Blogmas: Treat Yo Self

A very busy week was capped nicely last night by a very good time, as you may have seen in my last post. That was a gift to myself where I got to do some of the basic white girl things I don’t typically get to do because I don’t really have friends *insert lady emoji with her hand up like “o well”* Just kidding, I obviously have friends, I am just a homebody!

This morning, I went out shopping pretty early to beat the “already mad rush” so I could finish up shopping for the family my company has adopted for Christmas. Some had already been done, and I was given what was left ($416) to even out the gifts for the kids, get wrapping paper, and a gift card with the leftover. So I managed to magically spend $216 leaving me with an even $200 for the gift card.

Since we took donations from coworkers in the form of cash or gift cards, I had multiple forms of payment, including a lot of one dollar bills, so checkout was a little difficult. I had some printed egift cards which required scanning, and some plastic swipeable cards, and then cash. The cashier got more and more annoyed with me even though I was very quick to hand her everything. I always make an effort to be overly nice to people in the service industry because I know that shit is fucking hard, and it’s especially difficult around the holidays, but it didn’t matter what I did, this lady was determined to be pissed off at me. So I didn’t buy the gift card from her, and instead walked all the stuff out to the car, recounted the money, and walked back in and purchased the gift card from what was probably the sweetest old lady who had to count almost 100 ones out, but she was actually tickled to do so and when I apologized, told me “No, honey, it’s fine, we can always use ones, we love em!” So that kind of made everything better.

Once I got back home and ate lunch, I curled up in the recliner with all the soft blankets in the house that Husband was so kind to bring to me and started to nap. I was warm and cozy, but then someone knocked on the front door and my heart shot up into my throat. We have a glass door and long window panel that are somewhat obscured by decoration, but you can see inside and out. There was a formally dressed woman on our front step, and Husband got up to answer, but I told him just to ignore it. She knocked a second time then left. I managed to fall back to sleep when the doorbell rang. This time Husband went for the door with long, angry strides. He was ready to tell whoever was out there off for waking up his wife (twice!) but this was just a delivery. Can’t get mad about that.

My nap was shot, but it could have been much worse. I putzed around the rest of the day, played some The Sims, then decided I needed to yoga. I almost always do yoga in the morning, so I forget how amazing yoga is in the afternoon/evening. Sometimes I stretch before bed, but nothing like a full routine. Well, holy shit guys, I am way more flexible and balanced than I thought! Just turns out morning time isn’t super conducive to complete bends and twists.

Then it was time to exfoliate and shave. I’m basically a werewolf, and I shave my pits and legs every day because I HAVE TO. My hair grows at a rate no human should have to live with, and it doesn’t come in light colored or even soft–it’s actually painful to wear pants when I haven’t shaved in 24 hours–but I’ve resigned myself to this mammalian existence. Today, though, I really went all out and worked at my skin with one of those rough glove things, then dragged a sharp bit of metal all over me til I looked like a seal. Now I feel like a goddess who has taken mortal form to find a lover. Yep, it’s as gross as it sounds.

The point here is just a reminder that you need to treat yourself now and again. While I think “treat yo self” culture has gone off the fucking rails (thanks Parks and Rec!), the underlying message is important: do something for you. DO IT.

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Blogmas: In Photos

Since I’m an old lady, I need to go to sleep immediately when I’m out late and by late I mean 10:30, so I’m phoning this in, but you should know I had an awesome night and you should be totes jelly you weren’t there.

Blogmas: A Haunted Holiday Pt 1

“I’ll not have it this year,” Lady Allerton stood stiffly in the entrance to the parlor, hands folded, chin raised just so. Her tone was light, almost pleasant, but her clenched jaw told them that she meant business. The sack of gold on the tea table didn’t hurt either. “This thing,” the word seemed to burn her tongue on its way out, “ruins the festivities every year.”

“You want it gone because it wrecks your parties?” Reggie squinted at her. To be fair, it was one of the more novel reasons they’d ever heard.

“The Allerton name has thrown the most exalted holiday festivities for over three hundred years. His and Her Majesty have even been in attendance. This is our mark on the Empire, Mr. Kirt, so yes, I want it gone because it wrecks my parties.”

Reggie took a step back as if her words had physically assaulted him.

“I assure you, Your Ladyship, we will identify the source of the disturbance.” Hugh was, of course, unphased by the royal, even bored by her, and he turned away, already inspecting the room.

With a few graceful steps, Lady Allerton came to stand just before Bianca. She dipped her head down, “You must understand, I am uninterested in identifying the problem.” Her eyes flashing from harsh and cold to sad and pleading, and if she didn’t know better, she could have sworn she felt the woman’s hand on her own. Bianca studied her face, its severe angles, the tautness of her hair, the perfect shape of her lips, frightening in all its perfect glory from across from room, appeared only desperate so close up. She listened in the quiet of the parlor for something more, shutting out Reggie’s anxiety and Hugh’s constant hum, but only the faint sound of Lady Allerton’s soprano spoke in her mind, Please.

Hugh’s sigh broke her concentration as he announced to the room as if everyone in it should have already known, “It is almost impossible to remove a specter without first determining what, exactly, it is.”

“It is a ghost,” she snapped her head toward the man, her tone icy enough to make even him shiver, “And you will rid this place of it by Christmas.”

***

Bianca, Hugh, and Reggie are some of my forgotten ghost hunting characters from an attempt at a pseudo steam-punky, Victorian England type world. I kind of want to write a Christmas ghost story with them? But do I have the time? I’m not even sure where this is going right now except, obviously, right here.

Blogmas: Exhaustion

How is it already setting in? It’s only day 13, not even a fortnight, and yet I am just…blah. I am so blah I got unnecessarily angry at Husband this morning on what was a really important day for him. Not because it was an important day, of course, but because I’m a little overwhelmed. And that’s really dumb because no one should be overwhelmed by Christmas. Christmas shouldn’t be an obligation, and that’s exactly what I said I wasn’t going to let it be when I started this whole thing.

But here’s the truth: holidays are almost always at least a little obligatory for women. In most cases we bear the emotional load of our relationships, or are at least expected to. And as a lifelong people pleaser, I have an especially hard time with this. I did all the shopping for Husband’s family and my own. When he tells me I don’t have to do this, I tell him yes I do because my options are either do the shopping or get blamed for the shopping not being done because it doesn’t really occur to most people that the male spouse of a hetero couple should be responsible for at least 50% of everything in a household, and perhaps even 100% responsible for tasks to do with his family of origin. So my real options are A) get it done or B) disappoint people and be seen as “that bitch,” and my chronic people pleasing gives me too much anxiety for B.

I’ve also been staying up too late recently. I realize I’ve probably never said this, but I get up at 4:30 on weekday mornings. That’s early! Husband and I drive together since we work really close to one another, and we leave by 6:30, so I use those two hours for yoga, showering, getting ready, cat care things, and sometimes a chore. Two hours goes by really fast, especially if you get distracted by your wordpress feed, but I’ve really come to be a morning person thanks to yoga. The only problem is, in order to get eight hours of sleep, I need to be asleep by 8:30. Not in bed, but a-fucking-sleep. My compromise is to have my Fitbit remind me to start getting ready for bed at 8:45 so I can be under the covers by 9:00. But if you have any idea when my last couple blogs were posted, you know that did NOT happen.

Also, I’ve got my period right now, so the fatigue could just be from how hard my uterus is working to slough out all these dead cells. Who knows!

Ultimately, I am tired. But not tired of Christmas. I’m still really pleased when I look at my tree, and I’m excited about upcoming plans. The biggest problem right now, I think, is that my house is a mess. There are boxes and receipts everywhere. It needs to be vacuumed and wiped down, laundry–clean and dirty–is piling up as well as dishes despite that I’ve hardly cook at home recently, and things just feel so disorganized! I know that I only truly feel relaxed when my house is clean and organized, and this is probably my problem. Oh woe is me to have such big problems, eh?

I wish I had a fun story to tell today or a project I’m working on, but really, I’m just getting by. I’m hoping to cook some soup this weekend, do some crafts, finish up all my presents and get this house in order for the final push, so maybe the next couple days will be more interesting. But for now, well, it’s 7:30 and I think I’m about to go to bed.

Blogmas: A Wreath

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I did a Christmas craft! Yeay! Well, I guess technically it’s a Yule craft, according to the name. When I showed Husband the finished product, he made a legit “woah” face, told me “That’s freaking cool” and said it reminded him of Hermes which, in many ways, was what I was kind of going for (also Artemis, obviously).

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Supplies and my scratched up table. It has seen its fair share of crafts.

I wanted a wreath, and I figured I could make one, and if I was going to make one, I should go all in and make exactly what I wanted. No greenery here! I took some inspiration from Homemade Ginger for the twine background. I thought it had a distinctly witchy vibe, then tried to take it in a little more wintery direction.

Everything came from Michaels except the twine which just came from my mini craft closet thing. I found sprigs of gold/off-white/glittery things at the store that I thought went well together and were also on sale. They were really big, but I intended to cut everything apart anyway.

I started with a metal ring and wrapped it in the twine–this was both for the aesthetic of the twiney look and to give everything I’d glue to it something to grab onto. Then I continued with the twine and wrapped it about, criss-crossing the ring. My one regret here was not looping the twine around the ring every time I crossed it. In some places I just when around the ring instead of looping it totally to make it sturdy. I’m afraid the strings might come loose in the future.

That got tied off when I felt it was right and then I started laying out the pieces of my flowers where I thought they should go. Again, this was all a feeling, but I stuck with the more neutral gold leaves as the base, then added in the glittery leaves in distinct groups since they were visually louder. Since they were originally these really tall sprigs, they had wire running through them, so I was able to twist them around the ring until I was ready to start hot gluing which I did from the back at first, then when it dried I added some to the front under the leaves for stability.

The antlers were planned for the bottom, of course, and the flowers were strewn around to cover up and parts of the metal still visible. Like a lot of artsy fartsy projects, it was mostly by feeling: what looked good to me and would I be willing to continue staring at as time went on? I can stare at this and not get sick of it, I think. I’m just glad I got this done before the new year, honestly.

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Obligatory filtered photo.

And here’s a little diddy for you to turn up while you’re crafting this holiday season:

Blogmas: Not At All What I Planned

Today went very differently than I thought it would. I had grand plans of a morning workout and an afternoon DIY. Instead, I found a dog while I was out walking, a small chihuahua like rat-dog, and of course I had to bring it home and find its owner. After posting on Nextdoor, Facebook, and taking a trip to the Humane Society to check for a chip, we came up empty-handed on an owner, but we took him for a couple walks and talked to our neighbors and one of them recognized him and directed us to another house, and the ladies that lived there were so excited to see him!

BUT! He was not their dog! Apparently they found him on Thanksgiving, so he’s been missing from him home for a while. They had a bed for him and food and supplies, so essentially they’d adopted him, but were willing to adopt him out if someone else wanted him. We are a cat house (no, not that kind), so we weren’t going to keep him, but another neighbor is considering adopting him. I’m not sure what will come of it, but he’s safely with another family for the time being.

Now, I do not like little dogs. They yap and piss and bite and are all around really mean, but this dog, THIS DOG, was the sweetest, most polite, quiet, cute puppy I’d ever met. He just ran right up to me on the sidewalk and let me pick him up and cuddle him since he was shivering (it was in the 50s here today, but it was in the 80s Friday, so quite a temperature change) and nervous, but I took him home and he was so freaking polite! He was even afraid of our cats! And after a few minutes, he wanted nothing more than to just sit on my lap and take naps. This is the definition of good boy:

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I cannot even.

I guessed he was a chihuahua (maybe some other terrier in there though), and we wanted to call him something other than “doggo” so we started calling him Paco, which in retrospect may have been a little racist, but when we found the lady who had been keeping him, Rosa who only spoke Spanish (translated for us by her sister), they showed us the little house they’d made for him:

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Serendipitous, no?

So Paco is in some version of home tonight, and while I was really excited to blog about the awesome night we had yesterday (we went to a SHOW) and possibly about a DIY project I was going to do today, none of that’s happening because I’m too exhausted to even dye my hair which is on the verge of being a necessity. Even after a nap! BEING A SAVIOR IS EXHAUSTING.

Blogmas: Favorite Commercials

I don’t watch TV anymore. With the advent of on demand internet-watching stuff, cable has gone out the window for me and so have commercials. While I’m mostly happy about that, there are a couple Christmas-y commercials that used to come on every year that I really liked. So in order to totally half-ass this blog today, here are a few of my favorites.

Hershey Kisses – who doesn’t love that little extra bell at the end?

Gap – Any of those weird ass Gap commercials from the 90s/00s are a fucking treat:

Coca Cola Polar Bears – Remember when this was like the height of CGI?

Folgers Siblings – Every line in this thing is golden, and you know exactly why:

And the Christmas advert to end all adverts. If I need to cry for any reason, I just put this on (this also counts as the music for today because I wasn’t being lazy enough!):