Tuesday, December 24, 2013

our annual random Christmas gift list

 

because it’s not truly almost the end of the year unless you’ve stumbled across these things that your life would not be complete without.

 

(and it’s not really about Christmas… because we all know that’s not about the presents, right?)

In all fairness… some of these items are really cool, but have just had some really wacky treatment at the hands of whoever decided how to advertise them.

 

Let’s start off with some custom giftwrap.

giftwrap

 

Seriously.  You can pick ANY picture to make into giftwrap.  And a triptych of a woman wearing a goat mask screams OPEN ME?

(Frankly, I’d be praying over that stack and opening very carefully.)

 

Oh!  And who doesn’t need some giant warrior in their beautiful kitchen?

warrior

You would catch me screaming every.single.morning.  Methinks it would end up with a few pieces of ammo in it in short order.

 

Another way to freak yourself out every single morning… giant birds watching you shower:

birds

 

 

And this rug… sure to destroy the sanity of all us OCD folk:

rug

 

Our first advertising fails – courtesy of some VERY confident males:

let go

 

flowers

 

leaves

 

I love how this last one is advertised as an “ivy print bomber jacket”.  Any pilot wearing that is going to get laughed out of the military.

Oh, and how the guy actually looks like a bored version of Chip.  I don’t blame them for needing to resort to an android model for this.

chip

 

 

Moving on to something I actually really, really love:

whales

 

(Can you hear that?  It’s Mr. Daddy rolling his eyes painfully loudly).

 

Now for the bodily functions segment:

The “Immense Intestine Plush” – your life is now complete!

I don’t want to know what that little tag on the left is, and I don’t want to talk about that part on the bottom.  Oh Lord… a really bad pun.

immense intestine plush

 

Aaaand… for your child learning their alphabet.  What on earth starts with an “N” and looks like a giant happy pile of…???

poo

 

This one falls into the “for reals?” category.  It’s art made with a partner.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that. 

love is art

 

To help us all with some mind bleach after that awkwardness: the always charming Mr. Selleck.  aka: Mr. Rockin Hottie Magnum Daddy.

Selleck

 

A couple more advertising fails:

spider

This is listed as a lily and hydrangea arrangement.  All I see is SPIDER!

 

I know there’s all kinds of growth hormones in our food these days.  But this was listed in the clothing for my second grader’s size.  Methinks there are some hirsute 7-year olds out there now!

 

young man

 

I’m just going to pretend that there’s some incredible Photoshop magic here and that a responsible adult actually has hands on this little tyke.

Else it’s a really terrific way to catch up on your 2013 deductible.

baby shelf

 

Speaking of Photoshop… love how they didn’t bother to clone out the grass on every single one of these ;)

grass3

grass2

grass1

 

Such a lovely composed photo.  Did they mean to put an owl holding his nose atop the toilet?

stinky owl

 

 

I know I’ve blogged this before, but…behold the bike planter.

Truly, the epitome of what to get the person who has everything.

 

bike planter

 

Time for another cool product I actually want.  Would you believe Target carries this?!?!

chair

Makes me laugh every.single.time.  Hysterically

underwater

 

And if you get us any of the things from this post?  We’ll have to buy our neighbors one of these:

neighbors

(as always, click on the photos for a link to the products)

 

 

Wishing you a truly wonderful Christmas – celebrating the birthday of a king who came as a baby.  With much gratitude for your friendship and encouragement this year.

 

minted

 

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

the day I became the butt of the interwebs

 

If it were only not true.

I was minding my own business Tuesday morning when a message arrived with startling news.

A sweet friend that I think I’ve seen exactly once in the last 20+ years sent me a little heads-up:

So, I was scrolling through this little thing a friend posted on Facebook this morning. Just flipping through on my phone, kinda scrolling fast, 'cause it was funny, you know, but not like super funny or anything. But, then, hey, hold on a second, screech the scrolling to a stop half way through, because YOU are in this thing!! What?!

 

And then… I clicked on the link she gave, and saw a title that made my eyes widen (pun intended).

glamour shot

 

I knew by the picture that this was going to be on par with Awkward Family Photos or People of Walmart.

And sometimes I really dislike being right.

 

I reluctantly clicked on it, and my retinas were immediately traumatized.

 

Remember how you were supposed to have loads of makeup, hair teased to ridiculous heights, popped collars, satin gloves, the whole bit?

Well I blogged about it once up on a time.  Remember when that poor girl was exposed for the whole mall to see?  I posted it three years ago.  And then y’all hassled me into posting the pictures that I had taken over 20 years ago?

So then I did?

Well, then THEY did.

Steal them, I mean.

 

Buzzfeed stole my ridiculous Glamour Shot picture off my blog.  Which, y’know, is all kinds of humiliating funny.


I giggled about it until I saw that the post had been viewed…

 

FOUR AND A HALF MILLION TIMES.

 

 

Oh.my.word.

 

And for some reason, it’s getting shared around again.  So I thought I’d do some damage control and post the one semi-normal picture here, so y’all don’t think I’m some weird satin-glove-wearing chick with a random floating head against a dark background.

 

And by semi-normal, I mean please excuse the insane hair.

 

GlamourShotsRach2[4]

 

 

Now, just so I don’t have to suffer alone… here’s my sister’s shot.

(I’m safe because she can’t unfriend me this close to Christmas.)

 

GlamourShotsJu[4]

 

Keep in mind, she was twelve years old.  TWELVE.

So… can you figure out which one I am?  Because people didn’t believe me at first.  But then, c’mon…, becoming the butt of an internet joke is totally up our alley, right?

 

 

Hey, at least it wasn’t People of Walmart.  WIN!

 

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Much Ado About Cluckin’

 

So I wanted to share some recent Etsy favorites with you guys – especially in time for Christmas ordering.

But when I stumbled across a link to this shop, I knew a picture and a link wouldn’t do it justice.

 

Y’all… this lady dresses up her chickens.

 

I mean, is that not ridiculously awesome, or what?

 

Let me start from the beginning.  Remember the dove that crash landed our porch?

IMG_9592

 

A local wildlife rescue took it in.  In keeping up with news about their organization, I saw a post about this:

calendar

 

I blinked a couple of times before I realized that my eyes were indeed seeing a Hawaiian hen.

Who apparently has multiple personalities…

 

wedding

 

 

calendar3

 

 

elf

(anybody else go straight to “he’s an angry elf”?)

 

 

calendar2

 

 

Ms. Natalee and I got to talking about her Etsy shop, Much Ado About Cluckin’ and she was kind enough to humor me with some details.

I asked her how her shop got started, and what made her think of giving her chickens such an awesomesauce wardrobe?

 

It all started out as an amusement for myself literally a few weeks ago. A friend sent a picture of a bearded chicken (we have two bearded chickens here the Easter Egger and our Salmon Faverolle) wearing a gnome costume, and I thought 'why not?'

I am a pretty ridiculous crafter, I create a new giant paper mache costume for each Procession of the Species so I am no stranger to 'strange' crafts. My first chicken costumes were created to represent our chicken's names, Hen Solo, Princess Lay-A, Cluck3PO, ChewBAWKa, and Yolko Ono.

You might have gathered 1. that we love Star Wars in this family and 2. We love a good pun (although I obviously named my chicken outside of the Star Wars theme so the pun won out).

I created them to take pictures then those pictures made other people laugh so much I decided to start the shop for those crazy enough to bedazzle their chickens but also to create a calendar to use the goofy for good.

 

That calendar is $15, with proceeds going toward three separate animal charities: For Heaven’s Sake Animal Rescue, Feline Friends, and Tucker’s Fund (an emergency veterinary fund).

 

I was, y’know, curious about how the chickens do with the costumes.  I mean, I half expected some kind of dog-with-a-cone response, but it sounds like they tolerate it just fine in exchange for treats!

 


I forgot to mention that the girls don't necessarily like all the costumes, some of them are heavier and were done more for the calendar, the lighter ones don't really bug them but I never let them too far with them on. After all is said and done they get oatmeal and pancakes for their good work. So they still come running when I walk out the back door and for me I think that means that they are okay with being dressed up on occasion :)

 

 

Now – back to the important thing… did you catch their names?!?!

 

50,000 OnceUponAmiracle points for those who recall a certain Star Wars fan in our household!

IMG_7427

 

He is going to be thrilled to see the rest of the gang in her shop!

ChewBAWKa

ChewBAWKa

 

 

Cluck 3PO

Cluck3PO

 

 

 

Princess Lay-A and Hen Solo

and of course, Princess Lay-A and Hen Solo

 

 

 

See why I was swooning?

 


Now… if I could just supersize an Obi-Wan Kona-bi one for my girl…

 

 

(here’s what she thinks of that)

 

IMG_3250

 

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

{you} clean up nice

 

 

Remember my handsome husband?

We finally got a new specialist.  Who immediately laid out an anti-cancer diet to fight off those bad cells and hopefully give him some energy back.

This meant an end to those nightly ice cream bowls.

IMG_0209

 

A painful end.

IMG_9160

 

Then the doc started using weird words like quinoa and talking about how he has brown rice and raw nuts for breakfast.

IMG_0373

 

And in short, we can’t have dairy or grains or red meat and our diet needs to be mostly vegetables.  Organic, of course.

No milk, no butter, no cream, no yogurt, no ice cream, no sour cream, no cream cheese, no salad dressing with cream.  No wheat, no grains, no gluten, no pasta, no bread.  One egg a day.  12 ounces of red meat a week.  And soy substitutes are full of estrogen = bad for men.

I was doing okay until he said:

 

NO COFFEE.

 

rachel27

 

Mr. Daddy gulped, half-laughed at my reaction.

Then the doc said,

NO BACON.

 

IMG_1142

 

Boom.

 

 

So now I pretty much want to do this to anyone moaning over their Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook.

IMG_1181

 

 

But in the process of learning about the junk we’ve been putting into our bodies (I promise, we’re not all granola about stuff… we’re hardcore bad-for-you-food-eaters about some things), it intersected with some other changes we’d been making over the past year.

 

Do you know what your body’s largest organ is?

 

It’s your skin.

 

You can bet your sweet bippy that the stuff we’re putting on it is getting absorbed into our bodies at some point.

 

This is not a sponsored post – this is a post about how we did something better for our bodies that ultimately ended up saving us some change$$$.  I can’t stand it when people get all preachy on me – so take it from a convert who is all about cheap and easy.

When you live out in the country with lots of this:

IMG_1346

and

IMG_1404

and

IMG_1048-1

…you also have a fair amount of laundry.

 

I thought I was doing pretty good by getting the “gentle” detergents, and later the natural softener and dryer sheets.

 

tidesoftenerdryer sheets(click on pictures for links to Amazon pricing)

I had no idea what kind of chemical mess I was putting into my clothes until articles like this started popping up online and pretty much scaring the snot out of me.

 

So I went looking for some truly natural detergent on Etsy.  Because y’know, I’m all about EASY.  And if I can’t even follow recipes in the kitchen, you would see me on the 5 o’clock news with a hazmat team if I tried to do THIS! 

greenbubbleshome

I’ll admit – I was a total doubter.  This stuff only takes a 1/2 tablespoon?  Or a full tablespoon for a really dirty load?

Until the day my booger got “washable” paint on his brand new shirt.

And it had gone through a good 10 washings with my usual detergent and some mega stainlifters.  It was one of those “I gave up” things – it was a shame to throw it away.

Except, I washed it with this new stuff ONCE, and the stain was gone.

 

So I decided to do the math.  Because let’s be honest… even if it takes the same amount of TIME, some decisions come down to the dollars.

What we were spending on about 300 loads/year:

$53.88 detergent

$64.71 softener

$27.75 dryer sheets

= $146.34 per year

 

And now?

That natural detergent from Etsy was $54.30 for six bags.  We truly do get about 50 loads from each package.

We also converted to a vinegar/water mix for a softener.  But y’know, I just put the mixture into my cute Mrs. Meyer’s bottle and no one is the wiser (except for y’all).  And who doesn’t have a cute squirrel by all their laundry supplies?

laundry

 

So breaking down the cost of 300 loads with our “new” healthy way?

$54.30 for the natural detergent (including shipping)

$15.00 for a 3 bottles of vinegar

and oops, I forgot dryer sheets!

 

Except… instead of dryer sheets that I’d have to throw away, I finally invested in some felted wool dryer balls.

dryer balls

 

These were $40.80 including shipping.  Big investment.  Except, I’ll never have to buy dryer sheets again.

So the total for our green laundry gear is $110.10 per year.

Not seeing where we’re saving serious $$ ?  The dryer balls last 8+ years.  So this next year, the cost difference will be:

Chemical products = $146.34

Green products = $69.30

 

But get this.  We’re saving money on the fact that it’s such a good stainbuster that we rarely need to pretreat.  And the dryer balls reduce drying time – so I was saving a good 10+ minutes of electricity every load.  (Holy smokes… that’s 50 hours every year).

I’ll be honest with you.  My favorite things about the dryer balls is the fact that I keep finding them in random places.  Can you see where they ended up in Boog’s ultra-cute undies?

IMG_9733

(what does the FOX say?!)

 

I love Etsy.  And these women were super kind when I asked if they had any discount codes for Miracle readers.

Green Bubbles is offering a 10% discount with the code: FALL10

You can find Green Bubbles here on Facebook, and on Twitter.

The detergent comes in eight different scents. 

*Peppermint Scented
*Sweet-Orange Scented
*Lemongrass Scented
*Lavender Scented
*Clean Sheets
*Tahitian Vanilla
*Baby Powder
*Unscented

I can vouch for the Sweet Orange and Tahitian Vanilla.  Trust me, there was not a HINT of elk estrus left on my husband’s hunting gear!

 

And for those dryer balls (that are also conveniently fun to throw as mega bombs during Nerf Wars ahem):

berry bog


Bog Berry will hook you up!

(Oh my word – don’t you love those anchor ones?  She does them custom!)

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her Bog Berry website.

 

She’s created a special code for you guys! ONCEUPON10 for 10% off!

 

Her fella has his own shop of hand carved beauties.  This scoop would be sweet for that jar of detergent!

scoop

 

You can pick it up at Ember Handcraft.

(psst:  with the code FORESTFRIEND for 10% off!)

 

As always, we’ll be back with more Etsy favorites in time for Christmas shopping.  That $$$ I’m saving on laundry ought to come in handy Winking smile

 

 

Now… back to stain-making…

 

IMG_6214

 

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