9.28.2012

Bag Lady

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Oh man, I never intended on missing almost a whole week for a blog post.  In fact, I'm typing this one up only about 30 minutes before you'll actually see it on a Friday night.  What a slacker.  I decided to take a break, that last Sunday all I had to do was write up ONE POST, and that I'd get to the rest of it later.  Uh, yeah... we all know how that one turned out.  Whoops.

So I thought I'd talk to you about my purse collection, which is actually a lot smaller than it used to be.  I love purses, and I often buy them on a whim.  Not so much lately, but it led to a lot of buyer's remorse in the past.  I'd be all "I NEED A RED PURSE!" and then go and buy one and one week later think about how it wasn't me and I needed a different one.  I always tend to go back to the same favorites all the time anyways.

Like my Betsey collection (see above).  Top left, is probably the most expensive purse I own (still got it "on sale" though).  I bought it at the Betsey Johnson store (back when those existed, two summers ago) on my trip to Michigan with my mom.  It was my special vacation souvenir - a REAL Betsey bag (as in, not just a Betseyville).

The leopard Betsey bag was another "souvenir" from my short "mini-moon" stay in downtown Chicago with my husband shortly after our wedding.  That was also from a Betsey store, this time the one that was in Watertower (RIP Betsey Johnson stores!  Oh how I loved you!).  They had a buy one get one 1/2 off sale and I got a dress and this purse.  I should probably part ways with this purse, since I dont think I'll use it again.  Wonder if it's sellable, even in its well-loved condition?

The two bottom row Betseyvilles are scores from Marshall's.  Did you know that if you stalk your local TJ Maxx/Marshalls, you can find Betsey stuff deeply discounted?  At least, you used to be able to all the time!  We even used to have a Loehmann's near us and they had Betsey sunglasses!  So awesome...

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The above bags are my "regular"(as in, no specific name brand) purses.  The top silver one is from Kohl's, and it's what I'm using right now.  I bought it several seasons ago, when ruffles were pretty popular.  I like the rings attaching the handles to the bag because I can clip my keys to them.

The yellow bow bag I purchased from Ruche.  When it originally was posted, it sold out, and I was so mad!  I stalked this bag for a good two weeks until it was either re-stocked, or somebody returned one!  So I snatched it up right away!  Score!  I still love this bag.  Check out the cool peacock feather lining!

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Above are my "fancy" bags.  You know, for all those times I dress up?  Okay, okay, it's for when someone invites me to a wedding and I have to have a "nice" purse.  I have one patent leather vintage bag, one tiny maroon velvety bag, and one faux leather bow clutch/wristlet bag.  They all pretty much fit my phone and a tube of lipstick, so I'm not too fond of using them.  I like to have my stuff with me, okay?

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Speaking of carrying stuff, these bags above are my casual/utilitarian bags.  The Manhattan Portage bag was an online purchase because I wanted a bag that I could wear cross-body and have my hands free, but I wanted it to fit a magazine or notebook along with my other stuff.  It's quite a few years old now, and works well for an iPad along with typical purse junk.

I have a "mini" version purse in the style of the Manhattan Portage bag that I scored for $5 at H&M back in the day, and it's my special concert bag.  I can have both hands free, and it has lots of inner pockets for hiding my phone and wallet (less worries about pickpockets and jerks that way), plus I can usually hide a camera too if I'm feeling like it.  I also keep a mini fold-up hairbrush, a hair tie, earplugs, an extra inhaler, and eyedrops in it at all times.  You know, essential concert survival kit stuff.

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These two purses above are more like tote bags than purses, although I've used them as both.  These are two more shopping scores from Marshall's, and I don't think I had to pay more than $25 for either one!  My favorite is the Harajuku Lovers bag.  It even came with a tini Gwen charm!

Do you have a favorite bag?  Tell me about it!

now playing:
Push and Shove by No Doubt on Grooveshark

9.24.2012

I Love Halloween. (Part Two.)

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Okay, after writing my first Halloween post, I kept thinking about stuff that I had missed, and then on Saturday I went out shopping and found more awesome things and I became inspired to re-decorate things I had already set in place.  For example, I took down Todd's camera collection and made our Halloween mantel!  I had to re-purpose some items (our dining room candelabras, some of the skulls collection) that you may remember from part one of my Halloween posts.  But it's worth it!

First of all, those plastic pumpkin buckets on the hearth?  Only $1 each at Target!!!  I think I'm gonna start a whole plastic pumpkin bucket collection for that price.  Naturally, the black one is my favorite.

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The black gauze on the mantel is "spooky fabric" for $4 from the Target Halloween section.  Most of the other stuff comes from our year-round collection, like the skulls, the red devil head, and the awesome voodoo candles.

Because I "stole" the candelabras from the dining room table, I had to find a different solution for the dining room table.  Since we're more casual diners anyways, I used a plastic skull tray in the center of the table and added the electric spiderweb lantern, a small bat-shaped candy dish, and our everyday napkin holder, accented by a giant glow-in-the-dark spider paperweight.  Very functional:

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I also talked about my Halloween hand towel collection.  Above is a trio of the towels we use in the kitchen, along with my new oven mitt, also from this year's Target collection.

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No room is safe from Halloween!  Our bedroom has some sweet glow-in-the-dark skeleton pillowcases, gifted to us from my mom, a clearance find...

And below, a couple of shots from our tiny second bathroom.  I hung two more seasonal hand towels and added a pair of festive skull candleholders.  My mother-in-law gave us those several years ago.

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I like to find "everyday" items around our house and turn those into Halloween items, too.  Below (left) is a photo of a carved wooden skeleton statue we have in our basement.  I was thinking that I might put him on the porch to greet trick-or-treaters this year!  And this metal twig bowl/basket (below right) reminds me of Halloween, too.  I think some mini pumpkin gourds would look nice in here:

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Oh!  One more thing I forgot to show you last time!  We have a string of EYEBALL lights!  They're so cool.  Todd hung them in the front bay window, all turned out towards the street.  Aren't they fun?

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So, it's only September 24th and I already have two Halloween posts written.  It's probably safe to say that this won't be the last you'll hear from me about it...!!!

now playing: 
Sandstorm by Torche on Grooveshark

9.21.2012

DIY: Star Wall Art

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I made this simple yet fun yard stick star wall art for my classroom, but I was thinking how fun it would look hanging in a living room or den and thought I'd share the DIY directions with you!

You need:
  • 5 yardsticks
  • 5 short bolts with matching nuts
  • foam tape
  • a drill and drill bit the size of the bolt
  • pliers (to tighten bolts)
I got my yardsticks for free a long time ago (I think they have a bank name on them or something)... so be on the lookout for old yardsticks.  Not all five need to be the same like mine, it'll just create a more eclectic funky overall look.

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Here's the steps:
  1. Drill holes at the top and bottom of each yardstick.  The hole must be large enough to fit the bolt through, and the bolts must be long enough to go through two rulers stacked together, so check your drill bit size.  Drill carefully and slowly.  I ended up having to use a drill press, because my wood was very soft and I kept splitting the ruler when I tried to do it by hand.
  2. Bolt the rulers end-to-end in a criss-cross star pattern.  Lay them out like you were drawing it using rulers.  Tighten the nuts onto the bolts using pliers.
  3. Bend the rulers just right until you like how it criss-crosses and it looks good.  Then use small pieces of foam tape between the rulers to hold the overlapping sections in place.
Hang and enjoy your new star wall art!  The final piece is very lightweight and requires only a nail or small screw to hang.

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I especially like how the hot pink yardsticks look against the blue wall.  Yayy!

now playing:
March to the Sea by Baroness on Grooveshark

9.19.2012

I Love Halloween. (Part One.)

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Don't care if you think this post is "too early" for Halloween...  It's my favorite holiday, so I like to decorate early and leave it up as long as possible.  In fact, some of my favorite parts about decorating is that a lot of my "year-round" decor blends right into the theme, often blurring the concept, and making an outsider wonder "is that a decoration, or is that there everyday?"

I took my Halloween decorations down from the attic (well, Todd took them down for me) and I was saddened to see the lack of decorations that I have.  So we went shopping this weekend.  I picked up some stuff, but I eye-balled a whole bunch of stuff I plan on picking up when it goes on sale, hoping it'll still be around.  If it is, then it was meant to be!

Halloween clearance is how I picked up this sweet set of black and red candelabras (see above - they're made of METAL) last year at Target.  And sadly, they don't seem to be back out again this year - it's a new design style each year, or so I think.  Our round placemats are from Kohl's last year (I'm guessing... they were gifted to us by both my mother and my mother-in-law, I think that's where they said they got them), and the tablecloth is this year's Target design.  I couldn't help it.  It was too nice, and they only had two in stock, and it's FABRIC.  Not the icky vinyl tablecloths.  Fabric!  Yayy!  And so cute.  Typically, I'm not a "pumpkin" girl when it comes to halloween.  I'm more skulls and spiders.  But these pumpkins on the tablecloth are amazing.

And we hung orange and purple lights in the dining room.  Not pictured: my huge collection of halloween dish towels, mostly gifted to me by my mom and my mother-in-law.  They know I like Halloween - yayy!

More Halloween decorating goodness below:

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Clockwise from top left: Collection of skulls and candles (partly Halloween decor, partly collected from my year-round skull stash) - don't you LOVE the studded silver skull?  It's from Michaels!  Next, my purple/maroon feather wreath - a clearance score from Target several years ago, along with the metal wreath over-the-door hanger.  Love.  Next, Halloween cameos from Michaels last year, hung from the bathroom shelf.  Because I must decorate everything.  And lastly, my awesome new spiderweb lantern with battery-operated candle from this year's Target collection.  Oh, the zombie heads behind it are this crazy animatronic thing Todd's aunt gave to us a couple of years ago.  Said that she saw it and thought of us.  Ha!

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One of my favorite decorating ideas this year came from a $5 Target purchase.  Self-adhesive bat stickers!  The package shows them as "wall art," which is a cool idea, particularly if you have white walls (I don't)... so I used them on the windows!  The top right window is the sliding glass door from the dining room to the porch.  The bottom picture (right above where I'm typing) is from our bathroom privacy window.  We never get direct light through this window, so the bats look especially neat from inside the room and across the hallway.  The package comes with two huge sheets of adhesive bats, and I haven't even used all of the first sheet here.  Good deal!

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Have you noticed how expensive those darn "craft pumpkins" are at places like Michaels?  Sheesh!  I hope to pick up a bunch after Halloween, or maybe even brave a trip into Wal-Mart to see if they have them for less $$$.  I want to buy a bunch (doesn't matter how ick they might look) so that I can spray paint them with black and silver.  All I need is a pumpkin shape!  I'm also on the lookout for some sturdy skulls that I can spray with high gloss pink, blue, yellow, and minty green... but that's for a non-Halloween thing...

Oh, so back to pumpkins!  I found these two (top left) pumpkins in the "dollar spot" area at Target and they were only $2.50 each.  Not bad, I even like the metallic coppery finish.  Then to complete my pumpkin sensory experience, I picked up a pumpkin scented candle (this brand is called Melt, and is from Target) and some pumpkin beer!  Dogfish Head Punkin Ale came highly recommended form a couple of different sources.  It was yummy.  I still have a couple in the fridge, think I'll save them for an evening on the porch!

As I typed this up, I realized that I didn't show you my pillowcases or my nifty new skeleton oven mitt. So I may need to do a "Halloween Decor, Part 2" in the future.  I can show off my kitchen towel collection at that time, too.  Or, I can wait until I have a Halloween clearance haul to share... I'm currently eyeing a wreath for the front door, some garland for the mantel, and those darn craft pumpkins at a decent price.

How about you?  Good places for Halloween stuff?  I checked HomeGoods earlier this month, but their Halloween decor was just meh.  At least, what they had out at the time.  In any case, I can't wait to browse the costume stores!  Woo hoo!

Edit: A representative from Kohl's contacted me and offered 10% off now through October 24th at Kohls.com when you enter code UBLOGTEN at checkout.  Extra cool? You can stack your savings with one other department specific code as well!  Yayy!  Check out their online Halloween shop here!

See Halloween Part Two Here!

now playing:
Monster Mash by The Misfits on Grooveshark

9.17.2012

Big Black Boots

One of the many reasons that fall is my favorite season is because of BOOTS!!! Although I super love fall boots, it is a major pain in the butt to find ones that actually fit me.  I'm one of those curvy-legged calf girls, and pretty much 99.9% of all boots do not fit me...

So, we're going to pretend that I have normal legs and that any boots can fit me.  Here's my wish list:

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4. Zappos

I went online and bought #5 above - EEE width boots from Simply Be, which supposedly specializes in my curvy-legged shape.  Well, the shoe part was humongous, and the calf BARELY even zipped, after much tugging and grunting at the zipper.  So sad.  I have to send them back.  I could buy the smaller size boot and the foot would probably fit, but the calf is even smaller when you go down a size.  Boooooo.  

The part that makes me really mad is that I used their size chart and measured the circumference of my calves beforehand to make sure I had an accurate size before ordering and spending almost $100 on them.  Now I'm out about $15 for shipping to and from the UK simply to try on a pair of boots that doesn't fit.

The only other place by me that I know sells boots for "curvy" (that's the nice way to say "fat") ladies is Torrid, and I checked their boots online.  Barf.  They're either super flat with no foot support, or high heeled.  No thanks.

Do you know of any good boot resources for girls like me?  Fess up here, 'cuz once I return these other boots, I got money to spend on a new pair!


now playing:
BBB by How to Destroy Angels on Grooveshark

9.13.2012

On my mind...

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I know this is supposed to somehow be a "humorous" quote, but it's something that's been on my mind for a while. Sometimes I think my expectations are too high. Just food for thought.

Currently going through a bit of "blogger's block."  Lots of stress at work leaves little to no brain space for anything else.  I hate this.

now playing:
Back Off Bitch by Guns N' Roses on Grooveshark

9.11.2012

Confession: I watch way too much TV...

It's true. I wish I didn't watch so much TV, but I do. Once the baby goes to sleep, I have an hour before I have to get ready for bed and go to sleep. Therefore, Todd and I usually resort to an hour of tv.

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I'd love to be one of those people that's all "Oh, we don't even OWN a TV..." but I'm not. I watch a TON of it. Currently, we're catching up to real-time in True Blood (almost done w/season four, then five to go) - but I'm super excited for the new season of Sons of Anarchy starting tonight and American Horror Story: Asylum starting soon!

In honor of my "nasty" habit, I thought I'd share some of our favorites (past and present) here:

True Blood - We just started this series this summer, not long before school started. I'm normally not one to fall for the modern-day vampire trend, but this show is awesome. Plus, Eric Northman is a VIKING vampire. That's pretty metal.

Sons of Anarchy - Also didn't catch on to this show until season two was already underway. I bought season one for Todd's birthday a few years back, and we were hooked. Jax Teller's long hair is just like Todd's (and Thor's), so bonus!

American Horror Story - We've been watching this one since the original airing. Season one was incredible, and when I heard all the changes for season two, I was mad. Thought that I probably wouldn't watch... But then they started posting preview video teasers on Facebook. Damn you! Now I can't wait. It looks so good.

The Killing - I noticed on several social media sites that people who watched similar shows to us also watched The Killing, which is about a female police detective investigating the murder of a high school girl. Yeah, sucked me in. We've only watched season one (streaming on Netflix!) but now feel compelled to purchase season two on iTunes.

Game of Thrones - Do I really need to explain this one? Even people without a TV must watch this.

Mad Men - Retro goodness. Mostly I think I watch for the furniture and housewares. Nerd.

Dexter - I feel about this show kind of in the same vein as Game of Thrones. Don't tell me you haven't seen this. Just go see. A serial killer who kills other serial killers?  Yes please.

Walking Dead - Saw season one and the first half of season two. Need to catch up. During the season two "break," I was pregnant and downgraded our cable to save money. I've been an avid reader of the comics, so I know what's "supposed" to happen, although the tv series is much diverted from the original. I hear Michonne and the Governor are making an appearance in the upcoming season. Yessss...

Breaking Bad - We pre-ordered this on iTunes so as not to miss a single episode. Nothing beats season one though. You feel so sorry for Walt, it's embarrassing to watch a day in his life. It's like a dark comedy. My favorite kind of storyline. But I'm excited to see how it all ends.

Six Feet Under - Todd and I were just talking about how we need to re-watch this series. One of my all-time favorite shows. If I had to recommend only one show on this list, I think Six Feet Under would be it.

Rome - Ancient drama goodness. Awesome gladiator fight action. Badassery.

The Tudors - Aaah, you love to hate King Henry. Plus, I notice all the actors from this show appearing elsewhere. Cromwell as Franklin the vampire in True Blood. The actress who plays Anne Boleyn shows up later in Game of Thrones.

Carnivale - Only two seasons!  I felt like it ended too soon.  I like the concept of leaving the story for the viewer to theorize about and complete themselves, but I felt like I needed more here.

Wonderfalls - I stumbled across this one via Netflix in the "recommended for you" section.  It was a Television series, I have NO recollection of it ever airing.  That's sad because it's really good.  Just one season.  Random objects talk to the main girl.  Pretty cool.

Twin Peaks - I think loving this show has become blogger cliche right about now.  I remember watching it with my mom way back when it originally aired (I was in middle school).  Todd and I re-watched it together while I was pregnant and on bed rest.  Good times.  Plus, Kyle McLachlan is now the mayor on Portlandia.

The IT Crowd - Available on Netflix streaming.  Awesome funny.  Two guys and a girl working in the tech department at an office building.  BBC goodness.

Other comedies I highly recommend:
  • The Mighty Boosh
  • Portlandia
  • Flight of the Conchords

Junk food for your brain: Reality TV (past and present):
  • America's Next Top Model
  • Maury
  • Cheaters
  • Work of Art: The Next Great Artist
  • Project Runway (the Mondo season - he was totally robbed of the win!!!)
  • Rock of Love

Cartoons (not just for kids):
  • Adventure Time
  • Regular Show
  • Metalocalypse

As I was writing this, I kept adding shows, and I began to realize just how bad the problem really is.  Somebody help me!!!

Hey you guys - join in the confession below, please.  Favorite shows?


now playing:
Every Day Is Exactly the Same by Nine Inch Nails on Grooveshark

9.07.2012

More Lego Obsession

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My husband has recently become obsessed with these little Lego Minifig characters. He's been to Toys R Us at least three, but probably five, different times over Labor Day weekend.  He looks online for tips to see if there's a way to tell the difference between which figures are which because they come in blind-box packaging (little foil pouches).

At this point, Todd has taken to squeezing the little foil packages to try to feel which characters are in the packages so that he can complete his collection.  It's actually pretty funny - he said he feels like a  creeper sometimes in the Lego section of the toys, because he's standing around, squeezing these little foil pouches to try to determine which characters are which...! 

The Lego Minifigs are actually kind of cool, and since I last wrote about our custom Citizen Brick minifigs, this seemed appropriate to share.  My favorite characters so far are the "lady viking/opera singer" (I'm not sure what she's actually called, but I think she's a lady viking).  I also really like the pink haired rocker girl:

Lego Lady Viking

Lego Rocker Girl

Todd has mounted his collection on a large blue Lego plate to display all of his characters.

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So if you're looking for a new obsessive collection, you might want to consider these little guys cause they're fairly inexpensive (about three dollars each), and you can find them at Toys "R" Us.

now playing:
Take My Bones Away by Baroness on Grooveshark

9.05.2012

Nerd Alert

Campbell's Soup

Todd and I had total art teacher nerdy moments this last weekend when we discovered that Target was selling Campbell's tomato soup in a limited edition Andy Warhol series.  There are four different styles/color combinations of the soup and they retail for $.75 per can.  Todd immediately ran out to the store to purchase them.  Three dollars total for a fun set like this?  I'm sold.

We actually bought four complete sets of the can designs, so that we have sets for at home and for at work.

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Soup 3

After doing a little research, I discovered that this isn't the first time that Campbell's has made Andy Warhol-themed versions of its soup!  Read the full story here.

I was excited that our local Target had these in stock, as it sounds like (from some reports) that they're hard to find/selling out at some shops.  But I also read that they're making 1.2 million "limited edition" cans, so I don't think it's as rare as some are making it out to be.

In any case, it's fun to have an art teacher geek-out at this fun version of an old classic.  How about you - would you/will you buy them?

now playing:
Underneath the Stars by The Cure on Grooveshark

9.04.2012

Liebster Blog Award

I was awarded a "Liebster Blog Award" from Princessmama at Banana Clips, Music, and Me.



The rules of the "Liebster Blog Award" are like this:

Each person must post 11 things about themselves.  Then, answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.  Next, create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.  Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.  No tag backs.

So, in true Hell Razor fashion, here's the first half of the deal.  But that's it...

1. My middle name is Carmela, after my Italian grandmother.

2. I have two younger brothers.

3. Because of #2, I was a typical "bossy" oldest child.  I like to think I've outgrown it, but I'm not so sure...

4. I was a cheerleader in 8th grade.  Blasphemy!

5. If you want to do something nice for me that I will truly appreciate, please come over and clean the bathroom.  I don't think anything else would make me happier.

6. I'm horribly socially awkward in real life.  I've probably mentioned that before.

7. One of my favorite pregnancy foods was spinach dip.  I could eat an entire container in one sitting.  I still like it, but that just seems extreme now.

8. I pretend like I don't care what others think, but even stray comments from complete strangers can send me into a spiral of depression and self-doubt.  That sucks.

9. I was one of the editors of my school newspaper in high school.  Not nearly as embarrassing as the cheerleader thing.

10. Even though I'm just as likely as the next guy to make a typo, I'm a grammar nazi that uses every inch of her being to hold back and not correct people.  But I notice it, will perseverate on it, and it drives me insane when I see it.

11. Smoking is one of the nastiest habits I can think of.

AND... here are the questions from Princessmama:

1. If you could many any person (past or present) who would it be and why?
I think this is supposed to say meet?  I'd have to say Jesus, because damn, he has a LOT of explaining to do...

2. Would you rather be attacked by a bear or an alligator?
Aah!  Uh, I'm not sure.  I'm a crappy runner, so maybe an alligator?  A bear would probably kill me for sure.  But the alligator would probably drown me.  So, if it was based on which I would rather have KILL me, I guess the bear.

3. What is your favorite chapstick?
I prefer Carmex original, because it's medicated.  My lips get so gross in the winter.

4. What is your fondest childhood memory?
Wow I'm having a hard time with this one.  Probably roller skating down in my basement.  I spent a lot of alone time, by myself as a kid.  But I chose it, it wasn't like my parents abandoned me or anything.  I guess I was a weird kid.

5. If you could know what your future held would you want to know?
Good question.  I think I would say yes?  On the basis that if I knew, I could take action to change events if necessary?

6. Would you rather give up your phone or your computer?
Can I keep my phone for purposes other than calls?  Well, even if not, I'd give up the phone before computer.  Computer = bigger screen.

7. Do you think men in uniform are sexy?
Depends.  If it's my husband, yep.  Otherwise I'm kind of neutral.

8. What is your favorite think to drink?
Diet Coke.

9. What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?
Become a tattoo artist.  Quit my job and start doing that.  Right now.

10. If you could get any cosmetic surgery done, would you and why?
I'd like to say no, but the reality is that I probably would.  I have major issues with my physical appearance (from a mental standpoint) and if I thought it would make me look "better," I would.  I'm kind of fascinated with the "lifestyle lift" commercials and what it does for the chin/neck areas of older ladies.  That's probably what I'd end up doing down the road.  But that's if money was no object.

11. If you could live any movie, what would it be and why?
Also a good question.  I'd be Enid Coleslaw in Ghost World, and just ride off on a bus and disappear at the end.  It's such a romantic notion.

I always feel like I've shared entirely too much about myself by the end of these.  Seriously, I don't think anyone is that interested in random facts about me.  It's like posting self portraits on Instagram that say "morning!" or something cheeseball like that.  But there ya go.

now playing:
White Lies by Jason & The Scorchers on Grooveshark

9.03.2012

Random Miscellany and updates.

  • I'm looking for people to swap blog badges with.  FREE ADVERTISING! - Interested?  Deets here.
  • I have enabled Direct Checkout at our Etsy shop.  Pay directly with a credit card, no PayPal required.  Yayy!
  • I have updated our Square account profile, and published us to the Square directory.  I can't find a way to view it via the internet though.  I think it has to be through the app.  Can anyone help on this?
  • Renegade Holiday Craft Fair fees are absolutely ridiculous this year, and they keep getting worse...  $375 for a booth?  No thanks.  Is anyone else as frustrated by this as me?
  • I'm seriously considering vending at the Haunted Halloween Flea Market at the Wheaton Fairgrounds... anyone been to this before?  Any thoughts/advice?  It looks cool:
now playing:
Keep Me Hangin' On by The Darkness on Grooveshark
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