Happy Holidays :)

Hi all-

I'm Lara. I live in Florida in a house I share with my two wonderful girls (ages 10 and 12) and my boyfriend. It's my third year participating in Holiday Wishes. I really love doing this. I've already been able to fulfill a couple wishes this year, and I'm hoping to do a lot more throughout the season.

Anyway, without further ado, onto my personal list for this year:

1. Your art. I am dying to get more original art for my home. Any size would do, from artist trading card size on up.

2. Webkinz codes (and yes, I asked for this last year, too!) If you collect the toys but don't play the game, my kids would love to have your codes. Their kinz family keeps growing, and they are always looking to add more.

3. This is a long shot, as I'm not even sure if it's the right time of year: fresh olives. I'd really love to learn how to cure my own olives. I've been reading, and it does not look all that difficult. Unfortunately, there are no olives where I live! If you have a tree and would be willing to pick some and send them to me (it seems that green ones are less prone to spoilage) I would be extremely grateful.

4. Donate a toy to Toys for Tots. They had a shortfall last year, and I'm afraid that it will be worse this year with the state of the economy.

5. Music! Zip files are best, since I listen to music most on my PC. I listen to all kinds, and I'm always looking for something new.

6. Another long shot: a broken Holga camera. I found a really neat tutorial for mounting a Holga lens on a DSLR, and I've been dying to try it.

7. Stuff for my hair, especially anything made by you. My hair goes halfway down my back, and I get bored with just twisting it into a bun. Any kind of decoration is very welcome and appreciated.

8. Books. I read a ton of fiction, and I'm trying to discipline myself to read more nonfiction these days. Especially interested in reading more from Richard Dawkins, Howard Zinn, Karen Armstrong (really want to read her biography of Paul), and Michael Pollan.

9. Share links to your favorite food blogs. I love to cook and eat, and love to read about food.

10. Share a link to your favorite web series. I'm already addicted to The Guild, and I love Legend of Neil, as well. There is a lot of creative indie work out there, and I'd love to be pointed toward anything I may have missed.

Thank you so much!

Please email me for my address: retro_dame@yahoo.com. Also, if you answer any of my wishes, please link your list as well, so I can reciprocate.
I'd love to put together a mix zip for you :] Are there any types of music you don't like? Let me know!

and here are a couple of my favorite food blogs:
http://vegandad.blogspot.com/
http://luxirare.com/ (she has two sections, one for fashion, and one for food-- the creations she makes are AMAZING!)
I'm very open when it comes to music, anything from hip hop to bluegrass. Thank you, will check out the links!
I am sending you some music.

BTW, i love Webkinz and yes I do play the game. I am 27 but I can admit to playing on the site and taking pics of my Webkinz turtle touring Colorado. My husband bought me my turtle at an airport because he knew how much i used to love Neopets. Webkinz is more fun!I am such a big kid at heart. So cannot help with the code but felt like sharing. =)
So cool. I don't play, but my girls are crazy about it. btw, if you are looking for more kinz for your online family, Walgreens is selling Webkinz with free little kinz right now. :)

Thank you for the music, I am looking forward to it!
I might be able to help you out with a couple of things.

First, for long hair, here's a simple thing I used to do because like you I used to have my hair in a bun all the live long day. Put your hair into a pony tail and then divide it up in section, twirl or twist those around into a coil and then pin with a bobby pin to your head, it looks fancy without any hassle, and when you let it out later (this has to be done with wet hair originally) you have some awesome curls.

I checked bookmooch for this book but they didn't have it, my fav non fiction book is an autobiography by Betty Whit, it's called "My life in television". totally an awesome read, as it Lucille Ball's autobiography.

what_a_crock is a crock pot community I found on here and they have tons of recipes, just be aware because tons are posted every day!

Canadianliving.com is an awesome site for recipes too!

Hope I helped!
Hey. I know you said you're trying to discipline yourself more in the whole fiction/nonfiction thing. Have you read THE GLASS CASTLE by Rebecca Walls or TO THE EDGE AND BACK by Chris Klug? Both are autobiographies, and I'm about half way finished with both. I don't know when I'll be done with either, but I know I'll be done with both before Christmas. Would you like me to send them both to you? Or just one or the other? Both are excellent. My e-mail is poeticgoddss@hotmail.com . Just put "Holiday Wishes" in the title, and in the subject along with your address tell me which of the two books you want or if you want both. I'm really bad about reading trashy fiction lately and I'm really happy to take a break from it and read both of these books.
As for food blogs, I second the What_a_crock community. Also, http://thepauperedchef.com/ has served me well in the past. And http://syllabub.blogspot.com/ (Beautifully written by an acquaintance about her love for food- and how it works into her life as a British-American and English academician. Not updated too often, and definitely not a "cook from this" blog).

I'm all about #8. I can't always get into non-fiction, but I loved The Hot Zone by Richard Preston and Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams. Fast Food Nation was pretty enjoyable, if quite biased. I also came to enjoy ethnographies like The Dobe Ju/'hoansi by Richard B. Lee. And, if you like Stephen Fry, his autobiography Moab is My Washpot was great. 'Fraid I don't have any that I can send you, but http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php could help.
Happy holidays!
Thank you for the links. I adore Stephen Fry, and have been reading his blog and twitter for a couple of months, now. I think I will go ahead and read his autobiography as well.
As for #4...I've got you covered! Every year, we try to ride in the Toys For Tots Motorcycle Ride in Chicago. I buy things all year for this, and I already have a big Santa bag filled with stuff. Everything from stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars and trucks, and board games, to gift cards for older kids(13-18) who are often forgotten. I bet there's at least 25 things in here so far!
Let's see - my favorite food website is www.tastespotting.com - they have TONS of delicious food. :)

I would suggest checking out the long hair community on LJ. I have found a lot of new styles and links there. I use an infinity bun that I learned there (waist length hair myself). Make a wrapped bun that lets the layers wrap tight to the bun, not laying flat to your head. Tuck the ends in and then pull one of the layers overtop of the bun itself to lay (below, above, or to the side -- your preference) against your head. Secure with a hair stick. Here is a link with some good videos: http://www.videojug.com/user/youtube__isaetno/

Best of luck and Happy Holidays!