You all know the feeling. The knot in your stomach. The tightness in your chest. The shallow breaths and elevated heart-rate. The shooting pains down your left arm.
Yes, folks, the festive season is upon us. The knot in your stomach is from too much cranberry sauce. The tightness in your chest returns every time you think about Aunty Ethel and Cousin Bill resuming their 2-decade feud across your dining table at Christmas lunch. The shallow breaths and elevated heart rate are from spending 7 hours in a steam-filled kitchen heated to tropical temperatures to try and get lunch cooked. And the shooting pains are signs of repetitive strain injury from repeated opening of your wallet.
I am feeling particularly virtuous as all my Christmas shopping is done, bar the food for the Christmas lunch we are hosting at home. And of course, a present for Nick (aka The Hardest Man in The World To Buy Gifts For). so, umm, maybe not entirely virtuous. But generally, I am feeling in control of Christmas, and that's not something you hear me say every year. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I am spending 2 weeks in South Africa between now and Christmas and have had to get organised early… but for those of you who are still panicking about what to buy, I am thrilled to unveil the 2010 CookSister calendars – the perfect gift for family, friends… or yourself! Have a look - each picture below links to the calendar and you can page through it and see all 12 images on screen
Let's see: there's one featuring only London:
There's one featuring the most popular photographs from my Saturday Snapshots series:
There's one featuring my favourite shots of Italy:
And there's one featuring only beautiful beaches:
All the calendars are printed on 200gsm high quality satin art paper and come with hanger and white wire binding. And if you buy three or more (the same or different calendars), they will throw in shipping for free! At the end of the year, you can frame the prints – it a lot cheaper than buying the prints individually. Bargain To receive your CookSister calendars by Christmas, order by 13 December in the US and UK; by 11 December in Continental Europe and Canada; by 17 December for Australia; and by 9 December for the rest of the world.
And if those don't grab your fancy, there's always the BloggerAid Cook Book - 130 tried and tested recipes from food bloggers around the world, now available to purchase online with 100% of the royalties going to the UN World Food Programme's School Meals Programme. Your $30 could make a big difference to a small child.
And while we're in the festive spirit, how about a quick meme? I hadn't had a good meme in ages, till my dear friend Courtney sent me this one a week or so back. The idea is to provide one-word answers to the questions below:
1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your hair? Ponytailed
3. Your mother? Inspiration
4. Your father? Complicated
5. Your favorite food? Italian
6. Your dream last night? Confidential!
7. Your favorite drink? Champagne
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. What room are you in? Study
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Illness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? USA
13. Where were you last night? Restaurant
14. Something you aren’t? Homophobic!
15. Muffins? Savoury
16. Wish list item? Lottery
17. Where did you grow up? PortElizabeth
18. Last thing you did? Washing
19. What are you wearing? Fleece
20. Your TV? Downstairs
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Scattered
23. Your life? Unexpected
24. Your mood? Anticipation
25. Missing someone? Mamma
26. Vehicle? Volvo
27. Something you’re not wearing? Jewellery
28. Your favorite store? Amazon
29.Your favorite color? Cerise
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Tonight
32. Your best friend? Andréa
33. One place you go to over and over again? Work!
34. One person who e-mails you regularly? LisaB
35. Favorite place to eat? Outside