Friday, October 31, 2008

Costumed for a Cure!

Upon arriving at work this morning, my normal co-workers were no where to be seen, instead they were replaced with tons of crazy characters including Pebbles Flinestone, Minny Mouse, a Ninja Warrier and Mary Poppins, so as Mrs. Krueger (Mrs. Freddy Krueger that is) - I fit right in! As many of you know, I work for a non-profit, and one of our yearly fundraisers is a costume contest. Donations are collected via a costume contest. Pennies, nickles and dimes are dropped into jars for each costume, and the one to raise the most wins bragging rights for a year. Visitors from other offices around us come in for a chance to laugh at us and cast their vote as well, we typically raise $2-300 a year this way, and have a ton of fun doing it!

Tonight, the non-stop Halloween fun continues as we hop in the car and drive all over the cities visiting each of the three grandparents with the little one going "arrr imma pirate" in hopes of collecting treats from grandmas and grandpa. Finally, hopefully not too long after bedtime, wel'll make it home where I can throw my hat on the floor, slide these heels off and climb into bed with a glass of wine.

Have a very Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Holiday Baking Extravaganza: Invites

Every year in early December I host a baking party. A group of girls come to my place and we spend the afternoon and evening baking tons of yummy treats - then everyone takes home their share. Meaning we can bake ALL of our holiday favorites, and end up with just the amount we need. Since the holidays get busy early, I decided to make the invites early too - and plan on sending them out early next week (still a few finishing touches). I created these using parts of Shabby Princess's Holiday Sampler Kit along with 2 free fonts (Enchanted Prairie Dog and Heart of Dixie). Once printed, they will be bound with a colorful brad, a few finishing touches and they will be ready to hit the postal service! 

**If you're invited and don't want the surprise ruined, stop reading....if you don't care, I don't either! 


Third Annual Holiday Baking Extravaganza Invitations:

Hidden Dirt.

After my experience the other day with the refrigerator, I have decided that there are other spaces in my home that I had previously deemed "uncleanable". Either I figured they were too tricky to get too, or too much work and not important enough to deal with. These spaces are now on my short list to be scrubbed, dusted and buffed to a state of cleanliness.

These spaces include (but are not limited to):

  • Inside the vents, especially the vents stuck behind things, they are probably extra dusty

  • Under and around the washer and water heater

  • Under the hood above the stove

  • Under the stove

  • Under the bed

  • Under the sinks (kitchen and two bathrooms)

  • The top shelf (of what you ask, of everything. I tend to only dust as high as I can see.

    I'm sure there are more hidden places....don't worry, I'll find them!

  • Ladies Night!

    Last night I attended a "Ladies Night Out" with my Mother In Law at the local Home Valu store. We weren't sure what to expect, but they invite said free food and free gift for all who attend and my MIL wanted to look at we went. I am so glad that we did, we had a blast!

    They had all sorts of vendors tucked in with samples and fun stuff. We both fell in love with some purse lady purses (and my MIL ended up winning one!) We ate some yummy food, drank some yummy wine...we got mini manicures, parafin dips and I convinced my MIL to get her first henna tattoo.

    Additionally, our goodie bags contained a really fantastic gift. A $100 gift certificate good that night only - for anything. At first I was going to buy something practical for our house, but then I decided that I should use this as a chance to splurge on something that I would never just go and drop $100 on if it was my real money. So I came home with this:

    Gorgeous granite framed mirrior - it seriously weighs 20 pounds - and I love it! This little accessory cost $95 - but for me, it was my free gift. Woah baby! I love the flowers!

    Thanks for inviting me Mom, I had a blast!

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Ya know, I can move that for you.

    Our refridgerator has been leaking. An annoying stream of water pouring from the little white box in the back flooding my vegetable drawer and causing us to eat soggy carrots. The maintenance guy came out, did his thing, fixed the problem all while moving the refridgerator apprioximately one inch further away from the counter then it had previously been. Now, the move didn't bother me, it was the streaks of nastiness I saw running down the side of the machine to the floor, the streaks that had previously been hidden by the counter.

    Last night I wiggled and manuevered and squished the sponge into the tiny space to try and disolve away this nastiness, after watching for a few minutes, my loving husband said "Ya know, I can move that for you."

    WHY had I never thought of that before, in three years I have never once cleaned under and around my refridgerator. I guess I just never thought of it as a "movable" obeject.

    So my manly man slide the giant white box out revealing not only the full extent of the streaks down the side, but the floor underneath.

    So ladies, next time you start spring cleaning, get your man to slide that big, cold-keeping box out of the way, it's amazingly satisfying to know that underneath it, it shines.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    We're They're Favorite Girls!

    Tuesday night this week was a trip back to the 80's and early 90's as I headed out to see the New Kids on the Block for my first time! I was a young'n when they first started, and just a little older then that when they broke up...too young to attend a concert but I remained a fan for years before I finally took down my Joey poster.

    It was fantastic! I was a little surprised how quickly it all came back to me, and I felt like a teenager boppin' along and screaming my little heart out. They did a great job mixing the old stuff (which is what we were there for) with their new stuff, and even sang their solo songs from when they were broken up. So fun and so worth it, plus now I can check one more thing off of my "always wanted to do" list!

    Enjoy a couple of pictures while the lyrics to "The Right Stuff" float through your head. Oh you know your thinking it!

    OMG! There they are!

    Always nice when the come to the middle of the room, give everyone an up close and personal view.

    Two happy girls!

    Before the encore, we tried to guess what song they'd sing. I guessed Step by Step, she guessed Hangin' Tough. We were both right!

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Check It Out!

    I discovered this fun site yesterday and had to share! It features downloadable wrapping paper with coordinating cards and gift tags. Sure, I would have to print out a lot of pages on my home printer to wrap a gift - but I can think of plenty of uses for cute printed envelope liners for my Holiday cards maybe... Enjoy!

    These would be great for hybrid projects or scrapbooking!

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    A New Woman

    I went in yesterday for a hair cut, and boy did I get one. I chopped off nearly 10 inches (enough to donate!) and came out with a fun new style. It's going to take some getting used to - but it's fun, fresh and different! 
    The best I could find of a before shot- my hair was almost always in a ponytail.
    (Here we are at my son's third birthday party)

    And after...

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Thanks so much!

     I just finished designing the thank you card for the Light The Night Walk, and I am kinda in love with it so I had to share. 

    My creative juices are being run thin these days - as is my brain - but I did find the time and energy to create a new blog header, now to take the time to make the rest of the page match! 

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Friday Letter

    Manda -

    You have been so crazed lately, and on top of it all you haven't been getting the rest you need to make it through the week. Take a break! I know you have a long weekend ahead of you - and you need to enjoy it. Focus on fun projects and only work on the cleaning/housework crap a little bit. Take a deep breath and just relax! You deserve it.

    Sure, there are plenty of things that "need" to get done - but they can wait a day. Today is for you. Catch up on some of your fun projects, enjoy a little creativity. Lounge about in your pajamas 'til noon if you want to and don't let the mess around you get to you. Things are going to remain crazy for the next month or so, so enjoy a little solitude while you have it. You work hard at work and at home and everyone deserves a little me time occasionally. Take yours.


    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    My Wonderful Husband

    Look what showed up for me at work last week! They were the best kind too, the just because I love you kind. These pictures were taken about 5 days after they showed up, and a week later they still look perfect! They're my new favorite kind of flower: Peruvian Lilies. 

    Ignore the terrible mess on my desk, things have been a little busy lately with event weekend last weekend...things are much cleaner when I don't have an event going on! 

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    [somewhat reluctantly] Jumpin' on the [Holiday] Bandwagon...

    Alright, I know I was just bitchin' about the holiday crap out and about in September....but seeing all that stuff has got me thinking about my holiday plans or rather holiday craft plans.

    1) Christmas Cards. I typically send out about 50 cards a year. In the past I have created 50 different hand made cards to send out. This year, I am planning on designing 1-2 cards and creating multiple ones. I need to start thinking about what I want to do and watch for sales on supplies.

    2) For various extended family members I typically design something for them. Last year I did a set of handmade cards for each person, this year however; I am feeling more digitally capable and am thinking more along the lines of personalized recipe cards.

    3) Each year I create 5 handmade photo calendars, it's a lot of work to find 12 months of pictures to use, get them ordered (in the right sizes) and design 5 pages of each month. I might go for a similar look, but I like them all to be a little different. One of the 5 is for me, and I might try my hand at creating mine digitally this year as well. Yikes!

    4) I like to come up with a craft project that the little guy can do/help with to make for his Aunts, Uncles and grandparents. Last year we filled little glass ornaments with paint and I let him shake them up to create unique patterns. I then used puff paint to add "2007" to them. They were super cute - I have no idea for this year!

    So, that's 4 big projects that I need to complete, at least I have the ideas down so it should be easier to start thinking about what exactly I want to do for them.

    Do you get crafty for the holidays, go store bought or do something entirely different? Do share!

    Buckle Up?

    I have a three year old son. If you have children, you understand just how curious they are at this age, additionally they pick up on things easily and like to try out their new-found skills/language immediately and frequently. This being said, I have a problem.

    When we hop in the car, we buckle our little man into his Graco car seat with the 5-point (recognized as the "most safe") harness. This involves two straps buckled between the legs and a plastic thing snapped on his chest. About a week ago, as we were hopping out of the car at home he stopped me as I tried to unbuckle said plastic chest piece. "I do it Mommy." I figured, why not let him try...and try he did. Not only did he try, but he succeeded. "Great," I thought, "now he can free himself." I wasn't too worried, I assumed he knew that we only took it off when we were getting out of the car.

    Fast forward a few days.

    It's about 6:45 a.m., I am sipping my coffee and driving to the Day Care, little man safely strapped in in the back seat, or so I thought. At the stoplight just before his daycare, I felt a tap on my arm. "Hi Mommy." I spun around, there he was, leaning as far forward as he could, no shoulder straps on. I flipped on my hazards and jumped out. The part that goes between his legs was still securely in place, but the chest harnass was open. I strapped him back in, and drove into the day care parking lot and told him to do it again.

    It took him about 5 minutes, but he did. He pushed down on the top button of the chest harness for about a minute and wiggled it out. From there he just pulled at it until the bottom one came loose. Then he was able to slip his arms free from the shoulder straps. How I didn't notice this as I was driving, I'll never know. But he was so quiet about it, as if he knew he couldn't be caught. (After he got out the second time, I made it clear to him that this was NOT OK and NOT SAFE and to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. But you know kids, they don't tend to listen.

    I think part of the problem is the amount of room he has in the back seat of my vehicle. It's an SUV, he's right behind the driver and I have the seat pretty far forward. Far enough so that he can't kick me if he tries. He doesn't have that kind of room in Dad's car. I also can't quite see him in the rear view mirror, unless I stretch a little, so it's not like I could see what he was doing.

    When I pick him up tonight, I will tighten the harness one or two times tighter then I think it comfortably should be - and hopefully with a little less room to move he will be unable to free himself from his safety belts. If not, I don't know what to do.

    A car seat is supposed to be safe. Supposed to keep them strapped in and should be (in my opinion) "child proof." The child locks are on on both back doors, in case this situation arises again.

    I am also hoping that as soon as he's in his winter jacket he'll be bulky enough that he won't be able to wiggle his way out. But once the shoulder straps come off, he's pretty much free.

    Have your kids ever learned to do something that affected their safety? Please share!

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Friday Letter

    Dear School Picture Photographer,

    This week the school pictures you took of my three-year-old son at his day care came in. You know the boy who always has a snotty nose and won't sit still for more then a minute without food or his favorite show (which varies from week to week)? He's the kid who runs away from me everytime I pull out the camera and refused to look cute for the lens. Anyways, the second I pulled those pictures out of the envelope, I smiled from ear to ear and became "that mom." The mom who is running up to other parents shoving the pictures of my kid under their noses saying "look how cute my kid is!"

    The pictures you managed to snap of my little man are perfect. You did a great job either getting him to sit still or making him laugh and just merely capturing a moment in time. However you got him to pose to look so adorably handsome in all of his pictures I will never know, but thank you. Thank you for taking the extra time with my son to capture the perfect picture for me to remember how he looked when he turned three.


    A very satisfied customer