Friday, April 30, 2010

TGIF - Happy Thoughts

- Dad fixed my ipod adaptor (that my brute strength destroyed)

- Krista's GOTH HOUSEWARMING is this weekend, and I'm so excited to create a dark alter ego. A few of the pieces I've picked up:

This leather corset was on clearance on Etsy - EXCELLENT:

I scooped up a black leather pencil skirt at the Salvation Army for $12.99, similar to this:

And boots similar to these for just $4.99 @ the Goodwill:

I've got some accessories & makeup from Hot Topic, and a half-formed plan for my hair - let's hope it cooperates :)

I'm also making a couple of "dark desserts" that I hope to feature on here - I'm only 1/2 sure they will work, so stay tuned...

- I went skating again last night (after missing Monday with my cold) and I have to say, I'm feeling good. But I'm pretty sick of the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Bieber.

- We're heading down to the Lone Star State next week for a mini vacation to visit relatives. I'm considering fed-exing a gallon of sunscreen ahead of us, since the 4 oz (in a clear plastic bag) that I am allowed to carry on will in no way sustain my pasty complexion for multiple days. Perhaps I shall have to pick up a 10 gallon hat as well.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bakerella, you evil temptress...

How dare you introduce me to sites like Bake It Pretty. That spells trouble with a capital $.

I'm drooling a little bit...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Romp in the Swamp" - Louisiana Theme Costume Ideas

A few people have started to ask, so just to get the wheels turning, here is an early brainstormed list of costume genres to inspire you before the 2010 "Romp in the Swamp" party (our 4th Annual Halloween Extravaganza!). I plan to do some more in depth round-ups as we get closer, but hopefully this plants a few interesting seeds in your mind:

Vampires - New Orleans is the center (or more accurately, centre) of vampire culture and lore, including the setting of the famed Anne Rice novels, among many others. Whether you prefer your vampires Dracula-esque in Victorian finery, or much more modern day - there is a TON of room for interpretation and uniqueness with a vampire costume. Since I embrace all things sparkly, I still love this one I featured last year. Of course, since I intend to go as a vampire hunter this year, you'd best beware :)

On a related note, the series True Blood (books & HBO series) also takes place in Louisiana - there are a host of exciting characters you could impersonate. My personal favorite is Pam's disco night look:

If you show up looking like Eric, I doubt I'll kick you out...and though I hated her character, Evan Rachel Wood's Vampire Queen had some epic costume moments.

Voodoo - another famous dark undercurrent running through NOLA, home of Marie Laveau and numerous other practitioners of the dark arts. A voodoo priest/priestess, doll, or victim could all be fun. Along the same train you can think gypsy, psychic, tarot reader...Check out a great voodoo doll and priest here. Also this one is makeup heavy, but would be pretty easy to accomplish:

(And if you want to see something really scary, check out the blog I found the photo on here)

Mardi Gras - the holy grail of sparkles and bling. If you google "mardi gras" you'll see just about anything goes at the festival of excess, from flashy carnivale style show girls to jesters and other royals to revelers buried in beads. There are a ton of resources for purple green and gold accessories, masks, and beads. I know that no children will be around, but let's try to keep the flashing to a minimum. ;)Also don't be afraid to take a cue from Lady GaGa - a costume doesn't have to be a specific "thing," just put together some fun pieces + a mask and you are ready to let the good times roll - like this ensemble that just calls to me:


Bayou - I know that Deliverance technically takes place Georgia, but I think the scary backwoods swamp feel works for N'awlins too. It conjures up images of hillbillies (super bonus points if you have a banjo), gators, gator wrestlers, swamp creatures...

Culture - Jazz (musicians, instruments, jazz funerals, marching bands), Food (shrimp, King Cake, Bourbon). Love this amazing crayfish costume made from foam and fabric:


Politics & Current Events - WhoDats, Saints, FEMA trailers, abandoned & duct taped refrigerators. Check out a whole album of Katrina-themed costumes here, such as this commentary on NOLA getting SCREWED:

As always, as long as you have some semblance of a costume on, I don't care if it matches the theme or not - but it's always fun to see what people do with the idea. Last year the bar was set pretty high, so I hope y'all find this year as inspiring. :)

(for future reference, I'm using the label "NOLA" for posts related to the 2010 party)

The much less painful route...

Al brought these to my attention, but so far I've resisted their immense pull. From the etsy shop "Tattoo Socks" they're screen printed stockings with fun graphic designs. I'm pretty tough on nylons, so the chances of me spending $18 are slim, but I definitely love the look. They have a variety of designs (and also knee and thigh highs) including an octopus, peacock feather, and a lot of cool swirls. J'adore!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

5 Awesome things about today:

- Coconut Shrimp and Cheddar Bay Biscuits for lunch (Thanks Dad!)

- I remembered to take out the garbage (after a few weeks of forgetting...but we never fill the can, even in a month, so no big deal)

- My normal jeans fell off without a belt, and my "skinny jeans" feel great (not that there's a huge difference, but I'm definitely enjoying roller skating even more now!
FYI, photo is NOT me...yet :)

- Cleaned out my purse, caught up on mail & bills, organized my desk, and balanced my checkbook

- Korean Beef for Dinner!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Once again I praise Puffs Plus...

I've been waylaid by the dreaded spring cold. I'd avoided it while comrades fell all around me, charging forward with my busy life, because - to paraphrase Jesse Ventura - "I ain't got time to [blow snot bubbles]." But this weekend it finally overpowered me and I was bedridden with a sore throat and way too much phlegm. Today I'm still snarfing and snotting, but I've been without Internet too long to stay at home, so I'm here subjecting my coworker to an unpleasant soundtrack as I snurf and blow and hack - hey, she can close her door if she wants :)

And in other news...

I've done zilch crafting while flat on my back. But I have had a few thoughts:

I find myself very annoyed by this. Tell me you just roll your eyes as well. Seriously, KFC, stop trying to pretend you are healthy. You're not fooling us. And regardless, I'm a sucker for your fake mashed potatoes and blend of secret herbs and spices. Take a cue from Burger King and just embrace the truth of what you are.

I'm super excited for Krista's goth-themed dinner party/housewarming party this weekend, and I've been planning to make peanut butter rats for my dish to share. In poking around I came across this:
And I'm severely tempted to try it.

I also love NotMartha's spider cakes, but I think they'd be hard to transport.

Thanks to Etsy, Ebay, Hot Topic, and the Salvation Army I have my outfit all nailed down (with several possible variations), but strange realization: Hubby has no black clothes. Seriously. It has something to do with a certain shedding rat terrier. He also can't decide if he will acquiesce to guyliner, so his attendance is on the fence. I, on the other hand, am GREATLY looking forward to it and think costume parties are much too rare these days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer Lovin'

This year it seems that we have skipped straight from winter to summer, a very non-Minnesotan turn of events, but one that I'm enjoying immensely. In previous years we've still had snow on the ground at this point (I'm hardly end of March snowstorm is very common), but this year was the first in "modern record" that no snow fell on the Twin Cities in March - leading us in to an early and dramatic spring. Temps have been in the 60's and higher fairly consistently, should be in the mid 70's today, and it's definitely brought on a wave of spring fever.

This past weekend was my first in a long time with ZERO commitments and it was glorious. I feel like I relaxed and "did nothing", but I actually got a lot accomplished as well:

- We grilled. I highly recommend the cheddar bacon burgers from Rainbow or Byerly's. Mmmm.

- I moved all my sweaters and winter clothes into storage, then completely cleaned and re-oganized my closet. I tossed all of the clothes that "sorta" fit into the yard sale pile. Ditto with shoes.

- I finished THREE books. One each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pure indulgence.

- We opened windows, and Norm & I basked in the sun on the couch while reading above mentioned books and listening to my entire ipod playlist. I also burned candles and hopefully cleared the "winter of dog" mustiness from the house.

- I painted my toenails sparkly red. Bring on the sandals! I actually tried to wear sandals last week but it was still really cold in my office, so let's hope today is better. Double bonus points: found a pair of excellent sandals in my basement closet that I had forgotten all about - SCORE!

(they're the brown version of these, and SO comfortable! Dare I consider taking them to New York???)

I'm waiting up just a bit more on taking the winter coats to the dry cleaner, washing out the windowsils (ick), and a few other tasks, but for now I'm quite content to welcome the warm weather and sunshine. Even if that means I had to shave my legs.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joy: Nataliedee

I've run into the "Toothpaste for Dinner" webcomic a few times, but never ended up at this t-shirt shop until I was chasing down clip art and kept finding adorable cartoons linking back to the "Nataliedee" collection on SharingMachine.

I haven't ordered or inspected any of their products, but I love the wit and illustrations. This one isn't a current t-shirt - but it made me laugh. This one also cracks me up. I feel like this quite often, and the anthropomorphic smiley hammer getting all excited = AWESOMENESS.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's MY Life...

Along the same train of thought as yesterday's post...I'm inspired to add to my 2010 (and beyond) resolutions:

Create and pursue happiness actively

Sounds like a no-brainer, but it's really something I need to change about my priorities: to put myself first and enjoy as much of my life as possible.
(and lose or quell or at least demote the strange sense of duty I have to make others happy first.)I started in this direction when I created my bucket list and made an effort to check things off - made it a priority. But I'm still not there on a daily basis.

This is no way means I'm going to become a raging b!@#$ (not any more than already accomplished, anyways), as I still believe strongly in not infringing on the enjoyment of others (thus my complete rage at most drivers and large crowds - seriously people, behavior check). But I do think I feel an abundance of pressure (largely from myself) to make "everyone else" happy, or not let "others" down, when really the impact is likely to be negligible. I don't even really know who "everyone else" or the "others" are when I carefully examine the idea. This is not just a problem for people who are doormats or mistreated - I have perfectly stable self confidence, but I too often "settle" for things to avoid making waves or make someone else happy.

Case in point: I remember clearly eating a meal at my grandmother's house. Not sure what it was, because I always ate what I was told as a child. My cousin who was also there pitched a fit and refused to partake. I remember being aghast and confused "you can refuse? This is an option?"

Free will, interesting concept.

I'm not going to be impolite. And I'm not going to eat a diet of Twinkies and Yoohoo either. But I am going to surround myself with as much happiness as I can, and remove things that don't bring joy to my day. How many areas of life can this apply to? diet...exercise...reading material...wardrobe..."friends"...spending...There are so many areas in life we muddy down to do what is "expected"...but whose expectations are they?

In related news: look for new (daily?) feature of random stuff that brought me joy.

"Cuz I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
It's my life."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Packing up the Circus...

Every once in a great while, I realize I am an adult. Such as last night, as I waffled on attending Circus class. I had this little voice in the back of my head saying I should probably go...

Then I realized, I'm an adult.

I don't have to go to circus class if I don't want to. :)

I have precious little free time, I already spend most of my day doing stuff I dislike (ahh, work). Circus class was fun for the first four weeks, when we were trying new things. That's what I signed up for - to take a turn at some new things, not to master them. Even the stuff I didn't like (core training, triple trap) were fun to just try once. Then in week 5 we started to repeat the things we did in the first half of the class - eh, no thanks. It was fun while it was exciting, but now I'm kind of over it.

And I much prefer skating.

It's still exercise, but there's music (not always MY preferred music, but still something), and movement, and it's self paced, low risk - I just enjoy it more.

So last night, hubby and I ditched circus class, and had a date at the roller rink I visited as a child.

It was pretty fun.

I still got some exercise, hubby got acclimated to wheels after about 20 years off, and we were introduced to this infamous "Justin Bieber" character (not impressed). We gave the dice game a good try, and I actually won a free pass playing "Red Light - Green Light." Then we blew all our hard work and calories burned on Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers and a frosty. Delicious :)

The day (after) the music died...

I'm so disappointed, last night I ran into a store before "book club" and quickly hid my ipod and adaptor - but when I pulled the adaptor out, I broke it :( Boo!

The oval "head" had come apart from the cigarette lighter "stem", which wouldn't have been a problem to reattach but the wires running between the two parts had snapped when I pulled. Boo again!

I was really happy with this little sucker, and will probably try to replace it when my finances improve, but for now it's just a mega bummer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I want your drama, the touch of your hand...

There are important reasons behind my craft slacking this week, mostly being that I am basically destitute at the moment. You know, just livin' the "American Dream" :) It's a combination of taxes + mortgage + Lady GaGa tickets all colliding in the same pay period, and should be slightly better in a week or so...but until then I'm definitely not allowed in or near any stores, so starting Halloween or costume projects is on the back burner.

Yeah, that's right, I slipped Lady GaGa in there. You you can't feel too bad for my financial misfortune, since I clearly dug that hole myself :)

But on the bright side, LADY GA GA!

Could there be a more craftastic entertainer? She's following in the footsteps of Bette Midler and Cher with the kooky costumes and true "PERFORMANCE" art.

While the event is a long way off (end of August) it's still pretty exciting. I can only imagine what outfits we'll see - and did I mention I should be able to see PRETTY DARN WELL?

That's what I hear anyways, seeing as my dear old dad got a pair of tickets in the VIP section...

VIP? Me?!?!? Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!

Flashback to hilarious moment at the Bon Jovi concert last week:

Dad: "I'd really like to see that GaGa Lady sometime. I think that would be a really interesting show."

Flashforward to the present: Whoa, I guess he was serious!!! VIP Baby! I'm actually not sure what that means, but I'm excited to find out :) And add that to the list of amazing events I need serious costumes for - clearly I can't pass up the opportunity to wear something Ga-Ga-esque, and the Book Club seems willing to follow suit. Maybe whip up something for dad too :) GaGa doesn't abide the "street clothes" look:

"When I meet celebrities and they’re in casual clothes, I’m always like: ‘Whaaat?’ I don’t mean to be judgmental, but it would do them better to be who they really are, all the time. This is really who I am all the time. When I get out of a car and there are 30 fans waiting for me, I know I’m dressed the way I should be. There’s a reason they have that emotional reaction."
Lady GaGa doesn't wear casual clothes / March 31, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Want...

I am SO BROKE I should absolutely not be shopping around on the Internet. But I also have a lot of time to kill. It's taking more willpower than I usually posses, but so far I've been able to resist these gems:

Bread - shaped cake pan: So fun, and would make decorating so simple - all the frosting INSIDE! Would be great for a pound cake with strawberry filling too. via Plasticland

Not that I'm a big fan of gin (especially after last Halloween) but the play on words is irresistible - "Gin & Titonic" ice cube molds. Would have been great for the Titanic costume party we planned back in high school, but never got around to having (and then Ryan's parents sold the pool, so we couldn't float dead bodies and wreckage in there anymore - kinda deflated the plans). Plasticland.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Mickey Mmmm....

If you are anxiously awaiting an update on circus class this week, I'm terribly sorry to disappoint you. I've had a crazy week with commitments every evening, and something had to give - I skipped last night!

Instead, here's a shot of the adorable rice krispie bars lil' sis slipped in my Easter basket last week - she just got back from a week @ the "Happiest Place On Earth"

YUM! When we went as a family in 1999/2000 I lived off these things. Not sure they're the breakfast of champions? C'mon, they're half cereal! :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME:

Don't you just love it when birthdays stretch out for months? Back when I hit the big 3-0 my parents gave me a set of concert tix, and the date finally rolled around last night.

When an evening starts with two peach daiquiris and prime rib, you know it's going to be gooooooooood.

When you sail easily through unfamiliar streets, find your parking ramp, and nail a very decent space, you know it's going to be excelllllllllent.

And when you climb into these seats at the Xcel Energy center, and take a look at your sweet view:

You are ready for the AWWWWWWWWWWESOME!!!!!!!

(it's called the circle tour, get it?)

The pics don't really do it justice, my "real" camera lens was over 2" and I didn't want to risk it being confiscated, so these are all from the tiny point & shoot which doesn't like zoom + low light. I think they actually make us look farther away than we were - we had GREAT sight lines, even though everyone stood the entire time. Click the pics to enlarge.

It was a FULL HOUSE, and the crowd was really diverse:

On the way in we passed a lot of teeny boppers who clearly weren't even alive during the hair band days, a lot of girls in skanky tank tops and stiletto heels, and also a lot of 40-something soccer moms flashing back to their youth. Four of the latter were seated in the middle of our row, and hadn't come to terms with their incontinence yet, so there was a lot of shuffling back and forth for them to get in and out every other song.

Of course we sat behind some middle aged douche bags who were wasted before the show even started, and they were not hot enough to be grinding on each other the way they were in public, but everyone's pal KARMA stepped in when the wifey basically passed out halfway through the show and they left. SCORE! Back to the awesomeness:

I had a little laugh about the T-shirts - the stands were MOBBED, and people were buying them hand over fist, but take a look at the prices:

Ha! I get irritable paying $12 for a t-shirt, $50 just wasn't happening, sorry Jon Bon. You'll have to be happy with the $300 we paid for tickets (shh, don't tell mom!).

The lighting and video boards were the real stars of the show - they had elaborate backgrounds and moving parts for every song.

Ever wonder how Jon stays so fit at 48 years old? It's easy to understand when you see him run around on raised platforms, jump, and dance like a madman for two hours a night:

Loved "I'll Be There For You," "Bad Name," "(You Want to Make) A Memory,"Who Says You Can't Go Home," and my favorite is "It's My Life."

We ditched before the encore, which I'm assuming was "Livin' on a Prayer" and would have been awesome, but getting out ahead of 18,000 people was pretty awesome too. :) I also would have loved to hear "Bed of Roses" and "Wanted," maybe next time. Overall, it was a really great show - I haven't been to a big arena concert in a long time, and I was scared the sound quality would be crap, but it was wonderful, and not even too loud! My ears rang for most of the way home, but I'm fine today.

Thanks again for the excellent 30th b-day gift, Mom & Dad, it was FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd...

Actually, I probably will. But I'm okay with it :)

I have a delightfully abbreviated work day today, so that I can go home and relax before my big date with these guys:

And this guy:

(that's my dad, about to get doused on Splash Mountain at Disney World)

At this point in my crazy week I'm just as grateful for the few hours of downtime this afternoon, but the show is sure to impress as well. I don't go to concerts very often, mostly because I'm cheap & broke, so this is quite a treat! We even appear to have some pretty fancy seats. The venue said cameras will be confiscated if they have a lens over 2" long, so I'll probably be stuck with my tiny point & shoot which doesn't do well in low light zoom situations. C'est la vie. If you really want to know the JonBon awesomeness, I hear there are still tickets for tomorrow night's added show.

"It's my life
It's now or never
'Cause I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive"

Monday, April 05, 2010

Vampires, Voodoo, Mardi Gras - Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

People have been asking, and I've been stalling, but it's getting to be that time when I've got to be starting Halloween party projects, so I've finally decided to announce the 2010 theme:

Romp In The Swamp 2010

I'm very excited to head down to the Bayou for this New Orleans themed event and have been kicking it around for a while. NOLA is the occult capital of the US with its rich connection to vampires (Anne Rice, True Blood) and voodoo (Marie Laveau, among many others) ; the overall creepiness of swamps, alligators, and other backwoods inhabitants; and of course the costumed spectacular that is Mardi Gras.

There are just so many possibilities for decorations and props, themed food and drink, a lot of different directions to go with costumes, and of course I have a few tricks up my sleeve already :)

Hope you love it, and if you don't - too bad!
It's my party and I'll...not invite you then :-P

Friday, April 02, 2010

Raging at Ru...

Ryan tried to explain the awesomeness that is RuPaul's Drag Race to me a while back, but I didn't really get it till I caught an episode this season.



But seriously folks, this show is like a hilarious mash up of Project Runway + America's Next Top Model, powered by drag queens. They start each show in their male personas (including Ru, who is looking rough as a man these days but still makes a FINE lady), do a couple challenges that are sometimes funny and sometimes fall flat, but then they have a larger challenge that so far has been pretty entertaining. The show wraps with a runway performance, where the queens show off their AMAZING self-styled makeup, wigs, and costumes, and of course a lot of attitude. The bottom two are singled out, "Lipsync for their Lives", and one is told to "sashay away." I'm in love.

Or, I was...

till they sent my favorite competitor home this week. Sniff.

Pandora Boxx has the BEST drag name of the bunch, hands down. She wasn't afraid to use humor:

...that's her doing a hilarious Carol Channing for celebrity challenge - while all the other girls chose young hot celebs like Britney, Beyonce, and Pink; Pandora wasn't afraid to sacrifice a little pretty for the laughs.

But speaking of pretty, DAMN! She does woman WAY better than I do (as I sit in my sweatshirt, jeans, and no makeup, eating cookies and swilling Dr. Pepper...).

I hate shaving my legs, let alone all the extra those fellas must be trimming...but I digress...Here's Pandora's alter ego, Michael Steck:

Pandora/Michael was sent home, and I may have yelled at my TV for a while, but I'm guessing she'll pop up again somewhere - possibly a show of her own? It appears Steck is also a writer, and I'd love to catch Pandora's live show. My interest in the rest of the contestants on Drag Race is sort of blah now, but I'll probably keep watching if only to complain and second guess...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Drumroll Please...

With the help of an uber-talented geek-minded friend who prefers to remain anonymous, this blog has now migrated over to MY VERY OWN WEBSITE!


WHOO HOO! It's the next step in my (slowly) unfolding empire, and I'm extremely excited! I don't have a complete roadmap for where I'm going with all of this yet(and I'm still holding out for that call from Intel), but watch for a few more surprises coming soon. Or eventually. :)

As a side effect the search function seems to be disabled, I'll look into it next week. In the meantime you can scroll all the way down and use the keyword labels on the right, or the "recent posts", that seems to be working okay still.