Complete with package Shiny Bright Plastic table top tree, measures about 1 foot tall. The clear plastic has specks of silver glitter. It came with 3 mini boxes of glass ornaments also. I really love the one in the picture. The other two are plain old brown cardboard.
I got the Santa in the pic last year. He is just here to keep an eye on things.
A New Old Stock sack of Holiday Holly Garland, 10 feet long, with 50 leaves and 72 holly berries. I have not taken the opportunity to account for all parts yet. Let's hope all 72 holly berries have made it to 2017.
Cute handmade craft felt Santa, measures about 15 inches tall. I don't know what he is suppose to be used for. I think to hang on the wall but he doesn't have a hook loop or anything. I am actually not sure what to do with him. ?
New old stock stretchy Santa drink cover coasters. They aren't coasters though. They are more like stretchy sweat wrist bands with Santa's face on them. Could work well for taking a tacky sweater jog on Christmas morn...for those who are into that kinda thing.
It's a Christmas flash back to 2014... PB's 5th grade Christmas class party! I didn't have time to post about it when it happened, I was the room parent for 2 classes of 42 kids along with dealing with my own christmas ordeals. Also the photos aren't very good. I was running the show so I couldn't take great pics also. I decided to write it up this year anyway since I am feeling a little nostalgic. The party was super fun and maybe someone out there would like to snag some of these ideas for their own holiday hootenanny.
For the theme of the party I decided to go with Tacky Holidays since it's been a super popular trend for several years now for adults. I thought the kids would really get a kick out of having their own version. I also chose it so I could incorporate some vintage and thrifted items into the mix.
I started by having the kids decorate their own tacky sweater christmas ornaments for the class tree:
This is PB's. As you can see he was going along with my christmas cuddly bear theme I was sporting.
I also asked the parents to send in any Christmas stuff they didn't want anymore, like wrapping paper, bows, stockings, hats, cards....anything and everything. The more and varied the better and more tacky!
I got so much wrapping paper that I wrapped all 42 desks, the doors, and wrapped a bunch of big boxes for a photo drop background.
Within all of the stuff I got from the parents there were several huge stockings. I decided to use them for a game I came up with called '"How naughty?" Each teacher had one of these large stockings hanging on a door in their room with the top open. I marked levels on the outside of each stocking. On the bottom it had "Not so bad" and went all the way to the top with "Watch out!" The kids each got 3 chucks of coal to try to toss into the stocking to see how naughty they could claim their teacher had been. I made the coal out of wadded up black bulletin board paper. The kids loved it but I had a precursory warning to them of if they threw the coal anywhere but into the stockings the party stopped and they would have to clean the cafeteria, eat spinach, and listen to justin beiber.
The next game was building a snowman. I split them into teams and they were given a roll of TP, some ribbon, colored construction paper, tape and scissors. They had only 8 minutes to turn one of their team members into a Charming Charmin Frosty.
Another game was blind drawing. They put a paper plate of their head and had to draw the holiday scene I described to them. I think it involved a tree with decorations and presents under it. Maybe a fireplace with a cat sitting next to it...I can't remember but I know if I was to look at the plates today it wouldn't be much help!
They also played a 'minute to win it' game where they had a tissue box strapped to their waists, resting on the backside, that had big jingle bells in it. They had to bounce around until they got all the bells out. I was scared we were going to get shut down with that game because the classrooms were on the second floor right above some first graders, but we didn't get any complaints.
The last activity we did was hilarious. I came up with it from having so many extra stockings and wondering how to use them. I thought it would be funny if I told the kids Santa had to do some major cut backs and had to give them stuff he had laying around his house as stocking stuffers. I told them it was the thought that counted so when they pulled out their gift they had to say something nice and appreciative about it. Originally I was going to just write odd gift ideas on slips of paper, such as a can of spam or toenail clippings. But one of the other teachers started saying they had odd things laying around the storage room and before you could say "fruitcake", they had gathered 42 odd ball gifts for the kids: paper clips, sweet and low packets, an unwrapped black vhs tape, etc. PB got the vhs tape and I think it's still around here somewhere. I wish I could remember specific things the kids said about their gifts, but I can't. I don't think they thought it was as funny as we adults did. I laughed at least!
The last activity I had set up was a photo booth. I covered a large wall with black bulletin paper and painted white snowballs on it. I then had a bunch of large boxes wrapped to look like gifts along with all sorts of christmas fodder to pose with: wreaths, large plastic candy canes, santa hats, goofy springy tree hats, stockings, garlands...all stuff from the parents discards. I took pictures of each of the kids, did a little bit of photo editing and then emailed the pictures to their parents. I figured the parents had helped so much with sending in stuff that they should get a 'thank you'.
Also, of course, the kids made and wore tacky outfits at the party. In the photo at the top of the post you can see my 1980's tree skirt I turned into an apron and my tacky head piece. PB has the most amazing tacky 1980's troll sweatshirt as seen below.
Oh yeah, and we also had loads of junk food, drinks, cookies, sugary treats along with a multi-topping ice cream sundae bar.
And, at the end of the party the kids got to rip off the wrapping paper on their desks, which they enjoyed doing immensely.
This is how I do parties. Clark W. Griswold style! Over the top.
I was looking through the photos of the kids and PB and I couldn't help but get teary eyed. I miss fifth grade.
It's that time of year again. I wish I could have an outward appearance like that of the cozy organized happy image on the left but I feel like the depicted up in flames on the right. Last year I forced myself to listen to Christmas music all day all month and it seemed to lift my spirits to where I tolerated the holiday season... even enjoyed it. I don't know if that is going to happen this year. I am such a grinch. A contrary grinch at that...I collect vintage Christmas stuff but hate all the hassles and expectations of Christmas. Blah.
I try to live and appreciate the moments that I am living in and I have realized that I haven't been doing a good job of it when it comes to Christmas. I need to grasp and savor this time. In just a few very short years PB will be all grown up and I will look back on my frustrations with the season and have regrets that I didn't eek out enough joy.
This year I have talked PB into helping me with some of the tasks of the season. He picked the theme of the main tree and is suppose to help me make the ornaments. I have also got some of holiday shopping done. PB and I figured out what he is going to make for gifts this year and we have already got our christmas card photos taken. I am in the middle of decorating, which is a primary holiday strain but it always turns out nice and is what says it's Christmas around here. We have also already started watching MST Christmas movies. I guess I'm not in too bad of shape with holiday undertakings, which makes me feel like I have a fire extinguisher available to try to keep the holiday blaze somewhat under control.
The recipe makes 5 dozen cookies so if you make these for a bake sale they will run your customers about 83 dollars a piece. These Cherry Winks were the 1st prize winner in the Junior division of the 1950 2nd Pillsbury Grand National Recipe and Baking contest.
The cookie dough has chopped pecans, cherries, and dates inside then it's rolled in crushed cornflakes with a cherry wink on top added before baking. When I made mine I did my regular MO of omitting and substituting. I left out the dates and used chopped almonds instead. I also didn't have official cornflakes, but used my walmart brand Special K Red Berries cereal flakes. I just picked out and tossed the dried strawberries back in the box. I am a ''use what you've got" kinda gal. The cookies turned out really yummy. I think if I made them again I would use almond extract rather than the recommended vanilla. I love almond extract far more than plain old vanilla so I don't know why I followed the extract rules on this recipe. A little almond extract makes every baked dessert better. It's one of my "secret ingredients".
I LOVE the Pillsbury Bake Off Cook booklets and have collected nearly all of the first 20 printed. The contestants always have such imaginative ideas and titles for their dishes. Cherry Winks, rolled in cornflakes and winking up at you with a sliver of cherry! So cute and fun!
So, drum roll please! A super big deal to me... I entered the Pillsbury Bake Off this year!
The winners won't be told until the beginning of the new year. I don't think I can reveal much about my recipes at this time. I checked that mandatory box saying I read all the rules and really didn't. I imagine it says somewhere in there that if you talk about the dishes you submitted before the winners are announced the Pillsbury doughboy thugs will come break your kneecaps with a very sturdy bread stick. I will say that I submitted two recipes (breakfast and dessert) and think they are worthy of winning. I doubt I will but I am so thrilled to be a part of something that started in 1949 which still to this day showcases inventiveness and even a bit quirky concoctions.
Here are a few more recipes from Pillsbury Bake Off past that I have made:
Happy 100th Birthday to the Great Dancer Little Edie Bouvier Beale!
November 7, 1917
Grey Gardens came out over forty years go (the same as myself!) and I just happened to stumble upon it about a year ago. For the one or two others out there that don't know about Grey Gardens, it's a documentary filmed in a "home video" kinda way showcasing an eccentric artistic mother and daughter who live in their decaying East Hampton New York 26 room mansion along with over 20 cats and wild raccoons. Before the stock market crash of 1929 the Beale women were lavished with furs, servants, and a beautiful landscaped home. After the crash and Mother Edie's divorce they had nothing but the house which fell into such disrepair the city was called in to condemn and evict them (commonly known as "the Raid"). In stepped (and the major reason there is such interest in this story) cousin Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to save the family name and fund getting the home back to a state of human occupancy. That is the back story. The documentary takes place a few years after the raid and is basically the Beale women spatting, singing, and entertaining us just being themselves. Little Edie has a nack for pulling together "costumes" using skirts as capes and long sleeve shirts as turbans...just top it off with a decorative brooch! She also sees herself as a great dancer and singer who has been held back by having to take care of Mother Darling, which is the root of most of the arguments. Within their bickering there are little bits of their past brought up but never fully fleshed out. That's one of my favorite parts is trying to piece together their story. In 2009 Grey Gardens was turned into a HBO feature movie for the purpose of weaving all of these little bits together.
In 2006 the unreleased and edited footage from the first documentary was released as a follow up, The Beales of Grey Gardens. There is also even Grey Gardens The Musical.
Every Halloween I have to come up with a solo costume for me to wear to an adult event that Mr. Husband Sir helps host every year. He is a part of a local horror host television show where he plays the role of an inept Mexican wrestler who is manservant to a devil...not the devil, just one of the many Beelzebubs it takes to make the world go 'round. So MHS has a "costume" he has to wear at the live performance hosting. I get to be and wear what ever I want! I was sooo excited this year to choose to be Little Edie Beale from Grey Gardens!
"This is the best thing to wear today, you understand... This is the best costume for today."
"The Libra husband is reasonable. He is a born judge and no other zodiacal type can order his life with so much wisdom. God! That's all I need: Order! That's all I need. An ordered life. You know, a manager. But he's got to be a Libran."
"Course I'm mad about animals, but raccoons and cats become a little bit boring. I mean, for too long a time."
"But you see in dealing with me, the relatives didn't know they were dealing with a staunch character and I tell you if there is anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman...S-T-A-U-N-C-H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling you. They don't weaken, no matter what."
"We better check on Mother and the cats. She's a lot of fun, I hope she doesn't die. "
Little Edie among the cats, garbage, and the dilapidated run-down inside of the mansion. Apparently Big Edie didn't believe in cat litter so you can imagine the smell of this photo.
To pull my "costume" together, it started when I happened to find some 70s flowery fabric at a thrift store that reminded me of Little Edie's swim suit. I then used Patterns by Gertie, Butterick B6354 , the shorts and the top, which I sewed together to make a one piece suit. I then put on a pair of black stockings, white shoes, and wrapped a long sleeve t shirt on my head and finished it off with a kicky pin. I made the props from printing images from the nets of the front cover of Little Edie's astrology book, cats, raccoons, and cat food can labels. I then covered everything in newspaper as she always did to make a clean surface. I took the photos at an old overgrown abandoned house in the older part of the city.
I admire the Beale women. They worked with what they had and did it their way. They liked being different and were very proud ("too sophisticated for Jerry"). Of course, I'm not down with letting a cat piss on the floor near my portrait.
I like to write a "Halloween wrap up" entry every year to mention a few spooky fun things that we did but I didn't dedicate individual posts about. Mr. Husband Sir and I went to a Haunted Barn/ Hay ride this year called Creeptown. We went last year also. This year it was set up in the artist's barn where she lives in the middle of nowhere aka 'the boonies'. It's a good mix of cheap store bought stuff (dollar tree tomb stones), expensive special effects (projected images of dancing skeletons on the walls, antiques (a Victorian horse drawn hearse), and handmade sculptures (carved vintage looking carnival characters).
We also went to see The Addams Family Musical performed by a local college theater group. The costuming was great and so were the musical numbers. I thought the story line was a little weak and not "Addams" enough for me. It's not a play written by Charles Addams or based on one of his cartoons or even an episode of the show. Wednesday is all grown up and wants to marry a 'normal' guy. The normal guy also has very normal uptight parents which the play mostly centers around them meeting the Addams family. I will say the play has a sweet moral message of reminding people to not forget the fun carefree personalities they had when they first met their spouses and not to turn into boring "adults".
This year PB decided he wanted to go trick or treating, which is something we skip out on most years. Once or twice he has gone by a couple of houses belonging to people we know and that's it, he just hasn't been in to Trick or Treating ever. Most years we stay home and have a spooky themed dinner while making sure we don't accidentally turn the porch light on. We don't give out candy anymore because the people who come by our house don't wear costumes or say "Trick or Treat" even. They just have a walmart plastic bag and then have the nerve to ask for extras. Last year it rained so we "Trick or Treated" in the car by driving around the neighborhood and when we saw a decorated house we said 'Trick or Treat" and grabbed a candy out of a bowl I brought. This year, since PB is feeling the pull of childhood slipping away, he wanted to go T-or-T for real. The best thing about this year was the temperature wasn't in the mid 90s. It was actually chilly outside! I think I may have come up with a family tradition this year that was a lot of fun for PB. I have a SUV type car that the back seats can come out and it has a tail gate. I decorated the inside of the car with spider webs and skeletons and played the Haunted Mansion music. Since we were going to be driving very slow in our neighborhood I allowed PB (with his step dad right next to him) to ride in the back of the car and exit out of the hatch so he could get in and out easier. Oh my gosh. He had so much fun getting lots of candy, lots of compliments on their costumes, and getting to ride in the car illegally. I am one who had him in a booster seat til he was in 5th grade so this is certainly out of my norm. We noticed that most of the kids out begging for candy were older so I think PB has plans of repeating this adventure next year.
Something this year I didn't do for the first time in 15 years was go post-Halloween shopping. Usually I hit up all of the Targets in my surrounding area for 50 percent off Halloween goodies first thing Nov. 1. This year I kinda took a peak at what was on the shelves on Oct. 30 but eehhhh, nothing good. That hasn't stopped me before in the past though from trekking around. Not only did I not go out on Nov 1 but when I did check out what my nearest Target had a couple days later (only went because I had to pick up something else), I didn't buy one thing. Not one thing. Not even one bag of plastic bugs. This is thanks to my new KonMari mind set. I have plenty of Halloween stuff and I didn't see anything that sparked spooky-joy.
Lastly, we did our started-last-year tradition of the 'Pumpkin Pitch'. This is were we toss the decomposing JOL from a high surface (like a 6 foot ladder) onto the ground. We did it from the roof this year but it was a bit of a dud. The pumpkin just broke in half when it hit the ground, I guess it wasn't rotten enough.
This Halloween season seemed to zoom by but at least we did squeeze in a few fun things.
I love to enter contests, especially ones that it takes creativity to win (not just drawing a name out of a hat). This Halloween a local eyeglass store was sponsoring a pumpkin decorating contest where the staff voted on their favorite as the winner. The prize was a 150 dollar gift certificate to the store. I could use new glasses so I decided to enter. To help boost up my odds of winning I went with a Halloween optical theme.
My design is suppose to resemble an early 1900s store front of a combined Optician and Funeral Parlor. The opening of the pumpkin was to look like you were peering into a window but I couldn't get the idea to come together and the sign was going to hang from little pieces of chain and swing but that idea didn't pan out either. I cut the little eyeglasses out from paper for the skeletons, very tedious. Inside the window are a couple of coffins and extra eyes on the walls. The primary sign and the eyes on the walls and tombstones are prints of actual early 1900 optical store signs. I made a little eye chart for the background that I cut out letters to spell out "EVIL" and had it lit with a mini battery powered set of lights.
Here is a better image of the eye chart all aglow. This is one of those projects that I didn't feel was one of my most successful but I entered the contest anyway....and WON! Yay! I don't think they had very many enter the contest so I had that in my favor...but I'll take what I can get!
I only have til December to use my certificate so I am sure I'll be posting images with some new specks in the near future!
We love the ad campaigns for KFC. This year we were soo excited that they included some Halloween fun stuff! The most awesome thing they offered in their online shop was a Halloween Harland costume for a mere 5 bucks!!!
"Transform yourself into the world's greatest fried chicken salesman with this 100 percent authentic Halloween costume. Includes Colonel mask with REAL working eyeholes, and a one-size-fits-all , genuine plastic bib that contains the rest of the costume. Surprise your friends! Frighten total strangers! Trick or treat and demand fried chicken instead of candy! No one will know who you are!
oh. my. word. Amazing! By the time I found out about it (within 48 hours of them going on sale) they were sold out and on ebay for 100 dollars!
I was able to score a limited edition trick or treat pal/bucket though. Each store had only 25 to give away to costumers who asked about them (they did not advertise them in the store) and were in costume, starting on Oct 27 while supplies lasted. So yes, on Oct 27 at the opening hour of 10 am, I was lumberjacking my way into KFC for my free bucket. They are double sided, mine having the robot and the cowboy. There are other designs (cat, pirate, vampire, mummy, fire fighter, werewolf, and astronaut). Which adds up to 9 images which doesn't evenly work out for 5 buckets....hmmmm...I wonder that the other design is. I went in to my local KFC a few days before bucket day to make sure they were going to have them. The lady told me that they could only give one bucket to each family so if you have 5 kids you better bring some walmart bags or something for the other kids for their candy. She also said that once all 25 buckets were gone "We out of gas", which I thought was hilarious! I told her I was stealing that line!
If I could have scored one of those Halloween Harlan costumes I would have would have worn it with my handy KFC bucket while doling out these spicy chicken candy suckers to all the trick-or-treat kiddies wearing a costume.
A Hat Box Ghost-o-lantern to carry on our Hitchhiking Ghosts theme.
This year PB carved the pumpkin for his first time ever! This was a difficult one to do because of the small facial features and we also had a smallish pumpkin. As I was tracing out the design onto the pumpkin I almost wiped it off and thought we should go with a plan b traditional triangle facial featured classic, which I don't think I have done in over 20 years. PB said he would give it a try and it turned out great. My original plan was to carve in relief a hat box around the head with a real top hat sitting on the pumpkin and then add the Haunted Mansion wallpaper design carved in relief all over the back...Ha! Yeah right! I wasn't sure if the ghost face sans hat would read as the Hat Box ghost and the wall paper design is waaaay too complicated to cover an entire smallish pumpkin in.
The Hat Box Ghost just returned to Disney Land's Haunted Mansion in 2015.
When the ride originally opened in 1969 the Hat Box Ghost was the last attic resident you saw as you fall out of the attic window into the graveyard. He did not reside there very long due to technical issues with his special effects not believable enough. His head disappears from his shoulders and reappears inside the hat box. With technology advancements the effect now works perfectly. I am hoping he has a twin that will take up residence at Walt Disney World!
There are several prominent ghosts who have retired here, from creepy old crypts all over the world. Actually, we have 999 happy haunts here...but there's room for a 1,000! Any volunteers?
There's a little matter I forgot to mention!
Beware of Hitchhiking ghosts!
They have selected you to fill our quota!
...and they'll haunt you until you return!
Now! A ghost will follow you home!
For our Halloween costumes this year we went as Phineas, Ezra, and Gus, the Hitchhiking ghosts from Disney's Haunted Mansion!
The Haunted Mansion is one of our most favorite rides at Disney World. As many know, we LOVE Halloween and we love that the Haunted Mansion is open all year representing Halloween each and every day.
Our costumes were very easy to pull together. Phineas (PB) is wearing grey dress pants, a black long sleeve shirt, a cape of black fabric, and a top hat. The vintage baggage is a satchel I picked up from a thrift store over 20 years ago. I use it to carry all of the Bone Soup supplies. Ezra (me) is wearing all stuff I already owned: White knee socks, black capri pants, white button up shirt, black scarf, and a vintage black coat. Gus (Mr. Husband Sir) is wearing a night shirt that I made from thrifted white sheet fabric that I stained with black fabric dye to make it appear stained and streaked. His beard is from our Soggy Bottom Boys costumes.
I made our props on the cheap. The top hats are these shiny plastic 99 cent deals from Party City. I covered them in black felt and attached a scrap piece of fabric as the band (total 3 bucks) . The ball and chain is made from 2 pieces of plastic chain from dollar tree and the ball is actually a large plastic christmas ornament from a thrift store that I spray painted black (total 2.50)!