Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cat Bearding

Are you a Crazy Cat Person? If you are, you must have heard of Cat Bearding by now! It's a fabulous trend where you put your cat under your chin and snap a picture so it looks like the kitty's mouth is actually your beard! For example:

Naturally, I had to enter my local paper's Pet Selfie Contest because, let's face it, this is perfect. 

If you love my picture, will you do me a solid and vote? I would be your bestest cat lady friend! 

Even if you don't vote for me, I definitely think you should take some cat bearding pictures of you and your best feline friend. 

Have a fur-tastic day!!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

J. K. Rowling Comments on Ron and Hermione's Relationship

Image credit to this site

Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard that in a recent interview, J. K. Rowling admits that she regrets Ron and Hermione's relationship. She stated that she wanted the books to end up in the way she originally planned and that it was more for her own personal reasons to have the pair end up with each other. Obviously, there have been millions of fans crying their eyes out and smashing the nearest breakables upon hearing the confession. Despite that, I can't say that I was one of them.

Do I think Ron and Hermione are compatible? Yes. I think they are the epitome of "opposites attract." Hermione has always been the one to keep him in line (except for that dreadful time in book 6) and Ron is the one who keeps things light and not too serious. On the other hand, Jo admits in this interview that Ron and Hermione would eventually need relationship counseling. Though it almost sounds like their relationship falls apart, it also shows that they are fighters and they're not afraid of putting their whole hearts into making it work. Also, they're still together in the epilogue. Boom.

Do I cry every time I see or read about their first kiss? Of course I do, who doesn't? Although, I'm also known to cry over episodes of Modern Family. But JUST because I'm an easy crier, doesn't mean I don't cherish their love for one another. When you think about it, they really do have a classic, pure, and timeless love story

Yes, Ron and Hermione are cute, but even when I was young, I was not that impressed with Ron. I always hoped that Hermione would end up with Harry. I was sure Jo would grant my wish at the end of Goblet of Fire when she kissed him on the cheek. All I could think of was, "this is it!!" and of course, it wasn't.

Anyway, what do you all think? Are you heartbroken? Did you have a feeling of "Duh Jo, what took you so long?!" Are you indifferent? Who would you choose for Ron and Hermione? I'm not sure who'd be a perfect match for Ron, but Hermione, girl you know what I think!


Smart, nerdy, and a quiet warrior: Neville Longbottom. Both of them started out as dorks and they both ended up outstandingly beautiful. Neville and Hermione also have two of the biggest hearts in all the series. How could you go wrong? Also, they would have some gorgeous babies.


"I have a hard time seeing people get so furiously angry over this situation. 

For example, haven't you ever made a mistake that you regretted? It seemed all well and good at the time, but when you're older and wiser, you realize you should have made another choice. We may have all read the books, time and time again, yet Harry's head is the only one we've ever been inside. We don't know what goes on inside Ron's and Hermione's; and even though we have seen Harry's thoughts, we most definitely haven't seen all of them. 

Jo is the only one who has.

She is Harry. She is Ron. She is Hermione. Maybe in the time she's had to reflect, she understands that Hermione and Ron would no longer make each other happy they way they wanted or the way they thought. I wish people would treat it more like Ron and Hermione announcing a break up instead of Jo trying to rewrite the books (because that's not what she is doing at all). Once again, she is giving a voice to the characters we all love and have grown up with to say how they're feeling these days. Yes it's sad, but it's not Jo's fault.

I refuse to believe this is a cry for attention or publicity stunt. If there is anyone who would never NEED one, it's her. Really the only thing that bothers me is that people are getting so angry about it." 

Tell me what you think!! Potter on ;)


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reasons to Love Otters

Happy New Year! I am quite saddened that I haven't written a blog since 2013! This is awful news. I was thinking about what to blog and I've decided on my favorite animal: otters!

Otter friend I drew with my Samsung Galaxy Note III

They are just the cutest little creatures I've ever seen. I fell in love with them when Good Morning America had some baby otters on their show a couple of years ago. I'm also happy to report that otters are becoming more and more loved every day. Even just a few months ago if I Googled "otters," I would be faced with the same 25 pictures over and over again. Now, go ahead, Google them and let your eyes feast on the abundance of precious, furry, water babies!

Here are some personal reasons why I love otters, and why you should too ;)

*They are super playful! They spend a lot of time sliding on mud or ice.

*As I said before, they're a-flippin-dorable.

*They eat seafood, and as a true Cape Codder, I love me some clams!

*Otters are excellent swimmers, obviously, and swimming is so wonderful for the body and soul.

*JK Rowling's favorite animal is an otter. Let the record show that I did not know this until AFTER I fell in love with them, so I'm not being a copy cat. And yet, having the same favorite animal as my hero is pretty magical.

*Yet another Potter reference: Hermione's Patronus is an otter, what what!

*Last one: Ron's last name is Weasley...weasel...otters are weasels...there you go.

*Their brown fur looks perfect against the blue-green hue of the ocean

*Otters have the best memes. End of story.

*Webbed paws. Need I say more?

*They hold hands while sleeping in the water so they don't float away from each other. Yes this is true! And while looking this up to make sure this wasn't just another Pinterest rumor, I found this fantastic website with so much information on Sea Otters and this one on River Otters, YAY!

*One of the best things about Otters though, is that they are making a huge comeback! The National Wildlife Federation stated that their habitats have been restored and that scientists are returning them to the places they used to live.

*Also, my cat reminds me of them.


I hope you liked my happy little rant of the happy little mammals that make me jump for joy. How do you feel about otters? What is your favorite animal and why? Let me know in the comments!!

Have a happy and stress-free week!


Monday, December 30, 2013

When We Were Young

These were my favorite games to play growing up! Read on for more classic activities of a childhood without video games

Today I was watching an episode of the Brady Bunch whilst enjoying a steaming mug of hot cocoa during this lovely Winter Vacation from school. One of the scenes cut to Peter and Bobby having a contest of who could cast a fishing line and land the lure in the target (which was a bucket). I began to think to myself how innately creative children are, and yet in modern times, their minds are not exercised to use that creativity to its full potential. A conversation that I was having with a dear friend and colleague (yes, you, Theresa!) sprang into my mind: so often children have the thinking done for them in play, that they rarely get a chance to think for themselves. With the widespread use of batteries, electronics, screens, and buttons with very specific and very limited buttons in toys, playtime is becoming less and less developmentally helpful. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a tech junkie! I'm in front of a screen more than I should be during any given day...yet I wasn't brought up that way. My creativity and brain flexibility survived, and I believe it was because of my lack of video games throughout my childhood.

Wow, that was a long rant. Anyway, this is NOT supposed to be a scholarly post, but a fun one! That Brady Bunch episode inspired me to compile all the fun games I used to play when I was little into a list for a rainy day...or a power outage! :) I remember being entertained in the same game or dramatic play literally for hours as a child...whereas these days, kids are involved with an activity for a half hour and then they're bored. Actually, that reminded me of my last (or maybe not) scholarly point: I heard on the radio recently that the heavy use of technology actually lowers attention span! Think about it: Are you on your smartphone often? When are you most commonly on your phone? Waiting in line? Commercial breaks? Dare I ask, at a red light? We are so used to being occupied by something that we, as a society, are finding it harder and harder to just do nothing. Go ahead, try to do nothing for one minute, I bet you'll want to pick up that phone after about 20 seconds.

ANYWAY here is my list, broken into categories. No more tangents for me!...Yet... :)

Wait, one tiny side-note: worried your kids won't be into it? Make it into a mini Bucket List to complete over a power outage or school vacation! Do it with them! And while you're playing with them, don't forget to act as immaturely as you acted 30 years ago ;)

*Clay- For the multi-talented artist, make some salt dough so their creation can bake and then be painted
*Design clothing- so fun for your little Fashionista or Fashionisto!
*Writing songs: Let me tell you. My 3 best friends from Middle School and I were in a band. It. Was. The. Sh!+. Kathryn, Molly, Sam, and I were the Ice Girlz (obviously inspired by the genius 90s band the Spice Girls). We would take popular songs and rewrite our own lyrics to them. We wrote them, practiced them, choreographed them, and preformed them. I am shocked that we are not sitting in our Ice Girlz mansion because we were fantastic. Just saying.
*Teach your kids to crochet or knit: This just leads to MORE hours of handmade, creative fun

Dramatic Play
--These are such great ways to practice social interactions!
*Trolls!! (Thanks Jen!) Or any other action figure/doll you can think of
*Play House
*Play School
*Play Store
*Play Doctor
*Playing Salon: I mean...the possibilities are endless. M, J, and I used to play this at the No-Electronics-Allowed Yacht Club they belong to. They would give each other manicures, pedicures, hair styles, massages, and they would have done make up, I'm sure, if we'd had it there. Who doesn't love free spa treatment?! I was always ready to play salon! ;)
*Raft Game: I have no idea where I got the idea for this game, but it's a Christie Millar Original. I would spread a blanket out on the floor, get all my beanie babies and a couple pillows. The blanket would be the raft, the beanie babies: the crew, and the pillows: the cabin. We would sail stormy seas, discover uncharted islands, and go weeks without eating anything but fish! Not sure why that was such a fun game for me because in real life it sounds almost dreadful, but it was my favorite!

Indoor Movement/Outside Games
*Water gun fight: I'm not talking, let's get in a line and spray water...I'm talking military tactic, hunt you down and soak you, water gun fight.
*Bike adventures
*Red Rover
*Capture the flag
*Manhunt (Thanks Niki, Molly, Tom, and Gerri!)
*Go for walks-I feel like this was our original chat room since it was more of a social event than an exercise event
*Host your own Olympics Games (Thanks Sarah!)
*Street Hockey (thanks Dad!) or any other organized sport...but probably not taking place in the street these days, depending on what kind of road you live on.

Indoor Games
*Slinky Races (provided you have a staircase)...need I say more?
*House- wide hide and seek (this would be REALLY fun in a power outage)
*Board games- any good ol' classic board games!
*Create your own game! For example, the first game I'll create will be to upcycle a Monopoly board to Harry Potter Monopoly!

*Building a fort
*Building SOMETHING (Legos, blocks, LINCOLN LOGS!!) Architecture at its finest.
*Making fairy houses...No! Not the kits! I mean go into your back yard and scavenge for items like a REAL fairy would do ;) No manmade materials! You need something stuck together? Get some sap. You need to tie something? I hope you have long blades of grass in your yard.
*Climbing Trees: Thrilling and an immense feeling of accomplishment! Also, good exercise :)
*Scavenger hunt
*Experiments (just please don't harm any animals!)

There are millions of other things to do, I'm sure. And if you've read this blog and you would like to contribute I ENCOURAGE you to email me, leave a comment, or find me on Pinterest and comment there.

Thanks so much for reading, and may your New Year be filled with love, health, happiness, and a good dose of creativity!

xo Christie

**Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the safety or well-being of any people participating in any of these games in their personal lives. It is a sad truth that some of these games are not as safe to play as they once were, so please be smart and safe in every choice you make!**

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"I'm thankful for..." Ornaments

About a month ago, I wrote a post about different Christmas Traditions you may want to start with your family or friends. My all-time favorite on the list was the "I'm thankful for..." ornaments. It's a dual-holiday tradition, so on Thanksgiving you all write why you're thankful for each other on a strip of paper. Before you decorate your tree, make ornaments our of the papers, and you can read them aloud while you adorn your tree with so much gratefulness!

I just HAD to start it this year. Before Thanksgiving, I made this image on Photoshop:
I opened a new file, set the paper size to US Letter, and used an image of ornaments from a Google search which I then reduced the opacity. Though I used Photoshop, I'm sure you could use Word just as easily. I printed and cut them out, and on Thanksgiving, we filled ours out together.

I went to one of the craft stores near me and bought:
A pack of glass ornaments (enough to have one ornament for each participant)
Some shredded glitter snow stuff, kind of like this
Opaque paint markers

I used a piece of paper as a funnel, stuffed some snow in, and shook it around to make it stick to the sides. Then I rolled the "I'm thankful for..." paper up and put it in the ornament. These were kind of a pain because the paper flopped around a lot. Next year, I think I'll leave extra room on the paper so I can make it wider...that might stop the rolling around. I've also thought about using fishing wire to "hang" it from the opening of the ornament. Not sure, I'll have to experiment. Last, I used the opaque markers to write the year on the bottom, very important! This is how they came out:

I'm in love with them! Can you five years, we'll have 15 ornaments of why we're thankful for one another. Now THAT is what Christmas is all about.

If you're looking for a slightly less pain-in-the-ass approach, you could just Mod-Podge the pieces of paper on to little wooden shapes you find at the craft store, paint them, glue on a ribbon, and be done with it! That would make them so much easier to read. Get creative!

TIP: If you do the craft snow, make sure a hand-vac is close by. That gets everywhere!

Hope you liked my ornaments just as much as I do. To you and yours, have the most wonderful Christmas Season!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Christmas Traditions

Tom and I always have super crazy holidays! Between visiting each of our parents' families, plus spending as much time with Molly, we are always go, go, go.

This year, we are going to try to slow things down to remember what the holidays are truly about: being with who you love. This led me to the idea of starting some Christmas Traditions that Tom and I can start together to continue when/if we decide to have a family together.

All of this brainstorming occurred when we were on our way home from a day trip to Maine, and we shared a lot of good ideas! Okay...mostly I shared and Tom listened ;) I loved talking about it so much, that I'd love to write it all down and share with you my thoughts. Maybe you could find something that would fit in with your family's holiday cheer!

Oh, look! Our first Christmas Tree in our first apartment! :)

Christmas Movie Marathon

-Kid Friendly (3 and up)
-At Home Activity 
-Easily Modified

Yes, this is one of the simpler ones on the list, but I love it! How nice does it sound to cozy up to your snuggle-bug to watch a few hours of Christmas movies actually ON Christmas? Just add some hot chocolate and cookies and you are set for a night of pure Christmas bliss! I don't know about you, but it seems that every year, Christmas comes and goes, leaving me feeling like I haven't watched a single movie. I'm so busy in the days leading up to it and surrounding it that I don't often find my tooshie planted in front of the TV for any yuletide programs. This reminds me of something I learned about Tom our first Christmas together: he'd never seen A Christmas Story!! You know, the classic that plays every Christmas Eve for 24 hours? Yup, that one. This would be a perfect tradition to start so you can always stay in touch with your favorites and welcome some new gems into your collection!!

Ahhh crockpot hot chocolate, Christmas movies, decorations, and a very helpful Molly!

Tee Shirt Making

-Kid Friendly (2 and up)
-Pet Friendly
-Not Expensive-Moderately Expensive
-Quiet or Boisterous
-At Home Activity
-Easily Modified

I don't know about you, but I'm familiar with the stress of "WHAT DO I WEAR ON CHRISTMAS?!" Well, you could nip that right in the bud with a homemade tee shirt tradition! A day or two before Christmas, maybe the weekend before, get together as a family to make a custom holiday tee. They can be as simple (strictly markers and paint) or creative (i.e. cutting up the tee and adding battery-powered Christmas lights) as you want!

If you have toddlers, you could use non toxic tempera paint and festive sponges or stamps for your little ones to decorate their hearts out! I just don't think you'd be able to wash it :( I'm sure you could look up the best ways for smaller children to decorate tees; I bet there's some genius mom who's figured it out!!

If you have mellow pets, make some shirts for them as well!

This tradition could be completed quietly talking among your family, or while blaring your favorite Christmas tunes!--I'll stick with the latter ;) And who says it has to be tee shirts? Maybe some year it will be jean jackets or baseball caps?! Mix it up!!

I'm Thankful for ____ Because... (Dual-Holiday Tradition)

-Kid Friendly (4 and up)
-Pet Friendly
-Semi-Crafty...don't be intimidated if you're not a crafting superstar!
-At Home Activity
-Not Expensive-Moderately Expensive

This is actually my favorite tradition that I'd really like to start this year. On Thanksgiving, everyone gets a small piece of paper that might look like this:

I literally made that up in 3 minutes, I'm sure you could do way better if you spent some time on it! :) Each person would fill it out, anyone needing help could, of course, have some help writing! Then you roll up the paper with the writing facing the outside, and stick it in a clear glass ornament. When you decorate the tree, you can all read why you're thankful for one another.

This would be such a beautiful tradition to keep alive over the years! Reasons we're thankful for one another change ALL the time. Plus, it would be hilarious to see what your kids write about you :) Each person could even have their own separate box that's kept with the ornaments. You could sit around the tree and read all the ornaments from over the years to each other. This tradition is truly what family and love are all about!!

A modification for this tradition could be to write your favorite moments of the year! What a way to reminisce :)

Christmas Day Photo

-Kid Friendly (Birth and up)
-Pet Friendly
-At Home Activity
-Away from Home Activity

This is simply what it states, take a family picture on Christmas! I would love to combine this with the tee shirt tradition! To do this in the same place would be a great way to document how your family changes and grows with each passing year. You could do a simple picture or a crazy and extravagant one. Take multiple photos and add them all to a slideshow every 5 years! There are infinite possibilities with pictures :)

Game Night

-Kid Friendly (Ages depending on game)
-At Home Activitiy
-Quiet or Boistrous
-Ability to Modify

This would be such a fun tradition to start! Infinite possibilities and laughs to be had on a Family Game night at Christmas. Options include typical board games, Christmas-themed board games, movement games (hide and seek etc), OR you creating your own Christmas Board game! Think of Monopoly...if you had an old version of the game, it would be so easy to make a Christmas Monopoly customized to your own family! The first year you start the game tradition, make your own board game, and be sure to include it in the game lineup of the following years :)

Story Telling/Reading

-Kid Friendly (Birth--yes, birth--and up)
-At Home Activity
-Away from Home Activity

This is quite possibly the most cliche holiday tradition; think of all the beautiful Christmas stories out there! Between The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol, plus all of the children's books out there, you will never run short of beautiful stories to share as a family. I'd love to do this tradition with my children, just to further encourage reading in all aspects of their lives. Remember, it's never too young to begin reading with your children, and that's why it says from birth! How amazing would it be to watch your children be able to read more and more as the Christmases pass by?

Yes, I'd probably end up reading Harry Potter to my kids every Christmas...and every other night of the year ;)
Imagine story time around this beauty!


The following traditions are those that my friends submitted to me via my Facebook page


Sarah's Ornament and Stocking Making

-Kid Friendly (Birth and up)
-Pet Friendly
-At Home Activity
-Not expensive

Here is how Sarah describes this tradition in her family:

Whenever we have a new addition to the family, be it a new baby or a new pet or a new spouse, everyone gets an ornament made of their name. Solid color glass ball with the name written in glue and covered in glitter. We even make multiples so everyone has a "name ball" for Gramma's tree and our own! Same with stockings, making these are a big deal in our family and it's our way of inducting "newbies" to the family. :)
Thanks, Sarah! I imagine it gives a real sense of love and unity when you see all of your names on the tree and mantle. :)

These are ornaments I made of all our names last year. Simple clay recipe with watercolor paint, and you're good to go!

Trista's Burning of the Wish Lists

-Kid Friendly (3 and up)
-At Home Activity
-Quiet or Boistrous

Here is what Trista has to say about one of her family's traditions:

My family and I burn our wish lists outside every Christmas Eve and we go to bed straight after. The burning of the list is how the list gets to Santa (by the smoke, its magic) its also how he knows you've gone to bed. Everyone in my family does this no matter where we are in the world, so even when we are apart we still have something that brings us together.
What a wonderful tradition to start, especially if there are people who travel a lot in your family! I adore the magic piece, and what a clever way to get the kids to bed ;) Thanks, Trista!

Is this fire too big? I didn't think so!

Another burning tradition: The Burning of the Tree!

Marge's Running of the Bare Feet

-Kid Friendly (to the discretion of the parents)
-At Home Activity
-Weather Permitting
-Pet Friendly

My dear friend, Marge, shared with me quite possibly one of the most unique and out-of-the-ordinary traditions I've ever heard. I love it!
We run around the house in our bare feet in the snow and thaw them out in front of the fireplace. My father was a strange man.... It was great fun!
Marge, your dad sounds fun and fancy-free to organize that beautiful memory! Definitely a good tradition for the more adventurous families. Thanks so much, Marge!

See? It IS pet-friendly!

This might be a wee bit too deep...

Writing this post has certainly pushed me head-first into the Christmas Spirit! I'm just itching to begin these traditions with my family, and I hope my friends and I have inspired you to try something new, also.

Thank you from the bottom of my jolly heart for reading! As always, email or comment any questions you have. If YOU have some great holiday traditions that you think I should include, please let me know and I will add yours in!

All the best to you and yours.


*Disclaimer: All of my age suggestions are just that, SUGGESTIONS! I am not responsible in any way for the safety of your children while practicing these traditions. Have a safe holiday season!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Crochet, and Tulle, and Ribbon, Oh my!

Hello Friends!

A few months ago, Tom and I were at the mall and I saw these AMAZING red glitter Converse shoes. Naturally, between my obsession with Converse and the Wizard of Oz, I had to have them.

I then decided that I would be "Awesome Dorothy" for Halloween, as in Dorothy in an updated, modern sort of style. I also decided that Tom could be the Scarecrow, and if I played my cards right, Molly could be the most precious "Princess Glinda!"

I had to think very carefully about how I was to propose this Princess costume to Molly. What if she was totally not into it? I was nervous. Here is how it went:

Me: Molls, what do you want to be for Halloween?
Molly: Umm...a butterfly!
Me: (Thank goodness, something girly) That's great! I have an idea. How about you can be a butterfly with your mom, and you can be a Princess with Daddy and me!
Molly: (To my great relief and with a smile on her face) Okay! (She so did not get her compliance from her dad. ;) Love you Tom!)

Thus begun my "Pinteresting" for ideas on how to make a Tutu costume. I saw many tutorials for how to make them, but my real inspiration came from this video. I didn't exactly copy it, but I did mostly everything they did. I'm so in love with this dress, and the whole time I was thinking, "I could make the flower girl dress at my wedding!"

One of my favorite things about this project was its price. I made sure to start with so much time ahead of me (I started it about a week and a half ago) that I could go to Michael's, AC Moore, or Joann Fabrics once a day to use a coupon! With the wonderful technology that is my smartphone, I can use a 40% or 50% off one item coupon EVERY DAY! I added everything up and it should have cost me $42 (which is still pretty good for a gorgeous [ if I don't say so myself ;) ] costume!) BUT since I used so many coupons for so many days, it only cost me $26! Mind you, I ended up having some leftover items that I never used AND one of the shopping trips, I was so excited, I bought more than one thing because I couldn't stand the wait ;)

Anyway, I hope you like the dress AND I hope it inspires you to make your own beautiful tutu costume, even if it's just for the dress-up bin. Remember, there are INFINITE possibilities of colors and styles so you can make it your own to meet your very specific and unique needs!

Close up of the front. The two pieces of ribbon will be the halter straps

The whole front, complete with silver glitter felt 4-point stars

Close-up of the back

The whole back


UPDATE: We have had the fitting of the costume!!! She looks too beautiful!!

As always, feel free to comment or email me any questions! Have a Happy Halloween!!

xo Christie