Sunday, December 21, 2014

how not to pull your hair out & lose your will to live during the holidays

Christmas might just kill me y'all. So, in the small chance that I actually survive, I am writing a letter to my future self. Think of it as a how-to guide for a stress-free holiday season. So without further ado...

How to Not Pull Your Hair Out & Lose Your Will to Live During the Holidays

1.   Do not agonize over coordinating wrapping paper, tags and bows. I do. Every year. I was so over wrapping by third hour this year, that I was ready to throw everything in a sack (or in the trash for that matter). I have never wanted to throw my hands in the air like I just didn't care in all of my life. 

Note to self: Next year, one paper. One ribbon. No tags. Do something like this (except on the actual package and with their actual name, or it will get really confusing, and Uncle Bob might end up with some lovely lavender hand cream and a subscription to Ladies Home Journal):

via: bloglovin 
2.   Do not agonize over Christmas cards. I haven't nothing against Christmas cards. In fact, I have sent them out every single year since forever. I even mailed out cards before I had a pet or child to plaster on the front. Can you even? What kind of cards even exist if there aren't pictures involved? Oh, and don't forget the annual newsletter. Seriously, how are you supposed to keep up with our family? Oh yeah, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I'm pretty sure my family and friends, and almost strangers (also known as Facebook friends) know what my kids look like and what events have transpired pretty much every day of our ever-so-glamorous lives. Oh, and cards are many levels of freaking expensive. Okay, so take cute pictures of kids (check), upload adorable (and printable) card from Etsy (or print from any various source - check), have them printed at local office supply store (or online print shop - check), address all 100 cards (which takes approximately 3 lifetimes to do - check), stick a stamp (aren't they about $5.60 a piece now? - check) on all 100 cards (this is what children are for, so YAY for that - check), and lastly, haul them to the post office (check). Wipe your brow and go sell organs on the black market to pay for them (check). 

Note to self: Next year,  whip up a cute little "card" on PicMonkey (or any other photo program) and post on various social media. E-mail to everyone else. Then, sit with hot cocoa in hand and pat yourself on the back because you have just saved approximately $4,590 and 86 hours. You are a genius.

3.   Your home is not going to be on the cover of a magazine, so don't make yourself insane trying to deck your halls.  Honestly, this is the biggest stress for me each year. I love these "Holiday Home Tours" on my favorite "home" blogs. Their homes are perfect. Every hall is decked beyond all recognition and every stocking his hung by the chimney with ALL OF THE CARE. To their defense, many of them ARE on magazine covers, and most of them blog for a living. The rest of them probably just wait all year for it. I love decorating my home for the holidays as much as the next person (or even more), but the time and effort it takes is exhausting. I simply didn't have time to finish this year. I had other things that needed my attention such as feeding my children, buying groceries, and bathing. I stressed about decorations. What is wrong with me?

Note to self: Next year, simplify. That can mean lots of things, but most importantly, don't stress. Pick a few places to focus on...a few things that are really meaningful and ROCK IT OUT. I love the idea of just adding some simple greenery, having a beautiful tree with decorations made from salt dough and macaroni, and a few preserved boxwood wreaths. We'll see how that goes. Good luck with that Christmas of 2015 self. 

Also, do yourself a favor, and before you turn yourself into a tinsel tossing lunatic, read The Nester's post on undecorating for Christmas

"If decorating my house for Christmas is a burden, then I stop. I have to." ~The Nester (Myquillyn Smith)
{Genius. Sheer genius I tell ya.}

So, to clarify: No crazy Christmas shenanigans next year, k? Easy peasy. No matchy matchy gift wrap, Christmas cards are not essential to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, and decorating (or lack thereof) doesn't need to send you on the next bus to Crazytown. 

Have a wonderful and stress-free holiday, and please, by all means, do not don your gay apparel and troll the ancient yuletide carol without posting it. Put a filter on it. Hashtag the heck out of it. Then, don't forget to put it on that annual newsletter next year...or not. 

Merry Christmas y'all. Here's to an awesome 2015.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

the struggle is real

Y'all, I love Christmas. I mean, I love it like a blue-haired grandma loves her BINGO. I love the sights, the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the tastes. Mmmmm, the tastes. Soooo, I have love love loved all of the blogs and their "Holiday Home Tours", but I simply don't see how they do it. They have their entire home decorated like a window display at the North Pole Mall, and I can't even get my tree finished.
I have accomplished something though. I made snowball-like pom poms out of yarn. Yes, I did make them at 1:00 AM, and yes, I did bypass a shower to do so, but as Taylor Swift says, "Makers gonna make", or something like that. I am making them to DIY something like this...
source: Anthropologie
It is $38 for a 6 ft. long garland. Not a horrific price, but I definitely wanted more like 60 ft. of garland instead. Yes, haven't you heard "more is more"?  Well, I don't want to spend $400 on garland, because that is insane, not in my budget, so DIY it is. I might even make one of these if I'm feeling up to a pom pom making frenzy.  
Source: Anthropologie
It is $138. I think I can make it for less than $15. Sure, it will only take approximately 14 gazillion hours, but I haven't nothing else to do. *Ahem*

Also, I am thinking of making this as well, but using pre-made pom poms instead of felted balls because I am not working in a sweatshop and this many felted balls would take an eternity plus 18 days. (If you want to make them, here is a tutorial. Knock yourself out. Be sure to grab a stiff drink and put on some holiday music 'cause your gonna need it when you are elbow deep in wool and soap.)
felted ball garland via Pickles
I love the vibrant colors of this, but it really isn't my color palette. I'm going white. You know, once you go white, you never...oh never mind. Sorry. I can't help what pops into my head, and it's late, and my kids have been cranky all day, and it took them 2 hours to go to bed tonight. The struggle is real.

So, my tree isn't completely decorated, I need to clean the chicken coop, my dishes are piled up in the sink, I have Christmas presents to wrap, I have no decorations outside, have about 8 canvases to paint, approximately 10 loads of laundry to do, and all I can think of is making pom poms and wreaths. You know, priorities. 

I'll be back to show you the Great Pom Pom Event of 2014 this week.