Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review - 2011

March 21:  My first biological niece, Lucy Rae, made her grand entrance.




April 15-24:  I flew out to Chicago and got to meet and bond with my new niece.


April 24:  K took me to Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach and asked me to be her wife. I said yes. :o)

June 6:  My oldest nephew, Andrew Paul, made his Auntie proud again by graduating High School. 



July 7:  K and I celebrated two wonderful years together.

July 16-17:  K and I walked our first Relay for Life in honor of our Dads who couldn't be there for our wedding.


July 22-27:  We drove up North to see my mom and sisters. K got to meet Lucy for the first time. This was also the trip we found out my mom has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and I learned I have another reason to participate in the Relay for Life. (That link should take you directly to my fund raising page. Donations welcome! :o)

August 27:  Said "I do" to spending the rest of my life with my best friend. One of the greatest moments of my entire life and a day I will cherish for ever!



September 4-11:  Went on an amazing honeymoon. 7 night cruise to the Mexican Rivera. 2 days in Cabo San Lucas, one day in Puerto Vallarta. Perhaps I will have to blog the details and photos of our trip. It was a great way to kick off our marriage!



October 21-23:  We went on our first and last camping trip of the season with our "K-Squared" friends. We camped at Casper's in San Juan Capistrano. Hopefully it was the first of many camping trips to come! 



October 24:  I accepted a promotion from Office Technician to Executive Assistant.

November 22:  Thanks to my wonderful Sister in Law, K and I went to our first concert together... Katy Perry. Not only was it our first concert together, but we got total VIP treatment in one of the suites. 



December 10:  K took me to my first Christmas Boat Light Show at the Dana Point Harbor on a double date with K-Squared. 



December 21-28:  We flew to the Bay Area for Christmas with the families.

December 26:  Marked 19 years since I lost my dad. Oh how I wonder...  



December 31:  Spent a quiet night at home, as I always do, with my wife (that's a first) and welcomed the new year.


Disclaimer: Next year's year in review will be more thorough and detailed as I will do a better job chronicling throughout the year with one of these cool projects from Pinterest.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Farkle in a Can

As usual, I saw this cute can project on Pinterest:


I immediately knew I wanted to do it. 

I introduced a couple of our friends to the game Farkle this year and they were instant fans so I thought what a perfect way to give them Farkle! I'll make it! :o)

Here's the end result:

The front
The back

The bottom

Outside: Open the can from the bottom, empty out the contents, and clean the insides. Decorate the outside as you see fit. Put the contents inside the can, and hot glue the bottom shut. When I sealed the bottom shut, it looked really messy, so I just cut out some card stock and glued it to the bottom of the can to give it a cleaner look.

Inside: 6 dice and some cheat sheet scoring cards which is the same as the instructions on the back. After it was too late, I thought I should have made a little note pad for them to use to keep score and a couple of those little pencils folks use at the golf courses.

The only thing I couldn't (or didn't want to) figure out was how to provide a seal/cover once the can is open so they can continue to use it to store the game and not have to worry about losing it's contents. The lid to a Pringles can almost fits. It's a hair too big, but like I said, if I wanted to take the time to work with it, I am sure I could have figured out a way to make it fit. Maybe some string on the top of the can to make it thicker... or a thin ring of hot-glue on the inside of the lid to give it some grip. K suggested dog food/cat food lids. I will suggest that to our friends, but I felt weird giving the gift to them with that type of lid. Merry Christmas - here's some dog food. Just didn't quite seem right. :o)

I'll definitely be doing this project again.

Budget Wreath

Earlier this month, K and I stopped at a Christmas "tree farm" - by tree farm, I mean the one set up in the parking lot of the local shopping center - to get a wreath. We do a fake tree every year, but we both love the smell of the fresh tree so we thought maybe a wreath might be enough to give us that fresh tree smell.

When I saw that the wreaths were $16 for a small one - that wasn't even decorated of fancy, mind you - I was reluctant to get it. $16 for a smell that will probably be gone in a week and then we're just going to throw it away? $16 may not seem like much, and it isn't, but for a couple on a budget, I just couldnt wrap my head around spending $16 on something that we were going to throw out. We might as well just put the money in a trash can and skip the wreath all together.

I convinced K that we should go to Michaels and see if there's one there that I can make. Sure enough, they had plain fake wreaths with nothing but a bow on it. So we kept browsing and they had an entire section for wreath making... Ornaments specially designed for wreaths. Who knew?! I certainly didn't. We loaded up our basket with goods that totaled close to $16, but it was a wreath that I made so it had sentiment, and we can use it year after year after year.

Nothing fancy, but cute enough!

Bad lighting, but you get the idea~


The wreath wasn't even the best part. When we were at Michaels, we found nifty things that TOTALLY smelled like a fresh tree. (I am positive we didn't pay $6.99 for them though.) We just put two on each tree and vwalla! It smelled like a fresh cut tree in our house. Granted, I don't think they smell anymore, but they worked for a few days anyway. It might have worked better to just use one and keep replacing it. Now we know for ext year. :o)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dry Erase Board

Earlier this year, my sister Denise sent me this blog showing me how to make a personalized dry erase board.


At the time, I decided that was what everyone was going to get for Christmas this year. That didn't happen, but I had made two of them earlier this year as trials and kept them around the house waiting for the perfect person to give them to.

Then on Pinterest I kept seeing cute sentimental dry erase boards made to put daily messages for the ones you love. Like these:















I really liked the concept of these, so I thought I would do something like that for the ones I had already made. K and I have two sweet nieces that love home made gifts and are absolutely adored by their parents (and Aunties) so I thought, what better way to tell them every day how much they are loved than with these:



Our hope is that their parents will put a message up for them at least once a week. And every once in a while, we can send a text to their Mom or Dad and ask them to put a message up for them from their Aunties.

These really are great gifts. I am not sure why I didn't make them for everyone as Christmas gifts since they can really be personalized and fine tuned for the people you're giving them to... maybe next year. Or as Birthday gifts!

Disclaimer: I am well aware the picture quality of these photos suck and do them no justice. I am working on improving my product staging. :o)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Grinch to the Christmas Spirit

Christmas is tough for me... every year.

My dad died when I was 14 on December 26, 1992. So there's always that looming over the holiday. I don't let it ruin it, ever... but it's always there... in the back of my mind.

Christmas has become so commercial. It's all about gifts gifts gifts... buy buy buy... spend spend spend... It's a lot of pressure. I mean, I guess it was the same way when I was a kid. The tree was overflowing with presents and my parents spoiled us every year. Or at least I think they did. My sister's will probably have a completely different memory. My one sister used to snoop and find all her presents before Christmas and then come Christmas day, she'd tear through the presents already knowing what they were and then ask, "Is that it?" Oh, the childhood Christmas memories are flooding back.

The house I grew up in was two stories. There was the living room where we put the tree every year in the front windows so you could see it from the outside. Then the upstairs was like an open loft area that looked down into the living room. My dad's office was in the loft area. Anyway, I remember one year, I wanted a Nintendo SOOOOO bad. I would search under the tree for a package shaped like the Nintendo box every day. ALAS! I found it. I verrrryyyy quietly took the package out from under the tree. Staying close to the perimeter of the tree, I laid on my belly and hunkered up to that package. I found the part of the wrapping paper that had the tape on it and verrrryyyyy carefully began peeling it up. POP... I got it! At that very moment, I hear a boisterous, "HEY" that came from the upstairs. I am positive it scared me so bad that I caught air when I about jumped out of my skin. It was my dad. He had been upstairs quietly watching while I quietly snooped. I don't really remember what happened after that. I am sure I denied seeing anything and he threatened to take the present back, but looking back on it, it was a classic moment.

... a few days later ...

I started this blog last week. I was feeling sad and overwhelmed by Christmas and what it seems to have become. I still feel a little sad about that and believe we should all spend a little time making Christmas more than just the presents we get. But as I was typing the first part of this blog, I felt my heart warm a little at the memories that started to come back to me.

A few days later and it was the weekend. Saturday morning we spent a couple of hours promoting the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Doing volunteer work for such a great cause always helps lighten my heart. I was feeling good. We headed to the swap meet for some easy and successful shopping and then headed home. When we got home, I was trolling through the guide on the TV and found Elf. Perfect, I will put that on as I start crafting all the gifts I am making this year.

I spent the next 6 hours with Christmas themed shows playing in the background while I made gifts from the heart. It was just what I needed to find my Christmas Spirit this year. I even found myself finally listening to the Christmas music channel in the car yesterday. Usually, I listen to that channel from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day, but this year, I just didn't have the spirit to do it.

This is what Christmas should feel like.Christmas is what YOU make it. I spent almost an entire day spinning in my head worried about what everyone else will think of our gifts and I was making myself miserable trying to please everyone else. Why am I letting what they may or may not think ruin my holiday? If we are truly buying for people we love and that love us equally, they will be grateful for any gift. I know I would be. It's not about the price, or the size, or how fancy it is... it is the thought that counts the most. You could give me the priceless gift of your time to me and I would cherish the memories we would make during that time and it wouldn't cost a thing!

So my goal for next year is to make Christmas more about love and appreciation and less about gifts and commercial retail!

"What if Chrstmas, he thought, doesnt come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little more." - Dr, Seuss's, The Grinch.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Move Over Me, There's a New Justify-er in Town!!

The other day, I was emailing with my good friend Teenah about my struggles with crafting lately. (That's a different blog, another day.) Anyway, here's how the emails went: 

Teenah: Maybe you just need a break [from crafting]…: )

Me:  I thought I had a break since I didn't do any crafting over Thanksgiving. Maybe I need more of a break, but I fear that if I don't craft or do something productive with my time, I will hate myself more than I already do. :o|  (If you don't know this already, I'm very dramatic!)

Teenah: Nooooooooooo…sometimes the break taking, and doing nothing but vegging out on the couch is technically productive because really there is only so long that you can do that before you’re like I WANT. no NEED to organize that closet, or that drawer, or that storage space : ) so you’re gearing yourself up for projects by doing nothing hahaha

Me: You are toooooo much with justifying the taking break thing. I think perhaps we have a new "The Justify-er" on our hands. I just might have to blog it. LOL 

Later in the conversation, we were talking about how you spend all this time working on a craft and then when it doesn't turn out absolutely perfect, it's frustrating. 

Me:  I guess who cares how it turns out if I am enjoying myself while I do it.

Teenah:  Oh I’m the same way too.  if it doesn’t turn out perfect I throw a fit.  But I’m just enjoying trying new things…you should blame the craft not yourself : )

And that ladies and gentlemen is why there's a new Justify-er in town! She took justifying to a whole new level when talking about how taking a break and vegging on the couch is actually productive because it's gearing me up to be motivated. 

No wonder we are such good friends. She is my hero. 

~Danielle~
(Formerly known as "The Justify-er")

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dennis Strikes Again!


Remember me?? I so cute!!

Or so he thinks...

I get this text message from K today:


"Edward admiring his work."

He has some crazed obsession with rugs in general, but for some reason, this one tickles his fancy more than others. 
The first year we moved down to So Cal, we would come home from work and he had dragged the rug from under the Christmas tree all the way to the front door so it was like a present waiting for us when we got home. 
For some reason, he didn't bother the skirt last year. 
I dont really know why, I just remember not having to battle him with tearing it apart and putting it back together.

Here is more of his artistry:


Its the rug in front of the kitchen sink. 
The art of bunching has Edward -- er, I mean Dennis the Menace -- written all over it. 

And just so he knows who's boss around here... A pic that should embarrass him:



What cat, with any kind of cat dignity, sits like that?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Total Count:



16 of these bad boys!!! 
That's the most I've done so far!

 I called to tell my mom today how many I did and told her I was out of material so if she wanted them again next year, it meant she was going to have to head to the fabric store and go through the grueling process of cutting the strips. She said she thought this was the last year. My initial reaction was to jump for joy... but then I think I was a little sad. I have made these for the last three years and as much as I hate them and they literally make me angry sometimes when I am doing them, they have become somewhat of a tradition. Perhaps I will take Teenah's advise and sell them on Etsy. LOL

Thanksgiving Weekend

I had five and a half days off for Thanksgiving. My intent was to get a TON of crafting done, however, that didn't happen. I got ZERO crafting done. But it was a fun weekend, none the less.

We kicked it off Tuesday night with VIP Tickets to go see Katy Perry that my AWESOME sister-in-law scored tickets for us. We had seats in a suite that came with free food and get this -- FREE BEER! WOOHOO!!! We had a great time and it was truly the cheapest, most fun date night we have ever had. Only out of pocket cost was the tip we gave the valet guy. Oh, and the gas it cost us to get there, but it was A LOT of fun and much needed!

Thursday was Thanksgiving (obviously!) and was a great day. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's the one holiday you get together with family, relax, eat, play games, and there's no expectations. It's also my favorite holiday this time of year because it's a low-key holiday for us. It was just the three of us and our three cats. We cooked two birds and a full spread. It was fantastic!

Saturday we went to San Clemente for "Putting on the Glitz". I guess it's an annual event, but it was our first time. They close the streets and the stores are open for browsing and there's Christmas festivities - Caroling, Santa, carriage rides, train rides, hot chocolate, candy canes, etc. It was a good time. Plus San Clemente is one of my favorite places down here. It was one of the first beaches K took me to when I came down to visit her before I moved here. It's beautiful.

We headed down a little early to catch the sunset











One of these, is not like the other! I'd be pissed if my neighbor painted their house that color!!!


Gorgeous. Where the day ends and the night begins!















Sunday began the huge task of Christmas decorating! We go all out for Christmas in our house. It looks like Santa puked Christmas in our house. The first year I lived down here we had some absurd number of five trees in our tiny two bedroom apartment. We don't have that many trees anymore, but it's still a lot of Christmas.

These are new this year. We found them at Walgreens of all places, but I LOVE them.

One of our trees. We still have to put on the ornaments.



OH! I forgot about these little guys. I cant really qualify it as crafting, but I saw a lantern Christmas decoration on Pinterest and we had some lanterns left over from our wedding that I was going to do this with. K didn't really want me to paint the lanterns so they will stay white but putting the balls inside is a cute touch.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Impecible Timing

In my blog about Random Acts of Kindness I mentioned a story about paying the toll for people behind you on a bridge or toll road.

I learned this trick from one of my best elementary school friend's mom. We were driving back from "The City" as us Bay Area folks call it. To those from outside the Bay Area, we were coming back from San Francisco and my friend's mom paid the toll for the person behind us to get back across the bridge.

I was somewhat baffled by what she had done. I am positive I asked some questions about it, although I cant remember the exact dialogue, I know there was one. It was a lesson that stayed with me throughout the years.

The next time I went over the bridge with my family, I told my mom about my friend's mom and asked her to do the same. My mom refused saying that she was positive the toll booth worker would pocket the money. (Back then, it was a whopping $2.) I tell her so what, it's still a kind gesture no matter where the money ends up. Needless to say, I was never able to convince my mom to pay for the car behind us.

Finally, I was old enough to drive and I remember being so excited the first time I was able to pay for the car behind me. I don't do it for any kind of thank you. Often times, you are so far ahead the car doesn't get the opportunity to say thanks. But looking in the review mirror, seeing the car try to give the toll booth worker the money and knowing the confusing conversation that is going between the two of them makes it all worth it. Every now and again you'll get a honk of the horn, the flash of the lights, and on the occasions that they actually catch up with you, you're sure to get a smile and an enthusiastic wave. It's great.

I pay the toll for the people behind me every opportunity I got.

Fast forward a few years... I am well into my 20's at this point and my mom was out from Indiana visiting. My mom, my sister and I had taken a road trip to The City and we were on our way back. My sister was driving and as we got close to the toll booth I said, "OH! Pay for the person behind us!" My mom and sister were both like, "No... why would we do that?" or something like that. I am sure my mom threw out the same suspcious line she used when I was a kid, "The booth worker will just pocket the money."

Shaking my head I'm thinking, "I cant believe these people" as I started digging in my purse to see if I had enough cash on me to do it myself. I did. I passed the cash to the front seat and said, "I'll pay for the car behind us."

We get up to the booth... My sister rolls down her window... puts her hand out the window with the cash in her hand... and before she can say anything, the toll booth guy says, "The car in front of you paid for you."

HA! Can you imagine the satisfaction I felt in that very moment? It was the absolute perfect moment for that Random Act of Kindness to come back to me. It is likely that it wont ever happen again, but I am so OK with that because it happened at the exact moment that it was supposed to happen. It was AWESOME. It was like the satisfaction of tuning non-believers into believers. I have no idea if my mom or sister ever paid for the people behind them after that. I like to think and hope they have, but either way, I was glad they got to see that there is still good in the world and not everyone is as dishonest as they think.

There is one thing that I regret about it. I was so wrapped up in the excitement and gratitude and satisfaction of  what just happened... I forgot to tell my sister to keep it going and Pay it Forward!! I wish she would have still paid for the car behind us, and then they pay for the car behind them, and so on and so on. I'm sure they have had a chain reaction like that.

Next time I go through a toll both, I am going to ask the worker if they've ever seen a Random Act of Kindness chain and if so, how long did it last.

Random Acts of Kindness

I used to consciously make an effort to do a Random Act of Kindness at least once a week. My favorite one to do was when having to pay a toll on a bridge, I would pay for the car behind me.(I have an AWESOME story about this, but that will be for another blog) Other times it was just little things I would try to do on the spot... help a little old lady at the grocery store, buy a friend lunch or a coffee, leave a candy bar for a co-worker. They weren't big, but often... it's the little things that matter the most.

Recently, I have been wanting to get back on the Random Act of Kindness train again. I have felt discouraged though because when I did it in the past, I was making twice as much money as I am now so I had more ways to do things. I really want to get back to doing things, but am struggling with thrifty ideas.


Leaving food for someone is not really feasible unless it's for people you know and you're willing to identify where it came from. I read somewhere that this lady would "doorbell ditch" people and then leave Ding Dongs on their porch. Even if it was comepletely wrapped and in the box, I myself, would feel weird eating it. So that's out.







I could craft things easily, but how do I know what the stranger might like?? I guess if I found a craft on my door I would just smile and be grateful. If it was absolutely hideous, I might pay it forward and just leave it for someone else. Soooo that's an option.





I saw on Pinterest where people wrote messages to newlyweds on rocks and then put them in a vase for them to reflect on through their marriage. I thought it would be pretty easy (and mostly free) to do something similar as a Random Act of Kindness... write inspiring messages on a rock and leave them for people to find.







Another blog I read was that you could do something as simple as sending a friend or family member a nice hand written note. Not a bad idea since most of the stuff that comes for us in the mail these days are bills and junk. It would definitely bring a smile to someone's face to get something special for once.



You can also send a Holiday/Thank You card to the Red Cross that they can give to a soldier.


Mailing Address:
Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456





So, this is my inspiration right now. Find ways to do Random Acts of Kindness for next to nothing cost. I challenge you to do the same. Not just because it's the Holidays, but do it every day. Make it a part of your every day life.

Please feel free to share ideas and join in on the fun!

Take what you need and leave the rest behind.
They could use it to write their own inspirational messages.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Justify-er

K took me to work this morning... we got there a little early so we had a few minutes to kill. While sitting there talking with her, I was watching this lady across the parking lot get out of her car and get something out of her trunk... and well, she waved. And so, I waved back.

K: Did she just wave?
Me: Yep
K: Do you know her?
Me: Nope
K: Huh.....
Me: Maybe she thought I was staring.
K: Oh, maybe
Me: There's a difference between staring and watching. I was watching.
K: Hahaha You can justify anything! You could justify your way out of a paperbag! Instead of "the negotiator" you're "the justify-er".

LMAO!!! Oh, how right she is!!!


When she said the negotiator, the "Priceline negotiator" jingle went into my head... all day at work, I have replayed this story in my head and every time I sing, "Priceline Justify-er". Clearly, the priceline part doesn't really make sense with justify-er, but let me justify why we can make it work.

Priceline.com gets the best prices on hotels and travel accommodations, right? Well, why not have a website - called www.pricelinejustify-er.com. People are always needing to justify things they do or things they say... They could come to "Price-line just-i-fy-er" in search of the best justification that I could provide for them.

Trust me, I would be good at this. I have years of experience and was trained by the best - my mom. K even said that it can be exhausting when my mom and I both get going on something. Hahaha. Thanks, Mom... for giving me the skill of justification!

Much love,
The Justify-er

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scrubbies

Scrubbies - Oh how I hate thou.

Every year, I crochet beloved Scrubbies for my mom's Christmas Craft Sale at her church. She says they sell like hot cakes to all the little old ladies. (Ssshhh, we wont tell her that she qualifies as one of those little old ladies she so fondly refers to.) Supposedly, they sell so fast she can barely get them out on the table before they're all sold. They're a hot ticket item.

The first year she asked me to make them, K and I had just started dating. Imagine my embarrassment when I told her I was "crocheting scrubbies". I am certain her first thought was, "How old is this chick?" and her second thought, which is what her response was, "What the hell is a scrubbie?"

This seems to be the general response from those in my generation. The only way I know how to explain it is they are like homemade SOS pads. I guess. I dont really understand them either, I just make them.

They are kind of a pain to make. The material you make them with is netting bought at the fabric store - by the yard. In order to crochet these little boogers, they have to be cut into 1-2 inch strips. WAY too much work for me, so that's where my one stipulation comes in - "I will make them for you, Mom, but you have to cut the netting." aaaand, it's a deal.

Last year my mom sent me 4 neatly cut and rolled balls of netting. I couldn't have possibly done all four balls in one year, so I promised her that I would hold on to what I didn't use and use it for my supply the following year.

Now... it's the following year. I have a little purple left, a whole roll of red left, and a whole roll of green left. I have been putting off doing them for over a month. Every day telling myself, I'll start them tomorrow. Tomorrow never came... but then, Episode 17 of Lost happened and instead of finding a dull knife, I got out the scrubbie material and started crocheting.

Here's how I make mine:

Chain (CH) 4, connect to make a circle with Single Stitch (SS) in first Ch
Ch 3 (counting as your first Double Crochet), Double Crochet (DC) 15 into circle (16 total - it's a tight fit) connect the first and last DC with a SS.
Ch 3, DC twice in each DC space in the ring below (32 DC total), connect first and last DC with SS
 Tie off.

Repeat the above directions.

Connect the two messy, netty circles with a Single Crochet around the edges.

I typically make them all one color
I despise making these little boogers. The material is difficult to work with. When I crochet with yarn, there becomes a flow... a rhythm that you get into. The needle flows smoothly in and out of the loops. Not with these little boogers.It's constantly getting tangled and you cant be too rough with it because if you do, you'll tear it and it will break.

The material is also rough so after making a few of them, my fingers begin look red and swollen and feel raw. This adds to my anger and frustration as the needle refuses to smoothly flow through the difficult material.

They're timely. I timed myself last night and one scrubbie takes me almost 45 minutes to complete from beginning to end. And that doesn't count all the times I throw a small tantrum and have to put it down while I allow myself a moment to breathe and count to ten. 

Lastly, I especially don't care for doing these little boogers, because after all that pain and suffering I go through to make them, I don't take a step back and think, "Oh, but they're so cute." Because they're not. And even if they were, I would always think in the back of my mind, "They're so cute... and someone is going to ruin the cuteness by cleaning their dirty dishes with it." So I guess when looking at it like that, it might be better that they're not cute.

BUT, for as much disdain I feel towards these little boogers, I have 100 times that amount of love for my mom and I know that making these makes her happy and that's all that really matters. So, I will continue to make these every season until my generation becomes little old ladies and no one knows what the hell they are.

If I make two a day from now until the 28th, I will have made about 30. That's totally doable and twice the amount I have made in years past. Stay tuned for a final count update!

Lost

We are on a very strict budget this month so crafting and cheffing new recipes have been at a stand still. What do I do with my time on the weekends if I don't have new projects to try, the weather is bad, and I am on a tight budget? I usually feel rather "lost" and end up parked in front of the TV.

TV choices this weekend were terrible. Just so you have an idea of how bad it was, I spent most of Saturday watching Pitbulls and Parolees as I did miscellaneous tasks around the house.

I spent Saturday evening playing games with K... that was fun, of course. I LOVE games... but after the games, there still wasn't anything on TV. We have Netflix and we always talk about streaming old TV shows that we've never seen and we decided tonight was the night to start streaming.

Brace yourselves -- Neither one of us has ever seen Lost, but have always heard the rave throughout the years. Why not start with Lost? Perfect.


 25 episodes later, I don't know that I am really a fan. This could be for one of many reasons:

  1. I'm not a huge fan of Sci-Fi and Lost seems to have a bit of a Sci-Fi aspect to it that I have to buy into to believe. 
  2. It kind of grosses me out. They're dirty... not to mention every time someone kisses I think, "They haven't brushed their teeth in days, weeks, months!!" K says they have toothpaste from the luggage on the plane. Well, they might have some now, but they're eventually going to run out. 
  3. They had a baby on the show. It's been, idk how many episodes, and they still haven't named the kid.  On character called it Turnip-head. That's the closest to a name it's gotten.
  4. The dramatic music is incredibly cheesy, which for me, takes away from the quality of the show.
  5. 25 episodes in a row was overkill.
I think it's most likely #5. I was done watching around episode 16. By done, I meant, I had just had enough for the weekend. I needed a break. By episode 20 or 21, K was trying to convince me to keep going so we could get through Season 1. She says, "Only 2 more hours." I sat in silence, but apparently the look on my face hinting to the conversation I was having with myself in my head spoke volumes.

The conversation with myself went like this, "Two hours? Two hours isn't that bad, but I don't think I can do it! Wait, it's MORE than two hours. Each episode is about 42 minutes. (This is the one perk to streaming them - no commercials so the episodes aren't a full hour.) We have at least four more episodes, that's 168 minutes which is actually almost THREE more hours. I cant do it. No."

And I didn't really do it. I fell asleep on the couch while K finished Season 1. Now the dilemma is: Do I give up entirely and just tell her to watch without me? Or do I try and catch up and watch 100 more episodes of a show I am not really sure I love? I LOVE Grey's Anatomy, but I don't even think that I could have stomached that much Grey's in one sitting.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1st Christmas Craft of the Year

I saw this pin on Pinterest and thought in the day and age of the Words with Friends craze, this could be cute, but it would definitely need some dressing up.



Here's my version of dressing up.

All I did to dress them up was to put color to the ribbon, and as you can see, I tied little bows on Barbara's.

Simply hot glue the letters together. The glue will ooze out on the front and back of the tiles when you put them together, but don't fret. When it dries, it's super easy to just pick off and it cleans right up.

They're kind of fragile. I dropped a few while assembling them and they just snapped right apart, so I thought a little reinforcement might help.

Here's what I did to add reinforcement.

I just added a little ribbon on the back. It gives more support to the tiles and dresses up the ornament even more.

I am planning on using these as the gift tags for their actual presents. Hopefully, actually people will keep them and hang them on their tree!

Obviously there's a lot more you can do with these to dress them up. I may do that as I do the rest of them. I only have about 40 more to make!

The biggest challenge is going to be finding enough Scrabble games to complete all of them. Watch out thrift stores and garage sales, I'll be coming for your Scrabble games!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Denise (her name not changed to protect the innocent), sent me an email with a link to a project she thought would be right up my alley and she was right!



With Halloween just around the corner, I needed to get this project done before it was too late. So, Friday after work, I made it my mission to get the supplies.

After avoiding Walmart for almost two years, my mission took me there thinking it would be a one-stop-shop. I could get groceries, jars, and tissue paper and then head home. I was wrong.

Groceries: The Walmart by my house is apparently not a Super Walmart, thus their grocery selection consisted of cereal, chips, candy, alcohol, and a very small freezer section. Definitely wasn't going to cover my grocery needs.

Jars: They had jars, but I had to buy them in cases of 12. I didn't need 12 not to mention, I want varying sizes. Hmmm... I am thinking about what I can do so I don't have to make a third stop at Michaels and I remember that I put some spaghetti jars in the recycling bags the other day. Perfect! I will just use those.

Tissue paper: They had that and it was cheap. All under $1 except for the bulk of white tissue paper I got. I figured with this project and all the coasters I will be making people for Christmas, I would need the white tissue paper. Only problem was, they didn't have purple. Seriously? I think the Michaels Gods are working against me and doing ALL they could to get me to go there.

I buy the tissue paper and I head out of the store to the grocery store. I grab the things I need, even looked for some Mason jars there and thought I would check out the wrapping paper section for some purple tissue paper. I knew it would be a little more pricey here, but it could prevent that Michaels trip I am so desperately trying to avoid. Annnnnd, they had it! SCORE!

I head home all excited to dig my jars out of the recycling and get to crafting. I dug in the recycling, all right, but I didn't dig out any jars. :o( I guess we already took that bundle of recycling to recycle center. I was heart broken. I did find one jar, but it was an odd shape and I wasn't sure I wanted to use it. I ripped the label off and threw it in the dishwasher anyway.

The next day, when I got up, my sister-in-law had left her old pickle jar soaking on the counter for me. So sweet of her. She knew how disappointed I was the night before because I didn't have any jars.

After cleaning that jar, I suddenly remembered that someone had given us a small Mason jar of homemade apple butter last year and started frantically looking for it in the cupboards. YES! I found it! This was starting to come together. :o)

I wont bore you with the details on how to do the project. You can read that other chick's blog for step by step instructions. The only thing I did different was I used black tissue paper for the faces and just Mod Podged it right onto the jar. She used black paper and glue.

Oh, and one tip: the tissue paper is very fragile when doused in Mod Podge. There are a number of spots that the tissue paper ripped while I was working on another part of the jar, but don't fret!! I just patched it up with a small piece of tissue paper and more Mod Podge. Only the close inspector will be able to tell.

I made these little guys first:


This was the one that was a weird shape that I wasn't sure about wanting to use. Turned out perfect if you ask me!

And while I was making them, K (the wife... I decided to just start identifying her as K... less to type) reminded me that we had a really big Mason jar in the garage from a 50/50 raffle we did for the Relay for Life event last summer and it would be perfect for a ghost!

Off to the garage I go, to begin crafting the ghost. He was a little more special, this ghost. I drew his face on the black tissue paper and I just did two small ovals for the eyes and one large oval for the mouth. As I was cutting the mouth, I decided I wanted the mouth to have a different shape... like the mask from the Scream movies. Well, let's just say my free-hand cutting abilities aren't what I thought they'd be.

WARNING:  This blog may contain different images, some of which are considered objectionable or offensive by some readers.



That's not going to work. :o\ Hmmm... How can I fix this? So I went to the computer and Google imaged the Scream Mask and literally traced the face right from the computer screen, onto my black tissue paper and got this:


Here is what they look like all set up together:


Pretty stinking cute. Thanks to my sister for finding the blog with the project. Special thanks to K and my sister-in-law for not letting me get all suicidal over another failed project and helping me find the jars I could use around the house. I had a lot of fun doing it and was even a little bummed out when I was out of jars to do. This was the extent of my pumpkin carving this year. Quite frankly, I would be ok if this was the extent of my pumpkin carving every year.

Did you notice that I was all upset because Walmart didn't even have the purple tissue paper? Did you also notice that out of all the jars, not one of them had purple?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!