Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Things I love about my BFF

Earlier this year, Divulge with Dani surprised me with the most beautifully written and heartfelt birthday tribute ever. Seriously, she was unbelievably kind, and there's no way I could ever top what she wrote about me. It was just THAT sweet.

As I write this, Dani is celebrating her 29th birthday (for the 7th time) by enjoying a much-deserved break in the mighty Nevada desert city sometimes referred to as as Sin City. 

Yes, she and her husband are poolside in Las Vegas and are being spoiled by a cute cabana boy named Jesus. (As in Hay-zeus, dontcha know.)

So this week's Top Five lays solely on my shoulders, and it's an all-out tribute to my homie.

Friday's Top Five - Things I love about my BFF 

5) Dani will do ANYTHING for her friends, even if it means sleeping on dirt and swatting mosquitoes.

True story - back in our younger days, before boys and babies came along, our group of gal pals routinely went camping each summer and shared many memorable nights stuffing our faces gossiping chatting around the camp fire.

We always, ALWAYS had a ton of fun, despite the fact that Dani is not a fan of camping. In fact, she loathes it.

And, yet, without fail, she always came along and tolerated our whimsical requests of, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to sleep on the ground and wash our dishes in dirty water while using outhouses all weekend..?"

Ahem. We so totally owe her for the years of torture roughing it that she endured for us.

4) Dani has investigative reporting skills like no other.

Way back when we were in university, Dani had this incredible romance novel written in her head in which she and I and our friends were, of course, the star attractions. 

And, the best part of all, was that at least one of us was to end up married to a hockey player, construction worker, cowboy, or a man in uniform. ("Hark! Is that a fire truck I hear?")

Our personal tastes clearly evolved over the years, but you can't just think up these brilliant plot lines out of no where, right? Nooooooo. You have to go out and do "research" on the subject matter at hand. 

And, by research, I mean stalking your prey.

Because stalking WILL pay off.
(Thank you, Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald.)

It's true that we have done some crazy things over the years, most of which I can't admit to online for fear of felony charges. But the reason I hold these escapades so close to my heart is because I shared them with my bestie. I mean, who else would have been willing to pull off those crazy antics with me??

(But if anyone asks, it was all her idea, and I was just a minion along for the ride. Ahem.)

3) Before we had husbands, Dani and I had each other.

Phew! Thank God we found some men to marry us before turning 40.

'Nuff said.

2) Dani and I never fight. Ever.

Okay, so there was this ONE TIME back in the summer of '95. We had just graduated high school and were experiencing  real freedom for the first time. There were boys involved, and one of them almost came between us. ALMOST.

The dialogue went something like this:

Dani:   "Jo, are you trying to get between me and my man?"
Jo:       "No, of course not. Is that why you've been distant with me?"
Dani:   "Yes. I'm sorry about that. And I'm so glad we cleared up this misunderstanding."

LOL. That was it. No fight, just a misunderstanding.

For the record, that boy didn't last past the one summer, and yet Dani and I are still together as BFFs.

BOOM. Take that, summer-time crush.

1) Dani and I will be best friends forever because, frankly, we already know too much.

It's hard to believe, but Dani and I have known each other for 24 years -- nearly a quarter century.

Yes, we is old. I still remember when I made her that first mix-tape of songs back in 1991. Classic.

We've packed a lot of living into these years, and Dani was right there by my side for most of my funniest, happiest memories.

The walks, the road trips, the all-nighters talking about guys and what our future would bring......

Once upon a time, we lived four houses down from each other and would go for walks on a whim. I miss those days. We used to say we'd somehow always be neighbours and would live walking distance from each other, you know, in a Knots Landing "back-to-the-sac" sort of way.

We're no longer neighbours in a geographical sense but, let's face it, the advent of social media has basically ensured that all people everywhere will always stay in touch.

So, in reality, even if we don't see each other for weeks or months at a time, we rarely go more than a few days without sharing an email / status update / chuckle over something that occured online.

The history we share is extensive, and Dani probably knows more about me than I care to remember, which is why we'll always be friends. The things we laughed about when we were 12 are the same things we can still laugh at today. (Because we really are that damn funny.)

She is, and always will be, my SEESTER.

(Never. Gets. Old.)

Happy birthday, Dani! 

Here's to at least another 24 years of friendship.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Pinterest ideas I'd like to try

I've always loved arts and crafts. And though I'm still a bit awkward in that department (read: I have no talent), I try to make up for it with sheer enthusiasm.

As a kid in elementary school, most of the books I took out of the library involved making some sort of craft at home. We weren't the type of household that had pipe cleaners and styrofoam balls on hand, so all my crafts usually consisted of one of two things: popsicle sticks or empty toilet paper rolls.

Those were the good old days.

For many years now, though, I've just stopped being creative. Having little free time to spare has meant that I only purchase things I need for the house (boooorrrring!), and I only cook when it's required of me.

But, since Pinterest became a regular part of my life a few months ago, I've found that my creative spark is slowly returning.

Naturally, my feelings of "I WANT TO DO THAT" are far greater than my skill level will allow in most cases, but I'm happy to report that I've already begun decorating our home with some simple projects I've seen on Pinterest.

I set up a variation of this art wall down our main hallway......

...... and a notice like this one at our back door.
(Sigh. George.)

I've also tried a handful of new recipes that I found on Pinterest, but there's still so much more I want to attempt. Which brings us to this Friday's topic......

Friday's Top Five - Pinterest ideas I'd like to try:

(Jo's Note: It was REALLY HARD to limit this to just five things. Don't be surprised if you see follow up posts such as "The OTHER top five things I want to try.....")

5) Painted popsicle sticks with velcro

It's true, I just can't stay away from using popsicle sticks with my crafts. But this one caught my attention for another reason -- the byline under this project stated that it was a great way of keeping kids busy and occupied in restaurants.

Ummmm.... SOLD!

The idea behind this is that you paint the sticks with your child, then attach some velcro dots, and VOILA! Instant toy that can be brought anywhere to help keep your kid out of trouble.

And, as an added bonus, it's educational, too, in that you can prompt your child to create letters or shapes with their reusable new toy.

I totally see a hexagon and a parallelogram in my daughter's future.

4) Corner library shelves

We have, like, a million childrens books in our house. And I'm only mildly exagerating on that one.

So far they're all fairly well contained in one or two locations in our home, but I just love the look of this corner shelf, and I want to make this regardless of whether or not we have the need for it.

The rooms (and the wall space) in our home are pretty tiny, and I've already filled near every nook and cranny we have with SOMETHING....... so I'm not entirely sure we have the space at all for this project. 

But, by God, I will keep envisioning this in our home until I can find a spot for it. Even if it happens to be in the laundry room.

3) Melted bead sun catchers

How beautiful are these?? The comments beneath this Pinterest project all state that it was really easy to make, and most of the people just used really inexpensive beads, too.

Easy AND cheap? This project has my name written all over it. 

(*insert your inappropriate thoughts here*)

My only concern with this one is that the sun catcher wouldn't survive our climate. You see, if I'm going to put in the effort to make something like this and adorn it outside by the front window, then I want it to stay out there all year long. 

Including during major wind storms (stupid prairie wind!) and our seemingling neverending winter.

Does anyone have experience with these in the frozen north? Anyone? Bueller?

2) Garden signs


I don't exactly have a green thumb -- or the patience to weed, water, and wait for plants to grow -- but I am all about sticking knick-knacks all over our yard.

And I just love the idea behind these signs!

Right now I'm more partial to the set-up on the bottom, which lists all the places this particular family has travelled together. And the great thing about it is that you can continually add to this sign post over the years.

Like I mentioned above, though, my concern is on how weather-resistant something like this would be. A responsible home owner would winterize their yards and place this item into storage for the 9 months 6 months of snow we get pummelled with each year, but I HATE having to do that.

If we set up this sign, though, then I probably won't have a choice. 

1) US flag made from baseball bats

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my husband is American. And he likes baseball. A lot.

This flag idea is just so cool and so original and so AMERICAN that he totally wants it in our home. The only problem is that neither one of us is very handy when it comes to power tools. Or paint. Or hammers and nails.

I'm pretty sure that, if I actually attempted this, it would surely end up on that Pinterest Fail website.

So, ummm, anyone want to come over and just make this for me?

I promise I'll make you dinner in return! (And, yes, it will be from a Pinterest-inspired recipe, of course....)


Okay, there you have it..... this is my list of Pinterest projects that I would like to attempt (or have someone else attempt for me.) Time to head over to Divulge with Dani to see what she's got cooking as well.