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Happy New Year! December 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Ooh! Ahh!

Ooh! Ahh! (Photo illustration by me.)

 

 

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2012 in review December 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Smiley.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 26,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals (Click here to see the complete report.)

But that number, 26,000, isn’t the impressive bit.

My total views ever, of all time, from the beginning of this blog two and a half years ago, is more than 35,600. That means that almost 3/4 of my total views ever have come in just this past year.

That’s partly down to a steady increase in views over the last year. January had a comfortable 877 views; February jumped just over 1,000, and March leapt to almost 1,500. I was agog. Then May hit 1,900, and after a slight summer dip, I was approaching 2,000 in September, October, and November.

And then December 4 happened.

I don’t know what caused the spike that day — some computer program running autosearches in England? — but for some reason, my views on Dec. 4 alone topped out at 943. That’s more than the entire month of January. Heck, that’s justa few hits shy of the total hits for my whole first year!

The numbers plummeted after that (someone must have stopped running their autosearch), but the momentum was there, and since then I’ve been receiving hundreds of views a day, thousands a week! Every week this month has seen more views than any whole month this year — the third week had almost twice as many hits as any given month!

So, as of this writing, my monthly total views for December sits at just over 9,700. That’s well over a third of my entire yearly total — in just this last month.

Also, WordPress has started tracking individual viewers as well as their hits, and I’m astonished to find that I’ve had more than 5,750 distinct visitors to this blog in December.

That’s a lot of welcomes to send out! But, here we go, in huge, block letters:

HELLO, HAPPY READERS!

You are most, most welcome.

Thanks for an astounding last month of a fantastic year, and we’ll see you all back here in 2013.

And sure, bring a friend. 🙂

Cookie jar December 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Cookie jar. A gift from The Great Enabler.

Cookie jar. A gift from The Great Enabler.

I’ve been wanting a smiley face cookie jar for just ages. I haven’t made much fuss about it because there are so many smiley face things out there I love and this is just another one on the list. But man, have I wanted one of these things for a long time.

I don’t know if my excellent mother-in-law, The Great Enabler, knew that about me or just assumed that if it was something smiley I would love it (both are true!), but this was her Christmas gift to me this year!

And you better believe it’s already full of home-baked cookies: gingerbread, sugar cookies, peanut butter “kiss” cookies, brownie bites….

Mmmm.... Delicious happiness....

Mmmm…. Delicious happiness….

Apron December 27, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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And so begins the l o n g series of posts featuring ALL the smiley-related gifts I got for Christmas this year:

Apron. A gift from my Aunt Cheryl.

Apron. A gift from my Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Sandy.

This apron was part of a whole slew of smiley kitchen paraphernalia my Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Sandy sent me. I’m going to try to keep it clean — no making pasta sauces in this apron! — but I am, in fact, already wearing it in the kitchen, starting on Christmas morning when it was fresh out of the box!

Making "Dutch babies" -- baked pancakes -- on Christmas morning.

Making “Dutch babies” — baked pancakes — on Christmas morning.

BONUS: Smiley + Smiley December 25, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Holidays, Smiley.
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Merry Christmas again, happy readers! This morning, after presents and chocolate, my wife and I sat down to breakfast (homemade “Dutch babies“) and when I took up my mug to sip my coffee, Aunt Smiley broke into sudden laughter and told me not to move. Then she grabbed the camera and snapped this photo.

IMG_9937

“It was just too perfect,” she told me. “Even the hats are drooping on the same side!”

(And yes, I got a load of new smiley gear, so look forward to new pics later this week!)

 

Merry Christmas! December 24, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Holidays, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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Two years ago, for this blog’s first Christmas post, I shared my plush smiley santa ornament.

Last year, I received a new smiley Santa ornament, this one painted glass with my name on it. It was a gift from (you guessed it) my dear mother-in-law, the Great Enabler.

So this year, I’m happy to share it with you on Christmas Eve! 🙂

Smiley Santa ornament. From my personal collection.

Smiley Santa ornament. From my personal collection.

And whatever your religion or your holiday practices, I hope you have a very, very happy season.

Santa smiley December 20, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Just in time for the end of the world, most of our holiday cards have arrived at their destinations, bringing seasonal cheer and warm wishes for our last hours on Earth….

Wait. I’m confusing Christmas with the Mayan apocalypse.

Let me start over….

Holiday cards are a team effort in the Smiley household, with my wife taking the role of addresser (she has better penmanship) while I check the addresses (I have the iPod). And then we sign each card — and, for friends and family, I sometimes doodle this little Santa smiley on the card, as well!

Santa smiley. My doodle in Sharpie.

Santa smiley. My doodle in Sharpie.

Happy holidays, everybody! See you all back here on Monday! (No, really — I promise….)

🙂

 

Holiday cookies December 17, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Smiley.
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Holiday cookies. Aunt Smiley on the left; Uncle Smiley on the right.

Holiday cookies. Aunt Smiley on the left; Uncle Smiley on the right.

Last weekend, my wife and I made sugar cookies for the holidays. I baked them — she helped decorate them.

We did a lot of holiday standards: Santa, stockings, snowflakes, trees, ornaments, snowmen…. But I had to make a smiley cookie, obviously. What I didn’t realize was that my wife had made one, too!

And, would you believe it? Her smiley is better than mine! 🙂

Smiley holidays, happy readers.

 

For the children in Connecticut. For the shoppers in Oregon. For everyone everywhere. December 14, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Smiley.
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“Smile in prayer.” My own drawing, in Sharpie.

It is hard to smile when, in the space of a week, we’ve seen two mass shootings, one just a dozen miles from my house here in Oregon and the other, today, in kindergarten classrooms in Connecticut. People got out of those situations alive, and that’s worth smiling about. But people died — children died — and that makes smiling, for any reason, very, very difficult.

But we need to smile for each other. It isn’t a happy smile. It’s a soft, sad smile, but it’s a smile nonetheless. It’s our reassurance to each other that we are better than this, that we will be there for each other in times of need. And it’s a promise that we will overcome the violence in our lives through love and mutual happiness.

In the meantime, here’s a sad, heartbroken but hopefully heartmeanding smile, and a hug, to everyone, everywhere.

Reader-submitted vodka December 13, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Reader submission, Smiley.
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My fraternal brother Jay sent me this photo yesterday. (No, that’s not his hand.)

Happy Vodka. Submitted by Jay.

Happy Vodka. Submitted by Jay.

“Here’s another smiley for you,” he wrote me. “I came across it on one of those funny picture/waste-gads-of-time websites.”

 

I shudder to think what the vodka tastes like (though if it’s any good, it won’t taste like anything), but boy would I love to have that bottle!

Actually, there’s a whole line of Happy brand clear alcohols. I haven’t tried any of them, so I won’t vouch for them. And kiddies, don’t think that just because there’s a smiley face on the bottle you ought to try any of this! But, grown-ups, if you do visit the website (which I won’t link to because I don’t want to make it any easier for the kids to wind up there, but grown-ups, I’m sure you can find it), I hope you have fun holding the mouse over the interactive smileys! It’s infectious, and it’ll make you giddy. (Probably like the alcohol.) 😉