Sunday Stories for December 22nd, 2013

We’re in the final countdown to Christmas and I hope this Sunday doesn’t find you running around like a crazy person trying to cross things off a shopping list.

I was able to enjoy a little holiday spirit yesterday and finish up some shopping at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I like being able to make purchases from artisan and specialty shops, and the assortment of delicious food and wine treats is equally impressive.

So now relax, settle in, and catch up on some fun, inspirational, and practical reading.

5 Famous British Conspiracy Theories

Apparently we here in the U.S. aren’t the only ones who love a good conspiracy theory. Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare, and Lady Di – oh my!

From covered-up deaths to authorship debates, people love to speculate and propose alternative theories for what really happened during some of history’s most controversial and monumental events.

Bee portraits like you’ve never seen before

I’m not skittish of bees like some people are (hello dear sister-in-law), but I’m all for avoiding getting stung by one. These incredible photos are works of art and help give these often misunderstood insects a place of honor.

Most of us freak out at the mere sight of a bug — let alone a photo! But there’s something about biologist Sam Droege’s pictures of insects that has hundreds of thousands of people marveling at them. Sam’s photostream offers viewers a detailed and rare look at bees; comparing these little, hairy creatures to mesmerizing works of art.

You’ve Been Eating Chinese Food Takeout Wrong Your Entire Life

I’ve been known to enjoy some Chinese takeout now and again, and have always scooped it onto a plate with little to-do. But – apparently – this video shows how it’s supposed to be done. And yes, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

IKEA Releases 100 Cats Into a Store and the Result is Beautiful

I live with three feline pals, so it’s not surprising that I was a sucker for this video. Makes me want to run right out and buy something at Ikea.

A herd of cats running around a furniture store completely unchecked? Bring on the mayhem! Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be as beautiful and heartwarming as the final commercial is.

Drawn the Road Again

A great drawing from just down the road apiece in Tacoma. And with a holiday theme, too.

Read original article here: Drawn the Road Again

How Our World Would Look If You Were A Bird

You don’t need to fly like an eagle to get this perspective of some of the world’s great cities. Could you pick them out?

Famous landmarks like the Arc Du Triumph, the Pyramids of Giza, and the Sagrada Familia have been photographed countless times by photographers from around the world, and they are recognizable to most, if not all, of us. But this collection of stunning aerial photographs gives us a bird’s-eye-view of these places, casting them in a totally new light.

10 Holiday Traditions Around the World

There’s no place like home for the holidays – but what about when you’re not at home? No matter where you’re traveling, it’s home to someone, so enjoy like a local.

I asked ten of my most trusted friends around the world about their favorite winter traditions in their home cities, and it put me in a wonderful, festive, globally inspired mood. I hope their stories do the same for you. Happy Holidays!

50 States, 50 Sandwiches

Sandwiches are comfort food for me, and this state-by-state to sandwiches has me longing to take a road trip to try them all out. But seriously, does anyone agree with the Washington State Sandwich?

Every state has its own specialty dishes, but it’s often the unique regional sandwiches you find all around the U.S. that best embody the spirit of each community and its local cuisine.

Read original article here: 50 States, 50 Sandwiches

Christmas girls getaway in Vancouver BC

Just up the road apiece, Vancouver makes for a great weekend getaway. I like these ideas, perfect year round (not just for the holidays).

If you can’t find the time to make it to Vancouver over the holidays, have no fear. There are plenty of non-holiday related activities to keep you entertained. If you love food, well you are in luck. Vancouver has some of the best around. As the US dollar has recently crept passed the Canadian dollar, you can even afford to do a little extra shopping.

Christmas Gift Idea: The Complete National Geographic

Did you pour over those yellow bound National Geographics went they came in? For many of us, those magazines instilled in us a longing to see the world and experience different cultures. More than a few friends have collection the editions, often stashed in chronological order on an attic shelf or boxed up in the basement. So how cool is this – the ENTIRE National Geographic archive. Every. Single. Magazine. This is seriously epic!

So this year, instead of a one year subscription to the magazine, how about every issue of National Geographic since 1888 on one convenient hard drive?! Well 1888 – 2009 anyway.

Read original article here: Christmas Gift Idea: The Complete National Geographic

My Mental Age

Have a little silly fun with this quiz designed to tell your age. I came in at 28, probably because I could answer the questions about social media and online media consumption. It’s hardly accurate, but hey, it’s fun – so give it a try and let me know your “age” in the comments.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

2 Responses to “Sunday Stories for December 22nd, 2013”

  1. December 23, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I had to go check out the Ikea commercial and it absolutely melted my heart… What an idea to have…

    Thanks so much for sharing this <3

    • December 23, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      Some of them looked just like my guys. Made my heart go “aaaaahhhhh”

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