Archive | October, 2012

The Start of Thomas Kinkade

Comment on this post for a chance to win an autographed paint palette from Patrick Kinkade!

Thomas Kinkade was born on January 19, 1958 in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in Placerville, California. At the age of five, Kinkade’s parents divorced, and he recalls being one of the only single-parent families in his small town.  He grew up living modestly, incapable of affording some of the simple pleasures that other families in town were accustomed to.

Kinkade began drawing at the tender age of four, and his talent for the arts was noticed early on. His mother always had copies of The Saturday Evening Post lying around, and he credits Norman Rockwell as one of his primary inspirations. At 16, he took on an apprenticeship under the instruction of artist Glen Wessels where he worked exclusively with oil paintings. Kinkade attended the University of California at Berkeley and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California to further his study of art.

After graduation, Kinkade and James Gurney, a friend and fellow artist from college, embarked on a cross-country boxcar trip from California to New York. Along the way, the two artists created several sketches of expanses of the American landscape they witnessed on their journey. Once they arrived in New York, Kinkade and Gurney took their sketches to Norman Rockwell’s publisher Wapton Guptill, who hired them on the spot to create a book for artists about sketching.  Two years later in 1982, Guptill published “The Artist’s Guide to Sketching.”

The success of the book secured both Thomas Kinkade and James Gurney a job with Ralph Bakshi Studios producing background art for “Fire and Ice”, an animated feature film. Kinkade credits this work experience with having an invaluable effect on the way he incorporates light into his paintings.

Who influenced you when you were young?


Sources: Wikipedia, Art by Thomas Kinkade

Read full storyComments { 11 }

National Nut Day

Mixed nuts small wood1October 22 is National Nut Day!

National Nut Day celebrates nuts of all kinds and everything they have to offer, besides serving as a tasty snack, of course. Nuts are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E and B2, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper and selenium. If that’s not enough to celebrate, regularly eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can help keep your heart healthy. Learn more about nuts and heart health by clicking here.

Celebrate National Nut Day by choosing nuts over salt and sugar laden junk foods at snack time. Better yet, make National Nut Day the first day of your new heart-healthy diet!

Did You Know…Not all “nuts” are true nuts. True nuts include hazelnuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts and acorns, while peanuts are legumes, macadamia nuts are kernels, and almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts and pistachios are seeds.


Photo Source: User:Melchoir, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Read full storyComments { 0 }

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

October 21 is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

Pumpkin-flavored treats season has officially begun, which means pumpkin is going into everything – and I mean everything: pies, coffee drinks, quick breads, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, granola, beers, soups, bagels, and cocktails to name a few.

Today is the day we pay homage to the most classic fall treat (the traditional pumpkin pie) and add a twist (cheesecake). Yum!  Celebrate National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day by making one on your own; here are some great recipes to get you started.

Sources: Holiday Insights, Punchbowl

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Rainforest Day

Rainforest Day is a day to celebrate rainforests and their impact on the earth and its inhabitants. For example, rainforests help regulate temperatures and weather patterns and are also responsible for 28% of the world’s oxygen turnover. Discover more facts about rainforests at

Rainforest Day was also created to increase awareness about rainforest threats and, as a result, losses. Check out the organizations below to see how you can help!

Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Partnership
Rainforest Foundation 


Sources: The Ultimate Holiday Site, Stacy Reid, Wikipedia, The Nature Conservancy

Read full storyComments { 0 }

No Beard Day

October 18 is No Beard Day!

Bearded men, it’s time to pull out your razors and say goodbye to that beard of yours, no matter how long, how short, or how many months or years you’ve been growing it. You may not like going beardless, but your significant other sure will. Besides, hair grows back!

Ladies, encourage your man to shave off that scratchy beard with a brand new razor. Take your time picking out the best razor for your guy, no matter the cost…After all, you want him to want to shave every day, right?


Read full storyComments { 0 }

National Pasta Day

Farfalle PastaOctober 17 is National Pasta Day!

National Pasta Day celebrates a type of food familiar to a variety of cultures and countries: pasta! A versatile food that you can eat with a variety of meats, vegetables, sauces and other ingredients, pasta can be made dry or fresh and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. If that’s not enough, pasta (whole wheat, in particular) is also a good source of fiber, iron, B vitamins, folic acid and other nutrients. No wonder pasta gets its own holiday!

Learn more about pasta and  find pasta cooking tips and recipes  at the National Pasta Association’s website

Celebrate National Pasta Day by learning how to cook pasta perfectly and trying out some new pasta recipes. Or you can stick to traditional pasta dishes, like spaghetti or mac n’ cheese.


Photo Source: By Liveon001 © Travis K. Witt (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Read full storyComments { 0 }

World Food Day

What is World Food Day?

World Food Day (WFD) is a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and informed, year-around action to alleviate hunger.

- U.S. National Committee for World Food Day

Learn more about the history and objectives of WFD by clicking here.

When is World Food Day?

October 16, in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on October 16, 1945.

How do I observe World Food Day?

Each year, FAO focuses on a new theme, which WFD events are centered around. Check out this year’s theme, find WFD events in your area or make a donation here.

Read full storyComments { 0 }

Frederick Fleet Born (1887)

October 15, 1987 is the birth date of Frederick Fleet, the Titanic lookout who first saw the iceberg that the ship struck on April 14, 1912. Upon spotting the iceberg while in the Crow’s Nest, Fleet rang the warning bell three times and communicated three fateful words to Sixth Officer James Moody on the bridge: “Iceberg, right ahead!”

Assigned to help people into and row the first lifeboat launched from the ship, Fleet, along with the five other lookouts, survived the disaster. During inquiries into the Titanic’s sinking, Fleet testified that he would have seen the iceberg sooner had he been issued binoculars.

Learn more about Fleet’s life, before, during, and after the Titanic’s sinking, at Titanic Stories.


Sources: Wikipedia, Titanic Stories

Read full storyComments { 0 }

International Moment of Frustration Scream Day by Wellcat

October 12 is International Moment of Frustration Scream Day!

Frustrated? Lucky for you, International Moment of Frustration Scream Day was created as a way for you to release that frustration. According to Wellcat, anyone who is feeling frustrated today is invited to go outside at 12:00 p.m., Greenwich time, and let out a scream for 30 seconds.

However, you don’t need to scream your frustrations away to celebrate International Moment of Frustration Scream Day. Click on the links below to find different ways to vent your anger and frustrations and to relieve stress:

“Anger Management”

“Quick Stress Relief”

Note: International Moment of Frustration Scream Day is copyrighted by  Wellcat.


Read full storyComments { 0 }

Win an Autographed Honey Badger Calendar Winner!

A big congrats to our second winner Sheila Thompson. Her dog Jasper couldn’t keep his paws off the Honey Badger Calendar autographed by Randall!

Read full storyComments { 0 }