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Scream Queens – The Best of the Best

30 Oct

Scream Queens

Halloween is tomorrow and my annual Halloween horror movie marathon is in full swing. Fact: I am a fan of the horror genre.   I blame it on my Mother – she always made Halloween so fun and magical when I was little. From costumes and trick-or-treating, to staying up late each year, vegging out on the living room floor, eating candy while watching Michael Myers. I grew up thinking horror movies were fun.

One of my earliest memories is watching The House of Long Shadows starring the fantastic Vincent Price. Granted, this is probably one of my earliest memories because it scared the ever living crap out of me and scarred me for life. Nevertheless, I love me some scary movies. Particularly the cheesy nineteen-eighties films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and my absolute favorite, Halloween. Since it’s that time of year again, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to all the classic Scream Queens of the silver screen.

Neve Campbell – Scream series

Neve Campbell Scream

Scream was released in 1996, a time when good horror movies were few and far between. When it was released, Scream took the world by surprise, reinventing the slasher film genre by none other than Wes Craven – the man who helped build it more than a decade earlier. Neve Campbell portrayed Sidney Prescott, a high school student who is targeted by a crazed, knife-weilding murderer known as Ghostface. Sid and her friends battle the murderer(s) while learning the “rules” of horror movies, which include (according to Randy): “1. You can never have sex. The minute you get a little nookie–you’re as good as gone. Sex always equals death. 2. Never drink or do drugs. The sin factor. It’s an extension of number one. And 3. Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, say ‘I’ll be right back.’”

Scream movie poster

I will never forget seeing this movie in the theater when it came out and it is still one of my all-time favorite movies. Fans will always remember that creepy voice asking “What’s your favorite scary movie?” at the opening of the film. And Sidney is my top choice for Scream Queen in terms of what a good horror heroine should entail – she was a good girl who was determined to stay alive at any cost. Campbell went on to star in all four additional Scream movies, all of which were note-worthy horror films – something that rarely happens in the world of sequels.

Heather Langenkamp – A Nightmare on Elm Street series

Heather Langenkamp

In 1984 we were introduced to one of the most recognizable monsters of all time, known for his striped sweater, stylish hat, burned face and of course, the infamous knife hands – Freddy Krueger. The lead in A Nightmare on Elm Street was a character called Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp. Nancy was a high school student (starting to notice a trend here with horror movie leads…) who, along with her friends, begins experiencing horrific dreams that are all too real, starring none other than Freddy himself. As her friends are killed off one by one in the most gruesome of ways, it’s up to Nancy to stay awake and figure out how to take down Freddy. Langenkamp went on to star as Nancy in 2 sequels –  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Sadly though, her reign as a Scream Queen came to an end in Dream Warriors when Freddy finally caught up to her. But then she comes back in New Nightmare. Go figure. RIP, Nancy.

Nightmare On Elm Street

Linda Blair – The Exorcist series

Linda Blair

What do I say about this next Queen? She starred in one of the most scary movies of all time – The Exorcist. Linda Blair portrayed 12 year old Regan, a little girl who is possessed by a very, very evil demon while her mother is forced to helplessly watch. Regan endures some pretty sick torture by the demon possessing her, things involving crucifixes and pea soup that I don’t wish to repeat. And then there’s the head-spinning horror of the actual exorcism performed by the priests.

 

 

The Exorcist movie poster

Linda Blair starred in the sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic, which follows Regan years later, where she finds that some of the evil that once possessed her still lives inside her. All I can say is, if you don’t want to be thoroughly creeped out and not be able to sleep at night, absolutely do not watch these movies.

Jamie Lee Curtis – Halloween series

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween

And finally, we come to my all-time favorite Scream Queen – Jamie Lee Curtis herself. Halloween was released in 1978 and starred Curtis, in her first movie role, as Laurie Strode, an awkward teenage girl who got stuck babysitting some neighbor kids on Halloween. Poor Laurie had no idea that her psychotic, long-lost brother, Michael Myers, would decide to come get his kicks by killing all of her friends and coming for her in the end. But Laurie kept her wits about her and was determined to live and keep those kids safe! She fought back (with a coat hanger to the eye) and made it to the sequel! Halloween II picked up right where Halloween ended – following Laurie to the hospital after her traumatic fight for survival. But once at the hospital, Michael rises from the dead in the  morgue and goes on another killing spree.

Halloween

 

Jamie Lee survived the hospital too, and went on to appear in two other Halloween films – Halloween H2O, which also starred Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams, where she played Laurie as a mother and head mistress of a boarding school. Of course Michael comes for her there and she now has to protect her son and some kids at the school. (This one was also one of my faves!) And sadly, Jamie Lee’s reign as Screen Queen came to an end in Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, where Michael finally catches her in a mental hospital – where she has stowed herself so he couldn’t get to her. I gotta say, I was pretty upset when they killed her off. But Halloween isn’t the only horror movie Jamie Lee is known for. She also starred in such films as Prom Night, Terror Train and The Fog. I think she will always be the ultimate Scream Queen.

So, what’s your favorite scary movie? 

Happy Halloween!

Forget It, Black Friday – Shopping From Home

24 Nov

Yesterday was Black Friday, and I was foolish enough to get out amongst the crazies (does that make me a crazy, too??) and hunt for those amazing deals that stores promised us. It’s kind of a family tradition, where no matter how much I don’t want to, I just have to go to at least one store the day after Thanksgiving. Victoria’s Secret, Express, Toys R Us, and Kohls were blowing up my inbox all week telling me to get my bottom to their store and take advantage of all the free stuff they’re going to give me. Well, I ended up getting out late yesterday afternoon – I refuse to be one of those people who stands in line until midnight and then ferociously make a mad dash for the electronics section – and hit up a couple of department and non-chain stores in search of a few unique gifts. While I didn’t make it to any of those mass merchandisers, I did take advantage of their sales early yesterday morning from the comfort of my couch. Which brings me to the topic of this post – the joy of online shopping.

Unless you live in an area where internet coverage is not offered or are in a coma in the hospital, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to shop via the internet this holiday season. I got all the offers and discounts that I was promised in store this Black Friday, plus free shipping, and didn’t even have to get out of my pajamas.  I didn’t wait in line anywhere, I didn’t have to deal with the attitudes of sales clerks who had been working since 11:00 the night before, giving everyone the stink eye, and I certainly didn’t have to drive around a parking lot for twenty minutes waiting for someone to leave so I could park. I shopped at my own pace, taking my time browsing the sites. Doesn’t this sound like a pleasant shopping experience?

Now, I understand that there are some Black Friday and holiday deals that are only offered in store. This is when you have to ask yourself, “Is this item really going to make or break Christmas for the recipient, and is it worth going through all of the shopping madness for?” If the answer is yes, then bless your heart. When you are forced to venture out to the stores for gifts, please follow my simple rules of Christmas Shopping Etiquette, some of which include shopping with a plan, leaving little ones at home, and getting well if you are sick before doing your shopping.

In summary, try to enjoy the Christmas season and don’t make it all about presents. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, especially with stores constantly in our faces with ads for the latest and greatest gadgets. Only buy (or better yet, make!) gifts that are from your heart to the recipient. And please, stay in and do your shopping from the comfort of your home whenever possible!

Happy Holidays! 

Fun Fall Activities

10 Oct

Happy Fall, y’all! I absolutely love this time of year because it means cool weather, crisp air, Fall clothes, and of course, the start of the holidays. I like to be outside as much as possible to enjoy the changing of the seasons, and there are certain things that help get me in the right frame of mind for the upcoming holidays. I’m sure you have family traditions or activities that make you associate this time of year with happiness, too, right? There are so many fun, family oriented things to be done this time of year and I’m sure no matter where you live you can find some in your area.

Here are five ideas to help get you ready for Fall:

Get pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. Support your local farmers by purchasing your pumpkins from them. Also, pumpkin patches are a great place to snap some family photos and if you have kids, even better! Go here to see if there’s one near you.

Pick apples at an apple orchard. Ok, so I’ve never actually been apple picking. I think maybe it’s a Northern thing? I’ve never seen any apple orchards down here in the South but I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts on apple picking recently and I must admit, it looks pretty great. Especially since you get to take them all home and bake pies with them. Count me in! An apple orchard is going on my destination wish list.

Carve a pumpkin. After you get your pumpkin from the local patch, do one of Halloween’s most famous traditions – carve that sucker! You can find carving templates to print online (check out bhg.com or marthastewart.com for free, printable patterns) and create a spooky or sweet pumpkin with your friends or family. And don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds! Mmmm!!

Go on a hayride. Kick back and enjoy the scenery! Farms, apple orchards or pumpkin patches are likely to have hayrides this time of year and it’s a fun way to get in the spirit of the season with friends and family. To see if hayrides are offered in your neck of the woods, go here.

Check out a local Haunted House attraction… if you dare. Muhuhaha! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Haunted houses, forests and trails are an excellent way to celebrate Halloween. It’s always more fun with a big group of friends, too! Go to hauntworld.com to find a spooky destination near you.

What are your favorite Fall activities? Have fun!

Why I Love October

8 Oct

October is my favorite month, but not just because it’s my birthday month (I shouldn’t get so excited about that anymore seeing as I’m becoming an old woman and all). October means Halloween, which is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Growing up, Halloween was always a big deal in my house. We always decorated, went all out with our Halloween costumes, and trick-or-treating was like, the most fun thing ever. But it also meant that right after Halloween we’d get Thanksgiving where I got to gather with all of my cousins, aunt, uncles, grandparents and just pig out. Then of course it is right on to the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! Yes, October means the start of something wonderful in my world.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve already started celebrating Halloween! The house is decorated, I have begun my annual scary movie marathon, and pumpkin carving ideas are underway. And to keep you guys in the Halloween spirit, too, I plan on posting Halloween related material all month such as: 1) my top 10 scary movies to watch at Halloween, 2) cool pumpkin carving designs, and of course 3) great costume ideas.

Be sure to check back, and let me know what Halloween traditions you have in your family!  

Happy October!

Comic-Con Fashion

29 Jul

July has come and gone and once again, so has another Comic-Con that I did not attend. Comic-Con is a 4 day convention exhibiting all things comic book, science fiction, horror, and related pop culture in film/television, novels and video games. It’s held every July in San Diego and I’d really like to experience it in my life (you may remember this showing up on my recent Bucket List post). I wouldn’t say I’m a huge comic book nerd or anything, but I probably do enjoy super heroes and zombies a little more than the average person. The idea of going to a 4 day convention celebrating these things where almost everyone is dressed up like it’s Halloween sounds absolutely fantastic to me. So maybe that does make me a huge nerd, after all.

Another really great thing about Comic-Con is the celebrity presence. Actors, directors and writers attend to represent their film or show, and the public are welcome to attend panels where they can get up close and personal with celebrities to hear them talk about their work, and possibly even meet and get an autograph. What people may not realize though, is that Comic-Con is as much for the actors as it is for the fans. Celebrities have been known to put on a costume and walk around the convention floor along with the public, completely disguised.

Although dressing up is not required to attend Comic-Con, if you’re gonna go you might as well go all out. I love watching the coverage every year and seeing some of the completely insane creative outfits people show up in – a lot of them homemade. Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Comic-Con a few weeks ago.

Doesn’t that look like fun!? One day I will attend. Oh yes, it will happen. Until then, I’ll try to think of a creative costume.

What would you wear to Comic-Con? 

Christmas In July

12 Jul

We’re halfway there, people! Only 165 days left until Christmas. You may be wondering how on Earth I could be thinking about Christmas right now, which is a perfectly good question. The truth is, at some point in the middle of the year (usually in July or some other sweltering summer month) I get sick of the 100 degree weather and long for cold, wintery nights, cozying up in flannel pajamas and sipping hot chocolate. Realistically I don’t have to wait for Christmas to do that – I could just crank down the AC and make my house freezing enough to feel like winter, but it’s much more than just the cooler weather that I long for. I love Christmas time and all the things that go along with it that put me in a joyful mood:  little twinkling lights and decorated Christmas trees, holiday music with sleigh bells, big comfy sweaters with snowflakes on them and all of those yummy treats that we seem to only indulge in during the holidays.

So, every year when this Christmas itch begins I start to do little things that bring on that “most wonderful time of the year” feeling. Here are some Christmas in July activities that are sure to help you escape from the summer reality into a Christmasy frame of mind.

Create A Christmas Playlist

Pack your iPod or make a homemade CD full of Christmas favorites like “White Christmas”, “The Christmas Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Whenever I listen to Christmas music it almost immediately puts me in a good mood. You can’t go wrong with a little Bing Crosby!

Watch A Holiday Classic

Dust off some of the Christmas movies in your DVD collection for movie night and curl up on the couch with a holiday classic like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Scrooged” or my personal favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  They’ll bring you that old familiar holiday feeling months ahead of schedule.

Bake Some Christmas Cookies

You don’t have to wait until December to put on your apron and set up shop in the kitchen. There is always more cooking and baking in my family during the holidays than any other time of year, and what better way to treat yourself than to make some traditional holiday goodies in the middle of the summer? Dig up the family recipes and whip up some sugar cookies, cakes and pies.

Start Christmas Shopping Early

You may think it’s too early to start doing your Christmas shopping but the earlier you shop, the more you save. I’m not saying go out this weekend and buy gifts for everyone, but go ahead and start thinking about what you’d like to get people and begin making a list. And next time you’re out shopping and see something on your list that is on sale, go ahead and get it. You’ll have less shopping to do just before Christmas when the stores are packed with people and high prices. (If you do find yourself Christmas shopping with the crowds, however, follow these guidelines for Christmas Shopping Etiquette.)

Do you ever get the Christmas itch in the middle of summer, too?

Merry halfway to Christmas!

It Must Be Awards Season!

8 May

Last week I was very pleasantly surprised to receive two WordPress awards from some of my favorite fellow bloggers. This isn’t an “official” award or anything (you don’t get a trophy for your shelf, unfortunately), but it is a big deal to me because it tells me that there are people out there that really do find what I have to say somewhat interesting! And people who aren’t obligated to find what I have to say interesting, at that (thanks, Mom!).

The first award I received was the Versatile Blogger Award from Lory (a.k.a. LoLo) over at Ranting on the Lolo.

The rules for accepting this award are:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  • Share 7 random things about yourself
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.

This is actually my second time to receive the Versatile Blogger Award, so I will defer you to my original post here, as all the 7 random things about myself are still true (and I really can’t think of 7 more things about myself that are interesting enough to share), and I would again like to acknowledge the 15 bloggers I originally nominated. And last but not least, a big THANK YOU to LoLo, whose blog I follow and find thoroughly witty and relevant!  And I’m sure you will, too!

The second award I received was the Liebster Blog award from Jeni at WeelilWimsy.

This is my first time to receive this one and I am so happy to add it to my trophy case! It is a German award that promotes up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. The rules for accepting this one are:

  • Acknowledge the person that gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Copy and paste the award to your own site.
  • Choose 5 other blogs to award and let them know you nominated them.

Well first, I already acknowledged her but I’d like to say THANK YOU again to Jeni from WeelilWimsy, who I have a strong feeling I’d be good friends with if we lived in the same town, and whose blog really inspires me creatively. I love your passion for writing and your outlook on life!

And now on to the 5 fellow bloggers I’d like to nominate! I have to say, on most of these I couldn’t tell how many followers they had (and wouldn’t be surprised at all if they had more than 200 because they’re that good!) but I’m just going to go for it:

  1. The Cubicle Views - On his About Me page, this guy writes: “It’s probably safe to say that no one in high school every uttered the following:  I want to go to college for 4-5 (or more) years and go on to graduate school for a couple more, so I can work my ass off in a 6 by 8 foot, 3.5 walled equivalent of the corporate jail cell for the next 40+ years.”  I often think this very thing myself and can totally relate to his sarcastic and hilarious truths about Corporate America.
  2. Olivia’s Opinions – I love this girl! On her blog, Olivia reviews books and movies and keeps me up to date on what I should be reading these days. And y’all mark my words, we will be reading books written by this creative young lady one day, I just know it!
  3. A Touch of Lovely – If you hadn’t noticed, I am a girl and love girly things. Jen over at A Touch of Lovely does too and I totally dig her style!  And she just launched a fabulous online bridal magazine called Bijou that’s packed with wedding inspiration, articles and giveaways.
  4. Lightness of Being - Katarzyna from Johannesburg, South Africa is a gifted photographer and I really enjoy seeing life through her lens in her blog posts. She freezes time and captures moments with her camera; making ordinary objects that we see everyday appear artful and inspiring.
  5. Mookology – Two things I absolutely love are movies and books, and this blog covers both. So naturally I’m going to love it. Alyssa takes books that have been adapted for the silver screen and writes a review of both the book and the movie, then breaks down what she liked or didn’t like about the adaptation. Brilliant!

A huge thank you again to Ranting on the Lolo and WeelilWimsy for recognizing my blog. I really appreciate your encouragement and support!

The Reason I’ll Watch The Super Bowl (Hint: It Involves Ferris Bueller)

2 Feb

It’s that time of year again…parties are being planned, fridges are being stocked, and furniture is being arranged around big screens across America. All in preparation for “The Big Day”. What, you think I’m talking about football?? As if! I’m talking about the commercials, of course! This is really the only reason I watch the Super Bowl, as I am not much of a football fan. But I do tune in every year, just this one time, to see the million dollar productions that advertising companies create.

This year, I have already found a Super Bowl commercial that I LOVE. And it’s not just because it’s a tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Hello, my name is Mandy and I am obsessed with all things 80′s.) I’m really excited about the Honda CR-V commercial starring Matthew Broderick!

In the original 2 minute production seen below, Broderick wakes up and fakes an illness so he can take a day off from acting, with a very familiar song playing in the background. If you are a fellow Bueller lover, I believe you’ll really enjoy this.

I think they’ll only be showing a 30 second clip during the game on Sunday, but you can always come here and watch it over, and over, and over…

Other commercials I am looking forward to seeing on Sunday are from Budweiser, Coke, CareerBuilder, Doritos, Snickers and GM. These companies are notorious for putting a lot of creativity, humor and money into their ads and usually don’t disappoint me. Oh, and I am a big fan of anything with animals or babies – throw one of those in the commercial and you can’t go wrong!

I studied Advertising in college and even have a degree in it (not that it’s being used for that and most likely never will be) so commercials are something that I pay attention to. In school, I studied print and television ads, and was taught what to look for in a good advertisement, and what makes one not so good. I am notorious for critiquing commercials (much to my family’s dismay sometimes, I’m sure) and the Super Bowl is the mother of all commercial critique opportunities for me. Bring it on, Super Bowl Sunday, I’m ready!

I hope you all have fun watching the Super Bowl – whether it’s for the actual game or for the commercials. Let me know which ones are your favorites!

Ode To The Girl Scout Cookie

7 Jan

Just in time for our New Year’s resolutions of losing weight, eating healthier, and getting fit – Girl Scout cookies went on sale this week! As if we didn’t eat enough sweets during the holiday season, right? That’s OK though, because nothing will stand between my and a Samoa.

Oh, how I love them. I also love the Tagalongs, the Do-si-dos, the Thin Mints…

This year, in honor of 100 years of Girl Scouting they are introducing a new cookie for us to stuff our faces with for us to enjoy called Savannah Smiles. It will be a lemon flavored cookie, and if it’s anything like the rest of the Girl Scout cookies it will be just as delicious and habit-forming.

On a side note, does anyone remember that little gem of a movie Savannah Smiles from 1982? What a great flick! I kind of want to watch it again now. Thanks, Girl Scouts!

Chances are you are already on top of where and how to buy your Girl Scout cookies, but if you need help tracking down one of the little cookie pushers go here to locate your nearest Girl Scout council. They will be able to help you seek out the sugary goodness.

  • OMFG There’s A New Girl Scout Cookie! [Girl Scouts] (jezebel.com)

Have Yourself A Cuddly Little Christmas

24 Dec

It’s Christmas Eve, and what better way to celebrate than with cute, cuddly puppies and kittens?!

Christmas Vacation

22 Dec

Today marks the official start of my two-week Christmas vacation! I have been waiting for this day for a long, long time. Since January, really. This is truly my favorite time of the year, and not just because I don’t have to go to work for 2 weeks. I so look forward to celebrating Christmas each year, and getting to focus all of my time and energy on doing so is what makes having the 2 weeks off so enjoyable to me.

I started my vacation the way that I planned I would: I slept in (not hearing my alarm at 5:00 a.m. was marvelous), laid around in my new fuzzy Muppet pajamas (thanks, Mom!), drank Christmas coffee (thanks, sissy!), wrapped my husband’s Christmas presents while watching some Lifetime Christmas movies. Of course, I was bawling by 10:00 in the morning – way to go, Christmas Angel. So all in all, I’d say my Christmas vacation is off to a great start!

Here are some of the things I look forward to doing over the holidays:

  • Bake – I love to make special cookies, cakes and cupcakes and don’t ever seem to have the time to do so without feeling rushed.

  • Drive around and admire the Christmas lights on houses – This was a family tradition I had growing up, and my husband and I continue it each year. There’s something about beautiful houses lit up with Christmas lights on a dark night that just feels magical. Of course we listen to Christmas music on our rides!

  • Watch Christmas movies – Christmas just isn’t Christmas without these movies in my house:

  • Spend Christmas with my husband – This will be the first year since we met nearly 7 years ago that we spend Christmas completely alone, just the two of us! We always are either traveling or have company at our house. I’m sure this will be different but very relaxing at the same time!

I hope you all get some time off from work to enjoy Christmas, too! What do you plan on doing to celebrate this year?

Merry Christmas!

My Versatile Blogger Nomination

21 Dec

Christmas came early for me when I checked my email on Monday to find (very much to my surprise) that my blog has been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by a fellow WordPress blogger (THANK YOU twomuffinsinanoven)! What a huge boost for me. First, this confirms that someone (other than myself, and my close friends and family) have actually read my blog. And second, it encourages me by letting me know people find what I have to say interesting and well, versatile!

The rules for accepting this award are:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  • Share 7 random things about yourself
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.

There are a lot of blogs that I find inspiring, humorous, informative and just plain entertaining.  But I can only nominate 15, so here they are:

  1. Music Candy
  2. Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences
  3. The Jackie Blog
  4. My Stylistic Life
  5. One Crazy Bible
  6. f-stopmama
  7. Did You See That One?
  8. The Middlest Sister
  9. jimmiechew
  10. Mary at the Movies
  11. Life, laughs, love, and the things in-between
  12. Elephant Eats
  13. Salted Chocolate
  14. goodlikesgirls
  15. urbanmoocher.com

And finally, here are 7 random facts about yours truly:

  1. My best friend in the whole world, Cassie, is the one who inspired me to start a blog. She has her own blog, Because I Saw It On Pinterest, and guest posts on Good Girls Inc regularly. She’s quite crafty, y’all!
  2. My husband and I have two cats, Flake and Gus, and both were strays that we found in our backyard. They are our children.
  3. My favorite place in the entire world is Gatlinburg, TN and my husband and I will be spending New Years there. I can not wait to breathe in some fresh mountain air!
  4. This one kind of goes along with #3, but I am a HUGE Dolly Parton fan. She has her own theme park near Gatlinburg called Dollywood, and it truly is the happiest place on earth. To me, at least. :)
  5. I have lots of hobbies, but my biggest passion is photography. I’ve been shooting for fun for the past 15 years, and also take portraits for my close friends.
  6. I’m a big fan of cheesy, soft-rock, love songs. What can I say…Lionel and Celine just melt my heart.
  7. I am a couponer. I clip from the paper and print them out online. Some weeks, our meal plans depend on what coupons I can use. I think my biggest savings on weekly groceries was around $80! That’s a lot of dough!

Again, thank you to twomuffinsinanoven! What a wonderful thing to do for a fellow blogger!

My Childhood Christmas List

15 Dec

This time of year I am always asked by my parents to “make a list” of things I want for Christmas. They still do this. And as I get older, I find it harder and harder to think of things that I want or need to put on that list. Why is that?? When I was little, I remember me and my sister would make these extremely long lists of things we wanted Santa to bring us. And we always got most of it, too! (Thanks mom and dad – I realize now that I’m older how spoiled we were as children.) I guess as I get older it’s harder for me to make Christmas lists because Christmas has become more to me than just presents.

So, I was thinking recently about some of my most memorable childhood Christmas presents and couldn’t help but take a long, much-needed stroll down memory lane. Back when things were much simpler and the toys and music were way cooler than what kids have now. Here are some of my favorite things I got for Christmas from childhood:

She-Ra Castle

NKOTB Step By Step VHS

Talking Alf Doll

Lite-Brite

A Caboodles

The Fireball Island Game

Simon Says

Cabbage Patch Doll

Pogo Ball

One of the following tapes:

Oh childhood, how I miss you! And those are just a few of the things I remember getting. What are some of your favorite things you got for Christmas when you were little?

Happy Holidays!

A Thanksgiving Assignment

24 Nov
The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy Thanksgiving, girls! Today is the day we gather with our families and sometimes close friends and celebrate the things we are thankful for. We celebrate by feasting (because eating is the  best way to say “thank you”, of course!), shopping, and watching television.

Does this seem odd to anyone else?

This year, how about a little more human interaction? I mean real human interaction, besides “pass the cranberry sauce” and “excuse me” to fellow midnight madness shoppers.  I’d like to encourage you to engage in actual conversation with those that mean most to you – no texts, emails, or Facebook wall posts. Take the time today to tell the people you love that you are thankful for them, and ask them what they are thankful for.  Face to face. A good time to do this is at the dinner table. Now, I realize many of you may be freaking out right now because you’ve forgotten how to communicate with people in person. But don’t worry, I know you can do it! And I know you will be glad that you did.

Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and what it really means. Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

  • My health
  • My family
  • Good friends who actually care about me
  • My kitties
  • My job
  • Weekends
  • Vacations
  • Past holidays that I’ve shared with my family and the memories we’ve made that I will cherish forever

What are some things you are thankful for?

Breaking Dawn Part 1 Day 2011

18 Nov

Happy Breaking Dawn Part 1 Day!

I can’t believe it’s finally here! So, what did you think of the movie? I want details, girls.

Don’t forget to vote on the Team Edward or Team Jacob poll here. I’ll post the results of the poll later this weekend. Have fun and go see it multiple times if you can!

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

17 Nov

Tomorrow’s the big day, girls! Are you ready for Breaking Dawn Part 1? By now we all know who Bella has chosen. But do you ever wonder if she made the right choice? She’s got a pretty hard decision if you ask me! I mean, become a vampire and live forever with a perfect, never-aging, sparkly vampire, or remain human and live the American dream with a hot, muscular, shape-shifting wolf…yeah, that’s a hard one!

Which team are you on? Tell me below and I’ll post the results after the big opening weekend at the box office!

Christmas Shopping Etiquette

16 Nov

Get ready for Black Friday, girls! It is a little more than one week away and not only is it the BIGGEST shopping day of the year, but it kicks off the thing that stresses us out most – the dreaded Christmas shopping season. Prepare yourself people. Expect to go to stores only to find that the entire population of your city has beat you there, end up parking half a mile from the store, and fight your way through aisles of screaming children and rude shoppers, all in a mad frenzy trying to find something to wrap up and put under a tree.

During this hellacious process, please try to remind yourself the reason for the season and try not to lose your mind. Here are a few key points to consider before venturing out to the stores this year.

  • Know what you are looking for when you arrive. Go with a plan of exactly what you need from each store. Prepare for this by looking at ads for each store in your weekly paper, or by checking their website or calling before you go to be sure they carry the item you need. If you get to a store this time of year only to find that they don’t even have the item you came for, saying you will be a little upset is a serious understatement.
  • Ask the store associates for help finding items throughout the store. I swear there is nothing that ticks me off more than someone lollygagging around the aisles when I am clearly on a mission. Don’t do this. You will only get in the way and cause more stress.
  • Make sure you have everything you need before entering the checkout line. Do not remember something that you forgot to get in the store when you get to the cashier and ask if you can “run back” and get it. The people waiting in line behind you will most likely stone you.
  • Leave your kids at home. I love children. I honestly do! But a crowded store during the busiest shopping season of the year is no place for a child. Do yourself (and everyone shopping around you) a favor and get your husband or babysitter to watch the kids while you shop. Tell yourself it’s a “girls day out” for yourself if you need to!
  • Stay home if you are sick. Really? Do I even need to elaborate on this one? No one wants someone hacking up some strange bodily fluids on them in close proximity.

And finally, the easiest and most important point of all:

  • Remember to smile and offer a holiday greeting to fellow shoppers and store personnel. Just take a deep breath and do it. It will make you feel better and just may make the day of whoever you say it to.

Happy holidays, girls!

Christmas Decorations: How Soon Is Too Soon?

8 Nov

I love Christmas. I just love it! It’s the time of year for sparkly lights, warm sweaters, pine scents, hot cocoa, Lifetime Christmas movie marathons, etc, etc. I could go on and on about all of the things this time of year means to me.

Every year about this time, I start to get the “Christmas itch”. The stores are putting out their Christmas decorations and displays, so why can’t I? I really think the only thing preventing my house from looking like Santa’s Headquarters at the North Pole right now is that it is for sale. (My husband keeps telling me that it might freak out potential buyers if they walk into a house fully decorated for December 25th when it’s only the first week of November. As if!)

So, to help scratch my Christmas itch, I’ve come up with a plan. I will ease myself into the holidays this year by giving myself a little bit at a time. The way I see it, it’s ok to put up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. So I’ve got 3 weeks (18 days – but who’s counting?). Here’s my strategy:

  • Week 1 – Start listening to Christmas music. This will be something I can do discretely in the privacy of my car or on my iPod, so I shouldn’t get any strange looks or questions. And it will certainly give me that Christmassy feeling.
  • Week 2 – Map out my holiday decorations. I’m talking full-on blue prints of my house detailing where every light and candy cane will be placed. I will start by creating a database list of all my decorations. So I will be ready to place them throughout the inside (and outside) of the house.
  • Week 3 – In the final stages of my plan, I will purchase any last-minute decorations that I see the need for after inspecting my list and map. I’ll do the whole “Thanksgiving” thing, and count down the hours till Friday, November 25th.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Creative Alternatives to Curse Words

30 Oct
Cartoon of a person waving fist

Image via Wikipedia

When I was younger I had kind of a potty mouth. But as I get older, I realize that I don’t really like to hear people use swear words casually in conversations.  Let’s face it, it’s a total turn off. It might make you feel better, but it really doesn’t make you sound cooler or anything. I propose that we use different words to get our point across in frustrating or intense situations. Here are a few of my favorite creative alternatives to cussing:

Cheese and Rice
Cripes
Fiddle Sticks
Frick
Frickin’ A
Fudge
Geez Louise
Heck Fire
Holy Cow
Holy Heck
Holy Moly
Mother of Pearl
Snickers
Son of a Gun
Shut the Front Door

Let’s all get creative when expressing ourselves! We may get some funny looks, though. What are some of your favorite alternatives to cussing? Leave me a comment and tell me so I can add it to my list!

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