Twelve Warning Signs The Holidays Have Taken Over

The holidays are never perfect. It’s a hectic time of year and somehow they always take over my life.

Although I dream of a wonderful holiday where everything has been carefully planned and executed. Stockings hang near a roaring fire. Wrapped presents are piled high around a decorated tree. Family and friends gather round the piano and sing while the heavenly aroma of a gourmet dinner cooks in the oven. That never happens.

I’ve compiled a list of warning signs for you!

You know the holidays are taking over your life when:

Every surface in your house is sticky.

It would be easier to move than to clean. Continue reading

The Nutcracker Sweet – A Video

A few days ago, I mentioned a few of my Christmas traditions, but excluded my favorite. There were many guesses. Some readers were right. BAKING. We used to watch my daughter, Courtney, dance in the Nutcracker. I had an idea. I could combine the two!

gingerbread dancers 1

I saw an adaptation of the traditional gingerbread man on The Rachael Ray Show and had an BRILLIANT idea. I had to bake them and make a movie. It seemed like the logical thing to do after creating 80+ handmade Christmas cards, right?

With a little bit of help from my daughter, Courtney, the “show” was a success!  It’s been years since she performed in a ballet. *chuckle*

Tune in to see what I’m talking about. It’s a totally sweet production! You can hear me cracking up while making the video. Continue reading

My Project Unveiled For All To See. Yikes!

I’ve sent out all of my greeting cards, so it’s time to unveil my project. I’m so nervous. I hope you like it.

Every year an idea comes to mind which becomes a sketch and then transforms into some kind of 3-D popup creation. I know what you’re thinking. Most people don’t even take the time to buy and send ready-made greeting cards. I keep telling myself, “This year I will simplify.” HA! I don’t know the meaning of the word, “simplify.” Two things about me never change: I was born sunny-side up and I love challenges. “Bring it on” should be my middle name, but it’s not. It’s Mary which is pretty dull in comparison. Don’t tell mom. Her first name is Mary.

The front is very similar to last year’s. Take your complaints to Yelp.

So here it is. Drum roll please…………….

Front of card

Ta da!

Here are the innards skinnards. Now you can imagine how weird they would have looked with duplicated drawings. That was a close one! Continue reading

Twinkle, Illustration, and Elves

oh christmas tree

I’m ready for the next project on my long list. It’s my absolute favorite. Can you guess?

Nope. I’m not wrapping presents. I always leave that chore until the last minute. I’m not hanging the stockings. NOTE TO SELF: I need to buy sticky tack. I’m not writing my letter to Santa. I’m playing with my new Apple computer right now! I don’t need another thing. I’m not stringing popcorn or making ornaments or running out to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. I’m done. I’m not running to the grocery store. Not my favorite thing at all although I will take my new fangled warmer jammer list next time.


2006 Christmas card. Continue reading

Leave a Comment and Win!

constructing Christmas

I’ve been busy drawing, cutting, pasting and folding this year’s Christmas card. I think I’ve listened to almost every corny holiday movie between the Lifetime and Hallmark channel.

Every year has its challenges. In the past, I sent out my cards after more than sixty hours of work and they boomeranged back for more postage! Last year I had to add extra postage for weight. This year I thought I had it handled, but the post office was closed, so I couldn’t check the weight. I was about to throw them in the mailbox, then I decided to take them home just in case.

homemade Christmas cards

Some of my older cards. The newer ones are popups. Continue reading

The Unusually Wild Gift Guide

gift giver 2 1

I’ve been surfing the net for the wildest gifts online and would like to share a few unusual finds with you. Some are wilder than others, but they are all meant for someone who has everything or a sense of humor.

The Power Nap Head Pillow can be found at Hammacher Schlemmer.

the power nap head pillow 1

Because naptime…


 The Shower Squid can be found at Uncommon Goods.

shower squids Continue reading

Shopping Made Easy! DIY

Have you ever lost your grocery list? I have. Last year it must have dropped out of my cart in the produce section and then someone tossed it out. I searched everywhere. It was a total nightmare to shop without a list for Thanksgiving dinner. Did I forget anything? Ya think? I went home and made another list.

Today I wrote my grocery list and thought to myself, “I need to attach this sucker to my body somehow. Hey! What I really need is one of those clips for little kids’ mittens.” Since I don’t have any little kids, I thought of the next best thing.

tools for wristlet

I took my grocery list written on an index card and taped the top center. Then I punched a hole in the middle of the tape. You can’t see the tape because it’s “magic.” Continue reading

80’s Halloween – Throwback Thursday

80s Halloween 2

I had to share a photo of one of my favorite ghoulish costumes. I was going for ghostly bride and my sister, Patty, was the Grim Reaper. The funny thing about costumes, you forget you’re wearing tons of makeup!

It’s not to late to Use Me and Abuse Me at my Haunted Halloween Blog Party. See what it’s all about and leave a link HERE!

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

Time-Saving Tips for the Holidays **wink**

Finding time for everything in daily life can be a challenge. The holidays add an extra burden to the growing list of things to do. This year marks the shortest amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think you can do it all? You can’t. There’s no time to dink around people! You’re basically screwed unless you follow my tips:

No time to buy a host or hostess gift?

Recycle! Fill all those holiday mugs you’ve received over the years with your leftover Halloween candy. Everyone loves Snickers bars.

last minute hostess gift

Don’t judge me. The candy canes are from last year. I ate all the Snickers bars.

No time to write for your blog?

Post office party photos. Make up funny captions like, “Bob always peeks into the secret Santa gifts and slips his name on the best one.”  Then cross-post it on Facebook. Watch your Klout score soar! Don’t forget to tag your boss, Bob. Continue reading

‘Tis an Attempt to Make You Smile!

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, the family was out.


Woke up at 6:00. Left @ 6:30 – Gone Shreddin. Love Kelly. Call meh for da plan. High 4!

The stockings were emptied, what remained were the hooks,

The only memory of Santa had been read in books. Continue reading

The Nightmare Trip Before Christmas

Christmas HearthThe cards have been sent with 20 cents extra postage, the stockings are hanging perilously close to our gas fireplace, and I ate a dozen of the cookies I baked for the last exchange of the season. Tonight I am basking in the twinkling light emanating from all of the decorations inside my house while the electric meter is whirring outside in the bitter cold.

On the 6th night before Christmas, there are presents to be wrapped, but I can finally take a deep breath and relax. As I sip my first cup of tea, a memory of a Christmas from long ago swirls back from the past.

Kelly was five-weeks-old. Danny and I lived in a Boulder apartment on the third floor with outdoor steps. It had snowed and kept snowing. It was three days before Christmas and we would fly back to Madison, Wisconsin to celebrate the holidays with our families. Our flight would take off at 4:00 PM. Continue reading

Avoid the Big Nose, Giant Head, and Devil Eyes this Holiday Season

It is so much fun to point, shoot and instantly post your photographs on Facebook or Twitter. I really enjoy seeing them, but there are some pretty gawdawful pictures out there. Let me help you banish the bleak, delete the delinquent, and take a better photo this holiday season. Your friends and family won’t be horrified when they find themselves tagged in snapshots with enormous faces or bodies that are freakishly distorted.

Roxydoodle big nose

Don’t be the overexposed “big nose” this holiday season. Right Roxy?

Ten Tips for taking better pictures: Continue reading

Creeped Out by Santa

creepy santas 1Do I look terrified or what? My sister escaped!

Let me start out by clarifying that I love the idea of Santa Claus as the embodiment of joy and generosity for children around the world. But it was the department store Santa with the nasty cigarette and coffee breath I endured for the sake of the obligatory traditional McCartan photo every Christmas. Continue reading