Tag Archives: domesticmacgyver

Get Gushy: Love Parties

3 Feb

Just to be clear, this post is about Valentines Day and thus, love. I’ma get gushy. You’ll find no anti-VDay, black armband, burn-all-the-relics-from-the-shrine-you-created-for-the-man-you’re-stalking suggestions here. The only thing I find more annoying then people that treat Valentines Day like a serious holiday is people that get pissy about it and spread their doom and gloom around like peanut butter on hot toast (unless you’re a teenager, then you’re excused because you have to put up with competing for how many carnations you have sent to you, an evil popularity plot, probably set into motion by that cheerleading coach from Glee).

So if it’s a pity party you’re looking for,  you’ll find more solace in the hot deli at your local grocery store. But if it’s lovey dovey-ness you crave, well you’re in the right spot! Here are some excellent Valentines Day party themes for the ol’ 14th of Feb.:

1. Past Their Prime (Time): TV Couples Costume Party

Famous movie star couples have been done so why not have shindig dedicated to the great loves of boob tube past? Have guests dress as their favorite twosomes. For example:

  • Sam and Diane from Cheers (I get dibs on that if you invite me)
  • Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years
  • Sandra and Elvin from The Cosby Show
  • Blanche from Golden Girls and every male senior citizen from Miami (group costume)
  • Charles in Charge and the sisters because you know that’s what he was in it for
  • The Nanny and Mr. Sheffield
  • Burt and Ernie

I could go on all day, but everyone has a favorite so let them decide.

Invites and Decoration: If you want to get fancy and make invitations, style them after a TV Guide. You know, like 6:30-7: Live in the Kitchen with Appetizers!; 7-7:30: So You Think You Can Drink, so on. Decoration and atmosphere can be low key. Check out some classic TV theme song CDs from the library for background music and also find a recording of canned laughter and play it every time someone makes a lame joke. Create a makeshift photo area with props and a TV screen cut out from cardboard that guests can stand behind. Constantly interrupt your guests for commercial breaks. Make sure and do product placement all around your house. For example, make little cards in your bathroom that say “Your bathroom break is sponsored by Charmin Toilet Paper and a box of matches!”.

Food and Drink: Serve “Let’s go out to the kitchen” snacks on TV trays throughout the room. Choose foods that you would eat while watching the telly: popcorn, candy, whisky straight from the bottle, etc.

Extras: Make a trophy by gluing an old thrift store remote to some sort of platform and give it to best costume or do a TV trivia quiz for a grand prize.

2. Why Must I Be A Teenager in Love?: School Dance Party

Invites and Decoration: Style this party like a 1950s dance held in the high school gym. Send invitations made out of notebook paper and folded up as a note you would pass in class. Guests can check yes or no for their RSVP. Encourage people to dress up in old fashioned prom outfits: chiffon dresses, ducktails, pockmarks. Hang tissue paper streamers and a big paper heart that guests can tape their senior pictures up to for everyone to laugh at. Play doo-wop records for the dance floor and make sure there’s lots of slow dancing. Keep the lights low. Make your old friends be chaperones.

Food and Drink: Spiked punch, obviously. Other than that you can go two ways with the menu. Either serve 1950s cookbook style items: Jell-O Molds, entrees with two kinds of meat in one dish, roll #$%@ up in ham, use fancy toothpicks. OR, theme your dishes after 1950s pop songs. For example: “And They Called it Puppy Chow”, “Johnny Angel-Food Cake”, “Leader of the Pack-et Taco Seasoning”. That kind of thing.

Extras: Station someone in the bathroom to hide out and offer people cigarettes or give them swirlies. Call everyone’s parents to pick them up.

3. Love Potion #9 Party

It’s possible that your guests don’t really feel like dressing up. In which case, a Love Potion #9 party is the one for you. You can go as simple as a punch bowl with a Post-It that reads “Hey guys this is love potion”, or really get into it and throw a Mad Scientist /Gypsy blowout.

Invites and Decoration: Just call your friends and invite them. Haven’t I thought of enough ideas for you? Decorate your home like a bordello: scarves draped over stuff, lots of lamps, incense burning, and some sort of glass globe (magic ball) or tarot cards strewn about. Designate someone Madame Ruth (you know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth?) to pass out random future readings to people. Definitely designate a makeout room with trippy music playing in case your guests start “kissin’ everything in sight”.

Food and Drink: This seems to me mostly a drinking party. Mix up several different punches of all different colors (use food dye to make them really distinct). If you want to stay true to the song, mix one punch up “right here in the sink”. Place cards in front of each punch that says what type of “potion” it is: Love Potion, Unrequited Love Elixir, Stalker’s Brew, Tonic for Commitment-phobes. Include little snacks to soak up somma that potion so no one get’s pulled over by “a cop down at Thirty Fourth and Vine” on the way home.

Extras: Do NOT actually drug people.

That’s all for now! I won’t invite myself if you throw one of these, but I will hold it against you forever if you don’t let me come.

Adventures of Robot & Bird:Holiday Ornaments Part 2

14 Dec

Turn around. Every now and then I get a little bit awesome at creating orname-eh-eh-ehnts. Turn around. Every now and then I get a little bit awesome at maaaking kickass glitter roBOTS! Turn around! Every now and then I go on k-razy binges and do nothing but make cool ornaments! TURN AROUND! Every now and I make a stuffed bird from felt and then I see the joy in my neice’s eyes!

Turn around, Santa.

EVERY NOW AND THEN I AM THE BEST!

Turn around, Martha.

EVERY NOW AND THEN I AM THE BEST!

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We’ll Hot Glue Your Bulbs, Together!: Holiday Ornaments Part 1

7 Dec

Guys, I found my hot glue gun! Annie got her gun. Maaaa ha.

I had a sneaking suspicion it was in our storage room, but to get there, I have to go outside and down creepy steps and into a musty dark room that may or may not be a huge cardboard condominium space for mice, and I just wasn’t in the mood, thankyouverymuch, to venture down there. But after some time (it was a full week) of trying to use inferior glue for my projects, I mustered up the courage and charged on over, making sure to bring a thwapping stick to ward off any potential critters. I came back with my gun PLUS a folder of old collages I made. I am excellent at making collages. But never mind that. On with the show!

The return of my old pal Glue Gun inspired me to make some awesome holiday ornaments for my fam and friends. Tree ornaments make excellent gifts for the following reasons:

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Candy Season: The Authier Family’s Tricky Treats

29 Oct

It’s FREE candy season, a celebration I still FREEly take part in, even as an adult because I cannot turn down free treats. Doesn’t matter if I’m not hungry or if I already have a bellyache from the free treats I consumed moments earlier. If there’s a bowl of Sweet Tarts or a popcorn ball or even those gross black and orange wrapped half-taffy/half-regurgitated peanut things, I’m going to eat them all because somewhere in the back of my mind there’s a 7-year-old dressed up like a cat for the third year in a row screaming, “TAKE THE CANDY! FREE CANDY! HOARD IT AND PULL OUT THE NAME-BRAND PIECES AT LUNCH TO IMPRESS PEOPLE!”

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Pop the Bubbly: Cheap and Distracting Fun for Kids

16 Aug

You’ve been to the zoo, the farmer’s market, the fireworks, and the water park. You tried to start a fun summer school thing, but it never really took off after the nature walk lesson you planned where it took you a half hour just to get everyone sunscreened and bug-sprayed and the neighbor kid complained the whole time and no one could find the right shape of leaf to trace and you ended up getting them ice cream in the hopes that they would become lethargic enough to pass out on the sun-porch while you dabbed calomine lotion on your mosquito bites and cried to yourself.

If the only activity you’ve got left up your sleeve is crossing off the calendar days until school starts again, if  you started empathizing with Betty Draper when you watch Mad Men on Netflix Watch Instantly,  if you’ve found yourself yelling, “Godblessit, can I just finish my damn wine cooler?”,  then you are officially sick of your kids.

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Ask Thriftfulness: Smell Ya Later?

1 Jul

Patti from Chicago writes:

Q: I’ve been meaning to ask you this.. what can I do with old perfume bottles?  This one is little but I just know there’s something cool I could do with it.  I can’t bring myself to throw it away.

Kind of Smelly in Chicago,

Patti

A: Oh Patti, from nostalgic t-shirts to that part of the Kleenex I didn’t get any snot on, I’ve so often uttered the phrase “I can’t bring myself to throw it away.” Especially when it comes to things I’m convinced could have a brilliant “second act”. Just ask my collection of other people’s driveway rocks, or unpaired earrings, or gently used sandwich bags.

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Emotional Record Organizing for Lovers

28 Apr

“Beautiful music evokes sentimental memories and a nostalgia that can recapture tender nuggets of romance”. I picked that up from the liner notes in my copy of Jackie Gleason Presents Music to Make You Misty. It’s super cheesy and the woman on the cover of the album quite obviously has droplets of dried Elmer’s glue on her face as a stand-in for real tears, but Mr. Gleason has a point. Songs can sway your mood or help you really dig into your current one. Feeling like you might rob a liquor store just to get out of this godforsaken town? You’ll be humming Springsteen when you do. Getting ready for a job interview, an awkward breakup, or anything else that feels epic at the time? Something by Queen will suffice. Boxing up your ex’s crap? May I suggest “You Better Call Tyrone“?

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Momma Musta Took the Kodachrome Away: Found Pictures Lamp

14 Mar

A couple of years ago, when I was living in Chicago, I spent a Sunday afternoon strolling the neighborhood garage sales and buying as much as I could carry back to my house for as much money as I had in my pocket which was/is never more than $11. I spend a lot of Sunday afternoons doing this and, since I’ve recently become unemployed, I imagine I’ll spend a lot of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons doing it too. But on this particular Sunday, on a tiny corner of a picnic table, was a dirty plastic bag of film negatives with no price-tag. The garage salesman didn’t even look like he recognized them, so he gave them to me for free. It slightly resembled the scene from “Little Shop of Horrors” when Seymour finds Audrey 2. Da doo.

Shang da doo.

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Thriftfulness Home: A New Home For Ma’ War Paint

29 Jan

There’s an old Lorrie Morgan song called “War Paint” about (and this is just me attempting to interpret the many complex metaphors of this song) putting on makeup in order get back out “on the path” to pick up a new man. Battle preparation, getting ready for the bar, same thing really.

My own collection of war paint was outgrowing the travel-size carrying case I was holding it in. And we all know you can’t keep war paint locked away. If I wanted to be prepared for the war path (AKA, dinner date with my fiance), I was going to have to have my eyeliner at the ready. What I really needed was a Kaboodle, but I had given my last one of those away around the same time Lorrie Morgan married her fourth husband. What’s a warrior/girl to do?

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I’m Spendin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas: Kiddie Gift Ideas on the Cheap

15 Dec

Of the many many prestigious titles I hold (Domestic Macgyver, Queen of Sanford 2000, Person Who Knows a Surprisingly Large Amount of Information about B-List Actors), the one I’m most proud of is Favorite Aunt. Duties of Favorite Aunt include: rubbing your favored-ness in other aunt’s faces, keeping on top of Sponge Bob trivia, and providing awesome holiday gifts, the last of which, I’m going to discuss today.

Walking through the toy aisle during this time of year, it’s easy to fill your cart with big-faced dolls, computer games, and various movie-themed Lego sets. The problem is filling your wallet with the money to walk out of the store without getting tackled by a plain-clothed security card.

A girl can’t defer the student loan bill in the name of Bratz dolls. And she can’t spend Christmas hand-cuffed in the Target security office either. That’s why I’ve thought of some cheap but very thoughtful gift ideas for the little rugrats over the years. The following kiddie gifts are kid-tested and Favorite Aunt approved.  Because I have 9 nieces and nephews and another one on the way, I’ve given ya’ll 10 ideas:

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