Friday, February 25, 2022

3 Streaming-Exclusive Shows - And One Movie! - That Are Worth The Price

How is it that we have more options than ever on TV,  but we still end up re-watching Brooklyn 99 or Frasier again? (C'mon, I know it can't be just me.)

I've been looking for new shows to get myself out of the re-watch rut, so today I thought I'd shine a light on a few of my recent favorites that are streaming-exclusive. I'm talking shows you have to pay for, that are WORTH paying for.


Starting with the one, the only:

Ted Lasso
Apple Plus

I'm late to this fandom, but so happy to be here. Believe the hype, my friend; Ted Lasso is every good thing you've heard and more, plus incredibly binge-able. Hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly kind, you'll find yourself rooting for just about everyone on screen, not just Ted himself. The friendships in this show are a revelation, and will renew your faith in TV shows, if not humanity.

Don't let the sports backdrop scare you off; this is not a sports show. Ted Lasso is the warm hug of sit-coms: plenty of laughs, just enough dramatic tension to keep you hitting "play next", and an occasional sniffle from the best kinds of feels. It also has lots and LOTS of swearing and some sex, so despite the happy feels, this one's not for the littles, parents.

(One tiny caveat: Skip season 2, episode 9. It's a bizarre one-off episode focusing on a side character, and the show's far better without it, imo.)

Ted Lasso alone is worth buying a month of Apple Plus, but while you're there, also give Schmigadoon a try. John and I enjoyed it even without understanding most of the Broadway references, so if you're a big musical theater fan, Schmig is a must-watch.


Next on my list of clear-your-schedule-because-you-WILL-be-bingeing-this,

Only Murders in the Building

If you grew up watching mysteries on PBS, this is your show. A thoroughly modern whodunnit with plenty of humor, twists, famous guest stars, and fabulous outfits. Martin Short was born to ham it up for this role, and Steve Martin is his perfect straight man - with Selena Gomez rounding out the trio as the aloof-but-exasperated twenty-something. Tina Fey and Sting guest star, and the mystery will keep you guessing 'til the end - which makes it extra hard to resist watching "just one more."

John and I zipped through Only Murders in under a week - and that was us trying to pace ourselves! The show resolves nicely but also leaves you with a big juicy teaser for next season - which they just announced is coming this year, woohoo! Ahhh, I can't wait.


Next up:

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Pun Times With John: The Doc Oc Edition

I've been having a creative dry spell lately, so when these gloves at Dollar Tree gave me a silly idea, I decided to roll with it.

I grabbed a handful of polyfill ("handful," get it?), lightly stuffed the fingers, and hot-glued the gloves overlapping like this:

Then I joined the outside edges to form a tube:

... tucked the wrist parts inside:

... glued the top shut, and added a ribbon and googly eyes.

Boom badda bing, an octopus that has seen things, man.


(I was aiming for cute with the oversized eyes, but definitely landed on the startled and/or horrified side. Um. Oops.)

For the green one I chopped off the glove thumbs and fashioned little ear flaps, ala the Dumbo Octopus:

Friday, February 18, 2022

Smiley Stingray Brooches, Pink Fairy Armadillo Earrings, & Gothic Raven Pendants

Happy Friday, my crispy, twice-baked truffle fries! (Are those a thing, or am I making stuff up because I'm hungry?)

Today I have 5 indie jewelry artists that are going to give you whiplash, their styles are so different. Even so, I'm willing to bet you're going to love them all as much as I do.

Starting with the sweet and playful character brooches of Joujou Little World:


Julia, the maker, is a fiber artist who also offers dolls, embroidery, and art stickers - but for now let's focus on THIS STINGRAY ERMERGERSH

::besotted flailing::

I've had a soft spot for stingrays ever since I visited Stingray City in the Caribbean and hugged a wild one in the ocean. She was the size of a dining room table and swam right into my open arms, making my heart explode into a thousand rainbows. Also, SO SOFT. Anyway, this little face reminds me of that moment while also being a hundred times cuter, so, bonus.

 Julia makes all sorts of animal brooches, but the stingrays and sharks are definitely my favorite:

She also has hammer head sharks and sharks in party hats, so you really do need to click over to see the rest. Her wool brooches are made to order and are around the $30 range, super reasonable! Check out the Joujou website to order, and also give her a follow on Instagram!


Next, the magical creations of The Goblin Faire, a mother/daughter artist team. These women somehow make glass beads look like dew-kissed flower buds, and it is stunning:

I love their color combos, especially when they have buttery yellows and plums together:

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Full Pantry Makeover: Super Satisfying Before-And-Afters Plus Timelapse Video

Hiya! What's shakin, bacon? Have you hit the post-Valentine Clearance aisle yet? (Discount chocolate just tastes better, I'm tellin' you.)

I've been having a blast organizing for more friends this year, but mostly bigger projects that are still ongoing, so no fun pictures for you yet. When John and I scheduled a day for our friend Arielle's new pantry, though, I figured that would be an easy(ish) one to show y'all start to finish. We even set up time lapse cameras and everything! Such profesh, much wow.

Before we get to the actual video, though, let's talk about social media's current obsession with "Pinterest pantries." These are all over TikTok and Youtube right now; they're the ones that require you to buy hundreds of dollars of clear containers and then decant every boxed or bagged food item you own. I know you've seen these, right? Like this:

(Screen-grabbed from the first commercial that started playing on Pinterest, because IT'S EVERYWHERE)

Now, is this style aesthetically pleasing?


But is it necessary for a pretty, organized space?


I'd argue that having an entire pantry of clear decanted containers isn't even practical for most of us, but influencers have jumped on the clear bandwagon anyway, because it looks cool. What they usually don't mention is decanting loses important info on the original packaging (like allergens and expiration dates), the stuff at the bottoms of the containers may never get used, you're stuck buying the same product/brands to re-fill, and it's a heck ton more work, cleaning, and upkeep.

Of course decanting makes sense for some things, but here's my point:

Don't believe the hype that wants you to shop instead of organize

And more importantly:

If an influencer consistently makes you feel ashamed of yourself or your home, that's not "inspirational." It's toxic.
I know, heavy stuff for a fluffy pantry re-do - but y'all, I get a little riled. I see so many folks feeling overwhelmed and then loading up on overpriced "solutions" that only add to the chaos, leaving them further down the shame spiral. So please, take a beat. Even if you want to splurge on some pretties, better to wait and buy exactly what you need AFTER you organize your space. 
To get started, though, all you really need are 10-12 Dollar Tree bins and some labels. That's it! And as you're about to see with Arielle's pantry, you probably won't need much more than that.

Right, 'nuff chit-chat. Want to see 7 hours of work fly by in 10 minutes?

Ta-daaaaa and yes I know I need a mic. And probably a script. Ha. Sorry.

One thing I forgot to mention in the reveal was those wire shelf covers, which is a shame because they are a huge upgrade.

I've never seen anyone do covers like this before, so I'm hoping you bots will spread the word. This secret needs to get out, it's too good! Here's our video from last year so you can see how it's done:

Friday, February 11, 2022

FOE & Tell: Glowing Dragon Eggs, Flying Dogs, & A Wedding With Oscar The Grouch


::chair dancing::

Ahh, sweet, blissful silence.

Yep, as of yesterday afternoon we have a brand new roof that looks exactly like our old roof, except this one has that exciting new feature that makes all the money in your bank account disappear.

::sour deadpan stare::

But enough about my boring roof. Let's talk about Daya's daughter and these creative problem solving skills:  


THE FACE. That is the face of a drama queen who has been bested but doesn't know how to process her defeat, y'all. Brilliant. Maybe next we have to transport Eva I should put her in a onesie, and then John and I can carry her around on a pole. (Don't worry, I won't. Probably.)

Oh right, I skipped the part where I tell you I'm sharing more of my favorite Foe finds today! It's been a little while, so let's throw back to Anna's INCREDIBLE Christmas tree dragon, Myrrhtle:

I was captivated with this build from Anna's very first post asking for construction tips, and the end result does NOT disappoint.

A gorgeous rainbow dragon AND a punny hashtag? BE STILL MY HEART. Head to Anna's post to see the rest of her finished photos.


 I know you're going to love Jordan's choice of wedding venue:

Y'all. She got married with the cast of Sesame Street!

This is at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. If you've never been, put this magical place on your bucket list; it's a combination museum/theater, and includes the entire Sesame Street & Muppets gang in their exhibits, along with screen-used characters from Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal, and more. Here's my photo tour from the year they had an entire area dedicated to Labyrinth, it was INCREDIBLE.

Jordan, I hope you'll share more wedding photos when you have them; I'm dying to know how the ceremony/reception was set up!


Remember a couple years ago when the Queen wore a green dress and everybody was photoshopping dogs and pizza onto her outfit?

WELL... (I'm already laughing)... look what Mindy did:

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

It's Raining Shingles & Tiny Arms

Helloooo, my gingersnappy dressers and tea-riffic T-rexes! 
(I'm drinking ginger tea, can you tell?)

How's your week going?

Mine started off with a bang, since John and I just made the Least Fun Adulting Purchase Ever: a new roof.

Gee, we shouldn't have.

Seriously, is there a less satisfying major expense than a new roof? Our old roof was fine, even; it was just old. So because insurance and blah blah boring stuff we have a herd of step-dancing buffalo body slamming our ceilings for the next few days. 

I hoped to sleep through some of it, but at 7:05AM the house began to shake, rattle, & roll, and I had two VERY concerned felines trying to crawl inside my pajama top. (Apparently armageddon makes cats snuggly.) So we packed up the group, got a grip, came equipped, grabbed the proton packs scaredy cats off our backs, and we SPLIT.

Yes that was the rap from Ghostbusters 2. I'm a little punchy. What.

Anyhoozle, I'm currently camping out at a friend's apartment with the cats, who really are MUCH happier, no matter what Eva tells you. I swear this cat turns into a dying bassoon the second we put her in a carrier. The drama! The over-acting! The sheer vocal range.

I can't gripe about Eva without showing you some funny/cute pictures, though, so here are some from last week:

Aww. Ok, I guess she's worth the yowling during car rides.

And don't worry, Suki fans, I've got pics for you, too:


Suki is the perfect silent angel in the carrier, btw, and is currently chilling on the floor in my friend's guest room giving exasperated, superior looks at Eva - who has zero chill - hiding under the bed. Looks like this:

::to Eva:: "You are a sad, strange little cat."

Huh. You know, this post was supposed to be something completely different, but my brain is mush and apparently I just wanted to talk about my cats, so... here we are. ::sleepy grin::

Before I keel over let me end with something super fun and silly, something I've wanted to show you for a while now. Remember the Firefly-inspired dinosaur mirrors John made last August? (If not, go see!) Well John made another variation on the T-Rex mirror, this time inspired by one of my favorite .gifs of all time:

Friday, February 4, 2022

Meet My New Fashion Icon: Jack of Cozypunk

You ever find someone new-to-you on social media that you fall instantly in love with, and then you have to obsessively inhale all of their content?

I love it when that happens.

So today, I want to introduce you to my new favorite person on social media, Jack of Cozypunk:


Hi, Jack!

My friend Pam linked me to the Cozypunk Instagram about a week ago, and Jack had me at their first little wave hello. I went full anime heart eyes, y'all. Not only is Jack's fashion sense speaking to my very SOUL, they also exude a kind of warmth and joy I'm just not used to seeing online. I can't help but smile every time I see them, and that alone makes their account worth sharing.

 Almost all of Jack's content is video as opposed to still photos, and look how charming:

If you've been here a while you may remember my ideal fashion sense is a mix of Toddler Grandma Style and Mori Girl, so you can definitely see how Jack's "cozypunk" hits all my favorite notes.

I'm a HUGE fan of layers, drapey fabrics, color, and boots/flats as opposed to heels - and Jack brings all that together while making it look absolutely fantastic:

Note how they wear rolled linen pants under all their skirts, the better for foraging/climbing/adventuring in. YES.

 This next one's caption reads, "Massive NPC merchant energy today!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Celebration That Must Not Be Named, 2022

Last weekend was one of my favorite local fan events: The Celebration That Must Not Be Named. When Universal Orlando cancelled their official Harry Potter Celebration back in 2019, the fans took it on themselves to keep the event going, and so the "Uncelebration" was born. I think I may like the fan-run version better; it's smaller (but growing!), more close-knit, and focuses more on the community and making friends. The regulars I see year after year are some of the most lovable goofballs I know, they always inspire me to be just a *little* sillier, in the best ways.

Sadly I wasn't able to attend this year's Uncelebration, because John and I were helping a friend move. (Which was actually super fun, no regrets.) HOWEVER, thanks to my relentless internet stalking, I still have tons of highlights and photos to share! So let's gooooo.

The fan group that organizes the Uncelebration is the Central Florida Slug Club, and admins Melissa and Stephanie are the most welcoming, enthusiastic hosts you could hope for. Love these ladies.

That's actually admin Melissa Penatzer on the right.

You don't have to live in central Florida to join the Slug Club, so feel free to join me over there in fangirling over everyone's photos and posts, they're good people.

(photo by Nona Sandberg-Zierer)


... though I'll admit some are a little shiftier than others:

(photo by Diane Lewis)

Oh hey, I just realized Peter is even "missing" a finger. That's some excellent attention to detail!

  Here's Nona Sandberg-Zierler herself as the Gray Lady, one of the ghosts of Hogwarts:

... with a gorgeous Rowena Ravenclaw.

Then Nona's hubby was Nearly Headless Nick!