Tag: Christmas

Rachel’s Holiday Update 1

 

It’s 3:20am and I should be sleeping but alas I am just not tired so I figured I might as well update my blog. I should have updated it sooner but I have been in over my head with podcasting. Today I literally watched my 50th Christmas movie, both Hallmark and other networks and amazingly enough I am still on board for more holiday films! The Hallmarkies Podcast has been doing great this year with us making the top 120 TV and Film Podcasts on Itunes and getting over 16k listens in the month of November! Wow! I am still blown away by all of that. It has been an insane amount of work but I am so proud of what we have built.

We have a new merch store for the first time which is so much fun! You can get all kinds of holiday and Hallmark inspired gear:

https://www.teepublic.com/user/hallmarkies

I’ve managed to have a little bit of fun doing other things for the holidays including setting up my traditional holiday decor. Each year I have a memory tree that is full of ornaments that symbolize different parts of my life:

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My memory ornament to symbolize this year is all about podcasting and I found this adorable headphones ornament! I was so excited!

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I also fulfilled my dream of getting a white tree (4 ft) for my office. I love it!

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I also have already kind of celebrated Christmas. My brother and 2 nieces came into town for a weekend and so they came to my house and we had a baked potato bar, exchanged gifts and had a great time!

It was a really great time to be together and celebrate Christmas. My parents are going to be gone for most of this month so I’m planning on just working on my podcasts as much as I can and do a few fun things (Thursday I am going to see Christmas Carol at Hale Theater).

The one crazy thing about the podcast is there is always more work to do. There are people to contact for interviews, movies to watch, notes to prepare, the list goes on and on. Never a dull moment! I want to be ready to reach out to sponsorships in the new year and maybe develop a patreon account but I want it to be done right and not just thrown together. I’m very excited to see what the New Year has in store for our podcast and to have survived Countdown to Christmas 2018.

Also we have 2 hour church coming in January which I am over the moon excited about! Yay!

How have you guys been? I hope the beginning of your holiday season has been going great!

 

Recent Festive Hallmark Reading

Good morning friends! It may be only October but my life is already in full holiday mode with Countdown to Christmas starting this Saturday! The Hallmarkies podcast is planning on covering every film (and some from other networks) and that is no easy task with 37 films from Hallmark alone!

Part of getting ready for the season includes reading the many books that the Hallmark films are based on. I still have a few left to finish (most I am listening to as I work) but I thought I would update you on my thoughts on the various festive novels

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The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts

This is the novel that a classic Hallmark film of the same name is based on and honestly I prefer the movie. The lead in the novel is a little too dumb for my liking (Kimberley Sustad is so fun in the movie). This is harmless and a little steamier than movie but nothing too crazy

2.5 crowns

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The Godwink Effect by Squire Rushnell and Louis DuArt

If you enjoy inspirational stories like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books then you will enjoy this book. It’s about little coincidences which to the authors are proof of God’s investment in our lives. In Mormon world we might call them tender mercies of the spirit. They are making a movie off of one story from the book featuring Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell who we love (and are going to appear in a combined interview later on our podcast).

3 crowns

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The Christmas Company by Alys Murray

This book actually comes from Hallmark Publishing and we had the chance to interview Alys (who was a delight). For a Christmas Carol nut like myself this was a lot of fun. It’s about a town that recreates Christmas Carol each year when the company man wants to stop it. The girl who is obsessed with the tradition and big business conflict and opposites might just attract. It’s really cute

4 crowns

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Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle

Normally I’m a sucker for books about readers but this didn’t do much for me. It’s about a woman with single Mom and her daughter who become friends with a local bookstore owner and a local teacher. Ryan Paevey will need to bring tons of charm to this one as our hunky teacher because it was just flat

2.25 crowns (Nancy has another book Christmas Joy on this season but I haven’t read it yet because not available on audiobook)

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The Trouble with Christmas by Debbie Mason

This book actually started out really strong. I liked the snarkiness of the lead character and it was kind of novel to have her be the bad guy for refusing to bring the usually evil business to the small town of Christmas. However, the more in love she got the more bland it got (and steamy to be warned!). It ended up just being a fine romance novel if you like that kind of thing. Eric Mabius should be fun playing the sheriff in the Hallmark version.

2.8 crowns

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Time for Me to Come Home by Dorothy Shackleford

Please ignore the snore-worthy title this actually wasn’t half bad. It is based on a song by Blake Shelton and written by his Mother. It is basically a road trip book with a cynical country music star and a sarcastic young lady burned out on love find they have more in common than they thought. LOL. This one is pretty clean and short so not a bad little read. Megan Park is an appealing actress so hopefully it will be a fun little movie

3.25 crowns

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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz

This honestly was disappointing as I am huge Jane Austen fan and enjoyed Unleashing Mr Darcy which aired on Hallmark Channel. I am confident the movie will be good with Lacey Chabert and Brendan Penny but the book didn’t work. I don’ think making the lead female Darcy instead of Lizzie really works. Aside from the proposal and helping Lydia Darcy doesn’t take as many risks in the story so he works better as the secondary lead not the main lead. It ended up being a fairly flat romance novel about a stuck up city girl who kisses an old flame under the mistletoe and then determines she is actually in love with him. Not really Jane Austen worthy drama LOL

1.75 crowns (sorry but I have high expectations when you involve Austen. Not as terrible as Austenland at least)

So there you have it. What are some of your favorite Christmas reads? Any good Christmas romance you enjoy? I would love to hear your suggestions.

(I am also currently reading The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick and enjoying it. It will be the Hallmark Hall of Fame film for this year called Christmas Everlasting)

My Christmas Tree 2017

Hey guys! I just wanted to share with you a quick photo of my Christmas tree this year! It’s actually slightly different than the ‘memory trees’ I’ve done in the past. For years I put little frames with black and white photos on the tree, which I loved. Unfortunately after 10 years or so of use they were finally starting to fall apart and I just felt like switching things up a little bit. I am also in love with my new tree and I didn’t want it to be overly covered up.

The reason I am in love with it is I decided to purchase a flocked Christmas tree this year. I thought about getting a white tree and really do something different but when I saw this I knew it was perfect for me! I love the look of the snow and the white/green touches with the ornaments. I am excited to have my tree up early so I can enjoy it for over a month! It’s so pretty! 🙂

Have you ever switched up your Christmas tree and done something different? It feels good and less boring old Christmas! I highly recommend it. Let me know what you’ve tried and what you think of my tree. Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2016 Report

Hi guys! Merry Christmas!

It’s late and I can’t sleep so I thought I would give you all a little update on how my Christmas 2016 turned out. Well, I am glad to tell you it turned out very nicely! And just as my last post suggested it was an interesting mixture of newness and consistency I’ve come to expect in my adult life.

Christmas Eve started out simply. As I do every Saturday I made filmed and edited my weekly videos. This has become second nature to me now even on Christmas Eve. The first of my new videos posted on Christmas Day and it was a review of The Nativity Story for my family movie night series. I think it turned out pretty well. I would love if you took a look.

After filming and editing all day I got a call from my Aunt Kate that she was interested in spending the evening with me. Happy to have a companion we went to my traditional big screen watch of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s such a beautiful story and reminds me of the importance of friendship and that even the smallest person makes a difference. I really enjoyed seeing it again on the big screen. If you would like to read my review of the film from a few years back check it out here.

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Then Kate and I went to Village Inn and had a dinner and piece of pie together. It was great conversation and good company. Not a bad way to celebrate Christmas Eve!

Christmas morning I woke up early,which gave me a chance to refilm my Wreck-it Ralph review. It will post on Wednesday and I’m excited for it, as it might be a little bit controversial. I’m more lukewarm on that movie than most Disney fans I know. With that done I made some cinnamon rolls and opened the presents I received.

My sister got me an amazing piece of artwork with my names spelled out in Inside Out characters. It was a little hard to take a picture of because it kept rolling up but I will definitely be getting it framed and will post a photo then.

I also got 2 art books from my sisters Megan and Madeline, which was awesome!

christmas-2016My cousin Danielle made me a Finding Dory blanket that I love. I haven’t had anyone make me anything in a long time and it was very thoughtful of her.

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I also had a few subscription boxes to open that had fun items including this redneck hat I joked around with.

christmas-2016-3After presents I went back to sleep for a little nap and then went up to my parents for dinner. We had a lovely time together and even saw my Grandfather for a few minutes. Plus, my Mother made this pork chop with apple cider glaze that was delicious!

Anyway, it ended up being a really nice evening and I feel blessed to have enjoyed a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I hope you all had wonderful days and were watched over by the Lord on His special day.

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