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New Favorite Things, Random Items

These are the random things that didn’t fit with the previous posts. I tried to include screenshots with prices when able, but watch the reviews since not all that look similar are created equally and there are often sales. Everything in this post was bought on Amazon (never too early to make a Black Friday/Prime Day watch list on Amazon IMO 😉).

This is definitely one of those cases where the brand matters, it seems. These have done the best for us; so much so that we bought another two pack! Hammock and chair work best for me, although I have the funniest ability to somehow completely flip myself backward in the chair position. 😆 They dry quicker than some of our other pool items, they fit with most activities and physical needs, and wrap into the drifter position so they’re easy to carry while also being pretty dang light weight. The youngest ditched his pool float and noodle to opt for one of these, despite originally feeling they were “for old people”, so there’s a ringing endorsement. *grin* (I admittedly am still not used to 41 being considered an old person, but I guess we all had some age threshold and the median just went down at some point lol.) A small electric air pump has you ready for the pool within a couple of minutes and although some heavier weights don’t float as high, they’ve still done an impressive job even when a rambunctious kid climbs on with an adult. *grin*

If you have any wood furniture and kids, I can’t recommend this multipack enough. We don’t get wound up much about little things that are bound to happen, but it’s nice to have something that can help make those oops moments less noticeable. We have a variety of colors for our wood furniture, since it’s two partial households joined together and on a budget, so the best part is that if none match, you can cover with another color and usually between a few layers of different colors, the scratch or nick is barely noticeable. Plus, it’s in a marker form, so no brushes or cans or any or that. Of course, this is for touch ups and not your big jobs, but easy enough that the youngest takes care of spots on his own even!

A total girly moment here, but I love this nail file. I was told that this type is way healthier for your nails, so I splurged, and now I can’t stand the old, cheap kind. Plus, it has a carrying case, so I can drop it in my purse or bag and take anywhere I go. Although I never found where it said it works on them, it works great on my fake nails when I decide to go all out and put the work in for pretty nails. (With my illnesses, I can’t grow out my nails and try not to draw attention, so when I want to be a little fancy or feel extra pretty, acrylic nails it is along with whatever color the youngest thinks is my must have this time. 😉😊) This sucker isn’t going to break or peel apart either, and is actually pretty.

A seriously random set to add for the post, but I’m obsessed with the smallest especially. I am NOT good at sewing, but when I had to modify my Handfasting dress, I needed good sewing scissors and oh man are these awesome! I use the little ones (which have a thick plastic bag to sit in *chef’s kiss*) for all of my small projects like sewing a button or snipping loose threads. For scissors these are a freaking amazing set IMO (for amateurs probably).

Now, I got obsessed with “Diamond drill paintings” during my Covid recoveries and have done a variety from cartoon characters to landscapes to animals. Amazon has a variety of sales and options, but watch the regular price. This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for. If the deal seems too good to be true, you’re probably not going to be overly happy with the finished project. I love The Nightmare Before Christmas and bought a whole combo set on sale…as the youngest says, the faces are pretty derpy. *laugh* Also, I’ve always had extra beads leftover and have noticed that most brands have a standardized item number system, so at some point I’m going to actually make one of my own with the leftovers. Here are a few of the different favorites I’ve done (these are the pics, not the pixelated versions for putting the “gems” on or the after results, which seldom photograph well IMO). There are some gorgeous pieces that are expensive at face value, but watch for a sale and next thing you know you have maybe 8 waiting on a shelf to work on *cough*.

If you become obsessed, you’ll need accessories. Each project comes with beads, clay “glue”, at least one stick, and at least one tray. Well, I needed a sturdy surface, I’m almost blind as a bat so back lighting, and something to hold my supplies. So, two more acquisitions when the prices were right.

Please note that this works for laptops too and there’s a version that plugs to USB to provide even more cooling if gaming, so I have three versions of this bamboo tray.
Trust me that the mesh stand for the light feels so much more sturdy than the frame versions you’ll see and those blue comfort grips are a MUST! To prepare, I open each gem bag in order and empty into one of the little holders I numbered in order, and if there are more than it holds, I make a baggie with identifying info on it, so no guess work while working on your art. The roller is a blessing when you get a section done and want to make sure they’re pushed on well and having 3 brightness settings to the light is fantastic!

As you can probably guess, birthdays and Christmas gifts are mostly “paintings” geared toward that person’s interests. I personally love a gift someone made/worked on themselves or is handcrafted, so it’s a love language for me to give gifts of the same type. You get a patriotic one, you get coastal, you love sloths, the house needs cute sayings and I can’t embroider so here’s a version of that… 😉

I’m finishing this round with one of our game night amusements. This one we tend to play with our friends instead of for family fun night, but you can always pull the few more risqué ones out or gloss over the “what does that mean” if the younger ones even bother to ask what the adults are laughing about. It’s also really amusing to see who in your group will admit to certain behaviors without the group even voting for that person. *laugh* It’s a toss up between the youngest and I over who wears the most oddly assembled outfits sometimes and who has the worst bed head. I’m definitely the one who will correct spelling and grammar even in text messages. *laugh* This must be played while lighthearted and not taken personally! This game must be approached with humor and is best played with people you are comfortable with. When played with the right people, this game is an hour of pure laughter and not-so-guilty admissions. *grin* And it’s not full of the crude humor of CAH nor are adult beverages needed. It’s a lot of fun as is. Tip: If you like the format of CAH, but don’t want to go there, yet want something more thought provoking than Apples to Apples, you should check out “Conspiracy Theory”. That game can be a riot and works great with the fake player added, too. Although even adults don’t understand some of the cards (seriously, conspiracy theorists have some acronyms that even Google had trouble with lol), you can come up with some really funny conspiracies! Just remember to play “to the judge”; for instance, if our youngest is playing, whatever makes the least sense is going to win when he picks. *laugh* With me, the most sarcastic and snarky is going to be the winner.

I hope these posts have been as fun for you as they were creating them and maybe given a few helpful ideas! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there, and hope that maybe this helps us all remember to look for the happy little things in life, especially when things seem bleak. I’m always looking to share that silver lining. 😁

Once in a Lifetime

Things have been downright crazy while preparing for the upcoming ceremony, and I had a moment this morning to sit and try to figure out how it could seem like there is so much more to this than my first wedding. And then it dawned on me. In just 3 days we will be hosting a once in a lifetime event, at least for almost all attending or watching. In America we don’t often see Celtic traditional ceremonies and activities. St. Patrick’s Day here is very different and definitely nothing akin to traditional. I’m not putting that down, so don’t get me wrong please. It’s kind of awesome that we put our own spin (or flavor, as Little Man says sometimes) to things. With our common ancestry and interests, having my dream celebration of a traditional Handfasting is nearly mind blowing. 😁 With this being so different than anything that is usually done around here, it’s a lot more complicated, and that’s before you consider the kids, transportation logistics, etc. *laugh* I mean, we literally practiced and wrote out detailed instructions of how to do the cord binding during the ceremony, to provide to the officiant. This may be a celebration and not a legal event, but we all know me…I’ve researched all that I can, pulled out the parts that work for us and adapted as needed, and have every last detail in a list (or 4, depending on which type of list – to do on specific days, responsibilities, foods, overall checklist, yeah…I know, I have a problem. Lol

Thank goodness for The Knot and their app. Although I had to tweak things to all get out because this isn’t a wedding, it has reminded me of so many details I might have forgotten and keeps me on track when I overlook one of my written lists, plus it has a running guest list along with tracking gifts and thank yous sent. (Dude, how handy is that, especially if you kind of suck at writing and mailing those usually?!)

Anyway, we finished up a lot of the big things that can be done ahead of time and it’s now a waiting game to be able to do specific things on specific days, like buying perishables, picking up items from the bakery, etc. While texting tips and discussing the binding with my mom and our officiant, it really sank in that we will never be a part of or see something like this again in our lifetimes. That’s kind of awesome, IMO. Cord binding during a Handfasting, personal vows spoken (or slaughtered, if the person knows Irish Gaelig *laugh* – trying super hard to say the words correctly though, I promise!), and then decor that is completely about us. Absolutely none of your usual decorations. There are Phantom of the Opera, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Grinch, Harry Potter, and the list goes on…along with framed printouts of traditional phrases and how to say them, details about Celtic traditions, and then the fact that our ancestors trace back to the same spot in Ireland (and a few others in Europe, although at different times). It’s truly become a celebration of us.

I think it’s really easy to get caught up in what is popular or “normal”, and put the guests’ possible opinions ahead of our own when planning things. I nearly fell down that rabbit hole, but that’s where our personalities help balance each other out. That and he chills me out when I get all detail psycho and worked up. *laugh* I’m thankful that we entered this part of our journey sideways, so to speak, which made sure that we will have a super unique and individualized event. Certain individuals are unable to attend and their absence is felt keenly, but I’m thankful that I get to share everything leading up to it and then highlights of the day, thanks to the latest technology. We live in a remarkable time that allows us to really embrace life’s journey and share it with those we love. (And now mask free!)

Anyway, I just felt a desire to share my awe with you. Life seems so ordinary, and downright difficult sometimes, that it’s so beautiful that we, and our guests and incredible helpers, will get to be a part of such a once in a lifetime event. All the way down to dancing The Wobble, which was requested, because I’m all ready a “weeble wobble” due to my illness, so I don’t plan to dance ever again to something that challenges that. *cracking up* The generosity of spirit shown, the understanding of trying to build a new home from two divided ones, and having such a strong support system develop through this has made it all the more amazing. And I must say, there is nothing as “oh, I got something in my eye” inducing as a ten year old saying they can’t wait for the ceremony that bonds you as a family, and that special shy smile when they hear that you made sure that the song that’s an inside joke for just the two of you will be played even though it doesn’t really fit as a dance-type of song. It’s been 9 months of “firsts” and I’m blessed that I get to be part of such a unique event that keeps those firsts coming, when I used to think that my disability was a death sentence. 😊 God bless the Celtic Knot of life’s journey. 😉

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