End of the Week Holiday Spectacular: Wrapped Up and Delivered With a Big Bow


Well it’s the weekend and we are all still here.  Happy Non Apocalypse Weekend!  Here is a wrap up of the week.

MONDAY-Gift Ideas For Broke Folks, Part I (Maybe)

TUESDAY-Delicious Evil Lurks in the Downstairs Freezer 

WEDNESDAY-Excellently Weird Gifts Just In Time for the Giving

THURSDAY- Ooooooh Those Christmas Eyes!

FRIDAY-This is interesting, two posts in one day with the word “Edition” in them.  Perhaps you should listen to New Edition while reading them?  Limited Edition Cat Butt Christmas Cards and Fly on the Wall-The Holiday Edition 2012

Bestest Stuff of the Week-I mean it!

All of the Fly On The Wall posts-links to all on Friday’s Fly on the Wall-The Holiday Edition 2012

Motherhood Is An Art-Does Christmas Time Make You Feel Like Crying?  🙂

You Know It Happens At Your House Too-Things I Need To Know Before the End of the World

Buzzfeed-26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year-I dare you to read this without shedding a tear.

I’m not sure what will come out of my head between now and Christmas.  I may have time to post and I may not.  Enjoy your holidays and I’ll see ya when I see ya…


Delicious Evil Lurks In the Downstairs Freezer

cat baker

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have a cat that’s interested in my baking. Oh there is just so much to do yet!

Today I have got to get things done.  Baking.  Making.  Wrapping.  As it is I am terribly guilty of crimes against house maintenance.  On top of that we are currently in the the throes of post holiday mess.  Only it’s not the holiday yet.  So not only do we have that, we have the pre holiday mess AND the post holiday mess.


We did my side of the family’s Christmas early this past weekend due to another family gathering the same weekend.  It just made sense.  So now the kids have all of their presents from one end of the house to other, I have bags yet to unpack, laundry trying to overtake us, and my own holiday-type  things that I still need to get done before this next weekend.

AND there’s the threat that we’ve been hearing all month, that my in laws may come.  We’ve heard this before.  Somehow it never happens.  We came to the conclusion that they only come for two things:  when we have a baby and when someone graduates.  I’m no planning on having any more kids, and unless I get very lucky by finding an anonymous donor to send me back to school, no one is graduating in this house for many years.  So maybe I’m safe.  Though this year is a little unique due to the fact that we didn’t go to their house for any sort of Christmas thing.  We were planning on it, then us terrible people had to go and get sick.  Germs are not allowed in their house, so the kids and I went to my parents and Evil Genius stayed home and prayed to either get better or die.  He got better, thank goodness.

I ended up with nothing but holiday chocolate chip cookies from all of that baking that I had planned to do last week.  Princess Christmas helped, and the cookies looked and tasted pretty good.  The red and green chocolate chips were a nice touch.  I used the Nestle Tollhouse recipe on the back of the bag.

Princess Christmas takes great care to add chocolate chips to the cookies.

Princess Christmas takes great care to add chocolate chips to the cookies.

What was taking her so long?  She was trying to make a face on every single cookie.

What was taking her so long? She was trying to make a face on every single cookie.

There are other things I wanted to make, but as of yet I haven’t gotten back to them.  The pretzels still don’t have any chocolate on them, though last night Evil Genius showed me how to make a double boiler.  I had read about it, but just couldn’t picture it in my head.  I’m going to have to get on it, because all of the cookies in the pictures were eaten while we were gone.  Yes, he ate two dozen cookies.  I hid the last four that were left.

The PMS that plagued me during Thanksgiving is back for this holiday as well, so naturally I’m eating everything in sight and feeling very badly about it.  Not getting much opportunity to exercise the last few days has me saying in my best King Julian voice “I have the flabby flab.”  The night we returned from my parents I ate an entire baggie of my cousin’s homemade peppermint bark.  This morning I had the breakfast of champions-turtles.  I had no little eyes to witness it, therefore I could get away with it.  Now the bark and the turtles are gone, I’m safe, right?

Nooooo.  He had to do it.  He just had to.  He has been threatening me with an evil and heinous act for a couple of weeks now, and finally followed through.  He even had two little minions to help him carry his plan out.  Yes, there is delicious and festive looking evil in my basement freezer.  A double batch.

Evil Peanut Butter Bars!

Evil Peanut Butter Bars!  At least they look festive.

If it weren’t for these, I sometimes wonder if he would ever speak to his family.  I swear he only speaks to his Mom sometimes to get this recipe.  And her noodle recipe.  And her striped delight recipe.  While he was making these, I typed up the recipe so he wouldn’t have to call next time.

evil peanut butter bars

As you can see, my scanning skills are only subpar.

RECIPE UPDATE:  I was asked to add the steps on how actually to bake these.  Mix all ingredients together except chocolate.  Press into 13 x 9 baking dish.  Melt chocolate in double boiler.  Put chocolate on top of ingredients in pan.  Add sprinkles to make festive if desired.  Refrigerate or freeze.  Now you try resisting them!

So today I have cleaning to do, laundry to do, baking to do, and on top of all that I must resist the call from the basement.  At least I would have to walk down stairs to get to them.  Thank goodness the upstairs freezer was full!

Gift Ideas for Broke Folks, Part I (Maybe)

We know what the Christmas season is all about.  I fully embrace the idea that Christmas is NOT about the gifts.  I like to give, however, and some years it is much easier than others to be able to afford to spoil everyone on your list.  Ok, for the record I have never “spoiled” anyone, but I try to find fun stuff for my kids and the folks in my life.  If your year has been anything like mine, you’ve considered relegating to giving gifts made of twist ties, toilet paper rolls, and/or dryer lint in order to have something to give.  Several times this year I have exclaimed “SHINY PENNIES for EVERYONE!” because the Christmas budget is bare.

Linties!  Get them while the dryer's warm!

Linties! Get them while the dryer’s warm!

I had delusions of successful baking for some people, as well as made some gifts that were not edible things that turned out much better.  There are real things that you can make that don’t cost very much, and are NOT made of lint (thank goodness).  Some are even fun for you, because not only do you get the pleasure of making things for others, sometimes you get the fun of emptying the contents of the containers you need to use.  I thought I’d share a few.  Keep in mind that I in no way consider myself an expert in this kind of thing!

For Grown-ups (or People Who Are Over the Age of 21 Whether or Not They Actually Acknowledge They Are Said “Grown-Up” or “Adult”)

Homemade wine bottle lamp.

Homemade wine bottle lamp.

Wine bottle lights-I saw one of these at a friend’s house years ago.  I loved it. Apparently there is a place near here that you can pay to have one made.  I’ve been hinting like crazy for one and have yet to get one.  So I started making my own.  Since I like to drink wine it was SUCH a hardship to drink wine to make one!  This year I made two of them for gifts and am working on a larger one, but I need the right size string of lights.  The ones I made I used the 20 count string of lights.  And I cheated a bit-you’re really supposed to drill a hole in the back to string the lights in.  However, while I found the right stuff at a close out sale, I realize that my drill bits weren’t big enough anyway.  I went back to the drawing board and came up with this idea.  I save the corks to make artwork out of, so I took the cork, cut a little out of the back, and then ran the cord through the groove I made and pounded the cork in.  They turned out really cool!  One more hint if you decide to attempt this-make sure the lights you purchase aren’t the kind with a plug on each end!

Dry Erase Board and Calendar from my house

Dry Erase Board and Calendar from my house

Dry Erase Boards and Calendars-I’ve made some of these for my house and I love them.  You can use an old picture frame or buy an inexpensive one.  All you need for the background is scrapbook paper, and if you want to put a calendar in it there are many free ones you can download from the internet.  They look so cool and cost a fraction of the price of the ones you see in the stores!

Stuff for the Kiddos


Sparkle bottles-A friend had some of these in her classroom.  I thought they were store bought.  I’ve always made these for my preschool classrooms, but they were very obviously homemade.  The trick is finding a really neat looking bottle.  She made hers out of Fuze brand bottles.  Since then I have been ingesting my share of Fuze whenever someone is having a baby or we have a little one needing a fun gift at Christmastime.  There’s nothing complicated about it and my daughter still plays with hers to this day.  You can use just water and food coloring as my friend did, or you can add glitter, confetti, beads, toys, the list is endless.  I’ve customized them to match room themes and one baby that was due around the 4th of July got one with red, white, and blue stars in it.  The big thing is making sure that you 1) wash them out beforehand and 2) superglue the lid shut.

I Spy Bottle

I Spy Bottle

I Spy bottles:  This one I attempted this year and is being put away for a future gift, mainly because I ran out of superglue.  It’s the same idea as the sparkle bottle, but I used colored sand that they sell at Hobby Lobby for very little.  The sand is mixed with glitter and then poured to fill the bottle up partway, and then it is filled the rest of the way with little toys, beads, and other found objects.  This could all change depending on your audience.  If I had more money I would have bought all different colors of sand and made a whole slew of bottles!  The picture above doesn’t do it justice.  This bottle has everything from foam snowflakes to metal peace symbols to a lego guy in it.  NEAT-OH!

It looks ok... I think it looks like dirty snow, with glitter.

Homemade play-doh.

Homemade play-doh-I’ve made this for my kids before and this year I made some to give to my nephew.  There are lots of recipes out there!  I made him three different little Christmas themed containers full:  Sparkly green play-doh, sparkly snow dough, and candy cane play-doh.  All were peppermint scented.  I also included some super duper holiday themed cookie cutters.  I was bummed that I could not find a snowflake cookie cutter to go with the snowy play-doh, but I did find a snowman one!

Other stuff I’ve done that I don’t feel like taking up any more memory on my blog account by taking pictures:  Every year I make photo calendars for my folks.  I have done them many different ways, including using programs on my printer and using TONS of ink to print out whole calendar pages, as well as ordering pictures and using scrapbook paper and a printed calendar.  I’ve made lots of pretty magnets in my day out of a variety of materials plus a strong magnet for the back.  I have made scrapbooks for people-my favorite gift that I ever made was the year I made a scrapbook for my husband of the team he coached.  I have written out recipes on pretty recipe cards.  I’ve made little kits of stuff too.  It just depends on who you have to gift too and what they like.  Some people are harder than others to make things for!

If you’re struggling with gift ideas and/or funds for Christmas, I hope this helps at least a little.  If not, you know where to find me to complain!  ;-D

DISCLAIMER:  If you have a husband like I do be prepared to be made fun of.  My husband teases me because he doesn’t get that you can make gifts for people and they often will like them better than any store bought gift.  I think it’s a guy thing (I mean, guys making things?  Come on!).  But honey, if you tried to make me something, the thought of you taking the time to make me something and presenting it to me for Christmas would be just the best darn tootin’ thing ever.  Except Peanut Butter Bars.  They are made of crack.

XPMS: Extreme Pretty Miserable Syndrome (No Beings Of Any Kind Were Harmed In The Writing of This Post)

No, it’s something far more terrifying.

DISCLAIMER!  WARNING:  Cease and desist reading if you are one of THOSE guys who just rolls his eyes or gets ill when your girlfriend/wife/bff/sister/lizard/etc starts talking about menstrual type stuff.  Just close this window and walk away.  Pretty please with beer on top?

Have you ever seen the commercial about PMDD?  (The purple acronym is a link to the commercial, just in case you don’t know what I mean or have forgotten it by now).  Imagine me in my serious announcer voice as I explain:  “PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.  PMDD is a severe form of Premenstrual Disorder (PMS).  Like PMS, PMDD follows a predictable, cyclic pattern.  Anxiety, anger, and depression may occur.  The main symptoms may be disabling.  And BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Because I have PMS, this is annoying me and I don’t want to read the rest of it.

DISCLAIMER:  If you have PMDD, and you are getting very angry reading this because you think I’m about to make fun of you (which I’m not), please close the window and walk away.  I don’t want anyone to hunt me down and kill me or put a hex on my blog.

I don’t think I have PMDD, I think I have EXTREME PMS!  It’s not like regular PMS, because I swear it lasts about two weeks.  And I never know when it’s going to strike, because I’m not, um, regular (in sooooooo many more ways than I’m implying here.)  I get so bloated that I think that something is seriously wrong. Clothes that fit two days before no longer fit.  I’m miserable.  This can last anywhere from three to fourteen days, depending on the month.

I feel fat. I feel like this. And I don’t even like eating frogs. I bet there’s Diet Sunkist Lemonade in that drinky thingie.

DISCLAIMER:  If you are a hutt, don’t hate me.  Please.

Not only do I feel like Jabba, I also want to eat everything in sight.  In other words I have slightly less willpower than I usually do.  Evil Genius knows he can get away with certain things without me trying to kill him, at least right away.  There have been multiple *Peanut Butter Bars incidents in our house, where he has made these delectable homemade treats that can best be described as an eight pound Reeses Peanut Butter cup.  They are filled with crack, or meth, or some kind of drug.  I can’t stop eating them.  I have been known to ok the making of these under the influence of XPMS.  Then after I have eaten most of it and come to my senses I force him to take what is left out of the house and feed them to his coworkers.  Tonight I made homemade apple crisp, because I wanted it.  I never do that (bake something for me).  And I ate it.  WITH vanilla ice cream.  The justification of this was a) I made it with whole wheat flour and b) it was light vanilla ice cream.  This was after I devoured tater tot casserole, something I also almost never make.  That wasn’t nearly as good, since the tater tot portion was freezer burnt.  More justification for the Apple Crisp, right?

*I’ll post the recipe for the crack, I mean, Peanut Butter Bars, in an upcoming edition here soon.  I promise.  Just in case you have PMS and want to hate yourself too.

On top of having the moves like Jabba and eating my house, I also get a bit moody.  It’s most just deep dark depression and lots of crying for a couple of days, but I also get kinda bitchy.  But mostly it’s crying, and anything sets me off.  Luckily, unlike the other crap, this only lasts for a day or two.  Although I’ve never killed anyone that I care to admit, I think that She-Ra also suffered from XPMS (click the link to watch). When you have XPMS and a sword, people had better run.

The last part of this great phase that makes it all especially fun is the Migraine.  I have told all about my fun with migraines in a previous post, Brains on the Floor.  I get a really fabulous headache with all of this, it just really makes it extra great.  When you have kids, you have to get them to try to understand that Mommy is out of commission for awhile.  I have to lay on the couch with the lights off and the curtains closed and pray for sweet death.  My daughter kisses me on the head and tells me she is going to take care of me, and then gets out the musical instruments that make the most noise.  Honey, you said you were going to take care of me, not cause my brains to ooze out of my ears.

It just really sucks, being a girl sometimes, you know?  And then the shit really hits the fan when that’s over and the fun really begins.  CRAMPS!  Yay.  Take an Advil, grab a heating pad, and curl up under a blanket for a few hours.  Oh yes, and by the way, those commercials where the lady is doing yoga and wearing all white, that’s a myth.  You can’t do that.  At least I can’t, because it would be really messy and gross.

The best thing about being pregnant, aside from being able to eat whatever I wanted, was the fact that for a couple of years of my adult life I didn’t have to deal with any of this stuff.  I’m not saying that labor was a picnic because it wasn’t, but I’m talking about the rest of the time…

It’s not like we really get a break from feeling lousy aside from that.  I understand once you finish having all of this fun you get a whole new set of stuff to deal with, like hot flashes.  Oh wow I can’t wait!  To paraphrase Frank Barone from Everybody Love Raymond, “What lottery in hell did I win?”  What did we women do to deserve all of this every month?

What, me irritable?  I’m just getting warmed up… somebody pass me a Gas-X.  Now let’s have some Apple Crisp and forget it all ever happened.

Oh did somebody invent that yet? Maybe I need to get on that. Men all around the world would thank me. Or maybe make more Peanut Butter Bars.