Bring on the holidays!

Now that it’s OFFICIALLY after Halloween I can focus on Christmas!

Woot!

I LOVE fall.

Nothing better.

Indian summer stretches into fall and we all enjoy cool mornings, crisp nights, and sunny days.

I just want to brag about some of the gifts I bought for my family.

I found a company that makes custom bifold iPhone cases so I whipped up some family photos for my mom so that she could have all her lovely children and grandchildren smiling at her from her phone.

Thank you Lasting Impressions for the perfect gift for my mom.

Her current bifold case is falling apart.

For my sister, a little sass:

Because nothing says “I’ve got attitude” like a mug with the F-Bomb on it.

For my nephews, who I have dubbed “The Littles,” I started a tradition of getting them a Christmas ornament with the Halloween costumes they wore earlier that year.

Calvin was the Grim Reaper and Milo was Venom.

I managed to find Calvin’s costume on Zazzle:

And Milo’s costume on etsy, customization pending.

I’m still debating on what to get them for their gifts.  The ornaments are simply a little extra gift I like to give to The Littles.

I can imagine my brother and sister-in-law’s Christmas tree when the boys are older, filled with memories of Halloween and Christmases past.

Welcome to my fall-loving, Christmas-obsessed season of joy!

I’m a millionaire

Mother’s Day is coming up!

I just realized this.

Which means I have to get something for my mom, my birthmom, stepmom and my grandma.

I am thinking I’ll get some really beautiful handmade cards for each of them.

I’m sort of in love with these POP UP cards from ScrappyTailsCrafts on Etsy:

Aren’t they just BEAUTIFUL?!

Just like my moms, my stepmom and my grandma!

And I always try to do something special for my friend Barbara, whose mother passed away a few years ago (and on my birthday).

I know she keenly feels the loss, and Mother’s Day just exacerbates it.

Usually I send flowers, and I’m thinking this year I’ll send something a little different.

Like a cookie bouquet!

A tasty treat for my dear friend.

As always, Mother’s Day makes me realize how many SPECTACULAR WOMEN I have in my life, not just my mothers, but also my sisters, aunts, and friends.

I believe you can measure the happiness in your life by the number of really close female relationships you have.

And in that respect, I’m a millionaire!

Burning Man Gifts 2018

The other night, Tejas and I sipped gin and tonics while working on Burning Man projects.

I personally worked on my playa gifts.

Glass pendant necklaces.

They are BEAUTIFUL

I sourced the glass pendants from an etsy store since I couldn’t find a studio to charge me less than $10 per pendant.

I received my first batch in the mail and proceeded to glue bails on them, string them on 30” silver necklaces, and place them into individual organza bags.

[Two years ago, I used 18” rat tail cord and sadly my necklaces wouldn’t fit comfortably around anyone’s neck.]

So here’s my first batch of necklaces:

Hearts, for the most part, although I did a few dichroic diamonds.

It turns out, I like them so much I ordered another batch from the same vendor.

I’d like to have about 75 – 100 necklaces to gift.

My OTHER project was a set of light up kitty ears.

A vendor on etsy wanted $30 for a pair of them but between Tejas soldering shortened wires, and me wrapping the lights around a kitty ear headband, it cost me less then $7.

Thank you, Amazon!

Fused glass pendants

A long time ago I went with Barbara to a glass fusing shop and I made a rainbow cheese plate.

I heart that cheese plate.

An even longer time ago, I went with Tejas to Livermore to another glass shop and I made three fused glass pendants.

I happen to REALLY like glass fusion.

And glass blowing, as it turns out, but that’s another story.

For Burning Man, every year I come up with a project where I give away something I created.

My first year I gave away organic peppermint SPF 30 chapstick.

I know, I didn’t make it, but I DID design the label.

My second year I made necklaces out of washers and I gave those away.

Totally handmade by me.

Last year I gave away a stainless steel credit card bottle opener engraved with the Burning Man logo.

Those were VERY popular and I do believe I have some left.

This year, I’m going back to making necklaces and this time around it’s going to be fused glass pendants.

I wasn’t able to find a glass studio willing to charge me less than $10 a pendant so I bought glass pendants in bulk on ebay.

I happen to like them a lot and I was able to buy 50 of them for less than $2.60 each.

Which is great because I still have to add the bail and a 30 inch silver necklace to make a hanging glass pendant.

I’m really excited about it, if a little disappointed that I didn’t get to make the pendants by hand.

I think they’ll look lovely on the playa.

Don’t you?

Care Package

I’m putting together a care package for The Swede and his daughter.

I took back so much deliciousness from Sweden, it only seems fair to share my California with them.

But what to get?

Fucking Ghost Pepper Nuts!

And Caroline Reaper Jerky!

You know, just to say “thanks for destroying my taste buds when you fed me that spicy chocolate truffle.”

It’s my way of returning the favor.

Of course Tejas contributed to the package with his Ghost Pepper Infused Salt.

Mmmmm.

Nothing says “you’re special” like a third degree burn to the lips.

Am I right?

I jest.

And I got Sriracha sauce just because MAYBE they don’t have it in Sweden and who doesn’t LOVE Sriracha sauce?

But seriously, I also picked up some Dayquil/Nyquil for them since it’s not available in Sweden.

Hopefully it will slip by customs.

And then there’s a small but select pile of makeup and skin care products for The Swede’s daughter.

Because I have NO IDEA what else to get her.

And finally, I picked up some SWEDISH FISH for them.

Because they have FISH CANDY in Sweden, but not SWEDISH FISH.

A box of that will remedy the situation.

So whaddya think?

Is it a good care package?

I’M GOING TO SWEDEN!

Apparently, when visiting Sweden from a non-EU country, you are allowed to bring in 4L of wine, 2L of champagne, and a bunch of beer.

So I’m bringing in red wine and champagne from California.

I’m bringing two bottles of Chandon Blanc de Noirs, my favorite domestic sparkling wine and 5 bottles of J. Lohr Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

J. Lohr is the family winery, so it’s a given that I’ll be bringing that label to Sweden with me.

I’ve also decided to get a Christmas present for The Swede’s teenage daughter.

It would certainly be awkward to hand out my presents to The Swede and have nothing for his daughter.

So I got her a California sweatshirt and a Stanford beanie.

Because both those places are near and dear to my heart and I want to share.

I’ve started collecting other miscellaneous items for my trip: things like luggage, longjohns, scarfs and sunglasses.

I am basically going to be a walking, talking, brand new woman in Sweden with all new clothes and accessories.

I even purchased brand spanking new panties.

Just because I love the look of a fresh pair.

The trick, of course, is going to be getting it all to fit in my luggage.

I’m relatively limited in what I can bring over, size wise and weight wise.

So I have to be as streamlined as possible.

Lord knows I’m not the greatest at packing light.

For my first Burning Man, I packed 16 bins of costumes, supplies, and food!

So needless to say, this will be a challenge.

But hey. . .

I’M GOING TO SWEDEN!

Holiday Goodies

I’m going to a HOLIDAY PARTY!

One of many, I hope.

This one is with my old colleagues.

Ye Old Guard, as we like to call ourselves.

Kudos to my bosses for creating a community at work that endures to this day.

Anyway, every year we get together and share stories and swap ornaments/hand made gifts.

Last year, I didn’t get the “ornament memo” and I was the ONLY PERSON who showed up without any gifts for my former colleagues.

I had to scramble to get ornaments and mail them to everyone.

This year, I’ve prepared myself ahead of time:

With UGLY SWEATER ORNAMENTS:

Aren’t they AWFUL (and cute)?

And festive holiday envelopes for wrapping:

Which I will decorate with a beautiful, edible “poinsettia” flower lollipop.

Damn!

I’m THE BOMB!

Stuff (besides beer) for beer lovers

michelle beerI’d like to pause in the middle of my onslaught on Valentine’s Day to bring you this DELICIOUS post:

We all have at least one beer lover in our lives.

In my case the beer lover is me.

Moi.

I’m a fan of that magical mixture of hops, grains and yeast.

I’m so much of a fan that I took Homebrew 101:  Steeped Grains and Homebrew 102:  Whole Grains classes in the city last year.

Here are some of my favorite beer accessories – some things that made me laugh, some things that made my mouth water, and some things I found just plain silly.

Zero affiliate links.

beer1Brewtiful tee.  Isn’t beer brewtiful?

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-3-38-59-pmPour the perfect black and tan, or are you a purist?

beer3Save Water Drink Beer tee

beer4Custom bottle opener

beer5Drunk on patios pint glass

beer6Irish You Were Beer tee

beer7Bratwurst club

beer8What the F**k Should I Make for Dinner book

beer9Party cart

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-3-23-56-pmIn Dog Beers tee

 

beer11Mini Kegerator

beer12Beer mustaches

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-3-49-30-pmBike bag

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-3-31-15-pmGrowler

vday8Valentine or Beer?

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I want fire spinning on my birthday!

You would not BELIEVE how fun a burner* birthday party is.

I went to a party this past weekend in Livermore.  Two longtime burners, twins so-to-speak, were sharing a birthday party.

As I lounged in the backyard amid big fluffy kitties and a nice little fire pit, I got to watch some spinners practice their art.

Watermelon poi.  Squirrel poi.  It was a BLAST!

The party was thumping. People were dancing.  I was sure one of the neighbors would call the cops.

But it appears the neighbors were chill with the action because no cops showed up.  I can’t tell you how impressive that is considering that there was live fire dancing in the street.  Woot!

The twins sat down to open presents and since it was an F-word themed party (everything needed to start with the letter f – feather, fur, flowers, etc) our gifts to the birthday girls were things like frou frou, fascinators, and frames.  My favorite present had to be a framed picture of FUCKING FLAMINGOS.  As in flamingos in the act of fucking.  It was AWESOME!

Of course, I brought FLOWERS for the birthday girls and I wore faux fur, feathers, and flip flops.

All in all, it was SO MUCH FUCKING FUN!

But the BEST present of the night?

FRIENDS.

*And by burner I mean Burning Man burner not 420 burner.  Some people get confused.

Anti-Valentine’s Day 2016

It’s going to become a tradition on my blog for me to troll Etsy for fabulous and creative Anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.  Without further adieu… a few really great Anti-Valentine’s Day items (with links), for the hater in you:

Put a bandaid on your broken heart.

vday1Give the perfect A-V Day bouquet of cookies.

vday2

Give someone a meaningful card.

vday3

Don’t forget to be honest in your communications.

vday4

Remember, it’s okay to drink a lot.

vday5But be clear about how you feel about yourself.

vday6Love is a danger zone.

vday7

We all know what you’re really after.

vday8So don’t be one of these:

vday9Or one of these:

vday10Yes, it’s true that Valentine’s Day is crap.

vday11So just relax.

vday12

But don’t forget…

vday13