About Abbie Lu

I love to read, write, and drink coffee. They are the bread and butter of my soul. I really enjoy discussing books, poetry, and the like. Another huge passion of mine is dancing, and for fun I am an avid volleyball player. I live in the NW and I am a hybrid city/country lover. I enjoy spending time hiking through our beautiful Oregon forests, and riding horses at the family farm. I also equally enjoy strolling the downtown waterfront with a latte, gazing the city lights, and/or sipping a Café con leche at my favorite Cuban eatery. Contact me if you would like me to review any products related to: Books, Poetry, and/or Coffee!

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

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DAY 9 of 12
“Real isn’t how you are made… It’s a thing that happens to you.”

The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams

This 1922 classic is getting a makeover for the holiday season with a beautiful new festive cover for Christmastime. This edition illustrated by picture book great Don Daily still tells the precious story of the little rabbit stuffed in a stocking as a present and his love for a boy.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

the_velveteen_rabbit_shared_piece_1I adore this book! The quality of storytelling and charming characters captivate and move my spirit. The best part of the books is the parallel meaning in-between the lines. If you’ve read it, really read it, you know and appreciate what it is. This is a book everyone should have a chance to enjoy, both as a child and as an adult.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept…”

Book Bean: Velvety Orange Cocoa
Orange_Hot_Chocolate - Edited.jpgIn a saucepan heat 1-1.5 cup milk, .5-1 cup half n’half, a couple strips of orange-rind and 1 full slice of orange over medium heat. When hot add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips ( like 45% cocoa semi-sweets.) Add 1 tsp cocoa and 2 tsp powdered sugar. Whisk well until melted and smooth. Top with whip, orange rind for garnish,
a sprinkle of orange-sugar, and spice of choice (clove n cinnamon.) 
Orange Infused Sugar: Mix 1/4 tsp of orange extract with 1 cup granulated sugar in a bag. Mush around and mix until evenly distributed. Spread sugar on large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until sugar is dried (30 min.)

“…Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.

But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

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12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 8 of 12
A lovely tale of a girl with the audacity to seek out her dream

The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert
A brave little girl named Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. This heartwarming story filled with extraordinary photographs is a special book for the
holiday season.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

applepiechaiBook Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 7 of 12
“The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories.
Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…”

~Vera Nazarian

The Nutcracker
by Susan Jeffers
Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical adventure only possible on a night like Christmas Eve. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously-illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the charming tale that is a perennial favorite of children and adults alike.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

51cc4cfarbl43ed42a36bb2a2d4aa8a5e6122b45de6Book Bean: Hot HazelNutmus
Nutty deliciousness
Heat up desired amount of milk (almond milk works nicely.) When milk is steaming hot add (per ea. cup of of milk) 1/2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp sugar (powder or baker’s,) 1 tsp Nutella, and dash of nutmeg. Whisk until smooth, taste and adjust to taste. Mug and sprinkle with crushed nuts and nutmeg.

Gary-Avis-as-Drosselmeyer-in-Royal-Ballets-The-Nutcracker-c-ROH-Bill-Cooper-2012 - Edited.jpgHerr Drosselmeyer was “a toy maker, and a wonderful story teller.
Clara thought he could even perform magic!”

 

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 6 of 12
“Could it be that some of you are not acquainted with the story of Rudolph?
Well pull up an ice block and lend an ear.”

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
by Thea Feldman Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
The original television special first aired on NBC December 6, 1964. Fifty years later, it has become a beloved Christmas classic―capturing the heart and wonder of generations of fans.
This prose picture book about self-acceptance features Rudolph, along with his pals Hermey, the elf who dreams of becoming a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector. They escape an Abominable Snow Monster, and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys. After several hair-raising adventures they return to Christmastown and this time, despite their differences, are all cherryamarettosteamer2b-editedwelcomed back to the fold.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Cherry Steamer
As red as Rudolph’s nose and as sweet as him too!
Steam milk with a tish of vanilla extract. Add grenadine to mug (to taste.) Pour in milk and stir. Add whip and place a tasty glowing cherry on top 😉

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Ahh. I love this Christmasy time of year.
Especially when everything is running happy and smooth, like it is this season.”
~Santa

Fun Fact: The origin to the story of Rudolph is actually really moving and a bit surprising to some. What is now a classic and in some countries even looked on as folk lore; all started in 1939 with a promotional coloring book for children, put out by Montgomery Wards and written by Robert L. May.  Read the article here!
 I wish I had the original article written by Robert May in the Gettysburg Times, but the above article tells the story quite well. I hope you enjoy it!

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 5 of 12
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed,
it fell silent for all of them..”

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg

1986 Caldecott Medal Winner

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . .

Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
Rated  4.7 on amazon.com

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lowsynhotchocolatedrinkBook Bean: Hot Choc-o-Late!
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Made from scratch with cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, milk and cream. Yum. OH yeah and with marshmallows of course.

Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me,
as it does for all who truly believe.” 
Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express

 

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 4 of 12
“That’s pish-posh…” “Sheep are sheep. They cannot look happy.” 

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
by Susan Wojciechowski
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.commiracle-of-jon-toomey-carving-edited-1This book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger
Rev. Dr. Charles Quail. I am very thankful because it is a wonderful book. It is a Beautiful story with gorgeous pictures and it very sweetly depict
the healing power of Christmas (and kindness.)

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Book Bean:
 Cinnamon Coconut Chai
Make chai to your preference. Add in steamed coconut milk and/or coconut cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut flakes (if you like) Garnish with anise and cinnamon sticks for stirring fun 🙂