Monday, January 23, 2012

In Celebration of Love and Martyred Saints

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. 
Personally, I adopt as many celebrations as possible, be they Catholic, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist or Muppet.  We get one real shot at this life and I like to think that, while I celebrate every day I wake up, there's always room for more reasons to celebrate.  If one or more of those "holidays" can be exploited by consumeristic, profiteering, mass-production businesses, then by golly, they can sure be exploited by me.

To that end, here's a few things you may, or may not have known about Valentine's Day:

  • Many believe the 'X' symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn't write their names signed in front of a witness with an 'X.' The 'X' was then kissed to show their sincerity.
  • Casanova, well known as "The World's Greatest Lover," ate chocolate to make him virile.
  • Physicians of the 1800's commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.
  • Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S.
  • Every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
  • Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight. (Source: Hallmark research)
  • 112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2008. (My own Vegas elopement was in 2009)
  • So many couples "tie the knot" in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it's total population that year among states was 35th.
  • 53% of women in America would dump their boyfriends if they did not get them anything for Valentine's Day
  • Approximately one billion Valentines are sent out worldwide each year according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association. That's second only to Christmas.
  • Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all Valentines.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
  • Men spend double what women spend on Valentine's day: $158.71 compared to $75.79
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day
  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again
  • According to a Durex survey, condom sales are highest around Valentine's Day -- 20 to 30% more than usual
  • More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month

Need some ideas or inspiration?

*   One year I wrote 100 reasons why I love my man - I printed them out and cut them in to little strips and used them to replace the flags of Hershey's kisses.  (Yes, I had to un-wrap and re-wrap them all.)

*   Post-it makes some heart-shaped sticky notes that I use all year to leave spontaneous happy notes for both my husband and son.

*   I use a dry-erase marker to write notes on bathroom mirrors.

*   When my guys go on trips I sneak notes and/or candies in to their bags or coat pockets.  I've also been know to put them in their shoes in the morning.

Here's a few other goodies I've found:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I'm reposting this from a tumblr blog post by Lindsey - I was afraid the link might disappear, so I pasted it in it's entirety because the bottom line it this:  How you look and how you feel and how you see both and compare it to others is distorted. 
no shit.
This weekend I was told a story which, although I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, because holy shit is it ever obvious, is kind of blowing my mind.
A friend of a friend won a free consultation with Clinton Kelly of What Not To Wear, and she was very excited, because she has a plus-size body, and wanted some tips on how to make the most of her wardrobe in a fashion culture which deliberately puts her body at a disadvantage.

Her first question for him was this: how do celebrities make a plain white t-shirt and a pair of weekend jeans look chic?  She always assumed it was because so many celebrities have, by nature or by design, very slender frames, and because they can afford very expensive clothing.  But when she watched What Not To Wear, she noticed that women of all sizes ended up in cute clothes that really fit their bodies and looked great.  She had tried to apply some guidelines from the show into her own wardrobe, but with only mixed success.  So - what gives?

His answer was that everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear.  Jeans, blazers, dresses - everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles.  He pointed out that historically, up until the last few generations, the vast majority of people either made their own clothing or had their clothing made by tailors and seamstresses.  You had your clothing made to accommodate the measurements of your individual body, and then you moved the fuck on.  Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered.  He said that what they do is ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit.  That’s how celebrities have jeans that magically fit them all over, and the rest of us chumps can’t ever find a pair that doesn’t gape here or ride up or slouch down or have about four yards of extra fabric here and there.

I knew that having dresses and blazers altered was probably something they were doing, but to me, having alterations done generally means having my jeans hemmed and then simply living with the fact that I will always be adjusting my clothing while I’m wearing it because I have curves from here to ya-ya, some things don’t fit right, and the world is just unfair that way.  I didn’t think that having everything tailored was something that people did. 

It’s so obvious, I can’t believe I didn’t know this.  But no one ever told me.  I was told about bikini season and dieting and targeting your “problem areas” and avoiding horizontal stripes.  No one told me that Jennifer Aniston is out there wearing a bigger size of Ralph Lauren t-shirt and having it altered to fit her.

I sat there after I was told this story, and I really thought about how hard I have worked not to care about the number or the letter on the tag of my clothes, how hard I have tried to just love my body the way it is, and where I’ve succeeded and failed.  I thought about all the times I’ve stood in a fitting room and stared up at the lights and bit my lip so hard it bled, just to keep myself from crying about how nothing fits the way it’s supposed to.  No one told me that it wasn’t supposed to.  I guess I just didn’t know.  I was too busy thinking that I was the one that didn’t fit.

I thought about that, and about all the other girls and women out there whose proportions are “wrong,” who can’t find a good pair of work trousers, who can’t fill a sweater, who feel excluded and freakish and sad and frustrated because they have to go up a size, when really the size doesn’t mean anything and it never, ever did, and this is just another bullshit thing thrown in your path to make you feel shitty about yourself.

I thought about all of that, and then I thought that in elementary school, there should be a class for girls where they sit you down and tell you this stuff before you waste years of your life feeling like someone put you together wrong.

So, I have to take that and sit with it for a while.  But in the meantime, I thought perhaps I should post this, because maybe my friend, her friend, and I are the only clueless people who did not realise this, but maybe we’re not.  Maybe some of you have tried to embrace the arbitrary size you are, but still couldn’t find a cute pair of jeans, and didn’t know why.

About the author

Lindsay, 25, Canadian, hunkered down just west of the 100th meridian. College drop-out. Spinster. I like old things and television, animals and pretty things, food and Friday Night Lights, history and politics. I care about stuff, which means I get angry and wordy sometimes. I like to tell pointless stories which highlight my social incompetence and flaws in a way I pray is charming but is more likely obnoxious. This is an "everything but the kitchen sink" blog. Sometimes there is a kitchen sink, too.

I blog about music at
chainlinklots, and about food at justaddhotsauce

Thursday, January 5, 2012

WOW Deals I'm compelled to share


   Every now and then I come across a great deal and I'm literally compelled to pass it on -

If you're in the Boise, ID area, Groupon has another WOW deal on 5 laser hair removal treatments for $99 to get your underarms done. (This place and most others charge around $500 regularly.) Click here> Boise Groupon

Also, A little site I found called NETAYA has some unbelievable daily deals on jewelry - I gave myself a present of a pair of 1 ct. natural blue topaz earrings and a matching pendant plus a sterling silver chain for $10 each!   They have a an adorable sterling and diamond bow pendant on a sterling box chain for $20 bucks and free shipping!  (USE CODE NYR5 at checkout to get the deal on the bow pendant.)
Click here >  

Overstock had a 1" memory foam mattress topper in a CA King size for $20!  (For that price you could get 2, fold 'em in 4ths, put 'em in a funky print twin sheet sewn around the edges and make an amazing gaming lounge pillow chair for the kids!)

Everyday at 12 ET NoMoreRack will post their deals and some are pretty great (Others are just Meh and some are actually just cheap shtuff)  But it's worth a look in case they happen to post one of those super great deals (like the leather tote I got for $10 or the Green Peridot earrings I bought for only $7) Best of all, shipping is just $2 for each item.

Today they had a 10-pack of lace scraps for only $24 that'd be great for crafting and scrapbooking! 

Click here > 

Alrighty, that's all I've got time for right now, but if you want me to send you some other stuff I get in my DOD emails, let me know.