Crazy Tragic Almost Magic

November 30, 2015

Crafty Holiday Moments

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMoments #Collective Bias

As most of you know I'm a big fan of Black Friday. Every year I sit down and plan my attack. As the years have passed the stores have started to open earlier and earlier, to the point where Black Friday almost doesn't exist anymore. Getting up at 1 am to wait in line for the store to open at 3 am is perfectly fine. However, stores opening at 3 pm on Thanksgiving is unacceptable. This year I decided to take a pass on the entire thing and make some memories of a different kind. 

I tried to think of something that Little Miss and I could do to keep us both entertained. I didn't want to spend a fortune at a craft store so instead we made holiday decorations out of everyday household products. If there's one nugget of knowledge that's been passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me it's that you should always be stocked up on toilet paper. When it comes to stocking up for anything, Costco has you covered. 

I wanted to to make something that would be easy enough for her to do but could also be displayed for the entire holiday season. After searching around online and asking her what she wanted to do, we ended up making snowflake ornaments, a new topper for the tree, and Santa and reindeer, all from household products. 

All you need are toilet paper or paper towel rolls, construction paper, glue, wiggly eyes, and some poms. Any other crafting items are optional. Paint your rolls the appropriate colors for each item and then use your construction paper and other craft items to add the extras. These are all up to your imagination!

Of course any project involving glitter creates a mess. Especially when a three-year old is in charge of said glitter. Perhaps that was a bad judgment call on my part? Either way, I relied on my favorite P&G products to get everything cleaned up. I've been a Swiffer fan ever since they first came out and I use both the WetJet and the Sweeper at home. 

After finishing up with the crafts we cleaned up our glittery mess with the Swiffer Dusters and I sprayed some pine Febreze to set the atmosphere as we decorated the house for the holidays.

What products do you rely on to make it through the holidays? Are you all set?

November 27, 2015


Tomorrow marks just over three decades for me. Thirty-one. You won't find me wallowing that I'm getting older. Just the opposite in fact. In 31 years I've seen, done, experienced, and felt a lot of things. Here are 12 things I know for sure. 

1) Early nights are my friend

2) Comfort reigns supreme - I don't care if the 5" heels are super hot. I'm not trying to pick anyone up and I damn sure don't want to deal with sore feet.

3) Less is more - 6 friends that you are super close with is infinitely better than 20 friends you're so-so with.

4) Making choices is still difficult

5) As you get older you'll realize you're mother is the best friend you never knew you had.

6) Although I have improved 10-fold, financial stability is a never-ending battle

7) That gut instinct you have?  LISTEN!! It will never steer you wrong.

8) Age is just a number.

9) Everything is open to interpretation

10) It's never as bad as you think

11) Sometimes the friends you make at work will turn into best friends.

12) Always be your quirky, weird, crazy, outrageous, questioning, intimidating, romantic, nervous, anxious, excited, over-active self. 

I know there are many more things I've learned in my time, but these are the ones that have impacted me the most.

What is the best lesson you've learned?

November 25, 2015

Rant it Out... But Find the Good

Oh Wednesday how I love thee. The weekly post where we all confess our secrets and sins. It's pure bliss. These aren't so much confessions as they are rants. 

At this point my "gears" look more like wheels.

+ My laptop isn't working. First it would die soon after being unplugged. Then it stopped charging. I ordered a replacement battery, no dice. I thought maybe it was the AC charger so I ordered one. That worked for all of 5 minutes. So now my precious connection to the interwebz is a glorified paperweight.

+ I was out for a walk on last Saturday and saw some religious statue. On first glance it looked like Jesus was holding a pack of smokes... Then I realized it was a Bible. #hellbound

+ Sweet baby unicorns why is this a thing!? I just can't wrap my mind around how, or why. Let's be honest - it's disgusting.

+ There's this woman I sometimes see in the bus line to go home. She will come up to the line from the other side and will stand next to someone making polite small talk with them. All the while edging herself into the line cutting in front of at least 30 other people. And the part that really gets me no one says ANYTHING to her!!! Not one word. I'm telling you, the second she tries to pull that with me she's not going to like the result. #backoftheline

+ Last week I was sitting at work and had a mild conniption. A strand of hair got in my ear in such a way that it felt like something was crawling. I about punctured my ear drum trying to stop "it".

Last Wednesday K and I had tacos for dinner. I kept saying dumb things while we were eating and long after. I've dubbed the occurrence Taco Brain and I believe it is a real thing. You know, when you're so overwhelmed by the love of consuming tacos that your brain literally shuts off because it can only handle so much awesome at a time? Yeah... that's what happened. #TacoBrain

And on that note, here are some things I'm thankful for:

+ having a job that lets me have a comfortable lifestyle
+ new blogging friends
+ getting in tune with myself
+ K, family, and friends
+ new blogging opportunities
+ upcoming events
+ health
+ marriage equality
+ wine & cheese

This list is by no means everything I'm thankful for but they're the ones I'm most grateful for.

November 24, 2015

The One With the "Major Award"

Over the summer I went to the AC Seafood Festival. There was lots of food, live bands, raffles, and lots of rain. We enjoyed the first hour or so that we were there but once it started pouring we headed to Tropicana for dryness and dinner.

When we first walked into the festival there was a long table with paper and pencil to enter some type of raffle/giveaway. I figured I'd enter just for the sake of it. Imagine my surprise when I got a call three months later telling me I was a winner.

So what did I win? Four round-trip tickets, a free 3 day/2 night stay, two tickets to a show of my choosing at Resorts Casino, and a few other things. Immediately I was thinking SCAM! But there was a little voice saying but you did enter a raffle... I spent some time on the phone with the woman getting as much information as I could. Of course I was taking notes the entire time. I needed to go to AC to claim my prize within a week.

Part of me kept thinking something was up but as I try to err on the side of positivity I was rolling with it. K and I made the trip down to AC Saturday afternoon.

As soon as we got to the hotel that was sponsoring the giveaway we were instructed to go to the 7th floor welcoming center to check in. We went up, signed in, grabbed our complimentary snacks and waited for our tour and prize claiming.

Imagine the disappointment when we realized we were walking into none other then... 

a timeshare presentation.

Still trying to be positive I suggested we sit through it and go from there. Basically because they were going to get an earful from me about false representation, lying, and the like. 

We sat through the presentation, listened to what was said, toured the units, and then got down to brass tax. For only $23,400 we could own our vacation spots for the next 30+ years. With only $3,250 down we could walk away with a Deed as owners of a timeshare. Only $3,250? Where do I sign?!

This was obviously not an option, and we said as much, of course they tried to get us a bargain by lowering the price, changing the package, and even allowing us to "try before we buy" for only $1,499. The thing is, as much as I love to travel and vacation should be my middle name, we have friends with a timeshare and they completely regret buying it. We even talked to a couple on the way to the parking garage - they flat out told us not to buy! 

As for the tickets, there are strings attached to them. I have to stay at select hotels for a minimum of X days (most are 7-10) and these aren't the Day's Inn. I'll probably end up using one of them just for the sake of travel, even though it will probably cost me more than if I had booked on my own. We'll see.

On the plus side, I did get a $100 gift card to, which I actually use. So I'll at least get to eat for free.

Moral of the story:

Pay attention to what you're signing up for and never buy a time share. 

November 20, 2015

This or That

Today's one of those anti-post days where basically, I've got nothin'. Usually I'd shy away from posting for the sake of posting but I saved and completed this fun little questionnaire a few months ago for just such an occasion. And besides, it's Friday so light and breezy is the way to go!

Book or E-reader// Can't I just say both? E-readers are fantastic because I can carry an entire library around in something that weighs as much as one book. However, nothing beats that new book smell. {yes, I wrote this to the tune of the Nationwide commercial with Peyton}

Have a house cleaner or cook// I'd love to have someone clean. Not because I can't but because these cats... I should probably start selling fur coats on the side. Can you imagine that being successful? Cat fur coats? And I love to cook, so no one's taking that from me.

Never be able to speak again or only be able to speak your mind//

Wear a snow suit in the desert or be naked in Antarctica// Common sense says snow suit in the desert.

Super fast or super strong// I think this is situational. I mean, am I going to be tortoise slow if I'm super strong? Or just the same speed I am now? I decline to answer this.

Pizza or Cookies// 

Europe or Mexico//  As much as Mexico is on my someday list, there are a million more places I want to see and eat in Europe.

Have a time machine that only goes back in time or a time machine that only goes forward in time// Ooooh. I'm going to go with future only because to me, that's optional. If I don't hop in the DoLorean, I continue on as things are. Besides, everyone knows you have to go back to the future.

Be in a real version of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones//  I love me some Walking Dead but if I haven't said it before I'm saying it now: zombies are my irrational worst nightmare. Seriously. I can't handle that. I will be the first to go.

Be 10 minutes late or be 20 minutes early for everything// 20 minutes early hands down. I'm always 10 minutes late now.

Sit in a white room for eight hours a day for $100,000 or work at an interesting job for $50,000//  HA! This questions feels like my current life to the letter. I loathe sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day for what right now allows me to live on the low end of comfortable. I want a job I enjoy, that makes me happy for the same.

Space or the Ocean// Ocean. Forever and always.

my one true love

Beer or Wine//  Mas cerveza, por favor!

November 18, 2015

Rants + Raves

It's confession day!  Rather than being a complete negative Nancy today I'm going to vent a little and then mention some things I'm really happy about.


+ Sometimes I look at the apps on my phone and wonder why they're even there. Like, why do I need all this shit? You get a delete! And you get a delete!

+ Next month K's friends want to get a limo (we'll only need to tip here) and have dinner (Dino & Harry's Steakhouse, $100+/pp) out in Hoboken followed by a visit to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. I know it's bitchy of me because we'll have a good time but I'm dreading it because holy expense.

+ This post got me all sorts of riled up on Monday.

+ I got a little teary-eyed watching Pitch Perfect 2. I love those pitches.

+ Everyday K asks me how work was. I appreciate that he asks but most days all I can think is:


+ K and I are headed to AC this weekend. It's more like a 3 hour excursion, but that's where we'll be.

+ The electrician came last Saturday and was able to find and fix the problem of The Dark Ages. I'm back to cooking and eating like a regular 21st century human now. 

+ I'm only 8 movies away from finishing this godforsaken film challenge. If I decide that this is fun and mention doing it again next year, remind me of this. 

+ Thanksgiving is next week! I can't wait to stuff my face with all the noms.

+ Mom and I are not participating in Black Friday this year. Not one bit of shopping will be done. Saturday is another story... 

+ I'm officially using, and loving, YNAB. Debt freedom and financial stability here I come!

Now it's your turn! 

More Coffee Less Talky

Alanna & Company

November 16, 2015

Planning to Plan

Since we all geeked out a few months ago talking about our new planners I thought today would be a good time to share with you all the fun things I want/intend to buy to make said planner even more awesome. Unfortunately I need to keep my inner Darla under wraps for a few more weeks until I can start planning to my hearts content.

The thing is, like any real girl, stationary makes me super giddy. I mean I could just float up an down the stationary aisles at Target like Maria. The hills are alive with school supplies….

And while I’m off getting kicked out of stores, here’s a look at some planner d├ęcor I’m coveting:

You guys I need these emoji stickers. I have zero shame in admitting I’m emoji obsessed. I can’t help it. I love these things and they just make me smile. 
I used to think washi tape was dumb. Apologies to the crafting gods. It’s recently dawned on me that washi tape, although it is just fancy masking tape, is an amazingly easy decorating tool. Scrapbooking! Planners! Just because! I’m with you guys, washi tape is the shit.

I’m not even going to bother showing you all the shop stickers I want from PlannerMania on Etsy because it’s ridiculous. A Pinterest board for planners may or may not be in the works.

These are my absolute favorites and I must have them if I'm going to have the most amazing planner ever!

November 13, 2015

Friday Five

It's been a while since I've done one of these but it's Friday so it's only appropriate. Five things that have been on my mind this week.

One| Starbucks Red Cups
Oh 'Murica. Sometimes you really disappoint me. When I first started hearing about this at the beginning of the week I opted to leave it alone and keep my mouth shut because bitches are crazy. But then I just kept seeing hilarious things and I couldn't help but throw in my 2 cents. For example,

Two| Black Friday
I'm an an avid Black Friday shopper. It's one of my favorite days of the year. I used to get up at 2 am, be out by 2:30 and in line waiting for Kohls or Target to open at 3 am. But then people had to get greedy. I was browsing for Black Friday ads earlier this week and saw the ad for JC Penney. 

I'm almost at a loss for words over this. 3 pm??? Are you kidding me?  This is so beyond unacceptable I don't even know what to say. 3 PM IS DINNER TIME! I am so annoyed by this. This is honestly the first year that I have no desire to go shopping on Friday. If I do, it won't be until well into the afternoon. 

Three| Game of Thrones
My heart is broken. I'm completely caught up and ready for season 6 and I'm just so upset. How could George allow this to happen? We were going to have sweet crow babies together and live in the Black Castle for ever.

I laughed way to hard at this. 

Four| Vacation
Winter may be coming but all I'm thinking about is all the amazing vacations that are coming down the pipeline. I want nothing more than to talk about all of this but I can't. It's too soon. All I will say for now, lest I go into planning overdrive is that next year DC and the OBX are in the works and in 2017, Hawaii. I'm over the moon ecstatic about this one. If you've ever been, share all your knowledge.

Five| Food/Cooking
Believe it or not this has been on my mind like crazy all week. Probably because I have/can't do either. I don't WTF is going on but we have no power to the fridge, stove, and kitchen light. Thankfully there was nothing in the fridge to begin with but a week with no food? I can't deal. Apparently the electrician won't be able to make it until next Saturday. I'm looking at the silver lining that this is some futurisitc diet plan. No food = no binge eating = no weight gain. #win?

And that's it for this edition of Friday Five. Happy weekending everyone!