My life is literally eat, sleep, and work right now.  The project I’m on at work is in crunch time and no one is safe from 50+ hour weeks (slowing inching closer to 60 hour weeks).  I haven’t had much desire to blog (read: none), hence no new crafty content on my blog.  I haven’t given up, I’m just lacking the energy and motivation to do much of anything during my minimal free time.  I hope to take some time this weekend to catch up on doing things I like instead of mindlessly laying around drooling on the sofa like a zombie, which has become my most recent hobby.

Stay tuned, my friends.

Gifts Ideas for the Person Who has Everything, Part II: Those Who Can’t Buy, Do

Gifts Ideas for the Person Who has Everything, Part II:  Those Who Can't Buy, Do

Christmas is coming and there’s no stopping it.  (source)

In my last post, “Gifts Ideas for the Person Who has Everything, Part I: Don’t Kid Yourself,” I wrote about how difficult it is to figure out what to buy for the people in your life that don’t need anything.  My solution was simple: DIY!  I realize that not everyone has the ability to in the time and/or money that handmade gifts require, so for the people that are not inclined to DIY, fear not!  There is another solution besides slaving or some craftsy thing that may or may not turn out as expected:  gifting experiences!

Gifting “Experiences”

What exactly do I mean by gifting “experiences,” you ask?  Gifting experiences means getting the person who has everything something they can experience.  Concert tickets, football tickets, dinner at a fancy restaurant, a weekend getaway, or a well thought out picnic are all examples of gifting an experience.  This gift can be as inexpensive or as over-to-top as you want.  As long as you have an idea of your giftee’s interests, this gift will take no time to figure out.  Buy the tickets/make the arrangements for the experience, write a nice little letter, wrap it in a fancy box, and violà!  You’ve got an awesome personalized gift for your loved one that they will absolutely adore.

DIY Ideas

The people that I’ll be making gifts for this Christmas are my parents and my boyfriend.  These people always manage to find me the perfect present, and I hope to return the favor this year.  These aren’t all my DIY plans, but they’re what I’ve come up with so far.

For the parents who have everything…  I’ll be doing a few things for each of them.  First, I’ll be making ugly Christmas sweaters for each of them.  A few years ago my boyfriend and I went to an Ugly Sweater party and both of my parents expressed interest in our awesome ugly sweaters.  My parents love wearings sweat shirts around the house, so while I’ll be making something ridiculous and Christmas themed (a flamingo wearing a santa hat for my mom and a moose with christmas lights around his antlers for my dad), these sweaters will made durable enough so they can be machine washed and dried repeatedly without being destroyed.  My mom, who loves all things cake, will also be receiving a custom cupcake kit with lots of fun wrappers, sprinkles, and awesome recipes.  I got this inspiration for this gift here.  My dad, a huge beer enthusiast, will get one of those cute reinbeer six packs.  I’ll be mixing six of his favorite IPAs, wrapping them up in brown paper, adding the reindeer characteristics, and making the six pack into a sleigh of sorts.  I’ll be blogging all of these projects as I work on them.

For the boyfriend who needs nothing… it turns out he doesn’t have everything!  My boyfriend is severely lacking in decor for his first grownup apartment.  I’ll be making him a few artsy pieces he doesn’t know he needs.  I’ll also be putting together an energy bouquet, similar to the candy bouquets that pop up in grocery stores every Valentine’s Day.  Instead of candy, which he doesn’t eat much of, I’ll be using different energy bars, gels, and everything a cyclist/runner needs to survive.

These aren’t the only things I’ll be making for my family.  I’ll be revealing other DIYs I’ve been working on during the weeks leading up to Christmas, culminating with a big Christmas Reveal on Christmas day.  Stay tuned…

Gifts Ideas for the Person Who has Everything, Part I: Don’t Kid Yourself

I know I was just complaining that it’s too early for Christmas a few days ago, yet here I am writing another post about it.  After discovering we’re already in the double digits of the Christmas Countdown I realized I need to get my act together!  You see, I’ve always been the person who is terrible at shopping for other people.  I try my hardest, but even with a list I always miss the mark just a little bit.  This definitely has to do with my parents and my boyfriend being those people who insist they don’t actually need anything!  This makes gift giving for the disadvantaged shopper a near-impossible task made even worse by the fact that my family is really great at finding the perfect gift for me.

Bad Gift Giver

I told you I was no good at gift giving.  (source)

For example, last year for Christmas I made my boyfriend an Exploding Love Box with memories of what we had done that year and promises for what we would do in the future.  We were getting into wine, so I also bought him two different bottles of wine at different price points, which we taste tested (the more expensive bottle won).  He bought me a Sirius XM radio and subscription for a year.  Yeah, guess who won that Christmas?

We went on a ski trip right before our birthdays, so we decided to call that our birthday present to each other.  Before my boyfriend’s birthday I decided I couldn’t just do nothing, so I bought him hockey tickets to the local minor league team because I know how much he likes experiences.  We had a great time at the game, as usual.  A week and a half later my birthday rolled around – he bought me Ray-Bans because he knew how much I’d been wanting a nice pair of sunglasses.  What a jerk, right?*  I was foiled again!

This Christmas is my Christmas!  I am going to out-give everyone this year.  I realize that Christmas is supposed to be about family, God, peace and joy and that it’s not actually a competition… but you know it really is.  How do I plan on doing this when I suck at shopping and my family has everything they possibly need?  I’m going to DIY.

I know what you’re thinking – girl, step away from Pinterest!  I’m not going to DIY all of their gifts, but I am going to do a few projects for my parents and my boyfriend that I think they’ll really like.  What am I planning on spending the next 14 weeks slaving over to win Christmas make the perfect gifts for my family?  You’ll have to tune in for Part II, coming later last week.  I’ll also be blogging some of the projects I’ll be working on in the upcoming weeks, with a full reveal at Christmas!

*My boyfriend is actually extremely thoughtful and awesome.  I don’t actually think he’s a jerk.

The Three Hour Time Difference

Wake up at six o’clock.  Reach for the phone to send a good morning text to my boyfriend.  Count backwards and remember it’s only three o’clock in LA.  Get to work at eight o’clock; it’s five o’clock where he is.  Is that a reasonable hour to text?  I don’t want to disrupt his beauty rest

This has been my life for the last week, and will continue for five more days.  My dearest is in LA for training these two weeks, and while our normal long distance is an hour time difference, three hours is something else.  When he’s eating breakfast I’m thinking about lunch.  I get home from work and he’s still stuck in the mid-afternoon slump.  His dinnertime is my bedtime.

I’m not sure how intercontinental couples do it, but I have a renewed respect for them.

All LDRs are hard, but this is more trying than usual.  We have about a three hour window of free time at the same time, which sounds like a decent amount.  Unfortunately, tossing in driving and unwinding time for him and whatever time I need to wrap up what I’ve been doing and we lose out on a lot of actual quality talk time.  A lot of our conversations have been one or both of us phoning it in, both literally (of course) and figuratively.

How have we overcome these challenges?  Well, we’re working on it.  We’re both trying to put away our distractions and actually focus on the other while we’re talking.  Skype/Facetime makes this a lot easier, but hotel wifi is notoriously mediocre.  We’ll sporadically text throughout the day.  I do my best to send a picture to him every day, even if it’s something small like our dog, Ned, doing something silly.  Since he’s in a new location he’ll send me a picture of whatever he’s explored that day, which gives me something to visualize when he talks about it.  One day last week he had to work late night and didn’t get back to his hotel until I was asleep.  Since we didn’t get any time to chat that day he sent me an e-mail describing his day.  I read it when I woke up, and it helped start my day off on the right foot.

I realize these little things are pretty standard when you’re in a long distance relationship, but in the past we’ve been lucky enough to only have one timezone between us.  This past week has really made me grateful for how easy our relationship usually is in regard to long distance.  My boyfriend will have more training, and I’m sure he’ll end up back in LA for another two week spurt at least once.  Next time we’ll know what to expect with a three hour time difference, and we’ll make the most of whatever we’ll have together.

Countdown to Christmas (100 Days to Go)

This morning on the Hallmark channel (Golden Girl reruns, who doesn’t love them?) I saw a commercial for their “Countdown to Christmas” starting November 2nd.  Yes, there is a countdown for a countdown to Christmas.  For the record, there are 42 days until the countdown begins, and 100 days until Christmas.

Am I the only one who isn’t ready for this yet?  I haven’t seen any Christmas Creep in stores yet, thank goodness, but this might be worse.  It’s not even October yet!  Hell, we haven’t even reached the official start of fall!  I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I want to enjoy all the things fall has to offer first (pumpkin muffins, college football, and Halloween, to name a few).

Hallmark, I love the Christmas enthusiasm, but can we hold off on the countdown to the countdown for a few more weeks?

Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas Ornament (source)