Christmas Party Favors for Everyone!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

I wanted to stop in before my annual Polish Christmas Eve festivities begin and give you one of my favorite new traditions…that I just started THIS year.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve hosted holiday parties. I had to sucker my mom into letting me do it for many of those years, so when Brian and I moved into our little apartment of joy last November, I consider that the first official party.

This year, I wanted to offer my guests party favors, as many people come carting home baked cookies and bottles of wine (which they ABSOLUTELY do NOT have to do, but it’s what people do.) So I made a plethora of my DIY Scrabble ornaments for everyone, placed them on a mini Christmas tree and made a sign explaining that the ornaments were favors for them to take home. I used pastels and fancy paper for the sign, despite the crayon look!

Guests went home with presents and I made good like Clark Griswold with the hap hap happiest Christmas party since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Fucking Kaye.

Every year, I’ll make a new homemade craft to share with my guests. Sweet idea, right?

What do you think of my crafty little idea? What did you do this Christmas that you hadn’t done before?

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 Sneakily Wrap a Present

Brian. Don’t Read This One Either.

How to Sneakily Wrap a Present

Our first Christmas together, Brian spent an hour in my bedroom at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve wrapping my present. He found several different sized boxes in my wrapping station and even accidentally opened the glitter wrapping paper. Basically it was a wrapped present inside of a wrapped box inside of another wrapped box. My godson thought it was the funniest thing EVER. After the second one, he said, “Auntie Chrissy! I bet there’s another present in there!” Aaaaand there was. Actually there were 2 more wrapped boxes.

He started the battle and I made it a war. So I always wrap at least one present a hundred thousand times. Or 3. Whatever.

But the lightness of the book inside several boxes is still too light. So in the last box, I added leftover Halloween candy (Jolly Rancher suckers and boring Hershey bars. But not the good stuff. I ate the only remaining Kit Kat and Twizzlers.) That way, there will be added weight to the gift AND when he shakes it, it will sound like anything but a book. Which will add to the suspense!

Because, OBVIOUSLY, the first thing Brian asked when I told him his present was wrapped under the tree yesterday? “Can I shake it?”

And I said, “Yup.”

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!

DIY Fill Your Own Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

Confession: I originally wrote this a few years ago when I was working at marketing-esque company as a blogger and copywriter. I’m pulling it from my archives since it’s no longer live on a site and my Pinterest peeps are clicking on the images.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

This weekend, I had a little bit of fun with Christmas crafts. Crafting Christmas ornaments, to be specific. I thought that homemade Christmas ornaments would be just the thing to get you started for the holiday season. (There’s no need to mention that much to the chagrin of my peers, my holiday spirit started 4 weeks ago with holiday music).

Growing up, my mom was all about the holiday crafting. She makes gorgeous wreaths for all of the holidays and seasons, but she would let me help with the Christmas designs. We would also create fun and colorful beaded Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. Though many of them have long since disappeared, they hold a sweet memory in my heart.

The Raw Materials

DIY Ornament materials

Materials to Fill Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

In the spirit of holiday fun, I made six glass ball ornaments with simple items that I had lying around the house. I started with a pile of household materials: Clear glass ball ornaments, buttons, ribbon, Mardi Gras beads, and leftover fabric from Halloween costumes a few years ago. You may have other materials that would also be perfect for this project, so be creative with your ideas. You never know until you try it.

The Christmas Ornaments

Mardis Gras Beaded Ornaments

I made two Christmas ornaments with the Mardi Gras beads, the first a plain colored purple, and the second multicolored with traditional Mardi Gras colors of gold, purple, and green. I really liked both of these, and I loved the way they shimmered in the light. It was really easy to make them too!

For the purple ball, I just guided one strand of uncut beads inside through the small opening. For the multicolor Mardi Gras ball, I cut all three strands, and guided them in together through the opening, cutting the remaining beads off once the ball was filled. I used the scissors to push the beads all the way inside.

Memory-Inspired Ornaments

My next set of Christmas ornaments was in homage to our 2011 Halloween costumes, Poison Ivy and Ras Al Ghul. For those of you who love keepsakes, this is a great way to preserve any fabrics or materials that have meaning to you, whether you are using extra fabric from your wedding gown, a child’s favorite piece of clothing that they’ve outgrown, part of a blanket, or anything else that you can think of. Our family Christmas tree has always been loaded up with keepsake ornaments that didn’t come from Hallmark.

I cut a long strand of gold and black fabric that my boyfriend had used for his Ras Al Ghul costume, and a long strand of green velour fabric that I had used for my Poison Ivy costume, and guided them in the same way I guided the beads in. Again, I used the scissors to push the fabric into the glass balls. I also considered adding little pieces of ivy to the exterior of the green ornament with a hot glue gun to add to the Poison Ivy nostalgia from the costume.

Button-filled Christmas Ornament

The Christmas ornament idea that inspired me to get this ball rolling was the button-filled ornament. I had so much fun picking out the buttons from a huge collection that I came across at a garage sale over the summer. I knew my aunt was big into crafting with buttons, so I thought I might test the waters…

The buttons sat in my room untouched for several months before I finally decided what to do with them. I slid them into the opening of a glass ball ornament for a cute and fun little decoration. This one was probably the most time consuming, considering I had to make sure that the buttons fit, and choose the colors to have a decent variety.

Red & Silver Christmas Ornament

My last ornament, and personal favorite, is the ribbon filled ornament. I used a tinsel cord ribbon and a small thin red sheer cloth ribbon and laced them through the opening in the ball and let them intertwine with themselves throughout the ornament.

The result was a lovely red and silver shimmering ornament. I’ve always loved the red and silver combination of colors, and I think that the multiple mediums made for a cute combination inside the glass.

Overall, I had a great time crafting these Christmas ornaments, and it only took me about an hour to do 6 of them. At 10 minutes per ball, you can easily make a beautiful set to give to someone you love.

Happy crafting!

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!

This is Halloween: DIY Sally Skellington Costume

Halloween Costumes 2017
Every time I post a Halloween picture, thought, or idea…my mom asks, “Why aren’t you showing off your costume?!?” It’s really adorable actually. First, it’s adorable because my mom is one of my most dedicated readers. Second, it’s adorable because she’s super proud of her work. Her work, you ask? Yep. So here’s how this went down:

For Halloween, Brian and I were going to go as an old time villain and damsel in distress. But when we planned our Disneycation, it was decided that we needed costumes a little bit earlier than normal… Like September 14 early. And the costumes in question-we weren’t totally in love with. So, we started perusing the idea list. Brian had left open some tabs with Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas… (Oh right, one of my typical requirements is a ginger costume so that I have an excuse to re-dye my hair right before Halloween). It was the perfect idea. Now…to find the costume.

When I couldn't find a costume I liked, I made my own DIY Sally Skellington Costume and my boyfriend made part of his Jack Skellington Costume

I pinned a few ideas to my Sally Pinterest board…but I was unimpressed with the quality of costumes available. I wanted authenticity. So I decided that I would make my own costume. I would get a base dress, some fabric to match the patches, and sew the patches to the base dress with black yarn. Easy peasy, right? Not right. I got the dress and vintage clothes with the fabric I wanted from garage-sailing one Saturday afternoon during the summer, stopped off at my parents’ house, and got started.

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Obviously, after the needle bit my hand 3 times, and it was evident that I was doing a piss-poor job of sewing this thing…it was not going to go very far. Luckily…Mom was sitting right there…telling me, “You’re doing it all wrong. Give it to me!” I handed it off to her…and all of a sudden my project became her project. Plan successful. Mom took over. Now, my mom is hand-sew, knit, crafty, crafty genius…and despite her arthritic hands, took it upon herself to spend about 30 hours working on this masterpiece.

[caption id="attachment_1059" align="aligncenter" width="269"]When I was looking for the perfect Sally Halloween costume, I couldn't find what I wanted. So my mom and I worked together to create this DIY Sally Skellington costume. The base dress with the Sally sleeves[/caption]

Every so often, I would head over to the house for a fitting…and Mom’s work of art was beginning to take shape.

[caption id="attachment_1060" align="aligncenter" width="269"]When I was looking for the perfect Sally Halloween costume, I couldn't find what I wanted. So my mom and I worked together to create this DIY Sally Skellington costume. Looking good, right?[/caption]

So I was getting pretty stoked about this costume…and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Mom stopped using the black yarn as thread and switched to multiple strands of black thread. You can sort of tell the difference, but they both look awesome, and it’s not supposed to be uniform, so it worked out REALLY well. (The regular thread made it way easier to sew.)

Finally, it was less than a week before we left for Disney…and my costume was DONE! I was ridiculously excited, even after we got skunked while packing for the trip.

[caption id="attachment_1063" align="aligncenter" width="512"]halloween at Disney Sally and Jack costumes Brian’s costume still needed a little work done before Halloween, but it worked while we were in Disney.[/caption]

Brian eventually finished his costume by wearing a suit (it was FAR too warm in Florida to wear a suit jacket and pants to wander the Magic Kingdom), making a bow tie out of a bat and a wire hanger, and getting skeleton hands.

 

[caption id="attachment_1064" align="aligncenter" width="404"]Disney magic in my DIY Sally Costume Disney Magic. *sigh*[/caption]

Note, while at Disney, we invested in a Zero! So I still needed a few things too… the boots and the stripey socks. It took me until the day of the big Halloween party (this past Saturday) to find exactly what I was looking for. But I found them. And the end result was pretty fantastic.

[caption id="attachment_1066" align="aligncenter" width="402"]Jack Skellington and Sally DIY Costumes Jack & Sally (My mom’s awesome, right?)[/caption]

Have you ever conned one of your parents into doing something you knew they would do better than you? Have you ever made your own Halloween costume because the store-bought ones just weren’t cutting it? What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

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!

DIY: How to Make Your Own Halloween Decor AKA Some Seriously F*ed Up Sh*t

So, in case you didn’t already know… I’m pretty sick and twisted when it comes to Halloween. From Haunted House Costumes and this awesome bouquet toss winner costume to Pinterest Gone Awesome with a Baby Eating Pumpkin, a bathroom spider den, a murder scene, and these horrifyingly creepy dolls, I’ve got some really messed up thoughts on the creepy. Last week, while perusing Pinterest for some ideas to decorate for the Halloween festivities at our house, I came across this pin:

Source: grandinroad.com via Chrissy on Pinterest

Source: grandinroad.com via Chrissy on Pinterest

First, I thought to myself, That is the coolest fucking thing I have ever seen. Then I realized, $33? Fuck that. I can make that bad ass piece of Halloween paraphernalia way cheaper.

So last night, I got the supplies together…(and spent a grand total of $8) and set out to create. My plan was: If this goes poorly, I will call the post: Pinterest Gone Wrong. If this goes well, I will call this post Some Seriously Fucked up Shit.

As you will soon see, I’m an evil genius.

The Materials the Make the Hanging Cocoon

The materials I started with: 2 long poles (I used a broomstick and a mop), a ball, a fitted bed sheet, a hanger, fake spider web, and plastic bugs.

I needed some tape, too. Luckily Brian had duct tape in his car…

Duct Tape for Halloween Decoration

Yes. In his car. Creepy?

Hanging Cocoon Man for Halloween

Tape the hanger to the ball. The hanger is your “shoulders.”

How to Make the Coolest Halloween Decorations

Tape the poles to the hanger.

Halloween Cocoon Man

Tape the poles together in the center.

Making a Cocoon Man for Halloween

Cool, right?

It was at this point that I realized I needed a few additional supplies — 3 more hangers.

Cocoon Man Hips

Use one hanger for the hips.

Cocoon Man for Halloween

Reinforce the head.

Hanging Cocoon Man

Add the Shoulders (2 additional hangers).

Halloween Mummy Decoration

Wrap the body like a mummy.

Brian made a suggestion that we add a pillow to the body. Since we have a plethora of pillows…this seemed like a brilliant plan. So, I ran and got one.

The Hanging Mummy

Tape the pillow to the poles

Making a Hanging Mummy

Re-wrap the cocoon.

Spider Web Wrapped Cocoon

Wrap the cocoon in spider webbing.

Hanging the Corpse

We used these bungee cables.

I realized we needed something to hang the mummy, and Brian had these in his car, too…hmmmm…

Hanging Mummy

Hang the mummy.

Adding to the Hanging Cocoon

We’re going to cover that entire area in spiderwebbing…Like so. And people will be scared. Like so.

Hanging Cocoon Man

Put on the finishing Touches-the death bugs…not unlike Death Bug.

Brian is terrified of this. He thinks I am completely sick and twisted. He is right.

I made a homemade hanging mummy cocoon wrapped in spider webs and hung it from the banister in the stairwell for our Halloween Party

What creepy-ass shit do you do for Halloween?

Shop New Halloween Decorations for 2015 via TrendyHalloween.com

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!