Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How In The Heck Do You Get It All Done?

Hello everyone!  I've been away for a few days, as you might have noticed.  For those of you who haven't known me most of my life I'm here to tell you about how weird I get this time of year, which might explain why I haven't tended to the blog.

Of course I was all aflurry with Christmas preparations and hobnobbing about on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  It was a lovely holiday, with the grand goodbye to 2010 and anticipatory hello to 2011 yet to come.  With all the activity going on I have even less time to gather my thoughts than I do during non-holiday times of year, and I have a hard enough time gathering the thoughts then.

I don't know if it's the excitement of a fresh new year that gets the wheels turning again, or if it's a restless boredom with the old that compells me to take new charge of my life, but I do know the week between Christmas and New Years always gives me an uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, ineptitude, and unwelcome sluggishness.  With these feelings comes the compulsion to change it all...RIGHT NOW!

Taking new charge of one's life at the beginning of a new year can't be a bad thing, but it can be overwhelming.  Especially when taking charge involves things as big as a studio remodel and, as small as cleaning that patch of grunge on the cupboard door in the kitchen, and everything (and I mean everything) in between.  The list of things I want to do is a mile long and include new projects as well as projects I've neglected for months.  The problem is, I feel like I need to get it all done at once.

When I realize that's impossible I get dizzy trying to fit the tasks into those tiny twenty-four hour days we are afforded.  It's not so much that I'm working on the tasks so much as attempting to devise ways to satisfy my desires.  That is to say I spend way to much time planning on how I'm going to get these projects done rather than actually doing the projects.

Bad, bad, bad.

2011 Organizer by msvalerieparkdistro

So for now, I'm going through that weird holiday slump where I'm terribly unproductive and unrealistically thinking I'll turn into Super Woman overnight and accomplish everything after I get a little sleep.  I'm dissatisfied with knowing I can't get everything done at once.  I'm also too dang lazy to chip away at it a little at a time.  I think it's a variation on having the blues.

Stained Glass Winter Evening by FoundGlassDesigns

How do you organize the tasks you have to accomplish?  Do you have time to give your best to each role you play in your life ~ mother, employee, daughter, friend, housekeeper, cook, wife?  Are you able to prioritize effectively?  Do you create Outlook task lists or Excel spreadsheeets to keep your projects and chores in order?  I'd love to hear how you all manage it, even if you don't think you manage it perfectly.  I really need your insight and inspiration.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night

Cards giving loved ones holiday greetings have been sent.  Gifts for everyone on the nice list have been wrapped and tucked under the tree.  Cookies for Santa with leftovers for me have been baked.  All that's left is the holiday itself. 

Have a merry, merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Excitement Builds

I know you're probably thinking, from the title of this post, that I'm referring to the excitement of Christmas.  Well, there is that.  The next few days will be a blur of activities and fun, not to mention much food and drink.  But I'm compelled to address the issue of my business.  You see, I've decided to rename and move my Etsy shop.  The current shop is officially on vacation indefinitely.

It wasn't an easy decision and I still have a lot of kinks to work out.  Don't worry, you'll find the same great products in my new shop as in the old, with the addition of some new items in the works.  But I've forgotten how to set up an Etsy shop ~ the details that must be tended to.  So there's that part of it.  There's also the part of creating a banner, taking pictures of all the items up for sale, making sure the 100% positive feedback from the previous shop will be accessible to those visiting the new shop and a ton of other things. 

The name of the new shop will simply be Auntie B's Wax.  There's a long story about why the current shop is called Auntie B Online, but I won't get into that.  I'm glad now that I didn't use Auntie B's Wax for the first shop as I would now be unable to use that name for the new shop.

I'm using the word "shop" way too much in this post. 

Anyway, I need some feed back regarding the banner for the new shop.  I know all about branding and stuff, and that I should probably have the same banner for my shop as I have on this blog.  But I like to change things up here and there. 

Here is your task for the day.  I have two banner options below.  I would love to hear what you have to say about them.  These may not even be remotely close to what I actually use for my shop, but I'd like to get some opinions about these two in particular.  OK, here we go...

Option 1:

Option 2:

I may be inquiring more about banner content in the future.  Looking to my adoring fans for advice has always served me well and this situation is no different.  Please let me know in the comments which picture you think would look best for my new shop.  If you think they both stink, say so ~ I won't be offended.

Now that I've given you work to do, I'm off to bake some peanut blossom cookies and to wrap the last of the gifts to put under the tree.  Ho Ho Ho!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are Clever Commercials Making A Comeback?

Remember when commercials were fun?  They would entertain and tell a story.  They sometimes could even make you cry.  Those were the days, huh?  And what do we get now?  A bunch of text all over the screen with some invisible voiceover person telling us about doorbuster sales.  I'm pretty sure there isn't even such a job as jingle writer anymore ~ it's just easier to buy the rights to an already-written score.

Every once in a while my faith in marketing is restored.  The other day I saw this commercial and just loved it.  Target, kudos.

What's your favorite commercial these days?

Friday, December 17, 2010

...Have A Cup Of Cheer

It's Christmas crunch time, but remember to keep in mind what's really important this season.  As is mandatory at the Auntie B's Wax World Headquarters, take some time to watch Rudolph.  It will bring back tons of memories and might even stir up that Christmas spirit you lost in the seventh circle of hell mall.  If you can't sing at least one song by memory from this show, then you need to watch it twice.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pre-Christmas Preparations

It's Christmastime and we all know how we must spruce ourselves up for all the hobnobbing we'll be doing.  I made a trip to the beauty shop today.  (Did I just say beauty shop?)  Got a cute little haircut.  Also had some grooming done so I'm not sporting the eyebrows of Andy Rooney

or the moustache of Herschel Bernardi.
I'm a girl again!  So even if I'm on Santa's naughty list he won't pass me by because I'm now cute as a button.  Being cute, especially after the effort I went through today, is just as worthy of Santa's attention as being nice.  Besides, Santa's a guy and guys love cute.

What have you been doing to attract Santa's attention?

Monday, December 13, 2010


If you're looking for lively and upbeat, today is not the day to be visiting Auntie B's blog.  Sorry to all you perkies out there. 

The weekend stunk.  Too much conflict and too many hormones. 

1.  The weekend started out with the threat of a blizzard, which I thought was a huge fake put on by the weather people just to get our attention, because even by 10:00 Friday night there was no snow flying around.

2.  The weather people were not faking and we ended up getting seventeen inches.  Normally this would not be a problem for me, but I had places to go and this snow was putting a damper on things.

3.  All day Saturday I toiled over whether or not Husby and I should travel to Superior, WI to visit Paenney the next day, a trip that had been planned for quite a while.  Paenney just started college and we wanted to pay a visit and get a tour of his new home away from home, take him out for a good lunch, and load him up with some goodies for finals.  Plus I wanted to visit Lu::Handmade Goodness, a shop in Superior at which I consign.  It was going to be a very fun-filled and action-packed day.  The snow kept falling and blowing, falling and blowing.

4.  The weatherman promised the snow would stop by Sunday, our planned travel date, but that the blizzard conditions would continue to the next day in the form of blowing snow and subzero temperatures.  I finally put in a call to Paenney late Saturday afternoon saying we couldn't come.  Despite the snowfall ceasing, there was still the seventeen inches of fallen snow to deal with.  As promised the temperature plummeted, winds picked up and our trusty weatherman warned against unncessary travel.  But visiting Paenney IS necessary, I thought. 

5.  However, once I spoke with Paenney and made the decision to disappoint us all by not traveling I felt a little less confounded by the situation, but then I was overwrought with disappointment.  Husby couldn't figure out why I was walking around the house aimlessly, crying.  After a day of watching the weather forecasts and trying to make the decision whether to travel or not, then caving in to Mother Nature and her wrath of fury...well, it was just all too much for me.  Plus I'm at an age where everything makes me cry, and the things that would make a normal person cry are exponentially exaggerated in a person with my state of hormonal confusion.

6.  Our day of travel turned into a day of snow removal.  Removal?  Where do you put that much snow?  We figured it out for our house, and then off I went to my parents' house to help them out.  Charlotte, Pinky, and Fojo were also there to help.  Many hands make quick work and all that.  I'm just going to sum up that experience with a prayer ~ Please, dear God, when the time comes and I am older and less capable, let me quietly accept the help of others despite their different ways and time schedules.  My parents were very grateful for the help they received and treated us all to a delicious Carbone's pizza.

7.  I forgot to do laundry through all the hoo-ha of the blizzard and was stuck with doing it on Sunday night.  I got to bed way too late and then had to get up in the freezing dark morning at 5:00 a.m. and go to the day job, which is enough to make me want to take a fork and stab myself repeatedly.

8.  While sitting at my day job desk I realized I forgot the bag of goodies on the table at home.  Goodies made to help welcome a new member to our work unit.  So dang it, now I have to go to Jerabek's and buy something for our little welcoming party.  OK, I'll admit that everyone will probably enjoy Jerebek's goodies much more than they would mine, but that's beside the point.  Down-trodden, disheveled, and unorganized ~ that's me and it bums me out.

So here I am, emotionally exhausted, cold, and way too out of shape to be trudging through this much snow.  As cranky as I am over the outcome of this past weekend, I'm really grateful we'll be having a white Christmas, that everyone I care about survived the blizzard without incident.  I'm also grateful that I can start all over this week and hope for much better outcomes than I've had the last three days. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

Christmas is all about nostalgia, isn't it?  We remember our childhood Christmases and the excitement of opening that special gift.  Images of Christmas are from eras gone by, Victorian houses and one-horse open sleighs.

I unearthed a piece of nostalgia that isn't really a romantic memory, but took me back so many years and brought a smile to my face.  If you're as old as me and grew up in the Twin Cities, you might remember the show Lunch With Casey.  If you remember that, you'll probably remember this wonderful little diddy...

Happy Holidays from Casey Jones and Roundhouse Rodney!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dreaming Out Loud

Last year my friend Ruthie gave me a piece of art for Christmas.  It was a basket of flowers done in needlepoint.  The best part about it was the phrase, dream a little dream.

Husby and I were talking one night and our conversation led to some home improvements we'd like to get started on after the holidays.  Let's get the lighting fixed in the kitchen, as well as the garbage disposal.  Then we'll have to paint the bedroom and dinette area.  How about getting a new tub in the master bathroom?

The home improvement talk led to improvements I'd like to make in craftland.  That's where the dreaming came in...

Oh how glorious it will be!  A long counter for pouring wax instead of the low, square table I'm using now.  A wall full of floor-to-ceiling shelves for supplies and finished products.  A nook for shipping materials and office supplies. 

It will be a while before all of that will come to fruition because first I have to clean out the cluttered workspace to make room for all of the improvements.  But the dream is at the forefront of my mind.  Starting in January I will be picking up, throwing away, donating, and storing everything in the studio to make way for the new and improved Craftland.  Along with that will come a brand new Etsy shop for Auntie B's Wax.  Same great things you've seen at my current shop, plus a whole lot more.

No matter what improvements you want to make in your life, dream about them, embellish the practicalities, and take small steps to achieve your wildest desires.  Don't ever be afraid to dream a little dream.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

Wie treus ind deine Blätter!

Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,

Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Today we remember Grampa Mike, who loved Christmas more than anyone I've ever known.  His German heritage and traditions influenced my own Christmas traditions, especially my Tannenbaum.

Monday, December 06, 2010


I've lived in Minnesota my whole life.  I suppose some might think that to be unsophisticated ~ after all, when one grows up doesn't one move away from home?  And where would I go if I were to move away?  Sunny California?  I hear San Diego's average temperatures range from fifty to eighty degrees throughout the year and rainfall is minimal.  And it never snows there.  Ever.

To some that sounds like a dream come true.  I've heard people complain about Minnesota winters my entire life.  Temperatures can get down to thirty degrees below zero (and then some), snow can accumulate from two to twelve inches in a single twenty-four hour period.  For me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I never moved to California because I love the distinct seasons of Minnesota, winter being one of them.  The cold air and snow just add to Minnesota's charm.  While I don't participate in any winter activities like skiing, skating, or snowmobiling, winter is quickly becoming my favorite season.  Why?

It's so clean and white.

It's peaceful.

Sure, it's hard to get up at 5:00 in the morning on a cold winter morning to go out to the day job, but for the most part I relish the briskness of winter.  I love the crunch of the snow with each footstep I take.  Most of all, I don't think anyone, especially me, ever dreamed of a green Christmas.

Winter welcomes warm fires in the fireplace, hot baths, lots of creamy lotion on the skin, and best of all, savory soups, stews and warm breadsticks for dinner.  In so many ways winter is warmer than summer in Minnesota.

While people complain about temperatures and shoveling I roll my eyes, snug in my woolen socks and fluffy sweaters.  I wonder why they don't move to that temperate climate of California and let people like me embrace the stillness and quiet of the snowy winter.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Traditional Meets Totally Awesome

The holiday season has officially begun at the Auntie B's Wax world headquarters. Surely you will witness the festivities and frustrations that comes with gift buying, cookie baking, entertaining, and the indulgence I experience this time of year through this humble chronicle of my life.

One of the most important pieces of Christmas is the music.  The grandiose and glorious music.  The peaceful and soothing music.  Thought-provoking and awe-inspiring, music is about as close to the Divine as you can get while passing time in the physical world as we know it. 


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Just Getting Over It

Thanksgiving was no less than a pivotal event for Husby and me. I'm not going to get into the details ~ suffice it to say we were grateful for being the people we have become because of, and sometimes in spite of, people around us. Getting comfortable in our own skin, as it were. It doesn't get much better than that. Plus, next year Thanksgiving Day will probably be celebrated with steak and lobster rather than turkey and stuffing.

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