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Best of 2012


Before I get into the "purpose" of this post, I'd just like to give a shout-out to all of you for your support and wonderful, encouraging comments throughout the year. I read and appreciate every single one. And thank you to those of you who have recently followed: Without blogs of your own, I am unable to return the favor and express appreciation, so thanks! Right now, I'm having way too much fun creating a new header - hopefully it'll be up in the next week.
Life passes us by at an alarming rate. It seems impossible to think we are ready to bid another year farewell and yet, here it is, already time for the clock to strike midnight. Whether or not we are ready is another matter entirely. Before we break out the sparkling cider and tune the TV to the Times Square ball drop, I decided to join the meme and share faves from 2012.  

Reflection is what most comes to mind at the end of every year. Remembering our sorrows and happiness, the friends we’ve made, important milestones with family, goals met and forgotten, joys, triumphs and tragedies but since we live that every single day, I’m taking a lighter approach to discuss favorite entertainment, and listing what made my “best of” titles from twenty-twelve but instead of writing something new about each title, I’ve included a quote from the review. Where everyone else was counting down to see The Hobbit, I was more easily appeased. (I know my list may be a bit... pathetic in comparison to everyone else's. What can I say?) Before the countdown, take a peek at what topped my list. Enjoy!

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Smooch (2011)


If you were a child in the 1990’s, there wasn’t a show that was much more family-friendly than the CBS, short-lived Christy based, of course on the classic by Catherine Marshall. Not only was it a one-of-a-kind television show of its kind but it gave recognition to titular star Kellie Martin’s career and since then, her roles have been something I have kept an eye on.
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The A-Team (2010)


While the show that inspired this feature film never became a part of my “TV on DVD” viewing, the trailers for the big-screen update did look comical, so with hopes to enjoy a night of laughter, I saw this one on its first week to DVD. Basically it was worth it.
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Happy Chrismtas


December twenty-fifth.
It’s a day anticipated  all year long. It’s a time for  twinkle lights and sappy sentiments.
It’s a day adults calmly and rationally claim is for children.
(whoever made up that falsity must be crazy!)
 It’s a day for giving back and reflecting.
It’s a day when family and friends gather.
It’s a day for snowman building and movie marathons. It’s a day for sugar cooks and sparkling cider. It’s a day full of laughter and pretty packages. It’s the one day when happiness fills glowing faces, and everyday life is put aside.
It’s the day in which one small child was born…
a child who changed the world.

Traditions make me happy during the nostalgia that is Christmas. I love snuggling up and watching a Christmas movie or baking sweets that I normally wouldn’t during the 11 months of the calendar year. Having family nearby and seeing them during the holidays is always wonderful. Enjoying the time my dad takes off. Or a hot cup of cocoa. The smell of an apple cider candle burning and twinkle lights on the tree. Everything good and right that December brings leaves me happy. Just one of the well-written Christmas songs is “The Giver and the Gift.” I’d like to leave with its chorus: 

You say come to me wait no more
I give you all you're asking for
Forget the lies this world has told
I'll wrap your life in linen gold
I'm more than just only
One night that's holy
I'm your star and I'm your wish
Cause I am both the giver and the gift.

Wishing you all the warmth, joy and love of the season wrapped into one package.

Merry Christmas to you all! 
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The Christmas Pageant (2011)


Back in the 1970’s, Melissa Gilbert was part of a TV icon – and become defined by that icon. Today the role of Laura Ingalls is still what most fans associate her with. I can still remember seeing re-runs of the show when I was a kid and today, seeing her name in a cast list makes me smile and brings back fond memories.
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The Paradise, Series One (2012)



Were it not for another blog, I may not have heard of this series. (Introducing me to this series was Jeanine, and she deserves a great “thank you” for it.) Many of you likely remember seeing the review of the pilot episode show up here a few weeks ago. Fortunately, in finally finishing up the novel-to-screen adapted first season, I kept an open mind and was handsomely rewarded for that.
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Little Letters: Edition Five


Dear Amazon, you have a lot of nerve. To think that you continue to tempt me to visit your overly-stocked, overly-plush “shelves” is just not playing fair. At the click of a button, any of your goodies can be under my Christmas tree but I do have to par down that list. So… the question: Why don’t you make it easier?
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Favorite Christmas Movies


Last year, some of my friends put together a fun meme list of their favorite Christmastime flicks. Some were television movies, others rank among the classics. This year, the thought popped into my head that I should copy-cat their idea and put together a list of my own. It was easier than I anticipated to par down the collection to a “top ten” like list, but since just ten isn’t enough… there are eleven! Read after the cut to see which titles get me into the Christmas spirit – and which touched my heart. 
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Step Up: Revolution (2012)



Six years ago a film called Step Up appeared at the box office. It launched the career of one of America’s most in-demand, heartthrob actors and introduced me to how beautiful dance really was – even to the untrained eye, its art in motion. Three squeals later, I began wondering why filmmakers bothered trying to re-capture the magic of that film. More compliments go to this fourth part but it still lacks the same sparkle.
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A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004)


All right... I'll admit it, I love Christmas movies. Every passing Christmas season prompts me to again re-watch my growing collection. Sound a little odd? Well maybe, but Christmas is my favorite time of the year, so visiting it through film is always entertaining.
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Call the Midwife, Series One (2012)



 
Anything based on a memoir or a “true story” is usually something worth sitting up, and paying attention to. I had higher expectations for this series than even I realized, some of those expectations paid off. During its six-episode run, there were poignant delights but did they outweigh the disappointments?
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Christmas with Holly (2012) - An Emotional Drama about Family and Love



Films that spread holiday cheer either overindulge in sappy theatrics, albeit always with a good heart. This book-to-screen adaptation suffers no such fate and is instead, an intelligent work of film.
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Hawaii Five-O, Season Two (2011)



Where other networks have failed miserably at re-making classic television, the 2010 season saw CBS try to re-boot, Hawaii Five-O and much to everyone’s surprise, earned an instant hit. From the opinion of a girl who has never seen an episode of the old version, this show is hard not to like. 
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Annie Claus is Coming to Town (2011)


Part of the Christmas line-up last year, this darling piece of film work has a cute factor that is off the charts, bordering on ridiculous but also wants to remind us that Christmas is a time to believe in miracles and happiness is a state of being.  
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Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas


About the Book:
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Friday Harbor
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: At Christmas time, I basically throw out all my “rules” for clever entertainment and settle in for a joyous, delightful string of television films and even, the occasional novel. It’s not traditional for me to read Christmas fiction simply because I get my dose of a holiday cheer “fix” elsewhere but this year I decided it was worth reading at least one novel set at Christmas time and this gem of a novella earned the nomination. Telling a story that has been re-told many a time, Lisa Kleypas weaves a charming tale featuring characters from her “Friday Harbor” novels about Mark Nolan and the responsibility he fills following the death of his sister to his young niece, Holly. Mute since the death of her only parent, Holly is finally drawn out of her shell when the pair meets the vibrant, red-headed toy shop owner, Maggie. Hiding from her own tragic past following the death of a loved one, Maggie and Mark learn that in the magic of Christmas, two people can find healing.
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Person of Interest, Season One (2011)


Taking on a role – for all the right reasons, that blacklists you from Hollywood’s “good side” is enough to earn any actor admirations from me. Before that, Jim Caviezel enamored me with his dashing portrayal of Edmund Dantes and now, despite some roles in direct-to-DVD films, he has finally found a niche in this CBS drama that may come across as a repetitive scenario of things already seen but is really a fascinating – and very clever concept. 
 
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Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love


About the Book:
Author: Dorothy Love
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Hickory Ridge, book 3 
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 

My Thoughts: New authors get me excited. A newcomer last year to the Christian fiction market after a series of successes in the secular, Dorothy Love tapped into her southern roots as a basis for her first series and wrote a set of novels in which three determined women find love and their purpose in life. Those of you who have read the other books will be delighted that a character from Beyond all Measure rises to meet the expectations of a worthy heroine in Sophie Caldwell. Sophie is desperate to find where she belongs. An orphan who was taken in by Wyatt and Ada Caldwell, Sophie feels a tugging to return to Hickory Ridge from Texas to follow her dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter. She re-opens the local office and sets about running a successful business hoping that time has changed citizens prejudices. Her first interviewee is Ethan Heyward, a man with scars of his own. Hired to oversee and design a new, high-class resort in Hickory Ridge, Ethan becomes intrigued with Sophie’s determination and the scars she so carefully protects from her past but being honest may be the one thing that could tear them apart.  
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Cover Candy: Edition Four


It's time again for another edition of some "cover love," readers! I have loved your enthusiasm for these fun posts and am thrilled to discover so many of you are book lovers. This edition features Christian fiction and some young adult fiction thrown in also. Enjoy - I look forward to your feedback.
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Leverage, Season Four (2011)


Leverage
 
The associates of Leverage have worked in many different situations and conned a number of difficult marks but none quite like this. This job takes them to the frigid air of the Alaskan mountain tops.
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