Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Comfortable

There was nothing on TV tonight, except for the Academy Awards.
I told Sam I was planning on settling in (with my stash of junk food) (because I am weak!) and watching it. (Including the pre-show, and the post-show.)
I like the dresses. (shrug)
He told me I should consider changing into something a bit more comfortable for my couch-potato marathon.
I was confused at his suggestion, as I was already in my standard Sunday evening uniform: gray sweats.
He jiggled his eyebrows seductively and handed me this:
It used to hold the swimsuit we bought for Mikayla at Costco.
It was a little girl's size 7/8.
Sadly, the cup size is about right for me.
Needless to say, I opted to leave my sweats on.

The Academy Awards were okay.
Angelina Jolie needs to eat some of my food.

In my spare couch time I made some digital goodies.
A while back, I made a CTR sign.
By request, I made CTR bookmarks.
You can click on the image (it will go bigger) and then right-click on the (larger) image, save it, and upload it to a photo-lab to be printed as a 4x6 photo. Then you can cut it in half at the black line, and you have yourself scripture bookmarks.
The next few I am giving out as my March Visiting teaching hand-out.
I haven't decided which one, yet.
I really liked these quotes I found, and since the message this month was pretty broad, any one of these quotes would work.
If you would like to use them too, they are sized to be printed as a 4x6 photo.
(Click on the image to see it better.)

The digital kits that I used to make the quotes (and CTR stuff) are from the very talented Kara Henry.
Her kits are free, (and totally my style) I love her for that.
You can find her here:

In unrelated, yet still relevant news- while I was typing up this very blog post, a spider dropped down between me and my computer screen. My brain froze and the only thing I could think to do, at short notice, was to spray it with this:
It was handy.
I hit the spider. It swung out towards the computer screen, and then.... swung BACK.
To my face.
It was dead.
Still, not my best plan.

I am just grateful that it missed my head when it dropped down in the first place.
I would have needed to change my sweats.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reluctant Mentor

You know, I have mixed feelings when I have a child tell me that they want to be "just like me" when they grow up.
On the one hand--very flattering. On the other hand, when it is YOUR OWN CHILD telling you this, you wonder how you have failed to teach them to "aim higher."
Mikayla has always been my shadow.
She is very crafty.
I knew at a very early age that she was going to need her own chair in my studio, and perhaps her own Expedit Wall in which to stash her crap.
For her 4th birthday, all she asked for was Glue Dots.
I am not kidding.
Here she is, on her 4th birthday.
With her own glue dots.
She didn't really care about any of the other gifts.
I have blogged about her love of crafting before, but it appears now, that she has a plan.
I am just trying to prepare the crafting world.
When I came back from CHA, I had a few samples from manufacturers to try out. I was showing Mikayla some of the new stuff, and she brought out a notebook.
This was new.
She asked questions and took NOTES.
"Who gave you that?"
"I think I would use that for...."
"Are they a nice company?"
I asked her what she was doing, and she said that she was deciding who she wanted to work for when she was a scrapbooker.
(She is eight!!)

Occasionally I will get some extra things from a manufacturer, and I tell her that they sent it to her.
She totally lights up at that.
So imagine, how happy we both were, when we opened a box that appeared on our doorstep last week.
At CHA, I had a little time to wander the show, and stopped in at the Imaginisce booth.
I was a guest designer for them a couple of months ago.
I like to personally thank companies, when I can, for sending me things to play with.
I was admiring their iBond (a freaking CORDLESS glue gun!!), and telling them how Mikayla and I often fight over outlets when we are both working on things.

Imaginisce is a great company. They were very generous with the box of goodies they sent me to work with, and were appreciative of the work I did for them. I told them that, and went on my merry way.

A couple of weeks later, they sent me (us!) this:
One for each of us.
Like every other mama out make my kid happy, and I will love you for the rest of my days.
She has been pestering me for a week to crank out those bad boys.
She has a long list of projects in mind.
I felt like I needed to express my thanks, and take some pictures of the iBonds before we junk them up with glue and glitter.
Thank you, Imaginisce!

And y'all be watching for Mikayla, oh, around 2032.
You are in her notebook.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Fridge

I cleaned out my fridge this weekend.
If you are wondering why this merits a whole blog post on its own, then you must have a maid.
Cleaning the fridge ranks right up there with potty-training in grossness, but trumps potty-training because unlike potty-training IT NEVER ENDS!
I put it off until it instantly reeks up the house when you barely crack open the fridge, or until one of the kids are in so much trouble that I make them do it as penance.

Well it fell on me this time.

I had a head of cabbage in the crisper drawer that through the magic of science had completely liquefied.
This was perplexing.
I am not a chemistry major, but that is not what happens to cabbage when it is stored in my stomach. When I eat cabbage, it skips the liquid stage and converts straight into a gas.

I am wasteful.
I have been known to toss full tupperware containers straight into the trash, without even cracking the lid to see how bad it is.
I figure when you can buy a new set of crapperware from Satan's Warehouse for $14.97, it is not worth the attempted salvage.

Our fridge is also stupid.
There is this little button, that you can accidentally switch from "Fruits and Vegetables" to "Meats."
When the "Meats" setting is on, anything you put in the bottom crisper bin freezes solid.
Unless you are a serial killer, I am not sure why someone would want a meat bin in the fridge.
Newsflash! That other door on the appliance opens up to this thing called a "freezer" where you can put your frozen foods.
We frequently have rock solid Grapefruit ice balls because someone inadvertently flipped that switch.
Another stupid thing about my fridge (there are many) is the ice/water dispenser bottom tray.
I can't believe I am going to show you this.
We are all friends, right?
Look how grotty those dispenser are! And the bottom tray?
I stopped drinking water out of our fridge long ago, because of that tray.
It just screams "Welcome Giardia!"
Look, you guys:
So gross. I am literally cringing.
(Hi. We are a truck stop bathroom!)
And before you start hurling....your cleaning tips at me....(see what I did there?)
Know that I have used everything on the tray o'germs.
Magic clean (just rolled up into gritty balls.)
Soaking in vinegar (stinky, but ineffective.)
Soaking in bleach (made it a little whiter, and then two days later it looked the same.) (Also the bleach spilled a little and ruined a dish towel. At least I know the bleach was good.)
Straight up Ajax (nada.)
I have run it through the dishwasher on multiple occasions. (It survived the cycle with grime intact!)

Whoever invented this thing- I would like to punch them in the neck.
The tray, and also the flapper things that dispense the ice and water are textured with this chalky finish.
We have hard water.
And that texture is just a breeding ground for grossness.
How can filtered water be dirty!? How?
I would expect this from my shower drain, but clean water?
I don't get it.
If people ring the doorbell, in a blind panic, I rush for the fridge tray, pop it out, and quickly huck it into the dishwasher to hide it.
What if they ask me for a drink?
I hate that tray.

The inside of the fridge is clean.
I am happy to report.

So we went to Costco Saturday, and I filled it will all kinds of good-for-you treats.
Remember my last post where I hated myself for eating junk food?
I tried to be prepared this week.
My sparkling clean fridge now houses things like celery hearts, clementines, Greek yogurt and hummus.

I have learned that my cravings are in direct proportion to the "snacks" I have on hand.
Nothing makes you crave carbs and sugar more than having a fridge full of health.

I made chocolate chip cookies today.
We ate them all.
We drank milk. (Not fridge water.)
(By "we" I mean "I.")
The End.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yoga. It's all about position.

I hate Sundays.
I guess I should re-phrase that.
I hate myself on Sundays.
I always eat like crap, and then I take a marathon Sunday afternoon nap.
That results in me not being tired again until 3 a.m., which leaves me super cranky on Monday mornings.
And bloated.
I really, really hate myself on Mondays.
I need to figure out a better routine, but Internets, I am just so weak.
I really like eating junk.
And I love my nap.
So, on Monday, I feel obligated out of guilt, and my flabby food baby to make the trek to the gym.
Monday is Yoga, and then Spin.
Yoga on Monday is a horrible idea.
There is no zen for me.

When I go to the gym, I prefer a certain spot in the room.
It is next to a pole, where I can dump my gym bag and jacket.
It is also not directly underneath a fan.
I get too cold.
So on Mondays, I get there early to set up in my place.
Some Mondays, after I set up, people set up next to me that I don't like.
The worst is when Mouth Breather sets up next to me.
I know that there is a special way to breathe in Yoga.
They call it something.
I just don't like it.
I don't want to hear people breathe.
This lady is queen of loud breathing.
She sounds like she is having an asthma attack.
I hate her.
I can't even think when I hear her sucking wind in and out.
And when she rattles the air in and out, she also somehow hums.
It sounds like she is mumbling something.
And since I am already well on the path of hating her, everything else about her bugs me.
You know how that happens, right?
She could be a perfectly nice person, and she probably is, but I already have my opinion.
Because of her stupid breathing.
Once she set up in front of me, and I had to stare at her butt the whole class.
She is built exactly like a frog.
A frog in spandex.
She is linebacker-large up top, and then tapers down into these teeny legs, and her butt is long and pointed.
I am not kidding.
Like a frog.
I tried to google you an image, but that didn't work out so well.
You will just have to use your imagination.
Sometimes the Yoga teacher tells us to "Tweeze your buttocks together, to protect your lower back."
Some people shouldn't tweeze their buttocks together. Ever.
"Tweeze" is code for "make your butt look hideous."
So this morning, I am all set up, and she plops herself down right next to me.
Not today.
I couldn't take it today.
So I got all my stuff and moved.
Then she was all weirded out, and asked me why I moved.

Here was my moral dilemma.

I have made a goal this year to be 100% honest.
So I should have said to her "It just really bugs me when you breathe."
But somehow, that sounded really petty and Kindergarten-y in my head.
So instead, I made up a LIE, and told her that a friend was meeting me, and I needed to save her a spot.
So much for my honesty goal.

I have bigger fish to fry, because now I am behind "armpits."
There is another lady that comes to Yoga, and sets herself up with two mats, that cross.
She is in the middle of a big "X."
She said it is because she doesn't like to touch the floor with her bare feet, so she spreads out two mats, in case we do moves where you have to straddle the mat.
(Yoga brings out the weirdies, I have decided.)
Sometimes class is super full, and people are pressed up against each other, but there is mat hog, all spread out in her 6x6' zen zone.
I hate her too.
Mostly I hate her because she stinks.
She always has pit smell.
Not the clean sweat/chicken soup pit smell.
The stale, rank kind that makes your eyes water.
Once I overheard her tell someone that "you should never wear deodorant to the gym, because your pores need an opportunity to flush toxins out."
Mystery solved.
And also.....ewwwww.
I had my choice this morning between "pits" or "mouth -breathing frog butt."

I chose door number three.

The 90 year old lady in the back.
There is a fine line between being inspired by the fact that this lady, who is about ready to crack in half, still hauls herself to the gym to work out--and the fact that one day, I hope my guilt runs out, and I am just content to be fat.
I don't want to be coming to the gym when I am 90.
I really don't.
I want to eventually earn the right to not exercise, watch Golden Girls re-runs, and have society accept that.

So I set up, and in the door breezes Mulan.
Every Yoga class has a Mulan.
A beautiful oriental lady with flowing jet black locks, and a perfect, petite body.
A body the size of a 12 year old.
I hate her too.
Mostly because she can fold herself into a knot.
She does crap the teacher can only talk about.
"Class, if you are really advanced, you can try the "Hawk!" I have only seen it performed once! Float your whole pretzeled body above the mat, using only your hair for Mulan! Oh my goodness, MULAN! Advanced people, just follow Mulan."
And Mulan never sweats.
I know I am stereo-typing here, but it is true.
Oriental people can Yoga the hell out of us white folks.
We can pretend it's not true, but it is.
I am not even sure if Mulan has actual bones in her body, or if it is all just cartilage like the healthy fresh fish she probably eats.
Mulan set up next to me.
I immediately surrendered into Child's Pose.

It was a good thing I had spin class right after Yoga, cause I kinda had a lot of aggression to burn off.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dreams Are Comin' True at the Wadley House

My oldest got his learner's permit yesterday.
I remember when his driving experiences were limited to inflatables.
(He still doesn't like to wear pants at home.)
And now he is going to be on the road, behind the wheel of a two ton metal vehicle.
As much as that unnerves me, the fear of him driving is far surpassed by the excited anticipation that I now have myself a MINION.
I no longer have to grab that one thing at the grocery store.
I don't have to plan my day around picking kids up from a friends house.
I have a minion.
A willing driver, who thinks it is a privilege (and FUN!)  to drive my mini-van, anywhere.
Isn't this why people have kids?
That, and the tax write-off.
That being said, it took us two long hours at the DMV to get his learner's permit.
Two hours.
On a Thursday afternoon.
Here is what it looked like in there:
They have 11 stations set up to help people.
Only three stations were being manned by actual employees.
If the DMV is notorious for being slow, and crowded, one would think they would have more employees working the stations.
Incidentally they had posters everywhere encouraging people to be donors.
I figure it is because one of these days, while endlessly waiting (blood pressure dangerously high) someone is going to go nuts in that building, and create a lot of usable body parts.
They didn't even have snack or soda vending machines.
It was like being trapped in hell.
Bi-lingual hell.
I think the DMV is run by Walmart.


Speaking of Walmart....
I am out of eggs.
Guess who will be getting them for me?
This guy.
I may never have to intentionally leave my house again.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

CHA and Celebrities

Truth be told, I am not really that into celebrities.
Well, I guess it depends.
I would probably be really into Bobby Flay, or Paula Deen. But only if they cooked me something.
It is all about me.
What can a celebrity do for me?
Adam Sandler-you make me laugh.
Bradley Cooper-you make my eyes happy.
If they are just a name, then for pete sake...move along.

David Tutera gave me a book, and signed it.
He signed it "To Shaunte, Dream Bigger."
He must know me pretty well.
I have pretty pathetic "dreams."
To watch a movie with my family, on my own couch, without marinating in their farts.
To have a clean fridge.
To not need my tweezers so desperately.
I guess I really do need to work on Dreaming Bigger!
David Tutera was orange.
One would think one of his minions would have seen that, and toned down the bronzer.
But what do I know?
The lighting in the convention center was tricky.
It made his teeth look really, really white.
So white, in fact, that I told him.
"You must be really glad you did White Strips, with all these people taking pictures of you."
And immediately after I said it, I wanted to suck the words back into my mouth.
He kinda gave a nervous giggle, and told me I "was charming."
I think that was a nice way of saying "you are embarrassing, and a dumb-crap."
David Tutera called me charming!
(I feel a little like Donkey in Shrek "She called me a Steed!")
Let's move on, shall we?
The cute girl in the photo with David is Sara Davies.
She is the Martha Stewart of the UK.
She was truly awesome.
She had a delightful accent.
I could listen to delightful accents all day.

Next up was Tori Spelling.
I never did watch 90210 much. Mostly because my parents thought it was trashy. We watched a lot of "Little House on the Prairie."
Here is the crowd gathering for Tori:
Tori was very specific about how things were going to roll.
She wanted tables moved and posters taken down.
We had to do some prep work in the booth prior to her arrival.
Also, I am not sure how I fell into the job of crowd control, but I had to keep people back from her stage, and keep the aisle clear.
I was a bouncer.
It was awesome.
I didn't have to kick anyone's ass, but I felt up to the calling.

Here is where I can't wrap my brain around how the other half lives.
Tori was very specific about everything.
Like the car that would pick her up. (Escalade Limo)
Like the chilled drinks that would be available (San Pellegrino Limonata, in bottles)
And she requested a suite at the Marriott to get ready in.

Also, her hair and make-up cost $1700.00. Cash.
Internets, we are in the wrong business.
We need to brush up on our french-braiding skills, and get us some bobby pins!
The guy in this picture with Tori, she called her "gusband."
I had to ask around. I had no idea what she was saying.
Apparently that is the term for "Gay Husband."
Did you know this?
Now you do.
Tori was there to debut her line of jewelry.
It really is a cool concept. There are mix and match elements, that you can put together how you like. It doesn't require tools. And you can switch things out whenever you want. Dress them up, or dumb them down.
After her demonstration, she hung out and signed things, and then she had her hair done again, and met us at the reception.
She had bodyguards.
And wore fancy stiletto shoes that she took off exactly 30 seconds after arriving at the reception.
The bodyguard held them for her for the rest of the evening.
Her hair was in a floppy up-do.

I just don't get the celebrity lifestyle.
But then again, I have moral dilemmas over stupid things like frivolously buying a new package of hair elastics at $3.69, when I could probably just clean out underneath the bed and find some.
I would literally choke to death on my own cheapness to have to pay someone to do my hair, or hold my shoes for me.
I blame my parents.
I think it was all those years of being brain-washed by "Little House on the Prairie."
Half-pint never got new clothes!
She didn't need new clothes!
Her patchwork gingham was good enough!
It made me "un-fancy" watching that stuff.

Here are some random parting shots:
Me working the Make-and-Takes:
Chicks who thought they were on the Victoria's Secret runway:
Kelly and her photog skills coming into play here:
The lady who collected all the free buttons, and attached them to her homemade button banner, and then wore them with pride:
The frog hat lady, who incidentally, because Kelly is *that* good, posed like a frog when the photo was taken:
Bag-pipers. Because every convention worth it's salt should have bagpipers. Why? Because they friggin' CAN!
And my first flash-mob.
Which is just as awkward as you would imagine it is.
Painful to watch, and you could tell by the looks on the faces of those that were involved, they immediately regretted their decision. It sounded fun, and practice was fun...but now, live, not fun, but already committed.
Like caroling.

Here is a restaurant we ate at:
It was like being in an I-Spy book.
Except that this was hanging over my head:

and this:
 Let's go in close, mmmm'kay...
I didn't eat much there.
You try to eat with that stuff staring you down!

And my favorite Kelly shot of the show!
Here is April doing the fake-pose-so-we-can-take-an-inconspicuous-picture:
Oh, Hi April! Hey! What is going on behind you?
A man dressed in drag, with platform stilettos?
Lets crop in, shall we?
And that, my friends, concludes my trip to CHA 2012.

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Fun Project for Kids

I am interrupting my CHA saga to give you a heads up on a project I did for Crafts Unleashed.
It is a new gig that fell into my lap recently.
I swear, sometimes I feel so lucky.
I get to craft.
For a living.
Well, kinda. I end up re-investing any money I earn back into craft supplies, so really it just feeds the beast.

Here is what I made:
MINI CANVAS TUTORIAL <--that is the link to the tutorial
This project was a fun one.
Mikayla helped me out with it.
It is harder than heck to try and take step-out photos when you are the one crafting.
Mikayla works the camera for me.
Thank goodness for digital, cause we have to take a lot of shots to get what I need.
Some don't make the cut.
Like the ones that Mikayla panned back too far with, and caught me in my Elmo pajamas.
At 3 p.m.
(Hey, I was showered!)
You wanna see those bad boys closer, don't you?
You're welcome.
The whole project, supplies and tutorials are on the Crafts Unleashed blog.
It is my first project with them, I am always nervous with a new company.
Do me a favor- click go over there and show me some love and support.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of my CHA adventures.
There will be Tori Spelling, David Tutera and a He-She.
Good times.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Back from CHA, and Service Cats

I am telling you what, being away from my stretchy yoga pants for five whole days was a sacrifice.
I barely survived.
And the way we ate, I could have used an elastic waistband.

This morning, I got the kids off to school, and went back to bed.
I slept til 11:00.
Apparently I was tired.
The show was good, and very entertaining with the people watching.
This is why I have chosen to break up the experience into a couple of posts.
I have to introduce you all to my new friend Kelly.
I was looking through my photos to try and find a picture of her where she looked bad, so I would look better, but I don't think she has taken a bad picture.
I wanted to hate her, but she was too awesome.
And she held her liquor better than most in the group.
(I am not naming names here, because then April would be mad at me.)
Here is our group:
Core'dinations Staff and Booth
While the rest of us were slaving away on crowd control, and taking orders, Kelly was doing what she does best: Token Booth Hottie.
And new this year: candid photographer.
You too, will be thanking Kelly for her photos.
She has skillz.

This year at CHA there were several dogs walking the show.
Dogs as in animals. Stay with me, people.

I have never noticed this in the past CHA's I have attended.
There was one legit seeing-eye dog, one of those big ones, like you commonly see.
I am totally okay with that.
But there were a couple others that were just furry little puffs, about the size of a loaf of bread, on leashes, and wearing embroidered vests that titled them as "Service Dog."

Now I am not one to judge things that I clearly do not understand.
I was wondering if this also entitled the dog owners to a front-row handicap parking stall?

Those service dogs were walking the show...several of the booths this year had white carpet.
I am hoping the dogs weren't "full service" dogs, if you know what I mean.

My parents own duplexes that they rent out.
My mom has a strict "No Pets" policy, so she was surprised one day when she received a phone call from a potential renter.
"I know your contract says 'No Pets', but I have some service cats, and I wondered if that counted?"
Service cats.
My mom asked her what the heck a "service cat" was.
She replied that her therapist prescribed cats as a means of therapy.
Enter "service cat."

Now Internets, again, I am not one to judge.
But I think it is strange that our forefathers survived the cruelties of life without plumbing without the aid of service cats, dogs or gerbils.
I am probably going to lose some readers over this, but "service cats?"
I prefer the old fashioned method of eating my feelings in the form of fatty carbs and chocolate.

Needless to say, no matter what title you give them, cats are animals, and that lady did not get to rent the duplex.

But we think she came to CHA!
I am pretty sure there is a "service cat" or rat underneath this triple bump-it.
And this chick (I think it was a chick) was rocking the "service peacock" bangs and "service lemur" tail.
I guess service animals is a new trend.
I wanted you all to be in the know.

All I have is service children.
Although they do not have fancy vests and they are virtually worthless, I could totally get on board with the leash.