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Theme Parties Are Awesome – Christmas in July (Pre Party)

20 Jul

Shhh… I’m throwing my husband a surprise party this weekend! His birthday is Christmas Day, so it should be a pretty good surprise… in July. Also, it’s just an excuse to finally have people over our house!

Step 1 of throwing a surprise party: Do not marry my husband.

Someone please remind me never to throw him a surprise party ever again, will you? He is seriously the hardest person to keep things from EVER. Like, no joke. He has impeccably annoying timing, is very particular about where things go in the house, and notices every.little.addition/change. You have no idea.

A couple of people pulled out of the party last minute and I’d love to change it to another weekend so more people could come, but I CAN’T HANDLE THIS ANYMORE.

This is what I’m talking about:

Story: I went to my mom’s house for a day a couple weeks ago. She did some party shopping for me while I got my hair done. I came home with some things that needed hiding. I also needed to convince my husband that I came home from a trip to my mom’s house without buying anything (impossible scenario – we shop, it’s what we do)… or at least not much. I had to keep him away from the trunk of the car when I got home. Oh yeah, and I also bought him this really cool cabinet that looks like it should have a dart board inside (I have since bought a dart board to go inside), and was going to give that to him as his “birthday” present.

What happened next: I got lucky and my husband was out walking the dog when I got home, so I brought everything in myself and left a couple things hiding in the trunk (he doesn’t drive, so won’t be going in the trunk for any reason other than helping me get things out). The whole way home I tried to think of places I could hide things, and the only conclusions I had were the back of my side of the closet, under the bed in the guest bedroom, and the basement. The basement is off of our side door that leads to the driveway, which means it was the closest place to try to hide them after getting them out of the car. Basement it is… OH RIGHT I forgot he chose that weekend to organize the basement. I went downstairs, bags in hand, hoping to throw them in an empty bin, but COULDN’T FIND THE EMPTY BINS BECAUSE HE’D MOVED THEM!! I knew he’d be home any minute, because, like I said, he has impeccable, unfortunate-for-me, timing. Panic mode. What do I do? What do I do?! Ok first thing’s first, get the dartboard cabinet inside. CRAP – it’s much bigger than I remembered! CRAP – I have shoes at the back of my side of the closet – it won’t fit! CRAP – I have tons of stuff already under the bed in the guest bedroom! I ended up putting it on the far side of the bed in there, and just kind of put it under a blanket until I could find a better place for it. I ran to the basement and stashed a few things before he walks in the door and wants to know what I’m doing in the basement. “Umm… I bought this, uh, Christmas tree thing at the church thrift store that I needed to bring down…” (You should know that I never, ever go in the basement, other than to run to the freezer and back. I’ve been in the basement more times in the past two weeks than in the whole 3 1/2 months we’ve lived in our house.) Weird looks from him, and then he goes downstairs to make sure I didn’t mess up any of his organization. Yes, this is my life.

Next story: I’ve hidden several 2 liter bottles of soda in the basement. I didn’t have much of a choice as to where to hide them, really. I was pressed for time when I first brought them in, so I hid 3 behind my basement freezer, and 3 stuck in a stack of borrowed moving blankets.

What happened next: Two things. One, last weekend he randomly asked me if all the blankets were my friend Amanda’s (we originally got some from her, and some from my mom). My response? “Yeah, but I don’t think she’s going to pick them up… (this weekend)… um, anytime soon…” I almost blew it there. But why the hell is he randomly asking about the blankets?! Two, when I got back from our weekly Target trip last weekend, he asks why I didn’t buy him any Sprite. We NEVER buy soda. Like, ever. Sometimes if I’m running out in the morning and coming back to make lunch, I’ll buy us each a coke. Yes, I know the price of two individual cokes is about the price of a 2 liter bottle of soda, but then we’d be drinking lots of soda. Anyway… so where did this random Sprite suggestion come from? See, you’re probably like me and the first thing you think is HE FOUND THE DAMN SODA. But I don’t think he did, because if he did, I don’t think his first thought would be “she’s throwing me a birthday party in July”. I think it’d be “why the hell did you buy so much damn soda and why are you hoarding it in the basement?!” I’m pretty sure he would have confronted me if he found it.

Next story: My neighbor is getting married in a few weeks and she’s borrowing some lanterns, tablecloths, etc. that I used for my wedding. We were in the basement one day last weekend going through things, and also stashing some stuff to the side for the party (that I told him was for her and she was taking it later). She ended up taking one of my bins home with her full of wedding stuff.

What happened next: My husband inspects the basement the next day, probably to make sure I didn’t mess up any of his organization again. He comes up and asks me why there’s a gap between the bins (yes, seriously). I have zero clue what he’s talking about, and say I don’t know, we were moving stuff around. He’s so not satisfied with that answer, and just stands there wanting another one. So I think hard and I’m like OH she took one of the bins. And he was like OOOH ok, and walked away… BACK to the basement. WTF?! I hear him moving things around and hope to god he’s not touching those FREAKING BLANKETS because DAMN that soda is going to sell me out in a heartbeat. What excuse would I have for stashing soda inbetween blankets?? I’m a closet soda-holic?? So I pretend I need something out of the freezer and go down and push things around in it until he’s like “someone has to be upstairs with Stevie” and I say ok, I’m just getting something… let’s go. And I manage to get him out of the GD basement… for the moment.

Next story: I was allowed to go to Target without him last week (he had better things to do, I guess, which is fine by me). Which meant that I decided I needed to make some side trips for party prep. One of which being the Christmas Tree Shop. If you don’t know, now you know – this store is awesome. And no, it has nothing to do with Christmas… except twice a year. Yes, TWICE, because guess what – they celebrate Christmas in July, too! I found the cutest paper plates that have flamingoes wearing santa hats on them. How freaking perfect is that?! I also got a snow globe of Santa surfing. Anyway, they’re just a bargain store, and I got a bunch of other things while I was there – including 100 tea light sized citronella candles. We have a bit of a problem with mosquitoes in our back yard, so I’ve been hunting down a solution to this problem so that people will want to come back to our house someday after this party, and also not get West Nile. So I bought 100 of those, and a set of these stick candle things as well and I don’t know, some other stuff. When I got home from my shopping trip, I hid the bags from the Christmas Tree Shop behind some bags of clothes I’m going to donate that have been in my car for a bit too long, and brought everything else in and closed the trunk.

What happened next: What was supposed to happen next was I was supposed to find 5 minutes when my husband was out of the house where I could sneak off to the car and bring the candles (and also the 4 packages of hamburger buns I bought at Target) inside. Have I mentioned recently our temps have been topping 100 here in the Philadelphia area? Um… yeah. So… I forgot about the buns and the candles until the next day. LUCKILY my neighbor (who I am going to owe big time by the time this party is over) is a teacher and is off in the summer, so I was able to text her to get them out of the car before everything melted and exploded in my trunk. Ugh. *facepalm*

I have since discovered that I have smaller areas that he won’t go into, where I’ve been hiding things like a banner I’m making, party recipes, and other random things I’ll need for the party. Because I’m sure you’re dying to know, those areas include: the china cabinet, the basement freezer, pretty much any kitchen cabinet except “his” and the pantry, the bar we have on the back porch, the upstairs linen closet, and the guest bedroom closet. I mean, I don’t have a lot of space in these places either, so it’s like hiding small things EVERYWHERE. I fear the day when we have kids, because I am convinced they will be just like him and I will never, ever be able to hide anything from them (like, um, Christmas presents?!). I even contemplated the attic, but he randomly goes up there to check on the air conditioner (I KNOW).

I also tried to skip yoga the other day when we were both supposed to go. He skipped it with me (that never happens).

He’s started doing these knee exercises in our guest bedroom… precariously close to the dartboard and duffle bags I have stashed in there.

Also, just so you get the full idea of what I’m dealing with here, I’m probably going to have about an hour or an hour and a half, TOPS, to actually set this party up. I’ve managed to come up with a way to get him out of the house, but that is, like, zero time to prep for a party… or at least the type of preparations I want to do. Cooking for this party? HA, yeah, ok. That’s not gonna happen. So I’ve enlisted help from my friends, including one who is making cupcakes, and my neighbor who is not only making a pizza and a bread bowl dip for me, but I have commandeered her kitchen for 8 lbs. of pork and my crock pot for two whole days. Oh right, and this slab of pork was frozen in my basement until Tuesday, when I brought it over and took up a whole wing of her refrigerator with it so it could thaw out. Told you I owe her big time! I haven’t been able to get beer or wine or anything bulk sized for the party because… what would my excuse be? And my tiny little hiding places will not hide a case of beer. And I’m not about to hide individual beers in cabinets. I’m desperate, but not that desperate. Did I mention the garage and shed are out, too? There’s so much space in them both – it would be perfect! If they weren’t also inspected daily by my potentially OCD husband.

So basically tomorrow I have to do everything I’ve been thinking of doing for the past two weeks, but have been unable to. Like buy beer and tiki torches that probably won’t fit in my trunk and who knows how I’ll be able to explain that one. And make mac ‘n cheese and cookies and sangria. And figure out how to hang a dartboard cabinet. And construct my banner. And, OH RIGHT, decorate my entire back yard for Christmas. That shouldn’t take long at all… I have this vision of me and my helpers just running around like chickens with our heads cut off as soon as my husband walks out the door. GO TIME is what my to-do list says. There is a list a mile long of “GO TIME” items.

Last night he went out with his friend for drinks and as soon as he was gone I ran to the basement with three duffle bags and started stuffing Christmas decorations in them so that when “GO TIME” is here, I can just grab the duffle bags. Sad, right?? Don’t pregnant women do this for when it’s go to the hospital time? Except I guess they don’t have to hide their bags from their husbands.

Positive thinking: The party’s going to be fun. I just can’t help but stress about it because I’m used to making preparations wayyyy in advance before any party/event. Sure, there’s always last minute things to be done, but you don’t usually have to do everything at the last minute! And yeah, I probably shouldn’t be putting up as many decorations or making as much food as I am, but I can’t help it. I love a good theme party!

I’ll let you know how it all went next week! Wish me luck!

I need a glass of Santa Sangria, stat.

-C

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Holiday Awesome: Homemade Valentine’s Day Presents

13 Feb

I mentioned the other day I was working on some V-day crafts, and inbetween signing contracts and drowning in boxes (aka packing), I managed to finally *finish* a couple of my V-day presents for my husband. I say *finish* because I decided I was at a stopping point and after V-day I’ll probably just finish the rest because it won’t really matter. I guess this will make more sense if I show you what I’m talking about.

I made sachets for my husband this V-day (5 so far, hence if I want to make more, it won’t really matter, I’ll just give him the 5 for now and make the others when I get a chance). Moth-warding-off-sachets, to be exact. Sexy, I know.

Let me explain.

We each own a sweater that we realized in the past year had a bunch of holes in it. Moth holes. What we can’t say with absolute certainty is when these holes came about, and if they even happened in the house we currently live in. It’s only been one sweater each, not like multiple items of clothing (that I’ve noticed, at least). Nonetheless, my husband has a couple of expensive sweaters he now wants to lock in a vault where moths can’t get them, but vaults aren’t exactly easily accessible. And moth balls stink like grossness. There are other moth products my in-laws recommended that we may try in the future. But for now, we shall try these sachets! (Maybe I’ll even make some for myself.) I looked into moth herbal remedy type things and they said lavender, thyme, ginseng, and rosemary all help with warding the little monsters off. I went to a hippie store that sold all of these things and only lavender smelled like something I’d want my clothes (or anyone else’s clothes) to smell like. Lavender it was!

The idea for sachets came from a tutorial I found, but really, you just put the outside of the fabric together, facing each other, sew 3 1/2 sides (leaving a hole to flip the fabric through)

flip it inside out (well, outside out, since you put the outside… in)

fill with nice smelling stuff, and sew up the other 1/2 of the side.

Basic sewing. I mean, even I could do it, so it can’t be that hard. I don’t sew. Ever. Ask my mom. She does all my sewing. Probably because I have a severe hatred for measuring things. Yeah, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that’s why I don’t sew. Winging it at sewing doesn’t exactly produce great results. Lucky for me, these little sachets still look cute even though they’re not symmetrical and none of them are the same size. Uh, even though I did measure when I cut the fabric. I don’t know what happened there… Let’s just pretend like I didn’t measure and wanted them all to be different sizes. Anyway, the tutorial did say to use a “breathable fabric like wool”, so if you’re attempting this you should probably do such a thing. I went for manly-looking-wool-that-was-on-sale-at-the-fabric-store-that-still-had-a-bit-of-pink-in-it-to-make-it-Valentine’s Day-esque. Also, once you fill them I suggest putting them in a ziplock bag until you’re ready to actually use/gift them. That way your husband doesn’t go searching for whatever that new smell is and also the sachets keeps for a bit longer since you’re not using them yet.

Moth preventing sachets for Valentine’s Day. Ok, so it doesn’t exactly scream “ROMANCE!”… but I put hearts on them, so that has to count for something… no?

I’m super proud of myself for hiding this from my husband for a couple weeks. I don’t know how I did it! (Watch, tonight he’ll find them or something, lol.) My husband notices EVERYTHING. So I had to hide my sewing materials in a plastic bag inside my work bag and do a couple stitches every time he was out of the room or went to the gym. I even took it on the bus to work with me. Who sews on a bus? Apparently me… ??

Tonight, while my husband is at the gym (I had to time this out perfectly so they’re fresh), I’m also making him homemade granola bars (he loves granola bars and eats like 10 a day). My plan is to make them heart-shaped, but I’m not too optimistic about that so we’ll see if it works out or not. Maybe I’ll just put jam in the shape of a heart on top. That sounds like it could work!

Are you doing any fun V-day crafts? Do share!

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! ❤

xxx

PS – Don’t any of you go spoiling my surprises!!

PPS – My hubby sent me some purdy flowers today. Ain’t he the best?

Holiday Awesome: The Shiny and The Sparkly

31 Dec

There are basically two things New Year’s Eve epitomizes:

1 – disappointment (you know it’s true. new year’s never lives up to what we build it up to be!)

2 – sparkly things

But mainly just sparkly things.

yummy sparkly sugar rim

you gotta have a disco ball!

makin' those christmas bulbs work double-time

i missed wearing a sparkly dress this year 😦

Unfortunately I had to sit out festivities this year because we had a 5 1/2 hour delayed flight back from England, AND my hubby’s sick. Oh well. I’m pretty tired myself.

Must… stay… up… to… watch… ball… dr………

Happy 2012!

xxx

Holiday Awesome: New Year’s Traditions

31 Dec

Do YOU have any New Year’s traditions? Will you be eating lentils tomorrow? Or just toasting to a new year tonight? The only tradition I keep is wearing a pretty dress. Petty? Maybe. Pretty? Yup!

Some people have traditions and superstitions they adhere to every year. Probably passed down for generations. I don’t recall any traditions in my family, but am willing to bet my Meamaw had a few. She always had these old school traditions and superstitions she’d come out with.

A quick google search turned up a few beauts:

– making sure your pantry is full when the new year starts, so that you don’t go hungry throughout the year
– it’s apparently lucky to eat black eyed peas, lentils, or pork. UNlucky to eat poultry, because they scratch in the ground and you don’t want that for yourself in the new year (um, apparently)
– wearing a new item of clothing on new year’s day means you could be in for more new clothing items in the new year (I could give this one a whirl!)
– “letting the old year out” open your doors at midnight to let the old year out and the new one in (guess that’s where out with the old, in with the new comes from!)
– nothing leaves your house on new year’s day. nothing except you, that is. (Um, I don’t get this one.)
– breaking anything on new year’s day apparently means there will be some kind of “wreckage” in your life in the new year
– the first person to step foot in your house in the new year will apparently influence your life in some way that year (I would think if this person’s coming into your house that they play a pretty decent role in your life already!)

Now I’ll be trying not to break anything and contemplating giving black eyed peas a taste for the first time in my life. Did I miss any good traditions?

Don’t forget your kiss at midnight kiddies!

xxx

Crazy Christmas: If I Had a Million Dollars (If I Had a Million Dollars)

26 Dec

I’d buy me some $20,000 lawn ornaments.

Well, I’d probably need more than ONE million dollars to justify that. Come on, who has this kind of money??

These lawn ornaments were on sale on OneKingsLane.com for $19,999. Don’t worry, it’s on sale from the original price of $40,000. SERIOUSLY?!

ridiculous

I’d also like to point out that when I went to the site to look at it (the sale is over now), the item was already in another member’s cart. So obviously there are people out there with $20,000 to spend ON LAWN ORNAMENTS FOR CHRISTMAS.

Set includes: one 8-foot-diameter lawn ornament and one 4-foot-diameter lawn ornament
Made of: fiberglass and hand-applied brass leaf with clear-coat automotive finish
Weight: 300 lbs/160lbs
Color: gold
Care instructions: Suitable for outdoor use. Dust with soft cloth when on display. To store, wrap in blankets or plastic and place in dry environment.

Also, the item is listed as “white glove delivery”, which costs just a mere $200 for delivery.

“If your idea of holiday finery is more Rockefeller Center than inflatable reindeer, consider this your golden (literally) opportunity. Gleaming in gold leaf, these spectacular holiday lawn ornaments supersize seasonal sentiment with award-winning style. And you won’t only be the talk of the town, you’ll be in iconic company: These incredible creations are the work of Design Solutions, whose monumentally proportioned holiday displays thrill crowds at such venues as the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas, the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, and, yes, Rockefeller Center.”

No, if I had a million dollars, I do not think I’d spend any of it on something like this. You?

xxx

Christmas Not-So-Awesome: How About You Not…

24 Dec

…do any of the following:

Yes, that is a reindeer hung upside down and bleeding out. I imagine this is a hunting enthusiast's house. I HOPE it's a hunting enthusiast's house.

ok, kind of funny - if you're still in college.

oh honey, really?? this is almost as bad as Jessica Simpson's pregnant mummy. ALMOST.

contrary to the caption, this is not a win!

ladies, please don't do this.

men, you either.

come on, you can do better than this!

spell check, people!

if, and only IF, you have enough of the same beer bottle, could this be awesome. if you don't have the same bottles, this type of tree is reserved for dorm rooms only!

I hope you decorated wisely, my friends.

xxx