Christmas Shopping

I’ve been shopping for all my friends and family and have selected some wonderful items to gift them with.

I may create a few curated themed shopping gift lists, but for now, here’s my hodge podge list of gifts (even some for myself):1. Star earrings – $14

For Robin, because every time I see stars, I think of her.

2. Pearl scrunchie – $32

Also for Robin, because it’s fancy, just like her.

3. Eberjey robe – starts at $45

For my mom, because nothing warms the heart more than a soft robe in her favorite color.

4. Camp hair, don’t care hat – $23

Irony for Jennifer, because her hair always looks amazing, even when camping.

5. Flannel pajamas – starts at $15

For my youngest kid, who seems to always wear them out of the house because they’re cozy.

6. Python print booties – $44

Because they’re wildly popular right now.

7. Pearl headband – $38

For Robin, because it’s beautiful, just like her.

8. Duraline liquid sealer – $20

For me, because it turns any powdered eye shadow into a liner.  Oh, the possibilities!

9. Shuttle Arts marking pens – $23

For my nephews, because they love to create art as much as I enjoy watching them.

10. Toilet night light – $11

For you, because you never knew you needed this until you installed it.

11. Diffuser – $27

For me, because work can be stressful and aromatherapy helps.

12. Surge protector – $16

For my dad, who never seems to have enough USB charging outlets.

13. 2020 Monthly calendar – $11

For me, because I love a sunshine-colored weekly planner that helps me stay organized.

14. Himalayan Body Scrub – $12

For my youngest, because it’s perfect.

15. Chocolate covered cookie gift basket – $28

For my family, because the only thing better than a cookie is a chocolate-covered cookie!

16. Magnetic car phone mount – $16

For me, because I need to mount my phone so I’m not looking down at it. NOTE:  It even comes in ROSE GOLD!

17. Power bank – $28

For everyone, since the PG&E is shutting down the power in California.

18. 3D Wooden puzzle – $30

For my nephews, who love to build things.

19. Cat fountain – $15

For my sister and her FIVE cats!

20. Silver backpack – $96

For me, because it looks pretty.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s my favorite time of year.

The time when I get to pick out presents for my loved ones and show them how much they mean to me.

This year, I’m focusing on my nephews – or The Littles as I call them.

Because my brother and I each had two sets of boys.

Mine are the BIG boys and his are the LITTLE boys.

Hence, The Littles.

It’s an easy way to distinguish between them when we’re discussing “the boys.”

This year, for Christmas I purchased two sets of white cotton pajamas.

Boring, plain old cotton pajamas.

Then I got a tie dye set from Amazon so that The Little can MAKE THEIR OWN PJS!

They love tie dye and I think they’ll enjoy working with all the colors to make something unique and handmade.

Every year, I always get them a personalized ornament with their names and the year and THEIR HALLOWEEN COSTUME.

My oldest nephew was the grim reaper:

My youngest nephew was a zombie from Minecraft:

It’s not easy finding their costume every year on an ornament.

Last year, my youngest nephew was Venom.

I had to commission a Venom ornament from etsy to complete his gift.

This year, I’m also getting something different – a ten inch “layer cake” of white fabric and fabric pens.

I noticed that both boys are really artistic and I thought wouldn’t it make a great gift for their mom (my best friend from 5th grade – yes, my brother married my best friend) to have them design fabric squares over the next few months that I can then make into a quilt for her?

I sure am crafty when it comes to presents and I hope The Littles enjoy what they get.

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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