I did Black Friday once. I was 12 years old and made the bold decision to brave American consumerism with my best friend and her Mom. My Mom told my Dad to give me $40 so I could buy gifts for my friends and siblings. Gifts for my parents were covered since my Mom always bought my Dad Jersey brand white tees and put our names on the tag, and my Dad would panic and take me to Kmart on Christmas Eve to buy my Mom a sweater with reindeer on it that she would obviously hate. Midwestern as fuck. My Dad was in an extra special mood that day so he gave me $60 for shopping. At that point in my life, that was the most amount of money either of my parents ever gave me that didn’t have to go to a teacher to pay for a field trip. I was fucking PUMPED.
We went to the mall. I told myself I’d buy myself one treat and save the rest for presents. Thankfully butterfly hair clips and rainbow toe socks were the hot ticket items for junior high kids that year, so I was able to buy gifts for all my friends and both of my siblings for less than $20. With the rest of the money I bought myself a shirt with a velvet dragon on it, a pair of shoes from Limited Too, some purple glitter eyeshadow, and a beef ‘n cheddar sandwich from Arby’s. I remember being really excited when we left and I only had 13 cents left, as if it was some sort of accomplishment that I was able to spend it all. Turns out it wasn’t an accomplishment, but the start of my inability to be responsible with money. I’m getting better.
Last year, everything I bought for my family and friends (I no longer allow my parents to buy each other reindeer sweaters or Jersey tees) was purchased by a local artist or handmade by me. I’m hoping to do the same thing this year. Fingers crossed I can find a local artist to make me some rainbow toe socks for my brother.The pair I bought him 15 years ago probably has a hole by now.
Oh, and if you’re interested in shopping handmade, you can get 20% off any photo or calendar purchase of $15 or more from my Etsy shop with the code HOLIDAY20.
My fondest memory of Scrabble is from back when I was about 14 and on a camping trip with my family. My Aunt Lillian was a Scrabble champion, always coming up with words you had no idea ever existed. She had a dictionary glued to her side for reference, just so she could school you whenever she had the chance. My favorite Scrabble moment with her, aside from watching her and Grandma argue over whether “talus” was a word, was when she whipped out the word boner like it was nothing and keep a perfectly straight face the whole time. BECAUSE SHE WAS GONNA WIN, DAMMIT.
Anyway, I bought a Scrabble board over the weekend even though I don’t think I’ve ever played an entire game in my life. That’s right, I didn’t buy it for Friday night board game fun, I bought it for art.
I probably need to make a “boner” print in her honor.
These are a lot of fun to make, and since I don’t have Aunt Lil here to give me ideas, I’m recruiting you guys instead.
In the comments section, leave a word, phrase, or quote you’d like to see made into one of these photos. If I decide to use it, I’ll send you a 5×5 or 5×7 (your choice) print of it.
It doesn’t have to be along the lines of “shit pickle” or “twat waffle,” either. No need to be crass if you don’t want to be, just creative! I spent $18.99 on a game I am terrible at playing so I’ll take all the ideas I can get.
OH YEAH – you can buy all of these in my shop.
SO WHAT IN THE NAME OF DAVID HASSELHOFF HAVE YOU BEEN DOING, MANDY? Well, I’ve been putting a bunch of new photos in my shop (sample above), enjoying my full-time job and this whole regular paycheck thing I CAN PAY BILLS IN ADVANCE NOW, brainstorming business ideas with Josh, thinking about wedding stuff sometimes and answering really stupid questions such as will I keep my hair red once we’re married (WTF?), eating every pumpkin thing ever (you should make this soup), trying not to murder the 2 kittens who now occupy our loft and seek to destroy everything we own, starting new savings goals on Smarty Pig, wondering how much I should invest in a new pair of boots, twirling my hair, preparing for my first event with The Artisan Group, and going to bed Grandma early.
Since I’m not that interesting, here’s a list of things I’ve been enjoying on the internet lately.
+ Obsessed with the packaging of these candles and will definitely be gifting some for Christmas.
+ This, too.
+ OMG AND THIS.
I’ve been looking at a lot of clocks on Etsy lately. I’ve also been thinking about time management and my horribly unsustainable method of getting places when I need to be there.
I wake up every morning before work and immediately put all mental energy into figuring out how much slack I can give myself. When I started this full-time job thing, my morning routine was quite ambitious. I’d wake up with enough time to sit on the couch with some coffee, finally plopping my carcass into the shower with enough time to shave my armpits and condition my hair. Leave by 6:20, get to work by 6:45. Not anymore. I’ve evolved this plan into getting in the shower by 6:05 because being CLEAN clean is for the weekends. Get out of the shower, dry off, squirt the cats with the spray bottle while they bat at my towel, brush out the tangles, put on some eyebrows and concealer, put on the same pants I’ve been wearing all week, dry my hair to 80%, grab some granola bars and a banana, and get in the car by 6:38. If it’s 6:40, I’m officially driving in panic mode. Anything before that is safe. Twirl my semi-wet hair in frustration until it’s curled at the ends. Get to work and punch in by 6:59. Plop my things on my desk, boop my elephant bobblehead, and distribute tasks to my workers. Work my body back into a safe heart rate. Destroy it with coffee.
It’s like every morning I’m waking up and asking “how much can I get away with?” “How much do I want to panic on the drive to work?” “Do I REALLY need to wash my hair, or will dry shampoo suffice for today?”
It’s not like putting one of these clocks in my bathroom would do shit for my morning routine, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them all.
I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my Etsy shop and adding new photos that have been sitting on my camera for awhile. I also finally went out last weekend and enjoyed some time with my camera, something I haven’t done nearly enough of this year. Here are a few new photos and products I’ve added.
Calendars! I’ve been wanting to make these for awhile and I really love how these turned out. You can find all of them here. I’m also looking into making pillow covers and notebooks, which is a tad more difficult than I expected.
Here are a few new photos (click to go to the shop listing).
My Mom brought me to a bridal expo last weekend which was both the best and worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Best because CAKE, worst because I am a horrible person who does not like nice things or people. If there’s anything out there that will convince me to go sit in an Occupy protest, it is wedding commercialism. Occupy Weddings. The logo will be a $500 ice sculpture carved into the shape of Wolverine. It’ll be so big that when it melts, it will drown everyone who works for David’s Bridal, President Tuxedo, and every stretch limo company ever.
Seriously though. These people are more desperate for my money than my student loan company and in exchange they want to offer me a fancy carved block of solid water, a stretch Hummer limo with a disco ball and minibar on the inside, and a giant fruit spread with a dove-shaped watermelon as the cornucopia. All of this for about the same price as the entire fancy cheese counter and olive bar at Whole Foods. The one common denominator among all of these things is that none of them have anything to do with getting married.
The one vendor I met that I really liked, though, was the representative for Bed Bath & Beyond. Josh and I don’t know if we’re going to do a registry because if people are going to insist on getting us presents for the retirement of our genitals we’d prefer straight up cash. Leave the waffle irons out of it, creeps. However, the guy from BB&B was really wanting me to pick a date for us to come in and make a registry and made sure I understood that we can register for literally anything in the store, even if it’s all crazy stuff from the As Seen on TV section. I asked him if they still sell the thing that turns bananas into frozen yogurt and he was like “THE YONANA? YES! YES WE DO! YOU CAN REGISTER FOR A YONANA! SEE YOU MARCH SECOND!” Sounds like we’re having a banana froyo date at my place!
Realistically, overall, the show was not THAT BAD. The only thing that genuinely annoyed me, aside from the companies calling me to sit in on their cookware demonstration in exchange for a not-actually-free vacation, was the plastic surgery specialists offering a chance to win “free liposuction on the problem area of your choice” to “help get rid of your bridal back fat.” Biiiiiiiitch who you trying to shame about BACK FAT? Not just back fat, but BRIDAL back fat. Get out. This place is full of women who have partners that (presumably) love them just the way they are, so maybe you could not drop a turd in the bridal punch bowl by telling brides-to-be their fucking BACK should be added to the wedding planning checklist. I don’t have time to work out my back, I need to find the perfect ice sculpting professional. Get off my lawn.
I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about my new kittens and also one about what it’s like to work in an office after 4 years of working from home, but I just woke up and remembered I’m going to a bridal expo with my Mom this afternoon (more on that later) so I thought I’d share some thoughts I’ve had during this whole wedding planning process that we haven’t even started.
1. Whenever I talk to couples who had a wedding, one of the first things they do is talk about the things they regret about it. They tell you about the things they did to make other people happy or about how they didn’t even taste the food because they were “sooooo busy” or that they were sick the whole next day because they didn’t even get the chance to take a shit. That sounds like my actual worst nightmare, so Josh and I decided we’re going to rent a beach house on Lake Michigan for a weekend, invite people we actually like, and tell them that if they want to be there and party with us while we get dressed up and make shit legal, they’re more than welcome to come out. We will provide a taco bar and sweet ’90s jams. The house I’m eyeballing sleeps like 20 people, so some of our favorites could camp out for the weekend with us. It sounds perfect to me.
2. I could go buy a white Hanes sweatsuit and cut it into something drapey and it would probably look more classy than half the overpriced albino peacock looking dresses sold at commercial dress stores. I haven’t gone in an actual store to try things on yet, I’ve only looked online for ideas, and here are a few magnificent dresses I’ve found on Etsy that may find their way to hugging my buns. Three of them are pretty cheap, so maybe I’ll buy them all and do a wardrobe change every hour as if I’m J-Lo or something.
3. I’m sure Josh will pick out his own wedding band, but I’m in love with these dinosaur bone and meteorite rings from Jewelry by Johan. If I get to choose the ring he wears, it will probably be one of these because I want my man bound to me through SPACE PARTICLES.
4. Everyone keeps reminding me/us that this is our day to do whatever we want and that we do not have to take advice from anyone, ever, which makes me want to have a cross-dressing code SO GODDAMN BAD. There’s no better way to keep your religious family away like telling them they have to dress like Eddie Izzard.
5. Speaking of our ability to do whatever we want, we both settled on a “21 and up” rule pretty quickly. The backlash of this terrifies the absolute shit out of me because REAL LIFE MOMMYBLOGGERS, YOU GUYS, but then I remembered I don’t have to sugarcoat it and tell them it’s because of alcohol or headcounts or fire codes. I can tell them I don’t want their kids spilling nacho cheese on my sweatsuit and that’s that. Plus, does anyone under 12 appreciate ’90s music? I don’t think so. Kindly see yourself to the door.
6. My Mom is bringing me to a bridal expo which sounds like my other actual worst nightmare, but one of my coworkers said she went to one a few years ago and won a 5-day all-inclusive resort honeymoon, an ice sculpture, a 100 million dollar veil (my eBay DREAM), and a pair of doves to release during her ceremony. SHE WON A BOX OF BIRDS. I never win anything but I’ve never wanted to win anything more than a box of birds. That’s one fascinating conversation starter.
7. Whenever I go shopping now, the person I’m with is always like “oh you can add that to your registry for your shower!” I used to have to spend Christmas Eve sitting in a circle with people I barely knew opening presents one at a time, and every time it came to me it was like middle school when the teacher called on me to read and I realized I was on the wrong page because I was daydreaming about Justin Timberlake. The sheer panic of opening a Starbucks gift card in front of step-family is enough to send me into a week’s worth of constipation, much less the thought of opening quesadilla makers and lingerie in front of Grandma. I don’t know about this shower business, although I do like tiny sandwiches and coffee.
8. Then I think about all the things I want that I’d never buy for myself and suddenly a registry sounds awesome. Like, this is the one time in my life where I can ask for a $400 gravy boat or a $375 monogrammed “his and hers” thermos set and keep a straight face while doing it because we’re getting married. I’m not saying I’m going to do that, but I’m not not saying that, either.
10. Can I get my kittens ordained?
Last week I started a full-time job again. It’s at a place I have worked at on and off for about 7 years, so it’s not 100% new. It’s like, a legitimate job though. I wear nice clothes and brush my hair in the morning and have to keep getting work done even if I have a headache because my bed isn’t in the next room waiting for me to come in for a nap and I can’t just leave and go to the beach. It’s the opposite of the ridiculous behavior I adapted while working for myself over the last 4 years. I like it.
When the job was offered to me and I highly considered taking it, I felt like a failure for a minute because I left there to work for myself and here I am going back 4 years later. However, the truth is that this is huge progress for me. It’s huge progress to admit that I need something like this in my life and that I currently have no room for the lack of structure, illegitimate behavior, and constant fear of not getting paid that came with self-employment. As much as I love creating a life where I can throw away the rules and social scripts that I despise, I need to get in a position where I can take care of things I’ve needed to take care of for years but have put off because of whatever the hell I was doing. So now I am enjoying the feeling of getting shit together and being a little structured. I’m into it and glad that I allowed myself to make this change.
So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m cool with it. Also, I have kittens. You probably already know this if you follow me anywhere on social media.
This is Juniper. Or maybe Tiger Lily, I can’t decide what to name her yet. I am grossly in love with her. We also have 2 other kittens at the moment and will be keeping one of them once we see who gets along the best. The other will go to a friend. They were rescued from under my uncle’s deck. MORE PHOTOS TO COME, DUH.
We’ve barely been engaged a month and I’m already bombarding Josh with cute furballs. He loves it.
If I had a spirit food, it would probably involve pizza, ranch dressing, carbohydrates, sodium, garlic, hot sauce, and dipping things into other things. That being said, you can see why I jumped on the opportunity to try some of these Green Giant™ Veggie Snack Chips – the Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips in Garden Ranch and Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips in Barbecue. I am always dubious about products that taste like snack foods but claim to contain healthy ingredients, but Green Giant green beans were my favorite vegetable as a kid so I’m not about to doubt my favorite chlorophyll-infested superhero.
First, let’s talk about the veggie tortilla chips in garden ranch.
I’ll tell you about the ingredients in these things in a minute, but will get to my main point first – after tasting these chips, I realized they could be made out of kitty litter and dumpster scraps and I would still eat the entire bag because THESE ARE THE JAM. Seriously. They’re like a healthier, more natural version of Cool Ranch Doritos and sort of comparable to Sun Chips because of all the grains but still better. I had them with some habanero salsa from Trader Joe’s, but you don’t even need a dip for these. If you love Doritos but hate ingesting yellow chemicals that could probably power an entire Amish city for a week, give these a try. They contain 18 grams of whole grains per serving and the ingredients list includes red and green bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, quinoa, carrots, and whole grain corn. They’re not a legitimate source of veggies by any means and the calorie/fat content is not much different than other chip varieties, but everything in the ingredients list could probably be pronounced by a second grader and I give major props for that.
TL;DR: You could serve these things in place of Doritos at a Superbowl party and no one would shank you.
Up next are the multigrain barbecue sweet potato chips.
Are these also the jam? THESE ARE ALSO THE JAM. I love barbecue and I love sweet potatoes, and these are just the right amount of smoky with a hint of sweet. Again, nothing impressive as far as super healthy ingredients. 14 grams of whole grains per serving, sweet potato powder for the base, and only two ingredients (preservatives) that might not be easily pronounced by a second grader. Not too shabby when you look at other snack labels.
TL;DR: I’d voluntarily spend money on these and eat the entire bag in one sitting.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
You’re getting a links post on Monday this week because I spent the entire weekend selling viking hats, lingerie, 80s prom dresses, lava lamps, and blenders that look like bongs at a garage sale with Sarah. We made out like bandits even though we were bombarded by old people who were DOWNRIGHT OFFENDED that we dare sell a barely used $100 item for the obscene price of $2. We’re like in-person Internet scammers! I think I spent the entire weekend drinking beer and eating Doritos, Fritos, and chocolate chip cookies (they were from Whole Foods which means they were healthy).
I’m thinking I need to do link posts every Monday instead of Saturday or Sunday because nobody wants to actually work and be productive on a Monday, right? All I feel like doing is trying to understand why nobody bought my leopard print Snuggie at the sale. Some people just don’t understand the value of nice things.
+ Violence VS. Hair: an analysis of Breaking Bad. Season 5 is finally on Netflix so we’re catching up. Pretty good so far.
I’m sorry because I made you feel like a failure and so you deliberately left a message after the center had closed, telling me you were quitting. I thought you were awesome and gorgeous, and I’m sorry because I never told you that. I’m sorry because you came in telling me you liked to eat organic and weren’t sure about all the chemicals in the food, and I made up some BS about how it was a “stepping stone.” I’m sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet. I’m sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn’t touch that food, yet I still sold it to you.
+ Anatomy of an absurdly racist Facebook meme. HEY ANNOYINGLY RACIST COUSINS, PLEASE STOP POSTING STUFF LIKE THIS AND THEN SAYING YOU’RE NOT A RACIST.