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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. 

4 Month Countdown To Season 5 of Downton Abbey (in the US, that is)

Stateside, we're pretty envious of UK viewers who get to see Season 5 of Downton Abbey in only a few short days. ITV, the UK equivalent to PBS Masterpiece, begins airing the beloved upstairs/downstairs series about wealth, class, secrets and servitude starting on September 21st!  They've launched this new trailer (a must-watch, though purists may find it contains some spoliers). We're positively alit with anticipation over here in the United States. 

We must calm ourselves and keep our wits about us as we wait for Season 5 to air here on PBS Masterpiece. Here's our plan of action.

First, tea. Lots of tea. It will sooth our nerves but also remind us of the lovely tea services we'll see come January. This month we're drinking from the upstairs collection, though the downstairs collection looks promising as well (and, frankly, a little more down-to-earth)!

Second, games. We play Downton Abbey games and do Downton Abbey puzzles to keep us occupied. We're trying to get our hands on this amazing Downton Abbey dollhouse featured on the PBS Masterpiece Store site! 

Third, gazing through our Downton Abbey Calendars from Page-A-Day®. It's the only way to keep all our chores straight and keep our love alive for all the vibrant characters of Downton Abbey!

 

Downton Abbey Page-A-Day Calendar Downton Abbey Engagement Calendar

Getting Lost with Tae Won Yu

"Being the love of making pictures everyday,” artist Tae Won Yu says about himself. He’s living that maxim through his unique illustrations, design work and photography, like the drawing featured in the Today is Going to Be a Great Day Page-A-Day® calendar.

The great thing about getting lost is that you might end up finding yourself in the process. Getting lost can be self-relevatory, and getting lost in something you love, or with something you love can really create the ultimate joy.  

In “Let’s Get Lost,” Tae features a girl biking through a city in beautiful watercolor. One of the best times to attempt to get lost is when traveling in a new town or city. Rather than unfolding your map at every corner and whenever you feel a bit turned around, wander through the unfamiliar streets and paths and take in the new surroundings without concern for your precise location. By bike or by foot, wandering can be a powerful way to connect with your environment freely with your mind fully focused on the sights, smells and sounds around you, rather than whether you need to make a left or right turn.

Consider Tae's advice and make your day a powerful and conscious one by letting yourself get lost in something you love, like art or writing. An art lover can certainly lose him or herself looking through Tae Won Yu's portolio. From mixed media collages, to digital design, to photography, he’s not afraid of switching up the method he uses for making imagery. Check out more of his bold and unique paper craft creations on Pinterest or browse his blog on Tumblr.

Follow Tae Won Yu's board Paper on Pinterest.

Today is Going to Be a Great Day Page-A-Day® and Wall Calendars:

Celebrate National Wilderness Month with Audubon

Wild (1): A book by Cheryl Strayed, and a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Wild (2): Not domesticated or cultivated. September: The ninth month of the year—and National Wilderness Month!

First, our team here at Page-A-Day® is really excited about the premiere of the movie Wild.

We all read and obsessed over the book, a memoir which tells the story of Cheryl Strayed as she makes her way along the Pacific Crest Trail, leaving behind her troubled past and pushing herself through her darkest emotional hour into a brighter, more empowered future. Strayed wrote about how the power of the wild transformed her.

We think that protecting our nation's wilderness aresas ensures others will have an opportunity for a similar transformational experience. This September 2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and President Obama honored the wilderness movement by dedicating September National Wilderness Month! Wilderness.org has a great press release about the history of the Wilderness Act, if you're interested in learning more.

National Wilderness Month - Page-A-Day™

You already know the Page-A-Day® Team is obsessed with animals: just take a look at our Cat, Dog, and Sloth calendars! We are also committed to animals in the wild, and wilderness preservation. We know how important those protected areas are to our ecosystems, and we partner with the National Audubon Society to share their message, featured alongside beautiful photographs of natural wonders and brilliant birds. 

Audubon's mission, from their site, is: To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. For more than a century, Audubon has built a legacy of conservation success by mobilizing the strength of its network of members, Chapters, Audubon Centers, state offices and dedicated professional staff to connect people with nature and the power to protect it. A powerful combination of science, education and policy expertise combine in efforts ranging from protection and restoration of local habitats to the implementation of policies that safeguard birds, other wildlife and the resources that sustain us all--in the U.S. and Across the Americas.  

Browse our Audubon calendars and fall in love with the wilderness and our wild, natural world this September!

 The Audubon Society celebrates National Wilderness Month

Travel Tuesday: Boundary Waters, Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, USA

When glaciers melt, what type of landscape is left in their stead? The answer lies in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness featured today in the 1000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day® calendar.

This enormous territory stretches across over a million acres from the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota to the Canadian border. In 1926, the government earmarked the land for preservation, and in 1964, it officially became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness offers an unparalleled environment of peacefulness in nature that is difficult to come by in this day and age.

In a Wilderness area as large as the Boundary Waters, it’s easy to sink into the natural landscape and forget about the fast-paced, perhaps not-so-pristine environment you may be seeking to escape.

 National Wilderness Preservation System

So what do the glaciers leave in their wake? Craggy cliffs, canyons, rolling hills, rock formations, and rock-filled and sandy beaches alike. Of course, as the name of this Wilderness area implies, ample waterways beckon canoe enthusiasts. Several thousand lakes and streams flow through the canyons and forests of the Canoe Area Wilderness.

In between your days exploring via canoe, you can enjoy the phenomenal camping the Canoe Wilderness Area has to offer. From remote backcountry campsites, to developed campgrounds in the National Forest area, to privately-owned campgrounds and RV resorts around the area, you’ll have your pick of camping experiences here.

For those who love the solitude that winter offers, or just favor cooler temperatures, wintertime visits to the area offer the potential of dogsledding trips and ice fishing adventures. Particularly for local Minnesotans, Canoe Area Wilderness offers a wonderful way to continue playing outside in spite of the cold.

If you’re traveling from outside of the state, be sure to practice your best Fargo accent with How to Talk Minnesotan, wherein you’ll learn to jive with the locals in vocabulary and intonation. For a briefing on Minnesota culture, listen to the ever-popular radio show, Lake Wobegon, hosted by Garrison Keillor with a medley of musical and comical acts. Then head to the Boundary Waters, where you’ll fit right in.

   

September is National Save a Tiger Month and Save the Koala Month!

A tiger and a koala may seem like a rather unlikely pair to be paling around together, but the two animals actually have something in common. Both are on the endangered species list, and both have awareness campaigns about their endangerment during the month of September. 

Unlikely Friends 2015 Calendars in Mini or Full-Size!

Unlikely Friends Mini Calendar 2014 Unlikely Friendships 2015 Calendar

Around 100 years ago, over 100,000 tigers roamed their habitat in Asia. Now, there are fewer than 3,200 left and conservationists worldwide are doing everything they can to increase tiger populations. Tigers roam through only 7% of the area they once used to inhabit. Why this massive population decline? A number of factors are at play, including depopulation of the animals they prey on, destruction of tiger habitat, and poaching of tigers by those seeking to collect their sought-after pelts and bones.

The Tiger Conservation Initiative is an international group of tiger conservationists, scientists and celebrities who united with the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility to help save the tiger. Thankfully, they are joined by many other organizations with similar goals. Panthera, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, created the Tigers Forever strategy has a goal of increasing tiger populations in major tiger habitats of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand by 50-percent by 2016 by reducing poaching.

Over in Australia, koalas are getting some help from the Australian Koala Foundation, the organization that created Save the Koala Month. The Australian Government declared koalas to be “vulnerable” in 2012, yet the Australian Koala Foundation argues that the label should really be taken up a notch to “critically endangered” for the South East Queensland region. Like tigers, koalas suffer due to the destruction of their habit, as well as from dog attacks, bush fires, and car accidents. Check out their website to see how you can help by adopting a koala, donating or helping to spread awareness! 

For more animal pairs as cute, majestic, and inspiring as the Tiger and Koala, check out our Unlikely Friendship books!

Unlikely FriendshipsUnlikely Loves

Perfect Pairing: Labor Day Holiday and Beer

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It's not too cool for a barbecue,  not too hot for a picnic. You can feel comforable wearing white pants OR break out your best fall boots. Around this time of year, microbreweries and homebrewers often change up their recipes to incorporate all the fall flavors in their blends and brews. In celebration of Labor Day, the end of summer, and the beeginning of fall, here are some great recipes for the grill (courtesy of The Barbecue Bible creator Steven Raichlen) and their perfect beer pairing. So take a break from your work, crack open a cold one, and toast to the hard working laborers in this great country of ours.

Pulled Pork from The Barbecue Bible

Smoked Salsa from The Barbecue Bible

Also, win a big green egg from Barbecue Bible! 

We'll start with Steven Raichlen's recommended Labor Day feast: South Carolina style pulled pork with smoked salsa and chips. (Click through for recipes!) According to  CraftBeer.com, a good Caroline pulled pork deserves a great Carolina porter or smoked beer. Some suggestions to bring out all the sweet, smoky, vinegar flavors in the meat:

  • Beer and Grill PairingHoly City Brewery Pluff Mud Porter

    Pluff mud [plŭff-mŭd], noun, A mixture of dirt and water indigenous to the marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, with a distinct odor that’s endearing to locals, but off-putting to tourists and redcoats.

    Our second flagship beer was an effort to bring the American Porter style to the Charleston market proper, while also making a beer that stays appealing as the mercury rises. We think we’ve succeeded in Pluff Mud Porter. It presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh.

    Pluff Mud makes its way into bourbon barrels roughly once a year. Keep your eyes (and nostrils) peeled.

  • Beer and Grill Pairings - Pulled PorkCaroline Brewery Oatmeal Porter 

    This hearty dark ale with pleasing hints of molasses and chocolate is robust and full bodied. Fresh rolled oats complement the brew by creating a nice silky texture and a creamy, rocky head. Porter became a style of its own during the early 1700’s when it was the favorite drink of the porters in the produce markets of London, England.

    BRONZE MEDAL • 2013 GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL • ROBUST PORTER

Another incredible grill pairing from Steven Raichlen and Barbecue Bible is the most essential, most All-American of all meats cooked on the grill: the hamburger.

 With a big, juicy burger, a Pale Ale or IPA is the best pairing according to Adam Sivits of the Whole Foods Beer Room. He says, "To me, there's nothing much better than a good burger, fries, and a pale ale or an IPA. If there's going to be bacon and a lot of mustard, then maybe something with a little bit more of a malt backbone, like an American brown or a Scottish or Scotch ale..." For more on Adam Sivits and other delicious-sounding hamburger-and-beer pairings, browse through this article on Serious Eats.  

Two fantastic Pale Ales featured in A Year of Good Beer 2015 Page-A-Day® Calendar are:

  • Hoopla Pale Ale from Boulder Beer Company

    Citrus, pear, and apricot hop aromas mingle wiht a faint, toasty malt, then get blanketed by a firm, mouth-filling bitterness.
     
  • Schlafly Pale Ale from The Saint Louis Brewery

    The bready, lightly caramel malt complements the hint of fruitiness contributed by the London Ale yeast, making it satisfying and authentic; the perfect flagship beer for Schlafly.

Leave a comment and let us know what you're grilling up today, and what beers you like to say that bittersweet goodbye to summer.

A Year of Good Beer from Page-A-Day® Calendar About A Year of Good Beer! 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar: Cheers to a year of fantastic recommendations and guaranteed good drinking. Pour Sapporo’s Reserve Pilsner, boasting a harmonious marriage of bold malted barley and quality hops. A coffee porter done right: Kona’s Pipeline, with a distinct but subtle flavor of Kona’s famous coffee beans. Plus delicious pairings, trivia, quotes, lore, and more—including a summer refresher to crack open after a tough day of yard work: Fancy Lawnmower, of course!

Today is Going to Be a Great Day Artist Focus: John & Wendy

John & Wendy Today is Going to Be a Great Day CalendarWelcome to the universe of John & Wendy, where children, animals and regular old letters of the alphabet come in vibrant clever cartoons. These illustrators extraordinaire are the pens and pencils behind the little Parisian girl featured in the Today is Going to Be a Good Day Page-A-Day® calendar. Oh la la indeed! She has the sass and style of Eloise, and the distinctive look of John & Wendy’s drawings!

Cartoons and illustrations like these fill the pages of children’s books. Their versatile artwork has breathed brightly colored life into a whole range of books. They animated the Periwinkle Smith series in which a girl with periwinkle-colored hair goes on fun adventures. For a much younger audience, they’ve created captivating cartoons of adorable animals in board books like Mommy Loves Me.

Tweens and teens with unrequited crushes can surely commiserate with the sentiment that “Love Stinks” when they gaze upon John & Wendy’s drawing of Katie Kazoo Switcheroo leaning against a mountain of candy hearts with her arms crossed over her chest. They’ve illustrated every cover and all the inside drawings for all 46 of the Katie Kazoo Switcheroo series.

John & Wendy have also lent their artistic hands to the creation of fanciful puzzles, diaries, playing cards and stationery so kids can delight in their drawings during writing as well as reading.

When not illustrating for others, John & Wendy clearly love their pets—cats to be specific, which should come as no surprise since their website features a green-eyed black kitty in its upper left hand corner. In a section on their website called “pet projects,” cats implore the viewer to make eye contact with them and engage, while little birds sing and talk with one another. Want to see two giraffes kiss? They’ve drawn that, too.

John & Wendy’s children’s illustration work truly knows no bounds: they also have animation and website and blog design skills in their repertoire and it looks like photography will be an available service soon, too.

Oh la la, color us impressed--go check this dynamic duo out on Facebook!

Today is Going to Be a Great Day Page-A-Day® and Wall Calendars:

Are dolphins really very smart? A joke and a debate.

Jokelopedia

As the joke in today’s 308 Really Bad Jokes and 57 Hilarious Puns Page-A-Day® calendar suggests, dolphins are smart. Really smart.

Or is the joke on you? 

Note: With the rise in awareness of animal rights and treatment at ocean wildlife enclosures like Sea World, we want to ensure that we at Page-A-Day® deeply respect sea life... even though we're about to bring dolphins' undisputed intelligence into question.

Some people say that dolphins are almost as smart as humans. Others say they're not very bright at all. Let’s consider the facts, weigh the pros and cons.

In Defense of Dolphin Intelligence

Emory University Professor Lori Marino believes that the brains of dolphins are very similar to human brains based on MRI scans she performed. They have an intricate neocortex that is more complex than our own, and their brains have the built-in capacity for self-awareness and “complex emotions.” Many animals can feel emotions, but dolphins, along with chimps, are on a higher plane of feeling, according to Marino. 

Studies have demonstrated that their large and intricate brains allow each dolphin to have its own unique personality, to be self-aware and to consider the future. They spread cultural traditions and even are said to be able to learn a basic symbol-based language.

It's widely accepted in our society that dolphins are brilliant. In the “Treehouse of Horror XI” Halloween episode of The Simpsons, an army of dolphins is even intelligent enough to wage war against the town of Springfield. This is just one of many cultural references to the fact that dolphins are indeed smart. Remember Flipper?

"No one you see is smarter than he!"

Or do we have it all wrong? Are Dolphins actually dumb?

In 2013, scientists began to dethrone dolphins from their reputations of brilliance. Psychologist Justin Gregg came out with the book, Are Dolphins Really Smart? The Mammal Behind the Myth, and it’s been a downward spiral from there. The whistling thought to be language is actually just, well, whistling. He also argues that there’s no real evidence that dolphins experience complex emotions.

The main argument he holds against dolphin intelligence is that basing projections of their intelligence off of their brain structure isn’t sound science, and the studies that have been done are inconclusive. Therefore, dolphins might not be so smart after all.

So where do you stand on the dolphin intelligence debate? Leave a comment and let us know! 

308 Really Bad Jokes and 57 Puns

About 308 Really Bad Jokes + 57 Hilarious Puns 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar

What did the chickpea say when she had a stomachache? I falafel.

Celebrating 35 years of guffaws, groans, and belly laughs! Now boasting a brand-new name,308 Really Bad Jokes + 57 Hilarious Puns delivers a year of jokes that are so bad, they’re hilarious. Packed with lawyer jokes, knock-knocks, doctor jokes, guy-walks-into-a-bar jokes, and more, it’s family-friendly fun. How many police officers does it take to change a lightbulb? None. It always turns itself in.

Amazing Mind Bender: Which Kangaroos Match Perfectly?

Mensa Brain Puzzles: Which Kangaroos Match Perfectly

The year is 1770. Sir Joseph Banks, an English naturalist, is wandering around the Endeavour River observing the flora and fauna of the Great Outback with Lieutenant James Cook. He spots one of those marsupials he’s seen around: long limbs, huge long rear feet, a tail like a dinosaur and a small curious head. It jumps around with its arms at its chest. The mothers carry their babies in pockets over their stomachs.

What’s that?” Banks asks a nearby Aboriginal fellow.

“Kanguru,” he replies.

In his language of Guugu Yimithirr, “kanguru” means “I don’t understand you.” Banks and Cook do not know this. They rub their chins pensively.

“Kanguru, eh?” Banks replies as he jots down the spelling phonetically in the little diary he keeps in his pant pocket under the notes for July 12. A little switcheroo of the spelling, and “kangaroo” henceforth became the name for that awkward-limbed, furry marsupial.

This was the story of how kangaroos earned their names until the 1970s. It was a pretty entertaining etymology—and a great story—until that point. That’s when linguist John B. Haviland came along and realized that the "kanguru” Banks had heard the Aboriginal man say was actually the word “gangurru,” which is, indeed, their official term for the animal, not “I don’t understand.” 

Whether you refer to them as gangurru or kangaroo, you can also call them by their nickname, simply “roo.” Endearingly, baby kangaroos, which are too cute for words, particularly when tucked into their mother’s pouches, are called joeys.

In today’s Amazing Mind Benders Page-A-Day® calendar, you must determine which of these eight kangaroo drawings are identical. To help you out, we’ll share a couple of facts about kangaroo anatomy with you.

Of course, we all know that female kangaroos have pouches in which they keep their babies, but did you know they are basically baby-making machines? The females actually have three vaginas and two uteruses, while some males have two-pronged penises. This maximizes the odds that a male kangaroo’s sperm will fertilize one of the female kangaroo’s eggs, and also enables a female kangaroo to literally always be pregnant! Okay, well perhaps that won’t help you solve this mind bender, but it is a super fun fact to consider while you do.

If you'd like the solution to this Mind Bender, email team@pageaday.com!

Amazing Mind BendersMore about Amazing Mind Benders:

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.

Today is National Dog Day! Celebrate with Page-A-Day®

Woof! Arf! Bow Wow! However you say it, National Dog Day is a pretty big deal around here. Dogs are our best friends, our confidants, our exercise buddies. Their smarts, loyalty, playful spirit, and affectionate nature are heartwarming and rewarding. Whether you're taking a morning walk, roughhousing in the back yard, or snuggling up for some quality time on the couch, a puppy pal or fuzzy friend can be your ideal companion. Today we're celebrating Natinal Dog Day with our favorite quotes about dogs (thank you, Pinterest!) and our favorite dog books.   

Also, check out the Facebook fan page for National Dog Day! They're doing some exciting things, and have a mission to help all dogs live an "abuse-free life." Below is their fun Facebook post celebrating the big day.

 

A Gallery of Our Favorite Quotes for Dog Lovers (thanks, Pinterest!)

Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®Celebrate National Dog Day with Page-A-Day®

 

Our Favorite Dog Books!

My Dog's the World's Best DogMy Dog's The World's Best Dog: After publishing one of the great cat books of all time--All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat, which propelled both author and cat, Binky, to stardom--Suzy Becker makes a startling confession--she's a dog lover, too. And not just an ordinary dog lover, but a confirmed my-dog's-the-world's-best-dog dog person. My Dog's The World's Best Dog is a valentine to dogs and dog people everywhere, full of whimsy and affection. Page after page captures a knowing moment in the relationship between people and dogs. Wylie, subject of the book, is Every Dog, and why is she the world's best dog? Count the ways: "There's not a mean bone in her body." "She knows when I'm coming-and gives the best greetings, even if I've only been gone for 45 seconds." "My dog loves my cat-which is not to say that the reverse is true. But that doesn't seem to bother her much. Come to think of it, nothing does." 

Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me: Coming in September (you can preorder now on Amazon or Indiebound almost any other retail site!)

Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught MePlayful spaniels completely covered with snow—“There’s no such thing as ‘bad’ weather.” Two happy dogs sleeping, one on top of the other— “Sometimes you need a pillow. Sometimes you are the pillow." The bulldog who’s headfirst in her bowl—“Every meal is THE BEST MEAL EVER.”

Cynthia L. Copeland has a gift for discovering those sorts of simple, timeless lessons. She did it when her children were younger with Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me. Now she distills all-new wisdom from her lifelong love of dogs. Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me is tender, funny, warm, and utterly inspiring. 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?

Dog Gallery Calendar Page-A-Day365 Puppies a Year Page-A-Day Calendar

Travel Tuesday: San Blas Islands, Comarca Kuna Yala, Panama

San Blas Islands, Panama - Travel Tuesday - 1000 Places to See Before You Die

The indiginous people of Panama are called the Kuna. They are an ancient tribe, and in modern times they live in several reservations on San Blas Islands in the Caribbean. Ancestors of the modern Kuna migrated to the islands centuries before they were discovered during the Spanish Invasion of Central America and Uruba. Their traditional society of trading, of rugged dugout canoes sliding over still water, and of living off the land sounds like a modern idealist's dream.

The Kuna's economy is strongly merchantile; they make and sell traditional textiles, called molas, with bold and distinctive patterns. One of the Kuna market vendors is pictured here, in our 1000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day® calendar (photos below from Flickr, credit Ben Kucinski.

San Blas Islands - Ben Kucinski - 1000 Places to See Before You DieSan Blas - Ben Kucinski - 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Long ago, the Kuna—certainly enjoying the beautiful weather and mild climate of the Caribbean Island—wore few clothes. Instead of shirts or other garments, they decorated their bodies with bold, colorful designs. Missionaries brought clothing along with gospel, and taught them to make their own. The Kuna copied these designs they used to paint on their bodies on molas, rectangles of fabric, which they wore as clothing.

If you visit, it's likely you will also be tempted to wear very few clothes. Definitely leave your suit at home, because there will be no meetings, no power lunches, and no one pinging you with moved up deadlines and urgent "fires" that need your immediate attention. The only fire you'll be seeing is a bonfire on the beach. Hopefully you'll drink something delicius out of a coconut, and you'll definitely feel like a new person after bathing in the teal waters of the San Blas archipelago (photos below from Flickr, credit Ana Freitas).

San Blas - Ana Freitas - 1000 Places to See Before You DieSan Blas - Ana Freitas - 1000 Places to See Before You Die 

Read on for more on 1000 Places to See Before You Die book and calendar line from Workman Publishing and Page-A-Day. 

   

Meet Oscar: This Week’s Page-A-Day® Cat Photo Contest Winner

Oscar - This week's Page-A-Day Cat Photo Contest WinnerOscar came to us from a friend who found him on her farm. When she brought him to me he was severly malnurioused, infested with fleas and had worms from drinking stayl water. After nursing him back to health with the help of our vet, oscar settled right in with our other cats. We had to name him so my 4 year old granddaughter wanted to name him "Hotdog" after her favorite food. I asked her," How about Oscar?". She agreed and that's how he got his name. About November Oscar was outside enjoying the fresh air and sun with his best kitty friend Tabby, whom we rescued from a crack house after it was raided, someone came into my yard or, it could be since Oscar is or was so friendly he could of went to them, someone kicked him so hard they broke his knee cap on his right leg. We had no choice but to put him down or amputate the leg. Well I am happy to say Oscar has adapted and is running with his best friend Tabby. 

Congratulations, Oscar! You're this week's Page-A-Day® Cat Photo Contest winner.

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?

Bad Cat Page-A-Day Calendar

Today is a New Day

Women Who Do Too Much

Obviously, every day is a new day, but what if you woke up tomorrow and really acted like you had just entered into 12 glorious hours of fresh possibility? 12 hours of opportunity. 12 hours of brand new experiences. That’s the suggestion of the day anyway in the Women Who Do Too Much Page-A-Day® Calendar.

It’s so easy to feel like days blend together when our lives are filled with repeating schedules and routines. Sometimes, a whole week might seem a blur. Days bleed into one another. Yesterday might feel like today, which might also resemble tomorrow.

All of this might be particularly poignant for a woman who’s got a busy job to hold down, kids to take care of and housework to attend to. Not to mention the fact that you might want to squeeze in some exercise and hobbies, too. That all adds up to having very little time for yourself, and no time at all to take a breather.

It’s that kind of hectic schedule that can cause you to put your head down to just get through each day. That mentality makes it hard to create positive changes, to keep your senses on the lookout for new pleasures and to be open to new experiences. How could you possibly add one more thing to your schedule?

Well, might we suggest that tomorrow, you do just that. Tomorrow is a new day, and perhaps you should treat it as such, instead of viewing it the same way you viewed yesterday, or the day before that. What will you do differently tomorrow? Here are some ideas.

  • Take A New Route: Whether you drive, bike or walk to work or to run errands, try taking a slightly different route on the way there or on the way home. Take in the new surroundings with interest.
  • Try A New Type of Food: It’s very easy to get in the habit of eating the same thing day in, day out. Whether you eat the same cereal every morning, bring the same lunch every day or pop into the same spot for takeout, tomorrow, seek out new ingredients or venture to a new café and order something you’ve never tried.
  • Do Nothing: Wait, nothing? Yes, that’s what we said. Since you’re usually probably used to doing lots of things all the time, how about doing nothing for a change? Well, we don’t mean nothing at all. We’re alluding to meditation: the opportunity to sit down, shut your eyes, and steady your mind for as long as you have time for. If you feel like you need a little guidance, you can sign up for a class, or check out the book, Will Yoga & Meditation Really Change My Life?, in which yoga and meditation instructors share their thoughts on how these practices make a difference.

Have a great new day!

About For Women Who Do Too Much Page-A-Day® Calendar:

Inspirational Calendar 2015 - For Women Who Do Too MuchSlow down, take stock, remember what truly matters in life. For Women Who Do Too Muchis the perennial bestseller that, like a good friend, is always ready with a supportive word, valuable nugget of advice, or refreshing dose of humor. Finding the sacred in every day. Learning to unlearn bad habits (like working too much). And uplifting quotes: “Courage: fear that has said its prayers” (Dorothy Bernard). Daily meditations to help women break the cycle of doing too much, based on the million-copy bestselling book.

Travieso means “mischievous” -  Today’s Word from 365 Spanish Words A Year Calendar

365 Spanish Words a Day - Page A Day CalendarThis Spanish word of the day in the 365 Spanish Words A Year Page-A-Day® calendar won’t easily be forgotten with a little background, some context and a creative association to remember it by.

Listen now to the pronunciation of the Spanish word travieso.

Travieso means “mischievous” in Spanish and it comes from the Latin word “transversus,” for lying across, from side to side. In turn, “transversus” comes from “trans” for across or beyond, and “vertere” for turn or change.

How do you think the combination of the Latin words for “lying to the side of” and “change” came to mean mischievous? Perhaps it implies that those who are behaving badly turn outside the norm and exist on the periphery of average good individuals. Or maybe it means that the mischievous like to turn or bend the law.

The English word mischievous comes from the French méchef, which in turn derives from “mes” for badly and “chever” for occur or culminate. We could go on from there, explaining the origins of these roots, which, no doubt, lie in Latin... but that might put you to sleep.

How about using travieso in a sentence? Here are a few examples of memorable sentences to practice with your Spanish-speaking friends. We apologize in advance for any grammatical errors!

El perro travieso comió el gato para la cena.

The mischievous dog ate the cat for dinner.

Niños traviesos no recibe el postre.

Mischievous children don’t get dessert.

Hombres traviesos tiene grandes bigotes.

Mischievous men have big mustaches.

Terrier Travieso  

“The Mischievous Dog” is a story from Aesop’s Fables, wherein the owner of a dog that bites people’s legs attaches a bell to its neck to warn others. The dog thinks its owner has given it the bell to honor it so it shows it off until another dog clarifies that the bell is a dishonor, not a reward. The moral of the story? “Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.” (A good lesson for some of our modern-day celebrities!)

Let’s just pretend that dog was a little feisty black terrier. In that case, in Spanish, the story would be about the “terrier travieso!” 

365 Spanish Words A YearAbout our 365 Spanish Words-A-Year Calendar:

Improve your español throughout the year.365 Spanish Words-A-Year is the essential calendar for students of Spanish or anyone hoping to learn helpful vocabulary and phrases. Each day’s entry is used in a sample sentence and includes a definition and pronunciation guide.

Because the Night Belongs to Cat Lovers: Patti Smith and Rock n’ Roll Cat Lovers

There’s a bit of a stereotype out there about cat lovers. We often think of them as being female—why else would the phrase “cat lady” exist? The pigeonholed cat lady is often assumed to be, perhaps, a bit shy, a tad bookish, and maybe a little on the eccentric side. Certainly, no one would accuse the average cat lady of being wild and bold.

Given these stereotypes, it may come as somewhat of a surprise that Patti Smith, legendary rocker, is a huge fan of felines. That’s right, the Patti Smith. The amazing woman who will go down in history as the “godmother of punk.” Co-author (with Bruce Springsteen) of the famous song, “Because of the Night.” Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Vivacious performer who once fell fifteen feet from a stage during a concert because she was dancing so passionately—and has the broken bones to prove it.

Patti is considered to be such a notorious cat lover, that a note about her passion for cats appears in today’s 365 Cats Page-A-Day® calendar. While the blue-eyed beauty named Hannibal that is pictured here does not belong to Patti, it might very well resemble one of the singer’s own. She is said to have owned many different varieties of cats, and at least one that is jet black.

When not rocking out, Patti might be found playing with or singing to her beloved cats. The fact that she’s an animal lover may not be much of a surprise considering her debut 1975 album was entitled, "Horses." (Note: if you've never listened to "Horses," you need to read this article from NPR posthaste.) 

The other facets of Patti’s life may seem more typical of your average cat lover. Her song lyrics are known for being very poetic, and she writes poetry and dabbles in the fine arts and photography, too. In 2010, she even published a memoir, Just Kids, that won the National Book Award in the non-fiction category.

Patti’s love for cats became well-known in Patti Smith: Dream of Life, a 2008 documentary about her. In one scene, Patti is shown sitting by a window, singing sweetly to one of her kitties as she pets it. Needless to say, this would melt any cat lover’s heart, and be a rather striking sight to behold for Patti Smith fans, too.

With a seemingly endless fount of inspiration and an undying drive, Patti continues to make music and write. Most recently, she released the album, Banga, in 2012. Currently, she’s at work on a crime novel.

Several other cats in this world are lucky enough to be loved by famous singers, who no doubt serenade their pets just like Patti does. Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are both famous cat lovers, and Ke$ha is even a Humane Society global ambassador for pets.

Pictured here is Kitty Purry with Katy Perry (from Kitty Purry's Wikia page), and Taylor Swift with her kitten (from E! Online). Swift said in an interview about her new "1989" album, "All I think about are metaphors and cats." You're not alone, Taylor.

Katy Perry and Kitty Purry  Taylor Swift and her cat

 

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

Don't miss the good, the bad, the precious, the mischievous, and so many more in our Page-A-Day® cat calendars!

Bad Cat Page-A-Day Calendar

Today is Going to Be a Great Day Artist Focus: Stephanie Baxter

Let's Have Fun Today - Today is Going to Be a Great Day - Stephanie BaxterWondering what to do today? In today’s Today is Going to Be a Great Day Page-A-Day® calendar, Stephanie Baxter—aka Steph—suggests you have fun. Of course, that’s a subjective term. Fun to you might be playing outside, cooking up a storm in the kitchen or nestling up with a good read. To Steph, fun is drawing. Illustrating and hand-lettering, to be exact. She considers herself a “serial doodler.” A professional doodler, actually, whose illustrations and hand-lettering have breathed whimsy into greeting cards, posters, books and more.

Steph bases her studio for her business “The Happy Pencil” at her home in West Yorkshire, England. There, she makes magic from pen, paper and ink. Beyond her product line, she has exhibited her artwork in London and Los Angeles.

Many of her pieces resemble gorgeous chalkboard signs, or hand-stitched truisms. With a palette of pastels, a liberal use of curlicues and a pervasive presence of whimsy, Steph’s work is easy on the eyes and fun to browse through. In every phrase she captures in a card or poster, each word takes on its own character. The words flow between and engage with one another, while flourishes and doodles break up the verbiage—its like a party in a sentence!

One of our favorite creations from Steph is her line of hilarious anti-affirmation posters. “If at first you don’t succeed maybe just take a nap,” one declares. “When life gives you lemons … WTF who likes lemons?” asks another.

In another series, Steph unleashes her artisan alphabet on food. Lemons, oranges and bananas literally become vessels for her signature handcrafted lettering describing the fruit and the nutritional content within.

A surefire way to have fun today is to play with your food! Steph has a whole collection of works that do just that. She embellishes citrus, bananas and other fruits with handwritten labels, characteristics and nutritional facts (like “high in fiber”) to create one-of-a-kind edible works of art. 

The fanciful style and colors Steph uses also lend themselves perfectly to children’s illustration. She has created a unique drawing for each letter in the alphabet. In Steph’s world, A stands for acorn and Q stands for Queen Bee.

Steph’s work is available on Etsy, and you can also check her out on Facebook or Twitter. We hope today is a good day, and it will be if, in Steph’s words “Happy Days are Here to Stay!” 

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