Annual Birthday Blog!

I know I rarely blog anymore (well, I do blog, but it’s all for AIRMATIC or Worcester Roller Derby these days) but I wanted to continue tradition and post my annual birthday list! I turned 28 today, so this year’s list is 8 things I did this year that I’d never done before. Enjoy!

  1. Joined a roller derby league. This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am learning a ton, getting my ass kicked, and having a freaking blast. The women I skate with are fabulous and I couldn’t ask for better teammates. Love you awesome nerds! (Watch a video of me getting low and hitting hard here!)
  2. Went skydiving. At this year’s annual Cape Cod vacation, Tyler, Em, and I went skydiving together. Few moments in my life measure up to the feeling of stepping out of a plane at 10,000 feet into the open air and just letting go. What a rush! (It didn’t hurt that my instructor screamed “Alohomora!” as our parachute opened. #memories)
  3. Sold a house. Jordan and I put our house on the market back in May and it was under contract within 12 hours. Can’t beat that!
  4. Got a Harry Potter tattoo. I could write a book about how much Harry Potter means to me, but suffice to say that I am quite a fan. Until the very end, Harry.FullSizeRender (15)
  5. Finished writing a novel. That’s right, I finished the book I wrote about in last year’s blog! Yay! I’ve not done anything with it since finishing, but maybe this year I’ll finish final edits and look into publishing!
  6. Binge watched the following shows: Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Longmire, The 100, The Mysteries of Laura, Sirens, Great British Bake-Off, Person of Interest, Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, Duff Till Dawn, Bob’s Burgers, Fuller House, Dance Academy, Zoo, Battle Creek, Degrassi: Next Class, Zero Hour, White Collar, Melissa & Joey, Young & Hungry, Bones, FRIENDS, Leverage.
  7. Read novels by the following authors: J K Rowling (10), Steven King (6), Barbara Kingsolver (4), Jodi Picoult (6), Harper Lee, Phillippa Gregory (5), Cassandra Clare (9), Amy Poehler, Pete Wentz, Haven Kimmel (2), Cormac McCarthy, Sue Monk Kidd, Carol Goodman, Carolyn Keene (3), William Brodrick, plus 900 children’s books (give or take.)
  8. Wore silk pants. Yeah, last year’s birthday resolution was a good one. I wore silk pants, fishnets under denim shorts, shoes with cats on them, crop tops (even though my post-Atticus belly button is a hot mess, floor-length fundie-style skirts, and a plethora of Harry-Potter themed garments. I wore what made me happy and it was a great decision. #noregretsIMG_8621

Here’s to 28; may it be even better than 27!

shark shirt

Confession: I love shark week. It’s my favorite week of the year. All sharks, all the time. (Fact: Cows kill more people annually than sharks. Fact: That makes cows land-sharks.) In honor of shark week, I made this fantastic shark shirt.

First, I got a plain gray t-shirt.

Plain Jane.Next, I cut a mouth shape out of red felt.

Don't mouth off.Then I cut a big toothy shape out of white felt.

Grandma! What big teeth you have!Then I laid the teeth on top of the mouth, and sewed around the outside.

Om nom!Shark! (I also resewed the neckline to make it wider and less choke-y.)

Craft 48 of 52: Complete!

I also have a recipe to share today! Emilee and I made these Oreo Truffles at Thanksgiving, and they were so good, I made them for my coworkers for Christmas!

First, you blend a package of Oreos (5-6 at a time) in a food processor until they are a fine powder.

I would snort this, it tastes so good.Then you dump in 8 oz of cream cheese

Mmm.

and mash it together with your (clean) hands until it’s completely combined.

Truffletastic.Toss that in the fridge and let it sit for a half hour or so. It’s much easier to work with when it’s chilled. Once it’s cold, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave.

The first microwave ever produced.Then, scoop 2 inch balls of the Oreo mixture and roll them in the melted chocolate. Put them on a wax paper lined cookie tray and put them in the freezer to store. Here’s the finished product:

Delicioso!I used mint Oreos for the ones covered in white chocolate and regular for the milk chocolate. =D

Fab!Simple and delicious!!

I’m off to eat an early dinner now, and later tonight, J and I are going to a Christmas party! Whee! I love the holidays!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd annual gingerbread party results!

Well, the 2nd Annual Gingerbread Party has come and gone, which means that it’s time for another round of….WINNERS AND LOSERS! Oh wait, that’s SNL’s thing…I’ll just do winners then. =P But first, maybe you want to brush up on last year’s entries, just to see where we’re coming from. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. (We had a slight change in line-up this year as some of our guests couldn’t make it and we added some new contestants.) Okay, you ready?!

BEST INDEPENDENT ACT

The fortress!This belong’s to Kyle (whose wife couldn’t make it this year. We missed her a ton, but we also had a chance of winning without her there dominating!). That bottom layer is made up of 4,549,230 individually wrapped assorted chocolate bars. It’s sturdy is what I’m saying. I also think the pretzel ramp is a nice touch, as well as the floating platforms on both sides. It should also be noted that Kyle made this in half the time as everyone else because he spent the first part making a portion of someone else’s (read: Jordan’s and my) gingerbread masterpiece. Good work, Kyle!

Alriiight!

MOST IMPROVED (AND ALSO BEST HOUSE BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE MADE A “HOUSE”)

What an improvement!!This belongs to Rob and newcomer Cara. Last year, Rob and Alex made a mess. This year, Rob and Cara kicked butt. Let’s take a closer look!

Ooh! Ahh!We’ve got a garden (full of apples, pumpkins, and flowering plants!) A stepping stone path! Santa’s sleigh with reindeer (see red Rudolph leading the pack?)! A wobbly chimney! A silo! SWITCH TO AERIAL VIEW!

The birds are so lucky.I think those are trees in the back there, behind the garden, plus there’s a fantastic creek running through the back yard! Bottom line, this house is fantastic. Good work, Rob and Cara!!

MOST HISTORICALLY ACCURATE

Get ready to be blown away.This was made by Jordan and me, and in case you couldn’t tell, it’s the USS Arizona sinking, because yesterday was Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. On the left, we’ve got the USS Arizona half-submerged in the water, while its occupants try to evade the sharks that hunt them in the water. (That happened, right?) On the right, we’ve got an airplane hangar and runway, and some landlubbers desperately throwing rope to their swimming comrades. Full disclosure: Kyle made the boat. Whatever. I added the pretzels to it and made the waves lapping eagerly at the shoreline, so I think it’s even. Go, team!

MOST AMBITIOUS AND ALSO MOST TERRIBLE

Oh. Ohhh.This belongs to Jess, Wonsie, and Weller. (“Jess and Wonsie?” you say, “But theirs was so good last year!!” I KNOW!) So this started out being a prison. It had windows cut out of graham crackers and bars on those windows and everything. It was top-notch. And then something went wrong and it became a scene from The Walking Dead instead, where half of it was standing, but the other half had obviously suffered a zombie attack. They had Walking Dead characters in the mix (two of them dying, plus Carl outside with a shotgun) and it was still pretty good. Then something terrible happened. Now everything is covered in Cheetos and there are dead Sour Patch Kids everywhere. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. =P

BEST NEWCOMER (AND ALSO JUST REALLY GOOD)

FENWAY!This belongs to Shawn and Megan who didn’t attend last year (because we didn’t know them last year.) Obviously, it’s Fenway Park. I like the cheering sprinkle fans as well as the pretzel supports outside the stadium! It just all feels so realistic; I can almost hear the cheering! Good job, guys, we dig it!

So that’s that! We had a blast and hope our guests did, too! Now we’re off to scrub the icing off of our tabletops. =P

Hope everyone has a great weekend (and remember to vote on the annual poll!)

the long and the short of it.

I cut my hair today.

Well, actually, I had it cut. By a lovely woman named Jamie at Hair Cuttery who listened to everything I wanted, gave great advice, and didn’t try to talk me out of it. Which was unexpected, because my instructions to her were “I’d like you to cut off all my hair, please.”

Before I went to the salon, I googled something about really short hair. (I can’t remember the exact phrasing. Something along the lines of “will really short hair be a terrible idea?”) The results that came back were incredible. There were sites telling you what short haircut would suit your face shape, sites detailing women’s experience with getting their hair cut very short, and forums where people explained the reasons women should never have short hair. Here are some quotes that stood out the most:

“[W]hen I really thought about it, I wanted to be the girl with the short hair. I wanted to be Helen Slater in The Legend of Billie Jean. I wanted to be Winona Ryder in Reality Bites. I wanted to be Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. I wanted to transcend my hair.” – Rita Arens

“Every time a girl does this to her hair, she’s either just broken up with her boyfriend or she’s planning to.” – Chinny Chin Chin

“When the world sees you differently, so you, too, see the world differently. When you cut off your hair and are perceived as less feminine, you start to feel more butch, more powerful, more level with your male peers. How you perceive yourself doesn’t necessarily change — nor should it — but you become acutely aware that you are perceived differently. People interact with you differently, and your opportunities for interaction change.” – Jolie O’Dell

“My wife, Carly, has a long, straight, sexy bob–if she ever got a crew cut like Halle [Berry], I’d leave her–No wonder Halle’s boy toy left her!” – Chris Peitel

“When I cut my hair short almost three years ago, I didn’t mean to send any messages; I just wanted to look nice. Since then, however, I seem to be radiating some signal that I am a lesbian. If I am confusing people, I do not mean to, so apologies for any mix ups.” – Suzanne Reisman

“It is in our nature to be attracted to women with long healthy hair, just as it is attractive for a woman to have larger breasts.” – T-Bear32

“Maybe I can [cut off all my hair,] but I can’t do it without making a statement. Everyone I meet will think the statement is about something else. And maybe I would be making a statement. The statement that I don’t want my hair right now, and I should be able to make that decision myself.” – Kate Fridkis

I read a lot of articles and here’s what I decided: Short hair has nothing to do with how feminine or how masculine I am. It has nothing to do with my sexual orientation. It shouldn’t make me unappealing to men, but if it does, that’s okay. It doesn’t make me a feminist, and it doesn’t make me a radical. Having short hair makes me a woman who got her hair cut. And I’m quite okay with that. =)

Here’s the before:

Oh, hey there, me.

And here’s the after:

Aww, yeah. =P=)

EDIT: I need to clarify. I am a feminist. I believe in equal rights for both men and women. What I meant to say is that getting my hair cut short is not what makes me a feminist.

love love love

Happy Birthday, J!

<3

I love you!

reindeer love me.

It’s true, they do.

To return the affection, I made myself a woolen skirt out of this fabric:

REINDEER!

I cut two 28.5″ by 21″ pieces and sewed the short sides together with french seams. Then I hemmed the top and pinned it to a loop of elastic already measured and sewn to fit around my waist.

It got kind of bunchy because there was so much fabric.

In order to keep the waistband flat, I sewed down the top and bottom of that hem with a zigzag stitch.

Yeah!The straight stitch is the hem on the top, the two zigzags are what’s holding the elastic to the knit. After that, I hemmed the bottom and, voila, the finished product:

I love it!Craft 43 of 52: Complete!!

Unrelated: Everyone should watch this video because it’s great.

sora and her balloon

Dawn gave me a balloon on my birthday and when I brought it home, Sora claimed it as hers:

24 candles on my cake

24 Things I’m Grateful For

1. My family. I have the best mish-mash of biological family, in-law family, and by-marriage family that anybody could ask for! I’ve got four great parents, two great sisters, two great brothers, and a myriad of great cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents that make me smile every time I think of them! How lucky am I?!

2. Jordan, of course! He’ll be embarrassed if I write mushy things so I’ll just say how happy I am to be married to my best friend. =)

3. Sora, Sisko, and Macbeth. There’s nothing quite like curling up at night and having a rough little sandpaper tongue lick your nose before snuggling under the covers with you, or hearing a the little snores of a snoozing hamster as he twitches in his sleep!

4. My apartment. I like our neighbors, and our neighborhood, and our underground bunker! I love the little home we’ve created here!

5. Caity! Because life is an ugly, awful place not to have a best friend. (Thanks for taking me out for coffee tonight!)

6. Rob. Because life is an ugly, awful place not to have a Rob.

7. My church. I’m grateful we have the freedom to worship any way we choose, but I’m also grateful for this particular church.

8. Frozen yogurt. Because…well, come on: fro-yo.

9. My college degree. I may have whined and moaned a lot (and I mean a lot) while I got it, but I came out with a solid education, and a fancy piece of paper with my name written in calligraphy!

10. The fruit market down the street. I didn’t know it, but my life wasn’t complete until I bought 4 pounds of strawberries for $4.

11. Thrift stores. I’m grateful that I have somewhere cheap to buy things because I’m frugal and I like the mystery that comes with secondhand things, but also for the many stores that donate money to shelters or programs.

12. My job. I like going to work in the morning! I like my co-workers, I like my cubicle, I like the outdoor patio where I eat my lunch. I’m grateful to have a job, and more so, to have a job I enjoy.

13. Taylor Swift. I just feel like my radio would be sad without her.

14. Family traditions. Apple-picking for Jordan’s birthday, cinnamon buns on Christmas morning, the sunrise service in the cemetery on Easter…I’m grateful for all of these things!

15. Trips to Massachusetts. I really like New England. Especially in Autumn.

16. Lessons that were learned the hard way. Nothing like skinning your knees to teach you not to run downhill.

17. Netflix. I wouldn’t be able to watch Saved By The Bell nearly as frequently without it.

18. The fact that my 4 years of high school weren’t the “best years of my life.” I’d be really freaking bummed if they were.

19. My gracelessness. Being clumsy isn’t really a gift (and it certainly isn’t as adorable as they make it out to be in romantic comedies), but blundering through life has its own charm, in that it taught me to really appreciate gracefulness in others. I wouldn’t enjoy watching ballet nearly as much if I could do it myself.

20. Women’s rights. I’m so grateful for my right to vote, my right to work, my right to have an equal say in my marriage. (And while I occasionally find myself on my soapbox anyway, it’s because I’m continuing a movement, not starting one.)

21. Little luxuries. Things like hot showers, cold juice, the softest, best bed in the world. (It’s a Sleep Number!) I’m grateful that these are all things I can appreciate on a daily basis!

22. My sewing machine. I love sewing. Taking Home Ec in 7th grade was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

23. Flats. I’m over wearing heels; fashion be damned.

24. Meat alternatives. Being a vegetarian is a lot easier today than it was even a few years ago. There are very few meals containing meat that I can’t find a non-meat substitute for. I’m really grateful for this because it makes dinner so much easier!

And one to grow on…

25. That every year I grow closer to my family, closer to God, and closer to the person I’d really like to be.

Happy birthday to me!

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A. A. Milne

checkerboard champ

Happy Saturday, friends!

Heads up: I didn’t make this craft, but it’s super cool so I’m blogging about it anyway! This one is by our friend, Rob.

Go get 'em, boys.In this picture, Rob’s rockin’ the hat, and Jordan’s rockin’ the fake mustache. (I’ve learned not to question the things they do.)

Anyway, Rob’s two loves in life are his car and checkerboard designs. The obvious plan would be to combine these two things. He’s already checkerboarded the side view mirrors,

I love this.

so the next step, clearly, was the headliner. For those of you who don’t know what that is (like me before Rob told me) it’s the ceiling of the car.

First, he took it out and scraped all the original fuzzy fabric off of it.I don't know anything about cars, so these won't be very clever.

Then we went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought checkerboard fleece and sprayable glue.

He laid the fleece over the plastic headliner

Rob goes nuts for checkerboards.and stretched it to look nice.

Lookin' good, Rob Millz.Next, he cut off the excess around the edges and cut out holes for the sunroof and the top console. Then he folded the edges around the back and glued everything down.

We're almost there!Finally, he reassembled it into his car!

Whaaaat!And from another angle:

Bar Down is a hockey term, I guess?How nice does that look?! Rob is such a champ. (Ladies, he’s taken. I’m marrying him off to my sister-in-law, for a modest dowry, to keep him in the family.)

So that’s that! I’m off to enjoy this beautiful day now and I hope you are, too!

 

firefly festival

Hi, guys!

J and I are finally awake after sleeping for 10 hours while our bodies tried to recuperate from the festival yesterday. =P (We’re getting too old for this.) It was the coolest day ever though, and we had so much fun! I put together a couple video clips we took for you below, but first, here are some nifty pictures!

The welcome gates!We had to walk just about a mile from the parking lot to these gates. Just thought you should know that. In total, we walked about 7 miles yesterday.

These kids were freaking weird.The crowd (and my pink Toms!) The kids directly in front of us were really freaking weird. We witnessed more awkward/nerdy flirting than my heart could take and it was just painful. Painfully awkward. I dug it.

Om nom!For lunch we had chicken spring rolls (J), vegetable spring rolls (me), pork pot stickers (J), and Korean steamed rice (both of us). We also enjoyed frozen margaritas (me) and Dogfish Head Beer (J). Yum!

Magical!I didn’t edit this picture at all, for the record. It really was that cool. This was after the sun went down, as we headed to the main stage to see the Killers. They lit up the trees with all sorts of colors and it was just magical!

Hot air balloon!And finally, the hot air balloon! We didn’t go up in it, but it was still really cool. =P

That said, here’s the little video we put together. Enjoy!

In conclusion: the bands were great, the people were weird (but nice!), the food was better than expected, and the weather was perfect! Couldn’t have asked for a better day!

kitty

 

 

 

 

 

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