Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stocking DIY

Does everyone remember their stockings growing up?  Maybe it's odd that I do.  We had adorable bear stockings growing up until we had a fire in middle school.  Then we got new stockings from Lands End (I think).  Every time we add a stocking it's hard to find a matching holder since Lands End doesn't make those to match anymore...

At my grandma's we have everyone's stocking with their name stitched by my aunt.  I think they're going to run out of room very soon.  (I think there are two more, maybe three, since I took this picture in 2014.)

As we put up our Christmas decorations, we realized Mike did not have a stocking.

There was a bit of panic because I could NOT find my fabric.  And then I finally did after tearing apart our storage space.  Whew.

And I whipped one together.  There are SO many fun stocking ideas out there!

I went with the simple toe approach since my stocking is even simpler.  

i believe i need to iron this
I think stockings are pretty simple to put together once you decide how you want to decorate them.  The thing I struggle with is trying to decide where to put the loop for the hook on the front section (like mine) or back (like Mike's).  Now that I've tried both approaches, I can say neither one is great.  If you can put it on the side between the front and back.  That is my recommendation.

I just realized I never posted the stocking I made for myself several years ago...here it is :)

And, since I am the maker, I added a special surprise on the inside of Mike's stocking.

I may like this special addition more than Mike.

P.S. I took some inspiration from Of a Kind's stockings.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Electoral College

On December 19th the Electoral College will vote.  I mentioned I wrote letters to mine, but couldn't find all of their contact info.  

Now there's an even easier site: www.asktheelectors.org/ they literally could not be making it any easier.  

Take a few moments and write a letter.

P.S. Take a gander at this article too.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Arrived

December is upon us and all the craziness that comes with it.  

The shopping.  The decorating.  The baking.  (How are there SO MANY traditional recipes around Christmas more than any other holiday?)  I had a moment Thursday when I realized I hadn't listened to Christmas music.  What!  I immediately pulled out Mike's wireless speaker and played music all day.  A call came in...pause music...take call...play music. I did some yoga for my lunch break to Christmas music. There are only 25 days to enjoy so much music.  Note: personally I recommend Pandora over Spotify for a Christmas playlist you don't want to build yourself.

Mike and I decorated Monday once we were both back from Thanksgiving and just like many other things with moving in together, we have a lot of trees...in a small space.  Extra festive. ;)

Although it did not include stockings.  Mike did not have a stocking and I need to make another tree skirt so those DIYs are coming right up.  Needless to say I was very happy to find my fabric in our storage unit.

I went to the Chriskindle Markt with Karen Tuesday.  #1 it was a warmish day.  #2 it's early enough that it was not packed and we had a lovely time before I needed to rush home for an evening work call.  

Note: this is aside from the part where I got mustard all over myself.  Let me tell you the story.  Karen likes mustard with her pretzels and we got a pretzel.  She couldn't get the mustard dispenser to work so she asked me to give it a try.  I pushed and pushed.  Nothing.  So I pushed REALLY hard and it worked!  By squirting mustard all over me.  Well, I got it working for everyone.  So...random strangers...you are welcome.
we both had rough days, but we love each other anyway...

There's baking on the horizon.  I'm planning on getting some baking for the Christmas parties next weekend done this weekend so it's ready.  Then Karen, Mike & I are getting her tree (because she gets a real one - she's fancy), baking cookies and having our annual Love Actually viewing Sunday.

Mike & I have been going back and forth on hosting a cookie exchange.  We really need to make a decision.  Mike says yes because we wants cookies and I'm just not sure if it's too much.  Hmmmm...

I have a secret santa at work, which we're calling JOYful December that I'm trying to stay on top of.  You have to plan when you work remotely and they're supposed to get something every week.

this is my return label...she probably wouldn't recognize my handwriting, but better to be safe than sorry!
P.S.  Don't forget.  Renegade is this weekend in Bridgeport!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I've been traveling (mostly for work, some fun) since the election and I've been thinking and crying and planning and thinking the entire time.  It's almost hard to believe it's only been a week.  Last night was my first night at home and Mike & I watched John Oliver, like we do every week.  He was serious and also making jokes (because that's his stick).  I couldn't laugh.  Then I cried for an hour after.  It all really hit me....again.  I also watched the Saturday Night Live intro and cried.

It's hard not to feel like our country is so deeply rooted in racism after those results.  It seems Trump's campaign was solely based on racism.  He didn't have any plans.  He just said racist things...and won.

Electoral college.  Personally I find this antiquated.  I signed a petition to end it.  Yet, since we have it, I'm going to give letter writing a try.  Do I think it will happen?  Probably not, but at least I tried.

I'm getting my letter writing on.  I'm also going to be very selective with stores that I support.  Since I don't have a lot of say what my taxes will go towards because not paying them is not an option (unlike some people...sorry...I had to).  I am pretty good about shopping small already (please don't ask me to meet at Starbucks).  At least through the end of the year I'm going to do a little research before shopping (this includes Christmas gifts).  I'm only going to shop places I want to support.  This is something I have control over.

And I leave you with this video from Samantha Bee, it's worth a watch.

I'm just going to stop there because I could go on for awhile.

P.S. This or This

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Get out and vote

I'm going to assume you are voting, if you live in the United States.  

I voted a couple weeks ago and I did quite a bit of research as I completed my ballot.  

One issue that I always consider is climate change.  I watched the documentary "Before the Flood" and I guess I didn't realize there were so many people still denying climate change.  I was quite shocked.  

And, gosh, our government can be depressing.  So.  Do what you can do and vote!

We can even see climate change here in Chicago in several ways.  Even Lake Michigan is rising.  I notice as I run on the lakefront.  I had no idea what's going on in Florida.

If you'd like to watch the documentary, it's free through Sunday.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Regional Specialities

Gooey Butter.

Ever heard of it?

How about candy corn with peanuts?

I'm gathering these are regional food items.  

Gooey butter seems to be specifically a St. Louis treat.  My mom grew up in St. Louis and we would have gooey butter growing up.  Our friends weren't familiar with the treat.  As we grew older we found out St. Louisians were familiar.  Yet, I grew up 60 miles away from St. Louis and it wasn't common.

At a Halloween party I shared the idea of mixing peanuts and candy corn.  This is not something I grew up with and is definitely an idea I picked up in the last few years in Chicago.  I was chatting with all transplants (which most of Chicago is, whether you've been here for 5, 10 or 15 years, most people didn't grow up in Chicago).  No one had heard of it.  

So it's a mystery because I definitely can't remember who shared the mixture idea with me.  Although I am grateful because candy corn is just to much sweet.

The most descriptive I've heard the origin pinned down to is: Midwest.  I'd like to note all the transplants I was chatting with at the Halloween party grew up in the Midwest.

So.  Do you know where the idea of candy corn & peanuts comes from?  Are their any regional food specialties where you grew up?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Starbucks Madness

If you are very upset about the Starbucks cups, I know what you can do to control the cup you drink out of.

Bring your own.

Note: you can do this all the time and it actually has other benefits too!
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