December 1, 2014

Currently, IMWAYR, & a Freebie














I cheated a little bit this week by combining Farley's Currently with my Monday reading link-ups because I wanted to tell you guys that I finally finished reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. You may recall that I "lost possession" of this novel a few weeks back when my two week deadline passed. One of the nice things about OverDrive is that it remembered where I left off when I re-downloaded the book (after sitting on the waiting list for a while, of course). I had to rush through the reading so I wouldn't lose it again, and I'm glad I had the chance to finish it. Of her three books, I would rank this second, Gone Girl first, and Sharp Object last. I did enjoy all three stories, though.



I'm loving that our favorite Christmas tradition continues, as Joel and I have already been out to visit the Larsen Family's Christmas Light Display twice this season. This year, like last year, they have two different hour-long shows on alternating nights, and they added a few Frozen songs, which I LOVED! There's something so magical about this display that makes me content to sit in my car forever and watch! For those that aren't fortunate enough to see this in person, I'm including a video... but if you want to come watch, I'll totally be your tour guide!


I don't know about you, but I can't stop thinking about the impact of this Ferguson case. I heard on NPR today that there is talk in the white house about adding body cameras to some 50,000 officers to hopefully curb some of the mistrust, and while I agree that it's a step in the right direction for accountability, I'm just not sure it's the answer we need. Our nation is one where outright racism is intolerable yet a systematic racism is strongly in place everywhere. I, for one, am grateful for the conversations that are happening across the country. I'm glad this makes people uncomfortable because it should. We need a major change!

I want more art projects! I already shared that I did a wine and painting night the other week with some friends, and I loved it! I'm really feeling crafty these days and welcome any suggestions you have. I have this thing about creating my own art to decorate my home, so if it's something I can actually hang on my walls, you get extra credit for your suggestion!

What I need more than anything else right now are ideas for inexpensive winter activities. Joel really likes to be out and about rather than sitting at home, and we're both kinda at a loss for cold-weather options, which isn't good since we have a long winter ahead of us! We don't have any kids to entertain, but we are on a very strict (like nonexistent) budget. Any ideas are welcome!

I will give away a freebie TODAY ONLY! I just updated my Vocabulary Cartoon Activity to include three new pages, and I'd love to share it with my readers! Just leave me a comment below with a suggestion of a winter activity and/or an art project I can tackle at home! Please make sure you're not a no-reply commentator so I can email you my product!

Happy December!

16 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm- my favorite winter activity is staying inside! So I'll be of no help on the winter activities ideas. However I love to craft - I mean I love it! I've been sewing some scarves... but if your looking for something to decorate your house rather than your body might I suggest a Christmas card wreath (something to this effect) http://www.lovethispic.com/image/18920/diy-picture-frames
    or maybe a candy bouquet for some holiday party gifts! http://lulusgoodies.com/?s=candy&submit=Search
    Thanks!
    Michelle

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    1. I'm an inside girl as well, which is why we've spent countless hours "shopping" for the past couple weeks. We've been through every mall in our area, and this is not easy without being able to spend money! haha! Thanks again for your suggestions!

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  2. Erin,
    I too LOVE doing things outside even when it's cold out - some of my favorite things are playing soccer (in paved, well lit parking lots - it sounds wacky but it's A LOT of fun!), ice skating, running, street hockey (or ice hockey if you're a good enough skater - which I'm not!). A lot of these things I'll do with my sister and it's fun as long as you're bundled up and watch for ice spots! Also sometimes just going to the local playground and using their equipment for Cross Fit type activities can be a fun and cheap activity.
    Good Luck and Have Fun!

    Katie
    Teaching Voracious Learners

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I have to too you that I read it aloud to Joel, and we both got a good chuckle out of it - especially the one about working out on a playground. Not that there’s anything wrong with the suggestion… it’s just SO not us. Chicago winters are SO long for me because I’m a big baby when it comes to being cold. I don’t even ski or any of the “fun” stuff. He was actually just laughing at me when I suggested we get a gym membership for the winter so we can hang out at the gym… boy, did I get the side eyes for that one. I should add that he works in construction, so he doesn’t really workout in his off time!

      Seriously, though, those are great suggestions - certainly things we SHOULD be doing! :)

      Please send me an email so I can send you your freebie as you are a no-reply blogger.

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  3. Hmm...winter activities...maybe check out the events happening at your library? You could also do a bookstore date just to browse together or look up local theaters and see what shows they are doing.

    Have a great week!

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    1. I was JUST telling Joel last night that I want us to do a date at Barnes & Noble. We could get a yummy drink and sit in a comfy chair and read. He needs to be sold on this idea (he's not really a reader, unfortunately)!

      Please send me an email so I can send you your freebie as you are a no-reply blogger.

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  4. funny that you mentioned Ferguson - I have had that on my mind lots lately too. I've started a few blog posts about it, too, but they sit as drafts for now. So complicated - we have lots of work to do!
    Makes me happy you and Joel are doing your thing again. Maybe we could do a double date at zoo lights? I think that's pretty free....maybe take a beverage in with us? :-)
    Thanks for the freebie, too! I'm going to pass it along to my old 8th grade co-teacher - she's still in 8th this year! and then I'll save it for later - you never know!
    :-)

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    1. I'm thinking about something with Rum Chatta. Yum!

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  5. Here in Vancouver B.C., my partner and I will take my mother out to the Vandusen Gardens for their winter light display. It's such a magical event. At least once we will drive around just looking at lights on the houses in our neighbourhood. When our boys were younger we used to make Christmas decorations out of light weight clay, paint them and give them away. We still make cookies together. These are the things I love most about this time of year.

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    1. Yes! We drive around looking at holiday lights nearly every day. It's definitely one of our favorite things too! Thanks for the suggestions!

      Please send me an email so I can reply with your freebie as you are a no-reply blogger!

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  6. Our little neighborhood has a quiet and sweet display of holiday lights and I love walking the at night this time of year. However, a few blocks away, there is whole street/neighborhood that goes insane with holiday lights. The traffic is awful. A ten minute trip to the grocery store turns into forty-five minutes from Thanksgiving to New Years. Not so much fun when you have to deal with the traffic, but crazy beautiful to visit.

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    1. Luckily, the Larsen family lives way out in the country, and they've actually done a really good job with making sure there's plenty of space for traffic to pass. They even built a little parking lot!

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  7. 1. Get some clear [small plastic cups. I know Walmart has some. You can do this two ways, either decorate the cup with Sharpie or leave it plain. Set your oven at 250 degrees. Heat the cups in the oven on a cookie sheet (I use parchment paper under it to make sure it doesn't stick to the cookie sheet) and melt the cups. Time needed will depend on if you want the cups to be twisty, folded, modern artish or if you want them to melt completely flat. If you want them twisty folded, lay the cups on their sides to melt. If you want them flat lay the cups upside down to melt. Allow to cool after you remove them from the oven. You can drill a hole or use a hot needle to put a hole in them and can string ribbon through to make them ornaments. I am not a good artist, so I did plain cups and gold ribbon, which turned out pretty. 2. If you have any wine loving friends, you can get all their corks and hot glue them to a straw wreath to make a cork wreath. I add a hanger loop twisted of wire to the back and a pretty bow on the front.

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    1. Ugh, didn't take my AIM sign in above. Hopefully this works?

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    2. I'm going to google this plastic cups thing because I'm having a hard time picturing it in my head. I'm having a small heart attack at the thought of putting plastic in the oven, but that's what a shrinky-dink was... remember those?! I have a bunch of cork projects pinned on pinterest but not nearly enough corks to make anything quite yet. Maybe this can be our winter entertainment... drink more wine! :)

      Please send me an email so I can reply with your freebie, as you are a no-reply blogger!

      Delete
  8. It's so difficult to think of things to do that are outside (and FREE!) in this darned midwest winter weather, isn't it? Let's see...there is always window shopping in Chicago, Kenosha has a very cool free public museum with a ride on a trolley car for 25 cents, window shopping in Galena???? (Not sure where in IL you live.) Hope you find something fun!

    Jennifer
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

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