A Grace Full Life

11.21.2014

What I Wish People Would Write On Facebook

I would like to credit my friend and fellow writer, Alison Lee for this idea, this brilliant idea.
She wrote this post back in October about random thoughts and ideas that don't make it onto Facebook.

So I commented: 


 I have a way with words....

Then a few days later, Alison wrote:



So if Alison Lee says to please do it, you do it!
Because Alison Lee is awesome.
And so pretty.
I am not a stalker.
She is glad she lives in Malaysia. 
Far, far from me.



I could have gone the "real life statuses that don't make it Facebook route" but I went another way.
The "OMG the things that would mortify us if people knew" route.
The "things that are so hilariously wrong that they are so right" route.
Welcome to my brain, open 24 hours a day and on holidays as well.










































































Have a great weekend!

11.17.2014

Flat Kari. Let's See What That Crazy Minx Has Been Up To

I know what you are thinking.....I dropped the ball.
On Flat Kari.
Don't pretend you haven't been paying attention.
I know you care.

To be fair, I didn't really drop the ball.
I made a spreadsheet type list, I typed up an email to those who volunteered to take "her" for a few weeks.
I sent out the messages, stayed on top of people to get "her" to the next destination, I did maneuvering.
MANEUVERING, PEOPLE.
I was on my A game.

But then I got lazy.
And tired.
And hungry.
Okay that has nothing to do with anything.
Anyway, my hosts would share the pictures on Facebook and I figured, hey, if its on Facebook, its as good as a blog post.
Amiright??

Only, it wasn't on my BLOG Facebook page.

Then I thought, I really should be writing posts about these Facebook pictures.
My hosts were going to delicious extremes in some cases to put pictures of me out there.
And I let them down.
Hanging head in shame.


So without further adieu, here is where "I" have been!
First stop, my friend Melanie's home in Illinois.....




According to Melanie, my hand "pissed off" her cat Monkey.
It's alright Monkey, I piss myself off too.
A lot. 





But Clementine liked me.
You are my favorite...shhhhh.



OMG Melanie's captions made me laugh.

"Kari does yoga. Wow, she's so bendy with her brass joints! Namaste, bitches."

She really needs to write my blog.







This you need to know, I LOVE CRACKER BARREL.
LOVE.
Like, I go in there and literally act like a child.
OOOH DID YOU SEE THE MONKEY THAT CLANGS THE CYMBALS?!?!?
OOH OOH OOH DID YOU SEE THE GOO GOO CLUSTERS?!?!?
OOOH OOOOH OOOOOH DO YOU SMELL THE FIREPLACE?!?!?!

BRING ME THE HASH BROWN CASSEROLE.
Said in my best James Earl Jones voice.


Since we last saw "her", Flat Kari has been lots of places.
All over the Chicago suburbs, Texas, Arizona, Outer Banks, Washington D.C., central Ohio, New York and even Finland.
I get A-ROUND.





I modeled for the newest line of apple cider.
Not really.
This is the apple orchard from my childhood, in Ohio.
Cue the sounds of harp music and send in the deer.
What?
That is how I picture my childhood!
Allison knows all about product placement.
She should work for the government or something.
Speaking of the government.....




She took me to D.C.
And drew dots on my dress and shoes on my feet.
STYLIN'.
Oh by the way, mad props to my friend Kari who made the above ensemble for me!
I don't dress like that in real life.
I should but I don't.
I wear things like overalls.
And leggings with holes in them.
With 10 year old fake crocs I got at Walmart.







I got to go to Outer Banks with my friend Vikki and her sweet family.
There are so many more pictures from this trip.
But I couldn't find them on Facebook when I went back to look.
Or find in a file she sent to me back in August.
Yes, I know I am an adult.
Who blogs.
Who doesn't know how to find crap on my computer.





I got to photo bomb my friend Meggan's family picture.







I went fishing with her too.
And no there aren't any snakes in that bucket.
In case you were wondering.






I got to spend a week with one of my favorite family's and my spirit animal, Reeses.
By the way, that is the look she gives me every time she sees me.
And if I were small enough, I would totally spoon on her back like that. 




I got tatted up with my "second head", Paulette.


Me and my second head. I loves her so.






I also got drunk and slept in a sock.
Which is the paper version of sleeping in the bath tub.







I went indoor sky diving....with.....myself?







I got to dress up like a princess with my friends Andrea and Lillian!








I became a phallic symbol at an apple farm in New York.






And I had a spa day with some friends.


My biggest adventure in terms of travel is the one I am currently on in Finland with my friend Eva.




I look so at home there.
Isn't it beautiful?
"I" may end up staying there forever.



Yes.
Staying forever.


As I am writing this, another Flat Kari is on a plane to Las Vegas with my friend Jackie!
I can't wait to hear what happens.......or maybe I will never know.......wink wink. 


Over the past six months, "I" have been to California, a place I have always wanted to visit, seen friends who I have never met in person.
"I" have seen Hollywood homes, visited Johnny Cash's home, eaten at In and Out Burger, had special jewelry made for me.
"I" got to sit in first class for the first time ever, touch a real live cactus and go on a business trip.
"I" got to hang out with the Red Hat Society, snuggled with many dogs, and got to go on a photo shoot for a magazine.
"I" got to do Irish dancing, go to a blogging conference in California, and meet a famous blogger/author.
"I" got to see the Outer Banks with a family that I want to adopt me, flirt with a tour guide and got to help take a child to college for the first time.
"I" went on a choo choo all the way from Ohio to Washington DC, visited the ice cream/hamburger stand my brother had his first job and ran into old high school friends.
"I" went on many airplane rides, rode in many vehicles and became part of your families. 
I adore visiting new places, but unfortunately I don't get to travel as much as I would love to,  so through all of you, I have.
It has made my heart swell with love every time "I" have gone somewhere with you.
I have felt like I have been right by your side through all of "my" journeys.
Thank you for that.


Please forgive me if any of your pictures didn't show up here over the past six months.
Not all of them were easily found on Facebook, so if you would like your pictures from my visit to be on the blog, you can email them to me and I will do that!
Thank you to all of my amazing friends and family who wanted to be a part of this.
I didn't have to bribe any of you to take me, you welcomed me into your homes, your family vacations, business trips and personal lives.
It was so much fun to watch, so thank you from the bottom of my paper heart.


If anyone is still interested in hosting "me" going forward, you can always reach out to me via email.
There are currently four versions out there and I have none on me as of now because hello, paper me is a lot more fun than flesh and blood me.
Not really but paper me has better manners.

For more Flat Kari adventures, head here




11.14.2014

We All Want to Be The "Monica". Happy Thanksgiving Netflix.

If you have never seen an episode of Friends, the beginning of this post won't make any sense.
Hang in there until the next paragraph.
But if you have seen Friends, you will know all about the Thanksgiving shows.
I truly believe it is this television show that inspired this whole "Friendsgiving" trend.
When I was in my early twenties watching Friends while it was still on NBC, I loved that they all ate Thanksgiving dinner together.
Then I was all, "wait a minute.... where the heck is their family?"

It was all mysterious and Charlie Brown-like.
You know, WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!?!? 
Because back in the early nineties, I had plenty of family around.
Some to spare, even!
So a "friendsgiving" wasn't even on my radar back then.
Why would you not spend Thanksgiving with your......family?

Its been almost 20 years since then and now I get it.
Because with family living so far away, it isn't always easy to get together for holidays.
Last year was the first time I had ever spent a Thanksgiving with friends.
Oh yes, my immediate family was with me, but it was the first time we had spent a turkey dinner away from our home with people who weren't blood related and you know what?
It was so much fun!
There was even someone named Rachel there!
Totally Friends-like. 


So in honor of Thanksgiving and friends, Netflix has you covered with some cool friend duo's.

Like Rory and Lorelai.

 Gilmore Girls


Okay they aren't technically "friends" even though they act more like friends than mom and daughter. 
But they do go to Thanksgiving at friends' homes.
Plural.


Or Chris and Martin!


Wild Kratts


Crap, they aren't friends either.
Brothers.
But I like to think they are good friends.
At least they seem that way.
Maybe it's all that good animal/wildlife ju ju.

Vada and Thomas??
OMG.


My Girl


Only don't watch this before the turkey.
Or you will be all sniffly and junk.
And not be able to fully appreciate the magical qualities of the tryptophan.



By the way, every season of Friends is coming to Netflix January, 1st.
I think you know what I will be doing on New Years Day.
So get out your stretchy pants, the Netflix remote and sit around with your family/friends and have an amazing Thanksgiving.
Monica would want it that way.






I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. Meaning, for the next year, once a month I will be writing posts about how my family is using our Netflix. They provided me with a Roku and a voucher for my Netflix account.

11.10.2014

Dollar Store Thanksgiving Table. How NOT to Be a Turkey.

Thanksgiving isn't a holiday I like to spend a lot of money on, decoration wise.
Because I want to save my money for the food.
That should be a life lesson or something or BIG WORD ALERT an edict.
I hereby proclaim that from now on, we shall not blow our wad on honeycomb brown centerpiece turkeys!
No more orange leaf garlands and tan napkins!
Save your money to get the good turkey, the brand name Stove Top stuffing, the corn with the salt added!

I am here to help.
Consider me the Olivia Pope of your Thanksgiving decor department.
By the way, Scandal??
Holy crap. 
I won't go into it here because I don't want to talk about peeling you like a grape amid the turkey and broccoli casserole.
But you need to watch this.
Even if only for the hot president.
Which, by the way, I could not STAND Tony Goldwyn until this show.
Because of the smarmy role he played in Ghost.
Yes, I hold movie role grudges. 

You do not need a Pottery Barn tablecloth.
Put down the Restoration Hardware chair covers.
Step away from the World Market place card holders.
Just say no and head to your local dollar store.
I am not going to name the store I personally used because for years I did.
And gave said dollar store lots of free advertising.
Use your own discretion because not all dollar stores are the same.
Mine has only one dollar items but I think sometimes the stores that are five dollars and under have better goods.



The first plan? Going in with a plan.
If you go to the dollar store without a budget or an idea of what you want, you will end up with what will look like Mardi Gras in your cart.
Beads, bows and crap.
Go in with a plan.



I knew I wanted a simple place setting.
I didn't want it to look too leafy, fall, pumpkiny.
I wanted items I could re purpose or reuse for Christmas.




I also bought items for my Christmas table as well and this is why: I am cheap.
And I like things easy.
AND if you buy these things early enough, you get the ability to be both cheap AND easy.
Wink, wink.

Here is what I came up with:





I used a white plastic tablecloth as a runner, added a simple ribbon on top of that, both of them from the dollar store.
The tray, rocks, candles and candle holders were all a dollar each.
The chargers, I bought at Walmart four years ago after Christmas for a buck each, the white china plates from the dollar store three years ago.
The glass bowls and plates on top of the dinner plates?
Dollar store.
I love how vintage and clean they look and I want to make out with the fact that I only spent a dollar a piece on those bad boys.
The cardboard letters are from the craft store, I got an entire box of letters for $2.99 less 50% off. 

Total spent on this table?
24 dollars.
That is for EVERYTHING, including each individual plate and dish.




Here is another idea.....




Using tissue paper as a place mat.
I bought the above paper at a craft store near me for 99 cents.
I see the wrinkles, so if you don't like wrinkly things, set this out the night before and let it naturally flatten out.


I took black river rocks bought at my local dollar store and placed them on the corners of the tissue paper.
You could add little pieces of chalk tied up with raffia to this place setting so your guests could write on the rocks.
You know, words like GRATEFUL or THANKS or LOVE.
But in my home, the chalk would be used to write words like FART or SPORK or CARCASS.
We like weird words that sound like swear words.
It's fun, try it.


So pretty.
Wait!




Yes, that's more like it.


Here are some dollar store standbys that I swear by:


- silverware. If you are hosting big dinners or potlucks for the holidays, these are great. If you lose them, give them away, drop them in the dog dish? Who cares! Two pieces for a dollar and if you know how much silverware costs full price, you will know that is a good deal.

- dinnerware. I have had those white china looking plates for three years. I have used them for three Christmases, one Thanksgiving and two Easter's. A dollar a plate. I love these so much. They don't carry this style of plate year round so keep your eye's out for special plates around the holiday's. I also use their other plates for plate racks in my home or for fun parties that you don't want to invest in an expensive dinner ware change.

- plastic tablecloths. NO ONE CARES IF IT IS FABRIC. Repeat that. Because at the end of a big dinner, the last thing I want to think about is stain treating a nice fabric table cloth. I also don't want to spend it doing butt tons of dishes but no one has invented really beautiful disposable dinner ware/ bake wear. Yet.

So this year, spend extra on the yummy food not the table where you will eat it.
And save some carcass for me.
Spork.
Fart.


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