Holiday Snapshots! *

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*Cookies – Santa- Christmas – Gifts – Bows – Laughing – Snuggles – Milk – Santa – Family – Love – Wrapping – Tree – Smiles – Food – Gingerbread – Frosting – Fun – Hope*

“Maybe Christmas He Thought Doesn’t Come From A Store. Maybe Christmas Perhaps Means A Little Bit More.” 

– The Grinch

Cheers!

– C

A Festivus For The Rest Of Us! *

In honor of one of my favorite shows to have ever aired, I bring you the Festivus post! A huge fan of Seinfeld, I was raised to recognize this magical day . . . 15 years later we celebrate a decade and a half of playful consumer resistance and a Festivus For The Rest Of Us!

In honor of this magical day, I would like to share, for any of you who may not already know, the Festivus Experience. It’s first important to explain exactly why Festivus was created to begin with . . . . Please See Below.

I will now begin by explaining the customary practices of the holiday followed by a YouTube link to the episode so that you may fully understand the amazingness that is Festivus in it’s entirety. I will explain with some hilarious GIFS (I love GIFS if you haven’t caught on yet by now) and then conclude with my own Airing of Grievances. . . . I can hardly wait. Lets do it then, Festivus is BACK!

festivus newcomers

Main Components

When Is Festivus: Held on December 23rd.

fastivus when is it?

Festivus Pole: The tradition of Festivus begins with the display of an aluminum pole. (Great Strength:Weight Ratio). The Pole is to be displayed unadorned. The pole was chosen for it’s opposition to highly commercialized and decorated Christmas Trees. . . Also because the patron of Festivus, Frank Costanza finds “tinsel distracting” and sees the Pole as “very low maintenance”.

fastivus pole

The Festivus Dinner: A celebratory dinner in which some sort of meatloaf is served alongside a spaghetti paired with a mystery red sauce to those guests participating in the tradition. No alcohol is served during the meal. The meal is held on the evening of Festivus.

festivus dinner

The Airing of Grievances: The celebration of Festivus starts with the “Airing of Grievances” which begins immediately after the meal has been served.  Each Festivus participant explains to all friends and family the instances in which they have disappointed him or her that year.

Feats of Strength: The final tradition held in observance of the celebration of Festivus, the Feats of Stength are held immediately following (or sometimes during) the Dinner. The head of household selects a guest in which he would like to challenge to the Feats of Strength otherwise known as a wrestling match. The tradition states that Festivus will only end once the head of household has been defeated. It should be noted that the participant selected can decline the invitation (only if he has something else better to do). Failure to pin the head of household results in the event of Festivus continuing until said requirement is met.

Festivus Miracles: Events that Cosmo Kramer declares Festivus Miracles. . . . Typically events that are clearly explainable and in hindsight, not miraculous.

Below is the link to some of the most important moments of “The Strike” Seinfeld episode which clearly explains the fantastic holiday at hand. . . . Other important moments in the episode to note are George Costanza’s charitable “donation” to The Human Fund – Money For People (A fake charitable contribution he made in his co-worker’s names in which he has to back up by asking his Boss to join him at Festivus), and Cosmo’s strike at the bagel shop. Festivus YES! Bagels NO! 

The Strike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F73sMmb6CS0

The Human Fund

So in closing. I would like to wrap this holiday up with airing my own grievances. . . to my family of course. Paige, PLEASE swallow your food. Chewing one piece of chicken for over 30 minutes isn’t a productive way to ensure gaining weight. You’re a preemie and Mommy worries. I know it’s on rare occasion but seriously, you have NO problem swallowing an Oreo. Lets just get past this. Pj, PLEASE stop throwing your dirty ass socks around the living room like it’s New Years Eve. I love you but I want to punch you in the face wearing a dirty sock puppet. . . .something resembling this exact puppet (Please See Below). Nice work by the way, I’m sure your work skit partners felt the puppet was a true depiction of self. I do adore you for things like this photo though, true love can’t even compare! ♥

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He’s going to KILL me for posting this photo . . . #oooops?

Baxter (Our Dog), PLEASE refrain from sleeping in the closet like a weirdo so much, it makes me nervous that you’re so awkward. We love you, stop hiding from it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Roll around in it as if we were the dirty worms in our yard that you enjoy so much. Myself, seriously PLEASE chill the F out. Life is not a play, you are not the director, and as much as you would like to think you’re in control, you’re not. Everything happens for a reason. Get over it. Life is Great! 

Festivus

I appreciate the time you’ve all taken to read up on the Festivus tradition and by the time I post this, you’ll have all but 30 minutes left to celebrate. My apologies for my typical procrastination. (Another Grievance). Enjoy the holiday and please, let me know your own grievances and how you celebrate Festivus!! 

*A Special Thanks To My GIFS & Images From The Following Hosts: bradystreet.org – www.nj.com – http://www.fln.tumblr.comhttp://www.buzzsugar.com – www.festivusweb.com –  www.ipoll.com

Cheers! 

– C

Today’s “How To” : Maintain Your Det. Lions Fandom *

Few things most people recall from their childhood, but I’ve always vividly remembered my first “Daddy-Daughter” dance”, the awful smell (and outcome ) of my first perm -Thanks Mom, installing our first swimming pool, ice cream after tee-ball and my first broken bone. . . . as these things have become ingrained in the way I was brought up. Our parents, teachers, siblings and peers together help to guide us through some of the most magical and detrimental times a young person will survive, all the while enhancing valuable life lessons along the way.

Important Life Lesson #11: The Lions Have, Do and Always Will SUCK.  

Born and raised in South East Detroit. The seasons change. The wind blows. Cars are made. Lions Lose. The only team in the entire NFL to never advance to a Super Bowl, defeat has become standard. Since before I can remember, I can always picture the Lions being a horrible, awful, depressing establishment contributing in no way to society. Comparable to mixing a variety of uppers and downers, the Lions have somehow managed to create a cult-like following more relatable to those nut jobs that actually enjoy Baileys and Coffee. I mean SERIOUSLY. There is no drunk, there is no “wake-up” it’s just a lose – lose for everyone involved. Sure- it tastes great, makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, smells of pure happiness, but when all is said and done, you’re sober, sleepy and outright empty inside – yet the real alcoholics (Lions Fans) can’t stop. We attend every sloppy ass tailgate, keep buying the tickets and next thing you know we actually believe they can win! It’s god damn out of control! What’s the definition of Insanity again?? 

Then came the 0-16. It was what true Lions Fans refer to as Rock Bottom. I believe they have a similar scenario in Alcoholics Anonymous. I think it’s part of your initiation to the program, not entirely sure but anyhow. . . . 0-16. A tale for your children’s children. The Great Depression. A season of lost hope, many fans retreated to their homes both defeated and denied. It was going to be a long off-season. But then, a glimmer of hope! Marinelli would be gone, the blame could be passed, we could start anew! Or so we thought. A quick 2-14 season later and we were finally in contention for the play-offs. 2011 with Megatron, Suh, Stafford. This amazing combination of talent alongside some of the best receivers and running backs in the game, the exceptional roster was bound to work, or so we thought. You forget, we are the Lions. First round- Out. 2012 Season., Nope. This year. . . . well lets just. . . . 

Lions Winless Football

Fast forward to today. It’s Tuesday Morning. While you sit and read this, finally shaking your case of yesterday’s “Monday’s” let me just explain how my Monday went. In detail. Monday Night Football. Something us Detroiters refer to as a should-be local holiday, The Lions take the field with our playoff spot on the line. Defeat is non negotiable. . . the opponent- Defending Super Bowl Champs the Baltimore Ravens. #HA (Now, this is where the rest of the country knows we don’t stand a chance, but this is also the exact same moment when Detroit lights up with that “Lions Pride” and falsely assumes the unthinkable, a victory.) Yes, A Victory. Crazy you say? Sure if you’re not from Detroit. Typical? Completely, IF you are. Welcome to my life. . . and most others I know. While we have endured every negative aspect of the league and come to expect nothing but unfavorable calls, false starts and loose turnovers. .. our Lion Pride can’t die. So here we are watching the game:

It started with an early lead, and our defense held back every touchdown attempt, things were honestly looking good!. . . .But then things took a Lions turn for the worst and started going  horribly, horribly wrong:

*I Will Now Break Down Key Aspects To Last Nights Loss Through A Series Of GIFs And Hashtags. Please Feel Free To Close Your Eyes, Throw Up, Fall Down & Die And/Or Simply Exit This Blog At Any Time*

#ThingsThatShouldn’tHappen #Happened

#InterceptionsWereThrown #SoWerePaperCups

#IfOnlyWeCouldHaveFollowedWithThe2PointConversion #SeriouslyStopDancing 

#ThenThisHappened #61Yards #GoodByePlayoffs

#ThisCan’tBeRealLife #TuckerIsGreat

#IHateYouJimSchwartz #YesThatHappened. #TheEnd

*I would like to thank the sources that helped provide these wonderful GIFs/Media/Photos today by recognizing them now: 
  http://www.sbnation.com/  http://www.businessinsider.com/   http://itsalwayssunnyindetroit.com/   http://www.thebiglead.com/   http://ftw.usatoday.com/   http://deadspin.com   http://huffingtonpost.com   http://philly.com   http://bleacherreport.com   http://reddit.com

SO There it is, a typical Lions loss. Going out in stellar fashion, holding us on until the bitter end. While I would love to tell you that I won’t be back next year, I will be. Hell I will be back on Sunday, crossing my fingers for a miracle that somehow both The Bears and The Packers both lose for the slight chance to still grasp the NFC North because that’s what Detroiters do. I mean what other reason is their to stand up every Sunday for the only team that’s never made it to a Super Bowl? (By the way it’s the only Final Jeopardy Question I’ve ever answered correctly!!) Yes, It’s a sick, sad, depressing disease but as my in-laws and husband have accurately determined, the “Scally Theory” is the best way to go when maintaining your fandom… “Never Too High” – ” Never Too Low”

Lion-King-and-the-Super-Bowl

In closing, I would like to thank the Lions and all of you crazy fuckers who support them. As I’m in no way shocked by your performance last night, I know you’re capable of much more. I appreciate that you come back and play each season despite however embarrassing it may be to sport the Silver and Honolulu Blue and I respect you for suiting up. Sure you’re getting paid boat loads of money and it’s really ALL your fault, but thanks anyhow. On a more serious note. #GetYourShitTogether. See ya Sunday! 

Cheers!

– C

Portable North Pole *

AHHH! So the Holidays have become one of my favorite times of year again, especially with a 2 year old running around!! (I’m not a big fan of cold OR snow but since becoming a mom I just can’t help but get excited playing “Santa”. I just wanted to take the time to share with you one of my all time FAVORITE features of this special time of year! I came across the website Portable North Pole in 2011-Paige’s first Christmas. It’s a FREE video that you create for your little ones to watch from Santa and his elves. It’s literally adorable and we’ve been doing it since her first Christmas (This is only her 3rd HaHa)! Each year I’ve gotten the reminder in my email and I just jump for joy!! It’s seriously SO fun and incredibly simple to produce. Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 4.24.00 PM Once you get to the site just click on the “Start Here” button (It’s bright green, you can’t miss it!) and get started selecting all the options that apply to your little one(s). It’s so much fun making it personalized to fit each individual. The options are endless and they seem to fit almost any scenario. You even get to include what they’ve been asked to work on, no thumb sucking, potty training, eating your vegitables. . . .it’s all age related. (This year we asked Paige to stop throwing Temper Tantrums! LoL Terrible 2’s!) You also upload a photo, what state they live in, etc. and it turns out SO cute! Also, You can make as many FREE videos as you want (naughty, nice, multiple children, adults, etc)!! It’s addicting. We did a ton for everyone at my office the first year, it gets pretty entertaining, especially in the adult option. . . .   Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 4.24.23 PM Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 4.24.57 PM Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 4.25.16 PM Anyhow. I just wanted to share with you what a finished video looks like. . . . you can share it via. email, Facebook, Twitter, link, etc. once you’ve finished. I typically email it to all the grandparents and post to Facebook. I’m sometimes “That” mom. . . but I can’t help it! It’s the cutest!! * To Watch Finished Video Click Here:  Santa’s Video To Paige! Lucky Paige – She made the Nice List this year!! ♥ What little holiday traditions make your year special?!  Cheers!  ♥ – C

Gifts for the Girls *

So this holiday season has been a bit of a stretch on the wallet. With tying the knot in May, 8 weddings to finish the 2013 season, 30+ Bach/Bachelorette & Showers, a remodeled kitchen and the significant setback of placing our daughter in Montessori, it’s been one hell of a year! Simply put, we are broke! And no, we aren’t eating Ramen every night but I’m not out buying myself the latest Prada either. (AS IF I ever was before!) HA. We are getting by for now but this process has definitely got me thinking outside the box….. But through my obsession with Pinterest, Etsy and my ability to think up a craft over a simple cup of tea, I’ve decided that this year my best girlfriends are getting a simple yet personal gift of my choosing!

Along with the help of some simple computer skills, (and trust me when I say simple) a little patience for downloading some outrageously fun fonts, and a Costco Membership I have come up with the idea to create a chalkboard poster with out all the excessive chalk paint and additional expenses! As I am a HUGE fan of the rustic/vintage themes lately. *Our entire wedding was rustic everything. . . . I have compromised authentic with creative and come up with a thoughtful gift I hope they will truly enjoy. 

obligated to love what i made you

You see, my two best friends, Heather & Rachel ( & Dual Maid of Honors),  just recently moved in together. Roommates since college, I sometimes still pine for the days we could watch One Tree Hill and eat movie theatre popcorn in between classes. (Yes Heather would literally stop at the movie theatre on her way home just to purchase a large popcorn. . . . No she wasn’t high.) No responsibilities and zero motivation, it was a magical time. To be honest I can’t say I even watched any of their shows. . . I was never much of a TV person growing up but I loved to sit in the room and interrupt the most important points in each episode. . . . I’m sure anyone that knows me is not in any way shocked by this. In all actuality, I was a late bloomer when it came to watching addictive television. It hit me around age 25 when I was on maternity leave, right about the time when everyone on planet earth had placed the shows I was just starting in the category of “that’s so last decade”. . . . due to a little bug I caught called NetFlix. I mean honestly, have you people ever tried to watch just ONE episode of Grey’s Anatomy on that thing, OR Gossip Girl for that matter?? It’s like one episode just rolls right into the other, it’s impossible to get off the train. A whole new world for me. . . or a lack there of. I’m not entirely sure.

Regardless, Once we graduated we all went our separate ways. Heather moved off to San Diego after college and Rachel stayed at home in Rochester pursuing careers in the automotive arena. I stuck out the introduction of this Great Recession in the bar for another year following graduation only to land myself a marketing career in the greater Detroit area where I met my husband and began my life as it is today. While we grew in distance we grew closer as friends. . . .With my wedding on the way, Heather was spending an awful lot of time and $$money$$ flying back and forth for the special occasion. A Mitten Lover at heart, Heather made the decision to make her move back home just after my nuptials. It was the greatest of news and I like to think my wedding made this happen! 3 years on the West Coast was FAR too long for me and Rachel to go with out. After some last minute moves, the girls settled into their house in Royal Oak and we’ve been making an effort to spend more time together ever since. 

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Rachel – Me – Heather

When Heather first moved home, we hoped to make her transition as easy as possible. We knew she was giving up an awful lot back in California to come here and while we wanted to jump up and down in excitement, we in no way wanted to diminish what she may be experiencing as she left her friends and career behind. This Christmas gift was actually inspired from the initial gift I gave Heather when she moved home. As a way of making her move a little lighter, I printed a Subway Art poster for her of all the most important places in San Diego. 

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After a lot of thought and creative digging, I came up with the idea to create a chalkboard design with a framed, finished feeling. I started by searching for the perfect backdrop. . . .Google. It’s as simple as that. I typed in “Chalk Board Back Drop” and tada! A thousand options. My advice is to look at the pixels and measurements and look for the largest option photo possible as this wont blur or distort when you go to stretch as a background. Below is my favorite option. It has a little dusty finish, a truly authentic feel:

chalk-background.jpg

Now me personally, I’m an Apple girl at ♥. I have the obvious experience with Office as I think it’s somewhat essential in this day and age but with a Graphic Artist for a father, we never owned a PC a day in our lives. I’d like to keep it that way. While I have recently acquired the entire Adobe Suite, I have yet to really master it. . . . so this little project will be put together in Pages. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, it can be easily done in Word as well. To start I chose a 16”x 20″ page setting and stretched this fantastic chalkboard to reach each edge. (Adjust your margins to 0″.) I decided on a 16″x20″ layout because I will be printing these off at Costco. For the amazing price of $5.99 you can print a 16’x20″ photo on a lustre finish that’s the perfect touch for any piece of framed art. Not too matted but just enough shine, it’s a fantastic service and I LOVE the Costco Photo Center. So fast and always spot on!  

Once the background was in place, it’s just a matter of creating your own design. I stuck with a similar layout for each girl but substituted fonts and words in each piece of work. Next, I downloaded SO many FREE Fonts from a variety of sites. You can google Free Font sites but from personal experience, I recommend getting on Pinterest and searching “free fonts”. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with. I found so many fun fonts, especially for a chalky feel. I must have spent 2 hours just downloading fonts. . . . This was by far the most time consuming portion of this project. (By the way you in NO way have to spend that much time or download as many fonts as I did. I just couldn’t help myself. . . I’m a freak like that!) Make sure to check out my pinned fonts here. Also, some of my favorite Chalkboard Fonts I found on the fantastic blog: The36thAvenue.com . She had some Excellent Fonts that I used in this project.

*Some of my personal font favorites are: Return To Sender, Scribble Box, Dirty Cursive, and Chalk Line Outline. I also love the font Broken Hearts for cutesy little heart images that can really accent a project! ( I do a lot of prints for weddings so this in turn is a GREAT font for me.). 

After I decided on fonts and what not (obviously the most important part of this post!!), I simply would insert a text box for each word I wanted to use to describe the girls. I would resize each box to fit the desired space, use a multitude of type sizes, fonts, etc. and then finish it off by making each word White as to appear the color of chalk on a board. . . . the finished product turned out a little something like this!

Heather's Chalkboard Poster

!!AHHHH!! 

Rachel's Chalkboard Poster

I can’t express how excited I am to get these printed! I think they turned out so fantastic and can hardly wait to find the perfect white frames to finish them off. Upon finishing such a project I can honestly say that my imagination is running absolutely wild. I can’t stop thinking of the next best print I can come up with! If you’ve had a chance to check out my Etsy site, you will see that I had previously designed some rustic prints for your special day but now that I’ve created this personal gift, I can’t wait to craft, craft, craft! Have you crafted any gifts this season?? IF so PLEASE Share!

*SideNote: Any recommendations on Netflix shows you have enjoyed? I am always looking for the next best show! (Even if it is 10 years ago!!) HaHa Thanks!! 🙂 

Cheers,

– C

BlogLovin & Getting My Act Together! *

So as of today, I’m trying to link my blog with the Bloglovin’ site my friend Amanda intro’d me to. She was actually ranked by BlogLovin as #44 Up and Coming Bloggers (She informed me last week) and It’s a very fun way to follow other posts! I am so proud of her, that’s an absolutely AWESOME accomplishment! Since I’m still trying to get used to all this I felt syncing to Bloglovin is something neat to connect with other current blogs. I really don’t have any clue as to what it is I’m doing so please feel free to share ideas!  I truly need to get on the actual “Blog Wagon” though. . . I’ve been a total slacker since my first post and I have very little to excuse!! I totally have so much I could be posting with the holidays too!!

Alright – Mental note. I SWEAR I will get at it this week!! ♥

Cheers! 

♥ – C

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