Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy May Day!

Do you celebrate May Day? It's such a fun tradition, but is unfotunately not well known outside of the midwest. Traditionally on May 1, kids make little baskets and fill them with popcorn and candy. Then they sneak up to doorsteps, leave a basket, ring the doorbell and RUN!! You're not supposed to get caught, but it's fun to hide in nearby bushes to see the reaction. See...isn't that fun!

There are a lot of ways to make May baskets. I usually start with a paper or plastic cup, but I've also seen cute baskets made from gift bags or chinese take-out containers. I also love the idea of giving a little flower planted in a paper cup.

Here is what we came up with this year. It's pretty simple.

2013 May Basket
You can probably figure this one out. We used a party paper cup from Walmart and cut slits to add a pipe cleaner handle. That's probably the most commen way to make a May basket, by the way. We took it a little further by adding three flowers to each basket that we made from card stock, flat craft sticks, Hershey Kisses and Tacky Glue. May basket night always takes longer than I want it to, but the girls and I really like our craft night! The man in our house...not so much. Sorry, TJ!

May Basket Flowers

We tried to add candy that won't melt in the cups. I personally like wrapped candy and don't usually use the traditional popcorn. I used flavored Tootsie Rolls, gumballs, Tootsie Pops, and carmels. Fruit snacks are another good option.

We scaled back this year to about 20 baskets. Some years it's been more like 50.
If you don't already celebrate May Day in your neighborhood, I encourage you to start the tradition! And if you do celebrate, I encourage you to come to my house! :)

P.S. Parents, PLEASE teach your children not to place their May Baskets right in front of the door, because they'll put their friend in a real pickle. I can't even guess how many May baskets are knocked over by doors! It's a real flaw in the system, and nobody likes a spilled basket!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wishing My Mother a Very Happy Birthday!

I called Mom yesterday afternoon to wish her a happy birthday. It was one of those conversations that was not funny when we were having it. Everything was ho-hum, another busy day, la-ti-da. Sometimes it takes a few hours to find the humor! Here are some things that came up.
1. Mom told me that Dad had invited some friends over for dinner to celebrate, so she was getting ready for that. No, it didn't bother her at all to cook her own birthday dinner.
2. Mom was slightly concerned about having people over because, you know (no, I didn't) the bathroom isn't really functional because of the remodel.

3. I heard a few deep thunks. Mom explained that she was trying to thaw some frozen hamburger.

4. Mom told me about her trip to the Menards to buy "a long plastic thing" for $4. Well, ACTUALLY, she got TWO long plastic things for $4. Bargain! A friend recommended it to unplug Mom's kitchen sink, since you know (no I didn't) that it was plugged and had standing water in it. Well, it worked! She was proud that she didn't need Dad's help!

5. Mom suddenly panicked because she discovered a BRIGHT YELLOW stain on her kitchen counter from the Drain-o that she had use in an attempt to unclog the sink.

6. Mom told me that Turkey, a cat that now lives in their shed, but used to belong to me, has two new black friends. She didn't seem very happy about that.

7. Comet seemed to be making progress on the Drain-o stain.

8. Mom said, "Oh, darn!" but we continued to chat. A few minutes later she casually mentioned that she had spilled a whole bag of noodles, and some of the noodles was starting to burn on the stove burners.

Then I got a call from work so I had to let her go.
Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Here's the rest of the photo that I posted at the top of this post!

UPDATE: Mom said the birthday dinner went well. The company surprised her by showing up a half hour early...with a plunger to help her unclog the sink. Mom says there's no need to own your own plunger because it's not something you use very often. And the Drain-o stain didn't come out. It's one of the few things that Comet cannot fix (dry Comet, not the liquid kind).
And here are a couple previous posts about my mom:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Think I Just Saw a Mannequin Head in the Back Window of That Car

Look what I spotted in the parking lot of Crossroads Mall in Waterloo, Iowa! Clearly there is a mannequin head in the back window of this car next to two silver pom poms. That's...not normal.

My Main Question

Was the head thoughtlessly tossed in the back window or was it purposely displayed there?

My Next Question

How common is it to place a mannequin head in your back window?


My Third Question

What other weird things do people put in their back windows?


I googled images of "weird things in the back window" in order to find some other funny pictures to share. This was the second image, and is the only image that had ANYTHING to do with "weird things in the back window."
It appears to have been taken in New Jersey in September 2012. It's definitely a different mannequin head in a different car. I couldn't find any other photos or references to mannequin heads in the back window, so maybe it was just a weird coincidence. I'm quite baffled!

P.S. Please let me know if you have an extra mannequin head. I want one awfully badly.
P.P.S. I think these are cosmetology practice heads. Still...why are they being stored in people's back windows?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Green Apple Skittles

I'm a save-the-best-for-last eater. How about you? I eat my least favorite thing first, working my way backward to end with my most favorite. I pull apart my Oreos and eat the half with the least amount of cream first so I can end with the best part. I eat around the edge of my sandwich and save the middle for last. At potlucks I take a tiny bite of everything in order to rank the dishes because you can't tell what they're going to taste like from looks. Then I'll start by choking down the worst thing on my plate.

Green Apple Skittles. Holy smokes, guys. Yum! Hello green apple, and goodbye lime! This is a great moment in the history of Skittles, but I have found it surprisingly difficult to retrain my mind to save the best for last. With each handful of Skittles, I remind myself to save the green for last. Unfortunately, I subconsciously go for the green ones the instant I lose focus. I lose focus. A lot.

I swear to you on a jumbo bag of Skittles that I will not give up until I get this right. I will practice and practice and practice and practice and practice until I am able to save the green for last.
Taste the rainbow, friends. And also please buy me some Skittles, but make sure it has the new green apple flavor because the last ones I bought at the Walmart were were lime and it really set me back.

Monday, April 22, 2013

That One Time I Made 5,000 Headbands

I'm not trying to make excuses, but here's a partial list of why I haven't been blogging much lately:

  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Girl Scouts
  • Taxes
  • A few good books
  • Variety show
  • Planning a fundraiser
  • Work
  • And most of all...Headbands!

Have you noticed the hot headband trend? Sporty girls, girly girls and nerdy girls are jazzing up pony tails with headbands. Well here's some inside scoop, a little trivia you may or may not find interesting. I happen to know that your store-bought headband may have been made in part by by a group of high school basketball players watching the movie Pitch Perfect. Or by me sitting in my basement or hotel room! (You're never going to guess this next one.) Or even a group of firefighters in the quiet room of a fire station between emergencies! Isn't that surprising?

When a friend of mine needed help making headbands, I said, "YES! I love stuff like that!" She has built a successful headband business called Peppy Bands. Man, I wish I could think of something like that, don't you?! She usually has her products made in China, but all the headband-makers in China take a break for a month to celebrate Chinese New Year. That was not perfect timing with a big order she received for 50,000 headbands. So that explains that one time I made 5,000 headbands.
About 500 headbands
Please buy Peppy Bands!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Here's a little dance to Crocodile Rock!

This year was my turn to come up with an act for the elementary variety show. It was a perfect storm. The girls wanted to dance. I know NOTHING about dance. Well...unless you count that time I danced in a college lip sync show to Baby Got Back. It was real bad. 

I wanted to something retro, timeless, classic. A real crowd pleaser that would appeal to their peers, my peers and grandparents. I considered unearthing Baby Got Back, but landed on Crocodile Rock by Elton John. The girls were excited to do "that song from Gnomeo and Juliette!" I slapped myself in the forehead and let them believe it was a new song written specifically for that movie about garden statues going to war and falling in love. Oh boy.

I'm just going to cut to the chase on this one and show you some pictures and end with the video. Enjoy!
Thanks to Katie Gaudian for making the tails!
My crazies

The McKenna crazies

All of the crazies