Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Life Gives you Lemons

In lieu of me not having a job, I decided to try to do a Christmas craft fair this year to earn some extra money around the holidays. I recruited my friend Carla, and with the guidance and help of the craftiest lady I know ( aka my Mother in Law, Donna) we set out on a journey. The fair we rented a booth from had 2500 people attend last year, so we made a lot of stuff. Well, long story short due to some freak California weather it actually rained and our fair was canceled. Yes, it rains probably 20 days a year in CA and it rained on our fair day. Bummer. Big time.

So then we were stuck with about 300 pieces of inventory and a deficit of money in which we spent to buy supplies to make the aforementioned pieces. Hmm... not what I was hoping for. So we had to act fast.

We tried to have a garage sale style boutique in Carla's front yard the week after our canceled craft fair. We managed to make our money back via that, so at least we weren't in the whole anymore. But unless I wanted to give Jimmy a set of blocks that spelled "Noel" on them, we still had a problem. We hadn't made any profit!

I tried to stay positive. But it was hard when it looked like months and months and months of work would be all for nothing. I'm a firm believer of the saying " When God closes a door he opens a window". We just didn't have a window yet. And then we got one. A lady emailed Carla because she had seen our add on Craig's List. She invited us to rent a booth at a different craft fair they were having in Simi Valley. We gladly accepted, and had an extremely successful day. We actually made a profit, a pretty decent sized one. Yay! I needed it. We were also invited to participate in a different fair this weekend. This will be our last attempt to sell all of our stuff.

So things worked out. It wasn't as easy as we originally thought. We were hoping for one weekend of exhibiting, and now this last one will be our third. But I can't complain. Maybe we would not have sold anything at the fair that was rained out, and we have been more successful this way. Who knows. We can speculate all we want. But we have already made more money that we originally hoped for, so anything after this will be icing on the cake.

I'm going to switch gears a bit here. Last night was the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Why? Why do networks broadcast that every year? I guess it gets a lot of viewers, but for the life of me I can't understand who. Unless maybe it's men wanting to rationalize watching soft porn? I get the Victoria's Secret catalog in the mail. I didn't sign up for it. But yet my mailbox is stuffed with 99% naked anomalies every season. I don't read it. It takes a one way trip to my trash can. I honestly think things like that are NOT healthy for women. If you are someone who can look at those catalogs and watch those fashion shows and not have suicidal thoughts more power to you. I am not. They make me feel terrible about myself, and I don't like that. So I did not tune in last night. Nor do I ever intend to tune in to that. Perhaps that networks could air a piece about someone doing something more worth while than strutting in a high heels and a thong for the holidays. Something that actually makes people feel good about themselves. Makes them want to help others. I'm sure that would not get as many viewers, but it sure would get mine!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Feeling Thankful

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I was given the opportunity to participate in a Cut A Thon. It's this thing my school does at the Simi Valley Senior Center where we do free haircuts and manicures.

A few classmates and I were chosen to go, and were assigned to man the manicure table. I think I probably did 13 manicures that day. We were on a wait the whole time, from 9am to 3pm. At the beginning of the day I started with a list of the manicure steps next to me. Now, I could do a manicure in my sleep! :) Luckily my nail painting seemed to get much better as the day wore on as well...because it needed it! I'm thankful for the manicuring practice, as well as the opportunity to serve. So many seniors left that day feeling happy with their new looks, and I'm grateful I got to be a part of it. I truly do love giving service, and wish I had the initiative to do it more often.

Since Wal-Mart opened at 10pm on Thanksgiving this year, It thought it would be smart to join my friend and " run in there for a few things". Yes I said those words. Ha ha, that alone shows how ignorant I am when it comes to black Thursday night/Friday shopping. When I had to practically park in a different zip code that should have been sign number 1 that I was in for a treat. But I trekked to the store anyway. They should have had a tram for goodness sake! When I entered the store, there were no aisles. Just a moving mob of people. My friend and I jumped right in, and moved along with them. Shopping basically consisted of grabbing things as we moved with the mob on by. There was no time for loitering or examining something, you just had to grab it and keep moving to avoid getting trampled. Only a few fights broke out while we were there. I guess that is not too bad? There was event security everywhere, directing people, snapping at people; ie me, because I apparently was not moving fast enough for his liking. Nice Christmas spirit!

I managed to collect a few things, and then we had to wait in line for 1 hour to by them. By this point it was 2am and I was thinking this whole idea was a mistake of epic proportions, and was desperately wishing I'd stayed tucked in bed instead. That was the first time I've gone to Wal-Mart on black Friday, and I think it might be my last. But I'm thankful that I got to take part in such an experience.

I got to spend a lot of time with Brynlee this week, and I'm thankful for that as well. She continues to amaze/aggravate/entertain and awe me with her cuteness everyday. And we had lots of fun together. I think. She might be ready to play with her friends though, because I'm sure I'm not nearly as entertaining as they are.

I'm thankful for this time of year, that allows me to reflect on what really matters in life and reminds me of all the things I've been blessed with.

I'm just feeling thankful in general. And I'm thankful to feel that way. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day of Firsts

We have moved out to the senior floor at school. It's terrifying! But so much fun at the same time. We had our stations assigned to us, and I was lucky enough to get a really good one. Yay!

I did my first real updo, on my own. Ta da!

No book. No instructions. No help. Just me. And a teasing comb. :)

Thursday they also shot a commercial for our school, so they warned us on Wed that we might be in it. We were told to make sure we all look good! I'm in a prime spot, and I'm now sitting next to a girl who is really pretty and really good. So I just had a feeling...and I was right. My teacher came by and wanted them to film me dong the above updo. Oh boy. I'm not good in these situations. As the camera crew was all up in my business I tried to act natural. And probably failed miserably. This commercial will be shown on our local TV channels as well as in our movie theaters. I'm not sure if they will use my footage. I guess we'll see. I better not be sitting in a movie and see myself pop up on the screen with a big old double chin or something though!

Thursday I also had my first real client. A manicure. I. Was. Petrified. And was not doing well at all. But the lady was old and really nice. I just kept her talking so she was too distracted to see how bad her nails looked. After several coats of polish and a top coat they did not look too bad. But she gave me a $1 tip. Yay! $1 on a $6 manicure is pretty good! I have my first $1 on my fridge. I should get a frame for it.

I also went to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn. At about 10:30 I was regretting my decision big time. As I sat exhausted in the freezing cold. But it was fun! And the movie was pretty good. The whole experience just reminded me of how annoying teenagers are though. Jeez. Was I ever that bad. They are so irritating. I tried to go to bed tonight at 8pm to catch up on sleep. But now I sit awake at 1:30 am blogging schedule is all messed up. Good thing I'm off all of next week, with plenty of time to change it. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

After Midnight

I agreed to go with my friend to a midnight showing of Breaking Dawn on Thursday/Friday. At the time it seemed like an ok idea. I do have school on Friday, but hey! I can do it! However the more I think about it, the more tired I get. I probably will not be in bed until like 3am. If I'm lucky. And will have to get up at 6:30 7ish the next day. Hmm...Yeah whose idea was this anyway? I'm too old to do stuff like this.

I got excited at the prospect. I used to go to midnight showings all the time in my yester years. And they were fun. Of course I could sleep in the next day. And didn't have a baby to wake me up. Turns out I have a test on Friday. Oh boy. I guess I'll have lots of studying time in line for the movie? Because that is part of the experience. If I could just wake up at 11:30 and hop over to the movie it wouldn't be that bad. But you have to sit in line for 3 hours before the movie starts. So you get good seats. For the movie that you could just go see at a decent hour the next day. :)

Despite my fatigue I'm sure I'll have a great time. Even if the movie isn't that good, I'll have fun in line. We can play line games. Phase 10, Uno...maybe I'll even bring Life since I cannot get ANYONE to ever play that game (Audrey, where are you when I need you?). I can't remember the last time I stayed up past midnight. Let's see how much pop this 27 year old body has left!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sink or Swim

We are getting ready to move to the senior floor. Like in a couple of weeks. I'm going to have to start doing hair on real live people. That are not my friends. It's nerve racking!

They say we are ready. But I don't feel ready. I've always been like this. Some people in my class are really excited, and ready to dive in head first. Not me. I'd be happy to stay in the hairstyling shallow end for a while. Until I really feel comfortable with what I'm doing. But this is how I am. I was like this when I started waitressing. And I did really suck in the beginning. But then I got better. And I was like this when I got back from travel agent school. And I sucked at that too. But then I got pretty good.

I hate sucking. I hate having to be bad at something. I hate feeling inadequate. Practice makes perfect. But I don't want to practice, I just want to be perfect. Can't it work that way? No? It's funny because I can't think of a single time I actually sank when it was sink or swim time. I might have had some trouble, and might have gone under a bit but I've always come out swimming.

If it was up to me I'd probably practice for the next 5 months. So I need someone to shove me out there. I need someone to help me see what I'm capable of. Otherwise I'd never figure it out for myself. I'm grateful for this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and see what I'm made of. Old ladies that go to Simi Valley Beauty School, here I come! :)

On a different note, I find myself alone with Brynlee a lot these days. It still amazes me how she can take a clean room and make it a complete and utter disaster in 20 seconds flat. So I've tried to come up with creative ways to keep her entertained so she doesn't constantly destroy my house.

This was Monday nights attempt:

A fort! We had a lot of fun in this thing. I also realized that I have no sheets. That is why we had to make a fort out of a fleecy blanket. Which led to some pretty crazy staticy fort hair!

We had fun in our fort, but Mitzie enjoyed it more than anyone! She was having the time of her life in there.

After we played in the fort, we watched a movie with Robbie and Garrett. Brynlee decided to enjoy a mid movie snack... some toes! Of course she had to rip off her socks to get to them, which is no problem at all.

Mmmm! She had a good time sucking on those things. At least it kept her out of trouble for a few min.

Some other troublesome instances of note within the past week:

-Came home to find Brynlee coloring all over the floor, book case and her face with a pink highlighter. Jimmy was supposed to be on baby duty for that one... Luckily the highlighter came off the floor and the bookcase really well. It took a while to get it off her face.

-Found Brynlee wondering around the house with a big old pair of scissors...yikes! Not sure where she found those.

-Went to check the mail and walked in the room to find Brynlee naked trying to shove her diaper in the diaper genie. She did have Pajamas on at one point, but who knows where those ended up.

*sigh*. She keeps me on my toes, that is for sure!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Large and in Charge

We were at Target today scouting out some new shoes for Brynlee. My wonderful Mom has offered to purchase Brynlee her next pair of Stride Rites. So we will go to the mall for those next weekend, but Jimmy and I went today to scope out some church shoes and maybe some slippers.

We were in the shoe section and Brynlee was running a muck as per usual. Another couple came in with a little girl who looked to be around Brynlee's age. This little girl was very well behaved, and sat quietly while her parents tried shoes on her.

I saw them reach for a size 4 shoe and figured that this little girl must be quite a bit younger than Brynlee. Considering Brynlee wore a size 4 shoe about 7 months ago...

I asked them how old their daughter was and they said she was 20 months. Hmm... I held the size 7 ( yes size 7) shoes we were picking out for Brynlee in my hand and looked at them. The lady asked me how old Brynlee was and I almost lied and told her Brynlee was like 3 to make it seem like my child is a normal size. But that would make her behavior seem even worse. So I told her that Brynlee was 17 months old and took her curious stare like a champ.

Maybe Brynlee's size isn't leveling out after all. :)

Brynlee's size is not the only large thing about her. She has a large personality as well. With a large baby temper. And large need to explore, help, investigate and do things independently of any help. She is a firecracker. My day care lady tells me she has a " fun personality". I'm sure that is what she calls it to my face. Once I leave the room I bet the word "fun" is substituted for something else. :)

But Brynlee also gives large hugs, really large sloppy kisses and large smiles whenever you hide from her and pop out of places. She has a large heart, and always shares large portions of her food with you. She just expects you to share with her when you have something tasty. As mentioned on my previous post.