Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm just gonna leave this here.

Snow.  I know I live in Michigan, but I feel like Mid-April is around the time where I'm allowed to start whining about snow still existing on the ground.


Mac and Bub concur.


I've been trying to push the winter away - I went out and raked the whole yard last week in the like, three days we didn't have snow.  Two days ago I put out the summer patio furniture.  I'm sure freezing is good for our sun umbrella.

At the same time, I've been trying to find some good things indoors to keep me from going nuts like Mac and Bub.  Top five options for not going stir crazy?

1.  Chinzy Competition TV Shows.  My favorites:  RuPaul's Drag Race and Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge.  Thank goodness for DVRs.  Do you watch either of these?  Who are you rooting for?  Tell me in the comments!*

I'm amazing and accomplished.  
2.  The library's crazy awesome selection of children's movies and video games.  There's something oddly satisfying about completing something.  Even something REALLY insanely simple, like a Pok√©mon game that was made for ages 5-8.  But. 100% completion, yo.






3.  Cleaning out the house.  Y'all, The Mister and I have a LOT of crap.  Actually, most of it isn't crap, but we have SO MUCH of it in this tiny house that we don't hardly use any of it... we just found random spaces to cram it where it collects dust.  And since we're looking at moving in the next... well I don't know, soon... I'd like to get rid of as much of the un-used stuff as possible before I have to YET AGAIN put all the things in boxes.

4.  The library's crazy awesome check out system!  I can log in online anytime and request holds, check my due dates, renew check outs, search their whole selection and even request new books they don't have.

I know this is pretty typical of libraries everywhere now, but I never cease to be amazed at how far this system has come since I learned how to look through those little drawers with Dewey Decimal numbers on them in grade school.

I've recently decided to read everything Christopher Moore has ever written, and so far that's been fun.  (He wrote a book titled Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend.  HOW DO YOU NOT IMMEDIATELY READ THAT?)  Also the Vlogbrothers are starting up a book club and I'm super down with that.



5.  Tanning.  Because everyone gets one vice, and at least mine ups my serotonin levels with a side of skin cancer.

What do you do to ward off the winter blues?  
You know the drill - hit that comment button!

*I haven't seen enough of JHCSC to really get a feel for who I want to win, but RPDR?  I'm team Bianca y'all.  I heart her.  SO MUCH.  (Courtney Act can come in second.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chumming the waters

This little piggy went to market
is for a diaper party/ pig roast invite!

I've been swamped lately with the stationery design business - great problem to have!

I've also been enjoying an interesting learning curve to do this gig.  I have two major revelations so far:
1.  I've learned enough about printing standards and stationery paper options that I now HATE my own wedding invitations.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up re-designing what The Mister and I sent out because I just can't stand how amateur they look compared to the work I'm doing now.


Have you ever been super proud of something only to look back 
at it later with more wisdom and realize that it's way subpar work?  
Tell me in the comments!
2.  There are definite seasons in this business. Right now?  We're in full-swing of BABY SEASON.  Which has been a super fun change of pace from the Bride season that seems to be slowing down for now.  

I have such plans to keep the clients rolling in, and sooner or later I might actually get the chance to make those plans happen.  I want to start doing more fun printables to put on the website, and listing good resources.  Things that can happen... as soon as I remember what my administrator password to FINvites.com is... ha.


Until then I thought I'd share some of the recent designs keeping me busy here today. 

This was the first draft to a wedding invitation inspired by the couple's love of international flair - these ended up getting printed on sparkly paper so the golds all glinted a bit.  LOVE.
I can't tell you how in LOVE I am with this trend - 
baby shower invites including an insert requesting a book for baby instead of a card.  
I can't take credit for that little rhyme, but I will use it every chance I get!

Front and Back to a Baby Shower for a mama who decorated the nursery with elephants.  
I'm really pleased with how the rain/chevron pattern came out.
 
 What's the coolest/ cutest/ best piece of baby related stationery you've ever gotten?  
(baby shower / diaper party / baby announcements / birthday parties / etc)
Hit that comment button and tell me about it!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Egg-sausted

Guys.  The Mister gets up ridiculously early.

I'm not even saying that as an anti-morning person.  I feel pretty confident that even if you like getting up in the morning, 4AM is not what you consider to be the proper time for that.

He gets up at that time and works out, which is even more crazy to me (mad props for that kind of dedication).  And the last few days he's asked me to get up and make him breakfast while he does that working out thing.

My body resisted this fiercely.  So fiercely, in fact, that I "made breakfast" four or five times before I even got out of bed.

This Dog Shame is probably more successful
at breakfast cooking than a 4am me.
I knew I needed to get up and put an egg in a frying pan for my husband.  So that's what I did.  In my groggy half-awake haze, I went downstairs and put the entire egg in the frying pan.  I pulled hard boiled egg out of the frying pan a few minutes later and left it on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in my groggy half-awake haze I
  went downstairs and greased the pan with some pine-scented candle wax.  I cracked in the eggs and a few minutes later I scooped out a perfectly cooked egg and left if on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in a groggy half-awake haze I went downstairs and found he had already made himself eggs and left them out on the counter for himself.  Then I went back to bed.

Then I woke up a bit and realized I hadn't really done any of that.  So in a groggy half-awake haze I went downstairs and made eggs but nothing was memorable about the experience.  I left it on the kitchen counter for him, then went back to bed.

Then I woke up for ... a few hours later... and realized that if I had managed to actually get out of my head and get out of bed to make eggs for my husband's breakfast, there was a very real possibility that I either served a luke-warm raw egg in it's shell or eggs in candle wax.

Turns out I had managed to make reasonable eggs at some point.  Husband was pleased.  but now it's time for a nap.

When you have something you need to do as soon as you get out of bed, 
do you ever dream about it?  Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Breaking Band

Wedding Rings.  Open question to the peanut gallery:
Did you get your wedding band soldered to your engagement band?  
Why or why not?
Seriously, hit that comment button, I'm curious.

There are many an online forum devoted to how great an idea it is to join those two rings which are totally reasonable and logical: It keeps sets from independently moving away from how they're supposed to sit on each other.  It keeps them strong.  It keeps them snug on your finger.

All that said, I have not soldered mine together.  I'd like to say I have a GREAT reason for this.  Here is what I could come up with the last time The Mister asked me if I was going to get them stuck together and I vehemently said "ACK! NO!"
1.  I like them separate.
2.  

I don't know why.  Maybe it's the power that comes with avoiding conceding to the permanence.  No no, not like that - I am permanently married to The Mister and that is good.  But if I keep the rings separate then I still have the choice to solder them together or not.  If I solder them they are permanently joined and that's it.  I like the option.  The freedom to choose like a real, live 'Murican.

Plus then I have two rings instead of one.  Like when you tell a little kid you'll trade them a nickel for five pennies and they can't grasp that it is the same.

So two rings. Great for me... and then my wedding band broke.  And I had to go to The Mister and be all bottom lip quivering and hold it -split on the bottom- up to him like Rafiki holding up Simba, asking for him to take it back to the jeweler and get it fixed.  And one more time he asks me "okay so NOW it might be a good time to get it soldered to your engagement ring."  Which he said because he is smart and logical.

And you know what?  This time I had a totally reasonable, grown up answer.


[Because he is a good husband it has been fixed and I still have two rings.]

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April Fools? NO! I'm back y'all.

What would sound better to y'all:  I spend the next few posts apologizing for dropping off the side of the blog-planet, or I pretend that I never skipped a beat and just go back to posting a few times a week and call it good?

You could tell me in the comments, but I already kinda decided I'm going to be all "my bad, sh*t got cray cray" right here, evaluate where I'm at and where I want to go, and go back to the regularly scheduled broadcast.

Sound good?  I like how I'm asking as if anyone is still in this cricket-field of a readership.  But if you are: 
My bad, Sh*t got cray cray.

Mac: Also still unaware of how
 to dog when there are ducks near.
Let's take a quick inventory of our usual cast of characters, shall we?
KpMcD - Ended my time at the preschool.  Doing FINvites 3/4-time, and house-wifing it the rest of the time.  Loving that.
CMcD - Still has about a million life-altering big (and awesome) things on his plate.  We will of course talk about those things in due time.  Still happily married to little old me. 
Bubba Gato - will turn 8 next month, still wins every night's game of tag, wearing a larger size harness for his outdoor trips because his Garfield impression continues to grow stronger.
Mac Dog - Officially 5 years old.  Still amazing, still keeping me sane.  Still loses every night's game of tag.  

I think the best way to tie this end up would be to look back at 2013.  Specifically, my post where I wrapped 2012 up and set goals for the new year.  Before I went radio silent at the end of 2013, I had been working on these year-long goals:
  • Paint at least 7 paintings.
  • Feel less adrift in a quarter-life crisis by the end of the year.
  • Grow my garden, specifically, double it.  Maybe add chickens if The Mister comes along on that gravy egg train.
  • Lose more weight. Past the dreaded 29 of 2012. 
  • Double KpQuePasa's numbers.  
How'd I do?
He's even cuter in the
photo reference she sent.
  • Paintings: Check.  Including one I sold through the easy monster of a lovely little pup who looks like an ewok.
  • Less Adrift:  No-go.  I still seem to have no idea where life is taking me, though I'm starting to come to terms with that idea because truly, it's a side-effect of being married to the love of my life and trying to figure out how to navigate life with another person.  In 2013 that meant trying my hand as a professional dog trainer and figuring out that even though it was a super fun job I couldn't handle working retail.  It meant starting an office job at a preschool and quickly getting promoted to a marketing job with the preschool.  It meant putting the house on the market, taking the house off the market, making an offer on another house and getting turned down for that offer.  Know what I did figure out? Blogging acts a bit like an anchor for me, and I missed it.
  • Grow Garden: Check!  Though no chickens.  I've got maybe a week until the ground is ready to start in on McDermott Produce Department 2014.
  • Kept it safe on the fridge all winter.
    Right next to my almost free burrito card.
  • Lose more weight.  Uh... sadly no.  Or yes?  I lost 8 more pounds and then gained all 8 back.  So neutral.  Just have to get back on the "not putting all the carbs in my mouth" train.
  • Double KpQuePasa's numbers.  Yes and no.  Stats for posts stayed roughly the same, which I'm actually happy with considering I got so bad at staying on a schedule.  Got up to 25 Facebook followers, so 11 shy of that part of the goal.  But the Etsy Monster.  I'm up to 14 sales there, so I kicked that goal's ass.   Boom.
And that leaves us with 2014.  I'm a little late to the game on this new-year's thing, but here's what I want to look forward to:

Ninja, ninja RAP.
1.  Art:  Make a greater effort to create for myself. Fulfill a desire to make pretty and functional things.  I'd like to look back on this in 2015 and have at least 4 great, fun creations to share.  I've already got one down for sure (see Left):
Teenage Mutant Ninja Mac-Dog!  The shell is a backpack.  I can't even.


2.  Career:  Come to grips with the idea that The Mister makes me one of the luckiest damn people on the planet.  In many ways.  But for this bullet-point's purpose, that I am able to do what makes me happy instead of what makes me money.  To wit, I think it's time to figure out how to make FINvites my main gig, and integrate that into life as the curator of KpQuePasa.  I have ideas about growing the resources through FINvites, keeping business going strong until or while the "next big thing* comes along."  For the record, it's already going pretty good - good enough to more or less make the fact that I quit at the preschool** a null-and-void point.  

3.  The Dreaded Number: The scale continues to be a torturous jerk.  I actually just read this article and can't help but think that even with a tiny number like 29, it rings pretty true.  Particularly the part about the number.  I never used to be phased by a swing of 5 pounds any direction withinin a week, and now I see 2 pounds of difference between any two days and it festers in the back of my head like that banana you forgot in the back of the fridge three months ago.  In any case, aiming for 13 less pounds by the time 2015 rears it's head, for a grand total of 42 dreaded pounds standing between 2012 and me.
We're talking, like, past the point of banana bread kind of festering.


4.  Home Front: Grow a great garden that gives off enough awesome produce that I can freeze and can a few things come fall.  Get home to Wisconsin at least once this summer.  Manage to catch enough fish in one sitting for a meal while up north.  Sell this tiny, but well-loved house.  So basically, just be perfect.  Right.

There's some saying about aiming high, right?  Let's go for it.  Come with me, won't you?

What's been pasa-ing ("happening," in the most spanglish of terms) in your lives, readers?  
And what goals are you working on?  
Catch me up in the comments!

*I already know what the next big thing is.  Stop mind-guessing; It is not a baby.  I will share it in due time.  Consider this a teaser.

**That just happened, like two weeks ago, and is rather what freed me up enough to come back to KPQP.  Best decision I've made in a while. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Ill-Logical

I'm feeling under the weather today.  Which is particularly notable because the weather outside right now is gross, setting the bar pretty low to begin with.

But it's at least partially my fault,* so I'm trying to suck it up.  I'm failing, but I thought, 'misery loves company,' so here I am to share with y'all.

I heart pumpkins.  Maybe you do too.  I'm one of those people who gets really excited about the coming of "Pumpkin Spice in EVERYTHING" season.  I have a hard time understanding that there are people out in the world who get annoyed by this annual time-period.  It smells so good.  And if you don't wanna eat it, no one's making you.

Or maybe they are?

On the other side of that spectrum, I WANT to eat all the pumpkin spice things.  But I cannot.  Because I am allergic to it.  (except for pumpkin spice coffee, because that only has nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in it - no actual pumpkin.  So I drink the ever-living snot out of that stuff.)

I haven't always been allergic - As a kid I looked forward to the season of carving jack-o-lanterns and roasting the seeds.  I'd eat more than my fair-share of pumpkin pie (my mum has this killer recipe that uses bisquick so you don't need a crust.).  I'd delight in twirling spaghetti squash onto my fork.

Then one year in my early twenties, I welcomed in the fall just like any other year in my past- I brought an acorn squash home to make dinner.  I ended the evening quarantined in my bathroom.  Which believe me, is the nicest possible way to describe that night.

Thinking it was just a bad squash, I dismissed the incident, and a few nights later I made a box of butternut squash ravioli for din-din.  It ended in an equally horrific fashion as the squash before it (thankfully, the pumpkin spice candle in my bathroom kept anyone else from suffering but me).

Autumn came next year, and I realized that it wasn't from overeating at Thanksgiving dinner that I got a level 5 tummy ache - it was the pumpkin pie.

The year after that, I finished carving my jack-o-lantern and then spent the rest of the night scratching at my arms like a meth addict - anywhere the pumpkin guts had touched my skin was a blotchy, red mess.

And the year after that, The Mister took me out to eat at a VERY fancy restaurant where the chef cooks as a presentation in front of you and teaches you all about the food he's making and where it's from and all sorts of other information you'd find on the bottom of a Snapple cap.
It was set up to be a really romantic evening.  Except the chef there is known to be rather... Gordon Ramsey-ish in spirit, and the first course was a squash soup.  I didn't have the gumption to raise my hand and tell him that I was allergic, so I just ate it.  I ate the whole, delicious, bowl of squash soup. Then I spent the rest of the meal trying to will my body to acknowledge that I was on a fancy date in a fancy dress with a fancily dressed man that I, well, fancied, and not to make a scene.  My body rather loudly opposed my attempts with tummy grumbles and gurgles.  After the meal, the Mister took me home, where we were going to watch a movie.  Instead, he very graciously sat on the living room couch while I sat in the bathroom, pretending that the TV was turned up high enough that he couldn't hear the horror behind the powder-room door.

And so on and so forth.  You'll note that I figured out that first year squashes and I might not be meant to live in harmony, but that didn't stop me from actively deciding to eat squashes anyway.  Even in the face of scaring away true love.  Because pumpkins, man.  They. Are. Delicious.

I feel like Frank the Tank from Old School.  
I know it's a bad idea.  
A horrible idea.  
But it's soooo good, once it hits your lips.

I've come now to the point where I have just decided that there are two times a year where I'm simply going to go for it, enjoy the squashy goodness, and consequences be damned.

The first is when it comes time to carve a pumpkin, because carving a pumpkin is too damn fun for a kid with an art degree to NOT carve a pumpkin.  Also because along with carving a pumpkin comes the roasting of pumpkin seeds.  Those are super yummy on the way down, and make up for my pumpkin-gut-covered arms being itchy.  Pumpkin seeds on the way up, not so much yummy, but who's keeping score?  Thus, yes, I carve and eat a pumpkin once annually.

The second is Thanksgiving dinner.  Because - and this is not a healthy way to look at it, I am WELL aware so thanks for not commenting on it - I figure if there's going to be an ahem, "evacuation" after I eat a slice of delicious pumpkin pie, why not capitalize on that opportunity by eating that slice directly after I have devoured an astoundingly dense thanksgiving dinner and skip having to count those 3,000+ calories?

I know it's not "logical."  I become so immediately ill that it is CLEARLY a poor choice.  (Did you catch that in the post title? Ill-Logical?  Ha.  I slay me.)  But is every choice you make in your best interest?
Do you ever choose to do something you know is 
NOT good for you?  
Tell me in the comments!

So it is that today I'm sitting on the couch, hoping that my stomach stops doing a floor routine sometime soon.  Last night I carved my pumpkin while the trick or treaters braved the rain.  At least I don't work in the office on Fridays*, so I don't have to be anywhere and look/ act like a decent human being.  I did have to venture out to the grocery store though, as we ran out of toilet paper somewhere around 3AM last night.  

In related news, The Mister requested a shark themed jack-o-lantern.  I opted for a more subtle nod in that direction.  (you can click on the picture to make that toothy grin a little bigger.)

In conclusion? Worth it.


*I think I've mentioned it before here, but I've been working at a preschool since mid-summer.  The kids are fun and keep you on your toes, and I work in the administration, specifically making sure the branding and publicity for the school is polished and consistent, so I'm working in my wheel-house.  But the downside is that toddlers make for rather cute harbingers of the plague.  While I'm sure that some of my Ick-Feeling is from my pumpkin carving escapades last night, some of that is also that the little germ-mongers finally succeeded in passing something on to me.