Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weiner dogs on Wednesday, Halloween edition!

Happy Halloween from Whem and Osc!!

This is a pic from 2 years ago, the only year I ever successfully had Oscar in a costume. He usually snarls and adamantly refuses!

I look like I got hit with the ugly stick...but I love my little Jager bomb :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween from the proud sister of an Aspie!

My sister has Asperger's syndrome (an Autism spectrum disorder,) and for that reason, this melted my heart...particularly the part about not wearing a costume. She has always had an issue with texture, and Halloween costumes are not always the best material and don't feel great on your skin, I can remember this being an issue as a kid.

Tomorrow, a lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say "trick or treat" or "thank you" might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It's everyone's Halloween.

Haunted Hallow

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working a second job the entire month of October.  Haunted Hallow is a 25 minute haunted walk through an old farm, including four terrifying barns and lots of scary creatures lurking in between barns as you walk through.

My sister, Erin, has been doing makeup at Haunted Hallow for a few years and loves it. When I moved back home, she casually mentioned something about coming to work there this year, and I was all "sure, whatever."

When September rolled around, it was time to actually go to the meeting and sign up for this place. Hannah and I were still in "whatever," mode...I could certainly manage 11 nights of work for the extra cash.

 Hannah and I both absolutely refused to put costumes on, wear makeup, or do any scaring though...we signed up to sell tickets or concessions, help with makeup and costumes...anything but scaring. No way Jose. the second night, I was totally hyped. I LOVE Halloween anyway, and the owners of this place obviously do too. The farm has something special about it that just made me smile and have a good time, and I couldn't ask for better co workers! From the 18 year old kids to the guy that works with my dad at the funeral home, we all just LOVE Halloween and wanted to have a good time scaring the crap out of people. Hearing people scream made me laugh, because that meant we were doing a damn good job! This place is mad scary...I KNOW where all the actors are, and I still got scared, 4 weeks into it!

Night two...I was in full zombie makeup =)

Night four, I had a permanent position on the trail. A full time ghoul, with a new costume. Say hello to your new nurse...

I couldn't have picked a more perfect job for myself...I got to scare people a bit, but also help and comfort those who were a little TOO scared. I would turn on my flash light and show them that I was just a regular person that likes Halloween, give them a pep talk, and send them on down the the zombies.

This job was exactly what I needed in the midst of my divorce, financial issues and general craziness in life. I had been feeling pretty low about a lot of things...but having a "fun" job to go to and not have to think was amazing.  Plus, did I mention that I LOVE Halloween??

I feel blessed to have met some amazing people while working at Haunted Hallow, people from all walks of life whom I would otherwise never have spoken with.

If my "real" job made me stay up until 1am, stand outside in my scrubs and freeze, yell until I lost my voice, run up and down hills and fields until my back and legs were screaming or put blood all over my face...I'd be looking for a new job ASAP, but I LOVE me some Haunted Hallow!!! I've never been more exhausted, but it was SO worth it!

Our season has come to an end now, one day early thanks to Hurricane Sandy....but check out the website and come see us in 2013. I will definitely be there again!

Oh, and PS...The money that I made at Haunted Hallow is exactly what I need for my divorce! Come on February!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yard sale detail...

It's been a couple weeks...I had to skip yard saleing for two Saturdays IN A ROW due to working a second job for the month of October that kept me out until midnight or later, and then having to go back to work later on Saturday. (More on the second job and all of its awesomeness later!)

If you missed my first Yard sale detail post, you can read it here

But I'm back and ready to roll! Here are my treasures from a girls morning with Gioia and Tina, as well as a few online yard sale finds.

I'm in LOVE with this new bag...the color is perfect for fall and the leather is SO soft! That's right...leather. Real leather and only $8.
Cat's meow...have you ever seen these? They sit on top of the molding in doorways and what not. They used to be more popular. You can get them of pretty much any city in the world. My Ma had tons of them from England.

I have a few, one from Ernest Hemingway's home in Key West, one of my firehouse...well this one is Fauquier High school, where I graduated from. It will NEVER look like this again because they are putting on this monstrous addition, which is hideous by the way. $10...a little more than I usually pay for yard sale stuff, but it had sentimental value :)
Wooden pineapple bowl, going to paint and seal it to make a cute spoon rest by the stove! I'm going to go ahead and admit that I pretty much snatched this out of Tina's hand. My bad. 50 cents.
You can't beat free...or ten cents for that matter! Fiskars scissors sharpener...costs around $10 new, always wanted one, but couldn't justify spending then money.

Two little owls. Need to be spray painted  and sealed because they are chipping in places...and their eyes freak me out. May add some fabric flowers or lace around the bottoms and sell them on etsy as wedding cake toppers :)

If you remember from my first yard sale detail post, I bought a large owl to paint and seal. And I also wrote about my new "whoot," scentsy warmer...which is a big white owl. I dig owls...and spray paint.
This is a VERY heavy little piece. You screw it into the wall with the holes in his ears and bow tie. The upper teeth stick out and it is used as a bottle opener. I got this for my cousin, Brian. He is a tattoo artist near Richmond, and collects all kinds of cool stuff and I thought this would go nicely in his "office." I paid $1 for this weird little guy, but I told Brian that it fell out of my box of Cheerios.
Black and white fabric...50 cents. Can never have too much fabric, right? My mom would dad would ultimately disagree.
Twilight tote for my sister, Erin. 50 cents. She loves her some twilight. I love totes this size, they are good for taking lunch to work or running errands, or carrying gym shoes, or whatever!!
First of all, I need to manage all that crap in my room...yikes! I paid $5 for this mirror and the two little white owls above.

This mirror is pretty awesome. The frame is plastic, but its pretty sturdy. It will be a re-do and sell piece. I'm thinking black frame with black and white fabric flowers made out of the fabric pictured above. As an accent color I tend to ALWAYS use turquoise, so I'm going to try and use purple or something else this time!

So what have you found lately? An $8 genuine leather bag? Some Christmas gifts? I'm excited to see!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weiner dogs on Wednesday

My boy loves pumpkin...unfortunately when you are trying to decorate, he wants to eat those too...
(This pic is obviously from last year...I wouldn't torment myself by putting out my "Oscar and Lyla spook here" signs...missin' my girl, but SO happy to have my Osc!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pinterest motivational challenge 3

I can't believe I've actually followed through with 3 projects! Michelle is SO proud of me :)

You can see our other projects here:
Pinterest motivational challenge 1


Pinterest motivational challenge 2

Our 3rd challenge had to involve the use of #1. Paper and #2. A circle punch. Seems easy enough. There were some kick-ass versions on Pinterest to drool over to get are a few of my favorites:

Circle punch artSuper cute!

circle punch collage
Love these!! So Again, the way that our challenge works, is that we set the ground rules, and both Michelle and I set to work on our project...Her in Wisconsin, and me in Virginia. One week later we post the results and see how different and beautiful (sometimes not so much!) they are!!

So...Here is Michelle's AWESOME version with the awesome Baby Jack, as a model! I love it! I suggested that she do one for all 4 of her rescued dachshunds!
She used blue and green 2 inch circles, and and a 1 inch circle punch to cut out copies of a favorite photo of sweet baby Jack!. The background paper is brown Kraft paper, which is a personal favorite of mine! The frame is from the dollar store. I'm in love with the idea of displaying photos this way! So cute and non-traditional!

And here is mine. As usual, I went a totally different direction =)
I started with a 97 cent pizza pan from Wal-Mart. I liked that it was cheap (I was going to use a canvas, so this was WAY cheaper than that!!) and round like my circles. I used the same size circle punch (1.5inches,) for my whole project. I used turquoise, purple, white, and threw in a few shiny zebra circles for fun and just started gluing away in concentric circles until the pan was covered.

So, there is out #3 challenge...onto #4, which will involve pumpkins!! Don't forget to check back next week to see them!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scentsy Party!!

I know that I mentioned in my hot scented wax...really? post how skeptical of Scentsy I was, and how much I now liked it...well now my sister Hannah is having an online/book please, take a chance on some hot scented wax and try a warmer or a plug in! Believe me, you will not be disappointed!
Just hit the link below, and on the left side you will see "buy from" and you click on Hannah Briner :)

Here are some of my favorites!

These are all my own opinions, Scentsy has not given me anything to act or say anything in their behalf. All of these photos are from the Scentsy website, and I do not claim to have taken them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ribbon, ribbon, who has some ribbon?

I do! That is for damn sure!

I LOVE ribbon...a little too much. In fact, the other day my mom said if I had any scrap ribbon, I should gather it up and give it to her to take to the preschool.

I looked at her, arched one eyebrow, and growled said "I don't share ribbon."

I'm always on the hunt for projects to use up scrap ribbon. Actually I hate that term, "scrap ribbon." It's just ribbon that got separated from its spool, hasn't found its potential yet...that doesn't make it "scrap." Ugh.
When you loose a small child at the mall, do you call it "scrap?" No? I didn't think so. are a few ribbon projects I've done in the past that I love:
My Easter topiary centerpiece done with a Styrofoam ball; pink, green and yellow ribbons; a dowel and a flower pot!
Wrapping presents is a PERFECT use for small, extra pieces of ribbon!
Oscar approved Christmas wreaths! Just buy a cheap Styrofoam or grapevine wreath and tie till your fingers hurt! Add a fun ornament or other charm in the middle for a fun touch :) Tutorial here at my old blog!

40 (or 30 or whatever! sucks) craft/gift bucket with lollipops/suckers. I used TONS of said scrap ribbon on this projects! Tutorial here@ the old blog!

So there are Four projects just off the top of my head...what do YOU use ribbon for???


I stumbled on this absolutely by accident this morning, and had to share...

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.  They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I love my mom...

...but she can be the most forgetful person in the world. This picture was taken at 6am, the van was left like this all night.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weiner dogs on Wednesday

On our way to Mid-Atlantic Dachshund Phest...with Sophie (shes a wannabe Doxie at heart!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recipe book?

I guess in 2012 it is less important to hold onto things such as a recipe book or box the way that our mothers or grandmothers did. When we need a recipe for anything in the world, we are 30seconds away from finding 20 different variations of it, one vegan, one gluten free, one made with only the finest ingrediants flown in from France, etc etc etc on your lap tops or smart phones.

We could even find out what Rachael Ray thinks of it or read the reviews of the last 25 people who visited the website! Amazeballs!
All this said, I stillthink that there is something special about those little boxes or books of best-kept secrets that ALL of our grandmas had, tucked away somewhere in thier kitchens. My gram knew most of those hand-written, concoctions by heart. She raised five hungry kids, she could probably double and triple the recipes in her sleep!

She gave her well worn, metal recipe box to my mom when I was in high school. She was only cooking for one at that point and wanted to pass it on. I loved  looking at the cards where she had written her own mother's recipes onto before she got married, so that she could prepare them for her new husband, and eventually her family. I love that she has chocolate finger prints on some of them, and made little notes in the margins, and has recipes clipped from magazines and newspapers!

My mom also started a similar box just before she married my dad. Hers is a little less worn, a little less used. ha ha...I love my mom, don't get me wrong...she is just not quite the cook that my Gram is :)

When I was 16 or so, I started to write some of my favorite recipes down in a little notebook. I wrote down in the margin which grandma or friend or magazine I had gotten it from. As I grew older and moved into my own home, I started to use this book, despite my access to the internet and it's millions of recipes. These recipes were tried and true! I KNEW these were good, no guess work involved!! I even have recipes in there from my ex-boyfriend's grandma that were Ah-Mazing!

Well...the book is gone, and I suspect it got left in Chicago (super sad face.) I know that I can probably find all of the recipes online, and just print them out, or bookmark them on my computer in case I ever need to find them again...but to tell you the truth, it will never be the same! I'll never be able to browse the pages of my book when I need to bring a dessert to a church potluck and see my chocolate thumb prints and say "YES!! This one was delicious," without a doubt in my mind again.

I've started a new book, and I've started re-copying some of my Gram's recipes from her box...but if anyone has some awesome recipes that they don't mind sharing, PLEASE send them my way ;)

Yard sale detail...

If you don't know already, I spend every Saturday and and Sunday that I can at yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, etc.
When I'm at these places, I try and find thrift stores, consignment shops, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

As much as I love the treasures that I DO end up purchasing there, sometimes the crazy things that I see there and DON'T buy are just as much fun!

Because of this, I'm going to start YARD SALE DETAIL, where I post pictures of the treasures that I find, some of them will be things that have made it home with me and are waiting to be "flipped," into something fabulous, and some will be crazy things I see along the way!

This first edition of Yard sale detail, is just a Saturday morning of yard saleing around my home town of Warrenton, Virginia...
How cool is this old stove? The man said that it still works...but I think it would make an amazing coffee table with a piece of glass on top. You could spray paint it if you wanted...but I think you would loose some of it's character...especially since it is in such good shape!
Old Budweiser mirror. I didn't buy this and I kinda wish I friend Tina's husband is a distributor for Bud and he would love this...but the guy was sketchy about whether or not it worked, and it was at an outdoor sale that didn't have anywhere to test it out. Boo.
Hoot! I did buy this guy! It's one of those owls that you buy to scare off birds and what not. He was a little dirty from being outside but it very good shape. I plan on spraying him with a few coats of primer, and then painting him a creamy white color to match my bed frame and setting him in the corner of my room and he will look very similar to ones found at popular stores EVERYWHERE for a lot more. Here is one I found on pinterest that I love, but had a big old price tag. Mine will cost like $6 when I'm done with him, because I already have the primer!
Isn't he cool?
Think outside the box! Just because he is ceramic, does not mean that your owl HAS to be ceramic to be beautiful! Mine is going to be plasticy and foamy, but by looking at him, no one is going to notice!!
I bought this little bird cage for $1 from a pair of really cute little girls at their mom's yard sale. I plan on painting it either white or turquoise to match my room (the green is very obnoxious in real life, the picture does not do it justice,) and then I could put a little candle in it, or maybe one of those beautiful little bird ornaments that come out at Christmas time. I don't know...haven't decided yet. I just think that bird cages are kinda cool.
Fifty cents...I'll take it!! Probably won't stay gold, but I have no definite plans for it yet. Stay tuned.
This guy was hard to get a good picture of (I just carry my phone when yard saleing to avoid looking like a weirdo with a big ol' camera,) but he is a brown dachshund planter, and he is about 2 feet long! I paid way more than I usually spend for anything at yard sales for him. $22...But he is an antique, and in amazing chips, cracks, or stains. He was never used as a planter because he is amazingly clean! I'm in love with this little guy! Now I just have to figure out what to do with him!!

That's all I have for now...but it's almost Saturday again, and you know what that means!!

Weiner Dogs on Wednesday

So smug at such an early age...Oscar at 4 months old

Monday, October 8, 2012

OMG meet me at Michael's...


I got an excited and somewhat frantic phone call from my little sister, Hannah, one Friday while she was on her lunch break because she had found this...

Plaster white goodness, and ready to paint or decoupage!! I can't wait!

He is definitely going to become a sugar skull of sorts...perhaps turquoise as a base color, with black and red?

Hannah bought one too. She is going to have her friend paint it. He is a tattoo artist.

Ooooo I looove Halloween! (but this guy will most likely stay out year round!)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pinterest motivational challenge 2

Our second challenge was based off of some beautiful artwork on pinterest that was done by melting crayons with a blow dryer, or putting them through a hot glue gun.

I like to refer to this challenge as the "Pinterest motivational failure," what a hot mess. It seemed easy enough....ugh.

Here are a few examples from pinterest:
Melted crayonmelted crayon artMelted Crayon Art!
These are beautiful, aren't they? Let me be the first to tell you that these people have some mad skills that I do NOT posses!

Michelle's piece came out very pretty, although she was not thrilled with it. I love the way that the colors all blended together. She mailed it to me alllll the way from Wisconsin, and now it sits on my craft table here in Virginia. Here is Michelle's, done on a 5x7 canvas:
And then there is mine...ugh. Here is where we get to the challenge failure part. Let me start by telling you that I was supposed to complete this project in March. I didn't do it until June...and I never even sent a picture of it to Michelle, because I hated it so this will be the first time she sees it too.

Yuk...What a mess. I didn't even bother taking a good picture of it, just snapped a quick one with my phone so that I can heave this crap into the garbage!

I did mine in a 13x9 baking pan from the dollar store. I thought the metal would heat up more, making the crayons melt faster. Well, it heated up unevenly, and then it was so hot that I couldn't hold it to try and move it around to make to wax drip and run where I wanted it!

The butterfly in the middle is just black card intentions were that he would have colorful wax drippings running from his wings. Now it just looks like I'm cooking him for dinner or something.

So there you have it, our pinterest motivational challenge #2.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hot scented wax...really?

Do any of you out there get into Scentsy?

You know...those parties that people have in their homes that sell the really expensive warmers for the scented wax?

Well, I for one was not into it...AT ALL!

I have a personal thing against candles of ANY kind, and I was dumb in thinking that Scentsy was in the candle business (because I never even bothered looking at the catalog!) I'm a firefighter (not active right now...but still,) so I have seen what candles do, and so you will never see me light up in my house, no sir.

But then Gioia had a Scentsy party, and I went, because she is Gioia. I love me some Gioia...I would not have gone if it was anyone else. WHAT?? I'm being honest!

I went and listened and was pleasantly surprised to hear that Scentsy warmers run off of low wattage light bulbs that are NO FIRE HAZARD at all! The same as a little night light or lamp! I was totally excited for this safe little smelly adventure! The consultant had about a million little pots of smelly that you could sample and after a while I had no idea which one I liked better! They were all delicious smelling!

So I decided to order a large warmer and a few Scentsy bars for myself and give it a go, and I'm afraid to admit it, but I was WRONG about Scentsy...I LOVE the hot scented wax! I plugged it in upstairs in my bedroom and went downstairs for about 30 minutes and by the time I came back up, the whole upstairs smelled amazing! I highly recommend the Luna scent!

So, which warmer did I pick??? This little guy:
I love him! He needs a name...any suggestions? I also got one for my brother-in-law for Christmas but I can't share that just yet :) Who else is into Scentsy? Which warmers and scents do you guys have?

(No one from Scentsy asked me to write this, these are all my own opinions, however if you would like to order something, my little sister is having a book party from now, October 5-October15 if you would to order!)