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Photo: movieweb.com

Over Christmas and New Year’s I got exposed to some new-to-me music, movies, games, and books. One game especially kinda pulled it all together. There’s a card
game named Slash in which you try to find the best mate for each character. All the character cards are from TV, movies, and books. This brought to my attention to how many cards I needed to discard since I was at a loss as to who or what the character was.

I would love to get recommendations for all types of media in the new year. It is so readily available but it’s like diving into the middle of the ocean. Where to begin?
It doesn’t have to be new media either. For example, I watched Die Hard just before Xmas for the first time. Alan Rickman makes a cool bad guy and I hope he’s enjoying some peace just now. Oh, and dear god, get that cop some shoes.

alan rickman

Photo: Buzzfeed

So, can you recommend some media to me?

  • Movies–I like comedies, romances, thrillers, action films. Not keen on angst ridden, artsy films nor horror flicks. Although, classic horror is good.
  • Television–Similar to movies. I like crime shows and comedies. Such as NCIS, Castle, and Parks &  Recreation.
  • Anime or Cartoons–I love all things Studio Ghibli. I am not into mech.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Mostly fiction/fantasy/sci-fi and some biographical nonfiction.
  • Music–I really like singable and dance-able music and sometimes I need chill background music.
  • Podcasts–I like em short, informational (somewhat), and funny.
  • Games–Solitaire type games, two person/small crowd, cards, dice, paper–I’m easy.
  • Recipes–I love cooking! I am not the most experienced, but I love playing with recipes!

Here are a few things I’ve been taking in recently:

  • Movies–Watch Die Hard if you haven’t. If only to hear Alan Rickman say “Yippie Ki yay, mother fucker” one more time. (Spoiler: https://youtu.be/7tKr5XRPGmQ)
  • Television–iZombie has been getting recommended to heaps of folks by me. I want to get into Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries series.
  • Anime or Cartoons–Last animated feature I watched was Animatrix (again)–some not so bad ones in there.
  • Books/Graphic novels–Reading Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.
  • Music–Uhm, I have been listening to same playlists for years…
  • Podcasts–Thrilling Adventure’s Sparks Nevada Marshall on Mars is great!
  • Games–I enjoyed King of Tokyo over the holidays among several others.
  • Recipes–I don’t know why but homemade chicken salad is so simple and worth every ounce of effort.

Please leave me some recommendations in the comments below. I would absolutely love all input! I can quickly do a search and read a quick blurb on the media you suggest, but I would much rather like to know why are you recommending this? I assume because it was good, but it is thinky, inspiring, funny, great for a party, perfect with a cup of tea?

 

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Playing with Scents

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Over Christmas, my SiL pulled out an awesomely smelifurous crafty thing.
Wadgie had been hanging on to tons of glass bottles with eyedroppers for just such an occasion. She also gathered all her essential oils and grape seed oil.
Then the smelling commenced. We got to smell the different oils and my other sister brought some tiny vials of fancy perfume that we got to whuffle.
Whuffle–To smell vigorously. As a dog looking for a treat hidden in bed covers.

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I would share some recipe, but it really depends on your individual likes. Put a desired amount of grape seed oil in a bottle. Add an essential oil you like drop by drop. It is easier to make the scent a little stronger by adding a few more drops.
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I mixed a bottle of lavender and infused it with leaves from a lavender bush in the front yard. My second bottle used one of the perfumes called Snapdragonfly. It has almost a vanilla and cotton candy sweetness to it. For my final bottle I used the grapefruit essential oil. That will be lovely to use once the fruit trees start blooming.
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Because we had so many smells flying around we had to make sure each one was perfect. We ran out of “clean” spots on our hands and wrists. We had to start using elbows for smell tests.

So how do you use it?
I mostly I put a few drops on both elbows and hands. My hands especially get super dry and cracked in the winter.  Rubbing it in takes just a second and the grape seed oil soaks in faster than many greasy lotions.
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My SiL also uses it for a nice relaxing soak in the bath tub. Just put enough drops in to satisfy your nose and hop in!

This was an awesome activity to get our noses working around Christmas. I tried to drag Kit into the mix, but as you can see it turned into a girls only smellathon. I can’t believe how much fun we had! May have to buy some more essential oils and do this again or at our next get together!

~Kat

Finger Knitting

Just before Christmas I discovered this craft called finger knitting. Okay, I might be stretching the truth. I had a pin for finger knitting, but had never tried it and found out the Instructables video (linked below) that Beffers found was much simpler. Beffers (my SiL) learned it and showed me how cool it was. As soon as she showed me what she was doing I demanded she send me the pin and help me along. Yes, demanded is the right word. I lacked the gumption ever try it. And yet, it didn’t need gumption to learn! Just about 10 minutes and then I replayed the video to make sure it sank into my brain. It makes me wonder what other gems are hiding in the depths of my pin boards. Are you a cool pin hoarder too?fingerknitting1

Here is the link to the sweet tutorial video. Before you click I want you to know that the video is a little odd as it is shot upside down and the maker of the vid at one point misidentifies her fingers. Just keep watching what her hands do and don’t worry about silly little things like a mix up in words. Instructables wins again!

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

There are many different things you can do with your finger knit projects depending on your level of creativity. Bracelets, scarves, and (my favorite) Christmas tree garland. 20131213_212018
Beffers followed the tips on this website, the blogger made several different strands of different colors and then laced them together to make a beautiful rainbow scarf. It helps that Marlena has phenomenal hair to go with her lovely rainbow scarf. Instead of making a rainbow scarf, Beffers knitted orange and gray together then laced the strands to make a huge fluffy scarf to match the handmade hat her hubbster had received as a gift the previous year. You gotta love handmade matching fashion!

Isn't he adorable?

Isn’t he adorable?

A couple of quick tips to add to the awesome bloggers and instructors there already are out in the world. To take a break and save your work put your finger loops onto a chopstick. I was going for marathon knitting and couldn’t avoid a potty break any longer so that tip really helped me. If you are teaching a younger person or it is your first time trying finger knitting, avoid the fru-fru fancy yarns and just pick a no frills yarn to learn. Later on you can do the fancy stuff but it is important to learn it at first.

Day 289: Game Nights

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Around Christmas, we all leave on our PJs (as long as possible) an drag out all the games we can find. The game pictured above is what I like to refer to as a smart folks’ game. It is called Set. There are different shapes, colors and types of shading. I play turns because I’m too much of a space cadet to play free for all. Awesome game for thinkers and I highly recommend it.

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Hoopla is a super super fun game. It’s like a faster okay version of Cranium. Even better, the group works as a team to beat the clock. Competition, although nice at times, is not a strong suit of mine. It tastes yucky.

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Boys playing something on the computer. The serious faces paired with the festive hats just kill me.

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Frog Juice is a fun competive game where players try to collect ingredients for spells. It is a turn based game that is a mix of luck and wit of the player. The artwork on the cards are very enjoyable as well.

The final game I wish I had a picture of is a story telling game. I think it would be cool to play with younger children. The goal of the game, Gloom, is to kill the wretched family of five that you have and kill them in the most miserable ways.
Note, I said miserable not hack and slash gross. You get negative points (good) for making them miserable. You can collect those points when the character is dead.

Example, one of my characters was haunted by ghosts, Beth’s character won the lottery (uh oh, positive points!!), but he got robbed later. Murcia’s character got struck by lightening.
The better you tell a story of how the event on the card occurred, the more hilarious the whole game.
I want to add it to my collection soon.

Do you have a favorite boardgame or cardgame?

Day 286: My Pops

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This is my dad in his natural and entirely happy habitat.
I think my dad had a good Christmas. You know, how I know? He didn’t go back to bed. He loves naps buuuuuut…

We got him Non-alcoholic beer and a big book of sudoku puzzles. He is sporting his favorite causual wear–his bath robe.

You may think I’m joking but he was tickled with his Xmas presents. He sat and enjoyed his NA beer, sudoku and after a bit some decaf coffee.

He is a strange kid, but I love him anyway.

Day 280: Acorn Ornament

Part of my December Adventivities.
This was one of the ornament crafts that I found on Pinterest and altered. Many of the acorn cap balk ornaments were a little more fancy than mine. It took some time to complete, so I would only make this again if I wanted to do some crafty gifts.

I was picky, which means this craft took a lot more time than it should have. I finally found some foam balls that appeased my expectations. They were white, of course, so I first painted them with a deep brown and allowed them to completely dry.

Next, I prepped my tools. I heated the hot glue gun, made sure all my caps were clean, and cut an appropriate length ribbon.

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I can’t give you an exact length for ribbon everyone likes their ornaments to hang just right on their tree. I took deep brown ribbon. I think the ribbon was either a half inch or 3/4 inch width.

I recommend taking both ends, overlapping and gluing them to the bottom of the ball. Glue little by little up the side of the ball and mash the ribbon flat. This will enable you to glue the caps down flat on top of the ribbon. Once you glue the ribbon you should have a loop left over for hanging.

After your ribbon is glued down, you can begin gluing on the acorn caps. Start by putting one at the bottom so it hides your ribbon overlap. From there, just do what feels right. I packed my acorns pretty tightly but perhaps you want a little brown paint to show through.

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I also added little silver bells in periodic places. If you do this as well, be careful how much hot glue you stick it to. One of my bells doesn’t ring because I buried it in glue. They should have a nice tinkling sound not a dull sound.

Even though I burned my finger tips a bunch this was really fun to make! I might make some as gifts for next year if I get started early enough.