August 5, 2013

Ay-Yo! Why aren't you updating?

Don't worry, I have been...just not here. With recent (and frustrating) changes at Blogger, I've decided to move over to Wordpress. You can find me at

See you on the flip side!

September 27, 2012

Half-Assed Halloween: Easy Costumes for Your Half-Hearted Holiday

If you're anything like me, you simultaneously look forward to Halloween and are surprised at its sudden appearance. Every year, I think I will pull out the stops and do something crazy-wonderful costume (usually Ziggy Stardust is my aim). And every year, I say the weekend before Halloween, "I'm not going to have the time to put that together. What can I be?" So, dear readers, I've pulled together some emergency costume ideas for you.  

The Flapper

This is such an easy costume to create because, chances are, you already have everything you need for it.

What you need:

- Some kind of flappy or flowy dress, preferrably knee- or thigh-length; it doesn't have to be fitted or have the fringe, just something that will jump and twirl around.

 - Red lipstick; if you're feeling brave, try the traditional "cupid's bow" look (see Clara Bow for the best examples)

 - Fishnet or lace tights; because, I don't know, it's cute?

 - Eyeshadow; go for smoky and dramatic

 - Bobby pins; this is if you decide to do the finger waves that are synonymous with flappers. Here's my quick method for doing it:
1. Use way too much hair goop, slather it all over, especially at the front.
2. Take a section of your hair at the front and comb it straight down.
3. Hold the piece flat against your head and lay your index and middle fingers across it. Hold it tight.
4. With your other hand, slide the bobby pin toward the back of your head (between the two fingers), while not letting go of the hair. This will cause the bobby-pinned sectioned to be pushed back, while the parts you were holding down will stay in place, creating waves.
5. Blow-dry that motha. Then remove the bobby pins (or leave them in if you'll be partying hard).
This sounds strange, but it's the same general process that genuine flappers used, though they had neat gadgets to do the work for them.

Or, if you don't really want to do that, you can just buy a flapper hat:


(Oh, what? You really thought I wouldn't use this opportunity to whore out my goods?)

 - Heaps of necklaces; the longer the better, pearls and other "old-timey" necklaces are the best

 - Add in some earrings, rings, and bangles for added measure:


 The beauty of the flapper costume is you can nail one aspect of it (the hair, the dress, the makeup, or the jewelry) and everyone will go, "Ah, yes, you are a flapper." Because frankly, our version of the flapper is so well-known, despite how historically inaccurate it may be. So have fun with it!

Read about the rest of the easy-peasy costumes by clicking here.

(I know you don't want to hear it, O Faithful Reader, but Blogger kind of blows so I'm sending you to Wordpress in order to read the rest. It's totally worth the journey.)

August 20, 2012

Dexter Destructo: The Amazing Expanding Puppy

Back when we lived in the apartment, we talked about how we wanted a dog someday. Keene and I both consider ourselves to be "dog people," despite having two cats. So when we bought the house, we began talking about when would be the right time to get that dog. 

At first we decided when the garage was completely free of moving boxes. When that came and went, we decided after we settled in a bit and got back into the swing of things. That probably came and went, but who can tell with such unmeasurable goals? Then we said we'd get one for Christmas. Then we said we'd get one when spring rolled around. Then we said when we bought all of the supplies needed for a dog. 

As you can see, we were clearly procrastinating. We knew dogs were expensive and required a lot of care. We also knew that puppies were even more expensive and needy, which is why we had settled on wanting a  dog of at least a year or two old.

If things kept going this way, we likely would have never felt ready for a dog. But much like an unplanned pregnancy, the dog came to us. Keene's coworker was getting rid of a puppy and asked if he wanted it. Yeah, a puppy. We were still a little iffy about this when we drove to see it.

But then saw the puppy and all logic went out the window because OMG SO CUTE:

Before you could say, "Maybe we should talk about this," we snatched up that little dog and ran. And on the way home, we discovered that this puppy was a bit of a fireball.

So, I'm just going to post a few pictures from that first weekend together so you can really get a sense of just how ridiculously cute that puppy was:

See that last picture? How the pure white dog is now blue? That, children, is why we can't have nice things!

Anyhow, you know how people look at puppy paws and say, "Oh, he's going to be a big dog"? Well, we got none of that with Dexter. He had dainty little paws, so we assumed he would be a medium-ish dog. But then once he was settled in, he began shapeshifting into a Hulk-esque dog in the making.

It has now been two months since we brought home the puppy who was half the size of our cat. And now, at four months old, if he stands on his hind feet, he's almost as tall as Maia:

And he's only happy when he's confident that the world is still revolving around him:

I won't get into his curious craving for human flesh or how he has managed to trap me on the tree loft a number of times just yet. Or how he doubles as a wood (and plastic) chipper. Or how I've had to Google "cat poop in dog bite". Or how we're about to drop big bucks on an exorcist/dog trainer.

I won't get into any of that. For now, I'll just tell you that we were totally ready for a puppy. Seriously. Totally ready.

June 27, 2012

There goes the bride.

In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I haven't told you yet that Keene and I got married. Last year.

Now, now, don't be offended. In fact, we didn't really tell anybody (well, just a few) until we had been married for about four months. Why?  Beats me.

Let's back it up and I'll explain. Some time around the summer of 2011, we were officially engaged. I don't really remember when we decided we were going to get married. I mean, we had talked about "when we're married" for a long time, but I don't remember the moment in which we said, "We're engaged." I think it's when we bought our rings. I really should have been blogging during this process. 

So, our original plan had been to fly to San Francisco with the kids (and a few close friends and/or family members) and have a ceremony there.  It would have been awesome. 

But then we found our house.  Despite having purchased plane tickets, we decided that having a wedding and moving into a house within a week of each other is something that only crazy people do. And we were not crazy people. So we cancelled on San Francisco and on our sense of romanticism.

We bought the house, we moved in, we unpacked, we carried on with our lives. Until we remembered, "Hey, yo! We were totally going to get married." Okay, it didn't happen quite like that. Rather, we hemmed and hawed about whether we still wanted a wedding. Then one day in November, we said, "Fuck it, let's just get married."

And so it came to pass that in a drab courthouse on a Tuesday afternoon, we did get married.

Okay, so now the real reason why we didn't tell people for 4-6 months. As you can see, there wasn't a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the occasion. We celebrated with lunch, beer, and lots of giddy jokes, but we wanted to announce the marriage by doing something a little more special than a Facebook post.

We decided to commemorate the event with professional family photos, taken by the wonderfully talented and charmingly wonderful Sydney of Just B Photography.

So here you go: our family in all of our shaggy, mismatched, but totally adorable glory.

And finally, our marriage announcement:

June 19, 2012

Denver Color Run 2012

I remember when I decided that "Get covered in color" should be on my bucket list. I must have been in a cheesy mood to start with, because I was watching "Outsourced" on Netflix. The gist of the movie is that the protagonist begrudgingly moves to India to train his office's outsourced replacements. There's a scene where he gets caught up in Holi, a celebration which involves being covered in color. Now, I'm sure there is a lot more significance to the special day, but goddamn, having color powder thrown at you looked like fun.

So when I heard about the Color Run, I was excited. And when I heard you didn't really have to run, then I was actually excited.

And so it came to pass on May 26th, Keene and I joined my friend, Helene, for a Color Walk.

Before the event began, we loaded up on swag (but not the hip, teenager version of swag...this was the lame adult version which consists of free power bars and cowbells).

Then it was time to join the white-shirted, unreasonably-energetic-considering-it-was-only-9:00-a.m. herd.

The occasional color packet exploded prematurely.

And then it was time to...well, walk.

Keene decided that 1) he was bored with mine and Helene's girl talk, and 2) people weren't excited enough from the start...and so he became the official high-fiver of the event.

In what seemed like no time (hey, time flies when you're walking slowly), we hit the very unenthusiastic yellow-throwers.

No need to feel bummed, though, because the overly-aggressive blue-throwers more than made up for them.  

I'm pretty sure they were aiming for the mouth-breathers in the crowd.  "Aim for the teeth! Aim for the teeth!"

And on and on through more checkpoints, until we reached the end.

Now, it wasn't quite as exciting as I had thought it would be to be all covered in color (and really, what was I expecting? A religious experience?).  But it was fun enough that I want to participate again next year. Well, that is, until I saw the orange-throwing volunteers at the end of the day and they so resembled Oompa-Loompas that I'm determined to do that instead.  

Oh wait, that's not all. Remember how Keene looks like Jesus these days? (I mean, the white version of Jesus, but with a more accurate level of shagginess since Dude probably didn't carry a Gillette around with him while preaching the gospel.)

Well, he won "Best Beard" for the event. Only in Colorado, it would seem, do men with huge beards achieve such levels of glory. For his prize, he won...a pair of hipster sunglasses. Which he wears. Along with that goddamn Subaru visor which he won for driving a Subaru. Again, Colorado...

By this time, the event was over and Keene was on an attention-high. And probably suffering from heat-stroke as we lost our way while trying to find the car.  Which is why he decided to follow the geese for a while.

Three hours later (probably), we found the car and drove home. And about two hours after that, we were able to wash away what we thought was the last of the color powder. 

And about a week after that, we did finally wash away the last of the color. Though I'll bet Keene finds a layer of color under that beard when he finally shaves.

May 14, 2012

Isn't the brain a wonderful frustrating thing?

Apparently visual hallucinations are so last year, because now, my other senses are getting in on the action. Sure, they can be auditory too, but that has always been for special occasions. I tried to find a blog post about the time I smelled vomit, which was especially awesome...but it seems I never actually posted about that. Well, you get the idea.

So where is this all going?  Last night--and I can't be sure of this yet--I think I experienced dream pain. I was sleeping and turned onto my side when I felt an extreme pain on my lower back. Not muscle-related. It felt like a skin injury, like a bee sting but much worse. I actually woke up and cried out from the pain. I felt the area (which was really sore to the touch) and felt blood.

Rather than immediately jump out of bed and figure out what happened, I lay there for another five or ten minutes. Why? Because oh my gosh there must be a huge wolf spider in the bed and I rolled onto it, thereby temporarily paralyzing it, but if I move, it'll bite me again. And also, I was warm and cozy under the blanket. So I lay there trying to decide what to do. While laying there, the sore spot slowly faded.

Finally, I found the willpower to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, and check the spot. Nothing. No redness. No bump. Not even the indent or ripped-off leg of a smashed wolf spider. Nada.  Blood? There was no blood. Pain? Nope, no pain either.

Awesome. Bravo, brain. Maybe I'll watch Jersey Shore or listen to Ke$sha later, just to piss you off.

May 10, 2012

Kelli Smash Garden

Last time I talked about our house, it was to complain (let's be honest here). I complained about how we only discovered some major flaws after we bought the house and were moving in. But there's something else that goes on when you buy a house: everything you loved about it comes crashing down. In a good way, I suppose.

After we walked through the house and were waiting to buy it, we bragged a lot and to anyone who would listen.

"It has a drop-down recipe holder in the kitchen!" (We later removed it so we could install a utensil hanging rack and magnetic strip for knives.)

"It has those little pop-out drawers in front of the kitchen sink!" (We are planning to tear at least one out to make a paper towel holder.)

"It has built-in cupboards in the garage!" (Mostly gone.)

"It has a built-in entertainment center in the basement!" (Plans are being made to remove this.)

"It already has a vegetable garden!"  Aaaaaaand that's where this post comes in.

There's just something about the need to claim a house as your own.  While a person may love a feature when the house belongs to someone else, when it becomes your house, that feature may lose its luster.  That's how the garden was. I can't tell you how excited we were about that garden for the first month we lived here. The kids picked strawberries and tomatoes. In the fall, they picked the pumpkins. It was wonderful to have such a low-maintenance, pre-cooked garden.

But then the warm weather rolled around. And it was time to really claim the garden as our own. We decided the garden was too messy. Too cluttered. Too "accidental"-looking. We wanted a very clean, intentional garden. 

So we tore that shit right up.

Here is the post-winter Before picture:

So, well, it was ugly. Now, I'm sure it would have sprouted again with time and looked lovely again. But we had seen the soul of the real garden and it had garbage and weeds and lots of pink paving stones.

...and if you believe that orbs are anything more than dust particles, then our garden also contained ghosts.

Thanks to Madame Pinterest, I got the idea to do raised planter boxes. As is always the case, I come up with the idea and then let Keene figure out how to make it a reality.  And he did!

I make it look so easy: "Oh, la-di-dah! We built a planter box!" But in reality, it was pretty easy.

Which is why we built the second box and are currently working on the third and fourth.

As you can see, the kids are quite a big help. You will never catch me in one of those fits of nostalgia in which I say, "Aww...I wish he/she was a baby again!"  Because I have never in my life seen a baby who can do this:

Or can lay down paver stones:

What's better? This was actually Kayden's idea. Keene and I had planned to just leave it as dirt for the time-being, but Kayden figured out that these pavers were the exact size to fit in there. And then he did all the work of laying them down himself.  And he looked totally cool while doing it.

So, the planter box on the right actually belongs to the children. We let them decide what they wanted to plant in their respective halves.

Our next round involves a skinnier planter box for herbs and then another full-size box for more vegetables.

In the meantime, Keene is growing a hair-garden all over his head because he's a damn hippie.