I made my kid take this picture after her Christmas program that she basically cried through. She got through the first part, and by the end didn't look on the verge anymore. I was asked a few times if I should get her, but I didn't. Even though I wanted to. She made it and when I went to get her after her performance she was really ticked that she couldn't see me in the audience. Oops.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
After waiting eight business days, when I paid for five, I was so excited to see the little cardboard box filled to the brim with Christmas cheer from the Crutchfields (that's us). I cheered, I stopped everything, just to open that little box and oh, wait... That's not our family picture, that's a little girl. Sure she is cute and all, but who in the Sam F*ck is she? What in Rudolph's name is this crap? Where the hell are my Christmas cards? I'll tell you where my Christmas are, they are most likely with a nice woman named Teresa Becker, since I am now the proud owner of her 60 5x7 photo cards with the sweetest little girl prancing around in a tutu.
First let's talk about SnapFish customer service which has a phone service that closes at 5pm pacific time. Fabulous. Let's talk about their twitter account that tweeted me a link where I could live chat with an available associate, but wait you have to wait for that associate to come on line. And that my friends took over 30 minutes and even when it would light up that an associate was available, there would be an additional wait of oh, say 7 minutes and 47 seconds, before the chat timed you out. When I finally did get through, Prodam (an avatar maybe) roboticaly asked me what they could help me with and when I told them the situation, they apologized and said they could offer me a full refund, and then sent me the link to re-order. TO RE-ORDER. Hello, did you not notice that there are only 15 days until Christmas, and at the rate that Snapfish takes to ship, and at the risk of them fucking up again, I'll take the refund only. I won't be shopping with them again. I was sure to tell them that in the survey that followed my encounter with Prodam. And I swear to Santa I am not making up that name.
I know what you are thinking. Geeze lady, one slight mistake on the people at Snapfish, and you are off the rails. Give them a chance. Everyone makes mistakes. Ok, I see your point, but then again here is my problem with that. If Snapfish is the kind of company that really cares about their customers, then why wasn't I offered a refund and expedited shipping on my cards? Why wasn't I offered an additional 25 cards for free with no refund and free overnight shipping? Snapfish didn't even ask about the cards I do have, which are not mine. Cards that are of some one's child. Sixty cards to be exact, so somewhere in the world Teresa Becker is just as pissed as I am, or she is in tears that she has to reorder her holiday cards as well. Snapfish made no effort to save the sale, and by the status of their live chat, I have a feeling I wasn't the only pissed off customer. But hey Snapfish, change my mind... Or don't.
Alright, I'll tell you the real reason I'm so mad. I'm a procrastinator. I waited way too long to order "fancy" cards which I never do. For the past six years I've been ordering Costco cards, the 5x7 ones on photo paper using their templates. I always order them the week before Thanksgiving and mail them the day after Thanksgiving. It's like the only thing I do that's organized and scheduled in my life. My Christmas cards are my small holiday victory. I pride myself on my punctuality. But not this year. This year I went to TinyPrints to check them out. And by check them out I mean fall in love with an impossibly expensive card that I knew The Hubbs would never agree to. Because we have to order like 60 and that's just immediate family. I'm totally serious. Anyway, so I was totally in love with these cards, and since I couldn't afford them, I contacted a designer friend of mine to see if she could do something similar, but our wires got crossed, and so I found myself card-less the day after Thanksgiving. And since Black Friday deals were a dime a dozen that day, I found a great deal and an acceptable card on Snapfish. Seemed legit. So I hit purchase and the rest is now the Christmas Card Disaster of 2013.
This is what I get for trying to be "fancy" and have Christmas cards on "fancy paper". This is what I get for trying to keep up with the Joneses. I totally get it, if you want quality, you have to pay for quality, and this year, I've gotta pay for cheap. Well not totally cheap, I put an emergency call in to my designer friend and she answered, and agreed to help even though she has a long list of loyal card clients in front of me. As I type she is working on my card. And yes, I will pay her for the digital file she is rushing to me, so that I can upload it to Costco, and by the grace of Frosty have those babies signed, sealed, stamped, and delivered by Christmas Eve.
Then again, I may just publish my digital copy on my blog and then Instagram it since obviously this is a total first world problem and now I sound like a complete asshole.
Ever have a Christmas disaster of your own doing? Leave it for me in the comments so I can read them and day drink.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
small red poms
small google eyes
brown pipe cleaners (antlers)
green or red pipe cleaners (hanger)
felt (any color you'd like)
hand saw (I promise you can do it)
Step one at top left:
Saw your cinnamon sticks in half, if you feel they are too long.
also if your cinnamon sticks didn't come with small pieces for the heads,
you will have to cut them.
Step two at top right:
cut your felt to fit like a saddle, I used pinking shears.
Also cut your pipe cleaners in half.
Step three at bottom left:
Fold your felt "saddle" in half and make a small cut. Fold your green or red pipe cleaner in half and run it through the hole in your felt. Then center your cinnamon stick legs and glue legs to felt and pipe cleaner. Then glue the rest of the felt down.
Step four at bottom right:
Turn your ornament on it's side and place some glue just inside the felt fold on the cinnamon sticks. This is where you are going to add your "head", a small piece of the cinnamon stick that you cut. Hold in place until the glue sets.
Once the glue sets on your reindeer head, it should look like the picture on the top left.
Next add your eyes and red pom nose on the top right.
Fold your brown pipe cleaner in half and make a "V" for your antlers.
Add some glue into the open part of the cinnamon stick head and add your antlers. Shape them in any way you want, photo bottom right.
And that's it. I added a little bit of green ribbon on a few. Then I added "2013" on one leg using a sharpee marker on a few others. This tutorial is totally easy, just a little labor intensive if you have to cut your own cinnamon sticks. But I promise they are totally worth it. Super cute and do they ever smell like Christmas!! Enjoy! And Happy Christmas Tree Trimming!!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
|The smallest gifts can make the biggest difference.|
Last month I had a great time participating in Kiki LaRue's photo a day challenge on Instagram. I've done photo a days before and they get you engaged with your Instapeeps. They are so much fun, but Kiki LaRue's had a twist, one of the days was a Random Acts of Kindness challenge. Do something for someone you don't know. Help a neighbor just because. Pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive thru. Tape a couple of dollars to a vending machine and pay for some one's afternoon snack. The possibilities are endless. I woke up that morning without a single idea of what I would do. So I headed over to my neighborhood Starbucks for inspiration.
Since it was after the morning rush, there were just a few patrons actually ordering their coffees. As I walked to the counter I spotted this year's holiday ornament. No one, and I mean no one, can resist a Red Cup. So I walked over to the counter and bought one, and then bought an additional five dollar gift card for my Secret Santa exchange partner. The Barista was so cheery and friendly, even though I knew she had been up since before day break. We chatted as she rang up my purchase, and while we were talking I casually mentioned that I wanted her to give that ornament to the person working the drive thru. I explained that I wanted the person at the drive thru window to give it to the next person that paid. So when they handed that person back their card or their change, I wanted them to also give them the ornament and tell them that a stranger wanted them to have it, just because. The Barista thought I was the coolest person, which was awesome at eight thirty-ish on a Tuesday when you are still in your pjs from last night, and went to school drop off in such an outfit. She went over and explained the situation to the drive thru gal, then returned and offered me a drink of my choice on the house. I declined, but I did step over to the side and watch as the drive thru gal gave the next paying customer a new Red Cup ornament. I could see the woman in the mini van's smile and the drive thru gals smile too.
It was kind of magical. It really was an amazing feeling. That person, just got a small surprise in an otherwise ordinary day. I started to think about that. What if she was having a terrible morning? What if her kids cried all morning, or they forgot their lunch? What if they hate their job, and their morning stop at Starbucks is the only bright spot in their day? What if they were late to work or school and this was just a little reminder that the day wasn't going to be so bad?
That random act of kindness felt really good in my heart. I'm not going to lie, I teared up a little and sort of wished I had the bank account that could afford to do something like that every day. But random acts of kindness don't have to be expensive, they don't have to be huge gifts or expensive cups of coffee. Random acts of kindness are designed to be just that: random and straight from the heart. One random act can change someone's day and your day too.
Because the smallest gifts of kindness can make the biggest difference.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
What is it about the red and white labels of Campbell’s Soup cans that send me back in time? A trip down the soup aisle at the grocery store is much like a trip down memory lane. But do people really buy soup anymore? I haven’t bought soup in years. Not even as a recipe ingredient. So imagine my surprise when I was asked to challenge the picky eaters in my family using the oldest trick in the book… Campbell’s Soup!
For more than 144 years, Campbell’s Soup has been helping families come together at the dinner table. Whether it’s a can of Chicken Noodle with 32 feet, yes 32 feet, of noodles, or some Cream of (insert your favorite) in your favorite casserole, Campbell’s is making dinner delicious.
But what about your picky eaters? I get it. I have kids that like carrots but not peas. That like salad on a random Tuesday in June, but refuse to touch it again. How many times can a mother serve chicken nuggets before the authorities get called? I joke, but sometimes I feel like we are stuck in a dinner rut. Endless rotations of grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken nuggets. It takes the fun out of cooking when all the colors run together. That’s why I was more than happy to check out The Wisest Kid in the Whole World™, Campbell’s answer to your pickiest of eaters.
With recipes in categories like “Mini Mania” and “Use your Noodle,” I promise you will find something that is delicious and interesting to your picky eaters. The recipes are also easy enough to let your kids join in!
I chose two recipes for this challenge using two soups that can become pantry staples. Cream of Chicken and Tomato. Both recipes were quick and so easy my girls could help. They had so much fun cooking with mom.
For dinner we choose Mini Chicken Pot Pies. From start to finish it took 30 minutes and used leftovers I already had in the fridge. I think we had as much fun making them as we did eating them! Plus my daughter ate peas. Green peas. She didn’t pick out a single one and say, “Ewww”. That’s success, people.
For dessert we made Tomato Soup Spice Cupcakes.
That’s right! There is Tomato Soup in the cupcakes. But as you can see from the pictures… your kids would never know!! They would make a great addition to your holiday dessert spread this Thanksgiving. People will swear you are the domestic diva you know you are, and you will never have to tell them that your secret ingredient comes in a can!
I have to say this was easier than I thought it would be. Not just the cooking but the convincing my girls to eat their veggies that they would normally turn their nose at. They want to make these again, and I have to say, it will be easy with all the Thanksgiving leftovers next week. I'm sure these pot pies aren't the only recipe that can help tackle your leftovers dilemma the day after.
Want to surprise your kids with a food craft that puts dinner on the table in minutes? Visit Campbell’s The Wisest Kid in the Whole World. You will thank me. You will also thank Campbell’s, for making dinner and your life a little easier this holiday season.