Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Ten Annoying Things of Today

Top Ten Annoying Things of Today:

1.  I accidentally overdrew my checking account and got charged $36 six times.  I hate math.  And money.  And when I try to be carefree and it backfires on me.

Actually, that's it.  Just one, not ten.

Told you I was bad at math.

Tomorrow I'm going to the bank to see if they will have mercy on me and refund 5 of my paid item fees.  Groveling at the bank to start the new year.  Good times.

On the plus side, I bought something at Gabe's today that was marked $1, and the clerk could not get it to ring up right, so she charged me 50 cents and called it a day.

I'm still down though because of those NSF fees.

2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

Welcome to 2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 is almost here!

Need some inspiration for 2015?

It's not even here yet and I'm already beginning to do some New Year's-ish things.

1.  Ate 2 donuts from Krumpes for breakfast.   Eating healthy resolution broken BEFORE the new year even begins?  Genius.

2.  Washed my make-up brushes.  Not sure I've EVER done this before.  So gross. Yet, hopefully inspiring to someone out there who needs to do this too.

3.  Cleaned out my medicine cabinet AND my food pantry.  Had some sauerkraut that expired in 2012.  And some ear drops that expired in 2011.  Again, so gross. Yet, hopefully inspiring and potentially life-saving for that someone out there who might be saved from botulism.  Or totally ineffective gingko biloba.

4.  Photo organization.  Still in the process, but working on printing photos and deleting them from my phone.  Does anyone else still print pictures?

5.  Think about deleting my facebook account.   I say this every year and we all know it won't happen.  But I still like to think about it.

6.  Bossing Superfrydad around and getting him on my clean it up bandwagon.  He is working on getting new shutters, painting the front door, putting up a cast iron dinner bell that will hopefully be the endcap to a grape arbor, getting rid of random crap out of our basement, and other random jobs I cannot do.  It's very satisfying to get someone else to do stuff for you.  I should be an executive at a giant corporation. I'm great at delegating.  Actually, not really.  I'm a control freak who only delegates jobs I absolutely cannot do or just don't want to do.  And I don't like to wear a suit.  If I could be an executive who wears yoga pants and only deals with people that listen to me, I'd be killer.

I will turn 39 in less than a week.  I've got to get it in gear.  Not like I plan to die at 40, but I suddenly feel like I am running out of time to do what I need to do. What do you need to do in 2015?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Break a leg

I wish I could say my absence from the blogging world is due to my world travels helping orphans or something awesome like that.  Truth is, I just haven't been feeling it lately.  Sometimes I start to write something and then I realize that this blog is not a personal diary for the world to read. That's what facebook is for, right?

If you just nodded your head in agreement with that last statement, maybe you should rethink what you post on facebook.  Also, maybe you should begin working on identifying sarcasm.  I'm looking at you, Sheldon Cooper.

Do you have a bucket list?  I don't.  Why should I make a list of things I'll probably never do?  It's kind of a downer, really.

But if I did have a bucket list, one thing I might include would be to be in a musical, preferably on Broadway.

I'm sort of crossing that off my non-existent bucket list.  It's not Broadway.  It's not off-Broadway.  It's not way-off Broadway.

It's local community theater.
Or theatre, if you're fancy.
I'm not fancy.
But you're now singing I'm So're welcome.

Superfrykid and I will be in the local theater's production of Two From Galilee, a Christmas musical telling the story of Mary & Joseph and ending in the birth of Jesus.  We are in the chorus, which is pretty much our speed.  No starring roles, no supporting roles, just the chorus.

This is our first foray into the world of musical theater.  It started as a fluke. Superfrykid enjoys going to the Youth Theatre productions and said she wanted to be in one.  The cost is $200, but I wasn't $200 sure she would like it.  A friend told me that there were auditions being held for the Christmas play at the Apollo and they were taking a few kids for the chorus.  And it was free.  Being a cheapskate, I decided she could wet her feet with the free Christmas play and then go from there.

Little did I know I would have my arm twisted by a woman named Karen I would end up auditioning too.  Several weeks later, we are now just getting ready to leave for our first performance.  It's been quite an adventure and I hope that someday Superfrykid will look back on it and be glad she had a mom who wasn't afraid to make a fool of herself in public.

And.....we can't say "break a leg", because Superfrykid already did that in the middle of our practices.  She fell and fractured her tibia so she's been on crutches practically the whole time.  Tiny Tim doesn't make an appearance in this play, but a limping kid from Nazareth does.

I just pray I don't fall into the pit or walk out with my robe tucked into my shorts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

make new friends but keep the old

Today I have been thinking about friendship.

Partly because some friends of mine and I were talking about things that have happened in our lives and how we could write a book about it.  It got me thinking about all of those things and how we have been there for each other in so many different circumstances.

Partly because I was watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Melissa's friend from her younger days, Amber, confronted Melissa about not contacting her when she had "the cancer".  I quote "the cancer" because that's what she actually said.  I shall now refer to cancer as "the cancer".  Anyway, Melissa and Amber were friends and Amber was in Melissa's wedding and then they grew apart & didn't see each other for many years.  Amber had "the cancer" and was upset that her old friend did not reach out to her.

And then the kicker was Wendy Williams.  (Yes, I watch trash TV.  Sue me.)  Wendy mentioned that she wasn't friends with the people who were in her wedding many years ago.

All of this got me to thinking.....true friendships are very special.  I don't have a ton of friends, but I do have a few true friends.  And I'm so happy to say that all of the girls who were in my wedding almost 20 years ago are still part of my life.  They wore the worst bridesmaids dresses EVER and they are still my friends - that's gotta say something.

Superfrykid modeling the bridesmaid dress my sister wore in my wedding.
Note the shiny satin, puffy sleeves, giant bow,
and the fake pearls hanging in the tasteful back cut out.
We bought them from the JCPenney catalog and had dyed to match shoes from Payless.
Needless to say, there was no Pinterest back in the day.
And nobody said a WORD about the dresses being ugly.  That's true friendship.

The one who saved my life with a breast pump
The one who was part of the infamous lawn mower incident
The one who square danced at Waffle House at 2 am

Me & Superfrydad with the girls.
Note his Home Improvement 90's!

Stirrup pants!

Since I posted those horrible photos of my friends, it's only fair to post this picture of Superfrydad & me.  This was taken at our rehearsal dinner.  I wore jean  shorts and a Tshirt with animals all over it.  And it was at Hoss's.  If anyone from TLC or any other TV network is watching, I could use a do-over....someone surely has a series called "My Super Tacky Wedding" where people who have a horribly tacky wedding and stay married for 20 years get a free do-over wedding.  If you or someone you know has a show like this, call me.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dollar Tree VBS Decor - Weird Animals

This year our church's VBS theme is Weird Animals.

Weird Animals VBS from Group Publishing

I've done a couple different jobs in the past, but this year, I am on the decorating crew.
Which is awesome, because I don't have to deal with kids or parents
I can use my creative side to make a magical wonderland that kids will love
I am super awesome at drawing and painting and building things
well, it's awesome because the theme is very broad and I think as long as it's colorful and contains lots of animals and jungle themed flora, the kids will like it.

I thought I would post some of the things I've made because they are easy and cheap.  Some of the things I've seen on Pinterest are quite complicated and out of my league in terms of time, money, and ability.  If you have stumbled upon this post looking for decorating ideas, I feel your pain  hope this is helpful.

I have made approximately 14 trips to Dollar Tree and spent several hours on Pinterest looking for ideas that I think I can actually pull off.

So here's what I've come up with:

Plunger wrapped in duct tape, bottom covered in tissue paper, tissue paper flower on top.

Vines made out of pool noodles.  Cut in spirals, can be used for coral or vines.  $1 for one pool noodle, makes about 2 vines.  Group says it can make 3, but with the dollar tree noodles, I found that making 3 out of 1 made them too thin & flimsy.  There is a tutorial video on Group's website that shows how to make these.  Basically, you cut a swirly line and then another swirly line and then pull apart the pieces.   

Giant Flower from Dollar Tree Kickboards, Pool Noodle & Balloon
$6 - only made one...too expensive to make more & hard to stand up because of weight.  Shown here with a balloon center, but the balloon popped so we ended up using a tissue paper flower.

Tissue Paper Flower
$.50 each.  20 sheets of tissue paper per pack at Dollar Tree. 10 sheets per flower.
I googled how to make can do it, it's easy.

Dollar Tree Plunger, Pool Noodle & Tissue Paper Flower
Set for front of stage. $7.50
$2.50 for tall flower
$2 for 2 pieces of green posterboard
$2 for 2 pieces of pink posterboard
$1 for pool noodle vine/mini tissue flowers
Mounted to free cardboard apple boxes

Dollar Tree insects hung above steps with fishing line.
Pool noodle "weird" grass along steps.

Tissue paper flowers
Green door toppers from Dollar Tree

Dollar tree monkeys hanging from Dollar Tree Leis (6 for $1) on the chandeliers in the foyer.
Flower spiral hanging thing from Dollar Tree

Palm tree made from carpet tube (free), posterboard, and paper bags.
Flower made from Dollar Tree foam kick boards with tissue paper flower center.
Hard to see, but Dollar Tree snakes are wrapped around trunk.
Cardboard Baobab tree from group.  Butterfly leftover from Sky VBS, originally purchased at Ross.

Covered Bulletin Boards/Hallway with Dollar Tree Tablecloths, Dollar Tree Poster Pack, and Dollar Tree Animal Cut-Outs.

Giant Posters from Group taped to foam board.

Hallway with hanging squishy "weird animals" 

Hallway covered in Dollar Tree Tablecloths with blow up Dollar Tree Sea Creatures.

Dollar Tree Grass Skirts with Dollar Tree Monkeys & Leis - used command hooks to attach.  This looked way cuter in person.  I'm a terrible photographer plus these were taken with my phone.

Main stage using fabric backdrop from Group.
Added tissue paper flowers & painted foam trees with poster board leaves.

Superfrykid at VBS

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

Confession: I secretly want to be a crunchy hippy who makes her own soap, weaves, raises chickens, and lives off the land for less than $10,000 a year.

But I still want to eat at McDonald's and I like Tupperware.  And I want to go to Disney World tomorrow.

So I decided to just take a baby step and make my own laundry detergent.

I kept seeing it on Pinterest and finally I decided I'd just break down and try it.

I have an HE washing machine.  I hate it, so secretly there is a part of me that hopes this will ruin it so I can get a new one. I used to always use liquid detergent, but recently I've been using the little packets.  I don't use a certain brand, just whatever is on sale or what I have a coupon for.

Disclaimer:  I do not know if this will work for you.  It may ruin your clothes.  It may ruin your washing machine.  It may ruin your microwave.  It may burn your skin.  It may cause headaches, vomiting, bowel leakage, and in some cases, even death may occur.  Ketchup with the Frys is not responsible for any negative outcomes that may occur from any reader who tries this at home.

First, I researched many different recipes.   Most call for Fels Naptha soap, Borax, & Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda).  I found one that also included regular baking soda, OxiClean, and Downy Unstoppables.  Unstoppables are just for smell, but the ones I got are turquoise and make it look cute in a clear jar.  My only beef with Downy Unstoppables is that "unstoppable" sounds too much like  "uncrustable", which makes me think of food and they also kind of look like mini chocolate chips so it makes me want to just try one.  But I try to curb my pica cravings.  That's about the only diet I can follow.   Not eating soap.

I like to use liquid soap, but most of those require cooking on a stove top.  If I am making my own laundry detergent, I don't want to have to think about cooking at the same time.  One domestic art at at time is all I can tackle.  Also, the liquid DIY detergent looks like snot.  So that was out.

There were lots of other dry recipes but most of them required 4 pound boxes of ingredients and made enough for an entire year.  I didn't want to commit to making that much in case this doesn't pan out.  Finally, I found one with smaller measurements that looked pretty good.

Here's the recipe I used:
1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 C Borax
1 C Washing Soda
1 C OxiClean
1/2 C Baking Soda
3 caps of Downy Unstoppable

Grate the Fels Naptha.  I found some online tips that recommended putting it into the microwave first, so I did. Chop it up in to some chunks and microwave for a minute or two.   They recommend allowing it to cool before handling.  I would recommend that also.  Do as I say, not as I do.

Fels Naptha BEFORE
Note:  You need to cut it into 4 or 5 chunks before microwaving.
No, my plate is not stolen from TGIFridays.

After microwaving.  They kind of look like Grands Biscuits.
I tried two methods of crumbling, because I wanted to get a really fine end result without using my food processor.

Fels Naptha Method #1:  Microwave, then grate by hand.  Since I did not wait for it to cool, I stabbed it with a fork and tried grating it on the fine part of my grater.  It worked okay, but I thought my method #2 worked better.

Fels Naptha Method #2:  Microwave, then grate in Pampered Chef Hand Grater.  This worked really well and it didn't matter that the Fels Naptha was hot because I didn't have to touch it.  I did use the fine grater part and I ran it through twice to make it super fine.  

Fels Naptha after grating
Mix it all together in a giant bowl.  I put mine into quart size mason jars because that's what I had.  Most online recipes show this in a really cute giant glass jar with a chalkboard label.  I am going to try to recycle some kind of plastic container because my washer shakes and I don't want it to fall off and break.
This is how much the recipe above made.  I used a wide mouth canning funnel and just poured into quart jars.
I am going to use the scoop that came with the OxyClean to scoop it out.
I am washing my first load as I am typing.  I'll let you know how it works out.  Even if it doesn't work, I feel pretty good about myself for being sort of homemakery.  No, homemakery is not a real word.  Yes, it's underlined in red.  Yes, I am ignoring it.  I'm a renegade who makes her own laundry detergent, do you think I'm going to allow a machine to tell me how to spell?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter will be here soon.

I like Easter.

If I compare the holidays, Easter comes out on top.  It's not as stressful as Christmas, but better than Thanksgiving, because you get to dye eggs and buy chocolate.

Here's how I came up with that, rating each on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest score.  I was going to include other holidays like MLK Day, Valentine's Day, and 4th of July, but I think we can all agree that Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the biggies.  Of course, if you have another favorite, that's cool with me.  But you're wrong, because Easter is the best.  But we can agree that you can be wrong.

Spiritual Significance
5...Jesus died and rose from the dead.  That's the best news ever!

3...We really should be thankful every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving, right?

4.9...God sent His Son.  Good news, second only to His death and resurrection.

Pinterest Craft Potential
4...Not only can you dye eggs, you can etch them, wrap them in twine, temporary tattoo them, ombre color them, dye them with kool-aid, dye them with natural dyes like organic blueberry, and probably many many more things.  Easter basket creative potential also abounds with tips for baskets for toddlers, manly Easter baskets, and grown your own jute and weave your own organic basket to fill with homemade gluten-free granola.  And let's not forget the classic paper plate Easter bunny.

3.4...Turkeys galore!  Pine cone turkeys, hand print turkeys, potato stamped turkeys. Cornucopias made from ice cream cones, cornucopias filled with glittery gourds. Pilgrim hats and Indian headdresses made from homegrown corn stalks that are pesticide free and hand crafted while waiting on yoga class to begin.

4.9...Hand print ornaments, popcorn garlands with cranberries harvested from your backyard bog, baby Jesus whittled from an acorn.  The Christmas craft potential on Pinterest is almost endless.  But not a perfect score here because of Elf on the Shelf, which I find creepy and annoying.  But what you do in your own house is fine.  I can judge from afar.

5.0...For me, Cadbury Mini Eggs (not the gross snot filled ones) could be the sole reason Easter sweeps this category.  However, for the rest of you, I still think Easter rates the highest in this category because not only do you get the big family meal, but you get lots of chocolate.  And biting off a hollow Easter bunny's ears is quite satisfying.
On a side note, I happened to be eating these like popcorn while laying in bed and one of them fell off into the bed, unbeknownst to me.  The next morning, the bed was streaked with brown and there was a lump of brown that can only be described as turd-like in the bed.  But don't let that ruin this candy for you.  It truly is the best candy ever.

4.9...I love Thanksgiving food, but I have to knock off just a teeny bit because I hate pumpkin flavored things.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin roll, pumpkin soup, pumpkin a la king....the list never ends and pumpkin tastes yucky and the texture is odd.

4.8...Christmas rates just under Thanksgiving for me because not only does pumpkin make a reappearance, but things like fruitcake and mincemeat come out and declare themselves festive.  Also, there are really only probably less than 10 cookies that are actually good Christmas cookies.  The rest are just tray fillers that nobody wants to eat.

4.8...While not as many choices as Christmas, Easter offers some of my favorite hymns.  Particularly, He Arose.  I like the version below the best.

3...Thanksgiving isn't really known for its music, but I do like For the Beauty of the Earth and the Doxology.  I'm sure there are more that I just can't think of.

4.9...Gotta give it up to Christmas for the best music.  However, I did have to subtract a little because of songs like The Christmas Shoes.  Here's an old post about Christmas songs if you're in the mood.

5...Everyone is looking their best on Easter Sunday.  Dresses and cute little vests for the kids, dresses for moms instead of yoga pants, and even a suit for dads. Superfrydad wears a suit for 2 occasions.  Easter and funerals.  Weddings if he must.  Also, hopefully the trees and flowers are blooming and you can catch a cute picture of your little one in front of a weeping cherry or some daffodils.
Superfrykid circa 2011 in front of my grandmother's (aka "The Don") tulip tree

1...Thanksgiving is one holiday that I always forget to take a picture of.  Everyone knows we will take one  at Christmas in a few weeks, so nobody really cares.  We just want to go home so we can put on our sweatpants and eat leftovers.

4...Picking the right picture for your Christmas card is stressful. Trying to coordinate but not be too matchy-matchy.  Trying to choose a color pallet that is modern, yet classic.  Trying to get your husband and children to actually smile and not look like beavers.  It's just too much.  Actual Christmas Day pictures are usually in pajamas, therefore not the ones I'd like to put in frames to display in my living room.  Mostly because my pajamas are old yoga pants with holes and an old tee.

5...Easter is really a no-stress holiday.  Make some food, dye some eggs, and buy some candy.  No Easter Eve to worry about and a week of Spring Break to get ready for summer.

3...Thanksgiving isn't really stressful in and of itself.  However, it heralds the Christmas season, which can be stressful.  And don't even get me started on Black Friday.

2...I know that Christmas is not supposed to be stressful, but let's face it.  It is.  Shopping and cooking and parties and decorating and trying to celebrate the real meaning while everyone around you is singing's a bit much.

So Easter is the winner.  I hereby declare it.  Enjoy it and celebrate it.  And send me some Cadbury mini eggs.  Not the snot-filled kind.  And I will make sure not to drop any in my bed.  Not that that would bother you.  Because I'm the one who has to wash the sheets and ward off the accusing questions like "did you crap the bed?"