Puppies are like toddlers

In recent news, Brian and I are the proud parents of a five-month-old puppy we call Nia (her full name is a regal one: Lady Nymeria Stark of Winterfell). We rescued her exactly two months ago and have been in love/hell ever since.

puppy snuggled on a blanket

Meet Lady Nymeria Stark of Winterfell, everybody!

I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the dog mom life, so if you’re here to comment on how dog owners aren’t real parents and puppies aren’t human children, kindly see yourself out (you don’t know or care about my life, my struggles, or what brings me joy. This isn’t for you.) In my experience training a three-to-five-month-old pup, I’ve come to the realization that having a puppy is very similar to having a toddler.

Mobility

Some people compare puppies to babies, and I’m not going to do that: While a baby is mostly immobile, a toddler is running all over the place, exploring all available surroundings, and basically trying to kill itself every chance it gets. Ways to combat this: baby gates, constant vigilance, and positive reinforcement. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly how we combat the dangerous exploratory behavior of puppies, baby gates, constant vigilance, and positive reinforcement. We’ve gated the pup in the kitchen when we’re cooking, the TV room when we’re winding down, and the front room when I’m working. She even gets to hang out in the bathroom when I shower.

Puppy sitting on top of the couch

She thinks she’s a cat.

Constant attention-seeking behavior

Speaking of the bathroom…From the memes I’ve seen on the book of face, toddlers who aren’t invited into the bathroom with Mom claw at the door, sticking their tiny fingers under the bottom trying to get in. Wanna know what my puppy does when I go to the bathroom without her? She claws at the door and sticks tiny paws under the bottom trying to get in.

puppy on a raft in the pool

See? She even wanted to join us in the pool.

Managing nap schedules

I know that toddlers need a lot of sleep, and managing their naps can be a full-time job. I also know that if Nia naps all evening, she won’t go to bed at night! We learned the hard way that our evenings of snuggling on the couch while binge-watching TV were days of the past when Nia wouldn’t go to bed until after midnight because she slept during TV time. We’re still working out the logistics and what works best for her, and hopefully, we figure it out soon!

puppy napping on a blanket with a toy

Puppy diaper bag

Moms carry bags of stuff toddlers need every time they leave the house with their kiddo: diapers, wipes, creams, extra clothes, toys, snack packs, containers, sippy cups, etc. I carry a bag of stuff Nia needs every time I leave the house with her: poop bags, alternative leashes, toys, snack packs, bowls, bottled water, etc. And I’m often so flustered when trying to gather everything that I forget stuff for me. My phone, a beverage, my purse, my ID, always something.

Leashed puppy sitting on the sidewalk next to owner

Taking her anywhere is an ordeal

Bedtime routines

I’m pretty confident many, if not most, toddlers want to snuggle up with Mom and Dad at bedtime, and I’ve known parents who curl up in their toddler’s tiny beds and fall asleep with them in order to get them to crash in their own beds. When we began crate training Nia in our bedroom, about 2 feet from our bed, she would cry at night because she didn’t want to be alone in the crate. So Brian and I would curl up on the floor crateside with the lights out as if we were all going to sleep in a giant puppy pile together. Once she was asleep, we would tiptoe back to our bed for the night. You may say we’re suckers, but guess who goes right to her crate at bedtime, now?

puppy sleeping in a bed

Sometimes, she sleeps in my spot before or after crate time.

Toys everywhere

Just like my toddler niece, the puppy pulls all of her toys out on the ground and spreads them far and wide for good measure. I may not rip up my foot on a Lego, but you can be damn sure I’m falling all over Kongs, Nylabones, and Duraplay balls left and right. I’m probably going to fall and injure myself (like I always do), but I’d rather have her play with dog toys than chewing on my shoes.

Puppy surrounded by chew toys and stuffies

Bribery

When I was teaching reading comprehension to small children, we used bribery as a way to get them to work. Smaller, more frequent bribes for more distracted students and that’s exactly how we have to train this puppy. Snacks, snacks, snacks; just like me and my snack addiction. Our pupper loves food. Thank goodness. Because we bribe her with food all. the. time. Get that non-toy out of her mouth? Offer her a piece of string cheese. Need to lock her up in her crate when we go out? We provide a plethora of brain-teaser treats and puzzles.

I’m sure there are bazillions of ways that puppies compare to toddlers, these are just a few of the ones I’ve noticed in the two months since adopting our little monkey.

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Damsel in distress…in the bathroom

The other day, after my class at The Second City, I decided to head straight home instead of sticking around for bonus Second City joy like I had originally planned. We had just gotten a new water heater that afternoon, and I was pretty excited to head home for a warm shower. Also, Brian had just been destroyed by our puppy, and probably needed a bit of a reprieve. Mostly, I had a tasty Blue Apron meal with shrimp and peppers waiting for me to cook up and devour.

Leaving the class, I knew I probably should hit the bathroom before rolling out, but I had parked in a 3-hour spot and was drawing desperately close to overtime. I don’t like getting tickets so I raced my ass to my car. It was only a 45-minute drive; I could make it.  (If you can’t already tell, this story is about poop, so fair warning as you continue on).

As I was nearing my home suburb, I happened upon a sign for the second time in a week that reminded me. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was on sale super cheap at one of the local-ish liquor stores. I knew I’d never make it back there to buy some if I didn’t stop immediately. So I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a cart. It’s important to always have a backup supply of wine.

As I filled my cart with liquid gold, the urge to poop began to increase. I’m not the kind of girl who can hold it, and I know that when I gotta go…I GOTTA go. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had a bathroom (they didn’t), and so I quickly planned my escape. Step one: Pay for wine. Step two: Decide on emergency bathroom protocol.

My options were limitless, but time was of the essence. Could I make it home? Maybe, but there was a risk in that. Could I make it to my parents’ house halfway between the liquor store and home? Tempting, but I decided to see what other choices I had.

There was a small pizza place by the liquor store. But I didn’t want to walk there and chance no public restroom. I got into the car and thought about McDonald’s/Burger King/Wendy’s locations near me, and I knew there weren’t any super close. And then like clouds parting to let the sun shine down on none other than White Castle.

Now, I have a small neurosis about using public restrooms. And it has nothing to do with pooping in public and everything to do with using a restroom while not patronizing the business. And so I always have to buy something when I use a bathroom. Brian has tried without fail to get me to sneak in, poop, and sneak out without anyone being the wiser for as long as I can remember. I almost always leave with a drink…sometimes a full meal.

I decided as I raced into the bathroom immediately next to the entrance door, that this would be the day I do it. This would be the day I opted out of a guilt purchase. Because I’m doing Weight Watchers. And White Castle just didn’t seem worth it.

I hung my purse on the door and sat down on the toilet. Relief was swift, but it only lasted a moment. Until I reached for the toilet paper. Where toilet paper should have been, an empty roll hung in its place. I assessed the situation. No place for a backup roll in this single-use bathroom. No stalls to hobble to with my pants around my ankles. And I was in White Castle. In the early evening. No one was going to be knock knock knocking on this door for hours. I wished I still carried that travel roll of Charmin I bought for my trip to Europe.

As I prepared to bunker down in the White Castle ladies’ room, I realized that I had a golden ticket! I had a freaking phone. I stood up, waddled over to my purse, and pulled out my phone. I waddled back, sat down, and googled White Castle for the phone number.

In seconds, I would be relieved from my public cell. I just knew it. riiiiiiiiiing riiiiiiiiiing

“Thank you for calling White Castle. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I pondered leaving a message, “Hey. In the ladies room. No TP for days. Send help.”

Instead, I hung up and called back. The damn store was open, someone had to be here.

“Thanks for calling White Castle. This is _______, how can I help you?”

“Hi. This is awkward, but I’m in the ladies bathroom, and there’s no toilet paper. Help!”

“Oh. Sure. Be right there.”

Commercial toilet paper roll in the White Castle Bathroom

Thanks, lady.

Two minutes later, a knock at the door had me waddling, penguin-style, again. I hid behind the door as I opened it just enough to allow a massive roll of toilet paper past the threshold. I thanked her, and quickly closed the door.

Bathroom selfie in a skinny mirror

I love me a good skinny mirror!

I cleaned up, took a baño selfie in the skinny mirror, and realized I definitely needed to make a purchase now. There was no escaping the employee who rescued this damsel in distress. I made my way to the front counter, and the employee was washing dishes in the back. I could escape. But I took a look at the menu and realized there were a lot of things I needed to try. You know. For research.

I ahemed a few times until I finally said, “Uhh hi!” Two full minutes after she looked at me and said hi, she set the dishes down and walked up to me, giving me a knowing glance. I should have just left. Why was I so embarrassed? Everybody poops. Right? I ordered and ran the hell out of there so fast.

I survived. And had tots hashbrowns with cheese sauce to assuage my anxieties on the 7-minute drive home.

 

 

 

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 may have been a stand-up comedian in a past life

Guys. GUYS.

I recently returned from the beautiful Dayton Riviera, where I embraced the joys of life and love and humor with my writing tribe at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. I have A LOT to say about this conference and the magic that happens there, but first, I thought it would be fun to share my performance in the Saturday night stand-up show, in which I discussed our wedding, my light-up skirt (which I wore on the first night of the conference), and a few tidbits about my relationship with Brian. I was just as nervous as that one time I read the story of my first period at a different writing conference, and it was just as exciting.

Well, without further ado, here’s the video!

 

  Of course, I left my notes on stage. Of course I did. But I didn’t need to look at them once!

Have you ever done stand-up comedy or performed? Tell me about it in the comments.

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!

Does it count as sexual harassment if I was a t-rex?

The other day, I went bowling in my t-rex costume (as one does, right?). It was a birthday party with a suits theme. So I wore my dino suit over my bathing suit (it sure does get hot in there, guys!), and trekked to a local bowling establishment.

View from inside: A selfie from the mouth of the t-rex suit.

View from inside: A selfie from the mouth of the t-rex suit.

And while I was standing in the bowling alley (they are not designed for t-rexes, you guys), I realized that I was taking up more than my fair share of space. In fact, I found myself regularly apologizing for my tail whacking someone or my head knocking on the people in the next lane over from us. It was rough being the biggest girl in the place.

But when I moved out of the way for a group of young “gentlemen” entering the alley and passing our lane, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that a stranger slapped my t-rex ass!

Now, I know that this is actually a serious topic. I have my own stories of harassment and violation, but I had to laugh at the ridiculousness that happened. You can’t see the person inside the costume, so the guy had no idea whether it was a woman or man inside the suit…and I’d really like to have seen that dude’s — a guy in his early to mid-twenties — reaction when a buxom lady in her cough thirties jumped out of the suit to kick his ass. But meh. It was more humorous than anything else.

T-rex costume reaches for a ball at the bowling alley

Anyways, I went and made a video of my adventures, so I’d love to share it with you. Enjoy!

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

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!

How to Make a Beautiful Cheese Plate for Two

Y’all! It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day. As it’s a holiday that is literally celebrating ME, I had to offer some advice for making a beautiful and delicious cheese tray for two — since Brian and I are heading off to Florida in less than 24 hours, we can’t have a ton of extra cheese lying around. Or a party. And I know I’ve talked about cheese plates before, but this one has a video!

Beautiful cheese plate for two

So I made my way over to Whole Foods — they had a SALE, you guys — to pick up some of their cute little cuts of cheese (small pieces and ends are perfect for making a small(ish) cheese platter.

Buying cheese at Whole Foods for National Cheese Lover's Day

I also bought fondue and a goat gouda for later because that shit was on sale.

I picked up a cave aged gruyere from Emmi Roth, a rattlesnake cheddar (smoky with habanero and other peppers and tequila), a creamy goat cheese called Capricho de Cabra Mitica, and a mild jarlsberg (mostly because it was like $2). I also had a sharp cheddar and an AMAZING Maytag Blue Cheese in the fridge that I added for color and a nice rounded out cheese plate.

Anyways, I made you a fancy pants video so take a look!

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

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!

Monkeying Around

Well hey there, blog friends! Long time no see. I took a bit of a breather for the holidays, started making some plans, and started implementing some plans. And now I’m back. With something a little different.

I’ve been wanting to dabble in video for a while now. I’ve got this weirdly popular video on YouTube about finding sand dollars on the beach in March Island, but other than that I’ve just uploaded silly stuff, like the time I met Steve the Sloth and gave him three pets instead of two or when we went to the New Orleans bug museum and saw two turtles gettin’ it on.

The point is that I want to dabble in something a little more specific. A little more me, even. So I figured I’d pull an idea my bestie Cletus came up with back in our college days. He called it 60 Seconds of Chrissy. And I shall too.

60 Seconds of Chrissy will be a little snippet of my adventures clipped to a mere 60 seconds. Brevity is not my strong suit, so this will be a learning experience for everyone. But I’ll also come back here to the blog and give you a little more story behind the video if there is one.

For the first video, I’ve gone ahead and put together a little montage of that one time we went to a high ropes course with ziplining, right here in the western suburbs of Chicago called GoApe. They have a number of courses around the country, so there may even be one in your backyard too.

I was excited and nervous, and we spent a glorious 4+ hours sweating our brains out and adventuring high in the trees. Most of the adventure was pretty run of the mill, and I surprised myself by walking some of the course without holding on to the ropes. In many cases, you had the option of taking the “hard” path or the “easy” path, and 90% of the time, I took the easy path.

The one exception was the Tarzan swing near the end of the course, which you’ll see in the video below. What you won’t see in the video is the number of times I counted out 3-2-1 go…and didn’t go. Or the aftermath.

Well, here’s the video first. Then we can talk about the aftermath.

 

“Fuck me.”

Yep. That’s exactly how I felt. Because as it turns out, I had gone and fucked myself. With my lack of upper body strength (y’all I have leg strength like nobody’s business, but my arms and core need some serious help), I was unable to attach myself to that spiderweb of rope to climb up to the tower where Brian was standing. To add insult to injury, the harness I was wearing was uncomfortably digging into my body, so I was also in pain.

And that’s when the screaming began.

30 feet above the ground, hanging from some cables, and sitting in a harness, I had a panic attack. I felt like I was stranded and there was no way out. I needed help, but I didn’t know if help would ever come. I was helpless and afraid and screaming to get me out of there. What felt like an eternity later, a woman showed up to assist me. Apparently, I wasn’t the first to get myself stuck on the Tarzan swing. The woman hooked up a third harness dealie, and pulleyed it up to me. I connected to it, and she was able to help move me over to the tower and up just enough that I could crawl onto the platform.

I was ashamed, embarrassed, and feeling pretty low. Would I even finish the course?

And then I remembered that I’m resilient as fuck, and I finished the last two paths across the trees and the final zip line. And that zip line reminded me that I could jump again, even when the last jump failed me. And after watching that 60-second video? I feel like a bad ass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody.

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

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!

How to visit Disney World without killing your family

Clark Griswold is my spirit animal. So when I got to spend part of the holiday season in Disney World with my family, I was in heaven. It was like Christmas Vacation AND Vacation in one hotel suite. Without Cousin Eddie.

We spent a magical 8 days in Orlando as my mom and I dragged our entire family to Disney World for her 60th birthday. Even though I’d just been there in June, I was fucking pumped. My family hadn’t been on a trip together since The Worst Thanksgiving Ever AKA The Worst Vacation Ever. We hadn’t been to Disney World together since 1998. And did I mention there was an adorable 9-month-old baby in tow?

Taking a baby to Disney World

My dad loves that little Nugget so much.

Somehow, all 7 of us managed to crash in the same hotel suite for most of a week and not kill each other. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised that I don’t have more interesting tales of drama and/or homicide to regale you with from our trip. I was most concerned about being in a hotel room with Mom because she and I get along smashingly when we don’t live together, but put us in the same space for more than a few hours and smashingly turns into smashing things (love you, MOM!). Apparently, being in the happiest place on earth meant that both Mom and I were in our happy place and nothing could stop us from enjoying every freaking minute of it. Mom was only there for the first three days of the trip, culminating with her birthday party at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Look how happy she looks on Day 1!

Parents kissing under mistletoe magic shots Disney World

Day 1: Aren’t my parents the most adorable ever?

The best part? She was just as happy on Day 3, and I was just as thrilled to be there with her. Dad, on the other hand, was sick to death of taking fucking pictures (he may have told me so the next day).

Mom and daughter hugging under mistletoe magic shots Disney World

Day 3: Wearing our jams at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

But how did we all manage to share the same space for a week and not kill each other? Here are 5 ways we did it.

    1. Don’t all travel at the same time. I think if everyone had gotten on the same plane at 5:30 in the morning, there would have been even more crankiness, even if we were all drinking bloody Marys because Southwest is the best. Alas, Brian and I flew at the crack of dawn (yes that meant a 3 AM cab to the airport) with my parents, landing at a respectable 9:30 in the morning. My brother, Anna, and the baby flew in on an afternoon flight that allowed them the time they needed to get their little nugget prepped for her first flight. On the way home, it was just my brother, Anna, Nugget, Brian, and me. Mom left earlier in the week and Dad left the day before we did.
    2. Don’t feel obligated to follow the same schedule or plan. Originally, Mom and I were going to Disney on our own the first day, but Dad decided to join us. This was one of those days that will forever be with me. It was magic. Brian, on the other hand, needed time to decompress from the flight, so he stayed back at the hotel waiting for the rest of the fam. My brother and dad were originally going to go with us to Universal Studios, but they ended up staying back at the hotel with the nugget so Brian, Anna, TBCIII (one of my besties and bridesmen, who happened to be in Orlando for a conference at the same time we were there), and I could revel in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (more on that later). Mom decided she didn’t want to go to Animal Kingdom, so she met the rest of us at EPCOT later. It all worked out, and everyone got to relax when they wanted to.
    3. Do plan some time for yourself. I know me, you guys. I know that I’m the only one in her right mind who can do 7 days in a row of theme parks. I also know that I need to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. In June, I learned that Disneying on my own is AH-MAZING, and so I planned an entire day by myself before my family joined me around 4 PM. I went to a character breakfast, dined with Prince Eric, met more characters, took some photos, ate lots of delicious things, and just enjoyed the things I knew my family didn’t care about. Meanwhile, back at the suite, my family slept in, had a pool day, and relaxed before the Christmas Party.
    4. Do mix up who you spend your time with. You don’t all have to be together at the same time in the same place. Have a few set plans in place (We had dinner at Biergarten designated months prior, and we knew that Mom wanted a night picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle), but then feel free to split up and enjoy smaller group time.
    5. Do make sure everyone has food when they need it. A lot of unnecessary fights happen when people are hungry. My brother was ready to kill everyone when he felt like he hadn’t had a decent meal in days (he wanted to sit down and eat something that he liked, and we had been doing a lot of quick-serve snacks that day), and as soon as we got him delicious Chinese food, he was happy again. Also, if you’re into it, booze helps too. There are a ridiculous number of delicious drinks to try and not nearly enough time to try them all!

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Family in front of Magic Kingdom Entrance with Magic Shot

Merry Holidays from my family to yours! And if you want to get on our Christmas card list, this is your last chance to drop your address in the Google form. I’m mailing cards on 12/16!

5 tips keep your sanity on a family trip to Disney World

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!

Hunting for Thanksgiving turkey leg(g)s

Brian has started talking in his almost sleep or still kinda asleep stages. This is something I’m personally quite familiar with, as I’m known for talking in my sleep. I’ve even gotten into fights in my sleep. But this is new for Brian. And I fucking love it.

For example, the other morning, Brian woke up and told me how adorable it was.

“What’s adorable, Brian?”

I was waiting for him to say, “You are, Chrissy,” because I was all curled up in a sleepy Chrissy ball. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.

“The sun. It’s so cute.”

Now I KNOW he was dreaming because:

  1. Brian hates the sun.

And

  1. It was barely shining through the curtains.

My assumption was that it was because the light was so dim, it felt like just a little sun, but who even knows. I just love that Brian dreams about the sun being adorable.

So, last night, as we were falling asleep, Brian said, “There should be a Turkey egg hunt on Thanksgiving.”

And I wholeheartedly agree. And then my mind started whizzing with ideas. How could we make this happen? I love the Easter egg hunt. (Yes, I am an adult, and my mommy still hides eggs for my cousins and me.)

I kept thinking and told Brian it could be a turkey LEG hunt instead.

He was markedly opposed to this for being half asleep.

“That would get very messy, Chrissy.”

But it could be PLASTIC turkey legs. And they could open with snacks and toys inside.

I haven’t worked out all the logistics yet, but I think I’m on to something.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your day be full of feasting and family. And if you’re like me, and have 3 hours of backseat (shotgun) driving ahead of you, lots of online shopping.

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!

Quirky holiday gift guide

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love Christmas. So much so that I have a few gift guides lined up for your shopping pleasure. To kick off the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken the liberty of curating a super fun list of quirky Christmas gifts from one of my favorite online stores, UncommonGoods. It was hard to narrow it down to ten items, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

BTW, I love it when a store I’m obsessed with is kind enough to sponsor a post like this by allowing me to choose a few items from my wishlist to keep! While I may have received free products to write this post, all opinions are my own. Additionally, product links are likely affiliate links, which may earn me a small commission to help keep my cheese drawer fully stocked. 

Quirky Gift Guide - 10 items from UncommonGoods that everyone should have

Gifts for foodies (and cheese lovers)

Gifts for foodies: Boska Portable Cheese Melt Utensil $25

Guys. GUYS. YOU GUYS. This cheese melty raclette device has been on my wishlist since I saw them in a gif last year or the year before. I can’t be trusted to remember these things. Anyways, Brian was too busy buying me a Le Creuset and a magic sparkle skirt last year to pick one of these up for Christmas, but now I have one, and it is everything! Melty cheese for everyone!

Gifts for foodies: serving palette with bowls $35

I also love throwing shindigs. And when I saw this fun palette platter, I knew it had to be mine. Think of all the tiny things you can put in the little bowls! Olives, fig jam, tapenades, fruit spreads, butter, CREAM CHEESE, dips, cheese spreads. God. The possibilities are endless for a kitchen artiste like me — or you, for that matter.

Gifts for foodies: molecular gastronomy kit $49

Another foodie gift on my list from last year, I have been dying to try this molecular gastronomy kit since I saw it on the suggested wishlist items from Draw Names. It comes with 4 different food additives (5 of each) that you can play with to make creative foodie dishes that will at the very least impress your husband because SCIENCE! I can’t wait to show you what I make with it!

Gifts to stock the bar

seven deadly sins glasses $72

I LOVE these glasses. I don’t own them yet, but (ahem, Brian) they are on my Christmas list. The seven deadly sins on rock glasses with fun little cartoon devils. I don’t know why I love these so much, but I do. They’re the most expensive item on this list, but glassware is expensive, you guys. And these are too fun! They also have matching pilsner glasses. Or personalizable sin glasses.

gifts to stock the bar: woven wine tote and glass holder $40

So this summer, my bestie Ally and I went to an Alannis Morissette concert at a park. The park allows you to bring your own food, drinks, etc. It’s like a magical concert picnic of joy. People get super swanky and bring candelabras and stuff. The biggest problem we encountered, though? Not having anything to hold our wine glasses! Which is where this picnic saver comes in handy. Six wine glasses in a caddy that holds your bottle of wine and your glasses. Like magic.

gifts to stock the bar: beer caddy with bottle opener $45

This is on the list of things I’m going to get Brian. He likes to bring a collection of rando ciders when we go to parties, but he never has a six-pack holder to carry them. This super nice wooden crate is perfect for those occasions, and — bonus — it comes with a bottle opener!

Fun gifts and stocking stuffers

UncommonGoods also has a number of super bragworthy smaller gifts perfect for filling stockings or rounding out bigger gifts.

fun gift ideas: balloon dog nightlight $25

These balloon dog nightlights probably won’t fit in a stocking, but they are SO FUN LOOKING. I would love to have or two of these hanging around my house. Because unlike real balloon animals, these will never deflate on you!

fun gift ideas: f bomb paperweight $45

 

This f-bomb paperweight is sure to weigh down someone’s stocking, but you know it’ll be worth it. Come on…you know you want to drop an f-bomb in someone’s stocking. It even looks a little like coal for a double whammy of fun. Fun fact: They also have an A-hole paperweight. You know. For the matched set.

gifts for bookworms: pride and prejudice scarf $48

Scarves are also on my list of things you can never have too many of…especially when they have text from your all-time-favorite novel! I am so thrilled to have this magical Pride and Prejudice scarf in my life, you guys. Anyone who loves a good book and a cozy scarf will probably love one of these too!

stocking stuffers: yogi joes $25

My personal favorite stocking stuffers (hint, hint Brian) are these adorable yoga Joes. Forget tiny army dudes, these yogis are all the rage.

A couple of other fun tidbits about shopping with UncommonGoods: Their mission is to provide a space for artists and creative designers to showcase their products. Half of the items they sell are handmade and 1/3 of the items are created with recycled and/or upcycled materials. Their customer service is top-notch — they’ve received awards for it for the last ten years. Customer service is SO important to me that I will quit a brand I love if their CS isn’t up to snuff when I need it.

So go take a gander at UncommonGoods, and let me know what else is on your list!

Looking for more gift list ideas? Consider one of these bad boys.

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guide

 

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!

The sexiest man alive

I’ve spent the morning reading about what a bullshit thing it was for People to put Blake Shelton on the cover of People Magazine for Sexiest Man Alive and that people are up in arms about it. Personally, I stopped giving a fuck what People Magazine thought about men when — nope. I’m not even playing. I’ve never cared about the Sexiest Man Alive. If Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum aren’t on that list, it clearly hasn’t adequately captured the heart of sexy. Ever.

On a Facebook post, I saw someone write, “Are there any good ones left?” And I was like, Duh. My husband.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

So I decided I’d start my own Sexiest Man Alive award. And the inaugural recipient is, obviously. Brian. But don’t just let me tell you he’s the sexiest man alive. Here are just a few of the things that make him so dang irresistible.

He’s got a soft spot for watching TV with me

And he’ll even watch some things that many husbands/boyfriends/partners would typically opt out of. Not only is he watching The Handmaid’s Tale with me, but he also watched Gilmore Girls. I’m not saying he binged the entire thing in 3 weeks like I did, but he would sit down and watch an episode here and there. I’m also pretty confident he was Team Logan too.

He feeds me

This is why ladies are not supposed to get sick. The boyfriend was left to his own devices. #GetOuttaMyKitchen

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Even if he doesn’t know the correct pan to use for boiling hot dogs.

We all know that I’m the cook in this relationship. He sends me gifs of things like ice cream sandwich cakes and Cheetos mozzarella sticks, and then I make them. But sometimes, he’ll throw together one of the things he knows how to prepare and he’ll hand deliver it to me like the sexy AF gentleman that he is.

He’s got a keen fashion sense

And he was ready to go toe to toe with anyone who fought me on my wedding shoes.

He cleans

Brian’s putting our mop and bucket to good use before holiday party time. #BestBoyfriendEver

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He meets me halfway, even when I’m halfway across the country

I’m pretty sure the only people who lost that contest were the ones in the rooms on either side of mine. Did I mention I was on the executive floor?

He’s a poet and he doesn’t even know it

He takes care of me when I’m sick

He’s smart, funny, and he keeps me on my toes. He’s got science guy and gentleman wrapped up with a bow. You know, now that I think about it…Brian is pretty much an amalgamation of Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum. He really is the sexiest man on earth. [I really tried to squeeze in a joke about Earth girls being easy, but I just umm…couldn’t…well find a way.]

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Really, though, with all of the big-name men being called out for assault, harassment, and more, maybe we should stop putting the people we see in movies and on TV on pedestals. Maybe we should think about how to make the world a better, safer place. And I think a lot of that starts at home. So can we all stop worrying about the guy a bunch of editors at a weekly publication determined was the sexiest man alive and focus on the ones we know in the real world?

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!