Monday, March 2, 2015

A British Baby Shower For My Nephew

Yay, for it officially being March! But also: Can you actually believe that? I feel like it was just NYE and we were all making resolutions that we had no chance in h*ll in actually succeeding in accomplishing. Where does the time and failed effort go?

Anyway, I'm excited about this month because I get to meet my Nephew (!!!!)- and that's officially the first time I've ever said that sentence. I'm dying to know what this little boy looks like, what he ends up liking and disliking and more pressing: Will he have a weird little muddled accent with an American Mom & a British Dad? Time will tell.
This excitement manifested itself as I hosted the baby shower two weekends ago. Man, those things are a TON of work. From the food, to the decor, to the invites, to the games... that took a lot out of me. But with my team of ladies helping (my Mom, Stepmom & Cousin's Wife), we were able to put together a great afternoon for my Sister. And though I was a little bit rude about Pinterest here... I must say that referencing it for ideas was a HUGE help. So here's me returning the favor to the Internet world: Here's the Shower I threw.

The Theme: All Things British

I know that British influence is going to be very important in the raising of my Nephew and ensuring that he's fully aware of his father's homeland. So I thought that that would make a great theme for the shower (even though I'm told they don't even do baby showers over there). I ordered the invites on Etsy & then I created those London templates myself for various areas of the party.

The Food: British Eats & Shower Staples

Cupcakes (duh- that's like the rules of feminism at a shower I think), veggie platters, scones & jam, cucumber tea sandwiches, grapes (which I'm fairly certain were on anabolic steroids- huge!), chips & guac, hummus, Madeleine Cookies & British candy. Basically British food/British stereotypical eats as well as some general shower staples.

The Drinks:

Mimosa/Sparkling Water Bar
I was really excited about this mimosa bar! First I grabbed a various amount of seltzer water cans & put them in Target party favor bags (like these) and the cans seriously fit perfectly in them. Then I wrote the flavor on the outside & adorned them with string. Then, I cut up a bunch of berries/kiwi and put them in little bowls at the serving bar. Finally, I filled a party server with ice, champagne & various labeled juices. That way people could make an alcoholic or non-alcoholic fun drink using the different flavors, fruits, juices & drinks.

Tea Bar

We had various hot teas ready to go and a bevy of old/new tea sets for guests. There was cream, honey for everyone to cater to their preference.

The Games:
My Sister had a lot of opinions about games she DID NOT want. I had to find a few different ones that weren't as traditional as the whole candybar diaper thing & guess her circumference game.

Decorate the Diaper

Pretty simple: Diapers, Sharpies & a little humor. Just jot down a thought, piece of wisdom or affirmation on the diaper for the parents to read when things don't smell so good. It really bugs the living $*%* out of me that I forgot the word "FOR" in the sign.

What Will The Baby Look Like?

Seriously the funniest game ever! We printed a TON of pictures of my Sis & Bro-In-Law and then cut up their features in various ways. Sometimes just one eye, sometimes their eye with their nose, etc. Then we had all the cut outs, head shapes & markers so guests could piece together what the baby will look like with their blended features. Obviously, the uglier the better. Then my Sister got to pick the winner of all the horrible creations. It made everyone laugh the entire time.

and finally...
My cousin found a fun game where we guessed British baby words against American ones. It was cute and fun. 

The Favors:
I went to Home Goods & Marshall's and purchased a ton of fun glasses for the guests. Not only did they use them at the party to make their own drinks, but that ended up being their party favor as well to take with them. The funny thing was that I bought so many separate straws for the party and every cup came with its own straw. However, they sure do liven up the decor so it was all good.

All in all, it was a great, busy, festive party...
^The sign on the way to the bathroom.

^The only picture of me from that day. 

So phew, that was a lot of work and even more pictures on this post. Ai-yi-yi! But man oh man am I ready to meet this little boy now. :)

Hope your Monday is going well! I've got such a full plate at the office bright and early so as I write this Sunday night I'm desperately trying to enjoy my last few hours of relaxation. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Open Letter to Netflix | The One Where You Took Away All The Jokes

 Dear Netflix,

I am writing this with a sad, gaping hole in my heart (but still keep in mind that I’mmmm breezy) and even as I type these words, I am filled with the worry that I am being too greedy. But alas, there are two types of people in this world: People who do evil (you) and people who watch evil being done and do nothing (not me anymore since I’m writing this).

When you announced that "Friends" was going to be on Netflix, I basically flew out of my barcalounger and handed Chandler a lamp from the table. You see, Chandler is my dog. I named him that for reasons that I plainly do not need to spell out for you. However, if I have to explain the sentence before about the chair and the lamp as I was drunk with excitement, I fear you who put this on air did so without the level of expertise that someone in your position warrants.

 Sure, we all have the full series of Friends on DVD. That’s a given. And I’m fairly certain those who don’t, are not the target market you had in mind when you decided to close the best television deal of all time: Fusing the world’s most beloved show with everyone’s secret desire to remain horizontal for hours on end on the weeknights & weekends. Being able to glide through episodes and bounce around from season to season has been what I can only imagine Heaven is like. Without accidentally exercising, I can watch Monica introduce herself as Richard’s twinkie to her Mom, witness Rachel have trouble seeing her baby, feel for Chandler as he desperately tries to guess which sister, hope that Ross one day WILL BE AVENGED, visit Joey (and his hand twin) in Vegas and be happy for Phoebe when her Mom comes to visit her as a cat. I CAN DO ALL OF THAT IN ONE SITTING AND I’LL NEVER THANK YOU ENOUGH.

 So, it is with sadness that I pose the following question: WHERE ARE ALL THE JOKES!?!? Why have you cut out lines from every episode? Where are all the punchlines I’m mouthing out as the scenes progress? Why did Joey not hand Phoebe non-glass glasses with handles & olive oil? Was there a particular reason that Monica stopped at serious and didn’t try to be funny by dancing & saying “A guy from Ralph Lauren called you got a second interview!”. Was there anything particularly offensive about the way pregnant Rachel asked the couple at the coffee shop if she was making them uncomfortable?

^My wedding day with my dog, Chandler. I made a lot of jokes about Chandler's vest that day. Netflix Execs: Would you even get any of them?

 You didn’t release this show to new fans, and you knew that going in. You knew exactly who we were when you announced that on January 1st (National Worldwide day of hangovers & TV binge-watching) the entire series would be released for our consumption. You fed the masses. You basically promised homemade candy to all the neighbors. You threw a bone to us screaming fans who you (and I) both know, will watch that show over & over & over again until the guy outside our window starts singing “MOOOOORNNNINNNNG’SSSS HERE!”… So why did you treat us like we wouldn’t notice the bevy of missing jokes. Did you think we were all smelly cats (It’s not our faults smelly cats, it’s not our faults!)? After all, the relationship between a network & its viewers is a love based on giving and receiving (as well as having and sharing).

Unfortunately, like Chandler finally admits to Joey, I don’t think this was your big break. I think you have a little more work to do to get there, but I think your big break is coming. It’s as if you are on rollerskates with a blonde wig serving James Beans- so close to the perfect job, but not quite there yet. Consider this letter the big push you needed to roll into something better.

So Netflix, grab the team together, whistle while you work and change the fact that you forgot to proofread.

I’m sure someone at Netflix with excellent compuper skills can quickly remedy this problem. Otherwise, you should drop the front and just call yourself TBS. Because I hate to break it to you: Severed episodes of ‘Friends’ have already been available for years.



The Cobras
(Do you get that at least? If not, I quit, I quit! Or you should.)

PS: Now I understand that you’re probably going to want to read a letter from one of the people who did not yell at you and storm out and I think that’s a big mistake and here’s why: I made a huge fool of myself posting this online- that takes courage. When I thought you guys thought that we’d blindly accept this chopped-up show, I spoke out- that shows integrity. And I was not afraid to stand up and divulge just how much I watch this series- that shows courage. Okay, now I know I already said courage but still- you gotta have courage. And finally, when I thought you were making a massacre out of this art, I shouted ‘NO MORE!’ and I was not litigious. So there you go: You got courage, you got integrity, you got courage again and not litigious.
PPS: Please write me back ASAP:
The Cobras
15 Yemen Road

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the speed of time

We, as a society, really need to come together and work for 4/10 work weeks. You know, getting rid of the whole '8 hours for work, 8 hours for play, 8 hours for rest' schedule that runs our entire lives because it's truly a farce. My 8 hours off of work are usually designated not for 'play' but for exercising, getting to and/or from work, cleaning my house, cooking my meals, getting ready... etc. etc. There's just not enough time for everything! I would soo love working a 10-hour day, 4 times a week. I just wish we as a United people, came to this conclusion.
^Saturday night baby shower prepping

I say this because this weekend was busy, so very busy! And as great as it was, it left me with noooo time to take care of anything else until it was Monday morning again and work and responsibility were slapping me in the face. Literally, because Chandler associates my alarm with a morning walk now and starts slapping his paw on my face bright and early. And this Monday morning I was STILL sick from a bug I got this weekend. Oy, Coughy & Tired would have been my names in Snow White in that moment (and right now, my name would clearly be "Whiney").
^Friday night was spent watching movies & continuing party prep

Illness aside, my Sister's baby shower went great and I'm planning to have pictures of the whole thing up on Thursday or Friday. After months of work and a weekend of designing, shopping, decorating and organizing for its Sunday arrival, I was really happy with the way it turned out. I must say the internet has made these things quite the breeze.
^These designs will all be explained soon. A British themed shower for a half-British Nephew comin' on board.
So anyway, back at the normal work week vibe and trying to cure this tickle in my throat so my colleagues don't hate me as I cough to the beat of 'Stayin' Alive' for eight hours. Perhaps in this instance, it's good we don't have ten hour work days.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Snowless Getaways

Snow. So much snow!

I'm clearly not talking about my neck of the woods since we've been SOL in that department. For instance, I drove past my favorite ski resort a few weekends ago only to see a bunch of brown dirt down the main run. What in the heck? If Mother Nature was a peacekeeper she'd bundle up some of that unwanted snow over on the east coast and deliver it to us westerners who look forward to skiing all year! It really bums me out. Not to mention, I would adore all of that snow you all have right outside my front door... I truly would. But alas, it's not meant to be.

What can I say? I just love a really cold winter. And so even though we didn't have the usual chilliness a couple weekends ago in Central Oregon, I still loved the annual trip to a city that shines during the winter months:
 ^Keep your friends close. Keep cabin-owning friends closer.
 ^Thankfully it's just people obsessed with their cats that get the bad rap, because I know I've reached an unhealthy level of compassion for this little one.

^Brewery, outdoor cold weather, college buddies, dog... can't complain.
^And here's a nice depiction of the winter we've been having. #WhyIsAllTheSnowEast
^Chandler & Bowser: Two Titans of 90s Pop Culture
^10 Barrel Brewery in Bend, Oregon. A delightful way to spend a Saturday.

^T-Shirts in January.
^Having him at the driving range was not the best plan. Tons of moving balls all over that he can't access... so that was fun.
^Our buddies & their adorable Puggle below.
^The outdoor patio at the brewery is riddled with dogs, Chandler made an equally-sized friend in this one.

^Cabin relaxation.
^At the driving range trying this out. Spoiler alert: I am awful (as if you couldn't tell by the way I dressed to go there).
^After getting way too rowdy for this crowd with that other puppy, someone was in time-out from the ground for a little bit. I see Jay really minds the added weight.
^Cabins: Where dreams come true.

Happy Weekending, all!! I'm throwing my Sister's baby shower on Sunday so it's gonna be a busy one for me. :) Gotta usher that nephew into this world properly.