Archives for November 2013

3 and 4 of 5 Thanksgivings today. And I Have to Put on Pants (OK, Clothes in General) if I Want to get the Sales Ads for Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving blog friends! My goal is to have a longer title than a blog post. How’d I do?

Anyways, I’m pretty sure the title says it all.

Thanksgiving 1: Work Thanksgiving was on Monday. As the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) I planned it. It was delish. I have some rockstar kitchen peeps on my team.

Work Thanksgiving

Menu: sliced turkey, rolls, brie, cranberry sauce, ham, green beans, collard greens, chicken pot pie, cheesy potato casserole, sweet potatoes, chocolate bread pudding, pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, apple pie, and ice cream.

Thanksgiving 2: Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving was last night at the house we used to live in. A family of friends of sorts.

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

Menu: ham, roasted acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes, green beans, croissants, pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

Thanksgiving 3: Today with my loud wonderful fam.

(Pictures to come later)

Thanksgiving 4: Tonight with Brian’s wonderful fam.

(Pictures to come later)

Thanksgiving 5: Second (I guess 5th) Thanksgiving on Saturday with the family we created/chose in college.

(Pictures to come later)

I’m not going to tell you that I’m thankful or any of that trite nonsense, but I am going to send a big hug and a thank YOU to all of my dear internet friends. Whether we’ve met in real life or just share our stories on the web, you too are like family. May you enjoy the day whether you’re working, cooking, eating or shopping.

Ok, FINE. I’ll go put pants on. I need a newspaper delivered to my front door on Thanksgiving only…can they make that happen?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Do You Want to Build a Snow Man? Movie Review of Disney’s Frozen

You guys.

Today, Frozen comes out. If I weren’t so darn busy this weekend, it would be a MASSIVE priority to take my niece and nephew to see this puppy. Luckily for me…I’ve already seen it.

Because wow.

Disney's Frozen Movie Review

First and foremost, if you’re going to see this movie, MAKE SURE YOU GO IN 3D.

I can’t stress this enough. Brian can’t stress this enough. Just do it. And note that you’re doing it for the short that precedes the movie. Brian was so impressed that he wanted to tell you all about it immediately. And of course, he wanted to spoil it for you so I said, “No, Brian. I’m writing this review. And I’m going to tell them that the short is awesome, and the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. But I’m not going to tell THEM about it. It’ll ruin the awesome.”

Frozen Costumes are HERE! Find Elsa Dress, Anna Coronation Costume in girls and women's sizes. Guaranteed to sell out - Shop Now!

In all seriousness, Blog Friends, Brian really enjoyed the movie, but mostly he was obsessed with the short. It was really cute.

Now, on to Frozen.

The premise of Frozen is one of my favorite fairy tales of all time, The Snow Queen. I would make my mom rent the Fairy Tale Theatre version from Blockbuster EVERY time I was sick at home because I loved it so much.

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ELSA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

This story takes a much different turn on the Snow Queen, but it’s just as lovable. Two sisters, Elsa and Anna grow up as princesses, and one is set to become queen. She’s got some crazy cool powers, but can’t seem to get them under control…and accidentally freezes the entire village. Anna must try to help her sister before it’s too late! (Did I do a good job avoiding spoilers? I hope so.)

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ANNA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Anyways, the movie was wonderful. I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more. You all know how much I love Kristen Bell (hello adorable sloth-loving friend!) Well, what I didn’t know was that she’s got a Broadway musical background and a stellar voice. Idina Menzel anyone? I saw her live over the summer and she’s as funny in real life as she is musically talented.

 

The two princesses belt out into the best Disney musical soundtrack since the golden age of Disney. It renewed my dream of writing Disney lyrics. They’re witty and whimsical with the perfect hint of grown-up language to help build children’s vocabularies.  I stand by the fact that Disney made me smarter.

Anna reminded me a little of Rapunzel, but with a little bit more worldly experience (even though she hadn’t really had any either). Elsa was sad and beautiful, but took a stand to be her own person, much like Ariel, though not on a hunt for her dream prince.

"FROZEN" (Pictured) OLAF. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The comic relief comes from everyone, but Olaf the Snowman who couldn’t wait for summer was super fun. Kristoff and his reindeer Sven were also fantastic. Kristoff talks to his reindeer, but Sven never talks, much like Prince Charming’s horse in Sleeping Beauty. Of course, the difference is that Kristoff responds on behalf of his reindeer. And it’s fun. Look for the sassy pants trolls to add a little extra joy to an already wonderful movie.

Go forth and see this movie. And stay through the very end of the credits. There’s an extra clip!

Frozen opens Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Website: Disney.com/Frozen
Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyFrozen
Twitter: Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation
 
FROZEN (In 3D)
DISNEY
Genre: Animated Comedy/Adventure
Rating: PG
U.S. Release Date: November 27, 2013
Voice Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
Original Songs by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Original Score Composed by: Christophe Beck
 
I was not compensated to write this review, though I was given the opportunity to see the movie prior to its opening to facilitate this review.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What do a Glue Gun, an Exacto Knife and Pain Have in Common? A DIY Challenge. With Scrabble Tiles. And Christmas Ornaments. Obviously.

If you recall from two weeks ago, I joined some rockstar bloggers in a DIY challenge. Not a competition mind you, a challenge. I’m also pretty sure that by challenge, Joules meant, “I challenge you to make something artsy without hotgluing your hands to your forehead.” or some nonsense like that. Therefore, Joules, I call this a success. 2 cuts from an exacto knife, a cardboard paper cut and one tiny hot glue burn later…My hand is not hot glued to my forehead. AND I have FOUR masterpieces!

I started with a bazillion Scrabble games that I’ve collected through my estate-sailing, garage-sailing summer.  The below picture is a mere sampling. Each box is FILLED with either boards, tiles or tile slats.Scrabble Obviously, I had a lot to work with. Scrabble Tiles And so I took this challenge on with the goal to REALLY get going on my plans…of Christmas presents for everyone! (OK, maybe not everyone…but if you want a Christmas card and MAYBE a present (5 randomly selected Christmas card recipients are getting Scrabble ornaments!) e-mail me your address (quirkychrissy@gmail.com) and you’ll at least get a sweet holiday card, and you might get a sweet ornament for your tree!

How’d I do it though? Oh. Right. The DIY project. I got carried away with…well Christmas joy.

How to Make Scrabble Tiles Your Bitch…Err…Ornaments

This was SO easy! The hardest part was collecting the Scrabble Tiles. Something along the lines of hundreds of man-hours went into the hunt for all the games. I’m hardcore. I know.

I started with the exacto knife and one very unlucky Scrabble board. I cut out two pieces from the board to make two board ornaments, which I hot glued Scrabble tiles to for authenticity (and because I have a shit ton of tiles). This part was the hardest in the actual project, so I decided that I would only do two exacto knive pieces…Brian apparently thought that a dull blade would be better for me…didn’t he learn in school that the sharper the blade, the LESS likely to cut yourself? (Unless you’re me, and you’d probably cut yourself anyways…)

After the tricky pieces, I thought it would be fun to make some easy pieces.

scrabble Tile OrnamentsYou’re probably catching onto my theme, aren’t you? Well, wait my patient little pretties. I’ll get there.

After I glued all of my letters together for the final two words, I was ready to glue ribbon to them! I chose a more festive ribbon for the tiles alone and a simple gold ribbon for the tiles with board pieces (Mission: Not to have Polish ornaments that look how I dress. Goal: successful.)

For the travel edition tiles, I sliced the ribbon in half with scissors (no cuts!) so as not to be overwhelming.

The final products are the perfect addition to my mini book Christmas tree.

What do you think, Blog Friends? How’d I do? Do you want your own? Should I sell them on Etsy like a boss?

If you want to check out more of the DIY challengers, go visit them!

DIY bloggers headshots

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Chicago Toy and Game Week 2013 in Pictures – What a Whirlwind!

Here’s a little bit of the joy I’ve experienced this week.

Play is Magic

PlayCHIC

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TAGIE Awards

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ChiTAG Fair

wpid-IMG_20131124_124234.jpg wpid-IMG_20131123_101231.jpg wpid-IMG_20131123_093156.jpg wpid-IMG_20131123_085825.jpgWere you there? Do you wish you were there? I had an amazing but CRAZY week.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Ate Vegan and Didn’t Die. On an Unrelated Note, I Also Met Someone Famous and Didn’t Make an Ass of Myself. I Didn’t Talk Either, so There’s That…

After my run-ins with The Bloggess, Dr Travis Stork, and other semi-famous people who I’ve made an ass out of myself in front of…you’d think I’d be used to dealing with this sort of nonsense.

Let me start from the beginning.

A few months ago, a friend of ours invited us to go see Toad the Wet Sprocket in Chicago. I thought to myself, “self, you really enjoyed Toad the Wet Sprocket in the 90’s. Remember middle school? That shit was the bomb. Dancing in a big circle, huddled up with your closest pals, swaying to the music and smiling at the boy you had a crush on? Go. Seriously. Go to this concert.”

So we made plans…and then magically, Saturday, it was Toad the Wet Sprocket. Our friend Will thought that dining at a vegan restaurant would be a brilliant idea…while my boyfriend and I…well…we had a lot of fun laughing about it before hand. Phrases like this were bounced around on Saturday morning:

“Fake cheese is an abomination.”

“Wait. Chicken wings? Why lie? Why not call them tofu sticks?”

“I can’t take this place seriously.”

And so we decided that we absolutely HAD to go to this vegan locale, because at the very least, I’d get a funny blog post out of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a terribly funny blog post, because I got the most stereotypical vegan entree (a salad) that contained no fake cheese or fake meat. F that. I did manage to try a fake chicken tender…which was surprisingly okay. Even if the texture was a little weird.

But the part about this visit that was particularly blog-worthy had nothing to do with the food at said vegan restaurant. And EVERYTHING to do with the Toad the Wet Sprocket concert that we’d be attending a block away.

One minute I was making fun of a fake chicken wing; the next minute Will is all, “What’s going on, man?” to this guy standing at the counter ordering. “We’re looking forward to the show,” he says…

What?!

Glen Phillips, lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprockets was getting ready to nosh on some vegan fair. And he was totally cool.

And I was totally speechless.

Our other friend managed to strike up an entire conversation with him, about how great he looked for his age (he really does look like he’s in his 20’s.) And I just sat there, barely saying a word. Thinking all of the things I wanted to say.

  • “Can I interview you?”
  • “Can I get your picture?”
  • “Can I touch your chest?”
  • “Your voice makes me want to have your babies.”

No? Probably shouldn’t go there on date night with the boyfriend sitting right next to me…right?

So I said nothing. And he smiled. And made us laugh. And then a few hours later, he was jammin’ out on stage. It was…pretty fantastic. By the way, if you dig on 90’s tunes, and have the chance? GO. Go see Toad the Wet Sprocket. They are JUST as amazing live as they are on the radio or an album. Super impressive.

Also?

I mentioned this before at the Wallflowers concert we attended a few months back…but it needs to be reiterated.

I seriously wanted to cut the bitch who was texting on her phone all night long three rows in front of us. Or the bitch behind us who kept taking videos and pictures. I was mostly impressed with the lack of visible technology because the majority of concert-goers had RESPECT for the other audience members…But the few that were all up in the video/camera/busy checking Facebook/texting world? Stop being douchebags. Turn your tech off for a few hours and enjoy the music.

And that’s why I have no pictures of said concert.

How was your weekend blog friends? If you’re in the central Illinois area (or anywhere in the midwest devastated by Sunday’s storm), my thoughts go out to you and your families. Even up here in the west suburbs it was terrifying…I can’t imagine what it was south of us.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which Chrissy Gives Amazon More Free Press

Because even when I’m mad at Amazon, I still love them.

Seriously. I ordered a space heater for my office…and apparently you have to make sure that your address is properly written in, or else they’ll return your products!

Just because the 13th floor showed up as STE FLOOR doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been able to find my office!! Well…okay…maybe.

Anyways, I thought I’d have a little fun with the lady on the other end of the Amazon live chat. Because you know…they get bored too. Might as well offer them an amusing morning conversation.

Don’t worry. I screen shot that shit for you. You’re welcome.

Amazon Live Chat

Happy Hump Day Blog Friends! By the way, did you e-mail me about getting your very own Christmas card from the Chrissy? Because you really should. I’m a little funny. Sometimes. Usually. Mostly. Always.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Mission Impossible (Or Possible): DIY Scrabble Joy for the Holidays!

I’m on a mission. A DIY mission, to be exact.

Let me start by introducing you to Joules, who writes an adorable blog about her life as a DIY maven, a mom and overall cool person. I met her in real life and she’s just as adorable. Joules has ideas. Lots of brilliant ideas. DIY brilliant ideas. And she inspires me. She even inspired me to paint canvas and use it as a display for my Disney pins, as shown below:

Disney Princess Pin Display Disney Maleficent Pin DisplayPretty cool right? I love my Disney pins, especially the Maleficent pins. (I had 2 others, but lost them at Disney (sad face). So displaying them seemed like a great plan.

Anyways, so Joules put together this challenge. This DIY challenge. In which 4 bloggers take on the world of DIY…or a project…maybe three projects. Whatever. One of those. Basically, today, I’ll be announcing my project. And the 3 other LOVELY ladies will be announcing theirs. And then we’ve got 2 weeks to make it happen.

So, as I mentioned on Sunday when I was talking about getting steampunk gear at estate sales, I spent a lot of time going to garage sales and estate sales and resale shops. A lot. Like full work days, 8 hours a day, every Saturday, all summer long, a lot of time. Searching for Scrabble. In total, I probably collected about 15 boxes of Scrabble games, some travel size, some full size, some deluxe size. Some old, some new. All for less than $3/pop. But it was tough work.

Luckily for me, I managed to acquire plenty of Scrabbles, so that I could play a DIY project that I’ve been dreaming about since joining Pinterest in 2011 (Before it was cool). I want to make Christmas ornaments (among other things, but we’ll start with ornaments.) Because I have a LOT of Scrabble pieces now!

So with my very busy next 2 weeks, I’m going to make some crazy Pinteresting shit, while seeing 2 pre-screened movies, attending a gamer fashion show, a toy and game fair, a midnight showing of The Hunger Games, creating Christmas cards to send you, decorating for the holidays and working a full time job.

I’m like Wonder Woman without a cape. Except when I have a cape. Or a hood. One of those.

So if you’d like to go visit those other lovely bloggers (because you know you want to) you can easily check them all out with the links below.

DIY bloggers headshots

Of course, I can’t just leave you with that! Because if you’re interested…and you should be…you can play on your own! If you’d like to be featured here on Quirky Chrissy, play along and send me your DIY project by November 24 (because it is a VERY busy week, Blog Friends…and I want to have time to show off your sweetness if you send me sweetness). I’m very excited about this and I hope you are too!

Blog Friends, what DIY project would you love to take on this month?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Should be a Model…a Skeletal Model…

Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean I have to stop talking about skeletons…

But this is different.

Because the skeleton in question is MY skeleton. And what a sweet skeletal structure I seem to have. Here, I’ll start off by showing you:

Skeleton model

See? Look at that bone structure. Those cheek bones. That impeccable posture. I have a model skeleton if I ever saw one. And I did. Because I Googled to see if I could find out what’s wrong with my by looking at my X-ray. No luck on that front, but I did discover that my skeleton is better than the ones on Google.

I’m not trying to be conceited…what with my model-esque skeleton and all…I can’t help it. I’m obsessed. Not only do I look significantly skinnier (Because really you’re looking at mah bones and not the squish around them), but also I. Am. A mother fuckin’ skeleton y’all.

And I’m trying desperately to make light of the fact that I have a skeletal picture of myself…and it cost a lot of money. So when they offered me a CD with the results of my CT scan, I said “Hell yes.” Which probably cost me more money. But whatever.

So here’s hoping that there is something easily remedied stuck up in my throat. Because I’m tired of feeling like I’m crazy. Or whiney. And until then, I’m just going to make the most out of the situation. By internetting my skeleton. Because it’s fucking awesome.

Also, I promise that my skeleton will not be on our Christmas card, but we’ve got some pretty sweet ideas in the works…Plotting like little twisted elves over here in the DG. So if you want to receive a Christmas card, e-mail me your address and you’ll receive one fantastic and memorable card this season.

You’re welcome.

Do you have skeletal images of yourself? Do you think you make an excellent skeleton model? Are you are weird as I am?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Steampunk Sunday: How to Get Steampunk Gear and Supplies SUPER CHEAP

This post is part of a sponsored post series about the steampunk lifestyle. This campaign is sponsored by Steampunk Goggles. All opinions are totally my own. 

If you’re rocking the steampunk look, or want to have fun with arts and crafts in the steampunk genre, you know it CAN be easy to find the cool stuff you need to make the neatest accessories. Of course, it can also be ridiculously hard…a pain in the ass to say the least, but I’ve got my own little tricks up my sleeve.

Steampunkin

Sweet Jackie

If you saw my steampunkins, then you know I found some SWEET stuff to play with. I’ve since run that shit through the dishwasher so that I can reuse it for fun artsy projects of joy.

I really liked the piece on the top right of “Jackie” – you know, the piece I used as a “flower” in her “hair.” It was probably my favorite find the week I acquired that piece.

I digress…

So if you’re into steampunk, odds are, you make a lot of your own sweet pieces. Or you shop on Etsy. Or specialty sites like Steampunk Goggles (the wonderful sponsors of this post.) Either way, you want unique accessories and accents that make your steampunk look your own. Sometimes a combination of the three can create the perfect ensemble or decorative piece. (And you know I’ve been working in retail copywriting too long when sentences start coming out like that. </cheese>)

I’m going to teach you my sweet secret.

Confession: I have a summer addiction. I spent nearly every Saturday morning from May through October digging through other people’s junk. I’m a garage sailor (yes. sailor) through and through. I’m actually going to be talking about this a few times this week…but today is all about the steampunk finds.

Estate sales are my absolute weakness, and I’ve found some pretty amazing things for SUPER cheap. Not only is it fun to walk through someone’s home, observing their things and their home, but also it’s a bit like treasure hunting.

Take this one home I went to about a month ago. The gentleman who lived there was some type of builder or plumber. Piping, tubing, pieces tools galore lined the walls and floor of his garage. I spent several hours digging through all of the dusty boxes and bags to find pieces that I thought were interesting or usable. I came home a smelly disgusting mess. It was awesome.

The best part about my finds, was the fact that estate sale operators understand what I do. I walked up to the lady with a giant bag of stuff and said, “I have NO idea what any of this is.”

And she looked at me knowingly, “Are you an artist?”

It was the first time that it had been asked of me by a stranger. And I never REALLY considered myself an artist. Until that moment.

“Yep.”

“Well, I’ll go easy on you. It looks like you have some copper and…how about $4 for the whole bag?”

“Deal.”

FOR THE WIN!

How to Get #Steampunk Gear Super Cheap After washing every single piece (and bleaching some tubing that smelled awful…and I eventually had to throw away anyways…) and showering…I had a pretty sweet box of goodies to show Brian.

At another garage sale, I was able to ask for a $2 price on this sweet craft box FULL of buttons…while not all of them are “steampunk” worthy, there are quite a few antique-y buttons that will be awesome on some of my projects.

craft box full of buttons

I’ve done this several times, and now I have lots of DIY projects in the works, so get excited. Here’s the start of something I’m working on right now:

steampunk lunchboxI started with a lunch box that I received at BlogHer, painted it with a color I mixed myself, and glued some of the more unique buttons. Then I glued lace around the handle and added a few more buttons. I’ll be adding some of the fun items from the box-o-goodies next to see where this ends up.

As you can see, Brian’s got a lot of patience for me…and my “projects.”

Collector vs. hoarder Someedcards

 

What are you working on, Blog Friends? Anything fun? Anything Steampunk?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!