Thursday, August 26, 2021

Fall 2021 FabFitFun: The Unboxing

 Remember back in 2020, when I was so bitterly disappointed in my FabFitFun boxes? Well, the company has redeemed itself this year; especially with the Fall box.

So, what was in it, you ask? Well, first let me talk about the items that were beside it (in the larger packing box).

One of the perks of being a member is the opportunity to purchase Add-Ons to the basic box; an opportunity that I take full advantage of each season. This time around, I purchased an insulated water bottle by Stone Cold Fox. It's pretty and functional, especially since I drink so much water each day.

I also purchased a replacement tube of dr. brandt exfoliator. I got my first tube in a box earlier this year and have been using it regularly. 

Just for fun, I picked up this food trivia game. I thought it would be fun on road trips. Hugh and I leave for Vegas today, so we will see if I was right.

Now, on to the regular items in the box!

First up, we have what I consider "bonus" items; these are usually small, sample-sized items. This season, they include a lip balm and a mini deodorant.

Next up, we have this adorable buffalo plaid baseball cap. It just screams "fall" to me and I can't wait to pair it with my autumn wardrobe. I think it would be especially cute on a day that Hugh and I attend one of the seasonal events scheduled in Petticoat Junction; maybe the Apple Fest event at which Hugh is scheduled to be a judge in the apple pie contest!

This eyelash curler will come in handy, and, it's pretty!

Who doesn't need a pumpkin and ginger detoxifying mask? Also, that sounds delicious. And, now I'm hungry.

This set of environmentally friendly combs will go into my travel case so I can leave my regular combs at home.

And this little travel bag will hold my jewelry nicely.

Although this Dutch oven is small; it's the perfect size for four servings or so. Since it's just Hugh and I eating at home these days; that's actually the perfect size.

And, we all know how I much I love a good charcuterie board; this wooden cutting board will be perfect for one!

All in all, this was a great haul! My faith in FabFitFun has been restored and I feel better about re-upping when my membership comes due.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

What's Up Wednesday, August 2021 Edition


Welcome to another scintillating edition of What's Up Wednesday, or, as I like to think of it: One of Only Four Posts I Will Write This Month. 

I wish I were kidding, but, honestly? Not so much. 

Anyhoodle, I am writing it and, as always, linking up with Sheaffer and Shay.

What We're Eating

If my ever-expanding waistline is any indication; alllll the things. I am eating all the things. Of note, however, would be the Hello Fresh dinners that Hugh has been cooking; the most recent favorites were a curry chicken and a taco salad.

I also hit a diner in Hooterville this past weekend, and the Eggs Benedict was perfection!

Yesterday, I went out of my comfort zone and tried a matcha latte. It tasted exactly like I would imagine freshly mown grass to taste. I...did not like it.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Remember when the world wasn't so ugly and hateful and friends and families weren't actively and viciously shunning one another for having differing political and/or social views? Remember when adults engaged in civil discourse; sharing their opinions and giving one another the grace of "To each their own" without wishing one another dead based on their opposing viewpoint? Remember when you could do that over the dinner table or, on a lawn chair at a community picnic, without worrying that you may be attacked for having views that someone else considers misinformed/immoral etc., etc., when none of those things are true or accurate? When, in reality, you merely have your own opinion of how you wish to conduct your own life...remember when that was not only allowable, but expected?

Yeah. I miss those days.

What I'm Loving

This shade of OPI on my toes makes me happy...

...I opened my Autumn FabFitFun box yesterday and the contents were amazing!

Love, love, love!

What We've Been Up To

Hugh and I met up with friends for a weekend of camping and four wheeling. We pulled our old motor home, Jenn-ay out for the trip and, despite having been moth-balled for the past couple of years, she performed admirably. For the record, we named her Jenn-ay in honor of Jenny from Forest Gump; mainly because she is about as slow as Forest's voice pattern. We love Jenn-ayyyyy (we are, however, looking to replace her with something more modern. Shhh, don't tell her).

What I'm Working On

I DIYed an outdoor solar chandelier. Did I need a solar chandelier? No. Do I love it? Yes.

What I'm Dreading

As this Neverending Plague Upon Humanity drags on; I am dreading another total shut-down of the Hawaiian Islands. We have a lot of money invested in the trip that we will be taking in December and I don't want to have to deal with refunds, etc. More importantly, I want to see my son walk across the stage to accept his diploma. It's been a long-ass four-and-a-half years to get him to that piece of paper, and we need to be there to celebrate his accomplishment.

Also, I am burnt like toast and in desperate need of a vacation to look forward to. 

What I'm Excited About

I realize that it is only August, but; I am really excited that the Spirit Halloween store already opened in Hooterville! I have plans for this year's skeleton display and it is going to be epic! Also, I am going to be hosting a Halloween themed Porch Night that is sure to bring all the witches to my yard, so...yeah! Excited!

What We're Watching

I am watching a new television! Our old television was not smart enough to support all of the streaming apps that have become de rigueur in today's society . I am mostly excited about this because, for some unknown reason, our old television had started locking up on Netflix and I was getting really tired of the stupid buffering message.

What I'm Reading

I really, really tried to finish The Haidmaid's Tale. I did. I just could not do it. Currently, it seems to read less like fiction and more like a precautionary tale.

I did, however, read Then She Was Gone in, like, record time. Seriously, I could not put it down. Highly recommended.

What I'm Listening To

Hugh is messing around with the surround-sound system in our living room right now. The new television is smart, but not smart enough to connect itself to our speakers, apparently. Does anyone else's husband utter profanity when working on technical tasks? Just mine? Lucky me.

What I'm Wearing

Currently, my wardrobe consists of anything I can find in my closet that meets the following criteria:

1: Fits

2: Is comfortable

3: Breathes (Tip for those of you entering menopause: certain fabrics, while lightweight, will trap heat  better than the doorway to Hades. Don't be drawn into a false sense of security!)

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Hugh has a wrestling tournament to officiate in Las Vegas. He has a group of friends who officiate at  this tournament every year and, this time, the husbands decided to drag along their wives. So, I will be spending a long weekend with five strange women (as in: strangers to me. I'm sure they aren't strange, people. Although, statistics show that one in every six females in certifiably insane, so...we shall see. Also, I just made up that statistic. Besides, if there is one certifiably insane woman in the group, it will probably be me, so...yeah. Sorry in advance, Women I Have Never Met Before).

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

September has always been one of my favorite months of the year and I am hoping that this one won't prove the exception to that rule. Fun things to look forward to in September include Hugh and I celebrating our 28th anniversary and the Man-Cub turning 23. I am also hoping that we will get in at least one more camping trip as well as a trip to a nearby winery with friends. Also, my fall decor will make it's official appearance!

I love me some fall!

What Else Is New

The Man-Cub and his girlfriend flew back to Hawaii last Friday. They are taking a stab at this whole "living together" thing and I wish them luck. Her. Mainly I wish her luck; I've lived with that child and it is not a walk in the park (kidding! Mostly!).

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

DIY Solar Chandelier for the Garden

 An alternate title for this post would be: TikTok Made Me Do It...

After taking inspiration from a TikTok video, I started scouring thrift stores in search of a light fixture that I could transform into the perfect outdoor chandelier, because, who doesn't need an outdoor chandelier, right?


Anyhoodle, I found the perfect fixture at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. The price on it was $10, but it was discounted because I bought it on a Tuesday and Tuesdays are Home Fixtures Day at the store; I didn't know that at the time, so it was a happy discovery.

The first step in the project was to strip the electrical cord out of the fixture. Then I gave it a good cleaning with some engine degreaser that Hugh had in the garage (and, by I, I mean Hugh because I apparently can't be trusted with hazardous chemicals).

Once the fixture was 90% less grimy, I sprayed it with a matte silver spray paint that I got at the hardware store (again, it was actually Hugh who sprayed it, because...yeah... I don't know if he was worried that I would accidentally coat the driveway, the ladder, or myself. In any case, he commandeered the spray can).

Once the paint had dried, I added a crystal bead garland that I had purchased on Amazon (and, yes, I actually did this part) and some solar lights from the Hooterville Hellmouth. All told, I think I spent around $20.00 on supplies, which brought the project total to under $30.00.

Hot glue gun: the only tool Hugh trusts me to wield safely

Hugh hung the chandelier in the tree above our old wooden swing. Since he was going to be up there anyway; I had him trim some dead branches. I mean, why not?

The solar lights on the chandelier took a day to charge. In the meantime, I think the chandelier looked rather impressive just as it was.

Once the lights were fully charged, the fixture lived up to its' purpose, beautifully.

I now have another interesting outdoor entertainment space. It may not get a lot of use for a few weeks yet, because the heat and monsoon rains have brought allll the mosquitoes to the yard and they won't start to die off until early autumn. In the meantime, the chandelier looks awesome from the porch.

Next summer, if Hugh gets around to building the raised garden beds that he keeps promising me, I will move the chandelier to the garden, where I envision it shining a light over both flowers and vegetables. Or not. A girl can dream. Anyway, this was a great project to encourage me to dip my toe back into the DYI pool; it's been a hot minute since my last effort and it was high time I got creative again.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Life Lately

I keep meaning to write here, honestly, I do. But, life gets in the way, or, in my case; becomes too boring to document. I keep telling myself that the documentation, no matter how boring, will be important to me one day, and that I should make the effort, no matter how mundane my experiences, so; here we go.

The first thing worth mentioning is that the Man-Cub left for his (fingers crossed) last semester of school. His girlfriend joined him and will be living with him until graduation in December. I'm happy that she went with him; she's a sweetheart and I am very happy that they found each other. I'm not entirely certain that her parents feel the same way, but, I also know what it feels like to watch my daughter move hundreds of miles away from me, so I can't blame them for their concern. What I do know is that the Cub will take the very best care of her that he can, and, I hope they will come to realize that as well.

The night before they flew out, we took them to dinner, along with Hugh's parents. Dinner before departure has become kind of a tradition but, not gonna lie; one that I will be happy to hang up for good. I just pray that Hawaii doesn't shut down again, making it impossible for the Cub to finish his labs (which are all that stand between him and his degree). If he were in a position of having to wait another semester (or more) to finish; I'm pretty sure he would throw the university the middle finger and quit. That would be a lot of time and money down the drain for nothing (please, Lord, don't let that happen).

On a less stressful topic, I spent the better part of yesterday making a video for an event that we are hosting for Not So New Job (never thought I would say that anything having to do with Not So New Job would be a less stressful topic, but, there ya go).

The video stars The Newlyweds and it is going to be hilarious. The weather was not exactly cooperative early in the filming, but, we adapted like true professionals. I'll have to link the video here once it goes live, but, in the meanwhile, here are some still shots from the day.

Once we were finished filming, I treated the crew to breakfast at a greasy spoon in Hooterville. We shared a giant cinnamon roll and I had the Eggs Benedict for my entree. I can think of far worse ways to end an extra workday.

Plus, after breakfast, The Newlyweds and I went shopping. The Spirit Halloween store opened on Friday and I was excited to see this year's merchandise. I was not disappointed! I got a book of spells just for fun (and because my rapidly growing library of spell books makes Hugh just the slightest bit nervous. Don't worry, Hugh; I have yet to find the spell that will turn you into a frog for keeping me up with your snoring).

Before we parted ways, The Newlyweds and I also hit the new muffin shop in Hooterville. I got a pumpkin cheesecake muffin, so, I think it's safe to say that autumn is upon us.

When I got home, Hugh hung up the new solar chandelier that I made from a scavenged light fixture (that may be a project that deserves its' own post) and we enjoyed another Hello Fresh win (yogurt marinated curry chicken).

So, that's a little bit of what life looks like, lately. Mundane? Yes. Boring? Most definitely. Worthy of documentation? Jury is still out, but, at least I made the effort.