The Tree Hunters

Finding a tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and this is one of my favorite memories of our family’s tree tradition.
Repost from an old blog…

My family has built many traditions around our family Christmas Tree.  It is always decorated while listening to Mariah Carey‘s “Merry Christmas” album.  Dad always gets tangled in the lights and ends up breaking one strand before successfully lighting the tree.  We all have specific ornaments that we hang every year.  None of these things can happen without the tradition of going to get the tree. Every year Dad and I journey to McCurdy’s Tree Farm to find the perfect tree.  We arrive, pick out a saw, and hop onto the hayride that takes you to the various types of trees.  We get a cup of hot chocolate, then trek over to the Douglas Fir trees, walk around until I’ve found it.  It is perfectly proportioned, has no dead spots, an ample trunk, springy branches, the right width, and it’s (inevitably) too tall for our living room.  Dad cuts it down and drags it back to the hot chocolate stand where we warm ourselves up with another cup of cocoa and a hot dog.  (This process has been known to take hours in the past.)  Finally, we get back on the hay ride to go pay for the tree before I sucker Dad into buying yet another Christmas c.d.  This year, as we were getting ready to start our journey, Bug came around the corner already dressed in her snowsuit, looked at us with her big brown eyes, and asked, “Can I go tree hunting with you?”  We hadn’t thought of taking her with us because the poor little bug had been suffering from a cold, but it was like trying to say no to Cindy Loo Who dressed as a purple marshmallow.  We caved, and packed her up in the car.

We had to wait for the third hayride.  She didn’t want to ride on the blue or orange tractors.  She wanted to ride on the great big red tractor, because it was the best.   As Mrs. McCurdy waived us off and said to have a merry Christmas, Bug eagerly replied “Oh, we will!” This, of course, brought laughter from everyone, including Mrs. McCurdy (who looks a bit like how I always imagined Mrs. Claus to look).  We got hot chocolate, which was quickly stated to be the best hot chocolate in the entire world, (she doesn’t get much chocolate…) and then started walking towards the Douglas Firs.  While searching for the tree, she followed me to every one.  Finally, we had to choose between two: one I liked, and one Dad liked.  Bug looked between the two of us and stated, “Daddy, don’t you know Amber’s tree is the one we should take?!  She says it’s prettier, and I believe her.”  Well, that was that.  Dad cut down the tree, and we headed back towards the hot cocoa stand.

While eating our hot dogs and drinking our cocoa Bug saw the giant tube slide, a new addition to the tree farm this year.  She looked at me and asked, “Amber, is that slide for little boys and girls?”  When I told her it was, she batted her eyelashesat me.  I’m not talking about blinking a couple of times.  I’m talking about actually batting her eyelashes in the way that has gotten women exactly what the want for centuries.  Then she says, “Well, I’m a little girl.”  I proceeded to take her down the slide four times before we were ready to take the hayride back and pay for our tree.

We rode the hayride with the blue tractor back to the office and gift shop, since apparently “Red takes you places, but Blue always takes you home.”  This statement was accompanied by enthusiastic nodding, so it must be true.  Dad paid for the tree, tied it to the car, and we all headed home.  Coming from the backseat we heard a very faint, “This was the best Tree Hunt ever.”

I completely agree.

And We’re Back!

It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted.  I know as a blogger I should feel bad about this; at the very least I should feel slightly shamed. The truth is, in the past month I have been out living and enjoying life.  Please don’t take that as a below-the-belt shot at blogging, it’s not meant to be.  It’s more that I haven’t figured out how to balance blogging with enjoying life.  Recognizing the problem is half the battle though, so now that I recognize my lack of attention to blogging I promise I’ll make an attempt to correct the situation.  So here’s what you missed on Chicly Green!  I’ve reentered the world of dating after three years, went to Florida for Thanksgiving, discovered the absolute best trick for breaking in new shoes, and and have started the Christmas Celebrations process.    I cannot wait to tell write all about it, but that’s for another day.  For today, please accept my humble apologies for abandoning my blog, and know I’m back at it with lots of tips, tricks, and hilarious tales.

Indian Summer

I don’t know what’s happening where you are, but we have been experiencing some glorious weather here lately.  This past week has been sunny and unseasonably warm, which is glorious for someone who hates being cold.  To celebrate our mid-November Indian Summer, I wanted to share some pictures I took over the summer at one of my favorite hiking spots.

An old water tower on the property. The sadistic side of me kind of wants to have this made into a puzzle to give to my least-favorite family member for Christmas.

 

I have no idea if this safe to eat, but it was so big and beautifully yellow, I couldn’t help but imagine how it would look on a grill.

 

 

I wouldn’t want to eat these mushrooms, but I loved how vibrantly red they were.

 

I once stated that bright teal (for lack of a better color description) has never appeared in nature. The moss on this fallen tree proved me wrong.

 

At the top of the mountain is a beautiful little flower garden, and I was very excited to see a honey bee busy at work among the flowers.

 

Everyone loves a butterfly.

 

I hope you enjoy the photos, and I promise some good content posts are coming up soon.  Happy Wednesday!

Rock The Vote

If you’re reading this and you haven’t voted yet, stop.  Stop reading, step away from your computer, and go vote!  Yes, you may have to wait in line, and yes there will be people standing outside making that last minute push for their candidate, but please go anyways.  Your vote matters.  Regardless of what state you live in, regardless of which candidate you’re supporting, or voting against if you follow my friends’ philosophy, your vote matters.  Polls are open until 8:00 pm, but if you are in line before the doors close they cannot turn you away.  So please, go vote!  I did.

My sister insisted on putting my sticker on my cheek. I was okay with that.

If that’s not enough motivation, consider the fact that voting is the smart thing to do with an election this big.  And remember boys, smart is sexy.

 

Withdrawal

The honeymoon period is officially over.  The glow of mindful consumption has faded as Christmas displays have inspired waves of desire followed immediately be the shakes when I realize that no, I cannot buy those adorable penguin decorations.  Slight waves of nausea hit when I think about how I’m going to get through Christmas this year, especially considering how much I love shopping for the perfect gift for every person on my list.  The full realization of what I’ve committed myself to has finally set in, and I’m starting to doubt whether or not I can actually do this.

I had actually fooled myself into thinking this was going to be easy.  After all, I practically sailed through the first month of this challenge.  I’ve enjoyed finding local resources and challenging my creativity.  Add in the fact that I have basically everything I need, and it’s largely been simple.  I was giving myself a nice little mental pat on the back when I saw my first Christmas commercial of the season.  That’s when the withdrawal started.  Over the past week I’ve found myself trying to mentally justify things in the style of Becky Bloomwood.  It’s been little things so far: a book I know would make an excellent gift for someone but that I’ll never find second-hand, holiday decorations that would make a grinch’s heart grow, etc.  I haven’t broken down yet, but I have started refusing to be around retail of any kind.  In the past week alone I have unsubscribed from 15 different email lists (including Coach, which broke my heart a little).  I haven’t even opened this month’s Vogue for fear of how I’ll react to what I’m sure will be stunning winter fashion.  I need to create a solid “surviving the holidays” plan, and until then I cannot be around anything relating to holiday shopping.  Or holiday decorations.  Or winter fashion.  Or…you understand where this is going.

Right now I can’t help but wonder, what was I thinking?

Happy Halloween!

The past week has certainly been a roller coaster.  Cancelled trick-or-treating, uncomfortable nights resulting in impulse purchasing, and of course I have to give a nod to our dear friend Sandy.  Needless to say it’s been a bit busy here at Chicly Green, and I promise to give detailed accounts of all things fun, awkward, and hurricane related.  For now I just want to say Happy Halloween!

 

Clearly, part of my storm-weathering technique was carving jack-o-lanterns.  I think Happy Jack is my favorite.

 

 

 

My sister loved this “crazy eye” design.

 

 

Did you make jack-o-lanterns this year?

Modernized Wicked Witch

When searching for Halloween costumes, a lot of women I know get really discouraged, and I can understand why.  It seems that most often we’re only given two choices.  The first are the skimpy costumes labeled naughty/sexy (insert things which should never be naughty/sexy here) which scream “I have daddy issues and need attention from men NOW!”  The second is the “nobody wants these costumes” category.  This category includes everything from the “funny” costumes (I’m the socket.  He’s the plug.  Do you get it, or should I keep slamming sexual innuendo at you?) to the “old standbys” of green-faced witches and dowdy cut-from-sheets ghosts.  What happens if a girl wants to go somewhere in between?

A friend of mine works in the pediatrics wing of a local hospital.  She’s allowed to dress up for Halloween, but nothing too scary or too obscene.  While she’s fine with not being Sexy Ms. Pac-man (Worst. Idea. Ever.) she didn’t want to be the same boring witch she is every year.  She also didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new kid-friendly costume, so I suggested she update it by giving the Wicked Witch a more modernized look.  She doesn’t have any use for stage make up so using a simple “Halloween Face Kit” here’s what I was able to come up with.

Start with a green base from the lash line to brow bone

The green in this particular kit was almost an army green when first applied.  It took almost 4 coats to get the right shade of green, and even then it wasn’t even.  Then again, for $5.00 at the Salvation Army, I expect you get what you pay for.

Taking black eye pencil, extend the brows from the arch to roughly a finger-width away from the hair line.

Extend “cat’s eye” point down onto cheeks to create “cracks” in the skin.

That cheap little pencil would benefit from a sharpening.  I should probably do that before working on my own costume’s make up.

Redden lips for definiti

 

 

In my mind she’s less “wicked” and more “cracked.”

Enough nod to the original that with a pointy hat people will know what you’re getting at, but you won’t be washing green out of your pores for weeks.