Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Crash


You know that 'crash' you feel after a sugar rush or an all-nighter? That's how I feel right now, since Christmas is over. It was building and building - frantic shopping, hurried wrapping, ripping through presents, and tearing through excellent feasts. Then, a spiral downward, head shaking, muttering, "It's over already? But, I didn't even get a chance to enjoy it." I never got to try Krystal's peppermint or eggnog milkshakes and only just discovered Starbucks' peppermint mocha (soooooo good).
Oh well, there's always next year.
So...what'd ya' get?
ME?
I got a game for the Wii and a promise to go shopping this weekend for the long awaited diamond ring!! (Yes, I'm long married but never got the ring.) I also got a baking stone, a Mickey Mouse ornament, some candy, a beautiful sweater, and some other cool stuff. My oldest niece (age 7) gave me a gold-toned butterfly ring with two red 'stones', and the youngest (age 4) gave me a ceramic plaque to hang that says "Aunt - you make my life a whole lot sweeter." It has pictures of candy on it. Too cute!!

In all, it was a pretty good Christmas, but where all the time went. . . I dunno!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A New Resolve

This week (the gap between Christmas and New Year's) gives off a sensation of transition. As I begin to embark upon the upcoming new year and finish off the last of the cookies, the last of the holiday sales, and the last of this year, I begin to ponder what the new year may hold. For this "Feel Good Friday" I'm thinking about resolutions and goals for the new year.Before you sit down to write out your 'resolutions,' reflect back over your year's successes and failures. Think about what you did well and what you want to do better. I know it is said that no one ever keeps New Year's resolutions. So, instead of a resolution, try to make a few goals. You've got a little time to think about it. For a little creative inspiration, here are a couple of ideas to make you "feel good" in the new year
Here are my own New Year's goals:
1. Get organized
2. Lose Weight via diet and exercise
3. Craft more

It's going to be hard to change habits but I just need to find the right motivation.
I found most of the above links at Zen Habits. There's some GREAT information for self-improvement at that site. Check it out when you get a chance.

Get started on your list and lemmie know what your 2008 goals will be.

Late Holiday Wishes

I hope y'all had a festive and great Holiday break, whatever you celebrate (I'm a poet and. . .) So sorry to leave ya' hanging like that, but I'm sure everyone was tied up with family, presents, and way too much to eat to worry about my little blog. I was. I hope your holiday was everything you wished it would be. I hope to be back on track soon as I have quite a long list of links and interesting material. However, I am trying to play catch-up after being away from work for so long. I'll post again real soon (hopefully tonight!!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weird Things and Christmas Trees and Celebrities. . . Oh My!

I have just a few links for "Wild Wild Web Wednesday"
  • If you're like me and have not even out up a Christmas Tree yet, you can still decorate a tree online.
  • Here's a pretty cool way to manipulate a 3D image
  • If you thought that was weird/cool, check out these glow-in-the-dark CATS. Yes, really!
  • While many Guiness Records are pretty weird, here are the weirdest guiness records of them all.
  • I'm so very excited because Peter Jackson (the guy who made 'The Lord Of the Rings' trilogy) will in fact be working on "The Hobbit" How AWESOME is that?
  • After seeing the before and after of these photoshopped celebrities, I don't feel so bad about myself. Of course, who's to say that those pictures weren't photoshopped to make them go from good to bad...Wait!! I was feeling good about myself, so why think about reality, I was right in the first place. So there.
  • Speaking of celebrities, check out this celebrity mash-up of what would happen when you combine a few of our favorite celebrities. WARNING! Some of these pictures are a bit disturbing!
That's all I have for now. While it's been a crazy week for me, it does not seem to be as wild on the web. Sorry!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho - Ha, Ha, Ha

I don't have anything really fun for today's "Techie Tuesday," and I didn't post my long list of items for "Made Me Smile Monday" so here is a 'Made Me Smile Tuesday' post for you.
  • First, I have several quite funny videos for you
    • Jim Gaffigan's comedy routine centered around Hot Pockets made me absolutely cry with laughter.
    • If you have not discovered 'Flight of the Concords' yet, check out my two favorite songs by them. They have a show on HBO also.

  • I got to see a picture of one of my work friends from the early '90s where he looked like Magnum P.I. with a fanny pack. I about died from laughing. I promised him I wouldn't post the picture, I didn't say I wouldn't mention it.
  • College dorm posters could be cliche' even back in my college days.
  • The signs you may be having a bad day, as done in cat pictures.
  • How a game of marco polo can catch a criminal.
  • "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana" - Groucho Marx
  • And some Holiday funnies
    • With the holiday excuse generator, it's easy to come up with an excuse to not attend one of those many parties you will be invited to this season.
    • Even though I haven't put up a tree this year, I can still enjoy a a variety of Christmas trees.
    • While I am nowhere near important enough to receive one, check out the cool LucasFilms Christmas cards from over the years.
That's all for today, I hope I made you smile (if not fall out of your chair laughing).

Clean House and To Do

I assure you that I have NOT dropped off the face of the Earth. I've been attending parties, cleaning house, and overall just been way busy. In fact, I've been so busy, I think I made myself sick and was unable to attend a party Sunday night. I ended up feeling better later in the afternoon on Sunday and LOML* and I decided to paint the guest bathroom.

We're kinda freaking out because I'm having some ladies from my Mardi Gras Society over to our house this week. We don't EVER have people over to our house. All of our friends have kids, and we end up at their houses because it doesn't make sense to bring them over to ours. As such, we have not really focused on making sure our house is in 'company condition.' I'm not saying it was a total wreck, just a slight wreck. You know - surfaces needed to be dusted, floors needed vacuuming, mail needed sorting, and those kind of things. We were also able to accomplish some 'decorating' tasks. Now, the house looks GREAT. I am so glad to have this completed before Christmas and New Year's so hopefully we can go into the new year with a beautifully cleaned house and keep it that way. We'll see.....

So, I'm sorry the blog has been ignored, but I have been accomplishing other items on my to do list. I still haven't really gone Christmas shopping. I made sure to ask my boss at our Company party on Friday if I could have this Friday off to work on the whole shopping thing. I have been granted this request and now have a million lists running through my mind of who I need to shop for, what I need to get, where I need to go, etc. etc. etc. I suppose I should start writing these down. Hmmmm, guess I'd better get to work!

*LOML=Love of My Life

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Subscription Change - Please Read

Just a heads up to you regular readers but I have added a feed reader to my blog site. See the big orange button on the top right column? That's my rss feed button. If you were subscribed to my blog previous to this post, you may not receive the updates as expected. Please press the orange button and select your feed preference and your subscription will continue as usual. Sorry for the confusion.

Frugal Gifts for Kids

Kids can be the easiest or the hardest to buy for at times. Some parents tend to get their children everything they want making it hard on those of us who are not their parents, while other children receive simpler gifts and are happy to get anything at all. On this "Thrifty Thursday," I want to share with my idea for shopping frugally for the little and not so little ones. Basically, I like to do gift baskets for kids. This is easier than you might think.

WHERE TO SHOP:
  • The toy aisle in you local supermarket will have inexpensive toys and school supplies, but they do tend to cost more than I would pay in other places.
  • Superstores like Target and Wal-Mart are a good place to start. You can usually count on the quality of the items in these stores. Plus, they tend to have a wall of items in their toy departments that are $1 or less.
  • Surplus stores like Big Lots and Fred's also offer a great variety of items that you may not find elsewhere.
  • Dollar stores will help fill out the basket without putting you in the poorhouse.
  • You may even luck out at a thrift store. I know our Goodwill has begun receiving unopened items from Target.
**What's great is that many times, the small, inexpensive items you can find for gift baskets come in packets of several items, which works if you are buying for several kids. It's really great when you are shopping for several children in the same age range because then you can get great deals when you buy in bulk, even if it is only two items in a package for $1.50.

WHAT TO BUY: Think about the age and gender of the children for which you are shopping to select appropriate items to fill the baskets.
  • Children who are younger than 4 tend to be difficult to do a basket for because of choking hazards. Soft items like dolls and clothes work best. Yet, I think it is just as easy to find a single toy gift for this age range. These do not usually break the bank and this age range is not too picky about what they receive.
  • Ages 3-10 - Look in the toy section or at the party favors section of any of the above mentioned stores.
    • BOYS: cars or other vehicles, transformers, rubber super balls, army men, and anything that looks gross.
    • GIRLS: small dolls, doll clothes, hair accessories, tea set/cooking accessories, play jewelry, and anything pink.
    • BOTH: bubbles, play-dough, toy cell phones, crayons, small coloring books, puzzles, fidget games (like the ones with marble you roll around into holes or the ones with the numbers you side around to get in order), and arts and crafts.
  • Tween to teen: 11-17 - Look in the cosmestics/hygiene section of the stores, especially if they have a travel size section of the store where the small items are usually less than $1 (I like Target's travel section the best.)
    • BOYS: aftershave, cologne, Axe body sprays, chap stick, nail clippers, combs, small puzzle games (like above), anything electronic, candy, and snacky food.
    • GIRLS: matchbook emery boards, bath confetti, bath bombs, lip gloss/chap stick, nail files, bubble bath, body spray, lotions, nail polish, nail polish remover, powder, small travel hairbrushes, mirrors, hair accessories (cute pony tail holders, barrettes, or butterfly clips), and candy (esp. candy necklaces and ringpops)
HOW TO PACKAGE
  • Containers: You can either get the container first so you know the space you have to fill or get it last once you know how much you are putting in there.
    • For the younger age range, I try to find something with a handle so it is easier for them to carry around. Last year, I was able to find miniature buckets (that looked like the large 5 gallon buckets that everyone has in their garage/shed). I found these in white and simply used permanent markers in a variety of colors to write their names on the buckets.
    • This can work also for the older boys, but you might also find an inexpensive shave kit bag that will work.
    • Similarly, cosmetic bags are great for older girls. Both the cosmetic bags and shave kits can also be found in the travel section of stores. Small purses are also good for the older girls' baskets.
    • Christmas stockings are always an easy alternative for any age range.
  • To wrap these, I make sure to keep a large roll of clear cellophane in with my gift wrap and simply pull it up around these items with a fun and festive bow (lots of curling ribbon).
Shopping for and making these baskets is usually one of my favorite gift giving practices.

I find that for $5-10 you can make a great little basket for kids. I think thats a really awesome bargain. Frugal and festive, who knew?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday Web - Tackling to To Do list

Because it is the holidays, I already have a ginormous To Do list. As such, it's nice to complete something on the list. So, here is "Wild Wild Web Wednesday" before it gets too late:
  • I believe that anybody has the ability to be creative. Just see the art painted by bugs and you'll be a believer too.
  • After seeing what one lady has to go through at a meal time, I can believe that there is such a thing as too many cats.
  • I love the Pixar/Disney movies and have seen them all (I think) but was surprised by the number of Pixar easter eggs hidden in the movies and shorts. If you don't know, easter eggs are hidden surprises in movies.
  • As Christmas approaches, Santa is watching to see who has been naughty and who has been nice. If you're too old for Santa, your parents are still watching. Naughty kids will have their Guitar Hero 3 sold on e-bay by their parents. I guess that's one way to teach them a lesson. (scroll through to read the story)
  • As a kid, I always wanted an original Game Boy just so I could play Tetris. These days, kids create huge tetris games on buildings that they can control with their cell phones. AWESOME!!!
  • Wanna scare the CRAP outta your house guests? Put this talking toilet paper holder in your bathroom and be prepared to clean up the mess.
  • Of course, if your guests have taken gold pills, you will get to enjoy the glittery glow. Oh fun!
  • The impact of this Sony Bravia commercial is great. Apparently, the clean-up took a little longer, 5 days and 60 people in fact. Thankfully, it was pretty easy to clean up once all the paint dried.
  • This collection of pictures entitled 'Why I Got Fired' is pretty much all you would have to have on your next job interview to NOT get hired. While they are initially kinda funny, you do wonder if anyone was injured.
  • While listed as life-ruining movies, the majority of the movies on this list are some of my favorite, though I do get the point.
  • Again, some of my favorites are listed as the worst. This time it is the worst sitcom character names and some of my favorite shows from way back are used. Ah, the memories of the warm glow from the television as a kid, letting my brain cells wither and die. Wait, I still do that - oh well, too late now.
  • Lastly, I was excited to hear that Tim Burton will be tackling his own version of Alice in Wonderland. I think the book may have been written for him to make the movie. I can't wait to see how he envisions Wonderland.
Alright, there's the tamest 'wildest of the web' for this week, and one more thing I can check off my list. Thanks!

More Gadget Goodness

I did miss "Techie Tuesday" again. However, I still want to quickly share with you a few more geeky gadgets for the Holidays.

  • First, is a general history lesson and shows the 100 greatest tech innovations of all time.
  • Now you don't have to worry about making sure you won't hear your phone or feel it vibrate in you pocket with this vibrating bluetooth bracelet - very cool idea!
  • Lastly, here's another item I wouldn't mind getting for Christmas. Unfortunately, it looks like the Wii Fit won't be available until January. Boo!
Let me know if you have any cool geek gifts you've found. I still haven't figured out what to get LOML*.

*LOML=Love of My Life

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rainbow Recovery

Well, I made it through the rest of the weekend, including the 6 hour drive home that seemed to take 12 hours. Since the weekend is over, it must be "Made Me Smile Monday"
  • I had to smile when the boss went looking through the office for his cell phone, only to find it in his pocket.
  • "That is some yummy wikipedia" is a phrase I will probably never utter aloud, but a Beijing restaurant is offering up stir fried wikipedia on their menu. Try it, you'll like it!!
  • This video will help explain to you how to protect yourself from zombies:
  • "Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a near-miss? Shouldn't it be called a near-hit?"
  • Needing this much instruction in the bathroom would make me wonder about your parents' potty training skills.
  • I would also wonder about the reliability of this news station if I saw this big of a typo in a caption.
  • The frosty cold margarita I got after the 6 hour drive home from North Alabama made me grin with joy.
  • A video of a news report about a pretty dumb cop made me laugh. The funniest part is the person off-camera's reaction.
  • Remember when you could be mean without using cuss words? No! Well, there once was a time when insults had class, and the speakers were not in third grade.
  • Watching the antics of teenage girls in a hotel absolutely made me smile remembering all the trouble we used to be on Rainbow trips (and call still be at times - AFA and her 'baby' in the elevator).
  • Now we know what's really at the end of Rainbows. (Leprechauns are Irish after all)
I hope you have an absolutely fabulous week and if it starts to go sour, pop back in here and think about all the reasons you have to smile!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rainbows

Well, here I am in a hotel all alone and I'm BLOGGING!

I am in Muscle Shoals/ Florence, Alabama for the Grand Christmas Party. It's a Rainbow thing. If you don't know anything about Rainbows, you can follow the link and it will answer some questions, you can also ask me about it too if you want. Basically, it is an organization for 11-20 year old girls that is sponsored by the Masons. It has some great lessons for girls like leadership and responsibility as well as giving to and helping others. I was in Rainbows as a girl and have continued to be an advisor since I aged out. Now, I am State Mother Advisor. This is just a title and I have no authority. While, it is an honor to hold this position, it is also a lot of work. Hence, my lonely hotel room. I could go hang with the girls, but I am a little to old now to be cool for 16 year olds. Plus, I'm tired from my 6 hour drive.

I just wanted to share and apologize for not posting on Thursday or Friday. I've been in a whirlwind getting everything ready to come here. I'm so glad that I can check this off my list and maybe start to focus on Christmas shopping. Of course, I'll be pretty crazy doing that as well since I haven't even started making lists - so NOT like me. Hopefully, I will be able to get back on my blogging and crafting routine soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fashionably Late

Aw man, I missed "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday." I had a lot going on at work (monthly reports have to be run), and I had to do some shopping for my meeting tonight and for going out of town this weekend. I was exhausted by the time I got home to cook dinner for LOML*. At least he was also tired, so he was sympathetic and helped me with dinner.

I gathered a long list of links for the Wednesday post and still want to share them so I will (It is MY blog dagnabit!!). Since I am running late on this, I'll forgo the (sometimes) witty remarks and just share the links:
Alright, that's what I've got for you for now!! Enjoy!!

*LOML = Love of My Life

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holidayitis

Have you ever heard of 'Senioritis'? Well, it can be a sort of plague in high schools across America - at least according to my high school yearbook teacher. I think I have a case of 'Christmasitis' or 'Holidayitis'. I can't seem to focus on anything for very long. However, surprisingly, I am accomplishing quite a bit.


For "Techie Tuesday" today, let's take it slow and try to let that Great Holiday Spirit encompass us. Here are a few online 'toys' that will keep you busy without actually accomplishing anything.

First, why don't you make a beautiful snowflake. Just click the make a snowflake button and start cutting out your snowflake. It can be quite zen-like.

Secondly, decorate your own gingerbread house without all the baking, stickiness, or tediousness of a real one. Just scroll down the page, select the decoration, and place it on your house.

Well, that's enough geeky goodness for you today. Have fun!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Recycled Christmas Cards

I finished making my Christmas cards last night. They were fun, easy, and recycled some of my old Christmas cards, thus reducing some of the waste in my house. I have yet to write messages and sign them, but that takes much less time overall.

Materials:
- Old Christmas cards*
- Blank cards or cardstock cut down to card size and scored for folding
- 1" circle punch
- Glue
- Embellishments (optional)
- Pen

Directions:
1. Turn punch upside down and insert old Christmas card so you can choose the images you want on the card. Start on edge of card and work inward by tearing off used portions. Make sure to check inside and back of card for images that can also be used.
- Don't just use the obvious images, look for interesting color and pattern combinations. I particularly like the boarders used around most images.
2. Arrange the circles (without glue) onto the card blank/cardstock in the pattern you desire. I simply placed them in three rows and three columns.
3. Once you are satisfied with the pattern you have created, glue the dots into place.
- I found that I had to place something heavy on top of the card or the dots began to curl.
4. Once the dots are dry, embellish the card with stamps, glitter, gold or silver foil, paint pens, sequins, rhinestones, or whatever else you can find.
5. Add a greeting to the inside**, sign your name, and give to a friend.
*Can also use wrapping paper, decorative boxes, seasonal magazines and catalogs, gift bags, scrapbook paper scraps, etc.
**For your ease, here are a few greetings that you can use for your cards:
  • At Christmas, play and make good cheer; for Christmas comes but once a year. - Thomas Tusser
  • From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another; the warmth and joy of Christmas brings you closer to each other. - Emily Matthews.
  • He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. - Roy L Smith
  • Let the Spirit of Love gently fill out hearts and homes. In this loveliest of seasons, may you find many reasons for happiness.
  • May Peace by your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through.
  • May the blessings of Christmas be with you today and always.
  • May you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope, and the peace of His love at Christmas and always.
  • Have a magical holiday season.
  • Hope your holiday season is fun and festive.
  • May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love, and your life with laughter.
  • May the spirit of Christmas last the whole year.
  • Bless you and yours this Christmas and always.
  • Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year.
  • Warmest wishes for a Happy Holiday.
  • ***You can always check out the greetings in the cards you are recycling and use those too. ***
Have fun with this and let your imagination go.

A Lack of Spirit

I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't seen to get into the holiday spirit. This is usually not a problem for me. I guess, I've been so busy with planning for the Grand Christmas Party (this upcoming weekend) and for my Mardi Gras Ball that I just don't have time to stop and evoke the spirit. I also have not accomplished ANY Christmas shopping. Christmas is about GIVING for me and I haven't had time to stop and think about what I will be giving this year. This is NOT to say that I have a case of the 'Bah Humbugs'. I'm just not feeling it yet. If you have any suggestions on how to shake this lack of festivity, please let me know!!

While I can't get into the spirit of the Season, it is still "Made Me Smile Monday," and I do have a few tidbits to share with you:
  • Check out these photos that were taken at the exact right angle. Can you believe how perfect some of these are?
  • Timing is also important to get a great shot. Well-timed sports photos are as funny as they are artistic.
  • Speaking of sports, I had no idea Yogi Berra could be so profound when he made the following comments. There are so many more, but these are my favorites.
    • "This is like deja vu all over again."
    • "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    • "If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."
    • "If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."
    • "A nickel isn't worth a dime today."
    • "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
    • "I made a wrong mistake."
    • "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
    • "You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
  • Other people say silly things sometimes too. Check out this audio clip of some of the strange calls 911 has received.

  • Even food can sound a little silly, like this cake from Wal-Mart.
  • Of course, who wants to LOOK silly. Well, these guys apparently compete for it and have achieved the honor of being recognized as growing the top 10 beards of the year.
  • While we all can't grow beards as cool as theirs, we can make an attempt to look as cool as them with this great winter beard cap.
  • Lastly, as a feigned attempt at some Christmas Spirit, here are some funny Christmas Cards. Maybe they'll make you feel more festive than I am.