28 November 2012

Advent Calendars...

Or in my household
{because for some reason the mention of religion sends my fiance into fits of the vapors}
Christmas Countdown Calendars.

I love these things.  I don't know why.
We NEVER had them when I was growing up.
{lack of religious upbringing = no need for an advent calendar}
But I always liked the idea, and have loved some of the handmade alternatives to the cheesy chocolate ones you can find at the dollar store.

This year, I made my own.

yes, this is my inexplicable fake brick wall. my cool antique ornaments, passed down for generations.  a few in my collection of Santas. and a mini nativity scene thing...well, it's just Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus...and the Star.  And the suhweet Christmas Countdown calendar I made!
My "advent" calendar was made from a kit from Close to my Heart.

Via the magic of Pintrest, I have found a TON of other cool handmade Advent calendar ideas.
My favorite ones all have something different than chocolate:
Slips of paper with special holiday activities!
Such a cute idea, especially because a lot of the time we spend more time worrying through the holidays, than taking time to enjoy them and remember why we're celebrating.

What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions/decorations?

{ps- did you enter my giveaway yet?}

27 November 2012

Some pretty things.

So maybe you guys didn't know this...
But I totally have an Etsy shop.

 Where you can go and buy some pretty things that I make.
Like this stuff:

anchor ornaments

vintage inspired necklace

cute owl necklaces

vintage inspired floral bracelet
Because I love you guys, and it's almost Christmas, AND I love making pretty things, I decided a giveaway is finally in order.  Or specifically, like three of them.
But I'm starting with this one!

I'm giving away $25 in store credit to my online shop, LolitaRose!

In addition, I'm having a sale in my shop until November 30th, 15% off any purchase in my shop, with use of the coupon code HAPPY15.

Enter the giveaway below!  Good luck!
{open until Dec. 5th}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 November 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend!

Well as usual, you're about to see exactly ZERO pictures.
Seriously, I stink at the whole "capturing memories with a camera" thing.
{new year's resolution: a picture a day!}

Here's the rundown:
Thursday - dinner with my fiance's family, then my family later.

Friday - clean like a mad woman in preparation of Saturday.

Saturday - wake  up like a little kid on Christmas morning because I'm so excited to have everyone to my house for my FIRST ever holiday meal at my house.  We had my fiance's mom's family over (his parents are divorced, and that part consists of like 7 people so we all fit in my house haha!) and I was SO nervous!  But as it turns out...I am a really good Thanksgiving food cook!

Sunday - wake up early again to decorate the house with Christmas stuff!

Monday morning - i have a cold.  BOO!

All in all, a very amazing holiday weekend, spent with {almost} all of the people I love the very most.

How did your holiday go?

{PS - I will be posting a recipe with pictures of my amazing Thanksgiving stuffing!!  It was soooooo delish! Can't wait to share with you guys!}

22 November 2012

happy thanksgiving!

Today, feeling thankful for my family.

All of it.

Even the bits that I don't get to share DNA with.

c/o elizabeth pellette {thank you!}

21 November 2012

know what i'm doing right now???

Filling my face.
Hell to the yeah last-day-of-work-before-Thanksgiving-4-day-weekend-break Potluck.

Know what this means?
The holidays are upon us.

By holidays, I of course mean the excuses I have to eat any and everything in my sight...

Did I tell you guys that when I picked up my wedding dress in October, that I tried on and ordered in August...the boobs barely zipped in?
Ummmm yeah.

Basically, mama's gotta watch herself.

But ya know what?
I'll stuff myself for the next four days.
And then eat rabbit food til Christmas.
And then...fingers crossed...
Keep bustin' my arse to keep at the same size til February when I have my first dress fitting.

Happy Thanksgiving.

18 November 2012

some more stuff I'm thankful for.

Exhibit A - My Mama.
Affectionately known as "Ma, Mama, MUM, Mommy, mummy, mahmah, MOM!"
Also, Cheryl when the above names fail to gain a response.
{apparently birthing five children means you forget your name is MOM sometimes!!!! hah}

my ma is the one in front totally blocking my face and kissing my sistah on the forehead.

Exhibit B - My dad.
Also known as "pops, daddy-o"
And sometimes Thor, though only to our friends that are terrified of him.
Also, I am a bit more than convinced that he is in fact a secret agent of some kind.

obviously the gentleman behind me with his tongue sticking out is my father.


Also, I started a twitter.
Apparently I am now a Twit.

{see what i did there?}
follow me if ya wanna:

17 November 2012

{coffee mug swap reveal}

So I think we can safely assume ya'll know how fairly obsessed I am with swaps, yes?
Well I found a really amazeballs one over on Nat's blog.
A coffee mug swap.

Say what?!?!?
I friggin' love mugs!
I buy one like every time I go to the store.
So, I needed to participate in this.

My partner is Sarah.
Not to brag or anything, but she's one of the most awesome people I've ever met.
{ok, she lives far away and we haven't actually "met" but you get my gist, yeah?}
She is absolutely amazing. Funny and smart and just awesome.
Seriously.  Go check out her blog immediately.
GO.  I'll wait.

Welcome back :)
So the lovely Sarah totally knocked this shizz outta the ballpark on this.
I cannot believe how awesome everything is.
And I am seriously in awe.

1 - A ridiculously beautiful mug with my initial on it!
2 - Chocolate mint tea.  What?!??!!?  AMAZING.
3 - Hot cocoa mixes.  I LOVE me some hot cocoa.
4 - A lovely card and letter. <3
5 - Candy cane Hershey's kisses {that you can't see because I hid them in the mug. They will be devoured shortly.}
6 - nail polishes! one of my favorite brands too! {these were totally unexpected and completely awesome. I change my nail polish constantly.}

Sarah, thank you so much!
I cannot even explain how excited I was for everything.  It has been SO much fun getting to know you, and I know this is the beginning of a great friendship!

15 November 2012

cafe mocha.

I suppose I could have just titled this "CoffeeTalk" like a normal person, but whatever.
I like Mocha.
It's flippin' delicious, okay?

Linkin' it up with Nat.
Because she's awesome.

1. What is your worst habit?
You might not know this, having not met me in real life, but I'm kind of a bitch.
Most of what I say or do (intended or no) comes off as being snarky, mean, and kinda bitchy.
Lets just say, when you are my cashier at WalMart, I am NOT your friend.
Especially during lunch time.  I am evil when hungry.
Apparently  I just most commonly use the tone of voice that says I'm being bitchy even when I'm really not being that way. 

2. What is your biggest pet peeve? (no, not biggest pet!)
Stupidity / Lack of common sense.
I do not suffer fools lightly.
{Please ignore the fact that I can be a huge ditz.}

3. What is annoying you right this very minute?
Being at work.
{don't worry, it's break time right now. not actually typing this during work time.}
But really. I just want to go home and beach like a friggin' whale.

4. How do you relieve stress?
I should probably figure that out.
Because honestly, I am stressed out constantly as of late.
Every little thing seems to set me off.
It's dumb.

5. What TRULY makes you happy?
I really don't know the answer to this question right now.
I should probably re-answer when I'm not hungry.
Because I am MISERABLE when I'm hungry.
Really, like a two year old.
But also...
Mac and cheese makes me happy.
Pumpkin pie.
Cuddles with my babe.
Coupons for my fave stores.
yeah, like the kind you drink and the kind you give other people.

Coffee Talk with Natalie Blair

14 November 2012


Ok. I kind of fell off my own bandwagon.

Clearly I am horrible at remembering things to be thankful for.
{guess who's a huge grinch in real life? this girl. sorry. i hate everything. especially mornings. like realllly really hate morning.  it's just so...early.  and then i'm getting to work when it's like dark...and coming home when it's like dark...boo. boo boo boo. not bueno.}

However, a brief chat with my mother this morning reminded me...that I forgot to tell you how thankful and grateful I am for my brothers.
Yup, I have two of them.
They're both {much} younger than me. Well, six and nine years younger. I love them. They're my baby boys. And probably always will be, even when we're all old and those mofos have to wear depends.  Seriously.

This is me (in the middle) with all my siblings.  The one who's face you can barely see is my sister Kelli.  Then Nanci's the blonde next to me.  The adorable young man at the bottom is my youngest brother Hawk (no lying, his ACTUAL name), and the other goofball is my bro Josh.  LOVE these guys. SO much.
The story that made me remember how much I love my brothers?
{yeah, as though I actually forget that...}

"So did you know about the time Hawk punched Jody in the face?"
{Jody being my sister Kelli's husband}
"Haha I totally forgot about that!"
"Yeah, it was back when your sister was still in high school and they had been fighting so Kelli was crying, and somehow Hawk ran into him when he got dropped off for football practice and punched him right in the face!  The kid was nine years old!  I asked him why he did it and he said 'Well he hurt my sister, so I hurt him!' "

13 November 2012


Ok, technically this is still thirty days of thankfulness.
Who am I kidding?  I never write stuff down every day.  These things need to be thought out before I write it down.  Thus, you shall now be regaled with some awesomeness I've discovered instead.

What awesomeness?
Have you ever participated in these things??
They pretty much rock, excepting in the instance when I definitely did NOT get something that was even remotely something I'd like, have a need for, or use (despite making sure the person knew my tastes...it was sheer laziness on their part. LAME)

The latest awesomeness?

And ya'll should know by now how I love me some Christmas.  Amiright???  Right.

I am pretty excited especially to have found this swap because...
of that one episode of the Office when Andy gets Erin for his Secret Santa partner and decides to send her the twelve days of Christmas...
And pretty much the first half is birds.
Hilarity ensues.
And then he's totes adorbz with the twelve drummers drumming and awwwwz.

Anyway, have a peek over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps and find out if you'd be interested or not.
You might get paired with me!
{and let's face it...I'm uh maze ingggg}


12 November 2012

being thankful...{9,10,11,12}

Clearly, I'm awesome at sticking to goals.
"I shall write a new blog post daily!"
Yes, that has obviously happened...
Obviously I've been vacant a few days.

Today, I discovered a website called Makes Me Think.
I've browsed through some of the entries for the last little while, and I feel like sharing some of them better expresses my thankfulness than anything I could write right now.


-Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. "So," I tried to delicately ask, "What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?"  "Well," she responded, "What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?" MMT

-Today, I was working in a coffee shop when two gay men walked in holding hands.  As you might expect, heads started turning.  Then a young girl at a table next to me asked her mom why the men were holding hands.  Her mom replied "Because they love each other." MMT

-Today I waited on an elderly woman at the local restaurant where I work.  She left me a $90 tip on a $10 tab with a handwritten note that said "I'm 86 and can't take this with me.  So please spoil yourself with it." MMT

-Today, my 21 year old son's band alternative rock band recieved a record deal from a major record label.  I spent the last five years trying to convince him that college was the smarter way to go.  But he stood his ground and pursued his dream.  And now he's living it.  MMT

-Today I saw a pretty scary looking guy who had a tall blue mohawk and tattoos and piercings all over his body.  He was helping my elderly neighbor take her trash down to the curb.  My neighbor told me afterwards that he was just walking by and offered to help. MMT

-Today I asked my six year old son what he wants to be when he grows up.  He said "Mommy, all I want is to be happy."  MMT

08 November 2012

coffee talk & being thankful {day 8}

Linking up as ever with Nat. <3
Coffee Talk with Natalie Blair

{Sidenote that has nothing to do with anything...
I keep gaining & losing a follower.
It took forEVER to get to 50, and this morning I had 53...now 52.
This makes me sad.
Am I really that uninteresting?
I think I'm funny.
That counts for something}.

1. When is your birthday? How old will you be? What is your sign?
August 30th. 27. Virgo.

2. What's the BEST birthday gift you've ever gotten? What is the WORST gift?
The best gift is always just that I've managed to survive another year.
Also - new laptop.
And the inexplicable hedgehog charm my love got me for my Pandora bracelet.
Oh yeah, and the time my friend's band played happy birthday to me at my house. Like loud enough to irritate my hateful neighbors.
The worst?  Probably every time people forget my birthday and I don't get cake. I need cake!

3. Do you like having birthday parties for yourself? What about surprise birthday parties? 
I'm all about celebrating my day.
But I hate people. Well, large gatherings.
Especially cuz they all usually drink and smoke too much, two things I don't do, equalling zero fun for me.  I think I'm past the birthday bashes. Boo.

4. What is your dream birthday party bash??? 
Me & my man.
And cake, LOTS of cake.
Also shopping. With limitless funds.
Yes, that is a birthday party bash to me.

5. What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? [handmade, store bought, made fresh by a baker]
All kinds. I friggin love cake.

6. What is on your birthday wish list? 
Well my bday isn't for MONTHS yet...so I really don't know.
Probably something sparkly.

Being thankful...
Um.  Here's a story.

So, where I live is only about ½ hour away from a few little Amish communities. Thus, it’s not so unusual for me to go shopping at Wal-Mart and find a horse & buggy parked out front. It’s a pretty regular occurrence. Ya know, not allowed electricity or lawn mowers, but shopping at Wal-Mart is cool. (Sorry, I just don’t “get” the Amish thing. Not trying to bash them or anything, but with the technology and lifestyle I’ve grown up with it’s all a little odd to me.)
Do you know how long it takes to take a horse and buggy the distance that’s only ½ hour by car? A LONG time. The drive from WNY to the Dakotas takes only 24 hours (um, if you speed a lot like my dad), but on a horse? Sheesh. There’s a reason the west took so long to be settled.

Today, I am thankful for motor vehicles.Especially because there was a copious layer of frost over everything this morning. So thank you also, inventor of the heating system in motor vehicles. Oh! And windshield wipers. And headlights.

07 November 2012

being thankful {day 7}

Today, I'm thankful for music.
Music is as much a part of my life as food.
Music changes everything.

Think about it:
Would the scary parts of scary movies be as scary without the dramatic music?
Would a wedding ceremony be as lovely if everyone walked down the aisle in silence?
Would the hills be alive if there was no sound of music?

I think not.


06 November 2012

being thankful {for the vote!}

Today I am thankful for the right to vote.

Guess what, lazy Americans {mostly this is me.} ?
You didn't always have this right.
In fact, women didn't have this right until like the 1920's, and at first it was only women who owned land.
Actually, when people did first vote, it was only wealthy landowners.

Remember what we went through to have this right.
Keep it sacred.


{via bing}

05 November 2012

being thankful {day 5}

Today, I am thankful for indoor plumbing.

I am so lucky to be able to have clean water to bathe in daily.
To have clean water to drink and cook with daily.
To have enough clean water that I can go to the bathroom in it.

So many people in this world do not have this luxury.
People do not have the access to clean, fresh, good water we Americans take for granted.

So yeah, today I'm grateful for toilets.    

04 November 2012

being thankful {day 4}

So here's a heavy one for a Sunday:
Today, I am thankful for lessons learned from cancer.

I am not thankful for the disease.
I am not thankful for people getting the disease.
I am truly thankful for the things I have learned because of this disease.

Because of cancer, I have learned:
Love.  The love of family, of friends, of community.  Of the way people will band together to help someone who's sick, to take care of those left behind by the illness, to help heal the pain left when those we love are taken from us before they should be taken.

Family.  Some ties are stronger than blood.  Sometimes people you think of as just friends suddenly become an inseparable piece of your life, until they're more your family than those who share DNA ever were.  

Faith.  Being raised outside of a belief system, I have no core belief in the Christian God, or any other god for that matter.  But I have learned that someone must have a greater plan for us, even when things seem to happen for no reason.

Take this:
A friend who I've bowled with for nearly 6 years now was diagnosed with cancer last spring.
Her and her husband explained that this past summer was the best they've ever had in their 20 some years together.  Why?  Her diagnosis opened up both of their eyes to the gaps they'd been leaving in their relationship (with each other and their kids).  They'd been focused elsewhere, and hadn't spent enough time just being with each other, taking time to know and love each other, taking time to do fun things instead of just being tied up in working so much.

Remember to never take someone for granted, because you never know how long or short your time with them may be.

created by me. click here for the printable download!


03 November 2012

being thankful & yummy stuff!

Today, I am thankful for my fiance.
At the moment, it's mostly because he surprised me with the Jurassic Park trilogy when I was sick on Thursday.  But also because he makes me smile like 98% of the time {which is a lot btw}.  And because he is so handsome.  And because he always has something nice to say to me when I'm really upset over stupid things {which is often}.  And, because he's all mine for always.
Oh yeah, you probably want something totally yummy too.
How does Apple Cider Sangria sound? 
Well, obviously.

 I found this recipe on Pintrest, via this awesome blog
Basically, her whole site is foodporn.
 And the pictures are way better.
But for my version, I switched it up because...
a - I was too lazy to read the directions properly
b - my pitcher was sadly small
c - I just wanted to drink wine
d - all of the above.

So, here's mine:
1 - Jonagold apple (I think that's the kind. Idk. Pretty sure whatever apples you like will work fine.)
1.5 - cups of apple cider. good stuff.
1/2 - cup of brandy (that's one half, not one or two)
1/2 - cup club soda
a bunch of wine. in this case Barefoot Riesling.
{the measurement is a bunch because I put the rest of the ingredients in my tiny pitcher then just added wine til it was full. then drank a glass.  then added more wine.}
So yeah. Then you stir it all up and drink a bunch.
Oh, you should probably chill it for awhile too.
But who are we kidding?  Let's just drink it.



02 November 2012

dear friday...& being thankful

my beautiful stepdaughter in her costume.  she's the goddess Artemis, BTW.
dear friday: hello. thank you for finally being here. dear fiance: thank you for being the BEST ever and giving me the Jurassic Park trilogy I've been dying for for two years.  dear sweet tea: thank you for making me feel better every time i drink you.  dear nephew: i hope i'm feeling better enough to see you this weekend again!  dear walking dead: sunday can't come soon enough!!

Today, I am thankful for sisters.
Well, I'm thankful for my sisters anyway.

01 November 2012

Being Thankful & a lil coffee talk

Well first, since it is Thursday and I missed it last week, here's a little Coffee Talk with Nat.

Coffee Talk with Natalie Blair

1. If you could punch ANY celebrity in the face, who would it be and why?
Jesse James, because he's a damn fool for what he did to Sandra Bullock. And then to Kat von D.
Also, Angelina Jolie.  Because she can't possibly be as good and decent of a person as she pretends to be.  She collects kids like some people collect purses. 
2. If you could go streaking (running naked for those who don't know) anywhere and get away with it, where would you do it?
Well, I'm a burlesque dancer (yeah i haven't performed in ages shutup) so I have been practically naked on stage in front of people a bunch of times.  And more people have actually  seen me in the buff than I'd like to admit to.  So I guess I wouldn't really feel like streaking too much.
3. What’s more important to a relationship: common values or commonalities (like tastes in music, interests, etc.)?
In a relationship (like a boyfriend/girlfriend one) both of those are really important.  Not that you need to share in every interest your significant other does (holy crap how boring would that be??) but if one of you is a hardcore Christian and the other is an Atheist, imagine raising kids with that. Values are important.  But as far as friendships, commonalities seem to be enough.
4. Would you rather be insane in a functional society, or one of the people running a dysfunctional society?
 We live in a dysfunctional society.  I have not yet be labeled insane...yet.
5. What’s your favorite type of pickle?  Dill?  Bread ‘n Butter? Spicy?
I realllyyyyyy hate pickles.
um, except for the guy from Metalocalypse.

Today, I am thankful for friends.
It might not be a big deal for some people, but just think about it for a second:
How incredible is it, that out of all of the people in the world, people actually like you for being you, and want to hang out with you and do stuff?  Who'll cheer you up when you're sad, just because you're sad?  Who'll lend you $3 to get a sub at lunch when you're broke, or give you a ride to work cuz you have to share a car with your fiance and have no other way of getting there?
Friends are a big deal.
And mine are pretty awesome.