Do You Remember….

Written by Lillian Tram on March 30th, 2014

Gorgeous Creatures Dolls from Mattel?

 

 

From left:  Princess Pig, Ms. Heavenly Hippo, Cow Belle, and Ms. Giddee Yup Dolls

 

Gorgeous Creatures Dolls made their debut in the Mattel toy line-up of 1979 and were marketed through 1980. Four different animal dolls were issued with colorful and humorous names, including a pig, a cow, a horse and a hippo. All were small waisted and well endowed but with curvier hips and legs than Barbie. Uniquely different, these dolls measured 7 1/2 inches tall, four inches shorter than most fashion dolls.

 

Mattel never marketed any additional clothes or accessories for these Gorgeous Creatures Dolls. The initial purchase, however, included matching hats and gloves and each southern belle had a picture of her “boyfriend.” Also, these Mattel dolls had a theme and a brightly colored box.

 

I had the whole set… can you guess which doll was played with most?

 

 

The commercial that featured these fashion savvy and attractive animals features a female narrator with a thick southern accent… much like that of Rue McClanahan’s sultry character, Blanche Devereaux, on the Golden Girls. In this advertisement, even mom was playing with one of these beauties.  I still have all four dolls but only two still have their original box… check these two out. (And that’s my Skipper Fashion Doll Storage Case in the background too!)

 

 

Here is a closer look at my Princess Pig Doll and her sexy boa, clothes, tights and ‘diamond’ earrings.

 

Even though these dolls are very unique and unusual (none similar have been produced to my knowledge). these Gorgeous Creatures Dolls from Matte; do not hold much monetary value. Those still in boxes and never played with are valued at approximately $14-15.00 and the more played with dolls will only bring about $4-5.00. However, to those of us who love these vintage toys from our past, they are truly priceless. (Kudos to mom for making me take good care of my toys!)

Do you have any toys left from your childhood?

 

Bonus Points if they are pig-related (Wink!)

Celebrate National Piggy Manicures Day with Me!

Written by Lillian Tram on March 25th, 2014

March 26th is National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! 


As any respectable pig lover would do, I am making yet another day all about pigs and what better idea than to celebrate with a wonderful manicure. So, if you needed an excuse to slip off to the salon for a well-deserved beauty treatment, you’re welcome! This will be the perfect Spring Pig-Me-Up – yes, I totally just said that! I couldn’t help myself!


What better way to celebrate the onset of Spring than with a massage and manicure?




What better manicure than one that combines pink polka-dots and those lovable piggys? Just think of all the compliments you will receive! This manicure is perfect whether your nails are short or long!


 



Here is another pig-tastic manicure in pink and piggy faces! If you were born in the Year of the Pig, this is a great way to celebrate the little porker that represents your birth date.



Similar to the other piggy manicures with polka-dots and sweet pig faces, but this color really pops! This is a really cool twist to the ho-hum traditional french manicure.




If you would like your manicure to tell a story, this is a wonderful nail art idea using the old tale of the three pigs and the big, bad wolf. This would be a great choice for teachers, child care providers and mothers of small children. Kids ares so easily amused and I bet they would love this design.  There are some other cute designs for educators here.



Aren’t ideas that you could never think of great? I would have never thought of little black pigs and blue with polka-dots but this looks like so much fun! This is definitely a unique idea that I would love to try sometime.



This is a really cute idea celebrating a pigs main features, adorable faces complete with snouts and curly-cue tails, with what pigs say and do: roll in mud and say OINK! Really cute idea from Peace, Love and Polish!



While I could never consider pigs as evil, here is a great piggy manicure in green which features the evil pig on Angry Birds. What I do love is this bright green color and anything-but-dull french manicure. There is a cool tutorial on how to paint this manicure here.

 



If you love to play Angry Birds but cannot decide on a favorite character, here is the perfect manicure for you. Think of the comments and compliments you will receive when you are sporting this cool manicure!



Because Spring is the time when animals are supposed to become ‘twitterpated’, this seems like the perfect nail art for the month of March. This manicure also incorporates some new colors and shapes – red, black and hearts! Oh my!



This manicure would be like wearing little masterpieces on your fingernails. The heart is so adorable, perfect for showing off some pig love! Choose this adorable design to replace those boring Easter Nail Art designs – because seriously – pigs are so much more fun than ho-hum rabbits!



Seriously? This pigs and glitter combination makes me want to rush out right now and get my own Piggy Manicure! How perfect for Spring! Is anyone headed to Prom this month? Oh, I would be so tempted to do something original such as this if I were attending prom.



Because everyone loves Miss Piggy, this manicure celebrates Pig Power. This list would not be complete without homage to our favorite frog-loving gal. The stars add a really nice touch and the little glove-covered fist captures Miss Piggy’s spunky personality so well.

Which manicure do you like the best?

Are you going to celebrate my National Piggy Manicures Day? 


National Chip and Dip Day plus Recipe!

Written by Lillian Tram on March 23rd, 2014

Today is Sunday, March 23rd – Happy Chip and Dip Day! 



Celebrate this All American Snack today!


Do you know why chips and dip became a popular snack in America? During the Great Depression, many people who entertained frequently had to give up the luxury of maids and cooks. Because of its simplicity and easy preparation, this became the go-to for party snacking among middle class families.


Whoever coined this holiday loves food as much as I do. The best way to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day  is with something related to pigs, right? I’m thinking bacon!  And, I have the perfect recipe in mind! It’s a piggy-licious  dip recipe to serve with your favorite chips – or better yet, make some tasty homemade chips instead! And of course we will call it…


Pig and Dip Recipe



For the Pig aka Homemade Chips: 

2 large russet potatoes, cleaned – sliced into rounds, skin on

16 ounces (4 cups) shredded Colby, cheddar or your favorite cheese blend

12 slices of bacon, cooked – chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onions, optional

Nonstick cooking spray

Salt, optional


Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.

Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil then spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Lay the dry potato rounds on the foil and spray them with cooking spray also.

Sprinkle each round with cheese and bacon pieces.

Bake eight to ten minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven to sprinkle with parsley and salt.

Transfer the cheesy chips to a cooling rack and allow to cool for five to seven minutes.

Serve with tasty dip, recipe below.

For the Dip:

2 Tablespoons of Ranch Dressing

6 Generous Tablespoons of sour cream

1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

 Combine all of these ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until time National Chip and Dip Day …or anytime you are craving the flavor of Pig and Dip! This appetizer recipe easily serves a family of four quite nicely.



Life is hectic. If you don’t have time to make your own homemade chips, grab a bag or two from the local supermarket or gas station to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day. There are so many delicious choices to eat with this tasty dip recipe!


What is your favorite brand and flavor?




2014 Feng Shui Tips for the Pig

Written by Lillian Tram on March 22nd, 2014

In Chinese Astrology, each year is represented by an animal and 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse. For each of these representative animal signs, there are certain tips that should be considered for that year. I was born under the sign of – you guessed it – the Pig.

 

 

If you are born in the year of the Pig, there are certain Feng Shui tips available to improve your luck in 2014. In order to completely benefit from the following Feng Shui tips below, make sure your Chinese zodiac sign is the Pig and also see which birth feng shui element is representative for you. Read below as the Feng Shui can help you improve both energy and luck in 2014.

 

Overall: For people born under the Pig sign, 2014 is a good year. Auspicious energy and lots of good luck await you in this year, as long as you learn how to take advantage of all the opportunities that might come up your way. You need to take care of your energy, though, and do not overwork yourself. Use Feng Shui cures when needed to neutralize any possible negative energy and turn it into a positive force.

 

 

Wealth and Career: in 2014, there will be plenty of opportunities available for you and if you take some chances, you will gain more wealth and progress in your career. If needed, you should use the wealth and career progress feng shui cures. This means you should select the Feng Shui cures you feel you need and always trust your intuition.

 

Love: 2014 comes with good opportunities in the areas of love and relationships. You will be able to attract and keep an important love relationship. In order to grant your success in the Love area, you should choose the appropriate Feng Shui cures that will help you take care of the Southeast area.

 

Health: This year, you will need to take some time off to refresh yourself. If you do not, you risk exhaustion, losing energy which might lead to missing some good opportunities. Choose the most appropriate Feng Shui health cures for your situation and be careful about the Feng Shui health Trinity at your own home. You also need to make more space for your innermost self. Create your own altar and start a routine meditation practice.

 

Personal Feng Shui: In 2014, focus on strengthening your energy. If you apply proper attention to Feng Shui, you can improve your energy with a healthy environment and also by using certain crystals. In order to strengthen your energy this year, amethyst, aquamarine, black tourmaline and Celestite can help you. Use them as your personal amulets or choose jewelry that contains these desired crystals.

 

 

For the people born under the Pig sign, 2014 is a promising year. It will also be a challenging one in regards to your energy. You will fully benefit from all the opportunities at hand if you take care of your energy instead of exhausting yourself.

 

If you would like to know more about the Chinese Zodiac and the various Feng Shui cures available, click here. Many people live by these beliefs and have found that there are many truths to the Zodiac profiles.

 

What animal are you represented by?   Do you believe in the Chinese Zodiac truths?

 

 

Miss Piggy’s Wedding and Beauty Tips

Written by Lillian Tram on March 21st, 2014

Well, not really tips… Miss Piggy has some pretty unique ideas regarding beauty treatments so we aren’t quite sure how she is prepping for the big day. She has been quoted many times regarding her beauty regimen and her answers are always so colorful.

 

 

Take these beauty quotes for example…



“Often the only view we have of ourselves is from a mirror or photograph. Due to defection, refaction, conflection and infliction, mirrors always make you look larger in the wrong places. (An important scientist at a big university in a famous place discovered this.) And cameras do lie, because of all kinds of strange optical things and complicated gizmos that break and give you the wrong shortstop or spoil the focus-pocus, and little hairs that get stuck inside and goo on the film.”

 

 

 

 

“Having a dull hairstyle is like putting an olive on top of a chocolate sundae. It makes your whole appearance unappetizing.”

 

 

“It’s a good idea to apply an all-over facial pack once or twice a month, but I never, never use mud. (Frankly, it brings up unpleasant memories.) I recommend my own special facial mousse, a mixture of mocha cooking chocolate, icing sugar, eggs and cream (adjust the proportions to your own taste). The mousse should be beaten with a wooden spatula as if you were frosting a cake. If there’s a little bit left over, it is quite all right to taste a teensy bit.”

 

 

Did she accidentally confuse her facial mask with a favorite dessert recipe?


 

 

 

“For the glamorous look, choose plain-looking dining companions.”

 

 

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may become necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”

 

 

Gosh, I love her spunk.

 

 

Actually, everyone loves Miss Piggy and you know she’d be a superb gal to hang out with. A Girl’s Night would be much more fun, wouldn’t it? Imagine that spunk after throwing back a couple of cosmos. Hmm, that reminds me – Will she be having a hen party before she gets into that amazing Wedding Dress designed by Vivienne Westwood? That could be interesting. have you seen it? It’s as stunning as she is!

 

 

She seems to be following her own advice regarding fashion…

 

 

 

 

“Never let your frog outdress you.”

 

 

When asked about this stunning wedding dress and the designer, Miss Piggy said, ” ‘Vivienne Westwood is fabulous – just like moi, When I asked her to design this wedding dress for moi’s new movie, Muppets Most Wanted, she was thrilled and I was thrilled. The only one a bit ‘iffy’ about it was the Frog.”

 

 

Kermit the Frog has been ‘a bit iffy’ about a lot of things though ..including his romance and commitment with this French speaking barnyard beauty. If he doesn’t end up getting cold feet, she and Kermy are to tie the knot on screen in the upcoming Muppets m0vie called ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ but it’s anyone’s guess if they will make it through the nuptials.

 

 

 

 

Rumor has it this takes place at the Tower of London – romantic, yes? The gal’s been waiting for her little green frog prince a long time so fingers are crossed that this one works out well for the unlikely couple. Some Muppet fans were confused about this possible wedding, believing that Kermy and Miss Piggy had already gotten married in the 1984 movie ‘Muppets Take Manhattan’ but Kermit has pointed out that was just a movie they were acting in.

 

 

We can literally count down the hours as the ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ hits theaters on March 21st. The movie will feature all of your favorite Muppet characters as well as offerings from Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Tom Hiddleston, and Ricky Gervais, to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 Are you heading to the theater this week to see Muppets Most Wanted?

Which Muppet is your favorite character and why? Let’s chat!


Pigs and Pinot 2014

Written by Lillian Tram on March 15th, 2014

California or Bust for the Ninth Annual Pigs and Pinot Celebration




Pigs and Pinot will be celebrated this year for the ninth time, taking place on March 21-22, 2014, at Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma County in Northern California. During this Pigs and Pinot weekend celebration, Chef Palmer will host a series of intimate dining and educational events. As part of the celebration, some of the Master Sommeliers and other international celebrity chefs will reveal some of the greatest Pinot Noirs in the world, with perfect pork pairings.


In order to attend the 2014 Celebration of Pigs and Pinot, attendees must buy tickets which became available for purchase on Thursday, January 16th. The tickets and packages available for this pig-tastic event are limited and net proceeds accumulated from the celebration will benefit ‘Share Our Strength Charities and Local Scholarships‘.


At this annual event, the following Chefs will participate: Amanda Freitag, Frank Crispo, Bryan Voltaggio and Philippe Rispoli. For the Gala Dinner, the following Winemakers will attend: Michael Browne – CIRQ, Pierre Emmanuel – Domain Pierre Gelin, Jesse Katz and Bill Foley – Roth/Te Kaiaranga, Tom Rochioli – Rochioli Vineyards & Winery and Mike Weersing – Pyramid Valley Vineyards.


This event begins on Friday with the ‘Taste of Pigs & Pinot’. The Pinot Cup is an annual wine competition in which 60 handpicked pinot noirs compete in a competition of blind-tasting which is held by a world-renowned judging panel. At this event, guests will sample 60 highly praised Pinot Noir wines which are competing in the Pinot Cup competition. In addition to the 60 Pinot Noir, this year’s guests will also be offered two Rosé wines.



With these offered wines, guests will also be served a variety of scrumptious pork dishes which include charcuterie, grilled pork, homemade sausages, pates and other exclusive creations from Chef Palmer and Dustin Valette, Dry Creek Kitchen Chef de Cuisine, guest celebrity chefs and local Healdsburg restaurants.


Saturday, March 22, 2014, brings the Tournament of the Pig which includes Charlie Palmer and Guest Chefs. This event takes places between the hours of 10:30 am and 12:30 am at Relish Culinary Adventures, Healdsburg, and the tickets cost $125.00. Guest chefs attending will be divided into two teams, and given a whole pig. Each team will need to this succulent creature to create two specific dishes, using ingredients they can find at Dry Creek Kitchen. A judging panel will regulate the competition and the audience will get an opportunity to taste the dishes.


Later Saturday, between 1 and 3 pm, the Ultimate Pinot Smackdown will be held. In this event, Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks, Fred Dame, Keith Goldston, and Michael Jordan will march a wine seminar. Each of the four Master Sommeliers will sell 4 Pinots and only one of them can win the competition.


The Gala Dinner starts Saturday evening at 6:30 – 7 pm and will begin with a Spoonbar’s Swine and Wine Dinner where the guests will be served pork dishes accompanied by two of the Sonoma County’s premier Pinot Noirs. After the dinner, the guests will continue the celebration at Hotel Healdsburg, where they will be served drinks and dessert.


As time winds down with only few days left to make the necessary reservations to participate in the Ninth Annual Pigs & Pinot, tickets have become wait-listed. If you are interested in this palate pleasing event, access the Pigs & Pinot waiting list by filling in your personal information.


Are you one of the lucky guests attending this annual event celebrating two palate pleasers – Pigs and Pinot?  Have you ever been to this event? We would love to hear all the details! Please share them here with us?

 

 

Porco Rosso – The Red Pig

Written by Lillian Tram on March 14th, 2014

 

The Story of Porco Rosso 



Certainly everyone knows the saying “When Pigs Fly” which is meant to represent something that will never happen, just as pigs will never be able to fly. Well, this is wrong! The Red Pig flies in a Japanese animated film from 1992. Porco Rosso, known as The Red Pig, was originally a cartoon called Kurenai no Buta.



Porco Rosso presents the story of an Italian veteran World War I pilot who now lives his life as a freelance bounty hunter, chasing so-called air pirates over the Adriatic Sea. The initial name of the main character was Marco Pagot but it transformed into Porco Rosso after the character went through an unusual curse that changed him into an anthropomorphic pig.


The story presents Porco Rosso fighting against Austro-Hungarian fighter planes, taking place in the years between World War I and World War II. The entire environment and characters presented in the scenes of this story are inspired from the real world. In the opening sequence of this animated film, Porco can be seen reading a magazine, on which the date 1929 can be seen. The film is placed in the fascist period and Porco Rosso makes a statement in his position as an anti-fascist, which is rather amusing: ”I’d much rather be a pig than a fascist!”


The beginning of this film presents Porco Rosso responding to an alert regarding an attack of airborne pirates on a ferry liner. After Porco Rosso defeats the pirates, he retires to the Hotel Adriano which is run by Gina, Porco Rosso’s long-time friend. The hotel’s restaurant is frequented by pilots and the heads of pirate gangs are introduced to Curtis, who is an arrogant and ambitious American Ace. Curtis falls in love with Gina and he is frustrated to see that Gina has eyes for Porco Rosso.


When Porco Rosso flies to Milan for plane improvements, Curtis follows and shoots him down, claiming he has killed Porco Rosso. Of course, Porco Rosso survives and continues his mission. This is where all of Porco Rosso’s adventures begin. He meets his mechanic, Piccolo, and finds out that Piccolo’s sons have immigrated and engineering is now done by his granddaughter, Fio. When the plane is repaired, Fio asks Porco Rosso to take her with him on his flight home.


On the way home, Porco Rosso and Fio are ambushed by air pirates but Fio saves the situation. Then, Curtis comes on the scene to challenge Porco to a final duel. During that night’s events, Porco Rosso tells the story of an event which happened from World War I. The duel between Porco Rosso and Curtis is arranged for the next day when a large crowd will gather to observe their duel.


The duel begins with a dogfight, which is indecisive, then continues with a bare fist boxing match. Meanwhile, Gina appears and tries to stop their fight, telling them and the crowd that Italian air force has already been alerted and is on the way.



After Gina’s apparition, Porco Rosso wins the fight and asks Gina to take care of Fio. Before Porco Rosso takes off in his plane, Fio gives him a kiss. After all these events, Piccolo becomes an aircraft manufacturer and Fio becomes the company president. Curtis becomes a successful actor and the pirates continue to frequent the Hotel Adriano. In the end, it is suggested that Porco Rosso proposes to Gina.


So if you wish to see an interesting story which will convince you that pigs can fly, Porco Rosso is the perfect choice. The story contains all the adventure and excitement to hold the watcher’s interest and is presented with delightful humor, as animated films usually are. Another cool fact to remember is that Porco Rosso was Japan’s number one grossing film back in 1993.


Have you ever heard of Porco Rosso, the famous Red Pig? Please leave your comments here!

Happy National Pig Day!

Written by Lillian Tram on March 1st, 2014