Create A Christmas Coffee Mug Tradition

It started when my boys were grown up. The Christmas coffee mug tradition that is. Each year at Christmas I put out a selection of Christmas-themed coffee mugs for the month of December and whenever someone has a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, they can pick the mug that speaks to them.

You do know that mugs speak to you, don't you? They can speak from the perspective of image, color and even shape and size.  Personally, year round I am enamoured of a mug that is small at the bottom and wider at the top and has a nice glazed surface. I broke it and it took six months to find a replacement but I digress.

What's your favorite coffee mug like? Do you have a mug for Christmas? Or maybe a Christmas coffee mug collection?

Here on this page, I am sharing TEN  fantastic Christmas-themed coffee mugs that I found on Etsy.  Etsy is an online retailer of mostly handmade and vintage items and yes, there are a large number of artists on Etsy creating beautiful coffee mugs.

To start with, I love these camping-inspired coffee mugs, which are available in many sentiments including Warm and Cozy and Let's Snuggle as well as Get Toasted, Naughty and Nice. There's one for everybody. But do not be fooled. These mugs are stoneware and they are not metal. You can find them in the Modern Arrow's shop by clicking here.

Next up are three gorgeous mugs from Walking Pottery. Walking Pottery has a large selection of legged coffee mugs including the Santa Claus, elf and angel ones shown below. They are handmade earthenware and they are available in an assortment of colors.  You can find them all on Etsy by clicking here.




If you would rather have a set of matching mugs that are simple and classic, you might consider some hand thrown pottery mugs like these cranberry red ones from JK Anderson Ceramics.  You can find them on Etsy by clicking right here.


Next up is this Grinch Who Stole Christmas themed coffee mug that reads, "Maybe Christmas, he thought doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more." Find this mug in Giftsology's Etsy store by clicking here. It's an obvious choice for anyone who loves the classic Christmas story.



I know I am not alone in loving a good Hallmark Christmas movie or Hallmark movie in general. Here's a coffee mug from The Burlap Wine Sack celebrating Hallmark and Christmas. It is available in a couple of designs including this one that reads, "Hallmark Movies and Snuggle." A second one that will make the right woman smile reads, "I need a Hallmark movie husband." Find these Hallmark mugs on Etsy by clicking here.

Finally, here are a series of mugs that can be personalised for your child. They include Rudolph, an elf and Santa Claus.   Bizzy Bee also has cute Mommy and Daddy Elf mugs. Find them all here on Etsy.



I hope I have managed to at least get you thinking about a special Christmas-themed coffee mug either a single one or to complete collection!

Brenda

Quick Links:

See all of Etsy's new, used and vintage Christmas-themed coffee mugs.





Haunt Your House with Lego's Haunted House Set 10228

Lego Halloween Haunted House Set 10228

The Lego Monster Fighters Haunted House (10228)


Dare to enter this haunted mansion at your own risk...

Halloween is hugely popular in my house as it is throughout North America. Who would not love to decorate with this Lego version of a haunted house? Personally, I love the idea. I love the fact that this Lego set is a seasonal decoration that can be built and rebuilt by Lego enthusiasts year after year after year.

Your first impression of this haunted house, even before it is out of the box, will be WOW. It is a very impressive piece, a large set in a big box. The house is an old mansion that is falling apart at the seams.

To enter this haunted house you must first muster the courage to pass through an old 'wrought iron' gate, LOL.

Once you have managed to summon the nerve to cross the rickety step and open that gate and then throw wide the front door you will find a home, well a home for ghosts and vampires and such, with three floors and a roof to explore. The house opens wide in the same manner as a dollhouse so that you can easily access the details inside.

In the kitchen, you can become the zombie chef and whip up a meal on the antique stove. Then you can write us a letter in the Vampyre’s office but beware there are no computers in this office and you will have to post your letter via good old-fashioned snail mail. Perhaps you will take a moment to sit in front of the fireplace and appreciate the home's ghoulish d├ęcor before exploring some more. You can access the second floor by pulling a lever in the chimney to release the stairs and continue your adventure in this detailed Lego set.

Lego's Haunted House, set 10228, is a fairly big set, which I have read is or at least was at time of release, Lego's 15th largest set. It contains 2064 pieces and is recommended for individuals aged 14 and up. Of course, it is a great set even for adult Lego builders or for families with older children to build together.

If you are a fan of Lego and Halloween, you will want to consider adding this magnificent Lego set to your collection. Alternatively, if you know someone who is a big fan of Lego and Halloween, this haunted house is most definitely a top-rated gift idea.


The Minifigures 



Lego Haunted House Monster Fighters Mini-figures


What is not to love the Lego minifigures that are Included in this set? Within that box, you will find six of them: two glow-in-the-dark ghosts, a vampire and his bride, a zombie chef and a butler.

Quick Facts & Technical Details


I think that Lego has done a brilliant job of creating this haunted house. The technical details that you might like to know include:

This set is number 10228.

It was released in 2012.

It is the largest set in the Monster Fighter series.

It has 2064 pieces.

It has six rooms and a folding staircase.

Those rooms include a kitchen, an office, a bedroom, a potions room and a music room.

This set will measure just over 15 inches high, 9 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep when built.

It is recommended for ages 14 and up.

Includes 6 minifigures.

It originally retailed in the U.S. for $179.99.


Lego Haunted Mansion Set

Current Status


Lego has retired this set. Unfortunately for those that want one, this means the price has gone up significantly. I think it is fairly safe to say that given the popularity of both Lego and Halloween, in North America this is one of the most sought after sets.

A whopping 100 percent of those who reviewed this set for Lego recommend it saying things like "pure Lego fun" and "genius." Many even consider it to be one of the BEST Lego sets ever produced, which for Lego fans is a pretty strong recommendation, don't you think?

By way of warning, as I write this, this set is currently listed for $445 on Amazon. That price is likely to fluctuate on a daily basis and to spike in the months leading up to Halloween. You can check it out for yourself on Amazon by clicking right here.

Price comparison on eBay may or may not save you a few details. As I write this in July, 2017, the price for a new sealed box set starts at $349 plus shipping.  You can see what is available on eBay today by clicking here.


More Monster Fighter Sets


Lego created a number of sets in the Monster Fighter series. They have included the following sets, none of which are being produced by Lego anymore but most of which are available on Amazon by clicking right here.

The Swamp Creature, Set 9461 (70 pieces)
The Mummy, Set 9462 (90 pieces)
The Werewolf, Set 9463 (243 pieces)
The Vampyre Hearse, Set 9464 (314 pieces)
The Crazy Scientist & His Monster, Set 9466 (430 pieces)
The Ghost Train, Set 9467 (741 pieces)
Vampyre Castle, Set 9468 (949 pieces) Set 9468


In Conclusion


I think that this set is a pretty amazing Lego creation. How about you? Are you interested in owning it? Do you dare to enter Lego's haunted mansion?

Be sure to subscribe for future posts by using the subscribe button on the right because you never know what I might have in store for you!

Brenda


More Lego Reading

Check out the Haunted Mansion on Amazon.

Rare & Hard To Find Lego
This page features more hard-to-find and interesting Lego sets including the Volkswagen camper van, the shuttle expedition and the Grand Emporium.

The LEGO Taj Mahal: The Largest Lego Set
Another large set, the Lego Taj Mahal, set number 10189, is actually Lego's largest set with 5922 pieces.

Are Lego's Monster Fighters A Tool of Satan?
Lego's Lord Vampyre has been accused of being evil. What do you think?


Author's Note: Originally written for another site in 2014.



21 Insanely Awesome Things About Canada

21 Insanely Awesome Things About Canada
Of course, I believe that there are WAY MORE than 21 insanely awesome things about Canada but I still enjoyed this video list put together by Talltanic in June, 2017. If you are Canadian, you will also likely know some of these facts but I bet there are some that you do not know, too.

I won't spoil the video for you if I bet that you have heard of our sweet export maple syrup, our prime minister and our quick use of the word sorry. However, did you know that Canadians have a longer life expectancy than many other countries, that we have the most expensive coin ever produced and that Santa Claus is from Canada?

Watch the 12 minute video for yourself and discover some more interesting facts about Canada:




Did you learn anything new about Canada?

Brenda


Tim Hortons Canada Celebrating 150 Years Coffee Mug


It has been awhile since I have posted a mug here on this blog. However, that is not to say that I have not seen more than a few fabulous pieces. I just stumbled across this totally terrific Tim Hortons mug, which celebrates Canada's 150th Birthday Party. The party is happening July 1, 2017 and I am sure that if you are in Canada, you have not missed the fact that we are celebrating though you may have missed this mug.

Because of this huge celebration, there are a lot of red and white merchandise options out there but I know that this officially licensed mug, with the cool comic-style patriotic images of the loon, ice skating, maple syrup, the maple leaf, beavers, curling, etc., is the perfect souvenir choice for many of you.  Of course, it also includes images of Tim Hortons coffee, Timbits and donuts, an important tradition in Canada.

The text reads, "CANADA celebrating 150 Years – Tim Hortons."

I love the red interior, too, which features a maple leaf in the bottom and I also love that it is dishwasher and microwave safe.

It is reasonably sized measuring 4 inches tall and 3.75 inches wide (without the handle) and holds 14 oz of your favorite steamy hot beverage, whether that be Tim Hortons' coffee or something else. Personally, I am a tea drinker so you will find only tea in my coffee mugs!

This mug is a limited edition mug and available only while supplies last. I suspect that it could be a hot seller since Canada really is gearing up for a fantastic party. If for whatever reason you are unable to find this mug locally, know that you can find it readily available on eBay by clicking right here.

How about it? Would you like to lift a Tim Hortons' mug in celebration of our national holiday and the birthday of our nation?  Are you a Canadian in Canada, a Canadian who lives away or just someone who loves Canada?  Be sure to take a moment and say hello and tell us where you hail from and whether or not Tim Hortons figures in the mix when you think of Canada.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy your Tim Hortons Canada 150 Coffee Mug on eBay.
Find more Tim Hortons items in my eBay store.

Jenga Stacking Games

Jenga is an addictive building game requiring both hand skills and mental skills. It was designed by Leslie Scott for children and adults to play together. It's an extremely easy game to learn with simple rules and, because it is different every time, it never gets boring. You simply create a tower by stacking the blocks and then cautiously remove one from the bottom of the tower and place it on the top of the tower, hopefully without causing your tower to fall.

In the 1970s, Lesley Scott created Jenga from her own family's building bricks. In 1983, she trademarked Jenga at the London Toy Fair. Since then, according to Wikipedia, over 50 million Jenga games or 2.7 billion Jenga blocks have been made.

Watch this short video in which creator Lesley Scott Speaks about the invention of Jenga:

 

Today, Jenga is produced by Hasbro's Parker Brothers division. It's a great family game that has evolved in some interesting ways. On this page, discover some of the other versions of the family game, Jenga.   Click here to check out all the Jenga games on Amazon.


Basic Jenga Game



In the basic Jenga game, you receive 54 rectangular wooden blocks that are designed perfectly for stacking in a three wide, 18 story tower. Once you've created the tower, you take turns removing a block one at a time and putting the piece back on top of the tower. One wrong move and it will all be over. Order this basic Jenga game from Amazon here.

Here is another short video in which Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, famous basketball players, put their skills to unusual use with Jenga tiles.




Jenga Vintage Wood Book Version 



If you or someone you know has fond memories of Jenga, you might want to consider gifting them with this version of Jenga, which is packaged in a book-like box. Unlike the typical Jenga games packed in a cardboard box, this one will last and look handsome on your bookshelf. Unfortunately, this version is out of production and sought after, which means the price has been driven upwards by the laws of supply and demand. You can find the Jenga Vintage Wooden Book Edition from Amazon here.


Throw 'n Go Jenga


IN THROW'N GO JENGA THE DIE DETERMINES THE MOVE.

Throw'n Go Jenga consists of blocks that are colored in three colors and a six-sided die. When it is your turn, you throw the die and follow the instructions according to the roll of the die. Each color refers to a certain type of move. For instance, if you roll a red on your turn you must move any red or middle block. You can order your Throw 'n Go Jenga from Amazon by clicking here.


Jenga Truth or Dare Game


In Jenga Truth or Dare, adults play with three colors of blocks - red, green and natural. Play is much the same as in the ordinary version of Jenga but if a player picks a red or green block, he must either complete a dare or answer a question before he may place it pack on the tower. Natural colored blocks have nothing printed upon them and are played as an ordinary Jenga block unless you choose to spice up the game by adding your own truths or dares on them. You can find the Jenga Truth or Dare game on Amazon here.

Jenga Extreme Game


Jenga Extreme is different because of the shape of the blocks. No longer are they typical rectangles but now they are parallelograms. You will create some interesting towers with Jenga Xtreme! Order Jenga Extreme from Amazon here.


Jenga Cubes


Jenga Cubes is a rare 1998 version of Jenga that, according to the box, is a "A Mind Bending Twist on a Classic Favourite that will Drive Your Friends Crazy." It features 25 Jenga cubes that stack inside a plexiglas tower that has slots cut out on alternating sides at each level. The object is to push out a cube leaving the cubes around it in place and the game play is a bit different than a standard Jenga game.

As I write this, Jenga Cubes is not available on Amazon but is available occasionally on eBay. To see today's eBay search results for Jenga Cubes, follow this link.


Collector's Edition Jenga Games


Collector Edition Jenga Games include Jenga games dedicated to many major-league baseball teams, John Deere, Hello Kitty, the Transformers, Tarzan, Donkey Kong, Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas and more. I expect there are more created on a regular basis.  You can see all of the Jenga games available on eBay's by clicking right here.

Have you played Jenga? Which version(s)?

Brenda

More Recommended Games


Yahtzee!
I grew up playing Yahtzee and so did my children. Yours should, too. Find out why Yahtzee is such a good game for the young and the young at heart.

Jumanji The Board Game
Whether you are fan of Jumanji the book by Chris Van Allsburg or Jumanji the movie starring the late Robin Williams, you should check out this Jumanji board game!

The Best Family Halloween Board Games
Playing a Halloween board game is a great way to stretch out the Halloween fun!

Harry Potter Clue Review
Harry Potter Clue is actually a better game than the original version of Clue. Find out why here.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Trivia Game
Join Harry Potter In A Game of Quidditch Featuring The Chamber of Secrets Trivia.





Panama Canal Repositioning Cruise NCL (2017)


We are home from an interesting journey aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line's ship the Pearl. My husband and I took a 17-day Panama Canal repositioning cruise from Miami to Seattle and followed it up with a week in Seattle with our youngest son. Doing so made the journey to visit him an adventure and we had plenty of interesting experiences on board the ship and afterwards in Seattle.

Journeying by cruise ship allowed us to visit many countries that we likely would never have gone to otherwise including Columbia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico as shown on this map. The map is not quite accurate as our sailing continued further north to Seattle.

The ability to set one's own hours is definitely an advantage of being an eBay seller but after about a month off it is time for me to get back to work.  Stay tuned for more tidbits from our journey!

Brenda
Travels With Brenda

Quick Links:

Map image is from Norwegian Cruise Line's website.
Be sure to follow my world on and offline on Instagram. You can find me on that platform by clicking here.





Linda Fahey Pacifica Mug from Anthropologie

This will no doubt NOT be my only post about Anthropologie mugs though it does represent my recent introduction to the fantastic, FABULOUS and fun coffee mugs that the trendy chain carries.

The design shown here is an artisan-made by Linda Fahey, a Northern California ceramicist who is inspired by the waves and the light of the Pacific Ocean and therefore adds a maritime element to her work. Anthropologie carried Pacifica, this line of dishes that feature Fahey's art in 2016.


I first discovered the rounded mug shown here, which features a beige background with a textured design on the outside and a cobalt blue sailing boat on the bottom of the interior. It measures 2 7/8 inches (7.4 cms) tall and 4 inches (10 cms) wide across the opening excluding the handle and it is both dishwasher and microwave safe. I later discovered that there was a whole line of very handsome dishes available in this pattern.



Unfortunately, Anthropologie no longer carries this pattern, which means you will have to turn to alternative sources to find this mug and the line of dishes.  Right now, you can find a few pieces from Linda Fahey's Pacifica pattern on eBay by clicking here.

See you at the coffee bar
though it will be
tea in my mug!

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

See all of eBay's Pacifica pieces.
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