Friday, Friyay: August 17th, 2018

& (1)Yooo, guys, this has been a pretty laid-back, do-nothing week (not that there is anything wrong with that), but I got some pretty big “yay’s” out of it, nonetheless.

First of all, I’ve gotten three snail mail letters/packages from my mail trade site of choice, in the last few weeks.  I’d hit a long dry spell, because I hadn’t updated for a long time, and because I stopped doing tag backs, and- honestly – I more or less forgot about the site for a while.  But recently I went and updated my info with the intent of getting back into it, and – I don’t know how, maybe honestly by sheer luck? – my profile seems to be gaining traction again.  I’m psyched.

Second, I finally replaced all the Dollar Tree picture frames on my living room wall with really cute/chic collage picture frames that I got at Wal-Mart, and filled them with all our Florida vacay pics.  They look great – I loved my DT picture frames, they looked good and all, but the sheer number of them – 16 – plus a pre-schooler who likes to climb meant they were always getting knocked off-center, getting crooked, etc, and it was driving me bonkers.  So, this wound up being a cute, appropriate solution.  It also means I can use some of those discarded frames for other things – i.e., my planner last year had some gorgeous typographical art/inspirational quotes as on the divider pages, and I’ve been hanging on to them forever looking for a purpose for them.  Viola!  I found places of four of them in my house, and the remainder are set aside for goodies to send through aforementioned mail trades.  So, I got great new frames for my photos and four new pieces of free art.  Score.

Third – AND THIS IS A BIG, BIG YAY – the first con I ever attended, the Harry Potter-centric LeakyCon is coming back to Boston to celebrate its 10th anniversary.  I am so, so psyched, because I think – I think  I can afford it, and I might even get to go with my siblings, who have expressed (albeit tentative) genuine interest.  This would be the first con my sister has ever attended, and the first one my brother would attend outside of Arisia (and only his second ever as a “layman,” i.e., not working the whole con, which he usually does at Arisia, anyway).  I’m so psyched about the possibility, and even if the cost of the hotel is prohibitive , I can always commute.  I’d really rather not, but I can, which is reassuring.

Fourth – I’m not going to register for it yet because this summer has been crazy – but registration is already open for GISH next year, and the dates are already set – July 27th through August 3rd – and I can actually plan for it almost a full year in advance (and I can recruit in real life, too).  I’m excited – I feel like, given I only had three real days when I could GISH this year, I got a decent amount of stuff done, and my team was aaaaa-maz-ing.  Next year, without the stress of vacay coming right in the middle of it, I bet we can rock it.

Anyway, this is coming to you super late on Friday – it’s edging in on 10:30,which actually isn’t super late even for my Exhausted Parent brain, but is later than I’m usually up and blogging.  Had a busy day with my niece and nephew today over at my mom’s house, and got very little done that was on my to-do list, but it was worth it.  My sister works weekends so I don’t see her or the kids as much as I’d like, so I’ll take a zero-productivity day for some time with the bubbies.

I’m down to the last 10 days of summer vacation, and looking forward to it (I really do love my job, and I like having structure), but also, aaaaargh, where the hell did my summer go???

What has kept you going this week?  Is your summer long over, or still going strong?

 

Feel Good Friday/Friday Faves: July 20th, 2018

onnie & CaroleFriday again!  This week has been punctuated by a renewed sense of being on top of things, thanks in no small part to my checklists system (though that system is still far from perfect).

Today, however, is a Bear and I day, and I have to admit that, for whatever reason, I’m feeling especially on edge today, and I don’t know if Bear’s obstinance today is the cause or result of my short temper.  Either way, I’m here, trying to take a breather (and hopefully regain my cool), and I thought I’d tap out what’s kept me going this week.

First, in a search to see if anyone had ever done a Christopher Pike podcast, I came upon Teen Creeps, a podcast covering young adult pulp/genre fiction, and oh my God, ahhhh, so many memories.  This is not a new podcast – they’ve been running since, I think, 2016 – but while I listen to a podcast or two, it’s usually because I stumble upon them in my search for something very specific.  I’m not a podcast connoisseur who’s up-to-date on all the last podcasting developments and releases.

Anyway, the show is wonderful, sometimes more tangent than book discussion, but both the book relevant content and the tangents are highly entertaining, and I really recommend it, especially if you loved these books as a kid.

Second, I found a link to BlueQ absolutely buried in my bookmarks and had to revisit them.  I love so much of there stuff (their bags especially; I’m think of buying a few as holidays gifts).  I don’t have much use for decorative dishtowels as dishtowels, but I can’t help thinking that the would be ideal to frame; if I wind up ordering from there for the holidays anyway I might pick one up and test that out.

Third, I actually got back to the gym on Wednesday for the first time in, uhh, like six months, and it felt awesome.  I’m woefully, shamefully out of shape, but it felt good to go back.  I’m back on Lose It! as well, and I think I mentioned in a previous entry, and welcome friends, if anyone who reads this is also using the service.  The link to my profile is here!

That’s it for this week; Bear is alternately pinching my face and trying to climb in my lap, and I think that means it’s time for us to go and do some chores.  What got you through this week?  Comment below and let me know!

Feel Good Friday/Friday Faves: July 14th, 2018

onnie & CaroleYes, yes, I know – it’s Saturday again.  I keep doing this.  This week, my excuse is that my whole schedule has gotten flipped upside down.  I spent a week out of work, and then had to adjust to a weird schedule of working only Tuesday and Thursday; we spent our Wednesday as a family out and about (which made it feel more like a Saturday), and to top it all off, my husband was covering a co-worker’s vacation and was working 2pm to 11pm instead of his usual 8am to 5pm.  So my whole week – and concept of time – has been thrown out of whack.

Here is what’s kept me grounded:

First, Wednesday was spent at Kimball Farm, which was a blast.  I hadn’t been there in several years (we did a community outing there during one of the other ESY programs I worked), and it really has something for everyone.  Bear got his first taste of mini-golf, he got to see some animals (and pet an alligator!), and spent some time earning tickets in the arcade.  He ended the day with a huge scoop of Orange-Pineapple ice cream.  I have a couple of small pics on Insta here.

Second, my sister spent hours online last night messaging me eBay links to long forgotten tech toys we had as kidsThe Teach-Me Reader and The Videosmarts Learning System to name a couple – and ended the evening by announcing that her 1984 Whiz Kid Toy Computer would be arriving on Thursday.  Seriously?  I still can’t believe she actually bought it, but I’d be lying if I pretended I wasn’t going to play with it.  I had one prior to first grade, and I loved it.  We can learn to spell together!

Third, Andy ordered me laminating sheets and I’m going crazy thinking of things I need to laminate.  All my checklists from my previous post have already gotten the treatment, and I’m busy designing both additional checklists and organizers for me, but also piecing together a preschool curriculum for Bear that we can get started, hopefully on Monday.  He’s looking forward to it, and so am I.  I plan on spending a big chunk of time after he turns in tonight getting some of those tasks completed.

Finally, the GISH registration has been extended and my team is starting to take shape (yeah, kind of late this year).  If you don’t know what GISH is, click the link or Google search its previous incarnation, GISHWHES.  It’s a massive multimedia international scavenger hunt interested in subversive art and acts of kindness.  This year it runs July 28th through August 4th.  I’m thrilled to see it brought back – we thought last year was the end!  – and am participating for the seventh year in a row.

That’s it for this week!  What’s kept you going through the week?

Feel Good Friday/Friday Faves: July 6th, 2018

onnie & CaroleHey-o, Friday!

So, Fridays mean a little less when you’re not actively working.  Actually, this Friday is a little bittersweet, because it means we’re coming to the end of the week I had off between the regular academic year and the ESY, but either way.  This has been a busy week for us, and I still want to celebrate the little things that made me happy.

First, this week has a new five-episode Steven Universe arc, “The Heart of the Crystal Gems” – the last of which is airing tonight – which included some really adorable moments, some great lines (“Pssst, it’s me.  I’m a horse”), and some fantastic character development.  I’m thrilled for the final episode, which is double length, and, based on what I saw in the teaser trailer and what already has (or rather, hasn’t) transpired, I’m looking forward to some great moments tonight!

Watch Steven Universe here at Cartoon Network, or on Hulu.

On a related note, here’s a great little article on this arc, talking about queer representation in the show.

Second, I took my son to see fireworks for the first time, and he loved them.  Ever since he found out that we’d be going to Disney World in August, he’s asked if literally everywhere we’ve gone in the last week or so was Disney World.  The local fireworks this year took place at a large, outdoor shopping center.  When we got out of the car and he took in the vendors, musicians, and outdoor seating, his first reaction was, once again, “Is this Disney World??”  He had a blast dancing with his friends, hanging out, listening to music, and watching the fireworks – “I never want to leave this Disney World.”  Sigh.

At least we know the real Disney World won’t be a let down, given what his standards apparently are.

Third, Bear and I spent a long, long time yesterday collaboarating in his Toca Boca activity book.  I love all things Toca Boca – they have a great gender-neutral children’s line (honestly, I wish some of the stuff came in adult sizes), great exploratory games, and a quirky sense of both design and humor, and their activity book is no different.  The activity book is a Target exclusive, but it’s a lot of fun and a really good quality, so if you can find it (or order it) I would definitely recommend it.

Fourth, today is the day I buy my FanExpo Boston tickets!  This is far from my first convention, but this will be, by and far, the most commercialized con I’ve ever been to, so I’m not entirely sure what to expect.  A lot of my con-going friends regularly hit up FanExpo and seem to have a good time, so I’m hopeful; a friend of mine, whose judgement I trust implicitly, said they spent their last foray exclusively in the dealer’s room and had an amazing time just chatting with vendors and other fans, so I can only assume that branching out into the other panels and events will be just as enjoyable (and if not, hey, just head back to the dealer’s room).

That’s it for this week.  What’s made your week brighter?  Please feel free to share in the comments!

Feel Good Friday/Friday Faves: June 29, 2018

onnie & Carole

Hey-o, it’s Friday, and I am finally off for the summer!!  (That proclamation comes with a footnote, but we’ll get to that).  So what has carried me over that highest of humps, the last week of the academic year?  Lots of little things – just as this last week has been weighed down by the culmination of lots of little stressors, I’ve been buoyed along by lots of small pleasures and things that made me smile.

First, Dollar Tree has been getting a ton of super cute mugs and glassware lately, my favorite of which I hauled last weekend.  Their mug collection has been amazing for a while now, but I’m really starting to dig their glasses. Along with those cute wine glasses, we recently replaced our entire set of drinking glasses with this really chic-looking collection, all for $1 each.  

Second, Hollar is going crazy, whaaat.  I found a freakin’ french press coffee maker for $5, and they recently got in a whole slew of Beat Bugs and Lion Guard  merch for a pretty hefty discount (that might actually be gone now, honestly.  It was a super good deal). I’m getting ready to stock up on stocking stuffers (I know, early! But it’s so much less of a financial crunch when you spread it out over several months), and they have a ton of great stuff for kid’s (or adult’s!) stockings, or for small birthday gifts.  

Third, guys, I have a problem:  I do not know how to like things casually.  If I fall for something or someone, I fall suddenly, unexpectedly, and hard.  This week, I’ve been listening to Harry Potter audio books with Bear and it’s lead me back down the rabbit hole of Harry Potter fandom (I am a massive, massive Potterhead), which in turn lead to a return to Fantastic Beasts fandom, which in turn lead me back to Ezra Miller, who I had a massive crush on back when I first saw the movie.  I recently revisited him, and discovered his band, Sons of an Illustrious Father. Honestly, I could listen to this song on repeat all day:

It also goes without saying that I’m now on the hunt for any movies I can get my hands on with him in it – first up being Perks of Being a Wallflower because, wow, that book was a part of my adolescence, and I somehow never managed to catch the film. 

Fourth, it took forever to do so, but I finally got confirmation that I am working two days a week this summer!  I’m happy to have a little bit of structure, and still have the freedom and time to pursue personal projects and develop a prep routine/curriculum to get Bear ready for hopefully starting kindergarten in September of 2019 (again, I know it’s a long way off, but after this summer I’m going to have way less time to work with – basically an hour a day – so I need to do some planning and be ready to spread it out).

Fifth – and finally – guys, I have a plan.  Or at least the stirrings of a plan. In a previous post I made it a priority to create some order in my life and establish a routine, and I’m making some headway in that department and hope to be back with updates and progress notes soon.  I’m so, so glad to be getting somewhat of a break from the daily grind of sleep-work-home-sleep in order to work on developing these changes.

So that’s it from me, guys.  What has carried you along this week?

Feel-Good Friday/Friday Faves: June 23rd, 2018

onnie & CaroleWait, I’m sorry, what…?  It’s not Friday, it’s Saturday?  Uh, oh, yeah, I know.

So after yet another endless week, I decided to wrap yesterday up by spending the afternoon looking after my niece and nephew, followed by an evening tending to Bear while Andy was gaming, and then turning in for the night at, swear to God, 8 pm.  So, posting didn’t happen.

I still have a week of work left, guys, and I’m still not sure if I’m working two or four day weeks this summer.  Keeping me float this week:

After going on sale on June 22nd, Andy scored us Welcome to Night Vale Live tickets for the showing in Northampton.  We’ve been fans of Night Vale since starting to listen to it in late 2013, and saw our first live show in March of 2014.  This will be our fifth time seeing them live, and our second time in Northampton (which is a special treat, because Northampton is about two hours from us, and we have no cause to ever really go there, save special events, and I adore the town).  If you’re a Night Vale fan or are curious about it, tickets for the tour are on sale here.

Next, Nailed It – why haven’t I seen this show before?  It’s cheesy, silly, fun.  Watching casual home bakers try to mimic these intricate creations in the kitchen just makes me laugh and shake my head and feel slightly superior for a little while (even though I know I would absolutely do no better than any of the contestants).

Third, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.  Yeah, I know, these Friday posts are making me sound like all I do is drink, but wht can I say?  I like to unwind with a drink at the end of the day.

And, in what will likely be a feel-good for no one who doesn’t already follow her, my favorite YouTube Dollar Tree hauler/DIYer, Bargain Bethany, just put out a video announcing her engagement.  YouTube – and the internet in general – is a funny thing, isn’t it?  I’ve never met Bethany in real life, she doesn’t know me at all, but I’ve followed her videos for a long time, and got genuinely excited when I saw the announcement.

That’s all for this week – what’s kept you going these last seven (or eight) days?

Feel Good Friday/Friday Faves: June 15th, 2018

onnie & CaroleWe are officially in our last full week of classes!  Note, I said “classes,” not school.  the winter was brutal, and I am working straight through the 29th, sadly.  I’ve said it before, I’m incredibly lucky to love my job, but this truly has been just The Year That Never Ends.  Hopefully next year’s pre-Labor Day start will prevent this from happening again.

Anyway, things that buoyed me along this week…

First off, Dollar Tree (I have a bit of a Dollar Tree Problem™, which will become apparent in time) is carrying some really awesome Sassy n’ Chic acrylic nails, as well as Kiss brand gel polish and nail glue.  I absolutely love nail art, but have neither the time, patience, or money to spend on getting them done (and honestly, I don’t love spas/salons so much to start with).  These are an awesome alternative.  They look great, and I’ve had my current pair on since Sunday.  If you’re a fan of shorter nails, but still like the patterns, they trim and file down really smoothly, too.

Next, upon the recommendation of a friend, my husband ordered a book for Bear called Dragons Love Tacos.  It’s adorable, and this edition came with a little plushie dragon (with taco!) that’s Bear’s been bringing to bed every night.  He had fun recounting the book to my parents, and politely refusing to give the plushie to his little friend, Emmy, who had also fallen in love with it during their brief rendezvous.

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Next, guys, I just heard about Making It, which is going to air on NBC this summer.   A crafting competition.  Hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.  Are you freakin‘ kidding me??  And it’s going to kick off on my birthday???  No joke, I am so pumped about this show.

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Lastly, I’ll be honest: I’m just thrilled that it’s summer, and that summer break is fast approaching.  Contrary to popular belief, as an educator, I do not have summers free – I work as part of the Extended School Year program in a variety of capacities – but my hours vary between 8 hours and 16 hours a week during the summer (as opposed to 35), so I do get a lot more free time, and I am so, so looking forward to having time to myself.  I’m excited to work on my home, to write, to craft, and to spend some time with Bear and Andy at home, and on vacation in Florida this August.  Hopefully you have something fun and summery to look forward to yourselves.

That’s all for this week!  What got you through this week, and what do you have to look forward to this weekend??