This Weeks Festive Five!

As we begin our second full week of December, I for one have to say I am having a FABULOUS holiday season thus far and my hope is that you all are too! Thank you for joining me once again! I hope you are sipping on a warm cup of hot cocoa or something a bit more…festive! 😉

The tree is up, lights are adorning the windows of my fabulous apartment overlooking the center of town, I am sipping on some of the best Eggnog I have ever had, and all that is missing is a handsome Hallmark hunk to kiss under the mistletoe and snuggle up with on the couch. Santa I hope your listening!

This weeks Festive Five are really some of the most heart-warming tales that I could watch again and again, and what I have noticed more than anything is the incredible warmth that each of the main characters bring to their story. I hope you enjoy some of my favs snuggled up next to your special someone. ❤❤

This Weeks Festive Five:

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Coming Home for Christmas! Once again we have the lovely Danica McKellar starring in a movie that has all the feels! Her character, Lizzie, finds herself looking for direction as life takes some unexpected turns. Her sister, a successful realtor, hooks her up with a job working as a house manager for the Marley family. No, the handsome main man is not name Jacob or Ebeneezer, (but the irony is not lost here) his name is Robert, and despite his evident disdain for Christmas he is in fact an incredible man doing what is best for his family. If you haven’t seen it yet you are in for a treat as Lizzie brings some much needed Christmas magic to Ashford. 🎇

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Let It Snow! Literally the ONLY movie ever to make me want to go to a ski lodge. However, the caveat is that I would ONLY go if they have a daily holiday activity like Snow Valley Lodge. I mean seriously! This is a holiday fanatics dream vacation. It is also where I first learned about the Feast of St. Thomas, and I am eager for it to be December 21st so I can experiment and hopefully see the face of the man I will one day marry in my dreams. 🤗 **sigh…  Ok! Candace Cameron Bure stars in this one playing Stephanie Beck daughter of resort tycoon Ted Beck. She is sent to evaluate Snow Valley Lodge and gets much more than she planned on.

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Love You Like Christmas is a film many of us can relate to. I was actually told by a co-worker today that I too often burn the candle from both ends and need to learn the word “No.” Much like the Maddie, a high power exec that also has a fast paced driven life, we all need to slow down sometimes. For Maddie, this lesson was learned after an impromptu and unplanned stay in Christmas Valley. Here Maddie reconnects with herself, and enjoyed some much needed rest, relaxation, and holiday spirit.  🎄 

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Though it has never been my dream, A December Bride has one of my favorite pairings,Jessica Lowndes and Daniel Lissing, playing Layla an up and coming interior decorator and Seth a hard working corporate guy with no time for fun. Throw in some family drama, a Christmas home decorating competition, and a few white lies and you have the perfect combination for love. My only issue is that we don’t get to see all the hard work Layla puts in on the house! Come on Hallmark, at least give us a tour! 

And last, but certainly not least… 

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Marry Me at Christmas! Now, if I am being honest… I wasn’t expecting to like this one. The premise just wasn’t peaking my interest, but much like A Shoe Addict’s Christmas I LOVED it! The hilariously hyperbolic Hollywood star, Johnny Blaze, goes to a small town to help plan his sisters very quick wedding and enjoy some “Me time”. While there he meets Maddie, the owner of a wedding dress shop and now wedding planner for his sister, and gets a solid dose of good old fashioned fun, has his ego deflated a bit and finds that a slower pace may be just what he wants. Of course the path to true love is never easy, nope…not even in Hallmark movies, and so the two have a falling out, miscommunications abound (I wonder if Mercury was in retrograde here?🧐 ) and friendships are tested. Will it all work out? Guess you’ll just have to watch and find out! 

 

 

 
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Peace, Love, and Shoe’s

Shoes, a fireman, and a happy ending… Hallmark ya done good! ❤

If I am being completely honest… I was not exactly thrilled with the premise of this re-imagination of the Charles Dickens Classic, A Christmas Carol. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to not only enjoy A Shoe Addicts Christmas, but also have a profoundly deep experience as I reflect on how many “sleighs” may have passed me by.

Candace Cameron Bure once again takes to the screen to inspire and delight in this fun and frivolous film about… Shoes! Now, I am kinda the anti-girl when it comes to shoes. I prefer converse, in a variety of colors, and have exactly one pair of high heels that are more for show than wear if you know what I mean… 😘 Much to the chagrin of my fashionista sister. I am working on it sis! Maybe get me some shoes for Christmas?

In this fabulous film, Candace Cameron Bure plays Noelle, an HR rep for a department store who is hopelessly cyber stalking her ex (ladies just unfollow them and call it a day. It is healthier for all involved), has a strained relationship with her father, and dreams of being a photographer.  Well, one evening a few weeks before Christmas, Noelle gets locked in the department store while a blizzard is happening outside. She makes herself at home while awaiting either the store owner or the fire department to come rescue her, and out of nowhere a strange woman appears in the shoe department.

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This eccentric woman is Noelle’s guardian angel. Noelle has strayed from her path. She gifts Noelle several pairs of shoes from Christmas’ past and gives her the opportunity to change history just enough to get her back on “her path”. I love the story that the angel shares, when trying to explain her purpose.

“Once upon a time, a man was stuck out in a blizzard. He had immense faith and prayed to God. “God, please save me!” A little while later a man arrived in a sleigh and said, “would you like a ride?” “No that’s ok,” the man replied, “God will save me.” To make a long story short, for the sake of this post, the sleigh comes back two more times, and each time the man declines, strong in his faith that “God will save him.” He eventually dies, goes to heaven and when he gets there he asks, “God? Why didn’t you save me?” and God replied… “I sent the sleigh three times!”

I won’t spoil the rest, but I will say this is a MUST SEE! While you are relaxing and enjoying this very upscale holiday experience, I recommend enjoying a…

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Merry Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 2 drops angostura bitters
  • 1/2 oz spiced simple syrup

Spiced simple syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 ” piece ginger peeled and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods lightly crushed with the side of a knife

Instructions

  1. Combine all cocktail ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice; shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty. Pour into short (Old Fashioned) glass.

To make simple syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Allow spices to steep for at least an hour. Strain into a glass jar; cover and store leftover syrup in the fridge.

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festive Five Part Two!

It’s finally December! I am feeling the love this holiday season! With the help of some friends I have upgraded my fab little “penthouse suite” apartment, I have decorated complete with Mistletoe in the entry hall and I am open to all the magic this season will bring me this year!

This weeks Festive Five are brought to you by my beautiful friend Holly and I as we sit and sip our peppermint flavored coffee and just spend some much needed quality time together. It has been a real blessing having the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the people, the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of the season. Together, after much review and debate about this weeks #AMAZING offerings, we have narrowed our choices down to this weeks five MUST SEE movies from years gone by! We will be featuring the beautiful Danica McKellar in two of my FAVORITES! She is also fierce and fun on Instagram and Twitter. Check her out! I especially enjoy her Palindrome challenges.

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This week we kick things off with the 12 Gifts of Christmas! This is one of my favorite movies! One of my FAVORITE experiences during the holiday season is finding the perfect gifts for friends and family! In this movie Anna, an out of work artist finds a holiday job as a personal shopper for Marc, a busy executive who has lost sight of the true meaning of the season. These two have an adorable “Meet Cute” at a local bakery where she recommends the “secret stash” of goodies. It is pure magic from there and their chemistry is off the charts! Enjoy the 12 Gifts of Christmas! 

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A Boyfriend for Christmas. This is definitely a bit dated, but still has all the feels of a classic Hallmark Movie and let’s be honest… This Single Girl DEFINITELY has “A Boyfriend” on her Christmas List! Holly Grant, a child advocate, made a very special wish in her Tween years, but instead of receiving a boyfriend she gets a very special snow globe with a riddle on the bottom. “when two hearts are ready” she will meet her true love. Through a series of interesting events, Santa send her her wish, but will Holly be open to it? Only time will tell. What’s on your Christmas List?

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Crown for Christmas is beautiful. There is something so sweet and endearing about Danica McKellar’s interactions with every single character she meets.  Allie Evans, is fired from her job as a maid a few days before Christmas, but as luck would have it, the royal previously staying at said hotel needs a nanny. As Allie travels to a foreign country she is met with resistance all around. Allie and King Max have a lot to overcome, including a prearranged marriage if they are going to make it work, but as Allie and her family always say… “We are the Evans'” Be sure to check it out! 💕

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Christmas In Evergreen actually had me googling Christmas Towns with wish granting snow globes. Allie (they REALLY like this name) a Veterinarian played by the lovely Ashley Williams is trying to leave Evergreen for the big city to be with her boyfriend, however… A wish, some bad weather, and chance encounters with a handsome Doctor, his adorable daughter and a little holiday magic make the wishes of many people come true! This also has my favorite inanimate object, the red truck, in the movie. I want one just like it someday!

 

Our final selection for this week is… My Christmas Dream. Holly has a love affair with Paris and so it is no surprise that she also has a love for this heart warming story.

91Kv-PfYixL._RI_My Christmas Dream once again features the warm and witty Danica McKellar, playing Christina, a department store manager who’s dream is to some day live and work in Paris. When the opportunity arises it is ALMOST to good to be true, but as these stories go… several challenges, and a dashing man with a bucket of white paint bring more then just challenges. What will Christina do when forced to choose? Will Paris still hold her heart? You’ll just have to watch and see!

 

 

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

Predictions, Traditions, and Wishes

The holiday season has always been a magical time of year. It

Around the world for centuries people have gathered around this time to celebrate the year that has passed and look forward to what the future holds. For the single population the common question is, “Will I find love in the new year?”  This of COURSE reminded me of one of my FAVORITE Hallmark movies, Let It Snowwhere I first learned about the Feast of St. Thomas (more on that later) and it got me wondering… What other traditions or rituals are out there to predict or invite love into our lives? Here is what I found!

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December 4th: St. Barbara’s Day, a very special day in Czechoslovakia, Austria and a few other countries St. Barbara’s day is one of note for Single Ladies. On this day single girls are to place a cherry blossom branch in a glass of water. Be sure to water it each day. If it blossoms before Christmas Eve then a marriage and good luck are on the way!

December 21st: The Feast of St. Thomas, one of my favorite and really fun Christmas Traditions! I first learned about this when watching the Hallmark Movie, Let It Snow and immediately looked it up to see if it was in fact real! I was delighted to find that it was and am even MORE excited to give it a try this year! It is a pretty involved process, and you must follow the steps correctly. If you do, then you will dream of the man you are to marry someday!

  1. Climb into bed using a stool while wearing your shoes (very important make sure you have your shoes! )
  2. Take off your shoes
  3. Spin around three times
  4. Throw your shoes at the door
  5. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed!

Follow all of these instructions perfectly and you will dream of the man you are destined to marry!

I would love to hear more about fun holiday fortune telling! What are some traditions you have heard of? Please share in the comments!

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

Advent Calendar of Kindness

Advent Calendars are pretty special. They date all the way back to the 19th Century, but were very different in purpose and design. Today, there is an Advent Calendar for everyone. Whether it is physical, digital or somewhere in between, the spirit of the season shines bright and each day is an exciting and delightful experience.

This year, while perusing Instagram, I came across a special Advent Calendar, one that can easily be shared and really evokes the spirit of the season. This is sure to raise the vibration of those who are feeling low, may be looking for a way to connect more fully with the spirit of the season, or just want to perform some random acts of kindness because it feels good! I started yesterday and it really did feel amazing! Simple acts that are so natural can often be taken for granted, but for the person receiving it may mean the world to them.

Who will join me in spreading some heartfelt holiday cheer this year with daily random acts of kindness?

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~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

Introducing the Festive Five!

The holiday season is well under way and with it comes a never ending supply of fabulous Hallmark Christmas movies! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t overjoyed at the thought of Christmas 24/7 for the next few weeks. No matter what time I am home, or what mood I am in, I can always turn on the Hallmark Channel and lose myself in a colorful holiday classic. As I was chatting with my brilliant friend and #1 fan the amazing and noteworthy Noel, she suggested I share a list of some of my all time FAVORITES!

After reviewing the current schedule of movies being shown I have selected five that I feel are MUST SEES for the week of November 25th through December 1st. I will update each week until the Christmas Season is over with my top 5 Hallmark movies of the week.

This week was so challenging! So many of my favorites are showing! However, as I am late to the party I will start with one of my favorites playing this evening.

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Christmas List , starring Alicia Witt, is one of my all time favorites because I can relate so much to the main character. Isobel, a talented designer, plans a fun & festive vacation with her boyfriend, FILLED with holiday events and experiences that she never had growing up. Her Christmas “bucket list” has inspired me to start my own! Things don’t go exactly as planned when her BF is unable to join her. However, that doesn’t dampen her holiday spirit in the least and she begins to check things off her list with the help of a friendly and handsome new friend. In the end Isobel has the Christmas she has always dreamed of and the promise of many more to come…

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Christmas Under Wraps  Another fab film starring Candace Cameron Bure is full of whimsy, mystery, and magic! Dr. Lauren Brunell, a strong and focused young woman thinks she has her whole life planned out literally following in her father’s footsteps, until… Things don’t go as planned and she finds herself in Garland, Alaska. As the only town doctor, and sometimes Veterinarian, Dr. Brunell discovers that sometimes, a change of plans is just what the doctor ordered. What other magic and mysteries await in this quaint little town? Well, as the locals say… “That’s Garland for you!”

 

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The Nine Lives of Christmas Cats+Fireman+Romance=LOVE! This is the epitome of this Single Girls fantasies all in a nice little package! Kimberly Sustad and Brandon Routh have such warm chemistry, the supporting cast, including Ambrose and Queenie (the fierce and fab kitties) really make this an overall heart-warming experience! Marilee and Zachary share an exciting adventure and are brought together by their love of cats, home improvement, and the holiday spirit. The only thing that would make this better is if there was a sequel! Can we get on that Hallmark?

 

And last but certainly not least…

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A Royal Christmas One of the many fairy tale fantasies that Hallmark has created for all of us that still dream of meeting Prince Charming and being swept away like Cinderella and live Happily Ever After! Lacey Chabert is simply glowing and the chemistry between her and Stephen Hagan is perfect and Jane Seymore plays her part as Queen with elegance, grace, and beauty.

Emily and Leo share a traditional college sweetheart love story, with an unexpected twist. It seems Leo is actually a Prince and must return home to Cordinia and take his place on the throne. What happens next is pure magic and I hope you enjoy their story as much as I do.

The weather in Southern California has finally turned dark and stormy, and I for one am very much looking forward to decorating my fabulous “Penthouse” apartment, lighting my tree, and watching all the Hallmark movies new and old, while snuggled up with a cup of Egg Nog.

I would love to hear what some of your favorites are! Leave a message in the comments below! Also, if you would be so kind… Please follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

Exciting news! I am now on Bloglovin!

 

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Lovelies! 
I just returned from a fab two week European adventure, and I have to say, leaving Scotland was devastating. I feel like I was in one of the towns that the Hallmark Channel likes to create for small fairy tale princess stories! 

While I was away, I had set my DVR to record all of the new premieres the week of Thanksgiving. Alas, my apartment complex had some work done on their electrical panels and so my electricity was shut off not once, but TWICE! This of course shut off my DVR and NOTHING was recorded! 

Understandably, I was devastated upon my return. The plan was to hibernate and get over the epic jet lag, we are talking “You just shouldn’t interact with people” kind of jet lag, by binge watching all of the movies I have been excited to see but were unavailable for the duration of my vacation. 

Luckily, I was able to record several movies that I missed over the weekend, and thanks to the fabulous Hallmark App i am still able to keep up with what I have left to see! I will have pairings and reviews back up and running by tomorrow! 

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~

Single Girl Travels

Greetings from Norway! I am kicking off my holidays with a small European tour of Christmas Markets, while also visiting some of my beautiful friends! Currently, I am hanging at a Starbucks. Yes, I opted for the familiar here. After an 11 hour flight. Caffeine and comfort were needed. I am happy to share that it is 36 degrees out and this California girl has not cried yet. No snow, but wow it is chilly!

Norway is sadly a very brief stop on the way to Stockholm, Sweden, but I have to say… The airport is ADORABLE! Everyone is so incredibly nice. I look forward to returning to Norway soon for a proper visit.

While I am out and about I will be taking a break from my regular content. I will resume my Hallmark movie and adult beverage pairings upon my return. My DVR is set and I am ready for a marathon of all the feels holiday fun and fab writing! In the mean time I will be a digital nomad as I travel across Europe and hopefully share some amazing and beautiful experiences!

Who knows… Maybe I will have a “Meet Cute” of my very own! Stay tuned!  

Hallmark Has an APP!

I just have to say… I ADORE my friends. They are AMAZING and their timing is always impeccable! A few days ago I was reviewing the coming weekends schedule as Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas continues. As I was looking at the schedule and making plans to set my DVR, a friend texted me asking if I knew that there was a Hallmark App!

I am embarrassed to say, I did not know that this AWESOMNESS existed! So of course I stopped what I was doing and downloaded it. 

Likes:

  • I now have the ENTIRE schedule at my fingertips! 
  • It has both the Countdown to Christmas and the Miracles of Christmas schedules.
  • You can set reminders for the movies you would like to see
  • There is a short trailer for each movie

Room for Improvement:

Overall, I am grateful for the app. I love that I have the schedule at my fingertips and it makes setting my DVR to perma-record on the Hallmark Channel extremely easy. I hope that they continue to evolve the app. Tell me what else you think should be added for next year!

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~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU at a Table for Two.~

A Sweet Road to Christmas!

It’s true what they say. Third times a charm! Road to Christmas starring Jessy Schram and Chad Michael Murray was the highlight of my weekend. This film had all the ingredients perfectly blended to make Christmas magic and definitely brought in the nostalgia and desire to be home with family for the holidays.

In this film, we meet television producer Maggie Baker who works for a trendy Home and Family type show called Julia Wise Lifestyle. Maggie is not only championing the idea of hosting a live show on Christmas Eve but has also had the absolutely brilliant idea of surprising her boss, Julia Wise, by bringing her three sons home for Christmas. However, plans are shifted a bit when Julia, who is nervous about the “Live”  element of the show brings one of her sons home to assist and co-produce the show.

Unfazed by the change in plans, and ever the positive professional, Maggie (Schram) revises her plans, takes advantage of the addition of Danny (Murray) and sets off on the Road trip of a lifetime! Not only does this trip take her to the remaining two brothers, but Maggie also discovers new ways to “think outside the box” and embraces the spirit of the season all while unexpectedly falling in love.

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I am struggling to find words that truly express how delighted I was with this film. The chemistry between Jessy Schram and Chad Michael Murray was pure magic. In addition to that, the quality of acting was so evident and enhanced the experience immensely. Everyone played their part so naturally, and the story left me wanting more.

This gets a perfect 5 on my Marshmallow Matrix!

Yesterday, I was listening to the Hallmarkies Podcast, specifically the recent episode where they interview Jessy Schram. Let me just say, the Host (i apologize, I am not in a place where I can review the podcast at the moment, I promise to include your name as soon as I can) was a phenomenal interviewer! She asked smart and insightful questions and then let Ms. Schram do her thing. It was such a pleasure to listen, Ms. Schram, as she described her start, the serendipitous opportunity of her first role with the Hallmark Channel, her experience, process and the level of thought, hard work, reflection, and energy that she puts into each and every role. Her passion for this work shines through and is truly enjoyable.

I hope that Road to Christmas is one of the stories they choose to continue either in movie form, as sequels are on the rise, or in book form through Hallmark Publishing.

A Traditional Pairing:

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In keeping with the family traditions theme, I chose the creamy and delicious, Eggnog to pair with Road to Christmas. I can see Maggie’s family sipping Eggnog as they play their white elephant game. I imagine Julia Wise has her own delicious recipe that has been shared in past Christmas Specials. To me.. it completes the experience. In keeping with the theme I reached out to friends and the first one to get back to me comes all the way from Sweden. She shared Martha’s Classic Eggnog recipe. This will definitely bring some excitement to any holiday party! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for sprinkling

Directions: 

  • Beat yolks in a very large bowl until thick and pale. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in milk and 2 cups cream. Mix in bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Just before serving, beat whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into eggnog. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form, and fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, you can fold half the whipped cream into eggnog, and top with remaining half.) Sprinkle with nutmeg
  • Enjoy!
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I would love to hear what your favorite favorite Eggnog recipes are! Please share in the comments or find me on Twitter @SingleGirlTfor1 and share recipes and other favorite holiday traditions with me!

~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are sipping Eggnog at a Table for Two.~