Tag Archives: Christmas

Thrifty Living: How To Make A Terrarium Ornament

30 Jan

As you may remember, some friends and I decided to make this year a Handmade Christmas. What gifts I gave were either thrifted or handmade.  While browsing my local craft store for Halloween decorations in September I found a bin filled with these empty plastic ornaments and immediately I knew I’d be turning them into terrariums come December.

If you’ve never made a terrarium before I have a beginner’s tutorial as well as an assortment of terrarium inspiration and information. Terrarium ornaments are simple to make and it was fun to give my friends the gift of something green and growing during the cold winter months. The medium-sized ornaments were a $1.50 at my local craft store, which meant that even I could afford a bunch to give as presents.

Materials:

  • garden soil, preferably damp, hold the gravel
  • plastic ornaments from a craft store, medium-sized
  • paint brush or chopstick
  • tweezers
  • weeds, moss, or other small plants
  • a funnel (or a piece of paper cut to size and rolled to make a funnel)
  • a small shovel

If making tags like mine you’ll also need:

  • decorative paper
  • glue or rubber cement
  • scissors
  • pencil

Instructions:

1. Take your soil and mix in drops of water (or use a spray bottle) until you have damp–but not soggy–soil.  Soil with good drainage works well, so look for the kind that has bits of Styrofoam mixed in or that is specially made for succulents and cactus. Valley soil is perfect because it’s so sandy, but you probably don’t live near me, so look into your local soil first to see if you can use it straight from the ground like I did.

2. Remove the wire topping of your ornament and fill the it a third of the way full of soil using your trowel and funnel. Make sure any rocks or gravel pieces aren’t going in. While they are useful for drainage they also add weight, which we don’t want.

3. Gently pluck some weeds from the ground (or from the fancy container you purchased your plants in) leaving the roots intact. Gently use your tweezers and the stick end of your paintbrush or chopstick to poke your plant through the hole and arrange so the root side is in the dirt. This is the trickiest part, but also why weeds are a good choice: they are used to growing in challenging circumstances and bouncing back even after they’ve been shoved in a jar.

4. Add a few (very few) more drops of water, replace the top, and there you have it–and awesome handmade terrarium ornament that took you all of fifteen minutes to make.

Let’s say you are giving these as a present and want to make a gift tag like I did. No problem, it’s easy! I used the tags that were already attached to the ornaments because they were simple and sturdy.

1. Leaving the tag on the ornament, trace its shape onto a decorative piece of paper using a very sharp pencil. Include a mark for the center hole.

2. Cut out and use that tracing to make two tags for each ornament you are making.  Cut them out.

3. In each tag, cut a slit and a hole for the plastic ring to go through. This is difficult for me to explain, so if you need a visual, click here.

4. Glue the decorative paper to each side of the tag. I used rubber cement and then set a book on top of each tag to prevent warping.

5. Finally, add the person’s name or a holiday message with a pen. A really good idea would be to include simple care instructions on one side of the tag as terrarium maintenance isn’t exactly a common skill. I did not do this because I only just thought of it, but I wish I would have.

I tried making these with both the larger ornaments and the medium-sized ones and it turns out that the medium-sized ones are far better. I wanted the large ones to work because they could hold more plants and maybe even some plastic toys, but the thin wire ornament tops wouldn’t support all that weight and the whole thing kept falling apart. Not a good sign. The medium size worked perfectly.

You can decorate these with plastic toys as long as they are small, lightweight, and will fit through the opening. You can adjust them with your tweezers and paintbrush once they are in. Ribbon would be a lovely way to accentuate and hang these ornaments, too, if you don’t like the look of the plastic ring or the tag. The fact that these ornaments are so simple is what lends them great potential and versatility.

This project was extra thrifty since I had all the materials on hand except the ornaments. If you try this, please let me know! I’d love to hear how it worked for you.

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Crafty: The Heart-Shaped Box

17 Jan

I am so excited to finally share this project with you. I really didn’t do much in the way of handmade gifts for Isobel this year. Focusing on thrifting, hosting Christmas, and just being with my family took up most of my time so I thought I really wouldn’t bother with handmade gifts for Isobel. She is just swimming in toys and things she carries around to play with that aren’t toys, and I knew she’d be getting piles of stuff for Christmas, so it was easy to justify not making her a bunch of gifts. And I’ve already explained my theory of thrifted gifts and why I’m an asshole anyway. But, when the Pixie and I stopped by the craft store a week before Christmas to pick up supplies for the gift I was making my friends, I couldn’t pass up this sweet little paper heart box for 99 cents.

Using craft paint I already had, I used time when Isobel was with Grandma to paint layer after layer of pink paint on the brown paper surface. I decided to paint the inside of the box red to make it stand out more, which I don’t regret but made the whole thing more complicated because each mistake meant waiting for paint to dry to apply another layer to fix the errant blotches.

The craft store also had these fantastic jewels for three bucks, and I can’t think of a more perfect treasure to fit inside. Isobel adores her heart box, and I’m so glad I took the time to make it. Total cost of the project was less than five bucks. Although I made this as part of Handmade Christmas, wouldn’t this be the perfect Valentine gift, or even project, if your little one was school-aged? It could be filled with chocolate and covered with doilies or modge-podge.

Snapshot

4 Jan

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– I have so much to share, I don’t know where to begin.

– Christmas was great despite the head colds Isobel, Anthony and I succumbed to on Christmas Eve. As I mentioned in my scrapbook post, we ended up cancelling on three of our holiday activities and spent the day playing hours and hours of Mass Effect. Quality family bonding, obviously.

– I hope everyone saw this year’s Christmas card(s). It was difficult, but I think I managed to top last year’s.

– Isobel got a ton of new toys, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, Yay, presents! on the other hand I now have a crap load of stuff to organize and fit in to our already toy-filled abode. She received lots of fancy, expensive toys, but the gift she liked the best (after the vintage 1983 Care-a-lot plus bears, obviously) were the inexpensive set of blocks from her grandparents. We enjoyed them, too. Perhaps being sick had something to do with it, but she spent Christmas day in a new-toy stupor.

– New Years’ was even better. As a family we had all recovered from our malaise and we spent two whole days eating, hanging out with friends who drove in from all over, and playing Scribblish, with hilarious results. We now have a new saying: “I’m trippin’ balls off that Care Bear stare!”

– I’m having a lot of fun thinking up new goals and items for my life list. I’ll share the revised version later this month.

– Remember when I set up a twitter account for Isobel so I could record her milestones, but instead it became yet another outlet for my ridiculousness? Me, neither. But the other day the idea suddenly popped into my head that I could use that account to tweet actual things she says to me, rather than things I made up based on my best assumptions and my faultless mother’s intuition. If you want to encourage me in my delusions or hear about how much she loves the Care Bears constantly, you can follow her on twitter here.

– Everyone deserves a little something pretty to start the new year off right, so don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free Vegan-approved handmade bow from Inez Gill! These little babies are adorable and the contest is open until Friday. Don’t forget to follow Inez Gill on twitter. Not only will it give you an extra entry in the contest, but she tweets as a real person, not as a business, so she’s great to talk to as well.

– My friend Camilla sent me a whole box of cookbooks and they arrived just in time for Christmas. My favorites so far are the ones that involve cooking with kids, which she sent my way especially for Isobel. Right now our favorite is the Peter Rabbit and Friends Cook Book, which strangely had no recipes for hasenpfeffer.

Packing up Christmas is kind of a pain in the ass.

– I’m working on a special project for next week: the Best of Follow Friday 2011. I’m using my favorite 100 photos from last year and choosing the best of the best tweets from 2011 to create seven days of Follow Friday posts. The posts will not only highlight the funniest moments but it will also serve as a scrapbook of the year’s best photos and memories from 2011. I hope you all enjoy it.

– Really and truly, this was one of my favorite New Years of all time.

– I owe everybody (especially @turtleparade) a fabulous recipe for Roast Chickpeas. I haven’t forgotten. It’s coming and it will be worth the wait.

– My friend Korinne and I came up with the latest fad to lose your shit over: Mustache Bird. It’s going to be huge on Etsy.

Photos from the week:

Favorite Links:

– Vintage Alice in Wonderland invitations. I feel a themed party coming on. Via The Red Star Designs.

– My twitter wife shared this video with me: All the Single Ensigns.

– Dave Polak’s adorable kittens have started a Tumblr. As the Jennui once said, “The Internet is made of cats.

– Are you a new parent? Perhaps you’d enjoy the book Give Baldy Your Tit. Via Stray.

– The Dr and Mrs The Doctor Monarch sing Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Scrapbook: Christmas Highlights

1 Jan

I’m not going to make you guys suffer through another long Christmas post (like I did last year). I’m sure your’ readers are chalk full of them, anyway. If you want the whole Christmas story, feel free to go here. These photos are just the highlights of our holiday celebration, made unfortunately short by the sharing of a family cold virus. Merry Christmas to all of us! Peace and joy to the world! Now let’s all huddle under a nest of blankets on the couch and play Mass Effect till our eyes fall out.

Follow Friday: Cousin Photos

30 Dec

Last summer my cousin gave me a green, Christmas-themed shirt her daughter Victoria had outgrown. “Save it for Christmas,” she said, “and we can take photos of the kids in their Christmas shirts.” I thought this was a great idea, so I folded it up and tucked it away in a safe place with enthusiasm. Fast forward six months later, and that shirt is nowhere to be found.

“Liz,” I had to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’ve turned into my mother.”

The cousin photos are adorable even without matching shirts, though my cousin made a huge faux pas when she tried to take Isobel’s purse out of the picture. ONE DOES NOT MESS WITH THE PINK PURSE OR ONE WILL BE SORRY. Also, check out that sweet goat Baby’s Sam’s holding. I’m pretty proud of it, as I am proud of the last photo in this series. I think I’ve found my calling: Awkward Unposed Children’s Photos.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

hollyburnsAll the dates I’m writing in my new 2012 planner are for season premieres of TV shows.

mommywantsvodka I cannot seem to come up with any decent resolutions for the New Year, so instead I will resolve not to become Lil Wayne.

NicLewis I think I’m a reverse hipster. Whatever the musical group you’re talking about, I’ve probably never heard of it.

theRratedBull That caller I just transferred is so lucky! They get to hear “Endless Love” in its entirety without going to an 1980’s wedding.

justaboutagirl The mom of those Invisalign Teen girls CLEARLY has a favorite child.

SteveMartinToGo My holiday twitter hours: Open all day and night. Except Wodensday, of course. Too busy worshiping Woden. Don’t care about Thorsday.

JVdesigns @exlibris I envy not only that you met Anthony Bourdain, but that you have it on a list with goats.

LouisPeitzman Are there charities to raise money for celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Kelly Clarkson who can’t afford access to Google?

Y_U_NOOO TWITTER FRIENDS, Y U LIVE SO FAR AWAY? Y U NO LIVE NEXT DOOR?

milonguera I’m drinking sangria for dinner. Because an hour ago I ate 70 more pounds of Chex Mix.

wordlust Two things I need to say more often are “I’m sorry” and “Choo-choo!”

palinode My review of Mission Impossible IV is that I stayed home and watched Tree of Life.

LaurelKS I’ve missed #oversharewednesday for months and I invented it. Don’t feel bad if you forget.

RideOrDiePudge You guys who habitually change your avatars have given me a chilling sneak peak into living with Alzheimers.

TheMiaWarren Mystikal was a rapper who cared. He told you to shake your ass but he also told you to watch yourself.

jenstatsky I always say no to drugs. Mostly after I take a bunch of em and am like, “hey I’m gonna start talking to these drugs!”

PolyesterPony Picture Tintin as a gay man and you’ve got a pretty good idea what I look like without my beard.

lieberian FB didn’t seem that interested in my new Perry the Platypus T-shirt, but I know you’ll get me, Twitter.

MightyQuinn72 The kids have gone into an After Christmas Electronic Game trance where they don’t eat and growl when I approach them.

MightyQuinn72 The one positive about the kid’s video game frenzy is that I hear there is a shortage of Single Player Shooters in the job market.

sgnp White plastic sheeting over an entire hill is the closest thing to snow I’ve seen all year.

lafix By the looks of this Starbucks, a whole lot of lumberjacks are working on their novels.

joversusvolcano When I go to Hogwarts I’m going to get a wand made out Keith Richards’ femur and unicorn pubes.

paulverhoeven They should have called Close Encounters of the Third Kind POTATO MOUNTAIN.

JRehling  People may say I’m old-fashioned, but e’re the Moone werthe and halpthsome Fairies ag’in the heckerlocke Smythe of Aethyr luvv.

Nathan_Pensky Remember when you tried to use the force on your shoe? You were 19. Not a good year for you. LOSE A TURN. #GameOfLife

warmandpunchy take the path that takes you to college. ha ha idiot, all your money is gone forever now #GameOfLife

 Nathan_Pensky  Who’s that guy from jr high who said his dad knew Patrick Swayze? There’s an hour gone remembering right there. GO DOWN THE CHUTE #GameOfLife

Nathan_Pensky  Feel a weird pain. It’s obviously cancer. Obviously. Think about cancer for three hours while trying to work. GO BACK TWO SPACES #GameOfLife

LouisPeitzman  Watch your health insurance expire right before an illness. Draw from Community Chest. There is nothing there. #GameOfLife

rare_basement  Grandma gives you twenty bucks out of pity. Move ahead three spaces. Hooray! #GameOfLife

notthatkendall  I’m pretty sure you guys are repinning stuff just to fuck with me now.

ClevelandPoet  Manager: “How ya doing?” Me: “I’m doing.” Manager: “You’re doing? Yeah I’m doing too.” Me: “Hooray doing!” Manager: …. #HowJimiRolls

NotActuallyHero  I love when someone’s bio says they’re the official account for someone you’ve never heard of because I appreciate officialness

thecorbettkid  all toys that make sounds will have their batteries removed tonight.

Patheticist  Halfway through War Horse I asked the guy next to me to shoot me so I didn’t suffer any more.

Athenabee  You know what I like to happen when someone comes over? Athena to walk out with my bra on.

BridgetCallahan  It’s hard to explain to someone for the twentieth time why they are literally the worst person you have ever met, which is why I use lasers.

cryanathus  Accidentally punched the door frame while trying to slide across the floor in new socks.

derekblackmon   Just put my 7 yr old in Time Out for not showing me how to split the blue birds.

Greeblemonkey  Good news: Didn’t break my arm ice skating yesterday. Bad News: It is so sore I’m having trouble doing laundry. WAIT. GOOD NEWS ALL AROUND.

jen_talley  So I’m thinking about getting out of pajamas today. I know! I need to pace myself.

theneener And, with delayed comedic timing, my dog has let out an audible fart.

TheBloggess  I wonder if @DalaiLama follows no one bc he’s making a very deep statement or if he just doesn’t know how twitter works.

eliza_evans  Good night, Internet. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

BillMc7  Tequila is like Instagram for your eyeballs.

thejennui  The Internet is made of cats.

FannyOvrTeacups If the cat gets any fatter, I’m going to buy him his own wardrobe of tiny woolen cardigans and change his name to Mr. Belvedere.

SpaghettiJesus  If this is a Downton Abbey marathon, I’ll believe in god, but only because it’s obviously a woman with good taste.

Toaster_Pastry  According to Klout I can gain 5 additional Twitter followers if I say the word “boob.” Oh, my boobs ache.

davepolak  “Three blind mice walk into a pub. But they are unaware of their surroundings, so to derive humour from it would be exploitative.”

slackmistress  In case any of you were feeling remotely attracted to me, my bra is filled with brownie crumbs.

ProfessorSnack  Remember my bus ride from DC to Indiana? This time I’m driving! With my family! Made boys go all day without peeing for conditioning.

tehawesome  Matt Damon plays an adventurous father who takes a big risk in the heartwarming comedy-drama We Bought a Zune.

ApocalypseHow  Show of hands: How many of you only remembered it’s Jesus’ birthday from Facebook?

shinyinfo  Mom: “You can check Google but it might be off today.” #Christmas

JohnFugelsang  Happy Birthday to a radical revolutionary who never defended torture, badmouthed gays, or asked a leper for a co-pay.

writingdirty I keep reading it as “Merry X-men”

colsonwhitehead  When the song was written, “bough” meant “corpse,” so you’re singing about decorating your house with the body parts of someone named Holly.

jillsmo  My tombstone will read: “even though she was Jewish, she was still killed by eggnog.”

thejennui  My cat has an inappropriate relationship with my new Snuggie.

steenyweeny  DIE HARD IS ON PRAISE SANTA

Smethanie  A toast to the easiest night of the year to get kids to bed! Cheers!

TheMostTender  The chunk of crab in my cousin’s hair is the least awkward thing going on at this family dinner.

Smethanie No, I’m not last-minute shopping. I’m in the toy aisle on Christmas Eve as part of my Zombie Apocalypse training.

iamfoxyroxie I have no idea what to get my dog for Christmas. #firstworldproblems

johnmoe  My non-American followers should know that the most popular gifts this year are still handguns, cowboy hats, and piles of deep fried things.

WordShore   Hurrah! The Asian corner shop is open tomorrow, so if you are local and haven’t got a present from me yet, you’ll be getting a yam.

Angel__Bee  You guys, I don’t want to jinx it but I’ve made it through the whole holiday season without having to hear that “Christmas Shoes” song

Greeblemonkey  GetGlue is the new Klout is the new Foursquare of annoying Twitter notifications.

shinyinfo  I’m just saying. If there is a siege, the library WILL. NOT. FALL. I have metal bookends I will throw like ninja stars if need be.

MaryHChrist  In the middle east. Pregnant. On a donkey. FML

mrshiggison  When I hear the kids coming up the stairs, I shove whatever I’m eating entirely into my mouth.

palinode I just let something me dismay.

TheRedQueen  Sometimes I wonder why I attempt anything beyond getting myself dressed and not drooling on everything.

badbanana  My New Year’s Resolution, like always, will be to avoid an elk herd attack. I have a good feeling 2012 will be the year.

ecareyo  While standing in line at the store, I whisper “There, there, you’ll be back here very soon” to the Christmas gift I’m about to buy for Mom

meganamram Every time a bell rings, an angel trained by Pavlov starts to drool.

AnnieLowrey  What is scarier: Toy-obsessed, super-judgmental, bearded trespasser, or winged lady who wants to trade dollar bills for teeth?

KagroX  Jingle Bells. They jingle all the way. It’s fun 2 ride in a sleigh w my friends. We dashing thru the snow. We dashing. #RebeccaBlackCarols

thegrumbles when i put my ear up to my coffee cup i can hear the ocean

chickenscottpie  Sorry, lady hitting on me in the fabric store, there’s a reason I’m a dude shopping in a fabric store.

KaseyAnderson Why would I dance like nobody’s watching? People need to see this shit.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

I Can’t Decide On Just One, So I’m Sending Them All

25 Dec

Thrift Store Gore: Christmas Special

24 Dec

 “I see you when you’re sleeping. I know when you’re awake. AND ALONE.”

“Get me outta here, will ya? I have a sleigh to pull for Dick Chaney.”

“Just ate all the Sugarplum Fairies, LOL.”

“I think the baby Jesus is faaaaaaabulous!”

“Zorro made it himself!”

“You shouldn’t have bought those thigh-high boots and clown hat.”

“Yo quiero your soul.”

“Ho ho ho! Santa’s been naughty.”

“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A BUD LIGHT!”

Follow Friday: Christmas Past

23 Dec

Today’s post features photos from Christmas past. Enjoy!

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

NicLewis RT @nprnews: After 25 Years In Woman’s Stomach, A Pen Still Writes // It wrote, “Get me out of here!”

Pinboard Ask yourself this: is there any JRR Tolkien place name that does not sound like the name of a mood stabilizer or antifungal cream?

kwmurphy I can never spell the word “hemorrhoids” right on the first try. You’d think I could, as it comes up so often in my line of work.

danforthfrance Already can’t stop saying “Bagginses. What is a Bagginses, Precious?” Welp, be glad you don’t know me in real life. It’ll be a year of this.

maggiesox I WILL CHOKE SOMEONE FOR THE HOBBIT TRAILER, COME ON APPLE.

inversejaik Thanks to the replicator, the crew learns the true meaning of Christmas. Crusher is perplexed when Worf’s heart grows three sizes. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Geordi and Data put warp plasma in Barclay’s coffee, with horrifying results. Worf’s son Alexander wonders why he even bothers. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Worf learns that the Klingon way of mathematics takes too long. On a dare, Lwaxana Troi marries Barclay. #TNG_S8

inversejaik When the ship falls through a spacetime anomaly, Picard is trapped in a turbolift with himself. Worf is enraged by the game of golf. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Riker & Worf use the holodeck to research the 21st-cen. ideal of being “bros.” Troi goes on and on about her most recent makeover. #TNG_S8

MrWordsWorth It must be tough for people on The Real World to actually have to return to the real world.

ScrewyDecimal This anxious, nauseated, “how will I pay my credit card bill next month” feeling can only mean one thing: I’ve finished Christmas shopping!

Angel__Bee Allie really doesn’t appreciate my Eddie Vedder impression as much as she should.

steenyweeny gonna put my religion as ‘grumpy as hell’ on this HR form.

MmeSurly PAJAMAS I WANT TO BE INSIDE YOU

Zaius13 They finally released Schindler’s List on blu-ray with tons of bonus features, including over an hour of hilarious bloopers!

NASeason I appear to have reserved an awfully large portion of brain space for 80’s lyrics.

BugginWord “Honey, do we have a protractor?” – Not what I was expecting.

schmutzie I’LL USE ALL-CAPS IF I WANT TO. THE INTERNET ISN’T NEARLY LOUD ENOUGH.

theRratedBull I think my half-ass effort isn’t working because I’m still a top-performer at work. I think what we need here is a quarter-ass effort.

Patheticist I feel guilty that I’ve spent more on myself than the rest of my entire family combined. I’m teaching them a Christmas lesson, probably.

willgoldstein “Don’t let the dog lick you, she’s been eating her own poop again.” #thingsIhavetosaytoooften

sarahmcdallen Me: We have a chance of snowy owls this winter! Kim (baffled): They can predict those “birds falling out of the sky events” now?

finslippy I now have seven pounds of pulled pork. Just in time for Hanukkah!

danforthfrance My cat purrs like the Enterprise-D warp core. No YOU’RE never getting laid again!

notperfect Before you think that my shopping hesitance is partly financial savvy: I once paid a massage therapist to listen to my sacrum.

InfiniteChicken I just gave @KimKardashian +K in Chlamydia!

onenjen So, now that my son is potty trained, I’m gonna be wiping pee off the toilet seat for the next, what, 15 years?

heliumcell YEAH, CUT AWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KEYBOARD SOLO. I REALLY WANT TO SEE WHAT THE DRUMMER IS DOING RIGHT THERE. OH COOL, HITTING A CYMBAL

Patheticist You can accurately guess a person’s age by length of their voicemail message.

jenstatsky When I was a kid, I honestly thought that using Quicken was a major part of adulthood.

sarahbellum Today was amazeballs, only without the amaze part.

juan_incognito Most of the time when I appear to be in deep thought, I’m just thinking about what I’m going to build with my Legos when I get home.

notthatkendall An awkward thing is trying to figure out how you will explain to a spambot that you don’t eat McDonalds.

goodinthestacks James Franco can get professors fired for giving him bad grades? That dude really can do it all.

joeinverarity You all moonwalked into my heart.

shinyinfo If I were a millionaire I’d take the train places ALL THE TIME. Across the country, several times a year. I’d waste my money SO HARD!

thejohnblog Rick Perry issued a press release extending his condolences to the family of Lil Kim.

sgnp Bras are pretty amazing. They’re MADE to have boobs shoved in ’em! #HouseCleaningThoughts

Smethanie LOL Hot Pockets for including conventional oven cooking instructions!

macleanbrendan If we’ve learned anything from Kim Jong-Il’s death it’s that people are very good at quoting Team America.

abobrow This has been a shit year for my fantasy dictator team.

NASeason So, at what age do I have to stop dressing my kid in one piece pajamas? Twelve?

shariv67 Huz: What do you want for xmas? Me: A Mercedes? Huz: Try again. Me: Foot rubs for a year? Huz: What model Mercedes?

80sMomKara My 8 year old: “On Christmas, why don’t we go to that midnight madness thing over at that church in Biloxi?” Me: “You mean midnight MASS?”

Soulsmithy Scary poops are the price we pay for holiday potlucks.

theSethsquatch The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But only if you enter through his ass.

NicLewis 8-track players in attics transform back into their disco-robot forms for the long trip back to planet Funk. #ChristmasMiracle

owlparliament Charles Bukowski reanimates and comes over; is ornery but also a surprising good pastry chef. #ChristmasMiracle

ryankresse People take nitrates for heart problems. Bacon has nitrates. Therefore, bacon cures heart problems. #logic

mocoddle If I were to get some sort of voice-control typing software, all my tweets would be profanity and chupacabras.

michael_J_m00n When I jingle, I jingle all the way.

paulverhoeven Just tried to Shazam a fire alarm at a Westfield.

ruthakers You can tell a lot about a girl by how many hand movements it takes her to describe her prom dress.

allisonthemeep Um, Christmas is in one week. Holy shit. I mean, Oh, holy shit. The stars are brightly shining.

J__Swift Okay, Twitter is distracting me from my new boyfriend: video games. We’re gonna go make love now.

TheRedQueen My toddler just shushed me. Apparently I was making too much noise while he was trying to watch his stories.

geekandahalf Pretty sure I meant “bitches”, autocorrect, but good lookin’ out.

J__Swift I think I’ll buy something to cheer myself up. This gun oughta do it.

apodixis Geese always sound like they’re laughing at me. I wonder if they know how good they taste.

alwysabridesmd I see there is a jammie snuggie thing called “Forever Lazy.” pretty sure that would be the phrase I’d choose for knuckle tattoos. #4EVAlazy

dspiral I really should have stretched before wrapping those gifts. #gettingold

benmarvin My new years resolution is to count how many times I poop in 2012.

lemoneyes Waking up early makes it harder for me to stay up late. Too little sleep is what makes that seem like an insight.

danforthfrance Strange that no one in the Nativity stood with their back to the camera.

Toaster_Pastry Daughter brought home a small vial of pure concentrated weapons-grade glitter.

rstevens In the Marvel Universe, a “Daily Bugle” is also a sex act.

mikeleffingwell It sucks when you try to join a gang in a new city and find out none of your street creds transferred.

Lilacmess We got our xmas stockings from my MIL today and proceeded to open all of it. We have completely failed as adults. I blame husband

kellyoxford “I love her period.” – missing comma, game changer

mikeleffingwell ONE DAY after I cancel my “Whoopi Goldberg fart” Google alert and look what happens.

schmutzie I’ve now expanded my diet from peanut butter sandwiches & Little Debbie Nutty Bars to include peanut butter cookies. Diversity is key.

TheNextMartha I’m really hoping to pass this plague onto someone who deserves it.

jenstatsky “Here lies Jen Statsky. She is survived by fourteen hundred half-full punch cards from various coffee shops.”

Angel__Bee Oh good, Allie’s behind the Christmas tree grunting. This will end well.

badbanana The next Mission Impossible movie should be two hours of Tom Cruise trying not to jump onto a couch after drinking seven Red Bulls.

onenjen In my son’s world, the garbage man is on par with Ryan Gosling. “Like, OMG. He WAVED at me!”

johnmoe Question about those Progressive commercials: why are people who are dead and in heaven concerned about car insurance?

JRehling Before you decide you’re the world’s worst cook, I just burned a banana to ashes while peeling it.

Kitty_Crawford I am pregnant. The father is satay chicken curry.

morninggloria GOP debate would be much more tolerable if a merry prankster had queued up the Little Rascals theme to play as the candidates took the stage

ProfessorSnack I spend a lot more of my time than I used to searching for beverages I’ve set down.

LaurenBans How is the tagline for the McRib not “Ribbed For Your Pleasure?” How?

corrinrenee Blankets should have pockets for your feet. #bedtimethoughts

markleggett Send me a DM if you want to swing by my house tonight and get totally fucked-up on vegetarian pizza.

MaybeNotSteve I’m so hungry I asked a horse to the prom and she said YES!!!

adiopink Re: woman who gestured at my dad & asked what my husband does. My sister says I should’ve replied: “He sleeps with my mom.”

meganmonique “The Kinect gives me more opportunities to use my jazz hands!” – The Mister

sucittaM Even if none of the Republican candidates become president, they all still have promising careers as actors in Kay Jewelers commercials.

Caissie Every time I look at Ron Paul my mouth starts watering for a Werther’s Original! #TweetThePress

PolyesterPony My xbox no longer listens when I say pause. We’ve grown so far apart.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Thrifty Living: Christmas Finds

22 Dec

When Anthony and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment decorating for the holidays was easy. I had 500 or so square feet to work with and I Christmas’d the hell out of it. It was adorable, and when we finally bought our house I spent the first Christmas lamenting the apartment. The smallness of the space made my decorations seem much more abundant and adorable then they actually were. Which is why I spend time each year scouring thrift stores for decorations to add to my meager holiday stash.

Just like for Halloween decorations, Christmas decorations are abundant in thrift stores this time of year. My favorite charity shop is now selling all Christmas-related items at half off since in a few days they’ll have to pack it all up and store it away for next year.

Unlike Halloween decorations, the Christmas goodies you find while thrifting can be quite old and wonderful. Or not, such as the mess in the photo above. I bought that for a quarter while thrifting, and for a very special reason.

These adorable Italian mushrooms.

They have a wreath with their name on them. Or something else. I haven’t really decided. But the rest of the centerpiece wasn’t wasted. Zorro and Isobel spent a two full days entertaining themselves with it. After that I boxed up the rest of the holly sprigs that I thought I might use later and donated or threw away the rest.

I found this vintage place mat illustrated with hand drawn holiday decorations. Actually I found a whole set of them, but I’m keeping two. Isobel is kind of obsessed with her vintage dinosaur place mat right now so this mat is usually ignored, but I bet she’ll dig it next year.

I just found this crocheted decoration that’s hanging on my wall as is right now but I might turn it into a photo frame or add some more bells to it.

I have my grandmother’s angel chimes (the traditional kind, with angels instead of a carousel theme) but I always buy angel chimes whenever I find them. I love them and have found it’s useful to keep a couple sets around in case I lose a piece I have a spare. The cats go wild for them, though, so I have to keep them up high and mostly out of sight. I know people say that once you have kids you can’t have nice things, but really that applied to us before we had Isobel because we had cats.

You’ve seen these angels before, but I just had to show them off again. They are my favorite Christmas find this year.

In the same vein of the weird centerpiece in the photo above, I bought this Christmas mess for the parts. I love the holly sprigs and I managed to detach the apples and strawberries for Isobel’s Thrifted Kitchen. I’m using the extra pieces of greenery with birds attached to decorate wrapped Christmas presents. It also has fake plastic popcorn on this, which I’ve never seen before and is kind of hilarious.

But mostly I bought this basket for the teeny tiny mushrooms dotting the display. I pulled those off before Isobel could get to them and used the wire part to attach them to the small silver Christmas tree I used to put up at work.

New favorite ornaments.

Isobel was pretty stoked when I found these guys. It’s pretty obvious they’ve had a few owners. Modeled after these vintage characters that show up again and again in holiday decor of a certain era, these two characters had recently been abused by someone who really fugged them up.

Mrs. Frosty’s hat, candy cane, and scarf were removed and replaced and it took me awhile to pry the hideous buttons of both of them. Eventually I’m gong to repaint them and restore them to their former glory. But for now they’re hanging out on my porch.

Snapshot

21 Dec

Here’s what I’m up to:

– Woohoo! I am late again this week. Go team.

– My friend Kristi made gingerbread chickens instead of gingerbread men and now I’m obsessed with the idea of making non-traditional gingerbread creatures.

– Have you seen Erin’s creative way her family counts down to Christmas? I couldn’t find a photo to link to, but she writes the count down on a chalk board in her family’s kitchen. It’s so adorable, it might be my favorite advent calendar idea yet. I found several chalkboards while thrifting. I’m going to give this a try next year.

Marie showed off a photo of her Hipster Analog PDA. Is it weird that I love seeing the handwritten way people keep track of things? When I still worked at the library I made my own datebook using a notebook and a due date stamp. Now I use a shared google calendar with my husband but I can’t leave the pen and paper world behind: I have a binder that contains all my ideas, my to do lists, important papers I need to have handy, and my menu plan for the week. I’ll show you sometime if you’re interested.

– Another friend named Erin is making a homemade Huckle for her lucky kiddo this Christmas. It is amazing. She is so talented.

– I’m going through the photos on my hard drive (er, hard drives. Let’s be honest, here) and I’m trying to delete the ones I don’t need to make room for future memories. I uploaded more photos from our trip to Cayucos last March for Chris and Jenn’s wedding.

– I recently got a spam comment that was left by “A Puppy.”

– I was having a terrible night until petersagal posted this tweet: Yo Yo Ma on the floor of a bathroom, with a wombat. Then he said, “There. I just justified the existence of Twitter.” Yes you did, good sir! Yes you did.

– While shopping for supplies for Handmade Christmas at Michael’s, we bought some (pink!) pipe cleaners and had some fun. All other games were quickly brought to a halt, however, when she discovered that I could shape them into hearts. Soon she had covered our tree in heart-shaped ornaments. It was so fun.

– My cat Poppy totally clotheslined herself on the Christmas tree garland this morning.

– I’ve realized that ironically it’s Rich People that are best able to pull off Handmade Christmas.  You have to really work to keep your crafts affordable, and they take so much time. Ideally, participants in Handmade Christmas are independently wealthy, so in addition to having all the funds they need at their disposal they can make their butlers help when their fingers get tired.

– I’m still getting more Christmas cards! Thank you so much, friends! But I’m still not returning the favor till after Christmas. Happy New Years cards are for the fashionably late.

– Speaking of cards, I’ve been doing more portrait work in time for the holidays. Earlier this week I shot the best portrait session of my life–a friend wanted to take the most awkward family Christmas photo with her brothers as their gift to their parents. Think matching sweaters, ridiculous headbands, and too-huge identical sets of plaid pajamas. It was epic and I learned it’s difficult to shoot while crying tears of laughter.

Photos:

I like big buns and I cannot lie.

Bring your pink purse with you on your walks.

Wearing your Flair to the grocery store.

Monorail Cat.

Handmade Christmas.

Multitasking.

Little Braid.

I do what I want.