Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Halloween Crafts & Pinterest Challenge

Last Christmas you all got to see the crafty ornaments Brandon and I put together for our tree.  As poor students then we had nearly no money to be decorating our tree for the holidays (though I did manage to get some nice purchased ornaments from Canadian Tire also), so instead we busted out the craft supplies and used our imaginations.  Brandon got super crafty.  You can check those out here.

Because we won't be putting up our own Christmas tree this year (and instead enjoying our parents' trees), I wanted to get crafty some other way. Then I spotted this cute DIY monogrammed pumpkin from Pinterest:

Originally found here
As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be super easy for me to make and I could appeal to my Eco-Warrior self and use a fake pumpkin to reuse for future years.

Around the same time, over on Young House Love (one of my favourite blogs!), Sherry was announcing their seasonal Pinterest Challenge (completely unofficial). So why not participate in that and show others what I achieved?

My end product isn't exactly the same as the above inspiration, and we had originally thought to make 3 other little pumpkins to finish off his (and soon to be my) last name, Webb, but time got away from me. So for now we've got this:

To create this monogrammed pumpkin was quite simple. To start, I went to our local discount department store (after scouring the dollar stores for weeks) to purchase a small faux pumpkin. Originally, it looked something like this:

Then, using some Antique White spray paint, I coated the pumpkin. The fake pumpkin soaked up more paint than a real one would, and stayed wet for a bit longer but it worked out fine in the end. Although we did have a painting mishap...

Poor Waldo
 After the spray paint had dried, I looked for a font I liked and printed out a large W (on scrap paper of course). I cut the letter out using a craft knife and scissors and taped then traced the letter in pencil onto the pumpkin. I removed the makeshift template, and took out some black crafting paint to fill it in. After some time and a couple coats of paint, we got the final product. I'd still like to seal it with a clear spray to keep it looking the same over the years if possible. But for this year it looks great.

Check out the other Pinterest Challenge posts and Sherry's project here, as well as the other hosts', Katie, Carmel, and Sarah.

Friday, 26 October 2012

I Think We See Bells Differently

If you were watching TV anytime in the early to mid 90’s, you knew of shows like Saved by the Bell, Breaker High, 90210, Boy Meets World, Hang Time… and the many others you all knew and watched (even if you would try to deny it now). Did anybody ever feel like these shows accurately depicted your real-life high school experience? Like, at all? 

My school can’t be the only one that didn’t have camera crews following around one group of kids. OK, but seriously, when were these kids ever actually in class? I know the shows aren’t supposed to be centred around watching kids be in class and rather are focused on their lives as a whole. You know, all that “coming of age" shit. But really? Do you all really have that much time to be hanging out at the mall, buying meals at The Max, discussing tough personal issues with your principal- who also happens to be your next-door neighbour, or going on day trips in some exotic country in place of actual schooling?  And I don't know about any of you, but I was never saved by any bells!

All of these shows were our dream high school days, not any sort of actual reality. And if they were close to your particular high school days, can you let me know? Cause I’ll send my kids there one day.  

Instead of the glamour and the apparent buttloads of money to be spending on eating out (yet never gaining weight) and buying new clothes every week, my high school life was much more…subtle. I got up and walked to school, attended classes (mostly), ate lunch in a cafeteria where I can assure you everyone did not know everyone else, and food fights did not break out, and lunch wasn’t free! After lunch, it was back to classes (mostly) and then I walked my ass home. Yes, I often went to friends’ homes or they came to mine, maybe we went for a bike ride, or if it was a special day perhaps we had some extra money to go to the movies, go to a party, grab a burger (not a combo).  We didn’t have a special diner we all met at right after school, nor could many of my friends actually afford to buy themselves food.

Aside from homework and chatting with my friends about the cutest boys in our classes, I worked at a farm. Bet you’ve never seen that on a teen TV show? You see, I owned a horse at the age of 12 and had to work my ass off to ensure I could pay her monthly board each month. My mom didn’t buy the horse, so she didn’t pay for the horse. OK, so this is perhaps my own unique situation, and most definitely not everyone’s high school experience. All I’m saying, is where are all the realistic shows at? I suppose they just wouldn’t be interesting and dramatic enough for TV. 

This never happened but was the only female farm worker picture I could find, to which I say- "seriously?!"

                “Shannon walks home from school with her best friend talking about what Brad said in class that day to her.  The friends reach their individual corners to turn to their homes and part ways until tomorrow morning, when they reconvene for the walk back to school. Shannon drops her bag at the front door and gets changed to go to work. But work for her isn’t a uniform, no it’s some old jeans and t-shirt getup that already smells of horses… and a slight scent of poop.”

I guess it just doesn’t have the same interest level, does it?

And nowadays (feeling very old saying that) there are shows like Glee… which possibly depict a bit more of a realistic approach to how high school actually is. Except possibly too far the other way. Let’s start with, no one in my high school (of over 1000 teens) ever threw a slushie in someone’s face because they weren’t cool. It didn’t happen. 
A stabbing? Yes. 
A shooting? Absolutely! 
Slushie throwing? Nope. 

Also, let’s face it Glee kids (or loser group equivalent) you never became cool where people started understanding and embracing your differences. Sure that would be nice in an ideal world, but reality sucks. So don't let Glee gets your hopes up.

So, tell me what was your high school experience more relatable to? Saved by the Bell, Glee… or no where even close to either? Cause I’m going with option c on this one, folks.

Monday, 22 October 2012

You Don't Miss What You Don't Have

Since moving out of our apartment in April of this year, all of my things (besides mandatory, everyday items like toiletries) have been inside boxes. Big boxes, little boxes, brown boxes, white boxes.

By the time we move into our purchased home, my items will have been in boxes for more than a year. And at the 6 month mark, this month, I can tell you I haven't really missed many of those items. Naturally, some of the items just aren't needed right now but will be when we move out of our parents' homes again, like kitchen supplies and cookware. But then there are the items that are just my...stuff. You know, to fill up space.

A couple of times I have thought about watching a DVD and remembered they're all packed away, and not easily accessible for watching just once. But most of the times I wanted to watch those movies I was able to find them on Netflix or online. Every once in a while I wasn't, and guess what? I survived! I didn't turn into a toad, melt away or even get upset. It just was just that- I couldn't watch it and that was ok. My life these days is so busy anyhow, working 3 jobs, I don't have much leisure time to be watching movies. So in all reality, I likely saved myself some procrastination moments by not having the DVDs at the ready.

I think some of the only things I've truly missed, are my books. I have a lot of books. A lot. It may be an obsession. But I love learning. And most of my books are non-fiction. My friends tend to be surprised by this, that I spend my "free time" reading about non-fiction items like money management, marketing techniques, horse training, making connections to others and being successful and happy. I do have some fiction books, but they tend to be few and far between.
So, my books really are my only items I can recall nearly each one by name and I miss them. I miss looking at them, picking them up, flipping through the pages and arranging them in ways that are both visually appealing and functional. I just keep reminding myself, it's only a matter of time before they will be free to line the shelves of our new home.

I'm sure opening the boxes when we move will be a bit like Christmas, finding items we forgot we had. And at that time I may decide many of the items locked up in all those boxes, really aren't necessary at all. Then I'll host a garage sale and you can all come buy my stuff I don't want anymore!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Titillating Trailers

Have you ever been forced to watch video game commercials or trailers?  No?  Is that because you don't have a special man in your life?

Everytime a new video game is coming out- and for those that aren't aware, prime time is in the fall between September and November (something I never thought I would know)- Brandon is watching a new trailer.  If you've seen them, you know the formula.

Soft, sweet, quite possibly older music (say "Amazing Grace" style) starts the trailer off.  You watch thinking, "oh how nice, what game is this? Pioneer Living?" and then there's a sudden drop in bass.  It's probably a large drum to start and does a steady and slow beat.  Until... BAM!  Guns are shooting, people are yelling, fighting is happening!  The trailer turns from lovely to a massacre in 15 seconds!  It's no longer of interest to you (ok, me) because it's so violent and crazy, you've (alright, fine- I've) seen it all before.  Maybe it's about zombies, or war or fictional 7 horsemen characters.

Let me show you some examples:



And then there's this fun video... much more my style!

Friday, 12 October 2012

And so it's official...

... ding-dong the Mac is dead.

This past Monday was a day I had been waiting for, for the past 2 weeks.  After what I'm now referring to as "the water incident" (you can read about that here), my new, shiny and lovely MacBook Pro is... *sigh* dead.  It turns on but the reaction time is beyond slow. Slower than my old MacBook from 8 years ago... Sllllllllllooooooow as a snail on roofies.

It makes me so sad, because I waited so long to get that computer, dealing with the slow death of my old one.  And now it will be gone.  Totally a first world problem- but having to use Brandon's PC laptop is super lame. He tells me I'm Apple brainwashed, but that's not true, I just know products I like and I'm loyal to them.  Apple- are you sure you don't want to send me a brand new MacBook Pro?!

So my plights to the Mac God will continue... until I have enough money to purchase a new one.

In other news, we got our new car.
Whatever you want to classify it is- it's a Hyundai Santa Fe.

Let's be real here and acknowledge the fact that it's a 2008 used Santa Fe, but we feel so luxurious in it.  It's just a general "working-man's" vehicle, but it's kind of high end in that category. Plus anything would be considered luxurious compared to my plastic Saturn.  Plastic and styrofoam that is. Oh yes, folks, my front bumper was made purely of styrofoam- which is why I assume, my little Saturn that could turned into squished plastic.

Brandon and I kind of feel like rich adults driving it. You know how when you're in your twenties and you don't quite yet feel like a "real" adult? This seems to be a younger generation thing, because our parents were all married and had us kids by our age, so I suppose they already felt like "real adults". But this car kind of cements that getting older, more mature and more responsible feeling.

We drive around feeling rich. Sitting in our heated leather seats (didn't you know the rich have warm bums?), sunroof open, a real stereo with FIVE speakers playing Mumford & Sons from all angles of the vehicle, with a CD player and real heat and air conditioning...that works! It's the life of royalty I assure you.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Why my fiance is better than your fiance!

Last week while Brandon was working, he sent me an email.  From Groupon.  Do you know what Groupon is? It's a super fun online coupon and discount website that provides all sorts of deals each week for items, events and places in your area.  Brandon has since become nearly addicted to Groupon. And I'll allow it since the deals are pretty exceptional.

Anyhow, the email he sent me wasn't of something he wanted to buy, but instead it was something he had "bought" me!  It was a donation to West Place Animal Sanctuary.  What?! So sweet!

Shortly after he sent that he messaged me again and said, "I think we should donate to a charity or organization every payday. We could pick a new one each time, researching each one to make sure it's legit and worthy."  I think at this point my heart melted out of my chest and slipped onto the floor.  After I picked it up and put it back in my chest we talked about how we could make this small donation each payday, which wouldn't have a huge impact on our budget yet could make a significant impact on those we donate to.

This week, Brandon chose Great Danes Friends of Ruff Love. It's an organization for Great Danes who have special needs and are hard to be adopted out. Being such large dogs, with some unique conditions it makes these dogs unappealing to many, the donations collected by them go towards helping to provide the care to the dogs and possibly education for new owners.

Tell me Rufus isn't adorable?!

We're going to continue each payday to search out organizations and charities that deserve some extra money for some great causes! They don't all have to be animal centred- though we are animal lovers.  But there are lots of deserving charities out there!  So we're on the lookout.

Do you have a charity you enjoy giving to? 

Monday, 1 October 2012

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe...

Things happen in three's, right?  So I'm waiting for my third.  I'm hoping it was when I stubbed my toe yesterday, but I'm thinking that wasn't big enough.

First there was my water logged MacBook. My poor, poor MacBook still laying in a bag of rice with any hope it will dry out. I didn't give much thought to the coming in three's rule. That is until Saturday around 1pm, when I totaled my car.

Granted the car wasn't a masterpiece of auto-amazingness. But it was my car that got me from point A to point B- generally work to home. You know, helping me make money to save for a house and whatnot.

This isn't my car, but it is the closest representation via an online search I could find. I wish I had thought to take a picture of my cheap little Saturn that didn't in any way do well in what should have been classified as a fender bender.  The other vehicle just had some rusted out pieces fall off her rear bumper, but my car... it's whole front end is destroyed.  Can you imagine if I had ever been in a serious accident? Like head on collision? My car's airbags didn't even go off.

So, Brandon and I will be off to look for a new vehicle this week. And until we get it, I'm busing it around town (horray). And waiting for my third (and hopefully final) awful happening. Let me know if you see it coming, and I'll try to avoid it. Or maybe it's like the Final Destination rules- it will find you. Perhaps it's best to just let it happen.