Tuesday, December 15, 2015

(Parks and) Rec the Halls

The wailing and gnashing of teeth from my beloved begins every year come early December.

For those who have been around these parts long enough, you'll remember how he wasn't thrilled about our flamingo tree.

Can't say he wasn't too keen on the "What Does the Fox Say?" theme either.

{sidenote: guess what was in this year's Land of Nod catalog? A fox tree topper. So even though phrases like "weird" and "I don't get it" were thrown around, in reality "AHEAD OF TREND" would have been the most appropriate}

And, most recently, how he full on DETESTED the Most Magical -albeit slightly disturbing- Rainbow Unicorn Tree of Happiness in 2014.

If only we could just have a "normal" tree with an angel on top, things would be right.

Over two decades of marriage makes you a softie, folks.

2015 is the year I submitted and did an average tree.


Lil' Sebastian was the obvious choice as the topper.

 Pieces of coffee filters hot glued onto an angel-ish shaped thick paper base...

 and behold: TRADITIONAL.

"Up in Horsey Heaven, here's the thing. You trade your legs for angel wings..."

When it came to the garland, the "ingredients" were a given.

And all the rest? Image search finds printed out and hung with pieces of looped wire taped to the back.

From our home to yours...

via NBC

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


 It's the last birthday of this decade. I KNOW. Let's celebrate with some late-thirties rambling.

1. I'm horrible at taking care of things. Not like children (although somedays I have my doubts) - actual things. Books. Clothes. Shoes. Left wherever I used it/took it off last. I love wearing (cheap costume) jewelry, but the moment I'm home it's yanked off and were it not for this necklace holder or a leftover-egg-carton "earring holder", every. single. piece would've have been lost by now. I had hoped this was a flaw that would be outgrown eventually. It's not looking promising.

2. Home Fires on PBS. Did you watch? If not you can stream it online. Dare I say as good as Downton Abbey or The Paradise?  Plus THE DRESSES. As a self proclaimed Hater of Pants, the dresses made me all kinds of happy.

3. The exception to the Pant Loathing: sweats. They do not count as pants and therefore cannot be hated. In fact quite the opposite is true, much to my husband's dismay. One of the trillions of reasons this time of year is my favorite is the emerging of the sweat pants. And hoodies. And layering, which I do year round, but seems much more appropriate when it's not 107 degrees outside. Not that that ever stops me. Same with boots. Much less sweaty in November.

4. I'm itching to put Christmas stuff up early this year, which is directly at odds with my desire to get rid of most of the decorations. Maybe the urge to PURGE is really what the feeling is, and it's hard to give crap away if it's still in the attic?

The last few years we've gotten rid of at least four big rubbermaid bins full of stuff, and although there's not a whole lot left, it still feels like too much. The kids gave me grief last year that given time, EVERYTHING would be gone, and they'd have nothing left to look forward to getting out every Christmas season.

Should I listen to the pleas of the children? Follow my own {hormonal} gut? There's plenty of room where they're stored, so it's not like any of it is in the way, but it's like I can feel the weight of it in my brain and I don't want to anymore.

5. As I was unloading groceries into the car yesterday, a tween-aged boy was trying to get his mother's attention as she was doing the same in the SUV behind me.
"WHAT?!" she fired back.
You know exactly how it sounded. That "what" voice. We all do. And it make me smile. It was somehow...comforting. As women, it would seem that our irritations are more universal than we think.

(Hey kid - here's a tip. Mama would be much more pleasant if you'd get off your phone and HELP her with the groceries. Promise.)

6. Remember how we had to sell our tickets last year in what was maybe the suckiest streak of suckiness of all time? Well, Counting Crows came to town AGAIN now that they're ending their tour and we got to go (!!!!). I may have teared up (read: sobbed) through some of the songs because it was so good and my heart burst into a million pieces and the emotions had nowhere to go but out my eyeballs.

Before the crying began.

7. Speaking of crying, is there a switch somewhere that gets flipped as one gets older making you susceptible to weeping spells? Like driving down the freeway and a song comes on you haven't heard before but spotify recommends it for you and the next thing you know you can't see through the tears? I've always been susceptible to arpeggios and a faint John Denver-ish sound, but TEARS? Just dumb. (Here's the song. It's not new, and the video is boring/lame. Pay no mind to it, just look away and listen. Still makes my insides tingly. Please explain what is happening.)

8. This post on facebook/IG awhile inspired a private message saying it would be refreshing to see Before/Afters like that online because it would be more relatable. Relatable maybe, but also DEPRESSING.

THEN (way back from this post)

and NOW

It should be noted that this was AFTER she had "worked on it". Not quite sure what those words mean.

9. A friend sent this photo, saying she had spotted my doppleganger in a Sesame Street book. Dead ringer, no?

10. Have I expressed any less than 917 how sending packages is my favorite thing in the whole wide world?

{be careful what silly photos you post online}

Usually just the IDEA of someone opening them is enough to make me giddy, but this time my brother filmed it which made it *almost* like getting to be there. Which is awesome.

(Back story: this is my step mother, and rumor has it she has a crush on Steven Seagal. At that point I basically had no choice to not only celebrate her love, but to also send the box to her office because love like this shouldn't be left to sit on a front porch at home all alone)

{fact: I have never seen a Steven Seagul movie. Before this "project", I couldn't have even picked him out of a line-up. Am I missing out? Google says no.}

A cookbook turned into a magazine a la Photoshop.

Naughty girl.


Friday, October 30, 2015

DIY Stormtrooper "Gift Wrap" {recycling Star Wars style}

Is it obvious this past year has been filled with purging on so many different levels?
That pile of "use it someday" empty packaging in the garage stood no chance.

Once the labels were taken off (using a hair dryer), the whole thing got two coats of white spray paint. Save your name brand paint for something fancy- the 98 cent variety works just fine for this project.


Those ding dang words kept bleeding through the spray paint no matter how much I tried to persuade them otherwise.

(check out that date and judge me if you must)

(it wasn't even the oldest one either)

A quick google image search for "printable stormtrooper mask" found this guy. At this point, you could totally cut the whole thing out, tape it on and be done. Or you can use the force to bust out the pastel chalk things from an old art set,

scribble all over the back,

place it back onto the jar, and trace over the design with a pencil. When you finish and lift off the paper you'll have a perfect-ish pattern.

that pesky printing got strategically placed underneath a part that would be painted

A paintbrush and some black craft paint and your Bucket Head is complete. Any leftover chalk can be wiped off with a wet sponge after the paint is dry.

Filled up with goodies and dressed up with a pom, ol' Stormie is all set to go celebrate a birthday.

Check out other Star Wars gift wrapping ideas here and here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Mail {or what to do after the cookies are gone}

The cool thing about having an 18-year-old with a job is when she spots stuff on clearance that would be awesome for her new cousin, she can buy it. WITH HER OWN MONEY.

Of course, it would only be right to say hello to little Kimber by sending off the loot in her very first recycled package. Welcome her to the family with trash, as you do.

First step: heating up those dumb labels with a hair dryer*

*this causes the glue to soften and they'll peel right off in one piece instead of messing with goo gone and infinite layers of sticky paper for an hour.

Once off, one got put to work as a template for just the right size circle/ovalish shape.
Annnnnd that's where the perfection ended.

The rainbow is freehanded and with more "stripes" than the original...

and the nose and eyes are...how shall we say? Primitive.

Everything is rolled up nice in tight inside, covered with pink tissue paper, and sealed up for a trip across country.

Even the most imperfect packages can still create a party in your mailbox. Happy mail indeed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Something Blue" Bridal Shower Gift

There's a special kind of joy when one of your {all-grown up} girls you taught years ago in Young Womens gets married. 

I mean, yeah - you feel old. 

And sure, maybe a bit hesitant to lavish her in ALL THINGS SEDUCTION at a Bridal Shower because is that too weird? That Sister Wisor, who so adamantly advised in her Sunday lessons to "keep your panties on", is now advocating anything but?

Long story short: I got over it.


Several people close to both the bride *and* groom's family gave me the ix-nay on any gifts related to ex-say. Apparently not EVERYONE thinks it's fun to talk about/purchase things for activities that happen in the bedroom. Especially when the gift would be opened at a couples shower, which meant MEN would be there and they might...I dunno...get the crazy idea that this sweet girl might get naked with her husband at some point in their marriage?  Truly scandalous.

So, in the spirit of making grandmothers happy, I conceded.

Such a shame. How awesome would this be for their guest room, no? From here.

While perusing the non-provocative section at Marshalls, this clearance box called my name in a non-sultry voice. Aqua blue is the bride-to-be's favorite color, making this a great start.

Plus ZEBRAS(!!!) on the inside. Too whore-ish?

The aqua theme continued with other practical, conservative kitchen gadgets a timid, long-skirted, no-cleavage wife could put to good use in a kitchen where husband and wife never have relations on the floor. Or countertops.

A layer of tissue paper and then they all went to bed got tucked into the box.

It was then that a part of my soul died. Reigning in passion and keeping things above the belt had resulted in the most freaking boring gift on the planet. 


As per always, embellishments to the rescue. A little stroking makes everything feel better. Ahem.

When she opened the gift, did she have to read the tags out loud for all to hear? Nope.

But she knew.

Like a lil' wink from me to her that nobody else had to see, saying