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Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find our weekly dog and cat contest winners along with the inside scoop on some of our favorite calendars and more. 

Meet Stella: Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

Stella - This week's Page-A-Day Cat Photo Contest Winner

Stella is 3 years old. She is sassy but loveable and has a heart like a lion. She loves playing outside in the warm sunshine.

Congratulations to Stella, Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

checkEnter your cat in the Page-A-Day® Cat Contest. Vote for this week’s cat contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® cat calendar is right for you?

Teacup Pig Power at Pennywell Farms

Cuteness overload alert! Did you know there's a farm in England by the name of Pennywell that is pretty much guaranteed to melt every visitor's heart. Taking children to Pennywell Farm comes with a warning: they will never, ever, ever want to leave! In this Kingdom of Cute, you will find miniature pigs and piglets famous the world around along with orphan lambs and tantalizing turtles.

Pennywell Farm lets you do a lot more than just ogle at all these adorable creatures. They let you milk the goats, bottle feed the lambs, have tea with a tortoise (we're not sure if the tortoise actually drinks the tea or not), and cuddle with the pigs. That's right—swimming with dolphins is soooo last year. They also have majestic falcons that fly about, ferrets racing each other, and owls.

It's kind of the perfect place for a day of family fun, a kids' birthday party, a school field trip, or for just a group of animal-loving adults to de-stress and take in all the adorable-ness. Our favorite thing about Pennywell—without a doubt—are the pigs. After all, we do have a Pocket Pigs Page-A-Day(R) calendar. Yes, these little piggies actually are tiny enough to fit in your pocket. They also fit in a teacup, if you were wondering. Call them micro pigs, mini pigs, or pygmy pigs, they're just so sweet looking it's actually hard to look at them without cracking a smile.

If you're sold on tiny pigs, you might just want to add Devon, England on your shortlist of places to visit!

Also, if you're now so enchanted by these adorable pigs that you're considering adopting one as a pet, know that they should get along with your pup just fine. Need proof? Read all about the unlikely friendship between a dog and a piglet. Now that's getting piggy with it.

More about the Pocket Pigs 2015 calendar! This little piggy strums a guitar. This little piggy enjoys an ice cream. And this little piggy rides in a wheelbarrow whee, whee, whee all the way home. Fuzzy, palm-sized, and oh-so-irresistible, the diminutive pigs of Pennywell Farm are naturals in front of the camera. Pocket Pigs is a year of portraits to make us squeal with delight. Sweet captions increase the cuteness factor.

Pocket Pigs: The Famous Teacup Pigs of Pennywell Farms  Pocket Pigs 2015 Calendar Pennywell Farms

Pocket Pigs Teacup Pigs Pennywell Farm  Pocket Pigs Teacup Pigs Pennywell Farms

5 Gifts for the Outdoorsy-Types in Your Life

Is your gift-giving list full of friends who hike every weekend, or fish, or take their binoculars with them everywhere they go? These outdoor enthusiasts can be hard to shop for when gift-giving time rolls around. Researching the perfect gadget they need takes time, so why not go with something beautiful to make them feel like they are surrounded by nature—a gift they will enjoy every single day of the year! Give your friends and family the gift of the great outdoors even when they’re stuck in the office.

Trout of North America 2015 Wall Calendar

The fisherman in your life will love the Trout of North America 2015 Wall Calendar both when they’re fishing and when they aren’t on the river. Give the fisherman in your life new goals to reach in catching a kind of trout they’ve never caught before while they’re sitting in the office daydreaming.

Trout of North America 2015 Calendar  Trout of North America 2015 Calendar

 

Audobon Nature 2015 Wall Calendar

The American wilderness has never been closer for your outdoor-loving friend with the Audobon Nature 2015 Wall Calendar. The spectacular photos of the American wilderness from the Audobon include flowing grasses atop Mount Tamalpais and mist-covered lakes in the Adirondacks. Your outdoorsy friends will be planning a new trip each month when the calendar flips with this calendar.

Audubon 2015 Nature Calendar  Audubon 2015 Nature Calendar

 

"You are My Greatest Adventure" poster from Littlelow

For the couple that traverses the mountain sides and camps under the stars together, this gorgeous poster from Etsy user littlelow is perfect. Your outdoorsy friends will love to hang this in their house as a reminder of all of the incredible adventures they’ve taken together. If you’re gifting for your outdoorsy love, it will remind them of how much fun both of you have had together!

You are my greatest adventure poster

National Park Map Print from Consider Graphics

America’s National Parks are a wonder to behold. The stunning parks are surely on your outdoorsy friends’ to-hike list, if they haven’t hiked them already. This hand drawn map translated to digital design from Etsy user Consider Graphics will make the perfect gift for your friend this Christmas.

National Park Map Consider Graphics

1,000 Places To See Before You Die Page-A-Day® Calendar

Those outdoorsy types love to travel. Which mountain can we hike next? Why not go to a foreign land to hike their mountains? The 1,000 Places To See Before You Die Page-A-Day® Calendar is the perfect way to keep your outdoorsy friends hungry for their next adventure all year long.

1,000 Places to See Before You Die  1,000 Places to See Before You Die

 

If you're an outdoorsy-type, what is on your list this holiday season? Add your wish list in the comments here!

Woof Wisdom! It’s not the size of the dog in the fight…

Some #WoofWednesday love from the new book Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me. This book is tender, funny, warm, and utterly inspiring.

Mark Twain Quote — It's not the size of the dog, it's the size of the fight in the dog — Really Important Stuff About My Dog

Check out the book: Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me.

Pairing an irresistible photograph with just the right sentiment, every page delivers a life lesson that appeals as much to our hearts as our minds.

It reminds us again and again of what’s important, like love: “Be there when others need you.”

Compassion: “Even the smallest act of kindness matters.”

Perseverance: “Keep going until you find your way home.”

A healthy sense of self: “Make it squeak until someone pays attention.”

Living in the present moment: “Scratch where it itches, when it itches.”

And that happiness is a choice: “Leap higher than you have to.”

 

checkEnter your dog in the Page-A-Day® Dog Contest. Vote for this week’s dog contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® dog calendar is right for you?

9 Ways to Say Thanks to Our Veterans

Ways to say thanks to our veteransToday, we honor and say thanks to our country’s brave veterans who have given their service to defend our country. Veterans Day observances fall on this day because World War I (the "war to end all wars") ended in 1918, in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The following year, President Woodrow Wilson dedicated the first November 11 as Armistice Day, a day to recognize veterans, primarily those of World War I.

In 1938, the day officially became a legal holiday in the United States, and the word “Armistice” was changed to “Veterans” to refer more broadly to the soldiers who’d fought in all of America’s wars, not just World War I.

Since then, Veterans Day has become a day to thank veterans for their service.

Here are three ideas to honor a family member, friend, or neighbor who is a veteran:

  • Invite a veteran to lunch or dinner. Ask them about their time of service, and listen to their stories. 
  • Give the veterans you know a special gift or a card just to say thank you.
  • If you can’t see them in person, simply give them a call to express your appreciation.

If you don’t know any veterans personally, here are six ways to say thanks to our country’s military members and veterans.

  • Help support a military family with a donation through Operation Homefront
  • If you have a DIY talent for knitting or have nice winter gear you don’t use any more, send cold weather attire to veterans through Operation Gratitude
  • Still have Halloween candy lying around? Luckily, those wrapped chocolates and gummy candies have a long shelf life and you can pack them into a box and send off to the troops to enjoy. 
  • Send a thank you card or drawing to the troops through Operation Write Home
  • Thank a veteran in person. If you see anyone dressed in military attire participating in Veteran’s Day events in your city or town, take the time to stop and thank them.
  • Participate in a parade. Go and show your support and appreciation through a homemade sign at one of the many parades occurring throughout the country.

Gift Ideas for the Veterans in Your Life:

Meet Thomas: Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

Thomas - This week's Page-A-Day Cat Photo Contest Winner

Thomas is one of two cats that my husband and I adopted from a local rescue shelter as Christmas gifts for our daughter Cori in 2013. Along with his sister Amy, Thomas has brought endless joy into our home. He's a soft, sassy, fabulous furball of love!

Congratulations to Thomas, Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

checkEnter your cat in the Page-A-Day® Cat Contest. Vote for this week’s cat contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® cat calendar is right for you?

20 Ways to Relax Today

Out on the Porch 2015 CalendarAhhh—breathe a long sigh of relief. It’s Sunday and today is a day to chill out, relax, and regroup. Perhaps yesterday you had a day of productivity, or back-to-back activity, or a late night out. Either way, you probably have to go to work tomorrow and so today is a day of much-needed R&R—as well as a traditional day of rest.

There is, perhaps, no better emblem for R&R than the porch—a cozy place where you can curl up in a rocking chair or well-cushioned outdoor loveseat with a book, watch the passersby, and take in the fresh air. Porch-sitting is a way to bliss out for an entire day. If, however, it’s a little too cold wherever you live for a good porch-sit, there are many other ways to unwind on this fine November Sunday. 

We rounded up 20 ideas to help you sit back, relax, and let the day drift by:

  1. Enjoy some afternoon tea. This English tradition—beloved in the Downton Abbey realm—is a fine excuse to sit for a spell and enjoy good conversation, tea, and cookies and cakes with family and friends. 
  2. Get inspired! Whether it's your church, Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, your local sports team, or the beautiful books in our Inspiration Bundle Sweepstakes, soak up as much motivation, insight, and creativity as you can.
  3. Do a puzzle. Distract yourself from any anxieties or points of stress, and pour your mental capacities into a puzzle—say a crossword, Sudoku puzzle, or brain teaser. It’s an excellent way to give your brain a new challenge, while also getting your mind off anything that’s been bothering you. 
  4. Play a family game. Monopoly, Clue, Memory, or a full-on Risk marathon are guaranteed to result in laughter, friendly competition, and fun.
  5. Hang out with your furry friends. Take your pup out for a hike or give your cat a good rubdown today to reduce your stress levels and have fun. And while you’re at it, vote for the cutest cats and dogs of the year! 
  6. Do some therapeutic writing. If you like to write fiction, start a new big project in honor of National Novel Writing Month. If not, bust out the journal and jot down your thoughts to let it all out! 
  7. If writing’s not your thing, how about some therapeutic reading? There’s nothing like becoming 100% immersed in a fantastic book that transports you to another world. Find a book you love, curl up, and read away.
  8. Visit your local bookstore or library. Wander the quiet and calm aisles and breathe in that delicious book smell. Peruse all the great literature and ideas around you, and find some new books to read.
  9. Take on an artistic or crafty project. Creativity can be a great therapeutic outlet for any stress you’ve got going on. Draw, fold up some origami, or undertake a fun, new DIY project today. 
  10. Pump up your heart rate. While lazing around all day on the couch may seem like a great way to relax (and it often is!), a little exercise can also help you distress and kick stress to the curb. Go for a jog around the neighborhood, play kickball with friends, or pedal off on a trail.
  11. Speaking of exercise, yoga is a great way to debrief and distress after a hectic week. Loosen up muscles tight from sitting at a desk or standing on your feet. Do some deep breathing, and get a workout in all at the same time. Hey, even cats are doing it
  12. Ommmmm. Yes, we’re talking about meditation. An incredible challenge for many, meditation involves getting in the zone, breathing deeply, and focusing. Cross those legs, plant those hands on your knees, shut those eyes, and tune out the rest of the world.
  13. Tap your feet. Dancing is a great way to loosen up your muscles and express yourself—and get lost in the moment. One look at dancers doing their thing in one of Jordan Matter’s beautiful photos will remind you of that. Move those hips, and let the stress flow out. 
  14. Say hello to Mother Nature. Exercise and yoga are great, but they’re even better if you do them in the great outdoors. Whether you’re surrounded by rustling leaves, blossoming flowers, tall trees, or freshly fallen snow, nature can calm you down and give you a “natural high.” 
  15. Go window shopping! You can do walk through the mall or local shops, or you can do it from the comfort of your own home on your laptop or smartphone. If you love fashion, jewelry, or shoes, a little retail therapy—even wishlist retail therapy—goes a long way toward stilling the soul. 
  16. Have a nice leisurely Sunday meal. Spend some time in the kitchen with a little music, a few friends, and some wine. A little time stirring the pot or kneading dough can help you relax. If the idea of being in the kitchen stresses you out more than it brings out your inner Zen, organize a relaxing and delicious meal amongst family and friends. Be it brunch or dinner, find a great place for takeout or an intimate restaurant that whispers, “Relaxxxxxx."
  17. Speaking of Sunday Funday, many folks believe that the definition of a relaxing Sunday naturally includes football. If rooting for your team at your favorite bar helps you relax, get thee to the tavern, don your jersey, and rally on. This is a great day to catch up on your sports stats and trivia from the week before as well! 
  18. Plan a trip. Sometimes, the best days are those spent planning something exciting for the future. The anticipation of all the exciting activities in store can be a stressbuster in and of itself. Browse our Travel Tuesday blog posts for some inspiration.  
  19. Laugh! Whether you need a comedy on TV, a funny book, or a full-on stand-up comedy show at a local club to get you giggling, find your funny nirvana and unwind through a little laughter.
  20. Sit on a porch. That’s where we started this whole relaxation discussion, and that’s where we’ll end it. If you’ve got a porch and it’s warm enough to go out and sit on it, then congratulations. You’ve got a fantastically relaxing day ahead of you. Happy porch-sitting! 

How are you going to relax today? Share your ideas with our stressed-out (but blissful) team of bloggers and social media folks here at Page-A-Day by leaving a comment on this post or connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest

Meet Artist Yago Partal, Creator of 2015 Zoo Portraits Calendar

2015 Zoo Portraits Calendar Yago PartalBarcelona photographer and artist Yago Partal has a vision. A vision of animals wearing clothes. Partal treats the concept with wisdom, elegance, and attention to detail so that each zoo portrait he creates is its own work of art. These His head-on photographs of animals dressed up in human clothing are by turns hilarious, fascinating and eerie. View a slideshow of the Zoo Portraits series on Huffington Post.

We talked with Partal to learn more about how he came up the idea. Our Q & A with Yago Partal:

Q. Where did you get the idea for your Zoo Portraits concept?

The idea came up for a marketing campaign for a photographic services site. The idea was to show the services they offered using animals portrayed as humans.

Q. Tell us about the process in creating these images. How do you decide what type of outfit goes with what type of animal? Do some seem inherently feminine or masculine to you?

I always do the animal first and then I start looking for outfits online, until I find something that fits its personality and I adapt it. I would like to have more female animals, but it is difficult because it is not so easy to tell the gender of an animal as it is with people.

For example, a sheep: you only see from the shoulders up, there is no make up, no earrings, no long hair, so it is difficult for the one who watches to see it as a woman, unless we are talking about an animal that is very feminine itself.

Q. What’s your favorite story or movie that anthropomorphizes animals?

Some cartoon TV shows left a big imprint on my childhood. That is where all this comes from. Shows like “Monarch: The Big Bear of Tallac”, “Dragon Ball”, “Dr. Slump”, “Maple Town”, “Alfred J. Kwak”, “Yogi Bear”, “Maya the Honey Bee”, “Willy Fog”, “Looney Tunes”, “Calimero”, “Sherlock Holmes of Miyazaki” or “Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel”, among others.

Q. If you were an animal, what kind would you be?

I would be an moose. I find it an amazing animal.

Yago Partal's Zoo Animals are available in many forms, including, of course, our 2015 Zoo Portraits Calendar. Also, clothing, iPhone cases, prints, pillows, mugs, tote bags, and clocks!

Yago Partal Zoo Portraits Tote BagZoo Portraits Yago Partal ClockYago Partal SweatshirtWall Print - Yago Partal Zoo Animals

Our 2015 Yago Partal Zoo Portraits Calendar:

 Zoo Portraits Calendar Cover Zoo Portraits Back Cover

Yago Partal Zoo Animals Calendar Yago Partal Zoo Portraits

NaNoWriMo. 30 Days, 50,000 Words: Could You Do It?

NaNoWriMo CalendarYour challenge this month, if you choose to accept it, is to write a novel. Yes, a full-length novel. Not a short story. Not a novella. We’re talking 50,000 words, which equates to about 1,667 words daily. If you think about it, November is a fantastic time for National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. With days growing shorter and temperatures dropping, the writing desk seems an awfully cozy spot.

While many ambitious writers accept the NaNoWriMo challenge every year, some have penned drafts masterful enough to actually become published.  Some of these books were written over the course of more than just one NaNoWriMo. Others may have begun as NaNoWriMo projects, but were finished or dramatically edited later. All of them, however, at least in part owe their existence to NaNoWriMo.

If you’re a lover of literature, check out our Book Lover’s Calendar, and read on for some famous books published during NaNoWriMo.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen 

This fanciful novel is a Prohibition-era circus story that follows Jacob Jankowski, a poor orphan, as he joins the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth—and finds love. After being laid off, Gruen began to write fiction full time. Whether or not she’s productive, she forces herself to sit at her desk every day. She admits that the hardest part is just getting a draft on paper. Her advice for writers? “Stop thinking, start writing.”

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

In Fangirl, Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are diehard fans of the Simon Snow book series—that is until Wren starts to grow out of the Snow phase and begins pulling away from her sister. Cath is forced to live on her own and forge her own independent way forward. Rowell decided to try out the NaNoWriMo challenge to fast forward through the first draft doldrums. During that time, she wrote at least 2,000 words every day, and warned her husband and kids that she’d be a little M.I.A. While she didn’t finish her whole Fangirl draft in that month, she describes it as “some of the bravest writing” she’s ever done.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Another NaNoWriMo circus tale, The Night Circus tells the story of two rival magicians in the nighttime Le Cirque des Rêves. Celia and Marco are young and competitive, pitted against each other nightly upon the stage. In the midst of their rivalry, however, they begin to fall in love. Morgenstern began her novel in 2005, and worked on it during two NaNoWriMos in 2006 and 2007. She finally wrapped up the book in 2010 and publication came soon after.

Wool by Hugh Howey

A sci-fi survivalist story at heart. Wool began as a single short story that Howey self-published online back in 2011. When it drew hordes of fans, Howey added four more installments and the runaway success continued. Wool details a future civilization forced to reside inside of a silo dug into the earth after the planet is ruined. Howey is also a fan of the NaNoWriMo constant writing mentality. “The only way to amass a pile of words into a book is to shovel some every single day. No days off,” he writes on his website.

If you liked this post, don't miss these:

If Howey’s fantasy fiction has your interest piqued, check out Shalom Auslander, another incredible fantasy author we’ve been digging lately.

Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite pics from Book Lover’s Day back in August.

Whether you’re a book lover spending the cooler November days reading voraciously or a writer tackling a full-on novel, we wish you a most fruitful NaNoWriMo!

The Book Lover’s 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar

About The Book Lover’s 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar

The Book Lover’s Calendar offers insightful recommendations for readers of all interests. Crime fiction and history come together in A Murder on the Appian Way, Steven Saylor’s lively novel set in ancient Rome. Wordsmiths will devour The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus. Plus James Boice’s dark and engrossing basketball novel MVP and Michael Burlingame’s definitive Abraham Lincoln: A Life. And new elements this year include opening lines and famous last words of great books, literary quizzes, and surprising facts about our favorite authors.

Woof Wisdom! Be patient with those you love

Some #WoofWednesday love from the new book Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me. This book is tender, funny, warm, and utterly inspiring.

Be patient with those you love — Really Important Stuff About My Dog

Check out the book: Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me.

Pairing an irresistible photograph with just the right sentiment, every page delivers a life lesson that appeals as much to our hearts as our minds.

It reminds us again and again of what’s important, like love: “Be there when others need you.”

Compassion: “Even the smallest act of kindness matters.”

Perseverance: “Keep going until you find your way home.”

A healthy sense of self: “Make it squeak until someone pays attention.”

Living in the present moment: “Scratch where it itches, when it itches.”

And that happiness is a choice: “Leap higher than you have to.”

 

checkEnter your dog in the Page-A-Day® Dog Contest. Vote for this week’s dog contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® dog calendar is right for you?

Teatime at Downton Abbey: 2 Months to US Premiere of Downton Abbey, Season 5

Keep calm and pour a cup of tea. It is roughly two short months away from the premier of Downton Abbey Season 5. Unbelievable how time flies, and unreal how excited we are for the US premeire of our favorite British drama!

Afternoon teatime in the post-Edwardian Era, the historical period Downton Abbey is set, was intended to stave off hunger before dinner, and always provided a good time to catch up, gossip, and connect with others. An article from the blog Downton Abbey Cooks sums up teatime perfectly, "While the grand dining scenes at Downton provide opportunity for the Crawleys to showcase their status in society, tea is perfect for intimate conversations, scheming and such. Even below stairs, gathering for tea in the Servant’s Hall (or in private quarters) provides opportunity to talk about life, love, and politics. While you may summon a friend or two for tea with a topic in mind to discuss in confidence, you can simply just want to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy a scone or two."

The Shop at PBS has its own line of Downton Abbey tea, which is a fun gift or collectible for any fan of the show! There are several blends to choose from, including an Upstairs and Downtairs blend.

If you love the drama, beauty, and elegance of teatime, don't miss Page-A-Day's 2015 calendar The Collectible Teapot & Tea Calendar. Celebrate twenty years of the calendar that brings the delightful ritual of afternoon tea to every month with a vintage tea set and a spread of treats. Celebrate Halloween with a gothic 19th-century tea service inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Enjoy a rose-bedecked teapot that Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, surely would have treasured. Accompanying the photographs are enticing tidbits of history and lore by Annabel Freyberg, writer for The World of Interiors. It’s a lovely tribute to teatime and the beautifully decorated teapots that are at its heart.

Your Vote Counts!

Vote for Page-A-Day Weekly Photo Contest

If you cast your ballot on November 4th, Election Day, you should give yourself a pat on the back. You're helping to keep the nation's democracy strong here in the United States.

Your vote still counts—big time! Vote in our weekly Page-A-Day cat and dog contests. No donkeys or elephants in this race, just the cutest pups and kittens you ever did see. Help make sure the best pet wins each week on our site. The winner of each week's contest gets a free digital calendar from Page-A-Day along with a chance to be featured in the following year's print 365 Dogs or 365 Cats calendar. The full rules of the contest are here.

Here are this week's contestants... cast your ballot today or anytime before Monday!

Cats

Dogs

365 Cats 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar365 Dogs 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar

November Mind Bender and Solution

Spoiler Alert! This puzzle the November 4th puzzle from Amazing Mind Benders, and the solution is below. It's the calendar that’s like a playground for your brain. Printed in vibrant full color, the Amazing Mind Benders Calendar treats puzzle lovers to a daily word, number, or spatial challenge. Can you navigate the maze in Pathfinder? Rearrange the dominos in Spot Check? Decipher the code in Form Letters? Perfectly balancing difficulty, solvability, and visual appeal, these puzzles get every day off to a smart start. Stumped? Don’t worry—answers are printed on the reverse side of each page.

If you want to print this puzzle, use your browser's print function to print this blog post!

The Original Sudoku

View Solution

 

Amazing Mind Benders

Read full post.

The Precocious Pets of Workman Publishing

Pets = love. At Workman Publishing and Page-A-Day, we are obsessed with our precocious pets (and your pets, too!). From fluffy to sleek, from long-haired to hairless—and in one case, scaly—all our animals are charmers, even if they are, er, awkward.

Meet a few of our awkward, loveable pets:

Angela has a busy job in Workman's Inventory Planning and Control department. Her cat Roger is slightly less industrious, though quite driven to find just the right pool of sunlight on the carpet in which to nap.

 

   '

June handles export sales for Workman Publishing, and her cat KitKat is totally ready, with super cool sunglasses, to hit the road and stowaway in Mom's luggage. Yes, KitKat would totally be a world traveler... but her bed is just so comfy!

 

Colleen is in our Art Department at Workman Publishing, and she takes awkward pets to a whole new level. Colleen wrote in, "You might not think fish could be awkward, but my 13-year-old (yes, that's right. 13 years!) Bichir, Emilio-the-Almost-An-Eel-io, proves that theory wrong. This picture is from the day he ate too much food and then got himself stuck in the Brooklyn Bridge." Poor Emilio!

 

"Paws crossed, as always." Breaking our company's awkward pet trend is this beautiful pup, Miss Molly, age 12. Kristina, who works with Workman's International Publishing team, writes that Molly is never awkward. What an elegant, seasoned gal Molly is!

 

  

Eileen works in the Royalty Department at Workman Publishing, and her dog, Kylie, works from home. These are pictures of Kylie working hard in her office. Oh wait, maybe she's hardly working. Kylie, you're a sweetie!

 

Randall works with our Online Retail Accounts team, and is the author of several Workman books. He is also the proud papa of two awkward cats. Randall's cats have a lot in common, but they have very different approaches to conflict.  One has a lion's approach and ferocious growl. The other has more of an ostrich technique. 

 

Sara's Corgi is sitting pretty in the garden and taking a break from romping. Sara is in Workman's Export Sales and International Marketing Department, and her pups are in the Entertainment Department in Sara's household.

 

Selina is on Workman Publishing's incredible publicity team. Selina knows just where to book her awkward, slightly spastic, pooch Sizzler's next tour stop—the pup's favorite spot in the whole house, curled up in a pile of her owners' shoes. Sounds comfy!

 

Moira's dog Zimme has a Mini Me! While Moira is busy in Workman's Marketing Department, Zimme is taking good care of his progeny at home. Big Zimme and Little Zimme are always waiting at the door for Mom to come home.

Share photos your awkward pets with us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!!

Our tribute to Awkward Animals of all kinds:

Bad Cat 2015 Wall Calendar Hangin with Sloths 2015 Calendar Pocket Pigs 2015 Calendar

November Sweepstakes: the Inspiration Bundle

November Sweepstakes: the Inspiration Bundle

Inspiration runs deep at Page-A-Day and Workman! Enter for a chance to win our November Inspiration Bundle Sweepstakes and plug in to the beauty, strength, and wisdom of our inspirational books and 2015 calendars. Get every single day off to the best possible start!

Our inspirational books and calendars provide comfort and get each day off to the best possible start. Find your inner peace every morning with our 2015 calendars like Zen and 365 Bible Verses a Year. Find a boost and a smile with the Keep Calm and Carry On, and Today Is Going to Be a Great Day calendars. Find connection and encouragement with For Women Who Do Too Much, and the 365 Quotes Pad calendars too. Our books, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, The Little Zen Companion, and Think Happy, Be Happy will give your bookshelf just the boost it needs, and inspiration at your fingertips whenever you need it!

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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Game Plan

How far in advance do you plot your Thanksgiving meal?

a) I've been plotting Thanksgiving since September!
b) As soon as Halloween craziness dies down
c) A couple weeks before
d) Umm … how long does it take to defrost a turkey?

Thanksgiving Dinner - PlanningIf you're the type to delay Thanksgiving plans, you may be getting a little sick of the mad rush that the lead-up to Turkey Day inevitably becomes. And if you plan ahead, major kudos for your preparedness.

Whether you're a Thanksgiving procrastinator, or a Thanksgiving planning pro, a calendar is your best weapon against day-of woes and mishaps. There are as many calendars out there to choose from as there are sworn-by family recipes for stuffing. If you want a visual reminder every time you enter your kitchen or office, a poster-size wall calendar is the way to go! 

We've created the ultimate schedule for getting your Day of Thanks act together. So—with less than four weeks to go (eek!)—get ready, set … and mark your calendars!

Three Weeks Out (November 3-9)

  • Determine guest list and identify any food allergies or special dietary preferences.
  • Pick the time and place for your dinner, and notify guests.
  • Chart out your menu, and figure out which dishes you will make, and which dishes you'll have guests bring.
  • If you'd like to order turkey from a local farm, contact the farmer or a local goods retailer ASAP to reserve your turkey—turkeys go fast! Find a turkey farm near you.
  • Finish eating all your Halloween candy to give your family a little dietary reprieve before the big feast!

Two Weeks Out (November 10-16)

  • Create a grocery shopping list based on your menu.
  • Plan the beverage pairings for your menu. Think pre-dinner cocktails, wine or beer pairings for the meal, non-alocholic juices or sparkling beverage options, post-dinner aperitifs, post-dinner coffee to help offset food comas, etc. 
  • Pick out any special table decorations and purchase. Think tablecloths, napkins, flowers, centerpieces, candles, and whatever strikes your autumn fancy!
  • Make a Thanksgiving playlist to set the mood.

One Week Out (November 17-23)

  • Towards the end of the week, plan to make a few more dishes ahead, and buy ingredients that will stay good through Thanksgiving. You can make baked goods like rolls and pies ahead of time and freeze them. If you're making spreads or dips as appetizers, for example, you can make these ahead of time and store them in tupperware containers. Here are some ideas for make-ahead recipes.
  • Purchase beverages, beer, wine, liquor, and mixers.
  • Began decorating your dining room and preparing any DIY decorations if you're making them.

Week Of (November 24-Thanksgiving)

  • Do the big shop! Get your turkey, all your ingredients, and all serve-ahead items like cheese and crackers.
  • Clean your house, finish decorating the dining room, and set the table (yes, this is one less thing you'll have to do day-of).
  • 1-2 days before the big day, prepare additional make-ahead dishes. For examples, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, and other casseroles can be made ahead of time and then reheated. 
  • 1-2 days before, brine the turkey, and prep other dishes by pre-chopping produce and pre-mixing sauces and dressings.
  • 1-2 days before, premix or prepare any cocktail ingredients.

On Thanksgiving

Give yourself a pat on the back! Thanks to all your planning and your handy calendar, you've met all your pre-Thanksgiving deadlines and the actual day is so much less stressful! Now, all you have to do is cook up the turkey and a few other dishes, and relax.

Here are some of our poster-size calendars to help keep you organized as you prepare for your holiday feast.

Keep Calm and Carry On 2015 Poster Wall CalendarToday Is Going to Be a Great Day 2015 Poster CalendarThe New Yorker 2015 Poster Calendar

Meet Illustrator Mike Lowrey, Creator of The Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar

Mike Lowrey

If you are a kid—or you know a kid—you will appreciate the fun, quirky design of Mike Lowrey's Kid's Awesome Activity Calendar. 

Lowrey himself is pretty awesome. He's worked on tons of books for lots of different clients and publishers. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his family, and his work has been seen on everything from greetings cards to children’s books to gallery walls. He is a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta. 

The Kid's Awesome Activity Calendar is extremely awesome too. As its name implies... Each month, The Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar sparks creativity with a full-color scene designed to be embellished with kids’ own artwork and the 400 included custom full-color stickers. Build snowmen in January. Plant a garden in May. Party with some wacky monsters in October. Help a gingerbread man build his house in December. Together children and parents can fill in schedules and mark important events, making the calendar interactive, whole-family fun.

The Kid's Awesome Activity CalendarThe Kid's Awesome Activity CalendarThe Kid's Awesome Activity Chart

We caught up with Mike Lowrey and pried into the mind of this creative wild man!

Oh, Hello, Mike Lowrey! We have some questions for you.

Q. What was your process taking on the design of such a creative a calendar?  

I was totally into this project from the moment I got a call from the awesome Workman folks about working on it.  I had a long discussion with the Art Director about the goals of the calendar (which was basically "just make an awesome calendar!") and when we hung up I just started doing tons of doodles. 

Well, I probably had some coffee first and THEN started doing tons of doodles. 

Then, I went back through a bunch of sketchbooks to see what things I'd drawn over the past few months that I thought were funny or weird or whatever, and started making a big list that was probably titled something like:  "IF I COULD DRAW WHATEVER I WANTED FOR A SUPER RAD CALENDAR, I WOULD DRAW:" and started writing down stuff. 

Stuff like:  animals in party hats, tacos, unicorns, robots, etc.  THEN, I made a list of the months and started writing out what holidays were in those months and then started drawing that stuff, too.  

I drew it all out in pencil, and then scanned them all in and colored them in photoshop.  Obviously along the way I got some great words of encouragement and direction from the team at Workman and we worked together to get it to the final product.

Q. The monthly sticker sheets included in the 2015 calendar are such a cool addition! What funny stickers did you feel like you absolutely HAD to include for fun-loving kids? 

Obviously I had to use the stickers that would go along with the activities for each month, but if my daughter Allister laughed at any of the drawings I did for the random stickers...they were definitely going to be included.  She's a tough, but fair, 7 year old.

Q. What's your favorite month, Mike Lowrey? Why?

I have to go with October.  I love October in general:  It's my birthday month, my anniversary month, it's got Halloween and it starts really getting cold (my favorite season change for sure).  I like drawing monsters being not-so-scary, so drawing them in a beauty salon was perfect for me.

Q. What projects are coming up next for you?

I'm working on some really cool (but still super secret) stuff for Workman, who I also just finished up a second calendar in this series for.  I'm also finishing up a few children's books that will come out in 2015 and my wife and I just started a gallery here in Atlanta with a few friends called Paper Ghost.  Oh!  And I'm wrapping up another dream project of mine:  Illustration and branding for a food truck!