A Letter to My Working Mom

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Before we begin, I’d like to say a few things about my mom. First, I adore her. I admire her, cherish her, and ultimately hope to be her. For those of you who have never had the privilege of meeting Debbie, she is kind, creative, brilliant, beautiful, wildly capable, and an absolute riot – in the good way. I think the world of her, but I don’t always get the impression that she feels the same way about herself.

After 25 years, I think she still feels guilty for being a working mom.

To be clear, Debbie is now retired and sailing the high seas as a Carnival junkie. So, I guess she is a former working mother if you want to get technical. Whether it’s a self-imposed burden or some strange, unspoken societal pressure I’ll never know, but I want to make one thing incredibly clear. I am who I am because of my working mother. Plain and simple.

I wouldn’t trade Debbie for five stay-at-home moms.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Stay-at-home moms have an indescribably important and undervalued job, but being a working mother offers its own set of unique experiences too. I think we forget that. Take sick days, for example.

As a kid, I got to go with my mom to work when I wasn’t feeling well. Maybe it’s rosy retrospection, but I remember loving it. I had my own tiny office connected to her, complete with a phone (used frequently to pester her), a Windows 98 computer freshly stocked with Disney PC games, and a hand-drawn name plate for my desk to match hers. Although this disappointedly does not involve Disney PC games (spoiler alert), I remember wanting a career because my mom had one.

I realized I could be a successful, professional woman because my mom was one.

Beyond the sheer capability, there was a passion. I think I noticed this for the first time when my mom spoke at my middle-school career fair. It was a lot of dads – firemen, salesman, etc. – with a few ladies mixed in. The exact words are lost on me, but I remember one thing above all. My mom loved her work, and that made me proud. She didn’t just work to pay the bills; she thrived in her field. She held her own with the best of them.

She took pride in her work, and I took pride in her.

**Note: For the record, my dad also had a cool job and attended his fair share of school functions. That’s a story for another day.**

Of course, it wasn’t always a bed of roses. There were times when I unknowingly and unnecessarily broke her heart with incessant phone calls, begging her to come home simply because my sitter wouldn’t bake me cookies for breakfast (which was a real conversation, FYI). And I’m sure I asked her to play hooky just because I missed her – and, honestly, who wouldn’t want to spend all day with Debbie?

But in the end, I’m really grateful for those caregivers and the time I spent with them. They are now my friends, my extended family so to speak. Somehow, every single one has stuck with me for 25 years. They’ve attended multiple graduations, band concerts, and I was even the flower girl (yes, flower girl) at one of my babysitter’s weddings in 2015. It takes a village, right?

Sitters aside, I never once felt short on time with my mom. Growing up, she used to curl my hair every day before school. She would play Barbie’s after a full day at the office, write napkins notes in my lunch, sew costumes for the school play (not just mine, literally every costume), and magically serve as a serial homeroom mother. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. But now? It’s beyond my comprehension. Sometimes I can barely remember to feed my dog. At any given moment she had approximately two billion better things to do, and yet she chose me.

It’s beyond comprehension because it’s a love beyond comprehension.

As I wrote this post, I struggled with exactly what I wanted to say, what I hoped to accomplish with these words. Why even bother? It’s because I’m willing to bet a lot of working moms feel just like mine, and that breaks my heart. To all of the working mothers out there, but especially my own, I hope you get the opportunity to see yourself the way your kids see you. I hope you know that your kids don’t see the exhaustion because they’re busy having fun with you. They don’t mind the long hours, because they only feel your unconditional love.

Originally, my mom never expected to have children. She wanted to be a career-woman until she had me. I suppose she may have felt torn between two worlds, but I never viewed it this way. I hope she doesn’t either. To me, she will never be anything but perfect. I don’t resent my mom for being a working mother – I admire her for it.

I like to think she had it all because she deserves it all.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer Upper

It’s been a little over a year since I bought my first house, and what a whirlwind it has been! I’ve learned more about electrical wiring, grout removal, and interior paint than I ever dreamed possible. Although I haven’t fully finished my list of home improvement projects, I have made quite a dent – new countertops, fresh baseboards, and a retiled bathroom, among other things. It’s been an exhausting, expensive, and very rewarding ride, but I can honestly say fixer uppers are not for everyone.

For those of you seeking a new adventure, here are a few pros and cons to buying a fixer upper from a first-time home owner.

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1. Lower Monthly Mortgage Payments

Unlike buying a starter home, fixer uppers obviously have a lower list price – which means lower monthly payments for you. This is more money you can put in your pocket or save towards your renovation list!

2. Complete Customization

In a way, fixer uppers are like building a house from scratch. You have the rare and beautiful opportunity to hand-craft your home from the ground up, and there is a lot to be said for ultimate creative freedom.

3. Work at Your Own Pace

Unlike buying a new home, you can work and pay for a fixer upper at your own pace. You determined when each improvement is done and how much it will cost, which  means you can tailor your home to fit your current lifestyle.

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1. Choices Can Be Overwhelming

Do you want brushed nickel, bronze, silver, or black drawer pulls? Ogee, bevel, or demi bullnose on your countertops? You really don’t realize how many detailed decisions go into creating a cohesive home until you start calling the shots!

2. Require Lots (And Lots) of Time

Fixers uppers are extremely time-consuming. Even if you opt not to DIY the majority of your renovations, you’re looking at hours spent researching options and meeting with vendors. You’ll also be required to take PTO from work during any installations, which can last up to 4+ hours per project.

3. Older Homes = More Repairs

Buying a fixer upper means buying an older home, which comes with a fair share of challenges. Don’t be caught off guard if you encounter faulty plumbing, outdated electrical wiring, or random holes in the wall (don’t ask).

Have more questions about buying an older home? I’d love to offer any guidance I can, so feel free to ask away in the comments section below.

6 Songs When You Just Can’t Adult

No one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. There is a time for ROTH IRAs and black coffee and tax wizards and sadness, and that time is 100% not today.

Turn your speakers up, kids. It’s time to grow down.

1. Stressed Out

Billing Address: Treehouse in Backyard 👌

 

2. 1985

Sorry to all the tax wizards out there ✌️

3. Grow Up

“I’m a princess, I don’t want to be the queen.” That sounds like a rib tattoo in the making.

4. Dancing Queen

Current Mood: Villager at 2:36

5. Here’s to Never Growing Up

Too much eyeliner ✔️ Teen angst ✔️ Unnecessary necktie ✔️

The gang’s all here.

6. I’ll Be There

I think we can all agree this hasn’t been our day, month, or even our year. #bye2016

If you don’t mind some vulgarity, check out Jenna Marbles’ hit single “I Hate Being a Grown-Up” for a stirring encore performance.

7 Christmas Lyrics That Make No Sense

1. There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glory of Christmases long, long ago.

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Nope, that’s Halloween. Good try, though.

2. Gee, the traffic is terrific!

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Excuse me, sir, what is your stance on traffic? It’s terrific? Get this man an Uber, he’s obviously had too much egg nog.

3. Little Drummer Boy (The Entire Song)

Did your Pottery Barn nativity set come with a little drummer boy? Exactly. *insert conspiracy theory of choice*

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4. In the meadow we can build a snowman and pretend that he is Parson Brown.

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Is parson a title, an adjective, a nickname? Should Parson be capitalized or lowercase? Have we met? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

5. On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ten dancing ladies.

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If she’s your true love, why do you need ten dancing ladies?

6. Mary ,did you know that your baby boy would heal the blind with his hand?

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Does the name Gabriel mean nothing to you? Yes, Mary knew. She always knew.

7. Oh, bring us some figgy pudding…we won’t go until we get some.

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AKA I won’t go home until you feed me this fiery dog turd.

 

 

 

 

 

13 Oklahoma Artists, Startups, & Small Businesses You Should Shop This Christmas

During my brief 24 (almost 25!) years on Earth, I’ve had the great fortune of meeting countless wickedly talented self-starters in Oklahoma. These are a collection of friends from high school, fellow artists, former and current colleagues, and even a few of my own business partners. As someone who has dabbled in (way too many) for-profit self-ventures (knitting, novels, design, you name it), I know how invaluable the support of community can be. It’s tough to dig your heels in and build something out of nothing.

That’s why, this Christmas, I’m urging you to do something a little different.

In addition to your normal go-to stores, consider shopping with one of these Oklahoma startups or small businesses. When I say small business, I do mean small! Most of the following are run by an individual, small family, or at most a staff of five. Through personal relationships with each maker, artist, go-getter and business owner on the list, I know with confidence that your purchase will undeniably be appreciated. You can also feel good about keeping a portion of your holiday spending in-state!

So without further ado, I give you 13 (and growing) local startups to shop this year.

Sunshine & Sparkles Boutique

Adorable goodies for just about everyone in the family. Tumblers, thermoses, onesies, and bumper stickers, Allyson makes original pieces and is always up for custom orders! You can message her through the shop’s Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/sparkleandsunshineboutique/

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Honey, I’m Home Door Designs

A burlap wizard, Alison can make pretty anything you throw her way. Trust me, I’ve thrown some wild ideas her way! You can browse her selection on her Facebook page or send her any Pinspirations you might find online.

https://www.facebook.com/honeyimhomedoordesigns/

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Jak’d Up Tees

Based in Edmond, this screen printing company (run by a close family friend) sells at an unbelievably good price. Luckily they have recently expanded online, so you can shop from the comfort of your own home!

http://jakduptees.com

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Respire Photography & Madalyn and Cameron Photography

I have had the privilege of working with both photographers extensively, and each time it was a smashing success due largely to the amazing talent behind the lens. With extremely affordable mini-sessions, both photographers are perfect for holiday photos.

http://www.respirephotography.com/#welcome

http://cameronandmadalyn.com

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Bison Brew Coffee

An absolute favorite in my house! Bison Brew offers five distinct blends, each one mirroring a different ecological region in the state of Oklahoma. You can grab a bag at the Norman farmers market.

https://www.facebook.com/BisonBrewCoffee/

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Me!

Shameless plug warning! Did you really think I could leave myself off the list in good faith? As always, you are invited to indulge in any or all of my creative whimsies, whether it be a book, Puppicon, or custom Christmas cards.

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Crooked Roots Design

Thinking of sending Mom or Grandma a bouquet this year? Let the lovely ladies at Crooked Roots whip up a modern, elegant arrangement you most definitely won’t see at Homeland. Until their website is done, you can contact them on Facebook or Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/crookedrootsdesign/

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Steven Thorn

A friend of mine from our time spent in Oxford, fellow author Steven Thorn knocks it out of the park with his Phoenix Guardian series. This book (or entire series!) would be an unexpected delight for any young bookworms in your life.

https://www.amazon.com/Steven-Thorn/e/B004X35RLM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Mixed Madness Apparel

Edgy designs and quality products, Mixed Madness blends a variety of styles in a really cool way, making each piece unique from anything you’d find in stores.

http://www.mixedmadnessapparel.com

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Resume Reactions

I realize no one wants a resume critique as a Christmas present, BUT this startup is still extremely relevant as hundreds of people search for extra work during the holiday season. If that’s you, let Lori brush up your resume first to make sure you get the job!

http://www.resumereactions.com

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The Baron’s Custom Glassware

Whether you’re into merlot or martinis, cabernets or Cokes, Aaron’s got you covered. This custom-cut  glassware makes an excellent drinking cup and a gorgeous votive (for you ladies out there).

https://www.facebook.com/Baronscups

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Decorate the 918

Calling all Tulsans! Among many other creative ventures, Andrea designs and creates stunning nail art for the home (like my amazing Disney quote shown below!). Check out some of her portfolio and give her a shout on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/decoratethe918/

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Do you know of an Oklahoma artist, entrepreneur, or small business you’d like to add to the list? Shoot me a link in the comments! It’s Christmas time, and that  means the more the merrier.

 

The Problem with “Marketing Yourself”

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I’ve sat on this topic for quite some time, mostly because I am guilty of everything mentioned below and because it has great potential to be taken out of context. But no matter how many times I abandoned the draft, a tiny tug inside brought me back until the words were simply gone. After many weeks, I have decided to publish my thoughts come what may.

It is a post that needs to be shared, for better or worse.

As many of you know, I’m in the marketing/PR industry. Shouldn’t I be telling you how to market yourself instead of warning you not to? Maybe, but that would be doing you a disservice. Because no matter how competitive the job market may be, no matter how many of your friends seem to have it all together, and no matter how many awards you’ve won since college, I believe there is one thing that should never be marketed.

You.

Before I elaborate, I want to take a moment and explain. When I say that you should never be marketed, I don’t mean your hobbies, pet projects, side businesses, blogs, or employers. Otherwise this post (and any subsequent sharing) would be totally hypocritical and useless. I’m specifically referencing the internet’s increasing demand to curate our lives in an unnatural way, the craving to be seen and impress on both a personal and professional level. Not the sharing of your thoughts, but the sharing of your soul. I’m talking about your daily life.

But before we dive in, let’s go back 20 or 30 years ago. You would call your closest friends to share the news of your engagement. Your growing list of professional awards would be read only by your next employer. If your boyfriend surprised you at the office with roses, you would gush over a cup of coffee with your best friend. Life was shared in community, a place where good news could bloom in stride with the rise and fall of life. A few years ago, you never had to compare yourself to the world.

Sounds relaxing, right?

Today, the social landscape is a little different. We are encouraged to promote ourselves for better jobs, better dates then better spouses, better houses, better lives. I especially feel the pull in the PR industry, where it’s common to brand yourself as an industry expert gain credibility (which is a joke at age 24), and your personal brand is almost as important as the work you produce. But the reality is, marketing yourself is an unhealthy practice spiritually, emotionally, and physically because – no matter how you feel – you are more than what people think of you.

“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Due to the public nature of social media, we are constantly branding ourselves – whether deliberately or not. When good things happen, we broadcast it to the world not because we want them to share in our joy but because we feel like we are supposed to. We want to keep up, stay in the game. I know I do. And with this mindset, it is impossible not to live for achievement instead of experience.

Today we have the power to control the message of our day-to-day lives through LinkedIn updates, Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos, Goodreads updates… The list goes on and on. Nearly everything we do in 2016 is public information, and that’s dangerous. What happens when we are suddenly given the power to influence our public perception like a brand? We reduce ourselves to advertisers and goods, and we lose our purpose.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” -Psalm 139:14

When we begin to see ourselves and others as commodities instead of souls created by a loving, intentional God, we become susceptible to unhealthy competition, resentment towards those who appear better, and low self-esteem when we fail to impress. We are blind to the bleeding heart behind the sterling resume or the anxiety weighing down the new mom. When we value ourselves only as much as others do, we lose sight of our own potential and the God-given worth of our friends and family. Because when the camera is always on, it’s hard to be genuine.

When there’s no room for error, it’s hard to just be human.

Of course, it’s never wrong to celebrate the joys of life with friends and family – the little moments and the big. Life is about love and community. But there is such a fine line between celebrating and bragging, and I know because I often tow both sides of the line. I think this is an increasing struggle for my generation. When our lives are so easily broadcast, it’s hard to know the true motivation of our hearts and even harder to keep our pride in check. We no longer recognize the beauty of humility, a trait that has been revered throughout the Bible and history. It is so easy to mask our insecurities in self-promotion, which can only breed arrogance. When we choose to market ourselves, we choose not to humble ourselves.

But there is wonderful news.

We don’t need to market ourselves to be thriving, joyful people. Noah wasn’t chosen to build the ark because of the blueprints he uploaded to LinkedIn. Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t a successful national leader because of his influential Instagram quotes, and Galileo never published a DIY guide on how to chart the stars. These people accomplished amazing things through humility, by engaging with others instead of marketing to them.

So whether it is for a day, a month, or even the next year, I challenge you to turn the camera off. Continue to promote your art, your business, your blog, but save some moments for yourself. Choose humility over a fleeting sense of pride. Do things because you want to do them, not because you want to be seen doing them. Have secrets. Chase humility. Choose to see human needs instead of filtered photos and job promotions.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:12

Let’s choose to pursue wisdom. After all, if we all take a break from marketing ourselves we might just enjoy being ourselves.

7 Disney Sequels I Refuse to Acknowledge

As a Disney enthusiast, I am often asked to share my opinion on a variety of Disney films by the friends I somehow miraculously have. Inevitably, these always include a laundry list of home entertainment flops, aka the list I have so diligently prepared for you today.

“But, Laura, this is just a list of sequels!” you cry.

Wrong, young Disney noob. This is a list of bad, cringe-worthy, waste-of-cabinet-space sequels that I have and will continue to ignore until I die. In full disclosure, I have seen each of these seven films at least once, which was more than enough.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Pocahontas II

So, hold up. Let me get this straight. You want to replace John Smith with another yet completely different white guy from England who is also named John? Nope. Not having it. FOREVER MEANS FOREVER. Why do I feel so much like Taylor Swift right now?

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2. Lion King 1 1/2

If a Disney sequel features a younger version of any character, said movie will make you want to peel your skin off and bleed out slowly to the sound of bad tween dialogue. Thanks, but I’ve been through puberty once. That was enough.

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3. Ariel’s Beginning

See #2 minus puberty because babies, which just makes me feel weird as an adult viewer.

4. Tim Burton’s Alice Through The Looking Glass

As a lover of Lewis Carol, this movie really rustles my jimmies. If you’ve got an hour to waste (who doesn’t?) head over to The Disney Movie Review to hear an unabashed soapbox spiel about Tim Burton crushing my dreams and why Belle should only wear her blue dress.

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5. Hunchback of Notre Dame II

If we’re being honest, I can’t even remember this movie because all I can think about is Jennifer Love Hewitt’s cheeky smile at minute 1:15 in that VHS commercial.

6. Literally any Cinderella sequel ever.

So, here’s the funny thing about villains – they’re usually evil. And without extensive phycological rehabilitation, evil people usually stay evil. So unless I missed the Royal Therapy scene, sassy Cindy and the increasingly effeminate Ken doll get an oh-heck-no from me.

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7. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beast banned Christmas, and then he unbanned it. Done. That’s the entire plot of the movie, which was a bust. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes, because even they were too embarrassed to reprise their role in this sequel.

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As you see, this list could go on indefinitely, so in the interest of time I did my best to only choose movies that brought me to tears.

So, Laura, you’re saying ALL Disney sequels are doomed to fail?

Wrong again, my silly little friend! There are plenty of Disney sequels (even triquels!) that I genuinely adore. Yes, I invented triquel©. I’m not really sure how copyright works, but I put that fancy C symbol next to the word so I think so we’re all good. Anyway, the good sequels include The Little Mermaid II (AKA My Life Story), Lion King II, 102 Dalmatians, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and any future Toy Story movies. On a good day, maybe even Lady and the Tramp II. Maybe.

Have you been personally scarred by a bad sequel? Are you an in-the-closet Pocahontas II fan, or perhaps you have a good sequel story to share? Shoot me a comment below because trivial Disney convos are my jam.

Someday When My Kids Are Grown…

As you all know, I don’t have any children – hey, I’m only 24! Still, as more and more of my peers settle down, I like to imagine the kind of world my own future children will inherit. What will matter to them when they’re my age, 20 or 30-something years from now? What will they enjoy, pursue, fear? Which of my favorite shows will make it to TV Land? What will the world look like someday when my children are grown?

This is a collection of my thoughts. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they read about civil unrest in books, not the news.

I hope “Adopt Don’t Shop” is the norm.

I hope they never saw me complain about stretch marks or wrinkles.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that my daughter is called by her name, not Mrs. Husband.

I hope that my son changes diapers and vacuums like a boss.

I hope they find a spouse who will watch Friends on TV Land.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope I’m there to see it.

I hope my grandkids aren’t little turds.

I hope the world is worth a few more birthdays. 

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope social media is outdated and cell phones obsolete.

I hope the garter toss is no longer a thing because it’s awkward and just why.

I hope all the teachers haven’t moved to Texas yet.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope that in a casual culture they make some things sacred.

I hope they love their body because I probably made it, and I’m good at crafts.

I hope that seeking therapy doesn’t have to be a secret anymore.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they know how to shoot a gun but never need to pull the trigger.

I hope Disney World is still the happiest place on Earth.

I hope tolerance isn’t confused with truth.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope they come to visit.

I hope they know the difference between joy and happiness.

I hope they chase meaning.

Someday when my kids are grown…

I hope my children walk with Christ, the reason I hope at all.

5 of Your Favorite 90s Childhood Crafts (That You Can Still Buy for Under $20)

1. Lite Brite

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Right out of the gates, we’re starting strong with my personal favorite on today’s list, king of creativity, the Lite Brite. What couldn’t you make with one of these bad boys? Never mind that the little plastic pegs always slipped out of your chubby toddler fingers. If you could manage to stab one through the board, man. The world was yours, my friend. I’ll bet there’s some legit, professional-level Lite Brite art out there. Hmmmm. Now that’s an interesting thing. Excuse me, I need to Google something.

Yep. Called it!

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P.S. These run for about $18 on eBay.

2. Perler Beads

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Okay, I’m back! Believe it or not, you can still buy complete Perler bead sets at Hobby Lobby. Obviously the price depends on the kit you buy, but I can assure you from recent experience with my boyfriend these are still insanely entertaining. Tip: Retro pixelated designs are pretty much a guaranteed success, if you’re looking for high-reward, low-risk. If you want to make the Mario Piranha Plant above, check out my other post for a tutorial!

3. Beaded Keychains

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Monkeys and lizards and turtles – oh my! If you had one of these on your backpack in elementary school, you probably listened to aTeens on HitClip, rode a scooter everywhere, and pulled a roller BSB backpack to school. Okay, fine, I’m referring to myself. Today, these unopened babies are infinite on eBay and sell for as low as $1. Yes. One single dollar. Have at it, kids.

4. Plastic Looms

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I’m not sure this distinctly 90s, but I have definitely never seem a kid “looming” in 2016. They’re probably too busy writing CSS or learning how to Tumblr. Meawhile, we were off weaving used hairbands together and calling it art. Either way, this loom kit was a staple of my childhood, providing hours of tedious entertainment and literally drawers full of weird, stretchy potholders that my mom politely tolerated and occasionally used in private. If the loom calls to you, you can grab one at Walmart for under $5. Careful. Don’t spend it all in one place.

5. Blow Pens

Oh man. Blow pens. I don’t know about you, but I bugged my parents relentlessly for blow pens thanks to that insanely cool infomercial on Nickelodeon where they made sweatshirts and hats and other commodities far beyond my ten-year-old skill level. You don’t remember it? Here, let me take you back to 2001.

Can we just talk about that invisible ink? THE SECRETS I COULD TELL. You know, after I finish washing the spit off my hands, that is. You probably didn’t have $19.99 plus shipping and handling then, but you sure do now, you high-rolling adult. The complete set you always dreamed of for just $10.99 on eBay.

Just so you know, there are way more than five of these gems out there. I deliberately excluded Floam (because it smells weird and ew) and Marvin’s Magic Doodle Pad (because I literally could not make that amazingly cool fish from the ad to save my life, and yes, I’m still upset). Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your niece/nephew or your own kid, please let us live vicariously by sharing your craft projects below.

So, anyone planning to buy one and/or have used one recently?

What’s Up with All These Disney Remakes?

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The Jungle Book. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. Beauty and the Beast. For the past five years, Disney has been in an experimental relationship with live-action fairytales that (as far as I can tell) has no end in sight. In 2015, Cinderella racked in $132 million globally on opening weekend. Try $294 million for The Jungle Book. Needless to say with figures like these, Disney has taken a cute from Queen Bey is about to put a ring on remakes.

But what’s so magical about a remake, anyway?

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In high school, I did a lot of babysitting because I had no money and two X chromosomes. We watched The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Tarzan, the usuals. Every week, I would optimistically offer up suggestions for movies that I had loved growing up. The Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Pinocchio, even The Jungle Book. After being shot down like Bambi’s mom time and time again, I finally caught on.

“That movie’s too slow.

“It’s a boring one.”

“No, that movie isn’t very funny.”

The next generation is a new audience with new expectations.

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But all hope is not lost. Many animation studios make the bulk of their profit from tentpole films, meaning movies with never-ending sequels like Kung Fu Panda 3, The Avengers, Shrek, etc. With the exception of Marvel and LucasFilms, Disney hasn’t relied too heavily on tentpole films in the past. Lion King 1 1/2 happened against our will, and yes, Pocahontas II disappointed audiences everywhere because apparently Mel Gibson is too good for sequels. But these were just home releases – a small boost, not a blockbuster.

But now the tides are turning. To stay relevant, Disney has three options. Generate new blockbusters (Frozen), reinvent forgotten classics (Pete’s Magic Dragon), or set up new tentpoles (Star Wars). While I believe all three are in the works, there seems to be a strong emphasis on creating forgotten classics with the goal of establishing new tentpoles.

Clear as mud, right?

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Basically, live-action remakes are low risk and high reward because fans already love the story. They’re also an easy (though expensive) way to reinvent old stories for young viewers, which will allow Walt’s legacy to stay relevant in the age of CGI. In short, it’s fish bait for your children. The craziest part? It’s working like magic.

So, what’s next for Disney?

According to US Weekly, “Other projects in the works from Disney, all set for release between 2017 and 2019, include A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay; Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; Dumbo, directed by Tim BurtonMaleficent 2, starring Angelina Jolie; and Jungle Book 2, a sequel to the just-released live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s book, starring Neel Sethi,Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Idris Elba.”

Notice how I put this in quotes because I was too lazy to research it for myself. Regardless, you can see that Disney is preparing for a tidal wave of live-action profit, that will hopefully position the company for years of financial gain and never-ending merchandise opportunitites.

Personally, I think this is excellent news. The possibilities are literally endless, folks! I am thrilled to see old Disney icons like Pongo, Belle, Marry Poppins, and Mowgli meet fresh, young eyes because these characters mean something to me. As they live on, so does a precious sliver of my childhood. Through these films, old dreams drift into the future. They are the Bing Bong to my Riley, the White Rabbit to my Alice.

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What are your thoughts on all of the remakes?