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Let the pros dress this season's star — the Christmas tree

For some, decorating a Christmas tree in their living room is one of the hallmarks of the holiday season. But for others, the actual process of figuring out the perfect placement of ornaments, lights and tinsel can be a real hassle.

December 04, 2012 | Nancy Angel | Lifestyle

Local dancers prepare for Holiday Bowl appearance

The youth dancers of Fantazia Dance Productions received an early present this holiday season when they learned that they were accepted to dance during the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

November 21, 2012 | Brooke Borba | Lifestyle

The Christmas cheer challenge

The Christmas spirit is supposed to be that feeling of goodwill, generosity, and kindness to all around you. So, why does it seem that in some years the Christmas spirit feels more like a case of ill-humor, anxiety and annoyance? In all the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season, it's easy to lose that sense of enjoyment and wonderment that seemed to surround the holidays as a kid. Last year my family sat down for a discussion on how to revive the Christmas spirit amongst ourselves and we ended up embarking on an experiment with the ...

November 06, 2012 | Sabra Stafford | Lifestyle

Chefs spice up chicken in cooking contest

For the third year, Foster Farms put the call out to local chefs seeking the most innovative recipes they could come up with using that ever-popular main dish - chicken. Nearly 1,200 home, amateur and professional chefs residing in California, Oregon and Washington submitted their prized, original, fresh chicken recipes for consideration.

September 17, 2012 | Staff Reports TURLOCK JOURNAL | Lifestyle

Assyrian food feature of local festival

Area residents were offered an introduction to Mediterranean food and culture during the 5th annual Food Festival held at Saint Matthew Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church on Saturday and Sunday in Ceres.

September 11, 2012 | BY JEFF BENZIGER TURLOCK JOURNAL | Lifestyle

Which of this year's new crop of talk shows has staying power?

Five - count 'em - five new talk shows are competing for viewer attention this season - the second wave of the "Who can ever replace Oprah?" quest for the grail that began last year. This week, Steve Harvey launched his new NBC show. Sept. 10 will bring the launches of Katie Couric's, Ricki Lake's and Jeff Probst's chat fests. And come Oct. 1, the Hallmark Channel will bring us Marie Osmond. Of last year's crop of newbies, Anderson Cooper is still standing tall - while the likes of "The Chew" are long gone. Who'll still be among the ...

September 04, 2012 | BY MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH Creators Syndicate | Lifestyle

'Ruby Sparks': An Indie gem with Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan

"Ruby Sparks" is a clever riff on the ancient Pygmalion story. Here, instead of a sculptor, the protagonist is a blocked writer, whose lonely existence is transformed when the central character in the book he's working on suddenly comes to life. The movie is a glowing fantasy that approaches perfection in its character detail and its unlabored comic style -- and in the way it subtly develops dark themes of creativity and control as the story evolves.

July 31, 2012 | BY KURT LODER Creators Syndicate | Lifestyle

Local bakers share secret to pie success

Who doesn't love a warm pie made from scratch and baked until perfection? It's ideal for family gatherings, holiday, or simply a midnight snack. Whether you like old-fashioned apple pie, cream or custard pie, it takes the right ingredients and the right person to bake the ideal pie.

July 11, 2012 | Nancy Angel | Lifestyle

Cowboys and chocolate: A humble beginning

It started off as a spark of an idea tying in the city's largest commodity - Hershey Chocolate – in an attempt to create a fun festival. Twenty years later the festival has blossomed into an event that last year lured 80 bajillion people to Oakdale with the promise of chocolate.

May 15, 2012 | BY KIM VAN METER TURLOCK JOURNAL | Lifestyle

St. Patrick’s Day Events

Wellington's Pub and Restaurant

March 16, 2012 | | Lifestyle

Mark Ranes: Profile of a homebrewer

Turlock resident Mark Ranes is one of the thousands of people who brew their own beer as a hobby. The technology manager said what started out as an extension of his love of cooking has turned into a full-fledged passion.

March 09, 2012 | Kristina Hacker | Lifestyle

Brewing it up home-style

More and more beer lovers are taking their passion to the next level and brewing their own craft beers. Homebrewing clubs and competitions have grown rapidly since the legalization of homebrewing in 1978. In 2011, there were an estimated one million homebrewers and over 1,000 homebrew clubs in the United States, according to the American Homebrewers Association.

March 09, 2012 | Kristina Hacker | Lifestyle

Dust Bowl’s Don Oliver: From homebrewer to brewmaster

Some sons play catch with their fathers. Others work on cars.

March 09, 2012 | | Lifestyle

Old World recipe passed down through the generations

Old World recipe passed down through the generations

February 07, 2012 | | Lifestyle

ATOP MT. DIABLO: Taking in the 209 & much of NorCal

The best place to take in all of the 209 is without a doubt high atop Mt. Diablo.

January 31, 2012 | BY DENNIS WYATT Special to the Journal | Lifestyle

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