Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Five: Christmas Movies!

As you know, I love the holiday season. One of my favorite things to do is cozy up on the couch with Travis and the pugs and watch Christmas movies by the light of the Christmas tree. Here are our favorites:
1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Like everyone else I grew up watching this on tv every year. Last year I took the plunge and bought my own copy. This one is such a classic, I love the songs, I love the stop motion animation, I love the unlikely dentist side plot. I even love the weird noise Rudolph's nose makes when it lights up. The Bumble is the cutest I think, though my mom told me when she was a kid it made her cry!
2. A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All: Chock full of hilarious weird songs and cameos I like to watch this special a few times every season. The Toby Keith number makes me crack up every time, and Travis and I love to sing the John Legend gem "Nutmeg." And then there is the Colbert and John Stewart duet "Can I Interest You in Channukah?" We've been listening to it while we drive around doing our Christmas shopping. I just have one gift left to buy!
3. Love, Actually: I'm kind of embarrassed that I love this movie so much? I don't know why because I'm not embarrassed about much lamer interests. If you haven't seen it, it is a movie featuring about every British actor you know of, and has all kinds of interwoven stories about love and Christmas. We were just watching it while I was typing this and I cried about five times. It's just so lovely. This is one of those we'll watch during the year sometimes. I think my favorite story is the guy in love with his best friend's wife, or the guy who goes to America to meet girls, or the aging rock star with the lame Christmas single. It's just all so good! (This one barely nudged out The Holiday for top five status. Jack Black needs to be a romantic lead more often! Haha. )
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas: My grandma gave me a VHS copy of this for Christmas when it came out and I was OBSESSED. I watched it every day for weeks until my mom hid it from me. I was always into things that were a little weird, even as a kid (I blame Pee Wee's playhouse). This one is another watch all year favorite. I have a big collection of figures from this movie, and the soundtrack on tape, and picture vinyl, and cd. Beautiful stop motion, great songs, wonderful sweet story about getting in a rut and finding yourself again and not being afraid to fail, and vampires! And a ghost dog! I'm sure you've seen it, but if not go find a copy immediately.
5. Christmas Vacation:  I had to put this one in the top five just because I've probably seen it the most. Like I said the other day, it is Travis' favorite movie of all time and we watch it a lot. It is still funny to me after exactly 1 million viewings. My favorite part is when Clark tells the kids that he heard Santa had been spotted on the radio and Cousin Eddie looks at him deadpan and says "You serious Clark?". I still laugh out loud!

Here are some movies that were close to being in the top five. When I was a kid I had a little cardboard cut out of Ernest in my room. Another weirdo that I loved.  Home Alone is the first movie I can remember going to see in the theater!Of course A Christmas Story has to be in there, and The Muppet Christmas Carol is very nostalgic to me. I feel like it's up there with the original Muppet movie, but I think I'm in the minority on that one. We listen to the John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album every Christmas morning. Magical!
What are your favorites? You would think I would have more classic Christmas movies on my list, but I really haven't seen that many. We're going to see It's a Wonderful Life at the local indie theater, and it might be my first time watching it all the way through!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Life Lately: Christmas Edition!

Christmas is coming! And I've been trying to really enjoy the season this year. We went to our local Oddities shop, Hail, and got our photo with Satan Claws! I love these photos!
We have tickets to Hail's Dark Arts Holiday Masquerade Ball later this week. I bought a black velvet dress and I'm really excited for it. I hope it is fun!
A local brewery did a screening of Christmas Vacation with unlimited beer. So of course Travis had to go. That is his favorite movie of all time and he watches it all year long.
Here he is, legitimately stoked. It was so fun! The best part was at the end when the sewer gas makes the reindeer fly through the air and Aunt Bethany starts singing the star spangled banner, everyone in the audience sang along. What a great night.
We took the pugs to see Santa at Petsmart. Santa and Priscilla both had a hard time looking at the camera. Ho ho ho!
We went to my parents house and decorated cookies for them to take to their neighbors. I need to make some this week to take to my work's Secret Santa party.
I got my decorating done last week and I love it this year! I'll try to take some real photos later this week. It is such a bummer that it gets dark so early. I work in the mornings and it is always dark when I get home.
I'm in a vintage kitschmas group on facebook and someone mentioned their grandparents had window boxes like mine and always put bottle brush trees up on top. I will do that forever now. How cute!
Monster Christmas Mash is just as awful/great as you think it will be.
Got two movies I've been waiting on in the mail. I'm sure you saw Guardians of the Galaxy, but did you see Frank? It is so good. If you like weird movies you'll be into it. Michael Fassbender is incredible in it.
I was going to do a day in the life type post but I forgot most of the day and just took pictures when we went out to lunch. Here is a portrait of Travis at Happy Cow.
I got the nachos! I ALWAYS get the nachos. They are so good I just can't take a chance on anything else. I've never had better vegan queso.
And we had some chocolate almond pie. Mmmmm.
We went to an art crawl in downtown Nashville, but mostly just ended up walking around with our friends. Apparently this area is getting turned into a luxury hotel, so this might be our last photo with the nude karaoke sign.
I met a mini poodle named Bowie! It made me want a tiny poodle even more! Gosh he was cute, and sweet! And sassy.
Here is Phyllis and I in the backyard watching Travis burn junk mail. Hope you're having a good holiday season! I have one more present to buy then I'm done!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Collections: Bring on the deer!

I am crazy for reindeer. Any size, any style! I prefer them to be flocked, or covered in glitter, but any will do. Here are a bunch of them rounded up. The glitter! The glamor!
This gold guy is a new addition this year. I love his skinny little legs and giant ears. The jaunty guy to the left is maybe my all time favorite.
I have quite a few vintage stockings. These are the ones I hang up on our mantle. Along with our two stockings, and two for the dogs. I love them all in a line! That one that says "dear" says "dad" on the other side. I have more too, but they are in storage. I need to find a cool way to display them.
Here are my Dream pet ish deer! Oh my gosh I love them! I add a few every year and it's always fun to see how this collection grows. I got a set of TWELVE last year on ebay for about a dollar a piece. I still can't believe it.
Here is my special helper again. She was mad that I kept shooing her off the table, so when I came back in the room this is how I found her. So passive aggressive! Sitting there right where I want to be, facing the wall with her ears back! Haha, that dang cat.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Collections: Putz Houses and Chritmas Corsages

I was looking through old posts from 2013 and saw one where I wished that this year I would find some putz houses at a yard sale for cheap. Well my wish came true! I finally have my very own putz village!
Aren't they sweet? I haven't found the best way to display them yet. I'm hoping by next year we'll have our wall of  build-ins done and i can put out some fake snow and really do it up!
I have so many pink ones! I might buy some vintage repro windows to fix the ones that are broken. Or maybe I'll just leave them. It doesn't bother me that much.
That big white one of my favorite I think.
I love Christmas corsages, I could have sworn I did a post about them before, but I guess not. I can never pass them up! I need to find a cool way to display them. I used to put them on a macrame tree thing but I don't have a good place to hang it.
Here they are! SO beautiful. The pine cones! The plastic flowers! The little mercury balls! I love them all. The one with the spun head Santa and the weird neon orange burst is my favorite. Or the pink one with the tiny reindeer.
I have one Christmas bow tie, but I'm on the look out for more! I usually wear it in my hair to work the few days before Christmas. It is so cute!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Collections: Elvish Things

I love vintage Christmas stuff. It might be my favorite category to collect. As I up put my decorations this year I tried to snap a few photos of some of my stuff grouped up. Here are my elves! I found most of these guys this year, aren't they precious?
I love that guy's blue hair. And those beautiful eyelashes!
And look at that guy singing!
I also love these little pine cone gnomes. I got all these guys last year, I didn't find any this year (at a good price at least). I love their funny/creepy faces. The guy with the lantern is my favorite. 
I put these guys in the same group, even though they aren't quite the same. Do you like Santa with his symbols? And that tiny Santa! He is one of my favorite decorations.
Last but not least, for now, are these snow people/gnomes. Aren't they adorable? I think I have a few more that I just couldn't find when I was taking photos. I can't resist these when I come across them, even if I already have them (like that sweet lady on the log). These apparently were sold at JC Penney. They are made of some kind of Styrofoam and are super light. They are perfection.
And I have to give a shout out to my photo helper Scampi. She got in my way and licked my elbow and swatted at all my stuff. So helpful, so sweet. She is getting coal this year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

100 Books 2014: 69-92

So obviously I got behind sharing the books I've been reading as part of my 100 books in 2014 goal. So I'm just going to share the ones I really liked and think you should check out. I've read a few duds this year, but mostly great stuff. I'm so close to my goal too!
69. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See For some reason I love reading books about ancient China. The most interesting parts of this book to me were all the parts about foot binding. It is fascinating and horrifying! I couldn't put this book down. //

70. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld Nova recommend this book on her blog and I loved it. It is told from the point of view of a death row inmate. He is an unreliable narrator and you never get the full story, which is a little disappointing, but I enjoyed how it was written. It was a perfect mix of realistic and surreal //
71. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt I had to wait FOREVER for this to be available at the library. It is really popular right now and it deserves it! The cover looks boring but the writing is wonderful. We catch up with the narrator at different ages and the author does a great job making his voice seem authentic and change just enough with age. It is long, but it felt like it flew by and I wasn't ready for it to be over. I recommend this one for sure. //
72. Saga: Volume 3 by Brian K Vaughan The third volume of this awesome still running comic series. Just as good as the first two, beautiful artwork, compelling characters, lots of surprises. Volume Four comes out really soon and I can't wait to read it! //
The Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones: I read some of Jones books earlier in the year and loved them. She wrote Howl's Moving Castle among others. This series takes place in an alternate universe where magic is an everyday thing. The Chrestomanci is a title and is given to a powerful enchanter who can travel between alternate worlds and makes sure people with magic are misusing it to rule non magical people. I love the way Jones writes and Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant were great and I could see myself reading them over and over again when I was a kid. The series isn't really liner and each book stands alone and has different characters. Witch Week takes place in another world where witchcraft is outlawed and they are still burning witches at the stake in modern times. The Magicians of Caprona is about magical families in Italy and was my least favorite. There are two more in the series, I might end my year with those.
73. Charmed Life //
74. The Lives of Christopher Chant //
75. Witch Week // 
76. The Magicians of Caprona //
77. Breakfast and Tiffany's and Three Short Stories by Truman Capote I have always liked the movie and I loved In Cold Blood so I gave this a try. The titular story is good, but the other three at the end of the book were amazing! They left me wishing they were all full books, but they didn't feel incomplete. The rest of Capote's work is on my to read list now. //
78. Carsick by John Waters You might have heard about John Waters hitchhiking across America a few summers ago. This is his book about the experience. Most of it is comprised of things that MIGHT happen, then the end of the book is what actually did. It was honestly ok. The actual trip wasn't super eventful so I guess he had to dress it up with the maybes at the beginning. Worth a read if you're a fan. Crackpot is still his best book! //
79. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro //
80. The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro //
81. The Night Eternal by Guillermo Del Toro This series started out really great and interesting but really lost it by the end. // 
82. Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall //
83. China Dolls by Lisa See //
84. For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu //
85. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan //
86. One Thousand White Woman: The Journals of Mary Dodd by Jim Fergus
87. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King I promised Travis I would read this book because he loves it. I barely made it through! About 200 of the 800+ pages are interesting. Sorry Stephen King. //
88. Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican //
89. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien I'm not usually into war stories, but this book is great. It starts out talking about the different things soldiers carried and how much they weighed. I really liked this book. It probably should have been up near the top of this list. //
90. Popular :Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen //
91. Just Between Us by J. H. Trumble //
92. Role Models by John Waters Some of essays in here about John Waters' role models are great, like his essay about the Manson family, some are just too indulgent and boring if you aren't versed in the topic he is talking about (the fashion chapter) My least favorite of his books. //
93. 20th Century Ghost Stories by Joe Hill The last Joe Hill book I hadn't read. Lots of short stores, some scary. I liked it.

I'm getting there! Unless something unforeseen happens, I think I'll make my 100 book goal with some time to spare! If I make it, I think I'll reread all the Harry Potter books as a treat. Because I am a nerd.

Have you read anything good lately? Are you on Good Reads? Are we friends on there yet? Let's talk about books!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November Flea Finds!

Here is what I picked up at the Nashville Flea this month. I spent my budget within about 30 minutes! Thankfully Travis is sweet and went to the atm for me and got a little more money out. Sometimes a budget it meant to be broken. Especially when there is cheap vintage Christmas to be had!
I didn't take a close up of that mug, but is has a piano and a bunch of guys singing drunkenly on it. I love it!
Some CUTE little chalk like fawn salt and pepper shakers for my collection (Woah! I need to update that collection!), and a weather house for my other collection. And I've been wanting one of those paper rabbits forever but they were always weirdly expensive. This one was just five bucks, I can do that!
I got all these made in Japan houses for a song! I can't wait to build my display! I finally have some putz houses!
I just picked up a few photos this month. Two for Travis' "Hey go stand by that bush" collection, some kids in robes that I'm going to put on my Harry Potter shelf, and a parade float. The usual.
And some ornaments! My dad had the white horse from when he was a kid, so I was thrilled to find it, and the red one to match a little while later. And I LOVE those snow people. Isn't she sweet? I have a few of these now.
All it all, it was a great month at the flea!
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