I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants this holiday season so bear with me. The blog may seem all out of whack this week with me trying to get out as many of the holiday posts that I have, so regular posts may be on different days or skipped entirely this week so you aren’t bombarded with 75 posts in 5 days :/ I actually wish that I had 75 posts sitting there ready but as usual I have all kinds of ideas and will probably finish them all 5 minutes before posting. Way to add stress to yourself Sara. It’s impossible to quietly sit at my computer for any given time without constant interruptions because
we live in a 650 sq ft apartment so we are in each others face all day.
I homeschool the kids so I don’t have the regular school hours to get stuff done.
Merle can’t whisper for shit. I literally got her hearing checked at her last well check because she is so loud that I thought she may have hearing problems.
she is also a super momma’s girl and does not like me to be too far from her peripheral vision. She has her “desk” set up about two feet from where I sit right at the edge of my desk, so she sits beside me and crafts and chats while I “work”.
I swear they never sleep, so getting things down when they go to bed also doesn’t work well. I think I may have to start getting up at 5 because they definitely don’t like to get up once they are actually sleeping.
So I am getting this out on Sunday night in anticipation to getting something out for tomorrow too. It’s Tom’s birthday today, he’s the big 40 and none too happy about it. He sat around today moping and listening to his Kiss records we bought him and now we are eating a really good cake from Whole Foods. If you get a chance to try their Black Tie cake do it. It’s really good.
Ok, so although Black Friday is technically this Friday, everyone seems to be jumping on the “earlier the better” bandwagon and have released deals already. If you head over to many of your favourite retailers they are having early deals or Pre Black Friday countdowns so you may be able to find some good stuff before Friday and risk it selling out.
H&M has up to 60% off tops today. They also have 20% off $60 + free shipping with code 6793. Tomorrow will be a different deal but for the next 7.5 hours you can find some good shirts on sale.
Old Navy currently has a pre sale offering 40% off entire purchase with discount taken off a cash (it’s 50% off for card members). I think this deal ends tonight, but it’s a good one. This faux fur coat is $35! Or a velvet blazer for $25 and this colour is gorgeous.
Do you know what feels good? To finally get rid of the pile of donation crap that has sat in the front hall area (as well as other places). The pile kept getting bigger and bigger and for some reason in this house, people seem to think that any empty surface is a open drop off spot to stack shit. Mail, clothes, toys……they way they think tidying is done is to pick up the item from the floor and place it on an elevated surface. It drives me insane, so I am exceedingly happy that my old computer desk has now vacated the premises because it was a magnet for clutter. Does anyone else suffer from the empty surface = clutter magnet affliction?
It got really cold on Friday and we had to bust out the winter coats :( I can’t believe we had to do that already. Last year I didn’t even have to wear until almost February and then I only had to wear it around 5 times that season. My coat is really heavy when it’s on. I like the look of it (it almost looks like and army style parka) but the weight of it sucks, it feels like a weighted exercise vest. It would be nice to get a less heavy model, and maybe a faux fur coat for the season but I will survive with this one without either at the moment ;) Both the girls winter coats still fit thankfully, but they will definitely won’t next year. We were able to get Merle’s from Gap when they had a 40% off sale (they always have these sales so pay attention to emails and the website). It was from the boys section because she liked the green and the girls only had “girly” colours. It looks like they have the exact same coat this season to (it also comes in Burgundy, navy, and black). It’s a really nice coat, and really warm so it was a good choice.
The Christmas tree is up! We ended up putting it up on Friday night, and since it was put in a new spot this year it looks so much better. We also discovered that the wall socket it is plugged it to is control by a light switch that we had no idea what it turned on (cue Friends mysterious light switch episode). Seriously, we have lived here for several years and could never figure it out, but now we don’t have to unplug the lights to turn them off.
Have I mentioned that my kids are weird and have a life-size skeleton in their room? His name is Fred. And while Tom was at Value Village today he found a smaller version (It looks like a medical school one because it is really detailed) so he bought it. He needed a little repair job but Tom fixed him and Merle named him Bilbo Baggins (I’m reading The Hobbit to her). He will fit in perfect with Fred, and the cat and bird skeletons that are on her shelf. Next she wants a real animal skull to add to the collection. It’s turning in to a real life apothecary shop in that room, which is funny because Roo’s dream occupation is an alchemist ;)
Did you see that I posted a Christmas gift guide for kids on Friday? I tried to give some versatile options because if I focused too much on my kids tastes it would have been filled with weird and creepy stuff. Have you ever seen the show Oddities? That reflects their tastes well (mine too). We love that show and really want to go shopping there to add to our collections. Top on my list is a 19th century vampire fighting/killing kit (if they can authentic one properly).
On Saturday there was a Halloween event nearby so Merle got to try on and test out her costume. It was a success and you can see it above (here is my diy for the Cousin It bucket). She is all about the costumes while her sister is just more about that candy (always has been) and I guarantee by the time for bed on Halloween night she will already be thinking about what she wants to dress up for next year.
Also on Saturday night I decided that it was a most excellent idea to move the living room around. And by most excellent I obviously mean not the brightest idea. I wanted to make room for the Christmas tree and figured it was a good time to start. I ended up too tired and going bed before I finished so I had to deal with the mess on Sunday morning which totally sucked. I also ended up scratching the shit out of my knuckles when my hands got stuck moving a desk. Good times. I think the result is pretty good though. Much roomier aside from the fact that there are 4 baskets of laundry in there to be folded and put away. I so hate folding and putting away laundry.
It was so cold in my bedroom last night I had to build a tent of pillows and blankets around my face with only a breathing hole. It’s my favourite way to sleep, so I am happy it’s cold enough now. Do you like to sleep in a freezing room?
My 12 (almost 13) year old wants to read IT, but I don’t want to let her yet because of some super graphic scenes. I haven’t read much of his stuff because I scare easily, but she seems to have more of her dad’s tastes in movies and books. Is there a Stephen King book that isn’t quiet as bad as that one? What about Pet Cemetery, Kujo, or Carrie? If you have read any of those? Will it be too scary for a kid that has a pretty high tolerance for scary stuff?
Last year I bought Merle this cat Feisty Pet from Vat 19 (she loves Vat19 and watches their Youtube videos all the time). So if you are looking for an inexpensive gift for people/kids with unique tastes this may be for them. They are pretty awesome eh?
Who is going out on November 1st to buy all the mark down Halloween candy?
This grainy photo from last night was from when I made a late night dash to Whole Foods (see red circle) to pick up muffins. I am addicted, so if you get the chance to try the Sweet Potato and Marshmallow muffins from there do it. They are amazing.
Did you see the DIY that I posted yesterday? While the photography and layout isn’t great, the whole project wasn’t an epic fail which I call a win.
Ever since Roo saw this pin, she has wanted to replicate it at home. I found him online and I totally want to buy him to surprise them I just don’t know where the hell we’d put him. I don’t know if they would be 100% on board of getting rid of our regular tree in favour of this ;)
Weekly Reads (and maybe videos):
This library is officially on my bucket list. I can imagine sitting there for hours at a time. This is one reason that I don’t like living in such a new country. You miss out on wonderful things like this.
These Maps of Britain and Ireland’s ancient tribes, kingdoms and DNA are so interesting. Ever since I found out that I have such deep roots from the UK and it covers about 65% of my DNA I find I have serious interest in the area. I did before too but even more so now. It kind of makes me realize why I had such a draw here to begin with.
Did you know that The Smithsonian has a Tween Tribune (and a Smithsonian Junior, and Teen Tribune)? I didn’t either but now I have this site bookmarked for us to check out frequently.
I’m not going to lie. This Lasagna Roll looks so damn good. I may have to attempt to make it soon.
Here is a trip down memory lane. And also an annoying song to get stuck in to your head. Your welcome ;)
Ugh why is J.Crew so expensive? I know they have sales constantly and people have told me never to pay full price there because they are constantly having sales. Anyway, I adore this coat. This is my favourite shade of green. This is for when you love striped shirts but you don’t want them all to look the same. Also, how did I not know that they have clothes for kids?
Lord + Taylor is having and extra 15% off with the code LTDAYS. Is it weird that I want a rain slicker? It comes in that green I like I would just worry that I would be too Christmasy with my red rainboots ;)
Remember the episode of Friends where Rachel was buying stuff from Pottery Barn but had to lie because Phoebe hated Pottery Barn? She kept saying it was from Colonial times, or times of yore. It was hilarious. Anyway Pottery Barn is having up various deals in different departments with the percentages of ranging from 20% – 40%. I am a faux fur throw addict and they have a huge selection of them. I’m fairly certain this is for Halloween but I think I might need it just because.
I’m going to preface this by saying I did not come up with this idea. I copied it from someone else who is obviously way more creative and you can see the video here. I am not creative enough to come up with ideas, but I can copy fairly well…..sometimes. Sometimes it turns out really, really bad. Like pretend it never happened bad. This inability applies to all areas of creativity with me. In school when given creative writing papers to do I always drew a blank, but I kicked ass at research papers. In art when told to create something I never could, but put up something on the overhead (dating myself?) and tell me to replicate, I’d do my best (which often wasn’t a bad imitation depending). It is what it is, and I am aware of that weakness which makes me thankful for the Internet because there are all kinds of things I can try to reproduce. This is one.
Merle is going to be Wednesday Addams for Halloween and while I think she is going to look super cute, I think this bucket is the perfect way to make it obvious who she is. I also am bad at photography an obviously timing because a) it’s pushing it for Halloween DIY’s, and b) I decided to do this project on a Saturday evening on my balcony when the sun was starting to go down. I also had to make an emergency run to Walmart to get another ball of wool* because I needed two.
*I’m going to note that I think my issue with needing another ball of yarn was because the type I got was really thin and he looked like he was balding. If you get an average thickness of yarn you probably will be okay with one ball.
Cut the top off of the top hat but leave a small border along the edges.
Cut the plastic handle off of the bucket.
Braid a length of yarn that will be long enough to use as a handle for the bucket.
After braided feed the ends through where the handle was and knot off to make secure.
Wrap yarn looped from elbow over hand (like you are winding rope) 50 times and set aside.
You are going to repeat this until you have 6-8 of these bunches of 50 loops. You may need a couple of extra if it seems like the hair isn’t thick enough.
Take one loop at a time and cut one end.
Then lay out cut length flat and organize and straighten the yarn into a neat line. Take a piece of light colour duct tape long enough to lay over the ends of the row of yarn and press yarn on to it to make secure.
Take the strip of duct tape with yarn and wrap it around one side of the bucket about halfway down. Repeat that step with a second strip of duct tape and yarn, and place on opposite side so they slightly overlap at sides to make sure bucket is covered.
Turn bucket upside down and cover with pieces of duct tape to hide the orange so you can’t see it through the yarn.
Repeat steps 7-9 placing the yarn higher up the bucket each time so that it overlaps the previous row. I did this a 3rd time as well and placed it around the top edge of the bucket.
Decide how the hat will look best and use the glue gun to attach. Make sure that the handle is hanging out the top. My glue gun wasn’t working very well so I also used black duct tape along the inside edge of the hat to attach it firmly to the bucket and yarn.
Close the arms on the glasses and place it on the from where you want them to be. Use a pen to mark the tape where the arms are on the glasses. Cut a small hole on each side of the bucket where you marked the tape and slide the arms through the plastic.
Trim the length of the hair (I still need to do this) and he is good to go.
I think this is the perfect addition for Merle’s costume and if you are a super creative person (unlike me) you probably can come up with some other good character bucket options. I’ll post an updated picture of her when she is in full costume with the bucket. Have a great weekend!