Parlour brand) ice cream (2 scoops)
•       Lemon (½)
•       Sugar (1 tsp.)
In a drinking glass:
•       Rub lemon around the rim;
•       Dip the glass in sugar;
•       Add 1 oz. (or more) of Irish whisky (Jameson brand);
•       Pour 1 cup of strong, hot, & black coffee (Maxwell brand) with sugar to taste ( 1 tsp. should be enough);
•      Add a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream (Parlour brand); and
•      Top it off with nutmeg on the ice cream.
And “Voila”: a delicious coffee specialty to end your wonderful meal. I love my delicious  “IRISH COFFEE IRRESISTIBILE di ANTONIETTA*”. Indeed as they say in Quebec, Canada (“la belle province” – this phrase means the beautiful province), it is my “piece de resistance”! (translated loosely: masterpiece…claim to fame)*
P.S. Let me know if you have a lively discussion after serving your family, not just Irish coffee, but “IRISH COFFEE IRRESISTIBILE di ANTONIETTA*”.
Take this dish out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my food favorite for the week, what’s yours? *
-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”
*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on December 8th, 2010 Comments Off on “IRISH COFFEE IRRESISTIBILE di ANTONIETTA*”

“Spending Christmas alone? I have some ideas!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 24, December 5th 2010

TITLE: “Spending Christmas alone? I have some ideas!*”


Christmas is coming. My book of the week is: “Skipping Christmas [Hardcover]” by John Grisham.  Like the book title, I am sure that there are some who would like to skip the whole thing. A possible reason is that they are planning to spend Christmas alone. This is my topic of the week.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Christmas”, “Single”, “Solitude”, etc.


“Christmas[3] or Christmas Day[4][5] is a holiday observed generally on December 25[6] to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity.[7][8] The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christiansis believed Jesus had been conceived,[9] the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar,[10] or one of various ancient winter festivals.[9][11] Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.[12]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“In legal definitions for interpersonal status, a single person is someone who has never been married. A person who was previously married and was divorced or widowed is usually considered an “unmarried” person.[citation needed] If a marriage is annulled, however, or it is found to have been void ab initio (i.e. not valid in law to start with), and assuming the person was not married previously, that individual is single, rather than unmarried. In that situation, the law behaves as though the parties thought they were married when, in actuality, they were not. The term single in its common usage is often referred to someone who isn’t involved in any type of romantic relationship, whether it would be dating, engagement, or marriage.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation; i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, or circumstances of employment or situation (see castaway).”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #1: Single person households

“According to the United States Bureau of the Census, the fastest-growing household type since the 1980s has been the single person. Previously both socially uncommon and unaccepted due to perceived roles, public awareness, modern socioeconomic factors and increasingly available popular and lengthier education and careers have made the single lifestyle a viable option for many Americans, especially after the Vietnam War.[3]

Similar to the United States, single-person households are increasingly popular in the United Kingdom. In recent years, studies have found that more citizens value career over personal relationships. The single-person households have also been spreading due to the high self-esteem it offers.[4]”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #2: Holiday Names

“Place names associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 2,226 in 2009); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,303); Santa Claus, Ga. (247); Noel, Mo. (1,615); and — if you know about reindeer — the village of Rudolph, Wis. (418) and Dasher, Ga. (821). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,686) and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss., and Mount Holly, N.C.”
Population estimates <>
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Newsroom).


U.S. toy imports: $5.1 billion

“The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and August 2010. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($37 million), sports footwear ($218 million) and basketballs ($32 million). China leads Thailand as the leading supplier of ice skates ($9 million versus $6 million), with Canada ranking third ($4 million).”
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <>
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Newsroom).

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:  Generation C

“(NC)—Whether you’re a Millennial or a Baby Boomer, everyone celebrates Christmas as a member of Generation C.

Millennials: 18-30 Gen Xers: 31-44

Baby Boomers: 45-64 Matures: 65+

To determine generational differences, a recent survey asked questions about favourite holiday dishes, size of holiday gatherings and who does the holiday cooking.

While all generations agree the traditional roasted turkey is tops, Millennials and Gen Xers say they like to experiment with different cooking methods like barbecuing or deep frying the festive turkey.

Millennials and Gen Xers may Twitter, Facebook and Blog, but everyone can get help cooking the holiday turkey by calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-3722).”


As a child, growing up, I learned about Christmas. First, of course, it is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Second, it is to UNITE with family. When my grandparents were alive, on Christmas Eve, after supper, we all would go to their home. We were QUITE THE GROUP as my mother had 8 siblings in Canada. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins plus my parents and brothers and invited guests were in excess of 35+- persons. Indeed, this was a real FULL HOUSE!  My grandparents were the best Christmas host and hostess. My grandfather always decorated their house with lots and lots of Christmas ornaments and a big Christmas tree. He also picked out joyful Christmas music, which played throughout the evening. My grandmother would bake all our favorite, traditional desserts and the dining room table also had finger foods, drinks, etc. The spirit of Christmas lived there! I always looked forward to this day.

More recently, my holidays continued to be enjoyed with family. On Christmas Eve, my mom would cook a big meal for the family and we would later open our gifts. Christmas day was my turn. My folks and siblings along with their spouses and kids would come to my house at noon and I cooked a big Christmas meal. The atmosphere was always one of festivity, joy and happiness.  However, the past five years have been a little different. My Dad passed away and my Mom’s health has declined. She has had to stop cooking the Christmas Eve dinner. I continued with Christmas Day except when one of my daughters cooked the Christmas dinner several times and it was wonderful.

Last, I need to make one thing clear. Once my marriage ended, even with my folks and daughters, I still had some alone time during the Christmas holiday. I had my moments. I can relate.

THE AUTHOR: John Grisham

Grisham is an attorney, practicing in Southaven, Mississippi. Having a flair for writing, he became an author as well. From his profession, he found an interesting backdrop for his novels. The  law is a natural dramatic device. The rest is publishing history. His juggernaut then succeeded wildly in Hollywood.

(Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)



John Grisham has written MANY books – here’s the list.

• A Time to Kill (1989)
• The Firm (1991) (N.B. It spent 47 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List.)
• Pelican Brief (1992)
• The Client (1993)
• The Chamber (1994)
• The Rainmaker (1995)
• The Runaway Jury (1996)
• The Partner (1997)
• The Street Lawyer (1998)
• The Testament (1999)
• The Brethren (2000)
• A Painted House (2001)
• Skipping Christmas (2001)
• The Summons (2002)
• The King of Torts (2003)
• The Bleachers (2003)
• The Last Juror (2004)
• The Broker (2005)
• Playing for Pizza (2007)
• The Appeal (2008)


Nine of his novels have been turned into major movies. His second novel, “The Firm” starred Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. It was a great legal thriller. The hero of the Rainmaker novel/movie is a lawyer with a small practice. A young lawyer is at the heart of the Partner. The Brethren is three stories in one. The Appeal is suspenseful.

THE BOOK: “Skipping Christmas [Hardcover]” by John Grisham

This was a change of pace for John Grisham. The novelist turned part-time satirist. He pulled it off commercially – it sold 1.5-million in the first printing. It had potential. A typical American couple changes course. Once their daughter joined the Peace Corps and for the first year ever was not with them for Christmas, they decided to break with tradition and spend the dollars saved on a 10-day Caribbean cruise. Playing hooky on Christmas might annoy Santa. It also annoyed me as this bit of fun just didn’t work. For me, Grisham is best at writing lawyer dramas.


For most people, it is a BIG downer being alone at a time usually viewed as one when people get together with loved ones. Don’t agree, then consider if you will, the fun you would have going: (a) To a play cast party in a one-man show without the crew and production staff attending; (b) To a rock concert, with no performer and no audience present;  (c) On a date without an escort at an empty night club, the music being off; etc.  Christmas alone is equally ridiculous.

My personal comments

As already said, for a time as a woman no longer married, I walked in your shoes. Starting a  holiday unattached does not bode well for a pleasing time to be spent. My girl friends for the most part were occupied with their families. Not only were there no gal evenings, the phone was also quiet. Being off work, I did my house work. With the house up to date, I had some free time.  Then, with nothing as company except a TV, you think; and you think some more – perhaps too much. A holiday feast attended by me, myself and I is by no means a crowd! Dinner conversation is muted. Interest level is so low that you would prefer to stand yourself up and be a no-show.There is no comfort zone here. It is profoundly disagreeable. Being in bad mood is an under-statement.

The point

I do not want to presume what you are thinking and how you are feeling, now and also as we get closer to the “CE” (i.e. Christmas Eve) hour. If you have plans, for the most part, to be with family and friends, I guess you’re covered. And if you’re a happy loner, this does not apply to you. If not, then I am talking to you.

It does not have to be this way. It is in your power to change this not only for you, but for others facing the same prospect this coming holiday season.


The first step is to decide if you want something more; if so, try one or more of the following.
1. Weeks before, plan to be connected with others on Christmas Eve/Day; to do so, you could:
1.1 Exercise your leadership capacity and organize an event scheduled for Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day:
(a) a holiday (pot-luck) meal and invite single neighbors or those away from family in your condo-apt. building complex, work-mates, etc. (N.B. If female, do NOT hold the event in your home. Instead, let a guy friend do it or have it in a neutral party room, etc.) Beyond one dish, everyone is expected to share one personal story of a sweet or especially meaningful holiday spent from years past.

(b) a small team of people really in the spirit to sing Christmas carols door-to-door;

(c) a two- day board game (e.g., chess, checkers, scrabble, etc.) tournament;

(d) a fundraising event like a kid’s picture coloring contest, (to benefit a charity for children who are ill),  at a local pharmacy (this is probably  the only business, which is open);

(e ) a campaign to collect beforehand, Christmas cards MADE by local children for distribution to a Children’s hospital on Christmas Day; etc.

2. On the day of:
2.1 Be active – start on an exercise routine: power walk, run, etc.;
2.2 Bake cookies and deliver boxes of your  home-made creations to the firemen and police (they’re working)  in your city;
2.3 Volunteer at a local hospital or homeless mission;
2.4 Put on a Santa hat and visit residents at local old-folks homes; etc.

Checkmate…now please pour me some eggnog!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on December 5th, 2010 Comments Off on “Spending Christmas alone? I have some ideas!*”