Tag Archives: DIY

Christmas Time is Here

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Did I have to dress as a glamour shot from 1986? No. Was I asked to choose a theme? Also no.

Posing for the “silly” staff photo.

Dancing in front of anyone over age five and non-family.

Deciding what time to meet up.

Collecting money.

Being the driver.

Wearing dark lipstick.

These are some of things that stress me out.

Surprising? Perhaps. I have no problem making fun of myself and being weird online. I do it almost daily. Speaking in front of a crowd barely raises my heart rate. But when I hear the photographer say “and how about a fun one!” I pray a wormhole will open up and swallow me. “Why didn’t you practice a good silly pose since last year YOU KNOW THEY DO THIS ANNUALLY.”

Speaking of doing things every year, it’s that time again:

Staff Christmas Sweater Competition

It might be hard to top last year when our family went as the controversial yet festive Starbucks red cups. Or the year before when I made my own because I am super crafty and very talented with a glue gun. I thought about going as the Ghost of Christmas Past, but then realized that wearing a shredded bed sheet could hamper my gift exchange competition level.

What to do? What to do?

As I pondered options for a seasonal outfit, waffling between Cousin Eddie and the mom from A Christmas Story (clearly bathrobes are my in my wheelhouse) I received an email…

Reader, I know this is beginning to sound like a movie plot, but the email was not creepy. IT WAS ACTUALLY HELPFUL. Dropped directly into my inbox was the solution I needed: sweaters I could make myself (successfully) using my glue gun, scissors, stencils, and bows. It was this former kindergarten teacher’s dream project plan.

Anything that is described as “easy” or “simple” is certainly in my range of ability. And if you mention “no sew” then say no more. This page has links that could help me win years of Christmas Sweater contests. The only question remaining is “which one do I try this year?”

Click here to peruse the options and let me know what you think in the comments.

I have my glue gun primed and ready – game on.

 

 

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DIY Cheese Strings

Parents, are you like me and feel that cheese strings are an overly-processed waste of money? Then have I got a solution for you. Read on to learn my incredibly easy way to make wholesome, 100% Real Canadian Cheese strings that fit any budget. Yes, ANY budget (as long as you don’t overspend on the band-aids).

Step 1.  Choose your big brick of cheese.

I went with the Old Cheddar, but marble, mozzarella, medium all work equally well. Feeling adventurous? Why not Havarti?

I went with the Old Cheddar, but marble, mozzarella, medium all work equally well. Feeling adventurous? Why not havarti?

Step 2. Slice a large chunk of cheese. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it’s the slant that makes it interesting.

Not too big, keep their expectations manageable.

Not too big, keep their expectations manageable.

Step 3. Slice in half, lengthwise.

Again, symmetry is overrated.

Again, symmetry is overrated.

Step 4. Serve. Any complaints that these don’t actually pull apart into “strings” are covered by stating, “You can have cheese in strings or you can have Netflix. Choose wisely.”

Step 5. Wipe up any blood and elevate your hand. Ok, maybe this should have been Step 4.

I do my own stunts.

I do my own stunts.

You’re welcome.


Refrigerated Evil

I was multi-tasking like a pro. Serving lunch, putting away groceries, folding laundry, chopping up veggies for dinner – wait, what happened in the veggie drawer? The slime! The smell!

No problem, for this gal. I rolled up my sleeves, slid another grilled cheese sandwich to the hungry 3-year-old and deftly removed the produce drawers from the fridge.

“Mommy will be right back!” I sang as I carted the oozy vessels of soggy cucumbers and dried out broccoli to the compost bin.

I went to get the little guy a drink and noticed just how grimy the shelves at the bottom of the fridge were. NO PROBLEM! I carefully lifted them out and left them to soak in the laundry tub. Now to tackle the frames. This was turning into a much bigger project than I had anticipated, but I would not be deterred. By now it was nap time so I could really focus on removing all debris and questionable items from the fridge.

I was merciless. An almost empty bottle of ranch dressing – gone! You, too shrimp sauce from 2009. Don’t look at me that way, yeast in a jar, we both know I won’t be baking any bread from scratch.

I’m almost done and then I can watch Veronica Mars while I eat some Oreos start organizing photo books.

This gross, but weirdly satisfying job was wrapping up nicely – all that was left was to replace the various components.

And then, in a flash, my productivity slammed to a halt.

As I pulled open the door to return the bins to their sparkling clean home, the entire fridge door came off in my hand.

It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to an out-of-body experience. I stood there, gaping at this big, white door that had acquired magical abilities. Or it was demon-possessed.

It’s okay, it’s okay. Let’s just prop it up to keep the cool air in. Then figure out the next step. 

Have you ever tried to lift a fridge door that is full of jars? Trust me, it’s heavy. I leaned it against one leg and carefully took out all the 179 condiments from its shelves (Pilates, guys, it works). Next, I had to rig something up to keep the cool side cool and the hot side hot. I was very motivated since cheese was on sale and it’s possible I had bought approximately eight bars.

Fridge triage

Fridge triage

Things were looking up. Now it was time to figure out what was going on, so I turned to my good friend, Mr. Google. “Why did my fridge door fall off in my hand?” generates a surprising number of helpful answers. I concluded that none of the necessary procedures could be accomplished by one person, so once the boys were in bed that night, Bearded Husband and I fixed the fridge. It took a couple of attempts, possessed refrigerators doors are very temperamental when it comes to things like “alignment”, but we did it.

Stay tuned next week for “The Time 1/3 cup of Butter Exploded in the Microwave” and “Once I Dropped a Pork Roast on the Oven Door.”


I Made it Myself

Our staff decided to celebrate the last day of school with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. As unbelievable as it might sound, I do not own one. When I asked around, my friend suggested an idea from Pinterest. I’m not very handy with sewing or stitching, but I can hold my own with a glue gun. So I eagerly gathered up my supplies, popped in a movie for the boys and got started on what was sure to be the winning sweater.

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Things were going relatively well, but I considered other options. The glue gunning was replaced with my stapler – made sense.

I soon discovered that I couldn’t accomplish this on my own. The clear choice was to use the four-year-old as my stand in. It would have worked better if he had stood still.

Staples, a glue gun, and a four year old. There was no way this sweater would be anything less than spectacular.

The big day was approaching when disaster struck in the form of the stomach flu. At the time of publishing, four out of six family members had been hit. This meant I could not participate in the contest! Or did it?

Turns out, you can wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater anywhere, any time. It’s true. IT IS.

I now present to you: The Ugly Christmas Sweater Pinterest Fail – Home Edition.

This is what it was supposed to look like:

Easy, right?

Easy, right?

I was quite pleased with my version and it’s versatility.

I'll be pinning this later, don't worry.

I’ll be pinning this later, don’t worry.

Pouring coffee in my Ugly Christmas Sweater

Pouring coffee in my Ugly Christmas Sweater

You can drink in it, too! Cheers!

You can drink in it, too! Cheers!

Might not know what to make for lunch, but I know what I'll be wearing.

Might not know what to make for lunch, but I know what I’ll be wearing.

Laundry can be Holly Jolly - see?

Laundry can be Holly Jolly – see?

Cleaning up vomit can be merry, if you dress for it.

Cleaning up vomit can be merry, if you dress for it.

Oh what fun it is to read in my Ugly Christmas Sweater.

Oh what fun it is to read in my Ugly Christmas Sweater.

The jingle bells fell off so it was easy to be sneaky.

The jingle bells fell off so it was easy to be sneaky.

I shared the Christmas cheer all over the house.

I shared the Christmas cheer all over the house.

Look at me - colouring in my Ugly Christmas Sweater.

Look at me – colouring in my Ugly Christmas Sweater

Pro Tip: change out of sweater before trying to eat PB trees in secret.

Pro Tip: change out of sweater before trying to eat PB trees in secret.

What’s the best thing you ever made?